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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Five questions for Intelligent Design Creationists

A few Intelligent Design Creationists are beginning to learn about evolution. A few days ago, I speculated about what would happen if they really did start to understand modern evolutionary theory and the massive amount of data that supports the basic facts of evolution [What would happen if Intelligent Design Creationists understood evolution?].

Vincent Torley has responded. He illustrates the problems they will face and reveals some of the rationalizations that they might use to avoid the most severe symptoms of cognitive dissonance [see Professor Larry Moran poses five questions for the ID movement].

Let's take a look at what has to say. Remember that Vincent Torley doesn't speak for all Intelligent Design Creationists but he does have posting privileges on Uncommon Descent and he is frequently praised by some of the ID leaders who post there. I think we can assume that his views are typical.

Here's his response to each of the five questions.

1. Darwinism: If the Idiots have been misinformed about evolution, which they have, then who is responsible and why were they misled by so many of their leaders?
Torley wants everyone to know that lots of people are misinformed about evolution.
If certain lay Intelligent Design advocates such as myself, have (like most laypeople) been misinformed as to what modern biologists believe about evolution, it certainly isn’t because they were misled by leading figures in the Intelligent Design movement....

One significant reason for the widespread confusion among laypeople is the fact that science bloggers write a lot more frequently about natural selection than about genetic drift – a point which was astutely made by commenter John Harshman, ....

The other main reason why laypeople (including myself) have been misled regarding what evolutionary biologists currently believe about evolution, is that a small but vocal minority of biologists continue to espouse the neo-Darwinian view. The following quote by Richard Dawkins is typical of those scientists who fall into this camp: ....
It's true that the adaptationist view of evolution is widespread and that there's an emphasis on natural selection in the scientific literature.

However, the Intelligent Design Creationists make a living out of criticizing evolution so they have a special responsibility. If they are going to spend so much time attacking a theory, it seems only reasonable to expect them to understand it. The leaders of the movement have been informed repeatedly that their views of evolution do not reflect what's in the textbooks. I think they deliberately mislead their followers.

I think they are still doing it.
2. Social Darwinism: If evolutionary biologists really believe in Neutral Theory and random genetic drift then how can they be supporters of the evil consequences of nineteenth century Darwinism? What about all those posts where evolutionary biologists were compared to eugenicists, racists, and Nazis?
Vincent Torley responds by moving the goalposts. (He's good at that.)
The Uncommon Descent posts on Social Darwinism highlighted the enormous harm wrought by three central ideas that were actively promulgated by nineteenth-century evolutionists: first, the denial of the human soul; second, the assertion that our every act (leaving aside random quantum fluctuations which cannot truly be called actions) is determined by circumstances beyond our control, which takes away our freedom of choice; and finally, the progressivist accounts of evolution that were widely propagated not only by Haeckel but also by Darwin himself, as I’ve documented in my post, Rewriting history: Can a Darwinist believe in the scala naturae? (Darwin did.) and Darwin, Kingsley, evolution and racism.
This has nothing to do with Social Darwinism and the accusations that IDiots constantly hurl at scientists. The main Intelligent Design Creationist websites are full of posts linking modern evolutionary biologists to the evils of Nazism and eugenics. These accusations presume that all evolutionary biologists are strict "survival-of-the-fittest" believers whose scientific ideas carry over to a desire to transform society.

They are racists, according to most IDiots (who presumably are paragons of virtue). See the comment from kairosfocus under Torley's post.

Now Vincent Torley can't really ignore those accusations even though he tries to distract us by having us believe that the real issue is determinism and free will. So he adds ....
Professor Moran might point out that progressivist models of evolution are badly flawed, and that contemporary biologists unanimously reject racism. But he might do well to ponder Stephen Jay Gould’s dictum that human equality is a contingent fact of history. From a materialist standpoint, this is surely correct: were the Neandertals or Denisovans alive today, I doubt whether most evolutionary biologists would regard them as their moral equals, with the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as we currently enjoy.
Clever. He manages to imply that evolutionary biologists are racists without explicitly stating it. He also implies that those who reject science are probably much more moral than scientists.

Is this the tactic they are going to use? It means abandoning the idea that modern evolutionary biologists are strict Darwinists and concentrating on the view that their presumed support of Hitler, eugenics, and racism, actually comes from their dedication to science.
3. Common Descent: This is a biggy. If Sal Cordova and the evolutionary biologists are right about the sequence differences between humans and chimpanzees, then it must mean that humans and chimps share a common ancestor. There will be no room under the big tent for Young Earth Creationists.
Vincent Torley starts off my telling me something that I didn't know.
Hold on a second, Professor Moran! First of all, lumping Sal Cordova in with “evolutionary biologists” is a bit of a joke, as Sal is a committed young-earth creationist.
Oops. I guess we can't count on "leader" Sal Cordova to take you out of the wilderness, can we?

What about the rest of the "leaders"? Will they try to convince their flock that common descent must be accepted in order to be credible?

