Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Do You Believe In Evolution?

There has been some discussion about what a politician should say when asked by a reporter, Do you believe in evolution? My response would be: Of course! Everyone with an IQ above room temperature, who isn’t a science denier, knows that it is an established scientific fact, supported by all the evidence, not to mention computer simulations, that random genetic mutations aided by natural selection turned ancient microbes into Mozart in approximately three billion years (that’s about 10^17 seconds). If evolution can do that, it can do anything. Scientists say it. I believe it. That settles it! By the way Mr. reporter, you believe that too, don’t you? Surely you aren’t a science denier.

Philosophical Repugnancy

For me, despite 43 years of indoctrination in atheistic materialism and Darwinian orthodoxy, it was a very simple logical exercise to conclude that living systems are the product of intelligent design. The simplest living cell includes highly sophisticated, functionally integrated information-processing machinery, with error-detection-and-repair algorithms and their implementation. The notion that random errors, whether filtered by natural selection or not, can produce such technology, is a transparently absurd proposition. It’s really just that simple. The great Arthur Eddington once said that, philosophically, the notion of an abrupt beginning to the present order of nature was repugnant (referring to the Big Bang). It might have been philosophically repugnant, but it was true. Only those who find the notion that living systems Read More ›

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Cosmos

“The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” So begins this new offering. I’ve been away from UD for some time, and there is a very simple reason. Trying to convince people, who choose to believe otherwise, that random errors cannot produce complex computer programs, as in living systems, is a hopeless task. The anti-science materialist is a nearly completely lost cause. (I say “nearly” because I am a rare exception.) However, from time to time I check in on the latest attempts of materialists to peddle their irrational wares to easily seduced victims. By the way, if “the cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” wouldn’t that completely invalidate Read More ›

The Naked Truth

I like to reduce stuff to the essentials. I thus propose that the essentials of Darwinian orthodoxy are the following: Shine light on dirt and it can turn into complex information-processing technology, given enough time. Next, introduce random errors into the dirt-to-complex-information-processing technology, and, given enough time, such errors can ultimately turn dirt into Darwin. Really folks, this is the claim of materialist Darwinists, reduced to its fundamental hypothetical claims. It is a quintessential example of naked-emperor syndrome. When presented honestly, as I have done, no reasonable person would accept such transparent nonsense. Yet, many people do. I know why. The alternative of design and purpose would destroy their entire materialistic worldview, which is unacceptable. Reason and evidence are of Read More ›

A Man/Woman-On-Street Survey I Would Love to See

Do you believe in evolution? If so, or if not, what does “evolution” mean, and what are the claims made by those who promote evolution? Do you believe in creation? If so, or if not, what does “creation” mean, and what are the claims made by those who promote creation? Do you believe in intelligent design? If so, or if not, what does “intelligent design” mean, and what are the claims made by those who promote intelligent design? I’m pretty sure that the average person would respond with: I have no idea what are you talking about — I don’t even know what those words mean. Those of us who are involved in this entire discussion (whether ID proponents or Read More ›

Irreducible Complexity Example #123,456 — Water Skippers

When I was a kid, for a weekend getaway, our family used to visit a place in the woods of northern Idaho. A stream flowed through the campsite, and I remember seeing these fascinating insects called water skippers. They moved on the surface of the water on their “feet,” supported by the water’s surface tension. How did these creatures evolve by random mutation and natural selection in a step-by-tiny-step fashion? Did proto-water skippers sink and drown, and then random errors introduced into the proto-water skipper genetic code produce semi-skippers, some of whom drowned and others that eventually skipped without drowning? Which mutations would be required in this process? What is the likelihood of them occurring? How would they work? How Read More ›

All Claims Made as the Result of a Computer Simulation Should be Considered BS, Until Proven Otherwise

No one should give any credence to computer simulations who is not familiar with what they are and what they can do. In my work in aerospace R&D I was recently alerted to a severe problem in a computer simulation. The original simulation said that a mechanical part was half as strong as empirical testing said it was. I triple-checked all the material properties of the part in question, and ran two simulations based on the original model. Both simulations were clearly in error. I then noticed something. The solid finite elements were modeled with four-node tetrahedrons, not ten-node, second-order tetras that would provide the requisite degrees of freedom to make the model work correctly. I realize that what I Read More ›

