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Is a philosophical defence of truth in science possible any more?

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This philosopher has done her homework and writes well:

We should expect science to tell us the truth because, by realist lights, this is what science ought to do. Truth – understood as getting things right – is not the aim of science, because it is not what science (or, better, scientists) should aspire to (assuming one has realist leanings). Instead, it is what science ought to do by realist lights. Thus, to judge a scientific theory or model as true is to judge it as one that ‘commands our assent’. Truth, ultimately, is not an aspiration; a desirable (but maybe unachievable) goal; a figment in the mind of the working scientist; or, worse, an insupportable and dispensable burden in scientific research. Truth is a normative commitment inherent in scientific knowledge.

Constructive empiricists, instrumentalists, Jamesian pragmatists, relativists and constructivists do not share the same commitment. They do not share with the realist a suitable notion of ‘rightness’. As an example, compare the normative commitment to get things right with the view of the philosopher Richard Rorty, in whose hands Putnam’s truth as ‘idealised warranted assertibility’ reduces to what is acceptable to ‘us as we should like to be … us educated, sophisticated, tolerant, wet liberals, the people who are always willing to hear the other side, to think out all the implications’. Getting things right is not a norm about us at our best, ‘educated, sophisticated, tolerant, wet liberals’. It is a norm inherent in scientific knowledge. To claim to know something in science (or about a scientific topic or domain) is to claim for the truth of the relevant beliefs about that topic or domain. But, a critic might reply, how can our knowledge – which is perspectival, entrenched in historically and culturally well-defined scientific practices – track the way the world is? How can we be expected to truthfully believe the things we believe in science, despite being situated in a plurality of scientific perspectives? To put it in a different way, how can we – historically and culturally situated epistemic agents – reliably build scientific knowledge over time, despite the possible errors and false steps of past (and current) scientific perspectives?Michela Massimi, “Getting it right” at Aeon

But in a world of intelligent people who believe they are Darwinian animals seeking survival, whose supposed selfish genes unaccountably seek to reproduce themselves, her fine words will not, of course, be any use. Not against the rent-seeking and plunder-seeking assailants in a war on math, and science, squabbling over the carcass. Having wasted the humanities disciplines, as the Sokal hoax on social sciences last year shows, they are moving on into lusher fields of funding.

Science is not only comparatively rich, it is largely undefended. Its bureaucrats are accustomed to bowing to ideological demands from social justice warriors, not resisting them, for reasons of public relations. And at the end of the day, the ‘crat still has a job. That becomes the main thing, just to survive the next politically motivated chop. Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne is a figure of interest because he is slowly learning that. One doesn’tenvy him, learning how his colleagues will behave.

See also: Putting a respectable face on persecuting the social justice science hoaxers

Embattled “Social Sciences Hoax” Prof Is Not A Hero, He’s A Canary

Social Science Hoaxer’s Job At Risk For Revealing “Bias”

Sokal hoaxes strike social science again

Exposing gender studies as a Sokal hoax

Social Science Hoax Papers Is One Of RealClearScience’s Top Junk Science Stories Of 2018


Alan Sokal, Buy Yourself A Latte: “Star Wars” Biology Paper Accepted

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10 Replies to “Is a philosophical defence of truth in science possible any more?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Peter Kreeft, in his 20 arguments for God, has this little jewel.

    Twenty Arguments For The Existence Of God – Peter Kreeft
    11. The Argument from Truth
    This argument is closely related to the argument from consciousness. It comes mainly from Augustine.
    1. Our limited minds can discover eternal truths about being.
    2. Truth properly resides in a mind.
    3. But the human mind is not eternal.
    4. Therefore there must exist an eternal mind in which these truths reside.

