Intelligent Design

Are Some of Our Opponents in the Grip of a “Domineering Parasitical Ideology”?

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[It] is now obvious that the root is we are dealing with a domineering parasitical ideology in the course of destroying its host; through its inherent undermining of responsible rational freedom, the foundation of a sound life of the mind. Immediately, science, science education, the media and policy are being eaten out from within.

KF

Indeed.  The immediate context of KF’s observation is the seeming inability of the Darwinists to understand plain English over the past few days.  Allow me to establish some context.  In a post over at his Sandwalk blog Larry Moran quoted me when I wrote:

For years Darwinists touted “junk DNA” as not just any evidence but powerful, practically irrefutable evidence for the Darwinian hypothesis. ID proponents disagreed and argued that the evidence would ultimately demonstrate function.  Not only did both hypotheses make testable predictions, the Darwinist prediction turned out to be false and the ID prediction turned out to be confirmed.

He then wrote:

But, as most Sandwalk readers know, nobody predicted junk DNA, certainly not Darwinists.

I then provided quotations from two famous Darwinists (Collins and Coyne) using the very word “prediction”:

Darwin’s theory predicts that mutations that do not affect function, (namely, those located in “junk DNA” ) will accumulate steadily over time. Mutations in the coding region of genes, however, are expected to be observed less frequently, and only a rare such event will provide a selective advantage and be retained during the evolutionary process.  That is exactly what is observed.

 

From this we can make a prediction. We expect to find, in the genomes of many species, silenced, or ‘dead,’ genes: genes that once were useful but re no longer intact or expressed.

I also linked to Casey Luskin’s excellent article an ENV showing several more such statements.  There cannot be the slightest doubt that many famous Darwinists said the theory predicts junk DNA.

“But those statements cannot possibly be predictions, because they came after junk DNA was discovered,” the Darwinists shout.  One in particular (lutesuite) has started beating a drum calling for a retraction of my claim.  We have two choices here:

  1. Agree with Moran and lutesuite. But this would require us to believe Collins and Coyne are too stupid to understand what the word “prediction” means.
  1. Disagree with Moran and lutesuite. This would require us to believe that Collins and Coyne were using the word “prediction” in a different sense than “to forecast in advance.”

I vote for (2).  Is there a sense of the word “prediction” that means something other than “to forecast in advance”?  It turns out there is.  Collins and Coyne are not stupid.  Instead, they are engaging in the commonplace act of using the term “prediction” in the sense of “retrodiction” or “postdiction”.  What is that?  Wikipedia explains:

Retrodiction (or postdiction . . .) is the act of making a “prediction” about the past.

My dictionary agrees.

There you have it.  The mystery is solved.  Collins and Coyne are not so stupid that they don’t know the meaning of the word “prediction.”  Moran and lutesuite are simply wrong when they suggest they are.  A prediction does not have to be temporally prior to that which is predicted if the word is used in the sense of a retrodiction.

What does all of this have to do with KF’s observation?  Everything.  Sadly, both Moran and lutesuite are hosting a domineering parasitical ideology that is undermining their responsible rational freedom and destroying their capacity to think clearly.

Consider this.  It really is the case that for Moran and lutesuite to be correct, it must also be the case that two of the most famous scientists in the world are so staggeringly stupid that they don’t know what the word “predict” means.  I do not always agree with Collins and Coyne, but it really is a little much for Moran and lutesuite to imply they are imbeciles.

The only rational conclusion is that Moran and lutesuite are wrong, and not only are they wrong, they are wrong about a very simple matter that would take only two seconds of rational thought to sort out.

But two seconds is a long time, and rational thought is hard when one is in the grip of a domineering parasitical ideology.

333 Replies to “Are Some of Our Opponents in the Grip of a “Domineering Parasitical Ideology”?

  1. 1
    lutesuite says:

    I am sorry if I gave the impression that I was suggesting that Francis Collins and Jerry Coyne were stupid. That is not the case at all.

    The facts remain thus:

    Larry Moran wrote that “nobody predicted junk DNA, certainly not Darwinists.” Following up on one of your points above, it should be clear to any reader that Moran is using the term “predict” in the usual sense of “to forecast in advance”. He was obviously not referring to retrodiction or postdiction.

    You have yet to provide a singe example of anyone, never mind a “Darwinist”, having predicted the existence of junk DNA before its existence was demonstrated experimentally.

    So Moran’s statement was correct. And you are wrong when you accuse him of making an incorrect statement.

    A retraction is in order on your part. But it is pretty clear you won’t be providing one. So it goes.

  2. 2
    lutesuite says:

    BTW, what do you mean when you say that “the Darwinist prediction turned out to be false”? Are you now denying the existence of junk DNA?

  3. 3
    Barry Arrington says:

    lutesuite,

    I will try one more time. Please try to take your ideological blinders off just for a moment.

    I said Darwinists said Darwinism predicts junk DNA.

    Larry said my statement was false.

    I then quoted Darwinists saying Darwinism predicts junk DNA. This proved without the slightest doubt that I was correct when I said Darwinists said Darwinism predicts junk DNA.

    Therefore, Larry’s assertion to the contrary was false.

    Tell me which part of this you do not understand, and I will try to help you.

  4. 4
    lutesuite says:

    I said Darwinists said Darwinism predicts junk DNA.

    Where did you write that? It’s not stated above, except in the posts you wrote after Moran made his comment.

    More to the point: Are you still saying that Darwinism, as you understand it, would have predicted the existence of junk DNA?

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    OK lutesuite. You are unable to take your blinders off even for a moment and having lost this round you want to talk about something else. I get that. Not everyone has the capacity to engage in a rational discussion.

    But your participation is valuable nevertheless. In comments 1, 2 and 4 you proved the point of the OP beyond the slightest doubt. Thanks for that anyway.

  6. 6
    Larry Moran says:

    This is getting really tedious. Here’s the quote from Francis Collins in 2006.

    Darwin’s theory predicts that mutations that do not affect function, (namely, those located in “junk DNA”) will accumulate steadily over time.

    Barry, do you think this counts as a prediction of junk DNA and that junk DNA counts as “powerful, practically irrefutable evidence for the Darwinian hypothesis”? Collins is saying that IF there’s junk DNA, THEN mutations will accumulate. As you know, Collins has rejected the idea that most of our genome is junk since about 2002.

    Also, could you briefly explain how these mutations could accumulate over time according to the version of Darwinism you wrote for the glossary? Remember we’re talking about the fixation of neutral alleles by random genetic drift, which Francis Collins incorrectly refers to as “Darwin’s Theory.” I don’t see that in your version of Darwinism—the version of evolutionary theory that you describe as follows …

    Having studied Darwinism for over 20 years, I can tell you what it posits. Therefore, when I attack it, I am attacking the actual thing, not some distortion of the thing that exists nowhere but my own mind.

    The quote from Jerry Coyne in 2009 is …

    …. when a trait is no longer used or becomes reduced, the genes that make it don’t instantly disappear from the genome: Evolution stops their action by inactivating them, not snipping them out of the DNA. From this we can make a prediction. We expect to find, in the genomes of many species, silenced, or ‘dead,’ genes: genes that once were useful but re no longer intact or expressed. In other words, there should be vestigial genes. . . . the evolutionary prediction that we’ll find pseudogenes has been fulfilled – amply.

    Do you think that this statement about the existence of pseudogenes is a prediction that most of our genome is junk DNA?

    And if you agree that pseudogenes are junk (<1% of our genome), and that's what this issue is all about, then why did you say …

    What a profoundly stupid thing to say. No one believes that. Many Darwinists used to before ENCODE. ID proponents predicted function would be ultimately found. The Darwinists were wrong. The ID proponents were correct. Larry, how can we even begin to debate you when you make Romper Room mistakes like this and don’t even seen to have a grasp on the question we are discussing. Now, you go do your homework. See if you can catch up with the rest of us, and if you can, come and back and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

    Because the ENCODE Consortium said, “… we annotated 11,224 pseudogenes of which 863 were transcribed and associated with active chromatin.” That’s more than 10,000 pseudogenes with no evidence of function. We know from reading the papers that the ENCODE Consortium believes that the human genome contains thousands of non-functional pseudogenes.

    That makes your statements very confusing. If Jerry Coyne’s statement about pseudogenes is your proof that “Darwinists” predicted junk DNA then your claim that ENCODE refutes that statement is a lie.

    On the other hand, if your claim is that ENCODE refutes the idea that most of the genome is junk EXCEPT pseudogenes then the statement by Jerry Coyne is irrelevant.

    Could you please clarify these points for me? I am trying to engage you in rational discussion as requested.

  7. 7
    Virgil Cain says:

    Darwin’s theory predicts that mutations that do not affect function, (namely, those located in “junk DNA”) will accumulate steadily over time.- Collins

    And where did that junk DNA come from?

    Do you think that this statement about the existence of pseudogenes is a prediction that most of our genome is junk DNA?

    Where did the junk DNA come from?

    If bacteria doesn’t have much, if any, would it be safe to say that under evolutionism today’s junk was from copying errors of useful DNA?

  8. 8
    J-Mac says:

    lutesuite,

    “You have yet to provide a singe example of anyone, never mind a “Darwinist”, having predicted the existence of junk DNA before its existence was demonstrated experimentally

    I think that you’re unequivocally suggesting that some, including Darwinists, began predicting the existence of junk DNA after its existence was demonstrated experimentally?

  9. 9
    lutesuite says:

    Is there a reason you did not answer my questions in comments #2 and 4, Barry?

    But, by all means, answer Larry’s questions first.

  10. 10
    lutesuite says:

    I think that you’re unequivocally suggesting that some, including Darwinists, began predicting the existence of junk DNA after its existence was demonstrated experimentally?

    No, because that would be a very stupid thing for someone who understands the meaning of the term “to predict” to say. If I said, today, “I predict the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series,” would that make any sense?

  11. 11
    Larry Moran says:

    BTW, do you think this is conducive to rational discussion?

    [It] is now obvious that the root is we are dealing with a domineering parasitical ideology in the course of destroying its host; through its inherent undermining of responsible rational freedom, the foundation of a sound life of the mind. Immediately, science, science education, the media and policy are being eaten out from within.

    How about this?

    Larry has nothing. The science has passed him by and he is left with hollow rhetoric and imagination. It’s a fascinating time to be alive as Darwinism crumbles to the ground under the science and its apostles are reduced to cartoon characters. Larry is Monty Python’s Black Knight guarding the bridge. His arms and legs are chopped off and he is surrounded by a pool of his own blood but he fights on all the while claiming victory (Larry desperately needs that irreducibly complex blood clotting mechanism for which he has no explanation). Fight on, Larry. At least you’re entertaining as a comic if pathetic as a scientist.

    What about this?

    My analysis has indicated that LM is a very disturbed individual; for reasons he and us may never know. I know one thing though, that a boy raised in a household without the real father, with the one he only can call by “the man with the last name as mine” gives one clue as to what his childhood was like. He may very well need sympathy rather than rejection.

  12. 12
    lutesuite says:

    Rather than risk losing the forest for the trees, we should recall that the main point here is Barry Arrington’s claim that he thoroughly understands modern evolutionary theory (to which he refers as “Darwinism”, which is already telling). His responses to Larry’s last couple posts, should he venture to offer any, promise to be rather enlightening in this regard.

  13. 13
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry Moran writes:

    Here’s the quote from Francis Collins in 2006.

    Darwin’s theory predicts that mutations that do not affect function, (namely, those located in “junk DNA”) will accumulate steadily over time.

    Barry, do you think this counts as a prediction of junk DNA and that junk DNA counts as “powerful, practically irrefutable evidence for the Darwinian hypothesis”? Collins is saying that IF there’s junk DNA, THEN mutations will accumulate

    Well Larry, let’s look at the quote in full.

    Darwin’s theory predicts that mutations that do not affect function (namely, those located in “junk DNA”) will accumulate steadily over time. Mutations in the coding regions of genes, however, are expected to be observed less frequently, since most of these will be deleterious, and only a rare such event will provide a selective advantage and be retained during the evolutionary process. That is exactly what is observed.

    Yes, Collins says Darwin’s theory predicts (in the sense of retrodiction as explained in the OP) that junk DNA will accumulate. But he does not stop there as you imply. He goes on to say “That is exactly what is observed.”

    So when we put back in the part you left out, Collins says that Darwin’s theory makes a prediction and the prediction is confirmed by observations. And the whole point of that is what Larry? Do you think Collins is making an idle observation about nothing in particular? No, the point of the passage is that Darwin’s theory made a prediction, and the prediction was confirmed by observations, and therefore the confirmed prediction is powerful evidence in favor of the theory.

    Duh.

    I will continue the discussion with you just as soon as you show you are willing to concede a basic obvious point that cannot possibly be disputed in good faith. Concede that a Darwnist, i.e., Collins, said that Darwin’s theory predicts that junk DNA will accumulate over time, and that is exactly what is observed.

    If you are unwilling to concede something that is in black and white right there in front of you, that is the very definition of someone unwilling to engage in rational debate.

  14. 14
    J-Mac says:

    lutesuite,

    Please explain what you actually meant by your statement:

    “You have yet to provide a singe example of anyone, never mind a “Darwinist”, having predicted the existence of junk DNA before its existence was demonstrated experimentally.”,

    Other than I had already suggested.

  15. 15
    bFast says:

    Larry Moran, I am puzzled at your quotes. I searched this webpage to find the bottom two of your quotes, which I agree are inflammatory and unproductive, but I only find your quote, I don’t find the original. Have these been deleted from this thread? Do they exist in another thread?

    I agree with you that the quotes seem to extend well beyond civility, I just don’t seem to be able to source them.

  16. 16
    J-Mac says:

    Larry Moran and lutesuite,

    How does Darwinism “predict” the genomes with none or almost none of junk DNA, such as the puffer fish?

  17. 17
    Larry Moran says:

    lutesuite says,

    No, because that would be a very stupid thing for someone who understands the meaning of the term “to predict” to say. If I said, today, “I predict the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series,” would that make any sense?

    No, that would not make sense.

    But here’s some other “predictions” that make sense according to Barry Arrington.

    “If the Kansas City Royals really won the 2015 World Series then I predict that their win conforms to the theory of baseball.”

    “Some of the strikes called in the last game of the World Series were not correct therefore my version of the theory of baseball is refuted and I predict that Kansas City didn’t win the World Series.”

    “If the Kansas City Royals really won the 2015 World Series then I predict that the scores, hits, errors, game attendance, and opponents in all their playoff games make up such a totally improbable event that I predict it must have been designed.”

  18. 18
    Andre says:

    Boo hoo

    Somebody called Prof Moran names and now he wants to cry, never mind the insults we’ve had to endure from him and his band of merry men at Sandwalk.

    Cry me a river

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DksSPZTZES0

  19. 19
    Barry Arrington says:

    lucite @ 10:

    What do you think Collins meant by the word “predicts” then?

  20. 20
    Larry Moran says:

    bFast asks,

    Do they exist in another thread?

    Yes. There have been several recent posts with my name in the title. I think you have been active in every one of them. I guess you didn’t notice how some of your fellow ID supporter were behaving.

  21. 21
    bFast says:

    lutesuite (1):

    Moran is using the term “predict” in the usual sense of “to forecast in advance”.

    Y’know we are suffering again from the “what I said” and “what I mean” silliness. Gets back to the famous defense “it depends what the the meaning of ‘is’ is.” (http://www.slate.com/articles/.....of_is.html)

    Dictionaries have used the a: b: c: definition system for a long time to reference this name overloading phenomenon in the English language.

    On this topic, I contend that the neo-Darwinian model should properly expect junk DNA. Therefore, to say that the model “predicts” junk DNA is appropriate. To the extent that scientists who had the model in front of them did not recognize this natural prediction, I charge them with lacking understanding about their theory. So if scientists didn’t figure out that their theory calls for junk DNA before evidence of junk was found, then their lack of ability is shown.

    Neo-Darwinism, with its variants such as drift theory, needs junk DNA. If junk DNA the theory(ies) is(are) supported.

    ID does not need junk DNA. Many ID theorists expect that there will not be junk DNA. To the extent that there is not junk DNA, ID is supported.

    I personally puzzle at the expectation that junk DNA is contrary to ID theory for at least two reasons:

    1 – It seems wise that there would be a staging area, a “sandbox” so to speak where DNA experiments would grow and develop. This would have all of the appearance of junk DNA. Recently VJTorley showed that most of an important de-novo gene in humans exists as non-functioning DNA in chimps. In the UCD version of ID, the natural assumption is that this segment was being grown in the LCA, to be revealed as important in the human line. This is a very reasonable finding, one could say that this is predicted, by the UCD version of ID.

    2 – Human, coders do it. As a programmer who understands the lower levels of what’s going on in code, I’ll tell you that writing a simple “hello world” program compiles with a modern compiler to about 1.5 meg of machine language. The used portion of that program is about 45k, so the compiler has added an enormous amount of unused code.

  22. 22
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry @ 17. Now you are just being childish and stupid. Do you really mean to suggest that the Darwinists do not retrodict about Darwinism?

    If you do, you are woefully ignorant.

    If you don’t you are being misleading.

    Either way, further discussion with you is pointless.

  23. 23
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre says,

    Somebody called Prof Moran names and now he wants to cry, never mind the insults we’ve had to endure from him and his band of merry men at Sandwalk.

    I’m not talking about insults. I’m talking about hypocrisy.

    But I guess you wouldn’t know about that.

  24. 24
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arrington says,

    Yes, Collins says Darwin’s theory predicts (in the sense of retrodiction as explained in the OP) that junk DNA will accumulate.

    No, he does not “predict” that junk DNA will accumulate.

    If you are going to be picky then I can play by the same rules.

    I think it’s silly but that’s what you want.

    I will continue the discussion with you just as soon as you show you are willing to concede a basic obvious point that cannot possibly be disputed in good faith. Concede that a Darwnist, i.e., Collins, said that Darwin’s theory predicts that junk DNA will accumulate over time, and that is exactly what is observed.

    If you are unwilling to concede something that is in black and white right there in front of you, that is the very definition of someone unwilling to engage in rational debate.

    Are you ready to hang your reputation on defending that statement as the best proof that you understand evolution after studying it for 20 years?

  25. 25
    Larry Moran says:

    bFast says,

    On this topic, I contend that the neo-Darwinian model should properly expect junk DNA. Therefore, to say that the model “predicts” junk DNA is appropriate. To the extent that scientists who had the model in front of them did not recognize this natural prediction, I charge them with lacking understanding about their theory. So if scientists didn’t figure out that their theory calls for junk DNA before evidence of junk was found, then their lack of ability is shown.

    Are you being serious?

    According to the ID version Neo-Darwinism, evolution consists of random mutations and natural selection. Please explain how you get from there to the prediction that the genome of Escherichia coli should be full of junk DNA. (BTW, the E. coli genome is NOT full of junk DNA.)

  26. 26
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry, here are some additional quotes from Luskin’s article in addition to Collins and Coyne:

    In an April 1980 issue, Nature published papers by influential biologists arguing that evolution predicts our genomes should be full of junk DNA. The first article, “Selfish Genes, the Phenotype Paradigm and Genome Evolution,” by W. Ford Doolittle and Carmen Sapienza, maintained that “Natural selection operating within genomes will inevitably result in the appearance of DNAs with no phenotypic expression whose only ‘function’ is survival within genomes.”

    A second paper, “Selfish DNA: the ultimate parasite,” was by Francis Crick, who won the Nobel Prize for determining the structure of DNA, and the eminent origin-of-life theorist Leslie Orgel. They concluded, “Much DNA in higher organisms is little better than junk,” and “it would be folly in such cases to hunt obsessively for” its function.

    Fifteen years later, the junk-DNA paradigm was alive and well, as Scientific American reported:

    These regions have traditionally been regarded as useless accumulations of material from millions of years of evolution … In humans, about 97 percent of the genome is junk.

    I could give numerous other examples, but will allow just one more to suffice. In 2007, Columbia University philosopher of science Philip Kitcher published his Oxford University Press book Living with Darwin. Citing the mass of “genomic junk” that “litters the genome,” Kitcher announced, “The most striking feature of the genomic analyses we now have is how much apparently nonfunctional DNA there is.” In his view, “From the Darwinian perspective all this is explicable,” but “if you were designing the genomes of organisms, you would certainly not fill them up with junk.”

    Are you willing to stake your reputation that you understand evolution on your claim that no Darwinist ever predicted (in the sense of retrodicted) that the human genome is mostly junk?

  27. 27
    goodusername says:

    We have two choices here:

    I think there are three:

    1) Moran was completely unaware that anyone had come up with such a postdiction for junk dna over the past 50 years.

    2) Moran was lying and knew about such postdictions, but thought that Sandwalk readers and Barry would be completely unaware of any such postdictions – even though such postdictions have appeared on Sandwalk and UD.

    3) That when Moran used “prediction” he didn’t mean it as “posdiction”, but as – you know – a “prediction” – and thus when he said “nobody predicted junk DNA” he meant – in “plain english” – that “nobody predicted junk DNA”.

    Nah, 3 is too far fetched. Gotta be 1 or 2.

  28. 28
    lutesuite says:

    lutesuite,

    Please explain what you actually meant by your statement:

    “You have yet to provide a singe example of anyone, never mind a “Darwinist”, having predicted the existence of junk DNA before its existence was demonstrated experimentally.”,

    Other than I had already suggested.

    I mean that Barry has not given a single example of a prediction that junk DNA would exist, which was made prior to the discovery of the existence of junk DNA.

    What is giving you difficulty?

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    BA,

    as you used a clip from me, surely you will not mind my documenting from a capital example precisely the parasitical ideology I have had in mind. Namely, Lewontin:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    More to follow — it is time to call things by their right names (if we are to have any hope of rescue for our dying civilisation), as I have to watch the links budget.

    KF

  30. 30
    lutesuite says:

    Larry Moran and lutesuite,

    How does Darwinism “predict” the genomes with none or almost none of junk DNA, such as the puffer fish?

    .

    That’s exactly what it would have predicted. But it would have predicted that to have been the case for all organisms. That prediction was wrong.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Part 2,

    Of course, Johnson replied later that year, and I clip with a bonus from RationalWiki on the sort of mind-bending distortion of scientific reasoning that is now ever so common:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And if the latter is twisted into a caricature god of the gaps strawman, then locked out, huge questions are being oh so conveniently begged.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    KF

  32. 32
    Mung says:

    lutesuite:

    I mean that Barry has not given a single example of a prediction that junk DNA would exist, which was made prior to the discovery of the existence of junk DNA.

    So?

    This whole line of argument saying he ought to do so is a red herring. Apparently red herrings are the common offspring of the non-sequitur.

    LM:

    But, as most Sandwalk readers know, nobody predicted junk DNA, certainly not Darwinists.

    A non-sequitur.

  33. 33
    lutesuite says:

    @ Barry (#19)

    What do you think Collins meant by the word “predicts” then?

    He means “predicts” in the sense that I used the term. But he is talking about what is predicted after the existence of junk DNA has already been confirmed.

    So, back to my baseball example: Suppose prior to the World Series I had predicted the NY Mets were going to win. That prediction would have turned out to be wrong. However, once we know that the KC Royals won, I could make a further prediction that several of their star players would sign new contracts for a higher salary. The 2nd prediction is not contingent on the first.

    Do we really need to teach you basic grammar before we get around to discussing biology?

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Part 3,

    here I document how evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers undermine rationality, warrant and knowledge, from Pearcey in her recent Finding Truth.

    But first, Provine as giving admission against interest:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    Pearcey:

    A major way to test a philosophy or worldview is to ask: Is it logically consistent? Internal contradictions are fatal to any worldview because contradictory statements are necessarily false. “This circle is square” is contradictory, so it has to be false. An especially damaging form of contradiction is self-referential absurdity — which means a theory sets up a definition of truth that it itself fails to meet. Therefore it refutes itself . . . .

    An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.

    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.

    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?

    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.

    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.

    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.

    Of course, the sheer pressure to survive is likely to produce some correct ideas. A zebra that thinks lions are friendly will not live long. But false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.

    A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”

    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.”

    The time has come to put serious issues on the table and refuse to give destructive error a pass just because it piggybacks on the prestige of science while eating rationality out from within.

    KF

  35. 35
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry,

    Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA. Does that mean neither of us understands Darwinism?

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    Why do the critics rage against logic? It’s like Zachriel spores all over the internet.

  37. 37
    lutesuite says:

    Barry in #26 writes:

    Are you willing to stake your reputation that you understand evolution on your claim that no Darwinist ever predicted (in the sense of retrodicted) that the human genome is mostly junk?

    Yeah, Larry. Why won’t you admit that Collins predicted the existence of junk DNA, so long as we understand that the word “predicted” actually means: “Never predicted. Did something else other than predict.”

  38. 38
    Barry Arrington says:

    goodusername @ 27:

    You bring up a good point, so let’s explore it.

    I said Darwinists predicted (in the sense of postdiction) junk DNA.

    Larry said I was wrong because no Darwinist predicted (in the sense of forecast of future event) junk DNA.

    Is Larry’s response fair?

  39. 39
    Barry Arrington says:

    lutesuite, your argument appears to be with the dictionary. I can’t help you with that.

    Your strategy — “if I grit my teeth, close my eyes, stuff my fingers in my ears, get red in the face and stamp my feet, maybe no one will notice my argument is based on denying the existence of retrodiction” — is working only in your own mind.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    Part 4:

    I am also deeply concerned about the undermining of responsible freedom (no free will) and inherent amorality of evolutionary materialism (no ultimate foundation for ethics) that Provine highlighted.

    For this, let us note this is not the first time that this destructive ideology has surfaced in our civilisation. Plato, 2350 years ago in The Laws, Bk X, warned us in no uncertain terms:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

    This points straight to domineering, parasitical ideology that hijacks institutions and communities, hollowing out the responsible, rational freedom that is at the core of stabilising community against the forces of tyranny and anarchy . . . actually, anarchists inadvertently serve tyranny as the chaos that occurs triggers a snap back to tyranny to restore order and relative safety.

    We are playing with dangerous matches and a fire has begun to blaze that I don’t know how we will be able to put out before horrific damage is done.

    But, one look at the likely cost tells us, we must try.

    And no, there is no right to demand pretence that all is well and we just have a few disagreements (never mind the habitual slanders, denigration and worse that we deal with from the same who so stridently object to open statement of unwelcome truth) when a firestorm is upon us.

    Which, it is.

    KF

  41. 41
    lutesuite says:

    @ Mung (#32)

    lutesuite:

    I mean that Barry has not given a single example of a prediction that junk DNA would exist, which was made prior to the discovery of the existence of junk DNA.

    So?

    This whole line of argument saying he ought to do so is a red herring. Apparently red herrings are the common offspring of the non-sequitur.

    LM:

    But, as most Sandwalk readers know, nobody predicted junk DNA, certainly not Darwinists.

    A non-sequitur.

    So help me out here, because I’m not following Barry’s thinking.

    He’s making a big deal about Darwinists saying things about junk DNA after it was demonstrated to be a fact that junk DNA existed. I fail to see the significance of that. What else were they supposed to do? Shut their eyes and pretend junk DNA did not exist? I mean, I know that’s what Barry and many others here prefer to do. But surely we should expect more of Francis Collins.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    BA,

    Dawkins, Collins et al were quite plain that junk DNA was a reasonable expectation on darwinist macroevolution in the broad sense.

    I note, predict is also used to mean, is expected on grounds of hyp-X in science, opening the way to empirical testing.

    Which has been backed away from, blind watchmaker macro evolution is fact fact fact and can never be wrong.

    In the case of Dawkins, over years it seems he repeatedly used the case of the human genome with 2% coding for proteins as a rhetorical case in point to buttress his blind watchmaker thesis.

    Then, as data came out from ENCODE etc, the great backtrack and 1984 style rewriting of the course of events began.

    The difference, is this has happened in the Internet and blog era, while a prolonged debate was in progress.

    I remember, 8 – 10 years ago, darwinists echoing Dawkins’ point. I remember the backtracking as results came out. I remember the difference between crowing over only 2% is not junk and facing 25% is credibly directly involved, and perhaps 80% is already giving signs of functionality. I remember exchanges over types of varied functionality.

    So, when I see the sort of revisionism in defiance of basic truth as appears in this and other threads, I am drawn to the hard conclusion that something is deeply wrong at levels well beyond duelling interpretations of cites and what “predict” means.

    There is a firestorm in our civilisation that is already in progress, utterly out of control.

    It is time to wake up to what is really going on.

    There is a folk saying in Jamaica about the mouse, mus-mus.

    Fire deh pon mus-mus tail, but him think seh a cool breeze deh deh.

    Woe to those who confuse a firestorm blazing across our civilisation for a refreshing cool breeze!

    Whom the gods* would destroy, first they rob of reason.

    KF

    *read, devils.

  43. 43
    Mung says:

    lutesuite:

    He’s making a big deal about Darwinists saying things about junk DNA after it was demonstrated to be a fact that junk DNA existed. I fail to see the significance of that. What else were they supposed to do? Shut their eyes and pretend junk DNA did not exist?

    I don’t see anyone discussing junk DNA at all.

    What I see is people claiming Larry is right and Barry is wrong about who said what when.

    If Larry is not using the term (predict/prediction) in the same sense that Barry is, then his response is a non-sequitur. Plain and simple.

    This is why terms matter. If you think they don’t then you are at the wrong site.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: From 2011, note the comment exchanges: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-junk-dna/ KF

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Here is Chris Doyle at comment 7:

    . . . The point about the myth of Junk DNA is that the majority of evolutionists still believe that most of our DNA is junk based on the fact that only 2% of our DNA codes for genes and only a similar percentage perform other functions.

    As Larry Moran says: “It’s true that there have been lots of examples of of novel functions for small pieces of the genome that were previously lumped into the junk DNA category. These dozens of functional parts of the genome may amount to as much as 1-2% of the genome (probably less).”

    You even say yourself that “I suspect that there are substantial parts of the genome that are, in fact, Junk (pseudo genes, for instance)!”

    To dismiss *any* part of our DNA as “junk” is an argument from ignorance (or even an “evolution in the gaps” argument!) and it is made for purely non-scientific reasons.

    As “The Myth of Junk DNA” demonstrates, we have found function in ALL of the various categories of Junk DNA: including the so-called “pseudogenes”. And remember, research in the area of non-coding DNA has been restricted by the prevailing attitude that “it would be folly in such cases to hunt obsessively” for functions in it.

    So scientists should merely be saying:

    We don’t yet know what most of our DNA does. Will we keep investigating.

    The link for the cite from LM is

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....eface.html

    Tone warning

    KF

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: This tells us about the state of play at that time, only four years past:

    65
    tjguyJuly 1, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Chris said:

    “To dismiss *any* part of our DNA as “junk” is an argument from ignorance (or even an “evolution in the gaps” argument!) and it is made for purely non-scientific reasons.

    As “The Myth of Junk DNA” demonstrates, we have found function in ALL of the various categories of Junk DNA: including the so-called “pseudogenes”. And remember, research in the area of non-coding DNA has been restricted by the prevailing attitude that “it would be folly in such cases to hunt obsessively” for functions in it.

    So scientists should merely be saying:

    We don’t yet know what most of our DNA does. Will we keep investigating.”

    Excellent point Chris. And if anything, it seems the evidence lies on the side of function as opposed to junk. But the default position of the Darwinists is that it is junk because that fits best with their Darwinian hypothesis about the world.

    KF

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Let me slip back up to CD at no 2:

    It was Dawkins who said in The Greatest Show on Earth, that “the greater part…of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes,” and that this fact is “useful for…embarrassing creationists.”

    And Dawkins is not alone in claiming that Junk DNA is abundant in our genome and exactly what evolution predicts. In recent years, many evolutionists have pointed to Junk DNA as major evidence for their beliefs.

    If you’re trying to claim, Lizzie, that evolutionists didn’t really believe in junk DNA after all then that is demonstrably false. Maybe we are the ones who know what “Darwinism” really is and you are the one who is mistaken about it!

    The Internet era makes 1984 style new history just a tad hard to carry off.

    KF

  48. 48

    @lutesuite “You have yet to provide a singe example of anyone, never mind a “Darwinist”, having predicted the existence of junk DNA before its existence was demonstrated experimentally.”

    So first Darwinists were stupid not to predict junk DNA, then after it was found they corrected their error of ommission and confirmed that Darwinism predicts junk DNA.

    You are simply adding another insult to Darwinists by insisting they failed to predict junk DNA.

    And now it is found not to be junk DNA, it simply means Darwinism is wrong, or back to the drawingboard.

    I think the default option Darwinists have is to say it is junk DNA after all.

    Because a mechanism to evaluate DNA in terms of what is junk and what is not junk to clean up DNA, that is very close to intelligent design already.

    Or they can simply skip their abhorrent materialism / atheism, and simply hypothesize that freedom is real (gasp) and relevant (horror), and the DNA is chosen in an intelligent (shock) way.

  49. 49
    lutesuite says:

    If Larry is not using the term (predict/prediction) in the same sense that Barry is, then his response is a non-sequitur. Plain and simple.

    Yes. And if Larry meant “predict” to mean “predict”, then Barry is unjustified in using examples of postdiction to accuse Larry of engaging in “revisionist history.” I’m glad you agree.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: head-exploding reading from 2009 http://creation.com/images/pdf....._12-13.pdf — notice the debate tactics used by the Darwinist. KF

  51. 51
    Barry Arrington says:

    lutesuite, care to take a run at my question to GUN at 38?

  52. 52
    Jack Jones says:

    “Yes. And if Larry meant “predict” to mean “predict”, then “Barry is unjustified in using examples of postdiction to accuse Larry of engaging in “revisionist history.” I’m glad you agree.”

    NO, You as a Moranite should be telling Professor Moran that he should apologize to Mr Arrington and that he misunderstood Mr Arrington.

    Instead, Professor Moran is doubling down, so that you and his other Moranites can foam at the mouth at the echo chamber there.

  53. 53
    lutesuite says:

    So first Darwinists were stupid not to predict junk DNA,

    Sure. In the same way Newton was stupid not to predict general relativity.

    …then after it was found they corrected their error of ommission and confirmed that Darwinism predicts junk DNA.

    Again, we have yet to see that demonstrated. I mean, Barry thinks he has. But you know Barry.

    And now it is found not to be junk DNA, it simply means Darwinism is wrong, or back to the drawingboard.

    Umm, except that hasn’t been found. The evidence still supports the position that most of the human genome, and that of many other species, is predominantly junk.

    I think the default option Darwinists have is to say it is junk DNA after all.

    Because a mechanism to evaluate DNA in terms of what is junk and what is not junk to clean up DNA, that is very close to intelligent design already.

    Someone has already explained to you how simple population genetics is more than adequate to explain how junk DNA can fail to accumulate in some species. What did you not understand about that?

  54. 54
    lutesuite says:

    lutesuite, care to take a run at my question to GUN at 38?

    Sure:

    I said Darwinists predicted (in the sense of postdiction) junk DNA.

    I believe that is what is known in these parts as “revisionist history.” When exactly did you say that?

    Any chance you might answer Larry’s questions n #6?

  55. 55
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arrington says,

    Larry @ 17. Now you are just being childish and stupid. Do you really mean to suggest that the Darwinists do not retrodict about Darwinism?

    It’s really hard to respond to your questions without lowering myself to your nit-picky level.

    “Darwinists” (whoever they are) will make retrodictions about observations/facts according to their view of “Darwinism” (whatever that is).

    In the case of junk DNA, most “Darwinists” (i.e. adaptationists who emphasize the power of natural selection) retrodicted that most of the excess DNA in our genome would have a function.

    Here’s how Francis Collins put it in 2003 …

    “Junk” DNA may not be junk after all. I have been troubled for a long time about the way in which we dismissed about 95% of the genome as being junk because we didn’t know what its function was. We did not think it had one because we had not discovered one yet. I found it quite gratifying to discover that when you have the whole genome in front of you, it is pretty clear that a lot of the stuff we call “junk” has the fingerprints of being a DNA sequence that is actually doing something, at least, judging by the way evolution has treated it. So I think we should probably remove the term “junk” from the genome. At least most of it looks like it may very well have some kind of function.

    But one example does not make a story. What we’re interested in is whether the typical “Darwinist” is/was happy with the concept of lots of junk DNA in the human genome.

