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

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Intelligent Design is NOT Anti-Evolution- Revisited- AGAIN!

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EvoTards are such a clueless lot. They have to make shit up because they don't have anything real to support their position. They HAVE TO tell people ID is anti-evolution even though they cannot support the claim.

So here it is AGAIN- Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution:

Intelligent Design is NOT Anti-Evolution

In order to have a discussion about whether or not Intelligent Design is anti-evolution or not we must first define “evolution”. Fortunately there are resources available that do just that.

Defining “evolution”:
Finally, during the evolutionary synthesis, a consensus emerged: “Evolution is the change in properties of populations of organisms over time”- Ernst Mayr page 8 of “What Evolution Is”

Biological (or organic) evolution is change in the properties of populations of organisms or groups of such populations, over the course of generations. The development, or ontogeny, of an individual organism is not considered evolution: individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are ‘heritable' via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportions of different forms of a gene within a population, such as the alleles that determine the different human blood types, to the alterations that led from the earliest organisms to dinosaurs, bees, snapdragons, and humans.
Douglas J. Futuyma (1998) Evolutionary Biology 3rd ed., Sinauer Associates Inc. Sunderland MA p.4

Biological evolution refers to the cumulative changes that occur in a population over time. PBS series “Evolution” endorsed by the NCSE

Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations) UC Berkley

In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.
Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974

Evolution- in biology, the word means genetically based change in a line of descent over time.- Biology: Concepts and Applications Starr 5th edition 2003 page 10

Those are all accepted definitions of biological “evolution”. (Perhaps OgreMKV will present some definitions that differ from those. Most likely I will only comment on any differences if the differences are relevant.)

With biology, where-ever there is heritable genetic change there is evolution and where-ever you have offspring that are (genetically) different from the parent(s) you have descent with modification.

Next I will show what Intelligent Design says about biological evolution and people can see for themselves that Intelligent Design is not anti-evolution:

Intelligent Design is NOT Creationism
(MAY 2000)


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."- Dr Michael Behe

Dr Behe has repeatedly confirmed he is OK with common ancestry. And he has repeatedly made it clear that ID is an argument against materialistic evolution (see below), ie necessity and chance.

Then we have:

What is Intelligent Design and What is it Challenging?- a short video featuring Stephen C. Meyer on Intelligent Design. He also makes it clear that ID is not anti-evolution.

Next Dembski and Wells weigh in:


The theory of intelligent design (ID) neither requires nor excludes speciation- even speciation by Darwinian mechanisms. ID is sometimes confused with a static view of species, as though species were designed to be immutable. This is a conceptual possibility within ID, but it is not the only possibility. ID precludes neither significant variation within species nor the evolution of new species from earlier forms. Rather, it maintains that there are strict limits to the amount and quality of variations that material mechanisms such as natural selection and random genetic change can alone produce. At the same time, it holds that intelligence is fully capable of supplementing such mechanisms, interacting and influencing the material world, and thereby guiding it into certain physical states to the exclusion of others. To effect such guidance, intelligence must bring novel information to expression inside living forms. Exactly how this happens remains for now an open question, to be answered on the basis of scientific evidence. The point to note, however, is that intelligence can itself be a source of biological novelties that lead to macroevolutionary changes. In this way intelligent design is compatible with speciation. page 109 of "The Design of Life"

and

And that brings us to a true either-or. If the choice between common design and common ancestry is a false either-or, the choice between intelligent design and materialistic evolution is a true either-or. Materialistic evolution does not only embrace common ancestry; it also rejects any real design in the evolutionary process. Intelligent design, by contrast, contends that biological design is real and empirically detectable regardless of whether it occurs within an evolutionary process or in discrete independent stages. The verdict is not yet in, and proponents of intelligent design themselves hold differing views on the extent of the evolutionary interconnectedness of organisms, with some even accepting universal common ancestry (ie Darwin’s great tree of life).
Common ancestry in combination with common design can explain the similar features that arise in biology. The real question is whether common ancestry apart from common design- in other words, materialistic evolution- can do so. The evidence of biology increasingly demonstrates that it cannot.- Ibid page 142

And from one more pro-ID book:

Many assume that if common ancestry is true, then the only viable scientific position is Darwinian evolution- in which all organisms are descended from a common ancestor via random mutation and blind selection. Such an assumption is incorrect- Intelligent Design is not necessarily incompatible with common ancestry.- page 217 of “Intelligent Design 101”

That is just a sample of what the Intelligent Design leadership say about biological evolution- they are OK with it. And the following is from “Uncommon Descent”:

9] “Evolution” Proves that Intelligent Design is Wrong
The word “evolution” can mean different things. The simplest meaning is one of natural history of the appearance of different living forms. A stronger meaning implies common descent, in its universal form (all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor) or in partial form (particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor). “Evolution” is often defined as descent with modifications, or simply as changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population.

None of those definitions can prove ID wrong, because none are in any way incompatible with it.

ID is a theory about the cause of genetic information, not about the modalities or the natural history of its appearance, and is in no way incompatible with many well known patterns of limited modification of that information usually defined as “microevolution.” ID affirms that design is the cause, or at least a main cause, of complex biological information. A theory which would indeed be alternative to ID, and therefore could prove it wrong, is any empirically well-supported “causal theory” which excludes design; in other words any theory that fits well with the evidence and could explain the presence or emergence of complex biological information through chance, necessity, any mix of the two, or any other scenario which does not include design. However, once we rule out “just-so stories” and the like, we will see that there is not today, nor has there ever been, such a theory. Furthermore, the only empirically well-supported source of functionally specific, complex information is: intelligence.
To sum it up: no definition of evolution is really incompatible with an ID scenario. Any causal theory of evolution which does not include design is obviously alternative to, and incompatible with, ID.

However, while many such theories have indeed been proposed, they are consistently wanting in the necessary degree of empirical support. By contrast, design is an empirically known source of the class of information – complex, specified information (CSI) — exhibited by complex biological systems.

They go on to say:

10] The Evidence for Common Descent is Incompatible with Intelligent Design
ID is a theory about the cause of complex biological information. Common descent (CD) is a theory about the modalities of implementation of that information. They are two separate theories about two different aspects of the problem, totally independent and totally compatible. In other words, one can affirm CD and ID, CD and Darwinian Evolution, or ID and not CD. However, if one believes in Darwinian Evolution, CD is a necessary implication.

CD theory exists in two forms, universal CD and partial CD. No one can deny that there are evidences for the theory of CD (such as ERVs, homologies and so on). That’s probably the reason why many IDists do accept CD. Others do not agree that those evidences are really convincing, or suggest that they may reflect in part common design. But ID theory, proper, has nothing to do with all that.
ID affirms that design is the key cause of complex biological information. The implementation of design can well be realized through common descent, that is through implementation of new information in existing biological beings. That can be done gradually or less gradually. All these are modalities of the implementation of information, and not causes of the information itself. ID theory is about causes.

And finally there is front loaded evolution (Mike Gene) and a prescribed evolutionary hypothesis (John Davison)- both are ID hypotheses pertaining to evolution.

Mutations are OK, differential reproduction is OK, horizontal gene transfer is OK. With Intelligent Design organisms are designed to evolve, ie they evolve by design. That is by “built-in responses to environmental cues” ala Dr Spetner’s “non-random evolution hypothesis” being the main process of adaptations.

As Dembski/ Wells said Intelligent design only has an issue with materialistic evolution- 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. (Also known as the blind watchmaker thesis)

Intelligent Design is OK with all individuals in a population generally having the same number and types of genes and that those genes give rise to an array of traits and characteristics that characterize that population. It is OK with mutations that may result in two or more slightly different molecular forms of a gene- alleles- that influence a trait in different ways and that individuals of a population vary in the details of a trait when they inherit different combinations of alleles. ID is OK with any allele that may become more or less common in the population relative to other kinds at a gene locus, or it may disappear. And ID is OK with allele frequencies changing as a result of mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection, that mutation alone produces new alleles and gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection shuffle existing alleles into, through, or out of populations. IOW ID is OK with biological evolution. As Dr Behe et al., make very clear, it just argues about the mechanisms- basically design/ telic vs spontaneous/ stochastic.

