Intelligent Design

Sean Carroll and Brute Facts

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Thank you News for pointing us to the Sean Carroll/Luke Barnes exchange.  Here are some of highlights:

 

There was an extremely interesting discussion about whether Carroll’s explanation of the existing of the universe (i.e., it’s a brute fact; we have no explanation) is tenable.  Here are the highlights:

Carroll starting at 30:13:

I don’t think that I am especially bothered by the existence of brute facts in a physicalist or naturalist account of a universe with a beginning.

Then Carroll starting at 36:10:

there’s this temptation, there’s this feeling like, you know, there must be explanations for things.  And I think that in the context of modern science, modern physics, that’s not the right way to think.  I think that we need to think about what you mean by an explanation; there’s different kinds of explanations.  When we get into things like the causes of things and so forth, there is a very very different picture we have in modern physics than sort of the folk understanding of explaining why your car died.  Well, because it ran out of gas, right?  And I think that there’s a different way of thinking about things at the deepest level that has been very very successful to modern science, and in some sense, it’s a much more straightforward simple demand – it’s find the laws of physics, find the patterns that nature seems to obey and ask what things could happen that are consistent with those patterns and what things would not happen that are not consistent with those patterns.  The language of causes and explanations is inappropriate when we are talking about the fundamental nature of reality.  So . . . from that perspective there is zero bother or worry in my mind that the universe can exist.  Things are going to exist.  The question is, do things obey the laws of nature?

Then Carroll starting at 38:02:

There’s always the very very real possibility that we don’t understand everything about the universe.  Maybe what we see as the universe is part of some much larger framework, whether it’s a multiverse or something even beyond that, and within that framework one can talk about causes.  But, uh, if the universe is the whole of physical reality, then talking about causes, looking for causes, would be inappropriate.  And I think that it is exactly parallel to the idea of, you know, “could the universe have had a first moment of time.”  When I was debating William Lane Craig, he was incredulous that I could imagine both that the universe had a first moment and that it was uncaused, and his argument was basically like “if universes can just pop into existence, then why don’t bicycles pop into existence.”  And the point is well we have perfectly good explanations for that:  “bicycles popping into existence would violate the laws of physics.  It would violate laws of conservation of energy and momentum and things like that.”  The question to ask is would a universe having a first moment of time violate the laws of physics?  To the best of our current understanding the answer is no.

Barnes calls him on this.  First, he confirms Carroll’s view that the laws of nature are merely observed regularities – “patterns” is the word Carroll uses.  The word “law” is confusing; the laws of nature do not govern nature in any meaningful sense.  They are mere descriptions of what happens.  To say that a bicycle popping into existence in London means one and only one thing – a bicycle popping into existence in London has never happened before.  It does not mean that it never will.  In fact, if a bicycle were to pop into existence on the 10th of October, then “bicycles popping into existence” would from that point be perfectly consistent with the laws of nature in Carroll’s view.

At 40:49 Carroll concedes this point:  “Yeah, that’s right and that’s completely plausible if that were what the evidence demanded.  Happily, we have a much simpler theory, which is “here the laws of nature and that’s it,” and I think that’s what our burden is as scientists to find the best possible theory to explain what we see in nature.  I don’t feel the need to grant the laws of nature any coercive properties.  They’re a description of what happened.

Barnes hold’s Carroll’s feet to the fire at 42:05:

Right, but remember the question.  The question was . . . if there are brute facts – like the existence of the universe — why aren’t there more brute facts?   That was the question.  The question was, what, for example, “why don’t bicycles appear in this room right now?”  And it sounded like the answer you gave ultimately was, “well thankfully in our universe that doesn’t happen.”  But that’s not an explanation.  If brute facts are allowed, why aren’t there more of them? . . . the real problem is if you allow brute facts, they don’t have reasons, and so there can’t be a reason why there aren’t more brute facts or less brute facts or only universe is a brute fact rather than bicycles being brute facts.  So the objection here is that once you’ve allowed – once you’ve opened the door to brute facts – you can’t then stop, you know, the whole party piling in.  It’s a clown car; everything’s going to come flying out.  Why aren’t there more brute facts?  The fact that there aren’t more brute facts, the fact that there is a simple way of describing a universe in which there are no bicycles that pop into existence, is the thing to be explained.

In response Carroll explicitly gives up on the law of sufficient reason at 43:07:

Yeah, but it may not be an explanation.  I don’t think we have a right to demand an explanation for that.  I think that the fact that there a very few brute facts is a brute fact.

Then, at 43:47 Carroll makes an astonishing assertion.  The moderator keys off Carroll’s statement that we don’t have a right to demand and explanation and asks when do we a right to demand an explanation.  Carroll responds:

Well, in the context of some bigger picture, right?  So . . . we explain why bicycles don’t pop into existence.  Because there’s something called conservation of energy and momentum.  And you say, well, why is there conservation of energy and momentum?  Well, because the laws of physics have this property that there’s certain symmetries.  Why do they have that property?  Well, I don’t know.  That’s just it.  That, that’s the bottom, right.  I think that there’s absolutely no way out of hitting a bottom of these chains of explanations.

I find it remarkable that a prominent cosmologist is so incurious and irrational at the same time.  The laws of physics and the existence of space-time are just brute facts that cannot be explained.  He does not argue that they are in any sense necessary.  He just thinks he can get his contingency free.  Wow.

At 1:14:36 Carroll takes exactly the same tack to handwave fine turning away:

Why is it that way?  And I’m just really happy with saying that eventually we find that that’s the way it is.  I’m not gonna rely or be in on the idea that someday we’ll find that’s the only way it could have been.  I’m just really happy with – and comfortable with – brute facts.  I don’t think that there is any way around that.

I did agree with one of his observations.  Carroll starting at 21:50:

There’s this idea called methodological naturalism, which . . . is usually defined as the idea that when science tackles a question, science is only allowed to suggest naturalistic explanations, that the way that science moves forward is by assuming that naturalism is true, whether or not it is true, but what science does is look for the natural explanations.  Now I think number one this is false; that’s not actually what science does; I think that science looks for the true explanations.  And number two I think that this is a attempt to do something politically savvy, especially here in the United States, but failing even on that score . . . This idea of methodological naturalism as much, as anything else, grew out of the idea that we shouldn’t be teaching creationism in schools.  So it was an attempt to define what you teach in science class to preclude supernatural explanations from the start.  So I think it was sort of bad politics and bad philosophy at the same time.

Who would have thought that I would be in whole-hearted agreement with a prominent atheist?

202 Replies to “Sean Carroll and Brute Facts

  1. 1
    Belfast says:

    “There’s this idea called methodological naturalism, which . . . is usually defined as the idea that when science tackles a question, science is only allowed to suggest naturalistic explanations, that the way that science moves forward is by assuming that naturalism is true, whether or not it is true, but what science does is look for the natural explanations. Now I think number one this is false; that’s not actually what science does.”
    Carroll has sussed out some time ago that this assumption by science makes it look bad, so he denies the assumption and gives a misleading half answer and a dash of praise.
    When you die you die, there is nothing there, for example, he states as a fact BECAUSE he made the assumption he denies making.

  2. 2
    EricMH says:

    Back in olden times, everything was a brute fact. There was no rhyme or reason to reality. That’s why the Greeks believed everything originally was born from Chaos. We took a step up when we stopped assuming there was no explanation and started looking for one. Carroll is taking us back to the pre-scientific times.

  3. 3
    JVL says:

    EricMH – We took a step up when we stopped assuming there was no explanation and started looking for one. Carroll is taking us back to the pre-scientific times.

    An explanation is different than a rule or law. Clearly Sean Carroll is very curious and interested in the laws and rules of the universe and chose to study a field which is dedicated to figuring out the laws and rules.

    He is saying that asking why the rules and laws exist may not have an answer. It doesn’t mean he and other physicists won’t continue to investigate and explore.

  4. 4
    Origenes says:

    Carroll is happy to provide explanations for things that naturalism can explain and he is happy to accept as brute facts those things that naturalism cannot explain.

  5. 5
    Barry Arrington says:

    JVL

    Clearly Sean Carroll is very curious

    Sean Carroll

    I’m just really happy with – and comfortable with – brute facts.

    A person who is really happy with brute facts is the exact opposite of “very curious.” I”m astonished you would suggest otherwise.

  6. 6
    Mark from CO says:

    I am not a scientist, don’t claim to know cosmology, but I am interested in the broad discussion because it deals with what is truly important.

    It seems to me Mr. Carroll, and many (most?) scientists sharing his materialistic view, do not want to consider the ultimate questions of life. His acceptance of ‘brute force facts’ is a not so non-transparent way to stop short of considering the big questions of life – Why are we here and What is our purpose?

    From a scientific perspective, he may be right that science can’t answer these questions. But philosophy can help, and has provided us with many cogent, rational and logically consistent ‘proofs’ to provide explanations for the ‘brute facts’ that Mr. Carrol is finding (i.e. God).

    Mr. Carroll, however, seems closed to considering the implications of these ‘proofs.’ He does not want a God to exist, which he basically stated in different ways during the interview. His stance is reflective of science in general – the absence of philosophy, and the active negating of the contributions that philosophy can bring to the scientific discoveries. For him and science in general, shutting philosophy out of science is the primary ‘brute fact’ of scientific discovery the last 50-75 years.

    So let’s call Mr. Carroll and his science for what it is – close minded and bigoted.

    Mark from CO

  7. 7
    EricMH says:

    @JVL, the point is not that Carroll will cease being curious, at least within his narrow domain. It is that his acceptance of “brute facts” gives him no grounds to be curious.

    Why assume there will be something to find? Why not assume instead that any appearance of order is illusory, and the more we poke and prod at nature the more irrational and chaotic it seems?

    The latter is what we’d expect mathematically speaking, due to the principle of maximum entropy. Bayes’ theorem shows that Boltzmann brains are much more likely than actual conscious beings living in an understandable universe.

    That he believes as much is suggested by the title of his website: The Preposterous Universe.

    pre·pos·ter·ous
    adjective
    contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Given naturalism, the universe is preposterous.

  9. 9
    EricMH says:

    Given naturalism, naturalism is preposterous.

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Barry – A person who is really happy with brute facts is the exact opposite of “very curious.” I”m astonished you would suggest otherwise.

    Have you listened to the whole interview and other interviews with him? Aside from the fact that he wouldn’t have the academic position he has if he were uncurious.

    EricMN — the point is not that Carroll will cease being curious, at least within his narrow domain. It is that his acceptance of “brute facts” gives him no grounds to be curious.

    I don’t see that at all. You can be incredibly curious and test those brute facts.

    Why assume there will be something to find? Why not assume instead that any appearance of order is illusory, and the more we poke and prod at nature the more irrational and chaotic it seems?

    Umm . . if you don’t know what there is to find you go looking don’t you? I don’t think you really understand Dr Carroll’s point of view.

    The latter is what we’d expect mathematically speaking, due to the principle of maximum entropy. Bayes’ theorem shows that Boltzmann brains are much more likely than actual conscious beings living in an understandable universe.

    That he believes as much is suggested by the title of his website: The Preposterous Universe.

    Well, I think that name is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps a bit more research is in order. Dr Carroll states on his about me page:

    With my physicist hat on, I’m a theorist who thinks about the fundamental laws of nature, especially as they connect to cosmology. Some of my work has been on violations of fundamental symmetries, the physics of dark energy, modifications of general relativity, and the arrow of time. Recently I’ve been focusing on issues at the foundations of cosmology, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and complexity. My CV has links to all my research papers.

    Some highlights from his CV: Apologies for not being able to format properly.

    Research Highlights

    Spacetime
    Symmetries

    Possible violations of spacetime symmetries provide uniquely precise tests of new physics
    at high energies. I pioneered the study of Lorentz violation through low-energy effective
    Lagrangians, including proposed observational tests [1, 18]. I also proposed some of the
    first experimental limits on non-commutative modifications of electromagnetism [29],
    and constraints on dynamical Lorentz-violating fields [35, 45, 52, 53]. On cosmological
    scales, I have developed frameworks in which to analyze possible large-scale deviations
    from cosmological isotropy [44, 46, 48, 50].

    Dark Matter,
    Dark Energy,
    Dark Forces

    I proposed experimental constraints on dynamical dark energy through its coupling to
    other fields, as well as suggesting how to avoid those constraints by imposing symmetries
    [22]. The best-motivated models of dark energy predict cosmological birefringence at a
    potentially observable level, which is currently being searched for observationally. I also
    pioneered theories of dark matter coupled to long-range forces [19, 47, 55, 61], including
    the possibility of an unbroken analogue of electromagnetism in the dark sector [49].
    Modified Gravity Understanding the acceleration of the universe, usually attributed to dark energy, is one
    of the major challenges in theoretical physics today. Since our evidence for dark energy
    is exclusively through its gravitational effects, I suggested that a simple modification
    of Einstein’s equation, known as f(R) gravity, could cause acceleration without dark
    energy [34, 37, 43]. This idea now serves as a popular testing ground for cosmological
    deviations from general relativity. I explored modifications of GR due to extra dimensions
    [28, 33, 41] and proposed observational tests [23, 30].

    Origin of the
    Universe & the
    Arrow of Time

    One major clue to the origin of the universe is the low entropy of the early state, responsible
    for the arrow of time. I proposed the first time-symmetric model of a multiverse in which
    the thermodynamic arrow of time arises naturally [38,39]. I have developed measures
    of cosmological fine-tuning [59, 63, 67, 70], and studied the possibility of the universe
    fluctuating into a proto-inflationary state [60]. I showed for the first time how cosmic
    evolution could spontaneously compactify dimensions of spacetime [56].

    Foundations of
    Quantum
    Mechanics

    In the Everett or Many-Worlds formulation of quantum mechanics, the Born rule, that
    probabilities are given by the amplitude squared, must be derived rather than postulated.
    I proposed a new solution to this problem based on the notion of self-locating uncertainty
    Applying the Everett formulation to cosmology, I argued that it is possible
    to sidestep the Boltzmann Brain problem if Hilbert space is infinite-dimensional.
    I suggested a way of finding emergent spatial structure from the entanglement of an
    abstract quantum state

    Statistical
    Mechanics and
    Complexity

    I have argued that, while entropy increases in closed systems, natural measures of
    “complexity” first increase and then decrease [68]. I have proposed a new Bayesian
    formulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which incorporates the outcomes of
    measurements into a tighter inequality obeyed by the evolution of open systems.

    This does not sound like the kind of person who is not curious and not researching and exploring.

    Mark from CO – Mr. Carroll, however, seems closed to considering the implications of these ‘proofs.’ He does not want a God to exist, which he basically stated in different ways during the interview.

    I can’t speak for Dr Carroll of course but isn’t one of the primary problems with proposing a supreme being as a ’cause’ is the inability of testing the supreme being in any way? I mean, how do you set up an experiment about God? People did try to test the power of prayer and the results were . . . disappointing? You could then say that God chose not to satisfy the researchers but that brings up the central problem: how do you test God as you would test a hypothesis about gravity or thermodynamics?

    I believe Dr Carroll when he says he just wants to know what is true but truth has to be verifiable and observer independent and repeatable. If you can subject God to those criteria then let’s have at it!!

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    Yes, JVL, I listened to the whole 1.5 hour interview. Did you?

    You can be incredibly curious and test those brute fact

    Nonsense. The whole point of calling them brute facts is to shield them from testing.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    Good to know I don’t need evidence for the existence of God.

    It’s just a brute fact.

  13. 13
    JVL says:

    Barry — I listened to the whole 1.5 hour interview. Did you?

    I listen to Unbelieveable hosted by Justin Brierly every week in fact. And it wasn’t an interview, it was more of a debate.

    Nonsense. The whole point of calling them brute facts is to shield them from testing.

    When Einstein proposed general and special relativity it was tested. In fact, as well you know, when gravitational waves were detected recently it was hailed as a validation of relativity. When the Higgs boson was proposted it was looked for, tests and experiments were conducted. I don’t think the laws of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics were just blindly accepted.

    I’m not sure what brute facts you think are being shielded from testing. Perhaps you’d care to elucidate? Dr Carroll clearly implies that the multi-verse ideas are not yet accepted as fact. Nor is string theory.

  14. 14
    Mark from CO says:

    JVL 10

    “I can’t speak for Dr Carroll of course but isn’t one of the primary problems with proposing a supreme being as a ’cause’ is the inability of testing the supreme being in any way?”

    This statement makes my point about Mr. Carroll, apparently you, and many (if not most) materialistic scientists. You will not consider the value and contribution of philosophy.

    I’ll repeat what I wrote above, “philosophy can… …provide us with many cogent, rational and logically consistent ‘proofs’ to provide explanations for the ‘brute facts’ that Mr. Carrol is finding (i.e. God).” Philosophical proofs are a way of ‘testing’ the hypothesis that God exists.

    If you are uncomfortable with cogent, rational and logically consistent philosophical proofs, then I guess you must be uncomfortable with cogent, rational and logically consistent scientific proofs. Which I guess places you in an very irrational and uncomfortable place.

    Mark from CO

  15. 15
    EricMH says:

    @JVL why does proposing a supreme being mean such a hypothesis is untestable?

    It can be tested very simply.

    The maximum entropy hypothesis predicts we should only experience random chaos, and our experience can only be that of an instantaneous Boltzmann brain, if that.

    The supreme being hypothesis predicts we can experience an orderly universe as real, persisting, conscious beings.

    Give the latter is true, then by Bayes’ theorem, the most likely explanation is a supreme being, not maximum entropy.

    So simple, yet so ignored!

    This is also my point regarding Carroll’s worldview, which you misunderstand. But that is what I expect, constant, perhaps intentional, inability to understand these arguments.

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    Mark from CO — This statement makes my point about Mr. Carroll, apparently you, and many (if not most) materialistic scientists. You will not consider the value and contribution of philosophy.

    Philosophy is great! But it’s not science.

    If you are uncomfortable with cogent, rational and logically consistent philosophical proofs, then I guess you must be uncomfortable with cogent, rational and logically consistent scientific proofs. Which I guess places you in an very irrational and uncomfortable place.

    I’m not uncomfortable with philosophical arguments at all. But they’re not science. The law of gravity, the laws of thermodynamics, relativity, quantum mechanics . . . measurable, repeatable, predictable and observer independent laws expressed in mathematical parlance.

    EricMH –The maximum entropy hypothesis predicts we should only experience random chaos, and our experience can only be that of an instantaneous Boltzmann brain, if that.

    I’m not sure that view is universally held.

    The supreme being hypothesis predicts we can experience an orderly universe as real, persisting, conscious beings.

    You are making an assumption of what the supreme being ls like though aren’t you? And, I would disagree that the universe can be uniformly categorised as orderly.

    Let’s start with that: what you mean by an orderly universe?

    Also: what do you mean by a supreme being? Is your definition the same as others?

    This is also my point regarding Carroll’s worldview, which you misunderstand. But that is what I expect, constant, perhaps intentional, inability to understand these arguments.

    Perhaps I just disagree with them.

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    From Wikipedia:

    The principle of maximum entropy states that the probability distribution which best represents the current state of knowledge is the one with largest entropy, in the context of precisely stated prior data (such as a proposition that expresses testable information).

    Another way of stating this: Take precisely stated prior data or testable information about a probability distribution function. Consider the set of all trial probability distributions that would encode the prior data. According to this principle, the distribution with maximal information entropy is the proper one.

    That doesn’t mean we would experience only random chaos. That would be an over-application of the principle.

  18. 18
    JVL says:

    Also note:

    Giffin and Caticha (2007) state that Bayes’ theorem and the principle of maximum entropy are completely compatible and can be seen as special cases of the “method of maximum relative entropy”. They state that this method reproduces every aspect of orthodox Bayesian inference methods. In addition this new method opens the door to tackling problems that could not be addressed by either the maximal entropy principle or orthodox Bayesian methods individually. Moreover, recent contributions (Lazar 2003, and Schennach 2005) show that frequentist relative-entropy-based inference approaches (such as empirical likelihood and exponentially tilted empirical likelihood – see e.g. Owen 2001 and Kitamura 2006) can be combined with prior information to perform Bayesian posterior analysis.

    Jaynes stated Bayes’ theorem was a way to calculate a probability, while maximum entropy was a way to assign a prior probability distribution.[9]

    It is however, possible in concept to solve for a posterior distribution directly from a stated prior distribution using the principle of minimum cross entropy (or the Principle of Maximum Entropy being a special case of using a uniform distribution as the given prior), independently of any Bayesian considerations by treating the problem formally as a constrained optimisation problem, the Entropy functional being the objective function. For the case of given average values as testable information (averaged over the sought after probability distribution), the sought after distribution is formally the Gibbs (or Boltzmann) distribution the parameters of which must be solved for in order to achieve minimum cross entropy and satisfy the given testable information.

    That being said I’m not sure you can invoke the Principle of maximum entropy to predict sheer and utter chaos and Bayes’ theorem for a supreme being.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Let’s start with that: what you mean by an orderly universe?

    One that is governed by one set of laws.

  20. 20
    JVL says:

    ET — One that is governed by one set of laws.

    Which could happen in a mechanistic universe. In fact, would not a mechanistic, clockwork universe be more predictable than one in which an unpredictable and independent supreme being could just violate those rules whenever they wished to?

    Besides, even in our universe somethings are ‘random’ in some senses. Radioactive decay for example as exemplified by Schrodinger’s famous cat. Some aspects of quantum mechanics. Biological mutations.

    Laws don’t preclude random events.

  21. 21
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Which could happen in a mechanistic universe.

    Yet all a mechanistic universe would have to do so is sheer dumb luck. All of the fine tuning of those laws had to happen via sheer dumb luck.

    Science doesn’t do luck as an explanation

  22. 22
    JVL says:

    ET — Yet all a mechanistic universe would have to do so is sheer dumb luck. All of the fine tuning of those laws had to happen via sheer dumb luck.

    Science doesn’t do luck as an explanation

    Well, I disagree. I’m not convinced the laws can be anything other than what they are. I’m not convinced any fine tuning has occurred. Also, I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.

    In other words: no luck at all. I think it’s possible that the laws of the universe are inevitable with no intervention necessary.

    But those are just notions. The truth is we don’t know if there has been any fine tuning since we don’t know if any tuning is possible. Notice I am not appealing to ‘the multiverse’; I’m not a big fan of that. I could be very wrong of course. If I am wrong then it’s still not clear that any tuning is possible.

    We just don’t know. And saying there is fine tuning is just an assumption. So anything built upon fine tuning is also just a hypothesis at best.

  23. 23
    JVL says:

    Anyway, what science has done is discover the laws. At this point science cannot explain why gravity works. It can’t explain why the speed of light is a limiting factor. But it can hypothesis, experiment, test and measure and figure out what relationships there are between various measureable aspects of the universe. And it is trying to drill down on those relationships. But, as Dr Carroll has admitted, it may be that we never get to the base ‘why’. There’s lots and lots of work left to be done. Which is quite exciting!!

    I think we can’t even begin to assume there can be fine tuning. But it’s worth working on for sure.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I’m not convinced the laws can be anything other than what they are.

    Wo, what an argument that is. And saying “they just are the way they are”, as Hawkings does and you appear to, is a scientific inference, how?

    Also, I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.

    And yet the laws determine how they interact and combine.

    OK, if it is as you suggest and no one knows the it is wrong to say “we don’t know but we know it wasn’t via Intelligent Design”. If we don’t know then ID is on the table until someone can step up and demonstrate stochastic processes suffice.

  25. 25
    JVL says:

    ET — Wo, what an argument that is. And saying “they just are the way they are”, as Hawkings does and you appear to, is a scientific inference, how?

    It wasn’t meant to be an argument, it was only an opinion. Clearly.

    And yet the laws determine how they interact and combine.

    But that’s clearly not true. Well, not in the laws we’ve come up with so far.

    For example: Newton’s laws work very well for certain situations but break down at some point. His laws do not ‘determine’ anything. They were first order attempts to model observed behaviour. And then Einstein refined them. And, I’d bet, someone else will refine them again.

    OK, if it is as you suggest and no one knows the it is wrong to say “we don’t know but we know it wasn’t via Intelligent Design”.

    Your sentence is a bit choppy but I take it to mean you question how anyone can say that ID is ‘wrong’.

    If we don’t know then ID is on the table until someone can step up and demonstrate stochastic processes suffice.

    ID is perfectly welcome to the table as long as it accepts scrutiny. The how, when and why questions.

    I have noticed that ID proponents cannot even begin to agree on when design was implemented. It’s hard to accept something as a valid scientific hypothesis when basic questions about it are met with non-responses.

    Look, if you propose that an intelligent being was responsible for certain events (which haven’t been specified either) then it’s clearly reasonable to look for independent evidence for the existence of that being. Independent from the objects claimed to have come about via that being’s efforts. But, as far as I can see, no one in the ID camp can even accept such queries let alone provide the supporting evidence.

    Perhaps it would be good to start by defining what kind of intelligent designer you are proposing. That would help provide some place to start.

  26. 26
    JVL says:

    If you ask a biologist how, when or why some particular biological event occurred you might not get very specific answers but you should get some educated guesses. And, if you look at the research being done, you will find that scientists are very keen to discover answers to those questions. They want to know.

    In my experience, if you ask an ID proponent how was design implemented or when was design implemented or why was design implemented you get nothing in return. Not even a guess. No hypothesis, nothing. It’s like no one in the ID camp is even considering those issues. But, no matter what the state of knowledge, if ID is a science then someone must be thinking about those things. But you never hear about that.

    You can go to a biological conference and hear loads of conflicting views on lots of issues. Researchers are keen to discover new data and to argue with their peers about the interpretation. That’s healthy and right. When it comes to ID I never hear about anyone discussing various interpretations or approaches. That doesn’t seem right to me. I’ve never heard of a scientific discipline that didn’t argue and fuss and air out their laundry.

