Intelligent Design Irreducible Complexity

Metamorphosis

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The new video Metamorphosis presents the case for intelligent design in a powerful way. The metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly is a spectacular example of “irreducible complexity,” and here is why.

In my 2000 Mathematical Intelligencer article “A Mathematician’s View of Evolution,” I compared the development of the genetic code of life with the development of a computer program, such as my finite element code PDE2D . I pointed out that the record of PDE2D’s development would be similar to the fossil record, with large gaps where major new features (new orders, classes and phyla) appeared, and smaller gaps where minors ones (new families, genera or species) appeared (see also this short video). I argued,

Whether at the microscopic or macroscopic level, major, complex, evolutionary advances…also involve the addition of many interrelated and interdependent pieces. These complex advances, like those made to computer programs, are not always ‘irreducibly complex’–sometimes there are useful intermediate stages. But just as major improvements to a computer program cannot be made 5 or 6 characters at a time, certainly no major evolutionary advance is reducible to a chain of tiny improvements, each small enough to be bridged by a single random mutation.

In the real world of biological evolution, or of computer programs, “climbing up Mount Improbable” involves not just taking large numbers of tiny steps upward, but scaling many steep cliffs. You not only have to explain how the giraffe’s neck grew longer, but how the bacterial flagellum developed, with dozens of parts (each essential for function) similar to those of an outboard motor, or how aquatic bladderworts developed their carnivorous traps. These traps “have trigger hairs attached to a valve-like door, which normally keeps the trap tightly closed. The sides of the trap are compressed under tension, but when a small form of animal life touches one of the trigger hairs the valve opens, the bladder suddenly expands, and the animal is sucked into the trap. The door closes at once, and in about 20 minutes the trap is set ready for another victim.”

The problem with making this argument, as all who have tried it know, is that Darwinists have very fertile imaginations, they can imagine some alternative uses, some selective advantages, for the individual parts of a bacterial flagellum, or for a partially constructed vacuum chamber before it could catch small animals. No matter what example of irreducible complexity is set before them, they will propose far-fetched functions for 2 or 3 intermediate stages and consider the problem solved. Sometimes they can actually find the intermediate stages in Nature.

But metamorphosis is different. The process of transforming a caterpillar into a butterfly is surely far more complex than anything ever accomplished by man. The information needed to control this process, stored somewhere in the caterpillar’s cells, must be far greater than that stored in any man-made computer program. And explaining how this enormous program arose through many “5 or 6 character” improvements is even more challenging here, because now the intermediate stages are not just useless, they are fatal. Metamorphosis involves the destruction of the caterpillar: the butterfly, with an almost completely new body plan, is constructed from dissolved and recycled tissues and cells of the caterpillar. Now we are not talking about climbing Mount Improbable, we are talking about building a bridge across an enormous chasm, between caterpillar and butterfly. Until construction of this extremely long and complicated bridge is almost complete, it is a bridge to nowhere. Unless a butterfly (or another organism capable of reproduction) comes out at the end, the chrysalis only serves as a casket for the caterpillar, which cannot reproduce. Now we do not have to simply imagine uses for not-quite-watertight vacuum chamber traps, we have to imagine a selective advantage for committing suicide before you are able to reproduce, and that is a more difficult challenge.

Of course, if Darwinism fails to explain metamorphosis, we just have to wait for science to come up with an alternative theory; there is no need to resort to intelligent design, which, we are told, is not scientific. Well, we can define science to exclude intelligent design and wait as long as we want, but intelligence will still be the only force of Nature that can look ahead to see a desired function and keep adding useless lines of computer code until the code can perform that function, and it will still be the only force that can guide the development–gradual or not so gradual–of new organs through their initial useless stages. And it will still be the only thing that can imagine a butterfly as the final product and develop a gigantic code for metamorphosis, through intermediate stages which would produce nothing but the destruction of the caterpillar.

57 Replies to “Metamorphosis

  1. 1
    lastyearon says:

    So we have a process whereby a caterpillar evolves into a butterfly. And you are saying that this process was intelligently designed.

    And we also have a process whereby species evolve into other species. Couldn’t this process have been intelligently designed as well? Why do you accept the evolution of the caterpillar as a natural process, but not the evolution of species.

  2. 2
    Eocene says:

    letztes Jahr:

    “So we have a process whereby a caterpillar evolves into a butterfly.”
    ====

    Nice word/term twisting. The subject as he stated it was in comparison to your faith in Dice Theory –

    “But metamorphosis is different. The process of transforming a caterpillar into a butterfly is surely far more complex than anything ever accomplished by man. The information needed to control this process, stored somewhere in the caterpillar’s cells, must be far greater than that stored in any man-made computer program.”

    What part of that did you find difficult to comprehend ???
    —-

    letztes Jahr:

    “And you are saying that this process was intelligently designed.”
    ====

    The process of metamorphosis has instructions to accomplished a purposed outcome. Again what part of that don’t you get ???
    —-

    letztes Jahr:

    “And we also have a process whereby species evolve into other species.”
    ====

    No, we have a process by which various kinds of creatures have the potential for great variation within an organized orderly framework of what is called species boundaries or barriers. Take the example of whales and dolphins creating the wholphin! Cichlids creating many variations of cichlids, Salamanders creating different Salamanders, etc.
    —-

    letztes Jahr:

    “Couldn’t this process have been intelligently designed as well?”
    ====

    Yes, the process of metamorphosis governed by instructions gives us clear evidence of intelligent design as opposed to blind unpurposed luck of Dice Theory.
    —-

    letztes Jahr:

    “Why do you accept the evolution of the caterpillar as a natural process, but not the evolution of species.”
    ====

    Your reading comprehenson is lacking again. Let me help you. It’s metamorphosis, not evolution.

