Intelligent Design

Convergent Vestigial Structures BY DESIGN!

Spread the love

Here’s a new take on the problem of vestigiality from a colleague:

Here are two examples of a “convergent, vestigial structure” — It’s the Chrysler PT cruiser and the Chevy HHR. Two different families of car have converged onto the same “vestigial running board”:

Hey, design can converge and design can diminish.

20 Replies to “Convergent Vestigial Structures BY DESIGN!

  1. 1
    bFast says:

    This is a case of horizontal gene transfer if I’ve ever seen it! Like get real!

  2. 2
    JGuy says:

    Automimicry – I’d say.

    I’m using design detection. I’d say the similarity is more improbable, than convergence. πŸ˜‰

  3. 3
    bFast says:

    I’m betting that one of these two cars is poison. The other mimics it to convince its predators that it too is poison.

  4. 4
    eebrom says:

    The dogma of the carma is that emergence of convergence permits the practicality of vestigiality.

    IOW, “autogeny” decapitates phylogeny.

  5. 5
    nightlight says:

    The generalization of this argument is very powerful against neo-Darwinism (RM+NS) — any biological phenomena being pointed as a “proof” (or indicator) of underlying randomness or mechanical nature of evolution, which also has an analogue in technological, scientific, or cultural evolution cannot serve neo-Darwinian cause since we know that latter forms do have intelligent causes.

    In particular, when they point to any existent evolution (of any magnitude, including micro-evolution which ID proponents needlessly grant them) — that kind of phenomena proves absolutely nothing about the underlying nature of such transformations since technological and cultural evolution also go on all the time.

  6. 6
    russ says:

    “IΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ’β€žΒ’m betting that one of these two cars is poison. The other mimics it to convince its predators that it too is poison.” – bFast

    Actually, the gray one lives in an industrial area and parks next to sooty surfaces–invisible to predators. The blue one is extinct, since it didn’t adapt and stands out more clearly against the soot.

  7. 7
    ejruff says:

    OK, I figured it out! The keyword “convergent” means that one is marsupial and the other placental, but I can’t figure out which is which…

  8. 8
    ejruff says:

    Do you have other pictures with the hood or the hatch open so we can figure it out??

  9. 9
    bFast says:

    We rented a PT Cruiser once. I have a small boy named Joe, close enough to Joey. I kept putting him in and pulling him out of the back seat. Does that settle it?

  10. 10
    eebrom says:

    Re: #5

    Not really, I think, because we can “IDealize” any replica or model of anything putatively determined through common-descent process. IDcruisers always win because they were first;-)

    Obviously, the task of isolating pattern from event, or event from pattern by means of design detection, is not always trivial. Should the design contain chaotic elements the pattern may be too deep. But inferences, probabilities, estimates and the like give clues. A low probability of chance and law or their combination (chaos) would seem to point in the direction of design.

    Alternative explanations like magic or singularity are merely design using different spellings.

  11. 11
    late_model says:

    Yeah but who was the designer?

  12. 12
    tribune7 says:

    Yeah but who was the designer?

    It clearly wasn’t designed. You think a designer would ever make a device with wheels that go out of alignment?

  13. 13
    bFast says:

    If we don’t know who the designer is, we certainly cannot know that it was designed. If we cannot know that it was designed, then we can know for certain that it was not designed. End of story!

    (After all, if we were to consider that it was designed that would put an end to the story, and that would be no good.)

  14. 14
    nightlight says:

    To #10:
    > Not really, I think, because we can
    > “IDealize” any replica or model of
    > anything putatively determined through
    > common-descent process.

    I am not sure we are debating the same point. What I was saying is that typical neo-Darwinian will point at some observed process of phenotypic adaptation and declare (apparently since they didn’t simultaneously hear the voice of Charlton Heston thundering down from the skies ordering the adaptation to come into being) that the adaptation demonstrates RM+NS and refutes ID.

    The point I was making that such observation demonstrates nothing of the sort, no matter how small and “reducibly complex” the adaptation appears. Namely, if it were so, then observing any small or trivial innovation in technological or cultural realms would similarly have to imply that it was due to purposeless, random rearrangement of atoms and fields on the page or computer disk. Since we know that this is not the case and that there was a purposeful, intelligent agency (a human designer) behind those “reducibly complex” changes, the mere observation of an ongoing “micro-evolution” proves absolutely nothing about the presence or absence of purposeful, intelligent process or agency behind the change.