  27. 27
    Origenes says:

    JVL, ET @

    JVL: … I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.

    ET: And yet the laws determine how they interact and combine.

    Exactly right. If lawless random interactions produce the laws then we would not have laws. Paul Davies once wrote: “Physical processes, however violent or complex, are thought to have absolutely no effect on the laws.”

    And that is a good thing of course. Any attempt of a bottom-up explanation, from the level of say bosons, should be expected to give rise to innumerable different ever-changing laws and fundamental constants. Different circumstances, different laws. But this is not what we find.
    Davies: “There is thus a curious asymmetry: physical processes depend on laws but the laws do not depend on physical processes. Although this statement cannot be proved, it is widely accepted.”

    It us often ignored by atheists, but there is no material explanation for the existence and workings of the laws. Often they are accepted as “brute facts.”

    Last time Davies:
    “But what are these ultimate laws and where do they come from? Such questions are often dismissed as being pointless or even unscientific. As the cosmologist Sean Carroll has written, “There is a chain of explanations concerning things that happen in the universe, which ultimately reaches to the fundamental laws of nature and stops… at the end of the day the laws are what they are… And that’s okay. I’m happy to take the universe just as we find it.”

  28. 28
    ET says:

    JVL:

    But that’s clearly not true. Well, not in the laws we’ve come up with so far.

    It is clearly true given the laws that we have. The laws are what makes chemistry and physics possible.

    ID is perfectly welcome to the table as long as it accepts scrutiny.

    ID can handle scrutiny. Your position cannot.

    The how, when and why questions.

    Always come AFTER intelligent design has been detected and studied.

    Look, JVL, you are clearly confused. If you don’t like ID then all you have to do is step up and demonstrate that blind, mindless processes are up to it. Yet you can’t. You don’t even have a method to test the claim that blind, mindless processes did it.

    How long was Stonehenge studied before scientists started putting together coherent ideas as to the who and how?

    But I digress- ID is NOT about the hows and whens- that comes AFTER. On the other hand your position is all about the hows and whens and yet doesn’t have a mechanism capable of producing what we observe.

    You want independent evidence for ID? The evidence for ID in biology is independent from the evidence for ID in physics, cosmology and chemistry. If you need to meet the designer then you are not interested in science.

  29. 29
    JVL says:

    Origenes — Exactly right. If lawless random interactions produce the laws then we would not have laws. Paul Davies once wrote: “Physical processes, however violent or complex, are thought to have absolutely no effect on the laws.”

    I don’t see anything in the statements by Dr Davies that imply or require a law giver. I don’t think it’s pointless to look deeper and deeper into the processes of the universe but I think it’s jumping the gun to assume there was a being who spelled it all out ahead of time. If there was then I assume there is a unified field theory. What do you think?

    ET — ID can handle scrutiny. Your position cannot.

    It’s pretty apparent that thousands of scientists are exploring and testing aspects of biology and evolutionary processes every day.

    Always come AFTER intelligent design has been detected and studied.

    It’s just that no one ever seems to get around to it!! All the ID proponents I know of are not looking into even the ‘when’ question. Which is particularly puzzling. Surely there is a big difference between front-loaded design and ongoing design! Where do you stand on that?

    How long was Stonehenge studied before scientists started putting together coherent ideas as to the who and how?

    I think people speculated on its use and construction always. I know that some mythical explanations have been around for centuries. I’m not an expert on the study of Stonehenge. Interestingly enough did you know that a lot of Roman artefacts have been found all over the site? We’re still learning about what actually happened. But people are very curious and are working on the questions.

    But I digress- ID is NOT about the hows and whens- that comes AFTER. On the other hand your position is all about the hows and whens and yet doesn’t have a mechanism capable of producing what we observe.

    Look, if design was implemented somehow, sometime then someone had to do the work! They had to have resources and energy and equipment. Aren’t you at all curious about all that?

    You want independent evidence for ID? The evidence for ID in biology is independent from the evidence for ID in physics, cosmology and chemistry. If you need to meet the designer then you are not interested in science.

    Except the notion of fine tuning is just a notion. We have no idea if things were fine tuned because we don’t know if any other values are possible!

    If there was a designer then they existed in a certain time and place and accomplished certain tasks. If something exists or existed then what’s wrong with trying to find out about it?

    It’s just astonishing to me that no ID proponent will admit to wanting to know what happened!!

  30. 30
    Origenes says:

    JVL:I don’t see anything in the statements by Dr Davies that imply or require a law giver.

    Not my point. My point is that the laws cannot be explained bottom-up. As ET wrote: “The laws are what makes chemistry and physics possible.”
    You, JVL, claim the opposite:

    JVL: … I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.

    The quotes by Davies address your claim.
    – – – –

    JVL: If there was [a designer] then I assume there is a unified field theory. What do you think?

    Sure there is. However there cannot be a true unified field theory which is compatible with materialism.

  31. 31
    JVL says:

    Origenes — Not my point. My point is that the laws cannot be explained bottom-up

    I don’t see how you can be sure of that.

    You, JVL, claim the opposite:

    It wasn’t a claim, it was an opinion. I don’t know for sure. You don’t know for sure.

    150 years ago if someone had tried explaining quantum mechanics to you it would have sounded quite mad. In someways, it still does sound quite mad. I think the universe is queerer than we can imagine so I don’t think either of us can be sure.

    Sure there is. However there cannot be a true unified field theory which is compatible with materialism.

    I don’t see how you can be sure of that. How would you have reacted 200 years ago if someone told you that electricity and magnetism were aspects of the same basic force and that there was a mathematical way to relate them together?

  32. 32
    ET says:

    JVL:

    It’s pretty apparent that thousands of scientists are exploring and testing aspects of biology and evolutionary processes every day.

    Oh my, you have no clue at all. ID is not anti-evolution. And that means your claim is nothing more than a desperate equivocation.

    Name the labs of evolutionary biologists trying to determine how blind, mindless processes produced ATP synthase, any flagellum, or vision systems.

    It’s just that no one ever seems to get around to it!!

    We are not on your asinine agenda and there are more important questions to answer first. Heck thanks to you and yours no one can tell us what makes an organism what it is. As geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti wrote “Why is A Fly Not a Horse?”

    Look, if design was implemented somehow, sometime then someone had to do the work!

    So what? We study what we can. And the only way to get to the designer and all of those other questions is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    That said those other questions prove that ID is not a dead end. And I am sure that once ID has the resources that evolutionism has and wastes, people will start looking into those other questions.

    Except the notion of fine tuning is just a notion.

    Nope, it is an observation. And most physicists and cosmologists agree.

    It’s just astonishing to me that no ID proponent will admit to wanting to know what happened!!

    It is astonishing to us that you would say such trope.

    One more time- ID is about the DESIGN. Everything else comes from studying it. And if you and yours could actually demonstrate blind, mindless processes are up to the task ID would be falsified. Your whining about ID will never falsify it. But it does expose the fact that your position has nothing.

    Thank you

  33. 33
    Origenes says:

    It wasn’t a claim, it was an opinion. I don’t know for sure. You don’t know for sure.

    I am convinced that there is no bottom-up explanation for the laws and the fundamental constants and I have provided arguments to back it up. I am sure of it.
    You have provided zero arguments to back up your statement, JVL: “I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.”
    So, why do you think that? Defend your thoughts, sir!
    And if you are not sure about it, what are the pros and cons?

    150 years ago if someone had tried explaining quantum mechanics to you it would have sounded quite mad. In someways, it still does sound quite mad. I think the universe is queerer than we can imagine so I don’t think either of us can be sure.

    Nonsense argument: ‘some things are complicated so we cannot be sure of anything.’ Not all things are complicated and fuzzy.
    For instance, I am sure that I exist, I am sure that A=A, I am sure that I wrote this post, I am sure that blind particles in motion are not rational and I am sure that any bottom-up explanation of the laws does not make sense.

  34. 34
    JVL says:

    ET — Oh my, you have no clue at all. ID is not anti-evolution. And that means your claim is nothing more than a desperate equivocation.

    ID proposes that the development of life on earth was, at least, helped along by an intelligent designer. Modern evolutionary theory says no help was required. That sounds pretty contradictory to me.

    Name the labs of evolutionary biologists trying to determine how blind, mindless processes produced ATP synthase, any flagellum, or vision systems.

    Are you kidding? Academic papers are easy to find on all of those things!

    We are not on your asinine agenda and there are more important questions to answer first. Heck thanks to you and yours no one can tell us what makes an organism what it is. As geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti wrote “Why is A Fly Not a Horse?”

    Wow, I would have thought, at the very least, that determining if design was front-loaded or not would be essential. Is the designer still around or not? I’d want to know AND knowing when and how often design was implemented would give an indication of that. So . . . when was design implemented? Once or a bunch of times?

    So what? We study what we can. And the only way to get to the designer and all of those other questions is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    Well, you’ve got whole genomes to study now so what’s the hold up?

    That said those other questions prove that ID is not a dead end. And I am sure that once ID has the resources that evolutionism has and wastes, people will start looking into those other questions.

    The Discovery Institute has a research facility does it not? Are they working on those questions? Some ID proponents say there are hundreds of scientists who ‘doubt Darwin’. Surely some of them could be working on those questions.

    Nope, it is an observation. And most physicists and cosmologists agree.

    I’m not sure about that. And it still doesn’t mean any tuning is possible.

    One more time- ID is about the DESIGN. Everything else comes from studying it. And if you and yours could actually demonstrate blind, mindless processes are up to the task ID would be falsified. Your whining about ID will never falsify it. But it does expose the fact that your position has nothing.

    You need a designer to do the designing though. And they would need equipment and facilities and staff and resources and time. But no one seems to be interested in asking about any of those things.

    Look, even with the data now available you could at least hypothesise when and how often design was implemented. If the designer is intervening frequently then we really should see evidence of their presence, their equipment, etc. If the designer kick-started everything billions of years a go and then left well then it might be really hard to find physical evidence of their work.

    So, which is it? Some one must have a clue? The Intelligent Design movement is over 20 years old now, some progress must have been made. Somewhere. How much time does it take to study something designed to come up with some ideas of how and when it was created?

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    Origenes — I am convinced that there is no bottom-up explanation for the laws and the fundamental constants and I have provided arguments to back it up. I am sure of it.

    You could be right. I hope I’m around to find out.

    You have provided zero arguments to back up your statement, JVL: “I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.”
    So, why do you think that? Defend your thoughts, sir!
    And if you are not sure about it, what are the pros and cons?

    Fine tuning requires a tuner. A being with labs and facilities and equipment and staff and resources, probably a personnel department, they seem ubiquitous. I just don’t get where and how and when this tuner worked.

    Nonsense argument: ‘some things are complicated so we cannot be sure of anything.’ Not all things are complicated and fuzzy.

    Good thing I didn’t say that then! I think we are more and more sure about more and more things all the time. It’s not like the Axiom of Choice in mathematics after all.

    For instance, I am sure that I exist, I am sure that A=A, I am sure that I wrote this post, I am sure that blind particles in motion are not rational and I am sure that any bottom-up explanation of the laws does not make sense.

    Like I said, you could be right. Maybe some day we’ll find the tuner’s notes and stuff and we’ll find out how and when (and why) it was done. When that data arrives a lot will change.

    Or, maybe, one day we’ll figure out that no intervention was required. I’m open minded. I don’t think we have enough data yet to make the call.

  36. 36
    ET says:

    JVL:

    ID proposes that the development of life on earth was, at least, helped along by an intelligent designer. Modern evolutionary theory says no help was required. That sounds pretty contradictory to me.

    Still clueless. For one there isn’t a “modern evolutionary theory” and for another designed to evolve/ evolving by means of intelligent design, is still evolution. Read the following:

    Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution

    Are you kidding? Academic papers are easy to find on all of those things!

    And not one supports the claim that blind, mindless processes did it.

    Wow, I would have thought, at the very least, that determining if design was front-loaded or not would be essential.

    Why? Try to make a case

    You need a designer to do the designing though.

    True. The presence of the DESIGN says there was at least one.

    And AGAIN, we are NOT on your asinine agenda, JVL. There are more important questions to answer. AND your position has all of the resources and still cannot answer the basic questions.

  37. 37
    ET says:

    Suffice it to say, I have little patience with the “identify the designer” rhetoric. It’s not just an example of sloppy thinking. It’s a form of sloppy thinking that gunks up any sincere interest in design. It turns an attempt to adhere to logical, responsible thinking into a sinister motive. So perhaps, there is a better question to ask. Why do ID critics refuse to publicly acknowledge that it is illogical to identity the designer using the criteria of mainstream ID (IC and CSI)?- Mike Gene

    Evolutionists love gunk…

  38. 38
    Origenes says:

    JVL: “I think the basic ‘laws’ of the universe arise out of the way the basic building blocks interact and combine.”

    Origenes: So, why do you think that? Defend your thoughts, sir!
    And if you are not sure about it, what are the pros and cons?

    JVL: Fine tuning requires a tuner. A being with labs and facilities and equipment and staff and resources, probably a personnel department, they seem ubiquitous. I just don’t get where and how and when this tuner worked.

    Unresponsive. There can be no bottom-up explanation of the laws and no tuner/intelligent designer.
    So again, why do think that there is a bottom-up explanation of the laws? And how do you address the counter-arguments — see #27?

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    ET — Still clueless. For one there isn’t a “modern evolutionary theory” and for another designed to evolve/ evolving by means of intelligent design, is still evolution

    I didn’t say there was A modern evolutionary theory. Your interpretation is not how most people and/or scientists use the term. I’ll stick with the consensus. ID argues against evolution, i.e. blind, unguided evolution.

    And not one supports the claim that blind, mindless processes did it.

    They all do because they all work on the basis that mutations, genetic drift, ‘natural selection’ and other factors are not guided.

    Why? Try to make a case

    Because it means an entirely different kind of design.

    And AGAIN, we are NOT on your asinine agenda, JVL. There are more important questions to answer. AND your position has all of the resources and still cannot answer the basic questions.

    It doesn’t matter to me if you guys aren’t trying to figure out what you are saying.

    Mike Gene is obviously wrong. Archaeologists (for example) are ALWAYS tying the design they detect to the designers. That tells them a lot about their methods, their tools, their motives, their expertise, their skills. Which then casts light upon their designs. Identifying the designer helps explain the design. Which is interesting and illuminating. For example: if Stonehenge were designed by aliens then it’s function would probably be much different that if it was built by humans living about 5000 years ago.

    Unresponsive. There can be no bottom-up explanation of the laws and no tuner/intelligent designer.
    So again, why do think that there is a bottom-up explanation of the laws?

    I don’t see any independent evidence of a tuner OR that the constants could be tuned. Plus I have seen in various mathematical situations where a surprising result can come from the way basic blocks combine together in large quantities.

    So, rather than invoking a tuner whose abilities and skills and timeframe are not explained, and not assuming that the constants of the universe can be tuned, and having seen situations where the sum of all the parts gives surprising and counter-intuitive results, and realising that we have in no way finished researching the situation I’ll lean towards the less special pleading.

    Design and tuning require a being. If there isn’t a designer or a tuner then there can be no design or tuning. It doesn’t matter how much something looks like design; if there was no designer then it wasn’t designed. End of story.

  40. 40
    Origenes says:

    JVL@

    Origenes: Unresponsive. There can be no bottom-up explanation of the laws and no tuner/intelligent designer.
    So again, why do think that there is a bottom-up explanation of the laws?

    JVL: I don’t see any independent evidence of a tuner OR that the constants could be tuned.

    You are incorrigible. Again, I am not talking about a designer, instead, I am talking about the logical impossibility of a bottom-up explanation of the laws. These are two separate things.

    But you don’t seem to able to understand that. Okay. Have a good day.

  41. 41
    JVL says:

    Origenes — You are incorrigible. Again, I am not talking about a designer, instead, I am talking about that there is no bottom-up explanation of the laws. These are separate things.

    Yup.

    I see virtually no supporting evidence for fine tuning.

    I see evidence for bottom-up explanations in mathematical examples. I’m thinking of Fourier analysis by the way. You didn’t ask or mention that I had suggested some such thinking.

    Given a choice between two possibilities then I will tend to lean towards the one which requires fewer assumptions. A bottom-up explanation does not require the assumption of an undetected, undefined and unobserved tuner.

  42. 42
    Origenes says:

    JVL@

    Origenes: You are incorrigible. Again, I am not talking about a designer, instead, I am talking about that there is no bottom-up explanation of the laws. These are separate things.

    JVL: Yup.

    I see virtually no supporting evidence for fine tuning.

    On its own, that is quite remarkable — you must be utterly blind to the overwhelming evidence.
    However it has no relation at all with my argument. You might as well have said that you prefer European beer.
    But, after pointing that out several times, I no longer see a way forward for our discussion. Again, have a good day.

  43. 43
    JVL says:

    Origenes — On its own, that is quite remarkable — you must be utterly blind to the overwhelming evidence.

    As I clearly stated: there is no empirical evidence that some being existed at the pertinent time that was capable of determining the values of the constants we are referring to. No labs, no equipment, no notes, no staff, nothing in fact.

    There is also no particular reason to assume that the constants were tuneable. A lot of people assume they were tuneable but there is no evidence that that is the case.

    So, if we can’t detect the tuner and we don’t know if tuning occurred then . . . what are the options?

  44. 44
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I didn’t say there was A modern evolutionary theory.

    You said : “Modern evolutionary theory says no help was required”.

    There isn’t any modern evolutionary theory. Not scientific, anyway.

    They all do because they all work on the basis that mutations, genetic drift, ‘natural selection’ and other factors are not guided.

    That is incorrect as not one paper supports genetic drift and natural selection producing ATP synthase nor any other multi-protein complex.

    Because it means an entirely different kind of design

    Not really.

    It doesn’t matter to me if you guys aren’t trying to figure out what you are saying.

    We already have figured it out. You just don’t get it. That isn’t our fault.

    Mike Gene is obviously wrong.

    That is your opinion and it isn’t shared by scientists.

    Archaeologists (for example) are ALWAYS tying the design they detect to the designers.

    They try but no one knows who designed and built Stonehenge. saying “humans” is a what not a who. Nan Madol? Haven’t got a clue.

    So how is it working out for archaeologists?

  45. 45
    ET says:

    JVL:

    As I clearly stated: there is no empirical evidence that some being existed at the pertinent time that was capable of determining the values of the constants we are referring to.

    There is no empirical evidence for your claims. So perhaps we don’t exist…

  46. 46
    Allen Shepherd says:

    JVL: “The truth is we don’t know if there has been any fine tuning since we don’t know if any tuning is possible. … I could be very wrong of course. If I am wrong then it’s still not clear that any tuning is possible.
    We just don’t know. And saying there is fine tuning is just an assumption. So anything built upon fine tuning is also just a hypothesis at best.

    I think we can’t even begin to assume there can be fine tuning.”

    I am astonished at these comments.

    If there is no tuning possible, how did it turn out right the first time?

    Multi-verse advocates can imagine all kinds of possible universes that are not as ours is. So it is not that we cannot envision places that are not fine tuned. And my daily experience with my car has taught me that there can be “fine tuned” states, and ones that are, shall we say, less than fine tuned.

    I have been studying the atom with some high school students and am amazed at the complexity of that exquisite “creation”. The different components, the protons, neutrons and electrons elegantly combined according to complex laws to form ua the stars and everything around us.

    We see fine tuning every where we turn, and recognize when it is lacking. Our every day experiences testify to its presence of absence.

    The universe requires fine tuning for us to even exist. So, if it were not so, we would not be here to be aware of it.

    I know when my mechanic has done the job, and when he has failed. We know that the fine tuning exists because we know what things would be like without it (there would be no life). Ignoring that seems to be refusing to see brute reality for what it is.

  47. 47
    JVL says:

    ET — You said : “Modern evolutionary theory says no help was required”.

    There isn’t any modern evolutionary theory. Not scientific, anyway.

    Are you serious? I don’t get it. First you say that ID is not in conflict with evolution then you say there is no evolutionary theory. Perhaps you should just clearly state what your hypothesis is. What is it exactly that you think happened?

    That is incorrect as not one paper supports genetic drift and natural selection producing ATP synthase nor any other multi-protein complex.

    Lots of people disagree with you.

    Not really.

    Are you really saying there isn’t a significant difference between the kind of designer who is still around tweaking things and one who front-loaded everything and then left? Wow.

    We already have figured it out. You just don’t get it. That isn’t our fault.

    Well then you should be able to say whether design was all front-loaded or happened over a long period of time.

    That is your opinion and it isn’t shared by scientists.

    Ah but how many scientists?

    They try but no one knows who designed and built Stonehenge. saying “humans” is a what not a who. Nan Madol? Haven’t got a clue.

    Hang on. I get it now. I think. You can’t say who the designer was because of your position that we can’t say ‘who’ designed and built Stonehenge. Otherwise you’d be inconsistent. That kind of makes sense. You just don’t do history.

    So how is it working out for archaeologists?

    Quite well actually. Lots and lots of research and papers and careers. Archaeologists have, as a group, illuminated lots of past history that was murky and indistinct. A huge area of work now is in built heritage having to do with building styles and techniques. But there are lots and lots of other areas of ongoing work.

    There is no empirical evidence for your claims. So perhaps we don’t exist…

    Maybe not!!

  48. 48
    JVL says:

    Allen Shepherd — If there is no tuning possible, how did it turn out right the first time?

    I just said we have no evidence that tuning is possible. As one of the ‘winners’ you would say it turned out right.

    We see fine tuning every where we turn, and recognize when it is lacking. Our every day experiences testify to its presence of absence.

    I can accept that when it’s clear someone has control over the ‘tuning’. But how do you know that the parameters of the universe could be anything other than what they are? Do you have an example of a universe that was unable to support life of any kind?

    The universe requires fine tuning for us to even exist. So, if it were not so, we would not be here to be aware of it.

    Of course. The anthropic principle. You’ve just given support for the multiverse hypothesis.

    Besides, what makes you think you are important enough to design a whole universe around?

    I know when my mechanic has done the job, and when he has failed. We know that the fine tuning exists because we know what things would be like without it (there would be no life). Ignoring that seems to be refusing to see brute reality for what it is.

    YOUR version of life. Let’s be clear. Have you ever read The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton? There may be many, many kinds of ‘life’.

    Again, there is no evidence that the parameters of the universe can be anything other than what they are. We don’t know if anything can be ‘tuned’.

    We don’t know what other kinds of ‘life’ may exist if some of the parameters were varied by small amounts.

    To look at the universe and focus on the lovely things (rainbows, total eclipses of the sun, us existing) and ignoring all the horrible, bad and deadly things (CMEs, major asteroid impacts, viral pandemics, floods, tornados, tsunamis, etc) gives one a biased view of the universe. Most of the known universe and much of the ares of the earth are deadly to human beings. It doesn’t look to me like we are in a privileged position; it looks like we are lucky to have survived all the destructive power that the universe can throw at us. The dinosaurs got knocked back and they were around a lot longer than we have been. In a year or two we may be only future fossils.

  49. 49
    Allen Shepherd says:

    JVL: “As I clearly stated: there is no empirical evidence that some being existed at the pertinent time that was capable of determining the values of the constants we are referring to. No labs, no equipment, no notes, no staff, nothing in fact.”

    Jehovah does claim to have been there “In the beginning”, and to have created light first. So, at least that is consistent with a big bang of energy, light first, 13 or so billion years ago. We were not there, and so cannot testify to it. But at least one individual claims to have been there and to have had the power to determine the constants.

    JVL: “There is also no particular reason to assume that the constants were tuneable. A lot of people assume they were tuneable but there is no evidence that that is the case.”

    It is pretty amazing that we are here. Seems quite unlikely, at least. When you come upon a table with 500 coins all heads, you don’t think of blind chance, but manipulation (they were “tuned”). At least, I don’t, and all the folk in Las Vegas would be on my side….

    JVL “So, if we can’t detect the tuner and we don’t know if tuning occurred then . . . what are the options?”

    Well, a Tuner would be the best explanation. But if you are not happy with that, than you have only some sort of chance happening, and no one has ever seen such precision occur by that method in any instance.

    So, such a belief is an utter act of faith in something that has never been demonstrated at any time. I don’t think that a reasonable scientific position, but certainly a religious one.

  50. 50
    ET says:

    JVL:

    First you say that ID is not in conflict with evolution then you say there is no evolutionary theory.

    Yes. What is the problem? Evolution is something that happens. A (scientific) theory of evolution would be about the mechanisms and such. Clearly evolution, the thing, can exist without a scientific theory of evolution.

    Lots of people disagree with you.

    Great. Let them make their case and we will see if they have one.

    Are you really saying there isn’t a significant difference between the kind of designer who is still around tweaking things and one who front-loaded everything and then left?

    I have never considered constant tinkering. And front loading can have many different types.

    You can’t say who the designer was because of your position that we can’t say ‘who’ designed and built Stonehenge.

    Wrong. You are terrible at fishing but great at erecting strawmen. We can’t say who the designer is because we don’t know. And the fact is we don’t have to know who the designer is before we can determine intelligent design exists. And we are not going to let your sloppy thinking interrupt our science.

    You just don’t do history.

    says the person who doesn’t know anything. make a case as opposed to blurting out unsupported trope.

    Everything archaeologists “know” about artifacts and from artifacts is by years of studying those artifacts and all relevant evidence. And it all came well after the intelligent design was detected. And they still don’t know who. So no, they aren’t doing so well in the CONTEXT of our discussion.