  3. 3
    Jello says:

    Darwinism can’t do it = Therefore intelligent design.

    It was ever thus.

  4. 4
    Eocene says:

    Jello:

    “Darwinism can’t do it = Therefore intelligent design.

    It was ever thus.”
    ====

    Go for it Jello. Show us how you’d undertake any experiment using “Applied Evolution” which is nothing but blind pointless undirected forces without any intended purpose whatsoever to accomplish a goal that was never meditated on first. Before you run ahead and crybaby over directed guided evolution for which there is no foundational proof, start by proving how informational codes are created by nothing more than toxic chemically saturated dirt influenced by nothing more than voltage and magnetism.

  5. 5
    Jello says:

    This is, ostensibly, an intelligent design blog.

    I’d like to read the intelligent design’s explanation of metamorphosis and not a litany of complaints on the inadequacy of Darwinism.

    Forget Darwin ever happened; let’s hear some ID hypotheses.

  6. 6
    bbigej says:

    Read Signature in the Cell if you want a thorough treatment and if you actually care.

  7. 7
    Eocene says:

    Jello:

    “This is, ostensibly, an intelligent design blog.”
    ====

    No really, you’re kidding me!
    —-

    Jello:

    “I’d like to read the intelligent design’s explanation of metamorphosis and not a litany of complaints on the inadequacy of Darwinism.”
    ====

    You’ve been given several and have shown your usual repugnance.

    Let’s start with actually using your brain and thought processes before planning, designing and actually constructing anything in life. Your choice. After all, this is about utilizing various “application processes” to accomplish anything remotely functional and beneficial.

    How would this concept of intelligence be vastly inferior to blind undirected unguided forces moving mountains of lifeless debris wreakage to accomplish the same identical tasks in your opinion ???

  8. 8
    Jello says:

    Read Signature in the Cell if you want a thorough treatment and if you actually care.

    I don’t want a thorough treatment, I just want to read what the intelligent design hypothesis is for metamorphosis.

    You’ve been given several and have shown your usual repugnance.

    I have been given none.

    Let’s start with actually using your brain and thought processes before planning, designing and actually constructing anything in life. Your choice. After all, this is about utilizing various “application processes” to accomplish anything remotely functional and beneficial.

    So the intelligent designer a) has a physical brain and b) utilized some unknown “application processes”.

    Not much to go on.

    How would this concept of intelligence be vastly inferior to blind undirected unguided forces moving mountains of lifeless debris wreakage to accomplish the same identical tasks in your opinion ???

    Exhale.

    Forget Darwinism, stymie your anger, be thankful you are at the vanguard of the next scientific revolution. Anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.

  9. 9
    Eocene says:

    Jello:

    “I have been given none.”
    ====

    Interesting. If those examples of utilizing the application of intelligence to accomplsih great things were a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake you’d be long since dead by now.
    —-

    Jello:

    “Forget Darwinism, stymie your anger, be thankful you are at the vanguard of the next scientific revolution. Anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.”
    ====

    Love the childish tantrum and foot stamping. Did you remember to drink all your milk before you take a nap on the carpet ???

  10. 10
    Jello says:

    Odd, the “Exhale” was a suggestion directed at yourself. Nevermind….

    Interesting. If those examples of utilizing the application of intelligence to accomplsih great things were a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake you’d be long since dead by now.

    “Utilizing the application of intelligence”.

    Okay so let’s hear the intelligent design explanation for metamorphosis that ‘utilises the application of intelligence’.

  11. 11
    oyer says:

    What is your explanation? This is how the Darwinian explanation goes

    1. Natural selection and random mutation
    2. Sequence of assembly

    So just replace natural selection and random mutation with intelligent design and input a sequence. Do you really need to see how an engineering sequence proceeds? Do you want a detailed manuscript of the assembly procedure? You think that it can’t be provided or that it is totally unnecessary?

    ID says that a force capable of foresight, capable of assembling highly integrated and sophisticated biological systems, capable of high end biological coding,is required. How do you suggest ID goes about showing that?

    You might say, well no, beavers build dams, they can build a human. ID looks at the capabilities of a beaver, say no. They discredit it. However you want to cut it,

    1. This force is insufficient,
    2.Therefore another force capable of foresight, assembling highly integrated and sophisticated biological systems, capable of high end biological coding, is required.

    Isn’t that what you’re asking for? Do you mind if ID calls it intelligence? Is that the problem?

    You say all ID ever does is try to show the insufficiency of random processes. But is there a Darwinian explanation that doesn’t attack ID? Can you show evidence for Darwinian evolution without attacking ID?

    When viewers of metamorphosis see the types of systems at work, they will understand the type of force required, and they will realize the insufficiency of other forces. Would you agree?

  12. 12
    tjguy says:

    Jello, you got it! It’s really that simple. You get to a point where the facts speak for themselves and chance is no longer a viable option which leaves some sort of intelligent design. It just becomes a matter of common sense. Even a child can figure it out. It really is that simple, but I know this is a science blog and everyone wants “proof”.

    Well, if we’re honest, there is no proof on either side. You take the observations you have and make deductions. You interpret the facts. Both sides take a faith position. If you are a materialist, you don’t have too many options. It has to be some sort of evolution, so in spite of where the evidence leads, you have to maintain the faith. If materialism cannot solve the problem – and it has become pretty obvious that it cannot – then that obviously points to a Designer. You are right on!

