Intelligent Reasoning

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

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Wobbling Stability"

Chapter IV of prominent geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti's book Why is a Fly Not a Horse? is titled "Wobbling Stability". In that chapter he discusses what I have been talking about in other threads- that populations oscillate. The following is what he has to say which is based on thorough scientific investigation:

Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.


(snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.


Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.


It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.



The point being, that IF it were left to direct scientific observations, evolutionism fails miserably and all that is left is wishful thinking supported by speculation.

All that is left for Zachriel or any other evolutionitwit to do is to assert that Dr Sermonti is mistaken. But one will quickly notice that total lack of evidentiary support for such a premise.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The "I" in ID

Yes ID stands for Intelligent Design and therefore the "I" in ID stands for intelligent. But why include it? Doesn't "design" also imply intelligence? Perhaps.

As Wm Dembski writes in Intelligent Design is not Optimal Design:

But why then place the adjective "intelligent" in front of the noun "design"? Doesn't design already include the idea of intelligent agency, so that juxtaposing the two becomes an exercise in redundancy? Not at all. Intelligent design needs to be distinguished from apparent design on the one hand and optimal design on the other. Apparent design looks designed but really isn't. Optimal design is perfect design and hence cannot exist except in an idealized realm (sometimes called a "Platonic heaven"). Apparent and optimal design empty design of all practical significance.


People also ask "What is intelligence?" which is a fair question. My answer is that intelligence is that which can create counterflow. "Counterflow refers to things running contrary to what, in the relevant sense, would (or might) have resulted or occurred had nature operated freely."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Of replicators and living organisms

According to Thought Provoker, Richard Dawkins offers the following:

"Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators."

However we know that living organisms require much more than replication, which is an issue unto itself. To replicate a strand of DNA (or RNA) one requires nucleotides, which do not occur outside of living organisms. Many nucleotides are required and in five (A,C,G,T,U) flavors. But not only is replication required but the same strand that replicates also needs to provide functioning proteins and enzymes. However for those pre-existing and functioning proteins and transport systems are required.

IOW what Dawkins offers just further exposes the attempt to try to "simplify" living organisms thereby making their existence much more palatable in an anti-ID and anti-Creation world.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

(Off Topic) Pro-Choice- but whose choice?

"Abortion" rights/ Pro-Choice has always been a hot-topic for me. Now I believe I understand why. With "pro-choice" who gets to choose? The women. IOW it appears that in our society men do not have a reproductive choice. Men do not have rights to reproduce. We may have the delivery tool and half of the combination, but that is where it ends.

So perhaps this is one strategy to use to overturn Roe v Wade- get someone to stand up for the reproduction rights of men.

Can a man take out a restraining order or some court injunction against the woman he impregnated to stop her from getting an abortion?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Level Playing Field

In sports a "level-playing-field" is one in which all participants play not only on the same field, court, squared-ring, octagon, turf, etc., and utilize the same boundaries, but also adhere to the same rules. Also all judges, referees, umpires, scorers must also judge (score) the participants equally, ie without personal bias, based upon the rules of the sport.

With science the same should stand but with science being a broad venue the following caveat applies:

In any case, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out, debate about methodological rules of science often forms part of the practice of science, especially during times when established paradigms are being challenged. Those who reject the "teach the controversy" model on the grounds that ID violates the current rules of scientific practice only beg the question. The present regime of methodological rules cannot prevent the controversy for the simple reason that those rules may themselves be one of the subjects of scientific controversy.
page xxv of "Darwinism, Design and Public Education"


IOW the "rules" themselves may be creating an unlevel playing field. In which case those rules must be examined and their validity questioned.

And if one side is allowed to offer no more than speculative circumstantial evidence along with a heavy reliance on "sheer-dumb-luck", the other side should be accepted if it can also offer up the same level of data.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vole "evolution"- support for Drs Denton & Sermonti?

Dr Denton tells us that although genes may influence every aspect of development they do not determine it.

Dr Sermonti tells us that we do not know what makes a cat a cat other than the successful mating of a tom with a she cat.

Rodent's bizarre traits deepen mystery of genetics, evolution:

The study focuses on 60 species within the vole genus Microtus, which has evolved in the last 500,000 to 2 million years. This means voles are evolving 60-100 times faster than the average vertebrate in terms of creating different species. Within the genus (the level of taxonomic classification above species), the number of chromosomes in voles ranges from 17-64. DeWoody said that this is an unusual finding, since species within a single genus often have the same chromosome number.

