Intelligent Design

From Barren Planet to Civilization in Four Easy Steps

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In a recent American Spectator article “Evolution—More Certain than Gravity?” I made the point that to not believe in intelligent design, you have to believe that the four fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone (the gravitational, electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces) could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics on our once-barren planet into encyclopedias and science texts and computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones. In a 2017 Physics Essays article “On ‘Compensating’ Entropy Decreases,” I argued that this spectacular increase in order seems to violate the more general statements of the second law of thermodynamics; at least that you cannot dismiss this claim, as is always done, by simply saying, the Earth is an open system and order can increase in an open system.

Whether or not what has happened on Earth technically violates the second law, I can’t imagine anything in all of science that is more clear and more obvious than that unintelligent forces alone cannot produce such things as Apple iPhones. But materialists are not impressed, they believe they can explain how unintelligent forces alone could produce computers and airplanes. There are four steps in the usual materialist explanation of how advanced civilizations can spontaneously arise on barren, Earth-like, planets, without design:

  1. Three or four billion years ago a collection of atoms formed by pure chance that was able to duplicate itself.
  2. These complex collections of atoms were able to preserve their complex structures and pass them on to their descendants, generation after generation.
  3. Over a long period of time, the accumulation of duplication errors resulted in more and more elaborate collections of atoms.
  4. Eventually something called “intelligence” allowed some of these collections of atoms to design computers and airplanes, and write encyclopedias and science texts.

The first step is the origin of life: even most materialists will admit that this is a very difficult problem which has not yet been solved by science. Regarding the fourth step, we may feel that we understand how humans design and build computers and airplanes, because we see it happen all the time. But seeing something happen and understanding how it happens are two very different things, and again I think even most materialists will agree that science cannot yet explain human consciousness or intelligence in terms of unintelligent forces alone.

Darwinists claim that the third step is well understood by science, that natural selection has organized these duplication errors into higher animals and intelligent humans, even though it has never actually been observed to produce anything other than very minor adaptations (see this New York Times article.) As I pointed out in “I Believe in the Evolution of Life and the Evolution of Automobiles,” what we see in the fossil record–large gaps where major new features appear–actually looks more like the way human technology, such as software or automobiles, “evolves,” through testing and improvements. “Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” writes Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson. And new organs and new systems of organs do not appear very gradually, as Darwin had expected, for the same reason that major new technological advances do not appear very gradually: gradual transitions would have to involve puzzling new but not yet useful features. Although he calls evolution “axiomatic,” University of California geologist Joseph Le Conte acknowledges in his 1888 book Evolution that in the fossil record, “species seem to come in suddenly” and that gradual transitions could not be explained by natural selection if they did exist: “An organ must be already useful before natural selection can take hold of it to improve it,” he concedes.

When I point out the similarities between the evolution of life and the evolution of human technology such as the automobile, some people have responded by saying that of course the evolution of life is much easier to explain without design than the evolution of automobiles because cars cannot reproduce, so there are no “variations” for natural selection to work with. Actually the fact that natural selection cannot act on cars is irrelevant to the main point of this comparison, which is simply that similarities between “species” (of cars or animals) do not prove the absence of design.

However, even though it is irrelevant to the main point of that comparison, let’s look at the argument that evolution is easier to explain if there is reproduction, because that brings us to the second step of the materialists’ explanation. That the third step seems even superficially plausible (until we look at it in more detail) depends completely on the second step, the fact that living things are able to reproduce, that “these complex collections of atoms are able to preserve their complex structures and pass them on to their descendants, generation after generation.” Reproduction is the most fundamental characteristic of life, we see it happen everywhere, so we may feel there is no mystery to reproduction. But again, seeing something happen and explaining how it happens naturally are two very different things. Is it really true that if cars were able to give birth to other cars—that is, if they were able to reproduce themselves almost perfectly, with occasional minor duplication errors—that would make the evolution of cars easier to explain without design? Although it is far beyond our current technology, imagine that it were possible to construct a fleet of cars that contained completely automated car-building factories inside, with the ability to construct new cars—and not just normal new cars, but new cars containing automated car-building factories inside. If we left these cars alone and let them reproduce themselves for many generations, is there any chance we would eventually see major advances arise through natural selection of the resulting duplication errors? Of course not, the whole process would grind to a halt after a few generations without intelligent humans there to fix the mechanical problems that would arise. We are so used to seeing animals make nearly perfect copies of themselves that we dismiss this as just another “natural” process; but if we actually saw cars with fully automated car factories inside, making new cars with car factories inside them, maybe we would realize what an astonishing process reproduction really is. (“How do these instruction sets not make mistakes as they build what is us?” mathematician Alexander Tsiaras asks in the video “Conception to Birth—Visualized.” How indeed?) And we might conclude that reproduction actually makes evolution even more difficult to explain without design.

Mathematicians are trained to value simplicity: when we have a clear, simple, proof of a theorem, and a long, complicated counterargument, involving controversial and unproven assertions, we accept the clear, simple, proof, and we know there must be errors in the counterargument even before we find them. The argument for intelligent design here could not be simpler or clearer: unintelligent forces of physics alone cannot rearrange atoms into computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones. And the counterargument consists of four steps, each of which–to put it very generously—is based on dubious and unproven assertions. QED.

266 Replies to “From Barren Planet to Civilization in Four Easy Steps

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    In a recent American Spectator article “Evolution—More Certain than Gravity?” I made the point that to not believe in intelligent design, you have to believe that the four fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone (the gravitational, electromagnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces) could have rearranged the fundamental particles of physics on our once-barren planet into encyclopedias and science texts and computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones.

    There are surely other possibilities.

    One could be completely agnostic about the ultimate origin of all these things. Lack of belief in ID does not entail existence of belief in some other proposed explanation for computers.

    You could also believe that physicists are not done yet and while the four fundamental forces cannot explain iPhones, future discoveries in physics might.

  2. 2
    Latemarch says:

    DaveS@1

    There are surely other possibilities.

    Desperately avoiding the obvious.

    You could also believe that physicists are not done yet and while the four fundamental forces cannot explain iPhones, future discoveries in physics might.

    Yep, desperate.

  3. 3
    daveS says:

    Latemarch,

    Desperate or not, the passage I quoted expresses a false dichotomy. If we are going to treat this topic seriously, we should refrain from such things.

    Later on in the post:

    Whether or not what has happened on Earth technically violates the second law, I can’t imagine anything in all of science that is more clear and more obvious than that unintelligent forces alone cannot produce such things as Apple iPhones.

    I actually think this is fair. Sewell is not claiming a rigorous mathematical proof, or even that his conclusion follows from the 2LoT. Rather, it’s more a plausibility argument based on common sense and empirical observations. Such an argument can be persuasive without being a logically valid proof.

  4. 4
    Latemarch says:

    DaveS@3

    Just having a little fun at your expense.

    Desperate or not, the passage I quoted expresses a false dichotomy. If we are going to treat this topic seriously, we should refrain from such things.

    It’s only a false dichotomy if there actually are other alternatives. Your special pleading that there must be does not make it so.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    daves:

    One could be completely agnostic about the ultimate origin of all these things.

    True but the quote referred to those who are actually brave enough to make a stand.

    You could also believe that physicists are not done yet and while the four fundamental forces cannot explain iPhones, future discoveries in physics might.

    Promissory note science isn’t science. The decisions of today and the science of today cannot and should not wait for what tomorrow may or may not uncover

  6. 6

    You could also believe that physicists are not done yet and while the four fundamental forces cannot explain iPhones, future discoveries in physics might.

    It’s called: assuming your conclusions against evidence to the contrary. It makes your conclusions unfalsifiable, and leaves science with no mechanism to correct itself.

  7. 7
    daveS says:

    It’s called: assuming your conclusions against evidence to the contrary.

    No. Take another look at Sewell’s first sentence. He says that if you do not believe in ID, then you must believe that early 21st-century physics explains iPhones, etc. Can you explain to me how that isn’t false?

    Edit: Incidentally, I don’t think this is some knock-down argument against his larger point. It’s just a sentence that, if reworded, would make the post stronger.

  8. 8

    Assuming that there will be found unknown dynamic forces that cause sets of discontinuous associations (er, symbols) to arrange themselves into semantic closure is assuming your conclusions against evidence to the contrary.

  9. 9
    Latemarch says:

    DaveS@7

    No. Take another look at Sewell’s first sentence. He says that if you do not believe in ID, then you must believe that early 21st-century physics explains iPhones, etc. Can you explain to me how that isn’t false?

    I’m not sure I see your argument. Would you like to reword the sentence to make it “stronger?”

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    And new organs and new systems of organs do not appear very gradually, as Darwin had expected,

    The fossil record is hardly a complete library of all the myriad of variants that existed. And fossils rarely convey information about internal structures.

    Actually the fact that natural selection cannot act on cars is irrelevant to the main point of this comparison, which is simply that similarities between “species” (of cars or animals) do not prove the absence of design.

    The point is that descent with modification provides variants that then can be filtered via natural selection. Automobiles do not self-replicate so the variations from generation to generation must be introduced via ‘designers’ and the selection process is not unguided but determined by a variety of man-made factors.

    So perhaps the absent of design is not ‘proven’ but a viable alternative exists for living beings.

    “An organ must be already useful before natural selection can take hold of it to improve it,” he concedes.

    But we know now that some traits are fixed in a population even if they aren’t immediately ‘useful’ or positive. If you’re going to argue against evolution then argue against the best current arguments.

    If we left these cars alone and let them reproduce themselves for many generations, is there any chance we would eventually see major advances arise through natural selection of the resulting duplication errors? Of course not, the whole process would grind to a halt after a few generations without intelligent humans there to fix the mechanical problems that would arise.

    So, it’s not a true, sustainable, self-replicating system. Unlike life which no longer requires intervention to keep it going.

    Mathematicians are trained to value simplicity: when we have a clear, simple, proof of a theorem, and a long, complicated counterargument, involving controversial and unproven assertions, we accept the clear, simple, proof, and we know there must be errors in the counterargument even before we find them.

    I am very surprised at this statement from a mathematician. Proof means that any counter-argument must be false. If you doubt your ‘proof’ then you haven’t got one. Sometimes someone thinks they have proven a theorem but someone else finds a mistake or a valid counterargument. But if a proof has stood the test of time and attempts to topple it then case closed.

    The argument for intelligent design here could not be simpler or clearer: unintelligent forces of physics alone cannot rearrange atoms into computers and airplanes and Apple iPhones.

    Not on their own. But descent with modification filtered through environmental pressures will create generations of offspring more able to exploit the resources in their environment. Simple, clean, straight-forward.

    And let’s not forget that design requires a designer of which there is no evidence for their existence except for the disputed design inference.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL claims:

    The fossil record is hardly a complete library of all the myriad of variants that existed. And fossils rarely convey information about internal structures.

    The claim that the fossil record is incomplete is known as the artifact hypothesis. i.e. “We have just not found all the missing fossils yet”, Darwinists claim.

    Yet, it is in the area where the fossil record is most complete, “marine invertebrates”, that the “sudden appearance-long term stasis” problem for Darwinists turns out to be most acute:

    Phillip Johnson – “Gould and Eldridge were experts in an area where the fossil record is most complete, “marine invertebrates”, and developed the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium in response to what they saw in the fossil record in that area of research. Whereas, interestingly, the greatest claim for transitional fossils, such as ape-men, comes primarily from the area where fossilization is rarest, from land animals – April 2012 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....age#t=903s

    Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that,
    “The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa.”
    Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67021.html

    The fossil record is far more complete than die-hard Darwinists will ever admit:

    “There is no need to apologize any longer for the poverty of the fossil record. In some ways, it has become almost unmanageably rich and discovery is outpacing integration. The fossil record nevertheless continues to be composed mainly of gaps.”
    T. Neville George – Professor of paleontology – Glasgow University,

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.”
    Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma 1988, Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”.
    David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    “No one has found any such in-between creatures. This was long chalked up to ‘gaps’ in the fossil records, gaps that proponents of gradualism confidently expected to fill in someday when rock strata of the proper antiquity were eventually located. But all the fossil evidence to date has failed to turn up any such missing links . . . There is a growing conviction among many scientists that these transitional forms never existed.”
    Niles Eldredge, quoted in George Alexander, “Alternate Theory of Evolution Considered,” Los Angeles Times, November 19, 1978.

    Moreover, the picture we are now getting from the fossil record is a picture that is completely at odds with what Darwin himself predicted:

    Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 – (4:45 minute mark – upside-down fossil record) video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DkbmuRhXRY
    Part 2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZFM48XIXnk

    “Darwin had a lot of trouble with the fossil record because if you look at the record of phyla in the rocks as fossils why when they first appear we already see them all. The phyla are fully formed. It’s as if the phyla were created first and they were modified into classes and we see that the number of classes peak later than the number of phyla and the number of orders peak later than that. So it’s kind of a top down succession, you start with this basic body plans, the phyla, and you diversify them into classes, the major sub-divisions of the phyla, and these into orders and so on. So the fossil record is kind of backwards from what you would expect from in that sense from what you would expect from Darwin’s ideas.”
    James W. Valentine – as quoted from “On the Origin of Phyla: Interviews with James W. Valentine” – (as stated at 1:16:36 mark of video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtdFJXfvlm8&feature=player_detailpage#t=4595

    Moreover, this top down pattern in the fossil record, which is the complete opposite pattern as Darwin predicted for the fossil record, is not only found in the Cambrian Explosion, but this ‘top down’, disparity preceding diversity, pattern is found throughout the fossil record subsequent to the Cambrian explosion as well.

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    In Allaying Darwin’s Doubt, Two Cambrian Experts Still Come Up Short – October 16, 2015
    Excerpt: “A recent analysis of disparity in 98 metazoan clades through the Phanerozoic found a preponderance of clades with maximal disparity early in their history. Thus, whether or not taxonomic diversification slows down most studies of disparity reveal a pattern in which the early evolution of a clade defines the morphological boundaries of a group which are then filled in by subsequent diversification. This pattern is inconsistent with that expected of a classic adaptive radiation in which diversity and disparity should be coupled, at least during the early phase of the radiation.”
    – Doug Erwin
    What this admits is that disparity is a worse problem than evolutionists had realized: it’s ubiquitous (throughout the history of life on earth), not just in the Cambrian (Explosion).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00111.html

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL then claims:

    The point is that descent with modification provides variants that then can be filtered via natural selection.

    This is more commonly known as Random Mutation/Variation and Natural Selection.

    Yet both of those purported mechanisms have now been falsified:

    Because of the “waiting time problem”, Darwinists were forced to cast natural selection, Charles Darwin’s supposed ‘designer substitute’, by the wayside.

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Empirical evidence supports the fact that Natural Selection is grossly inadequate as the supposed ‘designer substitute’ that Darwinists have falsely imagined it to be:

    Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila – 2010
    Excerpt of concluding paragraph: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles. This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations. Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.”
    http://www.homepages.ed.ac.uk/.....202010.pdf

    “The Third Way” – James Shapiro, Denis Noble, and etc.. etc..,,,
    excerpt: “some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis.”
    http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/

    “the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer”
    Michael Lynch – The Origins of Genome Architecture, p 368

    Since natural selection has been cast by the wayside, Darwinists now claim, via neutral theory, that the vast majority of the amazing integrated complexity found in life is the result of pure chance instead of the result of natural selection.

    In the following article Larry Moran quotes Austin Hughes who states, ‘Darwinism asserts that natural selection is the driving force of evolutionary change. It is the claim of the neutral theory, on the other hand, that the majority of evolutionary change is due to chance.’

    Austin Hughes and Neutral Theory – Laurence A. Moran – June 19, 2017
    Excerpt: Originally proposed by Motoo Kimura, Jack King, and Thomas Jukes, the neutral theory of molecular evolution is inherently non-Darwinian. Darwinism asserts that natural selection is the driving force of evolutionary change. It is the claim of the neutral theory, on the other hand, that the majority of evolutionary change is due to chance.
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....heory.html

    “many genomic features could not have emerged without a near-complete disengagement of the power of natural selection”
    Michael Lynch – The Origins of Genome Architecture, intro

    “a relative lack of natural selection may be the prerequisite for major evolutionary advance”
    Mae Wan Ho – Beyond neo-Darwinism – Evolution by Absence of Selection

    Thus, with Natural selection being tossed aside by the mathematics of population genetics, and by empirical evidence, as the explanation for the ‘appearance of design’ that we see in life, Darwinists now claim, basically, that random mutations, all by their lonesome, with virtually no help from natural selection, (i.e. neutral theory), created all the amazing integrated complexity, i.e. ‘appearance of design’, that we see in life.

    Small problem with this heavy reliance on ‘random’ mutations that Darwinists now have with neutral theory, mutations are now, empirically, shown to NOT be random mutations but to be directed mutations:

    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

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Fully Random Mutations – Kevin Kelly – 2014
    Excerpt: What is commonly called “random mutation” does not in fact occur in a mathematically random pattern. The process of genetic mutation is extremely complex, with multiple pathways, involving more than one system. Current research suggests most spontaneous mutations occur as errors in the repair process for damaged DNA. Neither the damage nor the errors in repair have been shown to be random in where they occur, how they occur, or when they occur. Rather, the idea that mutations are random is simply a widely held assumption by non-specialists and even many teachers of biology. There is no direct evidence for it.
    On the contrary, there’s much evidence that genetic mutation vary in patterns. For instance it is pretty much accepted that mutation rates increase or decrease as stress on the cells increases or decreases. These variable rates of mutation include mutations induced by stress from an organism’s predators and competition, and as well as increased mutations brought on by environmental and epigenetic factors. Mutations have also been shown to have a higher chance of occurring near a place in DNA where mutations have already occurred, creating mutation hotspot clusters—a non-random pattern.
    http://edge.org/response-detail/25264

    Duality in the human genome – November 28, 2014
    Excerpt: The results show that most genes can occur in many different forms within a population: On average, about 250 different forms of each gene exist. The researchers found around four million different gene forms just in the 400 or so genomes they analysed. This figure is certain to increase as more human genomes are examined. More than 85 percent of all genes have no predominant form which occurs in more than half of all individuals. This enormous diversity means that over half of all genes in an individual, around 9,000 of 17,500, occur uniquely in that one person – and are therefore individual in the truest sense of the word.
    The gene, as we imagined it, exists only in exceptional cases. “We need to fundamentally rethink the view of genes that every schoolchild has learned since Gregor Mendel’s time.,,,
    According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....enome.html

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover even these ‘directed’ mutations are of no help to Darwinists. Specifically we find that, “Even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.”

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy – Dr John Sanford – 7 March 2013
    Excerpt: Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they? European adult lactose tolerance appears to be due to a broken lactase promoter [see Can’t drink milk? You’re ‘normal’! Ed.].
    African resistance to malaria is due to a broken hemoglobin protein [see Sickle-cell disease. Also, immunity of an estimated 20% of western Europeans to HIV infection is due to a broken chemokine receptor—see CCR5-delta32: a very beneficial mutation. Ed.] Beneficials happen, but generally they are loss-of-function mutations, and even then they are very rare!
    http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

    Thus both natural selection and ‘random’ mutations are shown to be virtually non-existent, and even ‘directed’ mutations are of no help to Darwinists.

    If Darwinian evolution were a normal science, these findings SHOULD HAVE rendered it to the garbage heap of failed scientific theories. But alas, Darwinian Evolution, at least how Darwinists treat it, never really has qualified as a testable/falsifiable scientific theory in the first place:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ

    To continue on in the falsification of the Darwinian presupposition of ‘randomness’ within biology, it is now found, due to advances in quantum biology, that there is far less ‘randomness’, or more specifically, far less ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ within molecular biology than was originally presupposed by Darwinists:

    At the 6:52 minute mark of the following video, Jim Al-Khalili states:

    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate matter cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q

    The following video goes over many more lines of evidence from quantum biology that have falsified the Darwinian presupposition of ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ within molecular biology.

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    In fact, due to quantum non-locality, and the necessity to postulate a ‘beyond space and time’ cause in order to explain quantum entanglement (and/or quantum information) within molecular biology, advances in quantum biology have now also falsified the entire reductive materialistic foundation that lays beneath Darwinian thought.

    Whereas on the other hand, finding quantum non-locality to be pervasive with molecular biology is VERY friendly to Theistic presuppositions.

    Verse:

    Psalm 139:13
    For it was You who formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

    Of supplemental note: The reductive materialistic foundation that undergirds Darwinian evolution is also found to be grossly inadequate for explaining how any particular organism might achieve its basic ‘biological form’ in the first place

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    The failure of reductive materialism to be able to explain the basic form 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’, 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

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL then claims:

    But we know now that some traits are fixed in a population even if they aren’t immediately ‘useful’ or positive. If you’re going to argue against evolution then argue against the best current arguments.

    If this is the ‘best current argument’ of Darwinists then they are in pitifully bad shape:

    To repeat:

    “Even the great majority of helpful mutations (that get fixed in a population) degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.”

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy – Dr John Sanford – 7 March 2013
    Excerpt: Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they? European adult lactose tolerance appears to be due to a broken lactase promoter [see Can’t drink milk? You’re ‘normal’! Ed.].
    African resistance to malaria is due to a broken hemoglobin protein [see Sickle-cell disease. Also, immunity of an estimated 20% of western Europeans to HIV infection is due to a broken chemokine receptor—see CCR5-delta32: a very beneficial mutation. Ed.] Beneficials happen, but generally they are loss-of-function mutations, and even then they are very rare!
    http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

    Moreover, due to ‘neutral theory’ Larry Moran and Dan Graur were forced to claim that upwards to 90% of DNA must be useless junk.

    Revisiting the genetic load argument with Dan Graur – Larry Moran – July 14, 2017
    Excerpt: I’ve discussed genetic load several times on this blog (e.g. Genetic Load, Neutral Theory, and Junk DNA) but a recent paper by Dan Graur provides a good opportunity to explain it once more. The basic idea of Genetic Load is that a population can only tolerate a finite number of deleterious mutations before going extinct. The theory is sound but many of the variables are not known with precision.,,,
    Let’s look at the first line in this table. The deleterious mutation rate is calculated using the lowest possible mutation rate and the smallest percentage of deleterious mutations (4%). Under these conditions, the human population could survive with a fertility value of 1.8 as long as less than 25% of the genome is functional (i.e. 75% junk) (red circle). That’s the UPPER LIMIT on the functional fraction of the human genome.
    But that limit is quite unreasonable. It’s more reasonable to assume about 100 new mutations per generation with about 10% deleterious. Using these assumptions, only 10% of the genome could be functional with a fertility value of 1.8 (green circle).
    Whatever the exact percentage of junk DNA it’s clear that the available data and population genetics point to a genome that’s mostly junk DNA.
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....-with.html

    Both Graur and Moran’s estimates for junk DNA were falsified by ENCODE findings and yet both Graur and Moran, in typical Darwinian fashion, refused to accept the empirical results of ENCODE.

    Why Are Biologists Lashing Out Against Empirically Verified Research Results? – Casey Luskin July 13, 2015
    Excerpt: no publication shook this (ID vs Darwin) debate so much as a 2012 Nature paper that finally put junk DNA to rest–or so it seemed. This bombshell paper presented the results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Project, a years-long research consortium involving over 400 international scientists studying noncoding DNA in the human genome. Along with 30 other groundbreaking papers, the lead ENCODE article found that the “vast majority” of the human genome shows biochemical function: “These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80 percent of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions.”3
    Ewan Birney, ENCODE’s lead analyst, explained in Discover Magazine that since ENCODE studied 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand cell types, “it’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent.”4 Another senior ENCODE researcher noted that “almost every nucleotide is associated with a function.”5 A headline in Science declared, “ENCODE project writes eulogy for junk DNA.”6,,,
    Evolutionists Strike Back
    Darwin defenders weren’t going to take ENCODE’s data sitting down.,,,
    How could they possibly oppose such empirically based conclusions? The same way they always defend their theory: by assuming an evolutionary viewpoint is correct and reinterpreting the data in light of their paradigm–and by personally attacking, (i.e. ad hominem), those who challenge their position.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97561.html

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL then states:

    I am very surprised at this statement from a mathematician.

    I seriously don’t think Darwinists should ever talk about mathematicians in general or mathematics in particular.

    Darwinian Evolution vs Mathematics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3gyx70BHvA

    Darwinian evolution and the world of mathematics are completely incompatible with each other.

    The main reason why Darwinian Evolution and Mathematics are completely incompatible with each other is that Darwinian evolution is based on a Naturalistic and/or Materialistic worldview in which it is held that only matter is real, that the world is just physical and that there is no supernatural (or metaphysical) existence, or that if there is, it has no impact on our physical world.,,,

    And where Darwinian evolution is based on a materialistic view of reality which denies that anything beyond nature exists, on the other hand, Mathematics, which provides the backbone for all of science, engineering and technology in the first place, ,Mathematics itself exists in a transcendent, beyond space and time, realm which is not reducible any possible material explanation. This transcendent mathematical realm has been referred to as a Platonic mathematical world.

    Platonic mathematical world – image
    https://image.slidesharecdn.com/quantuminformation2-120301000431-phpapp01/95/quantum-information-14-728.jpg?cb=1330561190

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”? It seems a stretch. What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    Simply put, Mathematics itself, contrary to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, does not need the physical world in order to exist. And yet Darwinists, although they deny that anything beyond nature exists, need this transcendent world of mathematics in order for their theory to be considered scientific in the first place. The predicament that Darwinists find themselves in regards to denying the reality of this transcendent, immaterial, world of mathematics, and yet needing validation from this transcendent, immaterial, world of mathematics in order to be considered scientific, should be the very definition of self-refuting.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    And as David Berlinski states in the following article,“There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time…. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.”

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    Thus, since the reductive materialistic foundation of Darwinian evolution and the platonic world of Mathematics are completely incompatible with each other, I seriously don’t think Darwinists should ever talk about mathematicians in general or mathematics in particular.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL then claims:

    descent with modification filtered through environmental pressures will create generations of offspring more able to exploit the resources in their environment. Simple, clean, straight-forward.

    As stated in post 12 and 13, both Natural Selection and Random mutation/variation are now falsified.

    JVL then claims:

    And let’s not forget that design requires a designer of which there is no evidence for their existence except for the disputed design inference.

    The evidence for God is overwhelming. For one simple and clear example, I will cite evidence that JVL’s own brain gives him overwhelming evidence for God:

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    And yet JVL, and other Darwinists, will deny this overwhelming evidence for Intelligent Design without even batting an eye..

    We are not dealing with rational people.

  17. 17
    vmahuna says:

    bornagain77 @ all over the place

    Peace & joy! I stand (sit actually) in awe of the breadth and depth of your knowledge of the technical details of these things. Might you have written a book I could read?

    Thanks,

    Vince

  18. 18
    Latemarch says:

    BA77@12

    This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.

    Just a note that the divergence between the chimp and human genome is now estimated at 16% making the issue even more problematic.

    Comparison of 18,000 De Novo Assembled Chimpanzee Contigs to the Human Genome Yields Average BLASTN Alignment Identities of 84%

    Abstract:
    In a previous 2016 study aligning Sanger-style chimpanzee genomic trace reads (mean length = 704 bases) to the human genome, it was determined that chimpanzee DNA was not more than 85% similar to human. To further investigate the issue of human-chimpanzee genome similarity using higher quality DNA sequence, 18,000 de novo assembled contigs (constructed with Sanger style reads, Illumina short reads, and PacBio long reads) downloaded from NCBI having an average length of 30,913 bases were queried against the human genome using the BLASTN algorithm with gap extension. The alignments averaged 10,508 bases in length with a nucleotide identity of 84%. The contigs were also queried against the panTro4 and panTro5 versions of the chimpanzee genome yielding alignment identities of 92% and 100%, respectively. Results from this study not only negate the concept of the 98.5% DNA similarity myth, but highlight the extremely flawed and humanized nature of the panTro4 version of the chimpanzee genome and its predecessors that are widely used to support the human evolution paradigm.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    vmahuna as to:

    “Might you have written a book I could read?”

    No. I’ve just collected semi-organized notes from you guys over the past 10 or 11 years or so.

    As to a book. I am looking forward to Dr. Behe’s new book, “Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution”, that he has coming out in February which will be, IMHO, one of the definitive books on this debate:

    New book from Michael Behe on how today’s DNA findings “devolve” Darwin
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/new-book-from-michael-behe-on-how-todays-dna-findings-devolve-darwin/

    This new book from Dr. Behe looks to further bolster, with the latest findings from recent research, John Sanford’s work on “Genetic Entropy”

    GENETIC ENTROPY – It’s Down NOT Up…
    http://www.geneticentropy.org/

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Latemarch,

    Yes, I saw Tomkins article. What stuck out to me from the article was the fact that this comparison was a much better comparison since they did not use the human genome as a ‘scaffold” for assembling the Chimpanzee genome and thus the figure, 84%, is, in all likelihood, a more realistic and reliable figure than the 98.5% figure was.

    Of related note. The Human genome is now found to be far more similar to other ‘unrelated’ species’ than was originally presupposed by Darwinists:

    Frogs and humans are kissing cousins – 2010
    Excerpt: What’s the difference between a frog, a chicken, a mouse and a human? Not as much as you’d think, according to an analysis of the first sequenced amphibian genome.
    The genome of the western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, has now been analysed by an international consortium of scientists from 24 institutions, and joins a list of sequenced model organisms including the mouse, zebrafish, nematode and fruit fly. What’s most surprising, researchers say, is how closely the amphibian’s genome resembles that of the mouse and the human, with large swathes of frog DNA on several chromosomes having genes arranged in the same order as in these mammals. The results of the analysis are published in Science this week1.
    “There are megabases of sequence where gene order has changed very little,,,”
    http://www.nature.com/news/201.....0.211.html

    Kangaroo and Human Genomes (are unexpectedly similar genetically) 1-30-2016 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtmG2QzqJEA

    Kangaroo genes close to humans – 2008
    Excerpt: Australia’s kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, “There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order,” ,,,”We thought they’d be completely scrambled, but they’re not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....P020081118

    Dolphin DNA very close to human, – 2010
    Excerpt: They’re closer to us than cows, horses, or pigs, despite the fact that they live in the water.,,,
    “The extent of the genetic similarity came as a real surprise to us,” ,,,
    “Dolphins are marine mammals that swim in the ocean and it was astonishing to learn that we had more in common with the dolphin than with land mammals,” says geneticist Horst Hameister.,,,
    “We started looking at these and it became very obvious to us that every human chromosome had a corollary chromosome in the dolphin,” Busbee said. “We’ve found that the dolphin genome and the human genome basically are the same. It’s just that there’s a few chromosomal rearrangements that have changed the way the genetic material is put together.”
    http://www.reefrelieffounders......-to-human/
    Kolber, J., 2010, Dolphin DNA very close to human, viewed 18th March 2012,
    Kumar, S., 2010, Human genes closer to dolphin’s than any land animal, Discovery Channel Online,
    http://biol1020-2012-1.blogspo.....nomes.html

    On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Pt 2. – Richard Sternberg PhD. Evolutionary Biology – podcast
    Excerpt: “Here’s the interesting thing, when you look at the protein coding sequences that you have in your cell what you find is that they are nearly identical to the protein coding sequences of a dog, of a carp, of a fruit fly, of a nematode. They are virtually the same and they are interchangeable. You can knock out a gene that encodes a protein for an inner ear bone in say a mouse. This has been done. And then you can take a protein that is similar to it but from a fruit fly. And fruit flies aren’t vertebrates and they certainly are not mammals., so they don’t have inner ear bones. And you can plug that gene in and guess what happens? The offspring of the mouse will have a perfectly normal inner ear bone. So you can swap out all these files. I mentioning this to you because when you hear about we are 99% similar (to chimps) it is almost all referring to those protein coding regions. When you start looking, and you start comparing different mammals. Dolphins, aardvarks, elephants, manatees, humans, chimpanzees,, it doesn’t really matter. What you find is that the protein coding sequences are very well conserved, and there is also a lot of the DNA that is not protein coding that is also highly conserved. But when you look at the chromosomes and those banding patterns, those bar codes, (mentioned at the beginning of the talk), its akin to going into the grocery store. You see a bunch of black and white lines right? You’ve seen one bar code you’ve seen them all. But those bar codes are not the same.,, Here’s an example, aardvark and human chromosomes. They look very similar at the DNA level when you take small snippets of them. (Yet) When you look at how they are arranged in a linear pattern along the chromosome they turn out to be very distinct (from one another). So when you get to the folder and the super-folder and the higher order level, that’s when you find these striking differences. And here is another example. They are now sequencing the nuclear DNA of the Atlantic bottle-nose dolphin. And when they started initially sequencing the DNA, the first thing they realized is that basically the Dolphin genome is almost wholly identical to the human genome. That is, there are a few chromosome rearrangements here and there, you line the sequences up and they fit very well. Yet no one would argue, based on a statement like that, that bottle-nose dolphins are closely related to us. Our sister species if you will. No one would presume to do that. So you would have to layer in some other presumption. But here is the point. You will see these statements throughout the literature of how common things are.,,, (Parts lists are very similar, but how the parts are used is where you will find tremendous differences)
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-2/

    As the previous articles hinted at, the place where you will find massive differences between species is not in the genes, but is in the gene regulatory networks which tell the genes what to do.

    And indeed the ‘alternative splicing patterns’ are found to be VERY different between humans and chimps:

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, completely contrary to Darwinian thought, Alternative splicing patterns can produce variant proteins and expression patterns as different as the products of different genes.

    Frequent Alternative Splicing of Human Genes – 1999
    Excerpt: Alternative splicing can produce variant proteins and expression patterns as different as the products of different genes.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....PMC310997/

    And again, the difference between species produced by alternative splicing is massive.

    Widespread Expansion of Protein Interaction Capabilities by Alternative Splicing – 2016
    In Brief
    Alternatively spliced isoforms of proteins exhibit strikingly different interaction profiles and thus, in the context of global interactome networks, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,,
    Page 806 excerpt: As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes (Pan et al., 2008), collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification of products of all possible transcript isoforms (Smith and Kelleher, 2013).
    http://iakouchevalab.ucsd.edu/.....M_2016.pdf

    What is Cancer Proteomics?
    Excerpt: One gene can encode more than one protein (even up to 1,000). The human genome contains about 21,000 protein-encoding genes, but the total number of proteins in human cells is estimated to be (via alternative splicing) between 250,000 to one million.
    https://proteomics.cancer.gov/whatisproteomics

    And as Dr. Stephen Meyer pointed out in his book “Darwin’s Doubt”, the developmental genetic regulatory elements in an organism, such as the alternative splicing regulatory element, have far less plasticity and/or flexibility than single point mutations to genes have:

    Stephen Meyer – Responding to Critics: Marshall, Part 2 (developmental Gene Regulatory Networks) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg8Mhn2EKvQ

    Debate between Stephen Meyer and Charles Marshall
    – Sean Pitman, MD – February, 2016
    http://www.detectingdesign.com.....ebate.html

    DEVELOPMENTAL GENE REGULATORY NETWORKS
    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....-from#4799

  22. 22
    ET says:

    JVL:

    The fossil record is hardly a complete library of all the myriad of variants that existed.

    Yes but your position can’t even get beyond populations of prokaryotes so yours can only account for fossils of bacterial mats.

    But descent with modification filtered through environmental pressures will create generations of offspring more able to exploit the resources in their environment.

    Right but those more able to exploit the resources could be smaller, larger, faster, slower, better eyesight, no eyesight- well just about anything. It is all just contingent serendipity.

    And let’s not forget that design requires a designer of which there is no evidence for their existence except for the disputed design inference.

    The people who dispute it don’t have any testable explanation for it. So we can just dismiss their complaints. And the evidence for Intelligent Design encompasses several different scientific venues.

  23. 23
    Latemarch says:

    BA77@19

    Thanks for the link to Genetic Entropy!

    Downloaded it from Amazon to my Kindle Here just $9.99.

    This is also another data point that should make one suspicious about the concept of deep time.

  24. 24
    Axel says:

    I LOL at the thought that a young child recognises the obvious implication of a designing mind behind a design, via the simplest and most unassailable logic, virtually via autonomic cognition.

    But it still fills my heart with joy to see the stunningly-neat insights you guys formulate or adopt from time to time, e.g. ‘promissory science’ ! And the Darwinists’ penchant for espousing an unacknowledged ‘animism’.

  25. 25
    Axel says:

    All the more so in that they are the profoundest of truths.

  26. 26
    daveS says:

    GS,

    To address this point:

    When I point out the similarities between the evolution of life and the evolution of human technology such as the automobile, some people have responded by saying that of course the evolution of life is much easier to explain without design than the evolution of automobiles because cars cannot reproduce, so there are no “variations” for natural selection to work with. Actually the fact that natural selection cannot act on cars is irrelevant to the main point of this comparison, which is simply that similarities between “species” (of cars or animals) do not prove the absence of design.

    I think it’s really impossible to prove the absence of design under any circumstances, isn’t it? Rather, people focus on finding explanations which are better in some sense than design. (Which also presents difficulties…)

    To address this point:

    Although it is far beyond our current technology, imagine that it were possible to construct a fleet of cars that contained completely automated car-building factories inside, with the ability to construct new cars—and not just normal new cars, but new cars containing automated car-building factories inside. If we left these cars alone and let them reproduce themselves for many generations, is there any chance we would eventually see major advances arise through natural selection of the resulting duplication errors? Of course not, the whole process would grind to a halt after a few generations without intelligent humans there to fix the mechanical problems that would arise.

    This is an empirical question, is it not? And as you say, it’s beyond current technology, so we can’t test it. How can we claim to know that under these hypotheses, “of course” no major innovations would arise? To illustrate with an example I’m sure you are aware of, “of course” there is no surjective, continuous function from [0, 1] to [0, 1] × [0, 1]. (Of course there are, but it’s counterintuitive).

    I do think it’s plausible that you are correct, but I’m not sure this kind of discussion advances ID.

  27. 27
    ScuzzaMan says:

    The fossil record is hardly a complete library

    When you don’t have the evidence but you just know your theory is right, you attack the evidence for being not up to the job of buttressing your theory.

    Which kind of makes one wonder why you believed it in the first place? And perhaps if you’re not quite the rational skeptic you claim to be?

    (It’s OK, everyone knows why.)

    This gambit is so old and so apropos we really ought to name it Darwin’s Defense.

  28. 28
    ScuzzaMan says:

    I think it’s really impossible to prove the absence of design under any circumstances, isn’t it?

    You don’t need to. When you show us a hammer growing on a tree, nobody will argue that a hammer requires a designer.

    You might still have a problem with the tree …

  29. 29
    daveS says:

    You don’t need to. When you show us a hammer growing on a tree, nobody will argue that a hammer requires a designer.

    You might still have a problem with the tree …

    🤔

    Ok?

    Edit: I’m honestly not trying to be obtuse. If you mean something like, “if there weren’t suggestions of design in nature, then probably no one would have invented ID to begin with”, then I think you’re probably right.

  30. 30
    JVL says:

    BA77

    The claim that the fossil record is incomplete is known as the artifact hypothesis. i.e. “We have just not found all the missing fossils yet”, Darwinists claim.

    There are several strands of evidence that all support evolutionary theory. No evolutionary theorist is looking for ‘missing’ fossils to prop up their ideas. They look for more fossils to close gaps and clarify transitions. But we will never have a complete fossil record.

    This is more commonly known as Random Mutation/Variation and Natural Selection.

    Yet both of those purported mechanisms have now been falsified:

    Because of the “waiting time problem”, Darwinists were forced to cast natural selection, Charles Darwin’s supposed ‘designer substitute’, by the wayside.

    I don’t think natural selection has been cast by the wayside entirely but other forms of ‘selection’ have been studied and elucidated since Darwin’s time. Modern evolutionary theory does not live based on natural selection alone. And it’s not all neutral theory either.

    Both Graur and Moran’s estimates for junk DNA were falsified by ENCODE findings and yet both Graur and Moran, in typical Darwinian fashion, refused to accept the empirical results of ENCODE.

    For good reason. Just because a section of DNA is transcribed does not mean it’s functional.

    I seriously don’t think Darwinists should ever talk about mathematicians in general or mathematics in particular.

    I was trained in mathematics. Were you?

    Simply put, Mathematics itself, contrary to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, does not need the physical world in order to exist.

    But the mathematics that we know depends on human beings working on problems and deciding which areas to explore. And, lest we forget, much of early mathematics discovery was motivated by real world problems.

    “There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics.”

    That is just completely bizarre.

    The evidence for God is overwhelming.

    In your opinion. Many, many people disagree with you.

    ET

    Right but those more able to exploit the resources could be smaller, larger, faster, slower, better eyesight, no eyesight- well just about anything. It is all just contingent serendipity.

    Whatever helps an organism better exploit natural resources will give it an advantage. You believe in a designer so you look for some target or goal which is why you find evolutionary theory too chaotic.

    The people who dispute it don’t have any testable explanation for it.

    Let me know when you’ve found the designer(s).

    ScuzzaMan

    When you don’t have the evidence but you just know your theory is right, you attack the evidence for being not up to the job of buttressing your theory.

    There are other lines of evidence which are equally if not more compelling that the fossil record.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL claims:

    There are several strands of evidence that all support evolutionary theory.

    Yet he provides no list of these supposed ‘strands of evidence’.

    Which is understandable since all the supposed evidence for evolution that has been put forth by Darwinists falls apart upon close examination.

    Simply put, there is no evidence for the grandiose claims of Darwinists.

    JVL then claims

    No evolutionary theorist is looking for ‘missing’ fossils to prop up their ideas.

    Which is good since it is a futile effort.

    But then, right after that claim, JVL claims

    They look for more fossils to close gaps and clarify transitions. But we will never have a complete fossil record.

    You can’t have it both ways JVL. Darwinists are either looking for fossils or they are not.

    And to repeat, the fossil record, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, with its pervasive pattern of sudden appearance and then long term stasis, certainly does not support Darwinian claims of gradualism.

    JVL then claims:

    I don’t think natural selection has been cast by the wayside entirely but other forms of ‘selection’ have been studied and elucidated since Darwin’s time. Modern evolutionary theory does not live based on natural selection alone. And it’s not all neutral theory either.

    Trying to weasel your way through the devastating fact of the demonstrated impotence of Natural Selection as the supposed ‘designer substitute’ does not alleviate the fact that the mathematics of population genetics and empirical evidence have now both shown Natural Selection is grossly inadequate as the supposed ‘designer substitute’ that Darwinists have falsely imagined it to be.

    JVL then claims:

    For good reason. Just because a section of DNA is transcribed does not mean it’s functional.

    The belief that DNA must be junk simply because the mathematics of population genetics demands it is to turn science on its its head and is to put theory above empirical evidence.

    As far as empirical evidence is concerned, and the ‘mind blowing’ integrated’ complexity that is being found in DNA, we should presupposed virtually 100% functionality and reject the theory of Darwinian evolution.

    To refuse to accept falsification of a theory when empirical evidence contradicts it, as Darwinists constantly do with their theory, is one of the sure signs that we are dealing with a pseudoscience instead of a real, i.e. testable, science:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

  32. 32
    ET says:

    JVL proves he is NOT interested in science:

    Let me know when you’ve found the designer(s).

    That is always the crybaby fallback position when it is demonstrated the anti-ID position has nothing.

    ID has the testable methodology. That alone is by far more than materialism can muster

  33. 33
    ET says:

    daves:

    I think it’s really impossible to prove the absence of design under any circumstances, isn’t it?

    So every rock is an artifact and every death a murder? No, we can and do differentiate between nature, operating freely and when it takes an intentional agency to produce something. Sir Isaac Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning help us do just that.

  34. 34
    daveS says:

    So every rock is an artifact and every death a murder?

    Erm, no. No one said that.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    daves:

    I think it’s really impossible to prove the absence of design under any circumstances, isn’t it?

    And yet we know that not every rock is an artifact and we also know that not every death is a murder. So clearly we have proven the absence of design in many circumstances.

  36. 36
    daveS says:

    ET,

    No, you haven’t proven anything.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    ScuzzaMan says:

    There are other lines of evidence which are equally if not more compelling that the fossil record.

    Which of them did Darwin and his early acolytes have access to?

    And lacking them, in addition to lacking the “fossil record”, why did he or they believe in his theory?

  39. 39
    ScuzzaMan says:

    The evidence for God is overwhelming.

    In your opinion. Many, many people disagree with you.

    Speaking of bizarre things; when did science become a popularity contest?

    Have you apologised to the Catholic Church for forcing them to apologise to Galileo, yet?

  40. 40
    ET says:

    daves:

    No, you haven’t proven anything.

    Humans have proven that we are capable of differentiating between nature, operating freely and intentional design that requires an intelligent designer. We do that on a daily basis.

  41. 41
    daveS says:

    ET,

    Humans have proven that we are capable of differentiating between nature, operating freely and intentional design that requires an intelligent designer.

