Intelligent Design

The Red Ape

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This month a new study reports that orangutans are particularly resourceful tool makers as they have been found to use a tool for communicating. Orangutans not only are sophisticated but, interestingly, share many similarities with humans. These “people of the forest,” as they have been called, have more in common with humans than do the other great apes. This includes features of anatomy, reproductive biology and behavior. This is interesting because it conflicts with evolutionary expectations. The conflict arises because there is one feature in which orangutans are not the closest species to humans: DNA.

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39 Replies to “The Red Ape

  1. 1
    CannuckianYankee says:

    “But of course, Darwinists will clear all this up. They’ve already determined that macro evolution is a fact. Next they’ll explain the evidence.”

    Shouldn’t it rather be “next they’ll produce the evidence?”

  2. 2
    IRQ Conflict says:

    “The conflict arises because there is one feature in which orangutans are not the closest species to humans: DNA”

    No kidding eh? We need to have a ROFL tag. Cause that’s what I did when I read that! Nice find Dr. Hunter.

  3. 3
    Lenoxus says:

    I admit: This does appear to answer the frequent pro-common-descent claim that you guys need to find a situation where morphology and genetics tell completely* different stories.

    Still, I have to wonder… is this the best answer available?

    And what about how ID is supposed to be all-totally-OK with common descent? Which is it? Stay tuned to find out!

    * Word’s definition may be malleable; all rights reserved.

  4. 4
    Joseph says:

    Lenoxus,

    ID doesn’t say one way or another about universal common descent.

    I say I can take the evidence for UCD and use it as evidence for common design and/ or convergence.

    Then there is the fact we still don’t have any evidence that the transformations required are even possible.

    Where are the “human genes”? How about the orangutan genes?

  5. 5
    hdx says:

    Nonetheless, within evolution DNA is still king, and humans share about 98.4 per cent of their DNA with chimps, 97.5 per cent with gorillas and 96.5 per cent with orangutans. Therefore, according to evolution, chimps rather than orangutans are our closest relatives.

    This is such an ignorant and untrue statement. You can not take numbers like that and necessarily make a correctly rooted evolutionary tree.

    So how does the ID model explain the similarity of DNA between chimps and humans, and the similarity of other factors between orangutans and humans? Is that a good design principle?

  6. 6
    hdx says:

    In evolution-dom, DNA is king. Long ago evolutionists settled on DNA as the explanation of how the information for macro evolution could be stored and passed on

    There are decades of evidence that shows that DNA stores genetic material. There was no ‘settling’.

    Evolutionists needed DNA to fulfill this role because they needed unguided change to be heritable. Such change was viewed as created by DNA mutations, which could then be passed on to offspring. Scientific problems with this dogma are mounting, but evolutionists have been slow to adjust and reconcile such a fundamental failure.

    There are both environmental and genetic factors that affect development. Numerous genetic defects are caused by mutations in DNA. Various phenotypes are cause by genetic difference in DNA. There has been no fundamental failure.

    Until recently the DNA dogma was even more narrow, as evolutionists viewed only the genes within the DNA as important. The remainder of the DNA (the vast majority) was often thought of as useless junk. Now that science, no thanks to evolution, is discovering that most of the “junk” is actually important, evolutionists changed their view to include more of the DNA.

    Biologists have known about non-coding regions of the genome for a long time. There is still junk DNA. Please site the study that says most of the junk DNA is actually important.

    Now science is taking the next step, again no thanks to evolution, in finding that the nature of an organism may be influenced by players outside the exalted DNA.

    Yet evolution affect epigenitic inheritance since that can be controlled by parental DNA.

    The silliness of evolution reaches yet new heights.

    I can say the same thing about this article.

    In other words, similarities indicate evolution–except when they don’t. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Darwinism might not make sense. But of course, Darwinists will clear all this up. They’ve already determined that macro evolution is a fact. Next they’ll explain the evidence.

    Just because scientists debate the specifics, doesn’t mean that humans and other primates didn’t have a common ancestor.

