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Michael Behe responds to the hit pre-publication review at Science

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Which was clearly intended to muddy the waters:

For readers who don’t have time to plow all the way through, here are the take-home lessons:

– gene-level counter-examples cited by the reviewers are shamelessly question-begging; the reviewers simply gesture at genes and assume they were produced and/or integrated into living systems by random processes, but neither the reviewers nor anyone else has even tried to show that is possible;

– organ-level counter-examples cited by the reviewers as produced by exaptive processes are similarly question-begging; criticisms of my earlier books cited by the reviewers were similarly question-begging and/or relied on vague, imaginative stories;

– the reviewers are either unaware of or ignore my many detailed replies to earlier criticisms and to papers the reviewers themselves cite;

– as noted in my previous post, the reviewers don’t even attempt to grapple with the main argument of the book, that beneficial degradative mutations will rapidly, relentlessly, unavoidably, outcompete beneficial constructive mutations at every time and population scale. Michael Behe, “Train Wreck of a Review: A Response to Lenski et al. in Science” at Evolution News and Science Today

The thing is, a great many people are only looking for a half-baked reason to dismiss the book. Swamidass et al. provided them with one.

The fact that the attack is incompetent is its strength, not its weakness. It shows the social power of Darwinism, irrespective of intellectual force. Most Science readers will probably go with social power. It gives them the right to sneer, right or wrong. Intellectual force requires a basis.

Note: Social power is a form of living on capital. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

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See also: Some thoughts on the hatchet review of Behe’s Darwin Devolves in Science One wonders, do many biologists have independent ideas that Darwinism stifles? If so, they must be frustrated by the need to keep them under wraps or defend them from malign mediocrities for whom mere orthodoxy produces a living.

Science Mag’s hit on Michael Behe’s Darwin Devolves avoids his main point In these times, are you better off knowing the problems or innocently citing approved sources of misinformation as your reason for making decisions? You decide.

and

All together now, Dissenters: Happy Birthday, Darwin! Folks, it’s Darwin Day, when we are told by Darwinians to celebrate “intellectual bravery.” Very well, here is some: Dissent from Darwinism, the vid.

28 Replies to “Michael Behe responds to the hit pre-publication review at Science

  1. 1
    ET says:

    Wow, Dr. Behe supported everything that I have been telling the Behe-bashing evolutionists. And yes, they ignored what I said, too.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    It is very telling that Joshua Swamidass is crying “foul” over Dr. Behe’s response. Joshua says they were reviewing the book and not what Dr. Behe might have said outside of the book. He doesn’t realize that the book doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    It shows the social power of Darwinism, irrespective of intellectual force.

    Darwinism is dead. It was also falsified in 1968.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Mung is now channeling his inner Dr. Swamidass. 😎

  5. 5
    News says:

    Darwinism is NOT dead. It is a key cultural force.
    Its intellectual power is negligible but that doesn’t matter. Its power does not lie in its usefulness for interpreting nature but in its use in navigating the social world of science.

    As I said above, the fact that the attack is incompetent is its strength, not its weakness. It shows the social power of Darwinism, irrespective of intellectual force. Most Science readers will probably go with social power. It gives them the right to sneer, right or wrong. Intellectual force, by contrast, requires a basis. It must show results other than the ruin of doubters’ careers.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    News, over on Peaceful Science Joshua assures us that Darwinism is dead, scientifically speaking.

  7. 7
    doubter says:

    I think Dr. Behe’s response is brilliant. A question comes to mind: Dr. Behe points out that as he predicted, rather than a lot of new complex specified genetic information (expected by neo-Darwinism), in the long multi-generational laboratory e. coli experiments Lenski actually demonstrated a considerable accumulation of degradative mutations. So why has this accumulation of errors and faults not also occurred in wild populations? What keeps wild populations from degrading to extinction? Is it that in the wild (as opposed to the artificial conditions of the laboratory experiment) the degradative mutations are rapidly weeded out by selection before they can spread into the entire population?