  13. 13
    tjguy says:

    It won’t do any good if he does. He already KNOWS that evolution is a fact because he is a materialist. His worldview prevents him from thinking of any intelligence being involved at all. He is a prisoner to his worldview – as we all are I guess, but Theism does expand your options and give meaning and purpose to life as well. Not a bad choice if I say so myself.

  14. 14
    Joseph says:

    Design is a natural process and as far as anyone knows evolution is designed- as in organisms were designed to evolve and evolved by design.

  15. 15
    GinoB says:

    Not all insects go through a four-stage metamorphosis of egg–>larva–>pupa–>adult. Many go through a three stage process of egg–>nymph–>adult. Some insects don’t undergo metamorphosis at all.

    Some amphibians undergo metamorphosis too – frogs, toads, some species of newts. But not all of them.

    There are even some fish, particularly eels, that also undergo a form of metamorphosis.

    So why did the Designer come up with so many different ways to get the end produce? Why go through all those stages at all?

    If the Big Guy Designer wanted a butterfly, why didn’t he just design a butterfly from the get-go like is done in so many other species?

    Can we please get some ID explanations her?

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    notes:

    I would like to roughly outline the insurmountable difficulty that thermodynamics presents to the ‘theory’ of evolution, indeed it can be argued forcefully that neo-Darwinism is not even a scientific theory at all since it disagrees so fundamentally with the second law::

    “The laws of probability apply to open as well as closed systems.”
    Granville Sewell – Professor Of Mathematics – University Of Texas El Paso

    Professor Harold Morowitz shows the Origin of Life ‘problem’ escalates dramatically, over the oft quoted 1 in 10^40,000 figure, when working from a thermodynamic perspective,:

    “The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 in 10^340,000,000. (This number is 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering since there is only supposed to be approximately 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe!”)
    (Professor Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow In Biology pg. 99, Biophysicist of George Mason University)

    Dr. Morowitz did another probability calculation working from the thermodynamic perspective with a already existing cell and came up with this number:

    DID LIFE START BY CHANCE?
    Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)
    http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html

    Further notes:

    “Bertalanffy (1968) called the relation between irreversible thermodynamics and information theory one of the most fundamental unsolved problems in biology.”
    Charles J. Smith – Biosystems, Vol.1, p259.

    ‘The information content of a simple cell had been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    of note: The 10^12 bits of information number for a bacterium is derived from entropic considerations, which is, due to the tightly integrated relationship between the equations of information and entropy, considered the most accurate measure of the total transcendent information present in a ‘simple’ life forms. For calculations please see the following site:

    Molecular Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy:
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ….The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…”
    Tom Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90 – Quotes attributed to Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin in the article

    Entropy (information theory)
    Excerpt: But, at a multidisciplinary level, connections can be made between thermodynamic and informational entropy, although it took many years in the development of the theories of statistical mechanics and information theory to make the relationship fully apparent.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon_information

    “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”
    Gilbert Newton Lewis – Eminent Chemist

    “But in all the reading I’ve done in the life-sciences literature, I’ve never found a mutation that added information… All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it.”
    Lee Spetner – Ph.D. Physics – MIT – Not By Chance

    further notes:

    The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.
    Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1915), chapter 4

    Indeed the ‘death grip’ that the second law holds on the material universe is relentless:

    The Future of the Universe
    Excerpt: After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. — Not a happy ending.
    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/p.....uture.html

    Big Rip
    Excerpt: The Big Rip is a cosmological hypothesis first published in 2003, about the ultimate fate of the universe, in which the matter of universe, from stars and galaxies to atoms and subatomic particles, are progressively torn apart by the expansion of the universe at a certain time in the future. Theoretically, the scale factor of the universe becomes infinite at a finite time in the future.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip

    Thermodynamic Argument Against Evolution – Thomas Kindell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4168488
    entire video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV3WWDfGsX4

    Verse:

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Music:

    Steven Curtis Chapman – God is God (Original Version) –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz94NQ5HRyk

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    of note: This is a very appropiate picture of what the thory of evolution represents for explaining how the metamorphosis of Butterflies originated
    http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net.....2815_n.jpg

  18. 18
    lastyearon says:

    Just to clarify, is your position that evolution is a natural process, and that the initial rules (laws of nature) were designed?

  19. 19
  20. 20
    lastyearon says:

    Your missing my point.

    The metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly is an example of observable evolution. We know it happens.

    So we have an observed instance of evolution, and a really intricate complicated one, filled with irreducible complexities, and other mind boggling improbabilities.

    Now some may say that it is a miracle. But the point of view of the post was that it isn’t a miracle. It’s a result of a purely natural mechanical process. And for the very reason that this complex process operates within the laws of nature, that is why the process must have been intelligently designed.

    Do you see what I’m getting at? The author of the post is willing to attribute the evolution of the caterpillar to mechanical, natural processes. And he places the ‘design’ in the creation of the rules that govern the process.

  21. 21
    oyer says:

    GinoB wrote: “Can we please get some ID explanations her?”

    ID doesn’t identify the designer. The animals you just listed also require intelligence.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    lastyearon:

    So we have an observed instance of evolution, and a really intricate complicated one, filled with irreducible complexities, and other mind boggling improbabilities.

    Really??? So the caterpillar changes into a butterfly and this is ‘observed evolution” for you??? Does it even cross your mind that you are severely “begging the question”???

