Intelligent Design

Elizabeth Liddle’s Revisionism is Astonishingly Audacious!

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In a prior post I took Dr. Liddle (sorry for the misspelled name) to task for this statement:

“Darwinian hypotheses make testable predictions and ID hypotheses (so far) don’t.”

I responded that this was not true and noted that:

For years Darwinists touted “junk DNA” as not just any evidence but powerful, practically irrefutable evidence for the Darwinian hypothesis. ID proponents disagreed and argued that the evidence would ultimately demonstrate function.

Not only did both hypotheses make testable predictions, the Darwinist prediction turned out to be false and the ID prediction turned out to be confirmed

Liddle resonds:

Sorry Barry that that example simply does not work.

Darwinian theory would only predict unused sequences of DNA were it to be the case that unused sequences had no metabolic or other cost . . .

And I will be first in line to cite Darwinian hypotheses that have been falsified. But not the “junk DNA” hypothesis.

Nor will I accept that “no junk DNA” was a positive prediction of ID. It is neither positive, nor is it a prediction.

Dr. Liddle, have you no shame? All I can say is your revisionist history is stunning in its scope and audacity.

Whole books were written by ID proponents about the Darwinist myth of junk DNA. See here.

The ID position has now been largely vindicated and the Darwinist position debunked.

You know that. Therefore, I simply cannot imagine that you assert to the contrary in good faith. If I did not know better, charity would demand that I ascribe your statements to near invincible ignorance. Sadly, that option is not open to me. Therefore, I can only conclude that you are willfully and mendaciously misrepresenting the record.

You made a false statement in the prior post. I posted a second post calling you out. Instead of conceding or retracting you doubled down. Will you double down again or will you retract?

 

128 Replies to “Elizabeth Liddle’s Revisionism is Astonishingly Audacious!

  1. 1
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    If “revisionist” means “disagreeing with Wells,” then yes, but not otherwise.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    No, KN. Revisionism means this:

    Darwinists for decades: “Junk DNA is powerful evidence for Darwinism.”

    ID Proponents (including but not limited to Wells) in response: “No, you’re wrong. Your argument is an argument from ignorance. The fact that we have not found function does not mean it won’t be found, and we predict that it will.”

    Darwinists: “Shut up! Theocratic cranks like you should go sit in the corner.” HT to UB

    TIME PASSES

    The facts as we now know them: The Darwinists were wrong all of those years. The concept of “junk DNA” was in fact a myth.

    Liddle’s Revisionism:
    No one ever said that Darwinism predicted junk DNA.
    ID proponents never predicted junk DNA would be debunked.

    As I said, astonishing in its audacity really.

  3. 3

    Barry, can you cite a scientific paper that makes a prediction, derived from Darwinian theory, that large parts of the genome will be non-functional?

    Can you also find an ID paper that predicts that all DNA will be functional?

    Can you also find any paper that shows that all DNA is functional?

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Elizabeth Liddle doubles down yet again. She is no longer with us.

    BTW, anyone who wants to can link to Well’s book in the OP and see the documentary evidence.

  5. 5
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Lizzie’s been banned for asking questions? You have got to me kidding me!

    UD Editors: No, she has been banned for the reasons I have stated, and you know it.

  6. 6
    equate65 says:

    BA, I wouldn’t ban her, just put forth the case for ID regarding Junk DNA and let people make up their own mind on the matter. I would also ask EL if there are any scientific papers, in which Darwinism predicts more function?

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    I think this is silly and very counter prouctive. Just let Elizabeth’s opinions hang out there and then refute them. I will purchase the Kindle edition of Wells book as soon as I find my Kindle. It is always nice to cite facts but it is more to read.

    I personally believe the junk DNA thing is a red herring. The real issues lie elsewhere. It is important to investigate all the genome for possible function including the germinating pool for new proteins.

  8. 8
    equate65 says:

    F/N:

    Again, I don’t believe ID was arguing against scientific papers on Darwinism predicting Junk DNA. It was in counter to some evolutionary theorists of Darwinism, that Junk DNA is *expected* and therefore used as evidence against ID.

    Again, Mattick & Dinger sum it up quite well:

    Excerpt: ” the argument of a largely non-functional genome is invoked by some evolutionary theorists in the debate against the proposition of intelligent design of life on earth, particularly with respect to the origin of humanity. In essence, the argument posits that the presence of non-protein-coding or so-called ‘junk DNA’ that comprises 90% of the human genome is evidence for the accumulation of evolutionary debris by blind Darwinian evolution, and argues against intelligent design. Finally, we suggest that resistance to these (ENCODE) findings is further motivated in some quarters by the use of the dubious concept of junk DNA as evidence against intelligent design.”

    http://www.thehugojournal.com/…..66-7-2.pdf

  9. 9
    equate65 says:

    Repaired link on Mattick/Dinger

    http://www.thehugojournal.com/.....6-7-2.pdf?

  10. 10
    Barry Arrington says:

    Good stuff equate: From the article you cite:

    There may also be another factor motivating the Graur
    et al. and related articles (van Bakel et al. 2010; Scanlan
    2012), which is suggested by the sources and selection of
    quotations used at the beginning of the article, as well as
    in the use of the phrase “evolution-free gospel” in its
    title (Graur et al. 2013): the argument of a largely nonfunctional
    genome is invoked by some evolutionary theorists
    in the debate against the proposition of intelligent
    design of life on earth, particularly with respect to the
    origin of humanity. In essence, the argument posits that
    the presence of non-protein-coding or so-called ‘junk
    DNA’ that comprises >90% of the human genome is evidence
    for the accumulation of evolutionary debris by
    blind Darwinian evolution, and argues against intelligent
    design, as an intelligent designer would presumably not
    fill the human genetic instruction set with meaningless
    information (Dawkins 1986; Collins 2006). This argument
    is threatened in the face of growing functional indices
    of noncoding regions of the genome, with the
    latter reciprocally used in support of the notion of intelligent
    design and to challenge the conception that natural
    selection accounts for the existence of complex
    organisms (Behe 2003; Wells 2011).

  11. 11
    Alan Fox says:

    I see UD has reverted to type.

    Interesting experiment, Barry. I wondered how long you could keep up the pretence of being able to deal with legitimate criticism of “ID”. I have to admit you lasted longer than I predicted.

    What now?

    Some effort at putting flesh on the decaying skeleton of ID “theory”?

    I predict no.

  12. 12
    StuartHarris says:

    Don’t ban her! If anything, it would be better to see MORE examples of her revisionism and excuse making for the sake of Darwinian faith.

    I say that UD should put Origin-thumpers like Liddle up on a stage to expose their nonsense.

  13. 13
    Upright BiPed says:

    Barry, its your shop; run it as you wish. But I wouldn’t ban Liddle.

    Although I have become tired of having to go back and pull up her previous words and positions. And frankly, it never mattered. Elizabeth Liddle will say anything literally whatsoever, without the slightest sense of intellectual honesty.

  14. 14
    equate65 says:

    @ 12,

    Hear, hear!

  15. 15
    Alan Fox says:

    Elizabeth Liddle will say anything literally whatsoever, without the slightest sense of intellectual honesty.

    Oh, brave Sir Robin! Call Lizzie a liar from behind Barry’s skirt.

    Contemptible!

  16. 16
    Mapou says:

    KN:

    Lizzie’s been banned for asking questions? You have got to me kidding me!

    Personally, I would have banned her a long time ago, along with some others. We should start giving these people a taste of their own medicine. Just ban the hell out of them. Sorry for the outburst. Telling it like I see it, as always.

  17. 17
    Alan Fox says:

    We should start giving these people a taste of their own medicine. Just ban the hell out of them. Sorry for the outburst. Telling it like I see it, as always.

    It sure was bad strategy of Barry to allow Lizzie to continue to elicit the responses from you ID proponents that we have observed. I doubt Barry will repeat the experiment in the foreseeable future.

    Maybe now there will be some effort at developing a real theory of “Intelligent Design”. Maybe not.

  18. 18
    Alan Fox says:

    Oops HTML error

    Elizabeth Liddle will say anything literally whatsoever, without the slightest sense of intellectual honesty.

    Oh, brave Sir Robin! Call Lizzie a liar from behind Barry’s skirt.

    Contemptible!

  19. 19
    groovamos says:

    Liddle: One of the things I teach is quantitative methods.

    One of the first exercises I give students, is to to derive a testable hypothesis from their theory, and draw a diagram of what their data will (probably) look like if their hypothesis is true, and what it will (probably) look like if their hypothesis is not true.

    I would like someone from the ID camp to construct such a diagram for an ID hypothesis.

    So Elizabeth here is an experiment for you and your students. First, you diagram how the data analysis will appear as a result of your students’ scientific research. And then you ask your students to do the same. And here is the research: the students have diagrammed the data analysis of an examination of Haeckel’s famous (some would say notorious) drawings, as reproduced in Evolution Of The Earth (2009 http://www.amazon.com/Evolutio.....0072826843 ). And then the students will examine actual relevant photographs sourced from honest researchers. The hypothesis: Haeckel and the authors of the above were of a mind with all honest researchers, and not pulling a fast one on a gullible public. Not kidding here, this would be a valuable experience for your students I’m thinking. What do you say?

    Now – I have written a thesis based on an assumption. The assumption: the arrival time measurement of an energy burst has a resolution which can be expressed as a function of energy density spectrum of the burst, and power density spectrum of corrupting noise i.e. a function of two functions. This has not been established before my attempt. Back around 1950 a talented radar engineer Philip Woodward established a formula for resolution based on uniform noise spectrum amplitude (a special case), and the second moment of the energy spectrum of the burst (a function of two variables). What he did was brilliant, and relied on a strictly analytic approach. To do what I did, I knew I would have to rely on the Shannon-Hartley theorem, and so I was mixing analysis with number systems. This illustrated the drawback of the purely analytic approach of Woodward, but what he did is perfectly applicable to the real-world.

    Now Madam (another assumption), not once did I have to engage in the exercise that you propose. My search was one for elegance, though the outcome is somewhat heuristic in part. Of course I compared the performance of my formulation with that of the Woodward formula, but not once did I doubt the inevitable close tracking between the two, which I will summarize in an appendix. I never considered any diagram or elaborate plan for performance evaluation. What I have is a scientific endeavor despite what you imply here.

  20. 20
    TheisticEvolutionist says:

    Personally, I would have banned her a long time ago, along with some others. We should start giving these people a taste of their own medicine. Just ban the hell out of them. Sorry for the outburst. Telling it like I see it, as always.

