Darwinism Intelligent Design vestigial organs

PZ Myers: Vestigial means “reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals” Huh?

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Here, in “VESTIGIAL: Learn what it means!” (Pharyngula, Scienceblogs)

The appendix in humans, for instance, is a vestigial organ, despite all the insistence by creationists and less-informed scientists that finding expanded local elements of the immune system means it isn’t. An organ is vestigial if it is reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals, and another piece of evidence is if it exhibits a wide range of variation that suggests that those differences have no selective component. That you can artificially reduce the size of an appendix by literally cutting it out, with no effect on the individual (other than that they survive a potentially acute and dangerous inflammation) tells us that these are vestigial. More.

But wouldn’t his definition make all kinds of organs and limbs vestigial in most life forms?

Also:

That you can artificially reduce the size of an appendix by literally cutting it out, with no effect on the individual (other than that they survive a potentially acute and dangerous inflammation) tells us that these are vestigial.

But this makes no sense. A doctor can remove a man’s gangrenous leg without anyone getting the idea that the leg was vestigial.

Readers, isn’t the whole concept of “vestigial” organs as evidence for the evolution of life forms a bad idea?

No sooner is a can of worms opened than the worms form an escort party and lead us to a bigger one.

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179 Replies to “PZ Myers: Vestigial means “reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals” Huh?

  1. 1
    Sebestyen says:

    “Vestigial” organs are as much proof for evolution as the ability to untile a roof is proof that a tornade can build a house.

    And reading his rather curious definition I wonder if PZ’s brain is a bit on the “vestigial side”, too.

    Sebestyen

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Here’s another opportunity to discuss the science. If you can find any.

  3. 3
    Jim Smith says:

    “Readers, isn’t the whole concept of “vestigial” organs as evidence for the evolution of life forms a bad idea?”

    It is not a scientific argument, it is a theological argument based on assumptions of what a designer would or wouldn’t do. I worked as a software engineer for many years and I know that there are commercial software products that have “vestigial” code in them. It is a sign of design not a sign of natural origin.

    It is a common tactic used by Darwinists, they offer a false dichotomy between some simplistic/straw man version of creation and Darwinism and they assert that since their straw man must be false, Darwinism must be true. But they fail to consider other possibilities.

    If the Darwinists want to prove Darwinism, they need to provide positive scientific evidence for macroevolution by natural selection. For example, they need to explain why different genes produce different evolutionary trees, and how rapid genetic change indicated by punctuated equilibrium can occur.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    An embarrassing fact about the ‘vestigial’ appendix that you will never hear mentioned by PZ is the following one:

    Evolutionists Multiply Miracles – February 12, 2013
    Excerpt: William Parker, a surgeon,,, says it has the strongest evidence yet that the appendix serves a purpose. In a new study, published online this month in Comptes Rendus Palevol, the researchers compiled information on the diets of 361 living mammals, including 50 species now considered to have an appendix, and plotted the data on a mammalian evolutionary tree. They found that the 50 species are scattered so widely across the tree that the structure must have evolved independently at least 32 times, and perhaps as many as 38 times.
    Randolph Nesse (U of Michigan) had an interesting take on this conclusion. “The conclusion that the appendix has appeared 32 times is amazing,” he said. “I do find their argument for the positive correlation of appendix and cecum sizes to be a convincing refutation of Darwin’s hypothesis” (about the appendix being vestigial).,,,
    http://crev.info/2013/02/evolu.....-miracles/

    Moreover, the vestigial organ argument is ‘old hat’ with Darwinists. In fact, over 100 vestigial organs were originally listed for humans back in 1893.
    That ‘prediction’ for Darwinism, to put it mildly, has failed:

    Vestigial Organs: Comparing ID and Darwinian Approaches – July 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A favorite criticisms of ID is that it is a science stopper. The opposite is true. The Live Science article shows that the “vestigial organs” argument has not changed for over a century, since Wiedersheim coined the term and listed over a hundred examples (in 1893). Evolutionary theory, in fact, has been worse than a science stopper: its predictions have been flat out wrong. Only a handful of alleged vestigial organs remains from Wiedersheim’s original list, and each of those is questionable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62281.html

    And please note, the vestigial organ argument, just like the current ‘Junk DNA’ argument, is basically a theologically based ‘Bad Design’ argument, (i.e. God would not have done it that way), and the Darwinists are not actually presenting any positive evidence of a appendix, or any other organ, being generated by unguided Darwinian processes.
    Yet, a theologically based ‘Bad Design’ argument is a argument that quickly leaves the field of empirical science and enters squarely into the realm of subjective opinion!
    In this following video Dr. William Lane Craig is surprised to find that evolutionary biologist Dr. Ayala uses the theological argument of ‘bad design’ to support Darwinian evolution and invites him to present evidence, any positive evidence at all, that Darwinian evolution can do what he claims it can:

    Refuting The Myth Of ‘Bad Design’ vs. Intelligent Design – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIzdieauxZg

    Verse and Music:

    But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

    The Afters “Every Good Thing” LIVE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIMmsBuO0p8

  5. 5
    EDTA says:

    Is Meyers unaware that people who have had their appendix removed have a far greater difficulty overcoming GI infections such as clostridium difficile? This should be evidence enough that the organ is still happily in use. His definition is so broad as to include every organ in the body! What rubbish.

  6. 6
    tjguy says:

    Well, when the old definition has been shown to be inaccurate by the evidence, to save face, changing the definition is not a bad strategy.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    bornagain77,

    Thanks for posting the video by William Lane Craig. It was well presented and compelling! A theological objection to ID is irrelevant to science. It’s ironic how many times I’ve read or heard theological arguments presented by Darwinists in the name of science.

    -Q

  8. 8

    News:

    But this makes no sense. A doctor can remove a man’s gangrenous leg without anyone getting the idea that the leg was vestigial.

    PJ’s point was that the appendix may be removed “with no effect on the individual.” That’s what tells us that it is vestigial.

    The removal of a leg would have a clear deleterious effects upon the individual. That’s why no one would get the idea that it was vestigial.

  9. 9

    Oops. “PZ’s point.”

  10. 10
    CLAVDIVS says:

    News:

    But wouldn’t his definition make all kinds of organs and limbs vestigial in most life forms?

    Yes, exactly.

    Quadruped limbs are vestigial fish fins, etc.

    Readers, isn’t the whole concept of “vestigial” organs as evidence for the evolution of life forms a bad idea?

    No.

    As Darwin noted, “Organs or parts … bearing the plain stamp of inutility, are extremely common, or even general, throughout nature.“, for example blind fish with rudimentary eyes or flightless beetles with fused wings. This is difficult to explain by means of intelligent design, but fits in very well with his theory of descent with modification.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius, no problem,,, It is also interesting to note that ‘science’ cannot be practiced without some base level theological presuppositions. Thus it is not surprising that Darwinism, even if its theological basis is twisted, would be found to be reliant on theological presuppositions at its base level.

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    The Great Debate: Does God Exist? – Justin Holcomb – audio of the 1985 Greg Bahnsen debate available at the bottom of the site
    Excerpt: The transcendental proof for God’s existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist worldview is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality. The atheist worldview cannot allow for laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the ability for the mind to understand the world, and moral absolutes. In that sense the atheist worldview cannot account for our debate tonight.,,,
    http://justinholcomb.com/2012/.....god-exist/

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

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

    The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. – video
    https://vimeo.com/75897668

    Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ

    “Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules.”
    – Cornelius Hunter
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10344804_736790473055959_5027794313726938258_n.png?oh=32dcc64a81815fd8fbf5884ea44490ed&oe=548E8745&__gda__=1418537725_911886dd89430d275c0e393a46afdb55

  12. 12
    the bystander says:

    Ok. this is just a ‘put-him-down’ article. Be fair. I think everyone understands limbs are not vestigial and that appendix, tail bone, wisdom teeth are vestigial. May be definition is not accurate enough to convey the meaning for you, but that doesn’t change the facts.

  13. 13
    Querius says:

    the bystander,

    Would it be more accurate for you to say:

    (a) The aforementioned structures have been proven to be vestigial or

    (b) There’s no evidence that proves these structures are vestigial, but we currently don’t know of any significant role in each of these.

    -Q

  14. 14
    the bystander says:

    Querius,
    Human bodies have been operated and studied by doctors and scientists, and they have had enough time to understand our body to decide which are vestigial organs, so yes, I believe scientists are right.

  15. 15
    phoodoo says:

    You can remove all kinds of parts from the body, and still survive just fine, the spleen, tonsils, prostate, heck you can remove large parts of the brain and still live. Depending on what you remove, the effect could be large or it could be small.

    How can anyone take such idiocy seriously? Myers can’t even write a coherent sentence:

    “An organ is vestigial if it is reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals, and another piece of evidence is if it exhibits a wide range of variation that suggests that those differences have no selective component.”

    Ignoring his trailer park informed grammar for a second, how can you declare that something categorically is a vestigial organ, and then list other evidence to suggest it could be? Which is the definition of vestigial PZ? Your nervous system is definitely reduced in size compared to a Dinosaur, so for you it must be vestigial. And conversely, my brain is bigger than an Apes, so I guess its brain is also vestigial. I guess all brains besides mine are vestigial.

    He is a college professor, huh? How hard is it to become a college professor? Clearly, not very.

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    the bystander,

    We know that scientists are fallible, and that accepted scientific knowledge changes dramatically over time. So perhaps your faith isn’t in the scientists and doctors themselves, but more in the process of the scientific method.

    About a hundred years ago, eminent scientists and doctors would confidently assure you that the thyroid is a vestigial organ, and you would have believed them. A hundred years from now, we would expect additional discoveries that would change our beliefs.

    There’s a fundamental difference between proving the function of the thyroid as compared to asserting that it has no function simply because one hasn’t been discovered.

    I’d disagree with the position that because we don’t know what something does, it therefore must not have a useful purpose. Sounds kind of arrogant to me.

    Finally, not everything is vital. One can easily survive without tonsils, but that doesn’t mean they have no function.

    Also, I think if you research some of the recent work on the structures in your list, you’ll find that they aren’t as vesitigial as they once were thought to be.

    -Q

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    Good points, phoodoo.

    -Q

  18. 18
    Dr JDD says:

    The definition of vestigility does not really matter here, except that it differs quite significantly from how evolutionists have applied it in arguments against ID over the years.

    It is undeniable that the vast majority of pro-evolutionists have used vestigal organs as a “blow to design” yet based on this “new” definition revealed by PZM it does not do that – it merely fits with the evolution paradigm by now defining it in this way.

    We all have (or had) a friend like this who confidently stated some “fact” and then when you go away, do some research and present them with the actual facts, showing that they were wrong, they indignently proclaim that we mis-understood them, they did not ever mean it that way and we have got it wrong through our misunderstanding of what they said.

    Those “friends” usually annoy us enough to stop being friends with them but sadly many people still believe the illusion those people know what they are talking about given their confidence in the matter.

    What about vestigal proteins? Proteins from genes that can be knocked out and an organism still survives (i.e. not embryonic lethal or detrimental)? We normally find they have a reduced fitness in some way (some more subtle than others), but is this molecular vestigility?

  19. 19
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Querius @ 13

    There’s no evidence that proves these structures are vestigial, but we currently don’t know of any significant role in each of these.

    Do you understand that, according to Darwin, a vestigial organ can have still have “a significant role”?

    An organ, serving for two purposes, may become rudimentary or utterly aborted for one, even the more important purpose, and remain perfectly efficient for the other. … Again, an organ may become rudimentary for its proper purpose, and be used for a distinct one…
    — Darwin

    So you don’t need to prove an organ has no significant role in order to show it is vestigial.

  20. 20
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 18

    Way back when Darwin wrote The Origin of Species he noted that:

    “An organ, serving for two purposes, may become rudimentary or utterly aborted for one, even the more important purpose, and remain perfectly efficient for the other.”

    Then he gave an argument against special creation:

    “On the view of each organic being with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable it is that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility, such as the teeth in the embryonic calf or like the shrivelled wings under the soldered wing-covers of many beetles, should so frequently occur.”

    How does this differ significantly from how evolutionists have applied it in arguments against ID over the years?

  21. 21
    Dr JDD says:

    I really must learn to spell vestigial correctly…

    CLAVDIS @ 19:

    Is this quote by Darwin an observation or the definition of vestigial he gave?

    My point is not just what you can quote from Darwin but rather how biological use of the word has traditionally been. Further, to discuss how it is portrayed to the public.

    For example, look at the Oxford Dictionary definition of vestigial in the context of Biology:

    “(Of an organ or part of the body) degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution”

    Let us look at basic evolution resources online and how they define it:
    http://evolution.about.com/od/.....ctures.htm

    Definition:

    A vestigial structure is an anatomical feature that no longer seems to have a purpose in the current form of an organism of the given species. Often, these vestigial structures were organs that performed some important function in the organism at one point in the past. However, as the population changed due to natural selection, those structures became less and less necessary until they were rendered pretty much useless. While most of these types of structures would probably disappear over many generations, some seem to keep being passed down to offspring even though they have no known function.

    So regardless of what people are now claiming vestigiality is, the problem stems from over the years (and even now) how it has been portrayed to the public. Further, the real point is evolutionists have done nothing to counter or correct this as it worked in their favour for people to believe they are “useless remnants of evolution and proof of common descent”.

    So I will not argue if you change the term, but we can only meet you on your terms if you stick by it. The argument has long been that things like the appendix are completely useless and without function. We know that is not true. Therefore it is fair and correct for someone to point his out. If you decide to change the meaning of vestigial then fine but you have to at least accept it is then a poor argument for common descent, because just because something has a differen function in another organism, does not mean that they came from the same ancestor. This is what IDists have always contended – but evolutionists keep changing the goal posts.

    Further, one who subscribes to a literal interpretation of the Bible may actually find good reason to argue in favour of some of these organs having lost functions (i.e. we used to be vegetarians and may well have had an enlarged caecum, etc). Again, these observations do not prove evolution as evolutionists claim, as they also present an argument for common design.

  22. 22
    Dr JDD says:

    CLAVIDUS @ 20:

    It is well documented that many evolutionists have over the years made this claim:

    “Vestigal organs are useless and functionless organs leftover from evolution and something a designer would never put in as they are without function.”

    Now many evolutionists may have extrapolated and claimed (as evidence came to light) that some of these have other functions, but these are reduced and secondary/not as important as functions observed in other organisms, but the above I have stated is a commonly used argument by many evolutionists over the years. They made no apology for using such an argument. You can still find this argument all over the internet now including evolution education resources.

    Now PZ (and others) are making the claim we are misunderstanding what evolutionists meant about vestigiality – that is, that vestigial does not mean “without function”. Fine if that is the case, but don’t pretend that evolutionists have and still do use this argument. That is my point.

    Are you saying that evolutionists have NOT used the above argument over the years? And, if you admit they have, should those who appose the theory just let it go and not respond to that?I have provided resources above to show that this is the way people view vestigiality – ie. without function. IDers will always wish to show this is a falsehood, and rightly so.

  23. 23
    Dr JDD says:

    Apologies CLAVDIVS – I also need to learn to spell your name…

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    a couple of points, bystander claims,,,

    I think everyone understands limbs are not vestigial and that appendix, tail bone, wisdom teeth are vestigial.

    Yet these body parts ARE NOT vestigial,,

    Over sixty years ago we find these words from the prestigious Quarterly Review of Biology, “There is no longer any justification for regarding the vermiform appendix as a vestigial structure” (Straus, 1947).

    The Useless Appendix and Other Darwinian Myths – June 2012
    Excerpt: Uses of appendix:
    *being “involved primarily in immune functions”
    *”function[ing] as a lymphoid organ, assisting with the maturation of B lymphocytes (one variety of white blood cell) and in the production of the class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies.”
    *helping with “the production of molecules that help to direct the movement of lymphocytes to various other locations in the body”
    *”suppress[ing] potentially destructive humoral (blood- and lymph-borne) antibody responses while promoting local immunity”
    *Additionally, it is “an important ‘back-up’ that can be used in a variety of reconstructive surgical techniques”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....60521.html

    Surgical removal of the tonsils and appendix associated with risk of early heart attack – June 2011
    Excerpt: The surgical removal of the appendix and tonsils before the age of 20 was associated with an increased risk of premature heart attack in a large population study performed in Sweden. Tonsillectomy increased the risk by 44% (hazard ratio 1.44) and appendectomy by 33% (HR 1.33). The risk increases were just statistically significant, and were even higher when the tonsils and appendix were both removed.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....html#share

    Evolution’s “vestigial organ” argument debunked
    Excerpt: The tailbone, properly known as the coccyx, is another supposed example of a vestigial structure that has been found to have a valuable function—especially regarding the ability to sit comfortably. Many people who have had this bone removed have great difficulty sitting.
    http://www.ucg.org/science/god.....-debunked/

    Are Wisdom Teeth (Third Molars) Vestiges of Human Evolution? by Jerry Bergman – December 1, 1998
    Excerpt: Curtis found that both predynastic Egyptians and Nubians rarely had wisdom teeth problems, but they often existed in persons living in later periods of history. He concluded that the maxillary sinus of the populations he compared were similar and attributed the impactions he found to diet and also disuse causing atrophy of the jaws which resulted in a low level of teeth attrition. Dahlberg in a study of American Indians found that mongoloid peoples have a higher percentage of agenesis of third molars then do other groups and few persons in primitive societies had wisdom teeth problems. As Dahlberg notes, third molars were ‘very useful in primitive societies’ to chew their coarse diet.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....sdom-teeth

    Of related note to ‘reduced functionality’ or ‘reduced in size’, by that definition of PZ’s for vestigiality, the entire human body can be considered vestigial:

    Scientists Discover Proof That Humanity Is Getting Dumber, Smaller And Weaker By Michael Snyder, on April 29th, 2014
    Excerpt: An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.
    Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
    And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.
    The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
    The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years.
    http://thetruthwins.com/archiv.....and-weaker

    Moreover, changing the definition of vestigial, as Darwinists do whenever function is discovered for a supposedly ‘useless’ body part, renders the word meaningless.

    Now It’s Whale Hips: Another Icon of Darwinian Evolution, Vestigial Structures, Takes a Hit – September 15, 2014
    Excerpt: You see the problem. Whale hips are “vestigial” yet still extremely important. Comments our colleague Michael Behe, “So doesn’t that make everything a vestigial structure from a Darwinian viewpoint? And if so, of what use is the word?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89811.html

    From Jerry Coyne, “Evolution-of-the-Gaps” and Other Fallacies – Jonathan M. – December 5, 2012
    Excerpt: Coyne anticipates the typical response to the argument from vestigiality:
    “Opponents of evolution always raise the same argument when vestigial traits are cited as evidence for evolution. “The features are not useless,” they say. “They are either useful for something, or we haven’t yet discovered what they’re for.” They claim, in other words, that a trait can’t be vestigial if it still has a function, or a function yet to be found.
    But this rejoinder misses the point. Evolutionary theory doesn’t say that vestigial characters have no function. A trait can be vestigial and functional at the same time. It is vestigial not because it’s functionless, but because it no longer performs the function for which it evolved. (p. 58)”
    But surely, by Coyne’s reckoning, this loose definition of “vestigiality” would entail that every organ and structure is vestigial, since, in Coyne’s view, all traits have evolved from something else. As Jonathan Wells explains in his own review of the book,
    “If the human arm evolved from the leg of a four-footed mammal (as Darwinists claim), then the human arm is vestigial. And if (as Coyne argues) the wings of flying birds evolved from feathered forelimbs of dinosaurs that used them for other purposes, then the wings of flying birds are vestigial. This is the opposite of what most people mean by “vestigial.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67091.html

  25. 25
    steveO says:

    No sooner is a can of worms opened than the worms form an escort party and lead us to a bigger one.

