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Casey Luskin asks: Can claims about punctuated equilibrium accommodate the scientific data?

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Some of us would have thought that quantum mechanics killed all that off but in any event:

As Stephen Jay Gould put it: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”1 Because of this difficulty, in the 1970s, Gould and his colleague Niles Eldredge developed punctuated equilibrium as a model where evolution takes place in small populations over relatively short geological time periods that are too rapid for transitional forms to become fossilized.2 But this model has many problems.3

Punctuated equilibrium compresses the vast majority of evolutionary change into small populations that lived during shorter segments of time, allowing too few opportunities for novel, beneficial traits to arise. Punctuated equilibrium is also unconvincing in that it predicts that with respect to the fossil record, evidence confirming Darwinian theory will not be found. Would you believe someone who claimed that fairies and leprechauns exist and were caught on video, but when asked to produce the film, declares, “Well, they are on camera, but they are too small or too fast to be seen”? That doesn’t make for a compelling theory.

Analogous problems plague attempts to account for the life-friendly fine-tuning of physical laws by appealing to a multiverse.

Casey Luskin, “Can Materialistic Models Accommodate the Scientific Data?” at Evolution News and Science Today (May 7, 2022)

As Luskin implies, appealing to a multiverse is like appealing to fairies.

Here’s Casey Luskin’s whole series on the topic.

You may also wish to read: Rescuing the multiverse as a science concept… ? Luke Barnes on the multiverse: In the cycle of the scientific method, the multiverse is in an exploratory phase. We’ve got an idea that might explain a few things, if it was true. That makes it worthy of our attention, but it’s not quite science yet. We need to find evidence that is more direct, more decisive.

277 Replies to “Casey Luskin asks: Can claims about punctuated equilibrium accommodate the scientific data?

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    No!

    Punctuated Equilibrium is still Evolution by very small amounts. It’s just that the changes accumulate without changing the organism till they are exapted and come into fruition as a viable system.

    Not possible but that is the basis for it.

    I used to post links to Jurgen Brosius but most have disappeared as 404 errors at Munster university where he used to work.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jürgen_Brosius

    Who is Jurgen Brosius? Apparently still alive but now obscure. He was given the privilege of eulogizing Gould in the Literature. First introduced here by Allen MacNeill who is also still alive and has little current internet presence.

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    It’s just that the changes accumulate without changing the organism till they are exapted and come into fruition as a viable system.

    As you stated, not possible. It’s absurd and contradictory and falsifies evolution.
    “Changes accumulate without being changes”.
    Or they’ll say that “evolutionary potential” builds up until there’s enough to enact a visible change. But evolution is blind. There’s no foresight about what would be good for the future. If the mutation doesn’t provide a fitness benefit in the present, then it won’t be preserved. If it is, supposedly “a change that doesn’t change the organism”, then where’s the evidence that the change ever existed?
    What they’re saying is that “evolution continues persistently making changes in some secret, invisible realm and then one day it all suddenly bursts out into real life with a new body plan.”
    Gould realized that the theory didn’t make any sense.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    Gould realized that the theory didn’t make any sense.

    Gould proposed punctuated equilibrium as the solution.

    I suggest people read Jurgen Brosius. He is very serious about his idea of punctuated equilibrium and once headed one of the most prestigious university programs in evolutionary theory. He claims to have examples of this happening in several places.

    Which is why I proposed a research program to evaluate this.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/do-nylon-eating-bacteria-show-that-new-functional-information-is-easy-to-evolve/#comment-631468

    in a journal issue dedicated to eulogizing Gould, Brosius was given the lead article which outlines the theory of punctuated equilibrium and how it happens.

    https://bioone.org/journals/paleobiology/volume-31/issue-sp5/0094-8373_2005_031_0001_DAEBAC_2.0.CO_2/Disparity-adaptation-exaptation-bookkeeping-and-contingency-at-the-genome-level/10.1666/0094-8373(2005)031%5B0001:DAEBAC%5D2.0.CO;2.short

    https://bioone.org/journals/bioscience/volume-57/issue-9/B570918/PAYING-GOULD-TRIBUTE/10.1641/B570918.full

  4. 4
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I also wondered whether Gould was backing away from punctuated equilibrium.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/stephen-jay-gould-on-marx-kuhn-and-punk-meek/

    In the third episode, “Evolution by Jerks,” out now from Discovery Institute, Ruegger turns to the three problems with punctuated equilibrium, problems so serious that they resulted in Gould’s backing away from his own theory. By the time of his death, he had come full circle, in effect, returning to traditional Darwinism.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/03/lukas-ruegger-three-problems-with-punctuated-equilibrium/

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    Please note that punctuated equilibrium is an excellent example of the malleability of the Theory of Evolution to accommodate any convenient idea needed for the moment.

    In this case, the tiny increments in random genome mutations accumulate over time until they magically appear like Athena, “fully formed from the brow of Zeus.” The result is the immediate appearance of new species that overthrow the old!

    But that’s not the point. The point is that punctuated equilibrium demonstrates the transcendent principle of Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis as applied in Marxism. This convergence is what makes it True in some minds, regardless of the “temporarily confounding data” (i.e. more science fiction).

    -Q

  6. 6
    JHolo says:

    There has always been some disagreement with some aspects of Gould’s punctuated equilibrium. But he also deserves respect for adjusting the model to fit the data rather that cherry-pick the data to fit the model.

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    But he also deserves respect for adjusting the model to fit the data rather that cherry-pick the data to fit the model.

    But the adjustment requires a process that also has problems.

    A research program could easily verify or refute this process. There should be evidence of it in every genome. My guess is they know evidence doesn’t exist to validate their ideas.

    So no attempt to verify it.

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Please note that punctuated equilibrium is an excellent example of the malleability of the Theory of Evolution to accommodate any convenient idea needed for the moment.

    That’s the key point.
    A theory that has to be adjusted with every new finding is not a theory. It’s just an observation. “We see this and we see that.” Evolutionary theory is just the collection of everything we have observed with a continually adjusted (malleable) story line as an overlay which supposedly explains what we observed.

  9. 9
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JHolo
    But he also deserves respect for adjusting the model to fit the data

    Choose your poison:
    1. gradual evolution? ->contradicted by fossil data[sudden occurrence of fossils]
    2.sudden evolution?->contradicted by genetics[slow gradual acumulation of mutations that lead to slow physiological change]

  10. 10
    JHolo says:

    LCD: Choose your poison:

    No.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/8

    A theory that has to be adjusted with every new finding is not a theory. It’s just an observation. “We see this and we see that.” Evolutionary theory is just the collection of everything we have observed with a continually adjusted (malleable) story line as an overlay which supposedly explains what we observed.

    Since this is revolving around Gould, this is what he had to say about theory:

    In the American vernacular, “theory” often means “imperfect fact”—part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus creationists can (and do) argue: evolution is “only” a theory, and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is less than a fact, and scientists can’t even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): “Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science—that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was.”

    Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, “fact” does not mean “absolute certainty.” The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us for a style of argument that they themselves favor). 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.

    A theory that cannot be adjusted to accommodate new data becomes dogma not science.

  12. 12
    asauber says:

    “humans evolved from apelike ancestors”

    LOL no they didn’t, humans and ape-like creatures evolved from a common unknown ancestor.

    Get your story straight, Gould.

    Andrew

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Humans and other modern apes all descended from a common ape-like ancestor. How’s that?

  14. 14
    asauber says:

    “Humans and other modern apes all descended from a common ape-like ancestor”

    Details?

    Andrew

  15. 15
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JHolo

    LCD: Choose your poison:

    No

    🙂 Then you have to reject darwinism.

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory of gradual change not sudden. It’s a theory of exaptation.

    If one is going to argue for or against something then one should know what the argument is about. No one here apparently does including Casey Luskin.

  17. 17
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “Humans and other modern apes all descended from a common ape-like ancestor”

    Or was it a human-like ancestor? It doesn’t matter. “Whatever” is always good-enough for the theory that is more certain than gravity.

    Why Evolution Is More Certain than Gravity
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/04/why-evolution-is-more-certain-than-gravity/
    Le Conte acknowledges that in the fossil record, “species seem to come in suddenly” and that this “looks much like immutability of specific forms, and supernaturalism of specific origin.”

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Gould says:

    And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.

    He’s the classic evolutionist. “That they evolved is certain. Whether there is any possible natural mechanism that could have caused them to evolve is yet to be discovered.”
    So, no matter what we observe in nature, we can begin our explanation “They evolved by … “

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    A theory that cannot be adjusted to accommodate new data becomes dogma not science.

    A theory that must be adjusted to accommodate for data that contradicts it is one that has been falsified.

  20. 20
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory of gradual change not sudden.

    🙂 Why would Gould try to forge a theory of gradual change when was already in place a theory of gradual change?

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    Why would Gould try to forge a theory of gradual change when was already in place a theory of gradual change?

    He said the physical changes happened suddenly after the zillion of small changes which changed nothing physically had reached a certain point.

    The interesting thing is that on a another current thread someone brought up junk DNA as having function. Some obviously does. But some do not. It was in some of this non coding, non functional DNA that the changes took place till eventually a new protein formed and was exapted and the organism changed.

    A long slow process that led to a sudden physical change.

    This process if true is detectable and thus testable. No one is doing this so I suspect they know it’s not true.

    Darwin envisioned a plastic model of evolution and had no idea of the genome and its basis for physical form. Gould was well aware of the genome and tried to accommodate change based on it and not a plastic model as Darwin did. Both were based on the long accumulation of small changes.

    But if structure for the body of a species is somewhere else besides the genome, no one has a clue as to how new species happen.

  22. 22
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic 17,

    Or was it a human-like ancestor? It doesn’t matter. “Whatever” is always good-enough for the theory that is more certain than gravity.

    Exactly! So, obviously, since apes have a higher rate of reproduction, they’re more evolved than humans. Thus, it makes sense that apes descended from human-like ancestors, right?

    -Q

  23. 23
    Viola Lee says:

    If humans don’t have a biological chain of descent that can be traced back to pre-hominid ancestors, then how did humans come to exist? The only thing I can think of is special creation de novo. Can those of you don’t think there is a biological chain of descent that can be traced back to pre-hominid ancestors explain your hypothesis.

    Note well: I’m not addressing a materialistic metaphysic. Small changes generation by generation as directed by God leading to common ascent to humans is a common metaphysic. What I’m asking is if there isn’t common descent, how did humans come to exist?

  24. 24
    JHolo says:

    LCD: Then you have to reject darwinism.

    If you say so.

  25. 25
    jerry says:

    What I’m asking is if there isn’t common descent, how did humans come to exist?

    Some people have speculated.

    https://i.etsystatic.com/13984062/r/il/d50837/2363704847/il_794xN.2363704847_2wh2.jpg

    But again this is off topic.

  26. 26
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory of gradual change not sudden.

    Jerry
    He said the physical changes happened suddenly

    Which is it? It’s a graddenly change ? Ok . But like darwinism , P.Eq. is also unfalsifiable and 2 unfalsifiable theories don’t make evolution true. They tried for the last 50 years to prove macroevolution(if fruit flies, rats, monkeys,etc could talk) without understanding the basic fact that is practically impossible for physical laws to create meaningful coding language that is functional and reveal an obvious purpose.

    someone brought up junk DNA as having function. Some obviously does. But some do not. It was in some of this non coding, non functional DNA that the changes took place till eventually a new protein formed and was exapted and the organism changed.

    Do you have advanced knowledge of genetics? I don’t think so because you think that in cell can happen random things( or errors ) that could produce something good. You have a romantic view about cell . Try to learn in detail just translation/transcription or cell signalling and you’ll change your mind.

    Viola Lee
    how did humans come to exist?

    🙂 So you really think that it’s impossible for God to do on the spot what a woman can do in 9 months?

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    Eulogy to Gould – from Paleobiology Spring 2005, made into a book.

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YQZ7MPNAL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    Preface (pp. iv-v) Niles Eldredge and Elisabeth Vrba

    Disparity, Adaptation, Exaptation, Bookkeeping, and Contingency at the Genome Level (pp. 1-16) Jürgen Brosius

    Heterochrony, Disparity, and Macroevolution (pp. 17-26) Kenneth J. McNamara and Michael L. McKinney

    Whale Barnacles: Exaptational Access to a Forbidden Paradise (pp. 27-35) Adolf Seilacher ??

    Tempo and Mode of Early Animal Evolution: Inferences from Rocks, Hox, and Molecular Clocks (pp. 36-55) Kevin J. Peterson, Mark A. McPeek and David A. D. Evans

    The Competitive Darwin (pp. 56-76) Hugh Paterson

    Key Innovations, Convergence, and Success: Macroevolutionary Lessons from Plant Phylogeny (pp. 77-93) Michael J. Donoghue

    Wonderful Strife: Systematics, Stem Groups, and the Phylogenetic Signal of the Cambrian Radiation (pp. 94-112) Derek E. G. Briggs and Richard A. Fortey

    Stephen Jay Gould on Species Selection: 30 Years of Insight (pp. 113-121) Bruce S. Lieberman and Elisabeth S. Vrba

    The Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography and Stephen Jay Gould (pp. 122-132) Stephen P. Hubbell

    The Dynamics of Evolutionary Stasis (pp. 133-145) Niles Eldredge, John N. Thompson, Paul M. Brakefield, Sergey Gavrilets, David Jablonski, Jeremy B. C. Jackson, Richard E. Lenski, Bruce S. Lieberman, Mark A. McPeek and William Miller, III

    The Evolution of Complexity without Natural Selection, a Possible Large-Scale Trend of the Fourth Kind (pp. 146-156) Daniel W. McShea

    Mass Turnover and Heterochrony Events in Response to Physical Change (pp. 157-174) Elisabeth S. Vrba

    Imperfections and Oddities” in the Origin of the Nucleus (pp. 175-191) Lynn Margulis, Michael F. Dolan and Jessica H. Whiteside

    Mass Extinctions and Macroevolution (pp. 192-210) David Jablonski

    So if one wants to understand what Gould believed, shouldn’t one read what these people have to say, especially Brosius who was given the lead chapter.

    Aside: I don’t believe most of what Gould believed is true. Some people have reading comprehension problems and make up things that others say/believe.

    Aside2: Both Punctuated Equilibrium and Darwinian evolution are falsifiable. I provided a link on how to do this.

  28. 28
    Viola Lee says:

    LCD writes, “So you really think that it’s impossible for God to do on the spot.”

    I didn’t say that at all. I’m just asking if those who don’t think humans have common ancestry with other primates that that humans came into existence via special creation, or are there other hypotheses?

  29. 29
    ET says:

    seversky:’

    Humans and other modern apes all descended from a common ape-like ancestor.

    Via what mechanism? And how can we test it?

  30. 30
    ET says:

    Viola Lee- The only answer to your question- at this time- is that we just don’t know. If DNA doesn’t determine biological form, and it doesn’t, what possible mechanism can account for the anatomical and physiological differences observed between chimps and humans? And why is it that given a >98% genetic similarity between chimps and humans, evolutionary biologists haven’t been able to link that slight genetic difference to the anatomical and physiological differences?

    A mechanistic concept without a viable mechanism isn’t the stuff of science.

  31. 31
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Juergen Brosius-“Disparity, adaptation, exaptation, bookkeeping, and contingency at the genome level”
    Could you point exactly where is the falsification argument?

    “Above, two major forces of variation among genomes were described: the well-known and omnipresent base substitutions and small indels on the one hand and the yin and yang of retroposition or segmental duplications and large deletions on the other.”

    However, given enough time, even the slow but constant ‘‘microevolutionary’’ forces of nucleotide exchanges and small indels would have comparable effects (randomization of
    nonadaptive sequences) on the vast majority of genomic sequences that are not under purifying selection. Conversely, punctuated retropositions can take several if not tens of millions of years to become exaptations, ‘‘awaiting’’ additional small changes that, for example, create a functional splice site or an open reading frame (Singer et al. 2004).”

    “His view matches the consensus of others; that evolution is a chaotic,
    nondirectional phenomenon.”

    Natural evolution of life, in contrast, is aimless, nondirected; there is no final destination at all. Evolution itself does not care if life on this planet or the whole universe ceases. Up to this point,
    life just continued, sometimes toward higher but also sometimes toward lower complexities. “

    🙂 If evolution is chaotic how in the world a scientist can detect something that is intelligible in genome ? Wow! This is no science .

  32. 32
    Fred Hickson says:

    Are there people posting here that genuinely believe humans are not commonly descended from ape-like ancestors ?

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Are there people posting here that genuinely believe humans are not commonly descended from ape-like ancestors ?

    There aren’t any known naturalistic mechanisms capable of producing upright bipeds from populations of knuckle-walkers. So the people who BELIEVE humans and chimps share a common ancestor do so out of blind faith.

  34. 34
    ET says:

    Why is it that given a >98% genetic similarity between chimps and humans, evolutionary biologists haven’t been able to link that slight genetic difference to the anatomical and physiological differences?

    Are evolutionary biologists stupid? How difficult can it be to link the slight genetic differences to the anatomical and physiological differences observed?> Unless of course it never happened…

  35. 35
    asauber says:

    “Are there people posting here that genuinely believe humans are not commonly descended from ape-like ancestors ?”

    FH,

    That’s the point. Belief. Ape-like ancestors, a nebulous notion, can only reside in your imagination.

    Andrew

  36. 36
    Fred Hickson says:

    I’m imaging the wealth of hominid fossils, am I, Andrew? You seem to have a severe case of Morton’s demon.

  37. 37
    asauber says:

    “I’m imaging the wealth of hominid fossils, am I, Andrew?”

    Show me some.

    Andrew

  38. 38
    Fred Hickson says:

    If DNA doesn’t determine biological form, and it doesn’t, what possible mechanism can account for the anatomical and physiological differences observed between chimps and humans?

    Assuming you know who your biological father is, it’s a fair bet you resemble him somewhat. Yet the sole physical information you derive from him was in a single spermatozoon that contained his genes in the form of DNA.

  39. 39
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ Andrew

    Here’s Wikipedia’s list.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils

  40. 40
    asauber says:

    “The early fossils shown are not considered ancestors to Homo sapiens”

    Andrew

  41. 41
    Fred Hickson says:

    The early fossils shown are not considered ancestors to Homo sapiens but are closely related to ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the lineage.

    Quotemining, Andrew? I’m shocked, shocked I say, to see quotemining going on here. 😉

  42. 42
    Viola Lee says:

    re 32: Yes, Fred, there are people posting here that genuinely believe humans are not commonly descended from ape-like ancestors. I think that is a fairly common belief among ID supporters.

  43. 43
    asauber says:

    “Quotemining, Andrew? I’m shocked, shocked I say, to see quotemining going on here. ?”

    Jus quotin what they wrote.

    Andrew

  44. 44
    Viola Lee says:

    re 43 to Asauber: your first cousins are not ancestors of yours, but they are closely related to your ancestors and are therefore important to the study of your lineage. That’s analogous to the full quote of which you posted a part.

  45. 45
    Fred Hickson says:

    So because a fossil might be your remote ancestor’s cousin rather than your actual remote ancestor (and how would you tell, beyond the limit is survival of DNA fragments, which is the point of the Wikipedia caveat), you discount the fossil record entirely?

  46. 46
    Fred Hickson says:

    Ninja’d by Viola!

  47. 47
    jerry says:

    I think that is a fairly common belief among ID supporters.

    It’s the only thing that makes sense.

    Otherwise one is begging the question.

    Take what happens on this site as instructive. With all the access to the internet, no evidence is presented. Only snarky remarks, irrelevant examples and speculation on impossible things happening.

    The interesting thing is that they will supposedly say they are using science but they are not.

    your first cousins are not ancestors of yours, but they are closely related to your ancestors and are therefore important to the study of your lineage.

    And we use mice and rats to test for human medicine.

    Aside: there is a whole host of religious people who believe without justification that humans are descendant from other species. But they too are essentially committing a logical fallacy since there is no evidence on how it could happen.

    Aside2: people generally forget that what separates humans from other similar species is not DNA, there is some. The main difference and it is huge is the expression of genes that have to do with neural activity. Now where did this come from?

    Aside3: we are a long way from Punctuated Equilibrium.

          ID is science+

  48. 48
    asauber says:

    “you discount the fossil record entirely?”

    I don’t. I’m just saying it requires imagination to complete the story.

