Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Paul Nelson on why building animals is hard

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Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson (right) has just published an explanation of problems in “The Logic of Development, Common Descent, and the Origin of Animal Body Plans” (as a tour of the history of the topic):

We stand at a remarkable period in the history of biology, whose features were diagnosed by T.S. Kuhn:

“The proliferation of competing articulations, the willingness to try anything, the expression of explicit discontent, the recourse to philosophy and to debate over fundamentals, all these are symptoms of a transition from normal to extraordinary research.” The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1970, p. 91)

Let’s begin with Gerd Müller’s opening talk at the Royal Society Extended Evolutionary Synthesis meeting… on 7 November 2016, where he argued that standard evolutionary theory (abbreviated SET) failed to explain central phenomena in biology. More.

Here’s the .pdf

Standard evolutionary theory (usually known as Darwinism) makes it easier for an incurious teacher to stumble from one school year to the next. No wonder educrats hate people like Paul Nelson for messing with it, right or wrong.

16 Replies to “Paul Nelson on why building animals is hard

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    You’re too hard on teachers. Many of them are aware of real science, but they’re MORE aware that they need to eat and pay rent and continue teaching. School admins know that one lawsuit from ACLU will destroy the school.

    (Now that schools have cheerfully committed suicide “because virus”, none of these old issues matter. It’s all completely pointless and futile.)

  2. 2
    Blastus says:

    It is taking me some time to read through these slides, but the presentation appears persuasive. Thank you for posting this. I will be interested to see how those commentators holding contrary viewpoints respond.

  3. 3
    Blastus says:

    There is no response.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    If you are actually interested in the theory of evolution rather than creationist philosopher Paul Nelson’s strawman version, there is plenty of evidence out there. You can start with the Talk Origins Archive. If you are interested.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    Polistra @ 1

    You’re too hard on teachers.

    That’s exactly what students, parents and school administrators are in some parts of the country, to the point where teachers are intimidated into not even mentioning the word “evolution” and some openly teach creationism in the science classroom.

    If those parents object to their children being taught a scientific theory which they believe is not consistent with their faith, imagine how I would feel about my children being force-fed religious beliefs which neither they nor I share. And in the science classroom, for Mog’s sake!

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Sev:

    to the point where teachers are intimidated,,,
    “imagine how I would feel about my children being force-fed religious beliefs which neither they nor I share. And in the science classroom, for Mog’s sake!”

    Seversky is upset about teachers being censored or fired for not toeing the Darwinian line and is also upset about his children been force fed the science free religion of Darwinism????

    Censoring the Darwin Skeptics: How Belief in Evolution Is Enforced by Eliminating Dissidents (Slaughter of the Dissidents) Paperback – May 17, 2018
    This is the third volume of a trilogy that has been more than a decade in the making. The trilogy documents over 100 cases of discrimination handed out to individuals (60 of whom were PhDs) who dared to challenge Darwinian concepts within many venues of science and academia. For those who think this type of discrimination is minor or inconsequential, you should examine this work. This type of discrimination is not rare by any means in America, but has been constantly on the rise for decades. It represents nothing less than the brutal violation of freedom of speech, thought, and religious freedom for those who are qualified to practice in their field. Over and over again the clear pattern emerges from the pages of this trilogy – you are at high risk of career termination if you dare question much less oppose evolutionary concepts. Other books in this trilogy include Slaughter of the Dissidents (Volume I) and Silencing the Darwin Skeptics (Volume II)
    https://www.amazon.com/Silencing-Darwin-Skeptics-Slaughter-Dissidents/dp/0981873480/ref=pd_bxgy_3/146-8047996-0335463

    Anti-Science Irony
    Excerpt: In response to a letter from Asa Gray, professor of biology at Harvard University, Darwin declared: “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”
    When questioned further by Gray, Darwin confirmed Gray’s suspicions: “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.” Darwin had turned against the use of scientific principles in developing his theory of evolution.
    http://www.darwinthenandnow.co.....nce-irony/

    In fact, in his book ‘Origin”, instead of any actual experimentation or mathematics, (in fact Darwin found mathematics to be ‘repugnant’), Darwin instead relied mainly on flawed theological argumentation in order to try to make his case for evolution

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Oh wait, Seversky was talking about Christianity, not the science free religion of Darwinian evolution being taught in science classrooms: But no one teaches Christianity in science classrooms, Some teacher ‘try’ to teach some of the many fatal flaws in Darwinian theory and are intimidated and/or fired.

