Cell biology Evolutionary biology Intelligent Design

Evolution and Imagination

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An interesting exercise is to read through a brief introduction to the origin of multicellular organisms, such as the Wikipedia article linked here.

Although a more rigorous analysis of the issues of the origin of multicellular organisms would be found elsewhere, Wikipedia, with its naturalistic predilection, still makes it plan that a scientific explanation is lacking.

When we consider the system-level functionality of even the simplest animals, we can use our imaginations to propose scenarios that might lead to their origin.  The Wikipedia article mentions several imaginative proposals:

“Multicellular organisms arise in various ways, for example by cell division or by aggregation of many single cells.”

“One hypothesis for the origin of multicellularity is that a group of function-specific cells aggregated into a slug-like mass called a grex, which moved as a multicellular unit.”

“A unicellular organism divided, the daughter cells failed to separate, resulting in a conglomeration of identical cells in one organism, which could later develop specialized tissues.”

The symbiotic “theory suggests that the first multicellular organisms occurred from symbiosis (cooperation) of different species of single-cell organisms, each with different roles.”

“The colonial theory of Haeckel, 1874, proposes that the symbiosis of many organisms of the same species (unlike the symbiotic theory, which suggests the symbiosis of different species) led to a multicellular organism.”

The oxygen availability hypothesis “suggests that the oxygen available in the atmosphere of early Earth could have been the limiting factor for the emergence of multicellular life.”

“The snowball Earth hypothesis in regards to multicellularity proposes that the Cryogenian period in Earth history could have been the catalyst for the evolution of complex multicellular life.”

All of these imagined scenarios, and others not mentioned, fail to fill in the void with any mechanism consistent with known laws of physics explaining how unguided natural processes resulted in functional biological systems that had never been seen (or imagined) before on Earth.

Imagine a world in which the existence of anything other than single-cell organisms is absent from reality.  What natural process, consistent with the action of the laws of physics, would cause single cells to move towards the unimagined goal of differentiating themselves into all of the needed types of cells that then organize themselves into an creature that possesses a digestive system, or a circulatory system, or a nervous system, or an immune system, or a reproductive system?

Does the committed evolutionist unconsciously impute their imagination into the supposed biological outworkings of the laws of nature? Should scientists imagine that a higher partial pressure of a certain gas can cause the origin of complex functional biological systems? 

146 Replies to “Evolution and Imagination

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    Darwinism is science fantasy. Here’s why.

    Darwinism depends on random mutation, natural selection, reproduction and heritability, and deep time. Thus, given enough time, any and every combination of mutations is not only possible, but also inevitable.

    For example, we know that reproduction and heritability exist now, so they must have also evolved from organisms that didn’t reproduce or have any way of passing along their characteristics to the next generation.

    -Q

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    Red Reader @ 1,

    I call it ideological poisoning. Certain miracles must be excluded even if the naturalistic explanation requires more miracles.

    Most Darwinists personalize nature and express their views using Lamarckian language. When confronted, they immediately correct themselves, invoking purposeless changes moving in random directions over near-infinite amounts of time. They use a lot of “musta” and “mighta,” and “coulda” words in their stories.

    -Q

  3. 3
    Red Reader says:

    “Does the committed evolutionist unconsciously impute their imagination into the supposed biological outworkings of the laws of nature?”

    It may be “unconscious” in some cases and conscious in others.
    Pursuit of such imaginings is evidence of insanity and insane people rarely realize they are insane.
    To that extent, it would be unconscious.
    But, some people may know they are being dishonest with themselves and others.

    The beginning of insanity is a choice one makes to ignore the logical and intuitive ability of one’s own brain to recognize intelligent causes for non-random, complex, efficient, purposeful, interdependently functioning objects—art, machinery, social systems, etc.—not only in the man-made world but in the world of nature and biology.

    Once the choice is made, a person’s mind fractures in opposition to itself.
    The person’s will separates the person’s wilful self from his logical, intuitive self by demanding that the world conform to his wishes (imaginings). From that point on, the person is on a desperate quest to believe something which he does not and cannot believe.

    Having made a decision to ignore the logic of intelligent cause and effect—all intelligent effects have intelligent causes—the person has nothing left BUT imagination to accomodate his wilful mind and to make some sense of the world.

    The insanity spills over into the man-made world in many different ways.
    The classic example (stated here before) is the bank robber who is convinced the world owes him a living for the wrongs he has suffered.
    This makes it easier for him to keep robbing banks.

  4. 4
    tjguy says:

    Unconsciously? Of course that happens because they interpret everything through the Darwinian paradigm and sometimes that takes real imagination.

    But much of the time, I think the imagination is quite conscious.

    Everyone else said it so much better than me, but anyway….

  5. 5
    Red Reader says:

    Querius @ 2
    Sorry, was running out of time on my edits and deleted “1.”.
    Finished comment which appears to be number 3 now.

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Tjguy @4,
    Yes, on the paradigm filter. However, I’m not so sure how “conscious” or “imaginative” people are when parroting the Darwinian narrative.

    – Pedagogues teach theories as facts and test them as multiple-choice questions because they’re easier to grade.

    – Professors and professionals in other fields of study assume that origin-of-life and Darwinistic professors have done the research and trust their imaginative explanations.

    This is kinda fun . . .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQaReWoUyyQ

    -Q

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    Red Reader @5,
    Ah, got it. Incidentally, it might be better to edit in a text editor and paste it in all at once. That’s what I do . . . unless, I feel lucky and write a long post only to be bumped off the site.

    Since then, I’ve mostly learned my lesson. Mostly. 😉

    -Q

  8. 8
    JVL says:

    Red Reader: Pursuit of such imaginings is evidence of insanity and insane people rarely realize they are insane.

    Wow, no well poisoning, agi-prop, straw man tactics here eh Kairosfocus? Or do you only police those with whom you disagree?

    The beginning of insanity is a choice one makes to ignore the logical and intuitive ability of one’s own brain to recognize intelligent causes for non-random, complex, efficient, purposeful, interdependently functioning objects—art, machinery, social systems, etc.—not only in the man-made world but in the world of nature and biology.

    How do you know your innate recognitions are correct?

    Here’s a thought: can you detect design in a number sequence? If I gave you a sequence of numbers could you tell if they were more-or-less random or generated by a short, simple algorithm?

    The person’s will separates the person’s wilful self from his logical, intuitive self by demanding that the world conform to his wishes (imaginings).

    Nothing like being a theist then?

    The classic example (stated here before) is the bank robber who is convinced the world owes him a living for the wrongs he has suffered.

    Or the person who thinks what consenting adults do in private has anything to do with them? Or the person who thinks it’s okay to be prejudice against people who have different sexual mores than themselves?

    Here’s another question: do you think it’s okay for Islamic states to require women to wear a hijab in public? Why or why not? Keeping in mind they say it’s a tenet of their holy scriptures.

    How about this: do you think it’s okay for a state/nation to require by law that a person has to have at least liability car insurance and a legal driving license to drive a car?

    How about this: do you think it’s okay for a state/nation to insist citizens who are medically able to get vaccinated or isolate themselves from others?

    How about this: do you think it’s moral or ethical for a state/nation to collect taxes from their citizens?

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Despite the many imaginary speculations, (‘just-so stories”), that Darwinists offer for the origin of multicellular organisms, as far as empirical science is concerned, the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution is found to be grossly inadequate to explain the origin of multicellular organisms.

    Darwinian materialists cannot even explain how a single celled organism achieves its ‘form’, much less do they have any realistic clue how a multicellular organism achieves its form.

    In the following article entitled ‘how do rod-like bacteria control their geometry?’, in the concluding paragraph, the authors conceded that, ‘We are still far from unravelling the fundamental “engineering” challenges that biology has to overcome in shaping single cells as well as multi-cellular tissues.,,,’

    Getting into shape: how do rod-like bacteria control their geometry? – March 31, 2014
    Excerpt from concluding paragraph: We are still far from unravelling the fundamental “engineering” challenges that biology has to overcome in shaping single cells as well as multi-cellular tissues.,,,
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.0015.pdf

    Darwinian materialists claim that mutations to DNA can (eventually) change the basic biological form of an organism into a brand new organism. Yet, despite that widely held belief, they simply have no empirical basis for that claim.

    As Jonathan Wells states in the following article, “Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.”

    Jonathan Wells: Far from being all-powerful, DNA does not wholly determine biological form – March 31, 2014
    Excerpt: Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/jonathan-wells-far-from-being-all-powerful-dna-does-not-wholly-determine-biological-form/

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: But there are solid empirical grounds for arguing that changes in DNA alone cannot produce new organs or body plans. A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12. None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–,,,
    (As Jonathan Wells states),,, We can modify the DNA of a fruit fly embryo in any way we want, and there are only three possible outcomes:
    A normal fruit fly;
    A defective fruit fly; or
    A dead fruit fly.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    And here is an excellent powerpoint presentation by Dr. Jonathan Wells, starting around the 15:00 minute mark, showing that the central dogma of Darwinian evolution, which simply stated is “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us”, is incorrect at every step.

    Design Beyond DNA: A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Wells – video (14:36 minute mark) – January 2017
    https://youtu.be/ASAaANVBoiE?t=876

    Dr. Jonathan Wells: Biology’s Quiet Revolution – podcast – April 15, 2016
    On this episode of ID the Future, Dr. Jonathan Wells discusses a popular claim, which he describes as “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us”—or, every organism contains a program for itself in its DNA. Though this view fits neatly with the perspective of Darwinian evolution, it has been shown to be incorrect at every step. Listen in as Dr. Wells explains.
    https://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/idtf/2016/04/dr-jonathan-wells-biologys-quiet-revolution/

    Shoot, DNA does not even control the form and/or shape of the genome, thus much less can DNA possibly dictate what form and/or shape that an organism may take.

    In particular, the following study found that “Our results demonstrate that the spatial organization of genomes is tissue-specific and point to a role for tissue-specific spatial genome organization in the formation of recurrent chromosome arrangements among tissues.”

    Tissue-specific spatial organization of genomes – June 21, 2004
    Results
    Using two-dimensional and three-dimensional fluorescence in situ hybridization we have carried out a systematic analysis of the spatial positioning of a subset of mouse chromosomes in several tissues. We show that chromosomes exhibit tissue-specific organization. Chromosomes are distributed tissue-specifically with respect to their position relative to the center of the nucleus and also relative to each other. Subsets of chromosomes form distinct types of spatial clusters in different tissues and the relative distance between chromosome pairs varies among tissues. Consistent with the notion that nonrandom spatial proximity is functionally relevant in determining the outcome of chromosome translocation events, we find a correlation between tissue-specific spatial proximity and tissue-specific translocation prevalence.
    Conclusions
    Our results demonstrate that the spatial organization of genomes is tissue-specific and point to a role for tissue-specific spatial genome organization in the formation of recurrent chromosome arrangements among tissues.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC463291/

    To further drive the point home that the sequences in DNA cannot explain how any particular kind of organism achieves its basic form, in the following article Dr. Jonathan Wells states, “I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.”

    Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism – Jonathan Wells – February 23, 2015
    Excerpt: humans have a “few thousand” different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,,
    The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It’s called genomic mosaicism.
    In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,,
    ,,,(then) “genomic equivalence” — the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA — became the accepted view.
    I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common.
    I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....93851.html

    Contrary to expectations, genes are constantly rearranged by cells – July 7, 2017
    Excerpt: Contrary to expectations, this latest study reveals that each gene doesn’t have an ideal location in the cell nucleus. Instead, genes are always on the move. Published in the journal Nature, researchers examined the organisation of genes in stem cells from mice. They revealed that these cells continually remix their genes, changing their positions as they progress through different stages.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/researchers-contrary-to-expectations-genes-are-constantly-rearranged-by-cells/

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    James Shapiro weighs in here and states, ‘Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs).’

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    Likewise, protein sequences also fail to explain their own basic form. The following article reveals that the same sequence of amino acids can be folded differently to produce proteins with different three-dimensional shapes. Conversely, proteins with different amino acid sequences can be folded to produce similar shapes and functions.