  7. 7
    bFast says:

    hdx, you make a valid point that some, even much, of this article is rhetoric.

    However, you also said, “Just because scientists debate the specifics, doesn’t mean that humans and other primates didn’t have a common ancestor.”

    Many of us IDers, such as Behe, have concluded that common ancestry between chimp and human is certainly valid, and that universal common ancestry is most likely valid. However, please feel free to quote me on this, “just because humans and chimps have a common ancestor, that doesn’t mean that random mutations + natural selection accounts for their differences.”

    Let me make my case in point. The article points to the HAR gene set as being particularly different between humans and chimps. The HAR1F, for instance, is all but identicle in all vertibrates. (There are three nucleotides that wander a bit). However, in the human, the HAR1F gene, believed to play a role in brain development is different by 18 non-contiguous nucleotides. The fact that this gene is so stable in all of the other animals makes a strong case that it cannot be beneficially mutated by a single nucleotide (except the three nucleotides that are known to wander). Behe’s studies, reported in “The Edge of Evolution” about clinch the conclusion that if two point mutations are required before benefit is imparted, the barrier will not be passed. In this case, however, it takes 18 such mutations.

    Did the HAR1F evolve through natural means as described by the neo-Darwinian model. Highly unlikely.

  8. 8
    IRQ Conflict says:

    “Many of us IDers, such as Behe, have concluded that common ancestry between chimp and human is certainly valid”

    That is interesting. Could one not presuppose common design rather than common decent?

    Why should one say that we have a common ancestor rather than a common Creator?

    Is there good science that shows that because there are similarities in species it must follow that we are somehow related?

    Or is it really down to personal preference?

  9. 9
    Cornelius Hunter says:

    hdx (5):

    Nonetheless, within evolution DNA is still king, and humans share about 98.4 per cent of their DNA with chimps, 97.5 per cent with gorillas and 96.5 per cent with orangutans. Therefore, according to evolution, chimps rather than orangutans are our closest relatives.

    This is such an ignorant and untrue statement. You can not take numbers like that and necessarily make a correctly rooted evolutionary tree.

    This is, unfortunately, typical of how evolutionists respond. To an uncontroversial point the evolutionist makes an uncharitable response.

    It is not controversial that the consensus amongst evolutionists is that the DNA comparisons trump the morphological comparisons.

    Of course the percentages given are merely aggregate metrics. And of course they reflect the many alignments that are slightly closer for the chimp-human as compared to the orangutan-human.

    Does one really need to elaborate on those details? Only for evolutionists who seem to want to obscure the point being made and avoid the obvious.

  10. 10
    Nakashima says:

    Mr bFast,

    Pollard 2006 shows just how fast these regions have changed in the past, and notes that they are now almost completely fixed in the population.

    What is improbable is that they changed under neutral drift. Pollard notes two probable mechanisms to account for the rapid evolution. BGC is a chemical preference for GC over AT during recombination. (Mr Upright BiPed take note! You’ve been talking about the lack of such biases for a while, but here is one.)

    The second is strong positive selection. Yes, better cortical development lets you have more babies and raise them to reproductive age. Revenge of the Nerds! 🙂

  11. 11
    Nakashima says:

    Another perspective that Pollard brings is that the rapid evolution can reflect the loosening of a functional constraint. From mice to chimps these regions were strongly conserved. Then a flag dropped, and they started to change rapidly. Here is one way of looking at that – our brains stopped trying to be good mice, and then were free to drive towards another local optimum.

    This aligns with the discussion we had recently about the experiment that modified the mouse genome withsome of these HAR1 substitutions. The resulting mice did less well on some standard tests, they were actually poorer at being a mouse.

  12. 12
    Cornelius Hunter says:

    hdx (6):

    In evolution-dom, DNA is king. Long ago evolutionists settled on DNA as the explanation of how the information for macro evolution could be stored and passed on

    There are decades of evidence that shows that DNA stores genetic material. There was no ’settling’.

