Intelligent Design

Fire Rainbow

Spread the love

This is a fire rainbow — one of the rarest naturally occurring atmospheric phenomena.

The picture was captured this week on the Idaho/Washington border. The event lasted about one hour.

Clouds have to be cirrus, at least four miles in the air, with just the right amount of ice crystals; and the sun has to hit the clouds at 58 degrees.

It’s the gratuitousness of such beaty that leads me to rebel against materialism.

Fire Rainbow

49 Replies to “Fire Rainbow

  1. 1

    [In response to a comment by Comrade since deleted:] It is a question of rebellion. Scientific evidence leads me simply to regard materialism as nonsense.

  2. 2
    JGuy says:

    Comrade,
    I think Bill was giving you his opinion of a certain scientific evidence against materialism (ie. unlikeliness & unwarrantedness of such beauty). Others may agree or not – Who cares? Why should scientific data control original thought or thinking? Or how could thought come from the scientific data alone in the first place? As I’ve used in examples in other forums, Einstein was an intuitive theorist. His intuition lead him; and the theories that followed changed science, gave novel predictions and explained material phenomena & associated scientific evidences. Besides, how can evidence be seen as evidence without as idea first of what it is that your seeing – ie. What leads you to think a certain way about the evidence?

    I’m not saying Bill was or was not intuitive about this. I don’t want to speak for Bill — Bill would you elaborate on any roles of intuition in the above? And , in your opinion, was I close to explaining this the correct way? Thanks in advance.

  3. 3
    tinabrewer says:

    gorgeous! Examples of such gratuitous beauty are everywhere in the natural world. What has always been striking to me, ever since I was a child, is the way you can be driving along some country road, surrounded by the beauty of trees, flowers, birds, silence, and then you come to a town…where human beings have added objects to nature through agency: in 9 out of 10 cases, the human objects are noticeably ugly, shoddy and without the innate sense of beauty which is one of our nobler potentials. sad.

    Thanks for the lovely image.

  4. 4
    scordova says:

    The tail of the peacock also signifies beauty. Such things of beauty have little survival value. Darwin supposedly said such things in nature made him sick (I wonder why!).

    However, the scientists of his day viewed nature as constructed to make men wonder after the Mind which designed it all. Even with all the pain and misery in this world, it seems a bigger act of faith to accept that it’s all some materialist accident.

  5. 5
    JGuy says:

    I think Bill made a good point to ponder. The scientific evidence can cause one to regard materialism as nonsense; where-as an observation of the improbable & unwarrantedness of such beauty can lead one to rebel against materialism. It’s one way to describe perspectives that perhaps I could have benefited from when I made this thread on the ARN forum:

    http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/.....st30320997

    At the time of that thread, I was in a struggle with understanding intuition better. Now, I feel I have a better – though not necessarily complete – grasp on intuition and it’s limits. It has always been an interesting topic matter to me.

    Why any sense of beauty & awe in the first place?

  6. 6
    scordova says:

    From the (gasp) PBS Series on evolution:

    The feathers that pestered Darwin Creature Courtship, By Peter Tyson

    “The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!”

    –Charles Darwin, in a letter to botanist Asa Gray, April 3, 1860

    For most people, the glorious train of the peacock is a joy to behold. But for Darwin in the years immediately following the 1859 publication of Origin of Species, in which he laid out his theory of evolution by natural selection, the peacock’s resplendent train amounted to an eyesore.

    For the father of evolution, baroque ornamentations like that train and other seeming extravagances — such as the gaudy tailfin colors of the male guppy, the saber rattling of the rutting bull elk, and the elaborate bowers of the bowerbird — seemed to fly in the face of natural selection. How could such ostentation, so costly to the creature in question in terms of expended time and energy, benefit the animal and its offspring in the survival of the fittest?

  7. 7
    jonabbey says:

    The tail of the peacock also signifies beauty. Such things of beauty have little survival value. Darwin supposedly said such things in nature made him sick (I wonder why!)

    Darwin said that about the Peacock because he had no theory to justify such an expensive and mechanically hindering feature. This problem led him to his theory of sexual selection dynamics and how it might lead to more subtle paths of contigent development.

  8. 8
    improvius says:

    If you read a little farther down on that PBS page, it seems to answer those questions by explaining sexual selection.

