Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Niwrad: The cancer of Darwinism

arroba Email

Our valued contributor Niwrad send in this post, on recent claims that cancer disproves ID:

Evolutionism is systematic negation of reality and inversion of truth. So we must be prepared to listen to ever more unbelievable things from evolutionists. Here I will examine an example that seems particularly meaningful.

Cancer has universally been considered to be biological degeneration. Something in the cellular machinery goes wrong, a proliferation of defective cells grows, leading to a destructive dynamic in the diseased organism. It all starts in the genome, so cancer is an issue of bio-informatics, of programming. In fact, we learned recently that “Microsoft will ‘solve’ cancer within 10 years by ‘reprogramming’ diseased cells.”

Conceptually, bugs that start the cancer appear in the genomic program. Microsoft will try to fix them in the same way as it routinely fixes bugs in Windows or Office. This is fully an intelligent design scenario: A hardware-software system is designed, software shows malfunctions, the programmer patches the programs. It happens every day in the software industry.

Well. But there is Dr. Swamidass, who describes the situation in a different, somehow inverted way. He really reaches a new level of genius in the construction of absurdity! He writes:

If (1) evolutionary genetic tools correctly infer the progress and history of cancer, (2) cancer regularly innovates with proteins of novel function, (3) regularly exhibits convergence at a molecular level, and (4) all the mathematical of machinery of neutral theory works so well, THEN what magically prevents all these things from being true at the species level? This all cannot be true for cancer, but false for evolution. That is the real inconvenience [for intelligent design theory] here. […]

Put another way, if many ID arguments in molecular biology were true, then cancer as we know it would be mathematically impossible, or regularly require the direct intervention of God to initiate and be sustained. […] This casts serious doubt on the ID arguments from molecular biology.

Note how in (2) he tries to invert the truth: Cancer becomes something constructive, it “innovates”, it creates “novel function”. In (1)(3)(4) he in short says that cancer “evolves”, because it behaves according to evolutionary theory. That said he asks “What prevents all these things from being true at the species level?”; that is: cancer is constructive, cancer evolves, cancer happens, then origin of species by evolution is true; corollary: intelligent design is false. Bingo!

Here is how Swamidass succeeds in transforming a destructive process into a constructive system, and — in the same time — a proof of evolution and disproof of ID. Brilliant!

Unfortunately for his thesis, an avalanche also “evolves” like cancer, produces a “proliferation”, grows in size and destructive power, but never creates new buildings. Analogously, cancer cannot be an example of how evolution creates new species.

Moreover, if it were true that evolutionary theory describes cancer and cancer is not a producer of organization, then we can correctly deduce that evolutionary theory doesn’t explain the origin of species (eminently a form of organization). But Swamidass very carefully hides this deduction, which alone would destroy his argument.

He continues: “If many ID arguments in molecular biology were true, then cancer as we know it would be mathematically impossible”. To understand the absurdity of this affirmation, let’s translate it into informatics jargon (the field where Microsoft hopes to impact biology): “If ID arguments in informatics were true, then bugs would be mathematically impossible”.

Bugs mathematically impossible? in what world does Swamidass live?

All this shows how an evolutionist tries to mystify reality and use contrary evidences to promote Darwinian ideas. They are masters in inverting the truth. Somehow Swamidass reminds me of l Monod who wrote:

Indeed, it is legitimate to view the irreversibility of evolution [progress] as an expression of the second law in the biosphere.

Monod said exactly the opposite of the truth: the impossibility of evolution is an expression of the second law in the biosphere. After all, Monod and Swamidass share the same kind of error. The former says that entropy causes evolution, the latter says that genetic entropy (cancer) illustrates evolution and disproves ID. Birds of a feather flock together.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: ID theorists respond on “Cancer refutes intelligent design”


Rossiter on Swamidass: Goalposts? What goalposts? I don’t really know what to say here, because, as presented, the argument is entirely incoherent.