Now we are left with the only way Intelligent Design can be considered anti-evolution is if and only if the only definition of evolution matches the definition provided for materialistic evolution. However I cannot find any source that states that is the case.

So the bottom line is Intelligent Design says “evolved, sure”. The questions are “evolved from what?” and “how did it evolve?”.

45 Comments:

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "A theory which would indeed be alternative to ID, and therefore could prove it wrong, is any empirically well-supported “causal theory” which excludes design; in other words any theory that fits well with the evidence and could explain the presence or emergence of complex biological information through chance, necessity, any mix of the two, or any other scenario which does not include design."

    It's called "Natural Selection". I'm not sure that it (or anything) can "prove" ID wrong but it certainly makes ID unnecessary and explains the data better. (How/why does the alleged designer decide to intervene and why, when it does so, does it do it so subtly that it is not obvious? It would be very easy for a designer to make changes that are undeniably inconsistent with unguided evolution, so why don't we see them? Why not chuck in a few different Genetic Codes? Why so many beetles? Why do Sci Fi filmmakers have more imagination when it comes to large animal body plans?) Not only do standard evolutionary theories beat ID at explaining what we do see (including many imperfections and "design flaws") but they better explain what we don't see.

    "ID affirms that design is the key cause of complex biological information. ... And ID is OK with allele frequencies changing as a result of mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection, that mutation alone produces new alleles and gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection shuffle existing alleles into, through, or out of populations."

    I don't see how you reconcile these two statements in bold. Basically, you're just talking about the origin of the first cell, aren't you?

    Even if ID is not anti-evolution, it is anti evolutionary science. If you arbitrarily posit a "designer" whenever you see something you do not understand, you stop looking for explanations that can be tested and produce testable predictions and useful information. Science is about challenging and changing our underlying assumptions if the data do not fit. If your assumption of a designer is not open to challenge, and can be made to fit anything, I do not see how it can be science.

     
  • At 7:20 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Well "natural selection" is A) an oxymoron and B) a result and C) has NEVER been observed to do anything but keep the norm.

    It doesn't "explain" anything and definitely does not make ID unnecessary.

    Even if ID is not anti-evolution, it is anti evolutionary science.

    Wrong again- ID is anti-the blind watchmaker having sole dominion over evolutionary processes. As for "evolutionary science", what the fuck is that?

    What is the evolutionary hypothesis? What is the POSITIVE evidence for it?

    If you arbitrarily posit a "designer" whenever you see something you do not understand,

    The design inference is based on our KNOWLEDGE of cause and effect relationships in accordance with uniformitarianism.

    you stop looking for explanations that can be tested and produce testable predictions and useful information.

    YOUR position does NOT make any testable predictions and cannot be tested. OTOH ID, as with forensics and archaeology, makes testable predictions and can be tested.

    ID can be falsified just by demonstrating that blind, undirected physical processes can produce what IDists say is designed.

    IOW the designer is directly open to all challenges. That no one has been able to challenge it is very telling.

     
  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    Thanks for posting and responding to my comment. The issues you raise are worthy of response but the character limit means that I will have to split it over several comments.

    "ID affirms that design is the key cause of complex biological information. ... And ID is OK with allele frequencies changing as a result of mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection, that mutation alone produces new alleles and gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection shuffle existing alleles into, through, or out of populations."

    I still don't see how you reconcile these two statements in bold. What exactly is the role of "design"? When is something design and when is it not? Does "key" mean "only"? Does the latter statement mean that the designer works exclusively through mutation, namely the modification of existing DNA? If so, how can we distinguish this from "non-designer" mutation? If not, what is the predicted "signature of design" that we should be able to see whenever the designer has intervened? When I say that ID is unnecessary, it is because it is for me. I genuinely struggle to see what it offers and what the role of the designer is, especially when you say that ID embraces all the elements of standard evolutionary theory. (Even if, judging by the tagline of your blog", indicates that you do not.)

    Now, you are confusing me more by saying

    "Well "natural selection" is A) an oxymoron and B) a result and C) has NEVER been observed to do anything but keep the norm."

    First, which is it? An oxymoron, i.e. non-existent, or a result, or a process that "keeps the norm"? It can only be at most one of these things.

    Second, how does this fit with your previous statement that "ID is OK with allele frequencies changing as a result of mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection, that mutation alone produces new alleles and gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection shuffle existing alleles into, through, or out of populations."?

    To be honest, you would be better off sticking with your previous statement, as your new statements are all wrong. "Natural Selection" is not an oxymoron, it is a clearly defined term and an observed fact. Second, it is not a result, it is a process. The result of Natural Selection is a directional change in allele frequencies. Third, it has been observed to do more than "keep the norm", by which I assume you mean purifying selection of disadvantageous alleles. The most famous observation is that of the peppered moth; allele frequencies most certainly changed in response to selection. More recent examples are the spread of MRSA in hospitals or antiviral resistance in HIV or the alteration of pneumococcal serotypes in response to vaccination programs. All the result of selection. All Natural Selection - although some of the stimuli may artificial, the selection is not. (It would be nonsense in the extreme for humans to deliberately choose and breed resistant pathogens.)

    In what way does evolution by Natural Selection fail to explain these? Do you think you may have overstepped the mark somewhat in stating that "it doesn't explain anything"? Perhaps ID is not wholly unnecessary - I am yet to be convinced of that - but would you not admit that it is not needed to explain these observed scenarios? If you do not admit this, where is the necessity for ID?


    [cntd...]

     
  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    Furthermore, Artificial selection under controlled laboratory conditions confirms that, if conditions are right, Natural Selection is not only possible, and observed, it is inevitable.

    It MUST happen if you have the right conditions:
    - competition
    - inherited variation
    - sufficient differential success that is (at least in part) dependent on the inherited variation

    More than this, we even know how strong the differential success needs to be - a difference greater than the reciprocal of four times the effective (i.e. breeding) population size.

    I am curious as to which of these conditions you do not believe in, as all have been thoroughly documented in laboratory and field studies.

    "As for "evolutionary science", what the fuck is that?"

    For the sake of argument, let's define it as "using the Scientific Method for the testing, development and application of evolutionary theory"? This is something I am happy to get behind as an evolutionary biologist and something that, judging from your tag-line, you consider incompatible with ID? (The development and application aspects, at least?)

    "What is the evolutionary hypothesis?"

    A slightly odd question, this one. Evolutionary theory is a complex body of hypotheses that has been built up over many decades. I am not sure that there is one "evolutionary hypothesis". Our current understanding is that all extant life evolved from a common ancestor via a process of descent with modification, through "allele frequencies changing as a result of mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection," and "that mutation alone produces new alleles". Is that what you mean?

    What is the POSITIVE evidence for it?

    The short answers are (1) read Jerry Coyne's book "Why Evolution is True" (lots of evidence in there) or (2) the nature and distribution of all biology, from the molecular to the population level.

    A longer answer will follow. Before giving some examples of evolutionary predictions and evidence, though, I feel I should address this:

    "OTOH ID, as with forensics and archaeology, makes testable predictions and can be tested."

    This is an interesting comparison. Forensics and archaeology are both restricted to making statements about what has happened in the past, which can be tested for consistency with observed data. They make no general predictions about the future behaviour of systems, as far as I am aware. I am not denying that you can construct a worldview of history that is consistent with the presence of an Intelligent Designer. This could be the deist god that kicks off the whole show and then, at some point, removes itself to watch from the sidelines. Or, it could be some intelligent being that tinkers with things in a very tiny and undetectable way for reasons that are anyone's guess. Both are consistent with the data, as is the presence of neither. Neither make clear testable predictions. If they do, please give me an example.

     
  • At 12:18 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "ID can be falsified just by demonstrating that blind, undirected physical processes can produce what IDists say is designed."

