Dec 222005
 

Hannity & Colmes will be doing a report on ID tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

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Here is my review of the program. H&C had 3 guests, Dr. Michael Behe, Dr. Richard Land, and Dr. Lawrence Krauss.

It began with Behe giving a definition of ID. Behe used the usual examples of Mt. Rushmore, cell as a molecular machine and the flagellum.

Colmes asked Behe why so few scientists support ID? Behe said that opponents dislike the metaphysical implication of ID. Colmes immediately jumps on this point interrupting Behe with the question who is the designer? Behe admits that ID does have metaphysical implications but so does the Big Bang. And for him a good candidate for ID would be God but IC does not go that far. Colmes pushes Behe asking if it is not God then who else? Behe gives the usual response of space alien or time traveler basically any intelligent source.

Next H&C had Land and Krauss on. Both Land and Krauss began with comments on the Dover decision. Krauss then began is ferocious attack on Behe. I am convinced that Krauss is unable to represent ID accurately if his life depended on it. He boldly declares that nothing about what Behe said is science. This is so ridiculous. Is he so lame that he thinks people would forget something they just saw 5 minutes ago? Behe just finished describing the complexity of a cell with specialized functions and signposts directing operations. He described the different parts of the flagellum. What isn’t science about a cell and flagellum Dr. Krauss? Maybe this is the reason why Americans are behind many other countries in science because Krauss teaches cells and flagella are not a part of science. Krauss also trotted out the usual Darwinian equivocation that ID is an argument from ignorance. Behe already addressed this earlier with Colmes that Darwinian science just doesn’t work that way and no Darwinian research has been able to demonstrate how this would work.

Rich Lowry asked Krauss isn’t it true that science can only tell us so much. It does tell us if there is a purpose or god. Krauss answer by saying yes, science does not say anything about God either way. This is a lie. The fact is that Krauss fully believe science say everything about God. He quotes Weinberg saying “Science does not make it impossible to believe in God. It just makes it possible to not believe in God.” IOW, God is irrelevant. Even if God exists, God has nothing to do with our existence so in all practicality Krauss’s form of science says that there is no God. If he were honest, he would admit that he uses science to deny God and justify his Atheism.

While Land was making some criticism of the Federal Judge in the Dover, Krauss jumps in asking if Land thinks the Judge was so incompetent then why did the Thomas More Law Center introduced this case? This is another clueless statement from Krauss. Who were the plaintiffs in the Dover case Dr. Krauss? Duh! Actually Rich Lowry did catch him on this lie and nails him on it. Krauss again accuses Behe of having no published papers. This is another lie or willful ignorance. There is at least (Behe and Snoke 2004). Krauss is also deliberately misleading in referring to ID not having published papers.

Finally in response to another one of Land’s comment, Krauss said that evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. WHY NOT? Who is the designer for evolution? If Darwinists can ask who is the designer in ID (the source of the artifact). It is absolutely necessary for Darwinists to answer the same question. Where did the first living organism (the designer of all subsequence organism) come from? If Darwinians can assert ID is not science because we don’t identify the designer then neither is Darwinian evolution because it cannot identify the origin of the first life. Why the double standard? One set of scientific method for Darwinists and another for ID.

I thought the ID side could have been better defended. No one took Krauss to task for his misrepresentation of ID and lie about science. I wish ID theorists like Behe would stop using the Mt Rushmore example. It leaves an opening for Darwinists to attack with the designer argument. A much better example would be Stonehenge. There is no known designer for this artifact, yet no sane person would deny that it was designed.

  27 Responses to “Intelligent Design on Fox News”

  1. Evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life because it doesn’t need to, and there isn’t evidence to make an evolutionary hypothesis.

    Evolution occurs regardless how life originated. For a hundred years prior to Darwin’s book in 1859, scientists had noted evolution from fossils and their attempts to categorize living things. Evolution is observed from living things and formerly living things. It is not necessary to know how life originated to make these observations. Have you not bothered to look yourself?

    Darwin attributed the origins of life to something “breathing” life into forms on the Earth. Most Christians would be comfortable with that description, but if you claim it’s wrong . . . well, you’re showing your true colors.

  2. edarrell has completely duck the question, why must ID identify the designer but evolution don’t?

