2/7/09

GUEST BLOGGER: "Evidence" for Evolution is Evidence for ID

This is the second installment of Atheism is Dead’s guest blogger program.
Our guest is Rhology from the blog Rhoblogy.

Please make our guest feel at home and away we go…

Following is the guest post:

To read/Or not to read


I don't think this is a particularly new set of ideas or anything, but I can't recall seeing them discussed often in the channels in which I travel on the worldwide Internetosphere, so I'd like to post them here and invite anyone who holds to Darwinianistical evolutionary theory to comment.
Given the great care that the Darwinian camp has taken to differentiate itself from the Intelligent Design stuff, one would think that certainly said camp would be highly, strongly interested in providing evidence for its position, absent ANY INTELLIGENCE involved whatsoever.

Given that, I'd like evidence that evolution from one type of organism to another is occurring TODAY with the following qualifications:
1) A laboratory injects intelligence into the equation. No lab.

2) Experiments observed on a REPEATED basis, as good science should be.

3) No intelligent (ie, human) manipulation of the events.

4) With ALL normal environmental factors present. No control group, no outside interference from intelligent agents (ie, humans).

5) With ALL normal other factors present, such as predators, weather, fluctuations in prey, water, and other nourishment.

6) And a good way of judging when the line of organism has become a different type (just for utility's sake, but I'd call this slightly less interesting or necessary than the other 5).

In other words, is it unreasonable to think that, if you're presenting what you allege is evidence for a currently-acting process of unguided natural selection acting on random mutations, you could show some evidence of it that is not guided artificial selection acting on partially-random mutations?

Is that too much to ask?

If so, why?

If your response lies along the lines of: "That's too strict - you've defined most of the parameters for normal experimentation out of the question", does that not mean that you concede that you lack any good evidence for your position over and against the ID position? That your side has spoken far too quickly, with far too much certainty and fervency, with respect to how clear it is that Darwinian evolution is correct and ID is wrong?

If not, why not?

90 comments:

  1. "Instant" Evolution Seen in Darwin's Finches, Study Says

    In 1982 the large ground finch arrived on the tiny Galápagos island of Daphne, just east of the island of San Salvador (map of the Galápagos).

    Since then the medium ground finch, a long-time Daphne resident, has evolved to have a smaller beak—apparently as a result of direct competition with the larger bird for food.

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  2. 2) Experiments observed on a REPEATED basis, as good science should be...

    4) With ALL normal environmental factors present. No control group, no outside interference from intelligent agents (ie, humans).


    An experiment is defined as a "test under controlled conditions". If "all normal environmental factors" are present, then the conditions are not controlled. Therefore your criteria are self-refuting and your question is meaningless.

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  3. Therefore your criteria are self-refuting and your question is meaningless.

    No, it shows that you haven't shown that such experimentation would be useful in evidencing an unguided mechanism such as Darwinism claims. Think a little.

    finches

    Oh NO!! Not, not BIGGER BEAKS! AAAHHHH!!!!
    Seriously, rebut sthg that we haven't admitted a zillion times. Why waste everyone's time? How are larger beaks cogent?

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  4. NAL, how much smaller does the beak have to become before the finch turns into a Giraffe?

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  5. If ID were to replace evolutionary theory, how would future generations use it to combat new diseases?

    Please develop some responsibility.

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  6. Rho:
    Think a little.

    I think you did not address Paul C's claim that your criteria are self-refuting.

    IrishFarmer :
    NAL, how much smaller does the beak have to become before the finch turns into a Giraffe?

    Wow! You got me there. I've got no answer. By the way, was there a point to your comment?

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  7. If ID were to replace evolutionary theory, how would future generations use it to combat new diseases?

    Please develop some responsibility.


    In what way shape or form does believing that all organisms have spawned from a single organism at some point in the past possibly help us combat diseases?

    Wow! You got me there. I've got no answer. By the way, was there a point to your comment?

    Yeah, the point is that beaks getting smaller doesn't prove that evolution is true.

    As it turns out, natural - and unnatural - selection can breed variations into animals within certain limits. This is most obvious with dogs. However, you can only breed within certain genetic limitations. So my point is, nature might breed finches to the point where their beaks become more stout or bigger or whatever, but it won't be turning that finch into anything but a finch.

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  8. If ID were to replace evolutionary theory, how would future generations use it to combat new diseases?

    Given that disease work is governed by intelligent agents (scientists) working in controlled environments most of the time (labs, lab rats, petri dishes, etc), how is an appeal to that possibly going to help the Darwinian cause, which seeks to establish UNguided mechanisms with NO intelligent oversight?

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  9. Rho your 1-6 qualification requirements are silly. 2,3 and 6 are redundent since that what scientists do anyway. Be honest and think about it.

    Oh NO!! Not, not BIGGER BEAKS! AAAHHHH!!!!
    Seriously, rebut sthg that we haven't admitted a zillion times. Why waste everyone's time? How are larger beaks cogent?


    bigger beaks means the birds DNA changed. If you agree that this is possible than you agree with evolution which only says that DNA change occurs and is mostly influenced by natural selection.

    how much smaller does the beak have to become before the finch turns into a Giraffe?
    Again, Its a little change. Little changes over time add up to big changes. If you don't agree with that YOU have to come up with a explanation or mechanism that at one point suddenly stops genetic change in order to keep a bird looking like a bird forever.

    For instance, if you are right, some day dogs will no longer change any further. Something will have to stop their genes from changing otherwise they would change so much (over time) that they would 1. look completely different
    2.And/or not be able to interbreed with todays dogs

    Scientists have documented speciation very often. If you refuse this evidence, just get one of the many religious biologist ( like Francis Collins) to show the rest of the science community wrong and cash in fame and a nobel prize along the way.


    I'll give you an example.
    Look at this breed of cats called LaPerm
    A random mutation of a dominant gene made their furs curly. Again this is a small change. But a change nonetheless that occurred within my lifetime. Now keep adding up changes like this for lets say 500 000 years. Cats will most likly look different in 500k years and may not be able to interbreed with todays cats. Lets add a drastic change in the environment and another 500k years and you can be assured that "cats" will look totally different and be in fact so off from todays cats that they will be called something different.

    Also, if Evolution is wrong you would have to come up with explanations to questions like this

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  10. IrishFarmer:
    In what way shape or form does believing that all organisms have spawned from a single organism at some point in the past possibly help us combat diseases?

    It explains why mice are good models to use for drug tests that will later may be used on humans.

    IrishFarmer:
    Yeah, the point is that beaks getting smaller doesn't prove that evolution is true.

    It is an example of one aspect of evolutionary theory.

    IrishFarmer:
    So my point is, nature might breed finches to the point where their beaks become more stout or bigger or whatever, but it won't be turning that finch into anything but a finch.

    But a different finch. Just as evolutionary theory predicts. With no outside agent required. Is it so difficult to believe that a lion and a tiger share a common ancestry? Or would you claim that they're still cats? Still animals?

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  11. Johnboy,

    I've already dealt with this contention of yours. I'm not mad, I'm just sayin'. I suggest you get to work on those arguments. I don't accept your assumptions as evidence, sorry.

    if Evolution is wrong you would have to come up with explanations to questions like this

    Evolution IS wrong. It's not like I'm saying we should give up all scientific inquiry. When real scientists (as opposed to religious zealots) are wrong, they admit it and follow the evidence.
    And you're not answering my questions raised in the post. Stay on topic. Other things for other times.


    NAL said:
    It explains why mice are good models to use for drug tests that will later may be used on humans.

    Begging the question. Such could just as easily be explained as a Designer who made it like that.
    "But, that's so convenient!"
    Not my fault. Sometimes the truth is indeed convenient. Easy answers (as opposed to convoluted ones) are often a mark of the truth.


    It is an example of one aspect of evolutionary theory.

    Which even young-earth creationists, even Kent Hovind, grant - microevol occurs.
    Is this supposed to be one of your "substantive rebuttals"? Giggle giggle, snort.

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  12. Rho:
    Such could just as easily be explained as a Designer who made it like that.

    So, you admit that evolutionary theory explains why mice make good models. Great tactic to show that evolution is false.

    Rho:
    Which even young-earth creationists, even Kent Hovind, grant - microevol occurs.

    Have you ever defined microevolution and macroevolution? At what point does micro become macro? Does microevolution require a Designer? Why or why not?

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  13. "Which even young-earth creationists, even Kent Hovind, grant - microevol occurs"

    I already said if you accept "microevolution" you have to accept that those little steps of evolution add up over time until the genetic difference is so big that it can be considered a new species. I also said speciation has been documented many times.

    If you disagree you have to show where the scientists are wrong or come up with a explanation/mechanism which would suddenly stop "micro evolution" so that speciation can not occur.

    Again if "microevolution" happens, then it will add up over time thus result in "macroevolution". You and I agree that evolution happens (you call it microevolution). If you are right and "MACROevolution" does not happen, then something has to stop the little "micro" evolution steps.

    "Evolution IS wrong"
    Ok
    You are making a claim here. So either you KNOW its wrong or someone told you its wrong.

    If you know its wrong you have to know what is wrong with evolution otherwise you couldn't say that it is wrong.
    If you know what is wrong with evolution, please, just email your knowledge to any biology scientist in the world! ASAP! Let him do the work and publicize it.
    I assure you he will thank you the rest of his life since he will make history and will be known for centurys to come, win the nobel prize as the scientist who disproved Evolution.

    If someone told you evolution is wrong. Tell him what i told you(history, fame, nobel prizes etc)

    But don't get too exited. It should be pointed out that even if evolution is really wrong. It does nothing to prove your specific denomination of Christianity or make it more believable. Similarly, if we would find out today that lighting is in fact not a weather phenomenon, Zeus as an answer would not win by default.

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  14. NAL,

    you admit that evolutionary theory explains why mice make good models.

    If it were true, I can see how that would work, yes.


    Great tactic to show that evolution is false.

    Evol is supposed to be the possessor of the mountains of evidence. If ID is just as likely, then evol is a naked emperor.


    Have you ever defined microevolution and macroevolution?

    Micro is one kind of animal evolving into the same kind of animal over time, with different flavors.
    An example of macro is a unicellular organism developing into a giraffe.


    Does microevolution require a Designer?

    That's confusing categories. It's the same answer for both micro and macro, whatever the answer is.
    Feel free to deal with the points IN MY POST anytime, NAL.



    That goes for you too, Johnboy. I'm not interested in an evol-ID free for all.
    Deal with the post or be ignored.

    One thing I'll say:
    It should be pointed out that even if evolution is really wrong. It does nothing to prove your specific denomination of Christianity or make it more believable.

    True. So what? I don't rely on a negation of evol to argue for Christianity.

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  15. Rho:
    Feel free to deal with the points IN MY POST anytime, NAL.

    I think my first comment did exactly that. I presented an example that seemed to meet all your criteria, and you responded with a microevolution comment. I just wanted some clarification. If the exclusion of microevolution is part of your criteria, you should have made that clear and defined what you meant by microevolution.

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  16. This debate contains every reason why I don't like to argue about evolution.

    Not to mention that I don't actually think evolution is false anyway.

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  17. So, what I'm trying to say is that I'm out of this one. Have fun, guys.

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  18. irishfarmer:

    A book for you: The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution

    I'm about halfway through it, and decided I would be spending my time better reading it than engaging in debates with evolution deniers.

    I wonder what sort of future people like Rhology and tremor think that there is in arguing against one of the best established principles of life ever discovered.

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  19. K, see ya IrishFarmer. Keep reading, though - maybe this will change your mind. :-D Or feel free to argue for the other side.