    I think that the opinion of people like Britten and Kohne (1969) represent the dominant opinion of “Darwinists.”

    Britten, R., and Kohne, D. (1968) Repeated Sequences in DNA. Science, 161:529-540. [PDF]

    A concept that is repugnant to us is that about half of the DNA of higher organisms is trivial or permanently inert (on an evolutionary timescale.

    That’s certainly the impression I had back then about Darwinism and junk DNA.

    I think Doolittle and Sapienza (1980) describe the dominant paradigm quite well when they proposed the idea of selfish genes to account for excess DNA. Most “Darwinists” back then were skeptical about junk DNA.

    Doolittle, W.F., and Sapienza, C. (1980) Selfsh genes, the phenotype paradigm and genome evolution. Nature 284:601-603. [PDF]

    Although we may view genes and DNA as essentially ‘selfish’ most of us are, nevertheless, wedded to what we will call here the ‘phenotype paradigm’—the notion that the major and perhaps the only way in which a gene ensues its own perpetuation is by ensuring the perpetuation of the organism it inhabits ….

    The phenotype paradigm underlies attempts to explain genome structure. There is a hierarchy of types or explanations we use in efforts to rationalize, in neo-darwinian terms, DNA sequences which do not code for protein…. When all attempts to assign to a given sequence or class of DNA functions of immediate phenotypic benefit to the organism fail, we resort to evolutionary explanations. The DNA is there because it facilitates genetic rearrangements which increase evolutionary versatility (and hence long-term phenotypic benefit 12,13,14,15,16,17), or because it is a repository from which new functional sequences can be recruited 18,19, or, at worst, because it is the yet-to-be discarded by-product of past chromosomal rearrangements of evolutionary significance 9,19.

    What they’re saying is that the dominant paradigm based on Neo-Darwinism is to reject the idea of junk DNA and look for rationalizations that predict function.

    They go on to explain that many of these Darwinist rationalizations are just-so stories and a new kind of explanation is needed.

    Barry, if you think two quotations prove your point then you have to concede that my three quotations prove my point; therefore, I win.

    Of course, that’s silly. What we should be interested in is the big picture—whether my view of the history is more accurate than yours. Is it more accurate to say that, in general, Darwinists predicted junk DNA or is it more accurate to say Darwinists were skeptical of junk DNA?

    Let’s stop playing “gotcha” and discuss the important things.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    LS,

    you are patently scientifically literate.

    So, you must know that it is a routine usage to say Hyp-X predicts observations o1,o2, o3 . . . Oj . . . On, where those up to Oj are in fact retrodictions in the sense of explanations. That is, on X we expect such, and more of same.

    This opens up empirical testing for the hyp.

    That is, there is a serious argument that the difference between a covering explanation and a prediction is, the latter have not yet been observed. Which is where testing counts. Also, X predicts Oi is a reasonable phrasing for, on X we expect oi, and this opens up differential expectations if HYP-Y does not predict oi but something different.

    What has happened and is now conceded by Collins, is that the presumed observations and expectations fell apart.

    As BA just clipped:

    It is good to know that even Collins admits this: Earlier this year he confessed that his use of the term “junk DNA” was wrong, even hubristic. At the 33rd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on January 13, 2015 he said:

    I would say, in terms of junk DNA, we don’t use that term any more ’cause I think it was pretty much a case of hubris to imagine that we could dispense with any part of the genome as if we knew enough to say it wasn’t functional. There will be parts of the genome that are just, you know, random collections of repeats, like Alu’s, but most of the genome that we used to think was there for spacer turns out to be doing stuff and most of that stuff is about regulation and that’s where the epigenome gets involved, and is teaching us a lot.

    KF

  57. 57
    Jack Jones says:

    Jerry Coyne vs Larry Moran.

    Jerry Coyne article, Darwinism must die, blog why evolution is true. “Darwinism” is a compact, four-syllable term for “modern evolutionary theory,” which is ten syllables long.”

    Larry Moran Sandwalk, article Pwned by lawyers (not) ” It’s clear that he doesn’t understand modern evolutionary theory, which he thinks is called “Darwinism.”

    Won’t the real theory of evolution, Please stand up?

  58. 58
  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Ohno’s Junk DNA paper, 1972: http://www.junkdna.com/ohno.html KF

  60. 60
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry quotes Collins:

    I have been troubled for a long time about the way in which we dismissed about 95% of the genome as being junk because we didn’t know what its function was.

    He is saying: “We,” i.e., Collins and others, dismissed 95% of the genome as junk.

    And you use this as evidence that Collins never thought 95% of the genome was junk. God help us.

    “Barry, if you think two quotations . . .” You have not addressed any of the quotations in Luskin’s article.

    Finally, let’s get this back into context. I said “Darwinists touted ‘junk DNA.'” If more than one Darwinist used junk DNA as evidence for Darwinism, that statement is true. More than one Darwinist did in fact do that. Therefore, you were wrong when you said the statement was false.

  61. 61
    Larry Moran says:

    @Jack Jones

    There are many different versions of “Darwinism.” Jerry Coyne’s version is not typical for someone who accepts the importance of random genetic drift and Neutral Theory, which Jerry does, albeit reluctantly.

    That’s why it’s important to establish a definition before starting a discussion. I documented Barry Arrington’s definition of “Darwinism” in my first post in response to his challenge.

    Answering Barry Arrington’s challenge: Darwinism

    Let me know what part of that post you disagree with.

    The point is important because Barry said,

    Having studied Darwinism for over 20 years, I can tell you what it posits. Therefore, when I attack it, I am attacking the actual thing, not some distortion of the thing that exists nowhere but my own mind.

    If you want to quibble with Barry about his definition and how it conflicts with Jerry Coyne’s, then be my guest.

    I’m betting you won’t do that.

  62. 62
    Jack Jones says:

    Larry Moran owes Mr Arrington an apology but you know that is never gonna happen. Larry Moran will carry on like the black Knight and the Moranites will keep acting as apologists for their hero Larry Moran instead of admitting that he should apologize to Mr Arrington.

  63. 63
    J-Mac says:

    Moran,

    You claim that the modern evolutionary theory has changed since natural selection believed to be the driving force of evolution and now the random genetic drift is one, if not the main, driving forces of evolution?
    Answer yes or no only!!!

  64. 64
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry, are you going to answer my question at 35?

  65. 65
    Jack Jones says:

    @61 Larry moran

    “There are many different versions of “Darwinism.” Jerry Coyne’s version is not typical for someone who accepts the importance of random genetic drift and Neutral Theory, which Jerry does, albeit reluctantly.”

    We could call it, the no true darwinist fallacy.

  66. 66
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry:

    I said Darwinists predicted (in the sense of postdiction) junk DNA.

    Lutesuite:

    I believe that is what is known in these parts as “revisionist history.” When exactly did you say that?

    Lutesuite, do try to keep up. Even Larry Moran admits this basic point. Go to Sandwalk here, where Larry says:

    He [i.e., Arrington] said that “Darwinists” predicted junk DNA

    Now it seems you have two choices:

    1. Say you disagree with Larry.

    2. Apologize to me for accusing of engaging in revisionist history.

    Actually, you have third choice. Act as if you did nothing wrong by accusing me of revisionist history (i.e., lying) and just move on. I’m betting you will choose three.

  67. 67
    Gordon Davisson says:

    Barry@13:

    Well Larry, let’s look at the quote in full.

    Darwin’s theory predicts that mutations that do not affect function (namely, those located in “junk DNA”) will accumulate steadily over time. Mutations in the coding regions of genes, however, are expected to be observed less frequently, since most of these will be deleterious, and only a rare such event will provide a selective advantage and be retained during the evolutionary process. That is exactly what is observed.

    Yes, Collins says Darwin’s theory predicts (in the sense of retrodiction as explained in the OP) that junk DNA will accumulate. But he does not stop there as you imply. He goes on to say “That is exactly what is observed.”

    Seriously, Barry? Collins said Darwin’s theory predicts that if junk DNA exists, then mutations will accumunulate in it. Saying that X will accumulate in Y is completely different from saying that Y will accumulate.

    Furthermore, as Larry pointed out, Collins is wrong. Since we’re getting into semantic quibbles here, let’s distinguish several different things that might be referred to as “Darwinism”:

    1) Darwin’s original theory of natural selection.
    2) The new-Darwinian theory developed in the early 20th century, which included natural selection, mutation, and genetic drift (which was thought of as a relatively minor effect).
    3) The definition of “Darwinism” in the UD glossary, which identifies it with the neo-Darwinian theory, but doesn’t even bother to mention genetic drift.
    4) The modern theory of evolution, which encompases neo-Darwinism and neutral evolution and selfish genes and horizontal transfer and endosymbiosis and all of the many other evolutionary effects and processes that have been discovered since the 1930’s.

    Collins refers to “Darwin’s theory”, which pretty clearly refers to my definition #1. But Darwin’s theory doesn’t include mutations, doesn’t contemplate variation that isn’t expressed in the phenotype (the difference between genotype and phenotype wasn’t understood until Mendel’s theory was rediscovered), and doesn’t even contemplate neutral phenotypic variation, doesn’t include drift (that came in with population genetics, in the neo-Darwininian version), and certainly doesn’t include the effects of drift on neutral mutations (the neutral theory was first put forward in the late 1960’s). In other words, Darwin’s original theory doesn’t any of the theoretical elements needed to even contemplate the situation he’s describing, let alone make the prediction he attributes to it.

    I will continue the discussion with you just as soon as you show you are willing to concede a basic obvious point that cannot possibly be disputed in good faith. Concede that a Darwnist, i.e., Collins, said that Darwin’s theory predicts that junk DNA will accumulate over time, and that is exactly what is observed.

    I see no need at all to join you in misreading Collins.

    (Side note: do you really consider Collins a Darwinist? It’s not in the definition in the glossary, but most of the IDists here seem to regard Darwinism as necessarily materialist; but Collins is a theistic evolutionist, not a materialist.)

    Now, take a look at the various examples of junk DNA being retrodicted by “Darwinism.” If you actually look at them, you’ll find they are making the prediction based on something more like the modern theory of evolution (definition #4). If you look closer, you’ll find the predictions rest largely on a combination of the neutral theory and selfish genes, neither of which is included in your definition of Darwinism (i.e. #3). Your attribution of this retrodiction to “Darwinism” is wrong, at least according to your definition of Darwinism.

    If you want to claim that “Darwinism” predicts junk DNA, you need to change your definition of “Darwinism” to include the elements that prediction is based on.

  68. 68
    Barry Arrington says:

    Gordon Davisson is reduced to arguing:

    (1) that Francis Collins was unaware of Neo-Darwinism in 2006; and

    (2) Collins thought Darwin knew about junk DNA and made predictions about it in his original theory.

    Gary, you really make yourself look like an idiot when you say things like that.

  69. 69
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry Moran @ 61:

    There are many different versions of “Darwinism.”

    Several months ago I wrote a post in which I said:

    Is there any “core” proposition on which all proponents of modern evolutionary theory agree. By “core” proposition, I do not mean basic facts of biology that pretty much everyone from YECs to Richard Dawkins agrees are true. I mean a proposition upon which the theory stands or falls, and, as I said above, sets it apart from other theories and accounts for its unique purported explanatory power

    I have in mind a proposition that would answer David Berlinski’s famous question:

    I disagree [with Paul R. Gross’ assertion] that Darwin’s theory is as “solid as any explanation in science.” Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?

    Indeed. What does modern evolutionary theory offer in comparison? How can the theory ever hope to be as “solid as any explanation in science” when its proponents cannot seem to agree on a single tenet, the falsification of which would, in Berlinski’s words, shatter the theory?

    Thank you, Larry, for providing even more confirmation for my observation.

  70. 70
    J-Mac says:

    “There are many different versions of “Darwinism.” Jerry Coyne’s version is not typical for someone who accepts the importance of random genetic drift and Neutral Theory, which Jerry does, albeit reluctantly.”

    Larry,

    How could there be many different versions of Darwinism? You claimed many times on yours and others blogs that you are promoting the “truth”. What are you suggesting professor Moran? Are there different versions of Darwinism that collectively can be true?
    Where and when did Coyne accepted the drift and neutral theory? Please provide the evidence and quickly because I know you are lying Larry. Yes, you are a liar Larry but all the crowed will agree with me you got caught FOR THE FIRST TIME, not!!!!

  71. 71
    Barry Arrington says:

    Over at Sandwalk Larry Moran says that meeting my challenge to him (i.e., back up his claim that I do not understand Darwinism) is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    What an odd thing to say. Because if it were that easy one would think he would have done it by now. Instead, he quibbled with the use of the word “Darwinism,” only to have to admit that it is defined very clearly here at UD.

    Then he put up a post that said, essentially, that if you do not agree with him about junk DNA, then you don’t understand Darwinism. But if that is the case, then I don’t understand Darwinism in the way some of the world’s leading Darwinists don’t understand Darwinism.

    It is becoming clearer all the time that Larry is in the grip of a powerful delusion, and in all seriousness that is sad.

  72. 72
    Jack Jones says:

    Professor Moran is trying to Protect his hurt pride now Mr Arrington.

  73. 73
    Gordon Davisson says:

    Barry:

    Gordon Davisson is reduced to arguing:

    (1) that Francis Collins was unaware of Neo-Darwinism in 2006; and

    (2) Collins thought Darwin knew about junk DNA and made predictions about it in his original theory.

    Gary, you really make yourself look like an idiot when you say things like that.

    Since I didn’t say anything much like either of those, I’m going to have to ask you to reread my posting.

    1) I didn’t say or imply that Collins was unaware of neo-Darwinism, I said he was are of more than neo-Darwinism, and that the prediction came from the “more than” part.

    2) I didn’t say Collins thought Darwin knew about any of this, although I suppose you could read that into what I wrote. What I actually meant, though, was that Collins being sloppy in attributing the prediction.

    You also completely missed the primary point, that the prediction Collins referred to was very very different from the prediction you claimed. He talked about the accumulation of mutations in junk DNA, not (as you said) the accumulation of junk DNA itself.

    And my name’s not Gary, either.

  74. 74
    Jack Jones says:

    J-Mac @70

    Excellent Points there.

  75. 75
    lutesuite says:

    Barry:

    I said Darwinists predicted (in the sense of postdiction) junk DNA.

    Lutesuite:

    I believe that is what is known in these parts as “revisionist history.” When exactly did you say that?

    Lutesuite, do try to keep up. Even Larry Moran admits this basic point. Go to Sandwalk here, where Larry says:

    He [i.e., Arrington] said that “Darwinists” predicted junk DNA

    Still pretending that “predicted” means “predicted (in the sense of postdiction).” More specifically, pretending that that is what Larry meant. Well, sorry, I can’t help you with your confusion. I guess if that’s all you have to hang your case on, you can’t really give it up without losing face, can you?

    Want to take bets on who can “predict” the winner of the Super Bowl? One catch: You have to predict who will win the one that will be played next year, and I get to “predict” who wins the one played last year. Hey, a “prediction” is a prediction, right? Doesn’t matter if it’s made after the event.

  76. 76
    lutesuite says:

    You also completely missed the primary point, that the prediction Collins referred to was very very different from the prediction you claimed. He talked about the accumulation of mutations in junk DNA, not (as you said) the accumulation of junk DNA itself.

    Did you read this part, Barry? I’ve taken the liberty of repeating it, because it’s a very important error you keep making. Read it, and read it, and then read it again, until it finally sinks in.

  77. 77
    Gordon Davisson says:

    BTW, looking back over the history of this discussion (way more than it deserves, frankly), I noticed something. Here’s Barry from one of the earlier threads:

    […] Moran made the claim that I do not understand Darwinism. As the one advancing a claim he has the burden of supporting it. He could do that by, for example, pointing to a statement I have made that contains a basic error about Darwinism. If he is unable to support his claim it means he made a claim he cannot back up.

    Now, take a look at the history of the discussion that Barry posted here:

    1. I said I understand Darwinian.

    2. Larry Moran said that I do not.

    3. I challenged Larry to back up his claim. […]

    According to Barry, the one advancing the claim bears the burden of supporting it. And Barry made the initial claim (that he understands Darwinism). So, by that principle, it’s Barry, not Larry, that bears the burden of supporting their claim.

    How about it, Barry? Are you going to support that claim, or can we take it you made a claim you cannot back up?

    (Mind you, I’m sure Barry can make lots of statements about Darwinism that he thinks are true and therefore claim to have supported that claim; but in order to actually meet it he’d have to say something nontrivial that someone other than himself or those who hold similar views would agree to. Something either objectively verifiable or something that Darwinists would agree with. Personally, I’d love to see Barry summarize the relationship between selection, drift, and neutral evolution in the modern theory of evolution; it’s not really that complicated, but nobody here seems to be able to figure it out.)

  78. 78
    Jack Jones says:

    “Still pretending that “predicted” means “predicted (in the sense of postdiction).” More specifically, pretending that that is what Larry meant.”

    It’s what Mr Arrington meant, Professor Moran should be apologizing to Mr Arrington as Professor Moran got his wires crossed.

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    GD:

    What the UD glossary says on darwinism:

    >>When ID proponents on this site use the term “Darwinism,” they are referring to Neo-Darwinism, also called the modern evolutionary synthesis or Neo-Darwinian evolution (“NDE”), the basic tenets of which are described in the New World Encyclopedia as follows:

    At the heart of the modern synthesis is the view that evolution is gradual and can be explained by small genetic changes in populations over time, due to the impact of natural selection on the phenotypic variation among individuals in the populations (Mayr 1982; Futuyma 1986). According to the modern synthesis as originally established, genetic variation in populations arises by chance through mutation (it is now known to be caused sometimes by mistakes in DNA replication and via genetic recombination—the crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis). This genetic variation leads to phenotypic changes among members of a population. Evolution consists primarily of changes in the frequencies of alleles between one generation and another as a result of natural selection. Speciation, the creation of new species, is a gradual process that generally occurs when populations become more and more diversified as a result of having been isolated, such as via geographic barriers, and eventually the populations develop mechanisms of reproductive isolation. Over time, these small changes will lead to major changes in design or the creation of new taxa.

    A major conclusion of the modern synthesis is that the concept of populations can explain evolutionary changes in a way that is consistent with the observations of naturalists and the known genetic mechanisms (Mayr 1982).

    Though agreement is not universal on the parameters of the modern synthesis, many descriptions hold as basic (1) the primacy of natural selection as the creative agent of evolutionary change; (2) gradualism (accumulation of small genetic changes); and (3) the extrapolation of microevolutionary processes (changes within species) to macroevolutionary trends (changes about the species level, such as the origin of new designs and broad patterns in history). Evolutionary change is a shift of the frequency of genes in a population, and macroevolutionary trends come from gradual accumulation of small genetic changes.

    Note, for example, the words of two of the leading figures in evolutionary theory, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould.

    “The proponents of the synthetic theory maintain that all evolution is due to the accumulation of small genetic changes, guided by natural selection, and that transspecific evolution is nothing but an extrapolation and magnification of the events that take place within populations and species.” (Mayr 1963)

    “The core of this synthetic theory restates the two most characteristic assertions of Darwin himself: first, that evolution is a two-stage process (random variation as raw material, natural selection as a directing force); secondly, that evolutionary change is generally slow, steady, gradual, and continuous. . . Orthodox neo-Darwinians extrapolate these even and continuous changes to the most profound structural transitions in life.” (Gould 1980)>>

    KF

  80. 80
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arrington says,

    You have not addressed any of the quotations in Luskin’s article.

    The main point of the quoted claim in Casey Luskin’s article is that several “Darwinists” made the claim that our genome is full of junk.

    He referred specifically to the two “selfish gene” papers published in Nature in 1980. Those papers are part of a series of articles on the topic and you really need to read all of them. I’m betting that neither Barry Arrington nor Casey Luskin has done that.

    Here’s the complete series …

    Doolittle, W.F., and Sapienza, C. (1980) Selfish genes, the phenotype paradigm and genome evolution. Nature, 284(5757), 601-603. PDF

    Orgel, L.E., and Crick, F.H.C. (1980) Selfish DNA: the ultimate parasite. Nature, 284:604-607. [doi: 10.1038/284604a0]

    Dover, G. (1980) Ignorant DNA? Nature, 285:618-619.

    Cavalier-Smith, T. (1980) How selfish is DNA? Nature, 285:617-618. [doi: 10.1038/285617a0]

    Orgel, L.E., Crick, F.H.C., and Sapienza, C. (1980) Selfish DNA. Nature, 288:645-646.

    Dover, G., and Doolittle, W.F. (1980) Modes of genome evolution. Nature, 288:646-647.

    Jain, H.K. (1980) Incidental DNA. Nature, 288:647-648.

    These papers are widely misunderstood by people who have not read them carefully. The two main papers (top) are NOT arguing in favor of junk DNA. They are actually arguing AGAINST junk DNA. They propose that that a large part of the extra DNA in the human genome actually consists of transposons that are there for a reason. They are examples of selfish genes.

    The authors explain that there are multiple levels of selection. Transposons may not confer selective advantage at the level of the organism but they are selected at the level of the gene. They have a function. Most of them have genes and regulatory sequences and they make proteins. They are not junk.

    All of the authors are aware of the fact that Darwinism is inconsistent with junk DNA so they are looking for a way out. This is the exact opposite of what Barry Arrington and other ID proponents claim.

    We can see this most clearly in the article by Orgel and Crick who say,

    In summary, there is a large amount of evidence which suggests, but does not prove, that much DNA in higher organisms is little better than junk. We shall assume, for the rest of this article, that this hypothesis is true. We therefore need to explain how such DNA arose in the first place and why it is not speedily eliminated, since, by definition, it contributes little of nothing to the fitness of the organism.

    In other words, it looks like there might be a lot of junk DNA but this conflicts with our view of evolution so we need an explanation.

    This is very different from the claim that these “Darwinists” predicted junk DNA based on their understanding of Darwinism.

    Orgel and Crick continue …

    The theory of natural selection, in its more general formulation, deals with the competition between replicating entities. It shows that, in such a competition, the more efficient replicators increase in number at the expense of their less efficient competitors. After a sufficient time, the most efficient replicators survive. The idea of selfish DNA is based firmly on this idea of natural selection, but it deals with selection in an unfamiliar context.

    The familiar neo-darwinian theory is concerned with the competition between organisms in a population. At the level of molecular genetics it provides an explanation of the spread of ‘useful’ genes or DNA sequences within a population. …

    The idea of selfish DNA is different [i.e. non-Darwinian LAM]. It is again concerned with the spread of a given DNA within the genome. However, in the case of selfish DNA, the sequence which spreads makes no contribution to the phenotype of the organism, except insofar as it is a slight burden to the cell that contains it. Selfish DNA sequences may be transcribed in some cases and not in others. The spread of selfish DNA sequences within the genome can be compared to te spread of a not-too-harmful parasite within its host.

    They are proposing an explanation of excess DNA based on the idea that much of it is selfish DNA and not junk. That idea is not part of traditional neo-Darwinism but it does involve natural selection, albeit, at a different level.

    It’s pretty hard to interpret these words as Darwinists “predicting” junk DNA based on their understanding of Darwinism but that’s how Casey Luskin and Barry Arrington interpret it, presumably after carefully reading the papers.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    GD, what the weak argument correctives say about darwinism:

    >>14] Real Scientists Do Not Use Terms Like “Darwinism.” The word “Darwinism” is a derogatory term used by creationists, intelligent design supporters, and other opponents of evolutionary theory that has no real meaning except as a rhetorical device to discredit evolutionary biologists.

    [ANS:] Design thinkers sometimes use the term “Darwinism” for the sake of brevity, but we are obviously aware that it is not the original nineteenth century historical version of Darwin’s thought which is at stake here.

    Nor is the suggested appeal to “no true scientist” appropriate. As the New World Encyclopedia article on “Darwinism” remarks:

    Darwinism and other -isms

    It is felt by some that the term “Darwinism” is sometimes used by creationists as a somewhat derogatory term for “evolutionary biology,” in that casting of evolution as an “ism”—a doctrine or belief—strengthens calls for “equal time” for other beliefs, such as creationism or intelligent design. However, top evolutionary scientists, such as Gould and Mayr, have used the term repeatedly, without any derogatory connotations. [NWE, art. “Darwinism,” Oct. 23, 2005, acc. Nov. 11, 2010.]

    We see here a now very familiar, unfortunate rhetorical tactic. Whenever a term wanders out of the world of journals and textbooks into popular usage, and is picked up by critics of evolutionary materialism, proponents of Darwinism tend to deride those who use it, on the claim that such terms are not used by “true scientists.”

    If “no true Scotsman” is a fallacy, so too is “no true scientist.” And, all the moreso because any number of Design thinkers, old and young earth creationists, as well as other critics of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (aka “[Neo-]Darwinism”) more generally, do have relevant, earned academic qualifications and credentials. The real issue is the balance of the case on the merits, not who uses what terms.

    The main object of ID criticism of “Darwinism” is usually classical neo-Darwinism, aka “the modern synthesis,” which tries to explain biological information in the main in terms of the dynamic:

    RV + NS –> DWM

    (Random [or, “chance”] genetic Variation plus Natural Selection acting together yield descent with modification. This has been observed at micro-level, and has been extrapolated — without direct observational support — to the macro-level of body-plans. Unfortunately, on the strength of the former, the latter is too often presented as an empirical “fact,” often using the comparison that it is as certain as gravity and the orbiting of planets around the sun. The proper comparison, though, is not the observed orbiting of planets or falling of unsupported apples, but he far more speculative and tentative models of Solar System origins.)

    ID proponents acknowledge that Darwinian mechanisms operate within a limited scope (changes in beak sizes among finches as a result of environmental pressures; development of resistance to antibiotics by certain bacteria). But they dispute that the mechanism responsible for these micro-evolutionary changes is also responsible for macro-evolutionary changes. In other words, ID proponents agree that Darwinian processes can change the size of finch beaks across generations, but they dispute that those processes are solely responsible for the existence of finches, or birds or dinosaurs, or land-animals in the first place.

    At the macro-evolutionary level, ID proponents point out that Darwinism is too often rooted in an evolutionary materialist metaphysical presupposition imposed on science and posing as a scientific theory; as Richard Lewontin notoriously admitted in his infamous 1997 NYRB article, “Billions and Billions of Demons”:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    Grounded in materialistic ideology, such Darwinism holds that purposeless, mindless, physical mechanisms, manifested as small genetic changes, can drive the evolutionary process to produce all observed complexity and biodiversity on earth. As such, it interprets all evidence in light of its own materialistic ideology and rules out, in principle — indeed “a priori,” any possibility that any part of the evolutionary process could have been designed.

    Like the mythical bandit Procrustes, who reshaped the bodies of his unfortunate visitors to fit his iron bed, Darwinism reshapes biological evidence to fit its iron clad world view.

    Design thinkers are also perfectly aware that many new forms of evolutionary thought exist, but unfortunately they are typically warped by the same a prioris.

    The same NWE article on Darwinism is therefore correct to further observe:

    There are some scientists who feel that the importance accorded to genes in natural selection may be overstated. According to Jonathan Wells [NB: a design thinker and critic of Darwinism], genetic expression in developing embryos is impacted by morphology as well, such as membranes and cytoskeletal structure. DNA is seen as providing the means for coding of the proteins, but not necessarily the development of the embryo, the instructions of which must reside elsewhere. It is possible that the importance of sexual reproduction and genetic recombination in introducing variability also may be understated.

    UD’s resident Darwinist and critic, the respected Allen MacNeill, adds that in addition to the classic Neo-Darwinian synthesis of the 1920’s – 40’s, modern evolutionary thought embraces:

    separate but related set of interconnected theories explaining the origin and modification of the phenotypic characteristics of living organisms, consisting (at a bare minimum) of the mechanisms of natural selection, sexual selection, genetic drift, and neutral molecular evolution in deep geological time, grounded (at least in part) in theoretical mathematical models of population genetics, depending on multiple sources of heritable phenotypic variation, and supported by inference from multiple sources of empirical evidence, including field and laboratory research in the fields of biochemistry, cell biology, comparative physiology, developmental biology, ecology, ethology, genetics, neurobiology, and physiological ecology. [Comment,”Darwinism” UD discussion thread, 11/10/2010, 10:51 pm.]

    It is important to understand, however, that while ID arguments are often targeted to classical neo-Darwinism, they are perfectly valid for all forms of explanatory theories of biological information which “a priori” do not admit the possible intervention of a design process.

    In other words, according to ID theory, no observed unintelligent causal mechanism ever proposed for the generation of information — whether based on chance, necessity, a combination of the two, or any other blindly mechanical form of “cause” — is credibly capable of generating the CSI in biological information on the scope of our observed universe; which is often estimated to comprise about 10^80 atoms and to have existed for some 13.7 billions of years.

    (This, of course, can in principle be easily empirically falsified by simply producing a case where on reliable observation, such forces of undirected chance plus necessity have credibly generated CSI. But, while there are literally billions of cases of intelligent causation of such CSI [think: Internet], there are notoriously, no credible cases of chance and necessity alone generating CSI. For instance, Genetic algorithms are intelligently designed, and use constrained random walk searches within islands of function; the problem for evolutionary theory is to get to such islands of function in the vast sea of non-functional but chemically possible DNA and amino acid chain molecules, within the material and temporal resources of the Earth, much less the observed cosmos. The deep isolation of such islands of function leads to the confident stance by design thinkers on the matter. For, the only observed and probabilistically plausible solution to the coded, functionally specific information generation problem is intelligently directed configuration; aka, design.)

    15] Nothing is Wrong with the Modern Synthesis! (And, by the way, what kind of “Darwinism” is ID dealing with? Why?)

    The “Modern Synthesis” is the classical form of Neo-Darwinism, which assigns to random variation (RV) of genes and natural selection (NS) of the varied competing sub-populations the main role in driving biological evolution at micro- and macro- (body-plan origination) levels. While many modern biologists, like Dawkins, still more or less adhere to such a paradigm, others would be ready to declare that the modern synthesis is “history.”

    Some of the most serious alternatives to the classical Neo-Darwinian paradigm have been: the theory of neutral evolution, due mainly to Kimura, which focuses on the role of neutral mutations and genetic drift; and the theory of punctuated equilibrium by Eldredge and Gould, which favors a scenario of stasis and relatively rapid change in evolution, in contrast to the traditional gradualism. These points of view, even if they have been in some way “integrated” into classical Neo-Darwinism, represent really alternative interpretations; sometimes, radically different from the tradition. More recently, classical Neo-Darwinism has faced even more radical attempts at review, focusing mainly on the search for new sources of variation, and often re-dimensioning the role of natural selection: we can cite here the contributions of Lynn Margulis (endosymbiontic theory), of Sean Carroll (Evolutionary developmental biology or evo-devo), and many others, while Allen MacNeill (a sometime, and often helpful, contributor at UD) has compiled a famous and very long list of “engines of variation” which includes possible phenotype-genotype interactions and many other classes of supposed alternative mechanisms. In general great attention has been given recently to adaptational mechanisms (even in the form of neo-Lamarckism) and to epigenetic inheritance.

    One of the results of such heterogeneity of contemporary evolutionary thought has been that ID is often accused of dealing with one form and not with another, be it classical Neo-Darwinism or the most recent examples of what we may call: Neo-Neo-Darwinism.

    The truth is much simpler: as a causal theory about the origin of biological information, ID is both a criticism and an alternative to all theories which try to explain biological information by purelyunguided mechanisms.

    In the final sense, any list of “engines of variation” that “permits” only unguided mechanisms exclude design, and is thus based, at the basic causal level, on necessity or chance or some mixture of the two. This is bias, not proper science, as, before the facts can speak, it excludes another known “engine of variation” for contingent objects: design. So, we may directly see that, the counter-arguments and alternatives provided by the ID approach apply equally to classical Neo-Darwinian theory and all of these alternatives.

    The reason why ID criticism is usually more specifically directed to classical Neo-Darwinism is that, in the end, RV + NS remains the most widely used, most detailed causal model of unguided evolution. It is difficult to analyze in detail alternative models which have never been detailed to the point that they can be really critically evaluated, and so the design theory commentary on these newer models often remains at a very generic level. But, we must underscore: ID arguments are equally valid for all cases: all forms of “random variation” are just that: random, and so must obey the laws of statistics, and all forms of “necessity” – including Natural Selection (as it is usually presented) – must be expressed in a credible and consistent logico-mathematical model.

    Unless and until new causal principles are discovered, it has been immemorial since the days of Plato in his The Laws, Book X, that design is the only known alternative/complement to chance and necessity. And so, the only truly valid scientific approach is one that accepts at the outset the possibility of design as well as chance and necessity, and then seeks reliable signs that can differentiate the role played by each for the key aspects of life-forms.>>

    Trust such will be helpful

    KF

  82. 82
    Barry Arrington says:

    Last chance Larry. Are you going to answer my question at 35?

  83. 83
    lutesuite says:

    It’s very funny watching Barry stomp his feet like a petulant child and demand people answer his fatuous questions. Hey, Barry, when are you going to get around to addressing the questions Larry raised way up in comment #6? Remember those?

    Besides which, do you really want to press the issue of Francis Collins, the Darwinist, agreeing with you that junk DNA doesn’t exist, when the whole point you’re trying to make is that Darwinists predicted that junk DNA would exist? Have you really thought this thru?

  84. 84
    Larry Moran says:

    J-Mac says,

    Where and when did Coyne accepted the drift and neutral theory? Please provide the evidence and quickly because I know you are lying Larry. Yes, you are a liar Larry but all the crowed will agree with me you got caught FOR THE FIRST TIME, not!!!!

    Here’s what Jerry Coyne says in his book “Why Evolution Is true.”

    Such random change in the frequency of genes over time is called genetic drift. It is a legitimate type of evolution, since it involves changes in the frequencies of alleles over time, but it doesn’t arise from natural selection. One example of evolution by drift may be the unusual frequencies of blood types (as in the ABO system) in the Old Order Amish and Dunker religious communities in America. These are small, isolated, religious groups whose members intermarry—just the right circumstances for rapid evolution by genetic drift.1

    Accidents of sampling can also happen when a population is founded by just a few immigrants, as occurs when individuals colonize an island or a new area. The almost complete absence of genes producing the B blood type in Native American populations, for example, may reflect the loss of this gene in a small population of humans that colonized North America from Asia around twelve thousand years ago.2

    Both drift and natural selection produce genetic change that we recognize as evolution. But there’s an important difference. Drift is a random process, while selection is the anti-thesis of randomness. Genetic drift can change the frequencies of alleles regardless of how useful they are to their carrier. Selection, on the other hand, always gets part of harmful alleles and raises the frequencies of beneficial ones.

    As a purely random process, genetic drift can’t cause the evolution of adaptations. It could never build a wing or an eye. That takes nonrandom natural selection. What drift can do is cause the evolution of features that are neither useful nor harmful to the organism.

    You might also want to check out how Jerry Coyne signed my copy of his latest book.

    Genetic drift forever!

  85. 85
    Jack Jones says:

    @70 J-Mac

    “How could there be many different versions of Darwinism? You claimed many times on yours and others blogs that you are promoting the “truth”. What are you suggesting professor Moran? Are there different versions of Darwinism that collectively can be true?”

    Professor Moran does not want to answer that.

  86. 86
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran:

    Let’s stop playing “gotcha” and discuss the important things.

    I second the motion. What do you think lutesuite?

  87. 87
    Barry Arrington says:

    OK, after three chances Larry has refused to answer the simple question I posed at 35.

    Here it is again: “Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA. Does that mean neither of us understands Darwinism?”

    Larry has refused to answer it because it places him on the horns of a dilemma. He has rested his entire case for “Barry does not understand Darwinism” on the foundation of his assertion that I do not understand the junk DNA issue.

    The problem with that is that I agree with Francis Collins’ present position on junk DNA. Therefore, if I am wrong, so is Francis.

    You can see how this is a problem for Larry. If he answers the question “no” then the foundation of his case collapses. If he answers the question “yes” then he looks like an idiot for saying one of the world’s leading biologists does not understand Darwinism, and he loses all credibility.

  88. 88
    J-Mac says:

    “The influence of this process (random genetic drift) on important evolutionary change, though, is probably minor, because it does not have the moulding power of natural selection. Natural selection remains the only process that can produce adaptation. Nevertheless, we’ll see in chapter 5 that genetic drift may play some evolutionary role in small populations and probably accounts for some non-adaptive features of DNA.”

