Intelligent Design

How to sneak ID and creationism into the public schools

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Teach Origin of Species Chapter 14!

…the first creature, the progenitor of innumerable extinct and living descendants, was created.

To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes…

Charles Darwin,
Origin of Species, Chapter 14


Then cite peer-reviewed articles at least partially supportive of Darwin’s thesis.

Then discuss that Darwin was considering the issue of multiple versus single special creations.

They admit that a multitude of forms, which till lately they themselves thought were special creations, and which are still thus looked at by the majority of naturalists…

Then discuss peer-reviewed literature supportive or disconfirming of universal common ancestry.

Instead of “teach the controversy” how about “teach Origin of Species“.

Or how about this sticker as a textbook disclaimer:

I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.

Charles Darwin

(Note: this post was not a serious strategy suggestion, but to highlight the irony of what can and can’t be taught in the USA’s public schools given the current political climate.)

79 Replies to “How to sneak ID and creationism into the public schools

  1. 1
    olegt says:

    Cordova,

    It’s a silly argument, in my view. You make it sound as if Charles Darwin is the most authoritative source on contemporary biology and that with a single quote from him you can turn the scientific world upside down. No way!

    Let me give you a well-known example from physics. Einstein was very unhappy with quantum mechanics. You probably know the quote about God and dice. But Einstein is dead and quantum theory is alive and well. Why? Because its predictions have been confirmed experimentally. And no amount of quote mining will change that.

  2. 2
    Joseph says:

    Olegt:
    Why? Because its predictions have been confirmed experimentally.

    What predictions does evolutionism make and how have they been confirmed experimentally? Please keep in mind that “there is no way to predict waht will be selected for at any point in time” (Dan Dennett).

    To further Sal’s point- what would the ACLU say if biology teachers just read the following from Darwin (6th edition):

    There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.

    Quantam Mechanics- Max Planck:

    “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together . . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.”

  3. 3
    scordova says:

    Olegt,

    You’re missing the point of the post which I mentioned:

    this post was not a serious strategy suggestion, but to highlight the irony of what can and can’t be taught in the USA’s public schools given the current political climate.

    The irony is Darwin’s book can’t be taught in science classes because of it’s supposed theological content.

  4. 4
    olegt says:

    scordova,

    Your point is well taken. But the original Darwin is not used in the classroom for an entirely different reason, to which I alluded in my first post. Science is not a dead scroll, it changes all the time. It just doesn’t make sense to use a textbook that is more than 100 years old. In the same way, physics textbooks don’t simply copy and paste from Newton’s Principia. Not because Newton was a deeply religious person, but simply because the original text is pretty dense, the notation is not particularly good, the units have changed, the math has improved, etc. etc.

    In fact, there is an institution of higher learning in the United States where students do learn science by reading the original texts (the Great Books program). It’s St. Johns College in Annapolis and Santa Fe. Try to find any great scientists who graduated from it. Here’s the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....llege,_U.S.

  5. 5
    MikeFNQ says:

    Joseph

    Predictions don’t have to be of the nature “Species X will next evolve into Species Y”, they can also be of “If we investigate a certain subject, this is what we will find”. For example with the conclusion of the Human and Chimp Genome Projects we have confirmed that one of the Human Chromosomes (#2) is two Chimp chromosomes fused together, as predicted. Other examples would be predictions that we will find certain fossils in certain rocks, that we will observe certain similarities between certain organisms, etc.

  6. 6
    JasonTheGreek says:

    We don’t use Darwin exactly as he originally stated it (we actually do for the most part)…does that mean that ID is okay and ISN’T merely warmed over creationism? The quote aboves looks like creationism to me- maybe NEOdarwinism is a trick to get theology into the schools! Put neo at the front and hide it’s true nature. Sneaky Fundies and their NEODarwinism!

    Of course there’s a big fat double standard. Darwin, of course, is almost a saint among many scientists. Heck- I saw a magazine article the other day that actually had a halo around Darwin in the sky. It was, of course, symbolic of the debate, but still- I believe many see him as a saint. Hardcore atheists (Dawkins immediately comes to mind) surely see him in that light.

    We should point out that Dawkins himself holds a very prominent position, though is a poor scientist overall. I don’t see how showing how a lack of popular, well-known scientists from a particular school equals a bad school. Heck- we have guys supporting infanticide who hold powerful positions in the best known schools in the US. So, let’s not pretend that’s an indication of ANYTHING.

  7. 7
    JasonTheGreek says:

    As well- the whole chimp/human dna fusion event has 2 issues. 1. We’re not totally sure this is the case. It looks as if it MIGHT be the case, but we’re not sure. and 2. A prediction is made BEFORE an event. PRE-diction. Claiming that we should see some similarities between chimps and people and then claiming that this came true via a POSSIBLE fusion event is nonsense. That’s no more a prediction than- “the Cubs are a great team.” and after the World Series- “see, I said the Cubs are a great team…I predicted a world series win.”

    That and even IF there was a fusion event, no way we know (as of yet) WHEN it took place…whether it was before or after the break from the supposed LUCA of both, etc. That and we could also see that event and conclude design. We could use car designs as an example. I’m sure there are many newer cars that have improvements on older designs which, to the outside viewer, COULD look like accidents (fusion events of 2 designs).

  8. 8
    Mats says:

    The reason Darwin’s book is not used in biology classes is bkz of the gross mistakes it has in there. Strangely enough, there are still Darwinists who preach that “Darwin was mostly right”

  9. 9
    John A. Davison says:

    While Einstein may have been wrong about quantum physics, he lived and died a strict determinist and so will I. Quantum physics has absolutely nothing to do with anything except quantum physics and chemical reaction kinetics. It certainly has no application in either ontogeny or phylogeny. Neither of these will ever prove to be intrinsic in the nature of matter. Trust me but of course you won’t which is fine too. Otherwise this forum would not exist.

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

  10. 10
    MikeFNQ says:

    Jason

    Yes, we are sure. The homologous genes and broken chromosome markers are right where they should be. Argue that it’s part of preloading if you will, but it’s there. You and Bobo the chimp are distant cousins.

    And no, your analogy about the Cubs is wrong on two points. 1: They’re not a great team 🙂 ; and 2: These predictions are about future events – about what we will find. It’s very much different from making a statement about what we already know. See http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html

  11. 11
    Comrade says:

    This is why you ought not to call people who believe in evolution “Darwinists.” I doubt anyone considers him- or herself a “follower of Darwin” the way Christians are supposed to be followers of Christ. That’s why this quote is irrelevant.

    Oh, and Olegt–I went to St. John’s in Santa Fe for a year and I can confirm that the science program is fairly awful as such. It makes a pretty good history of science program, though.

  12. 12
    Scott says:

    http://www.ideacenter.org/cont.....hp/id/1392

    *gingerly tiptoes out of discussion.

  13. 13
    JasonTheGreek says:

    I was trying to find that link to Luskin’s info. on this matter.

    From my reading, even some Darwinists aren’t sure. Most seem to think it was a fusion event from apes to humans. Others seem to think a fission event took place in apes before the rise of humans. Still others think it possible that there were numerous independent splits from 46 total to 48 within apes (chimps, orangs, etc.) Probability shows that this last one is the least likely, though we’re told of supposed convergences ALL of the time.