    Like the eye, or flagella you mean? Both proposed as things “designed”. Both demonstrated to be evolvable by “blind, undirected physical processes”. Natural Selection demonstrably shows that, in principle, unguided physical processes can increase complexity. (Not without a net input of energy, which comes from the Sun. Natural Selection is quite wasteful compared to design. (But very efficient compare to blind random trials without selection.))

    Do we yet understand every single bit of every biological system? No. But I am yet to encounter any biological system that, in principle, evolutionary theory cannot explain. I can conceive of some very easily - a mammal with a unique genetic code, the famous pre-cambrian rabbit, a land animal that did not use rhodopsin in its eyes, a species that had all the same genes but in completely different places as a closely-related sister species, wildly inconsistent molecular phylogenies for neutral loci, etc. etc. None of these have yet appeared, though. Biology is entirely consistent with “blind, undirected physical processes”.

    "YOUR position does NOT make any testable predictions and cannot be tested."

    On the contrary... evolutionary theory makes many predictions, which can be tested and have been observed. Off the top of my head, evolutionary theory predicts:

    1. There is no inherent direction to evolution and no inherent progress. Descendent species could therefore be more or less complex than their ancestors, both of which we see. Examples of the latter would include species of blind cave fish, which lose their sight but keep their eyes. (Why not design them without eyes, or take away all the unnecessary bits?)

    2. Similarly, evolution has no foresight and can "paint itself into a corner". We therefore expect species to naturally go extinct, which they do. (Why does the Designer not "correct" them?) Likewise, an organism cannot generate the mutations it "wants" nor evolve something that is detrimental in the short term for long term gain. ("Directed mutation" was a lab artefact and adaptor strains generate many bad mutations in addition to the ones that allow them to escape the stresses that caused them. “Clade selection” relies on the lack of a beneficial mutation, not the presence of a deleterious one.)

    3. The likelihood of evolutionary change is related to the ease of mutation. Adaptations to drinking mammalian blood in vampire bats, for example, involve deletions of whole exons, rather than partial exons covering the deleted domains precisely. Most other documented adaptations involve single point mutations, gene duplications or horizontal transfer on plasmids etc. in bacteria. (A designer would not be limited in this way.)

    4. Adaptation tends to happen mostly in small increments. Large changes are possible but would be predicted to be rare. Lab studies and molecular data support this. (From a design perspective, fewer, large changes would make more sense to me.)

    5. Evolution must use what it has available. Solutions are not always optimal, therefore, as they are the product of their history as well as selection pressure. Evolution also predicts that selection gets trapped in “local optima” from which it cannot escape, again produce sub-optimal solutions. Examples of such imperfections in nature - the human retina, the vas deferens, the giraffe nerve, the flatfish face - are abundant. (Does this mean the designer is only of limited intelligence? Or is sloppy? Or …?)

    6. A trait will be increase if having it gives the bearer a reproductive advantage, even if it comes at the cost of survival, as long as the former outweighs the latter. Many sexually selected traits show this pattern. Male colouring in certain fish species, for example, is inversely correlated with predation risk. (The design prediction is?)

    [ctnd...]

     
  • At 12:21 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    7. Evolutionary arms races will abound but one side will rarely completely beat the other due to the shifting strength of selection pressure. Organisms will adapt to the limits of the trade-off in selection between having the trait and the cost of making the trait. Both species will be “less fit” than if they each been designed to be less effective, i.e. arms races are wasteful. Such arms races are indeed abundant in nature (predator/prey host/parasite etc.). (How does the designer choose to balance the capabilities of hosts versus parasites or predators versus prey? What would a designed host/parasite system look like?)

    8. Things that are difficult to evolve are likely to arise a limited number of times and be monophyletic. Easier adaptations are likely to occur multiple times and have different solutions. Photoreception in animals, for example, evolved once. Eyes evolved many times and with different levels of complexity and features. Crystallins convergently evolved from different ancestral proteins in different species. Paraphyletic traits either feature a very small number of point mutations, or exist in systems where horizontal transfer is common (bacteria). (A designer, in contrast, could mix and match at will. There is no clear reason for phylogenetic distributions of traits.)

    9. By applying mutation and selection in the lab, we should be able to evolve new protein functions, such as novel binding partners or substrate specificity. We can. Note that these are not designed functions, they are evolved. (Not sure what the ID prediction is here but it is clear that any designer does not have a monopoly on generating new function.)

    10. Evolutionary theory is used successfully to predict the dominant strains of flu each year for vaccine development. (What is the designer's policy on viruses?)

    11. Applying evolutionary theory to sequence data and sequence alignments enables the prediction of functional sites. I am willing to believe that ID might also predict some of these sites. This could probably be tested if the predictions of ID were clear. So, under ID, what does a protein that has undergone ID look like? How can it be distinguished from one not under ID? Proteins under selection - both positive and negative - can be identified (within certain time frames) from evolutionary theory. Such sites have been predicted in silico and successfully tested in the lab numerous times. How many ID predictions have been validated by laboratory experiments?

    12. Neutral and nearly neutral variation will hang around in the population for a long time. Deleterious mutations can be fixed if the population size is small enough. These things can be tested and observed in natural and/or lab populations. What does ID say about the fixation of deleterious mutations? Why does the designer allow it?

    13. Functional associations can remain between genes/proteins, long after the ultimate functions in terms of phenotypes have diverged. This is being exploited by using orthology and phenotype mapping to predict new candidate genes for diseases from non-obvious model organism phenotypes, including "a yeast model for angiogenesis defects, a worm model for breast cancer, mouse models of autism, and a plant model for the neural crest defects associated with Waardenburg syndrome, among others". [quote from http://www.pnas.org/content/107/14/6544.full]

    Do you want more? This list is by no means extensive but I think it captures many of the main themes.

    I use evolutionary theories every day to make predictions and aid research programs. How many discoveries have been guided by ID?

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    1- Natural selection is an oxymoron because nature does not select. NS is a result of three process-> it is differential reproduction due to heritable (random) variation.

    2- A targeted search is a design mechanism that allows for mutation, ie variation, that is directed towards a goal/ target

     
  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "ID can be falsified just by demonstrating that blind, undirected physical processes can produce what IDists say is designed."

    cabbage:
    Like the eye, or flagella you mean? Both proposed as things “designed”. Both demonstrated to be evolvable by “blind, undirected physical processes”.

    That is a lie. there isn't any peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support your claim.

    Natural Selection demonstrably shows that, in principle, unguided physical processes can increase complexity.

    Evidence please.

    Off the top of my head, evolutionary theory predicts:

    1. There is no inherent direction to evolution and no inherent progress.


    It doesn't predict that. That is just the way it is.

    But anyway I am asking for predictions based on blind, undirected chemical processes.

    For example how can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum (or eyes) evolved via blind, undirected chemical processes? What is the prediction?

     
  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    BTW I love your strawmen- "A designer wouldn't do it this way- a designer is not so limited-

    How do you know?

     
  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "BTW I love your strawmen- "A designer wouldn't do it this way- a designer is not so limited-

    How do you know? "

    A good question indeed! Not meant to be a straw man, just the alternative to something consistent with Natural Selection and standard evolutionary theory. A designer with the same limitations as unguided evolution is indeed compatible with the data but adds and explains nothing.

    What is the ID prediction? How does the designer work? If you do not know this, how can you make any predictions? Evolutionary theory can make predictions precisely because it does attempt to model how things work. These models work most of the time. When they don't, the models are updated - this is how science is done. The fact that they work does not mean that they are right, just that they could be right.

    I cannot even assess whether ID is right are wrong because it makes no clear predictions about anything. Or, if it does, you ID guys keep them under your hats for reasons only you know.

    Still, I'll let you respond to the full list of evolutionary predictions and questions about ID before standing by that claim - predictions may yet be forthcoming! (I will answer your NS comment, though.)

     
  • At 1:23 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "1- Natural selection is an oxymoron because nature does not select. NS is a result of three process-> it is differential reproduction due to heritable (random) variation."

