Intelligent Design

Saturday Fun: Adapa’s DDS on Display

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Sometimes an example of Darwinist Derangement Syndrome (see UD’s glossary) is just too delicious to allow it to languish deep in a comment thread.  Here’s an exchange between Adapa and WJM in the Way Forward thread:

First, Adapa claims that science has “conclusively demonstrated” that unguided evolution can produce observed diversity of life:

Adapa @99:

. . . science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today . . .

@ 587 William J Murray disagrees and says unless a P(T|H) calculation can be made for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon “evolution cannot be vetted as ‘unguided.’”

@ 590 Adapa then says it is “idiotic” to demand that science prove that unguided forces are sufficent:

This bit of idiocy seems to be WJM’s latest favorite – the demand that science prove evolution isn’t guided.

And that it is dumb to ask science to prove a negative:

Why an armchair philosopher would be dumb enough to demand science prove a negative is anyone’s guess.

But, in the first quote, that’s exactly what Adapa claims science has done – proven the very negative he claims is stupid and dumb to expect science to do! Adapa claims science has proven that evolution is unguided, and when WJM asked him to show him where, Adapa says that it is stupid and dumb to expect science to prove evolution is unguided!!

167 Replies to “Saturday Fun: Adapa’s DDS on Display

  1. 1
    congregate says:

    Barry-
    I thought basic logic was one thing UDers could handle, so this is disappointing.

    The fact that Unguided processes are sufficient does not prove that guidance did not happen. They are separate questions.

    Can unguided processes create a pile of sand at the beach? Yes. Does that mean that any pile of sand at the beach was not created by a guided process? No.

    This is the error Joe always makes, when he says that providing evidence of some unguided process creating CSI would disprove the existence of an intelligent designer.

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Congregate @ 1

    The fact that Unguided processes are sufficient does not prove that guidance did not happen. They are separate questions.

    Congregate @ 598 in the Way Forward thread:

    Adapa says unguided processes are proven sufficient, but that it is nevertheless impossible to prove that guidance did not happen. They are two different things. They do not contradict each other.

    You have to wrench Adapa’s comment out of context to get to your conclusion. Let us see the entire comment at 99:

    William J Murray
    If something with CSI over the threshold limit can be shown at least in principle to be plausibly generated from some combination of natural laws and chance, then ID as a theory is falsified

    Since science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today, what you call “CSI”, then ID speculation (it’s never been a theory) has been falsified.

    You can go home now.

    In context Adapa is saying not only that unguided natural forces are sufficient to produce the diversity of life but in fact have done so AND the process was unguided. He is affirmatively stating that design did not happen. That is what it means when he says that ID is falsified. For ID to be falsified it must mean that it has been demonstrated that design did not happen. That is, in fact, the whole point of the comment. Your attempt to pull his bacon out of the fire fails miserably. Sorry.

    BTW, when you make little jabs like “I thought basic logic was one thing UDers could handle,” you come off looking especially silly when you turn out to be wrong.

  3. 3
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Barry – you’re missing a double quote in Adapa’s first comment. I wasn’t sure if he actually used that term “unguided evolution”.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    SA, the only thing that “ID has been falsified” can mean is that the evolution has been demonstrated to be unguided.

  5. 5
    Adapa says:

    I see Barry has decided to pick up WJM’s lie and run with it. I never said or implied that science had conclusively demonstrated evolution is unguided. I said it’s conclusively demonstrated that observed evolutionary processes can account for the variety in biological life, which they can.

    Those are two very different things. The question is will Barry be honest enough to retract and apologize for misrepresenting my statements so badly?

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    Congregate’s attempt to defend the indefensible makes me think I might need to add another entry to the UD glossary: DDS-DD for Darwinist Derangement Syndrome – Double Down. 😉

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    Oh my word! You just can’t make this stuff up!!! I was only joking @ 6 about adding DDS-DD to the glossary, but I might really need to. We have two examples of it in the space of five comments.

    Adapa: “ID speculation . . . has been falsified”

    Adapa: “I never said or implied that science had conclusively demonstrated evolution is unguided.”

    Oh! My sides hurt.

  8. 8
    Adapa says:

    Barry Arrington

    SA, the only thing that “ID has been falsified” can mean is that the evolution has been demonstrated to be unguided.

    More deliberate misrepresentation. I said then ID has been falsified by WJM’s offered falsification criteria.

    WJM: “If something with CSI over the threshold limit can be shown at least in principle to be plausibly generated from some combination of natural laws and chance, then ID as a theory is falsified

    Is these pathetic strawman misrepresentations the best ID can do?

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Really Adapa. Quit it now. You are embarrassing yourself.

  10. 10
    Adapa says:

    Barry Arrington

    Really Adapa. Quite it now. You are embarrassing yourself.

    Interesting then that even some of the pro-ID regulars here have pointed out your poor logic and misrepresentation of my statements.

    Someone is sure embarrassing himself but it isn’t who you think.

  11. 11

    Quote from Adapa:

    … science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today…

    WJM said:

    I only asked him to support what he actually claimed – that unguided forces have been demonstrated sufficient by science.

    Adapa says:

    I never claimed that WJM. You are telling a blatant lie. Please stop.

  12. 12

    congregate said:

    Adapa says unguided processes are proven sufficient, but that it is nevertheless impossible to prove that guidance did not happen. They are two different things. They do not contradict each other.

    I suggest you re-read the conversation.

    Nobody asked him to prove that guidance did not happen. I only asked him to support what he actually claimed – that unguided (natural, random) forces have been demonstrated sufficient by science.

    I’ll reword this paraphrasing for you, since you apparently haven’t been following the conversation:

    Adapa: Science has conclusive demonstrated that unguided (natural & random forces) evolution can sufficiently explain the diversity of life!

    WJM: Where did science determine that unguided (natural & random forces) evolution was up to the task?

    Adapa: You moron, it’s idiotic to ask science to demonstrate that unguided (natural & random forces) evolution is up to the task of explaining the diversity of life!

  13. 13

    I’ll ask this again of congregate, keith, and Adapa:

    IF you are claiming that unguided (natural (meaning, not artificial or intelligently orchestrated) & random) forces/processes have been scientifically demonstrated sufficient to produce biological diversity as we see it;

    THEN either science employed a method of vetting those forces/processes AS natural and AS random OR else science has no basis by which to characterize the processes/forces as natural/random;

    IF science employed a method to vet those processes/forces as natural/random, THEN direct me to it;

    IF you cannot, THEN you have no basis by which to characterize those processes/forces as natural/random.

    Now, can you direct me to where there is scientific research that shows us how the forces/processes were vetted as natural/random? If not, then you have no basis for your assertion.

  14. 14
    Adapa says:

    Here, I’ll “reword” WJM’s statement:

    WJM “if natural processes can be shown to produce complexity then ID is falsified”

    Adapa “by that criteria ID is falsified because it’s been demonstrated natural processes can produce the observed complexity”

    WJM “Ah, a chance to lie! I’ll lie and claim Adapa said science has proven that evolution is unguided!”

    Adapa: “That’s not what I said”

    WJM: “Doesn’t matter. I’m not interest in honest discussion, I’m just interested in saving face. I have no problem pushing my blatant lie. I’ll even get the site owner to repeat the lie for me.”

    Another shining moment for ID here folks. Observe and learn from it.

  15. 15
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    IF science employed a method to vet those processes/forces as natural/random, THEN direct me to it;

    IF you cannot, THEN you have no basis by which to characterize those processes/forces as natural/random.

    It’s not bad enough WJM got caught in his blatant lie, misrepresenting what I said. Now he repeats the stupid demand that science prove a negative.

    The best ID has to offer is really on display this morning folks! Enjoy it. 🙂

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    “Why an armchair philosopher would be dumb enough to demand science prove a negative is anyone’s guess.”

    What was that infamous demand that Darwin made according to which his theory would completely break down?

  17. 17

    Adapa,

    According to the ID position, if science can prove unguided forces sufficient for evolution producing the diversity of life, then science has proven that evolution is unguided.

    I realize doesn’t understand this position of ID, so I apologize for any confusion (and did so in the other thread) and have:

    (1) explicitly stated that I am using paraphrasings so Adapa doesn’t think I’m claiming to quote him where blockquotes are not being employed, and

    (2) have reworded the paraphrasings to be be more literal wrt your actual statements:

    Adapa: Science has conclusive demonstrated that unguided (natural & random forces) evolution can sufficiently explain the diversity of life.

    WJM: Where did science determine that unguided (natural & random forces) evolution was up to the task?

    Adapa: You stupid IDist, it’s idiotic to ask science to demonstrate that unguided (natural & random forces) evolution is up to the task of explaining the diversity of life!

    Adapa said:

    Now he repeats the stupid demand that science prove a negative.

    All I have done is ask him to support that which he explicitly claimed. Therefore, if I am asking him to scientifically support an unprovable negative, it was Adapa that assumed an unprovable negative in the first place.

    Adapa said:

    science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today . . .

    My challenge: Please direct me to where science has demonstrated/vetted the “natural” and “random” aspects of your assertion. If this challenge is asking for science to prove a negative, then how did it establish in the first place the “natural” and “random” aspects of your claim?

    It is only if the “random” and “natural” aspects of Adapa’s claim are unprovable negative characterizations in the first place that my challenge of them can be asking science to prove an unprovable negative in the second place.

  18. 18
    jerry says:

    The following is the basis for ID and I have posted it several times

    This is a very long post but gets at the heart of what ID is and at those who object to it.

    How can you refute a design inference other than by showing that the result could be achieved through natural processes?

    This is a series of comments I made several years to go to clarify just what ID is. This is nothing new but apparently must be told continually. It comes from a thread over 5 years ago:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-318723

    The following was a comment by an Anti-ID commenter

    “I wonder how many times this will need to be repeated? The above is a test of the alternative theory, not of ID. It would not follow from the failure of the alternative that ID is correct. Both can be wrong. The entire population of U.D., USA seems to be particularly dense on this point.”

    To which I responded

    This is a rather stupid statement and indicates a lack of understanding of the issues. My reply to this is rather long so if no one wants to read it, I understand because I am mainly clarifying my thoughts by writing this. I will make this reply in three rather long comments and if anyone wants to comment, feel free.

    There are two choices for any phenomenon, both of them rather broad. One is that certain things happened naturally, the mechanism to be discovered. The second is that these things were produced through intelligent input. And by the way a lot of what may be considered natural, could be the result of a designed process allowed to proceed naturally. For some simple examples, pearl farmers seed their shell fish with an irritant and the let nature do the rest and beavers dam the course of a river and the ensuing wetlands provide an enhanced habitat for the beavers and other animals and plants..

    But in general it is mainly one or the other but what appears to be natural could also be great design. There are no other choices unless you want to proffer some. As I said these are rather broad categories. It is almost impossible to eliminate the intelligent input option. It is not a theory such as gravity, the Standard Model, the Laws of Thermodynamics, Kinetic theory of Gases, Information theory or Plate Tectonics etc yet people keep on asking for some hypotheses and predictions. ID is simply that intelligence is an input at some time in the history of being, the universe, the world, life etc. Some hypothesize that it was in the design of the universe itself and the initial conditions and subsequent boundary conditions of the Big Bang were such fantastic design that it enables natural processes to produce everything we see including this very rare planet, the origin of life and the evolutionary progression through subsequent natural consequences. Some hypothesize that the input was ongoing and there were various events that reflect an intelligent input. This input could have been minimal and then natural processes were allowed to do the rest. To disprove an intelligent input, one has to show natural processes at every turn. It is a difficult job. All ID has to do is show that naturalistic processes fail at some point and that an intelligent input is more reasonable. They only need one point.

    That is the nature of the discussion. It seems unfair to some who whine that ID is unfalsifiable. But that is it. Because ID is more of a logic process and not a specific scientific theory it does not have the usual domain of interest such as plate tectonics, cosmology or even evolution. After all an intelligence could create life or modify a genome to guide life maybe only once and that is not the making of some theory. To create life or modify it is not too hard to understand as it appears to be within human capability in the near future.

    Thus, the possibility of an intelligence creating and modifying life is not an issue. It is whether it ever happened or not that is at issue. If we had a video camera at the time of an intelligent input, we could settle it once and for all but such an event does not exist and we have had people here and at other places demanding such evidence. Short of this something else has to be done.

    Part 2 – We have observed a lot of phenomena through out history that could possibly be explained by an intelligent input and the challenge for science is to verify if there may be a natural cause for each. For most of history it was thought that God was personally responsible for most, much, or a lot of these phenomena. From Zeus throwing lightning bolts in anger and the various gods determining the fates of various personalities such as Odysseus to Newton’s hypothesis that God sent comets to stabilize the orbits of the planets. Newton’s laws and then LaPlace’s theory of the heavens seemed to show that all was under control of natural laws. So it was assumed from then on by many that everything must be under control of natural laws. We have no need for Zeus and lightning bolts and for comets stabilizing orbits.

    And we get the conventional wisdom that everything is due to natural laws and chance and it is only a matter of time before science gets around to explaining it. And science has a good track record. But what is glaringly obvious is that science has some spectacular failures in one particular area. So while science continues to chalk up win after win there seems to be one opponent which gets the better of it every time. Consequently, one has to reevaluate the conventional wisdom and maybe consider an alternative to natural processes. ID only exists because science loses most of the time to the heavy weights in this one area, namely life. It does wonderfully well in some important areas of life, specifically medicine, food production and genetics but it is badly outperformed by the problems in the areas of macro evolution and origin of life. Why this failure here? Is there an alternative to naturalistic processes in these two domains. Is intelligence an explanation?

    Hence, every time science fails in these areas it adds credence to the alternative. At this moment in the realm of logic and reason both alternatives exist. Which is more feasible? Every time we see the failure of one alternative it raises the possibility of the other. After all it is possible. We just cannot identify the intelligence. So each failure for a natural pathway raises the probability of the alternative, namely an intelligent input.