Not a chance. Torley punts on this one.
For my part, I have made no secret of my belief in the common descent of organisms. But if someone in the Intelligent Design movement thinks they can explain the genetic similarities and differences between humans and chimps without postulating a common ancestor for these two primates, then all I can say is: good luck to them. Why is that? Because in the ultimate scheme of things, I don’t see the question of whether we’re related to chimps as a very important one. Nothing really hangs on it, in terms of the way we live our lives.
Translation: The truth and accuracy of real science is irrelevant to the Intelligent Design Creationist movement. You can continue to be a Young Earth Creationist and continue to attack common descent and geology from under the big tent with the blessing of all Intelligent Design Creationists—even the ones who know the YEC's are wrong.

This is a pretty strange way to rationalize the lack of scientific integrity.
In short: the Intelligent Design "big tent" remains standing. In order to see why it’s still standing, Professor Moran just needs to get his philosophical priorities straight.
Apparently, philosophical integrity is also an option. Oh well, at least Vincent Torley is openly admitting what we all know; namely, that belief in god(s) is more important in the movement than science. If it doesn't affect the way they lead their lives then it's not important whether the Earth is 6000 years old or 4.5 billion years old.

One wonders why they spend so much time fighting science if it's not important?
4. Junk DNA: If Cordova is right then most of the stochastic substitutions in the human genome are neutral. This must mean that most of our genome is junk. Oops! That won’t sit well with many creationists.
Now, after reading the previous paragraphs, you might assume that the issue of junk DNA is unimportant because it doesn't affect how we lead our lives. There's no reason why the people under the big tent should worry about common descent so why in the world would they worry about junk DNA? Right?

Wrong! Vincent Torley is very worried about junk DNA.
It appears to me that Professor Moran’s reasoning is faulty on two counts. First, the fact that “most of the stochastic substitutions in the human genome are neutral” doesn’t imply that the sections of the human genome in which they occur serve no function. It simply means that the (mostly neutral) changes taking place in that section of the genome will neither help nor harm the organism. By itself, that tells us nothing about what percentage of the genome is junk.
If mutations occur by chance throughout the genome—as they do—then Vincent Torley has a problem. A significant percentage of those mutations will be detrimental (harmful) if they occur in functional regions of the genome. If the vast majority of mutations are not harmful—which they are—then this means that most of our genome doesn't have a function.

This is the genetic load argument in favor of junk DNA. The Intelligent Design Creationists have been ignoring it for 45 years because they don't understand evolution [see Five Things You Should Know if You Want to Participate in the Junk DNA Debate].

Next we have a little lesson on biology from philosopher Vincent Torley who just a few weeks ago learned for the first time about population genetics.
Second, Professor Moran is committing a verbal sleight-of-hand here: he is equating "neutral" with "junk." As Professor Moran himself writes: "The correct definition of ‘junk’ is DNA that has no known function." Note the wording here: "no known function." A neutral mutation, on the other hand, is simply one that does not affect an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce. That doesn’t mean the mutation has no function; it simply means that it has no present function. A neutral mutation that might not affect an organism’s ability to reproduce, but it could still conceivably have an impact (positive or negative) on the fertility of the organism’s distant descendants. Or again, the mutation might (for all we know) incorporate information that is of no use to the particular species of organism in which it occurs, but which eventually turns out to be useful to that species’ evolutionary descendants. Of course, one would want to see some experimental evidence for these scenarios. The reason why I’m mentioning them is simply to show that Professor Moran’s equation of "neutral" with "junk" is conceptually careless.
Thanks, Vincent. I'll try and remember that "no known function" is not the same thing as "possible imaginary function that might develop in a million years or so." And I'll try to avoid "conceptually careless" remarks the next time I talk about neutral mutations in functional regions of the genome—as I do quite frequently.
I’d like to preface my remarks by saying that I have no expertise whatsoever in genetics, and my knowledge of junk DNA is very limited. However, I’ve watched Professor PZ Myers’ video on junk DNA, and I’ve also skimmed Professor Moran’s lengthy review of Dr. Jonathan Wells’ book, The Myth of Junk DNA (see here for some more positive reviews and here for a list of news updates on junk DNA, over at Evolution News and Views). Suffice it to say that when a Professor of Medical Genetics writes, “I strongly recommend The Myth of Junk DNA, a lucid account of the evidence that junk DNA has many diverse biological functions,” and when a Professor of Microbial Genetics and Cell Biology adds that “Jonathan Wells has clearly done his homework,” you know the book can’t be as awful as Professor Moran claims it is.
The argument here is that the IDiots are right and most of our genome is functional. Torley even mentions the ENCODE results.

On the other hand, Torley seems happy to consider the possibility that half our genome could be junk. I wonder what Jonathan Wells and the other "leaders" are going to say about this ...
In light of the above-mentioned uncertainties, I think a prudent estimate of the percentage of junk DNA in the human genome would be: somewhere around 50%. It could be quite a bit more … or it could be a lot less.

