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Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne takes on skeptical mathematician David Berlinski

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Jerry Coyne, 2013/zooterkin, CC

From Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution is true, on mathematician and Darwin skeptic David Berlinski.

I’m not sure how David Berlinski manages to make a living, but he does live in Paris, which ain’t cheap. Although he’s a Senior Fellow with the ID Creationist Discovery Institute, that can’t pay much, and his science books, including A Tour of the Calculus (1995), The Advent of the Algorithm (2000), Newton’s Gift (2000), and Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics (2005), can’t bring in that much dosh. (As Wikipedia notes, “Berlinski’s books have received mixed reviews.”) However, his 2009 book The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions remains at #41 on Amazon, a remarkable spot, but explained of course by those believers hungry to find problems with atheism. And he’s also written fiction, including several detective novels, so perhaps that’s what keeps him in croissants and fancy suits.

Sigh.

Jerry, genuine talent and original thinking are surprisingly wealth-friendly, even among people who don’t particularly seek wealth. Of course, ironclad tenure and narrow dogmatism do work better in a context where no one can just walk away or refuse to read something…

David Berlinski

But I (O’Leary for News) am not here to explain to Jerry Coyne how the world really works. He goes on:

The evolution bit begins at 9:40, and here Berlinski says these things:

– Darwin’s view that species can change into other species is analogous to alchemy: a form of transformation for which there’s no evidence. He uses the stretching of the giraffe’s neck, a Lamarckian principle, as one that still characterizes Darwinism. That’s just wrong.

– Darwinism is a “secular doctrine comparable to the Book of Genesis” and an “ideology”. Darwinism, he says, “is not a scientific theory but a collection of anecdotes.”

What ignorant statements to make! Anecdotes? Has he read my book?

Apparently, anyone who has not read Coyne’s book (we think he means Why Evolution Is True, 2010) is a truly ignorant hillbilly. Coyne’s book is currently ranked at #15,907 (as opposed to Berlinski’s #41, cited by Coyne), which suggests that there may be a great many of us out there.

Oh dear.

As a secular Jew, his schtick is to kvetch and kvetch, which, combined with his Buckley-ian imperious attitudes and mannerisms, are taken by ignoramuses as “wisdom.”More.

Dr. Coyne may wish to contact Michael Ruse, a Darwinian philosopher who is quite sure that Darwinism is a religion, one he himself espouses.

Most of Darwinism’s current credibility problems do not arise from mathematical philosophers like Berlinski pointing out its flaws but from growing conflict with the data around evolution.

If Berlinski replies, we’ll bring you the news, with free virtual popcorn. Meanwhile…

See also: Michael Ruse: Christianity and Darwinism as rival religions. Ruse has always been honest about the fact that, for is serious adherents, Darwinism is a religion.

and

Fossil dragonfly named in Mike Behe’s honor has implications for ID. What chance Darwinists will get up a petition to force a name change, and maybe “unlearn” everything Bechly discovered about the fossil? Maybe a person they prefer could discover it all over again, once again erasing Bechly (and Behe). After all, Wikipedia erased Bechly, despite his stellar record, apparently over his support for design in nature.

Berlinski:

Coyne:

66 Replies to “Darwinian biologist Jerry Coyne takes on skeptical mathematician David Berlinski

  1. 1
    ET says:

    There isn’t any evidence for evolutionism in “Why Evolution is True”. He doesn’t even try to support the claim that evolution by means of blind and mindless processes produced the diversity of life starting from some unknown populations of prokaryotes.

    If Coyne and Berlinski ever got into a debate on evolutionism Jerry would be severely bloodied and battered.

  2. 2

    Jerry Coyne hardly deserves the attention he gets. Surprised that people take this a/mat zealot so seriously.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    I don’t know why Coyne would be so upset with Berlinski for pointing out the fact that Darwinian evolution is not a real science in the normal sense of how people regard physics as being a real science.,,, Coyne himself admits much the same exact thing:

    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike “harder” scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.”
    – Jerry A. Coyne – Of Vice and Men, The New Republic, April 3, 2000 p.27 – professor of Darwinian evolution at the University of Chicago

    Darwinian evolution, as Coyne himself tentatively admitted, simply does not qualify as a real science by any reasonable measure one might wish to invoke for considering something as a real science instead of as a pseudoscience:

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17

    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

    Darwinian Evolution: A Pseudoscience based on Unrestrained Imagination and Bad Liberal Theology – video
    https://youtu.be/KeDi6gUMQJQ

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    Moreover, as Coyne himself also admits, Darwinian evolution, unlike other sciences such as physics and chemistry which are very useful for man, is for all intents and purposes useless as a ‘practical’ scientific endeavor that is useful for man:

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).

