Saturday, October 24, 2015

Intelligent design needs to clean up its act if it expects to be taken seriously

Jonathan McLatchie tried to make the case that ID is different from creationism in two recent videos on a Christian apologetics podcast [see Jonathan McLatchie says that intelligent design is a science and Jonathan McLatchie explains the difference between intelligent design and creationism].

I think there's some serious attempts to do science among ID proponents but I also think it's bad science. It's fun, informative, and challenging to debate real science with knowledgeable, informed members of the ID community.

However, that same community embraces many, many advocates who are not knowledgeable about evolution and not informed about how science works. They are not scientists by any stretch of the imagination but they pretend to be scientific. Many of them are Young Earth Creationists who seriously think that the universe was created pretty much as it is only 6000 years ago. While it's true that every ID proponent is a creationist (i.e believes in the existence of a supernatural creator) there are some versions of creationism that are more irrational than others.

The theistic evolution version of creationism rejects the views of their anti-science YEC friends but Intelligent Design Creationism embraces all comers as long as they are vehemently opposed to materialism and evolution. That's fine, but then ID can't claim to be scientific. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you try to act like scientists, in which case you have to oppose the kooks and YECs in your movement, or you admit that you are a religious and social movement, in which case you stop pretending to be a science.

I hope that the knowledgeable, informed, members of the ID community will abandon the ridiculous path they've taken where they try to make a scientific case for ID knowing full well that the majority of their supporters disagree strongly with their premises (e.g. common descent). That's an untenable position.

We've seen recently that some ID proponents are attempting to do this. I'm thinking of Jonathan McLatchie and Vincent Torley right now but there are others. How is it working out? Look at the Torley post on Uncommon Descent where he's trying to explain evolution to IDiots: Human and chimp DNA: They really are about 98% similar. It's an uphill battle. The kooks are accusing him of becoming a Darwinist.

But that's exactly what the ID community needs to do in order to gain credibility. They need to shed the kooks and the IDiots who make them look silly. When they do that, they may find that more of us are willing to have a serious discussion about science.

David Klinghoffer is one of the names I mentioned in an earlier post when I identified leading ID proponents who have no clue about the science they are opposing. Others are Denyse O'Leary, Barry Arrington, Phillip Johnson, Casey Luskin,1 David Klinghoffer, Paul Nelson, John West, and William Lane Craig. These people represent the face of the ID movement and that's how we're going to judge Intelligent Design Creationism unless they clean up their act. (We also judge it by the people who post comments on blogs and Facebook and by those politicians who support it in the public sphere.)

Klinghoffer posts on Evolution News & Views (sic)—a site that doesn't allow comments. His latest post is a classic example of the problems that the ID movement faces: Here's Why We Answer Some of Our Less Cogent Critics.

As you can see, he avoids the issue I raised in favor of an ad hominem attack. Wouldn't it be nice to see a scientific debate between Michael Behe and David Klinghoffer on the meaning of evolution? Not going to happen as long as ID is primarily a religious movement.


1. Casey Luskin can't decide how old the universe is but he leans toward Young Earth Creationism. Yet he's a leading spokesman for the "science" of intelligent design.

405 comments :

  1. It is this desire to maintain the broad umbrella of creationism that leads to 99.9% of ID creationism being about attacking evolutionary theory, rather than presenting positive cases for ID

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    1. I disagree. The 'big tent' of ID is why they don't have any internal debates but the reason they don't present positive cases for ID is that there are none. At least after the general assertion that living things are complicated and therefore designed there isn't really anything productive that can be done. Of course, if living things were designed there would be plenty of productive things to study. All one has to do is look at the legitimate cases of the study of design - the study of how Stonehenge or the pyramids were built- to see how scientists would pursue that possibility

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    2. lantog, I don't understand what you disagree with in what Chris said. Is it because he said 99.9% instead of 100%?

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  2. The ID people doing "real science" are fooling themselves. They have assumed their conclusions and are trying to cobble together arguments to support them. They rely on a mixture of religious faith and intuition to rationalize their investigations, whose outcome is predetermined. If they were truly intellectually honest, they would no longer be ID supporters.

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  3. Professor Moran rejects the law of biogenesis which has more support than evolutionists do for a unified theory of evolution, Evolutionists can't get their act together on just what their theory is. Of course, Professor Moran lectures others on their ignorance and yet he is not even considered as one of the leading proponents of evolution amongst his own peers.

    The law of biogenesis defeats your dumb chance faith Professor Moran. If you believed in what is emperically observed to occur in nature then you wouldn't put your faith in life originating in nature by chance and would accept the law of biogenesis.



    When it comes to doing science then "shit happens by dumb chance" provides no grounds to look for underlying laws, It proves no basis to say that sense perceptions correspond to reality and it provides no grounds to say scientists should report their results honestly and accurately.

    In fact, If humans are just matter in motion, outcomes of nothing more than prior materialistic causes and governed by laws of physics anc chemistry, then it makes no more sense to judge them for thinking or acting incorrectly, anymore than it would for judging a boulder for rolling down a hill incorrectly.

    You cheerlead for science in spite of your irrational position and not because of it, You and your devotees are walking contradictions.

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    Replies
    1. The "Law of Biogenesis" states that life can only come from life.

      In the context where it's used by creationists it means that life cannot have arisen from a mixture of organic and inorganic chemicals under any imaginable conditions that may or may not have been present on Earth billions of years ago.

      Abiogenesis is also ruled out on any of the other billions and billions of planets in the known universe.

      It's a negative assertion that cannot possibly be proven. It's typical of the wishful thinking and irrational behavior that's characteristic of most people who believe in supernatural beings.

      I don't know how life originated but nothing I know about biochemistry rules out abiogenesis. Presumably Jack Jone and his friends have thought long and hard about the possibility of deriving energy from chemical gradients in hydrothermal vents and have uncovered some fundamental biochemical principle that makes it impossible.

      That's a Nobel Prize winning discovery if they ever publish it.

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    2. "Shit happens by dumb chance" is a conclusion that scientists have come to quite reluctantly. If that's how things happen then that's how things happen -- our preferences on the issue are irrelevant.

      Of course, "Shit happens by dumb chance" is a gross overgeneralization -- it's not that everything happens by chance, but that chance plays a big role. Also, sometimes the elevated role of "chance" can actually on its own have predictable consequences. Understanding that can be quite enlightening.

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    3. "Professor Moran rejects the law of biogenesis ..."

      Really? Larry! Flies don't come out spontaneously out of putrid meat! Other flies put their eggs on it! The eggs Larry! The eggs! That's where those flies come from!

      These professors today.

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    4. "it's not that everything happens by chance, but that chance plays a big role."

      Or a small role, or a medium role, or no role at all, or ... you get the idea. Depends on what we're talking about!

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    5. Jack "idiot" Jones,

      "The onus put on the person to disprove the just so stories."

      Nope. the onus is on your idiots to prove that your gods are not just so stories. We don't need to disprove your fantasies, you have to prove that they're not fantasies.

      "Go show why George Whitesides was wrong to say what he did when he said that is highly improbable based on known chemistry."

      Why would anybody need to do that? If what he knew about chemistry meant that life originating naturally was improbable, then it was improbable given that knowledge. So what? Improbable doesn't mean impossible, and when we don't know something, we don't know something. That's it. It doesn't mean "therefore gods." I know, this is disappointing to a superstitious idiot like yourself, but there you have it. Superstitions are not answers when we're confronted with something we don't know. Superstitions remain superstitions however ignorant we might be about anything in the universe.

      For example, ignorance lead ancient people's to believe that the neighbouring volcano was a god. They didn't know about lava, and high-pressure, and a bunch more. By what they knew, that the volcano was erupting "spontaneously" was "highly improbable." Well, that didn't make the volcano a god. that just made them ignorant about how volcanoes work.

      "who put so much faith in dumb chance"

      Again with that bullshit. This is but your false dichotomies speaking again Jack. Stop being so much of an idiot.

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    6. Jack Jones, do you believe that a 'God' created life? If so, is it the biblical 'God' that you believe is the creator of life?

      What is your definition of "life"? What, exactly, is it that establishes that something is "life" (alive)? In other words, what are the essential ingredients/processes in or of things that can be described as "life" (alive)?

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    7. It's a negative assertion that cannot possibly be proven. It's typical of the wishful thinking and irrational behavior that's characteristic of most people who believe in supernatural beings. ///

      Professor Moran

      Of course it cannot be proven. We do not know the exact conditions on earth upon which life supposedly started. So any claim , either of natural, or supernatural causation relies on inferences that are based on indirect evidence.

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1928-historical-vs-operational-sciences

      The historical sciences (by which we might understand cosmology, geology, paleontology, evolutionary theory and biological systematics), are motivated primarily by the question "How did this system or object come to be?" when we ask how something came to be, we explain by invoking causal narratives or patterns of events -- employing methods often termed "abductive" or "retroductive" -- to find that set of events that best accounts for the features of what we observe in the present. As Darwin often argued to his correspondents, the theory of common descent by natural selection had to be weighed comparatively, "vis-a-vis its competitors." Explanations are judged by their relative power, and by their consistency with what we know from the present.

      If we compare the proposals of the origin of life where no intelligence is invoked, to the ones where intelligence had to be the causal power, and give a closer look, the shortcomings of abiogenesis become blatantly clear ( Only not so for the ones that are blinded by their wishful thinking of no - God required world view )

      OOL provides a WEALTH of reasons to reject the naturalistic proposals, and embrace intelligent design. Its actually not far-fetched to say that abiogenesis is utterly impossible .

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1279-abiogenesis-is-impossible

      A number of researchers have concluded that the spontaneous origin of life cannot be explained by known laws of physics and chemistry. Many seek “new” laws which can account for life’s origin. Why are so many unwilling to simply accept what the evidence points to: that the theory of evolution itself is fundamentally implausible? Dean Kenyon answers, “Perhaps these scientists fear that acceptance of this conclusion would leave open the possibility (or the necessity) of a supernatural origin of life” (p.viii).

      Life cannot evolve with oxygen.
      Life cannot evolve without oxygen.
      The many experiments to try to make life in the last fifty-five years have all ended in failure. Science is nowhere close to creating life.
      All experiments demonstrate that we are even further from creating life than imagined.
      Evidence shows that the earth has always had oxygen, even more than today.

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    8. Mayday, mayday. The Sandwalk comment space has been hijacked by idiots (yes, all letters lowercase).

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    9. Jack "the idiot" Jones,

      Once again, your repetition of absurdities won't make them true. I won't conform to what you want me to believe just because you repeat it many times over. I don't believe as you want me to believe. I know you're used to a wishing-makes-it-so worldview, but that's your problem, not mine. So, here's the news Jack, pay attention, your wishing that I believed as you want me to believe won't make it so.

      Let me be a bit more specific. I cannot "believe" that life originated by "dumb chance." I just can't. Two main reasons:

      1. I don't know how life originated, therefore I cannot "believe" that it did by "dumb chance." If I don't know, that's all you can say, that I don't know.

      2. I doubt that, when scientists finally figure it out, the answer will be "dumb chance." How? Well, that's simply nonsensical. This is why scientists working on the origin of life think about the conditions in a primitive earth, the properties of chemicals, temperature gradients, etc. If they thought it was "pure chance," they would have to find a way to have "dumb chance" operating in some vial until life sprouted. But that's not what they're doing. therefore, no scientist thinks that life started by "dumb chance."

      See how easy that was? But you'll miss the points yet again, won't you? You're an uneducable idiot, aren't you?

      Anyway, you keep avoiding the question as to what this "law" of biogenesis is, how it came to be, what was tested, what it really proves. Are you too afraid to find how stupidly ignorant you are? Studying is forbidden by your story books? Oh, it is forbidden?! I didn't know. OK, remain ignorant then.

      Onus on me to prove that your fantasies are fantasies? Nope. Onus on you to prove that they aren't. If you take what some ancient story books tell you as real, then you have fantasies that those stories are true. However you want to play it, fantasies they remain by definition. All you have going for you is your imagination. Sure, I can also imagine the stories to be true too. But I am aware that doing so is but fantasy. So, if you think they're not fantasies, it's up to you to identify a method to reliably distinguish between you believing those stories and someone believing that all the stories of The Koran are true, or that the stories in the Book or Mormon are true, or someone believing that Harry Potter is real. All of your are engaging in fantasies, and we cannot conclude otherwise. You're indistinguishable from all of the other storybook believers. So, up to you, not to me. I'm not the one holding to fairy tales. you are. Hey, you even think that your wishing ad repetition will make me believe as you want. Classic fairy tale thinking.

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    10. Chris B

      Claim CB000 of talkorigins says: Pasteur and other scientists disproved the concept of spontaneous generation and established the "law of biogenesis" -- that life comes only from previous life.

      Thats still today a unfalsified claim.

      http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018

      There are ultimately only two possibilities. Years ago, evolutionist George Wald, professor at Harvard University and Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine, recognized as much, stating that “the reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position” (1954, p. 46)

      I'd say there are two alternatives do special creation : chance, or physical necessity. There are however no constraints that would oblige chemicals to produce life spontaneously. So the only alternative to creation is chance. But what is chance ? Chance isnt a thing. Its not something that has creative power. It just provides a statistical number.

      John Horgan wrote in Scientific American:

      DNA cannot do its work, including forming more DNA, without the help of catalytic proteins, or enzymes. In short, proteins cannot form without DNA, but neither can DNA form without proteins. But as researchers continue to examine the RNA-world concept closely, more problems emerge. How did RNA arise initially? RNA and its components are difficult to synthesize in a laboratory under the best of conditions, much less under plausible prebiotic ones (1991, 264:119, emp. added).

      I have some topics at my library which address the RNA world, and the origin of DNA :

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2024-the-rna-world-and-the-origins-of-life

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2028-origin-of-the-dna-double-helix

      these topics alone provide substantial information why the naturalistic approaches fail to provide reasonable answers.

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    11. ElShamah777,

      I'll ask what I asked Jack "idiot" Jones. What was exactly what Pasteur tackled and why? What experiments did Pasteur do and what do they prove? How far should we take those results given what the experiments were truly about.

      Please don't come back quoting creationist bullshit. Find what really happened and explain. Then show exactly how that makes the origin of life "impossible."

      Oh, but you have to make your homework. No creationist crap. After you find what Pasteur tested, tell us exactly where people working on the origin of life propose that flies appear spontaneously out of putrid meat, or that Bacteria can grow in culture medium without inoculating the culture medium first. Show us exactly where scientists working on the origin of life say that life must have started exactly as complex as most of the life we see around us.

      I'd say there are two alternatives do special creation: chance, or physical necessity.

      Special creation is a fantasy. It's not even an alternative. Why should it be physical necessity, and not physical possibility? Why can't there be all kinds of states from necessity to slightly possible? Why should we jump from "necessity" to "chance" other than because you like your superstitions too much?

      There are however no constraints that would oblige chemicals to produce life spontaneously.

      I doubt that you have tested every possible condition. However, I'll give you one: reproduction "obliges" chemicals to produce life "spontaneously." No gods required. So, if there's that one (or that many ones), why wouldn't there be others?

      So the only alternative to creation is chance.

      Again, "creation" is mythology. Also, why not half chance half physical/chemical phenomena? Why not one tenth chance nine tenths physical/chemical phenomena?

      I see that your "library" is composed exclusively of creationist bullshit. So I doubt that you have anything substantial about the RNA world, or anything else for that matter.