    And again, thank you for showing everyone that ID is not a dead end are ID actually pens up new questions that someone will try to answer. Unlike your position in which no one is trying to answer the big questions.

  51. 51
    Allen Shepherd says:

    How do I make quotes from other posts show up in shaded squares? And how do you make bold type? I have an apple.

    JVL”Do you have an example of a universe that was unable to support life of any kind?”

    Sure, one that has a proton mass that is a bit heftier than the one in our universe. I can envision such a proton existing in another universe.. That does not make it so, but it can be imagined.

    No one has seen such a precise thing as the universe come to being without intelligent input.

    JVL. “Of course. The anthropic principle. You’ve just given support for the multiverse hypothesis.

    Besides, what makes you think you are important enough to design a whole universe around?”

    But there is no evidence for the multiverse. You can’t criticize me for envisioning another universe with heftier protons, and then say that the anthropic principle as I state gives support for the multiverse hypothesis. It is one way or the other.

    And my opinion of my self worth has nothing to do with intelligent design

    JVL: “YOUR version of life. Let’s be clear. Have you ever read The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton? There may be many, many kinds of ‘life’.”

    I have no problem with other forms of life existing that are quite different from ours. We don’t know of any, but they could exist. ID does not rule such life out.

    JVL; “Again, there is no evidence that the parameters of the universe can be anything other than what they are. We don’t know if anything can be ‘tuned’.”

    According to Hoyle, my view is the common sense view:

    Fred Hoyle: “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

    And that is really the problem. Your view is not a common sense view. Hoyle was no friend of ID, yet he could see that our common experience with design supported a design hypothesis. Your view that things “just are” is too credulous. There is a certain sense that all I can say is, “Huh?”

    JVL: “To look at the universe and focus on the lovely things (rainbows, total eclipses of the sun, us existing) and ignoring all the horrible, bad and deadly things (CMEs, major asteroid impacts, viral pandemics, floods, tornados, tsunamis, etc) gives one a biased view of the universe. Most of the known universe and much of the ares of the earth are deadly to human beings. It doesn’t look to me like we are in a privileged position; it looks like we are lucky to have survived all the destructive power that the universe can throw at us.”

    (It is interesting that you see the universe as hostile, and the anthropic principle, which is clearly true, sees it as nurturing.)

    That there is suffering, asteroid impacts, pandemics and tsunamis really has no bearing on the design hypothesis. The atoms look designed. The periodic table looks designed. And tragedies do not change that.

    But it is not just that. It is the way the elements come together to form the stars, the nebula, the galaxies and life.

    When i listen to a Beethoven symphony, it is clear that he was a master of musical theory and the various characteristics of the instruments. He knew that 6 violins do not have 6 times the volume and power of 1 violin, etc. And he took that knowledge and created an amazingly beautiful composition.

    The Designer has done the same with the atoms. He has used the atomic characteristics of oxygen and hydrogen nitrogen and carbon to make us. And he has used the nuclear laws and the same atoms to make the stars shine and the nebula glow. It is a tour de force.

    Hoyle was right, and I don’t mean to be insulting. If you don’t have the common sense to see it, I am not sure it is possible to see.

    .

  52. 52
    JVL says:

    Allen Shepherd — Jehovah does claim to have been there “In the beginning”, and to have created light first. So, at least that is consistent with a big bang of energy, light first, 13 or so billion years ago. We were not there, and so cannot testify to it. But at least one individual claims to have been there and to have had the power to determine the constants.

    I would love it if Jehovah would agree to some experimental examination. Until then I’m not sure ‘he’ is a valid option.

    It is pretty amazing that we are here. Seems quite unlikely, at least. When you come upon a table with 500 coins all heads, you don’t think of blind chance, but manipulation (they were “tuned”). At least, I don’t, and all the folk in Las Vegas would be on my side….

    I quite agree it is extremely unlikely. But how does that support a guiding entity? Why can’t it just be good luck, like winning the lottery?

    Well, a Tuner would be the best explanation. But if you are not happy with that, than you have only some sort of chance happening, and no one has ever seen such precision occur by that method in any instance.

    But hypothesising a tuner introduces a lot of other questions and issues which are very difficult to answer.

    You won the lottery and you keep thinking: the chances of me winning were so minuscule, it feels better to guess there was some guiding entity. I just don’t see it that way.

    So, such a belief is an utter act of faith in something that has never been demonstrated at any time. I don’t think that a reasonable scientific position, but certainly a religious one.

    That’s fine with me. I know it gives you comfort and sustains you in hard times.

    How do I make quotes from other posts show up in shaded squares? And how do you make bold type? I have an apple.

    It has nothing to do with having a Mac or a PC; it’s just using basic HTML tags for bold and block quotes.

    Sure, one that has a proton mass that is a bit heftier than the one in our universe. I can envision such a proton existing in another universe.. That does not make it so, but it can be imagined.

    No one has seen such a precise thing as the universe come to being without intelligent input.

    Have we seen a universe come to being WITH intelligent input? You’re just making an assumption. Imagining something doesn’t make it so.

    But there is no evidence for the multiverse. You can’t criticize me for envisioning another universe with heftier protons, and then say that the anthropic principle as I state gives support for the multiverse hypothesis. It is one way or the other.

    And my opinion of my self worth has nothing to do with intelligent design

    I agree, there is no evidence for the multiverse. AND there is no evidence that our universe was fine tuned or had any guidance. You can imagine another kind of universe, just like those who propose a multiverse. IF there are many possible universes then OF COURSE we would only be able to exist in one that was ‘friendly’ to our form of life.

    And that is really the problem. Your view is not a common sense view. Hoyle was no friend of ID, yet he could see that our common experience with design supported a design hypothesis. Your view that things “just are” is too credulous. There is a certain sense that all I can say is, “Huh?”

    In my life I have had my ‘common sense’ challenged and proven wrong many times. I prefer to have an open mind when there is no clear evidence. You and Fred Hoyle might be right. But you might be wrong. I’m happy to wait and see what the data and evidence suggests.

    That there is suffering, asteroid impacts, pandemics and tsunamis really has no bearing on the design hypothesis. The atoms look designed. The periodic table looks designed. And tragedies do not change that.

    Look at the whole universe. Look at the whole history of the earth. How many plagues or floods or earthquakes or asteroid hits were there compared to the number of Beethoven symphonies? (Stick with Haydn, he wrote a lot more.) Tragedies may not change your perception but they don’t support your view. Add up all the bad stuff and all the potential bad stuff. Add in the fact that you might discover tomorrow that you have cancer or might get killed by a drunk driver. Does a rainbow or an eclipse really make up for all the suffering and pain?

    I’m glad for you that you see the beauty and power of our existence. I too enjoy music and art and science. Quite a lot. But I also realise how close we are to pain and suffering and annihilation. I don’t see a guiding hand protecting us from the bad stuff. I just think we’re lucky.

  53. 53
    JVL says:

    ET — Yes. What is the problem? Evolution is something that happens. A (scientific) theory of evolution would be about the mechanisms and such. Clearly evolution, the thing, can exist without a scientific theory of evolution.

    So, what do you think evolution, the thing, is? That changes in genomes happen over time? And those changes affect body forms? Perhaps it would be best if you were really clear about what you are saying.

    I have never considered constant tinkering. And front loading can have many different types.

    I agree. So . . . what are you saying? What kind of front-loading are your proposing?

    Wrong. You are terrible at fishing but great at erecting strawmen. We can’t say who the designer is because we don’t know. And the fact is we don’t have to know who the designer is before we can determine intelligent design exists. And we are not going to let your sloppy thinking interrupt our science.

    Hey, it’s up to you but aside from claiming that you’ve found design you guys haven’t done much. You haven’t even come up with a proposal for when design was implemented. It doesn’t look to me that you have done much ‘science’.

    Everything archaeologists “know” about artifacts and from artifacts is by years of studying those artifacts and all relevant evidence. And it all came well after the intelligent design was detected. And they still don’t know who. So no, they aren’t doing so well in the CONTEXT of our discussion.

    Clearly you are not an archaeologist. And you are making excuses for not moving on from ‘design detection’. It doesn’t matter to me but if you can’t at least propose when design was implemented then what is there to discuss?

    And again, thank you for showing everyone that ID is not a dead end are ID actually pens up new questions that someone will try to answer. Unlike your position in which no one is trying to answer the big questions.

    Will someone try to answer those questions though? All I hear are excuses. I don’t see any work being done. I don’t see any debates about when design was implemented for example.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, we usually use the html blockquote tags and the abbreviated bold or italic tags, using b or i and the switch off tag with the leading solidus: angle-/-i- angle. BTW, I have seen that if you put the solidus after the i (the same error that makes “the” become “teh”), bad things happen so be careful. KF

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, 51:

    JVL. “Of course. The anthropic principle. You’ve just given support for the multiverse hypothesis.

    Besides, what makes you think you are important enough to design a whole universe around?”

    But there is no evidence for the multiverse. You can’t criticize me for envisioning another universe with heftier protons, and then say that the anthropic principle as I state gives support for the multiverse hypothesis. It is one way or the other . . .

    Spot on on line and length.

    KF

  56. 56
    Origenes says:

    Allen Shepherd @51

    You can create quote boxes by putting the quoted text in ‘blockquote’ tags, like this:

    <blockquote>Quoted text goes here</blockquote>

    Which will look like this:

    Quoted text goes here

    Making bold types:
    <b>Bolded text goes here</b>

    Hope that helps.

  57. 57
    ET says:

    JVL:

    So, what do you think evolution, the thing, is?

    A change in allele frequency over time. That is how evolution is defined.

    Hey, it’s up to you but aside from claiming that you’ve found design you guys haven’t done much.

    LoL! Your position has all of the resources and no answers. Focus on your own failures. Geez.

    It doesn’t look to me that you have done much ‘science’.

    I doubt that you know what science entails. The science of ID is in the detection and study of the design. And we have our own agenda and it isn’t the asinine agenda you are on.

    There are more important questions to answer. That you cannot grasp that simple point tells me you are on an agenda on obfuscation.

    Clearly you are not an archaeologist.

    Clearly you don’t know anything and can only hurl BS.

    It doesn’t matter to me but if you can’t at least propose when design was implemented then what is there to discuss?

    The DESIGN.

    Look we all know that if ID is true then your position is BS. But the fact that you and yours having all of the resources and no answers tells everyone your position is already BS without ID in the picture.

    And the date for Stonehenge keeps changing. And that is something that is within our powers to recreate!

    Will someone try to answer those questions though?

    If they think they are important enough, then yes.

    But AGAIN, no one from your position is trying to answer anything with respect to blind, mindless processes producing something like vision systems.

    You are obviously a clueless troll- for example:

    I would love it if Jehovah would agree to some experimental examination. Until then I’m not sure ‘he’ is a valid option.

    See, you clearly do NOT understand science and how it works. You need proof. Strange how you don’t apply that same thing to the claims of your position.

  58. 58
    ET says:

    JVL is clearly a troll. It asked me to be clear about what I am saying AFTER I provided a link to an essay that spelled it out.

    It gripes about ID not following its asinine agenda when in fact its own position doesn’t have any answers and it has all of the resources.

    And finally when faced with the facts it can only lash out with ignorance-driven personal attacks.

    Hey JVL, good luck with that

  59. 59

    ET @ 58: Many there are…but they can’t stop the truth.

  60. 60
    JVL says:

    ET — A change in allele frequency over time. That is how evolution is defined.

    But you think it’s guided in some way I take it. How?

    I doubt that you know what science entails. The science of ID is in the detection and study of the design. And we have our own agenda and it isn’t the asinine agenda you are on.

    There are more important questions to answer. That you cannot grasp that simple point tells me you are on an agenda on obfuscation.

    I just find your position incredible. You are proposing the existence of a non-human entity. An alien being. Why you’re not incredibly curious and wanting to further explore into said being’s background, etc is beyond me. If I thought I had solid evidence of an alien being I’d be doing my best to figure out where they were from and why we aren’t currently having conversations with them.

    Clearly you don’t know anything and can only hurl BS.

    I’m sorry but you don’t talk like any archaeologist I know.

    The DESIGN.

    Look we all know that if ID is true then your position is BS. But the fact that you and yours having all of the resources and no answers tells everyone your position is already BS without ID in the picture.

    Look, I’m just trying to figure out what your position is. It seems like you’re a front-loading proponent . . . yes? If so then there are some other questions which come to mind.

    And the date for Stonehenge keeps changing. And that is something that is within our powers to recreate!

    The date keeps changing? I don’t think so. Not within obvious boundaries.

    If they think they are important enough, then yes.

    But AGAIN, no one from your position is trying to answer anything with respect to blind, mindless processes producing something like vision systems.

    You are obviously a clueless troll- for example:

    Look, you say that ID is scientific and has explanatory power. Then it should be fair enough for me to ask some questions. I don’t understand why you’re so defensive. IF design happened then surely it’s important to know when at least. Especially because when says something about the alien designer you invoke.

    See, you clearly do NOT understand science and how it works. You need proof. Strange how you don’t apply that same thing to the claims of your position.

    I’m just trying to understand your position. What’s wrong with asking questions?

    JVL is clearly a troll. It asked me to be clear about what I am saying AFTER I provided a link to an essay that spelled it out.

    I looked over that whole thread. It seems you are actually called JoeG and you’ve been pushing your ID isn’t anti-evolution wheeze for a while now. Can you and I agree, at least, that ID is anti-unguided evolution? Which, as was pointed out, is what almost everyone on the planet means when they say evolution.

    It gripes about ID not following its asinine agenda when in fact its own position doesn’t have any answers and it has all of the resources.

    I’m not griping. I’m trying to figure out what you believe. I’m asking questions. You seem really reluctant to address some obvious queries.

    And finally when faced with the facts it can only lash out with ignorance-driven personal attacks.

    I don’t think I did that but if I did then I apologise.

    I really, really just want to know more about what you think ID entails. I see very little indication that anyone is doing any kind of work past just declaring that design has been detected. Which just baffles me. If I thought some alien had front-loaded the evolutionary process (in some way you haven’t specified) then I’d be awfully damn curious about them. How come they aren’t still around?

  61. 61
    Allen Shepherd says:

    But he has invited it: “Taste and see that the LORD is good…” Psalm 34:8. No special qualifications required….

    I trust that to support yourself and your family, you have a better strategy than buying lottery tickets! I know some that do do that, and last I checked they were living on the street.

    The universe, the atoms, the constants all have the look of entities designed for beauty, diversity and inhabitation. Not a shot in the dark, “Boy I hope we make it here…!” sort of procedure.

    It has nothing to do with my feelings. I could feel terrible about that there is a Tuner, like Thomas Nagel of “I don’t want there to be a God.” fame. Yours or my inner peace or tranquility is not the issue.

    AS,

    This comment was about your belief, not mine. I see evidence of design all around me. You have no evidence that “luck” could do what you think it can. So, as Jesus said, “Great is your faith.” But of course faith in “luck” usually is unfounded.

    Do you deny that the universe looks fine tuned? I thought it was that you can’t see how it could have happened that way. You attribute it to luck. But I see designers designing, mechanics tuning, children learning complex languages,, and the universe looks more like that than luck. Some of my students show up to the exam trusting in luck. Usually does not end well

    I thought we were talking science here. Do you want to talk about the problem of suffering? It is an issue, I agree. I am satisfied with my solution to it, but that does not have an impact on the look of the universe. There is suffering there, but the design shows that there was some real careful input into it as well. As far as suffering goes, Jesus did address that in the parable of the wheat and tares, “An enemy has done this.” That is one answer at least. But I am not posting about that.

    Have a good weekend.

  62. 62
    Allen Shepherd says:

    I am sorry this post turned out so bad. I spent more than an hour, and it is all garbled, and will take too much to repair.

    My luck did not hold out!

  63. 63
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I just find your position incredible.

    Yeah, right. In any other venue someone saying that accidental changes could bring about functional complexity would be laughed out of existence. Yet you and yours think that is what produced life’s diversity. Yet you have no idea how to test the claim.

    I’m sorry but you don’t talk like any archaeologist I know.

    Oh wow, what an argument.

    The date keeps changing?

    Yes, it does.

    Look, you say that ID is scientific and has explanatory power.

    Yes, it does. But you are a scientifically illiterate troll so all of that is lost on you.

    It seems you are actually called JoeG and you’ve been pushing your ID isn’t anti-evolution wheeze for a while now

    LoL! Because I link to an essay that explains what ID is and what it argues against? And how is it “wheeze”? Please try to make a case as opposed to spewing nonsensical cowardice.

    You do realize that Behe, Dembski, meyer, Wells yet al., have been saying it for decades? Or are you completely ignorant?

    Which just baffles me.

    Who cares? You don’t seem to know anything anyway. And what should baffle you is the complete loss of answers from your position. heck you have all of the resources and nothing to show for it.

    You find ID incredible even though, unlike your position, it makes testable claims. You clearly have personal issues.

    Clearly you are not an archaeologist. Clearly you cannot refute what I said about archaeology. Clearly you are not a scientist. Clearly you don’t know what science entails. Clearly you are just a troll on an agenda.

  64. 64
    JVL says:

    ET — Yeah, right. In any other venue someone saying that accidental changes could bring about functional complexity would be laughed out of existence. Yet you and yours think that is what produced life’s diversity. Yet you have no idea how to test the claim.

    I know what you think of modern (unguided) evolutionary theory. I’m trying to figure out what your own hypothesis is past: design occurred. Especially when you haven’t even said when it occurred.

    I get the impression you’re a front-loading leaner. So . . . possible scenario . ..

    Well before our earliest fossil records a group of aliens arrived at the lifeless earth and seeded it with some pre-programmed life forms. They may have even had rough templates made ahead of time (maybe they’ve done this kind of thing before?) but they would want to make sure the seeding took root. So, maybe they hung around a while, maybe they produced a few variations for different earth regions, they would have had to produce a large number of ‘individuals’ because a lot would have been killed off or starved. (Ooo, good point, the first basic life forms had to be able to get nutrients from a lifeless earth.) Then maybe after things got going they left and have never returned. That’s not hard to imagine or wrap one’s head around. A kind of directed pan-spermia.

    Is that the kind of thing you envision?

    Oh wow, what an argument.

    It wasn’t an argument, just an opinion.

    Yes, it does.

    For example?

    Yes, it does. But you are a scientifically illiterate troll so all of that is lost on you.

    I’m just trying to figure out what your explanation is!! If you’re tired of people misinterpreting your stance you should be more explicit.

    LoL! Because I link to an essay that explains what ID is and what it argues against? And how is it “wheeze”? Please try to make a case as opposed to spewing nonsensical cowardice.

    You do realize that Behe, Dembski, meyer, Wells yet al., have been saying it for decades? Or are you completely ignorant?

    I’m happy to always say ID is anti-unguided evolution if it makes you happy.

    There is something I’m not clear on though . . . are all those people you reference thinking of the same kind of ID? Front-loaded or ongoing intervention?

    Who cares? You don’t seem to know anything anyway. And what should baffle you is the complete loss of answers from your position. heck you have all of the resources and nothing to show for it.

    You find ID incredible even though, unlike your position, it makes testable claims. You clearly have personal issues.

    I find your unwillingness to explain your actual view pretty amazing. If you spell it out a bit then maybe I won’t find it ‘incredible’.

    Clearly you are not an archaeologist. Clearly you cannot refute what I said about archaeology. Clearly you are not a scientist. Clearly you don’t know what science entails. Clearly you are just a troll on an agenda.

    Are you and archaeologist or a scientist? I’m happy to acknowledge any qualifications you have.

    I’m happy to have a dialogue but you’re not very forthcoming with your hypothesis. It can’t be that some things were designed because you think that’s already been established. So . . .

  65. 65
    JVL says:

    Allen Shepherd — Do you deny that the universe looks fine tuned? I thought it was that you can’t see how it could have happened that way. You attribute it to luck. But I see designers designing, mechanics tuning, children learning complex languages,, and the universe looks more like that than luck. Some of my students show up to the exam trusting in luck. Usually does not end well

    I didn’t attribute it to luck! I just said maybe the universe could not be ‘fine tuned’. Maybe only certain physical values are possible.

    Personally, I find the idea of a multi-verse extremely . . . hard to accept. I could be very wrong about that but I’m not going to accept it until there is some real evidence with a decent mathematical model. I’m not holding my breath.

    I wasn’t talking about suffering per say but it is true that most of the universe is deadly to life as it exists on earth. And many areas of the earth can only be populated by specialist life forms. I don’t think there is much value in worrying about it but we could be decimated by a good-sized coronal mass ejection, a gamma-ray pulse or even a big asteroid impact. Millions of human beings die every year from disease, cancer, earthquakes, floods, etc. It’s also estimated that up to a third of human pregnancies are spontaneously aborted.

    If the universe is designed it almost seems designed to keep us on the brink of disaster!! Hey, maybe that’s it! Maybe the designer wants to test us so that only the very strong survive. Maybe it’s a kind experiment to see what life form survives the longest. We could be part of someone’s dissertation!

  66. 66
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I know what you think of modern (unguided) evolutionary theory.

    There isn’t any modern evolutionary theory.

    I’m trying to figure out what your own hypothesis is past: design occurred.

    ID is about the DESIGN- as in the detection and study of. That is it. Evolutionism doesn’t bother with the OoL or the origin of the universe. Many concepts are limited, just as your ability to think is very limited.

    For example?

    Living organisms are the result of intentional design. That means there is most likely a reason/ purpose for our existence. Gonzalez and Richards took that and came up with the universe was designed for scientific discovery.

    I’m happy to always say ID is anti-unguided evolution if it makes you happy.

    So either you didn’t read the essay I linked to or you are too stupid to understand it. ID is OK with unguided evolution producing diseases and deformities. ID is also OK with unguided evolution causing no clear damage.

    Are you and archaeologist or a scientist?

    Clearly I know more about both than you do.

    Look, only losers go to blogs to learn about something. Educated people would read the books written by the experts on the subject. And then go to blogs to discuss that.

    ID is about the DESIGN- period, end of story. And if you don’t like that then to bad. You and yours have all of the power to refute ID as it stands. Yet all you can do is flail about like a fish out of water.

  67. 67
    JVL says:

    ET — ID is about the DESIGN- as in the detection and study of. That is it. Evolutionism doesn’t bother with the OoL or the origin of the universe. Many concepts are limited, just as your ability to think is very limited.

    Well, if ID just says: design was implemented it doesn’t have much explanatory power. If it can’t even say when design was implemented or (in the case of front-loading) how it occurred over long periods of time.

    Living organisms are the result of intentional design. That means there is most likely a reason/ purpose for our existence. Gonzalez and Richards took that and came up with the universe was designed for scientific discovery.

    Why would some being do that do you think? Assuming they themselves already understood the cosmos having formed it I guess. Is it like some giant playground then for humans to explore and experience? It seems awfully deadly if that’s the point.

    So either you didn’t read the essay I linked to or you are too stupid to understand it. ID is OK with unguided evolution producing diseases and deformities. ID is also OK with unguided evolution causing no clear damage.

    So, how can you tell when a mutation is guided and when it isn’t? By what mechanism are guided mutations triggered?

    Clearly I know more about both than you do.

    Look, only losers go to blogs to learn about something. Educated people would read the books written by the experts on the subject. And then go to blogs to discuss that.

    I figured if you wanted to find out about ID then people on an ID blog would be good sources of knowledge.

    ID is about the DESIGN- period, end of story. And if you don’t like that then to bad. You and yours have all of the power to refute ID as it stands. Yet all you can do is flail about like a fish out of water.

    Does that mean going past and behind the design is called something else? When someone gets around to figuring out when design was implemented what kind of research will they be doing?

    You seem so angry when someone expresses an interest in what the ID movement is working towards. I would think you’d be pleased to clear up misunderstandings. You didn’t comment about my scenario so I haven’t even got an idea if you think it’s plausible or close to the kind of thing you think happened.

  68. 68
    Axel says:

    ET,

    Great to see you and FourFaces giving the meat-head dirt-worshippers what for. You have to be combative, because dealing with invincible ignorance with serene patience over an extended period would turn your own brains to mush.

    We used to have a very combative lad on here, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him on here for ages. Nor the lad who identified the meat-heads as dirt-worshippers.

  69. 69
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Well, if ID just says: design was implemented it doesn’t have much explanatory power.

    That is your opinion and an uneducated opinion at that.

    Saying something was intelligently designed tells real investigators quite a bit. That is why we have venues like archaeology and forensic science.

    If it can’t even say when design was implemented or (in the case of front-loading) how it occurred over long periods of time.

    Your position can’t say when or how.

    Why would some being do that do you think?

    Want or need.

    So, how can you tell when a mutation is guided and when it isn’t? By what mechanism are guided mutations triggered?

    See “Not By Chance” and “Evolution: a view from the 21st century”

    I figured if you wanted to find out about ID then people on an ID blog would be good sources of knowledge.

    The books written by ID experts are the best source. I would never go to an evo blog to learn about evolutionism as most don’t even understand their own position. I read the evolutionary experts which is why I know more than most on the subject.

    If you want us to educate you then pay us.

    Does that mean going past and behind the design is called something else?

    Clearly.

    When someone gets around to figuring out when design was implemented what kind of research will they be doing?

    Fool’s

    You seem so angry when someone expresses an interest in what the ID movement is working towards.

    Pointing out that you are an obtuse troll isn’t anger. How many times do you have to be told? How many socks are you wearing out trying to pretend you haven’t already had these discussions?

    Focus on your own position. Try to support it. And then people may respond in kind to your requests. Or you can just remain a fish out of water and we will just point and laugh.

  70. 70
    ET says:

    I don’t know when nor how nor who the designer is. I don’t even know how to find those out given the design. I don’t think they are as important as trying to figure out the design so we can recreate it, maintain it and repair it- ie real genetic engineering.