    It is not a matter of whether or not DNA is an explanation for inheritance. It is a matter of whether or not DNA is the explanation for inheritance. For years evolutionists have resisted evidence that it is not the only explanation because of their prior commitment to their theory.

    There has been no fundamental failure.

    […]

    Yet evolution affect epigenitic inheritance since that can be controlled by parental DNA.

    Of course there has been a fundamental failure. Evolutionists will deny and deny the evidence, and then turn around and take credit for the evidence. Incredible.

  13. 13
    David v. Squatney says:

    Cornelius,

    I would be interested in hearing about your own views. Do you think it’s more probable than not that humans, chimps, and orangutans share a common ancestor?

    And if the evidence we have so far is inconclusive, what sort of research needs to be done in order to answer the question?

  14. 14
    DATCG says:

    JunkDNA was a major failure for the Darwinist paradigm.

    For anyone to try and sidestep that by saying “they knew about non-coded” genes is a farce. It is an attempt at disinformation and silly to try to rewrite history.

    Darwinism caused the failure of the prediction due to the overarching theory of mutational accumulation over long periods of time. It was spurred on by former predictions about vestigial organs, which are now failed predictions as well.

    I knew Darwinist were good story tellers, now they rewrite history in their image.

    Hilarious, but a dangerous act. Frankly, it means you cannot be trusted.

  15. 15
    Cornelius Hunter says:

    Nakashima (9):

    The second is strong positive selection. Yes, better cortical development lets you have more babies and raise them to reproductive age.

    18 residues selected for. In Pollard’s own words:

    the secret is to have rapid change occur in sites where those changes make an important difference in an organism’s functioning.

    Within evolution, even highly unlikely explanations get a free pass, so long as they are evolutionary.

  16. 16
    Nakashima says:

    Dr Hunter,

    It is hardly a free pass if she taking the trouble to point out the improbability and working hard to develop an explanation. What is the ID explanation for differential rates of change in the genome?

  17. 17
    IRQ Conflict says:

    Nakashima, “the secret is” is a statement of fact.

    If she were honest she would speak the truth of the matter thusly: ‘It may be’, ‘it could be’ etc.

    But, no. The arrogance is thick with these people.

  18. 18
    Nakashima says:

    Dr Hunter,

    In other words, similarities indicate evolution–except when they don’t.

    I’m sure you’ve heard of convergent evolution before, why act so surprised? This is exactly why morphology and behavior have been replaced by DNA/RNA for constructing relatedness trees.

  19. 19
    IRQ Conflict says:

    Read the falsification of rapid evolution here: http://www.darwinspredictions......_variation

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    Nakashima-san:

    In a world of mosaic animals and “horizontal gene trasfers” commonalities do not imply common ancestry. Thyey may easily imply common DESIGN.

    Cf Berra’s Blunder.

    GEM of TKI

  21. 21
    MeganC says:

    What are the testable scientific predictions of ‘common design’ again?

  22. 22
    Cornelius Hunter says:

    David v. Squatney (13):

    I would be interested in hearing about your own views.

    I don’t hold very many strong views because I don’t think the evidence supports many strong views.

    Clearly evolution is not good science and is underwritten by metaphysics.

    But once we clear away the metaphysics and look at just the science, it is not obvious (to me anyway) what the right detailed answer is to the question of origins.

    As a scientist I would like to convey to folks the state of the scientific evidence. I think it is OK to say that the evidence doesn’t hold great clarity, and therefore we cannot at this time present a scientific explanation, with high confidence, of the details.

    That said, we of course can glean some solid information from the scientific evidence. For instance, we can identify the scientific problems with the existing views. Every view has its problems.

    What is concerning is that evolution, though it has tremendous problems and is not a good scientific theory by practically any measure, is in denial of the evidence. And it makes the unrealistic claim of being a fact.

    It is one thing for a person to say “well I have this faith, and I think the evidence fits my faith well.”