    Does it sound familiar Larry?

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/20.....netic.html

    This is your own blog. DID Coyne signed your copy of this one?
    You claim Larry that modern evolutionary theory involves the main driving force the random genetic drift. Unfortunately, so far, all your supporters don’t’ support your own personal views. So, how could your own personal views, unsupported by any leading scientists in the field stand as the modern evolutionary theory?

  89. 89
    Andre says:

    J-Mac

    You are just qoute mining and taking Prof Moran’s post out of context or you did not read it properly or you just don’t understand evolution or you are an IDiot. Francis Collins does not understand evolution. Jerry Coyne does not understand evolution. Case Luskin does not understand evolution. Barry Arrington does not understand evolution. Only Professor Larry Moran understand evolution.

  90. 90
    Box says:

    Larry Moran: Let’s stop playing “gotcha” and discuss the important things.

    Finally!

    Evolutionary materialist scientism is inherently self-referentially incoherent and so, necessarily, it is self refuting.

    [Kairosfocus]

    Will you now address this hugely important matter?

  91. 91
    J-Mac says:

    Andre,

    Only professor Moran understands evolution. He always has. It has been a reoccurring theme of his ever since he replaced Darwin with himself, and then again, on his good days, when his ego is not so inflated so as to crowd out any kind of reason.
    The saddest part of it all, or possibly the most dangerous, is that Larry quite possibly believes in it all, as all the self-proclaimed fixations always have turned out to be.

  92. 92
    Gordon Davisson says:

    Barry @87:

    OK, after three chances Larry has refused to answer the simple question I posed at 35.

    Here it is again: “Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA. Does that mean neither of us understands Darwinism?”

    As I’ve pointed out, your agreement with Collins is based on misreading Collins. The quote you gave from him doesn’t say anything about junk DNA accumulating, it talks about mutations accumulating in junk DNA. Also, he’s obviously being sloppy in attributing the prediction to “Darwin’s theory.”

  93. 93
    Andre says:

    Gordon

    So what you are saying is that Francis Collins does not understand evolution. Only Prof Moran and perhaps you?

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    Box,

    Note 29 ff above:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-587385

    Evolutionary materialist scientism (a descriptive summary) falls apart logically at the outset by undermining responsible, rational freedom. This is the basis of even being able to reasonably argue.

    Also, I have pointed out (cf 56 above) that predict takes a relevant meaning in the context of observations to be expected on a hypothesis, setting up empirical testing:

    it is a routine usage to say Hyp-X predicts observations o1,o2, o3 . . . Oj . . . On, where those up to Oj are in fact retrodictions in the sense of explanations. That is, on X we expect such, and more of same.

    This opens up empirical testing for the hyp.

    That is, there is a serious argument that the difference between a covering explanation and a prediction is, the latter have not yet been observed. Which is where testing counts. Also, X predicts Oi is a reasonable phrasing for, on X we expect oi, and this opens up differential expectations if HYP-Y does not predict oi but something different.

    In this context, clearly it was expected from the turn of the 70’s that there was an overwhelming majority of junk in the genome, typ 90+ %.

    Cf Ohno, 1972 as a start as linked at 59 above:

    http://www.junkdna.com/ohno.html

    And Creation.com’s critique:

    http://creation.com/junk-dna-slow-death

    This expectation clearly fell apart.

    CC’s Carrier notes:

    In The Great Dothan Creation Evolution Debate,3 my opponent’s main argument, to which he returned again and again, rested on junk DNA. I warned that this was an argument from silence, that ‘form follows function’, and that this was akin to the old vestigial organ argument (and thus is easily falsifiable once functions are found). We did not have to wait long, however, because a new study has brought the notion of junk DNA closer to the dustbin of discarded evolutionary speculations. Faulkner et al. (2009)4 have put junk DNA on the run by claiming that retrotransposons (supposedly the remains of ancient viruses that inserted themselves into the genomes of humans and other species) are highly functional after all.

    Based on the work of J.B.S. Haldane (Haldane 1957)5 and others, who showed that natural selection cannot possibly select for millions of new mutations over the course of human evolution, Kimura (1968)6 developed the idea of “Neutral Evolution”. If “Haldane’s Dilemma”7 was correct, the majority of DNA must be non-functional. It should be free to mutate over time without needing to be shaped by natural selection. In this way, natural selection could act on the important bits and neutral evolution could act randomly on the rest. Since natural selection will not act on neutral traits, which do not affect survival or reproduction, neutral evolution can proceed through random drift without any inherent ‘cost of selection’.8 The term “junk DNA” originated with Ohno (1972),9 who based his idea squarely on the idea of Neutral Evolution. To Ohno and other scientists of his time, the vast spaces between protein-coding genes were just useless DNA whose only function was to separate genes along a chromosome. Can you see how the idea of junk DNA came about? It is a necessary mathematical extrapolation. It was invented to solve a theoretical evolutionary dilemma. Without it, evolution runs into insurmountable mathematical difficulties.

    To recap for emphasis: Junk DNA is not just a label that was tacked on to some DNA that seemed to have no function; it is something that is required by evolution. Mathematically, there is too much variation, too much DNA to mutate, and too few generations in which to get it all done. This was the essence of Haldane’s work. Without junk DNA, evolutionary theory cannot currently explain how everything works mathematically. Think about it; in the evolutionary model there have only been 3–6 million years since humans and chimps diverged. With average human generation times of 20–30 years, this gives them only 100,000 to 300,000 generations to fix the millions of mutations that separate humans and chimps. This includes at least 35 million single letter differences,10 over 90 million base pairs of non-shared DNA,10 nearly 700 extra genes in humans (about 6% not shared with chimpanzees),11 and tens of thousands of chromosomal rearrangements. Also, the chimp genome is about 13% larger12 than that of humans, but mostly due to the heterochromatin that caps the chromosome telomeres. All this has to happen in a very short amount of evolutionary time. They don’t have enough time, even after discounting the functionality of over 95% of the genome—but their position becomes grave if junk DNA turns out to be functional. Every new function found for Junk DNA makes the evolutionists’ case that much more difficult . . .

    Notice, too the live case at UD from 2011, from 44 on above . . . including Moran.

    My bet is, key materials and issues will be studiously ignored.

    KF

  95. 95
    lutesuite says:

    The problem with that is that I agree with Francis Collins’ present position on junk DNA. Therefore, if I am wrong, so is Francis.

    Yes. And exactly what is the problem with this?

    Are you under the impression that Larry Moran and Francis Collins are in agreement on the issue of junk DNA? You’re just further confirming your ignorance, Barry.

  96. 96
    Andre says:

    So only Prof Moran, moron and Gordon understand evolution.

  97. 97
    Andre says:

    Moron

    Since you understand evolution and Prof Moran has been unable to help me our perhaps you can help.

    In the grand scheme of your version of evolutionary theory how did unguided processes create guided processes to prevent unguided processes from happening?

  98. 98
    lutesuite says:

    No, just that there is disagreement on the issue of junk DNA among those who understand evolution.

    There is also disagreement on the issue among those who don’t understand evolution, such as most of the regulars here at UD.

  99. 99
    Andre says:

    Moron

    So you understand evolution? You have models of your version we can test and potentially falsify or confirm?

    Let’s have it then.

  100. 100
    Mung says:

    Andre, please get a grip.

  101. 101
    Jack Jones says:

    Mung, You can’t blame Andre for calling him out, When evolutionists lose the argument like the moranite @98 has, then they fall back on content free rhetoric. It’s all Moran’s cheerleader has got since he has been a failure.

  102. 102
    Andre says:

    Mung

    I’ve tried my best to be nice. Lutesuite is not here to be nice what to do?

  103. 103
    Mung says:

    I’ve tried my best to be nice. Lutesuite is not here to be nice what to do?

    I can’t tell you what to do. I can ask you to reduce name-calling to an absolute minimum.

    Some suggestions though:

    1.) Don’t feed the trolls. They hate to be ignored. So ignore them.

    2.) Give them the Zachriel treatment. Say something that is trivially true which in it’s saying leaves out something else of relevance.

    lutesuite: there is disagreement on the issue of junk DNA among those who understand evolution.

    We agree and disagree. So we understand evolution.

  104. 104
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry @ 35:

    Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA.

    lutesuite @ 94:

    Are you under the impression that Larry Moran and Francis Collins are in agreement on the issue of junk DNA? You’re just further confirming your ignorance, Barry.

    lutesuite, you are deeply stupid. Here’s a hint: Deeply stupid people should say very little, because the more they say the more their stupidity is revealed.

  105. 105
    Andre says:

    Or that they are a moron? Too crass?

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Andre, tone please. KF

  107. 107
    Andre says:

    KF

    I’m trying……. The Lord knows I am.

  108. 108
    Andre says:

    Mung

    So you guys intentionally make Zachriel look like a tool. That is cruel.

  109. 109
    Gordon Davisson says:

    Andre @93:

    Gordon

    So what you are saying is that Francis Collins does not understand evolution. Only Prof Moran and perhaps you?

    That’s not even slightly close to what I’m saying; please reread.

    As for the idea that only Larry and I understand evolution… Saying “I understand evolution” is a lot like saying “I understand chemistry” or “I understand physics.” Evolution is a huge, complex, and messy subject, and we learn new things about it all the time (just like chemistry, physics, etc). Nobody fully understands any of these topics; some people know more than others, some are experts in particular areas (but not necessarily expert in other areas), etc.

    I am not any sort of expert on evolution, just a reasonably well-educated layman. There are some things I understand fairly well, others I don’t understand well, probably others I don’t even realize I don’t know about. And I’m sure there are things I think I know about evolution that I am wrong about.

    But I am willing to learn, and to correct my misunderstandings when they’re coherently pointed out. For instance, when John Cairns got results showing what appeared to be directed mutagenesis (i.e. favorable mutations appearing at far above the normal rate), one of the proposed explanations was that the organisms were entering a hypermutable state when they were near death, and all the ones that didn’t get a favorable mutation died out. I convinced myself (by reasoning I don’t fully remember) that this wasn’t a plausible explanation. I was wrong; that turned out to be exactly what was happening.

    Despite the limitations of my knowledge of evolution, I seem to know more about it than any of the regular posters on the ID side here (there are some on the evolutionary side — WD400 comes to mind — who clearly know more than me). Frankly, this is not a very high standard; the general level of understanding around here is depressingly low. When I suggested Barry demonstrate his understanding by describing the relationship between selection, drift, and neutral evolution, I wasn’t joking; it’s not that difficult, it’s rather important, and nobody here (on the ID side, that is) seems to be able to grasp it.

    As for Larry: he knows far more than I do about evolution. Especially at the molecular level, but I don’t know of any area I’d claim to know more than he does. But still, there are aspects of evolution he knows a lot about, and others he’s not so knowledgable about. And I’m sure there are things he thinks he knows about evolution, that’re actually wrong.

    And I’m pretty sure he’d agree with everything I just said.

    BTW, that doesn’t mean I agree with Larry about absolutely everything. For instance, I think suspect he overestimates the phenotypic significance of neutral evolution. Neutral evolution is clearly dominant at the molecular level (which, as a biochemist, is where Larry lives); but most neutral change has no phenotypic effect at all. The significance of the small fraction of neutral change that does have phenotypic effects is unclear at this point.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    GD, actually, all of this is distractive. Last month marks three years since I decided it was time to focus the main issue in its pure form, by issuing a challenge to darwinism advocates to address warranting their case starting with OOL and continuing through on blind watchmaker body plan evolution; a 6,000 word essay — feature length article — was the suggested approach, you can link elsewhere but should make your case in a nutshell that satisfactorily addresses the warrant for the grand narrative from roots to twigs on the tree of life. The offer is still open, no truly satisfactory essay has ever been put forward. OOL of course focusses the origin of FSCO/I without intelligent configuration issue in a context where the dodge by way of oh natural selection is magic is not on the table. For such reproduction is part of what has to be accounted for. The three years long want of solid answer speaks volumes on the issue on the merits, however much some may wish to preen themselves on their mastery of the latest epicycles and on dismissing those who don’t chase along on the rabbit trail. Sorry, the scheme is rotten from its root, OOL. KF

  111. 111
    Andre says:

    Gordon

    Thank you for your very condescending reply, the you don’t understand nonsense we hear everyday is getting tiresome. Have you ever considered and I mean have you really given it a thought that you are mistaken? I will pose to you the same question I have to you guys in the vain hope of it being answered.

    Firstly when we talk about evolution which evolutionary theory are we talking about? This is by far the most important question because it means both of us will fully understand what the other is talking about. There are multiple evolutionary theories, so please put your stake in where you stand.

    Do you follow evolutionary theory loosely or are you more aligned to one or some of the flavors?

    1.) Theory of Natural selection (Darwinism)
    2.) Theory of Natural selection and random mutations (Neo Darwinism)
    3.) Neutral Theory
    4.) Intelligent Design
    5.) Punctuated Equilibrium
    6.) Vertical Theory
    7.) Horizontal Theory
    8.) Lamarckism
    9.) Creationism
    10.) Parallel Evolution
    11.) Convergent Evolution
    12.) Genetic Drift.
    13.) Guided Evolution

    I am sure there are more but I know of these ones and I know quite a bit about the lot of them. If we are to have a fruitful discussion that we both can benefit from I urge you to please mark clearly which theory or theories you consider to be the correct ones.

  112. 112
    Andre says:

    Gordon

    Frankly, this is not a very high standard; the general level of understanding around here is depressingly low.

    Have you ever considered the reason for this is because most of you guys never ever state exactly what you mean by evolution because you use it in such a loose manner?

  113. 113
    Andre says:

    Gordon

    I can answer the below question if I may.

    I suggested Barry demonstrate his understanding by describing the relationship between selection, drift, and neutral evolution,

    So Natural selection’s role, is population differentiation and neutral evolution role is population divergence. The hypothesis is that they are linked by degree and is dependent on gene flow between the populations and environments.

  114. 114
    Andre says:

    Gordon

    I forgot to add;

    Drift comes into the picture when there is an actual reduction in gene flow between populations due to divergent selection. These are of course the mechanisms that leads to adaption and the isolating effects of these adaptions lead to genomic differentiation between the populations.

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Richard Sternberg:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....26421.html

    >>Two papers appeared back to back in the journal Nature in 1980: “Selfish Genes, the Phenotype Paradigm and Genome Evolution” by W. Ford Doolittle and Carmen Sapienza2 and “Selfish DNA: The Ultimate Parasite” by Leslie Orgel and Francis Crick.3 These laid the framework for thinking about nonprotein-coding regions of chromosomes, judging from how they are cited. What these authors effectively did was advance Dawkins’s 1976 selfish gene idea4 in such a way that all the genomic DNA evidence available up to that time could be accounted for by a plausible scenario. The thesis presented in both articles is that the only specific function of the vast bulk of “nonspecific” sequences, especially repetitive elements such as transposons, is to replicate themselves — this is the consequence of natural selection operating within genomes, beneath the radar of the cell. These junk sequences, it was postulated, can duplicate and disperse throughout chromosomes because they have little or no effect on the phenotype, save for the occasional mutation that results from their mobility. On the positive side, the C-value paradox, the longstanding puzzle that genome sizes have no correlation with perceived organismal complexity — a lily, for instance, can have twenty times more nuclear DNA than a mouse — was satisfactorily explained by the hypothesis. Also, the problem of repetitive elements of which the “variety and patterns of their interspersion with unique sequence DNA make no particular phylogenetic or phenotypically functional sense” 3 was argued to have a simple solution. Likewise, the finding in the late 1970s that protein-coding regions in eukaryotes are interrupted by nonprotein-coding “introns” could be understood…as perhaps the degenerate remains of old transposable sequences.

    A careful reading of these papers reveals, though, in what ways nonprotein-coding DNA function were thought by these authors to be likely. At the risk of being accused of quote-mining, let me first note the definitions of junk or selfish DNA:

    A piece of selfish DNA, in its purest form, has two distinct properties:

    (1) It arises when a DNA sequence spreads by forming additional copies of itself within the genome.

    (2) It makes no specific contribution to the phenotype.

    [W]e shall use the term selfish DNA in a wider sense, so that it can refer not only to obviously repetitive DNA but also to certain other DNA sequences which appear to have little or no function, such as much of the DNA in the introns of genes and parts of the DNA sequences between genes…The conviction has been growing that much of this extra DNA is ‘junk’, in other words, that it has little specificity and conveys little or no selective advantage to the organism…in the case of selfish DNA, the sequence which spreads makes no contribution to the phenotype of the organism, except insofar as it is a slight burden to the cell that contains it. Selfish DNA sequences may be transcribed in some cases and not in others. The spread of selfish DNA within the genome can be compared to the spread of a not-too-harmful parasite within its host.3

    Natural selection operating within genomes will inevitably result in the appearance of DNAs with no phenotypic expression whose only ‘function’ is survival within genomes.2

    Second, no prohibition was placed on relatively few selfish motifs modulating a gene in a way that they positively contributed to fitness, or on these elements en masse having nonspecific effects on the cell:

    We do not deny that prokaryotic transposable elements or repetitive and unique-sequence DNAs not coding for protein in eukaryotes may have roles of immediate phenotypic benefit to the organism.2

    It would be surprising if the host organism did not occasionally find some use for particular selfish DNA sequences, especially if there were many different sequences widely distributed over the chromosomes. One obvious use, as repeatedly stressed by Britten and Davidson, would be for control purposes at one level or another. This seems more than plausible.
    […]
    A mechanism which scattered, more or less at random, many kinds of repeated sequences in many places in the genome would appear to be rather good for this purpose [of gene regulation]. Most sets of such sequences would be unlikely to find themselves in the right combination of places to be useful but, by chance, the members of one particular set might be located so that they could be used to turn on (or turn off) together a set of genes which had never been controlled before in a coordinated way. A next way of doing this would be to use as control sequences not the many identical copies distributed over the genome, but a small subset of these which had mutated away from the master sequence in the same manner.

    On this picture, each set of repeated sequences might be ‘tested’ from time to time in evolution by the production of a control macromolecule…to recognize those sequences. If this produced a favorable result, natural selection would confirm and extend the mechanism. If not, it would be selected against and discarded. Such a process implies that most sets of repeated sequences will never be of use since, on statistical grounds, their members will usually be in unsuitable places.

    It thus seems unlikely that all selfish DNA has acquired a special function…
    […]
    In some circumstances, the sheer bulk of selfish DNA may be used by the organism for its own purpose. That is, the selfish DNA may acquire a nonspecific function which gives the organism a selective advantage.3

    In other words, the opinion expressed these two works is that “excess” DNA is junk in the sense that it is largely devoid of phenotype-specifying information. This perspective was being discussed in the 1970s and it quickly became the consensus after this pair of papers appeared. Don’t take my word for it–follow the literature trail. Simply type in terms such as “junk DNA,” “selfish DNA,” “repetitive DNA,” “noncoding,” etc. using the Pubmed search engine and read the articles. What should become obvious is that the view expounded by Orgel and Crick on the one hand, and Doolittle and Sapienza on the other, has been considered by many cellular and molecular biologists to be the correct explanation for much of genomic DNA until very recently . . . >>

    Relevant background, and it should be obvious why it was felt that the evolutionary theories in view pointed to such as a likely outcome.

    Note the “until very recently” c 2009.

    Sternberg — who holds two PhD’s relevant to evolutionary Biology and cannot honestly be dismissed as lacking 101 level understanding — goes on:

    This brings me to the false fact. It has been said that 90% of all genomic DNA (in eukaryotes) is junk. No taxon is mentioned; no reference is cited…the value is just repeated by those commenting on evo blogs. To be sure, tagging a percentage to such a claim is a lot better than simply saying that “most DNA is junk.” [–> cf Dawkins etc] In lieu of an actual piece of research that demonstrated support for this proclamation, let’s critically examine the 90% junk figure by focusing on human genomic DNA. Only around 1.5% of our chromosomal sequences encode proteins, which entails that 98.5% of the genome is noncoding by the classical definition. If someone wanted to make the equation noncoding = junk, then lo and behold functional sequences in Homo sapiens drop far below the 10% value. But we know that this equation is not valid. A surprising finding of ENCODE and other transcriptome projects is that almost every nucleotide of human (and mouse) chromosomes is transcribed in a regulated way 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15. Most of the RNAs produced are various nonprotein-coding transcripts that are copied from both strands in a cell type-, tissue type-, or developmental stage-specific manner 16 17 18. These RNAs belong to a number of different functional classes and new categories are being discovered all the time 19 20 21 22 23 24. Further, these nonprotein-coding transcriptional units extend into and arise from protein-coding segments. Many also map to the regions between protein-coding loci.25 The RNA map of the mammalian genome has moreover been demonstrated to be hierarchical and far from random. 13 15 26

    Clearly, the “gene” definition that provided the framework for the junk DNA hypothesis is defunct27 28, and much discussion now centers on providing an operational description.29 30 31 32 That is to say, the coding/noncoding distinction is being rethought. And if one considers functional DNA to be equivalent to transcription units that are developmentally expressed together with their regulatory regions, the fraction that can be dismissed as junk becomes startlingly small–this is what the results of recent studies imply. 33

    Indeed, if we accept the equation transcription units + control elements = developmentally functional DNA, then the number of loci in the human genome jumps from a paltry 20,000 to hundreds of thousands, and the percentage of non-junk DNA increases to well over 90%.

    It could be argued that most of these RNA-encoding loci are really cellular “noise” due to transcription running amok, on the basis that so few are phylogenetically conserved–after all, didn’t Orgel and Crick foresee such a possibility in their definition of selfish DNA? Well, this line of argumentation doesn’t hold. Another counterintuitive result of the ENCODE project and other comparative genomic analyses is that known functional sections of the mammalian genome such as protein-coding segments appear to be diverging without constraint 5 34, whereas a host of “junk” sequences are under some type of selective pressure–including most human “noncoding” DNA stretches. 35 36 The same has been repeatedly detected for the fruit fly genome, where most nonprotein-coding sequences appear to be under functional constraint–with the species-specific differences having the statistical hallmarks of being “adaptive” 37 38 39 40. Even the Y chromosome of the fruit fly, long presented as “exhibit A” in the gallery of garbage DNA, has been shown to have diverse effects on the phenotype of this insect.41 Such results are exactly the opposite of what Orgel and Crick and Doolittle and Sapienza predicted.

    Instead of 90% of the human or fly genome being junk, it seems that 90% or more of chromosomal DNA has some kind of specific developmental function, given the available data. Indeed, the emerging picture is that the species-specific nonprotein-coding regions encode numerous RNAs that help to shape the phenotype in ways that we are only beginning to understand.42 43 44 45 46 This is especially true for the transposable element fraction of human chromosomes–about 50% of our DNA–much of which is arranged and expressed in a taxon-specific manner. 33 47 48 49 Part of the reason for why a human is not a chimp is not a cow is not a whale, then, is that each species has its own set of sui generis “genes”–genomic texts specifying unique RNAs or even proteins that are used in embryogenesis.

    Put this together with what else has been documented, and a very different picture emerges as we look at the current debate. Namely, projection, doubling down and distraction by Moran et al in the context of rather inconvenient scientific and history of the debate facts.

    In particular, note from the opening words how the two pivotal papers c 1980 — Nature of course being the no 1 general journal of the natural sciences, rendered plausible on prevailing evolutionary explanatory frameworks, the then known observations.

    This is HYP-X accounts for existing observations, o1, o2 . . . Oj. In short, prediction in the sense of inference to best current acceptable explanation, per existing evidence seen as hard to handle otherwise. Retrodiction.

    While that was so, the rhetorical pattern of triumphalistically hitting “Creationists” and “IDiots” with junk DNA set in and became a stock talking point.

    Then came ENCODE etc, and there was obviously another vestigial organs argument in hand.

    We are seeing revisionising in the teeth of the facts of the timeline, and damage control backed up by well you dummies and ignoramuses just don’t understand.

    KF

  116. 116

    @lutesuite

    You are disengenious that predicting junk dna is like predicting general relativity.

    From the beginning Darwinists have always celebrated crap as evidence for evolution. That there are lots of vestigal structures, that mutation is random in regards to fitness. It makes no sense on darwinian terms to then consider the DNA as clean.

    The reference to selection being efficient in cleaning up a single non functional base amounts to storytelling. The mathematics on it must be done, and you cannot make the numbers add up with the very low cost of maintaining a single base.

  117. 117

    @Barry “Sadly, both Moran and lutesuite are hosting a domineering parasitical ideology that is undermining their responsible rational freedom and destroying their capacity to think clearly.”

    Subjectivity is a creationist concept.

    Beauty, ugliness, honesty and dishonesty are all creationist concepts. Moran and Lutesuite, evolutionists in general, lack awareness of the agency of their decisions, their human spirit.

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Already, 9 – 10 years ago, the first bits of handwriting were on the wall:

    [Aarron T. Willingham 1 and Thomas R. Gingeras,
    Cell 125, June 30, 2006 ©2006 Elsevier Inc., p 1215ff:]

    ESSAY

    TUF Love for “Junk” DNA

    >>Over the past five years, research –
    ers working with various organisms
    and using multiple technologies to
    explore genomewide gene expres-
    sion have converged on the same
    surprising conclusion: transcription is
    widespread throughout the genome
    and many-fold higher than existing
    genome annotations would predict.
    The burgeoning number of these
    transcripts of unknown function, or
    TUFs (Cheng et al., 2005), highlights
    a remarkably complex transcriptional
    architecture that includes alternative
    splice isoforms for almost all protein-
    coding genes, widespread transcrip-
    tion of antisense RNAs, and abun-
    dant noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs)
    with important biological functions.
    By some estimates, TUFs could rival
    protein-coding transcripts in number
    (Cawley et al., 2004). Such transcrip-
    tional diversity may explain how the
    relatively similar numbers of protein-
    coding genes estimated for fruit fly
    (13,985; BDGP release 4), nematode
    worm (21,009; Wormbase release
    150), and human (23,341; NCBI
    release 36) result in the remarkable
    phenotypic differences observed
    among these species.>>

    KF

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, actually, they are forced to live in cognitive dissonance between what they intuitively know and experience every time they argue for evolutionary materialist scientism on one hand and what that ideology demands that they advocate on the other. But the ideological imperative must prevail and they refuse to acknowledge that something is very wrong . . . the implicit epistemology of their system is self-refuting. So we are back to dealing with an aggressively destructive and domineering ideological parasite. KF

  120. 120
    Box says:

    Kairosfocus,

    what bothers me to no end is that they don’t share our disgust with the materialistic worldview. It is not that they are materialists who are in fear of being right. And when they are in the grip of dogmatic ‘certainty’, it is not that they mourn the meaninglessness of our lives and the non-existence of a loving God.
    What we see, again and again, is that they embrace all that emptiness, because they want the world to be meaningless.
    This I do not understand.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, in significant part, because of the perceived “benefits” of an ideology that gives them a scientific lab coat as cover for the underlying anti-theism and anti-Christian hostility or even in some cases bigotry and hate; which is now being distilled out of the air by mad men turning it into shoot on sight or into Christians are not qualified to do more than sweep streets and clean muck or the like, should be stripped of academic awards or honours, and must never ever be allowed into responsible positions . . . sadly, there is only slight hyperbole in that. For those who are as you describe. There are those who at least dimly see something is wrong, destructively wrong and hold back. That is why Provine targetted those who refused to go all the way to denial of responsible, rational freedom in his U Tenn 1998 Darwin Day address. KF

  122. 122
    Box says:

    KF, interestingly all references to “Darwin day 1998” and “Provine” seem to be removed from the University of Tennessee website. So your links no longer function.

  123. 123
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arington asks,

    OK, after three chances Larry has refused to answer the simple question I posed at 35.

    Here it is again: “Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA. Does that mean neither of us understands Darwinism?”

    Larry has refused to answer it because it places him on the horns of a dilemma. He has rested his entire case for “Barry does not understand Darwinism” on the foundation of his assertion that I do not understand the junk DNA issue.

    The problem with that is that I agree with Francis Collins’ present position on junk DNA. Therefore, if I am wrong, so is Francis.

    You can see how this is a problem for Larry. If he answers the question “no” then the foundation of his case collapses. If he answers the question “yes” then he looks like an idiot for saying one of the world’s leading biologists does not understand Darwinism, and he loses all credibility.

    Barry, the problem with your question is that it’s kinda a “gotcha” question that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

    I’ll do the best I can.

    With respect to junk DNA, I think that about 90% of the human genome is junk. It has no function. I disagree with Francis Collins on this issue, as do most evolutionary biologists who are knowledgeable about molecular evolution.

    I know that most ID proponents have been inundated with propaganda about ENCODE but the reality in the scientific community is that the ENCODE publicity campaign was just hype. Most knowledgeable scientists reject the ENCODE claim that they discovered function in 90% of the human genome.

    Even the ENCODE leaders themselves have backed off that claim.

    Kellis, M., Wold, B., Snyder, M.P., Bernstein, B.E., Kundaje, A., Marinov, G.K., Ward, L.D., Birney, E., Crawford, G.E., and Dekker, J. (2014) Defining functional DNA elements in the human genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 111:6131-6138. [doi: 10.1073/pnas.1318948111]

    One of the original ENCODE workers, and one of the authors of that paper, is Georgi Marinov. He is a regular contributor the science blogs, including Sandwalk. You are welcome to ask him questions about ENCODE in order to understand what they did.

    So, to answer the first part of your question, “yes” I think Francis Collins is wrong about junk DNA.

    The second part of your question is whether Francis Collins understands “Darwinism.” That’s a more difficult question to answer because it depends on what you mean by “Darwinism.” The answer could be “yes” he understands “Darwinism” as well as you do but that wouldn’t be very informative, would it?

    I think what you want to know is whether Francis Collins could be considered an expert of molecular evolution and the answer to that question is clearly “no.” He does not understand the subject as well as he should.

    I’m not a leading expert either but I think I understand most of it. I’m trying to explain it to others and when I make a mistake there are leading expert out there who correct me, frequently.

    You can find them on the science blogs. They are people like Joe Felsenstein, Dan Graur, Arlin Stoltzfus, Ford Doolittle, and a host of others (e.g. Michael Lynch, Masatoshi Nei). Everyone agrees that they are leading experts on molecular evolution.

    They all disagree with Francis Collins about junk DNA. They all disagree with Francis Collins’ views on evolution.

    Now, ID proponents don’t HAVE to agree with the leading experts on molecular evolution but I think it’s only fair that you know what they think. Don’t try to mislead your followers by pretending that junk DNA has been refuted.

  124. 124
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 119

    MNY, actually, they are forced to live in cognitive dissonance between what they intuitively know and experience every time they argue for evolutionary materialist scientism on one hand and what that ideology demands that they advocate on the other. But the ideological imperative must prevail and they refuse to acknowledge that something is very wrong . . . the implicit epistemology of their system is self-refuting. So we are back to dealing with an aggressively destructive and domineering ideological parasite. KF

    Or, to put it another way, anyone who doesn’t agree with your religious beliefs must be mad?

    Materialism has given us all the science and technology that we now take for granted. There is not a single current major theory in science that posits the existence of a god as one of its foundational assumptions or requires such an hypothesis.

    None of this has anything to do with morality, of course, given that you cannot derive “is” from “ought”. As an a/mat I have my own moral beliefs, which are probably not too far from yours, although I see two differences.

    The first is that mine do not rely on the authority of some alien or deity for their validity. They rely on the acceptance and consent of those to whom they apply. They regard adult human beings as responsible adults, not children or animals that have to be coerced or threatened into behaving in an acceptable way.

    The second is that, not being bound to a particular dogma. I am not faced with the same moral contradictions as some Christians. For example, one of the many horrors perpetrated by ISIS in the course of that terrible conflict is the abduction of thousands of Yazidi women who have been distributed amongst – or sold to – ISIS fighters for use as effectively their personal sex slaves. There are reports of hundreds of them being driven to suicide to escape that ordeal. This is a crime against humanity by any reasonable standard.

    Yet we see exactly the same behavior described in the Old Testament as being committed by the Israelites with the approval and encouragement of their God. These accounts have not been purged form the text nor repudiated by the the church. Do we assume, therefore, that you approve of such acts since they appear to have found favor in the eyes of your God. How do you escape the contradiction that such acts, which I’m sure horrify you as much as they do me, are presented as moral in the Bible?

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  125. 125
    bornagain says:

    Box @ 120, agreed!

    You may find this semi-related article humorous:

    Militant atheists, (if they had a mind), should learn to never argue with a brain surgeon when it comes to debating issues of the human mind:

    Teaching a Parrot Newton’s Principia – Michael Egnor – November 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Shallit:

    “As for “instantiate a universal,” I think you presume I belong to some philosophical school where this makes sense. I don’t even believe in universals, at least as conceived of by some philosophers. I’m not a Platonist or Aristotelian, for example, nor am I a realist. Give me a specific example of something you want that cannot be possible under materialism, not vague prattle.”

    Egnor: Examples of universals: “philosophical school,” “universals,” “Platonist,” “example,” “Aristotelian,” “realist,” “specific,” “something,” “materialism,” “vague prattle.” Shallit’s denial of universals is full of universals.
    Universals exist. There is genuine debate as to whether they exist in a separate realm (Plato), in particulars (Aristotle), or only in the mind with no independent existence per se (Ockham). But in order to debate universals one must invoke universals, whatever they are.
    And whatever universals are (I agree with Aristotle), it is men, and not animals, who contemplate them.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00831.html

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    How you protest so revealingly by projecting what you wish were so.

    Let me take just one angle, that of Pearcey (with a reinforcing slice of Provine):

    A major way to test a philosophy or worldview is to ask: Is it logically consistent? Internal contradictions are fatal to any worldview because contradictory statements are necessarily false. “This circle is square” is contradictory, so it has to be false. An especially damaging form of contradiction is self-referential absurdity — which means a theory sets up a definition of truth that it itself fails to meet. Therefore it refutes itself . . . . An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.

    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.

    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?

    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.

    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.

    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.

    Of course, the sheer pressure to survive is likely to produce some correct ideas. A zebra that thinks lions are friendly will not live long. But false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

    [–> that is, responsible, rational freedom is undermined. Cf here William Provine in his 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day keynote:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.

    A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”

    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.” [ENV excerpt, Finding Truth (David C. Cook, 2015) by Nancy Pearcey.]

    Kindly find me a single Bible quote or appeal to religious sentiment in that — which I fully endorse on philosophical-logical grounds — rather than a serious issue over epistemology and comparative difficulties of worldviews.

    There is a serious and foundational question of self referentiality and incoherence there, face it.

    KF

    PS: On both morality and reasoning, the undermining of responsible freedom is the crucial issue, as is of course the problem of bridging the IS-OUGHT gap, especially when a worldview denies objectivity to morality. Which boils down to implying that might and manipulation make “right” and “truth” etc. Much more to be said on that, this is just a marker pin.

  127. 127
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, thanks for the headsup. As usual somewhat convenient web rot. Wayback machine is always helpful: http://wayback.archive.org/web.....stract.htm The remarks and the occasion of course have been notorious for many years now and cannot be put down the forget and deny hole. KF

  128. 128

    @Seversky “Materialism has given us all the science and technology that we now take for granted. ”

    You are simply rejecting subjectivity. Materialism can only deal with facts.

    Subjectivity is a creationist concept. Only creationism validates both subjectivity and objectivity.

  129. 129
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry Moran @ 123:

    I think what you want to know is whether Francis Collins could be considered an expert of molecular evolution and the answer to that question is clearly “no.”

    No, I don’t want to know whether Francis Collins is a leading expert on molecular evolution. The issue we have been discussing is whether you can back up your claim that I do not understand evolution. The ONLY evidence you’ve adduced so far is that I am wrong about junk DNA. And on that basis — and that basis alone — you claim I do not understand Darwinism.

    Now it happens that I agree with Dr. Collins’ present views about junk DNA. It follows that if disagreeing with your position about junk DNA is the sole criterion for whether I understand Darwinism (and you have made it so by your inability to adduce any other evidence to back up your claim), then neither does Dr. Collins.

    And of course, whether Dr. Collins is a leading expert on Darwinism is not the same question as whether he understands Darwinism at all. You admit this in your own comment when you say “I’m not a leading expert either.” Yet, you claim to understand Darwinism (as opposed to myself) even though you are not a leading expert.

    So your attempt to deflect and distort fails.

    Larry, I will ask you one more time. Do try to answer honestly this time. Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA. Does that mean neither of us understands Darwinism?