    Well said, the Darwinists have already made their mind up so are not going to be interested in any evidence which contradict their belief and I see no real reason why they would choose to post on an ID website other than trolling or looking for an argument. No matter what is written on any thread it will be wrong to them, so in the end the conversations are futile, which is exactly happened with this Liddle Darwinist. It just wastes everyone’s time. So IMO Darwinists should be kicked off this site, but non-Darwinian evolutionist or theistic evolutionists such as myself should be welcome because whilst we may not agree with everyone about ID we have certain things in common and debate is worthwile for both sides.

  21. 21
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Whatho everyone. Only me.

    What fascinates me is that there are some who say that nobody predicted junk DNA based upon Darwinism. “Rummy” I said to myself “I have heard that position taken with mine own ears.”

    Here are just a few links that seem to suggest so too.

    http://tinyurl.com/9demy6o

    http://tinyurl.com/nwogkdo

    http://tinyurl.com/nqmxfek

    http://tinyurl.com/oqxewk4

    (By-the-by somebody may have to fix my links as I am a duffer at these sort of things. “Quill and parchment is the mot juste in my household.)

    Not that I am necessarily taking sides with these links, just observing that the “Golly! our DNA instructions are positively stuffed with waffle of the first order. Tut tut evolution you are are careless chap” motif has most definitely been around for a while.

  22. 22
    Jerad says:

    Elizabeth Liddle doubles down yet again. She is no longer with us.

    Interesting to see that disagreeing with the UD regulars in a measured and calm fashion gets you banned.

    But, at least it will be easier to convince the troops that you are right when there’s fewer dissenters allowed to post comments.

    Personally, I would have banned her a long time ago, along with some others. We should start giving these people a taste of their own medicine. Just ban the hell out of them. Sorry for the outburst. Telling it like I see it, as always.

    The Expelled Syndrome. And a fair amount of petulance.

  23. 23
    Jerad says:

    So IMO Darwinists should be kicked off this site, but non-Darwinian evolutionist or theistic evolutionists such as myself should be welcome because whilst we may not agree with everyone about ID we have certain things in common and debate is worthwile for both sides.

    It’s always nicer to surround yourself with people who won’t question your judgement or interpretations. Much more peaceful. And you won’t have to worry so much about defending your views.

    Meanwhile, at TSZ, all are welcome to come and state their case. You do have to be ready to back up your ideas of course.

  24. 24
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Oh and on the issue of Dr Elizabeth Liddle. Isn’t prohibition a touch heavy handed? I for one enjoy Dr Liddle’s posts. Many sane and instructive remarks are found therein. Good questions too.

    Even if one took the line that Dr Liddle was talking out of the top of her head (which I do not for a moment suggest), should one resort to the slapping of a restraining order?

    A glance at this thread suggests a protest march could be stirring in the wings. The whisper is fluttering about behind the curtains – “Bring back Dr Liddle.”

    Just a thought.

  25. 25
    Collin says:

    Banning Dr. Liddle means that I will visit UD less often because it will have less debate.

    In response to Dr. Liddle: a scientific prediction does not need to be made in a science journal. It has been made very clear that a science journal will suffer major ostracism for allowing an explicitly pro-ID paper to be published. Michael Behe, in particular, has been criticised in science journals but often refused an opportunity to rebut the criticism.

    And, would you say that Darwin’s “Origin of Species” should have been published in a science journal before it could count as “making predictions?”

  26. 26
    Mark Frank says:

    #16 Mapou

    Personally, I would have banned her a long time ago, along with some others. We should start giving these people a taste of their own medicine. Just ban the hell out of them.

    As far as I know Lizzie has only ever banned one person from her blog and has been repeatedly criticised by KF for not banning people. How is this a taste of her own medicine?

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    I think there is a non-sequitur here. What has junk DNA or non functional DNA have to do with Darwinian processes? The two may not be related other than there may be a whole host of ways the genome gets changed or added to. Remember Alan MacNeil’s 47 engines of change. This can be a small part of Darwinian theory but the real issue is how certain parts of the genome then become functional or not since they do not start out functional.

    We have no way of knowing how these non-coding regions became functional and it is unlikely it was due to further mutation. What is at issue is not how these additions to the genome got there but how function arose and if it did when did it originate and how.

    As more and more genomes come in from dispersed groups, the similarity or lack of it will be documented. One can then point to actual places in the genome where the differences are and if there are no differences why? A genome had to change at some time.

    I think we ask the wrong questions. Junk DNA is as I said a red herring.

  28. 28
    equate65 says:

    ‘Banning Dr. Liddle means that I will visit UD less often because it will have less debate.”

    I agree. Debate amongst the hard line Darwinists is what keeps it interesting here.

  29. 29
    Upright BiPed says:

    Oh, brave Sir Robin! Call Lizzie a liar from behind Barry’s skirt.

    Alan, your schtick would be so much more powerful if it made any sense whatsoever. I’ve debated Dr Liddle as much or more than anyone on UD, and not only have I called her out to her face on her constant “contradictions”, but also lead her by the nose into figuring out she could not simulate the rise of information. Furthermore, her cesspool of a blog has six or seven threads devoted to my argument, including the longest running thread in its history – which I spent 90+ straight days participating in, defending my position, and ultimately ending with concessions from my direct conversation partner on his two lead counter-arguments.

    Does it ever bother you to say things that are so obviously wrong and so easily demonstrated to be such?

  30. 30
    steveO says:

    ID proponents have made Liddle and her arguments look utterly foolish so often that at times I’m amazed she continues to post in public using her real name.

    But that’s her choice and personally I do think it preferable that her arguments continue to be publicaly dismantled to to ban her,

  31. 31
    steveO says:

    To to ban her = rather than to ban her

  32. 32
    wd400 says:

    Elizabeth has asked some very good questions, and I like an answer to them.

    Did anyone predict a genome that is mostly junk based on Darwinian principles? The immediate response to Ohno is pretty telling – Darwinists (using the term properly) thought if something was there it must be due do selection, so reatlly struggled with idea of functionless DNA.

    Now, of course, subsequently evolutionary biologists developed the neutral theory, and we came to understand population gentics better. Modern population genetics gives us a good way to understand the accumulation of junk – on the one hand we have many forces adding non-functional sequences to genomes (gene duplication and subsequent mutation, transposons, large scale rearrangements….) and very little selective advantage in having a small genome. So, we might well expect genomes to accumulate junk, and we can even make more specific predictions about where we’ll find junk-ridden genomes. Take, for instance, the relationship between effective population size (and thus strength of selection) and genome size, where we fine large genomes in organisms with small populations.

    The other question is whether a junkless genome is a prediction of ID. It’s obvious that many IDers don’t like the idea of junk DNA, but less obvious why ID requires a junkless (or near junkless?) genome.

    Finally, if you are centerting your claim to ID’s predictive power around junk DNA you have a pretty serious problem. The best evidence suggests that most of our genome (and those of most eukaryotes at that) is made of junk DNA, the idea of junk DNA was never an argument from ignorance, and the term has never been a synonym for non-coding DNA (among people who know what they’re talking about).

    So,I really think you shuold re-instate Elizabeth. And answer her questions once you’ve done that.

  33. 33
    Mung says:

    Darwinism predicts a (mostly) junk-free genome. Darwinism predicts a (mostly) junk-filled genome. Darwinism predicts whatever we think we’ve found, whether mostly junk free or mostly junk filled. It’s a great theory.

  34. 34
    wd400 says:

    Darwinists, properly defined, predicted a junk-free genome.

    Partly as a result of the discovery of junk DNA, and related arguments about genetic load, a new school of evolutionary theory arose, called the Neutral Theory. Using the tools of the Neutral Theory, we can predict, in coarse terms, which genomes will have more or less junk DNA.

    Indeed, evolutionary biology is pretty great.

  35. 35
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Perhaps you have a point wd400. I appreciate your viewpoint. Nonetheless, there were one or two who contended that the genome was filled with rubbish. One Darwinist (I believe he would fit the title) Richard Dawkins did say this after the ENCODE results came out:

    ” But the point is that that was just the subroutines that are called into being; the program that’s calling them into action is the rest [of the genome] which had previously been written off as junk.”

    It’s that last point that I think some would point out. “…which had previously been written off as junk.”

    Dr Dawkins didn’t seem to think that everyone struggled with the notion of reams of garbled nucleotides.

    On that thought of why ID followers require a junkless genome, I think, from what I have gleaned over time, that they assume that an Intelligent Designer would not willfully
    insert gobbledygook into their designs. “No no, not at all” we imagine them saying, “If this old strip of DNA was designed, there must’ve been a reason for this odd looking code. Now what could it be?” Or words to that effect.

    Actually, Dr Dawkins, ever eloquent, states the case quite admirably:

    “”It stretches even their [creationists] creative ingenuity to make a convincing reason why an intelligent designer should have created a pseudogene — a gene that does absolutely nothing and gives every appearance of being a superannuated version of a gene that used to do something — unless he was deliberately setting out to fool us…”

    He was right too. ID theorists that I have spoken with pretty much agreed. Their conclusion though was that the stuff that had been “written off” would actually contain some rather useful stuff. And it is beginning to show up as luck would have it.

    Personally, I think I would expect at least a little mess in the old instruction manual. Surely entropy has to get in there somehow. It gets everywhere else after all. But 95%? That’d be suspicious.

    By-the-by, please do not think that I am trying to represent all persons who believe in the Theory of Evolution by Dr Dawkins statements. That wouldn’t be cricket.

    Kind regards

  36. 36
    Collin says:

    wd400.

    Jonathan Wells disagrees with you in Chapter 2 of his book, The Myth of Junk DNA. He has some good quotes from Dawkins and other biologists.

    But maybe their explanations of junk DNA are not “predictions” of junk DNA. But in any case, Mung’s point in 33 resonates with me.

  37. 37
    Collin says:

    “Once again creationist might spend some earnest time speculating on why a Creator should bother to litter genomes with untranslated pseudogenes and junk tandem repeat DNA.”

    —Richard Dawkins according to The Myth of Junk DNA, chapter 2 by Jonathan Wells.

  38. 38
    Barry Arrington says:

    @ wd400

    “Indeed, evolutionary biology is pretty great.”

    You are right sir. Evolution is so great that it can predict something (say rape and murder) and its opposite (altruism) with equal alacrity and without even seeming to be embarrassed about it. Not only that, it can predict junk DNA, and when that turns out to be a myth it can predict no junk DNA and pretend that’s what it predicted all along. Ya gotta love it.