  14. 14
    idnet.com.au says:

    Comrade wrote
    “you ought not to call people who believe in evolution “Darwinists.” I doubt anyone considers him- or herself a “follower of Darwin” the way Christians are supposed to be followers of Christ. That’s why this quote is irrelevant.”

    From UD earlier this year see the following directly contradict your statement.

    Daniel Dennett in March 2006

    “The late Steve Gould was really right when he called Richard (Dawkins) and me Darwinian fundamentalists. And I want to say what a Darwinian fundamentalist is. A Darwinian fundamentalist is one who recognizes that either you shun Darwinian evolution altogether, or you turn the traditional universe upside down and you accept that mind, meaning, and purpose are not the cause but the fairly recent effects of the mechanistic mill of Darwinian algorithms. It is the unexceptioned view that mind, meaning, and purpose are not the original driving engines, but recent effects that marks, I think, the true Darwinian fundamentalist.”

    There are plenty of Darwinian fundos out there. It is Darwin who after all “made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist” Dawkins.

    If they don’t follow Darwin, who are they following? In essence, they all subscribe to Random Mutation and Natural Selection as the ultimate origin of all biological complexity. In fact they are even more extreme than Darwin who evidently thought an act of creation was necessary to start the whole thing off.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    HodorH says:

    That a chromosomal fusion event in humans is predicted by the common descent hypothesis and has been verified to have occurred should not be debated by intelligent Intelligent Design Theorists. For one to believe in a fission event requires the abandonment of parsimony and ignorance of the molecular data. The information for this chromosomal fusion event has been in existance since the Creation, and was inevitable according to His will.

  17. 17
    Comrade says:

    idnet.com.au,

    I understand your point, but I see it differently. Dennett was explicit that his belief lies in Darwinian evolution, not Darwin. There is, of course, a world of difference.

  18. 18
    John A. Davison says:

    I am neither a Darwinian nor a fundamentalist and neither were any of my sources, some of the finest minds of two centuries. I am content.

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

  19. 19
    KevinWParker says:

    “In fact, there is an institution of higher learning in the United States where students do learn science by reading the original texts (the Great Books program). It’s St. Johns College in Annapolis and Santa Fe. Try to find any great scientists who graduated from it. Here’s the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....llege,_U.S.”

    That’s unfair for a couple of reasons. First, St. John’s has a strong liberal arts orientation – not many future great scientists are going to go there (though a young lady I was mentoring when she was a student there just got a full scholarship and research assistant position in physics at George Mason – look out, Salvador! 😉 ). Second, it’s a tiny school – my graduating class had 75 people in it. MIT probably graduates more students than that just counting astronomy majors. But admittedly the main topic of conversation when my mentee and I got together was the weaknesses of the St. John’s science curriculum.

  20. 20
    idadvisors says:

    The biology teacher around the corner can’t elucidate ID in the class, though the philosophy or humanities teacher can. Anything’s open to debate in philosophy. Going over textbooks is not teaching, veering off course is.

  21. 21
    great_ape says:

    idnet.com.au,

    Are you perhaps from the humanities? In that world, people are often Kantians,Thomists,Marxists,etc. In the sciences, we generally detach the research program from the people that orginated them. Successful research programs/paradigms frequently grow and develop considerably, both in their sophistication and the accumulation of associated data, after they are first introduced. I am not a Watson-Crickian because I accept the double-helix structure of DNA. You asked, then who do they follow? We strive to find and adhere to those models of the world that are most fruitful in generating comprehensive understanding resulting in accurate predictions about hitherto unobserved things. We will mix and match theories from all sorts of folks–if that’s what it takes. When trying to grasp what happened in the past, when analyzing genomic sequences, bones, etc, evolutionary theory is the only framework with a track record that we have to work with. Certainly there are holes, there are inconsistencies, but a lot of things have also been dead on accurate. For example, during my graduate work, I came across a solid piece of data concerning human genetics that appeared completely inconsistent with evolutionary theory. I wrestled with this for some time not knowing what to think. Everything else made sense. Having witnessed the power and success of ET regarding other predictions, I was reluctant to abandon the theory even in the face of conflicting data. Instead, I racked my brain until I finally came up with a *specific* scenario that would make the observed data possible via evolutionary processes. It required there be a rare genetic feature immediately adjacent to the genomic region that I was analyzing. So I went back and looked at the data for the flanking region, and there it was. That’s the power of the reseach paradigm. While I understand there remain many open questions about the generation of biological complexity, etc, such experiences as a biologist are why my allegiance is to evolutionary theory. Not to Darwin, Haldane, Wright, Fisher, etc..

  22. 22
    bFast says:

    Comrade:

    This is why you ought not to call people who believe in evolution “Darwinists.” I doubt anyone considers him- or herself a “follower of Darwin” the way Christians are supposed to be followers of Christ.

    A number 1, there are people who follow Darwin with a religious ferver — Dawkins, Dennett etc. They do no consider Darwin’s words to be sacrosanct, which I believe is your point, but they follow their leader with unwaivering love.

    2 B, the second point is that scordova’s quote still stands. The puzzle of abiogeneis has not been solved to any scientist’s standard that I know of. The enigma of first life is so far only explained by divine intervention.

    Thirdly, the big bang, with all of its precision, is also a riddle that seems best answered with a three letter word that starts with G, a word that best not be mentioned in an American science class.

  23. 23
    johnnyb says:

    “the second point is that scordova’s quote still stands. The puzzle of abiogeneis has not been solved to any scientist’s standard that I know of. The enigma of first life is so far only explained by divine intervention.”

    And as we’ve pointed out before, there is a lot in evolutionary theory that rests on abiogenesis.

  24. 24
    scordova says:

    Ah yes, I now recall this post by Bill Dembski last May: Sorry, kids but you’re just too stupid

    Andre Gumbel writes:

    Another manifestation of the misdirection of the ID movement is the ludicrous notion that high schools are the appropriate venue for intricate debate about the finer points of evolutionary science. Any public school science teacher will tell you it’s already a minor miracle if a 16-year-old can accurately summarize The Origin of Species….The only reason for raising such questions before state education authorities is not to deepen the scientific understanding of teenagers but rather to sow deliberate confusion.

    So it appears that some anti-IDists would recoil at the thought of students reading any poart of Origin of Species.

  25. 25
    JasonTheGreek says:

    Offtopic, but, this paper and press release linked from idthefuture says a lot about the mindset of so many.

    from the paper that claims pseudogenes are INDEED relics of mutations:

    There are approximately 20,000 pseudogenes in the human and other mammalian genomes. In recent years, there has been growing discussion about the nature of these pseudogenes. The issue centers on whether pseudogenes are functional or merely evolutionary relics with no function. It was long believed by geneticists that they were relics, until basic science research published in 2003 found a mouse pseudogene located within the Makorin family of genes that did have a function, namely to cause polycystic kidney disease and a bone disease known as osteogenesis imperfecta.

    This finding, discovered in a mouse model, was hailed by proponents of “Intelligent Design” (ID). According to the Intelligent Design Network, the premise of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a disagreement with the core scientific basis of evolutionary theory.