  23. 23
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    GinoB,

    If the Big Guy Designer wanted a butterfly, why didn’t he just design a butterfly from the get-go like is done in so many other species?

    Why make a ship in a bottle? Why make those weird eye-crossing 3D pictures? Why make a coffee mug shaped like a football? Does every single thing people make or do relate to their survival or some utilitarian purpose? Why make anything at all?

    Perhaps the reason is to confound anyone who might later deny that it was designed. It’s certainly working.

  24. 24
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    Jello,

    Are you ready? Brace yourself:

    I don’t want a thorough treatment, I just want to read what the intelligent design hypothesis is for metamorphosis.

    It required intelligent design.
    That’s the hypothesis.

    This is the part where someone typically objects that nothing has been explained. (Not meaning to put words in your mouth.)

    First, saying that it evolved doesn’t explain anything either. You still have to figure out how. Good luck with that.

    Second, don’t confuse ID with reverse engineering. If you want to figure out how it was designed, you may have to reverse engineer it. That’s how people figure out how other stuff was made. Notice how there’s no magic or voodoo in all of this.

    ID just gets you on the right track so you can start reverse engineering or attempting to understand the design rather than spinning your wheels forever trying to imagine an evolutionary pathway that involves a creature dissolving itself, dying, and reforming itself from its raw materials.

    Perhaps if I were a designer and suspected that one day my designs might try to explain themselves while denying my existence or effort, I might insert something just like this to stop them in their tracks. That’s a guess, not an explanation. I’m not as clever as that designer.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Jello says:

    So the intelligent design hypothesis for metamorphosis is ‘it required intelligent design’. Doesn’t sound too promis…..

    This is the part where someone typically objects that nothing has been explained. (Not meaning to put words in your mouth.)

    You read my mind.

    First, saying that it evolved doesn’t explain anything either. You still have to figure out how. Good luck with that.

    The difference being that at least there’s a chance scientists could figure out how metamorphosis evolved. Under a naturalistic framework the problem is at least tractable.

    On the other hand, barring special revelation how can we ever know the processes that went into designing the butterfly’s lifecycle? Once you opt for an explanation that by its very nature cannot be known scientifically then one ID explanation is as good as another, with no possible way to choose between them.

    You can’t test, compare or analyse ID hypotheses for the simple reason that the capabilities of the designer are unknown and unstated; anything goes. It’s scientifically inert.

    ID just gets you on the right track so you can start reverse engineering or attempting to understand the design…

    Biologists have been reverse engineering the natural world for over two centuries. ID can hardly take credit for that.

  27. 27
  28. 28

    GinoB,

    “So why did the Designer come up with so many different ways to get the end produce? Why go through all those stages at all?

    If the Big Guy Designer wanted a butterfly, why didn’t he just design a butterfly from the get-go like is done in so many other species?

    Can we please get some ID explanations her?”

    No explanation is necessary.

    Your statement (question) is a classic “God wouldn’t have done it that way” assumption; which if you pay close attention to some of Dr. Cornelius Hunter’s posts, is what started the whole Darwinist foray into evolutionary explanations for biological diversity and complexity. It’s more of a religious assumption than any IDer ever made. It is also begging the question on the highest plane.

    The question shouldn’t be “why would God do it that way?” but “are the processes and end results best explained by pure natural processes, or is there a clear purpose behind the processes leading to the results?”

    If you can answer that question logically with the evidence, the question of why God would do it that way becomes a moot point.

    I think what you’re conflating is the idea that if a designer is behind this, he/she/it necessarily does things in the same way as human designers would do it; but if you look at the cosmos and the arguments for fine tuning, for example, you can see how the conditions for life are much more complex than anything we could think to design. Humans as designers do things in a patchwork sort of way, while what we observe in the cosmos is best described as fine tuning, such that every element plays a part in the design.

    The more we learn about this in our limited ability to know, the more we learn that it’s no patchwork job. Just beyond Mars, for example, is the asteroid belt. If the Earth were anywhere near that vicinity we would be bombarded constantly by meteorites, and no life (at least as we know it) could begin let alone survive. And yet that very asteroid belt protects the Earth from other dangers beyond. And any closer to the sun, we would also not survive. If you’re going to critique ID thinking, it’s these sorts of complexities – the fine tuning of it all, and the placement in nature, the environment, the results that make butterflies – all these things you need to consider rather than “would a god do it that way, or if so why?” That is a question I think who’s answer is far too complex, and part of the reason why ID theorists avoid the question. They don’t ask why, because of all the symbiotic relationships that are necessary for life, and it’s really beyond our ability to understand completely. The answers may lie in the far distances of the universe of which we have no access.

    The Earth is not a vacuum in space, but is interconnected to all the elements of a solar system, which supports life on the one planet. The solar system is not a vacuum in space, but is interconnected to all the elements of a galaxy that supports life in the one solar system (at least that we know of). If those two measures are any indication of how it all works, it would appear also that beyond the galaxy and clusters of galaxies are conditions, which must be in place for life to exist on this one planet (that we know of) that contains life, or on any other planet in the universe that might contain life.

    Now consider the butterfly and how it comes to be. Given all that we don’t know about the universe and conditions that allow for life to exist on Earth, do you think it reasonable to ask such questions? Like all the symbiotic relationships that we observe as far as the conditions for life, there may be certain relationships with how a butterfly comes to be that are a crucial link in the interconnectedness of life; and we have yet to find them out.

