Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Mendel’s Accountant and Joe Felsenstein’s freely downloadable book on Theoretical Population Genetics

Joe Felsenstein is a world class geneticist. Joe is credited with coining the phrase “Muller’s Ratchet” after Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller. Even though Joe is an evolutionist, Joe holds a unique position of being highly regarded by creationists for his work on population genetics. His work on Muller’s ratchet became a pillar of creationist population genetics. Most certainly creationists reject the bulk of his claims on one of his favorite topics, phylogeny, but they have high regard for his works on population genetics. Joe is incredibly generous in making the compilation of his research of 34 years into a freely downloadable textbook for students of population genetics. I can attest to the great effort Joe put into the book Read More ›

Larry almost got it right, but he just can’t turn the corner

In 2013 Larry wrote On Beating Dead Horses

I was reminded of this while reading Salvador Corova’s latest post on Uncommon Descent because he refers to beating dead horses [If not Rupe and Sanford’s presentation (8/6/13), would you believe Wiki? In this case, yes]. I’m not going to make any comments. Read it and weep for the IDiots.

Well, it turned out Larry did make comments in that very same thread. 🙂

Sal begins with …

Evolutionists reluctantly admit most evolution is free of selection and therefore non-Darwinian …

I’ve been trying to teach this to the IDiots for over twenty years. Yet they still insist on referring to evolution as “Darwinism” and they continue to ignore random genetic drift in their attacks on evolution. About 99% of all IDiots have no idea what Sal is talking about. (Sal Cordova doesn’t know either.)

What Sal is saying is that practically all of the mutations being fixed in humans are either neutral or slightly deleterious. That has implications. It strongly suggests that most of our genome is junk.

Not quite, but almost, let me re-write the previous paragraph with errors corrected:
Read More ›

Specifications: detachable, not postdictive, not after-the-fact

Being able to reject chance as an explanation is critical to identifying design. The way to do this is to compare the structure of an artifact against some pattern that can help us rule out chance as an explanation. Sometimes designers can anticipate the knowledge of observers in order to craft designs which can be recognized as designs. They can structure it according to a pre-existing pattern that the supposed observer has in their inventory or some pattern that read more

I’m a Luke Barnes fan even though he would surely be critical of my ideas

Luke Barnes has been mentioned favorably twice at Uncommon Descent. I mentioned him in Nuclear Physicist asks, “Why is PZ Myers so dumb?” and slams Victor Stenger to boot. VJ Torley mentioned him favorably in Is fine tuning a fallacy. I “learned” intro cosmology from Barbara Ryden’s book, but I put “learned” in quotes because compared to Luke I know nothing, both about cosmology and about physics. I admit I had to crawl in order to understand one fraction of Dr. Barne’s paper The Fine Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life which was highly critical of Victor Stenger’s claims. Because of that paper, Luke became an instant celebrity in ID circles like Uncommon Descent. However, Luke recently offered some Read More ›

Panda’s Thumb Richard Hoppe forgot about Humpty Zombie

The fallacious results of the Avida computer simulation were used in the infamous Kitmiller vs. Dover trial to argue in favor of Darwinian evolution. Using the evidence from the Avida simulation and other testimony, Judge Jones ruled that it is illegal to contest Darwinism for all time. Prosecution witness Robert Pennock claimed in sworn testimony that Avida solved the problem of Irreducible Complexity (IC). Unfortunately the incompetent defense team wasn’t privy to later discoveries by me and Richard Hoppe, namely, that Avida offers solutions to the OOL problem and predicts the possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse through cosmic radiation. It would have been read more

Recommending Larry Moran’s textbook without reading it

Larry Moran wrote: If Salvador Cordova can put together an audience of biology students at a reputable university (George Mason?) and get an Intelligent Design Creationist to ask these questions, I’ll be happy to come and answer them. … Some of them are easy to answer. The best answer is “I don’t know.” That is very kind of you Larry. I will even do one better, I will suggest biology students take your classes. Really I don’t think I have to even make that plug, because I’m sure they probably have to take your classes anyway. Many of my professors were openly anti ID and have campaigned against ID, such as James Trefil and Robert Ehrlich. Their anti-ID views did Read More ›

Evidence of natural selection is not evidence against design, the Designer made NS

The ID-friendly version of Natural Selection was pioneered by the creationist Blyth. I have also argued that there is credible evidence that Darwin plagiarized and distorted Blyth’s work. I view Natural Selection as itself a design feature of optimization and search. Whereas Darwinist view natural selection as a mechanism of design, I view natural selection as feature of design. This essay was also partly written to correct and clarify some of my earlier choice of words in Same pattern, different implementations. When we find designs that cannot be implemented via selection, I consider that strong evidence of design. However, finding possible evidence that selection is a feature of a biological system doesn’t automatically imply there is no Designer. In fact, Read More ›

Same pattern, different implementations. One is designed, the other is not designed.

