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FOR RECORD: ID Foundations, 14a — Replying to a trumpeted violation of confidence


For some time now, one of the ID Foundations series, has been on the UD “most popular” list. I had occasion to visit it just now, to see why. I found a statement by a Mr Peter Griffin regarding an exchange with the pseudonymous anti design theory web personality known as Zachriel, and find myself compelled to reply to the issue of violation of confidence and willful poisoning and polarisation of issues by embroiling attacks to the person.

In particular, I must note how this post plainly reflects a violation of confidence of correspondence in the teeth of an explicit act of protest regarding earlier violation of confidence. It seems that Zachriel thought he could get away with such violation of confidence and felt he therefore had a “might makes right” justification to do so.

I do not know about your corner of the world, but in mine, violation of confidence, especially of correspondence, is a serious thing indeed and fully warrants closure of discussion.

Accordingly, let me headline here the reply I just made in the ID Foundations 14 thread, at no 403 (new style numbering):


>> I have not been by this page for months, and when I visited just now, I saw:

401 Peter Griffin January 18, 2012 at 5:29 am

BTW, the person who wrote that was asked by KF to stop mailing him. Funny how KF claims that nobody can provide an answer to his questions when he asks those very same people to stop communicating with him.

Seems to me that one of the main weapons in the ID arsenal are fingers in ears.

This is totally twisted and irresponsible (and onlookers should recall that the threading of comments made it highly likely that when the thread was going, I would miss something like the above).

I wish to remark:

1 –> Let the record reflect the truth: I asked Zachriel to cease and desist from further communication with me because — in the teeth of my requests — he violated confidentiality; which I discovered. I take that sort of misbehaviour very seriously indeed, for good reason. And any claim that the motivation was otherwise is false.

2 –> Now, this makes what I now see in a public forum even worse, for, obviously Zachriel and I were the two parties to the exchange, so if a twisted version of why I terminated it has been released to the public, it is because of a FURTHER violation of the confidentiality of a personal email exchange, in the teeth of specific requests, and knowing that having found out violations I protested them. It therefore evident from this thread that he has twisted my request that he respect confidentiality, into a ducking of issues and trumpeted that to the public elsewhere. Shameless.

3 –> The issues unanswered by darwinists on matters that are strongly supported inductive signs of design are well known. So, the fingers in ears claim above is, again, highly misleading.

4 –> Instead of dealing with science and the underlying issue of the logic of induction, what I consistently have found from too many objectors to design theory is just what the just cited post shows: habitual resort to red herrings, led away to strawmen soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, poison, and polarise the atmosphere.

5 –> In this case, multiplied by violations of trust, even in the teeth of protest that trust has been violated. It seems we are dealing with the utterly amoral, and untrustworthy. Which amorality, of course is a consequence of evolutionary materialism that is usually hotly denied or contested by advocates of evolutionary materialism. But here we see it in action, yet again.

6 –> Plainly, not all such advocates — and by no means any more than a small minority of adherents — are amoral and untrustworthy, but the problem is that when a worldview is corrosive of morality, the corrosion tends to be effective. And ever since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, we have been warned that evolutionary materialist skepticism has this as a problem and tends to lead to ruthless factions who live by the principle that the highest right is might.

7 –> It is plain to me that Zachriel, the pseudonymous advocate of darwinism, has violated trust because he thought it would be to his advantage and he could get away with it. Let the record reflect this, for all to see.

8 –> I do not doubt that in the penumbra of hostile and hate sites around UD this slander above has been repeated as gospel truth, with the intent of harming reputation as a substitute for actually addressing matters on the merits.

9 –> What a sadly revealing reflection on those who take that sort of position or tolerate it.

Good day.>>


Here, yet again, we are shown what we are dealing with: a ruthlessly amoral, hostility driven faction that operates by the principle of doing whatever they can get away with, having no respect for others with whom they differ.

Now, it so happens that the substantial issue at stake was the alleged evolution of the bird lung as a major body plan feature, via step by step incrementally functional adaptations of presumably a bellows type lung. I pointed out that the proposed intermediates between bellows and flow-through lungs would be — on the logic and critical importance of respiration —  immediately fatal or extremely maladaptive. Web searches will turn up little more than the usual just so stories and an attempt to displace the origin of the lung to another animal.

However, whether in birds, dinosaurs, or crocodiles or whatever, origin of a flow-through, flight enabling lung would involve the same problem, so displacement does not answer it.