    BTW, if you say the prominent Darwinists did not howl for years and years about junk DNA being a clincher for their theory, then you are either ignorant or a liar. I don’t know which you are.

  39. 39
    wd400 says:

    You guys might try reading what I wrote. Or answering the questions. Or explaining why you think junk dna is a “myth”.

  40. 40
    Box says:

    WD400 #32

    The best evidence suggests that most of our genome (and those of most eukaryotes at that) is made of junk DNA, the idea of junk DNA was never an argument from ignorance,(..)

    Hello WD400, are you actually saying that most of our DNA is junk DNA?

  41. 41
    Mapou says:

    WD400 seems to be willingly putting his foot in his (her?) mouth. Or is it that he does not keep abreast of the latest findings WRT junk DNA?

  42. 42
    Collin says:

    WD400,

    I’m sorry but it just seemed like you were moving the goal posts. “Darwinists, property defined…” I was just showing how someone who is definitely a Darwinist seemed to say that junk DNA shows no creator.

  43. 43
    Mapou says:

    Mark Frank:

    As far as I know Lizzie has only ever banned one person from her blog and has been repeatedly criticised by KF for not banning people. How is this a taste of her own medicine?

    I personally don’t care what Dr. Liddle does on her blog. All I know is that she is part of a group of people who will not allow the theory of evolution to be criticised in the schools on the grounds that such criticism is a front for introducing religion into public schools, which is supposedly against the Constitution. Banning free speech in education is one of the biggest affronts to my right to liberty that I know. It’s a Big Brother elitist mentality pure and simple and many of us can’t stand it. Dr. Liddle condones this stuff and it is for this reason that I have no respect for her.

    This is why I say to IDists, ban them all. Ban them at the slightest provocation.

  44. 44
    Mung says:

    I have mixed feelings about Elizabeth’s departure from UD. I at least hope on some level that it is only temporary.

    I can understand how she might not be aware of the extent of the arguments put forth against ID and/or creationism based upon some variant of the “junk-DNA” hypothesis.

    Why can’t we just do as she does and declare it to be true. No further evidence needed, and leave it at that?

    For what it’s worth I don’t consider her response to be revisionist. Just ignorant. Ignorance is curable.

    Elizabeth is stubborn, but not immune to correction. I’ll give her that.

    She accused Meyer of not knowing the difference between phyla and phylum. When confronted with evidence to the contrary she corrected herself.

    Then she quoted Meyer as saying something that she couldn’t show that he actually said. When confronted with evidence to the contrary she corrected herself, sort of.

    Then she quoted Meyer as saying something else …

    Did I mention how frustrating it is to debate her?

    The claims come fast and furious. The evidence, not so much.

    But why should we have to spend so much time refuting her nonsense when she spends so little time substantiating it with anything other than her word?

    Well, I guess it’s my choice to do so. I assume that true for most of the rest of us as well. Barry, not so much. =P

    Sorry Elizabeth.

    p.s. Barry, if you or some one else would start an OP on Darwinian claims re: junk DNA I’ll make a concerted effort to add relevant material to it. I have quite the library to resort to. But if you think that Well’s book pretty much covers it I’m fine with that too.

    Avise, John C. Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design

    Transposons are found among the many repetitive sequences in the genome that have been called “junk” DNA. They are by no stretch of the imagination useless junk, however.

    – Lynn Helena Caporale

    Well gee, I wonder who was calling it junk DNA. Creationists?

  45. 45
    wd400 says:

    Let’s try again.

    1. Darwinists never predicted a junk-ridden genome.
    2. Evolutionary biology can explain junk DNA, but the mechanism by which junk accrues is non-Darwinian

    3. Some supports of evolutionary biology have made a lot out of junk DNA, and indeed, it’s a phenomenon that biology can explain, and even explain variance in the amount of junk. ID, on other hand, struggles to.

    4. Even so, it’s not clear that junkless genomes are a prediction of ID (obviously, some IDers don’t like junk, but what logic gets you from ID to no junk).

    5. Finally, it is very likely that most of out genome is junk. If you think I’m a fool to believe this, then please explain why. If you cite ENCODE, then I suggest you clearly understand how that project defines “function”.

  46. 46
    Axel says:

    Ignorance is curable.

    Elizabeth is stubborn, but not immune to correction. I’ll give her that.

    In that, Mung, I think she resembles the right-wing newspapers such as the Daily Mail, who know that, to sell their newspaper when people are suffering economically, they need to run with the hare and hunt with the hound.

    So, they maunder plaintively about the all too real and dreadful deficiencies of our wall-to-wall right-wing governments all year round (by the way, they would be regarded as crypto-Communists in the US), and then, when the general election is just round the corner, all of a sudden they come out all guns blazing for their political puppet minions.

    So, I don’t think she ever concedes anything major. Minor is good. Above all, she likes to appear fair and balanced!!!

    I agree with you, Mung. I got a lot of fun – pretty sick, I suppose – out of seeing her driving brilliant UDers mad with her endless sophistries, half concessions, trimming, shape-shifting, claims about the characteristic behaviour of true Scotsmen, etc! I got caught up in it from time to time, I admit…. but not for long. One of us would depart.

  47. 47
    Mung says:

    Evolutionary theory can “explain” both the presence of and the absence of “junk DNA.” How does it manage to do this?

  48. 48
    Mung says:

    Evolutionary theory can “predict” both the presence of and the absence of “junk DNA.” How does it manage to do this?

  49. 49
    wd400 says:

    Mung,

    Have you read what I’ve written? (Darwinian) evolutionary biologists didn’t predict the presennce of junk DNA. Evolutionary biology, however, gives a way to understand the prevalecne of junk in genomes.

    In population genetic terms, we can see the accumulation of junk as biased mutation (there are more processes adding to it than substracting it) couple with weak selection (the biochemical cost is small, and the relative differences in junkiness within a population, which is also selecton can chose from, is low). From that, we can make predictions. Because we know selection is strongest in large populations, if most of most genome is accumulated detritus then we’d expect species with large population sizes to have relatively small genomes. This prediction is borne out. (Of course, genome size determined by much more than the power of selection, so it’s not a perfect correlation, but it’s a good one).

    That’s a nice simple example of evolutionary biology’s (and in particular, the nearly neutral theory’s) ability to predict new data, not just on the presence or absense of junk but on variance in amount of junk DNA. Does ID make predictions of this sort? Or just that there will be no junk DNA? An idea of yet to see defended hear, by the way.

  50. 50
    jerry says:

    I will say it again. I believe junk DNA (non functional DNA) to be a red herring. It has little to do with Darwinian processes or ID. It is completely compatible with each. As such it should be retired from discussion.

    Some exist. How much is not known. It does not obviate ID nor does it support Darwinian processes. I am not sure how other non-Darwinian processes are enhanced by junk DNA unless there is a belief that somehow it will mutate into gold. There is no evidence of that only wishful thinking.

  51. 51
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mung @ 44. Just post your stuff re junk DNA into a comment on this thread and I will copy it into your own stand-alone post.

    Thanks for the offer.

  52. 52
    Barry Arrington says:

    Jerry @ 50: “I will say it again. I believe junk DNA (non functional DNA) to be a red herring. It has little to do with Darwinian processes or ID.”

    I would have somewhat impressed by that statement if you had made it back in the days when several prominent Darwinists were touting junk DNA as power — of not downright irrefutable — evidence for Darwinism. Sounds like sour grapes now.

  53. 53
    wd400 says:

    Jerry is an ID supporter, Barry.

    Now, could you perhaps explain how ID predicts junkless genomes. Or provide the evidence you think supports the conclusion most (all?) DNA has a function?

  54. 54
    Mapou says:

    wd400:

    Now, could you perhaps explain how ID predicts junkless genomes. Or provide the evidence you think supports the conclusion most (all?) DNA has a function?

    It has to do with the “intelligent” part of ID. An intelligent designer, especially one that is advanced enough to do complex genetic engineering, will not leave a bunch of junk lying around. What for? Evolution, by contrast, does not care if there is junk lying around as long as it does not affect the organism’s ability to reproduce. This is the reason that big name evolutionists jumped on “junk” DNA as a confirmation of Darwinian evolution. They spoke too soon and they lost because new studies (e.g., ENCODE) are finding that most (> 80%) of the non-coding DNA sequences previously dismissed as junk are actually functional. That’s my take on it. but I could be wrong.

  55. 55
    wd400 says:

    Mapou,

    Thanks for answering. I sort of agree with you about the ID prediction – but I don’t think it follows from ID that genomes will have little junk. Indeed, many ID supporters have claimed apparently junk sequences have no function but are being kept for future function (a scenario that is not compatible with normal evolution).

    The bigger problem is the next bit. ENCODE found a “function” for 80% of the genome, but their definition of function is so wide it includes anything that is transcribed in RNA. That means base pair of every intron in the human genome is considered part of that 80% function. I can’t imagine anyone believes that’s a biologically meaning definition of function, so the IDers are the ones speaking too soon.

    Moreover, the good arguments that most of our DNA junk remain good. Only ~5% of genome sequences are being conserved at the sequence level, the variance in size of genomes of apparently equally “complex” organisms and the problem that we’d all be dead if every sequence in our genome was of functional significance!

  56. 56
    Mapou says:

    WD400,

    I believe it makes sense that our genome consists mostly of non-coding genes. It is almost certain that the genome is organized hierarchically, like a tree. In that case, I suspect that all the protein-coding sequences would reside at the bottom of the hierarchy while the others would form the bulk of the tree. I think the non-coding sequences are a complex control hierarchy that oversees the expression of the protein-coding genes at various times and places. Repeating sequences are probably used for error correction purposes. Just a thought. As an ID advocate, I see no way that random mutations and natural selection could create such an awesomely complex and wondrous machine. I am not saying that the probability is small. I am saying that it is zero.

  57. 57
    Mark Frank says:

    Mapou #43

    I personally don’t care what Dr. Liddle does on her blog. All I know is that she is part of a group of people who will not allow the theory of evolution to be criticised in the schools on the grounds that such criticism is a front for introducing religion into public schools, which is supposedly against the Constitution. Banning free speech in education is one of the biggest affronts to my right to liberty that I know. It’s a Big Brother elitist mentality pure and simple and many of us can’t stand it. Dr. Liddle condones this stuff and it is for this reason that I have no respect for her

    I take it I am also among that group of people. How do you define it? I don’t know all of Lizzie’s ideas about teaching ID in schools (do you?) so let’s take me as an example – there is no reason to suppose she is different. Like Lizzie I am a UK citizen. I know very little about the situation with respect to teaching ID in schools in the USA. I imagine it is similar to the UK. The UK government policy is that ID should not be taught as science in schools but there is nothing to prevent the theory of evolution being critically assessed in science lessons, to prevent pupils expressing their concerns or contrary beliefs in science lessons, or to prevent schools teaching about ID or creationism in other lessons such as RE or sociology. I condone that policy. It doesn’t amount to banning free speech.

