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

Monday, August 27, 2007

CSI for Dummies

CSI for Dummies

CSI stands for Complex Specified Information

Complex meaning it is not simple. Complex meaning it is intricate. And complex because it contains many parts or facets.

(Wm. Dembski takes that meaning and gives it a mathematical form. He does so, because like Galileo before him, he sees science as incomplete without the mathematics. You put something in mathematical form and then someone else can check it. But dummies can't understand this and that is why I created this post)

Specified meaning something is indicated or defined, in detail. A good set of assembly instructions specifies what part goes where and as well as the order to put them together.

Information meaning it is communicated data.


IOW complex specified information is a term to differentiate between Shannon Information and information that has a specific meaning.

Shannon information does not care about content or meaning, ie it does not care about specification. All the weight goes to the number of characters transmitted..

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is Natural Selection really non-random? (hint: No)

Too many times I have been told that natural selection is non-random.

“Natural selection is therefore a result of three processes, as first described by Darwin:
Variation
Inheritance
Fecundity
which together result in non-random, unequal survival and reproduction of individuals, which results in changes in the phenotypes present in populations of organisms over time.”- Allan McNeil


Variation, according to the theory of evolution, is random.

Inheritance with sexually reproducing population, is also random.

Fecundity, which individuals will be more fruitful than others, is also random.

Any result depends upon the inputs. And if the three inputs are random the result will also be random.

“Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view.” Dawkins in “The Blind Watchmaker”

“Natural selection is the simple result of variation, differential reproduction, and heredity—it is mindless and mechanistic.” UBerkley

“Natural selection is the result of differences in survival and reproduction among individuals of a population that vary in one or more heritable traits.” Page 11 “Biology: Concepts and Applications” Starr fifth edition

To sum it up:

According to the theory of evolution the variation is random. There is no way to predict what variation will show up at any given generation.

Differential reproduction just means that some will out-reproduce others. There is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time. We cannot, just by looking at individuals, tell who will out reproduce who. Reproduction is pretty much a crap-shoot.

That is evidenced by the fact not every individual can reproduce- even given a suitable mate. Not every individual, no matter how physically fit, will find a suitable mate- nor any mate.

“Fecundity” just means one is capable of producing offspring, ie fruitful. So one can be the the most physically fit- strongest, fastest, etc., and still not be able to reproduce.

“Natural selection just selects among whatever variations exist in the population. The result is evolution.” (uberk)

And even if an individual from one generation leaves behind more offspring than any one else, that alone is meaningless unless those offspring continue to also out-reproduce those of their generation.

As for heredity, that is not a given either. With sexual reproduction there isn’t any guarantee that the beneficial trait will get passed on. There is also a chance that said beneficial trait could get matched with a deleterious mutation or that what was “beneficial” to one generation is no longer “beneficial”.

Even with all that said what is missed is the following:

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.—geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti in “Why is a Fly Not a Horse?”



And to show that at least one evolutionist doesn't understand natural selection I give you:

the Pixie at Telic Thoughts: Understanding science
Natural selection is guided by the needs of the organism or species in that environment.

That's too funny...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Nick Matzke- Dishonest or Stupid?

Nick Matzke seems to have found a niche- that is to misrepresent Intelligent Design no matter what reality demonstrates.

His whole confusion and apparent mission in life could have been avoided if Judge Jones III had allowed the publisher of the book "Of Pandas and People" to appear at the "Kitzmiller v Dover" trial of 2005.

But Judge Jones III felt it would be best if the people who knew the most about that book did not testify and instead relied solely on the raw spewage of the anti-IDists hired to testify.

Armed with only that Matzke has set out to try to "prove" something.

Of Pandas and People- the reality

The alleged definition of Intelligent Design that has Matzke running about is:

"Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc."


However IDists can and do accept universal common descent. Therefore you would figure something is amiss with that alleged definition.

Perhaps it is out of date.

Perhaps it is out of context.