    He also claims Evolution has been observed. I am not aware of any observed instance of a prokaryotic organism evolving into a eukaryotic organism. I am not aware of any observed instance of a fish evolving into an amphibian. I am not aware of any observed instance of a fox evolving into a whale. I am not aware of any observed instance of dinosaurs evolving into birds. I am not aware of any observed instance of apes evolving into humans.

    On the other hand, I have observed people identified an IC chip as being designed when they didn’t know where it came from. I have observed scientists proclaimed that Stonehenge was designed when they didn’t know who the designers were. I have observed scientists claim they can detect intelligence from space when they don’t need to know who the designer might be.

    I like edarrell. He always helps me to make my point. Thanks again edarrell.

  3. You ask: “why must ID identify the designer but evolution don’t?”

    The short answer is this: because ID claims a designer but the theory of evolution makes no such claim.

    It’s like the difference between these two statements:

    “Someone pushed my bike over.”
    “My bike fell down.”

    Please note that the first statement claims that someone did it, while the second statement does not make that claim.

    That’s why IDer’s have to identify the designer but evolutionary biologists and other scientists working with the theory of evolution do not.

    Regarding Behe’s IC beliefs, I encourage you to read the Kitzmiller vs. Dover school board transcripts, especially the Behe days. While Behe does have at least one peer-reviewed paper, he does not (nor does anyone) have any peer-reviewed papers about ID or IC. While you’re at it, I encourage you to research the Wedge document.

    Here’s the thing: You’ve been scammed by the ID’ers. Plenty of christians recognize that ID is a fraud, and they understand that there isn’t any problem with both faith in God and confidence in the theory of evolution.

  4. Oh, and btw, we observe evolution every single time an animal is born. You, for example, do not contain completely 50% of your mom’s genes and 50% of your dad’s genes. There is a small percentage which are mutations. That makes you uniquely you. That is evolution.

    Secondly, apes did not evolve into humans. Humans *are* apes, just really smart and far less hairy ones. Basically, things do not evolve into other things; things evolve from other things.

    Lastly, evolution does not make any claims about how life originally came about; that is the science of abiogenesis. Evolution is about life changing, not beginning.

  5. Hi Nohm,

    It is true that IDists assert that an intelligent agent is necessary. ID also asserts detecting design does not require the knowledge of a designer, analogous to the SETI program and the examples that I used. So far I have not seen any scientific requirements to counter the examples that I’ve raised.

    As for evolution it is like an ostrich hiding it’s head in the sand. Let me give you an analogy from a science writer.

    A physicist, a chemist, and a mathematician are stranded on a desert isle, when a can of food washes up on the beach. The three starving scientists suggest, in turn, how to open the can and ease their hunger. The physicist suggests they hurl it upon the rocks to split it open, but this fails. The chemist proposes they soak it in the sea and let the salt water eat away at the metal; again, no luck. They turn in desperation to the mathematician, who begins, “Assume we have a can opener”.

    Darwinists claim that they don’t need a designer for evolution, but the fact to the matter is that you are just in denial. Did the first life just popped into existence? The point is that if OOL was a result of an intelligent agent then the entire evolution myth is irrelevant. By Darwinian definition evolution is a strictly random and unguided process because an intelligent agent is outside of science. Whether a Darwinists like yourself admit it or not, a designer is assumed, even if that designer is materialistic naturalism.

    What I can’t understand is why a seemingly intelligent person like you consistently obfuscates the evolutionary debate. Darwinists act like a bunch of politicians. No matter what the questions are your answers are always the same. When you say you observe evolution in every birth. Do you think that really address the controversy that ID is raising? Don’t insult the intelligence of the participants of this blog. Darwinism might be devoid of intelligence but we are not.

  6. To answer your questions and comments:

    “Did the first life just popped into existence?”

    I don’t know how life originated, and I don’t have any reason to believe that anyone else knows the answer to that yet. Regardless, the theory of evolution does not care how life originated; it only concerns itself with how life has changed and diversified.

    “Whether a Darwinists like yourself admit it or not, a designer is assumed, even if that designer is materialistic naturalism.”

    I don’t consider materialistic naturalism to be a “designer”, because (to me) the word “design” infers intent.

    “What I can’t understand is why a seemingly intelligent person like you consistently obfuscates the evolutionary debate.”

    I appreciate your compliment, but I don’t believe that I’m obfuscating anything.

    “Do you think that really address the controversy that ID is raising?”

    Unfortunately, no, I do not think that. To address what ID is proposing, I believe that a conversation regarding an individual’s religion and faith would have to occur, which is usually a no-win situation.