    That’s very funny! Not only as it applies to PZ’s definition but also in general. I think I might pinch that one 🙂

  26. 26
    Dr JDD says:

    A trait can be vestigial and functional at the same time. It is vestigial not because it’s functionless, but because it no longer performs the function for which it evolved.

    BA77 – exactly. Note the above point by Coyne. This is therefore circular proof of evolution. THe argument goes:

    1) Organ A evolved for function B in organism C
    2) We find a similar organ A in organism D but lacks function B
    3) Therefore, Organ A has lost its primary function (B) in organism D
    4) We know that organism D shares a common ancestor with organism C (or evolved from it)
    5) Therefore the lack of function B of Organ A in Organism D proves common descent

    As with all evolutionary arguments, they are either
    a) circular (e.g. above)
    b) equally explainable by the design hypothesis (e.g. homology)
    or
    c) “it had to happen this way” stories with no real scientific validation (e.g. abiogenesis, novel domain proteins arising by unguided change, multi-complex protein structures essential for life arising by blind, unguided processes, etc)

    The point is – an evolutionist can scream and cry all they like about what vestigial actually means, however:

    1) This does not change the perception of its meaning that has been used by evolutionists, and still is today (see my previous comments)
    2) Their “newer” definition offers no more “proof” of evolution or common descent than it does of a designer intelligently using similar structures for different purposes/functions in different organisms.

    For example, I have a car that has the indicators on the steering column on the left hand side “stick”. My wife also has the same thing, however on her car is another little switch and button on the same stick on the same side with the same purpose (to use as an indicator) which controls cruise control. My car does not have cruise control. It still has a function for an indicator though, and that is quite important.I could stick my arms out the window to indicate, however it is safer and best to have lights as indicators. In the case of my wife’s car, the designer was maximising on design and space along with function by adding the cruise control functionality on the same structure that controls indicating/signalling. That is a design feature, and an intelligent one.

    If evolutionists are going to whine about us misusing the definition of vetigiality they need to firstly start cleaning up public conception of the word including evolution resources and textbooks (which disagree with them) and secondly they need to admit it is on the assumption that a “designer wouldn’t do it this way” and assuming that because structures look similar and are in similar places and are controled by similar genes, that they must have arisen from each other.

  27. 27
    phoodoo says:

    CLAVDIVS,

    By what evidence can anyone claim that the features they claim are vestigial served two purposes at one time? Because they are vestigial?

    You can’t make a more circular argument than that.

    That is the same nonsense Ken Miller tries to argue about irreducible complexity, everything that is complex used to have some other simpler function. Based on what information? None, it just makes the evolution fairy tale easier to tell.

    There are a billion complex systems in nature, and all of them used to serve another purpose. What bunk.

  28. 28
    Evolve says:

    News says:

    ///But wouldn’t his definition make all kinds of organs and limbs vestigial in most life forms?///

    No! The organ has to be reduced to the point of having little to no utility with respect to its original function. Whale pelvis fits the bill, so does the human appendix.

    I’ve repeated the same thing here many times in reply to posts by Vincent Torley etc. But they continue to peddle the same wrong argument in their zeal to disprove evolution.
    Creationists are yet to explain why God gave human males nipples!

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Indeed Dr JDD, the only thing I’ve ever seen evidence for unlimited plasiticity in, i.e. evidence for ‘macro’-evolution in, is in the theory of evolution itself. The Darwinian theory is forever morphing into new shapes to accomodate whetever disconfirming evidence comes along. There is nothing rigid within the theory that would allow it to be falsified and to thus to classified as a proper science rather than a pseudo-science.

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science:
    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection Are Both Grossly Inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

  30. 30
    Dr JDD says:

    Evolve:

    The organ has to be reduced to the point of having little to no utility with respect to its original function.

    Therefore the criteron for it to be vestigial is an assumption of original function.

    Once again, this can only be defined as vestigial with an a priori acceptance of the evolutionary framework of common descent.

    As evidence for a theory cannot emerge from the theory itself, this definition of vestigiality again proves the contentious point – it is not evidence or proof of common descent (as common descent is assumed to prove vestigiality).

    Further, this emphasises the point that you cannot criticise a design argument based on these observations. The best criticism of design would be a functionless organ without explanation for lack of function, which is what old-school vestigial organs were touted as (but also assumes the mind of the desginer). The male nipple is not a good example of that as evolution has no explanation for why a male would have a nipple. Did men once breast feed? Are we evolving on our way to breastfeed?

    The Designist’s point is that where we see no apparent function, it may be due to our ignorance. The Judeo-Christian’s point is that we see a world different to how the original design intended it for, hence why some structures like the appendix may have had other functions in the past too. All the evidence I have seen of vestigial organs can fit perfectly well into the Judeo-Christian framework and do not provide stronger evidence for evolution than design. That is your inference and your wish to interpret in that manner that you do, but it does not make it true or design any less false.

  31. 31
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 21

    For example, look at the Oxford Dictionary definition of vestigial in the context of Biology:
    “(Of an organ or part of the body) degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution”

    You left out the very next example usage in the Oxford Dictionary which completely undermines your point.
    “The point is not that vestigial organs have no function whatsoever.”

    Did you know you’d done that?

  32. 32
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 21

    The argument has long been that things like the appendix are completely useless and without function. We know that is not true. Therefore it is fair and correct for someone to point this out.

    You need to address the stronger, original argument made by Darwin: That organs that are greatly reduced in function compared to their clear homologs – like fused beetle wings or blind cavefish eyes – are very difficult to explain by means of special creation, but easy to explain by means of descent with modification.

    These goal posts have not moved since 1859.

    If some people in the meantime have proffered an argument against design that’s easier for you to shoot down, because they wrongly thought vestigial’ meant ‘completely functionless’ (not one of whom you have quoted by the way) well bully for you. But now you need to step up and deal with Darwin’s stronger argument.

  33. 33
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 23

    No problem, happens all the time.

  34. 34
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 26

    This is therefore circular proof of evolution. THe argument goes:

    1) Organ A evolved for function B in organism C
    2) We find a similar organ A in organism D but lacks function B
    3) Therefore, Organ A has lost its primary function (B) in organism D
    4) We know that organism D shares a common ancestor with organism C (or evolved from it)
    5) Therefore the lack of function B of Organ A in Organism D proves common descent

    The argument is not circular because we have evidence independent of Organ A that demonstrates common ancestry e.g. genetics.

  35. 35
    Silver Asiatic says:

    That’s very funny! Not only as it applies to PZ’s definition but also in general. I think I might pinch that one 🙂

    I have to read every post now because News tosses in little one-liner gems like that at the end. I hope someone will collect them all and do an anthology of the wit and wisdom of D.O. She’s a marvel – and could probably make a fortune in stand-up comedy, if the general public knew what ID humor was, that is.

  36. 36
    CLAVDIVS says:

    phoodoo @ 27

    By what evidence can anyone claim that the features they claim are vestigial served two purposes at one time? Because they are vestigial?

    Would you agree that dung beetles share a common ancestor? The wings of the flightless dung beetle once served to fly, but now serve as a CO2 storage tank.

  37. 37
    Dr JDD says:

    CLAVDIVS:
    The dictionary I used was quickly determined online here – http://www.oxforddictionaries....../vestigial

    so you can see for yourself if I took anything out or not. Perhaps it is not the “official” Oxford dictionary then. My point remains that much of public thought sees vestigiality as non-functional.

    regarding independent evidence suggesting common ancestry, that is not completely the point however how do you feel genetics has provided proof of common ancestry over/more strongly/in favour of design?

    Further as provided in links above by BA77 i believe, why would we expect an organ such as the appendix to appear on around 32 separate occasions (I.e. converge 32 times) when we can apparently live quite fine without it?

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    CLAVDIVS claims

    “The argument is not circular because we have evidence independent of Organ A that demonstrates common ancestry e.g. genetics.”

    Yet contrary to what CLAVDIVS believes to be true, genetics does not provide evidence for common ancestry:

    “The facts of comparative anatomy provide no support for evolution in the way conceived by Darwin and research at the molecular level has not demonstrated a correspondence between the structure of the gene and the structural and physical homology.”
    Professor Norman Nevin hailed in one obituary as “a pioneer in the science of genetics”.
    Should Christians Embrace Evolution? p137, (IVP 2009),

    A Primer on the Tree of Life (Part 4)
    Excerpt: “In sharks, for example, the gut develops from cells in the roof of the embryonic cavity. In lampreys, the gut develops from cells on the floor of the cavity. And in frogs, the gut develops from cells from both the roof and the floor of the embryonic cavity. This discovery—that homologous structures can be produced by different developmental pathways—contradicts what we would expect to find if all vertebrates share a common ancestor. – Explore Evolution
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Neo-Darwinism’s Homology Problem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrO_oOJWyL8

    “We know some cases where you have similar features that come from different genes, but we have lots and lots of cases where we have similar genes that give rise to very different features. I’ll give you an example: eyes. There’s a gene that’s similar in mice, octopuses, and fruit flies. If you look at a mouse eye and an octopus eye, there’s a superficial similarity, which is odd because nobody thinks their common ancestor had an eye like that. What’s more striking is if you look at a fruit fly’s eye – a compound eye with multiple facets – it’s totally different. Yet all three of these eyes depend on the same or very similar gene.”
    {Icons of Evolution ~ Dr Jonathan Wells, molecular biologist}

    “But if it is true that through the genetic code, genes code for enzymnes that synthesize proteins which are responsible (in a manner still unknown in embryology) for the differentiation of the various parts in their normal manner, what mechanism can it be that results in the production of homologous organs, the same ‘patterns’, in spite of their not being controlled by the same genes? I asked this question in 1938, and it (still) has not been answered.”
    Embryologist Sir Gavin deBeer, Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Oxford Biology Reader, 1971

    Homology — do common structures imply common ancestor? (14:17 minute mark – Different Genes involved in generating similar structures) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ydajcf2SBw&feature=player_detailpage#t=862

    Related note:

    “Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life,” New Scientist (January 21, 2009)
    Excerpt: “Phylogenetic incongruities [conflicts] can be seen everywhere in the universal tree, from its root to the major branchings within and among the various taxa to the makeup of the primary groupings themselves.”,,, “We’ve just annihilated the (Darwin’s) tree of life.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Repeated acquisition and loss of complex body form characters: Cornelius Hunter – December 2011
    Excerpt: In other words, morphological patterns in biology, including the pentadactyl structure, do not fit the common descent model. This has evolutionists doing mental gymnastics as limbs and other designs must come and go as needed to make sense of evolution. They are lost, then reevolved, then lost, then whatever. It is all just storytelling.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ss-of.html

  39. 39
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 37

    My point remains that much of public thought sees vestigiality as non-functional.

    So what? How does commenting on the state of public knowledge address Darwin’s original argument that organs having the “plain stamp of inutility” is difficult to explain by means of special creation, but fits in very well with descent with modification?

    regarding independent evidence suggesting common ancestry, that is not completely the point however how do you feel genetics has provided proof of common ancestry over/more strongly/in favour of design?

    Genetics provides evidence of common ancestry, not proof.

    Do you mean design by an unpredictable, all-powerful deity? That’s not a testable theory, so its not the sort of concept you can have evidence for/against.

    If you rule out design by an all-powerful deity, then you will have to spell out what your theory is, then we can see whether there’s evidence for it and how strong it is.

    Further as provided in links above by BA77 i believe, why would we expect an organ such as the appendix to appear on around 32 separate occasions (I.e. converge 32 times) when we can apparently live quite fine without it?

    Because the appendix is a bad example of a vestigial organ.

    Why don’t we discuss a good example, like the wings of flightless dung beetles?

  40. 40
    CLAVDIVS says:

    BA77 @ 38

    Yet contrary to what CLAVDIVS believes to be true, genetics does not provide evidence for common ancestry…

    Hilarious!

    Yes, bornagain77, why don’t you just throw out paternity testing and forensic DNA profiling because its all bogus, according to you.

    What a great example of failing to follow the evidence where it leads and instead marching in lockstep to the drumbeat of dogma.

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Why don’t we discuss the unambiguous bad examples??? Much like design, in which not one instance of design can be allowed in the atheistic mindset, if Darwinism can’t explain how all life, every organ, arose it fails as an all encompassing theory of origins!

    For instance, this critique of Darwin failure to address the origin of life itself:

    Was Darwin a creationist? – Cosans C. – 2005
    Abstract
    Throughout the Origin of Species, Darwin contrasts his theory of natural selection with the theory that God independently created each species. This makes it seem as though the Origin offers a scientific alternative to a theological worldview. A few months after the Origin appeared, however, the eminent anatomist Richard Owen published a review that pointed out the theological assumptions of Darwin’s theory. Owen worked in the tradition of rational morphology, within which one might suggest that evolution occurs by processes that are continuous with those by which life arises from matter; in contrast, Darwin rested his account of life’s origins on the notion that God created one or a few life forms upon which natural selection could act. Owen argued that Darwin’s reliance on God to explain the origins of life makes his version of evolution no less supernatural than the special creationist that Darwin criticizes: although Darwin limits God to one or a few acts of creation, he still relies upon God to explain life’s existence.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16085993

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    Clavdivs, nobody is contesting the genetic evidence that children come from their parents. I never claimed otherwise. What the evidence fails to support is your extraordinary claim that we all came from pond scum. That evidence simply does not exist (save for in the imagination of Darwinists).

    Logged Out – Scientists Can’t Find Darwin’s “Tree of Life” Anywhere in Nature by Casey Luskin – Winter 2013
    Excerpt: the (fossil) record shows that major groups of animals appeared abruptly, without direct evolutionary precursors.
    Because biogeography and fossils have failed to bolster common descent, many evolutionary scientists have turned to molecules—the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of genes and proteins—to establish a phylogenetic tree of life showing the evolutionary relationships between all living organisms.,,,
    Many papers have noted the prevalence of contradictory molecule-based phylogenetic trees. For instance:
    • A 1998 paper in Genome Research observed that “different proteins generate different phylogenetic tree[s].”6
    • A 2009 paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution acknowledged that “evolutionary trees from different genes often have conflicting branching patterns.”7
    • A 2013 paper in Trends in Genetics reported that “the more we learn about genomes the less tree-like we find their evolutionary history to be.”8
    Perhaps the most candid discussion of the problem came in a 2009 review article in New Scientist titled “Why Darwin Was Wrong about the Tree of Life.”9 The author quoted researcher Eric Bapteste explaining that “the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” but “today that project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence.” According to the article, “many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.”,,,
    Syvanen succinctly summarized the problem: “We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more, it’s a different topology entirely. What would Darwin have made of that?” ,,,
    “battles between molecules and morphology are being fought across the entire tree of life,” leaving readers with a stark assessment: “Evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don’t resemble those drawn up from morphology.”10,,,
    A 2012 paper noted that “phylogenetic conflict is common, and [is] frequently the norm rather than the exception,” since “incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species.”12,,,
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....ed-out.php

    podcast – Molecular Data Wreak Havoc on (Darwin’s) Tree of Life – Casey Luskin – March 2014
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_31-07_00

  43. 43
    Joe says:

    RB:

    PJ’s point was that the appendix may be removed “with no effect on the individual.” That’s what tells us that it is vestigial.

    And that is very, very wrong.

    The removal of a leg would have a clear deleterious effects upon the individual.

    It all depends on the individual. It would have deleterious effects on an athlete who couldn’t afford blades.

  44. 44
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    Quadruped limbs are vestigial fish fins, etc.

    BWAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

  45. 45
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    for example blind fish with rudimentary eyes or flightless beetles with fused wings. This is difficult to explain by means of intelligent design, but fits in very well with his theory of descent with modification.

    1- ID is OK with descent with modification

    2- ID is not anti-evolution

    3- Blind watchmaker evolution can’t account for fish nor eyes, nor beetles nor wings

  46. 46
    Joe says:

    Evolve:

    The organ has to be reduced to the point of having little to no utility with respect to its original function. Whale pelvis fits the bill, so does the human appendix.

    Unfortunately, with few exceptions, no one can know what the original function was- it is mostly guess work based on untestable personal bias.

  47. 47
    Evolve says:

    ///Unfortunately, with few exceptions, no one can know what the original function was- it is mostly guess work based on untestable personal bias.///

    Yeah, no one can know what the original function of the pelvis was! That it is meant for locomotion is guesswork! Talking to you is a pointless exercise.

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    I hardly consider the whale pelvis to be of ‘reduced functionality’ or vestigial (whatever that term means to the Darwinist),,

    Whale sex: It’s all in the hips – Sept. 8, 2014
    Excerpt: Both whales and dolphins have pelvic (hip) bones, (supposed) evolutionary remnants from when their ancestors walked on land more than 40 million years ago. Common wisdom has long held that those bones are simply vestigial, slowly withering away,,,
    New research from USC and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) flies directly in the face of that assumption, finding that,, pelvic bones serve a purpose,,,
    “Everyone’s always assumed that if you gave whales and dolphins a few more million years of evolution, the pelvic bones would disappear. But it appears that’s not the case,”,,,
    Dean collaborated with fellow co-corresponding author Jim Dines,,, on a painstaking four-year project to analyze cetacean (whale and dolphin) pelvic bones.
    The muscles that control a cetacean’s penis – which has a high degree of mobility – attach directly to its pelvic bones.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-09-whale-sex-hips.html

    Now It’s Whale Hips: Another Icon of Darwinian Evolution, Vestigial Organs, Takes a Hit – September 15, 2014
    Excerpt: Under selection pressure from reality, Darwinists have already had to back away from Darwin’s own understanding of what it means for a structure to be vestigial. Rather than serving no purpose, writes Jerry Coyne in Why Evolution Is True, now being vestigial can mean serving a different purpose than in one’s distant ancestors.,,,
    You see the problem. Whale hips are “vestigial” yet still extremely important. Comments our colleague Michael Behe, “So doesn’t that make everything a vestigial structure from a Darwinian viewpoint? And if so, of what use is the word?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89811.html

    Moreover, this was pointed out for years to Darwinists before it was recently ‘rediscovered’,, For instance this e-mail exchange from several years ago

    An Email Exchange Regarding “Vestigial Legs” Pelvic Bones in Whales by Jim Pamplin
    Excerpt: The pelvic bones of whales serve as attachments for the musculature associated with the penis in males and its homologue, the clitoris, in females. The muscle involved is known as the ischiocavernosus and is quite a powerful muscle in males. It serves as a retractor muscle for the penis in copulation and probably provides the base for lateral movements of the penis. The mechanisms of penile motion are not well understood in whales. The penis seems to be capable of a lot of independent motion, much like the trunk of an elephant. How much of this is mediated by the ischiocavernosus is not known.
    In females the anatomical parts are smaller and more diffuse. I would imagine that there is something homologous to the perineal muscles in man and tetrapods, which affect the entire pelvic area – the clitoris, vagina and anus.
    The pelvic rudiments also serve as origins for the ischiocaudalis muscle, which is a ventral muscle that inserts on the tips of the chevron bones of the spinal column and acts to flex the tail in normal locomotion.
    James G. Mead, Ph.D. – Curator of Marine Mammals – National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institution

    ,,, Being essential for reproduction is hardly something that would considered of ‘reduced functionality, especially in the Darwinian scheme of things

  49. 49
    Joe says:

    Evolve:

    Yeah, no one can know what the original function of the pelvis was!

