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Has Darwinism Contributed Less to Science than Alchemy?


On another UD thread there was discussion about an amazing piece of biological molecular machinery and the deficiencies of Darwinian processes to account for it. The bottom line is that Darwinists are looking in the wrong place for an explanation (random variation and natural selection), just as alchemists did when trying to figure out how to transform lead into gold (chemistry doesn’t deal with the nucleus of the atom). They both represent entirely inapplicable explanatory categories for the problems under consideration.

Jonathan Wells has an interesting essay on Darwinism and alchemy.

Here’s the real irony: The alchemists did contribute to the development of modern chemistry. What has Darwinian “theory” contributed to the advancement of the biological sciences?

Jonathan comments:

Of course, there are also significant differences between alchemy and Darwinism. One is that alchemists were self-consciously searching for The Answer; Darwinists think they already have It. Another is that alchemy contributed many insights, materials and tools to the development of modern chemistry; Darwinism has almost nothing to contribute to the development of biology.

I think that Jonathan is much too liberal and generous in his evaluation of the contributions of Darwinian hypotheses to biology. This philosophy has derailed biological science and sent it down a dead-end path. It is a science-stopper.

Tims, If you are still reading I appreciate all your comments about the Pax6 genes though I will admit that I do not understand how these genes work specifically. I know they are associated with eye development and you indicate they are associated with other things. A couple comments that do not require that I be a maven in micro-biology. The Pax 6 genes must have existed before the Cambrian Explosion because of the different phyla that contain them that were well established by then. Also the eye which was present in all its current forms during the Cambrian Explosion was seen in several different phyla. The hypothesis is that there was a common organism prior to the Cambrian Explosion but there is no evidence in any fossil record to indicate such a creature existed even though some things were fossilized prior to the Cambrian. Even if there were some fossils this would be a relatively short geological period of time for all there variations to form from a common organism. The Cambrian Explosion is so contrary to Darwin's gradualism that it makes a joke of it. If something naturalistic happened, it created incredibly different organisms in the whole with no prelude. My second point is that even though Pax6 genes seem to be universally assoicated with eyes, this must be only the very tip of the iceberg. If you have Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box" read his description of how the eye works. No single gene or small set of genes could lay out that complexity and precision. So I speculate that thousands of Sean Carroll's switches must be at work here building this complex network to enable sight. The real complexity of life is not in the genes but the instructions that must exist in the genome to specify how, when and where each gene gets expressed. All this had to happen prior to the Cambrian Explosion, not just in the eye but for several other body systems. It boggles the mind how this could have happened by random events but would not be difficult for a superior intelligence whoever it was. So you can see why ID is very interested in tier 2 and Darwinism or other naturalistic theories have little to offer except speculation and lame explanations such as the ones based on homology. Read how Ken Miller answered how the bacterium flagella came to be if you want to see the type of disingenuous reasoning that passes as science in evolutionary biloogy. jerry
No no Tims, please, do go on. On another thread Denyse pointed out how your kind of tired arguments give the best support for the assertion that you and your kind of misdeosy and misandrosy are bright pieces of the finest material in the patchwork quilt of materialist reductionist thinking which, focused on the moral element of humanity, combines with other equally pretty fabric to create a quilt of such ugliness and rancidity that all we need to do is bait you with a statement about love or faith or another equally intangible quality and watch the dance begin. The worm quirming on a spiritual hook is too distracting for you. You gaze, hypnotized into its twisting syllhouette, unable to resist. And all we have to do is watch you go at it. Why these arguments weren't brought up in Dover, I have no idea. Maybe the legal system has already bought into the mass culture of mass production/ mass consumption. We can genetically engineer a crop so deviod of substance that, before processing with petroleum distillates, (read that hollywood gossip, scientific materialism) we can't even identify the plant it came from. Your arguments create the white bread monocultured world we who understand the importance of faith and morality must learn to avoid at the supermarket of life. Remember, read the labels, buy local produce when possible and for God's sake, buy organic versions of reality. And by all means, since all things exist inextricably with their opposites, continue to go on and on and on and on about your Darwinian facts. You will have created enough periods that the spiritual among us can use them in our sentences. God knows I don't use enough periods. Doug