    “Don’t insult the intelligence of the participants of this blog.”

    That is not my intent.

    Now, having said all that, I would appreciate your answers (or directions to the answers) for a few questions that I have.

    Suppose, for the sake of discussion (and only for the sake of discussion) that we agree that evolution is a sham, a con, total bunk, completely junk science. It’s all made up. Ok?

    1. What is the scientific theory of ID?
    2. How is the scientific theory of ID falsifiable?
    3. How is the scientific theory of ID testable?
    4. What predictions are made by the scientific theory of ID?
    5. How is the scientific theory of ID used in research?
    6. What would a school syllabus teaching the scientific theory of ID look like?

    Thank you.

  7. There are two ways to detect design: artificiality and utility.

    To use artificiality, you need a highly detailed understanding of the physics and history surrounding a supposed artifact. We understand bulk metals very well, so if we find a macroscopic, finely-crafted metal object with precise geometry, we can be pretty sure it was designed/manufactured (even if we can’t tell what it’s for). We know this because we can take bulk metals and reconstruct the object in question, and obtain a thorough understanding of the natural probability distributions involved in the object’s formation. For example, bulk metals don’t spontaneously form highly symmetrical, decorative objects.

    In molecular biology, we aren’t even close to the level of understanding necessary to make such inferences. We can do primitive experiments, but we are still in the early stages of science regarding abiogenesis or organic nanotechnology. We still can’t synthesize cells from scratch. For all we know, abiogenesis on the early Earth and the consequent formation of our genomes are extremely likely events. So, arguing artificiality in domains we don’t understand is an argument from ignorance. “If you can’t explain it, it must be designed…”

    Even if our evolution was improbable, that’s not a problem like it would be for a non-replicating object which is independent of our own existence. We are not independent observers of our own evolution (the anthropic principle). If you try to apply probability theory to systems that are not causally independent, you get all sorts of nasty (and well-documented) paradoxes.

    The other way to detect design is utility. Evolution predicts just one utility: survival. A sign of ID in biological systems would be persistent utility that has no survival advantage (not even for ancestor species). Guess what? Life has no observed utility except survival. Exactly what you would expect from evolution.

    To date, there is zero evidence for ID in biological systems (except the man-made ones). There are no systems we understand well-enough to indicate artificiality, and all the observed utility is for survival.

    This leaves ID brewing conspiracy theories about why there are no ID publications in mainstream journals. The fact is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Why? Because there are a lot of religiously motivated people trying to sell bogus claims of ID. You need some exceptionally good evidence to overcome this kind of noise.

    Why do we need to know about the designer? Without information about the designer’s physical limitations, we can make no predictions. Without prediction, we have neither science nor formal inference. You cannot “explain” artifacts by saying there’s an unknown designer. You can only say that you can’t exaplain the artifact. If I give you an algebra problem and ask you to solve for x, I won’t accept the answer y, where y = x. Your answer is most certainly true, but it explains nothing and isn’t an inference – it’s just a restatement of the problem.

    The inability to predict experience is a hallmark of self-delusion posing as knowledge. Humans suffer from confirmation bias. If our theory makes no predictions, it can never be falsified, and this leads us to see every observation as a confirmation of our theory. Such theories should be discarded as dangerous delusions.

  8. doctor(logic),

    We understand bulk metals very well, so if we find a macroscopic, finely-crafted metal object with precise geometry

    I agree. This is precisely the argument against Darwinian evolution. What we observe in nature are very fine changes limited to existing body plans. Macroevolution has never been observed. Random mutation has never demonstrated anything remotely capable of producing new organs let along whole body plans. Why should any reasonable person accept something as ludicrous as Darwinian evolution? OTOH, we have observed the complexity of living systems with the perfect resemblance to man-made machines.

    You talk about predictions. What predictions does Darwinian evolution make? Survival? Certainly you jest? That doesn’t even qualify as a notion. Besides, survival is no more alien to design as well as evolution.

    To date, there is zero evidence for ID in biological systems (except the man-made ones).

    On the contrary, we have an abundance of evidence of ID in biological systems, from DNA to IC to analogous species. There are plenty more research that ID can do but the Darwinian atheocracy who worships at the feet of secular humanism refuse to allow funding for ID research.

    Without information about the designer’s physical limitations, we can make no predictions.

    Was Stonehenge designed? Do you have evidence for the designer? Do you think NASA need to identify the alien designer before looking for signs of intelligence from space?

