Intelligent Design

REC Becomes a Design Proponent

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In the comment thread to a recent post we were discussing the following biological design inference Dr. Moran had made:

Moran:

Craig Venter and his colleagues constructed a synthetic genome and inserted it into a cell. The DNA determined the structure and properties of the organism that grew and after many subsequent generations we have a new species that behaves exactly like it was supposed to based on the genes that the scientists built.

Barry:

Now Dr. Moran, suppose that new species escaped the lab and was captured by a researcher who had no idea about Venter’s work.  Suppose further that researcher concluded that the genome of the creature had been intelligently designed.  Would that researcher’s design inference be the true and best explanation of the creature’s genome’s provenance?

Moran:

The answer is “yes,” the researcher correctly observed that the genome of the synthetic organism is nothing like the genomes of real species. It lacks pseudogenes, transposons, and any trace of junk DNA and the sequence of its genes and regulatory regions is far too perfect to have evolved naturally.

Long time ID critic REC joined the discussion.  REC agreed that Dr. Moran’s design inference was valid.  I decided to take this opportunity to ask REC how he would respond to many of the typical objections to biological design inferences, and I asked him this series of questions:

Suppose someone pushed back at you and said, “REC, your design inference is a scientific show stopper. You have committed the designer-of-the-gaps fallacy. All scientific claims must employ methodological naturalism, and you violate the principle of methodological naturalism when you make a design inference in biology. Besides all that, it all just a cop out unless you can tell me who designed the designer.”  What would you say?

REC responded that the objections could be valid against certain design inferences, but for reasons he did not explain they were “obviously invalid” against his design inference (which he had made based on the scenario provided by Dr. Moran).

I thought this was more than a little hypocritical and thought that he would back off this line if I pointed the hypocrisy out to him, so I provided a summary of his argument that I thought would have made the hypocrisy obvious:

Barry:
Translation: I accept the indicia of design that I accept and I reject those I reject, for my own idiosyncratic reasons. Therefore, the objections are invalid with respect to my design inference, because my design inference is a good one, and yours is not.  Does that pretty much capture it REC?

I was wrong when I assumed REC would walk back his hypocrisy when it was pointed out to him.  Instead, he doubled down:

REC:

“Therefore, the objections are invalid with respect to my design inference, because my design inference is a good one, and yours is not.”

Correct, except that you haven’t even stated your design inference in this thread. I do feel my statements regarding the human-designed synthetic genome are valid and well evidenced. I don’t think any ID inference comes even close.

Shouldn’t we evaluate design inferences based on their validity and the evidence supporting them? Isn’t it illogical and absurd to say ALL design inferences are valid because ONE design inference is?

Let’s explore what is going on here.  First, we have made significant progress.  Notice what Dr. Moran did:

  1. He identified certain indicia of design in the genome of an organism.
  2. He stated that when these indicia of design are present, “design” is the best explanation of the provenance of the features of the genome under consideration.
  3. He went one step further and excluded natural causes as a likely cause.

This is the general approach to biological design detection advocated by ID proponents for the last two decades.  In other words, Dr. Moran admitted that the general approach and methodology of biological design detection advocated by proponents of ID theory is valid.

THIS IS HUGE!

Professor of biochemistry Dr. Laurence A. Moran is an arch-atheist, materialist, super-advocate of modern evolutionary theory and one of the most prominent critics of design theory on the planet.  If even he agrees that the general methodology advocated by ID proponents can lead to a valid design inference, the matter seems to be settled.

We have come to the point where even our most vociferous critics agree that ID proponents’ general methodology is valid.  The dispute is no longer whether ID theory generally is valid; the only dispute is whether particular design inferences are valid.

Which brings us to REC.  The point of the “typical objections” I brought to REC’s attention is that if they are valid with respect to any design inference, they are just as valid against his particular design inference.

For example, consider this typical objection:  “All scientific claims must employ methodological naturalism, and you violate the principle of methodological naturalism when you make a design inference in biology.”

If that objection is valid (it is not, but set that aside for now), it is just as valid against REC’s and Dr. Moran’s design inferences as it is against any other design inference.

The point sailed right over REC’s head.  He responded that the objections were not valid as to his design inference, because his design inference (opposed to ID’s design inferences) was “valid and well evidenced.”

But that is exactly what ID proponents have been saying for decades REC!  We have been saying all along that the various “typical objections” are invalid if the evidence leads to a design inference.