  130. 130
    Barry Arrington says:

    Onlookers, Larry Moran has backed himself into a corner. He goes onto the internet and mocks me before the entire world with his claim that I do not understand Darwinism.

    I call him to account and demand that he back his claim up. If he is so certain that I do not understand Darwinism, surely he can point to some error I’ve made on the topic. Otherwise, his claim is false and based on nothing more than his anti-ID bigotry.

    Larry flailed about in three separate posts over at Sandwalk. At the end of the day, the ONLY evidence he could come up with is his assertion that I am wrong about junk DNA.

    But I agree with many of the world’s leading scientists about that question, including many scientists, such as Dr. Collins, who are actively hostile to ID.

    So the problem with Larry’s “evidence” that I do not understand Darwinism is obvious. If my position on junk DNA is the measure, then many of the world’s leading scientists do not understand Darwinism either.

    Larry, you really stuck your foot into it this time. The ONLY honorable thing for you to do is withdraw your charge and apologize. I will not be holding my breath waiting for you to do the honorable thing.

  131. 131
    Barry Arrington says:

    A final note Larry.

    You and I both know that all of the unbiased observers who have been following this exchange believe that your initial irresponsible charge combined with your feckless defense of that charge have made you look like a fool.

    You should bear that in mind the next time you consider attacking me. I bite back.

  132. 132
    bornagain says:

    OT:

    The myth of the eternal war between science and religion – Robert Barron – Nov. 12, 2015
    Excerpt: But this myth is so much nonsense. Leaving aside the complexities of the Galileo story, we can see that the vast majority of the founding figures of modern science — Copernicus, Newton, Kepler, Descartes, Pascal, Tycho Brahe — were devoutly religious. More to the point, two of the most important physicists of the 19th century — Faraday and Maxwell — were extremely pious, and the formulator of the Big Bang theory, Georges Lemaitre, was a priest.,,,
    It is no accident that modern science first appeared in Christian Europe, where a doctrine of creation held sway.,,,
    ,,if the world were considered unintelligible, no science would get off the ground, because all science is based on the presumption that nature can be known. But the world, Christians agree, is thoroughly intelligible, and hence scientists have the confidence to seek, explore and experiment.
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion.....story.html

    If I may be so bold as the boy in “The Emperor has no clothes”, the real war between science and religion is not between Christianity and science, the real war between science and religion is the war that is going on inside the atheist’s mind who is resolutely committed to denying that God is real whilst at the same time being absolutely dependent of God so as to ‘do science’ in the first place:

    ” Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All (Stephen) Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules.
    Hawking needs God in order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter –
    Photo – an atheist contemplating his mind
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

  133. 133
    wd400 says:

    What an incredible waste of time and effort.

    Aside from all the silly point scoring, the truth of it goes something like this

    Darwinism (as the term is used in science i.e. evolutionary theories that emphasize selection) does not predict junk DNA. Darwinists (scientific sense) certainly didn’t predict junk DNA would exist or be common, and indeed balked at the idea of it. One of the first papers to talk about what later came to be called junk DNA was titled “Non-Darwinian evolution”!

    On the other hand evolutionary biology, and in particular the neutral (and nearly neutral) theory, provides a very nice explanation of the existence of junk (and indeed offers ways to test hypotheses about the distribution of junk DNA across species). The neutral theory is now a core part of evolutionary biology, so much so that even people who otherwise favour selectionist ideas (Cyone, Dawkins…) acknowledged that it applies to much evolutionary change.

    Then you have ENCODE and the supposed death of junk DNA. The meme that ENCODE killed junk DNA is widespread but no supported by anything in any of their papers. Unfortunately a lot of molecular biologists (Collins included) don’t understand much abut evolution or the evidence for junk DNA. So they’ve swallowed this meme whole. Most evolutionary biologists have not. Indeed, the only evolutionary biologist quoted in this thread or the ENV post as having backpedaling on their position is Richard Hawkins. Dawkins was a great popularizer (before he bacame a full time internet troll), but not a spokesman for evoluionary biology!

    If the whole thing boils down to Richard Dawkins frequently runs his mouth of without thinking then there’s no argument here.

  134. 134
    Jack Jones says:

    @133

    “Unfortunately a lot of molecular biologists (Collins included) don’t understand much abut evolution”

    You are contradicting Professor Moran who believes Molecular Biologists understand evolution to do their work, Here you are telling us that Collins does not understand to do his work.

    The Knots that evolutionists get themselves into.

    Anyway. What are your qualifications to claim who does and who does not understand?

  135. 135
    wd400 says:

    Molecular biologists should understand evolution, but many of them don’t. That’s how you end up with messes like the ENCODE press releases.

    My qualifications are neither here no there, but if you must know I’m an evolutionary biologist.

  136. 136
    Jack Jones says:

    “Molecular biologists should understand evolution”

    Professor Moran has it that they do understand evolution

    You are contradicting Professor Moran

    “My qualifications are neither here no there, but if you must know I’m an evolutionary biologist.”

    Really, What’s your name?

  137. 137
    Jack Jones says:

    Here is our exchange

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....pt-in.html

    Jack JonesTuesday, November 03, 2015 11:17:00 AM

    “central importance of the theory of evolution”

    Yet the evolutionary camp cannot get their act together on just what the theory is. They are all squabbling with each other over that.

    “process of natural selection”

    Evolutionists can’t even get their story straight on what Natural Selection is.

    Some say it is a process, some say it is an outcome etc, Look at Jerry Coyne, he is confused about what it is because of all of the confusion in the evolutionary camp.

    Jerry Coyne-“In principle, natural selection is simple. It is neither a “law” nor a “mechanism.

    Jerry Coyne “and the mechanism for most (but not all) of evolutionary change is natural selection.”

    hahaha

    Some say it is survival of the fittest, Some say the fittest are the strongest,the fastest etc

    Some say that fitness is defined by the number of offspring, So somebody that is terminally ill but who has children would be fitter than a just so story telling evolutionary biologist who is in excellent health but has no children.

    hahahaha

    “evidence for the theory of evolution”

    Yet the evolutionary camp cannot get their story straight on just what the theory is.

    “molecular basis of natural selection”

    They can’t even get their story straight on what natural selection is,

    Dr Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School states:

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”

    Students of Molecular Biology etc do just fine without evolutionary just so stories filling their heads with crap. If evolutionists want to fill peoples heads with evolutionary just so stories then maybe they should sell them to the sci fi channel.

    hahaha

    After I quoted Marc Kirschner, Larry Moran posted this.

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....pt-in.html

    Laurence A. MoranTuesday, November 03, 2015 12:23:00 PM

    Jack Jones says,

    In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all

    Can you find me a single college-level biochemistry textbook or a molecular biology textbook that doesn’t discuss evolution and use our knowledge of evolution to explain and extend fundamental concepts in their disciplines?

    It’s a simple question. Let’s see if you are up to it.

    If not, retract your lie.

  138. 138
    wd400 says:

    I kind of doubt that Moran thinks that all molecular biologists understand evolution. If he does he’s wrong.

    My name is none of you business.

  139. 139
    Box says:

    WD400: Molecular biologists should understand evolution, but many of them don’t.

    What is it about evolution that many molecular biologists do not understand?

  140. 140
    Jack Jones says:

    “I kind of doubt that Moran thinks that all molecular biologists understand evolution. If he does he’s wrong. ”

    He must think they all understand, according to him, it is in their books, and that must mean they understand it. Otherwise he wouldn’t have challenged me to go through the books.

    I have no problem with the idea that the term is used in some generic sense or narrative gloss but Professor Moran clearly thinks more, due to his outrage at the Kirschner quote.

    I also have no problem with the idea that some molecular biologists show more interest in the subject than others, if it is not central to their work.

    “My name is none of you business.”

    It kind of is.

    You claim to be an evolutionary Biologist and you claim what individuals understand and do not understand.

    What’s your name? Have you written any books or been in any publications?

    Do you teach any courses?

    If you can’t give your name then we will have to take it with a pinch of salt that you are an evolutionary biologist. If you are not an evolutionary biologist then that wouldn’t mean your views do not matter but it would mean you are pretending to be something you are not for added kudos.
    .

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky:

    Following up a bit in a gap in the day, and I must express thanks for inadvertently bringing to light some of the underlying issues and dangers we face:

    Materialism has given us all the science and technology that we now take for granted. There is not a single current major theory in science that posits the existence of a god as one of its foundational assumptions or requires such an hypothesis.

    The assertion is so blatant a case of triumphalist and propagandistic evolutionary materialist scientism and misrepresentation of the actual history of science, technology and economic progress, that it deserves to be headlined.

    Materialism is not responsible for the progress of science and technology, not for its roots; that you seem to think so itself speaks volumes on just how far out of touch with accurate history of ideas and of sci-tech you have become.

    Science is not equal to materialism, no more than that it is equal to religion, and no theory relevant to he actual progress in physics, chemistry, engineering, industry, or even medicine is critically dependent on or controlled by materialist philosophy. Those theories that are, are deeply problematic, as with evolutionary biology.

    For, again, evolutionary materialism is self refuting and necessarily false and incoherent.

    Second, the notion, assertion or assumption that science [especially as controlled by the materialistic magisterium] delimits reliable knowledge or reason is itself an epistemological claim, a philosophical claim. It is self refuting as a direct result.

    Further to all this, knowledge goes far beyond science and science is only one province of knowledge.

    As to the self-congratulatory but ill informed notion that it is when the atheists took over that science got anywhere, let me for the moment clip from Peterson in a 2005 American Spectator article:

    Sometimes the most obvious facts are the easiest to overlook. Here is one that ought to be stunningly obvious: science as an organized, sustained enterprise arose only once in the history of Earth. Where was that? Although other civilizations have contributed technical achievements or isolated innovations, the invention of science as a cumulative, rigorous, systematic, and ongoing investigation into the laws of nature occurred only in Europe; that is, in the civilization then known as Christendom. Science arose and flourished in a civilization that, at the time, was profoundly and nearly exclusively Christian in its mental outlook.

    There are deep reasons for that, and they are inherent in the Judeo-Christian view of the world which, principally in its Christian manifestation, formed the European mind. As Stark observes, the Christian view depicted God as “a rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being and the universe as his personal creation, thus having a rational, lawful, stable structure, awaiting human comprehension.” That was not true of belief systems elsewhere. A view that the universe is uncreated, has been around forever, and is just “what happens to be” does not suggest that it has fundamental principles that are rational and discoverable. Other belief systems have considered the natural world to be an insoluble mystery, conceived of it as a realm in which multiple, arbitrary gods are at work, or thought of it in animistic terms. None of these views will, or did, give rise to a deep faith that there is a lawful order imparted by a divine creator that can and should be discovered.

    Recent scholarship in the history of science reveals that this commitment to rational, empirical investigation of God’s creation is not simply a product of the “scientific revolution” of the 16th and 17th centuries, but has profound roots going back at least to the High Middle Ages. The development of the university system in medieval times was, of course, almost entirely a product of the Church. Serious students of the period know that this was neither a time of stagnation, nor of repression of inquiry in favor of dogma. Rather, it was a time of great intellectual ferment and discovery, and the universities fostered rational, empirical, systematic inquiry.

    A newly published work by Thomas Woods (How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization) is replete with far more examples of the contributions of medieval scholars than can be mentioned here. But as Woods recounts, one need only look at some of the leading figures in the universities in the 1200s to see that they were already well along in the development of principles of empirical scientific inquiry. Roger Bacon, a Franciscan who taught at Oxford, wrote in Opus Maius:
    Without experiment, nothing can be adequately known. An argument proves theoretically, but does not give the certitude necessary to remove all doubt; nor will the mind repose in the clear view of truth, unless it finds it by way of experiment.

    Albertus Magnus — prodigious scholar, naturalist, teacher of Thomas Aquinas, and member of the Dominican order — affirmed in his De Mineralibus that the purpose of science is “not simply to accept the statements of others, that is, what is narrated by people, but to investigate the causes that are at work in nature for themselves.” Another 13th-century figure, Robert Grosseteste, who was chancellor of Oxford and Bishop of Lincoln, has been identified as “the first man ever to write down a complete set of steps for performing a scientific experiment,” according to Woods.

    WHEN THE DISCOVERIES of science exploded in number and importance in the 1500s and 1600s, the connection with Christian belief was again profound. Many of the trailblazing scientists of that period when science came into full bloom were devout Christian believers, and declared that their work was inspired by a desire to explore God’s creation and discover its glories. Perhaps the greatest scientist in history, Sir Isaac Newton, was a fervent Christian who wrote over a million words on theological subjects. Other giants of science and mathematics were similarly devout: Boyle, Descartes, Kepler, Leibniz, Pascal. To avoid relying on what might be isolated examples, Stark analyzed the religious views of the 52 leading scientists from the time of Copernicus until the end of the 17th century. Using a methodology that probably downplayed religious belief, he found that 32 were “devout”; 18 were at least “conventional” in their religious belief; and only two were “skeptics.” More than a quarter were themselves ecclesiastics: “priests, ministers, monks, canons, and the like.”

    Down through the 19th century, many of the leading figures in science were thoroughgoing Christians. A partial list includes Babbage, Dalton, Faraday, Herschel, Joule, Lyell, Maxwell, Mendel, and Thompson (Lord Kelvin). A survey of the most eminent British scientists near the end of the 19th century found that nearly all were members of the established church or affiliated with some other church.

    In short, scientists who were committed Christians include men often considered to be fathers of the fields of astronomy, atomic theory, calculus, chemistry, computers, electricity, genetics, geology, mathematics, and physics. In the late 1990s, a survey found that about 40 percent of American scientists believe in a personal God and an afterlife — a percentage that is basically unchanged since the early 20th century. A listing of eminent 20th-century scientists who were religious believers would be far too voluminous to include here — so let’s not bring coals to Newcastle, but simply note that the list would be large indeed, including Nobel Prize winners.

    Far from being inimical to science, then, the Judeo-Christian worldview is the only belief system that actually produced it. Scientists who (in Boyle’s words) viewed nature as “the immutable workmanship of the omniscient Architect” were the pathfinders who originated the scientific enterprise. The assertion that intelligent design is automatically “not science” because it may support the concept of a creator is a statement of materialist philosophy, not of any intrinsic requirement of science itself . . .

    Your epistemology and wider philosophy are wrong and self refuting, your history of sci-tech and progress is wrong.

    That is just for starters.

    Of much deeper concern is that you have let the cat out of the bag and allowed us to see the mentality and agenda we are dealing with, a mentality and agenda that are as ill informed, bigoted and indoctrinated as they are triumphalistic and dangerous.

    Just as a quick follow up you MUST know that the founders of modern science saw themselves as thinking God’s creative and sustaining thoughts after him (hence terms like LAW of nature) and that down tot his day science is not about being applied atheism but about exploring the order of our world as informed by empirical evidence.

    For starters.

    KF

  142. 142
    LarTanner says:

    Unbiased observers see that in comment 123, Larry Moran gives a direct and clear answer to the questions asked.

    Then, in three separate, successive comments Barry Arrington rejects the answer, appeals to the sympathetic UD/ID crowd that he really does so understand science of evolution, and then thumps his chest by saying “I bite back” and Prof. Moran looks like a fool.

    So, what unbiased observers see is Barry Arrington exerting a lot of effort to argue that he knows evolutionary science or “Darwinism” or whatever. Argue, argue, argue.

    We have indeed met the “Domineering Parasitical Ideology,” and it is….

  143. 143
    Barry Arrington says:

    LarTanner,

    OK, I’ll bite. How is “Francis Collins is not a leading expert in Darwinism” an answer to the question “does Francis Collins understand Darwnism.”

    If your answer is that one must be a leading expert to understand it at all, then you are saying Larry does not understand it. Because he admits he is not a leading expert.

    I will be eagerly awaiting your explanation for why answering a question I did not ask is a “direct and clear” answer to a question I did ask. This should be good.

  144. 144
    Barry Arrington says:

    BTW LarTanner,

    The “tut-tut” tone of your comment is particularly ironic when one takes into account that fact that this exchange started when Larry took to the Internet to mock me.

  145. 145
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Just to give some balance, let me cite from the General Scholium in Newton’s Principia, the greatest single work of modern science and the book that presented to the world the foundation of physics as we know it and a huge slice of engineering:

    . . . This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another.

    This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator , or Universal Ruler; for God is a relative word, and has a respect to servants; and Deity is the dominion of God not over his own body, as those imagine who fancy God to be the soul of the world, but over servants. The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect; but a being, however perfect, without dominion, cannot be said to be Lord God; for we say, my God, your God, the God of Israel, the God of Gods, and Lord of Lords; but we do not say, my Eternal, your Eternal, the Eternal of Israel, the Eternal of Gods; we do not say, my Infinite, or my Perfect: these are titles which have no respect to servants. The word God usually signifies Lord; but every lord is not a God. It is the dominion of a spiritual being which constitutes a God: a true, supreme, or imaginary dominion makes a true, supreme, or imaginary God. And from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present; and by existing always and every where, he constitutes duration and space. Since every particle of space is always, and every indivisible moment of duration is every where, certainly the Maker and Lord of all things cannot be never and no where. Every soul that has perception is, though in different times and in different organs of sense and motion, still the same indivisible person. There are given successive parts in duration, co-existent puts in space, but neither the one nor the other in the person of a man, or his thinking principle; and much less can they be found in the thinking substance of God. Every man, so far as he is a thing that has perception, is one and the same man during his whole life, in all and each of his organs of sense. God is the same God, always and every where. He is omnipresent not virtually only, but also substantially; for virtue cannot subsist without substance. In him are all things contained and moved [i.e. cites Ac 17, where Paul evidently cites Cleanthes]; yet neither affects the other: God suffers nothing from the motion of bodies; bodies find no resistance from the omnipresence of God. It is allowed by all that the Supreme God exists necessarily; and by the same necessity he exists always, and every where. [i.e accepts the cosmological argument to God.] Whence also he is all similar, all eye, all ear, all brain, all arm, all power to perceive, to understand, and to act; but in a manner not at all human, in a manner not at all corporeal, in a manner utterly unknown to us. As a blind man has no idea of colours, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things. He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, nor heard, or touched; nor ought he to be worshipped under the representation of any corporeal thing. [Cites Exod 20.] We have ideas of his attributes, but what the real substance of any thing is we know not. In bodies, we see only their figures and colours, we hear only the sounds, we touch only their outward surfaces, we smell only the smells, and taste the savours; but their inward substances are not to be known either by our senses, or by any reflex act of our minds: much less, then, have we any idea of the substance of God. We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and final cause [i.e from his designs]: we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and adore him on account of his dominion: for we adore him as his servants; and a god without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. [i.e necessity does not produce contingency] All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing. [That is, implicitly rejects chance, Plato’s third alternative and explicitly infers to the Designer of the Cosmos.] But, by way of allegory, God is said to see, to speak, to laugh, to love, to hate, to desire, to give, to receive, to rejoice, to be angry, to fight, to frame, to work, to build; for all our notions of God are taken from. the ways of mankind by a certain similitude, which, though not perfect, has some likeness, however. And thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy.

    The imperious assertion that materialism is the be all and end all of scientific and technological progress is not only a grossly ill-informed blunder but it is an agenda to rewrite history to give to materialism a credibility it did not earn nor does it deserve.

    As, indeed we can see from its inherent self referential incoherence that leads to its necessary falsity.

    And, we also see as telling an illustration of the domineering parasitism that we could want, and where it points.

  146. 146
    kairosfocus says:

    LT, if you trouble to look above, you will see why for cause many will conclude that the junk DNA case is aptly illustrative of the exaggerated sense of knowing that has been used to intimidate others presumed to lack the expertise of the materialist magisterium, and the fiasco that it ended in. That is the context of Collins’ remarks which show a commendable humility. As for he deflective talking point, you don’t understand evolution (all except for our narrow little hall of mirrors circle) . . . and by implication you should blindly bow to our superior knowledge and insight, I suggest to you that as far as the focal issues are concerned, trying to elaborate on the latest epicycles does not resolve the core challenges starting with the root of the tree of life and accounting for the functionally specific complex organisation and information in that living cell, then for he similar FSCO/I to give us the body plans, on blind watchmaker chance and necessity. The rot starts in the roots, and the key issue origin of FSCO/I by blind watchaker forces, is well within the graps of ordinary people. Who know that to date the only actually observed cause of the FSCO/I around us — a trillion member base of observations — is design. And, such can readily understand what blind needle in haystack search poses as a challenge. KF

  147. 147
    LarTanner says:

    Oh, Barry. I assure you that the “‘tut-tut’ tone” of my comment is in how you read it, not in how I wrote it.

    As for your earlier question to me: you apparently have given away the answers already, so there’s nothing left for me to say.

  148. 148

    Seversky said:

    None of this has anything to do with morality, of course, given that you cannot derive “is” from “ought”. As an a/mat I have my own moral beliefs, which are probably not too far from yours, although I see two differences.

    The first is that mine do not rely on the authority of some alien or deity for their validity. They rely on the acceptance and consent of those to whom they apply. They regard adult human beings as responsible adults, not children or animals that have to be coerced or threatened into behaving in an acceptable way.

    So, if you see an adult physically abusing a child, you don’t move to stop them? You ask their consent first? Oh, please. You treat other adults as “adults” and through “mutual consent” only up to a certain point. Then, you act exactly like any theist and move to impose what you, at some level, consider to be absolute moral rules on anyone stepping over that line, even if most of society disagrees with you.

    Your idea that your morality is consistent with your materialism/atheism rests upon a deep web of self-deceit and poor critical thinking – much like your idea that scientific and technological success flows from “materialism” just because the work doesn’t refer to any “god”.

    Unfortunately, there’s just no correcting useful idiots like yourself because your emotion and a priori commitments overrule your capacity to reason.

  149. 149
    Barry Arrington says:

    LarTanner,

    I’m not going to let you get away with your 147. You came in and made the following claim:

    “Larry Moran gives a direct and clear answer to the questions asked.”

    I asked you “How is “Francis Collins is not a leading expert in Darwinism” an answer to the question “does Francis Collins understand Darwnism.”

    Instead of backing up your claim, you ran like a scalded hound.

    You and Larry have this in common: You make irresponsible and unsupportable claims, and when you are called to account you run away.

  150. 150
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arrington says,

    No, I don’t want to know whether Francis Collins is a leading expert on molecular evolution. The issue we have been discussing is whether you can back up your claim that I do not understand evolution. The ONLY evidence you’ve adduced so far is that I am wrong about junk DNA. And on that basis — and that basis alone — you claim I do not understand Darwinism.

    I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Perhaps I wasn’t clear.

    You are wrong about junk DNA but that’s not why I think you’re confused about the meaning of “Darwinism” (as you define it.)

    The reason I think you’re confused about Darwinism is because you said, “Darwinists touted ‘junk DNA’ as not just any evidence but powerful, practically irrefutable evidence for the Darwinian hypothesis.”

    I inferred (correctly) that you were saying that “Darwinism” predicted junk DNA (“Not only did both hypotheses make testable predictions, the Darwinist prediction turned out to be false …”).

    You’ve quibbled about whether or not you were referring to “Darwinism” when you said “Darwinists” and “Darwinian hypothesis” but so far you haven’t offered an alternative explanation.

    I pointed out that Darwinism and the Darwinian hypothesis are not compatible with junk DNA in spite of what you seem to be saying. Darwinists, by and large, are skeptical of junk DNA.

    That’s why I think you don’t understand Darwinism.

    Now you are changing the question to whether or not you understand “evolution.” That’s a different question. If you said that many evolutionary biologists have no trouble accounting for junk DNA according to their understanding of non-Darwinian processes, then I would agree with you.

    Is that what you meant to say?

    Now it happens that I agree with Dr. Collins’ present views about junk DNA. It follows that if disagreeing with your position about junk DNA is the sole criterion for whether I understand Darwinism (and you have made it so by your inability to adduce any other evidence to back up your claim), then neither does Dr. Collins.

    I hope I’ve cleared that up. You are having a great deal of difficulty understanding my argument. It’s probably my fault. I apologize.

    And of course, whether Dr. Collins is a leading expert on Darwinism is not the same question as whether he understands Darwinism at all. You admit this in your own comment when you say “I’m not a leading expert either.” Yet, you claim to understand Darwinism (as opposed to myself) even though you are not a leading expert.

    Neither of us are leading experts. But you said,

    Having studied Darwinism for over 20 years, I can tell you what it posits. Therefore, when I attack it, I am attacking the actual thing, not some distortion of the thing that exists nowhere but my own mind.

    We’re discussing your claim. My claim to understanding is similar to yours so let’s see which corresponds more closely to that of the leading experts. Okay?

    So your attempt to deflect and distort fails.

    I don’t think it does. Do you understand my position now?

    Larry, I will ask you one more time. Do try to answer honestly this time. Francis Collins disagrees with you about junk DNA in the same way I disagree with you about junk DNA. Does that mean neither of us understands Darwinism?

    And I’ll answer as best I can.

    I don’t know whether your disagreement with me is for the same reasons that Francis Collins disagrees with me. I doubt it very much since Collins rejected junk DNA by 2003—years before even the preliminary ENCODE results were published in 2007. I think your rejection of ENCODE relies mostly on the ENCODE 2012 papers. Am I right?

    Also, I suspect he understand some of the genetics and molecular biology better than you do.

    I also have difficulty with the question as I tried (unsuccessfully) to explain above. I think I know what you mean by “Darwinism” but I don’t know what Francis Collins might mean by that term.

    What I can say is that neither of you seem to have a very good grasp of modern evolutionary theory, especially molecular evolution and population genetics.

    HTH, HAND

  151. 151
    Jack Jones says:

    Professor Moran@150 says “What I can say is that neither of you seem to have a very good grasp of modern evolutionary theory”

    According to you, neither does Jerry coyne as he used the term Darwinism which you scoff at.

    Oh wait, what was your excuse, your excuse was that there are many different versions of Darwinism.

    But as J-Mac said

    “How could there be many different versions of Darwinism? You claimed many times on yours and others blogs that you are promoting the “truth”. What are you suggesting professor Moran? Are there different versions of Darwinism that collectively can be true?”

    Yet, Professor Moran who talks like he is the worlds most foremost authority didn’t want to answer that.

  152. 152
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry Moran:

    I inferred (correctly) that you were saying that “Darwinism” predicted junk DNA.

    No, you were not correct to infer that from what I said. I made a statement about what other people said, as you acknowledge. There is no logical basis for you to infer from my statement about other people’s statements what I personally believe.

    Larry, your efforts to defend your reckless, irresponsible and bigoted claim are becoming more and more deranged.

    Stop.

    I know you are not going to do the right thing and apologize. But at least stop making a fool of yourself. It is a sad spectacle, and it is truly the case that I am embarrassed for you.

  153. 153
    Jack Jones says:

    Apparently The late William Provine didn’t understand “modern evolutionary theory” either as he wrote the book “the random genetic drift fallacy”

    Seeing as Evolutionists can’t agree what the theory is but Larry moran is certain that he knows. The other scientists that disagree or disagreed with him before he passed away, in Provines case, on what the theory entails, get thrown under the bus by Professor Moran.

  154. 154
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran:

    With respect to junk DNA, I think that about 90% of the human genome is junk. It has no function. I disagree with Francis Collins on this issue, as do most evolutionary biologists who are knowledgeable about molecular evolution.

    Is this belief based upon observation? Theory? I’d like to understand the reasoning.

  155. 155
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry:

    Now you are changing the question to whether or not you understand “evolution.”

    Your desperation is really showing. You think the entire topic of the conversation has pivoted on a slip of my pen, even though I reverted to the correct word in the very next line.

  156. 156
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arrington says,

    Your desperation is really showing. You think the entire topic of the conversation has pivoted on a slip of my pen, even though I reverted to the correct word in the very next line.

    Sorry. I don’t want to lower myself to your level but you leave me no choice since you are constantly parsing words instead of dealing with content and ideas.

    If you would stop being so nit-picky and stop with the gotcha traps then I’d give you the benefit of the doubt.

    You won’t do the same with me.

  157. 157
    Jack Jones says:

    “Mung said “Is this belief based upon observation? Theory? I’d like to understand the reasoning.”

    It doesn’t appear that Professor Moran is going to give you more than an appeal to vote.

    Have Professor Moran’s Parents proven Psychic ability?

    He was named Larry after all.

  158. 158
    Larry Moran says:

    Mung,

    Is this belief based upon observation? Theory? I’d like to understand the reasoning.

    I’d like to believe that you really want to know the answer even though your past history suggests otherwise.

    There are five main arguments in favor of junk DNA.

    You can follow links and a discussion form this post …

    John Parrington discusses genome sequence conservation

    The five arguments are ….

    1. Genetic load
    2. Implications of the C-Value “Paradox”
    3. Modern evolutionary theory
    4. Pseudogenes and broken genes are junk
    5. Most of the genome is not conserved

    Arguments 1, 4, and 5 are very powerful arguments for junk DNA.

    There are several anti-junk (function) arguments based on …

    1. Pervasive transcription
    2. Lots of genes for small RNAs
    3. Complex regulatory sites
    4. Functional transposon and pseudogene sequences
    5. various bulk DNA hypotheses

    Many of them can be easily dismissed and others don’t make sense.

    The debate over the amount of junk DNA in our genome is still a legitimate scientific debate but among knowledgeable experts the junk DNA side is winning. Proponents of function among this group are definitely in a minority.

    In the broader scientific community (i.e. people who don’t know about all of the arguments) the majority think that most of our genome has a function. Almost every scientific journalist (except the very best ones) think that junk DNA has been refuted. This is the view of most ID proponents and they can find a rich source of quotations from these non-experts and journalists.

    If you really want to understand the science you should read the paper published by the ENCODE Consortium leaders a year-and-a-half after their initial well-hyped publicity campaign. You’ll see that they back off their initial claim that 80% of the genome is functional. That’s because they were severely criticized by experts in molecular evolution.

    Kellis, M., Wold, B., Snyder, M.P., Bernstein, B.E., Kundaje, A., Marinov, G.K., Ward, L.D., Birney, E., Crawford, G.E., and Dekker, J. (2014) Defining functional DNA elements in the human genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 111:6131-6138. [doi: 10.1073/pnas.1318948111]

  159. 159
    Barry Arrington says:

    Dr. Moran,

    Was there ever a time when you believed more than 90% of the human genome was junk (such as the 97% number quoted in the ENV post)?

  160. 160
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran:

    I’d like to believe that you really want to know the answer even though your past history suggests otherwise.

    Some people think I have at least two different identities.

    I’m looking for arguments FOR junk DNA. I see the ENCODE paper you refer me to has some references.

    On the against side we have The Myth of Junk DNA. Are you aware of any single book that makes the best case for the for side? If I don’t already have it I’ll get it.

    Frankly I don’t much care about the whole ‘Junk DNA’ debate so I can come down on either side. I have no reason to not consider the arguments (other than there’s perhaps a better way to spend my time).

    Having some exposure to software development, I don’t see the “junk” argument as particularly damaging to intelligent design.

    Even if organisms themselves were designed to carry out natural engineering experiments I think you’d still expect to find some of the detritus of failed experiments.

  161. 161
    Larry Moran says:

    Barry Arrington asks,

    Was there ever a time when you believed more than 90% of the human genome was junk (such as the 97% number quoted in the ENV post)?

    No, never. I moved from mostly functional (1969-74)—like most “Darwinians” at the time—to 90% junk (after 1972). I switched when I learned more about modern evolutionary theory.

    Many ID proponents think that it was common to attribute all noncoding DNA to the junk DNA category but that’s not correct … at least it’s not correct for any knowledgeable biochemists and molecular biologists or molecular evolution experts.

    Back in the time when junk DNA first became widely known (about 1970) we all knew about functions for lots of noncoding DNA. There were ribosomal RNA genes, tRNA genes, origins of replication, centromeres. telomeres (a bit later), and, above all, regulatory sequences (known since about 1962).

    Starting about the mid 1970s we learned about introns (noncoding, functional) and scaffold attachment regions (SCRs). We also started to add lots of noncoding genes for functional RNAs other than ribosomal RNAs and tRNAs.

    I don’t know why so many people pretend that at one point all noncoding DNA was considered junk. You won’t find any widespread support among experts for such a claim in the scientific literature

    It’s another example of false history.

  162. 162
    Larry Moran says:

    Mung asks,

    On the against side we have The Myth of Junk DNA. Are you aware of any single book that makes the best case for the for side? If I don’t already have it I’ll get it.

    I’m working on it. It will be called “What’s in Your Genome?”

    If you’re nice to me from now on, I’ll send you a copy. 🙂

    Other “against’ books are:

    Nessa Carey’s book “Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome.”

    and, John Parrington’s book “The Deeper Genome.”

  163. 163
    Jack Jones says:

    Professor Moran.

    Do you believe that evolution occurs according to need or happens irregardless of need?

  164. 164
    Mung says:

    I actually had both those books bookmarked. Guess now I’ll have to take the plunge on at least one of them. 🙂

    What about the book by Avise?

    Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design

  165. 165
    Larry Moran says:

    Mung asks,

    What about the book by Avise?

    It’s not bad but it’s a bit too religious (accommodationist) for my liking.

    I have three main goals in this book: to help to educate a broad audience about the inner workings of the human genome, to challenge proponents of Intelligent Design to address, more critically, the ancient theodicy challenge as it applies at the biomolecular level; and in general to promote the evolutionary sciences as a preferred means to comprehend biological phenomena. Specifically, I hope to nurture the sentiment that objective science—in this case from the field of molecular evolutionary genetics—can inform humanity’s attempts to understand the etiologies of complex biotic traits and processes.

  166. 166
    Jack Jones says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen.

    Professor Moran carries on as if he knows what the theory of evolution is, But he does not even know the answer to this question.

    Do you believe that evolution occurs according to need or happens irregardless of need?

    Hey Larry, Why don’t you know?, seeing as you keep going on about people not understanding “modern evolutionary theory”?

    hahahahaha

  167. 167
    Jack Jones says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen.

    Larry Moran apparently has turned into a turtle and gone into his shell. Did this really occur?

    Is that an example of evolution or devolution?

    Does that mean that evolution is not irreversible and that he evolved into a creature that was meant to be much earlier?, If it was evolution it wasn’t even in offspring over generations but happened to Moran himself.

    Does that mean that Richard Goldschmit was nearly right?

    Will evolutionists have to plot new evolutionary relationships and claim they knew this all along?

    Is this an example of convergent evolution, Did Professor Moran evolve into a turtle to hide in his shell independent of how other turtles evolved, because he does not know a simple question to this mythical “modern evolutionary theory” he keeps mentioning?

    Even Eldredge and Gould wouldn’t have come up with that type of leap, to explain the discontinuity away.

    It’s interesting folks.

  168. 168
    Gordon Davisson says:

    kairosfocus @110:

    GD, actually, all of this is distractive.

    Agreed. This argument is all about Barry defending his ego, which has no significance at all to the larger debate. So, to distract from the current distraction, let me take a quick look at the rest of what you said:

    Last month marks three years since I decided it was time to focus the main issue in its pure form, by issuing a challenge to darwinism advocates to address warranting their case starting with OOL and continuing through on blind watchmaker body plan evolution; a 6,000 word essay — feature length article — was the suggested approach, you can link elsewhere but should make your case in a nutshell that satisfactorily addresses the warrant for the grand narrative from roots to twigs on the tree of life. The offer is still open, no truly satisfactory essay has ever been put forward. OOL of course focusses the origin of FSCO/I without intelligent configuration issue in a context where the dodge by way of oh natural selection is magic is not on the table. For such reproduction is part of what has to be accounted for. The three years long want of solid answer speaks volumes on the issue on the merits, however much some may wish to preen themselves on their mastery of the latest epicycles and on dismissing those who don’t chase along on the rabbit trail. Sorry, the scheme is rotten from its root, OOL. KF

    I’m certainly not going to be able to give you the essay you want, and I don’t think anyone else can either. Let me take a look at why this is, and what inferences can (and cannot) be drawn from this.

    (And I should start with a caveat: I’m not particularly knowledgable about the state of OOL research, so take everything I say with a large grain of salt.)

    Nobody knows how life got started. Actually, there are two related questions: how life could have started, and how it actually did start. People have come up with a number of hypotheses about how the various critical properties of living organisms (reproduction, metabolism, encapsulation, etc) originated, but I don’t know of any that fully explain the origin of all of these properties in the same proto-organism.