    And the rationale for an intelligent input has been bolstered by the knowledge that what underlies life is different from every other area of nature, specifically information. Information is not present in any other area of nature except life.

    Part 3 – Now this game of supporting the ID premise is played two ways and both use the tools of science, logic and reason. One shows that time after time that certain naturalistic processes have failed. The second way is to show why naturalistic processes have failed. Both use science and point to the inadequacy of natural processes. There is a third way which one group says must be present before an intelligent input can be accepted and that is evidence for the specific event where there was an input of intelligence.

    The first way above is to challenge each natural explanation for the phenomenon as flawed and show why the explanation could not have possibly happened. This is the frequent challenges to Darwinian macro evolution we have seen not only by the ID people but also by the anti ID people as well as the creationists. It is represented here on this site and in the academic and popular literature by the lack of any coherent demonstration that Darwinian macro evolution ever took place. Now macro evolution did take place and no one is denying that here but there is no evidence for it happening by Darwinian processes or any other known natural processes. All the processes of science are brought to bear in this examination so to declare it non scientific is ludicrous.

    The second way is to use observations of the world and then to complement these observations with some form of analysis, mainly probability, and some understanding of natural processes to illustrate why the failure of naturalistic processes is not only reasonable but to be expected. To this end a couple of different approaches are in their infancy but have showed some reasonable results. One is being developed by Behe and is showing that there does not exist the probabilistic resources to create the changes needed in macro evolution. Behe’s two books, Darwin’s Black Box and Edge of Evolution, are aimed at this objective. Namely, that life is extremely complicated and naturalistic processes seem unable to climb the hurdles necessary to produce macro evolution.

    Another is being done by Dembski and others trying to show something similar using mathematical and probabilistic approaches to show that reaching the complexity necessary for life is beyond the probabilistic resources of the universe. So in lots of way the two approaches are similar but using different methodologies to attack the same problem.

    To argue that this is not science is also ludicrous. One may argue that the techniques by these scientists are flawed or that the interpretation of the results are invalid but to say that they are not using science is absurd.

    Now the naturalists respond with their challenges. The best challenge would always be to show that the phenomena probably arose by naturalistic means but this is rarely done because there seems to be little evidence supporting any particular mechanism. The main challenge is to use something similar to what I described above as the first approach, namely that the intelligent input scenario is flawed just as ID people point out that each naturalistic input is flawed. The creator could not be omniscient, or no one would design such an imperfect system or make these childish mistakes etc. They also point to science’s track record in other areas and that the work on the problem is just getting started etc.

    So we have two broad approaches and any evidence in one camp reduces the likelihood of the other. It is one that won’t be solved any time soon but to assume your side is right a priori is ridiculous. ID is the more reasonable side as far as I can see. They are willing to accept naturalistic explanations when it is demonstrated but are not willing to accept an arbitrary demand of absolute dismissiveness for intelligent inputs that is imposed by the naturalists. One side is flexible and reasonable while the other side is intransigent and unmoving.

    I added the following comments to these three comments in response to another inane challenge.

    “And in my experience ID “considering” these issues consists of time in an armchair parasitically reinterpreting data obtained by others – in a way that, once again, generates no testable assertions and hence no further research. That isn’t science.”

    The best term I can use for this attitude is “clueless.” When science takes on one more additional possible explanation, it does not mean it eliminates all the other explanations. Maybe we should speak in shorter sentences so you may be able to understand.

    ID does not eliminate anything that current science does.

    ID can do any experiment that current science does.

    ID can do additional experiments that current science might not do.

    ID can come to the same conclusions as current science does.

    ID can also come to some different conclusions than current science.

    ID will come to a naturalistic explanation in nearly all experiments.

    But in fact naturalistic explanations can be used to support intelligence based conclusions.

    ID will do some things differently than current science about its conclusions.

    For example, it will not make up any unsupported conclusions.

    It will not use the words “it evolved”, “it was selected”, “it was exapted”, “it emerged” to explain an unknown event or transition.

    ID will not use its imagination as evidence in science.

    Now that you understand some of the things that ID will add to science you may try some other non sequiturs to your array of arguments. But I suggest you try to understand instead. ID adds, it does not subtract. Your point of view subtracts and restricts and oppresses and misinforms.

    So please try an honest and logical argument. It is getting tiresome. No one is asking you to agree with an ID conclusion even if it is completely logical and well supported, but try to represent it reliably instead of distorting it. You might learn something.

    The anti-ID people are desperate to find some fault with ID that they misrepresent nearly everything and attribute some remarks by people as representing ID in total. It is a game of “gotcha.” But that is all they have. They have no positive support for what they believe

    This is from 5 years ago and is essentially the same except for some minor edits.

    As an addendum, proof that a certain species arose naturally from a previous specious or proof on how a specific protein arose naturally does not invalidate ID. It only makes ID is a little less likely as the explanation for certain phenomenon.

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    congregate: “I thought basic logic was one thing UDers could handle…”

    Indeed, see WJM @ 13. I hope it’s not too convoluted for you.

    congregate: “This is the error Joe always makes, when he says that providing evidence of some unguided process creating CSI would disprove the existence of an intelligent designer.”

    Demonstration of unguided processes producing complex designs would falsify Intelligent Design theory. It would not all of a sudden cause all intelligent designers to cease to exist. That’s just silly.

  20. 20
    Vishnu says:

    Adapa:I never said or implied that science had conclusively demonstrated evolution is unguided. I said it’s conclusively demonstrated that observed evolutionary processes can account for the variety in biological life, which they can.

    Here and Here

    you said:

    The process itself is unguided just like in the real world.

    All evolution requires is imperfect self-replicators competing for resources and the unguided processes take over from there.

    So in the other thread, you were not making a claim that science has not demonstrated those assertions conclusively?

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA #4 — sorry I misread your original quote. Thanks.

  22. 22
    jerry says:

    Demonstration of unguided processes producing complex designs would falsify Intelligent Design theory.

    No it would not do that. It would make it less likely as a hypothesis for evolution but it would not falsify it. There is a large population that believe that God created the universe (ID) but that all else followed from natural processes set up at the beginning.

    There is also a large contingent who only point to certain areas for an intelligent input.

  23. 23
    groovamos says:

    Adapta:

    I said it’s conclusively demonstrated that observed evolutionary processes can account for the variety in biological life, which they can.

    Wait a minute! Have you described for us what you mean by “observed evolutionary processes”? Have the”observed evolutionary processes” been exhaustively proven to be independent of unobserved evolutionary processes? Please point us to that revolutionary work if it exists.

    By the way you seemed to back off from my (if I may) thoughtful post #113 at http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-529161

    Just thought I would give you another chance to acknowledge and thank me for edifying for you that discontinuity you were anxious to learn about early in that thread. We’re all gentlemen here right? Unless one of us is in a tar baby wrestling match.

  24. 24
    Mung says:

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

    In a broader sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose.

    ID claims to provide a method by which design in the natural world can be detected. If that method turns out to be useless, ID fails as a theory. I don’t find it a stretch to say that would mean ID theory has been falsified.

    So how could ID theory be falsified? And if it can’t be falsified, is it science?

    http://www.discovery.org/id/fa.....gentDesign

  25. 25
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    Adapa: Science has conclusive demonstrated that evolution is unguided</i

    Still waiting for you to retract this blatant lie.

  26. 26
    Adapa says:

    Vishnu

    So in the other thread, you were not making a claim that science has not demonstrated those assertions conclusively?

    Me describing evolutionary processes as unguided and claiming I said science has conclusive demonstrated they are unguided are still two very different things.

    I though you were smarter than to get the two confused. Maybe I overestimated you.

  27. 27
    Seversky says:

    “Sufficient to account for” does not mean the same as “proven”, not even in the older sense of ‘tested’. The claim that observed natural processes have been shown to stand on their own as a sufficient explanation for the observed variety of life does not rule out the possibility of an intelligent agent intervening at one or many points and directing those processes towards a specific end. It’s just that the intelligent agent is not necessary. If the intelligent agent were not there, the natural processes would just go their own way, the course they follow being shaped by natural environmental influences.

    In this specific case, as Adapa has argued, the proposition that “science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today” is only the claim that such an explanation is adequate or sufficient to account for biological diversity on it own. It is a conditional claim which is not the same as the categorical assertion that unguided natural processes and only unguided natural processes can possibly account for biological diversity.

  28. 28
    congregate says:

    Barry at 2-
    I did not “wrench Adapa’s comment out of context.” I reacted to it as it was quoted in your OP. If it was wrenched out of any necessary context, you are the one who did it.

  29. 29

    Still waiting for you to retract this blatant lie.

    I’ve already explained that this was a paraphrasing that you’ve apparently misunderstood due to your lack of understanding about the ID position. I’ve already re-formed the paraphrasing to account for your lack of ID understanding and apologised for the confusion.

    I’m not sure what else I can do for you on this matter.

    You have stated that science has conclusively demonstrated unguided forces sufficient to generate biological diversity.

    Correct?

    When I ask you where this was conclusively demonstrated, you have told me I’m stupid for asking this.

    Correct?

    You then say that when I ask you to support that assertion, I’ve asked science to “prove a negative”, but all I’ve done is explicitly ask you to support exactly what you have asserted – that unguided forces are sufficient to explain biodiversity.

    I haven’t asked you to prove that intelligent design was not involved. I’ve only asked you to support exactly what you asserted – that unguided forces have been scientifically, conclusively demonstrated sufficient.

    If that is asking science to prove a negative, then it must be you that has assumed an unprovable negative, because I’m only asking you to support exactly what you have asserted.

    Now, can you support exactly what you have asserted, or not?

  30. 30
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    Still waiting for you to retract this blatant lie.

    I’ve already explained that this was a paraphrasing

    You paraphrasing was a blatant lie.

    “Adapa: Science has conclusive demonstrated that evolution is unguided”

    Retract your blatant lie now.

  31. 31
    REC says:

    “Have the “observed evolutionary processes” been exhaustively proven to be independent of unobserved evolutionary processes?”

    Beautiful. You ask Adapa to rule out (through empirical observations) processes that cannot be observed.

    Gotcha!

  32. 32
    jerry says:

    So how could ID theory be falsified? And if it can’t be falsified, is it science?

    ID can not be falsified just as naturalistic evolution can not be falsified. It can be discredited just as naturalistic evolution or naturalistic origin of life or the naturalistic origin of the universe can be discredited.

  33. 33

    Seversky said:

    Sufficient to account for” does not mean the same as “proven”, not even in the older sense of ‘tested’.

    It would be a hard sell to claim that something has been conclusively demonstrated without it being tested to some degree or to imply some degree of “proven” in the scientific sense. “Conclusively demonstrated is pretty strong language – you apparently forgot to attach that to “sufficient”.

    The claim that observed natural processes have been shown to stand on their own as a sufficient explanation for the observed variety of life does not rule out the possibility of an intelligent agent intervening at one or many points and directing those processes towards a specific end.

    First, nobody cares about “ruling out” intelligent intervention. That is nothing but Adapa’s misunderstanding.

    Second, it does rule out that such designed intervention is necessary to the explanation.

    Also, we should unpack the claim that “natural (and random) processes have been observed to do X”; assuming those processes are natural/random and conclusively demonstrating them to be natural/random are two different things. One doesn’t “observe” natural, artificial or random processes; one infers they are natural, artificial or random based on their behavior and effects. Because something appears to be “natural” doesn’t mean that it is; because something seems random doesn’t mean that it is; because something looks artificial doesn’t mean that it is.

    Assuming that the forces and processes one is observing as they produce effect X can be rightfully characterized as “natural” and “random” is not the same as conclusively demonstrating that they are, in fact, “natural” and “random”. One can only vet such characteristics by examining how things behave and what patterns they produce.

    Furthermore, IF biodiversity outcomes or features could be conclusively demonstrated to be sufficiently accounted for by unguided forces and processes, that would necessarily mean that there is some metric or method by which the necessity of intelligent guidance in attaining that feature could also be determined. It would be the same metric or method.

    Only, Darwinists claim there is no method or metric that can be used to conclusively demonstrate that intelligent guidance was necessary to generate a feature; that necessarily means there is no metric or method that can be used to conclusively demonstrate the converse – that it was not necessary.

    In this specific case, as Adapa has argued, the proposition that “science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today” is only the claim that such an explanation is adequate or sufficient to account for biological diversity on it own.

    I’m asking him to direct me to where the adequateness of the unguided explanation has been scientifically, conclusively demonstrated, as he explicitly asserted it was.

    It is a conditional claim which is not the same as the categorical assertion that unguided natural processes and only unguided natural processes can possibly account for biological diversity.

    Nobody said he made such a claim. All he has been asked to do is specifically support the exact claim he actually made.

  34. 34

    I see adapa is now choosing to avoid the actual debate in favor of focusing on what he believes to be a lie on my part, even though I’ve already explained the misunderstanding, offered a suitable rephrasing, and apologized for the confusion.

  35. 35
    Learned Hand says:

    It would be a hard sell to claim that something has been conclusively demonstrated without it being tested to some degree or to imply some degree of “proven” in the scientific sense.

    It has been conclusively demonstrated that gravity and deterministic effects account for the orbit of planets. But it has not been conclusively proven that invisible angels aren’t pushing the planets in orbits that merely appear to be the result of natural forces.

  36. 36

    congregate, seversky, and all interested Darwinists:

    This is the actual quote from Adapa:

    science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today

    I have asked Adapa repeatedly, now I ask you (if you wish to respond, since Adapa seems to have abandoned the meat of the debate): Can you direct me to where science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today?

    Please note: I’m specifically only interested in how the processes and variations were vetted as actually being “natural” and “random” in nature.

