Darwinism Intelligent Design

Mike Behe on how to tell if scientists are exaggerating

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In connection with his forthcoming book, Darwin Devolves, he asks a challenging question: What kinds of answers can Darwinian evolution really provide?

What can the theory account for? If it can’t explain even color patterns, how much has it been exaggerated? Quite a bit, it turns out. To see the problem more clearly, let’s first think about studies of human nutrition. For decades the public was told to avoid foods with a lot of cholesterol. Recently, however, a government panel changed its mind, saying there’s no evidence that’s harmful. Here’s the problem for grand claims about evolution. Science can’t tell if cholesterol is bad for modern humans, who can be studied in great detail. Yet if that’s too hard, then how can science claim to know what affected plants and animals in the distant past? Ones that can’t be studied in real time like people? Ones that encountered myriad environmental influences over millions of years? That’s easy to answer: Science can’t and doesn’t know.Michael J. Behe, “Here’s how to tell if scientists are exaggerating” at The Stream

He introduces the “Principle of Comparative Difficulty” (PCD) to help us assess what to believe: “If nutritionists can’t easily determine how one dietary factor affects human health, evolutionary biologists can’t tell what affected the survival of long dead animals.”

Watch them bluster otherwise. A lot depends on what counts as an “explanation.” If what counts is “sounding like science,” they can explain anything. If what counts is adding to a correct understanding, no.

Note: A similar claim is “Being an addict might be an evolutionary advantage” Pop psychology at its purest is somehow transformed into science by the magical word “evolution.”

See also: Mike Behe’s New Book, Darwin Devolves: “Absolutely Convincing” Or “Omits Contrary Examples”

and

A Peek At Mike Behe’s New Book Darwin Devolves

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20 Replies to “Mike Behe on how to tell if scientists are exaggerating

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    On a closely-related note, I’ve always wondered (under the evolutionary paradigm) how our bodies ever got to the point where iodine, or other nutrients could make such a drastic difference in our health–if our ancestors _never_ had consistent access to those nutrients. Just occasional access to them wouldn’t seem to be sufficient to get our species trained to expect them. The vast majority of them weren’t even recognized as essential until the 20th century.

    But under an ID paradigm, it’s easy to see that we could have been designed with a need for them, so once they became reliably available again, they quickly took us in the direction of our intended (i.e., healthier) state.

  2. 2
    Bob O'H says:

    EDTA – what evidence do you have that humans didn’t used to have sufficient access to nutrients such as iodine?

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Well, Bob, where would they have gotten those nutrients from? Do tell.

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    ET – their food.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Nice evasion, Bob. How did you conclude their food had all of the nutrients required?

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    Because a lot of people have and still do survive without suffering from a lack of nutrients by eating their food.
    Hopefully EDTA will chime in to give us their evidence that humans didn’t used to have sufficient access to nutrients such as iodine.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    Bob the clueless, strikes again.

  8. 8
    harry says:

    Excerpt from the Science Integrity website ( http://scienceintegrity.org/index.html )

    Dr. Don Johnson (with earned Ph.D.s in both informational and natural sciences), the founder of Science Integrity, once believed anyone not accepting the “proven” evolutionary scenario that was ingrained during his science education was of the same mentality as someone believing in a flat Earth. With continued scientific investigation, paying closer attention to actual data (rather than speculative conclusions), he began to doubt the natural explanations that had been so ingrained in a number of key areas including the origin and fine-tuning of mass and energy, the origin of life with its complex information content, and the increase in complexity in living organisms. It was science, and not religion, that caused his disbelief in the explanatory powers of undirected nature. The fantastic leaps of faith required to accept the undirected natural causes in these areas demand a scientific response to the scientific-sounding concepts that in fact have no known scientific basis. Scientific integrity needs to be restored so that ideas that have no methods to test or falsify are not considered part of science. Science needs to avoid unsubstantiated speculation based on “science as we don’t know it.” Speculation is important for investigating whether proposed mechanisms are possible, but great care is needed if those speculations are conveyed outside the scientific community. For example, the argument “we don’t yet know how this feature can arise by undirected natural processes, but we will someday” is not a scientific statement. It is faith based on “naturalism of the gaps” dogma, which has no more scientific validity than the “God of the gaps” theology as an explanation for currently unexplainable complexity.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Brother Brian says:

    EDTA

    On a closely-related note, I’ve always wondered (under the evolutionary paradigm) how our bodies ever got to the point where iodine, or other nutrients could make such a drastic difference in our health–if our ancestors _never_ had consistent access to those nutrients.

    By definition, our ancestors had to have sufficient access to important nutrients. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But since you brought this subject up, why would the designer design us without the ability to produce vitamin C, an absolutely necessary nutrient?