Paper snowflakes: Water (real) snowflakes: Even though the two sets of snowflakes share similar hexagonal patterns, and even though we could envision paper snowflakes having exactly the shapes of those found by Wilson “snowflake” Bentley, paper snowflakes would be regarded as designed even though they share the same pattern as those that arise via natural process. The Hexagonal structure of real snowflakes is expected, even though each pattern is unique. Whereas such patterns are not expected to form spontaneously from paper. The way we determine a paper snowflake is designed (apart from actually seeing the human designer in action) is that the paper snowflake conforms to an independent pattern and is improbable from the behavior of paper left to itself Read More ›

Dawkins’s Vulgarization of Darwinism and Lewontin’s non-answers

“Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism speak of nothing in evolution but an inexorable ascendancy of genes that are selectively superior, while the entire body of technical advance in experimental and theoretical evolutionary genetics of the last fifty years has moved in the direction of emphasizing non-selective forces in evolution… What worries me is that they [non-biologists] may believe what Dawkins and Wilson tell them about evolution.” Richard Lewontin Review of Demon Haunted World But Lewontin is in a bit of a bind. He knows selection cannot be at work in evolution to the extent Dawkins claims, but on the other hand, Lewontin really has never said what those other non-Darwinian mechanisms are except to insist intelligence can’t be one of those Read More ›

Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 2

[cross posted at CEU IDCS, Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 2] Part 1 laid out the claim that most nucleotides in populations cannot as a matter of principle be under strong selection, but must be neutral. MOST certainly does not mean ALL. Clearly some deleterious traits if they appear would be lethal, and conversely in certain contexts like antibiotic and pesticide resistance, some traits can be strongly selected for, but these cases do not speak for most of the rest of the molecules in various species. As one scientist said: Most molecular evolution is neutral. Done. PZ Myers Part 2 will focus on how neutral or nearly neutral traits in small finite populations get “fixed” where the Read More ›

Making up missing links with plaster and body parts from other creatures

If you can’t find a missing link, just make one up with plaster and body parts and put it in museums. I don’t think the deception was deliberate in as much as it was self-deception and they just added plaster to conform a land fossil to look like a whale. The two scientists who found the lion’s share of walking whale fossils essentially created the best fossil proof of evolution using plaster models and drawings and supplied these to museums and science magazines. In each case, they started with incomplete fossils of a land mammal. Whenever a fossil part was missing, they substituted a whale body part (blowholes, fins and flukes) on the skeletal model or skull that they distributed Read More ›

1,177 human orphan genes removed by evolutionists from databases

Here is a case of evolutionary bias causing misrecognition of orphan genes in humans. Orphan genes are presumed protein coding genes that exist in only one species and have such non-similarity to anything in any other species they are called orphans (a play on words of the ORF acroym for Open Reading Frame). This came up in the Nelson-Velasco debate where Velasco said there are 0 orphan genes, and Nelson pointed out the reason some say they are zero is because of their biases. Nelson has been vindicated as I pointed out in New Mechanism of Evouion — POOF Here’s is the proof of this cover up Distinguishing protein-coding and noncoding genes in the human genome: 1. “The remaining 1,177 Read More ›

An ID and creationist underground resource: www.reddit.com/r/creation

Are you an ID proponent, a creationist, a recovering Darwinist wanting to fellowship with your fellow outcasts from the church of Darwin? For the creationists at UD wanting more than just ID but some undiluted creationism with not as much theology and solicitation for money, www.reddit.com/r/creation might be for you. One of UD’s own, JoeCoder, is a moderator there, and he can sign you up if you are sympathetic to ID. This is a private chat room for now, so you won’t have to worry about getting jumped by DarBots. That’s why JoeCoder restricts participation. Many of my recent UD posts were inspired by what JoeCoder posts privately there. I’m mentioning his work because he has supported UD with a Read More ›

Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 1

[cross posted at CEU IDCS Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 1 ] The Darwinian view: Natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, the slightest variations; rejecting those that are bad, preserving and adding up all that are good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers Charles Darwin Software that models the Darwinian view are genetic algorithms like Avida, Tierra, Ev, Steiner, Geometric and Cordova’s remarkable algorithm. Winston Ewert discusses these here. By way of contrast, I expressed my view as: Evolution in the wild slowly lets go of the good, and keeps adding up the bad. Software that models this view is Mendel’s Accountant. This view is also unwittingly modeled in most Read More ›

“Our professors hate you. But…”

We had an experience a couple years ago where some of the Discovery scientists were traveling with one of our supporters. So that night, we were at this cowboy steakhouse feeding the troops. So I jumped in and offered the Discovery Institute credit card to pay for the Discovery Institute scientists, and this young waitress came back with the bill and the credit card. And she looked left and looked right and lowered her voice and said, “Can you tell me what the Discovery Institute is?” Well, I said, we’re a scientific think tank, and we’re investigating the evidence for intelligent design and challenging standard Darwin. She says, “I thought so!” She said, “Our professors hate you.” And then she Read More ›