Intelligent Design

LoneCycler on paradigms advancing one funeral at a time, etc

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LC also has some food for thought for Friday fun:

LC, 18: >>From the OP “Today’s dominant school of thought can become tomorrow’s dead theory, often one funeral at a time.” This is true. Every time they find another fossil they have to re-organize their phylogenetic trees. Some trees have been changed so many times it’s almost like watching a game of three card monte, trying to figure out where the Lady is going to be located this time around.

“Next, we must recognize that without people, there is no science.” I would add that without people there is also no scientism. We can attempt to rationalize why creeping scientism is on the creep but this is a waste of time. It’s human nature and like many other things it’s a moral crime at the least and at the worst it leads to a slide into the abyss.

People commit crimes against others for three reasons. And only three reasons. For greed of money, sexual lust and the pursuit of power. From murder to misdemeanors there are only these root causes.

Take Alexander Rosenberg cited in the OP. A 1960’s radical leftist who has been ensconced in academia his entire adult life, I reckon his motivation is once he found out economics was a complete crock he focused on the philosophy of science as a means to stay employed. After all, it’s not like Darwinism informs advancement of any science, it’s just that it needs active priests like him to keep people in line. So I put him down for greed of money, and idle thoughts of power over what other people are allowed to think. Modern Unis like Duke are not in the business of enlightenment but about raking in as much cash as possible while ensuring anyone wanting to pursue a life of the mind shares the same mindset of the Ubermenschen.

“So, we know that where we see reliable signs of design, we are warranted to infer that as best explanation….” As an example of this I was scouting a hunting lease this week and came across a figure 4 deadfall trap. This was evidence that some person was there actively trapping small game on land I paid money to reserve for myself. If you don’t know what a figure 4 deadfall is this 3:47 video will make you an expert at identifying them in the wild. (Viewer discretion advised.)

If you were walking around the deep woods, the nearest road two miles away, the nearest habitation more than 20, and came across something like this what would you think about it? How did this thing get here? Clearly, the A-Mats among us would declare “The wind, rain and lightning caused wild fires that caused those three sticks to be cut at just the right places and positioned so they could support that 10 pound rock they’re holding up entirely by chance. It may have taken a decade or so to evolve here.”

The figure 4 trap is pretty simple and can be constructed with found objects and crude tools as the video shows. But they don’t assemble themselves at random by chance. Would you agree that if you found one of these in the woods it was made by a designer? That there was another mind involved in constructing it?

Let’s examine the branches from the spruce tree that were used for the three sticks that I found. A single cell from the spruce has only 12 chromosomes but more than 7 times the DNA of a human cell. Somehow, we’re not entirely certain, the genetic material in the cells produce a living organism that reproduces itself by production of male and female gametes, transferring the male gametes to the female ovules by pollination. This results in seeds that are dispersed by the wind, water and animals, the process continuing for at least the past 136 million years. A self-replicating living organism, established around the entire planet, and nothing but random chance is involved?

Compare the complexity of the figure 4 deadfall trap, which you have to admit, is not that complicated but never-the-less contains reliable sign of design, against the complexity of the living cell and its nearly unbelievable complexity. A living cell is much more complicated. But we’re told by folks running the three card monte that if we think it did not occur by random chance we must be some kind of snake handling bible basher down from the hills.

I assure you, we’re not.>>

Again, food for thought. Is functionally specific complex organisation a good sign of design? Why/why not? Is “moral crime” fair comment? And so forth. END

28 Replies to “LoneCycler on paradigms advancing one funeral at a time, etc

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    Every time they find another fossil they have to re-organize their phylogenetic trees. Some trees have been changed so many times it’s almost like watching a game of three card monte, trying to figure out where the Lady is going to be located this time around.

    The comparison to three-card Monte obviously suggests dishonesty on the part of researchers. But leaving this aside, what paradigm is waiting in the wings ready to replace common ancestry once the current generation of workers all croak?

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, that’s a good question, but there is a context that should give us pause:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    KF

  3. 3
    daveS says:

    KF,

    But are there any viable alternatives to common ancestry? We often see criticisms of scientists for reorganizing phylogenetic trees as new evidence comes in, but it doesn’t appear to me that they are fundamentally on the wrong track. The evidence is fragmentary and messy, so revisions are to be expected.

