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Larry Moran doesn’t like any of us, not sure why

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Jonathan McLatchie writes to mention that University of Toronto biochemist Larry Moran is hot on the trail again, this time in response to McLatchie’s vid (below) “Is ID a science?”

I agree that many ID proponents try to use the science way of knowing to prove that creator gods must have built some complex molecular structures inside modern cells. They try to use evidence and they try to use rational thinking to arrive at logical conclusions. That qualifies as science, in my opinion, even though ID proponents fail to make their case. They don’t have the evidence and their logic is faulty. It’s science but it’s bad science.

Lot’s of genuine scientists also publish bad science.

Unclear what Dr. Moran means by “genuine scientists” here, if he agrees that ID is science. Would like to know what else he calls “bad science.”

But, you know, he might be onto a different argument next month.

In a curious passage, he writes,

As long as ID supports outspoken leaders like Denyse O’Leary, Barry Arrington, Phillip Johnson, Casey Luskin, David Klinghoffer, Paul Neslon, John West, William Lane Craig, and others who are not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, then it can’t claim to be entirely scientific.1 It’s also a movement and that movement is called Intelligent Design Creationism and their ultimate goal is to replace true science with an approach based on the premise that gods exist. It wants faith to be recognized as a valid way of knowing and it wants to destroy materialism and all the “evils” associated with it.

Tip from an old news hack: When people talk in the impersonal third person about an agglomeration of individuals, they are spouting propaganda.

Such people might be correct or not, but correctness does not correlate at all with this type of self-expression.

For one thing, as soon as one changes it to “These people want,” one is responsible for ensuring that there is some factual basis for the assertion that they all want that.

But now, to address the point: Why would the scientists at, say, Biologic Institute and Evolutionary Information Lab, stop us writer types from exposing Darwin’s and other nonsense—and spend their time doing it themselves instead of working at the bench or laptop?

But let us say they agreed to do so. Would Dr. Moran like to rid the world of all the bimboes, bimbettes, twits and twerps, dumboes, stumboes, and yo-yos on Airhead TV who claim to “believe in” evolution (= half-remembered Darwinism from high school)?

He’d have a way bigger job than us. Perhaps that is why he shows no sign of getting around to it.

Then, from Dr. Moran, we hear in closing,

This is why a spokesman for ID appears on a Christian apolgetics podcast even though the Pastor who runs the show is not a scientist and probably doesn’t accept scientific results. He knows, just as you and I know, that ID is a front for creationism. It’s an attempt to dress up creationism in a lab coat and that’s why so many Christian fundamentalists support it even thought they don’t give a damn about science.

Huh? Didn’t Dr. Moran just say that he thought ID “qualifies as science, in my opinion,” though bad science …?

Oh, you know, it doesn’t pay to try to make sense of it. This is what retirement will be for. He can spend all his time writing this stuff, and he’ll have a big following too.

Incidentally, Dr. Moran now claims that Vincent Torley’s credibility has gone way up. Sorry, Larry, the ship has sailed. No one is looking for the mid-last century faithful to establish credibility in this area now. When I sensed change on the winds, I sure sniffed right*.

Some facts of possible interest: Paul Nelson is a philosopher whose specialty is evolutionary biology. That’s actually way more useful than evolutionary biologists who moonlight as amateur philosophers.

John West has a political science background and is a senior manager at Discovery Institute, and David Klinghoffer is an editor there (sometimes my editor at a different day job, my series at Evolution News & Views). Casey Luskin has Earth Science degrees but, as he is also a lawyer, works mainly as legal counsel at DI.

Barry Arrington is a lawyer in private practice who sometimes offer insights from his experiences in that capacity in his posts. He is the president of Uncommon Descent, Inc., a Colorado non-profit, where I usually work.

*I am, as noted above, an old news hack who got sick of the stinkpile of stale ideas around Darwinism and—more significantly—sensed change on the winds.

William Lane Craig is a Discovery Institute fellow. To hear Larry Krauss (Dawkins’ heir?) go on about him, I can see why he attracts the attention of Darwin’s faithful and their friends.

A list of Discovery Institute fellows. Barry Arrington and I are not on it.

What I like best about my job: It gets to be more fun every year.

Here’s the vid:

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222 Replies to “Larry Moran doesn’t like any of us, not sure why

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    For one thing, as soon as one changes it to “These people want,” one is responsible for ensuring that there is some factual basis for the assertion that they all want that.

    Yes, this sort of thing happens constantly in these discussions. I’ve been told many times what “I want” (wrongly) by others who know very little about me. Probably I’ve done the same myself.

    Best just to stick to the facts and not speculate about motives IMO.

    Edit: A mind-reader appears, right on schedule. See post #2

  2. 2
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran is just upset because ID exists due to the total failure of his position to find scientific support. He is just a big baby who can’t get his way.

  3. 3
    Larry Moran says:

    I apologize for making it appear as though I thought that Denyse O’Leary and Barry Arrington were Discovery Institute Fellows. That was not my intention and I have added an update to my blog post. I know full well that the Discovery Institute has low standards for accepting fellows but not that low.

  4. 4
    Larry Moran says:

    The point I was making is that if ID wants to be taken seriously as science then it should be scientists who promote ID and scientists who make the scientific case against evolution. That’s not what we see. Instead the leading proponents of ID, and the leading attackers of evolution, are not scientists and they do not make valid scientific arguments based on solid evidence.

    Denyse O’Leary would like us to believe that she’s just reporting all the “scientific” evidence for ID but that’s a joke. She’s a “reporter” with an agenda and a strong opinion and that kind of reporting is not how science journalists are supposed to behave.

  5. 5
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    The point I was making is that if ID wants to be taken seriously as science then it should be scientists who promote ID and scientists who make the scientific case against evolution.

    ID is not anti-evolution so why would we want to make a case against it?

    Instead the leading proponents of ID, and the leading attackers of evolution, are not scientists and they do not make valid scientific arguments based on solid evidence.

    LoL! YOU can’t make a scientific case for unguided evolution, Larry. THAT is the point- not one scientist can make a positive case for unguided evolution. It is an untestable position.

    Larry, you are an evo with an agenda and a strong opinion and that is not how a scientist should behave.

    Larry Moran, totally unaware of himself.

  6. 6
    News says:

    Larry Moran at 4 knows perfectly well that the vast majority of people shilling for Darwin or “evolution” in the media are not scientists. And there is no reason why they should be. Their public isn’t asking for that; it just wants to be reassured that schoolbook Darwinism is still true in a world where everything else is changing. As if.

  7. 7
    bornagain says:

    Larry Moran, before you claim to be a ‘scientist’, and label anyone who does not believe in Darwinian evolution as a ‘non-scientist’, should not your field of expertise, i.e. Darwinian evolution, in fact be a science in the first place instead of being the unfalsifiable pseudo-science that it truly is?

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    Whereas ID can be easily falsified by experiment, there simply is no experiment, no matter how much it contradicts Dawinian claims, that Darwinists will accept as a falsification for their theory:

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

    “The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.
    Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.
    I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right.”
    – Dr Michael Behe

    To reiterate, neo-Darwinism is not a rigid science in any meaningful sense of the term but is in fact a non-falsifiable Pseudo-Science that is on par with tea-leaf reading:

    The primary reasons why Darwinism is a pseudo-science instead of a proper science are as such:

    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis (Demarcation/Falsification Criteria) to test against
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection are both grossly inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis, (in fact, in quantum teleportation experiments it is found that material ultimately reduces to an information basis)
    5. Darwinism, per Imre Lakatos, is found to be a ‘degenerating programme’ where fundamental predictions are found to be false, and ‘theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    i.e. Darwinism hinders scientific progress by making fundamental false predictions, (i.e. falsely predicted Junk DNA, vestigial organs, etc..), that leads research in wrong directions
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

  8. 8
    News says:

    Larry Moran writes at 3: “I apologize for making it appear as though I thought that Denyse O’Leary and Barry Arrington were Discovery Institute Fellows. That was not my intention and I have added an update to my blog post. I know full well that the Discovery Institute has low standards for accepting fellows but not that low.”

    The beauty of this situation,Larry, is that YOU can feel at home here.

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    LM @ 4.

    Larry did not learn much from Larry Moran commits the genetic fallacy. That’s a pity because it was such a teachable moment.

  10. 10
    tjguy says:

    Dr. Moran writes:

    The point I was making is that if ID wants to be taken seriously as science then it should be scientists who promote ID and scientists who make the scientific case against evolution. That’s not what we see. Instead the leading proponents of ID, and the leading attackers of evolution, are not scientists and they do not make valid scientific arguments based on solid evidence.

    My guess is that the real scientists are busy doing their scientific work and don’t have time for frivolous internet debates that generally accomplish nothing.

    For instance, Dr. Meyer does research and writes books to make his case. Other scientists are doing research as well.

    Denyse O’Leary would like us to believe that she’s just reporting all the “scientific” evidence for ID but that’s a joke. She’s a “reporter” with an agenda and a strong opinion and that kind of reporting is not how science journalists are supposed to behave.

    I see. And I suppose you feel the evolutionary science journalists do not have an agenda or a strong opinion, right? And that their kind of reporting IS how journalists are supposed to behave, right? That’s what you are trying to say, right Dr. Moran? Got it!

    Journalists are supposed to be unbiased, but it is impossible in this area to remain unbiased because our worldview gives us all a bias.

    But seriously, Dr. Moran, do you really think the science journalists who report on science news – evolutionary science news that is – are really unbiased?

    Do you ever hear them ask hard questions of the scientists?

    Do you ever see them questioning the wacky just so stories or unfounded scientific claims?

    Do they ever challenge the claims and ask how they can really know these things?

    Don’t they normally just swallow the whole thing, hook, line, and sinker and almost sensationalize it when they report it?

    Don’t they normally exaggerate the findings a bit and make even stronger claims than the scientists themselves made? And I suppose that again that IS how they are supposed to behave, right?

    Actually, yes, I agree. That IS how they are supposed to behave. That’s their job! It is what is expected of them.

    They are supposed to treat the papers/claims/hypotheses/etc. of these evolutionists as gospel truth. If they asked too many questions, they would be fired. That kind of thing is just not permitted in Darwinland. Everyone claims to be open and unbiased, but, to be honest, I don’t see that.

    Personally, I’m glad that there are ID scientists who do not waste their time on these boards, but actually spend their time doing research and writing books.

  11. 11
    bFast says:

    bornagain, “should not your field of expertise, i.e. Darwinian evolution”

    You’ve got Larry Moran all wrong, he’s not a Darwinist. He promotes the non-Darwinian perspective that genetic drift (random mutations without natural selection) explains it all. The fact that his position isn’t “random mutations without natural selection” at all, but that it is random mutations which have little or no selective value (because natural selection has deleted all the bad ones) explains it all.

    Drift does explain some stuff*. Not much, certainly not ALL, nor even close to as much as Larry Moran proposes.

    * It may even be able to explain the origin of new species, but certainly not new body plans.

  12. 12
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: He promotes the non-Darwinian perspective that genetic drift (random mutations without natural selection) explains it all.

    That’s false, as even a cursory look at his writings makes clear.

    “Natural selection is an important mechanism of evolution.” — Larry Moran
    http://bioinfo.med.utoronto.ca.....ident.html

  13. 13
    bFast says:

    So why has Larry Moran argued with me claiming that he is not a Darwinian?

  14. 14
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: So why has Larry Moran argued with me claiming that he is not a Darwinian?

    Because a Darwinist is someone who thinks natural selection is the primary mechanism of evolution. Moran holds a pluralist view of evolution.
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....inist.html

    ETA: For example, why do some rhinos have two horns and some only one? An adaptationist would say there must be a selective advantage peculiar to each environment. A pluralist would recognize the possibility that it was due to evolutionary happenstance.

  15. 15
    ppolish says:

    Who needs science when you can invoke “happenstance”. Happenstance from nothing.

    Btw, great science from that Christian University down in Texas…,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tin-loops/

  16. 16
    bFast says:

    Yet I have specifically argued that Larry Moran’s position sits well within the framework of RM*+NS. He has said that it doesn’t. You seem to be saying that his position emphasizes the RM over the NS compared to other evolutionists.

    *RM (read “non-foresighted” not chi-square random.)

  17. 17
    asauber says:

    “evolutionary happenstance”

    Zachies,

    What is the difference between evolutionary happenstance and regular run-of-the-mill plain jane average joe hum-drum kiss your sibilial female biped happenstance?

    Andrew

  18. 18
    bornagain says:

    To be blunt, not only do I hold that anyone who believes, without any empirical support mind you, that unguided material processes can produce functional complexity, that far, far, exceeds our best engineering efforts, is not only NOT a scientist, but I also hold that they are not playing with a full deck and should certainly NOT be allowed to spread their delusions to impressionable young students in the classroom.
    Other than being delusional in regards to the science at hand, I’m fairly sure Myers and Moran are fine people overall.

    “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometres in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the portholes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings with find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus of itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules. A huge range of products and raw materials would shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from all the various assembly plants in the outer regions of the cell.
    We would wonder at the level of control implicit in the movement of so many objects down so many seemingly endless conduits, all in perfect unison. We would see all around us, in every direction we looked, all sorts of robot-like machines. We would notice that the simplest of the functional components of the cell, the protein molecules, were astonishingly, complex pieces of molecular machinery, each one consisting of about three thousand atoms arranged in highly organized 3-D spatial conformation. We would wonder even more as we watched the strangely purposeful activities of these weird molecular machines, particularly when we realized that, despite all our accumulated knowledge of physics and chemistry, the task of designing one such molecular machine – that is one single functional protein molecule – would be completely beyond our capacity at present and will probably not be achieved until at least the beginning of the next century. Yet the life of the cell depends on the integrated activities of thousands, certainly tens, and probably hundreds of thousands of different protein molecules.
    We would see that nearly every feature of our own advanced machines had its analogue in the cell: artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction. In fact, so deep would be the feeling of deja-vu, so persuasive the analogy, that much of the terminology we would use to describe this fascinating molecular reality would be borrowed from the world of late twentieth-century technology.
    What we would be witnessing would be an object resembling an immense automated factory, a factory larger than a city and carrying out almost as many unique functions as all the manufacturing activities of man on earth. However, it would be a factory which would have one capacity not equalled in any of our own most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours. To witness such an act at a magnification of one thousand million times would be an awe-inspiring spectacle.”
    Michael Denton PhD., Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, pg.328
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....aturalism/

  19. 19
    Virgil Cain says:

    Because a Darwinist is someone who thinks natural selection is the primary mechanism of evolution.

    It is the only proposed mechanism capable of explaining the appearance of design. Drift is not such a mechanism so it can be ignored when discussing the appearance of design.

  20. 20
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: I have specifically argued that Larry Moran’s position sits well within the framework of RM*+NS. He has said that it doesn’t.

    RM*+NS is usually a shorthand for Neodarwinism, which is generally an adaptationist position. (Note the plus sign.) Neutral theory came later. There is a spectrum of belief, concerning the relative merits of selection and contingency. It’s not black-and-white.

    asauber: What is the difference between evolutionary happenstance and regular run-of-the-mill plain jane average joe hum-drum kiss your sibilial female biped happenstance

    Chancing to meet your friend on the Rue de Passy in Paris is one type of happenstance. Having one lineage experiencing a potentiating mutations and a tandem duplications while other lineages did not is evolutionary contingency. See Blount, Genomic analysis of a key innovation in an experimental Escherichia coli population, Nature 2012.

  21. 21
    Virgil Cain says:

    RM*+NS is usually a shorthand for Neodarwinism,

    NS includes RM so RM+NS is unnecessarily redundant.

  22. 22
    asauber says:

    “Chancing to meet your friend on the Rue de Passy in Paris is one type of happenstance. Having one lineage experiencing a potentiating mutations and a tandem duplications while other lineages did not is evolutionary contingency.”

    I don’t see any explanation here. Just more phraseology.

    Andrew

  23. 23
    ppolish says:

    Chancing to meet your friend on the Rue de Passy in Paris is one type of happenstance that is guided, purposeful, and founded on design. Same is true of all happenstance at its core.

  24. 24
    Vy says:

    As long as ID supports outspoken leaders like Denyse O’Leary, Barry Arrington, Phillip Johnson, Casey Luskin, David Klinghoffer, Paul Neslon, John West, William Lane Craig, and others who are not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, then it can’t claim to be entirely scientific.

    Oh really? I guess I could say evodelusion isn’t scientific because evodelusionists promote the likes of Bill Nye who aren’t scientific by any stretch of the imagination, right?

    It’s also a movement and that movement is called Intelligent Design Creationism and their ultimate goal is to replace true science with an approach based on the premise that gods exist.

    It wants faith to be recognized as a valid way of knowing and it wants to destroy materialism and all the “evils” associated with it.

    Ya think?

