This exchange between lastyearon, KF and Eric Anderson is too delish to leave in a combox:
What the ID proponents (specifically Eric Anderson and KD) are saying is that evolution isn’t science because it lacks sufficient detail at the molecular level. In order for them to accept that the eye evolved by accident (which is highly unlikely) you need to show exactly how it happened, molecule by molecule. However, personally I don’t even think that’s enough. We all know that organic molecules are extremely complex entities that are made of lots of atoms. And we also know that the atoms in those organic molecules are extremely complex themselves, and are made of lots of electrons, neutrons and protons. And protons and neutrons are themselves complex entities made of quarks and gluons. And I’m sure those guys are made of even smaller stuff. So basically, what I’m asking is: where is the evolutionary explanation of quarks and gluons? And why should I accept that the eye evolved by accident if you can’t tell me how those quarks and gluons did it?
Perhaps it has not caught your notice that Quantum theory has allowed us long since to understand organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and polymer/materials science. That is not the level of concern we have.
Developments in molecular biology since the 1940′s and 50′s have allowed us to see the molecular machines at work in the living cell, and that functionally specific complex organisation and associated information, based on what we already know, is what is posing the challenge for the fundamentally pre-quantum, C19 Victorian era theories in biology.
Just as, the spectroscopic study of black body radiation at end of C19 led to a crisis in physics resolved by the development of quantum theory over the period from 1900 – 1930 in the first instance, the development of our understanding of what is happening at molecular levels in cells is raising serious questions about where such can come from. For, we already have a known capable mechanism for creating FSCO/I, and reason to see that the preferred mechanisms implied in darwinist narratives, do not meet that threshold of known capacity to cause the phenomenon.
In short we know that FSCO/I is created by designers, directly and indirectly, but the same cannot be said for fundamentally blind forces of chance and mechanical necessity. That is what has to be resolved, to arrive at a satisfactory answer. And, contrary to your suggestions of closed mindedness, if it can be shown observationally that forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity can and do create FSCO/I relevant to cell based life and to the rise of novel body plans, the whole design theory project in the world of life would collapse because of the decisive impact of such evidence; but — never mind those who project their own make/break anxieties unto others — that is not a critical concern for design thinkers. (Yes, that’s right, just keep on reading to see why.)
What you are doing, then, is little more than trying to twist about the circumstances, where there is evidence on the table, but it cuts across the a priori materialist ideology, which is evidently being desperately clung to. Why do I so freely say such? Simple. Ironically, it would not — repeat, NOT — have a fundamental impact on design thought if it were to happen that FSCO/I could be shown to originate by forces of blind chance and mechanical necessity, as there is a world of evidence on the source of a fine tuned cosmos set up to an operating point suitable for cell based life. That is, design thinkers do not have a critical worldview issue on the origins of life and body plans; it is the materialists who do. (Yes, I mean exactly what you just read.)
So, we are free to go with the evidence where it leads; it is simply a matter of what the evidence warrants — currently, strongly, design — not a make/break worldview level issue. For us. For you, it seems the matter is quite different. Per a priori materialist ideology, blind chance and mechanical necessity HAS to account for everything, no exceptions, from hydrogen to humans. No wonder there has been an attempt to redefine science as a search for such blind causes, to ease the pressure by blocking serious consideration of alternatives. Which easily explains a lot of the rhetorical patterns we so often, so drearily predictably see. So, please think again and do better next time. KF
Update: And Eric Anderson adds:
I don’t believe I’ve said in this thread that evolution is not science (or that, properly applied, it cannot be science), so your accusation is a misrepresentation of my position. (We could have an interesting discussion about what “evolution” means, but that is a separate issue for now.)
But I’ll go ahead and call your bluff:
Are you suggesting that quarks and gluons and atoms contain complex specified information? Do they contain sequences of particles that store a code for construction of an organism? I didn’t think so. So your insincere attempt at analogy fails.
In contrast, organisms are dependent on the biochemical information stored in, for example, DNA. Indeed, Nick has stated that all the information for an organism is contained in its DNA. So under Nick’s view, by definition, the explanation for something like the eye must be, at the end of the day, a sequence of nucleotides. And it remains true that neither Nick nor anyone else knows precisely what sequence of nucleotides is needed to construct an eye, nor what changes in nucleotides were needed to go from a light-sensitive spot to a camera-lens eye. But we have good reason to believe that a good many changes would be needed and that such changes could not occur within the timeframe of the known universe.
But I’m not even that picky. I’m not even demanding precise details about what actually occurred in the remote historical past. I’d be happy with an engineering-quality analysis of what is needed and what might have occurred, as long as it is a reasonably complete analysis that can be seen to have a chance of operating in the real biological world.
Instead, we are treated to hand-waving just-so stories that, even when dressed up in fancy scientific language, go little beyond Kipling’s children’s stories. And when someone like Berlinski makes the perfectly reasonable observation that many coordinated changes, including those in skull structure, are required to get to where we are today, we get the laughable response: “Nuh-uh, because the skull came later; and besides, some creatures don’t have skulls.” Right. And some creatures don’t have arms, so I suppose we don’t need to explain how arms came about.
What a joke.
So your comment fails and your attempt at saving Nick & Co. from the hard work of actually coming up with an explanation for vision on the basis of chance and necessity just underscores yet again that they have no such explanation