If the deadly, heart-breaking, disease of cancer is suppose to be some kind of evidence that Atheistic Darwinian evolution is true, then why is miraculous healing from deadly 'terminal' cancer not considered evidence that Christianity is true? Or does only that which brings death count as evidence in the Atheistic mindset?
-Documented Medical Miracle Healings - cancer http://documentedhealings.com/category/cancer-medical-miracle-healing/ Medical Miracles Really Do Happen Excerpt: No one knows exactly how often such cases occur. Approximately 3,500 medically documented cases of seeming miracles -- based on reports from doctors in America and around the world dating to 1967 -- have appeared in 800 peer-reviewed medical journals and cover all major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.* http://www.care2.com/news/member/818150751/443473
Supplemental notes:
Dr. Craig Keener, author of “Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts” discusses in this web series some of the trustworthy accounts of people being raised from the dead and people being healed of sicknesses from around the world. – video playlist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE6sDPPQ7WA&list=PLC900F8EEB62AE426&feature=plcp&context=C43901d1FDvjVQa1PpcFPmClYI6nDQbdabTL_qw7jCisfOqOmxOyU= Craig Keener - Miracle Reports in the Gospels and Today - lecture video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYBnJF2P_WQ
Here is a video that gives a short history of Christianity in China: Quote of note:
“..it is difficult to investigate the phenomenon of Christianity in China today without hearing stories of miraculous healings.” -David Aikman (‘Jesus in Beijing’) (40:00 minute mark) Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvgveawp4oY Veteran TIME magazine senior correspondent and Beijing bureau chief, Dr. David Aikman, details the story of China's enormously rapid conversion to Christianity and what this change means to the global balance of power. Eric Metaxas – Miracles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtsHFc2fHOI (GodWinks) SQuire Rushnell & daughter of Emmett Kelly on FOX & FRIENDS 6/16/13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvdkCJgRzEk&list=UUhhpzDrOSynYa9xPfNtbrqw
Some of y'all would do well to learn a little more about cancer. The development of a tumour is much more than something falling apart or an avalanche picking up speed. For a start, it requires gain of function mutations, and natural selection to spread those mutations... wd400
Let's say I have designed a robot; a very good one. As long and the owners of the robot follow the maintenance requirements, the robot will function well. Now, let's say the robot owners neglected the maintenance requirements or they expose the robot to the conditions the robot was not designed to function in and the robot deteriorates and eventually stops working... Is it the proof that I, the designer of the robot, don't exist? If one follows this path of logic, or rather illogical thinking, one arrives at Niwrad's lack of logical thinking... J-Mac
If a million monkeys wrote on the pages of every book in the British museum, would they be able to mess them up? hnorman5
Michael Behe's Challenge -- Past, Present, and Future - September 22, 2016 Excerpt: Did the Western nations solve Michael Behe's challenge? If so, they have a strange way of claiming success: "The proteins that form the bacterial flagellar system have no known homologs in eukaryotic cells. The eukaryotic flagellar [sic], based on a microtubule-containing axoneme, is vastly more complicated. In fact, the current estimate for the number of different proteins in the axoneme is ?425. In contrast, the archaeal flagellar system appears simpler than the bacterial one and can contain as few as 13 different proteins. As with the eukaryotic flagellar system, the archaeal one does not have homology with the bacterial one and must have arisen by means of convergent evolution." Ah yes, convergent evolution again. But think about what they say here. The "vastly more complicated" eukaryotic flagellum has no known commonalities with the bacterial flagellum, and the bacterial flagellum has no homolog in the archaeal flagellum: "In archaeal flagellins, however, no homology has yet been found outside of the N-terminal domain with any bacterial or eukaryotic proteins." Do they show any common ancestry between these motors? None. Are we to believe, then, that blind processes happened upon three naturalistic miracles independently? http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/michael_behes_c103159.html
Great post. hnorman5
