Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

FYI-FTR (& BTB, 1a): A headlined response to LM: “you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer”


It has now been over a day since I responded to the above, and though LM has further commented in the thread, he has studiously refused to respond to the corrective. It is therefore appropriate to speak here for record, and in so doing it is necessary to point out the implications of LM’s speaking with disregard to truth he knows or should know, in hopes of profiting from what he said or suggested being taken as true.

First, here is Dr Stephen Meyer in a readily accessible seminar, outlining the scientific case that has led him and others to champion the design inference as both legitimately scientific and in any case as a reasonably warranted view:

[youtube b7Vf6MvBiz8]

Let’s add a screen-clip, on abductive inference to best explanation (with implications of requiring observed causal adequacy . . . a lingering issue for macro-evolutionary claims):


Likewise, Lyell on the observed adequate cause, vera causa principle (championed by Newton in his four rules of reasoning):


So, Darwin’s legacy:


Meyer then infers:

Step 1:


Step 2:


Where, Crick to his son, March 1953:

Crick's letter
Crick’s letter



Step 3:


With more:


Further to all this, there is a sea change of context.

Innocent blood now cries up from the ground at Umpqua, only to be brushed aside. But those who have laboured long and hard, those who have aided and abetted, those who have actively enabled, those who have been passive or indifferent in the face of the creation of an atmosphere of undue hostility to and polarisation against Christians and the Christian heritage of our civilisation, must now face the consequences.

For, when madmen are distilling shoot on sight from the toxic atmosphere, it is a sign and wake up call for all decent people.

And, a terrible portent for our civilisation:

change_chall(What kind of matches do you think you were playing with when Christians were routinely characterised as ignorant or stupid or insane or wicked? When, a religious upbringing was portrayed as the equivalent to child abuse? When, Christians are routinely portrayed as right-wing, Christo-fascist would be theocrats and potential terrorists? Do we even remember the consequence — literally for centuries — of Nero’s false accusation that Christians were guilty of criminal, treasonous arson against Rome on the night of July 18, 64 AD? And, more, much more? Or, have we forgotten that the lessons of history were paid for in blood and tears, so that those who refuse to heed them doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again?)

We stand warned.

Now, my reply — slightly enhanced:


KF, 186: >>LM, re, 161:

you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer

I will note the loaded language implicit in “the crowd” and the like language on your part, pointing to the preliminary remark in 115 above on polarisation and why this needs to stop given that innocent blood is there crying up from the ground in Umpqua.

Further, kindly observe 115 ff above and again pointed to at 182 regarding outlining the evidence for intelligent design that you wish to sweep away with a blanket, hyperskeptical, loaded language dismissal: “you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design.”

Such is false, patently false, is offered in disregard to truth and is presented in hopes of profiting from it being perceived as though it were true. Where, for years you have run a blog that attacks design thought in similar terms, in insistent denial of corrective information on the point. This means, at minimum, it is — pardon directness, it is necessary to say A is A — a lie by failure to do basic due diligence on easily ascertainable fact.

Had you said, you reject or disagree with evidence offered, on whatever basis, that would be a different thing. But instead, you asserted refusal on our part to present ANY evidence.

That is untruth.

I suggest, that you need to reconsider what you have been doing, in light of the issues pointed out in say 182 and 115 ff above.

Now, in fact, there are trillions of cases of FSCO/I [= functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information . . . a descriptive acronym tracing to remarks in Orgel and Wicken in the 1970’s] all around us and something so simple as the cause of the FSCO/I in the text of your own comments highlights the ONLY actually observed cause, intelligently directed configuration.

That, sir, is a trillion member body of readily accessible highly relevant evidence, and to my certain knowledge it has been repeatedly presented here at UD, repeatedly and prominently.

Per vera causa as championed by Newton and acknowledged by Lyell and Darwin, design is therefore the best current, observationally warranted causal explanation for FSCO/I.