REC, the only difference between you and us is that you are persuaded by the evidence in a particular case and not in our case.  But you are missing the point.  If what is important is the EVIDENCE, then th “typical objections” lose all force all the time.

In other words, the objection “all scientific claims must employ methodological naturalism” is invalid in principle, not in application, if it is even possible to make a valid design inference based on the EVIDENCE.

You agree with us that it is the EVIDENCE that is important, and objections thrown up for the purpose of ruling that evidence out of court before it is even considered are invalid.

REC, welcome to the design movement.

34 Replies to “REC Becomes a Design Proponent

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Darwin dreamt up Natural Selection after observing Artificial Selection. What would he intuit after observing Artificial Design? Natural Design of course. Darwin wasn’t stupid.

  2. 2
    REC says:

    Wow Barry….all day, and this post has garnered one lame joke in discussion. I don’t think my admission that some design inferences (with mine specifically referring to a human-made technology) are valid is as HUGE as you think.

    So where did you lose your cheering section?

    I’ll wager a few guesses:

    A) ID advocates know there are similar admissions decades ago from people much more famous than I:

    “Design is the temporarily correct explanation for some particular manifestations of specified complexity such as a car or a washing machine.”
    -Dawkins Free Inquiry, October/November 2004, 11-12.

    I’ve repeatedly said that I can’t recall anyone in the history of this debate declaring that ALL design inferences are invalid.

    B) But I’d bet where you lost them is in describing my really simple bit of logic as hypocrisy: “Shouldn’t we evaluate design inferences based on their validity and the evidence supporting them? Isn’t it illogical and absurd to say ALL design inferences are valid because ONE design inference is?”

    In defense, Barry tries this bit of illogic: if “typical objections” ….. are valid with respect to any design inference, they are just as valid against his particular design inference” which I’ll let readers mull over. Does this make any sense to anyone?

    Barry tries to claim that there are “typical objections” against all design inferences, but can only seem to come up with one-that of methodological naturalism. This seems bizarre, as it doesn’t apply to my design inference. In my original reply I’ve provided three criteria that would allow us to infer a genome is human synthesized with design features that could not be the product of natural selection. My criteria for inference do not dispense with methodological naturalism.

    For fun, let’s dispense with MN and then take 3 supernatural design proposals:

    1) A supernatural being created the earth 6000 years ago.
    2) A supernatural being created the earth 6000 years ago, but gave it the appearance of being much older.
    3) A supernatural being created the universe billions of years ago and infused information into to direct the formation of intelligent life.

    One (1) is debatable, and probably the soundest proposal for investigation. Two proposals (2,3) have some scientific evidence (the apparent age of the earth universe) behind them. None are valid, debatable concepts that are also supported by evidence. But apparently we must lump them together, and what applies to one applies to all.

    The problem isn’t that design inferences can never be scientific. The problem is the “ID” movement has never produced a design inference that isn’t fallacious. So “ID” fails not because design inferences are inherently false, but because ID proponents have thus far made terrible design inferences.

    The exception (including the subject of the original post) is obviously human designed objects. Cue KF’s fishing reel. We know it is designed. We all agree. That we all agree the fishing reel is designed doesn’t validate any and all design inferences.

  3. 3
    Jack Jones says:

    @2 “None are valid, debatable concepts that are also supported by evidence”

    Incorrect.

    1. What is not supportable is the idea of nature being the origin of nature, that is a logical contradiction.

    2. You are not able to logically count back an infinite amount of natural events before now, that means there cannot have been an infinite amount of finite natural events before this time and nature began to exist.

    The idea of “infinite finiteness” is a tautological oxymoron.

    3. language works by thesis and anti thesis, words gain their meaning from their opposites, if you destroy the word supernatural then the word natural has no meaning and becomes a meaningless tautology, If all is natural then nothing is natural, You are trying to destroy the word that gives nature its meaning in the first place.

    Now….You can argue for nature existing before it existed which is a logical contradiction.

    You can argue for the tautological oxymoron of “infinite finiteness”

    But neither of those ideas are logically supportable and your claim about the supernatural is thus rejected.

    You have no grounding. Your feet are firmly planted in the air.

    Why are you so unaware that a contingent nature cannot account for its own existence?

  4. 4
    Eugen says:

    Welcome to ID REC. Don’t be bashful now.