    Your position can’t explain the pelvis. Also just because a pelvis has one function in one class of organisms does not mean it has to have the same function in all classes.

    Your narrow and close-minded views, while entertaining, mean nothing.

  50. 50
    drc466 says:

    CLAVDIVS, et. al.,

    As a starting point, I’m going to go ahead and allow almost everything you’ve said to be true. “Vestigial” organs are not always functionless, blind cave fish and fused-wing beetles are examples of vestigial organs, etc.

    Here’s the point, though. In order for vestigial organs to be “evidence” for the Evolutionary theory over competing theories (e.g. ID or Creationism), the vestigial organ would:
    1) Need to be proved functionless not just in the existing samples of the species, but in all ancestors of the same species, all the way back to the original creation/design point.
    2) Need to be proved to have come from an ancestor of a significantly-different species/kind (i.e. prior to the original creation/design), and have had a significant function in that ancestor.

    Why do I put those two criteria on vestigial organs? Simple – because any organ that doesn’t meet those criteria is compatible with ID or Creationism, which basically say that our current species are degenerative/differently-expressed forms of their original design.

    Let’s start with your example of eyeless fish. This example violates both 1 and 2. First, there are obviously ancestral fish of the same species with working eyes, which automatically contradicts #2 as well. Does an eyeless fish fit ID? Of course! The original fish design had working, useful eyes, and over time those eyes lost function due to adaptation and natural selection.

    So, maybe the fused-wing beetles? Proving #1 is problematic – can you show that the wings were not originally “created” unfused in that design? Or that the fused wing formation is functionless currently? And if, as you suggest, the fused-wing serves a different purpose, the possibility remains that they were designed to perform that function, and were never intended for flight. And can you show the fused wings must have come from a completely different species with unfused wings? After all, plenty of related beetles (same original design) have functional wings.

    The reason PZ Myer’s re-definition of “vestigial” is problematic is that the original understood definition (pointless, useless leftover that never had a purpose in this species) fits the 2 points above, and therefore supports the Evolutionary viewpoint over ID and Creationism. PZ’s re-definition (homologous organ with reduced/limited/changed function) violates the 2 points above, and therefore removes any validity to the assertion that vestigial organs are evidence for Evolution.

    Now, if you could show me, say, fangs and claws on a whale…

  51. 51
    Evolve says:

    Dr. JDD, I can only wake up someone who’s asleep, not someone who’s pretending to be asleep.
    You’ve shown time and again that you’re unwilling to acknowledge the evidence.

    ///Therefore the criteron for it to be vestigial is an assumption of original function.///

    Again, NO, the original function is not assumed, it is observed.
    That the pelvis is used for hindlimb locomotion is not an assumption, my goodness!
    That the eyes are meant for vision is not assumed, good heavens!!

    And as I’ve told you before, common ancestry is also not assumed, it is hypothesised.
    A hypothesis in science is an argument to logically explain the data which can be tested. Let’s take the example of the vestigial pelvis found in whales that have fully functional counterparts in land mammals. Land mammals use the pelvis for hindlimb locomotion. Therefore, the presence of rudimentary pelvis in whales suggests that they descended from mammals who walked on land. This means that whales share a common ancestor with land mammals. Thus, we’re proposing common ancestry to explain the whale vestigial pelvis.

    How can we test this? Common ancestry makes other predictions, which we can examine. Evidence from embryology, genetics, and even transitional whale fossils found by paleontologists all confirm those predictions. Thus, common ancestry emerges as the best-supported explanation of the data.

    ///The best criticism of design would be a functionless organ without explanation for lack of function, which is what old-school vestigial organs were touted as///

    There are many examples of vestigial structures that are essentially useless, if that is what you want.
    Eyes of blind cavefish, male nipples, human ear muscles, human nictitating membrane, human wisdom teeth, fake sex in whiptail lizards (which has only females) etc etc. How does creationism explain all that?

    ///The Designist’s point is that where we see no apparent function, it may be due to our ignorance.///

    Then come on and show it! Show that all the examples I cited above have functions. Even if you do that, it still doesn’t explain why they lost their original function and got atrophied. For example, if whales need an anchoring point for muscles to move their penis, why should that structure look like a rudimentary pelvis?!! Why can’t it be a totally unrelated new bone?

    ///evolution has no explanation for why a male would have a nipple.///

    My gosh! It’s just the opposite. Only evolution has a robust explanation. Nipples and breast tissue, being mammalian features, are present in both sexes, but only develop to become functional in females since only females bear the young. In males it becomes rudimentary and useless.

    The following Oxford definition of vestigial organs that you cited is not incorrect as a simple definition:

    “Biology (Of an organ or part of the body) degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution.”

    However, when you get down to the science, you have to be more specific and elaborate. There’s no rule that one organ can only have one function. In cases where a given organ has more than one function, it can lose its primary function during the course of evolution as the organism adapts to a new environment or takes up a different lifestyle, but still continue to perform its secondary roles. Such an organ is still vestigial with respect to its primary role. This is what Darwin himself said as has already been pointed out to you.

  52. 52
    Evolve says:

    ///Your position can’t explain the pelvis. Also just because a pelvis has one function in one class of organisms does not mean it has to have the same function in all classes.///

    Yeah yeah, whales had to have a structure that resembles the land-dwelling mammal pelvis (used for walking) to serve as an anchoring point for their penis muscle!
    No other shape would cut it!

    ///Your narrow and close-minded views, while entertaining, mean nothing.///

    Incessant nonsense doesn’t deserve anything better.

  53. 53
    Joe says:

    Evolve:

    Yeah yeah, whales had to have a structure that resembles the land-dwelling mammal pelvis (used for walking) to serve as an anchoring point for their penis muscle!

    That could be. And again your position can’t account for the pelvis, any pelvis. I see that bothers you.

    No other shape would cut it!

    No need to keep re-inventing structures especially when they are already programmed in and ready to go with just a little tweaking.

    Incessant nonsense doesn’t deserve anything better.

    And yet incessant nonsense is all you have and all evolutionism is.

    BTW obviously you have reading comprehension issues- do you understand what the phrase “with few exceptions” means?

  54. 54
    Joe says:

    Evolve:

    Again, NO, the original function is not assumed, it is observed.

    No, it isn’t observed.

    And as I’ve told you before, common ancestry is also not assumed, it is hypothesised.

    It cannot be tested. Ya see no one knows what makes an organism what it is. And that means no one knows if one type can evolve into another.

  55. 55
    Dr JDD says:

    CLAVDIVS – I believe drc466 has adequately addressed your points. I will however say one final thing, and that is the fact that over the years in biological science, by scientists, by evolutionists I have been presented with the argument of vestigial organs where the emphasis has been firmly placed on such organs being “functionless”. The appendix was commonly used as an example of this.

    Thus the opposition from the ID/Creation camp is centered around what is commonly taught and thought. This is why I use those sources to demonstrate my point. Now people like PZ are saying vestigial actually means something different, and you can argue until you are blue in the face that Darwin said this, but if evolutionists had not have gone for the cheap shot and gamble that organs we do not know function for are functionless as the definition of vestigial, than IDists/creationsist would have argued differently. We have never put those words into their mouths, we have responded to such claims.

    So sure you can shout and scream that this is not what vestigial means but the point remains – it is what has commonly been purported for it to mean hence the criticism of that. Do not tell me that is not true as I was educated from undergraduate degree to PhD by people who are at the top of their fields internationally in all aspects of biology that include evolutionary biology and this is what was relayed to me. So I do not care if you say that is what Darwin originally meant or not, it is a fact that this is what is commonly (or was, not sure now as it was a long time since I did my degree) taught in science classrooms at the graduate level.

    So I can accept the new definition of vestigial as the actual, but you cannot just ignore what has been going on for decades in the classroom, which is an example of bad science, precisely what you accuse the ID camp of performing.

    A bit like Haeckel’s embryology.

  56. 56
    Barb says:

    I note that “the bystander” here posts that he/she agrees with scientists who claim that organs are vestigial.

    However, in another thread, he/she posts that “science is overrated.”

    Please make up your mind. Or troll somewhere else.

  57. 57
    Dr JDD says:

    Evolve, I am not interested anymore in getting involved in a long discussion with you or any other committed atheist about these issues – that is the last reason why I post on here. These discussions just end up being circular and misunderstanding (on purpose or not, I will not speculate) my point but also I find, laced with subtle deceptions. Such as the last time I had a discussion with you and you failed to answer my question regarding a claim you made about tail genetics, which I believe to be a deceptive one in the way you presented it.

    Anyway, just a few points before I sign out of this discussion (I am remembering why I recently reverted to read this forum mainly and not post here):

    Dr. JDD, I can only wake up someone who’s asleep, not someone who’s pretending to be asleep.
    You’ve shown time and again that you’re unwilling to acknowledge the evidence.

    Trust me, you do not need to waste your time trying to “wake up someone” and you have no materialistic purpose to do so. After all, why should it matter to you what I believe? According to your apparent worldview it makes no impact on you what I believe nor does it do me any favours to believe in your wordlview as we are all dirt descendent with no soul or spirit who cease to exist after death. I am unsure why you portray the image that you are so concerned with trying to bring someone to truth (i.e. that everything is random therefore logically there is no truth. What is truth?)

    Again, NO, the original function is not assumed, it is observed.
    That the pelvis is used for hindlimb locomotion is not an assumption, my goodness!
    That the eyes are meant for vision is not assumed, good heavens!!

    You knew exactly what I meant. Another cheap shot there. You are not naive to the arguments of ID and creationists. You are not naive to the loss of function arguments and genetic entropy and the like. You are not naive to how any IDist/creationists would fully accept a fish had functional eyes to see and lost that capability hence blindness. You are also not naive to know I was referring to organs/appendages such as coccyx which are assumed to originate from an ancestral tail. You are also surely not naive to know that if you do not assume the whale had a common ancestor that walked the land, or even if it did, that you cannot know the original function of the bone described as the pelvis – it is an assumption based on your own extrapolation.

    Put it another way – many years ago people would have said “oh, this has wings and looks like this other organism with wings, they must be closer in ancestry than something without wings.” Yet as you yourself informed me, we now “know” that they are not as closely related due to the molecular evidence. Further, from molecular evidence we see that many structures had to convergently evolve, i.e. separately evolve. Yet you in the same breath wish to say because this structure looks like another structure in another organism, they MUST be related? Don’t answer that – I am merely saying this to highlight the foolishness of evolution, that encompasses every and any observation.

    common ancestry emerges as the best-supported explanation of the data.

    Only because you refuse to accept a Design argument because you label it as unscientific due to it being untestable.

    So how is that abiogenesis working out for you? Still a man of faith (like all materialists are) I guess. How about the multiverse? Really testable theories those.

    Or how about a real testable theory. Take an organism with a short doubling time and expose it for long periods to agents that enhance mutation, perhaps increased radiation of sorts. Do we get new speciation? Novel proteins from new information not previously present? Novel structures? Anything that could resemble some of the differences we see in the short Cambrian time frame?

    Or take the humble Drosophila melanogaster. A mere 4 chromosome pairs, quick generation time, lots of progeny…let’s do something like saturation mutagenesis on it and see if we can at least get it to change into a different species of fly or develop significantly beneficial mutations. How did that work out?

    That is real science – actually doing an experiment, and observing change, not making assumptions (homology means relatedness).

    There are many examples of vestigial structures that are essentially useless, if that is what you want.
    Eyes of blind cavefish, male nipples, human ear muscles, human nictitating membrane, human wisdom teeth, fake sex in whiptail lizards (which has only females) etc etc. How does creationism explain all that?

    There are many suggested explanations for most of those things you listed there – there are plenty of resources on the internet that give very good suggestions. Futher, 20 years ago that list would have been longer and already we are whittling it down. Just because you do not fully understand the design of some structure now does not mean it has no design. That is the height of arrogance in science, and history is littered with such assumptions (followed by later enlightenment).

    The blind cavefish is an argument that you should know better – no IDer/creationists denies all forms of evolution and you know that, just another cheap shot. I do not need to educate you on what IDers and creationists believe and don’t believe, you have been here long enough to know.

    My gosh! It’s just the opposite. Only evolution has a robust explanation. Nipples and breast tissue, being mammalian features, are present in both sexes, but only develop to become functional in females since only females bear the young. In males it becomes rudimentary and useless.

    So when did the separation of male and female take place that coincided with mammary gland development? Remembering the fact that mammary development does not occur in embryogenesis but later on in life? Also, why does a man have a nipple but not a mouse if we share a common ancestor? They lost it but we couldn’t?

    Is the clitoris rudimentary and useless? From an evolutionary point of view, why is it there? So that women will want to have sex? Why would a creator put it there? Because a creator wanted humans to enjoy sex? If so, then why is it hard to accept or understand that nipples are also sexual organs of sensitivity that heighten the experience of sex? You really think male nipples is a problem for one who accepts a Creator that cares about these things?

    This thread simply highlights the complete inability of 99.9% of materialists to even acknowledge the “sins” of the many in the field of evolutionary biology.

    FACT: Evolutionists have long taught that vestigial organs that have lost function are good evidence that we evolved from a common ancestor and that a designer could not have possibly been responsible for our existance. They commonly cited organs such as the appendix to support their claim. You cannot deny this as a fact as it is in textbooks, evolution education websites, graduate biology courses in the past.

    The truth is now so many of these vestigail structures are being found to have function, therefore the evolutionists has to go back to “Darwin’s original comments” as you claim, and say actually vestigial does not mean loss of function.

    Fine, but at least admit that you were wrong to ever over-emphasise the “complete loss of function” side of the story. But you cannot and will not, as giving an inch to the IDist/creationist is a cardinal sin among evolutionists.

    The irony is I am not even arguing with what the term vestigial means – I am merely stating how it has been used by evolutionists over the years.

  58. 58
    Mung says:

    RB @ 8. LOL! Good one.

    So an individual is composed of an essential set of parts and the non-essential parts are, by definition, vestigial.

    Like I said. Where’s the science?

  59. 59
    Mung says:

    He is a college professor, huh? How hard is it to become a college professor? Clearly, not very.

    Ah, but is PZ Myers a vestigial college professor?

    Great topic for a new OP, imo.

    Why PZ Myers ought to be considered a vestigial appendage to the education system.

  60. 60
    william spearshake says:

    DrJDD: “Is this quote by Darwin an observation or the definition of vestigial he gave?
    My point is not just what you can quote from Darwin but rather how biological use of the word has traditionally been. Further, to discuss how it is portrayed to the public.

    Yet, creationists repeatedly use quotes from Darwin, often out of context, to argue against evolution.

  61. 61
    bornagain77 says:

    Far from the human body being full of vestigial body parts, and over 90% junk DNA, as the Darwinists would prefer people to believe, the human body is fearfully and wonderfully made:

    “Neither art, nor genius, can even imitate a single fibre of the endless tissues that make up each body. The smallest filament, in fact, shows the Finger of God and the Artist’s signature.”
    Carl Linneaus, inventor of our modern system of biological classification
    (Paul Gosselin, Flight from the Absolute: Cynical Observations on the Postmodern West – p. 120)

    “Can it be by accident that all birds, beasts, and men have their right side and left side alike shaped, (except in their bowels,) and just two eyes, and no more, on either side of the face; and just two ears on either side of the head, and a nose with two holes; and either two fore- legs, or two wings, or two arms on the shoulders, and two legs on the hips, and no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel and contrivances of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom, and the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside a hard transparent skin, and within transparent humours, with a crystalline lens in the middle, and a pupil before the lens, all of them so finely shaped and fitted for vision, that no artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light, and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures, after the most curious manner, to make use of it? These, and suchlike considerations, always have, and ever will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared.” (Sir Isaac Newton, A Short Scheme of the True Religion)
    Sir Isaac Newton – Of Atheism – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAMCgWV3PVI

    The Vitruvian Man – Leonardo da Vinci – Drawing
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/22/Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg/441px-Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg
    “Speaking as one who has examined the original Vitruvian Man drawing, I can say that Leonardo was looking for a numerical design scheme that informs the proportions of the human body.
    The drawing began as an illustration from Vitruvius’ book, De Architectura where Vitruvius justifies the use of the square and circle as design elements because those shapes are integral to the human body: a man’s height is equal to his width (with arms outstretched) as a square, and a circle drawn with the navel as center and feet as radius is coincident with the hands’ reach.
    Leonardo also notes the other proportional relationships from Vitruvius such as the head height measures to the whole as well as the arms and hand sections.
    Leonardo then continued measuring (from the evidence of pin point indentations made by walking dividers, especially along the left vertical edge) to find more proportional relationships. He would take a measure of a part of the figure with the dividers and walk that measure along the height to see if the measure would fit an even number of times.
    From this drawing and others where Leonardo was working on the same type of problem it is evident that Leonardo believed there was a something like a unified field theory of design where everything in nature was related by numerical and geometrical design systems.
    He was one of the original ID thinkers.”
    – Dr. Ford
    Of note: The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci c. 1487. It is the one commonly associated with the science of physiology

    The Human Body is simply amazing:

    Human Anatomy – Impressive Transparent Visualization – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – video
    http://vimeo.com/26011909

    Introduction to Cells – Anatomy – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFuEo2ccTPA

    One Body – animation – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDMLq6eqEM4

    Luke 12:7
    Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    Hierarchy Of The Human Body
    1. The Chemical Level
    2. The Cellular Level
    3. Tissue
    4. Organ
    5. System
    http://www.wong-sir.com/reading/?p=165

    Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth — visualized – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70

    Mathematician Alexander Tsiaras on Human Development: “It’s a Mystery, It’s Magic, It’s Divinity” – March 2012
    Excerpt: ‘The magic of the mechanisms inside each genetic structure saying exactly where that nerve cell should go, the complexity of these, the mathematical models on how these things are indeed done, are beyond human comprehension. Even though I am a mathematician, I look at this with the marvel of how do these instruction sets not make these mistakes as they build what is us. It’s a mystery, it’s magic, it’s divinity.’
    Per Evolution News and Views

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE
    — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. And further: “It’s almost as if every mRNA [an intermediate between a gene and a corresponding protein] coming out of the nucleus knows where it’s going” (Travis 2011),,,
    Further, the billion protein molecules in a cell are virtually all capable of interacting with each other to one degree or another; they are subject to getting misfolded or “all balled up with one another”; they are critically modified through the attachment or detachment of molecular subunits, often in rapid order and with immediate implications for changing function; they can wind up inside large-capacity “transport vehicles” headed in any number of directions; they can be sidetracked by diverse processes of degradation and recycling . . . and so on without end. Yet the coherence of the whole is maintained.
    The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
    “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)” ,,,
    And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    Verse and Music:

    Psalms 139:14
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

    Made New – Lincoln Brewster
    http://myktis.com/songs/made-new/

    supplemental note:

    The average number of cells in the human body is between 75 and 100 trillion cells. 300 million cells in the human body die and are replaced every minute. If all the DNA was removed from a single cell in a person’s body and laid end to end, it would be six feet long. If the DNA was removed from all of the cells in a person’s body and laid end to end, it would stretch from Earth to the sun and back 450 times, or about 135 billion kilometers. The human genome, according to Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, far, far surpasses, in complexity, any computer program ever written by man. The data compression (multiple meanings) of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick! (Trifonov, 1989) No line of computer code ever written by man approaches that level of data compression (poly-functional complexity). There are about three-billion letters of code on the six feet of DNA curled up in each human cell. The amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to 12 sets of The Encyclopaedia Britannica—an incredible 384 volumes worth of detailed information that would fill 48 feet of library shelves! Written out, the Human Genome would stretch 5,592 miles, (9,000 km). If you were to read the code aloud, at a rate of three letters per second for twenty-four hours per day (about one-hundred-million letters a year), it would take you over thirty years to read it. The capacity of a DNA molecule to store information is so efficient all the information needed to specify an organism as complex as man weighs less than a few thousand-millionths of a gram. The information needed to specify the design of all species of organisms which have ever existed (a number estimated to be one billion) could easily fit into a teaspoon with plenty of room left over for every book ever written on the face of the earth (455 trillion 1 mb books could be stored on 1 gram of DNA). For comparison sake, if mere man were to try to ‘quantum teleport’ just one human body (change a physical human body into “pure information” and then ‘teleport’ it to another physical location) it would take at least 10^32 bits just to decode the teleportation event, or a cube of CD-ROM disks 1000 kilometers on 1 side, and would take over one hundred million centuries to transmit all that information for just one human body even with the best optical fibers conceivable!