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    12. Photosynthesis

      we read in answersingenesis : Pasteur conducted milk and butter experiments—showing microbes as being the source of spoilage, not spontaneous generation. Previously, Roman Catholic priest Father Lazzaro Spallanzi had shown similar findings in 1765. His heretical ideas of biogenesis were finally vindicated—all microbes indeed have parents. His experiments might seem primitive in our views - and they are, but his inference remains a unfalsified law until today, depsite intensive research in the field. And rather than close the gap, it has become just wider.

      What is relevant today, is not what Pasteur did find out, but what modern abiogenesis research tells us.

      Show us exactly where scientists working on the origin of life say that life must have started exactly as complex as most of the life we see around us.///

      According to recent findings, the first life was probably even more complex than it is today, since evolution provides genetic entropy, not the contrary.

      As a biologist stated :

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2176-lucathe-last-universal-common-ancestor

      'We may have underestimated how complex this common ancestor actually was

      The findings suggest that LUCA may have been more complex than the simplest organisms alive today, and it has simplified itself during the evolutionary process instead of growing more complex, as we might expect.

      and:

      The last universal common ancestor represents the primordial cellular organism from which diversified life was derived. This urancestor accumulated genetic information before the rise of organismal lineages and is considered to be either a simple 'progenote' organism with a rudimentary translational apparatus or a more complex 'cenancestor' with almost all essential biological processes. Recent comparative genomic studies support the latter model and propose that the urancestor was similar to modern organisms in terms of gene content.

      and:

      The study lends support to a hypothesis that LUCA may have been more complex even than the simplest organisms alive today, said James Whitfield, a professor of entomology at Illinois and a co-author on the study.

      What Might Be a Protocell’s Minimal requirement of parts ?

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2110-what-might-be-a-protocells-minimal-requirement-of-parts

      As new knowledge of functional complexity is revealed, we realize that our knowledge of that complexity has been increasing exponentially, with no end in sight. As one layer is pealed back, a new level of functional complexity is exposed. Rather than getting simpler, the more we know, the more we know we don't know!

      "The RNA molecule is too complex, requiring assembly first of the monomeric constituents of RNA, then assembly of strings of monomers into polymers. As a random event without a highly structured chemical context, this sequence has a forbiddingly low probability and the process lacks a plausible chemical explanation, despite considerable effort to supply one" "It has been challenging to identify possible prebiotic chemistry that might have created RNA. Organic molecules, given energy, have a well-known propensity to form multiple products, sometimes referred to collectively as 'tar' or 'tholin.' These mixtures appear to be unsuited to support Darwinian processes, and certainly have never been observed to spontaneously yield a homochiral genetic polymer.

      Laws of chemistry and physics, which follow exact statistical, thermodynamic, and spatial laws, are totally inade-quate for generating complex functional information or those systems that process that information using prescriptive algorithmic information"

      Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8 1
      “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”



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    13. Following parts are essential for a first living cell to arise :

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2110-what-might-be-a-protocells-minimal-requirement-of-parts#3797

      Based on the conjoint analysis of several computational and experimental strategies designed to define the minimal set of protein-coding genes that are necessary to maintain a functional bacterial cell, we propose a minimal gene set composed of 206 genes. Such a gene set will be able to sustain the main
      vital functions of a hypothetical simplest bacterial cell with the following features.

      (i) A virtually complete DNA replication machinery, composed of one nucleoid DNA binding protein, SSB, DNA helicase, primase, gyrase, polymerase III, and ligase. No initiation and recruiting proteins seem to be essential, and the DNA gyrase is the only topoisomerase included, which should perform
      both replication and chromosome segregation functions.

      (ii) A very rudimentary system for DNA repair, including only one endonuclease, one exonuclease, and a uracyl-DNA glycosylase.

      (iii) A virtually complete transcriptional machinery, including the three subunits of the RNA polymerase, a factor, an RNA helicase, and four transcriptional factors (with elongation, antitermination, and transcription-translation coupling functions). Regulation of transcription does not appear to be essential in bacteria with reduced genomes, and therefore the minimal gene set does not contain any transcriptional regulators.

      (iv) A nearly complete translational system. It contains the 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthases, a methionyl-tRNA formyltransferase, five enzymes involved in tRNA maturation and modification, 50 ribosomal proteins (31 proteins for the large ribosomal subunit and 19 proteins for the small one), six proteins necessary for ribosome function and maturation (four of which are GTP binding proteins whose specific function is not well known), 12 translation factors, and 2 RNases involved in RNA degradation.

      (v) Protein-processing, -folding, secretion, and degradation functions are performed by at least three proteins for posttranslational modification, two molecular chaperone systems (GroEL/S and DnaK/DnaJ/GrpE), six components of the translocase machinery (including the signal recognition particle, its receptor, the three essential components of the translocase channel, and a signal peptidase), one endopeptidase, and two proteases.

      (vi) Cell division can be driven by FtsZ only, considering that, in a protected environment, the cell wall might not be necessary for cellular structure.

      (vii) A basic substrate transport machinery cannot be clearly defined, based on our current knowledge. Although it appears that several cation and ABC transporters are always present in all analyzed bacteria, we have included in the minimal set only a PTS for glucose transport and a phosphate transporter. Further analysis should be performed to define a complete set of transporters.

      (viii) The energetic metabolism is based on ATP synthesis by glycolytic substrate-level phosphorylation.

      (ix) The nonoxidative branch of the pentose pathway contains three enzymes (ribulose-phosphate epimerase, ribosephosphate isomerase, and transketolase), allowing the synthesis of pentoses (PRPP) from trioses or hexoses.

      (x) No biosynthetic pathways for amino acids, since we suppose that they can be provided by the environment.

      (xi) Lipid biosynthesis is reduced to the biosynthesis of phosphatidylethanolamine from the glycolytic intermediate dihydroxyacetone phosphate and activated fatty acids provided by the environment.

      (xii) Nucleotide biosynthesis proceeds through the salvage pathways, from PRPP and the free bases adenine, guanine, and uracil, which are obtained from the environment.

      (xiii) Most cofactor precursors (i.e., vitamins) are provided by the environment. Our proposed minimal cell performs only the steps for the syntheses of the strictly necessary coenzymes tetrahydrofolate, NAD , flavin aderine dinucleotide, thiamine diphosphate, pyridoxal phosphate, and CoA.

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    14. The cell compares to a factory :

      The Cell membrane separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment. Thats the exterior factory wall that protects the factory.

      The Nucleus is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). It controls all cell activity; determines what proteins will be made and controls all cell activity.

      Plasma membrane gates regulate what enters and leaves the cell; where cells makes contact with the external environment. That's the Shipping/Receiving Department. It functions also as the communications department because it is where the cell contacts the external environment.

      The Cytoplasm includes everything between the cell membrane and the nucleus. It contains various kinds of cell structures and is the site of most cell activity. The cytoplasm is similar to the factory floor where most of the products are assembled, finished, and shipped.

      Mitochondria/chloroplasts: The power plant. Transforms one form of energy into another

      Mitochondrial membranes keep protein assembly lines together for efficient energy production.

      Membrane-enclosed vesicles form packages for cargo so that they may quickly and efficiently reach their destinations.

      Internal membranes divide the cell into specialized compartments, each carrying out a specific function inside the cell. That are the compartments in a manufacturing facility.

      The cytoplasm is contains the organelles; site of most cell activity. Its like the space inside the factory.

      The Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) is the compartment where the Assembly lines reside. (where workers do their work)

      The Golgi apparatus: What happens to all the products that are built on the assembly line of a factory? The final touches are put on them in the finishing and packing department. Workers in this part of the plant are responsible for making minor adjustments to the finished products.

      Ribosomes build the proteins , equal to the Workers in the assembly line.

      Signal-Recognition Particles (SRP) and signal receptors provide variety of instructions informing the cell as to what destination and pathway the protein must follow. Thats the address on the parcel where it has to be delivered.

      Kinesin Motors: Are the cargo carriers in the cell. That are the forklift carriers in a factory.

      Microtubules: They provide platforms for intracellular transport , amongst other things. That are the internal factory highways.

      Lysosomes: are capable of breaking down virtually all kinds of biomolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids, and cellular debris. Thats the maintainance crew. It gets rid of the trash, and to dismantle and dispose of the outmoded machinery.

      Hormones: permit the communication between the cells. Thats the cellphone to cellphone communication.

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    15. while on the other side, inside of cells:


      Highest organisation, order, and efficiency in all manufacturing stages and processes
      Highest information storage capacity in the nucleus
      Highest possible storage density down to atomic scale. DNA can store in 1 gramm the information of 570 billion 8mb pendrives!
      DNA as a storage medium permits to store the data uncorrupted for centuries.
      DNA is volumetric (beaker) rather than planar (hard disk)
      high economic, effective and proper material flow inside the cell
      maximal flexibility for demand and supply fluctuation
      simple material delivery routes and pathways throughout the cell that connect the various internal and external parts
      flexbility to external changes and stimuly, since volumes and demand are variable
      High efficiency in the regulation of cell size and growth
      lowest energy consumption
      high efficiency of braking down waste in the cell and reutilisation and reciclying
      Unmatched energy efficiency, approximately 10,000 times more energy-efficient than any nanoscale digital transistor
      highest adaptability of the manufacturing process to external changes and pressures
      fast fix of damage of broken parts

      highest complexity " products "
      fidelity in reproduction and replication ( exact copies )
      highest adaptability of the products to the environment
      complete reproduction autonomy without continuing intelligence input
      high efficiency signaling systems and communication pathways
      high efficiency

      Cell's incorporate the highest possible production efficiency , far beyond imagination. Many life forms are unicellular. But the most complex organisms are multi cellular. One stem cell stores the information to make a body consisting of a vast of array of specialized cells, all interlocked , connected and interdependent producing a harmonic whole, each cell exercising its specific function, producing a goal directed adult, able to reproduce, and adapt to the environment. So life goes on for thousands of years, without direct intelligent intervention.

      Its a very complex integrated system with hierarchical layers of regulation and gene expression, similar to the programs and sub-programs of computer software but much more sophisticated. You can imagine a simple evolutionary pathway, but when you get down to the details, it's far from simple. Each embryo follows a precisely choreographed developmental road map in order to get to the final goal -- the reproductive adult. Each step is necessary but not sufficient by itself. Turn aside from this developmental pathway and the result is likely to be a damaged worm or a dead one. Skip some steps and the same is true. How did this process come about? We would say this goal-directedness is evidence for a designer who had the final end in mind, and arranged the proper developmental steps appropriately.

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    16. According to Prof. Moran, the Law of Biogenesis “is typical of the wishful thinking and irrational behavior that’s characteristic of most people who believe in supernatural beings.”

      Among such persons we must number the biologist and Nobel laureate Peter Medawar:

      “In its affirmative form, the Law of Biogenesis states that all living organisms are the progeny of living organisms that went before them. The familiar Latin tag is Omne vivum ex vivo – All that is alive came from something living; in other words, every organism has an unbroken genealogical pedigree extending back to the first living things. In its negative form, the law can be taken to deny the occurrence (or even the possibility) of spontaneous generation. Moreover, the progeny of mice are mice and of men, men – ‘homogenesis,’ or like begetting like.”

      “The Law of Biogenesis is arguably the most fundamental in biology, for evolution may be construed as a form of biogenesis that provides for the occasional begetting of a variant form.”

      (from P.B. Medawar and J.S. Medawar, From Aristotle to Zoos: A Philosophical Dictionary of Biology [Harvard Univ. Press, 1983], p. 39)

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    17. I guess it is not surprising that you too that quote out of context and forgot to quote that part in between that read,

      "At one time it was believed that organic compounds, construed in a wide sense as compounds found in living organisms, could only be formed within such organisms. The natural or artificial synthesis of organic from inorganic molecules is evidence that the Law of Biogenesis does not apply at the molecular level."

      The part your are quoting is in reference to old ideas of spontaneous appearance of contemporary organism. No one but creationists are claiming a fully formed bacteria "poofed" into existence.

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    18. Other Jim,

      What is the source of the quoted passage in italics, beginning "At one time..."? I don't see it in my Medawar reference.

      In any case, of course the Law of Biogenesis does not apply to the synthesis of organic molecules. It is an empirical generalization about the origin of organisms (i.e., the living state) and as such, holds universally. Its exceptionless truth underwrites the use of sterilization techniques, etc., in a wide range of sciences and practical applications.

      Professor Moran would never tell his U of Toronto students to worry about the appearance of cells in a culture dish they have autoclaved and kept under sterile conditions.

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    19. I don't see it in my Medawar reference.

      Shouldn't your reference be Medawar's book and not a creationist quote mine?

      Link

      Delete
    20. Far easier to quote other professional creationists who are more than happy to lie for Jesus.

      Delete
    21. paul nelson, The other Jim pointed out your quote mine, etc., and I'm going to point out some other things:

      If living organisms can only come from (be caused by) living organisms, and living organisms came from (were caused by) your chosen, so-called 'God', then your 'God' must be a living organism and it must have come from (been caused by) a previous living organism, which must have come from (been caused by) a previous living organism, "extending back to the first living things", but wait, if the "Law of Biogenesis" is always true, as you assert, there could not be any such thing as the first living thing(s). The 'first' living thing(s) would have had to come from previous living thing(s). So, what living thing(s) did your 'living God' come from?

      You believe that your chosen, so-called 'God' is an exception to the "Law of Biogenesis" (and whatever else that you conveniently want to except), right? How about all the other so-called 'Gods' that have ever been dreamed up? Do they get a pass too or are they subject to the "Law of Biogenesis"?

      Delete
    22. Paul Nelson says,

      Professor Moran would never tell his U of Toronto students to worry about the appearance of cells in a culture dish they have autoclaved and kept under sterile conditions.

      What a bizarre statement.

      Paul, do you believe that life on Earth dates back several billion years or do you believe that the universe was created relatively recently? When, in your opinion, did life begin? You don't have to give an exact number like 6000 years ago but I'd like to know what you really think.

      Please don't evade this question.

      Delete
    23. Larry -- bizarre or not, so you accept the Law of Biogenesis, as stated by Peter Medawar?

      Here's what I wrote about the age of the Earth and cosmos in 1999, which I still endorse today:

      "Natural science at the moment seems to overwhelmingly point to an old cosmos. Though creationist scientists have suggested some evidences for a recent cosmos, none are widely accepted as true. It is safe to say that most recent creationists are motivated by religious concerns."

      (P. Nelson and J.M. Reynolds, Three Views on Creation and Evolution, Zondervan / HarperCollins, 1999, p. 49)

      Thus for all the scientific work I do, I use 4.5 bya for the Earth and 13.8 bya for the universe itself.

      Delete
    24. @Paul Nelson

      What is the source of the quoted passage in italics, beginning "At one time..."? I don't see it in my Medawar reference.

      The Other Jim was inaccurate in saying that passage comes in the middle of the one you quote. It is found later in the book, on p. 245, whereas yours is found on p.39. (Do a Google Books search if you wish to confirm).

      The fact remains that you have misrepresented Medawar's views, though this may have been inadvertent if you did not read the entire book and were only quoting the passage from another source. If so, you should probably inform the people responsible for that source.

      Delete
    25. BTW, nice evasion of Larry's question, Paul.

      Delete
    26. ElShamah777,
      So you think you don't deserve insults? I asked specifically not to quote creationist bullshit and what did you do? Post several "comments" filled with nothing but quotes from creationist bullshit. Let me explain this to you: for scientific understanding, I check science, not creationist crap. Get that deep into your head. Maybe that will stop your copy/paste frenzy.