    Finding out the who and when will not help us with that. Finding out the how may help us recreate it but that isn’t a given.

    So no, we are not interested in JVL’s asinine agenda.

    If detectives don’t find any witnesses and forensics cannot pin the crime on any one person, it becomes a fishing expedition and then a cold case. Unsolved crimes are still crimes that can be worked so it can be better understood. That is done so hopefully one day something else comes into play and pulls it all together.

  71. 71
    ET says:

    Axel- It’s like dealing with a little spoiled brat. That just bothers me. I would rather have a discussion but I will only discuss things related to ID when the discussion pertains to ID. I am not going to force ID to do something it was never meant to do.

    JVL doesn’t like ID’s limitations. Yet evolutionism also has limitations but that doesn’t seem to bother JVL. Strange but it is annoying to have to spell it out to JVL and all its socks.

  72. 72
    JVL says:

    Axel — Great to see you and FourFaces giving the meat-head dirt-worshippers what for. You have to be combative, because dealing with invincible ignorance with serene patience over an extended period would turn your own brains to mush.

    Do you agree with ET that wanting to know when design was implemented is a low priority? Having evidence of an alien being is not worth spending a lot of time trying to investigate?

    I just find that attitude astounding. One of the most important issues that human beings can address.

    Incredible.

  73. 73
    Origenes says:

    JVL @
    You seem to have great difficulty grasping what ID is about and which questions it attempts to answer. Maybe this helps:

    1. The question of how something was designed is logically separate from, and subsequent to, the question of whether it was designed. ID is not an attempt to answer all questions. It is a limited inquiry into whether something was designed. Questions about who, why, how, when are all interesting second-order questions that can be asked only after an inference to design is drawn. You may want, deeply in your heart of hearts, for ID to answer all of those questions. But that is a failure of your expectations, not ID itself.

    2. Design does not have to answer a “how” in the same way that purely natural explanations need to. That is because we are dealing with two different domains. Design is not a mechanistic theory. It is a theory about choice, about intentionality, about intelligence. You don’t need to know how the ancients built the pyramids or stonehenge, or the precise design and manufacturing process for how a solid state flash drive was built, to know that such things were designed.

    [Eric Anderson]

  74. 74
    JVL says:

    ET — Saying something was intelligently designed tells real investigators quite a bit. That is why we have venues like archaeology and forensic science.

    Sure but those disciplines try hard to draw conclusions about when and how and who. In fact, that’s the whole point of forensic science.

    Want or need.

    Some incredibly powerful being constructs a sandbox universe for us to explore and discover out of want or need? I don’t see that but . . . maybe.

    See “Not By Chance” and “Evolution: a view from the 21st century”

    How about just giving a bit of a hint?

    The books written by ID experts are the best source. I would never go to an evo blog to learn about evolutionism as most don’t even understand their own position. I read the evolutionary experts which is why I know more than most on the subject.

    If you want us to educate you then pay us.

    I just figured ID proponents would be glad to dispel misconceptions and prejudice. If I can find the books you reference without having to spend a lot then I’ll have a look.

    Fool’s

    So, let me get this straight . . . you are saying it’s foolish to even attempt to try and figure out when design was implemented?

    Pointing out that you are an obtuse troll isn’t anger. How many times do you have to be told? How many socks are you wearing out trying to pretend you haven’t already had these discussions?

    I was trying to be open minded and ask people who I don’t understand to explain their position and beliefs. I thought you’d appreciate the chance to give some insight past the top-level talking points.

    I don’t know when nor how nor who the designer is. I don’t even know how to find those out given the design. I don’t think they are as important as trying to figure out the design so we can recreate it, maintain it and repair it- ie real genetic engineering.

    I’m very optimistic about genetic engineering and if design was front-loaded then there would have to be some mechanism by which guided mutations are trigged at the best time. That would be worth knowing. But I haven’t heard of any such mechanism. Someone is doing some work on that I trust?

    If detectives don’t find any witnesses and forensics cannot pin the crime on any one person, it becomes a fishing expedition and then a cold case. Unsolved crimes are still crimes that can be worked so it can be better understood. That is done so hopefully one day something else comes into play and pulls it all together.

    So . . . it’s not a Fool’s errand? I don’t think it is. Aside from the sheer interest it would cast a lot of illumination on the way things are.

    It’s like dealing with a little spoiled brat. That just bothers me. I would rather have a discussion but I will only discuss things related to ID when the discussion pertains to ID. I am not going to force ID to do something it was never meant to do.

    Are you really comfortable that ID was created with such a limited remit? That big, important issues and questions are just neglected? You guys are proposing that some being intervened with the development of life on earth. That’s just incredible. I can’t understand why you aren’t really, really wanting to know how it all went down.

    JVL doesn’t like ID’s limitations. Yet evolutionism also has limitations but that doesn’t seem to bother JVL. Strange but it is annoying to have to spell it out to JVL and all its socks.

    I am just me. On my own.

  75. 75
    ET says:

    JVL doesn’t understand that by studying the design is investigating. Notice that JVL doesn’t have a clue as to tell the when and the who.

    One of the most important issues that human beings can address.

    That is your opinion. However the issues I mentioned are by far more important to us- humans

  76. 76
    ET says:

    Sure but those disciplines try hard to draw conclusions about when and how and who. In fact, that’s the whole point of forensic science.

    they don’t always succeed and some times the wrong person is arrested. With archaeology the “who” is actually a what.

    So, let me get this straight . . . you are saying it’s foolish to even attempt to try and figure out when design was implemented?

    Go ahead- tell us how to go about that. Or shut up already

    Are you really comfortable that ID was created with such a limited remit?

    It HAS to be that way.

    That big, important issues and questions are just neglected?

    The big, important issues aren’t what you think.

    Again, archaeologists work with artifacts that we can reproduce and they can’t tell us who and they have to guess about the how. And that is after decades of study.

    Creating living organisms is out of our realm so I will settle for the questions we can answer- the really important questions.

  77. 77
    JVL says:

    Origenes — You seem to have great difficulty grasping what ID is about and which questions it attempts to answer. Maybe this helps:

    I’m taking it as a given that, from your point of view, design has already been detected.

    The thing I find astounding is that ID proponents don’t seem interested in going past design detection to looking at questions of when and how.

    Surely figuring out when design was implemented is really important and would tell us a lot about the designer and the mechanisms involved. Maybe it’s just because I’m fascinated with history. If you tell me something was designed I really want to know about the time and the situation.

    Let’s look at the pyramids in Egypt as an example. They were designed, no question. I think there is a major difference between them being built by humans or alien spacemen. That is a hugely important distinction. Archaeologist move past the objects themselves looking at other sources of information about the area. They use dating techniques and other methods to make sure the dating is accurate. Everyone involved really, really wants to pin down the when and how and who.

    I just can’t wrap my head around a discipline that wants to stop exploring once they think something was designed. To be that’s the beginning of the the incredible journey. Who wants to stand on the train platform waning the train goodbye?

  78. 78
    JVL says:

    ET — JVL doesn’t understand that by studying the design is investigating. Notice that JVL doesn’t have a clue as to tell the when and the who.

    I might have some ideas but I figured it should be ID proponents who carry out that work.

    That is your opinion. However the issues I mentioned are by far more important to us- humans

    Verified presence of alien beings seems pretty important to me.

    they don’t always succeed and some times the wrong person is arrested. With archaeology the “who” is actually a what.

    Yes but the point is archaeologists and forensics scientists are looking and trying to figure out who and when.

    Go ahead- tell us how to go about that. Or shut up already

    Shouldn’t it be design proponents who do that work? Unless you would trust people who disagree with you to do it.

    It HAS to be that way.

    I disagree. There is no reason that ID has to be limited to design detection only. I don’t know why you’ve accepted that limitation.

    The big, important issues aren’t what you think.

    I’m astonished you don’t think evidence of alien beings isn’t important.

    Again, archaeologists work with artifacts that we can reproduce and they can’t tell us who and they have to guess about the how. And that is after decades of study.

    But they are trying to answer those questions even if there is a bit of informed guesswork! It’s the whole point: figuring out who and when and how.

    Creating living organisms is out of our realm so I will settle for the questions we can answer- the really important questions.

    Yes but it’s clear it would take resources and equipment and staff and a lot of supporting infrastructure. So there should be evidence of those things. Yes?

  79. 79
    ET says:

    Verified presence of alien beings seems pretty important to me.

    Umm, the mere presence of ID in living organisms is evidence for that.

    Yes but the point is archaeologists and forensics scientists are looking and trying to figure out who and when.

    That is part of their mandate and they don’t always succeed. In the case of archaeology they never know the who.

    Shouldn’t it be design proponents who do that work?

    OK so you don’t know. That is what I figured.

    There is no reason that ID has to be limited to design detection only.

    Of course there is and they have been provided.

    Yes but it’s clear it would take resources and equipment and staff and a lot of supporting infrastructure

    Clear as mud. We have no idea what it would take.

    Look, we focus on the DESIGN because that is what we have. We cannot study what we don’t have. And by studying the design we can hope to answer the really important questions.

    The thing I find astounding is that ID proponents don’t seem interested in going past design detection to looking at questions of when and how

    I find it astounding that you think we should be on your asinine agenda

  80. 80
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I just can’t wrap my head around a discipline that wants to stop exploring once they think something was designed.

    Look, Jerad, no one is preventing anyone from looking into any other questions. Those questions are just SEPARATE from ID. That you are too dull to grasp that fact reflects poorly on you and not ID.

    Your position is all about the how, has all of the resources and still can’t answer that question. So clearly you are just a crybaby and you don’t seem to care if the rest of the world knows it.

  81. 81
    JVL says:

    ET — OK so you don’t know. That is what I figured.

    But it’s not hard to make some intelligent inferences . . .

    If design is ongoing then I would expect to see some evidence of the presence of the designer. Again, genetic manipulation and being able to implement it in the field would require facilities and resources and staff. We haven’t seen any of those things that aren’t due to humans. So . . .

    If all the information and programming was front loaded millions or billions of years ago . . .

    We wouldn’t necessarily expect to see evidence of the designers gear or facilities. What we would expect to see is evidence of some kind of mechanism in cells which can guide mutations over a very long period of time. In order for that mechanism to be still performing correctly it would have to be very robust and resistant to degradation. I’m not sure what kind of physics and chemistry that would entail but you’d think it was pretty obvious. I haven’t heard of any one finding that kind of structure inside of cells so that kind of puts the front loading scenario in doubt. At least in my mind. Without a mechanism for directing mutations then . . .

    It’s not just my interest in the history of design implementation. Aside from design needing a designer there has to be other signs and indications and mechanisms. I’d love someone to hep fill in those details or at least suggest what the hypothesis is.

    Of course there is and they have been provided.

    Some think ID proponents are told to not talk about the designer because many ID proponents think the designer is the Christian God and admitting that is politically fatal. What do you think?

    Clear as mud. We have no idea what it would take.

    Look, we focus on the DESIGN because that is what we have. We cannot study what we don’t have. And by studying the design we can hope to answer the really important questions.

    But you know it would take energy and equipment and staff and resources and space and time. Design can be a purely mental exercise. But implementing it . . . that requires some supporting things.

    I find it astounding that you think we should be on your asinine agenda

    Hey, it’s up to you! I would very much want to avoid the criticism of ID being a science stopper which is more likely to come up if no one is doing any work past design detection.

    Look, Jerad, no one is preventing anyone from looking into any other questions. Those questions are just SEPARATE from ID. That you are too dull to grasp that fact reflects poorly on you and not ID.

    Fine. It’s up to you. I can’t believe you don’t think about things past design though. You’re a curious person, you must have some idea, some hypothesis.

    Your position is all about the how, has all of the resources and still can’t answer that question. So clearly you are just a crybaby and you don’t seem to care if the rest of the world knows it.

    I’m just trying to figure out what you think and believe. So I’m asking you. I thought that was fair.

  82. 82
    ET says:

    Again, genetic manipulation and being able to implement it in the field would require facilities and resources and staff.

    You don’t know that

    Some think ID proponents are told to not talk about the designer because many ID proponents think the designer is the Christian God and admitting that is politically fatal. What do you think?

    Science doesn’t care. As a matter of fact science was once seen as a way to understand God’s Creation.

    But you know it would take energy and equipment and staff and resources and space and time.

    I don’t know what it would take.

    Hey, it’s up to you!

    Yes it is and I think your asinine agenda is just that.

    I would very much want to avoid the criticism of ID being a science stopper which is more likely to come up if no one is doing any work past design detection.

    That doesn’t follow. You are getting desperate. ID doesn’t stop anyone from trying to answer those separate questions.

    However saying the laws just are is a real science stopper. saying the laws couldn’t be any different is a real science stopper. Your entire position is dogma which is a real science stopper.

    I can’t believe you don’t think about things past design though.

    I can’t believe that you are so desperate that you have to put words in my mouth.

    I’m just trying to figure out what you think and believe.

    I think the evidence for ID is overwhelming and those who oppose it do so for religious reasons. I think the people who try to force ID to do things it was never meant for are trolls and losers

  83. 83
    JVL says:

    ET — You don’t know that

    If you’re going to manufacture enough life forms to guarantee that there will be a sufficient population to thrive it’s going to take some energy and some resources and some fancy equipment. Things don’t just poof into existence.

    Science doesn’t care. As a matter of fact science was once seen as a way to understand God’s Creation.

    As long as it’s repeatable, observer independent and reasonably predictable I’m good.

    I don’t know what it would take.

    Maybe not specifically but energy, resources and equipment seem obvious.

    That doesn’t follow. You are getting desperate. ID doesn’t stop anyone from trying to answer those separate questions.

    I just can’t figure out why no ID proponent is trying to answer those separate questions.

    However saying the laws just are is a real science stopper. saying the laws couldn’t be any different is a real science stopper. Your entire position is dogma which is a real science stopper.

    I didn’t say we shouldn’t try to figure out the basis of the laws, I think we should do it. All I said was: we don’t know if the constants can be fine tuned. We don’t. Saying fine tuning occurred is just a massive assumption at this point. Keep checking things out, for sure but, for now, fine tuning is just a hypothesis.

    I can’t believe that you are so desperate that you have to put words in my mouth.

    I didn’t actually. I just said I couldn’t believe these questions weren’t interesting to you.

    I think the evidence for ID is overwhelming and those who oppose it do so for religious reasons. I think the people who try to force ID to do things it was never meant for are trolls and losers

    It’s up to you guys. Do what you like. But if critics misrepresent your views or accuse ID of being a science stopper you could help correct those impressions.

  84. 84
    Axel says:

    Your #72, JVL:

    ‘Do you agree with ET that wanting to know when design was implemented is a low priority? Having evidence of an alien being is not worth spending a lot of time trying to investigate?

    I just find that attitude astounding. One of the most important issues that human beings can address.

    Incredible.- JVL
    ————

    You sound like the proverbial mountaineer who intones with great solemnity that he climbs a mountain, because its there. Except that you seem obsessed with foothills; well, hillocks, actually.

    But in any case, you and we start off from vastly different assumptions, so it is inevitable that our priorities for investigation differ enormously. Empirical science, for us, is more at the level of Meccano or Lego – even at the quantum and astrophysical level.

    Moreover, my Christian (and perhaps Jewish and Muslim) friends here, who are actually erudite in science, unlike myself, will always be beacons of sanity and reason in their scaling of priorities, in a culture dominated almost entirely by atheists – precisely because their most fundamental assumption acknowledges the most primordial source of enlightenment, which is a closed book to the atheist – who frequently expresses rage and contempt for the God they claim not to believe in.

    And this infinite source of knowledge and understanding reciprocates the goodwill of his children by enlightening them, as the long history of extraordinarily devout scientists, (in vulgar parlance, ‘religious nuts’), who have discovered all the great paradigms of physics, by the way, as well as making many more significant scientific discoveries, attest so strikingly.

    Incidentally, sputniknews.com, has a small article in their French section, about Sean Carroll, (touting him as though a great scientist), spouting about how life after death was impossible. So, I put them in the picture about his poor old Irish ‘grannie’ in Tipperary shedding oceans of tears every night over her wayward grandson.

  85. 85
    ET says:

    JVL:

    As long as it’s repeatable, observer independent and reasonably predictable I’m good.

    Umm, given what you accept as science that is total BS.

    I just can’t figure out why no ID proponent is trying to answer those separate questions.

    Umm, we don’t report to you. And AGAIN there are far more important questions to answer. Then there is the FACT that most scientists are SPECIALISTS and those other questions fall way outside of it.

    That is why once we have the resources your position enjoys but is doing nothing with we will start making specialists to answer those other questions. Given our nature it is inevitable. And I am sure that 100 years after that we will have more answers than your position could ever muster.

    All I said was: we don’t know if the constants can be fine tuned.

    Actually we do and there isn’t any reason they have to be the way they are except for design purposes.

    I just said I couldn’t believe these questions weren’t interesting to you.

    Low priority questions that I have no idea how to answer.

    But if critics misrepresent your views or accuse ID of being a science stopper you could help correct those impressions.

    Already done. You just refuse to read it. Not our fault.

  86. 86
    Mung says:

    Axel @84

    pure delight. thank you

  87. 87
    JVL says:

    Axel — You sound like the proverbial mountaineer who intones with great solemnity that he climbs a mountain, because its there. Except that you seem obsessed with foothills; well, hillocks, actually.

    Nothing wrong with being curious.

    But in any case, you and we start off from vastly different assumptions, so it is inevitable that our priorities for investigation differ enormously. Empirical science, for us, is more at the level of Meccano or Lego – even at the quantum and astrophysical level.

    I thought science was science. The search for knowledge. Always looking and asking questions.

    Moreover, my Christian (and perhaps Jewish and Muslim) friends here, who are actually erudite in science, unlike myself, will always be beacons of sanity and reason in their scaling of priorities, in a culture dominated almost entirely by atheists – precisely because their most fundamental assumption acknowledges the most primordial source of enlightenment, which is a closed book to the atheist – who frequently expresses rage and contempt for the God they claim not to believe in.

    I’m not raging against anything. I’m interested in how things work and when things happened. I like to know stuff.

    And this infinite source of knowledge and understanding reciprocates the goodwill of his children by enlightening them, as the long history of extraordinarily devout scientists, (in vulgar parlance, ‘religious nuts’), who have discovered all the great paradigms of physics, by the way, as well as making many more significant scientific discoveries, attest so strikingly.

    Good science is good science no matter where it comes from or who discovered it. If it’s repeatable, predictable and observer independent then I’m good.

  88. 88
    JVL says:

    ET — Umm, we don’t report to you. And AGAIN there are far more important questions to answer. Then there is the FACT that most scientists are SPECIALISTS and those other questions fall way outside of it.

    Hey, do what you like! I hope you get around to the when question soon though. Maybe the designers will return before then and fill in the details. Now that would be interesting.

    That is why once we have the resources your position enjoys but is doing nothing with we will start making specialists to answer those other questions. Given our nature it is inevitable. And I am sure that 100 years after that we will have more answers than your position could ever muster.

    A century? That long? Why would it take that long? Computer time is cheap and easy, you can access whole genomes for little (if any) cost. Besides, you kind of have to decide which direction (metaphorically) you’re going to search in first. But I guess you haven’t thought about it yet. In the next century we may have found the designers via other means.

    Actually we do and there isn’t any reason they have to be the way they are except for design purposes.

    I don’t think you can be sure that the constants of the universe can be tuned. Where is your evidence for that? Just curious.

    Low priority questions that I have no idea how to answer.

    You could speculate though. Think about it. I guess you don’t want to. Fair enough.

    Already done. You just refuse to read it. Not our fault.

    Maybe if you answered a few more questions . . .

  89. 89
    Origenes says:

    JVL: I’m taking it as a given that, from your point of view, design has already been detected.

    Do you mean to say that from a scientific point of view, intelligent design in nature has been detected? If not, why not?

    JVL: The thing I find astounding is that ID proponents don’t seem interested in going past design detection to looking at questions of when and how.

    Personally I find these questions very interesting, and I guess many others do also. For instance, regarding the question “when”, one entry point of complex functional information is during the prokaryote to eukaryote transition — see GPuccio’s articles.

  90. 90
    ET says:

    JVL:

    A century? That long?

    Evolutionists have had over 150 years and you still have nothing. Why?

    I don’t think you can be sure that the constants of the universe can be tuned. Where is your evidence for that?

    What prevents it?

    Maybe if you answered a few more questions . . .

    All of the relevant questions have been answered. And your position still can’t answer anything.

    So again your focus is misplaced.

    If it’s repeatable, predictable and observer independent then I’m good.

    And yet your position doesn’t meet that criteria.

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    Origenes — Do you mean to say that from a scientific point of view, intelligent design in nature has been detected? If not, why not?

    I was asking you for your opinion.

    Personally I find these questions very interesting, and I guess many others do also. For instance, regarding the question “when”, one entry point of complex functional information is during the prokaryote to eukaryote transition — see GPuccio’s articles.

    Yes, that would be a time of great change. There is still the option of front-loaded change or design implementation at the time. Was the designer around or not? Did they figure it all out ahead of time and then leave or (owning to degradation from some unguided mutations) did they have to revisit at least occasionally to get things on track. It’s all pretty interesting to contemplate I think.

  92. 92
    JVL says:

    ET — Evolutionists have had over 150 years and you still have nothing. Why?

    That’s something a lot of people would disagree with you over. Besides, you’ve got access to some incredible analytic tools and resources and data no one had 150 years ago.

    What prevents it? [fine tuning]

    We don’t know is the point. Although you said you did know but I can’t see how you could know and you didn’t offer evidence or a real argument.

    We’ve got an example of a universe. Anything beyond that is just hypothesising. I have nothing against hypothesising but until data and a model are presented I choose to remain sceptical. Sounds like something you would say doesn’t it?

    All of the relevant questions have been answered. And your position still can’t answer anything.

    So again your focus is misplaced.

    It’s your call. But you keep complaining that people don’t understand your position or that they keep asking asinine questions. I don’t mind if you don’t work to clear up the misunderstandings.

    And yet your position doesn’t meet that criteria.

    A lot of people would disagree with you there.

  93. 93
    ET says:

    JVL:

    A lot of people would disagree with you there.

    I don’t care. They cannot refute what I said and that is all that matters.

    Who demonstrated and then repeated the evolution of ATP synthase via blind, mindless processes? No one. No one is even working on it. The same goes for vision systems and all other biological systems and protein machines.

    Cosmological modeling has been done and any change in the constants would be disastrous for. And nothing has been found that says those constants have to be what they are regardless of anything. Many books have been written about it. Perhaps you should start there.

    It’s your call. But you keep complaining that people don’t understand your position or that they keep asking asinine questions. I don’t mind if you don’t work to clear up the misunderstandings.

    Wait- you refuse to read the relevant literature and that is our fault? You are a special kind of pathetic.

    I have read the relevant literature with respect to evolution by means of blind, mindless and purposeless processes. That is why I know you don’t have anything. And I don’t care who or how many people disagree with me. They cannot refute what I say and that is all that matters.

    You don’t even have any scientific theories to support your position. That is because you don’t have any methodology to test your claims. You want your opposition to do all the work and prove a negative. And to top it off you think it is OK to assume what has to be demonstrated.

    Why is it that only in the field of biology are we to accept that random hits to an existing functioning system does not degrade it? Heck it not only doesn’t degrade it, it made it! And all without evidentiary support? Really?

    Evidence and science, JVL. Your bluff and bluster are meaningless to us. We know better because, unlike you, we have actually looked.

  94. 94
    JVL says:

    ET — I don’t care. They cannot refute what I said and that is all that matters.

    A lot of people would disagree with you there.

    Who demonstrated and then repeated the evolution of ATP synthase via blind, mindless processes? No one. No one is even working on it. The same goes for vision systems and all other biological systems and protein machines.

    It’s pretty clear that people are working on all those things though.

    Cosmological modeling has been done and any change in the constants would be disastrous for. And nothing has been found that says those constants have to be what they are regardless of anything. Many books have been written about it. Perhaps you should start there.

    Nothing has shown that the values can be changed. You can speculate and hypothesise but we have no example of a universe with different constants.

    Wait- you refuse to read the relevant literature and that is our fault? You are a special kind of pathetic.

    It doesn’t matter to me if people misunderstand you.

    I have read the relevant literature with respect to evolution by means of blind, mindless and purposeless processes. That is why I know you don’t have anything. And I don’t care who or how many people disagree with me. They cannot refute what I say and that is all that matters.

    Okay.

    You don’t even have any scientific theories to support your position. That is because you don’t have any methodology to test your claims. You want your opposition to do all the work and prove a negative. And to top it off you think it is OK to assume what has to be demonstrated.

    Actually, personally, I’m asking you lots of questions because I want to hear your hypothesis of what intelligent design entails in terms of when at least. I am interested in your case past ‘design has been detected’. I am not asking you to prove a negative; I’m asking you to tell me where you go now. You tell me.

    Why is it that only in the field of biology are we to accept that random hits to an existing functioning system does not degrade it? Heck it not only doesn’t degrade it, it made it! And all without evidentiary support? Really?

    Most mutations are NOT beneficial. That’s really clear. Lots and lots of individuals never survive to reproduce. I think there is evidence that enough positive mutations occur for there to be ‘progress’. But it is an issue for sure.

    Evidence and science, JVL. Your bluff and bluster are meaningless to us. We know better because, unlike you, we have actually looked.

    I think you’ll find that serious biologists are considering some of the same issues that concern you. They would like to know how it all happened. At least every biologists I’ve talked to really do want to know.

  95. 95
    ET says:

    JVL:

    A lot of people would disagree with you there.