    In fact, when considering the negative impact Darwinian thinking has had on leading science into blind alleys, such as the Junk DNA fiasco and vestigial organs, etc…, then one could very well argue that Darwinian evolution, besides being useless to science, is actually harmful to science.

    Moreover, I also find it very strange that Coyne would be so upset with Berlinski since, according to Coyne himself, Jerry Coyne does not actually exist as a real person but is merely a neuronal illusion.

    Ross Douthat Is On Another Erroneous Rampage Against Secularism – Jerry Coyne – December 26, 2013
    Excerpt: “many (but not all) of us accept the notion that our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.”
    Jerry Coyne – Professor of Evolutionary Biology – Atheist
    https://newrepublic.com/article/116047/ross-douthat-wrong-about-secularism-and-ethics

    “What you’re doing is simply instantiating a self: the program run by your neurons which you feel is “you.””
    Jerry Coyne
    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/04/04/eagleton-on-baggini-on-free-will/

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant:,,) Read more here:
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    Coyne, instead of being so upset with Berlinski, and since he himself claims to be an illusion, should really try to get over ‘himself’. 🙂

    Moreover, (the illusion of) Coyne points to his book “Why Evolution is True” as if that book includes some type of definitive empirical evidence that would (finally) prove Darwinism is true.

    It doesn’t. Coyne’s book, like the rest of the popular level books on evolution going back to Darwin himself, is a basically a (very bad) liberal Theological treatise on what God would and would not do and/or allow in this universe, and therefore, according to their bad theology, Darwin must, by default, be true:

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    According to Jerry Coyne, “Why Evolution Is True” in a Nutshell – March 21, 2012
    Excerpt: the argument for evolution goes like this:

    1. Many animals seem similar to humans.
    2. Religious explanations for this, as I understand them, seem silly.
    3. Ergo, Darwin.

    There you have it. Not only for Coyne but for scholars with equally penetrating minds in a variety of fields, that’s “Why Evolution Is True.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2012/03/according_to_je/

    Thus, Coyne’s evidence for why evolution is true, much like Coyne’s illusion of himself as a real person, does not exist, it is an illusion. ,,, And I might add that much like Coyne’s belief that he really is doing real science instead of pseudoscience is merely an illusion in Coyne’s head.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  4. 4
    bb says:

    It’s obvious that Jerry is jealous.

  5. 5
    aarceng says:

    Has he read my book? I don’t know but I have. I suppose it’s pretty good if you’re just willing to swallow anything you’re presented with but with a little critical thinking it loses it’s luster.

  6. 6
    tribune7 says:

    If Darwinism is a religion by definition it is not science.

    (Natural) science is a methodology which has the goal of being able to describe nature with nature being defined as that which has observable consistencies.

    Religion requires faith which by definition means the causes of the belief upon which the faith is based will not have consistencies.

  7. 7
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    Religion requires faith which by definition means the causes of the belief upon which the faith is based will not have consistencies.

    Finally, someone willing to admit that ID is based on religion.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Allan Keith is lying as tribune7 never said nor implied that ID was based on religion.

    ID is based on science. ID, unlike evolutionism, has the scientific methodology to test its claims.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Evolutionary theory itself entails that the only measurements that could confirm or disconfirm it are measurements made on populations of organisms.

    – Kantian Naturalist

  10. 10
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 7:

    So, are you saying that sophisticated machinery originating strictly from the minds and hands of engineers and technicians is inconsistent with observation, and is thus religious?

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Mung, Ask Richard Saunders, aka Kantian Naturalist, to link to the scientific theory of evolution that makes that claim so we can all confirm it.

  12. 12
    Allan Keith says:

    LM,

    So, are you saying that sophisticated machinery originating strictly from the minds and hands of engineers and technicians is inconsistent with observation, and is thus religious?