    Acording to these scientists- the theory of evolution is DEFINED as a process that is wholly undirected. Unfortunately, this means that even guys like Miller, who think that God used the process of NDE to bring us about as part of his plan, isn’t a true scientist himself. Why can’t Darwinists make up their minds? One day, I hear that evolution is random, but that random doesn’t mean the same in science as is does in regular everyday use. That evolution isn’t necessarily undirected or purposeless outside of death and survival of those rising above the others to merely spread purposeless genes. Then the next day, I hear that this is PRECISELY what NDE means. That NDE DOES equal a pointless and undirected process. And, of course, undirected processes, by their nature, have no goal or purpose.

    I wonder when everyone on the other side of this debate can get their stories straight? I guess they can’t create websites with priests holding bibles, shaking the hands of Darwinists [as the tax payer funded Berkeley website did] if they come out and fully admit that NDE means a pointless, purposeless, and wholly undirected process.

  26. 26
    JasonTheGreek says:

    By the way: one can obviously use this quote and others from the paper itself to ask other Darwinists why they claim that random doesn’t mean undirected, when these scientists say that UNDIRECTED is the CORE BASIS for the theory of evolution.

    Theistic evolutionists beware- you are violating the CORE BASIS of evolution!

  27. 27
    Joseph says:

    MikeFNQ:
    For example with the conclusion of the Human and Chimp Genome Projects we have confirmed that one of the Human Chromosomes (#2) is two Chimp chromosomes fused together, as predicted.

    That was not predicted. Also just because “it looks like” the two fused does not mean they did. That is like saying because organisms look designed they were.

    NOTE: “Predictions from common descant should NOT be confused with “predictions” from evolutionism.

    Do you have ANY way to test your claim? I say you do not.

    MikeFNQ:
    You and Bobo the chimp are distant cousins.

    Just saying it does NOT make it so. There are many differences in which evolutionists cannot explain:

    Account for the DIFFERENCES chimps v. human

  28. 28
    HodorH says:

    “That was not predicted. Also just because “it looks like” the two fused does not mean they did. That is like saying because organisms look designed they were.”

    Joseph,

    Do you have an alternative explanation for the existance of two centromeres and a telomeric region between the two?

  29. 29
    John A. Davison says:

    Here are some firm predictions fully justified by our present knowledge.

    1. Creative evolution is no longer in progress.
    2. Allelic mutation had nothing to do with it.
    3. Natural selection had nothing to do with it.
    4. Sexual reproduction had nothing to do with it.
    5. Mendelian genetics had nothing to do with it
    6. Population genetics had nothing to do with it.

    Creative evolution (phylogeny) resulted, exactly as ontogeny does today, through the controlled release of preformed information, a release in which the only conceivable role for the environment was that of acting as a simple stimulus for that release.

    Ontogeny and phylogeny are elements of the same reproductive continuum. Only the former persists. The death of the individual corresponds precisely with the death of the species (extinction) which is all that can presently be documented.

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

  30. 30
    Chris Hyland says:

    “Unfortunately, this means that even guys like Miller, who think that God used the process of NDE to bring us about as part of his plan, isn’t a true scientist himself.”

    Miller can belive that God guided evolution if he likes. What makes him a theistic evolutionist and not an ID supporter is that he says that this cannot be scientifically proven. The evangelicals I know belive that God causes the grass to grow, but that doesn’t mean we can scientifically attribute an intelligence to the process.

  31. 31
    John A. Davison says:

    Why do I waste my time?

  32. 32
    HodorH says:

    “Why do I waste my time?”

    Because you love it so?

  33. 33
    Emkay says:

    “Why do I waste my time?”

    Because a past evolution is unsupported by the evidence, and a present evolution indemonstrable.

  34. 34
    JasonTheGreek says:

    So then, you’re saying that theistic evolutionists base their worldviews on a hunch or what? This is what often confuses me when a TE rejects ID. Take Francis Collins, for example- he says that God created life and used NDE as the process by which his final creation (man) came about. Now, this makes no sense to me- how can God use a process if the process is undirected, has no goal, and serves no ultimate purpose? I quoted earlier the scientists who said NDE means just that. Others have said the same thing.

    Does Collins have no evidence for this worldview of his? If it contradicts the facts as even himself sees them- doesn’t that make him a fool? Doesn’t it make guys like Miller fools? Maybe they and others say God guided evolution to get to man (the pinnacle), but how do they get to this idea? If there’s no scientific evidence, in their view, to get there- what sort of evidence is it? I can’t see any evidence, in this regard, outside of scientific evidence that would make sense, especially to a scientist.

    In the end, wouldn’t this all mean that guys like Miller and Collins and many others accept undirected, purposeless Darwinism, then suddenly (somehow) throw in “God guided it” into it all? Doesn’t that make them guilty of the God of the Gaps fallacy?

    I don’t think that one would be a fool to say that God guided various processes. But, the canned answer is always the same- ‘well, it’s evidence (to them), but the evidence isn’t “scientific,” so it’s nothing like ID.’ Well, if we’re talking about a prominent scientist who accepts whatever evidence he sees existing, but files it under “evidence that doesn’t fall under the category of ‘science'”- I find that a bit perplexing to say the least.

  35. 35
    bevets says:

    ORGANIC LIFE beneath the shoreless waves
    Was born and nurs’d in ocean’s pearly caves;
    First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
    Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
    These, as successive generations bloom,
    New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;
    Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
    And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.
    ~ Erasmus Darwin

    It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. But if (and oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. ~ Charles Darwin

    If it is ever found that life can originate on this world, the vital phenomena will come under some general law of nature. ~ Charles Darwin

    The principle of continuity renders it probable that the principle of life will hereafter be shown to be a part, or consequence of some general law. ~ Charles Darwin

  36. 36
    Chris Hyland says:

    “how can God use a process if the process is undirected, has no goal, and serves no ultimate purpose? I quoted earlier the scientists who said NDE means just that. Others have said the same thing.”

    I am not an expert on these matters so I can only go on what people have told me, which is that God isn’t some external entity who occasionally shows up and tinkers with things but is infact omnipresent, and all natural processes are the result of his will.

    “So then, you’re saying that theistic evolutionists base their worldviews on a hunch or what?”

    I’m sure theistic base their worldviews on the same things as most religious people, but their religious beliefs are seperate from science. I’m sure if large scale phylum level macroevolution could be demonstrated somehow for example, the religious people on this board wouldn’t become atheists.

    “Does Collins have no evidence for this worldview of his? If it contradicts the facts as even himself sees them- doesn’t that make him a fool?”

    Richard Dawkins and PZ Meyers think so, I dont. I suspect that to a religous person science is an uplifting and affirming experience of discovering the wonder of God’s creation and I think this is what Collins says. But that’s different from saying you can scientifically prove God.

    “But, the canned answer is always the same- ‘well, it’s evidence (to them), but the evidence isn’t “scientific,” so it’s nothing like ID.’”

    Im sure science is a wonderful affirmation of your faith if you believe in God but I don’t think they are claiming they can scientifically prove he exists.

  37. 37
    John A. Davison says:

    There is no evidence for a living God so why should one be assumed? Nevertheless, one or more Gods must have existed to account for the origin and subsequent evolution of life. The scientist is not supposed to make any more assumptions than are absoloutely necessary to account for a phenomenon. That is exactly all that I have done with the PEH.

