'Junk DNA'

Casey Luskin reflects on the “official” demise of the term “junk DNA”

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Well, maybe not “demise.” But, as we’ve noted here and Luskin notes below, it is being hooted out of a mainstream journal and others may follow. If only to avoid looking obstinately silly:

When I first got involved with the intelligent design debate in the late 1990s and early 2000s, one of the most common rebuttals we’d hear was, “If life was designed, then why is over 90 percent of the genome composed of junk DNA?” Critics thought this was a knock-down refutation of ID, and they used the argument frequently. But that was in the early days of genome sequencing, and very little was known at the time about non-coding DNA and whether it was truly junk or had useful and important functions.

Many thinkers in the ID movement felt it would be imprudent to concede that most of the genome was junk when science had not yet established that this was in fact the case. Our response was therefore, “We don’t really know what most of the genome is doing. It’s better to adopt a wait-and-see approach. Let’s find out where research goes in the future before we conclude that the genome is mostly junk.” It’s incredible to see how things have changed since that time…

What’s striking about this passage [dismissing the idea of a genome full of junk] is not only that the evidence for function in junk DNA is so overwhelming that they declare “The days of ‘junk DNA’ are over,” but also that these authors remember a day when “the common doctrine was that the nonprotein coding part of eukaryotic genome” consisted of “’useless’ sequences, often organized in repetitive elements.”

Casey Luskin, “Scientific Paper on Repetitive Elements Slams “Junk DNA”” at Evolution News and Science Today October 7, 2021

Indeed. It won’t be very long before Darwinians start claiming that they never thought it was junk. Keep the history alive.

I remember those days as well. When I started the first IDEA Club at UC San Diego, we were hit over the head constantly with that “common doctrine” that non-coding DNA was junk, and we were told that it refuted intelligent design. But the authors go on to say that “This view has fundamentally changed.” I see no evidence that these authors are supportive of intelligent design. But it turns out we ID proponents were right all along to encourage critics to take a cautious “wait and see” approach, and let the evidence, rather than evolutionary “doctrine,” determine which paradigm was correct.

Casey Luskin, “Scientific Paper on Repetitive Elements Slams “Junk DNA”” at Evolution News and Science Today October 7, 2021

If we don’t keep the history alive, the Darwinians will start insinuating that WE said it was junk. No, that doesn’t make any sense but if the history is forgotten, it doesn’t need to either.

You may also wish to read: Term “junk DNA” critiqued at journal. But now remember the history! “The days of ‘junk DNA’ are over…”? So the house is clearly supporting this move away from the Darwinian position. Oh yes, let’s not forget that “junk DNA” was very much a Darwinian position. Most or all of the Darwinian Bigs signed onto junk DNA as part of their thesis about the unguided nature of life. The big question will doubtless be put off for now: Why does it only count if Darwinian predictions are right but never if they are wrong?

41 Replies to “Casey Luskin reflects on the “official” demise of the term “junk DNA”

  1. 1
    Origenes on vacation says:

    How is Larry Moran & his pall PZ Meyers doing these days?

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    They’re doing well as far as one can tell from their websites. And I suspect they would agree that the reports of the demise of junk DNA have been greatly exaggerated.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky claims that “the reports of the demise of junk DNA have been greatly exaggerated.”

    You tell em Seversky, Darwinists insist that the vast majority of DNA must be junk because otherwise Darwinism would be false.

    “Dan Graur said ENCODE is “bonkers”[v] because “If ENCODE is right, evolution is wrong.”[vi]”
    https://crev.info/2018/07/keynote-speech-falsifies-darwinism/

    Ergo, since Darwinism can never be allowed to be shown to be false, all empirical evidence and common sense to the contrary be damned, the vast majority of DNA must be junk.

    The only problem for Darwinists in the alternate reality that they have constructed for themselves is that the real world of empirical evidence keeps intruding on them and contradicting their claim that the vast majority of DNA must be junk.

