Consider this comment by Larry Moran:
What [johnnyb] (and Meyer) are saying is that if the false Darwinian version of evolution is wrong then Intelligent Design Creationism is correct. You say this even though you know full well that there’s another possibility; namely, that the real, complete, version of evolutionary theory might be correct.
For someone who purports to have an understanding of ID solid enough to critique it, you display a remarkable inability to articulate its basic claims.
After this exchange I suddenly realized that we on the ID side have a huge advantage over the likes of Moran in at least one respect. We are not pushing the culturally dominant view, and for that reason we cannot afford to display the sort of intellectual laziness Moran indulged in here.
In other words, when we critique the culturally dominant view we cannot attack a straw man version of that view hoping no one will notice. We can’t, for example, erect a straw man such as “evolution boils down to a rabbit can give birth to a cow tomorrow”** and hope anyone will take us seriously. We are forced to actually study our opponents views, as Meyers has done (just take a look at the bibliographies of Darwin’s Doubt and Signature in the Cell). This forces ID proponents to be disciplined in their analysis. And that in turn forces them to make better and more forceful arguments.
Moran’s contributions to this debate — because they are lazy and silly and often amount to little more than “neener neener” — will be forgotten before long. Not so for Stephen Meyer.
** I had a difficult time coming up with an example here. There is almost nothing so absurd that some defender of evolution has not pushed it at one time or another. The claims of evolutionists are difficult to parody — Poe’s Law in action.
35 Replies to “One Advantage We Have”
Darwin theory entered in evidence: Mares somehow “know” to bring about the abortion of their offspring (how, exactly?) If bred at a non-farm stable.
Have you read EA’s junk DNA post?
For someone who purports to have an understanding of ID solid enough to critique it, you display a remarkable inability to articulate its basic claims.
I am absolutely certain that I am able to articulate ID’s real claims better than you. I know this because I read your posts.
Larry assuming you know someones position better than they do usually leads one to make assumptions about their position. Perhaps you should consider a more honest and humble approach to dialog.
If this is true, then I suggest a list of examples. I know I support ID but differ on several things with others that do. So what are the claims of ID that Barry does not understand.
That way all of us could say yea or nay to what we accept or not. It would be interesting
Is there something you disagree with in the study?
More advantages we have:
E.J. Lowe, An introduction to the philosophy of mind
I’m getting Popcorn Prof Moran understands ID better than us….. This is the same person that told me I just don’t understand evolution when I questioned the power of natural selection.
Larry Moran, “I am absolutely certain that I am able to articulate ID’s real claims better than you.” You can articulate? Cool. Please show me that you can articulate your own theory accurately. Oh, and please, please show me how neutral theory solves the puzzle of the bacterial flagellum. You remember, one of the icons of ID. If the understanding of neutral theory would make all of us IDers (notice how that is spelled) into naturalists, then surely your theory explains it.
Larry Moran, it is my impression that the only real experience you have in articulating anything is in the classroom, where everyone is your underling. It doesn’t take them too long to figure out what magic words you are looking for, and they do just fine.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not of the mind that all evolutionists are inarticulate. I actually find Zachriel very informative, and communicative. It is possible. You just can’t get there by harping your mantras, and calling people names.
I think Dr. Moran should team up with Elizabeth Liddle. With his knowledge of ID and her knowledge of evolutionary theory they would be unbeatable.
Don’t bother, bFast. He is swine, and casting pearls before him is futile.
Y’know, trying to dialog with some evolutionists is kinda like trying to dialog with astrologers. If your theory is vacuous, its hard to present it in a logical manner.
OT: Salvador Cardoza comes out of the closet.
There is no positive case for ID or Special Creation
Which sets up a binary function:
(1) This statement is true. In which case the straw man caricatures you always trot out are an act of affirmative deceit; or
(2) This statement is false. In which case you are just a just a blowhard ass.
Not looking good for you either way Larry.
I always understood evolution to be the equation of selection on mutation plus time equals evolved results.
Only after observing Dr Larry Morans blog did I realize that evolutionists were including much more other operations in evolutionary biology. in fact i was surprised . I think most of educated north america would be.
it seems more then Gould’s idea of PE.
it seems like they don’t think selection on mutation was very good at all.
so yEC/ID creationism has to keep up witrh the correction.
It stills seems the essence is about mutationism however. even with drift as very important.
i can’t put my finger on it but I think creationisms attacks on selection on mutation is unlikely has been effective.
