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Congrats Nick Matzke for Publishing ID Sympathetic Paper in Nature!

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Nick Matzke unwittingly gives more evidence for the claims of ID proponent John Sanford. Sanford argues that species and genomes are slowly dying, and this cannot be arrested by natural selection, even in principle.

Nick got his co-authored paper published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature. Here is Nick’s commentary at Pandas Thumb

Depending on the scenario, we reach a 75% “mass extinction” (for certain well-studied groups) within a few hundred to a few thousand years, if, as people say, “current rates continue.” This is a geological eyeblink.

But this implies our best field observations do not suggest natural selection is originating more species! In fact they are dying faster than they are being replaced.

One might argue humans are the cause of current extinction rates. Even granting that is true, it only goes to show nature is under no obligation to conform to the Darwinist view that nature inevitably generates more novelty than it destroys! In fact, Nick claims that we must resort to intelligently designed measures to stop the extinction rates, nature can’t seem to do it on its own, it needs the help of intelligent design!

Congrats to Nick for publishing a paper that suggests NS doesn’t work to create more species, but rather is helpless to replace the extinct ones with new ones. The only place where NS creates large numbers of new species is in the circularly reasoned interpretations of the fossil record. Direct field observation does not support the Darwinain view that undirected nature can generate highly functional biological novelty, in fact it seems undirected nature is very good at destroying it!

1. Biodiversity Health

Since the 1950s, species extinction rates have skyrocketed up to 1,000 times more than in past epochs and are only expected to rise in the next 50 years.