    To hash this out more fully we can employ Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

    Everyone agrees that 1+1=2 is true. But, as Godel ended up demonstrating with his incompleteness theorem, the truth of 1+1=2 does not reside within the equation. At the 8:45 minute mark of the following video the futile Herculean effort, about a century ago, trying to mathematically prove 1+1=2 is gone over. ,,, From that starting point, Godel eventually derived his ‘incompleteness’ theorem and proved that it can never be done mathematically,

    BBC-Dangerous Knowledge – Part 2

    Yet we instinctively know that 1+1=2 is undeniably true. And yet the truth of that statement does not lie within the equation. Nor, with the extension of Godel’s incompleteness theorem to physics, does the truth of 1+1=2 lie within any conceivable reductive materialistic explanation.

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Thus, since the truth of 1+1=2 does not lie within the equation, nor does it lie within any possible reductive materialistic explanation, then it necessarily follows that the truth of 1+1=2 must lie within our immaterial minds.

    But, as Peter Kreeft pointed out in premise 3 of his argument, “the human mind is not eternal”.

    And therefore it necessarily follows that since the human mind cannot be the origin of the ‘eternal’ truth of 1+1=2, and as Kreeft summed up in the conclusion of his argument, “Therefore there must exist an eternal mind in which these truths reside.”

    In short, since 1+1=2 is undeniably true then we must also hold that the eternal Mind of God is the source for that undeniable eternal truth.

    Of related interest, the atheist Bob O’Hara, (oblivious to the fact that truth cannot be correlated with his Darwinian worldview, i.e. with ‘fitness’), stated this the other day,

    “Certainly one could argue that belief in a deity could be correlated with fitness. The correlation with truth might be a bit harder to work on, in part because people have believed in a great many deities, so the problem of which one is true is more difficult to establish.”

    To which I responded in part,

    Well since we can now see that truth can only be grounded within the immaterial mind and/or personhood of God, might I suggest that the only deity to ever make the claim that ‘the truth’ was grounded within His own personhood, rather than within his teaching, is the correct deity?

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Quotes, and links

    “If you were to take Mohammed out of Islam, and Buddha out of Buddhism, and Confucius out of Confucianism you would still have a faith system that was relatively in tact. However, taking Christ out of Christianity sinks the whole faith completely. This is because Jesus centred the faith on himself. He said, “This is what it means to have eternal life: to know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent” (John 17:3). “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Buddha, before dying, said in effect, “I am still seeking for the truth.” Mohammed said in effect, “I point you to the truth.” Jesus said, “I am the truth.” Jesus claimed to not only give the truth, but to be the very personal embodiment of it.”

    as Francis Schaeffer said, “Christianity is not merely religious truth, it is total truth- truth about the whole of reality.”
    – Nancy R. Pearcey, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity

    Short take: Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” – January 2019
    Copernican Principle
    Agent Causality

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    I was a little disappointed that a philosopher of science, writing about the relationship between science and “truth”, did not explain what she understands by “truth”. The word is tossed around glibly as if it is a simple, unambiguous universal concept. But is that true?

    My understanding was that scientists tend to regard “truth” as the province of philosophers. Science is about creating testable descriptions and explanations which model aspects of what we assume to be an observable, objective reality. They are true to the extent that they can be observed to correspond with the reality they purport to describe. They are also abstractions which means any correspondence must always be less than perfect for that reason. The only “defence” required by science lies in how successful the explanations it creates expand our understanding of the natural world which can be expressed in our power to influence it. If we are able to design and build ever better radios, TVs or computers, that suggests that our understanding of electro-magnetic and quantum phenomena is probably on the right track.

  3. 3
    hazel says:

    Sev writes, nicely,

    Science is about creating testable descriptions and explanations which model aspects of what we assume to be an observable, objective reality. They are true to the extent that they can be observed to correspond with the reality they purport to describe. They are also abstractions which means any correspondence must always be less than perfect for that reason.

    Those are all things I spent time trying to say over a series of threads about math and the physical world.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, who dogmatically holds to atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism, holds that scientific theories are abstractions and since they are abstractions they are ‘less than perfect’ for that reason.

    Yet abstraction of any sort is completely antithetical to the entire atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism philosophy that Seversky holds to be a-priorily true.

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses.,,,

    In fact if atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism were actually true then even the ‘abstract notion’ of Seversky existing a real person with real free will becomes illusory.