They will not say thisand say its from recent research. decaded now.
its hard to believe drift helps make a better case for evolutionary change then chance mutations alone.
It all seems unlikely.
tHe drift paradigm change seems another retreat to a ditch further back after the PE retreat.
15 years and the field of battle will be ours I think.
There are arguably two versions of ID.
* One version emphasizes intelligence. It analyzes and develops a mathematical representation of information, and collects evidence for design based on analogous human design endeavors. It is a testable theory in that a demonstration of pervasive stochastic processes would falsify it. It makes no claims as to the nature of that intelligence, although many of its adherents are people who believe in God.
* The other version emphasizes design. It utilizes mechanical and chemical engineering, physics, and software architecture principles to anticipate the discovery of functional relationships and processes. It’s simply an assumption that’s justified by the pragmatism of success. Thus, this version is a paradigm rather than a theory. There is no presumption of actual intelligence.
Considering the second definition, one can see that it’s entirely compatible with Richard Dawkins’ famous statement:
If something is complicated and has the appearance of design, then studying it as one would study intelligently designed systems is both appropriate and scientific.
In contrast, the continuously evolving versions of the “theory” of evolution are also a paradigm for two reasons:
* There’s an assumption that stochastic processes resulted in barely sufficient, coincidental (as in genetic drift), and perhaps naturally selected functionality for life in a given ecosystem. Anything else is presumed to be “junk” to the detriment of scientific progress.
* The principles and parameters of evolution are continually in flux, with the result that it’s not falsifiable, burrowing benthic bunnies in the Precambrian notwithstanding (merely an assertion of a possibility of an overthrust fault would take care of any inconvenient discovery).
Historically, evolution has been used to rationalize anything but it has successfully predicted nothing except in retrospect. Thus, it’s more of a philosophy or a secular religion than it is a science.
Well said. I stopped frequent Prof Moran’s blog because getting straight answers there has been impossible. I always thought educators educate.
Very nice insights.
Querius : bravo bravo
I’ve begun to emphasize on here the unfalsifiable attribute of Darwinian theory, that chameleon-like theory more solid than gravity, they say.
The opposition even admits to such as I point out in my reply #8 to post #1 here: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nanswered/
I was in a discussion recently with a younger guy, the head of the humanities department at a junior college and philosophy teacher. He insisted ID is unfalsifiable and when I replied only that so is the case with Darwinism, he became somewhat agitated, but could not indicate why Darwinism is or should be falsifiable. I give him credit for not obfuscating. He may be a conversion candidate, we’ll see.
So far as the absurd, almost insane lengths to which the opposing camp will go to insult, vituperate, even to the point of scatalogical absurdity, we should always point out that their behavior can only be triggered by a religious commitment.
So the converse is that we need to vigilant against our own on here that are letting emotion run a little loose. Some of the posts by the pro-ID contributors to this thread are skirting a little to close to insulting in my view, so I hope you guys can be a little more careful.
Another advantage we have: The facts are on our side.
Robert Byers (15)
I have seen no other operations, I have only seen other perspectives on these two operations (randomness and natural selection).
Yes, that’s how I see it as well. RV+NS is obviously inadequate so they pretend that they have something new (neutral theory (RV with no NS), mutationism (very fortuitous RV), punctuated equilibrium (NS on steroids in small populations, or inbreeding will fix it.) etc.
There is nothing to evolutionary theory but RV+NS. There is nothing to evolutionary theory.
It’s not that evolutionary theory is not falsifiable, it’s that it is incoherent. There is nothing that unifies all the sub-theories, some of which are clearly at odds with each other.
It’s one case after another of special pleading.
Mung, “There is nothing that unifies all the sub-theories, some of which are clearly at odds with each other.”
There are two things that unify all sub-theories:
1 – It is all unguided.
2 – Random (non-foresighted) variation + natural selection explains it all.
The ID position is: Random (non-foresighted) variation + natural selection cannot account for certain phenomenon. Therefore we must question the “it is all unguided” hypothesis.
To be fair, I got this off the UCS Berkeley website:
Taken literally, then, they still maintain RV+NS but add the perspective that there’s a lot of tolerated RV that does not result in NS. OK, but that’s not particularly profound. Green eyes, brown eyes.
It seems like with the NTME, more emphasis is also given to environmental variation, EV that could reward a lucky hopeful monster (LHM) in a fast changing environment. This would seem potentially more significant.