    The inability to predict experience is a hallmark of self-delusion posing as knowledge. Humans suffer from confirmation bias.

    I don’t know how this is relevant to ID, but in any case it sounds more like some Buddhist gibberish of one hand clapping. What evidence do you have that humans suffer from confirmation bias? You argument is rhetorical rather than evidential.

  9. Nohm,

    I don’t know how life originated

    This is the problem. Darwinian evolution is completely based on mysticism. According to Ken Miller, science can only answer questions inside nature. The entire Darwinian theory is based on something that you know practically nothing about. And you still have not answer my objection. What scientific evidence do you have that requires the identification of a designer in order to detect a designed artifact?

    To address what ID is proposing, I believe that a conversation regarding an individual’s religion and faith would have to occur, which is usually a no-win situation.

    Can you tell me what do you think ID is proposing and quotes from ID theorists to support your statements?

    “Do you think that really address the controversy that ID is raising?”
    Unfortunately, no, I do not think that.

    Then please answer the question. When you say you observe evolution in every birth. Do you think that really address the controversy that ID is raising? Let me remind you. “He also claims Evolution has been observed. I am not aware of any observed instance of a prokaryotic organism evolving into a eukaryotic organism. I am not aware of any observed instance of a fish evolving into an amphibian. I am not aware of any observed instance of a fox evolving into a whale. I am not aware of any observed instance of dinosaurs evolving into birds. I am not aware of any observed instance of apes evolving into humans.” I will understand if you still answer “no” .

    I will answer your questions if you will answer my long-standing question, is Darwinian evolution empirical science? Show examples.

  10. “What scientific evidence do you have that requires the identification of a designer in order to detect a designed artifact?”

    You’re shifting the goalposts. You asked why ID must identify a designer and the theory of evolution does not. I answered that question. ID posits a designer, therefore they must identify this designer.

    Further regarding your question, I encourage you to research Paley’s Watchmaker argument, and the logical fallacies contained in it.

    “Can you tell me what do you think ID is proposing and quotes from ID theorists to support your statements?”

    You can read it in their own words right here. That is the Wedge document, by the Discovery Institute.

    “He also claims Evolution has been observed. I am not aware of any observed instance of a prokaryotic organism evolving into a eukaryotic organism. I am not aware of any observed instance of a fish evolving into an amphibian. I am not aware of any observed instance of a fox evolving into a whale. I am not aware of any observed instance of dinosaurs evolving into birds. I am not aware of any observed instance of apes evolving into humans.”

    That is a straw man argument, and displays a lack of understanding what the theory of evolution claims. As I already explained, things don’t evolve into things; things evolve from things.

    Are you a micro-but-not-macro person, or all-evolution-is-bunk person?

  11. “What evidence do you have that humans suffer from confirmation bias?”

    Wow.

    Please research what confirmation bias is first. Here’s a good place to start.

  12. teleologist:

    Besides, survival is no more alien to design as well as evolution.

    Yes, but there are (say) a billion reasons why a machine might be designed, and survival is only one of them. You would have to argue that life was designed for the one single purpose out of a billion that can be met by unguided evolutionary processes.

    Since you don’t know who the designer is or what he/she/it/they want, you cannot, a priori, assess what the purpose of the design might be. You should therefore weight each presumed goal/utility equally. The odds of a designer picking survival as the only goal are at least a billion to 1. Assume that you initially have 99% confidence in your design hypothesis (you are initially a true believer). You then apply Bayes theorem, and it tells you that, after seeing that life has no apparent utility except survival, the odds of your design theory being correct are now 1 in 10 million (a billion divided by 100). 1 in 10 million against design sounds pretty reasonable to me!

    By the way, you can do this in reverse, and ask how your initial skepticism about evolution should be updated in light of this utility argument. Needless to say, you should come out as a dyed-in-the-wool evolutionist. Can you alter the calculation? Sure. Just make your design theory more specific by saying who the designer is and why life here is useful to him/her/it/them.

    I realize that you don’t accept the claims of evolutionary biology, but, frankly, why should that be convincing to me? Your claim would entail an enormous conspiracy theory amongst scientists. As someone who’s been there, I can tell you that herding scientists is a bit like herding cats. Most of them are cantankerous old bastards like myself. It’s just not plausible that we would conspire this way when we can’t reach consensus on anything else. Anyone who scientifically shows evidence of design in life is going to win a Nobel Prize. If we could do it, we would. Even the atheistic scientists would do it, if they could.