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  62. 62
    william spearshake says:

    BA77: “Far from the human body being full of vestigial body parts, and over 90% junk DNA, as the Darwinists would prefer people to believe, the human body is fearfully and wonderfully made:”

    Where did Darwin suggest this? Or is this just the creationist strategy to equate all evolutionary theory with what was known in 1859? You don’t have to respond, we know the answer.

  63. 63
    Mung says:

    BS: “Yet, creationists repeatedly use quotes from Darwin, often out of context, to argue against evolution.”

    So?

    Are you saying that they ought not do so?

  64. 64
    william spearshake says:

    Mung, using quotes out of context? Since that is one of the biggest weapons in the creationist arsenal, go right ahead. But in the rest of society, this is considered to be a form of misdirection and lying

  65. 65
    Dionisio says:

    example of vestigial organ?

    A newly discovered function of palatine tonsils in immune defence: the expression of defensins.

    The palatine tonsils have an undoubted role in the immune defence system.

    After antigen contact an effective adaptive immune response by B- and T-cell lymphocytes will be released.

    In addition the palatine tonsils seem to exert influence to the defence by the innate immune system.

    Palatine tonsils express mRNA for different alpha and beta defensins and this expression suggest a newly supposed function in immune defence: the participation in the innate, non-adaptive immune system.

    Thus, palatine tonsils have a potential influence in the growth and control of the physiological mouth bacteria by their bactericidal activity.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12378798

  66. 66
    Dionisio says:

    william spearshake
    Most probably this is a “duh!” comment, because it’s pretty obvious to most folks out there, but I just noticed it now. Oh well, what can I do? My IQ score is about the same as my age. 🙁
    My primary language is not English, but your last name seems interestingly associated with a famous English writer’s last name. Is your last name also English?
    Kind regards.

  67. 67
    Mung says:

    BS:

    Mung, using quotes out of context? Since that is one of the biggest weapons in the creationist arsenal, go right ahead. But in the rest of society, this is considered to be a form of misdirection and lying.

    so?

    What is this “rest of society”?

    Would this be a primarily Christian and/or Religious society that you appeal to?

    You, as an atheist, are going to appeal to Christian/Religious norms? why?

    laughable, really.

  68. 68
    william spearshake says:

    Mung: “You, as an atheist, are going to appeal to Christian/Religious norms? why?”

    Only Christians argue that societal norms are Christian norms. Sounds arrogant to me.

  69. 69
    Querius says:

    Dr JDD, bornagain77, and Dionisio —

    Great posts and greater patience!

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    I’m amazed at the pompous “scientific” explanation offered to you regarding male nipples—without any corroboration at all!

    Nipples and breast tissue, being mammalian features, are present in both sexes, but only develop to become functional in females since only females bear the young. In males it becomes rudimentary and useless.

    Be still my beating heart! LOL There are so many points in this “just so” fantasy story that could easily be challenged! For example, why shouldn’t males be able to feed their young as a backup? If we found an example in nature, it could as easily be explained by Darwinism as, of course, the converse.

    Let me counter that the male nipple is actually sensitive erectile tissue involved in the human sexual response. If I asserted that this is a Classic Example of Evolutionary Dimorphism, I wouldn’t need to present any scientific evidence at all. My opinion would be evidence in of itself—the same as the Darwinists here believe of their opinions. 😉

    -Q

  70. 70
    Mung says:

    BS: “Only Christians argue that societal norms are Christian norms.”

    Ah, you’re a Christian then?

    Or you’ve never argued that norms are societal?

    BS: “Sounds arrogant to me.”

    So? Are you asserting that claims ought not be arrogant?

    If so, are you going to appeal to Christian/Religious (aka societal) norms again?

    Let’s see if I can predict where this goes:

    You deny that these norms are Christian/Religious norms.

    You deny that they are societal norms.

    You deny that they are norms.

    Remind us again why your brought them up in the first place?

    Assuming you’re not just a troll.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    AB as to,,,

    “Far from the human body being full of vestigial body parts, and over 90% junk DNA, as the Darwinists would prefer people to believe, the human body is fearfully and wonderfully made:”
    Where did Darwin suggest this? Or is this just the creationist strategy to equate all evolutionary theory with what was known in 1859?

    Dang it AB you are on to us! I should have known we couldn’t keep the wool pulled over your badly designed eyes!,,,
    Oh well, you are right, finding such unfathomable integrated complexity in the human body is all just one big creationist ploy.,,, A conspiracy devised years and years ago, in the smokey back rooms of churches, to make it look as if almighty God created us.
    Oh well, the game is up now that you know what we are up to,,, or maybe not!

    William Bialek: More Perfect Than We Imagined – March 23, 2013
    Excerpt: photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped.
    “Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” …
    In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....an-we.html

    Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak
    Physical Review Letters, 104, 158102 (April 2010)
    Excerpt: The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482021

    Phys.org: Specialized Retinal Cells Are a “Design Feature,” Showing that the Argument for Suboptimal Design of the Eye “Is Folly” – Casey Luskin – August 8, 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....88541.html
    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations – Sept. 1, 2014
    Excerpt: Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform.,,,
    – Perhaps the most surprising result of our study is that these peripheral neurons, which are engaged when a fingertip examines an object, perform the same type of calculations done by neurons in the cerebral cortex.
    http://www.medfak.umu.se/engli......cid238881

    DNA: The Ultimate Hard Drive – Science Magazine, August-16-2012
    Excerpt: “When it comes to storing information, hard drives don’t hold a candle to DNA. Our genetic code packs billions of gigabytes into a single gram. A mere milligram of the molecule could encode the complete text of every book in the Library of Congress and have plenty of room to spare.”
    http://news.sciencemag.org/sci.....-code.html

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – published online May 2013
    Excerpt: In the last decade, we have discovered still another aspect of the multi-dimensional genome. We now know that DNA sequences are typically “ poly-functional” [38]. Trifanov previously had described at least 12 genetic codes that any given nucleotide can contribute to [39,40], and showed that a given base-pair can contribute to multiple overlapping codes simultaneously. The first evidence of overlapping protein-coding sequences in viruses caused quite a stir, but since then it has become recognized as typical. According to Kapronov et al., “it is not unusual that a single base-pair can be part of an intricate network of multiple isoforms of overlapping sense and antisense transcripts, the majority of which are unannotated” [41]. The ENCODE project [42] has confirmed that this phenomenon is ubiquitous in higher genomes, wherein a given DNA sequence routinely encodes multiple overlapping messages, meaning that a single nucleotide can contribute to two or more genetic codes. Most recently, Itzkovitz et al. analyzed protein coding regions of 700 species, and showed that virtually all forms of life have extensive overlapping information in their genomes [43].
    38. Sanford J (2008) Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome. FMS Publications, NY. Pages 131–142.
    39. Trifonov EN (1989) Multiple codes of nucleotide sequences. Bull of Mathematical Biology 51:417–432.
    40. Trifanov EN (1997) Genetic sequences as products of compression by inclusive superposition of many codes. Mol Biol 31:647–654.
    41. Kapranov P, et al (2005) Examples of complex architecture of the human transcriptome revealed by RACE and high density tiling arrays. Genome Res 15:987–997.
    42. Birney E, et al (2007) Encode Project Consortium: Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project. Nature 447:799–816.
    43. Itzkovitz S, Hodis E, Sega E (2010) Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences. Genome Res. 20:1582–1589.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    Second, third, fourth… genetic codes – One spectacular case of code crowding – Edward N. Trifonov – video
    https://vimeo.com/81930637

    In the preceding video, Trifonov elucidates codes that are, simultaneously, in the same sequence, coding for DNA curvature, Chromatin Code, Amphipathic helices, and NF kappaB. In fact, at the 58:00 minute mark he states, “Reading only one message, one gets three more, practically GRATIS!”. And please note that this was just an introductory lecture in which Trifinov just covered the very basics and left many of the other codes out of the lecture. Codes which code for completely different, yet still biologically important, functions. In fact, at the 7:55 mark of the video, there are 13 codes that are listed on a powerpoint, although the writing was too small for me to read.

    Concluding powerpoint of the lecture (at the 1 hour mark):
    “Not only are there many different codes in the sequences, but they overlap, so that the same letters in a sequence may take part simultaneously in several different messages.”
    Edward N. Trifonov – 2010

    Symphony of Life, Revealed: New Imaging Technique Captures Vibrations of Proteins, Tiny Motions Critical to Human Life – Jan. 16, 2014
    Excerpt: To observe the protein vibrations, Markelz’ team relied on an interesting characteristic of proteins: The fact that they vibrate at the same frequency as the light they absorb.
    This is analogous to the way wine glasses tremble and shatter when a singer hits exactly the right note. Markelz explained: Wine glasses vibrate because they are absorbing the energy of sound waves, and the shape of a glass determines what pitches of sound it can absorb. Similarly, proteins with different structures will absorb and vibrate in response to light of different frequencies.,,,
    “If you tap on a bell, it rings for some time, and with a sound that is specific to the bell. This is how the proteins behave,” Markelz said. “Many scientists have previously thought a protein is more like a wet sponge than a bell: If you tap on a wet sponge, you don’t get any sustained sound.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....084838.htm

    etc… etc…

    Now that you are on to our creationist conspiracy AB, all you have to figure out now is how did we sneak all that exquisite design into the cell so as to fool everybody. ,,, Until then I’m stiicking to my story that God did it! 🙂

    Psalm 139:15
    My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

  72. 72
    william spearshake says:

    Mung: “Or you’ve never argued that norms are societal?”

    I’ve always argued that norms are societal. Thank you for paying attention.

  73. 73
    drc466 says:

    I’m not sure, ba77, but I think that when billy stickrattle said,

    Where did Darwin suggest this? Or is this just the creationist strategy to equate all evolutionary theory with what was known in 1859?

    …he wasn’t making a substantive argument about the existence of vestigial organs or junk DNA, but quibbling about the use of the term “Darwinist”. I’m not certain how that helps his side of the argument, to acknowledge the Darwin was far too ignorant of biology to even have a concept of junk DNA, but there it is. And I’m even less sure of his point re vestigial organs – Darwin didn’t think there are vestigial organs? Modern evolutionists don’t? Modern evolutionists do, but not in the human body? Darwin did, but “full of” is overstating?

    I got nothin’.

  74. 74
    JGuy says:

    PZ Meyers. How embarrassing! Are you using a magic eight ball to come up with ways to rehash this long refuted trite?

    This just further solidifies the case I have against Darwinism.

    This should prove to anyone objectively lurking and doing due diligence on such Darwinist claims in these forums the vanity of adhering to the religion of Darwinism.

  75. 75
    CLAVDIVS says:

    BA77

    Clavdivs, nobody is contesting the genetic evidence that children come from their parents. I never claimed otherwise.

    Sure you did. You said: “genetics does not provide evidence for common ancestry” which is a denial that genetics can show paternity (because if I can show A’s father is F and B’s father is also F, then I have demonstrated the common ancestry of A and B).

    Now you’ve backpedalled and admitted that genetic evidence can show paternity. Great. Do you also agree it can show who shares grandparents? Great-grandparents? What about 10 generations? What about 100? 1000? At what point does genetic evidence stop being evidence for ancestry?

  76. 76
    JGuy says:

    Has anyone read research yet that the appendix is useful in the immune system – especially in developing children?

    Reciprocating Bill used flight-less beetles and blind fish to argue as “vestigial” features and for evidence of Darwinism’s big idea.

    Flightless beetles may have a less useful feature, just like blind cave-fish do. However, they got their degraded parts from beetles and fish respectively. LOL! It doesn’t take a genius to understand that that is not evidence of Darwin’s big idea of common descent.

    Really though, I shouldn’t laugh. Because people believe that crap is evidence and are trying to push it off on the public. PZ et.al. are toxic to public education. He isn’t helping to educate people, but rather indoctrinate.

  77. 77
    JGuy says:

    An organ is vestigial if it is reduced in size or utility compared to homologous organs in other animals, and another piece of evidence is if it exhibits a wide range of variation that suggests that those differences have no selective component.

    (1) First you’d have to prove something was actually reduced – begging the question if attempting to use as evidence FOR Darwin’s big idea.
    (2) If the human appendix is compared to chimp appendix, one of them will likely be bigger. So, in either case, they may both be equally useful, but because one is different in size you have a “vestigial” organ by definition. LOL! Good thinking there genius. Oh, you mean smaller compared to ancestors? Where do we find ancestors appendix’s to compare to? Oh, that’s going to be a bit of a problem. So, how is it compared? 😛
    (3) If referring to extant creatures with homologous features, doesn’t that mean the chimp brain is vestigial organ? LOL!!!!
    (4) BA77 refuted PZ with simple secondary research.

  78. 78
    CLAVDIVS says:

    drc466 @ 50

    In order for vestigial organs to be “evidence” for the Evolutionary theory over competing theories (e.g. ID or Creationism), the vestigial organ would:
    1) Need to be proved functionless not just in the existing samples of the species, but in all ancestors of the same species, all the way back to the original creation/design point.

    Why would it need to be proved functionless in all ancestors? That doesn’t even make logical sense in the context of evolutionary theory.

    The evolutionary idea is that an organ which functioned for some purpose in an ancestor species is now reduced and unsuitable for that purpose in a descendant species. For example the flightless dung beetle’s wings are clearly the same organ in an obviously closely related species to other dung beetles – even a child can see these facts. Yet the wings can’t be used for flight. This fits in well with Darwin’s theory, and is difficult to explain by special creation.

    because any organ that doesn’t meet those criteria is compatible with ID or Creationism

    Anything and everything is compatible with an all-powerful designer/creator with inscrutable motives; vestigial/non-vestigial, functional/functionless, common ancestry/independent origins … it doesn’t matter, everything is compatible with ID/creation so long as the designer/creator has no limits. I’ve got no logical argument with that, just don’t call it science.

  79. 79
    bornagain77 says:

    CLAVDIVS you ask what genetics will show for 10 generations? What about 100? 1000? for humans back from the present day,,,
    Glad you asked:

    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.”
    Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    “…but Natural Selection reduces genetic information and we know this from all the Genetic Population studies that we have…”
    Maciej Marian Giertych – Population Geneticist – member of the European Parliament – EXPELLED
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z5-15wk1Zk

    Scientists Discover Proof That Humanity Is Getting Dumber, Smaller And Weaker By Michael Snyder, on April 29th, 2014
    Excerpt: An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.
    Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
    And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.
    The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
    The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years.
    http://thetruthwins.com/archiv.....and-weaker

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Cro Magnon skull shows that our brains have shrunk – Mar 15, 2010 by Lisa Zyga
    Excerpt: Using new technology, researchers have produced a replica of the 28,000-year-old brain and found that it is about 15-20% larger than our brains.
    http://phys.org/news187877156.html

    Genetic Entropy – Dr. John Sanford – Evolution vs. Reality – video
    https://vimeo.com/35088933

    Not good for Darwinists!

  80. 80
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dr JDD @ 55

    Hi Dr JDD – Thanks for responding.

    Thus the opposition from the ID/Creation camp is centered around what is commonly taught and thought. … So sure you can shout and scream that this is not what vestigial means but the point remains – it is what has commonly been purported for it to mean hence the criticism of that.

    Perhaps I’ve not been clear, I’ll try again.

    The argument from vestigial organs in favour of common descent and against special creation, as originally put by Darwin, works the same whether or not the organ in question is completely functionless. It doesn’t matter whether the organ currently has a function (like flightless dung beetle wings that are used to store CO2) or not (like blind cavefish eyes, that likely do nothing). What matters is that the obvious, original function of the organ (flying for wings, seeing for eyes) has been greatly reduced or lost.

    The argument asks us to consider why a designer would give a creature wings that cannot fly, or eyes that cannot see; and moreover to consider that such rudimentary organs so often appear in species with close relatives that have the same organ in a functional state. This state of affairs is easy to explain on the theory of descent with modification, but difficult to explain in terms of intelligent design.

  81. 81
    CLAVDIVS says:

    BA77 @ 79

    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)

    This paper completely contradicts your claim that “genetics does not provide evidence for common ancestry”, because the authors in fact use genetics to show common ancestry over at least hundreds, if not thousands, of generations.

    Thank you, then, for providing a publication that confirms my comment @ 34 that genetic evidence is independent evidence of common ancestry, thus showing the argument from vestigial organs is not circular.

  82. 82
    drc466 says:

    CLAVDIVS @78,

    I’m having trouble responding to your first point (vestigial organs, to support evolution, must be functionless back to the original design point within the species), because you yourself answer the reason immediately within the post – because if an organ has function originally, there is absolutely no reason to suppose that organ’s current vestigial status supports an evolutionary scenario over an ID or Creationist scenario. Ref eyeless fish – in what possible way would an eyeless fish support a Capital-E Evolutionary storyline over a little-e evolutionary ID one?

    As for your second point, the rather ridiculous assertion that any combination of function/non-function is compatible with creationism – that is why I included the example at the end of the fanged/clawed whale. There are infinite scenarios available that would prove problematic for ID/creationism (flying birds with scales and teeth? egg-laying whales with marsupial pouches? land mammals with gills? floating, useless internal organs that have no connections to anything? etc.). ANY scenario that meets the 2 criteria I outline would prove problematic for ID/creationism.