    No. The identification of human design is obviously not based on faith. However, the claim that you can identify design in biological organisms is based on faith as, to date, nobody has been able to do so. Nobody has proposed testable hypotheses by which this can be confirmed. Nobody has proposed any mechanisms by which the designer can realize his designs.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Allan:

    However, the claim that you can identify design in biological organisms is based on faith as, to date, nobody has been able to do so

    It’s been done. For example ATP synthase has all of the hallmarks of intelligent design and no one has a clue as to how evolution by means of blind and mindless processes could have produced it. There isn’t any methodology to test the claim.

    Nobody has proposed testable hypotheses by which this can be confirmed.

    That’s been done, also. Your ignorance is not an argument

    Nobody has proposed any mechanisms by which the designer can realize his designs.

    That isn’t required but some have proposed possible mechanisms

  14. 14
    ET says:

    The architecture and subunit composition of ATP synthase

    If you take a look at ATP synthase you can see it consists of two major subunits (F0 & F1) that are connected together by an external tether. This tether doesn’t have anything to do with the functionality of either subunit but without it no ATP synthase. The problem for evolution by blind and mindless processes is exacerbated. Not only does it need to produce the two subunits but one has to be embedded in some membrane so that a gradient can be formed. And the other has to to be stably tethered to the membrane the proper distance away. The tether looks like the membrane subunit F0 somehow formed an external docking site the proper length with F1 forming an external mating site.

    Again these two different protein subunits, the tether and mate, have nothing to do with the function of the protein complexes they are attached to and tether together. And without them there is no way to get the two working subunits together to produce ATP.

    There you have it- A simple external tether that stably holds the major F1 subunit/ rotary motor the proper distance away from its F0 motor force is evidence for the Intelligent Design of ATP synthase. The two major subunits and how it works is just icing on the cake.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    There you have it- to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems.

    “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.” Dr Behe in “Darwin’s Black Box”

    That is the positive case.

    Allan, your turn. Tell us the methodology to test the claims of evolutionism and provide some testable hypotheses so we can compare.

  16. 16
    tribune7 says:

    Allen

    –Finally, someone willing to admit that ID is based on religion.–

    Well, I could be snarky and say that you are then conceding that evolution is a religion as well but I’ll simply note that the the investigation of the consistencies of design is a scientific pursuit.

  17. 17
    tribune7 says:

    Allen

    –However, the claim that you can identify design in biological organisms is based on faith–

    If you develop a reliable technique for revealing design why is unscientific to apply it to whatever?

  18. 18
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Whatever the scientific or philosophical merits of their arguments (rest assured I have my own opinion) Berlinski is simply orders of magnitude more amusing.

    That alone would suffice for me to give him the nod in any debate.

  19. 19
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    If you develop a reliable technique for revealing design why is unscientific to apply it to whatever?

    First, I apologize for my snarky comment. You didn’t deserve it.

    My only point is that you haven’t developed a “reliable” technique for revealing design in biology. At best, you have a reliable technique for revealing human design.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    Allan:

    My only point is that you haven’t developed a “reliable” technique for revealing design in biology.

    Yes we have. Your willful ignorance is duly noted.

    On the other hand your position lacks the methodology to test its claims, Allan. Now run away again, come back and spew your ignorance another day.

  21. 21
    tribune7 says:

    –My only point is that you haven’t developed a “reliable” technique for revealing design in biology.–

    If a technique can reveal design why should it be restricted?

    Remember, this is not a demand that you accept a particular technique or refrain from skepticism.

  22. 22
    bill cole says:

    Allan

    My only point is that you haven’t developed a “reliable” technique for revealing design in biology. At best, you have a reliable technique for revealing human design.

    Are you making the claim that humans are responsible for biological design?

    Your restriction that you are trying to impose is arbitrary.

    Human design is design. The existence of human design allows us to form a standard of design detection.

  23. 23
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    If a technique can reveal design why should it be restricted?

    I am not saying that it must be restricted. But that it must be used with extreme caution. Detecting design in a human made artifact, in most cases, is relatively easy because we have knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of humans, and tools available to humans. Without having a reasonable idea of the mechanisms available to the designer, his capabilities and limitations, inferring design in biology is a weak inference at best. However, it can certainly be used to bolster other evidence.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Detecting design in a human made artifact, in most cases, is relatively easy because we have knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of humans, and tools available to humans.

    daft- we know their capabilities due to what they left behind

    Without having a reasonable idea of the mechanisms available to the designer, his capabilities and limitations, inferring design in biology is a weak inference at best.

