Recently, while browsing through the essays of George Orwell – a writer I’ve always admired, even when I disagree with him – I came across one entitled, What is Science? which struck me as both timely and prescient. I’d like to quote a few excerpts, and invite readers to weigh in with their opinions. (Emphases below are mine.)
…[T]he word Science is at present used in at least two meanings, and the whole question of scientific education is obscured by the current tendency to dodge from one meaning to the other.
Science is generally taken as meaning either (a) the exact sciences, such as chemistry, physics, etc., or (b) a method of thought which obtains verifiable results by reasoning logically from observed fact.
If you ask any scientist, or indeed almost any educated person, “What is Science?” you are likely to get an answer approximating to (b). In everyday life, however, both in speaking and in writing, when people say “Science” they mean (a). Science means something that happens in a laboratory: the very word calls up a picture of graphs, test-tubes, balances, Bunsen burners, microscopes. A biologist, and astronomer, perhaps a psychologist or a mathematician is described as a “man of Science”: no one would think of applying this term to a statesman, a poet, a journalist or even a philosopher. And those who tell us that the young must be scientifically educated mean, almost invariably, that they should be taught more about radioactivity, or the stars, or the physiology or their own bodies, rather than that they should be taught to think more exactly.
Orwell is arguing here that science, in the true sense of the word, is about forming one’s opinions by thinking clearly about facts that are publicly shareable and demonstrable. On this definition, anyone who has acquired the habit of thinking in this way should be entitled to call themselves a scientist.
In Orwell’s day, it was seen as a Good Thing that students should learn about “radioactivity, or the stars, or the physiology or their own bodies”; nowadays, educating our young about Darwinian evolution, sexual health for kindergartners, and global warming is deemed to be the latest Good Thing. The focus has changed; but sadly, the paternalistic mindset of the “powers that be” hasn’t.
The demand for more science education, as Orwell astutely perceived, reflects an underlying political agenda, based on the naive belief – falsified by history – that we’d all be better off if scientists ruled the world:
This confusion of meaning, which is partly deliberate, has in it a great danger. Implied in the demand for more scientific education is the claim that if one has been scientifically trained one’s approach to all subjects will be more intelligent than if one had had no such training. A scientist’s political opinions, it is assumed, his opinions on sociological questions, on morals, on philosophy, perhaps even on the arts, will be more valuable than those of a layman. The world, in other words, would be a better place if the scientists were in control of it. But a “scientist”, as we have just seen, means in practice a specialist in one of the exact sciences. It follows that a chemist or a physicist, as such, is politically more intelligent than a poet or a lawyer, as such. And, in fact, there are already millions of people who do believe this.
But is it really true that a “scientist”, in this narrower sense, is any likelier than other people to approach non-scientific problems in an objective way? There is not much reason for thinking so. Take one simple test – the ability to withstand nationalism. It is often loosely said that “Science is international”, but in practice the scientific workers of all countries line up behind their own governments with fewer scruples than are felt by the writers and the artists. The German scientific community, as a whole, made no resistance to Hitler. Hitler may have ruined the long-term prospects of German Science, but there were still plenty of gifted men to do the necessary research on such things as synthetic oil, jet planes, rocket projectiles and the atomic bomb. Without them the German war machine could never have been built up… More sinister than this, a number of German scientists swallowed the monstrosity of “racial Science”. You can find some of the statements to which they set their names in Professor Brady’s The Spirit and Structure of German Fascism.
Orwell goes on to praise science as “a rational, sceptical, experimental habit of mind” and as “a method that can be used on any problem that one meets.” Orwell’s inclusive phrase, “any problem that one meets,” may at first sight suggest that he viewed science as the only road to truth, but he isn’t saying that. In endorsing science – defined in the broad sense – as a method of solving any and every problem, Orwell is not declaring that science alone can give us knowledge, or that science alone can lead us to truth – conclusions that would only follow if the set of truths that can be known coincided with the set of problems that can be solved.
Orwell concludes by suggesting that what young people really need to be taught is not lots of scientific facts, but critical thinking, and rhetorically asking what will happen to the prestige hitherto enjoyed by scientists, and to their claim to be wiser than the rest of us?
But does all this mean that the general public should not be more scientifically educated? On the contrary! All it means is that scientific education for the masses will do little good, and probably a lot of harm, if it simply boils down to more physics, more chemistry, more biology, etc., to the detriment of literature and history. Its probable effect on the average human being would be to narrow the range of his thoughts and make him more than ever contemptuous of such knowledge as he did not possess: and his political reactions would probably be somewhat less intelligent than those of an illiterate peasant who retained a few historical memories and a fairly sound aesthetic sense.
Clearly, scientific education ought to mean the implanting of a rational, sceptical, experimental habit of mind. It ought to mean acquiring a method – a method that can be used on any problem that one meets – and not simply piling up a lot of facts. Put it in those words, and the apologist of scientific education will usually agree. Press him further, ask him to particularise, and somehow it always turns out that scientific education means more attention to the sciences, in other words – more facts. The idea that Science means a way of looking at the world, and not simply a body of knowledge, is in practice strongly resisted. I think sheer professional jealousy is part of the reason for this. For if Science is simply a method or an attitude, so that anyone whose thought-processes are sufficiently rational can in some sense be described as a scientist – what then becomes of the enormous prestige now enjoyed by the chemist, the physicist, etc. and his claim to be somehow wiser than the rest of us?
What, indeed? Remember that, the next time someone asks you to believe in Darwinian evolution, or in the fixity of each person’s “sexuality” (whatever that woolly term means), or in dangerous anthropogenic global warming (as opposed to a modest rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100), based on the “overwhelming consensus” of scientists in the field.
Readers might also like to have a look at Barry Arrington’s 2010 post, Expert, Smexpert, which addresses the question of when it’s rational NOT to believe an expert.
Was Orwell right about science? What do readers think?
248 Replies to “George Orwell on “What is Science?””
I have to defend a man who believed in freedom and equality so strongly he was prepared to fight against Spanish fascism.
What’s to argue with here, unless you are a Creationist? Facts first, then explanations.
I don’t think Einstein and Planck did too badly. Well, for Creationists, anyway…. Gotta cut ’em a little slack.
‘But does all this mean that the general public should not be more scientifically educated? On the contrary! All it means is that scientific education for the masses will do little good, and probably a lot of harm, if it simply boils down to more physics, more chemistry, more biology, etc., to the detriment of literature and history. Its probable effect on the average human being would be to narrow the range of his thoughts and make him more than ever contemptuous of such knowledge as he did not possess: and his political reactions would probably be somewhat less intelligent than those of an illiterate peasant who retained a few historical memories and a fairly sound aesthetic sense.’
Brilliant, vjt. Especially, the emboldened, last sentence of the quote, after the colon:
The problem, Mr. Fox, is with the “observed fact” portion of the quote, as duly noted by Michael Denton:
“Darwin’s model of evolution . . . , being basically a theory of historical reconstruction, . . . is impossible to verify by experiment or direct observation as is normal in science . . . Moreover, the theory of evolution deals with a series of unique events, the origin of life, the origin of intelligence and so on. Unique events are unrepeatable and cannot be subjected to any sort of experimental investigation.” (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, by Michael Denton)
Not really. We, you, I, anyone can, if sufficiently motivated, check facts for themselves. Does water run uphill? Is the Earth flat? It’s not difficult.
We can check facts for themselves, Mr. Fox, but you’re moving the goalposts. We can’t watch the first fish grow legs and walk out of the ocean, as Denton noted.
Barb, please call me Alan. No indeed we can’t go back and see what happened like watching a video. On the other hand there are clues. You can either look at what evidence exists and work from there, or you can start with a preconceived idea like the Earth is 10,000 years old or there was a global flood
Not really. We, you, I, anyone can, if sufficiently motivated, check facts for themselves. Does water run uphill? Is the Earth flat? It’s not difficult.
OK, I give up. What is the connection between that and Barb’s post?
Wel, I guess, if you can’t see the connection, you probably should. 😉
or you can start with a preconceived idea like the Earth is 10,000 years old or there was a global flood
…or you can start with the preconceived idea that “the cosmos is all there is, or was, or will ever be”
I meant give up trying to guess what you meant.
Perhaps you could but why would you?
I don’t. Why would you?
Included in today’s recognition of science is the general opinion that its activities must be peer reviewed and government funded. This has led to all sorts of nonsense being called science.
In the remote chance that you might be interested in what I think, rather than you assuming you know what I think:
I actually have no idea about life, the universe and everything. But that still does not stop me from being curious. That curiosity leads me to looking at what is emerging in scientific discovery. That doesn’t require preconceived notions.
Your habit of posting one-word comments like “lobe-finned fish” makes it rather difficult to decode what point you are trying to make, let alone what you think.
We are not mind readers here.
I often get the impression that posters here, you among them, think they are. But no matter.
While we don’t have a video of the event we do have all sorts of fragmentary remains, like modern survivors: mudskippers and ceolocanths. The links were to more information for those interested. (Yes, I’m an optimist!).
An old boys club that gets you access to free skittles wrung out of Wally World workers’ paychecks via an IRS gun to their heads. Hey, don’t knock the system. Those skeptic blogs don’t run themselves, don’t ya’ know. Gotta fund ’em somehow, ’cause they sure as the heck don’t fund themselves.
No one “asks you to believe in evolution.” The scientific evidence behind the theory is out there, sometimes you may be lucky enough to have some of it presented to you by someone who knows what they are talking about; either way its not a “belief.”
You either accept evolution because you have studied the facts, or you deny it because it doesn’t go along with the little world you like to live in.
Alan @ 7: I agree that we should examine the evidence without prejudice or bias. But remember, bias exists both ways: Lewontin famously stated that scientists have an a priori commitment to materialism, and as you pointed out, biblical literalists have their own biases.
Coelacanths aren’t really missing links, though. It was hailed as a “living fossil.” It was also called the “missing link” between fishes and the first land animals, since it had features resembling lungs and rudimentary legs. “Today, however, there is a growing consensus among evolutionary biologists who have studied living specimens that coelacanths are not missing links,” says The Washington Post. The Post cites the British journal Nature as indicating that the “coelacanth features putatively linking it to land animals are probably only coincidentally similar. . . . Living coelacanths turned out to have no lungs.”
AVS @ 22:
“Out there,” like some unidentifiable spot in the multiverse somewhere?
As far as the observable cosmos goes, this assertion is cogently debunked at UD and elsewhere on a regular basis. So what to do? Keep asserting it! of course.
And don’t forget the ad hominems or self-congratulatory rants or deprecating jibes as you do so. They make it all so much fun!
Life when you’ve got “the consensus” behind you is just about all sunshine and rainbows, ain’t it?
Yes, well, that was misleading. Ceolocanths (or rather the two extant species) are modern animals, as modern as human beings. But they are (if evolution is true) descended over 360 million years from fossil ancestors who are not much different. Phylogenetic research has thrown light on details of the evolutionary pathway.
No, “out there” as in books, articles, journals, PhD dissertations, etc. etc.
Nothing is “debunked” here at UD or any place like it because you guys don’t falsify anything. You guys don’t DO anything actually. You’re just a webpage full of unscientific psycho-babble that you feed to your laymen audience.
Life is great when the facts support you. Thanks for asking.
Orwell’s characterization of the scientific method, “a method of thought which obtains verifiable results by reasoning logically from observed fact,” is not very accurate. In its purest form, it is more like a several step process:
1. Observe phenomena, including the results of experiments.
2. Formulate an hypothesis aimed at explaining those observations. This is not a logical operation. Rather, it is a pure creative act.
3. Using logic, often in the form of mathematical operations, check whether the hypothesis implies the observed results from step 1.
4. If so, draw further conclusions from the hypothesis which can then be checked by observation and/or experiment. These would be predictions of the hypothesis. If not, go to step 6.
5. If many such observations and experimental results confirm the predictions, the hypothesis can be upgraded to the status of a theory.
6. If not, decide whether the hypothesis can be modified so that all existing observations and/or experimental results can then be concluded from it or whether it should simply be abandoned. This, again, involves creativity.
And so on…
This methodology can only be successfully applied to the investigation of phenomena that obey some kind of law like behavior. There are many areas of inquiry where it is simply inapplicable, for example questions of aesthetics, ethics, or epistemology. It is also an inappropriate method for the study of the nature of mind, in spite of what many psychologists and neurologists would like to believe, since an essential element of mind is creativity, and creativity by its very nature is unpredictable, that is, inherently not subject to law like behavior.
It is creativity, incidentally, which is what gives minds the ability to produce CSI, which we all do effortlessly and repeatedly throughout every day of our lives. Every post in this thread is an example of that.
AVS, simply put, your assertions are wrong.
And this is coming from who? An expert on the topic? No.
Really? Is that all you can come up with? “NO You’re wrong.”
I couldn’t have asked for a better example of UD’s impotence.
AVS, surely you have overlooked the subtlety and scholarly detail in jstanley’s argument. Please make an extra effort and parse it.
It’s a model that is often imitated by IDers, but rarely surpassed..
It is worth underscoring a capital fact that is too often missed or dismissed by evolutionary materialist advocates flying the flag of Big-S Science (and BTW AVS, your ad hominems are both wrong and rude),
The matter is simple:
The most that we can properly say, is that we have constructed models of the past of origins based on things we infer to be traces from that past. And, we project into that model past, dynamics, rates and processes we do observe in the present, which we believe give plausibly reliable consequences that are similar to the suggested traces.
Inductive logic tells us the limitations of scientific reasoning on experiments in the present. (The two revolutions in Physics in scarce 300 years stand in undeniable testimony to that.)
As I once got into a lot of trouble with our colonial overlords for here on the matter of risks being run with volcanoes, OBSERVATIONAL sciences are less reliable still. (My concerns were proved right by the event, didn’t stop some powerful folks from painting a target on my back.)
When it comes to that body plan origin level macroevolution too often presented as being as factually certain as the orbiting of the planets around Sol, we have precisely zero actual observations of the origin of body plans, much less by the suggested mechanisms. Worse, we do have considerable — billions of cases — reliable observation on the only observed source for functionally specific complex info required for novel body plans and OOL. This is backed up by needle in the haystack analyses, and the verdict is plain.
Only intelligence is known and analytically plausible as a source of FSCO/I.
The problem is not that we do not know the facts, but that the facts that have mounted up since the elucidation of the nature of DNA and related operations in the cell since 1953 — sixty years now — cut clean across evolutionary materialist scientism.