    You might be able to determine things that require a designer. That doesn’t mean you can prove any particular object wasn’t designed.

    Go outside and pick up a random rock. You can’t be sure a god (or even another human) didn’t create that rock and intentionally design it to have those particular properties.

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    And differentiating between Design in nature and the Design seen in biology, i.e. the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’, is hard for you how exactly?

    Even Dawkins himself can tell the difference between the two Design inferences

    Dawkins – “purposeful arrangement of parts”.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=7L8mkq4jG6EC&pg=PA264&lpg=PA264&dq=Dawkins+the+purposeful+arrangement+of+parts

  43. 43
    ET says:

    daves:

    You can’t be sure a god (or even another human) didn’t create that rock and intentionally design it to have those particular properties.

    Oh my. You really don’t understand how this works.

    According to Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning there needs to be a reason to infer a designer was required. If there isn’t any sign of intentional manipulation of nature then we don’t infer a designer was required.

    But anyway, I just went outside and did what you requested. And I am 100% confident no one on this planet can come along and demonstrate a designer was required to produce any of the rocks I just picked up.

  44. 44
    daveS says:

    ET,

    I don’t have any argument with your second and third paragraphs.

    Did you read my post #26?

    Note that you didn’t prove that the rock wasn’t designed. You found no reason to infer it was designed. This is utterly elementary.

  45. 45
    ET says:

    daves:

    Note that you didn’t prove that the rock wasn’t designed.

    Clearly you don’t understand how science works. It is proven beyond any reasonable doubt wrt science.

  46. 46
    ET says:

    Science does not make us prove a negative. There has to be positive evidence or else we invoke the Hitchens’ Gambit:

    “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

  47. 47
    daveS says:

    ET,

    Science does not make us prove a negative.

    But didn’t you just prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the rock was not designed?

  48. 48
    R J Sawyer says:

    But if a designer was responsible for the physical laws/constants of the universe, as is often argued here, does this not mean that everything we see is the result of an intelligent agent?

  49. 49

    A list should be compiled of the different ways that ID critics use ignorance as a diversion from physical evidence.

  50. 50
    OldAndrew says:

    43, 44 – ET and daveS have almost trade places. Sort of. Amazing.

    I have to agree that you can’t logically prove that a rock wasn’t designed, even if we both agree that it probably wasn’t. Maybe someone carved it into its exact seemingly random shape.

    ID isn’t about knowing what wasn’t designed. It’s about identifying what does exhibit characteristics of design. It’s easy to design something that appears random. For other things design is the best explanation.

    That’s a point that I think gets missed. Design isn’t “proven.” For some things, including life, it’s just the only explanation that’s in touch with reality as we know it. It wins for now because no one has proposed anything else besides alchemy and magic without a magician. Feel free to keep looking and get back to us if anything else turns up. No one is waiting.

  51. 51
    JVL says:

    BA

    Yet he provides no list of these supposed ‘strands of evidence’.

    I’m sure you are aware of them BA but I shall list a few: genetic evidence, morphological evidence, the geo-biological distribution record.

    You can’t have it both ways JVL. Darwinists are either looking for fossils or they are not.

    They are looking but not to PROVE unguided evolution happened. They look for more fossils to clarify the situation.

    Trying to weasel your way through the devastating fact of the demonstrated impotence of Natural Selection as the supposed ‘designer substitute’ does not alleviate the fact that the mathematics of population genetics and empirical evidence have now both shown Natural Selection is grossly inadequate as the supposed ‘designer substitute’ that Darwinists have falsely imagined it to be.

    As I said, there are other forms of selection and factors that supplement natural selection.

    The belief that DNA must be junk simply because the mathematics of population genetics demands it is to turn science on its its head and is to put theory above empirical evidence.

    The belief that parts of our genome are ‘junk’ is based on the fact that they don’t contribute to our physiology.

    ET

    That is always the crybaby fallback position when it is demonstrated the anti-ID position has nothing.

    If your design inference is incorrect then without other evidence of a designer you haven’t got much to work with.

    ScuzzaMan

    Which of them did Darwin and his early acolytes have access to?

    You can read Darwin’s books to find out what other lines of evidence he used to argue for his theory. Darwin himself was compelled by the bio-geographic distribution evidence. And he argued from existing morphologies. And he observed guided breeding programs and realised that something similar could happened without human intervention. It’s all there.

    Speaking of bizarre things; when did science become a popularity contest?

    It’s not; I’m just saying that more scientists trained in biology disagree with you than agree with you for reasons which have been elucidated in thousands of books and probably millions of research papers.

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    BA77: Yet he provides no list of these supposed ‘strands of evidence’.

    JVL: I’m sure you are aware of them BA but I shall list a few: genetic evidence, morphological evidence, the geo-biological distribution record.

    JVL’s list is a sad joke. Robust theories of science are known for making specific predictions in science and then passing extreme testing of those specific predictions so as to confirm that those specific predictions are correct.

    Neo-Darwinian Evolution makes the specific prediction that Random Mutations and/or variations to DNA, filtered by Natural Selection, can result in new species and eventually all the diversity of life we see around us.

    Besides the fact that, as was shown in post 12 and 13, both Natural Selection and Random Mutations are shown to be virtually non-existent, JVL has no observational evidence for the specific claim of Neo-Darwinian evolution that Random Mutations and/or variations to DNA can result in new species:

    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

    In the following video, at the 5:55 minute mark, Stephen Meyer states that ‘you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan.’

    ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body-plan. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’
    – Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins and Information for Body Plans – video – 5:55 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/hs4y4XLGQ-Y?t=354

    And here is a 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/

    Body Plans Are Not Mapped-Out by the DNA – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meR8Hk5q_EM

    Body Plans simply are not reducible to DNA (or to any other material particulars Darwinists may wish to invoke):

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

    Moreover, the failure of the reductive materialism, which undergirds Darwinian thought, to be able to explain the basic form 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

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    Shoot, besides no empirical evidence of new species, JVL cannot even produce evidence of Random Mutations and/or variations to DNA leading to new genes and/or proteins.

    Yockey and a Calculator Versus Evolutionists – Cornelius Hunter PhD – September 25, 2015
    Excerpt: In a 1977 paper published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, Hubert Yockey used information theory to evaluate the likelihood of the evolution of a relatively simple protein.,,,
    Yockey found that the probability of evolution finding the cytochrome c protein sequence is about one in 10^64. That is a one followed by 64 zeros—an astronomically large number. He concluded in the peer-reviewed paper that the belief that proteins appeared spontaneously “is based on faith.”
    Indeed, Yockey’s early findings are in line with, though a bit more conservative than, later findings. A 1990 study of a small, simple protein found that 10^63 attempts would be required for evolution to find the protein.
    A 2004 study found that 10^64 to 10^77 attempts are required, and a 2006 study concluded that 10^70 attempts would be required.
    These requirements dwarf the resources evolution has at its disposal. Even evolutionists have had to admit that evolution could only have a maximum of 10^43 such experiments. It is important to understand how tiny this number is compared to 10^70. 10^43 is not more than half of 10^70. It is not even close to half. 10^43 is an astronomically tiny sliver of 10^70.
    Furthermore, the estimate of 10^43 is, itself, entirely unrealistic. For instance, it assumes the entire history of the Earth is available, rather than the limited time window that evolution actually would have had.,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ersus.html

    Dr. Durston elaborates on how futile an evolutionary search is to find a single functional protein:
    Excerpt: From this, we can come up with a very rough estimate for the total number of stable, folding 3D sequences in 300 residue sequence space … roughly 10^74 sequences that will give stable 3D folds (this is very rough, but it will illustrate my point and help one see why scientists don’t search for novel stable 3D folds from a library of random sequences). One might think that 10^75 sequences is an enormous number, however, it is miniscule in comparison with 20^300, which is the total number of sequences in 300 –residue sequence space. This is why the theory that an evolutionary search, even if it involved all the planets in all the galaxies of the known universe, is utterly implausible.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-466489

    In the following video Dr. Behe comments on the abject failure of Darwinian processes to be able to explain the origination of novel functionality at the molecular level…, “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”

    Michael Behe – Observed (1 in 10^20) Limits of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”
    27:50 minute mark: no known, or unknown, evolutionary process helped.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    Thus, to reiterate what I stated in the previous post, “Simply put, there is no evidence for the grandiose claims of Darwinists.”

    Moreover, the observational evidence that we now do have directly falsifies the specific prediction of Neo-Darwinian evolution that Random Mutations and/or variations to DNA, filtered by Natural Selection, can result in new species and eventually all the diversity of life we see around us.

    And even though the empirical evidence is clear cut, Darwinists still refuse to accept falsification of their theory.

    This refusal of Darwinists to accept empirical falsification of the primary specific prediction of Neo-Darwinian evolution, is one of the primary reasons that we know that Darwinian evolution does not even qualify as a real, i.e. testable, science but is more realistically classified as a non-falsifiable pseudoscience:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

  54. 54
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Which of them did Darwin and his early acolytes have access to?

    You can read Darwin’s books to find out what other lines of evidence he used to argue for his theory.

    Yes, I can, and have. I asked you, not him.

    Darwin himself was compelled by the bio-geographic distribution evidence.

    What about it was compelling? All evidence is mute until it is fitted by intelligence into an explanation that explains something better than the alternatives. Does the bio-geographic distribution evidence compel one to the conclusion that “something similar could [have] happened without human intervention“?

    Does it exclude the possibility of an intelligent designer in the same way that our knowledge of genetics excludes the possibility of un-directed natural processes, as the origin of the information content of living things?

    No, it doesn’t.

    And he argued from existing morphologies.

    He argued about them. There’s nothing in them that compels the conclusion that they happened the way he preferred to believe. There’s a lot that argues against it, as he openly acknowledged. That’s why he attacked the evidence.

    And he observed guided breeding programs and realised that something similar could happened without human intervention.

    “Realised”? How about fantasised? All the evidence points the other way, that no such thing, of any sort, not even remotely similar, is possible without intelligent direction.

    He did not demonstrate it for it cannot be demonstrated. (See bornagain77’s point re fruit flies)
    His predictions on finding the evidence for it have all failed – the evidence not only STILL fails to support it but the evidence is even more strongly against his theory than it was in his own lifetime.

    Which is where this discussion started. WHY did he believe without evidence?

    Why do you?

    WHY do you hate science?!?!?

    It’s all there.

    Ho hum.

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL instead of listing any direct empirical evidence to support his claim that Random Mutations filtered by Natural Selection can lead to the diversification of all life on earth, JVl instead listed what may be termed incidental evidence instead of direct empirical evidence:

    The incidental evidence that JVL listed is as such

    genetic evidence, morphological evidence, the geo-biological distribution record.

    None of these lines of incidental evidence support JVL’s grandiose claim that Random Mutations, filtered by Natural Selection, lead to the gradual diversification of all life on earth.

    As to genetic evidence, first off, as was mentioned in post 53, besides the fact that Darwinists have never demonstrated the origin of a single gene and/or protein, it should also be noted that Mendelian genetics, i.e. discrete inheritance, has always been, at root, opposed to the Darwinian notion of randomness and gradualism.

    podcast – On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig about Gregor Mendel’s laws of inheritance and how they opposed the thinking of Darwin.
    podcast – Mendel Vs. Darwin – part 1
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....vs-darwin/
    Mendel Vs. Darwin – part. 2
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....rwin-pt-2/
    Mendel Vs. Darwin, part. 3
    Dr. Lönnig discusses how Darwinian evolutionary biology held back the acceptance of the laws of inheritance, discovered by the famous monk Gregor Mendel. (In fact, Darwinists originally tried to censor Mendel’s work)
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....rwin-pt-3/

    It was only when ‘random’ Darwinian evolution and ‘discrete’ Mendelian Genetics were mixed, in the early to the middle of the last century, into what is termed the ‘modern synthesis’ and/or Neo-Darwinism, that Darwinian evolution finally gained a measure of supposed scientific respect.

    Yet advances in science have shown that this supposed scientific respect that was given to Neo-Darwinian evolution was not deserved:

    ,, In the following video, Dr Denis Noble states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
    – Professor Denis Noble – President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

    Denis Noble – Rocking the foundations of biology – video
    http://www.voicesfromoxford.or.....iology/184

    Simply put, the modern synthesis is wrong:

    Die, selfish gene, die – The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong – Dec. 2013
    Excerpt: But 15 years after Hamilton and Williams kited [introduced] this idea, it was embraced and polished into gleaming form by one of the best communicators science has ever produced: the biologist Richard Dawkins. In his magnificent book The Selfish Gene (1976), Dawkins gathered all the threads of the modern synthesis — Mendel, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Watson, Crick, Hamilton, and Williams — into a single shimmering magic carpet (called the selfish gene).
    Unfortunately, say Wray, West-Eberhard and others, it’s wrong.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-heard-of/

    Not only is it wrong, at the 10:30 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Trifonov states that the concept of the selfish gene ‘inflicted an immense damage to biological sciences’, for over 30 years:

    Second, third, fourth… genetic codes – One spectacular case of code crowding – Edward N. Trifonov – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDB3fMCfk0E

    Moreover, with modern sequencing techniques, Darwinists have tried to line up the genetic sequences of different species in order to try to infer common ancestry. This endeavor on their part has not turned out as they thought it would:

    Logged Out – Scientists Can’t Find Darwin’s “Tree of Life” Anywhere in Nature by Casey Luskin – Winter 2013
    Excerpt: the (fossil) record shows that major groups of animals appeared abruptly, without direct evolutionary precursors.
    Because biogeography and fossils have failed to bolster common descent, many evolutionary scientists have turned to molecules—the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of genes and proteins—to establish a phylogenetic tree of life showing the evolutionary relationships between all living organisms.,,,
    Many papers have noted the prevalence of contradictory molecule-based phylogenetic trees. For instance:
    • A 1998 paper in Genome Research observed that “different proteins generate different phylogenetic tree[s].”6
    • A 2009 paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution acknowledged that “evolutionary trees from different genes often have conflicting branching patterns.”7
    • A 2013 paper in Trends in Genetics reported that “the more we learn about genomes the less tree-like we find their evolutionary history to be.”8
    Perhaps the most candid discussion of the problem came in a 2009 review article in New Scientist titled “Why Darwin Was Wrong about the Tree of Life.”9 The author quoted researcher Eric Bapteste explaining that “the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” but “today that project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence.” According to the article, “many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.”,,,
    Syvanen succinctly summarized the problem: “We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more, it’s a different topology entirely. What would Darwin have made of that?” ,,,
    “battles between molecules and morphology are being fought across the entire tree of life,” leaving readers with a stark assessment: “Evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don’t resemble those drawn up from morphology.”10,,,
    A 2012 paper noted that “phylogenetic conflict is common, and [is] frequently the norm rather than the exception,” since “incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species.”12,,,
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....ed-out.php

    Again, these results are not what we should expect from a process of blind, gradual macroevolution.,,,,

    Evolutionary biologist Seirian Sumner describes the emerging problem,

    “These data are telling us to put to bed the idea that all life is underlain by a common toolkit of conserved genes. Instead, we need to turn our attention to the role of genomic novelty in the evolution of phenotypic diversity and innovation.,,,
    We can now sequence de novo the genomes and transcriptomes (the genes expressed at any one time/place) of any organism. We have sequence data for algae, pythons, green sea turtles, puffer fish, pied flycatchers, platypus, koala, bonobos, giant pandas, bottle-nosed dolphins, leafcutter ants, monarch butterfly, pacific oysters, leeches…the list is growing exponentially. And each new genome brings with it a suit of unique genes. Twenty percent of genes in nematodes are unique. Each lineage of ants contains about 4000 novel genes, but only 64 of these are conserved across all seven ant genomes sequenced so far.
    Many of these unique (‘novel’) genes are proving important in the evolution of biological innovations. Morphological differences between closely related fresh water polyps, Hydra, can be attributed to a small group of novel genes. Novel genes are emerging as important in the worker castes of bees, wasps and ants. Newt-specific genes may play a role in their amazing tissue regenerative powers.”
    – WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? – Life Evolves Via A Shared Genetic Toolkit
    Seirian Sumner
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25533
    – Matti Leisola, Heretic (2018), pages 83-84 and 118-119

    This recent study on mitochondria DNA was even more damning to the Darwinian claim that genetic evidence supports common ancestry:

    Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution – May 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Darwin perplexed,,,
    And yet—another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.
    “If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
    The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-survey-reveals-facets-evolution.html

    Thus, the genetic evidence certainly does not support Darwinian evolution as JVL falsely claimed that it did.

    Of supplemental note. As to the oft repeated false claim from Darwinists that chimpanzees and humans are 98.5% genetically similar, see post 20, i.e. closer to 84% instead of 98.5%.,, moreover, kangaroos and dolphins are far more genetically similar to humans than was expected from Darwinists

  56. 56
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL also claimed morphological evidence as incidental evidence for his claim that random and gradual Darwinian evolution produced all the diversity of life we see around us.

    JVL is, as usual, like all Darwinists, wrong in his claim.

    Charles Darwin predicted that minor differences (diversity) between species would gradually appear first and then the differences would grow larger (disparity) between species as time went on. i.e. universal common descent as depicted in Darwin’s tree of life. What Darwin predicted should be familiar to everyone and is easily represented in the following graph.,,,

    The Theory – Diversity precedes Disparity – graph
    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/JOURNEY/IMAGES/F.gif

    But that ‘tree pattern’ that Darwin predicted is not what is found in the fossil record. The fossil record reveals that disparity (the greatest differences) precedes diversity (the smaller differences), which is the exact opposite pattern for what Darwin’s theory predicted.

    The Actual Fossil Evidence- Disparity precedes Diversity – graph
    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/JOURNEY/IMAGES/G.gif

    In direct contradiction to what Darwin predicted, morphological differences between species (phyla) are found to be greatest when the different kinds of species (phyla) first suddenly appear in the Cambrian explosion, instead of the morphological differences being greatest later on when the species supposedly, via common descent, gradually diverged from one another.

    Jerry Coyne’s Chapter on the Fossil Record Fails to Show “Why Evolution is True” – Jonathan M. – December 4, 2012
    Excerpt: Taxonomists classify organisms into categories: species are the very lowest taxonomic category. Species are classified into different genera. Genera are classified into different families. Families are classified into different orders. Orders are classified into different classes. And classes are classified into different phyla. Phyla are among the very highest taxonomic categories (only kingdom and domain are higher), and correspond to the high level of morphological disparity that exists between different animal body plans. Phyla include such groupings as chordates, arthropods, mollusks, and echinoderms.
    Darwin’s theory would predict a cone of diversity whereby the major body-plan differences (morphological disparity) would only appear in the fossil record following numerous lower-level speciation events. What is interesting about the fossil record is that it shows the appearance of the higher taxonomic categories first (virtually all of the major skeletonized phyla appear in the Cambrian, with no obvious fossil transitional precursors, within a relatively small span of geological time). As Roger Lewin (1988) explains in Science,
    “Several possible patterns exist for the establishment of higher taxa, the two most obvious of which are the bottom-up and the top-down approaches. In the first, evolutionary novelties emerge, bit by bit. The Cambrian explosion appears to conform to the second pattern, the top-down effect.”
    Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that,
    “The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa.”
    Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67021.html

    As Stephen Meyer stated,,,

    “Over the past 150 years or so, paleontologists have found many representatives of the phyla that were well-known in Darwin’s time (by analogy, the equivalent of the three primary colors) and a few completely new forms altogether (by analogy, some other distinct colors such as green and orange, perhaps). And, of course, within these phyla, there is a great deal of variety. Nevertheless, the analogy holds at least insofar as the differences in form between any member of one phylum and any member of another phylum are vast, and paleontologists have utterly failed to find forms that would fill these yawning chasms in what biotechnologists call “morphological space.” In other words, they have failed to find the paleolontogical equivalent of the numerous finely graded intermediate colors (Oedleton blue, dusty rose, gun barrel gray, magenta, etc.) that interior designers covet. Instead, extensive sampling of the fossil record has confirmed a strikingly discontinuous pattern in which representatives of the major phyla stand in stark isolation from members of other phyla, without intermediate forms filling the intervening morphological space.”
    Stephen Meyer – Darwin’s Doubt (p. 70)

    Simply put, the picture we are now getting from the fossil record is a ‘top down’ picture that is completely at odds with the ‘bottom up’ picture that Charles Darwin himself predicted:

    Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 – (4:45 minute mark – upside-down fossil record) video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DkbmuRhXRY
    Part 2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZFM48XIXnk

    “Darwin had a lot of trouble with the fossil record because if you look at the record of phyla in the rocks as fossils why when they first appear we already see them all. The phyla are fully formed. It’s as if the phyla were created first and they were modified into classes and we see that the number of classes peak later than the number of phyla and the number of orders peak later than that. So it’s kind of a top down succession, you start with this basic body plans, the phyla, and you diversify them into classes, the major sub-divisions of the phyla, and these into orders and so on. So the fossil record is kind of backwards from what you would expect from in that sense from what you would expect from Darwin’s ideas.”
    James W. Valentine – as quoted from “On the Origin of Phyla: Interviews with James W. Valentine” – (as stated at 1:16:36 mark of video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtdFJXfvlm8&feature=player_detailpage#t=4595

    Moreover, this top down pattern in the fossil record, which is the complete opposite pattern as Darwin predicted for the fossil record, is not only found in the Cambrian Explosion, but this ‘top down’, disparity preceding diversity, pattern is found throughout the fossil record subsequent to the Cambrian explosion as well.

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    In Allaying Darwin’s Doubt, Two Cambrian Experts Still Come Up Short – October 16, 2015
    Excerpt: “A recent analysis of disparity in 98 metazoan clades through the Phanerozoic found a preponderance of clades with maximal disparity early in their history. Thus, whether or not taxonomic diversification slows down most studies of disparity reveal a pattern in which the early evolution of a clade defines the morphological boundaries of a group which are then filled in by subsequent diversification. This pattern is inconsistent with that expected of a classic adaptive radiation in which diversity and disparity should be coupled, at least during the early phase of the radiation.”
    – Doug Erwin
    What this admits is that disparity is a worse problem than evolutionists had realized: it’s ubiquitous (throughout the history of life on earth), not just in the Cambrian (Explosion).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00111.html

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, ‘convergent evolution’, i.e. finding morphological similarity where it ought not be, is a pervasive pattern that is found amongst supposedly widely divergent species:

    Simon Conway Morris has a website documenting hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of “unexpected” ‘convergent evolution’:

    Map Of Life – Simon Conway Morris
    http://www.mapoflife.org/browse/

    Simon Conway Morris: “Fossil evidence demands a radical rewriting of evolution.” – March 2012
    Excerpt: “The idea is this: that convergence – the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems – is not just part of evolution, but a driving force. To say this is an unconventional view would be something of an understatement.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....evolution/

    Extinct Four-Eyed Monitor Lizard Busts Myth of a Congruent Nested Hierarchy – Günter Bechly – April 23, 2018
    Excerpt: One of the most essential doctrines of Darwinian evolution, apart from universal common descent with modification, is the notion that complex similarities indicate homology and are ordered in a congruent nested pattern that facilitates the hierarchical classification of life. When this pattern is disrupted by incongruent evidence, such conflicting evidence is readily explained away as homoplasies with ad hoc explanations like underlying apomorphies (parallelisms), secondary reductions, evolutionary convergences, long branch attraction, and incomplete lineage sorting.
    When I studied in the 1980s at the University of Tübingen, where the founder of phylogenetic systematics, Professor Willi Hennig, was teaching a first generation of cladists, we still all thought that such homoplasies are the exceptions to the rule, usually restricted to simple or poorly known characters. Since then the situation has profoundly changed. Homoplasy is now recognized as a ubiquitous phenomenon (e.g., eyes evolved 45 times independently, and bioluminiscence 27 times; hundreds of more examples can be found at Cambridge University’s “Map of Life” website).
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/04/extinct-four-eyed-monitor-lizard-busts-myth-of-a-congruent-nested-hierarchy/

    Darwinism Versus the Octopus: An Evolutionary Dilemma – Eric Metaxas – September 08, 2015
    Excerpt: What’s the difference between evolutionary theory and an octopus? Well, one is a slippery, color-changing escape artist that can get out of any tough situation and the other is an aquatic invertebrate.,,,
    The key to this uncanny intelligence is the octopus’ so-called “alien” nervous system, brain, and eyes. But these features are not alien to the animal kingdom at all. In fact, they’re quite common in higher vertebrates. The octopus genome shares key similarities with ours, including the development of high-powered brains and “camera eyes” with a cornea, lens, and retina.
    Now here’s the problem for evolution: according to Neo-Darwinists, we’re not related to octopi—at least not within the last several hundred million years. That means all of these genes, complex structures, and incredible capabilities came about twice.
    The researchers who sequenced the octopus genome call this “a striking example of convergent evolution,” or the supposed tendency of unrelated creatures to develop the same traits in response to environmental pressures. Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying a miracle happened twice?
    But the octopus isn’t the only such miracle. “Convergent evolution” is all over nature, from powered flight evolving three times to each continent having its own version of the anteater. Think about that. As one delightfully un-self-conscious “Science Today” cover put it, convergent evolution is “nature discover[ing] the same design over and over.” Well, good for nature!
    But as Luskin argues, there’s a better explanation for a tentacled mollusk having a mammal’s brain and human eyes. And that explanation is common design by an intelligent Engineer. And like all good engineers, this this one reused some of His best designs.
    Now that explanation isn’t going to satisfy Darwinian naturalists. And they’ll probably keep on invoking “convergent evolution” when faced with impossible coincidences in nature.
    But hopefully knowing a more straightforward explanation leaves you forearmed—or should I said “eight-armed”?
    http://www.christianheadlines......lemma.html

    Of supplemental note, JVL would probably claim that chimps and humans are very similar morphologically, and that this supposed similarity supports the claim from Darwinists that some chimp-like creature randomly evolved, via Darwinian evolution, into a human, yet contrary to that Darwinian presupposition, when examining the anatomical details of morphology, pigs and humans are found to be anatomically closer to each other than chimps and humans are:

    A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans? – July 3, 2013
    Excerpt: Dr. Eugene McCarthy,, has amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that human origins can be best explained by hybridization between pigs and chimpanzees. Extraordinary theories require extraordinary evidence and McCarthy does not disappoint. Rather than relying on genetic sequence comparisons, he instead offers extensive anatomical comparisons, each of which may be individually assailable, but startling when taken together.,,,
    The list of anatomical specializations we may have gained from porcine philandering is too long to detail here. Suffice it to say, similarities in the face, skin and organ microstructure alone is hard to explain away. A short list of differential features, for example, would include, multipyramidal kidney structure, presence of dermal melanocytes, melanoma, absence of a primate baculum (penis bone), surface lipid and carbohydrate composition of cell membranes, vocal cord structure, laryngeal sacs, diverticuli of the fetal stomach, intestinal “valves of Kerkring,” heart chamber symmetry, skin and cranial vasculature and method of cooling, and tooth structure. Other features occasionally seen in humans, like bicornuate uteruses and supernumerary nipples, would also be difficult to incorporate into a purely primate tree.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-c.....umans.html

    Moreover, since the backlash from diehard Darwinists was so bad, Physorg published a subsequent article showing that the pig-chimp hybrid theory for human origins is much harder to shoot down than the Darwinists, who fiercely opposed McCarthy, had first supposed it would be:

    Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence – July 25, 2013
    Excerpt: There was considerable fallout, both positive and negative, from our first story covering the radical pig-chimp hybrid theory put forth by Dr. Eugene McCarthy,,,By and large, those coming out against the theory had surprisingly little science to offer in their sometimes personal attacks against McCarthy.
    ,,,Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-h.....dence.html

    Bottom line, contrary to JVL’s false claim, morphological comparisons amongst different species certainly does not support Darwinian claims of gradual descent from a common ancestor but supports, from the Cambrian explosion onward, the ‘top down’ Intelligent Design of each unique kind of species.

  58. 58
    ET says:

    RJ Sawyer:

    But if a designer was responsible for the physical laws/constants of the universe, as is often argued here, does this not mean that everything we see is the result of an intelligent agent?

    No. Just because cars and roads were designed doesn’t mean there aren’t any accidents.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    JVL:

    If your design inference is incorrect then without other evidence of a designer you haven’t got much to work with.

    What? If ID is incorrect then your position would have something besides scientifically illiterate followers, like you.

    ID has evidence form several different scientific venues. There is plenty of other evidence supporting ID. OTOH your position still has nothing.

    I’m sure you are aware of them BA but I shall list a few: genetic evidence, morphological evidence, the geo-biological distribution record.

    None of which supports evolution by means of blind and mindless processes. As I said yours can’t even produce eukaryotes so that would be a problem but you always ignore it.

  60. 60
    ET says:

    daves:

    But didn’t you just prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that the rock was not designed?

    Not really as I never even considered the design inference for the rock. What I did was “prove” that nature, operating freely could easily account for the rock.

  61. 61
    daveS says:

    OldAndrew,

    43, 44 – ET and daveS have almost trade places. Sort of. Amazing.

    Yes, that’s true in a sense.

    I think my nature is just to be more pessimistic about our ability to answer some of these difficult questions, perhaps even to a fault. So when someone says “we can know X”, I’m often reluctant to sign on. In that sense, ET and I arguing our usual positions.

    I don’t consider myself to be an ID “skeptic”, btw. It’s more that I haven’t yet seen pro-ID arguments which (a) I understand, and (b) I find compelling.

  62. 62
    daveS says:

    ET,

    Not really as I never even considered the design inference for the rock. What I did was “prove” that nature, operating freely could easily account for the rock.

    Ok, that makes sense to me.

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL also claimed the ‘geo-biological distribution record’ as incidental evidence for his claim that random and gradual Darwinian evolution produced all the diversity of life we see around us.

    JVL is once again, as usual, like all Darwinists, wrong in his claim.

    First off, “Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late)”

    “What Would Disprove Evolution?” – July 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late). Paleontological theory, however, allows for such devices as “ghost lineages” to repair the damage; see ENV’s coverage here and here. (links on the site)
    Again, discordance between molecular and anatomical phylogenies is commonplace in systematics; see here.(link on the site)
    But we expect Coyne is able to handle these anomalies via his shock-absorbing adjective “complete,” which allows an indefinitely large range of possibilities, short of “complete” discordance (whatever that means).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....61891.html

    Fossil mix ups – When fossils are found where they shouldn’t be – video (2015)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dIlLwjS7bw

    Secondly, “Neo-Darwinism Struggles to Explain the (current) Biogeographical Distribution of many Species

    Problem 9: Neo-Darwinism Struggles to Explain the Biogeographical Distribution of many Species.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91181.html

    Thus once again, contrary to JVL’s false claim, the ‘geo-biological distribution record’ certainly does not support the claim that all life on earth is the reult of Darwinian evolution.

    Of supplemental note, Charles Darwin himself listed (at least) four lines of evidence that could potentially falsify his theory.

    And these are the four lines of evidence that he offered for falsification, that I am aware of:

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
    –Charles Darwin, Origin of Species – 1860 – pg 189

    “to the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” So “the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – 1860 – pg 308
    https://evolutionnews.org/2009/04/coyne_and_the_meaning_of_evolu/

    “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.”
    – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species – 1866 – pg. 241

    “The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    – Charles Darwin Origin of Species – 1859 – pg. 199

    All four of those falsification criteria, laid out by Charles Darwin himself, have now been met:

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase) “If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications my theory would absolutely breakdown.” Well, that condition has been met time and time again now. Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”
    – Douglas Axe – 200 Years After Darwin – What Didn’t Darwin Know? – (5:30 minute mark) video – Part 2 of 2
    https://youtu.be/VKIgNroTj54?t=329

    video – Darwin’s Doubt – recorded March 7, 2017 – In this webinar, Dr. Stephen Meyer will tell the story of the mystery surrounding this (Cambrian) explosion of animal life – a mystery that has intensified, not only because the expected ancestors of these animals have not been found, but because scientists have learned more about what it takes to construct an animal. During the last half century, biologists have come to appreciate the central importance of biological information – stored in DNA and elsewhere in cells – to building animal forms. Meyer will show that the origin of this information, as well as other mysterious features of the Cambrian event, are best explained by intelligent design, rather than purely undirected evolutionary processes.
    http://foclonline.org/webinar-.....%99s-doubt

    Plant Galls and Evolution
    How More than Twelve Thousand1 Ugly Facts are Slaying a Beautiful Hypothesis: Darwinism2
    Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – 7 September 2017
    Excerpt: in the case of the galls, in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it. The galls are not ‘useful to the possessor’, the plants. There is no space for these phenomena in the world of “the selfish gene” (Dawkins). Moreover, the same conclusion appears to be true for thousands of angiosperm species producing deceptive flowers (in contrast to gall formations, now for the exclusive good of the plant species) – a topic which should be carefully treated in another paper.
    http://www.weloennig.de/PlantGalls.pdf

    Doubting Darwin: Algae Findings Surprise Scientists – April 28, 2014
    Excerpt: One of Charles Darwin’s hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true.
    Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin’s theory — at least in one case.
    “It was completely unexpected,” says Bradley Cardinale, associate professor in the University of Michigan’s school of natural resources & environment. “When we saw the results, we said ‘this can’t be.”‘ We sat there banging our heads against the wall. Darwin’s hypothesis has been with us for so long, how can it not be right?”
    The researchers ,,,— were so uncomfortable with their results that they spent the next several months trying to disprove their own work. But the research held up.,,,
    The scientists did not set out to disprove Darwin, but, in fact, to learn more about the genetic and ecological uniqueness of fresh water green algae so they could provide conservationists with useful data for decision-making. “We went into it assuming Darwin to be right, and expecting to come up with some real numbers for conservationists,” Cardinale says. “When we started coming up with numbers that showed he wasn’t right, we were completely baffled.”,,,
    Darwin “was obsessed with competition,” Cardinale says. “He assumed the whole world was composed of species competing with each other, but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. They don’t grow as well unless you put them with another species. It may be that nature has a heck of a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected.
    “,,, Maybe Darwin’s presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong.”
    http://www.livescience.com/452.....f-bts.html

    We are living in a bacterial world, and it’s impacting us more than previously thought – February 15, 2013
    Excerpt: We often associate bacteria with disease-causing “germs” or pathogens, and bacteria are responsible for many diseases, such as tuberculosis, bubonic plague, and MRSA infections. But bacteria do many good things, too, and the recent research underlines the fact that animal life would not be the same without them.,,,
    I am,, convinced that the number of beneficial microbes, even very necessary microbes, is much, much greater than the number of pathogens.”
    – per physorg

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the existence of beauty, in the Darwinian worldview beauty simply has no real existence. Yet if you, like I, believe that beauty really does exist, then you should consider Charles Darwin falsified in his claim that no beauty was ever created for ‘the eyes of man’

    Google Search – Beautiful Nature pictures
    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1590&bih=770&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=Gr-8W9uGG4qPjwTfm7XACA&q=beautiful+nature&oq=beautiful+nature&gs_l

    The following article, though somewhat technical, is almost comical to read how every approach, in which materialists tried to reduce the subjective sense of beauty to a mere material mechanism/explanation, was thwarted.

    Beauty Evades the Clutches of Materialism – March 27, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....70321.html

    Simply put, the ‘argument from beauty’ is a Theistic argument:

    Aesthetic Arguments for the Existence of God:
    Excerpt: Beauty,,, can be appreciated only by the mind. This would be impossible, if this `idea’ of beauty were not found in the mind in a more perfect form.
    http://www.quodlibet.net/artic.....etic.shtml

    Verse:

    Philippians 4:8
    Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    Thus in conclusion, all four of the falsification criteria set out by Charles Darwin himself have been met, and yet, as is abundantly clear by the continued dominance of Darwinism in academia, Darwinists have steadfastly refused to accept falsification of their theory.

    And again, this refusal to accept falsification by Darwinists is a sure sign that we are dealing with a pseudoscience, even a religion, rather than dealing with a real science:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    Evolution simply fails to qualify as a ‘normal’ science by any reasonable measure of science one might wish to invoke:

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17

    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    Charles Darwin also laid out a fifth potential falsification of his theory in this personal letter

    “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”
    Charles Darwin to Doedes, N. D. – Letter – 2 Apr 1873

    Like the other four falsification criteria, I hold this additional falsification criteria laid out by Darwin himself to have been met:

    Due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either precedes all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Five intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Double Slit, Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    – Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: 5 Experiments – video
    https://youtu.be/t5qphmi8gYE

    (Oct. 6, 2018) Verification of Free Will’s central importance in Quantum Mechanics, Theory of Everything, Heaven and Hell
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-is-free-will-a-dangerous-myth/#comment-665916

  66. 66
    Latemarch says:

    BA77@19

    Just finished Genetic Entropy by John C Sanford.

    Wow, what a powerful argument against Darwinism.
    And what a depressing assessment of our current genetic condition. I knew it was bad but not that bad.

    I’d challenge DaveS and JVL to read it and get back to us with a response.

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    Latemarch, Yes Sanford, like Behe, is a powerhouse:

  68. 68
    daveS says:

    Latemarch,

    I don’t doubt it’s an interesting read, but unfortunately I lack the background for the Sanford book.

  69. 69
    JVL says:

    BA77

    Neo-Darwinian Evolution makes the specific prediction that Random Mutations and/or variations to DNA, filtered by Natural Selection, can result in new species and eventually all the diversity of life we see around us.

    We now know there are factors other than natural selection.

    Shoot, besides no empirical evidence of new species, JVL cannot even produce evidence of Random Mutations and/or variations to DNA leading to new genes and/or proteins.

    I’m not going to write a whole book on the evidence for modern evolutionary theory. I’m sure you can find a good one in your local university library.

    ScuzzaMan

    What about it was compelling?

    Things like there are no marsupials except in a very limited area of the planet. That many, many species only exist in certain areas even though they would do quite well in other areas (which we have seen with some invader species introduced into new areas by men). Stuff like that.

    Does it exclude the possibility of an intelligent designer in the same way that our knowledge of genetics excludes the possibility of un-directed natural processes, as the origin of the information content of living things?

    No, it doesn’t.

    But it doesn’t contradict the unguided hypothesis. And, it begs the question: why would a designer do it that way?

    “Realised”? How about fantasised? All the evidence points the other way, that no such thing, of any sort, not even remotely similar, is possible without intelligent direction.

    Well, I disagree. If human beings can breed all the immense variety of dogs in a few thousand years then why can’t nature do something similar albeit over a longer period of time? All kinds of plants we eat (the Brassicas) came from the same natural stock and were ‘created’ via selective breeding. So there is plenty of variation via mutations to latch on to.

    Which is where this discussion started. WHY did he believe without evidence?

    Why do you?

    WHY do you hate science?!?!?

    I don’t hate science. I do find over 150 years of research and publications compelling.

    BA77

    But that ‘tree pattern’ that Darwin predicted is not what is found in the fossil record. The fossil record reveals that disparity (the greatest differences) precedes diversity (the smaller differences), which is the exact opposite pattern for what Darwin’s theory predicted.

    No one thinks the fossil record is complete!! Why do you point to gaps in it as if they ‘prove’ the sudden appearance of features and variations?

    ET

    What? If ID is incorrect then your position would have something besides scientifically illiterate followers, like you.

    I find over 150 years of research and publications in evolutionary theory compelling and not dependent on showing ID to be false.

    ID has evidence form several different scientific venues. There is plenty of other evidence supporting ID. OTOH your position still has nothing.

    We’ll just have to disagree on that I suppose.

  70. 70
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states,,,

    We now know there are factors other than natural selection.

    Perhaps you would be so kind to tell us exactly which other factor, besides Intelligence, that you imagine can possibly serve as the ‘designer substitute’ so as to explain the presence of information in life?

    Or is such a obvious question beneath your dignity to answer?

    To wit JVL then states,

    I’m not going to write a whole book on the evidence for modern evolutionary theory. I’m sure you can find a good one in your local university library.

    I would settle for any empirical evidence whatsoever. So far, as unbiased readers can see, you have presented none.

    it is all bluff and bluster on your part.

    JVL then states:

    No one thinks the fossil record is complete!! Why do you point to gaps in it as if they ‘prove’ the sudden appearance of features and variations?

    I was not pointing to supposed gaps in the fossil record, i.e. the artifact hypothesis. I was pointing to the fact that from the best we can make out of the fossil record thus far, it reveals a top-down ‘disparity preceding diversity’ pattern that is completely at odds with the ‘bottom up’ pattern predicted by Darwin’s infamous tree of life.

    Perhaps it would help you immensely to actually read what I wrote before you comment on it so as to avoid embarrassing yourself again?

  71. 71
    Latemarch says:

    DaveS@68

    Don’t need much of a background. He explains very clearly the concepts and defines the arcane terminology as he goes.
    I found it an easy read and my background is in medicine not population genetics.

    As per the meme….it’s not rocket surgery.

  72. 72
    daveS says:

    Latemarch,

    First, I do appreciate the challenge/offer. If your background is in medicine, then you are almost certainly leaps and bounds beyond me when it comes to this subject matter. Just as important, it suggests you have some interest in biology, which I completely lack. My last biology class was as a sophomore in high school, IIRC. And there’s a reason for that—I have zero passion for the subject. I’m certainly not proud of that fact.

    I do have passion for other things discussed on this blog, usually things of the “mathy” variety, and enjoy reading about some of them on my own. But at this point in my life (perhaps about halfway through?), I probably have more reading lined up than time to read, so I’m getting more selective about how I use that time.

  73. 73
    Latemarch says:

    daveS@72

    I completely understand. (Five books behind on my Kindle and stuck a third of the way through writing my fifth novel)
    Allow me to point out that population genetics is predominately “mathy”. I’m not of the “mathy” persuasion but I got thru it.
    Yeah, there is talk about DNA, RNA and how it all works but it all ends up in math and numerical simulations. Right up your alley.
    It’s not a particularly long book I got thru it in only two days.

  74. 74
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I find over 150 years of research and publications in evolutionary theory compelling and not dependent on showing ID to be false.

    There isn’t anything in those 150 years of research that supports blind watchmaker evolution. There isn’t anything in that 150 years of research that supports the claim that prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes via blind and mindless processes. There aren’t even any testable hypotheses for such a thing.

    So clearly you are just a gullible fool.

    We’ll just have to disagree on that I suppose.

    Disagree all you want the fact remains ID has evidence form several different scientific venues. There is plenty of other evidence supporting ID. OTOH your position still has nothing.

  75. 75
    daveS says:

    Latemarch,

    … writing my fifth novel

    Wow, that’s pretty interesting.

    Anyway, if I feel inspired at some point and need a diversion, I might take a look at Sanford’s book.

  76. 76
    ET says:

    Testable hypotheses precede scientific theories. And blind watchmaker evolution is absent of testable hypotheses based on its proposed mechanisms.

    So one has to wonder what is this alleged compelling evidence for it when it can’t even muster testable hypotheses. And seeing that it cannot muster testable hypotheses it follows that there isn’t a scientific theory of blind watchmaker evolution, ie evolution by means of blind and mindless processes.

  77. 77
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    Things like there are no marsupials except in a very limited area of the planet.

    When someone offers evidence or what they find compelling, I’m always interested in what comes to their mind first. Now maybe these marsupials weren’t what came to mind first, they’re just what you picked to mention.

    But why this, since it doesn’t indicate anything? The Volkswagen Polo is found in Africa but not in the US. If one believed that variations of cars appeared by localized differential reproduction, that evidence isn’t contradictory. But it wouldn’t mean anything even if we had not ideas where cars come from. There’s a huge gulf between not contradicting a theory and compellingly supporting it.

    In my experience, that’s the case for pretty much all “evidence” for undirected evolution. It’s a bunch of neutral observations that don’t contradict any theory, and it’s easy to pile up tons and tons of it. That’s why there’s over 100 years of accumulated evidence.

    What matters is how we process the evidence that doesn’t fit the theory. That’s piled up pretty high too.

    The premise that complex machines self-organize is radical because it is supported by exactly no observation or evidence. That’s what mystifies me. The premise is so bizarre and unsupported that there’s not even a rational reason to look for evidence supporting it. We don’t usually start with the craziest thing we can think of and start trying to fit evidence to it. For some reason some people decide to do so anyway, they don’t find any, and it doesn’t sway them.

    From an empirical, rational point of view it’s not scientific at all. It’s just one more religion.

  78. 78
    ET says:

    OldAndrew- It seems that JVL is OK with a Special Creation of all of the different archetypes- including marsupials- and from that some evolutionary theory explains the population to geographic patterns observed.

  79. 79
    OldAndrew says:

    ET

    Testable hypotheses precede scientific theories.

