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Wd400 and his Interlocutors Illuminate the Debate


I appreciate our commenters here at UD. The comment threads are often more enlightening than the OPs. For example, in the combox to my nullasalus Makes a Point Darwinist wd400 gamely presses the Darwinist line against several ID proponents. This great exchange caught my eye, because it encapsulates in just a few brief comments the entire debate between ID proponents and Darwinists. I especially want to thank wd400 for his civil and patient participation in this thread.

Wd400 gets the ball rolling by claiming this article  provides an “in-depth look at what we know about the evolution of one system of cell-types and tissue, approached from a range of angles”

phoodoo calls foul:

You used one of the most classic defenses to the problem of explaining step by step evolution, that exists in the evolutionists playbook. You simply quoted an article which claimed to explain the evolution of some body part, and felt this must serve the job. You clearly don’t understand the article, you don’t care if you understand the article, but you are satisfied that the title says something about explaining something. . . .No step by step explanations, just an article about similarities in homologies in eye structures.

Wd400 pushes right back: “the articles in that issue (and many hundreds more published in many other journals) show us how evolutionary approaches can help us understand that complexity.”

Drc466 picks up the gauntlet:

Let me see if I can close the gap between where we are, and where you are. It seems clear that you are not quite aware of the qualitative difference between our critique of RMNS evolution, and what you are claiming is evidence in support of RMNS.
At its root, the difference is this:
1) UD critique: there is not only no experimental laboratory support for RM gradualism, what experimental laboratory evidence that there is (e.g. e. coli., fruit fly mutations) indicates experimentally that RM gradualism doesn’t work. In addition, the fossil record provides no empirical evidence for RM gradualism – it shows stasis and fully-formed “leaps” in form and function.
2) Evolutionist(wd400) defense: biologists have developed models and proposals based on molecular and morphological studies that provide a theoretical explanation of how existing life forms developed certain attributes via RM gradualism. . . .
At its core, our disagreement with you comes down to how we answer this question:
“Does providing a model, proposal, or theoretical reproduction of how RM gradualism could occur or might have occurred, serve as proof that RM gradualism is a valid theory?”
Your answer: yes, models = evidence.
Our answer: no, some level of physical or mathematical support is required.
It is not that we “don’t understand evolution” – it is that we disagree with the Grecian approach to science that says if I can come up with a reasonable, logical explanation, I don’t have to provide any experimental support.

Wd400 responds:

I don’t link these articles because I think they provide the complete step-by-step case for how organs and cell-types evoloved. If that’s the evidence you need then you will always be dissapointed and, in fact, you set the bar so I doubt any data will ever change your mind. The point, I hope, is you read them you might find evolutionary biology is a profitable approach to understanding the biological world, that can generate and test hypotheses and that can take advantage of many sources of data. To dismiss is as ‘grecian science’, or demand a mutation-by-mutatoin story is just a bit silly.

Nullasalus jumps in:

You know, this is the stock response of ID critics on this question. ‘Look, evolution is real complicated and contingent, it takes place over long periods of time. We don’t have demonstrations of what you’re asking for, and it’s unreasonable to expect that we’d have them.’ The problem is, you then go on to say – often leaving this part unstated – ‘But you should accept it as truth anyway.’
Which is bizarre. You’re arguing that a given claim for which it is practically impossible, by your measure, to demonstrate the truth of means that we should just accept it precisely BECAUSE you judge it as extremely difficult to demonstrate. Why is that the default? Why shouldn’t people remain agnostic? In the ID case, why not infer that it’s reasonable to believe that there was guidance – since we actually -can- demonstrate guidance in principle and in fact?


It’s not for me or anyone else to tell you what to believe. My point is that reconstructed specific histories is hard for the reasons you describe, it’s still possible to learn generally about evolutionary forces and how they shape genomes, organisms and ecosystems.