    Well then:
    evodelusion is also a movement and that movement is called scientism and their ultimate goal is to replace true science with an approach based on the materialistic/naturalistic anti-supernatural premise that God/gods don’t exist; that only the material, detectable world is all there is; and that secular science is the way to go.

    It wants faith in secular science, popular consensus and the hunches of arguably delusional evodelusionists and secularists like themselves to be recognized as a valid way of knowing and it wants to destroy realism, true science and the non-delusional view that there exist immaterial entities, and all the “evils” associated with it.

    As such, they resurrect refuted hunches like spontaneous generation (renamed abiogenesis) propping it up as scientific with carefully crafted pseudoscientific terms, smokescreens and just-so-stories, carefully modelling their delusional hunches after readily observable phenomena like adaptation, speciation, variation etc., and also find solace in the comfort of their soft couches known as the “scientific consensus” against which no one is expected to argue.

    Gotta love these kind of arguments.

  25. 25
    Mapou says:

    Moran is an elitist blowhard. Like most scientists and especially Darwinists, he falsely preaches that there is something special about science that needs years of education to learn. But it’s all lies. Science is just trial and error. Everybody does it from birth. Here’s what Paul Feyerabend had to say about the likes of Larry Moran in his watershed book Against Method:

    “The most stupid procedures and the most laughable result in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down to size and to give them a lower position in society.”

    The Morans and Coyne and Myers of this world need to be cut down to size.

  26. 26
    Mapou says:

    Lot’s of genuine scientists also publish bad science.

    It’s lots, not lot’s. Moran is an elitist with a rather poor understanding of English grammar. And this is coming from a professor, no less.

  27. 27
    groovamos says:

    Moran: (in reference to Barry and Denyse) I know full well that the Discovery Institute has low standards for accepting fellows but not that low.

    So we get a snide quip about standards from a guy basing some kind of “scientific” agenda on an ad hominem approach. Keep it up Larry. The average person witnessing this kind of behavior is smarter and more mature than you think. I mean, talk about standards.

  28. 28
    mike1962 says:

    Mapou: The Morans and Coyne and Myers of this world need to be cut down to size.

    I wouldn’t get worked up over them. These particular three are not important enough to worry about. Ask everyone you know if they have ever heard of them. They probably haven’t. They are players in a largely irrelevant ideology/subculture. And I would hazard that rarely does anyone worry about such things on their death bed.

  29. 29
    Larry Moran says:

    Denyse O’Leary says,

    “The beauty of this situation,Larry, is that YOU can feel at home here.”

    Right. Reading all these comments makes me feel right at home.

    The good news is that it reveals what ID is all about.

  30. 30
    Larry Moran says:

    Mapou points out that I wrote “lot’s” instead of “lots.”

    Thanks for catching that typo, Mapou. I fixed ti.

  31. 31
    Larry Moran says:

    I suspect groovamos at #27 is irony deficient.

  32. 32
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    The good news is that it reveals what ID is all about.

    The sad part is that you don’t have any clue what ID is all about.

  33. 33
    Zachriel says:

    asauber: I don’t see any explanation here.

    Because it wasn’t an explanation, but examples, which should have been self-explanatory. There are many types of happenstance. Evolution concerns changes in heritable traits in populations, so contingency in evolution refers to changes which may or may not be repeated even if the same conditions recur.

    ppolish: Chancing to meet your friend on the Rue de Passy in Paris is one type of happenstance that is guided, purposeful, and founded on design.

    A chance meeting is, by definition, not by design.

  34. 34
    Vy says:

    Er, how exactly do you chance to meet anyone anywhere?

    Chanceology may be self-explanatory to you (it is after all the basis of your pet-theory) but don’t assume it is to us.

  35. 35
    bFast says:

    Zachriel (20) RM*+NS is usually a shorthand for Neodarwinism, which is generally an adaptationist position.

    Balderdash!

    Larry Moran wants to distance himself from neo-Darwinism because he sees the position to be mocked. He likes to think of his theory as somehow fundamentally different. While his theory is a variant, it is still naturalistic goo. In a way it is worse goo than the classic position. However, his position, your position and class neo-Darwinian position are bound to the realm of RM+NS.

    The only exception I can find (kinda) is the “third way” position. However, even their position, if I understand correctly, is that there are specific mechanisms at work; mechanisms that were ostensibly developed via RM+NS. It is, in my opinion, fair to suggest that mechanisms developed via RM+NS are “naturalistic”. However, mechanisms developed via RM+NS still are part of the RM+NS paradigm. More importantly, however, even such mechanisms are not involved in Larry Moran’s pet theory. His theory, simply, is that there are more neutral (or nearly neutral) mutations available than all that. The caveat, I think, is that natural selection isn’t super-duper sensitive. His position is way within the realm of RM+NS.

    There is nothing in the naturalistic evolutionary theory that is outside the realm of RM+NS. Nothing. Period. To argue otherwise is to declare foolishness.

  36. 36
    Virgil Cain says:

    A chance meeting is, by definition, not by design.

    Even if they were both there by design?

  37. 37
    Mapou says:

    RM+NS is powerless against the combinatorial explosion. This is the main reason that all Darwinists are liars. Darwinian evolution is the big daddy of all pseudoscientific crap.

  38. 38
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: how exactly do you chance to meet anyone anywhere?

    How do two gas molecules meet?

    bFast: Larry Moran wants to distance himself from neo-Darwinism because he sees the position to be mocked.

    Moran distances himself from Darwinism, because he thinks that evolution is best explained by a plurality of mechanisms.

    bFast: However, even their position, if I understand correctly, is that there are specific mechanisms at work; mechanisms that were ostensibly developed via RM+NS.

    We provided a simple example, the horn of a rhinoceros. Another is contingency in Lenski’s Experiment.

  39. 39
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    We provided a simple example

    More lies. Your name is Croteau. You are just one lonely liar in a basement somewhere, not a “we”. Stop lying.

  40. 40
    ppolish says:

    “A chance meeting is, by definition, not by design.” Zach, definitions are designed too. You cannot escape design – resistance is futile.

    Also, Chance is an important part of the design. Dr Dembski discusses in his book “Being as Communion”. Profound book btw.

  41. 41
    Vy says:

    “How do two gas molecules meet?”

    So “How do two gas molecules meet?” is now an answer to my question? Bravo.

    “We provided a simple example, the horn of a
    rhinoceros. Another is contingency in Lenski’s
    Experiment.”

    The illusion is strong with this one.

  42. 42
    daveS says:

    You cannot escape design – resistance is futile.

    One exception: the Designer is not designed!

  43. 43
    groovamos says:

    Moran: I suspect groovamos at #27 is irony deficient.

    People coming on here in the name of “science” somehow ending up in ad hominem mode. What a surprise, such bitterness, would have never thought it.

    Some of us are just OK pointing out the behavior, science aside for the time being.

  44. 44
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: So “How do two gas molecules meet?” is now an answer to my question?

    It’s a point related to the discussion. While gas molecules move according to known laws of physics, a particular meeting of two gas molecules in space is largely a matter of chance. Their motions are uncorrelated (random with respect to) the possibility of their meeting. Similarly, two people have their own agendas, but if their motions are uncorrelated (random with respect to) the possibility of their meeting, we say that it was a chance meeting.

  45. 45
    ppolish says:

    “One exception: the Designer is not designed!”

    Yep, God designed it that way. What part of God don’t you understand? The same part that none of us understand. But most can understand design. Grasping “chance” as only the appearance of chance is a tad tougher. A Theistic thing:)

  46. 46
    DTZ says:

    Dear Professor Moran,

    I think I see your point, but perhaps a more effective way to prove it is to show the alleged ‘challenge’ one of their folks posted here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-582669
    is not a challenge at all.
    The guy who wrote that comment admitted he’s not a scientist. It should be easy for someone with your academic credentials and scientific knowledge/experience to show there’s nothing challenging about their questions.
    Actually, if you do so, you may shutdown their website completely, or at least future visitors would see what’s going on.
    Wouldn’t this approach work better than engaging in non constructive arguments with the ID folks?
    Had I had a fraction of your scientific knowledge I would have shut up that guy who issued the alleged ‘challenge’ in the above link.
    Thank you.

  47. 47
    Mapou says:

    daveS:

    You cannot escape design – resistance is futile.

    One exception: the Designer is not designed!

    I personally disagree that the original designer was not designed. Yahweh is the self-made God, the first among many other Gods (Elohim). Isaiah called him the “ancient of days”, meaning that, at one time, he was young. But only God’s physical body (yes, I believe that God has a physical body) was designed, not his spirit. Spirits can neither be created nor destroyed and this includes our own spirits. They just are. The entire physical universe was designed and created out of nothing over eons.

  48. 48
    Vy says:

    “Isaiah called him the “ancient of days”, meaning that, at one time, he was young.”

    Wow, that’s quite the assumption considering in Isaiah 44:6, it reads:

    “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

    And in Isaiah 48:12:

    “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.

    And in Revelation 22:13:

    I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

    There are other verses but you get the point, so according to what you’ve assumed, how exactly could there be anything before Him (the beginning)???

    “But only God’s physical body (yes, I believe that God has a physical body) was designed, not his spirit.”

    Er, what? By God’s “physical body”, do you mean Jesus Christ?

  49. 49
    Vy says:

    “While gas molecules move according to known laws of physics, a particular meeting of two gas molecules in space is largely a matter of chance. Their motions are uncorrelated (random with respect to) the possibility of their meeting. Similarly

    How exactly does the meeting of non-living, unconscious “things” have any similarity with two human beings going about their daily activities?

    “two people have their own agendas, but if their motions are uncorrelated (random with respect to) the possibility of their meeting, we say that it was a chance meeting.”

    If you’re going to the same place, there’s a good chance that you’ll meet. It may be “random” (depending on how you look at it) but not random in the sense of evolution.

    Your analogy may make perfect sense to you but me thinks it commits the fallacy of false analogy.

  50. 50
    bFast says:

    Vy, “Your analogy may make perfect sense to you but me thinks it commits the fallacy of false analogy.”

    His analogy makes perfect sense to me too.

  51. 51
    Mapou says:

    Vy:

    Isaiah called him the “ancient of days”, meaning that, at one time, he was young.

    Wow, that’s quite the assumption considering in Isaiah 44:6, it reads:

    “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

    First off, this verse does not contradict what I wrote about Yahweh having been young. Being first also implies a beginning.

    “And there is no God besides Me.”

    The word translated God here is the Hebrew word “elohim” which means lords (plural). Both David and Jesus taught us that we humans, are gods, i.e., elohim. Besides, Yahweh acknowledged the existence of other elohim. He was jealous of the elohim (gods) of Babylon and Assyria and he chastised the elohim of Egypt during the time of Moses. So Isaiah could not be saying what you think he’s saying. He was simply saying that there is no other Lord or Master greater than him. He’s the lord of lords.

    There are other verses but you get the point, so according to what you’ve assumed, how exactly could there be anything before Him (the beginning)???

    I don’t remember saying there was something before Yahweh especially since this is not what I believe.

    “But only God’s physical body (yes, I believe that God has a physical body) was designed, not his spirit.”

    Er, what? By God’s “physical body”, do you mean Jesus Christ?

    Jesus’s body was just an avatar, IMO. Jesus told us precisely where he was: “Before Abraham was, I am”. I interpret this to mean that we live in a four-dimensional universe and that God’s abode is not even in our 3-d slice of this universe.

  52. 52
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: How exactly does the meeting of non-living, unconscious “things” have any similarity with two human beings going about their daily activities?

    We just explained that. Try reading it again. Why do you think it is called a chance encounter?

    Vy: If you’re going to the same place, there’s a good chance that you’ll meet.

    Yes, and two gas molecules can meet because (obviously) they are going to the same place. If they are coordinated motions, then it is not a chance encounter. If they are uncoordinated motions, then it is a chance encounter.

    Vy: Your analogy may make perfect sense to you but me thinks it commits the fallacy of false analogy.

    It’s not an analogy. They are both examples of uncorrelated (random with respect to) their individual motions.

  53. 53
    Zachriel says:

    Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine. — Rick Blaine

  54. 54
    Vy says:

    “The word translated God here is the Hebrew word “elohim” which means lords (plural)”

    This is the Godhead (KJV), Trinity.

    “Besides, Yahweh acknowledged the existence of other elohim. He was jealous of the elohim (gods) of Babylon and Assyria and he chastised the elohim of Egypt during the time of Moses.”

    I don’t deny this. There are about 12 gods mentioned in the Bible. What I do deny is that there are other gods that are, well, gods. Just humans elevated to god status.

    “So Isaiah could not be saying what you think he’s saying. He was simply saying that there is no other Lord or Master greater than him. He’s the lord of lords.”

    How so? I’m pretty sure “there are is no God besides me” is as clear as it could be.

    “I don’t remember saying there was something before Yahweh especially since this is not what I believe.”

    I got this from your ” Isaiah called him the “ancient of days”, meaning that, at one time, he was young. But only God’s physical body (yes, I believe that God has a physical body)” comment.

  55. 55
    Mapou says:

    Vy, you are obviously Catholic. I abhor Catholic doctrine, especially the trinity nonsense. This is the end of my participation in this discussion.

  56. 56
    Vy says:

    “Vy, you are obviously Catholic.”

    Say what?

    “I abhor Catholic doctrine”

    You and me both but I doubt you do much as I do.

    “especially the trinity nonsense.”

    Last time I checked, the KJV wasn’t catholic. And the Godhead is not catholic doctrine.

  57. 57
    Virgil Cain says:

    Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine. — Rick Blaine

    I am sure that was part of the designed script. 😛

  58. 58
    News says:

    Guys in the 50’s, leave theology to the theologians, or I am cutting off the comments. No hatred worse than clashes over theology. And it’s boring for the rest of us.

    Let’s get back to organizing that party for Larry Moran, where the armadillo jumps out of the cake and throws blowout whistles and plays a mean kazoo.

  59. 59
    Mung says:

    I’m pretty sure that Larry likes me. After all, what’s not to like?

  60. 60
    J-Mac says:

    Larry Moran loves attention and that is what you provide him here; the deserved one and the undeserved one.
    I will leave it to myself and the ones with reason, what kind of attention Larry is really getting and which one he really deserves.

    I’m out.

  61. 61
    ppolish says:

    So Larry, why do hobbits & dwarves have furry toes while elves are hairless? Nothing to do with “survival of the fittest” and everything to do with design. Just saying.

    Some dance music for the Larry Party
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uE-1RPDqJAY

  62. 62
    Robert Byers says:

    In defence of Prof Larry Moran and ID/YEC being sciency.
    I post on Prof morans blog and found it to be a better liberal conversation place. EVEN IF i’m dumped next week for dumbness and not contributing to a expected standard. I do but anyways its still a equable blog and rare.
    Prof moran is rare in being a Edolutionist , use that word, academic who says ID thinkers, some, do science. THIS IS never said in americ by evolutionists who reach audiences. ID/YEC should tip their gat to this accuracy and justice.
    Who else in the front lines says this on the other side?
    FIRTHER he is very strict about science accuracy for anybody, and in a youtube thing of his was likewise years ago, and so all the more its to be respected.
    Fair enough to say ID thinkers do bad science, means erroneous ,and is not a insult.
    Its a dumb insult to say ID thinkers don’t do science as most say.
    Its an insult to say YEC doesn’t do science, in its attacks on the other side alone AND in the videos here this ID guy DID attack YEC as not scientific.
    Can’t complain about evolutionists error on this when they do it too.

    ID thinkers all do science and the ID proponents of ID thinkers also do science if they are carefully following the issues.
    YEC does science in its attacks on the other side and so does YEC proponents of YEC attacks. I include myself here.
    YEC is organized scientific creationism, mostly, and are careful. in fact they refused to publish my essay on marsupials very strongly and a wee bit more.
    They were wrong but it shows a high standard.

    A scientist is one who does science in drawing conclusions about nature.
    Its not about education degrees.
    UD writers are also scientists if applying science methodology. They all do .
    Science is about methodology and not accuracy in conclusions.
    Thats my defence.

  63. 63
    Cabal says:

    I am confused about the foundation of Intelligent Design. I have, ever since I read Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” been under the impression that his thesis was that Natural Selection did not satisfy his requirements for evolution of species.

    His mousetrap theory should be well known to design proponents.

    His bottom line: Like mouse traps are useless before all the part are in place, the process of Natural Selection doesn’t satisfy as an explanation of the origins of complex biological structures.

    Dembski followed the same track; his method was to invent mathematical arguments to prove that evolution beyond a certain level was impossible. It was acknowledged that mutations and selection are indeed functional and rsponsible for variation sithin species, but there would be a barrier against evolution beyond the boundary between species.

    It seemed like ID was the theory that intervention by an intelligent designer was required to explain the origins of species.

    But that is history. An unidentified designer as the generator of species has been replaced with claims about God as the designer.

