Darwinism Darwinist rhetorical tactics Evolution Evolutionary biology General interest Intelligent Design Logic and First Principles of right reason The Design of Life Tree of life

How Keith’s “Bomb” Turned Into A Suicide Mission

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Keith brought in an argument he claimed to be a “bomb” for ID. It turned out to be a failed suicide mission where the only person that got blown up was Keith.

(Please note: I am assuming that life patterns exists in an ONH, as Keith claims, for the sake of this argument only.  Also, there are many other, different take-downs of Keith’s “bomb” argument already on the table.  Indulge me while I present another here.)

In my prior OP, I pointed out that Keith had made no case that nature was limited to producing only ONH’s when it comes to biological diversity, while his whole argument depended on it.  He has yet to make that case, and has not responded to me when I have reiterated that question.  We turn our attention now to his treatment of “the designer” in his argument.

First, a point that my have been lost in another thread:

From here, keith claimed:

3. We know that unguided evolution exists.

No, “we” do not. ID proponents concede that unguided natural forces exist that are utilized by a designed system (even if perhaps entirely front-loaded) to accomplish evolutionary goals; they do not concede that unguided process (including being unguided and unregulated by front-loaded designed algorithms and infrastructure) can generate successful evolution, even microevolution, entirely without any guided support/infrastructure.

Keith claims that we have observed “unguided microevolution” producing ONH’s, but that is an assumptive misstatement. Douglas Theobald, his source for “evidence” that unguided evolution has been observed generating ONH’s, makes no such claim or inference.  Theobald only claims that microevolution produces ONH’s.  Observing a process producing an effect doesn’t necessarily reveal if the process is guided or unguided.

Keith agrees Theobald makes no such claim or inference. The “unguided” modifying characteristic, then, is entirely on Keith; he can point to no research or science that rigorously vets microevolutionary processes as “unguided”.

When challenged on this assumption, Keith makes statements such as “even YEC’s agree that microevolution is unguided”, or that some particular ID proponent has made that concession; please note that because others elect not to challenge an assumption doesn’t mean that everyone else is required to concede the point. If challenged, the onus falls upon Keith to support his assertion that unguided microevolutionary forces are up to the task of generating ONH’s, otherwise his entire argument fails because of this unsupported premise.

Keith’s response to the challenge about the “unguided” nature of microevolution:

As you know, we actually observe microevolution producing ONHs, and microevolution does not require designer intervention, as even most YECs acknowledge.

This is simple reiteration of the very assertion that has been challenged. Keith circularly refers back to the very source that provides no support for his “unguided” inference. This has been pointed out to him several times, yet he repeats the same mantra over and over “we know unguided microevolution can produce ONH’s.”  Reiterating an assertion is not providing support for the assertion.  As I’ve asked Keith serveral times, where is the research that makes the case that microevolutionary processes/successes are qualitatively “unguided”?  Keith has yet to point us to such a paper.

That said, here is the suicidal portion of Keith’s argument.

I’ve repeatedly challenged keith to answer this question:

Are you saying that it is impossible for natural forces to generate a mismatched (non-ONH) set of trees [diversity of life pattern]?

This question follows a point I made in the Black Knight thread:

If, as Keith’s argument apparently assumes, natural forces are **restricted** to generating biological systems as evolutionary in nature and conforming to Markovian ONH progressions, why (and perhaps more importantly, how) would a designer work around these apparently inherent natural limitations and tendencies in order to generate **something else**?

It’s like Keith expects a designer to defy gravity, inertia and other natural forces and tendencies in order to get a rocket to the moon and back, just because keith imagines that a designer would have trillions of options available that didn’t need to obey such natural laws and tendencies.

Keith’s argument relies upon his claim that the designer could have generated “the diversity of life” into “trillions” of patterns that were not ONH’s, and that no such options were open to natural forces.  If a designer and natural forces both had the same number of options open to them, there would be no advantage in Keith’s argument to either.  However, Keith’s “trillions of options” argument requires that the designer can instantiate living organisms into the physical world in a manner that natural forces cannot, thus generating “diversity of life” patterns nature is incapable of producing.

Keith’s response was:

You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces? You might want to discuss that assumption with your fellow IDers, who may not be quite so enthusiastic about it as you are. Besides the conflict with your fellow IDers, you have another problem: what is the basis for your assumption about the limitations of the Designer? How do you know what the Designer can and cannot do? Be specific.

Note the attempt to shift the burden, as if I was the one making  a claim about what the designer “can and cannot do”. I made no such claim.  The claim was in Keith’s assertion that the designer could have generated trillions of “diversity of life” patterns that nature could not by instantiating life forms into physical existence in a manner that nature could not.  Later, Keith modified his claim:

There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

What an explosive, self-contradictory blunder.  If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.  Whether or not unguided natural forces can generate any of the same “trillions of possibilities” of diversity of life pattern (alternatives to ONH) depends on what we know about those natural forces and how they operate.  Obviously, Keith doesn’t assume that unguided natural forces can instantiate life in  “trillions” of ways that would not conform to an ONH.  Not knowing anything about “the designer” doesn’t give Keith license to simply assume the designer has “trillions of possibilities” open to actually instantiating a “diversity of life” into the physical world. If we disregard actual capacity to produce biological diversity, the same number of purely “logical” alternatives are open to both natural forces and any designer.  You have to know something about the causal agencies to know what it is “possible” for them to do or not do. Keith admits he knows nothing about the designer.

Read what Keith said again:

You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces?

Something becomes clear here: Keith’s argument must assume that the designer is supernatural, and can magically instantiate biological life into the world in any way imaginable, without regard for natural laws, forces, or molecular tendencies and behavioral rules, and without regard to what would limit any other causal agency – it’s actual capacity to engineer particular outcomes in the physical world.

Yet, Keith says that we know nothing about the designer:

 After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

If we assume that natural forces are capable of creating non-ONH patterns, Keith’s argument fails. If we assume that natural forces can only produce an ONH, then Keith must assume extra characteristics about the designer – that it is capable of instantiating  “diversity of life” patterns that natural forces cannot.  Keith’s assumptions are not equal.  For the assumptions to be equal, we either assume both unguided forces and the designer can only produce ONH patterns in a diversity of life landscape, or we can assume both are capable of non-ONH patterns.  We cannot assume that unguided forces can actually only produce ONH, and assume that the designer can actually produce trillions of other patterns, and keep a straight face while insisting our assumptions are equal and that “we know absolutely nothing about the designer”.

408 Replies to “How Keith’s “Bomb” Turned Into A Suicide Mission

  1. 1
  2. 2
    keith s says:

    William,

    This is at least the seventh thread at UD dealing with my argument.

    I am flattered by all the attention being given to my supposedly “inane” and “trivial” argument (as you described it), but why keep opening new threads?

    I will respond to your post on vjtorley’s thread, for now.

    P.S. You do get points for leaving comments open, unlike kairosfocus.

  3. 3
    Vishnu says:

    Excellent OP

    “ID proponents concede that unguided natural forces exist that are utilized by a designed system (even if perhaps entirely front-loaded) to accomplish evolutionary goals; they do not concede that unguided process (including being unguided and unregulated by front-loaded designed algorithms and infrastructure) can generate successful evolution, even microevolution, entirely without any guided support/infrastructure.”

    This is exactly what a living tree out in your backyard does. The nested hierarchy in a Magnolia is the result of sophisticated, extremely information rich systems and processes, that implement rules, which include employing random factors, such as levels air temperature, humidity, soil composition, sunlight, and other stocastic elements, all filtered within certain constraints towards a goal that has well-defined characteristics. That well-defined processes use stochastic elements to achieve an outcome is not controversial. Human engineers (including myself) do the same thing with genetic algorithms. Using randomness to fill niches is a clever ploy amongst intelligent engineers.

    You will never see a Magnolia tree spout a human-like arm with a hand and five fingers out of the side of its truck.

  4. 4
    mahuna says:

    I haven’t been following this argument (since it doesn’t appear to be a “debate” or a “discussion”) very closely, but when I skimmed over the new stuff I was struck by the fact that a random natural process that tends to produce “nested trees” (from a statistical point of view) is NOT the same kind of process that could have produced The Cambrian Explosion.

    So I think this is at best a “win some/lose some” argument for the Darwinists. That is, if Evolution is a process that has produced the nested trees that we observe over the last 50 million (say) years, then Evolution cannot be the process that produced the great diversity of life during the Cambrian Epoc. There is of course the saving argument that the currently identified “nested trees” appear to many researchers to be arbitrarily constructed, which raises the question of whether any such clustering exists. But that again is a “win/lose” thing because Darwin himself declared that Evolution would produce “trees”.

    So, as I see the Evolutionist position: 1) there MUST BE nested trees; 2) the nested trees are the result of an undirected natural process; 3) the Cambrian Explosion is still under review…

  5. 5

    I am flattered by all the attention being given to my supposedly “inane” and “trivial” argument (as you described it),

    I’m more than happy to keep headlining your errors and absurdities as long as you care to keep dishing them out and promoting them.

  6. 6
    Vishnu says:

    Keiths:

    I (and probably others) would appreciate a point by point, paragraph by paragraph rebuttal to this OP.

    Thank you

  7. 7
    Box says:

    Excellent OP William,

    Just one thing I would like to add is that implicit in Keith’s reasoning, the designer is not only a supernatural magician, as mentioned by WJM, but also a designer who is indifferent towards the orderings of life. Only such a designer would warrant Keith’s comparison with a trillion-sided die.
    IOW only the act of a omnipotent and indifferent designer would make the realization of trillions of logical possibilities equally likely.

  8. 8
    keith s says:

    Vishnu,

    Patience, please. We (including you) are currently discussing my challenge in the other thread.

    Everyone is welcome to take the challenge, though you seem to be reluctant. Understandably so. It would be embarrassing to fail.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM:

    A useful response, to what seems to be the TSZ varsity squad.

    I note:

    Read what Keith said again:

    You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces?

    Something becomes clear here: Keith’s argument must assume that the designer is supernatural, and can magically instantiate biological life into the world in any way imaginable, without regard for natural laws, forces, or molecular tendencies and behavioral rules, and without regard to what would limit any other causal agency – it’s actual capacity to engineer particular outcomes in the physical world.

    Engineering design is quite often limited by environmental constraints starting with basic forces and materials of nature.

    the living world exists, for instance as a complex interactive cluster of ecosystems, and just the requisites of being self-sustaining would impose considerable constraints on the design.

    For just one instance, I recall Duane Gish once remarking, what would they eat?

    That is, food webs and chains carry implications all the way down to molecular biology, with consistent handedness of molecules running through and through.

    Similarly, if we use inflowing sunlight as prime energy source and thus go to plants as primary producers, that brings in all sorts of biochemical constraints thereafter, and it may well be that some at least of those extended metabolic networks imply a lot of further FSCO/I beyond the individual organism. All the way to the breakdown and materials recycling level that enriches soil, sea and more.

    That is going to impose molecular patterns and libraries of common “bricks” and likely, energy processing processes as we move on from primary producers.

    The use of a basically common genetic and metabolic system using common bricks such as sugars, the 20 or so AAs in general use, ACGT/U etc follow as pointing to common patterns, including codes as a reasonable action. Libraries of parts with reuse and modification with multiple inheritance is another reasonable cluster of design patterns.

    As for generally tree-like patterns, as I pointed out repeatedly (and was of course conveniently ignored) there are reasons why technologies constrained by efficiency, economy of materials etc tend to follow such a pattern.

    Think, Wright Flyer, to fabric covered aircraft, with biplanes and piston engined aircraft in a dominant age, then monocoque construction, Aluminium, then Jets, Titanium, and the different families of aircraft — light single and twin engine, heavier ones, fighters, cargo aircraft, twin and quadruple engine airliners, helicopters, supersonic transports and so forth.

    In short branching tree patterns with objective keys that yield hierarchies are not at all unexpected on design. Nor for that matter would be technological evolution, and indeed we have the science of inventive problem solving and driving principles that tend to drive the architecture of technological systems. Look up TRIZ, from the Russian acronym. (Over the years I have pointed to this any number of times, but such will predictably be ignored or dismissed.)

    It seems to me that KS’ argument is simply ill-founded and deeply ill-informed, but it serves to reinforce an ideological system so it will probably be clung to until the system collapses.

    But it is unacceptable to see the sort of strawman tactics that are being used.

    KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: where of course at no point has it been empirically warranted that the FSCO/I required for either OOL or origin of body plans can and does arise by blind watchmaker chance and mechanical necessity. On trillions of cases, FSCO/I routinely and reliably comes about by intelligently directed contingency, to the point that we are entitled epistemically to view FSCO/I as a reliable sign of design. Which is one reason for the selectively hyperskeptical attempts to deny or dismiss its reality that we have seen ever so often. It needs to be underscored that KS’ argument pivots on begging very big questions, in a context of quietly assumed a priori evolutionary materialism and/or fellow traveller views.

  11. 11
    Vishnu says:

    keiths,

    I’ll be waiting with popcorn when you finally decide to deal with the OP on this thread.

    As for your challenge: it’s been successfully refuted to my sanctification. That you cannot see that it has been successfully refuted is not my problem. Others can, and they’re the ones that matter. I doubt anyone here is operating under the delusion they can ever change your mind about anything. You’re merely the subject of an unwitting object lesson. I’m glad your here.

  12. 12
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    I hate to break it to you, but your “challenge” is boring. It breaks down to, “Is design a good explanation for things that demonstrate no evidence of having been designed?” You appear to be oblivious to the existence of an explanatory filter. Ask your question about which theory is best in regards to something that can pass the explanatory filter, and I’ll be interested. ‘Til then, its a yawner as well as a stinker, though seeing others point this out is mildly diverting…the first ten or so times.

  13. 13
    Vishnu says:

    Since I’m bored at a moment with nothing better to do so I’ll go ahead and take keiths’s “challenge” in a manner of speaking:

    To quote nullasalus:

    “And it is being pointed out here that the sense of ‘unguided’ evolution you’re talking about is not even observed in the original case, because there is no scientific observation of ‘unguided’ evolution. What was observed was descent with modification – NOT ‘unguided’ evolution, or ‘unguided’ anything else for that matter.” (Emp mine)

    To which keiths brilliantly retorts:

    “A rock breaks off the side of a cliff and tumbles into the gorge below. Do we know that it is unguided? No. Is Intelligent Falling a plausible explanation? No, and most ID proponents are smart enough to recognize that. They won’t argue for Intelligent Falling, and they won’t argue that angels are pushing the planets around. Yet they will argue that God the Designer guided evolution, and that the pattern that was produced just happens to be the same one that unguided evolution would have produced, had it been operating.” (Emp mine.)

    How can you argue with that?! /sarc off

    Keiths replies as if nullasalus didn’t say a word.

    The problem here is neither keiths nor anyone else knows if unguided evolution is even possible to the extent required to produce life as we empirically know it. He merely assumes it is possible that life evolved without any pre-ordained operating principles or certain highly specified and required initial conditions or without the lack of intelligent intervention at various points and uses that unfounded assumption as an “argument.”

    Earth to Keiths: an assumption is not an argument.

    (Sidebar: Only YECs have trouble with life developing over long periods. I’m not a YEC. It is not a live issue for me. I don’t speak for them and they don’t speak for me.)

    Again, he assumes what is not in evidence:

    Keiths: It makes no sense. If you don’t believe in the Rain Fairy, the Streambed Designer, the Explosion Designer, or the angels pushing the planets around, why would you believe in a designer who just happens to produce an ONH?”

    Uh huh.

    There is no evidence that the grand sweep of evolution could have operated “unguided” in the manner keiths assumes, we have no information on the capacities and constrains of a putative designer, and yet we have good reason to suspect a “put up job”…

    To paraphrase what I posted on the other thread:

    I mention a few:

    + Origin of Life, Coded information and the DNA/ribsomic replicator.

    + Protein families within the allotted time-frame.

    + Cambrian Explosion

    + Fine Tuned Universe

    Just to name a few. Big subjects all. There are sound empirical reasons for inferring design. It’s a live issue amongst some very intelligent people…

    Poor girl, the Rain Fairy has nothing going for her.

    Nothing at all.

    She is not a live issue.

    That’s the difference, keiths.

  14. 14
    Vishnu says:

    Digging deeper, keiths utters:

    “The objective nested hierarchy is exactly what we would expect if unguided evolution were operating, but maybe God the Designer chose, or was limited, or just happened to produce an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.”

    While it’s logically conceivable that if unguided evolution was totally responsible for the tree of life, there would be a nested hierarchy. It is likewise conceivable that a nested hierarchy could be produced from an intelligently designed system. On that score, both on equal footing.

    We know that nested hierarchies are produced by information rich systems, such as a Magnolia tree. (Or keiths, do you not consider a tree genome to be an information rich system? By the way, that was a point that was lost on you in the other thread.)

    The production of nested hierarchies are very useful for intelligent designers, for example, genetic algorithms. If an intelligent designer wanted to design some living trees, and make them so there was a lot of variability to their outcome within certain constraints, then using stochastic environment cues and an algorithm that produces a nested hierarchy would be a clever way of doing it. Every tree in your back yard does exactly that.

    That life is a nested hierarchy is no evidence for a completely blind, unguided system. Simultaneously, at worst for the ID camp, and at best for the blind watchmaker camp, it is evidence that stochastic processes were apparently part of the mix. And brilliantly so.

  15. 15
    Vishnu says:

    … also, using stochastic cues and processes are a useful and clever way to fill niches. This is the essence of genetic algorithms used by engineers (including myself.)

  16. 16
    Vishnu says:

    Keiths:

    Let’s say I provide you with two cladograms.

    Both cladograms are nested hierarchies.

    One cladogram comes from a biology textbook.

    The other cladogram comes from an intelligently designed random cladogram generator.

    Do you think you will be able to tell which is which?

    Are you up for it?

  17. 17
    Vishnu says:

    … of course, the random cladogram generator will be not produce completely random caldograms, but within certain constrains.

    Are you up for it?

    And while you’re thinking about that, think about this:

    If I give you a cladogram that is generated with a intelligently designed cladogram generator that generates nested hierarchies, why would such a cladogram not be evidence for an unguided process, in your way of thinking?

  18. 18
    keith s says:

    Vishnu,

    You still have no idea what I am arguing.

    See my reply on the other thread.

  19. 19
    nullasalus says:

    You still have no idea what I am arguing.

    We know what you’re arguing, keith. The problem is, you’ve been gutted. You’re just hoping you can blow enough smoke to not admit it.

    You are proposing a fairy hypothesis: ‘The mindless fairy magically orchestrates nature, and it just so happens that nature results in all manner of things, some of which are living structures, microevolutionary successes, macroevolutionary successes, and more.’ Your fairy has never been observed, tested for or discovered by science – because it’s not a scientific posit to being with.

    Which is why I keep asking you to provide the scientific evidence, the peer-reviewed research/experiment, that demonstrates that even microevolution – or anything else, for that matter – is ‘unguided’. And it’s also why you keep huffing and puffing, trying to fall back onto one fallacy after another, to excuse yourself from having to provide said evidence.

    Because you don’t have it. It doesn’t exist. And your claim dies with it.

    For the intellectually honest ID critic, there is only one sure way out of this: to admit that science eschews both guided AND unguided explanations. All it has are explanations, the guidance of which has a question mark over it. It’s not a scientific query.

    And admitting that much guts not just your argument, but the entire Darwinist view.

  20. 20
    Zachriel says:

    Vishnu: The other cladogram comes from an intelligently designed random cladogram generator.

    What do you mean by a random cladogram generator? If you mean grouping organisms into random nested hierarchies, of course you can tell the difference. If so, then that is exactly the point. There is only one rational, objective nested hierarchy for grouping organisms by trait.

  21. 21
    Vishnu says:

    Zachriel: What do you mean by a random cladogram generator?

    I will take a nested hierarchy from a textbook, substitute the trait names for numbers.

    I will will also produce, by means of a generator, entities with traits identified by numbers, which will be grouped along the same lines as the cladistic nested hierarchy from the textbook.

    Think you will be able to tell which came from the textbook and which didn’t?

    Sidebar: do you agree with keiths’s assertion that the ONH demonstrates that evolution was completely unguided?

  22. 22
    keith s says:

    My incredulous reply to nullasalus is here.

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    Vishnu @ 13+

    Excellent posts! Thank you.

    Keith s doesn’t get it because he doesn’t want to.

    He’s desperately clinging to the flotsam of what’s left of his argument because, it seems better than the fairies of his imagination or the convenient strawman effigy of a non-existent god, a cargo-cult Santa Claus god.

    -Q

  24. 24
    Quest says:

    keith s,

    I know that the main reason why you post here is because you are attention seeking.. If that were not true, you would have answered my challenge. Here it goes:

    “keith s
    This is a very simple premise:

    Enzymes are needed to produce ATP. However, energy from ATP is needed to produce enzymes. However, DNA is required to make enzymes, but enzymes are required to make DNA.
    However, proteins can be made only by a cell, but a cell can be made only with specific proteins. So, how is this ALL possible in view of evolutionary prospective?”

    I know you can try to answer it but this would either hinder or put a stop to your further attention you receive on this blog… I just hope that at least some people on this blog understand what you are after… You don’t what to hear the truth because you don’t want to hear it and you may even have a hard time distinguishing the truth from the nonsense you have been propagating, that makes you feel “important”…

  25. 25
    Andre says:

    PCD KILLS unguided evolution dead!!!

  26. 26
    Vishnu says:

    Quest @24,

    It might be interesting to see what a guy (I assume) like keiths had to say if he actually decided to discuss ID, and not his ridiculous Rain Fairy and his “bomb”, which are merely assumptions disguised as arguments.

    Good evening to all. I’ve got T.B. (Tired Butt)

  27. 27
    Vishnu says:

    Oh and one more thing, keiths, just a reminder…

    I (and probably others) would appreciate a point by point, paragraph by paragraph rebuttal to WJM’s OP.

    Thank you

  28. 28
    keith s says:

    Vishnu,

    Don’t get your hopes up.

    I’ve read William’s OP, and it won’t be any harder to refute than the other counterarguments you guys have come up with.

    But first, I have a summary to write.

  29. 29
    Andre says:

    PCD Keith, PCD…….

    Don’t have to say anything else… you can’t account for a guided process preventing unguided processes from happening…..

  30. 30
    Box says:

    In chess we have the wonderful circumstance that rules are non-negotiable. For instance, if a player cannot discontinue an attack on his king, the game ends by “checkmate”.
    Why should debating be any different?

    Keith: There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    WJM: If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    What I want Keith to do is to acknowledge that WJM scored a hit. Keith must admit that the “trillion” is out.
    Do not forget your promise Keith:

    Keith #279: If I haven’t already refuted it, I will provide a refutation — or, in the extremely unlikely event that you have scored a hit, I WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.

  31. 31

    Box @30,

    I think the best we can hope for here is for interested onlookers with relatively open minds to judge for themselves. I’ve debated keith at TSZ a few times and watched him debate others. Whether it is about ID or not, with IDists or not, this is the kind of debate pattern you get from Keith.

    Even if we hold the view that he is impenetrable to the rebuttals/counter-arguments and has an indefatigable, self-aggrandizing internal narrative, at least he came over here and committed himself with an actual argument. I can respect that. Many other anti-IDists offer nothing more than invective, cheerleading and character attacks.

    The downside, however, will be months and months of keiths inserting his narrative in at every opportunity about how IDists were “afraid” to answer his questions and about how he blew up ID with a bomb we couldn’t refute.

  32. 32
    Vishnu says:

    Vishnu, I’ve read William’s OP, and it won’t be any harder to refute than the other counterarguments you guys have come up with.

    Then a point by point, paragraph by paragraph rebuttal to this OP shouldn’t take much of your time.

    Thanks in advance.

    Don’t get your hopes up.

    Oh, believe me, I shan’t.

  33. 33
    Evolve says:

    William Murray,

    You’re on a wrong footing.
    Objective Nested Hierarchy is a consequence of vertical descent – of reproduction.

    It’s there right in your family.
    With respect to certain objective traits, you and your siblings form a nested group under your common ancestor – your parents. Let’s take only your dad here.
    Your cousin and his siblings form a nested group under their common ancestor – your uncle.
    Your dad and uncle form a bigger nested group under their common ancestor – your grandfather.

    It’s the same thing with all life forms. Living things reproduce – or vertically transmit their genes to the next generation. Objective nested hierarchy occurs as a natural consequence of that process. Now during vertical descent, modifications also happen. This descent with modification is what we call evolution.

    You challenge Keith:
    Are you saying that it is impossible for natural forces to generate a mismatched (non-ONH) set of trees [diversity of life pattern]?

    If living things descended vertically from a common ancestor by reproduction, then ONH is the ONLY pattern expected, which is exactly what we see in the Tree of Life. On the contrary, if living things were designed or poofed into existence by God, then no ONH is expected.

    Now, you’re arguing that even if ONH is present, how can Keith say that a designer did not deliberately set that up?
    How can Keith assume that the designer had trillions of other options to produce living things?

    The problem is that if your designer mimiced the expected evolutionary pattern, then he is indistinguishable from unguided evolution. Such a designer is redundant, unnecessary and useless as an explanation. You’re retrofitting your designer to match the evidence rather than defining him and pinning him down to a set of principles.

    This is where ID is completely failing.

  34. 34
    Box says:

    Evolve: If living things descended vertically from a common ancestor by reproduction, then ONH is the ONLY pattern expected, which is exactly what we see in the Tree of Life. On the contrary, if living things were designed or poofed into existence by God, then no ONH is expected.

    I’m not in accord with your religious assumption that God *poofed* organisms into existence. However, some argue that the Cambrian Explosion more or less fits such a description.

    So my question to you is: does the Cambrian Explosion abrogate ONH?

    BTW Zachriel said …

    “The diagram of the Cambrian Explosion is consistent with a branching process.”
    &
    “A top-down process is still a branching tree. Near the node, we have many branches, fewer later on, while some die out. That’s called adaptive radiation. It’s posited to occur when a new niche becomes available.”

    … which I do not understand. He seems to be arguing that any branching – top down or bottom up – is proof for ONH. If that is true, how does ‘poofing organisms into existence’ make ONH unexpected?

  35. 35

    Evolve,

    Keith claims to have equal assumptions on both the “unguided forces” and “design” sides of the ledger. He doesn not. Follow the logic.

    1. Let’s assume both unguided forces and a designer can generate a “diversity of life” pattern of some sort on Earth. We can stop the assumptions right there if we wish; is it your position that IF unguided forces generate life on earth (abiogenesis), it must generate life with the qualities: (1) a common ancestor, and (2) vertical descent? If that is your position, what then is your evidence to support it?

    2. If you (or keith) cannot support the position that unguided forces can only create, through abiogenesis, a common ancestor/vertical descent form of life, then you are merely assuming that it did so.

    Much of this comes back to some vague wording choices that keth makes:

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    3. What’s not clearly apparent here at first blush is that Keith begins assumptions at two different places. If we posit that “unguided evolution” is responsible for the diversity of life, we first must assume that natural forces generated life (abiogenesis) as a common ancestor/vertical descent evolutionary system in the first place, and not “something else” – some other system of life.

    Keith is not making the same set of assumptions about the designer; on the one hand, Keith assumes natural forces created a common ancestor/vertical descent system in the first place; on the other, he makes no such assumption for the designer, because if he did so, as you say, such a system necessarily results in an ONH.

    4. If we make identical assumptions about the designer and unguided forces, that they both can and did generate a common ancestor/vertical descent evolutionary system to instantiate living organisms on the planet, there is no daylight between the two positions.

    If you start at abiogenesis or at common ancestor/vertical descent evolution, the only way Keith can separate the two is by inventing capabilities outside of what it is necessary to assume for a designer he claims we know absolutely nothing about.

    Keith is apparently evading his unequal assumptions concerning abiogenesis by starting the non-design side of the ledger at common ancestor/vertical descent evolution, and starting the designer at abiogenesis.

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked Keith: do you have an example of natural forces/processes generating an ONH outside of the subject under contention?

  36. 36
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    If we make identical assumptions about the designer and unguided forces, that they both can and did generate a common ancestor/vertical descent evolutionary system to instantiate living organisms on the planet, there is no daylight between the two positions.

    You’ve come right back to the original problem. Why did the Designer manufacture his created life forms so they look exactly like unguided evolution over the last 3+ billion years? Not only did he make the morphology look like an ONH and the genetics look like an ONH, he also went to the trouble to bury the fossils in precisely the right age geologic layers to simulate an evolved ONH. I’ve yet to see anyone attempt an answer to that critical question.

  37. 37
    PeterJ says:

    Hi Adapa,

    Would you please provide some evidence, or at least, a visual example, of where we can see “fossils in precisely the right age geologic layers”.

    Thanks.

  38. 38
    Vishnu says:

    I see Evolve and Adapa are making the same two erroneous assumptions that keiths makes.

    Why did the Designer manufacture his created life forms so they look exactly like unguided evolution over the last 3+ billion years?

    1. The unguided part is the erroneous assumption. Nobody knows to what extent the processes are unguided. You merely assume what we see in the record is unguided. While it is true that Markian stocastic processes generate ONHs, so can intelligently designed processes that employ stochastic elements, such as genetic algorithms. Goal-oriented information rich systems that employ stochastic input can produce ONHs. You have several examples in your back yard. They are called trees.

    So the question is: to what extent was intelligently designed processes or information actually a part of the ONH that we actually observe in the fossil record? If you don’t know, then you can’t use the fossil record as a club against a putative designer unless you simply assume what exists had zero intelligent input.

    2. Nobody knows the capability, motives, and options available to a putative designer. I can think of some reasons why a designer my employ branching trees in the evolution of life.

    The ODH we have is consistent with either ID or blind evolution. That is, it is neutral. Even Theobald acknowledges that.

    ID is not based on the fossil record, nor is it contrary to what we find in the ODH. ID is based on other things such as coded information, the DNA/ribosome system, protein families within the timeframe and probabalistic resources, and other things.

    Hope it’s starting to sink in.

  39. 39
    Zachriel says:

    Box: He seems to be arguing that any branching – top down or bottom up – is proof for ONH.

    More accurately, *entails* an objective nested hierarchy.

    Box: If that is true, how does ‘poofing organisms into existence’ make ONH unexpected?

    That’s right. There’s no principle, other than whim, to assume a designer would be so constrained. Rather, like human designers, we would expect mixing and matching of traits in a way that would not result in a single best objective nested hierarchy based on traits.

    Please keep in mind that the nested hierarchy provides strong support for branching descent, but does not in-and-of-itself determine whether that process was guided by a designer. However, the phylogenetic tree does provide the historical context to evaluate the mechanisms of that descent.

    Also keep in mind the biological finding that Don Quixote and Rocinante have a common ancestor, “a name, to his thinking, lofty, sonorous, and significant of his condition as a hack before he became what he now was, the first and foremost of all the hacks in the world”.

  40. 40
    Zachriel says:

    Vishnu: Nobody knows to what extent the processes are unguided.

    That’s certainly not correct. There is substantial evidence of the natural mechanisms that shape the tree life, though that takes us beyond the nested hierarchy.

  41. 41
    Adapa says:

    Vishnu

    ID is not based on the fossil record, nor is it contrary to what we find in the ODH. ID is based on other things such as coded information, the DNA/ribosome system, protein families within the timeframe and probabalistic resources, and other things.

    But ID needs to explain the patterns and timelines in the fossil record over the last 3.8 billion years if it wished to become the leading scientific paradigm.

    So the question is: to what extent was intelligently designed processes or information actually a part of the ONH that we actually observe in the fossil record? If you don’t know, then you can’t use the fossil record as a club against a putative designer unless you simply assume what exists had zero intelligent input.

    You can certainly point to the fossil record as showing no indications of any external guiding intelligence. Just as casinos can analyze long strings of dice rolls or card draws for indications there was no cheating.

  42. 42
    Box says:

    Adapa: Why did the Designer manufacture his created life forms so they look exactly like unguided evolution over the last 3+ billion years? Not only did he make the morphology look like an ONH and the genetics look like an ONH, he also went to the trouble to bury the fossils in precisely the right age geologic layers to simulate an evolved ONH.

    A lot of baseless assumptions Adapa. You seem to assume that a designer implies YEC.
    But I would like to play along, arguendo. You seem to know quite a lot about ONH, so maybe you can answer my question. Suppose that the designer intended to mimic unguided evolution and made some slip ups when mimicking the Cambrian Explosion. Why do we still have ONH?

    IOW, does the Cambrian Explosion abrogate ONH?

    p.s. what is the ONH between prokaryotes and eukaryotes?

  43. 43
    Adapa says:

    PeterJ

    Would you please provide some evidence, or at least, a visual example, of where we can see “fossils in precisely the right age geologic layers”

    A good example is cetacean evolution where the pattern of morphological change matches up with the age of the specimens from indohyus some 50+ million years ago through the pakicetids, ambulocetidae , remingtonocetidae, protocetidae, basilosauridae, dorudontinae, to extant whales.

    Cetacean evolution

  44. 44
    Adapa says:

    Box

    IOW, does the Cambrian Explosion abrogate ONH?

    No.

  45. 45
    Zachriel says:

    Vishnu: I will take a nested hierarchy from a textbook, substitute the trait names for numbers. I will will also produce, by means of a generator, entities with traits identified by numbers, which will be grouped along the same lines as the cladistic nested hierarchy from the textbook.

    Still not sure what you mean.

    If you randomized traits, they won’t form a single objective nested hierarchy. You can group them into a nested hierarchy, of course, but the fit will be weak, and there will be other fits that are just as good, or nearly as good.

  46. 46
    Zachriel says:

    Box: does the Cambrian Explosion abrogate ONH?

    No. See Theobald 2010, which started this whole series of posts.

    Z: A top-down process is still a branching tree. Near the node, we have many branches, fewer later on, while some die out. That’s called adaptive radiation. It’s posited to occur when a new niche becomes available.

  47. 47
    Box says:

    Adapa #44,
    You link to a cladogram by Professor Kevin Peterson. So, based on your acceptance of his authority, I guess that you must also hold that ONH can accommodate for quantum leaps.

    From ‘Darwin’s Doubt’:

    The Ediacaran fossils therefore do not solve the problem of the sudden increase in biological form and complexity during the Cambrian. Instead, they represent an earlier, if less dramatic, manifestation of the same kind of problem. To biology’s “big bang,”36 the Ediacaran biota add a significant “pow.” As paleobiologist Kevin Peterson, of Dartmouth College, and his colleagues note, these fauna represent “an apparent quantum leap in ecological complexity as compared with the ‘boring billions’ [of years] that characterize Earth before the Ediacaran,” even if these organisms are “still relatively simple when compared with the Cambrian,” which they characterize as another “quantum leap in organismal and ecological complexity.”
    [Peterson et al., “The Ediacaran Emergence of Bilaterians.”]
    [my emphasis]

  48. 48
    Adapa says:

    Box

    You link to a cladogram by Professor Kevin Peterson. So, based on your acceptance of his authority, I guess that you must also hold that ONH can accommodate for quantum leaps.