    Frankly, personally I think it would be VERY good and proper to mention, in science classrooms, the historical and scientific fact that all of science was born out of, and is predicated on, Theistic, even Christian, presuppositions:

    “All the early scientists, like Newton, were religious in one way or another. They saw their science as a means of uncovering traces of God’s handiwork in the universe. What we now call the laws of physics they regarded as God’s abstract creation: thoughts, so to speak, in the mind of God. So in doing science, they supposed, one might be able to glimpse the mind of God – an exhilarating and audacious claim.”
    – Paul Davies
    http://ldolphin.org/bumbulis/

    Taking Science on Faith – By PAUL DAVIES – NOV. 24, 2007
    Excerpt: All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.
    ,,, the very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. Christians envisage God as upholding the natural order from beyond the universe, while physicists think of their laws as inhabiting an abstract transcendent realm of perfect mathematical relationships.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11.....avies.html

    Louis Agassiz and the National Academy’s Secret
    Robert F. Shedinger – May 13, 2020
    Excerpt: Agassiz quickly recognized the absence of a good natural history museum in America, and set about developing the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Through the force of his considerable personality, Agassiz acquired specimens from all over the world and dedicated his life to making the museum one that could rival the great museums of Europe.
    A Singular Force
    But Agassiz wasn’t done. America had no national scientific society to rival the Royal Society of London or the French Academy of Sciences. So with the help of several colleagues, he lobbied Congress to establish the National Academy of Sciences, a feat accomplished on March 3, 1863 when Abraham Lincoln signed the Academy into law with Agassiz by his side ,,,
    Then, Guyot makes clear that his estimation of Agassiz is not based on a denial of his thoughts on common design:

    “Nature was his main teacher. From her he knew God as a personal mind; all wise, all powerful. Each specific form or plant or animal was to him a thought of God. The life system was God’s connected system of thought, realized by His power in time and space. These forms were not the result of blind physical forces.”

    No one holding views like Agassiz’s would be so eulogized in the hallowed halls of establishment science today.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/05/louis-agassiz-and-the-national-academys-secret/

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    As to:

    “Nature was his (Agassiz’s) main teacher. From her he knew God as a personal mind; all wise, all powerful. Each specific form or plant or animal was to him a thought of God. The life system was God’s connected system of thought, realized by His power in time and space. These forms were not the result of blind physical forces.”

    It is interesting to note that Agassiz’s belief that “Each specific form or plant or animal was to him a thought of God” has now, today, some pretty impressive scientific evidence behind it.

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Darwinists simply have no clue how any type of organism might achieve it unique form and/or unique shape, much less do they have a clue how one unique organismal form might transmutate into another organismal form

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: But there are solid empirical grounds for arguing that changes in DNA alone cannot produce new organs or body plans. A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12. None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–,,,
    (As Jonathan Wells states),,, We can modify the DNA of a fruit fly embryo in any way we want, and there are only three possible outcomes:
    A normal fruit fly;
    A defective fruit fly; or
    A dead fruit fly.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    Whereas, on the other hand, Theists have a ready answer as to how biological form is achieved

    February 2020 – So just where is this massive amount of ‘positional’ information coming from in a developing embryo if it cannot possibly be contained within the DNA of the fertilized egg of a human?
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/mike-egnor-vs-jerry-coyne-on-how-consciousness-evolved/#comment-692666

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 6

    Seversky is upset about teachers being censored or fired for not toeing the Darwinian line and is also upset about his children been force fed the science free religion of Darwinism????

    If you are unable to distinguish between science and religion then, presumably, you regard quantum mechanics as a faith. You clearly believe it supports your religious presuppositions.

