Intelligent Reasoning

Promoting, advancing and defending Intelligent Design via data, logic and Intelligent Reasoning and exposing the theory of evolution as the nonsense it is. I also educate evotards about ID and the theory of evolution one tard at a time and sometimes in groups

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution

All too often ID is equated with being anti-evolution. However anyone whos knows anything about ID knows that is completely false. People who understand ID understand the debate is about origins as well as mechanisms.

Evolution has several meanings (from "Darwinism, Design and Public Education"):

1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature
2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population
3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor.
4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations.
5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor.
6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.

There are IDists who accept common descent but just question the mechanism- Dr. Behe is one of those IDists. Therefore, if anything, ID would be considered anti-evolution #6.

10 Comments:

  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    This concept also applies to irreducible complexity. IC does NOT mean that the structure couldn't "evolve". It does mean that it is very, very doubtful that such a structure could have "evolved" via some blind watchmaker-type process.

    We already know that natural selection can only select for what exists. We also know that until an IC structure is finished there isn't anything to select for (for that particular function- Irreducible Complexity is an Obstacle to Darwinism Even if Parts of a System have other Functions ). And we know there is a mechanism for removing non-functioning DNA- that mechanism is because there is a cost involved in reproduction, energy is at a premium and it takes energy to reproduce.

     
  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger Red Reader said…

    I've enjoyed your posts in the past.

    However, I'm not sure what you've said about Dr. Behe is correct. Do you have a reference for the suggestion that Dr. Behe advocates common descent?

    In my opinion, the concept of irreducible complexity that he presents in his book "Darwin's Black Box" absolutely nukes in toto the hypothesis of common descent.

    Complex structures simply can not have "evolved" from simpler structures each of which by themselves offered no selective survival value: in order to survive, in order to transmit highly complex coding information to a second generation, a complex functional structure simply had to have worked perfectly the first time it was tried or it never would have been given a second chance.

    Micro-evolution, I agree with you all day every day. We see "change over time" in the cattle business here in Texas. But such change *always* occurs within the existing gene structure inherited from the prior generation.

    Keep up the good work. Please let me know where you are getting your information about Dr. Behe.

    Thanks.

    Glenn J.
    Baytown, TX. (suburb of Houston)

     
  • At 11:19 AM, Blogger Daniel said…

    So Dembski was just joking when, at a recent talk he gave at Kansas State U., he claimed that "Darwinism is dead"?

    Or are you distinguishing between Darwinism and Modern Evolutionary theory (aka neo-Darwinism)? That would at least be a reasonable statement in and of itself, because indeed, the theory of evolution has undergone various corrections and changes since The Origin of the Species.

    But even still, the Wedge Document clearly states in it's "Five Year Strategic Plan Summary" that ID's goal is to replace science as currently practiced with "theistic and Christian science." Further, ID's "Governing Goals" are to "defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies" and "to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."

    Sounds pretty anti-evolution and anti-science to me.

     
  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    To Red Reader,

    It's ALL about the mechanism. For example if the organism had the information to create a flagellum, as well as the resources available, then one could come about, ie "evolve" in a population that once did not one /an individual within the pop. that had one. There are some or even many IDists who are "front loaders". Meaning that the information, genetic algorithm and resources were "installed", then life "evolved" accordingly.

    "Evolution" is a tricky word. All it really means is a change in allele frequency over time.



    As for Dr. Behe:

    Dr. Behe and CD

    "Scott refers to me as an intelligent design "creationist," even though I clearly write in my book Darwin's Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think "evolution occurred, but was guided by God." Where I and others run afoul of Scott and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is simply in arguing that intelligent design in biology is not invisible, it is empirically detectable. The biological literature is replete with statements like David DeRosier's in the journal Cell: "More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human" (1). Exactly why is it a thought-crime to make the case that such observations may be on to something objectively correct?"

     
  • At 9:56 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Daniel sez:
    So Dembski was just joking when, at a recent talk he gave at Kansas State U., he claimed that "Darwinism is dead"?

    Do you the posts BEFORE you comment on them? Obviously not.

     
  • At 11:24 AM, Blogger Daniel said…

    Do you the posts BEFORE you comment on them? Obviously not.

    Do I do what to the posts before commenting on them?

    Read them? Yes. And you said "ID is NOT anti-evolution." Why then did Dembski explicitly attack evolution?

     
  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger Red Reader said…

    Thank you for the link to Dr. Behe's views.