    It is not called "selection by nature". It is called Natural Selection. The selection, which is done by differential reproduction on inherited variation occurs naturally. It is natural. It is selection. No oxymoron there. If you think NS is an oxymoron, there is no helping you. You are even quoting ID text in you post that says ID is OK with Natural Selection! And so it should be - it is proven in the field and in the lab!

    You've still not told me how you reconcile these contradictions. Nor have you told me how Natural Selection can be avoided if the listed conditions are met and/or told me which of those conditions you do not believe in.

    (To make it an oxymoron, you have to redefine it. What is the point of that?)

     
  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "2- A targeted search is a design mechanism that allows for mutation, ie variation, that is directed towards a goal/ target"

    How is the mutation targeted towards a goal/target? Why do we not see excess mutations at beneficial sites prior to selection?

    A targeted search could be how organisms evolve but the observed data is not consistent with it. It is consistent with unguided mutation. (Random but not neccessarily uniform.)

     
  • At 2:06 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "2- A targeted search is a design mechanism that allows for mutation, ie variation, that is directed towards a goal/ target"

    How is the mutation targeted towards a goal/target?

    The same way dawkins' "weasel" is and the same way evolutionary algorithms are.

    Why do we not see excess mutations at beneficial sites prior to selection?

    1- We are not looking at the designed genomes- we are looking at genomes with many generations worth of random effects

    2- Why should we?

    A targeted search could be how organisms evolve but the observed data is not consistent with it. It is consistent with unguided mutation. (Random but not neccessarily uniform.)

    Nice bald assertion.

     
  • At 2:11 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "1- Natural selection is an oxymoron because nature does not select. NS is a result of three process-> it is differential reproduction due to heritable (random) variation."

    It is not called "selection by nature". It is called Natural Selection.

    Ummm, there isn't any difference and there still isn't any selecting going on.

    The selection, which is done by differential reproduction on inherited variation occurs naturally.

    The differential reproduction has to be due to heritable (random) variation- it is an after-the-fact assessment and according to Larry Moran it is very, very insignificant.

    That said, the TERM/ wording, not the CONCEPT, is an oxymoron as there isn't any selecting going on- whatever survives, survives.

     
  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    How can we test the premise that teh bacterial flagellum (or vision system) evolved via blind, undirected chemical processes?

    Or better yet it what way is ID anti-evolution?

     
  • At 3:56 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    Either the mutations are targeted or they are not. In evolutionary algorithms, they are generally not. It is the retention of mutations that is targeted. That is selection.

    What you define, therefore, seems to be nothing more than artificial selection. Is this what you really mean? The "designer" is actually a "selector" - there is no "intelligent design", just "intelligent selection"?

    NB. You can't redefine a scientific term just because you don't agree with it. Natural Selection as it is defined is not an oxymoron. You may disagree with the use of the term selection and you may have a point - there is not an active choice. However, biological selection does not need an active choice. It is death that "selects" with imperfection, layered on top of a background of random elements.

    I think you know this deep down, which is why you quote people who say that ID is OK with Natural Selection.

    The way you describe it, perhaps it is. You seem to be saying that some ancestral genome was "designed" and since then unguided evolution has had free reign? Is this right?

    I am just trying to understand where design fits in, in your opinion. If it is all ancestral, then we do not expect to see the signs of design in recent and current evolution, which obviously fits with the fact that we don't. At the same time, though, it offers nothing to the understanding of recent and current evolution. If, on the other hand, the designer is responsible for all adaptation, and all selection, we should see deviations from the expectations of evolutionary theory. Is this what you believe? In which case, what patterns of mutation and selection do you predict?

    I am not saying that ID is at odds with evolution - you are the one attacking evolutionary theories and definitions of Natural Selection. You have still not said which part of Natural Selection you don't believe in. Is it the variation? The competition? The differential survival and/or reproduction? Or the heritability of the variable traits?

    You are also being rather rude and disingenuous by calling me a liar. There is evidence of the things I say, as excepted by the scientific community. What you really mean is that the evidence is not strong enough to convince you. (This is your prerogative and, IMO, your loss.) Before I waste time digging out refs, what evidence would be good enough for you?

     
  • At 4:06 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    cabbage:
    Either the mutations are targeted or they are not.

    The target is the end result, which could be as simple as providing variation within the population. OR the target could be as specific as changing a protein.

    So there is a target/ an end goal. And all mutations are directed towards that goal.

    IOW organisms were designed to evolve and evolved by design. And yes random effects did creep in.

    Natural selection- I am NOT redefining it. I said the concept was OK- the term is wrong.

    I have nothing against the concept except that it doesn't create anything and there isn't any evidence that it does.

    As for being a liar- well there isn't any evidence for the things you said that is called you on- there isn't any evidence that a bacterial flagellum nor any vision system arose via blind, undirected chemical processes.

    What evidence would be good enough for me?

    Well try starting with the evidence that demonstrates mutations can accumulate in such a way as to give rise to new, useful multi-part systems.

    Lenski's experiments failed to demonstrate such a thing. So have at it and good luck.

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    "The explanation that best fits the data tells us that >99% of all evolutionary change is due to random genetic drift and not natural selection."

     
  • At 4:11 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    cabbage:
    Like the eye, or flagella you mean? Both proposed as things “designed”. Both demonstrated to be evolvable by “blind, undirected physical processes”.

    That is a lie. there isn't any peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support your claim.

    Andrea Bottaro said the following over at the panda’s thumb:

    Eyes are formed via long and complex developmental genetic networks/cascades, which we are only beginning to understand, and of which
    Pax6/eyeless (the gene in question, in mammals and Drosophila, respectively) merely constitutes one of the initial elements.


    Doesn't sound like he supports your position....

     
  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    OK, good. So you are happy with the process commonly known as Natural Selection, even if not the 150-year-old term itself. (I don't think they're going to change it now, I'm afraid.) I see from your comments that you are also happy with the (nearly) Neutral Theory, which predicts that the majority of fixed (or high frequency) genetic mutations are (nearly) neutral. As you say, this prediction seems to be largely supported. (There is more debate over the proportion of phenotypic mutants/variation.) These are two stalwarts of evolutionary theory.

    It is a shame that you attack "the theory of evolutionary" en masse when you clearly agree with some of it. It weakens your position immensely. Evolutionary theory is not a single thing - it has many components and they do not all rely on each other. You can agree with some and not with others. (And this is fine.) If, for example, you could somehow prove that the first life was created and did not spontaneously evolve in a continuum with non-life, this would leave almost all of evolutionary theory untouched, as it is almost entirely concerned with evolution since the theorised "Last Universal Common Ancestor". Professionally, such a revelation would not affect my practices at all, although it might convert me into a deist. (That probably wouldn't change much though as Deist gods are largely irrelevant, IMO.)

    It would be a lot less confusing for everyone if you make it clearer which specific theories you disagree with, rather than declaring the whole lot as "nonsense". It might also stop people thinking you are "anti-evolution", which clearly upsets or annoys you.

    Regarding your "targeted mutation" theory, it is not enough to assign targets after the event. This seems to be a circular argument. All beneficial mutations are targeted because they give benefit. The 99% (for argument's sake) that are neutral are presumably not targeted as they have no benefit. The problem that ID and forensics - and evolutionary explanations of past events - have is that you can only say whether things are consistent with past data. Consistency alone does not make something right or useful. As you have currently described it, "targeted mutation" explains nothing that standard evolutionay theory does not. Less, in fact. Are there any rules to "targeted mutation" that allow you to predict how populations might adapt, in the same way that standard models of neutral, adaptive and deleterious mutations can be used to make general predictions? Can you also confirm what the agent of mutation is in your model? Is it ever the designer? If so, what do "designer mutations" look like and how can you distinguish them from "natural" unguided mutations? Would you agree that this should increase the frequency of mutations in sites that are beneficial versus the background of neutral and deleterious mutations at other sites? (I'm just trying to understand the details.)