  9. 9
    Scott says:

    Don’t you know, Sal!? The Peacock tail is the result of the nebulous “sexual selection”.

    😉

  10. 10
    zapatero says:

    From the very next paragraph of the article Salvador quotes above:

    “In the end, Darwin came up with an entirely new theory to explain the extraordinary lengths many animals will go to in order to woo a potential mate. He called it sexual selection. Simply put, sexual selection is the evolutionary process that favors adaptations that increase an animal’s chances of mating. Darwin identified two kinds. In the first, males compete fiercely with each other for access to females. This kind favors the evolution of secondary sexual characters, such as large size and armaments like horns, that enhance a male’s ability to fight. In the second, males compete to win over a female. This variety favors the evolution of vivid color patterns, intricate courtship displays, and specialized structures such as plumes and frills, which heighten a male’s attractiveness to the opposite sex.”

    Odd that Salvador would point out the problem without mentioning Darwin’s solution to the problem.

  11. 11
    scordova says:

    Improvius wrote: “If you read a little farther down on that PBS page, it seems to answer those questions by explaining sexual selection.”

    I know it may seem that way, and that is unfortunate. I hear sexual selection is in trouble as a scientific theory…..

    Salvador
    PS

    As I searched on the issue to respond to you, I found this, although somewhat off-topic, too good to pass up:

    Evolution is henceforth the magic word by which we shall solve all the riddles that surround us.
    — Ernst Haeckel1

    HT Allen Orr on Daniel Dennett here

  12. 12
    improvius says:

    “I know it may seem that way, and that is unfortunate. I hear sexual selection is in trouble as a scientific theory…”

    Interesting, do you have links to any of those papers?

  13. 13
    ofro says:

    I searched for Darwin’s letter to Asa Gray, and what I found sounds a bit different from your interpretation. See http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/Depar...../vol8.html:

    “The major stumbling block for most anatomists and physiologists was the difficulty of conceiving of the selection of chance variations being able to produce such a marvellously perfected structure as the eye. As Darwin admitted to Lyell, Gray, and others, imagining how selection could account for highly adapted organs had sometimes given even him a `cold shudder’. Yet it was more trifling structures, ones for which it was difficult to see clear selective advantages, that caused him greater discomfort. As he readily admitted to Gray: `The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!’ (letter to Asa Gray, 3 April [1860]).”

    It made him “sick” because he was trying to understand the evolutionary advantage of these beautiful structures.

  14. 14
    Charlie says:

    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/n.....on219.html
    Contact Stanford Report
    News Service
    /Press Releases
    Stanford Report, February 19, 2002
    Gender scientists explore a revolution in evolution

    A great deal of empirical evidence exists that refutes Darwinian sexual selection. It’s difficult to tell just how many exceptions there are to the rule because observations may have been skewed by Darwinian biases, says Roughgarden.

    “The exceptions are so numerous they cry out for explanation,” says Roughgarden, who has outlined a stunning array of behaviors that don’t fit the mold in her upcoming book, Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People (University of California Press, 2003).
    “The whole context for Darwin’s theory of sexual selection is dissolving,” says Roughgarden. “So, Darwin is incorrect in the particulars, but more importantly, [his theory of sexual selection] is inadequate even as an approach.”

  15. 15
    Scott says:

    Oh what a primitive notion… that it all can be reduced to genes and the struggle for reproductive advantage. It smacks of Steamboat era ignorance, really. If only Darwin had known that information preceeded it all. If only he could have peered inside the cell which he thought was merely a blob of protoplasm.

  16. 16

    Regarding sexual selection in a different context, see page 19 and following of http://www.designinference.com.....rigins.pdf.

  17. 17
    Jehu says:

    Brilliant discussion on sexual selection.

    However, I have always wondered what the Darwinian explanation is if for why humans find rainbows, sunsets, landscapes, stars, and the rest of natures so beautiful. Is it sexual selection? I think not.

  18. 18
    scordova says:

    improvius asked:

    Interesting, do you have links to any of those papers?

