Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ignorance + "body plans" + misinformation (lies) + god-of-the-gaps = Intelligent Design Creationism

Watch Paul Nelson combine his lack of knowledge of evolution and evolutionary theory with misinformation (i.e. lies) and a little bit of false developmental biology then stir the pot with a large dose of god-of-the-gaps to produce a smooth argument that refutes evolution.

There's lots of other stuff going on in this talk. I was especially amused by the discussion of methodological naturalism at the end. Paul Nelson argues that science is blind to all the evidence of a creator because the "rule" of science is that it can't even consider that evidence.

I'll say one thing about this talk: it's very clever. It would take a book to show that Paul Nelson is wrong about everything and the explanations would be far too complicated for the average creationist. For them, it's easier to believe that Paul Nelson is telling them the truth and evolutionary biologists are too stupid to understand their own discipline.

Otangelo Grasso has posted a transcript of the talk. Thank-you Otangelo.




152 comments :

  1. There's a sufficient giveaway in the first sentence: "Apologetics Weekend". No, of course ID has nothing to do with religion.

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    1. Harshman:

      "There's a sufficient giveaway in the first sentence: "Apologetics Weekend". No, of course ID has nothing to do with religion.

      I think this is not a scientific statement but it nails the issue pretty well. Why would Paul Nelson present his ID theory at a church? He is not in for the money is he?

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    2. Who the hell else would invite him to speak?

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    3. Behe gets invited to speak at universities why not Nelson?

      Their views are similar if not pretty much the same.

      BTW: My friends and I are organizing a debate and we are looking for some "Naturalists" to provides the most convincing evidence that swayed them to naturalistic origins of life and the evolution of prokaryotic cell into eukaryotic.

      Unfortunately, we are looking for a volunteer but all the costs of transportation and stay are covered by our main sponsor.

      The debate will be steamed live and there will be audience participation.

      Diogenes, Are you interested? How about Harshman?

      I know Larry is not an expert in OOL, but he has a very strong view on the matter. Should he be the one to represent all the Darwinists?

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    4. Eric, if no one else volunteers, I might. The wife will probably kill me .. What kind of time frame and geographic area are you talking about?

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    5. That would be great!

      I'm not in charge of that but we are looking at mid April 2016 or so.

      We've considered 2-3 possible venues; 2 in US and one in Canada.

      I will update you on the details asap on this blog (if it is OK with Larry) or I can email you. Either way is fine.

      We are trying to get more than one participant on each side, so if anyone else is interested, it is still fine.

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    6. Here is another issue that some would like to incorporate in the debate. I've mentioned it before here:

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2015/12/facts-and-theories-of-evolution.html

      "If NASA found on Mars something resembling a robot, made of materials unknown to scientists on Earth, and no designers, how would you describe this structure?

      1. That it only has an appearance of design?
      2. Or that it was designed?"

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    7. Eric,

      I think you want to keep the topic narrow. Origin of Life is already a huge topic.

      You can email me at Diogenes Lamp 0 at g mail dot com, no spaces.

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    8. Eric, debates should not revolve around "what ifs"...

      one could discuss what ifs whole day and get no where.. what if ghosts are real, what if the tooth fairy really does exist..

      Your question of what if you found something on mars is not even worth entertaining. If such an object is found then we will discuss it but clearly no such evidence exists. A debate should be a discussion based around agreed faccts between 2 parties.

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  2. So Body Plan is the talking point of the day?

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  3. Larry,

    You don't have to write a book. Just give a list of the "lies" you found in the talk.

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    1. Hey, Paul. When can we expect to hear about Ontogenic Depth 2.0? It's been over a decade, and we're still waiting with bated breath.

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    2. A partial list is at the transcript link.

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    3. Come on Mr. Nelson. Saying that the vertebrate body plan can't evolve because natural selection can't turn an insect into a vertebrate, is a straw man argument, and you know it. Vertebrates started as "worms" with a few peculiar features 1) gill slits 2) hollow dorsal spinal cord, 3) notochord, 4) post-anal tail and 5) V- or W-shaped muscle blocks for swimming by bending the body. So here are 3 questions.

      1) What is the logical connection between the adverse consequences due to random macro-mutations in modern vertebrates or insects and the steps required for a generic worm to develop these features?

      2) Assuming these 5 features have been acquired, what stops gradual evolution from making advanced fish?

      3) Do you concede that natural selection could have turned lobe-finned lungfish into amphibians, amphibians into reptiles, and reptiles into mammals and birds? You say nothing about that in your talk, so has your "God of the Gaps" strategy retreated all the way back to "body plans" or do you still hold out some hope of proving that mammals could not have evolved from reptiles? If so, how do you explain the synapsid-therapsid-cynodont-Morganucodon fossil sequence?

      Put up or shut up Mr. Nelson. The scientifically literate already think you are a fraud, so you have nothing to lose by trying.

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    4. Paul,

      Your most blatant lie is when you say,

      ... get inside the wall, inside you are allowed to work, outside you are like a barbarian. And what the wall says is the following : "The statement of science must invoke only natural things and processes." Where natural is contrasted with intelligent. ... The very worst philosophy of science they have because it puts a screen between you and nature itself. You know God could have put a barcode on every living thing, if you take this rule, it prevents you to see the evidence, its there.

      You know very well that this isn't even the consensus view among philosophers these days. You also know for a fact that there are many scientists who do not accept this limitation on science. You know this because you have read the blogs and you have read the articles published in the philosophical literature. You know this because you have read Jerry Coyne's book, Faith vs. Fact.

      If you had really wanted to make a truthful statement you could have said,

      Some scientists believe that science can only deal with natural processes. They think that questions about gods and intelligent design cannot be investigated by science because of a rule called "methodological naturalism." But many scientists, including the most vocal opponents of intelligent design, do not believe in such a limitation. They are free to follow the evidence wherever it may lead and they reject intelligent design not because of any philosophical limitation but because they don't accept the so-called "evidence." Those scienitsts, who may represent the majority and who may even be atheists, would be convinced by godly barcodes if they were ever found.

      You know that this is a more truthful staetment that the one you made to your audience at the Christian Apologetics meeting. We have a word for people who deliberately say things that they know are untrue. They are called liars.

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    5. Larry,

      OK -- point taken. I overstated the acceptance of methodological naturalism (MN), if one includes dissenting opinion such as represented by this site. But my claim wasn't a lie.

      The National Academy of Sciences, the AAAS, the National Center for Science Education, and almost any other science organization one can name -- not to mention federal judges such as Judge Jones, in the Dover case -- endorse MN. In that sense, MN does represent an "official" position in our culture.

      You, Jerry Coyne, Maarten Boudry and several others, are a vocal minority, and I wish you the best in your efforts to overturn MN. In the future I will qualify my remarks about the breadth of acceptance of MN.

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    6. You, Jerry Coyne, Maarten Boudry and several others, are a vocal minority ...

      My philosopher friends tell me that Maarten Boudry's position is now mainstream.

      In any case, thanks for admitting that you misrepresented science to your audience. I'm pretty sure you know why NAS, AAAS, and NCSE adopt the accommodationist position and I'm pretty sure you also know that this doesn't prevent them from dealing with, and refuting, the arguments of Intelligent Design Creationists.

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    7. Paul also lies - Oops! Should I instead say he "overstates"? - when he says that MN means that scientists would have to ignore barcodes stamped by God on his creation. Such a phenomenon would be considered decidedly naturalistic by many, if not most, proponents of MN.

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    8. Here's a story about another time Paul Nelson was accused of dishonesty, which I bring up not to attack Paul, but because it is directly relevant to the topic here. Larry has focused on Paul neglecting to mention that the most prominent anti-creationists reject MN, but the more important point is that ID proponents from the Discovery Institute very dishonestly re-define Methodological Naturalism into something stupid, then attribute their re-defined version to us, to make us look absurd. This 'redefinition' of MN led to Paul Nelson seriously misreporting, or misquoting, the words of theistic evolutionist Keith Miller, to make him look ridiculous. Likewise, in this very thread, above, Paul Nelson again implies a different definition of MN, so we have to catch the IDers when they try this trick.

      When we speak of Methodological Naturalism, we usually mean that science should not address the supernatural. Some scientists may accept MN but some of the most prominent anti-creationists like Larry reject MN because they think science can falsify religious beliefs. But the bigger problem is that ID proponents redefine MN to mean science should not address intelligent causes. This is ridiculous because then MN would mean that the scientific method could never prove that the Egyptian pyramids were built by Egyptians, that the moai on Easter Island were carved by Easter Islanders, etc.

      And that is exactly the accusation that the Discovery Institute IDers make against us: 'Why, these Darwinists say science must be limited to MN, but if MN were true, you could never prove that the Egyptian pyramids were built by Egyptians!' They know that's an absurd accusation, but it's exactly the accusation they make.

      This is what Paul Nelson pulls when he says in the video:

      "... get inside the wall, inside you are allowed to work, outside you are like a barbarian. And what the wall says is the following : "The statement of science must invoke only natural things and processes." Where natural is contrasted with intelligent. ... The very worst philosophy of science they have because it puts a screen between you and nature itself."

      Nelson's invocation of MN, "Where natural is contrasted with intelligent", should have been Where natural is contrasted with supernatural.

      This redefinition of MN means that, according to the Disco Tute, archaeology, forensics, SETI etc. all violate MN, and therefore, archaeology, forensics, SETI etc. are all part of "Intelligent Design science." And since archaeology and forensics are successful sciences, therefore Intelligent Design is real science. This is seriously the argument they make.

      Of course, people who actually do archaeology, forensics, and SETI do not agree that their disciplines violate MN, do not agree that MN excludes 'intelligent causes' (as opposed to excluding supernatural causes), and do not agree that their disciplines are part of the "Intelligent Design movement." Scientists who actually do archaeology, forensics, and SETI have never used the Disco Tute's methods (e.g. William Dembski's Complex Specified Information or Behe's irreducible complexity) to prove that human constructions were built by humans. Archaeologists etc. don't look for 'patterns' that can only be designed by 'intelligent beings', they look for material constructions that can only be manufactured by humans. Looking for signs of material construction is not the same as looking for patterns that can only be designed.

      And this redefinition is why Paul misquoted Keith Miller.

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. I'm not telling this story to impugn Paul's character, but to draw attention to how IDers redefine MN to mean 'excludes intelligent causes.'

      What happened was that in an email exchange, Nelson asked Miller, if your car window were broken and your car stereo were missing, would you conclude, scientifically, that someone had stolen it? And Miller replies by saying, to paraphrase, 'Yes, the scientific method can conclude that someone stole my stereo, but that's by studying humans as natural causes.' In other words, Miller's MN includes 'human causation.'

      However, when Nelson told the story to a church audience later, he changed it totally to make Miller look stupid. In Nelson's version, MN excludes all intelligent causes, so Miller won't concede that someone stole is stereo. Note how Miller redefines MN:

      Paul Nelson: I said [to Keith Miller] suppose you went to a movie and when you came out and you discovered the driver side window of you car was broken, and there was glass everywhere. And you looked inside the vehicle ...but your digital camera was gone and your CD player was gone. Now what would you infer from that pattern, I put the question to Keith. And rather than do what everyone in this room would do, namely... infer that someone had broken into his car, rather than say that event, that intelligently cause event had happened, Keith said a natural regularity occurred.

      [Light laughter]

      Now at that point our dialog broke down.

      [Heavy laughter]

      Because for Keith, who I have great respect for, he’s an evangelical Christian with a strong faith commitment... but his philosophy of science is non-negotiable on this, on this point.

      So the reason I think I would disagree with these guy is not, not that God couldn’t use evolution, God, the absolute sovereignty of God is something that I hold very dear, as a faith commitment because it comes right out of scripture. God can do whatever He wants. The question is what does the evidence indicate.

      ID proponent John Mark Reynolds: "Yes"

      Nelson: If evolutionary theory is not well supported by the evidence I don’t want to say that God used a theory that is not well supported by the evidence. God can do whatever he, whatever he, he, pleases. So my disagreement with these guys has relatively little to do with evolution and a great deal to do with what kind of philosophy of science we’re going to adopt. Are we going to allow for the possibility of intelligent causation when all of us know that could have happened? That’s what science should do. Science should be free to follow the evidence where it leads.

      Reynolds: Hear, hear.


      [Ed Brayton, May 28, 2006, "Paul Nelson's Outrageous Lie"]

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    11. When Nelson's misrepresentation of Miller's words was pointed out to him, he issued a rather scurrilous notpology that is quoted by Ed Brayton in the link above, but I won't quote it here. He refused to admit that he had misrepresented Miller-- exact quote "I do not think, however, that I misrepresented Keith’s position"--and it went back and forth for a long time. After a lot of that, Nelson eventually apologized.

      I want to focus on the redefinition of MN that Nelson insists on. When speaking to the church audience above, to ridicule Keith Miller, this is how he defines MN, immediately before the passage I quoted above:

      Here’s the problem though. All of them accept a philosophy of science that excludes intelligent causation by definition.