    IC and CSI are grade A… well, let’s just say that they have no scientific merit whatsoever. IC exists as defined, but IC can be evolved. Just read MikeGene’s blog. Claiming that blood-clotting is IC and could not have evolve is what got Behe in trouble in the Dover case. His claim was soundly refuted, but he insisted on trying to conceal the fact, and the Judge saw it for what it was.

    So, no, there is no evidence for ID.

    Was Stonehenge designed? Do you have evidence for the designer?

    Sure (though, we already knew that there was a ready supply of designers). We also understand rocks pretty well at the macroscopic scale, and know that the circle looks artificial. We can also perceive the utility of a stone circle that can function as a calendar.

    SETI? Narrowband signals save energy. They’re also unusual, so they appear artificial amongst the background of cosmic radiation patterns. Signals containing prime numbers? A clear utility as an inter-civilization communication system.

    Flagella? They impart a selective advantage to bacteria. Bacteria have no discernable function beyond survival. Do we know enough about organic nanotech to build one? Nope. Can we assess the probabilities of their evolution from protocells, RNA-worlds or whatever? Nope. We have no idea what the odds are. So can we say that the odds against forming organic structures are astronomical? No. Hence, no utility beyond survival, and no detectable artificiality.

    The problem with ID is that it has biological evidence of neither artificiality nor special utility. As such, it is not a rational inference from the data. If you were to find artificiality in the data, you might predict utility (or vice versa). However, IDists are just guessing that there’s design, not inferring it. Complexity is not the same as artificiality. For example, you see the stones of StoneHenge and believe it is artificial. You then predict utility and confirm it by finding its functionality.

    It’s perfectly understandable that you cannot imagine precisely how macroevolution proceeds. No one understands this in detail. We only understand that basic machinery and mechanisms. We don’t even understand protein folding yet, so we cannot yet run effective simulations. But that doesn’t mean you can rationally invoke design by default.

    What evidence do you have that humans suffer from confirmation bias?

    Actually, there’s good evidence in psychology for this. People tend to latch on to a theory and look for confirmation. They are much less likely to try to falsify their own theory.

  13. Nohm,

    You’re shifting the goalposts. You asked why ID must identify a designer and the theory of evolution does not. I answered that question. ID posits a designer, therefore they must identify this designer.

    What goalpost? ID never posited that the identity of a designer is necessary. I gave evidence to support that proposition. My question was only put forth as an intellectual equivalence. If evolution can assume a designer/origin why can’t ID?

    You can read it in their own words right here.

    I asked you give direct quotes to support this statement that you made.

    To address what ID is proposing, I believe that a conversation regarding an individual’s religion and faith would have to occur, which is usually a no-win situation.

    I asked you to give support to your claim that IDists are equating ID science to a conversation of religion and faith. By giving a link without informative specificity, I can only assume that you have no support for your equivocation.

    That is a straw man argument, and displays a lack of understanding what the theory of evolution claims. As I already explained, things don’t evolve into things; things evolve from things.

    So there is no observed instances of evolution to the examples that I’ve cited.

    Please research what confirmation bias is first. Here’s a good place to start.

    Thanks for the link. Where am I wrong?

  14. I have no idea concerning the nature of the Designer. I don’t even know how many there were, but that such must have existed cannot, should not and must not be arbitrarily denied by any rational objective observer.

    “However that may be, the existence of internal factors affecting evolution has to be accepted any objective mind….”
    Pierre Grasse, Evolution of Living Organsims, page 209

    So much for the objectvity of the atheist Darwinian mind.

  15. I asked you to give support to your claim that IDists are equating ID science to a conversation of religion and faith. By giving a link without informative specificity, I can only assume that you have no support for your equivocation.

    I think you’ve misusing the word “equivocation” there. Regardless, here the most obvious quote from the Wedge document, written by the Discovery Institute (you can read the Wedge document here and read about the Wedge document here).

    Found in the Five Year Objectives section:

    5. Spiritual & cultural renewal:

    * Mainline renewal movements begin to appropriate insights from design theory, and to repudiate theologies influenced by materialism
    * Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation & repudiate(s)
    * Darwinism Seminaries increasingly recognize & repudiate naturalistic presuppositions
    * Positive uptake in public opinion polls on issues such as sexuality, abortion and belief in God

  16. doctor(logic),

    Yes, but there are (say) a billion reasons why a machine might be designed, and survival is only one of them. You would have to argue that life was designed for the one single purpose out of a billion that can be met by unguided evolutionary processes.