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  20. First of all, I have no intention of adhering to those arbitrary, poorly thought out standards. That does not mean that some of the examples won't fall within the parameters, it just means that, if you are interested in science, let's talk about science.

    Unless you can point to a (serious) philosophy of science text that advocates using those standards, you don't really have a leg to stand on.

    Having said all of that, I suppose I'd better quickly explain my objections to those supposed "qualifications":

    1) Are you seriously suggesting (1) is in any way analogous to the actions of an Intelligent Designer (why even mention it)?

    A scientist designs an experiment, not the organism that they are working with. All that they are doing is providing a controlled workspace — an environment — and then allowing nature to take its course.

    Sure, they might experiment with the conditions, but even that is analogous to the natural environment, with adaption being a central concept of the evolutionary process.

    Of course, if you wish to compare the Intelligent Designer to a scientist performing an experiment, I'll go and tell that to the Discovery Institute. I'm sure they'd be delighted to know that god is performing experiments — eugenics, genetic engineering, etc — on human beings.

    2) Hmm. So, you're asking for experiments that can be repeated and observed, and yet you've removed just about the only chance of that happening in (1). We're not talking about dropping objects off a building here and measuring the acceleration of its descent, you know?

    Evolution is supposed to be a natural process, as I'm sure that you are aware. The very phrase, "repeated", suggests that humans would have some input.

    3) This is similar to (1), but it makes even less sense. Exactly what kind of "intelligent manipulation" are you talking about? Obviously the scientist has to have some input, or they wouldn't be able to record any result!

    4) Again, you are basically redefining science before my very eyes. No wonder you're in favor of ID! :)

    Control groups are one of the bedrocks of the scientific method, because they allow you to understand what is happening. My you are a stickler!

    5) How on earth would you know that this was the case, particularly if the scientist isn't even allowed anywhere near the experiment (as in (2))! :)

    6) This requires me to explain what evolutionary theory has discovered, and I'm only going to do that up to a point. Buy a text book.

    Right, before I move on to the examples, you do realize that, even if I couldn't fulfill your demands, you have roughly 150 years of work ahead of you if you want your own "theory" to be taken seriously? Because it sure isn't going to win by default. Get crackin'.

    Example

    (1) Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island

    From the abstract, “Rapid large-scale evolutionary divergence in morphology and performance associated with exploitation of a different dietary resource.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105: 4792-4795.

    "Although rapid adaptive changes in morphology on ecological time scales are now well documented in natural populations, the effects of such changes on whole-organism performance capacity and the consequences on ecological dynamics at the population level are often unclear. Here we show how lizards have rapidly evolved differences in head morphology, bite strength, and digestive tract structure after experimental introduction into a novel environment. Despite the short time scale (≈36 years) since this introduction, these changes in morphology and performance parallel those typically documented among species and even families of lizards in both the type and extent of their specialization. Moreover, these changes have occurred side-by-side with dramatic changes in population density and social structure, providing a compelling example of how the invasion of a novel habitat can evolutionarily drive multiple aspects of the phenotype."

    Obviously you will declare this one as null and void. Obviously. Because some scientists placed alien species of lizard on a desolated island, and then were unable to return for 30-odd years due to the Croatian War of Independence. When they did return, the lizards had evolved an evolutionary novelty — "cecal valves — muscular ridges in the gut that allow the animal to close off sections of the tube to slow the progress of food through them, and to act as fermentation chambers where plant material can be broken down by commensal organisms like bacteria and nematodes — and the guts of Pod Mrcaru P. sicula are swarming with nematodes not found in the guts of their Pod Kopiste cousins."

    Oh, there was a control group, though — while the species of lizard that had been there all along had died out — probably due to competition — the original population of lizards that were taken to the island were still there, along with the lizards that had evolved from that population. Bite me!

    (2) The Nylon Bug:

    "My favorite example of a mutation producing new information involves a Japanese bacterium that suffered a frame shift mutation that just happened to allow it to metabolize nylon waste. The new enzymes are very inefficient (having only 2% of the efficiency of the regular enzymes), but do afford the bacteria a whole new ecological niche. They don't work at all on the bacterium's original food - carbohydrates. And this type of mutation has even happened more than once!"

    The great thing about this example is that nylon is a synthetic material, meaning that it doesn't occur in nature. It was only invented in ~1935. The bacteria were discovered in the wild, though, living in ponds containing waste water from a factory producing nylon.

    Right, I've got so many examples that I can't carry on like this, so I'm just going to link to further examples:

    (3) London Underground mosquito

    (4) MHC polymorphism in the three-spined stickleback and its role in host-parasite co-evolution (2008)

    (5) Incipient species formation in salamanders of the Ensatina complex

    (6) Diachasma alloeum (Apple maggot) - cascading sympatric speciation?

    (7) The greenish warbler ring species

    (8) Observed Instances of Speciation

    (9) Some More Observed Speciation Events

    (10) ARCHIVE: Observed Speciation ('Macroevolution') Events

    What about the mutations?

    The Random Nature of Genetic Mutations:

    "Once you are comfortable with random sampling and probability as well as the nature of genetic mutations, it’s clear what biologists mean when they say, “Mutations are random.” We will start by following a single nucleotide from parent to offspring, and then move on to looking at the entire genome.

    Let’s assume the probability of a substitution at a particular nucleotide is 10-9 (a very small number). We will only consider two possible outcomes: substitution (mutation) and no mutation. If you’ve followed me up to this point, you can see that this is analogous to the coin flipping example. We do not know if a particular nucleotide will or will not mutate in one generation, but we do know how likely a mutation event is. Whether or not this nucleotide mutates is a random process, with the probability of one in a billion (10-9) that it does mutate. One out of a billion times that nucleotide will mutate in the process of going from parent to offspring.

    This line of thinking can be extended to an entire genome, made up of millions of nucleotides. Each nucleotide has the probability of 10-9 that it will undergo a substitution event in one generation. We can also assign probabilities to other mutational events (indels, duplications, inversions, etc) that can be estimated from natural populations or laboratory experiments. We can use these probabilities to calculate the expected number of mutations in the entire genome going from one generation to the next.

    It’s important to understand that when biologists say the mutational process is random, we mean that it is not directed. There is nothing determining definitively that a mutation will occur at a particular nucleotide. Mutations provide the raw material on which natural selection acts. Natural selection is a deterministic process; a beneficial mutation will always reach fixation in an ideal population (i.e., natural selection will cause it to replace all the other alleles), and a deleterious mutation will always be lost. We have no way of saying for sure whether or not a particular nucleotide will mutate because mutation is a random process – we can only assign a probability that it will mutate."



    Also, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPONTANEOUS AND BASE-ANALOGUE INDUCED MUTATIONS OF PHAGE T4

    As I've already said, if you wish to dispute any of this, not only are you going to need to know what you are talking about, but all of your work is ahead of you (probably a couple of hundred years worth).

    You would need to explain everything that the modern evolutionary synthesis already does, showing that ID can explain each and every result — ouch! — more parsimoniously.

    And it's no good making analogies to human design, either. That "theory" is so flawed, and has been utterly eviscerated by professional scientists, already. How you are going show that the parasitic wasp is the result of a designer, with destroying any religion worth being associated with, I have no idea.

    Have fun! :)

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  21. Yeah Irish, I'm with you. That's why I stayed out of it. (plus I'm a bit of an idiot) It's a pretty hard slope to climb disproving evolution, especially when you admit to yourself that the real reason you thinks it's false is spawned from the fact that it conflicts with your religion. (yeah I can't spell either. Anyone need a beer while I'n up?)

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  22. yeah i agree totally with DamianP

    Now, your whole post starts with 2 assumptions
    1. You're basically saying there is no, or not enough evidence for evolution guided by natural selection.

    2. And that somehow scientific controlled test manipulate the experiments.

    Both are assumptions based on, well i don't know what their based on since you didn't say why you believe this.

    Regarding #1 well there are mountains of evidence. You don't accept the evidence. Real scientists do.

    Regarding #2 That one makes no sense at all. You're saying show me a test where no artificial intelligence involved and that is not guided. First of all. Again there is evidence for that. DamianP posted some. But even if we only had experiments with artificially guided selection. It would still prove Evolution and speciation.
    You might say
    But what about natural selection then?

    Well if you don't believe in natural selection and you don't have time and money to do some real scientific field experiments, at least try some thought experiment with it.

    Natural selection is sooo easy to understand. Those organisms that are better adapted have a higher change to survive and procreate thus spreading the very genes that made them successful in the first place.

    Lets just say you have 2 sets of tigers. One of them has a color that sticks out and is pretty easy to spot. The other though has a random mutation ( just like the cat one that posted earlier) that made their fur blend in better with the environment like this one You see how hard he is to spot?

    Which one do you think has better chances of suprising the pray, scoring more meat, getting more to eat thus be able to feed and get more offspring? You know, its not by accident that the siberian tiger has less stripes that are more brown than black, has more white in their coat and are generally not as dark as the their relatives living in the jungle.

    To show that natural selection is nonsense you would have to demonstrate that animals would thrive equally well even under environments that do not favor them compared to an enviroment that does favor them I.e. that the american black bear would thrive as well in the arctic as the white polar bear does. Or that a pink moth will thrive just as well as this moth in the same enviroment.

    Of course no one would claim that. Because that would be just stupid. You might aswell claim that soldiers who walk toward the enemy screaming "shoot me" are as likly to survive than soliders who take cover

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  23. That goes for you too, Johnboy. I'm not interested in an evol-ID free for all.
    Deal with the post or be ignored.


    See im dealing with the post.
    You say "show me evidence for evolution".
    NAL and i show you.
    You say, well that is microevolution. But you also say that you accept microevoltution

    Then i tried to explain to you that there is no difference between micro and macroevolution except time. All that evolution claims is small changes of the genetic code over time. SMALL changes.

    What happens if you add up small changes over time? They add up until the new organism is very distinct from its ancestor.
    And everything im saying is backed by 150 years of research, science and experiments, modern genetics and fossils.

    If you don't agree with me you have to either reject evolution altogether. That means no microevolution because microevolution=evolution
    OR you show the scientific community of the last 150 years where they are wrong and explain to them why and when "microevolution" suddendly stops in order to make macro changes impossible that added up from small changes.

    Im arguing that you cant just say well thats just microevolution

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  24. Hi Damian,

    I have no intention of adhering to those arbitrary, poorly thought out standards.

    Then I expect you'll explain how experiments that are guided by intelligent agents can provide results that serve as evidence for unguided mechanisms over and against ID. That is the main point. Left undealt with, there is little "evidence" for Darwinianism at all. Maybe there's some that falls outside that purview. Bring it fwd, but there's an awful lot that's frequently cited that does fall inside it. All those experiments jacking with Drosophia Melanogaster's genetic structure, for example.


    Are you seriously suggesting (1) is in any way analogous to the actions of an Intelligent Designer (why even mention it)?

    Since a lab means an intelligently-designed environment, yes, that should be blindingly obvious.


    All that they are doing is providing a controlled workspace

    See #4 and #5.


    then allowing nature to take its course.

    No, nature takes its course IN NATURE. You're citing these experiments as evidence that life as we know it evolved from a single, or a small group of very simple common, ancestor(s). And then as 'evidence' of that, you show me stuff that is helped along by an intelligent designer. And then you say how this rules out an intelligent designer. It's madness.


    if you wish to compare the Intelligent Designer to a scientist performing an experiment, I'll go and tell that to the Discovery Institute.

