Darwinism Ethics

A Frightening Admission?

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Peter J. Bowler published an article in Science (Jan. 9, 2009) titled “Darwin’s Originality.” While much of Bowler’s analysis is just plain wrong (e.g., Darwin’s theory being already “in the air” is NOT accurately premised largely upon Wallace co-discovery of natural selection as Bowler suggests but upon much deeper secularizing processes coextensive with skeptics like David Hume and positivists like Auguste Comte, both of whom deeply influenced Darwin, and ideas even predating them), but another of his comments is just plain frightening. Toward the end of his essay Bowler distances Darwinism from the racial hygiene of the Nazis but then writes the following: “But by proposing that evolution worked primarily through the elimination of useless variants, Darwin created an image that could all too easily be exploited by those who wanted the human race to conform to their own pre-existing ideals. In the same way, his popularization of the struggle metaphor focused attention onto the individualistic aspects of Spencer’s philosophy.” Lauding “modern science” for recognizing “Darwin’s key insights,” Bowler admits that some of them are “profoundly disturbing” and that “the theory, in turn, played into the way those implications were developed by later generations. This is not,” he adds, “a simple matter of science being ‘misused’ by social commentators, because Darwin ‘s theorizing would almost certainly have been different had he not drawn inspiration from social, as well as scientific, influences. We may well feel uncomfortable with those aspects of his theory today, especially in light of their subsequent applications to human affairs. But if we accept science’s power to upset the traditional foundations of how we think about the world, we should also accept its potential to interact with moral values [emphasis added].”
 
So what is Bowler saying here? Should we adopt the standards of Peter Singer? Are we all due for a little “culling of the unfit”? Are we to sacrifice ethics on the alter of Darwinian “science”? Bowler’s conclusion regarding Darwin’s “originality” is hardly the uplifting message one would expect.

41 Replies to “A Frightening Admission?

  1. 1
    Fross says:

    the problem i find with social darwinism is that what humans choose as fit or unfit would be arbitrary and would be more like breeding than natural selection.

    Just like breeding can limit the genetic variability, so could social darwinism. We never know what the next natural culling process will be, so if we deem some group of humans unfit, yet they had some genetic advantage we’d be SOL. We’re the last species of humans left on earth so the last thing we need to do is cull ourselves.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    It really should not be necessary to repeat this but the theory of evolution is a theory in biology not ethics.

    Natural selection was proposed as a process whereby those individuals who are fortunate enough to be better fitted to the environment in which they find themselves are more likely to survive to produce offspring than those who are less well-adapted.

    It is simply a description and explanation of the way things are. ‘Should’ does not come into it.

    As for the Nazis, even if Darwin’s ideas influenced their policies significantly, it does not mean it is something he would have approved of nor does it have any bearing on how good evolution is as a scientific theory.

    Besides, if his ideas were so highly-regarded by the Nazis, how is that, in 1935, Die Bucherei, “the official Nazi journal for lending libraries”, published a list of “purification” guidelines which included the following:

    6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Haeckel).

    The suspicion has to be that the campaign to associate Darwinian theory with the Nazis has much more to do with anti-evolutionary propaganda than it does with history.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    It is interesting that some of the most ardent defenders of Darwin are left wing ultra socialists that are often found in academic and other elite circles. Darwinism and egalitarian beliefs are at odds with each other. But the one thing that trumps non-egalitarian processes is atheism. And as Richard Dawkins has said Darwin made it ok to be a fulfilled atheist.

    So on the one hand Darwin is at odds with egalitarian thinking on the other hand it is in sync with the atheistic orientation of liberal left wing ideology which burst on the scene in the French Revolution. The atheistic aspects are more important in the short run than the class system implied by Darwin’s ideas. Socialism thus feels very comfortable with these atheistic implications.

  4. 4
    avocationist says:

    Seversky,

    It’s really not a matter of whether or not Darwin himself would have approved of racial hygiene, but of whether the theory naturally lends itself to that.

    And so it is a a bit disingenuous to say that Darwinism is merely a statement of how things are. People don’t work that way. They apply meaning to a worldview.

  5. 5
    Gaz says:

    avocationist (4),

    “And so it is a a bit disingenuous to say that Darwinism is merely a statement of how things are.”

