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

Friday, June 16, 2006

Junk DNA and ID

In another thread Steve posted the following:

For example, some claim that ID implies little or no junk DNA? Why? Well, because DNA is like a code, and good code has little extraneous and useless code in it.

ID doesn't make such a claim. Why? Because no one states that the design had to be perfect and even if it started out "perfect" it had to remain that way-

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

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

In an attempt to demonstrate his point Steve links to the following:

FAQ: Has a lack of intelligent design theory hindered scientific progress?

The site discusses the alleged junk DNA:

"One striking example where a failure to consider intelligent design has stifled scientific progress is with vestigial organs or "junk DNA." Evolution led people to assume they were functionless. Intelligent design might lead scientists to believe they have function."

However that does not support Steve's premise. Non-coding DNA could still be worthless junk and ID would not be phased. What the site suggests is that there is more to functionality than just the ability to code for an amino acid sequence. Some scientists say that the non-coding regions are the "system architecture" of the organism.

Then there are those who say that DNA is not like a code:

The genome isn't a code and we can't read it

And if you think about it, junk DNA, ie DNA with absolutely no function at all, should be an issue for evolutionary theories. Why would something that is not only useless but also carries the burden of using energy to be replicated, be kept for illions of generations? That just does not make sense. IOW under the evoltionary scenario I would be pressed to look for a function in the non-coding DNA sequences.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What would it take to convince anti-IDists that ID is true?

OK anti-IDists and ID critics, here is your chance to tell us what scientific data IDists need to provide before you will accept ID. It should be of the same standard of data/ evidence presented to support the anti-ID position given in response to the previous post.

(If anti-IDists require a video of the designer in action, then their interest is not in science.)

Data and/ or evidence that substantiates option #1

OK anti-IDists here is your chance. I have blogged that there are three options to our existence:

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

Please, if you can, present the scientific data and/ or evidence that would substantiate the anti-ID position of option #1.

For example present that data that demonstrates that life could arise from non-living matter under option 1.

We know the Miller-Urey experiment only gave a couple amino acids and a lot of toxins. We also know that one scientist who was on the front of the OoL, Dean Kenyon- co-author of "biochemical predestiny", which was once the premier text on the subject, now finds ID much more intellectually fulfilling.

Here is your chance- have at it. Although I predict nothing but nonsense, at least I gave you a chance.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

ID PRATT list revisited

ID PRATT list: (Points Refuted A Thousand Times)

Who was/ is the designer?

If we knew the designer we wouldn’t have a design inference- ID would be a given. The only way to determine anything about the designer(s), in the absence of direct observation or designer input, would be to study the design.

Knowing who designed something adds nothing to the understanding of the design unless the designer conveyed all that information to you.
We can use known examples of designed objects to show that we don’t need to know the designer in order to understand the design.
Obviously knowing who designed something the detection process can be skipped.

In any investigation of a dead body, first you would attempt to determine the cause of death and attempt to identify the body. If homicide is inferred then you use the evidence to run an investigation to determine the killer(s). If they knew the killer before the investigation, what an easy job they would have.

Who designed the designer?

Who designed the designers of Stonehenge? We can only study what we can observe.

How was it designed?/ How was the design implemented?

Without direct observation or input from the designer, although interesting questions answering them is not necessary to achieve the objectives of ID- that is the detection and understanding of the design.

In the end we may be able to put together a reasonable way to implement the design, i.e. formulate a process that would yield the same result. And we may be able to verify that the method we constructed yields that result with regularity. However we will always have to use caution if we try to say our method was the method originally used.

Usually the reason for constructing an implementation process is to confirm your inference. For example the Easter Island figures were once thought to be deposited by ETs because no one thought humans of that era could produce them. Engineers & scientists demonstrated that with the technology of the era those figures could be accounted for by human craftsmanship. Does that mean that ETs didn’t put them there? No. It just means that other, more plausible explanations exist.

However interesting these questions are they serve to show that ID does not purport to have all the answers or attempt to answer any ultimate questions. Also if we knew the answers to those questions then ID would be a law, it would no longer be an inference. And if the only evidence that you will accept is to meet the designer(s), have that designer(s) show you the design and implementation process, and then tell you why, you are sadly looking in the wrong place. You are also applying a standard that no historical science can meet.

IDists know that only by studying the design is there any hope of coming to a scientific inference about the designer or the implementation process.

Also ID was no more formulated to answer those questions as was the theory of evolution formulated to answer abiogenesis. Pre-biotic natural selection is a contradiction in terms. What is fitness to non-living matter?