    LoL! Let’s see the science, then.

    Tell me how to test the claim that ATP synthase arose via blind, mindless processes.

    It’s pretty clear that people are working on all those things though.

    No one is.

    Nothing has shown that the values can be changed.

    Nothing says the have to be what they are.

    Actually, personally, I’m asking you lots of questions because I want to hear your hypothesis of what intelligent design entails in terms of when at least.

    The “when” is not part of ID. That you refuse to accept that proves that you are on an agenda of imbecilic proportions.

    It doesn’t matter to me if people misunderstand you.

    It doesn’t matter to me, either. I just laugh at them for their obvious willful ignorance.

    Most mutations are NOT beneficial.

    “Beneficial” is relative. Even a loss of function can be beneficial. And evolution is NOT about progress.

    Geez you don’t have a mechanism capable of getting beyond populations of prokaryotes and you have to be given starting populations of prokaryotes.

    I think you’ll find that serious biologists are considering some of the same issues that concern you.

    I think you are sadly mistaken.

    They would like to know how it all happened.

    Well that is what their position entails. But they have no idea.

    I am interested in your case past ‘design has been detected’.

    I have already told you, several times. There isn’t anything else I can do. Your willful ignorance is in your way of learning about ID.

  96. 96
    JVL says:

    ET — LoL! Let’s see the science, then.

    Tell me how to test the claim that ATP synthase arose via blind, mindless processes.

    Are you serious? You said you read a lot of books about unguided evolution. Sigh.

    You look for plausible ways that APT synthase could have arisen via small, step-by-step changes. I think you’ll find there are a lot of published research papers addresses various aspects of possible paths.

    No one is.

    When you do a academic google search for ATP synthase development and you get hundreds of hits what do you think all those papers are about?

    Nothing says the have to be what they are.

    That doesn’t mean they can be changed though. You are just making an assumption.

    The “when” is not part of ID. That you refuse to accept that proves that you are on an agenda of imbecilic proportions.

    I hear what you’re saying but I cannot understand a discipline that wants to be scientific and to be taken seriously that hasn’t spent time and effort getting on with the obvious follow-on questions. But, it’s up to you guys.

    “Beneficial” is relative. Even a loss of function can be beneficial. And evolution is NOT about progress.

    I was speaking in very general terms. But I agree with you that many random mutations are deleterious.

    Geez you don’t have a mechanism capable of getting beyond populations of prokaryotes and you have to be given starting populations of prokaryotes.

    Cumulative selection based on somatic variations. But, since you’ve read lots of books you already no the arguments.

    I think you are sadly mistaken.

    A simple internet search says otherwise.

    Well that is what their position entails. But they have no idea.

    This is your opinion. At least main-stream biologists consider all questions fair and worthy of investigation.

    I have already told you, several times. There isn’t anything else I can do. Your willful ignorance is in your way of learning about ID.

    Well, if you can’t help progress ID past ‘design has been detected’ then why are you bothering to contribute to this blog and argue with people you disagree with? If you’re just waiting around for someone to get on with the next level of issues then how are you sure they are going to do that?

    It’s just bizarre to me that you continue to assert that you and the entire ID community are just hanging about waiting for . . . what exactly? Take Dr Behe as an example. He’s very open with his ID support. He’s not lost his academic position. He’s published a couple of books, he even testified in Dover. I just don’t get why he’s one of the very few of the purported hundreds of ID scientists who are actually producing work and standing up for the cause. And moving on with things. What are the Discovery Institute spending their money on? They have a research facility do they not? What are those people researching?

    Like I said, it has nothing to do with me. But if I thought I had definitive proof of a non-human entity I’d be out scrabbling for more evidence just to prove the bastards wrong.

  97. 97
    ET says:

    JVL:

    You look for plausible ways that APT synthase could have arisen via small, step-by-step changes. I think you’ll find there are a lot of published research papers addresses various aspects of possible paths.

    All untestable speculation based on the assumption and nothing that gives any credence to it arising by means of blind, mindless processes.

    When you do a academic google search for ATP synthase development and you get hundreds of hits what do you think all those papers are about?

    Exactly what I just said.

    I challenge you to find ONE paper that demonstrates ATP synthase arose via blind, mindless processes. Find it and make your case. Or admit that you don’t know and your ignorance runs deep.

    I hear what you’re saying but I cannot understand a discipline that wants to be scientific and to be taken seriously that hasn’t spent time and effort getting on with the obvious follow-on questions

    Your follow-up questions are a lower priority than the other questions.

    Cumulative selection based on somatic variations. But, since you’ve read lots of books you already no the arguments.

    Cumulative selection is a nonsensical pipe-dream with respect to blind, mindless processes. And there isn’t any evidence that it can take populations of prokaryotes beyond being prokaryotes.

    Thee paper waiting for two mutations refutes the concept of cumulative selection.

    A simple internet search says otherwise.

    Really? There are labs trying to get vision systems to evolve? Where?

    This is your opinion.

    Nope, it is a fact.

    Well, if you can’t help progress ID past ‘design has been detected’

    Already have and your willful ignorance is not a refutation.

    But if I thought I had definitive proof of a non-human entity I’d be out scrabbling for more evidence just to prove the bastards wrong.

    It has been done. Again you can ignore all that has been written but that reflects poorly on you.

    Now you can continue to be a willfully ignorant troll OR you can actually make the effort and read what IDists really say.

    Your choice but we already know what path you will take.

    So what we have in JVL is someone who is scientifically illiterate and wants ID to do what it was never formulated to do. And when given logical and reasonable explanations JVL just ignores them.

  98. 98
    JVL says:

    ET — All untestable speculation based on the assumption and nothing that gives any credence to it arising by means of blind, mindless processes.

    You could recreate the conditions and see if the same path was followed. So that is testable. What assumption are you talking about? All the mathematical models used are based on random mutation rates so . . .

    I challenge you to find ONE paper that demonstrates ATP synthase arose via blind, mindless processes. Find it and make your case. Or admit that you don’t know and your ignorance runs deep.

    First of all, no one knows for sure but clearly people are working on aspects of the problem. Secondly all the mathematical models are based on randomly (with respect to fitness) mutation rates. So, even if you disagree with the results you cannot say that there aren’t papers supporting that point of view.

    Your follow-up questions are a lower priority than the other questions.

    Well, what is your priority then? You think you’ve detected design so now what?

    Cumulative selection is a nonsensical pipe-dream with respect to blind, mindless processes. And there isn’t any evidence that it can take populations of prokaryotes beyond being prokaryotes.

    I guess you’ve just not kept up with the research then.

    Thee paper waiting for two mutations refutes the concept of cumulative selection.

    From the conclusion of that paper:

    For population sizes and mutation rates appropriate for Drosophila, a pair of mutations can switch off one transcription factor binding site and activate another on a timescale of several million years, even when we make the conservative assumption that the second mutation is neutral. This theoretical result is consistent with the observation of rapid turnover of transcription factor binding sites in Drosophila and gives some insight into how these changes might have happened.

    I left a lot out because the formatting wouldn’t come through. But . . .

    It looks to me like the authors of the paper don’t think their work refutes general assumptions.

    Really? There are labs trying to get vision systems to evolve? Where?

    I didn’t say that though. I said people were interested and working on the problem.

    Already have and your willful ignorance is not a refutation.

    Well, I’m not sure what any ID proponent has done to ‘further the cause’ in the last decode or so. I haven’t seen anything really new arising from your camp in that time. I guess you’re all just waiting for . . . something.

    It has been done. Again you can ignore all that has been written but that reflects poorly on you.

    Look, if I made an astounding claim and other people told me it was rubbish I’d be out looking for more evidence; I wouldn’t just keep repeating the same things.

    Now you can continue to be a willfully ignorant troll OR you can actually make the effort and read what IDists really say.

    I don’t see any IDists saying much of anything past ‘design has been detected’. That’s what I’m interested in.

    Your choice but we already know what path you will take.

    What’s wrong with asking questions and wondering where you’re going to go next?

    So what we have in JVL is someone who is scientifically illiterate and wants ID to do what it was never formulated to do. And when given logical and reasonable explanations JVL just ignores them.

    From my perspective, I haven’t seen much come out of the ID community in the last ten years past ‘design has been detected’. Dr Behe has tried to make some serious contributions but aside from him it’s been mighty slim pickings.

    I think you’ve got some big questions and issues you should be working on but I see no evidence that any one is doing that work. Some of your answers sound like excuses to me. That’s just my opinion of course. Maybe you guys aren’t just spinning your wheels. But it does look like that. To me.

  99. 99
    ET says:

    “Random with respect to fitness” is mindless drivel. The core concept of evolutionism is that mutations are random, as in accidental, events. They are not planned, they just happen for various reasons.

    “Random with respect to fitness” – fitness being an after the fact assessment of reproductive success- does not say if the changes were intentional or accidental.

    There isn’t any mathematical models that demonstrate that all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes. And as a matter of fact there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

    No one has ever shown that ATP synthase could, even in theory, arise via blind, mindless processes. No one is in any lab trying to work it out.

    Papers that rely on gene duplication are lost because you have to show there can be living organisms without ATP synthase. You need something to duplicate.

    The paper I linked to refutes cumulative selection for the mere fact there isn’t enough time, as they show, to get more than two specific mutations. Gene duplication followed by specific mutations to change its function far exceed the time the universe has been around. You have nothing but the unscientific sheer dumb luck as a mechanism.

    Look, if I made an astounding claim and other people told me it was rubbish I’d be out looking for more evidence; I wouldn’t just keep repeating the same things.

    Yet all you do is repeat the same tripe. The evidence has been presented and you choked on it. You say yours has the answers but cannot say what those are.

    This is a process. If people cannot, yet, understand the case for ID we have to keep repeating and refining it until they do. But we run into willfully ignorant people, such as yourself.

    You say we haven’t done anything beyond saying some things were designed. I say that alone is more than your position has ever done. I don’t care if you disagree show me the science or go away.

    The book “The Privileged Planet” was published over a decade ago. It took the evidence for ID and came to the inference that our place in the cosmos was designed for scientific discovery.

    The book “Not By Chance” was published in 1997- 20 years ago. It proposed a mechanism for guiding evolution- “built-in responses to environmental cues”.

    Genetic algorithms have existed for decades and demonstrate the power of guided evolution.

    We are actually using ID concepts already. We are beyond saying “it is designed”.

    If SETI or NASA really want to find ETs then they have to read “The Privileged Planet” and follow its leads.

    In closing, what you, a clearly scientifically illiterate troll, think are important questions for ID to answer, in fact have nothing to do with ID and are clearly not as important as the other priorities I already commented on.

  100. 100
    ET says:

    I challenge you to find ONE paper that demonstrates ATP synthase arose via blind, mindless processes. Find it and make your case. Or admit that you don’t know and your ignorance runs deep.

    The challenge remains unanswered. The biggest questions in biology remain unanswered. But we are assured that someone is working on it (nod, wink).

  101. 101
    JVL says:

    ET — “Random with respect to fitness” is mindless drivel. The core concept of evolutionism is that mutations are random, as in accidental, events. They are not planned, they just happen for various reasons.

    Correct. Sort of. If it were possible to specify the reasons then they wouldn’t be random.

    “Random with respect to fitness” – fitness being an after the fact assessment of reproductive success- does not say if the changes were intentional or accidental.

    No, it means that based on the current state the mutations are random with respect to improving the life form’s fitness.

    There isn’t any mathematical models that demonstrate that all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes. And as a matter of fact there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

    Models don’t ‘demonstrate’ anything. They model situations to a level of accuracy. They are used to simulate situations. But all of the models assume random variation and the models reflect what is observed.

    If you think some variations are random and some are guided then you should be able to separate them into two categories and show that they have clearly different rates of occurrence. Have you done that work?

    No one has ever shown that ATP synthase could, even in theory, arise via blind, mindless processes. No one is in any lab trying to work it out.

    All the papers you can easily find via an internet search to the contrary. Regarding that people are working on the issue that is.

    Papers that rely on gene duplication are lost because you have to show there can be living organisms without ATP synthase. You need something to duplicate.

    That’s clearly not the case at all. To show that ATP synthase arose from precursors you may or may not appeal to gene duplication depending on the process. ATP synthase is not a gene.

    Do viruses employ ATP synthase? Are they alive? They reproduce, they create copies of themselves. They exhibit common descent via modification.

    The paper I linked to refutes cumulative selection for the mere fact there isn’t enough time, as they show, to get more than two specific mutations. Gene duplication followed by specific mutations to change its function far exceed the time the universe has been around. You have nothing but the unscientific sheer dumb luck as a mechanism.

    Well, clearly the authors of the paper disagree with your interpretation. And there are other ways to add functions aside from gene duplication.

    In retrospect, if you are trying to figure out the chances of getting two specific mutations the chances are extremely small. But the chances of getting two mutually supportive mutations of some kind is much less.

    Without a specific goal your probability measures are much different.

    Yet all you do is repeat the same tripe. The evidence has been presented and you choked on it. You say yours has the answers but cannot say what those are.

    All I see is most ID proponents repeating the party line with little or no work being done. I could be wrong of course.

    This is a process. If people cannot, yet, understand the case for ID we have to keep repeating and refining it until they do. But we run into willfully ignorant people, such as yourself.

    Well, spell out the timeline then. What is the process and what’s next on the agenda?

    You say we haven’t done anything beyond saying some things were designed. I say that alone is more than your position has ever done. I don’t care if you disagree show me the science or go away.

    I’m trying to figure out what your agenda is.

    The book “The Privileged Planet” was published over a decade ago. It took the evidence for ID and came to the inference that our place in the cosmos was designed for scientific discovery.

    And what has been done since then?

    The book “Not By Chance” was published in 1997- 20 years ago. It proposed a mechanism for guiding evolution- “built-in responses to environmental cues”.

    ‘Built-in’ implies a mechanism for guiding evolution. What work has been done to reveal that process?

    Genetic algorithms have existed for decades and demonstrate the power of guided evolution.

    To some extent I suppose.

    We are actually using ID concepts already. We are beyond saying “it is designed”.

    But not in a biological context. You haven’t cast any further light on the process or history of design implementation.

    If SETI or NASA really want to find ETs then they have to read “The Privileged Planet” and follow its leads.

    What would it tell them to do that they aren’t already doing?

    In closing, what you, a clearly scientifically illiterate troll, think are important questions for ID to answer, in fact have nothing to do with ID and are clearly not as important as the other priorities I already commented on.

    Hey, it’s up to you guys. I’m just offering my opinion.

    I challenge you to find ONE paper that demonstrates ATP synthase arose via blind, mindless processes. Find it and make your case. Or admit that you don’t know and your ignorance runs deep.

    There are hundreds of papers discussing various aspects of the development of ATP synthase. No one paper (yet) has put together a coherent and plausible complete scenario. That I know of. I never claimed that such a thing existed. I just said that people are working on the problem. Which they clearly are doing.

    The challenge remains unanswered. The biggest questions in biology remain unanswered. But we are assured that someone is working on it (nod, wink).

    Clearly they are, based on easily done literature searches.

  102. 102
    ET says:

    Biological fitness refers to reproductive success. If you doubt that then you need an education. Biological fitness does not refer to the physical fitness of any organism.

    The work showing that mutations are not random in any way has been done.

    Viruses need DNA based living organisms in order to reproduce.

    No one uses evolution by means of blind, mindless processes for anything. It is a useless heuristic. At least ID concepts have real world applications.

    Not one paper that discusses the alleged evolution of ATP synthase gives credence to evolution by means of blind, mindless processes. There aren’t any precursors to ATP synthase that produce ATP. No one is working on the problem of blind, mindless processes doing it.

    No one is working on the question of how prokaryotes became eukaryotes. No one is working on evolving vision systems by means of blind, mindless processes. Lenski grand experiment demonstrates the severe limits of evolution. Its best case scenario- the ability to utilize citrate in an aerobic environment- screams of evolution by design. The only gene that can transport citrate through the membrane gets duplicated and the duplicate just happens to land near an existing binding site that is “on” when oxygen is present.

    Literature searches give lip service to “evolution”. And seeing that ID is not anti-evolution only by equivocation can you say they support your position.

    And again, I told you what is next on the agenda. Clearly you have other issues.

    Let us know when you get beyond your bluffing and whining

  103. 103
    ET says:

    Even given the mapping of the human genome evolutionary biologists have been unable to say what determines a human will develop.

    Even given only a less than 2% difference between human and chimp genomes evolutionary biologists have been unable to link the anatomical and physiological differences observed to the genetics.

    Given populations of prokaryotes evolutionary biologists have no idea how to get eukaryotes.

  104. 104
    ET says:

    And finally, if the evidence that JVL says exists then ID would be refuted. It would have been brought up at the Dover trial and yet only lies, bluffs and misrepresentations made it out of the plaintiffs.

    There is no need for any further ID related questions. Just present your evidence and it will be over.

  105. 105
    JVL says:

    ET — The work showing that mutations are not random in any way has been done.

    I’m confused, you said ID accepted that some mutations occur which ‘break things’. Which I gathered to mean that you thought some random mutations do occur and some are guided. Correct? How do you tell the difference?

    No one uses evolution by means of blind, mindless processes for anything. It is a useless heuristic. At least ID concepts have real world applications.

    Does a concept have to have a practical use to determine whether or not it’s true?

    Not one paper that discusses the alleged evolution of ATP synthase gives credence to evolution by means of blind, mindless processes. There aren’t any precursors to ATP synthase that produce ATP. No one is working on the problem of blind, mindless processes doing it.

    Even the Wikipedia article on ATP synthase discusses it’s evolution. And it’s easy to find research papers. So people clearly are working on it.

    No one is working on the question of how prokaryotes became eukaryotes. No one is working on evolving vision systems by means of blind, mindless processes. Lenski grand experiment demonstrates the severe limits of evolution. Its best case scenario- the ability to utilize citrate in an aerobic environment- screams of evolution by design. The only gene that can transport citrate through the membrane gets duplicated and the duplicate just happens to land near an existing binding site that is “on” when oxygen is present.

    Well, you’re clearly wrong. I don’t know what to say. Even a cursory internet search will bring up work on the evolution of eukaryotes for example. You simply cannot say no one is working on those issues.

    Literature searches give lip service to “evolution”. And seeing that ID is not anti-evolution only by equivocation can you say they support your position.

    All the mathematical models for mutation rates and distributions are based on them being random, i.e. unguided. And ID believes at least some mutations were guided although I’m not sure how you can tell them apart . . . even a random mutation could be beneficial so . .

    And finally, if the evidence that JVL says exists then ID would be refuted. It would have been brought up at the Dover trial and yet only lies, bluffs and misrepresentations made it out of the plaintiffs.

    You say work is not being done to address certain issues when clearly work is being done.

    I’m not here to try and refute ID; I’m trying to figure out what the next step for ID is since design has been detected. Okay, maybe it will take you a century to gear up enough resources and people to begin to look into when and how design was implemented. I still can’t understand why no one wants to be very clear on at least a basic hypothesis about that. Some ID proponents seem to favour a purely front-loaded scenario which brings up the issue of where is the guiding mechanism and what is stopping it from becoming degraded after millions (or billions) of years? Some ID proponents accept that there are some deleterious random mutations while others are ‘guided’ but I can’t see how you could tell them apart. Some ID proponents seem to think that the designer occasionally intervenes to step over the edge of evolution which brings up the question: where is this designer? Where do they get the energy? How many individuals do they tweak to get the change to fix? Etc.

    Maybe you can’t yet really get your teeth into such issues but surely someone must be thinking about these things. I would think anyway. At least a conference or two discussing the various options.

  106. 106
    ET says:

    JVL, you are clearly deluded and proudly willfully ignorant. No one is in the lab trying to evolve a eukaryote from populations of prokaryotes. The only thing anyone is doing is on paper- thought experiments if you will. The same goes for any and all multi-protein machines.

    You have been told what ID’s next steps are- many times. Yet you still persist. You think IDists should adopt your asinine nowhere agenda, which proves that you are a scientifically illiterate troll.

    No one cares to discuss their thoughts with you. No one cares because you have proven to be willfully ignorant and a waste of time. Dembski has written about ID research projects. Yet you refuse to read the ID literature. And as such you are a waste of time.

    So either go out and read the ID literature, then come back and discuss it or wallow in your ignorance and continue to think your ignorance means something to us. Your choice.

    Even the Wikipedia article on ATP synthase discusses it’s evolution.

    It does NOT give credence to evolution by means of blind, mindless processes. AND it has NOTHING to do with any actual experiments. It is all on paper. And it requires living organisms which don’t exist without ATP. Also ID is not anti-evolution which means you are just an equivocating loser.

    All of that proves that you are not worthy of anyone’s time.

    If a concept doesn’t have any practical use and isn’t used for anything, then why even bother? Talk about a total waste of time and resources. But I understand why that you are upset- ID’s concepts are useful and being used whereas your position is useless and in the way of progress.

  107. 107
    Origenes says:

    JVL

    Well, I disagree. I’m not convinced the laws can be anything other than what they are. I’m not convinced any fine tuning has occurred.

    Let’s look at some concrete examples of supposed fine-tuning:

    #1: The amount of matter: a bit less = no stars and galaxies, a bit more = universe recollapses.
    #2: The strong force: a bit more = only hydrogen, a bit more = little or no hydrogen.
    #3: Carbon resonance level: a bit higher = no carbon, a bit lower = no carbon.

    Let’s start with #1. Question: what makes you think that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is?

  108. 108
    JVL says:

    ET — JVL, you are clearly deluded and proudly willfully ignorant. No one is in the lab trying to evolve a eukaryote from populations of prokaryotes. The only thing anyone is doing is on paper- thought experiments if you will. The same goes for any and all multi-protein machines.

    I didn’t say anyone was trying to evolve a eukaryote. I said people were working on the problem, i.e. trying to find a plausible, step-by-step transition.

    You have been told what ID’s next steps are- many times. Yet you still persist. You think IDists should adopt your asinine nowhere agenda, which proves that you are a scientifically illiterate troll.

    You guys do what you like!! I don’t understand your reticence but it’s up to you.

    No one cares to discuss their thoughts with you. No one cares because you have proven to be willfully ignorant and a waste of time. Dembski has written about ID research projects. Yet you refuse to read the ID literature. And as such you are a waste of time.

    Interestingly enough, Dr Dembski has abandoned ID research himself. I guess that leaves Dr Behe and whatever the two or three people at the Discovery Institute are doing. They seem to generate very little research content though.

    It does NOT give credence to evolution by means of blind, mindless processes. AND it has NOTHING to do with any actual experiments. It is all on paper. And it requires living organisms which don’t exist without ATP. Also ID is not anti-evolution which means you are just an equivocating loser.

    All the mathematical models which closely mirror what is actually observed are based on random mutation rates. What actual experiments have ID researchers done? ID is though anti-unguided evolution, that is clear.

    If a concept doesn’t have any practical use and isn’t used for anything, then why even bother? Talk about a total waste of time and resources. But I understand why that you are upset- ID’s concepts are useful and being used whereas your position is useless and in the way of progress.

    Gee, do you only pursue things that you perceive to have a practical use? I thought science was about figuring things out, finding out what’s true. I’m not upset at all! I’m really happy with the way I perceive life, the universe and everything to be organised.

  109. 109
    JVL says:

    Origenes — Let’s start with #1. Question: what makes you think that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is?

    When you only have one example of something it’s pretty difficult to speculate on how it could have been different and get it right. What if the only life form you were aware of was a bacterium. Would you be knowledgeable to speculate on what other life forms could be? What kind of guess would you make with just that one example?

    All I am saying is: we don’t know and anything beyond that is speculation.

    When I see examples of universes with different fundamental constants then I will agree with you. Which is why I’m highly skeptical of the multiverse discussions going around. It all sounds good but no one can even show it’s possible.

  110. 110
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I said people were working on the problem, i.e. trying to find a plausible, step-by-step transition.

    Define “plausible”. Then tell us how they would know it was plausible if they cannot repeat the feat.

    All the mathematical models which closely mirror what is actually observed are based on random mutation rates.

    More meaningless drivel. Not one mathematical models shows mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes. It is beyond incredible to suggest accidents, errors and mistakes can accumulate in such a way as to produce multi-protein machines.

    ID is though anti-unguided evolution, that is clear.

    Again, for the learning impaired- ID is only against unguided evolution producing multi-protein machines and systems. It is against blind, mindless processes producing living organisms. ID is OK with genetic accidents, errors and mistakes occurring and in some circumstances (see sickle-cell anemia) producing an advantage.

    Read the essay I linked to and stop being such boring loser.

    Gee, do you only pursue things that you perceive to have a practical use?

    Yes, why else bother? Who is going to fund research into things that are not applicable to anything? Tell them I have many such projects.

    And that Wm. Dembski has stopped writing about ID does not mean his past writings are invalid and the research projects he suggested go away.

    What research content has evolution by means of bind, mindless processes ever generated? No one uses it for anything. However ID concepts are being used.

    By the way- the multiverse is the only scenario- your position’s only chance- of trying to explain why the laws and constants of this universe are the way they are.

    Any other life forms will be carbon based. That is based on our knowledge of physics and chemistry. And given physics it would also dictate what those forms would look like on other planets.

  111. 111
    Origenes says:

    JVL @109

    I do not understand your argument. Can you elaborate?

  112. 112
    JVL says:

    Origenes — I do not understand your argument. Can you elaborate?

    We don’t know the universe is tune-able. We have only one example of a universe so speculating that they could be others is just speculation.

    When there’s some real evidence and a decent mathematical model then we can look at what values might be different.

  113. 113
    JVL says:

    ET — Define “plausible”. Then tell us how they would know it was plausible if they cannot repeat the feat.