    (BTW, "bald assertion" that observed data is "consistent with unguided mutation. (Random but not neccessarily uniform.)" is textbook stuff established in the 50's and supported ever since. Do you really need literature? (I can look it up if you do.))

    I'm still waiting to hear the supported predictions of ID. I gave you a bunch for evolutionary theoryin its current state. (Why did you decide to truncate and attack (just) one, quite erroneously, BTW? "There is no inherent direction to evolution and no inherent progress" is an important assumption in evolutionary theory. The prediction part was "Descendent species could therefore be more or less complex than their ancestors".)

    It is also worth noting that all of these predictions are "based on blind, undirected chemical processes" in as much as the raw material for evolution - mutation and replication - is a blind and undirected chemical process.(Nothing external is "directing" it.)

     
  • At 6:47 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Yes, I am OK with differential reproduction due to heritable random variation. And actually scientists back then had an issue with it too- does "survival of the fittest" ring a bell?

    I didn't realize I was attacking the theory of evolution en masse.

    But anyway I will get back to you on the rest as the rabbit wants me for something...

     
  • At 4:27 AM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "I didn't realize I was attacking the theory of evolution en masse."

    The tag line of your blog reads:

    "...exposing the theory of evolution as the nonsense it is."

    You cannot honestly be surprised if people think you have a problem with the whole lot, can you? (Especially when you refer to them as "EvoTards", which is presumably some "clever" mash up of evolution and retard, as if you have to be stupid to believe in evolution. You know that this isn't true. You say you believe in it yourself!)

    You seem to have a problem explicitly with the unguided evolution of complex traits. I suggest a tagline - and childish insulting term for proponents, if it make you happy (it's your blog after all) - that reflects this.

    You still have not made it clear when the designer(s) operated/operates and when (s)he/it/they leave evolution to its own devices. Is it just the origin of life, or the first cell that you take issue with?

    "ID affirms that design is the key cause of complex biological information. ... And ID is OK with allele frequencies changing as a result of mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection, that mutation alone produces new alleles and gene flow, genetic drift, natural and artificial selection shuffle existing alleles into, through, or out of populations."

    If you mean what you write here, and mutation alone produces new alleles, does this mean that the designer just kicked everything off? (In which case, 99% of evolutionary theory remains untouched.) Or do you mean that the designer only intervenes by mutating - substituting, deleting, inserting or transposing - DNA and never, for example, by creating a new gene entirely from scratch and sticking it in somewhere? If the former, I can see how this is consistent with observation - I am not aware of any DNA witnessed to spontaneously appear without origin - but, again, I fail to see how it can be distinguished from standard evolutionary theory, other than by an enriched proportion of beneficial mutations prior to selection, which has never been looked for many times but never found. ("Adaptive mutation" does not do this.)

    This is why I think ID is unnecessary. I still do not see what it brings to the table in way of explanation, and it raises - for me - many more questions than it claims to answer. (Many of which I have asked in these comments and, hopefully, you will answer when you have time.)

     
  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    The tag line of your blog reads:

    "...exposing the theory of evolution as the nonsense it is."

    One can accept evolution and still reject the theory of evolution.

    Ya see "evolution" is defined as I posted. The theory of evolution states the changes are due to blind, undirected chemical processes- I don't buy that. Also the evidence for universal common descent can be used to support either a common design or convergence.

    You still have not made it clear when the designer(s) operated/operates and when (s)he/it/they leave evolution to its own devices.

    Umm that is what science is for- to help make that determination.

    But anyway- I need to back-track-

    You say the origin of life is irrelevant to the theory of evolution- I strongly disagree because if living organisms were designed then it is reasonable to infer they evolved by design, ie we designed to evolve. Which means they did not evolve via blind, undirected chemical processes.

    IOW the ONLY way you can say that evolution proceeds via blind, undifrected chemical processes is if living organisms arose from non-living matter via blind, undirected chemical processes.

    Targeted searches- you don't seem to understand those.

    In a targeted search there is a specification that you are trying to fulfill- for example engineers needed a specific antenna for a job and they designed a targeted search based on the specifications and the program cranked out the design.

    As I wrote in an earlier blog:

    To add to the list we also have a targeted search- which as I have also mentioned before- which is exemplified in the paper "Evolving Inventions" SciAm Feb 2003.

    No need for intervention- just a well-written program.

    See also "Not By Chance" by Dr Lee Spetner.

    So now you see that those "predictions" don't have anything to do with blind, undirected chemical processes.

    The way I can tell is your avoidance of the following:

    How can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum (or vision system) evolved via blind, undirected chemical processes?

     
  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    So, what you are rejecting is the theory that all evolutionary changes are due to blind, undirected chemical processes - still a subset of the whole. I am sorry, but saying "the theory of evolution is nonsense" makes it sound like you think evolution is nonsense.

    Do reject that ANY evolutionary changes are due to blind, undirected processes? Or, do you reject that ALL evolutionary changes are due to blind, undirected processes? This important distinction affects how much of evolutionary theory you need to reject and how much, such as selection and neutrality, you are happy to accept. (Note: it is "evolutionary theory", not "THE evolutionary theory" - it is a body of work, not a single entity. You can reject some parts without invalidating others.)

    Let's also be careful about what I claim regarding the origin of life, again because you are erroneously throwing in a "the". I did not say "the origin of life is irrelevant to the theory of evolution". ("The theory of evolution" does not exist, for one thing.) I said: "If, for example, you could somehow prove that the first life was created and did not spontaneously evolve in a continuum with non-life, this would leave almost all of evolutionary theory untouched". Not all. Almost all.

    It would not mean, as you claim "living organisms ... did not evolve via blind, undirected chemical processes". Living organisms could still have evolved from LUCA (the Last Universal Common Ancestor) by blind, undirected processes. It would rule out ALL life being blind and undirected but not ANY life. There would still be no evidence for ongoing intervention by an external agent.

    Evolutionary theory is almost exclusively concerned with how life has changed and adapted since life began. The origin of life is a closely related but separate question as should be treated separately. Hence my repeated questions about whether the designer is still intervening now? And, if so, what would that look like?

    "How can we test the premise that the bacterial flagellum (or vision system) evolved via blind, undirected chemical processes?"

    Well, we could add "did not" in there and my answer would be the same. These things evolved (or were created) a long time ago and so we cannot really "test" how it is done. We can, however, determine whether the necessary steps are compatible with our known understanding of the evolution of complex traits. In other words, what individual general processes need to occur for something like a flagellum or an eye to evolve without design-intervention? Are these steps well supported by theory and evidence? Personally, I am happy that these steps are well supported. (I still aim to write another comment on this but in essence: New genes, mutation, selection, altered interaction profiles, useful intermediates etc.)

    Sadly, we will never know what the ancestors were like. We cannot go back in time. We can only infer what they MIGHT have been like by comparing different extant organisms. (Actually, with eyes we can potentially look at fossils but that only provides very incomplete and fragmentary data.) This means that we cannot categorically prove it. I admit that. This is true of every past event in every discipline. ID cannot categorically prove that it did not happen.

    Your original requirement: "A theory which would indeed be alternative to ID, and therefore could prove it wrong, is any empirically well-supported “causal theory” which excludes design; .. any theory that fits well with the evidence and could explain the presence or emergence of complex biological information through chance, necessity, any mix of the two, or any other scenario which does not include design."

    Regular evolutionary theories and observations meet these requirements many times over, in my opinion. (This alone does not disprove ID, BTW. But it certainly makes it unnecessary.)

     
  • At 11:13 AM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    By the way, what would really disprove ID would be if any of the necessary features made solid predictions that could be disproven.

    Currently, trying to pin down ID is like trying to nail jelly to a wall. It is so vague that it makes no predictions at all. Every scenario can be fitted to the whim of the Designer. This is why I, and many other, say it offers no explanatory power and, ultimately, is not a scientific theory.

    I could be wrong but it is up to you ID guys to make this clear, not up to us to try and wade through all the hyperbole to see if there really is something hidden behind all the smoke and mirrors. I have asked it before, and I will no doubt ask again, but please tell me: what does ID predict? Please inform me of a single observable fact that could not be any other way under ID. I'd like more than one but I will settle for one to start with.