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Brother Brian- Your straw man is duly noted.

    How do you know that we were designed without the ability to produce vitamin C?

    And yes, because of Intelligent Design our ancestors had all they required.

  12. 12
    Brother Brian says:

    What strawman? Are you suggesting that our ancestors didn’t have sufficient nutrients to survive?

  13. 13
    ET says:

    Brother Brian has reading comprehension issues. Your strawman:

    why would the designer design us without the ability to produce vitamin C

    How do you know that we were designed without the ability to produce vitamin C?

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    The Human GULO Pseudogene—Evidence for Evolutionary Discontinuity and Genetic Entropy – Jeffrey P. Tomkins – April 2, 2014
    Abstract
    Modern genomics provides the ability to screen the DNA of a wide variety of organisms to scrutinize broken metabolic pathways. This wealth of data has revealed wide-spread genetic entropy in human and other genomes. Loss of the vitamin C pathway due to deletions in the GULO (L-gulonolactone oxidase) gene has been detected in humans, apes, guinea pigs, bats, mice, rats, pigs, and passerine birds. Contrary to the popularized claims of some evolutionists and neo-creationists, patterns of GULO degradation are taxonomically restricted and fail to support macroevolution. Current research and data reported here show that multiple GULO exon losses in human, chimpanzee, and gorilla occurred independently in each taxon and are associated with regions containing a wide variety of transposable element fragments. Thus, they are another example of sequence deletions occurring via unequal recombination associated with transposable element repeats. The 28,800 base human GULO region is only 84% and 87% identical compared to chimpanzee and gorilla, respectively. The 13,000 bases preceding the human GULO gene, which corresponds to the putative area of loss for at least two major exons, is only 68% and 73% identical to chimpanzee and gorilla, respectively. These DNA similarities are inconsistent with predictions of the common ancestry paradigm. Further, gorilla is considerably more similar to human in this region than chimpanzee—negating the inferred order of phylogeny. Taxonomically restricted gene degradation events are emerging as a common theme associated with genetic entropy and systematic discontinuity, not macroevolution.
    https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/human-gulo-pseudogene-evidence-evolutionary-discontinuity-and-genetic-entropy/

  15. 15
    EDTA says:

    >Because a lot of people have and still do survive without suffering from a lack of nutrients by eating their food.

    Yes, we survived, but not as well as in the 20th century. It was in the early part that iodine was discovered to be an essential element for brain development. People might have gotten sufficient doses in prehistoric times by chance, but I don’t think it likely that they got it consistently, nor throughout the entire human population. (Apparently iodine deficiency is still a problem today…)

    Mere survival does mean that we grew to our full potential in times past, nor does it explain how we could have gained the ability to use a nutrient that we might have had little exposure to. In prehistoric times, access to green vegetables and fruits would have been limited to certain seasons. Mineral access would depend on the soil in a particular region, and the availability of plants that take in that mineral. Only now that we have access to them uniformly all year long, do we see the benefits of continual access to human development.

    >But since you brought this subject up, why would the designer design us without the ability to produce vitamin C,…

    As others have answered, we don’t know that we couldn’t produce it in the past.

  16. 16
    Bob O'H says:

    EDTA –

    Yes, we survived, but not as well as in the 20th century.

    That’s certainly true, and of course mal-nutrition was one cause of this. But I don’t know that lack of micro-nutrients was a major cause of this (of course diseases like goiter occurred, but if they were wide-spread, I think they would have had a larger focus in the history of medicine). If you have any actual evidence that lack of micro-nutrients was a major problem historically, please present it.

  17. 17
    ET says:

    Bob- There wouldn’t be any such evidence because this is an intelligently designed world and that evidence would have only existed if materialism/ evolutionism were true. However, if materialism/ evolutionism were true then we wouldn’t be here

  18. 18
    Brother Brian says:

    ET

    How do you know that we were designed without the ability to produce vitamin C?

    Because, according to many here, we were designed. And because we can’t produce vitamin C.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Because, according to many here, we were designed.

    No Brian. No one says that every human was designed. No one says that all extant life was designed. No one says that any extant life was designed.

    All extant life has descended with modification from the originally designed life forms, Brian. And with that comes genetic entropy.

  20. 20
    EDTA says:

    I was careful to state my question as just that, a question. I don’t have proof from pre-history; it’s only my suspicion, based on today versus pre-20th century.

    But assuming my suspicion for sake of argument–I’ve never heard an evolutionist explain how an organism could evolve a latent ability to express greater health/growth/potential than it ever experienced in its past, but then suddenly express it in less than 6 generations. (I.e., not by yet more evolution, because this was too sudden.)

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