    I couldn't care less what you tell the DI. I don't care what they think. I'm a layman with some serious questions to ask and have answered. Perhaps they could answer, though I suspect possibly they'd agree. Maybe I'm wrong, and so that's why I phrased the post the way I did, with some reservations that I am hoping interaction with Darwinians will reveal to be. But maybe there aren't any, maybe I'm on to something.


    I'm sure they'd be delighted to know that god is performing experiments — eugenics, genetic engineering, etc — on human beings.

    What an absurd statement. God doesn't "experiment". He performs. He has everythg planned out from the beginning.


    So, you're asking for experiments that can be repeated and observed, and yet you've removed just about the only chance of that happening in (1).

    That's not my problem. Maybe your Darwinian friends should be a little slower to proclaim the debate over. Yes, this has crossed my mind. If I'm right, the Darwinian elements of science have FAR overstepped their bounds. But reformation is good for science. You'd agree with that statement if it didn't bloody your cash cow's nose.


    Evolution is supposed to be a natural process, as I'm sure that you are aware. The very phrase, "repeated", suggests that humans would have some input.

    So, back to the drawing board with you. It's not my fault you label your bullcrap mechanisms as "unguided". God is real, and He's not too happy with you rejecting the credit He deserves for His creation.


    Exactly what kind of "intelligent manipulation" are you talking about? Obviously the scientist has to have some input, or they wouldn't be able to record any result!

    Sucks to be a Darwinian scientist then. Give me some reason to think this is invalid, something other than, "But, but that's just too hard!!!" Cry me a river.


    4) Again, you are basically redefining science before my very eyes.

    I don't know about you, but I prefer truth to "scientific orthodoxy".
    Tell me WHY that's no good. Don't tell me you don't like it. I had already guessed as much.


    5) How on earth would you know that this was the case, particularly if the scientist isn't even allowed anywhere near the experiment

    That is an excellent question, for a Darwinian. Next?


    Buy a text book.

    I checked several, actually. Quite a few cited the bogus fetal drawings, others cited Drosophila, which I discuss in this very comment, etc. Give me an argument.


    you have roughly 150 years of work ahead of you if you want your own "theory" to be taken seriously?

    I don't expect many to take my theory seriously, b/c there's too much invested for people to be objective. Maybe you should start offering arguments. Or you can just try to ignore the cognitive dissonance.


    Here we show how lizards have rapidly evolved differences in head morphology, bite strength, and digestive tract structure after experimental introduction into a novel environment.

    No dice. Humans introduced the lizards. Next.
    (Plus, why do I care that lizards got a stronger bite? When do they start flying? That's what I'm curious about.)


    The great thing about this example is that nylon is a synthetic material

    Yep, and it's designed by intelligent agents. Next.


    London Underground mosquito

    In a SUBWAY. Built by HUMANS. Next.


    but all of your work is ahead of you

    Unlike you, I don't have an emotional (or financial) investment in this question. I have asked questions, and hand-waving by producing examples is bogus. Pick ONE and describe to me how it fulfills my requirements. Either that or tell me why they're no good. But don't whine at me like you've been doing.


    How you are going show that the parasitic wasp is the result of a designer, with destroying any religion worth being associated with, I have no idea.

    Sorry, I don't know what this means. Could you clarify, please?




    Regarding #1 well there are mountains of evidence. You don't accept the evidence.

    If I'm right, that's mountains of evidence for ID. Get cracking.


    no artificial intelligence involved

    ??? No intelligence involved.


    But what about natural selection then?

    I'd want to see some proof that UNGUIDED nat sel, working on RANDOM mutations, can produce diff kinds of organisms. What I've so far seen is whining and intelligent manipulation of organism change. That's INTELLIGENT selection, aka ID.


    Natural selection is sooo easy to understand.

    But apparently difficult to get someone to pony up any evidence for.


    What happens if you add up small changes over time? They add up until the new organism is very distinct from its ancestor.

    I already answered you in the above link. Deal with that argument, please. Don't waste everyone's time.

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  25. ok thats it for me too.
    There is no arguing with you.
    You either don't understand what kind of bullshit you are saying or you do it deliberately

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  26. No, nature takes its course IN NATURE.

    And I provided an example.

    You're citing these experiments as evidence that life as we know it evolved from a single, or a small group of very simple common, ancestor(s).

    No, I provided it as an example of one organism, a type of finch, evolving into a different type of finch. One could then hypothesize that, over time the new type of finch may form a new species. DNA evidence is better for the theory of common descent.

    And then as 'evidence' of that, you show me stuff that is helped along by an intelligent designer.

    Depends on what you mean by "helped out." If you're doing a fruit fly experiment, is feeding the fruit flies "helping out?" Is a nutrient rich environment for bacteria "helping out?" I guess if you're testing how long it takes for fruit flies and bacteria to starve to death, then yes, it would be "helping out." It depends on what is being tested.

    And then you say how this rules out an intelligent designer.

    No, it provides naturalistic explanation that doesn't require an external agent.

    Why do you make up these strawman arguments?

    It's madness.

    Oh.

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  27. yeah, he is pathetic

    He created a strawman argument that says when humans are involvement whatsoever you can't call it unguided.


    Its like saying that a group of animales that have a natural disease but not helping or medicating them and then doing stochastic calculus to see how fast the disease spreads is useless since humans examined the animals. And according to Rhos strawman argument logic the disease is not spreading naturally and unguided anymore.

    But even if -for the sake of argument we- say ok, all evidence that we have shows evolution, but its guide since we did the testing and the testing makes it guided (remember just for the sake of the argument)
    Then he just accepted that evolution occurs. He then can go on an say "but it only occurs when guided an intelligent agent"
    Well we would still have mountains of Fossils and genetic evidence showing that it always occured

    And wtf does he think happens if we stop "guiding" the random mutations (for the sake of argument)? They become UNGUIDED. The genes are still mutation randomly and natural selection will favor the mutation that do help the organism. Harmful mutations will diminish in the population by itself SINCE ITS HARMFUL

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  28. "Then I expect you'll explain how experiments that are guided by intelligent agents can provide results that serve as evidence for unguided mechanisms over and against ID. That is the main point. Left undealt with, there is little "evidence" for Darwinianism at all. Maybe there's some that falls outside that purview. Bring it fwd, but there's an awful lot that's frequently cited that does fall inside it. All those experiments jacking with Drosophia Melanogaster's genetic structure, for example."

    As others have attempted to point out, you don't appear to understand what it is that you are saying. You need to explain why a scientist performing an experiment in the lab is analogous to what you suppose an intelligent designer would do? It's a category error. Each cell in our body contains roughly 120 new mutations — but why, unless it actually leads to specific differences, which most emphatically don't, as most mutations are considered neutral — so what do you suppose the "designer" is doing? What would be the point if they aren't random and unguided?

    And the implication of what you are saying is quite astounding! It would mean that chemistry experiments cannot be trusted — we manipulate those experiments far more than we do when attempting to study evolution in the lab — or pretty much any other science. The implication is that, when we mix two or more individual elements in a test tube to produce a compound that naturally occurs, for whatever ever reason that is in no way analogous to nature, and so, we have essentially corrupted the process. But you wouldn't suggest that an intelligent designer is responsible for all chemical reactions, would you? If you would, as Ken Miller has said, you obviously don't have a great deal of faith in the sheer brilliance of the designer (it's a small God, as he puts it).

    As an analogy: in the infancy of our species we were forced to do everything by hand, one at a time, which obviously meant that progress was very slow, for a very long time. Now though, we have reached the stage where we can build elaborate machines that we simply have to set in motion at the start, and we can (mass) produce all sorts of amazing things — lots of them, too — with relatively little effort or time taken on our part. Which is more impressive and implies that we have attained a level of intelligence that was previously lacking?

    Look, what you are really doing here is providing a perfect example of why science accepts methodological naturalism as an assumption — explanations of observable effects are practical and useful only when they hypothesize natural causes. One thing that I have never understood about ID is of what practical use it is? "Brilliant, we have decided that all life has been designed by an intelligent agency......erm, now what? Oh, we still need to work out how so that we can make use of that knowledge, and it just so happens that is what we have been doing for the few centuries. You know as well as I do that the conclusion that said agency is involved, as a matter of practicality, would change pretty much nothing.

    Hence the acceptance of methodological naturalism and the conclusion that, in scientific and practical terms, intelligent agency is as useful an assumption as unintelligent agency. And make no mistake, it's an assumption. There are tens of thousands of religious scientists, as well as millions, if not billions, of religious members of society that accept both methodological naturalism, as well as evolution. If they genuinely thought that we could reliably detect intelligent agency in the natural world — without all of the false positives that Bill Dembski's explanatory filter produces (which he has now admitted to, by the way) — do you really believe that they would remain silent about it? Heck, I'm an agnostic atheist and I would love to think that we could detect something like that in nature! I'm just not convinced, and it amazes me that both creationists and ID advocates rarely want to discuss all of those things — like the parasitic wasp, African eyeworm, or any number of things — which would point to, at best, an incompetent designer, and at worst, a downright evil one.

    Medicine and better health care has lead to a doubling of our lifespan in the west, in just a few hundred years, but you only have to look at the death rate in other parts of the world to realize that, without our own ingenuity, we're not exactly good at staying either healthy, or alive. If we are designed, well, I don't even need to say it because it's so obvious. And just look at how much we have to spend on medicine each year, often just to maintain our health, and for many people, to barely retain a decent quality of life. I could go through the list of physiological problems that humans (just one species) experience. If you could buy humans at the pound shop most people would return them as faulty within weeks of purchase.

    None of this is a problem for evolution. We know that co-option or exaptation (shifts in the function of a trait during evolution) takes place. We're essentially built from parts that previously served other functions. Then there's vestigiality (homologous characters of organisms which have seemingly lost all or most of their original function) which explains why, during embryogenesis, the remnant of a lost tail is present for a period of 4 weeks:

    "The coccyx, or tailbone, is the remnant of a lost tail. All mammals have a tail at one point in their development; in humans, it is present for a period of 4 weeks, during stages 14 to 22 of human embryogenesis. This tail is most prominent in human embryos 31-35 days old. The tailbone, located at the end of the spine, has lost its original function in assisting balance and mobility, though it still serves some secondary functions, such as being an attachment point for muscles, which explains why it has not degraded further. In rare cases a short tail can persist after birth, with 23 human babies possessing tails having been reported in the medical literature since 1884."

    Or why there are vestiges of yolk proteins still left buried in our genome:

    "We don't have any fossilized placentas, but we know that there was an important transition in the mammalian lineage: we had to have shifted from producing eggs in which yolk was the primary source of embryonic nutrition to a state where the embryo acquired its nutrition from a direct interface with maternal circulation, the placenta. We modern mammals don't need yolk at all … but could there be vestiges of yolk proteins still left buried in our genome? The answer, which you already know since I'm writing this, is yes."


    "No, nature takes its course IN NATURE. You're citing these experiments as evidence that life as we know it evolved from a single, or a small group of very simple common, ancestor(s). And then as 'evidence' of that, you show me stuff that is helped along by an intelligent designer. And then you say how this rules out an intelligent designer. It's madness."

    Nope, I'm citing those examples as evidence of evolution, both "micro" and "macro", as well as speciation. The case for common descent is cumulative and requires more than just a handful of examples of species changing over time.