    From ‘Darwin’s Doubt’:

    I hope you realize that Meyer is a rather shameless quote-miner. Here is the paper that he snipped his out-of-context passage from

    The Ediacaran emergence of bilaterians: congruence between the genetic and the geological fossil records

    From the paper:

    Despite the presence of many different stem-group taxa, the Ediacaran is still a transitional ecology, with these organisms confined to a two-dimensional mat world. This stands in dramatic contrast to the Early Cambrian where the multi-tiered food webs that so typify the Phanerozoic were established with the eumetazoan invasion of both the pelagos and the infaunal benthos (Butterfield 1997, 2001; Vannier & Chen 2000, 2005; Dzik 2005; Peterson et al. 2005; Vannier et al. 2007). Hence, although the Ediacaran is an apparent quantum leap in ecological complexity as compared with the ‘boring billions’ that characterize Earth before the Ediacaran, it is still relatively simple when compared with the Cambrian, yet another quantum leap in organismal and ecological evolution. Thus, the Ediacaran stands as the transition interval between the ‘Precambrian’ and the Phanerozoic (Butterfield 2007). Whether the Ediacaran transition was triggered by the introduction of eumetazoans, as argued by Peterson & Butterfield (2005), or by the introduction of mobile, macrophagous triploblasts, as is suggested by our analyses reported here (figure 1), or some other factor or combination of factors, remains to be more fully studied through continued exploration of the relevant rock sections throughout the world, and continued improvements in molecular clock methods.

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran. Can you summarize the ID position on them for us? Thanks again.

  49. 49
    Box says:

    Adapa: I hope you realize that Meyer is a rather shameless quote-miner. Here is the paper that he snipped his out-of-context passage from.

    Unsubstantiated ad hominem. I have to warn you, that isn’t appreciated here.
    BTW the quote from Darwin’s Doubt provided you the title of Kevin Peterson’s paper.

  50. 50
    Adapa says:

    Box

    Unsubstantiated ad hominem.

    ?? There’s no ad hominem. I provided the out-of-context mined quote and the entire source which didn’t support Meyer’s claim.

    You seem to have missed this part

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran. Can you summarize the ID position on them for us? Thanks again?

    I’d appreciate an answer, thanks!

  51. 51

    Adapa said:

    You’ve come right back to the original problem. Why did the Designer manufacture his created life forms so they look exactly like unguided evolution over the last 3+ billion years? Not only did he make the morphology look like an ONH and the genetics look like an ONH, he also went to the trouble to bury the fossils in precisely the right age geologic layers to simulate an evolved ONH. I’ve yet to see anyone attempt an answer to that critical question.

    The only problem I’ve come right back to is the Darwinist penchant for mistaking their materialist assumptions fpr facts, and their inability to apply logic.

    Can you answer the following questions?

    1. If a designer creates a life system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent, can that life system be anything other than an ONH?

    2. Is an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descent the only system of life natural forces are capable of generating via abiogenesis?

    3. Can you point to an example of an ONH that is generated by unguided forces and is not the subject under debate?

    This is what it appears to me that you are saying;

    It is a mathematical necessity that a system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent will result in an ONH. If unguided forces create such an evolutionary, biological system, it will of course result in an ONH. If the designer created such a system, why doesn’t he violate the mathematical necessity of the ensuing, necessary pattern?

    IOW, why doesn’t the designer make 1+1=8? Why doesn’t the designer make a common ancestor/vertical descent system generate something other than an ONH?

    Obviously, you are not starting your assumptions about the designer at the point of the common ancestor/vertical descent assumption, because your question then about why he doesn’t produce something from that starting point other than an ONH is the same as asking why the designer doesn’t make 1+1=8.

    What you are actually asking is, why didn’t the designer create something other than an evolutionary, common-ancestor/vertical descent kind of life system at the abiognesis point – or subsequently?

    Which takes us back to question #2 above. Why didn’t (or doesn’t) natural forces, at the abiogenesis point or subsequently, generate something other than an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descendant kind of life?

  52. 52
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    The only problem I’ve come right back to is the Darwinist penchant for mistaking their materialist assumptions fpr facts, and their inability to apply logic.

    Looks like my question will remain unanswered for now. I’ll check back later and see if any answer is offered.

    Why did the Designer manufacture his created life forms so they look exactly like unguided evolution over the last 3+ billion years? Not only did he make the morphology look like an ONH and the genetics look like an ONH, he also went to the trouble to bury the fossils in precisely the right age geologic layers to simulate an evolved ONH.

  53. 53
    Box says:

    Adapa: I provided the out-of-context mined quote and the entire source which didn’t support Meyer’s claim.

    Do show me which part didn’t support Meyer’s choice of quotations.

  54. 54
    Box says:

    Adapa: I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran. Can you summarize the ID position on them for us? Thanks again?

    It’s all there in Stephen Meyer’s ‘Darwin’s Doubt’, Chapter 4, “The Not Missing Fossils?”.
    An excerpt:

    S.Meyer: And that is the dilemma in a nutshell. Highly differentiated and complex Precambrian forms by themselves could not have been ancestors common to all the Cambrian phyla; whereas undifferentiated forms simple enough to have been ancestral to all the Cambrian phyla leave no evidence, by themselves, of the gradual emergence of the complex anatomical novelties that define the Cambrian animals. Either way—whether the few alleged Precambrian ancestors are viewed as simple and relatively undifferentiated or complex and highly differentiated—the fossil record, given its otherwise pervasive pattern of discontinuity, does not establish the gradual evolution of numerous anatomical and morphological novelties. Instead, only a true series of transitional intermediates in which the fossil record documents both the existence of an original animal form and the gradual appearance of the key distinguishing anatomical features and novelties (and the Cambrian animals themselves) would remedy this deficiency. And yet that is precisely what the Precambrian fossil record has failed to document.
    As Graham Budd and Sören Jensen state, “The known [Precambrian/Cambrian] fossil record has not been misunderstood, and there are no convincing bilaterian candidates known from the fossil record until just before the beginning of the Cambrian (c. 543 Ma), even though there are plentiful sediments older than this that should reveal them.”55 Thus they conclude, “The expected Darwinian pattern of a deep fossil history of the bilaterians, potentially showing their gradual development, stretching hundreds of millions of years into the Precambrian, has singularly failed to materialize. 56”

  55. 55
    Adapa says:

    Box

    Do show me which part didn’t support Meyer’s choice of quotations.

    The entire Peterson paper is direct rebuttal evidence of Meyer’s claims in DD. Have you read the paper?

    Unravelling the timing of the metazoan radiation is crucial for elucidating the macroevolutionary processes associated with the Cambrian explosion. Because estimates of metazoan divergence times derived from molecular clocks range from quite shallow (Ediacaran) to very deep (Mesoproterozoic), it has been difficult to ascertain whether there is concordance or quite dramatic discordance between the genetic and geological fossil records. Here, we show using a range of molecular clock methods that the major pulse of metazoan divergence times was during the Ediacaran, which is consistent with a synoptic reading of the Ediacaran macrobiota. These estimates are robust to changes in priors, and are returned with or without the inclusion of a palaeontologically derived maximal calibration point. Therefore, the two historical records of life both suggest that although the cradle of Metazoa lies in the Cryogenian, and despite the explosion of ecology that occurs in the Cambrian, it is the emergence of bilaterian taxa in the Ediacaran that sets the tempo and mode of macroevolution for the remainder of geological time.

    Are you going to address my question?

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran. Can you summarize the ID position on them for us? Thanks again.

    If you have no answer just say so and I’ll stop asking.

  56. 56
    Adapa says:

    Box

    It’s all there in Stephen Meyer’s ‘Darwin’s Doubt’, Chapter 4, “The Not Missing Fossils?”.

    No, it’s not.

    All Meyer asserts is that all the Precambrian life isn’t ancestral to the Cambrian life. Nowhere does he explain what all the Precambrian life is or how it fits in with his ID story.

  57. 57
    Box says:

    Adapa #56,
    Meyer devoted an entire chapter on the subject, but you may be right. The main objective of Darwin’s Doubt, is to pose the question ‘where does the information for the body plans of the Cambrian animals come from?’, that is if I understand the book correctly. Obviously, for this purpose it is sufficient to ascertain that Precambrian life isn’t ancestral to the Cambrian life.

    BTW ID has no position on a lot of things. For instance not on ONH, as you may have noticed.

    p.s. Can you answer my question in #53? Thank you.

  58. 58
    nullasalus says:

    My incredulous reply to nullasalus is here.

    Incredulity is not a response, Keiths. And let’s see what you said in your response:

    That’s a bizarre assertion. Do you actually believe that microevolution requires Designer internvention?

    It’s not bizarre, Keiths. And to see why, I’m going to repeat the same challenge that I’ve repeated – and which you keep struggling to avoid – again and again.

    You say microevolution is unguided? That there is no, nada, zero, nyet guidance, design, in any sense at work in it? Fine.

    Give me the scientific, peer-reviewed experiment showing as much.

    That’s all I ask.

    Seems pretty simple, right? I mean, you’re making a claim about evolution being unguided. Microevolution, quite apart from macroevolution, can be tested in the laboratory.

    So why aren’t you giving me this evidence? Why do you keep balking?

    Oh, right. Because you don’t have the evidence, and your claim is entirely unscientific.

    So for you, the Rain Fairy is a live hypothesis? After all, we can’t prove that the weather is unguided.

    As I keep saying, you are defending a Rain Fairy. The only difference is your Rain Fairy is some imagined mindless posit, random and unguided in all of its motions.

    The difference between you and me, Keiths, is that I recognize – and this is where I’ve always been set apart from ID proponents – that your Rain Fairy and everyone else’s Rain Fairies are non-scientific.

    So tell me why I should take your Rain Fairy to be true, when you have zero scientific evidence for said rain theory – no experiments, no peer-reviewed research (and if you did, it’d likely be on the level of Raelian “Research”)?

    Pardon me if I’m a bit incredulous at your insistence that I should take as scientific truth a claim which has zero scientific evidence backing it up.

    Or maybe you have some? Why not quit stalling and reply to this, straight-away?

  59. 59

    Adapa,

    It appears you are also immune to logic. If you’re asking why the designer didn’t manufacture life on the planet in some way other than an evolutionary common ancestor/vertical descendent pattern, I can ask the same question of you: why didn’t unguided natural forces generate life on the planet in some way other than an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descendent pattern?

  60. 60

    Here’s the kicker when it comes to this point (accepting the ONH claim arguendo): one could equally ask why natural, unguided forces just happen to generate life on the planet in a mathematically progressive pattern, beginning with a common ancestor and utilizing branching vertical descent methods like an algorithm searching for a target space, when it had trillions of other options available?

  61. 61
    Adapa says:

    Box

    Meyer devoted an entire chapter on the subject, but you may be right.

    OK, so Meyer doesn’t offer any ID explanation for the 3+ billion years of life before the Cambrian. Does anyone in the ID community offer an explanation? That’s an awful lot of data that need explaining.

    BTW ID has no position on a lot of things.

    Yes, I’ve noticed. Lots of people have. Scientific theories are supposed to supply explanations for observed data, aren’t they?

    p.s. Can you answer my question in #53? Thank you.

    I believe I did. The whole Peterson paper is rebuttal evidence for what Meyer claims in that paragraph.

    I appreciate your attempts at honest answers BTW, thanks. I try to do the same. There’s no shame is saying “I don’t know”.

  62. 62
    Box says:

    Adapa,

    In post #48 you provide a quote from Professor Kevin Peterson’s paper in order to back up your claim that Stephen Meyer is a “shameless quote-miner” and that his quotes are “out-of-context”. I don’t see that.

    Can you highlight the sentence (or part) which backs up your claims?

  63. 63
    Adapa says:

    Box

    Can you highlight the sentence (or part) which backs up your claims

    The whole Peterson paper backs up my claim. Please read the paper.

  64. 64
    Box says:

    Adapa,

    You have called Stephen Meyer a “shameless quote-miner”, and you have stated that his quotes are “out-of-context”. Now you state that the whole Peterson paper backs up your claim.

    Yet you are unable to highlight a sentence that backs up your claim.
    What are we to think?

  65. 65
    Adapa says:

    Box

    What are we to think?

    We are to think Box refuses to read the Peterson paper that answers his question.

  66. 66
    Andre says:

    Whale evolution collapsed when it was found that people added flukes and blow holes to the fossils…..

    It’s called speculation and it ain’t science, worse still they found a modern whale fossil older than its ancestors recently………

    Your best example is bust sorry mate.

  67. 67
    Adapa says:

    Andre

    Whale evolution collapsed when it was found that people added flukes and blow holes to the fossils

    Has anyone told the paleontology community of this widespread systematic fraud that falsifies cetacean evolution?

  68. 68
    Vishnu says:

    Zachriel,

    Vishnu: Nobody knows to what extent the processes are unguided.

    Zachriel:There is substantial evidence of the natural mechanisms that shape the tree life, though that takes us beyond the nested hierarchy.

    “Substantial” compared to what? That’s B.S. You certainly cannot quantify the scope in terms of a percentage. And you do not know the extent of intelligent input that was required.

    What you’re saying is like, “there is substantial evidence of the natural mechanisms that shape a Magnolia tree, though that takes us beyond the nested hierarchy.”

    What substantial evidence are you referring to?

  69. 69
    Box says:

    Adapa,
    Why did you quote from the Peterson paper in post #48, as if there was some proof of Meyers out-of-context quoting in there, while there is none whatsoever?

  70. 70
    Adapa says:

    Box is there some reason you refuse to read the Peterson paper? It has genetic evidence for the divergence of the Cambrian biota from Precambrian ancestral forms. That’s exactly what Meyer says there’s no evidence for. Meyer quote-mined a few sentences of the paper to give the impression the Cambrian biota is viewed as a major problem to the scientific community. That’s 180 degrees opposite of the truth.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    is that the same Peterson who said:

    “I’ve looked at thousands of microRNA genes, and I can’t find a single example that would support the traditional tree,” he says. “…they give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.” (Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution, Nature 486,460–462, 28 June 2012) (molecular palaeobiologist
    – Kevin Peterson)

    Mark Springer, (a molecular phylogeneticist working in DNA states),,, “There have to be other explanations,” he says.
    Peterson and his team are now going back to mammalian genomes to investigate why DNA and microRNAs give such different evolutionary trajectories. “What we know at this stage is that we do have a very serious incongruence,” says Davide Pisani, a phylogeneticist at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, who is collaborating on the project. “It looks like either the mammal microRNAs evolved in a totally different way or the traditional topology is wrong.
    http://www.nature.com/news/phy.....on-1.10885

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    Adapa at 43, I hate to burst your bubble on whale evolution, (sort of like having to be the one telling a child that there is no Santa Claus), but the claims for whale evolution have been shown to be completely bogus:

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85kThFEDi8o

    Evolution And Probabilities: A Response to Jason Rosenhouse – August 2011
    Excerpt: The equations of population genetics predict that – assuming an effective population size of 100,000 individuals per generation, and a generation turnover time of 5 years – according to Richard Sternberg’s calculations and based on equations of population genetics applied in the Durrett and Schmidt paper, that one may reasonably expect two specific co-ordinated mutations to achieve fixation in the timeframe of around 43.3 million years. When one considers the magnitude of the engineering fete, such a scenario is found to be devoid of credibility.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....osenhouse/

    Whale Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video – fraudulent fossils revealed
    http://vimeo.com/30921402

    5:36 minute mark quote

    “Well, I told you we don’t have the tail in Rodhocetus. We don’t know for sure whether it had a ball vertebrate indicating a (tail) fluke or not. So I speculated (that) it might have had a (tail) fluke.,,, Since then we found the forelimbs, the hands, and the front arms, the arms in other words of Rodhocetus, and we understand that it doesn’t have the kind of arms that can be spread out like flippers are on a whale.,, If you don’t have flippers, I don’t think you can have a fluke tail and really powered swimming. And so I now doubt that Rodhocetus would have had a fluke tail.”
    Philip Gingerich paleontologist –

    Making up missing links with plaster and body parts from other creatures – April 2014
    Excerpt: The two scientists who found the lion’s share of walking whale fossils essentially created the best fossil proof of evolution using plaster models and drawings and supplied these to museums and science magazines. In each case, they started with incomplete fossils of a land mammal. Whenever a fossil part was missing, they substituted a whale body part (blowholes, fins and flukes) on the skeletal model or skull that they distributed to museums. When these same scientists later found fossils negating their original interpretations, they did not recall the plaster models or drawings. Now museums are full of skulls and skeletons of ‘walking whales’ that are simply false.” Dr. Werner went on to say, “I suspect some curators are not aware of the significance of these substitutions nor are they aware of the updated fossils. Museums should now remove all of the altered skeletons, skulls and drawings since the most important parts of these ‘walking whales’ are admittedly made up. Museums will also have to delete these images from their websites as they are misleading the public.” –
    http://www.thegrandexperiment......ution.html

    Meet Pakicetus, the Terrestrial Mammal BioLogos Calls a “Whale” – November 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....39851.html

    Ambulocetus (49 million years ago)
    Excerpt: Of all the supposed whale transitions, ambulocetus is probably the most well known. It is often depicted as an animal that is adapted to living on land and in the water. Of course, just like pakicetus, the artistic reconstructions of ambulocetus go beyond what the fossil findings justify.
    http://www.trueauthority.com/cvse/whale.htm

    etc.. etc.., if science were practiced as it ought to be practiced, these people should be fired for such gross misrepresentation of the evidence

  73. 73
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: 3. Can you point to an example of an ONH that is generated by unguided forces and is not the subject under debate?

    Mutations to the y-chromosome, which are used to trace male lineages.

    William J Murray: why didn’t unguided natural forces generate life on the planet in some way other than an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descendent pattern?

    The fact is that we can observe that most organisms reproduce through vertical descent, and that the nested hierarchy is entailed in branching descent.

    As for why, organisms which successfully reproduce are more likely to persist over time. To ensure true copies, organisms separate themselves from the environment and from other organisms. While chimera’s can occur, they tend to be maladaptive. In addition, reproductive isolation reinforces adaptation. Consider two populations of beetles, one is adapted to living on top of the rock, and one on the bottom. Hybrids would tend to be less successful than purebreds, being neither adapted to the top nor to the bottom of the rock. Reproduction is expensive, so beetles evolve incompatible sexual organs to prevent hybridization. Different taxa have different strategies in this regard. For instance, birds speciate through song, which gives them a great deal of adaptive flexibility.

    But this is irrelevant to the basic finding that the nested hierarchy is strong confirmation of branching descent.

    Vishnu: “Substantial” compared to what?

    Substantial in a scientific sense. However, we have to establish branching descent to understand how that tree was shaped.

    Vishnu: “there is substantial evidence of the natural mechanisms that shape a Magnolia tree, though that takes us beyond the nested hierarchy.”

    That’s true. A primary factor is phototropism, which Darwin showed was sensed as blue light at the tip of the plant. Darwin was a very busy person.

  74. 74
    bornagain77 says:

    If unguided evolution is to be considered plausible as a scientific hypothesis, should not the reductive materialism which undergirds Darwinism first be proven true as a hypothesis, then proceed from there? instead of trying to prove reductive materialism true in reverse from the subsequent, non-cooperative, data?

    Of course this would be, by far, the easiest route. i.e. Whenever someone doubts atheistic materialism and neo-Darwinism, Darwinists could simply pull out their overwhelming evidence that reductive materialism is true and squash all doubt. The reason Darwinists don’t, and can’t, do this is that the reductive materialism which undergirds neo-Darwinian thought, is shown to be false:

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.
    http://www.4truth.net/fourtrut.....8589952939

    “[while a number of philosophical ideas] may be logically consistent with present quantum mechanics, …materialism is not.”
    Eugene Wigner
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video playlist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TViAqtowpvZy5PZpn-MoSK_&v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    Whereas the materialist is defeated in his understanding of reality by quantum mechanics, the theists is confirmed in his beliefs in over the top fashion

    Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    Leggett agrees with Zeilinger that realism is wrong in quantum mechanics, but when I asked him whether he now believes in the theory, he answered only “no” before demurring, “I’m in a small minority with that point of view and I wouldn’t stake my life on it.” For Leggett there are still enough loopholes to disbelieve. I asked him what could finally change his mind about quantum mechanics. Without hesitation, he said sending humans into space as detectors to test the theory.,,,

    (to which Anton Zeilinger responded)

    When I mentioned this to Prof. Zeilinger he said, “That will happen someday. There is no doubt in my mind. It is just a question of technology.” Alessandro Fedrizzi had already shown me a prototype of a realism experiment he is hoping to send up in a satellite. It’s a heavy, metallic slab the size of a dinner plate.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

    And to further solidify the case that ‘consciousness precedes reality’ the violation of Leggett’s inequalities have been extended. This following experiment verified Leggett’s inequality to a stunning 120 standard deviations level of precision:

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model. The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,
    https://vcq.quantum.at/fileadmin/Publications/Experimental%20non-classicality%20of%20an%20indivisible.pdf

    The preceding experiment, and the mathematics behind it, are discussed beginning at the 24:15 minute mark of the following video:

    Quantum Weirdness and God 8-9-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=N7HHz14tS1c#t=1449

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

  75. 75
    Andre says:

    Thanks for the links BA77, When I saw the admittance of Dr Gingerich I knew that the whole whale evolution was a bid fraud……. He speculated the damn fluke….. What’s up with that?

  76. 76
    Andre says:

    I think it was Dr Craig Venter that said there is no tree…..

  77. 77
    Box says:

    Adapa #70,

    Sure there is effort in the paper to support Darwinism. What else can we expect? However there is also a crystal clear recognition of the “quantum leaps” in the development of life and the subsequent problems for common descent.
    There is no ground in the paper for your ad hominem attack on Stephen Meyer.

  78. 78
    Vishnu says:

    Zachriel,

    I am curious. You never answered: do you agree with keiths “bomb” and Rain Fairy arguments?

  79. 79
    Vishnu says:

    Vishnu: “Substantial” compared to what?

    Zechrial: Substantial in a scientific sense.

    Your opinion. Mine may differ.

  80. 80
    Vishnu says:

    BA77 @ 71

    Interesting

    Thanks

  81. 81

    WJM asked:

    Can you point to an example of an ONH that is generated by unguided forces and is not the subject under debate?

    Zachriel said:

    Mutations to the y-chromosome, which are used to trace male lineages.

    What part of “and is not the subject under debate?” did you not understand?

    WJM asked:

    why didn’t unguided natural forces generate life on the planet in some way other than an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descendent pattern?

    Zachriel said:

    The fact is that we can observe that most organisms reproduce through vertical descent, and that the nested hierarchy is entailed in branching descent.

    That fact is nonresponsive to the question. Your further explanation of why, in such a system, that which reproduces successfully is more likely to endure over time is completely non-responsive to the question of why that system in the first place and not some other system without a common ancestor and vertical descent.

    You want to try again?

    1. If a designer creates a life system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent, can that life system be anything other than an ONH?

    2. Is an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descent the only system of life natural forces are capable of generating via abiogenesis?

    3. Can you point to an example of an ONH that is generated by unguided forces and is not the subject under debate?

  82. 82

    It seems Adapa is avoiding a question. I’ll ask it again:

    Why didn’t unguided natural forces generate life on the planet in some way other than an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descendent pattern?

  83. 83
    Zachriel says:

    Vishnu: You never answered: do you agree with keiths “bomb” and Rain Fairy arguments?

    We answered in on the thread where you asked.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-526492

    Vishnu: Mine may differ.

    Scientific merit is determined by tests of entailments of propositions. What is your standard?

    William J Murray: What part of “and is not the subject under debate?” did you not understand?

    Didn’t know that paternity tests were under debate.

    William J Murray: the question of why that system in the first place and not some other system without a common ancestor and vertical descent.

    We did explain. Fidelity is more likely to persist.

    William J Murray: 1. If a designer creates a life system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent, can that life system be anything other than an ONH?

    Vertical descent means that there is fidelity in reproduction, presumably with some variation. If so, it will result in a nested hierarchy.

    William J Murray: 2. Is an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descent the only system of life natural forces are capable of generating via abiogenesis?

    Vertical descent is not the only option available to life. Early life probably had rampant horizontal mechanisms. Even highly complex organisms experience horizontal transfer, such as endogenous retroviruses.

    William J Murray: 3. Can you point to an example of an ONH that is generated by unguided forces and is not the subject under debate?

    We expect nested hierarchies as a result of a branching process, such as trees or mutations to the y-chromosome.

  84. 84
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel 73,

    The fact is that we can observe that most organisms reproduce through vertical descent, and that the nested hierarchy is entailed in branching descent.

    Wrong. Branching descent may also produce non-nested hierarchies with regards to character traits.

    But this is irrelevant to the basic finding that the nested hierarchy is strong confirmation of branching descent.

    Wrong. That would only be true if a non-nested hierarchy pattern of character traits would falsify branching descent. It wouldn’t. Thus both outcomes are only accommodated.

  85. 85
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Branching descent may also produce non-nested hierarchies with regards to character traits.

    While individual traits may vary, for reasonable rates of change, the nested hierarchy will be discernible, such as the example you provided of Cetaceans.

    lifepsy: That would only be true if a non-nested hierarchy pattern of character traits would falsify branching descent.

    A non-nested pattern would falsify branching descent. Indeed, anomalies to the nested hierarchy often provide evidence of horizontal mechanisms.

  86. 86
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    While individual traits may vary, for reasonable rates of change, the nested hierarchy will be discernible

    Thank you for proving my point. Nested groups are only begun in the first place with individual traits. If those traits vary, then the nesting pattern is masked.

    A non-nested pattern would falsify branching descent.

    Obviously wrong. For reasons already mentioned.

  87. 87
    Mung says:

    I think we need to stop censoring the responses coming from keiths and let him make the best argument he can possibly make here at UD. After all, there’s nothing to fear. Right?

  88. 88
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Nested groups are only begun in the first place with individual traits. If those traits vary, then the nesting pattern is masked.

    Um, no. That’s not how nested hierarchies are determined; not now, not in Darwin’s day.

    Darwin: “It is incredible that the descendants of two organisms, which had originally differed in a marked manner, should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation.”

  89. 89
    Mung says:

    keiths argues that a designer can literally produce trillions of nested hierarchies.

    How does he know this? What is the evidentiary basis for this claim?

    keiths claims unguided evolution can produce only one nested hierarchy.

    How does he know this? What is the evidentiary basis for this claim?

  90. 90
    Box says:

    Zachriel,
    Why do we share so much DNA with bananas (50% ?) and zebrafish (89% ?). Is that explained by horizontal gene transfer?
    How is that corrected in the ONH?

  91. 91
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: Nested groups are only begun in the first place with individual traits. If those traits vary, then the nesting pattern is masked.

    Um, no. That’s not how nested hierarchies are determined; not now, not in Darwin’s day.

    Traits evolve sequentially. If new traits are lost instead of preserved, then obviously the nested pattern of traits is broken.

  92. 92
    Quest says:

    I really like keitch s but in the end he didn’t survive the first round…

    I had so much I wanted him to “see” if he were willing…

    Personality disorders are treatable….

  93. 93
    Vishnu says:

    Adapa: But ID needs to explain the patterns and timelines in the fossil record over the last 3.8 billion years if it wished to become the leading scientific paradigm.

    I disagree. I predict both the “leading paradigm” and ID will become synthesized eventually and there will be a new paradigm. As I see it, the current resistance to ID is because of institutional a priori commitments of anti-ID metaphysics because of fear of religion. (Shall I start quoting?) This will eventually fall away. ID will make progress in the microbiological side of things to the degree where a synthesis will become patently necessary in the eyes of all reasonable men. Time will tell.

  94. 94
    Vishnu says:

    WJM: You want to try again?

    1. If a designer creates a life system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent, can that life system be anything other than an ONH?

    2. Is an evolutionary, common ancestor/vertical descent the only system of life natural forces are capable of generating via abiogenesis?

    3. Can you point to an example of an ONH that is generated by unguided forces and is not the subject under debate?

    I’m lovin’ it

  95. 95
    Querius says:

    bornagain77 @ 72

    Another thank you for the links on whale evolution!

    “Well, I told you we don’t have the tail in Rodhocetus. We don’t know for sure whether it had a ball vertebrate indicating a (tail) fluke or not. So I speculated (that) it might have had a (tail) fluke.,,,
    – Philip Gingerich

    Wow! In other words, smoking-gun FAKERY in whale evolution!

    Now why would they do that?

    And the guy dramatically holding up the sign with the supposed transitional forms . . . He might as well have held up a sign with a hyena and a whale, and then dramatically unveiling an alligator as the transitional form. It was pathetic and embarassing considering all the essential novel systems in whales!

    And this is the best they have?

    -Q

  96. 96

    Zachriel said:

    Didn’t know that paternity tests were under debate.

    Life – biological evolution – is what is under debate. Did you not realize that? Now, do you have an example of an ONH produced by natural forces that is not the subject under contention?

    We did explain. Fidelity is more likely to persist.

    So, achieving a persistent fidelity is the reason why natural forces generated a common ancestor/vertical descent system in the first place? Why would unliving natural process pick a persistent fidelity living system to generate?

    Vertical descent is not the only option available to life.

    I didn’t ask what options were available to “life”. I asked, what options were available to unguided natural forces (unliving) in terms of generating a living system? Are natural forces required to generate life on the planet with a common ancestor and vertical descent?

    I suspect your answer here is “no”. However, when asked why unguided (unliving) natural forces would generate life (abiogenesis) into a common ancestor/vertical descent system in the first place, you answer “fidelity is more likely to persist” sounds like you are saying that unliving natural forces generated the common ancestor/vertical descent system because it wanted fidelity to persist.

    That reason doesn’t really work for unguided natural systems; however, we can easily see why a designer would choose a system where fidelity would persist.

  97. 97
    Adapa says:

    It seems William J Murray is avoiding a question. I’ll ask it again:

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran. Can you summarize the ID position on them for us?

  98. 98
    Mung says:

    Adapa:

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran.

    So? Perhaps your recollection is faulty.

    Adapa:

    Can you summarize the ID position on them for us?

    Read Meyer.

  99. 99
    Adapa says:

    Mung

    Adapa:

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran.

    So? Perhaps your recollection is faulty.

    Could be. Please refresh my memory. The ID explanation for the Edacaran biota and the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran is _______________________?

    A one line summary would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  100. 100
    Mung says:

    Adapta:

    Please refresh my memory.

    I don’t have access to your memories. Refresh them yourself.

  101. 101
    Adapa says:

    Mung

    I don’t have access to your memories. Refresh them yourself.

    I see, you don’t know the answer either. Thanks anyway for trying.

  102. 102
    Box says:

    Adapa, I notice that you have many questions. In the thread ‘Might there be unclassifiable life forms out there?’, you’ve asked:
    “Has anyone calculated the CSI of these mysterious mimivirus genome strings to see if they were designed? Or the dFSCI? Or the FSCO/I? Seems like it could be pretty important.”

    In the thread ‘Photosynthesis from 3.8 billion years ago?’, you’ve asked:
    “Have any scientists from the ID community taken a look at this data? I’m trying to understand how it fits in with a Design scenario. Can someone here help?”

    These questions, demonstrate that you have a poor understanding of ID. An attempt to improve this can begin by consulting UD’s resource section concerning “frequently raised but weak objections to ID.”

  103. 103
    Mung says:

    Adapta: Please refresh my memory.

    Mung: I don’t have access to your memories. Refresh them yourself.

    Adapta: I see, you don’t know the answer either. Thanks anyway for trying.

    I don’t have access to your memories. I didn’t try and I didn’t claim to try. So you’re spouting nonsense.

    Only you can refresh your memories and you didn’t try. Don’t blame that on me.

    Adapta:

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran.

    So?

  104. 104
    Adapa says:

    Box

    These questions, demonstrate that you have a poor understanding of ID.

    Then please help me understand better.

    An attempt to improve this can begin by consulting UD’s resource section concerning “frequently raised but weak objections to ID.

    Those aren’t objections they’re honest questions. I read all the FAQ and didn’t see the answers anywhere.

    I was taught the best way to learn is to ask questions. Am I asking at the wrong place? How can I learn if I don’t ask questions?

  105. 105
    StephenB says:

    Adapta:

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran.

    I think the order of events goes something like this: First, you read the book, then you try to recollect what you read. It isn’t easy to reverse the process.

  106. 106
    Adapa says:

    StephenB

    Adapta:

    I don’t recall Meyer ever giving his ID explanation for the Ediacaran biota or the 3 billion years’ of single celled life before the Ediacaran.

    I think the order of events goes something like this: First, you read the book, then you try to recollect what you read. It isn’t easy to reverse the process.

    I didn’t say specifically in DD. I don’t recall Meyer answering those questions ever – in the movie Darwin’s Dilemma, in any press release, in any interview. It’s possible I missed the answer somewhere which is why I’m asking.

    I freely admit I have only read excerpts from the DD book available online. If Meyer did indeed answer the questions in DD then please give me the chapter so I can research it, or better yet just give me a one line summary yourself. You’d think I was asking for you to cut off an arm. Sheeze.

  107. 107
    Box says:

    Adapa: Those aren’t objections they’re honest questions. I read all the FAQ and didn’t see the answers anywhere.

    Did you read the part on ‘quote-mining’? Your “Meyer is a rather shameless quote-miner”, does not indicate that you did.
    And how about the section that deals with the objection ‘The Evidence for Common Descent is Incompatible with Intelligent Design’?

  108. 108
    Adapa says:

    OK Box, you’ve convinced me you don’t have the answers to those basic questions. I’ll keep looking elsewhere for someone who can explain the ID position.

  109. 109
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Branching descent does not simultaneously spawn multiple trait assemblages. Each trait must evolve sequentially. If a trait is lost then the descendent cannot nest within that trait.

    Not even sure what situation you are thinking about, unless it’s a population during incipient speciation. A toy example might look like this:

    AAAAAAAAA
    AAAAAAAAB
    ZZZZZZZZZ(out-group)

    Let’s say the B mutation is accompanied by reproductive isolation, i.e. a branch. After time the two populations might look like this:

    AAyzAxAAA
    AArAsAtAB
    ZZZjZkZZZ

    Now, the B reverts, and we have this.

    AAyzAxAAA
    AArAsAtAA
    ZZZjZkZZZ

    Notice that we can still group the first two into their proper placement with ZZZ being the outgroup. Furthermore, we can easily distinguish any descendants of the second string because they will inherit the r,s,t mutations. We might even call this lineage the B-lineage for historical reasons, even though it longer has the B trait. With longer sequences, it’s even more obvious. This is easy to simulate algorithmically.

    As per your example, modern tetrapods share many traits. Even if one lineages loses the their limbs (Cetaceans), we can still discern their position within the nested hierarchy.

  110. 110
    franklin says:

    box:

    Did you read the part on ‘quote-mining’? Your “Meyer is a rather shameless quote-miner”, does not indicate that you did.

    Box what would you say about an individuals intellectual integrity if they quoted a persons work where they took part of the fabricated quote from one section….added a few ellipses….then finished the quote with 21 words found fifteen pages further into the authors manuscript? Would you think that some context might be missing?

  111. 111
    Zachriel says:

    Z: ZZZZZZZZZ(out-group)

    Oops. Wrong thread.