    What we must find is a mechanism which seeks an internally contained goal by internal preformed devices. Avida, has proven to be useless. I would like to see a model in which the ultimate goal is contained in the program because that is precisely what I am convinced is required. No computer program can be creative through chance.

    The program utilized by ontogeny must be very similar to the one which was used by phylogeny and the answers will be found there. That internally contained goal has been realized with the formation of the most recent mammalian species to appear – Homo sapiens. That is just one of my several unanswered challenges to the Darwinian myth.

    Creative evolution is a phenomenon of the past, just as Grasse suggested in a message I posted elsewhere here. To continue blindly to assume that evolution is still in progress is without either merit or demonstration. Extinction is all that can be documented.

    “Evolution is in a great measure an unfolding of per-existing rudiments,”
    Leo Berg, Nomogenesis, page 406

    If only he had used the past tense!

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

  38. 38
    ofro says:

    #22 bFast said:
    “The enigma of first life is so far only explained by divine intervention.”

    Didn’t you mean to say “intelligent intervention”?

  39. 39
    Joseph says:

    On Human chromosome 2:

    HodorH:
    Do you have an alternative explanation for the existance of two centromeres and a telomeric region between the two?

    Why, in all these generations of chimps and other primates, hasn’t that fusion event repeated?

    Have we gone into a lab and tried to manually fuse the two?

    Chromosome 2 could be the result of fusion, however just saying “it looks like two chromosomes fused” is not a scientific explanation. Or if it is saying organisms look designed should be scientific enough for ID to enter the science classroom.

    The apparent fusion could be an intentional design- a design we do not curreently comprehend. Just like we do not yet comprehend what makes an organism what it is…

  40. 40
    ofro says:

    #27 Joseph said:
    “That was not predicted.” [that one of the Human Chromosomes (#2) is two Chimp chromosomes fused together].
    “Do you have ANY way to test your claim? I say you do not.”

    Perhaps he original word choice of “predicted” should have been “hypothesized”, although in the vernacular of this blog these two are nearly synonymous.

    With this minor semantic correction, the basic statement that the hypothesis/prediction was proven experimentally, is correct. The hypothesis was that two precursor chromosomes, which have their nearly identical counterparts in chimpanzee, orang utan and gorilla genomes, fused into one new chromosome (modern human chromosome 2). One of the supporting observations is that telomeric elements, which are normally the endcaps of the chromosomes, are found not too far from the proposed fusion site in Chr2. For the original work and still more experimental demonstrations see http://www.fhcrc.org/science/l.....telomeres/ and http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/pp.pres.html

  41. 41
    John A. Davison says:

    There is no question that our chromosome 2 represents either a fusion of the two chromosomes or that the two chomosomes resulted from a dissociation of chromosome 2. No other interpretations are even conceivable. The former is the most probable.

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

  42. 42
    tinabrewer says:

    Chris Hyland: I think you did a nice job of interpreting theistic evolutionist’s views. Your restatement made clear two of the basic flaws in their reasoning. One, they falsely assume a “tinkerer”-god as being the intelligent agent in ID. No such luck. In fact, ID has no quarrel with a whole field of options in this regard, and only concerns itself with detecting design, not describing the designer. Two, theistic evolutionists also think that ID necessarily implies God violating his own laws of nature in order to create life forms. For them, it is law or nothing (unless it is a Biblical miracle) This is a false choice: agency can act within the bounds of law to build up complexity, and this action in no way violates the laws themselves.

  43. 43
    Chris Hyland says:

    I think the problem stems form the fact that ID appears to sepereate things out into systems that were caused by intelligence and those that weren’t, or to put it another way systems that natural processes could produce and those that it couldn’t. Theistic evolutionists (or at least the ones I’ve spoken to about it) would say that there is no distinction as God created all things, and they would not be detectable as the actions of an ‘agency’ unless it was some kind of miracle, because under normal circumstances God creates using the natural processes that he created. So the only ID claim that the idea of a tinkerer God comes form is that the systems he created can be distinguished from those that he didn’t. If you are making no assumptions about the designer though then the design may or may not be detectable depending and the process and nature of the design.

  44. 44
    Joseph says:

    Ofro:
    Perhaps he original word choice of “predicted” should have been “hypothesized”, although in the vernacular of this blog these two are nearly synonymous.

    Chromosome 2 fusion was neither predicted nor hypothesized. The hypothesis of how Chromosome 2 came to be occurred AFTER it was discovered.

    Ofro:
    With this minor semantic correction, the basic statement that the hypothesis/prediction was proven experimentally, is correct.

    Really? Someone went into a lab and actually fused the two chromosomes?> Or is it more of what has been presented?

    I know what the (alleged) evidence is. And again, why, in ALL the generations of primates, hasn’t this event repeated itself? Or why hasn’t this type of event happened to other chromosomes in the human lineage?

  45. 45
    Scott says:

    I know what the (alleged) evidence is. And again, why, in ALL the generations of primates, hasn’t this event repeated itself? Or why hasn’t this type of event happened to other chromosomes in the human lineage?

    Makes one wonder if perhaps the event was prescribed. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… 😉

  46. 46
    olegt says:

    Joseph,

    I think you are mistaken. It is known that in humans chromosomes can sometimes fuse together without causing too many problems. See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....nslocation

  47. 47
    HodorH says:

    Chromosome 2 could be the result of fusion, however just saying “it looks like two chromosomes fused” is not a scientific explanation. Or if it is saying organisms look designed should be scientific enough for ID to enter the science classroom.

    You didn’t answer the question. Please account for the multiple centromeres and the telomeric repeat region in between.

    The apparent fusion could be an intentional design- a design we do not curreently comprehend. Just like we do not yet comprehend what makes an organism what it is…

    Of course the fusion was an intentional design, as it was necessary for the rise of humanity. Further major chromosomal modifications are unlikely, as His Plan has largely been achieved with the creation of humanity.

  48. 48
    ofro says:

    Joseph,
    I think that you have a basic misunderstanding of “prediction” and testing in science. You are restricting the concept hypothesis testing to an experiment that is done in the laboratory. Testing is subjecting an existing object or process to a test that has never been done before. In our specific case, there are specific predictions/hypotheses about human Chromosome 2 that can be set up and tested for their validity. With the general precaution that a scientific test in general can only disprove but not prove a hypothesis, the observations I pointed towards in my previous post answer these hypotheses. That is not just alleged evidence.

  49. 49
    ofro says:

    Scott,
    “Makes one wonder if perhaps the event was prescribed. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…”

    Maybe the event was prescribed (perhaps 13.5 Billion years ago?), but I can tell you when the prescription must have been filled in the Big Pharmacy of Evolution: sometime between 3.4 and 7 million years ago.

  50. 50
    ofro says:

    Correction: sometime between 7 million years ago and now.

  51. 51
    John A. Davison says:

    Chris Hyland

    Einstein suffered from no ambiguity about the cause of EVERYTHING which is what permitted him to say:

    “Everything is determined… by forces over which we have no control.”

    I will stick with Einstein myself. How anyone can still support the most failed hypothesis in the history of science can only be explained by another of his remarkable insights.

    “Our actions should be based on the ever-present awareness that human beings in their thinking, feeling, and acting are not free but are just as causally bound as the stars in their motion.”