It is also not necessary to know how airplanes are designed, manufactured or who first designed them in order to understand how they fly, operate, maintain, or repair one.

ID is another way of saying “I give up looking.”

Nothing could be further from reality. In reality whenever design is detected the work is just getting started, just ask any archaeologist or SETI researcher. To say my car was designed affords absolutely no knowledge about the car. To gain that knowledge research must be conducted.

Once we determined Stonehenge was designed did all work on it stop?

The design is a poor design. Why would a good designer allow so many extinctions and so many obviously cobbled-together systems?

I would love to see the critics who use this line of attack do a better job. However I digress. No one says that the design had to be perfect or that even if it started out “perfect” that it had to remain that way. Some critics will point out what they perceive as faulty body parts, that a real intelligent designer would have designed something better. But in the real world we see design compromises all the time and we also see design mess ups. History is littered with intelligently designed things that didn’t work and/ or were dubbed “engineering blunders”. So what? That is why we use the term intelligent design- to rid the unnecessary baggage of someone’s idea of perfection and/ or optimality.

This list is sure to grow...

Added via edit:

Who designed the designer and why it is irrelevant to ID.

Explaining the Explanatory filter revisited

The Design Explanatory Filter has been getting bad press. However it is obvious the bad press is due to either misunderstanding or misrepresentation. Some anti-IDists argue that it is an eliminative filter. Well, yeah! All filters eliminate. The EF eliminates via consideration. Would they prefer we started at the design inference and stay there until it is falsified? Crick’s statement would have changed to “We must remind ourselves that what we are observing was designed.” (as opposed to “…wasn’t designed, rather evolved.”)

By getting to the final decision block where we separate that which has a small probability of occurring with intentional design (an event/ object that has a small probability of occurring by chance and fits a specified pattern), means we have looked into the possibility of X to have occurred by other means. May we have dismissed/ eliminated some too soon? In the realm of anything is possible, possibly. That is what comes next.

Also it pertains to a design INFERENCE. That inference is still subject to falsification. It is also subject to confirmation. Counterflow would be such evidence and/ or confirmation for the design inference: Del Ratzsch in his book Nature, Design and Science discusses “counterflow as referring to things running contrary to what, in the relevant sense, would (or might) have resulted or occurred had nature operated freely.”

IOW it took our current understanding in order to make it to that decision node and it takes our current understanding to make the inference. Future knowledge will either confirm or falsify the inference. The research does not and was never meant to stop at the last node. The DEF is for detecting design only and only when agent activity is questioned.

Look at it this way: How do forensic scientists approach a crime scene? Do they run in guns blazing, kicking stuff around? No. They pick the place clean looking for clues- macro and micro. The clues lead them to an accidental or natural death or a homicide. Somewhere along the line there may be a key indicator of agent activity, IOW something that was determined couldn’t have occurred by chance.

If the evidence points to the lava flow causing the fire then they don’t look any further. We know when lava flows make contact with buildings a fire will ensue. In the absence of lava or other natural causes (unintelligent, undirected), they look for other clues. Only after collecting and examining ALL the evidence can arson be inferred. Arson and homicide imply intent and that adds to the existing pile of evidence to nab the culprit(s).

Dembski admits that an intelligent agency may work to mimic regularity or chance. That is another reason the research doesn’t stop after the initial inference.

Finally, as Wm. Dembski states:
"The principal advantage of characterizing design as a complement of regularity and chance is that it avoids committing itself to a doctrine of intelligent agency.
Defining design as the negation of regularity and chance avoids prejudicing the causal stories we associate with the design inference."

Can anyone propose a better way to look at evidence/ phenomenon? How about a better way to make a design inference?

And one more word from Wm. Dembski:

"The prospect that further knowledge will upset a design inference poses a risk for the Explanatory Filter. But it is a risk endemic to all of scientific inquiry. Indeed, it merely restates the problem of induction, namely, that we may be wrong about the regularities (be they probabilistic or necessitarian) which operated in the past and apply in the present.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The options to our existence- Why ID is scientific part 3

When people say that ID is un-scientific it is obvious they do NOT understand science, nor do they understand the options to our existence. The options to our existence are as follows:

1) Unintelligent, blind/ undirected (non-goal oriented) processes- ie sheer dumb luck-> the basic anti-ID position
2) Intelligent, directed (goal oriented) processes
3) a combination of 1 & 2

For those anti-IDists who would say "guided by natural selection", I remind you that NS does NOT have a goal in mind and is said to be blind and without pupose. How many blind and purpose-less guides do you know?

The evidence is we exist. The evidence says that only life begets life. Therefore any premise that disregards that fact is, in reality, science-fiction.