      Delete
    27. Paul Nelson,
      What makes you think that understanding that life must have arisen naturally means that we should expect fully formed humans, or fully formed bacteria, to sprout out spontaneously in culture media? What makes you think that a quote from Medawar would trump scientific understanding about what those experiments, by Pasteur and others, tested and their actual relevance? Do you really think that scientists (and/or Larry himself) propose(s) that life started as an E. coli bacterial cell sprouting overnight from some culture medium in the Early Earth?

      Delete
    28. photosynthesis

      rather than accuse me of using quotes from " creationist bullshit " sites, i suggest you have a look at the links i provided at my virtual library. Then you would discover, that the sources i use as premise for my arguments to answer you are from mainstream scientific papers, namely :

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21974828, and
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3123224/ and
      http://mmbr.asm.org/content/68/3/518.full.pdf

      but thats how it always goes with biased people like you. I have a funny meme for that behavior, which i cannot post here, but it says basically this : Atheists, when given compelling evidence for intelligent design, and creationism, see no evidence, hear no evidence, ask for credentials, ask where is the peer review, or claim the source as not being scientific.

      That portrays perfectly your behavior, and of many others here. The rational discourse is replaced by cheap personal attacks, and willful ignorance.

      Delete
    29. ElShamah777,
      Those were not your sources you hypocrite. Those were "cited" by your creationist sources. I could go on the basic misunderstanding in the quotes you provided (your hidden, and exceptionally misinformed, assumptions, like equating LUCA with the origin of life), but I rather not distract you from checking again and actually aim for understanding whether Pasteur's experiments refute the possibility of a natural origin of life or not.

      As I asked before (just to give you a hint and get you actually thinking, rather than mindlessly following creationist rhetorical crap): what makes you think that scientists working on the origin of life propose that life started as a fly spontaneously sprouting overnight out of putrid meat, or as an E. coli sprouting overnight out of some culture medium in the early earth? Again: scientists, again, your own words. Flooding the site with creationist bullshit is but a useless distraction.

      Rational discourse is not the same as bringing quotations from creationist charlatans.

      Delete
    30. Photosynthesis,

      Lyse a bacterial cell in a sterile buffer. There in the flask, at least for the moment, are all the materials one could want for natural abiogenesis: nucleic acids, proteins, molecular machines (e.g., ribosomes) -- and yet hydrolysis and other destructive processes will take these materials irreversibly in the direction of their chemical parts, and not towards the living state.

      The Law of Biogenesis captures this reality in a succinct statement; the only interesting question is what one takes away from the generalization, about the plausibility of abiogenesis via unknown natural pathways.

      Larry thinks chemistry --> life happened at some point in Earth history. That opinion sits uncomfortably with biological reality, as expressed by the Law of Biogenesis.

      Delete
    31. Dissolve a stone in acid and it will never reassemble itself. Nevertheless, nature routinely makes stones under the right conditions.

      Your argument is idiotic and you know it.

      Delete
    32. That's one physicochemical scenario for the OoL we can strike off the list then. Is that all of them tested? Excellent work, and so thorough too.

      Delete
    33. I just tried waving intelligence over it, and that didn't seem to work either. I'm stumped.

      Delete
    34. The law of non-creation: Anything and everything we have ever seen made in nature, has never been seen made by a divine being, only by natural forces -> Therefore nothing was ever created by a divine being but instead only by natural forces.

      Exact same logic as the "law of biogenesis"-type argument. Take a general observation and extend it to a claim of an impossible to violate law that applies even to the unknown.

      My question to the creationists here is: How do you avoid the charge of hypocricy while accepting the "law of biogenesis" argument, but reject the one I just made?

      The fact is you can't, so you should shut your hypocritical mouthes up. Or better yet, stop being hypocrites and either accept both arguments, or reject both. Well, you can remain hypocrites if you so choose. Those are your only options, make your pick.

      Delete
    35. Paul nelson,

      That's not what I asked. (Do you seriously think that those working on the origin of life think that putting lysed bacteria in a sterile flask with buffer will make them sprout overnight back into shape?)

      Let's grant that the "law" of biogenesis captures that kind of event. Again, what makes you think that such event is relevant to the origin of life? Do you seriously think that scientists think that all it took was assembling organic materials in a flask of buffer? Do you seriously think, as Mikel nicely exemplified, that rocks cannot form naturally because they will not reassemble themselves if pulverized and put in a flask of buffer?

      I don't know what Larry thinks, but I understand that "physics/chemistry->life happened at some point in Earth's history" sits very comfortably with biological reality as expressed the "law" of biogenesis. How so? Because I'm far from proposing or imagining that a human, a mouse, a fly, or an E. coli, sprouted overnight in some flask with buffer, putrid meat, sterilized milk, or sterilized culture medium in the early Earth.

      You're quite a master of avoidance though.

      (Mikkel: nicely put.)

      Delete
    36. @Paul Nelson,

      Lutesuite was correct. I mis-focused on the Omne vivum ex vivo quote during my skimming, so was on the wrong page. The quote I supplied is much further along, in the discussion of "Spontaneous Generation".

      The quotes do pop up directly on a google book search, so perhaps I will try that first next time, instead of flipping through my .pdf copy.

      Delete
    37. Photosynthesis

      i might elucidate to you that reasonandscience.heavenforum is my personal virtual library. I am the Admin and the only poster there. All articles are based on my inquiry and research.

      (your hidden, and exceptionally misinformed, assumptions, like equating LUCA with the origin of life) I know there is a distinction made, but essentially nobody knows what the physical difference was between the OOL and Luca.

      As said previously, Pasteurs premises are irrelevant today, nonetheless that his hypothesis is unchallenged, and rather than closing the gap, it has widened. Today we know that abiogenesis is a unsolved riddle, more than ever before.

      Delete
    38. @ElShamah777,

      Regarding your links, it has been pointing out here before that LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) is , as the name explicitly says, is the last universal common ancestor. This does not mean it was the first organism, and I am not aware of anyone ever making that claim.

      One more time loud and clear. LUCA WAS NOT THE FIRST LIVING ORGANISM . So a complex LUCA does not rule out something simpler predating it.

      Delete
    39. ElShamah777,

      That such bullshit of a website is yours doesn't mean that you didn't take those quotes from another creationist website (which you obviously did, unless you're dishonest enough to have taken those quotes out of context yourself, are you?). Again, don't be such a hypocrite. If you actually read the scientific literature you would have never misquoted scientific literature about LUCA as "support" for a complex first life. Again, that doesn't excuse you from doing exactly what I asked you not to do: quoting creationist bullshit. I asked where did scientists working on the origin of life propose that the first life was as complex as what we see around us today. Quoting from creationist bullshit will never answer that question. Of course, you rather not answer the question because then you would not be able to use that bullshit about the law of biogenesis again, and you wouldn't renounce any of your bullshit. You avoid understanding at all costs because, otherwise, you could not continue being the ignorant idiot that you are so proud to be.

      Delete
    40. The Other Jim

      in essence , its a all bullshit made up scenario anyway. There is no evidence that there was a progenote, nor LUCA, nor macroevolution. The whole naturalistic world view is a bunch of made up stories with little or no reason to infer it upon what we observe in the natural world. But since a creator is rejected an No-God is desired, whatever idiocy the proponents of naturalism come up with, its embraced with enthusiasm, and proclaimed almost as the absolute truth. Sorry , no. Evolution is not a fact ( at least not partially ) And abiogenesis is a impossible hypothesis. Deal with it.

      Delete
    41. ElShammah777

      You're clearly our of your depth. The genetic evidence for common descent is overwhelming and very easy to demonstrate. And no, the common design common designer argument won't work for the many examples I could share with you.

      Delete
    42. Aceofspades

      it seems you are clearly missing some information....

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1455-tree-of-life-a-failed-hypothesis?highlight=tree

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23348040

      Orphan genes are defined as genes that lack detectable similarity to genes in other species and therefore no clear signals of common descent (i.e., homology) can be inferred. Orphans are an enigmatic portion of the genome because their origin and function are mostly unknown and they typically make up 10% to 30% of all genes in a genome.

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140521-comb-jelly-ctenophores-oldest-animal-family-tree-science/#

      A close look at the nervous system of the gorgeously iridescent animal known as the comb jelly has led a team of scientists to propose a new evolutionary history: one for the comb jelly, and one for everybody else.

      "It's a paradox," said Leonid Moroz, a neurobiologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville and lead author of a paper in today's Nature about the biology of the comb jelly nervous system. "These are animals with a complex nervous system, but they basically use a completely different chemical language" from every other animal. "You have to explain it one way or another."



      Delete
    43. http://www.idscience.ca/tree_of_life_genome.html

      "When arguing for common descent, evolutionary scientists typically assert that the degree of genetic (or anatomical) similarity between two species indicates how closely they are related. But there are numerous cases where this assumption fails, and anatomical or molecular data yield evolutionary trees (called ‘phylogenies’) that conflict with conventional views of organismal relationships. The basic problem is that evolutionary trees based on one gene commonly differ strikingly from a phylogeny based on a different gene."

      Gene And Genome Trees Conflict At Many Levels

      The amount of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) that is observable in completed genomes makes it impossible to define a single unifying phylogenetic tree that can describe the evolutionary history of all prokaryotes. HGT confuses and confounds prokaryotic relationships by implying different, incongruent relationships within a set of taxa. The set of relationships derived for a particular gene is a combination of both the vertical and the horizontal history for that gene. Alongside that, it is impossible to find a species concept or definition that will please everybody...

      http://www.detectingdesign.com/geneticphylogeny.html

      mollusks (scallops) are more closely related to deuterostomes (sea urchins) than arthropods (brine shrimp). Of course, this is not too surprising. Intuitively, a scallop seems more like a sea urchin than a shrimp. So, the 82% correlation between the scallop and sea urchin is not surprising. However, in this light it is surprising is that a tarantula (also an arthropod) has a 92% correlation with the scallop. Here we have two different arthropods, a shrimp and an tarantula. How can a scallop be much more related to one type of arthropod and much less related to the other type of arthropod? This troubling thought led the authors of the Science article to remark:

      Different representative species, in this case brine shrimp or tarantula for the arthropods, yield wildly different inferred relationships among phyla. Both trees have strong bootstrap support (percentage at node). . . The critical question is whether current models of 18S rRNA evolution are sufficiently accurate to successfully compensate for long branch attraction between the animal phyla. Without knowing the correct tree ahead of time, this question will be hard to answer. However, current models of DNA substitution usually fit the data poorly .

      http://www.discovery.org/a/10651

      The methodology for inferring common descent has broken down. Proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution are forced into reasoning that similarity implies common ancestry, except for when it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, they appeal to all sorts of ad hoc rationalizations to save common ancestry. Tellingly, the one assumption and view that they are not willing to jettison is the overall assumption of common ancestry itself. This shows that evolutionists treat common descent in an unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific and ideological, fashion.

      Delete
    44. El777

      Your ignorance has betrayed you. Orphan genes are novel AS GENES but their sequences can be found in closely related species as strings of junk DNA.

      If they did arise out of whole cloth with no explanation as to where their sequences came from then that would indeed be an enigma but this is not what is found and is not what is meant by the term.

      Here's a challenge for you. There are a number of supposed orphan genes in humans. Point me to any one of these where the sequence they arose from cannot be found in a closely related species.

      Just one example in humans.. That's all I'm asking for.

      If you can't produce this then admit that you have no fucking clue what you're talking about.

      Delete
    45. ElShamah777,
      Shut up already you hypocrite. If you knew that there's a difference between LUCA and the first life, then you quoted that bullshit hoping that we didn't know. You're just a dishonest clown with nothing but misinformation to present.

      Your new series of bullshit shows exactly the same problems. Your lack of intellectual ability, and/or your dishonesty hoping that we don't understand anything of science, and that we will not notice your many mistakes and misinformed assumptions.

      Delete
    46. Photosynthesis,

      The point of the lysed bacterial cell thought experiment is simple: if "physics/chemistry->life" actually happened, then let's cut to the chase. Start with biomolecules already arbitrarily close to the target state, and just assume that we've solved the "physics --> biomolecules" part of the story. In other words, allow ourselves highly sophisticated starting materials: very large RNAs, functional proteins, you name it.

      Nothing will happen, even with these starting materials. Everything is headed back to chemistry, irreversibly.

      Of course no one does OOL experiments by lysing bacterial cells to see what will happen. Actually, that's not true: see the recent work of OOL researcher Jan Spitzer, who proposes "experiments with dead populations of today’s bacteria to investigate the emergence of ‘being alive’ from bio-molecules that once comprised a living state" -- pdf available here: http://www.biologydirect.com/content/10/1/33/abstract

      But the most interesting OOL work that IS being done, such as in Jack Szostak's group, effectively is recapitulating the construction of a bacterial cell. A few months ago, I listened to Szostak at Fermilab, and he explained that the engineering requirements of normal cells mandate (a) information storage and replication, (b) selective transport across the vesicle or cell boundary, (c) metabolism and energy conversion, and so on. A suite of interconnected functional demands, none of which is negotiable.

      In other words, if you want a cell, you need a cell. Szostak didn't say that, but his presentation demonstrated as much.

      Delete
    47. The point of the lysed bacterial cell thought experiment is simple: if "physics/chemistry->life" actually happened, then let's cut to the chase. Start with biomolecules already arbitrarily close to the target state, and just assume that we've solved the "physics --> biomolecules" part of the story.

      So is that where you think babies come from? They're formed from flasks full of "biomolecules", over which God has case a magic spell with his "intelligence"?

      I think there's a discussion your parents forgot to have with you, Paul.

      Delete
    48. Hey paul, where did your chosen, so-called 'God's' cells come from?

      Delete
    49. @Paul Nelson,

      The "lysed bacteria" experiment is flawed by the same error that Mr. ElShamah777 made above. Modern organisms are not the same as the first life. The internal components of a modern organism in a jar are not equivalent to the conditions around at the start of life. Have you read Nick Lane's latest book?

      Delete
    50. "The point of the lysed bacterial cell thought experiment is simple: if "physics/chemistry->life" actually happened, then let's cut to the chase. Start with biomolecules already arbitrarily close to the target state, and just assume that we've solved the "physics --> biomolecules" part of the story. In other words, allow ourselves highly sophisticated starting materials: very large RNAs, functional proteins, you name it.

      Nothing will happen, even with these starting materials. Everything is headed back to chemistry, irreversibly."


      Same thing with the rock dissolved in Acid. Even if you just break it down into smaller pieces of the origincal rocs, they won't ever reassemble into the larger rock they came from.

      Yet rocks still form routinely in nature. There are conditions under which rocks form, but many more conditions under which they don't.

      Delete
    51. By the way Paul Nelson, I take it you reject the law of divine non-creation, right? Then you're a hypocrite.

      Delete
    52. In other words, if you want a cell, you need a cell. Szostak didn't say that, but his presentation demonstrated as much.

      ... and it appears that primitive "cells" are not so impossible, either. One pop-seminar version;

      https://www.ted.com/talks/martin_hanczyc_the_line_between_life_and_not_life?language=en

      Delete
    53. Aceofspades

      Orphan genes are novel AS GENES but their sequences can be found in closely related species as strings of junk DNA.

      https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150818-a-surprise-source-of-lifes-code/


      At the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution conference last month, Albà and collaborators identified hundreds of putative de novo genes in humans and chimps — ten-fold more than previous studies — using powerful new techniques for analyzing RNA. Of the 600 human-specific genes that Albà’s team found, 80 percent are entirely new, having never been identified before.