So, we face ideological opposition from an entrenched reigning orthodoxy.
Ah yes, the subtlety and scholarly detail of a five year-old.
No you are, lol… 🙂
Ah yes, the good ol’ “nobody’s seen it happen” argument.
Thanks for some more masterfully-crafted, intelligent-sounding psycho-babble from UD.
I can’t wait for BA to come busting through the doors with his quantum entanglement quotes, of which I’m still waiting for him to explain how they are relevant to evolution (without a mile-long copy-paste essay).
re: AF @20
In post #4 at 4:12pm Barb posted this:
Then in post #5 at 4:17pm you posted this:
At the time of your post #5, there was no mention of fish growing legs and walking out of the ocean. So it wasn’t at all clear what point you were attempting to make.
We are not mind readers here.
It sounds like you are seeking the “for Dummies” version.
1) blind purposeless evolution rests heavily on the assumption of materialism
2) recent experimental discoveries in QM cast serious doubt about materialism
You either accept evolution because you have studied the facts, or you deny it because it doesn’t go along with the little world you like to live in.
Logical fallacy. False dichotomy.
Evolution relies on the collection of scientific facts, observations, etc. being done by scientists around the world. As for QM, I see you’ve been reading too many of BA’s posts yourself. Maybe you can explain how QM is relevant to evolution, Mr. Cant…
Life is great when the facts support you.
I think you are bluffing. Can you name 3 observable facts which support the thesis of blind purposeless evolution, without assuming materialism?
@39: “Evolution relies on the collection of scientific facts, observations, etc. being done by scientists around the world.”
@39: As for QM, I see you’ve been reading too many of BA’s posts yourself. Maybe you can explain how QM is relevant to evolution, Mr. Cant…
AVS, quantum entanglement requires a beyond space and time (spooky action at a distance) cause to explain its effect. Finding quantum entanglement within proteins and DNA means that a beyond space and time cause must be invoked to explain life as well. This holds whether or not common descent is true or not. But since it seems that you have already seen this evidence before and find it wanting for whatever personal reason, let’s go one step further and point out that quantum mechanics also requires consciousness and free will as starting axioms:
Let’s also see how free will ultimately plays out in the Christian worldview (since free will is considered illusory in atheistic materialism).
Others may laugh, scoff and fight at ever humbling themselves before God and accepting reconciliation with Him through Christ (propitiation), but as for myself, I choose to be reunited with God through Christ (if He will take me) instead of being eternally separated from Him and all that is, or can ever be, good!
A few assorted supplemental notes:
Music and verse:
It’s the “theory of evolution” and no, I can’t because no matter what evidence I present you, you are going to kick and scream about how I am assuming “materialism.” I know how conversations go on here, I’ve been here numerous times before.
What’s funny is that I’ve read about evolution, taken classes on evolution, and attended seminars on evolution; and not once did I hear the phrase “materialism.”
That is, until I came here.
BA, look, few people understand the basics of Quantum Mechanics, I doubt you are one of them. No one is even certain how quantum entanglement works right now, I suggest you stop trying to use it to back up your “debunking” of evolution when nobody even knows what it really is, you look like an idiot.
@43: “…no, I can’t”
don’t come on here with your “mountains of evidence” bluff and mock others and then try to bluster your way out of it when challenged. it simply won’t work.
@43 “not once did I hear the phrase “materialism.””
it almost sounds like you are proud of your ignorance. if you don’t understand the concept of materialism, it’s no wonder you don’t understand the connection to QM.
@44 “…you look like an idiot”
you look like a child throwing a temper tantrum. unable to reason. unable to follow a logical argument. unable to articulate a defense of your position.
“All we can do is be sensitive to the anger and note that it’s odd for people who value reason so highly to make such large concessions to emotion”
Look buddy, it’s not a bluff, I assure you. You obviously have never opened a biology book so I don’t really see any point in trying to explain things to you. You seem like an idiot from your conversation with Alan Fox anyways.
My point about the phrase “materialism” is that it is an idea you guys like to sensationalize. Evolution deals in scientific terms such as “genes” and “speciation” and “last common ancestor” (you know, those biology words you never bothered to learn) not philosophical ideas such as “materialism” (words you guys on here love to associate with evolution when they have nothing to do with it).
Meanwhile, as the true believers of the Church of Darwin blather on mindlessly, elsewhere on UD the debunking chugs on (in this instance by atheists)…
Like I said, Stan, you guys aren’t debunking a thing here. You’re pointing out that two philosophers added their name to a meaningless list.
I am not your “buddy”.
Don’t “assure” me. Post 3 observable facts supporting your contention that blind purposeless evolution is a true explanation for the history of life. Otherwise you are bluffing.
Does “you guys” include Richard Lewontin? Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997
Totally agree on consensus.
My rejection of evolution has led to my skepticism of evolution. Once I started to look at the facts myself rather than just listen to what I was told I immediately assume now that someone’s “science” is probably false if they have to resort to consensus to bolster their argument.
That being said, I’ve been meaning to really investigate global warming/climate change for myself. It’s just so hard to find sources that aren’t so incredibly alarmist.
? You rejected evolution, and then became skeptical about it ?
Did Lewontin specifically associate evolution and materialism? No. He is talking about science in general and it’s inherent bias toward materialism. Once again, you are sensationalizing “materialism” to try to make evolution seem like it opposes religion. It does not. You can accept evolution and believe in a god, as many do. Unfortunately, there is no evidence for the existence of a god, whereas there is a large amount of evidence that supports evolution. But hey, you whatever makes you happy bud.
Sixth, you have no idea how science works apparently.
‘Unfortunately, there is no evidence for the existence of a god,’
The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978
“Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation
“There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”
George Smoot – Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE
“Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’
,,, ‘And if you’re curious about how Genesis 1, in particular, fairs. Hey, we look at the Days in Genesis as being long time periods, which is what they must be if you read the Bible consistently, and the Bible scores 4 for 4 in Initial Conditions and 10 for 10 on the Creation Events’
Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere; video
“I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that the universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science.”
Anthony Flew – world’s leading intellectual atheist for most of his adult life until a few years shortly before his death
The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel (Nov. 25, 2012) – video
Oops Cantor, I meant to type climate change. Thanks for alerting me. Too bad i can’t edit my comment.
Oh so now people telling stories, and ignoring details to fit ideas together is OK Mr. BA? Weren’t you trashing scientists for telling stories about the origin of life five minutes ago?
I mean really? Cmon, how much detail does Genesis go into? “Let there be light”….Oh yeah dude, that sounds like the big bang for sure. Get real.
Goodnite Mr. AVS, may God blow your socks off with a miracle.
Nickelback – Lullaby
You can accept evolution and believe in a god
Could you be more specific? How much of a role are you prepared to allow this “god” to play in the history of life, before you start calling people idiots?
Nobody likes Nickelback, and my life is pretty awesome as it is thanks. Night <3
Could I be more specifc? Why don't you go talk to the Pope since the Catholic church has accepted the overwhelming amount of evidence behind evolution.
This is teenage-talk. If you are a teenager, you are conversing with people who have far more life experience than you and who are years ahead of you in knowledge, insight, and wisdom.
It certainly speaks of spontaneous creation. I gotta agree with you though AVS that it doesn’t align with the Big Bang very well, especially when you think about the order of creation. Whereas the Bible says earth then light then sun and stars the Big Bang says stars then sun then earth. Not to mention inconsistencies in order of creation of the plants and animals and such.
I gotta agree with Cantor on believing in God and evolution. It’s bad theology because it takes away from God’s omnipotence and holiness and sinlessness and its bad “science” (if by science you mean naturalism).
AVS, you say I clearly have no idea what science is. Id like to respectfully disagree. Science is looking at the evidence, conducting experiments, and drawing conclusions from such things. I’ve looked at the evidence for evolution, read through talk origins and found the ID arguments to be more convincing. The experiments like Lenski’s helped to show to me the complete failure of evolution to account for essentially anything.
Science isn’t about blindly following authority, its following the evidence to its logical conclusion, whether you may like that conclusion or not.
I guess that’s your way of saying “I really haven’t thought this through for myself, and I can’t articulate what role I would allow a ‘god’ to play in the history of life. It’s too complicated for me.”
I was just letting BA know how childish his examples are. He seems to think Genesis provides an accurate description of the big bang.
You may be older than me, but you certainly don’t seem to be more insightful, intelligent, or wise than me. I know a lot of adults who are complete idiots. I assume you have little to no knowledge in the fields of Biology, and yet you try to talk about Biology; you’re not making a good case for your self-proclaimed wisdom, old man.
Sixth, you have now confirmed that you have no idea how science works, and that you probably have no scientific background. You have no idea what you are talking about, and you get your scientific information from all the wrong sources. You are exactly the type of person UD is looking for: scientifically illiterate and willing to believe anything that anyone says.
Cant, I have my own opinions as does everyone else. I am telling you that evolution has nothing to do with “materialism.” If I had to, I could inject a god into the origin of the universe and that would be it, but that is mostly because I don’t know much about the science behind the beginning of the universe.
AVS, the how about stop resorting to consensus and vague elephant hurling and instead make some valid arguments?
Hint, valid arguments means positive evidence for evolution, not theological arguments like “God wouldn’t have done it this way!”
Not even sounding like a teenager now. More like a tween.
Does your Momma know your are hiding under the covers with a flashlight playing with your iPad
There’s a lot you don’t know much about yet. The important thing is, are you willing to learn?
Oh my, you are so funny Mr. Cant.
You do realize that you now sound like a tween yourself right? Once again your infinite wisdom/intelligence/intuition is showing….not.
I’d bet anything that I am 3 for 3 on those in comparison to you.
Sixth, if you want to learn, get yourself into college.
And I am telling you that the above statement is meaningless unless you articulate what you mean by “evolution” in that context.
And it’s why I asked you to clarify what role you would allow a “god” to play in the history of life when you said “You can accept evolution and believe in a god”.
If you knew anything about evolution beseides what your friends tell you one here, I wouldn’t need to do this.
Evolution is the process by which the diversity of life that we see today arose from a single common ancestor.
Maybe a god created the universe, maybe not. But after that there is no need for a god and no evidence for a god.
You seriously believe that he asked you to define evolution because he doesn’t know what it is?
Finally, we’re making some progress.
So, evolution to you means unguided, purposeless descent with modification from a single common ancestor. No teleology.
What evidence convinces you that it was a single common ancestor, and not 2 or 3 or N distinct separate common ancestors?
What is your understanding of what this single common ancestor actually was?
What evidence convinces you that this (living) single common ancestor arose from non-living matter as a result of the presently-known laws of physics and chemistry?
Don’t wave your hands and get all emotional. Just state what you think.
He asked me to define it because he knows that I have the scientific definition of it, whereas he has the UD bullshit definition that they twist around and spoon-feed to you guys.
Evolution occurs at its most basic level, through natural selection of random mutations.
While it could have been a small number of early proto-cells that formed and morphed into the single common ancestor, I try to keep it simple and focus on the single cell. This single common ancestor was a membrane-bound proto-cell with extremely simple protein lattices and eventually simple nucleic acids.
“Its probable effect on the average human being would be to narrow the range of his thoughts and make him more than ever contemptuous of such knowledge as he did not possess” – Brilliant. This seems to fit AVS very well. Oozing with contempt, he requires no demonstration from those he already agrees with and deems the careful research and argument laid out on this blog unworthy of any serious time and consideration.
Keeping it simple and focusing only on a single cell?
If only life was as simple as you wish it was so that abiogenesis would actually work.
The demonstration was presented over the last three years of learning and my own research. As for “careful research and argument” from this blog, well there doesn’t seem to be any. I am scientifically literate, I can tell a cogent argument from one that is not, especially when it comes to science.
Just when I thought we had a breakthrough and were on the verge of having an adult conversation.
I will check in the morning to see if you’ve got something productive to say.
If you’d like sixth, I can talk about the possibility of multiple cells arising and forming life’s single common ancestor but there’s really nothing to suggest that is what happened. Also, you guys are even receptive of one cell forming, nevermind multiple cells, so i figured I’d stick with one.
You have no idea what you are talking about so I suggest you just stay out of this one.
I just gave you a quick rundown of the first proto-cell Cant, did you miss it, ignore it, or did your scientific illiteracy get in the way already?
You described a mythological protocell (which we have never seen btw) even when Scientific American (that’s some real scientists there, not just stupid creationists 😉 admits that abiogenesis doesn’t actually have any evidence supporting it.
Oh yes, the “but we didn’t see it happen” argument. Of course. I almost forgot where I was, thanks for reminding me.
Anyways, unfortunately for you, you are wrong. While we may not be able to witness the first proto-cell that gave rise to all of life, we can model how it would have most likely happened. And that’s exactly what scientists have done.
Once, again, get your scientific information from a scientific source, not from a blog.
And models are just stories without some way to test them. And all experiments of abiogenesis are complete and utter failures.
So Scientific American is not a valid source for you?
Apparently you only accept pro-Darwin sources when they aren’t hostile witnesses.
Anyways, its about an article he wrote in their magazine 20 years ago and how his article still holds true today.
That’s no progress for experimental abiogenesis. Storytelling may have improved, but real facts have only got worse with the more we learn about the complexity of life.
He’s a science writer. How about attacking the arguments and not the source?
Alright well let me hit you with some knowledge and we’ll see how you do.
Experiments have been done that produce amino acids from inorganic matter (and it wasn’t just Miller-Urey)as well as simple carbohydrates and phospholipids. It has been demonstrated that phospholipids can form lipid bilayers on there own due to the hydrophobic effect, simple protein lattices with catalytic activity have been produced simply by dropping amino acids onto hot sand. Experiments have been done that build functional proteins out of just five different amino acids. Simple metabolic activity can be carried out as long as there is a membrane separating the extracellular environment from the intracellular environment. There are numerous simple nucleotides that can be polymerized and later give way to nucelic acids structures similar to those we see today. The list goes on and on. In fact, your friends here sometimes post about findings in the field and love to make it seem like scientists are arguing about how life came about. They’re not, what is really going on is just another small piece of the puzzle is being put on the table.
I had rather a lot to say about this so I put it in an OP on TSZ. However, two short points extracted from that:
If someone has a political agenda that we would all be better off ruled by scientists then they have failed miserably. Our leaders are not scientists. They are for the most part humanities graduates or lawyers. And pseudo-science is as strong as ever.