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    In effect if atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism were actually true then Seversky becomes merely a neuronal illusion, i.e. an ‘abstract notion, of his brain, even a ‘victim’ of his brain, with no control whatsoever over what his brain (and body) tells him to do. Seversky, (if he actually exists as anything other than an abstract notion), is only under the illusion that he is somehow controlling his thoughts and actions.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,

    Besides his worldview being completely insane, Seversky’s atheistic worldview is also a logically self refuting worldview,

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.

    Besides the denial of free will being logically self refuting, advances in neuroscience and quantum mechanics have empirically established the reality of free will (and these advances even refute the Darwinian worldview from within in the process).

    (December 2018) Neuroscientific and quantum validation of free will

    If Seversky were really as concerned with science as he pretends to be, then he should readily accept the preceding empirical findings confirming the reality of agent causality and reject his atheistic/materialistic worldview altogether. A worldview which I remind, insanely denies the reality of agent causality in spite of the fact that we all directly experience the reality our own agent causality first hand.

    Seversky was right to say that our scientific theories, since they are abstractions, will necessarily be ‘less than perfect’. That is to say that the ultimate truth about reality will never be found in the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’ no matter how precise that mathematical theory may be. Commenting on the implications of Godel’s incompleteness theorem, Stanley Jaki put the situation as such,

    “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

    And yet, if we rightly let the ‘abstract notion’ of agent causality back into the picture of modern physics, as quantum physics itself now demands, and as the Christian founders of modern physics originally envisioned, (Sir Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Michael Faraday, and Max Planck, to name a few), then an empirically backed reconciliation, (via the Shroud of Turin), between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, i.e. the ‘Theory of Everything’, readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

    Short take: Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” December 2018:


    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Romans 8:31
    What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

    Of supplemental note: Seversky also stated that,,

    The only “defense” required by science lies in how successful the explanations it creates expand our understanding of the natural world which can be expressed in our power to influence it. If we are able to design and build ever better radios, TVs or computers, that suggests that our understanding of electro-magnetic and quantum phenomena is probably on the right track.

    This is known as the ‘fruitfulness’ criteria for determining whether a scientific theory is correct or not. Francis Bacon himself held this to be a very important criteria, if not the MOST important criteria, for determining whether a theory was ‘scientific’ or not

    Is Biology Approaching the Threshold of Design Acceptance? – January 8, 2019,
    Excerpt: In Aphorism 73 of Novum Organum, Bacon told how best to judge good natural philosophy, what we call science: “Of all signs there is none more certain or worthy than that of the fruits produced: for the fruits and effects are the sureties and vouchers, as it were, for the truth of philosophy.”

    That is to say, ‘true’ scientific theories have a history of deepening man’s understanding of Nature, and thus providing man with beneficial technological breakthroughs because of that deepened understanding of nature (For instance, Newton’s theory of Gravity was ‘good enough’ to land men on the moon). Evolution, unlike those other scientific theories, has completely failed on this account to foster research and deliver technological breakthroughs:

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit (1988)

    In fact, instead of fostering discovery, it can be forcefully argued that Darwinian evolution has hindered scientific discovery, and has also led to medical malpractice, by falsely predicting both junk DNA and vestigial organs. (Not to mention the horrendous social consequences that Darwin’s theory has had on human society)
    On the other hand, Intelligent Design, far from hindering science as Darwinian evolution has done, is found to be a ‘driver of science’ and has already born much fruit in the field of biomimetics, i.e. imitating the design found in nature for our own purposes:

    Intelligent Design 3.0 ? What’s the future of Intelligent Design research?
    Dr. Stephen Meyer gives us a glimpse starting at the 38:00 minute mark of the following video:
    Intelligent Design 3.0 – Stephen C. Meyer – video

    “It has become clear in the past ten years that the concept of design is not merely an add-on meta-description of biological systems, of no scientific consequence, but is in fact a driver of science. A whole cohort of young scientists is being trained to “think like engineers” when looking at biological systems, using terms explicitly related to engineering design concepts: design, purpose, optimal tradeoffs for multiple goals, information, control, decision making, etc. This approach is widely seen as a successful, predictive, quantitative theory of biology.”
    Systems Biology as a Research Program for Intelligent Design – David Snoke – 2014

    Thus, using Seversky own criteria for determining whether a theory is true or not, i.e. fruitfulness, Seversky should reject his own Darwinian worldview since, by his own criteria, it is found to be a false worldview,

  5. 5
    ET says:


    Science is about creating testable descriptions and explanations which model aspects of what we assume to be an observable, objective reality.