    It’s not at all disingenuous. The theory of evolution is merely a theory, based on the evidence, about the origin of species (and note, it isn’t even a theory about how life started). That’s all it is – an explanation of the mechanism by which species arise.

    “People don’t work that way. They apply meaning to a worldview.”

    The theory of evolution is only a “view” about the mechanism for the origin of species. It is not an explanation for anything else about the world, not even about the way in which humans ought to behave. If they try to apply “meaning” to it then they are trying to apply meaning to something that doesn’t actually have any “meaning” in that sense. And if people don’t understand that – i.e. they “don’t work that way” – then there’s been a failing in their education. Those who “don’t work that way” need to study more.

  6. 6
    hummus man says:

    People don’t work that way. They apply meaning to a worldview.

    They apparently also confuse their “is” and “ought.”

  7. 7
    Kontinental says:

    Jerry @ 3:
    Now I am puzzled: The OP seems to point to a possible use of Darwinian theory by Nazi “racial hygiene” (I shudder at the term).
    However, you suggest a relationship to socialism. Being European, I can assure that Stalinists were violently opposed to Darwinian evolution; you might have heard of Lyssenko who spent years of fruitless efforts to prove the Lamarckian theory instead.

  8. 8
    Nakashima says:

    I agree that the highlighted text is confused, but so are the sentences preceding it. Without reading the whole of Bowler’s article it is hard to guess which parts of Darwin’s theory are meant by “key insights”, and which parts of the theory are based on social rather than scientific reasoning.

    Mr Flannery agrees with Bowler, though for different reasons, that a theory of evolution by variation and selection was in the air by the mid 19th century. It is hard to conceive of such a theory that did not place the individual as the most important locus of selection. We have theories of group selection, but these operate in addition to, not as replacements of, selection at the level of the individual.

    It is therefore hard to see how any of the key insights of Darwin’s theory are based on social philosophy, rather than science. Of course, that did not stop anyone from seeing the theory through the lens of their own social philosophy, or dismissing evolution as an ‘English theory’. But let us not ascribe these failures to the theory itself, any more than the muddiness of Bowler’s prose is caused by his subject.

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    “Now I am puzzled:”

    You shouldn’t be. Everything I said was obvious. You point out an anti intellectual anomaly where a iron fisted dictator has some strange ideas. Yes he was atheistic and and an extreme socialist. That does not make him the model for all socialism. Current socialism is also atheistic as it tries to produce a heaven on earth and in doing so must go with the most extreme anti theistic ideology currently available. Darwinian evolution is that ideology despite the obvious implications of it as far as class.

    Yes European socialism is atheistic as well as most other variants. You live there so you must know that.

  10. 10
    Gaz says:

    jerry (9),

    “Yes European socialism is atheistic as well as most other variants.”

    Rubbish. Britain, for example, has – for now – a socialist Prime Minister who is the son of a Scottish Minister and a practising Christian. Check out the Socialist block of MEPs in the European Parliament and you’ll find most of them – nearly all – are actually Christians.

  11. 11
    Kontinental says:

    jerry @ 9,
    sorry for the late reply – it’s the time lag.
    My experience with Italy is the same as Gaz’ with Britain, there are a lot of Catholics who are voters or even members of a socialist party.

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    “Rubbish. Britain, for example, has – for now – a socialist Prime Minister who is the son of a Scottish Minister and a practising Christian. Check out the Socialist block of MEPs in the European Parliament and you’ll find most of them – nearly all – are actually Christians.”

    Where are the Christian countries in Europe? Where is church attendance healthy? All politicians have to feign religious adherence or else they will not get elected especially those who cater to poorer constituencies so your example is empty as it is in the US. Nearly all the anti religious stuff in the US comes from the left or Democrat party which is the party favoring socialism in the US. But nearly all politicians whether Democrat or Republican will say they are religious. It is what is done that is a good guideline.

    The only anti religions supporters for the Republicans or capitalism comes from those libertarians who are atheist/agnostic and do not want big government. There are a lot of religious libertarians in the US but a lot are not and libertarians are against socialism which by definition is anti liberty. But generally the libertarians would not restrict religious practices while the socialists would. The socialists need control for their experiments. We are watching that play out with the Democrats in the US. Their new health care legislation involves the creation of over hundred new government departments to make sure everybody is in line.