    Saying that, "nature takes its course IN NATURE", is once again kind of missing the point. No-one has suggested, for instance, that artificial selection is natural selection, but it most certainly is an analogue, and the question we need to ask (and answer) is what the differences are. All that artificial selection does is produce the species, and retain the traits, that we — humans — select for. But nature does exactly the same thing, albeit without the teleology, and often with different results. It's all still evolution, though — organisms are still evolving. A good example of nature, affected by human activity, is the hunting of bighorn sheep:

    "Ram Mountain in Alberta, Canada, is home to a population of bighorn sheep, whose most vulnerable individuals are males with thick, curving horns that give them a regal, Princess Leia look. In the course of 30 years of study, biologist Marco Festa-Bianchet of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec found a roughly 25 percent decline in the size of these horns, and both male and female sheep getting smaller. There's no mystery on Ram Mountain: male sheep with big horns tend to be larger and produce larger offspring. During the fall rut, or breeding season, these alpha rams mate more than any other males, by winning fights or thwarting other males' access to their ewes. Their success, however, is contingent upon their surviving the two-month hunting season just before the rut, and in a strange way, they're competing against their horns. Around the age of 4, their horn size makes them legal game—several years before their reproductive peak. That means smaller-horned males get far more opportunity to mate."

    Therefore, due to our activity, the sheep are evolving in a different "direction" to what would normally happen if natural selection were the main driving force.

    And this brings us back to what exactly you think that an intelligent agency is doing? Is it deciding who gets to pass their traits on, and if so, how, and by what mechanism? And here's one of the most important questions in science : how would you know if you were wrong?

    You might suggest that I can't know that an intelligent agency isn't fiddling around in our genomes and bumping people off, so that they don't pass on their genes (this is what you are suggesting, aren't you?), and you'd be bang on the money, I can't. But that's why it's completely irrelevant to the practice of science. Up-to-and-including the point that it is possible for us to reliably detect something like that, for-all-intents-and-purposes it's both irrelevant and essentially doesn't happen. That's life.

    As for evidence of common ancestry, I'm not going to keep providing links for you to ignore, so I'll provide just one video, which contains what is essentially a slam dunk example of, at the very least, common ancestry between humans and chimpanzee's: Evidence of Common Ancestry: ERVs

    "What an absurd statement. God doesn't "experiment". He performs. He has everythg planned out from the beginning."

    Seals perform, as well, you know? Sorry, I'm just jesting, no offense intended.

    I'm slightly bemused then as to why you keep insisting that, if human interaction is involved in an experiment, it holds any great significance? As I mentioned in the previous post, if you believe that god — or, to give Him the proper title, the intelligent designer (you won't get ID into schools by revealing the real identity, don'cha know :)) — not only designs ("to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component with intention, not the "realization" of the design), but "realizes" those designs, I fail to see how that is in any way analogous to a scientist performing an experiment?

    And if that isn't what you are saying, could you please explain exactly what the problem is? I simply don't accept that a scientist, observing evolution in a lab, where it is far easier to record and quantify findings, somehow "corrupts" the process. It's true that the experiment is, strictly speaking, "intelligently designed", but that's not the same thing as the outcome, which is left to play out according to the laws of physics and chemistry. Scientists design experiments, God designs organisms. They're not the same thing.

    I won't get in to a theological debate with you (although, I kind of already have), but I'd love to know how you can be so sure that God has "everything planned out from the beginning."

    "That's not my problem. Maybe your Darwinian friends should be a little slower to proclaim the debate over. Yes, this has crossed my mind. If I'm right, the Darwinian elements of science have FAR overstepped their bounds. But reformation is good for science. You'd agree with that statement if it didn't bloody your cash cow's nose."

    Say what? As I've already said, I don't agree with your assertions, and nor do the vast majority of scientists. The methodology of science, while certainly not perfect, and quite likely to contain numerous flaws (what doesn't?), is the result of more than 200 years of the philosophy of science. Its practicality alone will ensure that it's not abandoned any time soon, but it will surely be modified and improved upon. Intellectually honest people will welcome your contribution, should you care to submit a paper and then argue it out with your peers. I just don't see this line of thought gaining any traction, I'm afraid, not least because it doesn't appear to have a logical foundation.

    I don't have a cash cow, by the way.

    "So, back to the drawing board with you. It's not my fault you label your bullcrap mechanisms as "unguided". God is real, and He's not too happy with you rejecting the credit He deserves for His creation."

    Wow, easy tiger! The mechanism is thought to be unguided, because that is exactly how it appears. Or, more succinctly, we have no way of knowing that it is anything else. You are free to read in to things as you wish, but you are not free to draw bogus conclusions and expect others to follow, based on your own faith.

    I would like you to read this: Intelligent Design Rules Out God's Sovereignty Over Chance, by a fellow Christian. It may enlighten you, or it may not.

    It is worth taking a little time to reflect on the idea that an all-powerful God would be so insecure as to even need to be credited (and presumably, worshiped) for His work. Which leads one to wonder, if "He has everything planned out from the beginning", He would surely have known, and indeed desired, that we use our minds, our reason, our intellect, to study the natural world. If He'd wanted to make it obvious to each and every one of us that He plays a role, I can think of hundreds of things that He could have done, but hasn't.

    "No dice. Humans introduced the lizards. Next."

    And this affects the evolution of novel structures, how? It's almost as if you are saying, none of the 2,630,000 papers about evolution on google scholar count because I say so, now show me a crock-o-duck or the Flying Spaghetti Monster did it. It's the height of anti-intellectualism to essentially tell people who've dedicated their lives to a discipline that they either agree with you or they're idiots.

    "(Plus, why do I care that lizards got a stronger bite? When do they start flying? That's what I'm curious about.)"

    Roughly 220 mya

    I've already shown you why scientists consider that mutations — the major source of new "information" — are random and unguided, so I won't do it again.

    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution:
    The Scientific Case for Common Descent


    New evidence that natural selection is a general driving force behind the origin of species

    I don't need to provide any evidence that natural selection is "unguided". Your whole argument is begging the question. The principal of parsimony deals with who needs evidence for their proposition (hint: it isn't me). You're the one who wants to add unnecessary entities.

    If you want to think that God is responsible for all of the shoddy design in nature, for all of the parasites that live off other animals, including humans, and for the several hundred million years of brutal struggle, death and destruction, that characterizes life on earth, be my guest.

    Please read Ken Millers book, "Only A Theory".

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  29. I am in awe of your patience, DamianP.

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  30. I will repeat this, since you haven't dealt with it:

    2) Experiments observed on a REPEATED basis, as good science should be...

    4) With ALL normal environmental factors present. No control group, no outside interference from intelligent agents (ie, humans).


    As I stated previously, an experiment is defined as a "test under controlled conditions". Your criteria 2 specifies that there must be experiments.

    Your criteria 4 specifies that "all normal environmental factors" must be present, i.e. the conditions are not controlled.

    So these two criteria (at a minimum) contradict each other - 2 requires that there be experiments, while 4 prohibits any experiments from taking place.

    Therefore your criteria are self-refuting and your question is meaningless. this won't bother you, of course - you'll continue to repeat this ad nauseum anywhere you can, in the hope that people won't notice. Such a soldier for God.

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  31. Rhology

    how is an appeal to that possibly going to help the Darwinian cause, which seeks to establish UNguided mechanisms with NO intelligent oversight?

    OK, let's say you are correct and evolution must be guided - at best you've made a case for theistic evolution. However, the ID camp (or some of them - for example Demsbki) are opposed to theistic evolutionists just as much as they are to 'atheistic Darwinists'. Since that's the most they could prove if we accept what you are saying, why are they opposed to the most obvious conclusion of their work?

    using the peculiar style of uniformitarianism proposed here (ie if a 'designer' is present in one instance of the phenomenon, it must be required in all of them), the conclusion from ID should be that a human designer is necessary for the development/generation of variation of life. of course, that is not their conclusion - despite knowing the designer and methods in all of these experiments, they then appeal to a mystery unknown designer working via unknown means at unknown times/places. Why is that?



    Irish Farmer

    As it turns out, natural - and unnatural - selection can breed variations into animals within certain limits. This is most obvious with dogs. However, you can only breed within certain genetic limitations.

    This is similar to something Michael Behe tried to do with his book The Edge of Evolution - Behe accepts common ancestry, but claims you can't get beyond somewhere between the species and genera level without a nudge in the right direction from the designer. Unfortunately (for him at least), Behe's modelling - despite feeding in some starting assumptions that were miles off base - actually showed that the things he was claiming were impossible to achieve via regular evolutionary mechanisms were in fact feasible. When more realistic calculations were made by others, it became apparent what was being claimed as impossible would actually be fairly routine in

    NAL, how much smaller does the beak have to become before the finch turns into a Giraffe?

    That's saltationism, not gradualistic evolution. An occurrence of an animal turning into something radically removed from the parent stock in our lifetime (such as finch--->giraffe would show modern evolutionary theory to be false - there's also no particular reason the finch should 'turn into' anything.

    In what way shape or form does believing that all organisms have spawned from a single organism at some point in the past possibly help us combat diseases?

    It helped identify the non overlapping triplet codon pattern in DNA before it was confirmed via experiment (Sydney Brenner)

    It allows us to apply principles learned from other organisms to our own physiology etc.


    Johnboy

    bigger beaks means the birds DNA changed.

    Not necessarily (although it certainly may mean changes have taken place in the DNA) - many alterations during development can be the result of environmental factors rather than genetic alterations eg folic acid deprivation levels alters coat colour in rodents' offspring

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  32. Quite a few cited the bogus fetal drawings,

    Out of interest, which textbooks do this? i've seen a few discuss haeckel's biogenetic Law and explain how his thinking was erroneous.

    darwin's reliance on embryology came from work well before Haeckel by people like Karl Ernst von Baer

    Additionally, thanks to advances in technology, we can now take pictures and movies of every stage of development for lots of different organisms - why would we need to rely on fudged drawings that are over 100 years old?

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  33. I believe in inches, but not in yards.

    I believe in pounds, but not in tons.

    I believe in ounces, but not in gallons.

    I believe in microevolution, but not macroevolution.

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  34. This is bizarre. Exactly how is one supposed to do "good science" (criterion #2) without a control group (criterion #4)??

    I think this nonsense list stems from a fundamental misconception of what scientists are actually arguing about evolution. Nobody thinks that God couldn't possibly be secretly guiding evolution. All scientists are saying is that there is no evidence from biology that a God must be tinkering around with things like how blood clots or giving flagellar mechanisms for propulsion to bacteria such as to compel belief in Him. (What a crazy and silly God Behe must believe in, but that's another story.)

    That's it.

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  35. NAL said:

    One could then hypothesize that, over time the new type of finch may form a new species.

    ...And then, when someone asks for proof, just point back to the finches and say it's obvious that changes in beak size mean that this organism was once a lizard.


    If you're doing a fruit fly experiment, is feeding the fruit flies "helping out?"

    Yes. Unless you posit some kind of Super-Being doing that out in the wild. Do you?


    Is a nutrient rich environment for bacteria "helping out?"

    Yes. Unless you posit some kind of Super-Being providing that out in the wild. Do you?


    I guess if you're testing how long it takes for fruit flies and bacteria to starve to death, then yes, it would be "helping out."

    Maybe you should study what actually happens IN NATURE, then.


    Johnboy said:
    to see how fast the disease spreads is useless since humans examined the animals. And according to Rhos strawman argument logic the disease is not spreading naturally and unguided anymore.

    Well, it all depends on whether the disease is indeed spreading unaided by any intelligent manipulation. If you can confirm that, THEN two things have happened:
    1) You have passed out of the suspicion of providing evidence for ID.
    2) We can start talking about whether this issue is evidence for something that's actually under dispute. As it is so far in most of your comments, you're jumping way ahead to #2, while the whole of my post is calling into question whether these experiments get past #1.


    we- say ok, all evidence that we have shows evolution, but its guide since we did the testing and the testing makes it guided (remember just for the sake of the argument)
    Then he just accepted that evolution occurs.