    Why Are Biologists Lashing Out Against Empirically Verified Research Results? – Casey Luskin July 13, 2015
    Excerpt: no publication shook this (ID vs Darwin) debate so much as a 2012 Nature paper that finally put junk DNA to rest–or so it seemed. This bombshell paper presented the results of the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) Project, a years-long research consortium involving over 400 international scientists studying noncoding DNA in the human genome. Along with 30 other groundbreaking papers, the lead ENCODE article found that the “vast majority” of the human genome shows biochemical function: “These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80 percent of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions.”3
    Ewan Birney, ENCODE’s lead analyst, explained in Discover Magazine that since ENCODE studied 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand cell types, “it’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent.”4 Another senior ENCODE researcher noted that “almost every nucleotide is associated with a function.”5 A headline in Science declared, “ENCODE project writes eulogy for junk DNA.”6,,,
    Evolutionists Strike Back
    Darwin defenders weren’t going to take ENCODE’s data sitting down.,,,
    How could they possibly oppose such empirically based conclusions? The same way they always defend their theory: by assuming an evolutionary viewpoint is correct and reinterpreting the data in light of their paradigm–and by personally attacking, (i.e. ad hominem), those who challenge their position.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....97561.html

    Toppling Another Evolutionary Icon, ENCODE Suggests Endogenous Retroviruses Are Functional – Casey Luskin – September 7, 2015
    Excerpt: ENCODE didn’t merely study the genome to determine which DNA elements are biochemically active and making RNA. It also studied patterns of biochemical activity, uncovering highly non-random patterns of RNA production–patterns which indicate that these vast quantities of RNA transcripts aren’t junk…. ENCODE’s results suggest that a cell’s type and functional role in an organism are critically influenced by complex and carefully orchestrated patterns of expression of RNAs inside that cell. As Stamatoyannopoulos observes, ENCODE found that “the majority of regulatory DNA regions are highly cell type-selective,” and “the genomic landscape rapidly becomes crowded with regulatory DNA as the number of cell types” studied increases. Thus, as two pro-ENCODE biochemists explain, “Assertions that the observed transcription represents random noise . . . is more opinion than fact and difficult to reconcile with the exquisite precision of differential cell- and tissue-specific transcription in human cells.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....99111.html

    Discovery Of Useful “Junk DNA” “Has Outstripped The Discovery Of Protein-Coding Genes By A Factor Of Five… – March 30, 2021
    Excerpt: With the HGP draft in hand, the discovery of non-protein-coding elements exploded. So far, that growth has outstripped the discovery of protein-coding genes by a factor of five, and shows no signs of slowing. Likewise, the number of publications about such elements also grew in the period covered by our data set. For example, there are thousands of papers on non-coding RNAs, which regulate gene expression.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/discovery-of-useful-junk-dna-has-outstripped-the-discovery-of-protein-coding-genes-by-a-factor-of-five/

    February 2020 – A few different methods to infer virtually 100% functionality for the genome:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/phantom-genes-turn-out-to-be-useful/#com

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  4. 4
    ycrad says:

    Here’s what I found at https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-junk-dna-and-what/

    Is this excerpt really from 2007? It seems to me an update insertion:

    “Although very catchy, the term ‘junk DNA’ repelled mainstream researchers from studying noncoding genetic material for many years. After all, who would like to dig through genomic garbage? Thankfully, though, there are some clochards who, at the risk of being ridiculed, explore unpopular territories. And it is because of them that in the early 1990s, the view of junk DNA, especially repetitive elements, began to change.”

  5. 5
    chuckdarwin says:

    The takeaway is that biologists have been studying “junk DNA” for over 30 years:

    [I]n the early 1990s, the view of junk DNA, especially repetitive elements, began to change.

    Sounds like normal, self-correcting science to me. Given that The Center for Science and Culture (CSC), fka the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC) wasn’t even started until 1996 doesn’t square with the notion that ID “predicted” that junk DNA was functional. Sounds like “normal” scientists were already well on their way to that hypothesis.
    Just one more example of DI creating a big hullabaloo over nothing…..

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Earth to chucky- The CSC is NOT ID. Your ignorance is not an argument.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    As for Larry Moran, he doesn’t have a clue with respect to junk DNA. He will say anything about it but he also knows that he can’t support what he says

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    See this is what eventually happens when Darwinist terms like “junk DNA,” “vestigial organ,” “living fossil,” or “missing link” become too much of an embarrassment to science.