  112. 112
    Collin says:

    Adapa,

    ID can be a true theory and not answer all questions. Both Creationism and evolutionism are world views that tend to try to answer everything. ID, on the other hand, is a narrow scientific theory that states that some things in the universe exhibit reliable signs of design. That’s it. It is a humble theory that doesn’t try to explain everything.

  113. 113
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Why do we share so much DNA with bananas (50% ?) and zebrafish (89% ?).

    While the calculation depends on many variables, humans have DNA in common with bananas because they are both eukaryotes, sharing much of the same cellular structure. Humans share more with zebrafish than with bananas because humans and zebrafish are both gnathostomes, that is, more closely related to each other than to bananas.

    William J Murray: Life – biological evolution – is what is under debate.

    This thread concerns the biological nested hierarchy, and what can be concluded from that observation.

    William J Murray: Why would unliving natural process pick a persistent fidelity living system to generate?

    Not ‘chosen’, but what persists.

    William J Murray: I asked, what options were available to unguided natural forces (unliving) in terms of generating a living system?

    Without at least a theory of the origin of life, not sure such an answer can be given. Indeed, even if the origin of life on Earth were solved, it may vary on other planets, if life exists elsewhere.

    William J Murray: Are natural forces required to generate life on the planet with a common ancestor and vertical descent?

    Of course they are. How could you have life without natural forces? You wouldn’t even be able to feed yourself.

    William J Murray: However, when asked why unguided (unliving) natural forces would generate life (abiogenesis) into a common ancestor/vertical descent system in the first place, you answer “fidelity is more likely to persist” sounds like you are saying that unliving natural forces generated the common ancestor/vertical descent system because it wanted fidelity to persist.

    Heavens no. Where would you get that idea? We specifically said that early life probably had rampant horizontal mechanisms along with vertical inheritance.

  114. 114
    Adapa says:

    Collin

    ID can be a true theory and not answer all questions. Both Creationism and evolutionism are world views that tend to try to answer everything. ID, on the other hand, is a narrow scientific theory that states that some things in the universe exhibit reliable signs of design. That’s it.

    Hi Collin. I’m not asking for answers to all questions. I’m not even asking for a majority of questions. I’d just like to get a few ID answers to the most basic questions on ID I can think of. Things like how and when. Things that other theories answer long before they ever reach theory status. Is that still expecting too much?

    It is a humble theory that doesn’t try to explain everything

    As far as I can tell as currently presented ID doesn’t explain anything. Lots of “evolution can’t explain it” no actual details of their own. I wish that weren’t the case but it is.

  115. 115
    Querius says:

    Adapta,

    First of all, people are not all going to agree on a definition of ID. Here’s my perspective:

    ID is not a theory, it’s a paradigm. If something has the appearance of design, then one should research it as if it were designed by an intelligent agency.

    That’s it.

    No intimations or conclusions are made regarding the designer, who could be God, aliens, or some unknown self-organizing principle of the universe.

    Pragmatically, ID would have a better track record than the evolutionary paradigm, which assumes things are randomly generated and abandoned. A couple of examples are the assumption that most human DNA is “junk” and that organs of unknown function must be “vestigial.”

    -Q

  116. 116
    Adapa says:

    Querius

    First of all, people are not all going to agree on a definition of ID. Here’s my perspective:

    ID is not a theory, it’s a paradigm. If something has the appearance of design, then one should research it as if it were designed by an intelligent agency.

    That’s it

    That sounds very reasonable to me. How do we get people here to stop calling it the theory of ID?

    ID would have a better track record than the evolutionary paradigm, which assumes things are randomly generated and abandoned.

    That’s not what evolution says, but whatever.

    A couple of examples are the assumption that most human DNA is “junk”

    That’s an empirical observation, not an assumption.

    and that organs of unknown function must be “vestigial.”

    Vestigial doesn’t mean useless, it means degraded or modified from its original function. Under that scientific definition many parts of animals are vestigial.

  117. 117

    Zachriel said:

    This thread concerns the biological nested hierarchy, and what can be concluded from that observation.

    Which is why your example is not what I asked for. I asked for an example of an ONH produced by natural forces other than that which is currently under debate. You’re offering up another example within the currently debated biologial nested hierarchy.

    Can you give me an example of an ONH, generated by natural forces, that is not biological?

    Not ‘chosen’, but what persists.

    Not sure what you’re saying here. Are you saying that no system of living organisms other than one with a common ancestor and vertical descent can persist?

    Of course they are. How could you have life without natural forces? You wouldn’t even be able to feed yourself.

    That’s not what I meant. I meant, when it comes to life, can natural forces produce nothing other than a system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent? – But, you’ve answered that by saying it can also create a horizontal system. So, let me ask further: can natural forces create life in a manner neither horizontal or vertical? Can natural forces create multiple unique, unrelated life-forms?

    We specifically said that early life probably had rampant horizontal mechanisms along with vertical inheritance.

    Are you claiming that horizontal mechanisms cannot persist as well or better as vertical ones?

  118. 118
    keith s says:

    nullasalus, the self-described “regular ID critic”, writes:

    You say microevolution is unguided? That there is no, nada, zero, nyet guidance, design, in any sense at work in it? Fine.

    Give me the scientific, peer-reviewed experiment showing as much.

    Science isn’t about proof, nullasalus. Surely you’ve heard that somewhere along the way.

    Sure, microevolution might be guided. The grains falling out of my salt shaker might be guided by invisible leprechauns to their final resting place on my french fries. Raindrops might be gathered, shaped, and dropped by the Rain Fairy in a precise pattern. The swirl of water in your toilet bowl might be guided by Shamu, the invisible Toilet Whale. But anyone insisting on these things would be justly regarded as a loony. There is no evidence that these things are guided, so intelligent people rightly regard them as unguided.

    Most ID proponents are smart enough to recognize that it’s a very bad idea to argue for a teleological explanation when a non-teleological explanation works just fine.

    Even WJM understands that, which is why he wrote:

    IF natural forces can plausibly produce **whatever** artifact is in question, even ID admits that natural forces is the best available explanation.

    You’re not doing ID any favors by arguing that microevolution might be guided. It just makes you look foolish.

    But maybe it’s intentional. After all, you did describe yourself as a “regular ID critic”. Perhaps this is your way of undermining ID from within?

  119. 119
    Collin says:

    Adapa,

    You are right to ask the “how” and “when” questions. But are you asking as a curious scientist, or as a critic?

    Here’s a hypothesis: Without knowing the identity of the designer, or when the design took place, or even how the design took place, artifacts that are actually designed, will exhibit certain qualities that can be objectively verified.

    My questions to you are, is that a scientific hypothesis? Is it possibly true? If so, how do we find out? Would you allow public funding to find that out? If not, why?

  120. 120
    Mapou says:

    keith s:

    You’re not doing ID any favors by arguing that microevolution might be guided. It just makes you look foolish.

    You are doing your side fewer favors by claiming that microevolution is not guided. Of course it is guided. This is what epigenetics is all about. This is what adaptation is all about. This is what sexual selection is all about. It is all guided by the environment which has a direct influence on gene expression. There is no Darwinian process in adaptation and epigenetics. No random mutations and no natural selection. It’s all front loading. It’s all pre-programmed in the genome. Live with it.

    Who’s looking foolish now?

  121. 121
    keith s says:

    Seriously, Mapou? You don’t understand that we are talking about intelligent guidance?

  122. 122
    Adapa says:

    Collin

    You are right to ask the “how” and “when” questions. But are you asking as a curious scientist, or as a critic?

    I’m asking because I’d like to know. Positing a “how” and “when” would at least lead to some testable predictions.

    Here’s a hypothesis: Without knowing the identity of the designer, or when the design took place, or even how the design took place, artifacts that are actually designed, will exhibit certain qualities that can be objectively verified.

    My questions to you are, is that a scientific hypothesis?

    Not as that is written, no. To be a scientific hypothesis it would have to make some specific testable predictions relevant to the idea, actually test the predictions, and be falsifiable (i.e. the predictions can fail).

    Is it possibly true? If so, how do we find out?

    Make some testable and falsifiable predictions based on the idea, test them.

    Would you allow public funding to find that out? If not, why?

    Sure. Nothing is stopping ID proponents from writing up grant proposals for experiments and submitting them for funding. To my knowledge that isn’t being done. Can you explain why not?

  123. 123
    Querius says:

    Adapta,

    That sounds very reasonable to me. How do we get people here to stop calling it the theory of ID?

    That’s not my concern. How would we get people to stop calling it the theory of evolution when it too is a paradigm?

    Q: ID would have a better track record than the evolutionary paradigm, which assumes things are randomly generated and abandoned.

    A: That’s not what evolution says, but whatever.

    Then you don’t understand the current thinking about evolution. Every genotype is randomly generated (drift) and is in stages of abandonment or change.

    Q: A couple of examples are the assumption that most human DNA is “junk”

    A: That’s an empirical observation, not an assumption.

    No it’s an assumption based on ignorance. The assumption by Ohno was that the non-coding DNA had no known function, so it must be junk. It’s even in the title of his paper. This assumption hindered scientific progress. In contrast, ID would assume non-coding DNA is part of a designed system, so must have some function as is worthy of study.

    Q: and that organs of unknown function must be “vestigial.”

    A: Vestigial doesn’t mean useless, it means degraded or modified from its original function. Under that scientific definition many parts of animals are vestigial.

    Yes, I know. Then everything is vestigial having been derived from earlier structures, making the designation useless. Vestigial once meant something different. According to Wikipedia

    The zoologist Horatio Newman said in a written statement read into evidence in the Scopes Trial that “There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.”

    With the evolutionary paradigm, the assumption is that the 180 structures on that list, having no known function at the time, were evolutionary leftovers, “antiquities,” such as the pineal gland. This was such an embarrassment that evolutionists eviscerated the original definition.

    -Q

  124. 124
    keith s says:

    Vishnu requested a point-by-point response to William’s OP, so as an un-owed favor to him, here it is. I’ll be doing it in stages.

    William wrote:

    Keith brought in an argument he claimed to be a “bomb” for ID. It turned out to be a failed suicide mission where the only person that got blown up was Keith.

    After a little over two weeks, there are already at least eight threads at UD containing discussions of my argument. People, including you, are still scrambling to refute it. Every day that goes by without a refutation is a further embarrassment to ID (and UD). Your “suicide mission” claim is about as believable as one of Baghdad Bob’s.

    (Please note: I am assuming that life patterns exists in an ONH, as Keith claims, for the sake of this argument only.

    You’re getting off to a bad start if you don’t recognize the existence of the ONH as a fact. How could the morphological and molecular data yield matching cladograms of the 30 major taxa, to an accuracy of 1 in 10^38, if the ONH didn’t exist?

    Also, there are many other, different take-downs of Keith’s “bomb” argument already on the table.

    All of which failed, including your your own personal attempts. That’s why the discussion is still going strong after more than two weeks.

    In my prior OP, I pointed out that Keith had made no case that nature was limited to producing only ONH’s when it comes to biological diversity, while his whole argument depended on it. He has yet to make that case, and has not responded to me when I have reiterated that question.

    An ONH is what you get with sufficiently low mutation rates and primarily vertical inheritance. It isn’t controversial at all (among knowledgeable people, anyway). Vincent Torley understands it; I don’t know why you have such trouble.

    Evolution has been observed in real time to produce ONHs. You can simulate bifurcating processes of descent with modification to demonstrate this. You can see it by simply thinking about it, if you’re smart enough.

    Zachriel even provided a small textual example showing how the ONH can be inferred despite the presence of an inversion.

  125. 125
    Mapou says:

    keith s @121:

    Seriously, Mapou? You don’t understand that we are talking about intelligent guidance?

    Of course, it is intelligent guidance. It was pre-programmed in the genome from the beginning. How much more intelligent can you get? The brain is pre-programmed to turn off and turn on various genes in response to certain environmental pressures. Darwinists have nothing to say on the matter that makes any kind of sense. In fact, they continually and stupidly conflate micro-evolution with macro evolution. It’s all BS, of course.

  126. 126
    keith s says:

    Mapou,

    Of course, it is intelligent guidance. It was pre-programmed in the genome from the beginning.

    And you know this how?

  127. 127
    keith s says:

    Just reread my #124. “inversion” should be “reversion” in the last line.

  128. 128
    keith s says:

    Part 2 of my point-by-point rebuttal of the OP.

    WJM writes:

    We turn our attention now to his treatment of “the designer” in his argument.
    First, a point that my have been lost in another thread:
    From here, keith claimed:

    3. We know that unguided evolution exists.

    No, “we” do not. ID proponents concede that unguided natural forces exist that are utilized by a designed system (even if perhaps entirely front-loaded) to accomplish evolutionary goals; they do not concede that unguided process (including being unguided and unregulated by front-loaded designed algorithms and infrastructure) can generate successful evolution, even microevolution, entirely without any guided support/infrastructure.

    As I’ve explained more than once, my argument makes no assumptions about OOL. How things are set up initially doesn’t matter. As long as the mutation rate is slow enough and inheritance is primarily vertical after OOL, an ONH will be produced and my argument applies.

    Keith claims that we have observed “unguided microevolution” producing ONH’s, but that is an assumptive misstatement. Douglas Theobald, his source for “evidence” that unguided evolution has been observed generating ONH’s, makes no such claim or inference. Theobald only claims that microevolution produces ONH’s. Observing a process producing an effect doesn’t necessarily reveal if the process is guided or unguided.

    You’re making the same mistake as nullasalus.

    Keith agrees Theobald makes no such claim or inference. The “unguided” modifying characteristic, then, is entirely on Keith; he can point to no research or science that rigorously vets microevolutionary processes as “unguided”.

    Still more of the nullasalus mistake.

    When challenged on this assumption, Keith makes statements such as “even YEC’s agree that microevolution is unguided”, or that some particular ID proponent has made that concession; please note that because others elect not to challenge an assumption doesn’t mean that everyone else is required to concede the point.

    So you and nullasalus are making a mistake that even YECs are too smart to make. How does that feel?

    If challenged, the onus falls upon Keith to support his assertion that unguided microevolutionary forces are up to the task of generating ONH’s, otherwise his entire argument fails because of this unsupported premise.

    See my reply to nullasalus.

    Keith’s response to the challenge about the “unguided” nature of microevolution:

    As you know, we actually observe microevolution producing ONHs, and microevolution does not require designer intervention, as even most YECs acknowledge.

    This is simple reiteration of the very assertion that has been challenged. Keith circularly refers back to the very source that provides no support for his “unguided” inference. This has been pointed out to him several times, yet he repeats the same mantra over and over “we know unguided microevolution can produce ONH’s.” Reiterating an assertion is not providing support for the assertion. As I’ve asked Keith serveral times, where is the research that makes the case that microevolutionary processes/successes are qualitatively “unguided”? Keith has yet to point us to such a paper.

    See my reply to nullasalus.

    Part 3 of my rebuttal will come tomorrow.

  129. 129
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: Branching descent does not simultaneously spawn multiple trait assemblages. Each trait must evolve sequentially. If a trait is lost then the descendent cannot nest within that trait.

    Not even sure what situation you are thinking about, unless it’s a population during incipient speciation. A toy example might look like this:

    I gave you a specific example before. Which you avoided. If a basal vertebrate evolves away from traits that define vertebrates, then its descendent traits will not nest within vertebrates. Simple.

    Notice that we can still group the first two into their proper placement, with ZZZ being the out-group.

    Um, of course you can. Your example began and ended with two distinct groups. Why wouldn’t you be able to distinguish them?

    If shared traits stay generally conserved, while new unique traits are lost shortly after they’ve evolved, then the descendent cannot nest within that trait, thus the nested hierarchy pattern is broken. It’s as simple as that.

  130. 130
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: I asked for an example of an ONH produced by natural forces other than that which is currently under debate.

    Sorry. We didn’t think that paternity tests and leaves on trees were under debate. No, we can’t think of any offhand.

    William J Murray: Are you saying that no system of living organisms other than one with a common ancestor and vertical descent can persist?

    No, we said that vertical inheritance tends to be advantageous to persistence. That doesn’t mean no other system can persist, and there is substantial evidence of horizontal mechanisms in biology.

    William J Murray: I meant, when it comes to life, can natural forces produce nothing other than a system comprised of a common ancestor and vertical descent?

    If there is no vertical inheritance, then life doesn’t persist. Do you understand what is mean by vertical inheritance? It means offspring.

    William J Murray: But, you’ve answered that by saying it can also create a horizontal system.

    There still has to be a vertical component, i.e. reproduction.

    William J Murray: So, let me ask further: can natural forces create life in a manner neither horizontal or vertical?

    Life has to have a vertical component to persist, i.e. reproduction.

    William J Murray: Are you claiming that horizontal mechanisms cannot persist as well or better as vertical ones?

    They are countervailing influences, so they both persist. More complex, slower reproducing organisms generally require greater fidelity in reproduction.

    Querius: The assumption by Ohno was that the non-coding DNA had no known function, so it must be junk. It’s even in the title of his paper.

    Notably, Ohno puts “junk” in scare-quotes. Ohno points out that a salamander has many times more DNA than humans, so genome size is not directly related to complexity.

    Querius: This was such an embarrassment that evolutionists eviscerated the original definition.

    Actually, the original definition by Darwin allowed for function, writing “An organ serving for two purposes, may become rudimentary or utterly aborted for one, even the more important purpose, and remain perfectly efficient for the other.”
    http://darwin-online.org.uk/Va.....-1861.html

    lifepsy: If a basal vertebrate evolves away from traits that define vertebrates, then its descendent traits will not nest within vertebrates.

    And we gave you a counterexample, one you introduced yourself. Cetaceans are clearly classified with tetrapods, even though they don’t have hind limbs.

  131. 131
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    And we gave you a counterexample, one you introduced yourself. Cetaceans are clearly classified with tetrapods, even though they don’t have hind limbs.

    I note the desperation in your increasingly irrelevant replies.

    Simply explained again for the willfully obtuse:


    Fact:
    If unique traits are lost shortly after they’ve evolved, then the descendent cannot nest within that trait.

    Example:
    If a *basal* vertebrate evolves away from traits that define vertebrates, then its descendent traits will not nest within vertebrates. Thus the nested hierarchy pattern is violated.

    Conclusion:
    Branching descent does not *necessarily* produce a nested hierarchy of traits.

  132. 132
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: If a *basal* vertebrate evolves away from traits that define vertebrates, then its descendent traits will not nest within vertebrates. Thus the nested hierarchy pattern is violated.

    That is incorrect. We provided a counterexample. Why not try to respond to that instead of simply repeating your claim.

  133. 133
    Adapa says:

    Zachriel

    And we gave you a counterexample, one you introduced yourself. Cetaceans are clearly classified with tetrapods, even though they don’t have hind limbs.

    Yes, and I’ll go lifepsy one better.

    Lifepsy did you know that snakes are classified as tetrapods event though they have no limbs at all? That’s because snakes and other legless reptiles evolved from ancestors who had four limbs.

  134. 134
    Adapa says:

    Querius

    How would we get people to stop calling it the theory of evolution when it too is a paradigm?

    The theory of evolution is a scientific theory because it meets all the criteria for a scientific theory:

    A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation. As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force.

    Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions. They describe the causal elements responsible for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (e.g. electricity, chemistry, astronomy).

    I’ll pass on your misunderstanding of both evolutionary mechanisms and the meaning of vestigial with the recommendation that you read a good biology book or take a class sometime.

  135. 135
    Zachriel says:

    Adapa: That’s because snakes and other legless reptiles evolved from ancestors who had four limbs.

    Or to express it neutrally with regard to theory, snakes have features that nest within amniotes which nest within tetrapods.

  136. 136

    Zachriel,

    Well, we’re getting close. Need a few more clarifications. You said:

    If there is no vertical inheritance, then life doesn’t persist. Do you understand what is mean by vertical inheritance? It means offspring.

    So, it’s possible that natural forces might generate all kinds of living forms that, having no vertical inheritance, do not/didnot persist. Correct?

    I assume that you agree that nature might have tried out trillions of such non-common ancestor, non-vertical descent, non-ONH organisms, but that they simply did not, and do not, persist?

    There still has to be a vertical component, i.e. reproduction.

    Well, there doesn’t have to be; it is only if it is going to persist, as you say. Let me ask you another question; do you think it is possible for unliving natural forces to generate a living organism that has no vertical descent, but is so extremely hardy it can still persist?

    Life has to have a vertical component to persist, i.e. reproduction.

    If life must have a vertical component to persist, doesn’t this apply to a designer as well? If a designer wants a life form to persist, he must use vertical inheritance?

    No, we can’t think of any offhand.

    Can you think of any ONH’s that exist in non-living systems, but were instantiated by a designer?

    As I’m sure you can see, we’re approaching the logical closure on keith’s argument, whereas if one makes equal assumptions about unguided forces and a designer, and start those assumptions from abiogenesis, the same options were open to both, but in order to generate a persistent life system with high fidelity, both unguided systems and any designer would have to settle on the common ancestor/vertical descent model.

    Which leaves keith’s argument with no teeth.

  137. 137
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: So, it’s possible that natural forces might generate all kinds of living forms that, having no vertical inheritance, do not/didnot persist.

    Depends what you mean by “living”.

    William J Murray: I assume that you agree that nature might have tried out trillions of such non-common ancestor, non-vertical descent, non-ONH organisms, but that they simply did not, and do not, persist?

    Most theories concerning the origin of life assume a period of prebiotic conditions. Once reproduction began, then evolution also began. As there’s no complete theory, no one knows exactly how this process began.

    William J Murray: Let me ask you another question; do you think it is possible for unliving natural forces to generate a living organism that has no vertical descent, but is so extremely hardy it can still persist?

    Doubtful. Even mountain erode in the timescales of Earth’s history. In addition, such an organism would be competing against other organisms which reproduce and therefore evolve.

    William J Murray: If a designer wants a life form to persist, he must use vertical inheritance?

    Depends what you mean by “life form” as opposed to simply life. Reproduction means evolution and branching descent.

    William J Murray: Can you think of any ONH’s that exist in non-living systems, but were instantiated by a designer?

    Sure. The Dewey Decimal System, one of many arbitrarily devised nested hierarchies humans use. Another is a military organization. While still arbitrary, the advantage to humans is the hierarchy of control over the organization.

    William J Murray: Which leaves keith’s argument with no teeth.

    We’ve already expressed our disagreement with keith’s argument. The nested hierarchy is an entailment of branching descent, not unguided evolution generally.

  138. 138
    Box says:

    WJM, lifepsy and others,

    Stephen Meyer addresses Theobald’s claims extensively in ‘Darwin’s Doubt’.

    Starting here: [Part One: The Mystery of the Missing Fossils; 6. The animal tree of life; Molecules vs. Anatomy.]

  139. 139
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: If a *basal* vertebrate evolves away from traits that define vertebrates, then its descendent traits will not nest within vertebrates. Thus the nested hierarchy pattern is violated.

    That is incorrect.

    Then explain how a basal, or root lineage of vertebrates which subsequently loses its vertebrate traits would nest within vertebrates. I’m all ears.

    You clearly have no response to this.

    We provided a counterexample. Why not try to respond to that instead of simply repeating your claim.

    Cetaceans are clearly classified with tetrapods, even though they don’t have hind limbs.

    Cetaceans, with or without hind limbs, exhibit mammalian traits and mammals nest within tetrapods.

    If a basal mammal lost its mammalian traits then it would nolonger nest withinin mammals.
    If a basal tetrapod lost its tetrapod traits then it would nolonger nest within tetrapods.

    The problem persists at the root of any branch of traits which would define subsequent nested groups. Thus branching descent does not necessarily predict a nested hierarchy of traits.

  140. 140
    Collin says:

    Adapa,

    And you know that ID people have not applied for and maybe obtained grants?

    And you don’t think it is a testable prediction that a method can be used to objectively identify design? How about IC or FCSI? Putting aside whether or not they are successful, are they at least “scientific?” If you say no, the I think you are being hyperskeptical.

  141. 141
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: If a basal mammal lost its mammalian traits then it would nolonger nest withinin mammals.

    You seem to be supposing a population with two varieties. One of those variations disappears, so we only have a single variety left. That means it didn’t branch.

  142. 142
    Adapa says:

    Collin

    And you know that ID people have not applied for and maybe obtained grants?

    I don’t know of any. Can you list some and the research they are doing?

    And you don’t think it is a testable prediction that a method can be used to objectively identify design?

    Design in biological objects? Not worded that vaguely, no.

    How about IC or FCSI?

    How about them? We already know that natural processes can produce IC structures. FSCI is another hopelessly vague subjectively determined value with no relevance in science.

    Putting aside whether or not they are successful, are they at least “scientific?” If you say no, the I think you are being hyperskeptical.

    Then have ID proponents make some specific predictions based on them and test the predictions. I don’t understand what keeps stopping them.

  143. 143
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    You seem to be supposing a population with two varieties. One of those variations disappears, so we only have a single variety left. That means it didn’t branch.

    No. I am supposing a lineage that inherits a trait, and then loses that trait. Other lineages may preserve that trait. Of course it is branching, that’s all it can do.

    Explain how a basal, or root lineage of vertebrates which subsequently loses its vertebrate traits would nest within vertebrates.

  144. 144
    Querius says:

    Zachriel

    Querius: The assumption by Ohno was that the non-coding DNA had no known function, so it must be junk. It’s even in the title of his paper.

    Notably, Ohno puts “junk” in scare-quotes. Ohno points out that a salamander has many times more DNA than humans, so genome size is not directly related to complexity.

    Thank you for demonstrating my point. The evolutionary paradigm assumes that this additional DNA has no funtion. Ohno suggested that non-coding DNA is equivalent to “fossil” DNA. The ID paradigm assumes that this additional DNA does have an undiscovered function.

    So far, it seems that the ID position is winning with regards to discovering function in non-coding DNA, formerly called “junk” DNA.

    -Q

  145. 145
    Querius says:

    Adapta

    The theory of evolution is a scientific theory because it meets all the criteria for a scientific theory.

    Except the parts about being predictive, falsifiable, and observable.

    Did the Theory of Evolution predict “living fossils”? How about the blood cells, soft tissue, and protein in dinosaur bones that miraculously survived being cooked by background radiation for 65 million years? Did it predict the Cambrian explosion? How about the astounding complexity within a cell? Just asking.

    How about giving us some examples of discoveries would falsify the Theory of Evolution?

    Without these, evolution is a paradigm. This is not a bad thing, it’s just the reality.

    I’ll pass on your misunderstanding of both evolutionary mechanisms and the meaning of vestigial with the recommendation that you read a good biology book or take a class sometime.

    Your resorting to an unsupported ad hominem response is noted as evidence that you’ve conceded the point.

    -Q

  146. 146
    Adapa says:

    Querius

    Except the parts about being predictive, falsifiable, and observable

    ToE is predictive – see the discovery of Tiktaalik.

    ToE is falsifiable – finding the phylogenetic trees from the fossil and DNA records are vastly incongruent would do it. ToE is falsifiable, it just hasn’t been falsified.

    ToE is observable – see the Lenski LTEE work.

    Without these, evolution is a paradigm. This is not a bad thing, it’s just the reality

    Sorry but you seems to be woefully ignorant about both actual evolutionary theory and the huge amount of positive supporting evidence it has. That is not a bad thing, it’s just the reality.

    Your resorting to an unsupported ad hominem response is noted as evidence that you’ve conceded the point.

    Not an ad hom, just a simple statement of fact. You don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to evolutionary theory and you do need some basic training.

  147. 147
    keith s says:

    Part 3 of my point-by-point rebuttal of the OP.

    WJM writes:

    I’ve repeatedly challenged keith to answer this question:

    Are you saying that it is impossible for natural forces to generate a mismatched (non-ONH) set of trees [diversity of life pattern]?

    It could happen if the mutation rate were high enough or if inheritance weren’t primarily vertical. However, neither is the case, so your objection is moot.

    If, as Keith’s argument apparently assumes, natural forces are **restricted** to generating biological systems as evolutionary in nature and conforming to Markovian ONH progressions, why (and perhaps more importantly, how) would a designer work around these apparently inherent natural limitations and tendencies in order to generate **something else**?

    Easily. Humans do it all the time. William, you’re not thinking.

    It’s like Keith expects a designer to defy gravity, inertia and other natural forces and tendencies in order to get a rocket to the moon and back, just because keith imagines that a designer would have trillions of options available that didn’t need to obey such natural laws and tendencies.

    There are no “natural forces and tendencies” preventing a designer from operating outside the ONH paradigm. Again, humans do it routinely. It doesn’t defy the laws of nature, William.

    Keith’s argument relies upon his claim that the designer could have generated “the diversity of life” into “trillions” of patterns that were not ONH’s, and that no such options were open to natural forces.

    No, my argument relies on the fact that we have no reason to rule out the trillions of non-ONH possibilities in the case of a Designer, though they are ruled out — empirically — in the case of observed evolution.

    If a designer and natural forces both had the same number of options open to them, there would be no advantage in Keith’s argument to either.

    I am not merely arguing that evolution proceeded naturally. I am arguing that it proceeded as I’ve repeatedly described it, with bifurcating descent with modification, sufficiently slow mutation rates, and primarily vertical inheritance. Again, this is confirmed by observation.

    However, Keith’s “trillions of options” argument requires that the designer can instantiate living organisms into the physical world in a manner that natural forces cannot,

    Why should the Designer be limited to ONHs if humans are not? How can you possibly justify that assumption?

    Keith’s response was:

    You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces? You might want to discuss that assumption with your fellow IDers, who may not be quite so enthusiastic about it as you are. Besides the conflict with your fellow IDers, you have another problem: what is the basis for your assumption about the limitations of the Designer? How do you know what the Designer can and cannot do? Be specific.

    Note the attempt to shift the burden, as if I was the one making a claim about what the designer “can and cannot do”. I made no such claim. The claim was in Keith’s assertion that the designer could have generated trillions of “diversity of life” patterns that nature could not

    No, my claim is that none of the trillions of possibilities are known to be out of reach for a designer. They therefore cannot be ruled out.

    Later, Keith modified his claim:

    There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    It’s the same claim as before. You misunderstood it the first time.

  148. 148

    Keith said:

    Easily.

    Humans do it all the time. William, you’re not thinking.

    Keith seems to be under the impression that humans create non-ONH life systems on earth “all the time”.

  149. 149

    Keith said:

    It could happen if the mutation rate were high enough or if inheritance weren’t primarily vertical. However, neither is the case, so your objection is moot.

    Keith is limiting his response here to fall under an assumed CA/VD (common ancestor/vertical descent) life system. If one is going to assume that unliving natural forces generated, out of all possible outcomes, a CA/VD system, one must make the same assumption of a designer. If the point is moot because we actually have a CA/VD system, then the point is also moot for a designer.

    You can’t say that the designer could have made other systems and say that the same argument is moot when applied to the unguided side.

  150. 150

    Why should the Designer be limited to ONHs if humans are not? How can you possibly justify that assumption?

    I’m not the one making an assumption here – keith is. Keith is assuming the designer is like a human after he said “we know absolutely nothing about the designer.”

    Even if I let keith’s additional assumption pass, it still doesn’t get him anywhere because he’s made yet another glaring error: Keith seems to think that humans make biological life systems all the time.

    If keith is arguing that humans make all kinds of non-organic systems that are not ONH’s, so do natural forces. In fact, it is problematical for keith’s position that outside of the subject under debate, between unguided natural forces and known objects of design, only known objects of design are also sometimes arranged in ONH’s. Unguided natural forces are not known to ever produce ONH’s.

    If we assume both unliving natural forces and a designer had many alternatives to “choose” from, equal assumption is that, for whatever reason, both “chose” a CA/VD ONH system.

    Keith would have an argument if the only kind of life unliving natural forces could have produced was a CA/VD ONH system; but keith doesn’t seem willing to try to make that case. His argument relies on (1) assuming that unliving natural forces could only a CA/VD ONH ife system, and (2) assuming that the designer had trillions of other options open that he could have used to instantiate life.

    Yet, Keith says we know nothing about the designer. Strange that after keith said that we know nothing about the designer, he attempts to salvage his argument by comparing the designer to humans.

    No, my claim is that none of the trillions of possibilities are known to be out of reach for a designer. They therefore cannot be ruled out.

    None of the trillions of possibilities are known to be within reach of the designer. They therefore cannot be ruled in.

    The “trillions of possibilities” we are talking about is the capacity to instantiate in the physical world life systems that are alternative to the CA/VD ONH found on Earth (arguendo). Even if we grant keith’s unfair extra assumption about the nature of a designer which, in keith’s words, “we know absolutely nothing about”, are humans known to have instantiated even one life system on this planet? And yet keith claims we have “trillions” of options open to us?

    Please note the continued shifting of the burdent; keith assumes the designer is not limited by natural laws, then shifts the burden to me by asking me why I would think the designer is limited to natural laws – only, I made no such assertion. Now, keith is claiming that the designer is comparable to a human, then asks me why I would assume the desginer is not like a human – only, I’ve made no such assumption.

    In each case, keith has made extra assumptions on the designer side, and is still making them, and he’s still trying to shift the burden when he is called out on them.

  151. 151

    Keith said:

    As I’ve explained more than once, my argument makes no assumptions about OOL. How things are set up initially doesn’t matter. As long as the mutation rate is slow enough and inheritance is primarily vertical after OOL, an ONH will be produced and my argument applies.

    If we leave out OOL, and we begin a slow mutation rate and a primarily vertical inheritance for both parties (unguided natural forces-produced system and designer-produced system), then the outcomes will be the same. An ONH is a mathematical certainty given your premise and excluding any alternate OOL scenarios.

  152. 152
    Querius says:

    Adapta,

    Yeah, evolutionists have been parading Tiktaalik as the prime “missing link” fossil. It’s simply a mosaic fossil inserted between Eusthenopteron and Acanthostega without regard to other structures. For example, what’s the platypus intermediate between? A duck and a beaver?

    finding the phylogenetic trees from the fossil and DNA records are vastly incongruent would do it.

    Easy. Check out http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....123219.htm

    A hearing gene known as prestin in both bats and dolphins (a toothed whale) has picked up many of the same mutations over time, the studies show. As a result, if you draw a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone, the echolocating bats and whales come out together rather than with their rightful evolutionary cousins.

    Done. But instead of admitting that the Theory of Evolution has been falsified, the researchers claim adaptive sequence convergence, which, when you do the math, is more commonly known as a “miracle.” This is an example of why I claim the Theory of Evolution is not falsifiable.

    ToE is observable – see the Lenski LTEE work.

    So is the battle between mutations in both the malaria pathogen and humans (this was described in detail in Mike Behe’s book, The Edge of Evolution). Lenski’s experiment doesn’t demonstrate the Theory of Evolution. What Lenski should have done is subject E. coli to elevated ionizing radiation that’s equivalent to millions of years of evolution to see whether he gets anything but more E.coli.

    Not an ad hom, just a simple statement of fact. You don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to evolutionary theory and you do need some basic training.

    You don’t need to pile on additional unsupported ad hominem attacks. One was enough.

    -Q

  153. 153
    keith s says:

    Part 4 of my point-by-point rebuttal of William’s OP.