  5. 5
    REC says:

    @3 “language works by thesis and anti thesis, words gain their meaning from their opposite”

    Orange. Car. House. Cell……..

    @4 “Welcome to ID REC. Don’t be bashful now.”

    If you’re admitting “ID” is now so diffuse and devoid of meaning such that it includes Dawkins, Moran and I, than so be it.

  6. 6
    Box says:

    REC: The problem isn’t that design inferences can never be scientific. The problem is the “ID” movement has never produced a design inference that isn’t fallacious. So “ID” fails not because design inferences are inherently false, but because ID proponents have thus far made terrible design inferences.

    Thankfully that’s all gonna change now, because REC has joined us.
    Welcome REC!

  7. 7
    brian douglas says:

    Joe: “1. What is not supportable is the idea of nature being the origin of nature, that is a logical contradiction.”

    I guess you have never seen a crystal. Maybe if you removed your head from your… Sorry. That was almost uncalled for.

  8. 8
    Jack Jones says:

    “Orange. Car. House. Cell…”

    There is no inherent meaning in those words themselves, we could have given them different names.

    We could have easily called orange, georan or made up another name, the meaning of the word does not come from within the word itself but the word is based on contrast and difference, it is not blue etc, therefore we call it orange.

    You didn’t tell me how you can count back an infinite amount of past natural events.

    You are more than welcome to believe in the tautological oxymoron of “infinite finitness” but it is not based on reason and logic.

    Your illogical position is thus dismissed.

  9. 9
    REC says:

    So far Jack has informed us that words have the meanings we assign them and that it isn’t formally possible to count to infinity.

    To what end, we’ll never know…..

  10. 10
    Jack Jones says:

    “So far Jack has informed us that words have the meanings we assign them and that it isn’t formally possible to count to infinity.”

    So far you have informed us that it is not a valid debatable concept for a supernatural creator.

    I challenged you to show that it is alright to reject a supernatural cause for the universe and believe you can count back an infinite amount of past natural events.

    Or hold to the logical contradiction of nature being the origin of nature, that would have to mean nature existed before it existed which is illogical.

    You are unable to back up your position and were clearly talking out of another orifice because you don’t know what you were talking about.

    That’s alright, You can consider me educating you about your ignorance a free lesson.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    I don’t think my admission that some design inferences . . . are valid is as HUGE as you think.

    That is because it is not. Read the post again, this time for comprehension, and you will see I was not referring to you.

    “Design is the temporarily correct explanation for some particular manifestations of specified complexity such as a car or a washing machine.”
    -Dawkins Free Inquiry, October/November 2004, 11-12.

    This borders on the idiotic. Dawkins saying that design is a correct explanation for a washing machine is not particularly relevant to our discussion about biological design inferences is it?

    In defense, Barry tries this bit of illogic: if “typical objections” ….. are valid with respect to any design inference, they are just as valid against his particular design inference” which I’ll let readers mull over. Does this make any sense to anyone?

    Why yes, it makes perfect sense. That you don’t understand why this is so is a statement about your inability to grasp they concepts we are discussing, not the concepts themselves.

    Barry tries to claim that there are “typical objections” against all design inferences, but can only seem to come up with one-that of methodological naturalism.

    *sigh* What about the word “example” do you not understand? Let me know and I will try to explain it to you in terms adopted to the meanest understanding.

    This seems bizarre, as it doesn’t apply to my design inference. In my original reply I’ve provided three criteria that would allow us to infer a genome is human synthesized with design features that could not be the product of natural selection. My criteria for inference do not dispense with methodological naturalism.

    I was talking about Dr. Moran’s design inference, which I understood you agreed was valid. I was not talking about your obvious attempt to change the hypothetical to make it more amenable to your metaphysical prejudices.

    For fun, let’s dispense with MN and then take 3 supernatural design proposals:
    1) A supernatural being created the earth 6000 years ago.
    2) A supernatural being created the earth 6000 years ago, but gave it the appearance of being much older.
    3) A supernatural being created the universe billions of years ago and infused information into to direct the formation of intelligent life.

    One (1) is debatable, and probably the soundest proposal for investigation. Two proposals (2,3) have some scientific evidence (the apparent age of the earth universe) behind them. None are valid, debatable concepts that are also supported by evidence. But apparently we must lump them together, and what applies to one applies to all.

    Good grief. I won’t even address this bit of idiocy. It is an obvious distraction/deflection.