    Andrew

  49. 49
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Amazingly, there are people posting here who think they can bring us from non-living compounds, through blind, unintelligent effects – to a living organism. Through imagination alone they think a self-replicating system with flagella, cell wall, ribosome and 4 or 5 different shapes — and multi-level, complex functional coded language that operates logic-gates and DNA regulating repair mechanisms – just arose blind, unintelligent mechanisms.
    Then from that first bacteria, they think mutations and selection caused human beings ultimately to emerge – through the same unintelligent process.
    Ok, yes, it’s hard to imagine anyone could think like that, but they’re out there.

  50. 50
    Fred Hickson says:

    re 32: Yes, Fred, there are people posting here that genuinely believe humans are not commonly descended from ape-like ancestors. I think that is a fairly common belief among ID supporters.

    Shame the only separate creation advocates who’ve stepped up are Asauber and ET. Not exactly the A team.

  51. 51
    Fred Hickson says:

    Hi Jerry

    You believe in separate creation and discount common descent? You claim there’s no evidence for common descent? Is that right?

  52. 52
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    The only thing I can think of is special creation de novo … explain your hypothesis

    ID points to the evidence of intelligent design in nature. ID can create artificial intelligence. No natural causes are known to create such. So, when we see rational intelligence in nature (in human life) this is evidence for ID. But I think you know, by now, that ID does not go farther than this.
    But people do like to ask religious-based questions here. In your case above, you speak of “special creation de novo” but don’t explain what that is – and you want a “hypothesis” for it. Where did you learn about “special creation”? What papers did you read about it? Do you know that it’s an idea that requires the existence of God? If so, do you think one can create a scientific hypothesis to model and analyze the actions of God? If not, then asking for a “hypothesis” is a loaded-question.

    It appears to me that you want it both ways. You can’t defend evolution but it’s the only naturalistic option available. When evolution fails, as it has, ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent. But you pose the problem as if that’s ripe for ridicule.
    As is common, you accept an idea of God (from somewhere) as if God exists, and then ridicule the idea that God could do something.
    Why not just stay with the topic of ID? You’re not convinced that there’s any evidence at all in nature of intelligent design. Maybe ask questions about that, rather than turn the topic to religion (off topic)?
    Materialism remains open for ridicule – it’s a failed idea. Even its disciples here don’t even try to defend it. Instead, the turnabout to attack religion, without taking any effort to understand what the religious proposals are (and this is not the site for that anyway) is bogus.

  53. 53
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ID is not a religious proposal.

  54. 54
    jerry says:

    You believe in separate creation and discount common descent? You claim there’s no evidence for common descent?

    Depends on what one means by common descent?

    Common descent is very relevant in genetics. But in Evolution, there are lots of holes. Assuming it exists is a logical fallacy especially without a natural mechanism for it to happen. There is definitely a natural mechanism within genetics but not Evolution. People use what is obvious in genetics to propose this is operative in Evolution when the evidence shows otherwise. Again the fallacy of begging the question.

    The study of innovation by humans is full of common descent as one idea leads to another and often there is independent innovation of the same or very similar thing. The best biological analogy is genetics. Read Matt Ridley.

  55. 55
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry

    Common descent is the fact that all organisms we know of show strong evidence (biochemically speaking, especially) of a common origin. Evolutionary theory is an explanation for the fact of common descent. You can agree with me that common descent is indisputable but still disagree on the mechanisms.

  56. 56
    Fred Hickson says:

    Douglas Theobald’s piece is still pretty much the place to start for any discussion on evidence for common descent.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

  57. 57
    Fred Hickson says:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Ridley

    Viscount Ridley is certainly a bit of a polymath. Was on the wrong side of history on a few occasions I see. No professional expertise in science indicated, though.

  58. 58
    jerry says:

    strong evidence (biochemically speaking, especially) of a common origin

    You are making the ID case.

    Since there is no known natural mechanism for common descent to happen otherwise.

           Welcome to science plus logic – better known as ID

    Aside: The new Denton book makes the case for the universe and its laws as extremely friendly to our biological form of life. So one would expect to see it in evidence everywhere. So what one calls common descent may be just the best possible form of life and obvious.

  59. 59
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry

    You are making the ID case.

    Don’t think so, Jerry. I have no idea what the ID case (presumably an alternative to evolutionary theory as an explanation of common descent) is.

    Since there is no known natural mechanism for common descent to happen otherwise.

    The theory of evolution by random mutation and non-random selection is one. Nobody has yet said what the ID mechanism is or how it works.

  60. 60
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Theobald says:

    None of the dozens of predictions directly address how macroevolution has occurred, how fins were able to develop into limbs, how the leopard got its spots, or how the vertebrate eye evolved. None of the evidence recounted here assumes that natural selection is valid. None of the evidence assumes that natural selection is sufficient for generating adaptations or the differences between species and other taxa. Because of this evidentiary independence, the validity of the macroevolutionary conclusion does not depend on whether natural selection, or the inheritance of acquired characaters, or a force vitale, or something else is the true mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change. The scientific case for common descent stands, regardless.

    He’s open to “a force vitale” (Élan vital) as the cause. And supposedly that maintains the scientific case for common descent. He’s also open to “a something else” as the true mechanism.

  61. 61
    Fred Hickson says:

    Well, there could be another explanation than the theory of evolution. Can’t be ruled out. It’s maybe a challenge ID proponents could get stuck into.

  62. 62
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Fred Hickson
    Are there people posting here that genuinely believe humans are not commonly descended from ape-like ancestors ?

    I’m starting to think that you indeed have some ape-like ancestors .

    Jerry
    Take what happens on this site as instructive. With all the access to the internet, no evidence is presented. Only snarky remarks, irrelevant examples and speculation on impossible things happening.

    Excellent point.

    Common descent is the fact that all organisms we know of show strong evidence (biochemically speaking, especially) of a common origin. Evolutionary theory is an explanation for the fact of common descent. You can agree with me that common descent is indisputable but still disagree on the mechanisms.

    🙂 Brainwashing indeed works.

    Unfortunatelly chemistry is worthless to explain the code that control the chemistry of the cell( systems that work together for a goal). Chemistry can’t explain why exists a repair function, a cell signalling function, a protection function,etc for DNA ,chemistry just describes what happen chemically :)but why happens chemically is explained by an immaterial artifact called code/symbol/language .

    Again, describing a chemical reaction (or any electrical homeware functioning,etc.) and giving the reason WHY that reaction happens at a specific place/time/environment are not de same.

    Start a course of logic 101.

  63. 63
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, after all the times I discussed things with you, I’m surprised that you seem to misunderstand me as you do.

    You write, “It appears to me that you want it both ways. You can’t defend evolution but it’s the only naturalistic option available. When evolution fails, as it has, ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent. But you pose the problem as if that’s ripe for ridicule.”

    First, I’m not defending a “naturalistic” (aka, materialistic) metaphysic about how life has developed, and never have. I’ve stated multiple times that I am not a materialist. Second, at times when I’ve discussed my speculative metaphysics (and speculate is all we can do) I have talked about the presence of some underlying creative force or principle in the world, but not one that creates as a deliberative agent. Without going into that again, I’d say my position has features in common with both naturalism (I think the creative force manifests through natural processes) and ID (in that some underlying creative pattern is actualized in a way that goes beyond linear, local causality). I’ve also defended “theistic evolution” as a theistic belief system that has some similarities (as well as differences) to the metaphysics that I prefer.
    I know it might not be reasonable for the average reader to know all that, but you and I have had enough discussions that I think you represent my positions more accurately.

    But the question of ID vs materialistic evolution is a different question than that of common descent. There is absolutely no necessary conflict between ID and common descent, whether it’s ID of the “we just recognize design” sort or the ID of the theistic sort.

    So my question was not about ID vs materialism, and it was not ridicule. My question is that if there is not common descent between humans and other animals, how did humans come into existence. A common religious answer to that question is by special creation.

    You dismiss this a “religious” question, asking, “Do you know that it’s an idea that requires the existence of God.” However, up above, you wrote, “ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent.” You did not say “… by God.”

    Special creation–the sudden creation of human beings with no biological connection to other animals–would be a “creation act by an intelligent agent.” It is one of the possibilities inherent in your concept of ID.

    Several people have already answered the question with “we don’t know”. However, given what we do know, it seems to me that a continuous set of creation acts by an intelligent agent to direct the transitions, birth-by-birth, so that gradually one species changed into another is totally consistent with ID philosophy. I think that evidence for common descent, from this ID point of view, is strong enough that “I don’t know” is not a very good answer, especially since it dodges the obvious alternative of a sudden and complete creation event of the human species.

    And, please read this without throwing materialistic evolution metaphysics into the discussion. I am arguing for common descent from an ID perspective, making a distinction between two possibilities within ID (NOT a distinction between ID and materialism.)

  64. 64
    Silver Asiatic says:

    An alternative to the blind watchmaker theory is where ID proposes that an intelligent cause, rather than unguided natural causes explains some of what is observed in nature.
    Theobald should be ok with that, given that he accepts the possibility of a force vitale as a possible scientific proposal.

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I appreciate the clarification.

    I have talked about the presence of some underlying creative force or principle in the world.

    Perhaps it would be essential for you to explain the difference in a creation act by a “creative force” and what you call “special creation”. These are philosophical, not scientific terms, that need some definition. As it stands, one could say that your “creative force” just does “special creation” itself. Why not? So, I think you face the same challenge as those you are questioning.

    My question is that if there is not common descent between humans and other animals, how did humans come into existence.

    You’re saying “a creative force” is the cause. But previously, it seemed the only option you could think of was “special creation” – as if there was only a binary choice between materialist evolution and special creation. So I think it would have been helpful to affirm your own view as one option, then propose what you think is the other (excluding materialism).

    You dismiss this a “religious” question, asking, “Do you know that it’s an idea that requires the existence of God.” However, up above, you wrote, “ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent.” You did not say “… by God.”

    No, I didn’t say “by God” because you have an intelligent agent (your “creative force”) which differs from God for theological reasons. Your agent (force) is “not one that creates as a deliberative agent”. So, you’re providing a defining characteristic for a creative force, as opposed to what many (not all) might think of God. Your view could be fully an ID view. You could have an intelligent agent (a creative force) that causes things. That refutes blind, unintelligent natural causes – and what we see in nature would support the existence of your “intelligent creative force” (if you would define it as such). I call this a “religious question” because we’re talking about God versus other intelligent agents.

    Special creation–the sudden creation of human beings with no biological connection to other animals …

    That’s not the only way to define what is meant by special creation. But again, this view goes beyond what ID proposes. ID does not discuss the nature of the designer. Did the designer use existing elements (as Adam created from soil)? Did the designer modify existing natural processes? Did the designer create entirely from the substance of eternal being?

    These are the questions that even theistic evolutionists have to ask and solve, since they posit God in the process somehow and somewhere.

    But ID Is just the empirical evidence for intelligence as a cause of what is observed in nature.

    I am arguing for common descent from an ID perspective, making a distinction between two possibilities within ID

    Within ID there are many possible means of creating human life or the first body plans at the Cambrian explosion, etc. It’s not only special creation and theistic evolution.

    It’s also important for anyone (like myself) who misread what you proposed as if you were saying that there’s the materialistic view and special creation as the options. Instead, you’re arguing only as if ID is true – and then following from that. But if ID is true, we have all sorts of options.

  66. 66
    jerry says:

    Nobody has yet said what the ID mechanism is or how it works.

    What goes around, comes around. Someone actually wants to know how the designer made life. Here is a comment I made 13 years ago that was filed under “sarcasm.”

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/complex-specified-information-you-be-the-judge/#comment-305339

    Best comment from then

    Take your trivial little irrelevant attempts at gotcha’s and replace them with thinking. It would be refreshing to see some of the anti ID people exhibit some.

    Most important ID question – When will anti ID people actually think?

  67. 67
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL – I revised #65 a couple of times, in case you read an early version. I misunderstood your point of view initially and so then corrected for that.

  68. 68
    JVL says:

    Fred Hickson: I have no idea what the ID case (presumably an alternative to evolutionary theory as an explanation of common descent) is.

    Some (like ET) might say that design is a mechanism which is a bit eh from my point of view. It would probably better to ask: what are the mechanisms for design implementation.

    But, just a warning: you will find that there is not even a consensus on when design was implemented. Some think it was all pre-loaded, a one-off; some think that there has been lots and lots of tinkering along the way.

    ET (not trying to pick on him in particular, I’m just very familiar with his views) will say that organisms were designed to evolve, along certain lines presumably. That they were able to overcome the fabled two-mutation limit because of some extra programming or data contained somewhere in the cell. Strangely enough, no one has found this extra programming despite decades of studying living cells. Also, no one has a clear and tested was of testing which mutations are down to design and which are actual mistakes.

    Anyway, if it was all front-loaded that gets you around common descent.

  69. 69
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I am arguing for common descent from an ID perspective,

    🙂 Except there is no evidence for common descend but for common Designer (therefore of course there is a special creation for humans) . Tell me the most convincing argument for common descent since you raised the question then you believe that common descent is credible.

  70. 70
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Assuming you know who your biological father is, it’s a fair bet you resemble him somewhat. Yet the sole physical information you derive from him was in a single spermatozoon that contained his genes in the form of DNA.

    Clueless. DNA did not determine that I would be a human. My father’s DNA passed on his TRAITS. So, yes, I would resemble one or even both of my parents given what DNA actually does.

    Now, we are still waiting on a naturalistic mechanism capable of producing an upright biped starting from populations of knuckle walkers.

  71. 71
    ET says:

    Earth to JVL- error detection, error correction, editing and splicing are all evidence for that programming. Each of those requires knowledge. And neither you nor anyone else can demonstrate that blind and mindless processes did it. So perhaps you should just shut up

  72. 72
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Well, there could be another explanation than the theory of evolution.

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. You are being dishonest, again.

  73. 73
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Douglas Theobald’s piece is still pretty much the place to start for any discussion on evidence for common descent.

    Too bad it is total nonsense. He says the evidences for common descent are not dependent on any mechanism. Mechanisms determine patterns. He uses patterns to infer common descent.

    Theobald doesn’t know how the diversity of life arose. He doesn’t have a mechanism capable of doing the feat. And he thinks that common descent produces a nested hierarchy. Yet we know that it cannot because of all the transitional forms that must have existed.

    But you are a gullible fool, unable to think for itself.

  74. 74
    JVL says:

    ET: Clueless. DNA did not determine that I would be a human. My father’s DNA passed on his TRAITS. So, yes, I would resemble one or even both of my parents given what DNA actually does.

    His traits . . . what are those then?

    error detection, error correction, editing and splicing are all evidence for that programming.

    Where is it? How is it encoded? How does it affect biological development? How is it passed on from generation to generation without significant degradation?

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution

    Even Dr Behe admits there is a theory of unguided evolution. I guess you know more than Dr Behe.

    Mechanisms determine patterns

    What was the mechanism for design implementation?

    But you are a gullible fool, unable to think for itself.

    Can you back up your claim of there being extra programming in the cell which dictates evolution? Yes or no?

    No one, in the ID camp or not, is looking for this mysterious extra programming. Why do you think that is?

  75. 75
    ET says:

    Take a course in biology, JVL. You are too ignorant to discuss the subject.

    Strange how no one on this planet can reference any scientific theory of evolution.

    The mechanism for design implementation was intelligent agency volition. As opposed to your mechanism of “some unknown naturalistic processes did something”.

    And you don’t know what ID people are doing. No one in your camp can say how blind and mindless processes produced life and its diversity. You cannot account for error detection and correction. You have nothing but lies.

  76. 76
    ET says:

    And just as I have told you thousand times- the programming permeates the cell. It is why humans cannot design a living organism even though we know the chemistry and physics involved.

    The programming is the only thing that can account for error detection, error correction, editing and splicing. And neither you nor anyone else will ever be able to refute that claim.

  77. 77
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL

    ET
    error detection, error correction, editing and splicing are all evidence for that programming

    Where is it? How is it encoded? How does it affect biological development?

    😆
    The function of repair of DNA :
    Core histones 2x (H2A, H2B, H3, H4) around which DNA wrap to form a nucleosome .
    An error is detected by a subunit of histones(that have a lot of subunits that regulate the activity of DNA ) because wrapping is imperfect if an error appear . Then is triggered a signal to eliminate core histone H2A and replace with H2AX because unlike H2A, H2AX has a C-terminal region and this region contains a serine residue that can be phosphorylated. It appears that phosphorylation of this serine acts as a marker of damaged DNA and recruits (“call”) the enzymes required for DNA repair .(I don’t describe the process of repairing until the end because the message will be too big )

    You have the microphone, JVL. Please make the case :There is no code ,because the explanation for error repairing is__________.

    PS:JVL you confound the information from a book with chemical combinations between paper and ink and you ask :”Where is the programming/information/code ? I see only cellulose and pigments interacting. ” :)))

  78. 78
    JVL says:

    ET: Take a course in biology, JVL. You are too ignorant to discuss the subject.

    Where is the extra programming in the cell? It should be easy to find; you just need a microscope. But no one is looking. Not even you.

    Strange how no one on this planet can reference any scientific theory of evolution.

    You should talk to Dr Behe about that. He thinks there is a scientific theory of unguided evolution.

    And just as I have told you thousand times- the programming permeates the cell

    Show us where it is and how it is encoded. Also, how does it affect development.

    The programming is the only thing that can account for error detection, error correction, editing and splicing. And neither you nor anyone else will ever be able to refute that claim.

    Where is it? How is it encoded? How does it affect development?

    The mechanism for design implementation was intelligent agency volition. As opposed to your mechanism of “some unknown naturalistic processes did something”.

    So, where did the energy come from? Where did the resources come from? Where was the implementation done? How was it introduced into the Earth’s environment?

    And you don’t know what ID people are doing.

    Okay. Show us the work ID researchers are doing trying to find the extra programming. I’m happy to correct my opinion if you can provide the data.

    Attacking those you disagree with is all well and good. But you still have to back up your alternate explanation. So far, you haven’t provided any physical evidence of extra programming.

  79. 79
    Viola Lee says:

    to SA, re 65: Thanks, SA. Let me first that I’m not trying to discuss my own metaphysical (philosophical) ideas. I am primarily taking the ID view that you stated (some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent) and trying to distinguish between common descent (a continuous chain of biological reproduction that gradually has transformed the earliest forms of life to the wide variety we see today, with an emphasis on the link or break between human beings and other animals) and whatever the alternative is, which as far as I know can be labeled special creation-the act of suddenly and immediately bringing a new species into existence. And if that isn’t the only alternative, what are some others? I don’t think “I don’t know” is sufficient. There is lots of data about different species, so I would think scientifically one could make a best inference between common descent (in an ID context) and other alternatives.

    You write, “You’re saying “a creative force” is the cause. But previously, it seemed the only option you could think of was “special creation” – as if there was only a binary choice between materialist evolution and special creation. So I think it would have been helpful to affirm your own view as one option, then propose what you think is the other (excluding materialism).”

    No: again, I’m not arguing for “my view”. I think it’s a philosophical possibility, that’s all. And theoretically “my view” could include acts of special creation, but as I have said I think “continuous creative acts by an intelligent agent” (i.e. common descent) is more likely

    You write, “But again, this view goes beyond what ID proposes. ID does not discuss the nature of the designer. … But ID Is just the empirical evidence for intelligence as a cause of what is observed in nature.”

    Then ID is silent on whether common descent is true or not. True?

    Therefore, in an ID context, we have to look at the evidence. Does the evidence point to common descent (in an ID context) or not? That is the question.

    You write, “But if ID is true, we have all sorts of options.”

    Yes, and what are some of them? And are they all just philosophical possibilities outside the realm of science, or can science, in an ID context, address whether common descent is the best inference according to the data?

    My really big question is why the opposition to common descent? I know the opposition to the materialistic metaphysic about random mutations and natural selection, but why the opposition to ID-directed processes that would produce common descent?

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, nope, ID is not about the a priori presumption of a creation act by some sort of intelligent contriver. That is addressed in the weak arguments section under Resources. Instead, we observe that there are evident causal patterns, by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and/or intelligently directed configuration. These can act together, but we can isolate aspects of an entity, event, process or state of affairs etc for analytical purposes. In that context, strings are a good example: I: 7eryhgud;pygy4-lvs3o6d is different from II: sesesesese and again from III: this string exhibits FSCO/I. This sort of thing goes back to say Orgel, 1973 etc. In that context, it is useful to partition III as a focus and recognise that known cases of design by the trillion, establish that there are certain patterns that when we see them reliably indicate design. From that we can warrant a design inference on observed reliable sign, Onward we may have interest beyond that tweredun, as to howtweredun and even whodunit, but those start from observation not a priori assumptions. KF

    PS: Orgel in a classic book:

    living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . .

    [HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:]

    These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure.

    [–> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant J S Wicken “wiring diagram” for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002, also cf here,

    here and

    here

    — (with here on self-moved agents as designing causes).]

    One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [–> so if the q’s to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions.  [–> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes [–> Orgel had high hopes for what Chem evo and body-plan evo could do by way of info generation beyond the FSCO/I threshold, 500 – 1,000 bits.] [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196.]

  81. 81
    jerry says:

    A prescient comment made several years ago about anti ID people

    However, I have always assumed since fighting this battle with naturalists/atheists for many years and after seeing the same responses, that the logic I see as natural is not entertained by such people. I never think that I will convince them of their proposed folly and why I think I am right. Quite the opposite – I expect them to hold their ground.

    I am genuinely interested in the atheist’s response to that question ” what would existence of god/a designer look like in your opinion / what would the evidence look like for you to consider it evidence of design?” I have yet to hear a very good answer to it, least of all convincing as a reason for rejecting current design inferences.

    It’s exactly what we see every time one of them posts. No logic on their side, just trivial remarks or personal attacks.

    Aside: there is an attempt to get one or all to make religious comments. That way the anti ID commenter can say ID is religious and they can then say there is no need to deal with the evidence and logic. It’s just a religious belief.

    Aside2: why the constant attempt to pin one down on common descent? It irrelevant to any argument about ID. Do they believe it will lead to a religious basis for ID? Relevant to Evolution, ID says that Evolution has happened. Does saying common descent may or may not have happened mean anything?

  82. 82
    ET says:

    JVL doesn’t even know what the word “permeates” means. And he doesn’t understand that programming is the only thing that can account for error detection, error correction, editing and splicing. And he definitely can’t answer any questions about this alleged scientific theory of evolution. JVL is about as dishonest as a person can be.

  83. 83
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “VL, nope, ID is not about the a priori presumption of a creation act by some sort of intelligent contriver.”

    I was just quoting SA, although he said “agent”, not “contriver”, which is a more neutral term. Also, SA didn’t use the phrase “a priori presumption”.

    His exact quote was , “ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent.” If you think that is wrong, you should take it up with him.

    Changing subjects: KF, do you accept common descent, from the ID perspective as a designed feature of life, especially between humans and other species?

  84. 84
    Fred Hickson says:

    Is Jerry a sleeper agent for Evilutionistas?
    I missed his comment upthread earlier:

    If one is going to argue for or against something then one should know what the argument is about. No one here apparently does including Casey Luskin.

  85. 85
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    And theoretically “my view” could include acts of special creation, but as I have said I think “continuous creative acts by an intelligent agent” (i.e. common descent) is more likely

    Your view is illustrative and important.
    “Continuous creative acts by an intelligent agent”.

    First of all “creative acts”. What those are could be “continuous acts of special creation”.
    That entirely new DNA sequences could be “continually” formed for new species. Or they could be formed at key moments in natural history (beginning of plant life, mammalian life, first body plans – similar to first life). So, distinguishing any “creative acts” from “special creation” is difficult.
    Whenever you have the intervention of an intelligent agent in the process, it’s hard to say there can only be one way of designing or creating things.
    “Continuous” can be “continually as needed”, or it could be “there is nothing unguided in nature” (nothing is random and all is divinely determined). It could be some element of natural process alongside of guidance by intelligent agent. “Guidance” could be the directing of mutations, or it could be the actual shaping of features, or it could be “the special creation” of features, or the special creation of DNA. You could even say that certain mutations are “acts of special creation” since they are created de novo. Or it could be that an entire organism is created fully, or by the use of other matter.
    In some versions of theistic evolution, God guides evolution. In others, evolution occurs “unguided” but built upon a designed-template (front loaded) from the beginning.

    And are they all just philosophical possibilities outside the realm of science, or can science, in an ID context, address whether common descent is the best inference according to the data?

    As you clearly know, ID is a proposal that proposes scientific evidence of design in nature. You’re now asking if there could be scientific projects to determine how the designer created things. That’s not a question that ID can answer, obviously. But once a person accepts the ID proposal, then they can pursue the nature of the designer, the methods of the designer and all other related questions through whatever means as appropriate. Science, philosophy, religion – this has nothing to do with ID – but any can be used. People believe that alien life is the ID cause of life on earth. So, there can be scientific projects to discover the source of this.

    My really big question is why the opposition to common descent?

    Common descent is a vague term, like “evolution”. It’s loaded with assumptions and is used deceptively. That’s why there’s opposition to the concept. I just posted Theobald saying that common descent can be scientifically proven even if one proposes “a cause vitale” (an immaterial life force somewhere). But the ordinary meaning of “common descent” is materialist evolution (Darwinism) from bacteria to human beings (and all other forms of life on earth). The reason for opposition to this should be obvious. Evolution cannot demonstrate what common descent demands. If someone is willing to say that “guided evolution” could be the cause of “common descent” then the term doesn’t have the meaning its proponents want. One could say that “common design” is the same as common descent, since all organisms came from the same intelligent cause. The term “descent” however, is meant to refer to Darwin – since it points to inheritance through reproduction. So, “common descent” in the ordinary term is merely another way of saying “materialist evolution through mutations and selection – from the very first life form to all life forms on earth”.

    ID directed processes could produce something like “common descent” — as does theistic evolution. The idea is that organisms change somehow and then populate the earth in their changed forms through biological reproduction. But as above, if an intelligent agent changes the organism (in your view through continual creative acts) can this be called “descent” in the ordinary way that term is used? It could be but by doing so it would create some confusion.
    If a hominid became pregnant and by “a creative act by an intelligent agent” gave birth to a human being (as absurd as that seems), is that common descent? Or is that special creation?
    I think it’s not “descent'” in the ordinary usage. It’s a creative act which could be called special creation. Something that wasn’t present in nature suddenly became so by a creative act. So, something was created, de novo. The same is true for “guided mutations”. Events that would not have happened, did happen (new mutations) by a creative act.

    So, I think the key thing for your to consider is the ways in which an intelligent agent can create things. How do intelligent agents create works of art or music? How do they design architecture or engineered products? How do they invent new approaches to problem-solving? There are many ways to design. A flash of insight. Borrowing and changing elements from other designs. Tweaking a current design for new purposes. Merging concepts. Eliminating features.
    We don’t know how humans design things. We know the “mechanism” is the intelligence of the agent – it creates the design.

  86. 86
    Fred Hickson says:

    Actually, Viola, that is a good question for all participants. I mean it’s pretty much a waste of time discussing evolutionary mechanisms with anyone who a priori dismisses common descent entirely.

    I think LCD is beyond the pale. Not sure with ET. Well folks?

  87. 87
    Fred Hickson says:

    Just in case anyone is in doubt about my position, I think universal common descent is well-grounded in evidence and irrefutable.

  88. 88
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    His exact quote was , “ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent.”

    In the above, note the phrase “points to”. ID is a proposal. If it is true, then it “points to something”. It is not, in itself, a statement about the kind of designer or the methods of the designer – but only that there is evidence of design.

  89. 89
    Fred Hickson says:

    …but only that there is evidence of design.

    But that is not in dispute. The questions are who/what is designing and how. Evolutionary theory is one proposal for a mechanism. I know I keep asking but what can anyone present as alternatives?

  90. 90
    Silver Asiatic says:

    “[E]volution works without either plan or purpose — Evolution is random and undirected.‚
    (Biology, by Kenneth R. Miller & Joseph S. Levine (1st ed., Prentice Hall, 1991), pg. 658; (3rd ed., Prentice Hall, 1995), pg. 658; (4th ed., Prentice Hall, 1998), pg. 658; emphasis in original.)

    “Adopting this view of the world means accepting not only the processes of evolution, but also the view that the living world is constantly evolving, and that evolutionary change occurs without any ‚goals.‚ The idea that evolution is not directed towards a final goal state has been more difficult for many people to accept than the process of evolution itself.‚
    (Life: The Science of Biology by William K. Purves, David Sadava, Gordon H. Orians, & H. Craig Keller, (6th ed., Sinauer; W.H. Freeman and Co., 2001), pg. 3.)

    “without plan or purpose”
    “not directed to a final goal state”

    What is Design?
    A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process. The verb to design expresses the process of developing a design. In some cases, the direct construction of an object without an explicit prior plan (such as in craftwork, some engineering, coding, and graphic design) may also be considered to be a design activity. The design usually has to satisfy certain goals and constraints; may take into account aesthetic, functional, economic, or socio-political considerations; and is expected to interact with a certain environment. Typical examples of designs include architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams, and sewing patterns.[1]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design

    So, no – mindless evolution does not design anything.

  91. 91
    Viola Lee says:

    re 85, to SA. First, you give a good list of ways a designer could be involved in guiding the development of life, and one could argue that any creative act by the designer is “special creation.” I am using the phrase in a way that contrasts with common descent: a large-scale, so to speak, act where a new type of organism is created so there is no biological continuity between it and other existing organisms. It could be that those creative acts could take place inside organisms as they reproduce so that common descent holds but these small-scale acts of creation don’t interfere with change by common descent. Those are indeed a variety of options within an ID-context.

    So my question still is if not common descent is there any other option than “large-scale” special creations as defined above.

    SA writes, “You’re now asking if there could be scientific projects to determine how the designer created things.”

    No, I don’t think that is what I’m asking. What I wrote was, “Can science, in an ID context, address whether common descent is the best inference according to the data?” This does not ask how the designer did things–in many scenarios that might be beyond our ability to detect, such as the designer creating specific genetic mutations. My question just asks if, within an ID-context, the scientific evidence supports common descent as the best inference, and maybe by far the best inference.

    You write, “Common descent is a vague term, like “evolution”. It’s loaded with assumptions and is used deceptively. That’s why there’s opposition to the concept.”

    I think this is the key issue: the big argument is philosophical, between materialism and non-materiaism, including ID. Since materialism accepts common descent I think a lot of non-materialists reject common descent just so they won’t agree with the materialists, even though the disagreement is really metaphysical, not scientific. There is nothing in ID that should be anti common descent. And yet, one shouldn’t reject what may be the truth just because someone with different philosophical beliefs also accepts the same truth, but for from a different perspective.

    That is, materialist and non-materialists can agree on common descent, but disagree philosophical on how that common descent has come about.

    You write, “If a hominid became pregnant and by “a creative act by an intelligent agent” gave birth to a human being (as absurd as that seems), is that common descent?”

    Yes that would be absurd, and I don’t think anyone proposes that.

    However if, as you write, “The same is true for “guided mutations”. Events that would not have happened, did happen (new mutations) by a creative act.”, those could take place slowly over multiple generations and would be common descent: common descent meaning a continuous chain of organisms brought into being by biological reproduction, with small changes which eventual add up to a different species if you look at individuals 100’s or even 1000’s of generations apart.

  92. 92
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    common descent meaning a continuous chain of organisms brought into being by biological reproduction, with small changes which eventual add up to a different species if you look at individuals 100’s or even 1000’s of generations apart.

    Again, ID is not a philosophical project. It just looks at the empirical data. ID is not going to say that “God could have guided evolution”. ID has nothing to do with that. All ID is saying is that intelligent design is the best explanation for what we observe and therefore there are no known natural causes that can produce what we observe. If no known natural causes can create a human being from an irrational animal, then there’s evidence of intelligent design. If no known natural cause can create a human being from a bacteria – either gradually or suddenly, then that’s evidence for intelligent design. If evolution fails, then common descent fails at the scientific level.
    ID does not analyze philosophical or religious proposals for common descent.
    So, much of what you’re saying is not relevant to what ID is looking at.
    We wouldn’t say that “ID Is compatible with common descent” since that’s not something that ID proposes to explain. If common descent means Darwinism, then ID Is not compatible with it. If common descent means “God made it look like Darwin was correct”, then ID has nothing to say about it, in exactly the same way that any empirical science can’t say anything about that. ID is a scientific project, analyzing empirical data. Whatever the intelligent agent did to create the design is not part of the analysis – that’s for a different research project to evaluate.
    ID just observes aspects of nature that give evidence of design. To falsify that inference, one needs to show that a natural cause can produce it.
    Common descent from natural causes starting with bacteria to trees, plants, fish, animals and humans is very far from being demonstrated.
    ID is evaluating natural causes.

  93. 93
    jerry says:

    Common descent can mean many different things using the same basis for life. For example:

    1) every organism is a direct descendant of a previous organism and the process is natural. There was only one initial life form.

    2) every organism is a direct descendant of a previous organism and the process is guided by some intelligence for some.

    3) nearly every organism is a direct descendant of a previous organism but some are not and were created directly by an intelligence using a similar basis for life as other life forms.

    4) every organism is a direct descendant of a previous organism and the process is natural but there were multiple independent initial organisms.

    We can go on with other possible options. But what does this get us? Who knows which one is true? The answer is no one.

    Common descent whatever the process is irrelevant to ID.

    Aside: Evolution by natural means is also irrelevant to ID. If there was a mechanism for natural Evolution, ID would accept it. But there isn’t any known mechanism. So ID is open to an intelligence as the cause for much if not most changes in life forms.

    Discussing common descent is a dead end.

  94. 94
    Viola Lee says:

    I’ll conclude from this discussion that there is nothing wrong about accepting common descent as long as you don’t have a materialistic interpretation about how it happened.

    Once one decides that the evidence for design is compelling and thus that materialism is false, one has succeeded in meeting the goals of ID.

    This I’ll conclude that those who reject common descent are doing so because they identify common descent with materialism, and they can’t/won’t separate the two issues.

    I’m off to do different things now.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    Vl, points to is okay, but must not be equated to a priori presumption. As for origins of life and species, my problem starts with Darwin’s pond or the like. There is no plausible way to get to cell based life that uses coded algorithms, molecular nanotech etc by blind chance and mechanical necessity. So, I infer — note, not believe, infer, root of life design. i notice that core architecture, with variants, is found across the world of life. However, basic body plans require just for starters, ~ 10 – 100+ million bases of genetic information. OoL was a mere 100 – 1,000 k bases. So, I find no plausible, empirically well founded blind chance and mechanical necessity mechanism to account for body plans. I therefore further infer universal common design rather than universal common descent. I look to the cosmos and find massive fine tuning conducive to C-Chem, aqueous medium cell based life in the roots of cosmology. I therefore infer that the common designs are related; where a cosmos level designer has to be enormously powerful and related to the necessary being root of reality. I don’t care one way or another on dates but note that the ballpark of 15 BY is something that fits a lot of empirical evidence. So, while obviously species is a slippery concept, adaptation up to family level seems feasible, but not at body plan level. Which last is what the Cambrian fossils and other cases of appearance, stasis of core architecture, disappearance show. Show me blind chance and mechanical necessity creating complex language, codes, texts and algorithms reflective of deep knowledge of polymer chemistry, if you want to change my thoughts. Otherwise, I have declared intellectual independence and give at least an outline of reasons i/l/o respect for the opinions of wider humanity. KF

  96. 96
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write, “So, I find no plausible, empirically well founded blind chance and mechanical necessity mechanism to account for body plans. I therefore further infer universal common design rather than universal common descent.”

    Sentence one does not necessarily imply sentence 2. We aren’t even considering the “blind chance and mechanical necessity mechanism” perspective. We are accepted ID as the starting point of the discussion. As we have been discussing, there is no reason why design couldn’t have been implemened by designing at a small-scale level whereby organisms change little by little, directed by design, so that there is still an unbroken chain of organisms related through biological reproduction. That is, common descent via ID.

    That is, accepting design does not mean that common descent can’t be part of the structure of that design as manifested in the world. So rejecting the materialistic view, as I accept you do, doesn’t mean you also have to reject common descent.

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    Vl, I am doing abductive inference to the best explanation. This is inductive not deductive and in fact E -> O not the other way around in logic. Abduction is pivotal in science. Intelligently directed configuration, on trillions of cases, is the only and reliable, observed cause of FSCO/I. Further, there is excellent reason to see that FSCO/I from protein fold domains in AA sequence space to sex determination systems, comes in deeply isolated islands of function sitting in vast sees of non function so the incrementalist, tree of life just so story lacks plausibility. I do not need the world of life to infer design, the cosmos is enough. It is because of the actual rather than narrative state of evidence that I infer root design of the cell and of major body plans, design that puts on islands of function. I don’t care if viri were used to seed and front load, I don’t care if a molecular nanotech lab did direct engineering, etc. The evidence points to pervasive design. KF

  98. 98
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    there is no reason why design couldn’t have been implemened by designing at a small-scale level whereby organisms change little by little, directed by design, so that there is still an unbroken chain of organisms related through biological reproduction

    We’d have to show how design differs from a blind, natural cause. Otherwise, ID has no case. In what you propose above, if it appears that a blind, unguided cause could create the effect (small changes gradually changing species through an unbroken chain) – then ID would be falsified. There would be no evidence of design.

    We could say this, that “it appears that all organisms developed from a common ancestor, however, there is no evidence that a natural cause could accomplish that – therefore, the descent of all organisms from one ancestor is evidence of Intelligent Design”.

    That actually would support your case, as I see it.

  99. 99
    Viola Lee says:

    re 98, to SA.

    I suggested that “design could have been implemened by designing at a small-scale level whereby organisms change little by little, directed by design, so that there is still an unbroken chain of organisms related through biological reproduction” That is common descent by design.

    SA responds: “We’d have to show how design differs from a blind, natural cause. Otherwise, ID has no case. In what you propose above, if it appears that a blind, unguided cause could create the effect (small changes gradually changing species through an unbroken chain) – then ID would be falsified. There would be no evidence of design.”

    But you have already shown, to your satisfaction, that “blind, natural causes” couldn’t have benn responsible for some of the changes that have been seen, and I’m not proposing otherwise. Your argument is that the changes must have been designed. That doesn’t preclude it happening in small steps such that the changes have taken place organism by organism through common descent.

    You say this well in your second paragraph:

    We could say this, that “it appears that all organisms developed from a common ancestor, however, there is no evidence that a natural cause could accomplish that – therefore, the descent of all organisms from one ancestor is evidence of Intelligent Design”.

    I think that is a pretty good summary of what I’m trying to say.

  100. 100
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    From an ID perspective, your point stands.
    By use of intelligence we can create a nested hierarchy through replication and slight modification that would result in radically different but functional entities over many repetitions (software, written text, engineered processes).
    We cannot, however, create the same output using random, unguided, unintelligent causes.
    If the history of life is caused in that kind of gradual, incremental, slight change – then it is evidence of intelligent design in nature.
    That’s considerably different from theistic evolution. It’s also not a very common approach to the topic, but it works from an ID perspective as I see it.

  101. 101
    Viola Lee says:

    re 99, in response to my 98: actually what I am saying is one step simpler than your statement, SA. I am just saying that “the descent of all organisms from one ancestor” is a possible way design could have been implemented. You are adding the stronger statement, which I think is valid from your point of view, that since “blind, natural causes” can’t account for common descent, accepting the evidence for common descent is adding to the evidence for Intelligent Design.

    P.S. I wrote 101 before I saw your 100, SA, but your 100 just supports our conclusions.

  102. 102
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    I am just saying that “the descent of all organisms from one ancestor” is a possible way design could have been implemented.

    I agree. We would still need evidence for such a thing. Evidence in the form of a testable mechanism. Yet we don’t even know what determines biological form. So, I would think we need to start there. By answering the question “what determines the type of organism that will develop?”

    In his book (English title) “Why is a Fly not a Horse?”, the prominent Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti, tells us the following:

    Chapter VI “Why is a Fly not a horse?” (same as the book’s title)

    ”The scientist enjoys a privilege denied the theologian. To any question, even one central to his theories, he may reply “I’m sorry but I do not know.” This is the only honest answer to the question posed by the title of this chapter. We are fully aware of what makes a flower red rather than white, what it is that prevents a dwarf from growing taller, or what goes wrong in a paraplegic or a thalassemic. But the mystery of species eludes us, and we have made no progress beyond what we already have long known, namely, that a kitty is born because its mother was a she-cat that mated with a tom, and that a fly emerges as a fly larva from a fly egg.”

    Universal common descent could be true. But it is untestable, even if by means of intelligent design. It only makes sense by means of intelligent design, however. But what is it that has to change and not be eliminated? Claims of universal common descent are not scientific claims.

  103. 103
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Just in case anyone is in doubt about my position, I think universal common descent is well-grounded in evidence and irrefutable.

    And yet it is untestable and therefore not scientific. What was the mechanism Fred? How can we test it?

  104. 104
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Evolutionary theory is one proposal for a mechanism.

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution. So, you are just equivocating, as usual. Please stop.

