119 Replies to “Lenny Susskind on the Evolution of Physicists

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    This is for Nakashima,

    Do you think because Dembski posted this that he agrees with or endorses Susskind’s ideas.

  2. 2
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Jerry,

    Well, in 90 minutes of classical and quantum physics, I’m sure Dr. Dembski found something to agree with. However, I think he posted it because Susskind mentions “the Intelligent Designer” several minutes into it.

  3. 3
    Khan says:

    jerry,

    speaking of videos, how about those MIT videos you were watching? Any evidence of biological macro-design you want to share?

  4. 4
    dbthomas says:

    Nakashima @ 2:

    However, I think he posted it because Susskind mentions “the Intelligent Designer” several minutes into it.

    Would that qualify as a design inference?

  5. 5
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Besides his intro, Dr. Susskind does not really talk much about his philosophy. The whole video is centered around bits and their applicable representation of physical states; vectors and matrixes and how to multiply row vectors by column vectors, and so forth. I don’t find anywhere in the video where he makes a design inference. He simply states that if we want to view his info from an ID POV, that’s fine, but he prefers to view it from a Darwinian POV. But really, nothing he teaches here is directly related to either POV necessarily.

    Perhaps he gets into more distinctions on the next video. I hope it exists.

    It’s interesting that the class he was teaching was a graduate level elective. I found the concepts quite easy to grasp. Perhaps that’s because he’s such a good teacher, and funny too.

    I thought his explanation of how we come to understand physics evolved from basic understandings, such as a lion’s instinctive perception of motion, a bit convoluted.

    I noticed Dr. Susskind went to Starbucks prior to class. Do lion’s have a basic Starbucks instinct as well? 🙂

    So if all the similarities between animal instincts in relation to physics and our own, point to evolution, what about all the dissimilarities?

  6. 6
    DATCG says:

    Khan,

    Why not answer my question that you ignored earlier.

    Design is happening. This you ccannot deny.

    Now, do you deny the future of intelligent designers ability to create novel features?

    thanks

  7. 7
    DATCG says:

    dbthomas,

    Each side is an inference. The Darwnian side is falling apart now and has been for sometime. I guess you could say the theory is slowly changing over time into an extinct branch of fictional history.

  8. 8
    Frost122585 says:

    Here he is right here denouncing ID.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDgzRIiQ4b8

    I just think Dembski might find his work with “bits” to be valuable in light of information theory and how it applies to ID.

  9. 9
    dbthomas says:

    DATCG: That was a purely tongue-in-cheek, rhetorical question. I didn’t actually want an answer.

  10. 10
    Mapou says:

    Susskind is so 20th century, and so wrong about almost everything, it hurts just to watch him talk. His ideas on physics and evolution are so cookie cutter and so rehashed, they come out sounding like a scripted play. For one, the brains of humans and animals do not solve problems in trigonometry or geometry or physics internally. That’s absurd.

    The brain is a temporal signal processing machine. Humans, especially, must learn the right motor behavior through countless trials, errors and corrections. It’s all about timing adjustments and reinforcement. The math and physics stuff that Susskind is so enamored with is just an abstraction used by humans to describe observed behavior.

    And I disagree with Susskind that reality does not have to obey human intuition, i.e., common sense logic. If our hypotheses are weird, it is because they are either wrong, or incomplete or both. For example, the quantum computing notion of a property having two states simultaneously is so much BS. Superposition is not an empricial fact. It is just an interpretation (Copenhagen) and a hopelessly flawed one at that. Schrodinger’s silly cat comes to mind. As Paul Feyerabend wrote,

    the most stupid procedures and the most laughable results in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down in size, and to give them a more modest position in society.

  11. 11
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Frost,

    “I just think Dembski might find his work with “bits” to be valuable in light of information theory and how it applies to ID.”

    Yes, but I think what he was teaching in that class was perhaps a “bit” elementary for Dembski. 🙂

  12. 12
    Frost122585 says:

    I do not agree with his definition of a bit though. He says it is defined as “a question about a system that can be one of only two answers (yes or no).”

    This is not correct. The question is the system in which the bit belongs to but the bit itself is an object of mind and not a question of mind. The zeros symbolize “no bit ob bits”- hence only the ones (1) represent actual bits. I think this reveals a fundamentally poor grasp of the subject here that MR. Susskind is claiming to profess.

  13. 13
    Frost122585 says:

    Mapou you wrote,

    “And I disagree with Susskind that reality does not have to obey human intuition,”

    I agree- because the intuition allows us to know if reality does or does not obey human intuition, his knowing of the relationship between reality and intuition demands that reality live up to his proclamation. So it is always a self defeating point to claim reality is contingent on the mind’s understanding of it. By ruling out the mind’s ability to understand reality we undermine our own description of reality- which calls into question the original claim of the limits of intuition.

  14. 14
    Frost122585 says:

    Excuse me the sentence above was reversed

    “So it is always a self defeating point to claim reality is contingent on the mind’s understanding of it.”

    What was meant was

    So it is always a self defeating point to claim that mind is contingent on reality.

  15. 15
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Frost, that’s not how I understood it, but I could be wrong. He used 1s and 0s, but he stated it could be any other numbers as well. His explanation was that it is a question that could only have one of two possible answers. “yes” or “no” could be one of the two possible answers, but there could be other possible answers, but only two choices.

    For example, bits could be used to determine whether a particle exists or does not exist in a defined space. In this case the “0” or the “1” can be used. But he also suggested that a bit could be used to define a choice of temperature, or other properties within a space.

    I think (and I emphasize “think”)you’re confused by the “0” and the “1.” As I understand what Susskind is saying, those numbers are simply used as symbols representing some other values – not necessarily numerical values.

    Am I understanding him wrong? Some of you physicists could help me out a “bit” here. 🙂

  16. 16
    CannuckianYankee says:

    “….are simply used as symbols representing some other values – not necessarily numerical values.”

    Woops, let me clarify this a “bit.” 🙂 [enough! I know]

    “not necessarily the numerical values normally associated with 0 and 1.”

  17. 17
    Frost122585 says:

    At 56 minutes he says because of quantum mechanics you don’t need an infinite number of bits- but this is again wrong. Even Einstein who kicked off the quantum relativist revolution believed in the singularity and said as much to Heisenberg personally. Without faith in the singularity the entire substance from which QM is built upon- and even the very notion of singular truth- disappears rendering the theory useless as far as truth is concerned. The bottom line is that without intelligence you do need an infinite number of possibility in order for QM to function.

    Also at 55 minutes the second law is not about the person “loosing” anyhting – it is about the system loosing it’s order which in turn results in the mind loosing the ability to see the same state as before. Good lord he is writing a fiction book. The mind can still fallow the details – like looking at the pieces of a broken cup on the ground we can see all the pieces and how they once fit together- but the details themselves have just changed from order to disorder.

    I would love to see Berlinski and Susskind debate! I think Berlinski would decimate him with his critical, cynical, truth based style.

  18. 18
    Frost122585 says:

    Cannukian I am speaking about the actual conceptual objects in the mind that the bits refer to not simply numerical symbols.

  19. 19
    Frost122585 says:

    ^ the “yes” always refers to an object of physics in physics of course. Now if you were trying to logically formalize metaphysics and wanted to somehow give truth values to concepts and ideas and sets and things you might be able to argue we are only dealing with a question of sorts- though the yes as a state of being might still qualify as objectively singular and hence an object of mind. But in physics we are dealing with “yes” 1 objects and “no” 0 objects- 0 merely symbolizes negation or absence.

  20. 20
    DATCG says:

    Hmmm… Dr. Susskind says much at the intro of his “Sermon” to his faithful members.

    Lets review the first few minutes of the high Priest Sermon. It is quite loaded and all I have time for this late.

    Lion as a physicist Sermon in the day of our Lord Darwin(PBUH); 3.7billion, 8 million, 40 two thousand and 9.

    Sermon begins…

    “I almost always begin with the same sermon about, especially when teaching about quantum mechanics or relativity. The sermon is always the same. Its the fact that we as animals have inherited through the process of evolution(unguided), certain intuitive ways of thinking about the physical world.”

    “And if you don’t believe it. You think that ordinary animals are not physicist, you watch a lion chasing an antelope and you notice that that lion the minute that the antelope, that the relative velocity between the antelope and the lion changes sign, the lion just stops dead. Somehow he did some calculation, or she, its usually a she, the lion, did some calculation, some physics calculation involving some very complicated concepts of velocity, direction, all kinds of complicated complications like that.”

    Ahem, Mr. Darwinian Priest? Yeah, I have a question. Didn’t we came from chimps? So our inheritance of “intuitive ways of thinking” are more about swinging from tree to tree, aren’t they? I mean, didn’t we climb the tree to get away from the lion? Why did we ever come down from that tree if the lion was still there? What came first, the lion, the tree or chimps? I guess the tree had to come first or the chimp couldn’t climb it, but without the lion, the desire to climb up the tree is not there.

    But, did we lose our “intuitive ways of thinking” eventually that the lion was a threat? Or did we suddenly wake up one day and think alien thoughts? Sorry if I’ve moved ahead of your Sermon, but you do mention “alien” thoughts. Is it possible our chimp ancestors had alien thoughts? Like maybe if we walk upright and carry a big stick with sharp metal on the end we can kill the lion? Hmmmmm…. I never knew physics was so interesting these days. Great Sermon so far.

    Lol, cool, so we inherited mathematical concepts, forces, velocities and other “complicated complications.” I could’ve skipped trig, physics and calculus and become king of the jungle. But I fooled around in the treehouse to long and had to learn long division.

    He continues…

    “A primitive…. Neanderthal… did he know about Sines and Cosines? Yes, somehow he did…these are things which were inherited, biological in origin…”

    This is fun acting like Kahn. Why is it the lion knows this and I had to go to school to learn it?