    Also, even if someone comes up with a fully-worked-out process that could’ve produced a proto-organism abiotically, it’d still just be a hypothesis about what actually happened. Before it could be taken particularly seriously as the actual process, it’d have to be tested; and with the limited evidence available from that long ago, testing such a hypothesis is going to be difficult. Not impossible, mind you; you can do things like using phylogenetic methods to infer the properties of early organisms (at least as far back as LUCA, the last universal common ancestor), and compare them with what the OOL hypothesis predicts about the properties of the first organisms. It’s difficult, but not impossible. Just the sort of thing that makes science interesting.

    So, we don’t have a solid case that life did originate, or even could’ve originated, naturally. Does that mean we can infer some sort of ID must’ve been involved? Of course not, that would be an argument from ignorance (specifically, an ID-of-the-gaps argument). In order to do that you need to make a positive case that life could not have originated naturally. Which is where things like information-theoretic arguments (CSI and FSCO/I and such) come in.

    My take on these arguments is that … well, they’re actually a little like the situation with hypotheses about naturalistic OOL; there are two requirements a definition of information (call it “X”) must meet to make an argument against the naturalistic origin of something (“Y”): it must be possible to show that Y has X, and it must be possible to show that X cannot originate without ID.

    As with OOL hypotheses, there are definitions of information that meet the first requirement (e.g. the earlier versions of Dembski’s CSI) and maybe some that meet the second (e.g. the 2005 version of Dembski’s CSI comes at least very close), but I don’t know of any that meet both requirements at once.

    For the probability-based definitions (such as Dembski’s CSI and your FSCO/I), the biggest problem is the question of what probability distribution you base your calculation on.

    Consider a simple scenario: I find an object (something fairly inert, like a rock), and discover that it’s a bit warmer on one side than the other. After checking out the object and its surroundings a bit, I can’t find any explanation for this temperature difference. Now, the probability of a macroscopic temperature difference arising at random (i.e. by the random motions of the atoms that make up the object) is astronomically tiny — so far beyond any probability bound you might name that it’s not even funny. If I take the temperature gradient as my specification (technically, I’d treat the thermodynamic macrostate as the specification), and use the probability of that gradient arising at random to calculate the information content, I’m going to get a ridiculously huge number.

    If you use a definition of information that assumes a uniform random distribution, you’re going to find that this object has a huge CSI (or FSCO/I, or whatever) content, and therefore must’ve been intelligently produced. And you’ll probably be wrong; I’d argue that in the case described, an unknown but natural process is an entirely plausible explanation.

    So if you assume a uniform distribution for unknown natural processes, unknown natural processes can produce information.

    On the other hand, if you take the approach of Dembski’s 2005 version of CSI, you need to calculate the probability based on a hypothesis about the origin of the event in question. I don’t have a hypothesis, therefore can’t do the calculation, therefore can’t infer information (CSI/whatever).

    And the same thing’ll happen with the origin of life: no good hypothesis, no way to calculate probability, no way to infer information.

    So where does that leave us? As far as I can see, basically nowhere. There’s no way to out ID and no way to rule out naturalism. So I don’t think OOL provides a useful argument in either direction.

  169. 169
    Jack Jones says:

    Moranite@168 says “Agreed. This argument is all about Barry defending his ego, which has no significance at all to the larger debate”

    Erm No, it was about Professor Moran shooting his mouth off and moranites like you, defending the failures of Moran instead of recommending that Moran apologize to Mr Arrington.

    Go and read the posts objectively and stop talking BS.

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    GD, pardon, but if the Darwinism proponents had the goods as they often project (fact, Fact, FACT) that essay would be all over the Internet in many forms as survey feature articles. The ABSENCE is what is so telling. Later. KF

  171. 171
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: The actual thread focus is the grip of evolutionary materialist ideology, from the title on.

  172. 172
    bornagain says:

    Dr. Moran @158, you seem to suffer from the severely misguided belief that if you point to what you imagine to be non-functionality in the genome then you have somehow proven how unguided material processes can produce the astonishing functionality we see in the genome.

    To quote Pauli, your reasoning in this matter is “Not Even Wrong!”

    In order to explain functionality, ‘scientifically’, you must in fact experimentally demonstrate that the mechanisms you propose, namely unguided material processes, can indeed do what you claim they can.

    In that basic experimental requirement, your preferred atheistic/materialistic explanation fails miserably.

    Indeed, your preferred atheistic/materialistic explanation is not even in the right ballpark of being the correct explanation!

    Michael Behe – Observed (1 in 10^20) Edge of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    relevant Feynman quote:

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    A few more notes:

    Information Enigma (Where did the information come from?) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g

    Complex grammar of the genomic language – November 9, 2015
    Excerpt: The ‘grammar’ of the human genetic code is more complex than that of even the most intricately constructed spoken languages in the world. The findings explain why the human genome is so difficult to decipher –,,,
    ,,, in their recent study in Nature, the Taipale team examines the binding preferences of pairs of transcription factors, and systematically maps the compound DNA words they bind to.
    Their analysis reveals that the grammar of the genetic code is much more complex than that of even the most complex human languages. Instead of simply joining two words together by deleting a space, the individual words that are joined together in compound DNA words are altered, leading to a large number of completely new words.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....140252.htm

    I’ll give you a hint where the information comes from Dr. Moran:

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    The same was in the beginning with God.
    All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
    In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    Here is a song for you Dr. Moran

    Creed – My Own Prison – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBBqjGd3fHQ

  173. 173
    Gordon Davisson says:

    kairosfocus @170:

    GD, pardon, but if the Darwinism proponents had the goods as they often project (fact, Fact, FACT) that essay would be all over the Internet in many forms as survey feature articles. The ABSENCE is what is so telling. Later. KF

    Did you bother to read what I wrote? Did you see me say “fact, Fact, FACT,” or anything vaguely like it?

    There are some parts of evolutionary theory that are so well supported that they can be considered facts. Widespread (if not necessarily universal) common ancestry. Mutation, selection, and drift all happen; we see ’em in the lab, we see ’em in the wild, and we see their effects in genomes.

    Other things are not well established. The one you’re particularly concerned with, materialism, is neither well-established nor part of evolutionary theory. I’m not going to say anything at all like “fact, Fact, FACT” about it, because I don’t consider it one. I think it (or some variant, like physicalism) is the best available guess at the nature of reality, but I consider that a (semi-educated) guess, not fact.

    Also, not part of evolution, nor of science in general. Methodological naturalism is part of science, but philosophical naturalism is not.

    Everyone here is falling all over themselves accusing those of us on the science side of being hopelessly biased, irrational, etc. All I can really say is, have you looked in a mirror lately? The level of irrational bias on the ID side is completely ridiculous. Do you have all have any self-awareness at all?

    I certainly won’t claim to be unbiased myself, but I do try to be aware of my own biases, and keep them some vague sort of under control. What about those of you on the ID side? Do you really think bias is only something that happens to other people, or are you aware of your own biases?

    In particular, how can you be sure that it’s the evolutionists, not yourselves, that are hopelessly blinded by their metaphysical biases?

  174. 174
    Box says:

    In chapter 16 of ‘Darwin’s Doubt’ Meyer offers several arguments against Lynch’s (and Moran’s) neutral theory. Let me quote one.

    Lynch assumes a false gene-centric view of the origin of biological form. As he writes: “Most of the phenotypic diversity that we perceive in the natural world is directly attributable to the peculiar structure of the eukaryotic gene.”42 His view overlooks the crucial role of epigenetic information and structure in the origin of animal form discussed in Chapter 14 and, therefore, does nothing to explain its origin.

  175. 175
    Virgil Cain says:

    Gordon:

    So, we don’t have a solid case that life did originate, or even could’ve originated, naturally. Does that mean we can infer some sort of ID must’ve been involved?

    If that was all we had, not really. But given what we do have, then absolutely.

  176. 176
    Larry Moran says:

    Box says,

    In chapter 16 of ‘Darwin’s Doubt’ Meyer offers several arguments against Lynch’s (and Moran’s) neutral theory. Let me quote one.

    We know that Michael Lynch is one of the world’s leading experts on population genetics and molecular evolution. It would be foolish to dispute that.

    We know that I am not, although I do try and keep up with the experts.

    Is Stephen Meyer an expert on population genetics and molecular evolution?

  177. 177
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry:

    Is Stephen Meyer an expert on population genetics and molecular evolution?

    Commit the genetic fallacy much?

  178. 178
    brian douglas says:

    Mr. Arrington. I have seen this phrase ‘genetic fallacy’ a couple times. Could you please explain what it means, or direct me to a link that will explain it.

    Thank you.

  179. 179
    Andre says:

    I wonder has Prof Moran actually read Darwin’s doubt yet?

    Cover to cover?

  180. 180
    Box says:

    Larry Moran: We know that Michael Lynch is one of the world’s leading experts on population genetics and molecular evolution.

    Yes, we all know that. But let’s suppose, arguendo, that a naturalistic “blind watchmaker” evolution never occurred, simply because naturalism fails to accommodate life and is self-referentially incoherent and therefore self-refuting.*
    In that context, would Michael Lynch be one of the world’s leading experts on bunkdrivel, flim-flam, hokum, phooey, marlarkey?


    *Kairosfocus

  181. 181
    kairosfocus says:

    GD,

    With all due respect, I must differ.

    To begin with, you full well know that it is a COMMON resort by Darwinists to appeal to the assertion that the Darwinist macro picture is fact, Fact, FACT; with implication that only fools dispute facts. A simple glance back above will show that I spoke to that generality.

    As one advocating Darwinism and/or objecting to design you can hardly properly object to my highlighting that common-run behaviour and other linked behaviours that show the pattern of ideological indoctrination and imposition I am addressing. Where, BTW, this particular issue popped up in and around UD in recent days [i.e. AC] so it is a live issue.

    In fact, in your onward remarks you show that you too commit much the same error of conflating highly inferential and ideologically loaded macroevolutionary explanation with direct observation of actual empirical fact:

    There are some parts of evolutionary theory that are so well supported that they can be considered facts. Widespread (if not necessarily universal) common ancestry. Mutation, selection, and drift all happen; we see ’em in the lab, we see ’em in the wild, and we see their effects in genomes.

    Do you not see the error of conflation and halo of factual character by close rhetorical association you just fell into?

    What we see in the lab is small changes in populations, often by loss of prior function or in Lenski’s case apparent recovery of ability to use an existing mechanism under aerobic conditions. What we have definitely not actually seen is observation of common ancestry of body plans by blind watchmaker chance and/or necessity via chance non foresighted variations of the 47 or whatever kinds, followed by differential reproductive success and descent with modification leading to the rise of divergent major body plans from a common unicellular ancestor. We have not even seen the rise of humans diverse from chimps or whatever from a common population what 6 – 10 MYA.

    Nor, have you or anyone else shown that blind chance and mechanical necessity can account for the required FSCO/I, at OOL in the first instance (to include origin of the von Neumann, code using kinematic self replication integrated with gated encapsulation of a metabolic automaton), or for origin of body plans or adaptations at macro level requiring 10 – 100+ mn bases worth of new genetic info. In the chimp vs human case, in 6 – 10 MY we need to account for ~ 60 mb bases, per the 2% difference scenario that is commonly put forth. With populations of order 10^4, pop gen times of order 5 – 20 or so years, and more.

    What we have seen is that FSCO/I has but one observed and needle in haystack blind search analysis plausible cause. Intelligently directed configuration.

    Which obtains whether or not we do in fact have common ancestry as is commonly inferred or believed in educated circles.

    But there is more, as you go on to assert something that is highly misleading but widely believed concerning why it is that an inference to design is commonly excluded in circles dominated by evolutionary materialist scientism and/or its fellow travellers:

    Methodological naturalism is part of science, but philosophical naturalism is not.

    Actually, methodological naturalism is demonstrably often a stalking horse that allows the ideology of evolutionary materialist scientism to be imposed on both science and science education.

    I have already cited Rational Wiki as a particularly blatant case:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    if you think that is merely idiosyncratic, consider here the formal position of the US NSTA Board (of Science Teachers) in July 2000 after commissioning a major study, in a context where they went on to partner with the NAS in imposing this, e.g. in Kansas c 2005:

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> notice the strawman tactic, ever since Plato in The Laws bk X 2350 years ago, the proper alernative is natural [= blind chance and/or mechanical necessity] vs the ART-ificial] in the production of scientific knowledge.

    Likewise, the NAS in its 2008 form of a long running pamphlet on teaching evolution, p. 10, more subtly declared:

    In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena. Natural causes are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature, scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations.

    Notice, the same caricatured contrast and the implication, that blind forces only can be appealed to in science, i.e. there is an implicit evolutionary materialism at work, it is not just oh we cannot appeal to God of the gaps. besides, the deep past of origins is precisely a non-reproducible set of events, and if the above were taken at literal force would be ruled unscientific. But of course, the knife is only to used on sheep, not goats.

    I could go on, but it is enough here to cite the well known case of Lewontin in his NYRB article on Sagan’s last book, as that spells all out ever so clearly and undeniably, and that by a major member of the elite scientific circles concerned:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    Pace a typical dismissive talking point, patently this is not “quote-mined” etc etc, and it lays our exactly why we are deeply concerned about ideological imposition of what has to be called evolutionary materialist scentism in science, in education, in policy, in law, in the media and in the wider culture.

    But, we have one main talking point to go, your:

    Everyone here is falling all over themselves accusing those of us on the science side of being hopelessly biased, irrational, etc. All I can really say is, have you looked in a mirror lately? The level of irrational bias on the ID side is completely ridiculous. Do you have all have any self-awareness at all?

    This is of course a clear case of turnabout accusation, and of linked personalising and polarising, in reply to a concern on the incoherence of a philosophical view. That itself speaks volumes, saddening volumes.(Inadvertently, that sort of resort tells us also, the point hits close to home, provoking an attempt to lash out and shoot at the messenger bearing unwelcome tidings.)

    Let me first note in brief from Haldane on the substantial matter, of the incoherence of evolutionary materialism — as has been commonly pointed out since the 1930’s; this concern is nothing new and it is as cogent today as it was at the turn of the 1930’s:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    That is of course a major evolutionary theorist speaking and voicing a significant concern.

    When I cited Pearcey on the point in 34 above, I was citing an elaboration, not a novel point. And she highlights several cases where the issue is increasingly recognised as a significant one. But instead of addressing the substance, you tried to indulge a personality laced ad hominem that in effect appeals to the contempt laced notion that those who disagree with the evolutionary materialist establishment are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Which, post Umpqua, your side needs to seriously walk back to help dial back the voltage polarising and poisoning the atmosphere.

    Let me elaborate the substantial issue just a tad, by way of Reppert, building on Lewis, who in turn made reference to Haldane:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    Got the key point? Namely, It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference.

    That is, computation is inherently a blind mechanical process of cause and effect, just as the flowing water that energises a mill’s wheels is about the blind force not the functionally specific information rich organisation that mills the corn. That is GIGO obtains for computation precisely because it is blindly mechanical. One cog cares not that it is part of a mill, it is only blindly acting under imposed force. The effectiveness of the programming depends on intelligently directed configuration, not on the mere possibility of mechanism. The contrivance behind mechanism has to be adequately accounted for.

    But, as we will readily experience in ourselves, our self-aware, rational contemplation is utterly unlike that. There is a categorical difference to be accounted for, and it is pivotal as without responsibly free, rational contemplation, reason, warrant, knowledge and logically driven discussion collapse in a sea of blind, GIGO-limited mechanical cause-effect driven mill wheel grinding computation and accidents of programming.

    The effects of this sort of thinking, influenced by precisely the sort of evolutionary materialistic scientism that is so dominant in power centres and is spreading though our civilisation, are evident all around us. And, not for the good.

    Now, let me outline my own chain of thought on the matter . . . rooted in reflections and findings that are now some 25 – 30 years past:

    a: Evolutionary materialism argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature; from hydrogen to humans by undirected chance and necessity.

    b: Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws of chance and/or mechanical necessity acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of happenstance initial circumstances.

    (This is physicalism. This view covers both the forms where (a) the mind and the brain are seen as one and the same thing, and those where (b) somehow mind emerges from and/or “supervenes” on brain, perhaps as a result of sophisticated and complex software looping. The key point, though is as already noted: physical causal closure — the phenomena that play out across time, without residue, are in principle deducible or at least explainable up to various random statistical distributions and/or mechanical laws, from prior physical states. Such physical causal closure, clearly, implicitly discounts or even dismisses the causal effect of concept formation and reasoning then responsibly deciding, in favour of specifically physical interactions in the brain-body control loop; indeed, some mock the idea of — in their view — an “obviously” imaginary “ghost” in the meat-machine. [[There is also some evidence from simulation exercises, that accuracy of even sensory perceptions may lose out to utilitarian but inaccurate ones in an evolutionary competition. “It works” does not warrant the inference to “it is true.”] )

    c: But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this meat-machine picture. So, we rapidly arrive at Crick’s claim in his The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): what we subjectively experience as “thoughts,” “reasoning” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as the unintended by-products of the blind natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains that (as the Smith Model illustrates) serve as cybernetic controllers for our bodies.

    d: These underlying driving forces are viewed as being ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance shaped by forces of selection [[“nature”] and psycho-social conditioning [[“nurture”], within the framework of human culture [[i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism]. And, remember, the focal issue to such minds — notice, this is a conceptual analysis made and believed by the materialists! — is the physical causal chains in a control loop, not the internalised “mouth-noises” that may somehow sit on them and come along for the ride.

    (Save, insofar as such “mouth noises” somehow associate with or become embedded as physically instantiated signals or maybe codes in such a loop. [[How signals, languages and codes originate and function in systems in our observation of such origin — i.e by design — tends to be pushed to the back-burner and conveniently forgotten. So does the point that a signal or code takes its significance precisely from being an intelligently focused on, observed or chosen and significant alternative from a range of possibilities that then can guide decisive action.])

    e: For instance, Marxists commonly derided opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismissed qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? Should we not ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is little more than yet another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze? And — as we saw above — would the writings of a Crick be any more than the firing of neurons in networks in his own brain?

    f: For further instance, we may take the favourite whipping-boy of materialists: religion. Notoriously, they often hold that belief in God is not merely cognitive, conceptual error, but delusion. Borderline lunacy, in short. But, if such a patent “delusion” is so utterly widespread, even among the highly educated, then it “must” — by the principles of evolution — somehow be adaptive to survival, whether in nature or in society. And so, this would be a major illustration of the unreliability of our conceptual reasoning ability, on the assumption of evolutionary materialism.

    g: Turning the materialist dismissal of theism around, evolutionary materialism itself would be in the same leaky boat. For, the sauce for the goose is notoriously just as good a sauce for the gander, too . . . .

    j: Therefore, though materialists will often try to pointedly ignore or angrily brush aside the issue, we may freely argue: if such evolutionary materialism is true, then (i) our consciousness, (ii) the “thoughts” we have, (iii) the conceptualised beliefs we hold, (iv) the reasonings we attempt based on such and (v) the “conclusions” and “choices” (a.k.a. “decisions”) we reach — without residue — must be produced and controlled by blind forces of chance happenstance and mechanical necessity that are irrelevant to “mere” ill-defined abstractions such as: purpose or truth, or even logical validity.

    (NB: The conclusions of such “arguments” may still happen to be true, by astonishingly lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” or “warranted” them. It seems that rationality itself has thus been undermined fatally on evolutionary materialistic premises. Including that of Crick et al. Through, self-reference leading to incoherence and utter inability to provide a cogent explanation of our commonplace, first-person experience of reasoning and rational warrant for beliefs, conclusions and chosen paths of action. Reduction to absurdity and explanatory failure in short.)

    k: And, if materialists then object: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must immediately note that — as the fate of Newtonian Dynamics between 1880 and 1930 shows — empirical support is not equivalent to establishing the truth of a scientific theory. For, at any time, one newly discovered countering fact can in principle overturn the hitherto most reliable of theories. (And as well, we must not lose sight of this: in science, one is relying on the legitimacy of the reasoning process to make the case that scientific evidence provides reasonable albeit provisional warrant for one’s beliefs etc. Scientific reasoning is not independent of reasoning.)

    l: Worse, in the case of origins science theories, we simply were not there to directly observe the facts of the remote past, so origins sciences are even more strongly controlled by assumptions and inferences than are operational scientific theories. So, we contrast the way that direct observations of falling apples and orbiting planets allow us to test our theories of gravity . . . .

    o: More important, to demonstrate that empirical tests provide empirical support to the materialists’ theories would require the use of the very process of reasoning and inference which they have discredited.

    p: Thus, evolutionary materialism arguably reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, as we have seen: immediately, that must include “Materialism.”

    q: In the end, it is thus quite hard to escape the conclusion that materialism is based on self-defeating, question-begging logic.

    r: So, while materialists — just like the rest of us — in practice routinely rely on the credibility of reasoning and despite all the confidence they may project, they at best struggle to warrant such a tacitly accepted credibility of mind and of concepts and reasoned out conclusions relative to the core claims of their worldview. (And, sadly: too often, they tend to pointedly ignore or rhetorically brush aside the issue.)

    On right of fair comment, I think I can safely say there is a serious case to be answered, that evolutionary materialist scientism is inherently self-referential, incoherent and self falsifying.

    A case that of right needs to be addressed substantially, not by polarising, denigratory personalities and dismissive talking points.

    KF

  182. 182
    bornagain says:

    Larry Moran @176, regardless of how enamored you are with Lynch, or any other ‘expert’ who holds to the ‘bottom up’ DNA centered view of life, the fact of the matter is that biological form is not reducible to DNA.

    i.e. Body plans, contrary to neo-Darwinian presuppositions, simply are not reducible to DNA, period! That finding pretty much renders any Darwinian argument based on DNA alone moot and void:

    First off, Darwinists assume that mutations to DNA will produce fundamentally new body plans. They simply have no experimental basis whatsoever for assuming that changes to DNA will generate new types of body plans.

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: 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–because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    In the following experiments, the ‘form’ of a body plan is clearly shown to not be reducible to any conceivable mechanism of genetic reductionism, i.e. reductive materialism, as is falsely presupposed in Darwinian thought:

    What Do Organisms Mean? Stephen L. Talbott – Winter 2011
    Excerpt: Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development. Such an object is less like a machine than it is like a language whose elements… take unique meaning from their context.[3]”,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....nisms-mean

    “Last year I had a fair chunk of my nose removed in skin cancer surgery (Mohs). The surgeon took flesh from a nearby area to fill in the large hole he’d made. The pictures of it were scary. But in the healing process the replanted cells somehow ‘knew’ how to take a different shape appropriate for the new location so that the nose now looks remarkably natural. The doctor said he could take only half the credit because the cells somehow know how to change form for a different location (though they presumably still follow the same DNA code) . — I’m getting the feeling that we’ve been nearly as reductionist in the 20-21st century as Darwin and his peers were when they viewed cells as little blobs of jelly.”
    leodp – UD blogger

    Epigenetics and neuroplasticity: The case of the rewired ferrets – April 3, 2014
    Excerpt: Like inventive electricians rewiring a house, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have reconfigured newborn ferret brains so that the animals’ eyes are hooked up to brain regions where hearing normally develops.
    The surprising result is that the ferrets develop fully functioning visual pathways in the auditory portions of their brains. In other words, they see the world with brain tissue that was only thought capable of hearing sounds.
    – per UD

    If DNA really rules (morphology), why did THIS happen? – April 2014
    Excerpt: Researchers implanted human embryonic neuronal cells into a mouse embryo. Mouse and human neurons have distinct morphologies (shapes). Because the human neurons feature human DNA, they should be easy to identify.
    Which raises a question: Would the human neurons implanted in developing mouse brain have a mouse or a human morphology?
    Well, the answer is, the human neurons had a mouse morphology. They could be distinguished from the mouse ones only by their human genetic markers.
    If DNA really ruled, we would expect a human morphology.”
    – per UD

    DNA doesn’t even tell teeth what they should look like – April 3, 2014
    Excerpt: A friend writes to mention a mouse experiment where developing tooth buds were moved so that the incisors and the molars were switched. The tooth buds became the tooth appropriate to the switched location, not the original one, in direct contrast to what we would expect from a gene’centric view.
    – per UD

    Moreover, many proteins have no dedicated shape, (IDPs, Intrinsically Disordered Proteins), but have varying shapes depending on what particular molecular ‘context’ they are in:

    “It was long believed that a protein molecule’s three-dimensional shape, on which its function depends, is uniquely determined by its amino acid sequence. But we now know that this is not always true – the rate at which a protein is synthesized, which depends on factors internal and external to the cell, affects the order in which its different portions fold. So even with the same sequence a given protein can have different shapes and functions. Furthermore, many proteins have no intrinsic shape, (intrinsically disordered proteins), taking on different roles in different molecular contexts. So even though genes specify protein sequences they have only a tenuous (very weak or slight) influence over their functions.
    ,,,,So, to reiterate, the genes do not uniquely determine what is in the cell, but what is in the cell determines how the genes get used. Only if the pie were to rise up, take hold of the recipe book and rewrite the instructions for its own production, would this popular analogy for the role of genes be pertinent.
    Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D. – Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy

    Biology’s Quiet Revolution – Jonathan Wells – September 8, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1996, biologists discovered a protein that does not fold into a unique shape but can assume different shapes when it interacts with other molecules. Since then, many such proteins have been found; they are called “intrinsically disordered proteins,” or IDPs. IDPs are surprisingly common, and their disordered regions play important functional roles.,,,
    So it is not true that biologists know all the basic features of living cells and are merely filling in the details. Nor is it true that Darwinian evolution is a settled scientific “fact,” as its defenders claim. Huge unanswered questions remain, and they will only be answered by going beyond the discredited myth that “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89651.html

    Unfolded ‘junk’ Proteins have function – April 2014
    Excerpt: In 2013 functions were identified for many of these (unfolded) “intrinsically disordered proteins” (IDPs), as they are sometimes called. Functions such as crucial roles in regulating ion channels and molecular hubs in intracellular signaling networks. A friend points us to:
    [1] Bozoky Z, Krzeminski M, Chong PA, Forman-Kay JD (2013) Structural changes of CFTR R region upon phosphorylation: A plastic platform for intramolecular and intermolecular interactions. FEBS J 280:4407-4416. doi:10.1111/febs.12422
    [2] Ferreon ACM, Ferreon JC, Wright PE, Deniz AA (2013) Modulation of allostery by protein intrinsic disorder. Nature 498:390-394. doi:10.1038/nature12294
    [3] Cumberworth A, Lamour G, Babu MM, Gsponer J (2013) Promiscuity as a functional trait: Intrinsically disordered regions as central players of interactomes. Biochem J 454:361-369. doi:10.1042/BJ20130545

    Also of note: Protein folding itself is dependent on ‘non-local’ quantum information, thus the reductive materialism of neo-Darwinian evolution cannot, in principle, explain how ANY protein achieves its final shape. i.e. The failure of Darwinian explanations for how proteins find their final folded shapes is not just for intrinsically disordered proteins but is for ALL proteins.

    Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011
    Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.
    Excerpt: To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,,
    Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins.
    That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....f-protein/

    The same is found for the genome, i.e. DNA, like many proteins, assumes different shapes depending on what particular molecular context it is in:

    Tissue-specific spatial organization of genomes – 2004
    Excerpt: Using two-dimensional and three-dimensional fluorescence in situ hybridization we have carried out a systematic analysis of the spatial positioning of a subset of mouse chromosomes in several tissues. We show that chromosomes exhibit tissue-specific organization. Chromosomes are distributed tissue-specifically with respect to their position relative to the center of the nucleus and also relative to each other. Subsets of chromosomes form distinct types of spatial clusters in different tissues and the relative distance between chromosome pairs varies among tissues. Consistent with the notion that nonrandom spatial proximity is functionally relevant in determining the outcome of chromosome translocation events, we find a correlation between tissue-specific spatial proximity and tissue-specific translocation prevalence.
    Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that the spatial organization of genomes is tissue-specific and point to a role for tissue-specific spatial genome organization in the formation of recurrent chromosome arrangements among tissues.
    http://genomebiology.com/content/5/7/R44

    That DNA does not, as is held by Darwinists, determine body plans is also clearly demonstrated by the following experiments,

    Extreme Genome Repair – 2009
    Excerpt: If its naming had followed, rather than preceded, molecular analyses of its DNA, the extremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans might have been called Lazarus. After shattering of its 3.2 Mb genome into 20–30 kb pieces by desiccation or a high dose of ionizing radiation, D. radiodurans miraculously reassembles its genome such that only 3 hr later fully reconstituted nonrearranged chromosomes are present, and the cells carry on, alive as normal.,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3319128/

    In the lab, scientists coax E. coli to resist radiation damage – March 17, 2014
    Excerpt: ,,, John R. Battista, a professor of biological sciences at Louisiana State University, showed that E. coli could evolve to resist ionizing radiation by exposing cultures of the bacterium to the highly radioactive isotope cobalt-60. “We blasted the cultures until 99 percent of the bacteria were dead. Then we’d grow up the survivors and blast them again. We did that twenty times,” explains Cox.
    The result were E. coli capable of enduring as much as four orders of magnitude more ionizing radiation, making them similar to Deinococcus radiodurans, a desert-dwelling bacterium found in the 1950s to be remarkably resistant to radiation. That bacterium is capable of surviving more than one thousand times the radiation dose that would kill a human.
    http://www.news.wisc.edu/22641

    Pond scum smashes genome into over 225k parts, then rebuilds it – Sept. 9, 2014
    Excerpt: The pond-dwelling, single-celled organism Oxytricha trifallax has the remarkable ability to break its own DNA into nearly a quarter-million pieces and rapidly reassemble those pieces when it’s time to mate,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....builds-it/

    How can bacteria reconstruct fragmented DNA if the Genetic/Molecular reductionism model of neo-Darwinism were actually true? i.e. How can bacteria possibly ‘know’ the correct sequence of DNA so as to put it back together properly?

    Moreover, like proteins, DNA is also dependent on ‘non-local’ quantum information so as to explain its shape. Thus, the the reductive materialism that Darwinian evolution is based upon cannot even explain how DNA achieves its own shape, much less can it explain how an entire organism achieves its shape

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

  183. 183
    bornagain says:

    Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought, i.e. DNA makes RNA makes Proteins makes You, is simply not the be all/end all that Darwinists imagine it to be in regards to explaining how an organism achieves its final shape:

    Body Plans Are Not Mapped-Out by the DNA – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meR8Hk5q_EM

    Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism – Jonathan Wells – February 23, 2015
    Excerpt: humans have a “few thousand” different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,,
    The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It’s called genomic mosaicism.
    In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,,
    ,,,(then) “genomic equivalence” — the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA — became the accepted view.
    I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common.
    I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....93851.html

    In fact, in direct contradiction to the ‘central dogma’ of Darwinism, heritable changes can be passed on to daughter cells independent of DNA

    “Additional evidence of this kind comes from ciliates, large single-celled eukaryotic organisms. Biologists have shown that microsurgery on the cell membranes of ciliates can produce heritable changes in membrane patterns without altering the DNA.34 This suggests that membrane patterns (as opposed to membrane constituents) are impressed directly on daughter cells. In both cases—in membrane patterns and centrosomes—form is transmitted from parent three-dimensional structures to daughter three-dimensional structures directly. It is not entirely contained in DNA sequences or the proteins for which these sequences code.35
    Instead, in each new generation, the form and structure of the cell arises as the result of both gene products and the preexisting three-dimensional structure and organization inherent in cells, cell membranes, and cyto-skeletons. Many cellular structures are built from proteins, but proteins find their way to correct locations in part because of preexisting three-dimensional patterns and organization inherent in cellular structures. Neither structural proteins nor the genes that code for them can alone determine the three-dimensional shape and structure of the entities they build. Gene products provide necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for the development of three-dimensional structure within cells, organs, and body plans.36 If this is so, then natural selection acting on genetic variation and mutations alone cannot produce the new forms that arise in the history of life.”
    Stephen Meyer [Darwin’s Doubt, ch.14]

    Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA – Jonathan Wells – 2014
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2014.2

    “Live memory” of the cell, the other hereditary memory of living systems – 2005
    Excerpt: To understand this notion of “live memory”, its role and interactions with DNA must be resituated; indeed, operational information belongs as much to the cell body and to its cytoplasmic regulatory protein components and other endogenous or exogenous ligands as it does to the DNA database. We will see in Section 2, using examples from recent experiments in biology, the principal roles of “live memory” in relation to the four aspects of cellular identity, memory of form, hereditary transmission and also working memory.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15888340

    And although Darwinists have yet to demonstrate the origin of a single gene and/or protein by unguided material processes, even if Darwinists could demonstrate the origin of a single gene and/or protein by unguided material processes that still would not go one inch towards explaining how the approximately billion-trillion proteins in the human body ‘know’ how to form a human body.

    Talbott puts that ‘elephant in the living room’ problem that Darwinists never honestly address like this:

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. And further: “It’s almost as if every mRNA [an intermediate between a gene and a corresponding protein] coming out of the nucleus knows where it’s going” (Travis 2011),,,
    Further, the billion protein molecules in a cell are virtually all capable of interacting with each other to one degree or another; they are subject to getting misfolded or “all balled up with one another”; they are critically modified through the attachment or detachment of molecular subunits, often in rapid order and with immediate implications for changing function; they can wind up inside large-capacity “transport vehicles” headed in any number of directions; they can be sidetracked by diverse processes of degradation and recycling… and so on without end. Yet the coherence of the whole is maintained.
    The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
    “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)”,,,
    And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    Talbott also asks this very profound, yet simple, question

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott – 2010
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    picture – What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    http://cdn-4.spiritscienceandm.....ardd-2.jpg

    The non-local quantum information that was briefly discussed above, (i.e. shown to be in both DNA and proteins), gives us a solid clue as to what that power may be that ‘holds that moment off — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer’.

    In quantum mechanics, it is information that is ‘conserved’ not matter and energy:

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

  184. 184
    bornagain says:

    Besides providing direct empirical falsification of Darwinian claims as to the generation of information from a material basis, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, i.e. beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’ quantum information in molecular biology on a massive scale, (i.e. in every DNA and protein molecule), is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious:

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyEjh6ef_8

    The Case for the Soul (Near-Death Experiences) – video (Quantum Entangled consciousness and conservation of quantum information discussed at 9:00 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlBO0Y9GJhk

    Verse and Music:

    Mark 8:36
    What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

    Shatter Me Featuring Lzzy Hale – Lindsey Stirling
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49tpIMDy9BE

    Supplemental note:

    Interview: Dr. Mary Neal died in a Kayak accident and found evidence for the afterlife.
    Imagine Heaven – Near Death Experiences – Evidence for the Afterlife
    https://vimeo.com/140585737

  185. 185
  186. 186
    Andre says:

    I’m slightly annoyed…..

    Gordon Davies asked us a question…. I answered and he’s not responding…….

    Gordon’s question

    I suggested Barry demonstrate his understanding by describing the relationship between selection, drift, and neutral evolution,

    So Natural selection’s role, is population differentiation and neutral evolution role is population divergence. The hypothesis is that they are linked by degree and is dependent on gene flow between the populations and environments. Drift comes into the picture when there is an actual reduction in gene flow between populations due to divergent selection. These mechanisms roles lead to adaption, and in turn, the isolating effects of these adaptions lead to genomic differentiation between the populations.

    ATT: Prof Moran

    How did I do?

  187. 187
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: To begin with, you full well know that it is a COMMON resort by Darwinists to appeal to the assertion that the Darwinist macro picture is fact, Fact, FACT; with implication that only fools dispute facts.

    “Evolution as Fact and Theory … In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’ I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.”
    http://www.stephenjaygould.org.....heory.html

  188. 188
    bornagain says:

    I can drop an apple and watch it fall. There is no such demonstration I can watch of unguided material processes producing non-trivial functional information.

    And yet I do watch human intelligence generating non-trivial information all the time.

    “Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source — from a mind or personal agent.”
    (Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2):213-239 (2004).)

    Stephen Meyer: Charles Darwin’s Methods, Different Conclusion – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqq6JP5gE0E

    “A code system is always the result of a mental process (it requires an intelligent origin or inventor). It should be emphasized that matter as such is unable to generate any code. All experiences indicate that a thinking being voluntarily exercising his own free will, cognition, and creativity, is required. ,,,there is no known law of nature and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.
    Werner Gitt 1997 In The Beginning Was Information pp. 64-67, 79, 107.”
    (The retired Dr Gitt was a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig), the Head of the Department of Information Technology.)