    The fact that you chose to dispute the validity of the 2 criteria, rather than provide easy, ready-to-hand examples of biology that meet those 2 criteria, proves the validity you are trying to dispute.

  83. 83
    drc466 says:

    In 51, Evolve says,

    There are many examples of vestigial structures that are essentially useless, if that is what you want.
    Eyes of blind cavefish, male nipples, human ear muscles, human nictitating membrane, human wisdom teeth, fake sex in whiptail lizards (which has only females) etc etc. How does creationism explain all that? …
    Only evolution has a robust explanation. Nipples and breast tissue, being mammalian features, are present in both sexes, but only develop to become functional in females since only females bear the young. In males it becomes rudimentary and useless.

    In arguing with evolutionists, I am becoming convinced that while many are brilliant biologists or peerless paleontologists, they are lousy logicians.
    For the sake of entertaining argument, let us permit Evolve the following (debatable) assertion: Adult male nipples are rudimentary and useless.
    Now, let us look logically at Evolve’s follow-up assertion – that because adult male nipples are useless, this is a problem for creationism.
    Accepting his description of human development, the fetus develops to a certain point before differentiating the breast based on the sex of the fetus. In order for his 2nd assertion to be true, it must further be postulated that any feature that has a purpose specific to one sex must not be developed to any extent before differentiation occurs. In other words, nipples and breast tissue must only begin their development after sexual differentiation during the development of the human fetus. The fact that nipples develop prior to differentation (in Evolve’s view) indicates either a) not designed, or b) not compatible with Creationism/Creator.

    Question: Is this a logical assumption?
    (Hint: No)

    Seriously, though – as any good designer of anything (buildings, computers, software, control systems, cars, etc.) can tell you, there are often a lot of design features that are “essentially useless” in the finished product, that are nonetheless crucial (e.g. a framework piece that is needed for proper or efficient assembly) to the design. They will also tell you that just because you don’t know what it is/was for, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there :).

  84. 84
    CLAVDIVS says:

    drc466 @ 82

    … in what possible way would an eyeless fish support a Capital-E Evolutionary storyline over a little-e evolutionary ID one?

    Hi again. I suspect we’re getting our wires crossed in part due to terminology.

    Eyeless fish etc. support descent with modification (common ancestry) over special creation, as noted by Darwin (and me @ 34 & 39).

    So I agree with you that eyeless fish are equally consistent with an ID common ancestry scenario and a materialistic common ancestry scenario.

    However, it does seem rather difficult to explain why an intelligent special creator would create fish with functionless eyes, not to mention the eye sockets, muscles, nerves etc. Why not just leave eye-related paraphernalia completely out of the fish? On the other hand, eyeless fish follow very neatly and naturally from the theory of common ancestry.

    Are we in agreement on this?

    As for your second point, the rather ridiculous assertion that any combination of function/non-function is compatible with creationism …

    That’s not what I said. I said:

    Anything and everything is compatible with an all-powerful designer/creator with inscrutable motives.

    This is not ridiculous, it is just logic: An all-powerful creator with inscrutable motives could create absolutely anything logically possible, and therefore is consistent with absolutely any evidence or state of affairs – including scenarios that meet your two criteria.

    Now, if that’s not the sort of designer contemplated by ID, then please spell out what is the sort of designer ID has in mind.

    Cheers

  85. 85
    bornagain77 says:

    CLAVDIVS, you state in regards to a paper that shows that humans are ‘DE-volving’,

    Thank you, then, for providing a publication that confirms my comment @ 34 that genetic evidence is independent evidence of common ancestry, thus showing the argument from vestigial organs is not circular.

    So, in your twisted Darwinian worldview, a paper showing that humans are losing genetic information is proof that humans, and all life, evolved from pond scum???? I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but the paper is confirmation of the principle of genetic entropy (J. Sanford), it is NOT confirmation for evolution from pond scum.

    As Spetner put the situation,,,

    “The neo-Darwinians would like us to believe that large evolutionary changes can result from a series of small events if there are enough of them. But if these events all lose information they can’t be the steps in the kind of evolution the neo-Darwin theory is supposed to explain, no matter how many mutations there are. Whoever thinks macroevolution can be made by mutations that lose information is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume.”
    Lee Spetner (Ph.D. Physics – MIT – Not By Chance)

  86. 86
    CLAVDIVS says:

    BA77 @ 85

    So, in your twisted Darwinian worldview, a paper showing that humans are losing genetic information is proof that humans, and all life, evolved from pond scum????

    Nope. Not even close. Please try to keep up.

    @ 26: Dr JDD claimed that the argument from vestigial organs is circular.

    @ 34: CLAVDIVS said no it isn’t because we have genetic evidence of common ancestry independent of vestigial organs.

    @ 38: BA77 said “genetics does not provide evidence for common ancestry”.

    @ 42: BA77 backpedals and contradicts himself, agreeing that genetics does provide evidence for common ancestry for a single generation.

    @ 79: BA77 backpedals even more dramatically citing a paper that demonstrates the ‘out of Africa’ common ancestry of modern European Americans and African Americans based on shared genetic elements dating to over 115,000 years ago, which is thousands and thousands of generations …

    … thus BA77 completely reverses himself and ends up agreeing with my original argument @ 34 that genetics provides evidence of common ancestry independent from vestigial organs.

    (Did you even read the paper you cited, BA77? I’m embarrassed for you.)

  87. 87
    gpuccio says:

    CLAUDIUS:

    An all-powerful creator with inscrutable motives could create absolutely anything logically possible, and therefore is consistent with absolutely any evidence or state of affairs – including scenarios that meet your two criteria.

    Now, if that’s not the sort of designer contemplated by ID, then please spell out what is the sort of designer ID has in mind.

    I can speak only for myself, and just repeat what I have said many times here:

    “One (or more) conscious intelligent designer who works in a definite context and with all the constraints implied by the context, who works with purpose and understanding and is able to input functional information through some physical interface with biological matter, and who works more or less gradually on what already exists, through common descent.”

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    CLAVDIVS, well by golly, how could I have missed the clear logic of all that. It is all so clear now! Evidence that humans are ‘DE-volving’ MUST BE interpreted as evidence that all life evolved from a common ancestor. Because? Because??, don’t help me CLAV, I can get it,,, This evidence MUST BE interpreted as evidence that all life evolved from pond scum because evolution is true ?!?!

    Whew, after all these years I think got evolutionary thinking down finally! As long as you refuse to let logic play any part in your ‘evolutionary’ reasoning all the evidence, no matter how contrary, supports evolution! 🙂

    It all makes so much more sense now!

    Glad you helped me clear that up!

    CLAV, I’m surprised you even waste your time trying to correct us imbeciles on UD. How can I ever thank you enough for your time and patience in showing us IDiots that life has no rhyme, reason, or purpose. It is almost as if you actually believed in purpose!

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53881.html

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    Verse and music

    John 1:1-5
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men. And the Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.

    Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
    Lyric: ‘Only You are the living among the dead”
    http://vimeo.com/38692431

    Supplemental Note:

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    Shroud Of Turin – 3 Dimensional Hologram Reveals Words ‘The Lamb’ – video
    https://vimeo.com/97156784

  89. 89
    gpuccio says:

    CLAUDIUS:

    I would like to add that my acceptance of common descent is not at all a “concession” to darwinism. I accept common descent because it is the best empirical explanation for many of the facts we observe.

    Moreover, I am deeply convinced that common descent is necessary to ID theory of biological information. Indeed, it is one of the strongest arguments in favor of ID theory of biological information, because it allows us to easily estimate the functional information in protein and in other biological structures.

    For example, the Durston method to compute functional information in protein families, that I often quote in my arguments, is based on assumptions which imply common descent.

    When I say, for example, that the alpha subunit of ATP synthase exhibits at least 1600 bits of dFSCI (an argument that I have often presented as a very strong demonstration that it is a designed molecule, without ever receiving any counter-argument at all by anyone), i say that because there are almost 400 aminoacid positions completely conserved from LUCA to humans (IOWs, among the bacterial, archaeal and human form of the protein). That argument implies common descent, and has no meaning out of a CD scenario.

  90. 90
    CLAVDIVS says:

    gpuccio @ 87 & 89

    I accept common descent because it is the best empirical explanation for many of the facts we observe.

    Moreover, I am deeply convinced that common descent is necessary to ID theory of biological information.

    Of course, I agree.

    Why don’t you try explaining this to BA77, and see whether you receive a kindergarten-level tantrum in response like I did.

    Regrettably ID appears to be dwindling in significance because it has been unable to disentangle itself from this sort of dogmatic denialism. If ID is to succeed it must, as you perceive, work with well-established facts of science.

    (@ 87) “One (or more) conscious intelligent designer who works in a definite context and with all the constraints implied by the context…”

    What is the context and what are the constraints implied by the context?

  91. 91
    CLAVDIVS says:

    BA77 @ 88

    Thank you for the substance-free, sarcastic rant that utterly fails to address my argument @ 86.

    It serves rather well to illustrate for any interested onlookers that your position is driven by the drumbeat of dogma, rather than a humble truth-seeking attitude of following of the evidence where it leads.

  92. 92
    Joe says:

    Until we know what makes an organism what it is universal common descent will not be science.

    Eyeless fish etc. support descent with modification (common ancestry) over special creation, as noted by Darwin (and me @ 34 & 39).

    That is incorrect. Special creation is OK with organisms losing parts or losing the use of parts. Special creation is not about the fixity of species. And special creation accepts descent with modification.

  93. 93
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    This paper completely contradicts your claim that “genetics does not provide evidence for common ancestry”, because the authors in fact use genetics to show common ancestry over at least hundreds, if not thousands, of generations.

    Humans evolving into humans. Not quite what common ancestry requires…

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    gpuccio at 89, let’s just say that I have a severe doubt, (i.e. ‘Darwin’s Doubt’), that the empirical evidence for common ancestry is as strong as you have imagined it to be:

    A Graduate Student (Nick Matzke) Writes – David Berlinski July 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Representatives of twenty-three of the roughly twenty-seven fossilized animal phyla, and the roughly thirty-six animal phyla overall, are present in the Cambrian fossil record. Twenty of these twenty-three major groups make their appearance with no discernible ancestral forms in either earlier Cambrian or Precambrian strata. Representatives of the remaining three or so animal phyla originate in the late Precambrian, but they do so as abruptly as the animals that appeared first in Cambrian. Moreover, these late Precambrian animals lack clear affinities with the representatives of the twenty or so phyla that first appear in the Cambrian.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74221.html

    Timeline graphic on Cambrian Explosion from ‘Darwin’s Doubt’
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....74341.html

    “Over the past 150 years or so, paleontologists have found many representatives of the phyla that were well-known in Darwin’s time (by analogy, the equivalent of the three primary colors) and a few completely new forms altogether (by analogy, some other distinct colors such as green and orange, perhaps). And, of course, within these phyla, there is a great deal of variety. Nevertheless, the analogy holds at least insofar as the differences in form between any member of one phylum and any member of another phylum are vast, and paleontologists have utterly failed to find forms that would fill these yawning chasms in what biotechnologists call “morphological space.” In other words, they have failed to find the paleolontogical equivalent of the numerous finely graded intermediate colors (Oedleton blue, dusty rose, gun barrel gray, magenta, etc.) that interior designers covet. Instead, extensive sampling of the fossil record has confirmed a strikingly discontinuous pattern in which representatives of the major phyla stand in stark isolation from members of other phyla, without intermediate forms filling the intervening morphological space.”
    Stephen Meyer – Darwin’s Doubt (p. 70)

    Socrates in the City – “Darwin’s Doubt” Eric Metaxas with Stephen Meyer – video
    https://vimeo.com/81215936

    Darwin’s Doubt – Paul Giem – video playlist
    http://www.youtube.com/playlis.....Ow3u0_mK8t

    Cambrian Explosion Ruins Darwin’s Tree of Life (2 minutes in 24 hour day) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQKxkUb_AAg

    Verse:

    Genesis 1:20
    Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures,”,,,

  95. 95
    gpuccio says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    In brief:

    a) I have had my debates with BA on that point, and we friendly (I hope) disagree.

    b) ID is, for me, a very good scientific theory. One that is sorely needed to understand something of biology. It is not a political party, or a football team. Therefore, it cannot be “dwindling in significance” because some IDists have specific beliefs (like denial of CD) which are not in themselves part of ID theory. ID is about functional information in biology. It is a true and realistic approach to data. It can never “dwindle in significance”.

    c) The context is the physical universe, first of all, and its laws. Biological design, as far as we can see, needs not violate any physical or biochemical laws, and therefore is constrained by them.

    Another context is the gradual development of an engineering plan. Like in most designs, it appears that in biological design functional implementations need to be realized gradually, and building on the results already obtained.

    Another context are the informational laws, including the inevitable errors implied in all complex systems, the limitations in the physical conservation of information and in its physical development.

    Finally, an important context/restraint is certainly the interface between the designer’s mind and biological reality. We know very little about that, except for what can be inferred by the scenario of biological evolution. A few obvious restraints are:

    1) The designer cannot do everything he likes. He need time, he needs resources.

    2) While the design implementation is certainly extremely efficient, practically optimal under many aspects, especially if compared to our human standards, it is not necessarily perfect. It can well include errors, limited results, and allow room for perfectioning.

    3) It is absolutely possible that more than one designer is responsible for what we observe. Therefore, the methods, purposes and styles of biological design may well vary from case to case. Only empirical observation can help us understand better those points.

    These are only a few hints. My simple point is: ID is a scientific paradigm to explain the huge quantity of functional information in biological objects, interpreting it as the input of some conscious designer. That’s all. It is not a religion, it is not a belief, it is not a political movement. It is science.

    Of course, as science is never isolated from the human context, religions, ideologies, political ideas, and specific groups of people are interested in ID, in one way or another, and develop strong tendencies in favor of it or against it.

    Frankly, I am not really interested in those aspects. ID is the best scientific paradigm of our times: it will triumph, sooner or later. It is the responsibility of all reasonable people to understand its importance and scope.

  96. 96
    drc466 says:

    CLAVDIVS @84
    I suspect we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.

    Eyeless fish etc. support descent with modification (common ancestry) over special creation, as noted by Darwin (and me @ 34 & 39).

    See Joe @92. Every theory of (YE) special creation I know of currently postulates that today’s forms are degenerative/differently-expressed forms of species created less than 10Kyrs ago. Eyeless fish would certainly qualify.

    This is not ridiculous, it is just logic: An all-powerful creator with inscrutable motives could create absolutely anything logically possible, and therefore is consistent with absolutely any evidence or state of affairs – including scenarios that meet your two criteria.

    See gpuccio @ 87. Your view of what Creationism would allow a Creator doesn’t match any current type of Creationism I know. If it did, creationist responses to supposedly vestigial organs would be along the lines of “yeah, that’s how God intended it”, not “you’re incorrect – that organ is in fact not vestigial”.

    Finally – if you insist on being allowed to seamlessly extrapolate “parent-child” genetic relationships to “human-chimp” genetic relationships, then of course Evolution and common ancestry is correct. That seamless extrapolation is what is at the heart of the Evolution v ID v Creation conflict. You will get all three groups to agree to the first – only Evolutionists believe the second.
    Tell you what – show me physical evidence (from fossils) or reproducible experimentation (from the lab) of how a bat “common-ancestor”ed its way from a flightless, sonar-less rodent, and I’ll grant you your seamless extrapolation. Until then, you’re just assuming what you are claiming to prove.

  97. 97
    gpuccio says:

    BA:

    As I have said many times, common descent in no way means that new species, phyla or you name it appear, even rather suddenly. There are in natural history many sudden implementations of new designs, OOL and the Cambrian being the best examples. I agree with you on that.

    I disagree on the fact that the implementation needs to be “from scratch”: facts tell us the the new design reuses what already exists, or changes it.

    Take the origin of eukaryotes, for example. I do think that bacteria or cyanobacteria were used to build mytocondria or plastids. Many evidences point to that.

    In no way, however, that explains the origin of eukaryotes. The transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes is one of the most impressing jumps in natural history: hundreds of new genes, of new structures, of new regulations. The beginning of a completely new complexity which builds the foundation for the successive development of metazoa. It’s new design from all points of view.

    But one of the basic characteristics of the new plan is the separation of energy methabolism from other more specific cell functions: IOWs, the use of mytochondria and plastids as a separate organelle, the compartmentalization of DNA in the nucleus, and so on. The reuse of some basic prokaryotic structures in the energy processing organelles is a brilliant part of that plan. And the point is: what would a good designer do in that case?

    The answer is simple: he works on what already is there (the prokaryote), remodeling it for the new specialized function, integrating its components in the new, more complex scenario.

    That is both design and common descent. There is no contradiction in that. Proteins and structure bear testimony of their old story, and at the same time of all the design innovations which were implemented in them.

  98. 98
    CLAVDIVS says:

    gpuccio @ 95

    b) ID is, for me, a very good scientific theory. One that is sorely needed to understand something of biology. … it cannot be “dwindling in significance” because some IDists have specific beliefs (like denial of CD) which are not in themselves part of ID theory.

    Whilst I support the concept of intelligent design (and have done since long before the term ID came along), in my view its not science yet it is a metaphysical view with some evidential support.

    “Dwindling in significance” was a poor choice of words by me; I mean after a brief spark it has declined to a marginalised and fringe concept, IMO because its support community is salted with extreme anti-science denialists.

    c) The context is the physical universe, first of all, and its laws. Biological design, as far as we can see, needs not violate any physical or biochemical laws, and therefore is constrained by them.

    Your designer is not all-powerful, then.

    Another context is the gradual development of an engineering plan. Like in most designs, it appears that in biological design functional implementations need to be realized gradually, and building on the results already obtained.

    Which is basically Darwin’s idea of descent with gradual modification, is it not? How could we tell the difference between your idea and Darwin’s?

    Another context are the informational laws, including the inevitable errors implied in all complex systems, the limitations in the physical conservation of information and in its physical development.

    Your designer’s not omniscient, then, either.

    1) The designer cannot do everything he likes. He need time, he needs resources.

    How much time? How many resources? If you don’t specify you cannot test the idea.

    2) While the design implementation is certainly extremely efficient … it is not necessarily perfect. It can well include errors, limited results, and allow room for perfectioning.

    Sorry, gpuccio, but you’ll have to explain how this can be a constraint without any quantification of efficiency, perfection etc. You can’t test an idea that has endless wiggle room.

    3) It is absolutely possible that more than one designer is responsible for what we observe.

    Very sensible; but of course, this is yet another unconstrained area.

    These are only a few hints. My simple point is: ID is a scientific paradigm to explain the huge quantity of functional information in biological objects, interpreting it as the input of some conscious designer.

    To me, a paradigm is not an hypothesis or a theory; its an interpretive framework that might guide research. I agree it is not unreasonable to interpret biology as the outcome of conscious design. I don’t agree, at this stage, that this interpretation has given rise to any scientifically testable theory. You would need far more rigorous constraints on the designer concept than you have given above before it could be empirically tested.