  37. 37
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    I see adapa is now choosing to avoid the actual debate

    “Adapa: Science has conclusive demonstrated that evolution is unguided”

    I don’t debate with proven liars.

    Retract your blatant lie now.

  38. 38
    PeterJ says:

    Adapa,

    You said,

    “science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today”

    As opposed to,

    “evolution is guided”

    I get that. And I’m sure most everyone else on here get’s it too.

    Now can we please just move on and see if someone can answer WJM’s challenge?

    Thanks

  39. 39

    It has been conclusively demonstrated that gravity and deterministic effects account for the orbit of planets.

    But it has not been conclusively proven that invisible angels aren’t pushing the planets in orbits that merely appear to be the result of natural forces.

    Nobody is asking that the angels be disproven, only that the natural forces be shown sufficient.

  40. 40

    Learned hand,

    Can you direct me to where science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today?

    Please note: I’m specifically only interested in how the processes, selection system and variations were vetted as actually being “natural” and “random” in nature wrt their being a sufficient explanation for biodiversity features. IOW, how did science determine that natural and random forces were sufficient?

  41. 41
    Adapa says:

    PeterJ

    Now can we please just move on and see if someone can answer WJM’s challenge?

    He made two challenges. The first, to show evolutionary processes can produce the observed complexity in life we see – has been met. There’s not “one special piece or one quote” of evidence for this that WJM demands, it’s the sum total of all the work done and evidence known from all the life sciences. The link I gave him provided numerous web sites with good summaries of the evidence.

    His second challenge is his same stupid demand that we prove evolutionary processes aren’t guided. It’s an illogical, impossible to meet demand so it gets ignored.

    What else do you want to talk about?

  42. 42
    PeterJ says:

    In response to 41

    Shrugs shoulders, and puts the popcorn back in the cupboard

    (WJM, you sure do have patience) 🙂

  43. 43
    Axel says:

    You mean a kind of scatter-gun kind of proof, Adapa? To employ a metaphor from painting, a kind of ‘impressionistic’ sort of proof? It’s in there somewhere?

  44. 44

    Adapa said:

    The first, to show evolutionary processes can produce the observed complexity in life we see – has been met. There’s not “one special piece or one quote” of evidence for this that WJM demands, it’s the sum total of all the work done and evidence known from all the life sciences. The link I gave him provided numerous web sites with good summaries of the evidence.

    This appears to be a classic literature/link bluff. Surely Adapa (or some Darwinist) can offer a couple of reference and quotes? I’m just specifically looking for the method science utilizes to determine natural/random forces/processes sufficient? How do they do it?

    Obviously, the problem Adapa has here is that if science indeed has the capacity to quantify natural and random forces/processes as sufficient without intelligent agency, then it must also be able to quantify where intelligent forces/processes would be necessary. There is no way to have one without the other – it’s logically impossible.

    That would mean that ID theory is legitimate scientific undertaking. You cannot scientifically tell where ID is not required unless you can also tell where it is required.

    His second challenge is his same stupid demand that we prove evolutionary processes aren’t guided.

    Please show me where I made this challenge?

  45. 45
    Adapa says:

    Axel

    You mean a kind of scatter-gun kind of proof, Adapa?

    No, I mean the strength of million of pieces of consilient evidence from dozens of independent sciences that all point to the same conclusion. Way too much to even properly summarize on this tiny board.

    A demand to to see THE piece of evidence that conclusively demonstrates evolution is as stupid as demanding the negative “prove evolution is unguided.”

  46. 46

    Adapa said:

    A demand to to see THE piece of evidence that conclusively demonstrates evolution is as stupid as demanding the negative “prove evolution is unguided.”

    Except, to my knowledge, nobody asked for either. I simply asked you to support your assertion with some links and pertinent quotes. Apparently, you are now saying that you do not know of any links or pertinent quotes that would be of any significant help to you in making your case here.

    Well, I suppose “I can’t provide any support for my assertion and you’re stupid for asking me to” is better than keith’s “I don’t have to support my assertion and you’re stupid for asking me to.” But only marginally.

    Unfortunately, being unwilling or unable to support your assertion leaves it as nothing more than a bald, unsupported assertion as far as this debate is concerned.

  47. 47
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    Apparently, you are now saying that you do not know of any links or pertinent quotes that would be of any significant help to you in making your case here

    A link to websites with the evidence was provided. Serial liar WJM continues to perjure himself. Pathetic.

  48. 48
    PeterJ says:

    I think at this moment in time I would settle for absolutely anything, a link to a paper, or something, just something that would be a good example of what Adapa is asserting, that “science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today”.

  49. 49
    Learned Hand says:

    Can you direct me to where science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today?

    It’s as if you want a citation to The Big Book of Science Pages 9-10. How would I direct you to “where science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of [gravity] is sufficient to produce the [orbits] we see today” or “where science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of [fusion and convection] is sufficient to produce the [pattern of sunspots] we see today”?

    You can quibble about the evidence for evolution all you want; despite its claim to be about Intelligent Design, that is what this site is all about. (Under more ideologically convenient circumstances, KF would call your approach “selective hyperskepticalism,” but that’s another conversation.) It’s enough for me that virtually no one who is acquainted with the evidence doubts that evolution is responsible for the variety of life we see today. Just as it’s enough for me that virtually no astronomers believe that sunspots are caused by angels blowing bubbles in the photosphere, or orbits by bowling djinns.

    What you actually claimed, though, was that “unless [a P(T|H) calculation) can be made, evolution cannot be vetted as “unguided”. If you cannot vet it as “guided”, you cannot vet it as “unguided”.” You also insisted, with the characteristic snideness and bitterness that has been dripping from the CSI-deprived regulars as of late, that “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that evolution is unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    Except, of course, that’s nonsense. And it’s not hard to show: “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [orbits are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    I think it’s reasonable to assume that orbits are unguided by angels. And I think it’s reasonable to call that a scientific fact as well.

  50. 50
    humbled says:

    Jerry said “ID can not be falsified just as naturalistic evolution can not be falsified. It can be discredited just as naturalistic evolution or naturalistic origin of life or the naturalistic origin of the universe can be discredited.”

    Naturalistic evolution has already been discredited. This is the reason why so many are now looking to ID and other alternatives for answers.

  51. 51
    jerry says:

    Naturalistic evolution has already been discredited. This is the reason why so many are now looking to ID and other alternatives for answers.

    I think you should read my comment at 18. It sums up my assessment of ID after 15 years of reading about it.

  52. 52
    keith s says:

    Barry, to congregate:

    BTW, when you make little jabs like “I thought basic logic was one thing UDers could handle,” you come off looking especially silly when you turn out to be wrong.

    Um, Barry, you might want to rephrase that. 🙂

    (H/T Leftfield at AtBC)

  53. 53
    Mung says:

    Next time someone asks me to back up a claim I am just going to refer them to the internet.

    http://www.theworldwideweb.org/

    http://www.internet.org/

  54. 54

    Learned hand @49:

    If you can’t provide the support, just say so. I already knew you couldn’t.

    If you’re just assuming that biodiversity is sufficiently explained via forces and processes assumed to be natural and random, just say so. No need for all the extraneous exposition. We both know biologists simply assume those forces and processes are natural and/or random. Darwinists don’t attempt to vet them as such wrt causal adequacy; why should they? They already “know”, a priori, that there is no intelligent design going on.

    I don’t doubt for a minute you find it “reasonable” to consider the orbital pattern of a planet and the highly sophisticated, interconnected functional nano-technology found in a cell qualitatively “the same thing”. Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

  55. 55
    Learned Hand says:

    We both know biologists simply assume those forces and processes are natural and/or random. Darwinists don’t attempt to vet them as such wrt causal adequacy; why should they? They already “know”, a priori, that there is no intelligent design going on.

    Just as physicists “simply assume” that gravity is natural. Can you believe that they have the gall to not even attempt to prove their materialist assumptions? They’re just assuming, a priori, that there is no intelligent falling going on!

    It’s bad form in logic to propose a radical thing and demand that it be disproved. It’s a form of assuming your conclusion, like calling cellular parts “technology.” No one’s going to stop you from doing it, but neither is the outside world going to take you very seriously. For that to happen, ID has to make some progress in some field other than angry rhetoric.

  56. 56
    Adapa says:

    William J Murray

    I don’t doubt for a minute you find it “reasonable” to consider the orbital pattern of a planet and the highly sophisticated, interconnected functional nano-technology found in a cell qualitatively “the same thing”. Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

    It’s not surprising either that your personal incredulity level is directly proportional to your scientific ignorance. Fact is your ignorance doesn’t make much of an impact on the world’s scientific knowledge base. Actually it makes none at all.

  57. 57

    Learned Hand said:

    Just as physicists “simply assume” that gravity is natural.

    Hmm. Did Newton assume gravity was “natural”?

    Gravitational predictions (and other physical constants) define what is considered “natural”. Assuming that gravity was “natural” would not only be unwarranted, it would be a category error.

    Can you believe that they have the gall to not even attempt to prove their materialist assumptions? They’re just assuming, a priori, that there is no intelligent falling going on!

    Actually, the gravitational constant is part of the fine-tuning argument, which argues that the value it is set at is probably the result of intelligent design. Even so, the gravitational constant would still be one of the parameters that define the distinction between what we call natural and what we call artificial, or intelligently designed.

    Making a case that that which defines what is natural is itself natural would be fun to watch. Care to try?

    It’s bad form in logic to propose a radical thing and demand that it be disproved.

    It’s also bad form in logic to make an assertion and then refuse to support it because, well, it would be hard.

  58. 58

    It’s bad form in logic to propose a radical thing and demand that it be disproved.

    I wonder what radical thing I’ve proposed, and where I’ve demanded that it be disproved? Was Learned Hand referring to me?

    Hmmm.

  59. 59
    Learned Hand says:

    Gravitational predictions (and other physical constants) define what is considered “natural”. Assuming that gravity was “natural” would not only be unwarranted, it would be a category error.

    No, predictions don’t “define what is considered ‘natural.'” Your meaning is clear despite your poor articulation, but you’re covering your poor form with DDD number whatever, picking at terminology rather than the underlying point. If you don’t like “natural,” we can stick with “unguided.”

    It’s logically possible that orbits, like natural selection, only appear to be “unguided” because the guiding angels direct them in ways that make them appear so to astronomers. But those scientists quite reasonably don’t waste time trying to prove the negative. They go about their business assuming that orbits are “unguided,” just as biologists go about theirs making the same assumption about natural selection and random mutations.

    When an astronomer says that orbits are “unguided,” they don’t need to prove it. Intelligent Falling advocates might complain that those astronomers “make an assertion and then refuse to support it,” but so what? Ideologues are going to make ideological complaints, it’s how the world works.

    If Intelligent Fallers want to show that there is a guiding hand behind those orbits, they’ll have to come up with some actual evidence to support the theory. A better prediction of future orbits would be interesting.

    Similarly, it’s silly for you to complain quite petulantly that scientists “refuse to support” their assertion that natural selection and random mutation are “unguided.” It’s the job of ID to find the guidance! Its failure to do so may be frustrating, but when you advance a radical proposition–intelligent design of life, in this case–your failure to prove it does not shift the burden of proof to biologists. It just means you’ve failed to meet your own burden.

    I don’t for a moment suspect that you’re going to back down from your position. So let me illustrate the absurdity of it as clearly as I’m able, by simply swapping out referents as I did above:

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [orbits are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [the results of flipping a fair coin are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [radiometric decay is] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    Your position is logically and practically farcical. But you can’t back down from it, can you?

  60. 60
    HeKS says:

    KF,

    Was it really necessary to end the other thread on account of Adapa’s nonsense?

    I wasn’t done.

  61. 61
    keith s says:

    KF is abusing his moderator privileges again.

    This time he has not only annotated, edited and deleted the comments of othershe has thrown a tantrum and shut down an entire thread in which a vigorous discussion was taking place.

    Could someone put a leash on him? This is ridiculous.

  62. 62

    Learned Hand said:

    When an astronomer says that orbits are “unguided,” they don’t need to prove it.

    If the debate is about whether or not the particular path of a particular object is adequately explicable via gravity, simply asserting that it is is not enough. The astronomer making the assertion has the burden of demonstrating it by showing that the path of the object conforms to the predictions derived from gravitational theory.

    If the astronomer is foolish enough to make the assertion that “unguided” gravity is sufficient as an explanation, then he has burdened himself with the additional task of supporting his characterization of gravity as “unguided”.

    This is why one should be careful not to make assertions that are laced with ideological assumptions, such as “unguided”.

    Intelligent Falling advocates might complain that those astronomers “make an assertion and then refuse to support it,” but so what? Ideologues are going to make ideological complaints, it’s how the world works.

    Like keith, your example/analogy assumes the very thing under contention. You are assuming that CSI/biodiversity artifacts are “the same as” the orbit of planets.

    If Intelligent Fallers want to show that there is a guiding hand behind those orbits, they’ll have to come up with some actual evidence to support the theory. A better prediction of future orbits would be interesting.

    Except that the issue here isn’t what ID claims, it’s what Adapa has claimed, and his refusal/inability to support that claim. You are apparently making the case that he does not have to support his assertion because … well, first you said it’d be to hard. Now you’re saying that he doesn’t have to because other scientists make the same assumption about other things.

    Similarly, it’s silly for you to complain quite petulantly that scientists “refuse to support” their assertion that natural selection and random mutation are “unguided.”

    Well, there’s the “ridicule your opponent” tactic, saying it’s stupid or silly to actually ask those who make assertions to support them.

    It’s the job of ID to find the guidance!

    “It’s not our job to support our assertions! It’s your job to demonstrate our assertions wrong!”

    Its failure to do so may be frustrating, but when you advance a radical proposition–intelligent design of life, in this case–your failure to prove it does not shift the burden of proof to biologists. It just means you’ve failed to meet your own burden.