Among the vole's other bizarre genetic traits:

•In one species, the X chromosome, one of the two sex-determining chromosomes (the other being the Y), contains about 20 percent of the entire genome. Sex chromosomes normally contain much less genetic information.

•In another species, females possess large portions of the Y (male) chromosome.

•In yet another species, males and females have different chromosome numbers, which is uncommon in animals.

A final "counterintuitive oddity" is that despite genetic variation, all voles look alike, said DeWoody's former graduate student and study co-author Deb Triant.

"All voles look very similar, and many species are completely indistinguishable," DeWoody said.

In one particular instance, DeWoody was unable to differentiate between two species even after close examination and analysis of their cranial structure; only genetic tests could reveal the difference.

Nevertheless, voles are perfectly adept at recognizing those of their own species.



Yup after all this “evolution” a vole is still a vole. This study alone should cast a huge shadow over evolutionism.

In “The Deniable Darwin” David Berlinski puts it this way:

SWIMMING IN the soundless sea, the shark has survived for millions of years, sleek as a knife blade and twice as dull. The shark is an organism wonderfully adapted to its environment. Pause. And then the bright brittle voice of logical folly intrudes: after all, it has survived for millions of years.

This exchange should be deeply embarrassing to evolutionary biologists. And yet, time and again, biologists do explain the survival of an organism by reference to its fitness and the fitness of an organism by reference to its survival, the friction between concepts kindling nothing more illuminating than the observation that some creatures have been around for a very long time. “Those individuals that have the most offspring,” writes Ernst Mayr, the distinguished zoologist, “are by definition . . . the fittest ones.” And in Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Tim Berra states that “[f]itness in the Darwinian sense means reproductive fitness-leaving at least enough offspring to spread or sustain the species in nature.”

This is not a parody of evolutionary thinking; it is evolutionary thinking.Que sera, sera.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis

Something for my readers to enjoy. I have only placed the opening two paragraphs here so please read the entire article by clicking on the link provided:

A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis by John A. Davison

Abstract

I propose that phylogeny took place in a manner similar to that of ontogeny by the derepression of preformed genomic information which was expressed through release from latency (derepression) by the restructuring of existing chromosomal information (position effects). Both indirect and direct evidence is presented in support of the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis.


l. INTRODUCTION

Historically there have been two major hypotheses to explain organic change, that of Lamarck, based on the transmission of characters acquired during the life of the individual and that of Darwin, which placed Nature in the role of selecting and thereby preserving those genetic changes which proved to be of advantage to the organism. These changes were presumed to be the means by which evolution proceeded. Each of these hypotheses has been thoroughly tested.
The Lamarckian hypothesis was tested by August Weismann in Darwin’s own day with negative results. The Darwinian hypothesis has been tested with limited success. There is no question that artificial selection can significantly alter the phenotype as demonstrated with dogs, goldfish, and a host of other domesticated forms, both plant and animal. Nevertheless, the products of the most intensive selection have not exceeded the species barrier. It seems that sexual reproduction is incapable of transforming species even to new members of the same genus. Even if this could be
demonstrated, it seems very unlikely that such a process could ever produce the higher categories of genus, family, order or class. I realize that these are contentious matters and it is with some trepidation that I have abandoned each of these hypotheses in order to offer what seems to me the only real viable alternative. It is the responsibility of the scientist to expose failed hypotheses,
but it is equally his responsibility to offer a replacement for them. That is the purpose of this paper. Some of what I will present is not new with me but was proposed long ago by those I will cite, in their own words, so there is no misunderstanding of what they meant.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why do we invoke Darwin?

The following is basically what I have been stating for decades:


The Scientist, Aug. 29, 2005

Why do we invoke Darwin?
Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology

By Philip S. Skell

Darwin’s theory of evolution offers a sweeping explanation of the history of life, from the earliest microscopic organisms billions of years ago to all the plants and animals around us today. Much of the evidence that might have established the theory on an unshakable empirical foundation, however, remains lost in the distant past. For instance, Darwin hoped we would discover transitional precursors to the animal forms that appear abruptly in the Cambrian strata. Since then we have found many ancient fossils¬ – even exquisitely preserved soft-bodied creatures – but none are credible ancestors to the Cambrian animals.

Despite this and other difficulties, the modern form of Darwin’s theory has been raised to its present high status because it’s said to be the cornerstone of modern experimental biology. But is that correct? “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,’ most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas,” A. S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, wrote in 2000.1 “Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.”

I would tend to agree. Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.

I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.

In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.