  105. 105
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, one thing we know for sure is that organisms reproduce, and we certainly have no evidence that any organism has ever come into existence by any method other than being “born”, in some way or another, from some other organism. That’s a starting point fact from our experience.

  106. 106
    ET says:

    Or experience says humans give rise to humans, though. Prokaryotes give rise to prokaryotes. And meiosis flew in from Uranus, apparently.

  107. 107
    Viola Lee says:

    I know the time scale of our experience is small compared with 3.5 billion years life as been on earth, but still what I wrote in 105 is a fact, although will change “evidence” to “experience”.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N, all of that is why I point to ooL as where we must begin. KF

  109. 109
    Belfast says:

    VL
    I am asking you on a sincere I-want-to-hear basis, with no intention whatever of responding in any way to your reply, if any.
    You write, “I have talked about the presence of some underlying creative force or principle in the world.” What your understanding of the characteristics of this creative force?
    I make a plea for others to forego any comment on VL’s response; the universe has a limited time left until the Big Chill.

  110. 110
    ET says:

    Yes, Kairosfocus, how life originated dictates how it subsequently evolved.

    But still, to those promoting universal common descent what is the mechanism(s) and how can it be tested to see if they are capable?

  111. 111
    Fred Hickson says:

    Common descent is the observation, ET, and the theory of evolution proposes a mechanism of random mutation and non-random selection with niche environments acting as designing element.

    And when, where and how life started on Earth is currently unknown.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, challenge, 1: no one has observed universal common descent from a last universal common ancestor and 2: no one has observed spontaneous blind chance and necessity based origin of life or body plans. Worse, 3: no one has observed or otherwise demonstrated causal mechanisms of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity adequate to cause either OoL or OoBP. If your claim is correct, you should be able to handily defeat 1 ____. 2_______ and 3________ . My prediction, you cannot adequately fill in these three blanks. Instead the sense of certainty is sociological and ideological in origin, see clip just below from Johnson replying to Lewontin. KF

    PS,

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original — the context is Lewontin in NYRB] 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.” [NB: I am aware that Rational Wiki has backed away, un-announced, from the cat-out-of-the-bag direct phrasing that was in place a few years ago. That historic phrasing is still valid as a summary of what is going on.]

    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 it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]

    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.]

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, Cell based, biological life as observed on earth contains complex alphanumerical codes in machine code for algorithms that for example chain AAs towards proteins, including the enzymes of life. Associated is molecular nanotech that effect said algorithms etc. Codes are language and algorithms are goal directed finite stepwise procedures. Both are very strong signs of design; intelligently directed configuration or contrivance — and that is a short definition. The proteins, DNA, RNA etc show also sophisticated knowledge of polymer chemistry. The cell’s metabolic network is a process-flow integrated network that exhibits massive FSCO/I and compares favourably to say an oil refinery. Indeed petroleum in key part could come from algae similar to those now being investigated as sources of bio-oil. KF

  114. 114
    Fred Hickson says:

    KairosfocusMay 12, 2022 at 12:37 am

    FH, challenge,

    OK, I like a challenge. Wordle is getting too easy.

    1: no one has observed universal common descent from a last universal common ancestor

    Nor are they likely to as said event took place at least 3.7 billion years ago and recorded history only begins perhaps 6,000 years ago. Of course anyone can use the “no-one has seen” argument for any pre-historical event. So I dismiss this as a loaded question. Do betta dan dis! 😉

    and 2: no one has observed spontaneous blind chance and necessity based origin of life or body plans.

    On to strawmen. I keep repeating in these comment sections, there is a non-random design element to evolutionary theory. So loaded question again.

    Worse, 3: no one has observed or otherwise demonstrated causal mechanisms of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity adequate to cause either OoL or OoBP.

    Again, I’ve repeated several times that evolutionary theory does not address life’s origin and there is no evidence likely to be found on Earth that will confirm any of the current conjectures and hypotheses.

    Still waiting to hear how an ID hypothesis provides any substantive alternative to the theory of evolution. I’ll give you a pass on origin of life as I think we (anyone working on OoL ideas) are at an impasse unless space exploration shows us something interesting.

  115. 115
    Fred Hickson says:

    KF

    Cell based, biological life as observed on earth contains complex alphanumerical codes in machine code for algorithms that for example chain AAs towards proteins, including the enzymes of life.

    Alphanumeric codes! This is complete nonsense. Nucleotides form physical associations due to hydrogen bonding. Numbers and letters is a human fictional model.

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, predictable.

    1– You admit to unobservable then fail the Newton Rule test. No candidate causal mechanism should be accepted that is claimed to explain traces from the unobservable past etc that is not seen in the here and now to have capability to produce the like effect. Do I need to again cite Lyell, Principles of Geology Vol III:

    PRINCIPLES

    OF

    GEOLOGY:

    BEING

    AN INQUIRY HOW FAR THE FORMER CHANGES OF
    THE EARTH’S SURFACE

    ARE REFERABLE TO CAUSES NOW IN OPERATION.

    [–> See the Newton’s rule claim?]

    So no, not loaded, a reasonable filter against unbridled ideological imposition.

    Where, in fact you are wrong about history.

    History begins where text and record begin.

    Our first text is in the living cell and it turns out to be machine code expressing algorithms and higher order regulatory function that invites analysis on Turing Oracles. That’s like unearthing tax receipts etc in a Tell. We can responsibly know life was designed, by language using intelligence with sophisticated computer science involving embedded systems and molecular nanotech based on deep knowledge of polymer chemistry. Further that the cosmos from outset was set up in ways fine tuned for that.

    Chapter zero of history.

    Going back 15 BY and pointing beyond our cosmos.

    Other things such as logic of being can extend this but already, momentous.

    2 — projection, do you notice that I constantly refer to blind chance and[/or] mechanical necessity? This embraces both chance and necessity per Monod. The contrast is to techne, to use Plato’s term, art. So, you ran a red herring out to a strawman and knocked it over announcing a cheap rhetorical win. Fail.

    So, we know you do not have an adequate, empirically warranted blind watchmaker causal mechanism for OoL or OoBP, i.e. macroevolutionary theory lacks well ahh theory in the dynamical, causal sense. ET is right.

    3 – You duck OoL, trying to run a datum line, forgetting that we all did Bio in school. Generally, Miller Urey etc are presented in bio textbooks as icons meant to make it plausible that all is well in hand, there are plausible explanations backed by good observation from root to twigs of the tree of life icon.

    At this point, fair comment: deceit.

    Where, in fact, we have excellent reason as just outlined to write chapter zero of history, origins. Only, it is a tale of sophisticated design not blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. Worse, it must account for rational, responsible, significantly free, morally governed creatures, us. So, we know blind computation on a mechanical, dynamic-stochastic substrate does not get us to rationality to analyse and know, already. The materialistic evolutionary scientism driven paradigm is dead.

    Already, we see Haldane was right and we can bring up some 14 or 15 inch DNs in support. Here, Turing’s Oracle Machine, extending the Smith model. For, we can see an in the loop controller that by itself is turing constrained. But, open up ask states and oracular, supervisory intervention in response and it’s a whole new ballgame. Two tier controller cybernetic loops change the world of thought on mind.

    Where, our being self evidently morally governed — do you want me to highlight the first duties of reason you just appealed to? — leads to required causally adequate reality root. And that means an inherently good, utterly wise and awesomely powerful root. Not of the tree of life but of reality.

    This then points to very good explanations for the phenomena of cell based life.

    But of course those locked into evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers will deny and dismiss. At this stage, failed crooked yardstick thinking.

    To see why I can freely say that, start from Haldane.

    KF

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, refusal on your part to acknowledge Nobel Prize winning facts about D/RNA is duly noted. Science denial to cling to crooked yardstick evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow traveller ideologies. The lab coat is looking a bit shabby here.

  118. 118
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    That doesn’t preclude it happening in small steps such that the changes have taken place organism by organism through common descent.

    The problem that you’ll run into here is with irreducibly complex features (flagella, blood clotting, etc). What you’d be saying above is that your “creative force” would have to bring together several parts at the same time. So, when you say “small steps”, that can’t be something that mimics what neo-Darwinism claims, with steps as small as mutations. There would have to be some saltational events. Call them “acts of special creation”.
    The other thing is that ID requires the elimination of the natural cause. If we have a known natural cause that can produce the effect, then ID does not work as an inference.
    For example, if we see rocks scattered at the bottom of the hill after a landslide, we could say “that is evidence of intelligent design – the designer put the rocks there”. But that’s not an ID proposal because we already know that gravity and friction and the landscape will distribute rocks like that. That display of rocks do not show indications of having been designed by intelligence.
    With evolution, however, we observe features where no known natural cause can create them – so that gives evidence for ID.

  119. 119
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Belfast

    I make a plea for others to forego any comment on VL’s response;

    I think she has said that it’s unknowable and she just proposes it as a possible entity.

  120. 120
    jerry says:

    Well, one thing we know for sure is that organisms reproduce, and we certainly have no evidence that any organism has ever come into existence by any method other than being “born”, in some way or another, from some other organism. That’s a starting point fact from our experience

    True.

    But yet we have examples of species being modified by intelligence intervention. There is a discipline within the medical community specializing in gene therapy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_therapy

    Then there is synthetic biology

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_biology

    So I assume the whole point of discussing common descent is to support ID.

    Or is this just another pointless discussion to generate comments. Punctuated equilibrium just won’t do.

  121. 121
    ET says:

    Fredd Hickson- How life originated dictates how it subsequently evolved. It is only if blind and mindless processes produced life, would we say they also produced life’s diversity. Clearly you are unable to think for yourself.

    And intelligently designed OoL means that organisms were so designed with the information and ability to evolve and adapt. Evolution by means of intelligent design, ie telic processes. Genetic algorithms exemplify evolution by means of telic processes.

    And limited common descent is the observation. Bacteria to differing variations of bacteria. Humans to different variations of humans. Etc.

  122. 122
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson is obviously just willfully ignorant. Natural selection is both blind and mindless. The non-random part of natural selection is trivial in that not all variants have the same chance of being ELIMINATED.

    Fred doesn’t even understand the concepts he is trying to defend.

    And there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. So, you are desperately clueless.

  123. 123
    ET says:

    And we are STILL waiting for the mechanisms that allegedly produced the diversity of life starting from some unknown populations of prokaryotes. It has to be testable or it isn’t scientific.

  124. 124
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson may be Alan Fox. Same stupid, unsupportable “arguments”. Same ignorance about natural selection and how the OoL dictates evolution. The environment designs, nonsense. All puff and bluff. Pure denial of reality to try to insert his nonsense.

  125. 125
    jerry says:

    Fred Hickson may be Alan Fox

    Or has Mark Frank returned?

  126. 126
    Viola Lee says:

    re 118, to SA

    First SA, for the 3rd time, I am NOT talking about “my creative force”. I am not offering my speculative metaphysics. I am just saying that intelligent design could be implemented by a process of “small-steps”. That’s all.

    You write, “The problem that you’ll run into here is with irreducibly complex features (flagella, blood clotting, etc). [Design] would have to bring together several parts at the same time. So, when you say “small steps”, that can’t be something that mimics what neo-Darwinism claims, with steps as small as mutations. There would have to be some saltational events. Call them “acts of special creation”.”

    Yes, it is possible that at some times mutational events bringing together several parts could be implemented by design at a very small level, like in a generation or a number of generations in a population of organisms. These would be saltational “acts of special creation”. In fact, it seems to me that no matter at what level design is implemented, acts of special creation have to happen, whether it be one mutation in one individual organism at the smallest level to to immediate de novo creation of any entire new creature.

    A materialistic view of evolution (which I assume you mean by Neo-Darwinism) claims that such small-scale mutational events can happen by chance. ID claims they can’t happen by chance. That doesn’t mean they can’t have happened: it just means if they have happened, they have happened by design.

    You write, “The other thing is that ID requires the elimination of the natural cause. If we have a known natural cause that can produce the effect, then ID does not work as an inference.”

    First, an important distinction: ID theory requires the elimination of the natural cause, but Intelligent Design, in whatever way it exists and is implemented, does not requite that. Intelligent Design accounts for the whole range of design, from the fine-tuning of the universe to at least possibly the smallest set of mutational events that go beyond what natural causes can produce. Whether that distinction is discernable to us depends on our level of knowledge about what natural causes can produce, which is always incomplete.

    At this point ID theory states that certain events cannot have been produced by natural causes so therefore design must have happened. However, there may be events which look to us like natural causes were responsible for them but were in fact also designed. Perhaps one’s ID theory is such that there are only two distinct kinds of events that happen: those that are caused by natural processes and those that happen through the special creation acts of design.

    But I don’ think that distinction is necessarily implied by ID theory. If design can create things that couldn’t otherwise happen through natural causes by special acts of creation, no matter how small, then design can also happen by arranging events that could happen by natural causes so they happened in a particular way. In such case, ID theory, which is based on improbability, would never know that design was involved: it would mean that our ability to make a design inference would be impossible, but it would not mean that design itself didn’t happen.

  127. 127
    jerry says:

    At this point ID theory states that certain events cannot have been produced by natural causes so therefore design must have happened

    Two things wrong.

    1) There is no such thing as ID theory. I know that some people may not like this. But I have never seen it proposed.

    There is definitely a form of logic that can be called ID. So if one wants to say there are ID conclusions that makes sense.

    2) ID is not absolute. It just says that certain conclusions are most likely because …. It is a probability argument.

    I know some take it to absolutes. But that is not justified.

    And an important third thing.

    3) ID is multi interested. It is interested in the design of the universe, design of life, design of complex life, consciousness, happenstance of Earth.

    So it’s kind of absurd to say a theory is relevant for all. Unless one wants to say “the butler did It” is a theory.

    For example, if someone should show how Evolution happened through natural means, that doesn’t falsify ID.

    I suggest all read Denton’s book. The fine tuning of the universe is the real issue. Because it is so finely tuned, the other extremely low probability events can thrive. And they are definitely extremely unlikely events in addition to the fine tuning of universe.

  128. 128
    William J Murray says:

    VL at 126,
    To summarize: ID theory can tell you where ID occurred, but it cannot say where it did not occur. It excludes events or things from being identified as ID positive if there is an available natural explanation.

  129. 129
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Viola Lee
    Well, one thing we know for sure is that organisms reproduce,

    Not really.

    We know for sure that-beside reproduction- an organism have metabolism, nutrition, transport, cellular respiration, synthesis, excretion, growth & development and all those are regulated and controlled by a ghostly , weightless, non-material entity. That ghostly entity scare the chemistry to dance a very strange kind of dances with very strange moves that in an unexplainable way have obvious functional results that can be perceived (only)by a mind as a purpose .
    You can’t perceive the purpose if you stay at the level of atoms and molecules because all you ‘ll see are chemical interactions, that’s all .End of story.

    You can perceive a purpose only if you climb to the upper level of cell (prok) or organism(euk) as a unit and from that level you go downward starting to decompose all the subcomponents(reverse engineering) having always in mind the goal of the unit that disappear when you start to analyze individually the subcomponents.

    This is a scientific evidence : organisation of a system is not developed from atoms upward to a functional cell(as materialists claim) but on the contrary organisation always start with the most complex level downward(as ID claim). Which is the most complex level do you know? Well, that level is an inferior level in a bigger framework. Which is the bigger framework? Ask Godel . We are left with either impossibility of finding the ultimate truth from inside the system we are captive or to trust somebody that claims that was outside this system (universe) and knows the truth. 🙂

  130. 130
    chuckdarwin says:

    FH/115

    Alphanumeric codes! This is complete nonsense. Nucleotides form physical associations due to hydrogen bonding. Numbers and letters is a human fictional model.

    Finally, someone on this blog that understands genetics and biochemistry…..

  131. 131
    jerry says:

    Finally, someone on this blog that understands genetics and biochemistry

    But not you as you demonstrate over and over.

    Question: why make such an absurd remark?

  132. 132
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    WJM summarized it well in #128.

    ID cannot eliminate the possibility that an effect was designed. As you say, even if there is a known natural cause, it doesn’t mean that intelligent design was not involved.
    However, to maintain a falsifiable, scientific theory – ID will affirm events that give evidence that “only intelligence” could have been the cause. By that, it’s just eliminating “known natural causes” from the possible explanations.
    In that case, ID only affirms design for “some aspects” of nature. But as you say, it could be that all of nature is intelligently designed. We just cannot show that, so it becomes an unscientific proposal.

    Whether that distinction is discernable to us depends on our level of knowledge about what natural causes can produce, which is always incomplete.

    That’s true, but we have approximations. We can observe functional complex specified information. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s “impossible” for natural causes to create it by chance, since information is purposeful and chance is not-purposeful. However, someone might say “it could happen” that a complex, functional code was assembled by a blind, unintelligent cause. But when the probability for that happening is less than what could happen in the age of the universe – then we’re on good grounds in saying it’s impossible.

    However, there may be events which look to us like natural causes were responsible for them but were in fact also designed.

    True. This is the theistic evolution approach. They’ll say that it looks like a blind, random effect, but it was actually designed that way.

    Perhaps one’s ID theory is such that there are only two distinct kinds of events that happen: those that are caused by natural processes and those that happen through the special creation acts of design.

    Some people could think that. I don’t think ID in general requires it though. All it is saying is “these aspects of nature give evidence of design”. It does not have to say that “everything else is not designed”. It could say that “everything is designed and these aspects give actual evidence of it, while others we don’t have evidence, but they are designed anyway.”

  133. 133
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Now we’re going to have to find and post all the authoritative texts explaining that DNA and RNA is actually a real coded, symbolic functional communication system. Supposedly, since there are no “letters” from the English alphabet in the genome, that refutes this fact??? Wow.

  134. 134
    Viola Lee says:

    Good, SA. We agree on a lot.

    But to back up: Earlier you wrote, “You write, “The problem that you’ll run into here is with irreducibly complex features (flagella, blood clotting, etc). [Design] would have to bring together several parts at the same time. So, when you say “small steps”, that can’t be something that mimics what neo-Darwinism claims, with steps as small as mutations. There would have to be some saltational events. Call them “acts of special creation”.”

    Do you agree that this is not really a problem? The saltational creation events could be at the molecular level, or even smaller (like at the quantum level).

    Also, As Jerry says, there really isn’t an ID theory. There is an ID inference, and some tentative ID conclusions, but there isn’t a theory in the sense of offering explanations, or even descriptions, for the when, where, how, etc. of these creation acts. Therefore, they could happen at any number of levels, hypothetically.

    P.S. to Jerry: The ID Defined sections of the Resources tab says “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.” I agree with you that this is wrong.

  135. 135
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Fred Hickson
    Alphanumeric codes! This is complete nonsense. Nucleotides form physical associations due to hydrogen bonding. Numbers and letters is a human fictional model.

    You are deluded this is not you writting messages on UD it’s about some faulty “hydrogen bonding” happening in your brain. :)))

  136. 136
    William J Murray says:

    SA @133,

    Maybe we can invoke Upright Biped, but I imagine he’s tired of explaining it over and over.

    FH said:

    Alphanumeric codes! This is complete nonsense. Nucleotides form physical associations due to hydrogen bonding. Numbers and letters is a human fictional model.

    This is like saying that the properties of the lead of a pencil and the properties of paper explain the sonnet or mathematical formula written on the paper.

  137. 137
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA//133
    Nor any other alphabet. You guys don’t get it. Or perhaps your question actually shows a glimmer of understanding. We are living (as Madona said) in a material world…..

  138. 138
    William J Murray says:

    VL said:

    but there isn’t a theory in the sense of offering explanations,

    The theory of gravity doesn’t explain the origin of gravity. It discerns between what can be said to be a gravitational effect, and what cannot be said to be a gravitational effect. It models that effect in different ways. So does ID (such as, the presence of organized, complex information.) Gravitational theory makes predictions; so does ID theory.

    Thus, I think your idea of what constitutes a “theory” is unfairly discriminatory.

  139. 139
    jerry says:

    there isn’t a theory in the sense of offering explanations

    A distortion of what ID is since ID definitely seeks explanations.

    Something I wrote about ID several years ago

    Maybe we should speak in shorter sentences so you may be able to understand.

    ID does not eliminate anything that current science does.

    ID can do any experiment that current science does.

    ID can do additional experiments that current science might not do.

    ID can come to the same conclusions as current science does.

    ID can also come to some different conclusions than current science.

    ID will come to a naturalistic explanation in nearly all experiments.

    But in fact naturalistic explanations can be used to support intelligence based conclusions.

    ID will do some things differently than current science about its conclusions.

