After my post at UD (https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/index.php/archives/1204) about creating a Hello World computer program by random mutation and natural selection, apollo230 alerted me to the fact that the Panda’s Thumb crowd had created a special thread designed to demolish my thesis. This pleased me to no end, because it was obvious that I had created major trouble. If my arguments and logic were utterly vacuous, no response would have been required.
Just to prove that I’m not a complete coward, I decided visited Panda’s Thumb, check out the thread, and make a reply. After wading through a tome of hand-wringing PT diatribes, I posted the following comment:
“The fact of the matter remains: Random mutation and natural selection as an explanation for all of lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s complexity, functionally integrated machinery, and information content is wishful speculation, unsupported by convincing hard evidence. This should simply be admitted.”
Within a few minutes I was responded to by Steve S with this morsel of intellectually satisfying insight:
“Oh, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry, Gil. In a week or so, Paul NelsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be presenting Ontogenetic Depth v 2.0 at the Society of Developmental Biology meeting, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure that will obliterate Darwinism, you know, like the Explanatory Filter did, and the NFL theorems, and your analogies to computers, and Irreducible Complexity, and SalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plane anecdotes, and the last 400-500 dumb things you guys have said, and Intelligent Evolution will in the future, &c, &c, &cÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.”
Such a marvelously profound rebuttal inspired me to conclude that I must agree with David Berlinski’s characterization of the Panda’s Thumb crowd:
“The Panda’s Thumb, on the other hand, is entirely low-market; the men who contribute to the blog all have some vague technical background – computer sales, sound mixing, low-level programming, print-shops or copy centers; they are semi-literate; their posts convey that characteristic combination of pustules and gonorrhea that one would otherwise associate with high-school toughs.”