    Not Junk After All: Non-Protein-Coding DNA Carries Extensive Biological Information – Jonathan Wells – May 2013
    Conclusion:,, Protein function depends on three-dimensional shape, and the same sequence of amino acids can be folded differently to produce proteins with different three-dimensional shapes [144–147]. Conversely, proteins with different amino acid sequences can be folded to produce similar shapes and functions [148,149]. Many scientists have pointed out that the relationship between the genome and the organism – the genotype-phenotype mapping = cannot be reduced to a genetic program encoded in DNA sequences.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0009

    Moreover, up to one third of proteins, which are termed Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, assume different shapes when they are in different molecular ‘contexts’,,,

    Biology’s Quiet Revolution – Jonathan Wells – September 8, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1996, biologists discovered a protein that does not fold into a unique shape but can assume different shapes when it interacts with other molecules. Since then, many such proteins have been found; they are called “intrinsically disordered proteins,” or IDPs. IDPs are surprisingly common, and their disordered regions play important functional roles.,,,
    So it is not true that biologists know all the basic features of living cells and are merely filling in the details. Nor is it true that Darwinian evolution is a settled scientific “fact,” as its defenders claim. Huge unanswered questions remain, and they will only be answered by going beyond the discredited myth that “DNA makes RNA makes protein makes us.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89651.html

    Moreover, the failure of the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution to be able to explain the basic form and/or shape of any particular organism occurs at a very low level. Much lower than DNA itself.

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    In short, Darwinists simply have no empirical, nor theoretical, support for their widely held reductive materialistic belief that the basic biological form and/or shape of any given organism is reducible to mutations to DNA, (or reducible to any other material particulars in biology that a Darwinist may wish to invoke).

    Moreover, and as if that was not already bad enough for the committed Darwinian materialist, it is also interesting to note that Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, have also completely lost the ability to delineate what a species even is in the first place.

    At New Scientist: Questioning The Idea Of Species – Nov. 2020
    Excerpt: Take the apparently simple organising principle of a species. You might have learned at school that a species is a group of individuals that can breed to produce fertile offspring. But this is just one of at least 34 competing definitions concocted over the past century by researchers working in different fields.,,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/at-new-scientist-questioning-the-idea-of-species/

    As the headline of the following article stated, “What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery”

    What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery – July 16, 2019
    Excerpt: Enough of species?
    This is only the tip of a deep and confusing iceberg. There is absolutely no agreement among biologists about how we should understand the species. One 2006 article on the subject listed 26 separate definitions of species, all with their advocates and detractors. Even this list is incomplete.
    The mystery surrounding species is well-known in biology, and commonly referred to as “the species problem”. Frustration with the idea of a species goes back at least as far as Darwin.,,,
    some contemporary biologists and philosophers of biology have,,, suggested that biology would be much better off if it didn’t think about life in terms of species at all.,,,
    https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-species-the-most-important-concept-in-all-of-biology-is-a-complete-mystery-119200

    In fact, Charles Darwin himself admitted that he did not have a rigid definition for what the term ‘species’ actually meant when he stated that, “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience.,,,”

    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    – Charles Darwin

    As should be needless to say, the inability of a supposedly scientific theory, a supposedly scientific theory that seeks to explain the “Origin of Species” in the first place, to rigidly demarcate what a species truly is is a clear indication that that supposedly scientific theory cannot possibly be the correct ‘scientific’ explanation for the “Origin of Species” in the first place!

    The reason why Darwinists will never be able to rigidly demarcate what a species actually is because the concept of species turns out to be an ‘universal’, abstract, i.e. immaterial, conceptualization of the immaterial mind.

    As Logan Paul Gage states in the following article, ”a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.”,,, ” this denial (of true species) is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge.”

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt:,,, In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    Indeed, as Dr. Michael Egnoir has pointed out, “Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation”, and it is in our ability to think about ‘immaterial’ universals that “We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.” and also “The assertion that man is an ape is self-refuting. We could not express such a concept, misguided as it is, if we were apes and not men.”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals
    Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm. It is obvious and manifest in our biological nature. We are rational animals, and our rationality is all the difference. Systems of taxonomy that emphasize physical and genetic similarities and ignore the fact that human beings are partly immaterial beings who are capable of abstract thought and contemplation of moral law and eternity are pitifully inadequate to describe man.
    The assertion that man is an ape is self-refuting. We could not express such a concept, misguided as it is, if we were apes and not men.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    Thus in conclusion, we find that Darwinian materialism is grossly inadequate to explain the basic biological form and/or shape of any given organism. Shoot, as Darwinists themselves have admitted, the framework of Darwinian materialism can’t even rigidly demarcate, and/or define, what a species actually is.

    And again, this is not a minor failing for any ‘scientific’ theory that purports itself to be the be all, end all, explanation for all the wondrous diversity of life, and/or ‘biological forms’, we see about us.

    Genesis 1:25
    God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

  11. 11
    martin_r says:

    just to remind you guys, that according to Darwinists, the transition from single cell to multicellularity was not some rare one-time event.

    According to Darwinists, multicellularity evolved multiple times independently…

    Simple multicellularity has evolved numerous times within the Eukarya, but complex multicellular organisms belong to only six clades: animals, embryophytic land plants, florideophyte red algae, laminarialean brown algae, and two groups of fungi.

    https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.earth.031208.100209#:~:text=Simple%20multicellularity%20has%20evolved%20numerous,and%20two%20groups%20of%20fungi.

    or here

    Multicellularity evolved from multiple independent origins.

    https://www.nature.com/scitable/content/multicellularity-evolved-from-multiple-independent-origins-14458921/

    PS: I am getting used to it, that these miracles always happen in deep past :)))) you never see that today …

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    I am getting used to it, that these miracles always happen in deep past

    There has been only one honest defender of natural Evolution here since the site was started.

    His examples were all genetic. He was an evolutionary biologist and eventually left and never came back. But he was nice, polite and recognized the shortcomings of the theory.

    The level of discussion here has deteriorated and strayed from the basic premises of ID. Discussions now are on whatever peripheral target the anti ID person believes the ID person can be made to look bad.

    Both sides ignore the obvious. There is little effort to get at the truth. That’s not the objective.

  13. 13
    Sandy says:

    Bornagain77
    the same sequence of amino acids can be folded differently to produce proteins with different three-dimensional shapes .

    Conversely, proteins with different amino acid sequences can be folded to produce similar shapes and functions .

    Moreover, up to one third of proteins, which are termed Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, assume different shapes when they are in different molecular ‘contexts’.

    🙂 That is news for me.We don’t know how much we don’t know (about how many more layers of complexity lay ahead of a scientists that study a single cell) .

  14. 14
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Darwinian materialists claim that mutations to DNA can (eventually) change the basic biological form of an organism into a brand new organism. Yet, despite that widely held belief, they simply have no empirical basis for that claim.

    How do you think new ‘biological forms’ come about?

    To further drive the point home that the sequences in DNA cannot explain how any particular kind of organism achieves its basic form . . .

    So, how do you think it happens?

    James Shapiro weighs in here and states, ‘Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs).’

    How does the ‘cell-mediated processes’ work? How are they stored? Where are they stored? How do they interact with and influence embryonic and beyond development?

  15. 15
    relatd says:

    Querius at 1,

    Science-fantasy. I don’t think so. I would toss the word “science” and just call it fantasy and bad storytelling.

  16. 16
    Red Reader says:

    JVL @ 8
    “Here’s a thought: can you detect design in a number sequence? If I gave you a sequence of numbers could you tell if they were more-or-less random or generated by a short, simple algorithm?”
    “If I gave you…” = Design
    “a sequence” = Design
    “numbers” = Design
    “algorithm” = Design
    Even your “random sequence” is intelligently designed.

    No doubt, you imagined valid results from those rigged amino acid “experiments” conducted by
    “scientists” = Design
    “in a laboratory” = Design
    “under controlled conditions” = Design
    “parameters ‘tweaked’ until desired outcomes appeared” = Design

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    Red Reader: “If I gave you…” = Design

    Um, why would that be? It doesn’t indicate how it was generated.

    “a sequence” = Design

    Um, no. A sequence just means a list.

    “numbers” = Design

    You’re really reaching here. Sounds like your design inference is unfalsifiable as you seem to think everything is designed.

    “algorithm” = Design

    Yes but the point is can you distinguish between algorithmic and non-algorithmic generation.

    Even your “random sequence” is intelligently designed.

    Again, it depends on how it’s generated or discovered, i.e. whether or not it truly is random.

    No doubt, you imagined valid results from those rigged amino acid “experiments”

    Can we just stick to the questions I asked you? Quite a few which you ignored for whatever reason.

    Your mathematical knowledge seems very idiosyncratic, elementary and biased. But, just to be clear . . .

    If I presented a list of numbers here would you always assume that the list was generated via some kind of algorithm?

    In your view is there no way to have any event that is not designed?

  18. 18
    relatd says:

    Querius at 2,

    The answer to all of your questions is: Trust us. Just trust us. This is the way it happened.

    Even though they can demonstrate none of it. You know, repeatable, testable.

  19. 19
    chuckdarwin says:

    Does the committed evolutionist unconsciously impute their imagination into the supposed biological outworkings of the laws of nature?

    One shouldn’t dismiss the role of imagination in scientific thought so cavalierly:

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
    –Albert Einstein

  20. 20
    relatd says:

    CD at 19,

    Imagination is a requirement in science. But so is repeatable, testable evidence.

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Martin_r @11,

    PS: I am getting used to it, that these miracles always happen in deep past :)))) you never see that today

    Exactly! Aren’t the processes of the deep past supposed to be the same as those that are observable today?

    Instead, we take the shards of the past and fit them into a fantastical mosaic of our liking with plenty of rhetorical grout in between. Any dissent from the chosen image is smothered by academia.

    For example, this is exactly what happened to the Clay hypothesis of the origin of life proposed by A. Graham Cairns-Smith. It makes MORE sense compared to the standard aqueous “primordial soup” fantasy. This is an obvious fantasy to any expert in chemical synthesis. See James Tour on OOL:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v36_v4hsB-Y

    -Q

  22. 22
    Querius says:

    Chuckdarwin @19 and Related @20,

    Good point and I agree. However, imagination should not be *filtered* based on acceptability or philosophical presumptions.

    Here are some examples from astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and evolutionary biology:

    1. In an astrophysics class I took many years ago, the professor related how researchers once asked bright high school students for imaginative ideas concerning the physics of pulsars exactly for this reason, namely that these students didn’t know enough to filter out any possibilities–and some of their ideas were wild, involving things like stars spinning at relativistic speeds, hairy stars, cylindrical stars, and so on.

    2. Observations in quantum mechanics continue to baffle some of the brightest minds on the planet. Most of them focus their imaginations on ideas that preserve deterministic materialism. But, in response to Einstein, what if “God” absolutely LOVES to play dice? What if we allowed that our existence might be within an information and probability field, embracing rather than fighting our experimental results?

    3. Instead of a tree model of the “species” (a problematic term, by the way), why not a “hair comb” model? By this , I mean that we start with a long comb with thousands of teeth. When environmental conditions change, many of the teeth get broken off in competition within isolated ecosystems. The apparent result is the same as what we observe now, but it doesn’t depend on deep time with billions of miracles of luck changing DNA in tiny increments, a very few of which are presumably beneficial. Fossil evidence simply doesn’t show such a gradual continuum, plus there seems to be a mixture of modern-looking species as well as extinct ones in the fossil record.

    -Q

  23. 23
    relatd says:

    Querius at 22,

    The best candidates for science have good imaginations and they thoroughly understand the basics. Regardless of specialty, those looking to solve a specific problem look at the data. They then look at the best explanations. If an explanation only manages to solve part of the problem, it’s time to use your imagination. To speculate. Then, after several ideas occur, write them down. Then leave them and go back to reconsider them a little later. Usually, a burst of insight occurs or connections that weren’t apparent become apparent. Then you can formulate a theory. If possible, you can discuss your thoughts with others in your field to get their feedback and comments. Perhaps even a few good suggestions. Once you think your theory is solid, and you can show how it solves all or mot of the problem, you publish it for scientific review.

  24. 24
    Querius says:

    Perhaps ideally, Relatd.

    The problem is that many ground-breaking discoveries are panned by status quo reviewers and have difficulty getting published. However, for every significant breakthrough, there are large numbers of quack papers and falsified studies that usually get filtered.

    Conversely, there’s been a widely acknowledged and disturbing frequency of papers in which the results cannot be replicated, perhaps as many as a third in some fields of science.

    Having said all this, I freely admit that I don’t have any idea of how these issues can be rectified.

    -Q

  25. 25
    EDTA says:

    JVL et al,

    In general, it is not possible to determine whether a sequence of digits was generated by a short algorithm or not. Basic Kolmogorov complexity. If you want to limit the running time of the search algorithm, then you can get a little further in figuring things out. In general, the question is probabalistic, not one a person can figure out with absolute certainty.

    Others here may be alluding to the fact that as soon as you have copied down a particular sequence and sent it to someone, you have added the element of design to the mix: the second copy of the sequence can be paired up with the first to show design in the latter. It is too unlikely to have arisen independently from the first sequence.