One needs to show warrant on actual empirical evidence of such intermediates, step by step, or else the whole proposed theorem of incremental adaptation on chance variation plus population culling on competition for niches, would be in serious doubt. (And, of course,  there are many other cases of similar irreducible complexity. Where also, the functionally specific complex organisation and associated information — DNA with codes for proteins, regulatory procedures etc — will plainly be well beyond the 500-bit limit for plausibility on chance plus mechanical necessity without intelligent direction.)

The matter remains the same as it ever was: there is no well-evidenced step by step warrant for the evolutionary materialist account.

Instead, what has happened is that — in violation of the logic of inductive inference and especially the version that reconstructs the past we did not and cannot see on comparison of signs we see with the characteristic traces left by processes we do see in the present [Newton’s uniformity principle] — by methodological imposition, the question is begged and the only permitted explanations are those that trace to chance and necessity through Darwinian and similar mechanisms that have never been actually observed to work at body plan level.

In reply to such objections to the Darwinist account, there has been a challenge to produce an explanation on design. The answer is simple and even obvious:

a: We here see functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information in a major and critical body plan feature, which is also irreducibly complex. And recall here ID Foundations 14 on the criteria C1 – 5 that must be clearly answered to adequately  explain IC on chance plus necessity. I can say freely, this challenge has never been met:

For a working [bacterial] flagellum to be built by exaptation, the five following conditions would all have to be met:

C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

( Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). HT: ENV.)

b: Such FSCO/I involving IC is an observable trace of a causal process or factor, and has but one empirically warranted explanation — design, and art.

c: Therefore, on sound induction in light of Newton’s uniformity principle, we are already well-warranted to infer to design as the most credible cause of what we do not see but have traces of, in light of what we do see on a repeated and reliable basis as known adequate cause and reliable signatures of that cause.

d:  This is of course glorified common sense and it is the heart of the design inference on empirically reliable signs. But, for those determined to find objections — often, as the implications of design are not comfortable for their preferred models of the world and its origins — there will always be room for objections.

e: Since birds are life and since we already have Venter et al and reasonable progress to be projected, we can suggest an adequate cause already: one way to make a bird is by a molecular nanotech lab run by scientists with suitable training and knowledge with adequate techniques.

(Design theorists, from the mid 1980’s on, have consistently pointed out that the evidence we have from life on earth is sufficient to infer to design as best current explanation but not yet enough to identify methods or identity. It is evidence of design of the cosmos — cf. ID Foundations no 6 on this —  that points beyond the cosmos for its explanation. In that context, the many ways the cosmos is set up to facilitate C-chemistry, aqueous medium, von Neumann self replicator metabolic automaton cell based life point to design of the cosmos as a stage for just such life, which shifts the odds dramatically on the credible candidates for life on earth.)

f: As an illustrative example cf this recent (2007) paper. Nowhere will you find in it an adequate mechanism, with empirical observational warrant to conclude that indeed the avian lung has been explained on chance variation and differential reproductive success, incrementally. Nowhere will you find an explanation of the successful intermediates, and the evidence that shows these are real, not just so stories.

g: If you doubt me, let me clip the abstract, inserting comments in parentheses and highlighting:

Speakers in this symposium presented examples of respiratory regulation that broadly illustrate principles

[i –> Not, provide direct empirical warrant for the specific incremental functional steps, and of course, this is in a context that is driven by question begging methodological naturalism]

of evolution from whole organ to genes. The swim bladder and lungs of aquatic and terrestrial organisms arose independently from a common primordial “respiratory pharynx” but not from each other. Pathways of lung evolution are similar between crocodiles and birds but a low compliance of mammalian lung may have

[ii –> the learned gentlemen are guessing, not citing observed facts]

driven the development of the diaphragm to permit lung inflation during inspiration.

[iii –> And, if a lung fails to work the first time the animal dies]

To meet the high oxygen demands of flight, bird lungs have evolved separate gas exchange and pump components to achieve unidirectional ventilation and minimize dead space.

[iv –> a pronouncement, not an adequately warranted conclusion on observed evidence of the alleged incremental process]

The process of “screening” (removal of oxygen from inspired air prior to entering the terminal units) reduces effective alveolar oxygen tension and potentially explains why nonathletic large mammals possess greater pulmonary diffusing capacities than required by their oxygen consumption.

[v –> Off we go on a tangent, without pointing out the direct warrant in hand for so extraordinary a claim]

The “primitive” central admixture of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood in the incompletely divided reptilian heart is actually co-regulated with other autonomic cardiopulmonary responses to provide flexible control of arterial oxygen tension independent of ventilation as well as a unique mechanism for adjusting metabolic rate.