Sure. The problem is what we can learn, what we can observe and reasonably extrapolate, is altogether meager, and leaves untouched the questions we’re actually focusing on. Just because you can use evolutionary models to describe what happened to the cavefish doesn’t mean that you’ve therefore explained the origin of novelty.
The evolutionary forces we can actually observe and reasonably talk about and have knowledge of are great. They’re just not what animates much of anyone. It’s those undemonstrable, never-saw-it, never-will aspects of evolution which are of interest and discussion, and that turns into someone arguing that because we see loss of function observed in the laboratory this is somehow sufficient to extrapolate to a claim like ‘the circulatory system came about completely by these evolutionary processes that we don’t see doing terribly much other THAN losing function in one way or another.’
And as others have noted – they’re not even asking for reconstructed specific histories. Give one realistic pathway out of all the possibilities, in detail. But even THAT doesn’t get done. And we get back to ‘Well it’s too hard to do that’ -> ‘That’s why you should accept it anyway.’

Phoodoo adds:

Ok, we can agree that its hard business, finding out the details of evolution. We can agree its messy, speculative, not likely to ever be fully explainable, or demonstrable or mathematically supported. We all know this (btw, I think one has to be somewhat impressed by the depth of smart people discussing this topic on this thread, yourself included, by many of the posters here as well).
But wd400, we also know that throughout the entire internet sphere, as well as in all popular science media, the mantra is “Darwinian evolution is as good as a proven theory. More evidenced than gravity. It’s beyond reproach. There is a complete scientific census.”
Now you know this is not true, we know this is not true. Its an idea for which evidencing it is messy, unattainable. Are you prepared to state right here, right now, that that mantra from the evolutionists is just propaganda nonsense, and be honest about that from now on? Wouldn’t that make for much better discussions in science, if everyone would be more honest about admitting this?
The evidence the science world does have relates to common ancestry or common design-this we agree. The evidence for how it happened, no that doesn’t exist. That requires speculation, or whoever can make the best story. We are all smart here, we all see this, and we just expect equal acknowledgment of this from both sides.


I agree with much of what you say, and am always distressed to see evolutionary biology used as a shiboleth in someone’s culture war (which is how most internet athiests and creatinists see it). But I don’t think it’s true (at all) that we don’t know how evolution proceeds. We understand speciation, we understand selection and development and molecuar evolution. There are still questions (otherwise evolutionary biology would be finished!) of course, but to discard evolution biology as story telling or “grecian science” without empirical grounding is just wrong.

Eric Anderson gets the last word:

“. . . in fact, you set the bar so [high] . . .”

The bar has not been set high. No-one is asking for an account of how all of biology actually came about (even though that is what the theory loudly claims to be able to explain).
Most of us aren’t even asking for an account of how a complete organism came about.
Shoot, the bar has been set so low that most of us would be impressed if the theory could explain a single system, or a single organ, or a single protein complex. Most of us would be impressed if the theory could explain just a fraction of the functional, digitally-specified information that resides in cells. It can’t do any of this, and yet we’re told we must believe the theory anyway, even the grander claims.
The bar has been set so low as to be almost embarrassing. It is like being at a track meet and watching all the high jumpers repeatedly fail to clear the bar. The crowd shifts nervously in their seats and glances down uncomfortably at their feet as the meet officials — in a desperate attempt to get someone, anyone, to win the event — keep dropping the bar lower and lower.
Yet, the theory can’t seem able to clear the bar.