IIRC, NS generally provides about a 2-4% advantage and there’s Haldane’s calculations regarding substitution cost (or evolutional load) if a new allele appears that’s selected for, which was thought to result in a substantial population decrease.
Observational evidence indicates faster adaptation during periods of environmental stress, but this is more of a function of genetic switches that presumably also evolved and were somehow preserved. And so it gets more complicated.
Querius, it appears that you are saying that neutral theory is a subset of “RV+NS”, correct? (Where RV is random with respect to the organism, ie non-foresighted.)
Judging from the UCB website, I’d say that the neutral theory is a superset of Darwinian evolution. It reduces the role of NS, broadens the results of RV, but then seems to increase the role of environmental variation (EV).
What does this provide?
I’d say that the proposed dynamics would tend to prevent the reduction of diversity imposed by NS, that NS would be neutral with respect to a lot of genetic variability, at least in times of relative environmental stability. As a result, the genome would be more robust against environmental change, allowing species to survive rather than going extinct.
Proponents of the neutral theory might also be able to make a case for an increased speed of evolution by allowing a more dynamic environment intermittently pulling the genomes around more effectively because the variability of the genome is already there.
At least, that’s my perspective.
There is no “real, complete, version of evolutionary theory” so there is no possibility that it is correct.
You make it vey easy to conclude that you are an idiot.
Let’s find out if that is true. How does an ID proponent define a “Darwinist” or a “Neo-Darwinist?” You should be able to answer the question since you claim that this same term has been unfairly applied to you.
I would interpret Larry Moran’s observation in #28 that you (and others here including me) are very likely proponents of ID, or as he normally puts it, IDiots.
Yes. It would indeed be very easy to conclude.
And so far, ID has provided a profoundly more plausible and pragmatic approach than the various sects and speculations of Darwinism, which seem to be getting lost in the woods.
So, in the pursuit of science and truth, I’d rather be called and idiot by men than a fool by God.
You seem to believe that’s an insult. Perhaps you should resort to calling me a Creationist. Gasp!
Meanwhile, perhaps you could provide a link to your website where you present “the real, complete, version of evolutionary theory.” I’d be happy to educate myself.
Dr. Moran, I have two questions for you regarding your claim that evolutionary theory is complete.
1. If the theory of evolution is not complete, how do you know that it is the true and correct version of evolutionary theory?
2. How do you know the theory of evolution is complete?
When do you expect that to happen, so I can take ID seriously?
For example, does that mean you’ll stop confusing our current theory of the history of life and geology on earth with the theory of neo-Darwnism?
While waiting for Dr. Moran to answer my @ 32 (not holding my breath):
Meanwhile, there is a real and complete version of evolutionary theory that might even be correct. Or it may be “not even wrong.”
I once heard an obscenely brilliant colleague remark that the overwhelmingly vast majority of all knowledge and information in the universe isn’t known, won’t be known, and can’t be known. As we trim away at the 0.0000001% which humans will ever be able to know, putting it in words and models which make sense to our brains which evolved purely for the purpose of survival on this insignificant blue rock (not with any capacity to comprehend our place in the world), we should continue to completely abandon previous paradigms.
“Free thinkers” and self-styled Darwinians, who cling relentlessly to these antiquated scientific paradigms, are themselves relics. There is no reason to think that even a real mind like Newton had it “right” so much as the best we yet have. To place the parochial Darwin on a perpetual irrevocable pedestal WHEN WE CANNOT OBSERVE ABIOGENESIS is folly, anti-modern, anti-science Luddite worship.
Man will continue to move beyond classical evolutionary thinking as we discover more. It’s inevitable that new and interesting ideas like those put forth by international scientists, the ID camp, and the third way proponents, will endlessly proliferate. It’s laughable that there are people who consider themselves forward thinking but won’t quit harking back to a 19th century pop culture ideology which has an endless list of failed predictions. The answer? “Well, we’ve been revising it, so it’s the best we have.” Ugh. Even if you’re a die hard devotee and truly believe that quote (I.e. – TalkOrigins subscribers), you know the giant umbrella most of us are referring to when we think of big-E Evolution is still garbage.
It may be the best garbage we have. But, it’s not unreasonable for other people to conclude that since one thing is total garbage, ID ideas may be preferable. They’re entitled to that belief, and need not receive scorn because of it. Those heaping the scorn will be dead soon anyway. And the next generations will continue to move away from their ancient ideas and beliefs.