    In addition to the Roughgarden citation above, how about Charle’s Darwin’s own evaluation of his speculation, he said sexual selextion is “an awful stretcher“. :=)

    That said, I must admit, Allen Orr, continues to gain my respect by the way he absolutely pummelled Daniel Dennett as I looked into material to support Bill’s opening thesis about rainbows. It has some relevance to the extravagances of nature Dennett’s Strange Idea:

    Evolutionary biologists thrive on creating adaptive stories where Design is least obvious. After all, where is the glory in explaining why some new species of mite is brown (“it hides in dirt”)? The great challenge is to explain why some feature — whose Design is far from apparent — is actually adaptive and optimally Designed….

    Given our difficulty discerning Design, and this penchant for concocting adaptive stories just where Design is least conspicuous, how could evolutionary biologists not have jitters about adaptationism? It would be an extraordinarily unreflective group indeed that did not ask questions like: How seriously should we take these endless adaptive explanations of features whose alleged Design may be illusory? Isn’t there a difference between those cases where we recognize Design before we understand its cause and those cases where we try to make Design manifest by concocting a story? And isn’t it worrisome that we can make up adaptive stories (and pen wildly speculative papers) faster than we can make up experimental tests?…When does adaptationism stop being a useful research strategy and start being a silly exercise in cleverness?
    ….
    Dennett is fond of speaking of selection as leading organisms through “Design Space”: Selection “lifts” organisms along “ramps” of good Design. Although this imagery is often useful, it invites two subtle misconceptions about adaptation. The first is that natural selection cares about Design. In reality, selection “sees” only brute birth, death, and reproduction, and knows nothing of Design. Selection — sheer, cold demographics — is just as happy to lay waste to the kind of Design we associate with engineering as to build it. Consider the eyes of cave organisms who live in total darkness. If eyes are expensive to make, selection can wreck their exquisite engineering just as surely as it built it. An optic nerve with little or no eye is most assuredly not the sort of design one expects on an engineer’s blueprint, but we find it in Gammarus minus. Whether or not this kind of evolution is common, it betrays the fundamental error in thinking of selection as trading in the currency of Design.

    Orr Unwittingly admits, Man’s well engineered capacity for perceiving the beauty and mathematical intracacies of the unvierse make little sense in terms of Natural Selection. To be fair, that was not his intent to say that, but sometimes the truth is so blatant one can’t help but allow it to slip out of one’s mouth….

    Salvador
    PS
    thanks to Charlie and Ofro for their data points

  19. 19
    tinabrewer says:

    I loved that paper, WmAd! Especially the examples of the people with hardly any brains and plenty of intelligence. The only part I disagree with is where you say that the intellectual feats of people like Sidis(?) hint at the difference in kind between primates and humans. I find the moral/spiritual sphere to be a far more compelling realm in which a difference in KIND as opposed to degree is readily observable. This refers not just to the slippery quality of altruism, which can always be twisted into a selfish motivation by reductionist trickery, but other things like art, and most importantly, the perception of the creator and the life beyond this life.

  20. 20
    sagebrush gardener says:

    Over at Stranger Fruit, John Lynch displays his profound insight into the world of nature and reveals to us that this rainbow is in fact a natural phenomenon that can be explained by the laws of physics. I think the bigger point, which is not much emphasized here and totally overlooked by John, is not the rainbow itself but that we unplanned blobs of protoplasm, the “result of undirected natural processes”, are capable of responding to it with a sense of wonder and beauty — that we (most of us anyway) can look at this and see more than “optimally aligned plate crystals in cirrus clouds refracting sunlight into an array of visible colors”. That we can hear “the music of the spheres”, as John Davison might remind us.

    I’m sure some evolutionary psychologist will be quick to offer an explanation — sexual selection perhaps: “Honey, come here and look at this beautiful rainbow — wonderful, isn’t it? Sit a little closer, please.” “Oh darling, I feel the same way. Please allow me to insure the continuation of your genetic material.”

  21. 21
    GilDodgen says:

    Re #15. Scott comments, “Oh what a primitive notion… that it all can be reduced to genes and the struggle for reproductive advantage.”

    This really says it all. Natural selection creates nothing; it throws stuff out. All these selection stories, sexual or otherwise, tacitly assume that any new feature can be had free for the asking, with no explanation as to how that feature could have been engineered or where the information for it came from.

    Until fully detailed, explicit, real-world-verifiable explanations for how random processes can account for novel biological features, selection stories will remain about as valuable as verbal contracts: not worth the paper they are written on.