  64. 64
    Dionisio says:

    DTZ @ 46

    Dear Professor Moran,

    I think I see your point, but perhaps a more effective way to prove it is to show the alleged ‘challenge’ one of their folks posted here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-582669
    is not a challenge at all.
    The guy who wrote that comment admitted he’s not a scientist. It should be easy for someone with your academic credentials and scientific knowledge/experience to show there’s nothing challenging about their questions.
    Actually, if you do so, you may shutdown their website completely, or at least future visitors would see what’s going on.
    Wouldn’t this approach work better than engaging in non constructive arguments with the ID folks?
    Had I had a fraction of your scientific knowledge I would have shut up that guy who issued the alleged ‘challenge’ in the above link.

    Regarding the link you posted @46, I don’t think that answering those and other follow-up questions would necessarily shutdown this website. But it definitely could provide to the mentioned professor and his comrades the credibility they all currently lack so badly.

    However, better don’t hold your breadth while waiting for the mentioned professor or anybody else to dare accepting my invitation to seriously explain things and answering questions. I don’t expect that to occur anytime soon. They seem to lack what is required to do it.

  65. 65
    Zachriel says:

    Mung: I’m pretty sure that Larry likes me. After all, what’s not to like?

    That’s the attitude!

  66. 66
    DTZ says:

    Dionisio @64

    I don’t think that answering those and other follow-up questions would necessarily shutdown this website.

    Perhaps I exaggerated in that sentence. What I meant is that by answering the questions, the professor could demonstrate his academic/scientific credentials while weakening the ID position tremendously.

    But it definitely could provide to the mentioned professor and his comrades the credibility they all currently lack so badly.

    Well, I would not say the professor lacks credibility, but answering the questions would strengthen it enormously.

  67. 67
    Mung says:

    Thanks for catching that typo, Mapou. I fixed ti.

    And a sense of humor.

  68. 68
    PaV says:

    Larry Moran:

    That’s not what we see. Instead the leading proponents of ID, and the leading attackers of evolution, are not scientists and they do not make valid scientific arguments based on solid evidence.

    If this is a concern for you, are you then not also concerned that universities are adverse to anyone espousing an ID position, and that journals are also ill-disposed?

    What do you suggest doing to remedy the present situation so that biologists who view life through an ID prism are soon able to get degrees and publish papers?

  69. 69
    Larry Moran says:

    @Dionisio

    I followed the links but it wasn’t clear to me what the questions were and which ones you want answered. Could you post ONE question here at a time?

    I’ll try to answer, but first I need to know what kind of background you have. Can I assume that you understand basic evolutionary theory and that you accept common descent or do I have to begin by presenting the evidence that the Earth is about 4.5 billion yeas old and life began with very simple organisms over 3 billion years ago?

    Can I assume that you understand the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology and developmental gene regulation or do I have to explain that to you as well? Have you read any of the leading books that address your questions, like Sean Carrol’s book “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” or Stephen Jay Gould’s book “Ontogey and Phylogeny.” How about “Wonderful Life”?

    The problem with explaining things to creationists is that I never know where to start. Sometimes their ignorance of science is so profound that I need to start way back at square one and that’s tedious.

    Just look at the comments on this thread and on other recent posts. Clearly there are many of you who lack basic understanding of evolution in spite of the fact that you are vehemently opposed to evolution. You won’t even believe a fellow ID proponent like Vincent Torley when he tries to enlighten you.

    Don’t you see how that can be very frustrating?

  70. 70
    Virgil Cain says:

    Intelligent Design is not anti-evolution, Larry. ID argues against blind watchmaker evolution having sole dominion and creative powers.

    I read the books you posted, plus many others. The problem is not one offers up a way to objectively test the claim that natural selection and drift produced the diversity of life. Sean Carroll and Neil Shubin are confident that changes in regulatory networks are sufficient to explain the differences in metazoans. Yet no one has taken fish embryos, for example, subjected them to rounds of targeted mutagenesis and had a fish-a-pod arise as a result.

    So the question is why would anyone accept Universal Common Descent without having some prior bias? What makes a human a human, Larry? What makes a chimp a chimp? Evolutionary biologists want us to believe we are the sum of our genome yet no one has ever tested that claim.

    The fact is, larry, both natural selection and drift are impotent with respect to creating complex biological functionality. If you want disease and deformities they are your mechanisms.

    Also the age of the earth depends on how it was formed. Without knowing that the best you can do is find the age of the materials that made it. Is the age of a log cabin the age of the trees or does it start from when the cabin was erected?

  71. 71
    Larry Moran says:

    PaV asks,

    If this is a concern for you, are you then not also concerned that universities are adverse to anyone espousing an ID position, and that journals are also ill-disposed?

    While I’m happy to concede that some ID proponents are trying to do science there’s still the issue of whether or not they do it successfully. Universities don’t just hire anyone who claims to be doing science. Instead, they make a judgement about whether it’s good science or not. Universities don’t hire people with Ph.D.s who claim that homeopathy works or that there is valid scientific evidence of UFO abductions or that vaccinations don’t protect children against disease.

    Similarly, until ID proponents are able to convince the scientific community that there really is solid scientific evidence for the existence of a designer they will not be hired as professors and scientists and real scientific journals will not publish your papers.

    ID is no different from any other new way of looking at things. It has to make its case and convince scientists that it is valid science. That’s how the system works and it’s a good thing that it does work that way because there are a lot of kooks out there in the real world.

    ID has had over twenty years to convince the scientific community that it’s a legitimate point of view. It hasn’t succeeded on it’s scientific merits and it’s about time you recognized that failure and stop attributing it to some kind of conspiracy. It has failed because it doesn’t have a case, at least not yet.

    What do you suggest doing to remedy the present situation so that biologists who view life through an ID prism are soon able to get degrees and publish papers?

    Do better science. It will help if ID can shed itself of its bad reputation as a movement that embraces kooks and YECs. It will help if biologists who view life through an ID perspective demonstrate that they understand evolution. You can’t get a degree if you don’t understand the basics of your discipline and you can’t legitimately criticize the current models when, as soon as you open your mouth, you reveal your ignorance.

    I’m not saying that all of you are ignorant but many of you are. Don’t expect to be handed a degree if you don’t do your homework and you can’t think critically about biology.

    Over on my blog we jump on scientists and evolution supporters who get their facts wrong or make unsubstantiated claims about evolution and biology. That’s how real scientists behave. They are constantly trying to improve their understanding by engaging in self-criticism and re-examining their views.

    You hardly ever see that in the ID community even when different ID supporters have very different views, such as whether or not to accept common descent or whether they understand random genetic drift. That’s not how you should behave if you want to be taken seriously. That’s not how you should behave if you want to get degrees and publish papers.

    Stop whining about being persecuted. Every new and revolutionary idea in science starts off in a minority position where it’s rejected by the vast majority of scientists. It’s part of the game. One of the sure signs that an idea is bad is when it’s proponents start whining about being persecuted instead of buckling down and producing better evidence.

  72. 72
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    Similarly, until ID proponents are able to convince the scientific community that there really is solid scientific evidence for the existence of a designer they will not be hired as professors and scientists and real scientific journals will not publish your papers.

    The intelligent design is evidence for an intelligent designer, Larry. If the scientific community could just support their claims then ID would be a non-starter.

    It has to make its case and convince scientists that it is valid science.

    Who made the case that unguided evolution is science? At least Intelligent Design evolution can be modeled.

    ID is evidenced in biology, chemistry and physics. It makes claims that are both testable and falsifiable.

    Think about this, larry:

    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.” The Privileged Planet

    Your position explains that as just a lucky happenstance. That is the extent of your “science”.

  73. 73
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran:

    The problem with explaining things to creationists is that I never know where to start. Sometimes their ignorance of science is so profound that I need to start way back at square one and that’s tedious.

    🙂

  74. 74
    Mung says:

    An entire post from Larry with no typos!

  75. 75
    Mapou says:

    Moran:

    Universities don’t just hire anyone who claims to be doing science. Instead, they make a judgement about whether it’s good science or not.

    So then, how come Darwinian evolution is still considered good science? Don’t tell me. I know. The ones making the judgements are the crackpots.

  76. 76
    Mapou says:

    Moran:

    Over on my blog we jump on scientists and evolution supporters who get their facts wrong or make unsubstantiated claims about evolution and biology. That’s how real scientists behave. They are constantly trying to improve their understanding by engaging in self-criticism and re-examining their views.

    But everyone knows that criticising Darwinian evolution is committing career suicide. It’s not easy doing good science in a Big Brother system.

    The fact is that Darwinists are extremely averse to any criticism of evolution. Evolutionary biology experiments are not designed to falsify DE but to buttress it. It should certainly be the other around if you people were honest.

    The very name “evolutionary biology” is an affront to good science because it assumes the truth of DE when it should be treating it as a hypothesis to be falsified. This is why I maintain that all Darwinists and evolutionary biologists are gutless liars and pseudoscientists.

  77. 77
    bFast says:

    Larry Moran (71) “Universities don’t hire people with Ph.D.s who claim that homeopathy works or that there is valid scientific evidence of UFO abductions or that vaccinations don’t protect children against disease.”

    Or scientists that think that cold fusion is possible.

  78. 78
    Mapou says:

    Moran:

    Universities don’t hire people with Ph.D.s who claim that homeopathy works or that there is valid scientific evidence of UFO abductions or that vaccinations don’t protect children against disease.

    Yet they hire and celebrate crackpots (e.g. Stephen Hawking) who believe in the possibility of time travel even though every physicist worth his PhD knows that nothing can move in spacetime by definition. This is why Karl Popper called spacetime “Einstein’s block universe in which nothing happens.”

  79. 79
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran

    It’s a good thing that it does work that way because there are a lot of kooks out there in the real world.

    You are right people like Jerry Coyne, Lawrence Kraus, Sean Carrol, and Larry Moran. You see the kooks are holding the fort at the expense of science.

  80. 80
    Dr JDD says:

    Or the Prof Hawkins who says “because laws like gravity exist proves that the universe can create itself from nothing”. Or something along those lines.

    Or maybe I’m just too dumb to understand. After all, my physicist friends used to always jest that us biologists were the lower form of scientist (and judging by materialist’s evolutionary widespread acceptance among biologists that is a fair point).

  81. 81
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran is no defender of truth. He is just a defender of his own “truth”. As I posed to Dr Torley I’ll challenge Prof Moran

    How did NS & RM and genetic drift slip past the multiple integrity checks, multiple repair mechanisms and the multiple Apoptosis mechanisms and Necrosis that are evolutionary conserved?

    While we are at it how did unguided processes create guided processes as mentioned above to prevent unguided processes from happening in the first place?

    Over to you Prof Moran.

  82. 82
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre asks,

    How did NS & RM and genetic drift slip past the multiple integrity checks, multiple repair mechanisms and the multiple Apoptosis mechanisms and Necrosis that are evolutionary conserved?

    In order to answer that question I need a little background.

    There’s abundant evidence that the allele for lactose persistence has been recently selected in human populations. This is evidence of natural selection (NS) working today. Do you accept that evidence? There’s lots of other examples of natural selection in action in modern populations. Do you reject all of them? Why?

    There’s abundant evidence that each newborn human baby has about 100 new mutations not found in either parent. This is evidence of mutation. Do you accept that evidence? The distribution of those mutations shows no obvious bias so it looks very much like they are, to all intents and purposes, random mutations (RM). This is consistent with numerous experiments on phage and bacteria showing that mutations are essentially random. Do you accept that evidence? Do you understand it? Can you describe the fluctuation test that won Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria a Nobel Prize in 1969?

    The analysis of compete human genomes from the 1000 genomes project shows us that there is an incredible amount of variation in the human population. This correlates very well with our understanding of population genetics and the distribution of alleles due to random genetic drift if most of the alleles are neutral. The analysis of pseudogenes alleles confirms this as does the comparison between human and chimpanzee genomes. Do you understand modern population genetics, random genetic drift, and Neutral Theory? If so, how do YOU account for the data? Are you aware of the data?

    Given that NS & RM and drift are proven events in modern populations they must not be impeded by repair, apotosis, or neocosis so I don’t really understand that part of the question. Can you please explain why you think this is relevant?

  83. 83
    Larry Moran says:

    bFast says,

    Or scientists that think that cold fusion is possible.

    Exactly. No chemistry department would hire anyone today who thinks that cold fusion is possible.

    That is not proof that cold fusion advocates are on to something. It’s proof that they are kooks.

  84. 84
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran- The whole debate is about whether or not all genetic changes are accidents, errors and mistakes. Yes mutations happen. That doesn’t mean they are accidents, errors and mistakes. It isn’t NS if the mutations are directed. And we see the creative power of directed evolution with genetic and evolutionary algorithms.

    What you need is some way to correlate the mutations with the physiological and morphological differences observed between, say, chimps and humans. What makes a chimp a chimp, Larry? How can we test that?

    And something else to consider:

    On the Derivation of Ulysses from Don Quixote

    I imagine this story being told to me by Jorge Luis Borges one evening in a Buenos Aires cafe.

    His voice dry and infinitely ironic, the aging, nearly blind literary master observes that “the Ulysses,” mistakenly attributed to the Irishman James Joyce, is in fact derived from “the Quixote.”

    I raise my eyebrows.

    Borges pauses to sip discreetly at the bitter coffee our waiter has placed in front of him, guiding his hands to the saucer.

    “The details of the remarkable series of events in question may be found at the University of Leiden,” he says. “They were conveyed to me by the Freemason Alejandro Ferri in Montevideo.”

    Borges wipes his thin lips with a linen handkerchief that he has withdrawn from his breast pocket.

    “As you know,” he continues, “the original handwritten text of the Quixote was given to an order of French Cistercians in the autumn of 1576.”

    I hold up my hand to signify to our waiter that no further service is needed.

    “Curiously enough, for none of the brothers could read Spanish, the Order was charged by the Papal Nuncio, Hoyo dos Monterrey (a man of great refinement and implacable will), with the responsibility for copying the Quixote, the printing press having then gained no currency in the wilderness of what is now known as the department of Auvergne. Unable to speak or read Spanish, a language they not unreasonably detested, the brothers copied the Quixote over and over again, re-creating the text but, of course, compromising it as well, and so inadvertently discovering the true nature of authorship. Thus they created Fernando Lor’s Los Hombres d’Estado in 1585 by means of a singular series of copying errors, and then in 1654 Juan Luis Samorza’s remarkable epistolary novel Por Favor by the same means, and then in 1685, the errors having accumulated sufficiently to change Spanish into French, Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, their copying continuous and indefatigable, the work handed down from generation to generation as a sacred but secret trust, so that in time the brothers of the monastery, known only to members of the Bourbon house and, rumor has it, the Englishman and psychic Conan Doyle, copied into creation Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and then as a result of a particularly significant series of errors, in which French changed into Russian, Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Anna Karenina. Late in the last decade of the 19th century there suddenly emerged, in English, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and then the brothers, their numbers reduced by an infectious disease of mysterious origin, finally copied the Ulysses into creation in 1902, the manuscript lying neglected for almost thirteen years and then mysteriously making its way to Paris in 1915, just months before the British attack on the Somme, a circumstance whose significance remains to be determined.”

    I sit there, amazed at what Borges has recounted. “Is it your understanding, then,” I ask, “that every novel in the West was created in this way?”

    “Of course,” replies Borges imperturbably. Then he adds: “Although every novel is derived directly from another novel, there is really only one novel, the Quixote.”

    Do you consider such a story to be possible? That is do you think that accumulations copying errors could somehow produce different books starting from one?

  85. 85
    Mung says:

    Prof. Moran,

    Given that Andre clearly accepts the existence of “multiple integrity checks, multiple repair mechanisms and the multiple Apoptosis mechanisms and Necrosis that are evolutionary conserved,” doesn’t that tell you at least two things?

    1.) He accepts random mutations. (Else what is the need for repair?)

    2.) That he accepts natural selection. (Else how are they conserved?)

    Now if it is random mutations that are the source of all the diversity in living things, what a miraculous sweet spot that must be.

    Goldilocks indeed.

  86. 86
    Larry Moran says:

    Mapou says,

    But everyone knows that criticising Darwinian evolution is committing career suicide. It’s not easy doing good science in a Big Brother system.

    The fact is that Darwinists are extremely averse to any criticism of evolution.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. Here’s a partial list of posts that are just from my blog. Every one of them is a criticism of some aspect or model of evolutionary biology, ESPECIALLY “Darwinian” evolution, which has come under heavy attack for the past 35 years.

    Attacking current paradigms in science is far from being career suicide. If you can show that some current model is wrong then your career is made and you might even win a Nobel Prize.

    In contrast, I challenge you to show me any posts on Uncommon Descent or Evolution News & Views where an aspect of intelligent design is being subjected to the same scrutiny by ID advocates.

    Is the “Modern Synthesis” effectively dead?

    Rethinking evolutionary theory

    Gould on Darwinism and Nonadaptive Change

    Arlin Stoltzfus explains evolutionary theory

    The Mutationism Myth, VI: Back to the Future

    Michael Lynch on Adaptationism

    What do they mean when they say they want to extend the Modern Synthesis?