    Hey, show me where Neanderthal knew about Sines and Cosines without a teacher. Show me where he predicted the necessary velocity of a rock thrown at a 22deg angle against his nasty enemies, those “Darwinian” savages, enabling his semi-automatic rock thrower so that it would crack their skulls better than their outdated single headed, arm-launched spears.

    Thank you oh ancient brother Neander! To bad he wasn’t around to teach us about the concepts of CO2 and global warming. But wait, gee, I forgot, we inherited our understanding of weather systems – doh! Global warming solved. Who needs Harvard when you can inherit complicated complications about El Ninio’ and ocean currents?

    He continues past that old inherited neanderthal physics onto modern theory…

    “Everything in Modern physics has to do with those things which are beyond what we are able to get from the ordinary world.”

    Wait, did we inherit modern physics too? If not, why not? If so, from who? The lion? The bird? Richard Dawkins aliens?

    Hmmmm… what do humans do in order to practice the complicated abstractions of Modern Physics? According to Susskind, they must “rewire” their brain. But why would one do such an unintuitive “thing” unless they were wired to already think unintuitively?

    Interesting… doesn’t it take “will” of the “mind” to change the framework(rewire our brains) from the Lion-Physics of ancient Newtonian-neanderthal to the modern physics of the Einsteinian-Alien-Mind? To leave the intutive-jungle mind behind for the Cosmos of Dawkins aliens?

    Susskind cont.

    “They(modern physicist) had to invent new mathematics. The new math was abstract…, couldn’t visualize it… so physicist learn to rewire themselves”

    Outside of our normal intuitions. We thought outside the plains of the leaping antelope and onto the abstract planes of the 4th Dimension. Evolution is so cool.

    “They’re Foreign, they’re alien, peculiar…”

    Wait… wait… how can an animal brain step outside itself and think about “foreign” concepts that are not “inherited” through evolution?

    Unless, maybe Richard Dawkins is onto something? Maybe we inherited “complicated complications” from our “aliens” fathers and mothers from advanced civilizations off-earth? Might this explain our intuitive thoughts about SETI and Space Aliens from Mars?

    If this is true, Richard Dawkins will become more famous than Al Gore. He’ll deserve the Nobel prize!

    This evolutionary hypothesis would keep the evolution scenario of inheriting cosine, sine and well…. tangents of other worldly, “foreign” concepts alive in the standard Darwinian paradigm. But it would mean that we didn’t need to rewire our brains at all. We simply inherited it from aliens. Like evolutionist say, one day, we’ll know the answer, surely SETI is good science.

    Thanks Richard, thanks SETI. We better start understanding how we inherited our ability to think about black holes and distant life forms in distant galaxies fast!

    Maybe we inherited the ability to communicate with our ancient ancestors of the Cosmos too.

    Dr. Dembski, thank you for such an informative physics sermon by Dr. Susskind.

    This may not have been your intention, but I sure learned much today.

  21. 21
    Frost122585 says:

    DATCG accurately shows the bias of Mr. Susskind.

  22. 22
    Khan says:

    DATCG,

    Now, do you deny the future of intelligent designers ability to create novel features?

    I’ll lay it out for you:

    Micro-evolution is readily observed
    Micro-design is readily observed

    Macroevolution can be observed, but is mostly inferred
    Macrodesign has not been observed, and at this point is way off in the future, if it happens at all.

    In short, there is way more evidence for macroevolution than macrodesign, and to claim that the latter will happen is based solely on faith. I don’t know if macrodesign will happen, but I do know that scientists will keep trying. does that answer your question? what is the basis for your firm acceptance of macrodesign?

  23. 23
    Frost122585 says:

    Kahn you falsely state that macro evolution has been observed. It has never been observed.

    As far as macrodesign we see people design air craft carriers dont we? Are they big and complex enough for you to accept macrodesign?

  24. 24
    Robert Byers says:

    I am a YEC and found this guy boring and demonstrating the simplicity and so the error of certain subjects like this that see darwin in atoms.
    I guess those who can’t TEACH.
    There must be better people in america who can contribute to these matters from insight and intelligence and not as i presume from scoring high on tests as a kid.
    I was surprised at how poor this teacher reasoned about the origins of human thought.
    This physics stuff is in fact a very minor subject compared to the great subject of biological complexity. its why its easy to make big bombs but not cure blindness.
    physics has wrongly been seen as more complicated then biology stuff at any level.

  25. 25
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Robert,

    “I am a YEC and found this guy boring and demonstrating the simplicity and so the error of certain subjects like this that see darwin in atoms.
    I guess those who can’t TEACH.”

    Yeah, I guess he was kind of boring at the start, which is why I missed pretty much all the juicy stuff everyone’s talking about here. Should have taken a clue from Dr. Dembski. But that’s just me – I can watch a boring movie all the way through before I say “Huh?”

    Anyway, I got into the lecture about bits, vectors and matrixes. That part wasn’t boring for me.

    Did you read DATCG’s post above at 20? Prettey perceptive.

  26. 26
    Khan says:

    frost,
    here are two examples of macroevolution being observed:

    A symbiosis between a euk and prok creates complex new capabilities

    Jeon, K. W. 2004. Genetic and physiological interactions in the amoeba-bacteria symbiosis. J Eukaryot Microbiol 51:502-8.

    two mutations cause a switch from herbaceous to woody growth (think:dandelion-oak)

    Melzer S, Lens F, Gennen J, Vanneste S, Rohde A, Beeckman T. 2008. Flowering-time genes modulate meristem determinacy and growth form in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature Genetics, published online: 9 November 2008 | doi:10.1038/ng.253

    aircraft carriers are not living beings, hence are irrelevant to the topic.

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    There is part of a series of lectures on this topic by Susskind. If you follow the links there is a large set of lectures on various topics from science to economics to culture to various other things (currently 636 videos). There are about a dozen long lectures on Darwin, some up to 2 hours long.

    http://www.youtube.com/profile.....iew=videos

  28. 28
    Joseph says:

    Khan,

    You are using a definition of macroevolution that is vague and useless.

    The amoebas are still amoebas.

    IOW that scenario is OK even with YECs.

    Also as far are anyone knows symbiosis is a design mechanism.

    And your example of Arabidopsis thaliana pretty much proves you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Hint there isn’t any dandelion-oak implication.

    Arabidopsis thaliana has a very small genome- think the fruit fly of the plant kingdom.

    Therefor I would expect if one tinkers with the genome changes will occur.

    And if you want to use living organisms to support your position then it is up to you to demonstrate that living organiosms can arise from non-living matter without agency involvement.

    So have at it.

  29. 29
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Joseph,

    A definition of macro-evolution that excludes random plants and animals is pretty vague and useless.

    I thought we had a discussion that macro-evolution included speciation (even in plants!) and we had this kind of evidence of genetic changes, small changes, leading to large phenotype changes.

  30. 30
    Frost122585 says:

    Khan that is not macro evolution. Your first example isn’t even close to a macro evolution. When I think of macro evolution I am talking about the many mutations required to get from primitive land dwelling creatures to say man.

    Show me a fish turning into a reptile?

    This is what is meant but macro evolution and your example of plants is irrelevant. As far as my aircraft carrier example- it shows macro design from the top down and the bottom up- which is compatible with evolution- the evolution of its design- as well as ID- and it requires no universal common ancestry. Just because it is not a biological example dose dismiss it’s point. Humans may not be able to design biologically but we can see that intelligences can design in macro and perhaps biologically one day.

  31. 31
    Khan says:

    joseph,

    The amoebas are still amoebas.

    yes, amoebas with new capabilities. a strain of e. coli without a flagellum is still an e. coli. does that mean that, if we were to show precisely how it evolved, the flagellum wouldn’t be an example of macroevolution either?

  32. 32
    Khan says:

    frost,
    i’m going by jerry’s definition of macroevolution as the evolution of novel complex traits. both of the examples I provided fit that definition. and if you don’t think symbioisis is important in your “microbes to man” scenario, consider how well we’d be doing without mitochondria.

    Humans may not be able to design biologically but we can see that intelligences can design in macro and perhaps biologically one day.

    so you’re extrapolating from design of non-living things to design of living things, all based on absolute faith in science. and how is this logic better than extrapolating from micro- to macroevolution (which at least both involve living things)?

  33. 33
    wagenweg says:

    The analogy with the lion is very misrepresented. Yes the laws of physics are in play but does the lion percieve what is happening? No. from the physiological perspective the purpose for instinctual movements are that they don’t have to be thought about, they are not cognitive. In fact a true reflex arc never even make it to the brain until afterwards. Reflex inhibition isn’t comething we ever have to be taught. When steo on a nail the opposite leg extends while the foot stepping on the nail flexes to get off the nail as soon as possible due to pain. Do flagellum have a reflex arc? do they respond to outuside stiumuli without having to be taught? How does a baby know how to physiologically cry after being born when he/she has never seen anyone else cry before?

    Perhaps Dr. Dembske just wanted to see how many people would watch an hour and a half lecture with only small referrence to ID. (Sorry couldn’t resist)

  34. 34
    Nakashima says:

    IOW that scenario is OK even with YECs.

    Don’t throw YECs under the bus. If they can see that the scenario is macro-evolution, more power to them.

  35. 35
    Lenoxus says:

    Joseph:
    “You are using a definition of macroevolution that is vague and useless.

    The amoebas are still amoebas.”

    This almost contradicts itself. Saying “the amoebas are still amoebas” is vague, because they don’t come with name tags telling us precisely which species they belong to, and exactly how much change they undergo before they are no longer amoebas.

    If one were to say that macroevolution is only evolution at, say, the genus level or higher, one is being vague, because “genus” is a human-defined concept. The development of novel characteristics (like the ability to eat nylon) is quite observable, and a good standard for a definition of macroevolution. But stretch the words “it’s still an amoeba” far enough and there’s no reason not to say “it’s still a eukaryote” for any evolution presented to you.