2. Sanfords Pro ID Thesis Supported by PNAS Paper, Read it and Weep, Literally

Professor Ken Miller also rejects ID because it’s bad science.
I don't think he knows what science is. Joseph
Matzke definitely cannot support his poition. And that is what really matters. Joseph
Matzke did not support intelligent design. H merely said that natural selection is no match for intelligent destruction. Al Kafir
Joseph, Professor Ken Miller also rejects ID because it's bad science. He's a publishing text book producing biologist so he probably knows much better than you! Not understanding the science behind a theory (such as evolutionary biology) is usually the cause of rejecting it and adopting a nonsense theory. As an aside, Ken Miller is a Christian because of the Big Bang, mainly because he doesn't understand it. The Big Bang infers nothing about the existence of a god, or the nature of the god, if there is one. bachfiend
But even supposing the species diversification happens after a mass extinction, it does not mean the mechanism is Darwinian (it could be mutational in the absence of selection, ref. Masotoshi Nei, Michael Lynch, Motoo Kumura).
Have any of these folks done any work directly relevant to speciation? Their neutral evolution work might be appropriate for allopatric speciation, but it would need a strong ecological context to explain why population became separated. Heinrich
We don't care about theological implications. And I also doubt Ken Miller is a practicing catholic. The way he lies ndmisrepresents ID he needs to go to confession on a daily basis. Joseph
I agree with lee ibis. This is the most bizarre interpretation of a scientific paper. Professor Ken Miller, practicing catholic and professor of biology at Brown University, rejects ID partially based on theological grounds. The geological strata are marked by the abrupt change of one set of species to another set of species, often markedly as with mass extinctions, or in a more minor fashion where the species are fairly similar. Ken Miller objects to ID because it means that God is allowing many species to go extinct and then to replace them with almost identical species. Not only a serial creator, but an INCOMPETENT serial creator. Have any of you ID proponents ever thought of the theological implications of your 'theory'? Sorry leenibus, the autospellchecker on an iPad is erratic. I can't correct your moniker. bachfiend
An increase in biological informational entropy (decay) is simply a given as a result of any kind of random process, just as any complex (or even trivial) computer program would rapidly be destroyed by such a process, even given error-detection-and-repair algorithms which cannot possibly detect and correct all conceivable random errors forever. Thus, the origin of biological information would seem to be a most unusual case of negentropy, outside of systems designed by intelligent engineers. GilDodgen
leenibus, Of course – that is the definition of a mass extinction! Are you remotely familiar with evidence for mass extinctions during Earth’s geologic past? The expansion and development of many new species takes place AFTER the lethal conditions causing the mass extinction are finished, not during the event.
Thank you for your comment. And yes I am aware of the mainstream views of dieversification after mass extinction. Are you aware of this excerpt from the foreword by Stephen Gould in David Raup's book:
Lyell encapsulated his philosophy in a doctrine later called "uniformitarianism"–a complex set of beliefs centered on the catechism that "the present is the key to the past." Lyell argued that the current range of natural processes, and their rates of action, would be sufficient, in principle, to account for the entire panoply of past causes in the full history of the earth and life. Lyell viewed this principle as a methodological reforme to eliminate fanciful (and quasi-theological) "catastrophic" causes and to render the full magnitude of past by the slow and steady accumulation of ordinary small changes (deposition and erosion grain by grain) extended over vast times. The idea sounds so sensible and right minded….And yet, from two different standpoints (theoretical and empirical), Lyell's credo makes little sense, and its status as dogma can only reflect our social and psychological preferences. …. In an overly Darwinian world of adaptation, gradual change, and improvement, extinction seemed, well, so negative–the ultimate failure, the flip side of evolution's "real" work, something to be acknowledge but not intensely discussed in polite company. Stephen J Gould Bad Genes or Bad Luck
and Raup himself:
The main question, to be visted again and again, is whether the billions of species that died in the geologic past died because they were less fit (bad genes) or merely because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time (bad luck). Do species struggle or gamble for survival? This leads to a question closer to home: Are we here because of a natural superiority (opposable thumbs, big brains, and so on), or are we just plain lucky? In other words, is the evolution of life a fair game, as the survival-of-the-fittest doctrine so strongly implies? David Raup Bad Genes or Bad Luck
But even supposing the species diversification happens after a mass extinction, it does not mean the mechanism is Darwinian (it could be mutational in the absence of selection, ref. Masotoshi Nei, Michael Lynch, Motoo Kumura). The fact of mass extinction does not given any support whatsoever that Darwinian mechanismS actually work in the way Darwin suggests. The mechanism of diversification may still be somewhat unknown. My point was direct empirical observation does not lend credence to Darwin's claims and as pointed out by some top Paleontologists, mass extinction on the whole is not favorable to the Darwinian view that nature is friendly to making new species to replace the old ones via Darwinian processes. Whatever created new species is still mysterious. It would seem, according to Raup's suggestion the fittest don't survive. Which leads to a peculiar problem. If Darwinists argue the fittest survive, isn't it a good thing the unfit are dying via mass extinction? :-) IS Nick is suggesting we arrest the good work NS is doing to eliminate inferior species? Darwinists say one thing and then act like creationists when trying to save "inferior" species. scordova
Congrats Scordova, on one of the most bizarre interpretations of a paper in Nature I have seen in while. Scordova: "But this implies our best field observations do not suggest natural selection is originating more species! In fact they are dying faster than they are being replaced." Of course - that is the definition of a mass extinction! Are you remotely familiar with evidence for mass extinctions during Earth’s geologic past? The expansion and development of many new species takes place AFTER the lethal conditions causing the mass extinction are finished, not during the event. Organisms are not madly producing new replacement species during the time that it takes for a meteor to explode, or during massive eruptions of flood basalts. As long as humans continue to wipe out species by killing them directly or by destroying their environment, the extinction is still going on. Hopefully we will eventually begin acting intelligently enough to halt the destruction. leenibus