    It may be an accidental term but survival isn’t really a purpose for evolution is it? By definition ToE has no purpose. Conversely, only design object would have a purpose/will to survive. To be fair you probably don’t mean survival but chance selective advantage. Unfortunately this has no predictive power. It certainly does not provide the answer to how new forms arises.

    Since you don’t know who the designer is or what he/she/it/they want, you cannot, a priori, assess what the purpose of the design might be. You should therefore weight each presumed goal/utility equally.

    Your point here have some merit. We would never be able to know the purpose of a designed object with 100% certainty. The important point is that we are able to recognize that it was designed. Furthermore I think we can reasonable deduce the range of functions that an object was designed for by reverse engineering. For instance, the flagellum can only function in a limited environment and with limited capabilities. We can safely eliminated that the flagellum was designed for sight, hearing, flight or any such examples.

    I realize that you don’t accept the claims of evolutionary biology, but, frankly, why should that be convincing to me? Your claim would entail an enormous conspiracy theory amongst scientists.

    No I don’t think it is a conspiracy. Frankly I don’t know why so many scientists can be committed to an idea with so little evidence. The only evidence that I see is that most scientists are committed to atheism or some form of deism. The metaphysical implication that they perceive from ID and in the past from the Big Bang frightens them. Like the quote from Weinberg, Darwinian evolution allows him to be a committed atheist. You take away the Darwinian crutch it scares him to death.

    let’s just say that they have no scientific merit whatsoever. IC exists as defined, but IC can be evolved. Just read MikeGene’s blog. Claiming that blood-clotting is IC and could not have evolve is what got Behe in trouble in the Dover case.

    If you have evidence how the flagellum and blood-clotting have evolved please show it. So far all I’ve seen are nothing more than hand waving. I am sure you would agree that science should be empirical, in that it is observable and testable. The Darwinian answer to IC has been let’s assumed there was cooption. Let’s assume that there was putative function of precursor parts. Let’s assume that neutral selection. Let’s assume, assume to ad infinitum. The indisputable fact is that evolution has not been able to demonstrate empirically one IC system or one single instance of macroevolution.

    Sure (though, we already knew that there was a ready supply of designers). We also understand rocks pretty well at the macroscopic scale, and know that the circle looks artificial. We can also perceive the utility of a stone circle that can function as a calendar.

    Actually no, please study the aforementioned link. Archaeology has shown that there is no evidence that Stonehenge was built by anyone. Yet you have no problem assigning a designer because you’ve concluded that it must be designed. I don’t think it was your intention but you’ve made an ID argument. You did not conclude that Stonehenge was designed because you knew the designer. You concluded that Stonehenge was designed and then you assigned a designer. Therefore you’ve just demonstrated that detecting design does not require a priori knowledge of a designer.

    And your argument for detecting design is essentially the unique occurrence of the rock shapes and formation. You are also ascribing a function to a formation without knowledge of the putative designers and their intention. There is no possible way that you can know that Stonehenge was designed to function as a calendar.

    Using your criteria we can draw a parallel between biology and Stonehenge. We understand biology pretty well. We know random arrangements of genetic material have not and show no indications of creating novel functions like an eye or flagellum. We also observed that certain biological systems exhibit uncanny resemblance to complex machinery. Eureka, the unique appearance of these biological systems against the normative occurrence of evolution indicates that these systems must have been designed.

    SETI? Narrowband signals save energy. They’re also unusual, so they appear artificial amongst the background of cosmic radiation patterns. Signals containing prime numbers? A clear utility as an inter-civilization communication system.

    You again admit that identifying a designer is not necessary to detect design. Second you are again relying on the uniqueness of an event against the backdrop of regular observations. Applying your logic, macroevolution is the unique event against the backdrop of microevolution ergo macroevolutionary distinctions are designed.

    Flagella? They impart a selective advantage to bacteria.

    This is a putative advantage. If this selective advantage were the reason for the evolution of bacteria then Darwinism would expect all bacteria to have flagella.

    Bacteria have no discernable function beyond survival.

    This is a leap of faith. First survival is not an option for the bacteria. It is a matter of fact. IOW bacteria exist, just as gravity exists. Second, if you look at bacteria in isolation then you might not be able to discern any purpose, but as a whole it is essential for a proper functioning ecosystem. It certainly can be argued that this is just one of the many designed functions for bacteria.