When I recently suggested this disconnect publicly, I was vigorously challenged. One person recalled my use of Wilkins and charged me with quote mining. The proof, supposedly, was in Wilkins’s subsequent paragraph:

"Yet, the marginality of evolutionary biology may be changing. More and more issues in biology, from diverse questions about human nature to the vulnerability of ecosystems, are increasingly seen as reflecting evolutionary events. A spate of popular books on evolution testifies to the development. If we are to fully understand these matters, however, we need to understand the processes of evolution that, ultimately, underlie them."

In reality, however, this passage illustrates my point. The efforts mentioned there are not experimental biology; they are attempts to explain already authenticated phenomena in Darwinian terms, things like human nature. Further, Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed¬ – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.

Darwinian evolution¬ – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology. This becomes especially clear when we compare it with a heuristic framework such as the atomic model, which opens up structural chemistry and leads to advances in the synthesis of a multitude of new molecules of practical benefit.

None of this demonstrates that Darwinism is false. It does, however, mean that the claim that it is the cornerstone of modern experimental biology will be met with quiet skepticism from a growing number of scientists in fields where theories actually do serve as cornerstones for tangible breakthroughs.

Philip Skell (tvk@psu.edu) is Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, member, National Academy of Sciences, research contributions to Reactive Intermediates in Chemistry: Triplet/Singlet Carbenes, Free-Atom Reactions, Bridged and Optically Active Free Radicals, Reactions of Free Carbonium Ions, etc.

1. A.S. Wilkins, BioEssays 22, 1051(2000).


From The Scientist, Sept. 26, 2005

Philip Skell responds: My essay about Darwinism and modern experimental biology has stirred up a lively discussion, but the responses still provide no evidence that evolutionary theory is the cornerstone of experimental biology. Comparative physiology and comparative genomics have certainly been fruitful, but comparative biology originated before Darwin and owes nothing to his theory. Before the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, comparative biology focused mainly on morphology, because physiology and biochemistry were in their infancy and genomics lay in the future; but the extension of a comparative approach to these sub-disciplines depended on the development of new methodologies and instruments, not on evolutionary theory and immersion in historical biology.

One letter mentions directed molecular evolution as a technique to discover antibodies, enzymes and drugs. Like comparative biology, this has certainly been fruitful, but it is not an application of Darwinian evolution — it is the modern molecular equivalent of classical breeding. Long before Darwin, breeders used artificial selection to develop improved strains of crops and livestock. Darwin extrapolated this in an attempt to explain the origin of new species, but he did not invent the process of artificial selection itself.

It is noteworthy that not one of these critics has detailed an example where Darwin’s Grand Paradigm Theory guided researchers to their goals. In fact, most innovations are not guided by grand paradigms, but by far more modest, testable hypotheses. Recognizing this, neither medical schools nor pharmaceutical firms maintain divisions of evolutionary science. The fabulous advances in experimental biology over the past century have had a core dependence on the development of new methodologies and instruments, not by intensive immersion in historical biology and Darwin’s theory, which attempted to historicize the meager documentation.

Evolution is not an observable characteristic of living organisms. What modern experimental biologists study are the mechanisms by which living organisms maintain their stability, without evolving. Organisms oscillate about a median state; and if they deviate significantly from that state, they die. It has been research on these mechanisms of stability, not research guided by Darwin’s theory, which has produced the major fruits of modern biology and medicine. And so I ask again: Why do we invoke Darwin?


Let the flailing begin...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Non-random survival of randomly varying replications- believe it or not!

I would say that anyone who accepts evolutionism would also accept the following story as being perfectly valid.

In his essay The Deniable Darwin, David Berlinski recounts the following:

I IMAGINE THIS story being told to me by Jorge Luis Borges one evening in a Buenos Aires cafe.

His voice dry and infinitely ironic, the aging, nearly blind literary master observes that "the Ulysses," mistakenly attributed to the Irishman James Joyce, is in fact derived from "the Quixote."

I raise my eyebrows.

Borges pauses to sip discreetly at the bitter coffee our waiter has placed in front of him, guiding his hands to the saucer.

"The details of the remarkable series of events in question may be found at the University of Leiden," he says. "They were conveyed to me by the Freemason Alejandro Ferri in Montevideo."

Borges wipes his thin lips with a linen handkerchief that he has withdrawn from his breast pocket.

"As you know," he continues, "the original handwritten text of the Quixote was given to an order of French Cistercians in the autumn of 1576."

I hold up my hand to signify to our waiter that no further service is needed.