    That’s why I think that trotting out examples of “irreducible complexity” is in fact argument in favor of ND — it is a neo-Darwinian red herring since it is an implicit concession and acceptance of their chief sleight of hand, that the observation of micro-evolution represents a confirmation of their RM+NS mechanism. As argued above, it doesn’t, otherwise any trivial scientific or technological innovation would also be merely a result of purposeless, random and mechanical process (which we know is not the case), while the “important” innovations would be result of intelligent activity (which is an incoherent position to hold).

    Once you surrender on that point (such as micro-evolution), you have automatically lost the war, having painted yourself into a deistic corner, while leaving all the rest, the stuff that matters now and in the future (unless you want to defend the “unlawful” designer, the one who arbitrarily violates his own rules, abandoning thus any relevance for science), to the purposeless, blind mechanical laws and chance. Hence, the “irreducible complexity” arguments, even if you can uphold them unresolved indefinitely (which is the best IC position can do), thus “win” in your mind, undermine the ID position and strengthen neo-Darwinism, as Behe’s performance in the most recent public clashes illustrated. IC argument is a Trojan horse within the ID theory.

    Note that even within the classical (deterministic) physics, the intelligent agency can _lawfully_ influence the events (the “unlawful” agency is of no interest to science), not merely via the “initial conditions” but also via “boundary conditions”, there is no reason even within classical physics to corner oneself into a deistic corner (the “initial mover”) which is of no scientific relevance. Since our experiments and observations have no control, or any information at all, about the complete “boundary conditions” (such as those below the level of elementary particles), it is perfectly conceivable that an “intelligent agency” can be acting at all times, purposefully guiding the physical events at the level of our physical laws, including any biochemical & physical chain of events underlying the instances of micro-evolution.

    If we further account for the fact that our fundamental laws, the Quantum Field Theory (QFT), aren’t even deterministic but only probabilistic, there is an additional (beyond the “boundary conditions”) “control channel” for a purposeful intelligent agency to guide the events — the apparently arbitrary choice (as far as our present science knows) among the events allowed by QFT.

    Consider, for example, that there are as many orders of magnitude of scale between our “elementary particles” (10^-16 m) and us (1 m), as there are between Planckian scale objects (10^-33 m, the scale beyond which our space-time model may break down) and our elementary particles. Hence, there could be in principle a vast, intelligent “civilization”, with unimaginably advanced science and technology, with clocks running 10^16 times faster and containing 10^16 cubed, i.e. 10^50, times more “gears” to work with, than our own and entirely invisible to our present science and technology, residing entirely underneath our present “elementary” particles, guiding their motions and actions (which to us appear largely random). What to us appears as mere probabilistic events at the “elementary” particle level, constrained as far as we know only by the probabilistic laws of QFT, may be equivalents of vast intergalactic technological projects of the underlying intelligence (or distributed computational process). What to us appears as “fine tuning” of physical constants, may be result of vast computations and purposeful activity underneath our “elementary” particles and probabilistic physical laws.

    In short, our present scientific laws and observations do not exclude an ongoing actions of some unimaginably powerful underlying intelligence, purposefully guiding not merely the elementary physical events and “fine tuning” physical constants, but everything that happens at (bio)chemical, biological and social/cultural levels. Conceding to neo-Darwinians that our present physical laws and observations of micro-evolution somehow do exclude such possibility (of continued actions of underlying intelligence) automatically abandons any scientifically relevant form of intelligence, leaving to ID the realm of the irrelevant “initial mover” or of the “unlawful” designer (which is neither science nor of interest to science, hence scientifically irrelevant as well).

  15. 15
    eebrom says:


    Rats! That suggests I can’t trust the GPS in my IDcruiser:-(

    Don’t know the “chance-er” or the “necessity-er” so can’t know that my directions and locations are properly “chance-ed” and “necessity-ed”. Bummer.

  16. 16
    bFast says:

    eebrom, have no fear, your GPS has been tuned by deep time. By now it is surely accurate, +- 3.7 degrees 26% of the time. Right now it is really quite good at letting you know what state yo’re in. (It’ll assure that you are in the state of confusion.) Give it another millennia or two and it’ll become even more practical.