    What an ignorant ting to say. Clearly you do not understand how science operates.

    Design is determined first. We don’t even ask about the who or how until after design has already been determined. And we determine the presence of design via our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    That said your position is weak to non-existent. You don’t even have a methodology to test your claims.

  25. 25
    tribune7 says:

    Allan

    –I am not saying that it must be restricted. But that it must be used with extreme caution.–

    We are not talking about a mandate to believe. We are talking about a starting point and an interesting observation.

    This starting point, however, is following scientific principles i.e. an observation (DNA, proteins etc. have characteristics akin to items of known complex design); a hypothesization (they are designed); and experimentation (items of complex design can’t be reduced let’s reduce bacteria and see what happens).

    Agreed that these points can be challenged but ID is science.

  26. 26
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7, I have never said that ID is not science. All I have said is that the inference to design in biology is a weak one. And that it could be made stronger by extending ID research into developing and testing hypotheses about possible mechanisms used to realize the design.

  27. 27
    vmahuna says:

    Tribune_7 @ 6

    All religions consist of varying emphasis on doctrine, ceremony, and personal religious experience.

    Roman religion, for example, consisted almost entirely of Ceremony, with some generalized doctrines, and acceptance of rare visions from the gods. But in general, if you participated in the public ceremonies, even if only for the free food, you were a member in good standing. There was no distinction between civil ceremonies and religious ceremonies: all public ceremonies were religious events. It’s worth noting that any number of Roman Catholic ceremonies are copies of Roman ones. And of course as soon as the Roman civil title of “pontifex maximus” fell vacant, the Catholics grabbed it and conferred it on the Pope.

    Confucianism is almost entirely about doctrine, which is unchangeable. (Confucius being dead and all.) In various centuries different Confucian ideas might be more popular than others, but Confucians must accept the entire body of writing.

    Darwinism would also appear to be all about Doctrine. If you’re an Atheist, it’s kinda hard to let on you’ve had a Personal Religious Experience. And I can’t imagine what a Darwinian ceremony would look like. I mean they don’t have a parade where they carry the Great Man’s bones around, do they?

    So like a hole in the dike, if a Darwinist allows ANY chipping away at Doctrine, the rest of the religion collapses rather quickly.

  28. 28
    ET says:

    Allan:

    All I have said is that the inference to design in biology is a weak one.

    Not given the evidence and the alternatives. The design inference in biology is as strong as that in archaeology and forensics.

    And that it could be made stronger by extending ID research into developing and testing hypotheses about possible mechanisms used to realize the design.

    So if someone genetically engineered a bacterial flagellum ID would be stronger? Really?

    If scientists create life in the lab ID is proven?

    ID is made stronger by the mere fact there aren’t any viable alternatives to account for what we observe

  29. 29
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Not given the evidence and the alternatives. The design inference in biology is as strong as that in archaeology and forensics.

    We agree to disagree.

    So if someone genetically engineered a bacterial flagellum ID would be stronger? Really?

    Ask me again when it happens.

    If scientists create life in the lab ID is proven?

    No. It proves that it is possible. It does not prove that this is how life originated.

    ID is made stronger by the mere fact there aren’t any viable alternatives to account for what we observe.

    Unfortunately for ID, a viable alternative exists.

  30. 30
    tribune7 says:

    Allan @26

    Apologizes for any misconstruing of your position. What you wrote is not unreasonable. I disagree about the inference to design in biology being weak given the methodology being used but that’s OK.

    Actually, given the methodology the inference is indisputable. The point of attack for me would be that the methodology is somehow flawed or an observation about the aspect of biology being subject to that methodology which rebuts what is now claimed.

  31. 31
    tribune7 says:

    vmahuna, well said.

  32. 32
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7, I have never thought that the ID methodology was flawed. I just disagree with the strengths of the conclusions drawn from them.

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Unfortunately for ID, a viable alternative exists.

    That is a lie

  34. 34
    xenos says:

    Coyne is just stupid. Not because he is an atheist. One can be a smart atheist. But he is not. All he ever managed to produce are ad hominem attacks against everyone, friend or foe. I’ve read him insulting Pigliucci, Sheldrake, Kastrup, even P.Z. Myers for trying to expose Shermer as a the sexual molester he appears to be. I think he’s actually damaging his own faction every time he talks.