    I do not want a post hoc interpretation of observations within an ID framework. I do not want a prediction of designer-less evolutionary theories dressed up as ID. I want a single undeniable "if ID is right this HAS to be true" statement about the nature of current living systems. (The ID equivalent of a lack of pre-Cambrian rabbit.)

     
  • At 12:10 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Ok I guess we will just have to agree to disagree as there is no way you will ever convive me that even though living organisms were/ are designed that all subsequent changes are due to blind, undirected chemical processes.

    If living organisms were/ are designed then the safe bet is they were also designed to evolve/ evolved by design.

    The evolution of living organisms is totally dependent on the origin of living organisms. Just as the evolution of a targeted search is tiotally dependent on the origin of the program.

    And that is why your "predictions" are not related to blind, undirected chemical processes because they all beg the question.

    And again no intervention is required just as no intervention is required for targeted searches beyond the beginning.

    And thanks for admitting that your position cannot be tested because it happened so long ago.

    I am glad that you are happy with the explanations for the evolution of the vision system and bacterial flagellum. To me they are nothing but bed-time stories- void of science and full of question-begging.

     
  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    ID predicts the same thing that forensic science and archaeology predict:

    That is when agencies act they tend to leave traces of their involvement behind. And through our knowledge of cause and effect relationships we can ferret-out these traces.

    And to refute any given design inference all one has to do is demonstrate that blind, undirected processes can account for it.

    With respect to biology no one has even demonstrated blind, undirected chemical processes can construct new, useful multi-part systems. And seeing living organisms are full of them that should count against your position.

     
  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    NB. I notice that in my haste I asked for a prediction about current living systems and then likened it to a pre-Cambrian rabbit. A prediction of a fossil that could disprove ID woud be OK. ;-p I should really have said, something the like ID equivalent of:

    Unguided evolution predicts that mutation and selection are independent in the sense that mutations do not happen preferentially at sites that will be beneficial in a novel selection regime. If evolution demonstrates foresight then that would kill the idea that it is unguided.

    A solid prediction. No need for a designer. Many chances to have been proven wrong. Never happened yet. (There was a claim with the Foster adaptive mutation data but this did not hold up to scrutiny.) I would like an ID equivalent of this, please.

     
  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "ID predicts ... That is when agencies act they tend to leave traces of their involvement behind. And through our knowledge of cause and effect relationships we can ferret-out these traces."

    Great! What do we expect these traces to look like? How does a designed system look different from an unguided one? I look at biology daily and I see no evidence of design. What should I be looking for? Biology is messy and often over-complicated. Biology is full of inconsistencies and sub-optimal solutions that make perfect sense in the absence of design but not design. It is clear that not everything is designed. This does not, of course, mean that nothing was designed but it severely weakens the proposal.

    "And to refute any given design inference all one has to do is demonstrate that blind, undirected processes can account for it."

    Actually, no. That just means that it might not have happened. To refute it, you need to demonstrate the existence of something that is explicitly incompatible with ID. Until you (collectively) come up with something explicitly incompatible with ID, it cannot be falsified and has no explanatory power.

    "With respect to biology no one has even demonstrated blind, undirected chemical processes can construct new, useful multi-part systems. And seeing living organisms are full of them that should count against your position."

    We're getting back to the origin of life issue again. We have abundant examples of selection and innovation during the evolution of organisms from their ancestors. We have no examples of life ever arising from non-life - either spontaneously nor at the hands of a designer that itself pre-dates life. (The only designer we have witnessed in action is human.) The relevance of this to origins is questionable, though. Conditions at the origin of life were very different from today. Living organisms were not there, for one thing. (Selection is all relative and the presence of life changes things dramatically.) We just don't expect to see life spontaneously arise in the modern age.

    We have no real way of assessing the probability of replicators arising spontaneously on the ancient Earth. It is like discussing whether a lottery was fixed without knowing how many tickets were sold. Worse, it is like having this discussion because someone won the lottery in question. This changes the probabilities in significant and important ways. The probability of there being a winner in a lottery that someone has won is 1.0. Similarly, the Bayesian probability of life arising on our planet is 1.0. It doesn't matter what the independent probability is, even if we could estimate it - and I don't think we can - we are only asking because we are here. Life did appear on Earth, somehow.

    "Ok I guess we will just have to agree to disagree."

    I think so.

    "If living organisms were/ are designed then the safe bet is they were also designed to evolve/ evolved by design."

    This is different to saying that the designer intervenes during the evolutionary process. If it doesn't, there is no need for the designer in all the evolution following LUCA. As this is the majority of evolution, and essentially what determines evolutionary theory, it is an unnecessary hypothesis that explains nothing. So, yes, it is important for ID to explain more that the origin of life if you want it to affect evolutionary theory.

    "The evolution of living organisms is totally dependent on the origin of living organisms. Just as the evolution of a targeted search is tiotally dependent on the origin of the program. "

    Nonsense. The evolution of living organisms is totally dependent on the nature of living organisms. Without mutation, there would be no evolution, designed or not. If a designer made an organism that evolves in the same way as an evolved organism, the origin is clearly irrelevant.

     
  • At 4:14 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    "And thanks for admitting that your position cannot be tested because it happened so long ago."

    Nice twist! I said that we will never KNOW what happened because it was so long ago. My "position" relies on contemporary data, not unproven speculation about the past. All the principles that I believe, together, can account for the evolution of eyes or flagella from an ancestral organism that did not have them (but would benefit from them) have been tried and tested numerous times on contemporary data. I cannot show you all the specific steps that happened for flagella or any given eye - eyes evolved independently many times - but neither can you show me the moment and nature of the intervention of your hypothesised designer. Can you? Please do, if you can.

    "I am glad that you are happy with the explanations for the evolution of the vision system and bacterial flagellum."

    Thank you! It's fascinating stuff and I love it.

    "To me they are nothing but bed-time stories- void of science and full of question-begging."

    And to me, that sums up ID nicely. I hope it gives you some comfort because it certainly doesn't seem to be leading to many scientific discoveries. In fact, are there any useful discoveries that have been made as a direct result of explicit ID predictions that contradict blind unguided evolution? Any new disease genes? Functional sites in proteins? Functional shifts in proteins? New protein or genetic interactions? Immunisation strategies? Conservation strategies? Any insights into possible adaptations to climate change? Anything at all?

     
  • At 4:29 AM, Blogger The whole truth said…

    Hey joe, is your memory failing? Don't you remember saying these things?:

    "So just as the origin of life is kept separate from the theory of evolution ID keeps those questions separate from the detection and study of the design"

    "ID is primarily concerned with ORIGINS"

    "The theory of evolution is silent on origins."

    "The theory of evolution is silent on ORIGINS- common ancestry does not equal ORIGINS."

    "The theory of evolution starts with some number of populations already in place. And that means it does not speak of "biological origins"- ie the origin of those unknown populations, aka abiogenesis."

    "Ummm I am not upset with evolution. ID is not anti-evolution- your ignorance is meaningless."

    "We can test for IC and CSI"

    "That is what you are doing by denying the design inference. We exist. There are a very limited number of options that can explain that existence. Nature could not have originated via natural processes."

    "Also as I said how Earth and living organisms originated directly impacts any and all subsequent change."

    "Natural processes only exist in nature and cannot account for its origins. And science says it had an origin- meaning something CREATED it-"

    "Creation has a specific definition and is based on the Bible"

    For a guy who says that neither the ToE nor ID is concerned with origins, you sure do rely on origins, and creation. Oh wait, you contradict yourself on whether ID is about origins, or religious beliefs. What a surprise!

    You're "not upset with evolution"? Really? LOL

    You can test for IC and CSI? Really? Let's see you test for IC and CSI in a banana, joe-boi, and show your detailed results.

    http://theidiotsofintelligentdesign.blogspot.com/2011/10/this-deserves-repost.html

    Are you going to publish my comments, or cowardly block them as usual?