    It is quite another for a person to make strong religious arguments which lead to bad science, and then deny that he argued any such thing and mislead folks about the scientific evidence.

  23. 23
    Frost122585 says:

    MeganC,

    The same ones for common ancestry. Formal similarity and homology. Evo I am sure tests it against speculative fossil analyses- ID tests it against design patterns. That is we look for systems that pass the test of specified functional complexity when comparing and looking for design commonality. And i might add this complicates the matter further because DE looks for such specified complexity itself when it stipulates that functional advantage explains preserved continuity in the synthetic DE model.

    Of course NS does not, and cannot, explain the origin of novel FSC- or SC in general- fossil record or no- De regresses back to a point where you either have an uncaused cause which is problematic for a mechanical materialistic view of nature and science- and or you run out of probabilistic resources. Hence there is no free lunch in physics without essentially stipulating and alllowing for the existence of miracles or thereabout- which is why the controversy ensues.

  24. 24
    MeganC says:

    Frost122585,

    “The same ones for common ancestry. Formal similarity and homology.”

    Are those the only factors shared with common descent/ancestry? You do realise that there is much more to common descent than just apparent similarity and homology?

    “Evo I am sure tests it against speculative fossil analyses- ID tests it against design patterns.”

    What “design patterns”? And do/can these supposed “design patterns” tell us anything about the designer, or what to expect from possible future designs and/or as yet undiscovered extinct designs?

    “That is we look for systems that pass the test of specified functional complexity when comparing and looking for design commonality.”

    Can you give a working example of a system/s passing/failing “the test of specified functional complexity”? And how does such a test (as supposed) help “when comparing and looking for design commonality”, or just furthering our understanding of biology?

    “And i might add this complicates the matter further because DE looks for such specified complexity itself when it stipulates that functional advantage explains preserved continuity in the synthetic DE model.”

    DE? Design Engineering?

    “Of course NS does not, and cannot, explain the origin of novel FSC- or SC in general…”

    Why does natural selection have to explain the existence of something that has never been meaningfully applied in biology(SC)and something that apparently only exists in the minds of certain ID advocates(FSC)?

    “…- fossil record or no- De regresses back to a point where you either have an uncaused cause which is problematic for a mechanical materialistic view of nature and science- and or you run out of probabilistic resources. Hence there is no free lunch in physics without essentially stipulating and alllowing for the existence of miracles or thereabout- which is why the controversy ensues.”

    Don’t quite see how this little rant relates to the question of common descent/design (were you perhaps addressing the ‘talking donkey’ issue?). Anyways, you appear to oppose methodological naturalism in favour of miracles for doing science. Well, my response to that, as always, would be: If you’re not doing methodological naturalism you’re making sh*t up…and ‘scuse my French, but that’s exactly how I say it in my head.

    Then you said something about running out of probabilistic resources, and I assume this the tired old long-refuted argument about how the first cell/DNA couldn’t have formed spontaneously…to which you probably know the answer already, but which I can repeat if you (or anyone else) haven’t?

    One more thing: are you proposing “miracles” as the mechanism for implementing “common design” and/or explaining “design commonality”?

  25. 25
    bFast says:

    IRQ Conflict:

    That is interesting. Could one not presuppose common design rather than common decent?
    Why should one say that we have a common ancestor rather than a common Creator?

    I do not use common features (except common diseases) to conclude common descent. However, there are about 80 diseases which have been traced to specific point mutations which exist both in chimps and humans.

    The possibilities I see are as follows:

    Humans developed from a common ancestor who already had these 80 diseases. Humans were transformed from their previous types in large enough populations to maintain all 80 of these diseases. IE, no Adam or Eve.

    or

    The designer intentionally implanted the exact same distructive mutations into the human line as in the chimp line ostensibly to make things look as if common descent is the truth when common descent is not.

    or

    An interloper (satan) intentionally implanted the exact same distructive mutations into the human line as in the chimp line ostensibly to make things look as if common descent is the truth when common descent is not.

    or

    These mutations were just unlucky. Alas, this would imply the same level of “luck” that the darwinists count on to come up with humans without using intelligent agency.