    Plausible as in we may not have observed the entire process happening but we have observed most of the steps occurring in other context or can make very strong inference based on other data that steps could have occurred. Kind of like the reasonable doubt criteria in court cases. We haven’t got a witness but we have lots of other evidence that makes our explanation extremely plausible or even likely.

    Of course, there will be more tentative explanations at first as people present various hypotheses and then those are tested. That’s the way it always goes. Little by little, we get a clearer picture of what occurred or might have occurred. Welcome to modern science. Very few people make a major breakthrough. Most of the time they’re just chipping away at the unknown.

    More meaningless drivel. Not one mathematical models shows mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes. It is beyond incredible to suggest accidents, errors and mistakes can accumulate in such a way as to produce multi-protein machines.

    If you look at many research papers involving mutation rates the mathematical models (which are based on random occurrences) are checked against observed rates. Who would take the results seriously if the model didn’t match up with reality?

    Your argument from incredulity carries no scientific weight.

    Again, for the learning impaired- ID is only against unguided evolution producing multi-protein machines and systems. It is against blind, mindless processes producing living organisms. ID is OK with genetic accidents, errors and mistakes occurring and in some circumstances (see sickle-cell anemia) producing an advantage.

    How can you tell the difference between the guided and unguided changes? If some mutations are random then some of them will be beneficial (as in your sickle-cell anaemia example) and unguided. How do you determine that any guided mutations have occurred?

    Yes, why else bother? Who is going to fund research into things that are not applicable to anything? Tell them I have many such projects.

    You can apply for funding just like anyone else. Have you looked at the Ig-Noble prize winners? Some of the research is really weird and WTF? But it was all funded. Science is about figuring out how things work; applying it is another issue. In fact, some commentators are saying the tolerance of (especially conservative) administrations for pure, unapplied research is getting less and less.

    And that Wm. Dembski has stopped writing about ID does not mean his past writings are invalid and the research projects he suggested go away.

    True, but he’s stopped putting any effort into it. Not the sort of behaviour I’d expect form someone who expected great breakthroughs soon.

    What research content has evolution by means of bind, mindless processes ever generated? No one uses it for anything. However ID concepts are being used.

    Why does the pursuit of knowledge have to have a practical application? And, by the way, researchers into new kinds of flu vaccines haver started shifting their focus to attacking a different part of viral microbes, to the part that has fewer mutations, the parts that vary less from year to year. A good example of pure research being applied to a real world problem.

    By the way- the multiverse is the only scenario- your position’s only chance- of trying to explain why the laws and constants of this universe are the way they are.

    Who knows? I don’t. I am yet to be convinced of the multiverse hypothesis. I’m happy for physicists to continue to drill down into our universe though.

    Any other life forms will be carbon based. That is based on our knowledge of physics and chemistry. And given physics it would also dictate what those forms would look like on other planets.

    I wouldn’t be surprised; as you imply carbon is able to form many bonds and so makes a good organic backbone if I’m allowed a pun.

    Anyway, I am going to continue to be highly dubious of the multiverse until someone can come up with data and a robust mathematical model with some predicting power. My bar is very high on that issue. I am not going to buy into the idea because I think it’s the easiest way to ‘save’ my viewpoint (not that I think that is true). I refuse to accept something so speculative because it makes some other things easier. Show me the data!

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    CD:

    we may not have observed the entire process happening but we have observed most of the steps occurring in other context or can make very strong inference based on other data that steps could have occurred.

    You’re bluffing.

    No such stepwise observations with only a few pieces missing that can support easy exaptation exist, for OOL, for origin of major cell mechanisms, for origin of body plans, for origin of language and logic using conscious mind. Otherwise, it would be trumpeted everywhere and showered with Nobel Prizes. If you have such, kindly give it —– but no literature bluffs please.

    Let me clip here (as an addition) Menuge’s challenge to the easy exaptation talking point:

    For a working [bacterial] flagellum to be built by exaptation, the five following conditions would all have to be met:

    C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

    C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

    C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

    C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

    C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

    ( Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). HT: ENV.)

    What is instead happening is that you have a strong a priori ideological framework imposed, evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow travellers, with so-called methodological naturalism as enforcer to lock out otherwise serious alternatives.

    In that context of a strong ideological faith, anything that can fit in with the eye of faith is seized upon as headline-worthy “proof.” Never mind the typical subsequent collapse of such icons under closer scrutiny.

    Philip Johnson, replying to Lewontin, took the measure of such ideological schemes long ago now:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    Contrast, Newton in Opticks, 1704, Query 31:

    As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For [speculative, empirically ungrounded] Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy. And although the arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general. And if no Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced generally. But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as occur. [–> this for instance speaks to how Newtonian Dynamics works well for the large, slow moving bodies case, but is now limited by relativity and quantum findings] By this way of Analysis we may proceed from Compounds to Ingredients, and from Motions to the Forces producing them; and in general, from Effects to their Causes, and from particular Causes to more general ones, till the Argument end in the most general. This is the Method of Analysis: And the Synthesis consists in assuming the Causes discover’d, and establish’d as Principles, and by them explaining the Phaenomena proceeding from them, and proving [= testing, the older sense of “prove” . . . i.e. he anticipates Lakatos on progressive vs degenerative research programmes and the pivotal importance of predictive success of the dynamic models in our theories in establishing empirical reliability, thus trustworthiness and utility] the Explanations. [Newton in Opticks, 1704, Query 31, emphases and notes added]

    On long observation, that’s where the real trouble lies.

    KF

  115. 115
    JVL says:

    KF — You’re bluffing.

    No such stepwise observations with only a few pieces missing that can support easy exaptation exist, for OOL, for origin of major cell mechanisms, for origin of body plans, for origin of language and logic using conscious mind. Otherwise, it would be trumpeted everywhere and showered with Nobel Prizes. If you have such, kindly give it —– but no literature bluffs please.

    I believe you took my comment out of context. I was not attempting to explain the origin of life or any other biological conundrum; I was responding to a query by ET about how I would DEFINE plausible. I was not applying my hastily created explanation to a particular scenario. In fact, his question arose out of another issue, perhaps related to body plans, which you can see by backtracking through the conversation.

    As far as I’m concerned, the origin of life is an unsolved problem; I have seen no definitive, or even completely plausible, explanations. There are some hypotheses and I expect work to continue to weed out the non-runners from those possibilities.

    What is instead happening is that you have a strong a priori ideological framework imposed, evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow travellers, with so-called methodological naturalism as enforcer to lock out otherwise serious alternatives.

    In that context of a strong ideological faith, anything that can fit in with the eye of faith is seized upon as headline-worthy “proof.” Never mind the typical subsequent collapse of such icons under closer scrutiny.

    I think I won’t respond to this as it seems you were castigating me for something I didn’t say or intended to say. If I wrong then please pinpoint what statement I made that you find objectionable.

  116. 116
    Origenes says:

    JVL @112

    Here is my question again:

    … what makes you think that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is?

    You say something along the lines of “I don’t know if things could be different”. However, by the same force, you also do not know if things could not be different. IOWs this is not an argument that makes any headway.
    In order to proceed you have to wonder if there are any reasons in support of your idea that things could not have been different. I suggest that you start by answering my question.

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, sorry, that too fails. the wider context is clearly the argument for the grand evolutionary narrative and you specifically gave an exaptation argument: “but we have observed most of the steps occurring in other context” — where in fact no such observations of “most” steps have been made and “other context” clearly implies exaptation. My onward remarks address the general context in which such exaptation arguments in fact draw their rhetorical power, observe your: “can make very strong inference based on other data that steps could have occurred” — the implied appeal to default methodological naturalism by which if it COULD have gone our preferred way that is the default . . . nope, you have to warrant a best, uncensored explanation i/l/o the observed fact on trillions of cases that the only actually observed cause of functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information is intelligently directed configuration. So, no there are no “strong” inferences absent ideological blinkers that lock out design. I also pointed out Menuge’s observations on the missing pieces of the exaptation arguments that are in known use in order to further show just how much “most” of the relevant steps have not been explained. Finally, I addressed OOL, cellular systems, body plans and origin of mind, thank you — covering the full range across the tree of life from root to twigs. That is the span you need to adequately cover. KF

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, the assertion that the number of particles etc in our observed — the only actually observed — cosmos, which credibly had a beginning is tantamount to claiming a super-law of astonishing fine tuning. Such a law implies a precisely tuned cosmos bakery that is itself locked to very fine tuned values. Going to more serious matters, the point is, we learned we live in a cosmos with mathematically identifiable laws that are not locked by force of logic. And, we are free to explore what-if, counter-factual scenarios on what would happen were things twiddled about a bit. This has happened since the 50’s and the result is known: astonishing fine tuning. So, the talking points we now see are in significant part an attempt to wriggle out of that implication. KF

  119. 119
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Plausible as in we may not have observed the entire process happening but we have observed most of the steps occurring in other context or can make very strong inference based on other data that steps could have occurred

    Sounds like you are redefining the word. Heck no one has observed any steps with respect to the evolution of ATP synthase.

    If you look at many research papers involving mutation rates the mathematical models (which are based on random occurrences) are checked against observed rates.

    Are you dense? Not one mathematical model shows that mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes. Encrypted messages appear random too but we know they are not.

    Your argument from incredulity carries no scientific weight.

    Your entire shtick is an argument from incredulity and carries no weight at all.

    How can you tell the difference between the guided and unguided changes?

    The mutations that happen at the right time and at the right place are clearly guided. Read “Evolution: a view from the 21st century” and stop being so willfully ignorant.

    Why does the pursuit of knowledge have to have a practical application?

    How do you know it is knowledge if it cannot be applied and thoroughly tested?

    But anyways, you are a hypocrite and a scientifically illiterate troll. Your position has nothing, offers nothing and has no use. Yet you expect ID to focus on your asinine questions all the while your position cannot answer anything.

    I refuse to accept something so speculative because it makes some other things easier.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course. Your entire position is so speculative is relies on sheer dumb luck. Yet you cling to it

  120. 120
    ET says:

    And if I had to guess as to why Dembski did what he did it would be because of the overwhelming number of people like JVL. It is just too much work slogging through their willful ignorance to get ID a seat at the science table. He would rather wait for all of the anti-science mob to die out and then have at it again. Why deal with a bunch of anti-science losers who don’t have a clue nor an argument?

  121. 121
    JVL says:

    Origenes — You say something along the lines of “I don’t know if things could be different”. However, by the same force, you also do not know if things could not be different.

    I agree.

    IOWs this is not an argument that makes any headway.

    I’m not trying to make headway; I’m trying to explain my view of the situation.

    In order to proceed you have to wonder if there are any reasons in support of your idea that things could not have been different.

    I don’t think we know enough one way or the other.

    I suggest that you start by answering my question.

    I have no idea how to answer your question. I don’t know if it’s even possible if the universe could be different enough so as to not be able to support carbon-based life.

    It’s all just speculation and, personally, I have no opinion one way or another.

  122. 122
    JVL says:

    KF — CD

    Who is ‘CD’?

    sorry, that too fails. the wider context is clearly the argument for the grand evolutionary narrative and you specifically gave an exaptation argument: “but we have observed most of the steps occurring in other context”

    I answered a question of when I would consider something plausible and the line you repeat is part of that response. I suppose I should have inserted a ‘when’ somewhere since it seems to be causing some confusion. If you want my opinion about any particular issue just ask.

    where in fact no such observations of “most” steps have been made and “other context” clearly implies exaptation.

    I was not addressing a particular issue, only a general approach that I personally would take.

    My onward remarks address the general context in which such exaptation arguments in fact draw their rhetorical power, observe your: “can make very strong inference based on other data that steps could have occurred” — the implied appeal to default methodological naturalism by which if it COULD have gone our preferred way that is the default . . . nope, you have to warrant a best, uncensored explanation i/l/o the observed fact on trillions of cases that the only actually observed cause of functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information is intelligently directed configuration.

    I am under no obligation to render an opinion on a subject I have not been queried about. If you want to ask me about something then please be specific and just ask.

    So, no there are no “strong” inferences absent ideological blinkers that lock out design. I also pointed out Menuge’s observations on the missing pieces of the exaptation arguments that are in known use in order to further show just how much “most” of the relevant steps have not been explained. Finally, I addressed OOL, cellular systems, body plans and origin of mind, thank you — covering the full range across the tree of life from root to twigs. That is the span you need to adequately cover.

    If you ask me specifically about an issue you may find I agree with you. As I clearly stated: I don’t consider the origin of life issue settled in the slightest. I don’t keep up with the current research but I suspect any kind of conclusion is a long ways off yet.

  123. 123
    JVL says:

    ET — Sounds like you are redefining the word. Heck no one has observed any steps with respect to the evolution of ATP synthase.

    I didn’t say anyone had; I just asserted that research was being done into the issue which is clearly the case. And then you asked me what I meant by the term ‘plausible’ and I chose to answer in a very general case.

    Are you dense? Not one mathematical model shows that mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes. Encrypted messages appear random too but we know they are not.

    The models don’t ‘show’ that mutations are random, the models assume random and then are checked to see if they match what is observed. If the models don’t match what is observed then they are thrown out or refined.

    Encrypted messages may or may not ‘appear’ random depending on the kind of encryption. There are mathematical tests which may reveal that something which appears so is not random at all.

    The mutations that happen at the right time and at the right place are clearly guided. Read “Evolution: a view from the 21st century” and stop being so willfully ignorant.

    What is the criteria for ‘right time’ and ‘right place’? Here’s an example: most people on the planet cannot digest lactose as adults. Some can. Was the mutation(s) responsible at the right place and the right time? How about the advent of blue eyed humans? The loss of most of our ancestral body hair?

    Can you give me an example of a guided mutation? Human if you can.

    How do you know it is knowledge if it cannot be applied and thoroughly tested?

    Tested and applied are two different things. Relativity was pretty well established before it was found to have any ‘practical’ use; it was used to refine our models of the universe of course. You can prove (and I do mean prove) that there are an infinite number of prime numbers even thought the usefulness of that is questionable.

    But anyways, you are a hypocrite and a scientifically illiterate troll. Your position has nothing, offers nothing and has no use. Yet you expect ID to focus on your asinine questions all the while your position cannot answer anything.

    I don’t expect ID proponents to do anything. Your ideas bring up some interesting questions in my mind, some of which seem pretty important to me. Se, when it looks to me like no one is working on those questions I wonder why that is the case. You do what you like, it’s your prerogative.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course. Your entire position is so speculative is relies on sheer dumb luck. Yet you cling to it

    Oh well.

    And if I had to guess as to why Dembski did what he did it would be because of the overwhelming number of people like JVL. It is just too much work slogging through their willful ignorance to get ID a seat at the science table. He would rather wait for all of the anti-science mob to die out and then have at it again. Why deal with a bunch of anti-science losers who don’t have a clue nor an argument?

    It’s been a while since I read his blog post about it but I don’t think he mentioned any of those issues. But I could be wrong.

  124. 124
    Origenes says:

    JVL@ 121

    Origenes: In order to proceed you have to wonder if there are any reasons in support of your idea that things could not have been different.

    JVL: I don’t think we know enough one way or the other.

    In order to weigh the pros and cons, we have to present them. So, let’s do that. Again, I suggest that you start by answering my question: ” … what makes you think that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is?”

    JVL: I have no idea how to answer your question.

    It is very simple; just present the arguments which support your idea that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is.

  125. 125
    ET says:

    JVL:

    I just asserted that research was being done into the issue which is clearly the case

    The research does not pertain to evolution by means of blind, mindless processes.

    The models don’t ‘show’ that mutations are random, the models assume random and then are checked to see if they match what is observed.

    Nothing shows all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    What is the criteria for ‘right time’ and ‘right place’?

    Just when and where they are needed.

    Relativity was pretty well established before it was found to have any ‘practical’ use;

    Baloney. No one accepted it until it was demonstrated to be true- ie a practical use

    I don’t expect ID proponents to do anything.

    That’s good but we are doing more to sure up ID than anyone is doing to sure up blind watchmaker evolution.

    Se, when it looks to me like no one is working on those questions I wonder why that is the case.

    As I said we don’t find your questions as important as you do. We know there are more important questions to answer first. And we also know it takes resources, resources your position has and is wasting.

  126. 126
    JVL says:

    Origenes — In order to weigh the pros and cons, we have to present them. So, let’s do that.

    I haven’t got any. I just don’t know and I’m not sure even how to speculate.

    Again, I suggest that you start by answering my question: ” … what makes you think that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is?”

    I don’t think that.

    It is very simple; just present the arguments which support your idea that the amount of matter in the universe could not be anything other than what it is.

    I don’t think that is the case however. But, I don’t think the converse either. I don’t know!

    I could make up an opinion but what’s the point? I don’t think we have any reason to favour any decision. Just my opinion.

  127. 127
    JVL says:

    ET — The research does not pertain to evolution by means of blind, mindless processes.

    That’s what the mathematical models are based on.

    Nothing shows all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    Well, without a demonstrated and existing non-human way of influencing mutations towards a goal and since the models assuming random mutations match observations then that seems like a reasonable conclusion.

    Just when and where they are needed.

    Based on what standards?

    Baloney. No one accepted it until it was demonstrated to be true- ie a practical use

    Well, I wouldn’t say that demonstrating relativity was true was a practical use at the time.

    That’s good but we are doing more to sure up ID than anyone is doing to sure up blind watchmaker evolution.

    Okay.

    As I said we don’t find your questions as important as you do. We know there are more important questions to answer first. And we also know it takes resources, resources your position has and is wasting.

    Well, I await your results with anticipation.

  128. 128
    ET says:

    JVL:

    That’s what the mathematical models are based on.

    That is your opinion but it isn’t supported by anything.

    Well, without a demonstrated and existing non-human way of influencing mutations towards a goal and since the models assuming random mutations match observations then that seems like a reasonable conclusion.

    LoL! You can’t demonstrate anything. You can’t demonstrate genetic accidents accumulating in such a way as to give rise to new protein machinery. All you have are genetic diseases to point to.

    Based on what standards?

    Observation

    Well, I wouldn’t say that demonstrating relativity was true was a practical use at the time.

    If you can demonstrate it that is all you need to do- that is the practical side of it. It means it is real

    Well, I await your results with anticipation.

    Please hold your breath while you wait.

  129. 129
    ET says:

    And appearing “random” mathematically does not mean they are accidents. You need some other standard to make the decision.

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, sorry, lines crossed but CD took up the line. My answer stands. KF

  131. 131
    Origenes says:

    JVL: I’m not convinced the laws can be anything other than what they are.

    What are the arguments in support of your idea that the laws — or e.g. the amount of matter in the universe — cannot be any different than they are?

    JVL: I haven’t got any.

    Ok. Your argument is unsupported. Thank you for your admission.

  132. 132
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @118,

    Is your point that a scenario where the laws, the amount of matter an so forth could not have been different, can only be explained by a “super-law of astonishing fine tuning”?

    If so, I would agree. This means that JVL has no point what so ever. If things could have been different then fine-tuning can be inferred. If things could not have been different, then we have to invoke a “super-law of astonishing fine tuning”.

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, yes. KF

  134. 134
    JVL says:

    ET — That is your opinion but it isn’t supported by anything.

    It’s supported by the mathematics.

    LoL! You can’t demonstrate anything. You can’t demonstrate genetic accidents accumulating in such a way as to give rise to new protein machinery. All you have are genetic diseases to point to.

    Can you demonstrate a physical mechanism wherein mutations are guided?

    What if the mutations leading to diseases were guided? What if the designer is malevolent?

    Observation

    Okay. Give me an example of a guided mutation?

    If you can demonstrate it that is all you need to do- that is the practical side of it. It means it is real

    Well, not quite the way I would use practical but now I know what you mean.

    Please hold your breath while you wait.

    Not a good idea when waiting for ID research results.

    And appearing “random” mathematically does not mean they are accidents. You need some other standard to make the decision.

    Well, spell out the standard you are thinking of please.

  135. 135
    JVL says:

    Origenes — What are the arguments in support of your idea that the laws — or e.g. the amount of matter in the universe — cannot be any different than they are?

    That wasn’t my argument. I said we can’t know if they could be different. I’m personally not convinced they can be different because I haven’t seen examples of them being different.

    When I see evidence one way or the other I will start to lean. I, personally, have no well founded arguments either way. I’m waiting for data, evidence and mathematical models.

    Ok. Your argument is unsupported. Thank you for your admission.

    I’m okay with that. It is just my opinion; I’m not trying to influence anyone else.

    If so, I would agree. This means that JVL has no point what so ever. If things could have been different then fine-tuning can be inferred. If things could not have been different, then we have to invoke a “super-law of astonishing fine tuning”.

    So . . . fine tuning either way? Is your hypothesis falsifiable? Just asking out of curiosity. I’m not invested in the issue to be honest.

  136. 136
    Origenes says:

    JVL @135

    Origenes: If things could have been different then fine-tuning can be inferred. If things could not have been different, then we have to invoke a “super-law of astonishing fine tuning”.

    JVL: So . . . fine tuning either way? Is your hypothesis falsifiable?

    Is the hypothesis that a watch is intelligently designed falsifiable? Surprisingly, it is: by showing that law and/or chance can produce a watch.
    However, saying “perhaps the watch could not be any different” does not rise to the level of a counter-argument — it is simply irrelevant.
    With regard to the universe it is very much the same. Only hypothesizing a multiverse is an attempt to falsify fine-tuning. However, saying “perhaps the universe could not be any different” is irrelevant to fine-tuning.

  137. 137
    ET says:

    The mathematics does not support the claim that all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    Can you demonstrate a physical mechanism wherein mutations are guided?

    Built-in responses to environmental cues.

    Give me an example of a guided mutation?

    Already have- Lenski’s gene duplication to allow for citrate transport through the membrane under aerobic conditions. then there are transposable elements and the SOS response.

    As for waiting for ID research you don’t seem to know what ID is. There is plenty of ID research going on right now.

    As for the standards that show mutations are accidents that is up to you to provide. And you can’t.

    And for showing accidents can accumulate in such a way as to give rise to complex protein machines, you don’t even have any examples nor anything to extrapolate from.

  138. 138
    ET says:

    No one will ever see a universe with different constants and laws. that is because we cannot exist in such a universe. However simulations show that such universes are possible.

  139. 139
    ET says:

    Randomness with respect to mathematics means there isn’t any definite pattern or predictability. It has more to do with probability and nothing to do with whether or not the events were planned or accidents.

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    CD:

    supported by the mathematics

    Deeply isolated protein domains in AA sequence space, leading to lack of a stepping stone pattern?

    The implications of search challenge that sol system or observed cosmos scale resources are grossly inadequate to search config spaces beyond 500 – 1,000 bits?

    Etc?

    KF

  141. 141
    JVL says:

    Origenes — With regard to the universe it is very much the same. Only hypothesizing a multiverse is an attempt to falsify fine-tuning. However, saying “perhaps the universe could not be any different” is irrelevant to fine-tuning.

    Okay. Like I said, I’ve not got a dog in the race and I’m just going to wait until there’s some evidence and a robust mathematical model.

  142. 142
    JVL says:

    ET — The mathematics does not support the claim that all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    The mutation rates can be accurately modelled with a random distribution.

    Built-in responses to environmental cues.

    Where are those built-in responses and how do they guide mutations?

    Already have- Lenski’s gene duplication to allow for citrate transport through the membrane under aerobic conditions. then there are transposable elements and the SOS response.

    Why did only one strain go through that process? When the experiment started all the strains had the same genome, they were all clones of each other essentially. So, somewhere down the line something changed. OR you have to figure out why your built-in responses only trigged an event in that one line of descent.

    As for waiting for ID research you don’t seem to know what ID is. There is plenty of ID research going on right now.

    I’ll wait for the results then.

    As for the standards that show mutations are accidents that is up to you to provide. And you can’t.

    Mutations are accurately modelled as random events and no influencing process has been found.

    And for showing accidents can accumulate in such a way as to give rise to complex protein machines, you don’t even have any examples nor anything to extrapolate from.

    I think the evidence is the history of life on this planet as tracked through the genomes, fossils, biogeography and morphology just to name four major lines of evidence.

    No one will ever see a universe with different constants and laws. that is because we cannot exist in such a universe. However simulations show that such universes are possible.

    I can write a computer simulation of a dragon, I’ve even fought one in a video game.

    Randomness with respect to mathematics means there isn’t any definite pattern or predictability. It has more to do with probability and nothing to do with whether or not the events were planned or accidents.

    Find the process by which mutations are guided. If you find it then it can be studied and tested and modelled.

  143. 143
    ET says:

    The mutation rates can be accurately modelled with a random distribution.

    Tat still doesn’t say if the mutations were accidents or not.

    Where are those built-in responses and how do they guide mutations?

    In the cells and as a response to environmental cues

    Why did only one strain go through that process?

    Why don’t all students get the same answers on the same tests from the same class?

    I’ll wait for the results then.

    The results are in.

    Mutations are accurately modelled as random events and no influencing process has been found.

    Influencing factors have been found.

    I think the evidence is the history of life on this planet as tracked through the genomes, fossils, biogeography and morphology just to name four major lines of evidence.

    Good for you. Too had you don’t have any science to support that claim.

    Find the process by which mutations are guided.

    Already have. And genetic algorithms are great examples of guided evolution.

    If you find it then it can be studied and tested and modelled.

    Genetic algorithms.

    The mathematics does not support the claim that all mutations are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    Nothing JVL can say will ever change that fact

  144. 144
    JVL says:

    ET – Tat still doesn’t say if the mutations were accidents or not.

    But then you have to provide a guidance mechanism. Can you do that?