    WJM writes:

    What an explosive, self-contradictory blunder. If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    Don’t be silly. If that were true, then we would have no basis for rejecting the Rain Fairy, the Streambed Designer, the Explosion Designer, and the angels pushing the planets around.

    Whether or not unguided natural forces can generate any of the same “trillions of possibilities” of diversity of life pattern (alternatives to ONH) depends on what we know about those natural forces and how they operate. Obviously, Keith doesn’t assume that unguided natural forces can instantiate life in “trillions” of ways that would not conform to an ONH.

    Of course I don’t, because when we observe evolution in real time, it produces ONHs, just as we would expect given the slow mutation rate and primarily vertical inheritance.

    Not knowing anything about “the designer” doesn’t give Keith license to simply assume the designer has “trillions of possibilities” open to actually instantiating a “diversity of life” into the physical world.

    I’m not assuming that there are trillions of possibilities open to any particular designer. There might be, or there might not be, depending on the designer. We simply don’t know, so we can’t rule any of them out unless you provide a justification for doing so.

    Again, vjtorley understands this. Why is it so difficult for you?

    If we disregard actual capacity to produce biological diversity, the same number of purely “logical” alternatives are open to both natural forces and any designer.

    Why on earth would we disregard actual capacity? This is a scientific question. We should take advantage of all the evidence at our disposal.

    You have to know something about the causal agencies to know what it is “possible” for them to do or not do. Keith admits he knows nothing about the designer.

    Exactly. That’s why I don’t rule out any of the trillions of possibilities. You, on the other hand, would need to rule out the trillions of non-ONH possibilities in order to close the trillions-to-one gap between unguided evolution and ID.

    Vincent tried that a couple of years ago with his “Economy of Effort principle”, but that attempt failed for reasons that I have given elsewhere.

    Read what Keith said again:

    You think that the Designer was limited by natural forces?

    Something becomes clear here: Keith’s argument must assume that the designer is supernatural, and can magically instantiate biological life into the world in any way imaginable, without regard for natural laws, forces, or molecular tendencies and behavioral rules, and without regard to what would limit any other causal agency – it’s actual capacity to engineer particular outcomes in the physical world.

    Absolutely not. I don’t assume that the designer is supernatural, and I don’t know that any of the trillions of possibilities require a supernatural designer. Do you?

    The reason I brought this up becomes clear when you include the full quote:

    You think that God the Designer was limited by natural forces? You might want to discuss that assumption with your fellow IDers, who may not be quite so enthusiastic about it as you are.

    WJM:

    If we assume that natural forces are capable of creating non-ONH patterns, Keith’s argument fails. If we assume that natural forces can only produce an ONH, then Keith must assume extra characteristics about the designer – that it is capable of instantiating “diversity of life” patterns that natural forces cannot.

    No. Again, I am not assuming what the Designer can or cannot do. I am simply refusing to rule anything out, since we know absolutely nothing about the Designer and therefore have no basis for such assumptions.

    Keith’s assumptions are not equal. For the assumptions to be equal, we either assume both unguided forces and the designer can only produce ONH patterns in a diversity of life landscape, or we can assume both are capable of non-ONH patterns.

    The assumptions are equal, but the facts are not.

    We cannot assume that unguided forces can actually only produce ONH, and assume that the designer can actually produce trillions of other patterns, and keep a straight face while insisting our assumptions are equal and that “we know absolutely nothing about the designer”.

    The assumptions are equal, but the facts are not. We know things about evolution that we simply don’t know about the designer. Since we don’t know anything about the Designer, you run smack into the Rain Fairy problem. We don’t have that problem with evolution, because we know that the mutation rate is slow and that inheritance is primarily vertical.

    Your argument didn’t hold up very well to scrutiny, William. Blame Vishnu. He’s the one who kept badgering me to do a point-by-point reply to your OP. 🙂

  154. 154
    Reality says:

    “As a result, if you draw a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone, the echolocating bats and whales come out together rather than with their rightful evolutionary cousins.”

    Querius, in no way does that falsify evolutionary theory. They’re merely saying that a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone would be incorrect.

  155. 155
    Adapa says:

    LOL! Ah Querius, you are so funny when you try to play at science!

    Tiktaalik’s find was a successful prediction based on known evolutionary data and there’s nothing Creationists can do about it.

    One easily explainable example of convergent evolution – prestin has biomechanical properties that help in high frequency hearing – isn’t “vastly incongruent”.

    Behe can squawk all he wants about Lenski’s work but it’s still evolution observed in real time.

    Sorry Q but your ignorance of evolutionary theory gets more obvious every time you post. Some friendly advice – you may want to rethink your strategy before embarrassing yourself further.

  156. 156
    Adapa says:

    Reality

    Querius, in no way does that falsify evolutionary theory. They’re merely saying that a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone would be incorrect.

    It’s common for people with zero scientific training to not understand the power of multiple lines of consilient evidence. They read some goofball YEC site that hand waves away each piece of evidence separately with no mention of how all the pieces fit together and think ToE has been falsified.

    It’s hard to know where to even start in correcting those folks they’re so far behind the science learning curve.

  157. 157
    Querius says:

    Adapa,

    My original point stands:

    But instead of admitting that the Theory of Evolution has been falsified, the researchers claim adaptive sequence convergence, which, when you do the math, is more commonly known as a “miracle.” This is an example of why I claim the Theory of Evolution is not falsifiable.

    Your retreat into convergent evolution in spite of genomic evidence to the contrary (shared mutations) underscores the fact that there’s no falsifying evidence to the Theory of Evolution that cannot be rationalized.

    You haven’t answered my question: “What’s the platypus intermediate between? A duck and a beaver?”

    Behe can squawk all he wants about Lenski’s work but it’s still evolution observed in real time.

    That wasn’t even the argument that I made.

    Did E.coli evolve into something else? No. It simply exhibited a mutation of the same type that Behe described in his book, The Edge of Evolution, in humans and in malaria. As I said, to demonstrate evolution, Lenski needs to add ionizing radiation and evolve novel structures. Let me point out that your opinion to the contrary is unsupported and thus doesn’t constitute an argument.

    Finally, your persistent use of rude and unsupported ad hominem attacks demonstrates to everyone here that you have completely run out of rational arguments. By doing so you have conceded.

    Goodbye.

    -Q

  158. 158
    Andre says:

    Adapa

    It is right about here where I’m going to call you out……

    It’s common for people with zero scientific training to not understand the power of multiple lines of consilient evidence. They read some goofball YEC site that hand waves away each piece of evidence separately with no mention of how all the pieces fit together and think ToE has been falsified.

    Says who? You? You have absolutely no clue how OOL originated, you have absolutely no clue how the first replicators originated, you have absolutely no clue about how the first protein originated…. YOU DON”T KNOW!

    You have 0 evidence for macro-evolution, aka Darwin style, Ring species don’t exist and the idea that whales came from other land mammals have been falsified extensively.

    Tiktaalik was not a transitional form, the finding of Tetrapod tracks that predate Tiktaalik by 30 000 000 years put a stop to that idea. Tiktaalik could not “hobble onto land” it did not have the right joints to do so period!

    You can not explain convergent evolution even if you try, you have no clue how horizontal gene transfer occurs and you will never be able to explain epigenetics in a pure Darwinian framework.

    And Then Adapa there is PCD…….

  159. 159
    Evolve says:

    William @ 35,

    ///I’ll ask you the same question I asked Keith: do you have an example of natural forces/processes generating an ONH outside of the subject under contention? ///

    This is a moot point.
    Reproduction and vertical descent are characteristic features of life-as-we-know-it. It’s in the very definition of life. There’s no other way for life to arise naturally (no other life system) as far as we know.
    We also know that designed objects do not propagate themselves by reproduction & vertical descent, and therefore they don’t produce objective nested hierarchies. They need assistance and intervention from their designers. Life doesn’t need intervention of any sort. It’s self-sustaining and self-propagating.

    You ask:
    ///it must generate life with the qualities: (1) a common ancestor, and (2) vertical descent? If that is your position, what then is your evidence to support it?///

    Evidence?
    All around you. We observe life reproducing and forming nested groups under common ancestors as we speak. We can also observe evidence for past reproduction in organisms’ DNA. We can make predictions of what we should see under the current hypothesis and go looking for it.

    ///If we make identical assumptions about the designer and unguided forces…Keith is apparently evading his unequal assumptions concerning abiogenesis///

    Your claim of “unequal assumption” doesn’t hold water, I’m afraid, given the observations I made above. That living systems reproduce and form ONH, while designed objects don’t, is an observed fact. No assumption is required here. To get around this inconvenient truth, ID folks have to “fit” their designer to the data, such that he somehow decided to spawn life mimicking natural processes! This is easy for you since the purported designer is a totally unknown and undefined commodity. He can be positioned into any role one wants!

  160. 160
    Andre says:

    Evolve

    Where are these common ancestors?

  161. 161
    Evolve says:

    Vishnu says:

    ///Nobody knows the capability, motives, and options available to a putative designer///

    That summarises ID’s biggest problem.
    You have no idea who or what your claimed designer is, not even whether such a designer exists! There are no testable hypotheses regarding what the designer could be, what his mode of operation is…nothing!

    So what does ID do? Well, ID proponents will shower attacks on everything that evolutionary theory comes up with, and fit their imaginary designer into any scenario that science uncovers.

    But ID will eternally fail as a science as long as ID folks shy away from DEFINING THE DESIGNER.

  162. 162
    Andre says:

    Evolve

    How is defining the designer have anything to do with his designs? Do you ready believe the blind workings of matter could produce life? Really? Do you really believe mater made itself? Really? If you believe this the both matter and life should just pop into existence from nothing…..

    Any evidence for such an absurd worldview? That is what your belief is… absurd….. It has no observable evidence and nothing testable……

    It is absurd

  163. 163
    lifepsy says:

    Adapa 155

    Tiktaalik’s find was a successful prediction based on known evolutionary data and there’s nothing Creationists can do about it.

    And as Andre pointed out, Tiktaalik (supposedly a proto-tetrapod) has been overturned by advanced tetrapod traces predating it by several million years.

    Please explain what good a prediction is if it pointed to the wrong spot? You don’t like thinking about these things do you?

    One easily explainable example of convergent evolution – prestin has biomechanical properties that help in high frequency hearing – isn’t “vastly incongruent”.

    lol, sorry to break this to you but that excuse could be used to rescue nearly any amount of incongruence. You just helped prove how well insulated evolutionary phylogenetics is from falsification.

    Behe can squawk all he wants about Lenski’s work but it’s still evolution observed in real time.

    Do you even know what Lenski’s E.Coli did? It shuffled pre-existing traits closer to each other so that a pre-existing function was activated at a different time. (Citrate Transport in aerobic conditions) Nothing new even evolved.

    The only reason Lenski’s research is held up on a pedestal by evolutionists is because they don’t understand it. The same goes for most other things it seems.

  164. 164
    Joe says:

    keith s:

    Of course I don’t, because when we observe evolution in real time, it produces ONHs, just as we would expect given the slow mutation rate and primarily vertical inheritance.

    Reference please. So far all we have is your word and we have refuted your word.

  165. 165
    Joe says:

    Evolve:

    Reproduction and vertical descent are characteristic features of life-as-we-know-it.

    And your position can’t explain that.

    We also know that designed objects do not propagate themselves by reproduction & vertical descent,

    So computer viruses aren’t designed?

    We observe life reproducing and forming nested groups under common ancestors as we speak.

    Nested means the daughter group would be within the parent group, not under.

    Gradual evolution would not produce an ONH because gradual evolution would produce numerous transitional forms which would make crating an ONH all but impossible.

    Why is that so difficult to understand?

  166. 166
    lifepsy says:

    Evolve 159

    Life doesn’t need intervention of any sort. It’s self-sustaining and self-propagating.

    How did Life gain “self-sustaining and self-propagating” characteristics? Intervention?

    That living systems reproduce and form ONH, while designed objects don’t, is an observed fact. No assumption is required here. To get around this inconvenient truth, ID folks have to “fit” their designer to the data, such that he somehow decided to spawn life mimicking natural processes!

    On the contrary. You have to assume “natural processes” mimicked a designer in producing a set of easily classifiable and distinct types of life, instead of a series of blurred and indistinct fine gradations that evolution predicts.

    Designers create from common archetypes but the final product tends to have distinct traits that make it easily distinguishable from others – exactly what we observe.

    Naturalistic “Evolution” could only leave such a pattern by an incredible coincidence of weeding out all those fine gradations that would confound such a pattern.

  167. 167
    Box says:

    Keith: There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    WJM: If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    Keith #153: No. Again, I am not assuming what the Designer can or cannot do. I am simply refusing to rule anything out, since we know absolutely nothing about the Designer and therefore have no basis for such assumptions.

    Summation:

    [ K: we cannot rule the trillions out because we don’t know anything. ]

    * By the same token we have no basis to rule the trillions in.*

    [ K: I refuse to rule the trillions out! ]

    * And you are right about that Keith, but don’t rule the trillions in either. *

    – –
    It is sufficient to assume that the designer is capable of producing ONH as we observe it. Assuming that a designer can produce more orderings of life is making UNNECESSARY assumptions about a designer, who, by your own words, “we know absolutely nothing about”.

    See post #30 for further reading.

  168. 168

    Evolve said:

    This is a moot point.
    Reproduction and vertical descent are characteristic features of life-as-we-know-it. It’s in the very definition of life.

    If it’s the very definition of life, then obviously no designer can create “life” outside of those parameters. A designer might be able to create something outside of those parameters, but it wouldn’t be life – as you say,by definition.

    There are no testable hypotheses regarding what the designer could be, what his mode of operation is…nothing!

    Keith’s argument doesn’t involve testing the designer or knowing anything at all about him; Keith’s argument is entirely based upon making equal assumptions about unguided forces and any putative designer.

  169. 169

    Keith said:

    Don’t be silly. If that were true, then we would have no basis for rejecting the Rain Fairy, the Streambed Designer, the Explosion Designer, and the angels pushing the planets around.

    I already answered this and made clear the distinctions between the analogies and the actual subject under debate. In a nutshell, your analogy list makes the assumption that the actual subject under debate is qualitatively the same as that which you have chosen as analogies, which natural forces on their own are known to be sufficient to produce the effects in question.

    The problem is that this is the essential challenge ID brings to the table; that natural forces are not sufficient to explain the appearance of life as we know it. As soon as we assume natural forces capable of generating life as we know it, ID loses the argument because ID states that if natural forces can plausibly produce the effect, they are the better explanation. As soon as you have made that asssumption, ID has lost the argument. Whether it is by a factor of trillions or not, your winning conclusion necessarily follows from your initial premise.

    If markovian progressions are a mathematical certainty from initial life conditions assumed to have been generated at abiogenesis, the outcome would be an ONH regardless of if a designer or natural forces was responsible for the initial conditions. But unguided forces would still win because the designer would be a superfluous additional cause just like any of the other putative designers in your analogies.

    Once again, your analogies assume that they are qualitatively the same as what we see in life, when that is the very thing that ID challenges. You are assuming your conclusion. ID challenges that life is qualitatively the same as any of those things in your analogy – that is its core challenge, and as such your assumptions are = just saying “If ID is not true, then natural forces is the best exlanattion!!” Well, DUH.

  170. 170

    WJM said:

    Whether or not unguided natural forces can generate any of the same “trillions of possibilities” of diversity of life pattern (alternatives to ONH) depends on what we know about those natural forces and how they operate. Obviously, Keith doesn’t assume that unguided natural forces can instantiate life in “trillions” of ways that would not conform to an ONH.

    keith said:

    Of course I don’t, because when we observe evolution in real time, it produces ONHs, just as we would expect given the slow mutation rate and primarily vertical inheritance.

    Notice how keith here once again ignores the fact that he is saying that given the kind of life system we currently observe, we can expect a Markovian ONH, and brushes aside any other kinds of life systems that could have been instantiated by unguided forces but were not. If we are given this kind of life system to begin with, a markovian ONH would be the necessary result whether instantiated by natural forces or a designer.

  171. 171

    Something important to point out:

    Once keith has assumed natural forces capable of producing life as we know it, ID has lost the argument. Even if keith had a valid argument about the “trillions of times the better explanation” (he doesn’t), that is the point that is truly moot in this debate.

    Since Keith’s argument assumes that which automatically makes natural forces the better explanation even by IDist standards, Keith’s argument is, essentially: “If we assume unguided natural forces is the best explanation for life as we know it, then it is the best explanation for life as we know it.”

  172. 172
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: I am supposing a lineage that inherits a trait, and then loses that trait. Other lineages may preserve that trait.

    You may have to draw a schematic, or someone else may be able to interpret.

    If there are two populations, and the only difference is a single trait, and the one population loses that trait, then the populations would then be identical.

    However, if we have two populations that don’t intermingle (for one reason or another), and one population accumulates a number of traits so that it can no long interbreed with the other population, then it’s not a simple matter of losing a single trait, but of unwinding many changes.

    lifepsy: Of course it is branching, that’s all it can do.

    No. Lineages can recombine, or go extinct.

    Querius: The evolutionary paradigm assumes that this additional DNA has no funtion.

    Are you saying that the salamander requires thirty times as much DNA as a human?

    Querius: Did the Theory of Evolution predict “living fossils”?

    Yes. While an organism can’t precede its ancestors, there’s no rule about how long the ancestral form can persist. In other words, you can’t be born before your father, but you can coexist with him.

    Querius: How about giving us some examples of discoveries would falsify the Theory of Evolution?

    This thread concerns the evidence from the nested hierarchy, and in light of your previous comment, an organism that precedes any plausible ancestor would falsify a given history of branching descent.

    Querius: what’s the platypus intermediate between?

    The platypus is a mammal with some primitive characteristics of therapsid ancestors. See Myers, Interpreting Shared Characteristics: The Platypus Genome, NatureEducation 2008.

    Querius: As a result, if you draw a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone, the echolocating bats and whales come out together rather than with their rightful evolutionary cousins.

    That’s right, and biologists consider it an example of natural selection as both organisms evolved echolocation requiring high-frequency hearing. Now consider only synonymous substitutions for the same genes, and you recover the standard phylogeny, exactly what evolutionary theory would predict.

    lifepsy: And as Andre pointed out, Tiktaalik (supposedly a proto-tetrapod) has been overturned by advanced tetrapod traces predating it by several million years.

    An intermediate is an organism that exhibits primitive and derived traits, not necessarily a direct ancestor. The transition between aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates would have been accompanied by a multitude of branchings.

    William J Murray: If markovian progressions are a mathematical certainty from initial life conditions assumed to have been generated at abiogenesis, the outcome would be an ONH regardless of if a designer or natural forces was responsible for the initial conditions.

    That is correct.

    William J Murray: But unguided forces would still win because the designer would be a superfluous additional cause just like any of the other putative designers in your analogies.

    That could only be determined by looking at additional evidence. Adaptation requires more than branching descent.

  173. 173
    Reality says:

    Adapa said: “It’s common for people with zero scientific training to not understand the power of multiple lines of consilient evidence. They read some goofball YEC site that hand waves away each piece of evidence separately with no mention of how all the pieces fit together and think ToE has been falsified.

    It’s hard to know where to even start in correcting those folks they’re so far behind the science learning curve.”

    Agreed, and I’ll add that the ways in which they argue reveals their desperation in trying to support their religious beliefs by denying and bending science and reality to fit their beliefs.

  174. 174
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    If there are two populations, and the only difference is a single trait, and the one population loses that trait, then the populations would then be identical.

    So much for descent with modification producing an ONH. Thanks Zachriel.

  175. 175

    Keith said:

    No. Again, I am not assuming what the Designer can or cannot do. I am simply refusing to rule anything out, since we know absolutely nothing about the Designer and therefore have no basis for such assumptions.

    It doesn’t matter how you word it, Keith. It’s like someone claiming that not acting to prevent a child from harming itself is not in itself a culpable action. If you are going to use those possibilities to make a probability case about a designer, you have necessarily ruled them in to pad your probability outcome.

    The reason you need to rule them out is because in order for a designer to begin at the same post-abiogenesis state you are beginning on the unguided forces side, all other options that might exist as potentialities pre-abiogenesis on both sides of the ledger are dismissed – meaning, both natural forces and a designer have instantiated the current life system as a given.

    As others here have pointed out, given the current life system, a Markovian ONH is a mathematical certainty.

    You can either begin both at the given life system, or you can move both back to pre-abiogenesis potentials. You can’t start unguided forces with the given life system and then question why the designer would choose that potential from a pre-abiogenesis starting point full of other possibilities.

  176. 176

    William J Murray:

    But unguided forces would still win because the designer would be a superfluous additional cause just like any of the other putative designers in your analogies.

    Zachriel:

    That could only be determined by looking at additional evidence. Adaptation requires more than branching descent.

    That’s beyond the scope of keith’s argument, which assumes natural forces sufficient to explain life as we know/observe it.

  177. 177
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: And as Andre pointed out, Tiktaalik (supposedly a proto-tetrapod) has been overturned by advanced tetrapod traces predating it by several million years.

    An intermediate is an organism that exhibits primitive and derived traits, not necessarily a direct ancestor. The transition between aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates would have been accompanied by a multitude of branchings.

    Exactly, the definition of an “intermediate” is extremely ambiguous and open to subjective interpretation, thanks for pointing that out.

    And as we can see, the prediction that this fish-tetrapod transition would have occurred in the Late Devonian rock layers was a failure. Advanced tetrapod traits exist significantly lower than the Late Devonian, so the intermediates would have to be even lower than that.

    But Evolution theory is useless enough that it can accommodate any contradiction to its predictions.

    People like you actually see this as a strength of the theory, lol.

  178. 178
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: That’s beyond the scope of keith’s argument, which assumes natural forces sufficient to explain life as we know/observe it.

    KeithS doesn’t assume, but argues that the evidence from the nested hierarchy is sufficient to show that the entire process is due to natural causes. While it’s reasonable to say that the branching process is *intrinsic* (not requiring intervention at every branching), the existence of the nested hierarchy is not sufficient to explain adaptation or the shape of the tree.

    Do you accept branching descent?

  179. 179
    Adapa says:

    Reality

    Agreed, and I’ll add that the ways in which they argue reveals their desperation in trying to support their religious beliefs by denying and bending science and reality to fit their beliefs.

    You can smell the desperation as Querius, Andre, and lifepsy all mindlessly repeat the same creationist PRATTS – “tiktaalik isn’t transitional!!” “convergent evolution takes a miracle!!” “the E coli are still E coli!!”. Three interesting and important pieces of scientific research, each worthy of its own discussion, summarily dismissed by three guys apparently with not one minute of scientific education between them. Oh, and I just love this one. 🙂

    “What’s the platypus intermediate between? A duck and a beaver?”

    There’s not much to be done for such willful ignorance.

  180. 180
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: the definition of an “intermediate” is extremely ambiguous and open to subjective interpretation, thanks for pointing that out.

    Not ambiguous at all, and in the the case of Tiktaalik, they made very specific predictions concerning the features of the organism they were looking for.

    lifepsy: the prediction that this fish-tetrapod transition would have occurred in the Late Devonian rock layers was a failure.

    You have a funny notion of failure. They predicted the type of organisms they would find, then found it. Notably, it is evolutionary biologists who make such interesting discoveries, not IDers.

    lifepsy: Advanced tetrapod traits exist significantly lower than the Late Devonian, so the intermediates would have to be even lower than that.

    Yes, it turns out that you and your father can coexist (or in this case cousins somewhat removed).

  181. 181

    KeithS doesn’t assume, but argues that the evidence from the nested hierarchy is sufficient to show that the entire process is due to natural causes.

    No, he doesn’t. From keith’s argument:

    5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    Keith explicitly assumes that unguided forces can produce the life system and the putative ONH that we observe arguendo.

    Do you accept branching descent?

    Whether I accept it or not is entirely irrelevant to the argument.

  182. 182
    bornagain77 says:

    Neo-Darwinism is not a science! Not even close to a real science!

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science:

    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection Are Both Grossly Inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

  183. 183
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    They predicted the type of organisms they would find, then found it.

    They predicted the fish-tetrapod “transition” occurred in the Late Devonian. Haven’t you seen all those little chronological “fishapod” diagrams that evolutionists teach to kids?
    Why else would they specifically search for that “transition” in the Late Devonian?

    Clearly the prediction has failed. And the Fog of Evolution has settled over the failed prediction and absorbed it.

  184. 184
    Joe says:

    Tiktaalik is a transitional only in the minds of people whose position requires transitional forms. However as far as science is concerned alleged transitionals are independent of descent with modification

  185. 185
    Adapa says:

    lifepsy

    Clearly the prediction has failed. And the Fog of Evolution has settled over the failed prediction and absorbed it.

    Tiktaalik was found in the exact age strata as was predicted and with the morphological features that were predicted. Possible earlier tetrapod tracks only indicate tetrapod evolution is more complicated than previously thought, possibly with multiple lineages making the water to land transition. The tracks find don’t invalidate the tiktaalik prediction based discovery in the least.

    Paleontologist Per Ahlberg, co-discoverer of tiktaalik as well as the Zachelmie Quarry tracks, posts regularly at TalkRational.org Natural Science section. I sure he will be more than happy to answer any questions or criticisms you may have.

  186. 186
    Andre says:

    For the love of science Tiktaalik is not a transitional……..

    Sheesh you guys are desperate….

  187. 187
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: Keith explicitly assumes that unguided forces can produce the life system and the putative ONH that we observe arguendo.

    If you mean he makes the assumption arguendo in order to draw out and test its entailments, then sure.

    William J Murray: Whether I accept {branching descent} or not is entirely irrelevant to the argument.

    Of course it is. We’re discussing what can reasonably be concluded from the nested hierarchy. Do you accept branching descent?

    bornagain77: Neo-Darwinism is not a science! …

    Argument by proclamation!

    lifepsy: Haven’t you seen all those little chronological “fishapod” diagrams that evolutionists teach to kids?

    Sure. Note that Tiktaalik is not shown on the direct line of descent.
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/.....n_fig7.gif

    Andre: For the love of science Tiktaalik is not a transitional…….

    A transitional exhibits both primitive and derived features. Among other features, Tiktaalik has a gills and scales, a functional wrist, derived ear, lungs, and a mobile neck.

  188. 188
    Adapa says:

    Andre

    For the love of science Tiktaalik is not a transitional……..

    Pelvic girdle and fin of Tiktaalik roseae
    Shubin et al
    PNAS January 21, 2014 vol. 111 no. 3

    Abstract: The earliest tetrapods have robust limbs, particularly hind limbs that are enlarged and supported by a number of modifications to the pelvic girdle. In contrast, the closest relatives of tetrapods maintain small and weakly ossified pelvic appendages as compared with the pectorals. This observation has led to the “front wheel drive” hypothesis that held that the closest relatives of tetrapods emphasized pectoral support and locomotion whereas significant pelvic support and locomotion was a tetrapod innovation. The discovery of pelvic girdle and fin material of the tetrapodomorph Tiktaalik roseae reveals a transitional stage in the origin of the pelvic girdle and appendage: although retaining primitive skeletal architecture, these elements are enhanced in size and robusticity much like tetrapods.

    Andre you too are invited to go to TalkRational.org and speak directly with Per Ahlberg. He’d be quite interested to know his life’s work is all wrong. Of course he’ll probably ask you to back up the bluster. Can you?

  189. 189
    Box says:

    bornagain77: Neo-Darwinism is not a science! Not even close to a real science!

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science:

    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection Are Both Grossly Inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

    Zachriel #187: Argument by proclamation!

    Can anyone explain to Zachriel what an ‘argument by proclamation’ is?

  190. 190

    William J Murray:

    Whether I accept {branching descent} or not is entirely irrelevant to the argument.

    Zachriel

    Of course it is. We’re discussing what can reasonably be concluded from the nested hierarchy.

    I assumed branching descent arguendo in the OP. Whether or not I personally accept it is entirely irrelevant to the debate.

  191. 191

    Zachriel said:

    If you mean he makes the assumption arguendo in order to draw out and test its entailments, then sure.

    The entailments drawn from his premises are irrelevant when his premises force a favorable conclusion and assume the very core of what is being challenged.

  192. 192
    bornagain77 says:

    Apparently when I make a claim and back it up with evidence that is not science, but ‘proclamation’, but when Darwinists make evidence free claims, as they continually do, that apparently is science.

    You just got to love the constant hypocrisy of Darwinists!
    At least there is one thing in Darwin’s theory that is not subject to radical revision at the drop of a hat! 🙂

  193. 193
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    However, if we have two populations that don’t intermingle (for one reason or another), and one population accumulates a number of traits so that it can no long interbreed with the other population, then it’s not a simple matter of losing a single trait, but of unwinding many changes.

    Yes, it’s called “Evolution”. Traits can potentially be lost by selection pressures. (Unless perhaps the Evolution fairies are preserving those traits?)

    If a basal vertebrate evolves away from vertebrate traits, then its descendents will no longer nest within vertebrates.

    Thus branching descent does not necessarily predict a nested hierarchy of traits.

    Joe

    So much for descent with modification producing an ONH. Thanks Zachriel.

    I think he’s finally starting to get it.

  194. 194
    lifepsy says:

    Adapa

    Tiktaalik was found in the exact age strata as was predicted

    Okay. WHY was that prediction made? Why did they predict Tiktaalik would be found in that strata?

  195. 195
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Can anyone explain to Zachriel what an ‘argument by proclamation’ is?

    We withdraw the claim. The list of proclamations are apparently intended as evidence.

    bornagain77: No Rigid Mathematical Basis

    Neodarwinism was founded on a mathematical basis called population genetics.

    William J Murray: I assumed branching descent arguendo in the OP. Whether or not I personally accept it is entirely irrelevant to the debate.

    Fair enough, but as the nested hierarchy undergirds the entire field of evolutionary biology, and as there is strong support for branching descent as detailed in the original post, it’s odd you wouldn’t just say so.

    William J Murray: The entailments drawn from his premises are irrelevant when his premises force a favorable conclusion and assume the very core of what is being challenged.

    Think his claim is that the designer is an extraneous entity, rather than circular reasoning.

    lifepsy: If a basal vertebrate evolves away from vertebrate traits, then its descendents will no longer nest within vertebrates.

    As you keep repeating, but not elucidating. You may have to draw a schematic, or someone else may be able to interpret.

    lifepsy: I think he’s finally starting to get it.

    If there are two populations, and the only difference is a single trait, and the one population loses that trait, then the populations would then be identical. This would be a case where the lineage did *not* branch.

  196. 196
    Adapa says:

    lifepsy

    Okay. WHY was that prediction made? Why did they predict Tiktaalik would be found in that strata?

    Here is a good overview from the U. of Chicago on the discovery of tiktaalik roseae and why the researchers looked where they did.

    The search for Tiktaalik

    They identified a gap in the fossil record of tetrapods (363-380 MYA), consulted geologists to find rocks of the right age and right composition (i.e former swamp), found a physical location where such rocks were exposed to the surface (Canadian arctic), searched and found transitional specimens just as had been predicted.

    How would ID have made this discovery?

  197. 197
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: WHY was that prediction made?

    Given that land vertebrates evolved from aquatic vertebrates, then there should have once existed transitional organisms, that is, organisms that exhibit both primitive and derived characteristics.

    When new forms appear, especially when they are invading a new niche, there is usually a period of adaptive radiation, i.e. lots of branches. The closer we are to the branch of interest, the more likely to find an organism displaying transitional features. On the other hand, any organism we do find is unlikely to be the very first such organism, but is much more likely to be one of a variety of such organisms.

  198. 198
    lifepsy says:

    Adapa

    They identified a gap in the fossil record of tetrapods (363-380 MYA)

    Then they based their prediction on faulty assumptions about the fossil record, as tetrapods existed considerably earlier than this.

    So apparently being wrong about the fossil record leads to successful evolutionary predictions. That is an awkward position to take.

  199. 199
    Adapa says:

    lifepsy

    Then they based their prediction on faulty assumptions about the fossil record, as tetrapods existed considerably earlier than this

    Yet they still found exactly what they predicted and where they predicted it.

    Tell me again how ID would have made this discovery?

  200. 200
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: If a basal vertebrate evolves away from vertebrate traits, then its descendents will no longer nest within vertebrates.

    As you keep repeating, but not elucidating. You may have to draw a schematic, or someone else may be able to interpret.

    What are you confused about? A basal vertebrate lineage would inherit the loss of vertebrate traits the same way it inherited them in the first place – through differential reproductive success of undirected variations.

  201. 201
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: What are you confused about? A basal vertebrate lineage would inherit the loss of vertebrate traits the same way it inherited them in the first place – through differential reproductive success of undirected variations.

    You may want to draw a schematic. The way you describe it, no branching actually takes place. A trait is gain, then lost.

  202. 202
    Zachriel says:

    Adapa: Yet they still found exactly what they predicted and where they predicted it.

    Obviously a lucky guess. They were camping out in the Canadian arctic for a few years looking at the ground, a lot, then stumbled across a weird looking fish.

  203. 203
    lifepsy says:

    Adapa

    Yet they still found exactly what they predicted and where they predicted it.

    Yes they made a successful prediction based on being wrong about the fossil record. Amazing.

    Tell me again how ID would have made this discovery?

    By looking for new variations of amphibious creatures in or around rock layers known to contain that general type of amphibious creature. It’s called a best guess.

  204. 204
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Yes they made a successful prediction based on being wrong about the fossil record.

    Don’t you wish you had that kind of luck! Just stumbling around in an Arctic wasteland and just happened to predict the characteristics of a fishapod.

    Keep in mind that Tiktaalik doesn’t have to be the very first in the transition, and was very likely not.

    lifepsy: By looking for new variations of amphibious creatures in or around rock layers known to contain that general type of amphibious creature. It’s called a best guess.

    Well, you would have to start with branching descent, or there’s no reason to suspect such a creature ever existed.

  205. 205
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: What are you confused about? A basal vertebrate lineage would inherit the loss of vertebrate traits the same way it inherited them in the first place – through differential reproductive success of undirected variations.

    You may want to draw a schematic. The way you describe it, no branching actually takes place. A trait is gain, then lost.

    Obviously the traits can be conserved in other lineages that branch off from the lineage which has the traits selected out.

  206. 206
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    Don’t you wish you had that kind of luck! Just stumbling around in an Arctic wasteland and just happened to predict the characteristics of a fishapod.

    Well, yes, even the team that made the discovery would tell you a lot of luck was involved.

    Well, you would have to start with branching descent, or there’s no reason to suspect such a creature ever existed.

    Uh huh, a few billion years ago a bunch of dead stuff spontaneously generated into a microorganism that eventually branched out into a bunch of fish and then the fish eventually branched out into a bunch of humans that invented the internet.
    I’m familiar with your religious beliefs, I just don’t subscribe to them.

  207. 207
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Obviously the traits can be conserved in other lineages that branch off from the lineage which has the traits selected out.

    Then it’s not basal. They’re derived. We have the situation, then, of tetrapods with fewer then four limbs. They’re still tetrapods.

  208. 208
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Well, yes, even the team that made the discovery would tell you a lot of luck was involved.

    There’s always luck involved in finding fossils, but the prediction was hardly luck.

  209. 209
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    We have the situation, then, of tetrapods with fewer then four limbs. They’re still tetrapods.