    There’s a wonderful and useful role in science for outright mockery. LOL

    -Q

  9. 9
    chuckdarwin says:

    Kind of like when “Creation Science” rebranded as “Intelligent Design.” Apparently in so much haste that they missed a few substitutions in Of Pandas and People which the court caught in Kitzmiller v Dover. Now that was truly embarrassing…

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Only the willfully ignorant and extremely stupid say that Creation Science was rebranded as Intelligent Design.

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    like when “Creation Science” rebranded as “Intelligent Design.”

    Missed that. I’m definitely against creation science but very pro ID.

    ID accepts better science than that taught at any university on the planet.

  12. 12
    Origenes on vacation says:

    Chuckdarwin you might want to read this article
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/06/does_the_kitzmi/

  13. 13
    Hanks says:

    🙂 There are some kind people here that think that atheists are interested in truth. They are here to have a “good” time .

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Please know that Chuckdarwin is trolling us on the subject of creationism versus intelligent design. This falsehood has been repeated and refuted many times here. To be brief

    Intelligent design is the presumption of purpose permeating all structures at every scale in living organisms. As such, it is demonstratably more efficient in the advancement of science than the Darwinistic presumption of random purposeless that hides behind ignorance. It makes no claims and attempts no correlation with the source of that intelligence and design.

    Creationism is the belief that God created everything and is not subject to the scientific method. It is based on trust, not test tubes.

    Science accepts no shortcuts and within the domain of science, one is committed to following the scientific method where it leads, but realizing that science is always changing and never finished, so we can’t be smug. We also know and accept that not all Truth is in reach of Science, including many of the things that are the most precious in our lives.

    -Q

  15. 15
    JVL says:

    Querius: Intelligent design is the presumption of purpose permeating all structures at every scale in living organisms . . . Creationism is the belief that God created everything . . .

    I’m sorry but those sound pretty synonymous to me. I can’t imagine God creating everything without giving it all a purpose. Likewise I can’t imagine everything having a purpose without it being designed (and created) for that purpose.

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    JVL @15,
    Yes, I understand what you’re saying, but here are two considerations:

    1. The scientific founders of the ID movement explicitly stated that ID would have no position on the source of the intelligent design. ID is based fundamentally on scientific pragmatism: it simply works better than chance and necessity.

    2. Many theoretical physicists believe there’s about a 60% chance that we’re living in a simulation. They also take no position on who or what is behind the simulation, and some suggest we’re in some sort of ancestor computer simulation. You can find some of these talks on YouTube.

    -Q

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    The interesting thing about Chuck Darwin trying to besmirch Intelligent Design as merely being rebranded Creationism is that his mentor, Charles Darwin himself, when he originally put forth his theory in his book ‘Origin of Species”, was crucially dependent on faulty theological presuppositions in that book. (and he was NOT dependent on any compelling scientific evidence.)

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation): ?1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Evolution as a Theological Research Program – by Cornelius Hunter – August 2021
    Introduction Excerpt: The importance of religion in Darwin’s theory is also apparent in the science he presented. As Section 5 shows, Darwin did not have sufficient scientific arguments and evidence to advance his theory. Finally, as Section 6 and Section 7 demonstrate, these roles and relationships between religion and science persisted after Darwin. This religious foundation was by no means peculiar to Darwin’s thought. It has remained foundational since Darwin in motivating and justifying the theory. What we find in Darwin continued in later evolutionary thought. Therefore, the thesis of this paper is that evolution is best understood as a theological research program.
    https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/12/9/694/htm

    As Dr. Cornelius Hunter mentioned in his 2021 paper, faulty theological presuppositions still play a foundational role in evolutionary thought.