What would have really helped is if the authors and publisher had been allowed to clarify any and all passages.

1) "Of Pandas and People" was central to the case
2) The judge refused to allow those most familiar to the book and its contents to be represented at the trial.
3) The judge did allow the plaintiff's lawyers to bluff their way through an argument about the immune system
4) Now all anti-IDists are riding the wave of that bluff as well as the absence of rebuttals to the false claims about "Of Pandas and People".

What makes all this so sad is the fact that anti-IDists could stop ID cold in its tracks just by scientifically supporting their anti-ID position.

The fact that they would rather prance around carrying nothing but ID misrepresentations really says more than I could about the utter vacuity of their position.

Perhaps Nick Matzke isn't stupid, but he is hoping that you are.

"Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" (the movie)

It took some time but finally someone noticed all the nonsensical spewage of anti-ID rhetoric.

Next Feb 12 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed will premier.

It will take a look at the hostility and censorship aimed at Intelligent Design proponents, as well as those "sympathetic" to ID.

My hope is that it exposes the close-minded anti-IDists for what they are- cowardly bigots.

I also hope that it will make students ask tough questions of their biology professors thereby exposing the theory of evolution for what it really is- wishful speculation which doesn't belong in a science curriculum.

One thing is for sure- the anti-ID mob cannot afford a culture war as they are greatly outnumbered. However they have no one to blame but themselves.

Who are they to stifle scientific inquiry as to the reality behind our existence?

Who are they to stifle academic freedom?

Perhaps this will lead to fights in the classrooms and massive student protests.

I can only hope for such an outcome...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Intelligent Design is Not anti-evolution

As the title of this post says, intelligent design is not anti-evolution.

Also intelligent design does not say the an irreducibly complex system could not evolve.

Irreducible complexity is an argument against blind watchmaker-type processes. If the IC system were designed (design being a mechanism) to evolve, as ID front loading would have it, then the "evolving" part is still there but the blind watchmaker is replaced with design, ie planning.

Intelligent design does not say that CSI cannot evolve. Again it is all about the mechanism. If CSI were designed to evolve, as ID front loading would have it, then the "evolving" part is still there but the blind watchmaker is replaced with design, ie planning.


As Dr Behe put it:

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.



With CSI it all about origins. IOW once it is shown that CSI can originate via mindless/ blindwatchmaker-type processes, ID is neatly falsified.

That is because until that point in time every experience and observation says CSI only comes from an intelligent source, that is a source which can create counterflow. Therefore with that experience and observational data in hand we would predict that every time we observed CSI and didn't know the cause an intelligent agency will be found responsible.

So by finding CSI arising without agency involvement a central tenet of ID is removed and ID falls.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Global Warming Follies (off topic)

TCS Daily presents A Report from the Global Warming Battlefield

Folly #1:

First, NASA's James Hansen and his group had to fix a Y2K bug that a Canadian statistician found in their processing of the thermometer data. As a result, 1998 is no longer the warmest year on record in the United States - 1934 is. The temperature adjustment is admittedly small, yet there seemed to be no rush to retract the oft-repeated alarmist statements that have seared "1998!" into our brains as the rallying cry for the fight against global warming.


Oops.

Folly #2:

Then, the issue of spurious heat influences on the thermometers that NOAA uses to monitor global temperatures has reared its ugly head. Personally, I've been waiting for this one for a long time. Ordinary citizens are now traveling throughout their home states, taking pictures of the local conditions around these thermometer sites.


To everyone's astonishment, all kinds of spurious heat sources have cropped up over the years next to the thermometers. Air conditioning exhaust fans, burn barrels, asphalt parking lots, roofs, jet exhaust. Who could have known? Shocking.


D'oh!

Folly #3:

Next, my own unit and I published satellite measurements that clearly show a natural cooling mechanism in the tropics which all of the leading computerized climate models have been insisting is a warming mechanism (Spencer et al., August 9, 2007 Geophysical Research Letters).