      Let's stop right there and think about that.

      "All of them accept a philosophy of science that excludes intelligent causation by definition."

      Lie? Or ignorance? Or self-deception?

      It doesn't matter. What matters is that, no matter what, you cannot get the IDers to use the correct definition of MN.

      Continuing with Nelson: Ah, for instance, ah, Keith Miller and I served on a panel that the, ah, American Scientific Affiliation assembled a few years ago to write a statement on creation, with a variety of viewpoints. Keith was defending theistic evolution I was arguing for intelligent design.
      And we had an e-mail, ah, exchange that was quite extensive, and I said to Keith, your philosophy of science excludes intelligent design by definition. He would say that if you’re a scientist you have to look for a natural cause for any event or pattern, and keep looking whether you find one or not, because that’s what it means to be a scientist.


      In fact, that was an email exchange, so we have Nelson's original and Miller's actual reply, quoted by Brayton in the link above.

      Nelson: [tells broken car window story] Now – what would you be justified in inferring from this pattern? Theft, of course, i.e., an intelligently-caused event – even though you haven’t exhausted all the possible natural mechanisms for breaking car windows and removing only the valuable items from automobile interiors. Indeed, given the problem of induction, exhausting all the possible natural mechanisms would be impossible in any case. (At possible mechanism n, there always remains the untried possible mechanism n +1.) And, of course, no one expects you to exhaust all the possible natural mechanisms. It would be madness even to try.

      Imagine catching the thief somewhere in the parking lot with the camera and CD player. Only this is a philosophically clever thief. “You can’t say I broke into the Miller’s car,” he crows, “because you haven’t exhausted all the natural possibilities! That’s an argument from ignorance. Let me go.”

      But thieves do go to jail, despite the problem of induction. Archaeologists are able to assign objects to the status of “artifact” – i.e. an intelligently caused object – and to sift these objects from the natural background.


      Importantly here, Nelson is saying that archaeology violates MN and that archaeology is de facto a part of Intelligent Design "science."

      In short, basic human rationality depends on being able to discriminate naturally and intelligently cause patterns, and to allot causal responsibility accordingly. Keith, if it is in principle impossible to move beyond natural regularities in causal inference, how would you ever be able to conclude that someone – a person, an intelligence – broke into you car?

      Keith's actual email answer is eminently sensible, NOT what Nelson said he said. Of course he says that you can scientifically conclude that someone stole the stereo, because MN does NOT exclude intelligent causation-- it excludes supernatural causation. You can peruse Miller's response at Brayton's old blog.

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    12. Frank (Diogenes),

      What discriminates "intelligent" and "supernatural" as descriptive categories?

      Serious question. I've thought a lot about this in the decade (whoa, tempus fugit) since that exchange on Brayton's blog, and would love to hear your response, if you can spare the time.

      Using "intelligent" as the antonym of "natural" isn't entirely satisfactory, of course. I'm seating here at my MacBook Pro in Chicago, typing this -- in one sense, wholly natural. Yet in another sense, "intelligent" does the work for us that "supernatural" does not, mainly because I don't think we have the first clue what "supernatural" actually describes.

      Anyway, over to you. You say that MN does not rule out intelligent causes, given that many sciences would be dead in the water without being able to explain via intelligence (purposeful agency). MN only rules out supernatural causes. So what is the supernatural, how would we recognize it, and discriminate it from the merely intelligent?

      This is a serious, deep question -- meaning that answering it has significance well beyond the dirty noisy mudpit of the current ID debate.

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    13. I agree, that's a very pertinent question. But I think it is more pertinent to ask it of your fellow IDiots, who insist that naturalism must be abandoned and the "supernatural" must be considered in order to fully understand the universe.

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    14. My view is that both naturalism and supernatural must or should be considered.

      What bothers me is a statement like this:
      "...materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door..."

      Unfortunately, most if not all of the evolution supporters on this blog worship the above statement and continue their bias approach to any evidence that might distort their preset views.

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    15. Hi Paul
      Is it clear to you whether the human mind is really natural. Ie caused by nature. If not then could the guy stealing the stereo be acting beyond what we would call an act of nature?

      Consciousness is a subject we are struggling to find the origin of.

      Can anyone show that the human mind was caused by nature? If so,to what scientific standard? Inference?

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    16. Since Boudry has been mentioned, it might be worth while considering his definition:
      "Throughout this paper, the term 'supernatural' will refer to processes and causes that transcend the spatio-temporal realm of impersonal matter and energy, and to phenomena arising from the interaction of those entities with the material universe. By that standard, an intelligent designer outside the material universe intervening in the course of natural evolution would fit the bill of a supernatural entity."(Boudry et al 2012)

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    17. First I want to apologize to Dr. Nelson because I posted an early draft of a comment (since deleted) in which I called him a name. Directly after that, I posted the revised draft of my comment, still above, so you all may have noticed a double post of mine. It is not my intent here to impugn Dr. Nelson's character, but I am an enemy of equivocation and want to draw attention to the multiple definitions of words.

      At issue is whether MN excludes 'intelligent causation' or excludes 'supernatural causation.' If the former, one must define 'intelligent', if the latter, one must define 'supernatural.'

      Paul replies: Using "intelligent" as the antonym of "natural" isn't entirely satisfactory, of course... in another sense, "intelligent" does the work for us that "supernatural" does not, mainly because I don't think we have the first clue what "supernatural" actually describes.

      Often, theists and atheists disagree, at least implicitly, about the definition of 'supernatural' without being aware they're using different definitions. Christian apologists often implicitly assume that 'supernatural' is the complement of 'natural.' This is assumed in the following, common apologetic proof of God's existence:

      Everything has a cause, so all of nature must have a cause. The cause of all of nature must be outside nature. If anything is outside nature, it's supernatural. So atheists are irrational to deny supernatural causes!

      A lot of atheists would disagree with the assumption 'If anything is outside nature, it's supernatural'.

      Another, bigger problem with this kind of definition is that scientists, especially physicists, are always looking for apparent violations of natural laws, which they assume signify new, as yet undiscovered laws of nature. Physicists use the phrase "new physics" to describe phenomena that violate the laws of nature as we now believe them to be. Physicists will say, "Let's apply for $500 million to build a new particle accelerator that will find new physics!" They mean they're looking for violations of natural law. But if they find it, it's not proof of the supernatural, or what Cotton Mather called 'the imbecility of reason.'

      Of course, the physicists are assuming that the new phenomena will be describable by a new law of physics nobody knows about yet. Their assumption might be wrong-- the new phenomena could be caused by fairies or elves-- but the fact that scientists do look for it means that you can't define 'supernatural' as 'any old violation of natural law.'

      So I define 'supernatural' more narrowly, 'violations of natural law that affect human affairs, and to which purpose is imputed.' This is of course a subset of violations of natural laws.

      Notice that I say 'to which purpose is imputed', where an ID proponent would probably say "which was intelligently caused." Why the difference?

      First, because Buddhists have lots of miracle stories where violations of natural law happen that help the Buddha, and appear to evince a purpose, but Buddhists don't attribute the miracles to a supreme god. Some Buddhists don't believe in any supreme god, but in their miracle stories, their miracles still have apparent purposes.

      The weakness with this definition is, how do you impute 'purpose.' This becomes a huge problem because purpose is imputed, not empirically observed, and theists and atheists disagree about which events imply purpose.

      Continued...

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    18. Paranoids and conspiracy theorists see purposes everywhere, behind everything. They're irrational, but even rational people see some purposes in some things (the growling tiger wants to eat me!) and they're often right. Theists may not all be as crazy as conspiracy theorists, but in the opinion of atheists, they overdetect purpose.

      In fact, theists often use circular logic to impute purpose: as an extreme example, you have seen creationists argue things like 'the moon reflects light, therefore God created the moon with the purpose of reflecting light.' How can this circular logic be falsified?

      This is relevant to evolution vs. creationism because many creationists wait for scientists to observe something, then they attribute purpose to whatever thing scientists observe. E.g. Walter Remine in 'The Biotic Code' says the universality of the genetic code is God 'sending a message' that there's only one God. (Because variants of the genetic code exist, e.g. mitochondria, does that falsify the existence of a monotheistic God? Of course not, they have a way of weaseling out of it. If there were three genetic codes, would that be proof of a Trinitarian God?)

      Remember that Louis Giglio looked at a textbook diagram of the four-lobed structure of laminin, and concluded that God gave the protein molecule that structure in order to make it look like the crucifix...

      Thus, the problem with my definition of supernatural is, how do you empirically treat 'purpose' as an observed property? You can't, different authorities attribute it differently. That's why I say, in passive voice, "to which purpose is imputed." It depends on what priests and preachers are claiming this week.

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    19. @ Bill Cole:

      If you volunteer to let me hit you on the head with a baseball bat with all my might, I can perform an experiment that will show very persuasively that consciousness is caused by nature. You game?

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    20. And this returns us to our issue, can supernatural claims be falsified, and if so, how? Accommodationists like the AAAS say that, because science is limited to MN, it can't disprove religious beliefs. But New Atheists like Dawkins, Coyne, Moran etc. say that we're not limited to MN, and that at least some religious beliefs can be falsified.

      But how can you falsify claims of the supernatural?

      The first option, #1, of course, is to find an alternative natural explanation. In some countries, #1 is called heresy and can get you imprisoned, but it's possible. The problem with #1 is that science is constantly observing new phenomena that, at least for a while, appear to violate natural laws.

      #2: another way is to point out that the 'purpose' of the miracle was imputed by religious authorities through circular logic, that is, only after scientists observed something. e.g. Louis Giglio would never have claimed, before scientists figured out the structure of laminin, that it must look like a crucifix. He made this claim after it was published in a neat textbook diagram. So we can make the accusation 'circular logic'. The problem with #2 is that it is not an experimental falsification of the supernatural.

      #3, it seems to me, is to take the purposes imputed by religious authorities as givens, and prove that what we observe doesn't match those purposes.

      #3 is Larry Moran's approach in saying that Junk DNA falsifies Intelligent Design. To say it falsifies ID, Larry must assume that ID authorities are correct in claiming that God has a purpose in creating the human genome with no Junk. Grant that assumption, and the detection of Junk DNA falsifies ID.

      My objection to Larry's argument is that the claim 'If God created humans, the human genome has not Junk' doesn't logically follow from the ID hypothesis. Sure, it is asserted by ID authorities, but it was never logically essential-- so we evolutionists should at least point out that, to be a 'falsification', we are assuming the IDers' assertions about 'purpose' as givens.

      Thus, evidence that falsifies 'fraudictions' of ID may not necessarily falsify the 'bare, simple' Intelligent Design hypothesis itself. It can, however, falsify ID proponents' claims to authority.

      If Junk DNA is proven, then either

      1. the human genome was NOT intelligently designed,

      OR

      2. ID authorities like Jonathan Wells did not honestly deduce what predictions follow from the ID hypothesis-- because their assumptions about God's 'purposes' were wrong. And if their 'purpose detector' is wrong, what good are they?

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    21. Eric's statement is awfully silly: most if not all of the evolution supporters on this blog worship the above statement [can't allow a Divine Foot in the door] and continue their bias approach to any evidence that might distort their preset views.'

      This is an awfully silly thing to write on a blog where the host, Larry Moran, points out that he and other New Atheists like Dawkins and Jerry Coyne actually allow a Divine Foot in the door because they believe science can falsify at least some religious beliefs.

      Larry (to paraphrase): New Atheists believe we can allow a Divine Foot in the door, then slam the door on that foot, with some science experiments!

      Eric (to paraphrase): You atheists worship the statement 'never allow a Divine Foot in the door' and won't do any experiments!

      Perhaps Eric should re-think what he wrote.

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    22. Bill, what's consciousness? Please define.

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    23. @ James Hofmann

      How would we distinguish something that "intervenes" in the "spatio-temporal" realm while also "transcending" that realm, from a "designer" that just exists within the "spatio-temporal realm"? That is to say, how do we poor sods who are stuck here in the ""spatio-temporal realm" apprehend one of these "transcendent" beings?

      Remember what the "methodological" part of methodological naturalism refers to.

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    24. I need a night to think about this. Thanks for the comments, all. Back in the morning.

      "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

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    25. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

      Yup. If, for the sake of argument, the miracles attributed to Jesus actually occurred, the supernaturalist would say "He's a god. Let's worship him!" and the naturalist would say, "That's very interesting. Let's try figure out what's going on there."

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    26. I'm not sure the definition of the supernatural by Boudry that I quoted really helps very much here. His version of pragmatic methodological naturalism is based upon the historical record of explanatory failure when reliance is made on allegedly supernatural agents and is not asserted as part of a definition of science. The only case I know of where he gives an example of what would be supernatural intervention is repeatedly successful intercessory prayer, if it could be confirmed by carefully controlled experiments. But from the point of view of pragmatic methodological naturalism it isn't clear why one would abandon the search for a naturalistic explanation. We do have some basis for distinguishing alleged supernatural agents from humans or animals because we know quite a bit about the capabilities of humans and animals but that knowledge is always incomplete.