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Technology Prize for Origin of Information
    $100,000 For Initial Discovery
    $3 million USD if Patentable
    Non-Disclosure Agreements Required
    Natural Code LLC is a Private Equity Investment group formed to identify a naturally occurring code. Our mission is to discover, develop and commercialize core principles of nature which give rise to information, consciousness and intelligence.
    Natural Code LLC will pay the researcher $100,000 for the initial discovery of such a code. If the newly discovered process is defensibly patentable, we will secure the patent(s). Once patents are granted, we will pay the full prize amount to the discoverer in exchange for the rights. Our investment group will locate or develop commercial applications for the technology. The discoverer will retain a small percentage of ongoing ownership of the technology.,,,

    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery. We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

  189. 189
    Virgil Cain says:

    Evolution is a fact in that allele frequencies do change over time. That is a very trivial fact. However there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution and that is also a fact.

  190. 190
    Andre says:

    Virgil

    Take note, I said the hypothesis goes. Lets see if Prof Moran will grade my answer…… I’m hoping that if the answer is correct (and I’m pretty sure it is), the nonsense of you don’t understand is put to bed and we can start the real discussions.

  191. 191
    Box says:

    For me, Steve Talbott has decisively debunked Lynch’s (and Moran’s) gene-centric view by means of simple crystal clear logic.

    See for instance here:

    Another conundrum — perhaps the most decisive one — has been recognized and wrestled with (or more often just ignored) since the early twentieth century. With few exceptions, every different type of cell in the human body contains the same chromosomes and the same DNA sequence as the original, single-celled zygote. Yet somehow this zygote manages to differentiate into every manner of tissue — liver, skin, muscle, brain, blood, bone, retina, and so on. If genes determine the form and substance of the organism, how is it that such radically different cellular architectures result from the same genes? What directs genes to produce the intricately sculpted and differentiated form of a complex organism, and how can this directing agency be governed by the very genes that it directs?
    (…)
    Cells of the mature heart and brain, then, have inherited entirely different destinies, but the difference in those destinies was not written in their DNA sequences, which remain identical in both organs. If we were stuck in the “chimp equals human” mindset, we would have to say that the brain is the same as the heart.

    [Getting Over the Code Delusion, Steve Talbott]

    And here again:

    Like a phoenix rising from its pyre. Well, the fact is that no organisms result from genetic instructions (Talbott 2012*). And, to reinforce the point, there are flying and crawling creatures with the same genomic sequence.
    A monarch butterfly and its larva, for example. Nor is this an isolated case. A swimming, “water-breathing” tadpole and a leaping, air-breathing frog are creatures with the same DNA.

    Then there is the starfish: its bilaterally symmetric larva swims freely by means of cilia, after which it settles onto the ocean floor and metamorphoses into the familiar form of the adult. This adult, bearing the same DNA as the larva, exhibits an altogether different, radially symmetric (star-like) body plan.
    Millions of species consist of such improbably distinct creatures, organized in completely different ways at different stages of their life, yet carrying around the same genetic inheritance. Isn’t it a truth inviting the most profound meditation by every biologist?
    The picture is so dramatic that it deserves an extended sketch. I draw from a description of the goliath beetle offered by British physician and evolutionary scientist, Frank Ryan: ….
    (see more)

    [Genes and the Central Fallacy of Evolutionary Theory, Steve Talbott]

  192. 192
    kairosfocus says:

    Z,

    I am very aware of the manipulative use of “fact” in Wiki etc.

    That use is to be challenged and removed as inappropriate for serious use.

    Secondly, scientific theories, hypotheses and models are inherently provisional explanatory frameworks, being abstract inference based conceptual (and hopefully logical) entities . . . which are utterly distinct from the concrete, empirically confirmed pretty direct summaries of reality that “fact” designates under normal circumstances.

    E.g. it is a fact that water at 1 atm will boil at 100 degrees C. Likewise that g at sea level is approximately 9.8 N/kg, implying in context a mass for earth of some 6 * 10^24 kg. Similarly Christopher Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue in 1492, Paris is the capital of France and London of England, which latter was chosen for the zero longitude line. The former houses the standard kg, though there is an effort to replace that standard. Eratosthenes calculated a value for earth’s circ. in C3 BC,

    Those are facts.

    E.g. that Columbus’ objectors at court thought the world was flat is a commonly believed myth. Their dispute with him was on the SIZE of the globe, and they were right. But Columbus had recognised the trade wind system and had cumulative evidence pointing to something in about 3 months’ sailing reach.

    He thought it was the Old World.

    He — relative to Europe — discovered a new world.

    Though, he may never have fully come to terms with that.

    This shows facts vs opinions and discoveries of new facts, in a context where a theory of terrestrial planets was yet centuries in the future.

    Universal common descent, or broad common descent of life forms is a theoretical proposition not an observed fact. The origin of the Sol system out of a giant molecular cloud is not an observed fact.

    The evolutionary materialist scientism dominated model of descent from LUCA per blind chance variations of 47 or whatever flavours this month, with differential reproductive success and culling out of relatively unsuccessful varieties, plus and/or various other proposed mechanisms leading to claimed body plan level macroevolution in a branching tree pattern with room for cross links etc etc that is held to account for the world of life is an elaborate theoretical explanation with many untestable points and controversial assumptions, not even remotely a fact.

    The attempt to portray such as a fact — where, only fools dispute facts — is thus a grand category error that sustains indoctrination.

    It is time for re-thinking.

    KF

  193. 193
    Jack Jones says:

    What has genetic drift got to do with the evolution of one type of life form to another?

    The Berkeley website on genetic drift shows a foot treading on the green beetles, originally there were three green beetles and 6 brown beetles and you end up with 6 brown beetles and 1 green beetle.

    What the hell has that got to do with how beetles originated and how does that provide any mechanism for beetles to evolve towards a new type of life over time?

  194. 194
    Larry Moran says:

    Box says,

    For me, Steve Talbott has decisively debunked Lynch’s (and Moran’s) gene-centric view by means of simple crystal clear logic.

    He follows up that ridiculous statement with some information about gene regulation.

    Box, are you serious?

    Do you actually believe that Michael Lynch and I are completely ignorant about basic biochemistry and molecular biology? Have you read my textbook?

    This is exactly what I mean when I say that ID proponents have to do some homework before they can be credible critics of evolution. You and bornagain just look silly when you say things like that. It means you haven’t got a clue about population genetics and evolutionary theory.

    Here’s what Michael Lynch says about these criticisms from developmental biologists in The Orgins of Genome Architecture (p. 371-372)

    Evolution is much more than a storytelling exercise, and the goal of population genetics is not to be inspiring, but to be explanatory. From the standpoint of its phenotypic products, evolution is indeed more than a change in gene frequencies: organisms are far more than the sum of their parts, just as genes as more than the sum of their functional components. But if we are concerned with the process of evolutionary change, then evolution is indeed a change in gene frequencies (or more accurately, a change in genotype frequencies). Population genetics provides an essential framework for understanding how such changes come about, and more importantly, grounds us in reality by clarifying the pathways that are open or closed to evolutionary exploitation in various contexts….

    Population geneticists do not claim to have solved every problem in evolution—far from it. But as far as we know, the basic theoretical machinery to do so is largely in place. Population geneticists do not aspire to exclusive ownership of the field of evolutionary biology. Indeed, one of the central points of the preceding chapters is that a full understanding of the evolutionary process will be impossible without substantial input from molecular, cellular, and developmental biologists. However, such integration needs to be a two-way street. Evolutionary biologists have thought quite a lot about evolution, and individuals from outside the field who claim to have solved major evolutionary enigma might want to consider why their ideas have not previously come to the forefront. Have such ideas been ignored, or have they faded into the background because their feasibility is known to be marginal? The population genetic basis of evolutionary change is now so well established that those who claim its inadequacy should certainly bear the burden of explanation.

    I’ve said this many times before: you are welcome to disagree with Michael Lynch and to present logical evidence-based arguments against his view. What you are not welcome to do is attack a stupid strawman version of what you think he believes. If you are not prepared to invest a little effort in your criticism then it’s best to keep quiet.

    As the old saying goes, “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”

  195. 195
    Jack Jones says:

    “I had a lot of respect for Gould, but over the years it waned. He became enamoured of his theory of punctuated equilibrium which I thought was really wrong. I still do. He and I had several exchanges in the literature about that theory, with me saying it was bunk and him saying it wasn’t. His intransigence in the face of the facts made me lose some respect for him.”

    http://fivebooks.com/interview.....-evolution

    Tell me Larry, Does Coyne understand Evolution when he says that punctuated equilibrium is bunk?

    Maybe you can go and ask your brother Moe, You seem to be struggling with simple questions about your faith and yet you carry on like you are the ultimate authority.

    hahahahahaha

  196. 196
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre says,

    So Natural selection’s role, is population differentiation and neutral evolution role is population divergence. The hypothesis is that they are linked by degree and is dependent on gene flow between the populations and environments. Drift comes into the picture when there is an actual reduction in gene flow between populations due to divergent selection. These mechanisms roles lead to adaption, and in turn, the isolating effects of these adaptions lead to genomic differentiation between the populations.

    ATT: Prof Moran

    How did I do?

    Not very well.

    The major role of natural selection, by far, is negative selection or removing deleterious alleles. When beneficial alleles are fixed the population changes but this isn’t always called “population differentiation.” It would be better to just say the population evolves, or changes.

    “Neutral evolution” is not a scientific term. What you should have said, perhaps, is the fixation of neutral (actually, nearly-neutral) alleles by random genetic drift. The reason this distinction is important is because most beneficial alleles are removed by random genetic drift and many truly deleterious alleles are fixed by random genetic drift. Thus, your use of “neutral evolution” in contrast to “natural selection” is misleading.

    When alleles are fixed by random genetic drift, the population evolves just as it does if alleles are fixed by natural selection. Often it’s very difficult to tell which evolutionary process is operating. It is not correct to say that one mechanism leads to differentiation and the other leads to divergence.

    You say, “The hypothesis is that they are linked by degree and is dependent on gene flow between the populations and environments.” That makes no sense to me. Natural selection and random genetic drift operate in populations with gene flow and without it. The environment influences both mechanisms but, on the other hand, both natural selection and random genetic drift will occur in a constant environment.

    You say, “Drift comes into the picture when there is an actual reduction in gene flow between populations due to divergent selection.” That’s not correct. Random genetic drift is always happening in all populations all the time. It’s happening right now in all human populations all around the world.

    You say, “These mechanisms roles lead to adaption, and in turn, the isolating effects of these adaptions lead to genomic differentiation between the populations.” Most adaptation is due almost exclusively to natural selection but there are exceptions. Most of the genomic differences between populations are probably not due to adaptations but to changes in the frequencies of neutral alleles by random genetic drift.

    You got a few ideas that are correct. D-

  197. 197
    bFast says:

    Jack Jones, love your quote. I have always held Gould in high regard. He seemed determined to follow the evidence where it leads. The evidence from the fossil record is clear — punctuated equilibrium. So what does Coyne have against this evidence? It doesn’t fit the theory! So if evidence and theory are at odds, who wins? Why, theory, of course.

  198. 198
    Virgil Cain says:

    Can population genetics tell us how long it takes to evolve a flagellum in a population that never had one? Can it say how many generations it takes to evolve an upright biped from a knuckle-walker? Can it even tell us if the physiological and morphological changes required are even possible via genetic change?

    Are models for population genetics as unreliable as climate models?

  199. 199
    Box says:

    Larry Moran

    Box: For me, Steve Talbott has decisively debunked Lynch’s (and Moran’s) gene-centric view by means of simple crystal clear logic. [post #191]

    He follows up that ridiculous statement with some information about gene regulation.
    Box, are you serious?

    Sure.

    Larry Moran: Do you actually believe that Michael Lynch and I are completely ignorant about basic biochemistry and molecular biology?

    Are we discussing basic stuff? If it is so “basic”, why don’t you directly address the following three questions by Stephen L. Talbott:

    (1) If genes determine the form and substance of the organism, how is it that such radically different cellular architectures result from the same genes?
    (2) What directs genes to produce the intricately sculpted and differentiated form of a complex organism, and (…)
    (3) how can this directing agency be governed by the very genes that it directs?

  200. 200
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre asks,

    I wonder has Prof Moran actually read Darwin’s doubt yet?

    Cover to cover?

    Yes.

    Which parts do you not understand? I’ll do my best to explain them to you.

    BTW, how many ID proponents have read Futuyma’s textbook on “Evolution”? Cover to cover?

    And if you’re really and truly interested in the Cambrian explosion then you surely must have read “The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity” by Erwin Douglas and Valentine James from cover to cover. Right?

    I can help you understand that book as well.

  201. 201
    Virgil Cain says:

    Yes, natural selection is a process of elimination. The less fit tend to get eliminated. However what is fit can and does, change. That is one reason why Dawkins’ cumulative selection is a useless concept.

    Even YECs don’t have an issue with that concept of natural selection. The problem arises when evos take that concept and try to sell the idea it can produce adaptations. Then when they see that isn’t working they throw in contingent serendipity in the form of “constructive neutral nonsense”. Yeah two proteins diffusing through the cell just happen to meet and just happen to connect because they just happened to have complementary shapes. The Italian biologists call it the “badda-bing, badda-boom” mechanism. Others call it the “abra-cadabra” mechanism.

  202. 202
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry:

    BTW, how many ID proponents have read Futuyma’s textbook on “Evolution”? Cover to cover?

    I tried but he spews so many bald declarations it was difficult to stomach. I find it much better sticking to biology textbooks that teach what we actually know- the real facts of biology.

  203. 203
    Jack Jones says:

    bFastNovember 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

    “Jack Jones, love your quote. I have always held Gould in high regard. He seemed determined to follow the evidence where it leads. The evidence from the fossil record is clear — punctuated equilibrium. So what does Coyne have against this evidence? It doesn’t fit the theory! So if evidence and theory are at odds, who wins? Why, theory, of course.”

    Thank you, the problem is that, Punctuated equilibrium is not a restatement of the fossil record but it is an after the fact explanation to explain the discontinuity away.

    I could imagine somebody like Moran trying to mislead people that they are one and the same thing though, he seems a slippery fellow to me.

    I had a book by Niles Eldredge some years ago, “reinventing darwin”

    He talked about evolution breaking out when ecosystems are disrupted, after a few generations then ecosystems would have to be disrupted for the rapid evolution of new life forms.

    But do catastrophic events such as asteroid collisions etc happen so often?

    It is silly of course, and if ecosystems were disrupted that often then that is not providing a mechanism for evolutionary change, if it created the opportunity then that is not creating a mechanism for evolution to occur.

  204. 204
    Larry Moran says:

    Box asks me to answer three questions from Talbot.

    Are we discussing basic stuff? If it is so “basic”, why don’t you directly address the following three questions by Talbott:

    If genes determine the form and substance of the organism, how is it that such radically different cellular architectures result from the same genes? What directs genes to produce the intricately sculpted and differentiated form of a complex organism, and how can this directing agency be governed by the very genes that it directs?

    1. If genes determine the form and substance of the organism, how is it that such radically different cellular architectures result from the same genes?
    Because not all genes are expressed all the time. The best understood examples in eukaryotes are development and differentiation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the yeast Saccharomyces cerivisiae, and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This understanding is based on very detailed work with bacteriophage lambda and sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.

    We are very confident about this. So much so that it has now become routine to stimulate differentiation in stem cells to produce a variety of very different tissues from the same original cell line.

    2. What directs genes to produce the intricately sculpted and differentiated form of a complex organism …

    The initial trigger in some species is environmental. Yeast cells and B. subtilis cells, for example, can be induced to form spores—very different types of cells—by lack of food in the environment. We know how this works. It’s the same process that determines the genetic switch in bacteriophage lambda and the regulation of the lac operon in E. coli.

    In more complex organisms, development and differentiation is determined by the timing of differential gene expression during embryogenesis. We have very well understood examples of how this works in fruit flies and nematodes and lots of evidence to show that the same processes operate in humans and mice.

    The whole pathway is determined by transcription factors and other regulatory molecules that are deposited in the gametes during their formation. Again, we have the data, we know the molecules, we understand the process and the timing. There are no major mysteries.

    3. … and how can this directing agency be governed by the very genes that it directs?

    Easy. Genes make transcription factors and other regulatory molecules and those molecules control gene expression. That’s why we can reprogram cells by injecting them with different transcription factors.

    During development the timing is the key. First you make one set of transcription factors from one set of genes then they turn on a second set of genes that make new transcription factors that turn on a third set of genes etc. The initial stimulus is in the egg cell in animals and that, in turn, is due to timing during oogenesis.

    There are university courses you can take to understand all this stuff. We have them in my school. I used to teach some of them. Contact me if you want to learn more.

    HTH HAND

  205. 205
    bFast says:

    “Thank you, the problem is that, Punctuated equilibrium is not a restatement of the fossil record but it is an after the fact explanation to explain the discontinuity away.”

    I would say that punctuated equilibrium is a description of the problem. I put virtually no weight on explanations that attempt to explain the phenomenon. However, what the rock record shows is stasis, stasis, stasis, sudden change, stasis, stasis. That’s not what Darwinism predicts, and its not what neutral theory predicts.

  206. 206
    Box says:

    Moran quoting Lynch: (…) organisms are far more than the sum of their parts, (…)

    Those kind of sentences by naturalists are best ignored. I have come to learn how utterly meaningless they are. Here

    “organisms are FAR MORE then the sum of their parts”

    probably means

    “organisms are exactly NOTHING OVER AND BEYOND their (material) parts.”

  207. 207
    Jack Jones says:

    @205 “However, what the rock record shows is stasis, stasis, stasis, sudden change, stasis, stasis. That’s not what Darwinism predicts, and its not what neutral theory predicts.”

    The butterfly and moth collectors do not seem to care about being consistent my friend.

  208. 208
    Box says:

    Larry Moran:

    Talbott: 1. If genes determine the form and substance of the organism, how is it that such radically different cellular architectures result from the same genes?

    Because not all genes are expressed all the time.

    So what controls gene expression?
    And what controls whatever controls gene expression
    And what controls that? (and so forth)

    Larry Moran:

    Talbott: 2. What directs genes to produce the intricately sculpted and differentiated form of a complex organism …

    In more complex organisms, development and differentiation is determined by the timing of differential gene expression during embryogenesis.

    How do you explain that the timing in many cells of a complex organism, during embryogenesis, work in concert?

    Larry Moran: The whole pathway is determined by transcription factors and other regulatory molecules that are deposited in the gametes during their formation.

    Those “transcription factors and other regulatory molecules” are the same in each cell during embryogenesis. How do you explain that the cells continue to work in concert?

    Larry Moran: Again, we have the data, we know the molecules, we understand the process and the timing. There are no major mysteries.

    You have a weird sense of humor.

    Larry Moran:

    Talbott: 3. … and how can this directing agency be governed by the very genes that it directs?

    Easy. Genes make transcription factors and other regulatory molecules and those molecules control gene expression.

    So, we start off with one cell and after a few divisions genes in distinct cells start regulating themselves (differently) by means of transcription factors and other regulatory molecules. How do you explain that those cells work in concert? From whence the unifying power?

  209. 209
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran

    I see you active in other discussion threads, but do you still want to continue our chatting?

    You have not commented on my posts @220 & @221 in this thread:

  210. 210
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: However, what the rock record shows is stasis, stasis, stasis, sudden change, stasis, stasis.

    You’re claiming the fossil record doesn’t show change, which clearly is not the case. It’s stasis, stasis, stasis, change, stasis, stasis, change, stasis, stasis, stasis, change, extinction, change, change, change, stasis, change …

  211. 211
    Virgil Cain says:

    LoL! @ Larry Moran- he fell for one of the newest tricks in the evo-book:

    Because not all genes are expressed all the time.

    It ain’t the genes, it’s when and how they are expressed! Total nonsense and as yet untested- well because no one knows how to test it.

    Genes and DNA influence and control development but they do not determine what will develop. As Dr Denton once wrote in “Dissent from Darwin” (2004):

    To understand the challenge to the “superwatch” model by the erosion of the gene-centric view of nature, it is necessary to recall August Weismann’s seminal insight more than a century ago regarding the need for genetic determinants to specify organic form. As Weismann saw so clearly, in order to account for the unerring transmission through time with precise reduplication, for each generation of “complex contingent assemblages of matter” (superwatches), it is necessary to propose the existence of stable abstract genetic blueprints or programs in the genes- he called them “determinants”- sequestered safely in the germ plasm, away from the ever varying and destabilizing influences of the extra-genetic environment.

    Such carefully isolated determinants would theoretically be capable of reliably transmitting contingent order through time and specifying it reliably each generation. Thus, the modern “gene-centric” view of life was born, and with it the heroic twentieth century effort to identify Weismann’s determinants, supposed to be capable of reliably specifying in precise detail all the contingent order of the phenotype. Weismann was correct in this: the contingent view of form and indeed the entire mechanistic conception of life- the superwatch model- is critically dependent on showing that all or at least the vast majority of organic form is specified in precise detail in the genes.

    Yet by the late 1980s it was becoming obvious to most genetic researchers, including myself, since my own main research interest in the ‘80s and ‘90s was human genetics, that the heroic effort to find information specifying life’s order in the genes had failed. There was no longer the slightest justification for believing there exists anything in the genome remotely resembling a program capable of specifying in detail all the complex order of the phenotype. The emerging picture made it increasingly difficult to see genes as Weismann’s “unambiguous bearers of information” or view them as the sole source of the durability and stability of organic form. It is true that genes influence every aspect of development, but influencing something is not the same as determining it. Only a small fraction of all known genes, such as the developmental fate switching genes, can be imputed to have any sort of directing or controlling influence on form generation. From being “isolated directors” of a one-way game of life, genes are now considered to be interactive players in a dynamic two-way dance of almost unfathomable complexity, as described by Keller in The Century of The Gene

    Larry, that dog you are counting on doesn’t hunt.

  212. 212
    Jack Jones says:

    @Dionisio “You have not commented on my posts @220 & @221 in this thread:”

    You posted on the wrong thread by mistake, the last post so far, with my post now, is 212

  213. 213
    Larry Moran says:

    @Box #208

    All of your questions have answers but this isn’t the place for me to teach you a course on basic biochemistry followed by a course on developmental biology.

    What I don’t understand is your apparent conviction that you have come up with challenging questions that the experts just can’t answer. Where does such hubris come from when your questions reveal that you don’t know anything about the subject?

  214. 214
    Larry Moran says:

    Virgil Cains says,

    It ain’t the genes, it’s when and how they are expressed! Total nonsense and as yet untested- well because no one knows how to test it.

    Back when I ran an active lab, my graduate students, post-docs, and I used to clone genes (naked DNA) then put them into various cells to see if they were expressed. We used this test to determine what factors (repressors activators, etc) controlled gene expression. We also mutated and modified the regulatory sequences to see where the various factors bound and how they affected transcription.

    This was pretty standard stuff in the 1980s and it’s still standard stuff today. If you come to Toronto I can get you into a lab where you can do these tests yourself. Undergraduates do it all the time and so do gifted high school students.

    Genes and DNA influence and control development but they do not determine what will develop.

    Craig Venter and his colleagues constructed a synthetic genome and inserted it into a cell. The DNA determined the structure and properties of the organism that grew and after many subsequent generations we have a new species that behaves exactly like it was supposed to based on the genes that the scientists built.

    First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell

    HTH HAND

  215. 215
    Larry Moran says:

    bFast says,

    I would say that punctuated equilibrium is a description of the problem. I put virtually no weight on explanations that attempt to explain the phenomenon.

    I’m betting that you don’t understand either the phenomenon or the explanation.

    Prove me wrong.

  216. 216
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry, You misunderstood me. I know that genes are expressed differently in different tissues. I know that genes are expressed differently during development.

    That has nothing to do with saying that the timing of gene expression determines the final form. That is the untestable part- that the same genes expressed differently can account for universal common descent.

    I know about fruit flies with legs for antennae. I know about the mouse eyeless gene (HOX) that was placed into a fruit fly but the fruit fly still developed fruit fly eyes.

    And do you really believe that gene regulation arose via natural selection and drift? Really??

    Craig Venter and his colleagues constructed a synthetic genome and inserted it into a cell.

    Into an existing cell with all of the required cellular components. And when it replicated it was very much like the same, original cell. What do you think the DNA determined?

  217. 217
    Barry Arrington says:

    Dr. Moran,

    In all sincerity, I thank you for participating here at UD.

    Your responses to the questions about evolutionary theory are very interesting to me. I for one appreciate that you come back again and again to hold up your side, even if I often disagree with you.

  218. 218
    Virgil Cain says:

    Yes, Larry Moran has demonstrated that it takes many years of Special High Intensity Training to become a full-fledged evolutionist. And only once you have had your fill of S.H.I.T. are you qualified to understand it and say something about it.

    Larry’s demeanor is a fine example of years of S.H.I.T.

  219. 219
    Jack Jones says:

    This is what the Bird Watcher Ernst Mayr said in the growth of Biological thought.

    “Evolution, in a way, contradicts common sense. The offspring of any organism always develops again into the parental type, A Cat always produces only cats.”

    Evolutionists are divided on just how one type of organism can give rise to a different type of organism over time.

    But Larry Moran who sets himself up as the worlds foremost authority seems to know.

    Ladies and Gentlemen.

    Larry Moran who does not see humans as more than matter in motion cannot tell us which chemical elements are free.

    If we reduce matter to chemical elements on a periodic table then it would be interesting for larry to tell us, which ones are free.

    Yet he tells what would be determined bags of chemicals (on his position) that they are wrong.

    How could determined bags of chemicals be wrong?

    Professor Moran cannot tell us, whether the evolution he has faith in, occurs according to need or irregardless of need.

    Professor Moran still cannot tell me why a Doctor would need to believe he is a fish to treat his patients.

    He cannot tell me why a Doctor needs to believe that he is distantly related to mushrooms in order to treat his patients.

    Yet Moran got angry when I produced the quote of Marc Kirschner.

    Clearly Moran is an equivocater and a bs artist when it comes to the term “evolution”

    I point out that, Jerry Coyne rejects Punctuated Equilibrum.

    Professor Moran does not then chastise Coyne for rejecting Punctuated Equilibrium and claim he does not understand evolution.

    Professor Moran names his blog Sandwalk and talks about Darwin being the greatest scientist, and yet professor Moran hates being called a Darwinist.

    And Moran and his Moranites wonder why they are laughed at.

  220. 220
    Box says:

    Larry Moran: All of your questions have answers (…)

    Sure, but you, and your position, cannot provide them — ever.

    Larry Moran: What I don’t understand is your apparent conviction that you have come up with challenging questions that the experts just can’t answer.

    You will probably not be able to understand it, but maybe an open-minded onlooker will.
    It has little to do with being an expert or not. I understand that there is no bottom-up explanation for an organism. It’s a fundamental insight. It is impossible to explain the coherence of an organism from the level of the parts.
    This “understanding” is similar to the way that I understand that particles cannot think or be conscious. Fermions and bosons cannot think and therefore naturalism cannot ground rationality. One doesn’t have to be a leading neuroscientist to understand that.

    There is no molecule (or molecules) that has the overview, power and so forth to bring about the coherence of an organism. There is no “master controller”. The naturalistic attempt to explain organisms bottom-up is incoherent.

    Okay. Because you admire him so much …

    (…) when regulators are in turn regulated, what do we mean by “regulate” — and where within the web of regulation can we single out a master controller capable of dictating cellular fates? And if we can’t, what are reputable scientists doing when they claim to have identified such a controller, or, rather, various such controllers?

    If they really mean something like “influencers,” then that’s fine. But influence is not about mechanism and control; the factors at issue just don’t have controlling powers. What we see, rather, is a continual mutual adaptation, interaction, and coordination that occurs from above. What we see, that is — once we start following out all the interactions at a molecular level — is not some mechanism dictating the fate or controlling an activity of the organism, but simply an organism-wide coherence — a living, metamorphosing form of activity — within which the more or less distinct partial activities find their proper place.

    The misrepresentation of this organic coherence in favor of supposed controlling mechanisms is not an innocent inattention to language; it’s a fundamental misrepresentation of reality at the central point where we are challenged to understand the character of living things.

    [Stephen L. Talbott]

  221. 221
    Dionisio says:

    #209 addendum

    Here’s the missing link 🙂 :

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-586386

  222. 222
    Dionisio says:

    Jack Jones @212

    Thank you for bringing that error to my attention.

    My mistake. I forgot to add the link to the thread where those posts 220 & 221 are:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-586386

    I corrected the error @221 here in this current thread.

    Basically, in the referred thread, professor Moran started a discussion with me, but stopped it later. I just wanted to know if he is still interested in continuing our friendly discussion, which seems more serious than the one in this thread.

    At least in our discussion we were addressing specific topics of biology. In other threads, including this one, the discussion seems more loosely covering a wider area of issues.

    I’d be surprised to see a scientist with the academic credentials and scientific knowledge of Dr. Moran to avoid a serious discussion about leading edge issues in modern biology, but still prefer to participate in less serious discussions like this and other threads.

    As I’ve expressed in the other thread referenced above, I’m humbled by having a serious discussion with a distinguished scientist like professor Moran.

    I’d like to think that Dr. Moran is just taking time to consult his colleagues and literature in order to prepare for the discussion.

  223. 223
    Dionisio says:

    #209 error correction: added a missing link 🙂

    Professor Moran

    I see you active in other discussion threads, but do you still want to continue our chatting?

    You have not commented on my posts @220 & @221 in this thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-586386

  224. 224
    Larry Moran says:

    Dionisio, here are the questions.

    Regarding the first topic, i.e. morphogen gradient formation, I still don’t understand well how the sources are determined spatiotemporally (i.e. location & timing).

    Also, I don’t quite understand how the morphogen molecules end up at the locations where they get transported to. Why those locations and not others?

    Different mechanisms are described, at least partially, in the literature I’ve looked into, but none seem to answer those questions precisely.

    Perhaps your academic colleagues can point at the right literature where the above mentioned issues are exactly explained?

    Morphogen gradients are part of morphogenesis, which includes the determination of size and shape. Morphogenesis is part of organogenesis, which is part of development.

    A development-related question is about the precise determination of the location of the different organs within the whole system. That seems to be determined on the go, but exactly how?

    Can you ask your academic colleagues to point at the specific literature where that is explained precisely?

    For example, what determines that there are two kidneys but just one liver? What determines their relative locations within the whole system?

    I’m not a developmental biologist so it wold take me some time to search the scientific literature for the appropriate references. It’s a huge and complex field but the basics are quite straightforward.

    Unfortunately, you aren’t asking for an overview from a knowledgeable expert. You want to see definite proof of every point in just a few scientific papers. Science doesn’t work like that.

    Besides, the style of your questions (“exactly explained,” “precise determination”) suggests strongly that you will never be satisfied with brief answers. That’s what happened last time I answered your questions. It just led to more questions.

    To me, it looks like you are fishing for “gotcha” questions that can never be answered to your satisfaction.

    If you really want to learn about this stuff then I suggest you start with The Making of a Fly by Peter Lawrence. It’s old (1992) but the answers to your questions should all be there because this stuff was worked out at the molecular level decades ago.

    Once you mastered that, you can delve into the details that you desire with Developmental Biolgy 1oth ed. by Scott Gilbert. That’s the definitive textbook on the subject and it will cover humans and other animals.

    The frustrating thing about this is that ID proponents routinely ask these sorts of questions but they are never prepared to describe how the intelligent designer did his/her job. They won’t even tell us whether the intelligent designers are aliens or humans from the future yet you still want us to tell you exactly how morphogen molecules end up at precise locations in the cell and exactly what determines whether we have one or two livers.

  225. 225
    Larry Moran says:

    BTW, Dionisio, don’t bother declaring “victory” and gloating over the fact that I decline to answer your questions.

    That’s childish.

  226. 226
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran:

    BTW, how many ID proponents have read Futuyma’s textbook on “Evolution”? Cover to cover?

    … surely must have read “The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity” by Erwin Douglas and Valentine James from cover to cover. Right?

    I have them both, but I won’t say I’ve read them cover to cover. Haven’t read Lynch’s book cover to cover either, but I had read the Genomfart chapter. Started chapter 4.

  227. 227
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @225

    BTW, Dionisio, don’t bother declaring “victory” and gloating over the fact that I decline to answer your questions.

    That’s childish.

    Why are you talking about “victory” in a serious discussion about scientific topics?

    Is this how you teach your students in Toronto?

    I was expecting a higher level of seriousness from a distinguished university professor. Please, don’t disappoint me.

    When science is discussed seriously, we all benefit. In this case, given the highly disproportionate knowledge difference between a science professor and a nobody like me, the biggest beneficiary is the ignorant who can learn much from the friendly exchange of information, which is mostly a one-way flow.

    Again, thank you for your willingness to share your vast knowledge with me and other interested readers.

  228. 228
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    The frustrating thing about this is that ID proponents routinely ask these sorts of questions but they are never prepared to describe how the intelligent designer did his/her job.

    That has nothing to do with ID. However evolutionism claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for producing the diversity of life. That is why we ask for details- it’s part of the claim. ID doesn’t make that claim.

  229. 229
    Jack Jones says:

    DionisioNovember 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Jack Jones @212

    Thank you for bringing that error to my attention.

    My mistake. I forgot to add the link to the thread where those posts 220 & 221 are:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com…..ent-586386

    You’re welcome, You are very patient with the slippery Moran, It has come to my attention that Professor Moran is anti science and holds his view for a political purpose. He and other atheists are under the illusion that the idea of evolution as a position supports no Creator, It is about atheism for him. It’s why he rejects known science like the law of biogenesis which shows life cannot have originated naturally.

    If Peter’s comment is true then it means that Professor Moran is rejecting known science with his support of homosexuality, as it is clear that the anus is not meant for sexual penetration. While men and women could engage in that act, it is going to be much higher among gays who cannot have sexual relations like men and women can in a traditional way.

    Reading up on this, shows it to be dangerous.

    “Male homosexuals are at very high risk of contracting the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases, disproportionately high in comparison to the heterosexual population:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published in 2010 a study conducted in 21 American cities, showing that one in five MSM (men who have sex with men) had HIV…

    A coincidence, you say? No, the way HIV, the AIDS virus, spreads has a lot to do with homosexual behaviour.

    Before looking into the evidence of brain, genes or hormones we need to recognise that the male body is not designed to be penetrated during sexual intercourse. The lining of the anus is much thinner than the vagina and tears very easily. The lining of the anus, compared to the lining of the vagina, is also designed for nutrients to pass through it – where a healthy vagina will stop sperm entering any part of the body except the reproductive system the anus will allow semen (and any disease it carries) into the blood stream. Also the anal sphincter muscle is designed to expel not accept objects which can lead to problems in later life…

    So biologically the male and female bodies are compatible with each other not bodies of the same gender.

    This is from the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal government agency:

    The Surgeon General (C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General 1982-1989) has said, “Condoms provide some protection, but anal intercourse is simply too dangerous to practice”.

    Condoms may be more likely to break during anal intercourse than during other types of sex because of the greater amount of friction and other stresses involved.

    Even if the condom doesn’t break, anal intercourse is very risky because it can cause tissue in the rectum to tear and bleed. These tears allow disease germs to pass more easily from one partner to the other.”

    “Peter November 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I used to follow Dr Moran’s blog. I thought I would hear from him the strong scientific support for evolution he has claimed existed. I followed his blog for a couple of years and finally got bored of his claims without any proof. There was, however, one exceptional blog in that time that showed the fundamental evidence for evolution according to Dr Moran. He displayed a picture that was on a door in his chemistry department. It promoted gay and woman’s rights. The blog was very critical of religion and according to Dr Moran displayed a fundamental truth – religion is cruel and obsolete. This was the proof text for evolution that Dr Cornelius Hunter has explained in detail. Evolution, as Dr Hunter has said many times, is not based on science but religion. So true.”

  230. 230
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @225

    BTW, Dionisio, don’t bother declaring “victory” and gloating over the fact that I decline to answer your questions.

    That’s childish.

    Why are you talking about “victory” in a serious discussion about scientific topics?