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Doubter- the real world is not dominated by Darwinian evolution. That is why wild populations have not degraded into extinction.

  9. 9
    jawa says:

    I like this:

    “Have they never heard the phrase non sequitur? As strange as it may seem to people outside the charmed circle, many Darwinian biologists find it difficult to distinguish the question of what occurred in biology from the question of how it occurred.”

  10. 10
    PaV says:

    Dr. Behe has moved in a straight line regarding his questioning of Darwinian theory, moving from one basic question to another, beginning with Darwin’s Black Box and now with DarwinDevolves, with the Edge of Evolution and several articles in between.

    One-by-one, Behe has tried to examine the ‘power’ of RM + NS and has zeroed-in on its severe limitations. Step-by-step, he’s shown that Darwinian evolution can do very little and that what it basically does is “break things.” His legacy has been established. Now, we need evolutionary biologists to recognize the magnitude of his opus. But, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    If I were a cynic, which I’m not, I’d be inclined to think that Behe, Swamidass et al had cooked up this whole controversy thing between them. It’s wonderful publicity for the book.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Behe lists this as the main falsification of Darwin’s theory that his book focuses on:

    “beneficial degradative mutations will rapidly, relentlessly, unavoidably, outcompete beneficial constructive mutations at every time and population scale.”
    – Michael Behe

    Here are a few more falsifications of Darwinian theory that I can think of (feel free to add to my list if you know of other falsifications)

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. Mutations to the genome are not random but are ‘directed’.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other particular material particles one may wish to invoke.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. From the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it.”

    Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are not explainable by chance (nor by materialistic explanations in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm.

    Donald Hoffman has shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Quantum Mechanics has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’.

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is ‘merely’ emergent from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract immaterial property of the mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution.

    Darwinist’s insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet is is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    One more falsification

    Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Widespread ‘convergent evolution’ on both the morphological and genetic level falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species.

  14. 14
    harry says:

    What was unimaginable by Darwin was the reality. Life at the cellular level turned out to be sophisticated, digital information-based nanotechnology the functional complexity of which exceeds that of an automated factory — in a single cell. If it is rational to assume that, say, self-replicating robotic equipment might come about mindlessly and accidentally, then it is still rational to assume life might have come about that way. It clearly isn’t. Nor is it rational to assume that the integration of trillions of such single cells into higher forms of life happened mindlessly and accidentally.

    Atheism has become like a flat-earth society that is impervious to reason and facts, only it is one that still dominates the institutions of society, due to the fact that Christian/theistic leaders are so easily intimidated.

  15. 15
    jawa says:

    Since the online discussion on the upcoming book started, the Alexa-tracked traffic at the peer websites (PS et al.) have jumped up considerably. It reminded me of a “Cold War” joke saying that the so-called “communist” societies behind the iron curtain benefited from what they called “errors” of capitalism. 🙂

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Jawa, that is suggestive, that they pull traffic from us, riding on our coat tails. Unsurprising. KF

  17. 17
    PaoloV says:

    KF,
    I agree with your observation: “they pull traffic from us, riding on our coat tails.”
    These days they have to ride on anything that moves, because their own train hasn’t moved since long ago. But even when it seemed like moving it was just a mirage.

  18. 18
    PeterA says:

    Excitement aside, let’s admit that this debate between Dr Behe and his critics is unfair, taking into consideration the fact that these days we see this kind of statement*:
    “New research reveals that […] are far more complex than once thought.”
    quite often**, making it increasingly harder for the Darwinian folks to explain -using their hand waving “just so” fairytales- what is revealed.
    The debate between Dr Behe and his critics seems like a fight between a hungry lion (ID) and a drunk monkey tied to a palm tree. Definitely unfair. 🙂

    (*) text quoted from the “axons” article cited by News in another OP.

    (**) to the point that it’s starting to appear boringly repeated too many times

  19. 19
    john_a_designer says:

    At EN, John West writes:

    Joshua Swamidass, Richard Lenski, and Nathan Lents have published a review in the journal Science critiquing biochemist Michael Behe’s forthcoming book Darwin Devolves. I found their review utterly convincing — although probably not in the way they might hope.