"Curiously enough, for none of the brothers could read Spanish, the Order was charged by the Papal Nuncio, Hoyo dos Monterrey (a man of great refinement and implacable will), with the responsibility for copying the Quixote, the printing press having then gained no currency in the wilderness of what is now known as the department of Auvergne. Unable to speak or read Spanish, a language they not unreasonably detested, the brothers copied the Quixote over and over again, re-creating the text but, of course, compromising it as well, and so inadvertently discovering the true nature of authorship. Thus they created Fernando Lor's Los Hombres d'Estado in 1585 by means of a singular series of copying errors, and then in 1654 Juan Luis Samorza's remarkable epistolary novel Por Favor by the same means, and then in 1685, the errors having accumulated sufficiently to change Spanish into French, Moliere's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, their copying continuous and indefatigable, the work handed down from generation to generation as a sacred but secret trust, so that in time the brothers of the monastery, known only to members of the Bourbon house and, rumor has it, the Englishman and psychic Conan Doyle, copied into creation Stendhal's The Red and the Black and Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and then as a result of a particularly significant series of errors, in which French changed into Russian, Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Anna Karenina. Late in the last decade of the 19th century there suddenly emerged, in English, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and then the brothers, their numbers reduced by an infectious disease of mysterious origin, finally copied the Ulysses into creation in 1902, the manuscript lying neglected for almost thirteen years and then mysteriously making its way to Paris in 1915, just months before the British attack on the Somme, a circumstance whose significance remains to be determined."

I sit there, amazed at what Borges has recounted. "Is it your understanding, then," I ask, "that every novel in the West was created in this way?"

"Of course," replies Borges imperturbably. Then he adds: "Although every novel is derived directly from another novel, there is really only one novel, the Quixote."


And there you have it. To argue against that story is to argue against evolutionism. But therein lies the problem. To accept that story as even possibly valid demonstrates a lack of grasp on reality- but then again so does the acceptance of evolutionism.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An attempt to clear a hurdle

When having a discussion or attempting one it is always a good thing to understand the other person's position, especially if that discussion turns into a debate. Dave, the Thought Provoker has posted a set of assumptions for his PoV and I have posted mine. Dave's proposal, seen below, appears fine except that it is eerily similar to what I proposed that he adamantly rejected.

To me that is a hurdle that must be crossed before we can proceed and I can explain my proposal.

DAVE'S proposal...
1. The universe exists. No assumption is made on the method of the universe's creation (before the Big Bang).

2. About 4.6 billion years ago the earth was formed by natural processes generally agreed upon within the scientific community.

3. Within the 1.5 billion years following earth's creation, living organisms appeared. Since there isn't a scientific consensus, the only assumption is that it occured via natural processes.

4. All indigenous, earth based organisms descended from the original life described in #3. ("Common Descent")

5. Common Descent was, and is, achieved through changes in the properties of organism populations that are a result of natural processes such as natural selection, random variation and mutation, and other similarly naturalistic mechanisms. These processes are sufficient to account for the existence and function of all natural organisms on earth.


“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.


Who has watched Criss Angel? I have and some of what he pulls off I just can’t wrap my mind around. If anyone seems to defy physics he does. In the end I take comfort in “knowing” it was just an illusion because I “know” that a person cannot float from one building to another- something’s up but I just can’t see it/ figure it out.

But anyway, Dave the Thought Provoker has stated that “the blind watchmaker thesis” was an inaccurate portrayal of his reality. But I ask you- anyone reading this- what is the difference between his assumption number 5 and the blind watchmaker thesis shown below it? I am having a difficult time understanding why Dave was so offended by my describing the debate as being ID vs. the blind watchmaker thesis when the only difference is a few descriptive adjectives. Those descriptive adjectives are agreed upon and used by the SAME scientific community in his assumption #2.

As for assumptions #2 & #3 I have already noted that both intelligence and design are natural. And now that we have observed other solar systems we know that ours is atypical which renders any consensus on how the Earth formed a consensus of speculation.

Assumption #4 if life did not arise from non-living matter via random assemblies of particles (pre-biotic natural selection being a contradiction in terms)- just nature, operating freely, there would be no reason to infer its subsequent diversity was solely due to “natural processes such as natural selection, random variation and mutation, and other similarly naturalistic mechanisms”- which is pretty vague without those aforementioned descriptive adjectives, which in turn means there is quite a bit of wiggle room.

And also natural can mean either produced by nature or existing in nature. For example my car exists in nature, and therefore it is natural, but it wasn’t produced by nature.