    And rational thought precedes testable hypotheses. If someone sees a machine and thinks it’s likely that the universe created it from nothing for no reason, because…

    – That’s where machines come from – ???
    – Obviously machines are designed, but they can only be designed by designers I have observed using methods I can read about or watch. If those conditions aren’t met then the logical conclusion is that the universe accidentally created them for no reason. Because – ???
    – Sometimes I see the effects, I infer the cause, I follow it, and I find evidence to support it. We figured out that Neptune had to be there before anyone saw it, by its gravitational effect on Uranus. So looked for it and now we have pictures. But the idea of someone designing machines doesn’t really make sense because – ??? – so I’m going to chase down the “from nothing for no reason” idea forever.

    …how will someone ever propose a testable hypothesis? How do you build knowledge on such a foundation?

    I understand irrational thought. I’m not aware that anyone in the history of the world has been harmed by a palmetto bug, but just the knowledge that they exist terrifies me. That means on some level I must believe that they can harm me. It’s irrational but no one will change my mind, ever. I’ve had one crawl on me. I’m okay, but it doesn’t change what I believe.

    So I vent once and a while about this, but I see how pointless it is. Even though I agree with the premise of ID, I feel that it dignifies nonsense. It’s like exhuming Napoleon to convince someone he’s not Napoleon. Are we really surprised when it doesn’t work?

  80. 80
    daveS says:

    Latemarch,

    Well, despite what I said earlier, I’m on page 100 of the book. So far, considering what I believe to be the substantial parts, I don’t have the expertise to judge who is correct—Sanford or the population geneticists he disagrees with.

  81. 81
    JVL says:

    BA77

    Perhaps you would be so kind to tell us exactly which other factor, besides Intelligence, that you imagine can possibly serve as the ‘designer substitute’ so as to explain the presence of information in life?

    Or is such a obvious question beneath your dignity to answer?

    Why are you so antagonistic? I’m happy to have a discussion without all the attitude.

    All I’m saying is that it’s been pretty clear that natural selection is not the whole story. Sexual selection is another factor. As is genetic drift. And the whole neutral ideas.

    I would settle for any empirical evidence whatsoever. So far, as unbiased readers can see, you have presented none.

    it is all bluff and bluster on your part.

    Fortunately, the case for evolution doesn’t just rest on my ability to present it on this forum in a way that you find acceptable. I would recommend that anyone interested pick up and thoroughly read any of many good textbooks on evolution.

    I was not pointing to supposed gaps in the fossil record, i.e. the artifact hypothesis. I was pointing to the fact that from the best we can make out of the fossil record thus far, it reveals a top-down ‘disparity preceding diversity’ pattern that is completely at odds with the ‘bottom up’ pattern predicted by Darwin’s infamous tree of life.

    Perhaps it would help you immensely to actually read what I wrote before you comment on it so as to avoid embarrassing yourself again?

    I think that the fossil record does not contradict the unguided evolutionary theory view. If you think it supports a design paradigm then you have to be open to answering a lot of questions.

    ET

    There isn’t anything in those 150 years of research that supports blind watchmaker evolution. There isn’t anything in that 150 years of research that supports the claim that prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes via blind and mindless processes. There aren’t even any testable hypotheses for such a thing.

    So clearly you are just a gullible fool.

    I would disagree since I have seen no credible evidence regarding actual molecular mechanisms that anything is guided. Have you got that evidence?

    OldAndrew

    In my experience, that’s the case for pretty much all “evidence” for undirected evolution. It’s a bunch of neutral observations that don’t contradict any theory, and it’s easy to pile up tons and tons of it. That’s why there’s over 100 years of accumulated evidence.

    When presented with a large scale phenomena that you would like to explain and you have several options all of which agree with the data (more on that later), which option do you pick?

    I find the contention that there is an undetected, undefined and unmeasurable designer hard to swallow. You can argue that every thing we have observed in the past was done with intention but surely it’s acceptable to ask: why that way.

    When I consider the evidence (including mutations being random with respect to fitness) that the most parsimonious conclusion is that life on earth developed via unguided processes.

  82. 82
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I would disagree since I have seen no credible evidence regarding actual molecular mechanisms that anything is guided.

    Others have. And they are by far more qualified to speak on such a thing than you will ever be.

    But I digress- given unguided evolution you still don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from the given populations of prokaryotes and archaea. So tat is still a problem. There still isn’t any testable hypotheses for such a claim so that would be another problem.

    When I consider the evidence (including mutations being random with respect to fitness) that the most parsimonious conclusion is that life on earth developed via unguided processes.

    The claim by evolutionary biologists are that mutations are random as in chance events. They are accidents, errors and mistakes. THAT is what they mean by random mutations. “Random with respect to fitness” is something others made up because they clearly don’t understand the concept.

    That said, relying on innumerable just-so probability breaking mutations is hardly parsimonious. Especially given the fact that you still don’t have a mechanism for A) producing living organisms and B) producing eukaryotes given starting populations of prokaryotes and archaea.

    So stop talking about sexual selection and the fossil record as your position cannot account for either.

  83. 83
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    When presented with a large scale phenomena that you would like to explain and you have several options all of which agree with the data (more on that later), which option do you pick?

    I’m not aware that undirected evolution agrees with “the data.” (There’s no such thing as “the data.” That’s why it’s a plural word.) It’s compatible with some of the data, but it doesn’t harmonize with what we observe. It’s quite a leap to say that purposeless natural forces, which have never been known to produce any sort of complex function, actually produced all of it.

    I find the contention that there is an undetected, undefined and unmeasurable designer hard to swallow.

    It’s easier to accept what we can observe than what we can’t, so that’s reasonable to me.

    The trouble is that we have to “swallow” something. The inference is that the functional things of unknown origin most likely result from intelligence because the functional things of known origin do. If we accept that inference, what do we get? We take it as evidence of a designer or designers, but scientifically we know nothing of their nature and nothing of how or why they designed or manufactured anything. Who designed the designer(s)? Those are some really big unknowns.

    If, on the other hand, we extrapolate that functional things of unknown origin arose without design, from what are we extrapolating? From nothing.

    One is an inference from evidence that leaves us with some uncomfortable unknowns. The other is an extrapolation from a sample of nothing. The evidence we have is what we have. If there’s a good reason why I should reject the inference from observation, which doesn’t answer much, and accept the extrapolation from nothing, which answers nothing, why should I choose the latter? What principle of logic or sound reasoning am I not taking into account?

    It’s not a requirement of ID that designers be “undetected, undefined and unmeasurable.” The inference results from observation (detection) of defined, measurable designers. There’s plenty of precedence in science that what is only inferred today is observed tomorrow. One could soundly reason that the inference of design is detection of a designer.

    For the sake of argument, I’ve conceded more than once that the inference of design only tells us a little bit, and I’ve tried not to dogmatically rant that everyone should just hop on board. But I can only replace it with something better. If a designer is hard to swallow, the appearance of design without a designer based on zero evidence that such things ever happen is even harder to swallow.

  84. 84
    Latemarch says:

    daveS@80

    Well, you could always download Mendel’s Accountant the numerical simulation program yourself and run the simulations and see if he’s right.

    It’s free.

    I think that you’ll find that Sanford is right.

  85. 85
    Latemarch says:

    daveS

    I must admit that I hadn’t tried Mendel’s Accountant myself (not being mathy and all).

    I have now downloaded Mendel’s Accountant but will have to go back thru the book to figure out just what it is that I’m inputting in order to understand the output. A little more arcane and complicated than I expected.

    Still, the logic of what he says still impresses me that you can’t get information from random processes. And you can’t accumulate beneficial mutations with natural selection.

  86. 86
    daveS says:

    Latemarch,

    I suspect that the output of Mendel’s Accountant will be consistent with Sanford’s claims. The question then becomes whether or not Mendel’s Accountant accurately models reality, which requires some expertise to answer.

  87. 87
    JVL says:

    ET

    Others have. And they are by far more qualified to speak on such a thing than you will ever be.

    I could be lagging behind but I think I would have heard of such a thing if it had been generally accepted.

    The claim by evolutionary biologists are that mutations are random as in chance events. They are accidents, errors and mistakes. THAT is what they mean by random mutations. “Random with respect to fitness” is something others made up because they clearly don’t understand the concept.

    I disagree; random with respect to fitness is a clear and definite statement that mutations do not necessarily arise at times that are specifically beneficial to the organism.

    So stop talking about sexual selection and the fossil record as your position cannot account for either.

    Okay, but the research goes on . . .

    OldAndrew

    I’m not aware that undirected evolution agrees with “the data.” (There’s no such thing as “the data.” That’s why it’s a plural word.) It’s compatible with some of the data, but it doesn’t harmonize with what we observe. It’s quite a leap to say that purposeless natural forces, which have never been known to produce any sort of complex function, actually produced all of it.

    There’s over 150 year of research and publications regarding evolutionary processes that says that purposeless natural forces have created all of life. With cumulative selection of course. It’s not all just mistakes!

    It’s easier to accept what we can observe than what we can’t, so that’s reasonable to me.

    Okay but how do you feel about geology, specifically plate tectonics?

    If a designer is hard to swallow, the appearance of design without a designer based on zero evidence that such things ever happen is even harder to swallow.

    Well, I think there IS evidence that unguided processes are up to the job. I think that the simplest explanation of the combined fossil record, morphological evidence, the bio-geographic record and the genomic data is that it all came about via a process of descent with modification filter through various methods of selection and drift.

    On the other hand, biologically speaking, except for a claim of design detection there is no evidence that any kind of designer(s) ever existed or acted.

    If you have a personal reason for believing in a designer that’s fine. But it’s not scientific evidence.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    I ask JVL this

    BA77: Perhaps you would be so kind to tell us exactly which other factor, besides Intelligence, that you imagine can possibly serve as the ‘designer substitute’ so as to explain the presence of information in life?

    Or is such a obvious question beneath your dignity to answer?

    And then JVL answers this

    Why are you so antagonistic? I’m happy to have a discussion without all the attitude.

    So asking an honest scientific question about ‘where is the information coming from?’ is seen as being antagonistic and having an attitude to an evolutionist?

    Contrary to JVL’s warped view of science, asking honest questions in science is not being antagonistic nor is it having an attitude but it is in fact what drives science.

    The only thing that asking honest questions in science is antagonistic to is to the false theories themselves.,,, But then again I guess asking honest questions would also appear to be antagonistic to the people who are religiously holding onto false theories in spite of falsifying evidence to the contrary.

    JVL then states this in regards to my question about “what factors, other than intelligence, can account for the information in life?”:

    All I’m saying is that it’s been pretty clear that natural selection is not the whole story. Sexual selection is another factor. As is genetic drift. And the whole neutral ideas.

    So I ask JVL what factors in evolutionary theory can account for the information in life and he lists a bunch of stuff that can’t possibly account for the information in life?

    i.e. Me: Where did the information in life come from?,,,
    JVL: well male peacocks with more attractive feathers were selected for by female peacocks?
    Me: HUH???

    Again, with Darwinists, we are not dealing with rational people.

    JVL then states:

    BA77: I would settle for any empirical evidence whatsoever. So far, as unbiased readers can see, you have presented none.

    it is all bluff and bluster on your part.

    JVL: Fortunately, the case for evolution doesn’t just rest on my ability to present it on this forum in a way that you find acceptable. I would recommend that anyone interested pick up and thoroughly read any of many good textbooks on evolution.

    So I complain that JVL’s answers are all bluff and bluster, and then instead of giving us a clear example of Darwinian processes producing information, JVL doubles down and then bluffs and blusters again???

    You simply can’t make this stuff up! 🙂

    Again, with Darwinists, we are not dealing with rational people.

    Then JVL states:

    BA77: I was not pointing to supposed gaps in the fossil record, i.e. the artifact hypothesis. I was pointing to the fact that from the best we can make out of the fossil record thus far, it reveals a top-down ‘disparity preceding diversity’ pattern that is completely at odds with the ‘bottom up’ pattern predicted by Darwin’s infamous tree of life.

    Perhaps it would help you immensely to actually read what I wrote before you comment on it so as to avoid embarrassing yourself again?

    JVL: I think that the fossil record does not contradict the unguided evolutionary theory view. If you think it supports a design paradigm then you have to be open to answering a lot of questions.

    And this is where ID advocates and Darwinists differ profoundly. ID advocates honestly address the supposed questions in the fossil record and find the supposed questions wanting, whereas Darwinists refuse to ever honestly address the questions and even try to pretend that the fossil record, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, does not completely contradict their theory.

    Again, when dealing with Darwinists, we are not dealing with rational people.

    The supposed scientific theory that Darwinists so desperately cling to is, in fact, religiously believed in by Darwinists, not rationally believed in by scientific evidence,

    Religiously believed in in spite of mountains of falsifying evidence to the contrary.

    A blind religious faith that would put to shame the blind faith of snake handlers and suicide bombers.

  89. 89
    ET says:

    The claim by evolutionary biologists are that mutations are random as in chance events. They are accidents, errors and mistakes. THAT is what they mean by random mutations. “Random with respect to fitness” is something others made up because they clearly don’t understand the concept.

    I disagree;

    I don’t care. What I said is supported by the evolutionary literature- read Mayr

    random with respect to fitness is a clear and definite statement that mutations do not necessarily arise at times that are specifically beneficial to the organism.

    And yet they do. But I digress as what you said still has nothing to do with whether or not the changes were guided. What I posted covers that very nicely.

    There’s over 150 year of research and publications regarding evolutionary processes that says that purposeless natural forces have created all of life.

    Liar. There isn’t even anything tat shows such processes can A- produce life and B- produce eukaryotes

    With cumulative selection of course. It’s not all just mistakes!

    Except that cumulative selection is a telic process. The paper “waiting for two mutations” argues against cumulative selection and unguided evolution

    Well, I think there IS evidence that unguided processes are up to the job.

    There isn’t any such evidence in peer-review There still aren’t any testable hypotheses for the claim.

    Methinks you don’t know what evidence is.

    You have never presented anything that supports your claim. OTOH we have presented plenty of evidence for ID.

  90. 90
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    There’s over 150 year of research and publications regarding evolutionary processes that says that purposeless natural forces have created all of life.

    That’s not true at all. Publications have layered on the evolutionary narrative gloss for over a century, but generally without the “purposeless natural forces” part.

    This is part of the shell game. Document, for example, how the difference between rodent feet and bat wings results from different gene expressions. Assert that it evolved. That’s not even inaccurate, because quite possibly one did change over time into the other.

    The reader takes it as yet one more piece of evidence that purposeless natural forces effected the changes, even though it’s one step removed from what was claimed and two steps removed from what the research actually shows. Stack it up on the giant 150-year-old pile of evidence.

    The mistake is more often in what people think the research claims and their inability or unwillingness to separate what it actually demonstrates from the unsupported claims woven into it. It’s effective if we either want to believe those tacked-on claims or if we just don’t examine them critically.

    We’ve also got peer-reviewed research asserting that octopus genes must have come from space because it couldn’t possibly have arisen by any known mechanisms on earth, and plenty of other contradictory research. The research says one thing if we selectively filter it. I suppose we could say that your understanding of evolution evolved. Am I wrong?

    JVL:

    Well, I think there IS evidence that unguided processes are up to the job. I think that the simplest explanation of the combined fossil record, morphological evidence, the bio-geographic record and the genomic data is that it all came about via a process of descent with modification filter through various methods of selection and drift.

    Using the example of rodents and bats again (but feel free to insert a difference one.) We can identify the genetic differences. We see the physical similarities. We have some fossils. All true. What’s lacking is any evidence, either from this specific case or any others, that the differences we see resulted from purposeless natural forces.

    I get that it’s convincing to you, but not why. From the evidence at hand purposeless natural forces don’t do things like that. You can’t show that they do simply by pointing to the things which you claim are their results and asserting that one caused the other. That’s obviously circular. It amounts to, “Of course purposeless natural forces produce these things. Look at these things it produced.”

    And what about the countless cases in which purposeless natural forces don’t fit that evidence? Such an explanation requires us to believe that such things came about by those loosely-described means not only once, but often over and over, disappearing, reappearing, appearing in parallel in numerous places, all before we’ve even established that such means can produce one such result one time. That and it requires monkeys to build rafts and cross seas.

    It doesn’t fit the evidence. It contorts it when possible and ignores the contrary.

    On the other hand, biologically speaking, except for a claim of design detection there is no evidence that any kind of designer(s) ever existed or acted.

    For the sake of discussion I’ll concede this. After all, we’re talking about scientific evidence.

    Biologically speaking, except for a claim that purposeless natural forces can produce life and function, there’s no evidence that any such force ever existed or acted. (Unless you reason circularly and point to things that exist as evidence that they exist for the reasons you think they do.)

    Once again, we have an inference from observation vs. an extrapolation from nothing. Something vs. nothing.

    If you have a personal reason for believing that purposeless natural forces have ever done such things, and have done so billions of times over, including the formation of life itself, that’s fine. But it’s not scientific evidence.

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    BA77

    So asking an honest scientific question about ‘where is the information coming from?’ is seen as being antagonistic and having an attitude to an evolutionist?

    I found your tone, particularly in the ‘beneath my dignity’ quip to be mocking.

    The ‘information’ comes from selective pressure upon genetic variation. That which gives an advantage has a better chance at increasing their numbers.

    So I ask JVL what factors in evolutionary theory can account for the information in life and he lists a bunch of stuff that can’t possibly account for the information in life?

    We can disagree about that I think.

    And this is where ID advocates and Darwinists differ profoundly. ID advocates honestly address the supposed questions in the fossil record and find the supposed questions wanting, whereas Darwinists refuse to ever honestly address the questions and even try to pretend that the fossil record, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, does not completely contradict their theory.

    It doesn’t contradict the theory given that it is a very incomplete record of the history of life. For instance, sponges don’t appear in the fossil record at all. Does that mean they were just created in the last few thousand years? I don’t think so. Gaps in the fossil record are not proof of physiological jumps.

    The supposed scientific theory that Darwinists so desperately cling to is, in fact, religiously believed in by Darwinists, not rationally believed in by scientific evidence,

    Religiously believed in in spite of mountains of falsifying evidence to the contrary.

    A blind religious faith that would put to shame the blind faith of snake handlers and suicide bombers.

    We’ll just have to disagree on that. But, again, there’s no need to be snide.

    ET

    And yet they do

    Most mutations are deleterious, a lot are neutral with respect to fitness and a very few are beneficial. If there is guiding going on it’s being done pretty poorly.

    Except that cumulative selection is a telic process. The paper “waiting for two mutations” argues against cumulative selection and unguided evolution

    I believe that paper has been roundly criticised by many biologists.

    Methinks you don’t know what evidence is.

    You have never presented anything that supports your claim. OTOH we have presented plenty of evidence for ID.

    Fortunately, my ability to defend evolutionary theory has nothing to do with it being true.

    OldAndrew

    That’s not true at all. Publications have layered on the evolutionary narrative gloss for over a century, but generally without the “purposeless natural forces” part.

    Well, until you can establish how design is implemented (or even that it exists) and given that all the research being done is consistent with the whole thing being unguided . . .

    We’ve also got peer-reviewed research asserting that octopus genes must have come from space because it couldn’t possibly have arisen by any known mechanisms on earth, and plenty of other contradictory research.

    And who takes that piece of research seriously? No me.

    What’s lacking is any evidence, either from this specific case or any others, that the differences we see resulted from purposeless natural forces.

    Well, show me the guiding force, explain how it works, where it is ‘stored’, etc.

    And what about the countless cases in which purposeless natural forces don’t fit that evidence?

    Such as . .

    If you have a personal reason for believing that purposeless natural forces have ever done such things, and have done so billions of times over, including the formation of life itself, that’s fine. But it’s not scientific evidence.

    Human breeders have created many and varied life forms far different from their root stock. The only difference between that and unguided evolution is the selection part. The descent with variation is unguided (unless you think a designer watches human breeders and decides to reward them occasionally). This, for me, is very convincing. If humans can create many and varied forms without mucking about genetically why can’t nature? Add onto that the genetic, morphologic, bio-geographic and fossil evidence . . . I find it hard to come to any other conclusion.

  92. 92
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Most mutations are deleterious, a lot are neutral with respect to fitness and a very few are beneficial. If there is guiding going on it’s being done pretty poorly.

    That is your opinion and that is all it is. Most mutations are not deleterious. Most are neutral, BTW.

    Except that cumulative selection is a telic process. The paper “waiting for two mutations” argues against cumulative selection and unguided evolution

    I believe that paper has been roundly criticised by many biologists.

    No one cares what you believe. If you have any evidence for that then present it. Strange how evos loved it when they thought it refuted something Dr. Behe wrote.

    Fortunately, my ability to defend evolutionary theory has nothing to do with it being true.

    There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution to defend.

    Well, until you can establish how design is implemented (or even that it exists) and given that all the research being done is consistent with the whole thing being unguided . . .

    We have established that it exists. And no one is doing any research into unguided evolution. It is a useless heuristic.

    You still don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes and you have to be given starting populations of prokaryotes.

  93. 93
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    Well, until you can establish how design is implemented (or even that it exists) and given that all the research being done is consistent with the whole thing being unguided . . .

    You assert that in order to conclude that a thing is designed, you must know how that design is implemented. Is that sound reasoning?

    What I’m hearing is this: If this was designed, I don’t know how it was manufactured. Therefore it’s a better, simpler explanation to say that it appeared by itself without design or manufacture, even though I don’t know how that happened either.

    By saying it you seem to be asserting that it’s logically coherent, but it’s not.

    You don’t know how life arose from nothing by itself. By your very own logic why doesn’t that make it an equally poor explanation?

    And who takes that piece of research seriously? No me.

    There’s zero evidence that octopus genes come from outer space. Isn’t that exactly enough for it to be the simplest explanation?

    I never imagined for a moment that you would take seriously research which contradicts your preferred conclusion. How circular. Do you use the research to inform your beliefs, or do you use your beliefs to evaluate the research?

    This, for me, is very convincing. If humans can create many and varied forms without mucking about genetically why can’t nature?

    What’s the most significant variation human breeders have produced? Dogs which are capable of breeding, are all one species, and each have various defects? All we’ve observed are limits to the changes that can be effected by the causes you passionately believe can effect limitless changes.

    Add onto that the genetic, morphologic, bio-geographic and fossil evidence . . . I find it hard to come to any other conclusion.

    I’ll cherry-pick one of these, fossil evidence. You mentioned it.

    What is one single case in which you can determine a single genetic variation and how it was selected from fossils? You can’t, because neither is available. How, then, can fossils provide evidence that the variation between one fossil and another resulted from individual genetic variations that were selected?

    This is a perfect illustration of the evidence for undirected evolution. You list some things: “genetic, morphologic, bio-geographic and fossil…” because if you list things it sounds like there are more things. Wow, so much evidence. But when you look at them individually, up close, you see that there’s actually nothing there.

    If you were trying to sell me something for a profit I’d take that a sign that you were trying to deceive me or at the very least oversell it. But there’s nothing in it for you. You believe it, which means you’re the one who’s been sold something.

  94. 94
    JVL says:

    ET

    We have established that it exists. And no one is doing any research into unguided evolution. It is a useless heuristic.

    I don’t think you have shown that design in biology exists. All evolutionary research is examining the unguided model.

    OldAndrew

    You assert that in order to conclude that a thing is designed, you must know how that design is implemented. Is that sound reasoning?

    In the case of ID I think it’s an essential question since we have none of the usual supporting evidence of the existence of a designer or their tools or their methods or even when design was implemented.

    If you show me something like Stonehenge I KNOW there were human beings around at that time. I can look at hundreds of other stone circles and such and see that they had a propensity for such things. We have found some of their tools. The structure seems to be designed as some kind of calendar which would be a real mystery except, again, knowing the humans around would have been interested in the timing of the seasons . . .

    If you say: I think this or that is designed and I think it’s not and I have lots of reasons and decades of interconnecting evidence which is all consistent with it not being designed then, I think, you had better try and find some more evidence aside from your claimed design inference. If you want people to give it some serious consideration.

    You don’t know how life arose from nothing by itself. By your very own logic why doesn’t that make it an equally poor explanation?

    The origin of the first basic replicator is a separate issue which no one current has a coherent agreed upon answer. Which is why it’s the subject of a great amount of research.

    There’s zero evidence that octopus genes come from outer space. Isn’t that exactly enough for it to be the simplest explanation?

    Only if you’re writing a book like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    I never imagined for a moment that you would take seriously research which contradicts your preferred conclusion. How circular. Do you use the research to inform your beliefs, or do you use your beliefs to evaluate the research?

    Aside from that being rather rude and assumptive I did not grow up knowing anything about evolution beyond the books on dinosaurs I used to love as a child. Since then I’ve read a lot, I’ve thought about it a lot, I’ve heard a lot of arguments against unguided evolution and I’ve tried hard to consider all the evidence.

    What’s the most significant variation human breeders have produced? Dogs which are capable of breeding, are all one species, and each have various defects?

    What about the brassicas? If you think about, if several million years from now someone was to find a fossil of a great dane and a dachshund they might very well conclude they were different species. And if no great dane is mated with a dachshund in a couple of hundred years then I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost the ability to mate genetically.

    How, then, can fossils provide evidence that the variation between one fossil and another resulted from individual genetic variations that were selected?

    It’s true Darwin had no real conception of genetics and yet he still came up with the evolution hypothesis. And a lot of people found his argument compelling at the time. I have heard some biologists say that they believe in evolution just based on the genetic evidence. Richard Dawkins says throw out all the fossils, we still have enough evidence. Put it all together . . .

    But when you look at them individually, up close, you see that there’s actually nothing there.</b.

    You can always find anomalies. But I think each of the threads of evidence tell generally the same story, the are consistent with each other. Generally. And I think more and more links are being found every day.

    But there’s nothing in it for you. You believe it, which means you’re the one who’s been sold something.

    No one forced me or demanded I come to a particular conclusion. I get no money from my beliefs. I have questioned them, looked for evidence, for and against, and made up my own mind.

  95. 95
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I don’t think you have shown that design in biology exists.

    Codes- biology runs on codes. No one has ever come close to demonstrating that nature can produce codes. 100% of our knowledge, observations and experiences say that codes come from intelligent agencies. You are going against everything we know by dismissing that just because you are too unwilling to consider the implications.

    Then there is The architecture and subunit composition of ATP synthase

    If you take a look at ATP synthase you can see it consists of two major subunits (F0 & F1) that are connected together by an external tether. This tether doesn’t have anything to do with the functionality of either subunit but without it no ATP synthase. The problem for evolution by blind and mindless processes is exacerbated. Not only does it need to produce the two subunits but one has to be embedded in some membrane so that a gradient can be formed. And the other has to to be stably tethered to the membrane the proper distance away. The tether looks like the membrane subunit F0 somehow formed an external docking site the proper length with F1 forming an external mating site.

    Again these two different protein subunits, the tether and mate, have nothing to do with the function of the protein complexes they are attached to and tether together. And without them there is no way to get the two working subunits together to produce ATP.

    There you have it- A simple external tether that stably holds the major F1 subunit/ rotary motor the proper distance away from its F0 motor force is evidence for the Intelligent Design of ATP synthase. The two major subunits and how it works is just icing on the cake.

    The ATP Synthase is a system that consists of two subsystems-> one for the flow of protons down an electrochemical gradient from the exterior to the interior and the other (a rotary engine) that generates ATP from ADP using the energy liberated by proton flow. And it does so be squeezing a phosphate onto the end of an existing ADP. These two processes are totally unrelated from a purely physiochemical perspective- meaning there isn’t any general principle of physics nor chemistry by which these two processes have anything to do with each other. Yet here they are. As I said above the two are connected via an external tether that has nothing to do with the function of either subsystem. Did both subunits just happen to blindly produce matching external binding sites that also just happen to be of the right length? Really?

    How is this evidence for Intelligent Design? Cause and effect relationships as in designers often take two totally unrelated systems and integrate them into one. The ordering of separate subsystems to produce a specific effect that neither can do alone. And those subsystems are composed of the ordering of separate components to achieve a specified function.

    ATP synthase is not reducible to chance and necessity and also meets the criteria of design.

    In the case of ID I think it’s an essential question since we have none of the usual supporting evidence of the existence of a designer or their tools or their methods or even when design was implemented.

    We have plenty of supporting evidence- evidence from cosmology, physics, biology, geology, chemistry, information theory- you just ignore it.

    If you show me something like Stonehenge I KNOW there were human beings around at that time.

    So what? That doesn’t mean they did it.

    Everything we know about Stonehenge came from centuries of study and research. But first we determined it was indeed intelligently designed. THAT is how it works- FIRST you determine whether or not something was intelligently designed and THEN you go on about your investigation under that light.

    You want ID to have all of the answers before hand. But ID is not like your position where you just ignore everything and prattle on under the protection of your dogma.

  96. 96
    ET says:

    Spiegelman’s Monster argues against any scenario involving molecular replicators evolving into living organisms. But then again our opponents don’t seem to care what reality says.

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    I found your tone, particularly in the ‘beneath my dignity’ quip to be mocking.

    Funny, you ARE indeed talking down to us and acting like it is therefore ‘beneath your dignity’ to actually have to answer simple and honest questions from us about your theory.

    It was not mocking, it was a statement of fact. You do act like you have all the answers but in actuality, as unbiased reders can clearly see, you have nothing but bluff and bluster

    JVL then states:

    The ‘information’ comes from selective pressure upon genetic variation. That which gives an advantage has a better chance at increasing their numbers.

    You have ZERO evidence for that claim. see posts 12 and 13.

    JVL then states

    BA77: So I ask JVL what factors in evolutionary theory can account for the information in life and he lists a bunch of stuff that can’t possibly account for the information in life?

    JVL: We can disagree about that I think.

    You are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with the empirical evidence. You have ZERO empirical evidence for your claims!

    JVL then states:

    BA77: And this is where ID advocates and Darwinists differ profoundly. ID advocates honestly address the supposed questions in the fossil record and find the supposed questions wanting, whereas Darwinists refuse to ever honestly address the questions and even try to pretend that the fossil record, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, does not completely contradict their theory.

    JVL: It doesn’t contradict the theory given that it is a very incomplete record of the history of life. For instance, sponges don’t appear in the fossil record at all. Does that mean they were just created in the last few thousand years? I don’t think so. Gaps in the fossil record are not proof of physiological jumps.

    Again, The fossil record itself is ‘upside down’, i.e. disparity preceding diversity, to what Darwin predicted.

    Moreover, to demonstrate his ignorance about the fossil record, JVL states that ,,, “sponges don’t appear in the fossil record at all”,,,, Yet JVL apparently doesn’t know the extensive long term ‘unchanging’ fossil record of sponges

    Dr. Stephen Meyer: Darwin’s Dilemma – The Significance of Sponge Embryos – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPs8E7y0ySs

    Complete Fossil Sponges – 83.5 – 71.3 million years ago – pictures
    A very rare occurrence can be found in a unique Cretaceous fossil deposit in North Central Germany. A variety of highly unusual SEA SPONGE FOSSILS dating from a Campanian Era sea of the Cretaceous were preserved in FULL THREE DIMENSIONAL PRESERVATION retaining delicate anatomy seldom seen in prehistoric sponge fossils.,,,
    Sponges belong to the scientific group called PORIFERA. These creatures have an origin that dates back to over 500 million years ago.
    https://www.paleodirect.com/sp016-cretaceous-sea-sponge-fossil-sponges-fossils/
    Ancient sponge fossil
    https://cdn8.bigcommerce.com/s-fme25/images/stencil/1280×1280/products/718/10943/sp016a__03106.1435949944.jpg?c=2
    Modern sponge
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_fSw.....20/57c.jpg

    Oldest known sponge found in China – Mar 10, 2015
    Excerpt: A team of researchers with members from China, the U.S. and France has identified an ancient sponge found in a geologic formation in southern China and have dated it to 600 million years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team claims the sponge is the oldest ever found
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-o.....china.html

    JVL then states

    BA77: The supposed scientific theory that Darwinists so desperately cling to is, in fact, religiously believed in by Darwinists, not rationally believed in by scientific evidence,

    Religiously believed in in spite of mountains of falsifying evidence to the contrary.

    A blind religious faith that would put to shame the blind faith of snake handlers and suicide bombers.

    JVL: We’ll just have to disagree on that. But, again, there’s no need to be snide.

    It is not snide in the least but is only a statement of fact. Darwinism was religiously motivated at its inception and continues to be, since it has no evidence, crucially dependent of its “bad liberal’ theology:

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

  98. 98
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    In the case of ID I think it’s an essential question since we have none of the usual supporting evidence of the existence of a designer or their tools or their methods or even when design was implemented.

    We have no supporting evidence that chemicals can self-organize into complex, self-reproducing function or that having been spontaneously created without purpose it can develop millions of novel forms and additional functions.

    You’re just fine taking that on blind faith, confident that science will answer the unanswered questions.

    On the other hand you outright dismiss the inference of design because looking in that direction you have a different set of standards and need to see the whole package up front.

    The objections you raise apply equally to what you believe, You just prefer not to raise them.

    I can’t tell if you’re really not aware of the two entirely different standards you’re applying, apparently because of arbitrary preference.

    If you show me something like Stonehenge I KNOW there were human beings around at that time.

    To our knowledge there are no natural forces that arrange function and store abstract information. And, to our knowledge there were none “around at that time” when life was created.

    We also have no observation of anything existing before life on earth capable of manufacturing it. We do have the observation that in the case of known origins, only intelligence and purpose create complex function.

    Either way, the origin of life resulted from something we haven’t directly observed. You’re saying that you choose to believe something that no one has observed because you don’t want to believe something that no one has observed. And you keep saying it as if it makes sense.

    When it comes to direct observation the score is 0-0. When it comes to inference from observation, the score is 1-0 in favor of ID.

    All the rest – genealogy, morphology, fossils, geographic distribution – you can fit it to either. (Given that design allows for re-use of function, it fits much more closely.) You can’t reconcile life itself with spontaneous generation. Zeus and Hermes have nothing on how outlandish and unrealistic that is. I’m sorry, but if a person believes that they lose all credibility to say that anything is possible or impossible or likely or unlikely.

    Did you hear about Bob? He thinks that some unknown designer we can’t see designed life.

    Wow, that’s crazy. But did you hear about John? He thinks that one day life just happened by itself in some chemicals, found a way to make more of itself for no reason, acted like it wanted to survive even though it didn’t, and just built on top of itself because it did.

    That’s what we have to work with. They both sound a little far-fetched, and yet here we are. It’s not everything we’d like to know. It’s something vs. nothing. One requires acceptance of the unknown. The other requires acceptance of the irrational.

  99. 99
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    But I think each of the threads of evidence tell generally the same story, the are consistent with each other. Generally. And I think more and more links are being found every day.

    What’s discovered every day are staggering new levels of complexity at every single level of biology. It’s a bit like astronomy. We don’t know how many stars and galaxies there are, only that every time our telescopes see farther we see more.

    But the ability of purposeless mechanisms to explain them isn’t keeping pace. We know more about DNA now than when it was discovered, but evolutionary explanations for its existence are still at zero.

    At the same time, while the complexity that we observe grows, the finite amount of time for it to put itself together for no apparent reason doesn’t increase. More and more function has to arise in the same amount of time before the evolution of even more varied life can even begin.

    Every single day the irrational premise becomes even more complex and irrational.

  100. 100
    OldAndrew says:

    JVL:

    Aside from that being rather rude and assumptive

    Maybe just a little, but you’re right. I’m sorry.

    My observation of this forum is that the ID folks tend to beat those who disagree like pinatas. When nothing good comes out of it, they (we?) just start beating for the heck of it. It’s ugly, and perhaps a day after that observation I’m crossing the line myself.

  101. 101

    Old Andrew, I’ve enjoyed reading your comments. I’m glad you participate here.

  102. 102
    JVL says:

    ET

    Codes- biology runs on codes. No one has ever come close to demonstrating that nature can produce codes.

    There is recent evidence to suggest that the genetic ‘code’ may have arisen out of basic chemical laws. If that is true then it isn’t a real ‘code’ after all. Stay tuned!! Science is exciting!!

    Yes, I understand your fixation on ATP synthase. You’ve picked a big gap which you think will never be spanned. I say let’s see.

    We have plenty of supporting evidence- evidence from cosmology, physics, biology, geology, chemistry, information theory- you just ignore it.

    It all seems to me to be part of the same contested design inference. You still haven’t got physical evidence of a designer’s workshops or machines or living quarters or .. . . anything really. Your designer seems to exist outside of normal space and time. If you could just be a bit more specific then we could have a discussion about what you think happened by whom and when.

    So what? That doesn’t mean they did it.

    But they were around and they were capable of erecting Stonehenge. There is no need to assume anyone else was responsible. We’ll take the known cause over other options.

    Everything we know about Stonehenge came from centuries of study and research. But first we determined it was indeed intelligently designed. THAT is how it works- FIRST you determine whether or not something was intelligently designed and THEN you go on about your investigation under that light.

    Okay but I don’t see anyone in the ID camp doing any kind of follow on research into the nature of the designer, how design was implemented, when, etc. It’s just not happening. And you haven’t got an otherwise documented designer around at the time to fall back on.

    I’m happy to consider whatever you’ve got but you haven’t got anything except: we think this and that was designed. I’d really like to see more data and research.

    You want ID to have all of the answers before hand. But ID is not like your position where you just ignore everything and prattle on under the protection of your dogma.

    It’s been a while since you say design was detected. And I’ve not seen any kind of research agenda following on from that.

    BA77

    Funny, you ARE indeed talking down to us and acting like it is therefore ‘beneath your dignity’ to actually have to answer simple and honest questions from us about your theory.

    I am trying, I only have so much time each day to respond. And I am definitely NOT talking down to you.

    It was not mocking, it was a statement of fact. You do act like you have all the answers but in actuality, as unbiased reders can clearly see, you have nothing but bluff and bluster

    I do not have the time or ability to give complete and fully referenced scientific responses to all and every query. I do the best I can with the rime I have.

    You are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with the empirical evidence. You have ZERO empirical evidence for your claims!

    Again, I think we shall just have to disagree on this point since I’m sure neither of us will change our mind.

    I may have got sponges wrong but I think my basic point applies: there are vast numbers of life forms that are not represented in the fossil record.

    It is not snide in the least but is only a statement of fact. Darwinism was religiously motivated at its inception and continues to be, since it has no evidence, crucially dependent of its “bad liberal’ theology:

    I will disagree with you on this point as well. Especially considering what we know of Darwin’s beliefs and motivations and reluctance to upset others.

    OldAndrew

    We have no supporting evidence that chemicals can self-organize into complex, self-reproducing function or that having been spontaneously created without purpose it can develop millions of novel forms and additional functions.

    Are you sure about that? I think there is evidence to suggest such things can happen.

    On the other hand you outright dismiss the inference of design because looking in that direction you have a different set of standards and need to see the whole package up front.

    When I see some kind of phenomena that I can’t explain. And I consider whether or not it was caused by unguided natural processes or some unexplained, undefined external agent for which no additional evidence exists then . . .

    Sorry, but that is the way I see it. The ID stance is completely dependent on design detection. And if they are wrong about that then there is nothing to fall back on.

    The objections you raise apply equally to what you believe, You just prefer not to raise them.

    I have several strands of evidence that are consistent with each other.

    We also have no observation of anything existing before life on earth capable of manufacturing it. We do have the observation that in the case of known origins, only intelligence and purpose create complex function.

    Does that mean or imply that it couldn’t happen any other way? Have you proved that negative?

    Either way, the origin of life resulted from something we haven’t directly observed. You’re saying that you choose to believe something that no one has observed because you don’t want to believe something that no one has observed. And you keep saying it as if it makes sense.

    Show me the evidence that it was some designer. Aside from saying: it’s all very complicated it couldn’t have happened naturally I don’t know what evidence you’ve got. You haven’t got workshops. You haven’t got living quarters. You haven’t got blueprints or plans. You haven’t got refuse dumps. You haven’t got any indication that any living being was around at the time and had the ability to create and implement design. And, this is crucial, you haven’t said when design was implemented.

    I can never, ever get any ID proponent to come up with a clear and definite statement about when design was implemented. And then we’d have get onto how.

    I try really hard to be open minded and to consider all the possibilities. I really do. But you have to have something more than just: this looks designed. Where do you go from there?

    That’s what we have to work with. They both sound a little far-fetched, and yet here we are. It’s not everything we’d like to know. It’s something vs. nothing. One requires acceptance of the unknown. The other requires acceptance of the irrational.

    Clearly you are implying that the unguided, naturalistic view is irrational. Again you are casting aspersions and not playing fair in the discussion.

    You and I have opposing opinions, that’s okay. But I have not characterised yours as irrational.

    Every single day the irrational premise becomes even more complex and irrational.

    Again, there is this contextual implication. And the general notion: this is all really complicated, it must have come from some intelligence which is just not justified.

    My observation of this forum is that the ID folks tend to beat those who disagree like pinatas. When nothing good comes out of it, they (we?) just start beating for the heck of it. It’s ugly, and perhaps a day after that observation I’m crossing the line myself.

    It’s an easy rut to fall into; I am trying very hard not to do the same myself because I really do believe in having a dialogue about the issues.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    I am trying, I only have so much time each day to respond. And I am definitely NOT talking down to you.

    To make it worth your while, there is up to a 10 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can demonstrate the origin of coded information from anywhere besides Intelligence:

    What is the Secret of Life?
    Solve the #1 Question in all of Science

    The Problem

    Natural Code LLC is a Private Equity Investment group formed to identify a naturally occurring code. Our mission is to discover, develop and commercialize core principles of nature which give rise to information, consciousness and intelligence.

    Natural Code LLC will pay the researcher $100,000 for the initial discovery of such a code. If the newly discovered process is defensibly patentable, we will secure the patent(s). Once patents are granted, we will pay the full prize amount to the discoverer in exchange for the rights. Our investment group will locate or develop commercial applications for the technology.

    The discoverer will retain a percentage of ongoing ownership of the technology, sharing in future profits of the company, while benefitting from the extensive finance, marketing and technology experience of our investment group. Prize amount as of Summer 2017 is $5 million. The prize caps at $10 million.

    Code is absolutely necessary for replication and for life. Code is needed for cells to have instructions to build themselves; code is required for reproduction. Code that has the ability to re-write itself is essential for any kind of evolution to occur.

    So… where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Currently, no one knows the answer.

    A solution to this problem will become one of the most pivotal scientific and technical discoveries of the 21st century. The winner will receive substantial recognition.
    https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

    JVL then states:

    I do not have the time or ability to give complete and fully referenced scientific responses to all and every query. I do the best I can with the rime I have.

    See 10 million dollar prize above.

    JVL then states:

    BA77: You are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with the empirical evidence. You have ZERO empirical evidence for your claims!

    JVL: Again, I think we shall just have to disagree on this point since I’m sure neither of us will change our mind.

    Nope, you are disagreeing with the evidence not me. See the 10 million dollar prize above.

    JVL then states:

    I may have got sponges wrong but I think my basic point applies: there are vast numbers of life forms that are not represented in the fossil record.

    Sponges, besides you being ignorant of their ‘deep-time’ record, and due to their ‘soft body’ nature and yet still being fossilized, blow your whole ‘artifact hypothesis’ for missing fossils out of the water. Again as far as marine invertebrates go, we have a fairly complete, though not total, picture of the fossil record, and again, it is a complete opposite ‘top-down’ pattern than from what Darwin himself predicted for the fossil record, i.e. ‘bottom up’.

    JVL then states:

    BA77: It is not snide in the least but is only a statement of fact. Darwinism was religiously motivated at its inception and continues to be, since it has no evidence, crucially dependent of its “bad liberal’ theology:

    JVL: I will disagree with you on this point as well. Especially considering what we know of Darwin’s beliefs and motivations and reluctance to upset others.

    Again, you are not disagreeing with me but are disagreeing with Darwin’s own words in his theologically laden book ‘Origin of Species’, as well as disagreeing with the words of present prominent Darwinists in their current theologically laden books, Coyne, Avise and Dobzhansky to name a few.

  104. 104
    ET says:

    JVL:

    There is recent evidence to suggest that the genetic ‘code’ may have arisen out of basic chemical laws.

    Except the evidence doesn’t support any such thing. It’s just that your side needs such a thing so any correlation has to be tied to causation. But again, you are going against everything we know just because it doesn’t fit your preconceived beliefs.

    Yes, I understand your fixation on ATP synthase.

    No, you don’t seem to understand anything beyond whatever you have your mind made up on. I choose ATP synthase just because it starts with the letter “A”. And until you get beyond that there isn’t any need for anything else. But I am sure I could find something from every letter in the alphabet that is beyond your position’s power to account for.

    It all seems to me to be part of the same contested design inference.

    Contested? You keep using that word but I don’t think you know what that means.

    Your position has all of the power because of Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning. If you want to contest any given design inference just produce testable hypotheses for your alternative- then test them.

    You still haven’t got physical evidence of a designer’s workshops or machines or living quarters or .. . . anything really.

    Not required. Your position has absolutely nothing and yet here you are trying to defend it by flailing away as if that helps.

    But they were around and they were capable of erecting Stonehenge.