    Yes, if we say that, we accept that evolution seems to have occurred, and it was guided by an intelligent designer. But you guys fight tooth and nail against the concept of an IDesigner.


    He then can go on an say "but it only occurs when guided an intelligent agent"
    Well we would still have mountains of Fossils and genetic evidence showing that it always occured


    Not fossils. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
    And the evidence you'd have would be evidence for ID, NOT Darwinian processes. It's nothing less than, and probably more than, a Pyrrhic victory for your side, if victory it indeed be.


    if we stop "guiding" the random mutations (for the sake of argument)? They become UNGUIDED.

    Don't guide them at all, or provide evidence that the Designer is a clockmaker.



    DamianP said:
    You need to explain why a scientist performing an experiment in the lab is analogous to what you suppose an intelligent designer would do?...so what do you suppose the "designer" is doing?

    I'm assuming I have no information about what a Designer WOULD DO, though that's a ridiculous but oft-stated qualification that Darwinians try to foist on ID. All I have to know is that an intelligent agent meddled in the process to know that we're not looking at examples of UNGUIDED mechanisms at work anymore. It's not that hard, and your question is irrelevant.


    It would mean that chemistry experiments cannot be trusted

    Strawman - no one is arguing on ID that "chemicals" are designed.


    But you wouldn't suggest that an intelligent designer is responsible for all chemical reactions, would you?

    Not on this minimalistic stance I'm taking here, no. Let's stay on topic.
    (In real life, yes, everything is a result of design of the God of the Bible, but that's not the argument here. This is an internal critique of the Darwinian position.)


    One thing that I have never understood about ID is of what practical use it is?

    Another red herring. I say it's better to have the truth than to have what seems to work sometimes but which is manifestly in error. I have confidence that we can probably figger out what to do once we've turned from error to truth.


    3 irrelevant paragraphs

    Um, deal with my post, please?


    paragraphs about vestigial stuff

    This is off-topic. There are plenty of questions about how much we can know about the past based on genetic information that we see NOW and based on fossil evidence. Such things are heavy with assumptions. Can we please just stick with the post? If you don't have an answer, just don't post.


    No-one has suggested, for instance, that artificial selection is natural selection

    Actually, see NAL's comment above where he doesn't get the distinction or why it matters.


    but it most certainly is an analogue

    Not where it matters in this question of Darwin vs ID.


    All that artificial selection does is produce the species, and retain the traits, that we — humans — select for

    Which is what the Designer does/did. QED.


    Is it deciding who gets to pass their traits on, and if so, how, and by what mechanism?

    It's affecting it. Darwinian processes posit "UNGUIDED" natural selection. Precisely what about UNGUIDED is unclear to you?


    And here's one of the most important questions in science : how would you know if you were wrong?

    How would you know if the principle of falsification itself is wrong? How would you falsify it?
    Just saying, this is not the all-powerful principle many think it is.


    It's true that the experiment is, strictly speaking, "intelligently designed", but that's not the same thing as the outcome

    The same could be said of the position of many in the ID movement.


    I'd love to know how you can be so sure that God has "everything planned out from the beginning."

    Ephesians 1:11 - In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.

    Yes, I don't recommend you get into a theological debate with me, to be honest. But feel free to do so on my blog anytime. But this is not the venue.


    I don't agree with your assertions, and nor do the vast majority of scientists.

    And I've just explained why that's irrelevant.


    Intelligent Design Rules Out God's Sovereignty Over Chance, by a fellow Christian.

    What a pathetic article. One whole verse from the Bible cited (wrongly) and then a bunch of self-derived jumbled thoughts. Very poor.


    It is worth taking a little time to reflect on the idea that an all-powerful God would be so insecure as to even need to be credited (and presumably, worshiped) for His work.

    You just said you weren't going to begin a theological debate.
    And why should anyone (to say nothing of God) care what you think about God? I'm serious - answer the question.
    God seeks His own glory above all else.


    If He'd wanted to make it obvious to each and every one of us that He plays a role, I can think of hundreds of things that He could have done, but hasn't.

    Ditto.
    Romans 1: 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

    20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.


    Paul C said:
    So these two criteria (at a minimum) contradict each other - 2 requires that there be experiments, while 4 prohibits any experiments from taking place.

    So maybe experiments to examine this issue need to be reconsidered. Obviously that's what I'm advocating. What's your suggested solution?



    Dr Funk said:
    let's say you are correct and evolution must be guided

    I'd only agree to this statement if it were qualified to say:
    "Let's say you are right and evolutionary processes as we observe them today, within boundaries, must be guided..."
    The questions I'm raising in this thread are secondary to the first part, and the latter part is b/c of my worldview presuppositions.
    In particular, I'm saying that a great deal of experimentation that is said to provide evidence for unguided nat sel actually provides evidence for artificial selection, which is much, much more analogous to ID than it is to Darwinism.


    at best you've made a case for theistic evolution.

    Agreed, this is an internal critique of Darwinism, not an argument for my worldview.


    despite knowing the designer and methods in all of these experiments, they then appeal to a mystery unknown designer working via unknown means at unknown times/places. Why is that?

    That's not relevant to my argument here. If I'm right, maybe we know little to nothing about said Designer. Time to start thinking about it, though.


    there's also no particular reason the finch should 'turn into' anything.

    Yes, that objection is thrown around simplistically, but it's also very illustrative of an actual problem for your position. All accept these small changes. You assume then that unguided forces can take you much farther, and then as proof you bring to the table GUIDED experiments. I'm not impressed.


    which textbooks do this?

    The one used in the Intro to Zoo class at a major state university, which class I took.
    _Life_, by Gaffin, Hoefnagels, Lewis, Parker (McGraw Hill 2004)

    Off-topic, I took a look at the book as part of an email debate with an acquaintance. Here's what I found:
    p. 363 – Lucy is a transitional form for human evolution
    p. 348 – no proposed idea as to how life might have arisen.
    p. 335 – Archaeopteryx is presented as an illustration for "evolution of flight." That's just plain wrong.
    p. 325 – archae makes an appearance on Darwin's tree of life, which does not fit the evidence either.
    p. 336-7, 792 – Haeckel's embryos are attributed partially to von Baer, an embryologist who actually OPPOSED the idea that embryos match
    their adult forms and other forms of parallelism. That is sloppy. Later, these embryo drawings are said to have been "fudged" and "not
    to scale" but that they provide important insight anyway. No mention is made of the incredible dissimilarities between the other important
    stages of embryonic development of these species.
    p. 281-2 – bacteria's growth of resistance to antibiotics is used as an example of TOE.
    p. 276 – Darwin's finches are uncritically used as evidence for TOE. No mention is made of these finches' gradual melding into fewer
    species rather than more over the course of time. Neither is the fact that their beaks went back to "normal" after the dry seasons had passed mentioned.

    Y'all may take issue with any one or more of these, so feel free to post on that, but I won't respond since it's off-topic.



    John the Skeptic said...
    I believe in inches, but not in yards.

    I posted this link above, maybe you'd like to take a stab at it?

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  36. Yes. Unless you posit some kind of Super-Being doing that out in the wild. Do you?




    Yes. Unless you posit some kind of Super-Being providing that out in the wild. Do you?

    I'll provide a fuller answer to the other points later, but on these two replies, they read as if you are claiming that

    a. flies are unable to feed in the wild
    b. that different environments or niches in the wild do not vary in the levels of available nutrition they provide for organisms (bacteria or otherwise)?

    It might not have been your intent (I'm presuming it wasn't), but it does seem to be the obvious conclusion of what you've said. obviously the environment in nature is not uniform as regards food sources etc.

    I'm not sure how a human varying the level of eg a carbon source would be radically different from the same thing happening out in the field?

    Also on an unrelated note I finally got round to finishing the post on gen 1 and 2 I promised you (I posted it yesterday night but for some reason it says dec 8th - I'm guessing that must have been the date I started writing it even though I didn't put it up 'til now)

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  37. Rhoblogy: Is that too much to ask?
    Yes, it is. Since you are raising this issue, its your responsibility to define such imprecise woolly notions as "different type" of organism. The phrase "inject intelligence into the equation" is incomprehensible as it stands and so is impossible to inject or exclude from any work. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

    Science has no duty to read your mind or try to guess what you might have been trying to say if you knew what you were talking about. That you can't find a satisfactory answer to the questions that you do ask says more about the low quality of those questions than it does about any alleged weakness in the science being "questioned."

    It would be like me trying to "prove" that there is no god because religion requires people to wear silly hats. That's obviously a poor challenge to religion. It begs the question that hats matter at all for this purpose and, anyway, other than the Pope, silly hats are purely optional for religious people. Indeed, I've often seen such silly people with no hat at all.

    A good introduction to the answers to the questions you ought to be asking, if you really care about the subject, is "Frogs, Flies & Dandelions: the making of species", but Menno Schilthuizen.

    DamianP: Medicine and better health care has lead to a doubling of our lifespan in the west, in just a few hundred years, but you only have to look at the death rate in other parts of the world to realize that, without our own ingenuity, we're not exactly good at staying either healthy, or alive.
    Its also worth recalling how, long before science got going, it was natural selection, through the sickle cell trait, that kept uneducated people alive in the tropics while the bright bwanas and shaibs fell like flies before malaria. Do you think Rhoblogy will argue that because people were involved, as reservoir, habitat and victim of plasmodium, it was the "injection of intelligence" by the native populations that prove there was no Darwinian evolution going on there? Perhaps they shrewdly invented the scourge of malaria for themselves after first innovating their own genetic disease in order to hold the ferengi at bay...

    I wonder, if everything is intelligently designed, who's bright idea was it to intelligently design malaria with malice aforethought to torture innocent people? Who would worship a Nazi doctor?

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  38. BTW, Rhology, could you answer previous NAL's question that you carefully sidestepped without answering ? It seems like a easy yes/no/maybe/sometimes question.

    Does microevolution require a Designer?

    That's confusing categories. It's the same answer for both micro and macro, whatever the answer is.
    Feel free to deal with the points IN MY POST anytime, NAL.

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  39. I actually know something of Rhology. I've seen him debating religious subjects on other blogs... and he tends to fall into a loop of saying things like "there can't be morality without God" (http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2007/11/rhology-and-christianitys-misanthropic.html).

    Gotta say I'm not impressed.

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  40. Oh, and if you're going to argue that we're intelligently designed, you'll have to explain away the ridiculous number of monumentally stupid flaws in our design.

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  41. Rhology is also getting dealt with here by her commentators

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  42. you'll have to explain away the ridiculous number of monumentally stupid flaws in our design.

    Several people have brought this up, but I really don't think this argument has nearly as much merit as you guys give it. First of all, it assumes that if we're designed then God should have designed things in some specific way. (A) Upon what basis do you make this charge? (B) I'm not sure what exactly you guys would prefer, but I rather like my body's design.

    Aside from that issue, I feel like something has been overlooked on this whole evolution thing. I understand the argument that says there is no real difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution, save time. Fair enough. But here's my issue with that. Such time has not passed since this theory has come into being for us to witness this so-called macro-evolution. Yes, I have seen examples of things changing, but really all we're talking about in these examples is adaptation of some kind. To use the inches/yards analogy, I've witnessed the inches, and I've witnessed the yards, but I've not yet seen the inches turn into yards.

    The are problems with that analogy to begin with, as with most analogies, but you get the point. To put it simply, the finches are still finches. The flies are still flies. The mosquitoes are still mosquitoes. There may have been a change in particulars, but I've not yet seen a large scale change - the kind that Darwinism is calling for. If however, 100,000 years from now (or however long it may be), humans are still around to see that what was once a bird is now a lizard or some other type of thing, or something comparable to that, then I'd say you have your evidence for it.