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    27. I'm not even sure about that last point. 50 years ago, many people would have argued it was beyond human capability to run 100 metres in 9.58 seconds. Now that Usain Bolt has done it, no one is claiming he is a supernatural being (though he comes close!).

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    28. Paul Nelson,

      I actually like you. I've learned something from you, which is really good.

      The moment you identified yourself as Young Earth Creationist you've lost respect of most of Darwinists and many people like myself who accept reliable scientific discovery and still can maintain their "face".

      You make really, really good arguments, but because of your "religious convictions" you will always struggle.

      Your science doesn't seem as reliable as if it should be. It seems as if it just sucks, even it doesn't.

      BTW: You are not a stupid guy at all. Quite the contrary. But your some of your preset values are no longer acceptable in the scientific community and beyond. I'm not a creationist, but I'm not a Darwinist either, just FYI.

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    29. Lutesuite, that was exactly my point. We do know quite a bit about human abilities but that knowledge is always incomplete.

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    30. Bill Cole: Can anyone show that the human mind was caused by nature? If so,to what scientific standard? Inference?

      Thats a good question. Shall something natural not be able to be scientifically detected, tested, viewed, percieved, seen, smelled, tasted, measured etc ? Fact is, the mind cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny. Is it therefore natural , or supernatural ? I think the mind is supernatural. Naturalists common objection comes down to the assertion that the mind is entirely natural , a product of the brain. But to say so, it must be first elucidated, what the mind actually is, and if monism, or dualism is true. This is a issue that fills books. i wrote a artcile of this quest in relation to the theory of intelligent design :

      Is the mind natural, or supernatural ? and what does it tell us about ID theory ?

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2265-is-the-mind-natural-or-supernatural-and-what-does-it-tell-us-about-id-theory


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    31. Lutesuite: If you volunteer to let me hit you on the head with a baseball bat with all my might, I can perform an experiment that will show very persuasively that consciousness is caused by nature. You game?

      Lutesuite, i can give you a broken piano, and ask you to play it. If you can't, is it due to the fact that the piano is broken, or that YOU have some problem to play it ?
      Obviously, if you damage the brain, the mind cannot use it.

      Delete
    32. What a ridiculous response. The mind is the product of the brain, not something that operates thru it. If the piano is broken, there is no immaterial music still floating around somewhere waiting to come thru the piano once it's repaired. The music only comes into existence once the piano is played.

      Delete
    33. Lutesuite : What a ridiculous response.The mind is the product of the brain.

      So do you think, what Max Planck wrote, is also ridiculous ?

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1380-what-comes-first-mind-or-matter

      “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
      – Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918
      or:

      Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
      “It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

      what about R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University , “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005) ? He wrote:
      “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.”

      Newton called light “particles”, knowing the concept to be an ‘effective theory’ — useful, not true. As noted by Newton’s biographer Richard Westfall:
      “The ultimate cause of atheism, Newton asserted, is ‘this notion of bodies having, as it were, a complete, absolute and independent reality in themselves.’” Newton knew of Newton’s rings and was untroubled by what is shallowly called ‘wave/particle duality’.

      As Sir Arthur Eddington explained:
      “It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character.”

      Delete
    34. Short version: nobody can define consciousness. Planck couldn't, Wigner couldn't. Those guys didn't have Everett's Many Worlds interpretation of QM, so they were stuck with non-observable Copenhagen "wave function collapse" supposedly caused by a non-definable, non-observable "consciousness."

      Can "consciousness" or Wigner's wave function collapse be scientific if never observed?

      Still no definition of "consciousness."

      Delete
    35. Yes, ElShamah777. Those claims are all ridiculous. Just because those guys were brilliant in their field does not mean they weren't mush brains when trying to discuss consciousness.

      If all you can offer in response to my argument are appeals to authority (involving "authorities" who have no expertise in neuroscience), then I think we're pretty well done here. Thanks for playing.

      Delete
    36. Well, following scientists ARE experts in the field, and the vast majority infers the position of dualism.

      http://selfconsciousmind.com/papers.html#explain

      several lines of evidence suggest that consciousness separates from the brain and body during these experiences.

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1284-near-death-experience-evidence-of-dualism?highlight=dualism

      Nobel Prize winners Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Brian Josephson, Sir John Eccles, Eugene Wigner, George Wald and other great scientists and philosophers such as John von Neumann, Kurt Gödel, Wernher von Braun, Karl Popper, and Carl Jung believed consciousness is non-physical because of the evidence:
      http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers
      Consciousness is not produced by the brain. Consciousness is not an illusion or an epiphenomenon or an emergent property of the brain. Objective measurable physical phenomena cannot produce unmeasurable subjective experience. Correlation does not prove causation, the brain does not produce consciousness it filters consciousness. Natural selection would not produce consciousness. The brain is not a conscious computer.
      http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-materialist-explanation-of.html
      Why you should not automatically trust "skeptics" but should demand the same high level of proof from "skeptics" that they demand for claims of the paranormal: Skeptical Misdirection:
      http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_misdirection

      Delete
    37. Jesus ElShamah777... Planck, Schrodinger, Popper, Jung, etc are experts in the field? I sense you do not understand the meaning of the words "expert" and "field".

      Delete
    38. that was in reference to this link : http://selfconsciousmind.com/papers.html#explain

      several lines of evidence suggest that consciousness separates from the brain and body during these experiences.

      Delete
    39. Experts in the field, you say, ElSamah777?

      Robert G. Mays, B.Sc., is a retired senior software engineer and Suzanne B. Mays,
      A.A., is a Certified Music Practitioner


      selfconsciousmind.com/PhenomenologySCMReprint.pdf

      ROTFLMAO!

      Delete
    40. And what evidence to these "experts" present in favour of their claim?

      The proximate cause could be physiological, for example, a common brain circuit in a particular brain region, or non-physiological, for example, the separation of consciousness as an autonomous entity from the physical body. We argue that the latter hypothesis has greater explanatory power, although it posits elements beyond the current physicalist paradigm...

      Oh. "We argue that..." Well, can't argue with that, can you? I can't find access to the full article, so perhaps you could summarize the "argument" they actually make. You have read the article itself, right?

      BTW, I was not previously aware of the "Journal of Near-Death Studies", so I looked up its impact factor. Whaddaya know? A perfect score!

      Delete
    41. Oops, sorry. My mistake. That impact factor is for an earlier version of a journal by the same name, but from a different publisher. In its current iteration, the Journal of Near-Death Studies seems to be self-published by the International Association of Near Death Studies, Inc., and I can't find any reference to its current Impact Factor at all. Hmmm.

      I'm afraid your appeal to authority is not working out too well, ElShamah777.

      Delete
    42. Lutesuite, you did probably not observe, but the website i linked to does mention also Pim van Lommel.

      Pim van Lommel (born 15 March 1943) is a Dutch author and researcher in the field of near-death studies. He studied medicine at Utrecht University, specializing in cardiology. He worked as a cardiologist at the Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, for 26 years (1977-2003).

      Lommel is best known for his work on the subject of near-death experiences, including a prospective study published in the medical journal The Lancet.[1] He gained public attention as the author of the 2007 Dutchbestseller titled: Eindeloos Bewustzijn: een wetenschappelijke visie op de Bijna-Dood Ervaring[2] which has been translated into several languages including German, English, French, Polish and Spanish. The English translation is titled: Consciousness Beyond Life, The Science of the Near-Death Experience (HarperCollins, 2010).

      In his book Consciousness Beyond Life, Lommel postulates a model where consciousness is beyond neurological activities of the brain. He suggests that the brain is merely a terminal for accessing consciousness which isnonlocal (i.e. situated outside the physical body). In this model the brain is analogous to a computer terminal accessing a mainframe or the internet. He further hypothesizes that noncoding DNA and quantum mechanicscould make such nonlocal access possible and this model could supposedly explain how near-death experiences could be experienced and remembered by people whose brain showed no activity on an EEG.[4]

      Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands

      http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm

      division of Cardiology, Hospital Rijnstate, Arnhem, Netherlands (P van Lommel MD); Tilburg, Netherlands (R van Wees PhD); Nijmegen, Netherlands (V Meyers PhD); and Capelle a/d Ijssel, Netherlands (I Elfferich PhD)

      Delete
    43. "During a night shift an ambulance brings in a 44-year-old cyanotic, comatose man into the coronary care unit. He had been found about an hour before in a meadow by passers-by. After admission, he receives artificial respiration without intubation, while heart massage and defibrillation are also applied. When we want to intubate the patient, he turns out to have dentures in his mouth. I remove these upper dentures and put them onto the 'crash car'. Meanwhile, we continue extensive CPR. After about an hour and a half the patient has sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure, but he is still ventilated and intubated, and he is still comatose. He is transferred to the intensive care unit to continue the necessary artificial respiration. Only after more than a week do I meet again with the patient, who is by now back on the cardiac ward. I distribute his medication. The moment he sees me he says: 'Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are'. I am very surprised. Then he elucidates: 'Yes, you were there when I was brought into hospital and you took my dentures out of my mouth and put them onto that car, it had all these bottles on it and there was this sliding drawer underneath and there you put my teeth.' I was especially amazed because I remembered this happening while the man was in deep coma and in the process of CPR. When I asked further, it appeared the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. At the time that he observed the situation he had been very much afraid that we would stop CPR and that he would die. And it is true that we had been very negative about the patient's prognosis due to his very poor medical condition when admitted. The patient tells me that he desperately and unsuccessfully tried to make it clear to us that he was still alive and that we should continue CPR. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death. 4 weeks later he left hospital as a healthy man."

      Delete
    44. Pim van Lommel (born 15 March 1943) is a Dutch author and researcher in the field of near-death studies. He studied medicine at Utrecht University, specializing in cardiology. He worked as a cardiologist at the Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, for 26 years (1977-2003).

      Cardiologists aren't experts on neuroscience, any more than physicists, music therapists, retired computer programmers, or any other of the "experts" you keep citing. This is shown by the fact that Lommel somehow thinks that the fact that a brain can function while it is still alive somehow shows that those same functions can be performed when the brain is dead. A neuroscientist, OTOH, would know that just because a patient is "comatose", that does not mean the brain has ceased functioning.

      Here is the view of an actual expert, neuroscientist Sam Harris:

      Science on the Brink of Death

      Delete
    45. Harris summarizes the problem faced by those who cite NDE's as evidence that the mind has an existence independent of the brain:

      (T)he deepest problem with drawing sweeping conclusions from the NDE is that those who have had one and subsequently talked about it did not actually die. In fact, many appear to have been in no real danger of dying. And those who have reported leaving their bodies during a true medical emergency—after cardiac arrest, for instance—did not suffer the complete loss of brain activity. Even in cases where the brain is alleged to have shut down, its activity must return if the subject is to survive and describe the experience. In such cases, there is generally no way to establish that the NDE occurred while the brain was offline.

      It should be an obvious point, but advocates of body/mind dualism always seem to miss it: If you want to argue that the mind survives death, you need to show this using the example of someone who is actually dead not someone who is still alive.

      Delete
    46. lutesuite: (T)he deepest problem with drawing sweeping conclusions from the NDE is that those who have had one and subsequently talked about it did not actually die.

      What you, and Harris, conveniently do not address, is the fact, that during these NDE's, the mind actually LEFT THE body, and afterwards described things that were only possible to observe if indeed leaving the body, like objects far away.

      Like Eben Alexander, a neuroscientist who had a NDE, and wrote a book about his experience :

      http://www.ebenalexander.com/

      Delete
    47. What you, and Harris, conveniently do not address, is the fact, that during these NDE's, the mind actually LEFT THE body, and afterwards described things that were only possible to observe if indeed leaving the body, like objects far away.

      Really? Can you provide a single, solitary example that has been reliably confirmed? No, I didn't think so.

      Like Eben Alexander, a neuroscientist who had a NDE, and wrote a book about his experience.

      Alexander's claims are discussed in detail in Harris' article. Plus, there's the inconvenient fact that Alexander is a confirmed liar:

      The Prophet, by Luke Dittrich

      Delete
    48. Oh, and Eben Alexander is not a neuroscientist. He's a neurosurgeon. Big difference. Isn't it odd that you can't seem to find a single neuroscientist who supports your position?

      Delete
    49. Near-death experiences between science and prejudice 1

      During the past decade, an increasing number of studies have focused their attention on the intriguing phenomenon known as “Near-Death Experiences” (NDEs). NDEs are defined as an altered state of consciousness that occurs during an episode of unconsciousness as a result of a life-threatening condition (Moody, 1975). Under these circumstances, patients often report perceiving a tunnel, a bright light, deceased relatives, mental clarity, a review of their lives, and out-of-body experiences (OBEs) in which they describe a feeling of separation from their bodies and the ability to watch themselves from a different perspective (for recent reviews, see Holden et al., 2009; Facco, 2010; van Lommel, 2010; Agrillo, 2011). It is worth noting that the content of NDEs is similar worldwide, across cultures and all times (Belanti et al., 2008). NDEs may occur in people of both genders and all ages, educational and socioeconomic levels, beliefs, and life experiences (Bush, 2002).