    If ID is to progress, it needs to break with old-time creationism, stop attacking well-established science and start tackling the naive reductive-materialism that appears to have become entrenched in modern science.

    Anyway, thank you for your thoughts, it has been a refreshing exchange.

  99. 99
    william spearshake says:

    Joe @92

    Special creation is OK with organisms losing parts or losing the use of parts. Special creation is not about the fixity of species. And special creation accepts descent with modification.

    I think that is the point that Clavdivs was making. ID is consistent with everything because there is nothing that an hypothesized omnipotent designer (preferably a christian one) cannot do. ID accepts almost everything under its umbrella. Everything from a designer who only set the conditions for things to get started and then left everything alone, to a designer that intervenes at every step. Everything from a 6000 year old earth to a 4 billion year old earth. Everything from common descent to specific creation.

    For ID to obtain any credibility, and to be able to be treated as a science, it must clearly hypothesize the nature of the designer and then test for it. If the tests are not consistent with that hypothesized designer, there is nothing wrong with adjusting the hypothesis, or discarding parts of it.

  100. 100
    bornagain77 says:

    gppucio, I amicably hold your position to be the weaker position, although your position is still vastly better than the Darwinists position.

    i.e. Top down design rules!,,, Bottom up, whether unguided or unguided, is false!

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    whether unguided or guided

  102. 102
    CLAVDIVS says:

    drc466 @ 96

    Every theory of (YE) special creation I know of currently postulates that today’s forms are degenerative/differently-expressed forms of species created less than 10Kyrs ago.

    You’re telling me that special creationists accept that blind fish species are descended from sighted fish species, which means they accept common ancestry of blind and sighted fish as clearly indicated by evidence like vestigial eyes.

    Well good – what are we disagreeing about then? And why don’t you let BA77 know? He doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo.

    Your view of what Creationism would allow a Creator doesn’t match any current type of Creationism I know. If it did, creationist responses to supposedly vestigial organs would be along the lines of “yeah, that’s how God intended it”, not “you’re incorrect – that organ is in fact not vestigial”.

    You just got through telling me that creationists accept that the rudimentary eyes of blind fish are the result of degeneration from an earlier, sighted form – i.e. the very definition of vestigial. Now you’re telling me the creationist argument is that they’re not vestigial (?!?)

    You can’t have it both ways.

    Tell you what – show me physical evidence (from fossils) or reproducible experimentation (from the lab) of how a bat “common-ancestor”ed its way from a flightless, sonar-less rodent, and I’ll grant you your seamless extrapolation.

    First you tell me: Why bats?

    Do you want to learn about the strongest case for common ancestry? Or do you just want something that you think you can easily shoot down?

  103. 103
    CLAVDIVS says:

    william spearshake @ 99

    Hi william – Have a look at gpuccio’s posts.

    He hypothesises possibly multiple, non-omnipotent, non-omniscient, imperfect designer/s that can only gradually tweak existing designs. Still too unconstrained for scientific testing, but its a step in the right direction.

    Definitely not the Biblical God, though.

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    As to falsifiability, Darwinists have scant room to talk. ID can be easily falsified by producing one molecular machine by unguided Darwinian processes:

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.-
    Dr Behe in 1997

    In fact, there is a null hypothesis, as to information generation, in place that would falsify ID

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    Excerpt of conclusion pg. 42: “To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2662469/
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work

    In fact, a single novel functional protein of more than 500 bits of functional information, generated by unguided processes, would falsify ID. (See K. Durston and our own gppucio as to specifics)

    along that line,,,

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski
    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

    Whereas neo-Darwinism simply has no such rigid falsification criteria in place, as ID does, that would allow it to be, potentially, falsified.
    As I’ve said before, then only thing that I have ever seen evidence for unlimited plasticity in, i.e. evidence for ‘macro’-evolution in, is in the theory of Darwinian evolution itself.
    Darwinian theory is forever morphing into new shapes to accomodate whatever disconfirming evidence comes along. There is simply nothing rigid within Darwinian evolution that would allow one to classify it as a proper science instead of the pseudo-science that it actually is.

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science:
    Excerpt: “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

  105. 105
    william spearshake says:

    Clavdivs, I have read Gpuccio’s posts. And I agree that he is at least making an attempt. But ID (and UD) in general, go out of their way to not propose the nature of the designer.

  106. 106
    tjguy says:

    spearshake @99

    For ID to obtain any credibility, and to be able to be treated as a science, it must clearly hypothesize the nature of the designer and then test for it. If the tests are not consistent with that hypothesized designer, there is nothing wrong with adjusting the hypothesis, or discarding parts of it.

    Clever strategy. You know that most IDers believe the Designer to be supernatural and therefore the Designer is by definition outside of “science”.

    Tell you what. First, why don’t you design an experiment that shows how prokaryotes could evolve into eukaryotes or how chemicals could evolve into a living creature.

    Or, better yet, show us a way to test your belief that a remarkable single-celled organism, Oxytricha trifallax (that has two nucleus’ and 16,000 chromosomes (recall that humans have 46). The organism uses one nucleus to store its active DNA and the other nucleus to store an archive of the genome) evolved the amazing ability to disassemble the archived copy into a quarter-million pieces and then rapidly reassembles them into a new and improved version.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/a-pond-dwelling-single-celled-organism-does-amazing-genetic-engineering/

    I will end with this:

    For darwinism to obtain any credibility, and to be able to be treated as real science, it must clearly hypothesize the nature of the mechanism of change that is responsible for the new body plans of the Cambrian, the new genes that code for new body organs, etc. and then test for it, test for it, and test for it again! You know, use the good ole scientific method!

    If the tests are not consistent with their hypothesized mechanism for change, meaning they are unable to demonstrate that their mechanism for change is actually able to do what they believe it did, then there is nothing wrong with adjusting the hypothesis, discarding parts of it, or even coming up with a totally new answer to the question.

    I’m speaking for myself here, but there have a lot of reasons I have to postulate a Creator.

    The Bible is one. God is praised throughout the Bible as Creator.

    Science is another – problems with evolution theory as well as clear evidence of design.

    Changed lives of believers all over the world even today is another.

    Eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and the ensuing change of the disciples and their costly commitment and sacrifice to spread the gospel throughout the world and the actual establishment of the Church is another.

    Personal experience is another.

    Whether or not you accept those things as evidence is your choice, but that is my rationale for believing in a Creator.

  107. 107
    gpuccio says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    In brief:

    a) “Your designer is not all-powerful, then.”

    No. He is a designer, not a creator.

    b) “Your designer’s not omniscient, then, either.”

    Same answer.

    Beware, I am not speaking of “my designer”, but simply of the designer that need be inferred from facts, by the ID theory of design detection. The only requisites of such a designer are: being an intelligent, conscious being, able to output purposefully functional information into objects through some interface.

    To my religious friends here: I am not excluding that the designer could be omnipotent or omniscient: that is simply not required, cannot in any way be inferred from observations, and anyway would not explain the contraints in biological design (but, obviously, there are constraint also in the design of a whole universe, so I don’t believe that the idea of omnipotence is incompatible with constraints in the phenomenologic realm, even for a divine concept. But that’s another story).

    c) “Which is basically Darwin’s idea of descent with gradual modification, is it not? How could we tell the difference between your idea and Darwin’s?”

    I am surprised that you say that. Do you know ID theory? Obviously, the whole problem is in functional information. The neo darwinian model explains the complex functional information we observe by RV + NS. That is simply impossible. It is a scientific fraud.

    ID explains complex functional information as the output of conscious intelligent beings. In accord with what we can observe.

    They are two completely different theories, with very different explanatory power and empirical support.

    d) “How much time? How many resources? If you don’t specify you cannot test the idea.”

    “Sorry, gpuccio, but you’ll have to explain how this can be a constraint without any quantification of efficiency, perfection etc. You can’t test an idea that has endless wiggle room.”

    “Very sensible; but of course, this is yet another unconstrained area.”

    “To me, a paradigm is not an hypothesis or a theory; its an interpretive framework that might guide research. I agree it is not unreasonable to interpret biology as the outcome of conscious design. I don’t agree, at this stage, that this interpretation has given rise to any scientifically testable theory. You would need far more rigorous constraints on the designer concept than you have given above before it could be empirically tested.”

    I will comment all those statements together.

    It’s simple: ID theory analyzes functional information and its complexity, tests the presence of complex functional information in biology, and clearly shows all the many examples where design is the only eùavailable explanation.

    ID theory does not assume specific constraints of the designer “a priori”. It’s the other way round. Once we have inferred that a designer is the best explanation for the observed functional information, then we can try to infer properties and constraints of the designer and the design process from observed facts. It’s very simple scientific methodology.

    On the contrary, the neo darwinian theory affirm an explanation which is neither consistent nor supported by any facts, and strictly avoid any verification of its assumptions, and ignores the obvious falsifications that are already available from observed facts.

    That’s very wrong scientific methodology.

    It’s as simple as that.

  108. 108
    gpuccio says:

    BA:

    You say: “i.e. Top down design rules!,,, Bottom up, whether unguided or unguided, is false!”

    Just to clarify, I don’t believe that common descent implies bottom up design (although it does not exclude it). CD and top down design are perfectly compatible.

    Like you, I believe that design is mainly top down in biology.

  109. 109
    drc466 says:

    CLAVDIVS @102,

    I’m having a hard time determining whether you honestly don’t understand that there is a qualitative and quantitative difference between degeneration within a species and (speculative) loss of function cross-species, or are just being obtuse and argumentative.

    1) Are the (non-functional) eyes of a blind cave fish “vestigial”? YES (woot, bells and whistles)
    2) Are they evidence of common descent between some species of sighted and blind fish? YES, BUT NO MORE SO THAN ALL THE OTHER PARTS OF THE FISH THAT ARE IN COMMON BETWEEN SIGHTED/BLIND (Um, close enough, we’ll still call that agreement)
    3) Is every organ that we don’t know the function of “vestigial”? NO (uh oh, warning signs, we’re coming to a point of disagreement here!)
    4) Can we extrapolate from LOSS OF KNOWN FUNCTION WITHIN A SPECIES OVER A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (e.g. blind cave fish) to POTENTIAL LOSS OF UNKNOWN FUNCTION CROSS-SPECIES OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME WITH UNKNOWN INTERMEDIATES (e.g. appendix in man from unknown ancestor with functional appendix) as both examples of evidence for common ancestry? NO (CLAVDIVS’ head explodes)

    As for the bat/rodent example – I could have picked far worse. Sexual/asexual, vertebrate/invertebrate, single/multi-cellular, etc. Your problem is that you want to pick an uncontroversial example (wolf–>dog,flying–>flightless bird,sighted–>sightless fish), or in your words “the strongest example for common ancestry”, and say that proves all cases, including bats, etc. And yes, any attempt to show common ancestry for bats can be easily shot down – don’t you ever wonder why?

    “IF ANY, THEN ALL” is a logically fallacious argument for common ancestry. Ponder it.

  110. 110
    Dionisio says:

    gpuccio

    Mio caro amico! Glad to read your insightful posts again!

    Here are some interesting references you made, which I have quoted out of context:

    #89 gpuccio

    functional information in protein and in other biological structures.

    #95 gpuccio

    …ID is about functional information in biology. It is a true and realistic approach to data.

    …explain the huge quantity of functional information in biological objects.

    I agree that the concept of functional information is at the core of any serious scientific paradigm for the explanation of the observed biological systems. Limiting the discussion to just this exciting subject could keep us all busy for a very long time.
    Perhaps scientists would make more progress if they approach their biological research from the perspective of this paradigm.

    However, most people stay away from discussing the detailed functioning of biological systems. Perhaps in part because it gets quite complicated as we dig deeper into the subject and questions turn more specific. Anyone could get into it, but a very strong desire to understand it is required. Apparently not many have that desire.

    Now, on the side, the careful study of an object might tell us much about its structure, how it functions and what it does, but it may not reveal the exact intention of the designer. Someone could design something a certain way with a particular purpose in mind, but only the designer can answer the question “why?” it was done that way.

  111. 111
    william spearshake says:

    tjguy:

    You know that most IDers believe the Designer to be supernatural and therefore the Designer is by definition outside of “science”.”

    Well, that certainly is convenient. I propose that all life is designed, and that I come to this conclusion based on science, but don’t ask about the designer because, by definition, he is beyond science.

  112. 112
    gpuccio says:

    Dionisio:

    Mio caro amico, I perfectly agree with you!

    “However, most people stay away from discussing the detailed functioning of biological systems. Perhaps in part because it gets quite complicated as we dig deeper into the subject and questions turn more specific. ”

    How true, how true! 🙂

  113. 113
    Dionisio says:

    #111 william spearshake

    Many serious scientists are busy working on difficult issues, with many outstanding and newer questions resulting from the data avalanche coming out of research. Their main focus is the unbiased studying of the observed natural processes.
    OOL and other philosophical discussions are distractions that don’t seem to help resolve the highly complex biological puzzle.
    In another thread started by News in this site, I have posted over 400 links to examples of serious scientific research. Very few folks have dared to write comments in that thread. Most people would rather do philosophical chatting than scientific analysis. Any idea why?

  114. 114
    Dionisio says:

    #111 william spearshake

    Here’s a link to the thread I mentioned in #113:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-516002

  115. 115
    william spearshake says:

    Dionisio,
    I don’t really disagree with you. We spend far too much energy on nonsense, but when I hear an ID proponent say that the designer is beyond our comprehension, I just hear “cop-out”. If ID is serious about being a science (which I think it can be) it has to acknowledge that the nature of the designer is open for investigation. If not, it is no more valid than Santa Clause.

  116. 116
    CLAVDIVS says:

    drc466 @ 109

    Hi again drc466

    1)Are the (non-functional) eyes of a blind cave fish “vestigial”? YES (woot, bells and whistles)
    2) Are they evidence of common descent between some species of sighted and blind fish? YES

    This is what I’ve been saying all along, so it appears we’re substantially in agreement.

    I’m not trying to extrapolate from this example of vetigiality to the idea that all life shares common ancestry. Vestigiality is just one piece of a large puzzle, if I can put it like that.

    And yes, any attempt to show common ancestry for bats can be easily shot down – don’t you ever wonder why?

    The answer is simple – bats typically live in forests, where fossilisation is rare, and they are small delicate creatures and thus not easily preserved. We know quite a lot about bat evolution over the past 50m years, but prior to that evidence is difficult to find.

    “IF ANY, THEN ALL” is a logically fallacious argument for common ancestry. Ponder it.

    There are probably more than 2 million species extant, and perhaps hundreds of millions have existed since life began. It is unreasonable to hold the position that common ancestry of life cannot be demonstrated unless the full history of every species is worked out in detail.

    What we actually observe, across a very good statistical sample of genetic and fossil evidence, is an extremely strong mathematical signal in the patterns of similarities and differences between organisms; namely, a branching pattern over time that confirms Darwin’s idea of descent with modification. This is well-established science.

    ID proponents who deny this do so at their peril.

  117. 117
    Dionisio says:

    #115 william spearshake

    You wrote:

    I don’t really disagree with you. We spend far too much energy on nonsense,…

    Since you wrote ‘we’ I assume you include yourself in that group, right?

    Do you mean that OOL and other philosophical discussions are nonsense?

    You also wrote:

    when I hear an ID proponent say that the designer is beyond our comprehension, I just hear “cop-out”.

    You should know by now that what you call “an ID proponent” could be associated with a wide spectrum of philosophical/theological beliefs: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, agnosticism, Christianity, JW, Mormonism, and perhaps even some atheists. What seems to unify them is the presence of functional complex specified information in the biological systems. Their philosophical and theological references vary substantially and are obviously outside science. I suggest you read some of gpuccio’s and kf’s posts for more details on the subject.

    If ID is serious about being a science (which I think it can be) it has to acknowledge that the nature of the designer is open for investigation.

    Who said it’s not open to scrutiny? Of course, it is!

  118. 118
    Andre says:

    I’ve been commenting about this on PZ’s blog, my posts are not being published and all I’ve done is show all the links from Talk Origins, Jerry Coyne and Live sciences showing that vestigial means non-functional. O and I called Nick Matzke a bully so maybe that’s why! I told him to go bully all the dictionaries to go and change their definitions because they don’t conform to his view of vestigial!

    I guess nobody likes it when you challenge their religion on matters!

  119. 119
    Querius says:

    CLAVDIVS replied to Querius with

    Do you understand that, according to Darwin, a vestigial organ can have still have “a significant role”?

    Yes, I do understand! Darwinistic evolution requires that each evolutionary step is tiny, a small adaptation to the environment, and that this process has continued operating since the OOL.

    The inescapable conclusion is that, without exception, every structure in any organism is a vestige of an earlier one, which has been adapted to a modern environment. All life on earth consists of collections of vestigial organs because they all evolved from earlier structures.

    The whole concept of vestigial has become so useful, because it applies to every living thing, past present and future!

    And what a clever shift away from the deeply embarrassing position where every few years, a function was being discovered for some previously claimed useless leftover from evolution (by the old definition of vestigial)!

    LOL

    -Q

  120. 120
    gpuccio says:

    william spearshake:

    There is no doubt at all that the nature of the designer is open for investigation.

    It is equally true that:

    a) The design inference in itself does not depend on the nature of the designer (except for those key qualities which define a designer: being a conscious intelligent purposeful agent).

    b) Any inference about the nature of the designer must be made from observable data, and not from ideologies of any kind. IOWs, the purpose is to understand the nature of the designer from data, after we have made a design inference, and not to support (or falsify) the design inference according to some ideological idea of who or what the designer should be (which is exactly one of the favorite “arguments” of our adversaries, in the form of “why should an omnipotent God do such and such?).

    So, provided that we understand that the design inference is based on the observation of complex functional information, and does not depend in any way on specific hypotheses about the nature of the designer, it is absolutely true that the nature of the designer is and must be fully open to empirical investigation.

  121. 121
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Querius @ 119

    The inescapable conclusion is that, without exception, every structure in any organism is a vestige of an earlier one, which has been adapted to a modern environment. All life on earth consists of collections of vestigial organs because they all evolved from earlier structures.

    Exactly correct.

    Darwin, of course, never referred to “vestigial” organs; he called them “rudimentary, atrophied, or aborted” and spent a chapter on them which made it clear that they can have some function.

    The whole point of Darwin citing these rudimentary organs was to show how their existence naturally flows from his theory of descent with modification, whilst they are difficult to explain by means of the then prevalent theory of separate, intelligent creation of each species.

  122. 122
    CLAVDIVS says:

    gpuccio @ 120

    … it is absolutely true that the nature of the designer is and must be fully open to empirical investigation.

    Can you name something that ID proponents agree the designer could not possibly do, other than logically impossible things?

    If not, then there cannot really be a testable theory of ID, can there?

  123. 123
    Andre says:

    CLAVDIVS…

    Defend it…..

    http://www.talkorigins.org/features/whales/

    Defend it…..

    http://whyevolutionistrue.word.....of-whales/

    Defend it……

    http://txtwriter.com/Backgroun.....age12.html

    There are a million more out there saying Vestigial = non functional……

    Seriously man to what levels will you stoop to make yourself believe this nonsense that the meaning of the word should now somehow be changed or never really meant that?