    I am outraged that most high school science teachers are intimidated into not mentioning a current scientific theory such as evolution – whether you agree with it or not – while a small minority of science teachers are openly proselytizing their faith in the science classroom which is a blatant breach of their contractual obligations and teaching ethics.

    In fact, in his book ‘Origin”, instead of any actual experimentation or mathematics, (in fact Darwin found mathematics to be ‘repugnant’), Darwin instead relied mainly on flawed theological argumentation in order to try to make his case for evolution

    Darwin knew full well he was presenting his theory to what was at that time – at least superficially – a religiose society. His theological references can be explained as attempts to anticipate and head off criticism he expected from some quarters.

    If you and Dilley really believe that Darwin’s theological arguments are essential components of his theory then you should be able to strip them out of Origins and show that his case falls apart. I am certain that neither of you can or will.

    Oh wait, Seversky was talking about Christianity, not the science free religion of Darwinian evolution being taught in science classrooms: But no one teaches Christianity in science classrooms, Some teacher ‘try’ to teach some of the many fatal flaws in Darwinian theory and are intimidated and/or fired.

    Once again:

    The majority of high-school biology teachers don’t take a solid stance on evolution with their students, mostly to avoid conflicts, and fewer than 30 percent of teachers take an adamant pro-evolutionary stance on the topic, a new study finds. Also, 13 percent of these teachers advocate creationism in their classrooms.

    […]

    The data was collected from 926 nationally representative participants in the National Survey of High School Biology Teachers, which polled them on what they taught in the classroom and how much time they spent on each subject. They also noted the teachers’ personal feelings on creationism and evolution.

    Only 28 percent of high-school biology teachers followed the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences recommendations on teaching evolution, which include citing evidence that evolution occurred and teaching evolution thematically, as a link between various biology topics.

    […]

    In comparison, 13 percent of the teachers said they “explicitly advocate creationism or intelligent design by spending at least one hour of class time presenting it in a positive light.” These are mostly the same group of teachers (about 14 percent) who personally reject the idea of evolution and the scientific method, and believe that God created humans on Earth in their present form less than 10,000 years ago. (That 14 percent included teachers’ personal beliefs, regardless of whether they taught these in the classroom.)

    [My emphases]

    You may find that acceptable as it comports with what appear to be your theocratic tendencies but I don’t.

    Frankly, personally I think it would be VERY good and proper to mention, in science classrooms, the historical and scientific fact that all of science was born out of, and is predicated on, Theistic, even Christian, presuppositions:

    I am happy for the history of science to be taught in the science classroom but not the narrow, Christian exclusivist version which ignores the science done elsewhere in the world before the faith emerged. If that is what Paul Davies is actually claiming then – much as I have enjoyed his popular science books – I think he’s wrong in that respect.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 7

    It is interesting to note that Agassiz’s belief that “Each specific form or plant or animal was to him a thought of God” has now, today, some pretty impressive scientific evidence behind it.

    Agassiz’s personal religious beliefs are not science nor do they have any support from science.

    It’s also a bit rich that Darwin should have apologized for his naturalistic theory to a man who held such beliefs when it should really have been the other way around.

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,

    So they are saying that the properties of the macroscopic world cannot be derived from the observed properties of the quantum level of physical reality?

    So the inference that a quantum system exists in a superposition of all possible states until observed, at which point it settles into just one of the possible values, does not scale up to the claim that, at the macroscopic level of physical reality, nothing exists unless we are looking at it?

    Darwinists simply have no clue how any type of organism might achieve it unique form and/or unique shape, much less do they have a clue how one unique organismal form might transmutate into another organismal form

    Animals that live in very cold environments have thick fur coats and/or thick layers of subcutaneous fat. Animals that swim in the sea have systems for extracting oxygen from seawater. Animals that live on land have lungs to extract oxygen from the air.

    By selective breeding we can modify the morphology of chosen species to grow more fur or lean muscle tissue or produce more milk.

    We have found fossil sequences such as that of the whales which are strong evidence for change of form over time.

    Evolutionary biologists have a good idea of how animals can change form over time in response to environmental influences both internal and external.