Tims We do not see this in a form of Macroevolution due to the time needed to observe the multitude of generations necessary to have a significant outcome. There is no empirical evidence this mechanism is capable of unobserved feats the complexity of which is staggeringly greater than a point mutation which causes a prexisting enzyme to break down nylon or muck up the action of an antibiotic. Thus ID and RM+NS are on equal footing and ID shouldn't be held to a higher evidentiary standard. We know one kind of intelligence today can create coded information systems and complex machinery. We don't know what intelligence in the past could have done it. ID is actually ahead of RM+NS in that regard because RM+NS can't be shown to create coded information systems and complex machines by any means today. I further see you persist in using a strawman of intelligent design talking about godheads and demanding an explanation of how they operate. The definition I pointed you to clearly states ID is the science of design detection. It is not about determining design methods. There isn't now nor may there ever be any empirical evidence to indicate how these designs were instantiated. That's true for orthodox evolution and it's true for ID. We know that ways exist (humans in laboratories are becoming quite adept at biochemistry and genetic engineering) but we don't know if that's how it was done in the past. And that is what puts ID ahead of RM+NS because it can't be shown capable of any comparatively complex design. Inferring that something is designed does not require knowing how it was manufactured. You clearly can't accept that so there's really no reason for you to continue here. DaveScot
Tims, I will limit my comments to your comments about OOL for now. Apparently NASA has funded OOL research for a few years and several researchers have ongoing grants. Robert Hazen who has some of the grants has published a recent book on the topic and has a course with the Teaching Company on the topic. After going through both, Hazen is honest in saying that they are no where on the subject. He is a little disingenuous because he never really tells you how complex the problem is and that all they have so far is tidbits. He is optimistic but he has to be or else his grant money would dry up. Life developed fast on earth, soon after water appeared in any great quantities about 3.6 billion years ago. This is amazingly fast given how complex even the simplest life is. This topic was discussed a couple weeks ago here. See the following link: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/the-sound-of-miller-urey-and-prebiotic-chemistry-exploding/ which refers to a Scientific American proposed article by Robert Shapiro in which he puts forth his pet ideas. This article also neglects the complexity of the problems. I suggest you read the Shapiro article and then when you have time, read Robert Hazen's book Genesis. This will bring you up to date on what is known so far and it isn't much. I suggest you also read some ID books on the topic. Try "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories" by Charles Thaxton. It is a classic. To give you a brief absurd example of the complexity involved. Consider all the possible proteins of length 40. These would be small proteins for even the simplest life forms. The number of proteins required for this set of macro molecules would exhaust the entire matter in the universe. If you doubt this, do the math. If we limit the number of amino acids to 39, including the left and right hand versions of those used in life, then we would have approximately 39 to the 40th power of different combinations. Even if my math is off a little this means that the possibilities of one specific simple protein being formed is close to nil. But once some protein is formed and suppose it had some use, you would also need a large subset of the total number of possible proteins that have the capability of doing something useful with each other to form life. How is this to arise from some random process. I can readily conceive of scientists finding a process that may generate some polymers but what is the likelihood that two or more from this enormous number of possible combinations will somehow form a system as yet undefined to lead to life. We are dealing with some huge numbers. You can quibble with my math or exact reasoning all you want or that I used proteins and not some other polymer but the complexity of the issue is immense while the current OOL researchers are fiddling with the very simple and never once admitting to the problem except in some carefully crafted code words. One thing that cuts through all the problems just listed is an intelligent agent. No one doubts that intelligence would be capable of designing life limiting the search to only amino acid combinations with specific properties. For example, do you doubt that humans will be able to do it in another 500 years or less? There are probably many others here who can give a clearer explanation of the problems facing OOL research. We are all ears here for true science but we are also very well aware of the speculative nonsense that poses as science in evolutionary biology. As one researcher said recently, it is the only science where hypotheses or one's imagination are considered as findings. jerry
Tims, I will get back to you later tonight on your comments. Just as a quick comment. I have read Sean Carroll's book on evo devo. My problem with the book is not the devo but there is no mechanism for the evo other than assumptions. That is the basis for the entire debate. What is the mechanism? You mention HGT and I am certainly not an expert on it but there are people here who are knowledgeable and can evaluate if it can actually do anything but transfer already available genetic information to anything other than other bacteria. How much is wishful thinking, how much seems reasonable etc. Back with more later. Thanks for your reply. I hope we both learn something. jerry
Tims Wrote:
How exactly is evolution attacking common sense and decency? The information I provided above was to inform Jerry that he needed to look at published research a little more. To say that evolution has not provided to scientific understanding is a farse. Ask any microbiologist if evolution has helped them understand what they see when bacteria evolves resistance. Ask an immunologist the same for virual replication. Perhaps it would help to have a understanding of biology before making these claims.