    Except I haven’t proposed anything. All I’ve done is ask Adapa and Keith to support their assertions, and all I’ve heard in response is a bevy of excuses why they don’t have to.

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [orbits are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [the results of flipping a fair coin are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [radiometric decay is] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    Once again, all your examples/analogies assume the very thing under contention. In effect, when you offer them, you are doing nothing but reiterating the original assertion.

  63. 63
    Me_Think says:

    If the debate is about whether or not the particular path of a particular object is adequately explicable via gravity, simply asserting that it is is not enough. The astronomer making the assertion has the burden of demonstrating it by showing that the path of the object conforms to the predictions derived from gravitational theory.

    True, but they don’t start with the assumption that the orbit looks designed so ID agent is responsible, and they certainly don’t stop by saying our job is over once we detect design.

  64. 64
    Learned Hand says:

    If the debate is about whether or not the particular path of a particular object is adequately explicable via gravity, simply asserting that it is is not enough. The astronomer making the assertion has the burden of demonstrating it by showing that the path of the object conforms to the predictions derived from gravitational theory.

    I agree that you have to back down from your absurd premises—perhaps you are writing while upset, and it makes you type things you later regret? Your retreat from that egregious position is a little too gradual to make good sense though.

    Does evolution not conform to the predictions derived from natural selection? Show that it doesn’t and you’ve started a debate. But that’s not the statement you made earlier—you simply said that if one can’t prove a negative one “shouldn’t assume a negative.”

    If the astronomer is foolish enough to make the assertion that “unguided” gravity is sufficient as an explanation, then he has burdened himself with the additional task of supporting his characterization of gravity as “unguided”.

    An astronomer who claims that “unguided” gravity is sufficient as an explanation for gravitational effects is not being foolish. I think this is another statement you’ll wish you’d taken more time to think about before writing. And no, that astronomer does not carry a burden of “supporting his characterization of gravity as ‘unguided.'” The burden lies on the Intelligent Faller who is asserting to the contrary.

    To take it out of the realm of the analogous, ID has to carry a burden of showing that random mutation and natural selection are guided before it becomes seriously necessary for real scientists to start supporting their assumption that it isn’t. If the negative has to be probed for every proposition in life, then nothing would ever get done. Astronomers would have to question whether gravity is guided, physicists would have to question whether radiometric decay is guided, Dembski would have to question whether the flips of fair coins are guided—at some point, you say, “That Occam guy was on to something. Let’s not invent radical new assumptions on the basis of no particular evidence and consider them as seriously as the null assumption.” Whether the radical new assumption is ideologically convenient, as yours is, simply doesn’t signify logically.

    This is why one should be careful not to make assertions that are laced with ideological assumptions, such as “unguided”.

    I will notify NASA of your opinion. I do not think they will care.

    Intelligent Falling advocates might complain that those astronomers “make an assertion and then refuse to support it,” but so what? Ideologues are going to make ideological complaints, it’s how the world works.

    Like keith, your example/analogy assumes the very thing under contention. You are assuming that CSI/biodiversity artifacts are “the same as” the orbit of planets.

    It is an analogy. The fact that you think “CSI” is special doesn’t make it not analogous. You’ll have to explain why; incredulity is not enough. The null assumption holds until there is a better proposition on the table, which ID clearly can’t do yet—it has yet to ever (ever!) actually detect design in the real world.

    Except that the issue here isn’t what ID claims, it’s what Adapa has claimed, and his refusal/inability to support that claim. You are apparently making the case that he does not have to support his assertion because … well, first you said it’d be to hard. Now you’re saying that he doesn’t have to because other scientists make the same assumption about other things.

    Good lord, I thought you were at least going to take the position that ID has raised enough of an issue to justify questioning the null. You actually think that it’s inherently Adapa’s obligation to prove the negative behind his assumption that natural forces are unguided? I admire the incredibly bold ambition behind your plan to overturn the institutions of logic and science, although I doubt it will go anywhere beyond this blog.

    If the issue isn’t “what ID claims,” then there’s no distinction between ID and Intelligent Falling and Intelligent Radiometric Decay and Intelligent Coin Flipping. All of them assume that natural forces are unguided. None of them have any serious need to “support” that assumption. They would if it were seriously challenged, but not until then.

    I seem to recall that you explained at TSZ that you argue for personal reasons, not to get to any sort of external truth. Boy, you’re really driving that point home.

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [orbits are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [the results of flipping a fair coin are] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    “if you cannot prove (or at least support) a negative (that [radiometric decay is] unguided), you probably shouldn’t assume a negative and call it a scientific fact in the first place.”

    Once again, all your examples/analogies assume the very thing under contention. In effect, when you offer them, you are doing nothing but reiterating the original assertion.

    Yes, radiometric decay assumes that natural forces are unguided. I’m surprised that you find that unreasonable, but apparently you either do or are unable to distinguish that case from ID. I’m happy to leave the conversation there, as a testament to the ongoing progress of the ID project.

  65. 65
    keith s says:

    Not only did KF shut down the thread during his tantrum, he also silently banned Adapa. Pitiful.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    KS, I shut down a thread and removed repetition of a set of false accusations in the face of insistent slander after a very clear warning, as an atmosphere poisoning tactic. As you full well know, further, I do not hold power of banning. In due course the theme of the slander by Adapa – reflective of the long since exploded “ID is deceptively repackaged Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” smear — will be answered, but you and your ilk need to know that if you want to have a discussion at UD instead of play at message dominance agit prop games, slander in the face of correction is not acceptable. (I can understand a naive person repeating common falsehoods, but such will be amenable to correction, the insistence on slander by someone who obviously should know and do better is a different story.) KF

    PS: Those who need to know the general correction to the false, well-poisoning narrative of the history and substance of modern design thought, should simply check the resources tab here at UD, especially the weak argument correctives. As linked.

  67. 67
    JWTruthInLove says:

    keith s:

    Could someone put a leash on him?

    Please lose your pretence. Without kf’s legendary huffing and puffing antievolution would lose a valuble source of comedic material.

  68. 68
    PeterJ says:

    I have returned after more than 10 hours to find that Adapa still hasn’t provided an adequate response to WJM’s challenge, and show us where:

    “science has conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today”

    If it helps Adapa, I think what’s required is to show where it has been ‘conclusively demonstrated’ that a purely ‘natural process’ is sufficient, in and off itself to ‘… ‘

    Please can you (Or anyone else, for that matter) provide an example of what you consider to meet your claim. I would dearly like to spend some time reading through this literature.

    Thanks

  69. 69
    Me_Think says:

    Peter J @68
    Adapa is banned so he can’t reply. WJM resurrected something similar @ 62 and the replies are @64
    You may want to see those.

  70. 70
    Joe says:

    Learned Hand:

    Just as physicists “simply assume” that gravity is natural.

    No, they don’t. No one assumes that nature produced gravity.

  71. 71
    Joe says:

    Adapa wouldn’t reply regardless if it was banned or not. Adapa is a typical evolutionist who makes bald assertions and supports those with more bald assertions.

  72. 72
    Joe says:

    Me Think:

    True, but they don’t start with the assumption that the orbit looks designed so ID agent is responsible, and they certainly don’t stop by saying our job is over once we detect design.

    Who starts with the assumption that something was designed and whose jobs is over once we detect design? Or are nonsensical innuendos the best you have?

  73. 73
    Joe says:

    Learned Hand:

    Does evolution not conform to the predictions derived from natural selection?

    What predictions are derived from natural selection? Please be specific and show your work.

    Thank you

  74. 74
    Dionisio says:

    kairosfocus @ 66
    I had warned several times about too many senseless arguments leading nowhere in this blog. Arguing with folks that clearly show no desire to have constructive discussions is an obvious waste of time.
    I was told that it was done for the sake of the onlookers/lurkers, but I did not see that need in many cases.
    On various occasions I’ve been called ‘Spanish inquisitor’, ‘exorcist’ or other names, just because I asked simple questions about the discussed subjects. Many of you seem more educated and better prepared than I am. Hence, many interesting discussions fly high over my head. In order for me to understand at least the main ideas being discussed, I require basic concepts to be explained in easy to understand terms. Also I request simple examples to be provided for illustration. Some interlocutors don’t seem to like that approach. So they switch to name calling instead.
    On more than one occasion you and gpuccio have displayed a substantial amount of patience when arguing with certain interlocutors and I have openly expressed my lack of such virtue.
    Time is precious, we can’t afford to squander it,
    This time, well done.
    Good riddance. Thank you.

  75. 75
    Box says:

    HeKS,

    KF,

    Was it really necessary to end the other thread on account of Adapa’s nonsense?

    I wasn’t done.

    Seconded. I wasn’t done either. Can the thread be reopened or even better can we have a new “Keith’s damp squib” (HeKS?, WJM?) thread?

    I’m perfectly fine with Adapa being banned. A person, with an inability to apologize combined with rudeness and zero substance, belongs at the fora of antievolution.org and theskepticalzone.com, not here at UD.

  76. 76
    Barry Arrington says:

    Learned Hand:

    Does evolution not conform to the predictions derived from natural selection?

    It does not. Random Mutations (RM), Natural Selection (NS), and Deep Time (DT) cannot explain many features of the living world

    The Cambrian explosion falsifies the predictions of RM+NS+DT.
    The fossil records falsifies the predictions of RM+NS+DT.
    The existence of digitally encoded CSI in every cell falsifies the predictions of RM+NS+DT.
    RM+NS+DT cannot produce even one protein, much less the hundreds needed.
    The existence nano-technology evident in every cell falsifies the predictions of RM+NS+DT.

    I could go on and on.

    LH, you have a strong faith, as is evident from this comment. I would love to be a believer in the awesome creative power of blind purposeless natural forces. It would make my life so much easier. But, unlike you, I just cannot manage the blind-leap-in-the-dark faith commitments such a belief requires.

  77. 77
    Joe says:

    Natural selection predicts- wait for it- the fittest will survive and reproduce. 🙄

  78. 78

    LH @64,

    The problem, LH, is that I haven’t advanced any ID proposals. The only thing I’ve done is challenge those who have made assertions in their arguments (such as they were) to support their assertions.

    Here is what you, Adapa, and Keith have done when challenged to support your assertions:

    1) Insist you don’t have to.
    2) Ridicule and negatively characterize those who have challenged the assertion.
    3) Reiterate the assertion over and over with analogies/examples that assume what is being challenged
    4) Point at other scientists who make similar assumptions about things that were not part of the challenge.
    5) Insist that others prove the assertions false.
    6) Claim it would be really, really hard to support the assertions.
    7) Insist that someone else support some other assertion about some other hypothesis/theory.
    8) Insist that while it’s really just an assumption, it’s an assumption you have a right to assert unchallenged.

    IOW, you’ve done everything except support the assertion.

    All you really have to do is simply admit it’s an assumption that cannot be scientifically, conclusively demonstrated as claimed. It’s taken as a matter of faith. It may be a widespread assumption, but that’s still all it is. You may find it ridiculous for anyone to challenge the assumption, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is just an assumption, not a scientifically demonstrated, conclusive fact.

    At the end of the day, regardless of how appropriate or common it is to assert the unguided nature of evolution, it is in fact nothing more than an ideololgicval assumption which has never been scientifically vetted and which most Darwinists insist cannot be scientifically vetted.

  79. 79

    Adapa was probably just engineering his escape strategy. Better to go out in self-manufactured martyrdom to the cause (which Keith has already started the narrative for) than to endure the indignity of having no means of supporting his own assertions.

  80. 80

    Joe said:

    Natural selection predicts- wait for it- the fittest will survive and reproduce.

    Or: Natural selection predicts that those which have a better chance at survival and reproduction will survive and reproduce better.

    Now there’s a prediction you can sink your teeth into!

  81. 81
    Seversky says:

    “Survival of the fittest” would be an empty tautology unless it encapsulated processes we observe in the natural world. If we didn’t see peppered moths changing color in response to environmental changes caused by industrial pollution or finches beaks changing form or micro-organisms developing the ability to digest some of the waste by-products of nylon manufacture then it would be much harder to make a case for the theory of evolution. Survival of the fittest is not a tautology if it describes observed behavior.

  82. 82
    Box says:

    Seversky:

    If we didn’t see peppered moths changing color in response to environmental changes caused by industrial pollution or finches beaks changing form or micro-organisms developing the ability to digest some of the waste by-products of nylon manufacture then it would be much harder to make a case for the theory of evolution.

    Well, the pepper moths are bogus, and the other two examples are not about the evolution of novel traits. Check this out:
    Peppered moth myth, ‘Darwin’s Finches Show Rule-Constrained Variation in Beak Shape‘ and ‘”evolution” of nylonase’.

  83. 83
    Joe says:

    The differing coloration of moths already existed. Only the variation frequency changed. The same goes for beak size. The nylon episodes are most likely due to built-in responses to environmental cues.

    As for this alleged theory of evolution, no one seems to be able to find it. Why is that?

  84. 84
    keith s says:

    kairosfocus:

    KS, I shut down a thread and removed repetition of a set of false accusations in the face of insistent slander after a very clear warning, as an atmosphere poisoning tactic.

    You threw a temper tantrum, annotating, editing, and deleting the comments of another poster, and then shutting down the entire thread when others were in the midst of a vigorous discussion.

    You took your ball and went home. It was selfish and childish, and even your fellow IDers HeKS and Box are questioning the shutdown.

    As you full well know, further, I do not hold power of banning.

    Immediately after you started censoring Adapa, he found that he was no longer able to post comments. What would you call that, if not a banning, Mr. Honesty?

  85. 85
    HeKS says:

    Keith,

    If I have time, I will start a new OP to resume our discussion. I have a mountain of other things I really should be doing, but I also don’t like leaving a discussion hanging in the middle of it. Also, people keep in mind that this new OP, when it goes up, will not be another or different attempt to respond to your argument. It will merely be a continuation of what I started before but which got cut off.