  124. 124
  125. 125
    gpuccio says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    ID theory requires only one thing that the designer must be able to do: inputting original functional information into the object.

    Nothing else is needed.

    Therefore, I really don’t understand your point.

  126. 126
    Joe says:

    william spearshake- Please tell us how to know who the designer is (designers are) given just the design. Thanks. And if you cannot do so then please stuff it with the “cop out” crap. That said ID does NOT prevent anyone from trying to make determinations about the designer(s). It is a SEPARATE question from the determination of intelligent design. And if you had any investigative experience you would have known that.

    Also ID is NOT consistent with everything. That is just ignorant. We wouldn’t even infer intelligent design if nature, operating freely, can produce whatever we are investigating- and yes, that includes life. That is how science operates. There has to be a requirement for a designer otherwise every death would be considered a murder.

    That means to refute any given design inference all you would have to do is take away the designer requirement by demonstrating unguided processes can produce it.

  127. 127
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    Do you want to learn about the strongest case for common ancestry?

    The strongest case for common ancestry is Theobald’s “29+ evidences for macroevolution”. However it is rife with errors, based on bias and totally untestable.

  128. 128
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS- what “well established science” does ID attack?

    What we actually observe, across a very good statistical sample of genetic and fossil evidence, is an extremely strong mathematical signal in the patterns of similarities and differences between organisms; namely, a branching pattern over time that confirms Darwin’s idea of descent with modification.

    The genetic evidence does not support a common ancestry- you don’t even know what makes an organism what it is and without that you cannot say anything, scientifically, regarding common ancestry.

    The similarities point to a common design and the differences point to different requirements.

  129. 129
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Andre @ 123, 124

    I’m not interested in defending whatever random things you dig up.

    What I have been saying all along is that Darwin’s original argument – that rudimentary organs support descent with modification, and are difficult to explain by special creation – is just as strong as it has ever been. Complaining about how people have misused the term ‘vestigial’ (which Darwin never used, by the way) doesn’t affect the strength of the argument one iota.

    gpuccio sees that. drc466 sees it too.

    Why can’t you?

  130. 130
    the bystander says:

    IMHO, Neither ID nor Evolution has figured out how life started and spread. Both theories have too many loopholes.

  131. 131
    Andre says:

    ClAVDIS.

    Who is arguing for special creation? The point is this and please take note, the Darwinist camp have used this as evidence for a long time as evidence for evolution because they have no function…… Now that they do have function as we have recently discovered they are still evidence for evolution although we’ve had to modify our view on what vestigial actually means!

    Heads I win tails you lose!

  132. 132
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    What I have been saying all along is that Darwin’s original argument – that rudimentary organs support descent with modification, and are difficult to explain by special creation – is just as strong as it has ever been.

    Only if you ignore reality.

  133. 133
    CLAVDIVS says:

    gpuccio @ 125

    ID theory requires only one thing that the designer must be able to do: inputting original functional information into the object.

    Nothing else is needed.

    Therefore, I really don’t understand your point.

    My point is a simple one.

    If nothing is impossible for the designer, then this designer concept is compatible with every logically possible state of affairs. Such is not a concept that can be tested empirically, because no matter what observations you make, you can say “yup, designer wanted it that way”.

    If you want to go into the real world and test a concept scientifically, the concept needs to be one that could possibly be disconfirmed. If a concept cannot possibly be disconfirmed by empirical evidence, then its not scientifically testable.

    There’s nothing wrong with a concept that’s not scientifically testable; that just means it need to be defended with metaphysical/philosophical arguments, not empirical ones.

    So, if you’re unable to place any constraints on your designer concept, then it follows your designer concept is not scientifically testable.

  134. 134
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Joe @ 128

    … what “well established science” does ID attack?

    Let’s see …

    The genetic evidence does not support a common ancestry- you don’t even know what makes an organism what it is and without that you cannot say anything, scientifically, regarding common ancestry.

    QED.

    That was easy.

  135. 135
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Andre @ 131

    Naughty, naughty Darwinists. Fie upon them for saying vestigial organs must have no function.

    Now we have got that out of the way, do you agree with gpuccio and drc466 that Darwin’s original chapter on rudimentary organs, like blind eyes and flightless wings, supports his theory of descent with modification i.e. common ancestry and is difficult to explain by special creation.

    And if you don’t accept common ancestry, what’s the alternative, besides special creation?

  136. 136
    Dionisio says:

    #134 CLAVDIVS

    Did you really understand the question you quoted?

    It doesn’t seem like you did.

    You may want to try again.

    That wasn’t easy after all, was it?

    🙂

    PS. BTW, it may help to try paying attention to the meaning of words.

  137. 137
    Andre says:

    CLAVDIVS….

    Sez who? You?

    Dr Craig Venter disagrees….

  138. 138
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dionisio @ 136

    Joe asks @ 128 ‘what “well established science” does ID attack?’

    Then Joe immediately attacks the well-established science that shows genetic evidence supports common ancestry.

    QED.

  139. 139
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Andre @ 137

    Citation please for Dr Craig Venter asserting that Darwin’s chapter on rudimentary organs supports special creation and undermines Darwin’s theory of descent with modification.

  140. 140
    gpuccio says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    I am afraid I don’t understand.

    Whoever said that “nothing is impossible for the designer”? You said that, not I.

    What I said is:

    “ID theory requires only one thing that the designer must be able to do: inputting original functional information into the object.

    Nothing else is needed.

    Therefore, I really don’t understand your point.”

    So, I still don’t understand.

    You say:

    “If you want to go into the real world and test a concept scientifically, the concept needs to be one that could possibly be disconfirmed. If a concept cannot possibly be disconfirmed by empirical evidence, then its not scientifically testable.”

    Well, the simple concept of ID is that only a designer can generate dFSCI (or CSI, as you like). That can certainly be discomfirmed. But it was never discomfirmed.

    The simple concept of neo darwinism is that dFSCI can be generated by non design systems. All the available facts disconfirm that concept.

    So, what are your scientific conclusions?

  141. 141
    CLAVDIVS says:

    gpuccio @ 140

    I asked you at @ 122 to name something impossible for your designer concept.

    I still haven’t had an answer.

    Hence my comments about “nothing being impossible”.

    If you can’t tell me anything that’s impossible for the designer, I will assume nothing is, and therefore the designer concept is not scientifically testable.

  142. 142
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS- No one is testing the designer concept. The design exists and can be tested. And if purely materialistic processes can account for something then your “designer concept” never comes up.

  143. 143
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS- Just because you are gullible enough to believe that diatribe doesn’t mean it is scientifically well established. As I said those people have no idea what makes an organism what it is. Genetic similarities are easily accounted for by a COMMON DESIGN. Also CONVERGENCE is also a player.

    BTW there are geneticists who doubt the genetic evidence points to universal common descent.

  144. 144
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    So, if you’re unable to place any constraints on your designer concept, then it follows your designer concept is not scientifically testable.

    Newton’s four rules of scientific investigation place constraints on science such that it cannot rule in favor of an intelligent designer unless there is a requirement for one. So if purely materialistic processes can account for something we don’t consider the design inference (unless some other evidence comes up).

  145. 145
    Joe says:

    the bystander:

    IMHO, Neither ID nor Evolution has figured out how life started and spread.

    Well ID isn’t about the “how”. That comes after design has been detected and studied- that is what ID is about. And we are having issues with the “how” of some artifacts, like Stonehenge, which is by far more simple than a living organism.

  146. 146
    Dionisio says:

    #138 CLAVDIVS

    Dionisio @ 136

    Joe asks @ 128 ‘what “well established science” does ID attack?’

    Then Joe immediately attacks…

    Please, take a few things into account when reading my comments:

    English is not my primary language,
    I make mistakes very often,
    my reading comprehension is kind of poor,
    my communication skills are almost nonexistent, hence I don’t know how to transmit an idea to another person (ask my wife if you want to confirm this),
    my IQ score is about the same as my age, whatever that means,
    when a friend or relative say a joke at a weekend family gathering, I usually get it by Monday, only after my wife explains it to me.

    All that said, here’s the part of your comments I don’t quite understand:
    Do you see the bold words in the above quoted text, which was copied from your post?
    Does your comment seem to imply that those two words are equivalent? Did I get it wrong?
    BTW, that’s exactly what I tried -unsuccessfully- to bring up to your attention in my previous post #136.
    Please, clarify this. Thank you.

  147. 147
    Dionisio says:

    Posts #140 and #141 confirm my deeply grounded perception that gpuccio has much more patience than I do. I guess the day that virtue was given I wasn’t there on time to pickup my portion, but gpuccio got a bonus too 🙂

  148. 148
    Dionisio says:

    #140 gpuccio

    the simple concept of ID is that only a designer can generate dFSCI (or CSI, as you like). That can certainly be disconfirmed. But it was never disconfirmed.

    The simple concept of neo Darwinism is that dFSCI can be generated by non design systems. All the available facts disconfirm that concept.

    🙂

  149. 149
    Joe says:

    Dionsio- I am ID! 🙂 Or at least CLAVDIVS seems to think so.

  150. 150
    drc466 says:

    CLAVDIVS @116,@135

    This is what I’ve been saying all along, so it appears we’re substantially in agreement.

    On dogbreeding, yes. On apes evolving into men, don’t be ridiculous.

    We know quite a lot about bat evolution over the past 50m years, but prior to that evidence is difficult to find.

    In other words, we know about dogbatbreeding, but there isn’t a shred of evidence that bats have ever been anything but bats.

    It is unreasonable to hold the position that common ancestry of life cannot be demonstrated unless the full history of every species is worked out in detail

    And…..up pops the strawman! It is not ridiculous to hold the position that common ancestry of life cannot be demonstrated if you cannot even construct reasonable intermediates in your imagination for the majority of transitions (asexual/sexual, single/multi-cell, reptile/bird) that you claim must have happened.

    ID proponents who deny this do so at their peril.

    No, we do so with great relish! Hence, the millions of pages written on the problems with Darwin’s idea!

    do you agree with gpuccio and drc466 that Darwin’s original chapter on rudimentary organs, like blind eyes and flightless wings, supports his theory of descent with modification i.e. common ancestry and is difficult to explain by special creation.

    Once again, you’re conflating dogbreeding with molecules-to-man evolution. Is a chihuahua a “descent with modification” from some earlier non-chihuahua-ish dog? Sure. Can you breed a dog into a cat? Don’t be ridiculous (again!). Darwin’s “theory of descent with modification” was about breeding cats from dogs, not black labs from some base labrador breed.

    Clearly you didn’t ponder enough.

  151. 151
    Dionisio says:

    #149 Joe

    Wow! So that means I got it right and understood it well this time! 🙂

    BTW, I thought this ID was not equivalent to one person. Maybe I didn’t get the memo.

  152. 152
    bornagain77 says:

    drc466, very well put! 🙂

  153. 153
    Dionisio says:

    #150 drc466
    #152 bornagain77

    Your comments were incomplete, because you did not mention the goldendoodles.
    Was that intentional or you simply forgot it?
    😉

  154. 154
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Joe @ 144

    Still waiting to hear what is impossible for the designer of ID.

    If nothing is, then ID is not scientifically testable.

    Simple as that.

  155. 155
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS- The design inference is scientifically testable and Newton has told us how to proceed. And IDists have said exactly how to test and potentially falsify ID.

    Simple as that, indeed.

  156. 156
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dionisio @ 146

    Spare me your sarcasm Dionisio. Not interested.

    I’m just amazed to see how incredibly easy it is to scratch the surface of ID as it is represented here, and see the dogmatic science denialism come bubbling out, like rejection of common ancestry.

    This is why ID is now relegated to fringe status. It had a chance to break into the mainstream, and it was most regrettable to see ID dragged off into the mire because too many of its supporters exhibited blind, anti-intellectual, anti-evolution, anti-science extremism.

    No intellectual movement can succeed unless it builds upon well established knowledge about the world, including scientific knowledge about biology.

    I’ve watched UD for some time now, wondering if the needed change would come about. It didn’t, not yet. Maybe not ever. ID must break from old-time creationism, or perish.

  157. 157
    CLAVDIVS says:

    drc466 @ 150

    Please read my post to Dionisio @ 156, and ponder it.

  158. 158
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Joe @ 144

    … if purely materialistic processes can account for something we don’t consider the design inference

    It is not within the power of human beings to test whether purely materialistic processes can account for anything.

    How would you prove God was excluded from the process? You can’t.

    So your proposed test for ID is impossible.

    Which makes ID untestable.

  159. 159
    Dionisio says:

    Posts 140, 141, 146, 147, 154, among many others, confirm my old suspicion that really there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable censorship in this site, as some folks claim. This seems to be one of the most open and flexible discussion forums I’ve seen or heard of.
    I would have screened out a few more ‘commenters’ by now.
    But that’s fine. Gotta learn to ignore them. 🙁
    Some nice guys here have almost persuaded me to accept that some commenters are allowed for the sake of keeping the discussions a little heated and spicy, kind of for entertainment? But mainly for our own benefit, because they force us to learn more and sharpen our arguments, and also for the benefit of the lurkers, because it makes us to write messages over and over again, under the excuse that some interlocutors don’t quite get it the first time, though we know they won’t get it the next times either, unless they change their minds and suddenly want to understand. Oh, well.

  160. 160
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Joe @ 149

    I am ID! 🙂 Or at least CLAVDIVS seems to think so.

    You’re sure representative of the community that supports ID, Joe, I’m sad to say.

  161. 161
    Dionisio says:

    #159 addendum

    Please add references to posts 156, 157 and 158 too.
    Really pathetic. What a shame. What a waste of precious time.
    I guess this is a clear sign for me to take a break and get out of here for a while.
    Time to get back to work.
    auf wiedersehen!

  162. 162
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dionisio @ 159

    Perhaps a slight topic-fork would be refreshing …

    Some nice guys here have almost persuaded me to accept that some commenters are allowed for the sake of keeping the discussions a little heated and spicy, kind of for entertainment? But mainly for our own benefit, because they force us to learn more and sharpen our arguments …

    We learn to walk by falling over a thousand times.

    And we sharpen our ideas by subjecting them to criticism, discarding what is unsupported and weak, retaining and building upon what remains resistant to the strongest objections.

    There are hardly any critics left any more at UD. Thus it has become boring, and IMO the collective viewpoint of ID supporters here appears to be gravitating towards a monolithic, dogmatic anti-science attitude. This is not a good thing for ID.

    I expect to be banned soon too, simply because I have observed so many posters banned without clear explanation, and the only pattern that appears to hold is that they were all critics.

    I’m actually an ID supporter. I have been for a long time. However I also support good science, which makes me a pariah here.

  163. 163
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Dionisio @ 161

    Hope you have a good day.

    Regards
    CLAVDIVS

  164. 164
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    It is not within the power of human beings to test whether purely materialistic processes can account for anything.

    Then there isn’t any science and we should stop with the pretense. But I digress. We sure as hell can tell an artifact from a rock. We sure as hell can tell a crime from an act of nature. That would mean we humans have some ability to differentiate between purely materialistic processes and when an intelligent agency acted.

    You don’t know what you are talking about.

    How would you prove God was excluded from the process?

    You don’t need to.

    You’re sure representative of the community that supports ID, Joe, I’m sad to say.

    Whatever, CLAVDIVS. At least I know what science is and what we mere humans can do with our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

  165. 165
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    I’m just amazed to see how incredibly easy it is to scratch the surface of ID as it is represented here, and see the dogmatic science denialism come bubbling out, like rejection of common ancestry.

    There isn’t any science to deny wrt common ancestry. I have told you why and you have ignored it. And that is very telling.

  166. 166
    Box says:

    CLAVDIVS #158: It is not within the power of human beings to test whether purely materialistic processes can account for anything.

    Huh? Are you sure? That would be an absolute science stopper.

    Or did you mean to say: “It is not within the power of human beings to test whether purely materialistic processes can NOT account for anything”?
    If so, and if indeed there are no boundaries to what purely materialistic processes can do, than your objection to the designer …

    CLAVDIVS #141: If you can’t tell me anything that’s impossible for the designer, I will assume nothing is, and therefore the designer concept is not scientifically testable

    .. also applies to purely materialistic processes.

  167. 167
    bornagain77 says:

    in post 138, Clav tried to claim genetics supports common ancestry. Whether intentionally misleading or not, That claim is simply false:

    Logged Out – Scientists Can’t Find Darwin’s “Tree of Life” Anywhere in Nature by Casey Luskin – Winter 2013
    Excerpt: the (fossil) record shows that major groups of animals appeared abruptly, without direct evolutionary precursors.
    Because biogeography and fossils have failed to bolster common descent, many evolutionary scientists have turned to molecules—the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of genes and proteins—to establish a phylogenetic tree of life showing the evolutionary relationships between all living organisms.,,,
    Many papers have noted the prevalence of contradictory molecule-based phylogenetic trees. For instance:
    • A 1998 paper in Genome Research observed that “different proteins generate different phylogenetic tree[s].”6
    • A 2009 paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution acknowledged that “evolutionary trees from different genes often have conflicting branching patterns.”7
    • A 2013 paper in Trends in Genetics reported that “the more we learn about genomes the less tree-like we find their evolutionary history to be.”8
    Perhaps the most candid discussion of the problem came in a 2009 review article in New Scientist titled “Why Darwin Was Wrong about the Tree of Life.”9 The author quoted researcher Eric Bapteste explaining that “the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” but “today that project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence.” According to the article, “many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.”,,,
    Syvanen succinctly summarized the problem: “We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more, it’s a different topology entirely. What would Darwin have made of that?” ,,,
    “battles between molecules and morphology are being fought across the entire tree of life,” leaving readers with a stark assessment: “Evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don’t resemble those drawn up from morphology.”10,,,
    A 2012 paper noted that “phylogenetic conflict is common, and [is] frequently the norm rather than the exception,” since “incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species.”12,,,
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....ed-out.php

    podcast – Molecular Data Wreak Havoc on (Darwin’s) Tree of Life – Casey Luskin – March 2014
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_31-07_00

  168. 168
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, as if ‘annihilating Darwin’s tree of life’ were not bad enough for the dogmatic Darwinist, ‘form’, i.e. body plans, are not reducible to the sequences in DNA as is presupposed in Neo-Darwinism:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-515498

  169. 169
    gpuccio says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    I must say hat your boring arguments remind me of someone else. Maybe memes are real, after all 🙂

    You ask for something that “my” designer cannot do. It’s easy enough. “My” biological designer cannot violate the laws of physics and biochemistry, anymore than we can do.

    Are you happy now?

  170. 170
    CLAVDIVS says:

    Box @ 166

    I meant what I said.

    Humans cannot test *purely* materialistic processes.

    We assume there are no gods influencing the results, but this is just an assumption that cannot be checked scientifically.

    If someone wants to claim apples fall from trees, not due to an impersonal gravitational force but because Scientology thetans are willing it, this claim cannot be scientifically tested or falsified.

    In like manner, if one claims the branching pattern of life is not due to descent with modification driven by genetic drift, selection etc, but instead is due to a deity that undetectably meddles with nucleotides, this claim cannot be scientifically tested or falsified either. Such a claim would need to be defended on non-empirical grounds.