Junk DNA – how much could the Intelligent Design movement live with?

Suppose that the “50% junk” figure is true. Could the Intelligent Design movement live with that? Personally, I don’t see why not. Let’s try a little thought experiment. Would it bother you if 1% of our genome turned out to be junk? I don’t imagine so. All right. What about 10%? That still leaves 90% that is functional, so I can’t see why it would matter either. Well, what about 50%? Even if 50% of our DNA were junk, you could still say that half of the human genome is there for a reason, and that the remaining half, while non-functional, isn’t harming us. That doesn’t sound so bad to me. What’s the problem?
What's the problem? Vincent, ask your friends at the Discovery Institute if they have a problem with that. Get back to me when you hear from them.
5. Theistic Evolution: There’s only one group that’s more evil than materialistic scientists and that’s theistic evolutionists. They are traitors. But if the IDiots actually were to accept the fundamental concepts of evolution, as Sal Cordova and Vincent Torley seem to be doing, then where does that leave Theistic Evolution Creationism? This cold be embarrassing when you look at all the posts on Uncommon Descent where theistic evolutionists have been mercilessly attacked.
Vincent Torley responds with ...
The term “Intelligent Design proponent” could be understood in a very broad sense, as including anyone who believes that the cosmos (or at the very least, some feature of it) was designed by an Intelligent Being. On this broad definition (used by Professor Michael Behe below), theistic evolutionists already qualify as Intelligent Design advocates.
That makes sense. It means that the terms "creationist" and
"Intelligent Design proponent" are synonyms. I'm glad that Torley admits the connection between "theistic" and "intelligent design."
However there are two major differences separating the ID and theistic evolution camps. As regards science, the critical question that separates Intelligent Design proponents from theistic evolutionists is not whether evolution occurred, nor even whether evolution (if it occurred) was guided by God, but rather, whether the existence of an Intelligent Being guiding evolution is scientifically detectable. Modern-day theistic evolutionists say no; Intelligent Design advocates say yes.
That's a reasonable distinction although we could quibble about whether the things Francis Collins advocates are "scientifically detectable." Collins thinks they are.

If that's all that separates theistic evolution from well-informed Intelligent Design Creationists then that's fine by me. It means, of course, that both groups accept the facts of evolution and common descent. Right now, the biggest difference between Theistic Evolution Creationists and Intelligent Design Creationists is that the latter groups spends 99% of its time attacking evolution. Does Torley think that's going to change in the future as more and more Intelligent Design Creationists come to accept evolution and common descent?

Torley concludes with some nonsense from Michael Behe. I suspect that he (Vincent Torley) already regrets posting it.


  1. Larry, I think you do a little bit to invite Torley when you define junk DNA as DNA with "no known function". That should be "DNA we have good reason to believe has no function". Though in fact he doesn't seem to have picked up on that.

    I love his defense of Wells' book: it has a blurb by a biologist! It must be good!

  2. LOL! Good old moronic Joe G with his same handful of blithering IDiot talking points.

    "Your side has no evidence!"

    "Everything evolved by design"

    "Stonehenge and SETI!"

    "You can't prove evolution was unguided!"

    "All the evidence supports baraminology!"

    " To measure CSI of a cake just count the letters in the recipe"

    "Meet me and I'll teach you a lesson that will be your last!"

    :D :D :D

    Jo(k)e Gallien, the best and brightest that ID-Creationism has to offer.

  3. Only an imbecile would say that ID proponents DON'T attack evolution! It's in the DEFINITION directly from the Disco Tute:

    "The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. "

    Choke on that JoeG.

    1. Bill has no idea what you area taking about,,, Bill has limited space.. just ask him about antennas and the origins of life... he ain't gonna think you are a chicken... Beal might be

  4. Larry, let Joe "you have no mathematical models of evolution/so nuts there's a >7000 post thread on panda's thumb just dedicated to laughing at stupid shit he says" G post.

    Seriously, he's like Quest/Witton and Rober Byers. I can think of no better a deterrant from IDcreationism, for a rational person, than to read and come to understand that these people are good, average representatives for the people in that little, religiously fundamentalist, anti-science movement.

    1. Rum crooked,

      The is the last time I'm writing it; I'm neither creationist nor ID proponent.... Witton may have been or is, but I don't give a shit... YOU write that down...! Get it...?

      Like almost all of you here I'm agnostic...

      I believe that some things in nature can only be explained by superior than our intelligence such as, the origin of life... the cause behind of the beginning of the universe... That is why I laugh at morons like you each time you try to pretend that the origins is not a problem.... It is and it will be.... Trust me!

      The only acceptable to me explanation by scientific facts available is that universe was created several billions years ago including the Earth.... The transformation process of the Earth and creative days could have lasted very, very long periods of time... how long.... I don't know....

      Most creationists at UD are morons, including troley and almost all YEC & OEC... Few..., like Paul Nelson, Behe, Myer, Axe... are very smart guys.... but it doesn't mean I agree with them on everything....