    Do we know enough about organic nanotech to build one? Nope. Can we assess the probabilities of their evolution from protocells, RNA-worlds or whatever? Nope. We have no idea what the odds are. So can we say that the odds against forming organic structures are astronomical? No. Hence, no utility beyond survival, and no detectable artificiality.

    This is an interesting admission. As intelligent beings we don’t even know how to build one yet Darwinians can confidently claim they know how it evolved? The fact is Darwinism has no empirical evidence of how this form was made and we can’t reproduce the pathway in the lab.

    there’s good evidence in psychology for this.

    This is precisely the problem. Your evidence for confirmation bias is rhetorical not scientific. It is a logical fallacy. In order to affirm such bias you need to refute the very premise that you use to refute the bias. In any case if Design theorists suffers from this fallacy then so do Darwinists.

    I thank you for your attempt to answer my questions directly. This is the first time that I’ve seen a Darwinists answer these questions without equivocation.

  17. Nohm,

    You should be ashamed of yourself for passing on urban legends. The source of your document comes from a bunch of rabid anti-ID Darwinists. You can’t believe that is a good source for getting unbiased factual data do you? Please read Robert Crowther’s post to get the actual Wedge Document and the truth.

    For the sake of argument let’s assume that everything your cited was accurate. Where in those 4 items does it equate the science of Intelligent Design to religion and faith? Furthermore what is more important is that can you show me in any of the literatures that actually presents the case for ID and at the same time claim religion or faith as its equivalent? For example, does Behe claim that his IC system is equivalent to a conversation about religion or faith? Does Dembski posit that design inference is religion or faith? Does Wells in Icons of Evolution assert that his discussion of icons is religion? Your regurgitation of the typical Darwinian obfuscation is baseless. It is just easier for Darwinists to engage in a PR campaign than talk about real science.

  18. I find using the adjective “actual” with regards to the Wedge Document to be funny. Please research the history of the document, as there have been many variations. It has evolved, so to speak.

  19. I find using the adjective “actual” with regards to the Wedge Document to be funny. Please research the history of the document, as there have been many variations. It has evolved, so to speak.

    Nohm, where did the Wedge doc come from? Unless you think that all the forged documents from anti-ID websites is acceptable behavior then DI is the only source for the authentic Wedge doc. If these other variants that you so “readily” accept as authentic, can you show evidence of how these variants were obtained? Were there some Darwinists spies inside DI? Is there some hard copy with these variants that can be traced back to DI?

    In any case your statement with regards to “ID is equivalent to religion” is an equivocation. It may be possible that you were being facetious, but I fear you might be deceived by the Darwinian propaganda.

  20. In any case your statement with regards to “ID is equivalent to religion” is an equivocation.

    Please focus on what I actually say, and don’t present something as a quote that I never wrote.

    Regarding the word “equivocation”, you’re not using it correctly. Here is the definition of the word.

    Nohm, where did the Wedge doc come from?

    The Discovery Institute. I hope you’re aware that they’ve altered it many times. Again, please research the history of the Wedge document.

    Were there some Darwinists spies inside DI?

    This is a Loki blog, isn’t it?

    I fear you might be deceived by the Darwinian propaganda.

    You’re absolutely right. I’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozeled, conned. Evolution is a complete fraud, made up by spies, terrorists, and demonically-possessed atheistic misanthropes.

    So, now that we agree on all of that, please answer these questions:

    1. What is the scientific theory of ID?
    2. How is the scientific theory of ID falsifiable?
    3. How is the scientific theory of ID testable?
    4. What predictions are made by the scientific theory of ID?
    5. How is the scientific theory of ID used in research?
    6. What would a school syllabus teaching the scientific theory of ID look like?

  21. Here again is the history of the Wedge document.

  22. Please focus on what I actually say, and don’t present something as a quote that I never wrote.

    Very good Nohm. Here is an exact quote from you.

    To address what ID is proposing, I believe that a conversation regarding an individual’s religion and faith would have to occur, which is usually a no-win situation.

    If you are not equating ID to religion then explain to me Mr. Wordsmith, what possibly could you have meant by that statement.

    Regarding the word “equivocation” , you’re not using it correctly. Here is the definition of the word.