    A New View of Evolution

    The Altenberg 16 Make It into Nature

    Macromutations and Punctuated Equilibria

    Constructive Neutral Evolution (CNE)

    The “Null Hypothesis” in Evolution

    Dawkins, Darwin, Drift, and Neutral Theory

    A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme

    Richard Dawkins’ View of Random Genetic Drift

    Visible Mutations and Evolution by Natural Selection

    Michael Lynch on modern evolutionary theory

    Does natural selection constrain neutral diversity?

  87. 87
    goodusername says:

    Mung,

    1.) He accepts random mutations. (Else what is the need for repair?)

    Technically, mutations are changes/damage to DNA that slip past the repair mechanisms (i.e. if a piece of DNA is damaged but detected and repaired then it’s not a mutation).

  88. 88
    bornagain says:

    as to:

    “There’s abundant evidence that the allele for lactose persistence has been recently selected in human populations.”

    and yet,

    Adult Lactose Tolerance Is Not an Advantageous Evolutionary Trait – Juan Brines, MD
    Excerpt: In short, evidence does not support the evolutionary hypothesis of lactase persistence in human adults as a consequence of selection. A founder effect could be a more suitable explanation to justify this trait, and this mechanism does not need the cooperation of natural selection.
    http://pediatrics.aappublicati.....372.1.full

    Moreover, the adaptation was the result of loss of information not a gain of information:

    Got milk? Research finds evidence of dairy farming 7,000 years ago in Sahara
    Excerpt: In premature babies, the gene coding for lactase is sometimes not yet active. And in much of the world’s population, the gene is downregulated after weaning, eventually producing some degree of lactose intolerance. Those whose genes are not downregulated are said to have “lactase persistence.” However, even lactose-intolerant people still have genes coding for lactase enzyme; they are just switched off.
    In an adult with lactase persistence, one or both alleles of the lactase gene remain switched on.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....e-07072012

    Loss of an instruction (information) to downregulate the gene and only one or two alleles were involved in the degradation of information.

    Dr. Sanford comments

    Critic ignores reality of Genetic Entropy – Dr John Sanford – 7 March 2013
    Excerpt: Where are the beneficial mutations in man? It is very well documented that there are thousands of deleterious Mendelian mutations accumulating in the human gene pool, even though there is strong selection against such mutations. Yet such easily recognized deleterious mutations are just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of deleterious mutations will not display any clear phenotype at all. There is a very high rate of visible birth defects, all of which appear deleterious. Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Why are no beneficial birth anomalies being seen? This is not just a matter of identifying positive changes. If there are so many beneficial mutations happening in the human population, selection should very effectively amplify them. They should be popping up virtually everywhere. They should be much more common than genetic pathologies. Where are they? European adult lactose tolerance appears to be due to a broken lactase promoter [see Can’t drink milk? You’re ‘normal’! Ed.].
    African resistance to malaria is due to a broken hemoglobin protein [see Sickle-cell disease. Also, immunity of an estimated 20% of western Europeans to HIV infection is due to a broken chemokine receptor—see CCR5-delta32: a very beneficial mutation. Ed.] Beneficials happen, but generally they are loss-of-function mutations, and even then they are very rare!
    http://creation.com/genetic-entropy

  89. 89
    Mung says:

    goodusername,

    Thank you.

    Is it still a mutation if it is in a non-coding or “junk” region? How about if it has no effect on which amino acid appears in a polypeptide? What is the percentage of mutations of no effect?

    And from what’s left we still get all the diversity of life.

    Prof Moran must believe in miracles.

  90. 90
    Box says:

    Larry Moran,

    do you hold that natural selection reduces information?

  91. 91
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @69

    I followed the links but it wasn’t clear to me what the questions were and which ones you want answered.

    Could you post ONE question here at a time?

    Professor Moran,

    Thank you for your comment and for your willingness to graciously share your vast scientific knowledge here.

    Ok, as per your request, let’s do one question at a time, and let’s start from a simple Yes/No question:

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are formed, at least one case?

    Please, just answer YES or NO, without any additional explanation, comments or questions.

    Only one word: yes or no. That’s all for now.

    Thank you again.

  92. 92
    Mapou says:

    Moran @86,

    I bet none of those authors makes the case that naturalistic evolution is falsified. I bet they only criticise some of the more unpalatable aspects of the theory and make suggestions on how to correct the problems. Show me one prominent biologist in the mainstream who openly denies materialism and naturalism and is still successful.

  93. 93
    goodusername says:

    Mung,

    Typically “mutation” means any change in DNA that slips past the repair mechanisms anywhere in the genome regardless of its effect. Each of us are born with an average of 60-150 such mutations (according to various measurements). Most are neutral (hopefully). 🙂

  94. 94
    Larry Moran says:

    Dionisio asks,

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are formed, at least one case?

    Please, just answer YES or NO, without any additional explanation, comments or questions.

    Yes.

  95. 95
    Larry Moran says:

    Box,

    do you hold that natural selection reduces information?

    Natural selection reduces diversity in a population. If the presence of multiple alleles in a population represents more information than a single allele the, yes, natural selection reduces total information in a population.

  96. 96
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    If you can show that some current model is wrong then your career is made and you might even win a Nobel Prize.

    There isn’t any model for evolutionism and no one has won a Nobel Prize for anything to do with unguided evolution. But yes I am sure if someone could actually demonstrate that natural selection and drift could produce something like ATP synthase or the genetic code, they would win a Nobel Prize. If someone could elucidate the evolutionary pathways that led to the emergence of humans they would win a Nobel Prize.

    Perhaps if someone could figure out how to quantify unguided evolution so that it qualifies as science, they would win a Nobel prize.

    We finally got a white heavyweight boxing champ so you never know. 😉

  97. 97
    Larry Moran says:

    Mung asks,

    Is it still a mutation if it is in a non-coding or “junk” region? How about if it has no effect on which amino acid appears in a polypeptide? What is the percentage of mutations of no effect?

    I hope you now understand the difference between DNA damage and mutation. Damage can be repaired but if it escapes repair and is passed on to daughter cells it becomes a mutation.

    Mutations in any part of the genome are still mutations. Mutations that have no effect on fitness are called neutral mutations or “nearly neutral” mutations.

    The percentage of neutral and nearly neutral mutations depends on the population size—that’s where “nearly neural” comes in. A given mutation may be strictly neutral or it may be beneficial or deleterious in large populations but effectively neutral in smaller populations (“nearly neutral”).

    In genomes with a large amount of junk DNA, such as our own, the vast majority of mutations are neutral (>90%). That’s why we can survive as a species even though each newborn baby has about 100 new mutations.

    This is the genetic load argument for junk DNA and we’ve known about it for more than half a century.

  98. 98
    Virgil Cain says:

    What if the genetic change wasn’t due to damage or copying error but was actually controlled by the organism’s programming? Is it still a mutation?

    Directed evolution is modeled by genetic and evolutionary algorithms. How do we model unguided evolution?

  99. 99
    Virgil Cain says:

    Perhaps that DNA isn’t junk and it is there precisely for that reason- to absorb mutations.

  100. 100
    bornagain says:

    “In genomes with a large amount of junk DNA, such as our own,”

    Excuse me?

    Podcast: Richard Sternberg PhD – ” On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? part 1
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-junk-dna/

    Podcast – Richard Sternberg PhD – On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 2 (Major Differences in higher level chromosome spatial organization)
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-2/

    Podcast: Richard Sternberg PhD – ” On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 3
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_33-08_00

    Podcast – Richard Sternberg PhD – On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 4
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-4/

    In the following podcast, Dr. Sternberg’s emphasis is on ENCODE research, and how that research overturned the ‘central’ importance of the gene as a unit of inheritance. As well he reflects on how that loss of the term ‘gene’ as an accurate description in biology completely undermines the modern synthesis, (i.e. central dogma), of neo-Darwinism as a rational explanation for biology.

    Podcast – Richard Sternberg PhD – On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 5
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....-dna-pt-5/

    Anyone who believes our genome is mostly junk is simply not living in the real world but is living in a fantasy land:

    DNA is, without doubt, mind blowing in its integrated complexity and far, far, surpasses anything man has ever devised:

    What Is The Genome? It’s Certainly Not Junk! – Dr. Robert Carter – video – (Notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8905583

    Multidimensional Genome – Dr. Robert Carter – video (Notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8905048

    Scientists’ 3-D View of Genes-at-Work Is Paradigm Shift in Genetics – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: Highly coordinated chromosomal choreography leads genes and the sequences controlling them, which are often positioned huge distances apart on chromosomes, to these ‘hot spots’. Once close together within the same transcription factory, genes get switched on (a process called transcription) at an appropriate level at the right time in a specific cell type. This is the first demonstration that genes encoding proteins with related physiological role visit the same factory.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....160649.htm

  101. 101
    Larry Moran says:

    Mapou says,

    I bet none of those authors makes the case that naturalistic evolution is falsified.

    That’s correct. Biological evolution is a proven fact. It is directly observable. It can’t be falsified any more than gravity can be falsified or

    No scientist would be stupid enough to say that biological evolution has been falsified.

    I bet they only criticise some of the more unpalatable aspects of the theory and make suggestions on how to correct the problems.

    That’s pretty much correct although there have been some pretty drastic changes to evolutionary theory in the past fifty years. Neutral theory and the prevalence of random genetic drift came out of molecular evolution. Punctuated equilibria were discovered by paleontologists some of whom also advocate species selection. Group selection is currently a hot topic.

    All of these additions refute strict Darwinism and demonstrate that you were dead wrong when you claimed that,”criticising Darwinian evolution is committing career suicide” and “The fact is that Darwinists are extremely averse to any criticism of evolution.”

    Apology accepted.

    Show me one prominent biologist in the mainstream who openly denies materialism and naturalism and is still successful.

    There are plenty of religious scientists who deny that materialism is the only way to describe the universe. I think they are wrong but as long as they try to keep religion out of their science they can be quite successful.

    Are you trying to move the goalposts?

  102. 102
    bornagain says:

    as to: “It can’t be falsified any more than gravity can be falsified”

    Actually, Gravity, i.e. general relativity, could be potentially falsified whereas Darwinian evolution, unlike ID, has no rigid mathematical criteria to test against in order to potentially falsify it

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.,,
    Consistent with the laws of conservation of information, natural selection can only work using the guidance of active information, which can be provided only by a designer.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.4

    As mentioned previously, ID, unlike Darwinian evolution, can be falsified:

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    To quote Popper:

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    i.e. Darwinian evolution does not speak about reality!

  103. 103
    Larry Moran says:

    bornagain says,

    Anyone who believes our genome is mostly junk is simply not living in the real world but is living in a fantasy land:

    Those are the kind of ridiculous statements that give ID such bad reputation. The very best you could say in 2015 is that there’s an ongoing scientific debate about the amount of junk DNA in the human genome.

    Right now the majority of knowledgeable scientists agree that most of our genome is junk. If you say that the majority of experts are living in a fantasy land then that says a lot more about you than them.

    Why not try to read and understand a topic rather than just continue your knee-jerk response by posting a whole lot of links whenever a topic comes up that vaguely matches something in your database?

    Anyone who has been making even a half-hearted attempt to keep up with the field will know that the ENCODE claims have been solidly refuted and even the ENCODE authors have retracted their original conclusion that most of the human genome is functional.

  104. 104
    Mapou says:

    Moran:

    In genomes with a large amount of junk DNA, such as our own, the vast majority of mutations are neutral (>90%).

    This is another Darwinist lie. The hard truth is that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious and even lethal. This is why the genome comes with a powerful DNA repair mechanism that repairs the vast majority of mutations. Without it, we would all be dead. The so-called neutral mutations are obviously in sequences that are allowed to mutate by design. There can be no doubt that whoever designed the genes of living organisms wanted a certain amount of variety within most species. Why? Most likely for reasons having to do with adaptation, aesthetics and beauty.

    Programmers are familiar with this. They know that certain parts of a program (e.g., configuration parameters, properties, etc) are less likely to lead to catastrophic failures if randomly modified than other parts. Properties that must not be changed are called constants. This is also why the controlling part of a program (the code itself) is protected from modification. It’s obvious something similar is happening in our genes.

    Nothing escapes intelligent design.

  105. 105
    bornagain says:

    Moran, I do understand perfectly well that you, and all your self appointed ‘Darwinian experts’ that are living off the public dime, are living in a fantasy land if you think the majority of DNA is junk.

    to repeat, DNA is mind blowing.

    3-D Structure Of Human Genome: Fractal Globule Architecture Packs Two Meters Of DNA Into Each Cell – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: the information density in the nucleus is trillions of times higher than on a computer chip — while avoiding the knots and tangles that might interfere with the cell’s ability to read its own genome. Moreover, the DNA can easily unfold and refold during gene activation, gene repression, and cell replication.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142957.htm

    The Chromosome in Nuclear Space – Stephen L. Talbott
    Managing the Twists
    Perhaps none of this helps us greatly to understand how the extraordinarily long chromosome, tremendously compacted to varying degrees along its length, can maintain itself coherently within the functioning cell. But here’s one relevant consideration: there are enzymes called topoisomerases, whose task is to help manage the forces and stresses within chromosomes. Demonstrating a spatial insight and dexterity that might amaze those of us who have struggled to sort out tangled masses of thread, these enzymes manage to make just the right local cuts to the strands in order to relieve strain, allow necessary movement of individual genes or regions of the chromosome, and prevent a hopeless mass of knots.
    Some topoisomerases cut just one of the strands of the double helix, allow it to wind or unwind around the other strand, and then reconnect the severed ends. Other topoisomerases cut both strands, pass a loop of the chromosome through the gap thus created, and then seal the gap again. (Imagine trying this with miles of string crammed into a tennis ball — without tying the string into knots!) I don’t think anyone would claim to have the faintest idea how this is actually managed in a meaningful, overall, contextual sense, although great and fruitful efforts are being made to analyze isolated local forces and “mechanisms”.
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....nome_2.htm
    Talbott:
    If you arranged the DNA in a human cell linearly, it would extend for nearly two meters. How do you pack all that DNA into a cell nucleus just five or ten millionths of a meter in diameter? According to the usual comparison it’s as if you had to pack 24 miles (40 km) of extremely thin thread into a tennis ball. Moreover, this thread is divided into 46 pieces (individual chromosomes) averaging, in our tennis-ball analogy, over half a mile long. Can it be at all possible not only to pack the chromosomes into the nucleus, but also to keep them from becoming hopelessly entangled?
    Obviously it must be possible, however difficult to conceive — and in fact an endlessly varied packing and unpacking is going on all the time.,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-579574

    Quantum Dots Spotlight DNA-Repair Proteins in Motion – March 2010
    Excerpt: “How this system works is an important unanswered question in this field,” he said. “It has to be able to identify very small mistakes in a 3-dimensional morass of gene strands. It’s akin to spotting potholes on every street all over the country and getting them fixed before the next rush hour.” Dr. Bennett Van Houten – of note: A bacterium has about 40 team members on its pothole crew. That allows its entire genome to be scanned for errors in 20 minutes, the typical doubling time.,, These smart machines can apparently also interact with other damage control teams if they cannot fix the problem on the spot.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....123522.htm

    Of note: DNA repair machines ‘Fixing every pothole in America before the next rush hour’ is analogous to the traveling salesman problem. The traveling salesman problem is a NP-hard (read: very hard) problem in computer science; The problem involves finding the shortest possible route between cities, visiting each city only once. ‘Traveling salesman problems’ are notorious for keeping supercomputers busy for days.

    NP-hard problem – Examples
    Excerpt: Another example of an NP-hard problem is the optimization problem of finding the least-cost cyclic route through all nodes of a weighted graph. This is commonly known as the traveling salesman problem.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NP-hard#Examples

    Yet it is exactly this type of ‘traveling salesman problem’ that quantum computers excel at:

    Speed Test of Quantum Versus Conventional Computing: Quantum Computer Wins – May 8, 2013
    Excerpt: quantum computing is, “in some cases, really, really fast.”
    McGeoch says the calculations the D-Wave excels at involve a specific combinatorial optimization problem, comparable in difficulty to the more famous “travelling salesperson” problem that’s been a foundation of theoretical computing for decades.,,,
    “This type of computer is not intended for surfing the internet, but it does solve this narrow but important type of problem really, really fast,” McGeoch says. “There are degrees of what it can do. If you want it to solve the exact problem it’s built to solve, at the problem sizes I tested, it’s thousands of times faster than anything I’m aware of. If you want it to solve more general problems of that size, I would say it competes — it does as well as some of the best things I’ve looked at. At this point it’s merely above average but shows a promising scaling trajectory.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....122828.htm

    Since it is obvious that there is not a material CPU (central processing unit) in the DNA, or cell, busily computing answers to this monster logistic problem, in a purely ‘material’ fashion, by crunching bits, then it is readily apparent that this monster ‘traveling salesman problem’, for DNA repair, is somehow being computed by ‘non-local’ quantum computation within the cell and/or within DNA;

    Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

    This level of quantum computation found in DNA is orders of magnitude more advanced than anything man has yet accomplished in regards to quantum computation in machines

  106. 106
    Mung says:

    Mapou:

    The hard truth is that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious and even lethal. This is why the genome comes with a powerful DNA repair mechanism that repairs the vast majority of mutations. Without it, we would all be dead. The so-called neutral mutations are obviously in sequences that are allowed to mutate by design.