We found that when the tropical atmosphere heats up from extra rain system activity, the amount of infrared heat-trapping cirrus clouds those rain systems produce actually goes down. This unexpected result supports the "Infrared Iris" theory of climate stabilization that MIT's Richard Lindzen advanced some years ago.


No one in the alarmist camp can figure out how we succeeded with this sneak attack. After all, there isn't supposed to be any peer-reviewed, published research that denies a global warming Armageddon, right?


The answer to these follies? Those scientists who have exposed them are getting paid-off by big oil.


However it is always a great idea to fight against pollution, regardless of any global warming affect it may or may not have.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Evidences for Common Design- Evidence 2 Nested Hierarchy

Prediction 2: Nested Hierarchy

As seen from the phylogeny in Figure 1, the predicted pattern of organisms at any given point in time can be described as "groups within groups", otherwise known as a nested hierarchy. The only known processes that specifically generate unique, nested, hierarchical patterns are specified design processes.

The US Army is structured as a nested hierarchy- by design.

Transportation can be structured as a nested hierarchy- land, air or sea- with the different types specified under each. Each set having specifically defined characteristics which also include the definitions of all the levels above it.

Designing agencies can anticipate functional requirements. They also understand one does not have to re-invent the wheel every time a new car is being designed.

Structural homology at a higher functional level, dictated by functional demands, may exist independently of its particular material substrate, because intelligent designers are not bound by the constraints of what might be called physical transmission or continuity. …

In precisely the same way, diverse vertebrates exhibiting the pentadactyl pattern in their forelimbs and hind limbs may possess that pattern not because they inherited it from a common ancestor- that is, not because of material continuity- but because there exists some functional requirement that the pattern satisfies.- J. Wells and P. Nelson, “Homology in Biology”, Design, Darwinism and Public Education, 319-20, 2003


And although it is true that designing agencies can violate any hierarchal scheme that would not be the case in a common design scenario.

Nested hierarchy was used as evidence for a common design before Darwin wrote his book.

“One would expect a priori that such a complete change of the philosophical bias of classification would result in a radical change of classification, but this was by no means the case. There was hardly and change in method before and after Darwin, except that "archetype" was replaced by the common ancestor.”-- Ernst Mayr


Simpson echoed those comments:

“From their classifications alone, it is practically impossible to tell whether zoologists of the middle decades of the nineteenth century were evolutionists or not. The common ancestor was at first, and in most cases, just as hypothetical as the archetype, and the methods of inference were much the same for both, so that classification continued to develop with no immediate evidence of the revolution in principles….the hierarchy looked the same as before even if it meant something totally different.”


Also Darwin didn’t use Common Descent to explain nested hierarchy, he used well-timed extinction events.

With Common Descent (descent with modification) traits can be gained and/ or lost. Biological classification is done via traits. There is no way to predict what traits will be gained or lost.

“Biological classification is basically the identification of groups of organisms which share certain characteristics in common and its beginnings are therefore as old as man himself. It was Aristotle who first formulated the general logical principles of classification and founded the subject as science. His method employed many of the principles which are still used by biologists today. He was, for example, well aware of the importance of using more than one characteristic as a basis for identifying classes, and he was also aware of the difficult problem which has bedeviled taxonomy ever since: that of selecting the characteristics to be used and weighing their relative significance.” Denton in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” pg 122



“While hierarchic schemes correspond beautifully with the typological model of nature, the relationship between evolution and hierarchical systems is curiously ambiguous. Ever since 1859 it has been traditional for evolutionary biologists to claim that the hierarchic pattern of nature provides support for the idea of organics evolution. Yet, direct evidence for evolution only resides in the existence of unambiguous sequential arrangements, and these are never present in ordered hierarchic schemes.” pg 131


“Only if diagnostic character traits remain essentially immutable in all members of the group they define is it possible to conceive of a hierarchic pattern emerging as the result of an evolutionary process.” Pg 135


From the “Contemporary Discourse in the Field Of Biology” series I am reading Biological Evolution: An Anthology of Current Thought, edited by Katy Human:

Uncertainty, randomness, nonlinearity, and lack of hierarchy seem to rule existence, at least where evolution is concerned.- page10


Evolution does not have a direction and character traits are not immutable.