  26. 26
    EDTA says:

    And back to the original topic, the multiverse is another sci-fi idea that took on a life of its own after stirring in some imagination…

  27. 27
    Querius says:

    EDTA @26,
    Yes, that as well as the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which many consider to be the most egregious violation of Occam’s Razor possible. More fantasy.

    Similar to the multiverse theory, the many-worlds interpretation is also scientifically untestable by any known scientific method.

    -Q

  28. 28
    JVL says:

    EDTA: In general, it is not possible to determine whether a sequence of digits was generated by a short algorithm or not. Basic Kolmogorov complexity. If you want to limit the running time of the search algorithm, then you can get a little further in figuring things out. In general, the question is probabalistic, not one a person can figure out with absolute certainty.

    Would you say the same about a sequence of DNA base pairs, not knowing its origin? Instead of the four letters you could replace them with the digits 1, 2, 3 and 4 and then you’d have a sequence of numbers.

    Others here may be alluding to the fact that as soon as you have copied down a particular sequence and sent it to someone, you have added the element of design to the mix: the second copy of the sequence can be paired up with the first to show design in the latter. It is too unlikely to have arisen independently from the first sequence.

    Clearly I was talking about the values not the way the sequence came to be on this blog. It’s a dumb thing even to bring up! Clearly our number system was designed: all the symbols were picked or developed by humans. But the underlying mathematics is independent of the way it’s represented or reproduced. Obviously.

  29. 29
    Blastus says:

    Jerry @12 writes:

    “[t]he level of discussion here has deteriorated …”

    Might we then say that the level of discussion has “devolved”?

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Might we then say that the level of discussion has “devolved”?

    I am going to disagree.

    Deteriorated is a better description. Behe actually shows devolution often produces something useful. Even though it cannot go any further. I am not sure that much that is useful is being produced on UD.

    Occasionally something pops up. For example, I learned a lot about treatments for C19 here two years ago. I was also introduced to some good ideas on diet here. KF occasionally produces some ideas I find help clarify what is going on.

  31. 31
    Querius says:

    The famous landscape photographer, Ansel Adams (https://www.anseladams.com/), once said something like, “Everything interesting happens at the boundaries.” In science, it’s been said that great discoveries aren’t accompanied by “Eureka, I’ve found it,” but rather “Huh, that’s funny.”

    Applying this to genetics, one great example is the duck-billed platypus. The standard Darwinist response is something like, “Oh, this is simply a case of the evolutionary transition between reptiles and mammals. Nothing to see here.”

    Genome analysis of the platypus reveals unique signatures of evolution
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18464734/

    Unique signatures! But then a month later, we read

    Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18463304/

    Some reptiles also have spurs in males, but none have poisonous spurs. The duck-billed platypus has venom sacks, but these sacks only appear during the mating season. Interesting.

    Convergent evolution does not suggest common ancestry of a feature such as venom. And then, the duck-billed platypus also uses electro-reception like the paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=876

    Regarding venom, many different kinds of animals produce venom, including some shrews, moles, bats, and one primate.

    The duck-billed platypus is considered a “primitive” animal. Why primitive? After all, it’s still around today despite thousands being killed by zoologists in the 19th century in their quest to understand this animal.

    And finally . . .

    https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/822955

    The oldest platypus fossils come from 61 million-year-old rocks in southern South America.

    Huh, that’s funny.

    -Q

  32. 32
    relatd says:

    Querius at 31,

    You have to understand that the ‘totally unguided’ (alleged) process of evolution kept upgrading living things, for no particular reason. Classifying certain animals under certain categories has shown that just because two animals look similar does not mean they are related. And in the past, so-called “primitive” animals had certain features in common. You have to ignore things like “primitive” animals still living in the present 🙂

  33. 33
    Querius says:

    Related @32,

    You have to ignore things like “primitive” animals still living in the present

    Yep. All the animals and plants living today are as modern as as can be.

    Likewise regarding so called “living fossils.”

    -Q

  34. 34
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 28
    >Would you say the same about a sequence of DNA base pairs, not knowing its origin?

    Why do you want to limit the data by separating it from its origin? Like converting the DNA base pairs to just digits?

    I can see doing this if one wants to just examine the underlying technique in isolation. But if one really wants to find the origin of something, you should really use all information you have about it.

  35. 35
    Querius says:

    EDTA @34,

    I can see doing this if one wants to just examine the underlying technique in isolation. But if one really wants to find the origin of something, you should really use all information you have about it.

    And let me add that information doesn’t create itself, either.

    In a short segment starting here, a world renowned synthetic chemist differentiates DNA from the information it contains.

    Dr. Tour EXPOSES the False Science Behind Origin of Life Research
    https://youtu.be/v36_v4hsB-Y?t=2705

    -Q

  36. 36
    JVL says:

    EDTA: Why do you want to limit the data by separating it from its origin? Like converting the DNA base pairs to just digits?

    Because I’m interested in design detection when the origin of the phenomena is unknown or disputed.

  37. 37
    EDTA says:

    JVL @ 39,

    You are very fortunate then. You don’t even need to assume the information came from anything in particular, at least in the case where the origin of the information is unknown. You can just generate random digits according to various probability distributions, and compute where various thresholds of detection lie.

    If the information’s origin is in dispute, that already implies that there is more than one hypothesis. Therefore, you will have to include under each competing hypothesis any ancillary information each side thinks it has.

  38. 38
    JVL says:

    EDTA: You can just generate random digits according to various probability distributions, and compute where various thresholds of detection lie.

    I could but why? That’s not really pertinent.

    If the information’s origin is in dispute, that already implies that there is more than one hypothesis. Therefore, you will have to include under each competing hypothesis any ancillary information each side thinks it has.

    Of course. BUT there can also be a rigorous mathematical analysis/exploration. Nothing lost and it may lead to a definitive answer.

    Also, ID proponents surmise an origin based on their perceived improbability of certain sequences so it seems a pertinent subject.

  39. 39
    EDTA says:

    JVL,
    I’m not sure I’m following. You say there can be a rigorous mathematical analysis, but then you say that that’s not pertinent.

    I’d say ID proponents “infer” an origin by eliminating the alternatives, but that’s another discussion.

  40. 40
    JVL says:

    EDTA: I’m not sure I’m following. You say there can be a rigorous mathematical analysis, but then you say that that’s not pertinent.

    I’m saying what you think is a rigorous mathematical analysis is not pertinent.

    I’d say ID proponents “infer” an origin by eliminating the alternatives, but that’s another discussion.

    By making mathematical (probabilistic) arguments.

  41. 41
    EDTA says:

    JVL,
    I’m just suggesting the same kinds of analyses that other statisticians employ. What would be wrong with that? Say we had a metric/statistic we were testing. Say we had data in the following amounts, 1M (random or structured somehow) examples of each size n. The result is “D”, where yes or no means it determined something; otherwise, the outcome was indeterminate (too little data):
    D=yes/no n=10^6 bits
    D=yes/no n=10^5 bits
    D=yes/no n=10^4 bits
    D=insufficient data n=10^3 bits
    D=insufficient data n=10^2 bits
    This is extremely rough, but what is wrong with this otherwise? (I’m trying to see if we’re really talking about the same thing.)

  42. 42
    JVL says:

    EDTA: I’m just suggesting the same kinds of analyses that other statisticians employ. What would be wrong with that?

    They have to be appropriate for the task at hand. I’m not sure you’re in a position to judge that.

    Say we had a metric/statistic we were testing. Say we had data in the following amounts, 1M (random or structured somehow) examples of each size n. The result is “D”, where yes or no means it determined something; otherwise, the outcome was indeterminate (too little data):
    D=yes/no n=10^6 bits
    D=yes/no n=10^5 bits
    D=yes/no n=10^4 bits
    D=insufficient data n=10^3 bits
    D=insufficient data n=10^2 bits
    This is extremely rough, but what is wrong with this otherwise? (I’m trying to see if we’re really talking about the same thing.)

    What’s wrong with it is that’s it’s just made up rubbish.

    Give a particular situation and why you think a particular methodology is appropriate. As is usual with basic scientific and mathematical situations. You need to learn what the basic structures and metrics are. That does take some work.

  43. 43
    Querius says:

    JVL @42,

    Apparently, you’re forgetting about entropy, right?

    What are the extremes of entropy? What direction does entropy generally move?

    -Q

  44. 44
    EDTA says:

    >They have to be appropriate for the task at hand.

    Well naturally.

    >I’m not sure you’re in a position to judge that.

    Nor am I certain what all your qualifications are either. That’s why I was extremely general in starting out.

    >What’s wrong with it is that’s it’s just made up rubbish.

    As I said, it was just a very vague example.

    >Give a particular situation and why you think a particular methodology is appropriate. As is usual with basic scientific and mathematical situations. You need to learn what the basic structures and metrics are. That does take some work.

    Sorry if I started the conversation on a wrong tone.

  45. 45
    EDTA says:

    Querius,

    Great Dr. Tour video. Loved the line “That catalyzes me!”

  46. 46
    Querius says:

    Dr. Tour can be hilarious! Favorite lines (approximately) . . .

    Dr. Tour: Yes, I said this to the OOL researcher’s face. He was 10 feet away. And do you know what he said in reply? (dramatic pause) NOTHING! For a scientist, that says a lot.

    I’m still chuckling.

    -Q

  47. 47
    JVL says:

    Querius: Apparently, you’re forgetting about entropy, right?

    Um, we weren’t talking about entropy so that’s an obvious non sequitur.

    What are the extremes of entropy? What direction does entropy generally move?

    I’m sure you already know the answers to those questions. What is your point as it relates to what I was discussing?

  48. 48
    JVL says:

    EDTA: As I said, it was just a very vague example.

    Vague in the extreme. If you want to get more specific and are willing to consider what mathematical tools are appropriate then we can discuss that.

    Sorry if I started the conversation on a wrong tone.

    It’s not your tone; it’s that you seem to want to swim in the Olympics when you don’t seem to be even able to float very well.

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, entropy is central to physical and informational processes. We live in a causal temporal, thermodynamically constrained world.

    One in which the micro level statistics overwhelmingly drive processes towards higher entropy with only a little room for fluctuations. As I have pointed out, there is an informational school of thought [cf my always linked] on which the entropy is in effect average missing info to specify microstate on having macrostate given or observed, i.e. movement to equilibrium is towards statistically dominant clusters of microstates.

    The case of 500 or 1,000 coins [~ 10^150 – 10^301 possibilities] shows a sharp peak near 50-50 H-T, with a small fluctuation with much lower tails spanning the rest of possibilities from HHH . . . H to TTT . . . T, and in that peak zone the overwhelming group is arrays of H and T in no particular meaningful or easily, simply describable pattern. Notice, all H and all T are simply describable as would be alt H-T, H first or T first, the latter being also a two case cluster.

    Indeed, a measure of randomness is degree of resistance to such simple description other than by quoting the string.

    On the history of the observed cosmos to date taken as ~ 10^17 s and perhaps even onward to heat death, the 10^57 atoms of our sol system or 10^80 of the cosmos the sol sys cannot search more than a negligible fraction of the possibilities by turning each atom into an observer scanning every 10^-14 s and inspecting a string of 500 coins. For the cosmos, give each 1,000 coins.

    The only known cause of a functionally specific string of such complexity is intelligently directed configuration. Where, as 3d functional entities can be described in codes, that includes not only text and computer code but every sufficiently complex entity described.

    This is the basis on which FSCO/I is a highly reliable index of design, as trillions of actually observed cases confirm — without exception.

    But of course, for years, ever so many objectors to inferring design on sign, have tried to obfuscate or dismiss this, showing utter want of seriousness.
    KF

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, for reminder of longstanding record:

    [From KF Briefing Note on info, design, sci and evo] . . . we may average the information per symbol in the communication system thusly (giving in terms of -H to make the additive relationships clearer):

    – H = p1 log p1 + p2 log p2 + . . . + pn log pn

    or, H = – SUM [pi log pi] . . . Eqn 5

    H, the average information per symbol transmitted [usually, measured as: bits/symbol], is often termed the Entropy; first, historically, because it resembles one of the expressions for entropy in statistical thermodynamics. As Connor notes: “it is often referred to as the entropy of the source.” [p.81, emphasis added.] Also, while this is a somewhat controversial view in Physics, as is briefly discussed in Appendix 1 below, there is in fact an informational interpretation of thermodynamics that shows that informational and thermodynamic entropy can be linked conceptually as well as in mere mathematical form. Though somewhat controversial even in quite recent years, this is becoming more broadly accepted in physics and information theory, as Wikipedia now discusses [as at April 2011] in its article on Informational Entropy (aka Shannon Information . . . ):

    At an everyday practical level the links between information entropy and thermodynamic entropy are not close. Physicists and chemists are apt to be more interested in changes in entropy as a system spontaneously evolves away from its initial conditions, in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, rather than an unchanging probability distribution. And, as the numerical smallness of Boltzmann’s constant kB indicates, the changes in S / kB for even minute amounts of substances in chemical and physical processes represent amounts of entropy which are so large as to be right off the scale compared to anything seen in data compression or signal processing.