    What I've seen so far is more like someone going into a car shop, tinkering with some of the internal parts a bit, pulling it out and saying "look - a brand new car!" What I want to see is a case where, on its own, the car turns into a brick house. This is, in my understanding, what naturalistic Darwinism says happened, and I think it's fair to expect direct evidence of it happening, not just in a lab (though that would be nice too), but on its own.

    And before any skeptics lay into me, please bear in mind I'm asking honest questions. No need to come in for the kill.

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  43. I notice that Rhology, despite writing crazy 5,000-word comments, doesn't respond to the basic criticism that her internal criteria are self-contradictory. One cannot do "good science" without a control group. Period.

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  44. First of all, it assumes that if we're designed then God should have designed things in some specific way.

    No, only that we should probably be designed better than we are.

    (B) I'm not sure what exactly you guys would prefer, but I rather like my body's design.

    Lucky you. Personally I could do without the back pain.

    Such time has not passed since this theory has come into being for us to witness this so-called macro-evolution.

    Not enough time has come to pass for us to observe stellar formation. Despite this, we still have a theory of stellar formation that fits our observations. Ditto evolution.

    Yes, I have seen examples of things changing, but really all we're talking about in these examples is adaptation of some kind.

    That would be evolution.

    And before any skeptics lay into me, please bear in mind I'm asking honest questions.

    It's interesting that your "honest questions" look a lot like the talking points peddled by every other gullible rube who listened to the local AIG shill.

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  45. It's interesting that your "honest questions" look a lot like the talking points peddled by every other gullible rube who listened to the local AIG shill.

    The Darwinist of all people should know that the appearance of design does not necessarily make it so.

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  46. The Darwinist of all people should know that the appearance of design does not necessarily make it so.

    Q.E.D.

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  47. Sigh ... if you say so. Anyone else care to respond to my questions? Preferably with phasers off kill.

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  48. Leslie, you're one of the coolest, most reasonable guys contributing to this blog. Unfortunately you've taken off a huge bite, with this evolution thing. I think you guys would be better served advancing EVANGELISM, or the process of helping people avoid eternal punishment. Remember Matt 28:18-20? And if you have to go after someone for screwing with Jesus and Christianity in general why not go after the wolves in sheeps clothing such as Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Joyce Meyer.....etc, the list goes on. Those people are FAR more detrimental to your faith than Darwin, Dawkins or Hitchens.

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  49. My phasers weren't even close to stun, let alone kill.

    First of all, it assumes that if we're designed then God should have designed things in some specific way.

    No, only in a better way, one that a) doesn't carry a whole host of congenital problems (including my back pain) and b) doesn't make it look as if we evolved.

    I'm not sure what exactly you guys would prefer, but I rather like my body's design.

    Just because you like it, doesn't mean that it's a great design.

    Such time has not passed since this theory has come into being for us to witness this so-called macro-evolution.

    I have pointed out that it is perfectly possible to have a scientific theory about a process without personally observing the entire process, using the example of stellar evolution.

    Yes, I have seen examples of things changing, but really all we're talking about in these examples is adaptation of some kind.

    So what is evolution if not adaptation over time?

    There may have been a change in particulars, but I've not yet seen a large scale change - the kind that Darwinism is calling for.

    Have you seen any quarks recently? Radio waves? Bacteria multiplying? If not, why is it only the theory of evolution in particular that worries you?

    This is, in my understanding, what naturalistic Darwinism says happened, and I think it's fair to expect direct evidence of it happening, not just in a lab (though that would be nice too), but on its own.

    But if your understanding is wrong, to expect "direct evidence" of it would be unfair, wouldn't it?

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  50. S.J.

    Thanks ... I try to be both reasonable and cool, so it's nice to see it's working. :-P And you're right that we need to be concerned with evangelism, and of course I am, and I am definitely concerned about the wolves in sheep's clothing. It drives me nuts to see Benny Hinn et al. doing their thing. I have definitely preached against that stuff before.

    And you're probably correct that I'm biting off more than I can chew. But also unfortunately, I don't know how to learn without doing that. As it is, I'm rather agnostic as far as evolution is concerned. I do believe in God, obviously, and am a Christian, but I really don't have some certain set of beliefs about the "how" of it all. But I will admit that I am skeptical about darwinian evolution. That's why I ask these questions - because I like to learn, and am interested in how those who strongly agree with the position will respond. This is part of why I love watching debates, and wish that evolutionists and the ID guys could have some more solid debates - because that way I really get to see both sides present the best that they've got. Anyway, point being, I have no problem admitting there's a lot I don't know, but that's precisely the reason I have questions.

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  51. Just because you like it, doesn't mean that it's a great design.

    True enough, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad design either. I guess all I'm really trying to say is that there could easily be a reason to why things are designed the way they are. But that goes into the philosophical/theological realm, so I'll leave it be.

    Responses concerning time/observation

    All I'm asking for is observed evidence that says these large scale changes can happen. I'm not saying they cannot, but I am skeptical of the ability of minor adaptations to lead to the major types of changes we're talking about. When people bring forth evidence of minor changes, that to me does not necessitate major changes. Why would it?

    As for other things that I am not currently observing - in most cases I can actually observe them, even if I have not personally. I cannot observe these major changes we're talking about. Why is it unacceptable to expect that here?

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  52. True enough, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad design either.

    Actually, it does. If there are chronic and widespread weaknesses in the human organism - weaknesses leading to pain, possibly death - then that's not a great design. If those weaknesses are what you'd expect from an evolutionary history, then that's just another nail in the coffin for alternative theories.

    All I'm asking for is observed evidence that says these large scale changes can happen.

    What do you think the theory of evolution is based on, if not observed evidence?

    When people bring forth evidence of minor changes, that to me does not necessitate major changes. Why would it?

    So if you put a lot of minor changes together, that doesn't equal major change?

    As for other things that I am not currently observing - in most cases I can actually observe them, even if I have not personally.

    Really? How do you observe stellar evolution?

    I cannot observe these major changes we're talking about. Why is it unacceptable to expect that here?

    You answered your own question earlier - because it generally happens on a timescale longer than your lifespan.

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  53. I said it was a big bite Leslie, I didn't say you couldn't chew it. Carry on my friend.

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  54. Leslie:

    "I understand the argument that says there is no real difference between micro-evolution and macro-evolution, save time. Fair enough. But here's my issue with that. Such time has not passed since this theory has come into being for us to witness this so-called macro-evolution."

    Nor has there passed enough time for us to have witnessed a complete galaxy formation either, but do you doubt that it is driven by gravity? We haven't watched the skies long enough to see a gas cloud contract, condense, compress under gravity and ignite to become a star, but do you doubt that's how it happens? Plate tectonics, mountain formation and erosion etc takes place on geological time scales and we haven't been around to see much of it in real time, but do you doubt that it happens the way the scientific theories describe? By your rationale, you should be doubting that gravity can create stars and galaxies out of hydrogen clouds, and all the other things, and maybe you do.

    You are essentially saying that we must doubt that scientific theories can have any predictive powers beyond the time span that we have personally or historically witnessed. That's a pretty drastic claim, and I think you will not find many takers among scientists. The reason is, as I have explained before, the indisputable fact of the invariance of physical law (there are still debates about how this might have to be modified in cosmology). Every physical law has a limited domain of validity, beyond which it becomes inaccurate. But within its domain of validity, the law is invariant: it doesn't matter when or where an experiment is done, the law will hold; it doesn't matter on what spatial or temporal scale the experiment is done (again, within the domain of validity of the law), the law will still hold.

    There's no question that microevolution works by a cumulative process of mutation, drift, recombination and selection. What you are questioning is whether there is an upper limit to this process of accumulation. That's not an unreasonable thing to ask; in fact it's a very interesting question, and its study has lead among other things to the discovery of the error catastrophe. But you also have to look at what else has been discovered. There is currently no theoretical reason or observational anomaly that calls for the invariance of the laws of microevolution to be broken in order to explain macroevolution. There is simply no scientific reason to think that this should be the case. The evidence points instead in the other direction, to the fact that microevolution observed in nature or in the lab follows the same law as macroevolution observed in the strata and in cladograms, but in a different region of the genetic parameter space.

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  55. Adonais, well said. Oh sweet jesus, well said.

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  56. First of all, it assumes that if we're designed then God should have designed things in some specific way. (A) Upon what basis do you make this charge? (B) I'm not sure what exactly you guys would prefer, but I rather like my body's design.

    Religion argues that we were created in gods image and that he loves us.
    So yeah, i would assume damn near perfect design from the creator of the universe. The human body has many many flaws. Here are just some popular ones
    But its much much more. One would think that god would design us in a way that we are not likely to day sooo easily. Without modern medicine and technology the most random small things can kill you. There are dozens of
    A inflamed teeth, getting wet in the rain and getting pneumonia, A small cut leading to blood poisoning. Something as simple as a stomach flu still kill thousands of children in Afrika every year because they drain out. There are dozens of life-threatening diseases that can get by a simple mosquito bite. Hundres of cruel and painful diseases and genetic triggered diseases. Just google skin disease
    If anything this loving god appears to be a sadist.

    On top of all that this planet is not designed very well. Earth has a surface area of 196,940,400 square miles, 70% of it water,97% of that water is not drinking water. The surface area of all continents and islands of the world is about 57 million miles. But Large portions lie in the far north, are extremely arid or very mountainous. In sum, only about 12 million square miles are arable.

    He also does not to look out for us. According to studies More than 2,000 children are killed in accidents or as a result of unintentional injury every day
    Think about this. From the moment you read this until tomorrow 2000 children will have died due to road crashes, drowning, burns, fall and poisoning etc. And thats just the numbers of accidents.

    I´ll write about the evolution part of your post tomorrow

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  57. @Leslie:
    (A) Upon what basis do you make this charge?

    This is based on the assumption that if GOD (note case) exists, and if he is all knowing and almighty, he could have done better.
    Either that, or GOD intentionally designed us this way because he liked it this way.
    This suggests that GOD has mean and cruel personality (as far as we are concerned).
    God being all knowing, all powerful, and cruel does not match the general description of God being the ultimate good. Therefore we athiests prefer to discount the presence of GOD or intelligent design.

    Of course, if god (note case) is not all knowing, all powerful, or mean, or has restricted capabilities, intelligent design (with limitations) is viable.

    Our current state as lifeform cannot be logically explained if GOD being all powerful + all knowing + ultimate good, unless GOD allowed macroevolution to happen.
    (FYI, the person who told me of GOD's three qualities is Rhology)

    If however, 100,000 years from now (or however long it may be)

    For this statement to be valid, someone (probably you) need to live 100,000 years to observe macroevolution. If you can accept someone else observing macroevolutionary change to a species based on comparison between specimen of now and species of 100,000 years later, why can't you accept observation of change between 100,000 year old fossil and what we have today ?


    @Paul C
    When people bring forth evidence of minor changes, that to me does not necessitate major changes. Why would it?

    So if you put a lot of minor changes together, that doesn't equal major change?

    Though I am not against evolution, the above statement is not necessarily valid.
    Minor changes added up over time may just cancel each other out and not contribute to macroevolution.

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  58. Well, after reading the last reply from Rhology (which simply isn't worth replying to), it is abundantly clear that he isn't, nor has he ever been, interested in seriously arguing his case.

    The quality of the original post was so poor that I should have left well alone.

    Oh well, you can't say I didn't attempt to engage, but I'm frankly appalled by such arrogant anti-intellectualism. I would have settled for one — just one! — serious reply that dealt with criticism and attempted to build a logically coherent narrative that honestly dealt with the real world evidence......but nothing.