    There are two reasons I can think of for why we will almost certainly never see fish-to-reptile evolution in the flesh; they are are both results of the strong evidence for evolution, and comparative absence for two major ID theories I’m aware of.

    One is that the process of change that extreme is way too gradual. If we got a reptile from a fish in, say, five thousand generations, or a similarly observable amount of time, that would be strong evidence that something more than gradual evolution was responsible for the change.

    Another reason is that fish -> reptile is just one of many possible paths. Evolution does not say that fish are bound to become reptiles; that would be front-loading. If we replicated that particular evolutionary pathway in a lab without specific breeding, that would indicate something like front-loading at work in the fish genome.

    Conversely, there are no reasons I can think of why we shouldn’t see rapid fish-to-reptile change, or the sudden before-our-eyes appearance of an organism, if design is the case. Evolution is ongoing, and at the same rate of change it has always undergone; why not design?

  36. 36
    jerry says:

    “they are are both results of the strong evidence for evolution, and comparative absence for two major ID theories I’m aware of.”

    You do not have any evidence and all you are doing is asserting it happened. If it happened then it would have left forensic evidence that it happened. None exists.

    Don’t you understand that is the issue. The so called evidence does not exist. It is so obvious it does not exist or else we would have thousands of anti ID zealots here presenting it. But we have none. Doesn’t that give you a little hint.

  37. 37
    Joseph says:

    Khan,

    Amoebas that ACQUIRED the new characteristic.

    a strain of e. coli without a flagellum is still an e. coli.

    Yup flagella can be lost.

    does that mean that, if we were to show precisely how it evolved, the flagellum wouldn’t be an example of macroevolution either?

    Its “evolution” has nothing to do with it.

    It is the mechanism- designed to evolve (evolved by design) vs evolution via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Now I have told you that several times and you still refuse to understand it.

  38. 38
    Joseph says:

    Nakashima-san,

    The YECs don’t see it as macroevolution. And “species” is a vague concept. So any definition using it as a reference is in trouble.

  39. 39
    Joseph says:

    Lenoxus,

    It has become clear that you don’t understand the debate.

    It has also become clear that you cannot provide a testable hypothesis for your non-telic position.

    Natural selection- there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time

    Random variation- no way to predict what mutation(s) will arise at any given time.

    IOW void of predictive power.

  40. 40
    Khan says:

    jerry,
    i just provided two examples of macroevolution. yet you still continue to claim there is no evidence. why?

    and how about that evidence for macrodesign you’ve been looking for? find any yet?

  41. 41
    Khan says:

    joseph,

    It is the mechanism- designed to evolve (evolved by design) vs evolution via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    how do you distinguish between the two? it seems like no matte how detailed a pathway we provide, you could always say “it was designed to happen that way”

  42. 42
    jerry says:

    “novel complex traits”

    khan, I have not read the symbiosis example but the

    “two mutations cause a switch from herbaceous to woody growth (think:dandelion-oak)”

    would not be classified as complex. If one could show that all systems arose from such simple changes then one would have a real story but it seems unlikely that something like an eye arose from a few simple mutations.

    I have said many times that the evidence for what is required will unfold over the years as we understand just what in a genome controls complex systems development. Now one can say that the pax genes may affect eye development but I do not think anyone believes that a single gene or a couple of genes have the capability to form the complete network necessary for eye development. It is more like they unleash something and the question is where is that something these genes are unleashing. My guess is that it is very complicated but just where are all these cascades necessary for complex organs coming from?

  43. 43
    Khan says:

    joseph,

    Natural selection- there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time

    I predict that in a very hot environment greater expression of heat shock proteins will be selected for. In an environment with large seeds as the only source of food larger bills will be selected for. ic ould go on and on and on. do these not count either?

  44. 44
    Khan says:

    jerry,

    “two mutations cause a switch from herbaceous to woody growth (think:dandelion-oak)”

    would not be classified as complex.

    why not? woody plants have complex vascular systems that herbaceous plants lack. they also have a novel structure, wood, a complex mixture of cellulose and lignin.

    i’m sure you’ll say it’s still not good enough (a la Behe at Dover), but it’s inarguably more than the cricket chirps you’ve provided in defense of your position that macrodesign has been observed.

  45. 45
    Joseph says:

    It is the mechanism- designed to evolve (evolved by design) vs evolution via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Khan:

    how do you distinguish between the two? it seems like no matte how detailed a pathway we provide, you could always say “it was designed to happen that way.

    The paper Waiting for two mutations exposes the limits of non-telic processes.

    That said if we observe a gene duplication followed by change and integration, that would be in line with Dr Spetner’s “non-random evolutionary hypothsis”.

    IOW the more specifcation required the less likely your position is.

  46. 46
    Joseph says:

    Khan,

    It was Dan Dennett who made the claim there is no way to tell what will be selected for at any point in time.

    Also your generalizations just prove the point.

    For example:

    I predict that in a very hot environment greater expression of heat shock proteins will be selected for.

    BWAAAAHAAAAA

    Your position doesn’t predict HSPs!!!!

    In an environment with large seeds as the only source of food larger bills will be selected for.

    And your position doesn’t predict seeds nor bills!!!!

  47. 47
    Khan says:

    Joseph,
    all caps and multiple exclamation points. the sure signs of mature argumentation. are you saying that evolution doesn’t predict what novel structures will emerge?

  48. 48
    Lenoxus says:

    jerry:

    If it happened then it would have left forensic evidence that it happened. None exists.

    A double “huh?” The first huh is, how are fossils and DNA (both pointing to the same tree!) not forensic? The second is, what is the “forensic evidence” for design? In an earlier thread, you seemed to ridicule the very idea that the designer would leave forensic evidence.

    “two mutations cause a switch from herbaceous to woody growth (think:dandelion-oak)”

    would not be classified as complex. If one could show that all systems arose from such simple changes then one would have a real story but it seems unlikely that something like an eye arose from a few simple mutations.

    Notice how we’ve just gone from “some” to “all” in that. The original claim, at least as it is generally made, is the evolution cannot produce sufficiently complex systems. When it is shown that it can, and in just a few mutations at that, the claim becomes that it can’t produce all complex systems.

    Here’s a suggestion for what you might want to attribute to the designer: the very fact that it only takes two mutations for such a change. You could say “it’s chemically and physically impossible for those proteins to code that way without supernatural intervention”. Instead of filling the dwindling number of gaps, why not fill a gap that isn’t there? There’s a lot more of those… I think? Now I’m just confusing myself…

    Khan:

    I predict that in a very hot environment greater expression of heat shock proteins will be selected for. In an environment with large seeds as the only source of food larger bills will be selected for. ic ould go on and on and on.

    I’ve got some to add: In an environment without any light, vision will be gradually lost (oh right, that doesn’t count, silly me).

    In any relationship between predators and prey that rely on speed, there will be an “arms race” of increasingly efficient movement and other abilities.

    Prey species with strong defensive mechanisms such as poison, stinging, or spraying a smell, will tend to develop a visual “advertisement” for it, and other prey species will tend to, through mimicry (such as Batesian mimicry), develop similar warnings.

    I’m trying to remember: in what way does ID predict what will be designed “at any point in time”?

  49. 49
    Frost122585 says:

    Khan,

    Your examples aren’t even close to what is commonly meant by macro evolution. No one here disputes some evolution but to get to vastly different and more complex living novel body structures in highly complex and different creatures- as opposed to plants. You examples show microevolution and I think in your first example the result was obtained by design breeding. The bottom line is that macroevoution has never been observed and for the obvious reason that Darwinists claim it cant be- it takes supposedly millions of years for it to happen.

    “so you’re extrapolating from design of non-living things to design of living things, all based on absolute faith in science. and how is this logic better than extrapolating from micro- to macroevolution (which at least both involve living things)?”

    I dont think you understood what i was saying. I am tlaking about design here- biological or not. This does not require it to be human design but merely intelligent design. The designer may, and mostlikely does, have greater prowess then human beings. I merely showed you a directly observable example of macroevolution that no one would argue could happen by non-teleological process by chance and which displays great specified complexity. Design is not limited to or away from the bioligical world. However if you want to postulate macroevolution you need to show that it has actually happened via evidence and the small examples you used cannot be extrapolated to the giant gaps from species to species. My example of an aircraft carrier fallows logically from my macro design argument but your claim to macroevolution does not fallow from the micro changes you cited as evidence.

  50. 50
    jerry says:

    I will make this point about the nature of ID in three rather long comments and if anyone wants to comment, feel free. If no one wants to read them, then I understand. I did something very similar a couple months ago. It seems a lot of the anti ID people have a stereotyped perception of ID. And this is my understanding of ID and it is not one that all who support ID will accept or hold.

    There are two choices for any phenomenon, both of them rather broad. One is that certain things happened naturally, the mechanism to be discovered. The second is that these things were produced through intelligent input. And by the way a lot of what may be considered natural, could be the result of a designed process allowed to proceed naturally. For some simple examples, pearl farmers seed their shell fish with an irritant and the let nature do the rest and beavers dam the course of a river and the ensuing wetlands provide an enhanced habitat for the beavers and other animals and plants. Each involved an intelligent input that then influenced how natural processes changed or evolved a specific entity or an ecology.

    In general it is mainly one or the other (design or naturalistic but keeping in mind what appears to be natural could also be great design.) There are no other choices unless anyone wants to proffer some. As I said these are rather broad categories and it is almost impossible to eliminate the intelligent input option. It is not a theory such as gravity, the Standard Model, the Laws of Thermodynamics, Kinetic theory of Gases, Information theory or Plate Tectonics etc yet people keep on asking for some hypotheses and predictions like it was. (some have responded with attempts to develop a theory of design and I will get to this later) It should be noted that many ID people hold that these physiological and chemical processes found in nature represent great design due to the fine tuning of the basic forces that rule the universe.