    But, at a multidisciplinary level, connections can be made between thermodynamic and informational entropy, although it took many years in the development of the theories of statistical mechanics and information theory to make the relationship fully apparent. In fact, in the view of Jaynes (1957), thermodynamics should be seen as an application of Shannon’s information theory: the thermodynamic entropy is interpreted as being an estimate of the amount of further Shannon information needed to define the detailed microscopic state of the system, that remains uncommunicated by a description solely in terms of the macroscopic variables of classical thermodynamics. For example, adding heat to a system increases its thermodynamic entropy because it increases the number of possible microscopic states that it could be in, thus making any complete state description longer. (See article: maximum entropy thermodynamics.[Also,another article remarks: >>in the words of G. N. Lewis writing about chemical entropy in 1930, “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more” . . . in the discrete case using base two logarithms, the reduced Gibbs entropy is equal to the minimum number of yes/no questions that need to be answered in order to fully specify the microstate, given that we know the macrostate.>>]) Maxwell’s demon can (hypothetically) reduce the thermodynamic entropy of a system by using information about the states of individual molecules; but, as Landauer (from 1961) and co-workers have shown, to function the demon himself must increase thermodynamic entropy in the process, by at least the amount of Shannon information he proposes to first acquire and store; and so the total entropy does not decrease (which resolves the paradox).

    Summarising Harry Robertson’s Statistical Thermophysics (Prentice-Hall International, 1993) — excerpting desperately and adding emphases and explanatory comments, we can see, perhaps, that this should not be so surprising after all. (In effect, since we do not possess detailed knowledge of the states of the vary large number of microscopic particles of thermal systems [typically ~ 10^20 to 10^26; a mole of substance containing ~ 6.023*10^23 particles; i.e. the Avogadro Number], we can only view them in terms of those gross averages we term thermodynamic variables [pressure, temperature, etc], and so we cannot take advantage of knowledge of such individual particle states that would give us a richer harvest of work, etc.)

    For, as he astutely observes on pp. vii – viii:

    . . . the standard assertion that molecular chaos exists is nothing more than a poorly disguised admission of ignorance, or lack of detailed information about the dynamic state of a system . . . . If I am able to perceive order, I may be able to use it to extract work from the system, but if I am unaware of internal correlations, I cannot use them for macroscopic dynamical purposes. On this basis, I shall distinguish heat from work, and thermal energy from other forms . . .

    And, in more details, (pp. 3 – 6, 7, 36, cf Appendix 1 below for a more detailed development of thermodynamics issues and their tie-in with the inference to design . . . ):

    . . . It has long been recognized that the assignment of probabilities to a set represents information, and that some probability sets represent more information than others . . . if one of the probabilities say p2 is unity and therefore the others are zero, then we know that the outcome of the experiment . . . will give [event] y2. Thus we have complete information . . . if we have no basis . . . for believing that event yi is more or less likely than any other [we] have the least possible information about the outcome of the experiment . . . . A remarkably simple and clear analysis by Shannon [1948] has provided us with a quantitative measure of the uncertainty, or missing pertinent information, inherent in a set of probabilities [NB: i.e. a probability different from 1 or 0 should be seen as, in part, an index of ignorance] . . . .

    [deriving informational entropy . . . ]

    H({pi}) = – C [SUM over i] pi*ln pi, [. . . “my” Eqn 6]

    [where [SUM over i] pi = 1, and we can define also parameters alpha and beta such that: (1) pi = e^-[alpha + beta*yi]; (2) exp [alpha] = [SUM over i](exp – beta*yi) = Z [Z being in effect the partition function across microstates, the “Holy Grail” of statistical thermodynamics]. . . .

    [H], called the information entropy, . . . correspond[s] to the thermodynamic entropy [i.e. s, where also it was shown by Boltzmann that s = k ln w], with C = k, the Boltzmann constant, and yi an energy level, usually ei, while [BETA] becomes 1/kT, with T the thermodynamic temperature . . . A thermodynamic system is characterized by a microscopic structure that is not observed in detail . . . We attempt to develop a theoretical description of the macroscopic properties in terms of its underlying microscopic properties, which are not precisely known. We attempt to assign probabilities to the various microscopic states . . . based on a few . . . macroscopic observations that can be related to averages of microscopic parameters. Evidently the problem that we attempt to solve in statistical thermophysics is exactly the one just treated in terms of information theory. It should not be surprising, then, that the uncertainty of information theory becomes a thermodynamic variable when used in proper context . . . .

    Jayne’s [summary rebuttal to a typical objection] is “. . . The entropy of a thermodynamic system is a measure of the degree of ignorance of a person whose sole knowledge about its microstate consists of the values of the macroscopic quantities . . . which define its thermodynamic state. This is a perfectly ‘objective’ quantity . . . it is a function of [those variables] and does not depend on anybody’s personality. There is no reason why it cannot be measured in the laboratory.” . . . . [pp. 3 – 6, 7, 36; replacing Robertson’s use of S for Informational Entropy with the more standard H.]

    As is discussed briefly in Appendix 1, Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen [TBO], following Brillouin et al, in the 1984 foundational work for the modern Design Theory, The Mystery of Life’s Origins [TMLO], exploit this information-entropy link, through the idea of moving from a random to a known microscopic configuration in the creation of the bio-functional polymers of life, and then — again following Brillouin — identify a quantitative information metric for the information of polymer molecules. For, in moving from a random to a functional molecule, we have in effect an objective, observable increment in information about the molecule. This leads to energy constraints, thence to a calculable concentration of such molecules in suggested, generously “plausible” primordial “soups.” In effect, so unfavourable is the resulting thermodynamic balance, that the concentrations of the individual functional molecules in such a prebiotic soup are arguably so small as to be negligibly different from zero on a planet-wide scale.

    By many orders of magnitude, we don’t get to even one molecule each of the required polymers per planet, much less bringing them together in the required proximity for them to work together as the molecular machinery of life. The linked chapter gives the details. More modern analyses [e.g. Trevors and Abel, here and here], however, tend to speak directly in terms of information and probabilities rather than the more arcane world of classical and statistical thermodynamics, so let us now return to that focus . . .

    Remember, THIS is the road I travelled on, drawing the conclusion that there is something substantial to the design inference, something that I would now say, reverse engineers key aspects of the architecture of the world. Thus, it has powerful descriptive, explanatory and predictive power, also being suggestive for our own by comparison toy designs.

  51. 51
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: The only known cause of a functionally specific string of such complexity is intelligently directed configuration. Where, as 3d functional entities can be described in codes, that includes not only text and computer code but every sufficiently complex entity described.

    This is the basis on which FSCO/I is a highly reliable index of design, as trillions of actually observed cases confirm — without exception.

    Aside from the bad logic of: we haven’t seen unguided generation of this or that so we conclude it can’t be done . . . there is still the question of how to define and detect what you call FSCO/I which, I think, still needs some refinement. Just slinging around a bunch of equations doesn’t address those central points.

    Which is why I was asking my question IN THE FIRST PLACE! Can you detect design in a sequence of numbers. It sounds like you can’t. Well, according to one commentator.

  52. 52
    Alan Fox says:

    No he can’t.

  53. 53
    EDTA says:

    JVL,
    >What’s wrong with it is that’s it’s just made up rubbish.

    Not exactly the scholarly language I was hoping for. But since I’ve made a first attempt to start a conversation and failed, it’s your turn: at what level would you like to be approached? Please be very specific. Your turn.

    P.S. Don’t forget that demonstrating that a statistical technique doesn’t work is also a valuable thing to point out. Put your best scholarship on the table for all to see as far as no method of design detection working. Not just a few sentences. If you don’t like simple examples of random tossed coins (even though that’s the type of examples secular researchers use in their published papers), then work up a “real” example and then knock it down. Show us what you got! There’s fame to be gained.

    P.P.S Please don’t bring out the sorts of criticisms like Jeffrey Shallit brought out many years ago; already debunked those, and posted a link to my blog here at UD also.

  54. 54
    JVL says:

    EDTA: at what level would you like to be approached? Please be very specific. Your turn.

    If you want to considering using mathematics to solve a problem then first you have to state clearly what the problem is, concisely one hopes but very clearly. You should make sure that any possibly ambiguous terms or concepts are defined carefully. Then you would consider what type of math problem it is: is it Trig, is it a DifEq, is it Statistics, is it Probability, is it Topology, is it Set Theory, is it Combinatorics, Is it Analysis (complex or real valued), etc. Math is a very, very big field. Think of it like a giant tool box; you have to pick the right tool for the job. Then you would want to check to see if anyone else had already solved that problem or done work on a similar problem which might give some insight. It might also point out some problems or issues that could arise. Then you have to consider if there is a known technique for solving the problem. This is not the same as picking the sub-field. For example: there are various techniques for solving first-order linear differential equations and some work better for certain kinds of situations than others. Then you might have a go at solving the problem. And if you can’t then you might want to consider some numerical methods which is a whole different cauldron.

    Does that help?

    Put your best scholarship on the table for all to see as far as no method of design detection working.

    Which method would you like to examine?

    If you don’t like simple examples of random tossed coins (even though that’s the type of examples secular researchers use in their published papers), then work up a “real” example and then knock it down.

    Again, the question is: is the mathematical model appropriate for the situation. Randomly tossed fair coins work in some situations, not so much in other. First define the problem to be solved.

    Please don’t bring out the sorts of criticisms like Jeffrey Shallit brought out many years ago; already debunked those, and posted a link to my blog here at UD also.

    I have no idea what Jeffrey Shallit said.

  55. 55
    EDTA says:

    JVL,
    >Does that help?
    No, that was not my question at all. I was not asking how to pick a sub-field in math.

    When I asked the following question (fragment), I thought I was going to hit the nail on head: “at what level would you like to be approached?” Note the word “you” in there.

    I’ll expand. To see if we have common ground to start a discussion, it would help to know where _you_ are coming from on the topic of design detection (the thing that started this sub-thread). Where do _you_ approach them from in criticizing them. What angle(s) do _you_ come from in finding fault with them. What proofs/arguments that they don’t work have _you_ put on paper or your blog that lays it all out?

    >Which method would you like to examine?

    Whatever one(s) will show successfully that any form of design detection won’t work.

    >First define the problem to be solved.

    Design detection. Maybe this is a start: in what situation(s) do random coins not work?

  56. 56
    JVL says:

    EDTA: When I asked the following question (fragment), I thought I was going to hit the nail on head: “at what level would you like to be approached?” Note the word “you” in there.

    Which I told you: in a sensible and mathematical way.

    I’ll expand. To see if we have common ground to start a discussion, it would help to know where _you_ are coming from on the topic of design detection (the thing that started this sub-thread). Where do _you_ approach them from in criticizing them. What angle(s) do _you_ come from in finding fault with them. What proofs/arguments that they don’t work have _you_ put on paper or your blog that lays it all out?

    If you want to examine a particular method then just bring it up. Then you can see where I’m coming from.

    Whatever one(s) will show successfully that any form of design detection won’t work.

    You pick.

    Design detection. Maybe this is a start: in what situation(s) do random coins not work?

    In which particular situation do you want to detect design? State the problem clearly first.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL,

    >>side from the bad logic of: we haven’t seen unguided generation of this or that so we conclude it can’t be done>>

    Strawman, what has been shown is maximal implausibility to the point where it is unreasonable to expect this, on simple inductive reasoning. As for you cannot define it, the phrase is itself descriptive and we have known all along the difference between simple repeitive patterns, random chaos and functionally specific configurations.

    Here is Orgel, 1973 — yes recognising FSCO/I is antecedent to the modern design theory — as has been pointed out to you any number of times but studiously ignored:

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

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

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

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

    here and

    here

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

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

    Now, Wicken:

    ‘Organized’systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions and/or repetitive stepwise procedures] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [ –> originally . . . ] external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content . . . Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’ [“The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77 (April 1979): p. 353, of pp. 349-65. (Emphases and notes added. Nb: “originally” is added to highlight that for self-replicating systems, the blue print can be built-in.)]