    You’re not paying attention. If it was repaired, it wasn’t a mutation. Therefore, repair mechanisms do not reduce the number of mutations.

  107. 107
    Mapou says:

    Mung:

    You’re not paying attention. If it was repaired, it wasn’t a mutation.

    This is not true, of course. If something mutated, there was a mutation. Hopefully, you are being sarcastic but, if not, you’re mistaken. The claim is that mutations are random. If that were true, mutations would happen everywhere in the genome with equal probability. But this is not what happens. Only a relatively few base pairs (the neutral ones) are allowed to mutate. Most genes and sequences are conserved over millions of years. Therefore, mutations are not random and Darwinian evolution is falsified.

    Therefore, repair mechanisms do not reduce the number of mutations.

    Surely you’re joking.

  108. 108
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran:

    I hope you now understand the difference between DNA damage and mutation.

    Yes, I do. The difference between DNA damage and mutation is whether or not the damage (mutation) was repaired. If the damage (mutation) was repaired its “not really” a mutation. If the damage was not repaired then it “really is” a mutation.

    Mutations that have no effect on fitness are called neutral mutations or “nearly neutral” mutations.

    I didn’t say anything about “fitness.”

    I asked about whether your mechanism (random mutation) was capable of producing enough phenotypic diversity, given the fact that most of your random mutations have no discernable phenotypic effect.

  109. 109
    Mapou says:

    Moran:

    Mapou says,

    I bet none of those authors makes the case that naturalistic evolution is falsified.

    That’s correct. Biological evolution is a proven fact. It is directly observable. It can’t be falsified any more than gravity can be falsified or

    No scientist would be stupid enough to say that biological evolution has been falsified.

    Don’t you dare insult my intelligence. I am not your dog. Everybody knows that changes occur. We can observe change in ourselves and in animals. We don’t need evolutionists and other elitists to teach us that. What is not observed (the actual bone of contention) is the claim that minute random genetic changes over eons are responsible for the appearance of all the species on earth. This is obviously hogwash because the combinatorial explosion kills all stochastic search mechanisms (e.g., RM+NS) dead. Read it and weep.

    I bet they only criticise some of the more unpalatable aspects of the theory and make suggestions on how to correct the problems.

    That’s pretty much correct although there have been some pretty drastic changes to evolutionary theory in the past fifty years. Neutral theory and the prevalence of random genetic drift came out of molecular evolution. Punctuated equilibria were discovered by paleontologists some of whom also advocate species selection. Group selection is currently a hot topic.

    All of these additions refute strict Darwinism and demonstrate that you were dead wrong when you claimed that,”criticising Darwinian evolution is committing career suicide” and “The fact is that Darwinists are extremely averse to any criticism of evolution.”

    Apology accepted.

    Again I am not your dog. So you can kiss my asteroid. None of this matters since none of it opposes the central Darwinist dogma that all species arose via minute random changes over eons. This is the actual Darwinian hypothesis that must be falsified. Where is the experiment to falsify it? Nowhere to be found, of course.

    Show me one prominent biologist in the mainstream who openly denies materialism and naturalism and is still successful.

    There are plenty of religious scientists who deny that materialism is the only way to describe the universe. I think they are wrong but as long as they try to keep religion out of their science they can be quite successful.

    Are you trying to move the goalposts?

    Man, I got no respect for you. You are pseudoscientist in my book.

  110. 110
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @94 (Re: #91)

    Dionisio asks,

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are formed, at least one case?

    Please, just answer YES or NO, without any additional explanation, comments or questions.

    Yes.

    Ok, thank you for responding the above question.

    Here’s the next Yes/No question:

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    Please, just answer YES or NO, without any additional explanation, comments or questions.

    Again, thank you for your willingness to graciously share your vast scientific knowledge here.

  111. 111
    Andre says:

    If lactose intolerance and sickle cell disease are the best examples of RM & NS and drift then the unguided evolution crowd really does not have much. All it shows us is that when something goes wrong with the integrity checks, and repairs the organism is disadvantaged and when the PCD systems as the failsafe also fail the organism dies. Where did these systems come from?

    I must admit Prof Moran’s version of evolutionary biology is just a stuff happens or they don’t version. Much like God did it if you will.

    But what Prof Moran has not done is answer my actual question. How did unguided processes create guided processes to prevent unguided processes from happening?

  112. 112
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran

    Thank you for admitting that NS reduces information an ID prediction acknowledged by an opponent. That was very gracious of you. We have been saying it all along but that leaves us with the question. If NS reduces information how did it build the complexity we see?

  113. 113
    Andre says:

    Then if there are about 100 mutations per person what are they? Brown hair, blue eyes or wings growing on someone’s back?

  114. 114
    Box says:

    Larry Moran,

    Box: do you hold that natural selection reduces information?

    Larry Moran: natural selection reduces diversity in a population. If the presence of multiple alleles in a population represents more information than a single allele the, yes, natural selection reduces total information in a population.

    Are there any circumstances under which natural selection adds information? Or is it — “natural selection reduces information” — a general rule with no exceptions?

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    I want to deal with the main matter on the table, but need to first clear the air of the toxic, polarising smoke of burning, ad hominem laced strawmen.

    Pardon a pause to do so.

    PART I: The rhetorical side track, in a toxic agit-prop context

    Observe the rhetorical patterns at work. Attack attack attack — ID is not science, or at best small pockets of bad science, ID advocates are not scientists or are wanna-bes in brief sum.

    Meanwhile, a priori evolutionary materialist ideology is imposed by the lab coat clad magisterium who act as lock-out artists and gate-keepers. Locking people out of getting degrees, getting or holding academic jobs, being published, being fair-minded editors of journals, personal attacks against people, outright slander, cyberstalking and worse. All are patently going on, all are swept under the carpet. And LM’s Sandwalk is not an exception to the bigotry, hostility and bullyboyism. At least, LM, one or two commenters at your own blog stood up for me in the face of abusive behaviour when your own blog went off into the weeds like this. Are you aware that some of the more unhinged bullyboys have tried to besiege the local newspaper here through slanders and ugly hints of on the ground stalking — even of people connected to me in remote degree? That, is the reality of the rhetorical matches you and others like you have been playing with.

    I call your tactics enabling behaviour, for cause.

    So, LM: kindly drop the stunt of personality laced, outing tactic cyberstalking rhetorical attacks on decent people, as at yesterday.

    In your case, Mrs O’Leary is a decent, hard-working grandmother.

    A lady, in case you do not get the message.

    Leave her alone.

    Period.

    Likewise, tell your ilk — and don’t try to deny it, leave my family alone.

    Enough is enough.

    And, I hope you get the point on where the tactics you and too many others have resorted to lead. In case you don’t make the connexion, think English class at Umpqua, with madmen distilling shoot on sight out of spreading unbridled hostility and anti-Christian bigotry.

    The body-count, in North America, is now NINE from just this incident.

    In case it has not got through the news censorship, Christians for decades have become the main target of bigotry and persecution.

    So, in that context, intemperate language targetting Christians takes on an ugly, ugly, revealing colour.

    Oh, there are oodles of talking points to try to distract from such things and blow them off, but the hellish fever-swamp smell is unmistakable.

    But, that’s not the core warrant of scientific claims problem. (Though, it points to a very serious ideological one as our civilisation continues on its mad march of folly as it willfully turns its back on its Judaeo-Christian heritage and thus undermines foundations for ethics and common decency.)

    The point of attack, attack, attack, never apologise for misbehaviour, double down, switch lines of attack, etc is to project the false notion that design theory is little more than creationism in a cheap tuxedo. Something, LM, that you and others of like ilk routinely allude to by using terms like “Intelligent Design Creationists” — onlookers, such full well know or could easily know better but hope to profit from speaking in disregard to duties of care to truth and fairness.

    Fair comment, those who indulge such tactics in such a climate (now, with blood — Christian blood — on the ground), reveal themselves to be less than reasonable participants in a discussion on the merits.

    But that’s still on the rhetoric and agit-prop ideological game.

    The game that is finished as a game, now that innocent blood cries up from the ground.

    Anyone who insists on intemperate new atheist rhetoric or slanderous labelling or personal attacks, outing games and cyberstalking on the internet or on the ground in such a context is at minimum a foolish enabler of evil.

    Enough said on an ugly but necessary subject.

    Decent people will know that the time has more than come for turning away from fever swamp tactics and enabling of such.

    PART II: The actual scientifically relevant issue on the table

    Back on the merits of actual science, everyone who cares can easily see that the pivotal question on the world of cell based life is origin of functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information (which is in key cases coded), FSCO/I for short.

    What is the observed, adequate cause for FSCO/I?

    Yes, I am pointing to Newton’s vera causa principle taken up by Lyell and acknowledged by Darwin.

    The answer is there for all to see.

    To control unbridled, ideologically tinged metaphysical imposition on science, the principle is that if we only have traces of a spatially or temporally remote entity to deal with, we should only permit ourselves to use explanatory constructs we can observe here and now to have proven capacity to cause substantially equivalent effects. Then, we can properly make a like causes like argument.

    Spectroscopy in astrophysics readily meets the test.

    The institutionally dominant and too often domineering, educationally manipulative (sometimes to the point of deceptions like the Haeckel embryos fraud that have played on and on for a century in textbook after textbook, never mind repeated corrections . . . ) and abusive evolutionary materialist origins narrative fails the test.

    Notoriously so.

    Gross extrapolation from finch beaks, pepper moth colouration, genetic drift, minor cases of natural selection on various forms of chance non-foresighted variation and the like have never met the vera causa test. It is the lurking shadow of assumed evolutionary materialism backed by raw institutional power games that has created the false impression of proof. And lurking behind, is the even deeper challenge of explaining origin of cell based life, including of the reproduction based on cellular self-replication that must be in place before differential reproductive success of populations can come into play.

    As in, origin of relevant FSCO/I has to be ultimately explained on blind watchmaker forces of physics and chemistry for OOL, and on needing to cross seas of non-function to new islands of function for origin of body plans.

    OOL?

    Yes, as Smithsonian acknowledges in a display on the tree of life, OOL is its root.

    In a context where I can freely say on a trillion-member observational base in a world of technology, that the only observed cause of FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity (explicit or implicit in description length to specify organisation in a nodes arcs network description) is intelligently directed configuration. AKA, design.

    So, right from the root of the tree of life, design sits at the table of vera causa plausible explanations as of right, not grudging sufferance.

    And, as fair comment, the other chairs at the inference to best, empirically warranted current explanations of OOL table are empty.

    That vera causa test result dramatically shifts the context in which we look at the tree of life.

    But, you will never hear that from evolutionary materialism advocates.

    Nor will such admit that inference to best current, empirically warranted explanation is a valid and essentially positive form of inductive scientific inference. No, it’s not, protein/metabolism failed, RNA world/genes etc first is dubious so we jump to design. Instead, before reproduction is on the table, the answers can only come from thermodynamically plausible physics and chemistry. And those forces back up the empirical observation that the only actually demonstrated cause of FSCO/I is design.

    The needle in astronomically large haystack blind search challenge on utterly limited cosmological resources challenge is real.

    Unanswerably real, to the point that some would appeal to unobservable multiverse speculations. (They don’t do so so blatantly these days, but the debates have gone on for years, if you just came in late in the play.)

    Islands of function?

    Yes, start with just AA sequence space, and look at the distribution of foldable protein domains, where folding properly is a necessary condition of key-lock mutual fit based function, where a typical protein of length n comes from a space of 20^n chaining possibilities, where n = 300 for a typical case and even if we go down to 100 proteins and 100 AA as a generous estimate for a first cell, that has is looking at 20^10,000 as config space to explore and get right BEFORE we can talk on blind chance variation and differential reproductive success leading to branching tree descent with modification yielding a tree of life pattern . . . and we won’t more than mention the cross links pattern that points to an effective library of re-used parts. And as we look at how proteins are distributed in that space, we see what logic leads us to expect: scattered islands of function. For, FSCO/I will sharply constrain the possibilities that function in specific configuration dependent ways, from the set of all possibilities.

    So, if you are at the initial island of cell based life and then need to move from that to complex body plans, you will run into the need for 10 – 100+ mn bases of new biological information to account for cell types, tissues, organs and systems, in a co-ordinated, regulated whole that requires adequate embryological explanation from a zygote or the equivalent. Such is a massively informational, heavily constrained control and automated assembly problem and the evidence is that such systems have one observed cause, design.

    Where, there are several dozen body plans at that level, with the Cambrian fossil revolution issue on the table from Darwin’s day to today. Hence, Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt.

    But but but machinery does not replicate itself, and so we can brush it aside, will be almost inevitable.

    Paley anticipated Darwin on that by 50 years, in Chapter 2 of his Natural Theology, which Darwin knew and studied. So, the lack of cogent answer to and the linked lack of frank up front centre addressing of the following clip are utterly telling:

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch should after some time discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself — the thing is conceivable; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts — a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools — evidently and separately calculated for this purpose . . . .

    The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done — for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair — the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use.

    Yes, Wikipedia et al, when you jump all over Paley’s stumbling on a stone vs finding a watch in a field thought exercise in Ch 1, then fail to go on to address cogently or at least face frankly his discussion of a self replicating watch in ch 2, that is a strawman tactic in defiance of duties of care to truth and fairness.

    The von Neumann kinematic self-replicator (vNkSR) does at least take up the issue, c 1948.

    And lo and behold, it depends on codes and addresses an irreducibly complex system of high complexity. Indeed, a class of machine that is beyond what we are able to do as yet.

    And, remember, this has to be done BEFORE reproduction can get started.

    Done, by blind watchmaker physics and chemistry that are thermodynamically plausible in some warm little pond or the like environment.

    This is not a matter of flawed analogies to be brushed aside, the FSCO/I in cells for OOL is patent, and the increments to get to major body plans up to our own, is also plainly on the table.

    Speaking of which, if our genome is 2% different from that of the chimp, that is 60 mn bases, in a context of 6 – 10 MY was it, searching — successfully — a space of 20^60,000,000 power. With protein islands of function staring you in the face.

    The issue is not common descent to one degree or another, all the way up to universal common descent from LUCA.

    The issue is OOL and so of FSCO/I and involving vNkSR, on blind watchmaker thermodynamically plausible physics and chemistry. It is origin of body plans via blind watchmaker macro-evolution by whatever means can show themselves to pass the vera causa test in the context of the relevant FSCO/I.

    And it remains a fact that the only serious and only seriously prospective causal explanation for FSCO/I is intelligently directed configuration.

    Where Venter et al have already showed that design of biological forms is credibly feasible, through molecular scale nanotechnology.

    So, the issue is not creationism in a cheap tuxedo — a canard that should be retired and apologised for.

    The issue is not boasting of grand and allegedly successful scientific toil and complaining of “theft” by those despised Intelligent Design Creationists.

    That too, should be withdrawn and publicly apologised for.

    The issue is not, oh micro evo easily extrapolates into macro evo, if we accept such terms only used by creationists.

    Here, the canard is multiple-level, the macro-/ micro distinction and the origin of body plans issue have long been on the table. Where, the terms did not come from those despised creationists. Even if they were, the terms speak to a real and un-answered challenge.

    Worse, to try to tag design thinkers tracing back to Plato with the term Creationist is an example of namecalling without proper foundation.

    The issues on the table above do not depend on exegesis of Bible texts or on insertion of religious ideas, they point to an easily seen phenomenon, FSCO/I, and ask, what causally explains it.

    Then, the vera causa test is put on the table.

    The answer comes up, design best explains FSCO/I and there are no known or likely exceptions.

    if you want to overturn that inference, the proper answer is to show FSCO/I and especially vNkSR based entities coming about by blind chance and mechanical necessity.

    With particular reference to OOL and origin of body plans [OOBP].

    That is the issue on the table, per abductive, inductive inference to best current explanation on empirical warrant that meets the vera causa test.

    Over to you Prof Moran, and ilk.

    KF

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is relevant to note from Lewontin on that ideological imposition:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: Philip Johnson’s (yes, the same who by reason of ill health is not in a position to reply for himself) well-deserved reply later that year:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    Of course, this pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural” . . . namely blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And if the lateer is twisted into a caricature god of the gaps strawman, then locked out, huge questions are being oh so conveniently begged.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 3: Plato warned us 2350+ years ago:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    Box

    You put your finger on a key issue.

    Natural selection, strictly, is a supposed analogy to artificial selection as with breeding of pigeons or dogs etc, whereby already occurring variations are separated out for breeding.