    The problem isn’t that design inferences can never be scientific. The problem is the “ID” movement has never produced a design inference that isn’t fallacious. So “ID” fails not because design inferences are inherently false, but because ID proponents have thus far made terrible design inferences.

    You have not taken one step beyond your original “I’m obviously right and you’re obviously wrong” assertion.

    The exception (including the subject of the original post) is obviously human designed objects.

    REC, you need to understand that your assertions are not evidence. Nothing about the organism makes it “obviously human designed” as opposed to “obviously designed.” You insert “human” based on your metaphysical prejudices, not the actual evidence.

  12. 12
    REC says:

    “Nothing about the organism makes it “obviously human designed” as opposed to “obviously designed.”

    Are you joking? It has the names of its (human) creators and pieces of human literature encoded in it. It has artifacts of the human technology used to create it left in the sequence at precise intervals. To me, it is as obviously made by humans as a washing machine.

    “*sigh* What about the word “example” do you not understand?”

    Provide another “typical objection” that applies to all design inferences (although I’ve demonstrated that even your prime example does not).

    I guess you should change the title of the post, as it seems Dr. Moran was your intended target. I’m fine to shift the discussion to his design inference (which is identical to my second point, I think).

    What “typical objection” does his design inference succumb to?

    What “ID” design inference comes even close to his inference regarding this artifact of human technology?

  13. 13
    ppolish says:

    Trains, planes, and automobiles are designed REC. And they all emerged from Biology. No biology, no design.

    Is a beaver dam designed, REC? I would argue on a certain level yes. How about the constructions of molecular machinery? Again I would argue on a certain level yes. I guess I just like to argue lol. It’s a biological thing lol again. Design rules, oops drools.

  14. 14
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry
    Nothing about the organism makes it “obviously human designed” as opposed to “obviously designed.”

    REC
    Are you joking? It has the names of its (human) creators and pieces of human literature encoded in it. It has artifacts of the human technology used to create it left in the sequence at precise intervals.

    Nothing in the scenario Dr. Moran and I were discussing contains human names or literature or human artifacts. You added those to the scenario in order to distract and deflect, but you agreed that the original inference made by Dr. Moran was valid before you added them.

    To me, it is as obviously made by humans as a washing machine.

    That is because you have metaphysical blinders on. What about Dr. Moran’s design inference necessarily requires the designer to be human? Even Dr. Moran admits that the inference to a human designer would be based on speculation, not certainty. Do you think you have a better handle on it than he does?

    Barry
    “*sigh* What about the word “example” do you not understand?”

    REC
    Provide another “typical objection” that applies to all design inferences.

    I gave you several. Why don’t you address the ones I’ve already put up.

    I guess you should change the title of the post, as it seems Dr. Moran was your intended target. I’m fine to shift the discussion to his design inference (which is identical to my second point, I think). What “typical objection” does his design inference succumb to?

    None of them. That is the point.

    What “ID” design inference comes even close to his inference regarding this artifact of human technology?

    Again with your assertion that the designer must necessarily be human.

  15. 15
    REC says:

    Alright Barry, move the goalposts. I stated my points in my first post on the subject, but now you’re shifting the discussion to something you had with someone else, and where–2, 3, 4 of your rapid fire gotcha, name a victim, original posts ago?

    It really changes the discussion little. I accept Moran’s premise that a obviously synthetic genome that is not a product of descent with modification could be inferred to be designed. I added that this one (in reality!) has several very obvious human design features.

    Barry, on his universal objections to design inferences: “I gave you several. Why don’t you address the ones I’ve already put up.”

    Where? Link to anything but a general methodological naturalism statement, which doesn’t apply to Moran’s inferences and mine.

    And again, I’ll restate:

    I can’t recall anyone in the history of this debate declaring that ALL design inferences are invalid.

    Link?

    ID has failed to find pre-specifications, design artifacts, etc on the order of Moran’s inferences or mine.

    Counter?

  16. 16
    Barry Arrington says:

    Above REC claims that he has demonstrated the following objection does not apply to his design inference:

    “All scientific claims must employ methodological naturalism, and you violate the principle of methodological naturalism when you make a design inference in biology.”