    These are actually the source for the abbreviation!

    Conclusion, if you are determined enough to object and cannot answer the substance, deny its reality or definability.

    KF

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, you know full well that there is no general purpose decoding algorithm, which is what drives your second selectively hyperskeptical demand. Observe function, observe specificity [perturbing configuration a bit destroys function], observe complexity beyond threshold, infer design. That’s not hard, except for those determined to lock out design at any cost, even basic reasonableness. That is why we are being told there is no coded algorithm in the cell, never mind the evidence.

  59. 59
    EDTA says:

    JVL,

    I don’t which ones you are prepared/able to refute. You pick the one with which you are most familiar.

  60. 60
    JVL says:

    EDTA: I don’t which ones you are prepared/able to refute. You pick the one with which you are most familiar.

    You pick and I’ll let you know.

  61. 61
    JVL says:

    kairosfocus: Strawman, what has been shown is maximal implausibility to the point where it is unreasonable to expect this, on simple inductive reasoning.

    That is not true because it is based on your selective mis-interpretation of what the unguided evolutionary paradigm is saying.

    you know full well that there is no general purpose decoding algorithm, which is what drives your second selectively hyperskeptical demand.

    It’s not hyperskeptical; it’s a basic request of people purporting to be participating in science.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, no, first as you full well know, the issue is ooL, which is before reproduction exists so cannot be about biological evolution. The issue is, as was noted at length, thermodynamics. Secondly on origin of body plans, you are gliding by the need to plausibly account for 10 – 100+ million bits of information, much of which has to be in place before you have a valid functional organism, where the systemic gaps between thousands of protein fold domains shows the island of function issue. There is no actual observation and no good empirical reason to believe there is an incremental step by step path to dozens of main body plans from a unicellular ancestor. Indeed, as you will try to deny but it is true the fossil patterns show systematic gaps not the overwhelming number of stepwise incremental forms that would be required. In reality, just as Lewontin said, it is ideological a prioris that are driving the theorising and what is then imposed as a yardstick of censorship. Indeed, someone so significant as Dr Tour is being pounced on in technical chemistry work because he pointed out the synthesis challenges not properly addressed. That is whistleblower retaliation. KF

    PS, you can say what you want, the demand for an arbitrary decoder algorithm is a typical selectively hyperskeptical argument to distract from the obvious, readily observable facts of functional organisation, codes and algorithms. That such are being resorted to tells us volumes about the want of substance for OoL and body plan level macro evolutionary theorising.

  63. 63
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: first as you full well know, the issue is ooL, which is before reproduction exists so cannot be about biological evolution.

    You know I get this.

    The issue is, as was noted at length, thermodynamics.

    I’m not sure you are on solid ground there.

    you are gliding by the need to plausibly account for 10 – 100+ million bits of information, much of which has to be in place before you have a valid functional organism, where the systemic gaps between thousands of protein fold domains shows the island of function issue.

    No, I am trying to fight your straw man characterisation of what the unguided evolutionary paradigm is saying.

    Look, you think there are encoded algorithms in the cell. Please show them, explain how they are encoded, please explain they are inherited to the point where they are not degraded. Please explain how your scheme works.

  64. 64
    asauber says:

    “what the unguided evolutionary paradigm is saying”

    JVL,

    What is it saying? Can you tell us one or two points it says and that we are missing?

    Andrew

  65. 65
    JVL says:

    Asuaber: What is it saying? Can you tell us one or two points it says and that we are missing?

    I don’t know what you are missing. Perhaps you’d like to ask me a question?

  66. 66
    asauber says:

    “Perhaps you’d like to ask me a question?”

    OK, JVL. After examining the human hand (perhaps your own) closely, do you think it’s unreasonable to conclude it’s designed?

    Andrew

  67. 67
    JVL says:

    Asauber: OK, JVL. After examining the human hand (perhaps your own) closely, do you think it’s unreasonable to conclude it’s designed?

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable but I think it’s important to look at all the data and evidence available.

    Clearly the human hand is pretty complex and sophisticated but considering the fossil and morphological and genological and bio-geographical evidence it seems fairly likely that the human hand is a descendant of millennia of other similar structures which we have evidence of. In that perspective it looks less a miracle but rather a refinement of things that had come before. Which fits in with the unguided evolutionary view.

    Designed is worth considering. But undesigned has a lot more support and data backing it up.

    I think.

  68. 68
    asauber says:

    “descendant of millennia of other similar structures”

    JVL,

    If these structures were similar, why would you then eliminate design as a possibility?

    Andrew

  69. 69
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @49 and 62,

    JVL, entropy is central to physical and informational processes. We live in a causal temporal, thermodynamically constrained world.

    Yes, exactly! And now all we’re getting is ad hominems, vacuous assertions, and blow-offs such as

    Um, we weren’t talking about entropy so that’s an obvious non sequitur.

    I’m sure you already know the answers to those questions. What is your point as it relates to what I was discussing?

    It’s not your tone; it’s that you seem to want to swim in the Olympics when you don’t seem to be even able to float very well.

    All these are variations of the theme, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And this from someone who can be bothered to watch Dr. Tour’s brilliant presentation of the problems with current OOL imaginative claims.

    Information in defiance of entropy is the core issue, but it’s expressed in how molecules cannot be fabricated from racemic mixtures of virtually every impure chemical on earth regardless of how much imagination (musta, could, mighta) OOL researchers put into it.

    Dr. Tour alluded to the insurmountable problem of even starting with a smoothy made from bacterial molecules and then hitting it with electricity, hot rocks, ice, primeval gases such as methane, chants, acid rain, prayer wheels, incantations, meteorites, millions of years, or whatever, and not being able to resurrect one living bacterium from it.

    All the needed components are present! What’s missing from the mess?

    -Q

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, thermodynamics governs energy flow and particularly the physics and chemistry of a darwin pond or the like, which you full well know. Next you are trying to extract functionally specific bioinformation from in effect increments of lucky noise, the extinction of less favoured races being a SUBTRACTION of information as you full well know, and more. For example intelligent, creative sources of information pay for their intelligently directed configuration work energetically elsewhere, KF

  71. 71
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @70,
    Another excellent point. Gain of function requires new information not already present in the system.

    Also worth linking to:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-rice-u-dr-tour-exposes-the-false-science-behind-origin-of-life-research/

    -Q

  72. 72
    JVL says:

    Asauber: If these structures were similar, why would you then eliminate design as a possibility?

    I haven’t eliminated it; I find the unguided argument more persuasive. It’s not the same thing. It’s ID proponents who claim they have ‘eliminated’ the unguided theory, thereby claiming they have proved a negative.

  73. 73
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Next you are trying to extract functionally specific bioinformation from in effect increments of lucky noise, the extinction of less favoured races being a SUBTRACTION of information as you full well know, and more.

    What functionally specific bio-information do you think was extracted way back when? AND you always neglect to mention that there is always new variation to add into the mix. But selectively looking at the evidence is part of your methodology isn’t it?

  74. 74
    JVL says:

    Querius: Gain of function requires new information not already present in the system.

    Not necessarily. Altering control genes can make significant physical differences. That’s not adding information, it’s changing when certain processes are triggered. This can happen via random mutations.

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, we both know that the relevant gains of function are claimed spontaneous, blind chance and necessity giving rise to dozens of body plans, starting with unicellular life forms. That’s after getting to a first metabolising, encapsulated, smart gated, genetic code using, von Neumann kinematic self replicator using first cell in a darwin pond or the like. OOL implies genetic information of order 100 – 1,000+ k bases and body plans 10 mn to 100+ million bases. There is no blind chance and mechanical necessity mechanism observed to create even 500- 1,000 bits of FSCO/I, much less the requisites, where each additional bit doubles the config space, i.e. every further 3.32 bits is an order of magnitude larger search challenge. There is just one actually observed adequate cause of such increments in information, intelligently directed configuration. As for, oh the information is there its just a change of regulation — “altering” [= new information allegedly puffed into existence by blind chance and mechanical necessity] control genes [i.e. informational molecules] — this is little more than knowingly begging the question of origin of information. That’s why I focus the Darwin pond case as the evasions can be instantly ruled out for the ROOT of the darwinist tree of life framework. See why, for cause, I am pointed to ideological capture and tainting thus compromise of the knowledge commons? KF

  76. 76
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: we both know that the relevant gains of function are claimed spontaneous, blind chance and necessity giving rise to dozens of body plans, starting with unicellular life forms.

    But they don’t just pop into existence. It’s very clear (if you really understand how the process works) that many, many times what is happening is that minor, small genetic changes can lead to existing structures being co-opted or repurposed which can lead to new functions without the creation of vast amounts of ‘new information’. As I’ve said many times before, Dr Shubin’s recent book, Some Assembly Required, is an excellent and accessible introduction to this sort of thing. You should read it so you better understand what the unguided evolutionary theory is actually claiming instead of your caricatured, straw-man version.

    OOL implies genetic information of order 100 – 1,000+ k bases and body plans 10 mn to 100+ million bases.

    And how do you know that? What do you think the first life form on Earth was? What’s your evidence?

    As for, oh the information is there its just a change of regulation — “altering” [= new information allegedly puffed into existence by blind chance and mechanical necessity] control genes [i.e. informational molecules] — this is little more than knowingly begging the question of origin of information.

    Except it’s not. It probably took billions of years for all the basic building blocks of life to get encoded into DNA and then it may have just been a matter of changing the timing of when certain genes were turned on and off.

    Like I said, you present a caricature of the actual, updated theory. No one makes the arguments these days you think they do. Which is why you should try and keep up so your arguments get updated instead of being stuck at the same stage they were 20 years ago. Why don’t you just try and read Dr Shubin’s book and then decide if what it says makes sense? If you refuse to do so then you are ignoring data and evidence which is not very scientific is it?

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, it is clear that you can only keep typing to project. There is nothing much to evolutionary theory and there is just no reason to believe that small increments of information from lucky noise can create a cell then turn it into a tree of life. In fact, it is all a priori imposition driven by huge question begging:

    cell based life — from what, no answer that can pas scrutiny

    self replication — no credible source

    chance variation cv + differential reproductive success drs –> descent with modification dwm

    dwm + deep time –> branching tree of life

    little more than an ideological just so story

    The big gap is to get to cell based life, no solution

    Next to cross seas of non function to dozens of body plans, no answer.

    Fail.

    KF

    PS, the required chemicals to get to your codes dna etc as Dr Tour pointed out are enormously unstable and come from successive low yield processes, there are not the billions of years to play with thanks to thermodynamics and entropy. Why do you think life forms spend so much effort on homeostasis?

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, just for a start on what co-optation (which requires onward origin!) requires:

    IC is a barrier to the usual suggested counter-argument, co-option or exaptation based on a conveniently available cluster of existing or duplicated parts. For instance, Angus Menuge has noted that:

    For a working [bacterial] flagellum to be built by exaptation, the five following conditions would all have to be met:

    C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

    C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

    C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

    C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

    C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

    ( Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). HT: ENV.)

    In short, the co-ordinated and functional organisation of a complex system is itself a factor that needs credible explanation.

    However, as Luskin notes for the iconic flagellum, “Those who purport to explain flagellar evolution almost always only address C1 and ignore C2-C5.” [ENV.]

  79. 79
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: OOL implies genetic information of order 100 – 1,000+ k bases and body plans 10 mn to 100+ million bases.

    You full well know that very few scientists are suggesting that the first life form was DNA based.

  80. 80
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: it is clear that you can only keep typing to project.

    It might make more sense to you if you bothered to even try and keep up with the research.

    little more than an ideological just so story

    If you don’t bother to look at the data and make some attempt to understand the arguments then, yes, it would appear that way.

    The big gap is to get to cell based life, no solution. Next to cross seas of non function to dozens of body plans, no answer.

    Again, since you choose to stay ignorant of the actual data and research you come to erroneous conclusions. I have said over and over and over again that Dr Shubin’s book is an accessible, easy to find, introduction to some of research which addresses many of your ‘issues’. But will you read it? Not a chance. Why is that?

    Oh, by the way, you didn’t tell me what you thought the first life form on Earth was. Nor did you tell me how the ‘encoded algorithms’ inside cells are stored or translated. Nor did you give me a specific example of one. Looks like you’ve got some catching up to do.