    Besides I was under the impression that the UK was still experiencing the effects of Margaret Thatcher and capitalism and free enterprise was still relatively healthy in many places and that many Europeans were coming to the UK for the more relaxed business climate. There is still a fair amount of capitalism in Europe.

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    “My experience with Italy is the same as Gaz’ with Britain, there are a lot of Catholics who are voters or even members of a socialist party.”

    What is church attendance in Italy and how many babies are born. I have a lot of Italian friends here and they say Italy is Catholic in name only. It is more cultural than religious.

  14. 14
    waterbear says:

    Gaz: “Rubbish. Britain, for example, has – for now – a socialist Prime Minister who is the son of a Scottish Minister and a practising Christian.”
    Jerry: “All politicians have to feign religious adherence or else they will not get elected ”

    At least in Britain it’s certainly not the case that politicians have to feign religious adherence for political gain. There’s one example of quite the opposite being true:

    Mr Blair said he feared talking about his religious beliefs during his time in Downing Street would lead to people dismissing him as a “nutter”.

    Jerry appears to be claiming that in a non-religious country with low church attendance a politician wins votes by pretending to be religious. This is counterintuitive, like claiming that politicians in nascar-and-baseball states feel they have to feign an interest in opera in order to win votes.

  15. 15
    waterbear says:

    @jerry #13:
    > What is church attendance in Italy

    In 2007 half of Italians attended church at least once a month (“Government surveys have shown that around 30 per cent of Italians attend Mass every Sunday, and a further 20 per cent attend once a month.”)

    > and how many babies are born

    You were talking about religious faith, now you’re asking about birthrate. I fail to see the relevance, unless you think that only rapidly breeding populations count as truly religious?

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    “You were talking about religious faith, now you’re asking about birthrate. I fail to see the relevance, unless you think that only rapidly breeding populations count as truly religious?”

    My guess is that you do not understand religion very well. My Catholic friends tell me that having children is an integral part of marriage for a Catholic. And that a decision not to have any invalidates the marriage as far as the Catholic Church is concerned. Some people cannot have children and this is not an issue. So the number of children is correlated somewhat but certainly not perfectly with religious belief.

  17. 17
    waterbear says:

    Let us grant just for sake of argument that it’s impossible to be a fertile proper Catholic and not make babies. Why then, if Italians have rejected their religion so utterly that they have discarded its reproductive rule, would Italian politicians “have to feign religious adherence or else they will not get elected”?

  18. 18
    jerry says:

    “At least in Britain it’s certainly not the case that politicians have to feign religious adherence for political gain”

    Feigning religious adherence and having religious beliefs are not correlated. You must know that so the fact that you use it, is interesting. Most of the non religious know that. Bush was openly religious and would often say something. He was criticized for it. But if the Clintons somehow said they were religious but everyone knew that it was a meaningless gesture. If they said they were not religious then they could kiss any chance of election good bye. Bill Clinton would come back from church with his bible in hand to a meeting with Monica Lewinsky.

    Yes openly talking about religion is taboo in most US politics anymore except when directly asked the question. But denying religious beliefs is a much bigger killer. So your examples are baseless. All have to appear to support religious belief and have some themselves except in some unusual circumstances.

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    “Why then, if Italians have rejected their religion so utterly that they have discarded its reproductive rule, would Italian politicians “have to feign religious adherence or else they will not get elected”?”

    Come on. You know the answer to that. It is why you ask it that is interesting.

  20. 20
    Kontinental says:

    jerry @ 18:
    You might have misunderstood your Catholic friends. Though the church encourages couples to have children the marriage is not invalidated by a decision not to have children.
    It could be pronounced invalid – through a tedious process – if the couple is able to prove that they had never any sex. Good luck with that!

  21. 21
    waterbear says:

    Come on. You know the answer to that. It is why you ask it that is interesting.

    No, I really do not. I do not understand what advantage a politician gains from feigning religious observance, if the electorate is unreligious. You have cited Bill Clinton as an example; he had to appeal to a religious electorate because the US is a quite religious country.

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    “No, I really do not. I do not understand what advantage a politician gains from feigning religious ”

    The answer is votes. If it is true that you do not understand this, then I believe there is no hope for someone like yourself in understanding what goes on. But I doubt it is true. I bet you just do not like the implications of this. In the US we believe most politicians are phony but we certainly do not want them giving the appearance of rejecting what we stand for. There are actually people here who believe the Clintons are religious.

