Intelligent Design

Junk Religion

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One of reasons evolutionists find their theory to be so compelling is the so-called “shared error” evidence. Designs that are shared between species are evidence for evolution, but junk that is shared between species are veritable proofs for evolution. This evolutionary interpretation of shared junk is yet another example the religious foundation of evolutionary thought. We might say it is another example of evolution’s junk religionRead more

15 Replies to “Junk Religion

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    For biblical creationism (YEC) this all still ignores the option that the fall changed all biology in order to survive and to die, Like problems would be expected in like creatures from like processes innate in bodies. The same problems or flaws would be expected in unrelated bodies just because they would react the same. Unrelated humans and apes should have like results. Why not?
    If after te fall we have some flaw then why wouldn’t apes have it to?
    Common design means common flaws or reactions to a general problem affecting everyone at once.
    I.D folks not believing in the fall will have to hustle for answers but not YEC.

  2. 2
    Granville Sewell says:

    Errors often get propogated from one software version to the next, yet we know software is designed.

  3. 3
    uoflcard says:

    Robert Byers –

    I think you and I are on the same page for what really matters (who Jesus is). But I disagree that “I.D folks not believing in the fall will have to hustle for answers”. First of all, I do believe in the fall, just not that it was two people eating a fruit 6,000 years ago. But besides that, I also believe in some type of common descent, which, I think, is a very powerful explanation for “shared junk”. These genetic errors, to my knowledge, are not so much related to shared designs (like how 2004 Chrystler Sebrings tend to have bottom end engine problems much earlier than most other cars, as I just rudely discovered) as they are to copied errors, like two or three kids turning in papers that share one or more very unique mistakes.

    I also don’t think humans are “just another animal”. Obviously something very, very special happened to us. For all of the naturalists that think our “awakening” came about due to a collection of mutations, I can only say that I wish I had that much faith in my own world view. It seems like the most incredible leap of faith in the entire atheist/skeptic world view to believe we are conscious because of a series of mutations (or even more absurdly, a single mutation).

    Additionally:

    I think a huge portion of the evolutionist side of the debate honestly thinks that proof of common descent is exactly equivalent to proof of Darwinian evolution. At best, this is ignorance of a formidable alternative, which is intelligently designed biology, created through common descent. (This is demonstrated on blogs such as Pharyngula by the constant mockery of YEC and most references to ID being strawmen or unwarranted links to YEC.)

    And to those that say this is simply a concession to mounting naturalist evidence, I disagree. If you are designing a system of life that will live in a dynamic environment and if that life is to survive and prosper, it surely must be dynamic, itself! This design was explicitly observed in the amazing transformation of the Italian Wall lizards. Google is not working for me right now so I can’t post a link. But in case you are unaware of what happened, and to make a long story short, 30 years ago some biologists transplanted 10 pairs of lizards from an island (Mediterranean?) to a neighboring, lizardless island. Their diet went from mainly insects to mainly vegetation. In 30 years they developed a new jaw structure and cecal valves in their throat/digestive tract. It is an incredible stretch, given the absurdly small time frame and population size, to say this is explained best by random mutation + natural selection. It is explained much better by a front-loaded, environmentally-triggered design, or something else that involves intelligence (be it either foresight or adaption).

  4. 4
    scordova says:

    That of course is the sort of non scientific, metaphysical, IF-AND-ONLY-IF claim which is fundamental to evolution. Coyne summarizes this important finding:

    But if you believe that primates and guinea pigs were specially created, these facts don’t make sense. Why would a creator put a pathway for making vitamin C in all these species, and then inactivate it? Wouldn’t it be easier simply to omit the whole pathway from the beginning? Why would the same inactivating mutation be present in all primates, and a different one in guinea pigs? Why would the sequences of the dead gene exactly mirror the pattern of resemblance predicted from the known ancestry of these species? And why do humans have thousands of pseudogenes in the first place? [69]

    Should we laugh or cry? The evolution genre is loaded with such trash posing as science, yet I am still struck by the astonishing banality of evolutionary thought.

    Yup, trash is the right word. What evidence is there that:

    1. the pathway was inactivated

    2. the pathway is soley for vitamin C

    3. we don’t know what pseudogenes are for, we presume one thing, but we could be wrong

    If we find that these supposed vitamin C pathways in primates are for something else, then there will be lots of egg on Coyne’s face.

    Coyne uses “God wouldn’t do it that way” reasoning.