    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/02/darwinists-devolve-review-by-swamidass-lenski-and-lents-borders-on-fraud/

    He then goes on to somewhat facetiously explain:

    I’m grateful to scientists like Richard Dawkins, Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, Francis Collins, Karl Giberson, and a host of others who have critiqued and denounced ID over the years. I’m grateful to them for showing me just how convincing the case for ID really is. Reading their writings, I came across nearly endless examples of question begging, ad hominem attacks, and hand-waving. What I didn’t find were serious refutations. In my experience, the critiques offered of ID were so uniformly bad that it began to dawn on me that the scientists who supported ID must be right. If even ID’s harshest critics couldn’t come up with serious criticisms…

    The amazing thing is that the reasoning and arguments presented by these so-called highly educated, credentialed and knowledgeable scholars is no better than that of the typical anti-ID troll who regularly shows up here at UD. Nevertheless, obfuscation and obstruction are effective if not dishonest and cynical strategies. It is something we see being employed by the secular progressive agitators to undermine the arguments of their opponents in political “debates.” Notice that they do not try to refute arguments by the honest use of logic and reason rather they try to subvert them by demonizing, vilifying or marginalizing their opponents. Their underlying argument is basically, I believe p therefore p must be true. But they are surprisingly successful. Answering such pseudo-intellectual non-sense is not only exhausting but a total waste of time. Dogmatists never yield any ground.

    The irony they’re the ones who regularly castigate ID’ists for being motivated by religion. But dogmatic Darwinism is hardly a good basis for science either. When you cannot question the underlying basis for a scientific theory (e.g. Darwinian evolution) it is no longer science but a pseudo-scientific quasi-religious ideology. Frankly that is all Darwinian evolution has ever been.

  20. 20
    PaV says:

    John-a-Des:

    Answering such pseudo-intellectual non-sense is not only exhausting but a total waste of time. Dogmatists never yield any ground.

    Starting in 2005, I have spent an incredible amount of time arguing with ID-trolls and better, sometimes prominent evolutionary biologists, and the net result, for the most part, is the same thing: dogmatism. To argue logically is to waste one’s time. Evolutionary biologists have simply to invent some word describing an experimental result and the case is closed: to them, this “word” not only “describes” the
    phenomenon, it alsoexplains the phenomenon.

    Years ago, I went round-and-round with an evo-bio about the peppered moth after it came out that the change in coloration in the 1800’s had been traced to the insertion of a transposon into an intron of one of the genes involved in coloration.

    I was told time-and-again that this was nothing more than a “change in frequency,” and nothing more. IOW, this was ‘ho-hum’ population genetics. I pointed out that it was nothing of the sort since going from zero frequency to 1/2N in frequency is more of an “infinite” change.

    But my main argument was simply this: transposons aren’t ‘random’! Say what you want, but a transposon showing up like that smacks more of a “directed mutation” than a “change in frequency.” The dogmatist evo-bio would have nothing to do with it; he would admit nothing.

    Of course, this is exactly what happened in the early 1950’s.

    J.B.S. Haldane, the premier population geneticist, met and spoke with Barbara McClintock after she had published a paper saying that her experimental results indicated that transposons did not randomly move about the genome. Haldance then said–and wrote, I believe, that Barbara McClintock didn’t know what she was talking about.

    Does that sound familiar? Isn’t that what the dogmatists tell us every time we dispute them? Isn’t that what they’re saying about Behe? Isn’t this nothing more than intellectual ‘smearing’?

    Barbara McClintock, after this experience, left the field of experimental biology for a long time. Talk about shabby treatment!

    Yet, what was history’s verdict on all of this? Well, J.B.S. Haldane NEVER won a Nobel Prize; however, Barbara McClintock did, in 1982 for her work on transposons!!

    Science has now become religion. And there is no one more dogmatic than a ‘high priest’ of scientism. It is Christianity, which teaches us to search for, and to love, the truth, that can cleanse science of its dogmatism. What irony!