  26. 26
    IRQ Conflict says:

    bFast, Please forgive my ignorance.

    “I do not use common features (except common diseases) to conclude common descent”

    But if I’m hearing you properly, if you look at it the way I do, the very fact that God (could have) created man and chimp with similar properties, it seems to me it would make sense from a biological point of view that they would/could suffer similar ailments no?

    Are you very familiar with the Word? There are many Scriptures that allude to the problem of origins from an theological point of view.

    To paraphrase, God is not the author of confusion. 🙂

  27. 27
    IRQ Conflict says:

    “An interloper (satan) intentionally implanted the exact same distructive mutations into the human line as in the chimp line ostensibly to make things look as if common descent is the truth when common descent is not.”

    I do not believe Satan or his followers have this ability. Deception is the name of his game. And hes had a few thousand years to brush up on it. As a matter of fact “chance” is a very, very old idea.

    Another paraphrase, marvel not as even Satan can appear as an angel of light.

  28. 28
    IRQ Conflict says:

    “The designer intentionally implanted the exact same distructive mutations into the human line as in the chimp line ostensibly to make things look as if common descent is the truth when common descent is not.”

    This, theologically speaking, I find plausible.

    2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
    2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  29. 29
    Lenoxus says:

    bFast:

    Alas, this would imply the same level of “luck” that the darwinists count on to come up with humans without using intelligent agency.

    As far as I know, no part of the evolutionary story does require that two different species undergo the exact same series of mutations (not just similar, as with those mutations that lead to wings, for example). That is a totally different domain of “luck” than the one whereby one species undergoes a series of individually unlikely mutations — especially if the mutations in the first case are non-functional and thus immune to selection for either species.

  30. 30
    bFast says:

    IRQ, your numbers don’t add up.

    In post #27 you suggest that the interloper hypothesis is unbelieveable because “I do not believe Satan or his followers have this ability.”

    In post #28 you suggest that the God did it hypothesis is believeable.

    but in #26 you say, “To paraphrase, God is not the author of confusion.”

    If God is not the author of confusion, then I cannot see how the “God did it” hypothesis can be valid.

    Lenoxus, “As far as I know, no part of the evolutionary story does require that two different species undergo the exact same series of mutations.”

    I agree with you, this particular impossibility is not part of the neo-Darwinian story, but if you consider my post #7, you see that the neo-Darwinian story must produce 18 simultaneous, non-contiguous variations. No big deal for Darwinism. A bit easier than 80 specific disease producing point mutations being seen as “convergence”, but in the same ballpark, in the ballpark called “impossible”.

  31. 31
    IRQ Conflict says:

    bfast

    “If God is not the author of confusion, then I cannot see how the “God did it” hypothesis can be valid. ”

    There is a difference between “delusion” and “confusion”. The former being that the person(s) are not at all confused as to what they believe to be true.

    If your basis for coming to the conclusion of a matter stems from a body of information that is in opposition to a much weightier and substantially more quantitative body of information then I would classify that as being delusional. At least in part.

    Self delusional, out of a desire for a certain outcome. There will be no confusion in what will appear as certain and irrefutable evidence that God (could) provide someone he knows won’t turn to Him, regardless of the evidence to the contrary. This does not necessarily mean it has to be yet another intermediate fossil(YAIF)TM. It could be something along the lines of the hardening of Pharaohs heart.

    Which, in his case was a good thing as it lead to repentance.

    I can see this as a means to do away with agnosticism but that is just speculation on my part. As God isn’t, to my knowledge any clearer on it other than the statement.

    “Revelations 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

    Are you familiar with the story of Lazarus and the rich man?

  32. 32
    Lenoxus says:

    bFast:

    if you consider my post #7, you see that the neo-Darwinian story must produce 18 simultaneous, non-contiguous variations.

