Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Reproductive system shows design — Guliuzza

arroba Email

Dr. Guliuzza gives key arguments of detecting design in sexual reproduction, in contrast to evolution and order caused by natural law.
Creationist speaker makes case for intelligent design Dan Boyer, Michigan Tech Lode 03/25/2009
Dr. Randy Guliuzza

. . .asserted that he was not making an argument about design based on the absence of information but from form and function. “If reproduction isn’t fully functional right from the beginning there are no offspring” and nothing for natural selection to work on, he said. The first half of the lecture focused on the male reproductive system and fertilization. “Fertilization is a highly complex and coordinated sequence of events that is solid evidence of design,” Guliuzza asserted. He explained in great detail how the male and female chemical and hormonal parts of this process rely on the functioning of the other. . . .
The lecture’s second half mainly covered pregnancy. Guliuzza questioned the evolutionary explanation for fetal hormonal control over the “maternal organism.” He also presented the “delicate balance of maternal [and] fetal immune responses” as evidence of design. He pointed out that the mother’s immune system does not destroy an embryo with just a few cells. This would cause extinction of the human race. He also discussed the “initial protection after birth” maternal immunoglobulins provide the newborn.

Guliuzza’s argument, which he presented several times, was that if one part of the complex reproductive process breaks down, the entire system stops working. Such an interruption does not have another chance to right itself.

See Full Article

In his series “Exercise Your Wonder”Dr. Glicksman provides further details on the complexity of the reproductive system evidencing design. See:

Female Reproductive Function: The Way of Life (3.01.06) This month we look at female reproductive function in “The Way of Life” more…

Male Erectile Dysfunction: How Exactly Does Viagra Work? (12.01.05) Have you ever wondered what‘s in Viagra and how it does its job? Read this column and you’ll find out. But in the telling of the tale will be more questions for macroevolution. Join me in: Male Erectile Dysfunction: How Exactly Does Viagra Work? more …

Sex and the Single Gene: Becoming a Man is not as Easy as X+Y (09.01.05) This month we look at the complexity inherent in the sex determination and development of the human male. It’s not as simple as X and Y. Join me in Sex and the Single Gene. . .