Vincent is concerned about the teaching of evolution, climate-change and sexual health for kindergartners. But does he oppose the teaching of radioactivity, or the stars, or the physiology of our own bodies i.e. the things which concerned Orwell? He is confusing the issue over what is science with whether it should be taught.
AVS you claim:
So is the origin of life model that they are not arguing about the RNA world hypothesis, or the metabolism first hypothesis, or perhaps the panspermia hypothesis championed by Crick and/or the recent ‘we are all Martians’ hypothesis?
Perhaps you just mean they are not arguing about whether or not it happened by naturalistic means, because they are certainly arguing amongst themselves about how life came about by naturalistic means.
Also of note, we now have evidence for photosynthetic life suddenly appearing on earth, as soon as water appeared on the earth, in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth.
But we have no prebiotic chemical signatures in the geologic record preceding that first life:
But photosynthetic life is exceedingly complex and, moreover, it requires a non-local’, beyond space and time, cause to explain how photosynthesis is even possible:
At the 21:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr Suarez explains why photosynthesis needs a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause to explain its effect:
AVS, as to quantum non-locality of photosynthesis, I have a beyond space and time cause to explain the non-locality of photosynthesis, do you?
It is a commonplace that scientism — in effect, the assumption and ideology that “Science” defines what is knowable or reasonable — has become a major plank of too much of formal and informal/popular science education.
I have literally seen in a reference on critical thinking education published in the UK some years back now, the substitution of “scientific” for “logical.”
(And that was how kids were to be TAUGHT. The editors, if not the author, should have been publicly rebuked — in the non-literal sense, they should have been pilloried.)
Things are THAT bad.
The same inherently self-refuting habit of thought demonstrably pervades major institutions of science and is multiplied by ideological a priori materialism, usually disguised under radical redefinitions of science and its methods.
You may wish to challenge “self-refuting.”
The answer to which is, that the assertion/view that science is the only begetter of truth (AVS, we will get to you in a moment) is an epistemological, not a properly scientific claim; i.e. it is a non-scientific and in fact philosophical view that seeks to dismiss philosophical views. It is incapable of supporting itself, and in fact contradicts itself.
What is being got at by Orwell — whatever infelicities of expression you may have had fun poking holes in — is that the prestige of Science is to become the rallying-flag for ideological scientism and associated a priori materialism, thence the chain of consequences outlined so aptly by Provine in that 1998 Darwin Day keynote at U Tenn (not coincidentally the state of the Scopes trial in Dayton):
In short, utter dehumanisation [if you have no true responsible freedom you are unable to think for yourself with any credibility], the injection of utter amorality and radical manipulative relativism on ethics.
Leading to a world that looks uncannily like the cynically manipulative world we increasingly inhabit.
Orwell (whatever detailed critiques we can make on infelicities in his expressions) is materially right that there is a confusion of meanings and significance of science in our civilisation, and that this is freighted with all sorts of implications for those who are quite willing to manipulate us and our views and choices — especially in the voting booth [which then grants great power to the manipulators and those they appoint to key offices, to do as they will . . . ] — for their own ideological and power purposes.
Further to this, the agendas of scientism and a priori, inescapably amoral and self refuting evolutionary materialism are inherently and demonstrably fallacious and destructive to the pivotal civilising worldview influences that underpin a decent and reasonable society.
If we want a sounder foundation, we need to begin afresh, from the ground up, cf. here on.
You have given no indication above of any serious ability to engage issues on the merits, instead of to try to dismiss by using label-dismiss rhetoric and ad hominems.
For instance, it remains a fact that we did not and cannot observe the remote past of origins. So our theoretical constructs used in origins studies science are far less constrained by genuine facts and a re far more prone to ideologically loaded circularities — more on that in a moment — than either experimental or observational sciences.
And already, the logic of inductive reasoning tells us that inescapably, knowledge claims based on observation, hypothesis, prediction and empirical testing will be weak form, provisional. That is why, after reigning as the shining gem in the crown of science from the 1680’s on, Newtonian dynamics from 1880 – 1930, underwent a revolution that shattered its dominance.
But in fact, Newton knew and taught about that inherent provisionality all along, as can be seen from his 1704 Opticks, Query 31:
In simple terms, scientific reasoning acts on if T then O, O so T, where T = Theory, and O = observations. This affirms the consequent, so the best that we can warrant is that If T, then O, in many cases O so T is empirically reliable. As opposed to: true as fact beyond reasonable doubt or correction.
But the next issue is that observations need to be just that. Where, int eh case of the remote past of origins — whether or no you are inclined to acknowledge the fact, it is plain — we simply are not in a position to observe the actual remote terrestrial past of origins.
We are therefore left to infer on best explanations in light of models of the past.
That is, we observe apparent traces of the past of origins, and are interested to reconstruct the causal process that led to such. We therefore compare what we can observe in the present that allows us to identify empirically reliable causes of sufficiently similar outcomes, and we draw an inference on best explanation from the notion that like causes like.
That inference is pivotally dependent on not a priori, ideologically excluding otherwise credible causal explanations. That is, we must not censor and beg questions.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what has been done and is being done.
That is why we read with deep concern, at sci edu level, in the July 2000 edict of the US based national Science Teachers Association Board, as follows:
The highlights more than amply show cause for concern, as naturalism is in effect the imposition of a priori materialism as a worldview. Big questions are being begged, and naive children in school are being indoctrinated not educated.
The US National Academy of Sciences, as the same link documents, has acted in the same vein (and they have also acted jointly with the NSTA to impose an ideologically loaded and unjustifiable redefinition of science itself that makes the same capital error).
A similar pattern obtains elsewhere, this is a widespread problem.
In that context, it is important to note what Lewontin said, regarding Sagan and other elite scientists, in his notorious January 1997 NYRB review as this is the most blatant, cat out of the bag, easily and publicly available remark:
ID thinker Philip Johnson’s retort in First Things, Nov that same year, was fully merited:
AVS, before you fire off a quip or two to dismiss and then go dragging red herrings off to strawmen soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere, I think you need to understand that I have little expectation that you will be amenable to actual evidence and logic. This is on track record of all too many objectors to design thought we have seen here at UD over the years. Indeed, we have seen objectors who are perfectly willing to cling to the patent absurdities that immediately and blatantly result from rejecting self evident first principles of reason.
Understand, that if you play at rhetorical talking point games while dodging the substantial issues, 2,000 or so onlookers per day will be able to see just what you are doing. (And others will take due note in future.)
But, I am not quite finished yet, for there are two matters you have misrepresented or dodged that need some little correction.
First, I suggest you read the list of papers here on, to see that scientists practicing in the design paradigm have done a fair amount of work, ideological barriers and career busting opposition notwithstanding.
Your disrespectful dismissals have been both rude and wrong.
Next, you have failed to address cogently the basic design inference on functionally specific complex organisation and associated information, FSCO/I as an instance of scientific inductive reasoning.
That is, we observe a common phenomenon, FSCO/I, such as your own posts exhibit, much less mine, as do computer code and functionally organised entities such as clocks, vehicles, chemical processing plants and the like. It turns out that such functional organisation is amenable to reduction to a specific coded string based data structure as in AutoCAD files or the like. So, the coded string case is WLOG.
We can observe that FSCO/I, especially digitally coded functionally specific complex info [dFSCI] the stuff familiar from computer files of all sorts, beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity, has but one known, and routinely observed source: design.
And, an analysis of search resources of solar system or observed cosmos will show that dFSCI beyond that threshold comes form a configuration space that is well beyond the reasonable search capacity of the available resources, on blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. This, in a context where the nature of FSCO/I, requiring specific, matched components arranged and coupled in a specific pattern to fit and function, sharply confines the clusters of functional configs relative to the non-functional ones.
That is why we often speak of isolated islands of function in vast seas of non-function.
So, the real challenge, at OOL and at origin of major body plans, is to bridge the config space to such zones, by blind watchmaker mechanisms.
OOL is headlined, as it brings out that the von Neumann self replicating [vNSR], code based mechanism used in the living cell, is a case in point of FSCO/I to be explained. And explained on only observed physics and chemistry in realistic ponds, volcanic vents or comets etc. Where also, because of the handedness of many complex organic molecules, a key-lock fitting mechanism is critically dependent on the homochirality observed in living forms. That is, chemistry that gives us racemic mixes or mixes that are anything significantly different from homochirality, is out.
Moreover, codes are a linguistic phenomenon, and algorithms that use coded information are a manifestation of purposeful, logical, skilled intelligence.
So, you need to empirically account for the origin of codes and algorithms apart from design — which is abundantly warranted as a cause, sufficient to explain also how these are matched to executing machinery and support machinery based on chicken-egg processes in the living cell. Also, bearing in mind the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold issue for blind searches in config spaces.
The cell, obviously being one of the key traces from the actual past to be explained.
Beyond this, for the origin of major multicellular body plans, we are looking at info increments — per calculation on reasonable assumptions to get cell types, tissues and organs, and cross checked with genome sizes — of 10 – 100 million bits, or more DOZENS of times over. The config spaces for such cases are vast, e.g 10 mn bits covers 9.05* 10^3,010,299 possibilities. 10^300 possibilities already vastly out weighs the search resources of the observed cosmos — the only actually scientifically observed cosmos.
In short there is excellent like causes like on reliable observation basis to infer that OOL and OO body plans are both best explained on design, because of the critical issue of FSCO/I.
And, oh yes, it has been a common move for the past 150 years to suggest that because life forms self replicate they escape the issues and the comparison to technologies is a bad analogy.
As was outlined above — and as Paley highlighted in Ch 2 of his 1804 work, but which has been studiously ignored for 150 years — the origin of a vNSR based self replication mechanism is itself part of what needs to be cogently explained, and explained on the resources of physics and chemistry in a warm little pond or the like.
The root of the tree of life is pivotal, and no roots, no shoots, branches or twigs and leaves.
Design, as of inductive rights, is at the table from OOL, and it continues to be at the table when we discuss OO body plans, up to our own.
Ideological question-begging, as exposed above, cannot change that.
Okay, busy day ahead. Gotta go.
AVS just got put in the corner. One can only ride on red herrings, strawmen, and ad hominem for so long. I think it is funny when people who often mock others for having a “lack of reasoning or logic” usually understand neither of them.
‘… I’m still waiting for him to explain how they are relevant to evolution (without a mile-long copy-paste essay- AVS
You have it the wrong way round, Dum-Dum. We’re waiting to discover from you the relevance of a half-baked and very exiguously-confirmed conjecture called, Evolution, to quantum entanglement’s non-local implications.
I agree that the set of unknown proteins is vast. There’s no case at all for claiming there is no potential functionality in as-yet undiscovered, untested proteins. Evolutionary processes keep stumbling on new functional proteins. We just don’t know (though what work has been done suggests functionality is widespread). The process is not purely random and the stumble does not have to find everything, just something.
Please provide evidence for the stumbling on new functional proteins and the actual process that does the stumbling.
Again where is the evidence?
Is any part of the process random or is all under some kind of law like process? Or are you suggesting something addition to chance, law like and agent? Is stumbling somewhat different from random or law like? God forbid, there should be agency.
Again provide evidence for “just something.”
By the way if you could answer each of these questions, you would be up for the Nobel prize.
Unless all you have is just simple micro-evolution/genetics which is old news.
That leaves evolutionism out.
You don’t know, Alan. Heck the reason genetic engineering has been a bust outside of insulin is because the polypeptides did NOT form into a protein.
There’s no case at all for claiming unguided evolution can produce a functional protein.
Maybe intelligently designed evolutionary processes can do that. However there’s no case at all for claiming unguided evolution can produce a functional protein.
Only intelligent design evolution posits non-random changes, Alan.
Yet what we do understand about DNA and genetics shoots down Mark Frank’s position rather nicely but Mark doesn’t even care and just prattles on regardless.
AVS- Could you please link to or reference this alleged theory of evolution that you keep alluding to?
Lizzie Liddle chokes:
No Lizzie. What we call phyla are groups of organisms with similar/ shared defining characteristics.
Briefly, in between events on a busy day:
You will note that I have highlighted where you have distorted what I did say (and didn’t say, but you put words in my mouth).
What I have pointed out is that for say 300 AA length sequences, we are looking at a space of 20^300, vastly beyond the search capacity of the observable cosmos. That is what makes it so hard to find folding and functioning [key-lock fitting, structurally effective, chemically active etc] proteins.
On evidence that has been recently discussed here at UD (so it should be fresh in minds), we have reason to see that just to fold is a rarity in AA space, something like 1 in 10^70 or thereabouts. As Dr Durston highlighted, that a given AA sequence may be chemically active in a way we may find interesting in vitro is not at all the same as being able to fold, fit and function in vivo.
At no point have I said that there are no possible functional proteins in the rest of unexplored AA sequence space.
So, AF, kindly stop putting words in my mouth that do not belong there.
The name for that is setting up and knocking over a strawman.
What I have emphasised is:
Until these issues and others are squarely faced and answered on empirical observational grounds, we are in no position to suggest that blind chance and mechanical necessity can credibly account for OOL.
There is just one known, easily observed source for FSCO/I. Design.
Design, as of right per canons of inductive reasoning sits at the table to explain the tree of life, from its OOL roots onwards.
The process is generally referred to as natural selection. I am sure you are familiar of with the two-part reiterative process of variation arising in a population’s genome (collectively referred to as random variation such as errors arising in DNA replication and via meiosis and recombination, gene duplication etc etc) ratcheted by differential survival of phenotypes. The essential concept is deceptively simple. Darwin came up with the idea originally. AS for evidence, it’s all around you if you care to look, in the diversity of plant and animal life we see today, plus the remnants of creatures long extinct. The nested hierarchy of bifurcating divergence that we find without exception. Not proof, of course, but nevertheless strong support for the overarching idea.
Not sure what you mean by intelligently designed evolutionary processes. If you refer to people (Craig Venter perhaps) then there is no current method of designing functional proteins other than trial and error. In fact Jack Szostak did this by testing random sequences for ATP affinity and got very interesting results.