    Meanwhile Lizzie has started a blog with the explicit objective of enabling free and open discussion of ID. No one gets banned for expressing their views.

  58. 58
    Mark Frank says:

    Lost the tags in #57- trying again:

    Mapou #43

    I personally don’t care what Dr. Liddle does on her blog. All I know is that she is part of a group of people who will not allow the theory of evolution to be criticised in the schools on the grounds that such criticism is a front for introducing religion into public schools, which is supposedly against the Constitution. Banning free speech in education is one of the biggest affronts to my right to liberty that I know. It’s a Big Brother elitist mentality pure and simple and many of us can’t stand it. Dr. Liddle condones this stuff and it is for this reason that I have no respect for her

    I take it I am also among that group of people. How do you define it? I don’t know all of Lizzie’s ideas about teaching ID in schools (do you?) so let’s take me as an example – there is no reason to suppose she is different. Like Lizzie I am a UK citizen. I  know very little about the situation with respect to teaching ID in schools in the USA. I imagine it is similar to the UK.  The UK government policy is that ID should not be taught as science in schools but there is nothing to prevent the theory of evolution being critically assessed in science lessons, to prevent pupils expressing their concerns or contrary beliefs in science lessons, or to prevent schools teaching about ID or creationism in other lessons such as RE or sociology.  I condone that policy. It doesn’t amount to banning free speech.

    Meanwhile Lizzie has started a blog with the explicit objective of enabling free and open discussion of ID. No one gets banned for expressing their views.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    equate65 says:

    Personally, I think UD should invite both Moran and Liddle here for a serious debate on the subject of Junk DNA and hash it out…

    What is also amusing, is Moran’s proclamation on Mattick/Dinger.

    “I find that very troubling”

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

  61. 61
    equate65 says:

    In addition:

    Take note on the commentator “Diogenes” on above Sandwalk link, also take note on this same character on Shapiro’s blog >
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....93984.html

  62. 62
    equate65 says:

    Correction: Commenter not ‘commentator’

  63. 63
    Mark Frank says:

    equate65

    Personally, I think UD should invite both Moran and Liddle here for a serious debate on the subject of Junk DNA and hash it out…

    It is an admirable idea but I do you think they would want to participate given the chances they would be banned if they asked the wrong questions?

    Here is an offer. If I were to create an OP on TSZ on this topic would you contribute? Lizzie at least would be free to continue to debate it and anyone could join in without fear of being banned. If you want me to do it I will.

  64. 64
    equate65 says:

    “It is an admirable idea but I do you think they would want to participate given the chances they would be banned if they asked the wrong questions?”

    Glad to know I’m not the only one making typo errors 🙂 Of course when I say hash it out, it means no banning when one does not like the questions.. 🙂

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    BA and others:

    Before anything else, I think we need to refresh our minds on context for the exchanges in this thread, which is fundamentally about an insistent well-poisoning rhetorical assertion by EL, one which she has been so often substantially corrected on that she MUST know it to be false:

    EL: Darwinian hypotheses make testable predictions and ID hypotheses (so far) don’t.

    This is a willfully continued misrepresentation, in the teeth of abundant correction.

    EL full well knows that should functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information relevant to origin of life or to body plans be shown to come about in our observation by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, a crucial testable prediction of design theory would collapse, and ID with it. She herself originally appeared here at UD proposing to write a computer simulation to do just that (as part of an exercise in learning programming, IIRC). That effort, as with dozens of other attempts to falsify the crucial ID claim that the empirically tested, reliable source of such FSCO/I is design, failed. She also full well knows that in a great many of the cases — such as the drawings of canals on Mars, the notion of watches evolving [meant to directly oppose Paley], and more, the cases turned out to confirm the known source of FSCO/I, design.

    So, her cited claim is an example of willfully continued misrepresentation (continued in the teeth of repeated correction), which is indeed — though it is sad to have to say so — properly termed mendacity.

    Such, further, is in the context of her continued hosting of grotesque conspiracy narratives and false accusations against ID culminating in a horrific declaration that design thinkers — equated to Creationists and onwards accused of Right-Wing Theocratic totalitarian intent [which is, frankly, code for “Nazi” . . . based on common misconceptions], are “enemies of humanity.” (In context, primary — leadership, secondary — their dupes.) This, going over as a matter of course without a peep of protest from the usual denizens at TSZ.

    That is, it is a toxic, accusatory, defamatory partyline.

    A mark of a successful, ruthless agit-prop exercise.

    NCSE et al, I am fingering you. (Onlookers, scroll up, click the resources tab and peruse the Weak Argument Correctives.)

    And FYI, above, what I call for is correction of toxic myths like this and refusal to spread, promote and host polarising, demeaning and stereotyping well-poisoning accusations that are ill founded and patently false. In short, there is a duty of care to accuracy, truth and fairness; I daresay, there is a duty to correct divisive and demeaning error and false accusation if one is in a position to do so. In particular, defamatory remarks are not free speech, as I discussed here early yesterday, in the context of dealing with a further false accusation of “censorship.” (For those who need it: correction, removal or refusal to spread, promote, host or entertain slanders and poisonous ill founded conspiracy stories is not censorship.)

    Likewise, in recent days, I have observed EL participating in and pushing an obvious well-poisoning attempt against a book, Darwin’s Doubt, by Stephen Meyer, which book would well repay careful perusal instead of rushing about to try to find real or imagined faults to use as hooks to dismiss it and its author. An author who happens to be Director of DI’s CSC, and so is easily identifiable — in the defamation sense — as one of the alleged nefarious, demonic “enemies of humanity.”

    I doubt that he was given anything even approaching a fair hearing. Instead, the evidence is, here is a target, let’s shoot.

    In this context, I note that it is indeed the case that Darwinism and its near cousins do envision incremental buildup from small variations to new body plans (diversity accumulating into disparity) and this is indeed contrary to 150 years of evidence from the fossils. Similarly, the hypothesised branching tree pattern will indeed intersect with classification based on OBSERVED forms, in ways that will exclude hypothetical but unobserved root nodes. It remains the case that the suggested evolutionary path from a hypothetical LUCA leading to one or more body plan level phyla, is not backed by a chain of observed forms. It being also the case that molecular trees that seek to reconstruct evolutionary paths yield mutually inconsistent results, and the molecular clock models are also problematic.

    It is in the context of all of the above that we come to the matter of so-called junk DNA.

    Which, from personal observation was (up to maybe 2008/9) formerly a common popular argument used to try to promote common descent and dismiss the idea of design of the genome. But in the past four or so years, as more and more evidence that points to the utility of much of what was termed “junk” has come about, there has been a revisionist exercise that tries to pretend that this did not happen.

    In addition, there have been points where the idea of Junk DNA has been placed in fairly serious literature from leading Darwinist voices.

    JonathanM has a useful ENV article on this, complete with a lecture from PZM, here.

    In that overall context, while it is always saddening to see someone banned from UD, I understand the action as a disciplinary measure taken after many opportunities to correct a disruptive, disrespectful and demeaning pattern of behaviour linked to false assertions and accusations have been willfully ignored, and as a sharp wake-up call.

    EL needs to seriously reconsider how she repeats, pushes, promotes and hosts a toxic partyline, and what it means when one hosts grotesque conspiracy stories that lead to declaring millions as primary or secondary “enemies of humanity.”

    It would be so much better if we could instead focus on the actual substantial issues on the merits.

    KF

  66. 66
    equate65 says:

    Kairo,

    Great argument, now If Moran and Liddle were here to try and refute this, ID would be all the more validated 🙂

  67. 67
    Mark Frank says:

    equate65

    Yes I apologise. I am very prone to typos at the moment – a touch of RSI. I wish you luck in getting Barry to reopen the debate and committing not to ban anyone on the grounds of the questions and arguments they produce (as opposed to say obscenity or personal attacks).

    As this particular thread is about Lizzie and she is not able to participate I will take this opportunity to sing her praises. I think she is quite remarkable.

    She is highly intelligent, totally sincere, and as far as I can see unfailingly polite. She is able to admit that she is wrong. She started her blog with the explicit intention of trying to create a constructive dialogue on ID and related matters and introduced some excellent moderation rules of which the most important is that all contributors should act as though other contributors are sincere. As a result she has been quite often criticised for being too “soft” by some of ID’s opponents.

    I find it very hard to understand why she has been the subject of such vitriol on UD. One reason may be that when she makes an argument and the opponent appears to misunderstand her point, she doesn’t generally get cross and tell them off for failing to read properly but tries to present her point in a different way. I think this may be why she gets accused so often of shifting her position. The other reason may be that she simply asks too many awkward questions.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    MF: Before further repeating the banned for asking questions mantra like beating a drum, I suggest you consider the issues pointed to in 65 just above. And in particular, kindly let us know if you approve the substance and sentiments in the TSZ post I have critiqued here. Or, at least, whether you view such as legitimate fair comment under freedom of expression that would pass say the editors of a good quality UK newspaper, and if yes, why. KF

  69. 69
    Mark Frank says:

    And finally …

    I see Lizzie has started a thread on this subject at TSZ so if anyone wants to continue the discussion with her without risk of anyone being banned the opportunity is there.

    Now I must stop.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Further to the no testable ID hyps claim, I ask that someone who has read ch 12 of DD tell us whether or not inter alia the work of Behe and Snoke, Durett and Schmidt as well as Axe and Gauger from c, 2004 – 2011 do or do not not constitute such a test in the context of population genetics and the possibilities of evolving novel functional proteins. If not, why not. KF

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    Waiting on MF (and ilk) to respond on substance in context . . .

  72. 72
    equate65 says:

    Kairo,

    While I agree the above incident was inexcusalbe,(and if I recall, I was the one to bring a similar TSZ OP to attention) I don’t believe this is why EL was banned by BA. It appears to me, it was because of her questions on Junk DNA.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    EQ: I think for EL there was abundant opportunity on the scope of weeks, to have addressed these matters soberly on the merits. She consistently refused, and consistently pretended that the exercise by Mr Hook at TSZ and the response of the denizens of the blog, was legitimate free and fair expression. The result of this process was sadly plain for all to see. KF

  74. 74
    equate65 says:

    KF; I completely agree with the above, but perhaps on the above merits, she should have been banned long ago, verses on an OP about Junk DNA. They (EL and ilk) will just use this as an excuse to whine UD can’t handle questions.. 😉

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    EQ,

    I would suggest instead that the substance summarised above is all highly material context, one culminating in an all too familiar and loaded false assertion appearing again about untestability of design hypotheses. The assertion that BA tested for the case of Junk DNA.