    ID is simply the proposition that intelligence is an input at some time in the history of being, the universe, the world, life etc. If it could be shown that this happened only once, then the ID hypothesis is valid. It does not have to happen time and time again or even at one specific place. Some hypothesize that it was in the design of the universe itself and the initial conditions and subsequent boundary conditions of the Big Bang were such fantastic design that it enables natural processes to produce everything we see including this very rare planet, the origin of life and the evolutionary progression through subsequent natural consequences. In other words ID happened one time only.

    Some hypothesize that the input was ongoing and there were various events that reflect an intelligent input. This input could have been minimal and then natural processes were allowed to do the rest. To disprove an intelligent input, one has to show natural processes at every turn. It is a difficult job. All ID has to do is show that naturalistic processes fail at some point and that an intelligent input is more reasonable. They only need one point.

    That is the nature of the discussion. It seems unfair to some who whine that ID is unfalsifiable. But that is it. Because ID is more of a logic process and not a specific scientific theory it does not have the usual domain of interest such as planet formation, plate tectonics, cosmology or even evolution but within each of these areas there may be evidence of an intelligent input. After all an intelligence could create life or modify a genome to guide life maybe only once and that is not the making of some theory. To create life or modify it is not too hard to understand as it appears to be within human capability in the near future.

    Thus, the possibility of an intelligence creating and modifying life is not an issue. It is whether it ever happened or not that is at issue. If we had a video camera at the time of an intelligent input, we could settle it once and for all but such an event does not exist and we have had people here and at other places demanding such evidence. Short of this something else has to be done to try and understand what happened.

  51. 51
    jerry says:

    Part 2 – We have observed a lot of phenomena through out history that could possibly be explained by an intelligent input and the challenge for science is to verify if there may be a natural cause for each. For most of history it was thought that God was personally responsible for most, much, or a lot of these phenomena. From Zeus throwing lightning bolts in anger and the various gods determining the fates of various personalities such as Odysseus to Newton’s hypothesis that God sent comets to stabilize the orbits of the planets. Newton’s laws and then LaPlace’s theory of the heavens seemed to show that all was under control of natural laws. So it was assumed from then on by many that everything must be under control of natural laws. We have no need for Zeus and lightning bolts and for comets stabilizing orbits. And a natural extension is why should we need an intervention for the origin of life or for evolution.

    So we get the conventional wisdom that everything is due to natural laws and chance and it is only a matter of time before science gets around to explaining it. And science has a good track record. But what is glaringly obvious is that science has some spectacular failures in one particular area. So while science continues to chalk up win after win there seems to be one opponent which gets the better of it every time. Consequently, one may have to reevaluate the conventional wisdom and maybe consider an alternative to natural processes. ID only exists because science loses most of the time to the heavy weights (tough questions) in this one area, namely life. It does wonderfully well in some important areas of life, specifically medicine, food production and genetics but it is badly outperformed by the problems in the areas of macro evolution (ID’s understanding of macro evolution) and origin of life. Why this failure here? Is there an alternative to naturalistic processes in these two domains. Could intelligence be an explanation?

    Hence, every time science fails in these areas it adds credence to the alternative, namely, that there may not be a naturalistic explanation. At this moment in the realm of logic and reason both alternatives exist. Which is more feasible? Every time we see the failure of one alternative it raises the possibility of the other. After all it is possible. We just cannot identify the intelligence. So each failure for a natural pathway raises the probability of the alternative, namely an intelligent input.

    And the rationale for an intelligent input has been bolstered by the knowledge that what underlies life is different from every other area of nature, specifically information. Specified information is not present in any other area of nature besides life.

  52. 52
    jerry says:

    Part 3 – Now this game of supporting the ID premise is played two ways and both use the tools of science, logic and reason. One shows that time after time that certain naturalistic processes have failed. The second way is to show why naturalistic processes have failed. Both use science and point to the inadequacy of natural processes. There is a third way which one group says must be present before an intelligent input can be accepted and that is evidence for the specific event where there was an input of intelligence.

    The first way above is to challenge each natural explanation for the phenomenon as flawed and show why the explanation could not have possibly happened. This is the frequent challenges to Darwinian macro evolution we have seen not only by the ID people but also by the anti ID people as well as the creationists. It is represented here on this site and in the academic and popular literature by the lack of any coherent demonstration that Darwinian macro evolution ever took place. Now macro evolution did take place and no one is denying that here but there is no evidence for it happening by Darwinian processes or any other known natural processes. All the processes of science are brought to bear for this examination so to declare it non scientific is ludicrous.

    The second way is to use observations of the world and then to complement these observations with some form of analysis, mainly probability, and some understanding of natural processes to illustrate why the failure of naturalistic processes is not only reasonable but to be expected. To this end a couple of different approaches are in their infancy but have showed some reasonable results. One is being developed by Behe and is showing that there does not exist the probabilistic resources to create the changes needed for macro evolution. Behe’s two books, Darwin’s Black Box and Edge of Evolution, are aimed at this objective. Namely, that life is extremely complicated and naturalistic processes seem unable to climb the hurdles necessary to produce all of let alone most of macro evolution. Macro evolution is not just the changing of one protein which results in a very distinctive morphological change. It is the accumulation of many interlocking systems or entities that produce a very useful new capability.

    Another is being done by Dembski and others trying to show something similar using mathematical and probabilistic approaches to show that reaching the complexity necessary for life is beyond the probabilistic resources of the universe. Could a random search find the resources necessary for these interlocking systems. So in lots of way the two approaches are similar but using different methodologies to attack the same problem.

    To argue that this is not science is ludicrous. One may argue that the techniques by these scientists are flawed or that the interpretation of the results are invalid but to say that they are not using science is absurd.

    Now the naturalists respond with their challenges. The best challenge would always be to show that the phenomena probably arose by naturalistic means but this is rarely done because there seems to be little evidence supporting any particular mechanism. The main challenge is to use something similar to what I described above as the first approach, namely that the intelligent input scenario is flawed just as ID people point out that each naturalistic input is flawed. The creator could not be omniscient, or no one would design such an imperfect system or make these childish mistakes etc. They also point to science’s track record in other areas and that the work on the problem is just getting started etc.

    So we have two broad approaches and any evidence in one camp reduces the likelihood of the other. It is one that won’t be solved any time soon but to assume your side is right a priori is ridiculous. ID is the more reasonable side as far as I can see. They are willing to accept naturalistic explanations when it is demonstrated but are not willing to accept an arbitrary demand of absolute dismissiveness for intelligent inputs that is imposed by the naturalists. One side is flexible and reasonable while the other side is intransigent and unmoving.

    People will say there are no empirical tests for ID. There certainly are. Those who make this claim are just used to theories operating under natural forces and then trying to predict just what those natural forces will lead to. And if they lead to the right things then one can say that the natural processes hypothesized received support. Since there are no natural forces with an intelligent input, one has to look for something else but it is still empirical. People criticizing ID are operating under the wrong paradigm. One of the things about intelligence is that it is not predictable. If it was, then it would not be a free will operating but blind natural process. Those criticizing ID as not being science are expecting the free will of an agent to operate exactly the same as natural laws.

    One of the things you look for is the failure of predictions for the naturalistic processes when they should be there. Each such failure is another nail in that naturalistic theory’s coffin and as such increases support for an alternative and one of these alternatives is the intelligent cause. It never proves it because a naturalistic process could always be found and I doubt there are any video tapes of the designer in action thought this is what some want. And if the causes for the failure is the naturalistic limitations that ID research has unearthed then that is evidence to support intelligence.

    People still don’t understand that it is an either/or situation. And when either the either or the or is disconfirmed it is evidence for the other (make sure that you parse the either’s and or’s correctly.)

    There is nothing inadequate about discerning the truth. That is why ID is much more enlightening than the naturalistic position.

    If there were known intelligences wandering around the universe 3.8 billion years ago, no one would think twice about the ID position. If the situation was fast forwarded to today, you would consider intelligence as a potential cause. But the anti ID proponents are prisoners of a limited methodology and because of that they are limited in what they can conceive as possible. ID is not limited as they are. Anything that they could consider, ID can consider. It just can consider more alternatives and can follow the empirical evidence to reach those conclusions.

  53. 53
    Khan says:

    frost,
    we’ll add you to the list of people who, for some completely arbitrary reason, don’t think plants count. any other living organisms you want to exclude?

    and again, which is the greater logical leap?

    design of non-living things -> design of living things

    small scale evolution of living things -> large scale evolution of living things.

  54. 54
    Khan says:

    jerry (or kairosfocus jr.),

    i think your post can be summarized as:
    ID is the null hypothesis for evolutionary tests. Whenever a naturalistic hypothesis fails, it is evidence for ID.

    the problem is that this is logically flawed. whenever a test X fails it supports the true null hypothesis (Not X), not any random hypothesis you want to slip in. and X is never “evolution.”it could be “female choice for a male ornament.” if the test fails, then we make a new hypothesis. if you want the hypothesis to be ID, you have to find some way to test that hypothesis against a true null hypothesis.again, the hypothesis won’t be “ID.” it will be something more specific, some mechanism of ID, comparable to my female choice example. but i don’t know of any mechanisms for ID (maybe you do?), and until there are some, you can’t do any hypothesis testing and thus can’t do real science.

  55. 55
    Lenoxus says:

    jerry: That was a very well-put and thoughtful essay, and it really helped me understand your perspective on these issues. Having read it, I think I might just have to agree to disagree at this point, because you’re talking about “root” things like how science itself should work. I can’t exactly make an empirical argument for empiricism. So I’ll just leave the conversation for now and

    Who am I kidding, there’s always more to discuss! The main bit I had an issue with is this:

    One of the things you look for is the failure of predictions for the naturalistic processes when they should be there. Each such failure is another nail in that naturalistic theory’s coffin and as such increases support for an alternative and one of these alternatives is the intelligent cause.