  81. 81
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: PS, the required chemicals to get to your codes dna etc as Dr Tour pointed out are enormously unstable and come from successive low yield processes

    They are unstable under current environmental conditions, which include high levels of oxygen and biological activity. As previously mentioned, phosphate is critical for modern life, and is unstable in its biologically available form. But that is because of existing life and oxygen. Before life existed, oxygen wasn’t present in its free form, and phosphate would be far more stable.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, kindly show us an actually observed life form not using DNA as the core of the cell. Until you get there all you have is just so stories told while dressed in a lab coat. KF

  83. 83
    whistler says:

    few scientists are suggesting that the first life form was DNA based.

    Who observed and studied this “first life form”? If nobody then please don’t use the word “science” in this context. 😉

    Dr Shubin’s book

    He believes in junk DNA. Maybe he has to keep up with science and choose not to stay ignorant of the actual data and research.

  84. 84
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: SG, kindly show us an actually observed life form not using DNA as the core of the cell.

    A particularly egregious misinterpretation of someone else’s comment.

  85. 85
    Sir Giles says:

    JVL: A particularly egregious misinterpretation of someone else’s comment.

    Very true.

    Unguided origin of life researchers: 1) develop hypothesis, 2) conduct experiments, 3) review results, 4)modify hypothesis and repeat.

    ID origin of life researchers: 1) the unguided origin of life researchers haven’t been able to observe the origin of life therefore god-did-it.

    Saturday morning quiz. Which one of the above is following the scientific process?

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, no observational base, no science. Show us your pre dna life or you are simply spinning empirically uncontrolled ideological speculations dressed up in a lab coat. And the information in the cell is observable, where did it come from, how. KF

  87. 87
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: no observational base, no science.

    Why don’t you show us your observational basis for how you think life originated on Earth? For example, as I have already asked you, what life form do you think was the first one on Earth?

  88. 88
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: SG, no observational base, no science.

    This speaks volumes about your understanding of the scientific process. And, sadly, not in your favour.

    Results of experiments used to test a hypothesis are observed. The Big Bang has never been observed but there is plenty of scientific research and observational evidence concerning it. Mountain formation, other than those of volcanic origin, has never been observed but it is researched using science. The unguided origin of life has never been observed but hypotheses have been developed and experiments devised and observations obtained. Just because a hypothesis hasn’t been confirmed does not mean that the hypothesis is incorrect or that it cannot be studied scientifically.

    The intelligent design of the first cell, the first eukaryote, the first metazoan, the first chordate, etc, etc, etc, has never been observed. By your erroneous claim, this means that ID can’t be studied following the scientific process. I happen to believe that it can. That it hasn’t speaks further volumes. And, again, not in your favour.

  89. 89
    Sir Giles says:

    KF: And the information in the cell is observable, where did it come from, how. KF

    I don’t know. And neither do you. Perhaps you should conduct scientific research into how the designer did it. When it did it. Just as those studying the unguided origin of life are doing.

  90. 90
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Sorry for the duplicate, but any chance of adding the following or something similar to the “Put a Sock in It” resource? Or is this information there already in some other form?

    General Note
    – ID is not synonymous with Creationism.
    – ID Takes no position on the source of the intelligent design.
    – ID recognizes that biological research based on the appearance of design advances scientific progress faster than the presumption of undirected random chance.

    I refuted Seversky’s usual objections here:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/at-scitech-daily-scientists-solve-an-origin-of-life-mystery/#comment-768119

    Thanks,

    -Q

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    Querius: ID Takes no position on the source of the intelligent design.

    Or when design was/is implemented apparently. Which makes you wonder how it can be a ‘better’ explanation.

    ID recognizes that biological research based on the appearance of design advances scientific progress faster than the presumption of undirected random chance.

    How so exactly? What would a scientist do differently accepting the design inference? Do you have any examples of scientific work that was influenced positively because of the design inference?

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, nope. I have not said science is only about observations — no one has seen an electron for instance — but that without a base of observations there is no science present. Which is the case. Accountability before observable fact is a touchstone of science. As a reasonably educated person, that should be obvious. KF

    PS, we know just one force capable of causing FSCO/I, from observation of trillions of cases. The attempt to insist on the unknown in the face of this is little more than ideological obscurantism driven by refusal to accept that inference on signs is valid.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, the answers to those points are in the longstanding weak argument correctives under the same resources tab. KF

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the obvious first candidate life form is the cell, and it is chock full of known reliable signs of design. For months now objectors at UD have been trying to deny the well known observationally anchored otherwise utterly uncontroversial conclusion that D/RNA has in it complex codes and algorithms. That is telling. KF

  95. 95
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: the obvious first candidate life form is the cell

    What evidence do you have that the cell was the first thing that could be called alive on Earth?

    For months now objectors at UD have been trying to deny the well known observationally anchored otherwise utterly uncontroversial conclusion that D/RNA has in it complex codes and algorithms.

    Please give an example of one of those algorithms and tell us where it is stored and how it is ‘read’.

    Accountability before observable fact is a touchstone of science.

    What observations can you offer as to what happened when life arose on Earth?

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, you show us an empirical — actually observed — example of a biological life form not based on encapsulated, smart gated, molecular nanotech, metabolising, self replicating entity using complex coded and algorithmic information and then there is a base to change understanding of biological life. Absent that, it is all just so speculative stories perhaps dressed up in a lab coat. This is part of the empirical, observational base point. And, once there were cell based bioforms, there was a new order of existence, now manifest as the world of life, marked by present observations and preserved traces of the past. These forms all fit the cell based pattern showing it to be the core. That core includes complex, code based algorithms executed using a clear pattern of molecular nanotech fitting an architecture that has been progressively reverse engineered. See for example the process-flow framework of the metabolic framework of the cell that can be profitably compared with say a petroleum refinery or pharmacological synthesis. This pattern exemplifies language, and goal directed purposeful functional information rich processes far beyond the credible reach of blind chance and mechanical necessity and which are signatures of language using, deeply knowledgeable intelligence acting by design — intelligently directed configuration, start with Venter et al for our own primitive techniques or even Dr Tour’s molecular car. Of course, many are ideologically blinded to such through institutional dominance of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers. KF

    PS, it seems some need a reminder from Newton’s Opticks, Query 31:

    As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For [speculative, empirically ungrounded] Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy. And although the arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general. And if no Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced generally. But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as occur. [–> this for instance speaks to how Newtonian Dynamics works well for the large, slow moving bodies case, but is now limited by relativity and quantum findings] By this way of Analysis we may proceed from Compounds to Ingredients, and from Motions to the Forces producing them; and in general, from Effects to their Causes, and from particular Causes to more general ones, till the Argument end in the most general. This is the Method of Analysis: And the Synthesis consists in assuming the Causes discover’d, and establish’d as Principles, and by them explaining the Phaenomena proceeding from them, and proving [= testing, the older sense of “prove” . . . i.e. he anticipates Lakatos on progressive vs degenerative research programmes and the pivotal importance of predictive success of the dynamic models in our theories in establishing empirical reliability, thus trustworthiness and utility] the Explanations. [Newton in Opticks, 1704, Query 31, emphases and notes added]

    That is how far things have fallen.

  97. 97
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, Let these summary remarks and longstanding citations stand in record against the subtext of strawman tactics, willful hyperskepticism and subtext of contempt that peeks out from between the lines above. Observation based? Oh pounce. Correction given, and kindly refer to this from Opticks, Query 31 the source of the school level summary of scientific methods we may have been taught:

    As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For [speculative, empirically ungrounded] Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy. And although the arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general. And if no Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced generally. But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as occur.

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS, observe further the rhetorical catch 22. Make detailed point by point responses that involve quotes and arguments anticipating a range of objection tactics and you will be accused of word salad being incomprehensible and blind copy pasting or quote mining. Write short points and you will be twisted into strawman tactic pretzels. In all cases part of the subtext is that you could not possibly have a serious point or be a reasonably knowledgeable and responsible person in dissent from a degenerative research programme with self referentially incoherent controlling ideological commitments such as those Lewontin let out of the bag. Ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked lurks as a key narrative driver of the agendas to pull the Overton window. That’s why it is time to use the modified JoHari window, apply systems engineering techniques including sociotechnical systems to the ideological agendas and set out on reformation.

  99. 99
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @93,

    Q, the answers to those points are in the longstanding weak argument correctives under the same resources tab. KF

    Thank you. Since the skeptics here apparently can’t be bothered with reading the Resources section here, when the accusation appears again (and again), I’ll simply paste in my points and a link to the Weak Anti_ID Arguments: https://uncommondescent.com/faq/

    -Q

  100. 100
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @86,

    JVL, you show us an empirical — actually observed — example of a biological life form not based on encapsulated, smart gated, molecular nanotech, metabolising, self replicating entity using complex coded and algorithmic information and then there is a base to change understanding of biological life. Absent that, it is all just so speculative stories perhaps dressed up in a lab coat.

    Exactly. And it’s not even a “story.” It’s fantasy.

    Anyone who has taken even a basic class in biology is taught that cells with cell walls or cell membranes are the basic unit of life. Without a semi-permeable cell wall or membrane, the matter inside would simply float away and disintegrate or become yummy food for cells with intact cell walls or cell membranes.

    For a more complete description, see
    https://teacherscollegesj.org/what-happens-to-a-cell-without-a-cell-wall/

    -Q

  101. 101
    whistler says:

    Kairosfocus
    SG, nope. I have not said science is only about observations — no one has seen an electron for instance — but that without a base of observations there is no science present.

    Funny how SG argued for “first cell” with Big Bang and mount formation instead of presenting actual argumentation for “first cell” and this in fact was a freudian slip (that he agree with your observation but his ideology forbid him to accept it openly in front of infidels like you)

    JVL
    What would a scientist do differently accepting the design inference? Do you have any examples of scientific work that was influenced positively because of the design inference?

    🙂 Don’t you think that is easier to present on the spot one scientific work that doesn’t use design inference. Should be easy to spot one scientific research( from millions) that doesn’t involve design inference. Try it. 😉

  102. 102
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: you show us an empirical — actually observed — example of a biological life form not based on encapsulated, smart gated, molecular nanotech, metabolising, self replicating entity using complex coded and algorithmic information and then there is a base to change understanding of biological life.

    Show me a designed life form that was observed being designed. Go on. And give me an example of one of your embedded algorithms. Go on.

    In all cases part of the subtext is that you could not possibly have a serious point or be a reasonably knowledgeable and responsible person in dissent from a degenerative research programme with self referentially incoherent controlling ideological commitments such as those Lewontin let out of the bag. Ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked lurks as a key narrative driver of the agendas to pull the Overton window.

    Look, if your arguments don’t make sense or if they ignore some pertinent data or results or quotes are taken out of context it’s fair to point that out. A ‘degenerative research program’? Really. It seems pretty productive to me.

  103. 103
    JVL says:

    Querius: Anyone who has taken even a basic class in biology is taught that cells with cell walls or cell membranes are the basic unit of life. Without a semi-permeable cell wall or membrane, the matter inside would simply float away and disintegrate or become yummy food for cells with intact cell walls or cell membranes.

    So, you think until cells existed there was no ‘life’ on Earth? That they could not have come from a precursor?

  104. 104
    JVL says:

    Whistler: Don’t you think that is easier to present on the spot one scientific work that doesn’t use design inference. Should be easy to spot one scientific research( from millions) that doesn’t involve design inference. Try it.

    Plate Tectonics. Quantum Mechanics. Unguided Evolutionary Theory. Big Bang Theory. The Law of Gravity.

  105. 105
    whistler says:

    JVL
    Plate Tectonics. Quantum Mechanics. Unguided Evolutionary Theory. Big Bang Theory. The Law of Gravity.

    Ok, now ask yourself WHY would want humans to study the Universe? Because the people had the assumption that the Universe is intelligible otherwise wouldn’t even bother about studying. So the origin of science is a pure theological assumption and ,yes, even atheists today that are scientists have and use that theological assumption because you can’t do science without it. 😉

  106. 106
    JVL says:

    Whistler: Ok, now ask yourself WHY would want humans to study the Universe?

    Because people are curious. Because sometimes knowing stuff gives you an advantage; for example: if you know about when to plant and harvest crops. Because people thought they could avoid certain disasters. Lots of reasons. So they observed and remembered and eventually recorded what they saw to detect patterns.

    Because the people had the assumption that the Universe is intelligible otherwise wouldn’t even bother about studying

    Gee, would that be the only reason you would study something? Because you thought it had something to do with there being an order?

    So the origin of science is a pure theological assumption and ,yes, even atheists today that are scientists have and use that theological assumption because you can’t do science without it. ?

    I THINK the notions of a deity came AFTER humans started studying natural phenomena and thought they had detected agency. Exactly the opposite of what you assume. And it is an assumption. Unless you have invented a time machine and can go back and talk to people living thousands of years ago.