From all I can gather from the ID blogs, John Sanford's work is significantly under appreciated by the ID community. I see three "nails" in the coffin of Darwinism. The first is the problem of the source of the massive amounts of information that have been injected into living systems over the course of evolutionary history. The second is the problem that a major modification to a complex system simply cannot be done one small step at a time if there is a requirement that the system continue to function after each step (irreducible complexity fits here). The third is Sanford's observation that the principles and discoveries of population genetics imply that the genome of each species is slowly deteriorating due to the accumulation of "near-neutral" mutations, and that this accumulation leads inevitably to species extinction. The unavoidable consequence of this is that Darwinian evolution is impossible because any new species that has evolved from an earlier one in a Darwinian fashion will inherit all of those near-neutral mutations, and so go extinct at roughly the same time as the parent species. If life began only once in the history of earth, then Sanford's observations imply that all living species would have become extinct billions of years ago and the earth would now be a completely dead planet. This, incidentally, also dooms any theory of common ancestry, or at least any such theory that denies the hand of an intelligent agent stepping in and cleaning up the genomes from time to time. Bruce David
Nick matzke:
Contrary to what creationists believe, evolutionary biologists don’t sit around in biology departments plotting to overthrow God and morality. We spend our time doing things like statistics and programming and specimen preparation and experimental manipulation and DNA sequencing and field observation, and then give and hear talks and discussions about this research.
Strange- one would think they would spend teir time trying to produce a testable hypothesis along with supporting evidence for their claims. Did they give up on that? Or was it a non-starter? Joseph
**they won't stay that way. Also... jonnyb, I looked over your site and I can already say for sure that we have a TON that we could work on! I've been looking for an IDer with a programming background for something... Well, I'll just email you when I get the chance about it. I'm currently set to publish three books on ID with an "emergent" publisher that is just beginning to orient itself (it's sole proprietor is already giving me the means to remain pseudonymous). There is one book I have in mind (outside the three for Janus) in particular that I may want to look into submitting a manuscript of for your consideration. Since it would help if someone had a programming background to understand it, and I'm especially glad to see you know a thing or two about Linux! I'll drop you an email soon with the details once I get the chance... Jeffrey Helix
Yes, and Sanford's prediction for the accumulation of 100 to 300 'slightly detrimental mutations' in the human genome per generation has been confirmed; This following study confirmed the detrimental mutation rate for humans, of 100 to 300 per generation, estimated by John Sanford in his book 'Genetic Entropy' in 2005: Human mutation rate revealed: August 2009 Every time human DNA is passed from one generation to the next it accumulates 100–200 new mutations, according to a DNA-sequencing analysis of the Y chromosome. (Of note: this number is derived after "compensatory mutations") http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090827/full/news.2009.864.html This 'slightly detrimental' mutation rate of 100 to 200 per generation is far greater than even what evolutionists agree is an acceptable mutation rate for an organism: Beyond A 'Speed Limit' On Mutations, Species Risk Extinction Excerpt: Shakhnovich's group found that for most organisms, including viruses and bacteria, an organism's rate of genome mutation must stay below 6 mutations per genome per generation to prevent the accumulation of too many potentially lethal changes in genetic material. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001172753.htm the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is overwhelming for scientists have already cited over 100,000 mutational disorders. Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design - Pg. 57 By John C. Avise Excerpt: "Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens." I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found: HGMD®: Now celebrating our 100,000 mutation milestone! http://www.biobase-international.com/pages/index.php?id=hgmddatabase I really question their use of the word 'celebrating'. It should be noted that any 'beneficial mutations would be hopelessly swamped in a ocean of slightly detrimental mutations, but even the supposed extremely rare beneficial mutations' are in fact found to be detrimental, case in point; Of Note: Recently new 'beneficial mutations' were found in Tibetans that have allowed them to survive in extremely high altitudes, with less oxygen. Yet once again the new 'beneficial mutations' are actually found to be 'slightly detrimental' because they in fact result in a limit on the red cell blood count for Tibetans: Tibetans Developed Genes to Help Them Adapt to Life at High Elevations - May 2010 Excerpt: "What's unique about Tibetans is they don't develop high red blood cells counts," http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100513143453.htm Yet high red blood cell counts are found to be good,, Extremely fit individuals may have higher values—significantly more red cells in their bodies and significantly more oxygen-carrying capacity—but still maintain normal hematocrit values. http://wiki.medpedia.com/Red_Blood_Cells ,,,Thus they were actually incorrect to imply that high red blood cell counts found in humans are detrimental,,, Thus this is clearly another example of a loss of overall functional information, and fitness, for the human genome. This following article goes into more detail and points out many other inconsistencies with the Tibetan mutations that evaporate any claim for evidence of a 'truly' beneficial mutation: Tibetans Evolved Altitude Tolerance in 3,000 Years? - July 2010 http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201007.htm#20100703a Moreover, neo-Darwinism presupposes that the 'beneficial mutations' which conferred the advantage for Tibetans to live at high altitudes was completely random, yet when looked at from the point of population genetics, the evidence gives every indication that the 'beneficial mutations' were not random at all but were in fact 'programmed' mutations: Another Darwinian “Prediction” Bites the Dust - PaV - August 2010 Excerpt: this means the probability of all three sites changing “at once” (6.25 X 10^-9)^2 = approx. 4 X 10^-17 specific bp change/ yr. IOW (In Other Words), for that size population, and this is a very reasonable guess for size, it would take almost twice the life of the universe for them to take place “at once”. Thus, the invocation of “randomness” in this whole process is pure nonsense. We’re dealing with some kind of programmed response if, in fact, “polygenic selection” is taking place. And, that, of course, means design. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/another-darwinian-prediction-bites-the-dust/#more-14516 As well, the slow accumulation of 'slightly detrimental mutations' in humans, that is 'slightly detrimental mutations' which are far below the power of natural selection to remove from our genomes, is revealed by this following fact: “When first cousins marry, their children have a reduction of life expectancy of nearly 10 years. Why is this? It is because inbreeding exposes the genetic mistakes within the genome (slightly detrimental recessive mutations) that have not yet had time to “come to the surface”. Inbreeding is like a sneak preview, or foreshadowing, of where we are going to be genetically as a whole as a species in the future. The reduced life expectancy of inbred children reflects the overall aging of the genome that has accumulated thus far, and reveals the hidden reservoir of genetic damage that have been accumulating in our genomes." Sanford; Genetic Entropy; page 147 bornagain77
John Sanford's book, "Genetic Entropy" was one of the books shipped to me once the IDEA Club I founded was approved. It took a few reads for it to sink in, but it definitely convinced me that front-loading had it's fair share of limits. More importantly it changed the way I think about neutral mutations; though they may not have any initial effects at the level of phenotype, the accumulating effects that follow generations later guarantee won't stay that way. Jeffrey Helix

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