Evolution is attacking common sense and decency by undermining the fabric of our superior western values. When we are presented with a world that is totally random, where the cause of life and love and liberty and morality and decency gets boiled down to its parts and the parts get separated from the whole then the parts get addressed in society apart from the whole which allows us to view the Brittany Spears debacle with exactly the same disinterest as homosexual intercourse being simulated on television, the American flag being defacated on during a pro PEACE rally, millions and millions of babies born to unwed and unprepared mothers being aborted every year and equivocating science with moral truth. Are you following me? The implications of darwinism are nihilism. THere is no purpose, there is no point. There is no god. There is no good. There is no bad. There is only pleasure and pain. Our species will simply commit collective suicide. THe effect of chronic depression due toi the fact that nothing matters. You talk about science this and science that. Sure, maybe the evidence points towards your conclusion. But common sense and decency point in the opposite direction. One of the lines in Jurrassic park strikes me as appropriate here. "You spent so much time asking if you can do this that nobody bothered to ask if you should." You have created Frankenstein. Now you are trying to answer its questions as if they were fully appropriate. They are not. The truth of ID can be sensed in the fabric of our being. The fact of ID is of little relevance compared to its truth. Doug
Jerry, I agree with your first paragraph of your post, both sides do talk past each other often, not truly looking at what one another is saying. About the paragraph discussing tier 1. There are only a few primordial chemists and exobiologists that are studying this. The challenge of course is trying to get the correct primordial earth environment correct. So the reason for the disagreement is only due to the lack of research interest in this area. 2nd tier. This makes a lot of sense, organs are extremely complex and are some are very specific to a species. But there has been evidence of organs being common across species and the root of the organ's origin being found in each case of the organism containing the organ, even though the organ may appear in a different form. PAX6 is found in invertebrate through humans contributing to the formation of sensory organs. PAX6 is the most researched and appears as a "master control" gene for the development of eyes and sensory organs, certain neural and epidermal tissues as well as other homologous structures, usually derived from ectodermal tissues. This transcription factor is most famous for its use in the interspecifically induced expression of ectopic eyes and is of medical importance because heterozygous mutants produce a wide spectrum of ocular defects such as Aniridia in humans. PAX6 protein is highly conserved across species, and for instance mouse PAX6 can trigger eye development in Drosophila melanogaster. Genomic organization of the PAX6 locus varies considerably between species, including the number and distribution of exons, cis-regulatory elements, and transcription start sites. The first work on genomic organization was performed in quail, although the picture of the mouse locus is the most complete to date. This consists of 2 confirmed promoters (P0 and P1), 16 exons, and at least 6 enhancers. The 16 confirmed exons are numbered 0 through 13 with the additions of exon α located between exons 4 and 5, and the alternatively spliced exon 5a. Each promoter is associated with its own proximal exon (exon 0 for P0, exon 1 for P1) resulting in transcripts which are alternatively spliced in the 5’ un-translated region. The vertebrate PAX6 locus encodes at least three different protein isoforms, these being the canonical PAX6, PAX6(5a), and PAX6(ΔPD). The canonical PAX6 protein contains an N-terminal paired domain, connected by a linker region to a paired-type homeodomain, and a prolein/serine/threonine (P/S/T)-rich C-terminal domain. The paired domain and paired-type homeodomain each have DNA binding activities, while the P/S/T-rich domain possesses a transactivation function. PAX6(5a) is a product of the alternatively spliced exon 5a resulting in a 14 residue insertion in the paired domain which alters the specificity of this DNA binding activity. The nucleotide sequence corresponding to the linker region encodes a set of three alternative translation start codons from which the third PAX6 isoform originates. Collectively known as the PAX6(ΔPD) or pairedless isoforms, these three gene products all lack a paired domain. The pairedless proteins possess molecular weights of 43, 33, or 32kDa, depending on the particular start codon used. PAX6 transactivation function is attributed to the variable length C-terminal P/S/T-rich domain which stretches to 153 residues in human and mouse proteins. Of the