    How else can we explain the debate that continues to plague this as so many other forums now as in the past. Our political convictions which include the Darwinian model, like our convictions about a Creator, are just as determined as our eye color. Just as William Wright has so carefully documented in his book with the self-explanatory title “Born That Way,” so every other aspect of our world view is highly biased from the moment of conception. To what extent these hereditary biases can be reversed remains problematical. That they profoundly influence our biopolitics does not.

    “Every boy and every girl,
    That is born into the world alive,
    Is either a little liberal,
    Or else a little conservative”

    Gilbert and Sullivan, Iolanthe, 1882.

    Einstein was three at the time.

    That which IS determined most certainly WAS determined which, in a nutshell, is the essence of the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. If only others could join with Robert Broom, Julian Huxley, Pierre Grasse and myself in realizing that evolution is finished, everything would fall in place and Darwinism would instantly become but a footnote, right next to the Phlogiston of Chemistry and the Ether of Physics.

    Ether (E), Selection (S), Phlogiston (P), ESP, extrasensory perception indeed, all nothing but figments of an overactive human imagination. The same can be said for Darwinian mysticism.

    It is hard to believe isn’t it?

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

  52. 52
    Scott says:

    Suits me perfectly, ofro. I have no problem with that timeframe.

    Our understanding of time is a limited linear perception anyways.

  53. 53
    Charlie says:

    Chris Hyland
    re:#43

    If you get a chance you might recommend those theistic evolutionists read Dembski’s or Behe’s work to disabuse them of the notion that ID requires a “tinkerer”. Until they actually confront the work they may not realize they are tilting at windmills.

    Dembski:
    For a designing intelligence to make a discernible difference in the emergence of some organism, however, seems to Miller (theistic evolutionist) to require that an intelligence intervened at specific times and places to bring about that organism and thus again seems to require some form of special creation. This in turn raises the question: How often and at what places did a designing intelligence intervene in the course of natural history to produce those biological structures that are beyond the power of material mechanisms? Thus, according to Miller, intelligent design draws an unreasonable distinction between material mechanisms and designing intelligences, claiming that material mechanisms are fine most of the time but then on rare (or perhaps not so rare) occasions a designing intelligence is required to get over some hump that material mechanisms can’t quite manage. Hence Miller’s reference to “an outside designer violat[ing] the very laws of nature he had fashioned.”

    As I’ve pointed out to Miller on more than one occasion, this criticism is misconceived. The proper question is not how often or at what places a designing intelligence intervenes but rather at what points do signs of intelligence first become evident. Intelligent design therefore makes an epistemological rather than ontological point. To understand the difference, imagine a computer program that outputs alphanumeric characters on a computer screen. The program runs for a long time and throughout that time outputs what look like random characters. Then abruptly the output changes and the program outputs the most sublime poetry. Now, at what point did a designing intelligence intervene in the output of the program? Clearly, this question misses the mark because the program is deterministic and simply outputs whatever the program dictates.

    Intelligent design is not a theory about the frequency or locality at which a designing intelligence intervenes in the material world. It is not an interventionist theory at all. Indeed, intelligent design is perfectly compatible with all the design in the world being front-loaded in the sense that all design was introduced at the beginning (say at the Big Bang) and then came to expression subsequently over the course of natural history much as a computer program’s output becomes evident only when the program is run. This actually is an old idea, and one that Charles Babbage, the inventor of the digital computer, explored in the 1830s in his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise (thus predating Darwin’s Origin of Species by twenty years).

     http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.02.Miller_Response.htm

    “Indeed, intelligent design is perfectly compatible with all the design in the world coming to expression by the ordinary means of secondary causes over the course of natural history, much as a computer program’s output comes to expression by running the program (and thus without monkeying with the program’s operation).

    Physical necessity can also be the carrier of teleology through laws of form that channel evolution along preset paths.

    Even a non-Darwinian form of selection and variation can accommodate teleology, provided variations are under intelligent control or the environment is carefully fine-tuned by an intelligence to select for appropriate variations.

    Intelligent design’s only concern is that secondary causes leave room for teleology and that this teleology be empirically detectable.

    Indeed there are forms of telelogical evolution that are entirely compatible with intelligent design and that involve no break in secondary causes.”
    (from The Design Inference).

    TO VAN TILL (once a theistic evolutionist)
    Dembski:

    Likewise, should a designer, who for both Van Till and me is God, act to bring about a bacterial flagellum, there is no reason prima facie to suppose that this designer did not act consistently with natural laws. It is, for instance, a logical possibility that the design in the bacterial flagellum was front-loaded into the universe at the Big Bang and subsequently expressed itself in the course of natural history as a miniature outboard motor on the back of E. Coli.

    Behe says

    “it is entirely possible, based simply upon an examination of the systems themselves, that they were designed billions of years ago and that they have been passed down to the present by the normal processes of cellular reproduction. … Suppose that nearly 4 BYA the designer made the first cell, already containing the IC biomechanical systems discussed here and many others.”

    “But how could biochemical systems have been designed? Did they have to be created from scratch in a puff of smoke? No. The design process may have been much more subtle. It may have involved no contravening of natural laws….Well, then, as Ken Miller points out in his book, Finding Darwin’s God, a subtle God could cause mutations by influencing quantum events such as radioactive decay, something that I would call guided evolution. That seems perfectly possible to me. I would only add, however, that that process would amount to intelligent design, not Darwinian evolution.“
    “subscribing to a theory of intelligent design does not necessarily commit one to “miracles.” At least no more than thinking that the laws of nature were designed by God–a view, as we’ve seen, condoned by the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences 1999). In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe, with no subsequent “intervention” required from outside of nature. In one case, the information is present just in general laws.“

  54. 54
    Charlie says:

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that was so spamaliciously large.
    Apologies as well for the first broken blockquote.

  55. 55
    tinabrewer says:

    Charlie did a long and better job than I was going to in responding to Chris Hyland’s post: basically the theistic evolutionist mistakenly believes/assumes that ID separates biology into systems which WERE designed and ones which were not. This is simply untrue. It distinguishes, as a necessary limitation of our capacities, between systems in which the design inference can clearly be made, and those in which it cannot clearly be made. A weakness of the capacity to infer, not an implication about what is designed.

  56. 56
    Scott says:

    And Charlie alludes to another observation that has been on my mind… namely, that 98% of the issues raised on this blog which are presented as solid rebuttals to ID, have already been addressed by Dembski at http://www.designinference.com and in my opinion, effectively dispelled. I think that many critics of ID need to spend some quality time reading ID literature. It would save them a lot of time, I think.

  57. 57
    Chris Hyland says:

    I’m not trying to refute ID I’m just trying to explain why several evangelicals I have spoken to don’t like it. Perhaps I could put it another way: they belive that God created all things and the methods he uses are inseperable from natural processes. The consequence of this is that we would not be able to scientifically prove that biological systems are designed. Another designer of course could have intervened in which case you might be able to.

  58. 58
    Charlie says:

    Hi Chris,
    I understand that the theistic evolutionists’ argument is not your own.

