Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

They said it . . .

ID Breakthrough — Syn61 marks a live case of intelligent design of a life form

Let’s read the Nature abstract: Nature (2019) Article | Published: 15 May 2019 Total synthesis of Escherichia coli with a recoded genome Julius Fredens, Kaihang Wang, Daniel de la Torre, Louise F. H. Funke, Wesley E. Robertson, Yonka Christova, Tiongsun Chia, Wolfgang H. Schmied, Daniel L. Dunkelmann, Václav Beránek, Chayasith Uttamapinant, Andres Gonzalez Llamazares, Thomas S. Elliott & Jason W. Chin AbstractNature uses 64 codons to encode the synthesis of proteins from the genome, and chooses 1 sense codon—out of up to 6 synonyms—to encode each amino acid. Synonymous codon choice has diverse and important roles, and many synonymous substitutions are detrimental. Here we demonstrate that the number of codons used to encode the canonical amino acids can be reduced, Read More ›

DI Fellow, David Berlinski: “There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics”

He continues (HT, BA77): >>Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time …. … Come again … DB: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with Read More ›

New Evidence Against the Existence of God: Antarctica, Arizona, Atlantic Ocean

Recently over on this thread started by Barry we have been discussing one of the tired atheist arguments against God’s existence: bad design.  The discussion has been primarily in the context of some of Carl Sagan’s remarks cited by john_a_designer, but Sagan is by no means unique in his failed efforts. Commenter rvb8 had the audacity to claim that the faulty “bad design” line of argumentation is in fact a “well argued point,” warning in the same breath that we mustn’t question Sagan because, well, Sagan was an important science guy. When pressed on the matter, rvb8 dug in his heels and reasserted that the bad design line of argumentation “is sound,” pointing out that God was tremendously wasteful. Now I’ve heard Read More ›

BTB, Q: Why all of this fuss about specific functionality and FSCO/I, when we already have CSI?

A: Of course, this was long since answered in Dembski’s No Free Lunch, but many (especially those who draw their understanding of ID from what ruthlessly manipulative objectors have to say) will not be familiar with what he has long since said on record. So, let’s clip and highlight, as foundational: >>p. 148:“The great myth of contemporary evolutionary biology is that the information needed to explain complex biological structures can be purchased without intelligence. My aim throughout this book is to dispel that myth . . . . Eigen and his colleagues must have something else in mind besides information simpliciter when they describe the origin of information as the central problem of biology. I submit that what they have Read More ›

CHartsil corrected on “mechanisms” [–> signs and techniques] of design

CHartsil has now earned UD objector poster-child status, regarding a talking point he used to try to divert a News thread: If ID is science, then put it through the scientific method. You don’t just get to say it’s a valid alternative when evolution has been put through the wringer and ID proponents have failed to produce so much as a single mechanism of design. Let’s take this in steps of thought: >> If ID is science, then put it through the scientific method.>> 1 –> This raises the issue as to what science properly understood is, and what its methods are. As there has been a recent agenda to redefine science as applied materialism dressed up in a lab coat, Read More ›

A first answer to AS on “The simple fact is that religious dogmas are made up. They have no existence in reality beyond human imagination.”

Sometimes, we see a classic comment by objectors that reveals much about what we face. Accordingly, it is appropriate to headline the remark and a response (which I will use original post powers to augment slightly): Here is AS: Rebuttals of what? The simple fact is that religious dogmas are made up. They have no existence in reality beyond human imagination. The boot is one the other foot. If you have evidence of the objective reality of some religious concept, then, bring it on. Here is my response: _______________ >> AS: I saw Timaeus commenting [–> cf. here, especially], who is always worth a read. In your exchange with him you tossed this atheistical talking point, which drips with contempt Read More ›

DO’s Prediction succeeds (2 1/2 years ago): “Increasingly, logic will be seen as a covert form of theism”

In a recent UD post, our Newsdesk predicted: “Increasingly, logic will be seen as a covert form of theism.” This was actually fulfilled two and a half years ago, in a combox exchange at the shadow-site, TSZ. I commented on UD President BA’s post on the prediction, and wish to headline that, feeding in some multimedia elements: ________________ >>BA & News: Actually, the prediction has already happened, note this from a TSZ combox for a post there that was trying to dismiss first principles of right reason, 2 1/2 years ago: Flint on February 21, 2012 at 2:37 am said: aleta, I don’t think I quite understand what you are saying with some of the rest of your post. However, Read More ›

My take on the Nye-Ham Debate (and its wider context)