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t – Steve Dilley- 2019-06-02
    The Problem of God-talk in Biology Textbooks
    Abstract: We argue that a number of biology (and evolution) textbooks face a crippling dilemma.
    On the one hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks include theological claims in their case for evolution.
    (Such claims include, for example, ‘God would never design a suboptimal panda’s thumb, but an imperfect structure is just what we’d expect on natural selection.’) On the other hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks exclude theological claims in their case for evolution. So, whether textbooks include or exclude theological claims, they face debilitating problems. We attempt to establish this thesis by examining 32 biology (and evolution) textbooks, including the Big 12—that is, the top four in each of the key undergraduate categories (biology majors, non-majors, and evolution courses). In Section 2 of our article, we analyze three specific types of theology these texts use to justify evolutionary theory. We argue that all face significant difficulties. In Section 3, we step back from concrete cases and, instead, explore broader problems created by having theology in general in biology textbooks. We argue that the presence of theology—of whatever kind—comes at a significant cost, one that some textbook authors are likely unwilling to pay. In Section 4, we consider the alternative: Why not simply get rid of theology? Why not just ignore it? In reply, we marshal a range of arguments why avoiding God-talk raises troubles of its own. Finally, in Section 5, we bring together the collective arguments in Sections 2-4 to argue that biology textbooks face an intractable dilemma. We underscore this difficulty by examining a common approach that some textbooks use to solve this predicament. We argue that this approach turns out to be incoherent and self-serving. The poor performance of textbooks on this point highlights just how deep the difficulty is. In the end, the overall dilemma remains.
    https://journals.blythinstitute.org/ojs/index.php/cbi/article/view/44

    The obvious question for Chuck Darwin, is that if he, and other Darwinists, are so absolutely certain that theological presuppositions have no place whatsoever in science, (as is evident by his besmirching Intelligent Design with the Creationism label), then why in blue blazes is his own beloved theory of Darwinian evolution itself so crucially dependent on faulty theological presuppositions?

    The answer to that question is simple. All of science, (even Darwinian evolution itself, in so far as Darwinian evolution can even be called a science), is crucially dependent on Theological, even Judeo-Christian, presuppositions.

    Stephen Meyer, in Chapter 1 of his fairly recent book, “The Return of the God Hypothesis (2021)”, lists the three necessary Judeo-Christian presuppositions as such,

    “Science in its modern form arose in the Western civilization alone, among all the cultures of the world”, because only the Christian West possessed the necessary “intellectual presuppositions”.
    – Ian Barbour
    Presupposition 1: The contingency of nature
    “In 1277, the Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, writing with support of Pope John XXI, condemned “necessarian theology” and 219 separate theses influenced by Greek philosophy about what God could and couldn’t do.”,,
    “The order in nature could have been otherwise (therefore) the job of the natural philosopher, (i.e. scientist), was not to ask what God must have done but (to ask) what God actually did.”
    Presupposition 2: The intelligibility of nature
    “Modern science was inspired by the conviction that the universe is the product of a rational mind who designed it to be understood and who (also) designed the human mind to understand it.” (i.e. human exceptionalism),
    “God created us in his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts”
    – Johannes Kepler
    Presupposition 3: Human Fallibility
    “Humans are vulnerable to self-deception, flights of fancy, and jumping to conclusions.”, (i.e. original sin), Scientists must therefore employ “systematic experimental methods.”
    – Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis – Hoover Institution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_8PPO-cAlA

    Science is simply impossible without assuming these basic Judeo-Christian presuppositions.

    And as Paul Davies pointed out, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    And as Robert C. Koons pointed out, “Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.”

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.theistic.net/papers.....cience.pdf

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    Every time an atheist steps into a lab to do research, (and whether he ever honestly admits it or not), he is presupposing the Theistic presupposition that there is a reason why things exist and a reason why things are doing the things they do. i.e. He is presupposing that there is a rationality behind the universe that can be discovered by his research! He is NOT presupposing, as is held in atheism, that there is no reason why anything exists or no reason for why it things do what they do.

    This ‘hidden theistic assumption’ that atheist’s unwittingly hold when they are doing their research is made especially clear by the fact that it is impossible for Darwinian biologists themselves to do their research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology, i.e. goal direct purpose.