    Thanks to all others that have attempted to engage.

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  59. Leslie

    Please read through the thread (if you haven't already done), and especially the links that myself and others have provided. There is more than enough information for you in those links, and I'm quite sure that you will find at least some of it absolutely fascinating.

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Take care.

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  60. Well, after reading the last reply from Rhology (which simply isn't worth replying to), it is abundantly clear that he isn't, nor has he ever been, interested in seriously arguing his case.

    DamianP I find myself doing the same thing. I've thought a few times about writing a serious rebuttal to some of the things I see on this blog, but who's got the time, and whats the point? Plus it seems very well stated arguments, such as Adonais's and yours get ignored.

    I think Mariano rocks, he's a seriously good person, so is Leslie, Irish, Josh, Rhology and a bunch of others, But I just don't see any really compelling arguments that would cause me or anyone that athiesm is dead. Or that God exists.

    Keep in mind, I was a paid minister in the ICOC for 13 of my last 20 years(I've been an atheist since 2002, and I had worked with Paul and Jan(TBN) in phoenix for little over a year, and worked a Benny Hinn event as an usher, and ...on and on. I know the Christianity gig pretty well.

    I'm just not getting sold by you guys. But I love this blog, thx Mariano!

    You guys should try to get a guest blog-post by Frank Walton!

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  61. Andrew T,

    The thing about a control group - I'm saying that I don't see why experiments in which intelligent manipulation takes place would be seriously considered to be evidence for UNGUIDED processes. Why is that so hard to understand?

    Anyway, over at ERV, it's me against about 10 others. Sorry if it takes a bit of a long time to respond to everyone. Given the numerical odds, one wonders why the other guys apparently can't bring themselves to answer half my own questions, when I answer all the ones put to me! That's part of why I spend all the time necessary to interact there. It's actually going pretty well, esp given that I'm up against trained professionals including a prof of molecular biology or sthg like that at a major state univ.




    Dr Funk,

    Of course flies can feed and environments vary. But you DON'T KNOW HOW well enough to be sure you get it right in the lab, every time.
    So just do it in the wild. Unless you think all this evol in the past occurred in a lab.


    MaskedMarauder,

    An example of different types of organisms would be, on one hand, an amoeba, and on the other, a giraffe. A dog and a flower. A bee and a human.
    Don't jump on my back about that since your side doesn't know how to define "species" either.
    And your thing about malaria is irrelevant.


    localio,

    Since you're asking ME, yes, everything requires a Designer. To believe that all matter and energy just jumped into being out of nowhere or that it has always existed (thus violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics) is a fairy tale. But that's not been my argument here in this post.


    MikeTheInfidel,

    Must you really misquote me like that? Quote me saying that and give the URL.
    Otherwise, I seriously suggest you read what I've actually written on the topic.
    And why is it that atheists, when critiquing God's design, never take into account a major plank in the Christian worldview - sin? Do you realise that, biblically speaking, we're neither in the Garden of Eden nor in Heaven? That this world is intentionally imperfect? Sheesh, get back to me when you have a minimal understanding of Christianity.



    Paul C,
    You said:
    Lucky you. Personally I could do without the back pain.

    And wasn't that Leslie's exact point? That this is all about personal preferences and nothing more? You walked right into it.


    Scary Jesus,
    I'm not dogging you at all, please understand. The ICOC is not Christianity. TBN sometimes scrapes into it on occasion, but usually doesn't, and ditto for Hinn. I'm really sorry you've been exposed to all that horsecrap, but you never tasted the good stuff.
    At any rate, this post is an internal critique of naturalistic evolution, nothing more. Given that few have actually engaged the points (beyond expressing their incredulity at how cheeky I could possibly dare to be, to question Modern Science®), one would hope you're honest enough to see that at least.

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  62. Rhology: If your argument is that it is not possible to test for ID scientifically, I don't think I would argue with you.

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  63. Leslie
    It would take too long to write down everything so i post some videos.

    its all just guesswork, we were't there etc.




    humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor Its Ken Miller explaining talking about the dover trial when theists wanted to add ID to the curriculum. If you watch the whole thing Ken tells us that not once did the ID supporter (one of them Michael Behe)ever bring up anything to back their claim. The only thing they brought up was Behes old chestnut "the Flagellum" which has been shown multiple times to be wrong.

    Another very precise method that also tells us we share a common ancestor with chimps. It has nothing to do with the other method i posted

    What scientific field ID & creationists have to reject and provide a better scientific explanation for

    Natural selection simulation
    And No Roh. A simulation of a random process designed by intelligent people does not fudge a test. Just like a simulation of random dice falling on the floor does not mean they are falling guided or intelligently.

    how micro can lead to macro evolution

    if you don't believe in in Evolution, explain this

    Go on and watch a coulpe of clips from this guys
    http://www.youtube.com/user/DonExodus2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/AronRa

    http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54

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  64. Rhology: An example of different types of organisms would be, on one hand, an amoeba, and on the other, a giraffe. A dog and a flower. A bee and a human.
    Those are examples, not criteria for classification. What metric space are you using, and why do you choose that one and not another? Or must we wait for you to pass judgment on each pair of organisms on Earth to know which are different and which are the same or similar?

    This isn't 'jumping' on you. You demanded rules for determining 'different types', not me. It is not a term (other than vernacular) from biology. If you want to import it into this conversation then it is your responsibility to define it in quantifiably meaningful terms, not mine.

    And your thing about malaria is irrelevant.
    No, it isn't. If you claim that all living things are the product of intelligent design then the miscreant plasmodium strains responsible for malaria and the misery it brings must have been intelligently designed. "By whom" and "for what purpose?" are very natural, relevant and important questions to ask when you tell me that you know that a malign supernatural intelligence is trying to kill me!

    Also, the example of the observed distribution of the sickle cell trait across the human population was one of the earliest examples of the explanatory power of ToE for population genetics. So it is relevant in this discussion for that reason also.

    Sickle cell trait distribution across lineages needs little explanation under ToE and NS. On the other hand, it seems to me, your god theory lacks a compelling explanation for why He deliberately inflicted a painful and debilitating genetic disease on poor brown people to protect them from the scourage of the plasmodium that He also conjured up to vex his helpless children. Wouldn't it have been much easier not to have created plasmodium in the first place? If you find malaria logical under your world view then I'd truly love to hear the line of reasoning that lead you to that amazing conclusion.

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  65. And wasn't that Leslie's exact point? That this is all about personal preferences and nothing more? You walked right into it.

    Yes, I "walked right into it". Far from my personal preference, back pain is an endemic problem in the species - an obviously bad design. The theory of evolution explains it by pointing to the tension between our bipedal present and our less-than-bipedal past. What have you got?

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  66. Rho, I should add that I was a confirmed Lutheran (Missouri Synod of course!), went to an Assemblies of God high school for two years, an Episcopal shool my second two years. I was in a Mormon scout troop, I was a methodist very young, a Catholic when we lived in the philippines as a child.

    I'd say that my eventual attraction to the ICOC was that I felt very seriously that people needed to be saved or they were going to hell. And the ICOC took that very seriously. My Lutheran parents wouldn't walk across the street to try and make a disciple. So yes I'll agree it turned out to be horsecrap, all of it. And I really, really tried.
    This passage meant very much and I took it very seriously:

    To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

    And if that isn't the main point of Christianity, I don't know what is.

    Maybe I should have said I know the "religion" gig pretty well.

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  67. "At any rate, this post is an internal critique of naturalistic evolution, nothing more."

    No offense, but you don't know enough about the subject, let alone science in general, to offer any "critique" deserving the epithet. All you've been doing is flaunting your ignorance. You obviously need to read something basic: perhaps Jerry Coyne's recent Why Evolution is True would be something for you. Until you go to the minimal trouble of teaching yourself a modicum of the basics, you will only sound ridiculous. Assertions are not a substitute for knowledge.

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  68. At any rate, this post is an internal critique of naturalistic evolution, nothing more. Given that few have actually engaged the points (beyond expressing their incredulity at how cheeky I could possibly dare to be, to question Modern Science®), one would hope you're honest enough to see that at least.

    I see that, I'm just being self-indulgent in my earlier posts, forgive me. But hey I gotta be me.

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  69. I just don't think people are taking this post seriously Rho.

    Ok I'll stop spamming.

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  70. Ok Rho, one more thing, since I have no sense of restraint. What qualifications do you believe you have to judge what is christianity and what isn't? And what do you know of the ICOC to say it isn't Christianity? Are Mormons Christians? Liberation Theology guys? Calvinists? Maybe you should do a chart for us, ones that are Christian, ones that dip into it sometimes, and those that are right out.

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  71. Hi all. Sorry for the delay, been busy at ERV and with other things.

    Andrew T. said...
    Rhology: If your argument is that it is not possible to test for ID scientifically, I don't think I would argue with you.

    I guess we're still arguing then. Or at least I haven't really made a statement one way or th'other on that count.


    MaskedMarauder said:
    What metric space are you using, and why do you choose that one and not another?

    Why did I choose to answer your question about "what do you mean by different kinds?" with "a banana is a different kind than a giraffe"? I suppose b/c it's blatantly obvious. Again, your side has all the funding and the big shots and the universities. Come to a sensible consensus on the def of "species" and get back to me.


    You demanded rules for determining 'different types', not me.

    Precisely, so get on it. A good start would be to define species consistently.


    If you claim that all living things are the product of intelligent design then the miscreant plasmodium strains responsible for malaria and the misery it brings must have been intelligently designed.

    Yes, fine, it makes no difference. I grant it for the sake of this discussion, which has been narrowly-focused since the OP.


    "By whom" and "for what purpose?" are very natural, relevant and important questions

    Fine, and I'll be happy to provide some input once we agree that the OP is right. Until then, irrelevant. You're wanting to discuss all of ID, I'm not (not here).


    Sickle cell trait distribution across lineages needs little explanation under ToE and NS

    God made it that way. Not that hard. It's pretty pitiful to see this kind of argumentation, to be perfectly honest. Your side rarely if ever troubles itself to actually think a little bit about the implications of the other side's position, whereas my side does it all the time. That's what I'm doing in this very post!


    your god theory lacks a compelling explanation for why He deliberately inflicted

    That's a moral question, not relevant to my post. I've been dealing with this type of question for years on my blog - I invite you. Point is, He COULD do that and therefore accounts for it, end of discussion for the purposes of this post.


    Wouldn't it have been much easier not to have created plasmodium in the first place?

    You'd have to ask Him. Once again, you fail to even think thru my own position to an elementary degree. As if "easier" or "harder" holds any meaning for an omnipotent being. Please.



    Paul C asserted:
    Far from my personal preference, back pain is an endemic problem in the species - an obviously bad design.

    Prove that pain is a "problem" and that problems are bad. I don't grant these assumptions (since you're expressing a naturalist worldview).


    adonais said:
    No offense, but you don't know enough about the subject, let alone science in general, to offer any "critique" deserving the epithet.

    Prove it. Respond to my points.



    Scary Jesus said:
    ICOC was that I felt very seriously that people needed to be saved or they were going to hell.

    Then the ICOC with which I have some experience is nothing like the part in which you were involved. My apologies for extrapolating out too far. Would that your Darwinian friends would apologise for their own unjustified extrapolations.
    This is the same denomination as the Church of the Open Arms and Barry Lynn? Huh. Learn sthg new every day.


    And if that isn't the main point of Christianity, I don't know what is.