I have felt it useful to blog on the Nye-Ham debate at my personal blog, here. I trust the thoughts there will be helpful for onward discussion. My conclusion, in light of say the life and career of this notorious Creationist  ignoramus, and blundering incompetent at scientific fields . . . NOT: . . . is: That [the focal] issue is first to resolve a false and toxic accusation [promoted by Nye], then to reasonably address the actual weight of the evidence in front of us on its merits, without question-begging a prioris. For those who missed the debate here it is courtesy ABN and YouTube: [youtube psk27UgyVK8] Bottomline, one way or another, we are at a kairos — a Read More ›

Don Johnson’s lecture on “Bioinformatics: The Information in Life”

VJT has recently posted on what kind of cosmos God made, remarking on the Don Johnson bioinformatics lecture. He linked but didn’t embed, so here is the lecture: [vimeo 11314902] And, here is the handout. No comments — go to VJT’s thread. OOPS, something funny there so I open back up comments here. Hope this helps out all concerned. END

“Intelligent Design is NOT Anti-Evolution” — a guest post

Good day, my name is JoeG and I would like to get something out in the open and hopefully have it become fully understood by everyone. For decades I have been debating against evolutionism and for decades I have been told that my position is “anti-evolution.” I found that strange because my position allows for a change in allele frequency over time, i.e. evolution. It also allows for natural selection, ie evolution. Speciation is OK too, i.e. evolution. Offspring are different from their parents meaning my position also allows for descent with modification, i.e. evolution. The whole point of my opponents seems to be a strawman: they want to be able to “refute” my position by showing that allele frequencies Read More ›

WJM gives us a “typical” conversation between an ID supporter and an objector . . .

On Christmas Day, WJM put the following hypothetical conversation in a comment. Since he has not headlined it himself, as promised yesterday, I now do so: Typical debate with an anti-ID advocate: ID advocate: There are certain things that exist that are best explained by intelligent design. Anti-ID advocate: Whoa! Hold up there, fella. “Explained”, in science, means “caused by”. Intelligent design doesn’t by itself “cause” anything. ID advocate: What I meant is that teleology is required to generate certain things, like a functioning battleship. It can’t come about by chance. Anti-ID advocate: What do you mean “by chance”? “By” means to cause. Are you claiming that chance causes things to happen? ID advocate: Of course not. Chance, design and Read More ›

ID Foundations, 21: MF — “as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation” . . . a root worldview assumption based cause for rejecting the design inference emerges into plain view

In the OK thread, in comment 50, ID objector Mark Frank has finally laid out the root of ever so many of the objections to the design inference filter. Unsurprisingly, it is a worldview based controlling a priori of materialism: [re EA] #38 [MF, in 50:] I see “chance” as usually meaning to “unpredictable” or “no known explanation”. The unknown explanations may be deterministic elements or genuinely random uncaused events which we just don’t know about. It can also includes things that happen as the result of intelligence – but as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation. But, just what what Read More ›

Coyne et al cheer on censorship — it is time to take notice . . .

Yesterday, UD News  headlined a case of radical secularist censorship in Los Angeles being cheered on by Jerry Coyne et al. The case concerns the removal of the following sign (shown under fair use) that was formerly present at a Museum of Natural History in that city: Notice, what Coyne says in exultation over the removal of the sign: If I get any other information I’ll convey it, but for now I’m pleased that God is out of the Museum and no longer gets credit for “creatures.”  It’s a victory for secularism, for sure. Something is blatantly, deeply wrong. Wrong with the push to censor. Wrong with the willingness of the museum’s leadership to be intimidated by Darwinist thuggery — Read More ›

They said it: “in the spirit of Carthago delenda est . . . ” — AF issues a strawman fallacy-tainted challenge to design thought

Longtime design objector AF has just issued an inadvertently revealing challenge in the Info by accident thread: AF, 224: >> And in the spirit of Carthago delenda est if anyone has a testable hypothesis of “Intelligent Design”, that would be good, too!>> This is brazen, and utterly revealing. Cato’s “Carthage must fall” was a declaration of implacable ruthless enmity that led to the final destruction of Carthage through a third war in a century, on a flimsy excuse. Here is my response at 225 (images added): KF, 225: >> AF has been at UD from the beginning. Eight years. He therefore full well knows — it having been stated in his presence umpteen times — that, for instance, a clear Read More ›

FYI-FTR, # 4: You can’t make this up . . . KeithS and ilk dig in further — StephenB asks, is there any one there (apart from KeithS) who is uncertain of his self-aware existence?

Some things you can’t make up in a novel, they would be too implausible to be salable. But reality itself has no such constraints. As onlookers know, over the past several days — cf. here and here, we have been back to the issue of KeithS and his fellow evolutionary materialists (and their fellow travellers and enablers) and their struggles with first principles of right reason, starting with say seeing a bright red ball on a table and noticing the obvious about such a situation: StephenB has been making a basic argument to KS that it is worth highlighting again (NB: KS is busily pretending that this does not exist and/or has no cogency): SB, 491 in the Meanningless world Read More ›