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BA77’s observation: “many influential people in academia simply don’t want Design to be true no matter what evidence . . .”

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The inimitable BA77 observes:

I [used] to think that if ID could only get its evidence to the right people in the right places then they would change their mind about Darwinian evolution and we would have a fundamental ‘paradigm shift’ from the ‘top down’. But after a few years of banging my head on that wall to no avail, I realized that it is not a head problem with these people so much as it is a heart problem. i.e. many influential people in academia simply don’t want Design to be true no matter what evidence you present to them. Indeed, in many educational institutions, there is a systematic effort in academia to Expel anyone who does not toe the Darwinian party line . . . . Scientists are subject to the same pride and prejudices as everyone else.,,, perhaps more so when the issues relate to their preferred worldview.

He concludes: “Thus the growth in popular support for ID has been more of a ‘bottom up’ affair.”

He cites Max Planck on the rise of new paradigms one funeral at a time:

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it . . .

Is this what we have come to?

Are we so stubborn as that in the face of the force of evidence such as the significance of the only known cause of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information [FSCO/I] and the linked isolated needles in a haystack configuration-space blind search challenge:

csi_defn

DI’s Stephen Meyer addresses much the same point in speaking to what critics of his Darwin’s Doubt seem to almost uniformly miss:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Why, or why not? Kindly, explain. END

112 Replies to “BA77’s observation: “many influential people in academia simply don’t want Design to be true no matter what evidence . . .”

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Do we progress one funeral at a time?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    And it is not as if the evidence has not been abundantly forthcoming for ID. Dr. Behe, author of ‘Darwin’s Black Box’, makes the observation, as even prominent Darwinists admit, that ‘life reeks of design’:

    Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    Thus Darwinists see the design, admit that the ‘appearance of design’ is overwhelming, but their hearts refuse to accept it:

    Verse and Music:

    Jeremiah 17:10
    “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
    to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

    Evanescence – My Heart Is Broken
    http://www.vevo.com/watch/evan.....WV41100052

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77:

    Yup, Behe does point out the obvious as admitted by Dawkins etc, but one of the problems we are seeing is that we are dealing with those programmed to apply selective hyperskepticism to dismiss the obvious when it does not fit the preferred ideology. (I think that lies behind a lot of what we see.)

    Never mind, that the vera causa test is involved: we are addressing a remote unobserved past and should constrain explanations by the requisite of showing actual observed capacity to account for relevant phenomena.

    Nor, are such moved by the sort of search space blind sampling challenge outlined above, they imagine that by demanding an exact probability calc they can dismiss anything linked to FSCO/I.

    EL, RTH et al, kindly note, that is a fallacy.

    The point of a needle in haystack limited resources search challenge is that we already know that a relatively tiny sample of size s of a very large population W, with all but logical certainty, will reflect the bulk, not rare, isolated tiny special zones T. We don’t need precise probability calcs to see that.

    Further, it is patent that a sample of a set is a subset, and so it comes from the power set of W. That means the search for an unreasonably effective search comes from a much higher order space than a direct search. With overwhelming space to be directly searched already, that is a dead end. We don’t need a precise probability calc to see that either.

    Likewise, there is but one well known, empirically well supported solution to the problem of overwhelming search: guidance, the provision of active information that puts one close to a hot zone, effectively collapsing the search.

    And no, the fact that we can only sample a small fragment of W is the problem, so the notion of restating it on the assumption it must have worked, as if that is the solution fails also.

    Yes, we can only scan a small part of the space; unless guided to the RIGHT small part or a right small part, so that we can for instance scan for uphill direction of improved function and hill climb, to assume or imply that presto we are in the right place to start with begs the question at stake.

    In short, once we are on a beach we can sense and move uphill, assuming reasonable smoothness, but the problem was to find an island with a beach.

    This of course first shows the relevance of the OOL issue: the FIRST island of function has to be found.

    It also, points to the second one: onward islands are even more isolated. A simple cell, so called, credibly requires a genome 100 – 1,000 kbases. Main body plans, 10 – 100+ mn bases more, on simple examination of genomes.

    Notice, no exact probability calcs required so far.

    I saved the “best” for last.

    The tree of life model, notoriously, begins at OOL (that notorious Smithsonian OOL blob), and branches, implicitly implying there is a smoothly graded incrementally improving path across a vast continent of possible life forms from molecules to Mozart. Of this there is simply no good evidence and indeed Amino Acid sequence space and protein fold domains analysis shows that we do have a strong pattern of deeply isolated islands of function in a space dominated by seas of non-function.

    All this is quite consistent with the message of FSCO/I: when function emerges from the interaction of a cluster of matched, properly arranged, oriented and coupled parts, these constraints point straight to tight constraints on the set of arrangements that will work, as opposed tot he vastly more numerous patterns that won’t.

    And of course, we are still looking at sampling challenges without needing to do an exact probability calculation.

    The exact probability calc red herring led away to a strawman conveniently set up to be pummelled, fails.

    KF

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    I believe what we are dealing with is two fold.

    First, there a tremendous resistance to organized religion as just some authoritarian power telling you what can and cannot be done based on some ancient assessment of what is required. You see most religions trying to modernize, such as accommodating abortion, same sex marriage, equal roles for men and women, sexual expression, etc.

    ID comes across as part of this old time religion. I know it has nothing to do with that but it is intertwined with religion. Just look at the comments here by pro ID people.

    Second, for a large part of history, humans ascribed lots of events to supernatural powers. Modern society has disposed of that. It is intellectually satisfying to know that superstition is nonsense. ID reintroduces superstition and it is difficult to admit there is some unknown force, an intelligent one, that controls our destiny.

    There are thousands of creation stories which we admit are nonsense. So why isn’t ID just another one of these superstitious stories that will eventually be explained away. To the intellectually elite we are just a temporary annoyance.

    I don’t believe it is one funeral at a time since that is not what ID is. It is not just an alternative theory of nature. It is a another creation story to most, the reintroduction of superstition.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
    Jeremiah 17:9

    In the Old Testament, the “heart” is more than the seat of emotion. It represents the basis of character, including the mind and the will.
    [Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries]

    “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

    “The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.”
    Proverbs 16:23 (ESV)

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry: Interesting point. If I catch you right, in short, the deep seated prejudices of an era dominated by evolutionary materialism are being used to smear and dismiss an unwelcome inductive logic and linked analysis-rooted idea that cuts across the comfort zones of secularist orthodoxy. The problems with that are fairly obvious, as evo mat is self refuting (and inherently amoral thus tending to be corrosive of the moral foundations of the community [noted since Plato in The Laws Bk X c 360 BC]. . . regardless of hot claims to the contrary), and what is at stake is the empirical and analytical credibility of its lab coat clad origins narrative. After 150 or 80+ years for macro-evo and OOL, resp, the issue is: laying censorship and strawman tactics aside, what is the empirical ground for your claims? And, the ancient observation that the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful is all too well substantiated by the long reaches of history. Including, the history of proudly scientific secularist regimes. And, BTW, when deep worldview commitments are at stake and there is intense polarisation, progress is typically generational. KF

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    D: Sobering insights from a very old book. But then, we don’t tell truth by the clock or the calendar. KF

    PS: My fav defn of truth comes from another old book, Ari in Metaphysics, Bk IV 1011b: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not that it is not.

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    jerry @ 4

    If you prefer to discuss science without ‘too much’ philosophical or theological chatting, I invite you to look at the thread about “The Third Way” (see the link below). Notice that in that thread I have posted (so far) over 180 links to scientific reports from relatively recent research publications, many taken from top high-impact peer-reviewed publications. Now, since you seem to be a defender of pure untainted science, I dare you to explain how we got the complex systems described in my posts in the mentioned thread. Please, stick to pure untainted scientific explanations, provide as many details as you can, and make sure your explanation is coherent, holds water and can withstand any intensive interrogation.
    Note that science poorly understands the detailed functioning of many mechanisms referred in my posts, hence your task is quite challenging. As you will see, the folks from “The Third Way” would appreciate your assistance, because they can use a little help from their friends 😉
    Ready? Go for it! Please, keep us updated on your progress. Take your time, don’t rush it. But perhaps this is a piece of cake for you?

    Here’s the mentioned link:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com...../#comments

  9. 9
    groovamos says:

    JERRY: Second, for a large part of history, humans ascribed lots of events to supernatural powers.

    Including the present; if you don’t believe it then you haven’t sampled late night talk radio lately. And sir, you might try to come up with a natural source for nature that the everyman can understand, good luck with that. Multiverse babble just doesn’t cut it, it leaves the everyman out so that the theorists become a priesthood with their own privileged ‘understanding’. So as it is, a belief in something superior to nature as nature’s source is itself natural, and the reason human beings throughout history have universally taken to this natural outlook. You have to be really naive to think otherwise.

    Modern society has disposed of that.

    Nonsense. In the most modern of societies, the United States, a clear majority rejects instead the cult of Darwinism whether neo- or not, and its 19th century non-scientist figurehead.

    It is intellectually satisfying to know that superstition is nonsense. ID reintroduces superstition and it is difficult to admit there is some unknown force, an intelligent one, that controls our destiny.

    The second sentence is mostly incoherent, its second phrase with an undefined subject.

    The first sentence is seemingly true for a person thinking superstition includes the belief in human beings as not soulless. You will never convince the majority that your belief in personal obliteration in the end constitutes a sane, existentially coherent worldview. I proved this to myself not only during two periods of atheism in my past but in the following scenario. I was commenting in P.Z. Myer’s blog nine years ago. P.Z. had commented that he would rather experience brain damage than experience religious belief. I immediately pointed out that the good man would not only experience brain damage, but more; he would experience brain annihilation in conjunction with his hoped-for personal annihilation. Now on his blog, the website will forward to your email any contributor’s comments intended for your inbox, and I got a handful of angry comebacks including one from P.Z. in my inbox. Now this is pretty insane, when I calmly point out the obvious implications of a worldview to those subscribing to it, and it makes them angry. And one of the angry people berated me for bringing up death, such a downer subject. So you might reconsider the claim that materialism is all peachy and satisfying.

  10. 10
    rich says:

    Is this comment helpful? I could offer “Many religious people want evolution to be false / design to be true no matter what the evidence”. I din’t see either advancing dialogue.

    And I don’t think anyone has enough time to imitate the inimitable BA77.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Rich, while your pausing to comment is appreciated, did you take time to look at the discussion of the evidence relating to FSCO/I or to watch the video that pointed to the implications of the needle in haystack problem — also cf no 3 above? Do you care to give a substantial response to that, or do you only want to play at turnabout rhetoric and dismissive remarks about others? KF

  12. 12
    anthropic says:

    Jerry at 4:

    One thing I’d say is that a militant atheist/materialist is every bit as much a person of faith as any theist. The belief that matter is ultimate simply cannot be demonstrated empirically. In fact, there is much evidence that mind/information/relationship is fundamental in a way that matter is not, such as the origin of matter/energy and space/time in the Big Bang, the origin of information needed for life, the origin of information needed for the Cambrian explosion, nine decades of experimental results in quantum mechanics, and neuroscience showing immaterial thoughts causing the material brain to restructure itself, and the fact that immaterial laws govern the material universe.

    Historically, there is also the very well attested resurrection of Jesus. The great majority of historians now concede that Jesus really died, his body really disappeared and never was found, and that many people saw & talked with him, and that they absolutely believed his claim to have risen from the dead. By far the most reasonable explanation for these facts is that there was a literal resurrection, with mind/info/relationship once again trumping matter.

    Unfortunately, since materialism is a matter of faith, it is very difficult indeed to convince true believers that there is actual evidence against it. In fact, the more evidence piles up, the more hostility ensues, usually expressed at those who bear the unwelcome tidings. Witness the reaction to the ENCODE findings…

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    Jerry: Interesting point. If I catch you right

    I am not sure what you are trying to say. I am just saying why I think there is resistance to ID. This is based on my observations here and with others. And also amongst those who believe in God and don’t have the religious axe to grind.

    ID has the upper hand with the science and the logic but I was trying to explain why it is falling on deaf ears amongst the elite. I believe BA77 is probably right and that it will gain acceptance at lower levels (but they must be educated lower levels) and that is how it will eventually win the day. But it may not be soon.

    I will add a third thing so now it is three fold why there is resistance. People feel free to add others.

    The overall rationale for a naturalistic form of evolution is extremely compelling. Opposition fell to Darwin quickly after his publication. His logic was overwhelming for nearly everyone (the power of artificial selection, homologies and geographic distribution of species and natural selection seemed so obvious a process). What was at issue for a fairly long time was mechanism and natural selection eventually won the day by the 1940’s after mutations and Mendel’s work proved the basis for genetics. Now we all know that this is bogus but the basic argument provided by Darwin is still compelling and it is hard to cut through that.

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    Unfortunately, since materialism is a matter of faith, it is very difficult indeed to convince true believers that there is actual evidence against it.