  21. 21
    jstanley01 says:

    My 2 cents: ID advocates veered out of their proper lane, which is science, and into politics via Philip Johnson’s “wedge strategy” (remember that book?). And the result was the 2005 Dover trial, during which ID got tagged with the “creationism in a cheap tuxedo” moniker that has stuck to this day.

    Not that the verdict will prove to have been that much of a setback in the long run. Because no matter what the vagaries of events that unfold might be, overturning the modern synthesis was going to be generations-long project anyway. That is something that Berlinski has pointed out, if I remember correctly.

    In the intervening years since Dover, notwithstanding the trolls cavils, not only has the science has been confirming ID’s tenants in more and more detail, funerals have also been proceeding gladly apace.

    Still, I wonder if Behe regrets having testified in that show trial. I also wonder about what Dembski’s malfunction may be. I know he that has had a rough row to hoe in terms of career setbacks and a family health issue. But I still don’t get why he picked up his marbles and went home; we all have rough rows to hoe, one way or another. History may well judge him as a mercurial personality who failed to contribute what he might have to the ID movement at a key point during its formation.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    JS01:

    It is quite clear that the evolutionary materialistic scientism that dominates not only the academy but many other centres of power and influence across our civilisation functions as an ideological framework. This is implicit in how many fellow travellers seek to adapt to it and not offend the powers. This has increasingly been so for generations.

    Were the real issue at stake that the so-called wedge document was a proposal to obtain funding from people concerned about that domination and its consequences, based on addressing the scientific case and where the scientific case was seriously flawed, it is clear that the answer would have been to point to the warrant. For example, decisive evidence is what is used to answer to flat earthers. But, obviously, that has not been the case.

    For cause, it is now evident that we deal with entrenched selective hyperskepticism on the substantial matters, to the point that objectors — when they can be brought to deal with substance — will not acknowledge the force of logic turning on undeniable, inescapable or self-evident first principles of right reason (often including the logic of structure and quantity). They will not acknowledge that our life of reason is morally governed, on pain of self-referential absurdity. They will not respond with due prudence to what can be shown to the least practical degree of certainty as is commonly used in courts and other areas where consequence-laden decisions must be made: moral certainty.

    Scientific explanatory frameworks cannot attain to such levels of certainty, given the inherently provisional nature of such inference to best current explanation based inductive constructs, which can only claim significant empirical reliability, subject to revision on further observational evidence or argument.

    That is, we here deal with the fallacy of the ideologically closed mind backed up by institutional dominance.

    So, that must be identified, demonstrated, exposed.

    That is what has been done and is being done.

    The issue is not the quality of evidence that the ONLY actually observed cause of functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information is intelligently directed configuration. That is a fact, on trillions of actually observed cases. Thus, Newton’s rules of reasoning obtain, and no other explanation than design should be entertained until it has demonstrated causal efficacy to create FSCO/I-bearing entities.

    The opposite is the case.

    That’s what Johnson noted on in reply to Lewontin’s cat out of the bag NYRB article on Billions and billions of demons:

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

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

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.” [NB: I am aware that Rational Wiki has backed away, un-announced, from the cat-out-of-the-bag direct phrasing that was in place a few years ago. That historic phrasing is still valid as a summary of what is going on.]

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

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]

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

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

    Twenty-two years later more or less, this stands.

    This is not the world we would prefer to have to deal with, but it is the world we face.

    In the case of the notorious Dover trial, within a year it was demonstrated on indisputable documents, that the wider decision was based on incorporating submissions by ACLU and/or NCSE wholesale in the trial judgement, gross errors and all, with slight verbal adaptation.

    This is lawfare, not sound science, lawfare with agit prop and media amplification.

    That, too, needs to be exposed.

    At this stage, it is clearly time to continue to lay out our case, and to correct the ideological agenda that would lock it out.

    KF

  23. 23
    jstanley01 says:

    KF:
    Thank you for you response. Your points are well taken.