    That EL — apparently twice in the face of a headlined challenge, chose to say what she must have known was false, led BA to conclude in comment 4 above: Elizabeth Liddle doubles down yet again . . . . BTW, anyone who wants to can link to Well’s book in the OP and see the documentary evidence. ; having already said in the OP:

    If I did not know better, charity would demand that I ascribe your statements to near invincible ignorance. Sadly, that option is not open to me. Therefore, I can only conclude that you are willfully and mendaciously misrepresenting the record.

    You made a false statement in the prior post. I posted a second post calling you out. Instead of conceding or retracting you doubled down. Will you double down again or will you retract?.

    In short there are cues all over that this is in a much wider context of long term behaviour leading to known mendacity and willfully continued misrepresentations.

    That is what I highlighted above.

    There comes a point where one has to conclude that one is dealing with the principle or practice, if I can get away with it, it is okay.

    That is what BA has plainly responded to.

    When one side circulates or hosts grotesque conspiracy narratives meant to poison the well, then with the other hand pretends that all is fair comment and let us discuss the matter as if nothing has been going on, this is a very familiar tactic of poisonously framing discussion. (Indeed a major case of such is obviously going on over the current UD gov’t shutdown.)

    Under such circumstances, reasonable good faith discussion cannot be had.

    And, in that circumstance, it is much better to say [having exposed the dirty well-poisoning tactics], sorry, until you stop the dirty framing and toxic intimidation and stereotyping tactics, you are not coming into the negotiation room with us.

    Defamation is not free and fair expression.

    KF

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    oops: US gov’t; pardon butterfingers.

  77. 77
    equate65 says:

    KF: Well stated for the record. Perhaps at a future time, EL will be reinstated and the debate can continue in good faith.

  78. 78
    Jerad says:

    Likewise, in recent days, I have observed EL participating in and pushing an obvious well-poisoning attempt against a book, Darwin’s Doubt, by Stephen Meyer, which book would well repay careful perusal instead of rushing about to try to find real or imagined faults to use as hooks to dismiss it and its author. An author who happens to be Director of DI’s CSC, and so is easily identifiable — in the defamation sense — as one of the alleged nefarious, demonic “enemies of humanity.”

    I doubt that he was given anything even approaching a fair hearing. Instead, the evidence is, here is a target, let’s shoot.

    Dr Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt, has been extensively reviewed, even chapter by chapter by several people who know the field. Most of the reviews of the book have lambasted it for it’s poor scholarship and lack of understanding of the science. There’s no hidden attempt at making him look bad. He got the science wrong.

    Why are you so convinced, in the teeth of scientific examinations of the tome, that Dr Meyer is right and the rest of the world is wrong?

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerad: DD has been subjected to the usual well poisoning dismissive reviews in a highly polarised ideological context. Appeal to naked authority and predictable talking points does not help much in a case like that. What I am interested in instead is substantial addressing of pivotal points [as you will recall from the 1 year saga over darwinist empirical grounding of the tree of life from the roots up], and EL was trying to dismiss one such, on grounds that are questionable. She then proceeded to ad hominems consistent with the conspiracy narrative already seen. Your predictable generic appeals to the collective authority of one side of a dispute do not help. Try the exercise of reading Ch 12, and then let us know if this specific concrete case does or does not constitute a case of a prediction of an ID hyp, leading to scientific empirical and analytical tests pro and con, to what overall result and conclusion. In short, time to go to specific merits of the assertion EL has made. KF

  80. 80
    Box says:

    Jerard, can you name one criticism of ‘Darwin’s Doubt’, that hasn’t been dealt with in this article?

  81. 81
    jerry says:

    He got the science wrong.

    He didn’t get anything wrong. That may be a little bit of an over statement because one doesn’t know what might need to be corrected in a book so detailed but it is essentially correct.

    Elizabeth’s criticism of the book was at best disingenuous. He has several paleontologists helping him with the book and he himself was a geologist who would be familiar with paleontology. He cites reference after reference to back up his points. Including the dean of the Cambrian analysis, James Valentine.

    This book was written 10 years ago. That is all the points were part of things written at that time. The book is just a formalization of these points of view, backed meticulously, with up to date references.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerad: let me set this test in context. EL by her report has had a copy of DD all along. Ch 12 is “Complex Adaptations and the Neo-Darwinian Math,” p. 230. It focusses on the issue of pop genetics and protein fold domains, with highlights on the limits of incremental evo of functional proteins culminating in a comparative study by Axe and Gauger that tests the co-option option, p. 249 ff, where the subhead in block caps starts “TESTING . . . .” If EL is correct that design hyps have not been testable or tested to date, the events described in the chapter could not have happened. Yet, they are documented in the literature. So, EL, having easy access to relevant evidence, needs to explain herself on yet another front. KF

  83. 83
    jerry says:

    I would have somewhat impressed by that statement if you had made it back in the days when several prominent Darwinists were touting junk DNA as power — of not downright irrefutable — evidence for Darwinism. Sounds like sour grapes now.

    I first started commenting here about 8 years ago. My position has been the same since. I have always followed the science and have learned some things and adjusted what I believe based on what I thought was reasonable. But essentially nothing has changed. If you want to see what I believed 7 1/2 years ago, here it is:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ment-21467

    My beliefs are essentially the same but I have expanded on this comment from back then several times to be more specific. I never addressed junk DNA per se much because I thought it was a non issue. This link dates before ENCODE and since then I haven’t changed my thoughts much. The issue came to a head in the last couple days so I said my piece. It is a meaningless issue for either ID or Darwinists other than the more of the genome that is functional makes Darwinism even less likely than it would otherwise be.

    Alan MacNeil introduced his 47 engines of variations several years ago and all affect different parts of the genome often adding new material. Nothing that affects ID but could add to non-functional DNA. This non-functional DNA does nothing for Darwinism one way or the other. Anti ID people depend on parts of it though to somehow lead to novelties but they have no evidence that it ever led anywhere.

    As I said it is a red herring. Let’s follow the science. It will only kill Darwinism but we do not have to exaggerate what is probably not true, namely that there is no junk DNA.

  84. 84
    Jerad says:

    Jerard, can you name one criticism of ‘Darwin’s Doubt’, that hasn’t been dealt with in this article?

    How about the plethora of reviews that deal with the science and don’t attempt to capitalise on the expelled syndrome?

    Here’s a brief list of critical reviews:

    http://dododreams.blogspot.co......-wide.html

    Here’s a whole blog about reviews of Darwin’s Doubt:

    http://darwinsdoubtreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

    If you honestly think Mr Luskin’s brief post attempting to cast aspersions on all the reviewers has dealt with all the scientific criticism well . . . I think you should try and answer all the criticism yourself.

  85. 85
    Jerad says:

    He didn’t get anything wrong. That may be a little bit of an over statement because one doesn’t know what might need to be corrected in a book so detailed but it is essentially correct.

    Well, apparently, a lot of people working in the pertinent field disagree.

    Maybe you should read some of the reviews I linked to above and see if you can answer them.

  86. 86
    Jerad says:

    As I said it is a red herring. Let’s follow the science. It will only kill Darwinism but we do not have to exaggerate what is probably not true, namely that there is no junk DNA.

    There you have it: an ID proponent makes a prediction.

    But wait . . . just a minute . . . did Jerry say there was NO junk DNA or did he say there was. A double negative in that sentence . . . a tough call.

  87. 87
    jerry says:

    Here is a discussion of Junk DNA here from long ago:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-is-junk/

  88. 88
    jerry says:

    Well, apparently, a lot of people working in the pertinent field disagree.

    Why should I read them when you won’t cite the specifics. Elizabeth cited nonsense and she desperately wanted to prove Meyer wrong.

    I have read a couple of the reviews and found nothing of consequence. Maybe you should cite the most critical and defend the reviews. Show where Meyer’s logic breaks down. Apparently all you have to do is cut and paste.

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    Ch 12 of DD is a direct test of EL’s assertion regarding hyps as cited in the OP.

  90. 90
    Jerad says:

    Why should I read them when you won’t cite the specifics. Elizabeth cited nonsense and she desperately wanted to prove Meyer wrong.

    Depends on how outside the loop you want to be. No one in science is going to tutor you in the details. If you want to know what’s going on you have to keep up. Your call.

    I have read a couple of the reviews and found nothing of consequence. Maybe you should cite the most critical and defend the reviews. Show where Meyer’s logic breaks down. Apparently all you have to do is cut and paste.

    How about the question of the rate of mutations? That’s a good question.

    You’ve learned the standard ploy: present it all to me on a plate and if you don’t it doesn’t count. The real world doesn’t work like that. The real world moves fast and if you can’t be bothered to keep up you fall behind.

    Do you want to fall behind? Are you happy with just huddling in the UD tent, as the science goes on, complaining that no one brought something to your attention?

    The research community might wave to you as it screams past. But it probably won’t. Welcome to the party pal.

  91. 91
    Jerad says:

    Okay, how about this objection (cut and pasted, without links):

    1. Phylogenetic methods – the inference of phylogenetic trees from character data, whether molecular or morphological – are rigorous and well-tested. The easiest sort of test is computational. We can construct a phylogenetic tree in the computer, simulate the process of substitution (character change or mutational change) under one of hundreds of models (or a weighted combination of models, or some new model we just thought of), read off the simulated data at the tips, and then hand off this data to a phylogenetic inference program. We can then run the inference program, giving it no knowledge of the true tree, and see how well the inference program does at estimating the tree (and the evolutionary substitution model parameters as well, if desired). We can vary the models and model parameters and see when the methods break and when they work. The general conclusion from this research, over decades, is that the methods work quite well under a variety of conditions, and the areas where they don’t work as well are also reasonably well-known, as are the causes of weaknesses in inference, and these can be identified in many situations when they occur in real-world datasets.

    2. If that weren’t enough, phylogenetic methods have also been applied to biological situations where the phylogeny is known – e.g., to viruses grown in lab cultures, when the cultures are manually divided and divided again. The methods also work well in reconstructing the actual history when the actual history is known for sure by direct observation.