    For example, it will not make up any unsupported conclusions.

    It will not use the words “it evolved”, “it was selected”, “it was exapted”, “it emerged” to explain an unknown event or transition.

    ID will not use its imagination as evidence in science.

    Now that you understand some of the things that ID will add to science you may try some other non sequiturs to your array of arguments. But I suggest you try to understand instead. ID adds, it does not subtract. Your point of view subtracts and restricts and oppresses and misinforms.

    So please try an honest and logical argument. It is getting tiresome. No one is asking you to agree with an ID conclusion even if it is completely logical and well supported, but try to represent it reliably instead of distorting it. You might learn something.

              As I say ID is Science+

    Anyone disagree?

    I’m not interested in responding to your condescension. Go insult someone else.

    Obviously someone who disagrees but cannot articulate a coherent response when what ID is about is laid out in simple terms.

  140. 140
    William J Murray says:

    As to the “it’s just molecular binding without any semiotic meaning (letters and numbers)” challenge, let’s allow UB the floor:

    https://uncommondescent.com/origin-of-life/upright-bipeds-summary-on-information-systems-in-cell-based-life/

  141. 141
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, I’m not interested in responding to your condescension. Go insult someone else.

    I know you wrote this to someone else at another time, but as posted, it is directed at me.

  142. 142
    jerry says:

    Something else said along the same lines as above when one tries to corner ID into a preferred corner. First the quote then the response.

    “Therefore we have evidence that life was created by a similar process.”

    No, not a good choice of words to express what we believe. The correct choice would be something like this:

    “We then know that intelligence can create this sort of pattern. In fact there is evidence that humans will be assembling a life form in a short time. We have no evidence that nature can create such a pattern which is positive evidence for intelligent design. Therefore, we believe that the cause of this process is more likely to be intelligence than a natural cause. We continue to support the search for natural causes but until the time it can be shown that natural causes is the most likely cause then we believe that intelligence is still the logical conclusion for such phenomena.”

    Given such a statement, how does one justify what the anti ID position is, which says absolutely that intelligence is not the cause. Our position has been laid out before but it continually get wordsmithed to suit one’s position. We never use the absolute position. That is what the anti ID people do.

    This response and the one above are from several years ago to different comments made at that time but in general are relevant to current commenters who make similar distortions/inane attributions.

  143. 143
    Viola Lee says:

    re 138, to WJM. You write, “The theory of gravity doesn’t explain the origin of gravity.” True. And it is clearly and often repeated that the theory of ID does not attempt to explain the origin of design, and explicitly says the question of the designer is a separate question.

    You continue, “It discerns between what can be said to be a gravitational effect, and what cannot be said to be a gravitational effect. It models that effect in different ways. So does ID (such as, the presence of organized, complex information.) Gravitational theory makes predictions; so does ID theory”

    But the level of testability and specificity of the predictions are vastly different, I think, so I don’t think this is a very strong equivalence.

    P.S. Just a side note: I am reading “Magnificent Principia” by Colin Task, which is taking me systematically through “Principia Mathematica.” Newton is very thorough in assembling consequences of his principles and illustrating with specific experiments he did to confirm them. I don’t think ID has anything like that.

  144. 144
    jerry says:

    But the level of testability and specificity of the predictions are vastly different, I think, so I don’t think this is a very strong equivalence.

    I agree.

    This is what happens when one tries to portray ID as a theory. Originally Dembski was trying to establish a mathematical proof of ID. This was originally Dembski’s site until it became too much work. He handed it off to DaveScot who handed it off to Barry when it became too much work and then who essentially handed it off to Denyse while keeping overall control. How much they read is unknown.

    A few others are allowed to author.

    As can be seen there are some differences between those who support ID. And I have said the real food fight will be when ID becomes accepted which I don’t see happening anytime soon.

    I don’t think ID has anything like that.

    ID is not primarily interested in basic science as Newton was. If it had the money, maybe it would do some things but right now it has a minuscule of the the money spent on biology or cosmology. As I said ID has no problem with any legitimate science so consider all that ID.

              ID is Science+

  145. 145
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    Nor any other alphabet. You guys don’t get it.

    I think we know there’s no human alphabet there.
    But more importantly, I invite you to read the brief summary offered in the link WJM provided @140.
    It explains what we’re referring to:

    You have to have a medium of information, representations, constraints, discontinuous association, a reading-frame code, and semantic closure in order to create a material system capable of Darwinian evolution.

    That’s what your mechanism is supposed to explain via a stepwise process. It’s a system not merely an alphabet.

  146. 146
    ET says:

    Viola Lee:

    At this point ID theory states that certain events cannot have been produced by natural causes so therefore design must have happened.

    Wrong! A quick look at the explanatory filter refutes that nonsense.

  147. 147
    ET says:

    The genetic code involves a coded information processing system in which mRNA codons REPRESENT amino acids. That is the epitome of a code. And the ribosome is a genetic compiler complete with error detection.

  148. 148
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Do you agree that this is not really a problem? The saltational creation events could be at the molecular level, or even smaller (like at the quantum level).

    For me it’s a problem with terminology. I don’t think the scenario there would normally be called “common descent”. It’s more rightly termed “common design”. Some people with an animosity towards the idea would call it “creationism”.
    I also think there would be a problem with the arbitrary nature of when/where the saltations arise – as needed. It would seem like an ad hoc explanation. As I often wonder, why not just have the intelligently designed origin as the complete organism being created de novo?
    For a lot of people these are questions about “how God might have done it” – and it’s tied to philosophy and theology. It’s good to discuss it with people who have a respect for God, or at least who accept the ID inference.
    It’s impossible to discuss with people who have hatred of God or at least are opposed to ID in principle – as almost all atheists are.

  149. 149
    BobSinclair says:

    Fred

    Your hydrogen bond’s explanation is like trying to say the information stored on a usb drive can be explained by the plastic and metal used in the usb’s construction.

  150. 150
    ET says:

    And we are still awaiting a testable mechanism capable of producing the diversity of life starting from some unknown populations of prokaryotes. Evos are always so confident until it comes time for the science.

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    FH & CD, there is a prong height code at right angles to the chaining Chemistry, expressed in the complementarity, C-G and A-T, which of course matches anticodons of tRNAs loaded with AAs at the opposite, CCA tip, a universal joint. This has been well known since the 1950’s and 60’s, where multiple Nobel Prizes were won. Yes, there are two complementary strands but the key thing to a s-t-r-i-n-g data structure as just illustrated is sequence. And as you both full well know, any of AGCT/U can succeed any of the previous in the chain. The code and dialects are tabulated as codons. You know all of this so we can freely infer that you are tossing up distractors on H bonding [how key-lock fit complementarity of the two strands in the double helix occurs] means you have no answer to the well known informational nature of DNA and by extension RNA and proteins. See recent thread: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/lfp-55-defining-clarifying-intelligent-design-as-inference-as-theory-as-a-movement/#comment-754277 May 8 update. KF

    PS, just to show the notoriously well known force of the point, notice what Wikipedia concedes as well established:

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (/di???ks??ra?bo?nju??kli??k, -?kle?-/ (listen);[1] DNA) is a polymer composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions [–> i.e. instructions in a code] for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are nucleic acids. Alongside proteins, lipids and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), nucleic acids are one of the four major types of macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life.

    The two DNA strands are known as polynucleotides as they are composed of simpler monomeric units called nucleotides.[2][3] [–> polymer chemistry] Each nucleotide is composed of one of four nitrogen-containing nucleobases (cytosine [C], guanine [G], adenine [A] or thymine [T]), a sugar called deoxyribose, and a phosphate group. The nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain [–> thus, string pattern] by covalent bonds (known as the phospho-diester linkage) between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, resulting in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. [–> the chain sequences bases in principle in any order] The nitrogenous bases of the two separate polynucleotide strands are bound together, according to base pairing rules (A with T and C with G), with hydrogen bonds to make double-stranded DNA [–> key-lock complementarity of the strands, where the prongs are at right angles to the chain] . . . .

    Both strands of double-stranded DNA store the same biological information [–> redundancy, a key information security technique] . . . .

    It is the sequence [–> thus, string data structure] of these four nucleobases along the backbone that encodes [–> code, and with start, elongate, stop we have algorithms, i.e. language used to lay out a goal directed finite stepwise procedure, and GCAT can properly be seen as glyphs in an alphanumeric, machine language code] genetic information [–> information, and of course discrete state with carrying capacity up to two bits per base]. RNA strands are created using DNA strands as a template in a process called transcription, where DNA bases are exchanged for their corresponding bases except in the case of thymine (T), for which RNA substitutes uracil (U).[4] Under the genetic code, these RNA strands specify the sequence of amino acids within proteins in a process called translation.

    Notice, what Wikipedia, despite known biases and agendas is forced to concede. It then is manifest that FH and CD, who manifestly know this,for some reason imagine that they can play hyperskeptical rhetorical games. Yes, they can, but at a price, we know from the stunts above, that they are not responsible commenters on a serious matter.

  152. 152
    JVL says:

    ET: And we are still awaiting a testable mechanism capable of producing the diversity of life starting from some unknown populations of prokaryotes.

    It’s easy to test natural selection: take a population of prokaryotes, put them into an environment with suitable living conditions, lots of different climatic zones and a wide variety of ‘food’ sources and no other forms of life and wait for a few million years. Maybe a bit more. If nothing changes then we can discuss the situation again.

    The genetic code involves a coded information processing system in which mRNA codons REPRESENT amino acids.

    Unless they are based on some chemical affinities which is a possibility being looked into.

  153. 153
    ET says:

    Earth to JVL- Natural selection is impotent with respect to the diversity of life. And throwing time at the problem proves that you don’t understand science.

    There isn’t any evidence the genetic code is reducible to physics and chemistry. There isn’t even any way to test the claim that nature produced the genetic code. You lose.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, We may go further with Wikipedia — lowest common denominator useful for what they must concede given known biases, showing intelligent design within the reach of our molecular nanotech already. Clipping from further down:

    Artificial bases

    Several artificial nucleobases have been synthesized, and successfully incorporated in the eight-base DNA analogue named Hachimoji DNA. Dubbed S, B, P, and Z, these artificial bases are capable of bonding with each other in a predictable way (S–B and P–Z), maintain the double helix structure of DNA, and be transcribed to RNA. Their existence could be seen as an indication that there is nothing special about the four natural nucleobases that evolved on Earth.[64][65] On the other hand, DNA is tightly related to RNA which does not only act as a transcript of DNA but also performs as moleular machines many tasks in cells. For this purpose it has to fold into a structure. It has been shown that to allow to create all possible structures at least four bases are required for the corresponding RNA,[66] while a higher number is also possible but this would be against the natural Principle of least effort.

    In the onward “main article” we see further:

    Nucleic acid analogues are compounds which are analogous (structurally similar) to naturally occurring RNA and DNA, used in medicine and in molecular biology research. Nucleic acids are chains of nucleotides, which are composed of three parts: a phosphate backbone, a pentose sugar, either ribose or deoxyribose, and one of four nucleobases. An analogue may have any of these altered.[1] Typically the analogue nucleobases confer, among other things, different base pairing and base stacking properties. Examples include universal bases, which can pair with all four canonical bases, and phosphate-sugar backbone analogues such as PNA, which affect the properties of the chain (PNA can even form a triple helix).[2] Nucleic acid analogues are also called Xeno Nucleic Acid and represent one of the main pillars of xenobiology, the design of new-to-nature forms of life based on alternative biochemistries.

    Artificial nucleic acids include peptide nucleic acid (PNA), Morpholino and locked nucleic acid (LNA), as well as glycol nucleic acid (GNA), threose nucleic acid (TNA) and hexitol nucleic acids (HNA). Each of these is distinguished from naturally occurring DNA or RNA by changes to the backbone of the molecule.

    In May 2014, researchers announced that they had successfully introduced two new artificial nucleotides into bacterial DNA, and by including individual artificial nucleotides in the culture media, were able to passage the bacteria 24 times; they did not create mRNA or proteins able to use the artificial nucleotides.

    Coming back to the original, we may see:

    DNA as a storage device for information has enormous potential since it has much higher storage density compared to electronic devices. However, high costs, slow read and write times (memory latency), and insufficient reliability has prevented its practical use.

    This of course recognises the basic point of an alphanumeric information store.

    The onward main article notes, in part:

    The idea of DNA digital data storage dates back to 1959, when the physicist Richard P. Feynman, in “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom: An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics” outlined the general prospects for the creation of artificial objects similar to objects of the microcosm (including biological) and having similar or even more extensive capabilities.[7] In 1964–65, Mikhail Samoilovich Neiman, the Soviet physicist, published 3 articles about microminiaturization in electronics at the molecular-atomic level, which independently presented general considerations and some calculations regarding the possibility of recording, storage, and retrieval of information on synthesized DNA and RNA molecules.[8][9][10] After the publication of the first M.S. Neiman’s paper and after receiving by Editor the manuscript of his second paper (January, the 8th, 1964, as indicated in that paper) the interview with cybernetician Norbert Wiener as published.[11] N. Wiener expressed ideas about miniaturization of computer memory, close to the ideas, proposed by M. S. Neiman independently. These Wiener’s ideas M. S. Neiman mentioned in the third of his papers. This story is described in details.[12]

    One of the earliest uses of DNA storage occurred in a 1988 collaboration between artist Joe Davis and researchers from Harvard. The image, stored in a DNA sequence in E.coli, was organized in a 5 x 7 matrix that, once decoded, formed a picture of an ancient Germanic rune representing life and the female Earth. In the matrix, ones corresponded to dark pixels while zeros corresponded to light pixels.[13]

    In 2007 a device was created at the University of Arizona using addressing molecules to encode mismatch sites within a DNA strand. These mismatches were then able to be read out by performing a restriction digest, thereby recovering the data.[14]

    In 2011, George Church, Sri Kosuri, and Yuan Gao carried out an experiment that would encode a 659-kb book that was co-authored by Church. To do this, the research team did a two-to-one correspondence where a binary zero was represented by either an adenine or cytosine and a binary one was represented by a guanine or thymine. After examination, 22 errors were found in the DNA.[13]

    In 2012, George Church and colleagues at Harvard University published an article in which DNA was encoded with digital information that included an HTML draft of a 53,400 word book written by the lead researcher, eleven JPG images and one JavaScript program. Multiple copies for redundancy were added and 5.5 petabits can be stored in each cubic millimeter of DNA.[15] The researchers used a simple code where bits were mapped one-to-one with bases, which had the shortcoming that it led to long runs of the same base, the sequencing of which is error-prone. This result showed that besides its other functions, DNA can also be another type of storage medium such as hard drives and magnetic tapes.[16]

    In 2013, an article led by researchers from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and submitted at around the same time as the paper of Church and colleagues detailed the storage, retrieval, and reproduction of over five million bits of data. All the DNA files reproduced the information between 99.99% and 100% accuracy.[17] The main innovations in this research were the use of an error-correcting encoding scheme to ensure the extremely low data-loss rate, as well as the idea of encoding the data in a series of overlapping short oligonucleotides identifiable through a sequence-based indexing scheme.[16] Also, the sequences of the individual strands of DNA overlapped in such a way that each region of data was repeated four times to avoid errors. Two of these four strands were constructed backwards, also with the goal of eliminating errors.[17] The costs per megabyte were estimated at $12,400 to encode data and $220 for retrieval. However, it was noted that the exponential decrease in DNA synthesis and sequencing costs, if it continues into the future, should make the technology cost-effective for long-term data storage by 2023.[16]

    All of this, Wikipedia has to concede.

  155. 155
    JVL says:

    ET: Natural selection is impotent with respect to the diversity of life. And throwing time at the problem proves that you don’t understand science.

    Not really. The way life reproduces creates enough variation so that there is competition between different varieties and the ‘winners’ leave more offspring. Continue that process for many, many, many generations and you get different life forms ‘tuned’ to different environmental niches.

    We can see that lots of variation is created because breeders have created sustainable widely different forms from the same root organisms in just a few hundred years. For example: most dog breeds are less than 300 years old. And then there are the brassicas.

    The only difference between ‘natural selection’ and selective breeding is the source of the ‘selection’. And, here’s a question: if your assertion is correct that life was ‘designed’ to evolve how does it accommodate human breeding programmes? If there is a goal to evolution then how is it that breeding works?

    There isn’t any evidence the genetic code is reducible to physics and chemistry

    Except there is. I directed you, again, to a place where you could easily start following research but you refuse to even having a look. And if I do all that work and show you that, yes, there is research suggesting that the genetic code might be reducible to physics and chemistry you’ll just continue to say it’s all rubbish.

    Here’s the really funny bit: you think that mostly biologists have got it all wrong, they’ve got it wrong about evolution and the origin of species. BUT you think they got it right when the used the word code for how genetic sequences are translated into proteins. The use of the word code, meaning an arbitrary assignment of symbols, was correct. So, you pick and choose which parts of the research you think is correct and which parts you reject even though it all comes along in the same fashion. And, sometimes, you use a dictionary to verify your interpretation instead of considering what the research actually says.

    So, it seems, your version of science is selective about which results and data it accepts and which results are bogus. The question is: what is your criteria? If your criteria is based on the answer provided then you’re not doing science. You’re just exhibiting confirmation bias.

  156. 156
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    Unless they are based on some chemical affinities which is a possibility being looked into.

    😆 How chemical affinities of ink and paper explain a book(a cell)? Magical materialism presented as a science.

  157. 157
    ET says:

    There isn’t any evidence that natural selection produce eukaryotes given starting populations of prokaryotes. And your ignorance of natural selection betrays you. Natural selection is a process of elimination. How many times do you have to be corrected on this?

    Natural selection could NEVER produce the dog breeds. NEVER. It could remove dog breeds from the population, though

    And you are lying about the genetic code.

    The claim the genetic code is a real code is supported by the evidence and science. The claim that nature produced the genetic code is not. The claim that natural selection produced the diversity of life is also not supported by the evidence nor science.

    So, yes, forgive for accepting the things that can be demonstrated and rejecting the BS that cannot be.

  158. 158
    asauber says:

    “many, many, many generations”

    Just you wait and see!

    This is nothing but a convenient push of the problem into the imagination where the magic can happen.

    It was pathetic the first time you tried it, JVL, let alone the 1000th time.

    Andrew

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    I see your:

    [ET:] There isn’t any evidence the genetic code is reducible to physics and chemistry

    [JVL:] Except there is. I directed you, again, to a place where you could easily start following research but you refuse to even having a look. And if I do all that work and show you that, yes, there is research suggesting that the genetic code might be reducible to physics and chemistry you’ll just continue to say it’s all rubbish.

    I raise you from the Wikipedia article on DNA data storage that:

    In 2016 research by Church and Technicolor Research and Innovation was published in which, 22 MB of a MPEG compressed movie sequence were stored and recovered from DNA. The recovery of the sequence was found to have zero errors.[21]

    In March 2017, Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski of Columbia University and the New York Genome Center published a method known as DNA Fountain that stored data at a density of 215 petabytes per gram of DNA. The technique approaches the Shannon capacity of DNA storage, achieving 85% of the theoretical limit. The method was not ready for large-scale use, as it costs $7000 to synthesize 2 megabytes of data and another $2000 to read it.[22][23][24]

    In March 2018, University of Washington and Microsoft published results demonstrating storage and retrieval of approximately 200MB of data. The research also proposed and evaluated a method for random access of data items stored in DNA.[25][26] In March 2019, the same team announced they have demonstrated a fully automated system to encode and decode data in DNA.[27]

    Research published by Eurecom and Imperial College in January 2019, demonstrated the ability to store structured data in synthetic DNA. The research showed how to encode structured or, more specifically, relational data in synthetic DNA and also demonstrated how to perform data processing operations (similar to SQL) directly on the DNA as chemical processes.[28][29]

    In June 2019, scientists reported that all 16 GB of Wikipedia have been encoded into synthetic DNA.[4] In 2021, CATALOG reported that they had developed a custom DNA writer capable of writing data at 18 Mbps into DNA.[30]

    Thus, it is clear that DNA is a data store, is amenable to various encodings, can be extended and can be used technologically.

    All of this, Wikipedia has had to concede.

    We need to ask some pointed questions as to why we have a cluster of objectors trying so hard to obfuscate such reasonably manifest points.

    That goes to just how weak their case is, if they cannot simply, forthrightly accept that D/RNA is as was described.

    As for the code is forced by physics and chemistry, the fact of engineered variants and alternatives shows differently.