    Is this how you teach your students in Toronto?

    I was expecting a higher level of seriousness from a distinguished university professor. Please, don’t disappoint me.

    When science is discussed seriously, we all benefit. In this case, given the highly disproportionate knowledge difference between a science professor and a nobody like me, the biggest beneficiary is the ignorant who can learn much from the friendly exchange of information, which is mostly a one-way flow.

    Again, thank you for your willingness to share your vast knowledge with me and other interested readers.

    You may take you time to consult your academic colleagues and/or specific literature, in order to prepare for the discussion.

    Just remember that YOU were the one who initiated our dialog, it was not me. I can point to the exact post where you did it, if you don’t recall it.

    I was very excited to see you being interested in the discussion, but now you’re disappointing me and others here, for not wanting to continue what you started.

    What made you jump in? Did you think it would be easier?

    And now, what make you quit? It’s turned much harder than you first thought?

    Why did you react to the word ‘exactly’ in the second question but not in the first question? Just didn’t notice it?

    Now you seem like not liking digging deep into details in science, but isn’t that what sets science apart?

    Again, I’m not asking for your explanations, because we all know that we need to get help from specialists in the discussed areas. However, all they have to do is just point to specific paper(s) where the raised questions are answered.

    I have made the questions very specific. Many scientists out there would have answered them right away. Why is taking you so long to find those colleagues and have them provide you with the references to the papers that would move ahead our discussion?

    Please, calm down, don’t panic. Take your time. Let’s chat friendly. But yes, be prepared to answer as many questions as I can think of, as long as they stick to the discussed topic. After all, that was the condition expressed in my original posts that you commented on first. Didn’t you notice I wrote that the discussion will stop when I run out of further related questions or the other side runs out of time. I’m far from running out of questions, at least as far as I can see.

    My latest comments in this thread were related to seeing you very active in other discussion threads that don’t seem as specific as our discussion. I was surprised to see that you were involved in general discussions that most probably won’t lead anywhere, while abandoning our more scientific, specific and interesting discussion, that could take us to interesting areas of the most cutting-edge science research information.

  231. 231
    Jack Jones says:

    The infantile Larry Moran accusing others of being “childish” Oh the irony.

  232. 232
    bornagain says:

    podcast – “Dr. Cornelius Hunter on ENCODE and “Junk” DNA, Part 2″
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_44-08_00

  233. 233
    Box says:

    Bornagain, don’t miss Larry Moran’s #204 and #213.
    It’s rather shocking — even at a night like this.

  234. 234
    Dionisio says:

    Jack Jones @229

    I don’t like personal attacks.

    Professor Moran has academic credentials I won’t ever have.
    He has the scientific experience and knowledge I lack.
    He knows many scientists who could provide access to most recent interesting papers that are currently behind pay walks,

    He started our dialog after commenting on a post where I wrote that it doesn’t take Dr. Tour’s credentials in order to raise Dr. Tour’s challenge. A nobody like me could raise that challenge too. All is needed is the attitude of a child to always ask questions when something is not well understood.

    BTW, I’m not an ID-proponent, or a YEC, or OEC, or any of those acronyms. My identity is solely in Christ, my Maker, my Savior, my Lord.

    I don’t need to prove anything. God doesn’t need me to prove anything. Actually, He doesn’t need me at all.
    I need Him 100%.

    Dr. Moran is a human being, made in God’s image. I must respect professor Moran, because Christ made him and loves him, even though unfortunately Dr. Moran does not believe it.

    If Dr. Moran chooses to offend me, that’s his own problem, not mine, hence I should not react offended. If I write or say anything ungodly that offends Dr. Moran, I will accept my mistake, apologize and ask for his forgiveness.
    However, if what offends Dr. Moran is a reference to God or God’s word, that’s Dr. Moran’s own problem with God, not with me. Hence, there’s nothing I can do about it, except pray for Dr. Moran.

    I still think Dr. Moran could reconsider his position and enjoy continuing our interesting discussion, which he triggered in another thread. Dr. Moran could provide links to interesting papers on the discussed topics, given his connection with other more specialized scientists, whom otherwise we could not contact.

    I’m genuinely interested in learning about the discussed topics of science mentioned in my posts for the discussion with Dr. Moran.

    Dr. Moran and I should focus in on those subjects, leaving any unrelated comments aside.

  235. 235
    Jack Jones says:

    “I don’t like personal attacks.”

    The truth is not a personal attack

    “Professor Moran has academic credentials I won’t ever have.
    He has the scientific experience and knowledge I lack.
    He knows many scientists who could provide access to most recent interesting papers that are currently behind pay walks”

    Yet he deletes comments that expose him and blocks, holds contradictory positions with his materialistic evolutionary position and yet sneers at those that do not hold his views.

    “Dr. Moran is a human being, made in God’s image. I must respect professor Moran, because Christ made him and loves him, even though unfortunately Dr. Moran does not believe it.”

    You are confusing being good with being nice. Me and others have exposed Moran for the joke that he is.

    “If Dr. Moran chooses to offend me, that’s his own problem, not mine, hence I should not react offended. If I write or say anything ungodly that offends Dr. Moran, I will accept my mistake, apologize and ask for his forgiveness.
    However, if what offends Dr. Moran is a reference to God or God’s word, that’s Dr. Moran’s own problem with God, not with me. Hence, there’s nothing I can do about it, except pray for Dr. Moran.”

    Moran has to earn respect, I gave him respect and he didn’t accept it, I gave him a chance to mend his ways on his blog but he wants to carry on in an infantile way, then he will be treated that way. He treats people with disrespect, why be nice to him?.

    Anyway, Me exposing his inconsistency is not a personal attack.

    “Dr. Moran and I should focus in on those subjects, leaving any unrelated comments aside.”

    It might be unrelated for you, And you are welcome to carry on as you please. The fact is. he chastises those that disagree with him as being anti science and yet he believes things that are not consistent with scientific observation like his faith in life originating spontaneously in nature.

    I have destroyed Professor Moran and exposed his inconsistencies and he ran with his tail between his legs.

  236. 236
    Daniel King says:

    Virgil (Joe G) Cain @228:

    That [how the Intelligent Designer did its job] has nothing to do with ID.

    How convenient. You have nothing but an empty claim.

    However evolutionism claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for producing the diversity of life.

    Baloney. You made that up.

    That is why we ask for details- it’s part of the claim.

    Whose claim?

    ID doesn’t make that claim.

    Exactly. ID has no details, because it’s vacuous.

  237. 237
    bornagain says:

    Yes Box, 213 is particularly telling:

    translation, “stop asking basic scientific questions that I can’t possibly answer coherently and just accept my self proclaimed authority that blind evolution created such astonishing complexity” 🙂

    But Box you really have to make the questions much easier for Dr. Moran since he really doesn’t appear to have a clue what all the fuss is about.

    Might I suggest that instead of asking him the question of what is the unifying principle that is holding it all together, perhaps you can start him out with the easier “Where did the information come from?” question?

    Be sure to point out, when he responds to your question, the fact that he himself, by his own intelligence, is generating more information than has ever been observed being generated by unguided material processes ! 🙂

    If you break the issue down that far, and make it that personal for him, maybe, just maybe, it just might be possible for a man who thinks he knows it all already to actually learn something new.

    I know it is a slim shot, but who knows, miracles do happen! 🙂

  238. 238
    Jack Jones says:

    @236 “Exactly. ID has no details, because it’s vacuous.”

    This from a guy that believes his brain is the result of dumb chance.

    Virgil Cain believes his brain is intelligently designed and you believe your brain is the result of dumb chance.

    How does that ground you, when judging his position?

    hahahaha

  239. 239
    Box says:

    Bornagain #237,

    Indeed. Bluff and bluster. Somehow one expects better behavior from a “professor”. The guy turns out to be a total joke that spreads misleading information to suit his own needs.

  240. 240
    Larry Moran says:

    Mung says in response to my question about how many people have read Futuyma’s textbook on evolution and another book.

    I have them both, but I won’t say I’ve read them cover to cover. Haven’t read Lynch’s book cover to cover either, but I had read the Genomfart chapter. Started chapter 4.

    Mung, would you be kind enough to post the Title of Chapter 10 in Futuyma’s book for the enlightenment of other ID proponents?

    Can you explain where it fits into the version of “Darwinism” posted on the glossary?

    Will you confirm what Futuyma says in the middle of page 256?

    The theory of genetic drift … includes some of the most highly refined mathematical models in biology.

    Do you consider Douglas Futuyma to be an expert on evolution and evolutionary theory?

  241. 241
    bornagain says:

    Larry Moran, and can you be kind enough to point us to the exact experiment that verified those ‘highly refined mathematical models’ were actually talking about reality instead of just Darwinian pipe dreams?

    You know, perhaps lay out the exact ‘highly refined mathematical model’ for how the flagellum is created by unguided material processes and the experiment that verified that ‘highly refined mathematical model’ to be correct in its prediction?

    not asking for much, just a real world test verifying your math like all other real world science does!

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.-
    Dr Behe in 1997

    Structural diversity of bacterial flagellar motors – 2011
    Excerpt: Figure 3 – Manual segmentation of conserved (solid colours) and unconserved (dotted lines) motor components based on visual inspection.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....figure/f3/

    Flagellar Diversity Challenges Darwinian Evolution, Not Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – July 22, 2015
    Excerpt: flagella are distributed in a polyphyletic manner that doesn’t fit what we’d expect from common ancestry,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97831.html

    The Flagellar Filament Cap: Up close micro-photograph and animations of cap – Jonathan M. – August 2013
    Excerpt: We are so used to thinking about biological machines at a macroscopic level that it is all too easy to overlook the molecular structure of their individual components. The closer we inspect biochemical systems, such as flagella, the more the elegant design — as well as the magnitude of the challenge to Darwinism — becomes apparent.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75101.html

    Engineering at Its Finest: Bacterial Chemotaxis and Signal Transduction – JonathanM – September 2011
    Excerpt: The bacterial flagellum represents not just a problem of irreducible complexity. Rather, the problem extends far deeper than that. What we are now observing is the existence of irreducibly complex systems within irreducibly complex systems. How random mutations, coupled with natural selection, could have assembled such a finely set-up system is a question to which I defy any Darwinist to give a sensible answer.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50911.html

    Biologist Howard Berg at Harvard calls the Bacterial Flagellum
    “the most efficient machine in the universe.”

    The Bacterial Flagellum: A Paradigm for Design – Jonathan M. – Sept. 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, so striking is the appearance of intelligent design that researchers have modeled the assembly process (of the bacterial flagellum) in view of finding inspiration for enhancing industrial operations (McAuley et al.). Not only does the flagellum manifestly exhibit engineering principles, but the engineering involved is far superior to humanity’s best achievements. The flagellum exhibits irreducible complexity in spades. In all of our experience of cause-and-effect, we know that phenomena of this kind are uniformly associated with only one type of cause – one category of explanation – and that is intelligent mind. Intelligent design succeeds at precisely the point at which evolutionary explanations break down.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/1067.....-Flagellum

    Two Flagella Are Better than One – September 3, 2014
    Excerpt: The assembly instructions,, are even more irreducibly complex than the motor itself. Parts are arriving on time and moving into place in a programmed sequence, with feedback to the nucleus affecting how many parts are to be manufactured. Dr. Jonathan Wells added, “What we see is irreducible complexity all the way down.” Twelve years of closer looks at these astonishing machines have only amplified those conclusions.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89611.html

  242. 242
    bpragmatic says:

    Moran.
    “Will you confirm what Futuyma says in the middle of page 256?

    The theory of genetic drift … includes some of the most highly refined mathematical models in biology.

    Do you consider Douglas Futuyma to be an expert on evolution and evolutionary theory?”

    One can probably extrapolate “highly refined mathematical models” to try and justify all sorts of conjecture for just about anything. And what does “being an expert on evolution and evolutionary theory” really mean from an empirically sufficient scientific point of view related to demonstrating your assertions as having the kind of support required to allow a reasonable individual to agree with your conclusions?

    Moran, you have been allowed way too long to preach to a bunch of 20 year old kids who could not care less about anything you say except to get a passing grade from an atheist posing as a scientist. Your philosophical preferences, to the extent they influence your teaching in public, should be eliminated from expression to these kids. And maybe you refrain from this. But it seems unlikely.

  243. 243
    Dionisio says:

    #234 error correction.

    Contrary to what I incorrectly stated @234, Dr. Moran did not trigger our discussion.

    The discussion was triggered by DTZ’s provocative comment:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584216

    @46 DTZ October 23, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Dear Professor Moran,

    I think I see your point, but perhaps a more effective way to prove it is to show the alleged ‘challenge’ one of their folks posted here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-582669
    is not a challenge at all.
    The guy who wrote that comment admitted he’s not a scientist. It should be easy for someone with your academic credentials and scientific knowledge/experience to show there’s nothing challenging about their questions.
    Actually, if you do so, you may shutdown their website completely, or at least future visitors would see what’s going on.
    Wouldn’t this approach work better than engaging in non constructive arguments with the ID folks?
    Had I had a fraction of your scientific knowledge I would have shut up that guy who issued the alleged ‘challenge’ in the above link.
    Thank you.

    Which I commented @64 in that same thread:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584272

    Regarding the link you posted @46, I don’t think that answering those and other follow-up questions would necessarily shutdown this website. But it definitely could provide to the mentioned professor and his comrades the credibility they all currently lack so badly.

    However, better don’t hold your breadth while waiting for the mentioned professor or anybody else to dare accepting my invitation to seriously explain things and answering questions. I don’t expect that to occur anytime soon. They seem to lack what is required to do it.

    Later DTZ replied @66:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584299

    @66 DTZ October 24, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Dionisio @64

    I don’t think that answering those and other follow-up questions would necessarily shutdown this website.

    Perhaps I exaggerated in that sentence. What I meant is that by answering the questions, the professor could demonstrate his academic/scientific credentials while weakening the ID position tremendously.

    But it definitely could provide to the mentioned professor and his comrades the credibility they all currently lack so badly.

    Well, I would not say the professor lacks credibility, but answering the questions would strengthen it enormously.

    Only then professor Moran posted his first comment @69 in the same thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584320

    And that started our discussion.

  244. 244
    Larry Moran says:

    bornagain asks

    You know, perhaps lay out the exact ‘highly refined mathematical model’ for how the flagellum is created by unguided material processes and the experiment that verified that ‘highly refined mathematical model’ to be correct in its prediction?

    That’s like asking to show how the mathematical models of physics predict the formation of Venus.

    Do you realize how silly that sounds?

  245. 245
    bornagain says:

    “Do you realize how silly that sounds?”

    Not nearly as silly as you saying that unguided material processes could EVER build a flagellum given all the time in the universe.

    Which is still yet orders of magnitude not as silly as you saying unguided material processes created your ‘beyond belief’ brain.

    And by the way, unlike your ‘highly refined mathematical model’ for which you claim real world testing is ‘silly’, you do realize that ID has its own ‘highly refined mathematical model’ that actually does hold up to real world testing?

    In fact, just one instance of unguided material processes creating functional information would falsify Dembski and Marks’ conservation of information theorem (and thus falsify Intelligent Design).

    Abel puts the falsification threshold for ID like this:

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    Of related note

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

    By the way, Perry Marshall has organized a 3 million dollar prize for anyone who can lay out the math and empirics for how coded information is created by unguided material processes. Perhaps you would like to toss your ‘highly refined mathematical model’ in the ring for the prize? 🙂

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery. We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

  246. 246
    Dionisio says:

    #243 addendum

    @69 professor Moran posted his first comment that started our discussion:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584320

    I followed the links but it wasn’t clear to me what the questions were and which ones you want answered. Could you post ONE question here at a time?

    I’ll try to answer, but first I need to know what kind of background you have. Can I assume that you understand basic evolutionary theory and that you accept common descent or do I have to begin by presenting the evidence that the Earth is about 4.5 billion yeas old and life began with very simple organisms over 3 billion years ago?

    Can I assume that you understand the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology and developmental gene regulation or do I have to explain that to you as well? Have you read any of the leading books that address your questions, like Sean Carrol’s book “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” or Stephen Jay Gould’s book “Ontogey and Phylogeny.” How about “Wonderful Life”?

    The problem with explaining things to creationists is that I never know where to start. Sometimes their ignorance of science is so profound that I need to start way back at square one and that’s tedious.

    Just look at the comments on this thread and on other recent posts. Clearly there are many of you who lack basic understanding of evolution in spite of the fact that you are vehemently opposed to evolution. You won’t even believe a fellow ID proponent like Vincent Torley when he tries to enlighten you.

    Don’t you see how that can be very frustrating?

    Then @91 I replied:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584389

    Larry Moran @69

    I followed the links but it wasn’t clear to me what the questions were and which ones you want answered.

    Could you post ONE question here at a time?

    Professor Moran,

    Thank you for your comment and for your willingness to graciously share your vast scientific knowledge here.

    Ok, as per your request, let’s do one question at a time, and let’s start from a simple Yes/No question:

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are formed, at least one case?

    Please, just answer YES or NO, without any additional explanation, comments or questions.

    Only one word: yes or no. That’s all for now.

    Thank you again.

  247. 247
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 126

    Let me take just one angle, that of Pearcey (with a reinforcing slice of Provine):

    I’ve already pointed out on at least one previous occasion that Pearcey’s case is fundamentally flawed.

    An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.

    False dichotomy.

    Who says “survival-value” and “truth-value” are incompatible?

    Who is more likely to survive, the man who thinks that the hungry lion stalking him is just a big, fluffy kitty who wants to play or the man who thinks that the lion is a hungry predator and decides he doesn’t want to be its next meal?

    Sure, false beliefs might have some survival value – religion is one – but in a world that can be highly dangerous for – if not actively hostile to – human survival, having a good handle on that world gives you a big edge in terms of survival. In fact, you could say that, in the sense of mental modelling of the world in which you live, survival depends on truth.

    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.

    On the contrary, if survival depends on truth then that argument self-destructs.

  248. 248
    Seversky says:

    mohammadnursyamsu @ 128

    You are simply rejecting subjectivity. Materialism can only deal with facts.

    Isn’t subjectivity a fact?

  249. 249
    bpragmatic says:

    Moran:

    bornagain asks
    Born Again:

    “You know, perhaps lay out the exact ‘highly refined mathematical model’ for how the flagellum is created by unguided material processes and the experiment that verified that ‘highly refined mathematical model’ to be correct in its prediction?”

    Moran:

    “That’s like asking to show how the mathematical models of physics predict the formation of Venus.

    Do you realize how silly that sounds?”

    Larry, no. I and, and I suspect, many others DO NOT realize how silly that sounds. Please educate us.
    How much of your education includes the mathematical and chemical rigor of say, a person pursuing a degree in “Chemical Engineering”(which I argue is a question highly relevant to this discussion)?

    How much calculus have you been required to master? How about differential equations and physical chemistry. How about fluid dynamics? My hunch is that you would flunk a higher level physical chemistry course in a chemical engineering program at any reputable university. I could very well be wrong but probably not.

    If you have trouble distinguishing between the observations of currently observable physical processes whose measurements can empirically support the formation of physical objects such as a planet Venus, and what is required to demonstrate the origination of the living systems supporting and leading to the development of a bacterial flagellum, as well as the development of the bacterial flagellum, then this is what I think:

    I think you should resign immediately from your publicly funded position as an “educator” at a public university. Apologize to anyone that you engaged in these kinds of conversation with in the name of “science”. And admit that you are nothing more than a “philosopher” of the “history of science” engaged in a battle defending your position of “anti-religion”.

  250. 250
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 141

    Materialism is not responsible for the progress of science and technology, not for its roots; that you seem to think so itself speaks volumes on just how far out of touch with accurate history of ideas and of sci-tech you have become.

    Science is not equal to materialism, no more than that it is equal to religion, and no theory relevant to he actual progress in physics, chemistry, engineering, industry, or even medicine is critically dependent on or controlled by materialist philosophy. Those theories that are, are deeply problematic, as with evolutionary biology.

    Name one of the current established theories in science that is founded on anything other than a materialist model of the world.

    For, again, evolutionary materialism is self refuting and necessarily false and incoherent.

    I know that’s what you believe but I’m saying you’re wrong.

    What we would now call science, in its broadest sense, has flourished at different times and in different places and cultures over the millenia: China, India, Egypt, Greece and medieval Muslim states, for example. Many, if not most, scientists have held religious beliefs of various sorts: Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sikh, Jew, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and so on. There’ve even been a few atheists and agnostics.

    Christian Europe was one of the most recent cultures to foster science but it is not the parent and only Christian exceptionalism and an ignorance of the long history of science would allow one to claim otherwise.

  251. 251
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @ 148

    So, if you see an adult physically abusing a child, you don’t move to stop them? You ask their consent first?

    No, you stop them on the assumption that neither the child, its parents and family nor society at large have, or would, consent to the physical abuse of children.

    Oh, please. You treat other adults as “adults” and through “mutual consent” only up to a certain point. Then, you act exactly like any theist and move to impose what you, at some level, consider to be absolute moral rules on anyone stepping over that line, even if most of society disagrees with you.

    Of course, there will come a point where moral codes have to be enforced. The question is, what is the authority for the use of force? Is it in the unverifiable claims by some that their particular deity is the Supreme Arbiter in such matters or is it in the express will of the people who have decided amongst themselves what is best for them?

    Your idea that your morality is consistent with your materialism/atheism rests upon a deep web of self-deceit and poor critical thinking – much like your idea that scientific and technological success flows from “materialism” just because the work doesn’t refer to any “god”.

    Materialism and atheism are claims about what is. Morality is about how human beings should behave towards one another and, perhaps, other creatures. I see no reason why people should not decide matters of morality for themselves.

    Unfortunately, there’s just no correcting useful idiots like yourself because your emotion and a priori commitments overrule your capacity to reason.

    I’m not the one refusing to use my capacity to reason these things out for myself and meekly handing over responsibility to someone – or something – else.

  252. 252
  253. 253

    @seversky wrote: ” Materialism and atheism are claims about what is. Morality is about how human beings should behave towards one another and, perhaps, other creatures. I see no reason why people should not decide matters of morality for themselves. ”

    But materialism provides no room for what ought, because all what exists in materialism is a matter of fact, not opinion. There is no room for the ought of opinion in materialism.

    And here on uncommon descent post after post you do your best to deny the fact that freedom is real and relevant in the universe, and then you support decisionmaking????

    It is all nonsense what you say, all emperor with no clothes kind of deal.

  254. 254

    @ Seversky “Isn’t subjectivity a fact?”

    The facts of subjectivity in for instance saying “the painting is beautiful” are that in principle we can see as fact the decision is made (beautiful is chosen in stead of ugly), we can see as fact the available options (beautiful and ugly), but we cannot see as fact the agency of the decision, which makes the decision turn out the way it does.

    In this example love is referred to as the agency of the decision, as “beautiful” refers to a love for the way the painting looks.

    The existence of this love is a matter of opinion, which means to say the love is real is just as valid as to say it is not real. In the same way as saying the painting is beautiful is equally valid to saying the painting is ugly.

    So you see subjectivity only functions in regards to acknowledging agency (creator), which chooses the way the material (creation) turns out. There is then categorized for a spiritual domain and all what exists in it is a matter of opinion, while all what exists in the material domain is categorized as factual issues.

  255. 255
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I understand that there is no bottom-up explanation for an organism. It’s a fundamental insight. It is impossible to explain the coherence of an organism from the level of the parts.

    Of course, you are merely asserting your position, not arguing for it.

    mohammadnursyamsu: But materialism provides no room for what ought, because all what exists in materialism is a matter of fact, not opinion.

    Materialists generally don’t deny the existence of opinion, or more particularly, the existence of moral indignation.

  256. 256

    @Zachriel

    But in essence it requires the exactsame logic to say to believe in God, as to have moral indignitation, the logic of subjectivity.

    And materialists reject belief in God, eventhough they can see as fact that people profess belief in God, so on equal terms they would reject moral indignitation.

    Very obviously subjectivity, forming opinions, simply does not work without terms referring to things the existence of which is only established by choosing they are real. Love, hate, God, the soul etc. These are subjective terms.

    And these terms are denied in materialism, because they do not refer to anything material.

  257. 257
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: But in essence it requires the exactsame logic to say to believe in God, as to have moral indignitation, the logic of subjectivity.

    Belief in God refers to a claim about something external, while moral indignation is an internal reaction. Even though people might abstract morality, it is an abstraction about an internal state. However, the subjective experience of the Divine would certainly qualify as an experience akin to experience of beauty or moral indignation, indeed, are often experienced together.

    mohammadnursyamsu: And materialists reject belief in God, eventhough they can see as fact that people profess belief in God, so on equal terms they would reject moral indignitation.

    Materialists can experience moral indignation, and there’s no reason for them to ignore this experience any more than they would ignore hunger or thirst. They might even experience the supernatural, but may attribute it to “an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.”

    mohammadnursyamsu: Love, hate, God, the soul etc. These are subjective terms.

    Love and hate are terms referring TO the subjective experience. The term God is usually intended to refer to something external to the self.

  258. 258
    bornagain says:

    Zachriel in response to Box at 255,

    actually even Dawkins agrees with Box that inferring ‘top down’ Design is intuitive, i.e. Inferred not from the ‘bottom up’ parts themselves but from the ‘top down’ ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’ (Blind Watchmaker)

    Perhaps you should go correct the high priest of atheism, Dawkins, before you try to correct IDists?

    Life Reeks Of Design – Behe
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

  259. 259
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain: actually even Dawkins agrees with Box that inferring ‘top down’ Design is intuitive

    That doesn’t make it an argument any more than saying “The Earth is flat” is an argument.

  260. 260
    Zachriel says:

    Mung: It’s like Zachriel spores all over the internet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEStsLJZhzo

  261. 261
    bornagain says:

    Zachriel, well if inferring design is not intuitive for humans then why in blue blue blazes are atheists always, unsuccessfully, trying to ‘explain away’ the ‘illusion of design?’ (trying to explain it away with their illusion of mind I might add)

    Indeed, the atheist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, seems to have been particularly haunted by seeing this ‘illusion of design’ everywhere he looked in molecular biology:

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Lewontin

    “The appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature.”
    George Gaylord Simpson

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “I remember how frustrated I became when, as a young atheist, I examined specimens under the microscope. I would often walk away and try to convince myself that I was not seeing examples of extraordinary design, but merely the product of some random, unexplained mutations.”
    -Rick Oliver (‘Designed to Kill in a Fallen World.’)

    WJM on the truth denialism issue (of militant atheists) – Sept. 13, 2015
    Excerpt: “Regardless of the overwhelming appearance of design in biology, it is possible that chance and natural law could have generated the appearance of design. That possibility of “deception” or “error” about the appearance of a thing is enough for them to deny the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.,,,
    IMO, Keiths et al use “bare possibility” as a means to justify their intellectual aversion to truth, because truth inexorably leads to God. They wish to deny God, and so they must avoid truth; avoiding truth means clinging to possibilities, terminologies, interpretations and philosophies that deny truth or redefines it.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-579896

    Moreover, even though atheists can’t explain how a single protein of that ‘illusion of design’ came about by unguided material processes, the elephant in the living room problem that is never address by atheists is much bigger than that.

    The elephant in the living problem is not how can unguided material processes explain the origin of a protein but “How in blue blazes do a billion-trillion proteins know how to keep a person alive for precisely a lifetime and not a moment longer?’

    If a billion-trillion proteins dedicated to the singular purposeful task of keeping a person alive for precisely a lifetime and not a moment longer (Talbott post 182, 183, 184) does not constitute an inference to ‘top down’ design, to seeing the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’, then all reason is lost and the atheist is drifting about in a Alice in Wonderland world of profound insanity.

    One Body – animation – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDMLq6eqEM4

  262. 262
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain: if inferring design is not intuitive for humans then why in blue blue blazes are atheists always, unsuccessfully, trying to ‘explain away’ the ‘illusion of design?’

    That wasn’t our claim, but rather than merely referring to intuition of design is not an argument. People have inferred design in everything from mountains to weather, but there is no scientific evidence to support these contentions. Science requires more than your subjective experience, and argument requires more than assertion.

    Furthermore, Box made a specific claim.

    Box: I understand that there is no bottom-up explanation for an organism. It’s a fundamental insight. It is impossible to explain the coherence of an organism from the level of the parts.

    Box claimed that it is impossible to explain the coherence of an organism from the level of the parts. The only property of organisms to which he refers is “coherence”, then appeals to “fundamental insight”. But we know of many phenomena which have “coherence” that do arise from the level of the parts. The argument is no different in form than: “Our argument is correct. It’s a fundamental insight.”

  263. 263
    bornagain says:

    Well if the inference to design is non-scientific then so is Darwinian evolution since both use the same method of science (with the caveat that Darwinian evolution has no presently acting cause to appeal to, nor falsification criteria for that matter)

    Stephen Meyer: Charles Darwin’s Methods, Different Conclusion
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqq6JP5gE0E

  264. 264
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain: Well if the inference to design is non-scientific then so is Darwinian evolution since both use the same method of science

    They do? Common Descent predicts intermediate species, including fossils, which are subject to scientific investigation. Natural selection predicts how heritable composition of populations will change, which is subject to scientific investigation. And so on.

    Intelligent design, on the other hand, is scientifically sterile.

  265. 265
    Barry Arrington says:

    Zach,

    People have inferred design in everything from mountains to weather, but there is no scientific evidence to support these contentions.

    Let us suppose for the sake of argument that in a particular instance, the mountain (or, more realistically, some part of it) was in fact designed, but, just as you say, there was “no scientific evidence to support [the] contention[].”

    Would the design inference then be false?

  266. 266
    bornagain says:

    Zachriel, so you say the fossil record overwhelmingly supports Darwinian evolution? I say you are a pathological liar for repeatedly making that claim in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence! Moreover, even if CD were true, the main question to be answered, as you well know, is the origin of information.

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,

    In Allaying Darwin’s Doubt, Two Cambrian Experts Still Come Up Short – October 16, 2015
    Excerpt: “A recent analysis of disparity in 98 metazoan clades through the Phanerozoic found a preponderance of clades with maximal disparity early in their history. Thus, whether or not taxonomic diversification slows down most studies of disparity reveal a pattern in which the early evolution of a clade defines the morphological boundaries of a group which are then filled in by subsequent diversification. This pattern is inconsistent with that expected of a classic adaptive radiation in which diversity and disparity should be coupled, at least during the early phase of the radiation.”
    – Doug Erwin
    What this admits is that disparity is a worse problem than evolutionists had realized: it’s ubiquitous (throughout the history of life on earth), not just in the Cambrian (Explosion).

    disparity
    [dih-spar-i-tee] noun, plural disparities.
    1. lack of similarity or equality; inequality; difference:

    “It is hard for us paleontologists, steeped as we are in a tradition of Darwinian analysis, to admit that neo-Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian explosion have failed miserably. New data acquired in recent years, instead of solving Darwin’s dilemma, have rather made it worse. Meyer describes the dimensions of the problem with clarity and precision. His book is a game changer for the study of evolution and points us in the right direction as we seek a new theory for the origin of animals.”
    -Dr. Mark McMenamin – 2013
    Paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College and author of The Emergence of Animals

    “The record of the first appearance of living phyla, classes, and orders can best be described in Wright’s (1) term as ‘from the top down’.”
    (James W. Valentine, “Late Precambrian bilaterians: Grades and clades,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 91: 6751-6757 (July 1994).)

    “Darwin’s prediction of rampant, albeit gradual, change affecting all lineages through time is refuted. The record is there, and the record speaks for tremendous anatomical conservatism. Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record.”
    Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, The Myth of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 45-46.

    In Explaining the Cambrian Explosion, Has the TalkOrigins Archive Resolved Darwin’s Dilemma? – JonathanM – May 2012
    Excerpt: it is the pattern of morphological disparity preceding diversity that is fundamentally at odds with the neo-Darwinian scenario of gradualism. All of the major differences (i.e. the higher taxonomic categories such as phyla) appear first in the fossil record and then the lesser taxonomic categories such as classes, orders, families, genera and species appear later. On the Darwinian view, one would expect to see all of the major differences in body plan appear only after numerous small-scale speciation events. But this is not what we observe.
    per ENV

    “The facts of greatest general importance are the following. When a new phylum, class, or order appears, there follows a quick, explosive (in terms of geological time) diversification so that practically all orders or families known appear suddenly and without any apparent transitions. Afterwards, a slow evolution follows; this frequently has the appearance of a gradual change, step by step, though down to the generic level abrupt major steps without transitions occur. At the end of such a series, a kind of evolutionary running-wild frequently is observed. Giant forms appear, and odd or pathological types of different kinds precede the extinction of such a line.”
    Richard B. Goldschmidt, “Evolution, as Viewed by One Geneticist,” American Scientist 40 (January 1952), 97.

    Problem 5: Abrupt Appearance of Species in the Fossil Record Does Not Support Darwinian Evolution – Casey Luskin January 29, 2015
    Excerpt: Rather than showing gradual Darwinian evolution, the history of life shows a pattern of explosions where new fossil forms come into existence without clear evolutionary precursors. Evolutionary anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz summarizes the problem:
    “We are still in the dark about the origin of most major groups of organisms. They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus — full-blown and raring to go, in contradiction to Darwin’s depiction of evolution as resulting from the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations. . .”98
    per ENV

    “With the benefit of hindsight, it is amazing that paleontologists could have accepted gradual evolution as a universal pattern on the basis of a handful of supposedly well-documented lineages (e.g. Gryphaea, Micraster, Zaphrentis) none of which actually withstands close scrutiny.”
    Christopher R.C. Paul, “Patterns of Evolution and Extinction in Invertebrates,” K.C. Allen and D.E.G. Briggs, eds., Evolution and the Fossil Record (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 105.

    “It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student from Trueman’s Ostrea/Gryphaea to Carruthers’ Zaphrentis delanouei, have now been ‘debunked’. Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive.’
    Dr. Derek V. Ager (Department of Geology & Oceonography, University College, Swansea, UK), ‘The nature of the fossil record’. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, vol.87(2), 1976,p.132.

    “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”
    Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager, “The Nature of the Fossil Record,” 87 Proceedings of the British Geological Association 87 (1976): 133. (Department of Geology & Oceanography, University College, Swansea, UK)

    “It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution…This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.”
    G.G.Simpson – one of the most influential American Paleontologist of the 20th century

    “A major problem in proving the theory has been the fossil record; the imprints of vanished species preserved in the Earth’s geological formations. This record has never revealed traces of Darwin’s hypothetical intermediate variants – instead species appear and disappear abruptly, and this anomaly has fueled the creationist argument that each species was created by God.”
    Paleontologist, Mark Czarnecki

    “There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways, it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration. The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps.”
    T. Neville George – Professor of paleontology – Glasgow University,

    “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”
    David Kitts – Paleontologist – D.B. Kitts, Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory (1974), p. 467.

    “The long-term stasis, following a geologically abrupt origin, of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists” –
    Stephen Jay Gould – Harvard

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.”
    Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma 1988, Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”.
    David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.”
    Tom S. Kemp, Fossils and Evolution (New York; Oxford University Press, 1999), 246. – Curator of Zoological Collections

    “The record certainly did not reveal gradual transformations of structure in the course of time. On the contrary, it showed that species generally remained constant throughout their history and were replaced quite suddenly by significantly different forms. New types or classes seemed to appear fully formed, with no sign of an evolutionary trend by which they could have emerged from an earlier type.”
    Peter Bowler, Evolution: The History of an Idea (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984), 187.

    “The lack of ancestral or intermediate forms between fossil species is not a bizarre peculiarity of early metazoan history. Gaps are general and prevalent throughout the fossil record.”
    R.A. Raff and T.C. Kaufman, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution: The Developmental-Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1991), 34.

    “No one has found any such in-between creatures. This was long chalked up to ‘gaps’ in the fossil records, gaps that proponents of gradualism confidently expected to fill in someday when rock strata of the proper antiquity were eventually located. But all the fossil evidence to date has failed to turn up any such missing links . . . There is a growing conviction among many scientists that these transitional forms never existed.”
    Niles Eldredge, quoted in George Alexander, “Alternate Theory of Evolution Considered,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1978.