DLH, that's a fascinating paper. According to a commenter at antievo, it "points out . . . how copy errors at the transcription and translation stages can allow neutral or even deleterious genotype mutations to ride along in a big enough population, until a second mutation comes along to make the pair of mutations advantageous. The phenotype fitness contains noise, instead of a pure and direct expression of the genotypic ideal fitness." Sounds like a direct challenge to Behe! No wonder he's writing responses. Strangely, he's criticizing it from the safe confines of his comment-free blog, where the readership is lay rather than scientific. Why not respond directly in an academically appropriate manner? After all, the journal allows readers to post comments right there. Behe should take that opportunity if he wants a real debate. David Kellogg
Michael Behe comments on a recent paper addressing this issue of two mutations:
Contrast those assurances with a recent paper that addresses “the old enigma [my italics] of the evolution of complex features in proteins that require two or more mutations.” Those words (reminiscent of the title of my 2004 paper in Protein Science with David Snoke, “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues,” which is cited by the recent paper) were written by the prominent bioinformatician (and no friend of ID) Eugene Koonin in his review of the paper, “The look-ahead effect of phenotypic mutations” (Whitehead, D. J., et al. 2008, Biol. Direct 3:18). (Reviews are published along with papers on the Biology Direct web site.) Old enigma? Old enigma? Who knew that evolving just a couple of interactive amino acid residues was a long-standing mystery? Someone should tell Carroll and Coyne....
Referring to: The look-ahead effect of phenotypic mutations Dion J Whitehead et al. DLH
David Kellogg
I will point out in passing that evidence for sexual reproduction is quite abundant.
No question! What is lacking is evidence as to neo-Darwinian evolutionary origins thereto. More the problem is the experimental evidence and probability of mutations occurring. Agree on "simultaneously" within Behe's description of both occurring in the same cell or organism. (Not both mutations happening "simultaneously" the same instant). Your ad hominem objections over Guliuzza do not address the substance of the quote. Read and address Dr. Glicksman's articles and questions: From: Female Reproductive Function: The Way of Life
WHAT!!! ME (macroevolution) WORRY?? Even a casual look at all of the interdependent factors that are necessary for female reproductive function and fertility shows that they are irreducibly complex in that without any one of them, the whole system fails. Without GnRH to stimulate the pituitary, the gonadotropins, FSH and LH would not be released. And without FSH and LH, ovulation would not take place and the ovarian hormones, estrogen and progesterone, would not be present to stimulate proliferation and maturation of the lining of the uterus. And let’s not forget the need for the four specific receptors for FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone, in order for each of these hormones to even have an effect. One must also keep in mind that the mere presence of the hormones and their respective receptors does not fully explain how ovulation and implantation of the embryo takes place. Don’t forget that there is a constant feedback of these different hormones on the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus which ultimately affects GnRH, FSH and LH secretion. How do these glands actually monitor these hormones and how do they know what to do to allow for proper reproductive function? One needs to consider the changing sensitivity of each secreting organ to a given concentration of hormone within a given density of hormone receptors. And of course, one needs to remember that in the follicular phase with low estrogen levels, FSH/LH is suppressed, but just prior to ovulation, as the estrogen level peaks it now miraculously does the exact opposite by causing a positive feedback resulting in the LH surge without which ovulation would not take place. Certainly in order for macroevolution to even make any sense at all, evolutionary biologists must be able to explain how these components came together in progressively functioning systems over time to allow for adequate fertility within a living organism. Such concepts as detection, sensitivity, response, regulation, and function; to most experienced people would point to a “mind at work” “an intellect that has a plan”. Scientific fields such as Archaeology and Forensics that are dependent on human experience and judgment to make logical predictions and determinations about the likelihood of intelligent agency demonstrate practical examples of how detection of intelligent design can apply to scientific endeavors. Evolutionary biologists would seem to have defined the possibility of intelligent design right out of their discipline by determining beforehand that this universal experience is not considered valid. So rather than having to explain the inconsistencies contained within the dogma of neoDarwinism with what we know to be the truth about how life works, they simply choose to ignore it and count it out of consideration a priori. As many people have wondered: “Why is answering the question “Is this designed?” Science if answered in the negative but religion if answered in the affirmative?” Answer: “This is only true when considering the narrow and highly speculative enterprise of “origin science” due to a materialistic bias.
From: Male Erectile Dysfunction: How Exactly Does Viagra Work?