     
  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    the whole tard:
    For a guy who says that neither the ToE nor ID is concerned with origins, you sure do rely on origins, and creation.

    You are a moron. I never said ID was not concerned with origins and I have always said that the ToE and the OoL are directly linked.

    IOW asshole your quote-mining ignorance doesn't mean anything to me.

    Oh wait, you contradict yourself on whether ID is about origins, or religious beliefs.

    Liar.

    You can test for IC and CSI? Really?

    Yes, really and to refute any given design inference all YOU have to do is actually step up and provide positive evidence that blind, undirected chemical processes can produce it. But you won't because you are a piece of shit coward.

     
  • At 7:38 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    cabbage:
    Unguided evolution predicts that mutation and selection are independent in the sense that mutations do not happen preferentially at sites that will be beneficial in a novel selection regime. If evolution demonstrates foresight then that would kill the idea that it is unguided.


    Reference please.

    "And to refute any given design inference all one has to do is demonstrate that blind, undirected processes can account for it."

    Actually, no.

    Actually yes, And actually that is exactly how it has been done for centuries.

    Ya see having blind, undirected processes create something attributed to a designer would mean a designer is not necessary.

    "With respect to biology no one has even demonstrated blind, undirected chemical processes can construct new, useful multi-part systems. And seeing living organisms are full of them that should count against your position."

    We're getting back to the origin of life issue again.

    Nope.

    We have abundant examples of selection and innovation during the evolution of organisms from their ancestors.

    With respect to biology no one has even demonstrated blind, undirected chemical processes can construct new, useful multi-part systems.

    So either present the evidence or admit you are bluffing.

    This is different to saying that the designer intervenes during the evolutionary process.

    YOU brought up intervention, not me.

    If it doesn't, there is no need for the designer in all the evolution following LUCA.

    Never said otherwise.

    As this is the majority of evolution, and essentially what determines evolutionary theory, it is an unnecessary hypothesis that explains nothing. So, yes, it is important for ID to explain more that the origin of life if you want it to affect evolutionary theory.

    As I have already said ID says the mutations are directed towards a target/ goal.

    "The evolution of living organisms is totally dependent on the origin of living organisms. Just as the evolution of a targeted search is tiotally dependent on the origin of the program. "

    Nonsense.

    What I said is a fact.

    The evolution of living organisms is totally dependent on the nature of living organisms.

    Nonsense.

    Without mutation, there would be no evolution, designed or not.

    Non-sequitur

    If a designer made an organism that evolves in the same way as an evolved organism, the origin is clearly irrelevant.

    What deos that even mean? A targeted search can do things blind, undirected processes cannot.

     
  • At 7:48 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    cabbage:
    I said that we will never KNOW what happened because it was so long ago. My "position" relies on contemporary data, not unproven speculation about the past.

    Yet there isn't any contemporary data which demonstrates tat blind, undirected chemical processes can produce a bacterial flagellum nor a vision system.

    I hope it gives you some comfort because it certainly doesn't seem to be leading to many scientific discoveries.

    LoL! The same can be said for your position.

     
  • At 5:13 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    I shall leave you to LOL to your heart's content. Evolution is not concerned with ultimate origins, i.e. The origin of life. Certain things have to be in place for evolution to occur. Fact. Prior to these things being in place, evolutionary theory has no contribution to make, in that same way that a light microscope cannot probe things below a certain wavelength, or carbon dating cannot predate organic carbon. You need another approach to probe these things - chemistry and, ultimately, physics.

    Origins do not matter. The nature of life matters. If mutations are targeted and that leaves a signature that is different to unguided ones, that matters. If a creator wound things up and unleashed them with no target, that is indistinguishable from blind, unguided evolution - which is why so many moderates are happy to hold this view of creation/evolution.

    If you cannot understand this simple and obvious fact, there is absolutely no point trying to discuss anything harder with you. Your other post on neutral mutations was rude, angry and incredibly ignorant. This does not make me want to waste any more time here, or try to explain evidence that you clearly won't understand.

    Maybe one day I will revisit and see if you have thought of a single definitive thing that ID predicts. In the meantime, sweet dreams. It's been interesting. I can't say I've really learnt anything more about ID. At least I know the ID answers to all the questions, though: "it didn't happen that way, you can't prove it can and anyway, even if you can then the designer wanted it that way."

    Perhaps I am wrong. If so, I'm just grateful that the Designer(s) made everything work so much like it's blind and unguided that, by making these assumptions, models and methods work well enough to make successful predictions, publish papers and find out more about nature. Maybe that was the target? To be invisible? Perhaps the designer was a ninja. Just a thought.

    Oh, and I'll also look out for the answer to the following questions, which we never even got to: Given your uniformitarianism and the fact that every intelligence ever encountered was a product of life, how can you be so happy about the idea that intelligence predates life? On what basis is the spontaneous appearence of something that has never been witnessed (non-biological intelligence) more likely than the spontaneous appearance of something we know exists (life)?

     
  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Of course origins matter. How something came into existence directly impacts how it behaves- its origin is its nature.

    Given your uniformitarianism and the fact that every intelligence ever encountered was a product of life, how can you be so happy about the idea that intelligence predates life?

    Extrapolation- the stuff science is made of.

    On what basis is the spontaneous appearence of something that has never been witnessed (non-biological intelligence) more likely than the spontaneous appearance of something we know exists (life)?

    We never witnessed Stonehenge being constructed and most of the time murders/ crimes are not witnessed. We have never witnessed living organisms arising from non-living matter. We have never witnessed Darwinian processes constructing new, useful functioning multi-part systems.

    And BTW it is only your imagination that sez everything works like it is blind and unguided.

    My post on neutral mutations? The post that demonstrates your position doesn't have anything to offer in the way of real creative power?

    Yeah I like your evidence-free rant in that one also.

    But by all means run away but do come back if you ever find some positive evidence for your position.

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    Sorry, couldn't let this one go. In what crazy world is a list of things we have not witnessed an answer to the following question?:

    On what basis is the spontaneous appearence of something that has never been witnessed (non-biological intelligence) more likely than the spontaneous appearance of something we know exists (life)?

    I want to know why the former is more likely than the latter. Is it more likely that aliens have come to earth disguised as cats (something we have seen) or unicorns (something we haven't)? Both may be unlikely. At best, they are equally unlikely. If one had to be true - as in the creator versus sponateneos origin of life scenario - then it is more likely that they are disguised as cats than unicorns. You are plumping for the unicorn OoL scenario. Why? The whole of ID is based on an arbitrary decision to accept the spontaneous origin of something that may not even exist over the spontaneous origin of something that surely does.

    BTW, for someone so obsessed with evidence, you sure don't like presenting any. Maybe I'll show you mine if you show me yours. (Actually, I already outlined a bunch, albeit without much detail, in my dozen or so predictions of evolutionary theory that are met be reality). You are yet to provide me with one single shred of positive evidence or prediction of ID. Are there any?

    Sorry. Will go away now and try really hard to let you have the last word. (And fair play to you for posting all the comments.)

     
  • At 7:06 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    In what crazy world is a list of things we have not witnessed an answer to the following question?

    The question pertained to that which we have not witnessed, duh.

    On what basis is the spontaneous appearence of something that has never been witnessed (non-biological intelligence) more likely than the spontaneous appearance of something we know exists (life)?

    In what crazy world does that even make any sense?

    My position sure as hell doesn't require any spontaneous appearance of non-biological intelligence.

    BTW, for someone so obsessed with evidence, you sure don't like presenting any.

    I have presented plenty- as have other IDists.

    And your "predictions" don't have anything to do with blind, undirected chemical processes. I know you think they do but they don't.

     
  • At 5:01 AM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    A piece of advice, in case you ever have to do a test or something: read the question. The question was not "list things that have never been witnessed" it was about the basis on which you decide one unwitnessed scenario is MORE LIKELY than the other. You reject one scenario outright and embrace the other fully. Why?