    “Gradualism is a concept I believe in, not just because of Darwin’s authority, but because my understanding of genetics seems to demand it. Yet Gould and the American Museum people [i.e., Eldredge] are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. As a paleontologist myself, I am much occupied with the philosophical problems of identifying ancestral forms in the fossil record. You say that I should at least ‘show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.’ I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.”
    Colin Patterson to Luther Sunderland, April 10, 1979, quoted in Luther .D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma: Fossils and Other Problems, 4th ed. (El Cajon, CA: Master Book Publishers, 1988), 89.

    For the first decade after the paper was published, it was the most controversial and hotly argued idea in all of paleontology. Soon the great debate among paleontologists boiled down to just a few central points, which Gould and Eldredge (1977) nicely summarized on the fifth anniversary of the paper’s release. The first major discovery was that stasis was much more prevalent in the fossil record than had been previously supposed. Many paleontologists came forward and pointed out that the geological literature was one vast monument to stasis, with relatively few cases where anyone had observed gradual evolution. If species didn’t appear suddenly in the fossil record and remain relatively unchanged, then biostratigraphy would never work—and yet almost two centuries of successful biostratigraphic correlations was evidence of just this kind of pattern. As Gould put it, it was the “dirty little secret” hidden in the paleontological closet. Most paleontologists were trained to focus on gradual evolution as the only pattern of interest, and ignored stasis as “not evolutionary change” and therefore uninteresting, to be overlooked or minimized. Once Eldredge and Gould had pointed out that stasis was equally important (“stasis is data” in Gould’s words), paleontologists all over the world saw that stasis was the general pattern, and that gradualism was rare—and that is still the consensus 40 years later.
    Donald Prothero – American paleontologist, geologist, and author who specializes in mammalian paleontology.

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-586768

  267. 267
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain: so you say the fossil record overwhelmingly supports Darwinian evolution?

    The claim is that the theory of Common Descent leads to verifiable predictions concerning the fossil record.

    Instead of posting a long list of links, why not take just one or two, and explain in your own words why you think it supports your claim.

  268. 268
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Let us suppose for the sake of argument that in a particular instance, the mountain (or, more realistically, some part of it) was in fact designed, but, just as you say, there was “no scientific evidence to support [the] contention[].” Would the design inference then be false?

    It would be unsupported. Meanwhile, we know quite a lot about mountain formation.


    ETA: added some context for the reader

  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, materialism is philosophy or ideology, not science. The imposition of ideology on science — which is what you have advocated — is censorship. If it was objectionable when the robes were clerical, it remains objectionable now that the censors are dressed up in lab coats. Enough has long since been said and cited otherwise in correction. KF

  270. 270
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: The imposition of ideology on science — which is what you have advocated — is censorship.

    Science is usualkly considered methodologically materialist, not philosophically materialist. It’s not censorship to point out that it’s not science if you can’t provide empirical support for a proposition. Furthermore, our position is that the distinction between natural and supernatural is ill-defined and not particularly useful except as a general rule of thumb.

  271. 271

    @Zachriel

    You need to shut up a lot, cow down, and try to accurately reflect the logic ordinary people use when they talk in subjective terms. That’s the sort of attitude you need to have, not make stuff up yourself, not trying to play smart that you can make subjectivity consistent with materialism, just say how it works as is.

    I have investigated it, and the logic people use is as I have described it, you’ve got nothing. Materialism only provides room for producing facts, 1 to 1 models, not for opinions, expression of emotion with free will.

  272. 272
    Seversky says:

    mohammadnursyamsu @ 253

    But materialism provides no room for what ought, because all what exists in materialism is a matter of fact, not opinion. There is no room for the ought of opinion in materialism

    That’s right. As I said, materialism is a philosophical or metaphysical claim about the nature of reality. It has nothing to say about morality or the nature of subjective experience beyond the claim that there is a material basis for them as for all other things.

    And here on uncommon descent post after post you do your best to deny the fact that freedom is real and relevant in the universe, and then you support decisionmaking????

    Freedom can mean different things in different contexts. It can refer to the range of behaviors that a society sanctions for its members. It can refer to the range of choices available to an individual. But in no cases are they absolute. I cannot fly unaided, like Superman, or journey to distant stars as in Star Trek no matter how much I exercise my free will. At this time they are not physically possible for me or anyone else. We are limited by material reality, whatever our will might be.

  273. 273
    Seversky says:

    mohammadnursyamsu @ 254

    The facts of subjectivity in for instance saying “the painting is beautiful” are that in principle we can see as fact the decision is made (beautiful is chosen in stead of ugly), we can see as fact the available options (beautiful and ugly), but we cannot see as fact the agency of the decision, which makes the decision turn out the way it does.

    In this example love is referred to as the agency of the decision, as “beautiful” refers to a love for the way the painting looks.

    I would say that the feeling of love and the experience of beauty are both emotional and subjective experiences. They are subjective because they exist nowhere outside the individual’s subjective consciousness.

    As you say, one person may find a painting beautiful while another thinks it ugly. Both are equally valid claims because they refer to each persons emotional response not to a property of the painting itself. Beauty is not a physical property of the paining in the way that its size or weight are.

    The question is, how and why do we find things beautiful or ugly and to what extent do we have any control over such responses? If you think of a painting that you find beautiful, can you, just by an effort of will, actually find it ugly instead? If you are heterosexual, can you, just by an effort of will, find people of the same sex physically attractive and could you fall in love with them? I would say that, in most cases, the answer is ‘no’. These things are decided by influences over which we have no control and of which we are, for the most part, unaware.

    So, if much of who and what we are is decided for us, that we have no choice in those areas, free will is not some absolute but only a question of degree.

  274. 274

    @seversky I’ve already had these discussions with many atheists / materialists, it’s all the same.

    You can certainly by some effort muster up the emotion to find some drawing made by your own child to be beautiful, genuinely beautiful, while in the mood you were in you would say it is ugly. You can find out all these things yourself, if you have a normal attitude about it.

    I already explained to you how subjectivity works. It works by choosing about what it is that chooses (agency) resulting in an opinion. You, like all materialists, try to make subjectivity into word-goo. Now you already try to stretch the meaning of the word freedom.

    Subjectivity just has a basic mathematical logic to it. A choice is made, it has at least 2 options, one is chosen. Then the question what made that choice turn out the way it did? can only be answered by choosing the answer, resulting in an opinion. So that is a set of rules, as contrasted with your word-goo about freedom and whatever else.

    That is why subjectivity applies anywhere there is freedom in the universe, regardless if it is a human being going left or right, or an animal, or the weather turning out rain or not rain. When there is freedom in some system, then subjectivity applies to the agency of those decisions. That is how creationism works, it requires the facts of how things are decided, and then it is left as opinion what the agency of the decisions is.

  275. 275
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, you are just going in circles, it was already shown just how so called methodological naturalism acts as a stalking horse for metaphysical imposition, complete with cites and links. I just note for record. KF

  276. 276
    Mung says:

    Zachriel:

    Furthermore, our position is that the distinction between natural and supernatural is ill-defined and not particularly useful except as a general rule of thumb.

    Translation: Even a large community of Zachriels communicating via their hive mind can’t tell the difference between natural and supernatural.

  277. 277
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung (Attn, Z):

    I have always pointed out that for scientific purposes and design inferences, the appropriate contrast was long since drawn by Plato: natural (= blind chance plus mechanical necessity) vs the ART-ificial.

    The signs of intelligently directed configuration AKA design, can be reasonably empirically investigated.

    This would allow us to investigate whether design was a material causal process, once one is open to the possibility of design.

    Then, discussions may be further pursued, as to candidate designers and most likely suspect. Beyond, the issue as to ontological status may be contemplated; likely at worldview level in the case of cosmological origins.

    I suspect a lot of objectors have been believing their own propaganda and have erroneously equated design with designer and designer with supernatural designer, especially God. The obvious intensity of anti-theistic polarisation then warps further thought.

    I wonder whether it has registered that the work of Venter et al makes it clear that a molecular nanotech lab is a reasonable candidate designer relevant to cell based life. Indeed, at initial level, intelligent design of life is already a fact.

    KF

    PS: I wonder if it has registered with such objectors that in order for the miraculous to stand out as a sign pointing beyond the mundane, ordinary order of things, it has to be strikingly exceptional? That is, the existence of miracles is predicated on there being a regular, ordinary course of events shaped by intelligible lawlike regularities? Which is exactly where modern science began.

  278. 278
    Box says:

    Kairosfocus: I have always pointed out that for scientific purposes and design inferences, the appropriate contrast was long since drawn by Plato: natural (= blind chance plus mechanical necessity) vs the ART-ificial.

    KF, do you accept the equation of Plato’s contrast with ‘bottom-up’ vs ‘top-down’ explanation?

  279. 279
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, I think bottom up and top down are a bit vague, but would highlight that intent is an empirically relevant causal factor. As in my intent to respond to you. That is backed up by intelligently directed configuration towards that goal, and this comment results. It manifests FSCO/I which per inductive and analytical analysis is a strong sign of design as cause as opposed to blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. Those who are trying to get it taken as established that blind chance and mechanical necessity are causally adequate credible sources of FSCO/I, need to show that. There are trillions of cases of design causing FSCO/I, but the blind needle in haystack search strategy cannot show such observable success. But I am now convinced the matter will have to be resolved at the level of highlighting the ideological lockout of design and its unreasonableness, multiplied by the self-referentially incoherent nature of evolutionary materialist scientism. Which means that from the outset that system is self-refuting. KF

  280. 280
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: You need to …

    You neglected to respond to our argument, or provide an argument of your own.

    Mung: Even a large community of Zachriels communicating via their hive mind can’t tell the difference between natural and supernatural.

    Rather, a methodological definition of science avoids the necessity of making such distinctions. If a claim has empirical entailments, then it can be subject to scientific investigation.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vntAEVjPBzQ


    Sign on Door leading to Science Lab: Absolutely *NO* Demons Beyond This Point.

  281. 281
    Jack Jones says:

    “Sign on Door leading to Science Lab: Absolutely *NO* Demons Beyond This Point.”

    Of course those scientists who are trying to bring a living organism into being through design are not demons, we certainly know there is Absolutely *NO* Chance Beyond This Point but lots of intelligence and design.

    They are not waiting around for a living organism to arise spontaneously in nature because it just ain’t gonna happen.

    Now….When it is taking so much human intelligence and design in order to create a living organism, then it is reasonable to believe that the Creator that Originated life was of greater intelligence and that it didn’t originate by chance.

  282. 282
    brian douglas says:

    Joe, even if humans create a living cell in a lab, this is not evidence one way or the other for evolution or for ID. It will only prove that humans can make life. But I must also point out that they are not attempting to design it from scratch. Most of the materials they are using come from existing organisms. It would be analogous to putting a Porsche engine in a VW Beetle.

    But I think that your argument is like having your cake and eating it to. I have read many ID proponents argue that evolution can’t be true because scientists have never been able to create life in a lab. And here you are arguing that humans creating life is evidence for the ID position.

  283. 283

    @Zachriel

    It is my opinion that Zachriel and Seversky have no emotions.

    That’s how that works, it is a matter of opinion what the agency of decisions is, and it is logically valid to choose the answer that there is nothing there but emptiness.

    Whether such an answer is morally acceptable is a different issue.

  284. 284
    bornagain says:

    as to “Sign on Door leading to Science Lab: Absolutely *NO* Demons Beyond This Point.”

    Cavendish Laboratory
    The first Professor, James Clerk Maxwell, was appointed before the Laboratory was built. He travelled to laboratories in Glasgow and Oxford before making suggestions about the design to the architect, W.M. Fawcett. Construction began at the site in Free School Lane when Loveday of Kibworth’s tender of £8,450 was accepted on 12th March 1872….
    The Laboratory for Experimental Physics was opened on 16th June 1874. Nine days later the recently founded journal ‘Nature’ published a full description of the new laboratory, noting the inscription on the doors, ‘Magna opera Domini exquisita in omnes voluntates ejus’, meaning ‘The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein’.
    http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.....ory4_1.htm

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle’s position) turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    MOVING ‘FAR FROM EQUILIBRIUM’ IN A PREBIOTIC ENVIRONMENT: The role of Maxwell’s Demon in life origin – DAVID L. ABEL
    Abstract: Can we falsify the following null hypothesis?
    “A kinetic energy potential cannot be generated by Maxwell’s Demon from an ideal gas equilibrium without purposeful choices of when to open and close the partition’s trap door.”
    If we can falsify this null hypothesis with an observable naturalistic mechanism, we have moved a long way towards modeling the spontaneous molecular evolution of life. Falsification is essential to discount teleology. But life requires a particular version of “far from equilibrium” that explains formal organization, not just physicodynamic self-ordering as seen in Prigogine’s dissipative structures. Life is controlled and regulated, not just constrained. Life follows arbitrary rules of behavior, not just invariant physical laws. To explain life’s origin and regulation naturalistically, we must first explain the more fundamental question, “How can hotter, faster moving, ideal gas molecules be dichotomized from cooler, slower moving, ideal gas molecules without the Demon’s choice contingency operating the trap door?”
    https://www.academia.edu/9963341/MOVING_FAR_FROM_EQUILIBRIUM_IN_A_PREBIOTIC_ENVIRONMENT_The_role_of_Maxwell_s_Demon_in_life_origin

  285. 285
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain: “Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867

    Reading further, “The experiment did not violate the second law of thermodynamics because energy was consumed in the experiment by the apparatus used”

  286. 286
    Jack Jones says:

    Comment under mine and responding to my comment says

    “Joe”

    My name is not Joe, My name is Jack.

    That is two posts you have called me Joe on now, is there something about that name that you have a fetish for?

    “even if humans create a living cell in a lab, this is not evidence one way or the other for evolution or for ID. It will only prove that humans can make life.”

    What is going on in the lab is showing humans working to artificially create life as life cannot originate spontaneously from non living matter.

    Known chemistry and the law of biogenesis already demonstrates that life could not have originated spontaneously in nature.

    “But I must also point out that they are not attempting to design it from scratch. Most of the materials they are using come from existing organisms. It would be analogous to putting a Porsche engine in a VW Beetle.”

    So, it will still be design and nothing to do with your faith of life originating in nature spontaneously.

    “But I think that your argument is like having your cake and eating it to. I have read many ID proponents argue that evolution can’t be true because scientists have never been able to create life in a lab.”

    I speak for myself.

    “And here you are arguing that humans creating life is evidence for the ID position.”

    I am here arguing that scientists working in the lab using intelligence and design is not life originating spontaneously in nature.

    The law of biogenesis and known chemistry already destroy your faith in life originating spontaneously in nature.

  287. 287
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: Known chemistry and the law of biogenesis already demonstrates that life could not have originated spontaneously in nature.

    The law of biogenesis is just an observation. Abiogenetic theories suppose conditions were quite different during the hypothesized period of abiogenesis.

    Jack Jones: I am here arguing that scientists working in the lab using intelligence and design is not life originating spontaneously in nature.

    When scientists investigate possible abiogenesis in plausible prebiotic conditions, then that is a valid test of abiogenetic theory. However, no one has a complete theory of abiogenesis as yet.

  288. 288
    Jack Jones says:

    “The law of biogenesis is just an observation. Abiogenetic theories suppose conditions were quite different during the hypothesized period of abiogenesis.”

    Oh sure they do zach, they imagine that conditions were so different that processes in the present were inoperable in the past.

    If conditions were so different then how did the rain fall for the primordial soup which you have faith life originated from?

    Was gravity suspended back then?

    How did those mutations that you place so much faith in, Mutate those earlier animals if conditions were so different that processes in the present were inoperable?

    Evolutionists tell us that processes in the present go back to early times but when it does not suit them, then they say processes are not consistent in time and did not happen.

    “When scientists investigate possible abiogenesis in plausible prebiotic conditions”

    There are no scientists when it comes to the idea of life originating spontaneously in nature, there s lots of intelligence and manipulation.

    ” However, no one has a complete theory of abiogenesis as yet.”

    We have a law of biogenesis that shows life cannot originate spontaneously in nature. Now you are most welcome to believe processes in nature are consistent through time and hold the opposite position that processes like how chemistry operates is not consistent and operable through time.

    You are most welcome to hold on to that contradictory position.

  289. 289
    Zachriel says:

    Jack Jones: they imagine that conditions were so different that processes in the present were inoperable in the past.

    That’s correct. And we have strong evidence that the primordial atmosphere and oceans were, indeed, much different than today.

    Jack Jones: Was gravity suspended back then?

    Huh? Why would you say that? Without gravity there would be no planetary formation.

    Jack Jones: Now you are most welcome to believe processes in nature are consistent through time and hold the opposite position that processes like how chemistry operates is not consistent and operable through time.

    While the laws of chemistry are consistent, conditions vary.

  290. 290
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    So chemistry obeys the laws of nature then and does not concern with truth?

  291. 291
    asauber says:

    conditions vary

    Wow, that’s some great science there, Zachy.

    All that educatin’ sure has paid off, eh?

    Andrew

  292. 292
    Zachriel says:

    asauber: that’s some great science there

    Actually, it’s key to rebutting Jack Jones’s point. He is claiming that abiogenesis requires that the laws of chemistry be different, rather than just the conditions being different.

  293. 293
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: So chemistry obeys the laws of nature then and does not concern with truth?

    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  294. 294
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    Can you answer the question? You are just chemistry right?

  295. 295
    Seversky says:

    mohammadnursyamsu @ 283

    It is my opinion that Zachriel and Seversky have no emotions.

    I cannot speak for Zachriel but I have both emotions and reason. Much as I once wanted to be dispassionate and objective, like Star Trek’s Mr Spock, I learnt that power of human intelligence is based in the close integration of both emotions and reason.

    Emotions like curiosity are what drive us to investigate the world around us. Reason is one of the tools we use to model and explain what we are trying to understand. The human enterprise of science would not be as successful as it is if either component were missing.

    That’s how that works, it is a matter of opinion what the agency of decisions is, and it is logically valid to choose the answer that there is nothing there but emptiness.

    I don’t believe there is nothing but emptiness but neither do I find what the world’s religions offer to fill the emptiness to be adequate. There are deep mysteries concerning the origins of the Universe and the origins of life. We simply don’t know what the answers are yet. “I don’t know” may not be a satisfying answer but for the moment it’s the best we have.

    Whether such an answer is morally acceptable is a different issue.

    Morals are ultimately grounded in emotions such as empathy. Most of us do not harm others because we know what it is like to suffer harm and would not want to inflict that on others. Most of us want to survive and live as long and as happy a life in this world as possible. We understand that others feel the same so try not to kill people, at least, not without good reason. That is how any moral code worth a damn must work.

  296. 296
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: Can you answer the question? So chemistry obeys the laws of nature then and does not concern with truth?

    The original answer was about right. You’re mixing apples and oranges.

  297. 297
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: It is my opinion that Zachriel and Seversky have no emotions.

    Without passion, there is no action. Reason is a slave to the passions.

  298. 298
    bornagain says:

    as to:

    “Reading further, “The experiment did not violate the second law of thermodynamics because energy was consumed in the experiment by the apparatus used””

    So? Who cares? I never said, nor implied, that the second law was violated. That certainly was not the point of the post.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-588139

    The main point of the post was to show your blatant atheistic bias in your quote. (and the secondary point of the post was to show, via Maxwell’s Demon, that information is now known to have a ‘thermodynamic content’)

    But seeing as admitting that you are wrong in your a priori atheistic biases just ain’t ever in your cards, I guess debating an imaginary strawman of your own making is your next best option.

    I’ll let you and your strawman have at it. I’m out of here.

    Of note to kf about ‘top down’:

    MAXWELL AND FARADAY – with audio
    Excerpt: Maxwell set the theoretical foundations of electric field theory in 1873. He says at the outset of his treatise, “Before I began the study of electricity I resolved to read no mathematics on the subject until I had first read [Faraday].”
    That’s an innocent enough remark until you follow it through. You see, Faraday’s pioneering work had made little sense to mathematicians. So Maxwell, a great mathematician himself, systematically went back and climbed inside Faraday’s head. There he found a great garden of delights. Here’s what he said about the experience:
    I found that … Faraday’s methods … begin with the whole and arrive at the parts by analysis, while the ordinary mathematical methods were founded on the principle of beginning with the parts and building up the whole by synthesis.
    http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi905.htm

  299. 299
    Jack Jones says:

    “That’s correct. And we have strong evidence that the primordial atmosphere and oceans were, indeed, much different than today.”

    No, what we have is confirmed evidence is that for how nature operates, life only comes from previous life.

    “huh? Why would you say that? Without gravity there would be no planetary formation. ”

    But you are holding to conditions being so different that processes in the present are inoperable in the past, the conundrum is for you.

    “While the laws of chemistry are consistent, conditions vary.”

    Well you are welcome to believe that conditions were so different that the laws of chemistry were inoperable.

    When life cannot arise spontaneously in nature in the present then you are welcome to believe that the laws of chemistry were suspended in some imaginary hostile environment for life arising spontaneously.

    You have stepped outside of what is empirically known for how nature operates. You are not consistent.

  300. 300
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain: The main point of the post was to show your blatant atheistic bias in your quote.

    The “demons” are the experimenters themselves.

    bornagain: (and the secondary point of the post was to show, via Maxwell’s Demon, that information is now known to have a ‘thermodynamic content’)

    That’s not new, of course.

    Zachriel: we have strong evidence that the primordial atmosphere and oceans were, indeed, much different than today

    Jack Jones: No

    Really? You’re saying that we don’t have evidence that the Earth wasn’t always like it is today?

    Jack Jones: Well you are welcome to believe that conditions were so different that the laws of chemistry were inoperable.

    Got it. You will simply reword claims to mean something different. While the laws of chemistry are consistent, conditions vary.

  301. 301
    bornagain says:

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh – 2013
    Excerpt: ,,, information is in fact non-material and that the coded information systems (such as, but not restricted to the coding of DNA in all living systems) is not defined at all by the biochemistry or physics of the molecules used to store the data. Rather than matter and energy defining the information sitting on the polymers of life, this approach posits that the reverse is in fact the case. Information has its definition outside the matter and energy on which it sits, and furthermore constrains it to operate in a highly non-equilibrium thermodynamic environment. This proposal resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions, which despite the efforts from alternative paradigms has not given a satisfactory explanation of the way information in systems operates.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0008

    Functional Information and Entropy in living systems – Andy McIntosh
    Excerpt: There has to be previously written information or order (often termed “teleonomy”) for passive, non-living chemicals to respond and become active. Thus the following summary statement applies to all known systems: Energy + Information equals Locally reduced entropy (Increase of order) (or teleonomy) with the corollary: Matter and Energy alone does not equal a Decrease in Entropy
    http://www.heveliusforum.org/A.....mation.pdf

  302. 302
    Andre says:

    Morals are from emotions. ….

    Whahahahahahahahahaha matarialists say the darnest things!

  303. 303
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    Are you more than chemistry?

  304. 304
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    I must protest! If the laws of chemistry are consistent why on earth are you violating those laws by seeking truth?

    That does not compute….

  305. 305
    brian douglas says:

    “Comment under mine and responding to my comment says

    “Joe”

    My name is not Joe, My name is Jack.

    That is two posts you have called me Joe on now, is there something about that name that you have a fetish for?”

    Sorry Joe. I call everyone who is rude and twists people’s words rather than have an adult like discussion “Joe” in memory of a person who is no longer allowed to post here.

    Again, please point me to where I said the. Chemistry behaved differently in the past than it does now. As I mentioned, I am not a biologist. But I am a chemist, so am interested in your answer.

  306. 306
    Jack Jones says:

    “Sorry Joe. I call everyone who is rude and twists people’s words rather than have an adult like discussion “Joe” in memory of a person who is no longer allowed to post here. ”

    You see, You have failed in debate so you fall back on rhetoric. That shows you’re not mature enough to debate here.

    “Sorry Joe.”

    My name is Jack, If You want to ask me a question then you have to not only use my name but you have to start acting maturely.

    If not then you will just be ignored as having nothing to contribute to the discussion because you are out of your depth.

  307. 307

    @Seversky, Zachriel

    Not good enough to mouth the words passion and emotion. Only validation of the logic of subjectivity provides solid accommodation for it.

    You will just use a different definition for the words passion and emotion so that freedom plays no role. Heck most atheists also redefine the word freedom, to make it all use a logic of cause and effect, being forced.

    Atheism / materialism would not be a thing without this rejection of subjectivity. It would just be small time philosophical gameplaying, and not big time societal movement.

    And if subjectivity is accepted, then scientists would just naturally make theories in which freedom is regarded as real. Not just for human behaviour, but for phenomena throughout the universe, most obviously that organisms are chosen as a whole, because it just makes sense.

    So you see, the circumstance that you also reject theories based on freedom like intelligent design, that shows you really do have a fundamental problem with accepting the validity of subjectivity.

    It is very obvious in common discourse that judgement is essentially free. I could say you have no emotions, that might be considered “mean”, but cannot be considered logically invalid. Such a judgement might also be considered justice, considering that you both are obviously oppressing subjectivity intellectually. In any case the judgement shows very clearly the logic applies that what the agency of a decision is, is a matter of opinion, and that an opinion is chosen.

  308. 308
    brian douglas says:

    “You see, You have failed in debate so you fall back on rhetoric. That shows you’re not mature enough to debate here.”

    Thanks Joe. From you, that is the highest of compliments.

    If you stop being rude and misrepresenting my words, I will start calling you Jack. Until then, you will always be Joe as far as I am concerned.

  309. 309
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: @Zachriel

    Let us know when you are ready to engage the argument @257.

  310. 310

    @Zachriel 257

    The logic works essentially the same way for identifying your own emotions, and identifying somebody else’s emotions (internal / external). You choose about what it is that chooses, agency of decisions. One time you choose about yourself, the other you choose about someone else.

    And nothing in this logic says that anything is ever established beyond opinion. One can say a particular decision has a loving agency, then later say the same decision has a hateful agency. Both answers would be logically valid.

    The obvious next step with this logic is to then categorize all terms of agency together in a category of a spiritual domain. Then next one might consider what is love and hate when they are not engaged as agency in a decision, do they still exist then? And then it is considered what all is in the spiritual domain, and then sentiments would normally point to the lord God Almighty in the spiritual domain.

  311. 311
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: The logic works essentially the same way for identifying your own emotions, and identifying somebody else’s emotions (internal / external).

    One doesn’t infer subjective emotions, but experiences them. One does infer emotions in others from their words and actions by analogy to one’s own emotions.

  312. 312

    @Zachriel

    You are just regressing the problem back from emotion to experience of emotions. It only creates confusion, it presents no functional logic.

    One experiences eating icecream, one likes it, the liking is part of the experience of it. You cannot put icecream and like and dislike in the same category of what can be experienced.

    Again, you just got word-goo, and no functional logic that for a decision you have at least 2 options, 1 is chosen, and then the question about what the agency of that decision is can only be answered by choosing the answer. That logic is consistent with common discourse use of subjective terminiology.

    There is this obvious question about what the agency of a decision is. This agency which makes the decision turn out the way it does is free, as per definition, because it does the job of choosing.

    Facts use a logic of cause and effect, being forced. In science people make models. The thing that is modelled, in essence it forces the way the model turns out. Science about the moon, it is forced where you are going to say there is a crater on the moon, by where that crater actually is on the moon. So there is a cause and effect relationship between the moon and the science about it, resulting in many facts about the moon.

    So it is impossible to get any facts about agency, because agency is free.

    One cannot make a model of love or hate, one can only express emotions with free will about it, thus choosing, what is loving and what is hateful.

  313. 313
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: One experiences eating icecream, one likes it, the liking is part of the experience of it.

    mohammadnursyamsu: You cannot put icecream and like and dislike in the same category of what can be experienced.

    Ice cream is external to the self. The experience of eating ice cream is an internal reaction. Not sure what you are trying to say.

  314. 314

    What is your experience of eating icecream for the first time?

    I love it!

    And then your experience of your love for icecream?

    It changed my life.

    And what is your experience of your experience of eating icecream?

    Some life changes can lead to dental problems.

    And what is your experience of your experience of your experience of eating icecream?

    I think you are getting rid of the simple issue of agency of a decision by postponing the question to an endless regress of experience.

    Love, hate are emotions. Eating icecream is not an emotion. Love and hate do not belong in the same category as eating icecream as things which can be experienced. Love and hate are itself part of experiencing.

  315. 315
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: Love, hate are emotions.

    Yes, love and hate are subjective experiences.

    mohammadnursyamsu: Eating ice cream is not an emotion.

    Yes. It’s an action, however, the experience of eating ice cream is subjective.

    Zachriel @257: Belief in God refers to a claim about something external, while moral indignation is an internal reaction. Even though people might abstract morality, it is an abstraction about an internal state. However, the subjective experience of the Divine would certainly qualify as an experience akin to experience of beauty or moral indignation, indeed, are often experienced together.

    Love and hate are subjective experiences. The experience of eating ice cream is a subjective experience. The claim that ice cream exists is a claim about something external to the person. The experience of the Divine is a subjective experience. The claim that God exists is a claim about something external to the person.

  316. 316
    Virgil Cain says:

    Joe:

    I call everyone who is rude and twists people’s words rather than have an adult like discussion “Joe”

    OK Joe- all evos ever do is act rude- oops it isn’t an act- twist the words of their opponents and are always infantile when debating.

  317. 317

    @Zachriel

    You are trying to equivocate experience of love, with experience of eating ice cream, so that you can categorize love as a material process like eating icecream is a material process.

    To regress the issue to experience is a common strategy of atheists, among many other strategies, which strategies all have in common is to ignore freedom.

    You haven’t even mentioned freedom and choosing, so your idea about subjectivity is unrelated to the freedom of opinion and religion as it is in the law of many countries. It is unrelated to subjectivity as it is in common discourse, law and religion, you are only presenting a philosphy game of word-goo about the word subjectivity.

  318. 318
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: You are trying to equivocate experience of love, with experience of eating ice cream, so that you can categorize love as a material process like eating ice cream is a material process.

    Eating ice cream is a material process. The experience of eating ice cream is subjective. We made that distinction several times. You need to show the area of equivocation without mangling our position to do so.

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    …the equivocation is between love and eating icecream as material processes.

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    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: …the equivocation is between love and eating ice cream as material processes.

    We didn’t claim either as a material process, but said they were subjective.

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    @zachriel

    Eating icecream most definitely is a material process.

    You also talked about experience of beauty.

    So experience of beauty, experience of eating icecream, it means you equivocate beauty with eating icecream, as all material processes.

    It’s a well known trick to me, in order to avoid having to deal with agency of a decision.

    Love belongs to agency doing the choosing, eating icecream belongs to what is chosen. Category of creator and creation, spiritual and material, choosing and chosen.

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    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: Eating ice cream most definitely is a material process.

    Z @315: Yes. It’s an action, however, the experience of eating ice cream is subjective. A painting is an object. The experience of the painting is subjective.

    mohammadnursyamsu: So experience of beauty, experience of eating icecream, it means you equivocate beauty with eating icecream, as all material processes.

    You really need to try to read more carefully. Eating ice cream is an action. The experience of eating ice cream is subjective.

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    @zachriel

    I can read

    experience of eating icecream is subjective
    experience of a material process is subjective
    experience of beauty is subjective
    experience of love is subjective

    therefore you categorize love and beauty as material processes

    that you argue that the experience of love is subjective, still means that you first classify love as a material process.

    But that is error because love already is part of subjective experience.

    You need to classify love together with all material, to keep materialism true, so you do that by grouping them all under, the experience of…

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    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: experience of eating icecream is subjective
    experience of a material process is subjective
    experience of beauty is subjective
    experience of love is subjective

    therefore you categorize love and beauty as material processes

    Ah.

    1. We haven’t used the word material. That’s your terminology.

    2. The painting is an object. The experience of the beauty of the painting is subjective.

    3. He loves ice cream. The ice cream is external. She loves another person. The person is external. The experience is subjective in either case.

    4. He loves the memory of ice cream. The memory is subjective. She loves the memory of another person. The memory is subjective.

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    Virgil Cain says:

    We all love how Zachriel thinks it bald assertions are actual arguments.

    Zachriel is totally unaware of itself.

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    Well you may not have used the word material, but the effect is all the same that you have love and beauty categorized together with all material processes.

    So you switched experience for agency, and this allowed you to categorize all together, and not acknowledge a seperate domain of agency.

    A decision can turn out A or B, A is chosen. Then the question what is it that nade the decision turn out A in stead of B? , can only be answered with a decision. Meaning there are at least 2 answers to the question, any of which would be valid when chosen.

    That is the actual logic used in common discourse using subjective terminology. The painting can be said to be beautiful or ugly in expression of enotion with free will, thus choosing. In case beautiful is chosen then love is referred to as agency, in case ugly is chosen then hate is referred to as agency. It is therefore equally valid to say the love referred to is real, as it is to say the love is not real.

    So there is the spiritual domain and the existence of all what is in it is a matter of opinion, including the spiritual domain, and there is the material domain which is chosen, and the existence of all in it is fact.

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    Zachriel says:

    Andre: Well you may not have used the word material, but the effect is all the same that you have love and beauty categorized together with all material processes.

    We categorized the experience of love and beauty with other subjective experiences, without regard to the underlying nature of experience.

    Perhaps you are referring to the abstraction of love and beauty?

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    You are still obfuscating.

    Love itself is already part of experience, but then you add to that “experience of” love in order for your obfuscation to work.

    Eating icecream is not itself experience already.

    And of course the parasitical ideology at work here is original sin, to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to make good and evil into a fact. This is why you have love end up together with material procesess so as that you can pretend, fudge, and make do, as if what is good and evil can be known as fact.

    Because you will just have the experience of goodness, and the experience of evil, just as you have the experience of beauty and the experience of eating icecream. That the word subjective is added to it means nothing in the light of that eating icecream can just be objectively verified, and therefore it is implied that beauty, goodness and evil can also be objectively verified.

    It is very clear that if a rule is introduced that the term goodness refers to agency, and that one can only reach the conclusion it is there by choosing it, that then goodness is not objective. To choose the conclusion some person is good, well that is information you create by choosing it.

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    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: Love itself is already part of experience

    As is the sensation of deliciousness.

    mohammadnursyamsu: Eating ice cream is not itself experience already.

    No. Eating ice cream is an action. Deliciousness is the sensation.

    mohammadnursyamsu: That the word subjective is added to it means nothing in the light of that eating ice cream can just be objectively verified

    Eating ice cream can be objectively verified, but deliciousness is a subjective experience.

    mohammadnursyamsu: therefore it is implied that beauty, goodness and evil can also be objectively verified.

    That is not our position. You would do best not to presume.

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    That is the regress aspect of your argument. You say deliciousness is subjective, and then you have experience of deliciousness as subjective over what is subjective, like experience of eating icecream is subjective of eating icecream.

    There certainly must be a circularity in being subjective over what is subjective, as an explanation of subjectivity. You cannot explain subjectivity with subjectivity.

  331. 331
    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: You say deliciousness is subjective, and then you have experience of deliciousness as subjective over what is subjective, like experience of eating ice cream is subjective of eating ice cream.

    Love is an experience. You can experience love. You can experience the sensation of love.

    mohammadnursyamsu: You cannot explain subjectivity with subjectivity.

    We haven’t attempted to explain subjectivity, just pointed out that some things are subjective.

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    Yes it was your explanation for subjectivity, because it was in response to my argumentation that there is no room for subjectivity in materialism.

    And your explanation of subjectivity was that it is “experience of”.

    And then you needed to group love together with material things, to keep true to materialism.

    But then you agreed love is subjective already, so then it is circular reasoning to explain subjectivity with subjectivity.

    What is the room for subjectivity in materialism?

    You say; we have experience of what is subjective and objective, and that experience is subjective.

    Circular reasoning.

    There is no room for subjectivity in materialism, which is because the existence of all material things is categorically a matter of fact issue, not opinion.

    Love and hate is regarded as agency, and therefore the existence of them can only be established by choosing if they are there or not, resulting in an opinion. That is how subjectivity actually works.

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    Zachriel says:

    mohammadnursyamsu: Yes it was your explanation for subjectivity, because it was in response to my argumentation that there is no room for subjectivity in materialism.

    You claimed materialism only allows for fact not opinion. That’s obviously wrong as we can find all sorts of materialists having opinions, or for that matter, referencing subjective experience.

    mohammadnursyamsu: And then you needed to group love together with material things, to keep true to materialism.

    For a materialist, subjectivity obviously has a material basis, including the experience of emotion.

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