    Darwinists, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/asked-at-reason-magazine-how-much-science-research-is-fraudulent/#comment-734700

    Moreover, although atheists often falsely insist that the ‘ground rule’ of science is “Methodological Naturalism”,

    Methodological naturalism
    Excerpt: Pennock’s testimony as an expert witness[21] at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial was cited by the Judge in his Memorandum Opinion concluding that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”:[22]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)#Methodological_naturalism

    Although atheists often falsely insist that the ‘ground rule’ for science today is “Methodological Naturalism”, the fact of the matter is that if we falsely assume naturalism, rather than rightly assuming Theism, as the ‘ground rule’ for science, then that artificial forcing of naturalism onto the scientific method drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure,

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    – Defense of each of the preceding claims
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/from-philip-cunningham-the-human-eye-like-the-human-brain-is-a-wonder/#comment-727327

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and erroneously, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview that is more antagonistic to modern science, indeed that is more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    – Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    CD:

    Kind of like when “Creation Science” rebranded as “Intelligent Design.”

    Slander.

    Kindly read the weak argument correctives under the resources tab. Your twisted account of the Dover trial (which fell apart after a year when the true source of Judge Jones’ judgements was identified) is also telling. FYI, a normal, reasonable response is to avoid projecting dishonest intent and take seriously why fresh thinking and language are taken up.

    Specifically, Biblical Creationism works on the pivot found in Job, we were not there and God was so what is taken as authentic record should guide our thinking. The design inference is simply utterly different and traces to say Plato in The Laws Bk X, where it is seen that blind forces of chance and/or mechanical necessity produce different, observable patterns from those of ART, tekne. So, we see an early record of the trichotomy of commonly observed causal chain factors, chance/randomness/accident, mechanical necessity, intelligently directed configuration.

    In that context, the proper empirical contrast is natural vs ART-ificial, not SUPER-natural. Thus, we come to the per aspect design inference filter: low contingency, highly repeatable patterns on similar initial conditions — lawlike mechanical necessity. Radically diverse outcomes not readily compressed into a simple description, chance. Diverse outcomes fitting simple descriptions tied to goal directed behaviour or showing other features such as language, config-based functional specificity, co-adaptation and coupling of many parts into functional wholes etc. design.

    None of this is new or even generally controversial, cf natural vs archaeology or how forensics proceeds, etc. Communication theory in key part pivots on noise vs signal, indeed we have a key metric signal to noise ratio and related noise temperature or figure.

    What happens is, Big-S Science has been taken captive to an ideology of radical secularism rooted in Lewontin’s a priori evolutionary materialism, which asserts highly tendentious claims and censorship on study of origins of life and body plans [including ours], with somewhat less control on origins of the observed cosmos. Accordingly, they have resorted to drearily familiar techniques to suppress dissent. Showing every sign of ideological capture and corruption of institutions ethically bound to intellectual freedom and responsibility.

    This is similar to the ongoing mismanagement of the CV19 pandemic, macroeconomics, law and government, public policy on many topics, etc.

    Beyond a certain point, fatal disaffection will set in, with devastating consequences. But then, hubris is an old problem.

    You have some rethinking to do.

    KF

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Plato

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics, law and government: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”), opening the door to cynicism, hyperskepticism and nihilism . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them [–> nihilistic will to power not the spirit of justice and lawfulness].

    Note, his design inference

    Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them . . . .

    Then, by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators . . . . they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

    Cle. Still I do not understand you.

    Ath. Nearly all of them, my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body?

    Cle. Certainly.

    Ath. Then thought and attention and mind and art and law will be prior to that which is hard and soft and heavy and light; and the great and primitive works and actions will be works of art; they will be the first, and after them will come nature and works of nature, which however is a wrong term for men to apply to them; these will follow, and will be under the government of art and mind.

    Cle. But why is the word “nature” wrong?

    Ath. Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turn out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second. [–> notice, the self-moved, initiating, reflexively acting causal agent, which defines freedom as essential to our nature, and this is root of discussion on agents as first causes.]

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Plato’s other warning, from The Republic, we are playing with fire:

    It is not too hard to figure out that our civilisation is in deep trouble and is most likely headed for shipwreck. (And of course, that sort of concern is dismissed as “apocalyptic,” or neurotic pessimism that refuses to pause and smell the roses.)