      A prejudicial refusal of facts that appear trascendent or paranormal might wrongly lead to neglecting them due to their apparent incompatibility with the widely accepted materialistic view of the world and known scientific laws. According to van Lommel (2010), “true science does not restrict itself to narrow materialistic assumptions but is open to new and initially inexplicable findings and welcome the challenge of finding explanatory theories” (p. 331).

      The idea that NDEs are the mere results of a brain function gone awry looks to rely more on speculation than facts (Mobbs and Watt, 2011) and suffers from bias in skipping both the facts and hypotheses that challenge the reductionist approach (e.g., see van Lommel, 2004, 2011; Facco, 2010; Greyson, 2010b; Agrillo, 2011). Simple advocated physical causes, such as anoxia/ischemia, explain very well the common experience of fainting, but are far from explaining the nature of NDEs or why NDEs occur in only a minority of cases, as already emphasized by van Lommel et al. (2001). Furthermore, complete brain anoxia with absent electrical activity in cardiac arrest is incompatible with any form of consciousness, according to present scientific knowledge, making the finding of an explanation for NDEs a challenging task for the ruling physicalist and reductionist view of biomedicine (Kelly et al., 2007; Greyson, 2010b; van Lommel, 2010).

      A few well-witnessed cases of NDEs suggest the possibility of a partial dissociation between body and mind (Sabom, 1998; van Lommel et al., 2001; van Lommel, 2011): they sound odd and hardly compatible with our present knowledge, but might be a clue of possible, still unknown properties of consciousness. Even the oddest facts, if true, should not be neglected but rather received with an open mind and investigated for the sake of coherence with the essence of scientific knowledge.

      The relationship between mind and brain, the so-called “hard problem,” is still an unsolved problem

      1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399124/

      Delete
    50. Furthermore, complete brain anoxia with absent electrical activity in cardiac arrest is incompatible with any form of consciousness, according to present scientific knowledge, making the finding of an explanation for NDEs a challenging task for the ruling physicalist and reductionist view of biomedicine.

      Uh huh. That's perfect example of the "prejudice" against which that article is trying to warn. If people are actually perceiving things during periods of brain anoxia, that would suggest it is not, in fact, incompatible w/ consciousness. To the truly open minded, that is. I also wonder why these authors are ignorant of the success that has been achieved in inducing experiences indistinguishable from NDE's thru the administration of pharmaceuticals:

      http://www.lycaeum.org/leda/Documents/Using_Ketamine_to_Induce_the_Near-Death_Experience.9260.shtml

      Here's a report by someone who actually had a NDE and, shortly afterwards, had a trip on ketamine that was virtually identical:

      http://www.near-death.com/science/hallucinations/karl-jansen-ketamine-and-ndes.html

      Congratulations, however, on finlly finding a couple neuroscientists who agree with you. Now, maybe you could try find some competent ones.

      Delete
  4. I don't think there were any lies, but I think there were some skillful rhetorical mis-directions.
    For example, you suggest Nusslein-Vollards failure to turn up mutations with minor changes in body plan is a problem for evolution. But if I remember correctly they specifically screened for embryonic lethals and would have discarded anything with minor non-segmental defects. They also started from inbred fly lines that were completely devoid of the kind of variation that natural selection works on. Furthermore, I don't think anyone would really expect evolutionarily relevant mutations in body plan would ever turn up in a single screen such as this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps that is why there are so many lawyers at the Discovery Institute. Defense attorneys are not required to call attention to incriminating evidence.

      That seems to be a structural difference between law and science.

      Delete
    2. Lantog,

      But we can look at the entire history of Drosophila mutagenesis, going back to Morgan's fruit fly room in the early decades of the last century, and the signal is the same. I lived through the excitement of the Nusslein-Volhard screens (first heard them described as a breakthrough in evolutionary theory as an undergrad 1980-84, studying ev bio at the University of Pittsburgh), but then began to hear "Well, Drosophila is highly derived, after all...we can't really take any lessons away for the problem of metazoan origins or macroevolution."

      Ted, your comment brought to mind a line from a letter of Darwin's to Lyell, 20 October 1859: "Grant a simple archetypal creature, like the mud-fish or Lepidosiren, with the five senses & some vestige of mind, & I believe Natural Selection will account for production of every Vertebrate animal."

      Insert smiley face.

      Delete
    3. Paul, what kind of change do you really expect to see "if evolution is true" in single mutations?

      Do you really believe a mutation screen will detect a 0.02% length increase here, a 0.4% greater angle there? Ultimately these things are based on researchers having to look at individual flies and determine whether something significant has happened to their morphology, it is entirely possible that the sorts of changes that accumulate over geological time are pretty much undetectable by that kind of screening.

      Seriously, what is half a century to 5 million years?

      If morphological change of the sort you're looking for really was easily visible in decades and resulted from single mutations, evolution would take mere centuries, not tens of millions of years.

      Delete
    4. Paul,

      I think I recall something I read years ago by yourself ( or maybe it was Wells?) that is similar to what you suggest here: that the N-V experiments were a disappointment in terms of understanding evolution and that the results have been used almost as propaganda by biologists since then. This line of argument always involves, at some point, bringing up that Antennapedia mutants couldn't survive in the wild.
      But of course that misrepresents what these experiments show. You assert in your video that mutations that occur early in development should have a drastic effect on development but these experiments show in part, why that need not be the case. They illustrate that development is organized in a modular fashion and that makes it much more amenable to change.
      But even in the early 80s most people accepted that a large part of metazoan evolution was due to regulatory changes, and that point was soon driven home by the demonstration that so many homeobox genes were interchangeable between flies and mice.
      Everything we’ve learned from developmental biology and comparative genomics in the last decade is consistent with extant body plans being derived by descent with modification from simpler ones…and many observations are explained only by that.
      RodWilson

      Delete
    5. Paul Nelson said,

      I lived through the excitement of the Nusslein-Volhard screens (first heard them described as a breakthrough in evolutionary theory as an undergrad 1980-84, studying ev bio at the University of Pittsburgh), ...

      I, too, lived through this excietment beginning in the mid 1970's when I was working with Walter Gehring's group in Basel, Switzerland. Eric Wieschaus was just finishing his thesis and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard was a post-doc in the lab. I followed their work when they went to the EMBO lab in Heidelberg and they reported the results of their screens at the regular Drosphila meetings I attended.

      The work was extraordinary but it was hardly a breakthrough in evolutionary theory as you describe it. Everyone knew that mutations in Drosophila developmental genes could have large and profound effects on morphology. That insight was due to Edward B. Lews who was awarded the Nobel Prize along with Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus in 1995. It was common knowledge in the Gehring lab where they were working on mutants like antennapedia and preparing to clone the bithorax cluster.

      Stephen Jay Gould published his book, Ontology and Phylogeny in 1977 and my copy still has its price in Swiss francs on the back cover. Gould did not discover this view of evolutionary theory, he merely publicized it. When discussing the differences between humans and chimps, he said (page 405),

      What, then, is at the root of our profound separation? King and Wilson argue convincingly that the decisive differences must involve the evolution of regulation: small changes in the timing of development can have manifold effects upon a final product "Small differences in the timing of activation or in the level of activity of a single gene could in principle influence considerably the systems controlling embryonic development. The organismal differences between chimpanzees and humans would then result chiefly from genetic changes in a few regulatory systems, while amino acid substitutions in general would rarely be a key factor in major adaptive shifts." Differences in regulation may evolve by point mutations of regulatory genes or by rearrangement of gene order caused by such familiar chromosomal events such as inversion, translocation, fusion, and fission. Studies of banding indicate that at least one fusion and ten large inversions and translocations separate chimps and humans.

      So, it may have been news to an undergraduate at Pittsburgh but the results of the Nüsslein-Volhard/Wieschaus experiment were just what developmental biologists expected. They expected to discover a bunch of regulatory genes controlling the early stages of development. In fact, the goal was to identify EVERY gene that controlled development. Nobody knew what those genes were or how they worked—that's the important contribution of Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus.

      The genes were identified because they were early embryonic lethals. Nobody—at least nobody with an IQ over 70—ever thought that these lethal alleles had anything to do with the evolution of different phenotypes in insects. It took painstaking work on dozens of these genes to decipher how they worked and how non-lethal alleles in those genes and their DNA binding sites could affect development.

      Paul, I'm pretty sure you've read Sean B. Carroll's book Endless Forms Most Beautiful where he explains evo-devo in considerable detail. But even if you haven't read that book, the basic principles have been explained to you many times in the past, especially during the debates over Darwin's Doubt.

      If you know the truth; namely, that the embryonic lethal alleles have nothing to do with evolution, then why did you deliberately mislead your audience?

      Delete
    6. I have Carroll's book, and most of his evo-devo papers. Endless Forms gives no experimental evidence showing that mutations to bodyplan-specifying regulatory elements will yield anything other than dead or severely malformed animals. In that respect, embryonic lethals could not be more relevant to the unsolved problem of the mechanism of macroevolution, for exactly the reasons I gave in the video.

      Eric Wieschaus's 1982 AAAS lecture, where he discussed the saturation mutagenesis screens, was given in a session with the title, "Mechanisms of Major Evolutionary Change." If evolution actually modifies development and major anatomical features in animals in viable (stably heritable) fashion, it must be possible to mutate deeply-entrenched regulatory elements, such as those perturbed by Nusslein-Volhard and Wieschaus.

      Yet the flies all die. The question is why.

      Delete
    7. That was fascinating, Paul. Larry gave you a very clear and easy to understand explanation of the relevance of that work and what it revealed regarding evolutionary developmental biology. He also says this is not the first time he has given you this explanation, so it's hard to believe that you have not grasped it.

      And yet you immediately respond by repeating the exact misrepresentation that Larry was attempting to correct, and the very one you made in your lecture.

      It would be most elucidating if you had sufficient insight into yourself to explain how religion can cause a mind to misfire so badly. But I fear you do not have such insight. What a pity.

      Delete
    8. One could note that failure to evolve further is not in any case a barrier to historic evolution. Plasticity is not necessarily constant.

      One could also note that thwacking genomes with a metaphorical mallet is probably not an instructive model of evolutionary change, any more than the shattering of pitch with an actual mallet proves it cannot flow.

      Delete
  5. Mikkel,

    Many (maybe most) of the relevant transformations in animal origins are quantal -- discrete, rather than continuous, steps. Even within the Insecta one finds (for instance, in the embryogenesis of the parasitic wasp Aphidius ervi) characters such as complete cellularization, right at the start of development. The cell membranes of A. ervi do not allow the diffusion of morphogens such as bicoid, essential for normal A-P specification in Drosophila. Work through the problem, and you'll find that at some point, quantal modifications had to occur. There's no gradual path, and having lots of time available doesn't help. To borrow a metaphor from my talk, one has to cross the bridge all at once.

    Rod -- I wouldn't have said that the N-V and Wieschaus screens were propaganda; that's not a word I use. They were, and are, beautiful experiments. But I was powerfully struck by Wieschaus's AAAS talk in 1982, when he wondered about their relevance to the problem of macroevolution.

    Incidentally, the modularity of homeobox genes is (to my mind) evidence for the primacy of the higher level, or the organism itself: the same regulatory element, waking up one fine morning in an arthropod, will participate in a cascade leading to a compound eye. Put that very same transcription factor in a cephalopod, and it helps to build a camera eye. The system tells its parts what to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Drosophila, bicoid is a maternal gene and its protein is deposited in a concentration gradient in the egg, and thus diffusion of morphogens across cell membranes is irrelevant. Is this different in Aphidius?

      Also, last I heard, the "regulatory element" you're talking about is Pax-6, which builds nothing. It merely serves as a location signal that tells other genes that this is the place to put an eye. Nor is it "the organism itself", whatever that means, that causes differences in what genes respond to Pax-6; it's the differences between arthropods and cephalopods in transcription factor binding sites in the genome. Genetic differences cause differences in morphology, not any "higher level".

      Delete
    2. John,

      See Grbic & Strand 1998, pdf here:

      http://www.pnas.org/content/95/3/1097.full.pdf

      Figure 3b is really interesting. The marker dye they used is smaller (in its molecular dimensions) than bicoid, meaning that bicoid could not diffuse as it does in Drosophila.

      The difference in how Pax-6 is deployed occurs at the level of the entire system: notice that you cannot avoid saying "arthropod" versus "cephalopod" transcription factor binding sites. The system tells its parts what to do.

      Delete
    3. Gerbil & Strand do not mention bicoid. Bicoid, as far as I know, doesn't diffuse from cell to cell in Drosophila; rather, it's inherited during cell division.

      And by "the system", you apparently refer to the genome without understanding that you do, since transcription factor binding sites are genomic sequences. The differences between arthropod and cephalopod development arise from genetic differences, as I said and as you apparently want strongly to believe not to be true.

      Delete
    4. Gerbil = Grbic. Curse you, autocorrect.