      Delete
    54. @Paul Nelson,

      Paul, do you really think you deserve to be respected by scientists when you won't answer a simple question about what you believe to be true concerning the age of the Earth?

      And do you really think we are going to respect you when you come up with something like the "lysed bacteria experiment"?

      You are one of the leading proponents of Intelligent Design Creationism. We will judge the movement by what you say. It doesn't look good.

      Delete
    55. @El777

      > Of the 600 human-specific genes that Albà’s team found, 80 percent are entirely new, having never been identified before.

      They had never been identified before as genes you complete and utter moron. Near identical sequences to each and every one of these can still be found in chimpanzees or gorillas or orangutans.

      The sequences didn't appear out of nowhere. Rather they just had one simple mutation which allowed them to start undergoing transcription.

      Either produce a human denovo gene who's sequence appears to have come from nowhere or admit that you are a shining example of the Dunning-Kruger effect and an utter embarssment to creationists and IDists everywhere.

      Delete
    56. We spend so much of our time and effort arguing with people who are either unwilling or incapable of learning something about science that we don't have intelligent discussions about the issues. There are certain websites I no longer visit because the comments sections are so overwhelmed by trolls and ignoramuses that substantive conversations are impossible.

      Delete
    57. Aceofspades

      It doesn't any good to your position either name calling me, as it seems your arguments have not enough explanatory weight to stand on their own. So you think insulting the opponent gives more credibility to you, but it does not. Secondly, i am human, and as such i can be not sufficiently informed about a subject. Happens all the time. That does not give you a picture to judge my knowledge as a whole. Third, if you provide a scientific source, i will be more than happy to analyse, and if true, change and correct my position. Fourth. I will not waste my time responding to people which are uneducated and resort to name-calling. So if you want to see further answers of mine, stop it.

      Delete
    58. El, wow, are you perhaps blind? There have been numerous attempts to inform you why you're wrong, why copy/ pasting nonsense from your blog only adds to show you're ignorance of scientific facts.
      And now you feel it's time to do a Galileo gambit? To hide behind a shroud of 'tears, because you feel insulted'?

      You insult the people who have tried to educate you. People who try to show you have really no idea what you're talking about and who try to show to you were you go wrong.
      And your only response is more copy/ paste and ignoring people who tell you why you're wrong.

      This response shows your arrogance, stupidity and self delusion. Wake up, El, and face the music, nobody is going to be fooled by your response.

      Delete
    59. > and as such i can be not sufficiently informed about a subject

      Then why the fuck are you arrogantly parading your ignorance and acting as if you're so clever for having such ill conceived arguments? If you don't know what you're talking about (and you clearly don't) then why even bother arguing with the experts here?

      > That does not give you a picture to judge my knowledge as a whole

      It really does allow me to judge your knowledge of the topic at hand. When you say ignorant things, or quote journalists without going back and understanding the original research they are reporting on then you are showing people that they are wasting their time arguing with you because you lack a basic grasp of the science.

      Now if you were less argumentative and more enquiring then that would be different.

      Delete
    60. ElShamah777,

      Many here have tried to explain things to you, and your only answer has been to ignore what's explained and paste more from your mindlessly collected "library." That is more than enough to judge your attitude and your knowledge "as a whole."

      Since you have no intention of learning anything, maybe it's time we all insulted you so that you go away and stop crapping the blog with those copies from your "library." (I think you meant "latrine," not "library").

      Delete
    61. Larry,

      I answered your question about my views on the age of the Earth (see above). You didn’t understand or like my answer, apparently, but that’s your problem, not mine.

      It’s a matter of complete indifference to me whether you “respect” me or not. You seem not to grasp that having your “respect,” for an ID theorist, would be a sign of failure, not success. (Now, if I lost the respect of Rick Sternberg, or other young biologists I can’t name, occupying vulnerable academic positions, I’d be troubled – but the motley crew here? – nah.) I do care, however, that you understand the points I’m trying to make. Your inability to see the significance of the lysed bacterium thought experiment tells me that you haven't thought deeply about the problem. One last try.

      We can call the lysed bacterium thought experiment “the Humpty Dumpty (HD) experiment.” The HD experiment has been described many times in the scientific literature, although to my knowledge it has never actually been performed, because everyone (except perhaps OOL researcher Jan Spitzer) knows what would happen. Nothing, except the irreversible chemical degradation of the cellular contents.

      Here’s a 2011 description of the HD experiment, from OOL researcher William Martin:

      “The proposal that life arose through the self-organisation of preformed constituents in a pond or an ice-pore containing some kind of preformed prebiotic broth can be rejected with a simple thought experiment: If we were to take a living organism and homogenize it so as to destroy the cellular structure but leave the molecules intact, then put that perfect organic soup into a container and wait for any amount of time, would any form of life ever arise from it de novo? The answer is no…”

      (William Martin 2011, pdf here: http://www.biologydirect.com/content/6/1/36)

      From this – i.e., STARTING with the HD thought experiment – Martin draws important lessons. The origin of the living state isn’t simply a matter of pulling together the right molecules, into the same microenvironment, because the HD experiment shows that even having all the right molecules, cheek by jowl, will yield nothing.

      Rather, Martin concludes that:

      1. Life cannot begin without compartments, required for energy gradients.
      2. Life cannot emerge against the laws of thermodynamics, which means “harnessable chemical energy” must be “available naturally, all the time.”

      Martin thinks that submarine alkaline vents provide a promising setting to give (1) and (2). Okay – but is that the only lesson of the HD experiment?

      Of course not. In real cells, what maintains the configurational specificity of proteins, a function known to be required for viability? Satisfying energetic demands (1) and (2) doesn’t solve that problem, nor does it solve the information storage and replication requirements known to be necessary for the living state. And so on.

      The HD experiment focuses one’s attention on the jointly necessary conditions required for the living state, and how the loss of any one of them – in this case, cell wall or cell membrane integrity – instantly compromises ALL of the others.

      To be sure, dynamiting a suspension bridge is not the reverse process of building the same bridge. But bridges are constructed, painstakingly, by engineers, with the distant target carefully in sight, precisely because that target state is very hard to hit, and easy to lose. To paraphrase Dawkins, there are infinitely many more ways for iron, asphalt, wire, piping, and concrete NOT to be a suspension bridge than vice versa.

      The parallel to the origin of life, and the relevance of the HD experiment, I leave to you, Larry, as a homework assignment.

      Delete
    62. Aceofspades

      keep your hostile saliva for you. Still waiting for you to back up your claim. Do you not understand that i couln't care less for your necessity to try to massage your ego , and think you can do it on my cost ? i am only interested in the science. Waiting.

      Delete
    63. paul nelson, in your evasive response to Larry above, you said:

      "Thus for all the scientific work I do, I use 4.5 bya for the Earth and 13.8 bya for the universe itself."

      I'm curious, what "scientific work" do you do? I did a google search of your name to see if I could find the "scientific work" that you claim to do and I found some interesting things:

      1. You're a "Fellow" of the discotoot, i.e. a pusher of the theocratic/dominionist Wedge Agenda.

      http://www.discovery.org/p/45

      2. According to your discotoot bio you're an "Adjunct Professor in the Master of Arts Program in Science & Religion at Biola University".

      3. Biola is the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.

      http://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement

      4. From the Biola History page: "As the only national university to require a Christian commitment of its faculty, students and staff, Biola University is building on its legacy of impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ."

      5. Biola includes the Talbot School of Theology.

      http://www.talbot.edu/?_ga=1.145856564.1295922652.1445864970

      http://www.talbot.edu/degrees/

      http://www.talbot.edu/faculty/all/

      6. Biola also includes the Rosemead School of Psychology.

      "Since its founding in 1968, Rosemead School of Psychology has focused on the integration of psychology and theology, seeking to raise up highly trained clinical psychologists who are also deeply rooted in a Christian perspective of their practice. In line with this mission, Rosemead began publishing the Journal of Psychology and Theology in 1973, the first academic journal of its kind."

      "The major intent of the editor is to place before the evangelical community articles that have bearing on the nature of humankind from a biblical perspective."

      See part two.

      Delete
    64. Part two.

      7. You teach, er, I mean preach in the Master of Arts in Science and Religion Program.

      "The new Master of Arts degree in Science and Religion is designed to provide scientifically literate individuals with the essential background in theology, history, and philosophy that is necessary to integrate modern science with evangelical Christianity."

      http://www.biola.edu/academics/sas/scienceandreligion/

      http://www.biola.edu/academics/sas/scienceandreligion/faculty/

      8. Biola supports/promotes the ID-creationism agenda.

      http://www.biola.edu/id/about/

      9. Biola has a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics Program.

      http://www.biola.edu/academics/sas/apologetics/?_ga=1.72544403.1295922652.1445864970

      http://www.biola.edu/academics/sas/apologetics/faculty/

      10. "All Biola students take 30 units of biblical studies. These classes will challenge you to examine and enhance your personal faith and will train you to integrate Christianity with your future career. While most students take only the 30 units and receive a minor in Biblical Studies, some pursue Biblical Studies as a major."

      http://www.biola.edu/undergrad/academics/bible

      12. This link is on the Biola Apologetics page.

      http://www.philchristi.org/

      12. A Wikipedia page is devoted to you.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Nelson_(creationist)


      Now, even though you haven't answered my other questions I have a few more for you anyway: Do you consider yourself to be scientifically literate? Do you label what you do at Biola as science? Do you teach your students that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and that Earth is 4.5 billion years old? How do you "integrate modern science" into your evangelical christian YEC beliefs and the Biola Doctrinal Statement? I'm especially interested in how you "integrate modern science" into this belief: "All those who persistently reject Jesus Christ in the present life shall be raised from the dead and throughout eternity exist in the state of conscious, unutterable, endless torment of anguish."

      Delete
    65. It's also important to note that all staff and students at Biola are required to adhere to a "doctrinal statement" that includes the following:

      The existence and nature of the creation is due to the direct miraculous power of God. The origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of kinds of living things, and the origin of humans cannot be explained adequately apart from reference to that intelligent exercise of power. A proper understanding of science does not require that all phenomena in nature must be explained solely by reference to physical events, laws and chance.

      Therefore creation models which seek to harmonize science and the Bible should maintain at least the following: (a) God providentially directs His creation, (b) He specially intervened in at least the above-mentioned points in the creation process, and(c) God specially created Adam and Eve (Adam’s body from non-living material, and his spiritual nature immediately from God). Inadequate origin models hold that (a) God never directly intervened in creating nature and/or (b) humans share a common physical ancestry with earlier life forms.


      https://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement

      That stipulation makes it impossible for anyone at Biola to competently practice science WRT any matters pertaining to the origins and nature of the diversity of life on earth.

      Delete
    66. The ironic thing is, if some scientific institution required their employees to sign a statement of belief in the truth of evolution and atheism, the religionut wing would go berserk about bias and close-mindedness. Yet when THEY do it it's perfectly okay, we don't hear a fucking peep from any of them.

      Hypocrites, they are hypocrites and they don't deserve any respect. Michael Behe, Bill Craig, Dembski, Luskin, Arrington, Paul Nelson. All hypocrites undeserving of any respect.

      The IDiotCreationists don't just need to clean up their acts in terms of deciding what they actually believe (OEC vs YEC, common descent vs independent creation of kinds), they also need to start actually shedding their sickening double-standards.

      Delete
    67. Another illustrative example is that of Shorter University, a Baptist University in Georgia (USA), from which 13 professors were "expelled" because they did not agree to teach creationism:

      https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/creationist-university-stifles-academic-freedom/

      And do you remember how loudly the Discovery Institute protested this blatant violation of "academic freedom"? No, neither do I.

      Delete
    68. Paul Nelson,

      As always happens with even the most masterful of rhetoricists, like yourself, you make the mistake of declaring that ID is not about science, but about religion and politics. Of course you could not care less about having Larry's respect. Of course having Larry's respect would be a signal that you're doing something wrong. The wrongness being putting honesty in your work and discourse. We knew already that the ID movement is religious and political, but it's good that your propagandistic mind set would reveal itself so clearly in that attempt at saving face.

      The HD "experiment" is as relevant to the origin of life as the pulverized rock in buffer is for geology. They tell you something we already know, that broken cells and pulverized rocks don't self-assemble in buffer. What a surprise. Nothing but a distraction so that you would not have to admit that no scientist is proposing that life started as a mouse, fly, or bacterium sprouting overnight in the early Earth.

      Same with your presentation of that guy who works with broken cells, it's quite revealing that you present it as if all he's doing is put a broken cell in a flask with buffer and wait. It's also quite revealing that you present this as if broken cells would represent the way scientists think that life started. I think that that guy's research will lead nowhere, but the main point here is that you're just creating a distraction, and making it look so ridiculous, just so that you won't have to admit that scientists working on the origin of life do not propose that life started as a human, mouse, fly, or an E coli cell sprouting overnight in the early Earth. If you admitted that, you would destroy your "law of biogenesis" excuse, and you're not about to do that. You have nothing going for your beliefs, so you have to hold to any misinformed notions at all costs. You're left with refusing to acknowledge those mistaken notions by masterful rhetoric. Just like you refuse to admitting directly that you're a young Earth creationist.

      All you demonstrate, though, is that you're a dishonest and that the ID movement is exactly what it appears to be: a religious and political one.

      Delete
  4. There's an even bigger problem that the IDiots face in their attempt to be taken seriously. The idea they promote is simply wrong. Similarly, flat earthers also promote an idea that cannot be redeemed by mere political housekeeping, for the simple fact that that idea is inconsistent with physical reality.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This article is also loaded with philosophical and religious generalizations like "every ID proponent is a creationist (i.e believes in the existence of a supernatural creator)" . Larry is still proving to be unable to separate science and religion.

    And the myth about "Intelligent Design Creationism embraces all comers as long as they are vehemently opposed to materialism and evolution." certainly does not include Edgar Postrado (MrIntelligentDesign) who is very much on his own. He might not have sold a single book yet, either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. gary said:

      "This article is also loaded with philosophical and religious generalizations like "every ID proponent is a creationist (i.e believes in the existence of a supernatural creator)" . Larry is still proving to be unable to separate science and religion. "

      That's pretty funny coming from an IDiot who promotes the wedge agenda,

      Edgar Postrado has said that he's a christian, which means that he believes in the biblical, christian 'God'. According to the bible the christian 'God' created everything, including 'life'. Is that so-called 'creator God' natural, gary? Is any so-called 'God' natural?

      Delete
    2. Is that so-called 'creator God' natural, gary? Is any so-called 'God' natural?

      According to the common definition of the word: the answer is Yes.

      Delete
    3. So then gary, the biblical, christian 'God' and all(?) other so-called 'Gods' are defined as:

      occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature; not marvelous or supernatural

      being in a state of nature without spiritual enlightenment

      having a physical or real existence as contrasted with one that is spiritual

      of, relating to, or operating in the physical as opposed to the spiritual world

      having a form or appearance found in nature

      ?

      Delete
    4. The natural/supernatural dichotomy is from your religious philosophy, not Christianity. It amounts to a strawman argument where what you deem to be "supernatural" cannot exist:

      In philosophy, naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)

      Delete
    5. "The natural/supernatural dichotomy is from your religious philosophy, not Christianity."

      I'm not religious, gary, and "Christianity" DOES claim that the biblical, christian 'God' is supernatural.