    First you argue defending Gaz who says a high percentage of MEP are Christians. Don’t you see the contradiction in that. Is it just the religious that get elected when no one cares or is it they feign religion when they know a significant proportion care about it even if they are not overly religious themselves. They also know that they cannot be too overtly religious or else they might piss off the anti religion voters and even the religious ones do not want some religious ideas pushed. No I think they play the same game as here in the US and feign religious belief but not enough so that the non religious know it is a game being played and they won’t do anything about religion.

    You should have heard the uproar when Bush suggested that they teach the intelligent design controversy. It is interesting to watch the dance when they ask Republican politicians about evolution. The press will not ask the Democrat politicians this question since they do not want to embarrass them or put them on the spot. The Democrats have to worry about appearing non religious and the Republicans have to worry about appearing too religious.

    And here we are playing games again like we do not understand all this. But as I said it is by the games people play on this site that you can psych them out. People reveal more about themselves by what and how they argue then anything else. To use a word over again. They feign concern, logic and truth but it has nothing to do with that.

    Kontinental made light of Catholics not having children by design so I talked to a Catholic friend who told me that such an act would be a major sin in the eyes of the Church. So for Catholics having children and religion are linked for those married. Maybe Kontinental should check out what the priests say in Italy because if he is a Catholic then maybe he should know that and his answer should have been completely different. So was the content of his answer genuine or playing games. My friend said she would ask a priest friend of hers for a definitive answer.

  23. 23
    IrynaB says:

    jerry:

    No I think they play the same game as here in the US and feign religious belief but not enough so that the non religious know it is a game being played and they won’t do anything about religion.

    Now you seem to imply that the religious — unlike the non religious apparently — are too dim to detect the religion feigners.

    It somehow reminds me of some ID champions feigning to be scientists, just enough for the believers not to see what game they are playing.

  24. 24
    Flannery says:

    Nakashima @ 8

    I’m afraid my post wasn’t clear. Bowler does indeed deny that the theory was “in the air.” Bowler claims that the argument in support of the idea that it was “in the air” is based upon Wallace’s independent discovery of natural selection. He is wrong; it is, in fact, based upon much broader ideas that made his extreme materialism and methodological naturalism acceptable (even thinkable). In effect, Bowler establishes his thesis by encumbering the opposing view with a false premise.

    Also you write, “It is . . . hard to see how any of the key insights of Darwin’s theory are based on social philosophy, rather than science.” Well, here’s how Bowler says that it is: through Darwin’s insistence upon applying breeders using artificial selection as an analogy for natural selection. “The breeders knew that they could produce huge changes in structure by accumulating normal variations over a number of generations. When Darwin linked this information with his conviction that species could change indefinitely over time,” Bowler Explains, “he was driven toward a new form of species concept in which the population becomes paramount. The natural range of variability becomes part of the species’ character, not the result of accidental deviations from a fixed norm. This is what Mayr called the transition from typological thinking to population thinking, and although he may have exaggerated the extent to which Darwin himself made the conceptual transition, the subsequent development of the selection theory brought this implication out more clearly.” As Bowler points out, “by proposing that evolution worked primarily through the elimination of useless variants, Darwin created an image that could all too easily be exploited by those who wanted the human race to conform to their own preexisting ideals. In the same way, his popularization of the struggle metaphor focused attention onto the individualistic aspects of Spencer’s philosophy.”

    So the connection is definitely there but nuanced and complex. Again, Bowler does not see this as a “misuse” of Darwin’s science. I think where Bowler and I depart is not on his particular analysis of how Darwinism could be put to social uses but on whether or not this argument from analogy is true. I believe (like Alfred Russel Wallace) that this was fundamentally false and wrongheaded. But if it is true, as Bowler suggests, it’s worse than “uncomfortable” it really is frightening. How more frightening it is still when based upon an error!

  25. 25
    hummus man says:

    Jerry responds to waterbear:

    “No, I really do not. I do not understand what advantage a politician gains from feigning religious ”

    The answer is votes. If it is true that you do not understand this, then I believe there is no hope for someone like yourself in understanding what goes on.

    Jerry, you have completely changed the context of waterbears statement by dropping the second part of the phrase. I repeat the question here in total, with emphasis added:

    I do not understand what advantage a politician gains from feigning religious observance, if the electorate is unreligious.