    In my thinking an infinitely intelligent being could (and would) in fact create butterflies in that fashion just for the sheer and complex mystery of it all, and for other purposes that are beyond our understanding, but which we might learn eventually through science. And knowing that we humans would someday become designers, leaving it still a mystery to show that He is in fact who He is – above and beyond our understaning. He gives us just enough evidence to know that it ain’t just nature. Science may fail to have the crucial answers if it continues to beg the question in that sort of way.

    ID’s contribution, if anything is in avoiding those kinds of assumptions, which I believe get in the way of finding certain things out. Yes, in the end it is a science stopper,

    So please try to give us a cogent reason why a designer would not have done it that way, while at the same time avoid conflating how a human designer would have done it with how an infinitely knowing designer would have brought it all together in all the complex symbiotic relationships that apparently exist here and far beyond our galaxy, and which allow us to enjoy life on this planet. If you can’t, then I don’t think the question is at all helpful or reasonable.

  29. 29
    Jello says:

    The more we learn about this in our limited ability to know, the more we learn that it’s no patchwork job. Just beyond Mars, for example, is the asteroid belt. If the Earth were anywhere near that vicinity we would be bombarded constantly by meteorites, and no life (at least as we know it) could begin let alone survive. And yet that very asteroid belt protects the Earth from other dangers beyond.

    This is Panglossianism at its finest!

    You offer the asteroid belt as an example of beneficent design, without which the Earth would be prone to all manner of meteoric peril.

    Ask yourself, why would the Designer in his wisdom create those dangers that would necessitate an asteroid belt in the first place?

    The sensible solution to the problem of massive, potentially devastating rocks careening around space would be to remove said devastating rocks from space; not to add even more.

  30. 30
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    Jello,

    On the other hand, barring special revelation how can we ever know the processes that went into designing the butterfly’s lifecycle? Once you opt for an explanation that by its very nature cannot be known scientifically then one ID explanation is as good as another, with no possible way to choose between them.

    Are you seriously saying, with a straight face, that determining that a thing was designed somehow prohibits finding out how?

    The only thing that prohibits finding out how a thing was designed is deciding a priori to rule out design. Nothing can trump the decision not to know something. That’s what a science-stopper really looks like.

    What astounds me is that you reason, not based on the accuracy of the determination, but on what happens after you make that determination. Even if determining design somehow did bring all further inquiries to a grinding halt, how would ignoring it and going down a dead-end road to nowhere fare any better?

    When someone says that understanding the design is impossible, they really mean that it sounds very, very hard. Maybe it is. So, like the drunk who can’t find his keys, we should keep searching under the streetlight because it’s easier?

  31. 31
    Jello says:

    Are you seriously saying, with a straight face, that determining that a thing was designed somehow prohibits finding out how?

    When the thing doing the designing is completely unknown, yes.

    When someone says that understanding the design is impossible, they really mean that it sounds very, very hard.

    It’s not impossible because it looks really hard.

    It’s impossible because we have no clue as to the designer’s capabilities, motives or constraints. We cannot hope to reason how a thing came to be because we have no basic premise to reason from. It’s a blank page. And as such any design explanation is as good (read: bad) as another.

    When your premise is an unknown designer, of unknown abilities, of unknown limitations and unknown motivations then there is no hope of an explanation. Or, rather, there is no hope of selecting the best one out of the practically infinite number of possible explanations that follow such a nebulous premise.

  32. 32

    GinoB

    And your reply is not being able to “see the forest for the trees” at it’s finest; even given how limited one is able to see “the whole picture.”

    You fail to see the symbiotic relationship I mentioned. The asteroid belt is both a protector and a danger in the same way that water can be destructive, but also necessary for survival.

    The sensible thing for a designer would be to create nothing at all, and then there would be no dangers. But my sensibilities are limited as are yours.

    You are clearly not thinking of all the issues here. Life itself is a miracle of combining all of the elements and conditions in interconnected relationships that go beyond the galaxy, I think even many materialists would agree that it’s not a simple issue of a designer conjuring up some sort of perfect universe in an instant, such that there are no dangers – particularly since it is a given that if such a designer exists, he/she/it would be beyond time, so perfection in an instant would be irrelevant.

    You’re also conflating what is optimal with what may be described as perfect. The life that exists appears to be optimal; as in everything that is necessary to sustain life is in place and what we don’t know about it is far more than what we do know.

    To state that a designer would avoid all potential dangers in the process is also begging the question. You’re being more religious than you’re being scientific here.

    It also appears as a bait and switch in order to avoid the argument that it is unreasonable to ask why an infinitely intelligent designer would design in a certain way; even given that you don’t believe in such a designer, you don’t know all the intricacies of the ways in which things in nature are or could be designed. You also don’t know if what we observe now is the end result of such an alleged design. Your assumptions go way beyond science into your own metaphysics, which appear to me as very shortsighted.

    In all of that a good book comes to mind – William Dembski’s “The End of Christianity,” if you want a good explanation from a Christian perspective on why dangers (evil) exist(s). It isn’t a scientific question, but a metaphysical one. Pay close attention to the title – especially as you get to the end.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-End-.....038;sr=1-1

  33. 33
    Upright BiPed says:

    “Biologists have been reverse engineering the natural world for over two centuries. ID can hardly take credit for that.”

    Have they figured out how any of the critical immaterial rules in biology came about? Like, why codons have three nucleotides, or, why CTA maps to Leucuine, or, why AGT starts a protein? Have they reverse engineered the coordinated emergence of a set aminoacyl synthetase mapped to two sets of physical objects, neither of which it ever comes into contact with – yet must be correct for the emergence of aminoacyl synthetases?