    You don’t know if they were capable or not. Just because it exists and humans were around doesn’t mean they did it and it doesn’t mean they were capable of doing it.

    Okay but I don’t see anyone in the ID camp doing any kind of follow on research into the nature of the designer, how design was implemented, when, etc. It’s just not happening.

    Who cares what you do or don’t see? No one from your side is doing anything to confirm your position’s claims.

    At least ID concepts are being used in genetic algorithms. Evolution by design is a very helpful concept.

    The ID stance is completely dependent on design detection. And if they are wrong about that then there is nothing to fall back on.

    No shit Sherlock. If your position had something then our design detection fails and you win. However you will have a better chance of showing Stonehenge is a natural formation than you will showing blind and mindless processes produced codes, living organisms and their diversity.

  105. 105
    R J Sawyer says:

    BA77

    To make it worth your while, there is up to a 10 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can demonstrate the origin of coded information from anywhere besides Intelligence:

    So, has this $10,000,000 been placed in a legal trust? If so, a link to the trust papers would be appreciated.

    OldAndrew

    Maybe just a little, but you’re right. I’m sorry.

    My observation of this forum is that the ID folks tend to beat those who disagree like pinatas. When nothing good comes out of it, they (we?) just start beating for the heck of it. It’s ugly, and perhaps a day after that observation I’m crossing the line myself.

    OA, you have just earned my respect for your honesty. As with others, I have occasionally responded to rude comments with additional rudeness. I am not proud of this and I apologize. Sadly, there are one or two here that justify their rudeness under the immature notion that mirroring the behavior of others is justification for immature behavior.

  106. 106
    bornagain77 says:

    R J Sawyer, so you will only solve the problem of where the information came from only if you have proof that the ‘up to’ 10 million dollar claim is legit?

    As I said, you just can’t make this stuff up! 🙂

    Perhaps you, beides looking at the legal agreement, should actually look at the site and see exactly all who is behind it?

    https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

    Moreover, don’t forget the Nobel prize itself, as well as worldwide fame, that awaits you for solving the information enigma.

    Shoot, I myself might even say something nice about you! 🙂

    “We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions. We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled into the proper sequences, and then transformed into the ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex biological system, and eventually to that first cell.
    Nobody has any idea how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those that say they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis. Those that say “Oh, this is well worked out,” they know nothing, nothing about chemical synthesis – Nothing!
    Further cluelessness – From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks let alone their assembly into a complex system.
    That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues – National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners -I sit with them in offices; nobody understands this. So if your professors say it’s all worked out, your teachers say it’s all worked out, they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out. You cannot just refer this to somebody else; they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
    James Tour – one of the top ten leading chemists in the world
    The Origin of Life: An Inside Story – March 2016 Lecture with James Tour
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zQXgJ-dXM4

  107. 107
    bornagain77 says:

    It is funny that Darwinists are complaining about being treated unfairly, when their very own worldview denies that their lives have and value, meaning, or purpose whatsoever.

    In order to be morally offended at not being treated fairly, Atheists, in fact, have to reach over into Theistic, even Christian, presuppositions as to how we ought to treat one another. Fairness, equality, and such other virtuous standards as that, simply find no basis in Darwinian materialism.

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

    In other words, the very fact that Atheists demand to be treated fairly is in and of itself proof that their atheistic worldview is utterly false:

  108. 108
    R J Sawyer says:

    BA77

    In other words, the very fact that Atheists demand to be treated fairly is in and of itself proof that their atheistic worldview is utterly false:

    I will respond to this claim with the effort and thought it deserves.

  109. 109

    You can’t solve the information problem until the necessary constraints (that establish the medium) are caused to persist over time. That’s what the term “semantic closure” means in a physical system. It is the end product of a particular type of organization, one which has been fully and faithfully described in the scientific literature. It was predicted to exist, and it exists (i.e. confirmed by experiment). There is no getting around it.

    And its not an issue of dynamics, much to the chagrine of critics, its an issue of organization. In other words, all the physical constituents that make up the constraints and medium could be changed to some unknown version of themselves, and the same well-described organization would have to appear in order for the system to function. The constituents and their dynamics can change, but the specific organization must remain (as predicted).

    The requirement is not going away, and nothing could be more irrational (and unscientific) than ignoring it. But then again, there are plenty ways to ignore it. We see them all the time.

  110. 110
    JVL says:

    BA77

    To make it worth your while, there is up to a 10 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can demonstrate the origin of coded information from anywhere besides Intelligence:

    How interesting. I wish I had the abilities and facilities to have a go. Sadly, if anyone wins the prize it won’t be me!

    Sponges, besides you being ignorant of their ‘deep-time’ record, and due to their ‘soft body’ nature and yet still being fossilized, blow your whole ‘artifact hypothesis’ for missing fossils out of the water.

    I got the particular life form incorrect but there are many creatures for which the fossil record is sparse to non-existent.

    ET

    Except the evidence doesn’t support any such thing. It’s just that your side needs such a thing so any correlation has to be tied to causation. But again, you are going against everything we know just because it doesn’t fit your preconceived beliefs.

    Even Wikipedia lists the possibility:

    Three main hypotheses address the origin of the genetic code. Many models belong to one of them or to a hybrid:

    Random freeze: the genetic code was randomly created. For example, early tRNA-like ribozymes may have had different affinities for amino acids, with codons emerging from another part of the ribozyme that exhibited random variability. Once enough peptides were coded for, any major random change in the genetic code would have been lethal; hence it became “frozen”.

    Stereochemical affinity: the genetic code is a result of a high affinity between each amino acid and its codon or anti-codon; the latter option implies that pre-tRNA molecules matched their corresponding amino acids by this affinity. Later during evolution, this matching was gradually replaced with matching by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.

    Optimality: the genetic code continued to evolve after its initial creation, so that the current code maximizes some fitness function, usually some kind of error minimization.

    And:

    Chemical principles govern specific RNA interaction with amino acids. Experiments with aptamers showed that some amino acids have a selective chemical affinity for their codons.[76] Experiments showed that of 8 amino acids tested, 6 show some RNA triplet-amino acid association.

    Contested? You keep using that word but I don’t think you know what that means.

    Contested: engage in dispute about.

    If you want to contest any given design inference just produce testable hypotheses for your alternative- then test them.

    But it doesn’t work that way does it? It’s not an either/or situation. To become a theory a hypothesis has to prove it’s value on it’s own. Your design inference on its own not in comparison to something else.

    You don’t know if they were capable or not. Just because it exists and humans were around doesn’t mean they did it and it doesn’t mean they were capable of doing it.

    We have come up with ways they could have done it with the tools and abilities they had. We have no evidence there was anyone else around at the time that could have created the structure. They didn’t leave any written records so unless we invent a time machine we’ll just have to depend on good historical inferences based on the physical evidence we do have.

    Who cares what you do or don’t see? No one from your side is doing anything to confirm your position’s claims.

    I disagree. Clearly research is ongoing covering many aspects of evolutionary processes including the origination of the genetic ‘code’.

    No shit Sherlock. If your position had something then our design detection fails and you win. However you will have a better chance of showing Stonehenge is a natural formation than you will showing blind and mindless processes produced codes, living organisms and their diversity.

    Again, it doesn’t work like that.

    BA77

    It is funny that Darwinists are complaining about being treated unfairly, when their very own worldview denies that their lives have and value, meaning, or purpose whatsoever.

    My life has value and meaning and purpose.

  111. 111
    JVL says:

    One of the papers referenced by the quotations I copied from Wikipedia;

    Origin of the genetic code: a testable hypothesis based on tRNA structure, sequence, and kinetic proofreading.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC336109/

    And that’s from 1978, so it’s clear that work has been going on for some time.

  112. 112
    ScuzzaMan says:

    @JVL

    In responding to me you say this:

    But it doesn’t contradict the unguided hypothesis.

    Later, in response to BA77, this:

    No one thinks the fossil record is complete!! Why do you point to gaps in it as if they ‘prove’ the sudden appearance of features and variations?

    This is remarkably weak and utterly inconsistent. Firstly, the fossil record (whatever it is actually a record of) supports ID conclusions far better than it does Darwinian conclusions. No, it does not refute the possibility that millions of generations of gradual modifications were mysteriously erased from it, leaving the appearance of the sudden appearance of gross disparities in genetic and morphological categories.

    But it cannot be used as evidence of gradualism without assuming the existence of an unknown process of pruning of the “tree of life” that leaves no record of either what has been pruned nor of the pruning itself.

    This is basic stuff; science quite properly prefers the explanation that requires fewer such fudges over the one that requires multiplying them, cf Occam and his real smooth shave.

    The fossil record is what it is. Darwin openly admitted it did not support his theory, and hoped future discoveries would improve the evidence for him. They have not – they’ve made his theory less tenable than ever, by orders of magnitude.

    Constantly attacking the evidence – “it’s incomplete!” – does nothing to convince anyone that your theory has any explanatory or predictive power. There is no theory in the history of science that has been more wrong about more things more often. For that we’d have to move to politics.

    The facts are these:
    – ID theory fits the currently available evidence.
    – Darwinian / neoDarwinian theory does not.

    Choosing the latter over the former is a flagrant disregard for the principles of science, and an inherently emotional and/or religious act of devotion. The irony is so dense not even Hawking could imagine any information surviving it.

  113. 113
    ScuzzaMan says:

    Apologies for the bolding error: I am no longer able to edit my comments. Three different browsers all show the same effect.

  114. 114
    JVL says:

    ScuzzaMan

    This is remarkably weak and utterly inconsistent. Firstly, the fossil record (whatever it is actually a record of) supports ID conclusions far better than it does Darwinian conclusions. No, it does not refute the possibility that millions of generations of gradual modifications were mysteriously erased from it, leaving the appearance of the sudden appearance of gross disparities in genetic and morphological categories.

    Mysteriously erased? Most creatures and plants that existed were never fossilised in the first place!! It takes a very special set of circumstances for a fossil to form. Many land dwelling animals have a very sparse fossil record.

    I think of it like a person’s photo album. Especially as one gets older there may be many, many days or months or even years which are not documented in the photographic record. But it doesn’t mean that a person all of a sudden changed or transitioned because that’s all the photographs we have. Consider someone like Abraham Lincoln. How many photos of him do we have when he was a young man? Very few. But do we doubt that he at one point was a baby, then a child, then a teenager?

    Darwin was brought to his view based on things other than the fossil record. And since his time the gaps in the fossil record have been closing NOT getting bigger. Considering that it will never be complete, considering how rare it was for some creatures to form fossils, considering that evidence the fossil record IS consistent with slow, gradual changes.

    And it matches with the other threads of evidence: morphology, bio-geographic distribution patterns, the genetic record, etc. They all tell roughly the same story and together they make it more than an hypothesis.

    Choosing the latter over the former is a flagrant disregard for the principles of science, and an inherently emotional and/or religious act of devotion. The irony is so dense not even Hawking could imagine any information surviving it.

    Obviously I disagree.

  115. 115
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states this

    BA77: To make it worth your while, there is up to a 10 million dollar prize being offered for anyone who can demonstrate the origin of coded information from anywhere besides Intelligence:

    JVL: How interesting. I wish I had the abilities and facilities to have a go. Sadly, if anyone wins the prize it won’t be me!

    And then in post 111 JVL references what is termed the RNA world hypothesis.

    First off, the RNA world hypothesis has far more ‘fatal’ problems than JVL apparently realizes or is ever willing to honestly admit,,

    RNA world: Chemists Propose a Seemingly Unlikely Environment for the Origin of Life – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: Benner and his colleagues consider three major problems with the RNA-world model:
    *The “asphalt problem”: Organic reactions often produce unreactive byproducts. These byproducts are a mixture of pieces of the product or polymerization of the product, but are chemically insignificant and otherwise unpromising. Hence the metaphor of “asphalt.” Typically, avoiding the production of such byproducts requires very specific and controlled conditions, or post-reaction purification steps.
    *The “water problem”: Many of the bonds in RNA will undergo hydrolysis. This occurs when water reacts with the bond, causing it to break apart. In a lab, the problem is easily addressed by using a different solvent. However, the environment of the early Earth could not draw on the resource of various organic solvents.
    *The “impossible bond problem”: The authors refer here to the difficulty in forming certain bonds in RNA. Usually this follows from thermodynamic issues that prohibit bonds from spontaneously forming.
    Conspicuously missing from the authors’ list of critiques are the “chirality problem” and the “information problem.” Later in the paper, however, they concede that their model does not solve the enigma of chirality, and they allude to a potential “fatal flaw” in their proposition, namely that the kinds of RNA molecules that catalyze the destruction of RNA are more likely to emerge than RNA molecules that catalyze the synthesis of RNA. –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....68661.html

    In fact as the following article honestly admitted that, “The RNA world hypothesis is the worst theory for the early evolution of life (except for all the others)”

    The RNA world hypothesis: the worst theory for the early evolution of life (except for all the others) – July 2012
    Excerpt: “The RNA World scenario is bad as a scientific hypothesis” – Eugene Koonin
    “The RNA world hypothesis has been reduced by ritual abuse to something like a creationist mantra” – Charles Kurland
    “I view it as little more than a popular fantasy.” – Charles Carter
    http://www.biology-direct.com/.....0-7-23.pdf

    Here are a few more unresolved fatal problems facing OOL (Origin of Life) research:

    Suzan Mazur: Origin of life shifting to “nonmaterial events”? – December 15, 2013
    Excerpt: The first paradox is the tendency of organic matter to devolve and to give tar. If you can avoid that, you can start to try to assemble things that are not tarry, but then you encounter the water problem, which is related to the fact that every interesting bond that you want to make is unstable, thermodynamically, with respect to water. If you can solve that problem, you have the problem of entropy, that any of the building blocks are going to be present in a low concentration; therefore, to assemble a large number of those building blocks, you get a gene-like RNA — 100 nucleotides long — that fights entropy. And the fourth problem is that even if you can solve the entropy problem, you have a paradox that RNA enzymes, which are maybe catalytically active, are more likely to be active in the sense that destroys RNA rather than creates RNA.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-events/

    Chemistry by Chance: A Formula for Non-Life by Charles McCombs, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The following eight obstacles in chemistry ensure that life by chance is untenable.
    1. The Problem of Unreactivity
    2. The Problem of Ionization
    3. The Problem of Mass Action
    4. The Problem of Reactivity
    5. The Problem of Selectivity
    6. The Problem of Solubility
    7. The Problem of Sugar
    8. The Problem of Chirality
    The chemical control needed for the formation of a specific sequence in a polymer chain is just not possible through random chance. The synthesis of proteins and DNA/RNA in the laboratory requires the chemist to control the reaction conditions, to thoroughly understand the reactivity and selectivity of each component, and to carefully control the order of addition of the components as the chain is building in size.
    http://www.icr.org/article/che.....-non-life/

    Moreover, it is not just the origin of the standard genetic code that we are talking about. Besides the impossibility of accounting for the origin of the standard genetic code, Darwinists must now also account for the ‘miracle’ of how multiple overlapping codes also arose:

    Multiple genetic codes
    Excerpt: Trifonov,, was also the first one to demonstrate[20] that there are multiple codes present in the DNA. He points out that even so called non-coding DNA has a function, i.e. contains codes, although different from the triplet code.
    Trifonov recognizes[19]:5–10 specific codes in the DNA, RNA and proteins:,,

    chromatin code (Trifonov 1980)
    RNA-to-protein translation code (triplet code)
    framing code (Trifonov 1987)
    translation pausing code (Makhoul & Trifonov 2002) protein folding code (Berezovsky, Grosberg & Trifonov 2000)
    fast adaptation codes (Trifonov 1989)
    binary code (Trifonov 2006)
    genome segmentation code (Kolker & Trifonov 1995)

    The codes can overlap[19]:10 each other so that up to 4 different codes can be identified in one DNA sequence (specifically a sequence involved in a nucleosome). According to Trifonov, other codes are yet to be discovered.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....etic_codes

    Despite, due to grant money being available for researchers who overlook these fatal problems, the dishonesty that is inherent in OOL research, the fact of the matter is that Darwinists have no clue where life, nor the coded information necessary for life came from.

    Their decades of fruitless research only accentuates this fact.

    Origin of life both one of the hardest and most important problems in science – November 2011
    Excerpt: ‘Despite many interesting results to its credit, when judged by the straightforward criterion of reaching (or even approaching) the ultimate goal, the origin of life field is a failure – we still do not have even a plausible coherent model, let alone a validated scenario, for the emergence of life on Earth. Certainly, this is due not to a lack of experimental and theoretical effort, but to the extraordinary intrinsic difficulty and complexity of the problem. A succession of exceedingly unlikely steps is essential for the origin of life, from the synthesis and accumulation of nucleotides to the origin of translation; through the multiplication of probabilities, these make the final outcome seem almost like a miracle.’
    – Eugene V. Koonin, molecular biologist
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....lution-is/

    As James Tour recently commented “We are nowhere near solving this problem.”:

    An Open Letter to My Colleagues – James Tour – 2017
    Excerpt: We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense.
    Beyond our planet, all the others that have been probed are lifeless, a result in accord with our chemical expectations. The laws of physics and chemistry’s Periodic Table are universal, suggesting that life based upon amino acids, nucleotides, saccharides and lipids is an anomaly. Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.17
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....colleagues
    James Tour, a Christian, is one of the leading synthetic organic chemists in the world

    To give a bit more sober minded assessment of the real situation facing OOL researchers, James Tour also offers this analogy

    Origin of Life: An Inside Story – Professor James Tour – May 1, 2016
    Excerpt: “All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated…
    So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal.
    You see the problem for the chemists? Welcome to my world. This is what I’m confronted with, every day.“
    James Tour – leading Chemist
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

  116. 116
    bornagain77 says:

    The primary reason Darwinists will never be able to solve the information enigma for life is that they are not even on the correct theoretical foundation to begin with.

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, hold that ‘immaterial’ information is simply ’emergent’ from some material basis. But as recent research has revealed, ‘immaterial’ information, far from being emergent from some material basis, is now found to be its own distinct physical entity that, although able to interact with matter and energy, is completely separate from matter and energy.

    Information is Physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35I83y5Uro

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,
    The generalized second law of thermodynamics states that the work extracted from an information engine is limited by the sum of two components: the first is the free energy difference between the final and initial states (this is the sole limit placed on conventional engines by the conventional second law), and the other is the amount of available information (this part sets an upper bound on the extra work that can be extracted from information).
    To achieve the maximum efficiency set by the generalized second law, the researchers in the new study designed and implemented an information engine made of a particle trapped by light at room temperature. Random thermal fluctuations cause the tiny particle to move slightly due to Brownian motion, and a photodiode tracks the particle’s changing position with a spatial accuracy of 1 nanometer. If the particle moves more than a certain distance away from its starting point in a certain direction, the light trap quickly shifts in the direction of the particle. This process repeats, so that over time the engine transports the particle in a desired direction simply by extracting work from the information it obtains from the system’s random thermal fluctuations (the free energy component here is zero, so it does not contribute to the work extracted).
    One of the most important features of this system is its nearly instantaneous feedback response: the trap shifts in just a fraction of a millisecond, giving the particle no time to move further and dissipate energy. As a result, almost none of the energy gained by the shift is lost to heat, but rather nearly all of it is converted into work. By avoiding practically any information loss, the information-to-energy conversion of this process reaches approximately 98.5% of the bound set by the generalized second law. The results lend support for this bound, and illustrate the possibility of extracting the maximum amount of work possible from information.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-efficiency.html

    Thus, the futility of Darwinists trying to solve the ‘information enigma’ is baked into their faulty reductive materialistic framework, and thus the ‘information problem’, despite how much time, money, and effort, Darwinists pour into it, will never be resolvable for them.

    Simply put, Darwinists, with their reductive materialism, are not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly understand biological life in the first place.

    Advances in Quantum biology further demonstrate this fatally flawed reductive materialistic theoretical foundation of Darwinists:

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video
    https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y

    As Jim Al-Khalili, states in the following video, “Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules.,,,
    ,,, (Yet) at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate matter cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role.”

    “,,and Physicists and Chemists have had a long time to try and get use to it (Quantum Mechanics). Biologists, on the other hand have got off lightly in my view. They are very happy with their balls and sticks models of molecules. The balls are the atoms. The sticks are the bonds between the atoms. And when they can’t build them physically in the lab nowadays they have very powerful computers that will simulate a huge molecule.,, It doesn’t really require much in the way of quantum mechanics in the way to explain it.”
    At the 6:52 minute mark of the video, Jim Al-Khalili goes on to state:
    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate matter cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  117. 117
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    Darwin was brought to his view based on things other than the fossil record. And since his time the gaps in the fossil record have been closing NOT getting bigger. Considering that it will never be complete, considering how rare it was for some creatures to form fossils, considering that evidence the fossil record IS consistent with slow, gradual changes.

    And it matches with the other threads of evidence: morphology, bio-geographic distribution patterns, the genetic record, etc. They all tell roughly the same story and together they make it more than an hypothesis.

    As was already elucidated in post 56 and in post 52,,,

    56
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/from-barren-planet-to-civilization-in-four-easy-steps/#comment-666025
    52
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/from-barren-planet-to-civilization-in-four-easy-steps/#comment-666017

    The fossil record, morphology, bio-geographic distribution patterns, and the genetic record, all directly contradict Darwin’s theory.

    JVL either did not read posts 56 and 52, or else JVL is just repeating known falsehoods since he has nothing else he can do in order to save his unsubstantiated religious belief in Darwinism.

    JVL also stated:

    BA77: It is funny that Darwinists are complaining about being treated unfairly, when their very own worldview denies that their lives have and value, meaning, or purpose whatsoever.

    JVL: My life has value and meaning and purpose.

    WOW!

    To which I say to JVL, since his Darwinian worldview cannot possibly account for value, meaning and purpose (in fact I can quote many leading Darwinists directly denying that their life has any value, meaning and purpose),,,

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

    ,,, To which I say to JVL, since he resolutely holds that his life has value, meaning and purpose in spite of his Darwinian worldview, WELCOME TO CHRISTIANITY JVL!!!

    Verse and quote:

    Luke 15:7
    I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

    “If the world is rationally constructed and has meaning, then there must be such a thing [as an afterlife].”
    – Kurt Gödel
    https://books.google.com/books?id=f6B9CAAAQBAJ&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51

  118. 118
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed:

    The requirement is not going away, and nothing could be more irrational (and unscientific) than ignoring it. But then again, there are plenty ways to ignore it. We see them all the time.

    I found myself ignoring it just the other day and had to force myself to stop!

    I got your text, I am just a bad person. =p

  119. 119
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Even Wikipedia lists the possibility:

    Wikipedia is run by people who need the genetic code to be reducible to chemistry. There isn’t any evidence for it and it goes against everything we know.

    Contested: engage in dispute about.

    What dispute? There aren’t any viable options.

    To become a theory a hypothesis has to prove it’s value on it’s own. Your design inference on its own not in comparison to something else.

    Clearly you are scientifically illiterate. Yours doesn’t have any testable hypotheses nor is it a scientific theory. And Newton’s four rules of SCIENTIFIC reasoning mandate that any and all design inferences be contrasted with necessity and chance.

    We have come up with ways they could have done it with the tools and abilities they had. We have no evidence there was anyone else around at the time that could have created the structure. They didn’t leave any written records so unless we invent a time machine we’ll just have to depend on good historical inferences based on the physical evidence we do have.

    AGAIN- everything we know about Stonehenge came from centuries of study and only AFTER design was determined.

    Clearly research is ongoing covering many aspects of evolutionary processes including the origination of the genetic ‘code’.

    No research just speculation based on an assumption.
    No shit Sherlock. If your position had something then our design detection fails and you win. However you will have a better chance of showing Stonehenge is a natural formation than you will showing blind and mindless processes produced codes, living organisms and their diversity.

    Again, it doesn’t work like that.

    Of course it does. Anyone familiar with science knows that it does. Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning (Occam’s razor and parsimony) demand it.

    But thank you for proving that you don’t understand how science works.

  120. 120
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Most creatures and plants that existed were never fossilised in the first place!!

    And because of that you cannot use the fossil record to support your position. Only a desperate fool would say what you did and still try to use the fossil record to try to support one position or the other. And here you are.

  121. 121
    JVL says:

    BA77

    Thus, the futility of Darwinists trying to solve the ‘information enigma’ is baked into their faulty reductive materialistic framework, and thus the ‘information problem’, despite how much time, money, and effort, Darwinists pour into it, will never be resolvable for them.

    Simply put, Darwinists, with their reductive materialism, are not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly understand biological life in the first place.

    Maybe so. But comparing what we know now about the history of life to what we knew 150 years ago I’m inclined to think we’ve got a lot of ground we can still discover.

    Interesting short talk by Jim Al-Khalili but I don’t see what it has to do with being on your ‘correct theoretical’ foundation. Quantum effects are quantified by mathematical expressions so . . .

    The fossil record, morphology, bio-geographic distribution patterns, and the genetic record, all directly contradict Darwin’s theory.

    I disagree.

    To which I say to JVL, since his Darwinian worldview cannot possibly account for value, meaning and purpose (in fact I can quote many leading Darwinists directly denying that their life has any value, meaning and purpose),,,

    I agree that some atheists do say there is no ultimate meaning or purpose. And I’m not saying my values and meaning and purpose are ‘ultimate’ (whatever that means). And I think my value, meaning and purpose are just as rooted (or maybe even more) than claiming some theological source which hasn’t been proven to exist.

    The way I see it, if there is no great being who ’caused’ everything then all our ideas and notions and values and meanings and purposes were invented by us. That doesn’t make them worthless or pointless. I find my values and meanings and purposes comforting and inspiring and guiding. I don’t need them to have come from some mythical being whose existence I have not experienced. And I’m certainly not going to start believing in a being’s existence just so that I can ‘root’ my values, purposes and meanings.

    You might look at some of my values and say: oh, you got that from Christianity. But I think Christianity got them from us. I think we are the source of our morals and ethics.

    You will disagree I know. And perhaps we should just leave it at that.

  122. 122
    JVL says:

    ET

    And because of that you cannot use the fossil record to support your position. Only a desperate fool would say what you did and still try to use the fossil record to try to support one position or the other. And here you are.

    It’s just one line of evidence that roughly tells the same story as the other lines. It’s the combination of them all, saying the same thing that has power.

    I agree with Richard Dawkins that you could throw out all the fossil evidence and you would still conclude that unguided evolution had taken place using just the other lines. And I’ve heard at least one biologist who finds the genomic record alone enough.

    Absence of evidence (gaps) is not evidence of absence. It’s a mistake to view the fossil record that way.

    Wikipedia is run by people who need the genetic code to be reducible to chemistry. There isn’t any evidence for it and it goes against everything we know.

    You could always read the referenced papers.

    What dispute? There aren’t any viable options.

    I disagree.

    AGAIN- everything we know about Stonehenge came from centuries of study and only AFTER design was determined.

    So, what work has been done since your design inference was proclaimed?

    No shit Sherlock. If your position had something then our design detection fails and you win. However you will have a better chance of showing Stonehenge is a natural formation than you will showing blind and mindless processes produced codes, living organisms and their diversity.

    We’ll see eh?

  123. 123
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I agree with Richard Dawkins that you could throw out all the fossil evidence and you would still conclude that unguided evolution had taken place using just the other lines.

    You don’t even have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes.

    You could always read the referenced papers.

    I have. I read the Yarus paper when it was first published. And I have kept up on the subject because it is a fool’s errand and I love reading about fools.

    We’ll see eh?

    The more we uncover the less likely your position becomes.

    Viable options- please present testable hypotheses for unguided evolution producing ATP synthase or any other multi-protein machine. Or admit that you don’t have a clue.

    So, what work has been done since your design inference was proclaimed?

    It wasn’t proclaimed. It was due to the research- scientific research. And the work that has been done is to understand the structures being studied. We don’t need to know who, how or when to do that.

    Also scientists have determined that the universe was designed for scientific discovery. And thanks to them we also know what to look for if we really want to find ET’s.

    Then there are the genetic algorithms which have proven very helpful using ID’s concept of evolution by design.

  124. 124
    JVL says:

    ET

    You don’t even have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes.

    I disagree.

    I have. I read the Yarus paper when it was first published. And I have kept up on the subject because it is a fool’s errand and I love reading about fools.

    I assume you mean RNA-amino acid binding: a stereochemical era for the genetic code. Why do you think it’s a fool’s errand? What if there is some biochemical root for the genetic ‘code’? Isn’t that worth checking out?

    Viable options- please present testable hypotheses for unguided evolution producing ATP synthase or any other multi-protein machine. Or admit that you don’t have a clue.

    I am not a research biologist so I don’t know how far they’ve come along on this line of inquiry. But with no guiding mechanism or method of implementation having been found . . . .

    It wasn’t proclaimed. It was due to the research- scientific research. And the work that has been done is to understand the structures being studied. We don’t need to know who, how or when to do that.

    Okay, what specific work has been done?

    Also scientists have determined that the universe was designed for scientific discovery. And thanks to them we also know what to look for if we really want to find ET’s.

    What would you look for then?

    Then there are the genetic algorithms which have proven very helpful using ID’s concept of evolution by design.

    Are you sure about that? Explain the correspondence.

  125. 125
    ET says:

    You don’t even have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes.
    JVL:

    I disagree.

    No one cares. The fact remains that you don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes.

    Why do you think it’s a fool’s errand?

    The same reason that I think looking for a natural cause for Stonehenge is a fool’s errand- because it never happened.

    But with no guiding mechanism or method of implementation having been found . . . .

    Perhaps not to your satisfaction but a guiding mechanism has been found and written about.

    Okay, what specific work has been done?

    They are studying the structures- as I said

    What would you look for then?

    Everything than “The Privileged planet” tells us to look for- the right type of star; the right distance from that star; a stabilizing moon; the right part of the galaxy; etc

    Then there are the genetic algorithms which have proven very helpful using ID’s concept of evolution by design.

    Are you sure about that? Explain the correspondence.

    Genetic algorithms guide their populations towards a pre-specified solution. It is all telic processes.

  126. 126
    R J Sawyer says:

    JVL, interesting discussion. I have also wondered why ID has not followed up on investigating the obvious questions that arise from the assertion that an intelligent agent is the best explanation of biological complexity. Things like:
    What mechanisms were used to create the design?
    What mechanisms were used to implement the design?
    What limitations and constraints are there to the design?
    When did the design occur?
    Is design an ongoing thing?
    Given the fact of mutation, will mutations accumulate to the point where life will cease to exist?

  127. 127
    JVL says:

    ET

    The same reason that I think looking for a natural cause for Stonehenge is a fool’s errand- because it never happened.

    So you agree that the most likely explanation for the origination of Stonehenge is that it’s man made? Why are you so sure that the genetic ‘code’ didn’t arise from basic chemical affinities?

    Perhaps not to your satisfaction but a guiding mechanism has been found and written about.

    So . . . where is it? How is it stored? How does it interact with development?

    They are studying the structures- as I said

    Okay . . . and they’ve come to no conclusions yet? They’ve published no progress reports? No insights have been teased out?

    Genetic algorithms guide their populations towards a pre-specified solution. It is all telic processes.

    If the solution is pre-specified then what’s the point of using the genetic algorithm? I’m confused. Who would look for a pre-specified solution? Surely you would only look for something you didn’t know.

    R J Sawyer

    I have also wondered why ID has not followed up on investigating the obvious questions that arise from the assertion that an intelligent agent is the best explanation of biological complexity.

    It’s not for me to say since it’s not my view. But since ID proponents say their view is NOT a science stopper I keep wondering what science it has or is generating.

  128. 128
    R J Sawyer says:

    JVL

    It’s not for me to say since it’s not my view. But since ID proponents say their view is NOT a science stopper I keep wondering what science it has or is generating.

    I certainly agree that ID is not a science stopper. ID can be studied using the scientific principle, but I have not seen much of it. Behe used science in his work on chloroquine resistance, but that was not research on ID. It was research on evolution. And, meaning no disrespect to Dr. Behe, the assumptions he used in his examination have since been demonstrated to be flawed.

    Even if our current understanding of evolution is proven to be wrong (and parts of it undoubtedly will be wrong), this does not mean that ID is any closer to being demonstrated.

  129. 129
    JVL says:

    R J Sawyer

    I certainly agree that ID is not a science stopper. ID can be studied using the scientific principle, but I have not seen much of it. Behe used science in his work on chloroquine resistance, but that was not research on ID. It was research on evolution. And, meaning no disrespect to Dr. Behe, the assumptions he used in his examination have since been demonstrated to be flawed.

    I have a lot of respect for Dr Behe; he has always been willing to testify on behalf of his views (such as at the Dover trial and being interviewed on the Point of Inquiry podcast) and he has done his best to answer his critics. I’m sure that I would get on with him personally because he really does speak from his heart. But, he is a human being and I agree he has made mistakes.

    Even if our current understanding of evolution is proven to be wrong (and parts of it undoubtedly will be wrong), this does not mean that ID is any closer to being demonstrated.

    ID must prove its point independent of mainstream evolutionary theory; it doesn’t get a pass trying to show that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done. You have to have a rock solid design detection procedure and then you have to start answering questions about when and how design was implemented. I’d love to see some of that work being done but I’m not sure anyone is even attempting to do it.

  130. 130
    R J Sawyer says:

    JVL

    I have a lot of respect for Dr Behe

    As do I. I also have a lot of respect for many people who comment here, even though I disagree with them. Gpuccio, HeKs, Torley, OldAndrew and the like are a pleasure to converse with. I would enjoy to sit down for a drink with any of them. There are a few, however, on both sides of the fence, who simply are incapable of disagreeing without making it personal.

    ID must prove its point independent of mainstream evolutionary theory; it doesn’t get a pass trying to show that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done.

    I agree. Plate tectonics didn’t become accepted because it pointed out the weaknesses in other theories. It became accepted because it was supported by evidence from several disparate fields. Much like evolution.

    You have to have a rock solid design detection procedure…

    Which I don’t think is possible by only comparing to human design.

    …and then you have to start answering questions about when and how design was implemented.

    It appears obvious that those and other questions beg to be answered. Sadly, nobody who believes in ID is asking them.

  131. 131
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    BA77: Thus, the futility of Darwinists trying to solve the ‘information enigma’ is baked into their faulty reductive materialistic framework, and thus the ‘information problem’, despite how much time, money, and effort, Darwinists pour into it, will never be resolvable for them.

    Simply put, Darwinists, with their reductive materialism, are not even on the correct theoretical foundation in order to properly understand biological life in the first place.

    JVL: Maybe so. But comparing what we know now about the history of life to what we knew 150 years ago I’m inclined to think we’ve got a lot of ground we can still discover.

    So do you agree or disagree, i.e. “Maybe so”?, that your reductive materialistic framework cannot possibly account for immaterial information?

    The answer is not “maybe so”. The answer is either “Yes, Darwinists, with their reductive materialism, are on the incorrect theoretical foundation”, or it is “No, Darwinists are not on the incorrect theoretical foundation with their reductive materialism”.

    To state “maybe so” and then to allude to the ‘history of life’ is complete nonsense as to dealing with that specific question.

    Regardless of your usual dishonesty in dealing with the evidence when it directly contradicts your religion of Darwinism, it is now an empirically established fact that ‘immaterial information’ cannot possibly ’emerge’ from some material basis, as Darwinists hold, since ‘immaterial information’ is shown to its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy. See post 116 for references.

    JVL then states:

    Interesting short talk by Jim Al-Khalili but I don’t see what it has to do with being on your ‘correct theoretical’ foundation. Quantum effects are quantified by mathematical expressions so . . .

    Besides mathematics itself being incompatible with the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution,

    Darwinian Evolution vs Mathematics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3gyx70BHvA

    Besides that little inconvenient fact, “Immaterial” classical information, such as the classical information that is inscribed on DNA, and which, I remind, is now shown to be its own distinct physical entity that is separate from matter and energy,

    Maxwell’s demon demonstration (knowledge of a particle’s position) turns information into energy – November 2010
    Excerpt: Scientists in Japan are the first to have succeeded in converting information into free energy in an experiment that verifies the “Maxwell demon” thought experiment devised in 1867.,,, In Maxwell’s thought experiment the demon creates a temperature difference simply from information about the gas molecule temperatures and without transferring any energy directly to them.,,, Until now, demonstrating the conversion of information to energy has been elusive, but University of Tokyo physicist Masaki Sano and colleagues have succeeded in demonstrating it in a nano-scale experiment. In a paper published in Nature Physics they describe how they coaxed a Brownian particle to travel upwards on a “spiral-staircase-like” potential energy created by an electric field solely on the basis of information on its location. As the particle traveled up the staircase it gained energy from moving to an area of higher potential, and the team was able to measure precisely how much energy had been converted from information.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    Demonic device converts information to energy – 2010
    Excerpt: “This is a beautiful experimental demonstration that information has a thermodynamic content,” says Christopher Jarzynski, a statistical chemist at the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1997, Jarzynski formulated an equation to define the amount of energy that could theoretically be converted from a unit of information2; the work by Sano and his team has now confirmed this equation. “This tells us something new about how the laws of thermodynamics work on the microscopic scale,” says Jarzynski.
    http://www.scientificamerican......rts-inform

    The Quantum Thermodynamics Revolution – May 2017
    Excerpt: the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”
    In recent years, a revolutionary understanding of thermodynamics has emerged that explains this subjectivity using quantum information theory — “a toddler among physical theories,” as del Rio and co-authors put it, that describes the spread of information through quantum systems. Just as thermodynamics initially grew out of trying to improve steam engines, today’s thermodynamicists are mulling over the workings of quantum machines. Shrinking technology — a single-ion engine and three-atom fridge were both experimentally realized for the first time within the past year — is forcing them to extend thermodynamics to the quantum realm, where notions like temperature and work lose their usual meanings, and the classical laws don’t necessarily apply.
    They’ve found new, quantum versions of the laws that scale up to the originals. Rewriting the theory from the bottom up has led experts to recast its basic concepts in terms of its subjective nature, and to unravel the deep and often surprising relationship between energy and information — the abstract 1s and 0s by which physical states are distinguished and knowledge is measured.,,,
    Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-thermodynamics-revolution/

    This physically distinct “immaterial” classical information is now also shown to be a subset of “immaterial” quantum information by the following method:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    Scientists show how to erase information without using energy – January 2011
    Excerpt: Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all. Instead, the cost of erasure can be paid in terms of another conserved quantity, such as spin angular momentum.,,, “Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it (information) is physical has a broader context than that.”, Vaccaro explained.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....nergy.html

    And this immaterial quantum information, of which classical information is a subset, is ‘conserved’, which simply means that quantum information cannot be created nor destroyed:

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Moreover, this ‘immaterial’ quantum information can do things that are impossible for ‘immaterial’ classical information, and these ‘impossible’ tasks are what provide the basis for research into quantum computation:

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

  132. 132
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, this quantum information, that is able to perform quantum computation, is now found within molecular biology on a massive scale and offers a coherent solution to some rather profound unresolved enigmas within molecular biology, such as the unresolved enigma of protein folding:

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHdD2Am1g5Y

    Quantum criticality in a wide range of important biomolecules
    Excerpt: “Most of the molecules taking part actively in biochemical processes are tuned exactly to the transition point and are critical conductors,” they say.
    That’s a discovery that is as important as it is unexpected. “These findings suggest an entirely new and universal mechanism of conductance in biology very different from the one used in electrical circuits.”
    The permutations of possible energy levels of biomolecules is huge so the possibility of finding even one that is in the quantum critical state by accident is mind-bogglingly small and, to all intents and purposes, impossible.,, of the order of 10^-50 of possible small biomolecules and even less for proteins,”,,,
    “what exactly is the advantage that criticality confers?”
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-origin-of-life-and-the-hidden-role-of-quantum-criti

    Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding – February 22, 2011
    Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.
    Excerpt: First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from.
    To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.,,,
    Today, Luo and Lo say these curves can be easily explained if the process of folding is a quantum affair. By conventional thinking, a chain of amino acids can only change from one shape to another by mechanically passing through various shapes in between.
    But Luo and Lo say that if this process were a quantum one, the shape could change by quantum transition, meaning that the protein could ‘jump’ from one shape to another without necessarily forming the shapes in between.,,,
    Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins.
    That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....f-protein/

    Moreover, it is also important to note that, due to quantum non-locality, quantum correlations require a beyond space and time cause in order to explain their effect:

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Christians have a beyond space and time cause to appeal to. Darwinists don’t.

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

    Besides providing direct empirical falsification of neo-Darwinian claims that say information is emergent from a material basis, the implication of finding ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, and ‘conserved’, quantum information in molecular biology on such a massive scale, in every DNA and protein molecule, is fairly, and pleasantly, obvious.
    That pleasant implication, or course, being the fact that we now have very strong physical evidence suggesting that we do indeed have an eternal soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material bodies.

    As Stuart Hameroff states in the following video, “the quantum information,, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed,, it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”

    “Let’s say the heart stops beating. The blood stops flowing. The microtubules lose their quantum state. But the quantum information, which is in the microtubules, isn’t destroyed. It can’t be destroyed. It just distributes and dissipates to the universe at large. If a patient is resuscitated, revived, this quantum information can go back into the microtubules and the patient says, “I had a near death experience. I saw a white light. I saw a tunnel. I saw my dead relatives.,,” Now if they’re not revived and the patient dies, then it’s possible that this quantum information can exist outside the body. Perhaps indefinitely as a soul.”
    – Stuart Hameroff – Quantum Entangled Consciousness – Life After Death – video (5:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jjpEc98o_Oo?t=300

    Verse:

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

  133. 133
    bornagain77 says:

    Günter Bechly video: Fossil Discontinuities: A Refutation of Darwinism and Confirmation of Intelligent Design
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7w5QGqcnNs

    The fossil record is dominated by abrupt appearances of new body plans and new groups of organisms. This conflicts with the gradualistic prediction of Darwinian Evolution. Here 18 explosive origins in the history of life are described, demonstrating that the famous Cambrian Explosion is far from being the exception to the rule. Also the fossil record establishes only very brief windows of time for the origin of complex new features, which creates an ubiquitous waiting time problem for the origin and fixation of the required coordinated mutations. This refutes the viability of the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary process as the single conceivable naturalistic or mechanistic explanation for biological origins, and thus confirms Intelligent Design as the only reasonable alternative.

  134. 134
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer:

    JVL

    I have a lot of respect for Dr Behe

    As do I.

    As do I.

    I also have a lot of respect for many people who comment here, even though I disagree with them. Gpuccio, HeKs, Torley, OldAndrew and the like are a pleasure to converse with. I would enjoy to sit down for a drink with any of them.

    Me too with you! 🙂

  135. 135
    gpuccio says:

    JVL, R J Sawyer:

    ID must prove its point independent of mainstream evolutionary theory; it doesn’t get a pass trying to show that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done.

    I think I have probably already discussed that point with you, but I will do it again, briefly.

    That point is simply wrong. Of course ID proves its basic point by observing the relationship between desiign and functional information. That is the strong positive foundation of ID.

    Showing that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done is only the natural consequence. The foundation for ID is that no unguided process has ever been observed, in the universe, that can “get the job done”, IOWs that can generate complex functional information. If that were proven false, ID would be proven false.

    So, as the only theory that imagines that unguided processes have done that in biology is neo-darwinism, it is of course an integral part of ID to demonstrate that such a thing is not true.

    Plate tectonics didn’t become accepted because it pointed out the weaknesses in other theories.

    But if plate tectonics had been obstinately refuted in the name of some alternative and completely wrong theory, then I am sure that reasonable scientists would have defended plate tectonics by showing that the alternative theory was baloney!

    You have to have a rock solid design detection procedure

    But we have! Measuring functional information and its variations in natural history is exactly that.

    It’s not just that “ID” has a rock solid design detection procedure: the simple truth is that everyone has it. You (I mean JVL and R J Sawyer) can detect design in biological objects as well as I do it. The procedure is there, available to all. It has never failed. It’s you who refuse to use it.

    R J Sawyer:

    Which I don’t think is possible by only comparing to human design.

    Again, I believe I have already answered that objection.

    The point is simple. It is true that we use human design to understand the relationship between conscious design and complex functional information. But that is the only possible way, because there are no other examples of complex functional information arising from an observable process.

    Again, it’s not a bias of ID or of ID reasoning: it is simply a bias of reality.

    If and when we can observe complex functional information arising from non human sources, in either guided or unguided processes, then we can certainly use those facts to understand how complex functional information can, or cannot, be generated.

    But those facts simply do not exist in the observable universe as we know it at present.

    So, if we want to act as good and humble scientists should act, we can only reason about observable facts that are really available.

    JVL:

    and then you have to start answering questions about when and how design was implemented. I’d love to see some of that work being done but I’m not sure anyone is even attempting to do it.

    R J Sawyer:

    It appears obvious that those and other questions beg to be answered. Sadly, nobody who believes in ID is asking them.

    I agree that it is absolutely obvious. Those questions beg to be answered.