    So, is it your position, Jerry, that politicians in highly secular countries have to pretend to be religious to get votes? Have you actaully ever closely followed a Euopean election and it’s candidates?

  26. 26
    jerry says:

    “It somehow reminds me of some ID champions feigning to be scientists, just enough for the believers not to see what game they are playing.”

    Oh, we have another game player, trying to play the argument by mockery card. I think your comment cold better be made about Richard Dawkins and his true believers. Some day an anti ID person will try to make a logical, reasoned and scientific argument. We are still waiting. A few do provide some interesting research every now or then but in general what we get is baseless rhetoric.

  27. 27
    IrynaB says:

    Is there an echo in here?

    Oh, we have another game player, trying to play the argument by mockery card. I think your comment cold better be made about Richard Dawkins [insert favorite ID “scientist”] and his true believers. Some day an anti ID person will try to make a logical, reasoned and scientific argument. We are still waiting. A few do provide some interesting research every now or then but in general what we get is baseless rhetoric.

    Come on jerry, do the hard work for once and give us some positive evidence for ID instead of taking cheap shots at the real scientists.

  28. 28
    Kontinental says:

    jerry @ 22:

    jerry, I honestly appreciate your interest in Catholicism. So please be not offended:
    I’d prefer to leave the discussion whether I am a good Catholic or not to my confessor instead of your friends – the decision I’ll leave to God.

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    “Come on jerry, do the hard work for once and give us some positive evidence for ID instead of taking cheap shots at the real scientists.”

    What a nonsense remark. The evidence for ID is presented in lots of places including here many times. What is not presented is evidence for naturalistic macro evolution or several other origins. There are concepts such as organized complexity, irreducible complexity, functional specified complex, information which form the basis for the ID argument which have been presented here and in other places.

    There is the lack of information for naturalistic processes forming anything about which Michael Behe has written about that also details the problems naturalistic processes would have in doing so. Stephen Meyer wrote a long book this year on the history of the origin of life detailing the possible alternatives to intelligent input. There have been several books written on the fine tuning of the universe.

    There are no coherent books/theories on the origins by anyone for several different important origins.

    1. existence
    2. the fine tuning of the universe
    3. the fine tuning of the earth
    4. the origin of life
    5. the origin of novel complex capabilities
    6. the origin of consciousness

    So I would say that ID is a much more coherent explanation of these except the first which is truly a mystery. The third could possibly be the result of random processes but it too is very fine tuned within these random processes.

    But before you leave, and in all cases the anti ID people always leave because they cannot present anything to back their position, take a shot at presenting the work of the real scientists you claim to exists. Don’t just point to journals or vague approaches, lay out the case if you can. You see we know it does not exist because there have been several hundred before you that have failed including everyone who is anti ID on this site at the present moment. But give it a try.

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    “Jerry, I honestly appreciate your interest in Catholicism. So please be not offended:
    I’d prefer to leave the discussion whether I am a good Catholic or not to my confessor instead of your friends – the decision I’ll leave to God.”

    I never said anything about you personally and your beliefs except that you as a Catholic were cavalier about the Catholic Church’s position on marriage and children. Of course it is always between an individual and his God. But do you deny as waterbear did that there is a connection between Catholicism and the procreating of children in marriage? So I will ask you a question. Do you believe that believers in Catholicism also believe it is their obligation to have children when they marry. I am not saying they are obligated to have as many as possible but that having children is an essential part of Catholic marriage.

    I find the answers people give the real indicator of what they are about and what they are interested in. It is not hard to decipher people here. If people are honestly interested in what ID is about they proceed on a completely different tack then if they are here to ridicule or belittle ID. I realize the discussion here was not about ID per se but about the implications of socialism and it relation to religion. But you see the same tendencies in a certain set of topics and it is interesting why similar attitudes run across specific topics. A lot of those here who support ID see the tentacles of Darwin in a lot of places. You could say we are paranoid but personal experience has shown us that a lot of the lack of belief in religion stems from the constant assault by the academy and the popular press that there are reasonable alternative explanations for what was supposed to be the hand of God. And that information is false. There is no reasonable alternative explanation. It is a myth perpetuated by an atheistic academy and a Godless popular culture who must have it to justify their existence.