  22. 22
    Jehu says:

    “I’m sure some evolutionary psychologist will be quick to offer an explanation — sexual selection perhaps: “Honey, come here and look at this beautiful rainbow — wonderful, isn’t it? Sit a little closer, please.” “Oh darling, I feel the same way. Please allow me to insure the continuation of your genetic material.””

    Now that’s funny.

  23. 23
    apollo230 says:

    Strict materialism is a dim bulb indeed.

    Best regards,
    apollo230

  24. 24
    improvius says:

    “I’m sure some evolutionary psychologist will be quick to offer an explanation — sexual selection perhaps: “Honey, come here and look at this beautiful rainbow — wonderful, isn’t it? Sit a little closer, please.” “Oh darling, I feel the same way. Please allow me to insure the continuation of your genetic material.””

    Ok. So hypothetically, if we WERE the result of evolution as opposed to design, how do you think we would react to rainbows? Or in such a case, do you think we’d have any emotional reactions at all?

  25. 25
    Ryan says:

    I haven’t done any scientific study on the topic of “sexual selection”, but it seems totally bogus to me.

    It seems that the most ugly critters seem to be overpopulous while the more “eye-friendly” ones are rare.

  26. 26
    mike1962 says:

    Face it, materialism cannot comprehend consciousness.

  27. 27
    tinabrewer says:

    improvius:it is not evolution vs. design. It is “blind, purposeless natural processes” undirected by intellegent agency vs. design. In this schema, organisms have those qualities which serve a function in terms of survival and reproduction, or which at a minimum do not interfere with survival and reproduction. Anything extra is baggage along for the ride, or epiphenomenal. Accordingly, the sense of awe at natural beauty is a troublesome fit for this mechanism. Is it baggage? Is it a nice bonus of having a big prefrontal cortex? Is it something which derives from a hierarchically superior value set which cannot be reduced to matter?

  28. 28
    scordova says:

    Many people has rejected scientific values because they regard materialism as a sterile and bleak philosophy, which reduces human beings to automatons and leaves no room for free will and creativity. These people can take heart: materialism is dead.

    Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less ‘substance’ than we might believe….

    physicists Paul Davies and John Gribbin,
    Matter Myth

    This [quantum uncertainty] is something biologists, almost universally, have not yet come to grips with. And its consequences are enormous. It certainly means that we should wonder more than we currently do about the saying that life is made of “mere” matter….
    ….
    This means that absolute materialism, a view that control and predictability and ultimate explanation are possible, breaks down in a way that is biologically significant.
    ….
    The core assumptions supporting the “scientific” disbelief [atheism] of the absolute materialist are wrong, even by the terms of science itself…
    ….
    What matters is the straightforward, factual, strictly scientific recognition that matter in the universe behaves in such a way that we can never achieve complete knowledge of any fragment of it…breaks in causality at the atomic level make it fundamentally impossible to exclude the idea that what we have really caught a glimpse of might indeed reflect the mind of God.

    In the final analysis, absolute materialsm does not triumph because it cannot fully explain the nature of reality.
    …..
    few theologians appreciate the degree to which physics has rescued religion from the dangers of Newtonian predictability. I suspect that they do not know (at least not yet) who their true friends are!

    Ken Miller, Finding Darwin’s God

  29. 29
    JGuy says:

    Sexual selection is a lame excuse for beauty. I tried to argue a point on another forum using eyelashes:

    Why are eyelash hairs only on the edge of eyelids? They are somewhat functional and very unique hairs in shape and size – their absence would not kill the organism or significantly reduce it’s srvivability. It is more-so a function to reduce irritation (as far as I can see). And if they evolved, you’d think they would appear arbitraily & anywhere on a face before somehow migrating to the eyelids. Why then would all of the other eyelash-type hairs, which were not on eyelids, disappear from everywhere else? They (eyelashes) certainly do not use up any significant resources that would make it any less fit for the organism to survive or reproduce. They have a simple function, but what are the odds they would appear excatly where they are useful? The edge of the eyelid is a minuscule surface area in comparison to the whole organism. I think there are other issues for evolution regarding this. And if they evolved in situ, then how interesting it is that the hairs got just the right mutations to fine tune them in place – how many generations do you think that took to weed out & fine tune such a complex yet minorly beneficial function! Anyway, the only real attempt for an explanation by evolutionist on that forum was to say it must have been sexual selection – which is lame and unscientific view by the materialist.