      Delete
    5. @Paul Nelson
      "Many (maybe most) of the relevant transformations in animal origins are quantal -- discrete, rather than continuous, steps."

      What do you mean? What are these transitions you think are impossible? Insects did not become birds, mammals or cephalopods, nor the other way around.

      The insect body plans are actually remarkably well conserved, they're shared and derived from common ancestors, but extant insects did not give rise to each other. Flies did not evolve from ants, mosquitoes did not evolve from butterflies.
      These strange "discrete" steps you see are differences between lineages, but that is irrelevant because they did not give rise to each other. The interesting question is what their ancestral form was (if there was a common ancestor of flies and ants, what did it look like and could it in fact give rise to flies and ants?), not whether flies can turn into humans. Nobody believes that transition actually happened. So start dealing with what is postulated to have happened(the common ancestor of chimps and humans gave rise to chimps and humans), rather than some vague notion of arbitrary species X chaning into Y.

      "There's no gradual path, and having lots of time available doesn't help."
      There's no gradual path between what? Try giving examples from actual postulated evolutionary transitions, rather than than vague suggestions that smell like you expect ducks to become crocodiles.

      Take the fish-tetrapod transition, why could it not have happened gradually?

      Delete
    6. The system tells its parts what to do.

      You keep repeating this generality as if it is meaningful. For various X and Y, what X "tells Y to do" and vice versa during development has been worked out very, very specifically. John Harshman's indicated a little of this in his responses correcting some of your vague generalities here. Whenever you'd like to start dealing in confirmed factual specifics, please let everyone know.

      Delete
    7. Rumraket : What do you mean? What are these transitions you think are impossible?

      Bummm........

      Where Do Complex Organisms Come From?

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2316-where-do-complex-organisms-come-from#4782

      (a) membrane targets and patterns
      (b) cytoskeletal arrays,
      (c) ion channels, and
      (d) sugar molecules on the exterior of cells (the sugar code)

      Delete
  6. See Grbic & Strand, p. 1099; they write:

    "To determine whether A. ervi embryos developed in a completely cellularized environment, we injected individual blastomeres with a fluorescently conjugated dextran tracer (Fig. 3). At the four- and eight-cell stage, our tracer diffused from each injected blastomere (Fig. 3a). However, when small and large blastomeres
    were injected at the 16-cell and later stages, the tracer remained only in the injected blastomere (Fig. 3 b and c). This indicated that early embryonic development of A. ervi proceeds in a cellularized environment, and that molecules larger than our tracer dye, such as transcription factors of the Drosophila patterning hierarchy, could not freely diffuse between embryonic cells."

    "Transcription factors of the Drosophila patterning hierarchy" includes bicoid.

    The point here is simple: if A. ervi and Drosophila share an insect common ancestor, radical changes to its developmental architecture must have arisen on the branches to one or both species. Complete cellularization (A. ervi) and a syncytium with diffusing morphogens (Drosophila) are fundamentally different ways of building an insect.

    Alas I don't have time to continue debating "system" versus "genome." Of course transcription factor binding sites are part of the genome, but (unless one begs the question) there is no biological reason to make the genome causally primary. I expect this to come up at the London Royal Society meeting, in November, which Larry will be attending. I'll be there as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paul, I have to conclude from this response both that you aren't actually reading what I tell you but that you don't understand the subject well enough to discuss it. Let me say this again in case it sinks in this time: bicoid does not diffuse among cells in any species; it's deposited by the mother and cells of the zygote inherit their bicoid, its concentration depending on that cell's position on the original bicoid gradient. Do you understand that?

      You have neither time nor ability to continue debating. Transcription factors are coded by the genome; transcription factor binding sites are parts of the genome. It all comes back to the genome. What other part of the "whole system" are you supposing? There are also physical interactions involved in development. But you never mentioned any of that.

      Delete
  7. There was no intent to deceive and so no deception or misleading . These are careful subjects dealing with intricate points.

    Most audiences are or would be receptive to the option that selection can't explain structures of such common results.

    The truth is the objective for mankind in figuring things out.
    So God is a option unless already shown not to be a option which could only be upon investigation which would contradict God being not a option.
    Further Christiandom started with the God option and the world did.
    Design is indeed excluded as options in a lot of evolutionary thought as I watch it.
    Common design can explain eyeballs aplenty in biology and its not the only option that eyeballs come from a original eyeball creature.
    God is natural and never supernatural as he sees it.
    This was a good talk and I'm not so aware of nelson from speeches but only a general fame as a creationist.
    Evolutionists should seek him out. ideas plus delivery.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here we go again. When evolutionists get their ass handed to them, what do they do?

    They scream "Liar, liar, pants on fire".

    Now I know why mu mama liked to say "Who ever yells the loudest is usually the guilty one"

    Larry's got nada so the first thing he can think of is "Paul's lying. Denton is lying. They (opponents of non-teleological step wise change) all just have to be lying or we're just still life with woodpecker."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here we go again, the yappy lap dog with nothing to offer but taunts.

      Brush up on your biology Steve and one day maybe you could offer something meaningful to one of these conversations.

      Delete
    2. Steve yells very loudly: "Now I know why mu mama liked to say "Who ever yells the loudest is usually the guilty one"

      OK, why are you always yelling?

      And, following your logic, when someone is mugged, who yells loudest: the mugger or the victim?

      And Steve, in a burst of projection, says: "When evolutionists get their ass handed to them, what do they do?

      They scream "Liar, liar, pants on fire".


      But Steve himself gets his ass handed to him every time he injects himself here, and his response is always of the form "Darwinists are liars! Pants on fire!"

      Why does he never ask himself: Hey, what if the things I wrote described me to a T?

      Delete
  9. Lantog wrote: Everything we’ve learned from developmental biology and comparative genomics in the last decade is consistent with extant body plans being derived by descent with modification from simpler ones…

    That question is the center and core of dispute between evolution and design. No wonder, this question keeps the debates and disputes alive, because we have not yet a clear and fully elucidated picture. In order to know what provokes the origin of body plans, and if the claim that evolutionary mechanisms might explain biodiversity, and the change from one kind or species to another, and the formation of evolutionary novelty, like eyes, wings, legs, finns, ears etc. we need to know first what ontogenetic mechanisms and forces actually provoke body forms. Paul Nelson has not lied in regard of stating that mainstream science has been greatly ignorant to point out clearly what mechanism that is.

    EVEN PROPONENTS OF EVOLUTION ADMIT TO NOT KNOWING HOW EVOLUTION SUPPOSEDLY WORKS:

    No coherent causative model of morphogenesis has ever been presented.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=79710AE9A71071921BD4A3CAC34D5C80.journals?aid=7928966&fileId=S147355041000025X

    “Although the vast majority of research in evolutionary biology is focused on adaption, a general theory for the population-genetic mechanisms by which complex adaptations are acquired remains to be developed.”
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., “Scaling expectations for the time to establishment of complex adaptations”, September 7, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1010836107.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/30/1010836107.abstract

    “Students should realize that although virtually all scientists accept the general concept of evolution of species, scientists do have different opinions on how fast and by what mechanisms evolution proceeds.”
    The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Educational Benchmarks, (F) Evolution of Life
    http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/ch5/ch5.htm#F

    “Scientists are still uncovering the specifics of how, when, and why evolution produced the life we see on Earth today.”
    Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s website, “Foundational Concepts: Evolution” page
    http://www.nmnh.si.edu/paleo/geotime/main/foundation_life3.html

    “But they are trying to figure out how evolution happens, and that’s not an easy job.”
    University of California Museum of Paleontology and the National Center for Science Education
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_50

    “Much of the recent experimental work on natural selection has focused on three goals: determining how common it is, identifying the precise genetic changes that give rise to the adaptations produced by natural selection, and assessing just how big a role natural selection plays in a key problem of evolutionary biology—the origin of new species.”
    Scientific American Magazine, “The Evolution of Evolution: Testing Natural Selection with Genetics”, December 18, 2008.
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=testing-natural-selection&print=true

    ReplyDelete
  10. Science however goes forward, and keeps elucidating what goes on inside the cell, and development biology is opening the black box, and demonstrating how organisms develop. We are slowly getting out of a state of ignorance in regard of what mechanisms determines cell shape, assignment of their planes of division, tendencies to move, directions and rates of movement, modes of differentiation into particular cell types, and cell death (apoptosis).

    Two reasons :

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2090-centriole-centrosome-the-centriole-spindle-the-most-complex-machine-known-in-nature#4759

    One primary feature of oriented cell division is the proper positioning of the mitotic spindle relative to a defined polarity axis. In principle, spindle orientation is achieved through signaling pathways that provide a molecular link between the cell cortex and spindle microtubules. These pathways are thought to elicit ( provoke ) both static connections and dynamic forces on the spindle to achieve the desired orientation prior to cell division. Although our knowledge of the signaling molecules involved in this process and our understanding of how they each function at the molecular level remain limited, collective efforts over the years have shed light on the importance of spindle orientation to animal development and function. Moreover, emerging evidence shows an association between improper spindle orientation and a number of developmental diseases as well as tumor formation.

    and: Electrical gradients and fields are critical in the 3D function and shape of cells and organs.

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2293-the-recent-groundbreaking-scientific-research-which-explains-the-real-mechanisms-of-biodiversity

    Electrical signaling is key for cells to properly interpret their environment, and when this process goes awry, the cells default to a cancer program.
    While ion flows control cell-level behaviors such as migration, differentiation, and proliferation, bioelectric signals also function as master regulators of large-scale shape in many contexts: a simple signal can induce complex, highly orchestrated, self-limiting downstream morphogenetic cascades. For example, an unmodulated flux of protons can cause the formation of a complete tail of the right rise and tissue composition.


    BOTH EXPLANATIONS POINT TO INFORMATION. INFORMATION IS THE KEY. CHANGE THE INFORMATIONAL INSTRUCTIONS, AND THE RESULT IS NOT NEW BODY PLANS, BUT DESEASE, CANCER ETC. IN THE END, THE QUESTION IS: WHERE DOES THE INFORMATION COME FROM THAT DIRECTS THE FORMATION OF NEW BODY PLANS ?


    And a second question arises : Why the heck would unicellular protozoans want to evolve into multicellular organisms, if they compartmentalize and are able to work with multiple organs which exercise various tasks just fine, like multicellular organisms do ? As for example : Diplodinium (Epidinium) ecaudatum, which has a kind of "brain" (motorium); 2 - - mouth; 4 - conductive filaments of the pharynx; 5 - fibrils pharynx; 6 - skeletal plate; 7 - endoplasm; 8 - "hindgut"; 9 - poroshitsa; 10 - contractile vacuole; 11 - Ma;Mi-12; 13 - dorsal lip; 14 - dorsal cirri area ???


    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2308-origin-of-development-and-ontogeny#4757

    ReplyDelete
  11. John,

    Bicoid doesn't diffuse between cells -- and that is exactly the problem, if one assumes that the common ancestor of Diptera and Hymenoptera possessed a syncytium with diffusing or transported morphogens. "Nearly all insects," writes Grbic (2000, p. 920) "undergo a syncytial phase of development during the initial cleavage divisions of embryogenesis." But in A. ervi, complete cellularization occurs immediately -- there is no syncytium to speak of -- and by the 16-cell stage, the cell membranes do not allow diffusion of molecules smaller than bicoid. Grbic explains the mystery: "the apparent abrupt evolution of total cleavage in wasps is puzzling. Intuitively, such a switch would appear to be difficult to evolve." He thinks that what he calls the "alien" pattern of A. ervi did evolve, of course, but currently the step-by-step scenario remains to be filled out.
    (See M. Grbic, "'Alien' wasps and evolution of development," BioEssays 22 [2000]:920-932)

    John Harshman writes:

    "Transcription factors are coded by the genome; transcription factor binding sites are parts of the genome. It all comes back to the genome. What other part of the 'whole system' are you supposing?"

    Tell you what: I'll isolate some DNA for you, and post the photo over at ENV. You tell me if it looks like an animal, and if so, what species.

    It's biological nonsense to say that "it all comes back to the genome." The correct maternal deposition of bicoid mRNA in the oocyte, for instance, depends critically on the three-dimensional PHENOTYPIC geometry of the mother's egg chamber. All organisms, not just animals, are demonstrably more than their DNA -- and they cannot be reduced to their genomes.

    Mikkel -- some reading for you:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11692-011-9142-7

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once again, a complete failure to understand what you yourself had said and how both bicoid and transcription factors in general work.

      Finally, you mention a specific physical factor. But of course what determines the three-dimensional phenotypic geometry of the mother's egg chamber? More importantly, what determines differences between species? Is it something other than DNA sequence, and if so, what?

      I have to reject your strawman challenge, which you must know, if you have any honesty at all, means nothing.

      Also, you need to learn to comment correctly so as to attach the response below the post it's responding to. Like this.

      Delete
    2. John,

      The Reply button above didn't work earlier.