    Whereas, on the other hand, Theists have a ready answer as to how biological form is achieved

    The only theistic explanation is that “God did it”. They have absolutely no idea of how their God – assuming He exists – actually did it.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Funny. I’ve never heard of a single Darwinist ever being fired for teaching his unscientific religion is science class, but I have heard of numerous instances of Teachers being fired, (i.e. excommunicated), for merely questioning the science free religion of Darwinism in science class:

    Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (full movie)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5EPymcWp-g

    With such a double standard that you are employing Seversky, it is certainly hard for me to take your (fake) outrage seriously.

    i.e. Where is your outrage at the Gestapo tactics of Darwinists???

    Frankly such Gestapo tactics from Darwinists are the antithesis of the open inquiry that is required for people to do good science in the first place.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky at 9 tried to address the evidence I presented at 7.

    He failed.

    I’ll let unbiased readers decide if he was even in the ballpark.

  12. 12
    ET says:

    LoL! @ seversky- Evolutionary biologists don’t even know what makes an animal an animal. they don’t have any idea what makes a cat a cat. All they know is that a kitten is born after a successful mating of a she cat with a tom.

    Your entire position isn’t science. Your cluelessness is priceless.

  13. 13
    ET says:

    seversky:

    If those parents object to their children being taught a scientific theory which they believe is not consistent with their faith,…

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution to teach. Clearly you are either deluded or just a liar.

  14. 14
    martin_r says:

    to Seversky & the other Darwinian clowns

    “If you are actually interested in the theory of evolution…
    …. You can start with the Talk Origins Archive. ”

    Seversky, does the Darwinian or any other theory of evolution explains how an animal is built ?
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ????
    HOW MANY TIME SHOULD I ASK YOU – WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION ????

    i am not sure if you Darwinian clowns realize that, but building an animal (or a tree) is a fully automated process … (no assembly workers needed, no material suppliers needed) ….

    THIS IS AN ENGINEERING SCI-FI !!!

  15. 15
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: i am not sure if you Darwinian clowns realize that, but building an animal (or a tree) is a fully automated process … (no assembly workers needed, no material suppliers needed) ….

    THIS IS AN ENGINEERING SCI-FI !!!

    Yeah, it is pretty cool isn’t it? Kind of like the way you were built isn’t it? You started out as two haploid cells, they met and formed a single diploid cell and divided and divided and divided, forming different tissues and organs and functions. After about nine months you were able to breathe on your own and eat when presented with food. Giver or take another eighteen years or so you were pretty much complete. And then you started that slow, inevitable slide to oblivion.

    And just think: somewhere between a quarter to a third of zygotes don’t even get to the being born stage. Maybe they had deleterious mutations, maybe their mother had some nasty disease or habit. Maybe a piano fell on them while still in the womb. And then there are a few that don’t make it to adulthood; some disease (like Malaria or Polio or Diphtheria or Ebola or TB or Rubella) or or accident or mental problem overwhelms them and they’re out of the gene pool. Maybe they were just born into a poor African family that has a really bad water supply and no medical care. And you don’t have Down’s Syndrome or Lupus or severe asthma or MS or MD or Leukaemia or a huge variety of other congenital conditions that can kill or severely limit life and the quality of life.

    Yes, if you’re old enough to own the computer you’re using to write on this forum you are definitely one of the lucky ones. Your genes are pretty good, your place of rearing was pretty good, you were pretty lucky growing up, you ended up getting a job that pays the bills, you learned to read and write (not everyone get’s that privilege).

    How to build a successful human adult; who knew so many attempts would fall by the wayside eh? Oh well, too bad things weren’t designed a bit better eh? There seems to be a lot of wastage in the system. And that’s just now, that’s just the way it happens at the present. Considering the millions and millions of years it took to get here . . . . lots and lots and lots and lots of bodies. We live on soil built up by the corpses of our antecedents. It took a huge number of deaths, billions and billions, just to get the planet ready for us.

    An engineering miracle? Or a hit-and-miss process that continues to miss a good portion of the time?

  16. 16
    ET says:

    Your hit or miss process was exposed in “Waiting for TWO Mutations”. Seems it can’t do much beyond muck things up.

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