    Plato’s Socrates spoke to this sort of situation, long since, in the ship of state parable in The Republic, Bk VI:

    >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures.

    Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain [–> often interpreted, ship’s owner] who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. [= The people own the community and in the mass are overwhelmingly strong, but are ill equipped on the whole to guide, guard and lead it]

    The sailors are quarrelling with one another about the steering – every one is of opinion that he has a right to steer [= selfish ambition to rule and dominate], though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them [–> kubernetes, steersman, from which both cybernetics and government come in English]; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard [ = ruthless contest for domination of the community], and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug [ = manipulation and befuddlement, cf. the parable of the cave], they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them [–> Cf here Luke’s subtle case study in Ac 27].

    Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion [–> Nihilistic will to power on the premise of might and manipulation making ‘right’ ‘truth’ ‘justice’ ‘rights’ etc], they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not-the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling.

    Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    [Ad.] Of course, said Adeimantus.

    [Soc.] Then you will hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State [ –> here we see Plato’s philosoppher-king emerging]; for you understand already.

    [Ad.] Certainly.

    [Soc.] Then suppose you now take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised at finding that philosophers have no honour in their cities; explain it to him and try to convince him that their having honour would be far more extraordinary.

    [Ad.] I will.

    [Soc.] Say to him, that, in deeming the best votaries of philosophy to be useless to the rest of the world, he is right; but also tell him to attribute their uselessness to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him –that is not the order of nature; neither are ‘the wise to go to the doors of the rich’ –the ingenious author of this saying told a lie –but the truth is, that, when a man is ill, whether he be rich or poor, to the physician he must go, and he who wants to be governed, to him who is able to govern. [–> the issue of competence and character as qualifications to rule] The ruler who is good for anything ought not to beg his subjects to be ruled by him [ –> down this road lies the modern solution: a sound, well informed people will seek sound leaders, who will not need to manipulate or bribe or worse, and such a ruler will in turn be checked by the soundness of the people, cf. US DoI, 1776]; although the present governors of mankind are of a different stamp; they may be justly compared to the mutinous sailors, and the true helmsmen to those who are called by them good-for-nothings and star-gazers.

    [Ad.] Precisely so, he said.

    [Soc] For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction [–> the sophists, the Demagogues, Alcibiades and co, etc]; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say, that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed [–> even among the students of the sound state (here, political philosophy and likely history etc.), many are of unsound motivation and intent, so mere education is not enough, character transformation is critical].

    [Ad.] Yes.

    [Soc.] And the reason why the good are useless has now been explained?

    [Ad.] True.

    [Soc.] Then shall we proceed to show that the corruption of the majority is also unavoidable [–> implies a need for a corruption-restraining minority providing proverbial salt and light, cf. Ac 27, as well as justifying a governing structure turning on separation of powers, checks and balances], and that this is not to be laid to the charge of philosophy any more than the other?

    [Ad.] By all means.

    [Soc.] And let us ask and answer in turn, first going back to the description of the gentle and noble nature.[ — > note the character issue] Truth, as you will remember, was his leader, whom he followed always and in all things [ –> The spirit of truth as a marker]; failing in this, he was an impostor, and had no part or lot in true philosophy [–> the spirit of truth is a marker, for good or ill] . . . >>

    (There is more than an echo of this in Acts 27, a real world case study. [Luke, a physician, was an educated Greek with a taste for subtle references.] This blog post, on soundness in policy, will also help)

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, if after so many years around UD you cannot recognise the difference between

    [a] after-observation inference to traces of intelligible intelligently directed configuration on tested, reliable signs leading to an empirically founded school of thought, and

    [b] starting from a given textual tradition taken as record of the Creator and seeking to construct a scheme of thought that then covers evidence i/l/o how one understands the given text,

    you need to do some fairly serious rethinking.

    KF

  23. 23
    ET says:

    JVL is a willfully ignorant troll. Creation is a subset of ID. ID has been around since the ancient Greeks. Creationism has been around since the 1960s.

    If the Bible were proven to be false Creationism would fail and yet ID wouldn’t be fazed. But if Creationism is true then so is ID. ID can be true without Creationism being true.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Only the willfully ignorant and extremely stupid say that Creation Science was rebranded as Intelligent Design.