    But it is not true that nobody who believes in ID is asking them.

    I do believe in ID. Very much so. And I have been asking them for years, here. And, in the measure that I can do that, I have tried to offer answers. Specific answers.

    When was design implemented?

    The answer is rather simple. Any time we can observe in natural history a definite and rather sudden increase in functional information that is well beyond any threshold that is in the range of unguided processes.

    Of course OOL and the transition to eukaryotes are the first examples that come to anyone’s mind. But I would like to remind you that I have published here more than one OP dedicated to the transition to vertebrtaes, which is an event that has a very well defined chronological window:

    a) About 440-420 million years ago

    b) A window of about 20 million years

    And I have shown that a huge and rather sudden appearance of new specific functional information took place at that time. About 1.7 million bits of it.

    See here, for example:

    “The amazing level of engineering in the transition to the vertebrate proteome: a global analysis”

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/the-amazing-level-of-engineering-in-the-transition-to-the-vertebrate-proteome-a-global-analysis/

    How was design implemented?

    That is certainly more difficult.

    But, again, I have reasoned about that question many times, and I have tried to offer answers.

    In particular, I do believe that available facts point to at least one definite mechanism of implementation: guided transposon activity.

    The reason for that is rather simple: there is a lot of evidence that transposons are involved in the generation of both new genes and new regulatory networks (for example, new enhancers).

    Of course, unguided transposon activity would be completely random and incapable of generating highly complex functional structures. Moreover, transposon activity seems to be a perfect interface for some quantum based intelligent control.

    I am confident that growing data will demonstrate beyond any doubt that transposon activity, when it generates functional structures, cannot be interpreted as an unguided event.

  136. 136
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer:

    I hope you are still available for that drink! 🙂

  137. 137
    JVL says:

    BA77

    So do you agree or disagree, i.e. “Maybe so”?, that your reductive materialistic framework cannot possibly account for immaterial information?

    My saying ‘Maybe so’ was my polite way of disagreeing. I don’t find the ‘information’ in DNA to be surprising even given an unguided process.

    Regardless of your usual dishonesty in dealing with the evidence when it directly contradicts your religion of Darwinism, it is now an empirically established fact that ‘immaterial information’ cannot possibly ’emerge’ from some material basis, as Darwinists hold, since ‘immaterial information’ is shown to its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    I don’t understand why you constantly accuse me of lying and being dishonest. I’m here trying, with the time I have, to respond. But if you’re just going to be rude perhaps I’ll quit.

    gpuccio

    May I first say thank you for responding and, even briefly, restating some things you’ve said before. I’m an infrequent visitor and I missed some of your old post. I find your answers intriguing!

    Showing that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done is only the natural consequence. The foundation for ID is that no unguided process has ever been observed, in the universe, that can “get the job done”, IOWs that can generate complex functional information. If that were proven false, ID would be proven false.

    I see your point . . . I just keep wondering if there’s a third or fourth model, not ID or unguided evolution, in which case disproving one doesn’t give you the other(s). One I can think of is: what if we’re in a computer simulation. I suppose you could make the argument that that was a guided environment but then some of your other answers would definitely have to change. What if we’re just the dream of some transcendent being? Is that guided or unguided? In the case of panspermia . . . let’s say a simple cell landed on earth from another planet. That makes the origin of life on earth accidental but would you still suggest that it’s further development was guided?

    But if plate tectonics had been obstinately refuted in the name of some alternative and completely wrong theory, then I am sure that reasonable scientists would have defended plate tectonics by showing that the alternative theory was baloney!

    The alternate theory was that the continents did NOT move and they found evidence that they did. In that case it was an either or scenario.

    It’s not just that “ID” has a rock solid design detection procedure: the simple truth is that everyone has it. You (I mean JVL and R J Sawyer) can detect design in biological objects as well as I do it. The procedure is there, available to all. It has never failed. It’s you who refuse to use it.

    How do you know your design detection facility is correct? As a child I’m sure you were prone to see faces in all kinds of places or animals in clouds. Our pattern detecting circuits are hyper-active and flag up lots of false positives.

    The point is simple. It is true that we use human design to understand the relationship between conscious design and complex functional information. But that is the only possible way, because there are no other examples of complex functional information arising from an observable process.

    But then surely all an ID supporter can say is: because DNA looks like a human design someone very much like a human must have designed it. But we have no other evidence of human-like creatures on earth before a few billion years ago.

    a) About 440-420 million years ago

    b) A window of about 20 million years

    And I have shown that a huge and rather sudden appearance of new specific functional information took place at that time. About 1.7 million bits of it.

    I shall read the post you have linked to before I ask any questions about that!!

    Of course, unguided transposon activity would be completely random and incapable of generating highly complex functional structures. Moreover, transposon activity seems to be a perfect interface for some quantum based intelligent control.

    I am confident that growing data will demonstrate beyond any doubt that transposon activity, when it generates functional structures, cannot be interpreted as an unguided event.

    Thank you for that! I would say that sometimes random events can be beneficial (or perceived to be beneficial) and since anything beneficial which have a much higher chance of becoming fixed in a population . . . but since you seem quite ready to wait for more work to be done I don’t think we need to compare and contrast our differing opinions. I too am happy to see what further research shows.

    Just one more question (channelling Columbo here): how, that is by what mechanism, could transposon activity been guided? I won’t hazard a guess at your answer because I don’t want to make assumptions about what you might say.

    Thanks again and I look forward to more responses or links to previous posts when you have the time.

    When you’re in England I’ll buy you a drink!

  138. 138
    jerry says:

    How was design implemented?

    The following is a reply I have made more than once to this ridiculous question starting with another ridiculous question by a frequent anti ID commenter here at UD

    Yes, I agree that it could be a naturalistic process, but does ID ever ask if it actually was?

    All the time from my experience. It is just when there is no credible naturalistic process that it looks for other alternatives. Stephen Meyer goes over dozens of possible naturalistic explanations in his books.

    This is something else you should know from all your years here.
    “what caused…?” and “what could have caused…?” are subtly different questions.

    Yes, but before one gets to what caused, one has to consider what could have caused and then eliminate the improbable ones. Which is exactly the process ID uses.

    I answered the silliness of the question about the designer with sarcasm over 9 years ago.

    Someone actually wants the laboratory techniques used 3.8 billion years ago. You talk about bizarre. I say a thousand as hyperbole and Mark in all seriousness says there is probably only a dozen. Mark wants the actual technique used a few billion years ago.

    Mark, I got word from the designer a few weeks ago and he said the original lab and blue prints were subducted under what was to become the African plate 3.4 billion years ago but by then they were mostly rubble anyway. The original cells were relatively simple but still very complex. Subsequent plants/labs went the same way and unfortunately all holograph videos of it are now in hyper space and haven’t been looked at for at least 3 million years. So to answer one of your questions, no further work has been done for quite awhile and the designer expects future work to be done by the latest design itself.

    The designer travels via hyper space between his home and our area of the universe when it is necessary.

    The designer said the techniques used were much more sophisticated than anything dreamed of by current synthetic biologist crowd but in a couple million years they may get up to speed and understand how it was actually done. The designer said it is actually a lot more difficult than people think especially since this was a new technique and he had to invent the DNA/RNA/protein process from scratch but amazingly they had the. right chemical properties. His comment was “Thank God for that” or else he doesn’t think he would have been able to do it.

    It took him about 200,000 of our years just experimenting with amino acid combinations to get usable proteins. He said it will be easier for current scientists since they will have a template to work off.

    Hope this answers your question about the designer.

    Some of the original commenters here will recognize who Mark is.

  139. 139
    R J Sawyer says:

    GP

    I hope you are still available for that drink! ????

    Absolutely. I will meet you at the Hilton Singapore bar at 8:30 on the 21st. It will be my 60th birthday so I am afraid that you will have to pay. 🙂

  140. 140
    R J Sawyer says:

    GP

    Showing that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done is only the natural consequence. The foundation for ID is that no unguided process has ever been observed, in the universe, that can “get the job done”, IOWs that can generate complex functional information. If that were proven false, ID would be proven false.

    We agree that this is a way to falsify ID. But it is not a way of providing positive support for ID. If you are capable of proving that our current understanding of evolution is not capable of producing complex functional information, which I don’t believe anyone has done, all you have done is prove that our current understanding of evolution is not correct. Our understanding of how evolution works has changed dramatically since Darwin, and since Mayre and Fisher, and will likely continue to change into the foreseeable future.

    But if plate tectonics had been obstinately refuted in the name of some alternative and completely wrong theory, then I am sure that reasonable scientists would have defended plate tectonics by showing that the alternative theory was baloney!

    My point about plate tectonics is that the arguments used against evolution (it has never been directly observed; micro is possible but macro isn’t because not enough time, etc) can also be used against plate tectonics but never has. We have directly observed small shifts in the earth’s crust, just as we have seen small scale evolution. But according to ID, we can’t extrapolate these small changes over large periods of time to obtain larger changes unless we can demonstrate exactly how it happened. The same burden of proof is never placed in the idea that plate tectonics can produce mountains.

    If and when we can observe complex functional information arising from non human sources, in either guided or unguided processes, then we can certainly use those facts to understand how complex functional information can, or cannot, be generated.

    Agreed. But you are imposing a burden of proof on unguided evolution that, due to our short life span, is unlikely to be directly observed. Much like mountain building. If we had a time machine, it might be possible, but we don’t have one.

    [when does ID happen?] The answer is rather simple. Any time we can observe in natural history a definite and rather sudden increase in functional information that is well beyond any threshold that is in the range of unguided processes.

    I would agree. If what we think of as ‘sudden’ is actually sudden. The fossil record is spotty at best, and tells us nothing about the functional information (DNA and metabolism) that underlies the observed changes.

    Of course, unguided transposon activity would be completely random and incapable of generating highly complex functional structures. Moreover, transposon activity seems to be a perfect interface for some quantum based intelligent control.

    Why would it be completely random. I am not aware of many chemical reactions that are random. Random with respect to fitness I would accept, but is even that true. I don’t know enough about how transposing work to provide a solid argument, but is it not true that some parts of the chromosome are less likely to be impacted (protected) by transposing than others? If these correspond to functionally critical sections, is it possible that transposing wouldn’t be random with respect to fitness?

  141. 141
    R J Sawyer says:

    Damn autocorrect. 🙂

  142. 142
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    My saying ‘Maybe so’ was my polite way of disagreeing. I don’t find the ‘information’ in DNA to be surprising even given an unguided process.

    I did not say you were surprised. I specifically stated, with empirical evidence, that information is it’s own independent entity which is NOT reducible to a material basis as is presupposed in Darwinian thought.

    This is what, specifically, proves that Darwinian evolution is NOT on the correct theoretical foundation to begin with.

    It is not a matter of you ‘politely disagreeing’. It is a matter of you blatantly ignoring the empirical evidence since it proves your Darwinian worldview is wrong.

    JVL then states:

    BA77: Regardless of your usual dishonesty in dealing with the evidence when it directly contradicts your religion of Darwinism, it is now an empirically established fact that ‘immaterial information’ cannot possibly ’emerge’ from some material basis, as Darwinists hold, since ‘immaterial information’ is shown to its own distinct physical entity that, although it can interact with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    JVL: I don’t understand why you constantly accuse me of lying and being dishonest. I’m here trying, with the time I have, to respond. But if you’re just going to be rude perhaps I’ll quit.

    Yet you ARE being dishonest towards the evidence. It is not ‘maybe’ you are being dishonest towards the evidence. It is a fact that you are being dishonest. PERIOD! Others may not put it so bluntly, unfortunately, I am not so refined in social graces as them and I call em as I see em. Nor I am here to sooth your feelings about being so blatantly wrong. I am here to show unbiased readers how intellectually dishonest Darwinists can be and are when it comes to the science at hand, so as to more clearly show them that Darwinian evolution is a false worldview.

    You accused me of being ‘rude’ for being so blunt towards you about your intellectual dishonesty.

    Yet, your objection proves precisely my point. Previously in this thread, at post 107, I stated:

    It is funny that Darwinists are complaining about being treated unfairly, when their very own worldview denies that their lives have and value, meaning, or purpose whatsoever.

    In order to be morally offended at not being treated fairly, Atheists, in fact, have to reach over into Theistic, even Christian, presuppositions as to how we ought to treat one another. Fairness, equality, and such other virtuous standards as that, simply find no basis in Darwinian materialism.

    Atheistic Materialism vs Meaning, Value, and Purpose in Our Lives – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUxBSbFhog

    In other words, the very fact that Atheists demand to be treated fairly is in and of itself proof that their atheistic worldview is utterly false:

    In response you stated this

    “The way I see it, if there is no great being who ’caused’ everything then all our ideas and notions and values and meanings and purposes were invented by us. That doesn’t make them worthless or pointless.”

    In that statement, you yourself conceded precisely my point. If value, meaning and purpose are ‘invented’ by us then, by definition, they are not real and thus are necessarily illusory.

    Yet, no one can live their lives as if value, meaning and purpose are illusory.

    The Absurdity of Life without God – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Meaning of Life
    First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet (atheistic) philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.
    Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.
    The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-absurdity-of-life-without-god/

    To refuse to accept this falsification of your worldview is intellectually dishonest. PERIOD! Call me rude or whatever you want to call me for calling it as I see it, but you simply have no basis within your worldview to object for my supposedly ‘rude’ behavior. As your yourself admitted, according to your worldview, you just invented the notion that I should be fair. Why should I care about what illusion you invented in your imagination?

    And God help us if Atheists ever do get control of the government. They will take ‘rudeness’, as their present mob mentality somewhat demonstrates, to unimaginably horrid levels:

    Among the Disbelievers:
    Why atheism was central to the great evil of the 20th century
    – GARY SAUL MORSON / SEPT. 17, 2018
    Excerpt: In its 300-year history in Spain, Portugal, and the New World, the Spanish Inquisition killed a few thousand, perhaps even a few tens of thousands, while in the atheist Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, that was the average toll every week or two. To this objection, the atheist has a ready reply: Atheism had nothing to do with Bolshevik carnage. As Richard Dawkins explains in The God Delusion: “What matters is not whether Hitler and Stalin were atheists, but whether atheism systematically influences people to do bad things. There is not the smallest evidence that it does.” This comment displays an ignorance so astonishing that, as the Russian expression goes, one can only stare and spit.,,,
    Bolshevik ideology demanded that religion be wiped out. Perhaps even more than constructing dams and factories, creating a population of atheists became the regime’s most important criterion of success. “Atheism [was] the new civilization’s calling card,” as S.A. Kuchinsky, director of the Leningrad State Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism, explained.
    Communist society could be built only by a new kind of human being, one who would at every moment be guided by partiinost (party-mindedness), a singular devotion to the Party’s purposes. Partiinost demanded militant atheism (mere unbelief was not enough), and atheism became, as Smolkin observes, “the battleground on which Soviet Communism engaged with the existential concerns at the heart of human existence: the meaning of life and death.”
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/among-the-disbelievers/

  143. 143
    john_a_designer says:

    One of the points that Granville Sewel is making in the OP is that design runs deep. That is, it is not simply evident in living things or the artifacts of intelligent being like us but is made evident, or interwoven, into the very fabric of universe itself. Purpose and design are evident though out the universe since the very beginning of time– which itself had a beginning!

    If you have read his other postings here Sewell alludes before to the work of Joseph Le Conte who was a committed materialist who a completely different view.

    According to Le Conte,

    Physical phenomena we all admit follow one another in unbroken succession, each derived from a preceding, and giving origin to a succeeding. We call this the law of causation, and say that it is axiomatic. We might call it a law of derivation. So also organic forms follow one another in continuous chain, each derived from a preceding and giving origin to a succeeding. We call this a law of derivation. We might call it a law of causation, and say that it too is axiomatic. The origins of new phenomena are often obscure, even inexplicable, but we never think to doubt that they have a natural cause; for so to doubt is to doubt the validity of reason…

    However, modern scientific discoveries have revealed that nature is riddled with discontinuities.

    For example, let’s begin with the beginning of the universe– the so-called big bang. During Le Conte’s day materialists believed that universe we live in could very well be eternal. However, because of several discoveries made in the 20th century virtually no one believes that today. So how did the universe come into existence? At present there is no scientific explanation. Sure you could invoke the “multiverse” but what scientific evidence is there for the multiverse?

    Related to the origin of the universe is its so-called fine tuning. What is fine tuning? It is the empirically derived fact that if certain fundamental physical parameters or constants had been slightly different life and self-conscious life would not exist anywhere is the universe. Many prominent physicists agree. Stephan Hawking writes, “The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. … The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”

    But the fine-tuning is even more intricate than Hawking’s brief summary suggests. For example, if the ratio of the nuclear strong force to the electromagnetic force had differed by 1 part in 1016, no stars would have formed… no stars… no life.

    Or, if the ratio of the electromagnetic force constant to the gravitational force constant had not been precisely balanced to 1 part in 10 to the 40th, we would have no stars of the right size to support life. We need both fast burning large stars to produce the essential elements for life’s chemistry and planet formation as well as long burning small stars to burn long enough to provide planetary systems habitable for life.

    Also, if the nuclear ground state energies for helium 4, beryllium 6, carbon 12, and oxygen16 had not been fine-tuned higher or lower with respect to each other by more than 4% there would not be sufficient oxygen or carbon for the development of life.”

    Or if the majority of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun (or any equivalent star) wasn’t within a very narrow band: one part in 10 raised the 25th power (that’s one followed 25 zeros) life could not exist on earth. One part in 10 to the 25th is equivalent to the thickness of one playing card in comparison to a stack of cards that stretch way beyond the confines of our own galaxy. So I guess we’re just really, really lucky! (Yeah, right.)

    Physicists have discovered dozens of other of these finely tuned parameters. WAP (the weak anthropic principle) argues that the universe appears to be fine-tuned for life because if it hadn’t been we wouldn’t be here to observe it. SAP, on the other hand, argues that it must be fine-tuned for life. Why? Neither WAP nor SAP provide the answer.

    Another discontinuity is the origin of life. If the universe is not eternal, life cannot be eternal.

    Then there is the origin of consciousness and of mind and intelligence.

    And of course, Le Conte himself saw that there were discontinuities in the evolution of animal life. But at the time these discontinuities could be rationalized away– for example, the incompleteness of the fossil record. However, these discontinuities have not gone away.

    It appears then Le Conte’s axioms are no longer axiomatic. Of course they never really were. (Except for people like Le Conte who begin with very biased philosophical assumptions.)

    So why do people keep clinging to Darwinism like a child’s security blanket? It’s because it provides a metaphysical hand and glove fit with atheistic naturalism/materialism. However, what Darwinism– specifically Neo-Darwinism– doesn’t fit with is the actual scientific evidence.

  144. 144
    gpuccio says:

    JVL at #137:

    Wow! You and R J Sawyer have answered me with such good attention and attitude, that I have to give you my best possible answers! 🙂 Some work, indeed!

    OK, I will start with you. But please, consider also my following answer to R J Sawyer, because I think that many points are definitely in common.

    I just keep wondering if there’s a third or fourth model, not ID or unguided evolution, in which case disproving one doesn’t give you the other(s).

    I agree with you. I have never seen ID as a logical alternative to neo-darwinism. The real proof of ID is not the negation of neo-darwinism, but the empirical observation of the constant association between complex functional information and conscious design.

    Even that association, the “positive” foundation of ID, has indeed two different aspects:

    a) One is merely empirical: we always see complex functional information easily arising from conscious representations (in human design). But we never see complex functional information arising from non conscious systems. That associaiton is absolute in the empirical world as we know it. Given a very reasonable threshold for complex functional information (like the usual 500 bits), there is not one single example of complex functional information arising without a conscious design intervention. Not one in the universe.

    2) The second aspect is a solid rationale. Indeed, we can understand why conscious design can generate complex functional information and unguided systems cannot.

    The secret can be onserved directly in our own comnsciousness, when we design something that is even minimally complex. So, it is indeed an observable fact.

    What happens? Our consciousness uses its representations, and its specific conscious experiences, to generate the information that is then outputted to the material object.

    At least two very important inner experiences that are specific of our conscious world seem to be necessary to generate design:

    a) The cognitive experience of understanding meaning. It guides us to deeper levels of cognition, and guides our design process.

    b) The feeling experience of desire. Without it, without the definite recognition of what we want to attain, no new function can be defined, recognized or implemented.

    So, I would say that we have a very good rationale to believe that conscious representations are essential to design complex functional things.

    In the absence if those conscious experiences, the probabilistic barriers are simply more than enough to prevent any complex functional information from arising in a non conscious system.

    So, if there is a third or fourth model to explain complex functional information, I am all too ready to consider it and discuss it. ID is not the logical alternative to anything. It is just the best explanation for what we observe. Indeed, I do believe that it is the only available explanation, but as said I am ready to consider any possible explanation.

    One I can think of is: what if we’re in a computer simulation. I suppose you could make the argument that that was a guided environment but then some of your other answers would definitely have to change.

    It’s perfectly possible. The simulation, of course, would be designed.

    I am not sure which of my answers should change.

    Let’s say that the computer simulation is based on some basic program and procedures. Those could be the laws of physics, that we can see operating in the universe.

    But let’s say that at some point of my game I encounter a new, complex monster I have to fight with.

    Now, the appearance of that monster cannot be explained only by the rules that have been working up to that moment. Of course, the game must draw new information from its stored code, the information to generate the new monster.

    So, I don’t think that my answers have to change. Simulation or not, a new part of reality that requires new specific information needs exactly that: new information. The monster is like life, or eukaryotes, or a new species. All those things require tons of new complex functional information to exist.

    What if we’re just the dream of some transcendent being? Is that guided or unguided?

    It’s perfectly possible. And so? Of course a dream is guided. It is a form of conscious experience, and if that dream generates material objects, those objects are designed by the dream. The whole point of design is that the information that shapes the material object exists, in advance, in a conscious representation.

    In the case of panspermia . . . let’s say a simple cell landed on earth from another planet. That makes the origin of life on earth accidental but would you still suggest that it’s further development was guided?

    Of course.

    OOL is not the only step that requires design. The transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes is another huge one. The transitions to multicellular beings, too. The transition to vertebrates, too. Indeed, any new complex protein requires design.

    A sinlge cell at the beginning (a prokaryote, I suppose?) can explain away only OOL.

    On our planet, at least.

    Because you still should explain how that cell originated in some other place.

    You know, the difference between the time span of our planet (say 4.5 billion years) and the time span of the whole universe (say 14 billion years) is not so big. It’s only three times older, not even one order of magnitude.

    The alternate theory was that the continents did NOT move and they found evidence that they did. In that case it was an either or scenario.

    I am not so sure. Continents could have been shaped by other, unexpected factors. In empirical science, it’s rarely an either or scenario.

    However, the only rule is that you choose the best available explanation, and you don’t loose your sleep by waiting for unexpected new explanations that could not even exist. That probably do not even exist.

    How do you know your design detection facility is correct? As a child I’m sure you were prone to see faces in all kinds of places or animals in clouds. Our pattern detecting circuits are hyper-active and flag up lots of false positives.

    I am not sure you understand well ID theory. It is a quantitative detection procedure, with no false positives at all.

    It’s all a question of choosing the threshold to categorize your variable. And then you can validate your procedure easily: we have a lot of designed things, after all, human artifacts, and a lot of non designed objects. We can easily apply our procedure to any set of those objects, to verify if our categorization by functional complexity corresponds to the gold standard of the known origin of the object.

    Of course, you cannnot use biological objects for that, because we don’t know their origin (indeed, it’s exactly the object of all our discussions).

    So, if you put the threshold at, say, 10 bits, you will probably have TPs, FPs, TNs and FNs, as in most tests.

    But if you put the threshold at 500 bits, and categorize according to that value, you will have no false positives, and of course a lot of false negatives.

    IOWs we are moving the cutoff so high that no false positive is possible. Of course, in the tradeoff between sensitivity and specificity, we loose sensitivity, and have a lot of false negatives. But that’s no problem, for our purposes.

    Because, at the 500 bit cutoff, a lot of existing proteins, probably most of them, can be recognized as designed. That’s sensitivity enough, for our debate.

    But then surely all an ID supporter can say is: because DNA looks like a human design someone very much like a human must have designed it. But we have no other evidence of human-like creatures on earth before a few billion years ago.

    It must have been one being (or more beings) similar to humans just in what is necessary to design. Not necessarily in any other way.

    So, let’s go back to our rationale. What are the human properties that are apparently needed to design, and to generate complex functional information?

    Again, they are:

    a) Being conscious.

    b) Having the cognitive conscious experience of understanding meaning.

    c) Having the feeling conscious experience of desire.

    We can certainly add a fourth quality that is necessary to the design process:

    d) Having some interface between conscious representations and matter that makes it possible to output conscious forms to material objects.

    I would definitely say that all those 4 qualities must be present in the biological designer(s).

    But, for the rest, he/she/they could be completely different from humans.

    Just one more question (channelling Columbo here): how, that is by what mechanism, could transposon activity been guided? I won’t hazard a guess at your answer because I don’t want to make assumptions about what you might say.

    As I have always said, we can have some idea of how that could work by observing us humans.

    Our physical brain (and, indirectly, the rest of the body) is certainly linked to our conscious representations. Indeed, the connection goes in both directions. As we have always known.

    So, empirically we have two different observable levels:

    a) A flow of subjective representations

    b) A flow of objective modifications in the brain and body

    And many connections between the two, in both directions.

    I completely reject the strong AI theory that subjective experiences are a byproduct of software complexity in the brain. For many reasons, that it would be too long to mention here.

    So, remaining empirical, and without entering any debate about substance (dualism, monism, and so on), I am just happy to consider both levels (consciousness and body) as empirical facts, and to deal with them as such.

    That said, I do believe that the interface between the conscious level and the brain is to be searched at quantum level. I am not the only one to believe that, I would say that I am in very good company. Eccles, Penrose, just to quote a couple of smart guys.

    I believe that something like that must also be true for the biological designer(s).

    The designer must, of course, be conscious and intelligent and purposeful. But how can he (or whatever) output information to material objects? For example, to DNA?

    The best answer is: through some quantum interface that allows his conscious representations to configure specific “switches” that are apparently under the control of random, or at least unguided events (see my following answer to R J Sawyer about the randomness).

    IOWs, conscious intelligence acts by choosing, among apparently random events, those that can be used to implement function.

    Another way to say that is “guided mutations”.

    But the level of guidance must not contradict the laws of physics and chemisty. IOWs, we need an interface that can select among possible events without contradicting apparent determinism.

    Of course, we have such a level. It is the level of quantum events, in particular the wave function collapse.

    I think that’s exactly what happens in our brains, when maybe a synapse is activated (or is not activated) according to some specific quantum configuraton at atomic levels. By our consciousness.

    I think that’s exactly what happens in the biological world, when maybe a transposon moves to one place, and not to another one, according to some specific quantum configuration at atomic level. By the designer’s cosnciousness.

    OK, that’s even too long. Let’s see what you think.

    And I will not forget the drink! 🙂

  145. 145
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer at #140:

    Thank you to you too! 🙂

    Please, if possible, have a look at my anwers to JVL too. I will try not to repeat here what I have already said at #144.

    We agree that this is a way to falsify ID.

    Good.

    But it is not a way of providing positive support for ID.

    I agree. As I have explained, positive support for ID comes from the constant and complete association between conscious representations and complex functional information in all the known universe.

    If you are capable of proving that our current understanding of evolution is not capable of producing complex functional information, which I don’t believe anyone has done, all you have done is prove that our current understanding of evolution is not correct.

    I am capable to do that. I have done that. See for example my OPs about the limits of RV and NS.

    It’s not that I am specially smart. It’s very easy to do that. The neo-darwinist algorithm is no explanation at all, and even a baby could easily see that.

    So, I do believe that our current understanding of evolution is not correct, because it cuts off design, the only available explanation for complex functional information.

    Our understanding of how evolution works has changed dramatically since Darwin, and since Mayre and Fisher, and will likely continue to change into the foreseeable future.

    I know. And none of those changes have made it better at explaining complex functional information. Worse, maybe.

    After all, Dawkin’s old good RV + NS remains the only wrong idea that really deserves to be proved wrong. The rest is really nothing.

    My point about plate tectonics is that the arguments used against evolution (it has never been directly observed; micro is possible but macro isn’t because not enough time, etc) can also be used against plate tectonics but never has.

    You really misunderstand ID. Plate tectonics has never generated complex functional information.

    It’s not a question of “not enough time”. If you understand the probabilistic barriers in biological objects, you shoud understand that they are beyond the range of even billions of universes. It’s really not a question of “not enought time”. Time will never be enough, in any realistic context.

    We are out of hundreds, sometimes thousands of orders of magnitude here. You cannot solve that just by giving more time, in any realistic context.

    We have directly observed small shifts in the earth’s crust, just as we have seen small scale evolution. But according to ID, we can’t extrapolate these small changes over large periods of time to obtain larger changes unless we can demonstrate exactly how it happened. The same burden of proof is never placed in the idea that plate tectonics can produce mountains.

    Again, the same misunderstanding. A mountain has no complex functional information. ID is only about complex functional information.

    Do you really think that people in ID are so stupid?

    The simple reason we can’t extrapolate smaller changes to larger changes when functional information is implied is that functional information is exponential in its increase. It is not a question of adding a lot of small modifications to have a big modification in a longer time. That is of course possible.

    It is a question of going from functional structures of a few bits of complexity (which are in the range of microevolution) to get functional structure of hundreds, thousands of bits of complexity, which are in no way the sum of many simpler functional structures.

    So, no extra time will do the trick. It’s not only that it has never been observed. The problem is that it is not empirically possible, not with the mechanisms and the resources that exist in nature.

    Do you understand how bigger is the information in a 500 bit functional structure if compared to, say, the information in a 12 bit functional structure (a 3 aminoacids specific sequence)?

    It’s 7.9917E+146 times bigger!

    These are exponential values. No big time will help you with them.

    But you are imposing a burden of proof on unguided evolution that, due to our short life span, is unlikely to be directly observed. Much like mountain building. If we had a time machine, it might be possible, but we don’t have one.

    Again, you have a very wrong perspective.

    The problem is not about what can be observed, but about what can be reasonably inferred from what we can observe.

    The building of a mountain can be very reasonabley inferred. The building of complex functional information is beyond all the possible probabilistic resources of our whole universe.

    If you cannot understand this difference, you have understood nothing of ID theory.

    If what we think of as ‘sudden’ is actually sudden. The fossil record is spotty at best, and tells us nothing about the functional information (DNA and metabolism) that underlies the observed changes.

    I have never relied on the fossil record. My reasoning is always about molecular information.

    The transition to vertebrates is certainly rather sudden from the point of view of natural history (maybe 20 million years), and yet about 1.7 million bits of new human conserved functional information have been generated in that transition.

    Why would it be completely random. I am not aware of many chemical reactions that are random. Random with respect to fitness I would accept, but is even that true. I don’t know enough about how transposing work to provide a solid argument, but is it not true that some parts of the chromosome are less likely to be impacted (protected) by transposing than others? If these correspond to functionally critical sections, is it possible that transposing wouldn’t be random with respect to fitness?

    As I have explained many times, random systems are those systems that we can best describe by a probability distribution.

    Of course some parts of the genome are more likely to be affected by mutations, but the system remains a random system. We cannot in any way know in advance where a mutation will take place. Some mutations, of course, are more likely than others, but that only means that we cannot use a perfect uniform distribution to describe the system.

    I think that most biologists would agree that mutations are random in relation to fitenes. But that is not even the real point.

    The real point is that mutations are a random system and that, whatever the probabilisty distribution that best describes them (which is probably just some rather simple variant of a uniform distribution), they are certainly nor related to specific functional configurations of proteins or of other functional elements.

    That should be clear enough. Let’s say that what is needed at a certain time is a new protein, for example the beta globin. About 150 AAs, nothing really huge.

    Do you really believe that the laws that govern unguided mutations, whatever the final probability distribution that best describes them, can favor the specific sequence of beta globin?

    And, of course, they should also favor the specific sequence of ubiquitin, which is completely different.

    And the specific sequence of the beta chain of ATP synthase.

    And so on.

    What strange laws are these, that can favor each time a completely different functional sequence?

    What science is this?

    OK, for the drink I will pass, for the moment. Singapore is not exactly in my immediate future.

    However, please accept my best wishes for your birthday! 🙂

  146. 146
    JVL says:

    BA77

    Yet you ARE being dishonest towards the evidence. It is not ‘maybe’ you are being dishonest towards the evidence. It is a fact that you are being dishonest. PERIOD! Others may not put it so bluntly, unfortunately, I am not so refined in social graces as them and I call em as I see em. Nor I am here to sooth your feelings about being so blatantly wrong. I am here to show unbiased readers how intellectually dishonest Darwinists can be and are when it comes to the science at hand, so as to more clearly show them that Darwinian evolution is a false worldview.

    I understand that you are absolutely convinced that you are right and that everyone who disagrees with you must be a fool or a knave. I too am convinced that I am right but I’m doing my best not to cast aspersions on your or your thought processes. I think I have a fairly good idea of why you feel ID is the correct model which is why I’m here asking and answering questions. But I think we really don’t have much more to say to each other.

    gpuccio

    Thank you very much for your lengthy and respectful responses. I have read through both and need to take some time to formulate my response. I’m sure you can guess what’s happening: I find myself disagreeing but I want to examine my thoughts and make sure I am not just reacting out of some kind of unfounded belief and I don’t want to address a straw-man version of what you’ve said.

    The one thing I will say is that you seem to just assume we have never seen complex functional information arise from unconscious sources when that is the whole issue in question. So, are you already assuming your conclusion? I realise that you have given some reasons for that premise and I think what I need to do is to address those reasons as you’ve stated them.

  147. 147
    gpuccio says:

    JVL at #146:

    Thank you for your thoughtful attention. You are seriously trying to consider my arguments, and that’s really the best I can expect.

    Please, take all the time you need.

    Just to clarify the point you mention:

    No, I am not assuming the conclusion.

    What I am saying is simply this:

    Biological objects are objects whose origin we don’t know. Indeed, they are exactly the problem we are discussing. That’s why we cannot use them to build our models.

    In the whole known universe there are a lot of material objects. For our purposes, we can categorize them in three big subsets:

    1) Human artifacts (for which we usually know the process of origin)

    2) Biological objects (for which we don’t know the process of origin)

    3) All the rest (for which we reasonably understand the process of origin)

    Of course there are certainly material objects for which we cannot really understand well the process of origin, and that are neither human artifacts nor biological objects. Many objects on astrophysics could qualify.

    My reasoning is simple. If we want to build a model that uses complex functional information to detect the origin of a materail object, we can only use material objects whole origin is reasonbly understood.

    So, in the ende, what we can use is:

    a) Human artifacts that are independently known as such

    b) Other material objects whose specific configuration reasonably originated without any contribution from conscious beings

    For simplicity, let’s call them “designed objects” and “non designed objects”.

    I must re-state here, for clarity, that the condition of being designed or non designed, here, is known independently. In no way it depedns on functional information.

    So, we have our traning set, made of as many materail objects as we want, all of them pre-classified in one of the two subsets.

    And we have an estimator, complex functional information, whose ability to correctly classify objects in those two subsets is exactly what we want to test.

    As I have explained, we aim here at absolute specificity, and we can certainly renounce sensitivity to get no false positives.

    That’s why we set the cutoff to categorize functional information in binary form at a very high level: 500 bits.

    So, we have now not a continuous variable (functional information), but a binary variable (complex functional information: yes/no).

    So, we apply our binary variable to our training set. And the results are extremely good. The categorization by complex functional information is completely efficient in terms of specificity, because there are no false positives, while has certainly low sensitivity, because there are many false negatives.

    Let’s make an example. I take the written phrase:

    “Methink it is like a weasel”

    that you may have already heard of.

    The phrase is not long. And it is certainly designed (we know hwere it comes from).

    But, at our analysis based on complex functional information, it is a negative. It is not a long sequence, and its maximum information content is about 40 bits. No complex functional information here, according to our definition and to our cutoff.

    So, this is a negative. And it is a false negative, beacuse the sequence is indeed designed.

    Now, I make here a very strong statement:

    You will never find one single example of a materila object in the “non designed” set that exhibits 500 bits of complex functional information or more.

    Again, this is a very strong statement, and I am ready to defend it in any context.

    I am not aware of any single counterexample in the whole known universe.

    So, no false positives.

    In the set of all existing material objects, complex functional information has 100% specificity in detecting designed objects.

    And biological objects?

    Of course, most of them exhibit tons of comples functional information. Often well beyond the 500 bit cutoff.

    In a nutshell, that’s the argument.

  148. 148
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    BA77: Yet you ARE being dishonest towards the evidence. It is not ‘maybe’ you are being dishonest towards the evidence. It is a fact that you are being dishonest. PERIOD! Others may not put it so bluntly, unfortunately, I am not so refined in social graces as them and I call em as I see em. Nor I am here to sooth your feelings about being so blatantly wrong. I am here to show unbiased readers how intellectually dishonest Darwinists can be and are when it comes to the science at hand, so as to more clearly show them that Darwinian evolution is a false worldview.

    JVL: I understand that you are absolutely convinced that you are right and that everyone who disagrees with you must be a fool or a knave. I too am convinced that I am right but I’m doing my best not to cast aspersions on your or your thought processes. I think I have a fairly good idea of why you feel ID is the correct model which is why I’m here asking and answering questions. But I think we really don’t have much more to say to each other.

    In science you cannot simply disagree with the evidence. In empirical science you are compelled to counter the evidence with other evidence.. You have not presented any evidence but have simply disagreed with the evidence.

    If it was simply a matter of differing opinions then you are not doing science.

    Yet you act as if it is simply a matter of differing opinions. Therefore, whatever you are doing on this site, you are certainly not doing science since you have forsaken the empirical evidence in favor of your own personal opinion.

    Moreover, since Darwinian evolution denies the existence of free will, and by you claiming that Darwinian evolution is true, you have therefore undermined any claim that your opinions are arrived at rationally and that they are therefore valid and that they are therefore worthy of respect.

    In short, if Darwinian evolution were actually true, your opinions are worthless.

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    Further notes that empirically validate the reality of free will

    Free will: a source totally detached from matter (detached from nature) which is the origin (cause) of options, thoughts, feelings,… That is, the absence of (natural) laws, the existence of an “autonomous mind”, i.e. a principium individuationis.

    Michael Egnor: Is free will a dangerous myth?
    October 6, 2018
    Excerpt: 4. While scientific experiments do not entirely settle the matter, an objective review of the neuroscientific evidence unequivocally supports the existence of free will. The first neuroscientist to map the brains of conscious subjects, Wilder Penfield, noted that there is an immaterial power of volition in the human mind that he could not stimulate with electrodes. The pioneer in the neuroscience of free will was Benjamin Libet, who demonstrated clearly that, while there is an unconscious material predisposition to acts as shown by electrical brain activity, we retain an immaterial “free won’t,” which is the ability to veto an unconscious urge to act. Many experiments have followed on Libet’s work, most of which use fMRI imaging of brain activity. They all confirm Libet’s observations by showing what is at most a loose correlation between brain activity and volition (for example, nearly half the time the brain activity that precedes the act is on the wrong side of the brain for the activity to determine the will)—the looseness of correlation being best explained as evidence for libertarian free will. Modern neuroscience clearly demonstrates an immaterial component to volition.
    Harari is wrong about free will. It is not a myth. Free will is a real and fundamental aspect of being human, and the denial of free will is junk science and self-refuting logical nonsense.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-is-free-will-a-dangerous-myth/

    (Oct. 6, 2018) Verification of Free will in Quantum Mechanics, Theory of Everything, Heaven and Hell
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/michael-egnor-is-free-will-a-dangerous-myth/#comment-665916

  149. 149
    ET says:

    ID makes testable claims whereas evolution by means of blind and mindless processes does not.

    JVL:

    ID must prove its point independent of mainstream evolutionary theory;

    Oh my, you are proudly totally clueless. AGAIN- Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning mandate that any and all design inferences be compared against nature, operating freely.

    it doesn’t get a pass trying to show that unguided processes are incapable of getting the job done.

    Totally clueless. Yes, the design inference also has to have positive evidence and it does.

    So we eliminate nature, operating freely AND we see if it matches the design criteria. If it meets the criteria we infer design based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    And it still stands that all YOU have to do is step up and demonstrate that you have a mechanism capable of producing what ID says requires an intelligent designer and we are refuted. But the cat remains that you can’t because your position is unscientific nonsense.

  150. 150
    ET says:

    JVL:

    If the solution is pre-specified then what’s the point of using the genetic algorithm?

    The pre-specified solution is the GOAL of the algorithm, duh. The GA to find an antenna had all of the information it needed to do so and was driven towards that solution. It could never find anything else but a solution to the problem is was designed to solve.

  151. 151
    ET says:

    RJ Sawyer:

    Even if our current understanding of evolution is proven to be wrong (and parts of it undoubtedly will be wrong), this does not mean that ID is any closer to being demonstrated.

    Oh my. ID is not anti-evolution and ID has been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt.

    And look, you guys have all of the resources and absolutely no answers. Give ID your resources and I am sure someone will step up and try to answer those add-on questions that have nothing to do with ID which is about the detection and study of design.

  152. 152
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Why are you so sure that the genetic ‘code’ didn’t arise from basic chemical affinities?

    Because it goes against everything that we know. There is a better chance that nature produced Stonehenge.

    Why are you so hell-bent to go against everything that we know? Why are you ignoring all of our knowledge to hold onto promissory notes?

  153. 153
    john_a_designer says:

    If I have a criticism of my side it’s that they make the argument much more complicated than it needs to be. Here is my argument:

    Mindlessness does not create mind. Purposelessness does not create purpose. The burden of proof is on those who claim otherwise.

    Materialism in its crudest and crassest form denies there is any plan a purpose to the “natural world.” However, it is self-evidently true that the natural world in full of things which we know have purpose.

    We can demonstrate this easily by asking a series of very simple questions. For example: what is the purpose of the sun? Of light and heat… of gravity? What is the purpose of air? What is the purpose of water? What is the purpose of rocks and minerals… of plants and vegetation? Of photosynthesis? Don’t tell me that these things don’t have any purpose. We wouldn’t exist if these things didn’t exist.

    Of course, the list doesn’t end there. You can ask questions about yourself, your own existence. For example, what is the purpose of your heart? What’s the purpose of your blood? …of your veins and arteries? …of your lungs? …of your hands? …of your feet? …of your arms… your legs? …of your eyes? …your ears? (The list is unending.)

    The natural world is full of purpose. Not only is it obvious, we are hardwired to perceive and believe that it does have purpose. Only a cynical fool would believe otherwise.

    Here is a short very well done video that makes the same basic argument from a human evolution point of view that that I am making here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an98jVCyApo

  154. 154

    Why are you so sure that the genetic ‘code’ didn’t arise from basic chemical affinities?

    There are several reasons, among them is the central fact that chemical affinities do not coordinate and cause the organization necessary for the system to function. Again, the issue is not about dynamics, it’s about achieving a (simultaneous) functional relationship between two classes of objects; the ones that set the constraints within the system (establishing the medium) and the ones that cause the medium to be successfully executed. If you change any of the former, it changes all of the latter. It is this temporal coordination (among multiple of objects in a multi-referent system) that enables the system to persist over time. We find what we find in the cell today because that moment of inter-related coordination occurred in the past, at the origin of the system. You don’t connect to any of this because your beliefs on the subject profit from you being incurious about it. This all comes out in how you treat the subject. Another commenter attempted to tell you this, quite elegantly I thought, earlier in this thread. You responded by merely re-asserting all the things you’re satisfied with. Frankly, you seemed unaware that that was all you were doing.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    If you are capable of proving that our current understanding of evolution is not capable of producing complex functional information, which I don’t believe anyone has done, all you have done is prove that our current understanding of evolution is not correct.

    Evolution is the product of complex functional information, i.e. the specification of a semantically-closed multi-referent system of memory (and its subsequent translation). Asking if evolution can create functional information misses the larger point. It assumes the very thing that requires an explanation. If A requires B for A to exist, then A cannot be the source of B. You can certainly challenge the premise that biological evolution requires the ability to specify multiple objects from memory, but given that evolution occurs by specifying multiple objects from memory (indeed varying that memory over time) it seems like a rather incoherent argument.

  155. 155
    john_a_designer says:

    Upright BiPed:

    We find what we find in the cell today because that moment of inter-related coordination occurred in the past, at the origin of the system. You don’t connect to any of this because your beliefs on the subject profit from you being incurious about it. This all comes out in how you treat the subject. Another commenter attempted to tell you this, quite elegantly I thought, earlier in this thread. You responded by merely re-asserting all the things you’re satisfied with. Frankly, you seemed unaware that that was all you were doing.

    It seems to me that JVL is either badly uninformed (ignorant) or blatantly dishonest. I can’t think of a nice alternative for his pointless pretension and posturing. (It does become very annoying and tiresome.)