    This is not a slam on science (far from it) its a slam on ideological materialism parading as science. When these phenomena are understood … you can rest assured that ID will be there.

  34. 34
    Upright BiPed says:

    We cannot hope to reason how a thing came to be because we have no basic premise to reason from. It’s a blank page.

    That is just not true

  35. 35
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    Jello,

    Twice in one post you reason that we can’t learn something because we don’t already know it.

    When the thing doing the designing is completely unknown, yes.

    So if we can tell that a thing was designed but we don’t know by what or by whom, that means that it’s impossible to find out how because we don’t know by whom.

    That’s a blanket statement that it’s impossible to know something, and you don’t say why it’s impossible. It’s just unknown. Unknown does not equal unknowable.

    It’s impossible because we have no clue as to the designer’s capabilities, motives or constraints.

    Again, we can’t know because we don’t know.

    Which are you arguing?

    A) If a thing appears to be designed but we do not know by whom, we should pretend not to notice because that would lead us to something we don’t know, and for some reason we’d just have to stop there.

    B) If a thing appears to be designed but we do not know by whom, it could not possibly have been designed.

    C) We should not attempt to determine whether a thing is designed without first determining who designed it.

    You seem to think that logic that arrives at a conclusion must be faulty if that conclusion raises unanswered questions. Or at least you think so in this case. Most folks only apply such tortured reasoning when it comes to ID.

  36. 36
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    Jello,

    Biologists have been reverse engineering the natural world for over two centuries. ID can hardly take credit for that.

    How do you reverse-engineer something that was not engineered?

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Jello, though it has been established, many times before, very convincingly, that Christianity has elevated the status, and rights, of women (as well as the rights of infants, children, and minorities), far above what they were in the past (and even far above some other non-Christian countries in the present), and indeed I could easily prove my case that this is the truth, instead, in response to your ‘redneck preacher’ video link, I want to focus instead on the fact that you, as an atheist, in linking the ‘redneck’ video, are in fact making a value/moral judgement about how you think the world ‘ought’ to be in regards to its ‘moral/value’ treatment of women. ,,, jello, it clearly seems to have escaped your understanding that it is impossible for the atheist to ground objective morality, which you clearly believe in, in the first place!!!

    Jello, please note here as William Lane Craig picks apart the very same line of reasoning you are using, against Richard Dawkins, for claiming objective moral superiority to Christians:

    Richard Dawkins on the Moral Argument for God: by William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-OjSKr79aQ

    Jello, to try to make as clear for you as possible, you simply have no way to ground objective moral beliefs within your atheistic/materialistic worldview:

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvDyLs_cReE

    Stephen Meyer – Morality Presupposes Theism (1 of 4) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSpdh1b0X_M

    jello, if the fact that you have no basis for presupposing moral superiority was not bad enough for your atheistic worldview, what should really get you to seriously doubting all this blind faith you have seemingly put into atheism/materialism, is that you cannot even ground the practice of ‘doing science’ within your atheistic worldview in the first place:

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Presuppositional Apologetics – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6853139

    RC Sproul Interviews Stephen Meyer – (Epistemology) Presuppositional Apologetics (and Scientific Argument for ID from presently acting cause known to produce effect in question)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM5J2zTBIzI

    Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” (materialistic) models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Should You Trust the Monkey Mind? – Joe Carter
    Excerpt: Evolutionary naturalism assumes that our noetic equipment developed as it did because it had some survival value or reproductive advantage. Unguided evolution does not select for belief except insofar as the belief improves the chances of survival. The truth of a belief is irrelevant, as long as it produces an evolutionary advantage. This equipment could have developed at least four different kinds of belief that are compatible with evolutionary naturalism, none of which necessarily produce true and trustworthy cognitive faculties.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....onkey-mind

    What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? (‘inconsistent identity’ of cause leads to failure of absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yNg4MJgTFw

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth he is giving in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    Here a Darwinian Psychologist has a moment of honesty facing the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness;

    Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science’s “Hardest Problem”
    Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
    David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....52491.html

    Further notes:

    “Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”
    CS Lewis – Mere Christianity

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.” J. B. S. Haldane [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    I truly invite you, jello, to look past your petty prejudices against Christianity in particular, and against Theism in general, and honestly consider these points I’ve raised against atheism. Please, ask yourself, ‘why should these points be so if atheism is actually true?’ For if you can’t honestly answer these points I’ve raised (and you can’t), then this makes atheism/materialism untrue as a philosophy/worldview. And if you, jello, are living your life as if atheism were true (as in fact you are doing) then you are in fact ‘living a lie’.,,, And even though you could list the faults of Christians all day long (as I could list faults of atheists all day long), jello, Is it worth ‘living a lie’ just because you find the behavior of some (many?) Christians/Theists objectionable and even hypocritical? Should you not seek out the truth above all else regardless, even in spite, of the behavior of other people?

    DAVID SNEDDON – STOP LIVING THE LIE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIqxeSiNE-k

    Matthew 7:7
    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Well Jello, are you going to honestly engage the points I raised? i.e. Does truth even matter to you?

  41. 41
    Jello says:

    Twice in one post you reason that we can’t learn something because we don’t already know it.

    That’s a blanket statement that it’s impossible to know something, and you don’t say why it’s impossible. It’s just unknown. Unknown does not equal unknowable.

    No, I’m saying that it’s impossible to reason from the unknown to the known.