  107. 107
    Alan Fox says:

    Whistler:

    Dr Shubin’s book

    He believes in junk DNA.

    So much nonsense in so few words. If this weren’t Uncommon Descent, I’d put it forward as some kind of record.

  108. 108
    Querius says:

    JVL @103,

    Querius: Anyone who has taken even a basic class in biology is taught that cells with cell walls or cell membranes are the basic unit of life. Without a semi-permeable cell wall or membrane, the matter inside would simply float away and disintegrate or become yummy food for cells with intact cell walls or cell membranes.

    JVL: So, you think until cells existed there was no ‘life’ on Earth? That they could not have come from a precursor?

    Yes, that’s pretty much the science now. But tell me more about this precursor hypothesis of yours.

    Does it have a metabolism? Can it reproduce?

    -Q

  109. 109
    JVL says:

    Querius: Yes, that’s pretty much the science now. But tell me more about this precursor hypothesis of yours.

    I don’t have a hypothesis, but others do. If you’re interested I’m sure you can find them.

    Does it have a metabolism? Can it reproduce?

    It would have to have some method of absorbing materials from the surrounding environment. And clearly it would be able to reproduce! What a silly question!

    Are you just trying to waste my time: asking silly questions and ones you can easily find answers for yourself?

  110. 110
    Querius says:

    JVL @109,

    You’re the one speculating on life without cells, not me. I’ve never heard of it. If it’s not your idea, where did you get it from?

    Neither metabolism nor reproduction is trivial. Do you have anything in mind for primitive metabolism? Does this reproduction your assuming use DNA, RNA, or some other coding mechanism and how could it have evolved?

    Again, this is your speculation. You should be the one coming up with support for it, not me. To start with, do you have any evidence at all that life can exist without cell walls or cell membranes?

    -Q

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, we both know the logic of abductive inference to the best explanation on signs. We both understand that origins were not directly observed by us so we can only infer on signs; this is pivotal to studies of origins topics and more broadly studies of the wider cosmos.

    Given your talk points above do you toss out the general earth and cosmos time scales on grounds of want of direct observation or record of eyewitnesses? I bet you do not. So, your selective refusal to acknowledge relevance of inference on tested reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration is hyperskepticism. By contrast, my following the same Newton on refusing to entertain as reasonable explanations speculations not shown in our own observation to have relevant causal capability is warranted.

    Orgel-Wicken functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information [FSCO/I] has but one plausible and actually observed cause. Design. It is a signature of design, though onward studies would be required to identify likely technique or agent.

    Further to this, fine tuning through matching, arrangement and proper coupling of parts to work together is a natural aspect of FSCO/I and it is why there are islands of function in the configuration space, as there are vastly more clumped at random non functional states than functionally organised ones.

    Scattering of parts goes well beyond even that, as a simple analysis of what would predictably happen if disassembled parts of an ABU 6500 reel were shaken up in a bait bucket would exemplify. And laughing to dismiss a familiar example is hyperskeptical.

    Or, do you want me to put on the table Paley’s example from Ch 2, the self replicating watch that somehow never appears in the literature, the biggest strawman tactic of them all?

    So, mechanisms of adaptation that work within an island of function face an insuperable span of non function to blindly reach another.

    This is of course the problem of OOL and OO body plans [OOBP].

    The evasions, dismissals and denials or gross unwarranted extrapolations do not solve the problem.

    And, on reverse engineering architecture of life, we are epistemically entitled to infer intelligently directed configuration by code using algorithm writing designers with deep knowledge of polymer chemistry.

    Notice, the actually observed means of synthesis in the world of life, based on molecular nanotech. That is suggestive that a logical means ab initio was similar nanotech some generations beyond Venter et al today.

    Indeed, intelligent design of life that uses the architecture we have reverse engineered is a matter of widely headlined fact.

    KF

    PS, smart gated cell encapsulating walls are a key component of stabilisation thus sustainability of life forms against entropy, i.e. of homeostasis.

    PPS, just for reminder, Lyell:

    PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY:

    BEING

    AN INQUIRY HOW FAR THE FORMER CHANGES OF THE EARTH’S SURFACE ARE REFERABLE TO CAUSES NOW IN OPERATION. [–> appeal to Newton’s Rules, in the title of the work]

    BY

    CHARLES LYELL, Esq, F.R.S.

    PRESIDENT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON . . . JOHN MURRAY , , , 1835 [–> later, publisher of Origin]

    See my point on abductive inference?

    PPPS, do you really want me to document in detail the dishonest, abusive treatment meted out to dissenters by the evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow traveller establishment? The slaughter/expulsion of dissidents is a routine practice as our Prince Caspian here at UD exemplifies. Similarly, I am myself one who has experienced false accusations of quote mining, and online and offline stalking including of fairly remote family. The track record is there and it is ugly. Dr Tour is standing up to some bullies as we speak.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, for cause, I second Q’s challenges. KF

  113. 113
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: JVL’s unacknowledged infinite monkeys problem which arises in cases of text but is WLOG as any functional organisation can be reduced to text through a description language:

    [Wikipedia confesses regarding the infinite monkeys theorem:] The theorem concerns a thought experiment which cannot be fully carried out in practice, since it is predicted to require prohibitive amounts of time and resources. Nonetheless, it has inspired efforts in finite random text generation.

    One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on August 4, 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed,

    “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t”

    The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from “Timon of Athens”, 17 from “Troilus and Cressida”, and 16 from “Richard II”.[26]

    A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on July 1, 2003, contained a Java applet that simulated a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” to reach 24 matching characters:

    RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d…

    [ACC: Dec 17, 2019. NB: Where, also, as this is a digital age, we will readily see that we can compose a description language and then create a string of yes/no questions to specify any reasonable object — as say AutoCAD etc do. Thus, our seemingly simplistic discussion on bit strings *-*-*- . . . is in fact without loss of generality [WLOG].]

    [Comment: 16 – 24 ASCII characters is far short of the relevant thresholds, at best, a factor of about 1 in 10^100. Yes, the article goes on to note that “instead of simply generating random characters one restricts the generator to a meaningful vocabulary and conservatively following grammar rules, like using a context-free grammar, then a random document generated this way can even fool some humans.” But, that is simply implicitly conceding that design makes a big difference to what can be done. ]

    KF

  114. 114
    JVL says:

    Querius: You’re the one speculating on life without cells, not me. I’ve never heard of it. If it’s not your idea, where did you get it from?

    Good lord, you are lazy. Don’t you even know how to use Wikipedia?

    Highly energetic chemistry is thought to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 billion years ago, and half a billion years later the last common ancestor of all life existed. The current scientific consensus is that the complex biochemistry that makes up life came from simpler chemical reactions. The beginning of life may have included self-replicating molecules such as RNA and the assembly of simple cells.

    The prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but an evolutionary process of increasing complexity that involved the formation of a habitable planet, the prebiotic synthesis of organic molecules, molecular self-replication, self-assembly, autocatalysis, and the emergence of cell membranes. Many proposals have been made for different stages of the process.

    The study of abiogenesis aims to determine how pre-life chemical reactions gave rise to life under conditions strikingly different from those on Earth today. It primarily uses tools from biology and chemistry, with more recent approaches attempting a synthesis of many sciences. Life functions through the specialized chemistry of carbon and water, and builds largely upon four key families of chemicals: lipids for cell membranes, carbohydrates such as sugars, amino acids for protein metabolism, and nucleic acids DNA and RNA for the mechanisms of heredity. Any successful theory of abiogenesis must explain the origins and interactions of these classes of molecules. Many approaches to abiogenesis investigate how self-replicating molecules, or their components, came into existence. Researchers generally think that current life descends from an RNA world, although other self-replicating molecules may have preceded RNA.

    The RNA world is a hypothetical stage in the evolutionary history of life on Earth, in which self-replicating RNA molecules proliferated before the evolution of DNA and proteins. The term also refers to the hypothesis that posits the existence of this stage.

    Alexander Rich first proposed the concept of the RNA world in 1962, and Walter Gilbert coined the term in 1986. Alternative chemical paths to life have been proposed, and RNA-based life may not have been the first life to exist. Even so, the evidence for an RNA world is strong enough that the hypothesis has gained wide acceptance. The concurrent formation of all four RNA building blocks further strengthened the hypothesis. Regardless of its plausibility in a prebiotic scenario, the RNA world can serve as a model system for studying the origin of life.

    Like DNA, RNA can store and replicate genetic information; like protein enzymes, RNA enzymes (ribozymes) can catalyze (start or accelerate) chemical reactions that are critical for life. One of the most critical components of cells, the ribosome, is composed primarily of RNA. Ribonucleotide moieties in many coenzymes, such as acetyl-CoA, NADH, FADH, and F420, may be surviving remnants of covalently bound coenzymes in an RNA world.

    Although RNA is fragile, some ancient RNAs may have evolved the ability to methylate other RNAs to protect them.

    If the RNA world existed, it was probably followed by an age characterized by the evolution of ribonucleoproteins (RNP world), which in turn ushered in the era of DNA and longer proteins. DNA has greater stability and durability than RNA; this may explain why it became the predominant information storage molecule. Protein enzymes may have come to replace RNA-based ribozymes as biocatalysts because their greater abundance and diversity of monomers makes them more versatile. As some co-factors contain both nucleotide and amino-acid characteristics, it may be that amino acids, peptides and finally proteins initially were co-factors for ribozymes.

  115. 115
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: So, your selective refusal to acknowledge relevance of inference on tested reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration is hyperskepticism.

    When there is an explanation which requires fewer assumptions or unknown agents it is to be preferred is it not?

    The evasions, dismissals and denials or gross unwarranted extrapolations do not solve the problem.

    None of which I have done. I have disagreed with you because of a lot of data and research and publications but that’s not the same as any of the things you accuse me of.

    I second Q’s challenges.

    He was only pointing out his own laziness and self-inflicted ignorance. He’s never even heard of RNA-world? Really? How long has he been commenting on this forum? Why don’t you scrutinise his statements and see if they are plausible.

  116. 116
    whistler says:

    Whistler: Ok, now ask yourself WHY would want humans to study the Universe?
    JVL: Because people are curious.

    You are such an incompetent atheist. This is an theologic/theistic answer. People can’t be curious without reason and conscience and these abilities can’t be explained by materialism. I mean can be “explained” with just-so stories .

    I THINK the notions of a deity came AFTER humans started studying natural phenomena and thought they had detected agency. Exactly the opposite of what you assume. And it is an assumption. Unless you have invented a time machine and can go back and talk to people living thousands of years ago.

    Nonsense. Just-so stories are irresistible for materialists, I mean is their only “science” they’ve got.
    What about some real hard science ? No just-so stories . Only science please. :)))

    Talking about just-so stories and how irresistible are they for atheists:

    JVL

    Querius: You’re the one speculating on life without cells, not me. I’ve never heard of it. If it’s not your idea, where did you get it from?

    Good lord, you are lazy. Don’t you even know how to use Wikipedia?

    Look what “scientific evidences” brings JVL:

    The current scientific consensus is that…The beginning of life may have included self-replicating molecules such as RNA and the assembly of simple cells.

    The prevailing scientific hypothesis is that …Many proposals have been made for different stages of the process.

    The study of abiogenesis aims to

    Researchers generally think that current life descends from an RNA world, although other self-replicating molecules may have preceded RNA.

    PS: JVL ,stick to hard scientific evidences and let go the just so stories. “General consensus” and “the prevailing scientific hypothesis” are nonsense. Hard scientific evidences or just button it.

  117. 117
    JVL says:

    Whistler: People can’t be curious without reason and conscience and these abilities can’t be explained by materialism.

    Other opinions are available. Proof is non-existent.

    ,stick to hard scientific evidences and let go the just so stories. “General consensus” and “the prevailing scientific hypothesis” are nonsense. Hard scientific evidences or just button it.

    Would you concede to looking at some of the papers the above, derided, opinions are based on and show where there is a mistake or flaw? Here try this one:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473686/

    From the abstract:

    The mechanism by which enzymes arose from both abiotic and biological worlds remains an unsolved natural mystery. We postulate that an enzyme can emerge from any sequence of any functional polymer under permissive evolutionary conditions. To support this premise, we have arbitrarily chosen a 50-nucleotide DNA fragment encoding for the Bos taurus (cattle) albumin mRNA and subjected it to test-tube evolution to derive a catalytic DNA (DNAzyme) with RNA-cleavage activity. After only a few weeks, a DNAzyme with significant catalytic activity has surfaced. Sequence comparison reveals that seven nucleotides are responsible for the conversion of the noncatalytic sequence into the enzyme. Deep sequencing analysis of DNA pools along the evolution trajectory has identified individual mutations as the progressive drivers of the molecular evolution. Our findings demonstrate that an enzyme can indeed arise from a sequence of a functional polymer via permissive molecular evolution, a mechanism that may have been exploited by nature for the creation of the enormous repertoire of enzymes in the biological world today.