You really have misunderstood the process of natural selection. It is not random. The process is biased towards individuals in a population that have some survival advantage in the niche in which they find themselves
Actually Szostak’s ‘very interesting results’ for man made proteins were ‘very interesting’ for what Mr. Fox is not willing to tell:
A Man-Made ATP-Binding Protein Evolved Independent of Nature Causes Abnormal Growth in Bacterial Cells – 2009
Excerpt: “Recent advances in de novo protein evolution have made it possible to create synthetic proteins from unbiased libraries that fold into stable tertiary structures with predefined functions. However, it is not known whether such proteins will be functional when expressed inside living cells or how a host organism would respond to an encounter with a non-biological protein. Here, we examine the physiology and morphology of Escherichia coli cells engineered to express a synthetic ATP-binding protein evolved entirely from non-biological origins. We show that this man-made protein disrupts the normal energetic balance of the cell by altering the levels of intracellular ATP. This disruption cascades into a series of events that ultimately limit reproductive competency by inhibiting cell division.”
Strange Behavior: New Study Exposes Living Cells to Synthetic Protein – Dec. 27, 2012
Excerpt: ,,,”ATP is the energy currency of life,” Chaput says. The phosphodiester bonds of ATP contain the energy necessary to drive reactions in living systems, giving up their stored energy when these bonds are chemically cleaved. The depletion of available intracellular ATP by DX binding disrupts normal metabolic activity in the cells, preventing them from dividing, (though they continue to grow).,,,
In the current study, E. coli cells exposed to DX transitioned into a filamentous form, which can occur naturally when such cells are subject to conditions of stress. The cells display low metabolic activity and limited cell division, presumably owing to their ATP-starved condition.
The study also examined the ability of E. coli to recover following DX exposure. The cells were found to enter a quiescent state known as viable but non-culturable (VBNC), meaning that they survived ATP sequestration and returned to their non-filamentous state after 48 hours, but lost their reproductive capacity.
Further, this condition was difficult to reverse and seems to involve a fundamental reprogramming of the cell.
If Mr. Fox was forthright, he would truthfully acknowledge that it is far more difficult to find a biologically helpful protein than he tries to deceptively pretend with Szostak’s (1 in 10^12) work:
Creating Life in the Lab: How New Discoveries in Synthetic Biology Make a Case for the Creator – Fazale Rana
Excerpt of Review: ‘Another interesting section of Creating Life in the Lab is one on artificial enzymes. Biological enzymes catalyze chemical reactions, often increasing the spontaneous reaction rate by a billion times or more. Scientists have set out to produce artificial enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions not used in biological organisms. Comparing the structure of biological enzymes, scientists used super-computers to calculate the sequences of amino acids in their enzymes that might catalyze the reaction they were interested in. After testing dozens of candidates,, the best ones were chosen and subjected to “in vitro evolution,” which increased the reaction rate up to 200-fold. Despite all this “intelligent design,” the artificial enzymes were 10,000 to 1,000,000,000 times less efficient than their biological counterparts. Dr. Rana asks the question, “is it reasonable to think that undirected evolutionary processes routinely accomplished this task?”
Dr. Fuz Rana, at the 41:30 minute mark of the following video, speaks on the tremendous effort that went into building the preceding protein:
Science – Fuz Rana – Unbelievable? Conference 2013 – video
The Challenge to Darwinism from a Single Remarkably Complex Enzyme – Ann Gauger – May 1, 2012
Excerpt: How does a neo-Darwinian process evolve an enzyme like this? Even if enzymes that carried out the various partial reactions could have evolved separately, the coordination and combining of those domains into one huge enzyme is a feat of engineering beyond anything we can do.
AF: The evidence we have of NS, is that it is able to carry out incremental minor mods, usually by breaking a function that is not vital, that happens to give an advantage in a given environment. There is no evidence of NS being even relevant to OOL and that is the root of the tree of life. There is no observational evidence — the touchstone of being properly scientific — that chance variation and NS are able to innovate novel body plans. By contrast, there is abundant evidence that FSCO/I, and especially codes and algorithms come from design. There is also evidence of ideological imposition that locks this out from serious consideration. KF
Proteins are polypeptides. Any sequence of polypeptides is capable of existing. At least I am not aware of any forbidden combinations. Your distinction between proteins and amino acid sequences is a red herring (whether soaked in oil of ad hominem etc I’ll leave you to judge)
In the comment you reproduce, I quoted you thus:
The clear implication is that unknown proteins are non-functional. If you don’t mean that then my apologies. However, in case you do, you would be making an unsupported claim. I don’t say you are wrong. I say you do not know and are unjustified in assuming that unknown proteins are for the most part, non-functional. There is no way currently to tell what functionality a protein has other than synthesizing it and examining its properties. Keefe and Szostak have shown that ATP binding (just one potentially useful function) was found to exist in a mix of randomly generated proteins.
Evolutionary theory does not and cannot address the origin of life on Earth. Evolutionary processes can only work at the point where there are self-sustaining self-replicators.
Mr. Fox you are severely misled if you think that Szostak’s ATP binding represents true functionality for the cell. You were already shown that your supposedly functional proteins ‘gummed up the works’ of the cell. Whereas on the other hand if one were to develop a protein that would bind to a specific site in the cell and that would actually do something useful in the cell instead of ‘gumming up the works’, the following is far more accurate as to what would have to be accomplished:
Viral-Binding Protein Design Makes the Case for Intelligent Design Sick! (as in cool) – Fazale Rana – June 2011
Excerpt: When considering this study, it is remarkable to note how much effort it took to design a protein that binds to a specific location on the hemagglutinin molecule. As biochemists Bryan Der and Brian Kuhlman point out while commenting on this work, the design of these proteins required:
“…cutting-edge software developed by ~20 groups worldwide and 100,000 hours of highly parallel computing time. It also involved using a technique known as yeast display to screen candidate proteins and select those with high binding affinities, as well as x-ray crystallography to validate designs.2”
If it takes this much work and intellectual input to create a single protein from scratch, is it really reasonable to think that undirected evolutionary processes could accomplish this task routinely?
In other words, the researchers from the University of Washington and The Scripps Institute have unwittingly provided empirical evidence that the high-precision interactions required for PPIs requires intelligent agency to arise. Sick!
Computer-designed proteins programmed to disarm variety of flu viruses – June 1, 2012
Excerpt: The research efforts, akin to docking a space station but on a molecular level, are made possible by computers that can describe the landscapes of forces involved on the submicroscopic scale.,, These maps were used to reprogram the design to achieve a more precise interaction between the inhibitor protein and the virus molecule. It also enabled the scientists, they said, “to leapfrog over bottlenecks” to improve the activity of the binder.
of related note as to prevention of aggregation, i.e. prevention of ‘gumming up the works’:
Protein Life Times: Just-Right Evidence for Design – Fazale Rana PhD. – biochemistry
Excerpt: Researchers learned that the amino acid sequences are exquisitely arranged to precisely balance the need for structural stability, while minimizing aggregation propensity.,,, Yet the optimization of proteins is not limited to their aggregation propensities. A cascade of optimization characterizes protein structure and function. In The Cell’s Design, I described a number of other ways that protein structure is optimized.
also of note as to what evolution would actually look like even if Szostak’s 1 in 10^12 number for rarity of functional proteins were true:
How Proteins Evolved – Cornelius Hunter – December 2010
Excerpt: Comparing ATP binding with the incredible feats of hemoglobin, for example, is like comparing a tricycle with a jet airplane. And even the one in 10^12 shot, though it pales in comparison to the odds of constructing a more useful protein machine, is no small barrier. If that is what is required to even achieve simple ATP binding, then evolution would need to be incessantly running unsuccessful trials. The machinery to construct, use and benefit from a potential protein product would have to be in place, while failure after failure results. Evolution would make Thomas Edison appear lazy, running millions of trials after millions of trials before finding even the tiniest of function.
This is meaningless trivial stuff and gets one all the way to a new fur color. It doesn’t even get one to a larger beak. Meaningless in the evolution debate and with which few disagree. It is certainly important for lots of things but not evolution.
So why continue to bring this up when no one disagrees and it is irrelevant. By continuing to espouse it, one is saying I do not have a meaningful theory.
It is like basic first and second grade arithmetic while what is needed is advanced simultaneous differential equations. So by continuing to bring up the trivial, one reinforces the ID position by default.
Better evidence for design and not necessarily for any specific mechanism of naturalistic processes. If an naturalistic process was working, one would expect to find something very different than what we see around us.
By your admission, not a proof so the theory based on it is not proven let alone likely. Actually there are good biological reasons why it cannot be a legitimate hypothesis.
Then it cannot address anything at all because how life evolved depends on how it originated. If the OoL = designed then it is a given that life evolved by design. And it is very telling that all you can do is ignore that fact and prattle on anyway.
Except there isn’t any evidence for NS creating new proteins. So you lose.
Also there isn’t any evidence that recombination and gene duplication are random processes.
Evolutionary and genetic algorithms are examples of intelligently designed evolutionary processes- ie goal oriented processes.
Nope, you have.
It is the result of three processes, one which is totally random and the other two have random components. Random inputs drive a random output.
Mayr says NS is eliminative and as such is not biased as you said. Whatever is good enough gets to survive and have a chance at reproduction.
NS is about as non-random as the spray pattern of a sawed-off shotgun shooting bird-shot. And nothing Alan can say will change that.
“We are not mind readers here.”
How long have you been posting here now Alan?
So what here at UD may seem to you like “mind reading” is really just reading tea leaves. Well..worn..tea leaves.
Joe, Alan believes in “Environmental Design.” Whatever that is.
Define your terms:
Aren’t you making the same claims that Upright BiPed set forth that you claimed were oh so wrong?
Keep telling yourself that Alan, while making claims that contract it.
Your claim reduces to the following:
Evolutionary theory does not and cannot address the origin of systems capable of evolving.
Which is just absurd.
Wikipedia on environmental design. I doubt that is what Alan is talking about.
Why do you — of all people (given what has happened in recent months with your being associated with slanderous false accusations) insist on a distortion after it has been corrected?
I have explicitly pointed out [and that, for years at length] that the issue for AA — not “protein” — sequences, is deep isolation of folding, fitting specifically functional forms, in config spaces that vastly overwhelm solar system or observed cosmos scale resources, leading to a needle in an astronomical haystack scaled blind search challenge. That is multiplied by our knowledge of thousands of fold domains at hamming distances that do demonstrate deep isolation. Deep isolation is not about non existence of new islands of function, but about the deep challenge to blind watchmaker mechanisms to blindly find them in AA sequence space. As you either know or full well should know but refuse to squarely face.
That you find yourself having to revert to a strawman caricature after it has been corrected is sufficient to show that you have no answer on the merits. And, sadly, it speaks to a serious question of insincerity and want of basic respect and frankly common decency on your part, given your close association with and enabling of sustained and unspeakably uncivil false accusations.
Anyway, let me focus on the substantial matter.
There is but one empirically warranted and analytically reasonable causal source for FSCO/I, design. That is, it is warranted to infer that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design, as deer tracks are a sign of deer. Where also, the world of life from the cell on up is chock full of a vast and diverse amount of FSCO/I.
As well you know.
As for trying the old trick of rhetorically severing the ROOT of the tree of life from the tree, the obvious answer is, no roots, no shoots or anything else. There is a clear connexion between origin of the systems of cell based life in the first “body plan” and the many others thereafter, especially once we see how important coded, algorithmic genetic and related information is. Information that clearly manifests FSCO/I.
Design is at the table as of right from the root, and there is no good reason to inject the sort of a priori materialist censorship I pointed out today, at any point across the span of the tree of life.
And that is before I point out a commonplace fact: in both secondary and college level courses and textbooks, it is utterly common to see OOL presented right next to the claimed onward body plan level evolution that spans the tree. What is never presented, however, is actual empirical observational evidence on how cell based life originates by blind chance and mechanical necessity in a warm little pond or the like, neither how body plans form in our observation on blind watchmaker mechanisms.
Again and again, smooth words glide over that inconvenient fact, even as censorship cripples inference to best empirically grounded explanation of the required origin of FSCO/I. Censorship that now extends to unjustified distortion of the definition and methods of science.
It is high time for reformation of science on origins, and linked science education. Or should that be, it is high time to expose and correct materialist indoctrination dressed up in a lab coat.
I strongly reject your baseless and ridiculous allegation of slander. You were the one posting pictures of irrelevant and inflammatory pictures of Nazi concentration camps attempting to suggest some link to “Darwinists”. Get of your high horse.
And you keep repeating the unfounded assumption that functional proteins are “needle-in-haystack” rare in the configuration space of all proteins. You have no warrant for claiming “deep isolation”. You don’t know how rare functional proteins are because you have no way of telling. All the bluster in the World will not obscure this simple fact.
And please stop with your idiosyncratic made-up words and expressions. I am perfectly entitled to use the phrase “unknown protein” for a theoretical polypeptide sequence.
Something new or interesting? A theory of “Intelligent Design”, perhaps?
Your calculation does not coincide with reality. New protein sequences are the result of an accumulation of small hanges, not “tornado-in-junkyard” all-at-once events and, as I said above, the search space may not be sparse and you have no warrant for uttering your “islands of function” refrain and inventing some baseless probability. That’s two terms in your calc that are bogus.
Wishful thinking. All attempts to discredit evolutionary theory are no substitute for a theory of “Intelligent Design”. There isn’t one yet. Don’t you think it’s time to start a little head scratching and hypothesizing? Let’s see some alternative explanations for the pattern of how life on Earth, extant and extinct, that we find.
Oops an extraneous “how”.
Let’s see some alternative explanations for the pattern of life on Earth, extant and extinct, that we find.
Well, it was sort of odd how he seems to insist on a purely “material” system. And, though he leaves it, unstated, the subtext of his argument is Ool is impossible without a “Designer”. Which makes the insistance on a purely materialistic argument a bit perverse.
Why absurd? The theory of evolution is an explanation of how a population of organisms will vary over time under the influence of the niche environment. I’d love to see an evidence-based theory for the origin of life but we have to say all current theories are speculative.
You are lucky. Just being able to believe the various myths in your particular version of the Bible must be comforting. I have to admit I don’t know the answer to OoL and I probably never will.
No one here disagrees that organisms change.
The debate is about unguided common descent, which is what evolution is. It surely you must know this, I’ve seen you around here for a long time.
So why would you act otherwise?
I’m not so sure. You have people with very mixed views and opinions posting here. Comedy YEC like Robert Byers and JoeG to gentle souls like Vincent Torley and gpuccio. There’s not much consistency.