    P.S. KF has told me independently that he has no ability to ban users, so if Adapa is banned then it was probably someone else who did it. It’s also possible that he has been put on moderated status. I have posting privileges here, but I’m not involved in any of the background moderation/management stuff so I wouldn’t know.

  86. 86
    HeKS says:

    Correction:

    “Also, people keep in mind…” should have been “Also, please keep in mind…”

  87. 87
    keith s says:

    KF,

    It’s well known among folks on both sides of the ID debate that you fare poorly in open discussion. You know it too, which is why you so frequently abuse your moderator privileges: annotating, editing and censoring posts; banning commenters; and posting your endless FYI-FTR threads with comments disabled.

    The rest of us are able to defend ourselves without moderator privileges. You can’t, so you use abuse them as a crutch.

    Your personal incompetence is no reason for you to ban people or to terminate entire threads. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Step aside and let the competent people have a grown-up discussion.

  88. 88
    Joe says:

    No keith s, you are unable to defend yourself. You are forced to ignore and/ or misrepresent your opponents as if your ignorance and dishonesty mean something.

    You and your ilk’s personal incompetence is the reason for bannings and thread closings. If you had the intestinal fortitude to honestly and openly address the refutations the threads would have been ended long before they were closed.

  89. 89
    keith s says:

    HeKS:

    If I have time, I will start a new OP to resume our discussion.

    Good. I look forward to it.

    Also, please keep in mind that this new OP, when it goes up, will not be another or different attempt to respond to your argument. It will merely be a continuation of what I started before but which got cut off.

    Understood, although others may wish to propose new criticisms of my argument.

    P.S. KF has told me independently that he has no ability to ban users, so if Adapa is banned then it was probably someone else who did it.

    Adapa says:

    Minutes after that exchange where KF went into and drastically changed my post and I called him on it I was silently banned. My account wasn’t killed but all my attempts to posts are immediately deleted.

    Even if KF were not directly involved — which I find hard to believe, since the banning happened minutes after KF started editing Adapa’s comments — you will notice that he has not protested the banning or requested Adapa’s reinstatement.

    He also closed the entire thread in a fit of pique.

    KF is a disgrace to UD and to himself.

  90. 90
    Joe says:

    Adapa spewed enough ignorance and was proven to be an insipid troll. At least you are entertaining.

  91. 91
    Learned Hand says:

    Barry Arrington,

    It does not. Random Mutations (RM), Natural Selection (NS), and Deep Time (DT) cannot explain many features of the living world . . . . I could go on and on.

    Of course you could—you’re reading out of the ID manual, chapter and verse. It’s a particularly ineffectual argument, having utterly failed to make progress with the experts in any of the relevant fields. ID and its ideas are by and large ignored by biologists, chemists, mathematicians, computer scientists, philosophers, engineers, statisticians, anthropologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, doctors, lawyers, investigators, physicists, astronomers, linguists, epidemiologists—actually, pretty much everyone at pretty much every university around the world. The small minority of people who take the ID movement seriously love it to death, but have a peculiar difficulty actually using it to do anything, even produce ideas that are taken seriously by anyone outside the ideology. (Maybe that would change if Intelligent Design experts could actually detect design in the real world, the one thing they claim to have done?)

    But that’s the standard conversation. You’ve got your take, I’ve got mine, and we both think the other person is an ideologue. But that’s not the conversation WJM started. His position, which I think you tried to defend until it became obviously too silly even for UD to stand up for, is that regardless of the positive claims ID makes, materialists should be justifying their assumption that natural selection and random mutation are unguided.

    Which, obviously, puts him in an absurd position: should materialist physicists defend their assumption that atomic decay is unguided? Should materialist astronomers defend their assumption that the patters of sunspots are unguided? He’s incredulous—incensed!—that science somehow proceeds without proving a negative first.

    Why don’t we go back to the usual ID conversation? WJM’s version is a little too through-the-looking-glass for me. It’s distinctly odd trying to have a conversation with someone who admittedly doesn’t hold anything in particular as true and is primarily interested in “whether or not I enjoy the experience as a good man” as opposed to whether a proposition is true.

    It’s ironic that, despite all your flailing hostility towards people you accuse of perverse moral relativism, WJM may come closer to your stereotype of that position than any actual ID critics.

  92. 92
    Box says:

    And then there are people who are a disgrace to the whole of humanity. Everything they say is hollow. They are vaguely aware of this fact but don’t care about truth because they are rotten to the core.
    The only thing they do care about is to disperse their religion of meaninglessness and death – everything is allowed.

    Why do they care so much? Because they are depraved psychopaths who don’t have the guts to face their inevitable destruction on their own.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    KS, I see you are hoping to drag this thread into a downspiral of personalities, innuendos and accusations all too familiar to those who have waded through various feverish attack-sites, which I have zero interest in doing. As for the incident you would make so much of, it apparently is not registering that (1) Adapa indulged patent slander, (2) was corrected on it by me as thread owner then (3) insistently reiterated the slander in an obvious threadjacking — on a thread BTW which was not going favourably to him and ilk. That he was banned for cause by those who have that power for his insistent disruptive and slanderous behaviour (backed up by the presumption of a right to use UD’s facilities to brazenly slander UD . . . ) is obvious, save to those who support or enable these smears. And as for your conspiracy theorising, no, I see no good reason why the disruptive and slanderous should have a free for all platform at the expense of their targetted victims. Civil disagreement is one thing, abuse and irresponsible slander utterly another. If you, KS, choose to be an enabler of such, that is your choice and reasonable people will see what you are doing for what it is — and will draw appropriate conclusions. Especially, in a context where if you and your ilk genuinely had the warrant for claims regarding the tree of life, you would have long since taken up the offer to host an essay on the merits that would have utterly shattered the design case regarding the world of life. As you full well know, that offer has been on the table for two full years and you yourself have publicly refused to take it up, reverting to preferred rhetorical sniping. And, on fair comment I will say that the case you have tried to put up at UD for several weeks now fails, fails patently and on many levels, so if that is the case you would make to counter design thought it speaks for itself. I trust that at minimum, in future you will refrain from rain fairy, planet-pushing angels and the like strawmannish caricatures of the design inference process and will recognise that the tree of life picture you have championed is inconsistent with the actual situation with molecular and related evidence. Bottomline, for record: the tree the dog will not bark up, clearly has a bear in it the dog wants nothing to do with. That, is a case where silence speaks loudly indeed. KF

  94. 94
    Learned Hand says:

    WJM,

    All you really have to do is simply admit it’s an assumption that cannot be scientifically, conclusively demonstrated as claimed. It’s taken as a matter of faith. It may be a widespread assumption, but that’s still all it is. You may find it ridiculous for anyone to challenge the assumption, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is just an assumption, not a scientifically demonstrated, conclusive fact.

    At the end of the day, regardless of how appropriate or common it is to assert the unguided nature of evolution, it is in fact nothing more than an ideololgicval assumption which has never been scientifically vetted and which most Darwinists insist cannot be scientifically vetted.

    This has become beyond bizarre. The assertion that random mutation and natural selection are unguided is an assumption–proving it would be proving a negative. We use these null hypotheses all the time. When a light bulb burns out in my house, I assume that no one made that happen to force me to sit in the dark. You can complain that I’m taking that position “as a matter of faith,” and that it “cannot be scientifically, conclusively demosntrated as claimed,” and I guess that’s true. But how on earth does anyone ever do anything if they have a positive obligation to “scientifically, conclusively demonstrate” that every possible hypothesis isn’t true?

    That’s why the logical and practical convention is not to make extravagant assumptions, such as that an unseen designer designed everything using unknown methods and materials for an unknown cause, unless there’s a reason to make that assumption. For some people, religion is such a reason. Others claim that math or empirical evidence give them a reason to make that assumption (although the rest of us think religion is still at the root of their position).

    But you’re complaining that scientists aren’t trying to prove the negative regardless of ID’s claims. Which, despite your complaints about analogies, puts you exactly in the position of an Intelligent Faller or Intelligent Radiator complaining that scientists just assume, without “scientifically, conclusively demonstrating,” that gravity and atomic decay are unguided.

    Yes, scientists assume that decay and gravity–like natural selection and random mutation–are unguided. Those should be provisional assumptions, but they are assumptions.

    The idea that those assumptions are “ideological” is a little strange. But bold, in a way. Given the extravagant scope of ID’s failure to generate positive evidence, I suppose attacking the concept of a null hypothesis is another avenue towards annihilating materialism.

    I suspect it won’t be very successful, but everyone needs a hobby. Knock yourself out.

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    HeKS, I regret that the problem of trollish misbehaviour intervened. KF

  96. 96
    Joe says:

    Learned Hand- The point is how was it determined that mutations are unguided? Are the 1’s and 0’s on a computer buss unguided?

    BTW ID doesn’t generate positive evidence- that isn’t what science does. Science assesses the evidence and the evidence wrt biology, astronomy, cosmology, physics and chemistry all point to an intelligent design. Materialism has proven to be a failed philosophy. It is time to move on towards a reality-based framework.

  97. 97
    keith s says:

    Box:

    And then there are people who are a disgrace to the whole of humanity. Everything they say is hollow. They are vaguely aware of this fact but don’t care about truth because they are rotten to the core.

    Ah, so Box cares about truth.

    His buddy WJM doesn’t:

    As it doesn’t matter to me if my beliefs are true or not, doubt of any kind is a non-issue.

    I guess you could say that I’m the ultimate pragmatist; I don’t care if my beliefs are true; I only care that they work (or at least appear to). If they stopped working, I’d believe something else. Doubt, in my system, is a non-sequitur.

    Is WJM “rotten to the core”, Box?

  98. 98
    keith s says:

    KF:

    HeKS, I regret that the problem of trollish misbehaviour intervened. KF

    KF,

    You should be apologizing for your own behavior.

    I repeat:

    Your personal incompetence is no reason for you to ban people or to terminate entire threads. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Step aside and let the competent people have a grown-up discussion.

  99. 99
    logically_speaking says:

    Barry,

    Box,

    HeKS,

    KF,

    “Was it really necessary to end the other thread on account of Adapa’s nonsense”?

    “I wasn’t done”.

    “Seconded. I wasn’t done either. Can the thread be reopened or even better can we have a new “Keith’s damp squib” (HeKS?, WJM?) thread”?

    Thirded, i was about to respond to zachriel and I spent a whole day writing out my objective nested hierarchy test, to come back to a closed thread, my OCD needs me to post my stuff somewhere lol.

  100. 100
    Box says:

    Learned Hand: When a light bulb burns out in my house, I assume that no one made that happen to force me to sit in the dark.

    Are you suggesting the burning out of a light bulb is somehow an apt comparison with the coming into existence of all the fancy stuff we see in life?
    Of course you are well aware of the fact that unguided processes cannot even account for one single protein, but still you dare to present such a nonsensical comparison! Why not add some light bulb fairies to the mix as well? How do you ppl do it? Really! I would like to know.

  101. 101
    Vishnu says:

    Light Bulb Fairies

    Haha

    Good one 😀

  102. 102
    Barry Arrington says:

    Learned Hand @ 91:

    ID and its ideas are by and large ignored by biologists, [blah blah blah]

    This is probably the most stunning example of “appeal to authority” I have ever encountered. Nearly pristine in its lack of substance, it goes on as if making a substantive argument hardly even matters. Good work LH. I guess if no one can disagree until everyone agrees, there goes any hope for revolutionary progress. What you fail to realize, of course, is that this sort of blatant status quo power down is a replay of the Church/Galileo affair. And you are playing the role of a prince of the church. The irony is that you almost certainly think of yourself as an open-minded skeptic.

  103. 103
    Barry Arrington says:

    Learned Hand @ 91 [cont’d]:

    His [WJM’s] position, which I think you tried to defend until it became obviously too silly even for UD to stand up for, is that regardless of the positive claims ID makes, materialists should be justifying their assumption that natural selection and random mutation are unguided.

    It is staggering that you’ve been participating in this exchange for two days now and you haven’t grasped WJM’s position (far less refuted it). WJM was responding to Adapa, who asserted that science has falsified ID by conclusively demonstrating that natural forces behind evolution are unguided.

    I think you understand that Adapa’s assertion was sheer nonsense. A few times you have affirmatively stated that scientists assume that the natural forces behind evolution are unguided. Indeed, you’ve said it would be impossible to prove the negative.

    You and WJM are in basic agreement about the substance of the issue. He just goes one step further and says, “therefore Adapa was wrong when he said that science has conclusively demonstrating that natural forces behind evolution are unguided.” Surely you agree that science has not conclusively demonstrating that natural forces behind evolution are unguided. So why is it so hard for you to take that last step with WJM?

  104. 104
    Vishnu says:

    Barry @ 102,

    What really frosts their powdered little bottoms is the fact that some very smart people challenge their ideology.

    And most of the challengers and skeptics of blind watchmaker evoluation are not Bible Thumping Fundamentalists.

    They Don’t Like That.

    For Some Reason.

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    KS: Three points, 1: continued enabling, 2: there’s a tree you continue refusing to bark up, 3: continued drumbeat repetition of falsehood cannot transform it into truth. G’day. KF

  106. 106
    keith s says:

    Learned Hand to WJM:

    But you’re complaining that scientists aren’t trying to prove the negative regardless of ID’s claims. Which, despite your complaints about analogies, puts you exactly in the position of an Intelligent Faller or Intelligent Radiator complaining that scientists just assume, without “scientifically, conclusively demonstrating,” that gravity and atomic decay are unguided.

    It’s astounding, isn’t it?

    William has been repeating that error for almost two weeks after it was pointed out to him:

    William,

    You’re repeating the nullasalus error again:

    Science isn’t about proof, nullasalus. Surely you’ve heard that somewhere along the way.