    Hopefully, using the quotes I provided, or reading the literature, they would realize that this:

    they belive that God created all things and the methods he uses are inseperable from natural processes. The consequence of this is that we would not be able to scientifically prove that biological systems are designed.

    is a non sequitur.
    The alleged consequence does not follow from the belief.

    For whether or not the acting out of intelligence entails an “extra-natural assembly” (already refuted with the Big Bang and front-loading scenarios offered above) or an alternative methodology you could point them to the source of the Van Till rebuttal
    http://www.meta-library.net/id-wd/natur-body.html.

  59. 59
    Charlie says:

    Scott,
    I agree completely.
    DaveScot has a little warning on the sidebar called “Put A Sock In It” which attempted to head off many of those questions.
    I’d like to see that section expanded to cover such things as this question about interventionism or the appeal to miracles.

  60. 60
    John A. Davison says:

    I do not believe that the origin and subsequent evolution of life will ever be explained as fundamental properties of organic matter. One or more intelligences far beyond our comprehension had to be involved. They are apparently no longer with us nor do they need to be.

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

  61. 61
    Joseph says:

    Ofro:
    I think that you have a basic misunderstanding of “prediction” and testing in science.

    Could be but I doubt it.

    Ofro:
    You are restricting the concept hypothesis testing to an experiment that is done in the laboratory.

    Not at all. That thought never crossed my mind. All I said is that we should be able to go into the lab and reproduce this event. If we cannot then all we have is speculation.

    Or is this another 1 TIME ONLY EVENT?

    What did the alleged fusion of 2 chromosomes to make the human chromosome 2 alter? IOW what change did that fusion afford the organism?

    We need to know that to understand why/ how that particular event was conserved over illions of generations.

    To Olget,

    Thank you for the Robertsonian translocation. It pretty much tells me there is zero chance of this type of event becoming fixed in a population- that is unless the population is 1 or 2 individuals.

    HodorH:
    You didn’t answer the question. Please account for the multiple centromeres and the telomeric repeat region in between.

    Perhaps they just “look like” centromeres and telomeres. Myself I would wait until we understood the genome a little better before I jump to any conclusion.

    Now perhaps you can answer my questions…

  62. 62
    HodorH says:

    “Now, perhaps you can answer my questions…”

    I know what the (alleged) evidence is. And again, why, in ALL the generations of primates, hasn’t this event repeated itself? Or why hasn’t this type of event happened to other chromosomes in the human lineage?

    (1) It almost certainly has, but didn’t become fixed in the population.
    (2) See number 1.

    Perhaps they just “look like” centromeres and telomeres. Myself I would wait until we understood the genome a little better before I jump to any conclusion.

    You’re right, we should probably wait until both the human and chimp genomes have been sequenced.

  63. 63
    Chris Hyland says:

    Charlie thanks for the link. I realised I had inadvertantly changed the subject from ‘why theistic evolutionists can accept evolution’ to why theistic evolutionists don’t like ID. It seems that it comes down to a theological difference more than anything else, where a theistic evolutionist would not expect and act of creation by God to be distuinguishable form natural processes because they amount to the same thing. And so accepting God guided evolution does not make them ID supporters because ID supporters claim that the design is detectable whereas theistic evolutionists do not.

  64. 64
    Joseph says:

    To Chris Hyland,

    The issue I have with theistic evolution is there isn’t any difference between their “God” and no “God” at all. IOW their faith is blind.

    Some theistic evolutionists have told me that humans were the “intention” of the evolutionary process, and then try to tell me about RM culled by NS- which is BS in THEIR scenario. They also disagree with what 38 Nobel Laureates said about NDE being purposeless and without a goal in a letter denouncing the Kansas science standards. Yet they won’t stand up and be counted on that. Perhaps if Ken Miller takes the stand again we can ask him about that.

    “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” AE

    I take what Albert is saying is that the reason educated people are religious is because the data points to at least a starting intelligence- as it should if there were one.

    Newton understood it- that “God’s” work was not only detectable but also understandable. Actually to him the design was most likely so obvious from the start that he just set out to understand it. With the technology (& limitations) he had I would say he did a pretty good job.

  65. 65
    Charlie says:

    Hi Chris,
    I think your last sentence starting

    And so accepting God guided evolution does not make them ID supporters because

    sums up perfectly the difference between a theist who supports Darwinian evolution and a theist who supports ID. For all their concerns about process, method and intervention, it really is just as you said:

    ID supporters claim that the design is detectable whereas theistic evolutionists do not.

    It really is about a presupposition about how the world is.
    This, however, is not really a theological difference but rather a philosophical one.

  66. 66
    JasonTheGreek says:

    ID supporters claim that the design is detectable whereas theistic evolutionists do not.

    This is what always gets me. So, a theistic evolutionist would say that he just thinks that God guided evolution, though he has zero evidence to back up the belief? Isn’t a belief without a shred of evidence to back it up just idiotic to begin with? Does a TE say- ‘I think God exits (for whatever reasons)’ and ‘I believe that NDE is how we came to be.’ Thus- ‘God must have done it somehow, though I have no evidence to come to the conclusion.’

    It seems rather silly to me that one could say that they think God guided evolution but have no evidence that he did so. If they have no evidence, how on earth did they come to this conclusion at all? When someone asks why they believe God guided the process, how on earth would they answer the question? If they’re TE who are Christians- do they think the Bible is wrong in that it says the heavens show the glory of God? Do they think ALL natural laws come from God, and thus his glory is everywhere? Do they have any evidence in their minds to conclude that all of nature comes from God? Skeptics often times attack “faith,” claiming it’s believing something based on no evidence, but that’s not what Biblical faith is (as an example). Would most TE’s agree that their beliefs that God guided the process IS without evidence or not?

    Why do TE’s think God guided evolution? Just because that’s the only way they can fit their view with the Bible? Did they come to their TE conclusion based on external evidence outside the Bible? Are the big names in Darwinism right when they say NDE is without a goal, purpose, meaning, etc. That it’s the result of trillions of accidents. ?? I don’t see how a TE could agree with that definition of NDE and THEN ALSO say that God guided a process they think is without purpose or meaning or a plan or a goal.

    Too confusing for me.

  67. 67
    Joseph says:

    HodorH:
    You’re right, we should probably wait until both the human and chimp genomes have been sequenced.

    Sequencing doesn’t tell us squat except for the sequence of nucleotides. From that we may be able to extract the number of genes but not of the coding sequences from alternative gene splicing.

    The way we are looking at genomes reminds me of my when my then 2 year old was trying to “read” a C++ program I had just written.

  68. 68
    ofro says:

    Joseph,
    This just in: the human and chimpanzee genomes are nearly completed, at least sufficiently complete so people can try to find out what could be the basis for the difference between humans and chimps. And even though research is only at the very beginning, there are already very interesting findings.

    “Sequencing doesn’t tell us squat except for the sequence of nucleotides. From that we may be able to extract the number of genes but not of the coding sequences from alternative gene splicing.”

    For example, there is much more similarity between human and chimp in the “housekeeping” genes than in the genes involved in the growth and organization of the nervous system. Researcher also have focussed on a regulatory gene called FoxP2 that plays a role in human speech.

    “The way we are looking at genomes reminds me of my when my then 2 year old was trying to “read” a C++ program I had just written.”

    I think we are beyond that stage now.