    I agree and make it the fourth reason.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Anthropic, you seem to be quite new so welcome to UD. I get the impression you would like to elaborate and provide some substantiating details and/or links. Do, please — several of your claims are strong but rather skeletal. (In short, kindly provide warranting details, clips and/or links; as the comment insert box shows certain HTML tags can be used. As a starter, it can be argued that every worldview depends on a set of “first plausibles” that constitute its “point of faith” . . . agree or disagree, why?) KF

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    Now, since you seem to be a defender of pure untainted science, I dare you to explain how we got the complex systems described in my posts in the mentioned thread.

    I believe you have misread my comment. There is no bigger supporter of ID than me. I go back further on this site than KF and BA77. But I will say what I believe and my comment represented that. It was not why I question ID but why I believe others do.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry: Your analysis seems, to me to supplement BA77’s remark. Your further points on how Darwin’s synthesis and the neo-D synthesis carried the day and still have considerable persuasive power need to be fleshed out and seriously addressed. Why an inductive logic point that in material part pioneered by an agnostic, Hoyle, should be cast as “creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” and how the substantial point comes to so often be lost in the shouting etc, needs to be addressed. We need to get back to key issues. KF

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Jerry is indeed one of the originals. KF

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I will add a third thing so now it is three fold why there is resistance. People feel free to add others.

    In academia, there’s an enormous fear of appearing to be ignorant, unsophisticated or out of touch with the most cutting-edge aspects of culture. Materialist atheism is seen as revolutionary and a rebellion against old standards. Atheist thinkers and artists are the foundation of post-modernism, and nobody wants to be expelled from that elite group. ID is not welcome in that club because it has historical roots and is a threat to academia. The supernatural cannot be directly observed and that’s considered a limit to scientific exploration. Researchers don’t like limits.

    In the US, something like the movie Inherit the Wind had a powerful effect for decades with the idea that opposition to evolution came entirely from ignorant religious fanatics. People who have never seen the film and know nothing about the trial still think that.

    Some creationist religious teachers have lacked sophistication or scholarship and that has been exaggerated to make them look totally ignorant. It’s a double-standard, of course, considering many unsophisticated comments from evolutionists, but religious believers are often held to a higher standard and that’s understandable in many ways.

  20. 20
    melvinvines says:

    “My Criteria for Design”

    I am often asked by evolutionauts to specify what makes me think an entity is designed rather than being an illusion of design. This question is so simply answered, anyone with half a brain could put together a rational answer…

    http://evoillusion.org/40-my-criteria-for-design/

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    rich @ 10 you state:

    “Many religious people want evolution to be false / design to be true no matter what the evidence”.

    rich, there is a sharp difference between the two positions is that Design proponents put their neck on the line in regards to falsification and Darwinists do not!!

    In the following video, Michael Behe shows how easy it is to falsify Intelligent Design. However, he also explains how difficult it is to falsify evolution.

    Falsifying Intelligent Design – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf26zlgZ0es

    Indeed, can Darwinian evolution be falsified at all?

    Does Evolution have a Hard Core ?
    Excerpt: “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific,,,,”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosm.....ore_pg.htm

    What the vast majority of Darwinists fail to realize (or ever honestly admit to) is that Darwinian evolution is not even a ‘real’ physical science in any proper sense but that Darwinian evolution is more realistically thought of as a pseudo-science. Even Jerry Coyne himself, the self-appointed Grand Inquisitor of Darwinian evolution, admits that Darwinian evolution lacks the rigor of a proper physical science:

    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike “harder” scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.”
    – Jerry A. Coyne – Of Vice and Men, The New Republic April 3, 2000 p.27 – professor of Darwinian evolution at the University of Chicago

    The main reason why Darwinian evolution is more properly thought of as a pseudo-science instead of a proper science is because Darwinian evolution has no rigid mathematical basis, like other overarching physical theories of science do. A rigid mathematical basis in order to potentially falsify it (in fact math, in so far as math can be applied to Darwinian claims, constantly shows us that Darwinian evolution is astronomically unlikely),,

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....the-day-8/

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.4

    HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION
    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.
    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....hist12.htm

    Darwin’s Doubt – Chapter 12 – Complex Adaptations and the Neo-Darwinian Math – Dr. Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....38;index=7

    See also Mendel’s Accountant and Haldane’s Ratchet: John Sanford

    further notes here:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    Melvinvines,

    Interesting discussion at your site. Should be an OP here. KF look at it.

    Thanks for link.

  23. 23
    Dr JDD says:

    The greatest irony is that the materialist will instantly and continually accuse the theist of interpreting evidence based on emotions and beliefs that override actual evidence. They claim to be free from preconceptions and without bias.

    I have had numerous discussions with atheists over this, and they oddly refuse to see that their atheism is just as responsible for biasing their views as a theist is. To them, the only reason that someone would be a theist is through upbringing or experiential bias rather than facts.

    This approach is much like uniformitarianism’s contradictory nature. If you accuse someone of making extrapolations and assuming (wrongly) that processes have always occurred as we see now (for example, rates of decay, sedimentation rate through uniformity versus catastrophe, etc.) they laugh and call you a blasphemer of modern day science. Yet when we see evidence to contradict uniformity within their proposed model and framework of life (OOL, evolution, ages), the tune quickly changes. This is why they see no problem with evolution happening at a massive scale in a very short time frame (e.g. Cambrian explosion) whilst other organisms simply do not change for 100s of millions of years (beetles, royal ferns, bacterium, etc.) – because they then deny in effect uniformitarianism but try to make out that this is not what they are doing. This is perhaps the most evident with the complete lack of concern or surprise that is in the community when we consider how many new fossils are being discovered that have soft tissue preserved within. This is in complete contrast to what we expect from uniformitarian views but also to what we know and can observe about decay of soft tissue around ustoday, if we are to believe the supposed 9-figure ages of these fossils. Now with this example I am not saying this is definitive proof that these ages are wrong – however it should open up discussions around this issue yet it is instantly a closed door and any challenge means you are a creationist cretin who must be silenced and mocked. Rather they would just state that the way soft tissue decays must be different to how we thought, rather than question the age.

    These approaches are clearly reminiscent of a religious and emotional attachment to a worldview that must hold on to their beliefs over what common sense and evidence appears to be showing as the most likely explanation. Ironically as stated this is something reserved for the theist in thought by most, but that is the beauty of this self-deception: it is so deceptive that it even deceives oneself that they are unbiased, outside influence of a particular world view when dealing with evidence/observations and not blinded by one’s own agenda. This is why we often see such people filled with rage and anger when people challenge their views and question their authority or interpretation of evidence.

    This is quite funny from a psychological angle as when you accuse someone who has done something wrong/lied about something you often see an over the top quite aggressive denial – and these people can be the most convincing as they seem so convinced themselves of their innocence. It is the truthful people who tend to take a step back, think about what you are accusing them of to ensure that they are not in the wrong before plainly saying so and doing so with rationality and passiveness.

    The problem here is the “we” bit that kairofocus uses. There is no “we” in evolutionary “science”. This is outside of ID because the problem with ID is you are left with the question of “Who is the designer?”. If ID is true, than there must be a designer and that is of supreme importance to find out. So for me personally, it is clear that this designer is in fact the God of the Bible and when you study that God you realise that He makes it abundantly clear that humans will always try to find a way to remove God and bring in false religion. Either man will try and adopt a different kind of god based on their own conceptions and need for a god (note, such a god always relies on a works-based-salvation for acceptance, compared with the God of the Bible that tells us salvation can only occur through faith and grace, not through our own works) or simply deny God’s existence. Denial of God though is not enough for mankind’s mind – there is a space there needed to be filled and man will believe the most absurd things as long as it satisfies that need. Evolution even in its most ridiculous moments then satisfies that need and even more so appeals to man’s arrogance as it also give the impression of intelligence and man being his own god which is why it is so appealing, even more so than other false religions.

    Evolution is where man can be god, and man is god. You are god because you have worked out life (and it is oh so unimpressive as it is accidental and random), and you are god because you are the most evolved (the product of random chance yet you can be non-random in your actions and thoughts, therefore, a god). Your need for a god is fulfilled but most importantly, what you do, say, think – all these things in life are completely up to you without consequence. Man has always sought out a justification to absolve responsibility (even the much disputed first few chapters in the Bible say this from the beginning – Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, take it literally or not – the message is the same). Evolution is the height of absolving oneself of responsibility and is not new – man has been doing this for 1000s of years and will continue to do so.

    So what is the point of my inane pseudo-ID pro-Christian ramblings?! That I do not believe that this is simply a case of changing dogma, that it is a case of advancing “one funeral at a time” but rather much like BA77 alludes to, a case of the majority of human hearts in their desire to live outside the need for God. No amount of evidence will ever change that need.

  24. 24
    rich says:

    Hi KF!

    I see the UPB asserted a lot in these sort of discussions, and I understand it to be “the probabilistic resources of the known universe at this age”, but I can’t help but feel we’ve not moved on from Hoyle’s ‘tornado in a junkyard’, though. Can we work through an actual FSCO/I example? Otherwise critics will simply retort that you’re trying to wrap “looks designed to me” in technical terminology to give it a veneer of science.

    Thanks!

  25. 25
    StephenB says:

    Jerry:

    ID comes across as part of this old time religion. I know it has nothing to do with that but it is intertwined with religion. Just look at the comments here by pro ID people.

    It would be more accurate to say that, for some people, ID seems intertwined with religion. However, those who believe that way do not normally come up with this idea on their own. It certainly cannot be inferred from the ID arguments. On the contrary, it trickles down from the media, from academia, and from the government. Judge John Jones, for example, used the power of the state to discredit ID by institutionalizing the false claim that ID “depends on” (as opposed to fact that ID is “consistent with”) religion. This false claim does, indeed, trickle down into skulls full of mush who cannot distinguish motives from methods.

    On the UD front, I would estimate that 80 to 90% of the posts are scientifically based and the remainder are philosophically/theologically based. However. there is a good reason why philosophy and religion enter into the discussion. In fact, most of the errors of our adversaries stem from their failure to interpret evidence in a rational way and from their proclivity to inject religion into the discussion. Philosophical and theological errors cannot be addressed on the basis of scientific evidence.

    When a Darwinist starts arguing that “something can come from nothing,” or that “God would not have done it that way,” science has left the building. We either address their bad philosophical arguments for what they are or else we let them get by with it. Those are our two choices. It will not do to keep saying “lets look at the evidence” when, in fact, they are already misinterpreting and distorting that same evidence through a faulty reasoning process designed to camouflage unfettered ideology. Sometimes, you have to take an axe to the root of the tree.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Rich: I ask you again to address the issue raised in the OP. This is not at all the level of Hoyle’s rhetorical flourish, 500 – 1,000 bits is 72 – 143 characters of ASCII information, something that is pretty modest for a controller program, much less the string for a nodes and arcs coding of a designed object such as an AutoCAD DWG file has. And, frankly, Hoyle UNDER-estimated the challenge at OOL, for the humblest living cell is something no Jumbo Jet has ever pretended to be, a kinematic self-replicating automaton, per von Neumann’s discussion. So far; it seems you are inadvertently demonstrating the problem BA77 highlighted, and that you are bluffing using talking points on matters you lack the technical basis to address. Of course, you are welcome to show this estimate wrong, by simply answering to the FSCO/I issue cogently and substantially. KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    SB: Good to see you here, and yes I think you are spot on. KF

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, will do so. Today, I confess, my further posting is on what happened 100 years ago today, with a focus on 97 years ago today also, cf here. My heart is heavy with other things, including echoes of those catastrophic events in our time — those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to relive its worst chapters. (And yes, that is one of my motivations for addressing the design issue.) KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    SA,

    serious thoughts too.

    Oh yes, as no one else specifically took it up, I think I need to point out something regarding an altogether too commonly seen attitude Jerry all too accurately described, starting from AmHD:

    su·per·sti·tion (spr-stshn)
    n.
    1. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.
    2.
    a. A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance.
    b. A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality.
    c. Idolatry.
    [Middle English supersticion, from Old French superstition, from Latin superstiti, superstitin-, from superstes, superstit-, standing over; see st- in Indo-European roots.]

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    Forgive my frankness: anyone who is so foolish as to imagine that a design inference on FSCO/I or an informed theistic worldview, or adherence to the Judaeo-Christian tradition are manifestations of “superstition” is manifesting a graceless sophomoric bigotry and irresponsibility and needs to learn a little humility and intellectual honesty.

    A is A.

    The time is long since past to put such sophomoric folly behind.

    Let us now proceed on a more reasonable basis, to a discussion that is at minimum informed by a modicum of sound understanding of the dictionary and the history of ideas.

    KF

    PS: For a few first steps in response to such arrogant folly, cf here on.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr J, the issue of worldview bias is important. KF

  31. 31
    Querius says:

    These are all great observations.

    What I’d suggest is that both ID or HA (“Hopeful Allele”) are paradigms, a set of assumptions.

