Over on Uncommon Descent there are a group of adolescents pretending to be scholars. Most of them are patting each other on the back saying what good fellows they are. The highest level of scientific knowledge they possess comes from reading Michael Behe (which they consistently misinterpret). One thing they've mastered is quote mining—do all creationists take a course in effective quote mining or do they just copy the quotes from some website?
My short foray into dumpster diving didn't provoke much in the way of intelligent discourse over there except for one poster named "gpuccio." He made some points that are worth responding to [Uncommon Descent]. I think his version of Intelligent Design Creationism may be very different from what I read. Maybe he's a cut above the rest. (Warning, don't get too excited before you read the rest of the posting.)
You are, maybe unwillingly, misunderstanding the words in Granville Sewell’s post. I think you are confused about the meaning of the word "mechaninsm". What Sewell obviously means is that we don’t know any theory which can explain the "causal mechanism" of the generation of information in biological beings which is usually termed "evolution". All your stuff of arrogantly citing natural selection and genetic drift, as though Sewell ot all of us are not aware of them, is simply pointless.Now this could be interesting. Naturally I was aware of the fact that Sewell was not using real scientific terms when he implied that scientists know nothing about the mechanisms of evolution. That was partly the point in responding the way I did.
But in this response we have the beginnings of something significant. Maybe for the first time we are going to see a real scientific discussion of those other "causal mechanisms" that the creationists have been so cagey about.
In case you have not understood that, the whole point of ID theory is that RM, NS, genetic drift, and any other kind of random variation, have not trhe power to generate that kind of information that we observe in biological beings. You may agree or not (I suppose you don’t), but simply stating that natural selection and genetic drift are the mechanism of evolution doesn’t answer the point of ID.I'm guessing that gpuccio is talking about special mutations here. It looks like he's redefining evolution in terms of an Intelligent Design Creationism version of information.
Before continuing, let me make one thing perfectly clear. When Granville Sewell demanded that scientists admit that they know nothing about the mechanisms of evolution it seems fair to assume that he's talking about scientific definitions of "evolution" and "mechanisms of evolution." I made that assumption and showed that Granville Sewell was just plain wrong if he was talking about science.
I think we're about to learn what Intelligent Design Creationists mean when they use those words. While this will be interesting, it's not really all that relevant when talking science to scientists.
To answer the point of ID, you should understand why we are convinced that your so called “mechanisms” are not mechanisms at all, and then demonstrate that we are wrong, and that you are right. Pretendong that we are only “invoking the supernatural”, because science can’t explain everything in detail, s only a lie. It will not do, not here. We know that’s not true. You can repeat that lie in your blog, where other darwinists are ready to support it, but not here. Here, if you want you must discuss.Whatever. Please get to the point.
I mentioned that I lecture about evolution and I use examples like the irreducibly complex citric acid cycle and plant photosynthesis complexes to show probable evolutionary pathways to complexity. gpuccio replies with this,
Really? Can you explain a molecular pathway to all that you say? Please, explain that to us. Let’s verify the credibility of your "mechanisms" in your supposed molecular pathway. Let’s calculate the probabilitys of your supposed events. Lets’ reason, as every scientist should do, in terms of cause and effect, if we are talking necessity, and in terms of probabilities, if we are talking randomness. If you invoke natural selection, let’s verify which step of you supposed mechanism is selected, why and in what times. You see, nobody wants that you can explain everything, or have the e4vidence for everything, but just that you give a credible, detailed mechanism which "could" be believed, and for which there is at least some solid evidence.Hmmm ... this sounds an awful lot like typical creationist screed. Whenever we mention some evidence for evolution they all of a sudden want all the excruciating details, or it doesn't count. Where are those demands when it comes to the Intelligent Design Creationist explanation of the citric acid cycle, huh?
Anyway, we see here the typical confusion of the creationist. They can't distinguish between evolution the concept, evolutionary theory, and the unique history of life on this planet. When gpuccio says "mechanisms" above, he doesn't mean mechanisms of evolution. He means detailed descriptions of events that took place several billion years ago. Nothing else will do for the creationist mindset. If we can't supply the complete historical account then it can't be evolution—God must have done it. Can you say "God of the gaps?'
gpuccio, you don't get to redefine "mechanisms of evolution" just because it suits your rhetorical purpose.
When you say that ID focuses on some complex structures, while many others are well understood, you show that you have not understood anything of ID. ID has focused on the bacterial flagellyum just because it is an easy example. But we could discuss practically any complex structure in biology, and show that it could not come into existence by your "mechanisms".I'm sorry gpuccio but there's no polite way to say what I'm about to say.
That's just bullshit. You are lying.
Even Michael Behe has abandoned the citric acid cycle because he knows we have a reasonable evolutionary explanation. The same is true of dozens of other complex structures and pathways. There's a reason why 99% of creationist literature focuses on bacterial flagella and one or two other complex structures. It's because that's where you see the gaps and that's where your God can hide. For now.
Incidentally, I'm rejecting your use of the word "mechanism" to describe unique historical events.
You ask:Oh dear. Turns out that this creationist is no more intelligent than all the others. Now he's reduced to stomping his feet on the ground and shouting "no macroevolution allowed! that's what Intelligent Design Creationism is all about.""Let me ask you a question. Did the intelligent designer allow naturalistic evolution to do most of the work, saving a few well-chosen examples for special attention? Did he (making an assumption here) let photosynthesis and the citric acid cycle—and dozens of other things that we understand—evolve on their own but step in to design bacterial flagella or whatever other complex you have chosen as the evolution problem of the day?"No. Absolutely not. Again, you have understood nothing of ID. ID maintains that practically all "macroevolution" is the product of design. Only some patterns of "microevolution" (some kinds of bacterial resistance, and so on) can be ascribed to your "mechanisms". Please, read Behe’s last book for the details, and then answer that. Bu please, stop pretending that ID says things that it has never said.
Okay, I understand. You have an intellectually bankrupt position. You say macroevolution never happens and that's what real Intelligent Design Creationism maintains. How does one debate such a position?
You say:So, what your saying is that you don't give a damn how much evidence scientists have about evolution and the history of life. It's all lies. Now that's an intelligent response."Do you see the point? Scientists have plenty of good examples to choose from. From those examples they extrapolate to others where there is less information available."Wrong again. See discussion above. The point is not, and has never been, how much information scientists have about something or something else. The point is how scientists have regularly deformed and forced the interpretation of facts to support an unlikely and unbielievable theory of supposed causal mechanisms.
Maybe I was wrong about you. Maybe you are an IDiot just like the rest.
You say:I don't think this "discussion" is going anywhere. All you keep doing is insisting that what I say about Intelligent Design Creationism is wrong. I don't think so. I'm beginning to think that it's you who doesn't understand Intelligent Design Creationism. Let me give you a clue. Intelligent Design Creationism is all about proving that some special examples of complex things can't possibly have evolved by the known mechanisms of bioloical evolution. Therefore, God exists."ID proponents, on the other hand, do the opposite. They take all of the well-studied examples and throw them in the waste basket because they are an embarrassment to their worldview. Then they taunt scientists with the more difficult cases and conclude that everything must be supernaturally created when scientists can’t give them a detailed answer to their specific example."False. Irrational. You discuss your fantastic view of ID. Id has never said or done what you say. It is really offensive how you superficially and irrespectfully lie about serious scientists and thinkers like Dembski, Behe, and others. I respect you for having come here to say what you say, but not for saying this kind of things.
The final straw is when you refer to Dembski as a "serious scientist." Now I know you're just pulling my leg.