    Molecular Biologist Dan Criswell on Vitamin C (as reported in ICR):

    In 1994, a group of Japanese scientists identified a DNA sequence in humans that had many similarities to the rat gene that codes for the enzyme (L-gulono-?-lactone) that catalyzes the last step of vitamin C synthesis (Nishikimi et al. 1994). The human pseudogene sequence discovered has four of these 12 exons. (Exons are the modular coding regions of a gene.) These four human exon sequences have many characteristics of a pseudogene. There is a 70-80% sequence homology between the rat and human sequences depending on the exon, and two stop codons. Later analysis confirmed that these four exons are present in other primates as well (Inai, Ohta, and Nishikimi 2003). Humans are missing only the final enzyme for the last step in synthesizing vitamin C, but have all of the other enzymes necessary to convert glucose into vitamin C.

    It would seem from the evidence of a potential human pseudogene for L-gulono-?-lactone and the presence of the other enzymes necessary for synthesizing vitamin C that humans have lost the ability to make vitamin C. However, there is more to this story. There are only four exons for the gene encoding L-gulono-?-lactone in humans. Two-thirds of the homologous rat gene is completely missing. Most pseudogenes represent 90% of the entire functional gene. This DNA sequence, labeled as a pseudogene, might have an entirely different function than the rat gene.

    Stating that only the last enzyme is missing for the pathway to convert glucose to vitamin C might imply to the untrained individual that there is a biochemical pathway that leads to a dead end. Actually, the biochemical pathway that leads to the synthesis of vitamin C in rats also leads to the formation of five-carbon sugars in the pentose phosphate pathway present in virtually all animals (Linster and Van Schaftingen 2007). There are several metabolic intermediates in this pathway illustrating that these substances can be used as precursors for many compounds in the cell. In the pentose phosphate pathway, five-carbon sugars are made from glucose (a six-carbon sugar) to be used in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and many energy producing substances such as ATP and NADPH (Garrett 1999). Animals that synthesize vitamin C can use both pathways illustrated in the simplified diagram below. Humans and the other animals “less fortunate” than rats only use the pentose phosphate pathway.

    There is no dead end or wasted metabolic intermediates, and there is no need to have the enzyme to make vitamin C since humans are able to get all of the vitamin C they need from food substances.

    Thousands of human pseudogenes have been catalogued, but in spite of the similarities to functional genes, the exact role of pseudogene sequences in the genome are not known by any scientist. It is not necessary to assume that pseudogenes are remnants of once functioning genes that have been lost and now clutter the genome like junk in a rubbish heap. It is possible that these regions of DNA do have a role in human and animal genomes and this role has not been discovered yet. Over 100 years ago, Robert Wiedersheim hypothesized that the human body had more than 80 organs that lacked any function simply because it was unknown at the time what these organs did (Wiedersheim 1895). They were assumed to be vestigial or “junk” leftovers from evolutionary history and several of these organs are still presented this way in biology textbooks today. The science of genomics is in the same position today. Just because scientists do not currently know the function of a portion of DNA does not mean that it does not have any function and therefore it is an evolutionary leftover. It has been reported that pseudogenes play a regulatory role in yeast for the functional genes that they share sequence homology with (Hirotsune et al. 2003). There needs to be more research in this area to verify these claims, but at least there are some indications of a functional role for pseudogenes in the human genome.

  5. 5
    Phaedros says:

    Hornspiel-

    Take your trash elsewhere.

  6. 6
    kairosfocus says:

    HS:

    You need to read the weak argument correctives (accessible top, right every page at UD) before commenting again, if you are serious. If instead you are playing the troll, you are getting very close to the edge.

    Design theory is about empirical, scientific investigation of signs of intelligence that are observable and in some cases quantifiable. In the context that science is an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) progressive pursuit of the truth about our world, based on experiment, observation, analysis etc. So, design thinkers — from Plato to Newton to Dembski et al — strongly object to straight-jacketing the world of thought to evolutionary materialist ideologies du jour.

    Beyond that, there are various movements, groups and individuals that have design-oriented views of the world. Some are even agnostics and a few seem to be atheists.

    So, playing at dismissive rhetoric is just a grudging way to admit without accepting that ID is just as advertised: a scientific approach, one that will fit in with pretty nmarly any worldview, save the one that happens to be largely dominant in science today: ideologically militant evolutionary materialism.