    What’s an example of a failed prediction from naturalism? (I’m sure there are some, as even theories like Newton’s laws have made them. I just can’t think of any at the moment.)

    Joseph: “The paper Waiting for two mutations exposes the limits of non-telic processes.”

    An excerpt from the summary: In this article we apply these results to obtain insights into regulatory sequence evolution in Drosophila and humans. In particular, we examine the waiting time for a pair of mutations, the first of which inactivates an existing transcription factor binding site and the second of which creates a new one. Consistent with recent experimental observations for Drosophila, we find that a few million years is sufficient, but for humans with a much smaller effective population size, this type of change would take > 100 million years. In addition, we use these results to expose flaws in some of Michael Behe’s arguments concerning mathematical limits to Darwinian evolution.

    Should this conclusion be credited to bias, or what? And by “limits”, do you mean that a few million years is just plain too long? (I can’t remember if you’re a YEC.)

  56. 56
    Frost122585 says:

    Kahn, I already told you my argument is not about a step- design whether biology or no is still design. As far as the plants I exclude them from Macro evolution because they are not nearly as complex as animals.

  57. 57
    Frost122585 says:

    I should add that the issue here is not whether some intellect could design macro creatures but whether those creatures require design. IN other words while I think the evidence for design is obvious and clear the evidence for macro evolution is not nearly great enough. This is why the logical step to macro design is smaller than via evolution- because of evidence based inference.

  58. 58
    Khan says:

    Frosty,

    I already told you my argument is not about a step- design whether biology or no is still design

    call me old fashioned but when i’m talking about biology i like to use biological examples. or do you really think there’s nothing fundamentally different between animals and machines? do you think it’s just a small step from designing a car to designing a cell?
    how many years have we been battling cancer? and that’s just trying to kill a cell, not make it.

    As far as the plants I exclude them from Macro evolution because they are not nearly as complex as animals.

    well first i’d be interested to know on what basis you make this claim. even if they are less complex, they are more complex than the first life forms and have undergone a lot of change. or do you see no fundamental difference between a cyanobacterium and a redwood? plants are as relevant to the debate as anything else.

    . I should add that the issue here is not whether some intellect could design macro creatures but whether those creatures require design.

    well you can’t have design without a designer, can you? so how is it not an issue?

  59. 59
    jerry says:

    “What’s an example of a failed prediction from naturalism? (I’m sure there are some, as even theories like Newton’s laws have made them. I just can’t think of any at the moment.)”

    If you read the words carefully, you will see

    “Each such failure is another nail in that naturalistic theory’s coffin and as such increases support for an alternative and one of these alternatives is the intelligent cause.”

    I did not say all naturalistic theories. And the alternative could be another naturalistic theory. This is the normal process when one is dealing with science. Thus, when gradualism fails, it does not mean that naturalistic processes fail only that this particular one has failed and many have made this conclusion in the naturalistic camp. So I am not saying that the failure of gradualism is automatically an indication that ID is affirmed. It is a long way from that. But there are other issues which point to intelligence.

    However, it should be noted that the reason why so many fight so hard for gradualism is that there is no obvious replacement. And secondly, it was a core principle of the patron saint of evolution, Charles Darwin. If there is a replacement for gradualism, the whole naturalistic crowd will jump on the wagon immediately and gradualism will be history. But because there is no replacement in the wings, the typical outcry from a pro gradualist is what do you have to replace it.

    Right now there is intense scrutiny of just how genomes can change and there is a forensic record for this, namely the genomes of the various species. The data bank for species is increasing each day but the man hours, financing and computers and software to analyze them is not expanding as quickly. If there is an alternative to gradualism it should show up in the genomes. But if the genomes show no evidence of the formation of complex novel capabilities then that will be evidence for ID. Because that is what ID predicts.

  60. 60
    Khan says:

    jerry,

    But if the genomes show no evidence of the formation of complex novel capabilities then that will be evidence for ID. Because that is what ID predicts.

    I don’t understand what you are saying her at all. could you please rephrase it?

  61. 61
    Khan says:

    jerry,

    Each such failure is another nail in that naturalistic theory’s coffin and as such increases support for an alternative and one of these alternatives is the intelligent cause

    hypotheses (alternatives in your word) do not function like dice. if you have six alternatives and you eliminate one, it doesn’t make the others any more likely to be true. each one has to be individually tested. this is really a fundamental flaw in your logic that you just do not seem to get.

  62. 62
    Lenoxus says:

    earlier I said “What’s an example of a failed prediction from naturalism? (I’m sure there are some, as even theories like Newton’s laws have made them. I just can’t think of any at the moment.)”. I just realized that I should have written “evolution” instead of “naturalism”, although either will do. (Personally, I’d say naturalism doesn’t predict anything by itself whatsoever — not positively, anyway.)

  63. 63
    GilDodgen says:

    Check out this at PBS:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html

    Lenny is featured. It’s actually very interesting. Brian Greene is a superb narrator, and this series should be of interest to UD readers. It’s a very good presentation of the evolution of physics from Newton to string theory.

  64. 64
    DATCG says:

    Kahn,

    Your examples for macro-evolution are micro-evolution.

    As to macro design, it happens daily as has been pointed out. As to future bio-macro designs, most certainly according to “evolutionist” and your beliefs, given enough time, anything is possible. Given that anything is possible by evolutionist, then Intelligent Designers will develop macro evoulution.

    Are you one of those guys who doubt we ever made it to the moon?

    You alone do not get to set the parameters of time. But I suspect Intelligent Designers will quickly master bio-macrodesigns within the next 100-1000 years. Genomic Sequencing and current research, plus advances in analytical tools make this a faily easy prediction.

    Try reading up on Kurzweil, et al, for future science accomplishments. I find it amazing how you doubt the ability of the human mind to design future lifeforms when they’ve already created TransGenic corn, oats, etc., being used around the world. Your position is absurd.

    I’ll even quote Professor Susskind for you to tie this in slightly back to topic:

    “Unitarity – Quantum equivalent, which tells you, that you can always reconstruct the past from the future.”

    Using Dr. Susskinds words, looking towards the future Kahn, what do you see with regards to science?

    Scientist using stones to make pharmaceutical drugs?

    Or, Scientist using Micro-tools, lasers, high-speed Big Blue-like Computers and Genetic programs to create new life forms?

    Scientist have already discovered switches for repairs in biology, or switches that turn limbs on and off. Discovery of such switches is half the battle of research.

    To seriously think they will not use this information in future life engineering projects is to believe car engineers will not one day make a car that runs on electric propulsion. Oh wait, they’ve done that already.

    Your argument doubts modern day scientist and science so much it seems in favor of some backwards working 3rd world socialist nation like Venezuela, or maybe you think American scientist will all be Lysenkoist the next hundred years?

    We have not retreated to a Stalinista state…. yet. 😉

    It sounds like you need more faith in your secular, atheist, evolutionist Designers.

  65. 65
    Lenoxus says:

    Khan:

    hypotheses (alternatives in your word) do not function like dice. if you have six alternatives and you eliminate one, it doesn’t make the others any more likely to be true. each one has to be individually tested. this is really a fundamental flaw in your logic that you just do not seem to get.

    In jerry’s defense, I would say that he is not just talking about eliminating Darwinism but naturalism as a whole. He is correct, I think, that eliminating unguided naturalism would only leave either supernaturalism, guidedness, or both. The problem is that “unguided naturalism” is not a hypothesis, but a philosophy pointing to a multitude of hypotheses, some of which have yet to be developed. Until hard evidence of either design or the supernatural is presented, there is no conceivable way to eliminate unguided naturalism in the first place — and no scientific reason to.

    Of course, so many here treat naturalism and Darwinism as essentially identical, so that evidence against the second becomes evidence against the first. The possibility of non-evolutionary naturalistic theories is repeatedly thrown out the window in the race towards supernaturalism, and I’ve never head either Dembski or Behe explain exactly why. They usually aren’t confronted with it, because opponents are too busy explaining why evolution holds up against their claims.

    Even if it were absolutely confirmed that evolution alone could not explain certain biological structures, biology would not conclude they were designed without first examining other naturalistic possibilities, even those with scant empirical evidence — because scant is still better than none. And in the absence of any evidence for anything whatsoever, or means of testing incoming predictions, science wouldn’t be at liberty to do much more than bystand, waiting for someone to feed it with something substantial.

  66. 66
    jerry says:

    Frost122585,

    Let me give you a short background. I believe khan first started commenting here last November or December. He will know more exactly. He objected to my claim that there is no proof for macro evolution. He offered some examples of symbiosis as proof of macro evolution. Thus, if true according to khan, my claim that there was no evidence for macro evolution was bogus.

    If I remember right, I then did three things. First, I asked him to explain in detail how his examples were evidence of macro evolution. Second, I explained to him that the definition of macro evolution we use here is different from what he was using and he said his definition was the standard definition in the evolutionary biology world. So we have been arguing over how to use the term “macro evolution. “Third, I did not rule out all instances of macro evolution (our definition) by naturalistic means and that maybe his cases might be good examples but we have to look into it. In the course of things, I believe I agreed that I did not know enough about endosymbiosis (one of his specific cases) to make a determination how it happened and whether it was macro evolution or not. There have been back and forths since that time mainly over what is macro evolution and what counts as macro evolution.