      I can't imagine... just like Larry pointed out, how someone like Troley can be a YEC, believe in common descent-meaning human and chimp had an ape-like-ancestor, and at the some time question CD in that sense.... However.... I'm yet to hear their explanation of their own beliefs....

    2. quest, you say that you're not a creationist yet you believe that the Universe was created by a superior intelligence. You say that available scientific facts are what makes that the only explanation acceptable to you. What scientific facts are you referring to, exactly?

    3. Apparently there is a difference between creationists and those who believe in creation... I'm still trying to figure this out.. I'm not a creationist per say for now, but I believe in creation... I know it is confusing even for me.... Just bear with me... :) IF YOU CAN...

    4. quest, if you think that 'creation' occurred/occurs, if you accept that 'creation' occurred/occurs, if you believe that 'creation' occurred/occurs, or if you "believe in creation", you are a creationist. Whatever flavor of creationism you adhere to is mostly if not completely irrelevant except when it comes to mocking it and keeping it out of science, public schools, and government, unless, of course, you or someone else find and reveal testable, verifiable evidence for it.

    5. None of creationists' teachings are compatible with my knowledge; Troley, Sordova and most at UD are perfect examples of that....

      Next week, I'm meeting one of the top scholars for lunch... Apparently, he is sort of like me; he believes in the act of creation, but his views are totally separate from the "main stream creationism"...

      I have written that many times.... I know it is boring to some of you... but it is an inescapable fact:

      Many scientists, (as well as many on people on this blog) believe that life has arisen spontaneously, somehow... and yet, all the attempts to recreate life have failed...

      How could scientists and others be so sure that life has arisen without intelligence, if intelligent scientists can't recreate what they believe chance, accident and natural processed did..? Those who believe in such a nonsense should give the scientific titles to chance, since it appears to be more intelligent than them...

      Not only that.... many respectable scientist believe that even the "simplest" cell is, so complex that it couldn't have originated on the Earth… Well…. this is encouraging…. However, this is just an example of moving this problem somewhere else….and not really facing the fact…that life is so complex that it could only have been created by intelligence superior than ours….

      If anyone wants to discuss this issue, please don’t write “ …we don’t know how life originated, so God did it…” I will ignore comments like I have been in the past…

      To me personally, talking about evolution-what I mean by that is variation leading to new, separate species with new body plans- is nonsense without explaining first the issue of the origins of life...I know many think it is not a problem... as they say that there is some much supposed evidence for appearance of new, properly defined species or kinds... but I'm yet to see such evidence....

      The funniest thing of all is the supposed mechanism of the evolution nobody can agree on.... I have to give Larry and UD guys credit for exposing natural selection an inadequate, or insufficient mechanism for evolution.... I'm pretty sure that Coyne loves it as his recent book and the upcoming one are apparently all about natural selection as...:the only game in town of evolution ...." lol


      1. The universe had a beginning; there is no doubt about that...

      2. Everything that had a beginning had to have a cause...

      3. Most scientists agree that the big-bang lead to the beginning of time, matter and laws that govern the universe….It is inescapable to me, that whoever or whatever was the cause of “the beginning of the material universe” had to have been a mind….outside of time and space…without a beginning… some kind of transcendent being…Nobody so far…even Karuss proposed anything logical to contradict that….

      4. The first cause had to have not only intelligence superior to ours…
      -fine tuning of the laws, black energy or the total mass of the universe are so fine-tuned that it is mind boggling and whoever believes that it happened by accident believes in miracles…)

      ....but also inexhaustible source of energy or power… as expanding and accelerating universe is a living proof of that…

    6. Quest, I have often heard creationists argue that life must have been created because scientists have not even come close to creating life. A totally non-argument. We both know that if science ever succeeds in creating life, the creationists will simply argue that this was proof of that an intelligent creator is required for life to arise.

    7. This is a very poor argument... The "if" is a big issue.... as you can imagine...

      "If" scientists never recreate life, would this mean that natural processes did it...?

      It is a circular reasoning that attempts to diverge the attention from the fact that scientist not only have no idea how to recreate life, they don't even know what life is...

      One expert I had a long discussion with over the weekend last week insists that they may be some undetectable to us power that sustains life itself....

      He claims that it could be a reason why scientists not only can't recreate life... but also can't sustain life....

      He was referring to the punctured cell in the famous video: " can't put humpty dumpty back together again..." by Jonathan Wells...

    8. The idea of a circular argument was my entire point. The ID crowd have never made an argument that wasn't circular. Their entire defence of their faith is to point out all of the things that science has not explained.

      I could argue, with as much credibility and validity that, because we science does not fully understand the origin of life or the origin of the universe, they were both caused by leaving gum under the table in a bar in a ore-universe universe.