  30. 30
    steveh says:

    Hmmm, comparing this with the Reuter’s fake pictures in the previous post, it doesn’t seem symmetical enough or indeed _black_ enough to be have been designed. However, the cloud in the bottom quarter is a fairly symmetrical cigar-shape, so we can safely conclude that it was, in fact, designed. The top 3/4 are more troublesome; The coloring is reminiscent of that a rainbow, which some believe to be a sign from “The Designer” (a Knotted Hanky with which he reminds himself not to Kill Everybody Again), but which others see as an effect of materialistic science – so the jury is still out on that. Apart from that, I would like to add that the first comment, by comrade, is utterly and completely wrong!

  31. 31

    I continue to find it fascinating that Ken Miller finds such solace for his religious belief from a discipline in which he has no expertise, and yet cannot find anything comparable in his own discipline of biology.

  32. 32
    Barrett1 says:

    I didn’t see comrade’s post, but anyone that goes by the name of comrade can’t have anything good or intelligent to say. Bill, I’m glad to see you (or someone) back cleaning up the thread. Frankly, I’m not interested in the thoughts of anti-ID folks. I understand their arguments, have read their books, listened to their lectures, etc. I come here to read your thoughts and others that are, at a minimum, intriqued by Intelligent Design. Thanks for keeping the thread readable.

  33. 33

    Barrett1: We try to run a clean blog!

  34. 34
    BarryA says:

    Here is the “peacock” letter as it appears in Francis Darwin’s book:

    C. DARWIN TO ASA GRAY.
    Down, April 3rd [1860].
    . . . I remember well the time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of the complaint, and now small trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick! . . .
    You may like to hear about reviews on my book. Sedgwick (as I and Lyell feel certain from internal evidence) has reviewed me savagely and unfairly in the Spectator. The notice includes much abuse, and is hardly fair in several respects. He would actually lead any one, who was ignorant of geology, to suppose that I had invented the great gaps between successive geological formations, instead of its being an almost universally admitted dogma. But my dear old friend Sedgwick, with his noble heart, is old, and is rabid with indignation. It is hard to please every one; you may remember that in my last letter I asked you to leave out about the Weald denudation: I told Jukes this (who is head man of the Irish geological survey), and he blamed me much, for he believed every word of it, and thought it not at all exaggerated! In fact, geologists have no means of gauging the infinitude of past time. There has been one prodigy of a review, namely, an opposed one (by Pictet,† the palaeontologist, in the Bib. Universelle of Geneva.) which is perfectly fair and just, and I agree to every word he says; our only difference being that he attaches less weight to arguments in favour, and more to arguments opposed, than I do. Of all the opposed reviews, I think this the only quite fair one, and I never expected to see one. Please observe that I do not class your review by any means as opposed, though you think so yourself! It has done me much too good service ever to appear in that rank in my eyes. But I fear I shall weary you with so much about my book. I should rather think there was a good chance of my becoming the most egotistical man in all Europe! What a proud pre-eminence! Well, you have helped to make me so and therefore you must forgive me if you can.
    My dear Gray, ever yours most gratefully,
    C. DARWIN.

    Charles Darwin to Asa Gray, April 3, 1860, in Francis Darwin, ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1905), 2:90-91 (ellipses in the original; editor’s note omitted).

  35. 35
    sagebrush gardener says:

    The criticisms and honest questions of the more civil anti-ID folks serve a useful purpose here and I welcome them. Proverbs says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Without the occasional challenge to our beliefs we become lazy and our intellectual tools get dull and rusty. These challenges help us critique our arguments so we can revise or cull the weak ones and advance the strong ones. This blog would be much less interesting if it was merely an echo chamber where we heard nothing but our own beliefs reflected back to us.

  36. 36
    John A. Davison says:

    Robert Broom definitely believed that evolution had been the result of a Plan, a word he capitalized. I agree of course and differ from Broom only in that I believe the Plan has been fully realized with the appearance of Homo sapiens as the final product. He apparently believed evoltion was still in progress even though he had, with Julian Huxley, claimed that a new genus had not appeared in two million years. In fact it was Broom who had convinced Huxley that evolution was finished as I documented in my Manifesto. One of the great mysteries of the evolutionary literature is how Huxley, who coined the term “Modern Synthesis,” could, in the book with that subtitle, present, seven pages from the end, his conviction that evolution was no longer in progress. It is no wonder the Darwinians neglect to cite one of their own champions.