      "It amounts to a strawman argument where what you deem to be "supernatural" cannot exist:

      In philosophy, naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world."

      So now you're claiming that the biblical, christian 'God' (the alleged intelligent-designer-creator-guider) is supernatural?

      And there you go with the accusation of a "strawman argument" again. WHAT "strawman argument", you dishonest, wedge agenda pushing, game playing IDiot-creationist lunatic?

      Delete
    6. I'm not religious, gary, and "Christianity" DOES claim that the biblical, christian 'God' is supernatural.

      You first say you are not religious, then right after that gave a loud sermon on what Christians must believe for them to really be a Christian?

      Your rant was so comical that I now cannot tell whether you are serious, or a satire.



      Delete
    7. Ah, gary, so you're a christian who doesn't go by what's in the christian bible (the doctrine/dogma, rule book of and for christianity). I'm shocked, shocked I tell you that ElShamah, ken ham, william lane craig, kairosfocus (gordon mullings), barry arrington, luskin, o'leary, sal cordova, mclatchie, torley, joey g, and a bunch of other thumpers haven't jumped in here to straighten you out on the sure fire, rootin' tootin', bible-says-so supernaturality of the biblical, christian 'God' (yahoo-yeshoo-holy-spirit).

      Delete
    8. The truth is: all I was taught in preparation to be a Methodist religious leader indicated a conscious force unseen that's everywhere and a part of us right now. NOT some (as defined by you) "supernatural" creator off in some distant realm where thoughts and prayers could never reach. The only thing you got is a contradiction.

      The only belief I know of that needs a "supernatural" force that is further believed to not be able to exist in the "natural" world (therefore cannot exist at all) is what you are an adherent to. From what I was taught I have to say your logic is sabatoging to what Christianity teaches. Its leaders are best to stay out of your trap by making it a point to never use the word "supernatural" don't need it anyway. It's only a problem for your belief to do without.

      Delete
    9. In other words, gary, like all other so-called christians you conveniently pick and choose and ignore and distort stuff in the bible and still call your religious beliefs christianity. The biblical, christian sky daddy must be mighty pissed at you for not taking 'His Word' seriously. LOL

      Delete
    10. In other words, gary, like all other so-called christians you conveniently pick and choose and ignore and distort stuff in the bible and still call your religious beliefs christianity.

      Oh my God, "the whole truth" is now preaching about adherence to the Bible and what it takes to be a good Christian.

      Delete
    11. Don't have to be one to know the basic requirements.

      Delete
    12. gary, I'm not going waste any more time playing your stupid, attention seeking game. If you want to convince people that the biblical, christian 'God' is natural then you should get busy convincing the 2 billion or so christians who believe that the biblical, christian 'God' is supernatural. You can also try to convince them that satan, angels, demons, miracles, spirits, heaven, hell, a talking serpent, dead people getting out of their graves and walking around, a guy living inside a fish, a woman being turned into a pillar of salt, and everything else in, of, and about the bible, 'God', and 'his' creation are natural.

      Start by trying to convince william lane craig and ken ham. While you're at it, I'm sure that craig, ham, and many other thumpers would love to hear about your version of so-called 'ID theory'. Send lots of emails right away, gary! Fame and glory and all the attention you could ever want awaits you!

      Maybe you can convince this guy too:

      http://www.graceway.com/articles/article_015.html

      Delete
    13. The whole truth is that after a rant like yours the clergy will have no problem understanding the motives behind your (public school classroom reinforced) religious scam.

      If you wish to write your own version of the Bible so that it contains stories you fabricated about God being "supernatural" then be my guest. At least Atheists might like it.

      Delete
    14. I should add that the word in the Bible that's most misrepresented by confusing with "supernatural" is the source of consciousness (we know exists because we are experiencing it right now) coming from the "spiritual" realm that the Bible talks about. Christians and others believe our conscious/spiritual experience does not end after death.

      The two words are not interchangeable. Spirituality is in reference to the source of our common ordinary consciousness, while supernaturalism is from a religious/philosophical belief where such a thing is not supposed to be able to exist in our reality.

      Delete
  6. The George Whitesides quote was from an address he gave on "Revolutions in Chemistry" in 2007. Of course, what was presented by our creationist friend was quote-mined from the original. So predictable.

    " This problem is one of the big ones in science. It begins to place life, and us, in the universe. Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth.
    How? I have no idea. Perhaps it was by the spontaneous emergence of "simple" autocatalytic cycles and then by their combination. On the basis of all the chemistry that I know, it seems to me astonishingly improbable. The idea of an RNA world is a good hint, but it is so far removed in its complexity from dilute solutions of mixtures of simple molecules in a hot, reducing ocean under a high pressure of CO2 that I don't know how to connect the two.
    We need a really good new idea. That idea would, of course, start us down the path toward systems that evolve autonomously—a revolution indeed."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quote-mined? Coming from a creationist? No way!

      Delete
  7. It needs to provide a mechanism for manipulating genomes that doesn't invoke miracles.

    ReplyDelete
  8. While we're talking about human chimp similarity, can i share this new refutation of Tomkins' latest paper:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/junkscience/comments/3pd57q/human_chimp_similarity_update_how_tomkins_did_it/

    If you ask me, there is evidence of intentional fraud here. He appears to have knowingly picked methods that would produce false results.

    Have a look.. This is a complete embarrassment for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Now Torley should take a similarly thorough look at that Doug Axe paper on protein folding he keeps touting. He's already been given enough background info to determine whether its conclusions are any more robust than Tomkins'. I look forward to his conclusions.

      Delete
    2. Torley should also explain how he manages to avoid cognitive dissonance when he writes this:

      Other readers queried the possibility of tens of millions of base pair changes becoming fixed in the human population over a period of just 5 or 6 million years. Darwinian natural selection would not be able to account for this, but as it turns out, the majority of base pair changes are neutral or near-neutral, and could become fixed through a process of genetic drift. At one point, I sued to be very skeptical of the possibility of fixation occurring so rapidly. See my posts here: http://www.uncommondescent.com/intellig ... lles-heel/ and http://www.uncommondescent.com/intellig ... -fixation/. As I sifted through the arguments, I was forced to change my mind, and I finally concluded that it could have happened, as I acknowledged here: http://www.uncommondescent.com/intellig ... -im-wrong/.

      Of course, that does not address the vital question as to whether the key differences between humans and chimps could have arisen via an unguided process, and on this point, my answer would be in the negative. The changes in the human brain alone, over the past few million years, have been quite extraordinary.


      (Comment #81 here:

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/human-and-chimp-dna-they-really-are-about-98-similar/)

      Delete
    3. He's just a little bit confused when he says that "Darwinian natural selection would not be able to account" for this order of fixed divergence, whereas (nearly) neutral evolution could. The whole point is that even neutral evolution by itself could achieve that much, and in fact most of the differences at the genomic level between humans and chimps are as neutral as matters, and have been fixed by drift.

      But it was courageous to debunk Tomkins -- or rather to make an effort to realise that what other people had been telling him about Tomkins for a long time was true -- and to share that realisation with the UDite. Doug Axe deserves to be next on Vincent Torley's "debunk 'em" list (if his courage lasts him longer).

      Delete
    4. Of course, some of the regular wingnuts over there are not impressed by the evidence. Here's one alternative hypothesis for I don't know what, proposed by Mapou... spoiler: It's priceless!

      My interpretation is that the first humans were hermaphrodites and could self reproduce. Then Yahweh decided that this was not a good idea because the Adam were lonely even after spending a long time classifying all the animals that existed at the time. So he changed them and separated them into two groups, men and women. It is not farfetched to suppose that, in the beginning, the Adam were designed to procreate via egg laying. After all, this is not unheard of among mammals. If you are Yahweh and you have great genetic engineering resources at your disposition, this is perfectly plausible.

      Delete
    5. Monotremes are hermaphroditic, right? But it was decent of those Yahweh guys to change their mind about sex before the Adam started laying eggs as originally designed.

      I don't know who designed Mapou, but they didn't do a good job.

      Delete
  9. "Many of them are Young Earth Creationists who seriously think that the universe was created pretty much as it is only 6000 years ago. While it's true that every ID proponent is a creationist (i.e believes in the existence of a supernatural creator) there are some versions of creationism that are more irrational than others"

    I agree with you on this Larry.

    However, does this belief (or no belief at all on the age of the earth) whether true or not doesn't necessarily undermine the ID inference, does it, it in your view?
    Even Paul Nelson turned out to be a YEC, would this make his argument for ID inference dismissible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If intelligent design wants to include YECs who believe in a 6000 year old Earth where all species were created within a few days, then that's fine by me. However, if Young Earth Creationism is compatible with "intelligent design theory" then ID can't be science by any stretch of the imagination.

      There's another problem. Whenever we discuss science with an ID proponent we have to be aware of the fact that they may be a YEC. That means it's pointless to talk about the fossil record and common descent because they don't believe either of those things.

      I don't understand how a YEC can participate in a discussion about the Cambrian explosion or Darwin's Doubt since they don't believe that the Earth is 500 million years old or that these animals arose within 5-40 million years.

      I don't see YECs who are intelligent design proponents arguing with Stephen Meyer or Michael Behe. Why?

      Even Paul Nelson turned out to be a YEC, would this make his argument for ID inference dismissible?

      No, but when he quotes the Cambrian explosion and Meyer's book as evidence that evolution is wrong I have little respect for him since he doesn't believe in the Cambrian explosion. When he quibbles about the interpretation of phylogenetic trees, I have little respect for him since he doesn't believe in common descent. It doesn't matter to him which tree is correct because he will never accept any of them.

      Delete
    2. Larry are you aware that Jonathan McLatchie disputes common descent? I think Michael Behe might be the only ID proponent that I'm aware of who isn't a complete nut-job.

      Delete
    3. ... not counting those "ID proponents" who are Old Earth Creationists. The matter is further confused by the readiness of YECs and OECs to label all their arguments "Intelligent Design" arguments. Even arguments that don't allow a single pair of species to have common ancestors.

      Folks with these views used to be proud of calling themselves creationists. Even the ones who spent time arguing with evolutionary biologists called themselves "scientific creationists".

      As you know, in the U.S. they have discovered that creationists are in bad odor with a large part of the public, in particular many of the people that they are trying to convince. And in even worse odor with federal courts that decide cases on what may be taught in public schools.

      So they have switched to labeling themselves "ID proponents", without actually changing their arguments. The result is that to find actual ID arguments you have to clear away all the arguments that dispute common ancestry.

      Lately the YECs and OECs have taken to complaining that they are being unfairly labeled "creationists". The term is their own, and they used to be proud of it. Now they are running from it, and relabeling all their arguments.

      Delete
    4. Creospeak-English translator:

      ID proponent -> creationist

      ID proponent with no informed opinion about the age of the Earth -> young Earth creationist

      ID proponent who accepts common descent as long as evolution is not unguided -> old Earth creationist

      ID proponent who accepts common descent but has no opinion about the age of the Earth -> bloody liar

      Delete
    5. The problem that ID creationists (aka "IDiots") suffer is they fail to comprehend that, if there are creationists who are not IDiots, this nonetheless does not mean that IDiots are not creationists. The grasp of logic required to understand is quite rudimentary, but still seems to exceed that possessed by most IDiots.

      Delete
    6. Michael Denton doesn't dispute common descent either. There are of course other IDiots who refuse to say, just as Paul Nelson refuses to explain his opinions on the age of the earth.

      Delete
    7. Can you think of any other area in which scientists are so reluctant to voice their opinions on matters of such central importance to a hypothesis, and go to such lengths to avoid open discussion of their differing views? I can't. That seems quite antithetical to the scientific process.

      Delete
    8. Larry wrote:

      "No, but when he [that's Paul Nelson] quotes the Cambrian explosion and Meyer's book as evidence that evolution is wrong I have little respect for him since he doesn't believe in the Cambrian explosion."

      Parallel situation:

      "When that economist discusses Marxist interpretations of the labor market, I can't take him seriously, because I know he favors Keynesian theory. I'll only get my Marxist theory from real Marxists."

      Really?

      Liberal education -- not just in natural science, but in ANY field -- would be flat out impossible if your attitude were widespread, Larry. In my years working with Leigh Van Valen (1985-1997 as a PhD student, 1997 to his death, in 2010, as a friend) I heard Leigh give precise and nuanced analyses of data from a variety of perspectives: his own (always sui generis); on other mornings, that of an orthodox neo-Darwinian; on other mornings, that of a structuralist. He was nimble and liked playing with multiple competing theories for the sake of insights that he might gain.

      I ask my MA students to learn the skill of empathetic understanding of opposing viewpoints -- and NOT to demand orthodoxy or Statements of Belief before they engage in dialogue.

      The fact is, the ID virus has already reverse transcribed its RNA into your genome, and you can no more quit this debate than fly to the moon. ;-)

      Delete
    9. Paul Nelson wrote: Though creationist scientists have suggested some evidences for a recent cosmos, none are widely accepted as true.

      Correction: remove "widely." There is no evidence for a "recent cosmos." None. Zilch.

      For the sake of argument, I predict that Paul Nelson will agree to that point because he is accepting of other "viewpoints." However, the models of reality developed by physics and geology are not exactly the same as preferring rice over pasta; one of these two is not an opinion.

      Sorry, Paul, the word of the day is duplicity. The word for tomorrow is disingenuous.

      For example, Paul, the formation of marble as a result of a high-temperature, high-pressure metamorphic process over millions of years versus sedimentary deposition during a hypothetical flood several thousand years ago is simply not up for debate. That case is closed. There is no debate. It's fact versus fiction.

      "Intelligent Design" creationism is entirely fiction. The historical and political development of the "ID movement" has been well-documented by Barbara Forrest and others. It's not up for debate. There is no "design filter." That's totally made up. There are no metrics of design. There is no formula nor calculation for "functional complex specified information," which in itself is a meaningless, non-rigorously collection of nonsense terms. All of the debating, argument switching, viewpoint accommodating in the world won't change these facts.

      I wouldn't be too proud, Paul, that "ID creationism" is still being "debated" because Noah's Flood is still being "debated" in much the same way Predator vs Alien is being debated. (Alien, BTW, it's the perfect organism.)

      Finally, I laugh out loud with derision at Paul's implication of some kind of noble purity to creationist debate given the Discovery Institute's long, documented and continued history of deliberately misrepresenting science and scientists in what Charles Marshall very generously described as a "systematic failure of scholarship." It's why we laugh at creationists on the one hand, but, unfortunately, have to do real work to keep it out of our science classrooms. Pity, really, when one thinks about the positive influence scholars like Nelson could have had on science education. What a waste of an opportunity.

      Delete
    10. That's what you call a parallel situation? The issue is that you can't believe the earth is 6000 years old and then pretend that an event that happened 500-550 million years ago is a valid attack on evolution.

      Do you also teach dishonesty to your MA students?

      Delete
    11. Dazz,

      Not only that. The only reason the Cambrian "explosion" is called a "sudden" appearance (and an "explosion"), is because such appearance is fast relative of the billions of years before it where there was no such kinds of fossils. So to call that a problem for evolution requires Paul to acknowledge that there was such a thing as billions of years before the Cambrian explosion.

      Then he would have to realize that the millions of years that the "explosion" took to "explode" are not exactly "sudden," and then realize that the Cambrian as a problem for evolution is nothing but an error in realizing that relative terms, such as "sudden," for the Cambrian "explosion," are not exactly indicative of magic happening. But that's just an aside. The issue is all that Paul would have to accept before even pretending that evolution is in trouble out of something he entirely rejects (which is pretty much all of science).