    Let me rephrase to help you understand.

    POSITION ONE. We have never observed the creation of complexity without intelligence (a designer). Therefore, I extrapolate that intelligence must precede complexity. Life is complex, therefore the intelligence must precede life and be responsible for life. Intelligence needs another explanation.

    (This is my understanding of your position, based on extrapolation, as you say.)

    POSITION TWO. We have never observed an intelligence that is not based on a complex system (a brain). Therefore, I extrapolate that complexity must precede intelligence. Life is complex, therefore intelligence can arise from life but life's complexity needs another explanation.

    QUESTION: Given these two positions, both based on extrapolation of confirmed observations, both requiring "another explanation" of the original factor - complexity or intelligence - why are you so happy to fully embrace position one and adamantly oppose position two?

    You may attempt to cover up the origin of intelligence issue by asking "who says it is non-biological?" but this does not work. Every intelligence encountered to date is a product of life on earth. If you propose an intelligence that pre-dates life on earth then you still need to account for it, whether it be life that appeared (how?) elsewhere, or a divinity that has always been with us. You then need to explain why this is so much more likely to you than the appearance of an as-yet-unknown replicator from as-yet-unknown conditions over a period of several million years.

    I can understand why someone would throw their hands up and say "I don't know which it is" followed by "and I don't care" (most people, I suspect) or "but I suspect it is X". I don't understand how you can say: "it is undoubtedly Position One".

    Why, you may ask, do I opt for position two? Position two has the potential of being understood scientifically. It is possible to test scenarios about how organic molecules and replicating entities could arise. We don't have an answer yet - perhaps we never will - but every satisfying explanation that I have ever encountered was based on such principles. If we do find an answer, it will be a true explanation in the sense that it will reduce the number of things needing explanation - the chemicals etc. of the early Earth have explanations in physics and chemistry.

    Position one cannot be ruled out but I find it intellectually bankrupt as an explanation because it simple moves the target of the question from "where did life come from?" to "where did the intelligence come from?". This does not make it wrong, of course, just no more informative than "I don't know".

     
  • At 5:03 AM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    PS. Mutation is an undirected chemical process. You may not think it is but it is. My predictions rely on mutation and, therefore, an undirected chemical process. What I think you mean is that my predictions rely on life existing. They do. They are predictions of evolutionary processes that only work in living systems with certain attribrutes - attributes that our own living systems have. For them to be true, there is no need to have an explanation of how life was formed from non-life. That is a different question.

    PPS. "Of course origins matter. How something came into existence directly impacts how it behaves- its origin is its nature."

    So, if I have a wheel, you think its function is more reliant on whether it was hand carved, machine-pressed, inflated, or naturally grown/eroded, than how round it is or what material it is? Origin is not nature. There are many paths to the same endpoint and something relying purely on that endpoint will be unaffected by the path taken.

    PPPS. Yes, I know, I can't seem to stay away. I just can't help thinking "it's so obvious, if he doesn't understand then I must have explained it badly." Don't worry, as soon as I finally realise that you are deliberately misunderstanding me to avoid the questions, I will properly throw in the towel!

     
  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    PS. Mutation is an undirected chemical process.

    Question-begging- just how was that determined?

    My predictions rely on mutation and, therefore, an undirected chemical process.

    But you don't know if all mutations are undirected chemical processes.

    So, if I have a wheel, you think its function is more reliant on whether it was hand carved, machine-pressed, inflated, or naturally grown/eroded, than how round it is or what material it is?

    If you have an automobile then its function is more reliant on whether it was designed than if nature, operating freely produced it.

    Origin is not nature.

    The two are directly connected.

     
  • At 9:17 AM, Blogger Joe G said…

    A piece of advice, in case you ever have to do a test or something: read the question. The question was not "list things that have never been witnessed" it was about the basis on which you decide one unwitnessed scenario is MORE LIKELY than the other.

    Umm I was just demonstrating how stupid your "question" was. Obviously that was lost on your shallow intellect.

    We have never observed the creation of complexity without intelligence (a designer).

    Nonsense. We have observed mere complexity arising without agency involvement.

    (This is my understanding of your position, based on extrapolation, as you say.)

    Your "understanding" needs to be upgraded.

    And BTW extrapolation accounts for pre-living organism intelligence.

    Ya see if nature, operating freely cannot account for it and it meeets the design criteria, what else are we supposed to infer?

    And it is a given that nature, operating freely cannot give rise to nature, so where does that leave us?

    We have never observed blind, undirected processes constructing new, useful and functional multi-part systems, so where is the positive evidence for YOUR position? What can we extrapolate from?

    And BTW I am perfectly happy with saying "we don't know", however evotards say "we don't know but we know it wasn't design" without anything to support that.

    IOW we should teach kids "we don't know" as opposed to the untestable claims of the theory of evolution.

     
  • At 12:55 PM, Blogger cabbagesofdoom said…

    Nice try but I don't think you are that dim-witted - you know exactly what my question was getting at and side-stepped it twice. In the interest of brevity, I had abbreviated "new, useful and functional multi-part systems" to "complexity" but this clearly upsets you, so I will rephrase slightly.

    POSITION ONE. We have never observed the creation of new, useful and functional multi-part systems without intelligence (a designer). Therefore, I extrapolate that intelligence must precede useful and functional multi-part systems. Life has useful and functional multi-part systems, therefore the intelligence must precede life and be responsible for life. The origin of that Intelligence needs another explanation.

    POSITION TWO. We have never observed an intelligence that is not based on a system comprised of useful and functional multi-part systems (a brain). Therefore, I extrapolate that useful and functional multi-part systems must precede intelligence. Life has useful and functional multi-part systems, therefore intelligence can arise from life. The origin of life's useful and functional multi-part systems needs another explanation.

    QUESTION: Given these two positions, both based on extrapolation of confirmed observations, both requiring "another explanation" of the original factor - useful and functional multi-part systems or intelligence - why are you so happy to fully embrace position one and adamantly oppose position two?

    Your previous attempt to cover up the origin of intelligence issue by asking "who says it is non-biological?" does not work. Every intelligence encountered to date is a product of life on earth. If you propose an intelligence that pre-dates life on earth then you still need to account for it, whether it be life that appeared (how?) elsewhere, or a divinity that has always been with us. You then need to explain why this is so much more likely to you than the appearance of an as-yet-unknown replicator from as-yet-unknown conditions over a period of several million years.

     
  • At 3:46 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    cabbage:
    In the interest of brevity, I had abbreviated "new, useful and functional multi-part systems" to "complexity" but this clearly upsets you, so I will rephrase slightly.

    Evotards usually do that in the name of equivocation so then they can demonstrate mere complexity arising without agency involvement and think they have refuted ID.

    But anyway:

    We have never observed the creation of new, useful and functional multi-part systems without intelligence (a designer). Therefore, I extrapolate that intelligence must precede useful and functional multi-part systems.

    No, therefor we can extrapolate that when we observe new, useful and functional multi-part systems and didn't directly observe its construction, we can infer it was via some agency.

    I don't know where you pulled your "extrapolation" from but it doesn't follow.

    POSITION TWO. We have never observed an intelligence that is not based on a system comprised of useful and functional multi-part systems (a brain). Therefore, I extrapolate that useful and functional multi-part systems must precede intelligence.

    That doesn't follow.

    IOW you are setting up a strawman with your "positions".

    Every intelligence encountered to date is a product of life on earth.

    So we extrapolate and say that the intelligence encountered to date had an origin some place else.

    OR someone can come along and demonstrate that is not required by demonstrating blind, undirected chemical processes can produce a living organism. Once that happens we never even get to consider the design inference.

    IOW you morons have all the cards but all you can do is build a house of cards out of them.

    As I said the design inference is based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships- so all you have to do is change that knowledge by actually demonstrating the power of your position rather than pawning it off on millions of years.

    Because if all you can do is throw father time around then you have left science behind.

     
  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger Joe G said…

    Parsimony- one design is simpler than multiple millions of just-so chemical reactions....

     

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