    I'm happy to let you know that is not the main point. The main point is:
    God created the universe and you, and you are under His law. You have broken it a million times... per week. God loved you enough to send His only Son to leave the glory of Heaven and live a perfect life on this stinky earth, die a horrible death in your place, and then rise from the dead. You can either bear the just punishment for your lawbreaking or Jesus offers to bear it for you if only you will repent of your lawbreaking and trust Jesus and Him alone to save you from it and give you eternal life.


    I just don't think people are taking this post seriously Rho

    True, but I've had enough fun here. The ERV thread is more fun anyway, and the commenters are better at gratuitous nastiness.


    What qualifications do you believe you have to judge what is christianity and what isn't?

    I can read, and I read the Bible. There are some things that define Christianity's essence and some things on the periphery.
    Surely you'd grant in principle that I can't
    1) Hold that there is one God, and Muhammad is his prophet.
    2) Hold that Jesus is the Son of God and died to satisfy and provide the propitiation for God's wrath
    3) Hold that atheism is true
    4) and be fully consistent and intellectually honest.


    nd what do you know of the ICOC to say it isn't Christianity?

    I have experience with several ICOC clergy in my area and with Barry Lynn. They by no means teach Christianity. They teach liberalism, and that's a different religion.
    Mormonism is not Christian, no. It's a diff religion.
    Lib Theology is not Christian, no. It's a diff religion.
    Calvinism is Christian, yes. It teaches the central doctrines of Christianity.



    Peace,
    Rhology

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  72. Prove that pain is a "problem" and that problems are bad.

    Back pain is by definition a problem. A design which causes problems is by definition a bad design. Tell you what, why don't you ask me to prove that all bachelors are unmarried and then dance a little victory jig?

    You're using your usual diversionary tactics to avoid answering my question. The theory of evolution explains back pain by pointing to the tension between our bipedal present and our less-than-bipedal past. What have you got?

    I don't expect an answer. I post these questions only to demonstrate to "the reader" that your arguments are devoid of merit and your personality devoid of charm. Your responses continue to meet those requirements.

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  73. I post these questions only to demonstrate to "the reader" that your arguments are devoid of merit

    As long as you continue to beg questions in such a manner, I'm not worried.

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  74. I have not begged any question, since my points were true by definition, as I have pointed out. I think that you do not understand what that phrase means.

    Now answer my point, please.

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  75. Rhology: Why did I choose to answer your question about "what do you mean by different kinds?" with "a banana is a different kind than a giraffe"? I suppose b/c it's blatantly obvious.
    No, it is not "blatantly" obvious. You seem to be using it in a vaguely categorical way whereas the word "different" is not so constrained in meaning. A parent is different from it's offspring. A child is a different kind of organism than it's own adult phase. An acorn is different from the oak tree it fell from. A brick is a different kind from a frog. The word "kind" doesn't appear in biology as you seem to want to use it.

    Your original challenge remains meaningless and unanswerable until you can explain what you're trying to talk about.

    Again, your side has all the funding and the big shots and the universities.
    But you're the one complaining that contemporary biology is inadequate somehow. Clearly, you are claiming deeper insight than is available to the "big shots", so what do you think you know that we don't?

    Come to a sensible consensus on the def of "species" and get back to me.
    Why would you think there ought to be a single "def" of "species"? Its one thing to complain that people can't answer questions you yourself can't ask sensibly, its an altogether higher level of confusion on your part to demand that we solve problems that aren't problems.

    That's a moral question, not relevant to my post.
    No, it isn't a moral question and it isn't irrelevant; you can't claim there's a purpose unless you can can perceive a purpose. What is it?

    Point is, He COULD do that and therefore accounts for it, end of discussion for the purposes of this post.
    That he could do it is an assumption on your part, and not an explanation, you see, without evidence. Further, even if he could do it that wouldn't account for anything at all because it doesn't follow necessarily that he ever actually did anything with his alleged magical super powers. For the purposes of this or any other post.

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  76. OK. You heard it here first, ladies and gents. Giraffes and bananas are not obviously different kinds of organisms. Thanks, MM. You're a weird guy.

    The word "kind" doesn't appear in biology as you seem to want to use it.

    That's a simple case of special pleading, ruling out creationist-oriented biologists w/o benefit of argument.


    . Clearly, you are claiming deeper insight than is available to the "big shots", so what do you think you know that we don't?

    I have identified mistakes in the underpinning philosophy and methodology. That requires a mind that is open to possibilities other than the ones you've apparently limited yourself to. It doesn't require a huge amount of technical know-how. I have instead invited you to show me how I'm wrong. Should've been easy to do since you're up against a layman. Nothing so far, though.


    Why would you think there ought to be a single "def" of "species"?

    Why would you think there ought to be a single "def" of "kind"?


    it isn't a moral question and it isn't irrelevant

    Let's say I grant that it's not a moral question. Still irrelevant, b/c we're asking IF THERE IS a Designer, not what said Designer was thinking or intending.


    you can't claim there's a purpose unless you can can perceive a purpose.

    Maybe the purpose was to invent entertaining playthings to watch. Doesn't matter.


    That he could do it is an assumption on your part

    Sigh. Maybe you forgot that we were talking about an omnipotent Designer.


    it doesn't follow necessarily that he ever actually did anything with his alleged magical super powers.

    True, it doesn't follow. But there does exist SOMEthing, and given that you've presented no arguments that would lead me to doubt that many/most experimentation done by science on the issue of evolution actually supports ID, I'd rather seek out more fertile pastures to find the answer. Pity you're too biased to follow the evidence too.

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  77. Rhology: OK. You heard it here first, ladies and gents. Giraffes and bananas are not obviously different kinds of organisms. Thanks, MM. You're a weird guy.
    I said that there are different meanings for "different" and expressed some frustration that you refuse to use any of them. Yes, giraffes and bananas are different. So are giraffes from each othere and parents from their own offspring. Since you won't make up your mind about "kind" I'll do it for you and resolve one of your challenges right now: a good way of judging when the line of organism has become a different type is when it reproduces.

    There's one of your objections disposed of.

    That's a simple case of special pleading, ruling out creationist-oriented biologists w/o benefit of argument.
    No special pleading here other than ruling out undefined terms. If you want to talk about kinds its your job to define "kind". We aren't mind readers.

    I have identified mistakes in the underpinning philosophy and methodology.
    In your dreams, boyo! In your dreams.

    You can't topple a philosophy when you don't know what it is.

    Why would you think there ought to be a single "def" of "kind"?
    I don't think any such thing. But I do know that there needs to be at least one definition for sensible conversation and that you haven't settled on any. I'm trying to discuss this in English, not Glossolalia.

    Back to you. Why do you think there should be only one "def" of "species"?

    Let's say I grant that it's not a moral question. Still irrelevant, b/c we're asking IF THERE IS a Designer, not what said Designer was thinking or intending.
    And that question can't be answered until you define discernible criteria by which a designer can reasonably be inferred. Purpose is one possible such criterion. If there is no perceptible purpose in the world, as we both agree, then it just makes a designer that much less likely an explanation for anything. Dig your hole deeper.

    Sigh. Maybe you forgot that we were talking about an omnipotent Designer.
    And maybe you forgot that omnipotence is not a necessary property of designers. Certainly none of the designers I know, or know of, are omnipotent. It appears that omnipotence is just another warrantless assumption you tossed into the stew for a lark. Its certainly not a meaningful argument for anything.

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  78. Left undealt with, there is little "evidence" for Darwinianism at all.

    You have demonstrated that you do not have any idea what you are talking about. It is interesting to see people who clearly don't know what scientists know telling the scientists that they don't know enough.

    Please learn some science before dismissing it. Please also remember that the Discovery Institute does not do science, so you can be sure that whatever they tell you is riddled with errors.

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  79. So if macroevolution's been proven beyond all reasonable doubt, why the huge influx of internet evolutionists coming here to sound off on it? Sounds to me more like a large number of folks (between their World of Warcraft sessions) attempting to prove to themselves that their faith in life emerging accidentally from a rock is - against all reason - somehow correct.

    Well, Star Wars always had its diehard fans, even when the story went south of cheese.

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  80. ... why the huge influx of internet evolutionists coming here to sound off on it?
    I can't speak for everyone else here, but for myself, I don't much like the obscurantism, willful ignorance and aggressively intellectually dishonest shenanigans Creationists resort to in places like this.

    Belive it or not, not everybody considers the Enlightenment a dark time, or ignorance a virtue. Go figure!

    We wouldn't want an innocent passerby to see this stuff go uncontested and mistakenly conclude therefrom that Creationism is legitimate.

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  81. kh123,

    Why are there a bunch of religious folks here who tell lies about science? Don't you think that those who care about science should be allowed to defend science against the lies told about it, particularly when the liars attribute their lies to God?

    By the way, scientists don't 'prove things beyond a reasonable doubt'. They just collect evidence (something ID/Creationists refuse to do), develop models that are both consistent with that evidence and make predictions about other items that will be discovered (again, a step that the ID/Creationsts refuse to do), present their work for review by others who understand it (again, never done by ID/Creationists, since they refuse to do any sceintific work) and repeat the process.

    Feel free to critique evolution when you understand it.

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  82. And freelunch, feel free to actually interact with my points in the post sometime. Stop accusing me of telling lies about science (whatever that means) and start showing why I'm wrong. "Most scientists would say you are" - an argumentum ad populi/from authority is not a good answer.

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  83. And MM, I'm happy to let your last comment stand as its own refutation and failure to be a refutation of my points. You can improve on it if you want and I might feel the need to reply. If not, nice talking to you.

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  84. Stop accusing me of telling lies about science (whatever that means) and start showing why I'm wrong.

    I read your post. It shows no understanding of or interest in science. Tell me what scientific predictions ID makes. Tell us specifically what we should find with ID that would not be found with the current theory of evolution. Tell us why the folks who advocate intelligent design have not formulated a scientific theory to be tested. Tell us why they never do any science. Tell us why they ran away from Dover and then tried to blame others when the religious nature of ID was made clear in that trial. Tell us why you expect answers from scientists (many of which have been provided but you seem unaware of) when you don't expect the proponents of ID/Creationism to do anything at all to defend their claims.

    "Most scientists would say you are" - an argumentum ad populi/from authority is not a good answer.

    I'm not certain what your quote is referring to, since you aren't quoting me. My points were that anti-science creationists show either an ignorance of science or a willingness to lie about it or both. It is foolish to accept the opinion of anyone who shows that he is ignorant of or lying about the topic.

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  85. freelunch,

    That wasn't even a good try. See you later.

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  86. You can improve on it if you want and I might feel the need to reply.
    Most words in the dictionary have more than one definition, and yet, for no discernible reason, you insist that "species" must only have one. Why? Nobody knows and you won't say!

    Then you go on to draw the absurder conclusion that science fails because it can't meet this arbitrary and irrelevant linguistic condition you made up out of thin air.

    And all of this histrionic yokel-fodder is coming from a born again Caliban who can't provide a single usable definition of your own supposedly superior technical word of choice: "kind"!

    That is errant intellectual dishonesty.

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  87. Amazing. All this spiel to convince folks that finch beak variation on the Galapagos Islands somehow proves that all or life's complexity - more compact and complex than the laptops these folks were salivating over and typing on - somehow arose from a rock, accidentally, with a little lighting thrown in for good measure... all over unobserved millions of years past.

    No wonder the West is failing in education. And no wonder Las Vegas is still raking in the cash - with faith in those kind of odds, I'd be hitting the crap tables too.

    Then again, there's that intimate connection between macroevolution and rolling the dice (or crap, for that matter).

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  88. ^go educate yourself. Also nice strawman.

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  89. Thanks for that anonymous tip, Doeboy.

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