Microsoft will try to fix them in the same way as it routinely fixes bugs in Windows or Office.
We are so screwed... EDTA
BA77 @4: Very interesting paper reference. Thank you for posting it here. Dionisio
Study unveils hidden molecular machinery in RNA processes - September 21, 2016 Excerpt: A special stretch of ribonucleic acid (RNA) called COOLAIR is revealing its inner structure and function to scientists, displaying a striking resemblance to an RNA molecular machine, territory previously understood to be limited to the cells' protein factory (the 'ribosome') and not a skill set given to mere strings of RNA.,,, "The first step is to find their 2-D structure, laying out the architectural designs of the full 3-D structure. So this is what the Los Alamos team did," Sanbonmatsu said. "Using biochemistry strategies borrowed from the ribosome field, we interrogated the 2-D structures of these RNAs and found they were loaded with highly intricate structures, not unlike the ribosome." http://phys.org/news/2016-09-unveils-hidden-molecular-machinery-rna.html
semi OT:
Atheism Is a Catastrophe for Science - Michael Egnor - September 20, 2016 Excerpt: Nature is governed by astonishingly complex and elegant physical laws, and the laws themselves are written in the language of abstract mathematics. In fact, theoretical physicists must often explore utterly new mathematical theories in order to explain the behavior of inanimate matter. After all, Newton discovered calculus in order to do physics. Heaviside (using Maxwell's equations) needed to develop the calculus of electromagnetic oscillators to understand alternating current electricity. Einstein (and his friend the mathematician Grossman) reinvented non-Euclidean geometry and tensor calculus to understand relativity. Heisenberg had to develop matrix mechanics to understand the quantum world. Dirac predicted the existence of anti-matter purely on the basis of mathematical considerations, and modern string theorists such as Edward Witten work at the cutting edge of mathematics. Black holes were predicted based on singularities in the tensor equations of relativity, and the Big Bang itself was discovered mathematically by Georges Lemaitre (a Catholic priest!) before it was detected empirically. It is astonishing (and beautiful) that the very retinaculum of the universe, from the subatomic world to the cosmos, is drawn in elegant abstract mathematics. The universe screams intelligent authority. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/09/atheism_is_a_ca103154.html
News, Here's one of gazillion examples available out there for the politely-dissenting PhD folks who might be confused about the nature of cancer and other feared diseases.
Many cancer cells contain a mutation that affects a gene that produces a protein called PTEN. This protein normally activates a tumor suppressor pathway, and so cancer cells that lack PTEN divide and grow uncontrollably.
The tumor suppressor PTEN and the PDK1 kinase regulate formation of the columnar neural epithelium Joaquim Grego-Bessa,1† Joshua Bloomekatz,1‡ Pau Castel,2 Tatiana Omelchenko,3 José Baselga,2,4 and Kathryn V Anderson eLife. 5: e12034. doi: 10.7554/eLife.12034
Please, let me know if the actively-arguing PhD folks still need help to understand this or to get more papers on the subject. Thank you. PS. Isn't a shame that an ignorant like me has to be used in order to teach such a highly educated professor about something that is so abundantly explained in the science literature out there? Actually, as academic professionals they should have more access to biology research papers than a commoner like me has. They can review even the papers hidden behind paywalls. Dionisio
Paraphrasing professor John Lennox, nonsense remains nonsense even if said by someone with a PhD title in front of his name. We've seen it here in more than one occasion. Cancer is a dreaded result of gross violations of the beautifully designed biological mechanisms, to the point that it can break the designed robustness of the affected systems. Had the biological systems not been robust, cancer and other fatal diseases would have wiped out the entire world population long ago. Had we remained in Eden, there wouldn't have been any cancer to fear. But the first lady listened to a lie, doubted the wise warning she had heard, and chose to act against it. She liked Sinatra's song 'my way'. To make things much worse, her stupid husband followed her and made the same foolish mistake. We know the rest of our messy history. We have screwed up ourselves, but still blame someone else for our misery. Really pathetic. Dionisio

Leave a Reply