    When your premise is as calculatedly mysterious as ID’s there are an infinite number of compatible explanations available for metamorphosis – with no criteria at all to choose between them.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    ScottAndrews2 says:

    Jello,

    No, I’m saying that it’s impossible to reason from the unknown to the known.

    Why would anyone try to reason from anything to the known? That makes no sense.

    The idea is to reason from the known to the unknown. (Not just ID, but all of science.)

    You seem to have it stuck that this particular unknown is also unknowable. Why? Even if that were true, how does an unknowable unknown refute the logic that led to it?

    When your premise is as calculatedly mysterious as ID’s…

    What is so mysterious? The guy on CSI says that the fire was caused by arson. Who started it? Big question mark. Is that calculatedly mysterious? Do we tell the CSI guy that he can’t say the fire was arson unless he first identifies an arsonist?

    Next you’ll argue (again) that this is different because we don’t know what methods the designer might use, etc. So what? I thought unknowns were what science was all about. Now you seem to think that they are the enemy of science.

    …there are an infinite number of compatible explanations available for metamorphosis

    As long as the value of X is unknown, it has an infinite number of possible values. Again, you are reasoning that the unknown is unknowable. That’s the not the spirit that boldly goes where no man has gone before.

  44. 44
    MedsRex says:

    Jello is a FossFur sock or a disciple. He is seeking hi-fives and belly-tickles from his cronies. That’s his purpose here.

  45. 45
    Jello says:

    Here is the premise/hypothesis: An unknown designer of unknown capabilities, unknown limitations and unknown motives designed the butterfly’s odd lifestyle.

    As an exercise try and build an hypothesis explaining how metamorphosis was designed that is incompatible with the original premise.

    As long as the value of X is unknown, it has an infinite number of possible values.

    Exactly; and when the putative designer is completely unknown there is no possible way to favour one possible explanation for how metamorphosis was designed above another.

  46. 46
    Eocene says:

    Jello:

    “Here is the premise/hypothesis: An unknown designer of unknown capabilities, unknown limitations and unknown motives designed the butterfly’s odd lifestyle.

    As an exercise try and build an hypothesis explaining how metamorphosis was designed that is incompatible with the original premise.”
    ====

    Perfect, you’ve just described Darwin’s and your’s mysterious unknown animist god.
    —-

    Jello:

    “when the putative designer is completely unknown there is no possible way to favour one possible explanation for how metamorphosis was designed above another.”
    ====

    Again, perfect. You’ve just described the mysterious animist god of blind chanced Dice Theory to a “T”. Now do you see the problems most here have with your side’s usage of fables, myths and storying without actually evidence to back up all those rediculous assumptions and assertions ???

    Those earthquakes in Oklahoma must have really rattled your cage Professor!!!

  47. 47
    material.infantacy says:

    They are probably part of the same drum circle at one of the Occupy gatherings. It can get rather boring holding “End Capitalism” signs while waiting to be fed. So a little venting here at UD could translate into less vandalism and fewer assaults, in at least one tent city, somewhere.

  48. 48
    lastyearon says:

    Just beyond Mars, for example, is the asteroid belt. If the Earth were anywhere near that vicinity we would be bombarded constantly by meteorites, and no life (at least as we know it) could begin let alone survive.

    Yes and don’t forget that if one of them had not hit earth 65 million years ago, wiping out almost every living organism, we wouldn’t be here today.

  49. 49
    wallstreeter43 says:

    For the life of me I cant understand why atheists try to stamp objective morality on the actions of Christians and others when their worldview has no objective meaning or objective right and wrong. Its like we are telling them that jumping off the ledge of a 4 story building will kill them but they keep jumping off anyways.

    ::shaking my head::

  50. 50
    bornagain77 says:

    lastyearon, as to meteorites and asteroids, it might interest you to know this fact:

    Bombardment Makes Civilization Possible
    What is the common thread among the following items: pacemakers, spark plugs, fountain pens and compass bearings? Give up? All of them currently use (or used in early versions) the two densest elements, osmium and iridium. These two elements play important roles in technological advancements. However, if certain special events hadn’t occurred early in Earth’s history, no osmium or iridium would exist near the planet’s surface.
    http://www.reasons.org/Bombard.....onPossible

    So apparently some purpose from bombardment by meteorites, at least for technologically advanced civilizations, has already been discovered (and it would not surprise in the least me if more purpose was found for asteroids/meteorites). And thus, as trivial as this finding may seem to you, this is another example of the atheistic mindset, of presupposing no purpose in nature, derailing investigation instead of nurturing honest inquiry (Such as happened with junk DNA and vestigial organs etc.. etc..)(and as if ‘science’ was even possible from a purely atheistic mindset).

    notes:

    Privileged Planet Principle – Scot Pollock (Notes In Description) – video
    http://vimeo.com/31904755

    Even the orbits of the other planets, in our solar system, are starting to be discovered to be extremely fine tuned to make life on Earth possible:

    Thank God for Jupiter – July 2010
    Excerpt: The July 16, 1994 and July 19, 2009 collision events on Jupiter demonstrate just how crucial a role the planet plays in protecting life on Earth. Without Jupiter’s gravitational shield our planet would be pummeled by frequent life-exterminating events. Yet Jupiter by itself is not an adequate shield. The best protection is achieved via a specific arrangement of several gas giant planets. The most massive gas giant must be nearest to the life support planet and the second most massive gas giant the next nearest, followed by smaller, more distant gas giants. Together Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune provide Earth with this ideal shield.
    http://www.reasons.org/thank-god-jupiter