    It is quite clear that the evolutionary materialistic scientism that dominates not only the academy but many other centres of power and influence across our civilisation functions as an ideological framework. This is implicit in how many fellow travellers seek to adapt to it and not offend the powers. This has increasingly been so for generations.

    Were the real issue at stake that the so-called wedge document was a proposal to obtain funding from people concerned about that domination and its consequences, based on addressing the scientific case and where the scientific case was seriously flawed, it is clear that the answer would have been to point to the warrant. For example, decisive evidence is what is used to answer to flat earthers. But, obviously, that has not been the case.

    For cause, it is now evident that we deal with entrenched selective hyperskepticism on the substantial matters, to the point that objectors — when they can be brought to deal with substance — will not acknowledge the force of logic turning on undeniable, inescapable or self-evident first principles of right reason (often including the logic of structure and quantity). They will not acknowledge that our life of reason is morally governed, on pain of self-referential absurdity. They will not respond with due prudence to what can be shown to the least practical degree of certainty as is commonly used in courts and other areas where consequence-laden decisions must be made: moral certainty.

    Scientific explanatory frameworks cannot attain to such levels of certainty, given the inherently provisional nature of such inference to best current explanation based inductive constructs, which can only claim significant empirical reliability, subject to revision on further observational evidence or argument.

    That is, we here deal with the fallacy of the ideologically closed mind backed up by institutional dominance.
    So, that must be identified, demonstrated, exposed.

    Agreed. But I believe the lesson of Dover is that the process of identifying, demonstrating and exposing, at this point, remains one of pursuing sound science and publishing and arguing the results, both formally and popularly as Behe is doing, rather than engaging in political action. Bear in mind that passing laws is inherently a matter of politics, and recall that it was political activists in Kansas, friendly to ID, who were able to get the law at issue passed.

    Andrew Breitbart memorably noted that, “politics is downstream of culture.” Which was why he endeavored to target the latter whenever possible, understanding that political action put ahead of cultural change would be temporary, at best. And at worst such action would be overwhelmed and the political tables turned, as occurred in the case of Dover via a not-incorruptible judicial bench.

    What should be done about the domination by Darwinism of our culture’s paradigm on origins — especially our scientific culture’s — given ID’s success at falsifying its inferences scientifically? What must first be identified, it seems to me would be, what determines culture?

    A lot of things, no doubt. But in science, it’s not arguable that inferences to the best explanations ought to enjoy primacy. Yet it is also inarguable that, because of the entrenched self-interests which exist within the scientific culture — wholly understandable given the fallen nature of mankind — they do not.

    Hence Max Planck’s observation, “Science progresses one funeral at a time.” IOW, as time marches on, the wheels of history turn, and the scientific project grinds forward, the dynamics of self-interest within the scientific culture will slowly change, hopefully for the better. (Our speaking up in the exact manner you prescribe is key, I have no doubt.)

    And as Christians, let’s also recall the exhortation of Hebrews 5:36: “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    JS01,

    observe — and this is a bit dated:

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC AND ANNOTATED LIST OF
    PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
    SUPPORTING INTELLIGENT DESIGN
    UPDATED MARCH, 2017

    PART I: INTRODUCTION
    While intelligent design (ID) research is a new scientific field, recent years have been a period of encouraging growth, producing a strong record of peer-reviewed scientific publications.

    In 2011, the ID movement counted its 50th peer-reviewed scientific paper and new publications continue to appear. As of 2015, the peer-reviewed scientific publication count had reached 90. Many of these papers are recent, published since 2004, when Discovery Institute senior fellow Stephen Meyer published a groundbreaking paper advocating ID in the journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. There are multiple hubs of ID-related research.

    Biologic Institute, led by molecular biologist Doug Axe, is “developing and testing the scientific case for intelligent design in biology.” Biologic conducts laboratory and theoretical research on the origin and role of information in biology, the fine-tuning of the universe for life, and methods of detecting design in nature.