    We can refer to the Tanenbaum layer cake type model and observe that a physical layer is foundational to higher layers and protocols, but the protocols are exploiting the device physics to achieve informational transfers that go beyond mere blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    KF

  160. 160
    AnimatedDust says:

    Andrew @157: And we are the ones who are accused of having the blind faith. LOL

  161. 161
    Fred Hickson says:

    William Murray

    As to the “it’s just molecular binding without any semiotic meaning (letters and numbers)” challenge, let’s allow UB the floor:

    Indeed. Let’s hear from Upright Biped. I’m looking forward to an exchange of view and it’s the main reason I’ve recently been posting here.

  162. 162
    Fred Hickson says:

    KF, if I were inclined to religious metaphors, observing your quoting Wikipedia at length, I might be reminded of “the Devil can quote scripture when it suits him”. Yet I can’t find much in those quotes that I take huge exception to or much in the way of relevance to your own argument, which I freely admit I’m finding hard to follow. Have you an aversion to paragraphs?

  163. 163
    Fred Hickson says:

    JVL @ 154

    Oh dear, I’ve let the divine foot in the door!

    “Pearls before swine”!

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, you have proved yourself unserious. Negative credibility, only to be taken up when independently corroborated. When even Wikipedia is more responsive to evidence, facts and established knowledge than you are that says somewhat. KF

  165. 165
    Fred Hickson says:

    FH, you have proved yourself unserious. Negative credibility, only to be taken up when independently corroborated. When even Wikipedia is more responsive to evidence, facts and established knowledge than you are that says somewhat. KF

    KF, when your understanding of the chemistry and biology is so superficial, it is difficult to take you seriously.

    Here’s a serious question. I see you posting here at UD. I’ve never seen you venture out beyond UD and engage in serious debate with those who might disagree with you. Except actually, I do have a vague memory back in 2005 perhaps of you inviting an ID critic who was a regular commentzer at the now defunct ISCID site. His pseudo was “the pixie”. Remember that?

  166. 166
    BobSinclair says:

    JVL

    You said,

    “yes, there is research suggesting that the genetic code might be reducible to physics and chemistry”

    References please

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, the physics and chemistry are not the issue and you know it. Your problem is not with me but with Crick et al. Even Wikipedia does better, as you show by ducking it. And, intermolecular force-distance curves and linked issues feed a lot of things in physics with bleed over into Chemistry. Nothing in such forces changes the LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL pattern, chaining on one axis, prongs orthogonal, interlock and fit a function of prong height, where the Yale type lock is a common device that uses that pattern. KF

  168. 168
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Fred Hickson
    KF, when your understanding of the chemistry and biology is so superficial,

    🙂 You are so good at chemistry and biology that’s why you bring evidences for ID saying that are evidences for darwinism ? You did that to confuse and disorient ID advocates ,right? 😆

  169. 169
    Seversky says:

    Fred Hickson/160

    Indeed. Let’s hear from Upright Biped. I’m looking forward to an exchange of view and it’s the main reason I’ve recently been posting here.

    If you haven’t already done so, you might want to review the extensive discussions of UBP’s ideas on The Panda’s Thumb and The Skeptical Zone in 2012 and 2015.

  170. 170
    Seversky says:

    Fred Hickson/162

    Oh dear, I’ve let the divine foot in the door!

    May the Curse of Lewontin be upon you!

  171. 171
    BobSinclair says:

    Seversky

    I don’t agree dipping into “silo’s” is constructive to critiquing anyone’s idea’s data and experiment’s are enough to allow any merit to a given idea, if there is any to be given.

  172. 172
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    I’m looking forward to an exchange of view and it’s the main reason I’ve recently been posting here.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course.

  173. 173
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    I see you posting here at UD. I’ve never seen you venture out beyond UD and engage in serious debate with those who might disagree with you.

    People have disagreed with him here. But they have never demonstrated that blind and mindless processes can produce any version of complex specified information. Never. No one has in all of the interwebbings.

    I have never seen you, or any of your socks, engage in an actual discussion, anywhere. Debate? Your idea of a debate is to baldly assert and then reference that bald assertion. And you don’t seem to understand the basic concepts that you try to defend.

  174. 174
    ET says:

    The genetic code involves a coded information processing system in which mRNA codons REPRESENT amino acids.

    JVL

    Unless they are based on some chemical affinities which is a possibility being looked into.

    WTF? Seriously? mRNA never makes contact with the corresponding amino acid. Is it some sort of chemical affinity from a distance?

  175. 175
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Why the genetic code is a real code :
    -a sequence of nucleotides is translated into a sequence of amino acids,
    -the bridge between them is realized by a third type of molecules, called transfer-RNAs, that act as adaptors and perform two distinct operations:
    1)at one site they recognize groups of three nucleotides, called codons
    2)at another site they receive amino acids from enzymes called aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases.

    The key point is that there is no deterministic link between codons and amino acids since it has been shown that any codon can be associated with any amino acid (Schimmel 1987; Schimmel et al. 1993).

    Hou and Schimmel (1988), for example, introduced two extra nucleotides in a tRNA and found that that the resulting tRNA was carrying a different amino acid.

    This proved that the number of possible connections between codons and amino acids is potentially unlimited, and only the selection of a small set of adaptors can ensure a specific mapping. This is the genetic code: a fixed set of rules between nucleic acids and amino acids that are implemented by adaptors.

    In protein synthesis, in conclusion, we find all the three essential components of a code:
    (1) two independents worlds of molecules (nucleotides and amino acids),
    (2) a set of adaptors that create a mapping between them, and
    (3) the proof that the mapping is arbitrary because its rules can be changed.
    http://www.codebiology.org/index.html

  176. 176
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ Seversky
    That’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ub-sets-it-out-step-by-step/

    August, 2012. Developments in the following decade?

    1,432 comments!

  177. 177
    jerry says:

    Some characteristics of those who dispute ID

    Has any of those who object to ID here ever come to accept ID? Answer few or none.

    Has any of those who oppose ID provided any insight into any aspect of science? I’m not aware of any. I learned a lot about science on this site but little or nothing from any one who opposes ID. For example, Seversky has been commenting here over 13 years. What have we learned from him?

    Have any of those who dispute ID found any shortcomings in ID? Maybe a little but the corrections then have been accepted by ID. Something that those who criticize never do even though none can justify their beliefs.

    Has anyone who denies ID ever actually framed what ID believes as part of their denial? No, they avoid it like the plague.

    Yet, pro ID adherents have spent literally hundreds of thousands comments repeating the same arguments. There has been over 750,000 comments since this site started.

    Now using Einstein’s definition of insanity, who is insane?

  178. 178
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    August, 2012. Developments in the following decade?

    It’s been confirmed. Any developments on the Stonehenge front? Nope, still artificial.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    JHolo says:

    KF: Have a look at echo chambers and their effects

    That is why I come to UD. It is full of people who are very vociferous on this site, where people who disagree are often banned, but who seldom comment on other sites where their views are not protected from criticism.

  181. 181
    ET says:

    Wrong again, JHolo. The “criticism” usually amounts to nothing more than whining.

  182. 182
    JHolo says:

    ET: Wrong again, JHolo. The “criticism” usually amounts to nothing more than whining.

    Perhaps you are correct. Could you point me to other sites where you post comments? It would be interesting to see the reaction of people you disagree with on sites that favour their views.

  183. 183
    Silver Asiatic says:

    You were banned, Scamp because of your perverted commentary. Yes, other sites permit such things.

  184. 184
    asauber says:

    Oh no. Anyone but Scamp. 😉

    Andrew

  185. 185
    ET says:

    Evolutionists have banned me from their pages for exposing them as liars and equivocators.

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, I rarely say this, but you are a barefaced liar. Where, definition: to lie is to speak with disregard for truth in hope of profiting by what is said or suggested being taken as true. Intelligent design is an oppressed small research programme harrassed by powerful and connected ideologues. It has been much slandered and attacked. Someone, needs to stand up, and UD has been a place where standing up happens, one where responsible objection has been welcome for well over a decade. Unfortunately, in a spoiled brat, cultural marxist moment, there are also all too many trolls, who have stalked online and offline, including trying to threaten family. I know this as it has happened to me. It is time for you to do basic duty to truth, right reason, warrant, basic prudence and fairness. KF

    PS, Today, happens to be a day where I responded, right in this thread, to attempts to dismiss what should be uncontroversial facts, that D/RNA is a 4-state per base, smart polymer molecular nanotech information storage medium. One, that is used in the heart of the cell and stores coded information that inter alia expresses machine code forms of algorithms that when executed, assemble AA chains towards functional proteins.

    Several Nobel Prizes were won elucidating this.

    Import, language, text, goal directed stepwise procedure in the heart of the cell. And as history reports the past based on record in writing, this is the first text of record telling us a lot about the roots of life. But, a message that cuts across powerful, radical, secular humanist agendas that are seeking to utterly dominate our civilisation, agendas pushed by the utterly ruthless.

    In part, I chose to correct objections by citing what Wikipedia had to concede against known ideological interest. They confirm what I noted, and provided further information on how such properties are being exploited, up to being demonstrated as a digital memory medium, albeit one that is not currently commercially feasible.

    What was the reaction, including yours?

    Wilson, Arte of Rhetorique side stepping of highly material facts and evidence to continue a trollish campaign.

    You have negative credibility and we would be well advised to only take from you what is separately corroborated.

    When you can respond reasonably to evidence, then maybe there can be a more collegial discussion. But right now you are playing the troll.

    Stop it.

    PPS, Generally, people who have been banned here have been banned for cause of trollish or otherwise abusive conduct. Stop pretending to martyrdom in the cause of reason, today’s track record gives the lie to the sort of hyperskeptical, dirty rhetorical objectionism that we have seen far too much of.

    Stop it.

  187. 187
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Good words, KF

    UD has been a place where standing up happens, one where responsible objection has been welcome for well over a decade

    UD has been very tolerant of people who show lack of seriousness and no sincere interest in ID. There’s always the hope that such people can change their views — so they are given a chance. Anybody who has been banned has more than deserved it.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, part of the trollish game is to side track. Let us go back to what Wiki has had to concede about DNA and where that takes us, 150 on. Let’s see if the objectors can address substance. What does it mean when researchers use DNA as a general digital storage medium? KF

  189. 189
    Viola Lee says:

    Back at 148 (skipping all this afternoon’s posts), SA replied to me in respect to the discussion we had been having. He ended by writing,

    For a lot of people these are questions about “how God might have done it” – and it’s tied to philosophy and theology. It’s good to discuss it with people who have a respect for God, or at least who accept the ID inference.
    It’s impossible to discuss with people who have hatred of God or at least are opposed to ID in principle – as almost all atheists are.

    SA, do you consider me in the first category or the second category of people?

    Second, SA wrote, “For me it’s a problem with terminology. I don’t think the scenario there would normally be called “common descent”. It’s more rightly termed “common design”. Some people with an animosity towards the idea would call it “creationism”.

    I think we keep running into a problem whereby negative connotations are keeping us from using words properly.

    Common descent merely means that there has been an unbroken chain of biological connection via reproduction (of various sorts) for all of life. Whether that has elements of design in it or not is a separate matter, but I don’t think you can throw out the actual meaning of “common descent” just because you associate it with a materialistic metaphysic. There is no reason why one can’t believe both that common descent is true and that ID has been involved throughout. (Isn’t it true that Behe accepts common descent?)

    Also, I think it is accurate to call the ID scenarios we have been discussing versions of creationism because they posit that things are created somehow by a process that is beyond natural causes. I know creationism has a negative connotation for various reasons, but I don’t think that should prevent us from using the term. I know evangelical Christians who accept the scientific theory of evolution and consider themselves creationist because of the religious beliefs about how God is involved in every moment via natural processes. I don’t want to go off discussing that: I just want to emphasize that I think we should separate the connotations from the proper denotations. Hypotheses which posit the saltations of any sort as special acts of creation are creationist hypotheses.

    Last, you write, “I also think there would be a problem with the arbitrary nature of when/where the saltations arise – as needed. It would seem like an ad hoc explanation. As I often wonder, why not just have the intelligently designed origin as the complete organism being created de novo?”

    An interesting thing to say: I can imagine people less sympathetic to some aspects of ID than I am to reply that all of ID seems like ad hoc explanations.

    And your second statement is also interesting, as you offer a clear cut case of special creation of complete organisms as a possible ID explanation: the complete opposite of common descent. To contrast with that, I’ve offered the possible implementation of design as occurring at the quantum level.

    Earlier today, I disagreed with WJM that ID was a theory in an way equivalent to our the theory of gravity is a theory, and I mentioned the many experiments Newton did to illustrate and confirm his ideas when he first developed his ideas. Does anyone have any ideas about experiments or data that could be gathered that might help determine at what level ID events take place: quantum, genetic, molecular in a an organism, or complete organism, for instance. Can ID move from an inference toward really being a theory, or is establishing the inference the end point for ID?

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I challenge you to look at 150 on. KF

  191. 191
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, that is not a topic I am involved in discussing. I have no idea why you referred me to that post.

  192. 192
    kairosfocus says:

    Vl, that topic and the substance have direct bearing on the design inference and research programme, aka theory. It is also highly mathematical as theory of digital information and theory of computing are both deeply mathematical. Indeed, register transfer algebra/language is an extension of boolean algebra, Of course a powerful definition of computer architecture is the assembly language view of a computing entity. KF

  193. 193
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    SA, do you consider me in the first category or the second category of people?

    You are a respectful and serious person on that topic and have not shown hatred or ridicule towards God and believers – so I would consider you in the first category, at least among those it would be worthwhile to discuss theology with.

    There is no reason why one can’t believe both that common descent is true and that ID has been involved throughout.

    Yes, keeping in mind the distinction you offered between ID as a reality and ID as theory. For the theoretical view, we would need to see that there are no known natural causes for the effect.

    (Isn’t it true that Behe accepts common descent?)

    He has changed his view somewhat. In the 1990s he was fully an evolutionist, accepting common descent. But I think he has changed that and no longer accepts it.

    I know creationism has a negative connotation for various reasons, but I don’t think that should prevent us from using the term.

    I fully agree. The term creationism does not frighten or bother me at all. But we have ID opponents who think by putting the word creationism in with ID that it has destroyed the concept. So, they’ll say ID/Creationism – as if that is a critique.

    Hypotheses which posit the saltations of any sort as special acts of creation are creationist hypotheses.

    Yes, that’s right I fully agree. That’s also a very difficult point to bring to my theistic evolutionary friends. They tend to be very frightened and opposed to the label creationist, but I try to tell them (especially my fellow-Catholic friends) that if God is involved in the process somehow, creating, guiding or doing anything – that’s a creationist view.

    An interesting thing to say: I can imagine people less sympathetic to some aspects of ID than I am to reply that all of ID seems like ad hoc explanations.

    I don’t follow you here. ID is not ad hoc – it’s built on a solid foundation that can provide an analysis of anything in nature. Again, if there is no known natural cause and intelligence can simulate it, that’s evidence of design. How is that an ad hoc explanation? Whereas, if someone said that there’s an intelligent cause that changes species at the mutational level and then at a macro level – where’s the structure for that? I don’t see the parallel here.

    And your second statement is also interesting, as you offer a clear cut case of special creation of complete organisms as a possible ID explanation: the complete opposite of common descent.

    Again, you’re confusing things because you’re mixing an end-state reality with what ID is. We are having this discussion for the sake of generosity and interest. However, in reality, ID says nothing about special creation – as I explained. ID does not say that common descent is false. It does not say that one has to accept common descent. You’re conflating the two ideas. ID merely says that there is evidence of design. What one does with the ID inference there, is not the subject of this blog, strictly speaking.
    You have now said that “special creation as a possible ID explanation” – where not only did I never say such a thing, but that idea does not make sense. Again, it’s important to understand the precise explanation that ID offers and not extend beyond that to how ID is implemented, or whether common descent is true or false or what the designer is like. Those are not ID questions. They can be related to ID, but they’re an entirely different research topic.

    Does anyone have any ideas about experiments or data that could be gathered that might help determine at what level ID events take place: quantum, genetic, molecular in a an organism, or complete organism, for instance.

    How, where and by who the intelligent design events occur are not ID.

    ID has a specific topic: There is evidence of intelligent design in nature. You either accept that or not. If you don’t accept it, then talking about “how ID was implemented” doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you do accept it, then you accept ID. Period. What you want to do with that is your choice. You can take the ID inference into religion, philosophy or science. You can build on it in several academic disciplines. ID does not control or speak about that – again, it’s out of scope.

    Can ID move from an inference toward really being a theory, or is establishing the inference the end point for ID?

    A theory can drive an inference, as ID does. ID is a scientific project. Because we do not have direct, empirical evidence of the intelligent agent responsible for design, we cannot use scientific metrics for analysis. We can use philosophy or religion. But ID is a scientific project.
    If you’re struggling to accept the ID inference, then why not explore your questions on that?
    If you accept the ID inference, then why not propose your own views?
    Using the stated limits of ID as if that’s a criticism of ID doesn’t work. Every scientific project has its limitations. ID is not a religion or a worldview. It has a specific scope, and it needs to stay in that scope for the integrity of the project.

  194. 194
    Viola Lee says:

    re 189, to KF. I understand that one of the key sources of the design inference is the genetic code. What research program are you referring to?

  195. 195
    Viola Lee says:

    re 190, to SA. First, I’m glad I fall into the first category of people! 🙂

    You write, “However, in reality, ID says nothing about special creation – as I explained. ID does not say that common descent is false. It does not say that one has to accept common descent. You’re conflating the two ideas. ID merely says that there is evidence of design. What one does with the ID inference there, is not the subject of this blog, strictly speaking.

    You have now said that “special creation as a possible ID explanation” – where not only did I never say such a thing, but that idea does not make sense.”

    But at 52 you wrote, “ID points to some kind of creation act by an intelligent agent”, which is what prompted further discussion on my part because that seemed to invite discussion about the creation acts that would be involved in ID.

    But now you say, “Again, it’s important to understand the precise explanation that ID offers [ID merely says that there is evidence of design]and not extend beyond that to how ID is implemented, or whether common descent is true or false or what the designer is like. Those are not ID questions. They can be related to ID, but they’re an entirely different research topic.”

    If that all ID does, then I guess there is nothing more to discuss about ID. I am interested in those further research projects and how they relate to ID, but I gather that interest is more or less off limits as to being pertinent.

    But then you write, “ID is a scientific project. Because we do not have direct, empirical evidence of the intelligent agent responsible for design, we cannot use scientific metrics for analysis. We can use philosophy or religion. But ID is a scientific project.”

    This is confusing: what it seems to say is that design inference is science, but going beyond ID is philosophy or religion, and that further questions that might be considered scientific, like when did design happen, and how, etc. are not really ID questions. That is, as science, ID can go no further than the inference that design has occurred, and anything further is either philosophy/religion, or if scientific in nature, is not really part of ID.

    If this is the case, I have no further questions or comments about ID.

    Except I’m pretty sure there is no inherent conflict between ID and common descent, as I’ve been trying to explain.

  196. 196
    ET says:

    Intelligent Design is about the detection and study of design in nature. We obviously don’t even ask about the who, how, when or why until AFTER determining (intelligent) design exists. And once we make that determination it means that natural, materialistic processes have been eliminated. Reality now dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the ONLY possible way to make any scientific determination about the who, how, when and why, is by studying the design and all relevant evidence. The reason we study it is so we can understand it. And the only way we can hope to understand it is by studying it as a product of intelligent design. We want to understand it so that we can properly maintain and repair it.

    As groups are doing that anyone can feel free to try to discover the who. The how is obviously above our capabilities, so that gives us some insight into the who. The “when” depends on the “how”. As for the why, the authors of “the Privileged Planet” claim that the evidence points to a universe intelligently designed for (scientific) discovery.

    All it is going to take is to pry the dogmatic hands of materialism off of science.