    In the cells and as a response to environmental cues

    Where in the cells? How do they detect and evaluate environmental cues and how do they then guide mutations? Specifically what mutations?

    Why don’t all students get the same answers on the same tests from the same class?

    Uh . . . not a good analogy really. You are claiming some kind of guidance process which exists in all cells (apparently) and which was triggered into action in only some strains of Dr Lenski’s experiment. Can you explain how that came about?

    The results are in.

    Too bad they haven’t seemed to have any effect.

    Influencing factors have been found.

    Well then spell them out.

    Already have. And genetic algorithms are great examples of guided evolution.

    But you haven’t identified the processes in cells which you say are influencing and guiding mutations.

    How is the guiding being implemented?

    Genetic algorithms.

    Show us the actual process in cells that is influencing mutations. That’s all you have to do.

    If you can’t point to the process then we can’t account for its influence.

  145. 145
    ET says:

    JVL:

    But then you have to provide a guidance mechanism.

    What is the alternative? They just happen? One strain just happened to get the right mutations followed by a gene duplication, the only gene out of many that could help get the citrate into the cell, and put under control of a promoter that just happened to be OK with oxygen? That’s it? Nothing left to see here it was all just a series of very fortunate events? Your double standards prove that you are just a troll.

    But thanks for all of the research questions. I am sure someone will get on it when the resources come available. Right now the research shows many mutations are guided. It isn’t my fault that you refuse to learn about it. There are books out there to help you. Dr Spetner has some essays on UD. Check out the latest one with his name- about Adam and Eve.

  146. 146
    Joe Sixpack says:

    I’m afraid that I have to back JVL up on the fine tuning issue. Until we can demonstrate that any of the laws and constants that are supposed to be fine tuned can have any other values, we are just playing mental masturabation games. Highly enjoyable but fundamentally, non productive.

  147. 147
    ET says:

    They can’t have other values, Joe Sixpack. Not if you want a universe with humans or human-like organisms.

    in defense of fine tuning:

    That the laws of physics are such that life can appear is indisputable. Let us also assume for the moment that the vast majority of possible laws of physics are not so hospitable. The only objection at this point is that there is only one possible set of physical laws, but as we can easily perceive alternatives and even construct models of them this objection seems to me to fail. As we are investigating why the laws of physics are as they are, the answer ‘because they are’ does not seem to take us very far forward and indeed, begs the question.

    Let us consider a reason why the laws of physics might be as they are, using our common sense version of Bayes’s Theorem. Let us call our hypothesis X: the hypothesis that the conditions for life were intelligently arranged rather than otherwise. Under what conditions can we consider this hypothesis? When we conclude that the laws of physics are more likely to be as they are if it is true than if it is not. Although this hypothesis introduces a host of other questions, we are, in the spirit of scientific enquiry, taking one step at a time. After all, there were those who disputed with Newton because he could tell us nothing about what gravity actually is, but I would not be among them.

    Another X we might consider is that this universe is the present result of a line of cosmic evolution where universes bud off each other after subtly mutating and that somehow their propensity to reproduce themselves is related to their propensity to be a home for life. One example of this idea suggested by Lee Smolin is that of universes being born through black holes. Black holes require heavy stars and various other conditions to exist which are also responsible for the creation of those heavier elements that are needed for life. As we shall see later, I fear that cosmic evolution, although it might explain some physical laws, falls well short of improving the odds for the finely tuned laws we see to an acceptable level.

    The last alternative sometimes suggested is that a multitude of universes exist and we got lucky by being in the right one. This is becoming increasingly popular and suggests that more and more atheistic scientists such as Martin Rees in Just Six Numbers are at least accepting that fine tuning is real and are considering a non-theistic explanation.

    The usual atheist response to fine tuning is to try and subject it to death by a thousand questions. They will ask how we know the universe could be any different from what it is, how we can possibly know that this is the only universe intelligent life could exist in, and why we are so arrogant to assume that only our sort of life is possible. A lecture on how we do not understand probabilities is also likely at this point as is a demand that we prove that the creator means the God of the Bible. I will deal with the various objections to fine tuning in something like the order that they might be expected to arise in any debate, but like all arguments for God, this one does not seem to convince anyone who does not want to be convinced.

    Is not ours the only possible universe?

    It is certain that our universe is the only one of which we have any knowledge but we cannot from this reasonably postulate that ours is therefore the only one possible. Indeed, an argument would have to be constructed to show that any other universe was logically impossible and this argument would then have to be shown not to apply to ours. Aristotle did insist that only our world existed and this was part of his worldview that Christianity successfully overthrew in the march towards modern science. For the atheist to claim that no other universes are possible needs to be backed up with rather more than the observation that this is the only one we can see. A more philosophically-minded individual might claim that the fact we cannot know anything about these other universes (with whom I would agree) is tantamount to saying they cannot exist. But this is a mistake. It would be bold enough to take the view that only what actually exists can possibly do so, without going further out on a limb to proclaim that only what is known can exist.

  148. 148
    Joe Sixpack says:

    Joe: “They can’t have other values, Joe Sixpack. Not if you want a universe with humans or human-like organisms.“

    I agree. But how can they be tuned if they can’t have other values? When we talk about tuning, we talk about things like radio wavelengths and frequencies that we can tune (change). We can tune the wavelength of light but nobody talks about tuning the speed of light. The fact that it is a constant doesn’t mean that it is finely tuned.

    The fact that something can only have one value does not mean that it must be designed. Ultimately, everything in the universe falls out of the physical nature of hydrogen. The entire periodic table is nothing more than adding electrons, neutrons and protons to hydrogen (grossly simplified).

  149. 149
    Origenes says:

    @147

    Joe Sixpack: I’m afraid that I have to back JVL up on the fine tuning issue. Until we can demonstrate that any of the laws and constants that are supposed to be fine tuned can have any other values, we are just playing mental masturabation games.

    If the laws and constants cannot have any other values, then this can only be explained by a super-law of astonishing fine-tuning. So you see Joe, that bizarre notion that you share with JVL, actually supports fine-tuning.

  150. 150
    Joe Sixpack says:

    Origenes:

    If the laws and constants cannot have any other values, then this can only be explained by a super-law of astonishing fine tuning. So you see Joe, that bizarre notion that you share with JVL, actually supports fine-tuning.

    I’m afraid I don’t see it that way. You are looking at the end product and claiming that the things that were necessary for that end product must have been designed (finely tuned) to produce that end product. This logic reminds me of Douglas Adams’ parody of the depression in the ground being designed (finely tuned) to hold that puddle. Rather that claiming that these constants were finely tuned, we should be looking at if these constants could have different values. If they can’t, then we are just arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. An entertaining discussion, but effectively pointless

  151. 151
    JVL says:

    ET — What is the alternative? They just happen? One strain just happened to get the right mutations followed by a gene duplication, the only gene out of many that could help get the citrate into the cell, and put under control of a promoter that just happened to be OK with oxygen? That’s it? Nothing left to see here it was all just a series of very fortunate events? Your double standards prove that you are just a troll.

    How is it a double standard? One strain got lucky. In a non-controlled environment that strain would out-compete the others and become dominant. They might even crowd out the other strains. Then, who knows, there might later be another fortunate set of events that introduce another variation that is even more able to exploit the environment to its advantage.

    But thanks for all of the research questions. I am sure someone will get on it when the resources come available.

    I await the results with anticipation.

    Right now the research shows many mutations are guided. It isn’t my fault that you refuse to learn about it. There are books out there to help you. Dr Spetner has some essays on UD. Check out the latest one with his name- about Adam and Eve.

    I have read some of his work. I, and many others, don’t find it correctly interprets the data or the research done by other. In fact, the authors of some of the papers he references explicitly deny his interpretations.

  152. 152
    JVL says:

    Joe Sixpack — This logic reminds me of Douglas Adams’ parody of the depression in the ground being designed (finely tuned) to hold that puddle.

    That is a good one! It reminds me of the sharpshooter fallacy; draw the target after making your shots. Look! What’s the chances of that happening!!

    I frequently think it’s more reasonable to think of life as being fine-tuned for the universe. Or at least the earth since we don’t yet know if life exists elsewhere.

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, only problem is, the physics and initial conditions of our observed cosmos, the sol system and earth keep telling us that we are at a deeply isolated operating point that enables the sort of cell based life we experience. There is the further issue that the living cell is highly contingent starting from the functionally specific complex coded text found in its DNA and in the surrounding execution and metabolic machinery and networks. There is no credible empirical observation backed account of how such FSCO/I arose by blind chance and/or blind mechanical necessity. Indeed, a trillion member observation base backed by analysis of search challenge in beyond astronomically large configuration spaces clearly supports the conclusion that such FSCO/I is a reliable sign of intelligent cause. KF

  154. 154
    JVL says:

    KF — only problem is, the physics and initial conditions of our observed cosmos, the sol system and earth keep telling us that we are at a deeply isolated operating point that enables the sort of cell based life we experience.

    I don’t think we know that for sure. You might be right but I’m waiting for more data.

    There is the further issue that the living cell is highly contingent starting from the functionally specific complex coded text found in its DNA and in the surrounding execution and metabolic machinery and networks. There is no credible empirical observation backed account of how such FSCO/I arose by blind chance and/or blind mechanical necessity. Indeed, a trillion member observation base backed by analysis of search challenge in beyond astronomically large configuration spaces clearly supports the conclusion that such FSCO/I is a reliable sign of intelligent cause.

    As I have already agreed; the origin of life is an unresolved issue. But I don’t think anyone is seriously hypothesising that a living cell came first. It seems a lot more reasonable to look for much simpler precursors.

    After that I think there is plenty of evidence to show that it is possible via descent with modification and cumulative selection that more complex life forms can arise without guidance.

    Besides, the only beings we have knowledge about that can even come close to such complex work are human beings who require facilities, resources, equipment, staff, living quarters, etc. Aside from our own such things we have discovered no others. If there are beings with those kind of abilities (aside from us) they have remained remarkably elusive.

  155. 155
    Origenes says:

    Joe Sixpack @150

    Origenes: If the laws and constants cannot have any other values, then this can only be explained by a super-law of astonishing fine tuning. So you see Joe, that bizarre notion that you share with JVL, actually supports fine-tuning.

    Joe Sixpack: I’m afraid I don’t see it that way. You are looking at the end product and claiming that the things that were necessary for that end product must have been designed (finely tuned) to produce that end product.

    I am claiming that only a (super) law can explain the bizarre scenario that you and JVL propose, since, obviously, chance is not part of any explanation here. If the universe could not be different than it is, then chance is not available as an explanation.
    And how do we explain a super-law that sets-up the one and only universe suitable for intelligent life?

    Joe Sixpack:This logic reminds me of Douglas Adams’ parody of the depression in the ground being designed (finely tuned) to hold that puddle.

    Unfitting comparison, because there are many shapes suitable for holding a puddle, but only one universe that is suitable for intelligent life. IOWs chance is involved with the puddle, but chance is excluded in the scenario that you and JVL propose, namely ‘the universe could not have been different than it is.’

    JVL @152 writes

    JVL: It reminds me of the sharpshooter fallacy; draw the target after making your shots. Look! What’s the chances of that happening!!

    Also an unfitting comparison, because in the sharpshooter fallacy chance plays an important role — the arrow could have hit the wall anywhere. However, in the bizarre scenario that you propose — the universe could not have been any different than it is — chance is, obviously, excluded from any explanation. There is only one target and a fine-tuned super-law is the only explanation.

  156. 156
    ET says:

    JVL:

    One strain got lucky.

    At least you admit that your position is not scientific. Thank you

    I, and many others, don’t find it correctly interprets the data or the research done by other.

    Your alternative is anti-science. So no one cares what you think. If you ever come up with a testable alternative let us know.

  157. 157
    ET says:

    Joe Sixpack:

    This logic reminds me of Douglas Adams’ parody of the depression in the ground being designed (finely tuned) to hold that puddle.

    Wow- puddles cannot think nor reason. Adams’ “analogy” is just desperation. And only fools use it as if it is meaningful.

  158. 158
    ET says:

    JVL:

    How is it a double standard?

    You expect ID to provide details before you will accept it when your position doesn’t have anything beyond sheer dumb luck.

  159. 159
    JVL says:

    ET — Your alternative is anti-science. So no one cares what you think. If you ever come up with a testable alternative let us know.

    You can test modern unguided-evolutionary theory all you like. Look for fossils out of place. Try and find something that is irreducibly complex. Locate your built-in stuff that guided mutations. Discover a life form whose genome is clearly not related to any other life form.

    You expect ID to provide details before you will accept it when your position doesn’t have anything beyond sheer dumb luck.

    You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. But you are proposing some kind of designer(s) without being able to even say when they implemented design and without being able to point to their working methods, their equipment, their energy sources, their staffing, their design parameters and plans. Any you are proposing some kind of built-in stuff which no one can find hide nor hair of.

    You’ve got a lot of catching up to do to even approach the amount of evidence in support of un-guided evolution. Maybe you should start with that built-in stuff. Seems to me that would be almost a slam-dunk moment.

  160. 160
    JVL says:

    Origenes — Also an unfitting comparison, because in the sharpshooter fallacy chance plays an important role — the arrow could have hit the wall anywhere. However, in the bizarre scenario that you propose — the universe could not have been any different than it is — chance is, obviously, excluded from any explanation. There is only one target and a fine-tuned super-law is the only explanation.

    I didn’t say the universe could or could not be fine tuned. I said we don’t know. It could be that the universe could not be different but I don’t see anyway of coming to that conclusion.

    Modern evolutionary theory would say that we are all just lucky to be here. Human being might not have even evolved if the dinosaurs didn’t bite the dust, mostly. If other universes are possible then that adds another layer of fortunateness. You want to take the final outcome of all that and say: wow, we are so improbable the universe must be designed to bring us about. If the dinosaurs had stuck around one of them might be saying the same thing now.

    That’s why I referenced the sharpshooter fallacy. You can’t claim the shooter had your bullseye in mind if you draw the target after the shots have been taken. We weren’t the goal!

  161. 161
    ET says:

    JVL:

    You can test modern unguided-evolutionary theory all you like.

    Except there isn’t any “modern unguided-evolutionary theory” to test

    Look for fossils out of place.

    Except unguided evolution doesn’t have a mechanism capable of producing the organisms that fossilized.

    Try and find something that is irreducibly complex.

    Many have been found.

    Discover a life form whose genome is clearly not related to any other life form.

    They should be related via a common design.

    But you are proposing some kind of designer(s) without being able to even say when they implemented design and without being able to point to their working methods, their equipment, their energy sources, their staffing, their design parameters and plans.

    The DESIGN says that a designer existed. That is how it works in science. First you determine DRESIGN exists and then you study it. No one has to know any other answers before design can be determined to exist.

    Any you are proposing some kind of built-in stuff which no one can find hide nor hair of.

    That has been found, too. Look, your willful ignorance just proves that you are a troll on an agenda.

    You’ve got a lot of catching up to do to even approach the amount of evidence in support of un-guided evolution.

    The only evidence that supports unguided evolution rests with genetic diseases and deformities. There isn’t any evidence for unguided processes doing anything other than that.

  162. 162
    JVL says:

    ET — Except there isn’t any “modern unguided-evolutionary theory” to test

    Even some ID proponents disagree with you about that.

    Except unguided evolution doesn’t have a mechanism capable of producing the organisms that fossilized.

    Most of the scientists in the world would disagree with you about that. And they can’t all be scared to question the reigning paradigm.

    Many have been found.

    Most biologists would disagree with you about that.

    They should be related via a common design.

    Well, if you find one let us know.

    The DESIGN says that a designer existed. That is how it works in science. First you determine DRESIGN exists and then you study it. No one has to know any other answers before design can be determined to exist.

    Then there should be other evidence of the existence of the designer(s). We haven’t seen any. Not even a scrap of research notes. Maybe there wasn’t a designer in which case your design detection process is flawed. That is a possibility.

    That has been found, too. Look, your willful ignorance just proves that you are a troll on an agenda.

    Well let’s see it then! That would be interesting.

    The only evidence that supports unguided evolution rests with genetic diseases and deformities. There isn’t any evidence for unguided processes doing anything other than that.

    Most biologists would disagree with you about that.

  163. 163
    ET says:

    Unbelievable- No one can link to any scientific theory of evolution- modern or otherwise. That alone supports my claim and refutes anyone who disagrees with me.

    Not one scientist can demonstrate a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes. So, again, I don’t care who disagrees with me. Science, facts and reality are on my side.

    Irreducible complexity has been demonstrated to exist- many times over. And not one person who disagrees with that can show otherwise.

    The DESIGN is enough evidence for the designer. We don’t need any other evidence.

    You refuse to read the relevant literature. Your willful ignorance and delusions are not an argument nor are they evidence.

    And again, most biologists cannot support the claim of unguided evolution producing more than genetic diseases and deformities.

    Your alleged “argument from authority” just exposes your ignorance.

  164. 164
    JVL says:

    ET — Unbelievable- No one can link to any scientific theory of evolution- modern or otherwise. That alone supports my claim and refutes anyone who disagrees with me.

    I didn’t think I had to link to something that was easy to find.

    Not one scientist can demonstrate a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes. So, again, I don’t care who disagrees with me. Science, facts and reality are on my side.

    Are you serious? You hypothesise a designer which we have no independent knowledge of and you can’t even say when their design was implemented. Really? You haven’t explained where the built-in mechanism exists and how it works. You think that you can just point to mutations which you think are guided without stating a clear and unambiguous standard.

    Irreducible complexity has been demonstrated to exist- many times over. And not one person who disagrees with that can show otherwise.

    Many times over? Really?

    The DESIGN is enough evidence for the designer. We don’t need any other evidence.

    When other people have proposed ideas that have fallen afoul of the common accepted knowledge they have done their best to find more evidence and data to support their views. You seem to just want to get upset because people disagree with you.

    If you’re right then you should be able to find more data to support your view.

    You refuse to read the relevant literature. Your willful ignorance and delusions are not an argument nor are they evidence.

    You have no idea what I have and haven’t read. You’re just upset because I disagree with you. As do most people.

    And again, most biologists cannot support the claim of unguided evolution producing more than genetic diseases and deformities.

    In your opinion. You individually don’t get to dictate was is and what isn’t considered established.

    Your alleged “argument from authority” just exposes your ignorance.

    Your view is an extreme minority one. You will need to work harder to establish it. Just bitching and moaning that no one can refute you is not going to work. You have to provide the evidence that definitively refutes the long held consensus.

  165. 165
    ET says:

    JVL- You cannot find any scientific theory of unguided evolution. No one can because it doesn’t exist.

    Yes, I am serious- you don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes. We have evidence for the designer from several different scientific venues. And again if you and yours had a viable alternative- one that could be tested- we wouldn’t be talking about ID.

    IC has been shown to exist in many biological systems and structures.

    There is more data that supports ID than what any alternative has to offer. Your posts prove that you haven’t read any pro-ID literature. Your posts prove that you haven’t read much of anything when it comes to biology and science.

    I know what is and isn’t established. Your bluffs mean nothing. But it is established that bluffing is all that you have.

    Your positions claims cannot be modelled. They cannot be tested. If they could then evolutionists wouldn’t have had to lie and bluff their way through the 2005 Dover school board trial.

    And by the way, science isn’t done by consensus. Especially when said consensus can’t support their own trope.

    We have provided definitive evidence that definitely refutes any alternatives. That people can ignore it won’t make it go away.

  166. 166

    JVL @ 164: You state: “You have to provide the evidence that definitively refutes the long held consensus.”

    ET (and others) have regularly presented evidence showing: (1) that neo-Darwinian theory is not supported by empirical science, and (2) that neo-Darwinian theory is less plausible than ever in light of modern empirical science. Entire books have been written on the subject, each presenting evidence of the numerous fatal flaws in neo-Darwinian theory.

    History will not be kind to neo-Darwinian apologists. Darwin and his generation will get a pass because of what they didn’t know, but neo-Darwinists will look foolish because of what they should have known.

  167. 167
    Origenes says:

    JVL @160

    JVL: I didn’t say the universe could or could not be fine tuned. I said we don’t know. It could be that the universe could not be different but I don’t see anyway of coming to that conclusion.

    I have investigated your bizarre notion that the universe could not be different. If correct, then it can only be explained by a super-law of incredible fine-tuning.

    JVL: Modern evolutionary theory would say that we are all just lucky to be here. Human being might not have even evolved if the dinosaurs didn’t bite the dust, mostly. If other universes are possible then that adds another layer of fortunateness.

    This is a completely different attempt by you. Now we are talking chance and probabilities.

    JVL: You want to take the final outcome of all that and say: wow, we are so improbable the universe must be designed to bring us about.

    Do you have any idea just how improbable our universe is? Do you have any idea of the numbers involved?

    JVL: That’s why I referenced the sharpshooter fallacy. You can’t claim the shooter had your bullseye in mind if you draw the target after the shots have been taken. We weren’t the goal!

    I see. Okay, so now you are arguing that the fine-tuning argument is similar to painting the bullseye on the wall, after the shot. But this is only appropriate in case of the availability of a multitude ‘hittable’ spots on the wall. You would have a devastating critique of fine-tuning if the scenario were such that I could hit the wall anywhere and could subsequently (falsely) claim that I hit the intended target. IOWs if there were a multitude of different universes, with different laws and constants, which are all suitable for intelligent life.
    However, as you may well know by now, this is not the case. There is only one target on a huge huge wall.

  168. 168
    JVL says:

    ET — You cannot find any scientific theory of unguided evolution. No one can because it doesn’t exist.

    Millions of books and papers and lectures to the contrary.

    Yes, I am serious- you don’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes. We have evidence for the designer from several different scientific venues. And again if you and yours had a viable alternative- one that could be tested- we wouldn’t be talking about ID.

    You haven’t even been able to specify when design was implemented. You haven’t found any of the supporting equipment or infrastructure one would expect. You haven’t specified where the built-in stuff is or how it works. If your design detection procedures are flawed you’ve got nothing really.

    IC has been shown to exist in many biological systems and structures.

    Not according to a vast majority of biologists.

    There is more data that supports ID than what any alternative has to offer. Your posts prove that you haven’t read any pro-ID literature. Your posts prove that you haven’t read much of anything when it comes to biology and science.

    You have no idea what I’ve read. I disagree with you so I must be ignorant.

    I know what is and isn’t established. Your bluffs mean nothing. But it is established that bluffing is all that you have.

    You seem a bit confused over what modern evolutionary theory says.

    Your positions claims cannot be modelled. They cannot be tested. If they could then evolutionists wouldn’t have had to lie and bluff their way through the 2005 Dover school board trial.

    Mountains of literature to the contrary.

    And by the way, science isn’t done by consensus. Especially when said consensus can’t support their own trope.

    I agree. But, what I am saying is that millions of people have looked at the evidence for unguided evolution and found it correct.

    We have provided definitive evidence that definitely refutes any alternatives. That people can ignore it won’t make it go away.

    Despite all the evidence and literature and people who say otherwise.

  169. 169
    JVL says:

    TWSYF — ET (and others) have regularly presented evidence showing: (1) that neo-Darwinian theory is not supported by empirical science, and (2) that neo-Darwinian theory is less plausible than ever in light of modern empirical science. Entire books have been written on the subject, each presenting evidence of the numerous fatal flaws in neo-Darwinian theory.

    I don’t think that is true at all. If I bothered to spend my time linking to papers and articles I would just be told they’re all rubbish and lies. I’ve seen that happened many times before.

    History will not be kind to neo-Darwinian apologists. Darwin and his generation will get a pass because of what they didn’t know, but neo-Darwinists will look foolish because of what they should have known.

    We’ll see.

  170. 170
    JVL says:

    Origenes — I have investigated your bizarre notion that the universe could not be different. If correct, then it can only be explained by a super-law of incredible fine-tuning.

    So, no matter what the evidence you infer fine tuning. Is your view falsifiable?

    Do you have any idea just how improbable our universe is? Do you have any idea of the numbers involved?

    Nope, because we don’t know if there was even a die that had to be rolled. Any probabilities you state are just suppositions.

    I see. Okay, so now you are arguing that the fine-tuning argument is similar to painting the bullseye on the wall, after the shot. But this is only appropriate in case of the availability of a multitude ‘hittable’ spots on the wall.

    Which is why I used it primarily about the development of life on earth coming up with us. You claim that the universe is highly improbable. So, if that is true, then the sharp-shooter analogy goes even deeper.

    You would have a devastating critique of fine-tuning if the scenario were such that I could hit the wall anywhere and could subsequently (falsely) claim that I hit the intended target. IOWs if there were a multitude of different universes, with different laws and constants, which are all suitable for intelligent life.

    Something we have no knowledge of.

    However, as you may well know by now, this is not the case. There is only one target on a huge huge wall.

    I don’t know that. I think that, just speaking of the development of life on earth, that things could have turned out very different. There were clearly a lot of incidents which could have or could not have happened. Unless you want to suppose all those things were guided as well.

  171. 171
    ET says:

    LoL! JVL cannot find any scientific theory of unguided evolution! JVL is a bluffing liar and scientifically illiterate troll.

    ID has more than what unguided evolution has. JVL’s bluffs and lies mean nothing.

    IC is elucidated in many peer-reviewed articles. JVL’s lies and bluffs will never change that.

    Even the evidence for Common Descent is absent a mechanism. It does NOT support unguided evolution. No one knows how to test the claims of unguided evolution. Natural selection has proven impotent as a designer mimic. Unguided evolution doesn’t have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes. It doesn’t have a mechanism capable of producing the genetic code.

    And nothing JVL can say will ever change those facts. As I said JVL is a lying bluffer and scientifically illiterate troll.

    Have fun with that, JVL.