As my previous columns have similarly highlighted, the hydraulic system for adequate penile erection to allow for human sexual reproduction and survival of the species is irreducibly complex at both the gross anatomy and neurophysiological levels. All of the components mentioned above require a detailed explanation of not only their genetic coding and biomolecular construction, but also their having come together as a functioning system. But the task presented here; of explaining how and why Viagra works for erectile dysfunction, should make one pause and consider another level of complexity that goes far beyond mere components coming together to perform a function. Notwithstanding the science fiction of “indirect Darwinian pathways” to explain the latter, what I’m referring to here is the complexity of survival capacity which I spoke about in my column on hemoglobin last year. When considering what we know to be necessary for adequate erectile function, it is evident that only trying to explain where the individual parts came from and how they came together to function is woefully insufficient to explain this vital function for human survival. One must also consider such things as: 1. What concentration of neurotransmitter is present for a given amount of stimulation? 2. What degree of neurotransmitter activity is necessary for adequate NO production? 3. What degree of NO concentration is necessary for adequate cGMP production? 4. What degree of cGMP concentration is needed for adequate vasodilation? 5. What amount of PDE 5 activity allows for adequate but not prolonged erection? For the mere existence of parts should not assume a system of function, and the mere existence of a functioning system should not assume adequate capacity for survival.
From: Sex and the Single Gene: Becoming a Man is not as Easy as X+Y
The ability for humans to be able to reproduce is dependent on having a male and female of the species. It has been clearly demonstrated that the human embryo by default is destined to become female unless it is acted upon by several biomolecules acting together through specific receptors contained in the primordial undifferentiated cells that are to become the male reproductive system. At a minimum, the absence of any one of these proteins; such as the TDF, DMRT-1, testosterone and each of the multiple enzymes necessary for its formation, the androgen receptor, AMH and the AMH receptor, and 5alpha-reductase, results in the development of either a female phenotype, or a male that is impotent and infertile. Either way, reproduction as we know it, resulting in the continuation of any species leading up to homo sapiens, would be physically impossible and the idea that only natural selection acting on random variation could explain human evolution would literally be dead. If I were a student of Science and were aware of all of what has been placed here before me, I would have several questions that need answers from the Darwinists of our time before I would be convinced of the truthfulness of their theory. Here’s a few of them. * Rather than just noting that other more primitive organisms have similar embryonic structures as precursors for similar reproductive systems, please explain; how these more primitive structures came into being in the first place; what additional genetic changes must have taken place to allow for this development; and where did this new genetic material come from ? Be specific as to how these complicated tissues came into being through the formation and organization of very complex macromolecules. * Even though it is evident that similar organisms use similar trigger mechanisms, such as DMRT-1, to differentiate primordial tissue into the male line, how did this come about, and given the fact that there are many other different factors required, most of which have yet to be determined, how can one be so certain, scientifically, that they came about by the random forces of nature, when it is evident that all of them are needed for proper function? How did each system work every step along the way without what we know to be the necessary proteins that are needed for this function? * There are many enzymes that are encoded on many different chromosomes that are necessary for adequate testosterone production, and it has been demonstrated that absent the proper function of any one of these, that male reproduction is impossible. How then could such a system have developed while remaining functional to allow for the propagation and transmission of genetic material to subsequent generations? * Both testosterone and dihydrotestosterone are vital for the development of a human male that is capable of reproduction. But their ability to accomplish this is dependent on the presence of both, a properly functioning androgen receptor, and the enzyme 5alpha- reductase. How could the continued survival of each progenitor of the hominid species have taken place without the present system and describe how each innovation was incorporated into an intermediate primordial one. * AMH and the AMH receptor are vital for the proper development of a human male that is capable of reproduction. How were these proteins incorporated over time into what is presently understood as the process of male sexual development of the human embryo? How did the prior system(s) function without either, or both, of these proteins, to allow for adequate fertility? It is my contention that the evidence put forth by Darwinists to “prove” macroevolution; that the complexity and diversity of all life has come about entirely by the random forces of nature without an intelligent agent at work; is at best, circumstantial. They have simply seen similar structures within various organisms of differing complexity and have concluded that because reproduction takes place that this is sufficient to explain their development over time. Along the way, except to those who, a priori, accept, or must accept, Darwinism as dogma, they have, in my opinion, neglected to sufficiently explain; * the organization of mere chemicals into DNA and a complex functioning cell, * the organization of cells into a multi-system organism with a complex body plan, and, * the fact that the biomolecular basis of life, as just one example of thousands or more demonstrated here, is dependent on irreducibly complex systems each consisting of numerous specific proteins, acting on specific cells, by way of specific receptors No one refutes