    That leaves evolutionism out.

  6. 6
    Brother Brian says:


    That leaves evolutionism out.

    Evolution is being tested every day by researchers.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    Earth to Brother Brian- Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution– your equivocation is duly noted. Evolutionism, the untestable concept that life’s diversity arose via blind and mindless processes, is useless as a heuristic.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Brother Brian claims,

    Evolution is being tested every day by researchers.

    Contrary to what Brother Brian may believe, there is ZERO substantiating evidence for Neo-Darwinism.

    Neo-Darwinists have claimed that evolution is an observed fact on par with the observed fact of gravity. But very contrary to their claims, the plain fact of the matter is that there are ZERO observed instances of neo-Darwinian evolution building up functional complexity:

    Franklin M. Harold, whom I believe is an atheist, calls Darwinian accounts ‘a variety of wishful speculations’. Specifically he states:

    “,,,we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”
    Franklin M. Harold,* 2001. The way of the cell: molecules, organisms and the order of life, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 205.
    *Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Colorado State University, USA

    James Shapiro, whom likewise I believe is atheistic, and who is the main founder of the anti neo-Darwinian group, “The Third Way”, makes an almost verbatim statement prior to Harold’s statement:

    “The argument that random variation and Darwinian gradualism may not be adequate to explain complex biological systems is hardly new […} in fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject — evolution — with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses works in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.”
    Prof. James Shapiro – “In the Details…What?” National Review, 19 September 1996, pp. 64.

    In the following quote, Jerry Coyne himself admits that Darwinian evolution is a ‘historical science’ that is not subject to rigorous testing:

    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike “harder” scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.”
    – Jerry A. Coyne – Of Vice and Men, The New Republic April 3, 2000 p.27 – professor of Darwinian evolution at the University of Chicago

    But hey, these are just quotes from leading atheistic biologists, let’s look at what the empirical evidence itself says.

    How about the oft cited example for neo-Darwinian evolution of antibiotic resistance? This following short video investigates antibiotic resistant bacteria and finds it to fall short as to being evidence for Darwinian evolution.

    Investigating Evolution: Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – video

    This following site has a list of the degraded molecular abilities of antibiotic resistant bacteria

    Is Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics an Appropriate Example of Evolutionary Change? – Kevin Anderson, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: Resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobials is often claimed to be a clear demonstration of “evolution in a Petri dish.” ,,, all known examples of antibiotic resistance via mutation are inconsistent with the genetic requirements of evolution. These mutations result in the loss of pre-existing cellular systems/activities, such as porins and other transport systems, regulatory systems, enzyme activity, and protein binding.

    Moreover, far from being an example of Darwinian evolution, research has demonstrated that ‘antibiotic resistance is hard-wired into bacteria’ and has also demonstrated that ‘antibiotics themselves induce mutations leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria’

    (Ancient) Cave bacteria resistant to antibiotics – April 2012
    Excerpt: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cut off from the outside world for more than four million years have been found in a deep cave. The discovery is surprising because drug resistance is widely believed to be the result of too much treatment.,,, “Our study shows that antibiotic resistance is hard-wired into bacteria. It could be billions of years old, but we have only been trying to understand it for the last 70 years,” said Dr Gerry Wright, from McMaster University in Canada, who has analysed the microbes.