The thread topic is whether George Orwell, commenting on physicists being reluctant to refuse to work on the Manhattan project, was correct. Mind you, most threads here either receive no or few comments and the rest tend to veer off-topic. Regarding unguided evolution, I have often remarked that mainstream Christians are happy to assume that God’s hand is invisible in the process so there needs to be no conflict regarding whether his guidance is real or imaginary.
Act? Otherwise than what? You need to be clearer.
Evidence please as we all know that all you do is make things up to suit your needs.
Only a complete moron would think that I am a YEC and here is Alan Fox
Baraminology is an explanation of how a population of organisms will vary over time under the influence of the niche environment.
We cannot discredit that which does NOT exiist, Alan. And YOU cannot reference thos alleged “evolutionary theory”- so you are either ignorant or dishonest.
You don’t know what a theory is, Alan.
Alternatives to what, Alan? Even Lizzie sats that unguided evolution is NOT science. So what do you think that you have?
That’s not universally accepted.
Alan Gishlick, for instance:
No doubt JoeG disagrees with Gishlick’s conclusion and insists baraminology has some alternative explanation for the diversity of existent and extant life on Earth. I’d be most interested if JoeG (Or even Walter Remine) could manage a brief ang hopefully coherent summary. I’d be specially interested to hear how baraminologists deal with fossil evidence of the Cambrian Period.
You are being willfully deceitful by way of insistently continued misrepresentation at this point.
In this thread, you have repeatedly misrepresented me — part of an ugly pattern you have sustained and enabled here and at TSZ over the scale of months [you are an enabler of a false accusation that is outright slanderous, and you have had to be corrected on strawman tactics before, e.g. here . . . note point 8] — and on being corrected TWICE above in this thread, you have insisted on setting up and knocking over strawmen by pushing worlds in my mouth that do not belong there.
That suffices to show that you have no answer on the merits but hope to mislead.
The plain inductive evidence is that FSCO/I has but one known cause, design, and analysis of needles and haystacks shows why that is very reasonable.
You have no reasonable account for the origin of the FSCO/I of cell based life forms, especially the use of coded strings and algorithms.
The best explanation on abundant empirical evidence backed up by analysis of the search challenges of large config spaces with solar system scale or even observed cosmos scale resources, is design.
Design therefore sits at the table of reasonable explanations of key life phenomena from the root of the tree of life.
The root your favoured theory is unable to touch, and the root the naturalistic models have spectacularly failed to account for, for reasons directly connected to the challenges of creating FSCO/I by blind watchmaker mechanisms in warm little Darwinian ponds or the like.
Especially since, the favourite smokescreen, “natural selection,” is off the table at that point.
And also, at OOL, part of what has to be accounted for is not just metabolising, organised c-chemistry automata, but also the origin of the required vNSR, a code using, algorithmic self replicating mechanism.
Codes — symbols that stand for other things in the context of communication per rules of representation — are a linguistic phenomenon, and algorithms apply language to specify goal directed, step by step procedures that are physically instantiated in organised machinery comprising a complex array of components that are properly matched and very specifically functionally organised.
There is but one credible, empirically warranted and analytically plausible source for such: design.
So, I repeat, despite the smoke of burning ad hominem soaked strawmen clouding and confusing and poisoning the atmosphere, we have every good scientific, inductive logic grounded reason to infer that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design as cause.
Where, design is well understood as a process of cause where by we can identify:
And yes, I here cite Wikipedia, against known ideological interest.
Dembski is quite simple, and on longstanding record:
As for your usual attempts to pretend that FSCO/I or cognates are bogus concepts etc., I simply point out that your own posts are examples in point of complex organised functional patterns of coupled elements towards a specific function, and manifesting or implying 500 – 1,000 or more bits of information carrying capacity to achieve said function. Your posts are string data structures using ASCII code or the like, and by direct and appropriate comparison, D/RNA strings are the same basic item, information bearing coded strings. Computer file sizes routinely report quantitative values for such, e.g. so and so file in such and such format is 198 k bytes.
All that the expression you and ilk so despise,
Chi_500 = I*S – 500, functionally specific bits beyond the solar system threshold of complexity
. . . does, is to take the explicit or implicit bitwise info capacity metric — I — for an entity, address the issue of functional specificity on empirical evidence and if so, multiplies by S = 1 [and by S = 0 otherwise] then asks, by subtraction, whether it is beyond a limit for the blind search capacity of our solar system [500 bits].
Something that is such that Chi_500 = 1 or more, and which is within our solar system, the practical universe for chemical level interactions we face, is with high confidence, a manifestation of design. If you want a bigger reach, 1,000 bits addresses the observed cosmos on far more stringent terms, Planck time search steps of 10^80 particles for the thermodynamic lifespan of the observed cosmos, about 50 mn times the usually accepted timeline to date from the big bang.
In short, directly the opposite of your long sustained pretence, we have a clear and reasonable, empirically grounded and quantitative measure for concluding that a given item — such as cell based life –is per reasonable inductive analysis, designed.
Going beyond OOL, major body plans plainly require much larger increments [not 100 k – 1 M bits, but 10 – 100 mn bits] of the same coded info and associated algorithms, and execution machinery, all of which is dependent on folding AA sequences that for a given config must fit together properly and carry out highly specific functions.
In short, your real problem is, the whole world of life is chock full of that empirically reliable sign of design, FSCO/I.
That is so from OOL on up, from the root of the tree of life and it is so for the origin of major body plans including our own.
And yes, we can credibly infer design from FSCO/I without independently knowing the particular agent involved or the techniques used. The same way we would infer to design if we were to find a monolith on the moon or mars, and the same way we expect ETs who happen to encounter the Pioneer space craft, from its evident FSCO/I.
All that is required, is that we consider that designers at eh relevant point are POSSIBLE. (In short, a priori materialism on origins is tantamount to a deeply embedded worldview level question-begging ideological a priori of dismissing the possibility of design of life and cosmos. In the latter case [notice, I am NOT addressing origin of life or body plans but instead of a fine tuned cosmos set up for C chemistry, aqueous medium cell based life in so many ways that lifelong agnostic and famed astrophysicist sir Fred Hoyle was moved to speak in terms of a superintellect monkeying with physics and resulting in there being no blind forces in the cosmos worth speaking of], it boils down to embedding atheism in the foundations of science. Which can be abundantly documented to be the case for too many today, including august institutions.)
Your long sustained pattern of strawman tactic objections has no merit and is a manifestation of insistent continuation of a material misrepresentation in the teeth of correction, designed to gain a rhetorical advantage.
As such, it has long passed the zone of mere error into that of willful deceit.
Please, stop it.
Baraminology is an explanation…
Neither is evolutionism. Also Gishlick didn’t say anything that would throw doubt at baraminology. So who cares what he sez- he can’t support unguided evolution if his life depended on it.
PS: Where, of course, the functional specificity and complexity constraints narrow down successful configs to isolated clusters in the wider zone of possibilities. There may be a great many possible islands of function, scattered across the config space, but as the simple case of trying to construct long texts by random spewing of ASCII symbols will quickly show, the sets of successful strings are so tiny a fraction of the config space that once we look beyond fairly short — non complex — strings, blind search mechanisms are taxed and defeated by the vastness of the seas of non function. The metaphor on islands of function scattered across a vast sea of non-function, is all too apt. (And Dawkins’ Weasel and kin, show that by contrast intelligently designed and directed search, even when carried out on intelligently designed machines, is much more capable. Of course, Dawkins tried to use Weasel to rhetorically persuade people of the opposite, all too successfully.)
I disagree with you. Trying to dismiss those who disagree with you as wilfully deceitful is just plain ad hominem rather like your smearing people by publishing irrelevant pictures of Nazi concentration camps implying people who disagree with you needed to be marched round them. For shame, KF, for shame.
PS at KF
And in amongst the bluff, bluster and bloviation I failed to notice any hypothesis of “Intelligent Design”. Posturing and pretending to poke holes in evolutionary theory does not advance the fortunes of “Intelligent Design”. It’s still wishful thinking unless you can come up with a testable theory.
F/N: Kindly observe this further correction to AF for his willful misrepresentation based misbehaviour, from several months ago. He is simply up to his longstanding old tricks above. And it is time for him to either wake up and deal with that, or it is time for us to ring fence him off as what he has been showing himself to be, a “by any means ‘necessary’ . . .” destructive ideologue hot to justify a reigning orthodoxy that is crumbling from its foundations, and in so doing is willing to misrepresent and distort, int eh teeth of cogent and repeated correction. Which, in plain words, is willfully deceitful, as deceit involves not speaking what one SHOULD know is false and misleading. KF
F/N 2: Enabling behaviour of false accusations and career busting is indeed highly relevant to what happened when finally Nazism was defeated: as the pictures I showed and clearly described demonstrated, those who were enablers of evil will one day be taken on a tour of shame to rivet beyond doubt what hey enabled. AF, despite being repeatedly corrected on this point, is again distorting, and he is then twisting about correction of his misbehaviour into personal attack. This last is the tactic of turnabout false accusation. if he had not misrepresented and then insisted on it int he face of correction, I would not have had reason to correct him. In short AF is here being willfully insistent in misrepresentation; which is quite plainly deceptive and willful. As he full well should know. KF
Well, the mind just boggles. Kairosfocus doesn’t just admit to his behaviour; he apparently sees nothing wrong or hypocritical in his actions.
“What can men do against such reckless hypocrisy!”
F/N 3: AF continues his distortions, trying to pretend that it has not been adequately warranted per inductive reasoning, that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design as best causal explanation. There is a longstanding and institutionally dominant paradigm, which can be described as evolutionary materialism, which purports to explain origins. Since every tub must int he end stand on its own bottom, it needs to ground its claims for origin of life and of major body plans. Per the issue of the origin of FSCO/I especially digitally coded information and algorithms with executing machinery for same [those very familiar things in a digital age], that paradigm is at an utter loss to explain BOTH OOL and OO body plans, to the point where it is demonstrably resorting to censorship of possibilities allowed to sit at he table of inference to best empirically grounded explanation. A good indication of the significance of this in the context of UD, is to note that for over eleven months now, an open challenge and invitation to provide empirically grounded, observation based warrant for the paradigm, has sat without serious and cogent answer — not from AF, not from EL certainly not from KeithS and many others. The most is an evident attempt by Petrushka that has yet to see light of day, after maybe 6 or so months. [Remember, the challenge was, give us a feature length, 6,000 or so — the limit is not a hard and fast number, it is a reasonable upper length for what people are typically willing to read at one go [20 – 30 minutes at typical reading rates] — word essay that can link onwards for details to heart’s content, but it must address on observational evidence both OOL and OO body plans.] by contrast, as was again outlined above and again strawmannised by AF, there is abundant, billions of cases basis for seeing that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design, and further this is supported by the needle in haystack search challenge for blind search processes. Including the context where the world of life is full of FSCO/I, from OOL on up. So, per the principles of scientific inductive reasoning, the design inference is well founded, though limited in scope. That also held BTW for Kepler’s three laws of motion. But those laws served as a good basis for undermining the prior Ptolermaic geocentric system, and then paved the way for the fuller analysis of Newton, twenty to sixty years dowen the line, that then created a grand synthesis. To object that designt heory is not at the Newtonian synthesis state, which is conceded aby all, and to hold that that therefore suffices to dismiss and falsely accuse empirically grounded evidence comparable to Kepler’s empirical and inductive inferences on how planets moved, in favour of triumphalistically establishing a reigning orthodoxy every inch parallel to Ptolemaic Geocentrism with its ever growing numbers of wheels within wheels to try to save the phenomena slipping and sliding away from being covered, is just as backward as the worst sins of the scholastics. And refusing to attend to FSCO/I, the obvious fact that this is commonly seen and measured in an ICT world, that it is also manifested in the coded info in DNA etc, is like the scholastics who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope. In no too many years time, such antics by the hot champions of today’s reigning orthodoxy are going to look foolish indeed. KF
F/N 4P Observe the pattern of insistently continued misrepresentations, distortions and accusations falsely presented as facts and twistabout rhetoric on AF’s part, while ducking and dodging the substantial matters on the table. All too revealing of what is going on. Enough for record. KF
And in amongst Alan’s bluff, bluster and bloviation I failed to notice any hypothesis of “unguided evolution”.
And Alan, disagreeing with people is fine. However it is your “reasoning” that demonstrates that you are deceitful.
BTW Alan it is mandatory for ID to poke holes into unguided evolution as showing unguided evolution is BS is part of showing ID to be correct.
Again, your scientific illiteracy, while amusing, is still meaningless here.
Presumably, by looking through your telescope, I should see some definition, explanation of how to apply “FSCO/I to a biological scenario to identify an act of “Design”. Let me look then. Point your telescope and explain how to identify “Design” in any meaningful way on any real biological scenario.
And take your time. I am happy to wait. I’ve waited over eight years so far. If there are still issues with your son that make calls on your time, please do not compromise that just to argue with someone on the internet.
Alan, we have told you how to do what you are asking. And in your 8 years you have proven to be a willfully ignorant and dishonest dolt.
How did you do that, Joe? Does it take the form of a post or a comment? Are you capable of locating it and posting a link?
Yes Alan, I posted it and you responded to it. Again your willful ignorance, while amusing, is meaningless here.
And Alan, we have been asking for the methodology used to determine evolution is unguided, yet you have FAILED to do so. We have asked you for this alleged theory of evolution and all you can say is it is in some books.
Not capable of posting a link then Joe?
Not capable of thought then Alan? Not capable of supporting your sorry position then Alan?
How many times do I have to link to something and/ or post it (for you)? If you haven’t grasped it by now the odds are that you never will. So perhaps it would be better if you just try to support your position. That is the real way to refute ID- show us that a designer is not required. Yet you can’t.
For Alan Fox:
Yes, Intelligent Design is both testable and falsifiable. Intelligent Design relies on Newton’s First Rule, meaning agencies are only added when REQUIRED. Therefor to refute ID and any given design inference all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and undirected processes can account for it. IOW all evotards have to do to stop ID cold is to actually step up and A) produce a tyestable hypothesis for their position and B) produce positive, supporting evidence.
However all evos can do is cry foul and say “blind, undirected processes is a strawman!”- yet it is a given that natural selection, genetic drift and HGT are all blind, purposeless processes and all mutations are undirected-> that is given the current theory of evolution. IOW evos are so clueless they don’t even understand the theory they try to defend!
So there you have it ole evos- just start supporting your position and ID will go away.
How is ID tested? As in positive evidence?