    9. Actarita Tonsa,

      Suppose that scientists are able to recreate life... what empirical evidence will you provide to support the notion that life can originate without a creator...? ......
      Side note...(I want you, or pissed off people like Dino-genes to answer this... They claim that people like me try to destroy science.... I do not... but issues have to be explained...)

      ....You will be stuck in the same spot... with the only exception that life can be RECREATED OR COPIED BY INTELLIGENT SCIENTIST... nothing else...
      You reasoning... or the lack of is not scientific.... you would like it to be.... but it is not...

      I can't remember what Witton used to call people like you... it was a mix o's psychiatric term... I think and abiogenesis.... but I can't remember what it was.. It would fit your beliefs perfectly....
      I sent an e-mail to without response.... several times...
      Tax evasion is a serious issue in US of America... even if you are a war veteran.... and fully-loaded... Witton had few millions to support his shit... a lot o millions... but when you are republican... sooner or later you get nailed.... To bad.... to bad ... such a moron....

    10. "-fine tuning of the laws"

      I don't understand the fine tuning argument, please explain it. Apparently, if the knob on the universe was set to a slightly different setting, the universe wouldn't be tuned in very well.

      Can you explain where this enormous knob is, please? I'm applying the principle of 'it takes one to know one', and you're without question the biggest knob I know.

    11. "all the attempts to recreate life have failed...". If you think the Wells 'experiment' has anything to say on this matter then you need a reboot. All the attempts (so far) to produce a sustainable, energy producing, fusion reaction have also failed. Yet we have a detailed naturalistic explanation of how the sun works (we didn't have the answer until 1930). It's particles banging together in a complex cascade of interactions. You're convinced that in the next 1000 years we won't be able to recreate the steps that led to early life on earth?

  5. Vincent Torley, name 5 things in nature that were/are not designed by the 'intelligent designer', and how you know.

    joey g, name 5 things in nature that were/are not designed by the 'intelligent designer', and how you know.

    All other IDiots, name 5 things in nature that were/are not designed by the 'intelligent designer', and how you know.

    Vincent Torley, how old is the Universe and the Earth, and how do you know?

    joey g, how old is the Universe and the Earth, and how do you know?

    All other IDiots, how old is the Universe and the Earth, and how do you know?

    joey g, what percentage of the human genome is junk, and how do you know?

    All other IDiots, what percentage of the human genome is junk, and how do you know?

    Vincent Torley, joey g, and all other IDiots, why does it matter to you whether the human genome contains any junk?

    Vincent Torley and all other IDiots, are there 'incremental mechanisms' in evolution?

    joey g, you claim that there is no 'incremental mechanism' in evolution, so please describe in detail how evolution occurs and how you know.

    Vincent Torley, joey g, and all other IDiots, is evolution 'front loaded' or does the 'intelligent designer' manually intervene at particular intervals, or both, and how do you know? If the 'intelligent designer' intervenes at particular intervals, what/when are those particular intervals, and how do you know?

    All IDiots, who or what is the 'intelligent designer', and how do you know?

    All IDiots, is there anything that would convince you that your religious beliefs are nonsensical fairy tales?

    All IDiots, what do you hope to gain by constantly attacking evolution and evolutionary theory?

    All IDiots, do you accept that humans and other apes have a common 'ape-like' ancestor? Do you accept that all life on Earth has a common ancestor?

    All IDiots, answer here, not at UD, ENV, or any other site. Stop being cowards.

    1. OMG!!!

      The Whole Schnikes!!!!

      What are you trying to prove...? That God doesn't exist...?

      Why are you lowering yourself to the "moron state"...?

      1. “All other IDiots, name 5 things in nature that were/are not designed by the 'intelligent designer', and how you know.”

      I’m not one of them I know that…. but I will try to answer:

      THSchnikes: You go to an newly discovered planet and you find rocks, hills valleys, dust…. Etc.. and you naturally accept that those could be the products of natural processes… Right…?

      But all of the sudden, you stumble upon some kind of machinery…There is no doubt that it was designed by intelligence…. Upon further studies and consideration, you realize that the machinery has no purpose….So, what is your conclusion now…? Now, it had have been built by random and unguided processes because you can’t tell what the purpose of the machinery is…?

    2. quest, that doesn't even begin to answer any of my questions.

  6. HolySchnikes,

    2. When did the scientist find the evidence that the universe had a beginning...?
    3. When did the scientist find out that the universe is expanding...?
    4. When did the scientist realise that the universe is accelerating...?
    5 When did the scientist find out that the universe expansion is it so finely tuned that morons like you can't even dream about duplicating it...?
    6. Where does the energy come from for the expansion of the universe... I didn't get a chance to ask that Lawrence Krause, but others did.... What do you think...?

    This is just the beginning.... I have lots more... ;)

    1. 2 - As with most science, there are various threads of confirming evidence. Some of the most persuasive are the cosmic microwave background experiments, beginning from work initiated in the 1940s and bearing fruit beginning in 1964 with Penzias and Wilson's Nobel-winning work. This has been followed by the COBE Explorer experiments and resulting papers, which have been the most cited recent physics papers. Then very recently there's been the work on gravity waves. And also there's your TV. What? Yep, turn on your TV and without an antenna connected, switch your video input to antenna. See the "snow"? The fact that there's "snow" rather than a blank screen is because of the cosmic microwave background radiation from the Big Bang.