    Another ID research group is the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, founded by senior Discovery Institute fellow William Dembski along with Robert Marks, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. Their lab has attracted graduate-student researchers and published multiple peer-reviewed articles in technical science and engineering journals showing that computer programming ”points to the need for an ultimate information source qua intelligent designer.”

    Other pro-ID scientists around the world are publishing peer-reviewed pro-ID scientific papers. These include biologist Ralph Seelke at the University of Wisconsin Superior, Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig who recently retired from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Germany, and Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe.

    These and other labs and researchers have published their work in a variety of appropriate technical venues, including peer-reviewed scientific journals, peer-reviewed scientific books (some published by mainstream university presses), trade-press books, peer-edited scientific anthologies, peer-edited scientific conference proceedings and peer-reviewed philosophy of science journals and books. These papers have appeared in scientific journals such as Protein Science, Journal of Molecular Biology, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics, Complexity, Quarterly Review of Biology, Cell Biology International, Physics Essays, Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum, Physics of Life Reviews, Quarterly Review of Biology, Journal of Bacteriology , Annual Review of Genetics, and many others. At the same time, pro-ID scientists have presented their research at conferences worldwide in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, engineering, and computer science.

    Collectively, this body of research is converging on a consensus: complex biological features cannot arise by unguided Darwinian mechanisms, but require an intelligent cause.

    Despite ID’s publication record, we note parenthetically that recognition in peer-reviewed literature is not an absolute requirement to demonstrate an idea’s scientific merit. Darwin’s own theory of evolution was first published in a book for a general and scientific audience — his Origin of Species — not in a peer-reviewed paper. Nonetheless, ID’s peer-reviewed publication record shows that it deserves — and is receiving — serious consideration by the scientific community.

    The purpose of ID’s budding research program is thus to engage open-minded scientists and thoughtful laypersons with credible, persuasive, peer-reviewed, empirical data supporting intelligent design. And this is happening. ID has already gained the kind of scientific recognition you would expect from a young (and vastly underfunded) but promising scientific field . . .

    KF

    PS: On laws, surely you mean Louisiana et al, where laws have stood on sounder science teaching?

    PPS: The culture war problem is epitomised by the recent March for Life. You don’t have to go to the agit prop operators, they are coming to you with street theatre stunts, media amplifiers and doubtless lawfare in train. The issue also exposes what is happening, infanticide is now being pushed and there is willful blindness to holocaust. Last time around though it cost them their lives, it was crucial for the White Rose martyrs to have spoken.

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77 @ 12

    Dr. Behe lists this as the main falsification of Darwin’s theory that his book focuses on:

    “beneficial degradative mutations will rapidly, relentlessly, unavoidably, outcompete beneficial constructive mutations at every time and population scale.”
    – Michael Behe

    Since Darwin knew nothing about the genome, I fail to see how this affects his theory at all.

    Here are a few more falsifications of Darwinian theory that I can think of (feel free to add to my list if you know of other falsifications)

    Okay, let’s take a look…

    Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. Mutations to the genome are not random but are ‘directed’

    Once again, Darwin knew nothing about genes. They play no role in his original theory.

    The current theory of evolution holds that mutations are random only with respect to adaptive advantage or disadvantage.

    Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    Darwin offered an alternative, naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life on Earth that did not need to invoke some sort of supernatural designer/creator.

    Natural selection is now regarded as just one of several processes that contribute to evolutionary change over time.

    Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other particular material particles one may wish to invoke

    Yet again, Darwin knew nothing about DNA so how can that be used against his original theory.

    Alterations in DNA have been shown time and again to produce changes in the morphology of various animals, That possibility has to exist for evolution to take place at all. Since it has been observed, then the evolution of new species also becomes possible and is consistent with research on living organisms and what is observed in the fossil record.

    Darwin’s theory holds there to be an extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever

    Yet again, Darwin knew nothing about DNA so how can that be used against his original theory.

    Current evolutionary theory holds that the majority of mutations are neutral or nearly neutral with respect to survival. A smaller number are thought to be detrimental and a much smaller number still are immediately beneficial. Note that whether or not a given mutation is beneficial or detrimental depends on the environment in which it occurs. Without knowing that it is difficult to tell whether a mutation is likely to be good or bad.