    Sure, microevolution might be guided. The grains falling out of my salt shaker might be guided by invisible leprechauns to their final resting place on my french fries. Raindrops might be gathered, shaped, and dropped by the Rain Fairy in a precise pattern. The swirl of water in your toilet bowl might be guided by Shamu, the invisible Toilet Whale. But anyone insisting on these things would be justly regarded as a loony. There is no evidence that these things are guided, so intelligent people rightly regard them as unguided.

    What’s especially hilarious about this is that you had just written this in the immediately preceding comment:

    It is indeed the ID position that in any case where natural forces are a plausible explanation, natural forces is the better explanation because design would be an unnecessary added causal entity.

    Natural forces are a plausible explanation for microevolution. Try to be consistent from one comment to the very next one, William.

    And note that William doesn’t merely complain about the assumption that macroevolution is unguided. He even makes that complaint about microevolution:

    When challenged on this assumption, Keith makes statements such as “even YECs agree that microevolution is unguided”, or that some particular ID proponent has made that concession; please note that because others elect not to challenge an assumption doesn’t mean that everyone else is required to concede the point.

    The reason other IDers don’t challenge this assumption is because they’re smarter than William. They don’t want ID to live or die by the same logic as Shamu, the Invisible Toilet Whale. They want it to be scientifically respectable.

  107. 107
    Box says:

    Keith:
    And note that William doesn’t merely complain about the assumption that macroevolution is unguided. He even makes that complaint about microevolution:

    And rightly so. Take for instance this very well known example of microevoltion: Darwin’s Finches.

    excerpt: “What it shows is that the variations in beak shapes are far from random — the birds are using these specific geometric transformations to produce morphological diversity,” Abzhanov said. “With just two mathematical transformations, we can show how all the diversity across these species can be related.”

    “What this study suggests is that for songbirds which use a conical-shaped beak … even though they show amazing adaptive diversity, they all generate their beaks using the same developmental mechanism, and that puts constraints on the kind of variation they are able to produce,” said Abzhanov. Ultimately, it shows how efficiently nature can work, because these birds have been able to squeeze as much as they can from the level of variation they can actually produce.”

    If the variation in beak shapes in Darwin’s Finches is “far from random” for what reason should anyone assume that microevolution is unguided in general?

  108. 108
    Learned Hand says:

    I guess if no one can disagree until everyone agrees, there goes any hope for revolutionary progress.

    Nope. You can shove as hard as you like, but those words don’t fit in my mouth. You are welcome to disagree! The fact that the experts find your opinions unpersuasive doesn’t make those opinions wrong or invalid. But as a non-expert myself, the opinion of the vast majority of those people who understand the issue the best is generally a good guide to what is likely true. So ID’s failure to convince those experts makes me suspect its claims aren’t true. (As does its failure to actually demonstrate the validity of those claims by detecting design, or treating its ideas like serious scientific concepts through active internal criticism and open debate.)

    What you fail to realize, of course, is that this sort of blatant status quo power down is a replay of the Church/Galileo affair. And you are playing the role of a prince of the church.

    Nope. You can shove as hard as you like, but that martyr’s coat doesn’t fit on your shoulders. ID is welcome to test its ideas whenever it likes! Its failure to do so is not the result of persecution. Nor is anyone preventing IDists from publishing, lecturing, teaching, or otherwise disseminating their ideas. It’s the internet age, no one could suppress you if they wanted to.

  109. 109
    Learned Hand says:

    BA,

    It is staggering that you’ve been participating in this exchange for two days now and you haven’t grasped WJM’s position (far less refuted it). WJM was responding to Adapa, who asserted that science has falsified ID by conclusively demonstrating that natural forces behind evolution are unguided.

    WJM has been quite articulate about his complaint that materialists are not vetting the assumption that natural forces are unguided. You can be as nitpicky as you like about what prompted him to take that position, but it doesn’t change the position.

    You and WJM are in basic agreement about the substance of the issue. He just goes one step further and says, “therefore Adapa was wrong when he said that science has conclusively demonstrating that natural forces behind evolution are unguided.” Surely you agree that science has not conclusively demonstrating that natural forces behind evolution are unguided. So why is it so hard for you to take that last step with WJM?

    I’m going to fall back on the same analogy: would Adapa have been wrong if he had said that science has conclusively demonstrated that gravity is unguided? Possibly under an absolutely strict logical analysis, but not by the standards of the way actual human beings communicate. I think it’s completely fair to say that it’s been conclusively demonstrated that natural forces, including gravity, radiometric decay, and natural selection, are unguided. And yet it’s also completely fair to rely on those assumptions until someone comes up with a serious challenge to them.

    Your approach seems to be to say that ID has mounted such a challenge, which is a perfectly normal approach. But WJM says it doesn’t matter what ID’s claims are, scientists are responsible for vetting their assumptions regardless. Which, if applied consistently to scientific endeavors that don’t offend his ideologies, would basically be a show-stopper. You want to run trials on a new antibiotic? Don’t skip steps—you should first demonstrate that this microbial growth isn’t intelligently guided! Science doesn’t work that way, industry doesn’t work that way, nothing works that way. Some assumptions are perfectly reasonable to make, as long as they’re properly provisional.

  110. 110
    keith s says:

    Box #107:

    If the variation in beak shapes in Darwin’s Finches is “far from random” for what reason should anyone assume that microevolution is unguided in general?

    Silly Box. Did you assume that if beak variation were constrained, that would require any underlying mutations to be nonrandom?

    Also, don’t forget to answer my question:

    Do you think WJM is “rotten to the core“?

  111. 111

    Learned Hand said:

    The assertion that random mutation and natural selection are unguided is an assumption–proving it would be proving a negative.

    We are in agreement, then. Both Adapa and Keith are erroneous in their assertions about what we “know”, or about what has been scientifically demonstrated, about “unguided” evolution.

    You can complain that I’m taking that position “as a matter of faith,” and that it “cannot be scientifically, conclusively demosntrated as claimed,” and I guess that’s true.

    Of course it’s true. Any reasonable person has no option but to admit this. It’s really not a big deal unless one is so intractably committed against ID that they don’t want to admit even the most obvious, trivial point an IDist makes.

    That’s why the logical and practical convention is not to make extravagant assumptions, such as that an unseen designer designed everything using unknown methods and materials for an unknown cause, unless there’s a reason to make that assumption. For some people, religion is such a reason. Others claim that math or empirical evidence give them a reason to make that assumption (although the rest of us think religion is still at the root of their position).

    Entirely irrelevant to the point. I’ve made no assumptions or assertions on behalf of ID; all I’ve done is challenge the assetions keith and adapa made.

    But you’re complaining that scientists aren’t trying to prove the negative regardless of ID’s claims.

    No, I’ve never done this. I’ve asked you, keith and adapa to point out where science has provided the research necessary to support the assertions adapa and keith made. You’ve extrapolated that into some “complaint” I’ve got against “science” in general, and into the false notion that I’m demanding that science disprove ID.

    Once again: all I’ve done is ask adapa and keith to support their assertion. As you now admit, they cannot, and you cannot do so on their behalf because what they are asserting wrt to “unguided” forces is, ultimately, nothing but an assumption.

  112. 112
    keith s says:

    William J Murray:

    Both Adapa and Keith are erroneous in their assertions about what we “know”, or about what has been scientifically demonstrated, about “unguided” evolution.

    That’s incorrect. As I’ve been reminding for you almost two weeks:

    Sure, microevolution might be guided. The grains falling out of my salt shaker might be guided by invisible leprechauns to their final resting place on my french fries. Raindrops might be gathered, shaped, and dropped by the Rain Fairy in a precise pattern. The swirl of water in your toilet bowl might be guided by Shamu, the invisible Toilet Whale. But anyone insisting on these things would be justly regarded as a loony. There is no evidence that these things are guided, so intelligent people rightly regard them as unguided.

    You were wrong, William. You made a silly mistake that other IDers are smart enough to avoid.

    As I said:

    The reason other IDers don’t challenge this assumption is because they’re smarter than William. They don’t want ID to live or die by the same logic as Shamu, the Invisible Toilet Whale. They want it to be scientifically respectable.

    Put your mistake behind you and start looking for a better objection to my argument.

  113. 113
    Learned Hand says:

    You made a silly mistake that other IDers are smart enough to avoid.

    That struck me, too. This is an enthusiastic crowd, with lots of piling-on whenever circumstances permit. This particular stance has even Barry Arrington carefully marking out what minor points are worth defending; the core insistence that we all prove our negatives before going to work has landed with a deafening lack of applause from the UD regulars.

  114. 114
    Box says:

    Keith

    Silly Box. Did you assume that if beak variation were constrained, that would require any underlying mutations to be nonrandom?

    You assume trillions of things, – it’s a sickness – you are beyond help. So it’s of no surprise that with Finch beak variation you assume mutations. Why rule it out, right?
    Me … I don’t assume any mutations at all.

  115. 115
    Joe says:

    Learned Hand:

    So ID’s failure to convince those experts makes me suspect its claims aren’t true.

    And yet those “experts” don’t have anything to offer in the way of a scientific explanation for our existence. So what is their expertise, exactly?

  116. 116
    Joe says:

    Obviously keith is ignorant of biological processes because James Shapiro has a book of guided processes involving genetic change. Dr Lee Spetner has a testable hypothesis- since 1997- pertaining to guided microevolutionary change.

    keith, your ignorance is not a refutation. It is entertaining though

  117. 117

    Keith from #112

    WJM: Both Adapa and Keith are erroneous in their assertions about what we “know”, or about what has been scientifically demonstrated, about “unguided” evolution.

    That’s incorrect.

    You were wrong, William.

    The reason other IDers don’t challenge this assumption

    Unbelievable. Apparently keith doesn’t realize that his admission that his position is an assumption (on the unguided aspect of evolution) completely vindicates the very statement he quoted of mine and then said is “incorrect”.

    If the “unguided” aspect of evolution is an assumption, keith, you cannot “know” what “unguided” evolution can produce, and if it is an assumption, science certainly hasn’t conclusively demonstrated what it is capable of.

  118. 118
    Joe says:

    It is fine that unguided evolution is an/ the assumption. However when the assumption is being challenged you cannot use the assumption as some sort of defense.

  119. 119
    keith s says:

    Of course it’s an assumption, William — but only in the same sense that all of these are assumptions:

    1. The Rain Fairy doesn’t exist, and meteorology is guided by the laws of physics.

    2. Invisible leprechauns are not guiding the salt grains onto my french fries.

    3. Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale is not shaping the swirls in my toilet.

    For the third time:

    The reason other IDers don’t challenge this assumption is because they’re smarter than William. They don’t want ID to live or die by the same logic as Shamu, the Invisible Toilet Whale. They want it to be scientifically respectable.

    I can’t prove that microevolution is unguided, any more than I can prove the absence of toilet whales, because science doesn’t deal in proofs. But lacking any evidence for guidance, the sensible thing is to assume its absence. Your smarter fellow IDers (except for Box 🙂 ) realize this, which is why they don’t believe in the Rain Fairy or insist that microevolution is guided.

    Compound your error if you like, but many of your fellow IDers will be rolling their eyes at you and Shamu.

  120. 120
    Andre says:

    Keith S

    If you can’t even trust your own mind (your declaration)how on earth are we to believe you? You can’t be certain about what you say so why should we?

  121. 121

    One of keiths assertions in his argument:

    3. We know that unguided evolution exists.

    WJM @117:

    If the “unguided” aspect of evolution is an assumption, keith, you cannot “know” what “unguided” evolution can produce, and if it is an assumption, science certainly hasn’t conclusively demonstrated what it is capable of.

    Keith @119:

    Of course it’s an assumption, William

    Apparently, keith thinks that assumptions are the same thing as knowledge.

    Keith, do you know that unguided evolution exists, or do you assume it?

  122. 122
    keith s says:

    William,

    Do you know that Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale doesn’t exist, or do you just assume it?

  123. 123
    goodusername says:

    Andre

    If you can’t even trust your own mind (your declaration)how on earth are we to believe you? You can’t be certain about what you say so why should we?

    Interesting, so you only trust people who believe themselves infallible? Someone claiming such a thing would have the opposite effect on me.

  124. 124
    HeKS says:

    This conversation about Adapa’s comments seems very strange to me.

    Adapa originally said this:

    science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today

    But in comment #5 of this thread he says this:

    I never said or implied that science had conclusively demonstrated evolution is unguided. I said it’s conclusively demonstrated that observed evolutionary processes can account for the variety in biological life, which they can.

    The claim is evidently that the first does not mean the second. A conversation has then ensued about it being silly to ask someone to prove that evolution is unguided. This just all seems misguided to me.

    Let’s look at the first quote again:

    science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today

    The claim here is that natural processes have been conclusively demonstrated by ‘science’ to be sufficient to produce all the biological life variations we see.

    Which “natural processes” would those be? Adapa said it was random mutations filtered by [natural] selection.

    To say that the mutations are “random” is to say that they aren’t guided or purposefully determined or directed. And natural selection has always been set against artificial selection, which is selection guided by intelligent, purposeful intent.

    Therefore, to say that all “the biological life variations we see today” have been “conclusively demonstrated” by science to be sufficiently explained by the ‘natural evolutionary processes’ of random mutation and natural selection is to say that all the biological life variations we see today have been conclusively proved by science to be sufficiently explained by an evolutionary process that is unguided.

    That is what Adapa’s comment necessarily means.

    Now, from an ID perspective, the response you’re going to get from the vast majority of people is not that these processes simply look unguided but aren’t really. They’re going to say that the whole claim Adapa made is absurd, that even many committed atheist / materialist scientists would say it’s wrong, and that even most Neo-Darwinists would disagree with it.