    On cue Kevin Middlebrook proves it is willfully ignorant and stupid. Nice own goal, Kevbo.

  25. 25
    JVL says:

    Querius: The scientific founders of the ID movement explicitly stated that ID would have no position on the source of the intelligent design. ID is based fundamentally on scientific pragmatism: it simply works better than chance and necessity.

    I understand that and I’m not attacking that position. I’m merely saying that the notion that all things in nature were designed and that all things were created (i.e. implemented designed) are fairly synonymous. I’m NOT using the term created as a reference to historical creationism which, as ET points out could be considered a subset of ID.

    Look, if you look at extant living organisms and infer they were designed (and therefore the design had to be implemented) aren’t you also saying there was a purpose for the design choices?

    In other words: isn’t inferring design also inferring purpose and vice versa?

  26. 26
    jerry says:

    isn’t inferring design also inferring purpose and vice versa?

    Yes.

    An issue with ID is when generally the design took place. There are more than one potential instance of design of which the universe is just one. So definitely at the beginning. But there are others after that.

    And these all should have a purpose for which we can speculate. But they have a purpose.

  27. 27
    Querius says:

    JVL,

    I would add to Jerry’s comment about purpose, that there are different types of purpose:

    The purpose of creation. Likely unknowable in its entirety. Out of scope for ID.

    The purpose of foxes. A top-level predator in the web of its ecosystem.

    The purpose of ductless glands. Once considered vestigial, the endocrine system has a critical function in supporting the large organs.

    The purpose of the so-called “inverted” retina. The orientation is mandated for adequate blood supply.

    The purpose of junk DNA. Once also considered vestigial, junk DNA has been renamed “non-coding DNA,” and most of it has been found to be functional, including a role in the immune system.

    There might be more types of purpose that I missed.

    -Q

  28. 28
    JVL says:

    Jerry: An issue with ID is when generally the design took place. There are more than one potential instance of design of which the universe is just one. So definitely at the beginning. But there are others after that. And these all should have a purpose for which we can speculate. But they have a purpose.

    Do you think that a substantial difference between ‘Creationists’ and ID supporters is when they think design was implemented?

    Querius: I would add to Jerry’s comment about purpose, that there are different types of purpose:

    I see you are differentiating based on function within the whole . . . . system. But, essentially, you agree that a design inference is equivalent to a purpose inference?

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    a substantial difference between ‘Creationists’ and ID supporters is when they think design was implemented

    You are probably referring to a young earth creationist since I consider myself a creationist. Namely there was a creator of immense knowledge and power of at a minimum the universe and probably many other things.

    I personally believe what the evidence indicates and one thing is that the Earth is very old. I see no need to dispute it. Science obviously evolves over time not for just the age of the Earth but for many things.

    a design inference is equivalent to a purpose inference

    Yes. Why would such an entity of massive knowledge and power be so frivolous and not have a purpose.

  30. 30
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Why would such an entity of massive knowledge and power be so frivolous and not have a purpose.

    Why indeed. But you agree ‘purpose’ should not be part of the ID paradigm? The ability to detect and infer design does not give significant insight regarding purpose?

  31. 31
    jerry says:

    But you agree ‘purpose’ should not be part of the ID paradigm? The ability to detect and infer design does not give significant insight regarding purpose

    Speculation on purpose comes from other aspects of the designed product. It’s function and it’s construction are two that can often provide insight.

    For example, an analysis of the laws of physics and the construction of the universe provides some insight as to purpose. Also human nature/natural law provides insight into humans and purpose. Kf did an extensive OP on this last year. There’s a large academic area on the natural law.

  32. 32
    Querius says:

    JVL @28,

    I see you are differentiating based on function within the whole . . . . system. But, essentially, you agree that a design inference is equivalent to a purpose inference?

    Here’s why I’d say yes and no.

    The functional purpose of the endocrine system is to support the larger organs but that’s where it stops in science, so I wouldn’t say that the design inference is equivalent to a purpose inference at higher levels such as the purpose of humans on planet earth, for example.