    Aside from this, often in one of my typical arguments supporting design, I make the point that humans will have the capability to create life or at least to change life in more than trivial ways in the near future. Thus, since a current intelligence can modify life extensively, it is possible for a past intelligence to have created life and to manipulate evolution at appropriate places since our limited human intelligences should be able to do it soon. So in the last week or two khan has been questioning whether humans can create macro evolution according to our definition and if we have any examples of it. And if we cannot, then my claims that intelligence can create life or macro evolutionary changes has no basis in reality and I cannot use it to support a past intelligence doing it. I assume it is in jest that he is making this argument because I doubt there will be few at Panda’s Thumb that would take that tack. So if I cannot show that human intelligence can create macro evolutionary changes, I then have no right to say that nature cannot do it.

    khan may want to add or subtract or modify this account.

  67. 67
    DATCG says:

    CY,

    That post was largely satirical about many Darwinian thoughts and comments lately on this blog and how Darwinism accounts for everything, even physics now.

    What was interesting is at least Susskind at the beginning did allow for other beliefs like ID, though he is committed to Darwin. The lecture was in 2006, so not sure where he stands now. If he is still so open. There’s a video where it states he reject ID, but don’t have time to watch it today. Not sure how militant it may or may not be.

    Other than his Darwinian stance, the video brought back math memories, kinda fun to review. And I’m sure I’ll do it when time is available since its free. QM is something I’ve only browsed in the past, not delved to deeply.

    There is one point where he talks about “loss of information” on a QM rule. And he readily treats physics as Information.

    So there are many areas, like Nakashima stated of natural agreement.

    But the Lion story… haha… well, I’m no beauty, but it had me laughing like a beast.

  68. 68
    jerry says:

    “Even if it were absolutely confirmed that evolution alone could not explain certain biological structures, biology would not conclude they were designed without first examining other naturalistic possibilities, even those with scant empirical evidence”

    I assume you mean by the term “evolution,” Darwinian evolution. Remember the term existed before Darwin and though some equate the two there is no reason to do so. Evolution is just the change in the frequency of alleles over time and it can happen a lot of ways.

    People in biology are looking into alternatives to Darwinian evolutiojn all the time. If fact I have been the one to bring up how some others think it might have happened. It is a form of gradualism but not Darwinian gradualism. Remember Gould questioned neo Darwinism almost 30 years ago. There is a book titled appropriately “Macroevolution” which lays out some of these alternatives.

    Since I have brought this up here, some people have been undermining Gould which I find interesting. There is an evolutionary biologist who comments here occasionally who has said that Darwin is dead and prefers some of the ideas of Gould and his associates better than he does Darwin’s ideas.

    So I would not pigeon hole us a reflexively anti Darwin or anti naturalistic. That is way to simple. We can accept anything naturalistic that can be proven or strongly supported. What we find is that it is the Darwinist who are reflexively rigid about what is possible. ID could except Darwinian evolution if there were any evidence for it. That is the ironic thing here.

  69. 69
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Jerry,

    If O’Leary was giving out awards for “What is ID?” your 3 post essay would get my vote.

    Khan,

    “if you have six alternatives and you eliminate one, it doesn’t make the others any more likely to be true.”

    That’s not the situation Jerry was describing. He was describing two alternatives with (your) six examples as the same alternative that are faulty. The only other alternative to natural processes is design. If natural processes are inadequate empirically, then it’s reasonable to consider design as a possible alternative.

  70. 70
    Nakashima says:

    Proof That Birds Evolved From Turtles or something. Evo-devo strikes again.

  71. 71
    Frost122585 says:

    Jerry Iam just calling BS on his “observed” examples for Macro evolution because they are not even close to such examples.

    Kahn you understand what i am saying- I understand what you are saying- and we both know plants are not nearly as complex and animals. The bottom line is that when we are tlaking macro evolution we are talking about vastly different complex kinds turning into different kinds. That is we are looking for the ancerser to the cat and the dog and we are asking for observed evolution from the ancerstor to them.

    No such macro evolution has ever even been closely observed because as evolutionists say “it takes millions of years for it to happen.” Yet the fossil record is very deplete of such examples which should be represented robustly according to the Darwinian idea of small scale random mutation across large populations.

    This does not rule out macro evolution as a possibility but we need real evidence of it not the small scale changes or induced changes by people.

  72. 72
    Frost122585 says:

    And Jerry, his argument about whether humans can produce macro biological creatures is moot- we all know that intelligence is seen in animals as well as humans- that is what beavers do to dams- yet humans are vastly more intelligent and thus we can rightly speculate that the designer of biological living things including ourselves could have, and most likely would have greater intelligent prowess than we have. This fallows from the fact that you always need greater resources to account for greater intelligent effects especially according to evolutionary theory which also speculates simple to complex evolution meaning it took great many years/time, changes and huge populations to being us to the human being.

  73. 73
    Khan says:

    jerry

    So if I cannot show that human intelligence can create macro evolutionary changes, I then have no right to say that nature cannot do it.

    all i’m saying is that you frequently say there is evidence for microevolution but not macroevolution and that we can not extrapolate from one to the other. yet you are perfectly willing to extrapolate from the minimal amount of biological design we have done so far to creating de novo novel complex features. why is one logical leap any smaller than the other?

  74. 74
    Khan says:

    cannuckian,

    If natural processes are inadequate empirically, then it’s reasonable to consider design as a possible alternative.

    sure, it’s reasonable to consider anything when shooting the breeze on a blog. but to be a legitimate field of scienific inquiry, it has to have mechanisms that allow for testable hypotheses. you can not support a hypothesis through process of elimination, or else it is nothing but speculation.

  75. 75
    Khan says:

    Frost,

    That is we are looking for the ancerser to the cat and the dog and we are asking for observed evolution from the ancerstor to them.

    please explain why the difference between the cat and dog is that much greater than that between a fern and a redwood. thanks.

  76. 76
    Frost122585 says:

    There is a great deal more complexity in the linage to ancestor of cat and dog. Obviously living things that move around and have brains and intelligences at the levels of cats and dogs require a lot more mutations.

  77. 77
    Khan says:

    Frost,
    ok, misunderstood your question.
    plants still have a great deal of complexity and to exclude them from the debate is absurd. do you also exclude bacteria, eukaryotic cells, fungi, viruses, etc? if you do, then i guess the iconic flagellum is out of the picture too..

  78. 78
    Frost122585 says:

    Well I think we ar eon the same page now as to what macro evolution is and understood to be- which is marco- or very large jumps in complexity. As far as the flagellum Behe has never argued this in regards to macro evolution but merely as one example of a system that requires all of its parts intact to function. This claim of Behe’s has still not been refuted but merely argued that sub systems within the flagellum- the type 3 secretory system- may be aboriginal to the system and served as a vehicle allowing the flagellum to evolve over time. But I should add that Behe and Stephen Meyer after research believe the type 3 system is a degenerative part of the flagellum evolving after the flagellum as a whole existed- hence the evolutionary argument thereof would be false and inadequate of explanation of the origin of the flagellum.

    As for me I do not know either way.

  79. 79
    Frost122585 says:

    But I want to make my point of view clear here, that say there really is no case at all that any macro evolution has ever been observed. Man may have come from an ape like ancestor but there has never been a mutation- or series of mutation- known among modern day apes that brought forth a human like offspring- and remember if evolutionists are correct this would be a minimal gap to fill as apes are said to posses 98% similarity with humans.

  80. 80
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Khan,

    “…to be a legitimate field of scienific inquiry, it has to have mechanisms that allow for testable hypotheses. you can not support a hypothesis through process of elimination, or else it is nothing but speculation.”

    When I see Dr. Dembski calculating the probabilities of complex spcified information arising via unplanned naturalistic processes over specific periods of time in order to test the justification for the Darwinian mechanism, he is doing just what you suggest – testing a mechanism. Only what he’s doing, is he’s negating the mechanism’s true ability to function in the manner that Darwinists suppose. This allows Dr. Dembski to logically and inductively infer design as a potential explanation as opposed to hoping that there’s just a little more time to allow for the Darwinian process.

    You state,

    “you can not support a hypothesis through process of elimination, or else it is nothing but speculation.”

    Science IS a process of elimination. You start with a hypothesis, and through a process of elimination, you remove those parts of the hypothesis that don’t work [according to the data], and you reform your hypothesis based on what you’ve just observed by the data. What you’ve just stated makes no sense whatsoever. It makes sense that you would say it, because it is of course, one of the peculiar practices of many Darwinists – failure to eliminate the ideas that don’t work – and/or when they don’t work – rather, creating new hypotheses in order to artifically force them into harmony with the larger theory; Occam’s Razor be damned.

    What ID theorists are really doing is the work the Darwinists should be doing with Darwinian theory – the work that Darwin himself suggested when he wrote: “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question. [OOS]” So IDists are doing for Darwin what the Darwinists themselves fail to do.

  81. 81
    jerry says:

    “why is one logical leap any smaller than the other?”

    Well one of these logical leaps is an analysis of intelligence and we have seen how much that has produced in the last 10,000 years and especially in the last 300 years and even more especially in the last 110 years. We have not seen much positive (in terms of information building) that nature can produce going back as far as you want.

    But given that, I will put a caveat on what humans can produce in the future since I do not know exactly what synthetic biology has accomplished so far.

  82. 82
    Khan says:

    Frost,

    which is marco- or very large jumps in complexity

    which is exactly what we observe in the plant example. you seem to be tailoring your definition and taxonomic limitations to fit your argument.

    This allows Dr. Dembski to logically and inductively infer design as a potential explanation as opposed to hoping that there’s just a little more time to allow for the Darwinian process

    first, Dembski’s work has never been shown to have any relevance to actual biology. i read a few of the papers and stopped when i noticed the only biological “example” he used was calculating the probability of the words used to describe the flagellum being randomly formed, or something like that. if one of you wants to explain how his work is relevant to biology, i would be happy to hear it. second, again, evidence against one theory is not evidence for another.even if we test 100 different evolutionary hypotheses and they are all falsified, it doesn’t make design any more likely than another naturalistic hypothesis we missed. they both have the same amount of positive evidence in favor of them: zero. to show design, you have to test it and present positive evidence in favor of it. and to do this, you need mechanisms, which you all seem to think are not important but in fact are critical.