    3. “Tree structure” is not something wantonly imposed upon character data – it is something that is there or not, in quantifiable amounts according to standard statistics. The allegation that phylogenetics amounts to no more than “tree-drawing programs”, an allegation made in various places by the Discovery Institute’s Anne Gauger (without any rebuttal from Meyer or other DI colleagues) is an outrageous, incompetent statement that could only be made by someone with no familiarity, let alone coursework, in phylogenetics. It is easy to calculate statistics such as CI and RI, and compare them to CI and RI statistics calculated based on data reshuffled under a null hypothesis where any possible phylogenetic signal has been obliterated. (Well, it’s easy if you’re a phylogeneticist.) In virtually any real case, one will see substantial phylogenetic signal, even if there is uncertainty in certain portions of the tree. Any claim that the biological data shows no reliable tree signal about the base of the animal tree – a claim which Meyer makes repeatedly – would have to be a statistical, quantifiable statement. But Meyer shows no evidence of even being aware of statistical treatment of these issues.

    4. “Conflict between trees” is also not an all-or-nothing thing, unlike what Meyer ignorantly suggests. The difference between two phylogenetic trees (or between 100 trees, or whatever) can be measured by statistics such as Robinson-Foulds distances. And, again, we can take the observed distance between two trees and compare it to a distribution of distances based on a null hypothesis of only random similarity between the trees. If the null hypothesis is falsified, then you’ve got strong statistical evidence for quantifiable agreement between trees, whatever the disagreements might be.

    4a. Similarly, there are small disagreements and there are big disagreements. In cases where branches are short, there are few mutations or character changes grouping two lineages. Another dataset could easily support slightly different relationships, precisely because the branches were short and thus there was little time over which to average out the stochasticity of mutation and other evolutionary events. This is a minor disagreement. Whichever topology is the true one, the branching points of those lineages were close together in time, and it makes little statistical difference in an objective measurement of tree differences. If one dataset grouped arthropods with nematodes, and another dataset grouped them with plants, then we’d have a phylogenetic conflict worth making hay out of.

    But to creationists/IDists, all phylogenetic conflicts of any sort are considered equally, crashingly devastating. It’s rather a lot like when the young-earth creationists argued if estimates of the age of the Earth varied between 4.5 and 4.6 billion years ago, this 100-my disagreement was huge, and therefore we should instead think the Earth is 6,000 years old.

    5. Also, as mentioned in #1, phylogeneticists are well-aware of situations that are likely to produce uncertainty and disagreement between phylogenetic trees. These include:

    5a. Long molecular branches without many sister groups (google “long-branch attraction”)
    5b. Phylogenies with a low number of taxa (this includes many phylogenomic studies, because there are many fewer whole genomes than individual genes sequenced). This is just problem 5a on steroids. In general, I would prefer a phylogenetic study with one or a few well-conserved genes sequenced from 400 taxa well-spaced across the Animalia, rather than a phylogenetic study with only 10 taxa but with 400 or 4000 genes sequenced. Many of the phylogenetic conflicts that Meyer cites come from the latter sort of study. (And, in addition to the problems caused by poor taxon sampling, when an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach is taken with the genetic data, you are adding the well-known problems caused by poorly conserved, rapidly-evolving, harder-to-align sequences.) But, Meyer fails to alert his readers to this fact. Searches of the literature on terms like “taxon sampling” will be productive here.
    5c. Studies based on one or a few characters are also problematic. The distribution of any particular character might disagree with some particular phylogenetic hypothesis for any number of reasons, including simply the stochasticity of the evolutionary process. (Actually, we can quantify the phylogenetic conservation of even single characters, and test to see whether or not the distribution of the character is really random with respect to phylogeny – often, even characters with a substantial degree of homoplasy have some phylogenetic signal.) The power of phylogenetic inference comes from the combination of many independent characters, ideally each with high initial probability of homology, as judged by alignability (for molecular data) or relative position and topology (for morphology). Ditto for studies based on the idea that character X is a “special character” that can only be gained and never lost, never has homoplasy, etc.
    5d. With morphological data, the issue of clades vs. grades is important to understand, as is the issue of plesiomorphy. For example, Meyer takes the paraphyly of the sponges as some sort of amazing counterexample to phylogenetic consistency. But, sponges have always been at the base of the animal tree on anyone’s analysis, and changing this from being one deep side branch to two deep side branches on the way to bilaterians is not actually an amazing change, nor any huge contradiction of the morphological data.
    Meyer just cites cases of phylogenetic conflict with reckless abandon, especially cases of 5a-5c, without any evidence of having any idea that causes of conflict are often well-known and can be predicted ahead of time. It is true that some of the problem is that many biologists who are not phylogenetic specialists are also sometimes naive about problems 5a-5c, and make overly dramatic statements when they get a slightly different topology than previous studies. Biology is a huge area, it’s impossible to be an expert on everything, and phylogenetic programs are easy to run but it takes a lot more detailed study to understand the details of what is going on. But surely, if someone is claiming, like Meyer, that the whole enterprise of phylogenetics, the common ancestry of Animalia, and the common ancestry of bilaterians are all bogus and based on nothing rigorous, then the onus on him is to know and review the ins and outs of phylogenetics with substantial expertise. Instead we get the typical beginner-level mistakes.

    The reality of the phylogenetic situation with the Cambrian bilaterians is that a great many issues in animal phylogeny are much clearer than they used to be just a decade or two ago. Several long-suspected relationships based on morphology or development have been confirmed – e.g. echinoderms & chordates, or arthropods, tardigrades, and velvet worms. Major “superphylum” groups like lophotrochozoa and ecdysozoa are robust and here to stay. The monophyly of many of the classic “phyla” was also confirmed. Many of the other cases of “conflict” deal with groups that are basically worms which never had a huge amount of morphological support for any particular placements, or groups that may be reduced from a more complex ancestor because of small size, parasitism, or both (e.g. nematodes and relatives). This latter case of conflict also includes many cases where it turned out that one “phylum” nested within another, which should be impossible if, as creationists/IDists think, “phyla” are supposed to be highly distinct body plans that never grade into each other or evolve into each other.

    6. Phylogenetics is a statistical science of estimation and approximation, like any statistical science. Like any measurement of almost anything interesting in science, data and inferences will have some degree of uncertainty and error. This is not some problem with phylogenetics, this is a common feature of all science, known to anyone who does science. Creationists/IDists, though, are almost unique in their penchant for categorical, binary, and inflexible thinking. They seem unable to think statistically, to realize that agreement and disagreement between hypotheses and data come in degrees, rather than all-or-nothing, and that it is quite possible for a general pattern of phylogenetic agreement to be extremely strongly statistically supported, while at the same time it being true that uncertainty remains about any number of detailed issues.

    7. All of the major statistical phylogenetic issues I’ve raised above were put forward with much more patience and detail by Doug Theobald in his “29+ Evidences for Macroevolution” FAQ at talk.origins. Meyer cites this once, near the beginning of his quote-mining tour about conflict between phylogenies, but then asserts that “In reality, however, the technical literature tells a different story.” This just ain’t so. Meyer doesn’t really understand the technical phylogenetic literature, he doesn’t understand the difference between large and small phylogenetic disagreements, he doesn’t know that the similarity between phylogenetic trees can be measured and that different datasets usually produce trees with a high degree of overall similarity, and he doesn’t understand the statistical methods that tell us that the raw data, whether molecular or morphological, typically have a high degree of tree structure. He doesn’t even get to addressing the basic material covered in Theobald’s FAQ, let alone the technical literature cited therein, which is specifically devoted to testing common ancestry and phylogenetic consistency, tests which are passed with flying colors in a statistically rigorous way in case after case. Meyer’s contribution to the phylogenetic portion of this discussion is therefore without merit and worthless, at least to anyone who knows something about phylogenetics.

    Discuss?

  92. 92
    Jerad says:

    Why should I read them when you won’t cite the specifics. Elizabeth cited nonsense and she desperately wanted to prove Meyer wrong.

    I have read a couple of the reviews and found nothing of consequence. Maybe you should cite the most critical and defend the reviews. Show where Meyer’s logic breaks down. Apparently all you have to do is cut and paste.

    I gotta wonder Jerry what kind of work you do. In your job can you just stand back and say: oh, well, I didn’t know about that so I don’t have to account for it? Maybe you’re a manager . . . do you let your employees claim ignorance as a reason for their not being able to respond to a challenge?

    Do you want to compete in the evolutionary theory competition? If you do then it’s up to you to do some work. The world is not going to tell you what to focus on and object to. You snooze, you lose.

    Eat or be Eaten. To quote one of my favourite comedy teams.

  93. 93
    Mung says:

    Jerad:

    Dr Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt, has been extensively reviewed, even chapter by chapter by several people who know the field.

    Yet Elizabeth Liddle began her post “Meyer’s Mistake” not by any reference to any reviews of Meyer’s book by others, but by saying:

    Quite apart from any factual errors, about which I’m not at all qualified to judge…

    And when I started a thread on the book at TSZ, I could only find one person there who had even read it and most claimed that they had no intention of reading it.

    Then we have a thread on the book over at TSZ titled:

    “When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship”

    Talk about irony.

  94. 94
    Mung says:

    Here’s my hypothesis. Elizabeth wasn’t banned for asking questions. That’s a straw-man. If anything, she was banned for trying to deflect away from the original point Barry was making and then arguing by assertions in the guise of questions. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Barry, can you cite a scientific paper that makes a prediction, derived from Darwinian theory, that large parts of the genome will be non-functional?

    Barry, you and every other Creationist knows that no Darwinist paper has ever been published in the peer-review literature in any respectable scientific journal in which it is claimed that large parts of any genome will be non-functional where this claim is formed as a prediction and it is stated that the prediction follows from Darwinian theory.

    And you have to prove me wrong, or I am right. Sigh. Really?

    Can you also find an ID paper that predicts that all DNA will be functional?

    A red-herring. No IDist that I know of claims that it will be found to be the case that all DNA is functional. That’s just absurd.

    Can you also find any paper that shows that all DNA is functional?

    Another red-herring. No one that I know of claims that all DNA is functional.

    p.s. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Even intelligent designers keep “junk” laying around. But God, being able to just magically create things at will, would have no need to keep “junk” laying around, and we all know that “THE INTELLIGENT DESIGNER IS GOD,” ergo, ID predicts no junk DNA.

  95. 95
    Barry Arrington says:

    Jerry @ 83. Good response. I concede the point to you.