four Drosophila Pax6 orthologues, it is thought that the eyeless (ey) and twin of eyeless (toy) gene products share functional homology with the vertebrate canonical Pax6 isoform, while the eyegone (eyg) and twin of eyegone (toe) gene products share functional homology with the vertebrate Pax6(5a) isoform. As for time mentioned in the tier 2 paragraph, that maybe true. The lifespan of organisms and the environment may have plenty to do with the diversification of life during this time. There is much speculation ranging from low oxygen levels before the Cambrian Explosion to the snow ball earth. Personally until the geochemistry can settle out on the environmental situation of this period anything that TOE could produce would be speculation. The unfortunate situation of TOE is that it relies on environmental stress and without the knowledge of the stress TOE can only provide speculation however when the environmental stress is understood TOE can explain the outcomes. Tier 3 is pretty sound. It is hard to understand the biochemical physiology of a fossil lol. I would agree with your statement of macroevolution light. No need to discuss tier 4. I am sorry about the godhead inference, I should have replaced it with intelligent force. Scientist have a need for labels. I agree that the religious issue does distract from the science. I bring up mostly micro arguments because I am a molecular biologist, I know more of this field and can provide better accounts. If I were a biologist I would be able to answer questions about macroevolution to a finer degree. As far as Modern Synthesis goes horizontal gene transfer is well-known among bacteria and it is only within the past few years that its occurrence has become recognized among higher plants and animals. So the mechanism is possible. See: http://www.cbcb.umd.edu/~salzberg/docs/ScienceLateralTransfer.pdf. There are several more recent publications on the topic as well. I would not say that TOE would be established by pointing to flaws in ID just as I say that ID can not be established by pointing to holes in TOE. I have and will always say that empirical data is needed for establishment. Tims
Dave, I do not believe that ID should be held to a higher standard. I believe it should be held within the same standard. As for RM + NS (I am assuming random mutation plus natural selection) there is plenty of published material about bacteria acquiring immunity to potentially fatal substances in their environment. We do not see this in a form of Macroevolution due to the time needed to observe the multitude of generations necessary to have a significant outcome. Yes, ID should do some empirical research. TOE has had research done, some providing supporting and some providing no supporting data. If there is some empirical research done for ID I would be thankful if you can supply me a link. As for understanding ID, how was my definition different than what is provided on the link from the intelligent design network? "... ID is about IC stating that due to IC it is not physically probable for something to evolve, by natural laws, to this current state and therefore must have been designed by some force." "The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection." "Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the “messages,” and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation." What "Strawman" are you pointing at? Tims
Tims, If you do not agree with anything I said in my analysis of the ID vs. NDE debate, then by all means let me know what it is. I am always interested in improving my understanding of the issues. But two things: First, don't think it is probably due to a lack of understanding of biochemistry. I am certainly not a biochemist but know enough chemistry and biology to understand arguments when they are put forth. Second, don't ever bring up religion or God when making comments about ID. It is a bogus argument and comes from a position of weakness. Religion is the first refuge of Darwinists when things get tough. If you believe that the TOE or whatever it is you want to call it, is good science then defend it. Don't say its detractors are only doing so based on religious beliefs and imply they are ignorant or are against it to satisfy some emotional need. There are many on this website who like nothing better to discuss religion and recite verses from the bible but there are many who think that it is counter productive to do so when discussing science. I believed in Darwin's ideas for evolution for most of my life and got interested when I heard some people were challenging it. Since that time I found there is not one shred of evidence supporting Darwin or the neo Darwin viewpoint that goes beyond micro-evolution. It is interesting that you only bring up micro evolution in your comments. To ID this is ho hum and nothing that is disputed. By the way my views on religion have not changed one bit since I have been following the ID vs. naturalistic