    The analogy was, that nature could select out by culling the less fit.

    From such, we then get to, differential success of sub populations leading to descent with incremental, branching tree modification.

    But underneath lurks: the natural selection part is a SUBTRACTER not an ADDER of information. The info has to come in from something else.

    Thus, the often undiscussed pivotal significance of non-foresighted, chance variation and mechanisms. (BTW, that is one reason I refuse to let stand the rhetorical tendency of using natural selection to stand for the whole; it glides too easily over the crucial part.)

    So, the issue is, needle in haystack search for islands of function on resources relative to scope of search that are negligibly different from zero. Where the difference between non-function and non-function on the intervening seas of configs is 0 – 0 = 0.

    Until you arrive at shorelines of function it is pointless to describe how one can incrementally climb hills. ( Which raises the further issue of rough fitness landscapes with trapping valleys and plateaux.)

    Starting with body plan no 1, and going on to the dozens to be explained, beginning from protein fold domains and isolation in AA sequence space much less wider organic chemistry.

    KF

  120. 120
    Vy says:

    The issue is not, oh micro evo easily extrapolates into macro evo, if we accept such terms only used by creationists.

    Wait, what?

    There’s been a lot of finger-pointing at YEC recently, so much so that some declare it non-science for all intents and purposes (and Robert dealt with that), and some have made it seem like something so toxic that the IDM would suffocate to death if they don’t declare a “code red” on it. No problem, it teaches a thing or two.

    Now, everyone has a right to the express their opinions but I gotta ask, KF, what do you mean by only used by creationists? I’m a YEC and I certainly don’t use it (except when explaining the nonsense it leads to), encourage its use or even entertain its use in my discussions (my interaction with Zach being a case-in-point). CMI, ICR and even AIG don’t either, and yes, while some creationists DO use it, they certainly aren’t the only ones. I’ve seen it being used on here several times and I’m 100% certain you’ve used it more than once in other comments so I’d appreciate it if you answer.

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    Vy, the accusation that terms like macro-/micro- evolution are “only used by Creationists” has been so common at UD and more widely, that it has had to be addressed in the weak argument correctives. Similar things hold for several other terms, including in my case trying to pretend that a summary description turned into an acronym, FSCO/I is suspect when in fact it comes from Orgel and Wicken and is in a context where it is known that the more common term, CSI, in biological contexts, is functional. My point is that namecalling dismissals and oh its just some few suspect oddballs who talk like that are ill-founded genetic fallacies and well poisoning; which reasonable people should set to one side. Next, the tendency is to say Intelligent Design Creationists — as is common at Sandwalk blog, thus to project Creationists in a cheap tuxedo as a dismissal of design thought and to divert from nature vs art to natural vs the allegedly suspect supernatural. My point on this is that on strictly empirical observational evidence, an inference to design can be grounded and attempts to project right wing, Bible thumping fundy would be theocrats and terrorists comparable to islamists like Bin Laden is a classic case of red herrings led out to strawman caricatures soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, poison and polarise the atmosphere. It is also a case of chained slanders, Creationists having been successfully tainted and hounded out to the fringes (following those who 100 years ago courageously stood against modernist apostasy and published The Fundamentals as a testimony of historic truth and its warrant) that tag is now used in a bigoted manner to smear and dismiss others without thought. They are trying to taint Christian, also. But now, innocent blood cries up from the ground, only to be tip-toed around as if it is just a bit of inconvenient mess not an indictment against a sustained willful slander and enabling of such in the teeth of warnings on predictable consequences. KF

    PS: Cf here on the term, from UD’s WACs: http://www.uncommondescent.com/faq/#macmictrms

  122. 122
    Box says:

    Kairosfocus,

    KF: You put your finger on a key issue.

    It seems to me that the Darwinian narrative is founded on the misconception that “natural selection” is creative, in the sense that it adds information. The Darwinian idea is that natural selection improves chances for the underlying blind search, but in fact the opposite is the true.

    KF: Natural selection, strictly, is a supposed analogy to artificial selection as with breeding of pigeons or dogs etc, whereby already occurring variations are separated out for breeding.
    The analogy was, that nature could select out by culling the less fit.

    Each selection implies elimination of information. What else can it be?
    And note that we are talking about unique information about robust organisms. “Robust” in the sense that these organisms are self-organizing and capable of reproducing —amazing capabilities that must be present before natural selection enters the scene.

    KF: From such, we then get to, differential success of sub populations leading to descent with incremental, branching tree modification.

    Sub populations of sub populations … and at each step unique information is lost not gained.

    KF: But underneath lurks: the natural selection part is a SUBTRACTER not an ADDER of information. The info has to come in from something else.

    Indeed. If natural selection does not add information and is in fact doing quite the opposite, the all-important question ”where does the information come from?” becomes even more urgent.

    * I would like to get one thing perfectly clear. If natural selection is a substractor of information then it follows that it impedes on a blind search. So, an unhampered purely mathematical blind search (starting with an imperfect replicator) would yield better results.
    In other words, without the role of natural selection, evolutionists would have a stronger case whenever they argue that we can get from a bacterium to a human.

  123. 123
  124. 124
    Vy says:

    KF, thank you for clearing that up.

  125. 125
    Vy says:

    I’ve always wondered what explanation Darwinists have for the origin of NS. Google doesn’t offer anything helpful.

    I mean, Theodosius Dobzhansky, creator of the immensely foolish “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution” comment, made it pretty clear that its gotta come from somewhere when he said “prebiological natural selection is a contradiction of terms”.

    It creates a chicken-egg problem; the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism needs replication and reproduction, reproduction and replication need the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism to even have a chance of existing.

    Thus, any arguments for common descent are dead upon arrival. No NS -> No reproduction -> No first cell -> No DNA (or imaginary variant they propose) -> No first cell -> No reproduction -> No NS. That’s why the 98% DNA similarity babble in the other post is, well, babble.

  126. 126
    Box says:

    Vy: I’ve always wondered what explanation Darwinists have for the origin of NS.

    My understanding is that it follows from lack of resources.

    Frank K. Salter: According to Ernst Mayer, one of the most influential advocates of the modern “synthesis”, evolutionary theory proceeds from the assumption of a general scarcity of resources, and the ensuing competition of individuals over access to these resources.

    Vy: It creates a chicken-egg problem; the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism needs replication and reproduction, reproduction and replication need the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism to even have a chance of existing.

    I understand that NS needs reproduction, but I don’t get that reproduction needs NS.
    Would you care to explain?

  127. 127
    Vy says:

    Well, the mechanism of reproduction has to come from somewhere, it didn’t just pop out of nowhere, and based on the Darwinists potrayal of NS (for example, Zach’s claims about aerobic citrate eating bacteria), that mechanism can’t exist without NS.

  128. 128
    Vy says:

    Box, isn’t the Salter quote an explanation for why it exists not how it came into existence?

  129. 129
    Box says:

    Vy,
    Thanks. Indeed, the origin of the mechanism of reproduction cannot be explained by NS and according to Koonin we need to invoke the multiverse to explain its existence. 🙂

  130. 130
    LarTanner says:

    Box: “My understanding is that it follows from lack of resources.”

    I am not a biologist, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say NS is a byproduct of _competition_ for resources between populations sharing the same environment?

    In any case, here is Darwin himself explaining NS in Ch.3 of the Origin:

    Again, it may be asked, how is it that varieties, which I have called incipient species, become ultimately converted into good and distinct species, which in most cases obviously differ from each other far more than do the varieties of the same species? How do those groups of species, which constitute what are called distinct genera, and which differ from each other more than do the species of the same genus, arise? All these results, as we shall more fully see in the next chapter, follow inevitably from the struggle for life. Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring. The offspring, also, will thus have a better chance of surviving, for, of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive. I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man’s power of selection. We have seen that man by selection can certainly produce great results, and can adapt organic beings to his own uses, through the accumulation of slight but useful variations, given to him by the hand of Nature. But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is as immeasurably superior to man’s feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.

    I’ve bolded the relevant part.

  131. 131
    Virgil Cain says:

    Yes, natural selection is a result- if you have differential reproduction due to heritable random mutations, you have natural selection as the result.

  132. 132
    Box says:

    Lar Tanner,

    I’m not a biologist either.
    First, it seems to me that a more appropriate term for “natural selection” would be “natural elimination”. Elimination is the consequence of not getting necessary resources. This can have all sorts of reasons, only one reason is that there is (better) competition for the resources that an organism wants. Another reason can be that the resources are no longer available due to a change in climate or due to degradation of the resources or whatever.
    So, “natural elimination due to lack of resources”, seems to me an apt general translation/explanation of “natural selection”.

  133. 133
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Are there any circumstances under which natural selection adds information?

    It depends on how you define information. Diversifying selection doesn’t create new alleles, but results in rare alleles becoming more common in a population.

    Without selection: 99 44/100% of A, 56/100% of B
    With diversifying selection: 60% of A, 40% of B

    The latter means there will be many more possible combinations of traits (paired with C,D, etc.) in the gene pool.

    Keep in mind, though, that selection doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are always new variants being created, mostly adaptively neutral, so diversifying selection will tend to maintain this diversity in a population, rather than it becoming extinct.

    Box: If natural selection is a substractor of information then it follows that it impedes on a blind search.

    Evolution isn’t a blind search, but an incremental crawl, as it were, feeling its way along.

    Vy: I’ve always wondered what explanation Darwinists have for the origin of NS.

    It’s the result of replication and the competition for necessarily limited resources.

  134. 134
    Box says:

    Zachs: [Natural selection] is the result of replication and the competition for necessarily limited resources.

    Is “natural selection” limited to the competition for resources? How about e.g. a severe winter?

  135. 135
    Vy says:

    Evolution isn’t a blind search, but an incremental crawl, as it were, feeling its way along.

    Wait, what what what, what, say whaaaaaat???

    Boy, I gotta give you brownie points for the superficial effortlessness in your redefinitions, gobsmackingly awesome!

    It’s the result of replication</strong< and the competition for necessarily limited resources.

    ???

    Vy: It creates a chicken-egg problem; the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism needs replication and reproduction, reproduction and replication need the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism to even have a chance of existing.

    Yeah, sorry Zach, you haven’t answered anything.

  136. 136
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Is “natural selection” limited to the competition for resources?

    We’ll restate that as

    Natural selection among replicators is inevitable due to competition for necessarily limited resources.

    Vy: Wait, what what what, what, say whaaaaaat???

    It’s a basic analogy, and should be non-controversial. Evolution can’t see far ahead, but can move through the fitness landscape in steps.

    Vy: It creates a chicken-egg problem; the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism needs replication and reproduction, reproduction and replication need the NS weed_out_the_bad mechanism to even have a chance of existing.

    You seem to be concerned with the origin of life. Natural selection is not sufficient to account for abiogenesis. Indeed, there is as yet no complete theory of abiogenesis.

  137. 137
    Andre says:

    Awwwwww

    Prof Moran has abandoned this post, I was so looking forward to his answer.

  138. 138
    Vy says:

    Evolution can’t see far ahead, but can move through the fitness landscape in steps.

    Wait, evolution can see??? Fitness landscapes???

    So it has a goal: “Dang it! I gotta get to the next checkpoint so I can save my progress”.

    Have you googled “Evolution is blind” because what you’re saying sounds pretty funny to me.

    You seem to be concerned with the origin of life.

    I seem? That was one of the major the points of my post and you’re saying “I seem”.

    Indeed, there is as yet no complete theory of abiogenesis.

    Never was (when it was called spontaneous generation), isn’t and never will be.

  139. 139
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: Wait, evolution can see??? Fitness landscapes???

    Evolution is myopic.

    Vy: So it has a goal: “Dang it! I gotta get to the next checkpoint so I can save my progress”.

    Every point of viability is a checkpoint. Offspring strongly resembles parents, so continuation of fitness is typical. If there is a beneficial mutation, then this increased fitness can propagate through a population, while deleterious mutations tend to be filtered out.

    Vy: Never was (when it was called spontaneous generation), isn’t and never will be.

    It’s hard to predict the future progress of science. It was once thought we couldn’t possibly know the composition of stars.

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, see why the issues:

    1: getting to self replication (the vNkSR) to begin with

    2: the issue of roughness in fitness functions

    3: the issue of getting to islands of function (starting with AA sequence space and the 20^n problem)

    . . . all become key, and linked to that, the vera causa challenge?

    KF

  141. 141
    Andre says:

    It raises the obvious question from Zachriel’s incoherent ramblings who set the checkpoints?

  142. 142
    Vy says:

    Evolution is myopic

    Hahahahaha! Alright, this is becoming less and less funny. Time to get back to reality.

    I call evolution blindly selective randomness, but this popular “Guiding you on he path to self-delusion for easy acceptance of evolution” site says I’m being too nice, it’s in fact a blindly, mechanistic, mindless, purposeless selective randomness.

    Marginally popular Atheist horseman-wannabe, Jerry Coyne, and pals go further.

    Pal(s):

    [Darwin’s] alternative to intelligent design was design by the completely mindless process of natural selection, according to which organisms possessing variations that enhance survival or reproduction replace those less suitably endowed, which therefore survive or reproduce in lesser degree. This process cannot have a goal, any more than erosion has the goal of forming canyons, for the future cannot cause material events in the present. Thus the concepts of goals or purposes have no place in biology (or any other of the natural sciences), except in studies of human behavior. (p. 282)

    Wannabe:

    And, indeed, this is what I teach—that natural selection, and evolution in general, are material processes, blind, mindless, and purposeless.

    Oh well, so much for being nice.

    Zach, I sent an “inter-web slap” to jolt you back to a little bit of reality, has it arrived? You know, network issues and all …

  143. 143
    Mapou says:

    Since natural selection eliminates the unfit by killing them, how come it has never figured out (it is a very wise NS, no?) a way to eliminate death altogether? Why are there no immortal animals? Why is every organism genetically programmed to die of old age? Is immortality considered an unfit characteristic for Darwinian evolution?

  144. 144
    Vy says:

    It raises the obvious question from Zachriel’s incoherent ramblings who set the checkpoints?

    I posit the 5-member purple-horned leprechaun gang that escaped from the cosmic zoo a few days ago. They took over from the “nothings”* that were positioned at the “checkpoints of unusual viability” by the “how to continuously keep fitness fairies. They jump in excitement when they see evolution straggling along the “landscdpes of amateur fitness” with improperly positioned anti-myopia glasses and sack of deleterious mutations in hand detailing all its adventures.

    Anyways, that’s just my imaginative speculation. 😀

    * read: Grand Design gravity_is_a_nothing_creator “nothing”

  145. 145
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: I call evolution blindly selective randomness, but this popular “Guiding you on he path to self-delusion for easy acceptance of evolution” site says I’m being too nice, it’s in fact a blindly, mechanistic, mindless, purposeless selective randomness.

    The article you linked is about natural selection, which is only one component of evolution. The site does provide an overview of evolution. As for natural selection:

    natural selection is sometimes interpreted as a random process. This is also a misconception. The genetic variation that occurs in a population because of mutation is random — but selection acts on that variation in a very non-random way: genetic variants that aid survival and reproduction are much more likely to become common than variants that don’t. Natural selection is NOT random!

  146. 146
    Larry Moran says:

    Dionisio says,

    Here’s the next Yes/No question:

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    Hmmm … that’s the end of this discussion because I can’t answer “yes” or “no” to such a question. If I answer “yes” because I have a pretty good idea how morphogen gradients are interpreted by cells then you will pounce on the word “exactly” and keep dissecting my answer until you find some detail that I can’t explain in sufficient molecular detail.

    Then you’ll accuse me of lying.

    If I answer “no” because I need to read up on some of the details and talk about it with my colleagues who have been working on the problem for decades, then you will pounce on that answer as well and declare that evolutionists are making up just-so stories.

    I know how you guys operate. You don’t really want to know any answers. You just want to play semantic “gotcha” games.

    On the off chance that you really are interested in learning, please start by reading Drosophila embryogenesis. Here’s a teaser …

    “The genes that code for these mRNAs, called maternal effect genes, encode for proteins that get translated upon fertilization to establish concentration gradients that span the egg. Bicoid and Hunchback are the maternal effect genes that are most important for patterning of anterior parts (head and thorax) of the Drosophila embryo. Nanos and Caudal are maternal effect genes that are important in the formation of more posterior abdominal segments of the Drosophila embryo.”

    We know a great deal about these genes. They are responsible for creating morphogen gradients and we know how developing cells respond to those gradients. Most of this work was begun in the 1980s so you’ve had plenty of time to learn about it if you were truly interested.

  147. 147
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre asks,

    Then if there are about 100 mutations per person what are they? Brown hair, blue eyes or wings growing on someone’s back?

    Are you really this stupid or are you just playing an IDiot on this blog?

    Are you challenging the evidence that every newborn baby has about 100 new mutations or are you merely revealing your ignorance of modern evolutionary theory?