    The much larger number of detrimental mutations is not necessarily a problem since, by definition, they are the ones that will be filtered out by natural selection given enough time, leaving only the advantageous ones.

    Furthermore, if a large part of the genome is ‘junk’ then a number of those potentially detrimental mutations are going to be occurring in regions where they will have no effect at all.

    Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. From the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time

    Darwin emphasized gradualism because he wanted his audience to understand how small incremental changes could accumulate and produce large effects given sufficient time.

    He also allowed that evolution could proceed at different rates at different times.

    The fossil record is fragmentary because it is a rare process. It does not provide a fine-grained picture of the evolution of life on Earth and, by its nature, probably never will.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    Can Axe or any other ID proponent demonstrate that there is a specific organ, complex or otherwise, that could not have come about through gradualistic processes? If not, then they are offering an opinion, they have not proven anything.

    Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as the modern versions of it.”

    Do you have a reference for the Lönnig quote?

    Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are not explainable by chance (nor by materialistic explanations in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    We don’t have a materialistic account of consciousness. Yet. That doesn’t mean that one does not exist. We just don’t know and that, in itself, is not an argument against evolution.

    Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible

    .
    Probability calculations are as vulnerable to GIGO as any other operation.

    Moreover, mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm.

    The theory of evolution has nothing to say about any immaterial realm and until the existence of such a domain has been demonstrated it can have no bearing on the theory.

    Donald Hoffman has shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Quantum Mechanics has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism

    Hoffman hasn’t shown anything of the sort and quantum effects can be produced by instrumental observations with no conscious observer present. None of this affects evolution.

    The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is ‘merely’ emergent from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy

    Darwin’s theory has nothing to say about the nature of information and, as far as I can tell, there is nothing in information theory that falsifies evolution.

    Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract immaterial property of the mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution.

    Biologists, like all other scientists, are not concerned with ‘truth’ so much as with understanding. The theory of evolution, like other theories in science, is only ‘true’ to the extent it is observed to correspond with the natural phenomena it is intended to describe and explain.

    Darwinist’s insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet is is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    Historically, before the emergence of modern science or its precursors, human beings being social animals appealed to supernatural, intelligent agencies to try to explain the phenomena of the world they found themselves in. It’s hardly surprising then that the structure of our thought and the language we use to express it still reflects that approach. None of that falsifies evolution, however, as do none of the alleged ‘falsifications’ offered above.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, a large part of your response seems to be that Darwin himself was ignorant of many modern scientific findings that falsify his theory, such as DNA itself. So what? Ignorance is no excuse. Advances in empirical evidence falsify theories all the time. Yet Darwin’s theory, alone among all scientific theories,, and at least how Darwinists treat it, remains impervious to falsification. The theory is, at least how atheists treat it, a pseudo-scientific religion for atheists, not a testable scientific theory that is open to falsification.

    You mentioned GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out), in your response. And that is exactly my opinion of your overall response to the falsifications that I listed. i.e. rotting, smelly, Garbage that needs to be burned and/or buried!

  27. 27
    ET says:

    Earth to seversky:

    Darwinism, when used today, refers to the fact that evolution, as espoused by evolutionary biologists, refers to evolution by means of blind an mindless processes, such as natural selection and rift.

    he current theory of evolution holds that mutations are random only with respect to adaptive advantage or disadvantage.

    Wrong. For one there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution and for another “random” in this sense means chance, as in happenstance occurrence. See Mayr in “What Evolution Is”

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Ha ha

    I’m cold and hungry. I see humans around a bonfire. Maybe I can ask for food. What could possibly go wrong? 30000 YEARS LATER!
    https://en.dopl3r.com/memes/dank/im-cold-and-hungry-i-see-humans-around-a-bonfire-maybe-i-can-ask-for-food-what-could-possibl-go-wrong-30000-years-later/561509

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