  197. 197
    ET says:

    There isn’t any conflict between Intelligent Design and universal common descent. Dr. Behe claims that God guided it:

    [Eugenie] Scott refers to me as an intelligent design “creationist,” even though I clearly write in my book Darwin’s Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think “evolution occurred, but was guided by God.”- Dr Michael Behe

    And from “Intelligent Design 101”:

    Many assume that if common ancestry is true, then the only viable scientific position is Darwinian evolution- in which all organisms are descended from a common ancestor via random mutation and blind selection. Such an assumption is incorrect- Intelligent Design is not necessarily incompatible with common ancestry.– page 217 of “Intelligent Design 101”

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the same research programme that — despite slander, willful marginalisation and censorship — has produced a growing body of professional literature in two main branches. First, in cosmology, astrophysics and exoplanet studies. since 1953. Where Sir Fred Hoyle is a key pioneer. Second, on world of life issues. As, by now you should know. Also, there are many broader studies not explicitly or intentionally part of the programme that have bearing such as Venter’s work on molecular nanotech applied to life forms and the studies on DNA and extensions as memory devices above. Likewise, related fields such as engineering sciences, cryptanalysis, archaeology and forensics etc routinely use design inferences. The issue is not design inference it is that when it is extended to origins issues it cuts across a zealously guarded ideology imposed on science, evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers. As by now, you should be well aware of. Where, I cannot but note that you found a stop point rather than engaging what has had to be explicitly shown rather than taken on obvious import of the work done to establish that DNA stores genetic information including the protein assembly algorithms. KF

    PS, I forget to note that there are extensions of boolean algebra to multistate digital theory. Indeed in the 60’s the Russians actually issued a three state element computer. I have a book from Mir publishers on this topic, the Russians have been excellent thinkers. D/RNA is four state. Proteins back-code but are more about nanotech functionality based on polymer science.

  199. 199
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, I would mark a distinction as there is the usual slip-slide ambiguity. The Darwinist thesis is about universal common descent from a last universal common ancestor, a unicellular organism. There is what we may contrast as restricted common descent, RCD, such as circumpolar gulls or Galapagos finches, from which it is not legitimate to infer UCD. Of course, given the ideological a prioris, the FSCO/I islands of function challenge is routinely ignored and RCD is taken as evidence of UCD. Error of unfounded, question begging grand extrapolation. KF

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, yes, it is clear that there is resistance to evidence of universal common design, where ool studies and cell science should make it clear that the molecular nanotech of life uses machine code stored in D/RNA, and that this expresses both language and goal directed stepwise process. Both of these are for cause seen as strong signs of design. Similarly, we can point to the molecular nanotech process flow metabolic network. Where, we actually reach over to HISTORY here: studies of the past based on text, but instead of being dug out of a tell by literal spade work, this has been drawn out by investigations of the foundation of biological life, the living cell. By the turn of the 70’s in a less ideologically driven world, design would have been accepted as best explanation. The extension of that into history would have had to reckon with how language, code and algorithms are central to the cell, and how these are found in a cosmos fine tuned in ways that facilitate C-chem, aqueous medium terrestrial planet in circumstellar and galactic habitable zone life. Such would have profound impact on our worldviews and policy agendas. Which is the real problem, power and entrenched power classes with manifest deep ideologically driven hostilities, KF

  201. 201
    Sandy says:

    🙂 Common descent is from the beginning a materialist argument to evade from Designer inference so common descent and ID are incompatible with each other.
    Common descent was invented as a materialist surrogate for God when people believed that spontaneous generation is a reality . Nothing scientific here. When science found out that the assumption about spontaneous generation is false why they kept the conclussion of Common Descent ?
    To do real science you need morality therefore morality is a higher value than science . Morality doesn’t grow spontaneously on the ground is a component of religion that can justify it ( while materialistic framework can’t do that ).

  202. 202
    jerry says:

    There is a general lack of understanding of ID on this site by both sides. It has nothing to do with Evolution, common descent, OOL or codes in DNA etc.

    Most religious people believe that life in its origins and further manifestations happened naturally. So we have a large group who would seem to have vested interest in ID actually reject it.

    Why?

    Because they say it points to an inferior God. One who cannot get it right from the beginning and had to constantly tinker.

    So which is it? The all powerful God or the tinkering ID creator that’s powerful but not that powerful?

    Is the answer, both? Are they different entities?

    ID has nothing to do with proving materialism wrong, because that may be the means the creator of the universe used. In #93 various options to explain common descent were laid out and in the very next comment they were ignored. Both sides ignore the obvious.

    So which is it, the all powerful creator or less powerful one that needs to tinker? But if they are the same, why?

    I once laid out a general scenario how the initial creation could lead to life as we know it. Maybe other initial conditions could have led to complex life? Do any of the religious people here supporting ID believe their God could not have done it this way? Or is this God limited?

    Maybe we should read Denton’s book and then discuss.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, See the resources tab. KF

    PS, I clip:

    ID DEFINITION [–> yes, it is an actual menu item]

    http://intelligentdesignnetwork.org/

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds

    [–> key, evidence backed postulate, cf those of Newtonian dynamics and special then general relativity, thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics, postulational cores can be brief but sweeping in impact]

    that

    [First, Evidence-backed Programmatic Postulate] certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained [–> explicit reference to logic of abductive reasoning] by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

    ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

    In a broader sense,

    [2nd, Operational Postulate]Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose.

    Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

    [3rd, Empirical Warrant/Point of test or potential falsification postulate:] An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

    ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence. ID proponents believe science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings. This is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and thus very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that unavoidably impacts religion.

    Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the “messages,” and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation. Other evidence challenges the adequacy of natural or material causes to explain both the origin and diversity of life.

    GLOSSARY:

    Intelligence – Wikipedia aptly and succinctly defines: “capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.”

    Information — Wikipedia, with some reorganization, is apt: “ . . that which would be communicated by a message if it were sent from a sender to a receiver capable of understanding the message . . . . In terms of data, it can be defined as a collection of facts [i.e. as represented or sensed in some format] from which conclusions may be drawn [and on which decisions and actions may be taken].”

    Design — purposefully directed contingency. That is, the intelligent, creative manipulation of possible outcomes (and usually of objects, forces, materials, processes and trends) towards goals. (E.g. 1: writing a meaningful sentence or a functional computer program. E.g. 2: loading of a die to produce biased, often advantageous, outcomes. E.g. 3: the creation of a complex object such as a statue, or a stone arrow-head, or a computer, or a pocket knife.)

    Intelligent design [ID] – Dr William A Dembski, a leading design theorist, has defined ID as “the science that studies signs of intelligence.” That is,

    [4th, Designs and Signs Postulate:] as we ourselves instantiate [thus exemplify as opposed to “exhaust”], intelligent designers act into the world, and create artifacts. When such argents act, there are certain characteristics that commonly appear, and that – per massive experience — reliably mark such artifacts. It it therefore a reasonable and useful scientific project to study such signs and identify how we may credibly reliably infer from empirical sign to the signified causal factor: purposefully directed contingency or intelligent design.

    Among the signs of intelligence of current interest for research are: [a] FSCI — function-specifying complex information [e.g. blog posts in English text that take in more than 143 ASCII characters, and/or — as was highlighted by Yockey and Wickens by the mid-1980s — as a distinguishing marker of the macromolecules in the heart of cell-based life forms], or more broadly

    [b] CSI — complex, independently specified information [e.g. Mt Rushmore vs New Hampshire’s former Old Man of the mountain, or — as was highlighted by Orgel in 1973 — a distinguishing feature of the cell’s information-rich organized aperiodic macromolecules that are neither simply orderly like crystals nor random like chance-polymerized peptide chains], or

    [c] IC — multi-part functionality that relies on an irreducible core of mutually co-adapted, interacting components. [e.g. the hardware parts of a PC or more simply of a mousetrap; or – as was highlighted by Behe in the mid 1990’s — the bacterial flagellum and many other cell-based bodily features and functions.], or

    [d] “Oracular” active information – in some cases, e.g. many Genetic Algorithms, successful performance of a system traces to built-in information or organisation that guides algorithmicsearch processes and/or performance so that the system significantly outperforms random search. Such guidance may include oracles that, step by step, inform a search process that the iterations are “warmer/ colder” relative to a performance target zone. (A classic example is the Weasel phrase search program.) Also,

    [e] Complex, algorithmically active, coded information – the complex information used in systems and processes is symbolically coded in ways that are not preset by underlying physical or chemical forces, but by encoding and decoding dynamically inert but algorithmically active information that guides step by step execution sequences, i.e. algorithms. (For instance, in hard disk drives, the stored information in bits is coded based a conventional, symbolic assignment of the N/S poles, forces and fields involved, and is impressed and used algorithmically. The physics of forces and fields does not determine or control the bit-pattern of the information – or, the drive would be useless. Similarly, in DNA, the polymer chaining chemistry is effectively unrelated to the information stored in the sequence and reading frames of the A/ G/ C/ T side-groups. It is the coded genetic information in the successive three-letter D/RNA codons that is used by the cell’s molecular nano- machines in the step by step creation of proteins. Such DNA sets from observed living organisms starts at 100,000 – 500,000 four-state elements [200 k – 1 M bits], abundantly meriting the description: function- specifying, complex information, or FSCI.)

    The so-called misunderstandings reflect refusal to look at and take seriously a readily available reference and/or the Forrest-NSTA-ACLU-Wikipedia slanderous thesis that we are all liars, hiding the “true” bogeyman nature of ID.

    At this stage it is time to apply confession by projection, cognitive dissonance analysis. Those who habitually project ill-founded accusations or insinuations of dishonesty are revealing a lot about their own secrets of the heart.

    It’s not hard to see that ID is the science that studies signs of design, are they possible, are they actual, are they reliable: yes, yes, yes.

    They particularly appear in the fine tuning of the observed cosmos, in the architecture of cell based life, in the architecture of body plans. Indeed, we find the earliest texts in the living cell which speaks to chapter zero of world history.

    That’s the root problem, there are entrenched interests who do not want their preferred narrative corrected, never mind the force of the evidence.

    In the end, that will fail.

  204. 204
    ET says:

    Is there anyone here who accepts universal common descent AND knows of a testable mechanism capable of producing the diversity of life starting from some unknown populations of prokaryotes?

    And if not, then why do you accept such a claim?

  205. 205
    jerry says:

    That’s the root problem, there are entrenched interests who do not want their preferred narrative corrected, never mind the force of the evidence.

    Are the entrenched interests you are referring to

    Most religious people

    Atheists/agnostics.

    Yourself

  206. 206
    Viola Lee says:

    Lol!

    Or perhaps Jerry?

  207. 207
    Viola Lee says:

    We all have entrenched narratives, based on what we think is good evidence and good reasoning. Some people are more entrenched than others: any input from outside their narrative is seen as a threat that must be countered. Others are more open to listening to other narratives, at least with the intention of understanding them. And some are open enough that as they listen and question and examine their own narratives they make some adjustments in their thinking. However, very seldom does someone just switch from one narrative to another.

  208. 208
    ET says:

    I switched from Creation to evolutionism to Intelligent Design. My switch to evolutionism was based on a narrative. Then I realized that narratives aren’t science and that the only science to support evolutionism was found in genetic diseases and deformities. My switch to ID was based on science and evidence, not narratives. But I am very open to the possibility that someone may come along and demonstrate that nature is up to the task of producing life and its diversity.

  209. 209
    ET says:

    So, not even Viola Lee is going to step up and propose a testable mechanism for universal common descent? Really? Why does anyone accept the concept of universal common descent?

  210. 210
    jerry says:

    Or perhaps Jerry?

    Jerry is recommending that we all read Denton and discuss.

    Is Denton, my entrenched interest? His first chapter is entirely consistent with my questions in 199. So far not answered or even addressed.

    I have no idea where the rest of Denton’s book will go.

    Aside: I thought you were not responding to my comments because you thought I insulted you.

    Why does anyone accept the concept of universal common descent?

    In #93 it was pointed out that common descent of any kind is irrelevant to ID.

    Aside2: the information encoded in DNA and life is definitely there and massive. To ignore it is irresponsible. But to also say that it could not have been created by an all powerful creator in the initial conditions of the creation is also irresponsible. To say that this is the way it was done is also irresponsible as it may be missing something the all powerful creator wants to communicate with the design.

    Someone who says that it happened blindly by natural forces is disingenuous as the universe must have been extremely intricately designed if it happened that way.

  211. 211
    Sandy says:

    Jerry

    KF
    That’s the root problem, there are entrenched interests who do not want their preferred narrative corrected, never mind the force of the evidence.

    Are the entrenched interests you are referring to

    Most religious people

    Atheists/agnostics.

    Yourself

    I would love to learn from you the evidences that would show that Kairosfocus is bending the truth to reach a certain conclussion.
    You declared that but you didn’t bring evidences. Why?

  212. 212
    jerry says:

    You declared that but you didn’t bring evidences. Why?

    There is lots of logic presented.

    I am making the case for an all powerful creator, not just a tinkering one.

  213. 213
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    This is confusing: what it seems to say is that design inference is science, but going beyond ID is philosophy or religion, and that further questions that might be considered scientific, like when did design happen, and how, etc. are not really ID questions.

    Science is the study of material reality, laws, processes. Science is “materialist” in that sense. It’s empirical. It’s what we can experiment with in a lab, observe with telescope or microscope, etc.

    ET’s comment here should clear up your confusion:

    And once we make that determination [that there is intelligent design] it means that natural, materialistic processes have been eliminated.

    ID is a science project. Once materialistic processes have been eliminated, then you can’t use science.

  214. 214
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmmm. Still confusing. “Science is the study of material reality, laws, processes. Science is “materialist” in that sense. It’s empirical.” Also, “ID is a science project”

    That is, ID is a science project, part of the study of material reality, but what it does is determines that for some things science can’t actually be used. So you are using science to show where science doesn’t work?

    Thus, as you said earlier, at those points only philosophy or religion is applicable. True?

    So if one thinks that there is no materialistic way that, for instance, pre-hominids could have become human via common descent, and therefore conclude design, then someone’s religious belief that God created humans de novo and someone else’s philosophical belief that the Tao, working through quantum events, designed every mutation necessary for the common descent transition from pre-hominids to humans are equally outside of the scope of further scientific investigation. That is, once we infer design for a particular item, any further questions are basically answered by “we cant know any more scientifically: all we can do is offer philosophy or religion.”

    Is this an accurate statement as to what you are saying?

  215. 215
    jerry says:

          ID is Science+

    Does anyone disagree?

  216. 216
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    Still confusing. “Science is the study of material reality, laws, processes. Science is “materialist” in that sense. It’s empirical.”

    Are you disagreeing with that, or confused about it?

    Also, “ID is a science project”

    Yes, ID studies material reality and observes that which intelligence is the best explanation for the cause.

    So if one thinks that there is no materialistic way that, for instance, pre-hominids could have become human via common descent, and therefore conclude design, then someone’s religious belief that God created humans de novo and someone else’s philosophical belief that the Tao, working through quantum events, designed every mutation necessary for the common descent transition from pre-hominids to humans are equally outside of the scope of further scientific investigation.

    Well, you could come up with your own idea of what science is. But if you accept the definition given above, that science studies material/natural reality – then do you think science could analyze the nature of God?

  217. 217
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, my first paragraph at 211 was just quoting you, and the rest of the post was trying to explain what I’m confused about, or am at least trying to clarify.

    And no, of course I don’t think science can study God.

    But you didn’t address my key question.

    Is it accurate to say that you are saying that once design is inferred about something, no further science about that subject can be done: only philosophy or religion, which are outside the scope of science.

  218. 218
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    once design is inferred about something, no further science about that subject can be done: only philosophy or religion, which are outside the scope of science

    Once design is inferred, ID has completed its task. ID does not go farther. If science is confined to natural, materialistic, known, physical causes – and if those causes are eliminated in the inference to intelligence – then any science that studies only natural, materialistic, known, physical causes cannot be the right tool to use after the ID inference is established.
    At the same time, I don’t control the definition and scope of science. There are theoretical physicists who claim to “study” a multiverse scenario, which by definition is outside the scope of natural, materialistic, known causes. So, someone could use science to try to analyze who or what the designer is. I’d consider that a mistake but I’m not the boss of science, and nobody is going to care what I think anyway.
    So, what people do after the ID inference is reached is up to them. They can call it what they want – science, physics, religion, philosophy. I don’t really care that much what they do. If they can recognize that there is an intelligent cause in nature – then they have to pursue it through whatever means they have or want to use. I have my religious views that I would wish to give to anyone who would want to listen, but I can’t do that in a science blog.
    So, I would think that if material causes are eliminated (as they would be with the ID inference), then one wouldn’t want to keep studying material causes to get direct information about the designer. We would need to know the source of the intelligence and that cannot be a materialistic source.
    But one could continue to study nature to try to determine how the designer did things. This would assume knowing something about the nature, power, intention (or non-intention), scope, characteristics of the designer. Or one could use nature to understand those things (as Aristotle did). Usually we call that philosophy – understanding the attributes of God by analysis of nature. But someone could call it science or whatever.
    The key point is that ID stops at the inference of design. IDists have different opinions about what happens after that. My opinion is just one of many.

  219. 219
    jerry says:

    once design is inferred about something, no further science about that subject can be done

    Not true.

    We suspect there is no natural way for proteins to evolve. But there is a way to prove this using typical science experiments. See #3.

    There is also other questions about how proteins work with each other and what species have this relationship.

  220. 220
    Querius says:

    Jerry @212,

    ID is Science+
    Does anyone disagree?

    Yes, I disagree.

    ID studies causal relationships in biology with the assumption of purpose while the Darwinian paradigm studies causal relationships with the assumption of random changes, junk, and vestiges of evolution.

    So far, the ID paradigm, which takes no position on the source of the ID, has been shown to be pragmatically superior to the Darwinian paradigm in that scientific progress would not have been hindered by the assumption of huge gaps in the fossil record, junk DNA, vestigial organs, and living fossils to name a few examples.

    Darwinism is Science + science fiction stories that include the “words” MIGHTA, COULDA, SHOULDA, and MUSTA.

    Anyone disagree?

    -Q

  221. 221
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I have always thought ID was just science. If it requires a + of anything else, then people would have to buy-into the + and not just use plain-old science to understand it.

  222. 222
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I said:

    “I don’t really care that much what they do. If they can recognize that there is an intelligent cause in nature – then they have to pursue it through whatever means they have or want to use.”

    I mean, theoretically I don’t care what people call things or how they pursue the matter – but personally I would wish everyone to learn and accept my philosophical and religious understanding, because I think my views are correct and true. I also think I have a responsibility to help people find those truths where there is a willingness to hear my arguments, etc. So, I’m not careless about what people do or think after ID. Getting the ID inference is not the only important truth that people need in life.

  223. 223
    jerry says:

    ID studies causal relationships in biology with the assumption of purpose

    No.

    It will examine everything and find some deserve a conclusion that intelligence is the likely cause. That is why it is

    Science+

    The + is logic. Science as its practiced in nearly every university on the planet will not do this.

    have always thought ID was just science

    If you include intelligence as one of the potential conclusions.

    ID uses traditional science but extends the possible conclusions based on logic. In cosmology it may get into motivations based on the nature of the design.

    This also has a role on Earth with the water transport system called clouds.

  224. 224
    Silver Asiatic says:

    We can observe, scientifically, the difference between an intelligent design and a naturally caused design. We know there are different kinds of intelligence, via science (mammal, bird, insect). We observe things in nature, by science – eliminate natural causes, by science, and infer an intelligent cause, by science.
    So I don’t see it as anything else than ordinary science.
    In fact, that’s the whole point of ID. Nobody needs any additional belief-system than the same science that evolutionists use, to arrive at the ID conclusion. Otherwise, you’d have to convince people to accept “the ID version of explanation” first and not just use ordinary science.

  225. 225
    Viola Lee says:

    re 215, to SA

    You write, “Once design is inferred, ID has completed its task. ID does not go farther. If science is confined to natural, materialistic, known, physical causes – and if those causes are eliminated in the inference to intelligence – then any science that studies only natural, materialistic, known, physical causes cannot be the right tool to use after the ID inference is established.

    So I do understand you correctly.

    I also understand that this is your opinion, and that you can’t and don’t speak for either science or all ID advocates. But it is our opinion I’ve been trying to understand, so now at least I understand what one person thinks.

    You write, “So, I would think that if material causes are eliminated (as they would be with the ID inference), then one wouldn’t want to keep studying material causes to get direct information about the designer.”

    I haven’t been inquiring about “who the designer is”. I’ve been inquiring/speculating on where, when, and how design is manifested in the world. That’s different.

    I can think of further questions, but I think I understand enough about your position to bring the discussion to a close.

  226. 226
    jerry says:

    So I don’t see it as anything else than ordinary science

    Let me know where you find ordinary science using the Explanatory Filter or anything similar.

  227. 227
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I’ve been inquiring/speculating on where, when, and how design is manifested in the world.

    Well, you could catalogue areas where design is discovered and try to build some kind of scientific theory on that. As for when design is implemented, I can’t see that as testable. Maybe there’s some way to pin point when a design action occurred. As for how design is implemented, I think that requires knowledge of the designer.

  228. 228
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Let me know where you find ordinary science using the Explanatory Filter or anything similar.