    ID – We assume that the biological things we observe must have a purpose, or might have become broken over time. We also assume that allele frequency changes in response to natural selection.

    HA – We assume that the biological things we observe are all vestiges of the past, some are defunct “fossil” alleles, and some are currently operating, possibly transitioning to a better adapted form. We also assume that new alleles are constantly being generated through mutation, and are subject to natural selection.

    Any assumptions beyond these paradigms that related to the existence, purposes, or nature of God is either philosophical speculation, ideology, or religious belief.

    The result of chosing one of these paradigms over another determines what we investigate. For example, we might not investigate “junk” DNA if one’s paradigm is HA, but would dig deeper if one’s paradigm is ID.

    -Q

  32. 32
    Axel says:

    For materialists, logic and the question of whether ID is illusory or real, are context-dependent. They do not subscribe to the notion that you cannot have your own facts.

    If a certain fact should present an unattractive appearance to them, why, said appearance must remain just that: merely an appearance, and not a reality; in a quantum-epistemological superposition, so-to-speak. Collapse of the wave function will remain verboten.

  33. 33
    rich says:

    Hi KF.

    I believe that the issue in the OP was people holding dogmatically to viewpoints. I’m quite willing to examine methodologies and evidence, and be persuaded.

    Next, “matters you lack the technical basis to address”. Please, be better than that. I’m not sniping at your credentials or competence, please extend the same basic courtesy to others.

    I do find your statement “And, frankly, Hoyle UNDER-estimated the challenge at OOL, for the humblest living cell is something no Jumbo Jet has ever pretended to be, a kinematic self-replicating automaton, per von Neumann’s discussion” empirically fascinating, though. May I infer from that you believe the humblest living cell has more FCSI/O than a Jumbo Jet?

    Thanks,
    Rich

  34. 34
    Axel says:

    Dawkins should be nominated for a Nobel prize for his conception and pioneering of quantum epistemology; ‘spooky, phenomenological epistemology from a distance’, as Albert might have put it; in popular parlance, the subtle, intuitive field of discriminating between appearances and reality.

  35. 35
    Axel says:

    I think the phrase, ‘spooky phenomenological epistemology from a distance, as Albert might have put it’ doesn’t fit.

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    I have a hypothesis.

    Atheists prefer stumbling around in the dark because of the awesome sense of wonder they derive when they finally do manage to stumble across something.

  37. 37
    Mung says:

    I have an alternative hypothesis.

    When an atheist stumbling around in the dark finally does manage to stumble across something, she can with great pride and self-justification proclaim that she then has proof that she wasn’t really stumbling around in the dark after all.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    podcast – Michael Behe: Vindication for ‘The Edge of Evolution’
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....1_38-07_00
    Dr. Michael Behe talks with Casey Luskin about recent findings that support his argument in The Edge of Evolution. Dr. Behe explains why Chloroquine, a drug that treats malaria, presents a good opportunity to study the limits of random mutation and natural selection, and how his conclusions inspired so much backlash–including misrepresentation of his argument–from his critics.

  39. 39
    anthropic says:

    kf 15, Thanks for the welcome. I am a long time follower of ID, beginning in the 1980s with Denton’s Evolution, A Theory in Crisis. Over time I’ve become convinced that the modern neo-Darwinian synthesis is seriously deficient, especially when it comes to macroevolution.

    My original response to jerry was succinct because I thought the points I made had been made here many times before. I was summarizing and synthesizing with a view to discussion of the worldview implications. As many here have also experienced, I find that the biggest obstacle to ID acceptance is metaphysical, not scientific.

    I was fortunate enough to be on the recent Alaska Discovery cruise and my head is still buzzing with concepts like “design triangulation” (Paul Nelson). Fascinating stuff!

    What I found equally interesting, though, is Stephen Meyer’s remarks about the direction of Discovery’s Science and Culture research. He believes that the basic argument against neo-Darwinism has been won in the peer-reviewed literature, though not in the popular literature such as Cosmos. He based this on recent articles by people like Koonin and Shapiro, plus the formation of the Third Way group. The math is simply overwhelming standard evolutionary explanations.

    Meyer said ID proponents should focus more on using design principles to elucidate biological systems and guide research efforts. In other words, the negative argument has taken hold against evolution, so now is the time to make more positive arguments for design.

    Paul Nelson, I think, made the point that while the other side has the power, prestige, and money, ID has something even more powerful: truth. Eventually, it will win out. I hope he’s right!

    PS Re the comment about atheists liking the dark, John Lennox had an apt comment. Asked to reply to Stephen Hawking’s statement that faith in God is for people who are afraid of the dark, Lennox replied, “Atheism is for people who are afraid of the light!” 🙂

  40. 40
    jerry says:

    It would be more accurate to say that, for some people, ID seems intertwined with religion. However, those who believe that way do not normally come up with this idea on their own. It certainly cannot be inferred from the ID arguments. On the contrary, it trickles down from the media, from academia, and from the government.

    I am not sure I agree with that. Many here believe they are intertwined as evidence from the comments. Religion comes up quickly on many threads. About 40-50% of comments are about religious or philosophical topics. People seem to relish the religious/philosophical OPs. So what are casual observers supposed to think who only know what people are talking about here? I have seen a few of them on other sites talking about their experience here just reading the site. Then there is science from the YEC perspective. This is frequently discussed here and when it is it lends credence that ID is a religiously motivated movement.

    I agree that it doesn’t come from official ID arguments but on UD, the arguments often drift very rapidly into other areas. I did a very brief and rough estimate of science vs philosophical/religious comments during July. Over 40% are on religion, morality or materialism. RDFish helps generate lots of inane comments in this area.

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    I was fortunate enough to be on the recent Alaska Discovery cruise and my head is still buzzing with concepts like “design triangulation” (Paul Nelson). Fascinating stuff!

    Sounds like it was very interesting. When was it? I assume there will be another one next year.

  42. 42
    StephenB says:

    Jerry

    I am not sure I agree with that. Many here believe they are intertwined as evidence from the comments. Religion comes up quickly on many threads. About 40-50% of comments are about religious or philosophical topics. People seem to relish the religious/philosophical OPs.

    I don’t think there is anyone here who doesn’t know the difference between ID science and Christian apologetics. You could make the case that a small minority (certainly not 40 to 50%) of UD commenters use the former in the service of the latter, but that doesn’t mean that ID’s methods are intertwined with religion. That is simply a non-sequitor.

    So what are casual observers supposed to think who only know what people are talking about here? I have seen a few of them on other sites talking about their experience here just reading the site. Then there is science from the YEC perspective. This is frequently discussed here and when it is it lends credence that ID is a religiously motivated movement.

    That is a totally different argument. I suspect that the majority of ID enthusiasts (and YEC proponents, for that matter) are, indeed, motivated by their commitment to Christianity, just as I suspect that the majority of Darwinists are motivated by their commitment to atheism, just as I suspect that the majority of Christian Darwinists are motivated by their desire to be popular with their peers. Meaning no disrespect, but I think you are conflating the what (ID’s paradigms) with the why (the reason ID proponents get out of bed).

    ID’s “motives,” whatever you think they might be, have absolutely nothing to do with ID’s methods, which in turn, have absolutely nothing to do with religion. It is essential to make these distinctions. If readers come here and form the wrong impression because they are too disengaged to read the FAQ, then I don’t think their opinions deserve to be taken seriously.

    I agree that it doesn’t come from official ID arguments but on UD, the arguments often drift very rapidly into other areas. I did a very brief and rough estimate of science vs philosophical/religious comments during July. Over 40% are on religion, morality or materialism. RDFish helps generate lots of inane comments in this area.

    In my judgment, this is a skewed analysis because RDFish always hangs in there long enough to generate and provoke hundreds of comments. Do the same thing for the month of August and I’ll bet you get a different result (unless RDF decides to participate in another marathon). It’s a necessary burden that comes with the freedom UD grants to its most dedicated adversaries. Just because we must spend a lot of time refuting their nonsensical arguments, it doesn’t follow that this it the subject matter we would prefer to discuss.

    In any case, there is no reason to believe that those unrealistically long threads are the primary influence on onlookers who are forming their first impression. It seems more likely that they would seek out their natural interests and observe the large number of threads devoted to science versus the small number of threads devoted to religion/philosophy.

  43. 43
    wallstreeter43 says:

    For most of my life until I was 41-42 years of age I was a theistic evolutionist. Most of my relatives are theistic evolutionists as we are mostly Catholic. I left evolution not for theological reasons but because some of its most grandiose claims simply aren’t there.

    I wasn’t just a supporter of evolution . I was a passionate supporter of evolution. I was the kind of nerd that knew almost every animal from the different periods and as soon as I walked into my brothers house or any of my relatives or friends I would bring my walking with dvd’s (I had them all) in and everyone but my nephews and younger relatives would leave lol.

    I argued on the side of evolution on certain forums.

    That all started to change when I saw a video (cant recall the name) which showed different scientists starting to question some claims made my evolution. I naturally laughed at first but because im very curious by nature I watched it anyways. Behe was there making claims like irreducible complexity, and then the fossil record showing that transitionary fossils made large leaps in information.

    I went to bed that night thinking “could all this be right?, and if so why the heck wouldn’t biologist tell us this or at least be skeptical of this.” You have to see this from my mindset. i was educated in college and took quite a few biology courses , and most of my relatives and friends believed in evolution. This ID stuff was a shock to my system.

    This ID stuff was curdling ion the back of my mind while I still held a pro evolution stance, but that changed in a big way when I first watched the Stephen Meyer signature in the cell video (I love video presentation more then book reading as I had done enough of that in my life), and what Meyer said in that video made absolutely perfect sense not just from a scientific standpoint but from a logical standpoint as well.

    My relatives and friends started to see me showing them links from ID sites and articles. I started to familiarize myself with the ID arguments. They thought (and some still do) that I went off the deep end. Most of them thought that us Catholics are supposed to tow the line and be good little theistic evolutionists, but ive never been good at being a conformist. Truth was more important to me then fitting in.

    It was the specified complex information within the nucleotide base arrangments within DNA from Stephen Meyer’s video that just snapped me away from evolution and here I am ever since.

    For me it was never a theological problem believing in evolution. I left because of the evidence, or better yet , Lack of eviodence.

  44. 44
    anthropic says:

    Jerry 41, it really was quite a trip. Great lectures by John Lennox, Ray Brohlin, Paul Nelson, John West, and Stephen Meyer. And Alaska is the one place in the world where I love to cruise. Glacier Bay, ziplining in the rainforest above Ketchikan, fishing in Sitka, high tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria — just special.

    One thing I got from this trip is that leading ID proponents aren’t just smart & well educated, they are genuinely good people. Nobody was too important to talk with ordinary people such as myself, and a warm, friendly atmosphere was maintained throughout.

    I think they got some very positive feedback and may well do it again. At least, that’s what John West seemed to indicate. Whether that will be next year I don’t know.

    Of course, my daughter and I now have filthy colds, which frequently happens after cruises no matter how many times you sanitize your hands. But it was worth it!

  45. 45
    Dr JDD says:

    Jerry – this is inevitable though. I largely agree with Stephen here and his exquisite analysis. However I would go further. The problem is with the inquisitive human mind is that on the matters of ID the question never stops there.

    That is to say, ID as a science posits the evidence for life’s origin is best explained through a form of design that must be from intelligence. This is obviously in contrast to naturalistic Darwinism that maintains life arises from immaterial matter through random chance and the product of obscene lengths of time.

    The Darwinist then is happy due to accepting that material gives rise to life, that material must have done it somehow, from simple to complex. The original details are not needed as greatly as there is a “mechanism” described. However the Darwinist fails to follow this through to understand that they actually have no overriding mechanism, as where did the material things come from? The Big Bang may be a theory as to how they appear ultimately in this time-space, however you still do not have a mechanistic origin of matter and the universe. The multiverse attempts to address this but again this is not mechanistic (and does not answer the question what generates “universes” and hence matter and material things). So ultimately, the Darwinist can pretend that it is all ok and fits within the framework of having a mechanism for life that they can comprehend. Therefore they are satisfied.

    Thus when one considers ID, it is of a virtual impossibility to the normal, rational human mind to stop at the idea that a form of intelligence designed life. That is completely and utterly unsatisfactory to most normal human minds, even more so those of the scientific persuasion and those seeking answers to life’s big questions (hence why they are on the internet searching for forums and answers and have an interest in this discussion).

    Thus it is virtually intellectually impossible to have discussions about just ID and only that without going to the most natural and logical next question – who is the designer and how did they do it?

    So you say that at UD a large proportion of discussions end up being religious or about God rather than the “science” but I ask you how to avoid that? If nothing more, it is impossible to avoid when every time there is a suggestion that something is not from a common ancestor or is not the product of mindless random mutation, the very first challenge to that (usually from a Darwinist) is “if they didn’t come from a common life ancestor how did they arise?”.  To then address that from a theological perspective is no different to answering the anthropic principle by merely postulating that there must be near infinite number of universes out there.