Is there any greater science stopper than "sheer dumb luck"? I don't think so. Evolutionism relies on "sheer dumb luck". Evolutionitwits can't tell us and have no intention of finding out what alleged mutations caused what changes in any specific population. IOW they don't know and they know there isn't any way to know in their scenario.

Now if science is the search for the truth, ie the reality behind our existence, then to hitch all wagons on "sheer dumb luck", in light of what we do know, is nothing but sheer stupidity. Why we allowed this to happen is not my concern. Changing it is.

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Harping on common descent"?

Steve V has stated that I am "harping on common descent". He thinks this is some kind of tactic.

Well I agree. It is the "tactic" of debating the relevant issues!

I have blogged on this before:

Biological evolution: What is being debated

It is deceitful to present evidence of bacteria "evolving" into bacteria, trilobites "evolving" into trilobites, and finches "evolving" into finches when as evidence for evolution #6. Especially when we don't understand the mechanism(s) by which that "evolution" took/ takes place.

True we can pretty much say that nature selects for certain size beaks under specific environmental pressures. However the origin of the variation is a mystery, as is the origin of the finch. To clarify- was the variation part of a built-in response to environmental cues- or was it the result of undirected, random mutations?

The mutation rate of bacteria increases under certain pressures- is this a sign of cellular intelligence searching for a solution? Or is it blind chance?

As for the trilobite lineage- Using bones only I am sure we could construct a "lineage" from chihuahua to Great Dane.

So yes, I "harp" on common descent because objective people should. People interested in the reality to our existence should. I take it that is why evolutionists do not. Oh well...

Intelligent Design and Creation revisted

Anti-IDists are truly clueless- another sign of their desparation. Why is it that IDists and Creationists understand that the two are NOT the same but the people who know the least about either always try to conflate the two?

Over on TelicThoughts Mike Gene offers some one-stop shopping for those interested in the ID = Creationism meme.

Read the essay and follow the links to the reveal agenda-driven lunacy of the anti-ID camp.

It is amazing what some people will do when their faith is challenged.

The reason for revisiting this topic is the raw spewage I read on Panda's Thumb:

Clueless anti-IDists

It is good for a laugh, poor clueless cupcakes...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Genetics: Why evolutionism fails

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

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

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

IOW it is a bit premature to say that one populatuion can "evolve" into another before we know what makes an organism what it is. For without that knowledge there is no way to test or verify the premise.

“It is true that genes influence every aspect of development, but influencing something is not the same as determining it.”
Michael John Denton

We do know the information for the coding of genes which then code for the assembly of proteins & enzymes, resides in the genome, i.e. the organisms’ DNA. We also know there are HOX genes, and clusters of those (HOX clusters), which control the development of body parts during the organisms’ developmental (embryonic) stage. We also know that many of the HOX genes are common throughout the animal kingdom. We also know that the HOX genes only control (for any specific part) the development of, as in does it develop or not, a body part and not what type of part it is, its shape nor the function. IOW a mouse “eyeless” gene transferred to a fly missing that gene, would give the fly back its fly-eyes.

IOW HOX genes are genetic switches and routers. And that is another thing to consider- communication at the molecular level as well as communication throughout the organism. Mutations in HOX genes can cause the loss of body parts. It can also cause body parts to show up where they aren’t supposed to. But in all cases that have been observed, the survivors are always deformed versions of the original, with no chance of reproductive success nor any indication the deformity would lead to the evolution of a new and viable body plan.

OK so if HOX genes are genetic switches, that can cause body parts to not develop or to develop on a different body segment, what about the information for the body part itself? And just how would unintelligent, blind/ undirected processes account for the use of genetic switches never mind their origin?

We know that organisms with disparate DNA can & do have similar morphological features (marsupials and their placental copies). We know that very disparate organisms with disparate DNA can have very similar organs (eyes of the octopus and the human eyes). We also know that organisms with the same DNA can take on very disparate forms (caterpillars & butterflies). Where does the information reside and how did it get there?

A scientist was talking with a farmer. They agreed that if the scientist could tell the farmer the number of sheep in his flock the scientist could take a sheep. The scientist glanced over the flock and shouted 53! “That’s right,” said the farmer. “That science of yours is pretty amazing. Take yer pick.”
The scientist bends over and scoops up an animal.
“You must be a molecular biologist.” Said the farmer.
“Why yes, I am. How did you know?” inquired the scientist.
“That’s not important” replied the farmer..” Just put down the dog.”

