Human evolution Intelligent Design

Adam ‘n Eve: Paul McBride responds to Ann Gauger

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In “Still Monkeys The ill-considered words of a Darwin impersonator” (July 18, 2012), Paul McBride responds to Ann Gauger, re his extended review of Science and Human Origins:

Over at the Biologic Institute, Gauger has given the first response from an author to my review of Science and Human Origins. Unfortunately, despite being cross-posted there and on ENV, comments on both forums are disabled so I shall make my response to her here.

In her response Gauger tells us:

Mr. McBride doesn’t like using cars as an example of design versus common descent, even though another evolutionary biologist once used it as an analogy for evolution. The car analogy was a throw-away comment in my piece, not intended as a serious model for anything.

So, an apparently flippant analogy is it the first issue she decides to defend. The chapter lacked a serious attempt to make the same point, so while the car analogy was brief it was clearly intended to make a point. Here’s what she wrote in Chapter 1:

For most biologists, similarity is assumed to confirm that humans and chimps are linked together by common ancestry. This assumption underlies all evolutionary reasoning. But note that similarity of structure or sequence cannot confirm common descent by itself. “Mustang” and “Taurus” cars have strong similarities, too, and you could argue that they evolved from a common ancestor, “Ford.” But the similarities between these cars are the result of common design, not common ancestry

My point in response – Gauger doesn’t actually quote anything I say, so I will have to – was quite straightforward:

Is the Ford example a fair assessment of similarity in biology? In fact, designed objects do not usually form a nested hierarchy in the way that species do under common descent. This is because there are fewer constraints on designed objects that there are on biological ones.

Hmmm. Are there really fewer constraints on designed objects? Some of us suspect McBride is wrong about that.

There are many constraints on (humanly) designed objects that would never apply in nature, whether the object is considered to be designed or not.

Your country may, for example, have a law against using Product A in the manufacture of a vehicle, because it is at war with the country that is the primary producer, so you must use Product B and pretend it is just as good, even though it isn’t. You may even be expected to help pay for advertising campaigns disseminating the false information that Product B is better. You may be forbidden to have women working at your plant because the national religion says that women should remain in the home, covered up, even though, historically, many positions in the industry have usually been staffed by women.

Wherever humans are the designers, there is a risk of irrelevant or irrational considerations becoming common and normal, considered as necessities. In fact, human design, when it works, is the best evidence for divine providence, rising above all the stupid noise. This is yer religion jaw fer the week, unless something better turns up.

See also: Ann, Darwinists dispute whatever they need to , like used car salesmen defending a lemon you bought.

More from Ann Gauger on wy humans didn’t happen the way Darwin said.

Science and Human Origins conclusion: It IS possible we came from just two parents

Adam and Eve could be real?: Genes’ introns and exons tell different stories here. Who to believe?

Adam and Eve possible?: Ayala’s contrary claim built in favourable assumptions

Breaking: Adam and Eve are scientifically possible

6 Replies to “Adam ‘n Eve: Paul McBride responds to Ann Gauger

  1. 1
    paulmc says:

    Any reason why you chose to cut off my quote in the middle there? The rest of the quote explains what I mean by those constraints – I was not saying that there are no constraints on human designed objects. I was saying that the constraints on biology that generate a nested hierarchy of species do not apply so easily to designed objects. The quote in full:

    Is the Ford example a fair assessment of similarity in biology? In fact, designed objects do not usually form a nested hierarchy in the way that species do under common descent. This is because there are fewer constraints on designed objects that there are on biological ones. When new technology arises–a safer braking system in a car, perhaps, or a faster processor in a mobile phone–it will make it into the top-of-the-line models no matter who makes them, but not into the cheaper ones. When this happens have all of the more expensive models become more ‘closely related’? This lack of independence between lineages means that they do not have single, reliable groupings and do not form a nested hierarchy. There is no biological analogue for this. In biology, for unrelated lines to share common, derived features, those features must evolve independently.

  2. 2
    ForJah says:

    What about patents? Wouldn’t that constitute as a constraint that isn’t found in the biological world? or does it?

  3. 3
    JoeCoder says:

    Thanks for posting this. I love following these debates.

    Perhaps next time it’s better to only link to the blog post instead of also trying to summarize it, so there’s no contention over what was and wasn’t quoted?

  4. 4
    paulmc says:

    JoeCoder, there is more to the debate yet! Both Ann and Doug have replied at the Biologic Institute site and I have also responded to their claims.

  5. 5
    Joe says:


    You have yet to demonstrate that you know what a nested hierarchy is. Species under common descent would not form a nested hierarchy based on shared traits. Gradual evolution would predict a blend of traits, ie a Venn diagram, n which an organism can belong to more than one set.

    And in the end just about anything can be placed into a nested hierarchy- it all depends on the criteria used to form the sets. And that means a nested hierarchy isn’t anything special.

    Linnean taxonomy is a nested hierarchy and was used as evidence for a common design until the evos stole it and changed it just a bit.

  6. 6
    wd400 says:


    Did you know that Linnaeus tried to classify minerals using a nested heirachy like this biological classification? And that it was abondened because it didn’t work? Why do you think that was.

    As I’ve said before, you’re Venn diagram business is wrong, and if you really think it’s right you should write a paper because it would upturn most of evolutionary biology and you’d win a lot of awards. But before you do that, you might want to think about what happens when you combine “gradual evolution” of traits, including neutral DNA variants, and the branching pattern that speciation creates…

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