    So it is supremely difficult, near impossible to follow through any discussion about ID without treading into the territory that examines the designer. As many here would agree the most plausible explanation is given by the Judeo-Christian God, hence why that “religious undertone” often comes through.

    Finally, you say:

    Then there is science from the YEC perspective. This is frequently discussed here and when it is it lends credence that ID is a religiously motivated movement.

    This defines the problem – as soon as anything is questioned as it should be in a scientific setting, it is labelled as religiously motivated and instantly dismissed. An example like I said above – we should be asking the questions about ages and soft-bodied preservation but as soon as we do, people just say, “There is a YEC with an agenda” yet I am asking about the evidence for how soft-bodied tissues can be maintained over 10’s of millions of years in strata that are supposedly deposited in a uniformitarian manner. Failure to engage in this matter is pseudoscience, rather than the asking of the question being religious. This is why so few people in the atheistic/evolutionary camp ask the questions that give any credence to the “religious” camp – Derek Ager and his views on catastrophism versus uniformitarianism is an example of that (largely ignored due to the idea that it gives weight to YEC’s).

    So right there is an indication that atheism and a naturalistic worldview impacts on how evidence is interpreted just as much as one’s religion. The only difference is atheism is shrouded in the word science so much that when you question it, you are considered unscientific. Atheism has been pushed to be the default of a scientist, which is ironic considering modern science was founded on quite the opposite.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Rich: Pardon, but if you read beyond the clips, or just glance at an infographic and video, you will see that the issue is in the context of evidence and the inductive logic of inference to best explanation. And, comment 3 is in effect a footnote that refers to discussions over time here and elsewhere. That is the focal matter: there is an attitude problem in the face of serious evidence and logic questions, which on years of exchanges, is a persistent problem. In that context, sorry to hurt feelings, but your behaviour of repeatedly making superficial dismissive talking points while dodging the evidentiary issues you have been explicitly invited to address seems to inadvertently illustrate the problem. I again invite you to speak to the evidentiary and logical points. You do not have to respond to that, but repeated resort to talking points while dodging the material substance does tend to support the explanation that you have not got more than talking points in your quiver. Pardon if that comes across strongly, but it is informed by years of dealing with consistent patterns of behaviour in these exchanges. KF

    PS: Go look up the von Neumann kinematic self replicator and the studies made on what would be required to build one by NASA c turn of 80s IIRC. The Jumbo Jet is not in the same class of machine as the humblest living cell. Which was the point. BTW, the genome size actually grossly underestimates the information in such a cell, the complex organisation involved is also info rich [think, reducing to an AutoCAD drawing file], and behind is the further implication of sophisticated molecular nanotech.

    PPS: I should also note “open to be persuaded” is not good enough. The challenge on the table is warrant, and you too have epistemic duties of care in the face of evidence. You can start from the challenge of accounting for FSCO/I, including codes, algorithms and associated molecular nanotech execution machines that come as islands of function in AA sequence space, in light of the implications of searches of large config spaces.

  47. 47
    Axel says:

    A fascinating post, Dr DD, as you seem to have put your finger and addressed some seminal questions, misunderstood, wilfully or otherwise by the atheists.

    However, more often than not, Jerry’s perception notwithstanding, it is querulous and fearful atheists who customarily bewail the potential of ID to leave the ‘mother and father’ of all questions hanging in the air… ‘Oooh errr… Pass me the smelling salts….

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr J, SB, Jerry, Anthropic, etc etc:

    Very interesting perspectives.

    One thing perpetually stirs me — where does FSCO/I come from, on what grounds. I think this is foundational, and the way one deals with it shapes all else. So far, on the direct observations by the literal billions and the config space blind search analysis, design is the candidate to beat. And to make that inference is induction, not “superstition” or some other loaded term.

    However, if one is indoctrinated in a materialism dominated age and is locked into a reigning orthodoxy, one can be easily tempted to refuse to address substance and find an excuse to dismiss.

    On phil matters the issue that keeps coming up is that logic and reasoning themselves are in the stakes, with a side-order of brain tissue vs minds. I find it astonishing that ever so many today find it hard to see that to think we must recognise distinctions (which are credibly real) from which a world partition W = {A | ~A} drops out and immediately, the SETs LOI, LNC, LEM. Stir in a weak form PSR and we see imposs/poss being and of poss beings, contingent and necessary. Cause is a direct corollary of contingent possible beings once one asks, why in some and not in other possible worlds. Where also, quantum theorists rely on all this to do Q-mech and as a body physics can no more saw off the branch on which we all sit to be rational than any other discipline can.

    I find it interesting, too that as easily documented fact the design theorists from 1982 or so on, have consistently accepted that evidence of design in the world of life we observe here on our home planet — the only cell based life we observe so far — does not by itself implicate an extracosmic designer; only to be consistently smeared as stealth creationists by people who obviously do not take duties of care to truth and fairness seriously. But, on the issue of cosmological fine tuning — led initially by a lifelong agnostic (Sir Fred Hoyle) — the inference to a cosmos design put up job . . . which is directly relevant to an extracosmic designer . . . is typically at best a secondary matter and often studiously avoided by objectors.

    When it does come up, we find stuff about relabelling quantum foams as “nothing” or stuff on multiverses that fails to adequately address local fine tuning of cosmos parameters and laws etc, and usually does not adequately examine absence of observation. Let me put that in plain words: materialistic speculative phil done while dressed in a lab coat is phil not sci. Crossing over into phil opens up a huge can of worms, which guaranteed, leaves evolutionary materialism squirming and gasping for warrant.

    I think we need to refocus the issue: where does FSCO/I come from, in light of the search space challenge. Until that is squarely faced, all else is majoring on minors.

    And, RTH, EL et al, I intend to get back on that topic again and again until a serious answer is made. Remember, a config space blind sampling challenge is not the same issue as, oh you don’t have an exact probability value. You don’t need that to understand a resource constrained needle in haystack search that is blind and what it predictably ends up in finding.

    As in, clutching at straws takes on a whole new meaning.

    KF

  49. 49
    Axel says:

    It was never a major issue with me, but like wallstreeter33, I was converted from a belief in theistic evolution to ‘common or garden’ (of Eden) Creationism by reading the posts of the brain-boxes on here.

    There seems to be quite a chasm between the exalted level of their intelligence and that of atheism’s finest.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel:

    Actually, I disagree. The issue is not intelligence, there is plenty of that around on all sides. The issue is that we have a reigning materialist orthodoxy that is now being challenged to address its warrant, and is not coming up trumps.

    Unfortunately, this whole issue because it is close to worldviews is not left to discussions on merits but has become a football in the middle of a grim assault by ruthless spin doctors dressed up in lab coats; hence snide accusations like “Creationists in cheap tuxedos,” and clever twisting of history and legal issues etc.

    All of which remind me uncomfortably of the Marxists of a generation ago . . . who looked and fought pretty tough and were quite clever, educated and full of seemingly unassailable talking points for most people, until their ship sank under them. Then, they went out and got new ships and are back in different guises — I doubt it is a coincidence that it is a KGB Colonel in charge over in Russia, and a trained Alinskyite agitator in Washington DC. Nor should we overlook that the watermelon environmentalist phenomenon is real.

    So, while Marx had some valid points and the socialists on the whole had a better sensitivity to the cry of the poor, the sheer power of economics driven by Kondratiev long wave technology transformation was decisive across the 1980’s . . . building on what the Moon Shot programme developed across the 60’s . . . and history is not going back to classic marxism.

    But a lot of fallacies still remain persuasive, even while we still have not got within a mile of breaking through that sobering observation, the poor you have with you always.

    I think Pareto still has a lot to teach us on welfare, and we need to think how to balance ever so many things. My heart is sobered and saddened by what happened when the survivors from the trenches went home in Britain, France, Germany and Russia.

    In that setting, my take on the lab coat clad evo mat reigning orthodoxy in the academy and halls of influence and power is that they are leading us on a lemming-like march of folly, and it will unravel soon enough. But, at what sobering cost I shudder to think, even as last evening I made our family do a moment of silence in the dark in memory of August 4, 1914 — which 99% of people here have simply forgotten about or never even learned; sad sad sad.

    Lions led by donkeys is not wholly true or fair but it has a sobering bite, and I think we are again going down a similar road as we allow a self-refuting lab coat clad scheme of thought that is inherently amoral to erode our ability to think and to act collectively on the manifest public good in good time to head off catastrophe after catastrophe.

    Where, BTW, one of the reasons for evo mat rage is that they do not have a cogent answer to the two points: this system is self refuting and inescapably irrational, and it has in it no foundational IS capable of bearing the weight of OUGHT in a world where it is patent that we are morally governed beings. Where also, there is but one serious candidate to be such a grounding IS: the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being and the root of reality.

    Which is as compelling a reason to believe in such a God as any other, though patently it does not stand alone as such a reason. Frankly on these alone, we have reason to tell materialists: until you answer to these issues cogently — no rhetorical tricks, question-begging, a priori impositions by methodological back doors, no diversions, side tracks and no ad hominem laced strawman tactics — you are not even ready to go on the field of comparative difficulties as a serious alternative, never mind the lab coats.

    KF

  51. 51
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I agree that it doesn’t come from official ID arguments but on UD, the arguments often drift very rapidly into other areas. I did a very brief and rough estimate of science vs philosophical/religious comments during July. Over 40% are on religion, morality or materialism. RDFish helps generate lots of inane comments in this area.

    Debates on ID science require opposition. Every day there are several science-specific news items posted here, but they don’t generate comments because there’s nothing to debate. We’re already convinced. UD has lost a lot of opposition over the years — for a variety of reasons.
    So, where there are debates, they’re in-house or on topics that still attract some anti-ID sentiment, and these are the hot-button areas of morality or atheism.

    This comment from anthropic @#39 explains a lot also:

    What I found equally interesting, though, is Stephen Meyer’s remarks about the direction of Discovery’s Science and Culture research. He believes that the basic argument against neo-Darwinism has been won in the peer-reviewed literature, though not in the popular literature such as Cosmos. He based this on recent articles by people like Koonin and Shapiro, plus the formation of the Third Way group. The math is simply overwhelming standard evolutionary explanations.

    The debate against neo-Darwinism is over. We’re only going to be dealing with the last hold-outs like Dawkins, Coyne and Myers — and the general public who still think Darwinism is relevant. But that’s not where ID science can make any progress.

    A good example is RD Fish who is anti-Darwin but also opposed to ID. It’s like the Third Way group. They will need the positive, scientific case for ID.

  52. 52
    jerry says:

    KF,

    The OP is about why we have not convinced others. I tried to give you reasons why and it has turned into why we are right in our beliefs not why they do not believe. My assessment is that the educated do not care a rat’s rear end about the issue. It does not impact their lives in any way they see. They also exhibit the reasons I bring up.

    For example, I just came from a weekend wedding reception in Rhode Island where the average education except for the children was about a master’s degree. Everybody was having fun but I bet if you started a conversation with anyone about evolution or its implication with any of them away from the wedding, they would have looked at you like you had three heads and was some kind of weirdo. I have done it about a dozen times over the years and each time, I get the same reaction. You are looked at as if you are a nut. And I view myself as one of the more rational on this site.

    I do not even discuss it with my children and they all know what I believe and they are well educated. This is what you are dealing with. Everyone gets exposed to Darwin in school and the superficial nature of the presentation is overwhelming. It convinced the elite in the 19th century and the elite accept it today without a second thought. Opposition to it is immediately tied into Young Earth Creationism and irrationality as opposed to the extreme rationality exhibited here by you and many of the ID proponents.

    So we can bemoan all the supposed irrationality that exists with the educated but it is real and hard to deal with. Here is an example from a past thread with Allen MacNeill who has been one of the more reasonable anti-ID people to come here:

    You wrote:

    “The problem as I see it is not getting enough variation, but getting enough original, novel, innovative variation.”

    That was the point to my list of 47 mechanisms for generating phenotypic variation. Several of the mechanisms listed are capable of producing as much genetic variation as there are elementary particles in the known universe, while others (such as whole genome fusion) are capable of producing novel genetic combinations equivalent to the “hybridization” of the Encyclopedia Brittanica and the collected works of Anthony Trollope.

    In other words, the “engines of variation” are more than up to the task of generating anything that could conceivably be of use to a living organism (plus an immensely larger amount of useless variation).

    As to the question of whether any of the mechanisms in my list can produce “new” information, the answer is “yes”, so long as one recognizes that what really matters is the production of new phenotypic variation. As I have already pointed out, the exclusive concentration on genetic variation on the part of both evolutionary biologists (EBers) and IDers has until very recently blinded us to the tremendous potential of other mechanisms that produce the same effects (see Jablonka and Lamb/Evolution in Four Dimensions for a complete discussion).

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-177256

    The only thing we really argue about in evolution is the origin of new alleles and here Allen says it is a done deal. I know there are other things but if proponents of naturalistic evolution won the day on this, UD and ID would fade much further into the background where it currently resides.