  118. 118
    Sandy says:

    we have arbitrarily chosen a 50-nucleotide DNA fragment encoding for the Bos taurus (cattle) albumin mRNA

    I didn’t know that Bos Taurus was classified as inorganic chemicals and then the scientists fail to tell us all the story about the utility of that “enzyme” in the test-tube. I missed also the part where scientists explain us the jumping gap from an enzyme to the first working cell. Maybe you clarify because certainly you wouldn’t post a link that you don’t read first . 🙂

  119. 119
    Querius says:

    JVL @114, 117,

    Good lord, you are lazy. Don’t you even know how to use Wikipedia?

    Ad hominem noted.

    Do you think there’s a reason why academia and technical journals don’t accept Wikipedia citations for papers? The Wikipedia article you referenced is complete speculation with lots of “mighta” and “coulda” statements.

    Any examples of molecules that replicate by themselves without depending on other molecules?

    What is currently needed for RNA to replicate itself? Lazy me, here’s a reference:
    https://www.microbiologybook.org/mhunt/rna-ho.htm

    The Wikipedia article suggests that evolutionary processes (i.e. undirected, random changes AND natural selection) involving non-living entities gave rise to life! Any examples of these non-living entities?

    Would you be skeptical if I told you that I have a really, really simple pre-automobile (i.e. an 1818 velocipede) in my garage that’s so simple that it can replicate itself?

    What if I told you that over the years it became more complex through evolutionary changes and that now it’s evolved up to the motorcycle level?

    What if a motorcycle was found preserved in strata hundreds of millions of years old? Ok, you’re skeptical but is it even remotely possible?

    But let’s assume that some version of single-strand RNA could replicate. How did this original RNA come into existence? Random chance in a highly concentrated, extremely pure solution of a nitrogenous base, a ribose sugar, and a phosphate? Where do you get the sugar from? How was it purified, concentrated, filtered for chirality, and kept pure in a tide pool?

    The article referenced by the NIH website cheats by starting with bovine mRNA in high-purity conditions. The steps are given as . . .

    1. “Any DNA sequence with an RNA/DNA subtrate” +
    2. “In Vitro evolution” +
    3. “Mutations resulting in an RNA-cleaving catalytic DNA”

    There! It’s as easy as 1 2 3! Apparently, the starting point and in-between gaps are left as an exercise for the reader.

    But the paper still serves as a great example of employing a Darwin-of-the-Gaps approach to science.

    -Q

  120. 120
    Querius says:

    Sandy @118,

    Exactly! You nailed it.

    -Q

  121. 121
    Querius says:

    Looks like JVL has left the discussion.

    -Q

  122. 122
    JVL says:

    Querius: Looks like JVL has left the discussion.

    Your reply to me made it pretty clear that you cannot accept any kind of scientific reasoning trying to explain historical events that cannot be observed or recreated precisely. I refer to this comment made by you:

    The Wikipedia article you referenced is complete speculation with lots of “mighta” and “coulda” statements.

    Of course it uses those terms when you can’t know for sure how things came about. But the suppositions are based on research and work and data. But you just look at the sensible qualifiers and say it’s all rubbish.

  123. 123
    Querius says:

    JVL @122,

    Scientific reasoning does not rest on suppositions but on experimental data. Hypotheses are based on observation and speculation, but ultimately must be able to successfully predict future discoveries.

    “Vestigial” organs, “junk” DNA, and “living fossils” are all examples of the failed predictions of Darwinism. Furthermore, Darwin’s The Descent of Man exposes his theory as a racist justification of colonialism and slow genocide of the “inferior races,” which is hardly scientific.

    Or do you still think it is?

    -Q

  124. 124
    Querius says:

    JVL,

    But the suppositions are based on research and work and data.

    I see. You’re saying that they are extremely well-researched and data-driven conclusions . . . namely that they are still entirely clueless and have to resort to vacuous speculation instead.

    -Q

  125. 125
    JVL says:

    Querius: You’re saying that they are extremely well-researched and data-driven conclusions . . . namely that they are still entirely clueless and have to resort to vacuous speculation instead.

    Since you’ve already made up your mind there’s not much point in pursuing the issue is there?

  126. 126
    Querius says:

    JVL @125,

    Since you’ve already made up your mind there’s not much point in pursuing the issue is there?

    This is a baloney trollbot response that can be applied in virtually every discussion or argument.

    No, if there were any actual scientific EVIDENCE, I would follow that line of inquiry. Currently, the evidence against “vestigial” organs, “junk” DNA, and “living fossils” is great enough that these initial terms are being replaced in mainstream biology.

    -Q

  127. 127
    JVL says:

    Querius: No, if there were any actual scientific EVIDENCE, I would follow that line of inquiry.

    Like I said: you’ve already decided and will not change your mind so I’m not going to bother answering your questions which I would do if I thought you really were interested. But, clearly, you’re not.

  128. 128
    relatd says:

    JVL at 127,

    I see you continue to follow orders and man your side of the barricade. Oh well.

  129. 129
    relatd says:

    Querius at 126,

    The scientific evidence you referenced is compelling.

  130. 130
    Querius says:

    JVL @127,

    Like I said: you’ve already decided and will not change your mind so I’m not going to bother answering your questions which I would do if I thought you really were interested. But, clearly, you’re not.

    Another content-free trollbot response.

    It seems likely that it’s because you cannot deal with the evidence against against the so-called but falsified terms:

    * “Vestigial” organs – not vestigial after all.
    * “Junk” DNA – not junk after all.
    * “Living fossils” – A miracle of halting evolutionary change for dozens of millions of years.

    Mainstream biology has quietly replaced these terms, but still refuses to let go of random mutations as the primary driving force.

    Apparently, you don’t accept discussing the issues challenging a racist 19th-century theory used to justify colonialism and oppression of the “less evolved” humans as Charles Darwin believed them to be. I guess you have no problem with this perspective and accuse me instead of “not changing my mind” despite all the mounting evidence against Darwinism.

    -Q

  131. 131
    relatd says:

    Querius at 130,

    Changing your mind? About scientific evidence? You have to understand the evidence gathered from the posts of the people you’re dealing with.

    1) Evolution is a fact. It cannot be challenged. Regardless of any evidence to the contrary. Which makes no sense.
    2) Alleged facts for evolution are presented as actual facts, regardless of evidence to the contrary. Which makes no sense.
    3) Like a wooden dummy manipulated by a controller, and Communists, evolution is real, like Communism. And just as useful.

    ‘The truth must be repeated daily to combat the lies being spread among the people.’ Like Communism and evolution.

  132. 132
    Querius says:

    Relatd @129,

    The scientific evidence you referenced is compelling.

    It is indeed.

    When cracks widen in a theory, when predictions fail, when surprises emerge that involve greater amounts of imagination in trying to explain then (multiple and repeated convergent evolutionary changes come to mind), the TRUE BELIEVERS such as JVL grimly hang on to their faith.

    On the other hand, a number of open-minded evolutionary biologists are suggesting such things as a much greater role for epigenetic adaptation and alternative dynamics in the face of the evidence.

    And then we get accused of being closed-minded. What a joke. I once believed in Darwinism until I was confronted with more and more anomalies.

    * Trans-strata fossils
    * Modern fossils mixed in with ancient ones.
    * Rapid stratification such as with Mount St. Helens and Surtsey.
    * Stratification experiments at the mouths of major rivers.

    -Q

  133. 133
    relatd says:

    Querius at 132,

    Yes, trans-strata fossil trees. Tree trunks that penetrate through rock strata representing long periods of time. Evolutionists ignore this, but a tree exposed to the air would have rotted away long ago if the rock enclosing it was laid down gradually. So quick burial explains it.

    https://www.icr.org/article/classic-polystrate-fossil/

  134. 134
    Querius says:

    Related @131,

    For some, these inconvenient facts are “inconceivable.”

    As to your analogy, socialism, is a good example. It’s never worked in history, nor is it currently working anywhere in the world. Even Sweden pulled back from what was fossilizing their businesses and bankrupting their country. Nevertheless, the ideologues insist that all these failures weren’t TRUE socialism and we should keep trying it over and over again (with them in charge, of course) until it works.

    Science fantasy and political fantasy.

    -Q

  135. 135
    JVL says:

    Querius: Another content-free trollbot response.

    It was true though wasn’t it? Why waste content on you?

    It seems likely that it’s because you cannot deal with the evidence against against the so-called but falsified terms:

    * “Vestigial” organs – not vestigial after all.
    * “Junk” DNA – not junk after all.
    * “Living fossils” – A miracle of halting evolutionary change for dozens of millions of years.

    Sigh. Fine, you pick one of those topics and I’ll give you my take on it. But I’m sure you will just say anything I say is rubbish so I’m not sure why I’m bothering.

    Go on, pick one.

  136. 136
    Querius says:

    Relatd @133,

    Great article–thanks. I’ve also read somewhere that the contorted skeletal remains of many fossils resemble the death position of chickens when they drown. Recently, I read a book on the Missoula floods where a uniformitarian geologist finally admitted that the evidence pointed to catastrophism.
    http://columbiariverimages.com.....loods.html

    There have been quote a number of other events along the same line such as the filling of the Black Sea (entombing ancient encampments) and ancient “supervolcanos.”
    https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-are-some-examples-supervolcanoes

    -Q

  137. 137
    relatd says:

    Querius at 134,

    There is a connection with believing in evolution and ideas like Communism. From a Christian perspective, man has only two choices: He either chooses himself or he chooses God. When he chooses himself, vain imaginations start. He begins to believe the following:

    “Man is the measure of all things.” A statement by the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras.

    “Man invents himself.” Jean-Paul Sarte.

    So what you are seeing here is not new and similar to these statements.

    Life creates itself. No God is required.

    Life is not designed. It just looks designed.

    So – to anyone with eyes to see – the ‘conflict’ is invented, along with claims about “evolution.”

  138. 138
    Querius says:

    Relatd @ 137,

    I would have no problem with evolution if it followed scientific evidence or socialism (such as was practiced by early Christians for the first couple of hundred years after Christ) if it worked. Really.

    But it doesn’t follow scientific evidence and is just wishful thinking.

    After reading your link to polystrate fossils, I found this link that goes into much more detail, especially about polystrate fossils including dinosaur footprints, leaves, and jellyfish lying intact and undisturbed for millions of years.
    https://kgov.com/list-of-the-kinds-of-polystrate-fossils

    -Q

  139. 139
    Alan Fox says:

    Querius:

    “Vestigial” organs, “junk” DNA, and “living fossils” are all examples of the failed predictions of Darwinism.

    They are not.

    I’ve noticed you have retreated from defending your assertions to ignoring responses altogether and just repeating the same assertions as if you had not received any. I’t’s quite dishonest, really. I’m disappointed.

  140. 140
    JVL says:

    Alan Fox: I’ve noticed you have retreated from defending your assertions to ignoring responses altogether and just repeating the same assertions as if you had not received any.

    I’m feeling neglected, I offered to address any of the topics listed and ‘he’ ignored me. Uncommon Descent is a heartbreak.

  141. 141
    Alan Fox says:

    @ JVL

    It must be difficult being an ID proponent. There seem to be very few cards to play with never a new one, and the old cards are looking a bit curly at the corners.

  142. 142
    JVL says:

    Alan Fox: It must be difficult being an ID proponent. There seem to be very few cards to play with never a new one, and the old cards are looking a bit curly at the corners.

    Kind of like one of those bands from the 60s with maybe one original member that keeps on touring and playing all the old hits. And the venues get smaller and smaller . . .

  143. 143
    relatd says:

    Querius at 136,

    You’re welcome. There are ‘fossil graveyards’ around the world. These creatures were buried in clusters, suggesting a catastrophic event with water that swept them into a final location.

    https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/fossil-record/the-worlds-a-graveyard/

  144. 144
    relatd says:

    JVL at 142,

    A message from a trench across from your barricade: “Hey! Keep it down! We’re trying to listen to the Beach Boys over here!”

  145. 145
    relatd says:

    Querius at 138,

    Thanks for the link. A catastrophic, global flood occurred, resulting in rapid burial of plants and animals.

  146. 146
    Querius says:

    Related @145,

    Yeah, apparently sorta what happened on Mars . . .

    -Q

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