    You are confusing tetrapod with quadruped.

  210. 210
    Joe says:

    Adapa:

    Tiktaalik was found in the exact age strata as was predicted and with the morphological features that were predicted

    That is incorrect. No one predicts a transitional form will exist millions of years AFTER the transition occurred. And no one predicted what morphological features would be found.

  211. 211
    bornagain77 says:

    as to the fact that Neo-Darwinism has “No Rigid Mathematical Basis” that can be falsified

    Zach claims,,,

    “Neodarwinism was founded on a mathematical basis called population genetics.”

    And when any type of rigor is applied to population genetics, Neo-Darwinism is found to be false.

    Lynn Margulis Criticizes Neo-Darwinism in Discover Magazine (Updated) – Casey Luskin April 12, 2011
    Excerpt: Population geneticist Richard Lewontin gave a talk here at UMass Amherst about six years ago, and he mathemetized all of it–changes in the population, random mutation, sexual selection, cost and benefit. At the end of his talk he said, “You know, we’ve tried to test these ideas in the field and the lab, and there are really no measurements that match the quantities I’ve told you about.” This just appalled me. So I said, “Richard Lewontin, you are a great lecturer to have the courage to say it’s gotten you nowhere. But then why do you continue to do this work?” And he looked around and said, “It’s the only thing I know how to do, and if I don’t do it I won’t get grant money.” –
    Lynn Margulis – biologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45691.html

    The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology
    Excerpt: If more than about three genes (nature unspecified) underpin a phenotype, the mathematics of population genetics, while qualitatively analyzable, requires too many unknown parameters to make quantitatively testable predictions [6]. The inadequacy of this approach is demonstrated by illustrations of the molecular pathways that generates traits [7]: the network underpinning something as simple as growth may have forty or fifty participating proteins whose production involves perhaps twice as many DNA sequences, if one includes enhancers, splice variants etc. Theoretical genetics simply cannot handle this level of complexity, let alone analyse the effects of mutation..
    http://www.biosignaling.com/co.....X-9-30.pdf

    Using Computer Simulation to Understand Mutation Accumulation Dynamics and Genetic Load:
    Excerpt: We apply a biologically realistic forward-time population genetics program to study human mutation accumulation under a wide-range of circumstances.,, Our numerical simulations consistently show that deleterious mutations accumulate linearly across a large portion of the relevant parameter space.
    http://bioinformatics.cau.edu......aproof.pdf

    Evolution And Probabilities: A Response to Jason Rosenhouse – August 2011
    Excerpt: The equations of population genetics predict that – assuming an effective population size of 100,000 individuals per generation, and a generation turnover time of 5 years – according to Richard Sternberg’s calculations and based on equations of population genetics applied in the Durrett and Schmidt paper, that one may reasonably expect two specific co-ordinated mutations to achieve fixation in the timeframe of around 43.3 million years. When one considers the magnitude of the engineering fete, such a scenario is found to be devoid of credibility.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....osenhouse/

    Haldane’s Dilemma
    Excerpt: Haldane was the first to recognize there was a cost to selection which limited what it realistically could be expected to do. He did not fully realize that his thinking would create major problems for evolutionary theory. He calculated that in man it would take 6 million years to fix just 1,000 mutations (assuming 20 years per generation).,,, Man and chimp differ by at least 150 million nucleotides representing at least 40 million hypothetical mutations (Britten, 2002). So if man evolved from a chimp-like creature, then during that process there were at least 20 million mutations fixed within the human lineage (40 million divided by 2), yet natural selection could only have selected for 1,000 of those. All the rest would have had to been fixed by random drift – creating millions of nearly-neutral deleterious mutations. This would not just have made us inferior to our chimp-like ancestors – it surely would have killed us. Since Haldane’s dilemma there have been a number of efforts to sweep the problem under the rug, but the problem is still exactly the same. ReMine (1993, 2005) has extensively reviewed the problem, and has analyzed it using an entirely different mathematical formulation – but has obtained identical results.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 159-160

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in responce to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    A graph featuring ‘Kimura’s Distribution’ is shown in the following video:

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
    https://vimeo.com/91162565

    The following video provides a detailed refutation of Fisher’s work, from the 1930’s, in population genetics:

    Biological Information – Overlapping Codes 10-25-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OytcYD5791k&index=4&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

    Majestic Ascent: Berlinski on Darwin on Trial – David Berlinski – November 2011
    Excerpt: The publication in 1983 of Motoo Kimura’s The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution consolidated ideas that Kimura had introduced in the late 1960s. On the molecular level, evolution is entirely stochastic, and if it proceeds at all, it proceeds by drift along a leaves-and-current model. Kimura’s theories left the emergence of complex biological structures an enigma, but they played an important role in the local economy of belief. They allowed biologists to affirm that they welcomed responsible criticism. “A critique of neo-Darwinism,” the Dutch biologist Gert Korthof boasted, “can be incorporated into neo-Darwinism if there is evidence and a good theory, which contributes to the progress of science.”
    By this standard, if the Archangel Gabriel were to accept personal responsibility for the Cambrian explosion, his views would be widely described as neo-Darwinian.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53171.html

    (With the adoption of the ‘neutral theory’ of evolution by prominent Darwinists, and the casting aside of Natural Selection as a major player in evolution),,,
    “One wonders what would have become of evolution had Darwin originally claimed that it was simply the accumulation of random, neutral variations that generated all of the deeply complex, organized, interdependent structures we find in biology? Would we even know his name today?
    What exactly is Darwin really famous for now? Advancing a really popular, disproven idea (of Natural Selection), along the lines of Luminiferous Aether?
    Without the erroneous but powerful meme of “survival of the fittest” to act as an opiate for the Victorian intelligentsia and as a rationale for 20th century fascism, how might history have proceeded under the influence of the less vitriolic maxim, “Survival of the Happenstance”?”
    – William J Murray
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-510124

    Ann Gauger on genetic drift – August 2012
    Excerpt: The idea that evolution is driven by drift has led to a way of retrospectively estimating past genetic lineages. Called coalescent theory, it is based on one very simple assumption — that the vast majority of mutations are neutral and have no effect on an organism’s survival. (For a review go here.) According to this theory, actual genetic history is presumed not to matter. Our genomes are full of randomly accumulating neutral changes. When generating a genealogy for those changes, their order of appearance doesn’t matter. Trees can be drawn and mutations assigned to them without regard to an evolutionary sequence of genotypes, since genotypes don’t matter.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tic-drift/

  212. 212
    bornagain77 says:

    Natural Selection Struggles to Fix Advantageous Traits in Populations – Casey Luskin – October 23, 2014
    Excerpt: Michael Lynch, an evolutionary biologist at Indiana University,, writes that “random genetic drift can impose a strong barrier to the advancement of molecular refinements by adaptive processes.”2 He notes that the effect of drift is “encouraging the fixation of mildly deleterious mutations and discouraging the promotion of beneficial mutations.”3 Likewise, Eugene Koonin, a leading scientist at the National Institutes of Health, explains that genetic drift leads to “random fixation of neutral or even deleterious changes.”4
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90571.html

    At the 2:45 minute mark of the following video the mathematical roots of the junk DNA argument, that is still used by Darwinists, is traced through Haldane, Kimura, and Ohno’s work, in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, in population genetics:

    What Is The Genome? It’s Not Junk! – Dr. Robert Carter – video – (Notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8905583

    Thou Shalt Not Put Evolutionary Theory to a Test – Douglas Axe – July 18, 2012
    Excerpt: “For example, McBride criticizes me for not mentioning genetic drift in my discussion of human origins, apparently without realizing that the result of Durrett and Schmidt rules drift out. Each and every specific genetic change needed to produce humans from apes would have to have conferred a significant selective advantage in order for humans to have appeared in the available time (i.e. the mutations cannot be ‘neutral’). Any aspect of the transition that requires two or more mutations to act in combination in order to increase fitness would take way too long (greater than 100 million years).
    My challenge to McBride, and everyone else who believes the evolutionary story of human origins, is not to provide the list of mutations that did the trick, but rather a list of mutations that can do it. Otherwise they’re in the position of insisting that something is a scientific fact without having the faintest idea how it even could be.” Doug Axe PhD.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62351.html

    Michael Behe on the theory of constructive neutral evolution – February 2012
    Excerpt: I don’t mean to be unkind, but I think that the idea seems reasonable only to the extent that it is vague and undeveloped; when examined critically it quickly loses plausibility. The first thing to note about the paper is that it contains absolutely no calculations to support the feasibility of the model. This is inexcusable. – Michael Behe
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....evolution/

    Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology – Denis Noble – 17 MAY 2013
    Excerpt: The ‘Modern Synthesis’ (Neo-Darwinism) is a mid-20th century gene-centric view of evolution, based on random mutations accumulating to produce gradual change through natural selection.,,, We now know that genetic change is far from random and often not gradual.,,,
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....4/abstract

  213. 213
    Adapa says:

    Joe

    You are confusing tetrapod with quadruped.

    The confusion is yours Joe. Tetrapod in biology is defined as any vertebrate having four limbs or having had four-limbed ancestors.

    Quadruped merely means having four feet.

    All quadrupeds are tetrapods but not all tetrapods are quadrupeds.

  214. 214
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: And when any type of rigor is applied to population genetics, Neo-Darwinism is found to be false.

    However, you had claimed Neodarwinism had no “rigid mathematical basis”, when the facts are to the contrary.

  215. 215
    Adapa says:

    Joe

    That is incorrect.

    That Tiktaalik was found exactly as predicted is a matter of historical record Joe. It’s not open for debate.

    No one predicts a transitional form will exist millions of years AFTER the transition occurred.

    There’s nothing that prevents transitions from occurring in more than one lineage.

    And no one predicted what morphological features would be found.

    Tiktaalik was predicted and the predictions of transitional features like its pelvic girdle proved correct. Again that’s a matter of historical record.

    Denying historically recorded reality is a bizarre and totally ineffective way to argue.

  216. 216
    keith s says:

    This bit of selective quotation deserves to be pointed out immediately. I’ll respond to William’s other comments later.

    Zachriel correctly wrote:

    KeithS doesn’t assume, but argues that the evidence from the nested hierarchy is sufficient to show that the entire process is due to natural causes.

    William responded:

    No, he doesn’t. From keith’s argument:

    5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    Notice that steps 6, 8, and 12 are mysteriously missing from that quotation.

    Gee, I wonder why William would leave those out. Let’s see the original quote with the redacted parts highlighted:

    5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    6. We cannot prove that the designer could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know the designer’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    8. If we assume that the ONH is out of the designer’s reach, then of course ID cannot explain the ONH.

    9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    We have treated ID and unguided evolution exactly the same, and evaluated them on a level playing field. If we assume that neither works, then of course neither can explain the ONH. If we assume that they do work, then unguided evolution makes a spectacularly successful, one in trillions prediction: the existence of the ONH. Meanwhile, ID falls flat on its face. None of the possibilities are ruled out, so under an ID hypothesis, we would expect with 99.999… % probability to find that there was not an objective nested hierarchy.

    If you treat them equally, unguided evolution blows ID out of the water. It isn’t even close.

    ID is a profoundly irrational position.

    Willam excised the very parts showing that I am treating ID and unguided evolution equally.

    That’s pitiful, William. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?

  217. 217
    Box says:

    Keith: Willam excised the very parts showing that I am treating ID and unguided evolution equally.

    Keith, the parts that you highlighted are irrelevant to the matter discussed by Zachriel and WJM. They did not discuss whether you treated ID and unguided evolution equally or not.
    The matter at hand is whether you assume, or not, that unguided evolution is capable to produce ONH.
    WJM quotes steps 5,7,9,10,11 because they are relevant, since they indicate that you do indeed assume this capability by unguided evolution.

    All clear now?

  218. 218
    keith s says:

    No, Box. William is trying to argue that I am treating ID unfairly:

    Since Keith’s argument assumes that which automatically makes natural forces the better explanation even by IDist standards, Keith’s argument is, essentially: “If we assume unguided natural forces is the best explanation for life as we know it, then it is the best explanation for life as we know it.”

    The redacted parts of my comment make it clear that I am treating ID fairly. On a level playing field, ID loses — dramatically.

  219. 219
    Box says:

    Read again, Keith.

    Zachriel: KeithS doesn’t assume, but argues that the evidence from the nested hierarchy is sufficient to show that the entire process is due to natural causes.

    WJM: No, he doesn’t.

    As in: No, Keith doesn’t argue, but instead assumes that natural causes [unguided evolution] can produce nested hierarchy [ONH]. Look here: 5,7,9,10,11.

  220. 220
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    Then it’s not basal. They’re derived. We have the situation, then, of tetrapods with fewer then four limbs. They’re still tetrapods.

    And if I was arguing that any lost traits always violates the nested hierarchy, then you’d have a point.

    I already explained this to you using your cetacean example. They don’t have hind limbs but they still have mammalian traits which nest with tetrapods.

    If you start with one of the earliest tetrapod populations and one branch subsequently loses its tetrapod traits then it will not nest within tetrapods. There will be no signal remaining to classify it as a tetrapod.

  221. 221
    bornagain77 says:

    Zach as to: “However, you had claimed Neodarwinism had no “rigid mathematical basis”, when the facts are to the contrary.”

    Key word RIGID! ,,, As was shown, population genetics is effectively falsified as an accurate representation of reality (Mendel’s Accountant, Overlapping Codes), which I note, in your dishonesty, you failed to acknowledge, but in regards to the claim that Neo-Darwinism not having a RIGID mathematical basis, as other overarching theories of science are formulated, a RIGID mathematical basis that can be tested against to potentially falsify Neo-Darwinian claims, that FACT is not even contested,,,

    Does Evolution have a Hard Core ?
    Excerpt: “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific,,,,”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote was as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosm.....ore_pg.htm

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science – Harald Atmanspacher
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28)
    http://www.igpp.de/english/tda/pdf/paulijcs8.pdf

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    Darwinians Try to Usurp Biomimetics Popularity – October 9, 2014
    Excerpt: “it is remarkable, therefore, that formal mathematical, rather than verbal, proof of the fact that natural selection has an optimizing tendency was still lacking after a century and a half later.”,,,
    More importantly, its proponents are still struggling, a century and a half after Darwin, to provide evidence and the mathematical formalism to demonstrate that random natural processes have the creative power that Darwin, Dawkins, and others claim it has. Everyone already knows that intelligent causes have such creative power.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90231.html

    Dr. David Berlinski: Head Scratching Mathematicians – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEDYr_fgcP8

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.,,
    Consistent with the laws of conservation of information, natural selection can only work using the guidance of active information, which can be provided only by a designer.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.4
    Chaitin is quoted at 10:00 minute mark of following video in regards to Darwinism lack of a mathematical proof – Dr. Marks also comments on the honesty of Chaitin in personally admitting that his long sought after mathematical proof for evolution failed to deliver the goods.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No3LZmPcwyg&feature=player_detailpage#t=600

    HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION
    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that,, E. coli contain(s) over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.
    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....hist12.htm

  222. 222
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: If you start with one of the earliest tetrapod populations and one branch subsequently loses its tetrapod traits then it will not nest within tetrapods.

    If it has other derived traits, which as you point out Cetaceans have derived traits, then they will nest normally. If they don’t have other derived traits, then they don’t represent a branch.

  223. 223
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: If you start with one of the earliest tetrapod populations and one branch subsequently loses its tetrapod traits then it will not nest within tetrapods.

    Perhaps you are talking about incipient speciation. Populations will often divide then recombine or exchange genes over a period of time before becoming distinct enough to be considered separate species. The point node on a cladogram is actually a bit of a fuzzy dot.

  224. 224
    keith s says:

    Box,

    I quoted William’s own words. If you want to argue that William didn’t mean what he said, then good luck to you.

    I treat ID and unguided evolution equally.

    I assume the truth of ID, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    I assume the truth of unguided evolution, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    Then I compare entailments to observations. Unguided evolution fits the evidence trillions of times better than ID. Therefore I reject ID, as any rational person would.

    If we compare ID to unguided evolution fairly and on a level playing field, ID is blown out of the water.

  225. 225
    Box says:

    Keith,

    Keith: I quoted William’s own words.

    Yes you did and you also quoted the preceding words by Zachriel. You did so in post 216.
    And I repeated those quotations in post #219.
    Here are the quotes again:

    Zachriel: KeithS doesn’t assume, but argues that the evidence from the nested hierarchy is sufficient to show that the entire process is due to natural causes.
    WJM: No, he doesn’t. From keith’s argument: [5,7,9,10,11]

    Now, what do you think that they are talking about?
    Let me explain it again: Zachriel is telling WJM, that you, Keith, doesn’t assume X, but that you argue for X.
    WJM responds by saying: “No, he doesn’t.” Meaning: you, Keith, doesn’t argue X but assume it. And WJM goes on listing parts 5,7,9,10,11 of your argument that all support WJM’s notion that you assume X – instead of arguing for it.

    BTW, “X” is “unguided evolution is capable of producing ONH”.

    Where in here do you read that – at this point – WJM is arguing that you don’t treat ID and unguided evolution unequally? Sure WJM does argue for this elsewhere, BUT NOT AT THIS POINT.

    Keith: If you want to argue that William didn’t mean what he said, then good luck to you.

    I don’t wish to argue that WJM didn’t mean what he said. Why do you think so?

    Keith: I treat ID and unguided evolution equally.

    No, you certainly do not, as pointed out by WJM in post #35.

    Keith: I assume the truth of ID, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    You add trillions of unsupported assumptions about the designer to the mix, as pointed out by WJM in the OP.

    Keith: I assume the truth of unguided evolution, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    This premise assumes the conclusion of your argument, as pointed out by WJM in post #169

  226. 226
    Box says:

    *correction post #225 *

    “Where in here do you read that – at this point – WJM is arguing that you don’t treat ID and unguided evolution un equally?”

  227. 227
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: If you start with one of the earliest tetrapod populations and one branch subsequently loses its tetrapod traits then it will not nest within tetrapods.

    If it has other derived traits, which as you point out Cetaceans have derived traits, then they will nest normally.

    It may nest normally within vertebrates, etc. however its tetrapod signal will have been masked.

    If they don’t have other derived traits, then they don’t represent a branch.

    Branching descent need only produce varieties.

  228. 228
    Mung says:

    keiths:

    I assume the truth of unguided evolution, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    Game. Set. Match.

  229. 229
    bornagain77 says:

    as to why a RIGID mathematical basis can never be formulated for Neo-Darwinism, (although, as pointed out in post 221, Pauli and Eden touched on the fact that the random postulate at the base of Neo-Darwinism is what prevents the formulation of a RIGID mathematical basis for Neo-Darwinism), a simpler way to understand why a RIGID mathematical basis can never be formulated for Neo-Darwinism is to understand that the base materialistic/atheistic claims inherent to Neo-Darwinism go directly against the concept of there ever being a mathematical theory for Neo-Darwinism. Berlinski puts the situation between mathematics and atheistic materialism like this:

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    In other words, Neo-Darwinism, as it is currently formulated in atheistic materialism, with its base ‘random’ postulate, and its insistence that anything beyond space and time, including ‘mind’ itself, is merely illusory, is completely antithetical to there ever being any RIGID ‘beyond space and time’ mathematical formulation for it.
    It is not surprising that Alfred Wallace, the co-discoverer of Natural Selection, found that man’s ability to do mathematics was proof for the ‘soul’:

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”
    Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, 1910

    Wigner called man’s mathematical ability a ‘miracle’

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    And indeed, by all rights, in mathematics and physics we find that ‘a miracle confronts us here’

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF25AA4dgGg

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:16
    For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

    Lucie Silvas – Nothing Else Matters
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QohUdrgbD2k

    Supplemental note:

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity … all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency … no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness … all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He (Godel) summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

  230. 230
    Box says:

    Zachriel to bornagain77(!) in post#187:

    Argument by proclamation!

    Giving new meaning to “way off“.

  231. 231

    Box,in 219 & 225, demonstrates a correct interpretation of my statements.

  232. 232

    Zachriel said:

    Think his claim is that the designer is an extraneous entity, rather than circular reasoning.

    ??? I (and all ID advocates) agree that if you assume natural forces are plausibly up to the task of generating life as we know it, a designer is superfluous. That’s why keith’s premises assume his conclusion and why his analogies are improper.

    IOW, keith’s argument is that if natural forces can plausibly explain life as we find it, it is the better explanation.

    Well, DUH! No ID advocate would challenge this, and his “trillions of times a better explanation” is an entirely moot point.

  233. 233

    keith said:

    Gee, I wonder why William would leave those out. Let’s see the original quote with the redacted parts highlighted:

    I left them out because they have absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making to Zachriel about whether or not in your argument you assumed arguendo natural forces capable of generating the ONH. As Box pointed out, I was not at that time making the argument that you were treating the two sides unfairly (that argument is made elsewhere in this thread); I was supporting my specific point to Zachriel that in your argument you had indeed simply assumed natural forces capable of generating the ONH.

    That you also assumed design capable of generating the same thing is entirely irrelevant to that point.

  234. 234
    Reality says:

    Joe said: “Tiktaalik is a transitional only in the minds of people whose position requires transitional forms. However as far as science is concerned alleged transitionals are independent of descent with modification”

    Since you believe in creationist baraminology, will you please explain exactly how organisms on this planet become so diverse if there are no such things as transitionals, including no transitionals between all of the diverse organisms (species, genera, etc.) within a Biblical kind?

    Will you also please explain how you determine which organisms are clean or unclean according to your Creationist baraminology beliefs and whether there are clean or unclean transitionals? How many kinds were there originally and how many are there now?

  235. 235
    keith s says:

    keiths:

    I assume the truth of unguided evolution, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    Box:

    This premise assumes the conclusion of your argument, as pointed out by WJM in post #169.

    Man, you guys are slow on the uptake. We’ve been going over this exact issue for two full weeks!

    Can you truly not see that I am treating ID and unguided evolution equally here?

    Read this comment yet again:

    Box,

    A final word on the matter.

    I wish it were, but I have this sinking feeling that you’ll keep repeating the same mistakes.

    [Boy, was I ever right about that!]

    It has been explained to you again in post #1116, that one cannot construct an argument with a premise, which assumes the capability of natural forces, that ID can win. IOW such a premise is unacceptable for ID.

    Repeat your mistake as many times as you like. It’s still a mistake, and I’ve already explained why.

    You want to give ID an unfair advantage. I want to treat ID and unguided evolution equally, to see which one prevails on a level playing field.

    Of course that is “unacceptable” to you, because ID loses on a level playing field, and you don’t like that. You want to rig the game so that ID will win despite being an inferior hypothesis.

    That is unacceptable to any honest, science-minded person.

    Let me try once more to explain this to you.

    1. “Unguided evolution produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then unguided evolution must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either unguided evolution doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH.

    2. “A designer produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then a designer must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either the designer doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH.

    3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve, though there are people who actually believe that natural selection is a tautology, including UD President Barry Arrington, believe it or not.

    4. We don’t know that the putative designer exists, so ID is already behind in the race.

    5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impossible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    6. We cannot prove that the designer could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impossible — it would also require us to know the designer’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    8. If we assume that the ONH is out of the designer’s reach, then of course ID cannot explain the ONH.

    9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    We have treated ID an unguided evolution exactly the same, and evaluated them on a level playing field. If we assume that neither works, then of course neither can explain the ONH. If we assume that they do work, then unguided evolution makes a spectacularly successful, one in trillions prediction: the existence of the ONH. Meanwhile, ID falls flat on its face. None of the possibilities are ruled out, so under an ID hypothesis, we would expect with 99.999… % probability to find that there was not an objective nested hierarchy.

    If you treat them equally, unguided evolution blows ID out of the water. It isn’t even close.

    ID is a profoundly irrational position.

    I’m not sure I can make this any more obvious, Box. If you still don’t get it, I’m afraid it may be out of your reach.

  236. 236
  237. 237
    keith s says:

    Box,

    Since you claim I am treating ID unfairly, Identify the exact unfair step(s) in my argument above.

  238. 238
    phoodoo says:

    Keith,

    There is no nested hierarchies, its a made up construct. You argument is over by the first sentence.

  239. 239
    phoodoo says:

    Reality,

    From the article:

    “This is in keeping with the idea that most marine reptiles who transitioned from land first became heavier, for example with thicker bones, in order to swim through rough coastal waves before entering the deep sea.”

    Why is it that when talking about supposed unguided evolution, they always use “guided terminology? Is it a lie, or it is simply impossible to say what they are really claiming? Shouldn’t the sentence read:

    “This is in keeping with the idea that most marine reptiles, who used to survive fine on land, became heavier, for example by accidentally having bad replications which caused heavy bones in some, that coincidentally was helpful for swimming in rough coastal waves, (which would have been silly for reptiles to want to do, but since it was an accident) it stuck around in the population long enough that when the got the 100o other lucky accidents that were needed to survive in the ocean, the heavy bones paid dividends! “

  240. 240
    Box says:

    Keith: Box, since you claim I am treating ID unfairly, Identify the exact unfair step(s) in my argument above.

    Keith #237, I see nothing new in there. Regarding this subject I linked to William’s post #35. Here is the link again: WJM post #35.
    Relevant is the immediate consequence of your proposed “equal treatment” of ID and UE (unguided evolution), explained by WJM in post #169.

  241. 241
    Reality says:

    bornagain77, will you please provide your “RIGID mathematical basis” that explains and verifies the origin and attributes of your God, and your “RIGID mathematical basis” that explains and verifies your belief in it?

    Your “RIGID mathematical basis” that explains and verifies the special creation and attributes of Adam and Eve, the special creation and attributes of Satan, angels, and demons, all other creation, and the Biblical flood would also be interesting to see. Thanks in advance.

  242. 242
    keith s says:

    Box,

    You claim that I am treating ID unfairly.

    If that is true, you should be able to identify the exact unfair step(s) in my argument above and explain why.

    Can you do it?

  243. 243
    Reality says:

    phoodoo asked: “Why is it that when talking about supposed unguided evolution, they always use “guided terminology? Is it a lie, or it is simply impossible to say what they are really claiming?”

    That’s the press release.

  244. 244
    keith s says:

    Reality:

    bornagain77, will you please provide your “RIGID mathematical basis”…

    Uh-oh. Prepare for linkarrhea.

    Incoming!

  245. 245
    bornagain77 says:

    The Mathematical proof for God is that without God, there would be no math. i.e. incompleteness theorem!

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    https://vimeo.com/92387853

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    Moreover, it is impossible to prove anything without God:

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
    http://justinholcomb.com/2012/.....god-exist/

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    Moreover, without God, ‘mind’, and the ability to reason coherently, is lost:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    J. B. S. Haldane [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    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

  246. 246
    Box says:

    Box,
    You claim that I am treating ID unfairly.
    If that is true, you should be able to identify the exact unfair step(s) in my argument above and explain why.
    Can you do it?

    Now that WJM has crushed your argument from top to bottom (and everything in between) it’s telling that you suddenly prefer debating with me. Surely there is no compliment for me in there.

    I see nothing new in your argument. So, I’m not sure what to do. I’m looking at a junkheap. What do you want me to do? Mess it up some more?

    Before you declare victory, why not take on WJM’s posts?

    Can you do it?

    Let me answer that for you: “No I cannot.”

  247. 247
    bornagain77 says:

    I noticed that you, in your rant against God, angels, and demons etc,,,, did not ask for a RIGID mathematical basis for ID. In case this was simply a gross oversight on your part, here you go:

    Before They’ve Even Seen Stephen Meyer’s New Book, Darwinists Waste No Time in Criticizing Darwin’s Doubt – William A. Dembski – April 4, 2013
    Excerpt: In the newer approach to conservation of information, the focus is not on drawing design inferences but on understanding search in general and how information facilitates successful search. The focus is therefore not so much on individual probabilities as on probability distributions and how they change as searches incorporate information. My universal probability bound of 1 in 10^150 (a perennial sticking point for Shallit and Felsenstein) therefore becomes irrelevant in the new form of conservation of information whereas in the earlier it was essential because there a certain probability threshold had to be attained before conservation of information could be said to apply. The new form is more powerful and conceptually elegant. Rather than lead to a design inference, it shows that accounting for the information required for successful search leads to a regress that only intensifies as one backtracks. It therefore suggests an ultimate source of information, which it can reasonably be argued is a designer. I explain all this in a nontechnical way in an article I posted at ENV a few months back titled “Conservation of Information Made Simple” (go here). ,,,

    ,,, Here are the two seminal papers on conservation of information that I’ve written with Robert Marks:
    “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher-Level Search,” Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics 14(5) (2010): 475-486
    “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans, 5(5) (September 2009): 1051-1061
    For other papers that Marks, his students, and I have done to extend the results in these papers, visit the publications page at http://www.evoinfo.org
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....70821.html

    The empirical falsification of ID is as such:

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    Excerpt of conclusion pg. 42: “To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2662469/
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    It’s (MUCH) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

  248. 248
    Querius says:

    Zachriel,

    Thanks for the interesting responses. I have some comments and observations in return.

    Querius: The evolutionary paradigm assumes that this additional DNA has no function.

    Zachriel: Are you saying that the salamander requires thirty times as much DNA as a human?

    No, I’m not. The context is the general characterization of the difference between the evolutionary paradigm and the ID paradigm. The evolutionary paradigm would assume there’s little or no current function in much of the salamander genome, while the ID paradigm would assume that there’s an as-of-yet undiscovered function.

    Querius: Did the Theory of Evolution predict “living fossils”?

    Zachriel: Yes. While an organism can’t precede its ancestors, there’s no rule about how long the ancestral form can persist. In other words, you can’t be born before your father, but you can coexist with him.

    So, you’re saying that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t specifically rule out “living fossils,” so in a sense it predicts that they will exist. So, let’s get specific. Given genetic drift over millions of years, and the unlikelihood of environmental stasis over that period of time, how does the Theory of Evolution explain, let alone predict, the current existence of the coelacanth when the majority of its contemporaries 400 million years ago were driven to extinction?

    Querius: How about giving us some examples of discoveries would falsify the Theory of Evolution?

    Zachriel: This thread concerns the evidence from the nested hierarchy, and in light of your previous comment, an organism that precedes any plausible ancestor would falsify a given history of branching descent.

    Yes, that would falsify our understanding of a given branching descent, resulting in a reassessment. But how about the Theory of Evolution itself? Can you think of something that would falsify the entire theory?

    Querius: what’s the platypus intermediate between?

    Zachriel: The platypus is a mammal with some primitive characteristics of therapsid ancestors. See Myers, Interpreting Shared Characteristics: The Platypus Genome, NatureEducation 2008.

    Thank you for taking the trouble of providing a reference. Do you happen to know whether genomic data was included? The reason that I brought up this fascinating Frankenstein, is that it would seem to qualify for a variety of intermediates depending on the characteristics chosen.

    Take sex chromosomes, for example. There are 10 sex chromosomes in platypus and 9 sex chromosomes in echidna. They are considered more similar to birds than mammals since the heterogametic sex is the female and homogametic sex is the male. Also, the sex chromosomes of platypus share no homology with the ancestral therian X chromosome.

    Considering how fundamental that sex is to reproduction, I would think this trumps other classifications to a large extent.

    So back to Tiktaalik and Ambulocetus. I suggest that the designation of intermediates is highly speculative when considering only specific traits without recourse to genomic evidence.

    Querius: As a result, if you draw a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone, the echolocating bats and whales come out together rather than with their rightful evolutionary cousins.

    Zachriel: That’s right, and biologists consider it an example of natural selection as both organisms evolved echolocation requiring high-frequency hearing. Now consider only synonymous substitutions for the same genes, and you recover the standard phylogeny, exactly what evolutionary theory would predict.

    That’s what I understand. However, prediction doesn’t work in retrospect. In contradiction to your claim, take a look at this description:

    http://www.cell.com/current-bi.....057-0?cc=y

    Notice the word “surprising,” which is not normally associated with the word “predicted.”

    Finally, I would like to acknowledge your polite, intelligent responses, even though you strongly disagree with my position.

    -Q

  249. 249
    Querius says:

    Querius @ 248 said,

    In response to your recommendation of “See Myers, Interpreting Shared Characteristics: The Platypus Genome, NatureEducation 2008”, I wrote

    Do you happen to know whether genomic data was included?

    Sorry, that was dumb. I was focused on the 2008 publication date.

    -Q

  250. 250
    franklin says:

    Querius

    Considering how fundamental that sex is to reproduction, I would think this trumps other classifications to a large extent.

    That’s an interesting idea. Could you flesh out how your proposed classification criteria would work with fish? To make it a bit easier you could just use your criteria to classify species in the Chondrichthyes or those considered as modern teleosts.

  251. 251
    keith s says:

    Box,

    So, I’m not sure what to do.

    How about backing up your claim?

    As I wrote:

    Box,

    You claim that I am treating ID unfairly.

    If that is true, you should be able to identify the exact unfair step(s) in my argument above and explain why.

    Can you do it?

  252. 252
    Adapa says:

    Querius

    So, you’re saying that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t specifically rule out “living fossils,” so in a sense it predicts that they will exist. So, let’s get specific. Given genetic drift over millions of years, and the unlikelihood of environmental stasis over that period of time, how does the Theory of Evolution explain, let alone predict, the current existence of the coelacanth when the majority of its contemporaries 400 million years ago were driven to extinction?

    Here Q, I’ll throw you a bone.

    The term “living fossil” like “missing link” is a general descriptive term popularized by the lay press and having no rigorous scientific definition. Extant coelacanths are morphologically different enough from their ancestors that they have been assigned to their own genus, Latimeria. Genetic studies also show no evidence of an unduly low mutation rate.

    Why coelacanths are not ‘living fossils’

    So back to Tiktaalik and Ambulocetus. I suggest that the designation of intermediates is highly speculative when considering only specific traits without recourse to genomic evidence.

    The Prestin motor protein family is only one out of thousands shared by certain cetacean species and certain bat species. Phylogenetic trees based on all the genetic data clearly show the evolutionary relationship and LCA for bats and whales. You need to look at all the genetic data, not just cherry pick the tiny bit you like.

    The Prestin gene and the evolution of echolocation in Cetaceans.

    If you lost the chip on your shoulder there’s a lot of interesting science you could learn. Just sayin’.

  253. 253
    Reality says:

    bornagain77, I said your God, and I asked for your “RIGID mathematical basis”, not the opinions of other people. Don’t forget to provide your “RIGID mathematical basis” for the other things I mentioned too. If you have “RIGID mathematical” bases for any or all of the things I mentioned you should be able to show and explain your “RIGID mathematical” evidence in just a few sentences or so.

  254. 254
    Querius says:

    Franklin asks in 250,

    That’s an interesting idea. Could you flesh out how your proposed classification criteria would work with fish? To make it a bit easier you could just use your criteria to classify species in the Chondrichthyes or those considered as modern teleosts.

    I’m not proposing any new classification system, nor have I taken fish into consideration, or for that matter plant classification.

    But don’t you find the 10 sex chromosomes in platypus curious?

    -Q

  255. 255
    Querius says:

    Adapa,

    What is it about “goodbye” that you don’t understand? I said goodbye because of your resorting to ad hominem attacks. We’re done.