1- See above as the way to the design inference is THROUGH the blind watchmaker
2- The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Leheigh University, puts it in his book Darwin ‘ s Black Box: “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”
So if nature, operating freely cannot account for it AND it meets that criteria, some agency is required and we infer design (or at least agency involvement).
Once would be a start. You do know how to bookmark don’t you. Its a couple of clicks to create a link.
Furthermore such a resource would be of widespread interest. The long awaited theory of “Intelligent Design”! Why aren’t IDers shouting it from the rooftops.
A link, Joe? How hard can it be?
OK I see your comment at 149. You’re happy with that. Calling all IDers! Happy with Joe’s theory of “Intelligent Design” as posted by JoeG above at 149? KF? You don’t want to add to or clarify anything Joe has written at 149?
LoL!@Alan Fox- You asked how we could detect design in biology and I answered you. That answer is not a theory of ID.
So Alan’s “response” to my post on how to detect design in biology is to ask other IDists their opinion on what I said?
Talk about cowardice.
What’s wrong Alan you cannot fend for yourself?
No that was second. First I asked JoeG if he was happy with his comment as a precis of a theory of “Intelligent Design” as the time between me asking for a link and your post was about 10 minutes and it does not look solely like a cut&paste.
Then I asked if it had any consensus support from other IDers as It’s hardly worth addressing your version if nobody else agrees with it. And thirdly I asked KF because he has been banging on about FSCO/I for a long time and it savehaving to deal with one minority argument rather than two.
Oops it savehaving to deal with
should read as
it would save time having to deal with
Well in that case, I won’t waste my time.
Geez Behe, Dembski and Meyer agree with it! Just read their books. Again your ignorance of ID is amusing but not a refutation.
Also I posted that many times over several years- it’s all on my blog.
You are a waste of time, Alan.
So Alan asks:
I tell him and his response is he isn’t going to waste his time with it?
Alan, we do NOT need any more proof that you are an ignorant coward. So why do you insist on continually proving what is already well known?
So Alan’s “response” to my post on how to detect design in biology is to ask other IDists their opinion on what I said?
It was still your response.
My post was a response to your request for a method to detect design in biology. Are you that stupid that you can’t even follow along?
It was a cut and paste with a little modification.
Afetr 8 years in this debate Alan still doesn’t have a clue. My 10 year old understands more than you Alan.
Well, my impression was KF offered me a look through his telescope and you jumped in. If you have a method that can detect “Design” (not design) then that would do as a start. You confirm that 149 is intended to serve as a summary of how JoeG can reliably detect “Design” (not design) in a biological entity or process, do you, Joe?
Alan, my method works. OTOH your position doesn’t have any methodology beyond “It isn’t designed no matter what.”
BTW my summary applies to all people, not just me.
Well you would have to pull your head out of your arse first, Alan. Or maybe you think the telescope will fit up there as well.
That’s possible but the view would still be shitty.
Well alrighty then!
I’ll get back to you later!
Translation- “Alan doesn’t have a clue and he needs to ask people what they think”
Newton’s First Law of Motion?
When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either is at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.
Perhaps you’ll explain the connection…
No, perhaps not. You’ll have to explain what the law of inertia has to do with “agencies”. Or do you mean agencies are objects at rest or in motion? Added when required? By whom? All a bit vague so far.
Ah, but wait. I can’t refute something until it has been proposed. You need to give me something specific enough so it can be falsified by testing a prediction by observation or experiment.
The above is nothing to do with how to detect “Design” in a biological entity or process, so I’ll move on.
Well, if “Design” (not design) can be detected reliably in a biological context, we need to know. Unless we have a more accurate and predictive theory that better fits the evidence, scientists will work with what they have.
Apart from being the title of a book by Richard Dawkins, what does this mean?
Irreducible complexity is not a test for “Design”. It is merely an expression of incredulity. It is subjective and merely asserts that system X could not have evolved. This, if valid as a reliable indicator, only purports to tell us of the weakness or lack of an evolutionary explanation. “Design” is merely assumed as a default. But it is the validity of the “Design” assumption that is what needs to be addressed.
So, “some agency”? It seems if an explanation is inadequate, we need to find a better one. And I note the equivocation; “design”(not “Design”) “or at least agency involvement”. Vagueness to the point of vapidity.
Intelligent Design relies on Newton’s First Rule…
Always the ignorant ass, hey, Alan?
Try Newton’s four rules of scientific reasoning.
Therefor to refute ID and any given design inference all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and undirected processes can account for it. IOW all evotards have to do to stop ID cold is to actually step up and A) produce a tyestable hypothesis for their position and B) produce positive, supporting evidence.
Alan, you can’t refute anything because you are scientifically illiterate.
BTW the design inference has been proposed. Again your ignorance is your problem, not mine.
Again your ignorance is your problem, not mine.
Yes, it is.
Therefor to refute ID and any given design inference all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and undirected processes can account for it. IOW all evotards have to do to stop ID cold is to actually step up and A) produce a testable hypothesis for their position and B) produce positive, supporting evidence.
And it is very telling that evos always avoid doing so.
Unguided evolution doesn’t make any predictions. It is totally useless. So obvioulsy scientists don’t work with that…
Thanks for the clarification, Joe. Knowing the “Designer” intervenes with reality only insofar as we are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances makes much more sense. Actually, no it doesn’t.
Just attempting more clarification, you wrote:
and I still have no idea what you are driving at. Why is the “through” capitalized? What are you referring to by “the blind watchmaker”?
And now you tell me
I wonder what would transpire if you tried writing this in E’ (H/T Dr Liddle) William Dembski has proposed the design inference, perhaps. So we find ourselves here. Familiar ground. Explanatory filters, complex specified information, the Mathgrrl saga.
Are you still claiming that you or anyone can show by a simple calculation whether “Design” was involved in the pathway by which an entity or process came about? Mathgrrl never got a satisfactory answer, despite much effort and much time. All the threads, posts and comments are still there.
Remember the old times at ARN when you claimed that Douglas Axe had used Dembski’s explanatory filter?
Yes and I remeber he said he didn’t, which is like saying “I didn’t use a knife to cut that piece of meat, I used a narrow, sharpened piece of metal.”
Pperhaps not to you. But then again you don’t seem to know anything.
Read the book Alan- or better yet:
“Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.
As for mathgrrl, well Patrick choked on everything. Strange that you would bring that up seeing taht he ran away like the coward that he is.
But anyway Alan, it is very telling that you cannot falsify ID by demonstrating that your position can explain something.
So Axe said he didn’t use the EF. He just eliminated necessity and chance PLUS he found some specification.
Wait, the EF has you eliminating necessity and chance PLUS it mandates a specification be present before inferring design.
Well, with the wonders of the internet, you don’t need to remember. The email is still there to be read.
link to the page. Unfortunately there are no permalinks and you need to scroll down to the last comment on that page.
earth to Alan Fox:
So Axe said he didn’t use the EF. He just eliminated necessity and chance PLUS he found some specification.
Wait, the EF has you eliminating necessity and chance PLUS it mandates a specification be present before inferring design.
What part of that don’t you understand?
Well I do remember and obviously I remember correctly. Ya see Alan I emailed him too…
Joe thanks for the opportunity for a stroll down memory lane. On the next page, Dave Wisker links to an article by Art Hunt that covers points raised by Axe’s 2004 paper
Alan thanks for the opportunity to show that you are nothing but a blowhard coward.
And Alan, it is very telling that Art Hunt didn’t provide any evidence for unguided evolution producing proteins.
Maybe when evolution sobers up, Art’ll be able to provide it, Joe. The ‘vino collapso’ it seems to be addicted to, isn’t too great for guidance purposes.
I’m beginning to see the atheists’ point: If nothing can turn itself into everything and maintain it all, the whole time blindfolded at that, could even an omniscient and omnipotent God do as much? As Private Eye sages used to say, mimicking the press, ‘I think we should be told.’
It’s the information age. It’s all out there at the end of a few clicks. The information revolution is mind-boggling. How long before special interest groups try to control the internet?
By special interests, I mean governments.
‘Alan thanks for the opportunity to show that you are nothing but a blowhard coward.’
Speak your mind, Joe. Don’t hold back. But no references to Jack You-Know-Who, there’s a good chap. You came close to it the other day, I noticed! We’re waiting to see if Richie Dee is going to make the study of nothing a new discipline, and don’t want to scare him off.
They are, aren’t they, Alan? In the US, at least, I believe.
Joe, 163: Please watch language and tone. KF
F/N: I should comment on how a serious issue is belittled by the dismissive and fallacious term “appeal to PERSONAL incredulity.”
The real issue is warrant, and the point that irreducibly complex functional structures are not going to be open to creation by slow incremental change is a very reasonable conclusion. (Cf. an earlier, 101 level discussion in the ID Foundations, here.)
Let us remind ourselves on what makes a functional entity IC:
Obviously, something like that exhibits an all in one, all or nothing characteristic, which defeats incremental development.
As, at each step but the creation of a functional entity all at once from multiple well matched properly arranged and coupled parts, it would not work, and would be selected against. (Indeed, this is precisely a form of the islands of function phenomenon that too many Darwinists who object to design thought are in denial about. So, they need to ask themselves some serious questions about what it takes to get the implied info in a large config space all at once.)
A commonly encountered objection is the exaptation argument, where components that did other things just happen to fall together and voila poof a novel function emerges.
Menuge’s observations on the problems with such voila poof reasoning in the context of the bacterial flagellum — and BTW, the TTSS is if anything derived from the flagellum and is itself IC also — are well worth citing:
Typically, only C1 is discussed in the usual exaptation arguments. But plainly, all five criteria must be simultaneously met at one go or the system will not function and will be selected against. By the force of the very dynamic of filtering variations on CURRENT performance that is being appealed to.
It seems that the reason such flawed dismissive arguments work, is that they are a part of a circular pattern of reasoning. There is an unyielding core assumption based on a priori materialism and/or its fellow traveller conceptions, that OOL and body plan macro evo happened by blind naturalistic processes. They are the only players allowed, so they MUST win. If an issue is brought up that would go beyond the circle, it MUST be ruled out, as “unscientific.” Any thing that is remotely plausible to the eye of Darwinist faith — and yes, this is ideological commitment we are dealing with — will do.
All in all, it seems, too often, that we are looking at just finding dismissive talking points to not take issues like IC seriously.
Yet another display station for the upcoming tour of shame.
kf as to:
“Any thing that is remotely plausible to the eye of Darwinist faith — and yes, this is ideological commitment we are dealing with — will do.”
Amen! Darwinists seem to think that if they can merely imagine it happening then it must have happened. Or as Dr. Behe puts it:
“Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination”
Dr. Michael Behe – 29:24 mark of following video
Or as Plantinga puts the philosophical formulation of their argument:
Darwinism Not Proved Impossible Therefore It Must Be True – Plantinga
Better known as
Dumb and Dumber ‘There’s a Chance’
Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on the Empirical Problems with Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin – February 27, 2012
Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.'” Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) –
“nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” –
Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
You just wouldn’t let it lie, would you!
This earns a commendation as a neatly executed strawman with personal incredulity double twist.
C1. OK. Take a bow, type III secretory pore.
C2. Nope. So long as a mutation is not deleterious it can persist due to drift. A subsequent mutation elsewhere and voilà.
C3. Nope. The (bacterial cell is a small encosed space containing an aqueous medium, not a factory floor. Molecules whizz around – it’s called Crownian motion – and constantly bump into each other.
C4. Nope. Molecules self assemble. Electrostatics, hyrogen bonding, hydrophobic/hydrophilic attraction, quaternary conformation. Look at membrane bilipid layers for a good example of self-organisation.
C5. “…are put together in the right order…”? By very tiny designers in hard hats presumably? Nope, self assembly again. Molecules of the right shape and properties will stick together in a consistent way.
Brownian not Crownian. New glasses on my shopping list today!
“Nope. Molecules self assemble.”
Why don’t you go ahead a ‘self-assemble’ me a bacterial flagellum from scratch then???
“I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world – Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111
Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn’t Work – James Tour, Phd. – video
“Nope. The (bacterial cell is a small encosed space containing an aqueous medium, not a factory floor. Molecules whizz around – it’s called Crownian motion – and constantly bump into each other.”
You really need to get out more and read something else besides Darwinian propaganda:
No, Scientists in Darwin’s Day Did Not Grasp the Complexity of the Cell; Not Even Close – Casey Luskin – June 6, 2013
Excerpt: We have always underestimated cells. Undoubtedly we still do today. But at least we are no longer as naïve as we were when I was a graduate student in the 1960s. Then, most of us viewed cells as containing a giant set of second-order reactions: molecules A and B were thought to diffuse freely, randomly colliding with each other to produce molecule AB — and likewise for the many other molecules that interact with each other inside a cell. This seemed reasonable because, as we had learned from studying physical chemistry, motions at the scale of molecules are incredibly rapid. Consider an enzyme, for example. If its substrate molecule is present at a concentration of 0.5mM,which is only one substrate molecule for every 105 water molecules, the enzyme’s active site will randomly collide with about 500,000 molecules of substrate per second. And a typical globular protein will be spinning to and fro, turning about various axes at rates corresponding to a million rotations per second.
But, as it turns out, we can walk and we can talk because the chemistry that makes life possible is much more elaborate and sophisticated than anything we students had ever considered. Proteins make up most of the dry mass of a cell. But instead of a cell dominated by randomly colliding individual protein molecules, we now know that nearly every major process in a cell is carried out by assemblies of 10 or more protein molecules. And, as it carries out its biological functions, each of these protein assemblies interacts with several other large complexes of proteins. Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines.”
(Bruce Alberts, “The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the Next Generation of Molecular Biologists,” Cell, 92 (February 6, 1998): 291-294 (emphases added).)
Phil @ 193
God designed physics and all the emergent properties that combine yo result in self-organisation. I’m sure she has better things to do than concern herself with all the minutiae of every molecule in every cell in every organism. Otherwise imagine how boring it must be to keep doing exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, over and over and over. How much more powerful to get the molecules to do the work for you!
Oops to not yo
“OK. Take a bow, type III secretory pore.”
Surely you are not this dense!