  31. 31
    Kontinental says:

    Jerry @ 29:

    jerry, again thank you for your personal interest. The problem is that I don’t see a science blog as the place for a broader discussion of dogma and religious practise.
    Please bear with me if I just give you my personal opinion (which happens to coincide with that of my priest).
    A couple should have children because they love children, not because they feel obliged to.
    The abundance of children in some more traditional Catholic countries, e.g. the Philippines, could perhaps be better explained by Catholicism’s disapproval of mechanical and chemical contraception, relying instead on the Knaus-Ogino method which is quite complicated to practise.

  32. 32
    jerry says:

    Kontinental,

    It is the social and religious implications of science that is also a concern here. So the connection between science and Catholic beliefs and religious beliefs in general are at issue here. That people alter their beliefs based on false scientific conclusions is an issue here. So European reproductive changes in a time of plenty is an issue of interest if it may be due to false beliefs. It is constantly pointed out to us how backward the US is compared to Europeans on evolution. The Europeans have bought the bad science rather willingly while the US has not. Interesting phenomenon.

    So that is why these topics come up here quite frequently.

    By the way I got an email back from a priest who my friend contacted and it confirmed what I was told yesterday.

  33. 33
    Kontinental says:

    Good news, jerry: I think we have just been misunderstanding each other!

    Of course the church wishes couples to have children. It’s about how to deal with the issue.
    So my priest would never threaten a childless couple with fire and brimstone or promote their excommunication.
    Instead, he would say: “Oh dear, are you sure you can’t afford kids? Let’s see if we find a charity to tide you over those first years one of you will have to stay at home.”

    As for “the social and religious implications of science”:
    Of course you are aware that the church has no problems with the Theory of Evolution – but very much so with one of its applications, human stem cell research.

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    Kontinental,

    There has been several threads on Catholics and evolution here over the years. From the things I read, they are ok with evolution (term has many meanings) and could live with Darwinian processes but do not necessarily endorse Darwinian positions of unguided evolution. There are several Catholics here and two of the leaders of ID are Catholic.

    Many Catholics take the Theistic Evolution approach which we disagree with here not for any philosophical or theological reasons but because it embraces bad science. And ID does not have a theological position but many here believe that theology and science should be one in the sense that there should be no contradiction.

    I am home for the day trying to shake a cold and decided to listen to the debate between Francis Ayala, a former priest and evolutionary biologist, and William Lane Craig, a theologian who has taken up the ID cause. Craig makes good points about the science but it gets a little obscure when it gets into theology as the issue of theodicy is one that causes lots of people to stray in different directions. If you are interested there is an mp3 of the debate at

    http://apologetics315.blogspot.....ayala.html

    It took place a month ago. Ayala is hard to understand as he still speaks with a heavy accent. He is originally form Spain. Craig I believe is a Protestant but spent several years at Louvain, s Catholic university in Belgium.

    It is my opinion that the Catholic Church will abandon Darwinism as soon as it comes to terms with the theodicy issue. Craig has some rather strange theological/biological arguments during the debate which I do not agree with but that is me.

  35. 35
    IrynaB says:

    jerry:

    What a nonsense remark. The evidence for ID is presented in lots of places including here many times.

    You’re just bluffing jerry. There is not a single case of positive evidence for ID. You can’t even name an example. Give me an example and we have something to discuss.

  36. 36
    jerry says:

    “You’re just bluffing jerry. There is not a single case of positive evidence for ID. You can’t even name an example. Give me an example and we have something to discuss.”

    No I am not bluffing at all. In the cell and in the body there are several irreducibly complex systems. None have any naturalistic avenue for origin. Behe has a list of several of them. Pick anyone you want.

    How about the origin of the eye, nervous system, ribosome, ATP synthase, flight, DNA transcription/translation process, body plans, the tens of thousands of genes for a few. And do not forget the bacterial flagellum.

    The fine tuning of the universe is another area.

    Now for you, provide evidence for the origin of a single complex novel capabilities. We have asked for such for over 4 years here and no one has provided anything as of yet. I just listened to a debate from a month ago where a major player in evolutionary biology used peppered moths as an example and changes in microbes in treating disease. How pathetic is that. But you can take his place at the podium because you are going to educate us at last.

  37. 37
    IrynaB says:

    jerry:

    No I am not bluffing at all. In the cell and in the body there are several irreducibly complex systems. None have any naturalistic avenue for origin. Behe has a list of several of them. Pick anyone you want.