    The principles are used in forensic science, data security, SETI, archeology. It’s a mechanism for determining a threshold for probability of design. Nothing more than ordinary science is required. It doesn’t require a different philosophical or theological view.

    Is Dembski’s Explanatory Filter the Most Widely Used Theory Ever?
    https://mindmatters.ai/2020/08/is-dembskis-explanatory-filter-the-most-widely-used-theory-ever/
    It turns out, Dembski’s filter is the bedrock of our modern information technology.

  229. 229
    jerry says:

    It doesn’t require a different philosophical or theological view.

    Dembski said

    I think the Explanatory Filter ranks among the most brilliant inventions of all time (right up there with sliced bread)

    I feel like I’m responding to a typical anti ID commenter.

  230. 230
    Fred Hickson says:

    Silver Asiatic

    Once design is inferred, ID has completed its task. ID does not go farther.

    But evolution designs. I’m not seeing what ID is adding to that fact. Design isn’t in dispute. It happens.

  231. 231
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry, careful!

  232. 232
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    But evolution designs.

    You are equivocating, Fred. Evolution BY MEANS OF BLIND and MINDLESS processes, such as natural selection and drift, only “designs” genetic diseases and deformities. Evolution by means of telic processes, ie intelligent design, is exemplified by the designing power of genetic algorithms.

    That you refuse to understand the basics of what ID is just further proves that you are not here for an honest discussion.

  233. 233
    ET says:

    People need to realize that science was once saw as a tool for understanding God’s Creation. Intelligent Design sees science as a tool for understanding (intelligent) design in nature, including nature itself. ID doesn’t say that everything was intelligently designed. Accidents happen.

    “Once specified complexity tells us that something is designed, there is nothing to stop us from inquiring into its production. A design inference therefore does not avoid the problem of how a designing intelligence might have produced an object. It simply makes it a separate question.” Wm. Dembski- pg 112 of No Free Lunch

  234. 234
    ET says:

    Mike Gene once offered the following insight:

    “What is Intelligent Design? If you ask a critic, he will probably tell you that ID is a disguised version of Creationism and nothing more than a Trojan Horse to get God taught in the public schools. If you ask a typical proponent of ID, he will probably tell you that ID is the best explanation for various biotic phenomena.

    For me, ID begins exactly as William Dembski said it begins – with a question”:

    Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?

    “The first thing to note about the question is that you don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist to ask it. You don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist to consider it. In fact, you don’t even have to be a religious fundamentalist to answer it.”

  235. 235
    Viola Lee says:

    re 230:

    Dembski quote: “Once specified complexity tells us that something is designed, there is nothing to stop us from inquiring into its production. A design inference therefore does not avoid the problem of how a designing intelligence might have produced an object. It simply makes it a separate question.”

    Well, good, because that’s the kind of thing I’m interested in. SA seemed to think that we couldn’t scientifically “inquire into production”: we had to move to philosophy or religion. Dembski is not clear whether that is his view or not. However, I don’t think Dembski himself did much to answer those further questions, did he?

    And I haven’t heard the name Mike Gene for a long time!

  236. 236
    ET says:

    Viola Lee- you didn’t understand what SA said. He said that once intelligent design is determined to exist, we cannot use science as it currently exists to examine the design. Science as it currently exists won’t allow you to examine a telic origin for life or biological systems.

    And I have archived a few of Mike’s gems. 😉

  237. 237
    Viola Lee says:

    I understand what you are saying, ET, but I don’t think that is what SA was saying. But no need to unravel this any further.

    I also have some Mike Gene stuff saved, from long ago. He was different from other ID people at the time. Some people thought he was Behe, but I never believed that.

  238. 238
    JVL says:

    ET: Intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?

    A perfectly reasonable question. And, for some well understood processes like fire propagation, creating buildings and pottery and tools and weapons it’s pretty easy to determine the status of most things in question. With archaeology in particular looking for signs of ‘work’ are the start when an origin is in question. Let’s be clear, this does not come up very often. Most archaeology is working with well-known and well-understood processes and structures. Deciding a stain in the soil is a post-hole instead of a natural object is not as tricky as it sounds. And even if one particular spot is ambiguous a building would have many post-holes so there would be rectangular or oval pattern that can be discovered.

    But, when all the possible natural processes are not well known or completely spelled out then it get trickier. Which is why evolutionary theory draws on multiple lines of suggestive evidence all of which are consistent with the unifying and coherent theory. That’s the way Darwin reasoned: it wasn’t just the fossils or the morphology or the bio-geographic distributions it was the combination. Adding the documented experience of breeders working with naturally arising variations in a population he came to the difficult, at the time, conclusion that there was no need for an intelligent designer when accounting for the variety of life extant and observed via fossils and inferred. There was a simple and clear unifying explanation: reproduction created variation some of which had a greater chance of passing on their characteristics (Darwin knowing nothing about genetics but he did know about inherited characteristic) because they had some qualities which gave them an advantage meaning more of their offspring survived. It would depend on the local conditions which is why different adaptations are prevalent in different zones. Some variation died in the womb, some died shortly after birth, some weren’t fast enough to evade their predators and got eaten, etc. But some were just a bit quicker, just a bit better at finding and digesting kinds of food, had larger broods and those variations got their characteristics into the next generation in larger numbers. This is not ‘dumb luck’, it’s the environment favouring those better able to exploit the local conditions.

    In the last 150 years there have been no major challenges to this basic, simple, clear idea despite our much greater understanding of the biological and chemical processes involved. Also we now know of other ‘selection’ processes which contribute. It doesn’t mean we can predict or dictate who wins and who looses, real life situations are complicated and messy, but the general principle seems pretty clear and solid. A simple, clear, objective explanation which requires no assumption of unknown identities or processes.

    So, it’s okay to ask if there is any evidence of intelligent design. But make sure you consider all the evidence and explanations when deciding what the ‘best’ explanation is. And make sure you have a clear definition of ‘best’.

  239. 239
    ET says:

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. The only predictions borne from evolution by means of blind and mindless processes are genetic diseases and deformities.

    And without intelligent design all you have is sheer dumb luck- INCLUDING THIS PLANET and life itself. You still don’t understand natural selection.

    The fittest organism in any population is still the same type of organism as all the rest. The fittest bacteria are still bacteria. The fittest fruit flies are still fruit flies. Never mind the fact that only desperation and imagination has blind and mindless processes producing all of the requirements for the process of developmental biology.

    There is plenty of evidence for Intelligent Design. It has been explained to you.

  240. 240
    JVL says:

    ET: Science as it currently exists won’t allow you to examine a telic origin for life or biological systems.

    So, how do you examine a telic origin of life?

  241. 241
    JVL says:

    ET: The fittest organism in any population is still the same type of organism as all the rest. The fittest bacteria are still bacteria. The fittest fruit flies are still fruit flies.

    Some of the bacteria are able to digest more things, some of the fruit flies fly a bit faster or have larger broods.

    No one is saying that change is rapid. Even directed breeding takes generations. You may never actually notice that the rotation of the Earth is changing or that the continents are drifting but that doesn’t mean those things are not happening.

  242. 242
    asauber says:

    But many, many, many generations of puddles!

    Andrew

    PS or something

  243. 243
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    I understand what you are saying, ET, but I don’t think that is what SA was saying.

    No – ET was correct. That’s what I was saying. Science as it currently exists does not permit the analysis of teleology in the origin of life.
    The science that ID uses is the same science that materialists use.

  244. 244
    JVL says:

    Silver Asiatic: Science as it currently exists does not permit the analysis of teleology in the origin of life.

    So . . . how do you analyse the possibility of teleology in the origin of life?

  245. 245
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Dembski quote: “Once specified complexity tells us that something is designed, there is nothing to stop us from inquiring into its production. A design inference therefore does not avoid the problem of how a designing intelligence might have produced an object. It simply makes it a separate question.”

    As he says, “it’s a separate question”. The design inference is ID. As I said, nothing stops you from inquiring about the production of the design. You can use science or whatever you want.

  246. 246
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    No one is saying that change is rapid. Even directed breeding takes generations.

    Imagination is working.Too bad the imagination is not science.

  247. 247
    asauber says:

    “No one is saying that change is rapid.”

    JVL,

    How can anyone take you seriously with vapidity like this?

    Andrew

  248. 248
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    So . . . how do you analyse the possibility of teleology in the origin of life?

    As stated, science as it currently exists does not permit that kind of analysis.
    The study of teleology in nature is a rational process. So “how” we do it is looking at analogous effects, differentials, universality, the nature of the causes, nature of functions.
    We apply a rational process from the problem-statement through the data to inferences.

  249. 249
    Viola Lee says:

    SA, you write, “Science as it currently exists does not permit the analysis of teleology in the origin of life. … As I said, nothing stops you from inquiring about the production of the design. You can use science or whatever you want….”

    Hmmm. That is not what I understood: my understanding was that you were saying that further investigations would move you into religion or philosophy, and not be amenable to science.

    But I”ll accept this wording if that better expresses your view, and let it go at that.

  250. 250
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    The experiments on bacteria, for example, however, represented 10,000 generations. So if we look at the effect of mutations on a species there’s not much to see there. Humans are said to have existed for 8,000 generations. So there’s not enough time for mutations to create what it is claimed they did.

  251. 251
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    That is not what I understood: my understanding was that you were saying that further investigations would move you into religion or philosophy, and not be amenable to science.

    It depends on what you mean by science? I’m not sure where you’re going with this.
    First of all, as I said – nobody owns the definition of what the term “science” refers to. Wikipedia calls ID “pseudo-science”. Jerry here says ID is “science+”. I say ID is ordinary science.
    Materialists say that science is part of the materialist toolkit. Do you think materialism can study teleology in nature?
    You appear to be looking for some kind of gotcha or entrapment here.
    Science is not a religious dogma that you’re forbidden to violate. If you think you can study immaterial entities with science, you’re free to try that. Nobody is going to stop you. Whether something is amenable to science or not is irrelevant.
    Whether we call ID science, pseudo-science, science + , creationism or religion is irrelevant.
    The label we put on it does not change what the design project indicates – the design inference.
    The label does not change the truth of what we see. The labels also do not change the limits of what ID has established for itself. ID is not the science of oceanography. It’s not psychology. ID has some limits, as do other branches of knowledge. That seems to bother you for some reason.
    So, why are you so concerned about this?

  252. 252
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    🙂 SA, Geneticists can’t even start a single experiment without teleology. Science is impossible without teleology(=to segregate few possibilities from the ocean of all possibilities).

  253. 253
    Silver Asiatic says:

    LCD

    True – but in this case we’re talking about the study of teleology in the origin of natural entities.

  254. 254
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    True – but in this case we’re talking about the study of teleology in the origin of natural entities.

    I don’t see the difference. Where is? A code come from a code and the origin of every code is a mind.

  255. 255
    Viola Lee says:

    SA writes, “You appear to be looking for some kind of gotcha or entrapment here.”

    I’m sorry and disappointed, that you think that. But I’ll bother you no more about all this.

  256. 256
    Silver Asiatic says:

    LCD

    When geneticists do an experiment, it requires teleology, as you correctly said. It means that the processes in the genome are ordered and directed to specific endpoints. Implied in that is that they were created for that purpose – they are designed. But materialist science does not pursue that part of the origin of what they study. They just accept (without question) that genes have telic behaviors, but they do not look at the origin of the genes as something purposeful. They can do their science by ignoring the origin of the genes, even though they rely on a design-based foundation of all they are observing. So there’s a difference between the study of the origin of the entity (and therefore the purpose from the beginning) and the on-going ordered, purposeful processes which are just accepted as “that’s the way nature is”.

    A code come from a code and the origin of every code is a mind.

    Yes, you and I know this, but that point is not necessary for materialists to do science.

  257. 257
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    But I’ll bother you no more about all this.

    What’s bothering me is repetitive questions, lack of transparency (on what is your point?) and what appears as a loaded-agenda that wants to drive the topic somewhere.
    Just say what you think. If you believe science should do something, then say it. If you think ID is wrong then say that also. But just spinning some questions on me without giving an idea of your intention or direction does not make for a productive conversation.

  258. 258
    Viola Lee says:

    My intention was to try to understand your views. An earlier intention was to try to understand the resistance to the idea of common descent, and to argue that common descent was not incompatible with ID. Another intention was to try to understand if there was more to ID than just making the inference that designs exists, a question to which I have gotten mixed answers. My “repetitive questions” were because I thought, and still think, that the explanations and answers being offered were not entirely consistent. I think all of these things are part of having a productive discussion. YMMV. But as I said, I won’t continue.

  259. 259
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    Yes, you and I know this, but that point is not necessary for materialists to do science.

    🙂 Well whenever you met them just refresh their memory : “Nonsense remains nonsense, even when talked by world-famous scientists.”(John C. Lennox)

  260. 260
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    My “repetitive questions” were because I thought, and still think, that the explanations and answers being offered were not entirely consistent.

    I thought you did a good job in restating previous answers as part of a follow up question. This enabled us to make progress (as I saw it) regarding special creation and common descent. However, in this latter discussion concepts are more ambiguous and definitions are unclear, so the same questions, using the same terminology can get answers that appear to be inconsistent. I think it’s important for you to take a role by defining what you mean by concepts, and when you disagree with an answer, explain why. A person will not know if you’re understanding the answer, otherwise, and may assume one thing while you’re thinking something entirely different. For example, I asked you what you mean by “science”. You could explain that, and what you think the limits of science are. I also asked why the limits of what you think science is, is important to you.
    I’ve stated that science cannot investigate the nature of God. You seemed ok with that. But why can’t science do such a thing? It depends on what we mean by science. Some people consider philosophy or theology, even, fields of scientific research. If so, why does this matter to you?
    My views on this are colored by the nature of the question and the understanding that I believe the questioner has. You have repeated an idea about science, as to whether it can or cannot investigate the nature or identify of the designer – or whatever you want science to do – but I already explained that mainstream science takes on activities that are patently absurd. So, what are we talking about? Lawrence Krauss who says he has scientific evidence that the universe started from nothing? Or Susskind who claims that a multiverse is accessible to scientific research?
    I don’t think you’ve acknowledged that there is no single, agreed-upon definition of science and what its scope should be. That’s why it’s difficult to make sweeping judgements about “what science can do”.

  261. 261
    ET says:

    JVL:

    So, how do you examine a telic origin of life?

    Start by getting rid of the dogma that rules science now. Then, by determining what it takes to be a living organism. There is research into a minimal genome for a minimalist bacteria.

  262. 262
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Some of the bacteria are able to digest more things, some of the fruit flies fly a bit faster or have larger broods.

    Bacteria will always be either bacteria or dead. Fruit flies will always be fruits flies or dead. That’s it.

  263. 263
    Querius says:

    So, has anyone actually looked into Lenski’s bacteria experiment? Apparently, the bacteria did NOT actually “evolve” the ability to metabolize citrate after all.

    So, the celebrations and parades by Darwinists who claim they finally got some evidence to support their 19th century racist theory were premature. The explanation is here:

    https://askjohnmackay.com/bacteria-evolution-lenskis-e-coli-experiment-bacteria-evove-information/

    -Q

  264. 264
    ET says:

    Yes, Q. E coli already had the ability to utilize citrate. It’s just that in an aerobic environment the gene that codes for the Cit transport protein isn’t expressed. So, in an aerobic environment the citrate on the outside didn’t have a way to the inside.

  265. 265
    Viola Lee says:

    The last lines of the report Q linked to:

    this experiment started with fully functional bacteria and seems to have produced degenerate mutants. Since this fits well into the Biblical history of the world, which tells us the living things were created as complete, fully functional organisms, but have lost functions as the world has degenerated due to human sin and God’s judgement, again we have to to disappoint dear Richard [Dawkins]. Rather than being evidence for evolution, the Lenski experiments are providing evidence for creation.

  266. 266
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @265,
    The author finds that the observation is compatible with his biblical world view rather than contradicting it as is commonly claimed. The Lenski experiments do indeed provide evidence for creation . . . or if you choose not to believe in God, saltation.

    In fact, the current secular narrative seems to be focusing on an extraterrestrial source of at least the building blocks of life.

    For example, here’s what NASA (not particularly known for a Christian orientation) released three years ago:
    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2019/sugars-in-meteorites/

    And there’s this:
    https://www.gaia.com/article/signs-life-meteorites

    And this:
    https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/did-meteorites-bring-lifes-phosphorus-to-earth/

    And this article published in 2022 also suggests there’s evidence for an extraterrestrial origin of life:
    https://www.pentictonherald.ca/life/article_f59f0592-d23f-11ec-8db6-33d6e996a335.html

    -Q

  267. 267
    ET says:

    Lenski’s experiment is used to defeat the longest running strawman. That of the fixity of species. But that is the fault of the terminology. In a Biblical Creation scenario, the original populations, the baramins, would also be the extant species, at that time. Now, they are gone, and all existing species would have descended via modification from them. Species to start and species to finish seems like a fixity of species. But that is only because of the top> down nature of Creation.

  268. 268
    Fred Hickson says:

    That you refuse to understand the basics of what ID is just further proves that you are not here for an honest discussion.

    I think we might have a severe case of projection here.

    Glancing through comments above, it appears there are several different ideas of what “Intelligent Design” is and should be.

    Some here agree with Behe that common descent is irrefutable, some agree with Demski that mathematical models preempt reality. Maybe some agree with Nelson that there is as yet no scientific, testable theory of “Intelligent Design”.

    And there is no argument against design. I don’t think anyone claims design doesn’t happen. The question is how it happens. Evolution is an attempt to explain the co-design of niche and organism. ID? Well, surely this is the site dedicated to providing the answer.

    What can ID do?

  269. 269
    Fred Hickson says:

    Querius:

    So, has anyone actually looked into Lenski’s bacteria experiment?

    I posted the link to Richard Lenski’s LTEE site. After thirty years, it is still going. At the very least, it debunks the idea of genetic entropy.

  270. 270
    Fred Hickson says:

    For Viola, Mike Gene’s website

    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/

  271. 271
    Fred Hickson says:

    Yes, Q. E coli already had the ability to utilize citrate. It’s just that in an aerobic environment the gene that codes for the Cit transport protein isn’t expressed. So, in an aerobic environment the citrate on the outside didn’t have a way to the inside.

    There are twelve separate lines of E. coli. Why aren’t they all digesting citrate aerobically? The citrate is there for all lines, the aerobic environment is there for all lines. Why is only one benefiting from the opportunity?

  272. 272
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    I think we might have a severe case of projection here.

    Nope, yours is a severe case of equivocation and bearing false witness. And you did it again!

    Some here agree with Behe that common descent is irrefutable, some agree with Demski that mathematical models preempt reality.

    So, you are stupid, also. Universal common descent remains untestable. And Dembski’s mathematical models preempt the nonsense that is materialism. Materialism doesn’t have anything to do with reality.

    Evolution is an attempt to explain the co-design of niche and organism.

    AGAIN, ID IS NOT ANTI-EVOLUTION. What is wrong with you?

    The only thing that evolution by means of blind and mindless processes can “design” are genetic diseases and deformities. So please stop being such an equivocating coward.

  273. 273
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    There are twelve separate lines of E. coli. Why aren’t they all digesting citrate aerobically? The citrate is there for all lines, the aerobic environment is there for all lines. Why is only one benefiting from the opportunity?

    Because only one found that answer. And the others are not going extinct so they must have found a different answer to the question. All the kids in a classroom are given the same instruction. And yet they all don’t put down the same answers on the test.

  274. 274
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    I posted the link to Richard Lenski’s LTEE site. After thirty years, it is still going. At the very least, it debunks the idea of genetic entropy.

    Genetic entropy only applies to a materialistic world. And the LTEE demonstrates the severe limits of evolutionary processes. After tens of thousands of generations no new proteins were formed. No new functional protein complexes were formed.

  275. 275
    Fred Hickson says:

    I see you are trying to have it both ways, ET. There are twelve lines. One evolved aerobic citrate metabolism, eleven haven’t so far. So which bit of the materialistic world is the single line in and which the other eleven?

  276. 276
    ET says:

    I see that you are still clueless, Fred. All lines had the ability to metabolize citrate. All 12 lines are still alive, Fred. Even the 11 that didn’t get the just-so gene duplication. Evolution by means of intelligent design counteracts genetic entropy.

    After tens of thousands of generations no new proteins were formed. No new functional protein complexes were formed.

  277. 277
    BobSinclair says:

    Fred

    Most of the comments above allude to things that are not considered controversial,(at least not by anyone serious) you’re inability to grasp this or you’re grad school comprehension and deflection tactics do nothing to illicit any further conversation.

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