      3 - First indications were from Einstein's work, which was so surprising at the time that Einstein thought he was mistaken. Then this was confirmed by the careful observations of Edwin Hubble in 1929, and has since been confirmed by innumerable subsequent observations and experiments.

      4 - The topic of whether the expansion was steady, slowing down, or accelerating was the subject of a great deal of research. The definitive evidence of acceleration (a surprise, since many scientists expected the expansion would be slowing down) came from Perlmutter's work on Type 1a supernovae in the 1990s, and has since been reconfirmed by many other observations.

      5 - The expansion is not finely tuned. You are probably confusing fine tuning of the expansion (which does not exist) with the "horizon problem." The leading hypothesis to resolve this problem is "inflation," first proposed by Dr. Alan Guth in 1980. This hypothesis appears to have been confirmed by the evidence of the recent gravity wave experiments.

      6 - The leading hypothesis at this time is dark energy in the form of a scalar field.

    2. Thank you....

      I kind of knew this stuff...It was at the back of my mind, as I have ready many times....but you put it very concisely and to the point...I hope you don't mind me coping and pasting it on another blog...? Do you...?

      5. By find tuning of the expansion of the universe I meant to say the acceleration of the expansion... or the acceleration of the universe, if that makes more sense to you...

    3. Again: There is no fine tuning of the acceleration. (Think about it - how can a rate that is constantly changing be called "fine tuned"?) It used to be thought that the expansion rate was fine tuned until it was determined the rate was accelerating. The fine tuning problem was thus determined to be more specific than one of expansion rate, and as I mentioned is known as the "horizon" (or "flatness") problem. This is the problem inflation is hypothesized to resolve, and that hypothesis was recently bolstered by the observation of gravity waves.

    4. I hope you don't mind me coping and pasting it on another blog...?

      With attribution I don't mind.

  7. Meanwhile the following was posted on UD:
    Larry Moran should quit staring at us so intently

    It concludes with this sentence:

    If you stare at the moon long enough, you see people up there. If you stare at the ID community long enough, you see stuff that isn’t happening.

    You know, Larry, what this "stuff" is?

    A few Intelligent Design Creationists are beginning to learn about evolution.

    Nope, it isn't really happening.

    1. Quest lacks the intelligence to carry Piotr's briefcase.

    2. Quest the schmuck provides ample evidence of his total ignorance and stupidity every time he posts a comment here.

      When it comes to evolutionary biology, Joe E doesn't know his nether orifice from a hole in the ground.

    3. quest, I notice that you've said 'we' twice, and at least one of the times you were aligning yourself with joey g. There certainly are some similarities between you two, and it's also nice of you to admit that you're an IDiot.

      "What can we do..?"

      "We sort of enjoy your shit.."

    4. A few Intelligent Design Creationists are beginning to learn about evolution.

      Nope, it isn't really happening.

      I have to agree with this, in a few days/weeks these very same IDiots will be back to repeating the same old lies that they always have.

      It will be like this never happened.

      But I suspect that from Larry's point of view it's not to educate the intellectually corrupt Vincent Torley's of the creationist movement but to get some of their followers to start questioning the basis premises of ID.

  8. well I hear a lot about Darwin, thinks like "Darwin used to believe this" "would you believe it?", Darwin had great ideas, you can find many of them in his publications, this is not a "If Darwin did... why do you not?-game". Many of Darwin´s ideas were awesome... some others just wrong, get over it!. We do not take his book "The origin of species" as a guide to explain every evolutionary phenomenon.

    1. IDiots and others who won't accept that evolution occurs see evolution and evolutionary theory as a game or 'contest', that they must 'win' (I ain't no monkey!). To them Darwin is the anti-christ or anti-mohammed or anti-whichever god/prophet they worship. They think that evolutionists (evil 'Darwinists' to evolution deniers) worship Darwin and that Darwin's writings (especially On the Origin of Species) are the 'holy scriptures' of evolutionists.

      IDiots and other religious people won't accept that science isn't (or at least shouldn't be) about 'authority' figures, and especially imaginary authority figures. Some scientists get a lot of credit and respect for what they did or are doing but that's not the same as worshiping them or thinking that what they've written is some sort of inerrant 'gospel'.

      IDiots and other religious people think that since they are eagerly subservient to what they see as ultimate 'authorities' (especially imaginary ones), evolutionists must feel the same way and choose Darwin and other scientists as their gods, prophets, saints, saviors, etc.

      Anyone who understands science knows that no scientist is a perfect, all knowing, ultimate authority, that scientific papers, books, observations, experiments, conclusions, hypotheses, inferences, theories, are subject to informed questions, and revisions if necessary, and that science is a collective endeavor that marches on.