Yeah, whatever happened to wd400? Haven't seen anything posted by him since I called him on his racial stereotyping of Japanese geneticists. Hmmm . . . -Q Querius
Interesting! Jerry Coyne agrees with Ken Ham!! (At least about the nature, limits, and challenges of historical science.) Yet I hear evolutionists claiming there is no such distinction as historical and operational/experimental science! Hmm. Creationists aren't as dumb as we're made out to be.
“In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike “harder” scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.” ? Jerry A. Coyne – professor of evolution at the University of Chicago
To help us understand that science has practical limits, it is useful to divide science into two different areas: operational science and historical (origins) science. Operational science deals with testing and verifying ideas in the present and leads to the production of useful products like computers, cars, and satellites. Historical (origins) science involves interpreting evidence from the past and includes the models of evolution and special creation. Recognizing that everyone has presuppositions that shape the way they interpret the evidence is an important step in realizing that historical science is not equal to operational science. Because no one was there to witness the past (except God), we must interpret it based on a set of starting assumptions. Creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence; they just interpret it within a different framework.
Thx Dionisio and one of my debating points (when ID critics try to marginalize us as a fringe group) is the growth of interest among people in areas outside the U.S. in the project. So I'm curious as to where you are. Now in my last post I mentioned gradualism as maybe happening in the laboratory, because the term had been used in a prior post. Today I realized the misapplication by me of the term, based on what I remember about the work of Barry Hall. It seemed that bacterial colonies actually would go into absolute dormancy, from lack of nutrition and then suddenly small regions of the colonies would begin to thrive with a vengeance, having gained new function. There seems to be no gradualism in my lay person's judgement, thinking back. In the intervening decades researchers have identified the mutations involved in these kinds of experiments. groovamos
groovamos @ 13
I actually had a cordial debate about this on UD a few weeks ago with a Darwinist and he bowed out, apparently.
Well done! Thanks. We should always try hard to have cordial discussions, avoiding all kinds of name callings and stuff like that. Personal attacks aren't beneficiary to any discussion at all. Let's focus in on the issues being discussed, as you did, by providing strong arguments based on solid data and examples. Sorry that the other person involved in the debate with you bowed out. But we don't know why, so we can't judge. When we know our arguments are sound, we can be gracious to the other party in the discussion. If we find that our arguments are not solid, then we should think more and try again. At the end of the discussion we want truth to prevail. We don't want to make the same mistake Pontius Pilate made, asking the right question "what is truth?" but not waiting to hear the answer. Have a good day. Dionisio
Barb @ 12
“Where do babies come from?” Depending on the age of the child, the parents may give a hurried, embarrassed answer or ignore the question completely. Scientists appear to be doing the same with the question(s) regarding the OOL.
Interesting observation. Thanks. Nice morning in this part of the world today. May y'all have a good day too. Dionisio
Well there can be gradualism in the laboratory with new function, and Barry Hall showed this back in the 70s-80s, but here’s the catch. They have identified 200~450 mutations expressed to generate the new functions to metabolize novel nutrients by bacteria. But you can ask the serious Darwinists where is the proof of non-correlation among all of the expressed mutations to come up with new function and they can’t show you. You can ask a Darwinist to show you the ordering permutations among same expressed mutations and they can’t do it. You can point out that if there are 300 of these, and if only one ordering permutation will work, you can point out that a search space of 300! = 3.06057512 E+614 exists for that. If 100 trillion permutations are allowed for, you can point out that a search space for 100 trillion will be 3.06057512 E+600. I actually had a cordial debate about this on UD a few weeks ago with a Darwinist and he bowed out, apparently. groovamos
It reminds me of the question "Where do babies come from?" Depending on the age of the child, the parents may give a hurried, embarrassed answer or ignore the question completely. Scientists appear to be doing the same with the question(s) regarding the OOL. Parents often tell small children that storks bring babies. Scientists, too, spin fanciful tales that begin like this: "Billions of years ago, life began on the edge of an ancient tidal pool or deep in the ocean. In this 'warm small pond' chemicals that just happened to be there spontaneously assembled assembled into bubble-like structures, formed complex molecules, and began replicating." All life on Earth, all of it, from a few simple "original" cells. However, not all agree with this premise. In 2008, Professor of Biology Alexandre Meinesz highlighted the dilemma. He stated that over the last 50 years, “no empirical evidence supports the hypotheses of the spontaneous appearance of life on Earth from nothing but a molecular soup, and no significant advance in scientific knowledge leads in this direction.” What does the evidence reveal? The answer to the question, "Where do babies come from?" is well-documented and uncontroversial. Life always comes from preexisting life. However, if we go back far enough in time, is it really possible that this fundamental law was broken? What takes greater faith—to believe that the millions of intricately coordinated parts of a cell arose by chance or to believe that the cell is the product of an intelligent mind? Barb
