Intelligent Design

The Nelson-Velasco debate: Here is the Debate Within the Debate

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I hope readers have taken in the Nelson-Velasco debate from last month which can be seen here. It is a couple of hours with extremely knowledgeable and well-spoken philosophers advocating opposing views. But as in the greater, on-going origins debate, the crucial points are often unspoken and between the lines. While Nelson and Velasco talked biology, there was a completely different debate taking place.  Read more

4 Replies to “The Nelson-Velasco debate: Here is the Debate Within the Debate

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr Hunter, as to:

    Is evolution a fact because teleology has been laid to rest, or is evolution vulnerable to the failure of its positivistic claims?

    I wish the Meyer-Giberson debate would have been video cast like the Nelson-Velasco debate was, because Giberson, a ‘ahem’ Theistic Evolutionist of all things, was far more overt in his use of Theological premises to try to make his case:

    Karl Giberson’s,, PowerPoint presentation was a bunch of pictures — characters from The Simpsons, a baby with a tail, webbed feet, a strange-looking whale creature with legs,,, and the problem of “bad design.”,,, He dissed DNA as “sloppy, wasteful, and disorganized”,,, Someone else (during Q&A) asked Giberson to give an example of a beneficial mutation. Giberson couldn’t come up with one,,,,

    I, for one, was very surprised to learn a few years ago that Darwinism has an abject poverty of actual observational evidence to substantiate its primary claim(s),,,

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?

    ,,, and that Darwinism, instead of solid empirical grounding, has its ‘scientific’ foundation based primarily in Theological considerations.
    Here are a few examples. In this following video Dr. William Lane Craig is surprised to find that evolutionary biologist Dr. Ayala, a former Dominican priest, uses theological argumentation in his book to support Darwinism. Dr. Craig states that Dr. Ayala ‘makes a fundamental confusion between science and theology’ and invites him to present evidence, any empirical evidence whatsoever, that Darwinism can accomplish what he claims for it:

    Refuting The Myth Of ‘Bad Design’ vs. Intelligent Design – William Lane Craig – video

    This is hardly an anomaly unique to Dr. Ayala today. In the formulation of evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin himself, who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology in 1831, overtly used Theological premises in his book ‘Origin of Species’,,

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011

    To this day, Darwinists are quick to declare what God should and should not do in this universe. Paul Nelson himself has written and spoken on this topic:

    The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning – Paul A. Nelson – Biology and Philosophy, 1996, Volume 11, Number 4, Pages 493-517
    Excerpt: Evolutionists have long contended that the organic world falls short of what one might expect from an omnipotent and benevolent creator. Yet many of the same scientists who argue theologically for evolution are committed to the philosophical doctrine of methodological naturalism, which maintains that theology has no place in science. Furthermore, the arguments themselves are problematical, employing concepts that cannot perform the work required of them, or resting on unsupported conjectures about suboptimality. Evolutionary theorists should reconsider both the arguments and the influence of Darwinian theological metaphysics on their understanding of evolution.

    Dr. Seuss Biology | Origins with Dr. Paul A. Nelson – video

    Our own Dr. Hunter has written on this ‘theology instead of science’ aspect of Darwinian thought:

    Cornelius Hunter – Darwin’s God

    Here is an article that makes heavy use of Dr. Hunter’s book:

    The Descent of Darwin – Pastor Joe Boot – (The Theodicy of Darwinism) – article

    Here, at about the 55:00 minute mark in the following video, Phillip Johnson sums up his, in my opinion, excellent lecture by noting that the refutation of his book, ‘Darwin On Trial’, in the Journal Nature, the most prestigious science journal in the world, was a theological argument about what God would and would not do and therefore Darwinism must be true, and the critique from Nature was not a refutation based on any substantiating scientific evidence for Darwinism that one would expect to be brought forth in such a prestigious venue:

    Darwinism On Trial (Phillip E. Johnson) – lecture video

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    In the following quote, Dr. John Avise explicitly uses Theodicy to try to make the case for Darwinism:

    It Is Unfathomable That a Loving Higher Intelligence Created the Species – Cornelius Hunter – June 2012
    Excerpt: “Approximately 0.1% of humans who survive to birth carry a duplicon-related disability, meaning that several million people worldwide currently are afflicted by this particular subcategory of inborn metabolic errors. Many more afflicted individuals probably die in utero before their conditions are diagnosed. Clearly, humanity bears a substantial health burden from duplicon-mediated genomic malfunctions. This inescapable empirical truth is as understandable in the light of mechanistic genetic operations as it is unfathomable as the act of a loving higher intelligence. [112]” – Dr. John Avise – “Inside The Human Genome”
    There you have it. Evil exists and a loving higher intelligence wouldn’t have done it that way.

    What’s completely ironic is that Dr. John Avise’s theological argumentation from detrimental mutations for Darwinism turns out to be, (without Darwinian Theological blinders on), a very powerful ‘scientific’ argument against Darwinism since nobody can seem to find any truly beneficial mutations that are on their way to building up functional complexity/information that is greater than what is already present in life.

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Excerpt: It is almost universally acknowledged that beneficial mutations are rare compared to deleterious mutations [1–10].,, It appears that beneficial mutations may be too rare to actually allow the accurate measurement of how rare they are [11].
    1. Kibota T, Lynch M (1996) Estimate of the genomic mutation rate deleterious to overall fitness in E. coli . Nature 381:694–696.
    2. Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D (1998) Some evolutionary consequences of deleterious mutations. Genetica 103: 3–19.
    3. Elena S, et al (1998) Distribution of fitness effects caused by random insertion mutations in Escherichia coli. Genetica 102/103: 349–358.
    4. Gerrish P, Lenski R N (1998) The fate of competing beneficial mutations in an asexual population. Genetica 102/103:127–144.
    5. Crow J (2000) The origins, patterns, and implications of human spontaneous mutation. Nature Reviews 1:40–47.
    6. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.
    7. Imhof M, Schlotterer C (2001) Fitness effects of advantageous mutations in evolving Escherichia coli populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:1113–1117.
    8. Orr H (2003) The distribution of fitness effects among beneficial mutations. Genetics 163: 1519–1526.
    9. Keightley P, Lynch M (2003) Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution 57:683–685.
    10. Barrett R, et al (2006) The distribution of beneficial mutation effects under strong selection. Genetics 174:2071–2079.
    11. Bataillon T (2000) Estimation of spontaneous genome-wide mutation rate parameters: whither beneficial mutations? Heredity 84:497–501.

  3. 3
    Axel says:

    God has been a very bad person, in the atheists’ eyes, BA77. They’re not old or mature enough to rend their garments, but what a sight for sore eyes they make, stamping their little feet!

    Ask Reverend Madzke…. or the Right Reverend Richard Dawkins from the ‘dark side’, about how nasty God is!

  4. 4
    NeilBJ says:

    Dr. Velasco’s presentation on common descent reminded me of “Berra’s blunder.” Dr. Berra argued for common descent by referring to the design history of Corvettes.

    “If you compare a 1953 and a 1954 Corvette, side by side, then a 1954 and a 1955 model, and so on, the descent with modification is overwhelmingly obvious. This is what paleontologists do with fossils, and the evidence is so solid and comprehensive that it cannot be denied by reasonable people.”
    T. Berra, Evolution and the myth of creationism,1990, pg 117-119

    The fact that Dr. Velasco made an effective argument for common descent tells us nothing about the actual mechanisms of evolution that changed one body plan into another.

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