    The Neo-Darwinists would disagree because the statement effectively claims that the random mutation / natural selection (RM/NS) mechanism is the only evolutionary process at work and explains everything. Other atheist / materialist scientists, like those involved in a Third Way, would say that (RM/NS) is largely ineffective at doing much more than keeping things the same, accounting for very minor fitness gains, and weeding out really detrimental changes. And the ID people would say that the stuff they invoke design to explain does not seem within the reach of non-teleological processes and would quite rightly point out that ‘science’ has never demonstrated that RM/NS can even come close to explaining these things, which is why you have even people who are not sympathetic to ID at all looking for new and better theories of evolution.

    Now, when it comes to this business of proving that microevolution is unguided, I think there needs to be an understanding of what it would even mean to suggest that it is “guided”. I’m reasonably certain that the majority of people who would dispute claims that microevolution is unguided do not mean that a designer is actively, in the moment, effecting a specific microevolutionary change. Nor would they dispute that random mutations happen. Rather, they would likely dispute that all mutations are random. And they would also likely argue (as I did in the previous thread) that the constrained allowance for – and even rapid increased initiation of – mutations and general genetic and epigenetic changes are a purposeful aspect of the design of organisms to allow for diversification and adaptation (which is sometimes very rapid). If the random variation or shuffling is too large, however, it kills the organism, makes it sterile, or at the very least reduces its reproductive potential, decreasing the chances that the significant defect will be passed on or largely affect subsequent generations of a population.

    In other words, the argument is not that random mutations allowing microevolution look unguided but are actually being directly manipulated by some designer. Rather, the argument is that 1) the RM/NS mechanism is a constrained feature of organismal design, and that the Neo-Darwinists are looking at a design feature of a system that makes use of randomization and illegitimately extrapolating it to explain the entire system itself; and 2) that not all mutations/changes are random at all, but some are internally directed in a purposeful manner for the benefit of the organism.

    So, it seems to me that, from an ID perspective, saying something like, ‘even IDists admit unguided evolution exists’, is either A) a case of making a trivial claim that cannot be legitimately extrapolated from the kinds of microevolutionary changes that are seen (overwhelmingly degrading genetic information and/or narrowing genetic variability; breaking or blunting existing biological function for a net fitness gain) to the kinds of macroevolutionary innovations that are theorized (the introduction of complex, functionally-specified systems and molecular machines), or B) a case of making an unwarranted and unsubstantiated claim that the system that allows for and makes use of the RM/NS mechanism for the benefit and diversification of the organism does so by fluke, in a way that is fully unconstrained, and is itself undesigned; or C) both.

    P.S. The last three paragraphs ended up relating largely to what I started out saying about parts of Keith’s argument in the last thread (though I didn’t start out intending the tie-in), so people can let me know if they think I should just use that as the core of a new OP. If so, let’s not bother hashing out that part of the comment here, since in that case it would be better to discuss it in the new (hypothetical) thread.

  125. 125
    Andre says:

    Goodusername

    No, I’m highlighting the fact that Keith S himself admits that he can’t trust what he has to say, so I’m only asking; If he does not trust himself how must we do so? This is not about trusting somebody that tells you to trust them…. It is about Keith’s own admittance that he does not even trust himself…. Get it?

  126. 126
    Andre says:

    Keith S

    You can of course easily be the winner of this discussion the moment you produce a single instance where the blind workings of matter managed to build a single protein….. Please don’t assume it just demonstrate it, ID is falsified and Keith S is king of the hill…….

  127. 127
    Andre says:

    Goodusername,

    I love by this mantra……….

    Test everything, hold onto the good. So I will never ever just take the word of anyone that sayz so…….

    Test it!

  128. 128
    Andre says:

    Keith S

    Biology itself refutes Keith’s assumption, again I reiterate PCD is an unguided evolution stopper.

  129. 129
    keith s says:

    HeKS,

    I vote for a new thread so that thread content remains aligned with thread title.

  130. 130
    HeKS says:

    Keith,

    Alright, I’ll try to work one up tomorrow (I’m not sure if I might add to it … it will depend on timing).

    The first part of the comment is nonetheless open to discussion since it is related to this thread specifically.

  131. 131
    Joe says:

    keith s:

    I can’t prove that microevolution is unguided, any more than I can prove the absence of toilet whales, because science doesn’t deal in proofs.

    No one wants you to prove anything but you don’t have any supporting evidence. We don’t need to have toilet whales but unguided evolution is totally impotent- that is what the EVIDENCE says. keith s is so dull he doesn’t even grasp the basics of science.

    There is positive evidence that evolution, including microevolution, is guided. That is what we go with wrt science.

  132. 132
    Box says:

    WJM @117:
    If the “unguided” aspect of evolution is an assumption, keith, you cannot “know” what “unguided” evolution can produce, and if it is an assumption, science certainly hasn’t conclusively demonstrated what it is capable of.

    Keith @119:
    Of course it’s an assumption, William

    WJM @121:
    Apparently, keith thinks that assumptions are the same thing as knowledge.
    Keith, do you know that unguided evolution exists, or do you assume it?

    Keith @122:
    Do you know that Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale doesn’t exist, or do you just assume it?

    Obviously Keith doesn’t differentiate between supported and unsupported assumptions – he never does. Keith doesn’t understand that evolution only deserves the predicate ‘unguided’ when it is conclusively demonstrated that its alleged mechanisms (random mutation and natural selection) are capable of producing all the fancy stuff in life. Since it is highly questionable that RM + NS are capable of producing even a single functional protein, there is little or no support for the predicate ‘unguided’.

    And yes Keith, there is also little or no support for the existence of Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale. However the question is why you think that this helps you to turn unsupported assumptions into facts.
    You should know by now that it doesn’t work that way.

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: On Rain Fairies, saltshaker leprechauns etc and insistent strawman tactics vs the design inference process, cf here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ngels-etc/

    KF

  134. 134

    HeKS @124:

    Great post and you nailed it about what ID advocates are talking about if they agree that some aspects of microevolutionary success are sufficiently explained by natural forces.

    I’ve already pointed this out to Keith when I used the analogy of building a rocket that goes to the moon; while the designers of the rocket make use of natural forces, and while natural forces are sufficient to explain some aspects of the rocket’s path, “natural” and “random” forces are insufficient to explain the (1) existence of the rocket in the first place and (2) the instantiation of the course and adjustments to the course and various other rocket events orchestrated for a successful trip to and landing on the moon.

    I was in the process of making an O.P. that in part addressed this particular assertion of keith’s, but it looks like you’ve got it covered. I look forward to your O.P. I’ll keep my O.P. focused on the convenient, inappropriate, dismissive comparisons that Keith and Learned Hand keep using.

    KF already addressed this once with his Rain Fairy post, but I wanted to approach it from a different angle.

    Also, great breakdown of Adapa’s statement. I didn’t catch that.

    I think his post and much of what Keith & Learned Hand say and the way they say it is indicative of something else – they really don’t comprehend that what they are saying is nothing more than a metaphysical assumption (note Learned Hand’s begrudging admittance); and the way they defend those assumptions by using ridiculous comparisons is in fact a demonstration of how deeply, intractably committed they are to their a priori metaphysical worldview.

    They actually don’t see how anyone can think there is a qualitative difference between what we find in biology and what we find when we pour salt from a shaker, as head-scratching as that is to the rest of us.

    Box @132,

    Keith’s comparisons are all rhetorical in nature, designed to elicit maximum ridiculing effect. The pity is that every time he makes such a comparison, he is insisting that the complex, precision-tuned, ode-generated and operating system-regulated machinery we find in a cell is qualitatively the same as the pattern salt makes when it falls on a table. and that anyone who challenges keith to support that position is worthy of summary dismissal through contemptuous comparison.

    At this point keith has realized that he was caught making an assumption where he claimed knowledge, so now he apparently wants to defend the assumption by insisting it is ridiculous to assume anything else about the causal necessities required to generate what we find in biology and by weaving a self-serving narrative to frame the debate.

    All this amounts to is dismissing and ridiculing the core argument of ID; that what we find in biology is in fact, qualitatively not the same as what we find when we dump salt out on the table. If keith is going to insist others accept assumptions that render the core ID argument ridiculously invalid, why bother pretending your argument is in good faith?

  135. 135
    Silver Asiatic says:

    HeKS @124

    To say that the mutations are “random” is to say that they aren’t guided or purposefully determined or directed.

    We don’t know that and you can’t prove it.
    What we see as random may well be guided and directed.

  136. 136
    Learned Hand says:

    I think his post and much of what Keith & Learned Hand say and the way they say it is indicative of something else – they really don’t comprehend that what they are saying is nothing more than a metaphysical assumption (note Learned Hand’s begrudging admittance); and the way they defend those assumptions by using ridiculous comparisons is in fact a demonstration of how deeply, intractably committed they are to their a priori metaphysical worldview.

    They actually don’t see how anyone can think there is a qualitative difference between what we find in biology and what we find when we pour salt from a shaker, as head-scratching as that is to the rest of us.

    There’s nothing grudging about it–we assume that natural forces, from gravity to random mutation, are unguided. We’ve been very explicit and forthcoming about that.

    If you don’t like an analogy, it’s better to explain why the analogy is wrong than just complain that you don’t like it. “I’m incredulous!” is not a very good argument.

    “Scientists don’t support their assumption that X is unguided.” X could be “random mutation” or “natural selection” or “gravity” or “radiometric decay” or “salt coming from the shaker.” What supports carving one of those out of the list, other than the fact that you really don’t want it to be there?

    Arrington has a facially reasonable argument: ID has given everyone cause to reexamine the assumption. We disagree about whether his argument has any strength, but at least he’s gotten past the bizarre sinkhole you’re digging for yourself (and in which even the Joes of the world are reluctant to join you).

  137. 137
    Joe says:

    Learned Hand has learning issues:

    There’s nothing grudging about it–we assume that natural forces, from gravity to random mutation, are unguided.

    Gravity is only natural in the sense it exists in nature. In that way all artifacts are also natural. We cannot jusr assume all mutations are random. That would be assuming the very thing we need to determine.

    BTW the sinkhole is evolutionism. The positive scientific case for guided evolution has been made. But you cannot see it from your ever-growing sinkhole.

  138. 138
    Box says:

    Learned Hand:

    “Scientists don’t support their assumption that X is unguided.” X could be “random mutation” or “natural selection” or “gravity” or “radiometric decay” or “salt coming from the shaker.” What supports carving one of those out of the list, other than the fact that you really don’t want it to be there?

    You seem to have already carved out “unguided evolution”. And rightly so. Carving out “unguided evolution” is supported by e.g. the fact that random mutation or natural selection cannot even account for the coming into existence of even one functional protein.

  139. 139

    LH said:

    There’s nothing grudging about it–we assume that natural forces, from gravity to random mutation, are unguided. We’ve been very explicit and forthcoming about that.

    No, you haven’t – not until boxed in by my insistence over several days that you, Adapa and Keith support the assertion that science has conclusively demonstrated unguided evolution a causally adequate explanation for the phenomena in question. Then you admitted it was an assumption, and since then you’ve attempted to justify that assumption, largely via comparisons intended to ridicule anyone questioning the assumption.

    If you don’t like an analogy, it’s better to explain why the analogy is wrong than just complain that you don’t like it. “I’m incredulous!” is not a very good argument.

    I’ve already explained why the analogies are improper several times; they assume your conclusion and the very point under contention.

  140. 140
    Learned Hand says:

    Thanks WJM, I’m going to leave the conversation there. I don’t think your responses are going to get any more substantive.

  141. 141
    Learned Hand says:

    Intelligent Design advocate:

    We cannot jusr assume all mutations are random. That would be assuming the very thing we need to determine.

    Intelligent Radiation advocate:

    We cannot jusr assume all radiometric decay is random. That would be assuming the very thing we need to determine.

  142. 142
    Box says:

    Learned Hand #141,

    You are being unresponsive to the argument presented. It has been argued that there is a difference between withholding the predicate “unguided” from evolution and withholding it from e.g. radiometric decay.
    The difference is that blind forces don’t seem to be able to produce the fancy stuff in life, contrary to their ability to produce radiometric decay.
    You keep pretending that this argument is not on the table. Why is that? Don’t you get it?

  143. 143
    Learned Hand says:

    Sorry Box, from my perspective I did address it. Let me explain:

    What you’re presenting is the ID argument that there is a reason to suspect the specific assumption that RM and NS are unguided. In other words, we started with the null hypothesis, but due to CSI and irreducible complexity and whatever else, now we have to revisit it.

    I obviously disagree that those specific ID propositions are sound. But you’re taking a logical approach: start with the null hypothesis and hold it until there’s a good reason to reconsider it. (I’m being a little sloppy with the phrase “null hypothesis”; all I mean is the kind of negative assumption we’re talking about, such as that natural forces are unguided.) So our only disagreement there is whether ID has presented a good enough case to be considered a serious challenger to the default position that RM and NS are unguided.

    WJM took a much more radical approach. He complains that scientists don’t vet their assumptions, and he’s explicit “that the issue here isn’t what ID claims” but rather the essential assumption of the negative. In other words, at least as I read him, scientists should be questioning whether RM and NS are unguided even without anyone providing a case to the contrary.

    That’s why I keep analogizing it to Intelligent Falling and Intelligent Radiation (which, to be clear, I realize are not real positions). If it’s the obligation of scientists to test the negative assumptions first, then they can’t just assume radiometric decay is random. Obviously no one wants to take that position, but WJM’s attempts to distinguish it from his have been quite weak. (Basically just incredulity, and the complaint that I’m assuming the conclusion–which doesn’t make much sense if you can’t distinguish the cases.)

    In other words, while I disagree with your position, it’s orders of magnitude more rational that WJM’s.