Any objective person can see evolutionism is nothing more than a faith. A faith based on a philosophy.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Hillibilly "logic" from

Over on Steve V took it upon himself to attempt to debunk my post about evolutionism and the fossil record. Reading his post it became obvious he hasn't a clue as to what the real debate is about or what I originally posted. Much of his response doesn't even make sense and other parts are flat-out wrong.

Evolutionists commonly use the fossil record and evidnence for their “theory”. However fossils canNOT tell us anything about a mechanism. Therefore in any debate pertaining to a mechanism, such as ID vs. evolutionism, the fossil record is totally useless.

Steve V:
. The claim, or premise of the argument is that the fossil record is used to support the theory of evolution.

Commonly used. Is there anyone who doubts this claim?

Steve V:
The support for this claim though is supposedly refutes a much more precise claim: the fossil record cannot be used in a discussion of the mechanism of ID vs. evolution.

I will stand by that.

Steve V:
While the latter might be true (I’ll argue later that it isn’t depending on which aspect of ID you are talking about), that does not mean that the fossil record doesn’t support evolutionary theory.

That it can be and is used does not mean it is scientifically correct to do so.

Steve V:
The fossil record is used primarily as a source of evidence for speciation.

Speciation, even in all its ambiguity, isn't being debated. For example even Creationists have understood speciation takes place since the time of Karl von Linne. He was searching for the originally Created Kinds when he developed binomial nomenclature. He would eventually place the Created Kinds at the level of Genus So if what you say is true then my premise is confirmed. And seeing that much of your "argument" is based on speciation, ie trivial variations withinn a given genera, consider your BS exposed for what it is.

Steve V:
This is done by looking at bones found in the right section of rock, and the look to see if the bones are similar to other bones found previously. Scientists can then track changes in the dinosaurs and make inferences as to which sets of bones are related to other sets of bones.

Today science tells us that similarities can come about via both convergent and divergent "evolution".

It also totally ignores the following:

“The validity of the evolutionary interpretation of homology would have been greatly strengthened if embryological and genetic research could have shown that homologous structures were specified by homologous genes. Such homology would indeed be strongly suggestive of “true relationship; of inheritance from a common ancestor”. But it has become clear that the principle cannot be extended in this way. Homologous structures are often specified by non-homologous genetic systems and the concept of homology can seldom be extended back into embryology. The failure to find a genetic and embryological basis for homology was discussed by Sir Gavin de Beer, British embryologist and past Director of the British Museum of Natural History, in a succinct monograph Homology, a Unresolved Problem.”
Michael Denton

“The concept of homology is absolutely fundamental to what we are talking about when we speak of evolution- yet in truth we cannot explain it at all in terms of present day biological theory.”
Sir Alistor Hardy

Bald assertions:

Steve V:
As for the use of the fossil record as evidence in favor of evolutionary theory and against ID one only has to look to Dembski’s new law of thermodynamics. That is the Law of Conservation of Information. Basically, this law asserts that new information (e.g. speciation) cannot come about purely by natural means.

Seeing that both intelligence and design are natural, I would say you don't understand the debate.

Since the fossil record indicates otherwise (i.e., it supports the purely natural theory of evolution) this is evidence against ID.

Just claiming the fossil record indicates a purely natural ToE, is not scientific and is based on your PoV.

The debate is unintelligent, blind/ undirected (non-goal oriented) processes vs. intelligent, directed (goal oriented) processes.

The part I like the best is the very deceptive:

Steve V:
As for the notion that the fossil record is the only place that we observe evolution that is pure nonsense. Evolution is observed everytime parents reproduce.

Context- next time read Grasse and figure out the context. He was using "evolution" in the context of evolution #6. IOW your claim that "Evolution is observed everytime parents reproduce", taken in context is a flat-out lie. However it appears you are also clueless. But ignorance is not an excuse.

He also prattles on about the fossilization process- points I have already made. So what was his point?

Then we have this total BS:

This idea that the mechanisms of evolution are not observed anywhere save the fossil record is just flat out wrong.

That is not what I said nor implied. Perhaps Steve should take a reading comprehension course. What I did say was that fossils cannot tell us anything about the mechanism. Did the organisms "evolve" because they were designed to do so? Or did they "evolve" due to random mutations culled by NS? Can't tell from the fossils. And guess what? There isn't any scientific data that demonstrates RM & NS can do anything except to slightly modify an already existing organism! And the ONLY mutations that call be called "random" are point mutations caused by copying errors.

And why is it that evolutionitwits ALWAYS conflate "intermediate" with "transitional"? Is it that they do not understand the difference? Or is it that they cannot comprehend the difference?

Not only is it obvious Steve V doesn't understand what is being debated, he uses the tried and true deceptive tactics inherent in all evoltionitwits.