    Unfortunately this is typical of most of our interlocutors who don’t understand the basics of logic and reason. Starting arbitrarily with an unwarranted premise leads nowhere. The premise that natural causes alone are the only explanation for the origin and evolution of life is completely unwarranted because no one has demonstrated that they are even sufficient to explain the origin and evolution of life. Of course you are certainly free to try… Good luck.

  156. 156
    R J Sawyer says:

    BA77

    In science you cannot simply disagree with the evidence. In empirical science you are compelled to counter the evidence with other evidence.. You have not presented any evidence but have simply disagreed with the evidence.

    Nobody is disagreeing with evidence, except when the evidence presented is blatantly incorrect. What JVL and I disagree with is the conclusions you draw from the evidence. In short, you are simply concluding that anyone who disagrees with your conclusions must be dishonest.

    Gpuccio and I disagree on the conclusions we each draw from the evidence. As do Gpuccio and JVL. But we are able to do so without calling each other liars, and dishonest.

    Einstein disagreed with the conclusions drawn from the evidence supporting quantum mechanics. By your argument, he was being dishonest.

  157. 157
    JVL says:

    gpuccio

    I am getting my head around what you are getting at in your earlier posts: you’re measuring the differing amounts of specified functional information in modern lifeforms from different parts of the animal kingdom and using that as estimates of the amount of increase in information when certain types/classes/groups of lifeforms first appear in the fossil record. And you acknowledge the point that an evolutionary theorist would say that it doesn’t mean the transition was sudden and you counter by saying even if some were gradually spread across the time gap it would still mean a very rapid rate of accumulation of information. I hope that’s a rough but acceptable summary.

    I just want to be clear on what, specifically you mean by ‘complex functional information’. It’s like in mathematics: we like to have things spelled out extremely clearly so there is no confusion. And if you’ve already done so in the past please just give me a link.

    You will never find one single example of a materila object in the “non designed” set that exhibits 500 bits of complex functional information or more.

    Again, this is a very strong statement, and I am ready to defend it in any context.

    I am not aware of any single counterexample in the whole known universe.

    I understand how you’ve set the bar pretty high and when you look at inanimate objects it works as advertised.

    But we’re talking about animate, reproducing things. Things that generate variations from generation to generation. Things that are under environmental pressures just to survive let alone reproduce and pass on their characteristics.

    I wonder if a standard set for inanimate objects works for living ones.

    Anyway, thanks for all the time you’re taking. I really appreciate it. I am learning a lot and I feel I understand your position a lot better. You have also provided some answers I personally had not found before; as I mentioned, I’m an infrequent visitor. Your generosity and kindness are helping to create a real dialogue.

    BA77

    In science you cannot simply disagree with the evidence. In empirical science you are compelled to counter the evidence with other evidence.. You have not presented any evidence but have simply disagreed with the evidence.

    If it was simply a matter of differing opinions then you are not doing science.

    Yet you act as if it is simply a matter of differing opinions. Therefore, whatever you are doing on this site, you are certainly not doing science since you have forsaken the empirical evidence in favor of your own personal opinion.

    As R J Sawyer has already said: I’m not disagreeing with the evidence, just the interpretation of the evidence. And that’s fair, scientists argue about the interpretations all the time!!

    ET

    And it still stands that all YOU have to do is step up and demonstrate that you have a mechanism capable of producing what ID says requires an intelligent designer and we are refuted.

    You are also refuted if your design inference turns out to be false.

    The pre-specified solution is the GOAL of the algorithm, duh.

    I just meant that it can’t be too pre-specified or it wouldn’t be necessary to look for it!! Never mind.

    Oh my. ID is not anti-evolution and ID has been demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt.

    ID is anti-unguided evolution and that’s what most people mean.

    And look, you guys have all of the resources and absolutely no answers. Give ID your resources and I am sure someone will step up and try to answer those add-on questions that have nothing to do with ID which is about the detection and study of design.

    Just out of curiosity, if you had the resources what would you investigate? I can think of several things but I’m interested in what you’d do.

    Why are you so hell-bent to go against everything that we know? Why are you ignoring all of our knowledge to hold onto promissory notes?

    Because of some of the research I’ve seen. I don’t want to prejudge ongoing work.

    john_a_designer

    We can demonstrate this easily by asking a series of very simple questions. For example: what is the purpose of the sun? Of light and heat… of gravity? What is the purpose of air? What is the purpose of water? What is the purpose of rocks and minerals… of plants and vegetation? Of photosynthesis? Don’t tell me that these things don’t have any purpose. We wouldn’t exist if these things didn’t exist.

    I just don’t think the universe was designed so we would exist. I think we are fined-tuned to the universe through billions of years of unguided evolutionary processes which entail vast quantities of waste and death and suffering.

    It seems to me that JVL is either badly uninformed (ignorant) or blatantly dishonest. I can’t think of a nice alternative for his pointless pretension and posturing. (It does become very annoying and tiresome.)

    You don’t have to read my posts or respond to them. Would you prefer if only people who agree with you responded here?

    Unfortunately this is typical of most of our interlocutors who don’t understand the basics of logic and reason. Starting arbitrarily with an unwarranted premise leads nowhere. The premise that natural causes alone are the only explanation for the origin and evolution of life is completely unwarranted because no one has demonstrated that they are even sufficient to explain the origin and evolution of life.

    Again that is a difference in interpretation of the evidence.

    UBP

    There are several reasons, among them is the central fact that chemical affinities do not coordinate and cause the organization necessary for the system to function.

    I too find it hard to imagine at first. But there does seem to be some research which suggest that might be the case.

  158. 158
    ET says:

    Isaac Newton’s Four Rules of Scientific Reasoning from Principia Mathematica:

    Rule 1 We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

    Rule 2 Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

    Rule 3 The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

    Rule 4 In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, not withstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.

    Rules 1 and 2 are emphasized as they highlight the crux of the argument for Intelligent Design. Codes only exist because intelligent agencies made it so. 100% of all of our knowledge, observations and experiences hold this to be a fact.

    So it is via scientific investigation and reasoning that we reach a design inference when codes are observed to rule cellular functions. Codes- plural- meaning there are more codes other than the genetic code (a real code).

    And that is just a start for the evidence and scientific reasoning for ID.

    It seems obvious that anyone disagreeing with the design inference does so for personal and not scientific reasons.

  159. 159
    ET says:

    JVL:

    You are also refuted if your design inference turns out to be false.

    That is how it goes. It has been that way for centuries. That is how some artifacts were attacked by showing nature could produce them.

    ID is anti-unguided evolution and that’s what most people mean.

    Not really. Most people use microevolution to refute ID and/ or YEC.

    Just out of curiosity, if you had the resources what would you investigate?

    How many times do I have to go over this with you?

    First is to find out the immaterial information and how it works with the cells. IOW what is it besides physics and chemistry that allows for cells to do what they do. What runs the code and what can we do to correct any defects.

    Then there is the purpose to our existence- what is it and how to we fulfill it.

    Because of some of the research I’ve seen.

    And clearly didn’t understand.

    I have heard of research into glaciers moving the rocks to form Stonehenge. Should I abandon it as an artifact until every country is heard from?

    Stonehenge- many decades of studying it and we still don’t know who did it, why, nor how. The when has changed. And that is a structure we can duplicate- it is well within our means to do so.

    Our experience in creating living organisms from scratch is very limited and to date unsuccessful. How long do you think it would take an Amazon tribe ho never seen any technology to figure out how an iPhone was manufactured?

  160. 160
    bornagain77 says:

    R J Sawyer states:

    Nobody is disagreeing with evidence, except when the evidence presented is blatantly incorrect.

    R J Sawyer has no idea what he is talking about.

    Neo-Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic framework, hold immaterial information to be ’emergent’ from a material basis. ID advocates hold immaterial information to be irreducible to materialistic processes in general, and to material in particular. Information is now, empirically, shown to be its own independent entity which, although it is able to interact with matter and energy, is completely separate from matter and energy and therefore immaterial information is irreducible to materialistic processes in general, and to material in particular. Therefore Neo-Darwinism is false:

    The simplest way to demonstrate the physical independence of immaterial information is with quantum teleportation:

    Quantum Teleportation Enters the Real World – September 19, 2016
    Excerpt: Two separate teams of scientists have taken quantum teleportation from the lab into the real world.
    Researchers working in Calgary, Canada and Hefei, China, used existing fiber optics networks to transmit small units of information across cities via quantum entanglement — Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance.”,,,
    This isn’t teleportation in the “Star Trek” sense — the photons aren’t disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Instead, it’s the information that’s being teleported through quantum entanglement.,,,
    ,,, it is only the information that gets teleported from one place to another.
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-HqWNEoDtR

    Here is a bit more technical explanation of the physical reality and independence of immaterial information (references on site):

    “Immaterial” classical information, such as the classical information that is inscribed on DNA, and which, I remind, is now shown to be its own distinct physical entity that is separate from matter and energy,,,,,
    This physically distinct “immaterial” classical information is now also shown to be a subset of “immaterial” quantum information by the following method:,,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/from-barren-planet-to-civilization-in-four-easy-steps/#comment-666202

    Information engine operates with nearly perfect efficiency – Lisa Zyga – January 19, 2018
    Excerpt: Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound.,,,
    The generalized second law of thermodynamics states that the work extracted from an information engine is limited by the sum of two components: the first is the free energy difference between the final and initial states (this is the sole limit placed on conventional engines by the conventional second law), and the other is the amount of available information (this part sets an upper bound on the extra work that can be extracted from information).
    To achieve the maximum efficiency set by the generalized second law, the researchers in the new study designed and implemented an information engine made of a particle trapped by light at room temperature. Random thermal fluctuations cause the tiny particle to move slightly due to Brownian motion, and a photodiode tracks the particle’s changing position with a spatial accuracy of 1 nanometer. If the particle moves more than a certain distance away from its starting point in a certain direction, the light trap quickly shifts in the direction of the particle. This process repeats, so that over time the engine transports the particle in a desired direction simply by extracting work from the information it obtains from the system’s random thermal fluctuations (the free energy component here is zero, so it does not contribute to the work extracted).
    One of the most important features of this system is its nearly instantaneous feedback response: the trap shifts in just a fraction of a millisecond, giving the particle no time to move further and dissipate energy. As a result, almost none of the energy gained by the shift is lost to heat, but rather nearly all of it is converted into work. By avoiding practically any information loss, the information-to-energy conversion of this process reaches approximately 98.5% of the bound set by the generalized second law. The results lend support for this bound, and illustrate the possibility of extracting the maximum amount of work possible from information.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-01-efficiency.html

    Information is Physical (but not how Rolf Landauer meant) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H35I83y5Uro

    Simply put, this undermines the entire Darwinian project: As Dr. Meyer states in the following video entitled “Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process?”,,, “the presence of information in biology,,, creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.

    “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin?
    And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce.
    In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires.
    Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.”
    -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer – Intelligent design: Why can’t biological information originate through a materialistic process? – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqiXNxyoof8

    Again, with the recent empirical demonstration of the physical reality of immaterial information, The materialistic foundation that Darwinian explanations rest upon are pierced through and through to their core. Simply put, it is empirically and fatally, falsified.

    And again, this is not a matter of disagreement of opinion, this is a matter of JVL, and now R J Sawyer, dishonestly refusing to accept what the empirical evidence has now, in no uncertain terms, clearly proven.

    R J Sawyer then claims that I called JVL a liar. That is a false claim. I called JVL dishonest in general and intellectually dishonest in particular. But I will call R J Sawyer a liar for saying that I called JVL a liar.

    R J Sawyer then stated:

    Einstein disagreed with the conclusions drawn from the evidence supporting quantum mechanics. By your argument, he was being dishonest.

    Actually Einstein had a plausible route around the empirical evidence with hidden variables (EPR). It was only years after his death that those loopholes, that Einstein had pointed out, were closed. If Einstein would have lived long enough to see the empirical closure of his hidden variable loopholes, he would now accept the empirical evidence today.

    Einstein vs quantum mechanics, and why he’d be a convert today – June 13, 2014
    Excerpt: In a nutshell, experimentalists John Clauser, Alain Aspect, Anton Zeilinger, Paul Kwiat and colleagues have performed the Bell proposal for a test of Einstein’s hidden variable theories. All results so far support quantum mechanics. It seems that when two particles undergo entanglement, whatever happens to one of the particles can instantly affect the other, even if the particles are separated!
    http://phys.org/news/2014-06-e.....today.html

    Loophole-free Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment via quantum steering – April 2012
    Tests of the predictions of quantum mechanics for entangled systems have provided increasing evidence against local realistic theories. However, there still remains the crucial challenge of simultaneously closing all major loopholes – the locality, freedom-of-choice, and detection loopholes – in a single experiment. An important sub-class of local realistic theories can be tested with the concept of “steering”. The term steering was introduced by Schrodinger in 1935 for the fact that entanglement would seem to allow an experimenter to remotely steer the state of a distant system as in the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) argument. Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance”. EPR-Steering has recently been rigorously formulated as a quantum information task opening it up to new experimental tests. Here, we present the first loophole-free demonstration of EPR-steering by violating three-setting quadratic steering inequality, tested with polarization entangled photons shared between two distant laboratories. Our experiment demonstrates this effect while simultaneously closing all loopholes: both the locality loophole and a specific form of the freedom-of-choice loophole are closed by having a large separation of the parties and using fast quantum random number generators, and the fair-sampling loophole is closed by having high overall detection efficiency. Thereby, we exclude – for the first time loophole-free – an important class of local realistic theories considered by EPR. As well as its foundational importance, loop-hole-free steering also allows the distribution of quantum entanglement secure from an untrusted party.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.0760

    Einstein wouldn’t like it: New test proves universe is “spooky” – Oct 21, 2015
    Excerpt: Eighty years after the physicist (Einstein) dismissed as “spooky” the idea that simply observing one particle could instantly change another far-away object, Dutch scientists said on Wednesday they had proved decisively that the effect was real.
    Writing in the journal Nature, researchers detailed an experiment showing how two electrons at separate locations 1.3 km (0.8 mile) apart on the Delft University of Technology campus demonstrated a clear, invisible and instantaneous connection.
    Importantly, the new study closed loopholes in earlier tests that had left some doubt as to whether the eerie connection predicted by quantum theory was real or not.
    Einstein famously insisted in a 1935 scientific paper that what he called “spooky action at a distance” had to be wrong and there must be undiscovered properties of particles to explain such counter-intuitive behavior.
    The idea certainly confounds our day-to-day experience of the world, where change only appears to occur through local interactions. But in recent decades scientific evidence has been building that particles can indeed become “entangled”, so that no matter how far apart they are, they will always be connected.
    The Delft experiment is conclusive because, for the first time, scientists have closed two potential loopholes at once.
    The first suggests that particles could somehow synchronize behavior ahead of time, while the second implies that testing might detect only a subset of prepared entangled pairs.
    To prove their case, the team led by Delft professor Ronald Hanson used two diamonds containing tiny traps for electrons with a magnetic property called spin and measured all entangled pairs across 1.3 km separating two laboratories.
    The experiment effectively closes a chapter in an 80-year scientific debate,
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....GQ20151021

    The following video highlights another mistake that Einstein made, in a dispute with leading philosophers, in regards to quantum mechanics

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    If Einstein were alive today, and due to advances in quantum mechanics which verified ‘the now of the mind’ postulated by the leading philosophers, I hold Einstein would accept the empirical results and therefore accept the reality of his own mind and free will.

  161. 161

    But there does seem to be some research which suggest that might be the case.

    I am no expert, but I suspect that I am as well read on the semiotic aspects of the gene systems as you are. I can assure you there is absolutely zero evidence in the literature that stereochemistry causes the architecture of the gene system. You are mistaken.

  162. 162
    gpuccio says:

    JVL at #157:

    I am also appreciating a lot the discussion with you. It’s one of the best I have had with an “interlocutor” in many years, also because many of the good interlocutors of the past are no more here to comment.

    Yes, I have given just from the beginning of my OPs here my defintions, explicit definitions.

    My forst OP here, published more than four years ago, was about the explicit definition of design, a definition which is strangeli often overlooked in ID. Here it is:

    Defining Design

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/defining-design/

    For your convenience, I quote here my explcit definition of design:

    Design is a process where a conscious agent subjectively represents in his own consciousness some form and then purposefully outputs that form, more or less efficiently, to some material object.

    We call the process “design”. We call the conscious agent who subjectively represents the initial form “designer”. We call the material object, after the process has taken place, “designed object”.

    So, as you can see, my definition of design relies on the empirical concept of consciousness.

    My second OP, of course, was about my explicit definition of functional information. As you can see, I love definitions! 🙂

    Here it is:

    Functional information defined

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/functional-information-defined/

    I invite you to read it. It is not too long.

    However, again I quote here the most relevant part:

    I define a function for an object as follows:

    a) If a conscious observer connects some observed object to some possible desired result which can be obtained using the object in a context, then we say that the conscious observer conceives of a function for that object.

    b) If an object can objectively be used by a conscious observer to obtain some specific desired result in a certain context, according to the conceived function, then we say that the object has objective functionality, referred to the specific conceived function.

    So, the general definitions:

    c) Specification. Given a well defined set of objects (the search space), we call “specification”, in relation to that set, any explicit objective rule that can divide the set in two non overlapping subsets: the “specified” subset (target space) and the “non specified” subset. IOWs, a specification is any well defined rule which generates a binary partition in a well defined set of objects.

    d) Functional Specification. It is a special form of specification (in the sense defined above), where the rule that specifies is of the following type: “The specified subset in this well defined set of objects includes all the objects in the set which can implement the following, well defined function…” . IOWs, a functional specification is any well defined rule which generates a binary partition in a well defined set of objects using a function defined as in a) and verifying if the functionality, defined as in b), is present in each object of the set.

    It should be clear that functional specification is a definite subset of specification. Other properties, different from function, can in principle be used to specify. But for our purposes we will stick to functional specification, as defined here.

    e) The ratio Target space/Search space expresses the probability of getting an object from the search space by one random search attempt, in a system where each object has the same probability of being found by a random search (that is, a system with an uniform probability of finding those objects).

    f) The Functionally Specified Information (FSI) in bits is simply –log2 of that number. Please, note that I imply no specific meaning of the word “information” here. We could call it any other way. What I mean is exactly what I have defined, and nothing more.

    One last step. FSI is a continuous numerical value, different for each function and system. But it is possible to categorize the concept in order to have a binary variable (yes/no) for each function in a system.

    So, we define a threshold (for some specific system of objects). Let’s say 30 bits. We compute different values of FSI for many different functions which can be conceived for the objects in that system. We say that those functions which have a value of FSI above the threshold we have chosen (for example, more than 30 bits) are complex. I will not discuss here how the threshold is chosen, because that is part of the application of these concepts to the design inference, which will be the object of another post.

    g) Functionally Specified Complex Information is therefore a binary property defined for a function in a system by a threshold. A function, in a specific system, can be “complex” (having FSI above the threshold). In that case, we say that the function implicates FSCI in that system, and if an object observed in that system implements that function we say that the object exhibits FSCI.

    Just a few comments:

    1) My definition is in good accord with Dembski’s definition of CSI, but my definition requires a special form of specification, based on an explicitly defined function. Moreover, I usually work only with the digital subset of information, because that’s much easier, and because most of the information in biological object is in that form.

    2) Any function can be used to compute the functional information linked to that function in the observed object. The observer is completely free to use any possible function definition, provided that it is explicit and can be measured objectively.

    3) Different functions can be defined for the same object. Of course, the functional information linked to each of them will be different.

    4) If we observe complex functional information for one function in the observed object, whatever that function is, we can infer design.

    5) Once a function is defined, there is nothing subjective in the computation of functional information: it is just -log2 of the ratio between the target space and the search space. The computation is often not easy, and in most cases cannot be done directly, but there is nothing subjective in the concept.

    6) However, in many cases the measure of functional complexity can be achieved in indirect ways, often as a minimal estimate. That’s what I have done for English language here:

    An attempt at computing dFSCI for English language

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/an-attempt-at-computing-dfsci-for-english-language/

    and of course that’s what I do for proteins in many of my OPs, including the one about the transition to vertebrates that I have already quoted.

    One final concept: while I understand your proccupation with time and “suddenness”, I would like to say that time is not really the biggest factor here.

    If you look at the table at the beginning of this OP of mine:

    What are the limits of Random Variation? A simple evaluation of the probabilistic resources of our biological world

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-random-variation-a-simple-evaluation-of-the-probabilistic-resources-of-our-biological-world/

    you will see that time is only a rather small factor in the evaluation of the probabilisitc resources of our biological world.

    I have considered 20 million years (for the transition to vertebrates) as a really “short” evolutionary time. And it is!

    But you see, after all the whole life span of our planet is only little more than 2 orders of magnitude bigger. That’s only about 8 bits of difference!

    Again, we are discussing exponential values here. In the table above mentioned, I have computed (very generously) the total maximum probabilistic resources of our biological world in the total lifespan of our planet as about 140 bits for bacteria. My threshold of 500 bits is still:

    2.3485E+108 times

    bigger than that!

    That’s why I say that time is not so important. Population size and reproduction rate are by far the biggest factors, as you can see in my table. And yet, 140 bits is the best resource that you get (and believe me, the computation is extremely generous, in favor of neo-darwinism).

    Of course, you mention RV and NS as possible escapes to the limitations.

    Well, RV certainly is no escape. As said before, the probabilistic resource of the real world are infinitely lower than what would be necessary.

    NS, of course, can lower the probabilistic barriers, because it is a mechanism with a component of necessity. But its possible role is extremely limited, as I have argued here:

    What are the limits of Natural Selection? An interesting open discussion with Gordon Davisson

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-natural-selection-an-interesting-open-discussion-with-gordon-davisson/

    This aspect of the discussion is more complex, and if and when you have time you can find many details about my arguments not only in the OP, but also in the following discussion.

    However, I will just mention here the biggest reason why NS is powerless in generating complex functional information:

    Complex functions cannot be deconstructed into simpler steps, each of them generating an increase in function.

    It’s as simple as that, even if everyone tries to deny it.

    We see it in language, we see it in software.

    And, of course, we see it in proteins.

    The alpha and beta chains of ATP synthase, each of them hundreds of AAs long, each of them showing extreme conservation (identity) of hundreds of aminoacids from bacteria to humans, are not the sum of small steps, each of them not more than 2-3 AAs complex (the empirical limit for most realistic events of RV).

    IOWs, a function that requires 300 specific AAs to work is not the sum of 100 small incresing transition steps of 3 AAs each. Not at all.

    A function that requires 300 specific AAs to work has a functional information of more than 1200 bits. The function is not there if you don’t provide those 1200 bits. You will never find it by RV, and therefore it will never be selected by NS.

    Again, it’s as simple as that. Everybody denies it, but it’s the simple truth.

  163. 163
    R J Sawyer says:

    BA77

    R J Sawyer has no idea what he is talking about.

    That is quite possible, but the fact that you make an effort to respond (at great length) suggests that I may have struck a nerve.

    And again, this is not a matter of disagreement of opinion, this is a matter of JVL, and now R J Sawyer, dishonestly refusing to accept what the empirical evidence has now, in no uncertain terms, clearly proven.

    So, if we disagree with the conclusions you have drawn from the evidence, we are dishonest? Isn’t that what we have already stated as your claim?

    R J Sawyer then claims that I called JVL a liar. That is a false claim. I called JVL dishonest in general and intellectually dishonest in particular. But I will call R J Sawyer a liar for saying that I called JVL a liar.

    Semantics. Lying is speaking with disregard to the truth. Being dishonest is speaking with disregard to the truth. To someone making an attempt to discuss fairly and openly, being accused of one is the same as the other.

    If Einstein would have lived long enough to see the empirical closure of his hidden variable loopholes, he would now accept the empirical evidence today.

    You don’t know any such thing.

  164. 164
    R J Sawyer says:

    GP, thank you for the continued interaction. I have enjoyed it, and, hopefully, understand your viewpoint better.

    As I have explained, positive support for ID comes from the constant and complete association between conscious representations and complex functional information in all the known universe.

    I fall back on the fact that this observation is based on a single example. Humans, an admittedly remarkable animal.

    I am capable to do that. I have done that. See for example my OPs about the limits of RV and NS.

    We have talked about this and I don’t want to harp on it, because I respect your decision, but it is difficult to say that your OPs have proven anything unless you are willing to publish them more broadly, preferably in a peer reviewed venue. I don’t mean to disparage this venue, because I enjoy coming here and have learned much, but your views on ID aren’t exactly being properly critiqued here. ID proponents here seldom criticize each other, and us ID opponents are amateurs at best.

    It’s not a question of “not enough time”. If you understand the probabilistic barriers in biological objects, you shoud understand that they are beyond the range of even billions of universes.

    Actually, probability and statistics is something I have some expertise in. If you are talking about the combinatorial explosion that is often used as an ID argument, it is a flawed use of probability. If a flagellum, or haemoglobin, or ATP synthase was the end goal, then you would have an argument. But they aren’t. However, if you can calculate the probability of all possible functional proteins that could be possible by evolution then you might be able to structure an argument along these lines. But then you would be too busy drafting your Nobel acceptance speech. 🙂

    Do you really think that people in ID are so stupid?

    Of course not. There are very intelligent people on both sides of the debate. But we both know that two very intelligent people provided with the same evidence might come to very different conclusions. Conclusions are not derived from the bald evidence alone. They are also informed by past experience, desire, bias, etc. We would all like to deny this fact but we can’t.

    The transition to vertebrates is certainly rather sudden from the point of view of natural history (maybe 20 million years), and yet about 1.7 million bits of new human conserved functional information have been generated in that transition.

    Actually, the transition took much longer than 20 Million years. It started with the chordates in the early Cambrian. But that is irrelevant.

    However, please accept my best wishes for your birthday! ????

    Thank you for your good wishes. I sincerely appreciate them.

  165. 165
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL states:

    BA77: R J Sawyer has no idea what he is talking about.

    RJS: That is quite possible, but the fact that you make an effort to respond (at great length) suggests that I may have struck a nerve.

    No, it is not a possibility, it is a certainty.

    Moreover, I typically ‘respond (at great length)’,, period. That is my habit. Moreover, the reason I usually ‘respond (at great length)’ is not because of you nor any other Darwinist, but is for the benefit of unbiased readers so that they may see for themselves have intellectually dishonest Darwinists are towards the evidence.

    RJS then states:

    So, if we disagree with the conclusions you have drawn from the evidence, we are dishonest? Isn’t that what we have already stated as your claim?

    The empirical evidence that information is independent of matter and energy is unequivocal. It is not a ‘difference of opinion’. Shoot, in quantum mechanics, it is information itself that is primarily conserved not matter or energy.

    Again, this is not a matter of opinion but is simply a statement of empirical fact.

    If you want to argue, argue with quantum mechanics, not me.

    To deny the independence of information from matter and energy is to be dishonest to the empirical evidence, Period!

    RJS then states:

    Semantics. Lying is speaking with disregard to the truth. Being dishonest is speaking with disregard to the truth. To someone making an attempt to discuss fairly and openly, being accused of one is the same as the other.

    Nope, lying is being purposely dishonest. Whereas mere dishonesty, and/or intellectual dishonesty, can be intentional or unintentional. I have no way of knowing JVL’s intent so I can’t say for certain that he was purposely lying. I do know for certain that, whatever his intent, he is being intellectually dishonest to the evidence at hand. Whereas, I never did call JVL a liar, and yet you still accused me of doing so,, and thus I can directly call you a liar for imparting to me a deed and intent I never did nor possessed.

    RJS then states:

    BA77: If Einstein would have lived long enough to see the empirical closure of his hidden variable loopholes, he would now accept the empirical evidence today.

    RJS: You don’t know any such thing.

    Unlike Darwinists, Einstein firmly believed in empirical science. Indeed General Relativity itself was confirmed by an experiment on predicted curved starlight during a solar eclipse. Indeed, that one experiment (in 1919) in and of itself catapulted Einstein to worldwide fame.

    It is insulting to Einstein’s legacy to insinuate that he would so blithely ignore empirical evidence as Darwinists habitually do.

  166. 166
    bornagain77 says:

    Sorry JVL, 165 should start off as “RJS states”

  167. 167
    jawa says:

    JVL @137:

    “I just keep wondering if there’s a third or fourth model, not ID or unguided evolution, in which case disproving one doesn’t give you the other(s).”

    Well, there’s a very serious additional model, run by very prestigious scientists: the third way. Denis Noble, James Shapiro, Eugene Koonin, others. Haven’t you heard of them?

    🙂

  168. 168
    ET says:

    RJ Sawyer:

    I fall back on the fact that this observation is based on a single example.

    Single SOURCE with multiple examples

    If a flagellum, or haemoglobin, or ATP synthase was the end goal, then you would have an argument.

    According to ID they were. There isn’t any evidence they just happened to happen

    It started with the chordates in the early Cambrian. But that is irrelevant.

    Yes it is irrelevant because you don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes.

  169. 169
    PeterA says:

    gpuccio @145:

    Do you really believe that the laws that govern unguided mutations, whatever the final probability distribution that best describes them, can favor the specific sequence of beta globin?

    And, of course, they should also favor the specific sequence of ubiquitin, which is completely different.

    And the specific sequence of the beta chain of ATP synthase.

    And so on.

    What strange laws are these, that can favor each time a completely different functional sequence?

    What science is this?

    Interesting questions.

  170. 170
    PeterA says:

    gpuccio,

    Did somebody answer your questions quoted @169?

    I haven’t read this entire discussion, hence could have missed the answers.

  171. 171
    PeterA says:

    R J Sawyer:

    Thanks for the interesting discussion you’re having with gpuccio.
    Actually, discussions with gpuccio can only be interesting.

    Please, help me to understand the following issue:

    gpuccio wrote this to you @145:

    “You really misunderstand ID. Plate tectonics has never generated complex functional information.”
    “Again, the same misunderstanding. A mountain has no complex functional information. ID is only about complex functional information.”

    Did you understand what gpuccio meant?

    Do you agree with him that your comparison was incorrect?

    If you don’t agree, can you explain why?

    If you answered this questions already, can you point to the comment #?

    Thanks.

  172. 172

    I fall back on the fact that this observation is based on a single example

    This is a positioning statement against universal experience; against rationality itself.

    “I’m sorry, I cannot consider the claim that intelligent design is always associated with complex functional information because all instances of complex functional information, where the source is known to us, are associated with intelligent design. We must therefore find some instances of complex functional information that are not associated with intelligent design before we can consider such a thing.”

    As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of ways to ignore the physical evidence of design. Some are more interesting than others.

  173. 173
    PeterA says:

    R J Sawyer,

    I’m enjoying your interesting discussion with gpuccio.
    Thanks.

    Please, clarify this for me:

    Please, would you mind commenting on gpuccio’s statements quoted @169?

    If you already did it, can you please indicate the post #?

    Thanks.

  174. 174
    PeterA says:

    UB:

    “there are plenty of ways to ignore the physical evidence of design. Some are more interesting than others.”

    I like that interesting statement.

    Thanks.

  175. 175
    R J Sawyer says:

    PeterA

    Did you understand what gpuccio meant?

    Do you agree with him that your comparison was incorrect?

    Yes, I did understand what GP meant but I still believe that it is a valid comparison. GP and I were just looking at it from different angles.

    It is true that mountains are not complex functional information, but my analogy was for an argument frequently used in support of ID (not necessarily by GP, at least not directly). Most ID proponents agree that microevolution occurs. Things like antibiotic resistance, citrate utilization and nylonase result in the production of small amounts of functional information. Call in non-complex functional information if you would like. There is no reason that extrapolating these micro-evolution events over very long periods of time would not result in more complex functional information. This is analogous to the small amounts of plate movement and uplift that we have measured can be extrapolated over time to infer that this is the cause of mountain formation.

    As with most analogies, they are never perfect. But they do have value in that they can be used to stimulate further discussion and research.

  176. 176
    bornagain77 says:

    Yet more proof that R J Sawyer does not listen to the empirical evidence when it contradicts his Darwinian worldview:

    RJS states ‘antibiotic resistance, citrate utilization and nylonase’ as examples of Darwinian evolution in action.

    He listed those examples previously in September and was shown that they do not support Darwinian evolution but support intelligent Design instead:

    R J Sawyer falsely claims that ,,,

    “the literature has plenty of examples of random mutation and selection resulting in new traits being fixed in a population. Nylonase, chloroquine resistance, antibiotic resistance, aerobic citrate metabolism”

    And yet, all these examples he cited are actually examples that prove the inherent dishonesty of Darwinists in dealing forthrightly with the evidence, in that these examples falsify Darwinian claims and yet Darwinists refuse to accept those empirical falsifications of their theory and/or religion (but I repeat myself)..,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/why-darwinism-is-protected-by-the-first-amendment/#comment-664717

    It really is pathetic when R J Sawyer has to repeatedly misrepresent the evidence in order to try to find any support for his theory and/or religion, but again, I repeat myself.

  177. 177
    ET says:

    RJ Sawyer:

    Things like antibiotic resistance, citrate utilization and nylonase result in the production of small amounts of functional information.

    Wrong. Most anti-biotic resistance events consist of a loss of function which means a loss of information. Nylonase is a clear case of built-in responses to environmental cues.

    There is no reason that extrapolating these micro-evolution events over very long periods of time would not result in more complex functional information.

    Yes, there is. Anti-biotic resistance stops there. When the selection pressure is removed the normal population takes over again. The same goes for nylonase. There isn’t anything to add to it to produce anything other than bacteria.

    There aren’t any microevolutionary events that could be extrapolated into macroevolution. The two processes utilize different genes.

    The analogies RJ used only demonstrate an extreme desperation- like going for Hail Mary pass as time expires when you are down 5 touchdowns.

  178. 178
    R J Sawyer says:

    Jawa

    Well, there’s a very serious additional model, run by very prestigious scientists: the third way. Denis Noble, James Shapiro, Eugene Koonin, others. Haven’t you heard of them?

    I have no problem with the third way. As far as I can tell it is simply incorporating the more recent discoveries into the theory of evolution. The disagreements seem to be around whether or not this constitutes a paradigm shift or merely a tweaking. In either case, neither approach suggests that ID is a serious option. Which is why I am always amused when I see this debate raised here. All it demonstrates is disagreements amongst evolutionary biologists, which have been going on for over a century, and is healthy.

  179. 179
    bornagain77 says:

    R J Sawyer claims that it is ‘healthy’ that ‘The Third Way” is proposing many ad hoc modifications to Darwin’s theory.

    Thomas Kuhn, who introduced the term paradigm shift in the first place, would strenuously disagree with RJS’s claim that it is ‘healthy’.

    Thomas Kuhn noted that when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”

    Inquiry-Based Science Education — on Everything but Evolution – Sarah Chaffee – January 22, 2016
    Excerpt: As Thomas Kuhn wrote in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02534.html

    In other words, Thomas Kuhn held that, prior to a theory being discarded, i.e. a ‘paradigm shift’, the theory will go through a phase where the theory’s defenders will try numerous futile attempts in order to try to rescue the theory from being falsified.

    Imre Lakatos stated much the same thing as Kuhn.

    Lakatos stated that “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”

    Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) –
    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosop.....cript.aspx

    Thus, contrary to RJS’s claim that this a sure sign of a ‘healthy’ scientific theory, the fact of the matter is that these numerous ad hoc modifications posited by “The Third Way”, to Darwin’s original theory, are actually a sure sign that Darwin’s theory is in its final death throes before a completely new and different theory takes it place. ID anyone?

    Besides Kuhn and Lakatos, I could also site Karl Popper as another leading philosopher of science who’s work can be used to prove that Darwinism is not even a science in the first place but is in reality a pseudoscience:

    Early in his career, Popper also noted that Darwinian evolution itself is set up in a way that makes it impervious to empirical falsification. Specifically, Popper called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.”
    Popper was attacked by Darwinists for these criticisms. So Popper, in approx 1978 for the most part, took his criticisms of Darwinism back. But when John Horgan interviewed Popper in 1992, Horgan noted that Popper “blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.”

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution – John Horgan – July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

    Further details on Popper’s falsification criteria can be found in this following video:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    Bottom line, no matter which method one may wish to invoke to try to classify something as a rigorous science, there is simply no reasonable method by which Darwinism can be classified as a rigorous science:

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17

    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

  180. 180
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer at #164:

    “I fall back on the fact that this observation is based on a single example. Humans, an admittedly remarkable animal.”

    I fall back on the fact that this is the only existing example of complex functional information whose origin is known that we can analyze.

    And on the fact that what seems to be needed is not being human, but simply being conscious, intelligent and purposeful. Nobody seems to have difficulties in imagining possible complex designs generated by aliens, indeed. And aliens would not be humans.

    “it is difficult to say that your OPs have proven anything unless you are willing to publish them more broadly, preferably in a peer reviewed venue.”

    Here we have a problem. I come here and discuss here hoping that the things that are discussed can have a strength of their own. That the truth in ideas may be recognized on its own merit. I have no desire to convince anyone by any authority.

    You seem to require authority. That, I cannot give.

    “your views on ID aren’t exactly being properly critiqued here. ID proponents here seldom criticize each other, and us ID opponents are amateurs at best.”

    Well, I would say that many ID proponents have definitely criticized some of my ideas (for example, about Common Descent! 🙂 )

    And the others? Amateurs?

    That’s not necessarily true. I have discussed here with people who were certainly very competent. It is true that many of them are no more here, but some of them are.

    Bob O’H, for example, is certainly very competent, even if he refuses to discuss molecular biology, because it’s not his specific field.

    Amblyrhyncus seems to be a biologist, according to what he himself has declared about some new paper of his.

    And, somewhat recently, Arthur Hunt has come to discuss briefly at one of my threads, promising further arguments, even if after that he has apparently disappeared.

    I think that Larry Moran comes here sometimes, even if I have never interacted with him directly.

    And I have had long “parallel” discussions with very respectable scientists at TSZ.

    The OP that I am going to quote later in this comment is explicitly meant to counter objections by DNA_Jock, who is certainly a vry competent scientist, even if I don’t know exactly what is is specific field.

    And so on, and so on.

    You yourself are declaring here that you have some expertise in statistics. So, what do you think of my computation of the probabilistic resources of the biological world? Do you agree with it?

    And even if we are amateurs, and in a sense we always are, whatever our field of activity, cannot we at least try to be serious amateurs?

    After all, amateur really means: one who loves what he does.

    You say:

    “If you are talking about the combinatorial explosion that is often used as an ID argument, it is a flawed use of probability. If a flagellum, or haemoglobin, or ATP synthase was the end goal, then you would have an argument. But they aren’t. ”

    Yes, I am definitely talking about that. And it is not a flawed use of probability.

    I would say, on the contrary, that your objection is a flawed use of a probabiltiy argument.

    I call it the argument of “any possible function”.

    In brief, it goes:

    “Evolution is not lookinf for anything, so you shouild compute the cumulative probability of any possible function”.

    Of course, that is simply wrong.

    There are two important errors in that reasoning.

    1) While it can be true that unguided evolution (if it were really the cause of biological functions) would not be searching for anything (RV is RV, afetr all), it is certainly true that what we observe is highly organized and complex function.

    So, you say that evolution has never been searching for ATP synthase. But I say that ATP synthase is there, and that this is the fact that we have to explain.

    So, you say, evolution was not looking for it. It just happened, as any possible function could have happened.

    But only ATP synthase could have benn useful in storing energy from a proton gradient across a membrane, in a chemical form (ATP) that can then be reutilized by means of very specialized proteins and pathways.

    It’s not true that any possible function would have been useful in that context.

    Even from a strict neo-darwinian point of view, it is absolutely not true that “any possible function” is relevent. The only functions that are relevant are those that can be naturally selected in the context where they arise.

    So,unguided evolution is really “searching” for something, because only that “something” can be a relevant event in its context. It is searching for functions that can increase the reproductive fitness of the organism where the new function originates.

    IOWs, naturally selectable functions.

    You will probably agree that that is very different from “any possible function”.

    A stone can have many functions: I can use it as a paperwaight, as I have explained in my OPs, and I can certainly use it as a weapon. None of those functions could make a stone useful in a cell.

    “Any possible funtion” a practically infinite set.

    Naturally selectable fuctions in a well defined context are a very restricted set.

    This is the first error: unguided evolution is really searching for something, and that something is not so big as neo-darwinists would like us to believe.

    2) The second error is more technical, in a stastical sense. I have discussed itin some detail in my OP about DNA_Jock’s objections. Here it is:

    <b<Defending Intelligent Design theory: Why targets are real targets, probabilities real probabilities, and the Texas Sharp Shooter fallacy does not apply at all.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/defending-intelligent-design-theory-why-targets-are-real-targets-propabilities-real-probabilities-and-the-texas-sharp-shooter-fallacy-does-not-apply-at-all/

    The relevant part is in the section:

    c2) DNA_Jock’s arguments

    The simple fact is that what we observe in biological beings is a huge crowd of extremely complex functions. Look at the pictures with the watch and the other 4 tools for measuring time.

    There is no doubt that there are probably a lot of very simple functions that are possible in a cell, and many of them (but not too many) could be naturally selectable.

    The sum of the target spaces of those simple functions could, maybe, be big enough to make them “available” to RV.

    IOWs, it is possible to find a simple function by RV, if it is simple enough and if there are really many of them.

    But what about complex functions?

    What is the probability of getting a watch by random events?

    Is that probability higher because there exist also digital watches?

    Of course, that reasoning is empirically irrelevant.

    If a solution is highly unlikely (more than 500 bits of functional information), the existence of other extremely unlikely solutions does not change the game at all.

    Only simple solutions would change the game.

    If there were a tool that can accurately measure time like a watch, and if that tool were as simple as a generic stone, then we could say that we can get it in a random system.

    But a watch is a watch, It is so complex that we can never get it in a random system.

    If we find a watch, whatever smart philophers may thing and say, we know that it is designed. We don’t need to compute the probability of all possible functions, and to win the nobel prize for that.

  181. 181
    JVL says:

    ET

    That is how it goes. It has been that way for centuries. That is how some artifacts were attacked by showing nature could produce them.

    But your design inference could be wrong for other reasons. I know you think it’s obvious but it’s not to many people.

    First is to find out the immaterial information and how it works with the cells. IOW what is it besides physics and chemistry that allows for cells to do what they do. What runs the code and what can we do to correct any defects.

    But you could be doing that already surely. I should think. What extra resources do you need?

    Then there is the purpose to our existence- what is it and how to we fulfill it.

    That’s philosophy surely.

    Our experience in creating living organisms from scratch is very limited and to date unsuccessful. How long do you think it would take an Amazon tribe ho never seen any technology to figure out how an iPhone was manufactured?

    Based on our own experience in creating an iPhone I’d say a few thousand years.

    UBP

    I am no expert, but I suspect that I am as well read on the semiotic aspects of the gene systems as you are. I can assure you there is absolutely zero evidence in the literature that stereochemistry causes the architecture of the gene system. You are mistaken.

    Origin and evolution of the genetic code: the universal enigma

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293468/

    The Stereochemical Basis of the Genetic Code and the (Mostly) Autotrophic Origin of Life

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284479/

    Tests of a Stereochemical Genetic Code

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6584/

    “It is clear that the code still conceals many of the secrets of its evolution. However, we now have a statistical and experimental framework that should allow us to determine, perhaps in the near future, the relative roles of selection, chemistry and history in producing both the canonical genetic code and the diversity of modern variants.”

    http://www.ece.iit.edu/~biitco.....202001.pdf

    Shall I go on, and on and on?

  182. 182
    JVL says:

    gpuccio

    I have some responses to give you but unfortunately my long day is catching up with me and it would be unfair to you and me it I tried to publish them right now. But I will do soon.

    Generally my comments will have to do with:

    How do you know that a model based on human-derived, non-living examples holds for life forms.

    and

    No one is suggesting that a complex life form arrived from a random search in the whole target group. I’m not saying it properly, I know. But the basic idea is that you can’t assume that the origination of the first complex life form came about from a designed vs random search of the result space of life forms of that complexity.

    But, as I said, I’m tired and I’m not expressing myself well. Please feel free to wait until I’m a bit more coherent (I’ve had to make way too many corrections just typing this) to respond.

  183. 183
    gpuccio says:

    JVL:

    Please, take your time. A slow discussion is the best! 🙂

  184. 184
    R J Sawyer says:

    GP

    I fall back on the fact that this is the only existing example of complex functional information whose origin is known that we can analyze.

    I am not saying that it is not a valid inference, just that it’s power is limited by the fact that it based on a sample size of one.

    You seem to require authority. That, I cannot give.

    I don’t require authority. I just think that your work would benefit from constructive critique from a wider audience. But I certainly respect your decision not to do so.

    And the others? Amateurs?

    I meant that as a subtle jibe to myself. I am a marine biologist by education, an analytical chemist by experience, and a statistician by necessity. A Jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, as the saying goes.