      Since I'm giving out reading assignments, here's one for you, bearing on our discussion about your DNA reductionism (open access):

      http://rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/1/55

      As an exercise, try describing ANY organism -- even a bacterial cell -- without its phenotype. DNA is causally and biologically inert without the rest of the organism, and their absolute interdependence renders moot any attempt to privilege DNA over phenotype.

      That's it for me in this thread.

      Delete
    3. What? But you still haven't given us Ontogenic
      Depth v2.0. Still in revisions, or something?

      Delete
    4. any attempt to privilege DNA over phenotype.

      Does the book feature this sort of meaningless gibberish?

      Delete
    5. Let me give out a reading assignment: actually read what I say and respond to it cogently.

      Delete
  12. Rumraket
    Take the fish-tetrapod transition, why could it not have happened gradually?

    I dealt with this....

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2219-tetrapods-evolved-really

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If by "dealt with" you mean copy-pasted a lotvof apologetics you didn't even understand, sure m8.

      To anyone reading this: Elsamah is what happens to your brain when you let Paul Nelson lie to you.

      Delete
    2. Just one thing from this very silly page attempting to negate tetrapod evolution:

      "The transition from life in water to life on land would have necessitated dramatic structural changes of the whole body to withstand the increased effects of gravity, amongst other new requirements."

      So how do you explain extant semi-terrestrial fish, like mudskippers and walking catfish? Clearly fish can adapt to the demands of gravity.

      The rest of the webpage is mainly "scientists don't yet know exactly how everything happened: Ergo, it never happened", as in the apparently fatal "Many aspects of tetrapod origins remain elusive".

      Delete
    3. Christine Marie Janis,

      "So how do you explain extant semi-terrestrial fish, like mudskippers and walking catfish? Clearly fish can adapt to the demands of gravity."

      Fair enough. But that does not address the bigger picture. The problem, at least the one that casts doubt on the whole idea for me, is the mechanism. Every single transitional step, every last minute detail, depends on successfully modifying genes with replication errors, and so do all the control and regulatory systems behind thos genes. Even iconic duplications require mutations for them to serve in some neofunctional role. Thousands, if not millions of generations could come and go without just the right misplaced nucleobase occurring that could result in just the right protein alteration.

      People are free to believe whatever they like, but there are always going to be those who recognize that any system that depends on unlikely events does not deserve acceptance without mountains of iron-clad proof. So far, it is all just a story, and what evidence there is, like Lenski’s experiment, does not support the idea of fish mutating into tetrapods.

      Delete
    4. People are free to believe whatever they like, but there are always going to be those who recognize that any system that depends on unlikely events does not deserve acceptance without mountains of iron-clad proof.

      Events that happen hundreds of times with each reproduction (as mutations do) can hardly be called "unlikely."

      There seems to be no concept simple enough that a creationists cannot completely misunderstand it.

      Delete
    5. "Events that happen hundreds of times with each reproduction (as mutations do) can hardly be called "unlikely." "

      But not orderly, and not helpful. Look up mutations, and come back with how many are related to disease and infirmity, as opposed to the ones biologists are celebrating.
      -
      "There seems to be no concept simple enough that a creationists cannot completely misunderstand it."

      And there seems to be no reality so glaring, that materialists cannot miss it.

      Delete
    6. But not orderly, and not helpful.

      There is no need to have them occur in an "orderly" fashion, so long as they occur. Anyone who understands current evolutionary theory realizes this. That seems to exclude you. And "helpfuless" is only determined in retrospect.


      Look up mutations, and come back with how many are related to disease and infirmity, as opposed to the ones biologists are celebrating.

      Only after you have looked up how many are neutral, or nearly so, and what percentage of these would have to eventually prove "useful" in order for adaptations to occur. Although you should already know this by now.

      Delete
  13. Claiming DNA is "causally and biologically inert without the rest of the organism" as Paul Nelson does above is like saying, "you can't learn anything in a library because books are just inert ink and paper."

    Well of course DNA is inert compared to RNA and proteins. Like books, DNA is a storage device. It's *supposed* to be relatively inert, to reduce the error (mutation) rate. This in no way threatens any modern version of evolutionary theory.

    Paul Nelson wants everybody to think he hasn't lied. And maybe in his mind that isn't technically a lie. But then, what do you call it when
    you deliberately rearrange facts to mislead your audience?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hoary, life judmarc, unwittingly makes intelligent design's case.

      Books are a storage device. 1) What is 'stored' in the device? 2)What stores that 'what' in the device?

      Answers: 1) information 2) an intelligent entity we can observe

      Likewise, DNA is a storage device. 1) What is 'stored' in that device? 2) What stores that 'what' in the device?

      Answers: 1) information 2) an intelligent entity we can't currently observe

      The lie is only in hoary's nightmare scene where he meets his maker whom devours him and coughs up ash.

      Delete
    2. Steve attempts a ridiculous analogy :

      Books are a storage device. 1) What is 'stored' in the device? 2)What stores that 'what' in the device?

      Answers: 1) information 2) an intelligent entity we can observe

      Likewise, DNA is a storage device. 1) What is 'stored' in that device? 2) What stores that 'what' in the device?

      Answers: 1) information 2) an intelligent entity we can't currently observe


      Nope - living things store information in their DNA. The information is generated by the interaction of mutations with the environment (the genome becomes a record of what worked in the past, and still works now). Living things are easily observable, and not all of them are intelligent.

      Books do not replicate themselves, living things do.

      Therefore, living things have a mechanism that can add 'information' (repeated rounds of mutation to generate variation, and selection or drift to render some variants more common than others, thus adding 'information' of what works for the organism in its environment), and thus can gain 'information' WITHOUT THE NEED FOR MAGICAL SKY PIXIES TO INSTALL IT ALL AT ONCE as gibbering 'intelligent design' requires.

      Your 'analogy' is like asserting that since lime peels and dollar bills share one quality (both are green), they share ALL qualities (lime peels can be used as money, and are printed on a press).

      And now, the standard theoloon delusional threat :
      The lie is only in hoary's nightmare scene where he meets his maker whom devours him and coughs up ash.

      RiiiIIiiiIIiiIIght !! When one lacks the intellectual rigor or understanding to refute an argument, vomit up 'believe me or the Magic Man will GETCHA !!1!11!11!!!!!'

      Delete
    3. Paul: Nope - living things store information in their DNA. The information is generated by the interaction of mutations with the environment

      And what was the origin of the first gene set required to make the minimal required proteins  to give life the first go ? You can't invoke evolution, since evolution did only start with DNA replication..... 

      Paul: Books do not replicate themselves, living things do.

      Correct. Which is not a fact that is a plus for naturalistic explanations. Rather the oposit is the case. What mechanism originated the first proteins that are required to make DNA replication happen ?  My contemption is that these proteins had to arise all at once, a stepwise manner is not possible, since if even just one of the more than 30 proteins that are required would be missing, nothing goes, dna replication could not happen. 

      Furthermore, why would natural mechanisms produce the mechanism of DNA replication at all ? Did lifeless molecules have the " natural drive " and " will " to become alive through replication? 

      Furtermore, it makes no sense to produce the hardware, if not the software together. The main ingredient to make life happen is CS information. So both had to arise togheter. 

      I wrote extensively about these issues here: 

      The hardware and software of the cell, evidence of design

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2221-the-hardware-and-software-of-the-cell-evidence-of-design

      DNA replication, and its mind boggling nano technology  that defies naturalistic explanations

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1849-dna-replication-of-prokaryotes

      Unfortunately, you seem to be a victim of the current status quo of mainstream science, and live inside the BOX of methodological naturalism, as Paul Nelson elucidated. 

      This system of indoctrination and the minds behind it which created that demarkation are the REAL LIARS, which are responsible for several generations of scientists, which pietly believe in this philosophical framework, which produces BAD SCIENCE.  

      Paul Nelson nails it  down,  when he illustrates the matter of facts  and philosophical landscape of science, that there is a REAL problem of intelligent design not being given the importance and merited space it deserves as a scientific THEORY, because its a priori let out of the box, and that is how i see it, because  there is A SPIRITUAL BATTLE GOING ON to win our minds and souls, ( yes, i have the courage to name it ), and also a general denial of proponents of naturalism to admit intelligent design as legitimate and serious scientific theory with a solid and sound philosophical framework behind , based on BIAS, not on reason. A example par exellence is how everything is done by the scientific establishment to keep scientific papers on intelligent design out of the mainstream scientific peer reviewed publishing because its stamped as not legitimate scientific theory and science, and persecution of scientists that have the guts to try, like happened with Sternberg:

      If intelligent design theorists do manage to publish in a peer-reviewed science journal, Darwinists will make sure the editor suffers grievously for it.

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1406-peer-reviewed-papers-on-intelligent-design#4498

      Delete
    4. ElShamah777,

      "What mechanism originated the first proteins that are required to make DNA replication happen?”

      I’m confident that you won’t be getting a cogent response to questions like this.

      Delete
    5. What "cogent response" do you expect to a question that is based on a smuggled false premise, txpiper?

      IDiots. Not half a brain between the lot of them.

      Delete
    6. There is nothing false about the premise. What is the mechanism?

      Delete
    7. And what was the origin of the first gene set required to make the minimal required proteins to give life the first go?

      And how are there chickens if eggs are required to make chickens, and chickens are required to make eggs? Your question is precisely this idiotic.

      Regarding the first proteins, even the lifeless environment of outer space produces amino acids found in meteorites. In an environment as full of energy and chemicals as the early Earth, it would be difficult to *keep* those amino acids from chemically binding to form proteins.

      Delete
    8. Judmarc : it would be difficult to *keep* those amino acids from chemically binding to form proteins.

      Ahm..... and thats it ? simple as that ? wow.....Seems such a smart answer as Columbus egg......

      Delete
    9. ""What mechanism originated the first proteins that are required to make DNA replication happen?"

      Evolution by natural selection in an RNA world. Meaning they were probably RNA replication proteins that were coopted to replicate DNA.

      "I’m confident that you won’t be getting a cogent response to questions like this."

      Turns out your confidence was misplaced.

      "There is nothing false about the premise. What is the mechanism?"

      Yes, the premise is false, because it presumes proteins did not exist prior to the origin of DNA, which is highly probably false.

      "And what was the origin of the first gene set required to make the minimal required proteins to give life the first go?"

      The premise that proteins are required for life to originate, is without basis and constitutes nothing but an appeal to ignorance.

      Delete
    10. And before there were RNA-replication proteins, RNA was probably replicated non-enzymatically through convection cycles. With small ribozymes having ligase activity.

      Delete
    11. Rumraket

      you never learn, don't you ? i answered to your pseudo-scientific claims , but you keep making the same assertions. Why's that ? Much bias, ahm ?

      Its interesting to note that you claimed for several times that you are not a adherent of the RNA hypothesis. But when its convenient for you, suddenly you are ? LOL....

      The hardware and software of the cell, evidence of design

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2221-the-hardware-and-software-of-the-cell-evidence-of-design

      Paul Davies: the fifth miracle page 62
      Due to the organizational structure of systems capable of processing algorithmic (instructional) information, it is not at all clear that a monomolecular system – where a single polymer plays the role of catalyst and informational carrier – is even logically consistent with the organization of information flow in living systems, because there is no possibility of separating information storage from information processing (that being such a distinctive feature of modern life). As such, digital–first systems (as currently posed) represent a rather trivial form of information processing that fails to capture the logical structure of life as we know it. 1


      We need to explain the origin of both the hardware and software aspects of life, or the job is only half finished. Explaining the chemical substrate of life and claiming it as a solution to life’s origin is like pointing to silicon and copper as an explanation for the goings-on inside a computer. It is this transition where one should expect to see a chemical system literally take-on “a life of its own”, characterized by informational dynamics which become decoupled from the dictates of local chemistry alone (while of course remaining fully consistent with those dictates). Thus the famed chicken-or-egg problem (a solely hardware issue) is not the true sticking point. Rather, the puzzle lies with something fundamentally different, a problem of causal organization having to do with the separation of informational and mechanical aspects into parallel causal narratives. The real challenge of life’s origin is thus to explain how instructional information control systems emerge naturally and spontaneously from mere molecular dynamics.

      Software and hardware are irreducible complex and interdependent. There is no reason for information processing machinery to exist without the software, and vice versa.
      Systems of interconnected software and hardware are irreducibly complex.

      Delete
    12. chemist Wilhelm Huck, professor at Radboud University Nijmegen 5
      A working cell is more than the sum of its parts. "A functioning cell must be entirely correct at once, in all its complexity,"

      Paul Davies, the fifth miracle page 53:
      Pluck the DNA from a living cell and it would be stranded, unable to carry out its familiar role. Only within the context of a highly specific molecular milieu will a given molecule play its role in life. To function properly, DNA must be part of a large team, with each molecule executing its assigned task alongside the others in a cooperative manner. Acknowledging the interdependability of the component molecules within a living organism immediately presents us with a stark philosophical puzzle. If everything needs everything else, how did the community of molecules ever arise in the first place? Since most large molecules needed for life are produced only by living organisms, and are not found outside the cell, how did they come to exist originally, without the help of a meddling scientist? Could we seriously expect a Miller-Urey type of soup to make them all at once, given the hit-and-miss nature of its chemistry?