    I am not sure how it will end, it must end somewhere but it will be with the educated non-elite. Those are the people I spent the weekend with. Right now ID is not on their radar scope and if it does come up as a blip, it is associated with irrationality not rationality.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry:

    Pardon, but the OP is on the attitude problem in the face of pivotal evidence. That’s why I made sure to highlight a summary of a key infographic and a video in which Meyer makes the point that typically the merits are being dodged by objectors.

    I am pretty sure we will not persuade ever so many people, but the interesting issue is, why in the face of the issue on the merits.

    Perhaps I am old fashioned to say this, but I think there is such a thing as an individual duty of care to face evidence and come to terms with evident truth regardless of what is the ideology of the day. In my day, that was Marxism, when I was a student, and I openly stood up to the marxists . . . eventually, all they could do was to threaten me and try to turn a crowd on me.

    Backfired.

    And in that regard the most remarkable thing about this thread is the utter silence on FSCO/I and the inference to design in that light. If there were ironclad rebuttals the usual champions of the anti-ID cause would be here blazing away with full 15″ broadsides on rapid fire. The silence on the pivotal merits is indeed confirming the point Meyer made to Anthropic et al on that cruise . . . the gig is up on the merits, THERE IS NO EVOLUTIONARY MATERIALIST MECHANISM THAT ADEQUATELY — PER CANONS OF INDUCTIVE REASONING — ACCOUNTS FOR THE FUNCTIONALLY SPECIFIC COMPLEX ORGANISATION AND ASSOCIATED INFORMATION IN CELL BASED LIFE.

    The only empirically and analytically credible causal explanation is design; not, design of the gaps but design as empirically and analytically well warranted cause, familiar from our own experience of the world manifested in a reliable sign.

    And, if I am wrong on this, let us simply hear the answer from the Darwinists and fellow travellers on the merits.

    KF

  54. 54
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Atheists prefer stumbling around in the dark because of the awesome sense of wonder they derive when they finally do manage to stumble across something.

    They like the darkness. Then, whatever they find supposedly “sheds light” on things. But that’s a problem because if they shed too much light, they won’t be in the darkness anymore. So, the best things they can find will make the darkness darker. Their friends will give the highest praise to those kinds of discoveries.

    Any discovery that actually sheds light on the truth about reality is considered an embarrassment. If they stumble into that they have to apologize and make sure to cover it back up again.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Everybody was having fun but I bet if you started a conversation with anyone about evolution or its implication with any of them away from the wedding, they would have looked at you like you had three heads and was some kind of weirdo. I have done it about a dozen times over the years and each time, I get the same reaction. You are looked at as if you are a nut.

    LOL – agreed. I've tried to gently open up conversations like that with similar people and that's the reaction I got. I learned to avoid it.

    Academia has this topic locked-down very tightly. Non-biologists will hear that evolutionary theory offers a very high degree of certainty. ID is thought of as something like horoscopes or tarot card reading if they have even heard of it at all.

  56. 56
    anthropic says:

    Jerry 52, you make some excellent points. One of the central problems we face is that the vast majority of people have a very superficial level of knowledge about evolution. Thus, they have no clue that there is even a debate. At most they’ve heard that you must believe in rational science or irrational religion.

    On the cruise I mentioned to my son-in-law about the presentation on how cetaceans cool their testes to keep their sperm viable, a big task for something that keeps them inside the body. A special system pumps blood up to the fin, where it is cooled, and then down to the testes. Remarkable, and, of course necessary to build in the putative transition from land critter to sea critter.

    His response was a dismissive, “well, of course they have such a system, otherwise they wouldn’t survive!” For him, the fact that neo-Darwinism explains survival of the fittest means it also explains arrival of the fittest. He doesn’t doubt the creative powers of evolution, no matter how outlandish the claims may be, because he already has an explanation at hand.

    We have a long long way to go…

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry & SA: You are describing the manifestations of an entrenched prejudice, one that remains “acceptable” as it fits the agenda of the key power elites. And ironically the projection of irrationality is in fact a turnabout fallacy, especially given that evolutionary materialism is demonstrably self referentially incoherent. But in an era that prides itself on non-conformism and anti-elitism, the deference to the lab coat clad evolutionary materialist ideologues in the academy is obvious. KF

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let’s remind ourselves from JBS Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. ]

    zip, zip, zip . . . craaack!

  59. 59
    Silver Asiatic says:

    And ironically the projection of irrationality is in fact a turnabout fallacy, especially given that evolutionary materialism is demonstrably self referentially incoherent.

    Interesting point. Self-referential because it can’t appeal to an external standard for validation. Incoherent because categories of truth and falsehood have utility only as a survival advantage and are therefore relative and arbitrary.

  60. 60
    jerry says:

    I believe it is in his book, “Losing Ground” that Charles Murray describes how societies are influenced by hidden elites. They are well known to the ruling class in Washington and other power centers but not to the general public. They set the agenda for the War on a Poverty in the 1960’s which led to many of the economic and social debacles that followed because of government planning.

    Similarly we are influenced as a society by similar elites on evolution. Here it is the school systems that are influenced and the result is the attitudes of those at the wedding reception I was at or the people I tried to engage over the years.

    My guess is that we are on a Titanic, headed for some iceberg and it will only be the collision that will make people reevaluate the world. Let me give an example. In 1930 someone wrote a book about the most remarkable decade of the 20th century, called “Only Yesterday.” It was birds eye view of the 1920’s from about as close as you can get.

    One amazing observation was that women’s dresses went from barely showing the leg at the ankle in 1920 to where dresses were above the knee by 1927 and women were drinking and smoking in public. This represented the quickest social change in the history of mankind. But then came the depression and people became very conservative again. And that attitude persisted for several decades.

    It might take a similar reevaluation before materialism gets a hard look. Right now the elite and those just below them are thriving and there is no reason to examine alternatives closely. Charles Murray also wrote in a recent book how the US and other Western countries are stratifying along educational and economic means. The higher level of this stratification are the ones who have to be convinced. But these are the most influenced by the hidden elites.

  61. 61
    Axel says:

    Interesting post, KF. Your caliphate warnings seems increasingly well-founded, don’t they? I expect the US has plans for them, not to put too fine a point on it.

    Well, I think it was a combination of the two, KF. Sound assumptions, after all ratify the aptitude of a person’s intelligence, don’t they?

    It would be no good having the extraordinary technical intelligence of you, Cornelius, Vincent and several others (the sight of which often leaves me dumbfounded), if your fundamental assumptions disembogued from a stream and then a river of folly, into an ocean of ever greater folly, as very much tends to obtain with our simian, materialist friends. That intelligence, that mind, would end up more like a trip-wire than a steel trap, wouldn’t it?

    As regards the poor being always with us, I think it is dangerous not to view it in its context. All Christ was saying, I believe, was that, while the debt we owe of justice and charity to the poor always presses on us, we cannot stop the day-to-day functioning of the world to exclusively concentrate on it. We’d still have to feed ourselves and our families, hold birthday parties and give each other presents, and so on.

    St Basil remarks that we shouldn’t drape the interior of our church with sumptuous curtains/drapes and other opulent paraphernalia, when we see Christ cold and shivering outside the church, ostensibly, in the person of a beggar, any more than we should bow to a statue of a ruler, when in the rulers living presence. He’d think he was being mocked.

    But Basil then went on to say, care for the destitute, living Christ first, and then ornament the church as ornately and beautifully as possible. However, Basil was merely reiterating the scriptural truth that we must love our neighbour whom we can see, or any expression of love for the God we cannot see, will be devoid of all value in god’s eyes.

    In the gospel incident, however, Mary Magdalene was honouring the God, the Christ, she DID see – before her eyes, and in his own person. Destitute or not, the reality of our own identity in Christ resides precisely in HIS own indwelling Spirit within us. He is all in all.

    Who was Judas or anyone else to suggest that Mary Magdalene would not have been and would not continue to be as generous to Christ in the poor as she was to him in his own person as the incarnate God; mutatis mutandis, in the sense that the incarnation of Christ, the Son of God, and his acceptance of torture and death for us all was a one-off occurrence, and merited very generous and special gifts, her large very costly jar of nard, and her washing his feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair.

    Any thoughts now on the caliphate business, KF?

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel, it is grim, and yes we face two tidal waves, one within our civilisation, the other from IslamISM, of which ISIS/IS is only the most obvious manifestation. 100 years to the day from WWI began, we have not learned. KF

    PS: Yes, there is a due balance to life and we should try to meet the needs of those in our families and communities and help in the larger world. Energy, biotech, ubiquitous computing, nanotech, More that I don’t remember offhand waiting on clients. We need to build a better future but are ever so prone to forget the past.

  63. 63
    wd400 says:

    With all these dark muttering about “materialism” and atheism being an enemy: have any of you stopped to wonder why so many religious people accept evolutionary biology.

    Wide spread opposition to evolution is only really a phenomenon in the US and Turkey among developed nations, so why do so many religious people in other cultures have little problem with the idea?

  64. 64
    jerry says:

    Wide spread opposition to evolution is only really a phenomenon in the US and Turkey among developed nations, so why do so many religious people in other cultures have little problem with the idea?

    Two reasons, first, they do not understand the issues. I have debated them in several places. Their understanding of the real issues is non-existent. They understand the basic presentation of naturalistic evolution and since there is no other mechanism except natural selection proffered, they accept it. They have no conception that natural selection is bogus as a source of innovation.

    Second, many have a commitment to a naturalistic approach for two reasons, (1) it illustrates the effort of an all powerful God who could set everything in motion from the beginning and (2) somehow they rationalize that it lets this all powerful God off the hook for natural evil. This last is silly but many point to it.

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Recent news item …

    Indeed, as reported by the UK’s Guardian; Half of Britons do not believe in evolution, survey finds (Riazat Butt, February 1, 2009 AD) and Teach both evolution and creationism say 54% of Britons (Jessica Shepherd, October 25, 2009 AD).

    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....-evolution

  66. 66
    wd400 says:

    Yes, I know, but that article is terrible writing on top of bad reporting of top of a pretty average survey. You can see the full report here:

    campaigndirector.moodia.com/Client/Theos/Files/FaithandDarwin.pdf

    In which it is reveled less than 20% of respondents felt evolution had little or not support (many of the results seem contradictory — but that’s largely about how poorly the questions where framed).

  67. 67
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Jerry @64:

    Their understanding of the real issues is non-existent.

    So, if someone has a thorough understanding of the issues and has come to a logical and rational conclusion that these issues are not significant, how would you categorize ths? How come I get the feeling that you would simply conclude that they don’t have a thorough understanding of he issues?

  68. 68
    Silver Asiatic says:

    That’s an interesting report. I didn’t read all of it but I think I got enough to conclude that there’s a lot of confusion about evolution in the UK. It could be a problem with the survey but I think the existence of this group aimed at “Rescuing Darwin” as well as the difficulty that anybody has in defining how a religious/evolutionary interface actually works leaves the public confused.

    To answer your question about religious people and evolution, they take the theistic evolution point of view. But defining theistic evolution is a difficult challenge. The report gives this:

    Theistic Evolution is the idea that evolution is the means that God used for the creation of all living things on earth.

    That’s what the religious people who don’t have a problem with evolution believe. But have they really thought about it? God used a blind, natural process that has no purpose or direction based essentially on the occurrence of random mutations to create all living things?

    It doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s also contradictory to claim that the mutations are both random and also “used by God for the creation of all living things”.

    So, I think the first answer is that religious people don’t really think about their own belief in evolution that much.

    For example, from the same report:

    Intelligent Design is the idea that evolution alone is not enough to explain the
    complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is
    needed at key stages.

    But this is not really different from theistic evolution. Since “God used evolution to create”, then the intervention of a designer was needed in the process.

    The TE could say “God wasn’t needed”.
    But that sounds a lot like this:

    11. Atheistic Evolution is the idea that evolution makes belief in God unnecessary
    and absurd.

    Or they could say that God doesn’t intervene, but how is God necessary and how does “God use evolution to create” without intervening?

    There’s some philosophical sleight-of-hand that people can use to get around those problems, but the average person, or even religious leaders (and even scientists themselves), don’t really think about it to that depth.

    Evolutionary ideas, as presented by mainstream science, are a materialist story of origins. There’s no place for God’s influence. If there was, then God would have to be considered a factor in the process and we know that doesn’t happen.

    I don’t think it’s because people are ignorant either. The real problem is that the evolutionary story is so hopelessly confused that even biologists don’t know what it claims. So people cling to the basic evolutionary claims about mutations and natural selection and fossil evidence and a tree of life where everything fits in its proper place.

    But that story is so twisted by now that even die-hard evolutionists struggle to explain it.

  69. 69
    Axel says:

    wd400 #63

    ‘With all these dark muttering about “materialism” and atheism being an enemy: have any of you stopped to wonder why so many religious people accept evolutionary biology.