Confirmation:

Most existing species can be organized rather easily in a nested hierarchical classification. This is evident in the use of the Linnaean classification scheme. Based on shared derived characters, closely related organisms can be placed in one group (such as a genus), several genera can be grouped together into one family, several families can be grouped together into an order, etc.

As a specific example (see Figure 1), plants can be classified as vascular and nonvascular (i.e. they have or lack xylem and phloem). Nested within the vascular group, there are two divisions, seed and non-seed plants. Further nested within the seed plants are two more groups, the angiosperms (which have enclosed, protected seeds) and the gymnosperms (having non-enclosed seeds). Within the angiosperm group are the monocotyledons and the dicotyledons.


Potential Falsification:

It would be very problematic for common design if many species were found that combined characteristics of different nested groupings. Proceeding with the previous example, some nonvascular plants could have seeds or flowers, like vascular plants, but they do not. Gymnosperms (e.g. conifers or pines) occasionally could be found with flowers, but they never are. Non-seed plants, like ferns, could be found with woody stems; however, only some angiosperms have woody stems. Conceivably, some birds could have mammary glands or hair; some mammals could have feathers (they are an excellent means of insulation). Certain fish or amphibians could have differentiated or cusped teeth, but these are only characteristics of mammals. A mix and match of characters like this would make it extremely difficult to objectively organize species into nested hierarchies.

If it were impossible, or very problematic, to place species in an objective nested classification scheme, common design would be effectively disproven.



Thanks again to Dr. Theobald and Talk Origins. Dr Theobald's article can be read HERE. However once again I had to make some corrections.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Evidences for Common Design- Evidence 1 the Fundamental Unity

In this series of evidences each evidence presented is independent of any specific (design) mechanism.

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. Dr M. Behe


The Fundamental Unity of Living Organisms

Prediction 1.1: The Fundamental Unity of Living Organisms

According to the theory of common design, modern living organisms, with all their incredible differences, are the progeny of one single grand put in motion in the distant past. In spite of the extensive variation of form and function among organisms, several fundamental criteria characterize all living organisms. Some of the macroscopic properties that characterize all living organisms are (1) replication, (2) heritability (characteristics of descendents are correlated with those of ancestors), (3) catalysis, and (4) energy utilization (metabolism). At a very minimum, these four functions are required to sustain a population.

If every living species were ed around these four obligate functions, then all living species today should necessarily have these functions (a somewhat trivial conclusion). Most importantly, however, all modern species should have inherited the structures that perform these functions. Thus, a basic prediction of the genealogical relatedness of all life, combined with the constraint of design, is that organisms should be very similar in the particular mechanisms and structures that execute these four basic life processes.

Confirmation:

The common polymers of living organisms

The structures that all known organisms use to perform these four basic processes are all quite similar, in spite of the odds. All known living things use polymers to perform these four basic functions. Organic chemists have synthesized hundreds of different polymers, yet the only ones used by life, irrespective of species, are polynucleotides, polypeptides, and polysaccharides. Regardless of the species, the DNA, RNA and proteins used in known living systems all have the same chirality, even though there are at least two chemically equivalent choices of chirality for each of these molecules. For example, RNA has four chiral centers in its ribose ring, which means that it has 16 possible stereoisomers—but only one of these stereoisomers is found in the RNA of known living organisms.