Presenting the Positive Case for Design – Casey Luskin – February 14, 2012
Excerpt: If you think of the flagellum like an outboard motor, and the T3SS like a squirt gun, the parts they share are the ones that allow them to be mounted on the bracket of a boat. But the parts that give them their distinct functions — propulsion or injection — are not shared. I said that thinking you can explain the flagellum simply by referring me to the T3SS is like saying if you can account for the origin of the mounting-bracket on the back of you boat, then you’ve explained the origin of the motor too — which obviously makes no sense.
“One fact in favour of the flagellum-first view is that bacteria would have needed propulsion before they needed T3SSs, which are used to attack cells that evolved later than bacteria. Also, flagella are found in a more diverse range of bacterial species than T3SSs. ‘The most parsimonious explanation is that the T3SS arose later,”
Howard Ochman – Biochemist – New Scientist (Feb 16, 2008)
F/N 2: On tours of shame.
It seems that AF and other enablers of expelling, outing, attempts to hold innocent family members (including CHILDREN) hostage and the like go ballistic when the historical reminder that there comes a day when the defences crumble and a once dominant and domineeringly abusive ideology collapses. Then, there is an accounting, not only for those who actively engaged in thuggish tactics or worse, but also for the enablers who were part of the support networks or culture that allowed such bully-boy fascist thuggishness to proceed. (And, onlookers, the list of thuggish behaviours listed above is something I know from personal experience with Darwinist thugs.)
Yes, that picture of a well dressed, well coiffed respectable “Aryan” blonde woman averting her head in distress from the sight of victims of mass murder as she was frog marched from Munich on a tour of nearby Buchenwald concentration camp is an ugly picture. It is also an apt illustration of what happens when those who indulged in denial, scapegoating and enabling are forced to confront the consequences of their enabling behaviour.
But we are not nazis and have not engaged in atrocities!
(Where of course — for months now — I have been falsely accused of being a nazi with the enabling of AF, EL and others; the precise context in which I have spoken to what happened to enablers of evil nigh on seventy years ago now. For the thought crime of having principled objections to the radical homosexualisation of our civilisation. And, as a black man, I can tell you that the attempt to hijack concerns over racism to make principled objections to homosexualism take on the taint of racism is an outrage that the ghosts of millions victims of the middle passage object to. Cf here on the new blasphemy accusation, and here on the my genes made me do it notion [at least, read the introductory chapter], in case you do not understand that there can be and are principled objections to homosexualisation — itself a grim sign of what has gone wrong in our civilisation and of just how ruthlessly we are being manipulated by radicals in power, following these marketing of evil tactics. Which, BTW, not coincidentally, is one of many decadent and destructive trends that are being enabled by the inherent amorality and radical relativism of evolutionary materialism. An undermining of core values and institutions that undergird public morality and justice, as Plato warned against in The Laws Bk X 2350 years ago. As in, ask yourself: what happens when ideologies that imply that “the highest right is might” seize the commanding heights of influence and decision-making in a civilisation?)
Neither was our well dressed lady an outright Nazi war criminal, or she would have been in a cell on war crimes charges.
She was an enabler, one of many brought to be a witness to the horrible reality that her enabling, along with that of millions of others, had helped sustain. And so, she was on a tour of shame, in the face of exhibits of the reality created by surviving victims. As the video of the newsreel informs. (Onlookers, kindly cf. here for what AF does not want you to ponder.)
Now, let us refresh our minds from Provine’s statement at that U Tenn Darwin Day event of 1998, so we can all understand — and no KN, flicking this off as if it is of no account will not be acceptable given what is at stake and is happening . . . — just what is at stake in our civilisation thanks to a priori materialistic, scientistic, rabid, self-referentially absurd secularism:
Let us spell it out a little bit.
No free will exists.
That means, we are incapable of genuinely responsible decision or choice.
We are — on this ideology — simply meat robots playing out the in-stamped blind and a-rational a-moral programming of genetic chance and necessity multiplied by whatever accidents of social and cultural conditioning. Reason is dead, moral responsibility is dead, man is dead. On such premises, we are, whether we want to openly acknowledge it or not [and whether we are willing to face the reductions implicit in more subtle forms of evolutionary materialism], pretty much as Crick put it in his The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994:
This is absurd, as it is self referential and self undermining. If we were indeed like this not even Crick could know or warrant knowledge or reason reliably. This ideology is intellectually suicidal, and morally suicidal; turning us into cosmic detritus of no more value than a bit of rubbish cast up on a beach by the blind force of the waves, drifting with no purpose or capability to make responsible and genuinely free choice.
But just because something is absurd does not mean that it cannot have great influence and power. Just, — as the ghosts of the victims of 53 million abortions in just the USA since the radically secularist decision of 1973 warn us — that influence and power will be inevitably absurd, self destructive and dangerous.
In that light, I again remind us to soberly reflect on Plato’s warning, which is fresher than next week’s headlines:
In short, evolutionary materialism, once it has seized the imaginations of so-called leading lights, has an inner dynamic that undermines knowledge, reason, reasonableness, mutuality, respect, restraint, justice, law and morality, opening the doors wide to ruthless factions and to the assumption that might and manipulation make ‘right’ nihilism and chaos, ending in tyranny.
Resemblance to what is going on in our civilisation as we speak is NOT coincidental.
Hence, the importance of spotting and spotlighting what is going on to give warning.
And hence also the umbrage taken at the preview of the coming REAL* tour of shame by those caught red handed in the spot beam.
*PS: I don’t usually do this here at UD, but we need to face some sobering, eternally freighted issues linked to what is going on in our civilisation:
“I’m sure she has better things to do than concern herself with all the minutiae of every molecule in every cell in every organism.”
If I wanted Theodicy I would read Origin of Species by Darwin. I could care less what your personal opinion is as to what God would and would not do in this universe and only care about what the scientific evidence says, and along that line we find ‘non-local’ beyond space and time, quantum entanglement all over molecular biology:
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.,,,
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.
INFORMATION AND ENERGETICS OF QUANTUM FLAGELLA MOTOR
Hiroyuki Matsuura, Nobuo Noda, Kazuharu Koide Tetsuya Nemoto and Yasumi Ito
Excerpt from bottom page 7: Note that the physical principle of flagella motor does not belong to classical mechanics, but to quantum mechanics. When we can consider applying quantum physics to flagella motor, we can find out the shift of energetic state and coherent state.
Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73
Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state.
Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 2012)
Excerpt: To derive their inequality, which sets up a measurement of entanglement between four particles, the researchers considered what behaviours are possible for four particles that are connected by influences that stay hidden and that travel at some arbitrary finite speed.
Mathematically (and mind-bogglingly), these constraints define an 80-dimensional object. The testable hidden influence inequality is the boundary of the shadow this 80-dimensional shape casts in 44 dimensions. The researchers showed that quantum predictions can lie outside this boundary, which means they are going against one of the assumptions. Outside the boundary, either the influences can’t stay hidden, or they must have infinite speed.,,,
The remaining option is to accept that (quantum) influences must be infinitely fast,,,
“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,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
Rampant anthropomorphism. Proteins reliably fold into specific shapes because of their inherent chemical and physical properties; given sequence, temperature, pH, ion balance in an aqueous medium it will happen. Choice, my eye.
F/N 3: Just as a simple parting point, AF. Brownian motion is a random motion triggered by particles participating in the chaotic thermal agitation in the environment. It (or rather the underlying dynamic) is responsible for diffusion and other random walk scattering, DIS-organising processes. That is, your attempt to appeal to such to explain complex specific functional organisation is inadvertently revealing of just that appeal to anything that seems remotely plausible to the eye of darwinist faith. It seems obvious you have never seriously read or understood my discussion here of exactly this point in my always linked, or its context from here on on the implications of the dynamics behind the second law of thermodynamics. Let me simply note that organising work implies the orderly, force-driven arrangement of components in accord with requisites of specific function, and this does not change whether we are discussing how a Toyota car assembly plant works, the building of a home brew computer, or the nanotech of the living cell. That you appeal to forces that are overwhelmingly forces of disorganisation to try to explain away the challenges of organisation is utterly — sadly — revealing, and that after eight years hanging around UD to snip, snipe and object. I could go on at length, but the point is made, the links give enough food for thought and a busy day beckons. KF
Do you ever read what you write? You are now accusing me of enabling people to take children hostage? I do cut you plenty of leeway but come on, man, this is absurd even by your overblown standards.
I hardly know where to begin. KF, you may have a masters in electrical engineering but your ignorance of cell chemistry appears profound.If you can show where the tiny builders in hard hats are in the cells of living organisms, then I will concede you have a point. Heck, just one tiny builder will do as an example.
F/N 3: On the way out the door, my eye was caught by the above ill-informed dismissal of the challenge of protein folding.
I give a one word comment:
Think about what that implies, courtesy mad cow disease and the significance of chaperoned folding of proteins.
AF: You evidently don’t care to remember that you are involved in a movement where there were attempts to hold MY children and MY wife hostage by mafiosio threats that unlike you in your comfortable scoffing, I have had to take very seriously indeed. Shame on you !!!!!!! KF
Mr. Fox, It would seem that when you claim that protein folding belongs strictly to the would of classical physics, i.e. “given sequence, temperature, pH, ion balance in an aqueous medium it will happen”, that in your haste to defend all things Darwinian you forgot to read the last part of the cite you were so quick to dismiss:
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.
Now all you would have to do to keep this within the classical reductive materialism of neo-Darwinism is mathematically prove that protein folding belongs to the world of classical physics instead of quantum physics! 🙂
Something tells me that you will not succeed in explaining quantum entanglement within proteins to a classical worldview:
Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – Jun 11, 2013
Excerpt: that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,
The following articles give us a small glimpse as to what it truly means for entanglement to be confirmed to an order of ’70 standard deviations’:
Excerpt: Particle physics uses a standard of “5 sigma” for the declaration of a discovery. At five-sigma there is only one chance in nearly two million that a random fluctuation would yield the result.
SSDD: a 22 sigma event is consistent with the physics of fair coins? – June 23, 2013
Excerpt: So 500 coins heads is (500-250)/11 = 22 standard deviations (22 sigma) from expectation! These numbers are so extreme, it’s probably inappropriate to even use the normal distribution’s approximation of the binomial distribution, and hence “22 sigma” just becomes a figure of speech in this extreme case…
Preposterous paranoid piffle.
I am involved in no movements.
It is your paranoid perception building (I think you are referring to a particular comment by a particular commenter in a forum where I would certainly not have any editorial influence) pixels on a screen to a credible physical threat. It’s preposterous.
KF @ 204
What makes proteins fold into beta sheets? Physics and chemistry. How do chaperone molecules do their work (prevention of aggregation and prevention against heat-shock)? Physics and chemistry. Or are there tiny, tiny little designers in hard hats manipulating, steering, screwing things together?
Alan Fox- all bluff and bluster and STILL no evidence to support any of his tripe.
Evidence please. Ya see genetic engineering has been a bust because the polypeptides did NOT reliably fold into specific shapes. Heck even alleged “silent” mutations can cause proteins to misfold even though the amino acid sequence is the same.
IOW Alan you don’t have a clue and it shows.
AF, you just excluded yourself from civil discussion. My wife and children were subjected to outing and mafiosio style threats, which have been cheered on by rthe3 movement you are a part of, with nary an objection. You now wish to pretend that to take such threats seriously when they target my own family is unjustified. Sorry, you just showed your cold hearted hatred of people you disagree with. No wonder you were willing to associate yourself with the projection of false accusations and worse. The game is over, AF. You have gone beyond all limits of civility, and from now on, I will take you at that standard which you have earned. KF
F/N 4: Onlookers, kindly note this lecture on the ongoing slaughter of the dissidents enabled by the ilk of AF and ever so many more. KF
And more bluffing bluster:
Evidence please. Also your position can’t even explain chaperones!
I assert that known proteins will reliably assume specific conformations based on sequence, pH, salinity, temperature, electrostatics, hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic/hydrophilic attraction, quaternary conformation. The issue is that nobody can reliably predict the property of a novel protein in advance as yet. The only way to find out what a novel protein will be like is to synthesize it and see; a task beyond the resources of existing technology.
I think you need to look carefully about what you have written, here, Joe. I’ll let you have a go at correcting it in case it is just a case of careless phrasing.
missed out some words
I should have said:
…prior prediction of the properties of a novel protein solely from its sequence is a task beyond the resources of existing technology.
I am not part of any movement.
I have not made nor enabled any “mafioso-style threats” to you or your family by any means.
I am unaware of any credible physical threat made by any person (associated with me – certainly not) to you or your family.
And just for the record, I don’t hate you. I am puzzled and disappointed to note your closed-mindedness and prejudice on many issues but that can possibly be rectified, which is why I still sometimes attempt to enter into dialogue with you.
Assert all you want- you still don’t have any evidence to support your tripe.
Heck even alleged “silent” mutations can cause proteins to misfold even though the amino acid sequence is the same.
I have and I take it you cannot grasp it.
It’s fine the way it is. Do you know what a silent mutation is, Alan? Or didn’t you know that they can screw up the final protein?
For Alan Fox-
Silent mutations are changes to the DNA that still code for the same amino acid. However not all silent mutations are equal as some cause the final protein to be deformed, ie not the configuration of the normal type. That is how and why alleged silent mutations can and do cause problems.
Mr. Fox, in your haste to list of things necessary for protein folding I noticed you neglected, once again, to list the recent breakthroughs in science that have firmly placed proteins (assembly and folding) in the world of ‘non-local’ quantum physics. Is this blatant omission on your part due to your a priori atheistic/materialistic bias? Or are you just being willingly deceitful again?
Looking Beyond Space and Time to Cope With Quantum Theory – (Oct. 28, 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,” says Nicolas Gisin, Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland,,,
Excerpt: Quantum physics and molecular biology are two disciplines that have evolved relatively independently. However, recently a wealth of evidence has demonstrated the importance of quantum mechanics for biological systems and thus a new field of quantum biology is emerging. Living systems have mastered the making and breaking of chemical bonds, which are quantum mechanical phenomena. Absorbance of frequency specific radiation (e.g. photosynthesis and vision), conversion of chemical energy into mechanical motion (e.g. ATP cleavage) and single electron transfers through biological polymers (e.g. DNA or proteins) are all quantum mechanical effects.
Persistent dynamic entanglement from classical motion: How bio-molecular machines can generate non-trivial quantum states – November 2011
Excerpt: We also show how conformational changes can be used by an elementary machine to generate entanglement even in unfavorable conditions. In biological systems, similar mechanisms could be exploited by more complex molecular machines or motors.