    Wide spread opposition to evolution is only really a phenomenon in the US and Turkey among developed nations, so why do so many religious people in other cultures have little problem with the idea?’

    ————–

    Because it doesn’t conflict with mainstream religions, and only scientists are bothered about the science.

    Moreover, the Catholic church would know about the totalitarian grip on employment and funding prospects in Academia that the World, aka materialism exerted even in the first part of the 20th century, when the great ID and deistic/theistic physicists were transforming physics so radically.

    They learnt the power of atheist mendacity from the Galileo affair, and would feel it improper to leave the faith vulnerable to controversies of no direct relevance to the faith.

    God has infinite power and artistry, so He doesn’t need to impress, but, as a matter of fact, if He did, divinely-directed evolution would appear to be a greater tribute to that power and artistry.

    But, present company excepted, most of the bods on here are scientists in good faith, and as such, the issue is of immense importance.

  70. 70
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, excellent points in your post @60. It was worth a second read.

  71. 71
    jerry says:

    So, if someone has a thorough understanding of the issues and has come to a logical and rational conclusion that these issues are not significant, how would you categorize ths?

    But you see they don’t have a thorough understanding. So how can they come to a rational conclusion?

  72. 72
    jerry says:

    Jerry, excellent points

    Thanks. The book is really interesting and not that long and a great snap shot of the 1920’s, Amazing decade. He tried to do the same thing with the 1930’s ten years later but it did not come off as well.

  73. 73
    Acartia_bogart says:

    Jerry:

    But you see they don’t have a thorough understanding. So how can they come to a rational conclusion?

    I rest my case.

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers, observe what is being studiously avoided by objectors, from the OP . . . the actual pivotal evidential issue. KF

  75. 75
    Querius says:

    At the provocation of kairosfocus@26, rich@33 queried:

    May I infer from that you believe the humblest living cell has more FCSI/O than a Jumbo Jet?

    Living cells are not humble. They are extremely busy and preoccupied. In fact, single-celled organisms are downright self-centered and arrogant because they know that they are far more complex than other cells, having gone through many orders of magnitude more evolutionary adaptation and genetic streamlining. They are completely self sufficient, the bearers of the most successful and advanced biology on the planet, and proud of it. 😉

    Silver Asiatic said:

    They like the darkness. Then, whatever they find supposedly “sheds light” on things. But that’s a problem because if they shed too much light, they won’t be in the darkness anymore.

    Beautifully stated! I’d like to add my own observation.

    They like their delusion. Then, whenever, they find shards of evidence, they carefully fit it in to their mosaic, using and discarding the shards as required.

    kairosfocus@74,
    Of course the pivotal evidential issue is being studiously ignored. Facts are boring, and facts wihout a Purpose or Goal are worse than useless—they are Discordant! 😉

    -Q

  76. 76

    “Many influential people in academia simply don’t want Design to be true no matter what evidence . . .”

    I would reformulate this for accuracy:

    “Many people (paradoxically many in academia) simply don’t want Design to be true in spite of irrefutable evidence”

    I think that the time came for us who understand that evolution has no grounding in reality to start giving the proper names to proper things and to strive for clarity.

    In essence the evolution is not even a religion, it is a superstition, a cheap gross mysticism, an invention of confused minds and souls that feel comfort in obscure and dark alleys of imagination and reject truth, light and reality.

    Let’s think about life, animals, insects, birds, mammals and humans.

    It is not that only the 21st century man understands that living organisms are of extreme complexity. That was understood by all generations who cared to think and meditate a little about the miracle of life, to the wonder of a new born being that a lamb, a bird or a child.

    The absolute wonder that presents to us: that from a fecundated seed a full organism grows into a wonderful copy of the body structure of its parent, that the organism learns quickly to fly – for a bird – to walk and talk – for a child is absolutely miraculous for anyone who tried to build with his hands an artifact: a toy, a car, a house, a clock or a computer program. But it is almost equally miraculous for anyone without a hands-on builder/artist (manufacturer of artifacts) experience, but just having a normal mind inclined to contemplation and curiosity.

    And no, you need not be a scientist to comprehend the dimensions and the overwhelming wonder of life. A peasant, a farmer, a factory worker a middle school student understand that life, the pet cat, dog or bird is on an absolutely different reality level than a doll, a car, a computer or a cell phone.

    As William Paley wrote 200 years ago, if we found a watch on the ground that besides its quality of showing accurately the time of day has the ability to produce little watches of its likeness, then we will rightfully be amazed by the skills of the builder of such a watch.

    But as we know that such a watch cannot exist, there are millions of creatures on Earth that exhibit this amazing property: to produce after mating a “baby organism” that, given the care of their parents, will grow to full likeness and to full life abilities of their parents.

    The understanding of the special place of the living creatures in the landscape of our world was never more evident than in the last centuries, last decades and last years – as the biology, anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, medicine, computers, software engineering and nanotechnology science and technology branches made it more and more striking and perplexing.

    The advancement in the last century and more so in the last decades of life sciences, biology, anatomy, cell biology and microbiology, genetics, bioinformatics consistently shows that new discoveries just reveal new and unexpected levels of complexity in the structure, organization and information present in all organisms.

    Let’s contrast the unending levels of complexity of life and living organisms revealed on a continuous basis with the central dogma of the evolution:

    The matter (yes the matter) has the intelligence and creative power that produced life and all its life forms.

    The most advanced scientists, technologists, physicians are not capable of creating life from scratch. They are in many respects far away even in understanding life, its inner workings, its intricate composition of coordinated systems and mechanisms, that together make up an organism.

    It can be stated categorically that the knowledge and creative powers needed to create life from scratch is much beyond the capabilities of the most gifted scientists, engineers and technologists.

    Isn’t then a gross superstition to believe that matter (yes matter with the laws of physics and chemistry and nothing else) was able to achieve the creation of life and the diversification of life?

    Isn’t this a dark mysticism to believe that matter gave birth to life? But as I said, isn’t this the essence of the evolution dogma? Isn’t this statement: “life was created and diversified by matter” the core belief, the credo of the evolutionists?

    Paraphrasing the title of a successful book I can say that “I don’t have enough faith to belief in evolution”.

    Isn’t much more reasonable to presume that life with its myriad forms seen in the millions of species populating the surface, the air and the waters of the Earth has an author of superior, excellent intelligence and creative power?

    Now to the question:

    why many people (many in academia) don’t want design to be true?

    I think the answer given by John Lennox in one of his lectures – may have something to do with the explanation.
    John Lennox received this question from the audience:

    “Isn’t Christianity a delusion and a fairy tale for people afraid of dark?”

    John’s answer is paraphrased below:

    “Isn’t evolution a delusion and a fairy tale for people afraid of light?

  77. 77
    rich says:

    Hi KF,
    Thanks as always for taking the time to write.

    Addressing some of your points, the personal barbs I’ve asked you to refrain from first:

    “I should also note “open to be persuaded” is not good enough” – for me, it is. I’m not here to defend any position, but observe the positive case for design as exemplified by the D-FSCI/O concept.

    “…your behaviour of repeatedly making superficial dismissive talking points…” the intent of all my comments was to advance ID as an empirical endeavor with scientific underpinnings and not have it seen as apologetics or rhetoric. We can certainly go back and revisit them if you doubt this. I do appreciate the English spelling of ‘behaviour’, though!

    I think I’m fairly conversant in the issues and have read / watched the associated material with this post and have been a long time UD lurker. I’m sure any shortcomings on my part will be examined as we move forward.

    Now, if we may, can we return to your statement “And, frankly, Hoyle UNDER-estimated the challenge at OOL, for the humblest living cell is something no Jumbo Jet has ever pretended to be, a kinematic self-replicating automaton, per von Neumann’s discussion” empirically fascinating, though. May I infer from that you believe the humblest living cell has more FCSI/O than a Jumbo Jet?
    Thanks,
    Rich

  78. 78
    jerry says:

    We have some examples here of what reactions there are to logical information when presented. I often wonder why the anti ID people come here. They never win because they have no evidence for their position. What must it be like to be someone who obviously has deep feelings about something and cannot support a position that is essentially to their identity.

    We see similar tactics.

    First, there is the eventual angry rage after periods of politeness. Anyone remember Carl Sachs? There is the variation of this in AVS who starts off angry.

    Then there is the never ending avoidance of direct questions usually accompanied by politeness. Remember Bob O’ who was an evolutionary biologist. There are a couple here who exhibit this behavior.

    There is the continual assertion of claims with no evidence. Remember Allen Fox. What happened to Allen? He was here till recently. Allen eventually understood the basic issue which was the origin of new alleles and would tell Kirk Durston he didn’t know what he was talking about.

    Then there is the quiet exit never to be seen again. Lots of those.

    Of course a few eventually get banned after they become too obnoxious. And receive everlasting acclaim amongst the know nothings.

    Why? We have our own first hand examples that should help us address the basic point of the OP.

  79. 79

    Is the humblest living cell more complex than a Jumbo Jet?

    rich writes at #77:

    Now, if we may, can we return to your statement “And, frankly, Hoyle UNDER-estimated the challenge at OOL, for the humblest living cell is something no Jumbo Jet has ever pretended to be, a kinematic self-replicating automaton, per von Neumann’s discussion” empirically fascinating, though. May I infer from that you believe the humblest living cell has more FCSI/O than a Jumbo Jet?

    And the answers is: yes, Absolutely and significantly more complex.

    One perspective (among others) that led to this answer is the self-replicating capability of this humblest living cell.

    This book: Engineering and the Ultimate has a few chapters that look empirically into how easy or how difficult would be to construct with the most advanced engineering technologies a self-replicating machine.

    The systematic engineering analysis in the book of what would be required to build such a machine leads to the reasoned conclusion that building a concrete, real machinery that will be able to autonomously self-replicate (as the humble cell does) is much beyond the most advanced engineering, scientific and technological capabilities of humankind. And the basic reason is that self-replicating is in essence an hugely complicated task that requires tremendous amounts of organized and structured information as well as sophisticated machinery (automatons) that are able to follow exactly the instructions in processing materials, fabricating parts, manipulating and assembling parts.

    There is no existing human artifact or machinery – being it a Jumbo Jet or anything else – that can compare in complexity with this hypothetical self-replicating machinery – just envisioned in the book – to mimic the known, real self-replicating capability of the most humble cell.

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    Rich: Pardon, but first the complexity of a cell with self replication is qualitatively of a different order from even a 747. Next, please, I described the steps you took above and in effect said, that’s not enough, please be substantial. If you are a long term lurker, you will know that the approach you used is all too familiar. And, kindly re-examine the OP, the status of FSCO/I is not mere rhetoric. KF

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to
    To Model the Simplest Microbe in the World, You Need 128 Computers – July 2012
    Excerpt: Mycoplasma genitalium has one of the smallest genomes of any free-living organism in the world, clocking in at a mere 525 genes. That’s a fraction of the size of even another bacterium like E. coli, which has 4,288 genes.,,,
    The bioengineers, led by Stanford’s Markus Covert, succeeded in modeling the bacterium, and published their work last week in the journal Cell. What’s fascinating is how much horsepower they needed to partially simulate this simple organism. It took a cluster of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to actually generate the data on the 25 categories of molecules that are involved in the cell’s lifecycle processes.,,,
    ,,the depth and breadth of cellular complexity has turned out to be nearly unbelievable, and difficult to manage, even given Moore’s Law. The M. genitalium model required 28 subsystems to be individually modeled and integrated, and many critics of the work have been complaining on Twitter that’s only a fraction of what will eventually be required to consider the simulation realistic.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/tec.....rs/260198/

    Biopolymeric Information – David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8
    “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....2-2-29.pdf

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    correction: the first sentence in the last post. “Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to”. should be deleted from the first line and added to the title of the second citation

  83. 83
    Peter says:

    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

    Thomas Aquinas

    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quo.....ESQBYcy.99

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    Peter: In many minds today, “faith” has been twisted to mean something like a mindless or even delusional adherence to groundless belief without or even in defiance of evidence. Aquinas’ intent would have been shaped by his understanding of the creedal Christian Faith, its core warrant that gives confidence in its truth and trustworthiness, by confidence that we can know . . . which implies rationally ground confidence in . . . the reality of God, and his own personal experience of encounter with and transformation by God. When we read a clip like that, that background — including a c. 4,000 pp unfinished book, Summa Theologica (described as “milk not meat” and as presented “as briefly and clearly as the matter itself may allow”! But Barth weighs in at c. 12,000 pp in his sys theol and a 1,000 pager such as Grudem is a brief intro . . . ) — should be borne in mind. Beyond that, it can be easily shown that every worldview rests on first plausibles taken on trust as grounding a reasonable view, as neither infinite regress nor circularity are acceptable. An example is the self-evident first principles of right reason, which are seen as necessarily so on pain of absurdity but are not subject to proof . . . they are where reasoning (thus, proof as a facet) starts. That leads us to the need for comparative difficulties across worldviews on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power. He who has the faith in the well grounded sense the Angelic Doctor had in mind would indeed require little explanation. To one who poses on absolute skepticism or the like, the life of reason is closed off, as he cannot even take the first self-evident steps that require trust in first principles of right reason; reducing his pose to utter absurdity. KF

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I continue to note want of engagement with the pivotal evidential issue, FSCO/I in the context of a 10^57 [solar system] or 10^80 [observed cosmos] atom, c. 10^17 s scope blind chance and mechanical necessity driven search of config spaces of at least 500 – 1,000 bits. It is utterly implausible that such a blind needle in haystack search will find anything but straw, given resources, blindness and config spaces which are at at least 3.27*10^150 to 1.07*10^301 possibilities. Where also, the very requisite for correctly arranged and coupled well matched components to achieve specific, relevant function confines FSCO/I to narrow, isolated zones in the config spaces. It seems fairly clear that it is an implicit lock-out of the possibility of considering design (the observed source of FSCO/I, e.g. the text of this comment etc in an IT age) imposed through question begging assumptions, methodological rules and pressure to conform to dominant views, that renders the implicit claim that such blind searches are feasible, seem acceptable. KF

  86. 86
    leodp says:

    The answer to BA77’s question may be in selective breeding. Any promising student in science who shows the slightest inclination to see ID behind the design of life will have a hard time getting an advanced degree. Any science professional, especially in life sciences, seriously questioning that natural forces and chance alone can explain all we see will be mocked, shunned and likely denied an living in his field. A university professor showing similar inclinations will be quickly removed from the university gene pool. (Unless they have already received tenure and/or long-time notoriety — and even then they may not be safe)

    This occurred to me while listening to Stephen Meyer talk with Charles Marshall about “Darwin’s Doubt”. Marshall 1. Minimized the difficulty of the task of building new body types and 2. Put the development of Cambrian genetic code back into the pre-Cambrian so the Explosion occurred when with the much simpler flip of a few genetic switches.