  35. 35
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    That is a lie.

    Accusations yet no substance. This is getting tiresome. You are starting to sound like that moron Joe G. That can’t be, because Barry wisely banned that offensive idiot. Eat a Snickers.

  36. 36
    ET says:

    Allan- You don’t have any substance. You don’t have anything but to lie and deny.

    Pathetic. And yes Barry has banned several of your socks for being insipid trolls, cowards and liars. You aren’t any different.

    Strange how you never said what the viable alternative is nor how it is viable. Your cowardice runs deep

  37. 37
    LocalMinimum says:

    No. The identification of human design is obviously not based on faith.

    Those scratches in the walls of caves we find are not independently indicative of human design, just regularities that don’t fit available mindless processes. Bored alien visitors awaiting a slow rendezvous could’ve carved regular lines in a stone without betraying a non-human nature. We are first informed of design, then reference agents.

    If hunter gatherers isolated from the rest of the world found a dead cellphone, your approach would inform them that it wasn’t designed. After all, they can’t identify it as a human design. People from an early industrial age couldn’t identify it as a human design.

    However, the claim that you can identify design in biological organisms is based on faith as, to date, nobody has been able to do so.

    Human designers are biological organisms and human design is a function of biology, from a materialist perspective.

    I feel if I could produce a piece of software that could algorithmically manage what Darwin attributes to RM+NS, it would be fair to call it an automatic designer. Purpose and goals don’t matter; The purpose and goals of human designers are already simply a factor of this alleged mechanism, right? So why can’t I just call Darwinism a design inference pointing to an idiot designer hiding in the noise and environment of a self-propagating system?

  38. 38
    tribune7 says:

    Allan, @32 Can you explain that (strengths of the conclusions drawn from them}

  39. 39
    ET says:

    OK, clearly Allan lied and there isn’t any viable alternative and Allan cannot say how it was supposed to be viable.

    Typical

  40. 40
    LocalMinimum says:

    I must correct myself @ 36. Allen’s approach wouldn’t inform them that it wasn’t designed, it would inform them that they had no reason to expect that it was designed, ad absurdum being the mode.

  41. 41
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    Allan, @32 Can you explain that (strengths of the conclusions drawn from them}”
    I only refer to this in the same way that we do in statistics or regression analysis. For example, a correlation coefficient of 0.995 suggests a much stronger correlation than one of 0.625.

  42. 42
    tribune7 says:

    Allan

    For example, a correlation coefficient of 0.995 suggests a much stronger correlation than one of 0.625.

    And you would be right but the correlation between CSI & IC with DNA is 1.

  43. 43
    Allan Keith says:

    Tribune7,

    And you would be right but the correlation between CSI & IC with DNA is 1.

    Hardly. There is plenty of DNA that does not result in CSI and IC. In fact, the vast majority of it doesn’t. But regardless, the question on the table is the correlation to design.

  44. 44
    ET says:

    Allan, Living organisms, their systems and subsystems correlate to design. It is a one-to-one correlation. And your position doesn’t have anything to explain it. Attacking IDists is all you have and that is the coward’s way.

  45. 45
    tribune7 says:

    Allan

    There is plenty of DNA that does not result in CSI and IC. In fact, the vast majority of it doesn’t.

    You remove guanine from a DNA molecule what happens?

    Regarding CSI, I’m not sure what DNA molecule doesn’t have it but even granting the point that there are “plenty”, you would only need one to perfectly correlate with the theory.

    the question on the table is the correlation to design.

    Well yes. You have a theory that says these characteristics perfectly correlate to design and this object has those characteristics.

  46. 46
    groovamos says:

    AK: extending ID research into developing and testing hypotheses about possible mechanisms used to realize the design.

    So whatever exists, is extant due to “possible mechanisms”? Is that a scientific pronouncement? If so based on what? Where is the proof or better yet how would one falsify such an assertion? Shouldn’t there be a thing somewhere or maybe everywhere universally called a ‘mechanism’ agreed upon by all of science for to be true?

    Or is this word “mechanism” mainly useful for story telling? In case you haven’t noticed, story telling is what Darwinists do, not I.D. proponents, with the exception of telling the story of how and especially why, Darwinists tell stories.

  47. 47
    Allan Keith says:

    Groovamos,

    Or is this word “mechanism” mainly useful for story telling? In case you haven’t noticed, story telling is what Darwinists do,…

    The same sort of “story telling” is used by geologists, nuclear physicists, archeologists and cosmologists.