      Being part of a large team,cooperative manner,interdependability,everything needs everything else, are just other words for irreducibility and interdependence.

      For a nonliving system, questions about irreducible complexity are even more challenging for a totally natural non-design scenario, because natural selection — which is the main mechanism of Darwinian evolution — cannot exist until a system can reproduce. For an origin of life we can think about the minimal complexity that would be required for reproduction and other basic life-functions. Most scientists think this would require hundreds of biomolecular parts, not just the five parts in a simple mousetrap or in my imaginary LMNOP system. And current science has no plausible theories to explain how the minimal complexity required for life (and the beginning of biological natural selection) could have been produced by natural process before the beginning of biological natural selection.

      Delete
    13. No evidence that RNA molecules ever had the broad range of catalytic activities

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2024-the-rna-world-and-the-origins-of-life#3415

      Paul Davies The Algorithmic Origins of Life
      Despite the conceptual elegance of the RNA world, the hypothesis faces problems, primarily due to the immense challenge of synthesizing RNA nucleotides under plausible prebiotic conditions and the susceptibility of RNA oligomers to degradation via hydrolysis 21 Due to the organizational structure of systems capable of processing algorithmic (instructional) information, it is not at all clear that a monomolecular system – where a single polymer plays the role of catalyst and informational carrier – is even logically consistent with the organization of information flow in living systems, because there is no possibility of separating information storage from information processing (that being such a distinctive feature of modern life). As such, digital–first systems (as currently posed) represent a rather trivial form of information processing that fails to capture the logical structure of life as we know it.

      A protein must be able to fold into a specific 3-dimensional shape in order to have biological activity. But the forces holding the folded protein in shape are so weak that many amino acids need to be involved - imposing a minimum length on their sequence of about 70 (Kyte), and maybe 50 for nucleic acids. So trying to improve the odds of finding a biologically active macromolecule by starting with short ones, just will not work.

      A similar misperception is that the first replicator need only have had poor replicating ability, which could gradually have improved (by mutation and selection of improved versions). But it is important to note that a poor replicator is more likely to degrade through miscopying than to improve its performance, and this poses a dilemma for the production of a primitive replicator. Although the common presumption is that a crude replicator can gradually improve its performance through a natural selection sort of process, in fact there is a threshold before that could take place. That is, a replicator must already have a reasonably good performance in order to be able to improve on that performance.

      In other words, natural selection cannot take place until there is a reasonably reliable replicating system. So the first replicating system would need to have arisen exclusively by chance.

      Delete
    14. @ElShamah777

      Please stop spamming my blog with irrelevant comments.

      How do you explain the origin of life? Please give as many details as possible making sure you account for all the facts as we know them. Start with the fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the earliest life was a simple cell.

      Waiting ....

      Delete
    15. Larry

      When you complain that my posts are irrelevant, i know it's the contrary .....so when this comes from you, i see it actually as a compliment. Isn't it like a cold shower to see your world view, naturalism, and evolution being wracked ? And since you are the MASTER OF BIAS, this situation incomodates you.. How do you live with that tension to see it being revelated what is true, and what you would like to be true, but isn't ? Its a obvious reality that the best inference based on the scientific evidence is on the side of the proponent of ID. And the more time passes, the more this shift of paradigm becomes evident. Your response ? Post moronic critizism and superficial drivel as the OP of this topic , and scream LIAR , LIAR !! So when you do so, be prepared to hear the response.....

      As for how life was made, you did not ask this for the first time, and quite reasonable answers were given to you. Specially from Ann Gauger.

      What's the Mechanism of Intelligent Design?

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1794-how-exactly-did-god-create-the-universe-and-the-world-what-process-was-involved

      It's still worth considering how a mind might act in the world to cause change. The answer is we don't know. I sit here typing. My mind, mediated by my brain, is putting words into a computer program (designed by other minds, by the way), using my fingers to type. But how does it happen, really? Where does the impulse to press one key instead of another come from? And how do these words, products of my mind, communicate to others through their computer screens? We can't really say how our own minds work to interact with the world, yet we know they do. It is our universal, repeated, personal experience that shows us that our consciousness interacts with our bodies to produce information, but exactly how it works is not known. So why should we expect to know how the agent(s) responsible for the design of life or the universe may have worked? The theory of intelligent design does not propose a mechanism (a strictly or necessarily materialistic cause) for the origin of biological information. Rather, it proposes an intelligent or mental cause. In so doing, it does exactly what we want a good historical scientific theory to do. It proposes a cause that is known from our uniform and repeated experience (to borrow a phrase) to have the power to produce the effect in question, which in this case, is functional information in living systems.

      Delete
    16. Well Mikkel, your grammar is good, and you didn’t misspell any words. But by cogency, I was thinking more in terms of a clear, logical and convincing explanation. All you did was list (or omit) lots of miracles, any of which would make the Resurrection look like a party favor.

      What science has determined, with unfailing reliability, is that proteins and nucleic acids are synthesized. They don’t just form. Furthermore, they are only synthesized in the context of information, and purpose.

      One of the most damaging and cruel aspects of materialism is that it permits, even encourages, gross trivialization. But the idea of an RNA world really takes oversimplification to fairy tale extremes, with natural selection being the fairy. The things you noted (your beliefs) are literally Jack and the Beanstalk level fabrications. They are not grounded in anything that even smells like science.

      To illustrate, helicase is just one of the critical replication enzymes, and it is no slouch:

      “Helicases are a class of enzymes vital to all living organisms. Their main function is to unpackage an organism's genes….The human genome codes for 95 non-redundant helicases: 64 RNA helicases and 31 DNA helicases. Many cellular processes, such as DNA replication, transcription, translation, recombination, DNA repair, and ribosome biogenesis involve the separation of nucleic acid strands that necessitates the use of helicases.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicase

      Mutations and natural selection are out of the picture. You have to account for the appearance of this kind of design with nothing but accidents.

      Delete
    17. Ahm..... and thats it ? simple as that ? wow.....Seems such a smart answer as Columbus egg......

      In other words, you have no response.

      Delete
    18. What science has determined, with unfailing reliability, is that proteins and nucleic acids are synthesized. They don’t just form. Furthermore, they are only synthesized in the context of information, and purpose.

      Outright fabrication. What's your explanation for amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) formed in the hostile vacuum of space?

      Chemistry happens all the time, all over the universe. Biochemistry does not require one single solitary different fundamental principle from the inorganic variety. All the thermodynamics and quantum physics that is the basis for the formation of chemical compounds works exactly and precisely the same.

      So now go ahead and tell me why the formation of amino acids in space requires no special chemistry, but getting these to link together in chains to form proteins in the chemically reactive environment of the early Earth is supposed to require miracles?

      Please account for all the differences you cite with the appropriate distinctions on the quantum and thermodynamic levels.

      Delete
    19. ElShamah777,

      Your problem, my friend, is that you keep flooding the comment section with copy/paste crap. You would do better if you thought for yourself and kept it one item at a time. This way you could get answers (if you cared about answers). If you don't care about answers, you could just post a link to the bullshit you copy/pasted and be done with it. Nobody will read all that crap because there's no point in reading the crap. This is a comment section, not a book. If you make a point then people can think and answer. If you copy/paste long diatribes, then you're not making a point, you're just wasting your time. It also makes you look stupid. If you need to paste all that crap, it means that you don't actually understand any of it. Not enough to write your own thoughts.

      Delete
    20. Your problem, my friend, is that you keep flooding the comment section with copy/paste crap. You would do better if you thought for yourself and kept it one item at a time.

      You're assuming that this option is open to ElShamah777. He or she seems incapable of independent thought and can only copy/paste the thoughts of others, with the only criteria that the authors share ElShamah777's religious prejudices. It's a common problem among creationists, unfortunately,

      Delete
  14. Steve--

    If Go.... um, The Great Intelligent Designer... actually designed our genomes, he needs to hire somebody who understands the Dewey Decimal System. Also, a cleaning service.

    Libraries run by professionals are arranged systematically. While the genomes of living creatures are a hot mess. Introns, pseudogenes, junk DNA-- if that's the work of an intelligent designer, I'm not going to worry about his retribution in the afterlife. I could just as easily go to heaven anyway, on a clerical error.

    In fact, when selection does take on the appearance of design, it usually involves either an evolutionary arms race or sexual selection (including plants attracting pollinators) where some actual, observable creature with some kind of actual, observable brain is involved in the selection process.

    Our genomes, by contrast, look like the result mostly of genetic drift. They still function as the libraries of our genetic material. But Intelligently Designed libraries? No.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. of course you would be wrong there.

      you can even find friggin' zipcodes in our genome.

      'nuff said.

      oh, by the way, genetic drift is an awesome design element.

      Shared tools. What hoary? you thought microsoft or apple were the inventors of the sharing tools concept?

      Nah. The genome has beaten Man to every single hardware/software concept there is.

      Not only that, the future will confirm that in the genome are a slew of new software design concepts we have yet to dream of.

      Thats why ID is where its at.

      Delete
    2. What a sad spectacle to watch a mind that has slipped off the rails as badly as Steve's has.

      That's right: Evolution has been able to produce solutions that elude the grasp of even the most intelligent "intelligent designers". So exactly how does that demonstrate that evolution was "intelligently designed"?

      Watch and learn, kids. This is your brain on religion.

      Delete
    3. The problem of evolutionary "novelties"

      http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2283-the-problem-of-evolutionary-novelties

      Gerd B. Muller and Stuart Newman argue that what they call the
      "origination of organismal form" remains an unsolved problem.

      French biologist Jean Rostand, for example, wrote ["A Biologist's View," Wm. Heinemann Ltd. 1956] 1
      Even among biologists, the idea that new organs, and thus higher categories, could develop gradually through tiny improvements has often been challenged. How could the "survival of the fittest" guide the development of new organs through their initial useless stages, during which they obviously present no selective advantage? (This is often referred to as the "problem of novelties".) Or guide the development of entire new systems, such as nervous, circulatory, digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems, which would require the simultaneous development of several new interdependent organs, none of which is useful, or provides any selective advantage, by itself?

      Evolutionary geneticist Wallace Arthur wrote in 1997 that "current evolutionary theory, based on natural selection and adaptation in present-day lineages is, at the very least, incomplete," hence "the feelings of dissatisfaction that many evolutionary developmental biologists have with neo-Darwinism."

      Delete
    4. Massimo Pigliucci writes:
      The immediate obstacle that arises once we consider novelties as “qualitatively distinct” from existing traits is that the MS tells us how traits spread in natural populations (by natural selection, drift, etc.) but is silent on how they arise—except in the trivial case of quantitative variants of already existing features.
      To put it simply, the question is not, say, how different species of turtles get different colors or shapes of their shells; the problem is how do we account for the transition between reptiles without and with shells in the first place?
      http://philpapers.org/archive/PIGWIA/

      Popper famously wrote that
      “[Darwinian theory] never gives us a full explanation of anything’s coming into being in the course of evolution,” because it is a theory that assumes variation and “therefore . . . cannot really explain it. . . . It is strictly a theory of genes, yet the phenomenon that has to be explained in evolution is that of the transmutation of form”
      (Popper and Eccles 1977, 560, note 1, in Platnick and Rosen 1987, 13).

      The frailty of adaptive hypotheses for the origins of organismal complexity
      There is no evidence at any level of biological organization that natural selection is a directional force encouraging complexity.
      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl_1/8597.full

      Delete
    5. Stephen C Meyer , Darwin's doubt pg.218:

      Contemporary critics of neo-Darwinism acknowledge, of course, that preexisting forms of life can diversify under the twin influences of natural selection and genetic mutation. Known microevolutionary processes can account for small changes in the coloring of peppered moths, the acquisition of antibiotic resistance in different strains of bacteria, and cyclical variations in the size of Galápagos finch beaks. Nevertheless, many biologists now argue that neo-Darwinian theory does not provide an adequate explanation for the origin of new body plans or events such as the Cambrian explosion. For example, evolutionary biologist Keith Stewart Thomson, formerly of Yale University, has expressed doubt that large-scale morphological changes could accumulate by minor changes at the genetic level. Geneticist George Miklos, of the Australian National University, has argued that neo- Darwinism fails to provide a mechanism that can produce large-scale innovations in form and structure. Biologists Scott Gilbert, John Opitz, and Rudolf Raff have attempted to develop a new theory of evolution to supplement classical neo-Darwinism, which, they argue, cannot adequately explain large-scale macroevolutionary change. As they note:

      Starting in the 1970s, many biologists began questioning its neo-Darwinism's adequacy in explaining evolution. Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest. As Goodwin (1995) points out, "the origin of species—Darwin's problem—remains unsolved."

      John Lennox : There is no publication in the scientific literature – in prestigious journals, specialty journals, or books – that describes how molecular evolution of any real, complex, biochemical system either did occur, or even might have occurred. There are assertions that such evolution occurred, but absolutely none is supported by pertinent experiments or calculations… despite comparing sequences and mathematical modelling, molecular evolution has never addressed the question of how complex structures came to be.