    Yes you are bluffing. You still didn’t manage to provide any positive evidence for ID. Irreducible complexity (IC) is an entirely negative theoretical concept intended to shed doubt on evolution. But even theoretically IC is a joke. You need to provide some evidence that biological structures were actually designed and implemented. We all know why you don’t provide such evidence. It doesn’t exist.

    How about the origin of the eye, nervous system, ribosome, ATP synthase, flight, DNA transcription/translation process, body plans, the tens of thousands of genes for a few. And do not forget the bacterial flagellum.

    Yes, how about them? How and when were they designed and implemented?

    Now for you, provide evidence for the origin of a single complex novel capabilities. We have asked for such for over 4 years here and no one has provided anything as of yet.

    They have, but you just ignore it, or the contributors were banned from this site. Consider this.

    How do you explain that from an ID perspective?

  38. 38
    Upright BiPed says:

    lryna,

    Your argument is nothing more than an argument from incredulity – and it dosn’t stand up. Computational algorythms based on symbolic data input is a positive evidence of design – or – you can provide one that happened by necessity manipulated by chance. And why did you not answer the question as to how we could test the assumption that un-guided processes are all that is at work in the cosmos?

  39. 39
    jerry says:

    My God, he is back and with even more inane questions. My guess he thinks absurd questions is the mode of attack. For example,

    “But even theoretically IC is a joke. You need to provide some evidence that biological structures were actually designed and implemented. We all know why you don’t provide such evidence. It doesn’t exist.”

    and

    “Yes, how about them? How and when were they designed and implemented?”

    Well, I got word from the designer a few weeks ago and he said the original lab and blue prints were subducted under what was to become the African plate 3.4 billion years ago but by then they were mostly rubble anyway. The original cells were relatively simple but still very complex. Subsequent plants/labs went the same way and unfortunately all holograph videos of design process and implementation are now in hyper space and haven’t been looked at for at least 5 million years. It was touch and go for a long time as the designer said he had to periodically make changes to make sure the ecological systems he set up could function properly and advance to be able to handle more complex forms. No further work has been done for quite awhile (about 15 thousand years ago he did do some major tuning on his last design) and the designer expects future work to be done by this latest design itself. The designer travels via hyper space between his home and our area of the universe when it is necessary.

    The designer said the techniques used were much more sophisticated than anything dreamed of by current synthetic biologist crowd but in thirty to forty thousand years they may get up to speed and understand how it was actually done. The designer said it was a lot more difficult than people think especially since this was a new technique and he had to invent the DNA/RNA/protein process from scratch but amazingly they had the right chemical properties. His comment was “Thank God for that” or else he doesn’t think he wouldn’t have been able to do it. It took him about 20,000 of our years just experimenting with amino acid combinations to get enough usable proteins. He said there are only a relatively small percentage of useful proteins out of the gazillion combinations possible. (He didn’t really use the term gazillion; that is my expression for the incredibly large exponent of 10 he said were possible) He also said it many ways it will be easier for current scientists since they will have a template to work off.

    He said he is keeping a more frequent monitoring on his experiment these days as his last design may screw up the ecologies that were implemented. That is all I know at the moment. Next time I hear from him, I will tell him you are interested. When he comes to Earth he likes New Mexico best of all but will occasionally visit all the areas. Do you ever get to New Mexico?

    Hope this helps you.

  40. 40
    IrynaB says:

    Hi Upright BiPed,

    Your argument is nothing more than an argument from incredulity – and it dosn’t stand up. Computational algorythms based on symbolic data input is a positive evidence of design – or – you can provide one that happened by necessity manipulated by chance.

    No, your argument is from incredulity. You are using vocabulary like “computational algorithms”, apparently without realizing that those are just abstractions that we invented. Real chemistry doesn’t care about that.

    And why did you not answer the question as to how we could test the assumption that un-guided processes are all that is at work in the cosmos?

    Sorry, I forgot I was asked that question. My answer is that you need to define precisely what you mean by “unguided processes” before I can try to say something useful about it. So go ahead and we might get somewhere!

  41. 41
    IrynaB says:

    jerry:

    My God, he is back and with even more inane questions. My guess he thinks absurd questions is the mode of attack.

    It’s she, not he, OK?

    The rest of your post is real funny. But you still didn’t manage to provide a single example of positive evidence for ID.

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