The Twelve Labors of Hercules: Labor #2 — The Hydra

During the summer between my sixth- and seventh-grade education in public school, I became enamored with Greek mythology, and read the great classic, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. When I entered seventh grade, on the first day of school, our English teacher asked us what books we had read over the summer. I responded with Edith Hamilton’s classic. The Hydra was a hideous serpent-like creature with nine heads who terrorized the population, and its blood was toxic. The worst thing of all was that, as Hercules quickly discovered, once you bashed in or chopped off one the heads, two more instantly grew in its place! Fortunately, Hercules’ trusty charioteer and companion came with a torch and cauterized the Hydra’s severed head stumps Read More ›

Do You Believe In Evolution? — Yes or No

A blast from the past. Have you stopped beating your wife? — Yes or No. These are the kinds of tactics that Darwinists use to disqualify all dissent. This kind of thing should put to shame all in the scientific community who make claim to objective, rational, dispassionate evaluation of evidence. Had I been asked this question I would have responded: Of course I believe in evolution. Living things have changed over time. Only an idiot denies this. However, if “evolution” means that random accidents engineered the most sophisticated information-processing technology ever discovered, in even the simplest living cell — technology so sophisticated and functionally integrated that human engineers marvel at its elegance, error-detection algorithms and repair mechanisms, plus the Read More ›

David Coppedge’s Music

As many UDers know, I was raised as a religiously devout materialistic, Darwinian atheist. Fortunately, I eventually figured out that this stuff was utter nonsense — thanks in great part to the ID movement. My main grasp on non-materialistic reality, all through those hideously depressing years — lost in the depths of Darwinian irrationality — was my love of classical music. In a way, classical music helped save me from the inevitable despair of a Darwinian worldview. David Coppedge, with whom most UD readers should be familiar, turns out to be a superb classical musician. Not only that, he is an orchestrator, and has used digital technology to reproduce many classics. His orchestrations are very imaginative and creative. You won’t Read More ›

The Extraordinary Power of Music (How does Darwinism account for this?)

Music has extraordinary power. When I was a child in the 1950s growing up in a small college town there was only one radio station, KWSU. KWSU only played classical music. Our family had a radio, but no TV in those days, and every evening the bumper music for the nightly news report on KWSU radio was the theme from the third movement of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Whenever I hear that melody I am immediately transported back to my early childhood. I can smell my mom’s cooking; I can feel the joy, knowing my father was about to come home from work. I’m something of an evangelist for classical music, since it has brought me so much joy and reward all Read More ›

Mathematical Darwinian Absurdities

When I was growing up my father (who is the most brilliant scientist I have ever known — he worked on the Manhattan A-bomb project, was the founder and director of an experimental nuclear reactor at Washington State University, and developed the Ph.D. program in chemical physics at WSU) delighted in giving me puzzles to figure out. One in particular I remember: He asked if I would rather be given a million dollars, or be given a penny one day, two pennies the next day, four pennies the next day, and doubled pennies for a month. Of course, I knew it was a trick question, so I did the math. The doubled pennies would be worth 10 million dollars in Read More ›

Scientific Frustration

Something that continues to frustrate me is that Darwinists would like people to believe that their “science” is in the same category as mine and that of my colleagues who are working on the development of hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerators. We must get stuff right. There is accountability. If the thing burns up, is aerodynamically or structurally deficient, and falls apart and goes down in flames, we are proven to be wrong and incompetent. There is no such standard for Darwinists. They just make up stories and call it science. When their theories/stories go down in flames (e.g., junk DNA) they just proclaim victory, that Darwinian theory is still incontrovertible and fully intact, and walk away. It would be as Read More ›

Even IF the Genome is Full of “Junk”

I particularly enjoyed Denyse’s comment here about how, according to some evolutionary theorists — who should be more accurately depicted as evolutionary storytellers — Darwinian evolution programmed us to find Darwinian evolution difficult to believe. This is called science? A much more reasonable explanation is that our minds were programmed to invent computer programs, and to find Darwinism difficult to believe because it makes no rational sense. But I digress from the theme of my post. I enjoyed Jonathan’s presentation about junk DNA at the link provided above. Let us presume that the genome does include junk. What does this have to do with the evidence for design found elsewhere, such as in the highly sophisticated, functionally integrated, information-processing machinery Read More ›