    How did REC make such a demonstration? Easy. He changed the hypothetical to allow him to assume a human designer. IOW, he dodged the question and then cynically claimed to have answered it. To see this clearly, let us look at the original design inference:

    Here is Dr. Moran’s scenario:

    Craig Venter and his colleagues constructed a synthetic genome and inserted it into a cell. The DNA determined the structure and properties of the organism that grew and after many subsequent generations we have a new species that behaves exactly like it was supposed to based on the genes that the scientists built.

    Here is Dr. Moran’s design inference:

    [The] researcher correctly observed that the genome of the synthetic organism is nothing like the genomes of real species. It lacks pseudogenes, transposons, and any trace of junk DNA and the sequence of its genes and regulatory regions is far too perfect to have evolved naturally

    What about this scenario or the design inference that follows it requires that the designer necessarily be human (the key word there is “necessarily”)? The answer is “nothing.”

    Dr. Moran honestly admit this. When I asked him the same question I asked REC, he said “I would have no trouble speculating that it was humans who did it.”

    A speculation is far from a certainty. As I said then, of course one could speculate that the designer is a human, but the data does not compel that conclusion. The data compels a design inference. All we can know for certain about the designer is that he/she/it has the capacity to adopt means to achieve a particular end. Sure, human designer is a plausible speculation, but contrary to REC’s red-faced insistence, it is only a speculation, not a conclusion.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    Barry, on his universal objections to design inferences: “I gave you several. Why don’t you address the ones I’ve already put up.”

    REC
    Where? Link to anything but a general methodological naturalism statement, which doesn’t apply to Moran’s inferences and mine.

    Uh, scroll up to the OP (which, even though you’ve made several comments about, you apparently did not read) and you will find this (brackets added):

    Suppose someone pushed back at you and said, “[1] REC, your design inference is a scientific show stopper. [2] You have committed the designer-of-the-gaps fallacy. [3] All scientific claims must employ methodological naturalism, and you violate the principle of methodological naturalism when you make a design inference in biology. [4] Besides all that, it all just a cop out unless you can tell me who designed the designer.” What would you say?

  18. 18
    Barry Arrington says:

    I can’t recall anyone in the history of this debate declaring that ALL design inferences are invalid. Link?

    Neither can I. I don’t know why you keep saying this. But up until now I am not aware of Dr. Moran or you admitting that a biological design inference is valid. Do you see the distinction? If not, tell me and I will try to explain it to you.

    ID has failed to find pre-specifications, design artifacts, etc on the order of Moran’s inferences or mine. Counter?

    Wrong. I will give you two examples: (1) Semiotic Code is a specification. Every cell in your body contains a semiotic code. (2) “Motor driven propeller” is a specification. The bacterial flagellum is a motor driven propeller.

    ID has provided specifications. Your ideological blinders don’t let you see them. That you mind is shut closed tighter than a sprung bear trap is not our problem. It is yours.

  19. 19
    Barry Arrington says:

    REC

    Moran’s scenario demands a design inference. It does not demand a design inference to a supernatural power or leaving methodological naturalism behind.

    I agree with both of those statements. And ID proponents’ biological design inferences do not demand a design inference to a supernatural power or leaving methodological naturalism behind either. That you seem to think they do, again, says more about your own prejudice and close mindedness than about design theory.

    Put another way, how is “not necessarily human” synonymous with “unnatural” or strictly in violation of methodological naturalism?

    It is not. ID theory does not require a supernatural designer or a violation of methodological naturalism, as has been explained countless times in these pages. That you seem to think it does says more about your own prejudice and close mindedness than about design theory.

    And if a human designer is a plausible speculation, why make the implausible speculation of a supernatural designer?

    You really don’t seem to get it do you. ID’s biological design theory does not invoke a supernatural designer. It invokes only a “designer.” Again, this has been explained countless times. That you seem to think it does says more about your own prejudice and close mindedness than about design theory.

  20. 20
    Barry Arrington says:

    REC

    Ahh….so those are your universal design inference slayers?

    Uh, no. They are my universal objections that have been countered hundreds of times and yet are still stupidly asserted by opponents of design theory.

    Here they are again to keep the discussion focused:

    [1] REC, your design inference is a scientific show stopper.
    [2] You have committed the designer-of-the-gaps fallacy.
    [3] All scientific claims must employ methodological naturalism, and you violate the principle of methodological naturalism when you make a design inference in biology.
    [4] Besides all that, it all just a cop out unless you can tell me who designed the designer

    REC

    1) I think must be tied to 2. It doesn’t stand independently.

    Fair enough.