  83. 83
    jerry says:

    “you need mechanisms, which you all seem to think are not important but in fact are critical.”

    If humans are able to create genomes or changes in genomes that result in novel complex capabilities, would you then say that your objection is no longer relevant.

  84. 84
    PaulBurnett says:

    “Frost” (#79) wrote: “…there really is no case at all that any macro evolution has ever been observed.”

    This is a standard creationist complaint, that nobody has ever directly observed one species morphing into another species while under direct observation. Among other things, that’s because the time scale involved for macro evolution exceeds the 6,000 year old age of the earth.

    Most creationists accept micro evolution but reject macro evolution. This is akin to accepting teaspoons but rejecting gallons, or accepting inches but rejecting miles. For a thorough discussion of macro evolution, please see http://www.talkorigins.org/faq.....ution.html

  85. 85
    PaulBurnett says:

    “Khan” (#75) wrote: “please explain why the difference between the cat and dog is that much greater than that between a fern and a redwood.

    According to http://www.timetree.org ferns’ and redwoods’ common ancestor lived about 400 million years ago. Cats’ and dogs’ common ancestor lived about 60 million years ago.

    And the differences between ferns and redwoods is much greater than the differences between cats and dogs.

  86. 86
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Frost122585,

    But I want to make my point of view clear here, that say there really is no case at all that any macro evolution has ever been observed. Man may have come from an ape like ancestor but there has never been a mutation- or series of mutation- known among modern day apes that brought forth a human like offspring- and remember if evolutionists are correct this would be a minimal gap to fill as apes are said to posses 98% similarity with humans.

    I’m not sure why you are insisting on maintaining a private definition of macro-evolution. It completely vitiates your argument. Anyone can maintain private definitions of words and declare victory in an argument.

    Mutation is only one part of evolution. Why should modern apes become more human-like if there is no selection pressure, even if those mutations exist? Over what time scale are you willing to wait to test your hypothesis?

    Here’s a back of the envelope calaculation. If species seem to last about 10 million years on average, and then are replaced via speciation by two new species, that is macro-evolution. Now if there are currently 10 million species on the planet, and their ages are randomly distributed, you’d expect 1 speciation event per year somewhere in the biological world. Macro-evolution in action!

  87. 87
    Joseph says:

    OK if it takes 25 million years just to get TWO specified mutation, well that alone is longer than the alleged divergence between chimps and humans.

    So if UCD occurred via just a few mutations UCD is OK.

    Ya see with a gene duplication it needs a whole new binding site, not just a one nucleotide change.

    There isn’t enough time for that event to happen in a non-telic scenario.

    Next Khan sez something about evolutionary hypothesis-

    Too bad there aren’t any pertaining to the proposed mechanisms.

    to show design, you have to test it and present positive evidence in favor of it. and to do this, you need mechanisms, which you all seem to think are not important but in fact are critical.

    The positive evidence for design has been presented and so have mechanisms.

    1- Design is a mechanism if we go by the standard and accepted definitions of both words.

    2- Dr Spetner has already written about this in 1997- see “Not By Chance” and his “non-random evolutionary hypothsis”.

    IOW Khan your continued ignorance is not a refutation.

  88. 88
    Joseph says:

    Nakashima-san:

    I’m not sure why you are insisting on maintaining a private definition of macro-evolution.

    Because the public one is vague, useless and even YECs accept it.

    Therefor by using that definition to settle something doesn’t settle anything.

  89. 89
    Joseph says:

    Khan keeps talking about testable hypotheses.

    Well here is your big opportunity-

    Please present a testable hypothesis for the non-telic position.

    However seeing that all of you who oppose ID have failed/ refused to do so is very telling about the nature of your position.

  90. 90
    jerry says:

    “Now if there are currently 10 million species on the planet, and their ages are randomly distributed, you’d expect 1 speciation event per year somewhere in the biological world. Macro-evolution in action!”

    But that has never been observed so Nakashima has just falsified naturalistic evolution. Thank you Nakashima.

    Now I know Nakashima, the great denyer, will wiggle out of this by calling a red eyed drosophilia found on a remote Pacific island an example of macro evolution but he knows and we know that is not what the debate is about. So for Nakashima to aruge over whose definition we get to use is essentially an admission of defeat. If he had the goods, he would care a rat’s rear end about which definition we were using.

  91. 91
    Lenoxus says:

    jerry:

    “you need mechanisms, which you all seem to think are not important but in fact are critical.”

    If humans are able to create genomes or changes in genomes that result in novel complex capabilities, would you then say that your objection is no longer relevant.

    So physical genetic modification is the mechanism! Excellent, we have something to work on. Somehow, I don’t think it will win over those who still insist on a fundamentally immaterial designer.

    Joseph:

    Please present a testable hypothesis for the non-telic position.

    If the “non-telic position” is that certain events happened without intelligent intervention, I personally don’t believe there can be a testable hypothesis, because it’s a “negative”. There’s nothing that all or most “non-telic” systems have in common (except the absence of obvious signs of intelligence), so there’s nothing to test “for”. What would be a positive prediction from a non-telic hypothesis for weather events?

    This is like saying “present a testable hypothesis for the absence of mice in this city.” It’s pointless unless the mice are found. Meanwhile, ID is the one make the positive assertion, for a force/being that could appear anywhere or nowhere in the haystack of empirical evidence, depending on its own choices in the matter.

    (As for the specific non-telic hypothesis of evolution by means of mutation and natural selection resulting in a nested hierarchy of common descent, well, plenty of falsifiable tests and predictions have been presented plenty by others on this blog, so I’m not going to bother listing them — it would be nothing new for the conversation.)

  92. 92
    jerry says:

    “Somehow, I don’t think it will win over those who still insist on a fundamentally immaterial designer.”

    It does not rule out the immaterial designer if this person has the power to affect the material things of this universe. I doubt that anyone who believes in God, believes that God does not have the power to affect this world leta lone change a nucleotide or two.

    One of knocks against ID is that such a God is not worthy of worship since He essentially did not get it right in the first place and has to tinker all the time. There are hundreds of issues surrounding this whole debate some operating at the periphery but still extremely interesting in their own right.

  93. 93
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Jerry,

    Try not to think of me as a denier (of LNC, for example) but rather as an affirmer of the reality that Dr Susskind is talking about in this video.

    You have seen far into my example. It does rely on speciation happening in all kinds of places that might not be on camera, to all kinds of non-photogenic species. But it would be exceedingly odd if speciation somehow passed thes creatures over just because we weren’t watching them.

    Perhaps in 2012 chickens in iowa will lay eggs containing gerbils, live on camera. Until then, we’ll have to content ourselves with evo-devo answers to how the turtle got its shell, and other conundroms. These are ‘the goods’ and definition games that try to run away from confronting ‘the goods’ is not a way to move advance, except in a rearwards direction.

  94. 94
    Frost122585 says:

    Nas, and Kahn,

    I am not tailoring my argument to fit my definition- my argumnt and definition go hand in hand because they are the same. Macro evolution has to do with very different kinds morphologically evolving from one to another. of macroevolution. The examples you gave are terrible. You are showing small scale changed among low life forms (which may be design induced) and less complex tress turning into different trees. I have no problem with the evolutionary arguemt that all hores, or cats or dogs share a common ancestor of the same kind- nor do I have that problem with trees- it is the MACRO jumps that I am concerned with. Show me the common ancestor of all three, cats, dogs and horses and the evolution thereof and that is observed macro evolution. What you site is small levels of genetic variation and small does not mean macro.

  95. 95
    jerry says:

    Nakashima,

    Here is an essay by John Davison.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ind-alley/

    You might find it illuminating. Have fun discussing modern day speciation with John.

  96. 96
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Frost122585,

    When the common ancestor of dos, cata, and horses began to diversify millions of years ago, it was by small steps. If you want to see what rats turn into, you will have to wait millions of years to find out.

    I can walk from Tokyo to Hiroshima, but if you take a picture of me at any point along the way, my feet are only a meter or so apart. Big changes are small changes added up over time.

    Cladistics is not settled in this area. To find the most recent common ancestor, you will have to chose fossil or genetic evidence to chose Laurasiatheria (older, fossil based) or Zooamata (more recent, genetic based).

  97. 97
    Frost122585 says:

    Yes Nak, but those small stpes are called “micro evolution”- everyone knows this. The fossil record is however very deplete of the many intermediates (small steps) that the theory of DE would postulate.

  98. 98
    Frost122585 says:

    And Nak remember we don’t even know rats will ever evolve into a new species. They could die out or end up like mosquitoes which some varieties have stayed virtually the same despite 300 million years of evolution.

  99. 99
    Upright BiPed says:

    Until hard evidence of either design or the supernatural is presented, there is no conceivable way to eliminate unguided naturalism in the first place — and no scientific reason to.

    Just so ya know…ID doesn’t posit anything “supernatural”.

    And as far as having “hard” evidence, that particular prerequisite has been part of the scientific record for quite some time. Polanyi immediate comes to mind. He published a rational exposé of the evidence almost 40 years ago in the journal of statistical sciences (JASA). In 2005, Abel nailed it to the wall in a journal of biological and medical modeling. Then Meyer updated the argument made by Polanyi in the 2007 in the journal of the Biological Society of Washington. Then Abel nailed it again 2009 with “The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity” which appeared in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. If you take a good look you’ll find more – including materials published in other peer-reviewed publications (such as Cell Cycle) and elsewhere.