      James Shapiro, a biochemist at the University of Chicago, also admits that there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system; only a variety of wishful speculations. Even the highly critical review of Behe by Cavalier-Smith concedes Behe’s point that no detailed biochemical models exist.

      Delete
    6. Steve,

      "you can even find friggin' zipcodes in our genome."

      "Finding" five "specific" numbers in a genome that's 3.3 billion bases long would be surprising because?

      Delete
    7. @ ElShamah777,

      Larry has already dealt with Pigliucci's misguided claims here:

      What do they mean when they say they want to extend the Modern Synthesis?

      As for your citing "experts" like Lennox, Shapiro and Meyer, all I can do is snort derisively. Why not include Ken Ham and Ray Comfort while you're at it?

      Delete
  15. To any still reading this thread (Diogenes, Mikkel, James Hoffman, etc.), interested in the question of discriminating "intelligent" versus "supernatural" causes and how both concepts might play a role in scientific explanation:

    I'm going to post my follow-up over at ENV (because of its length) and will respond to questions here. In the interim, I highly recommend the following paper by Taner Edis and Maarten Boudry:

    "Beyond Physics? On the Prospects of Finding a Meaningful Oracle," Foundations of Science 19 (2014):403-422.

    ABSTRACT: Certain enterprises at the fringes of science, such as intelligent design creationism, claim to identify phenomena that go beyond not just our present physics but any possible physical explanation. Asking what it would take for such a claim to succeed, we introduce a version of physicalism that formulates the proposition that all available data sets are best explained by combinations of “chance and necessity”—algorithmic rules and randomness. Physicalism would then be violated by the existence of oracles that produce certain kinds of noncomputable functions. Examining how a candidate for such an oracle would be evaluated leads to questions that do not admit an easy resolution. Since we lack any plausible candidate for any such oracle, however, chance-and-necessity physicalism appears very likely to be correct.

    Keywords: Physicalism, Chance and necessity, Computability, Supernaturalism, Intelligent design, Hypercomputation, Randomness

    This paper is not open access, unfortunately, but if you contact me via email (nelsonpa@alumni.uchicago.edu) I think I can provide you with the pdf within the bounds of fair use.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I dunno why anybody would want to discuss anything with Paul nelson. For this is a guy who's official position is that the world and universe is young. Its a waste of time trying to argue with such people that lack the ability to evaluate evidence in a clear and rational way. As anyone here knows, there is 2 MUSTS for evolution to be true, and they are

    1) plenty time.
    2) evidence that genomes can change over time.

    When discussing the "plenty time" issue, That is a completely different science to evolution and yet he rejects it . So why bother arguing with people like him ???? It just blows my mind.

    In the day of darwin, he was told evolution didnt have enough time, due to how the sun burnt its energy . We now know that the sun is essentially a fusion reactor which gives the alotted "millions of years" and not the 6000-10000 limited years creationists believe in.

    I mean look at how many independant lines of evidence converged to conclude that the universe is Old and the world we live in is atleast 4.5ish billion years old.

    The sun didnt have to turn out to be a fusion reactor, The radimetetric dating didnt have to turn out the way it did, The tree rings didnt have to turn out the way it did to confirm carbon dating. The ingenious coral ring dating didnt have to turn out the way it did to give evidence for old earth. Cosmology didnt have to turn out the way it did to give evidence for old universe/old earth. If young earth creationism was true you would not expect so many coincidences.
    Take for example cosmology, We can clearly see that there are objects further out than 6000-10000 light years from us. So are the young earth creationists purposing that supernovas occurring further out than 6000-10000 light years from us are illusions?, Deceptive tricks from the creator to make us all go to hell in believing in a lie of evolution and old earth?


    The very fact that this IDiot paul nelson is a young earth is grounds to disqualify him as being rational enough to evaluate the evidence. Talking with him is like talking to ray comfort. Its a waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Take for example cosmology, We can clearly see that there are objects further out than 6000-10000 light years from us. So are the young earth creationists purposing that supernovas occurring further out than 6000-10000 light years from us are illusions?" Yes, actually, there are YEC's who think the light from distant objects was created in transit, or appearing to be in transit.

      Of course, if this is true, God lies, profoundly and thoroughly. If this is true, there's no reason to believe any divine promise of his love or an afterlife, or anything.

      Delete
    2. John,
      You're right about YEC being indefensible, but could you please turn it down a notch? Dr. Nelson is respectful when he visits here, so no need to bite off his head. All this name-calling on both sides has gotten unhealthy.

      Delete
    3. Of course, if this is true, God lies, profoundly and thoroughly. If this is true, there's no reason to believe any divine promise of his love or an afterlife, or anything.

      No, no, the love part is really, really true, I still love you and only you.

      Signed, God

      Delete

  17. Paul Poland,

    It would be good if you could actually follow along. The analogy was Hoary Puccoon's, not mine!

    Regardless, what 'works' is meaningless 'gibberish' to any non-teleologically and incrementally modified genome.

    The fact that you have no choice but to explain evolution in teleological terms says buckets about the supposedly non-teleological nature of life.

    Its the same shit with your vaunted natural selection acting on variation. Try to explain RV+NS without pre-existing excess reproduction. Can't be done.

    That's why evolutionists sprinkle sky pixie dust over RV+NS.

    ...and they thought they were sly enough, going undetected for so long until ID came along and crashed (and trashed) the party.







    Steve attempts a ridiculous analogy :

    Books are a storage device. 1) What is 'stored' in the device? 2)What stores that 'what' in the device?

    Answers: 1) information 2) an intelligent entity we can observe

    Likewise, DNA is a storage device. 1) What is 'stored' in that device? 2) What stores that 'what' in the device?

    Answers: 1) information 2) an intelligent entity we can't currently observe

    Nope - living things store information in their DNA. The information is generated by the interaction of mutations with the environment (the genome becomes a record of what worked in the past, and still works now). Living things are easily observable, and not all of them are intelligent.

    Books do not replicate themselves, living things do.

    Therefore, living things have a mechanism that can add 'information' (repeated rounds of mutation to generate variation, and selection or drift to render some variants more common than others, thus adding 'information' of what works for the organism in its environment), and thus can gain 'information' WITHOUT THE NEED FOR MAGICAL SKY PIXIES TO INSTALL IT ALL AT ONCE as gibbering 'intelligent design' requires.

    Your 'analogy' is like asserting that since lime peels and dollar bills share one quality (both are green), they share ALL qualities (lime peels can be used as money, and are printed on a press).

    And now, the standard theoloon delusional threat :
    The lie is only in hoary's nightmare scene where he meets his maker whom devours him and coughs up ash.

    RiiiIIiiiIIiiIIght !! When one lacks the intellectual rigor or understanding to refute an argument, vomit up 'believe me or the Magic Man will GETCHA !!1!11!11!!!!!'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If an object falls in wet clay, it leaves information in the form of an impression thru which the shape of the fallen object can be determined.

      Tell me, Steve, what form of intelligence was required for that information to exist? Oh, right: None.

      IDiots, honestly.....

      Delete
    2. Oh, and what is it with you creotards that you cannot even format your posts so that they are comprehensible? Seriously, there is a very stark contrast in this regard between those who understand and accept evolution, and those who do not. It seems there is a more general failing of comprehension among creationists.

      Delete
    3. Steve made a common mistake of copying all of his opponents' comment. You or I could make that mistake.

      Could we try to be a little generous towards our opponents? At least try.

      Delete
    4. Steve demonstrates his vivid fantasy life :

      Regardless, what 'works' is meaningless 'gibberish' to any non-teleologically and incrementally modified genome.


      RiiIIiIIGHT !! Mutations that cripple a gene necessary for survival have NO EFFECT on survival !

      Evolution and life aren't striving towards any particular goal; it is demographics. Some variants do better than others (either through luck or enhancing survival chances); those tend to become more common. One must be pretty desperate to claim THAT is 'teleological'.

      Or that is somehow weakens evolution or supports Magical Skymanism/'Intelligent Design'.

      The fact that you have no choice but to explain evolution in teleological terms says buckets about the supposedly non-teleological nature of life.


      That is more a side effect of language than a flaw with evolution. Life has no pre-planned goal; one would have to be mind-buggeringly silly to claim 'live long enough to reproduce' is so teleological it requires Magical Sky Pixies to make it work.

      Its the same shit with your vaunted natural selection acting on variation. Try to explain RV+NS without pre-existing excess reproduction. Can't be done.


      How would you know ? Since RV+NS obviously works (in direct and brazen defiance of screaming IDiotic dogma), all you can do is prance about and flaccidly attempt to word-game it away.

      Like this feeble attempt right here :

      That's why evolutionists sprinkle sky pixie dust over RV+NS.


      Nope. Pixie dust and magic is all creationuts, IDiots and theoloons have.


      ...and they thought they were sly enough, going undetected for so long until ID came along and crashed (and trashed) the party.


      Again, QUITE the fantasy life you have there Steve !

      Where, EXACTLY (outside of your fetid imagination) did the IDiots crash or thrash anything (except their own credibility) ?

      Can you name ANY real world population that does NOT have 'excess reproduction' ?

      What would such a population even look like - if there is ANY replacement in the population, evolution can proceed.

      Delete
  18. The question is -- is it possible that the cause for origin of life or for life's indescribable complexity and appearance of design could be Intelligent Design? I think it is fair to answer yes to this question. Therefore if the real cause is an Intelligent one for life and for body plans and for the complexity of the brain, and the genetic code, then evolutionary biologists such as L Moran will never find the true causes as they are burdened down with the chains of Methodological Naturalism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee. Right. Larry Moran is a huge defender of Methodological Naturalism. He can't say enough good things about it. Like here:

      Is Science Restricted to Methodologial Naturalism?

      Delete
    2. So, to put this in general form:

      1. You ask a question.
      2. You assert that the answer to the question is "yes".
      3. You assert that this answer leads to another conclusion on a different question.

      I think there need to be steps in between 1 and 2 and between 2 and 3.

      Anyway, Larry doesn't subscribe to methodological naturalism, so your final conclusion has problems on its own terms.

      Delete
    3. Well I stand corrected. My humble apologies to Larry Moran even if he does still think we're IDiots. His position is a very pleasant surprise. Thank you lutesuite and John.

      Delete
    4. I would like to see how many mainstream scientific papers are out there, that do not establish that evolution is a fact a priori, and leave the hypothesis os a supernatural cause at 50/50% possibility at the beginning of their inquiry. Where are the papers, that at the end conclude that a supernatural agent is the best explanation , and following atributes are given to the design hypothesis ?

      Overwhelming evidence indicates,
      most probably,
      supposed,
      A wealth of evidence indicates,
      Significant evidence indicates ,
      have clearly had distinct design trajectories,
      The accumulated evidence suggests a supernatural agent

      etc. etc. ??

      Delete
    5. Probably about as many as say the earth might be flat. So is that because scientists are forbidden from considering the flat earth hypothesis, you think?

      Delete
    6. Kristen Michelle:

      "The question is -- is it possible that the cause for origin of life or for life's indescribable complexity and appearance of design could be Intelligent Design?"

      How can "Design" be a cause? Don't you need a Designer?

      When you can report that a living creature has been designed from scratch, let us know.

      Delete
    7. sez Kristen Michelle @ Wednesday, February 24, 2016 11:58:00 AM:
      The question is -- is it possible that the cause for origin of life or for life's indescribable complexity and appearance of design could be Intelligent Design?
      Let's cut to the chase, Kristen. When you ask, could it be Intelligent Design?, you know as well as I do that what you're really asking is, could the-god-I-believe-in have done it? Well, fine; if your religious beliefs are in line with the majority of your fellow Xtians, the-god-you-believe-in is all-powerful—it says so, right on the label—so of course it's possible that "the cause for origin of life or for life's indescribable complexity and appearance of design" could be the-god-you-believe-in. By the same token, it's also possible that "the cause for origin of life or for life's indescribable complexity and appearance of design" might not be the-god-you-believe-in.

      If you're content to just sit there and mutter "it's possible" to yourself, Kristen, I say go for it. Have a blast. But if you're not content to just sit there and mutter "it's possible" to yourself—if you'd kinda like to find out whether or not the "it" you favor is actually true—well, you're gonna have to do more than just shuffle logical/philosophical propositions around in your head. Are you ready to do that?

      think it is fair to answer yes to this question. Therefore if the real cause is an Intelligent one for life and for body plans and for the complexity of the brain, and the genetic code, then evolutionary biologists such as L Moran will never find the true causes as they are burdened down with the chains of Methodological Naturalism.
      Yep, quite right: If "the real cause is an intelligent one", then anyone whose preconceptions forbid them from contemplating an intelligent cause will, indeed, never find "the real cause". That's absolutely true.

      You know what else is absolutely true? If "the real cause" is not "an intelligent one", then anyone whose preconceptions forbid them from contemplating a non-intelligent cause will, indeed, never find "the real cause".

      What's your point (if any), Kristen?

      Delete