Nucleic acids are the genetic material of life

Ten years after the publication of The Origin of Species, nucleic acids were first isolated by Friedrich Miescher in 1869. It took another 75 years after this discovery before DNA was identified as the genetic material of life (Avery et al. 1944). It is quite conceivable that we could have found a different genetic material for each species. In fact, it is still possible that newly identified species might have unknown genetic materials. However, all known life uses the same polymer, polynucleotide (DNA or RNA), for storing species specific information. All known organisms base replication on the duplication of this molecule. The DNA used by living organisms is synthesized using only four nucleosides (deoxyadenosine, deoxythymidine, deoxycytidine, and deoxyguanosine) out of the dozens known (at least 102 occur naturally and many more have been artificially synthesized) (Rozenski et al. 1999; Voet and Voet 1995, p. 969).

Protein catalysis

In order to perform the functions necessary for life, organisms must catalyze chemical reactions. In all known organisms, enzymatic catalysis is based on the abilities provided by protein molecules (and in relatively rare, yet important, cases by RNA molecules). There are over 390 naturally occurring amino acids known (Voet and Voet 1995, p. 69; Garavelli et al. 2001); however, the protein molecules used by all known living organisms are constructed with the same subset of 22 amino acids.

The univeral genetic code

There must be a mechanism for transmitting information from the genetic material to the catalytic material. All known organisms, with extremely rare exceptions, use the same genetic code for this. The few known exceptions are, nevertheless, simple and minor variations from the "universal" genetic code (see Figure 1.1.1) (Lehman 2001; Voet and Voet 1995, p. 967), exactly as predicted by evolutionary biologists based on the theory of common design, years before the genetic code was finally solved (Brenner 1957; Crick et al. 1961; Hinegardner and Engelberg 1963; Judson 1996, p. 280-281).

The scientists who cracked the genetic code in the 1950's and 1960's worked under the assumption that the code was universal or nearly so (Judson 1996, p. 280-281). These scientists (which included Francis Crick, Sydney Brenner, George Gamow, and several others) all made this assumption and justified it based upon teleological reasoning, even in the complete absence of any direct experimental evidence for a universal code.

"Crick urged on his companions two other simplifying assumptions of great audacity. ... they assumed, with some apprehension, that the genetic code would be the same for all living things. There was no evidence whatever for this; .... Yet universality seemed inevitable for an obvious reason: since a mutation that changed even one word or letter of the code would alter most of a creature's proteins, it looked sure to be lethal." (Judson 1996, p. 280-281)

In fact, the assumption of a universal genetic code was instrumental in their success in solving the code. For instance, in 1957, nearly ten years before the genetic code was finally solved, Sydney Brenner published an influential paper in which he concluded that all overlapping triplet codes were impossible if the code was universal (Brenner 1957). This paper was widely considered a landmark work, since many researchers were leaning towards an overlapping code. Of course, it turned out that Brenner was correct about the nature of the true code.

In 1961, five years before the code was deciphered, Crick referenced Brenner's work in his landmark report in the journal Nature, "General nature of the genetic code for proteins" (Crick et al. 1961). Although the organism used in the paper was the bacterium E. coli, Crick titled the paper "the genetic code for proteins", not "a genetic code" or "the genetic code of E. coli". In this paper, Crick and others concluded that the code was (1) a triplet code, (2) non-overlapping, and (3) that the code is read from a fixed starting point (i.e. the "start" codon) (Crick et al. 1961). These conclusions were explicitly based on the assumption that the code was essentially the same in tobacco, humans, and bacteria, though there was no direct empirical support for this assumption. These conclusions, when applied to organisms from bacteria to humans, turned out to be correct. Thus, experimental work also assumed a universal code due to common design.

In fact, in 1963—three years before the code was finally solved—Hinegardner and Engelberg published a paper in Science formally explaining the evolutionary rationale for why the code must be universal (or nearly so) if universal common design were true, since most mutations in the code would likely be lethal to all living things. Note that, although these early researchers predicted a universal genetic code based on common design, they also predicted that minor variations could likely be found. Hinegardner and Engelberg allowed for some variation in the genetic code, and predicted how such variation should be distributed if found:

"... if different codes do exist they should be associated with major taxonomic groups such as phyla or kingdoms that have their roots far in the past." (Hinegardner and Engelberg 1963)

Similarly, before alternate codes were found, Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel expressed surprise that minor variants of the code had not been observed yet:
"It is a little surprising that organisms with somewhat different codes do not coexist." (Crick and Orgel 1973, p. 344)

Crick and Orgel were correct in their surprise, and today we know of about a dozen minor variants of the standard, universal genetic code (see the grey, red, and green codons in Figure 1.1.1). As Hinegardner and Engelberg predicted, the minor variations in the standard genetic code are indeed associated with major taxonomic groups (vertebrates vs. plants vs. single-celled ciliates, etc.).