    The only alternative paradigm that I recall seeing here concerns special creation of humans at some point between 6000 and some millions of years ago, so the error bars are still rather wide. Most importantly, we are definitely not related to chimpanzees.

  4. 4
    hazel says:

    Hi Dave. I don’t understand this remark: “Most importantly, we are definitely not related to chimpanzees.” I assume you mean this in regards to the special creation paradigm – true?

    Also, special, young-earth, and other types of creationists are getting old and dying, too, so I don’t think it is obvious what paradigms are dying “one funeral at time.”

  5. 5
    ET says:

    daves:

    But are there any viable alternatives to common ancestry?

    Is common ancestry even viable? Phylogenetic trees can just as easily be used to show the common design.

  6. 6
    daveS says:

    hazel,

    Yes, I was just saying that from a YEC point of view (and sometimes theologically) it is important that humans not be related to other animals.

    And you are correct—perhaps belief in special creation is actually on the wane?

  7. 7
    ET says:

    I don’t care if we are related to other animals. I do care about the science and the science does not support that view.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    “perhaps belief in special creation is actually on the wane?”

    What’s the difference between *special* creation and other kinds of creation?

    Andrew

  9. 9
    hazel says:

    I believe that special creation posits creation ex nihilo: the spontaneous creation out of nothing of fully formed species, or at least human beings, with no biological continuity with any other creatures. Other types of creationism accept common descent, but posit that God has guided, directed, designed, or otherwise caused parts of the process.

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    Thanks Hazel,

    And what science are you going to present that supports the idea that creationism paradigms are dying?

    Andrew

  11. 11
    hazel says:

    I don’t, Andrew: that’s not even what I said. As with everything in life, people die and new people take their place. I have no idea whether creationism is growing or not: that is not a subject I pay any attention to. I was just answering your question about my understanding of what “special creation” means.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, common design is obvious and there is a difference between partial and universal common descent. For sure, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity have never been credibly shown per observation, to be an adequate cause of functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information. On a trillions member observational base, intelligently directed configuration is. KF

  13. 13
    daveS says:

    KF,

    there is a difference between partial and universal common descent.

    Yes, certainly that is true. Which is better supported by the evidence?

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Universal common descent is not supported by anything but imagination. There is still a missing mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes- endosymbiosis doesn’t help. Beyond that, there is still a missing mechanism that can account for all of the differences observed.

  15. 15
    daveS says:

    ET,

    Missing mechanism? The Designer of course. Behe and even a few ID advocates here accept universal common descent.

  16. 16
    ET says:

    I don’t care what anyone accepts. I am looking for the science that supports what they accept.

    Ideas are great. But science mandates those are ideas be testable:

    Ultimately, scientific ideas must not only be testable, but must actually be tested — preferably with many different lines of evidence by many different people. This characteristic is at the heart of all science. testing 1,2,3

  17. 17
    hazel says:

    Hi ET. I don’t have much of a dog in this fight, but if common descent isn’t true, isn’t special creation the only other option? I’m not saying anything about how this has happened-I’m willing to accept a Designer as the cause-but either various species are biologically related to previous species or they came into existence all at once, disconnected form the past. Is there any other possibility that I’m not aware of?

  18. 18
    ET says:

    Hi Hazel- I would agree but with the following caveat:

    The limits of variation- for example are all organisms in the same Family related to the originally placed population, that had a high heterogeneity? That is as diverse a population that you can get and all of the information required to wander and adapt.

    Meaning there could be quite a few populations (species) that can trace back to that original population. It all depends on what genetic change can actually do, as opposed to what UCD needs it to do.

    The first trick is to figure out what actually makes an organism what it is. Only then will we be able to determine the amount of change that can actually occur.

  19. 19
    hazel says:

    Thanks, ET. So are you saying that at some point various Families had original members who came about via special creation?

  20. 20
    Brother Brian says:

    From the OP “Today’s dominant school of thought can become tomorrow’s dead theory, often one funeral at a time.” This is true. Every time they find another fossil they have to re-organize their phylogenetic trees. Some trees have been changed so many times it’s almost like watching a game of three card monte, trying to figure out where the Lady is going to be located this time around.