    Yes, I am definitely talking about that [combinatorial explosion]. And it is not a flawed use of probability.

    I’m afraid that we will have to disagree about this. You are a very complex being, with a DNA compliment that is unique to you alone. The probability that your parents would have produced “you” is exceedingly improbable given the thousands of eggs from your mother and millions of sperm from your father, yet you exist through a completely natural process. I realize that this analogy is clumsy but I hope it gets the point across that the assumptions made when calculating probabilities can make a huge difference.

    It’s not true that any possible function would have been useful in that context.

    Agreed. But you would not be possible without that one specific ovum and specific sperm getting together. But another ovum and sperm getting together would also be functional. OK. More clumsy analogies. ATP appears to be ubiquitous, but we have no idea when it first appeared, although it must have been very early on. How it evolved is unknown, but a quick Google search brings up several papers that are looking into it.

    As I already mentioned (I hope) I believe the biggest challenge is not in explaining the origin of the large sequences of complex functional information, but in explaining the origin of those first, smaller sequences. But that is more personal opinion than fact.

  185. 185
    gpuccio says:

    JVL at #181:

    Yarus is, as far as I know, the only scientist who has repeatedly tried to find some evidence for the origin of the genetic code from biochemical affinities.

    I have read with attention his arguments, and I find them, at best, completely unconvincing.

    However, he is of course entitled to go on trying. But to believe that he has really demonstrated sometihimg is, IMO, just wishful thinking.

  186. 186
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer:

    Thank you again for your quick answer.

    First, the sample size, as already said by others, is not one. There are millions of objects with complex functional information built by humans, The relationship between consciousness, intelligence and purpose in humans and complex functional information in objects is beyond any possible doubt. And there is no reason at all to doubt that conscious intelligent and purposeful beings, even if not human, would be able to do the same. Do you really object to this?

    So, the only problem is: do other conscious intelligent purposeful beings exist in reality, that are not humans, and that would be able to generate complex functional information? Maybe like the one that we observe in biological objects?

    Are you so sure that anyone can really answer that question? My strong idea is that we should consider that as a real possibility, and that would rule out the idea that humans are the only beings able to design complex things.

    “I don’t require authority. I just think that your work would benefit from constructive critique from a wider audience. But I certainly respect your decision not to do so.”

    My work has always benefited from the critiques, constructive or not, of others, that I have received here (or, to be sincere, at TSZ). I love critiques. I love them better if they are good.

    You are a good critic, so thank you.

    I have received a lot of very very good critiques here. I don’t think I could have better ones in the jungle of Academia.

    “A Jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, as the saying goes.”

    I love Jack-of-all-trades too. I am probably one myself (OK, maybe not really all trades! 🙂 )

    They have, often, the best perspective.

    “I’m afraid that we will have to disagree about this. You are a very complex being, with a DNA compliment that is unique to you alone. The probability that your parents would have produced “you” is exceedingly improbable given the thousands of eggs from your mother and millions of sperm from your father, yet you exist through a completely natural process. I realize that this analogy is clumsy but I hope it gets the point across that the assumptions made when calculating probabilities can make a huge difference.”

    I am sorry, but this is not a good critique, and I suspect that you know it. That’s probably why you call it “clumsy”.

    But it is not clumsy. It is simply wrong. It is the nth revival of the old (and infamous) deck of cards “argument”.

    I will not waste my time (and yours) here discussing why it is wrong and infamous. I think you already know. After all, you deal with statistics, as do I.

    “Agreed. But you would not be possible without that one specific ovum and specific sperm getting together. But another ovum and sperm getting together would also be functional. OK. More clumsy analogies.”

    No, not again, please. Have some respect for yourself, because you deserve it.

    Just try, as an exercise, to define the probabilities of the following three events:

    1) After shuflling a deck of cards, you get one of the possible sequences that are apparently random, or in any way not specially recognizable.

    2) You name a specific sequence of cards, and after shuffling the deck you get exactly that sequence.

    3) You just shuffle the deck and get a sequence of completely ordered cards.

    What is the probability of 1)?
    Of 2)?
    Of 3)?

    “ATP appears to be ubiquitous, but we have no idea when it first appeared, although it must have been very early on. How it evolved is unknown, but a quick Google search brings up several papers that are looking into it.”

    That’s not suprising. They have been looking for a long time, and they will be looking for a long time. Try to make the same search in 10 years, and you will get the same result.

    Looking into something is the easiest task in the world, especially when no one, including you, has any idea about that something.

    “As I already mentioned (I hope) I believe the biggest challenge is not in explaining the origin of the large sequences of complex functional information, but in explaining the origin of those first, smaller sequences. But that is more personal opinion than fact.”

    It’s not just a personal opinion. It’s a fairy tale.

    What first, smaller sequences? And what relationship have those imaginary small sequences with what we see now? Or better, with what has existed for billions of years, mostly unchanged? With ATP synthase, or any other complex functional protein?

    Looking, imagining and hoping will not do. Imagination and hope can certainly inspire science, but only if they are accompanied by humility, and the awareness of not knowing. And by real facts.

    These people don’t know, and they think they know. That’s the worst possible premise for true science.

  187. 187

    Shall I go on, and on and on?

    If you do, you’ll find even more papers. You’ll also find deep criticisms of those papers by others in the OoL field. That’s not the issue.

    It seems apparent to me that you didn’t understand my comments at 154 and 161. Try reading them again for comprehension.

  188. 188
    ET says:

    JVL:

    But your design inference could be wrong for other reasons.

    It could be. It could be that a little league baseball team will someday beat a major league team. It could be that someone will find that natural forces produced all of the stone formations found in the UK.

    But you could be doing that already surely.

    With what and with who? Researchers are bred via the school systems. Your position has that and still has nothing to show for it.

    Scientists are specialists. It will take time and resources to get any generation up to speed on how to tackle such questions.

    Then there is the purpose to our existence- what is it and how to we fulfill it.

    That’s philosophy surely.

    Nope, it is something that has a huge affect on everything. If we are here by design then it is a given there is a purpose to our existence- something larger than any mundane purpose you can think of. And scientific discoveries can help us find out what it is and then help us fulfill it.

    Based on our own experience in creating an iPhone I’d say a few thousand years.

    I would hope it would take us less time than that once Intelligent Design is accepted and all resources dedicated to answer those new questions.

  189. 189
    R J Sawyer says:

    GP, I only have time for a quick response to the first thing that jumped out at me in your response.

    First, the sample size, as already said by others, is not one. There are millions of objects with complex functional information built by humans,..

    Please tell me that you don’t believe these ignorant claims that this is a sample size of millions. We only know of one source of an intelligent agent producing complex functional information. Humans. That is a sample size of one. Zero degrees of freedom. Or are you seriously suggesting that the power of your inference increases with human population size, or the number of patents Edison had?

  190. 190
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer at #189:

    You said that you deal with statistics.

    But your statements here are rather surprising.

    You should know what a “sample” is. And what a “sample size” is.

    For simplicity, let’s take the definition from Wikipedia:

    In statistics and quantitative research methodology, a data sample is a set of data collected and/or selected from a statistical population by a defined procedure.[1] The elements of a sample are known as sample points, sampling units or observations.

    Typically, the population is very large, making a census or a complete enumeration of all the values in the population either impractical or impossible. The sample usually represents a subset of manageable size. Samples are collected and statistics are calculated from the samples, so that one can make inferences or extrapolations from the sample to the population.

    Now, human artifacts are no sample at all. They are a category. So, you seem to confound a sample with a category.

    Let’s see better.

    What is the general population here?

    According to my reasoning (see for example #147), it’s the general population of observable material objects.

    It’s a very big population, so we can take samples of it. Those sample will have some definite size.

    Let’s say that we take random samples, which as you know have the best probability of representing the general population.

    Let’s say that there is one variable that we can measure in the population of material objects. We call that variable “functional information”. We have a dfeinite procedure to measure it in objects, and we can express it in two forms:

    a) As a continuous variable: “functional information” (or functionally specified information, FSI).

    b) As a binary variable: “complex functional information yes/no” (or functionally specified complex information, FSCI). The ctaegorizaion here is obtained by choosing an appropriate cutoff. In my reasonings, I have used the 500 bit cutoff.

    So, we have one general population (material objects), many possible random samples from it with different possible sample sizes, and one continuous or bynary variable measured on them.

    Now, my reasoning is about the following problem: can we make inferences about the reasonable cause of functional information in the population?

    The simplest way to do that is to look for associations between the observed variable (FI) and some independently defined catogories in the general population that seem to have interesting relationships with the observed variable.

    As we are looking for a reasonable cause (IOWs, an explanation) of FI, and as FI is linked to the configuration of the object (the complexity needed to be used to perform some explicitly defined function), then the best procedure would be to analyze the subset of the general population where the origin of the specific configuration in the object is reasonably understood.

    So, in my reasoning, I make a first important categorizaion of the general population:

    a) Subset A: objects for which the origin of the specific configuration is reasonably understood.

    b) Subset B: objects for which the origin of the specific configuration is not reasonably understood.

    And, for the moment, I will reason using subset A.

    Please, note that this is not a sample of anything. I am just using a binary variable (knowing the origin of the specific configuration or not) to generate a binary partition in the general population. No samples at all here. And no sample sizes.

    Then, as I have the impression that FSI, in population A, is linled to a specific origin (design), I make a further subcategorization in A:

    a) Subset A1: designed objects. These are those objects where the observed configuration derives from previous conscious representations, followed by a procedure that outputs those representations to the object. Of course, the A1 population corresponds to human artifacts, because human design is the only form of design that we have independent evidence of. But, as explained, the definition of design implies a connection to conscious intelligent and purposeful representations, and not necessarily to being human.

    2) Subset A2: non designed objects. These are those objects for which we have a resonable certainty about the origin of the observed configuration, and that origin does not imply any intervention of conscious beings.

    Again, this is a categorization. I use another binary variable (the evidence of a design process as the origin of the observed configuration) to categorize the general population (A) into two subsets (A1 and A2). No samples here. No sample size.

    Is that clear?

    The category of human artifacts is not a sample of anything. I am not choosing ramdom objects for a general population to represent its properties. I am defining categories in the general population.

    I am sorry, but you are making a very big error when you consider a category as a sample with a sample size.

    Now, my following step has been to look for a significant association between FI and the two categories I have defined, A1 (designed objects) and A2 (non designed objects).

    Now I have to take samples from the population, because I cannot measure FI in all existing material objects for which I understand the origin.

    So, let’s assume, for simplicity, that the prevalence of designed objects in my opulation (let’s say that I have for the moment restricted the general population to material objects on our planet) is 0.001, or 1:1000. I know that it is too big, designed objects are certainly less frequent tah that, but it’s just to make an example of the reasoning.

    And let’s assume that the prevalence of FSCI in designed objects is 0.01, 1%. IOWs, that among designed objects on our planet, only 1 out of 100 exhibits complex functional information at the 500 bit cutoff.

    Now, let’s say that we take a sample from the general population, and that the sample size is 1 million. See? Now we have samples and sample sizes.

    If the prevalences I have assumed are correct, and the sample is random, we should have, approximately, in our sample:

    a) 1000 designed objects, approximately 10 of which would exhibit complex functional information.

    b) 999000 non designed objects, none of which exhibits complex functional information.

    A simple Fisher’s exact test shows us that the difference is extremely significant (p-value < 2.2e-16).

    But, if we lower our sample size to 100000, the difference will probably still be significant, but it depends on the sample. If we found, as expected, 1 object with complex functional information out of 100 expected designed objects, the p-value according to Fisher's exact test would be "only" 0.0009. And, of course, we could reasonably have samples where no object with complex functional information can be found in the subset of about 100 designed objects.

    The sample size is really too small to make absolutely reliable inferences.

    And, if the sample size becomes even lower, say 10000, no inference is possible at all.

    That's what “sample” and “sample size” mean. You are using the concepts in a completely wrong way.

    That's very clear in your final question:

    "Or are you seriously suggesting that the power of your inference increases with human population size, or the number of patents Edison had?"

    No, I am very seriously suggesting that the power of my inference absolutely increases with the sample size of objects I am choosing from the general population, including both designed objects and non designed objects. The human population, or Edison, have nothing to do with that. The sample size is the size of the sample I take from the general population. And it is always vital for any inference derived from the sample.

  191. 191
    PeterA says:

    RJ Sawyer,

    as you can see, GP has written @190 an entire dissertation in order to explain something very important. Many folks can benefit from reading GP’s excellent explanation again.

    I’m interested in your comment on this. Thanks.

  192. 192
    PeterA says:

    UBP @187:

    It would be interesting to see what is the substance of those papers cited by JVL @181.

    I lack the time and skills to do so, but perhaps somebody else here could try? Maybe GP could give us a hand with this?

  193. 193
    jawa says:

    Peter,

    I think DATCG could contribute too. The guy seems to know how to find interesting papers too.

  194. 194
    R J Sawyer says:

    GP, first I want to apologize for the tone of my last comment. I read it after I posted it and noted that it conveyed a level of sarcasm that was not intended.

    You should know what a “sample” is. And what a “sample size” is.

    Yes, I know what a sample and a population are. I just think that we are looking at it differently. You are looking at the entire realm of examples of complex functional information as the population, and the ones we have looked at as the sample. Whereas I am looking at the confirmed sources of these examples of complex functional information. Of the ones that we can confirm the source, the source has always been human intelligence. I am referring to the confirmed sources as the population. I think that you would agree that if we had examples of different intelligences producing complex functional information, the ID inference would be much stronger than just having millions of examples of complex functional information created by human intelligence.

    As I said, I think that we are simply using a different frame of reference as to what we see as the population and the sample.

    But Let’s take it from your frame of reference and use all of the examples of complex functional information in the world as the population. The ID claim is that from the fact that all of the examples of complex functional information for which we know the source, the source is an intelligence, we can infer that all examples of complex functional information is likely an intelligence. This is a valid inference, but because we only have one source of intelligence as a reference, the power of the inference is not strong. If we take the entire population of complex functional information, the number whose (who’s?) cause has been confirmed to be an intelligent agent is minuscule, barely registering as a blip amongst the entire population. And all of the confirmed causes have been human.

  195. 195
    Antonin says:

    @ gpuccio

    I’ve seen it argued that, when applying your method to DNA and protein sequences, it fails because you cannot estimate function in unknown sequences.

    How do you counter that?

  196. 196
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    I really can’t see what it means. In my procedure, we are dealing with proteins that have very good function, very often well understood. The function is usually described, for what we understand, in the function section of the correspondign Uniprot page.

    My only assumption is that a sequence that is conserved for more than 400 million years must be functional, and functionally specific. That is an assumption which is in full agreement with some of the most basic ideas in evolutionary biology.

    Even if we do not understand the details of the functionality implemented by that particula sequence, we can be sure that it is a highly functionally constrained sequence, because otherwise it would have changed a lot in 400 million uears of evolution. As all sequences that are not highly functional do change a lot in the same time frame.

    Therefore, I can’t understand what that objection means.

  197. 197
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer at #194:

    This comment is much more reasonable, thank you. 🙂

    I have something to say about it, indeed I have to complete my reasoning in my previous comment to you. But I have not the time now. Later.

    Only, please don’t use again the term “sample” and “sample size” for humans as the source of our information about design, because it is not correct.

  198. 198
    OLV says:

    PeterA (192):

    It would be interesting to see what is the substance of those papers cited by JVL @181.

    Agree. However, not only interesting, but also helpful to advance the ID concept.

    I lack the time and skills to do so, but perhaps somebody else here could try?

    Perhaps the lack of time is a valid reason for not doing it, but one doesn’t have to be a NASA rocket scientist in order to do it. You and other contributors here could help with this too.

    Maybe GP could give us a hand with this?

    Yes, that would be very appreciated.

  199. 199
    OLV says:

    PeterA (192):

    Here are a few quotes from the first paper (>4 yo) cited by JVL in the second part of #181, titled “Origin and evolution of the genetic code: the universal enigma“.

    The genetic code is nearly universal, and the arrangement of the codons in the standard codon table is highly non-random. The three main concepts on the origin and evolution of the code are the stereochemical theory, according to which codon assignments are dictated by physico-chemical affinity between amino acids and the cognate codons (anticodons); the coevolution theory, which posits that the code structure coevolved with amino acid biosynthesis pathways; and the error minimization theory under which selection to minimize the adverse effect of point mutations and translation errors was the principal factor of the code’s evolution.

    However, such scenarios for the code evolution are based on formal schemes whose relevance to the actual primordial evolution is uncertain. A real understanding of the code origin and evolution is likely to be attainable only in conjunction with a credible scenario for the evolution of the coding principle itself and the translation system.

    How did the code evolve (and will we ever know)?
    In our opinion, despite extensive and, in many cases, elaborate attempts to model code optimization, ingenious theorizing along the lines of the coevolution theory, and considerable experimentation, very little definitive progress has been made.

     

    …the code is not based on a straightforward stereochemical correspondence between amino acids and their cognate codons (or anticodons).

     

    Whether or not other recognized and/or still unknown factors also contributed remains a matter to be addressed in further theoretical, modeling and experimental research.

     

    …do the analyses described here, focused on the properties and evolution of the code per se, have the potential to actually solve the enigma of the code’s origin?

     

    …this proposal, even if quite plausible, is only one facet of a much more general and difficult problem, perhaps, the most formidable problem of all evolutionary biology.

     

    Indeed, it stands to reason that any scenario of the code origin and evolution will remain vacuous if not combined with understanding of the origin of the coding principle itself and the translation system that embodies it. At the heart of this problem is a dreary vicious circle: what would be the selective force behind the evolution of the extremely complex translation system before there were functional proteins? And, of course, there could be no proteins without a sufficiently effective translation system.

     

    Nevertheless, these and other theoretical approaches lack the ability to take the reconstruction of the evolutionary past beyond the complexity threshold that is required to yield functional proteins, and we must admit that concrete ways to cross that horizon are not currently known.

     

    Summarizing the state of the art in the study of the code evolution, we cannot escape considerable skepticism. It seems that the two-pronged fundamental question: “why is the genetic code the way it is and how did it come to be?”, that was asked over 50 years ago, at the dawn of molecular biology, might remain pertinent even in another 50 years. Our consolation is that we cannot think of a more fundamental problem in biology.

    Note that this paper is over 4 years old, co-authored by a known “3rd way” scientist.

  200. 200
  201. 201
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer:

    Now, I would like to complete my reasoning started at #190.

    As you can remember, I have described there a reliable statistical analysis that can demonstrate, beyond any possible doubt, that in what I have called subset A of material objects, IOWs all those material objects for which the origin of the specific configuration is reasonably understood, there exists a binary variable, complex functional information, which, at the cutoff of 500 bits, can detect designed objects with 100% specificity, and rather low sensitivity.

    I hope you can agree on this point, otherwise we have really a problem.

    The absolute specificity of complex functional information as a tool to detect designed objects is due to the simple fact that no object in A that is not designed (by humans, OK) exhibits complex functional information. Not even one.

    OK, if we are good about that, now the problem remains of what we can say about B. IOWs, the subset of material objects for which the origin of the specific configuration is not reasonably understood.

    This is, as I have tried to say, probably a very heterogeneous set of objects. In it we could find, for example, those objects that are really difficult to explain in the universe by the current accepted theories of astrophysics (I am not an expert, but I am sure that there are a few).

    Or, more simply, local objects that could be designed by humans or not. Let’s imagine, for example, that we find a stone that could be an arrow point or not, but for which we have no direct evidence of the origin. This kind of object (possibly designed, but without any direct independent evidence of the design process) would naturally be part of our B set.

    And, of course, I have put in the B set all biological objects, because I think that we can agree that we don’t know independently, and with reasonable certainlty, the origin of their configuration. Indeed, that’s the very object of all our discussions here.

    So, we have a rather heterogeneous B set. But one thing is immediately obvious here too, and can be easily demonstrated by any serious statistical analysis.

    In the B group we can find a specific binary partition that seems to be strongly associated to functional information. It’s the following binary categorization:

    a) Subset B1: biological objects

    b) Subset B2: non biological objects

    Now, we have here a situation that is strangely similar to what we observed in the A set: complex functional information can be found only in subset B1 and in those object in subset B2 that could be reasonably explained as human artifacts. IOWs, we can use complex functional information, at the 500 bit level, to detect with 100% specificity either human artifacts for which we have no direct knowledge of the origin, or biological objects. Here, again, the sensitivity will be low in both cases.

    To understand better, let’s go again to our example of the stone which could be an arrow point or not. We have no direct knowledge that it is designed (especially if it is isolated, and there are no specific clues that support the design theory). IOWs, it’s not like a Shakespeare sonnet, for which we have abundant direct evidence of the design origin.

    And yet, if the functional information in it is above 500 bits, we can easily infer that it is a designed arrow point. Indeed, I think that the accepted criteria to infer design for a possible arrow points are probably lower than the 500 bit threshold, even if I cannot be sure, because it is rather complex to assess functional information in its analogic form (that’s why I always stick to digital forms in my examples).

    But, excluding these cases of objects that are reasonably human artifacts, it is rather clear that no other object in B exhibits complex functional information.

    Except, of course, biological objects.

    Because biological objects, strangely, exhibit tons of complex functional information. Not all of them, of course, but certainly a very abndant subset of them.

    The situation is very similar to what we have found in subset A: we can use complex functional information to infer with rather strong certainty (100% specificity) that an object in set B is a biological object (or, of course, a human artifact).

    So, the statistical association between the property:

    “Being a biological object”

    generates a binary partition in subset B that is almost as strong as the binary partition generated in subset A by the property:

    “Being designed”

    (with the only exception of those objects in B that can easily be interpreted as designed).

    So, our cognitive situation, at this point, is as follows.

    1) Functional information is a continuous variable that, in principle, can be measure in all material objects.

    2) However, in its binary form, and choosing a high cutoff such as 500 bits, it is really rare in the universe.

    3) Even more important is the fact that it seems to be completely restricted to two kinds of objects: designed objects (OK, designed by humans) and biological objects.

    I hope you can agree on that.

    Now, that’s a very interesting situation: a binary variable (complex functional information) that is so perfectly associated (at the specificity level) with two different properties:

    1) Being designed

    2) Being a biological object

    And please, note that in both cases the prevalence of complex functional information is not at all low. Both in human designed objects and in biological objects complex functional information is rather abundant.

    Moreover, it is a very interesting variable. Being certainly connected to the design process, at least in set A, it is certainly connected to the problem of consciousness, what it is, what it can do.

    IOWs, it is not a variable that we can ignore.

    So, we have an interesting empirical situation regarding a very interesting variable that is amazingly associated to two different properties: being designed and being a biological object.

    I would definitely say that this is a scientific scenario that needs to be explained. And I hope you can agree on that too.

    Now, in next post, I will go to the things on which, probably, you will not agree.

  202. 202
    Jul3s says:

    I understand how you’ve set the bar pretty high and when you look at inanimate objects it works as advertised.

    But we’re talking about animate, reproducing things. Things that generate variations from generation to generation. Things that are under environmental pressures just to survive let alone reproduce and pass on their characteristics.

    I wonder if a standard set for inanimate objects works for living ones.

    The “living things reproduce” defence doesn’t work as a rebuttal to the design arguments because it creates a false distinction between human designed objects and biological ones.

    True, living things reproduce unlike human technology. But it is the biological *system overall* that reproduces. The individual structures such as limbs, eyes, hearts, lungs, ribosomes, chaperones, hormones, ATP synthases, flagella etc. don’t. Instead, they are part of a much larger system that does.

    The same can be said of human designed objects. Cars may not reproduce themselves individually, but they are part of a system including infrastructure, logistics trains, factories etc. that replaces itself and makes new cars. Some have more market success and lead to new variations, while others fail and go extinct so they are subject to selection as well.

  203. 203
    OLV says:

    #199 timing inaccuracy (>4yo) corrected here:

    The referenced paper seems to be around 10 years old.

    BTW, there are more recent papers by the same 3rd way scientist and other authors available.

  204. 204
    gpuccio says:

    R J Sawyer:

    Now, the last part of the reasoning.

    According to what I have said in my previous comment, we have a situation, empirically observed (IOWs, a set of facts) that needs to be explained. Very badly needs to be explained, because it certainly implies consequences for important fields of knowledge.

    The premise, of course, is that we have two different observed properties that are similarly and strongly associated with complex functional information, to the point that complex functional information can never be observed anywhere in the known universe, except for objects having one of the two properties, which are:

    a) Being a designed object.

    b) Being a biological object.

    Please, note that the two properties are completely independent, at this point of our reasoning: designed objects (by humans) are usually not biological objects, with a few exceptions, and we still don’t know if biological objects are designed (indeed, it’s what we are debating).

    So, maybe we can still agree that, given what we are observing, there are only two possible frameworks of thought that can potentially explain facts:

    1) Design by a conscious intelligent agent and being a biological object are two different causes of complex functional information, each of them with good and similar explanatory power.

    2) There is a common explanatory cause for complex functional information in both subsets of objects. Of course, it can only be design, because we know that objects designed by humans are usually not biological objects.

    At this point, we could just be happy that you choose option 1) and I choose option 2), and we can remain good friends and maybe have a drink in Italy for my birthday (you pay, of course! 🙂 ).

    But, unfortunately, I still have something to say.

    Of course, you too have probably something to say, and I will say it for you, just to shorten the discussion. You can always correct me if I am wrong about what you think.

    I believe that you want to say that option 1) is certainly better, because our experience of certainly designed objects is limited to humans (true), and we have no scientific evidence of the existence of other conscious beings that can design, and that could be existing and active when the biological design took place (except, of course, for complex functional information itself). And that is essentially true, too. I would not say that we have independent scientific evidence of that. Again, except for complex functional information.

    So, I know those arguments. They are, in a sense, acceptable.

    But:

    As I have already said many times, the fact that our experience of design is limited to humans is unfortunate, but it is nobody’s fault. We are not ignoring other sources of design. At present, we only know human artifacts (and, possibly, biological objects).

    We are forced to reason with few categories, because few categories exist that exhibit complex functional information (indeed, only two).

    Of course, we could meet aliens that are not humans, but are conscious and intelligent and purposeful and can design machines. That would be useful. But, as I have said, I think that nobody has real difficulties in imagining that intelligent aliens, if they exist, can design things. So, that would not really help much.

    Or we could, in 100 years for example, get some scientific evidence that other beings exist that are conscious like us, intelligent and purposeful like us, and still do not have a physical body as we have, but are in some way capable of interacting with physical matter.

    Which brings us to your second point. Because, if it is true that we have at present no scientific evidence of conscious beings whose existence and activity does not depend on a physical body, I would definitely say that we have no scientific evidence of the contrary: that they do not exist. On the other hand, we have old and very serious traditions of thought, shared probably by a majority of living beings, that believe exactly that (that they exist). And we also have rather strong facts, maybe not stringent but certainly very very interesting, that could support that existence: for example, NDEs.

    So, I would say that it is reasonable to leave that point open to discussion and personal judgement, in science I mean. At present, nobody has a right to say that science (or anything else) has proved unequivocally what the truth is.

    OK, that was a bit philosophical. Let’s go back to science.

    Having commented on your (supposed) objections, there is something now that I would like to say. For myself.

    Because, you see, the two explanations that we have described are not scientifically “equivalent”. For important reasons.

    The point is that we are looking for an explanatory cause of complex functional information. And we have two different scenarios.

    1) In the first scenario (your scenario, we could say), there must be something in being a biological object that explains the generation of complex functional information. And that is not the same as being a designed object.

    First of all, this is still a rather vague statement. What is “something in being a biological object”? Too generic to be an explanation.

    But, of course, we can do better than that. Scientists and biologists have certainly been very active, say in the last 150 years, to try to specify what that something” is.

    Without going into details, for the moment, I will just say that I am aware of only one model that, potentially, could be an explanation of complex functional information. I call it neo-darwinism, but essentially it is the “modern synthesis”, the very simple RV + NS algorithm.

    Is there any direct observation that RV + NS can generate complex functional information? Maybe we can agree that there is none. Of course, it is still possible that it can do that, but it has never been observed doing it. For the moment, that’s all that I want to argue.

    Another way to say that is that RV + NS could be able to generate complex functional information if the theory behind the model can be proved to be reasonable and true, but anyway the algorithm has never been observed to do that. So, it is an algorithm that could have explanatory power. Or not. It depends on what we conclude about the theory behind it.

    2) The second scenario is different. Has a design process ever been observed to cause complex functional information?

    Yes, of course. All the time.

    We can observe that happening in ourselves, each time we design something complex. Indeed, each time we speak or write.

    We know that our conscious representations precede the process of design, and are the direct cause of it. If a child designs a house, it’s because he is representing it in his consciousness (either from perceiving it, or from memory, or from imagination). That form is then outputted to the material object.

    So, there can be no doubt at all that conscious representations are the direct cause of complex functional information in the object, when design is the origin of the object.

    IOWs, this is not only an association, but a cause-effect relationship, that we can observed directly.

    Of course, we could debate how is it that conscious representations can have the complex information needed. But I am not debating that. After all, conscious representations are not material objects, and we really don’t know what consciousness is.

    But we certainly know that our consiousness uses certain conscious experiences to get to the information needed. Some serious introspection will show that in any process of design we use cognitive abilities, in particular the understanding of meanings, and feeling abilities, in particular the experience of purpose. Those abilities are specific to cosnciousness. They don’t exist in non conscious systems.

    What’s the real problem with complex functional information, after all? Why is simple functional information so common (probably any material object has some) while complex functional information is so rare (only designed objects and biological onjects exhibit it)? What’s the difference?

    The difference, of course, is in the probabilistic barriers. Non designed objects can have some low functional information. As said, a stone can be used as a paperweight, and that is a legitimate function, and it is a legitimate (low) complexity: stones that are too small or too big will not do, for example.

    But the stone has the necessary qualities to be a paperweight not because it has been designed for that, but only because the random environment that generates stones has a good probability of generating stones of an acceptable size and form to be used as paperweights.

    IOWs, simple functions can easily be implemented by material objects that were not designed for them, just because of contingency. The objects that can implemet that function are probable enough in the system.

    That is not true for complex functions. If a function requires more than 500 specific bits of information in its configuration to be implemented, you can be sure that no existing object that has emerged randomly in the system will be able to implement it.

    The reason is simple: 500 bits is a probabilitic barrier which is beyond the probabilisitc resources of the whole universe.

    So, how is it that conscious beings can design complex objects?

    It’s not surprising at all, because we know, from observations of ourselves, that cognitive and purposeful processes can generate new complex functional information easily. Why? Because they don’t rely only on random chance (even if they can use it), but on specific cognitive processes that are probably non algorithmic in their essence (see Penrose).

    That’s why probabilistic barriers, even if huge, are easily overcome.

    But what about neo-darwinism?

    We have already seen that it has never been observed as a cause of complex functional information. The idea that it can be a cause of it is, therefore, a mere inference. IOWs, a theory.

    Nothing bad with that. Theories are precious.

    If they work.

    That’s why the question: does RV + NS work? becomes important.

    And, as you know, I have debated in great detail the reasons why RV + NS can never generate complex functional information.

    So, just to sum it up.

    Design is certainly a legitimate explanation for complex functional information. It is a process that is not only associated with FSCI: it is really a cause of it. Observable.

    Being a biological object, instead, is only a property that is associated with FSCI. Neo-darwinism is a theory that tries to explain the association in terms of cause and effect. But the algorithm has never been observed to generate complex functional information, overcoming the intrinsic probabilistic barriers.

    Indeed, there is good evidence that it can never do that.

    That’s why design is the best available explanation for complex functional information, not only in human artifacts, but also in biological objects. There are not two different possible causes of complex functional information. There is only one, the only one that can easily overcome the probabilistic barriers implicit in the concept itself of complex functional information, the only one that has been repeatedly observed to generate FSCI at will: conscious, intelligent, purposeful activity.

  205. 205
    OLV says:

    gpuccio,

    I’ve been following (from the sideline) your interesting (as usual) discussions with RJ Sawyer and JVL in this thread. Thanks.

  206. 206
    gpuccio says:

    Jul3s at #202:

    Good thoughts. Thank you! 🙂

  207. 207
    gpuccio says:

    OLV:

    Thank you for following! 🙂

  208. 208
    OLV says:

    PeterA (192):

    Here’s a more recent paper from the same “3rd way” author of the paper quoted in #199:

    Frozen Accident Pushing 50: Stereochemistry, Expansion, and Chance in the Evolution of the Genetic Code (2017)

    Five decades after the publication of Crick’s seminal paper [1], frozen accident remains alive and well, and a major tenet of our thinking on the evolution of the code. It could be argued that frozen accident is not a theory and not even a hypothetical scenario but rather a meaningless non-explanation of the code origin.

     

    …none of the three major theories of the code evolution has been fully successful in providing a definitive explanation although each has highlighted important features of the code.

    As UB rightly noted before, these papers will continue appearing in the foreseeable future.

     

  209. 209
    ET says:

    RJ Sawyer:

    This is a valid inference, but because we only have one source of intelligence as a reference, the power of the inference is not strong.

    And yet it works very well for archaeology, forensic science, insurance fraud, plagiarism, and other design-centric venues. It is very strong within those fields.

    And it still remains that your position has all of the power as all you need to do is demonstrate that nature, operating freely, can produce what ID says is intelligently designed and you have refuted that inference.

    Whining about sample sizes isn’t going to do anything but expose you as a desperate chump.

  210. 210
    OLV says:

    PeterA (192),

    Here’s more on the same topic JVL raised in #181:

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase evolution and sectoring of the genetic code

    Evolution of the standard genetic code
    Three main hypotheses for evolution of the standard genetic code include: 1) variations on the Gamow hypothesis (the stereochemical hypothesis: that amino acids interact directly with RNAs, i.e. codons or anticodons, leading to matching of codons and anticodons with amino acids and evolution of the code); 2) the coevolution theory (that code complexity coevolved with advances in amino acid metabolism); and 3) the error minimization theory (that the code evolved to minimize tRNA charging and translation errors)

     

    Recently, it was pointed out that these long-standing hypotheses may have limitations for furthering our understanding of code evolution

     
    As you can see, UB was right on predicting that more papers on this fascinating topic will continue to show up in the future.

     

  211. 211
    OLV says:

    PeterA,

    Though it’s fine to follow up on the interesting papers JVL referenced in his comment addressed to UB in #181, please keep an eye on the interesting discussion gpuccio is having with RJ Sawyer. Don’t miss reading his latest posts #190, 201 and 204. Real gems!

  212. 212
    Antonin says:

    Thanks for your reply, gpuccio. You write:

    I really can’t see what it means. In my procedure, we are dealing with proteins that have very good function, very often well understood. The function is usually described, for what we understand, in the function section of the correspondign Uniprot page.

    My understanding is that the function is the property that is being assayed in the process of evolution, not particular sequences.

    My only assumption is that a sequence that is conserved for more than 400 million years must be functional, and functionally specific. That is an assumption which is in full agreement with some of the most basic ideas in evolutionary biology.

    Oh sure, that function, becoming more specific over time means further changes in that function will ultimately reach a peak from which the only changes will reduce function, will result in “purifying selection” acting to keep the function at that peak is indeed not controversial.

    But you seem to conflate function with sequence – that a search must find a particular sequence to arrive at a particular function. A flat calm sea of non-functionality with one steep-sided island rising like a needle from the anonymous ocean.

    Yet consider the two prokaryote domains: Archaea and Bacteria. Common ancestry is strongly suggested by a shared genetic code but, subsequent to their taking separate evolutionary routes, some Archaea evolved structures morphologically very similar to bacterial flagella with the same function of motility. There is identical function but zero homology.

    Even if we do not understand the details of the functionality implemented by that particular sequence, we can be sure that it is a highly functionally constrained sequence, because otherwise it would have changed a lot in 400 million uears of evolution. As all sequences that are not highly functional do change a lot in the same time frame.

    Do you see what I’m getting at now? You again conflate “sequence” with “function”.

    Therefore, I can’t understand what that objection means.

    The basic objection is that you are assuming one sequence = one function.

  213. 213
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    “The basic objection is that you are assuming one sequence = one function.”

    No, I am not assuming that.

    Please, look at my OP:

    Defending Intelligent Design theory: Why targets are real targets, probabilities real probabilities, and the Texas Sharp Shooter fallacy does not apply at all.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/defending-intelligent-design-theory-why-targets-are-real-targets-propabilities-real-probabilities-and-the-texas-sharp-shooter-fallacy-does-not-apply-at-all/

    where I discuss exactly this kind of objection, in the section:

    c2) DNA_Jock’s arguments

    I have quoted about that even here, in my comment #180 to R J Sawyer.

    The existence of possible alternative complex solutions is empirically irrelevant when the function is complex.

    My argument is that a function that is implemented by an extremely conserved sequence needs that sequence to be implemented in that way. It is possible that the same function, or a similar one, can be implemented in a completely different way, again by a complex sequence. That would simply double the target space, an effect completely irrelevant when we are discussing functional information beyond the 500 bit level.

    I will offer an example to make it more clear. Let’s say that two cars, a small Fiat and an expensive Ferrari, have two completely different types of brakes. Both of them are functionally complex, but they use completely different methods to implement the braking. Maybe the one in the Ferrai is more complex, but both of them are complex machines, in different ways.

    And yet, if you stop at the generic description of the function, you will say that both implement braking, and that is true. But each of them remains complex, and the fact that different machines can implement a similar function is not really subtractiong much to their individual complexity.

    The same is true for proteins. Maybe in different organisms a similar function can be implemented by different proteins, even by different pathways or networks. In practice, that is not really lowering in any significant way the complexity of the individula solutions.

    The specificity of a sequence is a very good indicator of its functional constraints, and therefore of its functional complexity.

    A rpogram that needs 2000 bits to work remains complex , even if there exist a few other approaches to the same problem that can be written in a completely different way, maybe 2000 bit or more complex.

    As I have said in my comment to R J Sawyer, only simple solutions would change the came, because they are simple and much easier to be found. But in that case we would find the simpler solution, not the complex one.

    The idea that the complexity is due to an optimization proces is completely wrong, and has no real support in facts, nor in good reasoning.

    Of course some optimization takes place by NS, once a function is there and working. But, as I have discussed in detail here:

    What are the limits of Natural Selection? An interesting open discussion with Gordon Davisson

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-natural-selection-an-interesting-open-discussion-with-gordon-davisson/

    it is limited, in all known cases, to a few AAs at most, because continuous pathways of optimization are always short. There is no continuous pathway of optimization to a complex function, for the same reason that a spreadsheet cannot be buillt startinf from a few random bits, and than adding a few bits at the time and gettin always an increasing function.

    Complex functiona are complex because they require a general plan, and a lot of specific configuration, just to exist and work.

    Take, for example, the structure made by the alpha and beta chains of ATP synthase, that I have often used as an example. Two chains, 553 and 529 AAs long (in humans). We know how conserved they are from bacteria to humans.

    And what do they do? They build a big 3D structure that does all the work of building ATP. How? Here is the PDB page:

    The F1 Structure
    PDB entry 1e79 includes the F1 motor of ATP synthase. When operating as a generator, it uses the power of rotational motion to build ATP, or when operating as a motor, it breaks down ATP to spin the axle the opposite direction. The synthesis of ATP requires several steps, including the binding of ADP and phosphate, the formation of the new phosphate-phosphate bond, and release of ATP. As the axle turns, it forces the motor into three different conformations that assist these difficult steps. Two states are shown here. The one on the left shows a conformation that assists the binding of ADP, and the one on the right shows a conformation that has been forced open to release ATP. Notice how the oddly-shaped axle forces the change in conformation.

    And, of course, the energy for those perfect interaction and conformation changes is given by the rotor, that conveys the energy derived form the proton gradient. Like in a watermill.

    Now do you really believe that those 1000+ AAs, many of which have been conserved for billions of years, are the result of an optimization that starts with a simple sequence? That is really a fairy tale. there is a big plan here, a plan that requires a lot of specific AA positions.

    IOWs, high functional complexity.

    Of course, some optimization certainly takes place. And alternative solutions may exist.

    So, if I compute the functional complexity of the alpha and beta chain by the functionally conserved information between E. coli and humans using my blast procedure, at 561 + 663 = 1224 bits, am I overestimating it, because there can be an optimization component, or becauase other complex solutions to the same problem may exist?

    I don’t think so. I am probably underestimating it.

    Because the BLAST procedure is very conservative, form this point of view.

    In the two blasts, we have 290 + 335 identities. 625 in total.

    Considering the total information content of an identity (4.3 bits), I should derive a value of functional information of about 2687 bits, only from the identities, without considering the positives.

    As you can see, my procedure based on blast more than halves the possible value of functional information, and I mean esponentially!

    So, my procedure is extremely conservative, The true value of functional information is probably much bigger.

    The few bits of overestimation that can be caused by other complex solutions or by optimization paths have really no relevance here.

  214. 214
    Antonin says:

    gpuccio from comment 213

    The existence of possible alternative complex solutions is empirically irrelevant when the function is complex.

    Yet Archaea evolved an analogous flagellum that has no homology with bacterial flagella. You wouldn’t dispute these structures are complex, I presume.

  215. 215
    Antonin says:

    To make myself clearer, the function is motility. The sequences of the structural and functional proteins that constitute the function in two cases have separate histories and yet both arrive at motility.

  216. 216
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    You say:

    “Yet Archaea evolved an analogous flagellum that has no homology with bacterial flagella. You wouldn’t dispute these structures are complex, I presume.”

    “To make myself clearer, the function is motility. The sequences of the structural and functional proteins that constitute the function in two cases have separate histories and yet both arrive at motility.”

    Of course I agree with that. And so? What’s the point?

    Those structures are both complex and they are different. Of course, they are both designed. And so?

    Where’s the problem?

    But there is, indeed, a big problem for neo-darwinism here.

    Please, read my argument in comment #122 in the thread of the quoted OP:

    “Defending Intelligent Design Theory”.

    I paste it here, for your convenience:

    To all:

    Now, I would like to make a few mathematical considerations about the argument, emerged many times from the other side, that the observation (however rare) of more than one independent complex solution for a function (or, maybe, for related functions) is an argument in favour of neo-darwinism.

    I will try to show that the opposite is true.

    Those who don’t love numbers, or who have problems with exponential measures, should probably avoid to read this comment, because it’s absolutely about numbers, and big numbers.

    The important premise is:

    There are two key factors in evaluating the probability of a specific functional outcome (like an observed functional protein) in a system (like the biological system) by RV.

    1) The first factor, as we know very well, is the functional information in the sequence. That measure already describes two of the important concepts: the size of the functional island and the size of the search space. Indeed, it corresponds to the rate between the two.

    2) The second factor, often underemphasized, are the probabilistic resources of the sytsem. They can be simply defined as the number of different states that can be tested by the system, by RV, in the allotted time.

    Neo-darwinists have tried to convince us, for decades, that the probabilistic resources of our biological planet are almost infinite, guven the bif times and so on. But that’s not true.

    The probabilistic resources of our biological planet are not small, but they are certainly not huge, least of all almost infinite. They are, indeed, very finite, and well computable, at least approximately.

    In my OP:

    What are the limits of Random Variation? A simple evaluation of the probabilistic resources of our biological world

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-are-the-limits-of-random-variation-a-simple-evaluation-of-the-probabilistic-resources-of-our-biological-world/

    I have offered, in the first table, such a computation. The numbers there are not realistic at all: they have been computed as a higher threshold, making all possible assumptions in favour of the neo-darwinian scenario. They certainly overestimate the real resources, and by far.

    However, I will stick to those mubers, that I have offered myself.

    Now, while the functional information in the protein is certainly the key factor, the second important point is: the rate between that functional information and the probabilistic reasources of the system. The bigger the difference between the functional information and the probabilistic resources, the more the improbabiltiy of what we observe increases. Exponentially.

    So, let’s reason with some numbers.

    I will consider some protein A, whose functional information is 500 bits. Our usual generic threshold for complexity in functional information. That means that, whatever the size of the target space (the functional island) or of the search space (the ocaen), their ratio is 2^-500.

    OK, now let’s go to the probabilistic resources. We will consider the most favorable scenario for noe-darwinism: the bacterial system.

    My (extremely generous) estimate for the number of states that can be reached by the bacterial system by RV in the whole life of our planet is 2^139 (139 bits). It’s 138.6 in my table, but I will round it. There is no need here to add the 5 sigma additional bits, because we will explicitly compute probabilities in our example.

    So, our scenario is:

    Functional information in the protein: 500 bits (3e-151)

    Probabilistic resources: 139 bits (7e+41)

    Independent complex solutions observed for that function: 1

    Probability of finding the observed solution in one attempt: 3e-151

    Probability of finding the observed solution using all the available attemps (7e+41): 2.1e-109

    This probability is computed using the binomial distribution: it is the probability of getting at least one success with that probability of success and that number of attempts.

    OK, that’s not good fo neo-darwinism, of course.

