Intelligent Design

Allmon and Ross Demolish Evolution

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Last time we saw, in a new paper, evolutionists Warren Allmon and Robert Ross reformulate the argument for evolution from homologous structures. The paper makes several mistakes, but is important because it is a rare case of evolutionists (i) recognizing the religion in evolutionary thinking, and (ii) trying to do something about it. In this case the religion is in the claim that God would nothave created non optimal homologies (such as vestigial structures). Allmon and Ross attempt to remove the religion by restating the claim as: God did not have to create such homologies. It is good that evolutionists are finally recognizing the religion, after having been in denial for so many years. But Allmon and Ross’ solution fails on several counts.

The first failure of Allmon and Ross’ solution is that it strips the power of the argument. The traditional religious arguments (i.e., God would not create those structures) at least had the virtue of providing a strong argument for evolution. Granted it was a religious argument, and granted one had to agree with that particular religion. And granted it ignored the problems of process and pattern (more below on that). And granted it turned evolution into, as Elliott Sober hinted, a “Lewis Carroll world in which down is up,” because the argument required evidence that is unlikely on evolution. The more unlikely, the better. Such is the logic of evolution’s religion. But after all those caveats, at least it provided a strong argument for evolution.

With design refuted, evolution had to be true, no matter how many problems it had. But with Allmon and Ross’ reformulation, design is not refuted. Now the advantage for evolution is not that the alternative is false or even highly unlikely, but that the alternative does not specify what we observe whereas evolution does. Allmon and Ross triumphantly conclude their new formulation is a powerful argument for evolution. They apparently think their reformulation is merely a minor tweak, and that their new argument is just as strong as the traditional argument. It isn’t. There is no free lunch. What Allmon and Ross fail to understand is that this is a much weaker argument.

But it gets worse.

The second failure of Allmon and Ross’ solution is that it never did get rid of the religion as they had hoped. Allmon and Ross naively assume that the claim God may or may not create these homologies is merely an obvious point of fact. This is a deep subject into which Allmon and Ross have rushed in, but suffice it to say that it is not at all clear that God can go with either world. Leibniz undoubtedly would disagree. The Lutheran polymath would argue that because of His perfection and other attributes, God cannot just create any old world. The bottom line, and one which Allmon and Ross are blissfully naïve of, is that like it or not, claims about God are religious.

But it gets worse. Much worse.

Not only did Allmon and Ross utterly misapprehend and expose the homology argument, they have, in fact, altogether demolished evolutionary theory. Remember, with their reformulation it becomes utterly crucial that evolution predicts what we observe. In other words, evolution must predict the pattern of similarities and differences we observe across the species. This is because their new formulation was that while design can explain a common descent pattern or other patterns, evolution is narrowly restricted to the common descent pattern.

With that the two Harvard trained Epicureans just inadvertently blew up evolution. This is because what we actually observe is not the common descent pattern.

The actual comparisons between the species has contradicted the common descent pattern over and over. It is, as we have documented here so many times, not even close.

If evolution predicts the common descent pattern, then by modus tollens, evolution is false.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

5 Replies to “Allmon and Ross Demolish Evolution

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “In this case the religion is in the claim that God would not have created non optimal homologies (such as vestigial structures). Allmon and Ross attempt to remove the religion by restating the claim as: God did not have to create such homologies.”

    Their logic in this picture:

    http://www.the-two-malcontents.....t_6648.jpg

  2. 2
    mikeenders says:

    Actually Dr Hunter there is an even bigger religious consideration in the paper and its implicit to much of the thinking as to what constitutes proof for evolution (both in that paper and generally)

    “the individual creation of each being”

    In Jewish/Christian scriptures there is no such indication. It is a (faulty) religious concept that creation implies “independent” creation of all life forms.

    Every generation of religious adherents (including those recorded in the Bible) considered themselves to be created by God but none of them save Adam and Eve considered themselves independently created since the rest of us are all descended from mother and father.

    Genesis one has no record of “Let there be dogs and there were dogs” or “let there be sharks and there were sharks”. In direct contradiction to such a thought ALL of life is created by three and only three commands (and man is formed later with direct contact) not thousands or even hundreds of commands. Further in none of those commands is there a direct order from God for those lives to appear but for either the earth or the sea to bring them forth. So rather than just being designed by the same designer (the common ID proposition) life is also guided within these three command design matrixes NOT every being independently created.

    nothing forbids the sharing and modification of components/ideas between species or even kinds during that creation (no darwinistic evolution theistic or otherwise need be invoked). What kind of modifications were empowered by these singular commands is deducted from observation not a religious proposition. What we do know from the Biblical record is that each command was SPECIFICALLY for the purpose of bringing forth a wide range of life forms. The commands allowed for variation while not specifying the variations or the means of variation.

    Much of what constitutes proof of evolution is actually based on a contrast to special “independent creation” which, at least as far as those religions that own Genesis as inspired text, is a strawman.

    Can four different species/kinds have similar limbs (or even allegedly stunted versions)? Certainly . not because they evolved through descent or simply because they have the same designer but because they ARE derived from each other within the command matrix from the designer.

  3. 3
    MatSpirit says:

    “In this case the religion is in the claim that God would nothave created non optimal homologies (such as vestigial structures).”

    Ok, change that claim to “An Intelligent Designer would not have created non optimal homologies (such as vestigial structures).”

    Presto! God removed, an Intelligent Designer is substituted and all religious aspects of the argument are gone. There’s nothing religious about claiming an intelligent person wouldn’t do something stupid.

    And best of all, you have returned to ID’s basic claim that an Intelligent Designer did all that evolution stuff, not God.

    By the way, it’s nice to see both Dr. Hunter and bornagain77 posting here again. You’ve both been missed. Lewontin!

  4. 4
    Cornelius Hunter says:

    @3 MatSpirit

    Thanks!

  5. 5

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