    Marshall’s claim, as I understand it, was that the new body-plan code was pre-developed but not implemented to build new bodies until the Cambrian. It was either used for some other purpose or simply unexpressed. But: 1. If unexpressed (in the single-celled animals of the pre-Cambrian) how then could or would this code be selected for? (Unless you can come up with a selective advantage for the same code that produces, say, sexual reproduction and organs in single celled animals) 2. This would also put the development of the new code out of reach of any empirical evidence. (If not expressed, how would we know of its presence? This would seem an unfalsifiable claim). 3. As Meyers pointed out, it is begging the central question of the where the enormous amount of necessary FSCO/I came from. You can’t just move the problem back in time and then simply assume it was solved there. What unintelligent and unpurposeful random or natural process occurring without plan or goal can adequately or even plausibly explain this?

    Why couldn’t Marshall see the problems? This may be due to the selective breeding in the university gene pool. If he were in any way inclined or even able to recognize the challenge presented to naturalistic explanation, he would not be allowed to be a professor at UC Berkeley.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    Leodp: Maybe, the meme pool? KF

  88. 88
    Querius says:

    LOL, kairosfocus. What about mnemonic drift?

    After excluding diversity of biological theory from academia, and preventing the publication of (nearly all) dissenting papers, the power-brokers in the academic community has the temerity to claim that the scientific community is “in agreement” and that there is no “credible” opposition???

    After doing everything in their power to destroy anyone with contrary views to their orthodoxy, why should their claims of consensus and credibility be considered a valid argument for anything?

    -Q

  89. 89
    leodp says:

    KF: Meme pool is better LOL
    Q: I only wish there were more drift in this pool.

    I respect all of you who are academics. But I’m thankful I haven’t had to endure the ideological intolerance you have had to. My career has been in fields where the only truth that counts is that which corresponds to the real world. In the academy false claims survive as long as they correspond with the metaphysical naturalist meme.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    SB:

    I ran back across your comment at 23, and I find it sums up the thread’s pivotal issue . . . and highlights why there is still a refusal by objectors to address the issue of FSCO/I highlighted in the original post:

    for some people, ID seems intertwined with religion. However, those who believe that way do not normally come up with this idea on their own. It certainly cannot be inferred from the ID arguments. On the contrary, it trickles down from the media, from academia, and from the government. Judge John Jones, for example, used the power of the state to discredit ID by institutionalizing the false claim that ID “depends on” (as opposed to fact that ID is “consistent with”) religion. This false claim does, indeed, trickle down into skulls full of mush who cannot distinguish motives from methods.

    On the UD front, I would estimate that 80 to 90% of the posts are scientifically based and the remainder are philosophically/theologically based. However. there is a good reason why philosophy and religion enter into the discussion. In fact, most of the errors of our adversaries stem from their failure to interpret evidence in a rational way and from their proclivity to inject religion into the discussion. Philosophical and theological errors cannot be addressed on the basis of scientific evidence.

    When a Darwinist starts arguing that “something can come from nothing,” or that “God would not have done it that way,” science has left the building. We either address their bad philosophical arguments for what they are or else we let them get by with it. Those are our two choices. It will not do to keep saying “lets look at the evidence” when, in fact, they are already misinterpreting and distorting that same evidence through a faulty reasoning process designed to camouflage unfettered ideology. Sometimes, you have to take an axe to the root of the tree.

    As usual, you are spot on.

    KF

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    Q & Leodp:

    Excellent questions. Force-backed, manipulative ideological conformism and how dare you point to cracks in foundations joined to a “we know best accept what we say — or else” attitude is leading to the intellectual bankruptcy of the academy and civilisation alike.

    This is what Plato warned against when he pointed out that evo mat leads to radical relativism, might makes right thinking and domineering factions, 2350 years ago in The Laws, Bk X . . . and the below is yet another we ignore or distort don’t you dare point out the inconvenient truth and the dates on it, much less the source:

    Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily “scientific” view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors: (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

    [[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT.] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

    A good slice of the rage that is so noticeable is that by pointing out the inherent amorality of evo mat philosophy [even when it grabs and dresses up in a lab coat it is phil not sci] and its radical relativism, when it becomes influential or dominant it opens the door to nihilistic, ruthless domineering factions we are pointing out the elephant in the middle of the room that many would rather not talk about.

    And of course, when we see such factions at work in lab coats, on our TV Screens in the guise of “news” and smart punditry, sitting in Faculty Seminar Rooms [making decisions to lock out or expel those not toeing the Party Line, no matter how talented and promising], University Senates, Court rooms, and Parliaments or Cabinet Secretariats and Government Ministries, we are supposed to shut up and go along quietly as our betters know what’s best.

    We better wake up before it is too late.

    KF

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel:

    Please read here, on Caliphate and related concerns from an Egyptian — I see, now the Kurds are being driven back, BHO is authorising [limited?] air strikes. Note too Ayaan Hirsi Ali here.

    I find it hard to believe how we are acting 100 years after the catastrophe that launched WWI, led to WWII, sparked the Cold war, de facto WWIII, and has reached WWIV, the conflict with IslamISM.

    But then Ibrahim observes — in an undesigned close echo of BA77 in the OP:

    It’s the “elephant in the room” because few things show such remarkable continuity between the past and the present—while still being thoroughly ignored and treated as an aberration by academia, media, and government—as Muslim persecution of Christians. If you look at the true history recorded by both Muslims and Christians during the Medieval era—one Muslim historian tells of how one caliph destroyed 30,000 churches—you will see that the persecution and subjugation of Christians is an ironclad fact of history.

    Today, not only do we see Christians persecuted from one end of the Islamic world to the other, but we see the same exact patterns of persecution that Christians experienced centuries ago, including hostility for and restrictions on churches, hostility for the crucifix and other Christian symbols and icons, restrictions on Christian worship and freedom. (I discuss this in more depth here and here.) As for academia and media, they reject modern day persecution of Christians for a plethora of reasons—not least because they tend to be ideologically anti-Christian—but primarily because it contradicts their entire narrative, specifically the notion that, far from being persecuted, Christians themselves are the most intolerant groups, and that Muslims are “misunderstood others” who have been oppressed by the West.

    These themes are today so predominant in the West that few can believe they are almost entirely fabricated—but so they are, according to both history and current events, both of which are naturally suppressed or distorted by academia and media in the interest of keeping their ideologically-charged narrative alive . . . .

    Along with the aforementioned fallacy of projecting Christian/Western worldviews onto a distinctly different religion/civilization like Islam, secular Westerners almost always try to understand Islam through secular and materialistic paradigms—the only paradigms they themselves are familiar with. Thus the mainstream interpretation in the West is that “radical Islam” is a byproduct of various sorts of material discontent (economic, political, social) and has little to do with the religion itself.

    Westerners apparently think this way because the secular, Western experience has been such that people respond with violence primarily when they feel they are politically, economically, or socially oppressed. While true that many non-Western peoples fit into this paradigm, the fact is, the ideologies of Islam have the intrinsic capacity to prompt Muslims to violence and intolerance vis-à-vis the “other,” irrespective of grievances.

    Conceptually, then, it must be first understood that many of the problematic ideologies associated with radical Islam trace directly back to Sharia, Islamic law. Jihad as offensive warfare to subjugate “infidels” (non-Muslims); mandated social discrimination against non-Muslim minorities living in Muslim nations (the regulations governing ahl al-dhimma); the obligation to hate non-Muslims—even if a Muslim is married to one—all of these are clearly defined aspects that have historically been part of Islam’s worldview and not “open to interpretation.”

    For example, the obligation to wage expansionist jihad is as “open to interpretation” as the obligation to perform the Five Pillars of Islam, including praying and fasting. The same textual sources and methods of jurisprudence that have made it clear that prayer and fasting are obligatory, have also made it clear that jihad is also obligatory; the only difference is that, whereas prayer and fasting is an “individual” duty, jihad is understood to be a “communal” duty (a fard kifaya). All these intricacies must be understood before Westerners can understand Islam on its own terms.

    Ideas — especially those that shape ideologies and worldviews — have consequences. Especially, dominant, false, blinding ideologies.

    KF

  93. 93
    leodp says:

    KF — Your quote from Plato is amazing. The striking similarity to today’s situation leads me to suspect that this way of thinking has a common source; a, ‘common ancestor’, if you will.

  94. 94
    leodp says:

    As they still do today, in 1000 BC skeptics mocked, “Where is your God?”
    David, the second king of Israel replied, “When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, what are we that a being so great would even think of us… much less, care about us?”
    When he looked at the heavens, he saw the same things we see today. For some it’s just physics and chance. For others it is amazing that nature has been given true beauty, and that we have been given the ability to perceive and enjoy it. And we look for who to thank: (original video, taken over the town where I live. 1.5 minutes.) http://vimeo.com/100252962

  95. 95
    rich says:

    Hi KF, InVivoVeritas and BA77,
    Thanks all for taking the time to write.

    I feel we’re assembling a good team to study information content.

    KF suggest that “complexity of a cell with self replication is qualitatively of a different order from even a 747” what is one to infer from this? It has a different type of FSCO/I? That FSCO/I isn’t a universal measure? KF, is FSCO/I mathematically calculable?

    BA77 points out that there may be some joy in counting genes of simple organisms. I’d suggest that base pairs may be better as they appear to be the lowest unit of measurement (and genes can vary in length)?

    “ In my column for the Times, I wrote about the record-holding tiny genome, belonging to a microbe called Tremblaya. Its genome is a mere 139,000 base pairs. “

    http://phenomena.nationalgeogr.....shrinking/

    Let’s compare that to a 747:

    “The Everett facility is an assembly plant rather than a factory. It has its own reservoir to contain runoff and a dedicated rail spur to enable 16,000 suppliers and subcontractors to deliver their six million parts and components to the 747 assembly line”

    http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/747/

    And I suspect some of those parts are made up of subcomponents.

    So in one sense, a 747 is more complicated than a humble cell (and I suspect if evolution is true the earliest cells were much more humble)

    InVivoVeritas did a great job of describing the complexity of the cell but wasn’t much help (to me) in measuring it. I think that’s what we need to make ID scientific.

    Also doing some research I don’t think we should be using “the simplistic cell” as the start of life. Some Evolutionists subscribe to the RNA world and that would I think require much less information. If we’re arguing that a cell was created de novo, we won’t be taken seriously.

  96. 96
    anthropic says:

    KF 92

    Robert Reilly has written an excellent book about Islamic theology, The Closing of the Muslim Mind. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks that Allah and Yahweh are just two different words for the same entity.

  97. 97
    Axel says:

    Thanks for that gen. on Islam, KF. Dreadful situation for those poor Christians holed up on that mountain, and Obama only prepared to drop food and water, rather than tackle the ISIS on their behalf, and take them out of there.

    Seemingly, it seems highly probable that the ISIS people are proxies for US troops, whose only purpose is to cause trouble all over the ME, to make things difficult for the BRICS countries to trade there.