    One argument frequently raised by them as discussed in th OP, is that there could be many independent solutions in the protein space for that function. And that is probably true, in many cases. They should, however, be of comparable complexity, because if they were much simpler, we would expect to find the simpler solutions in the proteome, and not the complex ones.

    But what if we observe two independent complex solutions for the same function? Our interlocutors argue that this is an argument in favor of neo-darwinism, because it demonstrates that it is not so difficult to find complex solutions.

    I say, instead, that observing two, or mote, independent complex solutions for the same function is a stringent argument in favour of design.

    Let’s see why.

    Now our scenario is similar to the previous one. The only difference is that we observe not one, but two independen complex solutions. Let’s say each one of them of 500 bits of FC, but different.

    For the moment, let’s assume that those two solutions are the only ones that exist in the search space.

    Then the scenario now is:

    Functional information in each protein: 500 bits (3e-151)

    Functional information in the two islands summed: 499 bits (6e-151)

    Probabilistic resources: 139 bits (7e+41)

    Independent complex solutions observed for that function: 2

    Probability of finding at least two solutions using all the available attemps (7e+41): 8.82e-218

    So, we had a probability of 2.1e-109 for one observed solution, and we have now a probability of 8.82e-218 for two observed solutions!

    A probability that is more than 100 orders of magnitude smaller!

    But, of course, neo-darwinists will say that the independent complex solutions are many more than two.

    OK, always using the binomial distribution, how many independent complex solutions of 500 bits of FI each do we need to have, with two observed solutions, the same probabilities as we had for one observed solution assuming that it was the only one?

    The answer is: about 10^54 independent complex solutions!

    Not to have a good probability: just to have the same probability computed for one observed solution if it were the only one: about 2.1e-109!

    That’s all, for the moment. Enough numbers for everyone!

  217. 217
    Antonin says:

    gpuccio

    Of course, they are both designed.

    Is there not a fallacy called “begging the question”?

  218. 218
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    Ah, so you are that kind of person.

    Let’s see. At #214 and #215 you “counter” my argument for design in complex functional objects with the amazing revelation that in Archaea and Bacteria there exist two different types of flagella, each of them complex. You even challenge me to dispute their complexity.

    At #216 I quote you exactly, and I answer that I have no reason to challenge anything, because of course I agree that they are both complex, because according to my theory they are both designed.

    Because it is clear to anyone at this point (except, it seems, to you) that my theory is that complex functional objects are designed. It’s called design inference, in case you have not understood.

    Moreover, I give you a rather detailed argument that demonstrates that your amazing scenario, while perfectly compatible with a design explanation, is absolutely incompatible with a non design explanation.

    So, you answer with #217, where you ignore all those arguments, and exhibit complex functional arrogance (OK, maybe not too complex).

    Of course you are that kind of person.

  219. 219
    jawa says:

    gpuccio @218:

    “functional arrogance”?

    I’d rather call it “dysfunctional comprehension” at best.
    Just to say it nicely.

  220. 220
    gpuccio says:

    jawa:

    Well, the arrogance was effectively conveyed. That’s a function too. 🙂

  221. 221
    Antonin says:

    Antonin:

    Ah, so you are that kind of person.

    Not sure what kind of person you think I am, but no matter.

    Let’s see. At #214 and #215 you “counter” my argument for design in complex functional objects with the amazing revelation that in Archaea and Bacteria there exist two different types of flagella, each of them complex. You even challenge me to dispute their complexity.

    I don’t dispute there is design in the Universe, purpose indeed. Otherwise it would be chaos, without form and void. That there is an ultimate Creator that has brought all this about is beyond the realm of science. Your inference is intended to be scientific, no?

    At #216 I quote you exactly, and I answer that I have no reason to challenge anything, because of course I agree that they are both complex, because according to my theory they are both designed.

    I’m not disputing the overall concept of Divine Creation. It is indisputable.

    Because it is clear to anyone at this point (except, it seems, to you) that my theory is that complex functional objects are designed. It’s called design inference, in case you have not understood.

    I understand that you are arguing against design being effected through the mechanism of evolution. Notwithstanding that process could have been the method God chose to bring about the diverse living organisms including ourselves we see on Earth

    Moreover, I give you a rather detailed argument that demonstrates that your amazing scenario, while perfectly compatible with a design explanation, is absolutely incompatible with a non design explanation.

    I’m not disputing the overall purpose, I’m querying your model. Or rather I’m querying the method you use to “disprove” an evolutionary method in God’s purpose.

    So, you answer with #217, where you ignore all those arguments, and exhibit complex functional arrogance (OK, maybe not too complex).

    Your argument is based on an erroneous assumption. I repeat: sequence is not function.

    Of course you are that kind of person.

    I’m trying to take you seriously but you don’t seem to have understood the theory you claim you have demonstrated to be wrong. And I do then wonder why, should your design inference, assuming for the sake of argument it demonstrates evolutionary theory to be sufficiently wrong to reject the idea, what you are replacing it with. The best you can say is “evolutionary theory is wrong” unless you are going to advance an alternative explanation. I know these are trite questions and always dismissed here but unless you account for a process, how, when, by whom or what design occurs, you don’t have anything more than the words “Intelligent Design”.

  222. 222
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    I have never discussed religious beliefs here. Nor will I.

    It’s true that my arguments are scientific, Therefore, why do you comment about them speaking of the Creator? I don’t understand.

    You have made comments, before that, on my model as a scientific model. I have answered. But you have not commented on any of my answers in a scientific way.

    You say:

    “I’m trying to take you seriously but you don’t seem to have understood the theory you claim you have demonstrated to be wrong.”

    OK. Explain what it is that I don’t understand.

    You say:

    “And I do then wonder why, should your design inference, assuming for the sake of argument it demonstrates evolutionary theory to be sufficiently wrong to reject the idea, what you are replacing it with. The best you can say is “evolutionary theory is wrong” unless you are going to advance an alternative explanation.”

    I have discussed those things here, at comment #144. ID is a positive argument. Falsifying neo-darwinism is a necessary corollary, but is not part of the positive argument.

    You say:

    “I know these are trite questions and always dismissed here but unless you account for a process, how, when, by whom or what design occurs, you don’t have anything more than the words “Intelligent Design”.”

    They are not at all dismissed by me. Please, look at my comment #135, where I answer about the when and the how, in the measure that I believe it is scientifically possible.

    What design occurs is a rather simple question: the design that we observe.

    By whom is an open question. Scientifically, the only reliable inference we can make is:

    a) Some conscious being or beings

    b) Capable of intelligent cognition (understanding meanings)

    c) Capable of feeling purpose.

    d) Existing at the times when design took place.

    e) having some interface between conscious representations and matter that allow the transfer of information to biological matter.

    Nothing more than that can be said at present, IMO, about this aspect.

    So, as you can see, I have dismissed none of your questions. I have honestly tried to answer them all.

    And believe me, I have much more than the words “Intelligent Design”, whatever you may think. We all have much more.

    By the way, the kind of person I think you are is: a person that does not really want to discuss fairly. It’s up to you to falsify my opinion.

  223. 223
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    Ah, you also say (again):

    “Your argument is based on an erroneous assumption. I repeat: sequence is not function.”

    I have answered that at #213. Please, read what I have said, and comment on it, if you like. Instead of just repeating your statement. That’s what a fair discussion is.

  224. 224
    jawa says:

    gpuccio @220:

    You almost persuaded me to accepting “functional arrogance” as the appropriate qualifier in this case, but after reading in the comment @221 this sentence:
    “Not sure what kind of person you think I am”
    now I’m convinced that “dysfunctional comprehension” is a more appropriate qualifier in this case.
    🙂

  225. 225
    Antonin says:

    I have never discussed religious beliefs here. Nor will I.

    I wasn’t probing your personal religious beliefs or lack of them. I was merely pointing out that the Universe’s Creator is not bound by any constraints, though we operate scientifically by assuming that His creation is bound by scientific laws which humans have to some extent been able to elucidate, observe and experiment with.

    It’s true that my arguments are scientific, Therefore, why do you comment about them speaking of the Creator? I don’t understand

    Your argument, as far as I understand it, is based on a model you have constructed which is not an accurate model of what we observe in nature.

    You have made comments, before that, on my model as a scientific model. I have answered. But you have not commented on any of my answers in a scientific way.

    I keep pointing out that function does not equate to sequence. With my Archaea/Bacteria example and two complex and evolvable systems that show no homology, it is clear that in this instance there are at least two solutions to prokaryote motility to be found in sequence space. Unless I misunderstand, you are assuming unique solutions only.

    You say:

    “I’m trying to take you seriously but you don’t seem to have understood the theory you claim you have demonstrated to be wrong.”

    OK. Explain what it is that I don’t understand.

    You say:

    “And I do then wonder why, should your design inference, assuming for the sake of argument it demonstrates evolutionary theory to be sufficiently wrong to reject the idea, what you are replacing it with. The best you can say is “evolutionary theory is wrong” unless you are going to advance an alternative explanation.”

    I have discussed those things here, at comment #144. ID is a positive argument. Falsifying neo-darwinism is a necessary corollary, but is not part of the positive argument.

    I’m very interested in this positive argument for design.
    The definition posted on this site only talks about “better explanation” without explaining what that better explanation is.

    You say:

    “I know these are trite questions and always dismissed here but unless you account for a process, how, when, by whom or what design occurs, you don’t have anything more than the words “Intelligent Design”.”

    They are not at all dismissed by me. Please, look at my comment #135, where I answer about the when and the how, in the measure that I believe it is scientifically possible.

    OK, Let me quote you from that comment:

    When was design implemented?

    The answer is rather simple. Any time we can observe in natural history a definite and rather sudden increase in functional information that is well beyond any threshold that is in the range of unguided processes.

    This , I think, is circular. You are leaping from the lack of an explanation (or possibly being unaware of or just not liking that explanation), not to just “we don’t know” but to “design”. That is what I mean when I say you beg the question.

    What design occurs is a rather simple question: the design that we observe.

    By whom is an open question. Scientifically, the only reliable inference we can make is:

    a) Some conscious being or beings

    b) Capable of intelligent cognition (understanding meanings)

    c) Capable of feeling purpose.

    d) Existing at the times when design took place.

    e) having some interface between conscious representations and matter that allow the transfer of information to biological matter.

    Nothing more than that can be said at present, IMO, about this aspect.

    To be brutally honest, this reads as wishful thinking. And it seems unnecessary. The Creator of the Universe of course had the will, power and purpose to produce this creation but he did not necessarily imbue us with the intellect to comprehend that purpose nor the method of his creation. Such speculation seems idle and non-scientific.

    So, as you can see, I have dismissed none of your questions. I have honestly tried to answer them all.

    I don’t question your honesty or your integrity. I question whether you are mistaken only.

    And believe me, I have much more than the words “Intelligent Design”, whatever you may think. We all have much more.

    Then we are at an impasse as, much as I would like to learn more of the design process, you tell me such questions as who, when and how are not answerable.

    By the way, the kind of person I think you are is: a person that does not really want to discuss fairly. It’s up to you to falsify my opinion.

    I’ve lurked a lot here and posted a few comments, all addressed to you. Does that not indicate I regard you as the most interesting contributor here?

  226. 226
    Antonin says:

    I should address this point of gpuccio’s as I think it is important.
    Gpuccio writes:

    e) having some interface between conscious representations and matter that allow the transfer of information to biological matter.

    Indeed! Even if we follow the tenets of substance dualism, there must be (and you appear to agree) an interaction between the designer (if one assumes that the designer’s invisibility is due to his being immaterial) to bring about the events of design that would have to occur if evolutionary processes are dismissed as an explanation of the nested hierarchy of descent and gradual change.

    That would result in violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Why don’t ID scientists look for such instances?

  227. 227
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    I keep pointing out that function does not equate to sequence. With my Archaea/Bacteria example and two complex and evolvable systems that show no homology, it is clear that in this instance there are at least two solutions to prokaryote motility to be found in sequence space. Unless I misunderstand, you are assuming unique solutions only.

    You do misunderstand. A lot.

    Have you read my comment #213? It’s an answer to that, and I have pointed it our again in my comment #223. Do you even read what I write?

    I am not assuming unique solutions only. I am saying that the presence of multiple complex solutions is practically irrelevant. Read what I write, please.

    And have you read my comment #216? It’s a long and explicit answer to this point, showing that if we oberve two independent solution for the same proble, that’s further evidence for ID, and stronger faslification of neo-darwinism.

    If you don’t agree, please detail why.

    I’m very interested in this positive argument for design.
    The definition posted on this site only talks about “better explanation” without explaining what that better explanation is.

    Have you read my comment #144, quoted in your quote? It’s about that.

    And my comment #204 is about what a scientific explanation means.

    This , I think, is circular. You are leaping from the lack of an explanation (or possibly being unaware of or just not liking that explanation), not to just “we don’t know” but to “design”. That is what I mean when I say you beg the question.

    It is not circular, and your comment is completely not pertinent to the “when” question, that you were apparently discussing and quoting.

    Please, read carefully (or read again) my comments #190, #201 and #204, where I explain in great detail my procedure, and you will see that it is not circular at all.

    The “when” has nothing to do with inferring desing. Once design is inferred from complex functional information, the jumps in complex functional information tell us when the design happened.

    To be brutally honest, this reads as wishful thinking. And it seems unnecessary. The Creator of the Universe of course had the will, power and purpose to produce this creation but he did not necessarily imbue us with the intellect to comprehend that purpose nor the method of his creation. Such speculation seems idle and non-scientific.

    Again, I can’t see what your statements about the Creator have to do with my scientific argument. You have asked what we can say about the designer starting from fact and ID theory, and I have answered. Nowhere have I even mentioned the Creator of the universe.

    I don’t question your honesty or your integrity. I question whether you are mistaken only.

    That’s fine. But if you son’t explain why I am mistaken, with reasonable counter arguments, the discussion stops there.

    Then we are at an impasse as, much as I would like to learn more of the design process, you tell me such questions as who, when and how are not answerable.

    Strange. I remeber that I have answered them all, and I don’t remember ever saying that they are not asnwerable. Again, are you reading what I write?

    I have answered in the measure that facts (and my understanding of them) allow to give answers. That’s what science does. It’s not my fault if you don’t like the answers.

    I’ve lurked a lot here and posted a few comments, all addressed to you. Does that not indicate I regard you as the most interesting contributor here?

    The point is not if you regard me as brilliant or as an idiot. The point is that, unless you offer understandable counter arguments, there is no fair discussion. that’s all.

    Indeed! Even if we follow the tenets of substance dualism, there must be (and you appear to agree) an interaction between the designer (if one assumes that the designer’s invisibility is due to his being immaterial) to bring about the events of design that would have to occur if evolutionary processes are dismissed as an explanation of the nested hierarchy of descent and gradual change.

    That would result in violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Why don’t ID scientists look for such instances?

    Of course I agree. That’s exactly what I think. That there is that interaction, through an interface.

    Just look at my comments #135 and #144. I quote from the second one:

    So, let’s go back to our rationale. What are the human properties that are apparently needed to design, and to generate complex functional information?

    Again, they are:

    a) Being conscious.

    b) Having the cognitive conscious experience of understanding meaning.

    c) Having the feeling conscious experience of desire.

    We can certainly add a fourth quality that is necessary to the design process:d) Having some interface between conscious representations and matter that makes it possible to output conscious forms to material objects.

    I would definitely say that all those 4 qualities must be present in the biological designer(s).

    But, for the rest, he/she/they could be completely different from humans.

    JVL: “Just one more question (channelling Columbo here): how, that is by what mechanism, could transposon activity been guided? I won’t hazard a guess at your answer because I don’t want to make assumptions about what you might say.”

    As I have always said, we can have some idea of how that could work by observing us humans.

    Our physical brain (and, indirectly, the rest of the body) is certainly linked to our conscious representations. Indeed, the connection goes in both directions. As we have always known.

    So, empirically we have two different observable levels:

    a) A flow of subjective representations

    b) A flow of objective modifications in the brain and body

    And many connections between the two, in both directions.

    I completely reject the strong AI theory that subjective experiences are a byproduct of software complexity in the brain. For many reasons, that it would be too long to mention here.

    So, remaining empirical, and without entering any debate about substance (dualism, monism, and so on), I am just happy to consider both levels (consciousness and body) as empirical facts, and to deal with them as such.

    That said, I do believe that the interface between the conscious level and the brain is to be searched at quantum level. I am not the only one to believe that, I would say that I am in very good company. Eccles, Penrose, just to quote a couple of smart guys.

    I believe that something like that must also be true for the biological designer(s).

    The designer must, of course, be conscious and intelligent and purposeful. But how can he (or whatever) output information to material objects? For example, to DNA?

    The best answer is: through some quantum interface that allows his conscious representations to configure specific “switches” that are apparently under the control of random, or at least unguided events (see my following answer to R J Sawyer about the randomness).

    IOWs, conscious intelligence acts by choosing, among apparently random events, those that can be used to implement function.

    Another way to say that is “guided mutations”.

    But the level of guidance must not contradict the laws of physics and chemisty. IOWs, we need an interface that can select among possible events without contradicting apparent determinism.

    Of course, we have such a level. It is the level of quantum events, in particular the wave function collapse.

    I think that’s exactly what happens in our brains, when maybe a synapse is activated (or is not activated) according to some specific quantum configuraton at atomic levels. By our consciousness.

    I think that’s exactly what happens in the biological world, when maybe a transposon moves to one place, and not to another one, according to some specific quantum configuration at atomic level. By the designer’s cosnciousness.

    As you can see, I don’t think that an interface at qunatum level would violate any physical law, including the second law. Moreover, I think that science will give us further information about that problem, sooner or later, because that happens every day in our personal consciousness, and is observable. I don’t know if you believe in free will or not, but I do, and I don’t think that our free will violates the second law.

  228. 228
    Mung says:

    Four easy steps is right. It’s how the atheist imagination works.

    To ‘tame’ chance means to break down the very improbable into less improbable small components arranged in series. No matter how improbable it is that an X could have arisen from a Y in a single step, it is always possible to conceive of a series of infinitesimally graded intermediates between them. However improbable a large-scale change may be, smaller changes are less improbable. And provided we postulate a sufficiently large series of sufficiently finely graded intermediates, we shall be able to derive anything from anything else, without invoking astronomical improbabilities. We are allowed to do this only if there has been sufficient time to fit all the intermediates in. And also only if there is a mechanism for guiding each step in some particular direction, otherwise the sequence of steps will career off in an endless random walk.

    It is the contention of the Darwinian world-view that both these provisos are met, and that slow, gradual, cumulative natural selection is the ultimate explanation for our existence. If there are versions of the evolution theory that deny slow gradualism, and deny the central role of natural selection, they may be true in particular cases. But they cannot be the whole truth, for they deny the very heart of the evolution theory, which gives it the power to dissolve astronomical improbabilities and explain prodigies of apparent miracle.

    Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design (p. 452).

  229. 229
    gpuccio says:

    Mung:

    That’s why I like good ol’ Dawkins. He really understands neo-darwinism and its strict implications!

    “It is the contention of the Darwinian world-view that both these provisos are met”

    This is really good.

  230. 230
    Antonin says:

    It’s how the atheist imagination works.

    Really? How do you know this? My experience of atheists is they are individuals with views as diverse and incompatible among themselves as are the varying and various views among religious folk (Islam, Judaism, Protestantism, Buddhism)…

    Of course, Catholics have it right!

  231. 231
    Antonin says:

    gpuccio admiringly quotes Richard Dawkins:*

    It is the contention of the Darwinian world-view that both these provisos are met

    And those of us who are not atheists and have moved on in the 150 years since Darwin first had some ideas still think God could have engineered things as they appear rather than how some would wish.

  232. 232
    Antonin says:

    Let me re-post Gpuccio’s remarks about the attributes of a designer:

    What design occurs is a rather simple question: the design that we observe.

    Assuming the consequent. “It looks designed to me”§ On the other hand, I fully agree that this Universe and everything in it is designed. It’s just the question of who, when, how etc. that is still unanswerable.

    By whom is an open question.

    The Creator of the Universe, obviously! The evidence is all around us and in us.

    Scientifically, the only reliable inference we can make is:

    a) Some conscious being or beings

    What do you mean by conscious, in this context? I think you are (or retired from being) a medical doctor. So you must be familiar with the Glasgow scale. I guess you mean some other sort of consciousness.

    b) Capable of intelligent cognition (understanding meanings)

    Hmm! Who does the creator/designer converse with? Does he/she/they need conversation? Is it lonely, being God?

    c) Capable of feeling purpose.

    You may have heard of the “ants on the sidewalk” analogy, scurrying about their business oblivious of the Trump Tower looming over them.

    d) Existing at the times when design took place.

    OK

    e) having some interface between conscious representations and matter that allow the transfer of information to biological matter.

    Well, the point of interaction is the one avenue I can see there is scope for scientific research. I guess you could start by picking events that occur and seem implausible by natural explanation. I’d be impressed if ID research were to take up that torch.

    Nothing more than that can be said at present, IMO, about this aspect.

    It’s not much to go on, is it?

  233. 233
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    I respect your position, so I don’t wnat to go on repeating what has already been said.

    Just a few short clarifications:

    1) I am not assuming the consequent. You ask what design occurs. Well, if you look at an airplane, and ask what design takes place in it, the answer is rather obvious: the design of an airplane, meant to make it fly. It is obvious, but it is not assuming the consequent. It is simply answering an irrelevant question.

    2) We have no scientific evidence that the creator of the universe is the biological designer. Maybe, maybe not. So, as scientists, we must keep an open mind.

    I can agree that the whole universe is designed by God, bu that is another kind of statement, and my personal idea is that it is only partially scientific.

    3) You ask: “What do you mean by conscious, in this context?”. It’s rather simple, and it’s the same thing that I mean by conscious in all contexts.

    To be conscious means to have subjective experiences.

    The Glasgow scale is a practical scale meant to infer if one has certain levels of subjective experiences from outer signs. It has nothing to do with the definition of consciousness.

    We really don’t know if persons in deep coma, or in deep sleep, or in anesthesia, have any subjective experiences, I think they have.

    However, we are rather certain that we have subjective representations, and we infer the same thing, with a high degree of certainty, for all other people in their waking state, in their dream state, and probably for many forms of animal life. The rest is rather subjective (no pun intended).

    4) Understanding meaning is not the same as conversing. If the biological designer has to design complex functions, he must certainly understand meanings, as we do. Again, there is no reason to discuss a creator here.

    5) Ants have their purposes. So does the biological designer(s). So do we. None of those purposes needs to be absolute, or perfect, or omniscient.

    6) Information jumps are events that are absolutely implausible by natural explanations. That’s why I am interested in them.

    7) It’s very much. It’s a whole scientific paradigm.

  234. 234
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    Nobody like Dawkins is consistent with the neo-darwinian paradigm. He understands that only RV + NS has potential explanatory power, and all the rest (except design) is rubbish.

    He also understands very well the assumption that are needed to make the RV + NS paradigm credible. He sums them up very neatly in the passage quoted by Mung.

    Then he just expresses his blind faith in the blind watchmaker, as the good religious soldier that he is:

    “It is the contention of the Darwinian world-view that both these provisos are met”.

    I like the words he chooses here: contention and provisos.

    What a pity that the contention is wrong and unsupported by anything, and that the provisos will remain provisos forever, or at least as long as there is someone blind enough to accept them.

    I like Dawkins. He is much better than those confused people of the “third way”.

    There are only two ways. Neo-darwinism and design. There is no other game in town.

    And, of course, only one of them is true.

  235. 235
    PaoloV says:

    Antonin,
    Please, help me and other readers here who have not been endowed with outstanding knowledge of biology.
    It seems like you haven’t commented on the detailed explanations gpuccio has addressed to you. Why?
    Instead, you have written off topic theology-related comments.
    Are you aware of the fact that gpuccio is one of the most consistent ID proponents, because he consistently sticks to pure evidence-based scientific inferences, regardless of their potential philosophical or even theological implications?
    Let me tell you I like his consistency, coherency, apparent honesty, clarity, dedication, friendliness, sense of humor.
    I don’t know what his exact theological position is, though.
    But that doesn’t bother me when I’m trying to understand his well documented scientific arguments that nobody so far has been able to even weaken.
    Your undocumented arguments sometimes seem to smell like some kind of theistic Darwinism ?
    Did I get it right?
    ID according to gpuccio seems to propose the unambiguous detection of intelligent design in biology. The potentially theological implications are left out of the ID paradigm. If you didn’t know this, then now you know it.
    To me the whole reality we observe, which is the object of scientific research, is in strict accordance with the first few verses of Genesis (OT) and John (NT).
    However, I enjoy gpuccio’s purely scientific explanations, even though some are too technical for me.
    Please, let me suggest that you approach the discussion with gpuccio at his level of details. It should help if you point to specific parts of gpuccio’s text when expressing your critical views. Thus other readers, including myself, could understand your point better.
    Just a friendly suggestion.

  236. 236
    Antonin says:

    Gpuccio

    1) I am not assuming the consequent. You ask what design occurs. Well, if you look at an airplane, and ask what design takes place in it, the answer is rather obvious: the design of an airplane, meant to make it fly. It is obvious, but it is not assuming the consequent. It is simply answering an irrelevant question.

    Well, that’s human design. Humans, so far haven’t proved very prolific at biological design, notwithstanding the grandiose claims from corporations developing GMO. Remember the process you claim is at work on populations of living organisms can’t be humans. We have evidence there was life on Earth perhaps 3.5 billion years ago – long before humans came on the scene.

    I find myself not having time for more comments at the moment, while travelling. Maybe there will be flight delays, otherwise a few days!

  237. 237
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    Please, take your time. There is no need to rush. 🙂

    And, of course, I do agree that the biological designer(s) was not human. Humans were not there, when design happened.

    I still believe that a cause must chronologically precede its effect.

    I just meant that, when you are observing a designed thing, and someone asks you: “What design takes place there?”, you simply ask describing the design you are observing. That has nothing to do with the identity of the designer, the when, the how and the why.

    So, if you observe a house, you just answer: “The design here is the design of a house”, whether it is a human house on our planet, or an alien house on some distant planet.

    That has nothing to do with “assuming the consequent”.

  238. 238
    OLV says:

    Long-term evolution on complex fitness landscapes when mutation is weak
     

    Understanding evolution on complex fitness landscapes is difficult both because of the large dimensionality of sequence space and the stochasticity inherent to population-genetic processes.

    Understanding evolutionary dynamics on general fitness landscapes remains an important project for theoretical population genetics

     

    we still lack a general theory that would apply to finite polymorphic populations on complex fitness landscapes, making it difficult to address the types of questions we have considered here in that more realistic context.

     

  239. 239
    OLV says:

    PeterA (192),

    Here’s more on the same topic JVL raised in #181:

    Optimization of the standard genetic code according to three codon positions using an evolutionary algorithm

    Many biological systems are typically examined from the point of view of adaptation to certain conditions or requirements. One such system is the standard genetic code (SGC), which generally minimizes the cost of amino acid replacements resulting from mutations or mistranslations. However, no full consensus has been reached on the factors that caused the evolution of this feature.

    …the optimality of SGC could be a by-product of other processes.

     

    The standard genetic code (SGC) is one of the most intriguing products of evolution. Its origin and uniqueness remain mysterious, especially if we take into account the extremely large number of possible alternatives built from 61 codons encoding 20 amino acids and three stop translation codons. This figure is around 1.51?1084 [1], which substantially exceeds the number of hydrogen atoms in our observable universe.

     

    …the SGC was not directly optimized to minimize the consequences of mutations and mistranslations and its optimization properties can be a by-product of other mechanisms.

    On the efficiency of the genetic code after frameshift mutations
     

    Statistical and biochemical studies of the standard genetic code (SGC) have found evidence that the impact of mistranslations is minimized in a way that erroneous codes are either synonymous or code for an amino acid with similar polarity as the originally coded amino acid. It could be quantified that the SGC is optimized to protect this specific chemical property as good as possible. In recent work, it has been speculated that the multilevel optimization of the genetic code stands in the wider context of overlapping codes.

     

    …the SGC is not only very efficient in minimizing the consequences of mistranslations, but rather optimized in amino acid polarity conservation for all three effects of code alteration, namely translational errors, point and frameshift mutations. In other words, our result demonstrates that the SGC appears to be much more than just “one in a million”.

     

    …the SGC is most efficient in minimizing the effect of translational errors. It outperforms more than 99.99% of one million randomly generated codes.

     

    the consequent next step will be to take a closer look at biological relevant data and compare how competitive the SGC will be on real data scenarios.

    Triplet-Based Codon Organization Optimizes the Impact of Synonymous Mutation on Nucleic Acid Molecular Dynamics
     

    Since the elucidation of the genetic code almost 50 years ago, many nonrandom aspects of its codon organization remain only partly resolved.

     

    When compared to all possible alternative codon assignments, the standard genetic code minimized the impact of synonymous mutations on the random atomic fluctuations and correlations of carbon backbone vector trajectories while facilitating the specific movements that contribute to DNA polymer flexibility

     
     

  240. 240
    OLV says:

    PeterA (192),

    Here’s more on the same topic JVL raised in #181:

    On universal coding events in protein biogenesis
     

    The complete ribosomal protein synthesis cycle and codon-amino acids associations are universally preserved in all life taxa on Earth. This process is accompanied by a set of hierarchically organized recognition and controlling events at different complexity levels. It starts with amino acid activation by aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (aaRS) followed by matching with the acceptor units of their cognate tRNAs (“operational RNA code”) and ribosomal codon-anticodon pairing of messenger RNA (“triplet code”). However, this codon-anticodon matching is possible only when protein translation machinery (translation factors, ribosome) accepts an esterified amino acid. This capacity (“charge code”) correlates mainly with the amino acid nature and the identity elements in the tRNA 3D structure. A fourth potential “folding code” (also referred as “stereochemical code”) between the translation dynamics, sequence composition and folding of the resulting protein can also be defined in the frame of the ‘Anfinsen dogma’ followed by post-translational modifications. All these coding events as well as the basic chemistry of life are deemed invariant across biological taxa due to the horizontal gene transfer (HGT) making the ‘universal genetic code’ the ‘lingua franca’ of life of earth.

     

    Life is a process, which requires transmission, modification and interpretation of information. It is easy to assume that this information is simply encoded in genes, because there is a simple and universal set of rules how this information from the abstract form of four letters gets translated to the more complex 20(+2) letter set of the executive machinery, proteins. Though, as any process, translation occurs in time and requires its chemical implementation if the form of a complex molecular machinery, thus having several levels of control (or sub-coding). Moreover, this machinery has developed from a simpler to more sophisticated form in the course of evolution, thus it contains rudiments of an evolutionary development. As a result, there is a complex picture for how a gene would be accurately translated into an amino acid sequence, or how would amino acid land into a ready protein. Engineering of this process requires understanding of the;

    1)
    Individual interacting components (discussed here as coding levels);

    2)
    Driving forces behind them (e.g., HGT provides a source of innovations);

    3)
    Interactions between them (e.g., correlation of the translation and protein folding velocities).;

    4)
    Biological context (e.g., how the change in code can be fixed by different mechanisms like gain or loss of novel functions under specific selective pressures)

    The interacting components during the translation process are amino acids, aaRSs, tRNAs, translational factors, mRNAs and ribosomes, which are composed of dozens of proteins and ribosomal RNAs. In addition, folding features are encoded in mRNAs and primary amino acid sequences. The understanding of the interacting components in protein biogenesis along with its experimental engineering both will help us to articulate the chemical boundaries of life, i.e., how the chemical environment influences the size and contents of genetically encoded information.

     

  241. 241
    Antonin says:

    Just had some time to reread some comments upthread. Gpuccio refers to a parallel discussion taking place at TSZ – googling I find there is a site, The Skeptical Zone, where there have been long threads regarding gpuccio’s ideas.

    There was one intriguing post by Joe Felsestein, who is a well-known professor of genetics which garnered nearly 2,000 comments.

    I suspect I will be reinventing the wheel when others have made such an effort to understand and criticise gpuccio’s (can I call it an) hypothesis.

    It’ll take a while to read and absorb Professor Felsenstein’s critique. Has gpuccio addressed his points in a previous post or comment?

  242. 242
    Antonin says:

    There are genotypes (say DNA sequences) and we have a biological function that we have defined. If we know, quantitatively, how well a given genotype carries out that function, we can associate that number with the genotype.

    I see Professor Felsenstein has already made a similar point to me, that function and sequence, while connected, are not the same thing.

  243. 243
  244. 244
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    Yes, I have addressed Joe Felsestein’s criticism, as far as I have been aware of it. I cannot go on following TSZ forever.

    Yes, the link you give at #243 is correct. From #394 on I am addressing Joe Felsestein specifically.

    But I had already done that previously. For example, look at my comment #65 in the thread you linked, and you will see that I am quoting many previous answers to Joe Felsestein from a previous thread in my Ubiquitin OP.

    I would like to specially recommend that you consider my example of the thief and the safe, because it expresses well a key point about functional complexity that, IMO, Joe Felsestein has never answered.

    That said, Joe Felsestein is certainly an intelligent and competent interlocutor, but sometimes the discussion with him stops because he seems not to really answer the important points.

    Also, he does not enter, usually, into the molecular biology details, because that’s not his expertize.

    He is however one of the best at TSZ.

  245. 245
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    In brief, just to give you a clue, Joe Felsestein’s biggest mistake is that he seems to believe that complex functional information can originate in the genome as the sum of many simpler events, even in different parts of the genome, that give some fitness advantage.

    That is completely wrong, as I have tried to explain with my example of the thief and the safes. I am not aware that he has ever addressed that point.

  246. 246
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    regarding your old objection that there are alternative solutions, and therefore sequence and function are two different things (and I agree with both statements), let’s keep it simple.

    Just answer this question:

    Would you argue that a watch is not designed only because there are certainly many possible different ways to build a tool that measures time?

    A simple answer, please.

  247. 247
    Antonin says:

    Would you argue that a watch is not designed only because there are certainly many possible different ways to build a tool that measures time?

    No. Humans have indeed devised many ways to measure time, observational, mechanical, electronic.

    A simple answer, please.

    Questions are easy to ask but often hard to answer, especially simply! 🙂

  248. 248
    jawa says:

    Glad to see this interesting discussion between gpuccio and Antonin.
    Thanks guys!

  249. 249
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    OK, your answer is simple and clear.

    So, I suppose that we infer design for the watch because it is complex enough. Being a human product is not necessarily a requisite. If we found on a distant planet an object that clearly works like a watch, even if a little different in the general build, we would still infer that it is designed, because it is complex enough.

    Few would doubt that, and I hope you are not among those few.

    But then, we are considering the complexity of the object big enough to infer design. And yet, we know that there are many alternative solutions to measure time, many of them implemented by humans, others certainly possible.

    So, let’s reflect a moment.

    We cannot really compute with absolute precision the functional complexity of the object because, even if we can compute it for the object we are observing (with a difficult, but perfectly possible in principle, computation of the analogic target space and of the analogic search space), still someone could object that we should know the target space of all possible unrelated alternatives, and add it to the target space of our watch.

    And that is technically true.

    And yet, we are ready to make the design inference.

    How is that?

    The reason is simple enough. We know quite well that adding to the target space of our watch the possible target spaces of digital watches, and of other alternatives, would not significantly change the computation of our functional complexity.

    Why? Because the functional complexity of the watch is big enough to ensure that even a very big number of possible complex solutions, if added, would not change the result in any empirically relevant way.

    So, the existence of digital clocks does not make the existence of a classic watch any more likely as the result of unguided forces.

    But what about simple solutions? We can imagine, for example, that some very basic form of hourglass could be simple enough that it could be found as a non designed object, maybe in the desert, shaped by lucky natural forces, like the wind and rain acting on rocks. I don’t think that is likely, but let’s assume it as a possibility.

    So, of course if we add this simple solution to our target space, the whole target space of course comes into the range of what an unguided system can do.

    But in that case, what do you expect you will find in your desert? The basic hourglass or the watch?

    The answer is simple enough. You give it.

    IOWs, if I have a target space that is made as follows:

    0.9999999999999999999999999 of it corresponds to one simple solution

    1E-25 of it corresponds to 100 complex solutions

    what do you think you can reasonably observe? The simple solution or one of the 100 complex solutions?

    And the important point is: finding the simple solution will not get you any nearer to any of the complex solutions. Having a randomly assembled basic hourglass is no pathway to a clock, in an unguided system, as anyone should easily understand.

    So, if these things are true, how is it that people forget them as soon as we speak of biological objects?

    Because indeed there is no difference.

    There is absolutely no evidence, none at all, that functional complexity is different in biological objects.

    The existence of many possible unrelated complex solutions is no more relevant for complex biological objects than it is for watches.

    And there is no rationale at all and no evidence at all that supports the weird idea that simple solutions are pathways to complex solutions in the biological world. None at all.

    And yet, those weird ideas are believed as dogmas by most people, and offered as absolute truth in the scientific literature.

  250. 250
    PeterA says:

    Can this argument be settled once for all?

  251. 251
    PeterA says:

    these statements:

    “the existence of digital clocks does not make the existence of a classic watch any more likely as the result of unguided forces.”

    “finding the simple solution will not get you any nearer to any of the complex solutions. Having a randomly assembled basic hourglass is no pathway to a clock, in an unguided system, as anyone should easily understand.”

    are obviously true…

    why does it take so much sweating for some folks to get it?

    really mysterious.

  252. 252
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    My point, quoted by PeterA:

    “finding the simple solution will not get you any nearer to any of the complex solutions. Having a randomly assembled basic hourglass is no pathway to a clock, in an unguided system, as anyone should easily understand.”

    is well explained in my mental experiment of the thief and the safes, which is summed up in my comment #65 in the Defending Intelligent Design Theory thread:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/defending-intelligent-design-theory-why-targets-are-real-targets-propabilities-real-probabilities-and-the-texas-sharp-shooter-fallacy-does-not-apply-at-all/#comment-656385

    The simple solution for the thief is to find by a few attempts the simple keys to each of the 150 small safes. Each time he opens one of them, he gets 1/150 of the whole sum (so, each simple solution found gives a fitness advantage).

    In a short time, he will open the 150 small keys.

    The thief could well try to open the big safe, which has a 150 digit key, to get the whole sum immediately. But finding the 150 digit key by repeated attempts is simply empirically not possible.

    The important points are:

    a) The sum of 150 individual simpler functions is completely different from one complex function

    b) Finding one of the simpler functions, or even all of them, is no help at all to finding the complex function.

    I think this mental experiment is simple and clear.

  253. 253
    jawa says:

    Do we all realize the enormous functional complexity of what we’re observing, which is (partially) the object of the discussion?
    Maybe we should start from that?
    Couldn’t we lose the right perspective otherwise?
    Just questions popping up in my mind when I read this discussion.

  254. 254
    Antonin says:

    Can this argument be settled once for all?

    I think gpuccio is presenting the germ of an idea. I don’t think this is the ideal venue for discussion about that idea. Gpuccio, I believe, thinks his idea is scientific. But scientific ideas are subject to testing. If the idea fits observation and/or experiment, then it is worthy of further consideration. I’m not convinced gpuccio has presented an idea that can be tested.

  255. 255
    Antonin says:

    @ gpuccio

    There seems quite a history here. I’m back to 2012 with threads that follow on from other threads, and a back-and-forth with the TSZ site.

    Had you not thought of writing a more formal paper, perhaps taking on board some of the criticism?

  256. 256
    jawa says:

    Antonin,
    Aren’t gpuccio’s explanations based on overwhelming empirical evidences?
    What other test do you need?
    Isn’t it easy to falsify?
    Just present one example where functional complexity originates from unguided processes, hence it’s not intelligently designed.
    That simple.

  257. 257
    Antonin says:

    @ dionisio

    Aren’t gpuccio’s explanations based on overwhelming empirical evidences?

    Well, Gpuccio is developing an idea from data that have been collected and published and thus available for anyone to analyse.

    What other test do you need?

    To test a hypothesis, you need predictions that can be either found or not found. I don’t think gpuccio’s idea predicts anything testable.

    Isn’t it easy to falsify?

    Isn’t what easy to falsify? Gpuccio claims to falsify the theory of evolution, unless I’m mistaken. I think the best that can be said is his model fails. His model, in my opinion, is not an accurate model.

    Just present one example where functional complexity originates from unguided processes, hence it’s not intelligently designed.

    Assuming the consequent. I’m not claiming that processes are unguided. Of course evolution is guided. Where did you get the idea that I thought otherwise?

    That simple.

    Ants! Sidewalk! 🙂

  258. 258
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    If you are not convinced by ideas, you will not be convinced by formal papers.

    If there is any criticism that you agree with, I am available to discuss it here in detail, as I have done with the criticisms you have alredy expressed.

    So, the history will become longer.

    Of course, you can just stick with your opinion.

  259. 259
    Antonin says:

    If you are not convinced by ideas…

    Ideas are just the start. They can be worth pursuing or not It’s really up to you to decide. Is your idea something worth pursuing? Is it worth listening to feedback? Not from me, I’m nobody. But there has been feedback from career scientists. You seem, it’s just my impression, to wave it away. Fine, but you’re not going to impress the scientific community if you don’t at least consider their criticisms.

    …you will not be convinced by formal papers.

    But scientists may take you seriously if you present your idea more formally. Otherwise, what’s the point?

    If there is any criticism that you agree with, I am available to discuss it here in detail, as I have done with the criticisms you have already expressed.

    I don’t agree that you have taken on board Felsenstein’s points and I don’t think you have really considered the points raised by DNA_Jock.There may be much we agree on if we were to compare notes but that would be boring and no help at all in avoiding the onset of dementia!

    So, the history will become longer.

    I have this hypothesis. Let me tell you about it…

    Of course, you can just stick with your opinion.

    You want me to change my opinion? How easy do you find to change yours? When did you last change your opinion about something? I’m going to think hard and see if I can come up with an example where I was able to change my opinion on the presentation of new facts. I’ll race you! 🙂

  260. 260
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    I respect your decisions and don’t tell you what you should do. Could you be kind enough to do the same?

    The point is that I come here to defend what I think is true.

    I always consider others’criticisms. And, if they are interesting, I answer them in detail. It’s all in that long history.

    I don’t want you to change your opinion. I change my opinions all the time. But there must be reasons for that.

    If you have facts or ideas that can make me change my opinions, I am ready to consider them. For me, you are not nobody. Nobody is.

  261. 261
    Antonin says:

    I respect your decisions and don’t tell you what you should do. Could you be kind enough to do the same?

    Apologies. We should all be masters of our own destiny.

    The point is that I come here to defend what I think is true.

    The fact it is not much of a challenge has been the point I have been suggesting. But of course it is your choice.

    I always consider others’criticisms. And, if they are interesting, I answer them in detail. It’s all in that long history.

    Sure. I wonder if you haven’t already written enough to compile into a book. I’m sure there’s a niche market.

    I don’t want you to change your opinion. I change my opinions all the time. But there must be reasons for that.

    Do you? I find it hard to adapt to new information that challenges a long-held view. But there’s no choice, really. Reality or delusion? I have to, in the end, choose reality.

    If you have facts or ideas that can make me change my opinions, I am ready to consider them. For me, you are not nobody. Nobody is.

    Well, I’m not a scientist so my opinions on genetics and molecular biology aren’t worth much. But Joe Felsenstein seems like a reasonable interlocutor. It might be interesting to venture out into a venue where you could communicate more directly.

    Anyway, I’ve enjoyed our exchange. I’ll look out for another article from you, should you decide to write one.

    Stay well and vai con dio 🙂

  262. 262
    gpuccio says:

    Antonin:

    I wish you the best. 🙂

  263. 263
    jawa says:

    Incorrectly expected this discussion would turn more interesting, but the enormous difference of scientific knowledge between gpuccio and his interlocutor soon surfaced. If more sciscientifically qualified interlocutors like the university of Kentucky professor AH or the professor JF couldn’t hold a serious discussion with gpuccio, how can we expect less scientifically qualified interlocutors to have serious discussions with gpuccio?

  264. 264
    PeterA says:

    jawa,
    The discussion could be interesting even if the knowledge levels are different. What matters is the motivation level. If all sides are very interested in finding the truth, the discussion will definitely be interesting, assuming all involved have enough time and communicate in a common language or have good translation.

  265. 265
    gpuccio says:

    jawa:

    Yes, I must confess that I expected something more, too.

    Maybe we are too optimistic, my friend! 🙂

  266. 266
    PeterA says:

    OLV,
    Noticed all those posts in response to my comment @192. Thanks.
    However, probably it was not expressed clearly, but what I meant is that it would be interesting if someone could dissect the papers that JVL cited @181 and tell us how do they relate to what JVL stated. Do they support his statements? Yes, no, maybe?
    Also, what about the other papers you referenced, in addition to JVL’s citations? Do they shed light on the topic JVL raised @181? Any conclusions?
    Thanks.

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