that natural selection acting on random variation does have an effect on species development. But, based on what we know about how life works, and more importantly, how easy it is for disease, dysfunction, and death to muck up the works, is it even reasonable to assume what Darwinists foist upon the public? As best expressed by Dr. Wm Dembski: “The central claim of evolutionary biology is that an unguided physical process is sufficient to account for the emergence of biological complexity and diversity.” “Intelligent design” as per Dr. Dembski, “is the science that studies signs of intelligence. Note that a sign is not the thing signified. Intelligent Design does not try to get into the mind of a designer and figure out what a designer is thinking. Its focus is not designer’s mind but the artifact.” If you were walking down a deserted beach and suddenly saw the letters H-E-L-P etched in the sand, is it likely that you would think it came about solely by the random forces of nature? No, and if you didn’t bother looking around to see who needed help I think that an alibi based on your conclusion that this was not a “mind” at work, a “mind” that needed assistance, would make you at best, look the fool, and at worst, a pariah. But if you found the letters H-L-E-P instead: would you now be more inclined to think that this could not have been the work of intelligent design, because although you could figure out what it probably meant, it wasn’t arranged in a way that you thought was proper? I doubt it. For if the person making the marks were expressing themselves in an unknown language or code, you would not be able to discern the correctness of the message, but your intellect would alert you to the fact that a “mind” was indeed at work. This is one of the arguments put forth by many Darwinists to try to refute intelligent design. In essence they are saying that life could not have had any intelligent agent involved in its development because it didn’t come about the way they would have done it, or it’s not what they would have expected. When we decide that something likely has had an intelligence involved in its making, a mind at work, we recognize something that to us has meaning, function, or aesthetic value, such as a message, a machine, or a beautiful painting. And that this could only exist by something or someone having chosen this particular pattern over a multitude of possibilities: like the imposition of the letters H-E-L-P, or the parts of a car, or the oil pigments on canvas. So when we distinguish between naturally occurring events and intelligently caused ones we do it by using our minds to detect some sort of information, pattern, useful function, or design, that means something to us. You see, it takes one to know one. You have to have an intellect to be able to detect intelligent design. But we and our children are supposed to believe this paradox spun out by evolutionary biologists. That the very intellect that each of us possesses, which gives us the capacity to detect intelligence, came about by the unguided random forces of nature; forces that all experience tells us can’t produce anything that is considered intellectually significant. Ideas have consequences. We all are human and have philosophical and ideological models that we follow in life. Scientists who continue to expound dogmatically on the truth of macroevolution, without at least admitting to the weaknesses of their claims, while showing no appreciation for its effects on our culture, at best, are ignorant of the human heart and mind, and at worst, are being disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.
Let us know when you have seriously grappled with each of these phenomena and questions and are not just parroting the party line. DLH
DLH [13], this comment is likely to take a while to show up, as I'm in pointless moderation. But I notice that you cut out a crucial part of my sentence:
if sexual reproduction has a history, focusing only on reproduction in one current species says nothing against evolution.
The part you didn't quote (emphasized) has relevance for the meaning. I will point out in passing that evidence for sexual reproduction is quite abundant. :-) You write,
See Behe, Edge of Evolution, on the probability of just two mutations occurring is on the order of 1 in 10^20 - AFTER you have a self reproducing functioning cell.
Add "simultaneously" after "occurring" and we might have a conversation. That conversation would start with a discussion of how Behe in particular (and ID in general) sets up the problem. We'll have to disagree about the alleged superiority of physicians to basic research scientists in relevant fields. I have a hard time thinking that Guiluzza's evaluation of evidence is to be trusted. As he's straight-up young-earth creationist, he's shown himself to be drastically wrong on one scientific issue after another. Why should I find him credible on this? David Kellogg
David Kellog at 10
focusing only on reproduction in one current species says nothing against evolution.
If it won't work by evolution in one species, it won't work in any other. Evolution to be credible, has to show statistically credible evidence for: 1) Abiogenesis, and then for 2) Sexual reproduction. 3) Formation of species with complex body parts. etc. To date, the evidence presented is for small changes within existing species combined with a lot of hand waving "just so stories" for abiogenesis and macro evolution. See Behe, Edge of Evolution, on the probability of just two mutations occurring is on the order of 1 in 10^20 - AFTER you have a self reproducing functioning cell. Those statistics are based on the best empirical published evidence. There is not the remotest statistical probability for any of developments 1-3 above which require at least hundreds and typically thousands of genes, each of which may have 250 bp.
DLH [6], I don’t see why physicians should be presumed to have some sort of special authority to speak about evolution.