    Goodbye.

    -Q

  256. 256
    keith s says:

    William,

    IOW, keith’s argument is that if natural forces can plausibly explain life as we find it, it is the better explanation.

    Well, DUH! No ID advocate would challenge this, and his “trillions of times a better explanation” is an entirely moot point.

    Absolutely not. Suppose the situation were reversed, and ID explained the evidence trillions of times better than unguided evolution. You (and everyone else reading this) know perfectly well that you would not be saying “Well, DUH! If natural forces can plausibly explain life as we find it, it is the better explanation.”

    The very thought is laughable.

    The degree of fit between a theory and the evidence is extremely important. That’s why we embrace meteorology and reject the Rain Fairy, and that’s why rational people embrace unguided evolution and reject ID.

  257. 257
    keith s says:

    I should point out to everyone that the objective nested hierarchy is by no means the only piece of evidence that hugely favors unguided evolution over ID.

    There are plenty of others, and I’ll begin mentioning some of them over the coming days.

    Biogeography is an important one. ID gives us no reason to expect the particular geographical distribution of organisms, past and present, that we see. Unguided evolution does.

    It’s another case in which unguided evolution makes a prediction which is spectacularly confirmed, while ID is a complete bust.

    These are bad days to be an ID supporter.

  258. 258

    Keith said:

    Absolutely not. Suppose the situation were reversed, and ID explained the evidence trillions of times better than unguided evolution. You (and everyone else reading this) know perfectly well that you would not be saying “Well, DUH! If natural forces can plausibly explain life as we find it, it is the better explanation.”

    Your logic is being compromised by bad phrasing and fuzzy thinking here. The only way design can be a better explanation than natural forces is if natural forces are not a plausible explanation in the first place. It is indeed the ID position that in any case where natural forces are a plausible explanation, natural forces is the better explanation because design would be an unnecessary added causal entity.

    Which is the reason that Mr Arrington said:

    Let me end with this. As I’ve said before, I will abandon ID, shut down this site, and become a dyed-in-the-wool Darwinist just as soon as chance/law forces are demonstrated to have created complex specified information.

    Even if ID is by far more likely in countless examples, all Mr. Arrington requires is one case demonstrating that natural forces can generate CSI, which would make natural forces a plausible explanation for any CSI-rich structure.

  259. 259

    Keith said:

    It’s another case in which unguided evolution makes a prediction which is spectacularly confirmed, while ID is a complete bust.

    Even if we accept the validity of the prediction, the circularity of Keith’s argument is obvious. He has assumed that evolution is unguided in the first place, and so if what evolutionary patterns predict bears out, he considers it evidence in favor of an “unguided” evolution conclusion.

    Until keith points us to the research that has vetted evolution as fundamentally unguided, all he is doing is assuming it is, and then insisting that he doesn’t have to back up that claim because he has compared design theory with “rain fairy” theory. Those analogies assume the phenomena under debate is qualitatively just like any other non-designed phenomena, which is the very point ID challenges in the first place.

    His analogies assume his conclusion. His argument assumes his conclusion. Keith has a habit of assuming his conclusion and making circular arguments.

  260. 260
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Branching descent need only produce varieties.

    Varieties usually refers to something less than speciation. Did you mean something different?

    lifepsy: It may nest normally within vertebrates, etc. however its tetrapod signal will have been masked.

    Yes, like cetaceans. But they have enough traits for us to determine that they nest with other tetrapods. And that leads to some interesting findings, such as rear limb buds on cetacean embryos.

    KeithS: I assume the truth of unguided evolution, temporarily and only for the sake of argument, in order to see what it entails.

    Mung: Game. Set. Match.

    That’s called hypothetico-deduction, a.k.a. the scientific method.

    bornagain77: as to why a RIGID mathematical basis can never be formulated for Neo-Darwinism … “There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics.”

    Um, no. Mathematics makes assumptions and reasons from there. If Peano postulates, then this and that. It has nothing to do with religion.

    Neodarwinism has a mathematical basis whether you wish to acknowledge it or not. However, life is such that is doesn’t always fit into neat little boxes, so Neodarwinism is only a partial description of what we know.

    phoodoo: There is no nested hierarchies, its a made up construct.

    Let’s try a bit of classification to see if you are correct. The classification will be best fit based on all the character traits of organism. Let’s try cat, dog, trout. Which two do you think belong together? Which one is not like the others?

    bornagain77: … incompleteness theorem!

    There are plenty of perfectly adequate arithmetics and geometries that don’t suffer from incompleteness.

    Querius: The evolutionary paradigm would assume there’s little or no current function in much of the salamander genome, while the ID paradigm would assume that there’s an as-of-yet undiscovered function.

    So you’re saying the salamander genome has 30 times the function as humans? When a plant genome doubles—a fairly common occurrence, does the plant suddenly have twice the function?

    Querius: So, you’re saying that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t specifically rule out “living fossils,” so in a sense it predicts that they will exist.

    That’s right. Evolution orders births of species, not the deaths of them.

    Querius: Given genetic drift over millions of years, and the unlikelihood of environmental stasis over that period of time, how does the Theory of Evolution explain, let alone predict, the current existence of the coelacanth when the majority of its contemporaries 400 million years ago were driven to extinction?

    Many species of coelacanth have come and gone. Today’s coelacanth is not your father’s coelacanth. Evolution orders births of species, not the deaths of them.

    Querius: Yes, that would falsify our understanding of a given branching descent, resulting in a reassessment. But how about the Theory of Evolution itself? Can you think of something that would falsify the entire theory?

    A rabbit in the Precambrian would precede any plausible ancestors. A consistent pattern in contradiction of descent would falsify evolution.

    Querius: Do you happen to know whether genomic data was included?

    They’re working on it. However, everything reported so far indicates it’s a derived therapsid.
    http://genome.wustl.edu/genome.....-anatinus/

    Question. If this is confirmed, will that finally settle the issue of common descent for you? Consider that Darwin will have predicted molecular data even when he didn’t know anything about genetics. How many confirmations does it take?

    Querius: They are considered more similar to birds than mammals since the heterogametic sex is the female and homogametic sex is the male.

    Yes, birds and mammals share a common amniotic ancestor.

    Querius: the sex chromosomes of platypus share no homology with the ancestral therian X chromosome

    No, but they share homology with other chromosomes. See Mácha et al., eep ancestry of mammalian X chromosome revealed by comparison with the basal tetrapod Xenopus tropicalis, BMC Genomics 2012.

    Querius: I suggest that the designation of intermediates is highly speculative when considering only specific traits without recourse to genomic evidence.

    When someone predicts a novel organisms then walks out into the Arctic wasteland and says he will find it here, then finds it, it gives the hypothesis a lot of credibility. As for genomic data, lobbed fish and tetrapod genomes nest as expected for their evolutionary relationship.

    Querius: Notice the word “surprising,” which is not normally associated with the word “predicted.”

    History is full of surprises. It doesn’t mean that history didn’t occur.

    The surprise is that the two lineages found the same solution, rather than different solutions. The lineages started from the same place, highly conserved prestin. There may be only a few evolutionary solutions from that starting place.

  261. 261
    Box says:

    Debating Keith:

    ID:
    The only way design can be a better explanation than natural forces is if natural forces are not a plausible explanation in the first place.

    a la Keith:
    So, even if natural forces and design are both plausible candidates, you ID guys step aside and grant victory to natural forces?

    ID:
    It is indeed the ID position that in any case where natural forces are a plausible explanation, natural forces is the better explanation because design would be an unnecessary added causal entity.

    a la Keith:
    So, in order to be a better explanation, all one has to do is demonstrate that natural forces are a plausible candidate?

    ID :
    Yes that’s all.

    a la Keith:
    Hmm, this is easier said than done. But I believe there is a solution to the problem. Instead of DEMONSTRATE that natural forces are a plausible candidate, why not simply ASSUME that natural forces are a plausible candidate? To be fair, I will also assume that design is plausible candidate.

    ID:
    But that doesn’t make sense … like I just told you, in accord with the ID position, in such a case natural forces would be the better explanation by default.

    a la Keith:
    Aha! So you admit it? Victory! Yes! You must assume!! Be reasonable!! That is scientific 101!! Equal treatment!! Why don’t you guys get it??? YES!! I WIN!!

  262. 262
    Joe says:

    ID does explain the evidence a trillion times to the trillionth power better than unguided evolution.

  263. 263
    Joe says:

    How can a rabbit in the precambrian refute a position that cannot explain rabbits?

  264. 264
  265. 265
    Joe says:

    keith s:

    The degree of fit between a theory and the evidence is extremely important.

    You don’t have a theory, keith s. You can’t even muster a testable hypothesis. oops.

  266. 266
    Joe says:

    keith s:

    1. “Unguided evolution produced the ONH” is a hypothesis.

    And we know that it cannot do so. Your hypothesis fails.

  267. 267

    Box, you’ve inspired me. Here’s another paraphrasing of an aspect of Keith’s argument.

    1. Let’s assume evolution is unguided.

    2. Evolution produces evidence.

    3. Since evolution is assumed to be unguided, the evidence evolution produces is necessarily (by premise 1) consistent with unguided evolution.

    4. Thus, all the evidence supports unguided evolution.

    Wheee!

  268. 268
    Adapa says:

    Querius

    What is it about “goodbye” that you don’t understand? I said goodbye because of your resorting to ad hominem attacks. We’re done

    Having someone knowledgeable on a subject pointing out your ignorance based mistakes still isn’t an ad hom. Sorry you’re going to let your ego stand in the way of you learning any of the interesting science being discussed. It’s always sad to see someone choose willful ignorance over education.

  269. 269
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    lifepsy: It may nest normally within vertebrates, etc. however its tetrapod signal will have been masked.

    Yes, like cetaceans. But they have enough traits for us to determine that they nest with other tetrapods. And that leads to some interesting findings, such as rear limb buds on cetacean embryos.

    I understand you, being on the losing end of this argument, have nothing else to offer but such distractions.

    Cetaceans, according to evolution theory, accumulated many, many more nested traits over a long span of time before losing hind-limbs. Thus there is still signal, such as mammalian traits, nesting them within tetrapods. Sorry but that example obviously does not apply. This has been explained to you repeatedly.

    We are talking about losing traits essentially right after they are gained.
    In this case it is clear that branching descent will not necessarily produce a nested hierarchy of traits.

    This is self-evident.

    That’s game, Z.

  270. 270
    Adapa says:

    WJM you’ve inspired me. Here’s another paraphrasing of an aspect of ID’s argument.

    1. Let’s define CSI as the mystery stuff only intelligence can create.

    2. Let’s define the sequence of base pairs in DNA as having gobs of CSI.

    3. Lookie, DNA must be intelligently designed!

    Wheee!

  271. 271
    lifepsy says:

    Keith S

    we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    Nope. It doesn’t. Unguided evolution also accommodates the lack of an objective nested hierarchy. This has been explained to you. Thus the whole basis of your argument collapses.

    I should point out to everyone that the objective nested hierarchy is by no means the only piece of evidence that hugely favors unguided evolution over ID.

    There are plenty of others, and I’ll begin mentioning some of them over the coming days.

    Translation: “Our nested hierarchy arguments have failed so lets see what other smoke and mirrors we can pull out of the trunk.”

    The great shell-game of evolution marches on.

  272. 272
    Box says:

    WJM #267
    🙂
    I raise you one:

    We – members of a secret government agency – observe a home for the elderly in North-Korea by means of NASA satellite. There is a slight possibility that it is the breeding ground of thousands uncontrollable infectious diseases and therefor a global threat. There is no supportive evidence whatsoever for this scenario, but theoretically we cannot rule the possibility out, since we cannot visit the location. As a matter of fact it is not at all clear who came up with the gloomy idea in the first place.

    a la Keith:

    Aha! So, we must assume that this home for the elderly is in fact the breeding ground of thousands uncontrollable infectious diseases. I am simply refusing to rule thousands uncontrollable infectious diseases out, since we know absolutely nothing about this home for the elderly and therefore have no basis for such assumptions!
    OK guys. Now what are we going to do about it?

  273. 273

    Adapa,

    If your post is intended in good faith, it represents a standard failure on the part of anti-ID advocates to understand ID theory.

    CSI and it’s acronymical variants represent an attempt by ID theorists to quantify the commodity that distinguishes some designed artifacts from all known naturally-occurring artifacts. IOW, that there is a difference between the functionally specified, complex information necessary to instantiate/engineer a working computer or battleship, and the kind of information necessary to generate a random pile of sand or rocks. That there is a substantive difference is incontrovertible.

    To deny that there is a qualitative difference between the functionally specified arrangements of matter found in a random pile of natural materials and a fully functioning battleship is absurd. The only question is if that difference can be quantified in a meaningful way.

    CSI is an attempt to quantify that difference. It isn’t arbitrarily defined as the difference. If natural forces can be demonstrated to produce CSI, ID is falsified, and CSI is disproven as the qualitative difference between designed and non-designed artifacts.

  274. 274

    We know absolutely nothing about X! Therefore, it is logically possible for X to do ANYTHING! You fools know nothing about logic!!!!

  275. 275

    274 was intended for Box 🙂

  276. 276
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    If your post is intended in good faith, it represents a standard failure on the part of anti-ID advocates to understand ID theory

    Not nearly as bad as the standard failure on the part of anti-science advocates to understand evolutionary theory.

  277. 277
    Joe says:

    Please link to this alleged “evolutionary theory” or admit that it is the anti-science people who insist there is such a thing.

  278. 278
    Joe says:

    Adapa:

    1. Let’s define CSI as the mystery stuff only intelligence can create.

    Only anti-ID zealots do that.

  279. 279

    Not nearly as bad as the standard failure on the part of anti-science advocates to understand evolutionary theory.

    I’m not familiar with any anti-science advocates here.

  280. 280
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    I’m not familiar with any anti-science advocates here

    How about the ones who make the ridiculous claim “there’s no such thing as evolutionary theory” 🙂

  281. 281

    Adapa said:

    How about the ones who make the ridiculous claim “there’s no such thing as evolutionary theory”

    I don’t see how that statement implies that one is an anti-science advocate. It only means that the person doesn’t believe there is any such thing as evolutionary theory.

    Surely you are not claiming that “evolutionary theory” and “science” are the same thing?

  282. 282
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “There are plenty of perfectly adequate arithmetics and geometries that don’t suffer from incompleteness.”

    Actually, contrary to your science free ‘proclamation’, any equation precise enough to have the counting numbers in it is incomplete.

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    https://vimeo.com/96082228

    Alan Turing and Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    https://vimeo.com/92387854

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    – Kurt Gödel

  283. 283
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Cetaceans, according to evolution theory, accumulated many, many more nested traits over a long span of time before losing hind-limbs. Thus there is still signal, such as mammalian traits, nesting them within tetrapods.

    That’s correct.

    lifepsy: Sorry but that example obviously does not apply.

    You had said your example was basal, then you said it was derived.

    lifepsy: We are talking about losing traits essentially right after they are gained.

    If part of a population gains a trait, then loses that trait, then it is indistinguishable from the original population; consequently, it does not represent a branching. This is very common actually. Populations are not generally uniform, but have a wide variety of traits. It’s only once the populations diverge to become reproductively isolated sufficiently that a branching occurs. This has been explained to you repeatedly.

    You still may want to provide a schematic.

  284. 284
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    I don’t see how that statement implies that one is an anti-science advocate.

    Of course you don’t. Gotta protect your fellow IDers no matter how inane their claims are.

    Do you agree there’s no such thing as evolutionary theory? How about the theory of gravity or the theory of plate tectonics?

    If you’re going to deny reality might as well go big.

  285. 285
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    It’s only once the populations diverge to become reproductively isolated sufficiently that a branching occurs.

    Obviously.

    And traits can potentially be lost following reproductive isolation.

    Thus branching descent does not necessarily predict a nested hierarchy of traits.

    This is self-evident.

  286. 286

    Of course you don’t. Gotta protect your fellow IDers no matter how inane their claims are.

    It’s really just a matter of logic. Unless you claim science and evolutionary theory are the same thing, being dismissive of evolutionary theory is clearly not the same thing as being anti-science.

    Do you agree there’s no such thing as evolutionary theory? How about the theory of gravity or the theory of plate tectonics?

    Yes, I agree there are scientific theories about all those things.

  287. 287

    Do you agree there’s no such thing as evolutionary theory? How about the theory of gravity or the theory of plate tectonics?

    That and the first quote should be attributed to Adapa in 286.

  288. 288
    Box says:

    Debating Adapa:

    a la WJM:
    I’m not familiar with any anti-food advocates here.

    a la Adapa:
    How about the ones who make the ridiculous claim “junk food is bad for health?”

    a la WJM:
    It only means that the person believes that junk food is not good for one’s health.
    Surely you are not claiming that “junk food” is the only “food” there is? I don’t see how that statement implies that one is an anti-food advocate.

    a la Adapa:
    Of course you don’t. Gotta protect your fellow anti-food advocates no matter how inane their claims are. Do you agree there’s no such thing as healthy junk food? How about vegetables, beans and rice? If you’re going to deny reality might as well go big.

  289. 289

    Box! I’m laughing some soup through my nose.

    In an Al Pacino voice:

    “You don’t agree with evolutionary theory?? You’re anti-science. And you – you’re anti-science! You’re all anti-science!! This whole blog is anti-science!!

  290. 290
    Box says:

    I do hope that didn’t involve junk soup, William 🙂

    Where are Keith and Adapa? Humor, with moderation of course, can be quite effective!

  291. 291
    Adapa says:

    LOL! Yeah Box, you and Joe and WJM are a real laugh riot. But not for the reasons you think. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  292. 292
    Phinehas says:

    Box @261 is priceless and hilarious for exactly the reasons we think.

  293. 293
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: And traits can potentially be lost following reproductive isolation.

    If the lineage is derived, then we can still reconstruct the phylogeny. If the lineage is not derived, then the populations haven’t diverged. Also, most branching involve multiple changes. Again, you may want to map it out.

  294. 294
    keith s says:

    I’ll be back later to address William’s and Box’s comments, but for now, I note with amusement that after two and a half weeks, William is still struggling to refute an argument that he earlier dismissed as “inane” and “trivial”.

  295. 295
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    Your internal narrative and its continued disconnect with reality is duly noted. Refuting your argument has been pretty much the opposite of a struggle for William.

    Perhaps less amusement and more argument on your part would help? It’s really up to you, since I don’t mind you continuing to provide amusement for the rest of us either.

  296. 296
  297. 297
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    Your continued resort to diversion is also duly noted.

    I can’t say I blame you, though, since diversions are probably preferable to offering up the same damp squid yet again and seeing it crushed yet again. As an onlooker, the experience has been something like watching a football injury on TV from twenty different angles. Each one evokes another wince of empathetic pain. Of course, most football players (though not particularly renown for their intellect) have the sense to allow themselves to be carted from the field at that point.

  298. 298
    keith s says:

    Phinehas,

    Your continued resort to diversion is also duly noted.

    I can’t say I blame you, though, since diversions are probably preferable to offering up the same damp squid yet again and seeing it crushed yet again.

    Diversion? Are you kidding? I love defending my argument, and I invite everyone to bring their very best counterarguments. Including you, if you have one.

    By the way, where are Eric Anderson and Upright Biped? Pretty much everyone else has tried to refute my argument, but I don’t remember seeing either of them.

    Also, you might want to learn the difference between a “damp squid” and a “damp squib”. You can’t make fried calamari out of the latter.

  299. 299
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel

    If the lineage is derived, then we can still reconstruct the phylogeny.

    Nope, not necessarily. As has been explained.

    Again, you may want to map it out.

    You may want to go talk about branching descent and the nested hierarchy somewhere safe where your errors won’t be exposed.

  300. 300
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    Also, you might want to learn the difference between a “damp squid” and a “damp squib”. You can’t make fried calamari out of the latter.

    Hahaha! Don’t hate on my dyslexia. 🙂 I happen to like both fried calamari and the visual image of a damp squid lying all floppy-like on the floor. I think I’ll stick with it.

    Diversion? Are you kidding? I love defending my argument, and I invite everyone to bring their very best counterarguments. Including you, if you have one.

    From my perspective, you don’t love defending your argument nearly as much as you love pretending you’ve defended it.

  301. 301
    keith s says:

    Phinehas,

    From my perspective, you don’t love defending your argument nearly as much as you love pretending you’ve defended it.

    And from my perspective, you’d prefer pretending that others have refuted my argument rather than trying to do so yourself.

    If you know that my argument has been refuted, you should be able to state and defend the refutation in your own words.

    Can you do it?

  302. 302
    Box says:

    Keith,

    Your argument is under attack from all sides, but let’s again focus on the “trillions”. The matter is this:

    Keith: There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    WJM: If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    Now, in my opion, discussion should end here. There is no ground whatsoever to rule them out or in. William is perfectly right in pointing out that you have no ground to rule the trillions in. In order to change this verdict you have to provide ground – IOW provide knowledge about the designer, you admittedly know nothing about – in order to validly rule the trillions in.
    The following quotes duly suggests that this is impossible:

    Keith #147: No, my claim is that none of the trillions of possibilities are known to be out of reach for a designer. They therefore cannot be ruled out.

    WJM #150: None of the trillions of possibilities are known to be within reach of the designer. They therefore cannot be ruled in.

    Keith #153: Exactly. That’s why I don’t rule out any of the trillions of possibilities.

    Keith #153: I don’t assume that the designer is supernatural, and I don’t know that any of the trillions of possibilities require a supernatural designer. Do you?

    Keith: #153: Again, I am not assuming what the Designer can or cannot do. I am simply refusing to rule anything out, since we know absolutely nothing about the Designer and therefore have no basis for such assumptions.

    Ok. We seem to be in a deadlock here. You refuse to rule them out – because you know absolutely nothing about the designer. However you have no trouble whatsoever ruling them in, despite the fact that you know absolutely nothing about the designer. The latter is profoundly unreasonable, but you refuse to bow for logic at this point. William paraphrases your position like this:

    WJM #274: We know absolutely nothing about X! Therefore, it is logically possible for X to do ANYTHING! You fools know nothing about logic!!!!

    Ok. Now what?

    Because I’m a nice guy, I have a proposal:
    I allow you the assumption that the designer is capable of producing trillions of orderings of life and will still prevent you from having the trillions in your conclusion. How about that?

    It goes like this: even if there are trillions of options available for a designer, we have no way of knowing if there are compelling reasons – any reasons – for the designer to choose for ONH. That is the problem with free agents.
    My point is: you make a category error when you compare a designer – a free agent – with a trillion-sided die.
    Let me know if you want to debate my line of thought.

  303. 303
    Box says:

    Keith,
    I have to retract my invitation to you. I didn’t think the ‘free agent vs trillion sided die’ theme through properly. Now I realize that the debate will run in the exact same problem, only a little further down the road.

    IOW we will be in deadlock again:

    Keith: There are trillions of CHOICES for the designer, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    Box: If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    And you will defy logic again …

  304. 304
    keith s says:

    Box:

    I have to retract my invitation to you.

    That’s okay. I can refute your criticisms with or without an invitation.

  305. 305
    Querius says:

    Zachriel,

    Thanks for the detailed response. This has been an interesting argument. 🙂

    On Salamanders

    Querius: The evolutionary paradigm would assume there’s little or no current function in much of the salamander genome, while the ID paradigm would assume that there’s an as-of-yet undiscovered function.

    Zachriel: So you’re saying the salamander genome has 30 times the function as humans? When a plant genome doubles—a fairly common occurrence, does the plant suddenly have twice the function?

    No, not at all. It might have one single function for all we know. Here are some admittedly wild evolutionary speculations: What if salamanders were a reserve of genomic information employed in evolutionary radiation? Similarly, what if salamanders can be far more adaptable to changing conditions over millions of years (do you see how hard this is to refute?). What if DNA were shared in a biome, with several key species providing genomic resources for the biome, which perhaps evolved as a community rather than as individual species? The point is that we don’t know. Check this out. At least some people are thinking about it, which is my point about the superiority of assuming that there’s a purpose for unknown structures and outlying data.

    http://www.biology.colostate.e.....038;p=2244

    On Coelacanths

    Querius: So, you’re saying that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t specifically rule out “living fossils,” so in a sense it predicts that they will exist.

    Zachriel: That’s right. Evolution orders births of species, not the deaths of them.

    I’m happy that you accepted of my summary of your argument. However, I think that evolution does the exact reverse–orders the deaths of species rather than the births of them.

    Querius: Given genetic drift over millions of years, and the unlikelihood of environmental stasis over that period of time, how does the Theory of Evolution explain, let alone predict, the current existence of the coelacanth when the majority of its contemporaries 400 million years ago were driven to extinction?

    Zachriel: Many species of coelacanth have come and gone. Today’s coelacanth is not your father’s coelacanth. Evolution orders births of species, not the deaths of them.

    Really? What non-rhetorical evidence is available that falsifies the assertion that coelacanths 400 million years ago had the identical genome as those of today?

    What would falsify the Theory of Evolution

    Querius: Yes, that would falsify our understanding of a given branching descent, resulting in a reassessment. But how about the Theory of Evolution itself? Can you think of something that would falsify the entire theory?

    Zachriel: A rabbit in the Precambrian would precede any plausible ancestors. A consistent pattern in contradiction of descent would falsify evolution.

    Of course. 🙂 I seem to remember that rabbits aren’t really aquatic, so would you settle for a relatively modern aquatic animal? Would several examples of them convince you that the Theory of Evolution has been falsified? I’d like a firm commitment.

    On Platypus and Evolution

    Querius: Do you happen to know whether genomic data was included?

    Zachriel: They’re working on it. However, everything reported so far indicates it’s a derived therapsid. http://genome.wustl.edu/genome…..-anatinus/

    Except for the discordant sexual genetics. 😉

    Question. If this is confirmed, will that finally settle the issue of common descent for you? Consider that Darwin will have predicted molecular data even when he didn’t know anything about genetics. How many confirmations does it take?

    As mentioned before, I’m not prejudiced against evolution—in fact I used to believe in it. As it stands currently, it’s simply too flawed, massaged, and incomplete. I see it as a reasonable 19th century idea that’s outlived its usefulness.

    To answer your question, for me what it would take is the discovery of a mechanism that results in rapid generational changes (epigenetics comes to mind), and that generates new structures and body plans (as in punctuated equilibrium). Specifically, it might involve transfer of long sections of DNA between organisms that might be dynamically incorporated by some unknown function within, let’s say, “junk” DNA.

    I’d also want to rule out my admittedly speculative “comb hypothesis”. You have a long comb with thousands of teeth running along the comb’s spine. Or maybe several combs. The “teeth” are close together and represent a smooth and continuous series of sub-species that interbreed along a surprisingly long range of “teeth.” For example, swine mating with chimpanzees (yes, a fair bit over the top). Over time, disease, mutations, environmental changes, and natural disasters randomly remove about 90% of the “teeth” with large gaps between them. In that case, you have viable genetic proximity without deep common ancestry.

    Querius: They are considered more similar to birds than mammals since the heterogametic sex is the female and homogametic sex is the male.

    Zachriel: Yes, birds and mammals share a common amniotic ancestor.

    Oh, c’mon. That’s a cop out that could be used to explain absolutely anything, and thus is scientifically worthless. Platypus not only looks like a composite, its genenome also looks like a potpourri of mammal, bird (chicken), and reptile genes. Instead of force fitting this into the standard Darwinian model based on agreed-upon but essentially arbitrary criteria, I think it’s much better science to see where the data leads. Who knows, maybe it was the result of a menage a trois (gasp)! 😉

    Querius: the sex chromosomes of platypus share no homology with the ancestral therian X chromosome

    Zachriel: No, but they share homology with other chromosomes. See Mácha et al., eep ancestry of mammalian X chromosome revealed by comparison with the basal tetrapod Xenopus tropicalis, BMC Genomics 2012.

    Yes, and how did this miracle occur? A slow defection of genes due to high rent and a noisy neighborhood? Was there a wild party over in chromosome 6? There are 10 freaking sex chromosomes mocking us all! You don’t have to placidly accept this wildly discordant data as the obvious and inevitable result of a “common amniotic ancestor.”

    On toothed whales and bats sharing echolocation

    Querius: I suggest that the designation of intermediates is highly speculative when considering only specific traits without recourse to genomic evidence.

    Zachriel: When someone predicts a novel organisms then walks out into the Arctic wasteland and says he will find it here, then finds it, it gives the hypothesis a lot of credibility. As for genomic data, lobbed fish and tetrapod genomes nest as expected for their evolutionary relationship.

    Really? In the arctic? Not the antarctic? In my experience, the Darwinist “expected” means retrofitted.

    Querius: Notice the word “surprising,” which is not normally associated with the word “predicted.”
    Zachriel: History is full of surprises. It doesn’t mean that history didn’t occur.

    But you previously said:

    Zachriel: That’s right, and biologists consider it an example of natural selection as both organisms evolved echolocation requiring high-frequency hearing. Now consider only synonymous substitutions for the same genes, and you recover the standard phylogeny, exactly what evolutionary theory would predict.

    So which is it? a surprise as Li, Liu, Shi, and Zhang stated in their paper, or “exactly what evolutionary theory would predict” as you stated? It’s ok to say you were mistaken. 😉

    Zachriel: The surprise is that the two lineages found the same solution, rather than different solutions. The lineages started from the same place, highly conserved prestin. There may be only a few evolutionary solutions from that starting place.

    I could be wrong, but I seem to remember reading that the same mutations were found in both lineages. Another miracle? 😉

    Thank you. Even though we disagree, I appreciate your honesty and your effort in providing references.

    -Q

  306. 306
    franklin says:

    Querius

    But don’t you find the 10 sex chromosomes in platypus curious?

    I’m curious about a multitude of things but given the available data on sex determination found in extant living organisms I don’t find it (the number of sex chromosimes in platypus) a show-stopper for evolution.

  307. 307
    franklin says:

    Querius

    Really? In the arctic? Not the antarctic? In my experience, the Darwinist “expected” means retrofitted.

    yes, Querius, the arctic and not the antarctic. A prediction was made concerning what age strata their target fossil(s) would be found based on geologic age of the strata and the evolutionary prediction of the timeline of a water-to-land transition and what physical attributes this/these specie(s) should possess. The next thing they did was determine where on planet Earth these strata are exposed and available for study. They were successful on all counts.

    Are the target age of strata exposed and available for study in the antarctic? If not why should they have considered going there?

  308. 308
    keith s says:

    keiths:

    Suppose the situation were reversed, and ID explained the evidence trillions of times better than unguided evolution. You (and everyone else reading this) know perfectly well that you would not be saying “Well, DUH! If natural forces can plausibly explain life as we find it, it is the better explanation.

    William #258:

    Your logic is being compromised by bad phrasing and fuzzy thinking here. The only way design can be a better explanation than natural forces is if natural forces are not a plausible explanation in the first place.

    That’s not correct. Suppose we discovered an object and determined that the probability of design was 98% and the probability that it was produced naturally was 2%. You, and every other ID supporter here, would happily go with the more probable explanation, design.

    Don’t insult the intelligence of our readers by insisting otherwise.

    It is indeed the ID position that in any case where natural forces are a plausible explanation, natural forces is the better explanation because design would be an unnecessary added causal entity.

    Again, that’s incorrect. See above.

    Which is the reason that Mr Arrington said:

    Let me end with this. As I’ve said before, I will abandon ID, shut down this site, and become a dyed-in-the-wool Darwinist just as soon as chance/law forces are demonstrated to have created complex specified information.

    Even if ID is by far more likely in countless examples, all Mr. Arrington requires is one case demonstrating that natural forces can generate CSI, which would make natural forces a plausible explanation for any CSI-rich structure.

    I have provided this in spades. My argument shows that when we treat ID and unguided evolution equally, unguided evolution turns out to be trillions of times better than ID as an explanation the diversity and complexity of terrestrial life.

    Barry won’t keep his promise, of course, but I have certainly satisfied my end of the bargain.

  309. 309
    keith s says:

    keiths:

    I should point out to everyone that the objective nested hierarchy is by no means the only piece of evidence that hugely favors unguided evolution over ID.

    There are plenty of others, and I’ll begin mentioning some of them over the coming days.

    Biogeography is an important one. ID gives us no reason to expect the particular geographical distribution of organisms, past and present, that we see. Unguided evolution does.

    It’s another case in which unguided evolution makes a prediction which is spectacularly confirmed, while ID is a complete bust.

    These are bad days to be an ID supporter.

    William #259:

    Even if we accept the validity of the prediction, the circularity of Keith’s argument is obvious. He has assumed that evolution is unguided in the first place, and so if what evolutionary patterns predict bears out, he considers it evidence in favor of an “unguided” evolution conclusion.

    William,

    You’re repeating the nullasalus error again:

    Science isn’t about proof, nullasalus. Surely you’ve heard that somewhere along the way.

    Sure, microevolution might be guided. The grains falling out of my salt shaker might be guided by invisible leprechauns to their final resting place on my french fries. Raindrops might be gathered, shaped, and dropped by the Rain Fairy in a precise pattern. The swirl of water in your toilet bowl might be guided by Shamu, the invisible Toilet Whale. But anyone insisting on these things would be justly regarded as a loony. There is no evidence that these things are guided, so intelligent people rightly regard them as unguided.

    What’s especially hilarious about this is that you had just written this in the immediately preceding comment:

    It is indeed the ID position that in any case where natural forces are a plausible explanation, natural forces is the better explanation because design would be an unnecessary added causal entity.

    Natural forces are a plausible explanation for microevolution. Try to be consistent from one comment to the very next one, William.

  310. 310
    keith s says:

    William #273, to Adapa:

    CSI and it’s acronymical variants represent an attempt by ID theorists to quantify the commodity that distinguishes some designed artifacts from all known naturally-occurring artifacts.

    We know that, William, but the attempt fails miserably. Here’s a capsule summary:

    Learned Hand, to gpuccio:

    Dembski made P(T|H), in one form or another, part of the CSI calculation for what seem like very good reasons. And I think you defended his concept as simple, rigorous, and consistent. But nevertheless you, KF, and Dembski all seem to be taking different approaches and calculating different things.

    That’s right.

    Dembski’s problems are that 1) he can’t calculate P(T|H), because H encompasses “Darwinian and other material mechanisms”; and 2) his argument would be circular even if he could calculate it.

    KF’s problem is that although he claims to be using Dembski’s P(T|H), he actually isn’t, because he isn’t taking Darwinian and other material mechanisms into account. It’s painfully obvious in this thread, in which Elizabeth Liddle and I press KF on this problem and he squirms to avoid it.

    Gpuccio avoids KF’s problem by explicitly leaving Darwinian mechanisms out of the numerical calculation. However, that makes his numerical dFSCI value useless, as I explained above. And gpuccio’s dFSCI has a boolean component that does depend on the probability that a sequence or structure can be explained by “Darwinian and other material mechanisms”, so his argument is circular, like Dembski’s.

    All three concepts are fatally flawed and cannot be used to detect design.

    These two threads (link, link) tell a sad story about the inability of IDers to defend these supposedly fundamental concepts.

    It’s a very bad time to be an ID supporter.