    One could argue that in theology, purpose results in design from the top down, while science has to discover the purpose of design from the bottom up, stopping where the scientific method no longer can operate.

    Anyway, that’s my perspective.

    -Q

  33. 33
    ET says:

    The purpose is not part of ID for the simple fact we don’t even inquire about a purpose and AFTER intelligent design has been determined. We don’t need to know how, when, why or by who to make such a determination.

    And reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the who, how, why and when is by studying the design and all relevant evidence. Most likely there was a purpose, we just don’t have to know it. The more intricate the design the more likely there was a purpose.

    On the other hand, evolution is supposed to be a mechanistic position. Yet the how, why and when are completely absent. The DNA model is a complete failure outside of accounting for variations within populations. Weird how evolutionists are still afraid to openly admit that they don’t have anything beyond a narrative to rival “Once upon a time… ” and “In the beginning…”

  34. 34
    ET says:

    That said, “the Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery”- An entire book devoted to determining purpose in the universe via a consilience of clues.

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Speculation on purpose comes from other aspects of the designed product. It’s function and it’s construction are two that can often provide insight.

    But, something being designed clearly means it has a purpose . . . yes?

    Querius: The functional purpose of the endocrine system is to support the larger organs but that’s where it stops in science, so I wouldn’t say that the design inference is equivalent to a purpose inference at higher levels such as the purpose of humans on planet earth, for example.

    Sure, but if humans were designed then there must have been a purpose at some level. Yes?

    ET: Most likely there was a purpose, we just don’t have to know it. The more intricate the design the more likely there was a purpose.

    Surely something being designed indicates there was/is a purpose. Yes? Even if we don’t know what it was/is?

    I’m just thinking a big, overall perspective. Certainly some design at ‘lower’ levels (like subsystems) might be to solve particular engineering problems. But a designer wouldn’t go spend the time and effort to design and ‘create’ life on Earth (let alone the whole universe) without having some point or purpose in mind.

  36. 36
    Origenes on vacation says:

    JVL:

    But a designer wouldn’t go spend the time and effort to design and ‘create’ life on Earth (let alone the whole universe) without having some point or purpose in mind.

    Most likely.
    We can infer design, but, regarding overall purpose, we are not mind readers. If aliens from another universe created this universe, then we have no way of knowing what purpose (if any) they had in mind. They have to inform us about their purpose, and next, we have to believe them.

  37. 37
    Hanks says:

    something being designed clearly means it has a purpose . . . yes?

    Yes.1000%

    Something that is not designed has no purpose …yes?

  38. 38
    ET says:

    Needlessly whittling on a stick is intelligent design without a purpose.

    But a designer wouldn’t go spend the time and effort to design and ‘create’ life on Earth (let alone the whole universe) without having some point or purpose in mind.

    Already covered by “the Privileged Planet”. Your reading comprehension issues still exist.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    Design implies goal-directed intelligent configuration. That is enough. KF

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Querius says:

    JVL @35,

    Querius: The functional purpose of the endocrine system is to support the larger organs but that’s where it stops in science, so I wouldn’t say that the design inference is equivalent to a purpose inference at higher levels such as the purpose of humans on planet earth, for example.

    Sure, but if humans were designed then there must have been a purpose at some level. Yes?

    Yes, indeed (with the previous qualifications noted).

    A couple of perspectives:
    – Design without functional purpose lies within the realm of art. Higher purposes can include beauty, for example, which is something that’s outside the realm of science (i.e., beauty can’t be measured in BTUs or bars).

    – The most elegant designs address multiple requirements or functions. They can embody convenience, efficiency, coherence, consistency, predictability, and beauty. People unconsciously recognize superior design as having a sense of integrity, charm, and other, hard-to-pin-down terms.

    – ID presupposes functional design and purpose in all structures, organs, and components that are accessible to the scientific method.

    I’d also note that according to the first book in the Bible, Genesis, humans were created to manage the ecology of the planet:

    Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:26-31a (NASB)

    That people have not done so, but rather trashed the earth is noted in Revelation, the last book of the Bible:

    “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” – Revelation 11:18

    -Q

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