  96. 96
    Barry Arrington says:

    EL was not banned merely for asking questions. Those who would say that she was are either idiots or liars, probably the latter. The suggestion that EL was banned merely for asking questions is so obviously false as not to require rebuttal. Nevertheless I thank KF for his 65, 68 and 75 and Mung for his 94.

  97. 97
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    FWIW, I have enjoyed EL’s participation here, even though I think a lot of her thinking is muddleheaded. I hope you lift the ban. I enjoy people vigorously attacking other peoples’ ideas, right or wrong. I do not enjoy personal mudslinging and name-calling. She hasn’t exhibited any sort of consistent boorishness. So, attack the hell out of her ideas, but I hope you lift her ban.

  98. 98
    Barry Arrington says:

    Central @ 97. See KF’s comment at 65. He writes:

    Such, further, is in the context of her continued hosting of grotesque conspiracy narratives and false accusations against ID culminating in a horrific declaration that design thinkers — equated to Creationists and onwards accused of Right-Wing Theocratic totalitarian intent [which is, frankly, code for “Nazi” . . . based on common misconceptions], are “enemies of humanity.” (In context, primary — leadership, secondary — their dupes.) This, going over as a matter of course without a peep of protest from the usual denizens at TSZ.

    Do you still believe EL has zero culpability vis-à-vis personal mudslinging when invective like this is on her website at this very moment? If so, you and I will have to agree to disagree.

  99. 99
    Pro Hac Vice says:

    Barry, there’s no need to keep pretending that you banned EL for anything other than exposing the flaws in your reasoning. Your readers who welcome the return to the echo chamber don’t need to hear it, as they already blame her for every evil. The rest of us don’t believe you. Your inability to answer her simple questions, together with your extensive track record of using moderation powers to bully dissent out of sight, speak much louder than your weak protestations.

    Nor do I think that you are making any positive impression by enabling KF’s paranoia. Although I see no evidence that either he or you possess the character to look in the mirror, let me observe for the benefit of the “onlookers” he often appeals to:

    EL never compared Creationists, IDists, or anyone else to Nazis. Kairosfocus has compared EL to Goebbels and made uncountable accusations that ID skeptics are Nazi-like and/or responsible for some kind of impending holocaust. Many other writers here have done the same; a cursory search will show many headlines blaming Darwin and evolutionary biologists for the Holocaust. EL, in contrast, merely refused to censor someone who made much, much tamer statements at her own blog. You, of course, have actively enabled and even made many more, and more egregious, comments than she ever has. Moreover, EL never called anyone an “enemy of humanity.” Kairosfocus has used exactly those words to refer to ID skeptics and, by very strong implication, EL.

    Morever, you complain about “invective like this on [EL’s] website.” But you directly encourage and personally participate in such mudslinging. Do you have “zero culpability” for it? Or is it different when mud is slung at people who criticize your august person? I suspect your self-proclaimed objective morality has failed to yield an objective conclusion in this case.

    Kairosfocus will of course see this comment as a “turnaround tactic,” for pointing out that he and you are directly guilty of the things the two of you desperately try to pin on EL can only be an Alinskyite oily red herring ad hominem strawman tactic in his opinion. But I do think it’s worth attempting to set the record straight.

    Not, however, that I trust this post will stay up long enough for that. I believe it’s clear from your track record that you’ll simply wipe the record of inconvenient discussion, or edit it to change what’s said here. Hopefully naming your tendency to censor and hide from criticism will shame you out of it in this instance, so that no one will be fooled by these appallingly hypocritical pretensions at martyrdom.

  100. 100
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    EL was not banned merely for asking questions. Those who would say that she was are either idiots or liars, probably the latter. The suggestion that EL was banned merely for asking questions is so obviously false as not to require rebuttal. Nevertheless I thank KF for his 65, 68 and 75 and Mung for his 94.

    I’m definitely an idiot, then.

    So let me get this straight. Are you saying, Barry, that Lizzie was banned here because you agree with Kairosfocus that she bears responsibility for what davehooke wrote on a blog she hosts? I would have thought, in my irrepressible naivete, that the only person who bears responsibility for what davehooke wrote is davehooke himself.

  101. 101
    Barry Arrington says:

    KN @ 100: Do you seriously think I banned EL merely because she asked a tough question? If so, I agree; you are an idiot. BTW, you ask tough questions here almost daily. I relish the exchange with you. And if you can’t figure out the difference between yourself and EL, I guess you are not as smart as I thought you were.

  102. 102
    Barry Arrington says:

    Mark Frank: “It is an admirable idea but I do you think they would want to participate given the chances they would be banned if they asked the wrong questions?”

    Ironic question coming from a person who has commented freely on this site since 2006.

  103. 103

    Pro Hac Vice:

    Kairosfocus has used exactly those words to refer to ID skeptics and, by very strong implication, EL.

    He’s right:

    They boil down to poisoning and polarising the atmosphere in which discussions and eventual negotiations have to be made, while poisoning the well by seeking to maliciously and unfairly discredit and twisting those under attack into scapegoated caricatures projected as hypocrites through gleefully cruel and sadistic mockery, never letting up on that tactic. (Resemblance to what is going on all around us is NOT coincidental.)

    Those who poison the well we may all eventually have to drink from thereby reveal themselves to be enemies of humanity.

    All the time of course, while such poisoning and polarisation are going on, someone is being groomed to take over, but in a context where increasingly people are living in a world of spin-driven calculatedly deceitful Plato’s cave shadow shows that distort reality.

    Sooner or later such a house divided against itself and endarkened, benumbed, and twisted in heart, mind and soul, will predictably suffer the fate of such communities long since taught by history: collapse leading to defeat and despotism under tyrants native or foreign or Quislings to such foreign ones.

    The ironies are multilayered.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    RB:

    Did you take time to observe the difference between a very specific objection to a destructive pattern of behaviour and a broad-brush defamatory characterisation of millions through a grotesque conspiracy narrative, with a very specific and horrific history once Christians are involved as a class?

    Or, were you too busy gleefully trying the turnabout accusation game to notice the highly material difference?

    And I bet you and ever so many others of your ilk will refuse to acknowledge the difference. (Though I hope you will prove me wrong, just as I hope that one day some of you will wake up to what you are doing by spreading or enabling defamatory conspiracy narratives.)

    KF

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: And, RB are you willing to characterise objectors to design thought as a class — rather than as specific individuals and circles — as indulging that pattern of well poisoning behaviour? What does that say?

  106. 106
    JWTruthInLove says:

    DANGER DR. BARRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! DANGER!!!!!!!!!!!! PRON ADDICTED FINGERING GAY NAZIS MIGHT HAVE HACKED YOUR WEBSITE!!!! (My website was recently hacked in a similar fashion.)

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....sional.php

  107. 107
    Jerad says:

    And when I started a thread on the book at TSZ, I could only find one person there who had even read it and most claimed that they had no intention of reading it.

    Then we have a thread on the book over at TSZ titled:

    “When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship”

    Talk about irony.

    WELL DONE SGT MUNG!! you’ve picked your ground and made the enemy come to you as you were told!! And, so I’ve heard, you’ve even gone above and beyond the call and taken some steps into enemy territory, i.e. TSZ!!!! We hope you haven’t been too traumatised by, what must be, a hideous experience. You will excuse KF and Barry and Denyse and Gil for not standing shoulder to shoulder with you in that endeavour but . . . well . . . you know . . someone has to stay back and sign all the forms and draft policy. But you did well. You didn’t go beyond your orders and look for more information or intelligence than what you had been tasked to do.

    And also well done for doing such a good job at dodging the really difficult questions/bullets. It’s tough out there on the front lines. But you’re sense of humour (so I’m told) and your ability to avoid serious situations has served you well.

    Please accept our deepest gratitude. We can’t actually give you anything nor are we ready to let you have any kind of administrative responsibilities here at UD . . . but who knows? Maybe in another year or two!!

    If anything, she was banned for trying to deflect away from the original point Barry was making and then arguing by assertions in the guise of questions. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Heh, heh, heh. I bet she picked up some tactics from you old boy, eh?

    A red-herring. No IDist that I know of claims that it will be found to be the case that all DNA is functional. That’s just absurd.

    Excellent point!! Since any ID proponent of any intelligence at all would be very careful not to make any prediction specific enough to risk being found wanting at some future date!

  108. 108
    Jerad says:

    Barry, there’s no need to keep pretending that you banned EL for anything other than exposing the flaws in your reasoning. Your readers who welcome the return to the echo chamber don’t need to hear it, as they already blame her for every evil. The rest of us don’t believe you. Your inability to answer her simple questions, together with your extensive track record of using moderation powers to bully dissent out of sight, speak much louder than your weak protestations.

    Nor do I think that you are making any positive impression by enabling KF’s paranoia. Although I see no evidence that either he or you possess the character to look in the mirror, let me observe for the benefit of the “onlookers” he often appeals to:

    EL never compared Creationists, IDists, or anyone else to Nazis. Kairosfocus has compared EL to Goebbels and made uncountable accusations that ID skeptics are Nazi-like and/or responsible for some kind of impending holocaust. Many other writers here have done the same; a cursory search will show many headlines blaming Darwin and evolutionary biologists for the Holocaust. EL, in contrast, merely refused to censor someone who made much, much tamer statements at her own blog. You, of course, have actively enabled and even made many more, and more egregious, comments than she ever has. Moreover, EL never called anyone an “enemy of humanity.” Kairosfocus has used exactly those words to refer to ID skeptics and, by very strong implication, EL.

    Morever, you complain about “invective like this on [EL’s] website.” But you directly encourage and personally participate in such mudslinging. Do you have “zero culpability” for it? Or is it different when mud is slung at people who criticize your august person? I suspect your self-proclaimed objective morality has failed to yield an objective conclusion in this case.

    Kairosfocus will of course see this comment as a “turnaround tactic,” for pointing out that he and you are directly guilty of the things the two of you desperately try to pin on EL can only be an Alinskyite oily red herring ad hominem strawman tactic in his opinion. But I do think it’s worth attempting to set the record straight.

    Not, however, that I trust this post will stay up long enough for that. I believe it’s clear from your track record that you’ll simply wipe the record of inconvenient discussion, or edit it to change what’s said here. Hopefully naming your tendency to censor and hide from criticism will shame you out of it in this instance, so that no one will be fooled by these appallingly hypocritical pretensions at martyrdom.

  109. 109
    Gregory says:

    Admittedly, all I see in #3, the post which got Dr. Elisabeth Liddle *again* banned, expelled, excused, deleted, *%$#-off to her from UD, etc. is 3 simple questions.