Interesting comments in this UD web log are popping up at a much faster pace than ever before. And most comments seem to appear when it's very late at night here in Europe. I'll read more tomorrow (Dios mediante). Good night :) Dionisio
The reason why internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional instead of three dimensional is because of exactly what Darwinism has failed to explain the origination of. i.e. functional information. 'Higher dimensional' information, which is busting at the seams in life, simply cannot be reduced to any 3-dimensional energy-matter basis:
John Lennox – Is There Evidence of Something Beyond Nature? (Semiotic Information) – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw “One of the things I do in my classes, to get this idea across to students, is I hold up two computer disks. One is loaded with software, and the other one is blank. And I ask them, ‘what is the difference in mass between these two computer disks, as a result of the difference in the information content that they posses’? And of course the answer is, ‘Zero! None! There is no difference as a result of the information. And that’s because information is a mass-less quantity. Now, if information is not a material entity, then how can any materialistic explanation account for its origin? How can any material cause explain it’s origin? And this is the real and fundamental problem that the presence of information in biology has posed. It creates a fundamental challenge to the materialistic, evolutionary scenarios because information is a different kind of entity that matter and energy cannot produce. In the nineteenth century we thought that there were two fundamental entities in science; matter, and energy. At the beginning of the twenty first century, we now recognize that there’s a third fundamental entity; and its ‘information’. It’s not reducible to matter. It’s not reducible to energy. But it’s still a very important thing that is real; we buy it, we sell it, we send it down wires. Now, what do we make of the fact, that information is present at the very root of all biological function? In biology, we have matter, we have energy, but we also have this third, very important entity; information. I think the biology of the information age, poses a fundamental challenge to any materialistic approach to the origin of life.” -Dr. Stephen C. Meyer earned his Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of science from Cambridge University for a dissertation on the history of origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences.
In fact, matter and energy are now both shown to reduce to 'quantum information'. In fact an entire human can now, theoretically, be reduced to quantum information and teleported to another location in the universe:
Quantum Teleportation Of A Human? - video https://vimeo.com/75163272
Thus not only is Information not reducible to 3-Dimensional a energy-matter basis, as is presupposed in Darwinism, but in actuality energy-and matter both reduce to a information basis as is presupposed in Christian Theism:
Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe? Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
Verse and Music:
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. Redeemed - Big Daddy Weave http://myktis.com/songs/redeemed/
Another reason why Darwinian evolution is more realistically thought of as a pseudo-science than a proper science is that the two foundational pillars of Darwinian evolution, Random Mutation/Variation and Natural Selection, are now both shown to be severely compromised as to having the causal adequacy that Darwinists presupposed for them. For instance, although evolution appeals to 'random mutations/variations' to DNA as the main creative source for evolutionary novelty, there are now known to be extensive layers of error correction in the cell to protect against any "random changes" to DNA from happening in the first place:
The Evolutionary Dynamics of Digital and Nucleotide Codes: A Mutation Protection Perspective - February 2011 Excerpt: "Unbounded random change of nucleotide codes through the accumulation of irreparable, advantageous, code-expanding, inheritable mutations at the level of individual nucleotides, as proposed by evolutionary theory, requires the mutation protection at the level of the individual nucleotides and at the higher levels of the code to be switched off or at least to dysfunction. Dysfunctioning mutation protection, however, is the origin of cancer and hereditary diseases, which reduce the capacity to live and to reproduce. Our mutation protection perspective of the evolutionary dynamics of digital and nucleotide codes thus reveals the presence of a paradox in evolutionary theory between the necessity and the disadvantage of dysfunctioning mutation protection. This mutation protection paradox, which is closely related with the paradox between evolvability and mutational robustness, needs further investigation." http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2011/04/26/dna_repair_mechanisms_reveal_a_contradic