evolution arguments. ID has two aspects to it. One is the critical analysis of the science that has been presented to support the various ideas of evolution. The prime targets are Darwin's ideas and the subsequent neo Darwinism called the Modern Synthesis. Neither of these theories makes it past the smell test on other than micro evolution. They include important research and are very useful science for understanding inheritance of genetic disorders and the design of medicines. Hugely important but only trivial when the evolutionary picture is concerned. When they get into the big leagues of evolutionary questions they are a complete bust. If you disagree, then present your side of it and be the first one in the history of science to do so. Many have been asked to do so before now and no one has ponied up to the table with anything but trivia. So give it a shot. We will be polite and willing to listen but remember you have to present something non trivial. The second aspect of ID is the establishment of some criteria for judging whether an event is the result of agency (intelligence) or the result of the laws of nature or chance. It is often a science where the findings are probabilities and as such it is not similar to most other scientific disciplines. I personally am not very interested in it as a scientific discipline but the owner of this site is very much involved in establishing it as legitimate discipline and I hope he succeeds. My main objective is getting Darwinism out of the curriculum in the school systems and getting good science taught. A basic fallacious approach is to establish your TOE because you can point to flaws in the science of ID. It is phony argument and if you had a good theory it would never come up. jerry
Tims, I will respond later since I am on the way out for the rest of the afternoon. One thing is you should keep in mind. We have seen everything and as of yet no one has proposed anything but speculaton on how evolution occurred. Many of the hard core materialists say Darwin's ideas are dead because they don't work. We agree. Be back later jerry
Tims I think ID needs to present some actual research, something that can be tested. Why should ID be held to a higher standard than RM+NS as a macroevolution mechanism? See here for details. P.S. You need to start showing a greater understanding of what ID is or your time here is coming to a close. Read this and let me know if there's anything you don't understand. The next comment where you present a strawman of ID will be your last. DaveScot
Jerry, I read your comment, you did sum things up quiet well on your post. I do not agree with parts of it due to some misunderstandings of TOE but it is understandable. I think ID needs to present some actual research, something that can be tested. TOE does have research that has been tested and proven valid and it has had some failures, just as any evolving science. I see ID doing this job of hitting the media and pushing out a lot of talk but nothing hard core such as actual research geared to show an empirical designer. To have ID to be accepted as a valid theory perhaps the focus should not be to start teaching it in the secondary school system but to actually develop some college level research. I do not think many people in the scientific community would have much of a problem with ID if 1. It did not seem to be a copout for not trying to understand the basis of life to a finer degree. (By stating that life is the way it is because of godhead makes the case an open/shut, this can be seen as a defense for the religious whose ideology has a detailed explanation for the origins of humanity.) 2. Provide a null hypothesis. (How can you show that ID is wrong when a trump of "the designer designed it that way" can always be played?) 3. Show an actual benefit of the ID hypothesis to the scientific community. (How exactly will this advance our understanding of the world around us? TOE allows us to accept that organisms will evolve over time and due to this we must anticipate these possible adaptations, say for example drug development or selective breeding of animals.) I honestly can see how ID would be a godsend to people because it is easy to claim that the world is the way it is because god (designer) made it that way. It is quick, easy and leaves no uncertainty. However people with an explicit scientific understanding need to know how. How did this godhead arrive at the current diversity of the species? How did this godhead determine what the needs of each species would be in correlation with the environment? How did this godhead manipulate the species to arrive at its current form? These questions could be something that ID could research however for now it can only be speculation until some actual empirical data is presented. That is the problem I have with ID, the lack of empirical data to show that it is true while evolution is false. There is no research to date that renders ID to be true and evolution