  311. 311
    keith s says:

    keiths:

    There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    William:

    If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    Box:

    Now, in my opion, discussion should end here. There is no ground whatsoever to rule them out or in. William is perfectly right in pointing out that you have no ground to rule the trillions in. In order to change this verdict you have to provide ground – IOW provide knowledge about the designer, you admittedly know nothing about – in order to validly rule the trillions in.

    Box,

    Here’s what you and William are missing:

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the designer.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    This is the “principle of indifference”, aka the “principle of insufficient reason.” It’s the standard approach in Bayesian statistics for a situation in which you have no prior information, and it makes perfect sense. Statisticians use it all the time. So do Dembski and Marks in one of their papers.

    Yet you and William are claiming that it’s invalid, and that Dembski and Marks and statisticians all over the world are wrong. Why? Because if you allow the POI, you don’t get the answer you want. That’s pitiful, Box.

    And it’s even worse than that. If you don’t allow the POI, then you have no basis for rejecting the Rain Fairy.

    Everyone reading this knows that the Rain Fairy hypothesis is ridiculous. Yet you and William are unwittingly arguing that it would be irrational to reject it.

    I’m afraid you’ve got that backwards.

    The Rain Fairy hypothesis is ridiculous, and so is ID — by exactly the same logic.

  312. 312
    Joe says:

    Adapa- Why is it that neither you nor anyone else can link to this alleged evolutionary theory?

  313. 313
    Joe says:

    keith s:

    My argument shows that when we treat ID and unguided evolution equally, unguided evolution turns out to be trillions of times better than ID as an explanation the diversity and complexity of terrestrial life.

    Only if you ignore reality.

  314. 314
    Box says:

    Keith,

    A request for clarification:

    Keith #311: Here’s what you and William are missing:

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the designer.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    I would like to know how this pans out. Let’s take at a simple example:

    Suppose their is an unknown black box resting on your kitchen table. Now, the thought occurs to you that it might contain a platypus. At the same time you realize that you have no ground whatsoever to support this assumption; the box may contain some other animal, plant or thing or simply nothing at all.
    Ok. How to implement your system?

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = 0 ]

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = 1

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the content of the black box.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = … ? ]

  315. 315
    Joe says:

    Tiktaalik- If the tetrapod tracks found in Poland were found before Shubin et al. went looking for evidence of the transition from water to land, they would not have went where they found Tiktaalik. There is no reason to look for evidence of a transition millions of years after it happened.

  316. 316
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: As has been explained.</i

    To which we already responded, including providing an example whereby we can reconstruct phylogeny from other derived characteristics.

    Zachriel: you may want to map it out.

    lifepsy: You may want to go talk about branching descent and the nested hierarchy somewhere safe where your errors won’t be exposed.

    In other words, you can’t or won’t support your position.

  317. 317
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: When a plant genome doubles—a fairly common occurrence, does the plant suddenly have twice the function?

    Querius: No, not at all. It might have one single function for all we know.

    Sure. If the claim that an extra gigabyte of DNA may just be the equivalent of a biological doorstop, then sure. That’s quite a bit different than claiming the specific sequences have specific functions, in other words, a more complex genome meaning a more complex organic function. More likely, it allows for rapid adaptation by duplicating essential genes, which allows them to evolve with fewer restrictions. It also doubles the expression of genes, so in rich environments, that might be advantageous.

    Querius: I think that evolution does the exact reverse–orders the deaths of species rather than the births of them.

    Clearly cladogenesis is the organizing principle of cladistics. Why do you think otherwise?

    Querius: What non-rhetorical evidence is available that falsifies the assertion that coelacanths 400 million years ago had the identical genome as those of today?

    Because coelacanths have evolved morphologically.
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/ph.....ossils.png

    Querius: I seem to remember that rabbits aren’t really aquatic,

    There was land in the Precambrian. It’s that whole ‘life has changed in fundamental ways evolution thingy’. If you reject that, then you may as well suppose there’s lettuce for the rabbit to eat too.

    In any case, you have to show that the posited pattern of ancestor-descendant relationships are untenable. If so, then the existing theory would have to be modified or discarded—which would depend on the evidence.

    Querius: Except for the discordant sexual genetics.

    The sexual genetics appear derived from other chromosomes.

    Querius: To answer your question, for me what it would take is the discovery of a mechanism that results in rapid generational changes (epigenetics comes to mind), and that generates new structures and body plans

    There is already substantial evidence of that, such as hox genes. Small changes in regulatory genes can cause large changes in development. For instance, expressing a gene causes the suppression of hind limb development in cetaceans. That’s evidence of their tetrapod ancestry, by the way. They have hind limb buds—until they don’t.

    Zachriel: birds and mammals share a common amniotic ancestor.

    Querius: That’s a cop out that could be used to explain absolutely anything, and thus is scientifically worthless.

    Um, no. It’s fundamental to evolution. Derived organisms often retain primitive features. See Darwin 1859.

    Querius: Platypus not only looks like a composite, its genenome also looks like a potpourri of mammal, bird (chicken), and reptile genes.

    Monotremes fit neatly into the nested hierarchy.
    http://www.nature.com/scitable....._mid_1.jpg
    It evolved from a common amniotic ancestor.

    Querius: Yes, and how did this miracle occur?

    Chromosome rearrangements are a fairly common occurrences.

    Querius: In the arctic?

    No, the Shubin expedition was mounted specifically to find a fishapod in the Canadian Arctic. Lucky guess?

    Querius: So which is it?

    Both. That cetaceans and bats evolved high-frequency hearing is not unexpected. That they found the same structural solution is somewhat surprising.

    Querius: Z: “exactly what evolutionary theory would predict”

    From our comment “what evolutionary theory would predict” is the standard phylogeny for synonymous substitutions. Natural selection tends to confound the nested hierarchy, but most synonymous substitutions are ‘silent’, meaning invisible to natural selection. So we have a protein, prestin. The non-synonymous substitutions are selected for high-frequency response, while the synonymous substitutions reflect the phylogeny. They started in the same place, and have similar selective pressures. The only surprise is how close the solutions were in the two lineages. Then again, the hydrodynamic shape of cetaceans look somewhat like fish.

  318. 318
    Zachriel says:

    Box: 4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = … ? ]

    Negligible. So we open the box and find a platypus. We open another box and find a platypus. Gee whiz. There’s a trend.

    When we classify organisms, they form a singular objective nested hierarchy. When we find new organisms, they fit the nested hierarchy. When we find evidence of extinct organisms, they fit the nested hierarchy. If one could conclude as to the nature of the Creator from a study of creation, it would appear that God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles, er, elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy. Or simply that it is evidence of simple principles, gravity and branching descent.

  319. 319
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    When we classify organisms, they form a singular objective nested hierarchy.

    Only if one leaves out all of the alleged transitional forms. As Darwin noted if we include all of the transitional forms the distinct groups that nested hierarchy requires, disappear.

  320. 320
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    No, the Shubin expedition was mounted specifically to find a fishapod in the Canadian Arctic.

    According to your logic they could have looked just about anywhere as long as it had a swampy or shallow water environment.

  321. 321
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Zachriel: 4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = … ? ]

    NEGLIGIBLE.

    Sure, but make sure that you don’t tell that to your teammate Keith. Keith not only refuses to rule the platypus out, he insists on ruling the platypus in for the full 100%; see post #302

  322. 322
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    If you know that my argument has been refuted, you should be able to state and defend the refutation in your own words.

    Can you do it?

    Yes.

  323. 323

    Keith said:

    We know that, William, but the attempt fails miserably. Here’s a capsule summary:

    Apparently Adapa didn’t know that because he characterized it as a totally arbitrary definition. Whether or not the attempt fails miserably is entirely irrelevant to the point I was making.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    The problem, keith, is that you don’t know they are possibilities in the first place because you don’t know anything about the designer. What we theorize is possible for any causal agency to generate depends on our knowledge of that agency. As you say, we know “absolutely nothing” about any putative designer. Therefore, you simply cannot claim what the actual possibilities are.

    You can only make up an amount that serves your conclusion.

    Natural forces are a plausible explanation for microevolution.

    Reiterating the rejected premise doesn’t add anything to the debate.

    That’s not correct. Suppose we discovered an object and determined that the probability of design was 98% and the probability that it was produced naturally was 2%. You, and every other ID supporter here, would happily go with the more probable explanation, design.

    I noticed this debate habit of yours quite often over at TSZ, where you insist that others agree to your misguided characterization of their argument, belief or viewpoint. It usually happens you’ve made an an erroneous assumption and to take correction would mean that your argument falls apart.

    It is indeed the ID position that if natural forces are a scientifically plausible explanation of an effect or phenomena with an unknown origin, it is the better explanation, period. Which is why Mr. Arrington said that all it would take is a single demonstration or example of natural forces creating CSI and he’d close down UD and become a card-carrying Darwinist.

  324. 324

    keith said:

    I have provided this in spades. My argument shows that when we treat ID and unguided evolution equally, unguided evolution turns out to be trillions of times better than ID as an explanation the diversity and complexity of terrestrial life.

    No, you haven’t. You haven’t demonstrated or shown that natural forces can generate CSI. Mr. Arrington asked for a science bomb; your argument assumes all the science and attempts a logical argument. The problem with your argument is that you have assumed the very thing that Mr. Arrington asked for you to demonstrate – science that demonstrates natural forces plausibly capable of producing the kind of CSI we find in living organisms.

    You’ve assumed your conclusion with your premise.

  325. 325
    Andre says:

    Guys to really see how stupid Keith’s argument is for unguided evolution, study PCD…. it kills his argument dead……

  326. 326
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Sure, but make sure that you don’t tell that to your teammate Keith.

    We don’t play teams.

    In your analogy, we know nothing of what is in the box. It might be random, it might be designed, it might be some underlying principle (a plague of platypuses). Only by investigating the particulars can we tell.

    Now try to respond to the argument. We have non-trivial patterns, the nested hierarchy and elliptical orbits. They are neatly explained by branching descent and gravity theory. We could also suppose the designer has an inordinate fondness for elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy, or we can ascribe the pattern to a simple and known principle which is subject to additional study.

  327. 327
    Zachriel says:

    Z: We don’t play teams.

    Sorry, that should read we are our own team.

    Yeah, that’s better.

  328. 328

    Over and over keith makes this statement:

    Can you truly not see that I am treating ID and unguided evolution equally here?

    Disregarding the fact that your assumptions are not “equal” except in how you phrase them, even if they were, if making equal assumptions about two different premises automatically and necessarily gives one of the assumptions the victory, while those assumptions may be equal, they would not be logically proper to determine which premise was the best explanation because the conclusion is built into the assumption.

    Not all sets of “equal assumptions” are valid in every case, even if your assumptions were actually equal.

  329. 329
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Now try to respond to the argument.

    Which argument are you referring to? Who is arguing what?

  330. 330
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Which argument are you referring to?

    We have non-trivial patterns, the nested hierarchy and elliptical orbits. They are neatly explained by branching descent and gravity theory. We could also suppose the designer has an inordinate fondness for elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy, or we can ascribe the patterns to simple and known principles which is subject to additional study.

  331. 331
    bornagain77 says:

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler – he is best known for his laws of planetary motion

  332. 332
    Box says:

    Zachriel #330,

    Aha. You are the one making an argument! Can you expand on that a little?

    For instance, what are the “simple and known principles”? Are they unguided or not?
    What do you claim that these “simple and known principles” explain exactly? OOL? The new information for proteins, molecular machines, epigenetics and body plans? Or are does your argument modestly pertain to the controversial patterns of good ol’ ONH?

    Tell me, what is your argument all about? And what do you hope to achieve?

  333. 333
    Zachriel says:

    Box: what are the “simple and known principles”?

    Gravity and branching descent entail elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy.

    Box: Are they unguided or not?

    On n'a pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.

  334. 334
    bornagain77 says:

    The Return of the God Hypothesis – Stephen Meyer
    Abstract: Historian of science Frederic Burnham has stated that the God hypothesis is now a more respectable hypothesis than at any time in the last one hundred years. This essay explores recent evidence from cosmology, physics, and biology, which provides epistemological support, though not proof, for belief in God as conceived by a theistic worldview. It develops a notion of epistemological support based upon explanatory power, rather than just deductive entailment. It also evaluates the explanatory power of theism and its main metaphysical competitors with respect to several classes of scientific evidence. The conclusion follows that theism explains a wide ensemble of metaphysically-significant evidences more adequately and comprehensively than other major worldviews or metaphysical systems. Thus, unlike much recent scholarship that characterizes science as either conflicting with theistic belief or entirely neutral with respect to it, this essay concludes that scientific evidence actually supports such belief.
    http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_returnofgod.pdf

    The Return of the God Hypothesis – Stephen Meyer – video lecture:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueEpWIfXao8

    Intelligent Design – Stephen C. Meyer, PhD – (Return of God to science) video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJNMJef-gqU
    Irving Bible Church (November 2, 2014) – Lecture by Stephen Meyer. How science became separated from its Judeo-Christian foundation and how recent discoveries are returning God to science)

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. – video
    https://vimeo.com/75897668

  335. 335
    Box says:

    Zachriel #333,

    So we have “gravity and branching descent” and you are neutral on the fact if they are guided or not.

    We are making some progress understanding your argument.

    Now tell me, what is it exactly that “gravity and branching descent” explain? OOL? The new information for proteins, molecular machines, epigenetics and body plans? Or are does your argument modestly pertain to the controversial patterns of good ol’ ONH?

    And what do you hope to achieve with your argument? Make a case for Darwinism? How exactly? Explain your reasoning. Thank you.

  336. 336
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    Gravity and branching descent entail elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy.

    Only if you want to misrepresent nested hierarchies.

  337. 337
    Reality says:

    William J Murray, you and the other IDists are doing what you’re accusing Keith of. You’re assuming your conclusion with your premise. Your premise, assumption, and conclusion are that something you IDists call “CSI” is “in living organisms” and that “CSI” is calculable, measurable, and/or computable (All or just one?) “in living organisms” and based on that premise, assumption, and conclusion you conclude and assert that intelligent design “in living organisms” has been demonstrated and verified. Trouble is, claims by IDists regarding “CSI”, “dFSCI”, and/or “FSCO/I” have been shown to be undemonstrated, unverified, circular, useless, made up nonsense.

  338. 338
    Reality says:

    bornagain77, thanks for adding even more evidence to show that “ID” is a religious agenda.

  339. 339
    bornagain77 says:

    Reality, contrary to what you seem to believe, atheistic materialism is a full fledged religion, and Darwinists are notorious in their ‘agenda’ of trying to promote their ‘religion’ and stifle the free speech of Theistic viewpoints (especially Christian viewpoints),,

    Atheism and the Law – Matt Dillahunty
    Excerpt: “The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a ‘religion’ for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions”
    http://www.atheist-community.o.....php?id=742

    On the Fundamental Difference Between Darwin-Inspired and Intelligent Design-Inspired Lawsuits – September 2011
    Excerpt: *Darwin lobby litigation: In every Darwin-inspired case listed above, the Darwin lobby sought to shut down free speech, stopping people from talking about non-evolutionary views, and seeking to restrict freedom of intellectual inquiry.
    *ID movement litigation: Seeks to expand intellectual inquiry and free speech rights to talk about non-evolutionary views.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50451.html

    Evolution Is Religion–Not Science
    Excerpt: Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality,,, Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.
    Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse – Prominent Atheistic Philosopher

    Here are several examples of atheists themselves violating the establishment clause of the first amendment by openly proselytizing their own atheistic religion in the classroom:

    “Proselytizing for Darwin’s God in the Classroom” (from 2008): John G. West – video
    http://www.discovery.org/v/40/2

    God, Darwin and My College Biology Class – Barash – Sept. 2014
    Excerpt: EVERY year around this time, with the college year starting, I give my students The Talk. It isn’t, as you might expect, about sex, but about evolution and religion, and how they get along. More to the point, how they don’t.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09......html?_r=0

    Darwinian Blithering – (John C. Wright dismantles David P Barash’s evolutionary ‘atheistic talk’ to freshmen students piece by piece) – Oct. 14, 2014
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....lithering/

    How the Scientific “Consensus” on Darwinism Is Maintained – David Klinghoffer – September 30, 2014
    Excerpt: how it is that a scientist gets to evangelize for atheism at one public university while another at a different public university, Ball State physicist Eric Hedin, gets censured and silenced merely for apprising students of the existence of books offering scientific evidence for intelligent design.
    Hedin is well liked by his students according to RateMyProfessors.com, and makes an interesting comparison to David Barash who gets complaints about how he is “definitely an atheist and has an agenda to push,” “tries to throw dirt on those who believe in anything other than his ‘marvelous’ theories,” has a “clear agenda to push, as he’s always rambling off topic about how biology proves that God doesn’t exist.”
    Barash even publishes his sermon notes in the New York Times so no one can miss what he’s doing in his classroom, and that is just fine as far as I can tell with the administration across town here in Seattle at the University of Washington.
    It cannot be repeated too often that this is how the scientific “consensus” on Darwinism theory is maintained: one side in the controversy is coddled, the other intimidated.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90151.html

    What They Really Teach Students In A Evolutionary Biology Class – cartoon
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-96cp.....e%2BNo.jpg

    Dr. Will Provine – EXPELLED – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpJ5dHtmNtU

    Oh well, so much for the argument that Darwinism is religiously neutral.

    Moreover, as if that was not bad enough, the unscientific religion of atheistic materialism drives science into epistemological failure (Plantinga Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism).

  340. 340
    bornagain77 says:

    If silencing by intimidation, or legal censorship, does not work, Darwinists simple ‘EXPEL’ anyone who disagrees with them:

    EXPELLED – Starring Ben Stein – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-BDc3wu81U

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    “If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller
    http://www.amazon.com/Slaughte.....0981873405

    Origins – Slaughter of the Dissidents with Dr. Jerry Bergman – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6rzaM_BxBk

    etc.. etc..

    Even atheists themselves, who break ranks with the Darwinian ‘consensus’ party line, are severely castigated by the neo-Darwinian atheists. There was even a peer-reviewed paper in a philosophy journal by a materialist/atheist that sought to ostracize, and limit the free speech of, a fellow materialist/atheist (Jerry Fodor) who had had the audacity, in public, to dare to question the sufficiency of natural selection to be the true explanation for how all life on earth came to be.

    Darwinian Philosophy: “Darwinian Natural Selection is the Only Process that could Produce the Appearance of Purpose” – Casey Luskin – August, 2012
    Excerpt: In any case, this tarring and feathering of Fodor is just the latest frustrated attempt by hardline Darwinians to discourage people from using design terminology. It’s a hopeless effort, because try as they might to impose speech codes on each another, they can’t change the fact that nature is infused with purpose, which readily lends itself to, as Rosenberg calls it “teleosemantics.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63311.html

    Update per Nancy Percy: The microbiologist, Kas Thomas, who wrote the article expressing doubts about Darwinian theory (posted below) is shocked, shocked that he is being vilified by Darwinists: ” I am not a creationist, and yet now I know from first-hand experience what it feels like to be on the receiving end of scorn born of dogma — scientific dogma. I don’t know why it should surprise me to find there are bullies on all sides of this issue. Until now, I stupidly thought scientific minds were more tolerant and less bullying than religious thinkers. The comments here show the truth. There are closed-minded, intolerant bullies on both sides. “Bully” meaning someone who is not content to leave one well-reasoned comment, then move on; someone who has to keep leaving more and more comments, using the most vitriolic language, simply because they can’t get their way….
    It’s pretty clear who the bullies are here. I must say I’m shocked at the degree of intolerance and disrespect shown in some of these comments by Darwinists, who in many cases (it turns out) are anything but open-minded, tolerant, or reasonable. The comments speak for themselves. As I say, it’s clear who the bullies are.”
    Here’s the original article again:
    http://bigthink.com/devil-in-t.....ith-darwin

    As well, an esteemed Philosophy professor, who is also an atheist, suffered much the same fate as Fodor and Thomas from the hands of Darwinian atheists for daring to question the sufficiency of Darwinism to account for conscious experience (which is his specific specialty of study):

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....07692.html

  341. 341
    Reality says:

    Joe said: “Tiktaalik- If the tetrapod tracks found in Poland were found before Shubin et al. went looking for evidence of the transition from water to land, they would not have went where they found Tiktaalik. There is no reason to look for evidence of a transition millions of years after it happened.”

    You’re funny, Joe. You regularly deny, ridicule, and/or ignore what scientists say about fossils. You deny, ridicule, and/or ignore timelines, dating methods, relationships, traits (especially transitional traits), and everything else, but (and this is a BIG but) when you think that a fossil supports your ID-creation-baraminology beliefs you conveniently and completely rely on that fossil and what one or a few scientists say about it as though it’s absolute proof that your beliefs are correct.

    And as others have pointed out to you, you don’t understand transitionals or relationships at all.

  342. 342
    Reality says:

    bornagain77 said: “…atheistic materialism is a full fledged religion…”

    Um, no.

    And the rest of your accusations are also false.

    Thanks again for adding even more evidence to show that “ID” is a religious agenda.

  343. 343
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Now tell me, what is it exactly that “gravity and branching descent” explain?

    We already said, they entail elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy respectively.

    Box: And what do you hope to achieve with your argument? Make a case for Darwinism?

    No, just the case for branching descent, as that is what is entailed in the evidence cited in the original post.

  344. 344
    Joe says:

    Reality, Nice substance-free rant. We noticed you didn’t provide any evidence to support your claims about me nor did you post anything tat refutes or addresses what I posted. I take that as an admission that what I posted is correct

  345. 345
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: what is it exactly that “gravity and branching descent” explain?

    Zachriel: We already said, they entail elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy respectively.

    “Branching descent” cannot be an explanation for the coming into existence of proteins, molecular machines, epigenetics, body plans and so on. Since the existence of those items are fundamental to the existence of, and difference (“branching”) between, species.
    One cannot explain the cause by its effect.

    It is not at all comparable with the causal relationship between gravity and elliptical orbits.

    Zachriel: We could also suppose the designer has an inordinate fondness for elliptical orbits and the nested hierarchy, or we can ascribe the patterns to simple and known principles which is subject to additional study.

    Let’s assume (arguendo) that branching descent is an explanation for life. You remain neutral on the matter if it guided or not.
    If branching descent is guided, we must assume that the designer uses branching descent as an instrument. If branching descent entails ONH, then the designer is presumably ok with this outcome.
    On the other hand … maybe she/he/they/it doesn’t like ONH at all but there may have been no other option available. We have no way of knowing. I don’t see your point.
    If branching descent is unguided, and if it is a plausible explanation for proteins, molecular machines, epigenetics, body plans and so on, then the conclusion is very simple: branching descent is a better explanation than any designer.

  346. 346
    keith s says:

    Box:

    Suppose their is an unknown black box resting on your kitchen table. Now, the thought occurs to you that it might contain a platypus. At the same time you realize that you have no ground whatsoever to support this assumption; the box may contain some other animal, plant or thing or simply nothing at all.
    Ok. How to implement your system?

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = 0 ]

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = 1

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the content of the black box.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = … ? ]

    Box,

    The difference is that in the case of the boxed platypus, we do have prior information — and lots of it.

    We know about boxes and platypi. We know about the humans who make boxes. We know how boxes are used by people, and we know how they are typically transported. We know where platypi live. We know about the typical motivations of people.

    If there is a black box on your kitchen table, we know that it was most likely placed there by a fellow human being who has access to your kitchen. The odds that such a person went to the trouble of acquiring a platypus, boxing it, transporting it to your home and placing it on the kitchen table are quite remote.

    The prior information is extremely important. It allows us to say, for example, that the box is much more likely to contain a book than a platypus.

    In the case of the designer, you have no prior information. In the absence of prior information, the sensible (and statistically accepted) thing to do is to assign equal probabilities to all the possibilities, including the ONH.

    Since the probabilities are equal, my trillion-sided die is an appropriate model:

    Box,

    It’s astonishing to me that you still don’t get this, but let me try once more.

    Suppose you have two objects:

    1. A coin with ONH stamped on both sides.
    2. A trillion-sided die with ONH engraved on one and only one side.

    A friend of yours takes both objects into another room, out of your sight. She randomly picks one of the two objects and flips it.

    “I randomly picked one of the objects and flipped it, and it landed with ONH up,” she shouts to you.

    Your job is to guess which of the objects she flipped — the coin with ONH on both sides, or the trillion-sided die with ONH on only one side.

    If you can’t figure out the best answer, I’m afraid there’s little hope that you will ever understand my argument.

    The right answers are: She flipped the coin, not the die, and terrestrial biodiversity is the product of unguided evolution, not intelligent design.

    ID is an irrational position.

  347. 347
    bornagain77 says:

    Reality, as I cited before, the Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with your personal belief that atheism is not a religion. ,,, Your denial of that obvious fact, as highly as you may hold your personal opinion to be, does not constitute a rebuttal of that fact. I could care less about your personal opinion as to the established legal (and philosophical) fact that Atheism is, especially for matters regarding the establishment clause, a religion in the United States of America.

    Atheism and the Law (article written by an atheist)
    “… whether atheism is a ‘religion’ for First Amendment purposes is a somewhat different question than whether its adherents believe in a supreme being, or attend regular devotional services, or have a sacred Scripture.”

    This is an important point and the Court also made reference to the Supreme Court’s opinion that a religion is distinct from a “way of life”, even if that way of life is inspired by philosophical beliefs or other secular concerns. Essentially, not every belief or belief system is a religion.

    The legal definition of religion, with regard to the First Amendment, may be very different from the layperson’s definition. The First Amendment, in order to be effective in protecting all beliefs must guarantee the freedom to hold no religious belief. This is fairly straightforward, especially if you consider – for example – that a Christian may be considered an atheist with respect to every religion except Christianity.

    “Without venturing too far into the realm of the philosophical, we have suggested in the past that when a person sincerely holds beliefs dealing with issues of ‘ultimate concern’ that for her occupy a ‘place parallel to that filled by . . . God in traditionally religious persons,’ those beliefs represent her religion.”

    “We have already indicated that atheism may be considered, in this specialized sense, a religion. See Reed v. Great Lakes Cos., 330 F.3d 931, 934 (7th Cir. 2003) (‘If we think of religion as taking a position on divinity, then atheism is indeed a form of religion.’)”

    This is, essentially, the basis for their decision. They have, in the past, considered atheism to be a religion in the specialized sense that atheism, like theism, specifically addresses the concept of god for the individual. This definition is an attempt to address the implied protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.

    “The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a ‘religion’ for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions”
    http://www.atheist-community.o.....php?id=742

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....nstitution

    Of note, there are even atheistic churches now,,,

    inside the atheist church hoping to take America by storm – video
    http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....y-assembly

    atheist church
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/atheist-church/

    Thus since Atheism is now legally considered a religion in the USA, with their own churches in America to boot, (and I would suppose tax exempt status as well), then according to the separation of church and state doctrine, (which atheists tenaciously cling to despite the doctrine not actually being in the constitution), then it is now illegal to teach the atheistic myth of origins, i.e. Darwinism, in public schools. 🙂

    Music

    Jefferson Starship – Miracles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKBttQmhDBw

  348. 348
    keith s says:

    William #323:

    It is indeed the ID position that if natural forces are a scientifically plausible explanation of an effect or phenomena with an unknown origin, it is the better explanation, period.

    Perhaps that is your position, but it is definitely not the ID position. Most IDers would agree with this obviously correct statement:

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    Don’t you find it embarrassing to be arguing against something so obvious?

  349. 349
    Box says:

    Keiths:

    Keith: The difference is that in the case of the boxed platypus, we do have prior information — and lots of it.
    The prior information is extremely important. It allows us to say, for example, that the box is much more likely to contain a book than a platypus.

    Ok, you got a point there. Allow me to adjust my example:

    Suppose their is an unknown black box resting on your kitchen table. Now, the thought occurs to you that it might contain 47 books. At the same time you realize that you have no ground whatsoever to support this assumption; the box may contain less or more books, something else or simply nothing at all.
    Ok. How to implement your system?

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    [ probability of 47 books in black box = 0 ]

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = 1 ]

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the content of the black box.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of 47 books in black box = … ? ]


    p.s. I have noticed that you put the whole thing on par with the ‘category-error’ / ‘agency vs die’ matter; see post #302. We just may have to come back to that later.

  350. 350
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Branching descent” cannot be an explanation for the coming into existence of proteins, molecular machines, epigenetics, body plans and so on. Since the existence of those items are fundamental to the existence of, and difference (“branching”) between, species.

    The inference is to branching descent. How the branching occurs is not resolved by this line of evidence, but it is apparently intrinsic to life.

    Box: Let’s assume (arguendo) that branching descent is an explanation for life.

    Branching doesn’t explain life. It explains why organism form an objective nested hierarchy.

    Box: If branching descent is guided, we must assume that the designer uses branching descent as an instrument.

    Assuming we had no knowledge beyond branching, and we were to speculate about a designer, the designer may simply be utilizing something that is intrinsic to how life changes over time; like a gardener shapes a tree.

    Box: We have no way of knowing. I don’t see your point.

    It means humans and oranges share a common ancestor. For most people, that’s an important insight. For biologists, it’s a fundamental finding, and provides the historical framework for determining how and what shapes the tree.

    Box: If branching descent is unguided, and if it is a plausible explanation for proteins, molecular machines, epigenetics, body plans and so on, then the conclusion is very simple: branching descent is a better explanation than any designer.

    Branching doesn’t explain proteins. That requires other lines of evidence. Branching means that sunflowers and sunfish share a common ancestor.

  351. 351
    keith s says:

    William #324:

    The problem with your argument is that you have assumed the very thing that Mr. Arrington asked for you to demonstrate – science that demonstrates natural forces plausibly capable of producing the kind of CSI we find in living organisms.

    You’ve assumed your conclusion with your premise.

    You keep saying that, and I keep refuting it. When are you going to respond to my refutation rather than endlessly repeating your assertion?

    I assume temporarily, and only for the sake of argument that unguided evolution is true so that I can determine its entailments and compare them to our observations. This is science 101, William.

    You claim that by doing so I am assuming my conclusion.

    It should be obvious that I am not assuming my conclusion, because I make exactly the same assumption on behalf of ID.

    That is, I assume temporarily, and only for the sake of argument that ID is true so that I can determine its entailments and compare them to our observations.

    When I do that, I find that unguided evolution fits the observations trillions of times better than ID, so I do the rational thing: I reject the poor hypothesis and retain the good one.

    You keep complaining that this is somehow unfair to ID, but it obviously isn’t. Anyone can see that I’m treating ID and unguided evolution equally.

    What’s even funnier is that the only one who is treating ID unfairly is you, by insisting on this…

    It is indeed the ID position that if natural forces are a scientifically plausible explanation of an effect or phenomena with an unknown origin, it is the better explanation, period.

    …instead of the more sensible alternative:

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

  352. 352
    keith s says:

    Box,

    Ok, you got a point there. Allow me to adjust my example:

    Suppose their is an unknown black box resting on your kitchen table. Now, the thought occurs to you that it might contain 47 books. At the same time you realize that you have no ground whatsoever to support this assumption; the box may contain less or more books, something else or simply nothing at all.
    Ok. How to implement your system?

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    [ probability of 47 books in black box = 0 ]

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    [ probability of platypus in black box = 1 ]

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the content of the black box.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of 47 books in black box = … ? ]

    You still have plenty of prior information. You know what boxes are, what books are, what their relative sizes are (typically), what people tend to put into boxes and what they don’t, etc.

    You only use the principle of indifference when you have no prior information. Otherwise, you exploit the prior information.

  353. 353
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Branching doesn’t explain life. It explains why organism form an objective nested hierarchy.

    Does it explain the existence of new proteins, new body plans? Because if it does not explain these things – which are fundamental to ONH -, how can it explain ONH itself?

    Zachriel: Branching doesn’t explain proteins. That requires other lines of evidence.

    If that is the case, it is not clear to me what it can explain at all.

    Zachriel: Branching means that sunflowers and sunfish share a common ancestor.

    Well, one thing is for certain, it sure does not explain it.

  354. 354
    keith s says:

    Box,

    Does it explain the existence of new proteins, new body plans? Because if it does not explain these things – which are fundamental to ONH -, how can it explain ONH itself?

    Unguided evolution explains those things trillions of times better than ID does, so unless you have a plausible third alternative, unguided evolution is the winner, hands down.

  355. 355
    Box says:

    Keiths: You still have plenty of prior information. You only use the principle of indifference when you have no prior information.

    Hmm, so you still cannot explain how your system works wrt to unsubstantiated assumptions, huh?
    Ok, allow me to adjust my example:

    Suppose, during your solo visit to Saturn, you notice a mysterious unknown black box – obviously designed 🙂 – resting on the ground. Now, the thought occurs to you that it might contain 47 smaller boxes. At the same time you realize that you have no ground whatsoever to support this assumption; the box may contain less or more smaller boxes, something else or simply nothing at all and it may even be solid.
    Ok. How to implement your system?

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    [ probability of 47 smaller boxes in black box = 0 ]

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    [ probability of 47 smaller boxes in black box = 1 ]

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the content of the black box.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    [ probability of 47 smaller boxes in black box = … ? ]

  356. 356
    keith s says:

    Box,

    You still have prior information.

    You know how big the box is, you know that anything contained inside it must be smaller than the box itself, you know about atoms and the size limits for small boxes, etc.

    You only use the principle of indifference when you have no prior information. Otherwise, you exploit the prior information.

  357. 357
    Joe says:

    1- Unguided evolution can’t even get beyond populations of prokaryotes given populations of prokaryotes to start with. Take away the starting populations and unguided evolution is a non-starter

    2- Even if we grant unguided evolution the diversity of life the sheer volume of transitional forms would make an ONH impossible- see Darwin 1859

    3- Unguided evolution is a good process for getting organisms eliminated from the gene pool

    4- Unguided evolution is trillions of times better at explaining disease and deformities

  358. 358
    Joe says:

    Reality- Crick defined biological information, not us. Science has determined that biological information is both complex and specified. This isn’t anything IDists have invented.

    You do realize that we are well beyond the age of “a blob of protoplasm”, right?

  359. 359
    Box says:

    Keith,

    Go right ahead and exploit that prior information.
    [ probability of 47 smaller boxes in black box = … ? ]
    Or, if you prefer, ignore the prior information and give the answer as if you had no prior information.

    Anyway, show me how you handle totally unsubstantiated assumptions with your “principle of indifference”.

  360. 360
    keith s says:

    Box:

    Anyway, show me how you handle totally unsubstantiated assumptions with your “principle of indifference”.

    It’s not my principle of indifference, Box. This isn’t something I just made up. It’s standard operating procedure for statisticians dealing with situations in which there is no prior information.

    If you and William want to argue that statisticians are idiots for using the PoI, you’re going to have to do a lot better than you have so far.

    Also, what “totally unsubstantiated assumptions” are you referring to?

  361. 361
    Querius says:

    Zachriel,

    On Salamaders
    My point about the large amount of DNA is that we don’t know what it does, or the efficiency or scope of what it does. You mention an extra gigabyte. With software, a program that takes 30 times as much space is not necessarily 30 times more functional. But with software, one does assume it does something, and that’s my point about ID.

    More likely, it allows for rapid adaptation by duplicating essential genes, which allows them to evolve with fewer restrictions. It also doubles the expression of genes, so in rich environments, that might be advantageous.