    The video linked below gets interesting at about the 0.35 mark

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZHiArPVBAg

  98. 98
    leodp says:

    KF: As for academia and media, they reject modern day persecution of Christians for a plethora of reasons—not least because they tend to be ideologically anti-Christian—but primarily because it contradicts their entire narrative, specifically the notion that, far from being persecuted, Christians themselves are the most intolerant groups, and that Muslims are ‘misunderstood’ others” who have been oppressed by the West.

    These themes are today so predominant in the West that few can believe they are almost entirely fabricated—but so they are, according to both history and current events, both of which are naturally suppressed or distorted by academia and media in the interest of keeping their ideologically-charged narrative alive . . .”

    …. at this writing a 40K remnant of the formerly 1.5 million Christian population of Iraq hide, dehydrated and starving from people who brag of beheading, crucifying, forced conversion. They are fulfilling quite literally Islamic doctrine of what to do with ‘infidels’.

    Even if begrudgingly admitted, these horrors are often excused or minimized as the revenge of the oppressed. Or lumped together with all religion… “you see where belief in God leads?”. Ignoring that America was 99 percent Christian when it enshrined historically unheard of religious tolerance in the Constitution. That same tolerance is now (strangely) being used to try to erase all reminders of Christianity from the public square.

    The meme ignores that modern science sprang from a Christian base, and not by mere coincidence. Christianity teaches that nature is not God, but the creation of a rational God for his pleasure and our benefit. Therefore nature could be expected to be coherent and rational and study of it fruitful. The early scientific greats such as Newton, Kepler, Pascal, Galileo, Faraday, Mendel, etc. were all soundly Christian. Galileo wrote more on Christian theology than he did science. Newton remarked that if he had no more evidence than his thumb, he would know that there is a God and Creator of all. Another said that science was, “thinking God’s thoughts after him”.

    We’ve come far from that Christian base now. But if chance were the author of nature, there’d be no reason to expect it to be rational. Or precise. There’d be no reason to expect to find FSCO/I.

  99. 99
    rich says:

    Hmmm.. having thought further the 747 comparison isn’t fair because the base pairs are the plans to make the thing, not the thing itself.

    So 139,000 base pairs = (at 2 bits per base pair) = 278000 bits = about 34k!

    I don’t think we could squeeze the entire plans for a 747 down into 34K? I suspect the avionics software alone is much bigger than that…

  100. 100
    jerry says:

    Rich,

    Thank you very much for your comments. Are you Carl Zimmer who wrote the National Geographic article?

    I was fascinated by the various microbes described. I would be interested in just what the basic proteins that are necessary actually do.

  101. 101
    Barry Arrington says:

    Rich, stop pretending to be an ID proponent. It is unseemly.

  102. 102
    rich says:

    Hi Jerry.
    No, I’m not Carl Zimmer, but I’ve read his blog the loom from time to time.

    I was googling to try and find the least information required for self replication and found this article:

    http://www.wired.com/2009/01/replicatingrna/

    A very quick skim seems to suggest only 30 bits was necessary?

    UD Editor: Rich, the article you cite has nothing to do with a replicating cell. It is hard to tell whether you were being intentionally deceptive or just sloppy. I lean toward the former, because one can’t get past the first paragraph without learning the article is not about cells. The question is, what is your motive for deception?

  103. 103
    Barry Arrington says:

    Rich @ 100. I can’t tell if you are being serious. Are you really suggesting that cellular life is so simple that the information necessary for a fully functioning cell is only 34k? Do you have any evidence for that other than your obviously flawed back of the envelope calculation there?

  104. 104
    rich says:

    Barry, I’m trying to push ID forward as a scientific endeavor. Do you have a problem with that?

    UD Editor: liar. How was your deceptive citation to the Wired article pushing ID forward?

  105. 105
    rich says:

    Okay, here’s my thoughts, As always I welcome comments.

    Arguing against anything but the simplest self replicator that is subject to heritable variation is a weak argument. The ID argument for me is there is a set of parts that must have come together all at once without a biological precursor to form the first life, and this event is statically impossible. I don’t think evolutionists think that is ‘the humble / simple cell’, given their support of “The RNA” world.

    Is this all new to you?

  106. 106
    bornagain77 says:

    “Although the tiniest living things known to science, bacterial cells, are incredibly small (10^-12 grams), each is a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of elegantly designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world”. Michael Denton, “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis,” 1986, p. 250.

    The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines
    “We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today,,, Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”
    Bruce Alberts: Former President, National Academy of Sciences;

    “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must first magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is 20 kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would see then would be an object of unparalleled complexity,…we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.”
    Michael Denton PhD., Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, pg.328

    “Each cell with genetic information, from bacteria to man, consists of artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction and a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours”
    Michael Denton PhD. Evolution: A Theory In Crisis pg. 329

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION
    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that,, E. coli contain(s) over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.
    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....hist12.htm

    Moleular Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures. https://docs.google.com/document/d/18hO1bteXTPOqQtd2H12PI5wFFoTjwg8uBAU5N0nEQIE/edit

    3-D Structure Of Human Genome: Fractal Globule Architecture Packs Two Meters Of DNA Into Each Cell – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: the information density in the nucleus is trillions of times higher than on a computer chip — while avoiding the knots and tangles that might interfere with the cell’s ability to read its own genome. Moreover, the DNA can easily unfold and refold during gene activation, gene repression, and cell replication.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142957.htm

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 2012
    Excerpt: “This is bad news. Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.”,,,
    Even with shortcuts like averaging, “any possible technological advance is overwhelmed by the relentless growth of interactions among all components of the system,” Koch said. “It is not feasible to understand evolved organisms by exhaustively cataloging all interactions in a comprehensive, bottom-up manner.” He described the concept of the Complexity Brake:,,,
    “Allen and Greaves recently introduced the metaphor of a “complexity brake” for the observation that fields as diverse as neuroscience and cancer biology have proven resistant to facile predictions about imminent practical applications. Improved technologies for observing and probing biological systems has only led to discoveries of further levels of complexity that need to be dealt with. This process has not yet run its course. We are far away from understanding cell biology, genomes, or brains, and turning this understanding into practical knowledge.”,,,
    Why can’t we use the same principles that describe technological systems? Koch explained that in an airplane or computer, the parts are “purposefully built in such a manner to limit the interactions among the parts to a small number.” The limited interactome of human-designed systems avoids the complexity brake. “None of this is true for nervous systems.”,,,
    to read more go here:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

  107. 107
    jerry says:

    While it certainly isn’t a cell and it isn’t life, I found the Wired article about self replicating molecules very interesting. That makes two very interesting articles that Rich linked to. Neither are threatening to ID.

    Thank you Rich.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    Rich:

    I clearly identified the challenge that puts cells and 747s in utterly different classes (types of things), kinematic von Neumann self replication — as has been recognised and responded to by others above.

    FSCO/I is present in both, and is separately an index of design for reasons easily assessed from the OP . . . which you have studiously avoided addressing.

    (Kindly, note: FSCO/I is a commonly observed phenomenon, in organised systems reducible to the sort of nodes and arcs framework commonly seen in say DWG files used by AutoCAD, and the sort of string, coded data structures that we use for text, program statements etc. The latter is WLOG as a 3-d arrangement such as an Abu Cardinal fishing reel is reducible to the sort of special string structure that a DWG file exemplifies. The point being, that FSCO/I is a threshold metric, an index of the point whee it is no longer plausible to argue that the haystack [= config space] is credibly searchable on accessible atomic and temporal resources by blind chance and mechanical necessity. 500 – 1,000 bits suffices. As such the side track you raised and wish to keep pulling away on, is an irrelevancy. Sufficient has been said to answer any reasonable concern, and the point now is to return focus tot he pivotal matter and the linked focus of the OP. Where, it is a well known objector tactic to engage on tangents and lead away from the focal issue. Kindly examine again the small infographic in the OP.)

    For “completeness” I note that a vNSR facility implicates:

    (i) an underlying storable code to record the required information to create not only (a) the primary functional machine . . . but also (b) the self-replicating facility; and, that (c) can express step by step finite procedures for using the facility [–> algorithms];

    (ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with

    (iii) a tape reader [[called “the constructor” by von Neumann] that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions; thus controlling:

    (iv) position-arm implementing machines with “tool tips” controlled by the tape reader and used to carry out the action-steps for the specified replication (including replication of the constructor itself); backed up by

    (v) either:

    (1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

    (2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that as a part of their function, can provide required specific materials/parts and forms of energy for the replication facility, by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

    Also, parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating machine with an integral von Neumann universal constructor.

    That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicating machine to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and self-replicating functionality ceases: the self-replicating machine is irreducibly complex (IC).].

    This irreducible complexity is compounded by the requirement (i) for codes, requiring organised symbols and rules to specify both steps to take and formats for storing information, and (v) for appropriate material resources and energy sources

    These, we know how to analyse but to implement is an utterly different story. 747’s (etc) are just not there yet.

    But, plainly a vNSR implicates FSCO/I, which in the case of the cell is obvious from its functionally specific organisation and the use of string info storage structures, in D/RNA. The Jumbo jet incorporates a lot of functionally specific complex organisation, and these days with heavy involvement of computers, any number of string data structures. Both exhibit copious FSCO/I and are not plausibly explicable on successful blind chance and mechanical necessity based needle in haystack searches.

    The only empirically known, analytically plausible causal factor that adequately accounts for such FSCO/I is design.

    KF

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    Leodp and Anthropic: Sobering developments in Iraq etc indeed — but with the pattern of ideological blindness and denial of reality we have been seeing, don’t hold your breath. An accessible source with very good information is here, and I have found this Nehls-Eric book hosted for free download in that site, very helpful, even eye-opening. The vol 2 on debate points and counterpoints here is also helpful. There is much more, I find this site the best one stop shop on the overall issues. Current geostrategic challenges are another matter, my boil-down is, do not underestimate that IslamISM in its various guises is a religiously motivated global conquest ideology, which has achieved state power in several ME states in our time, and is at nuke threshold in Iran. The documented intent is to conquer the world across this century, and that includes per the Black Flag Army Hadith, a rise of an all-conquering army from the direction of Khorasan (E Iran and beyond), a spreading to the Mesopotamia-Syria zone, conquest of Jews and Jerusalem, the Gharqad tree hadith massacre of Jews that appears in Clause 7 of the Hamas Covenant, and the domination of the world to the E and the W from there by the Mahdi figure who will be in the Black Flag army, and will be accompanied by Isa . . . an Islamic latterday figure who is their version of an eschatological Jesus (with little relevance to the one we find in the NT). KF

    PS: Those pondering sad and even horrific current events and perplexed by media reports will find the articles here, here, here useful. I find the Plato’s Cave style gap between the dominant media and education system narratives on ever so many topics and the evident realities that come out if one takes just a little while to investigate beyond the headlined narratives, gaps that seem to be no-go zones — other than a drumbeat of dismissive quips and talking points — all too soberly revealing.

    PPS: Follow events here and contrast coverage with what is in the major news, then ask yourself about the Plato’s cave shadow show game.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    Axel: ISIS is its own agent, whatever convenient temporary alliances it had, cf here on what a Caliphate is about. As at now, Iraq is a three-way geostrategic contest: Iran seeking to re-create a complete Persian arc from India to Syria, the renewed Ottomans, and the Sunni Caliphate backed by Sunni money (and likely the Muslim Brotherhood or the like). Whichever way it goes, trouble. And remember the Obama Administration was trying to align with Iran as a counter to ISIS once it pushed deep into Iraq. KF

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    Rich: FSCO/I is what you see every day when you handle computer files 1,753 kBytes etc. ; a byte normally being 8 bits and a computer “kilo” being 1024, etc. Functionally specific info is measured as bits doing a job dependent on specific config, not just carrying capacity as Shannon info measures — a material difference. DNA runs at about 2 bits per base (a bit less on avg as there is redundancy); proteins run at up to 4.32 bits per AA, as we essentially deal with 1 of 20 [not counting oddities], and protein implies folding and functioning. Also, as DWG files show, functional organisation is also measurable in bits per reasonable encoding. If you will, the minimum chain of y/n questions to specify the organisation, what in effect a DWG file tries to do, and why an ASCII coded message runs at 7 bits per character. Once something is specifically functional and is beyond 500 – 1,000 bits, it will fit the criterion above. That may be represented in a simple metric model:

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

    Where, I is the bits measure [using any one of several standard approaches . . . more complex ones factor in redundancies etc], S is a dummy variable default 0, set to 1 on good reason to accept functionally specific, and 500 bits is a complexity threshold relevant to the solar system. KF

  112. 112
    rich says:

    Hi KF!
    I believe I fully understand the concepts above, and I’m excited to calculated the information in things. We’ve identified the probabilistic resources available (hands / cards dealt, dice rolled) but we need to know the likeliness of the event itself to compare the two.

    Barry says above “I can’t tell if you are being serious. Are you really suggesting that cellular life is so simple that the information necessary for a fully functioning cell is only 34k? Do you have any evidence for that other than your obviously flawed back of the envelope calculation there?”

    Please help me understand what is wrong with my math.

    Thanks in advance,
    Rich

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