      Delete
    12. Paul Nelson, the lying liar, lies:

      I ask my MA students to learn the skill of empathetic understanding of opposing viewpoints -- and NOT to demand orthodoxy or Statements of Belief before they engage in dialogue.

      Oh, really? Would that be the MA students you "teach" in your capacity as an adjunct professor at Biola "University"? An institution that requires all students and staff to agree to the following "doctrinal statement"?

      https://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement

      So what are you lying about, Paul? Are you lying to us about what you "teach" your "students"? Or are you lying to your employer when you say you agree to its Doctrinal Statement? Can't have it both ways.

      Delete
  10. Larry

    i have not a informed opinion about the age of the earth. I tend to favor a literal interpretation of the bible of a young earth. But i am open to change my mind depending on a further and more indepth investigation. There are arguments that favor a old earth , and arguments that favor a young earth.

    i have listed them here :

    Arguments for a old earth :

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t317-old-earth-evidence

    Arguments for a young earth:

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2217-young-earth-evidence

    all these argument would have to be compared , and weight against each other. Not a easy task.

    I see no reason why the fossil record, and for instance the Cambrian explosion, cannot be reconciled with a young earth interpretation. Most phyla do appear suddenly and abrupt, fully formed, i have yet to see someone provide a compelling argument why they required 5 or 10 million years to form. That would require also the finding of millions of transitional forms. They don't exist. Why should the fossil record not evidence Noah's flood ?

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1635-evidence-of-noah-s-flood?highlight=noahs+flood

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The depth of ignorance displayed here seems not to require a reply. Let this stand in for one.

      Delete
    2. I would try and help you out ElShamah777, but given your track record, rather than trying to understand my explanations, you would come back with loads and loads of quotations from your "library." So I'll leave you to your ignorance and self-inflicted incompetence.

      Delete
  11. ID thinkers do indeed do science.
    No different is YEC. We do science, in our criticisms of the other side WJICH is about 80% of what yEC does. the other 20% assumes basic boundaries of conclusions based on the witness of Genesis.

    ID/YEC are the ones judging old man evolution and ideas of a creator being seen in natures evidence. The opposition does not judge ID/YEC on if its serious.
    ID/YEC is judging whats serious. tHus the revolution, the fame, the threat.

    All serious thinkers on these matters, if faithful to methodology which all claim to be, ARE THEN doing science as much as anyone.
    It doesn't matter about degrees gained in the late teens and early twenties. This is for grownups whio are smart enough and attentive.
    Most opponents (it strongly seems), evolutionists, judge all ID/YEC as not doing science in doing origin issues. Easily the look profile is invoked for all outlaws .
    ID/YEC does not allow our status to be judged by the opposition whether liberal or conservative.
    ID/YEC should be grateful for Professor Moran' liberal inclusion of some iD thinkers doing science. Why not more?
    If evolutionists want to be credible in discrediting YEC and others from the few iD thinkers rightly doing science then first they must clean their own house.
    Accept iD thinkers are doing science and accept, nay demand, inclusion in science class on these subjects in public institutions.


    ReplyDelete
  12. The problem is a basic one in the area of logic. A scientific falsifiable hypothesis is judged on the range and accuracy of its predictions. But those predictions that relate back to the premises are those that come as necessary logical consequences of the premises.

    The problem with ID is that the naked premise of design cannot generate any necessary logical consequences. And to add any additional premises to the hypothesis would require some knowledge about what might constrain the designer to produce something in particular or not to produce something else in particular.

    Since ID claims to be designer agnostic, there is no place to obtain and verify those additional premises.

    So the premise neither demands or forbids anything through necessity As such, there are no observations we might make in nature that would confirm or refute the premise of design.

    ID is unfalsifiable as it makes no predictions in particular about nature.

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  13. It's fun, informative, and challenging to debate real science with knowledgeable, informed members of the ID community.

    I'm kinda thinking it would be more fun, informative and challenging to debate real science with real scientists. And it would be a lot easier to find real scientists than knowledgeable, informed members of the ID community.

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    Replies
    1. Not that I think this is Larry's intended point, but if any members of the ID community are knowledgeable and informed, that rules out ignorance as an explanation for their continued advocacy of such a blatantly false idea. And the alternative explanations are hardly less derogatory.

      Delete
    2. While i have often stated I think they are being deliberately dishonest, some part of me can't help but think being forced to lie so much should eventually cause them to reconsider their beliefs. So lately I've come to think they are actually mostly insane. As in suffering some peculiar mental health deficiency in the form of extreme (but involuntary) conformation bias and overactive mental defense mechanisms.

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    3. Mikkel says: "So lately I've come to think they are actually mostly insane. As in suffering some peculiar mental health deficiency in the form of extreme (but involuntary) conformation bias and overactive mental defense mechanisms."

      Theory I have predicts the control-freak behavior inherent to any intelligence system is being well demonstrated by all sides, including yours. But times like these makes me proud to be a control-freak too. So at least try to behave yourself.

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    4. Gee Gee, unsurprisingly, doesn't understand what "prediction" means. Hint, if it was already known, then it's no prediction, idiot

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    5. Although it is possible for multiple lines of evidence (or theory) to make similar predictions, no other theory is able to make that and other scientifically important predictions. Study at least the introduction:

      https://sites.google.com/site/theoryofid/home/TheoryOfIntelligentDesign.pdf

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    6. And even after being explained to you, you still don't get it. Just like Postardo. Pathetic

      Relativity predicted Black Holes before we even knew they existed, Evolution predicted the Tiktaalik (or some similar form of transitional fossil between fish and tetrapods) may be found at at very precise site.

      Nothing follows from your nonsense to begin with, so you have no predictions

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    7. I have had interesting debates with a relative who was actually studying this whole old-earth, evolution business. He learned a lot (biology wasn't his field) and sometimes I had to go learn things to answer his questions. He has settled on an old-earth, guided evolution model that I disagree with, but is probably impossible to actually disprove.

      So yes, I think debating this issue with people who really want to learn can be fun and interesting. Debating many of the trolls here is just a waste of time. Though sometimes at least as much fun as wasting my time playing solitaire on the computer.

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    8. Debating this issue with hopeless know-it-all's who don't think they need to learn can be fun and interesting too.

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    9. But I have to add that it is sometimes dreadful being stuck in the middle of a battle where on one side UD and other ID entities must focus on issues like the moral authority of the Bible. For science sake I had to write them off as the BioLogos of ID so that none have to expect anything of scientific importance from them. They are free to talk religion and metaphors like "guided" as opposed to "unguided" all they want, but it's in a way sad I had to resort to that. Comments I post there never appear on the screen. Perhaps best I stay away from where I do not feel welcomed. The word back from the ID journal is it's not for publishing something like what I have and I should write a book (or maybe more like go away and join Edgar Postrado).

      On the other side almost every science agency in the world decreed that ID is not science and that's that and all must not ever discuss it or be punished. In a forum like this it's usually endless defamatory insults that Larry helps condone. That hurts, but I am still sometimes able to find humor in what some in this forum feel obliged to teach me, because according to stereotypes ID advocates are supposed to be ignorant IDiots who need to do all the learning.

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  14. Sometimes a person is judged by the company he keeps.
    I’ve heard people judge ‘evolutionists’ because of something some atheist dictator did.
    It seems that people will assume the social club that accepts an idea represents the idea.
    Much of advertising is based on this.

    The problem for I.D. is that there isn’t a clear definition for either intelligence or design. The attempts to make a ‘design inference’ are interesting, but filled with problems- some of which may be insurmountable. (If there is ‘good design’ and ‘bad design’- and such exists in things we know to be designed- then how can one tell if something is designed or not?)
    Currently there is no scientific method to determine if something was designed or not, so the question isn’t a scientific one.

    The problem for abiogenesis is that it has yet to be demonstrated.
    Another problem is the hypothesis is unfalsifiable.
    Unfalsifiable hypothesis are often believed completely and unquestioningly by those holding them dear. It seems this is often associated with the undesirability of the perceived options.

    In this case it would be possible to prove life could come from non-life (abiogenesis), but the hypothesis could never be falsified (there will always be other ideas to test).
    That seems backwards since usually it is the ‘religious’ tenet that is unfalsifiable and the ‘scientific’ one that is falsifiable.

    What an unusual situation.

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    Replies
    1. The problem for abiogenesis is that it has yet to be demonstrated.
      Another problem is the hypothesis is unfalsifiable.


      How can it not be falsifiable? The only alternative is if always life existed from the very first moment of the universe's existence (assuming the universe did have such a moment). Otherwise, life can only have arisen from a situation in which life did not previously exist, and that is called "abiogenesis."

      What may be confusing you is that the claim that life arose thru some magical supernatural process beyond human comprehension cannot be falsified. Which is true, as far as it goes. But the same goes for every other scientific idea. It's always possible to suggest that a natural phenomenon actually relied on some "supernatural" process currently beyond our understanding, but actually supporting that claim is considerably more different. No one has yet succeeded.

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    2. The problem for abiogenesis is that it has yet to be demonstrated. Another problem is the hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

      One can say the same of many other things. Let me discuss two of these other things:

      - Life elsewhere in the universe: We can't rule it out, so unfalsifiable. And it has yet to be demonstrated. However, it requires nothing beyond established science to take place, and thus it makes sense to have scientific discussions about ways that it may be found.

      - Feeding the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes: Can't be conclusively falsified, because we weren't there. Can't be conclusively (scientifically) demonstrated for the same reason. However, it would require overturning a considerable amount of established science for this to have taken place, so it makes no sense to waste time on a scientific discussion of it.

      Abiogenesis: Requires nothing beyond established science to take place. So it makes sense to have scientific discussions about ways it could have happened.

      The principle behind abiogenesis is very reminiscent of the state of things in the early 19th century, when it was thought that organic chemistry fundamentally differed from inorganic chemistry, and that organic chemistry required some sort of "vital force" that could only occur within living things. This was proved wrong in 1828 by Friedrich Wohler when he synthesized urea.

      Nothing in science requires some "vital force" that comes only from life in order to produce life, so it seems to me a mistake to rely on the principle of abiogenesis.

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    3. You seem to be mistaking phenomena with the explanations about those phenomena. Science is about the second. When we are confronted with a phenomenon, we don't question whether such phenomenon is falsifiable. The phenomenon is right there. What science is about is explaining the phenomenon, or explaining how the phenomenon works. For example, we could say that gravitation is unfalsifiable, after all, it's right there. But that doesn't mean anything about whether hypotheses about gravitation are scientific or not. The focus in science would be on whether the models about gravitation are falsifiable, not whether gravitation is right there.

      For abiogenesis, the data seems extremely convincing that there was no life in our planet for quite a while. It therefore makes sense that life started in this planet at some point. That there was a phenomenon of abiogenesis. Such thing might seem "unfalsifiable." (Unless someone found that life has always existed, or that it is part and parcel with the universe.) So is abiogenesis science? The phenomenon itself, maybe not, the explanations as to how it happened sure. Again, we should not mistake phenomena with our explanations about the phenomena.

      However, I don't question whether abiogenesis was/is natural or unnatural because the unnatural thing is but fantasy. But I do question how it happened. The figuring out how it happened makes it science. The hypotheses about how it happened are falsifiable. That it did happen maybe not.

      Are hypotheses about gods or "intelligent designers" science? Sometimes they are. Pretty dumb science, since they refer to phenomena that doesn't seem to be there, and that look so much like fantasies that it's hard to even get started. In this case it's the phenomenon itself that seems to be missing from the picture (the gods). So how would we test hypotheses about phenomena that might not even be there? (Plus other problems as explained by other bloggers above.)

      Anyway, maybe this distinction between phenomena and our models about the phenomena helps.

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    4. Hi Photosynthesis
      What do you think are the conditions that make a scientific explanation or mechanism unfalsifiable?

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    5. I would say the question is, should we stop working on hypothesis just because there's currently no way to test them?
      If a hypothesis dwells in the details, is plausible, with explanatory power, what's wrong with that and why shouldn't it be considered scientific?

      Einstein thought black holes would never be observed. Was that unscientific until we had the technology to collect the evidence?

      Unfalsifiability has more to do with lack of detail/explanatory power or appeal to "unknown" forces, which is exactly what IDists do. They refuse to address the process,the when, how, what... was designed and created. That way they can claim that bad design is not evidence against design, that the nature of the designer doesn't matter... the more vague the claim, the more difficult (or impossible) it is to put it to the test.

      IDists can always claim "that's the way the designer did it", they can claim that evidence for common descent is actually evidence for common design instead, etc, etc... Just like horoscopes and their vague predictions, it always works, whenever something happens, the horoscope seems to have predicted it

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    6. "I would say the question is, should we stop working on hypothesis just because there's currently no way to test them?
      If a hypothesis dwells in the details, is plausible, with explanatory power, what's wrong with that and why shouldn't it be considered scientific?"

      Yes, it certainly can be considered scientific. If you are using the scientific method your hypothesis is at step # 3.

      Ask a Question
      Do Background Research
      Construct a Hypothesis
      Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
      Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
      Communicate Your Results

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    7. The phenomena of interest is how a life begins and the observation is ‘biogenesis’- each life comes from a pre-existing life.
      To falsify ‘biogenesis’ one could demonstrate abiogenesis.

      ‘Abiogenesis’ is the unfalsifiable claim that life arose in a manner other than what 100% of the observations of a life beginning indicate. The argument about ‘how else?’ boils down to an argument from ignorance and personal incredulity.
      What makes abiogenesis scientific is that it creates testable hypothesis.
      The only way to test biogenesis is to try to falsify it by demonstrating ‘abiogenesis’.

      We don’t really have a complete definition for ‘life’, so this makes the situation all the more perplexing.

      “Was it designed?” is a question that can’t be answered scientifically at this point as far as I know. It seems a reasonable question to ask, but it is outside of science until there is some sort of objective test for design.

      The situation with abiogenesis might be more akin to physics around 1900.
      It used to be called ‘magic’. Now we call it ‘entanglement’.

      My personal incredulity is not a good measure for truth.

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    8. Hi Jack
      “Was it designed?” is a question that can’t be answered scientifically at this point as far as I know. It seems a reasonable question to ask, but it is outside of science until there is some sort of objective test for design"

      Or was it an undirected process?

      These are hypothesis that have been stuck at step 3 of the scientific method.

      Are there other observations that can get to step 6 and give us better insight into this theory then just arguing about ideas that we cannot test?

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    9. Or was it an undirected process?

      These are hypothesis that have been stuck at step 3 of the scientific method.


      No, "undirected" doesn't get anything stuck because it doesn't add anything to the hypothesis.
      Just like undirected electromagnetism is not stuck either, or unfarted evolution...

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    10. Hi Bill,
      I don't think that there's a single and simple recipe to tell what makes a scientific explanation or proposed mechanism falsifiable (or unfalsifiable). I have been surprised more than once of how ingenious scientists can be at reformulating stuff in ways that at least some predictions from a proposal can be tested and thus falsified.

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    11. Hi Photosynthesis
      If I correctly understand what you are saying...if you can find a way to test it you can then falsify it. Sometimes theories seem unfalsifiable but then a creative cleaver way to test changes it to a falsifiable theory.

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    12. Bill,
      Seems so. But you have to be careful that the test is really about what you think, or propose it to be about, etc, etc, etc. Just like there's ingenuous scientists who find elegant ways to test a hypothesis, there's those who fool themselves because they did not think of some other solution, something else that might be between the test and their idea, or came up with some rather convoluted tests, and a huge etc.