Moreover when changes do happen to DNA they are now known to be 'directed changes' not 'random changes':
How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. - 2013 Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611 Shapiro on Random Mutation: "What I ask others interested in evolution to give up is the notion of random accidental mutation." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-a-shapiro/jerry-coyne-fails-to-unde_b_1411144.html
Having 'cell-mediated processes' direct changes to DNA is a direct contraction to the 'bottom up' molecular reductionism (reductive materialistic philosophical presupposition) which under-girds neo-Darwinian thought. Moreover, Natural Selection, that other great pillar upon which Darwinian evolution rests, has also been undermined as having the causal adequacy that neo-Darwinists attributed to it. Natural Selection is grossly inadequate to do the work required of it because of what is termed 'the princess and the pea' paradox. The devastating ‘princess and the pea’ paradox is clearly elucidated by Dr. John Sanford, at the 8:14 minute mark, of this following video,,,
Genetic Entropy – Dr. John Sanford – Evolution vs. Reality – video http://vimeo.com/35088933
Dr. Sanford points out, in the preceding video, that Natural Selection acts at the coarse level of the whole organism (phenotype) and yet the vast majority of mutations have effects that are only ‘slightly detrimental’, and have no noticeable effect on phenotypes, and are thus far below the power of Natural Selection to remove from genomes before they spread throughout the population. Here are a few more notes on this insurmountable 'princess and the pea' problem for natural selection:
Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy (Kimura's Distribution)– Andy McIntosh – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086/ The GS Principle (The Genetic Selection Principle) - Abel - 2009 Excerpt: The GS Principle, sometimes called “The 2nd Law of Biology,” states that selection must occur at the molecular/genetic level, not just at the fittest phenotypic/organismic level, to produce and explain life.,,, Natural selection cannot operate at the genetic level. http://www.bioscience.org/2009/v14/af/3426/fulltext.htm
Moreover, as if that were not devastating enough to undermine any credibility Natural Selection had as to having causal adequacy to explain the highly integrated levels of functional information found in organisms, dimensionally speaking Natural Selection is now known to not even be on the right playing field:
The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale with body size as power laws of the form: Y = Yo M^b, where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent. A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling. http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~drewa/pubs/savage_v_2004_f18_257.pdf “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection." Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79
i.e. Dimensionally speaking, Natural Selection is not even on the right playing field so as to do the work required of it. The reason why a 'higher dimensional' 4-Dimensional structure would be completely invisible to 3-Dimensional process, such as Natural Selection, is best illustrated by ‘flatland’:
Flatland – 3D to 4D shift – Carl Sagan – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnURElCzGc0
What wd400 fails to realize (or honestly admit to) is that Darwinian evolution is not even a science in the proper sense but is more realistically thought of as a pseudo-science. Even Coyne, the Grand Inquisitor of Darwinian evolution, himself admits that much:
“In science's pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history's inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike "harder" scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.” ? Jerry A. Coyne - professor of evolution at the University of Chicago
The main reason why Darwinian evolution is more properly thought of as a pseudo-science instead of a science is because Darwinian evolution has no rigid mathematical basis, like other overarching theories of science do, in order to potentially falsify it (in fact math constantly shows us the Darwinian evolution is astronomically unlikely),,
"On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin's theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?" (Berlinski, D., "A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics," Commentary, July 8, 2003) https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/quote-of-the-day-8/ Oxford University Seeks Mathemagician — May 5th, 2011 by Douglas Axe Excerpt: "Grand theories in physics are usually expressed in mathematics. Newton’s mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity are essentially equations. Words are needed only to interpret the terms. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has obstinately remained in words since 1859." … http://biologicinstitute.org/2011/05/05/oxford-university-seeks-mathemagician/ Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013 Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work. http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2013.4/BIO-C.2013.4 HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY - WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance. http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/20hist12.htm Darwin's Doubt - Chapter 12 - Complex Adaptations and the Neo-Darwinian Math - Dr. Paul Giem - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFY7oKc34qs&list=SPHDSWJBW3DNUaMy2xdaup5ROw3u0_mK8t&index=7
