Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Elliott Sober and the Enemy


Politicians and football coaches understand that what motivates people is an enemy. What better way for a leader to solidify support than by war with an evil foe. Internal failings and scandals fade in the light of an external threat. Whether it is nazism, communism or terrorism, there always seems to be an appropriate “ism” to capture and focus our attention.  Read more

noam_ghish (#10), This is a little off topic, and I don't know who made that statement, but it is patently false. The citric acid cycle is foundational to most living organisms. Asking about E. coli that cannot metabolize citrate is a little like asking about E. coli that cannot metabolize glucose. What actually occurred, AFAICT, is that E. coli normally does not absorb citrate from the environment under anaerobic conditions. Aerobically, it does just fine, but the absorption apparatus is shut off under anaerobic conditions. (I can make up stories as to why this should be the case, but I have very little experimental evidence to back them up, and they would be just that, stories). The E. coli evolved so that it could absorb citrate under anaerobic conditions. This probably is a destructive mutation, but I'm not sure anybody knows the exact nature of it. The creation of a complete enzyme to metabolize citrate from scratch is far beyond the edge of evolution, and should not be expected to happen. That may not stop some ignorant person from making such a claim from a misunderstanding of the evidence. Paul Giem
Does anyone know if the following statement is true: "Lenski directly observed the evolution of citrate-metabolizing Escherichia coli bacteria from Escherichia coli bacteria that could not metabolize citrate." noam_ghish
OT: Brain's visual circuits do error correction on the fly Excerpt: The data, published Dec. 8 in the Journal of Neuroscience, show that the brain predicts what it will see and edits those predictions in a top-down mechanism, said Egner, who is an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience.,, http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-brain-visual-circuits-error.html (But will Darwinists finally 'see' that their 'bottom up' approach to understanding biology is ludicrous?) bornagain77
So if the probability of ID = 0, as most evolutionists insist, doesn't E also deflate? the wonderer
OT: GilDodgen, here is another interview with militant atheist turned Christian, Holly Ordway (the last part of the audio is very interesting) http://apologetics315.blogspot.com/2010/12/apologist-interview-holly-ordway.html http://bit.ly/hKKiRV bornagain77
Does anyone know what the second largest protein is? The largest protein is titin which has anywhere from 27,000 to 32,000 amino acids. Many Darwinists explain the building of new genes by taking one gene and just mutating it into another. Well, if the largest protein is 27,000 and its closest relative is 25,000 amino acids long, well, it's not exactly easy to get from number two to number one. noam_ghish
SCheeseman, That article can be read here. It is an evidence-free rant against Dr Behe that helps balance his article in the same issue. It references an older evidence-free rant. IOW basically recycled trash (talking). ;) Joseph
Donald M, Forget the cheap tuxedo, their's is just an empty polyester suit- pure fabrication. Yeah baby... :) Joseph
Forgive me for posting off-topic, but over on ENV Casey Luskin has posted an article on Michael Behe's latest publication in Quarterly Review of Biology. That is very interesting, and worth its own column here, but also appearing along with Dr. Behe's article is the following:
Irreducible Incoherence and Intelligent Design: A Look into the Conceptual Toolbox of a Pseudoscience Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke, and Johan Braeckman
What's that about? SCheesman
This is an amazing admission on the part of Sober. So, evolution isn't true because the evidence overwhelmingly supports it, even though time and again we've seen some version of "the evidence for evolution is overwhelming". Rather, evolution is true because the alternative is unthinkable!!!! But what if it turns out the "unthinkable" is the actual case? It is also interesting to note that the "enemy" continues to be "creationism". It explains why we see phrases like "intelligent design creationism" bandies about, as if ID were just a modifier for the noun, creationism. Or, statements like "ID is just creationism in a cheap tuxedo"...remember that one? Keeps the focus on the "enemy" and away from what could be a real challenge to the dogma. DonaldM
In other words, it doesn’t matter that common descent is not a good theory. It must be true because the alternative is even worse. Sober refers to this mode of reasoning as Darwin’s Principle. Evolutionists must fight their enemy.
As so often is the case when there is more at stake than truth and rationality. The perception that the only alternative to common descent is creationism is clearly false. Mung

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