Evolution Intelligent Design

ID theorists respond on “Cancer refutes intelligent design”

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Further to Goalposts? What goalposts? From Evolution News & Views:

Computer Scientist Joshua Swamidass Argues: Cancer “Casts Serious Doubt” on Intelligent Design

In what way does cancer, a destructive disease, have anything to do with evolving new species? Cancer involves single cells, not whole organisms, and it doesn’t build new features, it tears down existing ones.

The argument from cancer doesn’t hold up. It doesn’t even make sense. “If many ID arguments in molecular biology were true, then cancer as we know it would be mathematically impossible,” writes Swamidass. Either that or it would “regularly require the direct intervention of God to initiate and be sustained.”

Not at all. “Things fall apart.” That is the natural way, which needs no evolutionary explanation. More.

(Yes, it’s a weird argument. It amounts to saying that in what we all acknowledge to be a transitory world , design would require that some mortal beings be eternal. But … )


Ann Gauger at Evolution News & Views:

Does Cancer Build Anything New? A Response to Josh Swamidass

What I do object to in Swamidass’s argument is this: cancer is chaotic with incredible rates of mutation and chromosomal instability. That’s part of its destructive nature. What kind of constructive evolution can be accomplished that way, on the organismal level?

In fact, I would argue that cancer is an argument for intelligent design. For multicellular organisms to survive, it is essential that their cells behave cooperatively and not grow out of control. A complex layering of multiple pathways, checkpoints, and fail-safe mechanisms exist to maintain the balance. Without this regulation our lives would not be possible. I would argue that the existence of such complex regulation is due to design.

The Darwinian imperative is to multiply without limit; there is no Darwinian advantage to surrendering that potential. Cancer is proof of what happens when the Darwinian paradigm takes over. Yet our cells do maintain a balanced behavior in the face of so many ways to fail. That we exist at all, and that the balance is maintained nearly all the time, is in fact a wonder of design.More.

Good stuff, but one gets the distinct sense that it doesn’t really matter. The heart of Darwinism is, our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth,. The theory that prevails by any political or social means rules, regardless of truth, fact, or evidence.

Only a recommitment to the idea of truth can prevail against this sort of thing. Evidence alone is too weak. Even reason and common sense are too weak when emotion and codswallop are in vogue.

Theistic evolution thrives in this kind of atmosphere, marketing palatable rubbish to well-meaning people who do not grasp what is at stake. No wonder it is readily funded.

See also: Rossiter on Swamidass: Goalposts? What goalposts?


A cognitive scientist’s “evolutionary argument against reality” Critics, especially ID-friendly ones, tend to respond by asking: Why those who embrace this view think that their prejudices are somehow more valid than others?

It’s really hard to get this across to bookish, well-meaning types of people but here goes: The attitude is not new and the answer to the objection is quite simple. Their prejudices are not better than anyone else’s but once they have acquired political and cultural power, they can enforce them on the rest of us anyway. That is as good as reality for them. Actually better.

Also: Tom Wolfe on Evolution as a Theory of Everything (one that media bimbos easily grasp)

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6 Replies to “ID theorists respond on “Cancer refutes intelligent design”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Swamidass’s claim that “Cancer refutes intelligent design” is ludicrous. As Dr Gauger eloquently pointed out, it is against Darwin’s theoretical core to surrender “multiplying without limit”. Darwinists never seem to follow the logic of their theory out to its conclusion.

    If evolution by natural selection were actually the truth about how all life came to be on Earth then the only life that should be around should be extremely small organisms with the highest replication rate, and with the most ‘mutational firepower’, since only they, since they greatly outclass multi-cellular organism in terms of ‘reproductive success’ and ‘mutational firepower’, would be fittest to survive in the dog eat dog world where blind pitiless evolution ruled and only the fittest are allowed to survive. The logic of this is nicely summed up here in this Richard Dawkins’ video:

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”

    In other words, since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful, and highly efficient reproduction, be realistically ‘selected’ for? Any other function besides successful reproduction, such as much slower sexual reproduction, sight, hearing, thinking, etc.., would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successful reproduction, and should, on a Darwinian view, be discarded, and/or ‘eaten’, by bacteria, as so much excess baggage since it obviously slows down successful reproduction which is practically the central, primary, tenet of Darwinian theory.

    Moreover, contrary to this central ‘survival of the fittest’ assumption of Darwinian evolution, instead of eating us, time after time we find micro-organisms helping each other, and us, in ways that have nothing to with their own ‘survival of the fittest’’ concerns. The following researchers said they were ‘banging our heads against the wall’ by the contradictory findings to Darwinian theory that they had found:

    Doubting Darwin: Algae Findings Surprise Scientists – April 28, 2014
    Excerpt: One of Charles Darwin’s hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true.
    Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin’s theory — at least in one case.
    “It was completely unexpected,” says Bradley Cardinale, associate professor in the University of Michigan’s school of natural resources & environment. “When we saw the results, we said ‘this can’t be.”‘ We sat there banging our heads against the wall. Darwin’s hypothesis has been with us for so long, how can it not be right?”
    The researchers ,,,— were so uncomfortable with their results that they spent the next several months trying to disprove their own work. But the research held up.,,,
    The scientists did not set out to disprove Darwin, but, in fact, to learn more about the genetic and ecological uniqueness of fresh water green algae so they could provide conservationists with useful data for decision-making. “We went into it assuming Darwin to be right, and expecting to come up with some real numbers for conservationists,” Cardinale says. “When we started coming up with numbers that showed he wasn’t right, we were completely baffled.”,,,
    Darwin “was obsessed with competition,” Cardinale says. “He assumed the whole world was composed of species competing with each other, but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. They don’t grow as well unless you put them with another species. It may be that nature has a heck of a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected.
    “,,, Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”

    “Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides.”
    – Paul G. Falkowski – Professor Geological Sciences – Rutgers

    We are living in a bacterial world, and it’s impacting us more than previously thought – February 15, 2013
    Excerpt: We often associate bacteria with disease-causing “germs” or pathogens, and bacteria are responsible for many diseases, such as tuberculosis, bubonic plague, and MRSA infections. But bacteria do many good things, too, and the recent research underlines the fact that animal life would not be the same without them.,,,
    I am,, convinced that the number of beneficial microbes, even very necessary microbes, is much, much greater than the number of pathogens.”

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Off topic:

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.

  3. 3
    kross1024 says:

    Did Swamidass make an argument, or a complaint?
    What was his argument?

  4. 4
    awstar says:

    BA77 at #2

    From the linked article:

    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement. The teleportation moniker is used because the initial message sent is destroyed when the photon carrying it gets measured, and it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.

    Does this confirm the hypothesis that information is not matter nor energy, it’s information. Thus knocking out the legs from under all materialists? From Wiki: “Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are results of material interactions.”

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    awstar, Yes it does. In fact, in quantum mechanics, information is its own distinct entity separate from matter and energy. A distinct entity which enables quantum computation among other things. Moreover, in quantum mechanics it is information that is primarily conserved, not matter and energy that are primarily conserved such as they are primarily conserved in classical mechanics. Moreover, it is possible to erase digital information from a computer, via entanglement, without using energy. Which is in contradiction to Landauer’s erasure principle. Which demonstrates that classical digital information is a subset of quantum information.

    Moreover, in quantum mechanics it is theoretically possible to teleport, besides information, an entire particle or photon. Thus, adding even more weight to the contention that reality is ‘information theoretic’ in its foundational basis.

    references upon request.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    as to “it is possible to erase digital information from a computer, via entanglement, without using energy.”

    while this following article backs that statement up

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.

    the following article goes one step further and states that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy.

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”

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