    While it may be the case that HAR1F cannot be improved upon, it doesn’t follow that all 18 mutations had to happen simultaneously for an organism to enjoy the benefit of any one (or two) of them. As for the notion of the “two-simultaneous-mutation barrier” thing, well, that seems to be only Behe’s.

  33. 33
    bFast says:

    Lenoxus,

    it doesn’t follow that all 18 mutations had to happen simultaneously for an organism to enjoy the benefit of any one (or two) of them.

    As we have the genetic experimentation of the fish, amphibians, lizzards, birds, and mammals to prove the required precision of the HAR1F, well, there isn’t that much doubt about the stability of this particular gene. If you look at the 3d folding pattern of this gene, you see that the mutated area works like a lock and key, requiring that the 18 mutations happen simultaneously.

    Lenoxus:

    As for the notion of the “two-simultaneous-mutation barrier” thing, well, that seems to be only Behe’s.

    Well, this is the result of simple experimental findings. You can dismiss experimentation if you wish, but that’s the way that proper science is done. I know there’s very little actual experimentation done in evolutionary Biology, however that’s the rub that many of us have with evolutionary biology in the first place.

    For most IDers, and any honest scientist, a good lab experiment blows away 100 “just so” stories.

  34. 34
    Nakashima says:

    Mr bFast,

    Do you have a link to that 3D structure of HAR1F? I have never seen it.

    Is HAR1F the lock or the key in your analogy?

    Thank you.

  35. 35
    bFast says:

    Nakashima, I found a picture of the HAR1F here: http://www.euchromatin.com/Pollard02.htm
    Its a bit small but it illustrates my point. The change is in the size of the loop labeled C and D (because of regions where there’s difference between human and chimp.) You see how it wraps around like a lasso. The “knot” in the lasso is made of attractors between the left and right leg of the rna gene. If these guys are not correct matched pairs, they won’t attract, and won’t make the loop. That’s the “lock and key” effect.

  36. 36
    Oramus says:

    Heck Ms. C, we already know what design patterns tell us. They say each organism has a limited adaptive range, which they cannot break through.

    Now it’s time for ‘Name that Transitional! Yeeeaahhh. OK, for our first contestant, MeganC:

    Tell us Ms. C, which genomes are currently whistling past their demise, with legacies in hand? You have 3 minutes to answer.

    Good luck and don’t forget to hit the start button on your TARDIS. Oh, and say hi to the good Doctor while you’re at it.

    What “design patterns”? And do/can these supposed “design patterns” tell us anything about the designer, or what to expect from possible future designs and/or as yet undiscovered extinct designs?

  37. 37
    Oramus says:

    Wait! OMG! Proteins and enzymes have not been meaningfully applied in biology???.

    Those @#$% profs. Foolin’ us once again!

    Repeat after me: Proteins and enzymes are not complex, they are not specified, and they surely are not functional.

    Why does natural selection have to explain the existence of something that has never been meaningfully applied in biology(SC)and something that apparently only exists in the minds of certain ID advocates(FSC)?

  38. 38
    bFast says:

    IRQ #31

    If your basis for coming to the conclusion of a matter stems from a body of information that is in opposition to a much weightier and substantially more quantitative body of information then I would classify that as being delusional.

    I assume you are saying that the first “insignificant” body of information is nature itself (ie, shared disease-producing mutations between human and chimp), and that the “much weightier” body is that of the Bible.

    You go on to clarify that the “much weightier” is “more quantitative”. I believe in this you establish the true delusion. My copy of the Bible renders itself complete in 1095 pages of text. Are you so deluded that you would suggest that all data gathered by the science of biology could be condensed down to 1095 pages of text? What about all of the other relavent sciences: paleontology, geology, zooology etc.?

    The Bible says that “the heavens declare the glory of God”. As such, nature is God’s truth as much as any other of His works is.

  39. 39
    IRQ Conflict says:

    bfast, you assume, much.

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