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    13. Bill-
      If you are asking if evolution is directed to some goal, I’m not sure that could be adjudicated.
      There are elephants. Was evolution directed in some unspecified manner at some unstated time to produce that result?
      I have no idea how to adjudicate that question in an objective manner.

      If you gave a specific goal and a specific method of attaining the goal, then we could ask if evolution is using that specific method of direction to achieve the specified goal in a manner we can understand and deem appropriate.

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    14. Hi Jack
      It appears to me that both competing hypothesis are very difficult to test and therefore not conducive to using the scientific method. If I understand Photosynthesis definition of unfalsifiable correctly then both theories currently stall at step 3 of the scientific method and therefore I would say the proper scientific answer is we don't know. Are there biochemical drivers of evolution we can test? Is being stuck at step 3 a piece of what Larry calls bad science?

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    15. Is being stuck at step 3 a piece of what Larry calls bad science?

      I'll say it again. You can stick "undirected" before any theory. That doesn't mean every theory is bad science. "Undirected" doesn't add anything to any theory if you don't clarify what "directed" means. And simply assuming there might be some unknown, unexplained force tinkering with the laws of nature fails the parsimony principle and is not falsifiable.

      So even if "undirected" is unscientific, the theory itself is not.

      If you have a theory for "directed" evolution, go ahead and present it. It certainly looks to me like nobody is guiding the process, unless the director is incredibly incompetent considering that the vast majority of species have gone extinct, and your willing to accept that this "director" produces terrible mutations in some babies for his own amusement

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    16. If you are asking if evolution is directed to some goal, I’m not sure that could be adjudicated.
      There are elephants. Was evolution directed in some unspecified manner at some unstated time to produce that result?
      I have no idea how to adjudicate that question in an objective manner.


      I'd say that Lenski's long-term evolution study has shown pretty convincingly that undirected, random processes can lead to novel adaptations. And I don't see how that differs from saying that evolution is not directed,

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    17. Bill-
      The hypothesis of abiogenesis gives us testable hypothesis. Perhaps life started with a spark in a soup, for example. Maybe life started in the volcanic vents under the sea. Maybe life started from something that came in by meteor.
      There are endless ideas available to test, which makes it unfalsifiable, but very good science.

      I don’t know how life first started. I’m more familiar with physics than biology, so the idea that current experimental evidence seems to produce a paradox doesn’t bother me so much. Based on the experience from physics, I wouldn’t want to venture a guess how the thing actually resolves. I would not have come up with general relativity or quantum mechanics, but those are the current solutions to the apparent paradoxical results from experiments in physics.

      I don’t know how the ‘life from life’ paradox resolves. It might be that someone figures out how to turn non-life into life (abiogenesis). That would be spectacular.
      Maybe the problem is in our misunderstanding about what ‘life’ is. Relativity resolved a paradox by showing us how completely wrong we are about space and time, for example.

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  15. Hi Judmarc
    Not sure what you mean by this statement.

    Nothing in science requires some "vital force" that comes only from life in order to produce life, so it seems to me a mistake to rely on the principle of abiogenesis.

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    1. Nothing in science requires some "vital force" that comes only from life in order to produce life, so it seems to me a mistake to rely on the principle of abiogenesis.

      Hi Bill. What I meant is this: the "principle of abiogenesis" is exactly as scientific as the principle that "everything happens in threes." In other words, there's no science at all in support of this supposed principle that life can only come from life. There's no known reason in biology or chemistry to prohibit the occurrence of self-replicating molecules (heck, growing crystals might meet that criterion) that go through various changes in chemistry and eventually, over millions or billions of years, take on the characteristics of very primitive life. No "vital force" that can only be conferred by living matter has ever been found to be necessary. In fact, ever since Wohler's synthesis, the indications have all been to the contrary. So relying on a "principle" that is not derived from any science would I think be a mistake.

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    2. I think you mean biogenesis. If so it makes sense.

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    3. Judmarc wrote :

      There's no known reason in biology or chemistry to prohibit the occurrence of self-replicating molecules

      There is no reason why there should not be flying teapots on neptun.

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2024-the-rna-world-and-the-origins-of-life

      In order a molecule to be a self replicator , it has to be a homopolymer, of which the backbone must have the same repetitive units; they must be identical. On the prebiotic world, the generation of a homopolymer was however impossible.

      Steven A. Benner, Ph.D. Chemistry, Harvard, prominent origin-of-life researcher and creator of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, was posted on Huffington Post on December 6, 2013. In it he said,

      "We have failed in any continuous way to provide a recipe that gets from the simple molecules that we know were present on early Earth to RNA."

      That lead Leslie Orgel to say :

      It would take a miracle if a strand of RNA ever appeared on the primitive Earth.

      (Dover, 1999, p. 218).

      I would have thought it relevant to point out for biologists in general that not one self-replicating RNA has emerged to date from quadrillions (1024) of artificially synthesized, random RNA sequences

      "Unless the molecule can literally copy itself," Joyce and Orgel note, "that is, act simultaneously as both template and catalyst, it must encounter another copy of itself that it can use as a template." Copying any given RNA in its vicinity will lead to an error catastrophe, as the population of RNAs will decay into a collection of random sequences. But to find another copy of itself, the self-replicating RNA would need (Joyce and Orgel calculate) a library of RNA that "far exceeds the mass of the earth."18

      In the face of these difficulties, they advise, one must reject

      the myth of a self-replicating RNA molecule that arose de novo from a soup of random polynucleotides. Not only is such a notion unrealistic in light of our current understanding of prebiotic chemistry, but it should strain the credulity of even an optimist's view of RNA's catalytic potential. If you doubt this, ask yourself whether you believe that a replicase ribozyme would arise in a solution containing nucleoside 5'-diphosphates and polynucleotide phosphorylase!


      G. F. Joyce, L. E. Orgel, "Prospects for Understanding the Origin of the RNA World," In the RNA World, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York, 1993, p. 13.

      This discussion… has, in a sense, focused on a straw man: the myth of a self-replicating RNA molecule that arose de novo from a soup of random polynucleotides. Not only is such a notion unrealistic in light of our current understanding of prebiotic chemistry, but it would strain the credulity of even an optimist's view of RNA's catalytic potential



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    4. I agree wholeheartedly with that quote by Joyce. Which means you're quoting it in the interest of arguing against any theory on the origin of life, which makes your use of that quote an quotemine. Which means you are being dishonest.

      That's another way to say you are a liar. A lying liar that lies for your religion. You don't care about truth, you only care about your religion and you care so much about it that you allow yourself to lie on it's behalf.

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    5. Interestingly it's Orgel's 2nd rule which states:
      "Evolution is cleverer than you are".

      Also interesting to note that El quotes some one in 2013, and some one else 'responds' to this 2013 quote with a 1993 quote. Uh huh...

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    6. I think you mean biogenesis. If so it makes sense.

      Thanks Bill. Yes, you're correct.

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    7. Judmarc wrote :

      "There's no known reason in biology or chemistry to prohibit the occurrence of self-replicating molecules...."

      There is no reason why there should not be flying teapots on Neptune.


      Actually there are quite good reasons why there should not be flying teapots on Neptune.

      (You've managed to bowdlerize the "Russell's teapot" argument, which is not appropriate in the context you make it. The argument is that it is nearly impossible to prove that some things contrary to all known science do not occur. It is not appropriate to make the argument in the context of doubting that something *congruent* with all known science has occurred. If you don't have the ability to logically distinguish between the two, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker I wouldn't be at all surprised.)

      There is, however, no good reason why there should not be a non-flying crackpot sitting in your chair typing your responses.

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    8. ElShamah777,

      So you think that the only one potential self-replicator is RNA? That people discussing that single one, at times when few experiments had been done on it, is sufficient to rule out not just RNA, but the possibility for any potential self-replicating molecule? That quoting a bunch of opinions on RNA and the problems for it to be the first self replicator refutes that there's nothing in chemistry and physics that would prohibit life to start naturally? Really?

      But all those ignorant assumptions of yours are not enough to judge your knowledge as a whole, right?

      OK, let's pretend that you might have a lot of "knowledge." The news is, you should actually think. But actually, actually, actually think. When your creationist propaganda breaks, you should correct your ideas and learn. Otherwise you leave little doubt that you're just too much of an idiot.

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    9. ElShamah777,
      Please don't paste more of your crap. No amount of crap will disguise the many examples of ignorance and of mistaken assumptions that you have posted. So, instead, try and understand our comments and leave it there.

      Delete
    10. Rumraket wrote:

      Which means you're quoting it in the interest of arguing against any theory on the origin of life, which makes your use of that quote an quotemine.

      First of all, i did not quote Orgel out of context.

      Second: a quote mine is not automatically a lie.

      Third : I did not cite only Orgel, but other sources as well. Its a common practice of yours and others to attack what you think there is margin to do so, and conveniently ignore to address or to acknowledge further arguments made, which cannot be refuted. In context of the fact that the chance of a RNA molecule being extremely remote to self replicate, there is a huge amount of other reasons why abiogenesis is extremely unlikely to happen. To cite all reasons would fill a whole library.

      To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium. — Lynn Margulis

      The total lack of any kind of experimental evidence leading even to re-creation of life; not to mention spontaneous emergence of life… is the most humiliating embracement to the evolutionists and the whole so-called “scientific establishment” around it…

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    11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    13. ElShamah777 (Angelo Grasso) is continuing to spam my blog with stuff from his website. I have been quite tolerant up until now but this has to stop.

      I don't mind if commenters link to relevant material but Angelo Grasso is using my blog to advertise his own website in order to drive traffic and increase revenue and his own personal glory.

      He is welcome to contribute to any intelligent discussion on this blog but he can no longer use it to advertise his own website.

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    14. "First of all, i did not quote Orgel out of context."

      Yes you did. The purpose of the erection of that quote is to argue that a natural orgin of life is impossible. That quote does not support that conclusion. As such, given what you are trying to conclude with the support of that quote, you are taking it away from it's intended meaning. That makes it a quotemine.

      "Second: a quote mine is not automatically a lie. "

      No, you're right. I suppose you could just be too stupid and/or uneducated to understand the context and implications of the quote.

      "Third : I did not cite only Orgel, but other sources as well."

      All of which are quotemines too.

      "Its a common practice of yours and others to attack what you think there is margin to do so, and conveniently ignore to address or to acknowledge further arguments made, which cannot be refuted."

      All argument's you've ever made have been refuted, you're just too stupid to understand what you quote and what is written in response.

      "In context of the fact that the chance of a RNA molecule being extremely remote to self replicate, there is a huge amount of other reasons why abiogenesis is extremely unlikely to happen. To cite all reasons would fill a whole library."

      Maybe life didn't start with self-replicating RNA? Notice how with this single question, I've rendered pretty much 90% of your "library" quotemines irrelevant. All you can do now is ask "then how did it start", I can respond "I don't know, there are ideas" and then you can just declare you don't believe them (you aren't required to, the point is you can't exclude a natural origin of life simply because it is unlikely that self-replicating RNA spontaneously emerges in prebiotic soup) but intead believe a supernatural being made life.

      So your entire case becomes a giant argument from ignorance. You like to pretend you have a case against a natural origin of life, instead what you have are reasons to reject prebiotic soup-origins of RNA that self-replicates. That is it. You want to use these reasons to argue that every and all scenarios for the origin of life are impossible. But how do you know? You don't. So in your desperation to reach a certain conclusion, you jump the gun and declare the origin of life impossible.

      It gets even worse, because you have no idea how likely the competing option you want to reach is. You blather about the improbabilities of making proteins and RNA molecules of certain length, yet you have zero idea what the probability that a supernatural being would create life is. Nothing you write leads to your conclusion, it's logical fallacies upon logical fallacies all the way down.

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    16. Larry

      1. I don't earn anything with my virtual library
      2. Would you care about truth, you would have only deleted the link to my forum, but left the relevant information about why abiogenesis is a failed hypothesis.
      3. All i am concerned with, is to point to a creator/designer as the best explanation for our existence, and that for HIS glory, not mine.

      Probably you were projecting, since when someone rejects God, all venture becomes egocentric.....

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    17. ElShamah said:

      "The total lack of any kind of experimental evidence leading even to re-creation of life; not to mention spontaneous emergence of life… is the most humiliating embracement to the evolutionists and the whole so-called “scientific establishment” around it…"

      First, I don't agree that there's a total lack of experimental evidence for the non-'God-did-it' origin of life. 'God-did-it' is what you're pushing of course and you're pushing a particular, so-called 'God'. Second, "re-creation" of life is not necessarily possible nor required in order to understand and explain how life came about or could have come about without being 'specially created' or 'spoken' into existence by your chosen, so-called 'God' or any other so-called 'God'. And you do realize, don't you, that scientists aren't done looking for evidence and explanations of the origin of life, evolution, etc.? A great deal of progress has been made in discovering and explaining things that pertain to the OOL, evolution, etc., and many more things will be discovered and explained as time goes on. If you creationists insist that "re-creation" of life is necessary to prove how life originated, then shouldn't you be proving your beliefs and claims by re-creating life in the same way that your chosen, so-called 'God' allegedly did it, or by getting your so-called 'God' to create life again while we all watch?

      Speaking of progress, just 112 years ago the Wright brothers accomplished the first powered, controlled, sustained flight in a heavier-than-air machine with a pilot aboard. There have been some advancements in flight since then, to put it mildly, and before long a human (or two or three) will step foot on Mars. Progress of a similar scale has been made in biological, geological, paleontological, and other fields of science. A hundred years from now understanding, recreating, and explaining the OOL may be old news, like the Wright brothers flight is now.

      You 'God' pushers obviously think that if science can't completely answer every imaginable question RIGHT NOW, then your imaginary 'God' MUST be believed in (and worshiped forever) as THE ONE AND ONLY answer and that scientists should stop looking for other answers because it's futile. 'God' pushers have always thought that way and egocentrically demanded (and still do) that everyone else think the same way, but science is here to stay so you might as well get used to seeing the 'gaps' that you squeeze your so-called 'God' into dwindle and disappear.

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    18. egocentric? says who believes the entire universe was made for him and his "kind". Hilarious

      Delete
    19. ElShamah said:

      "In other words, the large amount of genetic information governing the immune system could not have accumulated in a slow, evolutionary sense.a Obviously, for each organism to have survived, all this information must have been there from the beginning."

      Hmm, why would anything need an immune system in the "beginning"? Were there infections/diseases in the beginning? Don't you christians claim that that stuff didn't exist before 'the fall'? And if immune systems were 'there from the beginning" (i.e. created by 'God'), why does the effectiveness of immune systems vary so much from species to species and individual to individual? If everything, including immune systems, has been degrading since 'the fall', why were there a lot fewer people alive before 'the fall' and why is anything still alive? Shouldn't everything be extinct by now?

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    20. The whole truth wrote :

      you do realize, don't you, that scientists aren't done looking for evidence and explanations of the origin of life, evolution, etc.? A great deal of progress has been made in discovering and explaining things that pertain to the OOL, evolution, etc., and many more things will be discovered and explained as time goes on.

      Nice try of naturalism of the gap argument, LOL.... We don't know yet, therefore naturalism.