to be false. Just because we do not yet have an understanding behind a mechanism in an organism does not render evolution false, just the need for more research. All too often the proponents of ID jump on information that may be in conflict of TOE but provide no evidence of how it shows ID to be true, just because TOE may be wrong does not make ID right by default, there needs to be evidence to the claims. Understanding the basic premise of ID would be nice for people who are outside of this debate. From my understanding ID is about IC stating that due to IC it is not physically probable for something to evolve, by natural laws, to this current state and therefore must have been designed by some force. Correct me if I am wrong in my definition, simplified for clarity sake. Please keep in mind that my simplified definition does provide a null hypothesis in that if natural law is the force then the first part of the definition would be render null, therefore the hypothesis rendered null. Perhaps this is the direction ID research should be heading, to show explicitly that natural law can not explain an evolved form and to explicitly show how the evolved form came to be. Tims
Tims, By some of your comments you obviously do not know what the whole debate is about. You mistake what the ID position is by bringing up trivial and obvious micro-evolutionn topics. You are probably reading popular accounts of ID which are usually hit pieces to make ID look bad. Here is comment on another thread I made about the issues involved. https://uncommondescent.com/biology/michael-egnor-responds-to-michael-lemonick-at-time-online/#comment-92306 It is comment #28 on the thread in case the link doesn’t work. When I get more time, I will answer your comment about my speculation. Let me say that it was just speculation by me and represents no one else certainly not the mainline ID community. After reading your response, I do not think you have really responnded to what I was after which may be just my lack of clarity. jerry
Doug, How exactly is evolution attacking common sense and decency? The information I provided above was to inform Jerry that he needed to look at published research a little more. To say that evolution has not provided to scientific understanding is a farse. Ask any microbiologist if evolution has helped them understand what they see when bacteria evolves resistance. Ask an immunologist the same for virual replication. Perhaps it would help to have a understanding of biology before making these claims. Tims
Tims, Y'all sound like a little yipper dog yippin on about proof and evidence and genomic hobgobletygook. The point here is that the Darwinian assault on common sense hasn't even contributed as much to scientific understanding as frickin alchemy! Nucleotubes and nano machines don't have squat to do with the attack on common sense and decency that Darwinism represents. Doug
Jerry, Your comment "For example, a speculative hypothesis that predicts mechanisms that controls the limit of change within an organism would be anti-Darwinism but not anti-ID. Such mechanisms could not have arisen by natural selection. How is a mechanism that limits the capabilities of an organism be a selected trait? But I am sure that many Darwinists could come up with a rationale if such speculative mechanisms were found." I guess you do not know much biochemistry. Base excision repair (BER) and nucleotide incision repair (NIR)are two mechanisms that controls the limit of change within an organism by repairing genetic mutation (caused by oxidation) to a certain degree. This is far from being anti-evolution, due to the limited scope of these pathways they help to conserve sequences but also propagating base pair exchange in such away that a fraction of the conserved sequences are mutated with a "compatible fitting" nucleotide. "Compatible fitting" would be defined as biochemical compatible. The reason why this is not anti-evolution is due to the necessary stabilization of the genomic material for the allowance of continuation of species but flexible enough to allow a buildup of changes brought on by environmental stresses (oxidation). Environmental stress = response in mutation. The more oxidation of the DNA for greater probability of mutation occurring. What I do not understand by your statement is that this would be something to support ID. The burden of proof falls on ID being able to establish evidence of intelligence guiding the mechanisms, either directly or by establishing the mechanisms in some past generation. Has there been one research paper from the discovery group about the interference of Intelligence on biochemical processes? Please site them if so. Just by making the statement that evolution is wrong does not make ID correct by default. Evolution would be very difficult to discredit since the more research being done and the increased understanding of biochemical pathways opens more understanding on how the pathways could have been established. Establishment of an alternative hypothesis with empirical data to support ID would be more effective then trying to poke holes in a theory that is being refined through more and more empirical evidence supporting its base hypothesis. Tims