    The Diseaseome Could Take Medicine Beyond the Genome By Cynthia Graber on Thu, 09 Oct 2014
    Excerpt: Today, antibiotic resistance is thought to emerge because, scientists have believed, there are a few bacteria in a given community that are naturally resistant to a drug, and they thrive after the drug kills off the bacteria’s brethren. But instead, as Collins’ research has demonstrated, antibiotics themselves induce mutations, leading to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Antibiotic resistance doesn’t seem to be helping Darwinists in their claim that evolution is an observed fact on par with the observed fact of gravity.

    How about we look really, really, close at very sensitive growth rates and see if we can find any evidence for neo-Darwinian evolution?

    Unexpectedly small effects of mutations in bacteria bring new perspectives – November 2010
    Excerpt: Most mutations in the genes of the Salmonella bacterium have a surprisingly small negative impact on bacterial fitness. And this is the case regardless whether they lead to changes in the bacterial proteins or not.,,, using extremely sensitive growth measurements, doctoral candidate Peter Lind showed that most mutations reduced the rate of growth of bacteria by only 0.500 percent. No mutations completely disabled the function of the proteins, and very few had no impact at all. Even more surprising was the fact that mutations that do not change the protein sequence had negative effects similar to those of mutations that led to substitution of amino acids. A possible explanation is that most mutations may have their negative effect by altering mRNA structure, not proteins, as is commonly assumed.

    Well, that doesn’t seem to be helping Darwinists either.

    How about if we just try to forcibly fix an unconditionally ‘beneficial’ mutation by sustained artificial selection?

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

    UCI scientists decode genomes of sexually precocious fruit flies – September 16, 2010
    Excerpt: For decades, most researchers have assumed that sexual species evolve the same way single-cell bacteria do: A genetic mutation sweeps through a population and quickly becomes “fixated” on a particular portion of DNA. But the UCI work shows that when sex is involved, it’s far more complicated.
    “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology & evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.

    Well that’s certainly disappointing.
    How about if we try to help neo-Darwinian evolution out a little bit and saturate genomes with mutations until we can actually see some ‘evolution’ in action?

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12 None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.

    Mutation + Selection = Stasis – October 8th, 2014
    Excerpt: As a trained physicist, Desai applied a statistical perspective using robots to precisely manipulate hundreds of lines of yeast to perform large scale evolutionary experiments. Scientists have long studied genetic evolution of microbes, but until now, only a few strains at a time.
    Robotically managing 640 lines of yeast from a single parent cell, Desai’s team was efficiently tooled to statistically analyze evolution at this level for the first time.
    In an interview with Singer, Joshua Plotkin, an evolutionary scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, commented, “This is the physicist’s approach to evolution, stripping down everything to the simplest possible conditions… They could partition how much of evolution is attributable to chance, how much to the starting point, and how much to measurement noise.”,,,
    While early mutations in the experiment initially variably influenced fitness, fitness in the final generations was the same. “Scientists,” Singer noted, “don’t know why all genetic roads in yeast seem to arrive at the same endpoint”.,,,,
    “I think many people think about one gene for one trait, a deterministic way of evolution solving problems,” David Reznick, a biologist at the University of California-Riverside, told Singer. “This says that’s not true.”
    Unexpectantly, Desai’s team discovered genetic mutations plus selection yields stasis in the microbe model– not evolution.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Dang still no luck! We should have seen something, Oh well, how about if we try to force bacteria to evolve to adapt to a new environment?

    Researchers Ran a Massive Yearlong Experiment to Get Bacteria to Evolve. Guess What Happened? – August 22, 2014
    Excerpt: (the problem the researchers tried to address?)
    “the general inability to connect phenotype to genotype in the context of environmental adaptation has been a major failing in the field of evolution.,,,”
    (Their results in addressing this major failing?)
    ‘In short, it was hard to find anything beyond a “suggestion” or a “scenario” that these bacteria improved their fitness in any way by genetic mutations, other than the gross observation that some of the clones managed to survive at 45 °C. But even the ancestor could do that sometimes through the “Lazarus effect.”‘

    Hmmm? Still no luck. Hey, I’ve got an idea, let’s just ask a professor of bacteriology at a prestigious university if he has ever seen any evidence for Darwinian evolution:

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.