  171. 171
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    If someone wants to claim apples fall from trees, not due to an impersonal gravitational force but because Scientology thetans are willing it, this claim cannot be scientifically tested or falsified.

    It will be scientifically ignored.

    In like manner, if one claims the branching pattern of life is not due to descent with modification driven by genetic drift, selection etc, but instead is due to a deity that undetectably meddles with nucleotides, this claim cannot be scientifically tested or falsified either.

    If one claims that there is common ancestry then one needs to be able to show it. If one claims there is a branching pattern then one needs to support the claim that it is real and only one mechanism can produce it.

    Why can’t it be that organisms were designed to evolve and evolved by design meaning that drift, selection, etc., are as impotent as science has uncovered?

    Also what is the evidence that changes to genomes can produce the alleged branching pattern? Do tell

  172. 172
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS:

    Humans cannot test *purely* materialistic processes.

    And yet we do to the satisfaction of billions of people.

  173. 173
    Box says:

    CLAVDIVS #170: Humans cannot test *purely* materialistic processes.
    We assume there are no gods influencing the results, but this is just an assumption that cannot be checked scientifically.
    If someone wants to claim apples fall from trees, not due to an impersonal gravitational force but because Scientology thetans are willing it, this claim cannot be scientifically tested or falsified.

    Thank you for the explanation. I fully agree. Some metaphysics are beyond the grasp of scientific testing.

    CLAVDIVS #170: In like manner, if one claims the branching pattern of life is not due to descent with modification driven by genetic drift, selection etc, but instead is due to a deity that undetectably meddles with nucleotides, this claim cannot be scientifically tested or falsified either. Such a claim would need to be defended on non-empirical grounds.

    This is not a valid comparison IMHO. ID theory is not proposing an untestable unknown cause for the accumulation of information in life – e.g. Thetans. ID theory offers a familiar cause, namely intelligence – please note: NOT a deity.

  174. 174
    Joe says:

    CLAVDIVS- The question science asks is not if we can rule out any intelligent designer. Science asks if there is evidence to put one in.

  175. 175
    bornagain77 says:

    CLAVDIVS claims

    We assume there are no gods influencing the results, but this is just an assumption that cannot be checked scientifically.

    Really??? So since we are not, according to CLAVDIVS, ever allowed to invoke God as a cause in science, how does he explain Leggett’s Inequality?

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model. The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,
    https://vcq.quantum.at/fileadmin/Publications/Experimental%20non-classicality%20of%20an%20indivisible.pdf

    The preceding experiment, and the mathematics behind it, are discussed beginning at the 24:15 minute mark of the following video:

    Quantum Weirdness and God 8-9-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=N7HHz14tS1c#t=1449

    The implications are discussed here by Richard Conn Henry who is a Physics Professor at John Hopkins University

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Thus if CLAVDIVS follows his own rule with Leggett’s Inequality, then CLAVDIVS, instead of following the evidence where it leads, is forced to adopt solipsism.

    Solipsist Humor from Plantinga
    ,,,At a recent Lecture I attended by Philosopher Alvin Plantinga, he warmed up the crowd with a few solipsist jokes.,,,
    FYI, solipsism is the rather odd idea that there is only one individual in the universe and that you are it. Everyone else is just a figment of your imagination.
    1. British philosopher Bertrand Russell was a solipsist for a time (why does that not surprise me?), and he once received a letter from a woman who found his arguments very convincing. Well, I suppose it’s not so hard to convince a figment of your imagination that your arguments are brilliant. Anyway, the woman commented in her letter that his description of solipsism made a lot of sense and that, “I’m surprised there aren’t more of us.”
    2. Plantinga also told of an accomplished academic who was a well-known solipsist (I forget the guys name). And Plantinga thought it would be fun to meet a real life solipsist, so he went to visit him. He was treated fairly well considering he was only figment. I mean, it’s not a given that a solipsist would feel the need to be polite to his imaginary friends. After a brief conversation, Plantinga left and on the way out one of the man’s assistants said, “We take good care of the professor because when he goes we all go.”
    http://www.fellowtravelerblog......plantinga/

    Verse

    Hebrews 1:3
    The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.,,,

  176. 176
    Evolve says:

    Dr. JDD @ 57,

    ///After all, why should it matter to you what I believe?///

    You’re free to believe whatever you want, I don’t care. I only step in and say “Hello, excuse me” when I see you disregarding the evidence, misinterpreting data and getting facts wrong. In this case, it is your take on vestigial organs.

    ///I was referring to organs/appendages such as coccyx which are assumed to originate from an ancestral tail. You are also surely not naive to know that if you do not assume the whale had a common ancestor that walked the land, or even if it did, that you cannot know the original function of the bone described as the pelvis – it is an assumption based on your own extrapolation. ///

    That the human coccyx is a vestigial tail, and the whale pelvis is a vestigial structure, are NOT based on any assumptions, they’re based on OBSERVATIONS. I don’t know how many times I have to repeat such a basic concept. You’re so adamantly refusing to see facts as they are. You’ll never get to grips with the truth unless you shed your personal bias and embrace the evidence with an open mind, JDD.

    ///Further, from molecular evidence we see that many structures had to convergently evolve///

    So what? Some structures evolve convergently when different species adapt to similar environments. We’ve had a good handle on such cases for quite some time; for instance whale flippers and shark flippers or bat wings and bird wings. But, a few such examples don’t mean that every bit of similarity you find between species is a result of convergent evolution.
    We can tease homology apart from convergent evolution by detailed studies of anatomy, embryology and genetics. In the case of the whale pelvis, it is unambiguously clear that it is a vestige of the pelvis found in land mammals.

    ///common ancestry emerges as the best-supported explanation of the data.
    Only because you refuse to accept a Design argument because you label it as unscientific due to it being untestable.///

    Of course anything untestable is not science. I can claim that Santa Claus is real and nobody would be able to disprove me since there’s no way to test my claim. Likewise, you can always claim that a designer fiddled with life, but unless you can propose a hypothesis regarding who the designer is, what exactly he did, where and how, the whole claim is untestable, meaningless and doesn’t help explain any phenomena. In addition, the available evidence strongly suggests that life evolved naturally since predictions made by evolutionary theory has been confirmed by multiple scientific disciplines. Evolution is arguably the best supported theory in all of science, not just in biology.

    ///So how is that abiogenesis working out for you? Still a man of faith (like all materialists are) I guess. How about the multiverse? Really testable theories those.///

    No, you’re wrong again. Those are not theories, those are hypotheses – proposed explanations which make some testable predictions.

    ///Do we get new speciation? Or how about a real testable theory. Take an organism with a short doubling time and expose it for long periods to agents that enhance mutation//////

    Flawed understanding of evolution. High rates of mutation alone won’t necessarily result in new species. There has to be some selection pressure. Indeed, when such selection pressure is applied, new traits have been observed to evolve:

    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....CbmhCmSyLc

    Now even if there’s selection pressure, several constraints may prevent changes. Nature is a lot more complicated than you imagine. Nonetheless, there are many observed relatively quick evolutionary changes and speciation events:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....112433.htm
    http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=5202
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_.....082014.php

    Even the variety of dog breeds and crop strains produced by artificial selection over a short period of time shows how quickly big changes can happen.
    Since you mentioned Drosophila, here’s a documented case of rapid speciation event in Drosophila:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci.....790531.stm

    ///Just because you do not fully understand the design of some structure now does not mean it has no design///

    Such an evasive statement is not enough. You got to show that this is the case. It is very easy to make any claim you want if you don’t have to produce evidence for it.
    And once again, let me repeat that showing one organ has some function DOES NOT INVALIDATE its vestigial status with respect to another function. The human appendix is a vestige of the caecum, no matter what other function it is performing. The whale pelvis is a vestige of the mammalian pelvis, regardless of what other function it has.
    Your proposed explanation must be able to account for the reduction in size and function of the vestigial organ in question. And creationism clearly fails at that.

    ///So when did the separation of male and female take place that coincided with mammary gland development? Remembering the fact that mammary development does not occur in embryogenesis but later on in life? Also, why does a man have a nipple but not a mouse if we share a common ancestor? They lost it but we couldn’t?
    why is it hard to accept or understand that nipples are also sexual organs of sensitivity that heighten the experience of sex?///

    You’re totally wrong and all at sea here. Mammary gland development begins in the embryo even before the embryo’s sex is established! And of course, it’s not just human males that have vestigial nipples, other male mammals do too:

    Nipples in male elephant:
    http://cherylmerrill.com/tag/mammals/

    Nipples in male bear:
    http://larrywbrown.blogspot.de.....emale.html

    In male mice, the rudimentary nipples regress during development. They are the exceptions among mammals in not having vestigial nipples.
    So there goes your nipples-are-for-pleasure explanation. Female elephants and bears don’t stimulate their mate’s nipples during intercourse! At least we haven’t seen them do that! The only logical explanation here is that these are vestigial structures atrophied in male mammals. What’s more, males can also develop breast cancer, because they have underlying breast tissue, not just superficial nipples.

    There’s more. Mammals actually develop several nipples along two parallel lines running from the armpit to the groin (called milk lines). This is because every litter typically has many offspring. In humans, however, only two of these actually develop since our litter size has shrunk to 1 or 2 offspring at a time. But in some people, extra nipples develop along those milk lines – these are called supernumerary nipples – another clear case of vestigial structures. And guess what, even men have such supernumerary nipples! See this:

    http://www.ijhg.com/article.as.....last=Goyal

    ///FACT: Evolutionists have long taught that vestigial organs that have lost function are good evidence that we evolved from a common ancestor///

    This still holds true as myself and others have made very clear here and elsewhere so many times.
    The appendix was known to be a vestigial caecum right from the beginning. Now even if new functions (such as a role in immunity) are discovered, that doesn’t invalidate the conclusion that it is a vestigial structure with respect to the function performed by the caecum. It’s that simple.

  177. 177
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolve claims

    “Evolution is arguably the best supported theory in all of science, not just in biology.”

    Yet neo-Darwinian evolution, contrary to what Evolve wants so desparately to believe, is not even a science in the first place but is actually a full fledged pseudo-science,,

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science:
    Excerpt:
    1. No Rigid Mathematical Basis
    2. No Demonstrated Empirical Basis
    3. Random Mutation and Natural Selection Are Both Grossly Inadequate as ‘creative engines’
    4. Information is not reducible to a material basis

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003
    etc..etc..etc..
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oaPcK-KCppBztIJmXUBXTvZTZ5lHV4Qg_pnzmvVL2Qw/edit

    Evolve goes on to cite Lenski’s LTEE, Talk Origins speciation site, Lizard cecal valves, Sea Stars, Reproductive Isolation in Fruit Flies, Varieties of dog breeds and crop strains, Male nipples, and the appendix as proof that neo-Darwinism is ‘the best supported theory in all of science’.
    Call me less than impressed with his evidence for ‘the best supported theory in all of science’.,,, First, Lenski’s LTEE is proof AGAINST Darwinian claims for macro-evolution, not for it,,,

    Lenski’s Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE): 25 Years and Counting – Michael Behe – November 21, 2013
    Excerpt: Twenty-five years later the culture — a cumulative total of trillions of cells — has been going for an astounding 58,000 generations and counting. As the article points out, that’s equivalent to a million years in the lineage of a large animal such as humans.,,,
    ,,,its mutation rate has increased some 150-fold. As Lenski’s work showed, that’s due to a mutation (dubbed mutT) that degrades an enzyme that rids the cell of damaged guanine nucleotides, preventing their misincorporation into DNA. Loss of function of a second enzyme (MutY), which removes mispaired bases from DNA, also increases the mutation rate when it occurs by itself. However, when the two mutations, mutT and mutY, occur together, the mutation rate decreases by half of what it is in the presence of mutT alone — that is, it is 75-fold greater than the unmutated case.
    Lenski is an optimistic man, and always accentuates the positive. In the paper on mutT and mutY, the stress is on how the bacterium has improved with the second mutation. Heavily unemphasized is the ominous fact that one loss of function mutation is “improved” by another loss of function mutation — by degrading a second gene. Anyone who is interested in long-term evolution should see this as a baleful portent for any theory of evolution that relies exclusively on blind, undirected processes.
    ,,,for proponents of intelligent design the bottom line is that the great majority of even beneficial mutations have turned out to be due to the breaking, degrading, or minor tweaking of pre-existing genes or regulatory regions (Behe 2010). There have been no mutations or series of mutations identified that appear to be on their way to constructing elegant new molecular machinery of the kind that fills every cell. For example, the genes making the bacterial flagellum are consistently turned off by a beneficial mutation (apparently it saves cells energy used in constructing flagella). The suite of genes used to make the sugar ribose is the uniform target of a destructive mutation, which somehow helps the bacterium grow more quickly in the laboratory. Degrading a host of other genes leads to beneficial effects, too.,,, –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....79401.html

    Here is a detailed refutation, by Casey Luskin, to TalkOrigins severely misleading site on the claimed evidence for observed macro-evolution (speciation);

    Specious Speciation: The Myth of Observed Large-Scale Evolutionary Change – Casey Luskin – January 2012 – article
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....55281.html

    Here is part 2 of a podcast exposing the Talk Origin’s speciation FAQ as a ‘literature bluff’

    Talk Origins Speciation FAQ, pt. 2: Lack of Evidence for Big Claims – Casey Luskin – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_41-08_00

    Related notes:

    A Critique of Douglas Theobald’s – “29 Evidences for Macroevolution” by Ashby Camp
    http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1b.asp

    Lizard Cecal valves, instead of being evidence for Darwinian evolution, are actually evidence against it, in that the adaptation is found to be a rapid epigenetic modification that is cyclical in its nature,, (much like cyclical finch beak variation)

    Phenotypic Plasticity – Lizard cecal valve (cyclical variation)- video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEtgOApmnTA

    Lizard Plasticity – March 2013
    Excerpt: So in this study, plasticity experiments were conducted. When the lizards were taken off a plant diet and returned to their native insect diet, the cecal valves in their stomachs began to revert within weeks. As the authors conclude, this pointed heavily to plasticity as a cause. We can infer that the this gut morphology likewise arose in similar fashion when coming into contact with the plant diet.
    http://biota-curve.blogspot.co.....icity.html

    As to Evolve’s sea star citation, the paper itself states the supposed speciation event was accomplished via a loss, not a gain, of function,,

    ,,,sea stars evolved only 6,000 years ago, during a period of rapid environmental alteration,,,
    The new species, Cryptasterina hystera, lost the planktonic larval stage all together,
    http://www.hawaii.edu/news/article.php?aId=5202

  178. 178
    bornagain77 says:

    As to reproductive isolation in fruit flies, the late Lynn Margulis was not impressed,,,

    “The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared.”
    from page 32 “Acquiring Genomes” Lynn Margulis.

    In fact, extensive experiments done on fruit flies are excellent in their support AGAINST Darwinian claims for macro-evolution,,

    Darwin’s Theory – Fruit Flies and Morphology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZJTIwRY0bs

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12 None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....ruit_flies

    As to dog breeding,,, Dog breeds are the result of a loss of genetic information, not a gain,

    Interview with Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – Mar 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Richard Dawkins and many other evolutionary biologists (claim) that dog breeds prove macroevolution. However, virtually all the dog breeds are generated by losses or disturbances of gene functions and/or developmental processes. Moreover, all the three subfamilies of the family of wild dogs (Canidae) appear abruptly in the fossil record.
    http://dippost.com/2014/03/22/.....rd-lonnig/

    podcast – On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with geneticist Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig about his recent article on the evolution of dogs. Casey and Dr. Lönnig evaluate the claim that dogs somehow demonstrate macroevolution.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....1_14-08_00
    Part 2: Dog Breeds: Proof of Macroevolution?
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_07-08_00

    As well, crop varieties are the result of a loss of genetic information, not a gain,,,

    Children of the Corn: A Reader Objects – April 2012
    Excerpt: As John Doebley put the point in 2004, “The critical genetic variants involved in maize evolution were pre-existing in teosinte populations” (p. 46).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....58251.html

    Supergerms—do they prove evolution? by Rev. Roger Kovaciny
    Excerpt: Supergerms are not supergerms any more than hybrid corn is supercorn—today’s (corn) hybrids are so delicate that they can’t even sprout unless they are planted underground. They can’t even grow effectively unless the ground is weeded. They can’t even reproduce unless technicians at seed-houses mate them artificially and with great effort.
    http://creation.com/supergerms.....-evolution

    also see plant geneticist John Sanford’s book Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of The Genome

    Male nipples forming a teat pattern, seem to be evidence along the lines of the ‘human tail’ that Darwinists are so fond of citing, and are thus (more than likely) evidence of a detrimental mutation(s) during embryological development.
    As to the supposed vestigial organs, this former atheist thinks the trend in evidence for supposed vestigial organs is actually a powerful evidence against Darwinian claims,,,

    “The thyroid gland, pituitary gland, thymus, pineal gland, and coccyx, … once considered useless by evolutionists, are now known to have important functions. The list of 180 “vestigial” structures is practically down to zero. Unfortunately, earlier Darwinists assumed that if they were ignorant of an organ’s function, then it had no function.”
    “Tornado in a Junkyard” – book – by former atheist James Perloff

    “There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.”
    -evidence submitted to the Scopes trial

    Moreover, vestigial organs, like the appendix, are far more important than Darwinists prefer for people to believe

    Surgical removal of the tonsils and appendix associated with risk of early heart attack – June 2011
    Excerpt: The surgical removal of the appendix and tonsils before the age of 20 was associated with an increased risk of premature heart attack in a large population study performed in Sweden. Tonsillectomy increased the risk by 44% (hazard ratio 1.44) and appendectomy by 33% (HR 1.33). The risk increases were just statistically significant, and were even higher when the tonsils and appendix were both removed.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....html#share

    As well, the appendix refuses to cooperate with any Darwinian scenario for its origination,,

    Evolutionists Multiply Miracles – February 12, 2013
    Excerpt: William Parker, a surgeon,,, says it has the strongest evidence yet that the appendix serves a purpose. In a new study, published online this month in Comptes Rendus Palevol, the researchers compiled information on the diets of 361 living mammals, including 50 species now considered to have an appendix, and plotted the data on a mammalian evolutionary tree. They found that the 50 species are scattered so widely across the tree that the structure must have evolved independently at least 32 times, and perhaps as many as 38 times.
    Randolph Nesse (U of Michigan) had an interesting take on this conclusion. “The conclusion that the appendix has appeared 32 times is amazing,” he said. “I do find their argument for the positive correlation of appendix and cecum sizes to be a convincing refutation of Darwin’s hypothesis” (about the appendix being vestigial).,,,
    per crevinfo

    Thus, despite Evolve’s blind faith in Darwinism, the fact of the matter is that Darwinism IS NOT EVEN CLOSE to being ‘the best supported theory in all of science’ as Evolve has claimed.

  179. 179
    Joe says:

    Evolve:

    That the human coccyx is a vestigial tail,

    That is an opinion.

    and the whale pelvis is a vestigial structure, are NOT based on any assumptions,

    Yes, they are assumptions.

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