  144. 144
    HeKS says:

    @Silver Asiatic #135

    HeKS @124

    To say that the mutations are “random” is to say that they aren’t guided or purposefully determined or directed.

    We don’t know that and you can’t prove it.
    What we see as random may well be guided and directed.

    Perhaps. And yet, to say that the mutations are random is to say that they aren’t guided or purposefully determined or directed.

  145. 145
    Box says:

    Learned Hand #143,

    The ‘null hypothesis’ should always be ‘we don’t know’ – not “guided” or “unguided”. However, without assumptions we cannot do science and little else. So, given methodological naturalism, it’s prudent to initially assume mutations are unguided – meanwhile we should not forget about ‘we don’t know’!
    But in 2014 we are well beyond such an initial assumption.

    When someone states today:

    science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits – unguided evolution – is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today

    … he cannot refer to the initial assumption under methodological naturalism. Today it is an unsupported statement of another kind.

  146. 146
    Axel says:

    I’ve tried to tell you lads: You can’t get a quart into a pint jar. Or make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    To mention but two, WJM and KF are heavy-hitters. And they are arguing with not very bright school-boys.

  147. 147
    Silver Asiatic says:

    HeKS @ 144

    Perhaps. And yet, to say that the mutations are random is to say that they aren’t guided or purposefully determined or directed.

    I think that assumption causes the problem that Adapa, Keith S and others have latched onto.

    Random, guided and unguided – with regards to a Designer of some kind, are not questions directly accessible by science.

    Do ID advocates assert that “microevolution” is real and the product of random mutations?

    I think Behe, Denton and others affirm that.

    So, quoting what you said: “to say that the mutations are random is to say that they aren’t guided or purposefully determined or directed”.

    This is a problem, however. If we then say that “macro-evolution” shows evidence of Intelligent Design (a Designer), then we have some aspects of the development of life “guided” (macroevolution) and others “unguided”, microevolution.

    We are now claiming to know what the Designer actually guided or not.

    It can’t work that way, as I see it.

    ID posits that there is positive evidence of a designer in some aspects of nature.

    ID cannot state that things that appear random (microevolution) are unguided.

    To do that, we’d have to prove exactly what we’re demanding that Adapa prove – that evolution is unguided.

    If we say it’s random, then we’re supposedly saying it’s “unguided” – so we’d have to prove that assumption.

  148. 148
    Learned Hand says:

    Box,

    Again, while I disagree with your conclusions, your approach is a lot more rational than WJM’s (which I don’t think anyone else here shares).

    But your excerpt raises another nebulous part of the argument. Are we discussing whether it’s reasonable to assume that evolution is unguided, or whether mutation and natural selection are unguided? I’ve been assuming the latter, based on that language you quoted (or something like it).

    As I see it, ID argues that evolution itself is guided, but has been very careful not to get into a discussion about how that guidance might have happened. The ID arguments that people rely on don’t have to do with whether mutation and natural selection themselves are guided–that would be a much more specific, and much weaker, claim.

    In other words, even if we take the general ID claim at face value, I’m not sure that calls into question whether mutations are guided or natural selection is actually artificial selection.

  149. 149
    Joe says:

    But science has demonstrated not all mutations are random. And radiometric decay is not random because not all elements have the same probability of decaying- you know the same way natural selection is not random. 😉

    But anyway rad decay occurs because the universe is intelligently designed to be dynamic. It wasn’t a whim of nature to produce such elements.

    As for random mutations LH thinks it can just ignore the evidence and press on regardless. There’s a term for people like that…

  150. 150
    wd400 says:

    But science has demonstrated not all mutations are random.

    [citation needed]

  151. 151
    Learned Hand says:

    But science has demonstrated not all mutations are random…

    I’ve been trying to say “unguided” rather than “random.” Apologies if I slipped up.

  152. 152
    Joe says:

    LH:

    What you’re presenting is the ID argument that there is a reason to suspect the specific assumption that RM and NS are unguided.

    That is incorrect. Natural selection is unguided. What we don’t know is if all mutations are random/ unguided. The science indicates they are not.

    Back in 1997 Dr Spetner wrote “Not BY Chance” that challenged that assumption and now he has the evidence to support it.

    Dr Spetner argues the evolution happens by “built-in responses to environmental cues”. Geez LH the book came out in 1997. It’s very telling that you obviously don’t have a clue as to what is even being debated.

  153. 153
    Joe says:

    Citation- “Evolution” A View from the 21st Century”- see also the immune system responses. See also the SOS response. See also quorum sensing. Then there is “Not BY Chance” and “The Evolution Revolution”- all referenced.

  154. 154
    wd400 says:

    I know what Shapiro thinks — I want to see the evidence that mutations are not random (with respect to fitness). The somatic (i.e. not heritable so not much to do with evolution) hypermutation is non-random with regard to where the mutations happen, but not to wether the mutations are the “right ones” (in fact, it’s a round of selection that does that!)

  155. 155

    LH said:

    WJM took a much more radical approach. He complains that scientists don’t vet their assumptions, and he’s explicit “that the issue here isn’t what ID claims” but rather the essential assumption of the negative. In other words, at least as I read him, scientists should be questioning whether RM and NS are unguided even without anyone providing a case to the contrary.

    Random Mutation and Natural Selection as concepts are unguided by definition. The question has not ever been if random mutation and natural selection exist at all or are forces that cause effects in evolution, but if they are causally adequate to explain biodiversity.

    Adapa insisted they had been proven by science to be causally adequate. You took up that argument. Gravity is causally adequate to explain many paths, but it is not causally adequate in explaining the maneuverings of an intelligently guided craft. Gravity still affects the craft; gravity is accounted for in the maneuverings of the craft; gravity is still not a causally adequate explanation for the path of the craft.

    Your assumptions don’t just treat RM & NS as assumed contributing factors which may be incomplete without some intelligent guidance involved, but as wholly sufficient in themselves to account for the result in question.

    Assuming that natural selection and random mutation exist is categorically not the same as assuming they are causally adequate in producing a particular outcome that is under debate.

  156. 156
    Phinehas says:

    SA:

    ID cannot state that things that appear random (microevolution) are unguided.

    I don’t think that ID says this or that HeKS was saying this. If you take the word “appear” out of your statement and replace it with “are” however, it tends to become true by definition, doesn’t it? I think this is the point HeKS is making.

  157. 157
    Box says:

    On the non-randomness of mutations:

    Shapiro has developed an understanding of evolution that takes account of the integrated complexity of organisms as well as the importance of nonrandom mutations and variations in the evolutionary process.
    He observes that organisms within a population often modify themselves in response to different environmental challenges. He cites evidence showing that when populations are challenged by environmental stresses, signals, or triggers, organisms do not generate mutations or make genetic changes randomly, that is, without respect to, or unguided by, their survival needs. Instead, they often respond to environmental stresses or signals by inducing mutations in a directed or regulated way. As he explains, “The continued insistence on the random nature of genetic change by evolutionists should be surprising for one simple reason: empirical studies of the mutational process have inevitably discovered patterns, environmental influences, and specific biological activities at the roots of novel genetic structures and altered DNA sequences.”55
    The depth of Shapiro’s challenge to orthodox neo-Darwinism is profound. He rejects the randomness of novel variation that Darwin himself emphasized and that neo-Darwinian theorists throughout the twentieth century have reaffirmed.56 Instead, he favors a view of the evolutionary process that emphasizes preprogrammed adaptive capacity or “engineered” change, where organisms respond in a “cognitive” way to environmental influences, rearranging or mutating their genetic information in regulated ways to maintain viability.
    As an example, Shapiro notes that—contrary to the neo-Darwinian assumption that “DNA alterations are accidental”57—all organisms possess sophisticated cellular systems for proofreading and repairing their DNA during its replication. He notes that these systems are “equivalent to a quality-control system in human manufacturing,” where the “surveillance and correction” functions represent “cognitive processes, rather than mechanical precision.”58
    As an example of regulated mutation, Shapiro observes that in response to environmental assault—UV damage from sunlight or the presence of an antibiotic, for instance—bacteria activate what is known as the “SOS response” system. This system makes use of specialized error-prone DNA polymerases, normally left unexpressed, that are synthesized and set into action, allowing the population to generate a much wider range of genetic variation than usual. Bacterial cells regulate this process using a DNA-binding protein known as LexA, which normally represses the error-prone polymerases. When the SOS system is activated by environmental damage, the production of LexA first drops dramatically, allowing expression of the error-prone polymerases, but then rises, which “ensures that as soon as DNA repair occurs . . . LexA [will] reaccumulate and repress the SOS genes.”59 This system allows cells to “replicate DNA that carries unrepaired damage,”60 keeping their essential replication machinery moving past a stall, in the absence of which the bacterium would die.
    An analogy may help to illustrate what the cell is doing when confronted with an environmental challenge. Imagine a military unit, a combined armor and infantry battalion, crossing an open plain. Suddenly, the battalion falls under a fierce, unrelenting enemy artillery barrage, wounding many of its soldiers. To keep the wounded alive until the barrage ceases or reinforcements arrive, the commander instructs certain members of the unit with destructive skills to disassemble (in military jargon, “cannibalize”) a few of the tanks to provide temporary armored cover from further incoming shells. His order tells them, however, to cease their tank-modifying actions as soon as the barrage ends. That is, the unit as a whole tolerates “damage” to some of its equipment to save as many of its members as possible.
    In the same way, while at one level their “error-prone” role may appear counterintuitive, these mutation-generating DNA polymerases of the SOS system actually constitute essential hardware in the cell’s defensive armory.61 From Shapiro’s perspective, this survival strategy does not exemplify Darwinian randomness, but rather sophisticated preprogramming, an “apparatus that even the smallest cells possess” to maintain viability.62 What’s more, the carefully regulated expression of the SOS response provides evidence that cells employ the system only when needed.63

    [ Darwin’s Doubt, Ch. 16, NATURAL GENETIC ENGINEERING ]

  158. 158
    Joe says:

    Random with respect to fitness is misleading. Even directed mutations may appear random with respect to fitness. And somatic changes demonstrate that individuals do evolve. I will look into the references pertaining to germ-line changes but from memory much of it refers to using the same existing genes in a new way or even just getting those genes turned on- evo-devo within a population to exploit existing variation (think neoteny type stuff)

  159. 159
    wd400 says:

    Random with respect to fitness is misleading. Even directed mutations may appear random with respect to fitness

    What?

  160. 160
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I don’t think that ID says this or that HeKS was saying this. If you take the word “appear” out of your statement and replace it with “are” however, it tends to become true by definition, doesn’t it? I think this is the point HeKS is making.

    It’s a subtle point, but I think ID advocates say that some things “are random”. By that, they don’t mean that they know they are necessarily “unguided”.
    For myself, I think it’s a mistake to equate random and unguided.
    If an evolutionist says that there is evidence that something is unguided, then that’s unproven and untestable.
    If the evolutionist says something is random, that’s the same thing we say. It doesn’t necessarily mean “unguided”.

  161. 161
    HeKS says:

    @WJM #134 and @logically_speaking #99

    The new OP is up here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-argument/

  162. 162
    Silver Asiatic says:

    160 was for Phinehas @156

  163. 163
    Box says:

    Learned Hand:
    As I see it, ID argues that evolution itself is guided, but has been very careful not to get into a discussion about how that guidance might have happened.

    It’s even ‘worse’, ID doesn’t even hold a position on evolution. ID isn’t a theory about everything. ID is about detecting design, that’s all.
    Certain views can follow logically (or less logically) from detecting design in nature, however those views are not part of ID.

  164. 164
    HeKS says:

    @Phinehas #156

    You’re exactly right. If you say that something is random, you’re necessarily saying that it is unguided and, typically, purposeless.

    Saying that something appears to be random, and even choosing to provisionally accept that it may very well be random, is not the same thing as claiming that it is.

    Furthermore, and perhaps even more importantly, allowing that something really is random does not necessarily mean that the randomness itself is purposeless. A randomizing process can be a functional feature of a designed system, as any programmer knows. It is therefore perfectly sensible to suggest that a system can be guided to use a randomizing function to achieve a particular purpose.

    Of course, I think all this stuff can be discussed in my new OP.

  165. 165
    Phinehas says:

    SA:

    It’s a subtle point, but I think ID advocates say that some things “are random”. By that, they don’t mean that they know they are necessarily “unguided”.

    This is a subtle point, and there are different ways to think about it.

    For instance, you’ve got designed randomness in genetic algorithms. But here the randomness isn’t really guided itself so much as it is carefully constrained and used.

    Given different perspectives, I think you can make a valid case for this randomness being both guided and unguided, but arguing for it being guided requires taking a step back and viewing the context. The more you get down into the purely random part, the more the “guided” label becomes nonsensical, since random means: proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern.

    Even here, however, I’m not totally comfortable with this particular definition. I’d probably prefer something like: proceeding, made, or occurring without apparent aim, reason, or pattern. After all, science is provisional, and we may not yet know definitively that a given process has no aim, reason, or pattern.

    So, for me, to say that something is random is to say that, provisionally (based on the information available), it is unguided, which I think is pretty much what HeKS was saying (though I don’t wish to speak for him).

  166. 166
    Phinehas says:

    HeKS:

    Sorry. My cross-posting may not have clarified things as much as I’d hoped. 😛

    I was equating random to being apparently unguided, but you are probably more correct to present the equations as random = unguided and apparently random = apparently unguided.

    The downside to this is that most theists must then speak in terms of apparently random processes, which becomes a bit unwieldy.

  167. 167
    gmilling says:

    GEM 66: //”As you full well know, further, I do not hold power of banning. “//

    A lie of omission is still a lie. And you are lying. You may not be able to block a person from commenting based on user name. But you certainly have the power, and use it frequently, to block an IP address from posting comments, which is the same as banning someone. You must be wearing asbestos underwear.

    Are you honest enough to admit this? Probably not.

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