    I just think "guided" evolution is an unnecessary accomodation. Why bother with it?

    Yes, we see micro-evolution (within inherited gene resources). Yes, we see common structures and similarities of features in disperate biological systems.

    But it is *extrapolation* to say the observation of micro-e and common structures therefore means common descent. We haven't actually SEEN it.

    Extrapolation can be a very serious error: the same error that can lead one to believe the earth is flat. (The earth is flat for as far as I can see. Therefore the earth that I cannot see is flat.)

    Irreducible complexity is observable. But now, we are saying, "Maybe the NDErs are right about the mechanisms."

    On the other hand, maybe "Designer reuse" accounts for the common structures. Who knows?

    But thanks for the link and thanks for the thoughts.

     
  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Daniel,

    Dembski "attacked" Darwinism, not evolution. As I said in the opening blog evolution has many meanings.

    IOW any educated person should be able to see that one can "attack" Darwinism, neo-Darwinism and/ or any blind watchmaker thesis and still not be attacking the premise that allele frequencies change over time- evolution- or that populations change over time- evolution- or that common descent occured but was the intent of the designer- ie front loading evolution.

     
  • At 8:18 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    To Red Reader,

    You still have it wrong. The mechanisms are what is being debated.

    Can RM & NS give us IC? Doubtful.

    Could IC arise if it was pre-programmed to? Yes

     
  • At 9:21 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    More from Dr. Behe:

    "Intelligent design is a good explanation for a number of biochemical systems, but I should insert a word of caution. Intelligent design theory has to be seen in context: it does not try to explain everything. We live in a complex world where lots of different things can happen. When deciding how various rocks came to be shaped the way they are a geologist might consider a whole range of factors: rain, wind, the movement of glaciers, the activity of moss and lichens, volcanic action, nuclear explosions, asteroid impact, or the hand of a sculptor. The shape of one rock might have been determined primarily by one mechanism, the shape of another rock by another mechanism.

    Similarly, evolutionary biologists have recognized that a number of factors might have affected the development of life: common descent, natural selection, migration, population size, founder effects (effects that may be due to the limited number of organisms that begin a new species), genetic drift (spread of "neutral," nonselective mutations), gene flow (the incorporation of genes into a population from a separate population), linkage (occurrence of two genes on the same chromosome), and much more. The fact that some biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent does not mean that any of the other factors are not operative, common, or important."

    "Why" bother with guided evolution? Perhaps the "designer isn't as "all powerful" as religions make "it" out to be. Perhaps there are some unknown constraints. Perhaps it was "deemed" the best way to do it.

    It doesn't matter. It is just a concept. We exist and people are trying to figure out that existence.

    What ARE the options (to our existence)?

    I see three possible options:

    1) Unintelligent, blind/ undirected (non-goal oriented) processes
    2) Intelligent, directed (goal oriented) processes
    3) a combination of 1 & 2

    Even though one has been eliminated via logic and reasoning, 2 & 3 leave quite a bit of room for exploration. Some times we can find out what it is by determining what it is not.

    John R. Koza, Martin A. Keane and Matthew J. Streeter, "Evolving Inventions", Scientific American pp52-59 (2003), demonstrates what can be accomplished with a properly written algorithm, a specified target (goal) and the resources to achieve that goal.

    As for "designer reuse"- sure. Why re-invent a structure every time a different organism requires a similar function? Common design could be confused for common descent- absolutely. The question is how can we separate one from the other- common design from common descent when common design also accounts for common descent?

    I am confident that once we know what makes an organism what it is, that is besides what a geneticist tells us in the next paragraph, we will have our answer. For only then will we be able to determine, or example, whether or not a population of land animals could "evolve" into a population of ceatceans, regardless of the number of generations or natural influences involved.

    What makes a fly a fly? In his book (English title) “Why is a Fly not a Horse?”, the prominent Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti, tells us the following :

    Chapter VI “Why is a Fly not a horse?” (same as the book’s title)

    ”The scientist enjoys a privilege denied the theologian. To any question, even one central to his theories, he may reply “I’m sorry but I do not know.” This is the only honest answer to the question posed by the title of this chapter. We are fully aware of what makes a flower red rather than white, what it is that prevents a dwarf from growing taller, or what goes wrong in a paraplegic or a thalassemic. But the mystery of species eludes us, and we have made no progress beyond what we already have long known, namely, that a kitty is born because its mother was a she-cat that mated with a tom, and that a fly emerges as a fly larva from a fly egg.”

     

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