    Broom made an interesting observation on the role of beauty in nature which is an ingredient in this thread. He noticed that birds of prey never sing and are typically drab in plumage. He also noted that there are very few really nasty plants. The vast majority of both plants and animals are esthetically pleasant yet there are definitely exceptions. That is one of the reasons that I believe there were at least two Creators, one benevolent, the other malevolent. While I see no evidence for their presence now, I cannot see how anyone could possibly deny the existence of one or more Creators in the distant past. Neither could Grasse.

    “To insist, even with Olympian assurance, that life appeared quite by chance and evolved in this fashion, is an unfounded assumption which I believe to be wrong and not in accordance with the facts.”
    Evolution of Living Organisms, page 107

    Yet chance remains the sine qua non of the Darwinian model.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

    I also take this opportunity to present as a question one of my favorite challenges to the Darwinian position.

    Exactly when in the process of creation did the Creator or Creators hand over the reins of creation to Nature, that which had already been created?

    Of course my answer is NEVER! What say the Darwinians?

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  37. 37
    ofro says:

    sagebrush gardener said:
    “These challenges help us critique our arguments so we can revise or cull the weak ones and advance the strong ones. ”

    I kinda like your approach. Sounds like natural selection to me 😉

  38. 38
    BarryA says:

    sagebrush gardener,

    Beyond the slightest doubt you are correct. I admire the anti-ID folks who are brave enough to test their mettle here. I also welcome their input and criticisms. If this blog were nothing but a “me too” club it would be boring and practically useless, or at least far less useful.

    When I post I actually look forward to the responses from the other side (well, the civil ones – which most are – anyway). One thing the practice of law for 20 years has taught me – no matter how airtight one think his case is, a determined and resourceful opponent will find a weakness. This does not mean the opponent will win. It does mean that, human nature being what it is, we cannot count on being able to see the flaws in our own arguments.

    I also second the thoughts of whomever said above that if we are not challenged we will get lazy and sloppy. Indeed, I think this is what has happened to the Neo-Darwinist camp. They have enjoyed an unchallenged hegemony over the field of origins for so long it seems they are unable or unwilling to examine their own assumptions.

  39. 39
    John A. Davison says:

    Natural selection is very real. Its function, now as in the past, is to PREVENT change and by so doing promote extinction. If you don’t believe me look around while you are still able. There are virtually no living fossils as large or larger than Homo sapiens.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  40. 40
    ofro says:

    John Davison,
    At least in this case you are wrong. sagebrush gardener’s argument was about weeding our bad arguments (which, I agree could be seen to go along your notion) AND advancing the strong ones (which does not). By implication, the second part meant coming up with stronger arguments to replace the weaker ones. If that is not mutation, followed by natural selection, to strengthen survivability of the argument…

  41. 41
    ajl says:

    I continue to find it fascinating that Ken Miller finds such solace for his religious belief from a discipline in which he has no expertise, and yet cannot find anything comparable in his own discipline of biology.

    thats the point Bill, he doesn’t want to find anything comparable in his own discipline. He wants God out of his discipline entirely. But, he has found a friend in physics – he gets to push God into an arena he doesn’t have to worry about.

  42. 42
    ajl says:

    ofro,

    I think where you and JD disagree is the use of the ‘stronger arguments’. You are saying that new arguments are stronger. While that is correct, those new arguments are coming from intelligent agents – people. I think JD’s arguments are that in nature you aren’t going to find the majority of mutations being beneficial. And, in fact, according to Sanford (quoting Kimura), most of the mutations are nearly neutral, and deliterious. So, to take that example further, assume an argument is made in pro-ID fashion – some of the points will be good, and some will be bad. But, you can’t take out just the good arguments – you have to select out at the whole organism (in this case the entire “posting”), and you are left with both the good and the bad. The next thread will then have another decent argument, but probably a couple of more that are alittle less sound. Eventually, you are going to fill the genome (thread) with slightly, less sound arguments, and it will eventually be incomprehensible – probably like my posting is right now 🙂 and then go extinct 🙂

  43. 43
    kvwells says:

    steveh,

    surely your are parodying a darwinistas response. I’m sure you realize that, according to ID, the principles of design detection should be Universal. However, whether or not something “looks” designed (according to our pathetically limited human paradigm) may be merely coincidental. This makes Dawkins’ “its not a duck, just looks/smells/acts/walks and quacks like one (oh, and it lays eggs too)” argument all the more interesting.