    “One century of studies on mutations has not provided a single verified example of a gene mutation that led to adaptive morphological change in metazoans.”
    (Cabej 2012.)

    I know it’s hard to believe, but maybe Linton missed something? Let’s personally look at the last four decades worth of lab work to see for ourselves if we can find what he may have missed:

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

    Now this is starting to get a little frustrating.
    Perhaps we just have to give neo-Darwinian evolution a little ‘room to breathe’?
    How about we ‘open the floodgates’ and look at Lenski’s Long Term Evolution Experiment and see what we can find after 50,000 generations, which is equivalent to somewhere around 1,000,000 years of human evolution?

    Richard Lenski and Citrate Hype — Now Deflated – Michael Behe – May 12, 2016
    Excerpt: ,,, for more than 25 years Lenski’s lab has continuously grown a dozen lines of the bacterium E. coli in small culture flasks, letting them replicate for six or seven generations per day and then transferring a portion to fresh flasks for another round of growth. The carefully monitored cells have now gone through more than 60,000 generations, which is equivalent to over a million years for a large animal such as humans.,,,
    In 2008 Lenski’s group reported that after more than 15 years and 30,000 generations of growth one of the E. coli cell lines suddenly developed the ability to consume citrate,,,
    the authors argued it might be pretty important.,,,
    They also remarked that,,, perhaps the mutation marked the beginning of the evolution of a brand new species.,,
    One scientist who thought the results were seriously overblown was Scott Minnich, professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho ,,,
    So Minnich’s lab re-did the work under conditions he thought would be more effective. The bottom line is that they were able to repeatedly isolate the same mutants Lenski’s lab did as easily as falling off a log — within weeks, not decades.,,,
    Richard Lenski was not pleased.,,,
    In a disgraceful move, Lenski impugned Scott Minnich’s character. Since he’s a “fellow of the Discovery Institute” sympathetic with intelligent design,,,
    (Regardless of the ad hominem) With regard to citrate evolution, the Minnich lab’s results have revealed E. coli to be a one-trick pony.,,,
    The take-home lesson is that,,, (Lenski’s overinflated) hype surrounding the (implications of the citrate adaptation) has seriously misled the public and the scientific community. It’s far past time that a pin was stuck in its (Lenski’s citrate) balloon.

    Now that just can’t be right. Evolution is supposedly an observed fact on par with gravity is it not???
    We should really start to be seeing some neo-Darwinian fireworks by 50,000 generations, i.e. 1 million years!
    Hey I know what we can do. How about we see what happened when the ‘top five’ ‘beneficial mutations from Lenski’s experiment were combined?
    Surely now the Darwinian magic will start flowing?

    Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
    Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.

    Well again, that just can’t be right! Something is going terribly wrong here. Have not leading Darwinists assured us that neo-Darwinian evolution is an established fact on par with gravity?
    Tell you what, let’s just forget trying to observe evolution in the lab. I mean it really is kind of cramped in the lab ya know, and let’s REALLY open the floodgates and let’s see what neo-Darwinian evolution can do with the ENTIRE WORLD at its disposal.
    Surely now neo-Darwinian evolution will flex its awesomely powerful muscles for all to see and forever make those IDiots, who believe in Intelligent Design, cower in terror and crawl back to their churches and shut up about all this intelligent design nonsense!

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Kenneth Miller Steps on Darwin’s Achilles Heel – Michael Behe – January 17, 2015
    Excerpt: Enter Achilles and his heel. It turns out that the odds are much better for atovaquone resistance because only one particular malaria mutation is required for resistance. The odds are astronomical for chloroquine because a minimum of two particular malaria mutations are required for resistance. Just one mutation won’t do it. For Darwinism, that is the troublesome significance of Summers et al.: “The findings presented here reveal that the minimum requirement for (low) CQ transport activity … is two mutations.”
    Darwinism is hounded relentlessly by an unshakeable limitation: if it has to skip even a single tiny step — that is, if an evolutionary pathway includes a deleterious or even neutral mutation — then the probability of finding the pathway by random mutation decreases exponentially. If even a few more unselected mutations are needed, the likelihood rapidly fades away.,,,
    So what should we conclude from all this? Miller grants for purposes of discussion that the likelihood of developing a new protein binding site is 1 in 10^20. Now, suppose that, in order to acquire some new, useful property, not just one but two new protein-binding sites had to develop. In that case the odds would be the multiple of the two separate events — about 1 in 10^40, which is somewhat more than the number of cells that have existed on earth in the history of life. That seems like a reasonable place to set the likely limit to Darwinism, to draw the edge of evolution.