    We now have hard data with the genomic sequences. Now it is time to interpret these first observations. I like how they fit into the evolutionary framework. How and where does design fit in? Tell me. Sarcasm won’t convince me.

  69. 69
    Joseph says:

    Ofro:
    This just in: the human and chimpanzee genomes are nearly completed, at least sufficiently complete so people can try to find out what could be the basis for the difference between humans and chimps.

    That is only if genomes are all that make an organism what it is. However we already know that isn’t true. As Denton tells us genes may influence development but they do not determine it.

    Ofro:
    For example, there is much more similarity between human and chimp in the “housekeeping” genes than in the genes involved in the growth and organization of the nervous system.

    There are many similarities in the following two sentences yet they have opposite meanings:

    It is raining.
    It is not raining.

    “The way we are looking at genomes reminds me of my when my then 2 year old was trying to “read” a C++ program I had just written.”

    Ofro:
    I think we are beyond that stage now.

    What you think is irrelevant. What can you demonstrate? I know we aren’t beyond that stage. We STILL don’t know what makes an organsim what it is.

    Similarities are also an example of common design. What evolutionists cannot do is tell us what makes the differences in the two populations seeing there is so much similarity in genomes.

  70. 70
    ofro says:

    Joseph,
    “I know we aren’t beyond that stage.”

    Tell me at what point you will accept that we are beyond that stage. And don’t come with your argument about creating new tissues etc in a laboratory experiment. We are talking here specifically about the comparison of human versus chimpanzee.

    “We STILL don’t know what makes an organsim what it is.”
    (there’s another distraction from our argument about human vs. chimp!)

    And I have the impression you are wishing that our present level of ignorance about the details be kept this way. Because if we continue to explore the human genome, we may actually find out what makes the human brain more complex than the chimpanzee or nonprimate brain.

  71. 71
    John A. Davison says:

    I have decided I am a masochist.

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

  72. 72
    Joseph says:

    “I know we aren’t beyond that stage.”

    Ofro:
    Tell me at what point you will accept that we are beyond that stage.

    Look YOU said we are beyond that stage now either support the claim or retract it. It is that simple. WE will be beyond that stage when we know what makes an organism what it is besides the following:

    What makes a fly a fly? In his book (English title) “Why is a Fly not a Horse?”, the prominent Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti, tells us the following :

    Chapter VI “Why is a Fly not a horse?” (same as the book’s title)

    ”The scientist enjoys a privilege denied the theologian. To any question, even one central to his theories, he may reply “I’m sorry but I do not know.” This is the only honest answer to the question posed by the title of this chapter. We are fully aware of what makes a flower red rather than white, what it is that prevents a dwarf from growing taller, or what goes wrong in a paraplegic or a thalassemic. But the mystery of species eludes us, and we have made no progress beyond what we already have long known, namely, that a kitty is born because its mother was a she-cat that mated with a tom, and that a fly emerges as a fly larva from a fly egg.”

    “We STILL don’t know what makes an organsim what it is.”

    Ofro:
    (there’s another distraction from our argument about human vs. chimp!)

    In reality that point is very relevant. How can one say that one population can “evolve” into another when we don’t even know what makes an organism what it is? IOW that premise is untestable and therefore unscientific.

    Ofro:
    And I have the impression you are wishing that our present level of ignorance about the details be kept this way.

    Actually I have the opposite feeling. That is because I know that data will settle the debate once and for all.

    Ofro:
    Because if we continue to explore the human genome, we may actually find out what makes the human brain more complex than the chimpanzee or nonprimate brain.

    I doubt we will find that by looking at the genomes. As Denton said genes may influence development but they do NOT determine it.

    You may find the following site very interesting:

    Chimps and Humans

  73. 73
    ofro says:

    Joseph,

    I already gave you examples for why I think that we are beyond your equivalent of a 2-year-old looking at a C++ program: researchers are already comparing the genes and made exciting findings about the genes involved in the regulation of nerve growth and speech (look up the FoxP2 gene). How much more detail do you expect people to work in before you will admit that research is making progress in analyzing the human genome?

    You are making reference to Michael Denton. I looked up his research, and he is working on the rules that govern the folding of domains in proteins. This work and the conclusions he is drawing have no relevance whatsoever for our discussion. He is extrapolating from his work to speculate about possible laws that determine the organization of macromolecules inside the cell and thus make Darwinian evolution mechanisms difficult. Here we are not talking about possible or impossible mechanisms of evolution or about how human or chimpanzee may have diverged from an ancestor primate. We are dealing with how present-day differences in the genome can explain present-day differences in phenotype. Also don’t just rely on Denton’s outdated 1985 book. Genes influence development by determining it. There could, in addition, be epigenetic effects due to methylation or so, but that is secondary.

    In other words: forget Denton; here we are discussing what makes the two present-day species different. Comparative gene analysis is the best way to make progress, and there has been progress already. FYI, I do not consider the argument that homology points towards a common designer adequate to bring us closer to an understanding of what makes humans different from the other primates.

    (As to the reference you gave to a site about “Chimps and Humans”, I am sorry but I think the URL is missing, so I can’t comment on it).

  74. 74
    Joseph says:

    Ofro:
    I already gave you examples for why I think that we are beyond your equivalent of a 2-year-old looking at a C++ program: researchers are already comparing the genes and made exciting findings about the genes involved in the regulation of nerve growth and speech (look up the FoxP2 gene).

    What genes do and what makes an organism what it is are entirely different subjects.

    Ofro:
    How much more detail do you expect people to work in before you will admit that research is making progress in analyzing the human genome?

    I never said nor implied we weren’t making progress analyzing genomes. However we still don’t know what makes an organism what it is. We do know it is more than a sum of its genes.

    Ofro:
    You are making reference to Michael Denton. I looked up his research, and he is working on the rules that govern the folding of domains in proteins.

    Whatever. He also is a genetics researcher.

    Ofro:
    Also don’t just rely on Denton’s outdated 1985 book.

    I don’t. What I posted about what he said came from “Uncommon Dissent”- 2004.

    Ofro:
    Genes influence development by determining it.

    That is false and I know you cannot substantiate that claim:

    Page 172 of “Uncommon Dissent”:

    It is true that genes influence every aspect of development, but influencing something is not the same as determining it.

    To substantiate that claim no need to look any further than the experiments with flies. We get an eyeless fly and then incorporate a mouse PAX6 gene into that line. The subsequent flies develop FLY eyes, not mouse eyes. That is all we know. We do NOT know what cause fly eyes to develop in flies. Just what cuases eyes to develop or not develop.

    Ofro:
    In other words: forget Denton; here we are discussing what makes the two present-day species different.

    You can forget Denton. I see where you would want to. Heck with the data and reality. Your view is the only view regardless.

    We don’t even know what makes the two prsent day species.

    Ofro:
    FYI, I do not consider the argument that homology points towards a common designer adequate to bring us closer to an understanding of what makes humans different from the other primates.

    It wasn’t supposed to. Common designer explains the similarities. That is all evolutionism does. It doesn’t even attempt to explain the differences. And if the link below works you will see why.

    Chimps & Humans

  75. 75
    Joseph says:

    Perhaps Ofro can tell us how we can objectively test the premise that humans and chimps shared a common ancester. Then perhaps Ofro can discuss how to test the mechanism(s) responsible.

