Biology Cell biology Darwinism Evolution ID Irreducible Complexity Natural selection

Design Disquisitions: Critic’s Corner-Kenneth Miller

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This week’s post at Design Disquisitions is the first in a series of articles entitled ‘Critic’s Corner’ where I focus on a critic of ID. The main purpose of these posts is to document their work relevant to ID and also to document the direct responses to the particular critic in question, by those sympathetic to ID. These posts will be a useful resource for anyone wanting to find responses to a particular ID critic. This first one is on the work of Kenneth Miller (no stranger to anyone involved in this debate of course). If there are any articles I have missed, do let me know and I shall add it to the page.

8 Replies to “Design Disquisitions: Critic’s Corner-Kenneth Miller

  1. 1
    rvb8 says:

    All of your examples of responses to Miller have been very well covered at Pandasthumb, during their extensive cover of the Dover trial and Miller’s withering testamony. Funny, you don’t mention his testimony, does that not count as published? It’s all at TalkOrigins, if you would like directions.

    You appear to be digging up arguments from a distant past to Criticize. Is this because contemporary ID work does not exist?

    I’ll make a prediction for your blog; as you slowly realise that repeating the same discounted arguments again and again, is not a winning strategy, and as you realise that saying, ‘it looks designed therefore there must be a designer’, is also tired, your blog will implode.

    There is only so many ways you can repeat dead arguments before people catch on; although it is a remarkably resilient tactic here.

    Oh, and your list of rebuttal articles include, this unpeer reviewed site UD, the unpeer reviewed EV News and Views, (where, BTW we can not reply,) AIG, CMI and ICR, (are you looking to be laughed out of science?),Denyse O’Leary? Why? Have you seen her contributions here?

  2. 2

    Rv, Miller says he debunked irreducible complexity, but he didn’t. You can’t either. No one at Talk Origins can. No one at Pharyngula can. No one anywhere in the world can. Darwinian evolution requires IC. No one can debunk that fact. Anyone who tries must obfuscate on the meaning of words or invent physical conditions they cannot demonstrate. Get over it.

  3. 3
    rvb8 says:

    I don’t think it’s my job to ‘debunk’ IC, Evolutionary Biology and its related disciplines has already done that.

    Scientists everywhere, when confronted by the silly assertions without proof made by ID, constantly prove that the Irreducibly Complex systems put forward by ID, are indeed made of smaller functioning parts and systems. Now it’s your turn to have a tantrum and yell, ‘where, where, where?’ To which I can only say, please go to any science web site that’s real, TalkOrigins is a good start. Also visit, amazing, I spend hours browsing there.

    Really UB, TalkOrigins is a wonderful site read their CI100-CI199 section entitled Detecting Design. You probably won’t like it, as it has the annoying habit of presenting varifiable facts, backed up by solid research.

  4. 4

    Evolutionary Biology and its related disciplines has already done that.

    No, rv, they haven’t. You just think they have, and that serves your purpose. In order to specify a heritable protein, you first have to specify its individual amino acids from a heritable memory and then construct them in the proper sequence. You can’t do that without IC. Why do you think Crick proposed the famous “adapter hypothesis” rv? You know, that hypothesis that Zamecnik and Hoagland proved experimentally three years later. Why were adapters necessary, rv? Got an answer? No you don’t. Peirce was right. Turing was right. Von Neumann was right. Crick was right.

    You are blowing smoke, and both you and I know it.

  5. 5

    rv, in case you are wondering (not likely, but even so) Pierce’s 1860’s model of signification (i.e. the ability to specify something among alternatives) suggested that all representation requires interpretation in order to exist. This model is not only consistent with naturalist views of reality, it is basically demanded by those views — and for good reason. It’s true. Then Turing showed that we can impute representation and interpretation into an arrangement of matter (i.e. a physical system) and cause novel function to come into being. Von Neumann then took Turing’s machine and used it to show what is required for an autonomous self-replicator to exist, thereby establishing a threshold of complexity for such a system. He did this several years before his model was demonstrated inside the living cell. Crick then showed how a DNA molecule could carry a code, and further predicted that a set of adapters would be required within the system, which Zamecnik and Hoagland found three years later. But the code in DNA would still have to be demonstrated in order for us to know what it is (i.e. it could not be calculated from its dynamic properties). Nirenberg set out to accomplish this demonstration and won the Nobel prize for doing so. Pattee then carefully described the physics of the system, and at the very center of that system is a set of (rate-independent) physical representations and a set of (non-integrable) constraints to interpret those representations. Two things, rv, you can’t specify something in the physical universe without two things. This empirical fact was proposed in theory, confirmed by experiment, and has been universally demonstrated throughout all of history. Write that down. No one at your ideological cesspools has solved the symbol-matter paradox.

  6. 6
    Joshua G says:

    Thanks for the suggestion rvb8. Yes I forgot about the testimony so have added it it to the post. I disagree that the responses to Miller have been dealt with, and I have read most of them. Regardless, in this post I’m not arguing about whether or not Miller’s work or the responses to him have merit. This post is just to document them. I will be examining the arguments in detail on another occasion.

    You ask why I’m ‘digging up arguments from a distant past to criticize. Is this because contemporary ID work does not exist?’. No that isn’t the reason. For one thing, it’s good to reflect on arguments from the past, as it can be informative and help contemporary conversations take them into account. And Miller’s points, and the responses to him, are still discussed today. His dispute with Behe on chloroquine resitance is hardly ancient either.

    Your prediction here is rather charming:

    “as you slowly realise that repeating the same discounted arguments again and again, is not a winning strategy, and as you realise that saying, ‘it looks designed therefore there must be a designer’, is also tired, your blog will implode.”

    You don’t know me, and the blog has only been going for a few weeks. I have also never argued for ID based on mere appearance and don’t plan to so that’s absurd. I’m pretty sure it won’t implode and such silly comments certainly won’t be the cause of this predicted implosion. We’ll see.
    Finally, you object to some of the content I have included in the responses. I endorse some of them, but not others, and by simply including them I am not endorsing them. My purpose was to merely document them.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    Very nice Upright BiPed. It’s tempting to copy your response and paste it every time rvb8 rears his head.

    These are the facts. Deal with it.

  8. 8
    Charlatan says:

    sorry for spam…
    i have a question about an article from talkorigin by Ian Musgrave

    is it true :Some functionally equivalent molecules can have between 30 – 50% of their amino acids different

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