    2) Legitimate criticism. Is there a natural process that could produce the genome? Larry’s scenario seems to state that this researcher knows that there is none.

    Utter nonsense. Larry’s scenario says no such thing. Really REC, you need to get over your habit of adding to the scenario when your reasoning gets into trouble.

    The design inference would be invalidated if one [i.e., a natural cause] was found. Such is the nature of science. This point refutes 1-science goes on.

    What you say could be said about any biological design inference. If there a natural process is known to account for the observation, the design inference is invalid. So your effort to set yours and Larry’s apart on this point fails.

    3) See above. MN isn’t violated.

    I never said it was. In fact, I do not believe that it necessarily is. Your task is to defend that claim with respect to your design inference, not merely to assert it.

    Hint: You do not get to add “we know the designer is human” when you in fact know no such thing.

    4) Design regress doesn’t apply. The designer could be human, or human like, and evolved. It is like asking who designed the designer of a GE washing machine. We have a handle on that.

    Again, what you say could be said about any biological design inference. If there a natural process is known to account for the observation, the design inference is invalid. So your effort to set yours and Larry’s apart on this point fails.

  21. 21
    Barry Arrington says:

    Several of REC’s comments were deleted. They were NOT deleted by UD. We an only assume that REC deleted them himself. It does not matter. His comments are repeated in my responses, so readers will be able to follow the entire discussion by reading my responses only.

  22. 22
    REC says:

    I don’t have that ability, now do I?

    UDEditors: Yes, you do, with respect to your own comments. You have also created a new UD Account with the same name. Why did you do that?

  23. 23
    Barry Arrington says:

    REC, the ball is in your court. So far you have failed to distinguish your biological design inference from any other biological design inference with respect to the “common objections.”

    BTW, the correct answer is: “The common objections are not valid and that is why they do not refute my design inference.”

  24. 24
    brian douglas says:

    “You have also created a new UD Account with the same name. Why did you do that?”

    Now, Barry, WordPress does not allow different accounts with the same name. Even if you forget your password, you can’t create a new account with the same name, or the same email. Surely you know this.

  25. 25
    Barry Arrington says:

    Yes, BD, I know that. And he changed the email address associated with the account.

  26. 26
    Barry Arrington says:

    Looks like REC has thrown in the towel.

  27. 27
    Jack Jones says:

    Chance dun it, is not a sensible option.

    Design trumps chance.

  28. 28
    brian douglas says:

    “Yes, BD, I know that. And he changed the email address associated with the account.”

    Sorry Barry. I didn’t know that was possible. I always thought that the account name could be re-used if you changed email addresses. I learn something new every day.

    Have a nice evening.

  29. 29
    Bob O'H says:

    This is just a test to see if I can delete a comment…
    (mods: feel free to delete this after the 20 mins time-out. Well, unless I’ve deleted it, of course)

    UDEditors: Yes, Bob, you can. Use the “edit” button to go back in and delete all of the contents of your comment. That is what REC did. After he did that, I came behind and deleted the “shell” of the comment.

  30. 30
    Zachriel says:

    Barry Arrington: Long time ID critic REC joined the discussion. REC agreed that Dr. Moran’s design inference was valid.

    M: Hmm. Doesn’t look like it belongs in the class of naturally evolved organisms. Maybe it is manufactured.

    S: Could be. We should look for evidence of the manufacturer.

    M: Looks like something spliced together.

    S: Might be some strange naturally occurring chimera. Have you found any evidence of the manufacturer?

    M: There’s a species of hominid on the planet which has rudimentary skills in genetics. Could be them.

    S: I heard they think with their meat.

    M: Ugh. That’s disgus…

    S: Ah yes. Here it is.

    J. CRAIG VENTER INSTITUTE 2009, SYNTHETIC GENOMICS, INC.

    “TO LIVE, TO ERR, TO FALL, TO TRIUMPH, TO RECREATE LIFE OUT OF LIFE.” – JAMES JOYCE

  31. 31
    Virgil Cain says:

    Doesn’t look like it belongs in the class of naturally evolved organisms.

    There isn’t such a class, so you lose.