    2. What the ID proponents don't understand is that scientists earn respect for their theories (discoveries). Not because they have been proven correct, which science does not allow, but because they are consistent with multiple lines of evidence and have been demonstrated to be highly predictive. Darwin's theory, although not the entire picture, satisfies these criteria. It is consistent with geological, paleantological, biological and molecular observations. And you don't have to go any further than antibiotic resistance to know that it is highly predictive.

    3. Acartia Tonsa,

      Darwin's theory, although not the entire picture, satisfies these criteria. It is consistent with geological, paleantological, biological and molecular observations.

      I suppose it depends on what you mean by "Darwin's theory." In what way is "Darwin's theory" consistent with the vast amounts of variation present in most populations? How is is consistent with a molecular clock? How do you explain large amounts of junk DNA using "Darwin's theory"? How does "Darwin's theory" explain punctuated equilibrium or species sorting?

      The reason why "Darwin's theory" is "not the entire picture" is precisely because it is not consistent with all the observations.

  9. Quest said: Maybe Joe can teach you about life systems, that need to be in place at the same time, and fully functional, for life to even have a chance to spontaneously assemble....

    What a joke, suggesting Joe teach "life systems", still going on about the subject of "how life came to Earth"? Your problem seems to be yourself.

    From Darwin, Wallace and all the rest, up to this day, the subject under study has been and still is: How “... life, ... from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” (Darwin). The question of how life came to our planet is a different subject, one that we have not solved yet, but I wouldn't bank on the inability of science to anwer that question - science has an impressive track record!
    What problems have been solved by creationism?

    It would be better for you if you took the problem of your own self seriously instead of using science as your scapegoat.

    1. RALF, how has one nucleotide come about by so -called natural processes... Just provide me with some science because I have not found one so far...

    2. @quest "how has one nucleotide come about by so -called natural processes."

      From ""

      "Myriad simulations in the lab, however, have yielded some promising answers. In 2009, for example, John Sutherland of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the U.K. and colleagues demonstrated the formation of the pyrimidine nucleotides, cytidine (C) and uridine (U), from a handful of plausible prebiotic molecules under conditions consistent with current early-Earth geochemical models.2 Rather than rely on free ribose and nucleobases, the team sequentially derived the complete ribonucleotides from glycolaldehyde and glyceraldehyde—“the smallest molecules you might consider sugars,” explains Powner, a collaborator on the study. And in September 2012, Sutherland showed that these sugar building blocks could be derived from hydrogen cyanide, a suspected prebiotic molecule important in synthesizing amino acids."

    3. quest

      So, because YOU have not found some science that explains, to your satisfaction, how one nucleotide has come about, you believe that a superior intelligence (a god) created nucleotides.

      First, science isn't in the business of satisfying you. Second, science isn't done looking for evidence and explanations. You IDiots are SO impatient, and when you can't find satisfying, scientific answers to your mostly stupid questions RIGHT NOW, you believe in, worship, and promote whichever supernatural, super-powered, fairy tale 'creator-god' that you have been brainwashed to believe in since birth, or that you have chosen to believe in, worship, and promote at some point.

      Scientists are actually working at finding real answers to legitimate questions, while you impatient, deluded, narcissistic creationists are just desperately trying to shoehorn your imaginary god(s) and associated dogma into science, education, and government.

      Below are a few links to articles about what some scientists are working on in regard to the origin of life on Earth. As the research progresses, new evidence will be found, more questions will be asked, more discussion and debate will take place, new equipment will be invented and utilized, revisions may or will be made, and more knowledge will be gained. It will take time, money, and a lot of work, and even IF it turns out that some inferences, hypotheses, or theories are wrong there will still be progress in understanding how life did or could have come about on Earth. In the meantime, creationists will still be arguing about their interpretations of so-called 'holy scriptures' and will still be pushing ridiculous fairy tales as though they're The Truth™.

    4. aljones909,

      You missed a very important sentence... ;)

      "Scientists have yet to produce the purine nucleotides adenosine (A) and guanosine (G) under similar prebiotic conditions, but the research is moving in that direction, says Powner. “There’s nothing I see, other than time and effort and a few bright ideas, that stands in the way of understanding at least [the] chemistry to the monomeric components of biology,” he says...."

      Why are you lying to yourself...?

      I don't force you to believe in I...? Does anybody else...? I doubt that.... But have some least...!!!!

    5. Sooooo Quest, have you seen god supernaturally, instantaneously, spontaneously or slowly and incrementally design or create anything at all yet? Just one single thing would do. Where's the demonstration that god's supernatural powers are at work, what did they create, when did they create it, how did they create it and how do you know?

      You don't have to show me the creation of life, or entire universes. Just the tiniest little thing, like a grain of sand or a molecule of water. Got ANY hard, concrete empirical evidence that this takes place anywhere AT ALL?

      No? Then shut the fuck up.