Another primary reason why Darwinian evolution is more realistically thought of as a pseudo-science instead of a proper science it that Darwinian evolution does not have any demonstrated empirical basis (in fact empirical evidence also constantly shows us that Darwinian evolution is astronomically unlikely),,
“The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain - Michael Behe - December 2010 Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain. http://behe.uncommondescent.com/2010/12/the-first-rule-of-adaptive-evolution/ Where's the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit Waiting Longer for Two Mutations - Michael J. Behe Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that 'for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years' (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless "using their model" gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model. http://www.discovery.org/a/9461 Don't Mess With ID (Overview of Behe's 'Edge' and Durrett and Schmidt's paper at the 20:00 minute mark) - Paul Giem - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JeYJ29-I7o
TSErik @ 3
I’m not aware of anyone on this site who has ever suggested that biological life does NOT change over time to some degree.
The Galapagos finch adaptation story was grossly extrapolated to the 'origin of species' drama. Now, that's quite an imagination. Had I possessed just a fraction of such prolific literary creativity, most probably (using Darwinian probability calculator) I'd have been a best-selling writer in the fiction genre. The reality show is that finch remained finch. They didn't even change their political party affiliation ;-) Now, where did the finch come from to begin with? How did that happen? Those adaptations to environmental changes are all around us. Bacteria turn resistant to antibiotics, but remain bacteria (as far as I'm aware of). The beautiful elaborate choreographies within the biological systems can do that adaptation trick. All those complex regulatory networks, signaling pathways, 'omics and the whole nine yards with their cousins, are simply amazing. Dionisio
A very good and illuminating discussion.. For the first 1-2 months I've spent here (a great forum) and learnt about different aspects of ID vs. Darwinism debate, I suppose these are the possibilities: 1. No (macro) evolution, God created different species at different times. 2. Evolution is true. a) Atheistic point of view: The mechanism is Darwinian, i.e. random mutations + natural selection. A totally "random" process, hence no aim in it. b) Design argument (mostly theistic): Random events cannot lead to information increase we see in living systems. So deliberately chosen initial conditions, parameters in natural laws, amino acid sequences, etc. are required (this is ID, I guess). c) Teleological evolution (Probably closer to theistic paradigm, but may be also adopted by atheists): There may be teleological laws which we have not yet discovered in the nature and these laws may be the driving force of evolution. d) Theistic Darwinian view: Random events are a part of nature, so wouldn't it be more miraculous for God to have "designed" (not the way ID defines it) the universe operating withing the natural laws (including the random component) and still come up with life? I used to hold view 2d, but I think I'm currently shifting to 2b. However, I also keep an eye for 2c. CuriousCat
Eric didn't leave much to be added to the debate. The bar has been lowered so much that it's practically on the ground, but the famous 'theory' keeps failing to demonstrate the abilities his zealous fans claim it possesses. Oh well, let's give them another opportunity? Perhaps more scientific research will shed more light on the discussion? Dionisio
**Should read, "...and all its suggestions." or "...and all it's suggesting." Thought two sentences at the same time, and typed the hybrid offspring. TSErik
I believe evolution is true,
You touch on an important topic there. That's what ID critics don't seem to understand. I'm not aware of anyone on this site who has ever suggested that biological life does NOT change over time to some degree. ID simply rejects the DARWINIAN mechanism, and all it's suggestions. The problem is the Darwinian/atheist camp has taken hostage the term, "evolution" to mean "neo-Darwinian" evolution. They then ride on a genetic logical fallacy stating that if a single part of the whole is true (evolution as we IDists accept. EG: The Orchard of Life concept.) then it must be true for the whole as well. TSErik
I maybe not speaking on behalf of others but will say this for myself I believe evolution is true, but I don't believe Darwinian evolution is true, for me Lamarck and Wallace's theories seem to fit the evidence much better. Darwinian evolution starts of with chance as its assumption, I see intent, goals and purpose in the biological world, therefore the chance hypothesis can not be correct and to even suggest that NS is a designer mimic must be the most stupid thing I've heard my entire life.... Non design can not mimic design period!! Andre
Eric...that was like...some form poetry. bw

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