      If a certain line of reasoning is not persuasive or convincing, then why do atheists not change their mind because of it? The more evolution papers are published, the less likely the scenario becomes. Some assertions have even been falsified. We should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on several subjects of biology. All discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in vague suppositions and guesswork, statements of blind faith, made up scenarios, or in a confession of ignorance. Fact is there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This lack of understanding is not just ignorance about some technical details; it is a big conceptual gap. The reach of the end of the road is evident in the matter of almost all major questions. The major questions of macro change and abiogenesis are very far from being clearly formulated, even understood, and nowhere near being solved, and for most, there is no solution at all at sight. But proponents of evolution firmly believe, one day a solution will be on sight. Istn't that a prima facie of a " evolution of the gap" argument ? We don't know yet, therefore evolution and abiogenesis ? That way, the God hypothesis remains out of the equation in the beginning, and out at the end, and never receives a serious and honest consideration. If the scientific evidence leading towards naturalism providing sactisfactory explanations, why should we not change your minds and look somewhere else ?

      http://www.evidenceunseen.com/articles/science-and-scripture/the-origin-of-life/

      CLAIM: Advocates of this view argue that naturalistic science will eventually explain all mysteries in scientific knowledge. If we allow God to fill in these gaps, eventually he will be displaced, when science explains how life originated naturally.

      RESPONSE: I have dealt with the “God of the gaps” argument in an earlier article. However, in addition to that material, we should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on this subject. For instance, biochemist Klaus Dose writes,

      More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.



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    21. In his 1999 book The Fifth Miracle, agnostic Paul Davies writes :


      When I set out to write this book, I was convinced that science was close to wrapping up the mystery of life’s origin… Having spent a year or two researching the field, I am now of the opinion that there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This gulf in understanding is not merely ignorance about certain technical details; it is a major conceptual lacuna.

      More recently in 2010, Davies explains,

      “All that can be said at this time is that the problem of life’s origin is very far from being clearly formulated, and nowhere near being solved.”

      Agnostic microbiologist Franklin Harold writes,

      Of all the unsolved mysteries remaining in science, the most consequential may be the origin of life… The origin of life is also a stubborn problem, with no solution in sight.

      We might also point out that the scientific evidence for the origin of life persuaded one of the world’s leading atheists, Antony Flew, to begin to believe in God. In his 2007 book There is a God, Flew explains,

      “The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.”

      We might ask: If this scientific evidence is not persuasive, then why did one of the world’s leading atheists change his mind because of it?

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    22. Ha, so because a theoloon thinks "a certain line of reasoning is not persuasive or convincing" everyone should give up science and embrace your retarded religion? Nice try. Do I need to tell you where you can shove your theocratic BS?

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    23. Dazz,

      first of all, and i have posted this here already, you argue from a common misconception, namely that supposedly there is a dispute between science and religion. That is simply false. There is a dispute between world views. Between naturalism, and creationism. The scientific evidence is the same for all, the difference is how we might interpret the evidence.

      Furthermore, intelligent design does not rely on a negative, is therefor not a argument from ignorance. ID, YES, makes predictions and positive claims, which are subject to falsification. Stephen Meyer puts it nicely in that way:

      see next post:

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    24. Let's take a closer look. In an explanatory context, arguments from ignorance have the
      form:

      Premise One: Cause X cannot produce or explain evidence E. Conclusion: Therefore, cause Y produced or explains E.

      Critics of intelligent design claim that the argument for intelligent design takes this form as well. As one of my frequent debating partners, Michael Shermer, likes to argue, "Intelligent design argues that life is too specifically complex (complex structures like DNA) to have evolved by natural forces. Therefore, life must have been created by an
      intelligent designer." In short, critics claim that ID proponents argue as follows:


      Premise One: Material causes cannot produce or explain specified information.
      Conclusion: Therefore, an intelligent cause produced specified biological information.


      If proponents of intelligent design were arguing in the preceding manner, they would be guilty of arguing from ignorance. But the argument takes the following form:


      Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent biological systems.
      Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent systems of all sorts.
      Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate, explanation for the information and irreducible complexity in the cell, and interdependence of proteins, organelles, and bodyparts, and even of animals and plants, aka moths and flowers, for example.

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    25. you argue from a common misconception, namely that supposedly there is a dispute between science and religion

      Pathetic and dishonest, this is what you wrote:

      We should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on several subjects of biology

      ...and

      Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information

      This is false to fact, already shown empirically that mutations + selection /drift can produce novel "information", and an OBVIOUS negative argument from ignorance. You lose. Game over.

      Now go preach your nonsense somewhere else

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    26. "Nice try of naturalism of the gap argument, LOL.... We don't know yet, therefore naturalism."

      Nobody actually reasons like this you idiot. It's: We don't know yet, so stop claiming god is necessary - because, literally, you don't know that.

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    27. "Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent biological systems. "

      This premise is wrong. Evolution routinely produces all of that, demonstrably so.

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    28. "Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent systems of all sorts."

      This premise is making an equivocation between "an intelligence" and physical human beings taking physical actions. There is no evidence that a bare, naked, immaterial "intelligence" can even exist. And if it can, there is no reason to think it can interact with the physical and material world and create anything. But even if it could, you have no idea whether such an intelligence would ever elect to create physical life, so for all you know, the option you are seeking to conclude is even more improbable than the option you are seeking to exclude.

      Your entire "case" amounts to a raft of fallacies floating around in a sea of ignorance and self-delusion.

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    34. tl;dr

      Irresponsive ignoramus, cookie-cutter creationist, gish-gallop spamming retard

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    35. Hey El, in the post you deleted you mentioned two things:
      1) your job was done here
      2) you posted some bible verses about people not accepting god, being fools. Romans 1:20-22 if I'm correct.

      I was wrapping up at work when I read the post, so I didn't have time to respond, now I see the post has been deleted.

      So your work hasn't finished here?

      And while we're on the subject of bible quotes, I prefer luke 6:31. Basically because luke's quote is pure common sense. And in your case El, you reap what you sow.

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    36. Dazz

      sorry it that is over the top for you... LOL....

      Ed

      well, yeah, i prefer see Larry taking that decision, and kicking me out. That will tell a lot about his democratic attitude... and the strength of his world view ...... LOL.....

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    37. "Replication upon which mutations and natural selection act could not begin prior when life started and cell's began with self-replication. Before that remarkable event, a fully operating cell had to be in place..."

      Simple chemical reactions can self-replicate. Lipid vesicles and even soap-bubbles can self-replicate by standard growth and division. Self-replication is a simple physical process that happens everywhere in nature, it is not a unique property of life. In fact life has no unique properties, it is merely a collection of many different properties all of which exist independently in nature.

      So no, a "fully functioning cell" would not have to already exist for self-replication to happen. It's also been proven you can have natural selection and mutations (as in, evolution) without genetics.

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    38. Why his (Larry's) world view El? Is this the reason for your behavior? You want to ignore luke 6:31 in favor of being kicked off some one's blog, because the blog owner doesn't agree with your world view? Is that it? Is that what it's all about? You behave like an obnoxious fool, so Larry can boot you off his blog. And from your answer ( i prefer see Larry taking that decision, and kicking me out) I understand, you then declare victory? That's what all this copy/ pasting is all about?

      Wow...

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  16. Couldn't let this pass: over on the UD thread, poster 'Andre', on learning that an average 100 new mutations enters every human individual, asks with a straight face: "what are they, then?". As in, list them.

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    1. Yeah. I had a headache at reading some of the comments by creationists at UD.

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  17. Paul Nelson
    Monday, October 26, 2015 11:43:00 AM
    Larry wrote:

    "No, but when he [that's Paul Nelson] quotes the Cambrian explosion and Meyer's book as evidence that evolution is wrong I have little respect for him since he doesn't believe in the Cambrian explosion."

    Parallel situation:

    "When that economist discusses Marxist interpretations of the labor market, I can't take him seriously, because I know he favors Keynesian theory. I'll only get my Marxist theory from real Marxists."

    Really?

    Liberal education -- not just in natural science, but in ANY field -- would be flat out impossible if your attitude were widespread, Larry. In my years working with Leigh Van Valen (1985-1997 as a PhD student, 1997 to his death, in 2010, as a friend) I heard Leigh give precise and nuanced analyses of data from a variety of perspectives: his own (always sui generis); on other mornings, that of an orthodox neo-Darwinian; on other mornings, that of a structuralist. He was nimble and liked playing with multiple competing theories for the sake of insights that he might gain.

    I ask my MA students to learn the skill of empathetic understanding of opposing viewpoints -- and NOT to demand orthodoxy or Statements of Belief before they engage in dialogue.

    The fact is, the ID virus has already reverse transcribed its RNA into your genome, and you can no more quit this debate than fly to the moon. ;-)


    You worked with Lee Van Valen? That's peculiar, I don't seem to recall any coauthored papers. Care to post the links?

    Or do you mean, "I showed up a few times over the years at his office hours and engaged in some chitchat about weird ideas in evolution which he probably wouldn't even remember if he were to have been asked about it later. I, on the other hand, treated it as a way to get few more Anecdotes About Famous People I Met Briefly At Some Point To Prove I Am A Serious Person Even Though I Maintain Belief In a Young Earth In Vicious Contradiction To The Evidence."



    Paul Nelson

    Sunday, October 25, 2015 11:20:00 AM

    Larry -- bizarre or not, so you accept the Law of Biogenesis, as stated by Peter Medawar?

    Here's what I wrote about the age of the Earth and cosmos in 1999, which I still endorse today:

    "Natural science at the moment seems to overwhelmingly point to an old cosmos. Though creationist scientists have suggested some evidences for a recent cosmos, none are widely accepted as true. It is safe to say that most recent creationists are motivated by religious concerns."

    (P. Nelson and J.M. Reynolds, Three Views on Creation and Evolution, Zondervan / HarperCollins, 1999, p. 49)

    Thus for all the scientific work I do, I use 4.5 bya for the Earth and 13.8 bya for the universe itself.


    Scientific work? Where?

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    1. Van Valen was an interesting guy. I took one seminar from him and talked to him occasionally at events. I don't recall him taking or arguing for any positions or contrary to his beliefs. We had one argument, over cladistics (he didn't like it), and I learned a lot from that seminar (though not about cladistics). Oddly enough, Paul's graduate career encompassed my own (1990-96), though I don't recall meeting him.

      And I don't think Paul has actually answered Larry's question. He's danced around it a bit, but that doesn't count.

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    2. He was DEFINITELY an interesting guy. Never met him but heard the stories. On the other hand, interesting visionaries aren't always right. We read his famous "Red Queen"/constant extinction paper in a seminar. After the discussion and a class paper I did, I eventually decided:

      - the lifetimes of genera and families are not good proxies for the lifetimes and extinction rates of species

      - if species extinction rates were constant, this would not confer constantness on the rate of extinction of higher taxa anyway

      - Van Valen's datasets were inadequate to determine whether or not taxon extinction rates were constant anyway -- almost anything looks linear-ish on a log plot, but that's not evidence

      - even if species extinction rates are approximately constant, e.g. during the Cenozoic, there is no particular reason that natural selection and adaptation would be the cause of this -- any rare extinction-causing events, causing extinctions at some low rate, could induce background extinctions at a similar rate

      But, the hand-typed manuscript and the hand-drawn illustrations were worth seeing.

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    3. To John Harshman,

      If you still have the page somewhere in your files, look at the "General Notes on the Course" handout from Leigh's Evolutionary Processes Course. The following is from the Winter 1986 handout:

      "My research is classified by the University into all four of its Divisions, but I am not omniscient. I make mistakes like everyone else, including the author of your texts. There are no heroes. Think for yourself. Some of the readings are included for reasons other than excellence. I expect you to give your own views. I compensate for bias by giving one grade higher than otherwise to someone who disagrees with me. In discussions I do not necessarily present my own viewpoint and may advocate contradictory positions. However, any factual information I give is genuine. The evidence and arguments are important, not who make them. The subject is open and changing, and students in this course have contributed to it. Conceptual advances are by definition unconventional, and important problems are not necessarily the most difficult."

      Between 1991 and 1994, I lived in Boston, while my wife Suzanne was a medical fellow at Harvard. After our return to Chicago, I was on campus only to meet with my committee and attend Ev Morph talks. That may explain why we didn't run into each other.

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    4. I took Evolutionary Processes in, I think, 1992. I don't remember any such statement in any handout. So, who else was on your committee? And weren't there a lot of cool Ev Morph talks?

      Also, do you have a firm opinion on the age of the earth? Because there seems a possible contradiction. You say "Thus for all the scientific work I do, I use 4.5 bya for the Earth and 13.8 bya for the universe itself." But you also cite admiringly Leigh Van Valen's penchant for adopting positions that aren't his own. You can see the opportunity for confusion. A simple, direct answer would be better. One might also ask your opinion on the age of the universe and whether the geologic column is, in the main, correctly dated.

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    5. Leigh Van Valen arrived at the University of Chicago while I was in graduate school there. He was on my Ph.D. thesis committee, although I had little interaction with him (he was in a different building). He was definitely eccentric and not always good at communicating with others.

      I heard an introductory lecture he gave to our department (Zoology, he was in the nearby Anatomy Department). He stood at the front of the auditorium, and for some unknown reason leaned at an angle of maybe 10 degrees. He showed no slides, did not move from the spot, and his talk was delivered in an affectless monotone, without any pause or any emphasis. The audience zoned out and so did I, even though I too was in evolutionary biology. After an hour of this everyone politely applauded and left. I cannot remember what his topic or argument was, and I suspect no one else did either. It was a classic exercise in how not to give a seminar.

      He has very definite opinions on how everything should be done, and rarely sought feedback from anyone else, as far as I could tell. That seemed to include checking whether his lecture had gotten across to the audience.

      I guess that I never understood his approach to much of anything.

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    6. Typo: "he [Van Valen] has ..." should be "had" as of course he died a couple of years ago.

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  18. "Gee Gee, unsurprisingly, doesn't understand what "prediction" means. Hint, if it was already known, then it's no prediction, idiot"


    Actually, that is wrong. The term "prediction" in science does not refer to a forecast of something that was no already known. In fact, it is just the opposite. Although that might sound like a contradiction in terms, what it means is that when you combine the premises of the hypothesis in various ways using deduction, they should predict what you already see.

    For example, newton knew that he had nailed his laws of motion because they predicted such things as the often observed parabolic trajectory of a cannonball, or the elliptical orbit of planets.

    While it is true that a really well done hypothesis will predict things we did not already know, the proof of the pudding is that it predicts things precisely that we already do know.

    Consider what you would do with a hypothesis that predicts what you already observe wrongly.

    And so the power of the theory of evolution, for example, is that it makes precise predictions about what we should see in living organisms and their relationship to each other and what we should not see in organisms and their relationship to each other.

    It does so for all kinds of htings that we already know. That is how we come to have confidence in it.

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    1. Thanks Dudley. I assumed that of course, a theory should be consistent with all the available evidence, then maybe make extra "predictions".
      But sure, if something follows from the theory, it's predicted regardless of whether it was known or not. Nothing follows from Gaulin's nonsense though

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    2. In some notable occasions a theory did actually predict something very important that was not know before. For example, Maxwell's Equations for electromagnetism that he worked out around 1860 for electric and magnetic fields was seen a bit later to predict what we now call electromagnetic waves.

      It was on the basis of that that Hertz did his experiments to show that they existed just as Maxwell's equations predicted.

      But not only did it predict that they exist, but Maxwell's Equations still predicts everything we know about EM waves.


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  19. "with the law of biogenesis destroying any natural origin of life and because they hate the idea "

    There is no law of biogenesis that disproves the natural origin of life.

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