    Of Gaps, Fine-Tuning and Newton’s Solar System – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    Excerpt: The new results indicate that the solar system could become unstable if diminutive Mercury, the inner most planet, enters into a dance with Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest of all. The resulting upheaval could leave several planets in rubble, including our own. Using Newton’s model of gravity, the chances of such a catastrophe were estimated to be greater than 50/50 over the next 5 billion years. But interestingly, accounting for Albert Einstein’s minor adjustments (according to his theory of relativity), reduces the chances to just 1%.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....solar.html

    Milankovitch Cycle Design – Hugh Ross – August 2011
    Excerpt: In all three cases, Waltham proved that the actual Earth/Moon/solar system manifests unusually low Milankovitch levels and frequencies compared to similar alternative systems. ,,, Waltham concluded, “It therefore appears that there has been anthropic selection for slow Milankovitch cycles.” That is, it appears Earth was purposely designed with slow, low-level Milankovitch cycles so as to allow humans to exist and thrive.
    http://www.reasons.org/milankovitch-cycle-design

    The moon, which gives the earth a stable orbit, which is of course necessary for advanced life, also ‘just so happens’ to give us uniquely ‘perfect’ solar eclipses, which has allowed many deep scientific discoveries into how the universe operates:

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    Etc.. Etc..

    Quote, verse, & music:

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”… The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.”
    Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, “Principia”

    Isaiah 40:28
    Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

    Hillsong – Mighty to Save – With Subtitles/Lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08YZF87OBQ

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    further notes for finding ‘purpose’ where no purpose was expected to be found, at least from the atheistic/materialistic mindset;

    Many times atheists will (such as Carl Sagan did in his cosmos series) say that the immense size of the universe proves that we nothing but insignificant specks of dust, yet it is found that the immense size of the universe is necessary for life (and even each grain of sand in that immense size of the universe is necessary):

    Evidence for Belief in God – Rich Deem
    Excerpt: Isn’t the immense size of the universe evidence that humans are really insignificant, contradicting the idea that a God concerned with humanity created the universe? It turns out that the universe could not have been much smaller than it is in order for nuclear fusion to have occurred during the first 3 minutes after the Big Bang. Without this brief period of nucleosynthesis, the early universe would have consisted entirely of hydrogen. Likewise, the universe could not have been much larger than it is, or life would not have been possible. If the universe were just one part in 10^59 larger, the universe would have collapsed before life was possible. Since there are only 10^80 baryons in the universe, this means that an addition of just 10^21 baryons (about the mass of a grain of sand) would have made life impossible. The universe is exactly the size it must be for life to exist at all.
    http://www.godandscience.org/a.....ntro2.html

    Shoot we even exist at the ‘right time’ in history:

    We Exist At The Right Time In Cosmic History – Hugh Ross – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5708578/

    Though the preceding should certainly crush the Carl Sagan mentality of no inherent worth, or purpose, for human life, the following removes all doubt:

    Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Plausible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US

    Quote from preceding article:

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Verse and Music:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    High School Musical 2 – You are the music in me
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAXaQrh7m1o

  52. 52
    Ultimately Real says:

    The expansion of the universe thing has always bugged me. Correct me if I am wrong, if we pick 30 equally spaced points on the earth surface and gaze into the sky, all the deep space objects are traveling away from us and the further away they are, the faster they are traveling? If we then find two deep space galaxies that are about the same distance from earth but one is directly above the north pole and one is directly above the equator, they should be traveling away from us at roughly the same speed, right? Can’t we triangulate these two galaxies to determine the speed at which they are traveling away from each other? Wouldn’t the only plausible explanation be that they originated at exactly our vantage point? Or am I totally missing the whole theory? Is the only reason we believe in uniform expansion is because we won’t accept the earth is at the center of the universe? So are you saying my mother could have been wrong all these years when she told me I shouldn’t be acting like I am the center of my own universe??

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a better quality video of Astrophysicist Hugh Ross explaining the anthropic cosmological principle behind the immense size of the universe as well as behind the ancient age of the universe:

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History – Hugn Ross – video
    http://vimeo.com/31940671

  54. 54
    PaV says:

    lastyearon:

    The metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly is an example of observable evolution. We know it happens.

    The fossil record tells us that “evolution” occurred. No need, then, to be looking at butterflies to determine that ‘fact’.

    The question is not whether “evolution” occurred; the question is can Darwinism explain HOW evolution occurred.

    ID is not Creationism. There are atheists who espouse ID; and there are Creationists who do. But ID is its own program. And, as such, is a challenge to Darwinian orthodoxy.

  55. 55
    PaV says:

    Jello:

    We now know that what differentiates humans from chimps is not at the level of proteins, but that of genetic networks present in our DNA, and mediated in some way by transposons.

    DNA is more than a recipe. It doesn’t just cook up proteins, but does much, much more. It has the ability to set-up communications networks at almost all levels of cellular organization. We also know that epigenetic markers can be inherited by non-Mendelian means.

    Very likely, during the destruction of the worm, certain epigenetic markers are put in place that ‘adjust’ the DNA programming so that during its reconstruction a butterfly emerges.

    This kind of genetic engineering cannot possibly come about through mere blind forces, but testifies, rather, to an intelligent agent at work.

    In the case of the worm turned butterfly

  56. 56
    PaV says:

    When you see Him, ask Him.

  57. 57
    PaV says:

    GinoB @ 7.1.1:

    If the Big Guy Designer wanted a butterfly, why didn’t he just design a butterfly from the get-go like is done in so many other species?

    When you see Him, ask Him.

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