Okay, I'll give Darwinian theory credit for explaining how finch beak size can oscillate with changing weather conditions. But even here the genetic information for the varying beak sizes was undoubtedly already in existence. In support of my thesis that to a large extent Darwinian theory has been subworthless: How many millions (tens of millions, hundreds of millions?) of hours have been wasted by paleontologists looking for transitional intermediates that never existed, and by evolutionary biologists doing "research," making up evolutionary stories, and writing books about stuff that never happened or didn't happen the way Darwinian theory says it did? How much time, and how many professional lifetimes, have been wasted chasing down false paths looking for evolutionary pathways that never existed? The squandered effort must be indescribably huge. GilDodgen
Darwinism gave us the first viable explanation for how life changes on Earth. It had quite a bit of explanatory power but was hamstrung by the lack of knowledge of the time. ND incorporated new knowledge and had yet more explanatory power and was likewise hamstrung by a lack of knowledge. A new synthesis will likely emerge in the next decade or two and the cycle will almost certainly repeat itself. Darwin was at the beginning of a train of discovery that has been running for 150 years and will more than likely keep runnning for some time to come. Alchemy never had a means to evaluate or test itself. It was strictly trial and error without a clue as to the laws behing elemental change. NS+RM are obviously not the end all be all laws of evolution, but they are factors in it. They do provide some explanatory power. Alchemists had none. jmcd
The reason why ID is not a science stopper and Darwinian processes are is that any testable hypothesis that Darwinism proposes as a science would not be objectional to ID. The problem is that Darwinism has multitudes of hypothesis that could never be tested but are treated as assumptions. Witness the constant use of the "it must have evolved" phrase. The opposite is not true. ID could propose a multitude of hypotheses that are contrary to Darwinism as a science. For example, a speculative hypothesis that predicts mechanisms that controls the limit of change within an organism would be anti-Darwinism but not anti-ID. Such mechanisms could not have arisen by natural selection. How is a mechanism that limits the capabilities of an organism be a selected trait. But I am sure that many Darwinists could come up with a rationale if such speculative mechanisms were found. While ID advocates a much wider range of scientific options than NDE, where ID and Darwinism part ways is really on the philosophy of science not the actual nuts and bolts practice of science such as generating hypotheses, testing them and generating findings. It is the materialisic demands on potential scientific explanations advocated by Darwinists not the basic scientific practices of NDE that are the problem. An aside. In the video, Einstein's Big Idea is the story of Lise Meitner who was actually practicing a form of alchemy by trying to create larger elements from uranium and ended up producing smaller ones and this led to the bomb. So no one produced gold but this modern version of alchemy had significant implications. It is an interesting video to rent or get from netflix. jerry
I just got the new issue of "Science" in the mail today and to my surprise there is a frightening admission. The director at the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht (Holland) is Ronald Plasterk. "Borst says Plasterk's presence in the new Cabinet, which includes two Christian parties, is also 'a huge relief for atheist intellecutals.' Two years ago, Plasterk blasted his Christian-Democratic predecessor, Maria van der Hoeven, for supporting intelligent design." Wow direct Christianity vs Atheism!! At least they're finally getting to the bottom of it. Perhaps they are realzing that there vain materalistic view on the evidence is clouding there judgment and making them bias, realizing they have a priori, unscientifically, dismissed the possibility of an intelligent/Divine influence. Okay - wishful thinking on my part :P jpark320
Science or not, you can't call ID a science-stopper. All the "naturalistic mechanisms can't do that"s from the ID side and "oh yes they can and here's how"s from the Darwinist side can only be good for science--no matter what the critics say. ;) crandaddy
Jason, Subtlety and tact are virtues on which I obviously need to work. GilDodgen
Ouch. That is a pretty harsh call Gil. Still I suspect there may be truth to what you say. Jason Rennie

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