  17. 17
    eebrom says:

    Re: #16

    Nope, my IDcruiser can’t tune deep time (blind-time?); it uses cesium time, and accommodates both special and general relativistic corrections. You’re right about my confusion: how such a thing could infer design without me knowing who the designer is. Especially after attaching designer with design/pattern for so long, but not “chance-er” with chance, or “necessity-er” with necessity, the point being that all three explanations have attached probabilities. No? Nothing about who brings them about.

  18. 18
    eebrom says:

    Re: #14

    Thanks for your detailed response. Just to get a few points clearer…

    Are you saying that giving in to micro-evolution (presumably IC not needed, design or designer not really necessary) precludes finding insufficiency of chance and necessity in common descent? Does the way a process proceeds necessarily depend on the circumstances of its initiation? If IC is observed to rule out chance and law, is that not an inference to something other than chance and law?

  19. 19

    Four wheels, drive trains, bumpers, internal combustion piston engines – all automobiles have had these things since their phylum rose from the iron mines.

    What fool could not see this is common descent? And if common descent is evident, then most assuredly there is no need to appeal to some spurious “intelligent design”.

    One only needs to look at the fossil record to put this ID silliness to rest. What kind of malevolent intelligence would design a vehicle that was a catastrophic failure? Only a cruel and capricious one, to be sure. I cannot bring myself to believe such a designer would exist.

  20. 20
    umeshbilagi says:

    Intelligent Design & Vestigial Organs
    Dr Umesh R. Bilagi
    Associate Prof of Medicine
    KIMS Hubli

    Topic :-Vestigial organs not necessarily proof of evolution for Darwin

    I would postulate that it is possible to have a vestigial organ [ananatomical structure in organisms in a species, thought to have lost its original function through evolution] without the process of evolution. Let me illustrate this idea using an analogy drawn from popular computer software.

    Assuming, I have a reasonable amount of storage space on my computer hard disk, if I first create an unformmated document using Microsoft(MS) Word, and then a second MS Word document that I format very rigorously, I do so because I consider MS Word software to be the best option for my purposes, as opposed to using, say, the less sophisticated Notepad software, where little formatting of documents is possible.

    Now, if you argue that there is a vestigial structure to the first MS Word document (the capacity – in this case, unused – for formatting)and that this only became functional in the second document,ultimately concluding that the first document evolved from the second document, you would be incorrect, since I am the creator of both documents.

    Similarly, I would argue that vestigial organs do not necessarily confirm evolution; they only point to what tools – improvable overtime – the creator used while making the species. This same principle is seen even in electronic gadgets today.

    Most probably, such an explanation did not occur to Darwin given that, in his time, there were no common tools to carry out varied, complex,seemingly disconnected jobs. So he concluded that unless a creator planned to mislead us, vestigial organs should not have existed

    It is tendency of creators of to make some useful common tools, which can be used to carry out multiple jobs (or to make machines). so by virtue of this common tools (if tools get fitted into machines), vestigenesity will come up.

    Vestigial organs can be classified in to vertical & transverse ones

    Vertical ones are like appendix which are inherited from ancestor to next species

    Transverse one are in which one sex has functional capacity & in opposite sex it is vertiginous

    Vertiginous Male breast can be better explained tools of intelligent design than Darwin evolution now look at male nipple which are functional in female. Male & female have come much before mammals, so presence of male nipple in mammals can be explained by theory of tools of intelligent design better than Darwin evolution.

    I want answer few common questions, I came across from this link

    Why there is no perfect making from intelligent designer?
    It is unwise jump to conclusion that intelligent designer has to make things with perfection he makes things as per his wish, with his requirement, (like, life for humans for 100years)

    Why there are support systems (Immunity)in living beings? & it is foolish have them.
    Now regarding support system when we consider that we make good intelligent soft ware programmes, there are viruses which can attack them, for that we have (support system) antivirus Now donΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ’β€žΒ’t call software programmers foolish

    Common embryo genesis of both sexes?
    Male nipple points towards common embryo genesis i.e. common tools which I am mentioning

    Who created the creator?
    Now, answer for creation of creator. It is like asking what was there before big bang, Stephan Hawking will answer you that time began then & there no time before this event or even if it was, it has no effect on us. Answer for, who created creator, will come from birth of universe.

Leave a Reply