No, Joe. I’m quite surprised to learn that. Especially as you say “even though the amino acid sequence is the same”.
Please enlighten me.
BTW Alan, genetic engineering uses known proteins- insulin was/ is a known protein. Unfortunately it was one of the few that worked the way scientists wanted.
Alan- just google it- silent mutations that cause defects
Do try to stay on topic, Joe. You were about to tell me about silent mutations and the “screwing up” of proteins “even though the amino acid sequence is the same”.
Come on, Joe. You made the claim. (Just a hint – Google is not your friend on this one.)
I have stuff to do and won’t be back for a while. Take the opportunity to construct a sensible response.
Synonymous Codons: Another Gene Expression Regulation Mechanism – September 2010
Excerpt: There are 64 possible triplet codons in the DNA code, but only 20 amino acids they produce. As one can see, some amino acids can be coded by up to six “synonyms” of triplet codons: e.g., the codes AGA, AGG, CGA, CGC, CGG, and CGU will all yield arginine when translated by the ribosome. If the same amino acid results, what difference could the synonymous codons make? The researchers found that alternate spellings might affect the timing of translation in the ribosome tunnel, and slight delays could influence how the polypeptide begins its folding. This, in turn, might affect what chemical tags get put onto the polypeptide in the post-translational process. In the case of actin, the protein that forms transport highways for muscle and other things, the researchers found that synonymous codons produced very different functional roles for the “isoform” proteins that resulted in non-muscle cells,,, In their conclusion, they repeated, “Whatever the exact mechanism, the discovery of Zhang et al. that synonymous codon changes can so profoundly change the role of a protein adds a new level of complexity to how we interpret the genetic code.”,,,
Mr. Fox, should you not have a sensible argument to address in the first place? Everything you put forward dissolves into absurdity. Why is this? I thought you atheists were the ‘rational’ ones? Why is everything you put forward thus found to be irrational in its basis?
LoL!@ Aaln Fox- Google is my friend and you are ignorant:
I used “silent mutations and disease”-
Synonymous (“Silent”) Mutations in Health, Disease, and Personalized Medicine: Review
Actions speak louder: Predicted mechanisms by which silent mutations cause disease
“Silent” mutations are not always silent- Mutations leading to identical amino acid sequences can change protein folding and function
From my last link:
And it is very telling that Alan was ignorant of this. Heck IDists have known it for years- it is in the book “The Design of Life”
The problem with arguing with Alan is the same as the problem with arguing with Gregory. If they cannot rebut a point you make, they will simply ignore it.
There must be innumerable incontestable arguments shooting down their ones in flames, but you’re wasting your energy making cogent arguments on these threads.
The only ones they will engage with, however, are those they feel they CAN rebut (inevitably, erroneously), so it’s just one more lamentable effect of having to dispute serious science or metaphysics in a form of asymmetric warfare, with dunderheads, who base their arguments on hypotheses that are too insane to be risible.
On synonymous mutations.
Yes I see there is new work about the rate of synthesis of proteins being dependent on the level of aminoacyl tRNA synthetase present in the cytoplasm.In some cases a synonymous mutation will reduce the rate of production of a protein because the aa tRNA synthetase for the codon synonym is less abundant. The suggestion that production rate causes misfolding is speculative. Though I’ll concede that the work on actin is convincing. Though, actins, being the core proteins in cytokinesis and muscle contractions are inherently dynamic.
Interesting but peripheral to the main issue that in general, protein conformation is set by the sequence.
Genes Code For Many Layers of Information – They May Have Just Discovered Another – Cornelius Hunter – January 21, 2013
Excerpt: “protein multifunctionality is more the rule than the exception.” In fact, “Perhaps all proteins perform many different functions by employing as many different mechanisms.”
Explaining how a protein can perform multiple roles – Cell Biology – December 18, 2009
Excerpt: It’s been known for more than a decade that some cell proteins can carry out multiple functions. For example, it was discovered in 1999 that the protein TyrRS (explained shortly) participated not only in the building of enzymes, but also could function to stimulate the growth of blood vessels. Discovering that the same protein could perform very different roles opened one of the great new chapters in molecular biology.
Human Genes: Alternative Splicing (For Proteins) Far More Common Than Thought:
Excerpt: two different forms of the same protein, known as isoforms, can have different, even completely opposite functions. For example, one protein may activate cell death pathways while its close relative promotes cell survival.
Thanks for the links, Phil, most of which I’ve already seen, though the “Gene Sharing and Evolution” book, reviewed by Francisco Ayala looks interesting. How does this relate to the inherent tendency of proteins to fold in particular ways in particular circumstances? We seem to have drifted off the comment of Joe’s 149 and his claim to be able to make adesign inference.
Mr. Fox, proteins being context dependent towards specific functionality in a given setting is very antagonistic towards the ‘bottom up’ reductive materialism of neo-Darwinism and is very conducive to a ‘top down’ approach of Intelligent Design. Talbott puts the problem for neo-Darwinists this way:
HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. And further: “It’s almost as if every mRNA [an intermediate between a gene and a corresponding protein] coming out of the nucleus knows where it’s going” (Travis 2011),,,
The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
“The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)”,,,
The ‘top-down’ approach of ID sounds very apt.
I see you want to stray off the immediate point again to discus cellular transport systems and cellular embryology and evo-devo. Sort of Gish gallop commenting.
Mr. Fox, sorry to interrupt any particular deception you were trying to convey to Joe with ‘Gish gallop’. I can’t seem to shake this belief in you that someday you may become reasonable. My bad! 🙂
Alan Fox chokes:
No, it is observed.
Except protein conformation is NOT set by the sequence and this proves it. And genetic engineering also proves it as do prions.
As for 149, well that still stands as it is obvious that you have nothing. Thank you for that.
>blockquote>Except protein conformation is NOT set by the sequence and this proves it. And genetic engineering also proves it as do prions.
1. Prove what? That the amino-acid sequence is not paramount in the folding of functional proteins and in the the same conditions the folding will be reliably identical? I’ll agree that the system with actins and crystallins appears to exploit additional conformations but this is a very rare exception and one that doesn’t change the fact that the properties of proteins flow from the physics and chemistry. It does show the subtlety of natural selection at work so thanks for the information.
2. Prions demonstrate that life is not perfect. The catalysed precipitation of amyloid in the human brain as a result of eating contaminated bovine material is hardly anything to do with a theory of “Intelligent Design” or a “Design” inference.
3. Genetic engineering? That’s a new one. How does this play?
Oops HTML error First Line is JoeG
It proves that sequence alone does not account for its functional 3-D configuration.
Except there isn’t any evidence that the proerties of proteins flow from physics and chemistry.
Followed by another non-sequitur.
Prions are an example of heredity by contact. And if you were correct about the amino acid sequence determining the protein configuration, that shouldn’t happen.
It shouldn’t be a new one- well to the ignorant it would be, and here you are. Go figure.
With the rare excpetions, such as insulin, most polypeptides- that is spliced in DNA that was then transcribed and translated- did not form into their functioning proteins. Dr Sermonti goes over this in “Why Is A Fly Not A Horse?”- in it he has a chapter titled What Teaches Proteins Their Shapes? in which he presents evidence that refutes your unsupported claims of proteins beiing reducible to physics and chemistry.
So Alan, do YOU have anything beyond your personal opinion to support your claims?
I will first and foremost note that of course — as expected — you have been unable to cogently address fundamental and decisive matters regarding origins science on the merits, for a solid eight years of snipping and sniping in and around UD now.
To be even more specific, as has been on the table for eleven months, on an open invitation, if you or any of your ilk had a serious and empirically well grounded, observationally based case that warrants the idea that blind chance and mechanical necessity in a warm little pond or the like gave rise to cell based life, and onwards body plans, then you would have seized upon the chance.
This is a case where the dog that has refused to bark speaks loud volumes.
If you had a real case, there would not have been any need to be enabling the sort of bully boy ugly tactics I have had to point out above and previously.
But, by your own confession and actions you are a radical ideological evolutionist, who has set out to target design thought for ideological reasons.
The attempted denial above, is simply and blatantly false.
You have declared yourself to be pursuing an ideological agenda, viewing design theory as a threat to what you think of as science but is obviously in reality a priori materialist scientism, and associated ideological materialistic distortion of science education.
You have acted in concert with others in and around UD for many years, and in particular actions such as involving yourself with TSZ and enabling them in slander, as I have had specific reason to highlight already show you to be up to your eyeballs in the activities of a ruthless ideological movement as an enabler.
In short, you simply cannot be taken at face value, you are showing yourself involved with a pattern of habitual falsehood, evasions, distortions, misrepresentations and even slanders intended to take advantage of the naive onlooker who takes you and yo0ur ilk at your words.
You have proved yourself a false accuser [I have not forgotten either your close association with and defense of a false insinuation of nazism, or your attempt to imply directly that the very simple and easily observable phenomenon of complex, specified information is a fraud, using the term “bogus”), a serial resorter to strawman misrepresenations, and now you have proved yourself an enabler of not only false accusations but ugly threats.
I hope for your sake that you can wake up and realise what you have been doing, and make amends before it is too late.
But, right now, I have to take it very seriously that you are part of a movement that has stooped to mafioso style thuggish outing tactics and threats against my uninvolved family — including my wife and children, and that you have tried to indulge in evasions and pretences that all is innocent sweetness and light on your part.
You have definitively crossed a very dangerous line, and from this point forth, I have every reason of basic prudence to treat you in that light.
F/N: I need to underscore that in a world of lunatics, stalkers and ruthless ideologues, outing tactics are an immediate and direct threat on many levels. There are too many cases in point to illustrate that. That AF is trying to parse and pretend his way around this and to accuse me of being “closed minded” to take such tactics indulged by his side as dangerous and beyond all limits of decency and civility, is itself a further warning sign of just what he represents. Multiply that by his association with and attempt to justify tainting insinuations intended to associate me with nazism. Mix in his false accusations of intellectual fraud against the design theory project — that is what “bogus” implies. His pretence at harmless, puzzled innocence is disgusting.
Obviously the stress of your son’s health problems have affected your ability to think straight at the moment. Maybe later you can revisit what you wrote and reflect on it. I think it is best I follow Barry’s advice and I’ll ignore any further comments from you until you come back to reality.
Obviously the stress of your son’s health problems have affected your ability to think straight at the moment. Maybe later you can revisit what you wrote and reflect on it. I think it is best I follow Barry’s advice and I’ll ignore any further comments from you until you come back to reality.
Sorry chubs, but I’m going to bow out on this thread. I don’t see any point in continuing. I make no impression on you, you none on me and I doubt there are too many lurkers reading.
Do you understand that you have just played a low blow, a snide personality instead of addressing the issue you must face?
At this stage, I have to expect such behaviour from you.
You are associated with and have tried to justify malicious, invidious association of principled objection to gross sexual immorality and utter perversion — including now the agenda to pervert the foundational social institution, the family — with nazism, for me and for ever so many others. Remember, it was your ilk who dragged this into issues unrelated, in order to taint and polarise. For months, despite correction you have been enabling this, along with too many others at TSZ. (Onlookers, cf. my recent comment on this scarlet letter tactic being used by various extremists to rob people of livelihood, conscience and more, here. Note onward links, including this on the “my genes made me do it” pseudoscientific talking point.)
Then, you have resorted to slanderous false accusations of fraud, by trying the outrageous tactic of characterising the concept, complex, specified information — something as commonplace as posts in this thread — as “bogus.”
I simply point out that you have also consistently — and in the face of repeated. cogent corrections, willfully and so deceitfully — used strawman distortions of design theory constructs and concepts, the better to portray and knock down a caricature falsely projected as though it were a true and fair view. In this, by and large, you have carried forward the sorts of willful misrepresentations too often resorted to by chief critics of design theory, such as the NCSE. The “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point used to motivate treating an issue that pivots on inductive reasoning on the past of origins in light of traces and reliable causes of such effects as though it were a suspect political ploy, is particularly evident.
In short, you have been only too willing to enable and carry forward the Dawkins smear that would characterise those who beg to differ with his sophomoric evolutionary materialism, as ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.
I have had enough, once you crossed the further threshold of pretending as though the use of outing tactics, career busting and threats — in my case targetting uninvolved members of my family including my children, is something you can easily brush aside and distance yourself from as though it is not an integral part of the pattern of ruthless and utterly uncivil tactics of the movement you have associated yourself with.
The good cop bad cop enabling and manipulating game gets very old very fast, and just because you have not yourself participated in the worst features of the bad cop side, does not leave you innocent of enabling and egging on behaviour.
The lot of you have zero credibility at this point, and step by step reveal a cold, reptilian ferocity driven by an underlying malice that needs to be faced for what it is: out of control cold anger rooted in an agenda that intends to get its way with our civilisation at any cost. An agenda that has subverted science through ideological distortions: a priori evolutionary materialism and scientism, in support of radical secularism and licence leading to undermining of education, law, policy, public morality and liberty — yes, when people’s livelihoods, careers and families are being unjustly threatened and when people’s children are threatened [cf here on a case with the US NAS and NSTA which was used to embed into education a false and destructive radical redefinition of science], this is a threat to liberty — itself.
So, AF, I think you need to seriously think again about both what you have been directly doing and what you have been enabling and going along with in a perverse good cop bad cop game. (The same holds for EL et al.)
To understand just how corrosive such tactics ultimately are, ask yourselves why it is that there are entire sub cultures and communities across our civilisation who do not trust ANYONE associated with law enforcement.
A big part of the answer is the taint spread across all such because there have been too many rounds of enabling of bad cop behaviour by so called good cops. In the end, enablers cannot escape that taint, and right now that is what you are — for cause — facing. The taint of good cop bad cop corrupts the whole movement they are associated with, and ends up causing utter polarisation and breakdown.
Just take a moment to understand how say Sewell’s trials over addressing censorship and intimidation in academic publishing looks in the light of the patterns we have been seeing. Does anyone doubt that had he not been a long since established academic, he would have gone the way of Gonzalez et al, complete with blame the victim tactics?
Do you BEGIN to understand the taint, the gangrene that is spreading?
LoL! Alan you are fatter than I will ever be! And of course you are bowing out-> you have nothing, as usual.
Of course you don’t-> you have nothing!
That’s because all you have are bald assertions and your opinions.
That’s because you are oblivious to facts and evidence.
Obviously the stress of Alan’s fatheadedness has affected his ability to do anything but attack- he is mad cow’s disease writ large