    Modifying the theory to fit the evidence is part of good science. I don;t see why some think this is a weakness.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    hazel:

    So are you saying that at some point various Families had original members who came about via special creation?

    Or colonization.

    (Dr. Spetner cites a Hebrew Scholar who claims Holy Books say there were 365 different types of birds in your SC scenario)

  22. 22
    hazel says:

    Colonization? What does that mean? Do you mean coming from some place off Earth? If so, that would just push the question off to some place else, because how did come into existence there? Isn’t that true?

  23. 23
    ET says:

    The goal pertains to life on Earth and how it came to be so diverse. We can study it, so we go with what we have.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    The goal pertains to life on Earth and how it came to be so diverse. We can study it, so we go with what we have.

  25. 25
    vmahuna says:

    I gave up on the article because the writer is clearly an idiot. But I got this far: “People commit crimes against others for three reasons. And only three reasons”.
    Well, NOOOOO! Some people (Sadists) commit crimes for the joy of watching other people suffer. This isn’t just about Power, it’s alternative to watching TV sitcoms: it’s ENTERTAINMENT.
    I’d also note that the crime investigation pros point out that Rape is, in general, NOT about a need for sexual relations. Rape is about Power: I can do ANYTHING I WANT to you, and you’re gonna just lay there and take it.
    Strong-arm robbery is similar: if you just GAVE me what I wanted (and DESERVE, because I’m naturally superior), nobody would have got hurt.
    But like I say, the writing was simply awful and I didn’t (and won’t ever) read most of it.

  26. 26
    Belfast says:

    You beat me to it, Vmahuna.
    Gresham’s law sets out that bad money drives out good money. There is a kind of Gresham’slaw that says that bad arguments drive out good, This taradiddle has no place here.
    I might add that Dave S is alert to picking out bad arguments usually because they are good arguments badly expressed, and he occasionally forces a proper restatement.

  27. 27
    LoneCycler says:

    For DaveS at 1

    Thanks for reading.

    As far as phylogenetic trees go I’m not convinced developing them is worth the effort. Modern evaluation of genome scale DNA is wreaking havoc among established evolutionary paradigms and eventually I suppose this will be good. The horizontal transfer of genetic data from insects to trees seems rather curious. There are many other examples.

    I think it’s just more evidence of the design crew swapping bits of code they found that worked when living organisms need to accomplish certain things to remain viable on this planet. As far as changing phylogenetic trees to account for new discoveries, I suppose that would be prudent, but many practitioners don’t have a very good record of doing good science.

    Scientific findings should be reproducible. One method is to share the information used to reach some conclusion or find some new fact. This is not the case. See the 2014 study at Plos|One where 60% of phylogenetic data from peer reviewed studies they examined “are effectively lost to science.”

    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0110268

    The data was written by a graduate student to a CD-RW and a after the study was published and that person moved on the CD-RW was used to store an Avicii live concert by the new girl. Or something like that. Very shoddy. And they even mention that poor archive practice is fraud friendly.

    So there’s that.

    The idea that the old paradigm everyone knows is useless can’t be replaced until there’s a new one developed is often seen across cultures and time. In this instance what it means is materialists won’t move on from Darwin until there’s some new idea that would prevent Design from getting its foot in the door. There needs to be a new crooked yardstick available for use before we toss out the old one.

    I think what will happen is that as the genome for more organisms is examined by ever more powerful computers and algorithms things like checksums and code comments will be found. I work with programmers that produce code shared among a great many people and there are rules that are followed that require comments and the like be present to explain what the next part of code accomplishes. This is done so that when one person calls in sick and someone else has to do the work they can pick up where work was left off.

    The code I deal with runs to typically around 50 to 100 thousand lines and you need easily located place markers to show you where it branches and how it functions. The typical genome runs into several millions of lines. There are place markers in there — we just haven’t found them yet. Or we haven’t recognized them as such yet.

    Often you can look at the way code is written and tell which one of your programmers produced it, though not always. I think that things like this will appear in various genomes from various species, and that eventually design won’t be deniable. But like Francis Crick many will decide it just means life began somewhere else besides this planet and was transplanted here, either on purpose or by chance.

  28. 28
    daveS says:

    LoneCycler,

    Thanks for the detailed response. I think some of what you have described qualifies as a new paradigm, code comments and the like.

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