    Michael Behe – Observed (1 in 10^20) Edge of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”

    How about if we look at the fossil record of bacteria and see if they have changed in the basic morphological shape over billions of years?

    Long term stasis (billions of years) of Bacteria

    Sheesh, still no change given all the time in the world.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Well I give up. It is apparent that we have been lied to about evolution being an observed fact on par with gravity.

    The fact of the matter is that neo-Darwinists have “no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. (Shapiro)”

    In short, Darwinists, contrary to what they constantly falsely claim, have no evidence for ‘design without a Designer’ (Francisco Ayala).

    Further notes:

    About a Bike Lock: Responding to Richard Dawkins – Stephen C. Meyer – March 25, 2016
    Excerpt: Moreover, given the empirically based estimates of the rarity (of protein folds) (conservatively estimated by Axe3 at 1 in 10^77 and within a similar range by others4) the analysis that I presented in Toronto does pose a formidable challenge to those who claim the mutation-natural selection mechanism provides an adequate means for the generation of novel genetic information — at least, again, in amounts sufficient to generate novel protein folds.5
    Why a formidable challenge? Because random mutations alone must produce (or “search for”) exceedingly rare functional sequences among a vast combinatorial sea of possible sequences before natural selection can play any significant role. Moreover, as I discussed in Toronto, and show in more detail in Darwin’s Doubt,6 every replication event in the entire multi-billion year history of life on Earth would not generate or “search” but a miniscule fraction (one ten trillion, trillion trillionth, to be exact) of the total number of possible nucleotide base or amino-acid sequences corresponding to a single functional gene or protein fold. The number of trials available to the evolutionary process (corresponding to the total number of organisms — 10^40 — that have ever existed on earth), thus, turns out to be incredibly small in relation to the number of possible sequences that need to be searched. The threshold of selectable function exceeds what is reasonable to expect a random search to be able to accomplish given the number of trials available to the search even assuming evolutionary deep time.
    (3) Axe, Douglas. “Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds.” Journal of Molecular Biology 341 (2004): 1295-1315.
    (4) Reidhaar-Olson, John, and Robert Sauer. “Functionally Acceptable Solutions in Two Alpha-Helical Regions of Lambda Repressor.” Proteins: Structure, Function, and Genetics 7 (1990): 306-16; Yockey, Hubert P. “A Calculation of the Probability of Spontaneous Biogenesis by Information Theory,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 67 (1977c): 377-98; Yockey, Hubert. “On the Information Content of Cytochrome C,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 67 (1977b) 345-376.

    Proteins Did Not Evolve Even According to the Evolutionist’s Own Calculations but so What, Evolution is a Fact – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    Excerpt: For instance, in one case evolutionists concluded that the number of evolutionary experiments required to evolve their protein (actually it was to evolve only part of a protein and only part of its function) is 10^70 (a one with 70 zeros following it). Yet elsewhere evolutionists computed that the maximum number of evolutionary experiments possible (over the entire history of life on earth) is only 10^43. Even here, giving the evolutionists every advantage, evolution falls short by 27 orders of magnitude.
    The theory, even by the evolutionist’s own reckoning, is unworkable. Evolution fails by a degree that is incomparable in science. Scientific theories often go wrong, but not by 27 orders of magnitude. And that is conservative.

    “Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – January 1, 2015
    Excerpt: The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.

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

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. (The Waiting Time Problem of) Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpted from ‘Living Waters’ video) (2015)


    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

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