  48. 48
    ET says:

    Allan:

    The same sort of “story telling” is used by geologists, nuclear physicists, archeologists and cosmologists.

    Negative. Those venues have actual evidence and a way to test their claims. Evolutionism does not.

    For example no one can say how natural selection, drift or any other blind and mindless processes produced ATP synthase

  49. 49
    Eugen says:

    I think poor Jerry Coyne must be envious because he is mocking Berlinski. Also I was hoping Allan Keith would get comment 47

  50. 50
    groovamos says:

    AK The same sort of “story telling” is used by geologists, nuclear physicists, archeologists and cosmologists

    Really? nature is absolutely replete with “mechanisms”? Why the universe must be one giant mechanism! All these mechanisms just accidently sprang into existence, what a fantastic story!

  51. 51
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Negative. Those venues have actual evidence and a way to test their claims.

    Really? How was mountain formation tested. Diamond formation? Star formation?

  52. 52
    ET says:

    We can make diamonds so we understand the process. We have seen mountains rise, too (Paricutin). Stars are a little but trickier but thanks to computers and the Hubble telescope we have a very good handle on it.

    Evolutionism doesn’t have anything. No computer simulations. No observations- nothing but lies, bluffs and equivocations

  53. 53
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    We can make diamonds so we understand the process.

    OK. I’ll give you that

    We have seen mountains rise, too (Paricutin).

    No. We have seen volcanoes rise. Mountain formation has been postulated from observed small incremental changes extrapolated over long periods of time. Sound familiar?

    Stars are a little but trickier but thanks to computers and the Hubble telescope we have a very good handle on it.

    Still based on small scale observations extrapolated over a long period of time.

    Evolutionism doesn’t have anything.

    Except for millions of pieces of evidence from several different fields of study.

    No computer simulations.

    Except for all of the computer simulations.

    No observations-

    Except for the millions of observations that have been made that support evolution.

    nothing but lies, bluffs and equivocations

    Except for the mountains of evidence, observations and published research papers suggesting otherwise.

  54. 54
    ET says:

    So Mount St Helens isn’t a mountain? Are you daft?

    Except for millions of pieces of evidence from several different fields of study.

    Negative. You are equating evolution with evolutionism.

    Except for all of the computer simulations.

    For example? Genetic algorithms use telic processes so they don’t help you.

    So tell us what simulations show that bacteria can evolve into eukaryotes? You don’t have a mechanism capable of that transformation. Peer-review isn’t of any help as all it has in endosymbiosis which only gets you organelles and even that is speculation.

    No one can say how natural selection, drift or any other blind and mindless processes produced ATP synthase.

    You can’t even muster a testable hypothesis for it

    Except for the millions of observations that have been made that support evolution.

    So you are equivocating. Is that really the best that you can do?

    Except for the mountains of evidence, observations and published research papers suggesting otherwise.

    Negative. We have asked for the papers that support evolution by means of blind and mindless processes and you ran away.

    The best evidence for macroevolution doesn’t mention a mechanism- meaning it does NOT support evolution by means of blind and mindless processes.

    Microevolution- those small changes- cannot add up to macroevolution- the large changes- because there are different genes involved:

    Loci that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to lie at the basis of many major adaptive changes, while those loci that seemingly do constitute the foundation of many if not most major adaptive changes are not variable.– John McDonald, “The Molecular Basis of Adaptation: A Critical Review of Relevant Ideas and Observation”, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics: 14, 1983, p77-102

    Changing eye color does not explain vision systems.

    But that is moot as you don’t seem to have a clue what is being debated even though it has been spelled out for you many times.

    Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution

    So all you can do is bluff and equivocate. Thank you

  55. 55
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 52:

    Except for all of the computer simulations.

    List your personal favorites, please.

  56. 56
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    So Mount St Helens isn’t a mountain? Are you daft?

    No. But I know the difference between a volcano and a mountain.

    Nice talking to you, but I don’t continue discussions with people who can’t disagree with someone without insulting them. You should take a lesson from Tribune7, StephenB and others here who take a mature approach to debate.

  57. 57
    Allan Keith says:

    LM,

    List your personal favorites, please.

    I don’t know enough about them to have a favourite. I was just responding to the obviously wrong claim that there are no computer simulations of evolution.