  148. 148
    Andre says:

    Vy

    Your theory is a fact! Just like Zachriel’s version of evolution. He even says Natural selection is sensitive, makes choices and above all has foresight. I’m not even kidding he said that.

  149. 149
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran

    What are those 100 mutations for? What are their functions?

  150. 150
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre asks,

    Thank you for admitting that NS reduces information an ID prediction acknowledged by an opponent. That was very gracious of you. We have been saying it all along but that leaves us with the question. If NS reduces information how did it build the complexity we see?

    Are you asking because you haven’t got a clue about modern evolutionary theory and how evolutionary biologists explain the evolution of complexity? That’s what it sounds like but I can’t believe you really are so ignorant of a science that you constantly criticize and mock.

    That doesn’t make sense so I assume there’s some subtle meaning behind your question. What is it?

  151. 151
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre asks,

    What are those 100 mutations for? What are their functions?

    Are you asking because you’ve never heard of Neutral Theory (dating from the 1960s)? How much of modern evolutionary theory do you understand? Population genetics?

    How about fundamental biochemistry and molecular biology? Do you know anything about those?

    Do you know what a gene is?

    Do you understand the concept of junk DNA? How about synonymous mutations?

    I need to know where to start. Should I go back to kindergarten level and explain it to you like I would explain it to my granddaughter?

  152. 152
    Vy says:

    Zach, I see you haven’t done something about those eyes. They keep decreasing the already miniscule value in your comments, oh well.

    The article you linked is about natural selection, which is only one component of evolution.

    And:

    The genetic variation that occurs in a population because of mutation is random

    ___

    As for natural selection

    Yes, minus the selective blindness:

    it’s more accurate to think of natural selection as a process rather than as a guiding hand. Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity — it is mindless and mechanistic. It has no goals; it’s not striving to produce “progress” or a balanced ecosystem.

    Apparently, you think the “blindly selective” in “blindly selective randomness” is decorative. Oh wait, you’re selectively blind, of course you missed it!

  153. 153
    Vy says:

    Are you really this stupid or are you just playing an IDiot on this blog?

    Wait, did a guy who believes mindless, purposeless, blindly selective and random processes formed something referred to as “just [x] pound meat” in his head attempt an insult?
    Is this guy from the same group that claims that ultimately, we’re nothing but meat bags acting according to the random reactions in that “meat”?

  154. 154
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran- Can you please link to this modern evolutionary theory so we all read what it actually says? How is unguided evolution quantified in the theory? Is it just through population genetics?

    Do you know what a gene is?

    Do you understand the concept of junk DNA? How about synonymous mutations?

    Yes, yes and yes. I also know that synonymous mutations can cause problems with the protein.

  155. 155
    Virgil Cain says:

    And thank you, Zachriel @ 145, for proving that natural selection is non-random in the most trivial sense. Heck by that standard mutations are non-random.

    natural selection is sometimes interpreted as a random process. This is also a misconception. The genetic variation that occurs in a population because of mutation is random — but selection acts on that variation in a very non-random way: genetic variants that aid survival and reproduction are much more likely to become common than variants that don’t. Natural selection is NOT random!

    There are mutational hot spots, ie not all mutations are equiprobable, and because of that they are non-random for the same reason NS is.

  156. 156
    Vy says:

    And thank you, Zachriel @ 145, for proving that natural selection is non-random in the most trivial sense. Heck by that standard mutations are non-random.

    And that’s the difference between delusion (it’s all random, goals, fitness, selection and all that) and reality (pseudo-random/non-random).

    I do find it funny though that Zach put in so much effort in another thread to “prove” to me that adaptation (what he twists into “evolution”) and trial and error mutations were random only to come in here and start singing a different tune. 😀

    But then again, evodelusionists are not known for their consistency.

  157. 157
    Andre says:

    When an “expert” read professor, insults you when you want answers from the horse’s mouth you can be certain; He has nothing.

    What are these 100 mutations for Prof Moran? Surely if unguided evolution is a fact like gravity we must have tested their function already….. No?

    Neutral theory is just another stuff happens in biological systems Rudeyard Kipling just so story. If it was a fact you would be able to model it, and test it. Where are the results Prof Moran?

  158. 158
    DTZ says:

    Professor Moran,

    I was so glad to see that you were answering all the questions that guy was asking, but now you have disappointed me with your last reply. Why?
    I did not understand well what you meant in your comment.
    I thought you will answer yes again.
    Don’t you really know all that stuff now?
    Please, don’t quit. I know you have what it takes to answer those simple questions. Many of us can’t answer them, but we have you to represent us.
    Please, reconsider your decision.
    Big thank you in advance.

  159. 159
    Dionisio says:

    DTZ @158

    Perhaps I understand your disappointment.

    Maybe it’s kind of frustrating to see such a knowledgeable scientist quitting (@146) a serious discussion, which was going according to his own terms, one question at a time, as per his explicit request.

    He could reconsider his decision and come back to continue our informative discussion.

    Perhaps many would appreciate it.

  160. 160
    Larry Moran says:

    Andre asks,

    What are these 100 mutations for Prof Moran? Surely if unguided evolution is a fact like gravity we must have tested their function already….. No?

    Neutral theory is just another stuff happens in biological systems Rudeyard Kipling just so story. If it was a fact you would be able to model it, and test it. Where are the results Prof Moran?

    Vincent Torley can explain it to you. He understands this stuff and you’re more likely to believe him.

    If you don’t trust Vincent Torley then read Michael Denton’s book Nature’s Destiny. He can educate you as well.

  161. 161
    Larry Moran says:

    DTZ says,

    Please, don’t quit. I know you have what it takes to answer those simple questions. Many of us can’t answer them, but we have you to represent us.

    They are not simple questions. It would take me several days to gather up all the references and write something about Drosophila development that a non-scientist could understand. I haven’t taught this stuff since 1990.

    Besides, I’m absolutely convinced than no answer would satisfy the crowd on this blog. Every time I try to explain something they just ask more questions. It’s neverending.

    Meanwhile, you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer.

  162. 162
    Larry Moran says:

    Virgil Cains asks,

    Larry Moran- Can you please link to this modern evolutionary theory so we all read what it actually says?

    Does that mean you are unfamiliar with modern evolutionary theory and need someone to explain it to you?

    Really? How can you be so adamantly opposed to something you know nothing about?

  163. 163
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @146

    Dionisio says,

    Here’s the next Yes/No question:

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    Hmmm … that’s the end of this discussion because I can’t answer “yes” or “no” to such a question. If I answer “yes” because I have a pretty good idea how morphogen gradients are interpreted by cells then you will pounce on the word “exactly” and keep dissecting my answer until you find some detail that I can’t explain in sufficient molecular detail.

    Then you’ll accuse me of lying.

    If I answer “no” because I need to read up on some of the details and talk about it with my colleagues who have been working on the problem for decades, then you will pounce on that answer as well and declare that evolutionists are making up just-so stories.

    I know how you guys operate. You don’t really want to know any answers. You just want to play semantic “gotcha” games.

    Is quitting this early in our discussion the best you can do?

    Is that your best?

    Answering those simple questions require humility, which is not a built-in feature of the human nature.

    BTW, your cheap excuses fall into the shameful category of Mina’s “parole, parole, parole”.
    I expected you could do much better than that.

    You have disappointed your party comrades, including your own admirer DTZ, who apparently kind of provoked this discussion.

    Please, reconsider your decision and come back to this serious discussion, which was going well, according to your own terms, one question at a time, as per your own request.

    Please, give it another try. Thanks.

  164. 164
    Virgil Cain says:

    Larry Moran:

    Does that mean you are unfamiliar with modern evolutionary theory and need someone to explain it to you?

    No, that means there isn’t any such thing as a “modern evolutionary theory”. I am familiar with what Darwin said. I am familiar with what the architects of the modern synthesis said. Neither of those is a scientific theory.

    Look, if you can’t link to it then why do you think it exists?

  165. 165
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @146

    I know how you guys operate.

    That’s fine, but do you know how to answer simple yes/no questions?

    Apparently you don’t. At least that’s the impression one gets by looking at your embarrassing failure to answer my latest yes/no question.

    Do you have any idea what the word ‘humility’ means?

  166. 166
    Daniel King says:

    Virgil Joe Caine:

    I am familiar with what Darwin said.

    Prove it.

    I am familiar with what the architects of the modern synthesis said. Neither of those is a scientific theory.

    Can you back that up?

  167. 167
    Virgil Cain says:

    OK Daniel, we can meet and you can test me.

  168. 168
    Daniel King says:

    Virgil/Joe:

    Your test is in front of your eyes.

    And you would respond to it right here, right now, if you weren’t a phony and a coward.

  169. 169
    Virgil Cain says:

    LoL! The phony and a coward trying to project its cowardice onto me.

  170. 170
    Virgil Cain says:

    Tell you what daniel- link to the theory of evolution or else admit that you are a phony and a coward.

  171. 171
    Daniel King says:

    Can’t support your spewings, Doofus.

    As always.

  172. 172
    Virgil Cain says:

    Daniel you are the spewer here. Loser.

    OK, what did darwin say? darwin said that natural selection could produce the appearance of design without the need for a designer. He posited slight successive modifications led to the diversity of life. Chance modifications that were scrutinized by nature.

    Enter genetics. The modern synthesis had its mechanism of heredity. However it came out before the structure of DNA was elucidated and the genetic code was still unknown. natural selection was still the only proposed mechanism that could explain the appearance of design.

  173. 173
    Virgil Cain says:

    daniel dork can’t find one thing that I have ever posted that runs contrary to what Darwin said or what the modern synthesis said.

    Life is good…

  174. 174
    Daniel King says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Witness a meltdown by an IDiot.

  175. 175
    Virgil Cain says:

    Yes, please do witness Danielle King’s meltdown. It is quite the thing to behold. Soon she will be holding her breath and stomping her feet.

  176. 176
    Virgil Cain says:

    Come on, Danielle- show us your personal evolutionary history by holding your breath and making like a puffer fish. 😛 A puffer fish with a little pin head. What a sight!

  177. 177
    Daniel King says:

    Joe Virgil Gallien Cain.

    That Uncommon Descent would continue to host you, while banning intelligent posters is telling.

    Keep ranting. Please.

    Keep making discussions here juvenile.

    You’re the ID poster boy!

  178. 178
    Virgil Cain says:

    Oh koochy-koo my little puffer fish! Now, now don’t get all upset just because you are a deluded and ignorant troll.

  179. 179
    Virgil Cain says:

    Hush my little puffer fish
    Don’t you cry
    Your momma’s going to sing you a lullaby. 😛

  180. 180
  181. 181
    Larry Moran says:

    Dionisio says,

    Please, reconsider your decision and come back to this serious discussion, which was going well, according to your own terms, one question at a time, as per your own request.

    Okay. Let’s continue.

    The question was …

    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    I’m going to answer “no” because of the word “exactly” which I interpret to be demanding an extremely detailed molecular account of every bit of the interaction between a morphogen and the control of gene expression in the cell that interprets the morphogen.

    Now let’s see what follows when you’ve seen my response …

    That’s fine, but do you know how to answer simple yes/no questions?

    Apparently you don’t. At least that’s the impression one gets by looking at your embarrassing failure to answer my latest yes/no question.

    Do you have any idea what the word ‘humility’ means?

    I’m predicting that you are not going to respect my honesty.

    I predict that because I can’t give you a simple “yes” or “no” answer to a loaded question that you are going to try and turn this into a victory for intelligent design and a defeat for an evolutionary biologist.

  182. 182
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks,

    If it were not so sadly revealing of the rhetoric games as usual tactic, it would be amusing to see the studious ignoring of the pivotal issues in 115 ff above.

    We must beware the “buried in the onward comments” tactic.

    Let me particularly highlight the warning on logic and controlling assumptions by one of those “non-scientists” LM et al decry, Philip Johnson; particularly noting that he was answering to Lewontin, and also noting the utterly revealing remark from Rational Wiki:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And if the latter is twisted into a caricature god of the gaps strawman, then locked out, huge questions are being oh so conveniently begged.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    With that sort of controlling assumption at work, in violation of the vera causa principle, we are dealing with the ideological captivity of origins science driven by question-begging, worldview level assumptions that close minds, journals, conferences, institutions, textbooks and faculties to reason and evidence.

    It remains the case that FSCO/I has but one actually observed adequate cause, intelligently directed configuration. It remains the case that if science is not free to follow the evidence in pursuit of empirically — observationally — grounded, freely and logically reasoned to truth about our world, it is reduced to propaganda in service to a worldview and cultural agenda. It remains the truth that science education under such captivity patently reduces to little more than force-feeding our children with atheistical agit-prop dressed up in a lab coat to the detriment of reason, responsibility and the foundations of freedom. It remains the case that the root of the Darwinist tree of life, origin of cell based life, requires an explanation on observationally anchored, thermodynamically reasonable chemistry and physics that accounts for metabolism, smart gated encapsulation, genetic code and vNkSR based self replication, all of which are chock full of FSCO/I, and many facets of which are arguably irreducibly complex. That is, requiring clusters of key well-matched parts, each of which is necessary for and together in proper arrangement achieving, core function.

    The only vera causa- grounded adequate, observed cause for such FSCO/I is design, and design is — absent the ideological lockout — the best current, empirically grounded causal explanation of OOL.

    Thus, the design inference — absent the ideological lockout — sits as of right (not, grudging sufferance) at the table of serious candidate explanations for the world of life from its root up. (A point BTW, that would sit well with the co-founder of evolutionary theory, Wallace.)

    In that context, the dozens of main body plans, linked integrated systems, organs, tissues and cell types required to account for the branching pattern of the tree of life from the Cambrian fossil revolution (on the table since Darwin, who hoped future fossil discoveries would lay it to rest, but even more on the table today cf Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt) up to our own case, poses the FSCO/I challenge with redoubled force. As in, 10 – 100+ million bits of FSCO/I to account for the new body plans each, in a context where anything beyond 500 – 1,000 bits poses a hopeless needle in haystack, isolated islands of function challenge to the proud Darwinist edifice.

    In this sort of situation, until the underlying prejudice, question-begging and ideology are set aside (and the personalities before that), no reasonable discussion is there to be had.

    So, the futile circles of discussion on this or that topic that routinely play out have a foundation, an ideological problem.

    Hence, BTW, the now three years standing UD pro-darwinism essay challenge, not seriously answered to date.

    KF

  183. 183
    DTZ says:

    Professor Moran

    I’m very glad to see you did not stop answering the questions posted by Dionisio.

    Thank you.

  184. 184
    DTZ says:

    Professor Moran

    There’s something you wrote to me in your comments posted at 161 that I don’t understand well:

    They are not simple questions. It would take me several days to gather up all the references and write something about Drosophila development that a non-scientist could understand. I haven’t taught this stuff since 1990.

    Besides, I’m absolutely convinced than no answer would satisfy the crowd on this blog. Every time I try to explain something they just ask more questions. It’s neverending.

    Meanwhile, you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer.

    In the second quoted paragraph you referred to “they” and I understood that as referring to “the crowd on this blog”. Is that correct?

    However, in the following (third quoted) paragraph, you referred to “you guys”, which seems to include me too?

    Are you placing me in the same category with “the crowd on this blog”?

    Please, can you clarify this for me? Thank you.

  185. 185
    Andre says:

    Prof Moran

    Meanwhile, you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer.

    1. The DNA Code
    2. The DNA Integrity Check systems (evolutionary conserved)
    3. The DNA Repair Mechanisms (evolutionary conserved)
    4. The DNA Apoptosis mechanisms (evolutionary conserved)
    5. The DNA Necrotic System. (evolutionary conserved)

    Can you show how any material processes generated this?

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    LM,

    re, 161:

    you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer

    I will note the loaded language implicit in “the crowd” and the like language on your part, pointing to the preliminary remark in 115 above on polarisation and why this needs to stop given that innocent blood is there crying up from the ground in Umpqua.

    Further, kindly observe 115 ff above and again pointed to at 182 regarding outlining the evidence for intelligent design that you wish to sweep away with a blanket, hyperskeptical, loaded language dismissal: “you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design.”

    Such is false, patently false, is offered in disregard to truth and is presented in hopes of profiting from it being perceived as though it were true. Where, for years you have run a blog that attacks design thought in similar terms, in insistent denial of corrective information on the point. This means, at minimum, it is — pardon directness, it is necessary to say A is A — a lie by failure to do basic due diligence on easily ascertainable fact.

    Had you said, you reject or disagree with evidence offered, on whatever basis, that would be a different thing. But instead, you asserted refusal on our part to present ANY evidence.

    That is untruth.

    I suggest, that you need to reconsider what you have been doing, in light of the issues pointed out in say 182 and 115 ff above.

    Now, in fact, there are trillions of cases of FSCO/I all around us and something so simple as the cause of the FSCO/I in the text of your own comments highlights the ONLY actually observed cause, intelligently directed configuration.