  32. 32
    bornagain says:

    Dawkins himself said that inferring ‘top down’ Design is intuitive, i.e. Inferred not from the ‘bottom up’ parts themselves but from the ‘top down’ ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’ (Blind Watchmaker, Behe paraphrase)

    Life Reeks Of Design – Behe
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    Yet he, of course, claims that the design he sees is merely an illusion:

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    Even atheist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, seems to have been particularly haunted by seeing this ‘illusion of design’ everywhere he looked in molecular biology:

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    Dawkins and Crick are certainly not alone in seeing this illusory ‘appearance of design’ in biology

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Lewontin

    “The appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature.”
    George Gaylord Simpson

    “I remember how frustrated I became when, as a young atheist, I examined specimens under the microscope. I would often walk away and try to convince myself that I was not seeing examples of extraordinary design, but merely the product of some random, unexplained mutations.”
    -Rick Oliver (‘Designed to Kill in a Fallen World.’)

    William Murray comments on how Atheists suppress the truth of design in biology since it leads to God.

    WJM on the truth denialism issue (of militant atheists) – Sept. 13, 2015
    Excerpt: “Regardless of the overwhelming appearance of design in biology, it is possible that chance and natural law could have generated the appearance of design. That possibility of “deception” or “error” about the appearance of a thing is enough for them to deny the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.,,,
    IMO, Keiths et al use “bare possibility” as a means to justify their intellectual aversion to truth, because truth inexorably leads to God. They wish to deny God, and so they must avoid truth; avoiding truth means clinging to possibilities, terminologies, interpretations and philosophies that deny truth or redefines it.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-579896

    Moreover, even though atheists can’t demonstrate, nor even coherently explain, how a single protein of that ‘illusion of design’ in biology came about by unguided material processes, the elephant in the living room problem that is never addressed by atheists is much bigger than that.

    The elephant in the living problem is not how can unguided material processes possibly explain the origin of a single protein, but the unaddressed problem is “How in blue blazes do a billion-trillion proteins know how to keep a person alive for precisely a lifetime and not a moment longer?’

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott – 2010
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    Body plans, contrary to neo-Darwinian presuppositions, simply are not reducible to DNA!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-587726

    If a billion-trillion proteins dedicated to the singular purposeful task of keeping a person alive for precisely a lifetime and not a moment longer (Talbott) does not constitute an inference to ‘top down’ design, i.e. to seeing the ‘purposeful arrangement of parts’, then all reason is lost and the atheist is drifting about in an Alice in Wonderland world of profound insanity.

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

    It’s Really Not Rocket Science – Granville Sewell – November 16, 2015
    Excerpt: In a 2005 American Spectator article, Jay Homnick wrote:
    “It is not enough to say that design is a more likely scenario to explain a world full of well-designed things. It strikes me as urgent to insist that you not allow your mind to surrender the absolute clarity that all complex and magnificent things were made that way. Once you allow the intellect to consider that an elaborate organism with trillions of microscopic interactive components can be an accident… you have essentially “lost your mind.””
    ,,, Max Planck biologist W.E. Loennig once commented that Darwinism was a sort of “mass psychosis” — then he asked me, is that the right English word? I knew psychosis was some kind of mental illness, but wasn’t sure exactly what it was, so I looked it up in my dictionary when I returned home: “psychosis — a loss of contact with reality.” I wrote him that, yes, that was the right word….
    Loennig and Homnick are still right. Once you seriously consider the possibility that all the magnificent species in the living world, and the human body and the human brain, could be entirely the products of unintelligent forces, you have been in academia too long and have lost contact with reality — you have lost your mind.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00911.html

    Of related note to atheists having ‘lost their minds’: Humorously, many leading atheists in academia will absolutely insist that they have no mind and that they really don’t exist as real persons.

    Atheists Don’t Really Exist:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/14DktPLhEDt1rxJgUWbkpLCWuDZEJDz4xnrLLVfsXkk8/edit

    Atheists really have, and many of them will agree with you, completely ‘lost their minds’.

    You simply can’t make this stuff up! 🙂

  33. 33
    Jack Jones says:

    OT. I have been follwing UD articles long before I posted here. What happened to Gil Dodgen?

    I used to enjoy his Articles.

  34. 34
    Bob O'H says:

    UDEditors: @29 – Yes, Bob, you can. Use the “edit” button to go back in and delete all of the contents of your comment. That is what REC did. After he did that, I came behind and deleted the “shell” of the comment.

    Ah, so you can’t actually delete the comment, only the contents. Hmm, OK, that’s a distinction without a difference!

    As I understand it, you get a request for an edit, so I would have thought it would be clear to you if REC had deleted the contents of a comment.

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