    Collecting the evidence is hardly the issue. Getting materialists to deal with the arguments and evidence (without special pleading on their part) is the issue – it always has been.

  100. 100
    Joseph says:

    Lenoxus:

    As for the specific non-telic hypothesis of evolution by means of mutation and natural selection resulting in a nested hierarchy of common descent

    Except that common descent does not result in a nested hierarchy.

    That you continue to spew such nonsense proves you don’t have a clue.

    And thank you for admitting your position is not testable.

  101. 101
    Joseph says:

    Nakashima-san,

    What is the evidence for accumulating mutations leading to novel body plans and novel protein machinery?

    We know about accumulating foot-steps…

  102. 102
    jerry says:

    Stanford has published a love fest on Darwin. They have a continuing education program of which the Susskind lecture is part. There are 10 two hour programs on Darwin that are available either on Itunes U or on the Stanford site.

    I started looking at the first one and the first presenter was pretty poor. But for those interested go here for youtube videos or to Itunes U to see The Single Best Idea Ever.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....playnext=1

    And then come back here and explain how all his ideas are either passé or irrelevant especially the one that is the single best idea ever.

  103. 103
    Joseph says:

    Melzer S, Lens F, Gennen J, Vanneste S, Rohde A, Beeckman T. 2008. Flowering-time genes modulate meristem determinacy and growth form in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature Genetics, published online: 9 November 2008-

    Art Hunt sez the following:

    Melzer et al. constructed double mutants deficient in the expression of these two proteins, with the intent of understanding the physiological significance of interactions between these two proteins, associations discovered using the so-called yeast two-hybrid assay.

    IOW nothing natural about the process.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    Nakashima-San:

    RE: I can walk from Tokyo to Hiroshima, but if you take a picture of me at any point along the way, my feet are only a meter or so apart. Big changes are small changes added up over time.

    You make the error here of assuming linear continuity, rather than addressing the probabilistic resources gap implied by needing to account for functionally specific, complex information on the gamut of our universe.

    There is a reason why we do not expect to observe all the O2 molecules in the room where you sit to rush to one end, leaving you choking. (And yet, “nothing” bars it from happening save the vastness of the search space and relative narrowness of the target zone.)

    There is similarly a search space reason why tornadoes hitting hardware stores are not observed to spontaneously build houses.

    That same fundamentally statistical thermodynamic reason is why it is not credible for still warm ponds to spontaneously originate the functional code based systems and structures of life, and why life forms will not credibly spontaneously form the leaps in organised complexity to form novel body plans, on the same gamut.

    In short, a search space barrier is a real one. So real that it is the foundation stone of statistical thermodynamics, which grounds the reliability of classical thermodynamics, and the second law in particular. In informational terms, organised, functionally complex information does not spontaneously emerge by lucky noise. (And such is inherently testable: “all” you have to do is try to show such lucky noise giving rise to 143 or more ASCII characters making contextually relevant sense in English. Or, equivalently, show us a DNA strand coding for a 400 aa functional protein that — per actual observation — arose by chance processes. [By contrast we know that intelligence routinely generates such FSCI.])

    Until those who propose that Darwinian type evolutionary mechanisms have done that or the equivalent in our observation, they have no good grounds for onward claims that such mechanisms are capable of giving rise to novel body plans — the relevant sense of “macroevolution.”

    GEM of TKI

  105. 105
    Upright BiPed says:

    Gee Whizz,

    Where are all the materialists lining up to tell me how wrong I have it? Why aren’t they stepping forward in gleeful self-assurace to answer the empirical challenge made by Abel in 2005 (and again in 2009)?

    Heck, I thought science was all about being self-correcting…and people just couldn’t wait to challege the ruling paradigm with new information. Isn’t anyone going to step forward and tell us how a mechanism that operates at 100% uncertainty can organize and coordinate the most complex set of physical events witnessed within the known universe?

    Isn’t someone going plead the case of stereochemistry and such and such?

  106. 106
    PaulBurnett says:

    Nakashima (#96), in trying to explain macro evolution to Frost, wrote: “>When the common ancestor of dogs, cats, and horses began to diversify millions of years ago…

    According to http://www.timetree.org, the common ancestor of (dogs and cats) and horses lived a bit over 80 million years age.

    Frost then replied (#97) “…those small steps are called “micro evolution”- everyone knows this. The fossil record is however very deplete of the many intermediates (small steps) that the theory of DE would postulate

    Again, standard creationist carping about missing intermediates. Frost, are you continuing to insist that in the absence of every intermediate step in the fossil record, that that alone constitutes proof of supernatural creation of a new species?

    Have you guys looked at Dr. Kevin Padian’s expert witness sworn testimony and slideshow which were part of his appearance at the 2005 Dover Trial? http://ncseweb.org/news/2007/0.....ers-001159 clearly explains the actual science of paleontology’s answers to your misunderstandings about intermediates and macro evolution.

  107. 107
    PaulBurnett says:

    “Upright BiPed” (#99) wrote: “Then Meyer updated the argument made by Polanyi in the 2007 in the journal of the Biological Society of Washington.

    And, as I’m sure everybody here already knows, Meyer’s article was subsequently disavowed and retracted by the Council of the Biological Society of Washington which said the article did not meet scientific standards. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....ontroversy

    “Upright BiPed” – how did you happen to neglect to mention that minor detail in your discussion?

  108. 108
    PaulBurnett says:

    “Upright BiPed” (#105) asked: “Gee Whizz, Where are all the materialists lining up to tell me how wrong I have it?

    Possibly one of the reasons is most of us “materialists” get the message “Your comment is awaiting moderation” when we line up to tell me how wrong you are. This imposes a 24-hour to 48-hour (or longer) delay in our responses when we try to participate in the dialog. This has (among other things) the effect of discouraging dissenters from commenting and chasing them away, leaving the survivors congratulating themselves that they must be right, because nobody appears to disagree with them.

  109. 109
    Winston Macchi says:

    Upright BiPed,

    Seeing as I don’t have access to journals at home, do you mind summarizing the evidence in each of those papers you mentioned. Thanks.

  110. 110
    Clive Hayden says:

    PaulBurnett,

    ——“This has (among other things) the effect of discouraging dissenters from commenting and chasing them away, leaving the survivors congratulating themselves that they must be right, because nobody appears to disagree with them.”

    People that have been put on moderation have been put there for a reason. If you don’t like the delay, don’t misbehave in the first place and have yourself moderated.

  111. 111
    Clive Hayden says:

    PaulBurnett,

    ——“Again, standard creationist carping about missing intermediates.”

    Standard strawman characterization by evolutionists.

  112. 112
    allanius says:

    So the Matrix really does exist. Only the freedom-loving rebels are not the ones who are trying to smash it (the smashers are the ones in charge). Instead, the rebels are persecuted simply for acknowledging its existence.

  113. 113
    Upright BiPed says:

    PaulBurnet makes a startling and comprehensive rebutal of the physical evidence for design in post 107. Please everyone, please, please read it.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Winston, it seems by your post that you have access to the Internet, perhaps I am missing what you are asking. All of the papers are available on-line.

    Best regards…

    – – – – – – – – –

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=1208958

    http://www.culturaleconomics.a.....201968.htm

    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=2177

    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/4/1/47

  114. 114
    PaulBurnett says:

    “Upright BiPed” (#113) wrote: “PaulBurnet makes a startling and comprehensive rebutal of the physical evidence for design in post 107.” /sarcasm mode OFF

    I merely pointed out that (for whatever reason) you had neglected mentioning that the council whose journal Meyer’s article was fraudulently posted in had determined that the article was not scientific – thus breaking the chain of causality of subsequent articles depending on it for authenticity as being scientific. I made no claim that this was “a startling and comprehensive rebutal of the physical evidence for design.” But if that floats your boat, go for it.

  115. 115
    R0b says:

    kairosfocus:

    [By contrast we know that intelligence routinely generates such FSCI.]

    Who is “we”? It certainly doesn’t include me. In the UD FAQ, you refer to “massive evidence” of this, but I see none. It certainly isn’t documented anywhere.

    The determine whether intelligence (I assume you’re referring to humans) generates FSCI, you have to take into account the FSCI that exists prior to the design event. Sure, a human can come up with English text of more than 143 characters, but that ability requires a vocabulary stored in a language-processing mind. How do you measure the FSCI in that mind (whether it be pure gray matter or immaterial)? To quote Dembski, “Remember that we are interested in the **generation** of specified complexity and not in its reshuffling.”

    When we lack prerequisite information, we humans fail to find functional targets. The security of passwords and combination locks depends on that fact.

  116. 116
    Joseph says:

    R0b,

    If you don’t like the design inference pertaining to FCSI or CSI then just demonstrate tat nature, operating freely can account for it.

    IOW griping isn’t going to accomplish anything.

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    Footnote:

    In the current OOL thread, I responded to Rob’s assertions at 115 above (which he also raised there), expanding on the issues that Jerry raised in 116, whch in turn refer back to my comment to Nakashima-san, at 104.

    Cf remarks at 82 in the current OOL thread.

    GEM of TKI

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: In the other thread at 83 I have also documented from the text of the weak argument corrective no 28, how Rob’s highly selective cite in 115 above omits highly material immediate context that shows that by “we” I am speaking of any observer capable of looking at a computer screen-full of pixels exhibiting a functional pattern, as an illustration of a general pattern where by 1,000 functional bits shows a threshold where we may confidently infer to intelligent design. Once the clipped out clause is seen in its IMMEDIATE context, the rhetorical force of Rob’s argument by citing and shifting context, at 115 above, evaporates.

  119. 119
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I should clarify. At 115, Rob cites me from 104, without referring to the context in 104 properly, and in alluding to weak argument corrective no 28, he failed to address its substance, which includes the example of a screen-full of functional information [calculated to have over 11 million functional bits], not just snow or random hash.

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