The primary reason is that they have focused their professional careers on failures of biochemical function. They are intimately familiar with the very serious consequences of mutations. By contrast evolutionists have financial incentives to dismiss problems of mutations and focus on how the visible complexity "might" have occurred. Plausable "just so stories" are much more likely to get funded then Scrouge like evidence disproving the ruling paradigm. DLH
@10. If you're going to make a list, make sure to chuck these in: -Adaptive immune System -Birth {i.e. the events of the first breath, embryonic development to create a negative pressure in the pleural cavity to promote breathing, switching from joint mother-child blood circulation to self-circulation and collapsing of the Ductus Arteriosus} shortly after birth, etc etc etc). -Any system {e.g. endocrine, cardio-pulmonary} with both negative and positive feedback mechanisms (which is every single one to my knowledge). "Argument from wonder"? No - these things simply don't work unless all the parts are in place from the start (and of course any sort of thinking in this spirit is wasteful unless we establish that DNA could have even evolved in the first place. But for the sake of argument...) Avonwatches
Is there a list somewhere of the biological features for which no viable intermediate stage of development is seen in nature? If there is, cellular division needs to be at the top of this. EvilSnack
JGuy [5], so what? So what because if sexual reproduction has a history, focusing only on reproduction in one current species says nothing against evolution. DLH [6], I don't see why physicians should be presumed to have some sort of special authority to speak about evolution. The PSSI is a Discovery Institute project, but there's no mention of the DI on their "about us" page. In politics that's known as an "astroturf" organization (for "fake grassroots"). David Kellogg
It appears that Physicians and Surgeons who are most intimately aware of the complexities of the human body DLH, that statement led me to consider something else that recently happened Lutheran Bishop Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Climate Change The crowd that mocks clergy for speaking out on matters of science which they opposed, praise them for speaking on matters of science which they support. Then they dismiss those with expertise in the area of consideration if they don't like what they say i.e. the doctors you cited or with regard to global warming William Gray or Fred Singer tribune7
Pendulum at 2
It seems Dr Guliuzza has proven that the human reproductive system necessitates ID if it was created all at once.
I think you have it backwards. Guliuzza held:
"If reproduction isn’t fully functional right from the beginning there are no offspring” and nothing for natural selection to work on, he said.
The inference is both that it could not gradually accumulate parts over time and that it had to be designed. DLH
JGuy refers to:
Isn't it nice when things just - work?
Honda Ad That is a very creative application of Rube Goldberg's methods. This degree of imaginative complexity pales in comparison to the human body! DLH
It appears that Physicians and Surgeons who are most intimately aware of the complexities of the human body, are most skeptical about its formation by evolution. About 60% have been found to doubt Darwin. The Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI) has compiled a list of Physicians and Surgeons who Dissent from Darwinism Representing mover 270 members in 17 countries. Dr. Geoffrey Simmons, internal medicine and PSSI board member has written: What Darwin Didn't Know with 80 examples of design. He goes into genetic details in Billions of Missing Links". DLH
David Kellog @ 1
I gather than he argued primarily from wonder and exclusively with reference to humans.
Even though he might have gave a sense of marvel, it was pretty clear that his argument was irreducible complexity. Besides, it stands to reason that one might marvel amidst something beautifully constructed. Reminds me somewhat of the Honda commercial with the series of something like 20 gadgets and devices set up, and all very delicately balanced, to seqeuntially trigger each other until, at the end, an electric fan and popsicle stick contraption, or whatever it was, turns the key to start the car with radio on some catch tune. So..if one were to describe that system to the public..and show how it was designed...and at the same time give a sense of wonder...then should we...ignore the argument? or Side step it?
[...] and exclusively with reference to humans.
So what? JGuy
DonaldM, my fault. It should read:
Using “quotations straight from medical school texts” as evidence is a great way to evoke wonder, but it’s a lousy way to talk about the state of scientific research.
David Kellogg
Using “quotations straight from medical school texts” as evidence is a great way to evoke wonder, but it’s a way to talk about the state of scientific research.
David, this sentence doesn't make sense as is. Did you leave out a word or something? I can't tell what you were trying to say. DonaldM
It seems Dr Guliuzza has proven that the human reproductive system necessitates ID if it was created all at once. How does he explain the diverse (and yet inter-related) systems of reproduction we see across the living world? They should all show forth the glory of ID, right? And their patterns of relatedness also? And their problems, pain and death rates, the same? We've been through these arguments with the eye a bazillion times. Does switching to another somatic system make them better? Pendulum
From the article, which is sympathetic to Guliuzza, I gather than he argued primarily from wonder and exclusively with reference to humans. And of course human reproduction is amazing. But there is a fair amount of ongoing research on the evolution of sexual reproduction. Using “quotations straight from medical school texts” as evidence is a great way to evoke wonder, but it's a way to talk about the state of scientific research. David Kellogg

Leave a Reply