[vi –> So, we see FSCO/I, and IC to be explained but nowhere the evidence to warrant the underlying assertions]

Some of the most ancient

[vii –> The circularity here should be obvious]

oxygen-sensing molecules, i.e., hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha and erythropoietin, are up-regulated during mammalian lung development and growth under apparently normoxic conditions, suggesting functional evolution. Normal alveolarization requires pleiotropic growth factors acting via highly conserved cell–cell signal transduction, e.g., parathyroid hormone-related protein transducing at least partly through the Wingless/int pathway. The latter regulates morphogenesis from nematode to mammal.

[viii –> What is the observed cause of regulatory systems using feedback controls and step by step processes?]

If there is commonality

[ix –> guessing again: IF]

among these diverse respiratory processes, it is that all levels of organization, from molecular signaling to structure to function, co-evolve progressively,

[x –> begging the IC and FSCO/I questions at stake, announced by one of those very big IF’s, and concluding by issuing the creedal declaration that evolution is an incremental progressive process capable of producing major body plan innovations, even where irreducible complexity is a challenge to such incrementalism]

and optimize an existing gas-exchange framework.

[xi –> Notice the assumption of continuous, incremental optimising hill-climbing to explain a novel, FSCO/I-rich, IC system where if one thing is nonfunctional, the result is easily lethal.]

h –> So, plainly, we have just so stories based on dynamics that are dubious, vs unpopular but adequate mechanisms. No contest.

I trust this is enough to set the record straight.

I was inclined to make this a no-comment thread, but I think I will provisionally leave it open, subject to having a reasonable discussion. If after a couple of days or so, it is evident that the thread is heading for the sort of breakdown and contention that lead nowhere positive, I will close it down.

So, let no-one say that there was not adequate opportunity for a reply on the merits at UD as a forum.

I repeat, I refuse to waste time, energy and heart-strain in sites that are plainly motivated by animosity, disrespect and failure to observe the most elementary principles of broughtupcy such as confidentiality of correspondence. END


U/D, May 9: It is worth noting that Mr Griffin’s objections as cited from Zachriel were anticipated in what is now 326 in the previous thread. (It is possible that he did not notice, due to the pattern of sub-threads that developed under the “threaded” comments system.)

F/N 2: You can't make this up. From a Google search, a remark by Alec MacAndrew:
Carl Wieland of 'Answers in Genesis' has written a response to this paper (13), that is generally reasonably restrained, but utterly fallacious. He correctly points out that this analysis does not, in itself, resolve the issue of the steps by which a bellows type lung evolved into the avian flow-through system. His discussion is, however fundamentally flawed in one important respect: his main objection to the evolution of an avian system from a bellows system is that he cannot see how it could happen. This of course is the old canard (a term that is peculiarly well suited to this subject!) of the argument from personal incredulity. Carl cannot conceive of a pathway by which the avian lung could evolve from a bellows arrangement, so of course, in his mind, it cannot have happened. This was the original design argument used by William Paley. It was intellectual gruel then, and it is intellectual gruel now. Carl would have us believe that there is an 'in-principle' barrier to the evolution of 'flow-through' ventilation. (I think Carl means unidirectional flow-through ventilation - he doesn't seem to recognise the distinction between unidirectional and bidirectional flow-through ventilation). Of course, there is no such 'in-principle' barrier and one can think of very obvious routes by which the avian system could develop from a bellows arrangement. The first obvious step in this process, the development of a bidirectional flow-through system with air sacs positioned beyond the lung in the tail end of the trunk is strongly supported by this study. Carl asks 'How could any creature breathe while the in-between stages were evolving, while air was not yet flowing through but no longer going in and out? The answer to this is obvious: it breathes by air flowing thriough the lung bidirectionally - in other words it flows through and goes in and out.
and the actual evidence that an irreducibly complex system has evolved incrementally -- apart from appeal to Darwinian credulity, methodological materialism as question-begging and personality-laced dismissals -- is: ___________? ANS: Zip. the admission is right there, then it is brushed aside in the red herrings, strawmen and ad hominems: this analysis does not, in itself, resolve the issue of the steps by which a bellows type lung evolved into the avian flow-through system. But, absent empirical warrant for those steps, all we have is a Darwinist -- see how a label that even hints at ideology can "load" a discussion -- just-so story. Again. As usual. KF kairosfocus
F/N: This thread picks up a point of sadly serious concern from an earlier thread, and so I notify here in that thread. KF kairosfocus

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