Common metabolism

All known organisms use extremely similar, if not the same, metabolic pathways and metabolic enzymes in processing energy-containing molecules. For example, the fundamental metabolic systems in living organisms are glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. In all eukaryotes and in the majority of prokaryotes, glycolysis is performed in the same ten steps, in the same order, using the same ten enzymes (Voet and Voet 1995, p. 445). In addition, the most basic unit of energy storage, the adenosine triphosphate molecule (ATP), is the same in all species that have been studied.

Potential Falsification:

Thousands of new species are discovered yearly, and new DNA and protein sequences are determined daily from previously unexamined species (Wilson 1992, Ch. 8). At the current rate, which is increasing exponentially, nearly 30,000 new sequences are deposited at GenBank every day, amounting to over 38 million new bases sequenced every day. Each and every one is a test of the theory of common design. When I first wrote these words in 1999, the rate was less than one tenth what it is today (in 2006), and we now have 20 times the amount of DNA sequenced.

Based solely on the theory of common design and the genetics of known organisms, we strongly predict that we will never find any modern species from known phyla on this Earth with a foreign, non-nucleic acid genetic material. We also make the strong prediction that all newly discovered species that belong to the known phyla will use the "standard genetic code" or a close derivative thereof. For example, according to the theory, none of the thousands of new and previously unknown insects that are constantly being discovered in the Brazilian rainforest will have non-nucleic acid genomes. Nor will these yet undiscovered species of insects have genetic codes which are not close derivatives of the standard genetic code. In the absence of the theory of common design, it is quite possible that every species could have a very different genetic code, specific to it only, since there are 1.4 x 1070 informationally equivalent genetic codes, all of which use the same codons and amino acids as the standard genetic code (Yockey 1992). This possibility could be extremely useful for organisms, as it would preclude interspecific viral infections. However, this has not been observed, and the theory of common design effectively prohibits such an observation.

As another example, nine new lemur and two marmoset species (all primates) were discovered in the forests of Madagascar and Brazil in 2000 (Groves 2000; Rasoloarison et al. 2000; Thalmann and Geissmann 2000). Ten new monkey species have been discovered in Brazil alone since 1990 (Van Roosmalen et al. 2000). Nothing in biology prevents these various species from having a hitherto unknown genetic material or a previously unused genetic code—nothing, that is, except for the theory of common design. However, we now know definitively that the new lemurs use DNA with the standard genetic code (Yoder et al. 2000); the marmosets have yet to be tested.
Furthermore, each species could use a different polymer for catalysis. The polymers that are used could still be chemically identical yet have different chiralities in different species. There are thousands of thermodynamically equivalent glycolysis pathways (even using the same ten reaction steps but in different orders), so it is possible that every species could have its own specific glycolysis pathway, tailored to its own unique needs. The same reasoning applies to other core metabolic pathways, such as the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.

Finally, many molecules besides ATP could serve equally well as the common currency for energy in various species (CTP, TTP, UTP, ITP, or any ATP-like molecule with one of the 293 known amino acids or one of the dozens of other bases replacing the adenosine moiety immediately come to mind). Discovering any new animals or plants that contained any of the anomalous examples proffered above would be potential falsifications of common design , but they have not been found.


Thanks to Dr Theobald and Talk Origins for all the work for this article. See Fundamental Unity of Life

All I had to do was to make a few corrections indicated with emphasis above.