    Also, I must request that you be yellow carded for the “Knotted Hanky” comment. Not fair to bait Jews and Christians if the theologians/philosophers among us are not allowed to eviscerate such arguments(?) in response.

  44. 44
    Jehu says:

    ofro,

    “By implication, the second part meant coming up with stronger arguments to replace the weaker ones. If that is not mutation, followed by natural selection, to strengthen survivability of the argument…”

    No, it is not mutation followed by natural selection. Arguments are created by intelligent design not mutation and not random chance. It is interesting how conditioned some people are to atribute intelligence and design to random chance.

  45. 45
    BarryA says:

    Jehu,

    “It is interesting how conditioned some people are to atribute intelligence and design to random chance.”

    Just so. Johnson has even coined a term for this. He calls it “Berra’s Blunder,” after the writer who tried to demonstrate how evolution works by comparing it to the changes in Corvette designs over the years.

  46. 46
    ofro says:

    Jehu,

    Sorry, I guess I didn’t make it clear enough that I was facetious with my post. I was just pointing out the similarity between sagebrush gardner’s strategy, in response to civilized anti-ID comments, to “revise or cull the weak [arguments] and advance the strong ones”, and the Darwinian mechanism of selection that leads to gradual elimination of the weak arguments and the preponderance of the perceived strong arguments.

    I deliberately avoided any reference to random vs. design. Clearly, nobody would deny that developing a new idea/argument would appear as an act of design.

    Or would they? (And now I am no longer facetious)

    At least in my mind, the process by which the human brain generates a new concept/idea is at least to a certain extent a random event (Associations can come and go; we’ve all had “brilliant” ideas during a wake moment in the middle of the night, never to have them again). One certainly can argue about the probability with which a new idea about something would come up in a person’s mind, depending on the complexity of the situation and the extent to which this idea might conform to an individual’s knowledge of the situation (I call it his/her “personal database”). With some people, it may come immediately after being confronted with a problem, it may occur to several people independently, and to other people it may never occur. So this idea is an act of creativity that the ID folks would most likely categorize as an intelligent design.

    As I just argued above, one could also call “coming up with an idea” a potentially random event.

    And please note, in the context of this argument, I refrain from categorizing everything as a random event (even if in certain cases I am philosophically inclined to) since I am not interested in a flame war. If anybody wants to comment, please stay with this specific situation. Any psychologist (from both sides of the ID divide) around to shed light on that?

  47. 47
    carbon14atom says:

    Gee, all of that (46 comments) discussion, I just wanted to say thanks for the outstanding and astonishing glimpse of Great Beauty…
    (I’m jealous also since I live a mere few hours drive away from where this pic was taken and I didn’t get to see first hand with my own eyes) ****wanders off to pout**** LOL

  48. 48
    tb says:

    http://www.sundog.clara.co.uk/halo/cha.htm

    Here are some detailed scientific explanations for Circumhorizon arcs (aka fire-rainbows) and of course some more pictures of other occurences and other athmospheric phenomenon.

    Cheers,
    Tb

  49. 49
    John A. Davison says:

    Allelic mutations are at best like the fine tuning knob on a shortwave receiver. They can alter the organism in response to trivial change in the environment but they cannot even exceed the species barrier let alone play a role in the origin of any of the higher taxonomic categories. All such origins are a phenomenon of the distant past in any event. All that can be documented today is extinction which is probably proceeding at the highest per annum rate in the history of the earth. This mass extiction is due almost entirely to the actions of civilized society.

    Just as ontogeny terminates with the death of the individual, so evolution is now terminating with the extinction of the species, in all probability, all the species. Trust me but of course you won’t because you can’t unless you happen to have been “prescribed” to do so. Such minds seem to be as scarce as hen’s teeth.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

Leave a Reply