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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So, What is Responsible for our eyes/ vision system?

Earlier this year some anti-ID evolutionitwits had an issue when I stated that we don't know what is responsible (what gene or genes) for our vision system- meaning there is no way we can say, scientifically, that it evolved or from what it could have evolved.

In a failed attempt to refute what I stated I was offered the following:


Comprehensive Analysis of Photoreceptor Gene Expression and the Identification of Candidate Retinal Disease Genes
The functional breakdown of the genes selectively expressed in rods is shown in Figure 3. We saw a broad spectrum of functional categories of rod-enriched genes (see Figure 3 legend for selected examples and Supplemental Table S10 for a full list of genes). We saw a number of uncharacterized putative zinc finger transcription factors only expressed in rods, along with a number of other more broadly expressed transcription factors and coactivators, such as ERRβ2, Sox11, and All, which showed strong enrichment in rods. We observed several mammalian homologs of Drosophila genes, such as muscleblind and nemo-like kinase, which have been implicated in later stages of photoreceptor development (Begemann et al. 1997; Choi and Benzer 1994 and Zeidler et al. 1999). We observed many protein kinases and phosphatases, along with a TNF family ligand and several potassium and calcium channel subunits.

(and as I said at the time):

For those who do not know, photoreceptors are cells (in the eye- the retina to be exact) that detect light.

The human eye has two types of photoreceptors- rods & cones. Rods do not discriminate among colors of light. Cones provide us with color vision.

With that said all the article is discussing is genes that are expressed in rods. Again rods are eukaryotic cells- cells with a nucleus- meaning they contain the same DNA that all other cells in your body contain in their nucleus. (red blood cells aren't really cells, they are "formed elements")

What the paper is discussing are the genes that are expressed in rods. That they are expressed in rods does not make them responsible for rods.

That distinction goes to the control genes- that is the genes that control and direct cellular differentiation.


What the paper does demonstrate is why some eyes do not function as well as they should.

What was "requested" is something that demonstrates we know not only what creates each differentiated cell- ie the instruction set that says "build cones, rods, bipolar cells, horizontal cells, etc"- but also what imparts the configuration required for functionality.

Yet our understanding of cellular differentiation is elementary at best. But we are making progress and we do know quite a bit about our eyes/ vision system.

Knowledge is a good thing for the more we know now the easier it will be for future generations to raise their kids in a design-centric society. But anyway...

My point is, and always has been, that no one can say any vision system "evolved" (never-mind the mechanism) until we have knowledge of what sequence(s) of DNA is(are) responsible for the construction.

Only then can we determine if such a transformation (the alleged series of eyes/ vision systems) is not only theoretically plausible but also biologically reasonable.

That we don't have such knowledge and teach that eyes/ vision systems evolved just demonstrates that at least parts of biology are not based on science rather they are based on imagination, wishful thinking and a ton of promissory notes.

"Science" may get away with that sort of nonsense but engineering cannot tolerate it. And that is why I chose engineering over science- that plus the fact that science needs technology (my field).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Intelligent Design: The Design Hypothesis

The conclusion that something was designed can be made quite independently of knowledge of the designer. As a matter of procedure, the design must first be apprehended before there can be any further question about the designer. The inference to design can be held with all firmness that is possible in this world, without knowing anything about the designer.—Dr Behe


As a scientific research program, intelligent design investigates the effects of intelligence and not intelligence as such.- Wm. Dembski page 33 of The Design Revolution



Observation: (What's there?)

The Universe

Question(s)

How did the universe come to be (the way it is)? (Is the universe the result of intentional design or purpose-less stochastic processes?)

Prediction:

1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

2) If the universe were designed for scientific discovery then I would expect a strong correlation between habitability and measurability.

Test:

1) Try to determine if the same laws that apply every place on Earth also apply throughout the universe.

2) Try to determine the correlation between habitability and measurability.

Potential falsification:

1) Observe that the universe is chaotic.

2) A- Find a place that is not habitable but offers at least as good of a platform to make scientific discoveries as Earth or B- Find a place that is inhabited (indiginous) but offers a poor platform from which to make scientific discoveries.

Confirmation:

1) Tests conducted all over the globe, on the Moon and in space confirm that the same laws that apply here also apply throughout the universe.

2) All scientific data gathered to date confirm that habitability correlates with measurability.



Observation:

Living organisms

Question(s)

How did living organisms come to be (on this planet)? (Are living organisms the result of intentional design, purpose-less stochastic processes or perhaps even alien colonization?)

Prediction:

If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

Further I would expect to see command & control- a hierarchy of command & control would be likely.

Test:

Try to deduce the minimal functionality that a living organism requires. Try to determine if that minimal functionality is irreducibly complex and/or contains complex specified information. Also check to see if any subsystems are irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.

Potential falsification:

Observe that living organisms arise from non-living matter via a mixture of commonly-found-in-nature chemicals. Observe that while some systems “appear” to be irreducibly complex it can be demonstrated that they can indeed arise via purely stochastic processes such as culled genetic accidents. Also demonstrate that the apparent command & control can also be explained by endothermic and/or exothermic reactions.

Confirmation:

Living organisms are irreducibly complex and contain irreducibly complex subsystems. The information required to build and maintain a single-celled organism is both complex and specified.

Command & control is observed in single-celled organisms- the bacterial flagellum not only has to be configured correctly, indicating command & control over the assembly process, but it also has to function, indicating command & control over functionality.


Conclusion (scientific inference)

Both the universe and living organisms are the result of intention design.

Any future research can either confirm or refute this premise, which, for the biological side, was summed up in Darwinism, Design and Public Education page 92:

1. High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
2. Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
3. Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
4. Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.





(see also Science asks 3 basic questions)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mike Keohan- Where's the Outrage- continued

As I stated in Mike Keohan- Where's the Outrage, Mike was just an average white guy who died while in police custody.

However he was more than that to the people who knew him. I now have an email adress and a phone number:

mashen@da.lacounty.gov

Steve Coley 1-213-974-3511

You can also send a letter- certified letter- the LA DA's office or to Gov. Arnold.

The case is still under investigation.

From talking with his brother it appears that Mike got out of his car at a red light and was approaching the car in front of him. He did not respond to police orders to stop- his brother said there were police already in the area- and they tasered him in the back. I don't know why two other officers also hit him with their tasers.

Another officer stated that Mike's body was still unusually warm a few hours after he died

His brother speculates that he was sick, disoriented and looking for the closest hospital. The route he was on indicates he may have been returning from Las Vegas. That explains what he was doing in East LA.

That is all I have. The rest is up to us to make sure this gets investigated properly.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Equivocation and Evolution

Main Entry: equiv·o·cate
Pronunciation: i-'kwi-v&-"kAt
Function: intransitive verb
Inflected Form(s): -cat·ed; -cat·ing
1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says


Evolution has several meanings*:
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.


With the above in mind it is easy to see that the theory of evolution is really a theory of equivocation. That is any and all evidences for evolution 1-5 are always used as evidence for evolution #6.

For example- the varying beak of the finch, anti-biotic resistance in bacteria, and genetic similarities (including alleged shared mistakes but regardless of the physiological & anatomical differences), are all used as evidence for evolution #6.

It should also be noted that evolution #6, ie culled genetic accidents, does not produce any predictions beyond perhaps change and/ or stasis, nor is it objectively testable.




* page 136-37 of Darwinism, Design and Public Education