    Yes, exactly what I was trying to get across, except I think your examples are less speculative. 🙂

    More about the salamander genome research is found here, if you’re interested:
    http://rydberg.biology.colosta.....earch.html

    The deaths and births of species

    Clearly cladogenesis is the organizing principle of cladistics. Why do you think otherwise?

    Well, the process is supposed to be undirected, so I choke a bit on calling it an “organizing principle.” Then there’s also anagenesis, which is also part of the theory. I can’t give you a reference but it seems to me that removal of reproductive participation is considered to have greater significance than the 3-5% advantage usually ascribed to an evolutionary advantage.

    On Coelacanths
    Coelacanths certainly exhibit a lot of variation. Maybe, they’re like dogs–you know great danes and chihuahuas are still the same species but don’t appear so. Maybe coelacanth persistence is an indication of greater variability in its genome. Again, I contend that we don’t know.

    What it would take to falsify the Theory of Evolution
    What I was asking was whether several different, relatively modern, aquatic animals found in close proximity with the cambrian would suffice in your mind to falsify the Theory of Evolution. Or maybe a certain number of out-of-sequence fossils in other strata would do? Would you really change your mind? Presumably you accept that falsification of a theory doesn’t mean that everything in the theory has to be consistently falsified.

    On the sex life of platypus, bats, and whales
    You mention that “The sexual genetics appear derived from other chromosomes,” but it’s hard to imagine just how this could occur over time. The argument is that it must have happened, so it did so with teensy baby steps over hundreds of millions of years. This is a sort of Darwin-of-the-gaps argument. The presence of 10 sex chromosomes—could easily happen. The function was just (magically) distributed over other chromosomes. Nothing to see here. Predicted by Darwin.

    This is once again a demonstration of why ID is a better paradigm.

    “Small changes in regulatory genes can cause large changes in development.” Yes, and when large changes occur it’s catastrophic. Modern, large scale beneficial changes that have just occurred or in are process among the millions of species are non-existent. Common ancestry is touted in some cases (“fishapod”) and similar evidence is dismissed in others (bats and toothed whales) on what seems nothing stronger than what we think musta happened to fit in the current narrative. No, I’m not arguing that toothed whales and bats have a recent common ancestor.

    That cetaceans and bats evolved high-frequency hearing is not unexpected.

    This is not science. It’s the opposite of science: a big squishy paradigm that can accommodate everything in retrospect.

    “This is a painting of a cow.”

    “Really, where’s the grass?”

    “The cow has eaten it.”

    “And where’s the cow.”

    “To search of more grass of course!”

    Thanks again for a civil argument. 🙂

    -Q

  362. 362
    Adapa says:

    Querius

    This is not science. It’s the opposite of science: a big squishy paradigm that can accommodate everything in retrospect.

    Completely wrong. Of course current evolutionary theory can’t accommodate everything. You were given numerous examples of phenomena that if found would have blown ToE out of the water, but those things were never discovered. Not falsified doesn’t equal not falsifiable.

    That ToE accommodates all our current observations is a testament to its strength and validity, not a sign of your imagined weaknesses.

  363. 363
    Andre says:

    Adapa

    Maybe you can help me, I’m desperate…..

    How did unguided processes create a guided process that prevents unguided processes from happening?

    Help me!

  364. 364
    Joe says:

    Adapa- There isn’t any ToE and we know that because you cannot link to it. No one can…

  365. 365

    keith said:

    It should be obvious that I am not assuming my conclusion, because I make exactly the same assumption on behalf of ID.

    Even if you make equal assumptions (not that you did), that doesn’t entail that your conclusion is not contained in your assumptions, especially when it is conceded that if both hypothesized causes can plausibly generate the effect, one of them is the de facto better explanation.

    Perhaps that is your position, but it is definitely not the ID position. Most IDers would agree with this obviously correct statement: Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    From the FAQ on this site, #39:

    (a) Intelligent designers exist and act in the world.

    (b) When they do so, as a rule, they leave reliable signs of such intelligent action behind.

    (c) Indeed, for many of the signs in question such as CSI and IC, intelligent agents are the only observed cause of such effects, and chance + necessity (the alternative) is not a plausible source, because the islands of function are far too sparse in the space of possible relevant configurations.

    (d) On the general principle of science, that “like causes like,” we are therefore entitled to infer from sign to the signified: intelligent action.

    (e) This conclusion is, of course, subject to falsification if it can be shown that undirected chance + mechanical forces do give rise to CSI or IC. Thus, ID is falsifiable in principle but well supported in fact.

    Please note that all it takes to disprove ID altogether as the better explanation for CSI is the simple demonstration that unguided forces can produce CSI.

    As soon as unguided forces are shown to be a plausible source of CSI, ID is disproven. How plausible it is compared to ID is not even mentioned other than that it be simply “plausible”.

    From the same FAQ, #9:

    A theory which would indeed be alternative to ID, and therefore could prove it wrong, is any empirically well-supported “causal theory” which excludes design; in other words any theory that fits well with the evidence and could explain the presence or emergence of complex biological information through chance, necessity, any mix of the two, or any other scenario which does not include design.

    Note: No mention that the alternative theory must be “more plausible”, only that it demonstrate that natural forces can produce CSI.

    From Intelligent Reasoning:

    To test the design inference all one has to do is to demonstrate that the object/ event in question can arise via nature, operating freely- ie it is reducible to matter, energy, chance and necessity.

    If nature, operating freely can account for it then the design inference is unwarranted.

    Note: all nature has to do is account for it; it doesn’t have to account for it in a manner having equal to or better plausibility than design.

    The fact is, keiths, you are simply wrong about what is required to disprove ID, because ID theory depends on natural forces being a non-plausible candidate for the creation of CSI.

  366. 366
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    Branching doesn’t explain life. It explains why organism form an objective nested hierarchy.

    No, it doesn’t. An objective nested hierarchy requires more than just mere branching.

  367. 367
    Box says:

    * ASSUMPTION IS FACT *

    Keith’s argument depends on several (see OP) logical fallacies in order to be valid. The absurd title of this post presents one of them.
    The logical truth that an assumption is NOT a fact is violated by Keith in premise 3 of his argument.

    [ Keith’s argument ]

    1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONH)
    2. Unguided evolution explains ONH
    3. A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives.
    4. Both unguided evolution and a designer are capable of causing ONH.
    Conclusion: Unguided evolution is a trillion times better at explaining ONH.

    For three(!) weeks in a row it has been explained to Keith again and again that the assumption that trillion alternatives are available for a designer is unsubstantiated – not supported by any knowledge. The simple truth is that WE DO NOT KNOW how many options are available to the designer. Maybe the capability of the designer restricts her to one option. Maybe the designer has compelling reasons to choose for a certain option. We can only speculate. We have no way of knowing. Simply because:

    Keith: we know absolutely NOTHING about the purported designer.

    That’s right Keith.
    And there is no method of reasoning that validly assigns a trillion alternatives to the designer. IOW there is no valid method of reasoning that turns an assumption into a fact.

    Keith’s latest attempt to show that there is such a method is duly pathetic.

    Keith: #311,
    Here’s what Box and William are missing:

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.
    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.
    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the designer.
    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    I have invited Keith to expand on his reasoning several times. Of course there is just one answer to my questions in post #314, #349 and #355: NEGLIGIBLE.
    The sad thing is that Keith will never admit it. Simply because he doesn’t want to have “negligible” as a conclusion. He wants to turn an assumption into a fact – NOT into a infinite small probability.

    Keith will never admit that he is wrong even if he has to deny logical truth.

  368. 368

    Keith said:

    You only use the principle of indifference when you have no prior information.

    If you and William want to argue that statisticians are idiots for using the PoI, you’re going to have to do a lot better than you have so far.

    Our argument is with keith, not other statisticians.

    The principle of indifference (in statistics) assumes a flat distribution of probability between a known or hypothesized group of possibilities, such as with coins, dice and cards, or any hypothesized set of possibilities where no distributive information is available from which to draw weighted probability conclusions about the various possibilities.

    Natural forces and intelligent design are two different possibility-generating domains. If keith simply assumes that the designer has trillions of possibilities, POI could be used to assign a statistical value to each of those trillions as to which the designer is likely to implement (knowing nothing about the designer, but assuming trillions of possibilites).

    Of course, the problem is that once again keith has assumed his conclusion – that the designer has trillions of options.

    Philosophically, the POI is stated this way:

    the principle that, in the absence of any reason to expect one event rather than another, all the possible events should be assigned the same probability.

    But, again, where does keith get his “trillions of possibilities” in the first place, upon which to reach the POI conclusion of a flat probability distribution?

    That is the problem. Keith has given us no reason or argument as two why we should accept his “trillions of possibilities” assumption in the first place. He claims that it is just his “not ruling anything out”, but what exactly has he “not ruled out” when he has no idea what possibilities exist in the first place?

    You must have possibilities in the first place before you can rule any out or in. Where does keith find possibilities in the first place to “not rule out” in the second place?

    Also, as I have already pointed out, if you treat both premises equally, if you begin at the evolutionary system we currently have, and ignore possibilities supposedly avaialable prior to the current system, there is no distinction between the two premises. However, for the unguided side, keith excludes prior possibilities, and for the guided side keith includes them, saying the designer “could have” generated a different system. Keith ignores challenges that non-living natural forces also “could have” instantiated a different system.

  369. 369

    Now, if keith were to make equal assumptions on both sides of the issue, treating non-living natural forces (the predecessor to the instantiation of life on Earth) and a designer (the predecessor to the instantiation of life on Earth) equally, then if keith is going to assume one predecessor capable of generating trillions of options, he must assume the other is also so capable, unless keith can make an argument or show evidence why trillions of options were not available on one side and were available to the other.

  370. 370
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Does it explain the existence of new proteins, new body plans?

    No.

    Box: Because if it does not explain these things – which are fundamental to ONH -, how can it explain ONH itself?

    Because branching descent entails the nested hierarchy, and the nested hierarchy is a highly specific pattern.

    Box: If that is the case, it is not clear to me what it can explain at all.

    Branching descent explains why there is a nested hierarchy.

    Box: Well, one thing is for certain, it sure does not explain it.

    We don’t have to explain everything to explain some things. Branching descent explains why there is a nested hierarchy. We don’t have to know what causes gravity to describe how gravity works. We don’t have to know everything about how the branching process occurs any more than we have to know everything about embryonic development to show that sex is involved in making babies.

    Querius: But with software, one does assume it does something, and that’s my point about ID.

    Actually, there’s often junk in software, modules that are never utilized, portions of code that were written then forgotten.

    Zachriel: More likely, {genome duplication} allows for rapid adaptation by duplicating essential genes, which allows them to evolve with fewer restrictions. It also doubles the expression of genes, so in rich environments, that might be advantageous.

    Querius: Yes, exactly what I was trying to get across, except I think your examples are less speculative.

    Then that’s consistent with modern evolutionary theory. Some of the genome codes for genes. Some is regulatory. Some is duplications. Some is spacers. Some is invaders. Some is unknown. Some is never utilized, and these sections of the genome tend to evolve neutrally.

    Querius: I can’t give you a reference but it seems to me that removal of reproductive participation is considered to have greater significance than the 3-5% advantage usually ascribed to an evolutionary advantage.

    Extinction is certainly an important mechanism in evolutionary theory. However, evolutionary theory doesn’t order extinction in the same way it orders the births of species. Evolution posits an ancestor-descendant relationship. Ancestors can coexist with descendants, but descendants can’t preexist their own ancestors.

    Querius: Coelacanths certainly exhibit a lot of variation. Maybe, they’re like dogs–you know great danes and chihuahuas are still the same species but don’t appear so.

    That’s irrelevant to whether “coelacanths 400 million years ago had the identical genome as those of today”. Danes and chihuahuas have different genomes, so did coelacanths of yesteryear.

    Querius: What I was asking was whether several different, relatively modern, aquatic animals found in close proximity with the cambrian would suffice in your mind to falsify the Theory of Evolution.

    Right. And we said if you showed a pattern whereby posited descendants preceded their ancestors, it would falsify the current understanding of evolution or evolutionary history. Which would depend on the specific evidence.

    Querius: Presumably you accept that falsification of a theory doesn’t mean that everything in the theory has to be consistently falsified.

    The fundamental claim is that there is an ancestor-descendant relationship. If you were to show that such a relationship doesn’t exist, then you would falsify the entire theory. However, all observations are theory-laden. A single finding probably would not be sufficient to overturn a strongly supported theory, such as evolution. A rabbit in the Precambrian would be subject to scrutiny because it would contradict so much other evidence.

    Let us know when you find such evidence.

    Querius: You mention that “The sexual genetics appear derived from other chromosomes,” but it’s hard to imagine just how this could occur over time.

    As we pointed out, chromosome rearrangement is a fairly common phenomenon, and it can happen fairly rapidly in mammals.

    Querius: Yes, and when large changes occur it’s catastrophic.

    Usually. Which is why we see from fossils of cetaceans that the hind limbs disappeared slowly over time.

    Querius: Common ancestry is touted in some cases (“fishapod”) and similar evidence is dismissed in others (bats and toothed whales) on what seems nothing stronger than what we think musta happened to fit in the current narrative.

    No, it is not dismissed. It’s fundamental to evolutionary theory (Darwin 1859) that natural selection confounds the nested hierarchy. Hence, prestin in bats and whales evolved along similar paths, just like cetaceans evolved hydrodynamic shapes similar to fish.

    If a software designer borrowed prestin from another design, what would we expect of synonymous substitutions? What does evolutionary theory predict?

  371. 371
    Box says:

    William,

    Thank you for the elucidation on Keith’s inappropriate invocation of the principle of indifference.
    This part is truly educational:

    WJM:

    You must have possibilities in the first place before you can rule any out or in. Where does keith find possibilities in the first place to “not rule out” in the second place?

    IMHO what it all boils down to is:

    Absent knowledge of the designer, there is no method of reasoning that validly assigns a trillion alternatives to the designer. IOW there is no valid method of reasoning that turns an assumption into a fact – absent supportive knowledge.

  372. 372
    Zachriel says:

    Box: the assumption that trillion alternatives are available for a designer is unsubstantiated – not supported by any knowledge. The simple truth is that WE DO NOT KNOW how many options are available to the designer. Maybe the capability of the designer restricts her to one option. Maybe the designer has compelling reasons to choose for a certain option. We can only speculate. We have no way of knowing.

    If the designer has no choice, then it’s not a designer. In any case, the designer may have her angels move planets in elliptical orbits for inscrutable reasons. Or it could be a simple inverse square law.

    Being a planetary angel used to be a prestigious position. Trying to get the retrogrades right, to synchronize conjunctions with the rise and fall of nations, was no simple matter, and required the greatest care, intelligence, and coordination. Then that Newton fellow came along and systematized the whole thing. Now there’s nothing for angels to do but watch, and maybe oil the gears every once in a while. And no, that comet slamming into the sixth sphere was not our fault!
    http://zachriel.com/blog/Angelic_movers.jpg

  373. 373
    Box says:

    Zachriel,
    Part I:

    Box: Maybe the capability of the designer restricts her to one option. Maybe the designer has compelling reasons to choose for a certain option. We can only speculate. We have no way of knowing.

    Zachriel: If the designer has no choice, then it’s not a designer.

    Incorrect. For you “one option” equals “no choice”. However, one (design) option is not equal to “no choice”. At a minimum there is the choice to produce the design option or not. And even if the designer has no other choice than designing X I fail to see why that does make her any less a designer of X.

    In any case, the designer may have her angels move planets in elliptical orbits for inscrutable reasons. Or it could be a simple inverse square law.

    How do you explain the existence of this “simple inverse square law”? There are good reasons to believe that the laws of the universe are designed.

    Being a planetary angel used to be a prestigious position. Trying to get the retrogrades right, to synchronize conjunctions with the rise and fall of nations, was no simple matter, and required the greatest care, intelligence, and coordination.

    Childish strawman a la Keith.



    Part II

    Box: Does it [branching descent] explain the existence of new proteins, new body plans?

    Zachriel: No.

    Box: Because if it does not explain these things – which are fundamental to ONH -, how can it explain ONH itself?

    Zachriel: Because branching descent entails the nested hierarchy, and the nested hierarchy is a highly specific pattern.

    So, branching descent entails ONH but does not explain it?

    Zachriel: Branching descent explains why there is a nested hierarchy.

    Aha so, it explains ONH. Well since ONH implies new proteins, new body plans and so forth, we must assume that branching descent also explains those things. However, you have already denied this to be the case. Therefore I hold that your claim ‘branching descent explains ONH’ is incoherent.

    Zachriel: We don’t have to explain everything to explain some things. We don’t have to know everything about how the branching process occurs any more than we have to know everything about embryonic development to show that sex is involved in making babies.

    Indeed. Sex doesn’t explain embryonic development. You must be pretty fond of branching descent to compare it to sex.
    The comparison doesn’t make any sense to me.

  374. 374
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: If the designer has no choice, then it’s not a designer.

    Box: Incorrect.

    Of course it’s correct. Design entails choices.

    Box: For you “one option” equals “no choice”. However, one (design) option is not equal to “no choice”.

    That’s a better argument. So we agree it entails some choice.

    Box: How do you explain the existence of this “simple inverse square law”?

    Excellent question! Newton avoided speculating on the underlying cause of gravity. It wasn’t necessary to his theory. The inverse square relationship was a sufficient explanation for a wide variety of phenomena, from elliptical orbits to the fall of the apple.

    Box: Childish strawman a la Keith.

    Not at all. It’s an analogy. We have the choice of positing that the designer moves each planet making choices along the way, or that there is a simple relationship that explains the orbits, with various ways of testing the latter.

    Box: So, branching descent entails ONH but does not explain it?

    Branching descent is the scientific explanation of the objective nested hierarchy.

    Box: Well since ONH implies new proteins, new body plans and so forth, we must assume that branching descent also explains those things.

    No. Branching descent does not explains new proteins. However, the branching occurred regardless of whether we understand the process in detail or not.

    Box: Indeed. Sex doesn’t explain embryonic development.

    That’s right. We can determine the relationship of sex to reproduction without knowing exactly how the process works.

  375. 375
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    You only use the principle of indifference when you have no prior information. Otherwise, you exploit the prior information.

    So based on your own words, EITHER:

    1) We have prior information that the designer has trillions of alternatives and therefore cannot use the principle of indifference.

    OR:

    2) We do not have prior information that the designer has trillions of alternatives.

    You can’t have it both ways. The fact that you need to have it both ways (having it both ways is critical to your argument) doesn’t change this.

  376. 376
    Phinehas says:

    Zachriel:

    We don’t have to explain everything to explain some things.

    Excellent point! We’d do well to keep this one handy for all those, “Who designed the designer?” and ” How did the designer do it?” questions.

  377. 377
    keith s says:

    William #365,

    I’ve seen some odd arguments from you in the past, but this one takes the cake.

    You are arguing that I am obligated to treat ID unfairly. Why? Because if I don’t treat ID unfairly, then you can’t reject my argument for being unfair!

    You are insisting that I use your unfair criterion:

    It is indeed the ID position that if natural forces are a scientifically plausible explanation of an effect or phenomena with an unknown origin, it is the better explanation, period.

    Instead of my fair one:

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    You are the one who is being unfair to ID, not me. When you accuse me of being unfair to ID, you are really accusing yourself.

    When we treat ID and unguided evolution fairly and equally, ID loses by a factor of trillions.

  378. 378
    Phinehas says:

    keiths’ “fair” criterion:

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    When given:

    Hypotheses 1: Blah
    Hypotheses 2: If hypotheses 1 is plausible, then it is the better explanation

    Your “fair” criterion starts to become nonsensical.

  379. 379
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: Maybe the capability of the designer restricts her to one option.

    Zachriel: If the designer has no choice, then it’s not a designer.

    Box: Incorrect. For you “one option” equals “no choice”.

    Zachriel: Of course it’s correct. Design entails choices.

    Box: For you “one option” equals “no choice”. However, one (design) option is not equal to “no choice”. At a minimum there is the choice to produce the design option or not. And even if the designer has no other choice than designing X I fail to see why that does make her any less a designer of X.

    Zachriel: That’s a better argument. So we agree it entails some choice.

    Well … your reasoning let you to the belief that one design option meant “no choice”. I corrected you.
    But why are we having this fruitless conversation? What is the point you are trying to get across?

    Box: How do you explain the existence of this “simple inverse square law”?

    Zachriel: Excellent question! Newton avoided speculating on the underlying cause of gravity. It wasn’t necessary to his theory.

    So?

    Zachriel: The inverse square relationship was a sufficient explanation for a wide variety of phenomena, from elliptical orbits to the fall of the apple.

    Well? Again, what is your point? Are you suggesting that facts – like the existence of laws – don’t need an explanation?

    Zachriel: (…) Being a planetary angel used to be a prestigious position. Trying to get the retrogrades right, (…)

    Box: Childish strawman a la Keith.

    Zachriel: Not at all. It’s an analogy. We have the choice of positing that the designer moves each planet making choices along the way, or that there is a simple relationship that explains the orbits, with various ways of testing the latter.

    Repeating a strawman doesn’t make it true. ID doesn’t posit such infantile scenarios. Rather ID suggests that certain features of the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause – such as an arrangement of finely tuned laws.

    Box: So, branching descent entails ONH but does not explain it?

    Zachriel: Branching descent is the scientific explanation of the objective nested hierarchy.

    Well maybe it’s time for you to present a definition of this mechanism – this alleged causal force called “branching descent”.

    Box: Well since ONH implies new proteins, new body plans and so forth, we must assume that branching descent also explains those things.

    Zachriel: No. Branching descent does not explains new proteins. However, the branching occurred regardless of whether we understand the process in detail or not.

    The branching is a consequence of new proteins, new body plans and so forth. So before it explains anything it needs explanation itself.

    Zachriel: We can determine the relationship of sex to reproduction without knowing exactly how the process works.

    The comparison still does not ring a bell. Overall I fail to see the point you are making. Let’s call it a day.

  380. 380
    Zachriel says:

    Box: For you “one option” equals “no choice”.

    That’s the very definition of not having a choice.

    Box: At a minimum there is the choice to produce the design option or not.

    Then that’s two options, yea or nay.

    Box: And even if the designer has no other choice than designing X I fail to see why that does make her any less a designer of X.

    Not merely X, but exactly X and only exactly X.

    Box: Well? Again, what is your point?

    That when we have a simple and testable principle to explain a phenomenon, it isn’t necessary to know everything about that phenomenon.

    Box: Rather ID suggests that certain features of the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause – such as an arrangement of finely tuned laws.

    What’s under discussion is that branching descent entails the nested hierarchy.

    Box: Well maybe it’s time for you to present a definition of this mechanism – this alleged causal force called “branching descent”.

    It’s the hypothesis that a single species can split into more than one species. The entailment of that hypothesis is the nested hierarchy.

    Box: The branching is a consequence of new proteins, new body plans and so forth. So before it explains anything it needs explanation itself.

    No more so than we have to explain the process of how an egg develops to show that sex leads to reproduction. All we have to do is show the one leads to the other.

  381. 381
    Box says:

    Zachriel,
    [ skipping all the small talk ]

    Box: Well maybe it’s time for you to present a definition of this mechanism – this alleged causal force called “branching descent”.

    Zachriel: It’s the hypothesis that a single species can split into more than one species. The entailment of that hypothesis is the nested hierarchy.

    In order to explain an effect ‘branching descent’ must have causal power. How does it operate?

  382. 382
    keith s says:

    Box had the sense to steer clear of William’s latest mistake, but Phinehas plunges in.

    Okay, Phinehas, if you don’t like this…

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    …then what do you suggest we replace it with? Should we prefer the less plausible one? Should we refrain from ever preferring one hypothesis over another?

    I love UD. 🙂

  383. 383
    Box says:

    Keith, you have failed to address most of WJM’s posts and my post #367.
    I will ignore your taunts until you do so.

  384. 384
    Zachriel says:

    Box: In order to explain an effect ‘branching descent’ must have causal power.

    It causes the nested hierarchy.

    Box: The simple truth is that WE DO NOT KNOW how many options are available to the designer.

    In any case, the hypothesis of a designer doesn’t entail the nested hierarchy; however, branching descent does.

  385. 385
    keith s says:

    Relax, Box. I’ll get to those.

    In the meantime, do you agree with me about William’s embarrassing mistake?

  386. 386
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: In order to explain an effect ‘branching descent’ must have causal power.

    Zachriel: It causes the nested hierarchy.

    I don’t see how. If species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? So, the process we are discussing, it seems to me, should not be called “branching descent”, but “gradual descent” instead.

  387. 387
    Joe says:

    Zachriel will never support his claims with respect to nested hierarchies. And all of his claims about nested hierarchies prove that he doesn’t understand them.

  388. 388
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    I note you skipped over #375 as well.

    As for #382, it’s your ‘fair’ criterion, not mine. Come up with your own fix. I merely pointed out how your ‘fair’ criterion starts to get nonsensical when one of the hypotheses specifically states that if the other hypotheses is at all plausible, then it wins by default as the best explanation. You don’t appear to be denying this.

  389. 389
    Box says:

    Zachriel: In any case, the hypothesis of a designer doesn’t entail the nested hierarchy.

    Except when it does. You assume that a designer doesn’t entail a nested hierarchy. However if the designer does entail nested hierarchy – for whatever reason – your assumption is wrong.
    The problem with totally unsupported assumptions is that they can be 100% wrong. That’s why it is proper to abstain from them.

  390. 390
    Zachriel says:

    Box: If species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?

    Species go extinct, so the extant leaves form a nested hierarchy.

    Box: You assume that a designer doesn’t entail a nested hierarchy.

    No. However, if you want to show why the nested hierarchy is entailed, that is, a necessary consequence of, a designer, then please show us the deduction from one to the other.

  391. 391
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    Species go extinct, so the extant leaves form a nested hierarchy.

    Just about anything can form a nested hierarchy, even a branching tree or any other organism.

    If Zachriel’s extant leaves are all the same, characteristically, the nested hierarchy is going to be very subjective.

  392. 392
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: If species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? So, the process we are discussing, it seems to me, should not be called “branching descent”, but “gradual descent” instead.

    Zachriel: Species go extinct, so the extant leaves form a nested hierarchy.

    I’m trying to follow your reasoning …
    First we have gradual descent – not yet “branching descent” – , next somehow species are formed and finally a nested hierarchy caused by extinction of species?

  393. 393
    Zachriel says:

    Box: First we have gradual descent – not yet “branching descent”

    It’s hard to know what you are getting at. There’s gradual change. There’s also branching. Both are required to entail a nested hierarchy of traits. We don’t see all the gradations because the vast majority of species have gone extinct.

  394. 394
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    There’s gradual change. There’s also branching. Both are required to entail a nested hierarchy of traits. We don’t see all the gradations because the vast majority of species have gone extinct.

    Without the extinction of species. What would it look like? A more densely populated nested hierarchy? Or utter chaos?

  395. 395
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Without the extinction of species. What would it look like? A more densely populated nested hierarchy?

    It would be a very crowded world. In any case, classifications wouldn’t have distinct edges.

    Box: Or utter chaos?

    No, because the correlation of traits would still be there. Of course, that’s not the situation we have. Most species only last a few million years. What we have are the leaves on the tree.

  396. 396
    Box says:

    Zachriel: If there was no extinction of species, what would be the effect on objective nested hierarchy?

  397. 397
    keith s says:

    Phinehas,

    Your objection is silly, because this…

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    …is a criterion, not a hypothesis.

    There has to be a criterion for judging competing hypotheses. Otherwise science would be impossible.

    Perhaps, as an IDer, you would prefer a world without science. The rest of us recognize that some hypotheses are better than others.

    As I said, if you have a better criterion to offer, let’s hear it.

  398. 398
    Zachriel says:

    Box: If there was no extinction of species, what would be the effect on objective nested hierarchy?

    Nested hierarchies are sets of sets. As sets don’t have distinct edges, you wouldn’t be able to construct a strict nested hierarchy from all members. You could either randomly sample the elements, or you could just look for a hierarchy of correlations, which amount to the same thing. It would still be a highly non-random pattern, what Darwin called a “natural arrangement”.

    In any case, we have strong evidence of the extinction of species.

  399. 399
    keith s says:

    Phinehas #375,

    You’re misunderstanding the concept of prior information. If “no prior information” literally meant “no information whatsoever”, then the principle of indifference could never apply. We always know something.

    What “no prior information” means is that we have no information that would justify skewing the probabilities to favor some possibilities over others.

    In the context of the ONH argument, IDers would like to be able to favor the ONH possibility over the others, in order to lessen the trillions-to-one advantage of unguided evolution. The problem is that no one can justify such an assumption, since we know nothing about the designer. In the absence of such knowledge, the principle of indifference applies.

  400. 400
    keith s says:

    Box and William,

    There is a simple and obvious problem that you face when you argue against the trillions of possibilities open to ID.

    If ID cannot be rejected on the basis of the trillions of possibilities open to it, then neither can the Rain Fairy. (Or the angels pushing the planets around, or the Streambed Designer, or Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale.)

    I assume that neither of you is willing to defend the Rain Fairy hypothesis. If so, you need to come up with a defense of ID that does not also work as a defense of the Rain Fairy.

    Let’s hear it.

  401. 401
    Box says:

    Zachriel: As sets don’t have distinct edges, you wouldn’t be able to construct a strict nested hierarchy from all members. You could either randomly sample the elements, or you could just look for a hierarchy of correlations, which amount to the same thing.

    I take it that the extinction of species is necessary for ONH.
    So, the sea of graduality is visited by a machine-gun wielding Grim Reaper, which resulted in the patterns of a well-ordered objective nested hierarchy?

  402. 402
    Joe says:

    Zachriel:

    There’s gradual change. There’s also branching. Both are required to entail a nested hierarchy of traits.

    That is a blatant lie. Gradual change would make a nested hierarchy of traits impossible due to the numerous transitional forms.

    So we have two people, keith s and zachriel, who are totally ignorant of a concept they are trying to use in their argument. Unfortunately I am out of popcorn.

  403. 403
    Joe says:

    keith s:

    There is a simple and obvious problem that you face when you argue against the trillions of possibilities open to ID.

    There is a simple and obvious problem that you face when you argue that there are trillions of possibilities open to ID. 😛

  404. 404
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I take it that the extinction of species is necessary for ONH.

    Asked and answered. A nested hierarchy is a relationship of sets, but sets would have indistinct boundaries; however, there would still be discernible relationships between species, a hierarchy of correlations.

    Box: So, the sea of graduality is visited by a machine-gun wielding Grim Reaper, which resulted in the patterns of a well-ordered objective nested hierarchy?

    Sigh. If only we had evidence of extinction.

  405. 405
    Joe says:

    Zachriel continues to miss the point. Evolutionism does not predict there will be set defining extinctions. Also nested hierarchies require distinct boundaries.

  406. 406
    Phinehas says:

    keiths:

    You are starting to remind me of a terrier chasing its tail. Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

    What “no prior information” means is that we have no information that would justify skewing the probabilities to favor some possibilities over others.

    And your trillions of alternatives doesn’t skew the probabilities? If the designer only had one possibility instead of trillions, that wouldn’t change the outcome of your argument at all? OK. So why say trillions instead of one?

    In the context of the ONH argument, IDers would like to be able to favor the ONH possibility over the others, in order to lessen the trillions-to-one advantage of unguided evolution. The problem is that no one can justify such an assumption, since we know nothing about the designer. In the absence of such knowledge, the principle of indifference applies.

    Wait. So now we are back to knowing nothing about the designer? What the heck happened to:

    We always know something.

    It’s in the same post. Just a few sentences up. Italicized and everything. Did you think no one would notice the equivocation?

    It is exceedingly obvious to anyone paying attention that your entire argument is based on this constant switching back and forth between knowing absolutely nothing about the designer and knowing that the designer had trillions of alternatives available. Thank you for demonstrating the equivocation so succinctly. It is very handy to have it all here together in one post.

  407. 407
    Box says:

    Species and gradualism – a few notes.

    Darwin: First, why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?

    [ Islands in the sea ]

    In the Darwinian story we can envision a sea of graduality – a sea of innumerable transitional forms separated only by fine gradations. However this is not what we see in reality. What we actually see is a distinct grouping of species.
    A Darwinian explanation for the existence of species may go like this: in this sea of graduality there are formed islands of high-fitness, which are surrounded by a low-fitness sea of graduality.
    Now the problem arises that in order to get from one high-fitness island to another there seems to be only one possibility: one has to take a dive in the low-fitness sea. E.g. to get from land animal to whale one has to swim an enormous distance through a low-fitness sea of graduality.

    [ Bridges ]

    Surely, the Darwinist will object that my representation of the Darwinian story did not include changes in the environment. The measure of fitness depends on the ever changing environment of the species. The Darwinist would argue that the right sequence of environmental changes can be such that a high-fitness bridge through a low-fitness sea is available for a land-animal to a whale. These high-fitness bridges (through time) are the lines that connect species in ONH diagrams.
    However, if there are indeed such high-fitness bridges connecting all islands, the Darwinian theory is again confronted by tsunamis of gradualism. Which raises the problem posited by Darwin: how do we explain the existence of a distinct grouping of species?
    IOW Darwin needs the bridges to explain species by other species, but also needs to get rid of bridges in order to explain the isolation of species.
    Obviously there is some friction there.

    [ Extinction to the rescue? ]

    Zachriel: Species go extinct, so the extant leaves form a nested hierarchy.

    Darwin: As natural selection acts solely by the preservation of profitable modifications, each new form will tend in a fully-stocked country to take the place of, and finally to exterminate, its own less improved parent-form and other less-favored forms with which it comes into competition. Thus extinction and natural selection go hand in hand. Hence, if we look at each species as descended from some unknown form, both the parent and all the transitional varieties will generally have been exterminated by the very process of the formation and perfection of the new form.

    The Darwinian narrative would be that all organisms that traversed the high-fitness bridge between e.g. land-animal and whale are extinct and that their numbers were too low to become fossilized. So, the long bridge didn’t produce any fixed species.
    However what does this story, that spells utter failure and low-fitness, tell us about the likelihood that such a high-fitness bridge existed in the first place?
    From a general perspective: the Darwinian story attempts to explain species and gradualism but the two concepts seem to be at odds with each other.

  408. 408
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Now the problem arises that in order to get from one high-fitness island to another there seems to be only one possibility: one has to take a dive in the low-fitness sea.

    The granularity is not that great.

    Box: E.g. to get from land animal to whale one has to swim an enormous distance through a low-fitness sea of graduality.

    Good example. Fossils show a slow shrinking of hind limbs, along with movement of the nares. While there may be some granularity involved, none of these changes indicate any crossing of a “low-fitness sea”. Rather, each change increases fitness for the aquatic environment.

    Box: So, the long bridge didn’t produce any fixed species.

    That is not correct. Darwin understood that the rate of evolution wasn’t constant, but experienced long periods of stasis.

    Box: However what does this story, that spells utter failure and low-fitness, tell us about the likelihood that such a high-fitness bridge existed in the first place?

    The example you provided, of cetacean evolution, contradicts your point.

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