  58. 58
    ET says:

    Allan:

    I was just responding to the obviously wrong claim that there are no computer simulations of evolution.

    Except that wasn’t the claim. The equivocation runs deep with this one.

    But I know the difference between a volcano and a mountain.

    Which is what?

    A mountain is a large landform that stretches above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism.

    You should take a lesson from Tribune7, StephenB and others here who take a mature approach to debate.

    You are a hypocrite. But hey if it gets you to ignore everything that was wrong with your argument then go for it. That is expected from your ilk.

  59. 59
    LocalMinimum says:

    AK @ 56:

    Well, there are plenty alleged. But they’re all bluff and bunk. They all cheat and/or are just plain wrong, in many ways, without exception; which is pretty damning in and of itself.

    Some example practically universal problems: there are no minimum functional requirements, i.e. all configurations are viable, and there is no extinction, only substitution. Selection is often 100% correlated to a fitness function which is almost always defined on a single axis, so no antagonism between selective pressures creating potential wells in the fitness landscape.

    And these two cheats alone (and they’re not going to be alone) are about enough to generate great piles of junk that would get selected into extinction by a proper simulation, but don’t; and become what would be IC in a proper simulation, but without ever dealing with any of the barriers that define IC. Then they point to their fantasy world generated trash pile and say “look, emergent IC!”

    A simulation of evolution that was what it says on the tin would quickly become the focus of the debate; the gatekeeper, even; as it would put evolution on an actual theoretical standing. It would be the mathematical argument that Darwin could’ve put forward to actually stand with Newton, Einstein, etc.

    Won’t be holding my breath. Genetic algorithms stripped to faithfully recreate RM+NS don’t do much of anything. Far more capable algorithms require careful supervision and coaching to produce specific aspects of systems far less sophisticated than biology.

  60. 60
    ET says:

    LocalMinimum-

    Genetic algorithms use telic processes to solve the problems they were intelligently designed to solve. They are goal oriented.

    You will also enjoy the following:

    Evolution by Intelligent Design: A Response to Lenski et al.

    For example:

    When Lenski et al. created a simulation with high irreducible complexity, i.e. there was no selective advantage until the target function arose, EQU never evolved! Consider this quote from the Lenski paper:

    “At the other extreme, 50 populations evolved in an environment where only EQU was rewarded, and no simpler function yielded energy. We expected that EQU would evolve much less often because selection would not preserve the simpler functions that provide foundations to build more complex features. Indeed, none of these populations evolved EQU, a highly significant difference from the fraction that did so in the reward-all environment (P ~= 4.3 x 10-9, Fisher’s exact test).”

  61. 61
    LocalMinimum says:

    ET @ 59:

    Genetic algorithms use telic processes to solve the problems they were intelligently designed to solve. They are goal oriented.

    Totally agree. Producing a proper Darwinistic simulation would require a near complete encephalectomy of a GA.

    Excellent link. I shall be digging in. Thank you!

  62. 62
    ET says:

    Just think what would happen if the GA’s didn’t have a pre-specified goal. The antenna GA would never produce an antenna. Dawkins weasel would never hit upon the Shakespeare line. Nothing of note would ever happen.

  63. 63
    LocalMinimum says:

    ET @ 62:

    Well, yes. It’s a “fuzzy” specification, i.e. the antenna was already fully designed except for one aspect: the kinks in the wire. The GA doesn’t provide materials or construction. It can’t even offer that a kink is needed, or even that kinks are what it’s specifying. And don’t ask it where to plug this thing in.

    I’ve read the article @ 60 before (the link is wrong, but I Googled the title); it’s a great reread, too.

    An interesting issue with Avida, per the configuration for Lenski’s paper that actually yielded results. It doesn’t require any base set of functionality, and functional complexity was universally selected for. If biology were this way, an especially functionally complex component, like a dog brain, would be of most value, and vital structures would be unnecessary (technically, “vital structures” wouldn’t exist). Thus, a pile of dog brains would be superior to a dog in terms of fitness.

  64. 64
    ET says:

    Too bad Allan ran away from this discussion.

  65. 65
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Too bad Allan ran away from this discussion.

    Still here. Just waiting for an actual discussion to begin.

  66. 66
    ET says:

    Well you made some claims and haven’t supported them. You seem to think that your equivocation means something.

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