    I’m not a brilliant lawyer, admittedly. Just a PhD-academic. So probably I’m an idiot too.

  110. 110
    Jerad says:

    I’m not a brilliant lawyer, admittedly. Just a PhD-academic. So probably I’m an idiot too.

    Well, you know what PhD stands for? “Piled higher and Deeper.”

    Or is is “Pointy headed Dilettante”? I can never remember.

  111. 111
    Collin says:

    Gregory,

    Do you think it legitimate to pull out the old trope that “ID isn’t science because it doesn’t publish in professional journals?” Especially where we’re talking about whether ID predicts a lack of junk DNA and Darwinism predicts the existence of junk DNA? Although I wouldn’t have banned Dr. Liddle, I did think she was being impertinent and annoying.

    Do you think that ID needs to have had published predictions before you can say that ID predicts no junk DNA?

  112. 112
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    In that case, Barry, I’m not as smart as you thought I was.

    I don’t see the difference between myself and Lizzie with regard to the substantive criticisms we make of design theory, the philosophy of science that we defend, or the tone we take in discussing these matters.

    So either there’s some difference between me and Lizzie that I don’t see myself, or there’s something else going on which makes a difference which I don’t think does or should.

    One thing I will say is that I’m not a biologist, though I do have an undergraduate background in biology, so I confine my remarks and criticisms to philosophical and cultural issues. I know that I don’t know enough to hold my own in a substantive discussion about biology, though I can hold my own (I think to think) in a discussion about the philosophy of biology.

  113. 113
    Gregory says:

    Collin, You’ve pulled that presumption out of a hat.

    “whether ID predicts a lack of junk DNA and Darwinism predicts the existence of junk DNA”

    IDism, qua ideology, does not limit ‘Designism’ (as if Designism could even possibly be limited!!. You don’t see works by IDist leaders explaining the vast numbers of ‘things that aren’t Designed.’ That’s not part of the IDist program.

    The term ‘junk’ is a rather strange one, imo. Junky, junkhead, etc. Throw out your junk. It’s a term biologists/geneticist appropriated from the humanities/social sciences (recently I was at a major European event; they call it Social Sciences and Humanities, just as the Canadian SSHRC calls it). So I am not fascinated by the silly grovelling between IDists and those who still think Darwinian evolution is the best explanation.

    You will notice, however, and perhaps openly admit, that it is/was Barry who used the ‘-ist’ term ‘Darwinist,’ while Lizzie used ‘Darwinian evolution’ i.e. w/out the ‘-ist.’ Do you acknowledge that? Thanks if you are willing to count that fact.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerad:

    The grotesque, ill founded and patently slanderous conspiracy narrative being hosted at TSZ is there for all to see.

    There is no excuse for it, there can be no excuse for it.

    But, a well-worn tactic is to throw out the immoral equivalency card.

    However, as just pointed out to RB (and doubtless the usual denizens of TSZ, AtBC, Anti Evo etc) the attempt in the face of that fact to try to create a turnabout accusation — and to thereby pretend to be justified! — fails by virtue of trying to conflate what I criticised (a very ugly pattern of well-poisoning misbehaviour characteristic of the most ruthless agit-prop operators and of which we unfortunately have too many cases in point . . . ) with the core identity of millions swept up in a series of slanderous stereotypes culminating in declaring such enemies of humanity.

    If you are an objector to design theory but you are not playing the red herring –> strawman –> soak in ad hominems –> stereotype & scapegoat etc –> blame the victim etc tactic, you do not fit the category I censured as dangerously nihilist and destructively poisoning a well from which we all may need to drink.

    But Mr Hook’s accusations and conspiracy yarns take in design supporters, equated to Creationists (already wrong) and further equated without good warrant to an imagined right wing theocratic totalitarian conspiracy, thence deemed enemies of humanity. Imagined ringleaders being primary, and their imagined dupes being secondary.

    Chalk to cheese.

    And of course, lo and behold the gambit RB pout up is a blatant red herring, led to a strawman distortion [chalk for cheese] soaked in turnabout accusation ad hominems and then set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere, thus enabling the poison of the original slander to continue its insidious, fell work.

    See what is going on, and why I highlighted this destructive pattern, exposing it for what it is?

    That you are — at this point, sadly, predictably — trying to enable this toxic comeback and pretend to competence to diagnose me as suffering a serious mental illness (shades of Dawkins’ if you differ with us, you are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked . . . ) speak volumes.

    None of it to your good.

    I suggest you think again, about the pattern of rhetoric you are parroting.

    KF

  115. 115
    Mark Frank says:

    #102 Barry

    Ironic question coming from a person who has commented freely on this site since 2006

    It appears you have got so used to banning people you forget who you have banned. You banned me last year for refusing to agree to certain statements (I forget exactly which). I recently found I could log on again.

  116. 116

    KF:

    Are you willing to characterise objectors to design thought as a class — rather than as specific individuals and circles — as indulging that pattern of well poisoning behaviour? What does that say?

    You certainly engage in well-poisoning second to none, in my opinion, using the same sort of language to which you object – in the above instance using the exact words to which you’ve reacted with Apoplexy Now (well, If there were such a thing as long-winded apoplexy.) That is sufficient to establish to irony to which I refer.

    I have varying impressions of other individual ID supporters here. With a range of personalities from Joe G. to Vjtorley a global characterization can’t be productive, and there is certainly only one of you in the world. This little tempest in a teapot doesn’t otherwise make itself felt anywhere else in my personal or professional life, where the phrase “design thought” mostly conjures images of Jony Ive.

    By the way, when you are done objecting to “broad-brush defamatory characterizations” and characterizations of others “as a class,” what is my “ilk,” and who else is of it?

  117. 117
    Mark Frank says:

    The fact remains that no one has clearly said why Lizzie was banned. The closest we have come to it was nothing that she wrote, or that somebody else wrote that she agreed with, but merely her failure to criticise something written on her blog. Is that it?

  118. 118
    Gregory says:

    “Nor do I think that you are making any positive impression by enabling KF’s paranoia.” – Jerad

    It is true that I don’t accept or agree with Jerad’s agnostic (or atheist – I don’t know) worldview, but the above is a bang-on accurate observation of Barry’s ‘ban’ decision re: Elisabeth Liddle.

    It would be astonishing for Barry to actually step up to the plate and call KF-GEM out for his blatantly obvious paranoia. MC Hammer might actually stand behind Barry as 2-legit-to-quit if he did so. Too much ‘community serving,’ even to the discredibility of the core is a disservice. KF-GEM is fanatical, excessive and boring with his ‘won’t try to publish, but there are *billions of cases FSCO/Iism’. The guy simply needs to unplug, take a break, stop thinking he is ‘all that’ for the IDist hyper-cause of Truth, Justice and the American way. Can I get a hurrah?!

    Elisabeth Liddle rises above this low-level fanaticism; she is a scholar and asks open, honest and occasionally insightful questions, even if she does not (yet again) allow the Uppercase ‘Designer’ into her heart that IDists require, which separates them purposefully from atheists.

    It is imo a discredit to UD that she has been once again banished. Perhaps legal scholat Barry will reconsider his view of justice or explain it more fully here in this case.

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerad: I have repeatedly pointed out that to host defamation is to enable it. EL has been doing so, and continues to do so. And, unfortunately she as well as several others of her ilk, have kept on resorting to well known agit-prop tactics of a sadly familiar provenance — probably indirectly filtered through the destructive but apallingly widespread influence of Alinsky on “change agent” thought and praxis (as I pointed out also but which you conveniently omitted in making up ad hominem soaked strawmen above). If we refuse to learn from the sad associated history, we will be prone to make the same blunders in our time, as I have underscored; which is a legitimate use of that sad history. As I just pointed out, you just parroted such tactics. I think you need to take a serious pause and think again on what you are enabling. KF

  120. 120

    Another ilk? Or is this the same ilk?

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    RB: More empty turnabout accusation tactics unresponsive to the material points already noted. Sadly predictable, and further distractive from the material issue of TSZ’s hosting slander and enabling an environment in which slanders are taken as self evident truths, “justifying” a kulturkampf. It is time for you to think again about what you are enabling. KF

  122. 122
    Gregory says:

    If there is anyone that deserves to be banned, it is KF-GEM.

    IDists won’t support that. But the fanaticism is readily apparent.

    Go sit on your Caribbean shore, unplug, take a break seek some counseling, see a priest, meditate, breathe deeply, question whether your *billions* is as secure as you fantastically imagine scientistically, and come back in a month or so with a fresh mindset. Right now, the devil who accuses *anyone anti-IDism* of ‘poisoning the well’ and ‘slander’ and all such pathological things is quite obviously the most pathological and divisive of them all.

  123. 123
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth was banned for refusing to acknowledge the truth staring her in the face. When people are prepared to do that, what’s to discuss?

  124. 124
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    The fact remains that no one has clearly said why Lizzie was banned. The closest we have come to it was nothing that she wrote, or that somebody else wrote that she agreed with, but merely her failure to criticise something written on her blog. Is that it?

    That’s certainly how it seems to me, though all we’ve established thus far is that I’m not as smart as Barry thought I was.

  125. 125
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    Elizabeth was banned for refusing to acknowledge the truth staring her in the face. When people are prepared to do that, what’s to discuss?

    Then why haven’t I been banned?

  126. 126
    Mung says:

    …millions of transposable elements… make up almost half of our genome…It is tempting to think of them as millions of ancient but now mostly benign parasites trapped within our genome. Some scientists have even called them “junk DNA,” implying that they are useless and, currently, harmless relics of evolution. …Most of them appear to be completely useless.

    – Fairbanks, Daniel J. Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA. pp 44-45

    Some scientists have even called them “junk DNA,” but not in any scientific papers, oh no.

  127. 127
    Mung says:

    KN:

    Then why haven’t I been banned?

    Elizabeth was like an old toy. You’re like a new toy. When a new toy comes along and you’re more like the old toy…

  128. 128
    wd400 says:

    122 comments and no one has actually answered the questions Elizabeth posed. If they are so obvious and well known, then it can’t be a difficult job to dispatch them.

    But I don’t think they can be that obvious, because several ID supporters in this thread have said that junk DNA is compatable with ID. Others’s have said it’s obvious some amount of junk is OK, but not how much.

    The closest thing we’ve had to evidence for any of the claims made is a link to a book by Jonathan Wells. So, 122 comments in and we are still at the position summarised by the first comment – was Elizabeth really banned for not agreeing with Wells’ book?

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