FSCO/I, case 1, a nodes-arcs view of a fishing reel (just the main gear is already more than enough:




FSCO/I, case 2, a flow-process unit network:

Petroleum refinery block diagram illustrating FSCO/I in a process-flow system
Petroleum refinery block diagram illustrating FSCO/I in a process-flow system

FSCO/I case 3, protein synthesis:

Protein Synthesis (HT: Wiki Media)
Protein Synthesis (HT: Wiki Media)

FSCO/I, case 4, the information system involved in such synthesis, per Yockey:

Yockey's analysis of protein synthesis as a code-based communication process
Yockey’s analysis of protein synthesis as a code-based communication process

FSCO/I, case 5, the wider cellular metabolic network:


To overturn that, you need to show per observation, how blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, without intelligent direction of configuration, can and do give rise to FSCO/I beyond the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold.

Further to this, the vNkSR [ = von Neumann kinematic self replicator] evidently at work in cellular self-replication (foundational to reproduction, thus to any discussion of differential reproductive success) needs to be grounded on thermodynamically plausible spontaneous physics and chemistry at OOL, in order for the whole chance/non foresighted variation and culling out by differential reproductive success explanatory narrative to have a basis. As Paley pointed out c 1802 – 4, through the thought exercise of a self-replicating watch, and as has been evident since von Neuman’s work on self replicating machines c 1948 on, this implies a huge increment of FSCO/I. Likewise to account for OOBPs dozens of times including our own, increments of 10 – 100+ mn bits of FSCO/I would have to be accounted for.

Tree of Life, as presented by the Smithsonian; with the root at OOL

Just in our case — for the sake of argument — on we are 2% different from chimps, 60 mn bases (120 mn bits) would have to be accounted for in 6 – 10 Mn y, in ways that account for major anatomical differences, for verbal language, for speech, and more, in incremental ways that are population-wise and mut rate wise plausible. Mission impossible, I suggest.

In light of only observed actual cause and the blind watchmaker search, needle in haystack challenge in beyond astronomical configuration spaces, it is very reasonable to hold FSCO/I as a strong sign of intelligently directed configuration. Thus also, as strong indication of the action of designer(s), acting intelligence(s). For, it is equally patent that intelligently directed configuration is a marker of the action of designing intelligence.


is_ o_func2_activ_info

So, either your objection that we have offered no evidence of a designer folds into the point that FSCO/I is a strong sign of design, or else you are making a selectively hyperskeptical demand.

Namely, you imply that — knowing that on origins science, we deal with a remote past of origins that we cannot directly observe — you demand “scientific” direct inspection of a designer.

Sorry, this is a violation of reasonableness.

Secondly, it points to the issue of the question-begging redefinition of science to fit with a priori evolutionary materialist ideology.

The answer is, that FSCO/I is a strong sign of design, per vera causa anchored inference to best current, observationally and analytically grounded inductive explanation.

To overturn this, what is needed is what has not been forthcoming for 150 – 200 years (bringing in Paley’s self-replicating watch), actual observational evidence that grounds the reasonable conclusion that FSCO/I of at least 500 – 1,000 bits not only results from intelligently directed configuration, but also from blind watchmaker needle in haystack search by means of chance and mechanical necessity without intelligent direction.

In that context, we have a direct positive induction on a trillion member observational base: FSCO/I is seen to result from design.

We have the further induction, that it has only been observed to come from design, and this is backed up by the needle in haystack search challenge to hit on shores of islands of function. Where also, the constraint of multiple well matched, correctly arranged parts to achieve function shows why specific, configuration based function sharply confines successful configs to islands in the space of possibilities.

Thence, on comparative difficulties and merits of alternatives, we may freely infer that the best explanation to date (and in prospect) for FSCO/I in the world of life and elsewhere, is design.

And, that is a conclusion that stands on a trillion member publicly and readily accessible body of evidence.>>


For record.

And, as there is a live thread in progress, discussion can be entertained there. END