    That, sir, is a trillion member body of readily accessible highly relevant evidence, and to my certain knowledge it has been repeatedly presented here at UD, repeatedly and prominently.

    Per vera causa as championed by Newton and acknowledged by Lyell and Darwin, design is therefore the best current, observationally warranted causal explanation for FSCO/I.

    To overturn that, you need to show per observation, how blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, without intelligent direction of configuration, can and do give rise to FSCO/I beyond the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold.

    Further to this, the vNkSR evidently at work in cellular self-replication (foundational to reproduction, thus to any discussion of differential reproductive success) needs to be grounded on thermodynamically plausible spontaneous physics and chemistry at OOL, in order for the whole chance/non foresighted variation and culling out by differential reproductive success explanatory narrative to have a basis. As Paley pointed out c 1802 – 4, through the thought exercise of a self-replicating watch, and as has been evident since von Neuman’s work on self replicating machines c 1948 on, this implies a huge increment of FSCO/I. Likewise to account for OOBPs dozens of times including our own, increments of 10 – 100+ mn bits of FSCO/I would have to be accounted for.

    Just in our case — for the sake of argument — on we are 2% different from chimps, 60 mn bases (120 mn bits) would have to be accounted for in 6 – 10 Mn y, in ways that account for major anatomical differences, for verbal language, for speech, and more, in incremental ways that are population-wise and mut rate wise plausible. Mission impossible, I suggest.

    In light of only observed actual cause and the blind watchmaker search, needle in haystack challenge in beyond astronomical configuration spaces, it is very reasonable to hold FSCO/I as a strong sign of intelligently directed configuration. Thus also, as strong indication of the action of designer(s), acting intelligence(s). For, it is equally patent that intelligently directed configuration is a marker of the action of designing intelligence.

    So, either your objection that we have offered no evidence of a designer folds into the point that FSCO/I is a strong sign of design, or else you are making a selectively hyperskeptical demand.

    Namely, you imply that — knowing that on origins science, we deal with a remote past of origins that we cannot directly observe — you demand “scientific” direct inspection of a designer.

    Sorry, this is a violation of reasonableness.

    Secondly, it points to the issue of the question-begging redefinition of science to fit with a priori evolutionary materialist ideology.

    The answer is, that FSCO/I is a strong sign of design, per vera causa anchored inference to best current, observationally and analytically grounded inductive explanation.

    To overturn this, what is needed is what has not been forthcoming for 150 – 200 years (bringing in Paley’s self-replicating watch), actual observational evidence that grounds the reasonable conclusion that FSCO/I of at least 500 – 1,000 bits not only results from intelligently directed configuration, but also from blind watchmaker needle in haystack search by means of chance and mechanical necessity without intelligent direction.

    In that context, we have a direct positive induction on a trillion member observational base: FSCO/I is seen to result from design.

    We have the further induction, that it has only been observed to come from design, and this is backed up by the needle in haystack search challenge to hit on shores of islands of function. Where also, the constraint of multiple well matched, correctly arranged parts to achieve function shows why specific, configuration based function sharply confines successful configs to islands in the space of possibilities.

    Thence, on comparative difficulties and merits of alternatives, we may freely infer that the best explanation to date (and in prospect) for FSCO/I in the world of life and elsewhere, is design.

    And, that is a conclusion that stands on a trillion member publicly and readily accessible body of evidence.

    KF

  187. 187
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @181

    Now let’s see what follows when you’ve seen my response …

    I’m predicting that you are not going to respect my honesty.

    I predict that because I can’t give you a simple “yes” or “no” answer to a loaded question that you are going to try and turn this into a victory for intelligent design and a defeat for an evolutionary biologist.

    Have you ever tried to predict the weather? 🙂
    Can you predict earthquakes too?
    What do you base the above quoted predictions on?
    The visible constellations in the firmament?
    The relative position of Mars and Venus on a clear night sky?
    Or do you use cards?

    Also, after reading the last sentence quoted above, I would like to ask if you have ever considered writing books within the fiction genre? You seem to have a prolific imagination.

    All my above comments were provoked by your message.

    Please, can we stick to the subject of discussion without unnecessary “off topic” digressions?

    Can we simply have a polite constructive discussion?

    It seems like our discussion topic is related to the most recent scientific research in biology, which you should represent better, given your highly recognized academic credentials.

    It humbles me to realize that a “nobody” like me can have a serious conversation with a distinguished university professor. I really appreciate it.

    Thank you for agreeing to our exchange of information, which in this case, due to the enormously disproportionate difference of scientific knowledge and experience to your favor, could be mostly a “one way” flow.

    I look forward, with increasing anticipation, to learning from our polite chatting.

  188. 188
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @181

    @110:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    I’m going to answer “no” because of the word “exactly” which I interpret to be demanding an extremely detailed molecular account of every bit of the interaction between a morphogen and the control of gene expression in the cell that interprets the morphogen.

    Ok, that’s a valid reason. Thank you for answering the second question.

  189. 189
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @94

    @91:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are formed, at least one case?

    Yes.

    Larry Moran @181

    @110:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    I’m going to answer “no” because of the word “exactly” which I interpret to be demanding an extremely detailed molecular account of every bit of the interaction between a morphogen and the control of gene expression in the cell that interprets the morphogen.

    Ok, before we move to the next item, would you like to review your answer (@94) to the first question (@91), in light of the valid reasons you presented when answering (@181) the second question (@110)?

    Thank you.

  190. 190
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: “The genetic variation that occurs in a population because of mutation is random”

    Vy: “Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity — it is mindless and mechanistic. It has no goals; it’s not striving to produce “progress” or a balanced ecosystem.”

    Agreed.

    Vy: I do find it funny though that Zach put in so much effort in another thread to “prove” to me that adaptation (what he twists into “evolution”) and trial and error mutations were random only to come in here and start singing a different tune.

    That is incorrect. While mutations are random with respect to fitness, evolutionary adaptation is not random by any means.

    ETA: Furthermore, adaptation is a subset of evolution.

  191. 191
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    While mutations are random with respect to fitness, evolutionary adaptation is not random by any means.

    That is incorrect. Any output that relies on random inputs will be, by definition, random in some sense of the word.

  192. 192
    Vy says:

    Virgil, in the other thread, the Zachs said:

    In the case of many adaptations, we can show they are random with respect to fitness.

    Inconsistency should be his…their middle name.

  193. 193
    Virgil Cain says:

    Nice catch Vy! Natural selection isn’t random and is the only known cause for adaptation*. And yet adaptation is random wrt fitness.

    Evolutionary thought is so coherent

    *Futuyma tells us so in a bald declaration in his biology textbooks

  194. 194
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Larry Moran,

    While I wait for your reply to post 189, here’s the next Yes/No question:

    Do YOU know exactly HOW cell fate determinants are segregated during asymmetric mitosis, at least one case?

    Please, just answer YES or NO, without any additional explanation, comments or questions.

    Again, thank you for your willingness to graciously share your vast scientific knowledge here.

  195. 195
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran,

    I’m trying to pick a specific subject for a deeper discussion, but first I would like to learn which topics are known better.
    That’s why I’m asking a few questions before choosing the topic for further discussion.

  196. 196
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: in the other thread, the Zachs said: In the case of many adaptations, we can show they are random with respect to fitness.

    If so, it’s a misstatement. Please point to the thread so we can make a correction.

  197. 197
    Larry Moran says:

    Dioisio asks,

    Do YOU know exactly HOW cell fate determinants are segregated during asymmetric mitosis, at least one case?

    No.

  198. 198
    Larry Moran says:

    Dionisio asks,

    Ok, before we move to the next item, would you like to review your answer (@94) to the first question (@91), in light of the valid reasons you presented when answering (@181) the second question (@110)?

    Yes.

  199. 199
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @197

    @194:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW cell fate determinants are segregated during asymmetric mitosis, at least one case?

    No.

    Ok, thank you for responding.

    If you don’t mind, I think we could go over the topics related to the three questions you have answered:
    Morphogen gradient formation and interpretation + asymmetric cell fate determinants segregation.

    Thank you.

  200. 200
    Dionisio says:

    Larry Moran @198

    Ok, that’s fine. Thank you.

  201. 201
    Zachriel says:

    Vy: in the other thread, the Zachs said: In the case of many adaptations, we can show they are random with respect to fitness.

    That statement should read “In the case of many mutations, we can show they are random with respect to fitness.” We appended a correction to the appropriate thread. Thanks for the heads-up.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-584939

  202. 202
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran,
    Thank you for answering the initial questions that allow me to select three interesting discussion topics and determine how to proceed to the next part of our discussion.
    Topic #1:

    Larry Moran @94

    @91:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are formed, at least one case?

    Yes.

    Clarifying previous answer:

    Larry Moran @198

    @189:
    Ok, before we move to the next item, would you like to review your answer (@94) to the first question (@91), in light of the valid reasons you presented when answering (@181) the second question (@110)?

    Yes.

    Topic #2:

    Larry Moran @181

    @110:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW morphogen gradients are interpreted by the cells, at least one case?

    I’m going to answer “no” because of the word “exactly” which I interpret to be demanding an extremely detailed molecular account of every bit of the interaction between a morphogen and the control of gene expression in the cell that interprets the morphogen.

    Topic #3:

    Larry Moran @197

    @194:
    Do YOU know exactly HOW cell fate determinants are segregated during asymmetric mitosis, at least one case?

    No.

    Since I don’t have any right or authority to determine how other people should use their available time, I’m trying to minimize the amount of time required to find any information related to my follow-up questions in the next part of our discussion.

    A ‘yes’ answer to a topic question (not a clarification question), would have meant to me that my follow-up questions on the particular topic wouldn’t necessarily require that I make references to research papers. Basically, I could have asked any follow-up question on that given topic directly, without pointing to any paper.

    However, in my poor understanding of the subject, it seems like -given the current state of affairs in the three selected topics- the ‘no’ answer would be more expected.

    Given your honest answers, I think I’m ready to proceed to the next part of our discussion, which should be more interesting to both of us, considering that the chosen topics seem to be among the most leading-edge research areas these days, as far as I’m aware of.

    The next couple of days I should be traveling, hence I might not have time or online connection to continue our discussion. Perhaps I should be back here by the weekend (Dios mediante).

    At least now we have -if you will- three interesting topics to discuss in the near future. These are three topics where I have a number of questions. But most importantly, the information currently available on these three topics reveal very interesting things that perhaps we could politely discuss too.

    Again, thank you for your time and for your willingness to graciously share your knowledge here with me and any readers of this thread.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    FTR: headlined, after a full day of non response by LM. KF

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Added, screenshots to show Meyer making a scientific design inference, step by step — and a note on DNA from Crick’s March 1953 letter. KF

    PS: added a few more.

  205. 205
    Mung says:

    Box:

    It seems to me that the Darwinian narrative is founded on the misconception that “natural selection” is creative, in the sense that it adds information. The Darwinian idea is that natural selection improves chances for the underlying blind search, but in fact the opposite is the true.

    Natural selection does improve chances of a search, as the pedagogical program WEASEL has adequately shown.

  206. 206
    Mung says:

    Vy @ 142.

    This is truly hilarious:

    And, indeed, this is what I teach—that natural selection, and evolution in general, are material processes, blind, mindless, and purposeless.

    Thus the concepts of goals or purposes have no place in biology (or any other of the natural sciences), except in studies of human behavior. (p. 282)

    So, only humans have goals.

    The more these evolutionary materialists try to eliminate teleology from biology, the more unique and different from all other animal life the human being becomes.

    No wonder these people are so confused.

  207. 207
    Mung says:

    Larry Moran

    Meanwhile, you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer.

    All the intelligent designers died ages ago. We’re trying hard to convince people we have evidence for their past existence, but without actually seeing the bodies they just won’t believe.

  208. 208
    Mung says:

    Dear Prof. Moran,

    Would it be a nice change of pace for us to answer your questions? I think a lot of us would be willing to give it our best shot.

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    LM

    Are you still holding to the assertion from 161 above:

    “you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer”

    If so, why?

    KF

  210. 210
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, an obvious one is, are we refusing to provide any evidence for intelligent design and/or intelligent designers? KF

  211. 211
    Mung says:

    We could go post at Sandwalk, but we’d probably get banned. 🙂

  212. 212
    J-Mac says:

    ‘You guys (and especially professor Moran )steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for unintelligent design or for the existence of an unintelligent designer;’

    Do I have to spell it out for you professor Moran what the above means? I hope we don’t have to get to this stage of “understanding”.

    I will follow up soon…
    Q

  213. 213
  214. 214
    J-Mac says:

    What happened to this thread? I comment on this thread once or twice and then I leave for a day or two without internet connection and Larry Moran abandons it? Why?
    What did I do wrong?

    Q

  215. 215
    Dionisio says:

    #202 follow up

    Professor Moran, thank you for waiting.
    My current traveling has practically concluded, except for the jetlag effects and the time zone adjustment*.
    Let’s continue our discussion, if you will so.
    In a separate thread I’ll post a few references to papers related to the selected topics @202.
    Later we might point to those references.
    Any suggestions?

    (*) I got up in the middle of the night, probably because my bio-clock has not adjusted yet. 🙂

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, we can conclude from the continued studious silence now that the bluff has been called for some days, that LM has no cogent answer on why he asserted that we refuse to give any evidence of ID. In fact, design thinkers have been eager to point out such evidence and have done so many times on the record, but evolutionary materialist establishment objectors are not willing to acknowledge that such evidence exists and evidently sometimes find it rhetorically convenient to project dismissive (and willfully false and misleading) talking points. The implication is, that they see themselves as able to exert message dominance in the teeth of the truth. Which speaks sad volumes about what we are facing — especially in a context of use of the same institutional dominance to build up the sort of polarisation and hostility that have plainly contributed to the climate where an Umpqua is a wake-up call. Finally, the resort to message dominance strongly suggests want of a cogent, on the merits evo mat reply to the design argument on FSCO/I in the world of life. The strong, trillion observation based inductive inference is, FSCO/I is a reliable index of design as causal process. As for designers, the same base strongly shows that designs come about by intelligently directed configuration, thus FSCO/I points to design by acting intelligence. It is therefore evidence for a designer, indeed that folds into the prior issue of the inference to design. KF

  217. 217
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Rhetorical question — what are the odds that if a long string of objectors to the design inference really thought we refused to offer ANY evidence of ID and could show it, that there would be the great silence we have seen since 161? Patent answer, NIL. Serious Q — what does this tell us about what is going on? KF

  218. 218
    kairosfocus says:

    LM, pardon a reminder but we are still waiting for you to explain yourself on your assertion that we REFUSE to present ANY evidence for ID; when in fact on abundant cases that is not so. As a longstanding critic of ID, you know or should know that ID is the school of scientific thought that studies observable and at least arguable signs of intelligently directed configuration in the natural world. So, something is seriously wrong with what you asserted at 161 above and duties of care to accuracy, fairness and truth obtain. In that context, and on fair comment: your apparent hopping off to other threads and topics to play at the objections game without seriously resolving this matter, does not speak well. KF

  219. 219
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran,

    I’ve been trying to gather information for the next part of our interesting discussion.

    The following link points to a separate thread where I have posted (@1114-1116; @1117-1122) a few references to potentially related papers that I could use to formulate follow-up questions later:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-586297

    BTW, in that same thread there are more references to interesting research papers I could use to formulate follow-up questions too.

    Please, note that we could discuss other related topics in addition to the three mentioned @202 in this thread, but for now let’s stick to those three if you will.

    Perhaps we both agree that biology is a most fascinating area of science (specially these days), which provide many interesting topics for discussion.

    I have a number of questions, but would like to reduce them down to just a few. Thus our discussion could remain within acceptable time limits as well as number of posts.

    I’ll try to be back here as soon as the next selection of questions are ready to continue our discussion.

    Thank you for waiting patiently for the continuation of our friendly chatting. I really appreciate it.

  220. 220
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran
    Regarding the first topic, i.e. morphogen gradient formation, I still don’t understand well how the sources are determined spatiotemporally (i.e. location & timing).
    Also, I don’t quite understand how the morphogen molecules end up at the locations where they get transported to. Why those locations and not others?
    Different mechanisms are described, at least partially, in the literature I’ve looked into, but none seem to answer those questions precisely.
    Perhaps your academic colleagues can point at the right literature where the above mentioned issues are exactly explained?
    Thank you.

  221. 221
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran,
    Morphogen gradients are part of morphogenesis, which includes the determination of size and shape. Morphogenesis is part of organogenesis, which is part of development.
    A development-related question is about the precise determination of the location of the different organs within the whole system. That seems to be determined on the go, but exactly how?
    Can you ask your academic colleagues to point at the specific literature where that is explained precisely?
    For example, what determines that there are two kidneys but just one liver? What determines their relative locations within the whole system?
    Thank you.

  222. 222
    Dionisio says:

    Professor Moran,

    Have you contacted your colleagues about the issues @220 & @221?

    Take your time. No pressure.

    Thank you.

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