  76. 76
    ofro says:

    To the moderator: I apologize if this post gets into the grey zone of diverging too much off the original topic. I’ll be happy to continue the argument in a different context once it comes up. And sorry about the length.

    Joseph:
    Your question was: how we can objectively test the premise that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. I would like to think that we can do that, but I don’t know what you define as “objective.” The short version is that it boils down to sequence comparison, but I need to explain why and how.

    I am sure you will accept the following: In today’s technical arsenal there is a commonly used test for common ancestry, and it is widely accepted. It is commonly referred to as DNA testing, genomic fingerprinting, etc. and serves to establish genetic relationships by determining how similar two DNA samples are to each other. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....erprinting for details on the different methodologies.

    Genetic testing is possible because of the variation (polymorphism) in many places on the genome that we find among different individuals. For example, differences can occur, among several others, in a single nucleotide position (single nucleotide polymorphism) or in the number of short, repeated pieces of DNA inserted all over the place in the genome. The best explanation is that these are mutations of one type or another that accumulated over time since we descended from our earliest human ancestor (or a small band of ancestors). What has also been found is that, if we compare different populations (modern-time indigenous people from different continents), each population has its own characteristic sets of “mutations” that can be used to distinguish it from the other populations, in addition to individual differences. Along with these genotypic differences one can find phenotypic differences, such as racial differences in appearance, although only very few of the genotypic differences manifest themselves phenotypically. The reason for this diversity is that at some time in the past, groups of humans separated away as they migrated to different geographic regions, upon which each experienced its own genetic drift. Archeological and other evidence points towards this kind of divergence started anywhere around several thousand generations ago, depending on which evidence you want to follow. If we took the genomes of the different populations (we don’t have them yet) and compared them, we would be able to establish with a good certainty what the genome of the “first” human looked like, by determining where most of the populations agreed with each other in their DNA sequence. I am sure we already have that information with the (maternally-only inherited and much shorter) mitochondrial DNA although I didn’t check the literature to verify this.

    So I can see no rationale not to apply the same methodology to compare the genomes of human and chimpanzee. And of course, we find that there are many more differences, in terms of single nucleotide differences, repeats, and even a few chromosome rearrangements. Obviously, this means that humans did not descend from their last common ancestor with chimps just a few generations ago. And we wouldn’t objectively expect anything else. If one accepts fossil evidence that monitors the morphological changes found in hominid precursors, one has an independent timeline of several million years, about 2 orders of magnitude longer than the divergence of modern man among the continents (if you accept the out-of-Africa hypothesis).

    So far everything (except perhaps the assumption about the fossils) has been logically derived. A genomic comparison among similar species comes closest to closing the perceived gap between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. The good news is that we have here a universally accepted case of two different species, the bad news is that it involves humans, which we hold to have a special status. So let us take one step back, forget about human/chimp, and assume that we have the complete genomes of two species that are as closely related (by the criterion of genome similarity) as chimp and human. I have a hard time seeing any argument that would prohibit us from proposing, based on the available data, that these two species had a common ancestor.

  77. 77
    Joseph says:

    Ofro:
    Your question was: how we can objectively test the premise that humans and chimps shared a common ancestor. I would like to think that we can do that, but I don’t know what you define as “objective.” The short version is that it boils down to sequence comparison, but I need to explain why and how.

    But sequence comparison can also point to common design. IOW it is NOT exclusive to common descent and it certainly says nada about a mechansim.

    Ofro:
    Genetic testing is possible because of the variation (polymorphism) in many places on the genome that we find among different individuals.

    What works for individuals in one population should not be extrapolated to be used on organisms from different populations (all humans being one population).

    Ofro:
    So I can see no rationale not to apply the same methodology to compare the genomes of human and chimpanzee.

    I can. It is the ole “apples v. oranges” scenario.

    We know there are mutational “hot spots”. We also know there are only 4 possibilities for any nucleotide. We also know that orangutans and humans share some mutations that humans and chimps do not- yet the human and orangutan alleged common ancestor is well before the alleged human and chimp CA.

    IOW your test is very subjective and it isn’t even exclusive to one hypothesis.

  78. 78
    ofro says:

    Joseph:
    “But sequence comparison can also point to common design.”

    You’ll need to define “common design” in this context. “Common design” is a nice catchy phrase, but if one thinks about it, it could mean many things. Perhaps it means that all mammals have a head, four limbs (well, maybe) and some sort of stomach, etc. The way I understand the design concept, there is a designer who has some sort of plan. Extrapolating from that I would expect that, if the plan is somehow implemented, the resulting product should be just what the plan said.

    Now we know from the Human Genome Project that we can easily distinguish between individuals by their genomic fingerprint. The same is found with every other vertebrate species (and probably just about any species) that has been tested for polymorphisms. The further we go back in time, the greater are the differences. So how is it possible to have so many different implementations of a “common design” even within a species? Is there a design for each individual? It seems to me that if two individuals have different DNA sequences, each must have had its own individual design.

    Alternatively, the designer may have somehow permitted (designed?) some variations in the execution. If so, how different do two different individuals have to be that we can say they came from two different designs? Since I am not permitted to speculate what a designer might have had in mind, how does ID design analysis decide this question?

    In your response you also said in the context of genetic testing of polymorphisms:
    “What works for individuals in one population should not be extrapolated to be used on organisms from different populations (all humans being one population).”

    You are wrong. For what reason should I not extrapolate? As I mentioned above, scientists monitor individuals in populations of several if not many species by their genetic fingerprints.

    “We also know there are only 4 possibilities for any nucleotide.”

    What does that have to do with “apples vs. oranges”?

    “We also know that orangutans and humans share some mutations that humans and chimps do not”

    Of course, if you compare nucleotide sequences, it is possible that after the split from a CA a nucleotide position is mutated in the same way in the human and orang utan and different in the chimp genome. However, this is expected on simple statistical grounds and is found less often (as expected/predicted) than the commonalities between human and chimp vs. orang utan.

  79. 79
    Joseph says:

    Ofro:
    You’ll need to define “common design” in this context. “Common design” is a nice catchy phrase, but if one thinks about it, it could mean many things. Perhaps it means that all mammals have a head, four limbs (well, maybe) and some sort of stomach, etc. The way I understand the design concept, there is a designer who has some sort of plan. Extrapolating from that I would expect that, if the plan is somehow implemented, the resulting product should be just what the plan said.

    How the plan started and how it is now are separate issues. With common design I would expect to see symbiotic relationships throughout. Where genomes are concerned I would expect commonality also. What would we eat if genomes where vastly different without anything in common? I would expect organisms that look and reproduce alike to have similar genomes.

    ID doesn’t care about how many designs or designers. That is also separate from detection and understanding.

    In your response you also said in the context of genetic testing of polymorphisms:
    “What works for individuals in one population should not be extrapolated to be used on organisms from different populations (all humans being one population).”

    You are wrong. For what reason should I not extrapolate? As I mentioned above, scientists monitor individuals in populations of several if not many species by their genetic fingerprints.

    What does that have to do with what I said?

    Read the link I provided and you will see the obstacles in the way. And no one, I repeat NO ONE knows whether or not mutations can even allow such differences.

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