  172. 172
    ET says:

    JVL:

    If I bothered to spend my time linking to papers and articles I would just be told they’re all rubbish and lies.

    Because you cannot make a case that they support evolution by means of blind, mindless processes. So of course we are going to expose you as a lying bluffer and scientifically illiterate troll.

  173. 173
    JVL says:

    ET — JVL cannot find any scientific theory of unguided evolution! JVL is a bluffing liar and scientifically illiterate troll.

    Without evidence of some kind of guiding process then . . .

    IC is elucidated in many peer-reviewed articles. JVL’s lies and bluffs will never change that.

    I don’t think that’s true at all. But I’m happy to look at them.

    Because you cannot make a case that they support evolution by means of blind, mindless processes. So of course we are going to expose you as a lying bluffer and scientifically illiterate troll.

    Like I said: the mathematical models for evolutionary processes that match what is observed are based on random mutations. If you want to show some of those mutations are guided then you need to show how the guiding is done. If the guiding is done within the cell then please spell it out. Since you agree that genomes can be degraded by non-guided mutations then you’ll also have to explain how your guiding process avoids becoming degraded itself.

    Show us the guiding process and explain how it works.

  174. 174
    ET says:

    We have evidence that at least some mutations are directed. You don’t have anything.

    Read about ATP synthase. it is IC. It has a part that has nothing to do with the function of either subunit but without it there isn’t any ATP synthase. So even if unguided evolution could produce the subunits, and it can’t, there is still the HUGE problem of getting and keeping the two subunits together.

    Like I said the math does NOT support unguided evolution. math would show that letters on a page of any book were random. You are obviously obtuse.

    And you can’t even find your alleged scientific theory of unguided evolution. How sad is that?

    Just admit that you are bluffing and leave it at that.

    Show us unguided evolution producing something other than genetic diseases and deformities. Show us someone modelling unguided evolution producing a protein machine.

    Show us something besides your lies, bluffs and scientific illiteracy.

  175. 175
    JVL says:

    ET — We have evidence that at least some mutations are directed. You don’t have anything.

    You said before you can tell they are directed by observation; is that your evidence? How are they directed?

    Read about ATP synthase. it is IC. It has a part that has nothing to do with the function of either subunit but without it there isn’t any ATP synthase. So even if unguided evolution could produce the subunits, and it can’t, there is still the HUGE problem of getting and keeping the two subunits together.

    Most biologists disagree with you that it is IC and research is being done to try and figure out how it might have evolved.

    ike I said the math does NOT support unguided evolution. math would show that letters on a page of any book were random. You are obviously obtuse.

    No, the mathematics would not say that.

    And you can’t even find your alleged scientific theory of unguided evolution. How sad is that?

    It easy to find if you look. But since you’ve said you’ve read a lot of books and papers about evolutionary theory but you still think it doesn’t exist then I’m not going to bother rehashing stuff.

    Just admit that you are bluffing and leave it at that.

    Why should I bring up things you’ve already made up your mind about?

    Show us unguided evolution producing something other than genetic diseases and deformities. Show us someone modelling unguided evolution producing a protein machine.

    I think the history of life on earth is an excellent example.

    If you think it’s all guided then explain how the guiding works.

    Show us something besides your lies, bluffs and scientific illiteracy.

    You keep NOT explaining how the guiding works. Does that mean you can’t?

  176. 176
    ET says:

    JVL is proving it has not read the relevant literature. No one says that ATP synthase is not IC- no one with an education, anyway. What evolutionary biologists say is IC is not a problem. That is because they rely on magic.

    Yes the mathematics would say the letters on a page in a book are random.

    I have looked for the scientific theory of unguided evolution. It doesn’t exist. You are pathetic.

    Talking about the alleged theory and even writing about it doesn’t mean one exists. No one can find it.

    And if you had evidence to the contrary you would post it. that alone would change my mind. Evidence always wins. But you are just a lying bluffer who doesn’t know what evidence is.

    The history of life? Are you obtuse? You can’t even get beyond populations of prokaryotes! And the best evidence for the alleged history does not support unguided evolution. Unguided evolution cannot be modelled. It doesn’t make any predictions- well not beyond mere change, genetic disease and deformities.

    How does the guiding work? As I told you- via built-in responses to environmental cues. Just because you are too stupid to understand that doesn’t mean anything to me. It is all explained in the books you refuse to read.

    There isn’t any scientific theory for unguided evolution. All claims to the contrary are desperate lies made by desperate bluffers.

    And no one is using blind watchmaker evolution to try to figure out how ATP synthase evolved. JVL is deluded. All “work” is really just speculation.

  177. 177
    ET says:

    If there was a scientific theory of unguided evolution then someone should be able to link to it. And the fact that no one can proves that it doesn’t exist.

    Yes, you can read about people talking about it. Yes you can read in textbooks that they want to discuss it. However you will never get a reference to it. Who wrote it? When was it published? What journal was it published in?

    Evolutionists are a pathetic lot. They ask their opposition for things they cannot provide.

  178. 178
    JVL says:

    ET — JVL is proving it has not read the relevant literature. No one says that ATP synthase is not IC- no one with an education, anyway. What evolutionary biologists say is IC is not a problem. That is because they rely on magic.

    I disagree with you.

    Yes the mathematics would say the letters on a page in a book are random.

    How could they convey meaning if they were random?

    I have looked for the scientific theory of unguided evolution. It doesn’t exist. You are pathetic.

    Oh well.

    Talking about the alleged theory and even writing about it doesn’t mean one exists. No one can find it.

    Guess it’s just you then.

    And if you had evidence to the contrary you would post it. that alone would change my mind. Evidence always wins. But you are just a lying bluffer who doesn’t know what evidence is.

    I rather suspect you would just claim it’s not evidence.

    The history of life? Are you obtuse? You can’t even get beyond populations of prokaryotes! And the best evidence for the alleged history does not support unguided evolution. Unguided evolution cannot be modelled. It doesn’t make any predictions- well not beyond mere change, genetic disease and deformities.

    Oh, that reminds me: you haven’t explained how mutations are guided. Are duplications and such also guided? How?

    How does the guiding work? As I told you- via built-in responses to environmental cues. Just because you are too stupid to understand that doesn’t mean anything to me. It is all explained in the books you refuse to read.

    Where are the built-in responses? How are they stored? Are they protected from degradation? How? How do they work?

    There isn’t any scientific theory for unguided evolution. All claims to the contrary are desperate lies made by desperate bluffers.

    Well, you’re going to save a lot of money not buying books you think are full of lies!

    And no one is using blind watchmaker evolution to try to figure out how ATP synthase evolved. JVL is deluded. All “work” is really just speculation.

    Are you sure you’re built-in guidance system isn’t just speculation? You have yet to provide and details of how it works, where it is stored, how it avoids degradation, etc.

  179. 179
    ET says:

    JVL is not a biologist. He thinks he is their spokesperson. Talk about desperation.

    Now JVL chokes on the meaning of randomness with respect to mathematics.

    JVL insists there is a scientific theory of unguided evolution. And yet he cannot link to it. You are a LIAR, JVL. No one can find it. No one knows who wrote it. No one knows what journal published it nor when it was published.

    You are a pathetic little troll, Jerad. Someday you may grow up and find a clue.

  180. 180
    JVL says:

    ET — Yes, you can read about people talking about it. Yes you can read in textbooks that they want to discuss it. However you will never get a reference to it. Who wrote it? When was it published? What journal was it published in?

    Darwin had the first go; it’s been modified as different processes come to life.

    Evolutionists are a pathetic lot. They ask their opposition for things they cannot provide.

    You claimed there are some built-in processes in cells that guide mutations. How do they work? Where are they specifically? How are they protected from degradation? How are they duplicated during cell division? How do they detect and respond to environmental input?

    I wouldn’t ask for details if you didn’t claim such a thing is known to exist.

  181. 181
    ET says:

    Darwin’s wasn’t a scientific theory. And in his book “Why is a fly not a horse?” geneticist and former peer-reviewed journal editor said there isn’t a scientific theory of evolution. All the biologists at a conference he attended concurred.

  182. 182
    ET says:

    You claimed there are some built-in processes in cells that guide mutations.

    Other people have too. And they have written about it. Read what they wrote as I am not going to waste my time trying to educate a bluffing liar and scientifically illiterate troll like you.

  183. 183
    JVL says:

    ET — JVL is not a biologist. He thinks he is their spokesperson. Talk about desperation.

    hahahahahahahah No way I think I am their spokesperson. But I do know a vast majority of them disagree with you. Remember project Steve? 🙂

    Now JVL chokes on the meaning of randomness with respect to mathematics.

    I haven’t choked at all; letters on a page are not random.

    JVL insists there is a scientific theory of unguided evolution. And yet he cannot link to it. You are a LIAR, JVL. No one can find it. No one knows who wrote it. No one knows what journal published it nor when it was published.

    Well, we know you can’t figure it out anyway.

    You are a pathetic little troll, Jerad. Someday you may grow up and find a clue.

    Meanwhile . . . you are still avoiding answering some basic questions about your built-in response process: How is it stored? How does it interpret and respond to environmental conditions? How does it ‘guide’ mutations? (That’s the most confusing part to me . . . how does you built-in mechanism know which specific site to change and what to change it too? Does it have a vast library of DNA sequences and their effects? How does it know how to ‘guide’ in a way so that functionality is conserved at every step?) How is the process protected against degradation? How are the built-in processes copied during cell division? It’s not DNA so . .

    I’m only asking because of what you say exists. If it does then these are fair questions. And it wouldn’t take a huge amount of money or time or resources to search a cell and find such a molecular configuration or structure. Considering the ‘library’ of DNA sequences it would have to draw on it might even be pretty big.

  184. 184
    JVL says:

    ET — Other people have too. And they have written about it. Read what they wrote as I am not going to waste my time trying to educate a bluffing liar and scientifically illiterate troll like you.

    Specifically where have such processes been written about? Some online references would be nice, cheaper that way.

  185. 185
    JVL says:

    If letters on a page were random then the predictive text function on my phone wouldn’t work. It can even sometimes make a good guess as to what word I want to input next.

    Not random at all!!!

  186. 186
    ET says:

    If letters on a page were random then the predictive text function on my phone wouldn’t work.

    That doesn’t follow. Your text function is programmed to understand the language.

  187. 187
    ET says:

    Still no link to the alleged scientific theory of unguided evolution. Clearly JVL is just a bluffing liar.

    I know more than you ever will, JVL. So if I can’t figure it out there is no hope for you. But then again all you are doing is lying and bluffing. I have that figured out.

    Mathematics would say the letters on a page are random. mathematics doesn’t care about meaning.

    I don’t care about answering your questions. That is because you are a proven obtuse bluffing liar who couldn’t figure it out if it was spelled out for you.

    Project Steve- not one Steve can find evidence to support the claims of unguided evolution. And not one member of project Steve can find a scientific theory of unguided evolution.

  188. 188
    JVL says:

    ET — That doesn’t follow. Your text function is programmed to understand the language.

    Which is not random!! Languages have spelling and grammatical patterns and probabilities. You don’t just randomly put letters together. Predictive text works because some letter combinations or word orders are more likely than others. The opposite of random wherein everything is equally likely or unlikely. Randomness is lack of pattern or predictability.

    Granted, you might not know for absolute certainty what letter is coming next but IF you’re writing in a specific language then the letters on a page are not random. Certain letters and letter combinations are more likely.

  189. 189
    JVL says:

    ET — Still no link to the alleged scientific theory of unguided evolution. Clearly JVL is just a bluffing liar.

    Look in Wikipedia. And you have yet to explain how your built-in processes are stored, coded, how they response to environmental conditions, how they influence mutations, how they know what mutations will bring about which results, etc, etc, etc. Nor have you been able to provide a link to discussions of such things.

    I know more than you ever will, JVL. So if I can’t figure it out there is no hope for you. But then again all you are doing is lying and bluffing. I have that figured out.

    I guess you’re just not going to support the ideas you’ve said are true and documented.

    Mathematics would say the letters on a page are random. mathematics doesn’t care about meaning.

    No, it would not say that.

    I don’t care about answering your questions. That is because you are a proven obtuse bluffing liar who couldn’t figure it out if it was spelled out for you.

    Perhaps you can’t then. Perhaps the things you say aren’t true at all.

    Project Steve- not one Steve can find evidence to support the claims of unguided evolution. And not one member of project Steve can find a scientific theory of unguided evolution.

    There are more Steves who support modern evolutionary theory than have signed the Discovery Institute’s Dissent from Darwin petition. That’s why I’m sure a vast majority of biologists disagree with you.

  190. 190
    ET says:

    Unbelievable- mathematics does not understand languages, duh. The same mathematics that says mutations are random would also say the letters on a page of text are random.

  191. 191
    ET says:

    Wikipedia does not reference any scientific theory of unguided evolution. I mean an actual reference in which we can all see the alleged theory and read it.

    I don’t have to support that which is already supported. Your refusal to read the relevant literature proves that you are willfully ignorant.

    Project Steve- not one Steve can find evidence to support the claims of unguided evolution. And not one member of project Steve can find a scientific theory of unguided evolution.

    I don’t care what you say about that as it is all true.

    You can continue to lie and bluff. I will continue to expose you are a liar and loser.

  192. 192
    ET says:

    Perhaps the things you say aren’t true at all.

    I know what you say isn’t true at all. My support is in the books that you refuse to read. And your willful ignorance is not a refutation.

  193. 193
    JVL says:

    ET — Unbelievable- mathematics does not understand languages, duh. The same mathematics that says mutations are random would also say the letters on a page of text are random.

    No one said mathematics can ‘understand’ language.

    Mathematics can analyse letter and letter combination frequencies and distributions. You can draw up tables of likely next letter combinations or even words. You can even modify the tables on an existing device based on that particular users past usage. You change the probabilities depending on how often the user has used letter combinations compared to the basic table.

    Mathematics does not say that the letters on a page are random. If they are even partially predictable (which they are) then they are not random.

    Surely you’ve heard of author text analysis wherein researchers try and figure out if a particular author wrote a particular piece of work based on the probabilities and patterns in known works by that author. You use mathematics to do the frequency analysis, not the interpretation or meaning.

  194. 194
    JVL says:

    ET — Wikipedia does not reference any scientific theory of unguided evolution. I mean an actual reference in which we can all see the alleged theory and read it.

    Here’s Wikipedia’s first BRIEF explanation of the modern synthesis:

    n the 1920s and 1930s the so-called modern synthesis connected natural selection and population genetics, based on Mendelian inheritance, into a unified theory that applied generally to any branch of biology. The modern synthesis explained patterns observed across species in populations, through fossil transitions in palaeontology, and complex cellular mechanisms in developmental biology.

    I don’t have to support that which is already supported. Your refusal to read the relevant literature proves that you are willfully ignorant.

    Give a link to the relevant literature then.

    Project Steve- not one Steve can find evidence to support the claims of unguided evolution. And not one member of project Steve can find a scientific theory of unguided evolution.

    That’s not why I referenced Project Steve.

    I don’t care what you say about that as it is all true.

    Too bad you can’t even link to references which back up what you say. And you can’t seem to answer the questions yourself.

    You can continue to lie and bluff. I will continue to expose you are a liar and loser.

    Modern evolutionary theory does not depend on my ability to convince you. So, it doesn’t matter.

    You are making statements about the existence of some biological structures and processes and I am asking you some questions about them which you haven’t been able to answer or provide references to answers.

    I know what you say isn’t true at all. My support is in the books that you refuse to read. And your willful ignorance is not a refutation.

    Which books discuss the built-in processes you are referring to? Which books or papers explain how those processes are stored and encoded? Which sources can say how those processes respond to environmental conditions and then dictate mutations? Which of the things you have read address how those built-in processes know what mutations to trigger? Where it is mentioned how those built-in processes are duplicated during cell division?

    Just give your references if you can’t answer the questions yourself that is.

  195. 195
    ET says:

    The modern synthesis is not a scientific theory of evolution. It was the name of a book and the modern synthesis is a collection of ideas from a number of books.

    You are clearly a scientifically ignorant troll.

    Until you can link to the alleged scientific theory of unguided evolution it is clear you aren’t serious.

  196. 196
    ET says:

    Mathematics does not say that the letters on a page are random.

    Yes, it does.

    If they are even partially predictable (which they are) then they are not random.

    They are only partially predictable because we understand the language.

    With genomics wit are ignorant and that is the only reason why mutations appear random. But even random in a mathematical sense doesn’t mean they are accidents, errors and mistakes.

  197. 197
    ET says:

    You are making statements about the existence of some biological structures and processes and I am asking you some questions about them which you haven’t been able to answer or provide references to answers.

    We don’t have to have the answers. That is what science is for. What we have is evidence for ID and evidence for ID means that living organisms are not reducible to matter and energy or their interactions. That means there is something more to life and ID says that is information, at the very least. Information in not material. We can only see its effects. And from that we make more inferences. We observe genetic changes and we observe that some happen only in certain circumstances. We see transposons and see that they carry within their coding regions the codes for two of the enzymes required for them to move around. We understand that blind and mindless processes couldn’t put something like that together if given double the time available. So we move on. We see the efficacy of genetic algorithms and how they mimic directed evolution. So we infer the organisms have some internal programming that sifts through environmental cues and makes genetic changes if possible.

    We know the programming is there because there isn’t any alternatives to explain life. Now it will take further research to flesh it all out.

    But that won’t matter to you because you don’t understand science and hide behind your delusions and lies. Yet if there were any truth to what you post then ID would be in serious trouble. Yet as it is ID isn’t worried.

  198. 198
    JVL says:

    ET –The modern synthesis is not a scientific theory of evolution. It was the name of a book and the modern synthesis is a collection of ideas from a number of books.

    All evidence to the contrary.

    You are clearly a scientifically ignorant troll.

    Possibly.

    Until you can link to the alleged scientific theory of unguided evolution it is clear you aren’t serious.

    It’s easy to find if you look. The support for your built-in process of gene influence is not so easy to find. Which is why I asked you to provide it. But you won’t. Or can’t. Too bad for those who come across this conversation and like what you are saying but can’t find the evidence you say exists.

    Yes, it does.

    No, you really are incorrect.

    They are only partially predictable because we understand the language.

    So, they aren’t random. Glad you agree.

    With genomics wit are ignorant

    What?

    and that is the only reason why mutations appear random. But even random in a mathematical sense doesn’t mean they are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    Well then you have to find the process that guides them. Where is it? How does it work? How does it avoid degradation? How does it detect the right environmental moment? How does it know what mutation to trigger? How is it reproduced in cell duplication? After millions and millions of years how can it still know what beneficial mutation to trigger in millions of different life forms?

    We don’t have to have the answers. That is what science is for.

    Sorry, I thought you were doing science. My apologies

    What we have is evidence for ID and evidence for ID means that living organisms are not reducible to matter and energy or their interactions.

    And you have said that there are built-in processes in cells that guide mutations and life development. I just want to know where that stuff is, how it works, how it avoids degradation, how it gets duplicated in cell division, how it reads environmental conditions, how it affects mutations, etc.

    That means there is something more to life and ID says that is information, at the very least. Information in not material. We can only see its effects. And from that we make more inferences. We observe genetic changes and we observe that some happen only in certain circumstances. We see transposons and see that they carry within their coding regions the codes for two of the enzymes required for them to move around. We understand that blind and mindless processes couldn’t put something like that together if given double the time available.

    Really? What calculations have you done to come to that conclusion? What mathematical models have you used? Which transposons are you talking about? Not all of them clearly. Enzymes are required for ‘them’ to move around. What is moving around?

    So we move on. We see the efficacy of genetic algorithms and how they mimic directed evolution. So we infer the organisms have some internal programming that sifts through environmental cues and makes genetic changes if possible.

    Look, you said there was evidence of built-in processes in cells that affect mutations. I just want to know where those processes are. You said they exist so you must know. If you know they exist then you should be able to tell me how they detect environmental conditions which you said trigger mutations. You should be able to tell me how those built-in processes direct mutations. Maybe you can’t yet say how those built-in processes know what particular mutations to trigger, that is a big issue. But it’s not expensive or time consuming or resource dependent to do a search in cells for a structure that fulfils the thing you say exists. A fairly decent microscope and some examples should be a decent start. And, you really need to be able to explain how those built-in processes avoid degradation over millions of years. And how are they reproduced?

    You said there were books that explained all this but now you say you don’t have to have the answers. Which is it? You seem to be backing down from what you said before.

    We know the programming is there because there isn’t any alternatives to explain life. Now it will take further research to flesh it all out.

    Oh, so you don’t know where it is or how it works. Okay, I got it.

    But that won’t matter to you because you don’t understand science and hide behind your delusions and lies. Yet if there were any truth to what you post then ID would be in serious trouble. Yet as it is ID isn’t worried.

    I’m not worried either. But at least now I know what you were really saying: you think those built-in processes exist but you haven’t found them yet. So you can’t say how they work, how they detect environmental conditions, how they affect mutations, how they know what mutations to trigger, how they are duplicated during cell division or how they avoid degradation over millions of years. At least that’s clear now.

  199. 199
    ET says:

    What evidence says the modern synthesis is a scientific theory? It isn’t even gathered together in one place. It is just ideas gleaned from a few book written in the 20s and 30s. It isn’t coherent and it changes depending on who you talk to.

    What the modern synthesis did is force evolutionists to unpack all of the anatomy and physiology at the genetic level. There was no more looking at structures, postulating engineering-type changes to the structure- meaning at the structural level- and moving on. Evolutionists have to unpack that at the genetic level- thanks to the modern synthesis- and they have never been able to.

    The modern synthesis doesn’t have a mechanism that will allow prokaryotes to evolve into eukaryotes. The modern synthesis doesn’t say how to test the claim, let alone test the claim that natural selection did it. As I said all of the alleged evidence for Common Descent is absent a mechanism. That wouldn’t be so if the modern synthesis was a scientific theory that explained something more than a mere change in allele frequency over time.

    The modern synthesis doesn’t say how to test the claim that protein machines evolved by means of natural selection or any other blind, mindless processes.

    In 2004 geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti wrote that there wasn’t a scientific theory of evolution. Before that he was at a conference that had other biologists who didn’t argue the point when another biologist said there wasn’t any scientific theory of evolution.

    Blind and mindless processes can’t even cobble together something as relatively simple as Stonehenge. You want calculations? Your position doesn’t deserve the time. It is all sheer dumb luck. There is nothing else besides Intelligent Design of some sort.

    Do some science instead of just blowing off ID. Come up with a testable alternative. You list of Steve’s have failed.

    Do you understand why transposons are called “jumping genes”? Do you even know what they are?

    Transposon:

    Transposons are DNA segments that are mobile. They can replicate and insert copies at sites within the same or a different chromosome. They can therefore alter the genetic constitution of an organism.

    Transposons have two types according to the genes they code for: (1) simple transposons and (2) complex transposons.

    The simple transposons consist of genes needed for insertion, particularly the gene coding for transposases, which are enzymes that catalyze their insertion. The complex transposons are those consisting of other genes apart from those needed for insertion. Transposons are the genetic elements associated with antibiotic resistance in certain bacteria. For instance, the Tn5 that codes for transposase Tn5 as well as those for antibiotic resistance to kanamycin.1

    In eukaryotes, there are two classes of transposons. The first class is a group of transposons that are bacterial-like in a way that the DNA sequences move directly. The second class, called retrotransposons, move by producing RNA that is transcribed by reverse transcriptase into DNA that is then inserted at a new site.

    There is evidence for directed mutations and built-in responses to environmental cues- read “Evolution: a view from the 21st century”; “The Evolution Revolution”; Evolution 2.0″. And genetic algorithms model it.

    Nothing models unguided evolution.

  200. 200
    ET says:

    We have the map of the human genome and yet we can’t read beyond seeing where the gene are. We are ignorant with respect to reading genomes. We have no idea why mutations occur except that they do. There isn’t any mathematical model that says they are accidents, errors and mistakes.

    Transposable elements, aka transposons, are complex entities, even the simple type. They are more complex than the other protein coding genes. Genes that your position still can’t account for.

    The problem, Jerad, is you are demanding details from ID when your position, the position which requires details, has none. Right now the evidence supports directed mutations and epi-genetics supports built-in responses to environmental cues. And given the unscientific of “they just happen, man”, ID appears to be very safe.

  201. 201
    JVL says:

    ET

    I have to admit, the issues we are discussing have much more subtle aspects than I had realised but after reading a couple of reviews of Evolution: a view from the 21st century my understanding of the issues has been increased. If you are supporting everything Dr Shapiro is saying then your position is much clearer to me now. I will be changing some of my ‘views’.

    I think the most informative review was the following (written by a personal friend of Dr Shapiro’s):

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3342868/

    I also looked over these:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273335226_Evolution_a_view_from_the_21st_century

    http://www.molevol.org/evoluti.....ok-review/

    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/1746-5354-7-1-65.pdf

    All the reviews were complimentary about much of what is present. But there are some clear disagreements with some of the conclusions. While it is clear that some organisms do seem to react to stressful situations with higher mutation rates there is still some questions of how ‘targeted’ those mutations are, whether or not they are passed on to following generations (not the same thing as epigenetics) and, particularly, if any of this can be interpreted as ‘natural genetic engineering’. But it is very interesting. I also note a query about the evolvability of any kind of directing process.

    I aslo note that all the reviewers said Dr Shapiro’s book should be read and discussed.

    But no one thinks that there is some undiscovered built-in stuff. Sorry.

  202. 202
    willspeaks says:

    I came to this thread very late and read through a sizable portion. It reminded me of Samuel Clemens’ advise to “Never argue with a fool, because people passing by might not be able to tell the difference”
    JVL would be the biblical version of Doubting Thomas.

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