      Respectully, thank you.
      /The rational part of humanity

    6. @quest Your post said "how has one nucleotide come about by so -called natural processes... Just provide me with some science because I have not found one so far...". I gave you a perfectly fair answer. Your subsequent response was a great example of moving the goalposts.

    7. Rumbracket

      Would you care to tell me this to my face...? I can, and I'm pretty much available in most parts of the world.... within 1-2 days.... How does Helsinki sound this week...?

    8. Quest,

      You're really an idiot. Yes, idiot, I did not say IDiot, but idiot. Yes, you are. First you ask for one nucleotide:

      RALF, how has one nucleotide come about by so -called natural processes... Just provide me with some science because I have not found one so far...

      They gave you two nucleotides, some science, and your answer is "oh no, you did not read that they did not produce all of them!" Nice in-your-face moving the goalposts.

      Why the hell are you lying to yourself you little minded imbecile? What the hell is your real problem? Is it that others made fun of you for being such an idiot while in elementary school? Because it took you forever to learn to read? It's never late Quest. It takes effort, but you can increase your literacy.

      Take your own advice Quest. Have the tiniest bit of self-respect and stop showing up as such an unbelievable imbecile.

  10. Second, Professor Moran is committing a verbal sleight-of-hand here: he is equating "neutral" with "junk."

    Yep, as I mentioned in a comment on an earlier Torley post, and as Dr. Moran has predicted all along, no way the ID folks are going to be able to grasp the genetic load concept.

  11. I have no interest in answering loaded questions. But I will again link to the theory that's already getting around in science:

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, whereby a collective of intelligent entities at one intelligence level combine to create another (Logos, animating) level of intelligence for it to control at the next, which results in emergent self-similar entities each systematically in their own image, likeness. This causative process begins at the atomic behavior of matter level where force-guided molecular self-assembly causes emergence of molecular intelligence, which causes emergence of cellular intelligence, which in turn causes emergence of multicellular intelligence.
    The phenomena of "intelligence" can be demonstrated by a relatively simple cognitive model that provides a starting point for developing models demonstrating the phenomena of "intelligent cause". This same circuit/algorithm models both unintelligent and intelligent behavior. It's here possible to determine whether a system is intelligent or not by whether all four of its circuit requirements have been met.

    There is two way reciprocal causation from one level to the next in both forward and reverse directions. This trinity of intelligence levels connects all of our complex intelligence related behaviors back to the behavior of matter, which does not have to be intelligent to exist, or to be a source of consciousness.

    At our conception we were only the cellular intelligence level. Two molecular intelligence systems (egg and sperm) which are on their own unable to self-replicate combined into a single self-replicating cell, called a zygote. The zygote then divided to become a colony of cells called an embryo, which was unintelligent at the multicellular level. Later during fetal development we had a functional self-learning brain that can intelligently control our motor muscle movements (including sweat gland motor muscles) thereby reaching the multicellular intelligence level.

    In a typical multicellular system: At the multicellular level there is a neural connection from the brain to its muscle cells, then a neural sensory feedback connection from the muscle cells back to the brain. At the cellular level of each muscle cell there are metabolic pathway connections to activate muscle cell motor protein molecules which produce muscle cell contraction, then a metabolic pathway sensory feedback connection from motor protein molecules to the surface of the muscle cell to add its internal state (such as fatigue) to the signal that the feedback neuron receives from the muscle. At the molecular level there is the genome that produced and maintains the cell, which also requires sensory feedback for proper control of its internal environment.

    The lower half of the Causation illustration shows a simplified block-flow diagram of the intelligence system algorithmically shown above it. Confidence gauges whether it is getting closer to its goal or not. Memory In0/Out0 is typically a 4 state (count of 0-3) signal that recalls confidence level of that memory address/location, which increases each time the action is successful and decreases each time the action fails. Upon decreasing to 0 a random guess (or best/educated/good guess) is taken. In a most simple bacterial chemotaxis system Guess and Motor are combined and reversing motor direction produces a tumble that randomly repositions it in a new direction, a guess where to go next.

  12. Before anybody chooses to respond to Mr. Gaulin's out-of-left-field post, they might want to browse the thread devoted to him over at After the Bar Closes. Mr. Gaulin may or may not have Buddha-nature, but he definitely has crackpot-nature.

    1. I would suggest first studying the theory and online computer models, before commenting. Not that I would expect that level of common sense from bullies who only have an ax to grind.

      The computer model also provides a precise, testable and scientifically useful operational definition for "intelligent cause" where each of the three emergent levels can be individually modeled, with a model predicted to be possible that generates an intelligent causation event, now goal of further research and challenge for all.

    2. Not as coherent as Robert Byers but definitely a contender:

      That's a good question and another way to describe it is "evolution" and all that Charles Darwin explained is that things change over time and where some things are made gone they're gone. Might be insight to someone who didn't already know that, but it's not theory that predicts what this is for and makes one go Ah ha! and Eureka!