    Which is dead, only it does not fully know that yet. ID is its death knell, once we arrived at the information age. Because, in the end, we know where complex, functionally specific information comes from, and rhetorical sleight of hand — e.g. question-beggingly redefining science as materialism in a lab coat — can only do so much to postpone the day of reckoning.

    GEM of TKI

  7. 7
    Alex73 says:

    Kariosfocus,

    I held myself back for some time, but I cannot restrain myself any longer.

    Please, tell me what “GEM of TKI” means…

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    Alex:

    Refers to my personal initials and consultancy personality, in that order.

    GEM of TKI

  9. 9
    mikev6 says:

    uoflcard:

    It is explained much better by a front-loaded, environmentally-triggered design, or something else that involves intelligence (be it either foresight or adaption).

    I’m curious about this. My sense from your comment is that you’re not proposing that a designer was directly involved in the development of these new abilities by the lizards, but rather created (in the past) suitable mechanisms for this to happen. How would you distinguish this from some unknown naturalistic mechanism that supported fast adaptation?

  10. 10
    Alex73 says:

    kf,

    Thanks 🙂

  11. 11
    Petrushka says:

    a scientific approach, one that will fit in with pretty nearly any worldview…

    That seems extraordinarily broad minded.

    Assuming one is not a Darwinist, are there any belief systems at all that are incompatible with the findings of ID researchers?

    For example, have ID researchers established any facts about the physical world that would constrain the content of belief about how things got to be the way they are?

    Is it possible, for example, that some gifted people simple wish new kinds of creatures into existence?

    How would an ID researcher approach such a question?

    If that question seems too frivolous, perhaps you could propose an alternative hypothesis, and describe how it could be tested.

  12. 12
    Frost122585 says:

    Hunter,

    here is a story- an example of a case where something that appears to b totally random is actually intelligently designed. I think it serves as a near perfect analogy to the supposedly problem of “junk” DNA.

    http://articles.moneycentral.m.....-code.aspx

    I thought you might want to run with the story/idea for a thread.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    Alex 73:

    Welcome.

    ____________

    Petrushka:

    Do you know any major worldviews that scant the basic, generic summary form scientific method?

    Do you find that people generally insist that they cannot tell that things like the text of posts in this thread are not artifacts of intelligence?

    When it comes to the possibility of empirical refutation of design theory, that has long been on the table, just ducked because it evidently has not been met, and is so unlikely to be met, based on what we know about the mathematics of configurations of a sufficiently large number of entities, only some of which will function in relevant ways.

    Produce a credible case where functional complex information at or beyond the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold has credibly come about by blind chance plus mechanical necessity only, without intelligent direction.

    My common suggested case is to rig up a Zener noise circuit to spew across an unformatted floppy, and test. A million of so old PCs and a year’s run should be sufficient to see if a floppy would (a) get formatted, and (b) get coded with a functional message of within a reasonable compass, 500 – 1,000 bits being the threshold. To make it easy, simply read for text.

    This has been on the table for years, as have been similar test cases. None of the ardent Darwinists have taken up the challenge. Nor have they been able otherwise to show us a case where within our observation complex, functional information and associated organisation that puts it to work, come about by blind chance and mechanical necessity. Especially, coded, discrete state, algorithmic information. Which is of course just what we see in the heart of the cell in its DNA.

    As to your loaded remarks on magicians and miracle workers, I suggest you may need to take time to look — having first removed the blinders of selective hyperskepticism — at the most serious case of a claimed miracle on record: the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, with 500+ witnesses.

    GEM of TKI

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Mikev6:

    I suggest that the key issue is origination of complex functional information. An examination of the relevant DNA will show whether the parent population of the lizards has in it the required info. At least in principle.

    In praxis, since lizard reproduction time is at least of the order of months, there is no reasonable initial basis for inferring the spontaneous generation of so much de novo information in such a short time. Hence, the inference to a front-loaded adaptation mechanism.

    That is of course something that can be tested, perhaps by comparing the dna of parent and daughter populations.

    GEM of TKI

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr.Hunter This may interest you, Though I am not quite sure on Dinesh D’Souza’s stance on ID, He did give a Q&A on apologetics at Greg Laurie’s mega-church this last Sunday which, from the first 20 minutes of listening to it, seems to be fairly well informed:

    Flash player video
    http://www.harvest.org/webcast.....38;id=1091

    Main website for Greg Laurie’s church
    http://www.harvest.org/

    D’Souza’s website:
    http://www.dineshdsouza.com/

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