    If you would prefer I could use the word liar. However, I think equivocation is a less offensive term. Take your choice of definition. I like this one “subject to two or more interpretations and usually used to mislead or confuse” In your usage of ID equating it to mean religion is certainly misleading from the direct and stated interpretation of the words by Design theorists. When Darwinists use the term ID in evolution research, they take that to mean scientific study. When they use the term ID in reference to Design theorist skeptical of Darwinism, they take that to mean religion. This is an equivocation. You need go do some more study on the definition and usage of the word.

    This is a Loki blog, isn’t it?

    Do you want to justify this comment or were you just being an idiot?

    You’re absolutely right. I’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozeled, conned. Evolution is a complete fraud, made up by spies, terrorists, and demonically-possessed atheistic misanthropes.

    Finally your eyes are opened. Now that you’ve rejected Darwinism does that mean you’ve embraced ID? Does the rejection of Darwinism results in an automatic embrace of ID? And vice versa does the rejection of ID results in the embrace of evolution?

    So, now that we agree on all of that, please answer these questions:

    Frankly, I would like nothing more than to have an intelligent conversation on the questions that you’ve raised. Unfortunately, you and other Darwinists have not been able to demonstrate the capacity to think critically of Darwinian evolution. Why should I believe that you are able to approach these questions with an open-mind? Your Darwinian religious filter will distort my answers as not scientific.

    However, ID is more of a theory than evolution. ID is bound by empirical data where ToE is not. Darwinians have already made up their minds and do not want to be confused by the facts. This is evident by statements like “the theory of evolution is a fact like the theory of gravity is a fact.” . When the Darwinian mind is this convoluted it is beyond ability to reason with.

    Here again is the history of the Wedge document.

    I got it the first time you posted it; don’t post it again. You do know that it is just a shill for the Darwinian Empire propaganda right? It uses antievolution.org as the source of its Wedge doc. You are either a willing or an unwitting pawn of the Darwinian propaganda machine.

  23. teleologist,

    It may be an accidental term but survival isn’t really a purpose for evolution is it? By definition ToE has no purpose.

    Well, the blind mechanism of evolution supports self-replicating systems, and favors systems that survive. You can say that it’s not a purpose at all in the sense that there is no forward planning. It’s more a functionality than a purpose.

    However, when viewed teleologically, one can conceive of a designer designing a system purely for survival, and no other function. My point is that the designer could have designed for anything.

    So, analyzed from a utility perspective, evolution is overwhelmingly confirmed. Generic design should weight all purposes (even silly ones) equally. Evolution predicts the one utility we observe, i.e., selective fitness.

    Suppose I have two card decks. One is a standard 52-card deck, the other consists of 52 identical copies of the Queen of Hearts. I place one of these decks face down in front of you. You draw the first card, and its the Queen of Hearts. Which theory is better confirmed by the draw? The odds are that the second theory is correct, because you had only a 1 in 52 chance of drawing the Queen of Hearts under theory one.

    We would never be able to know the purpose of a designed object with 100% certainty. The important point is that we are able to recognize that it was designed.

    Again, we only know design by artificiality or by utility. I think you want to make the artificiality claim, but in order to do that, we need a deep understanding of biochemistry. We don’t have that.

    Imagine we knew almost nothing of geology. Exploring Wyoming, we come across the Devils Tower (as seen in Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Since we cannot explain how geological processes could have formed a structure with such regularity and fine detail, should our ignorance of geology represent evidence for design?

    The answer, of course, is that ignorance isn’t evidence of a theory. Evidence would only originate from a deep understanding of geology and the reasons why the structure could not have formed naturally.

    Similarly, our ignorance of molecular biology cannot be held up as evidence for design.

    Furthermore I think we can reasonable deduce the range of functions that an object was designed for by reverse engineering.

    I don’t think I have successfully conveyed my utility argument. You are reverse-engineering a self-replicating system. Finding that the system has components that function to make it work is not the same as saying that there is utility for the system as a whole.

    Consider these two entities:

    1) a V8 engine that functions as an automobile powerplant.
    2) a flagellum that functions as a propuller and nutrient-stirrer for a bacterium.

    Automobiles are not self-replicating, and their purpose to their designer is to transport people and materials.

    A bacterium has no utility except the survival of the self-replicating system it represents.

    So there’s a big difference between in claiming functionality and claiming utility. Specifically, a system has utility when it is useful to its designer. In contrast, just about any component in a system of multiple parts can be considered to have functionality (e.g., the Atlantic conveyor functions as a thermal regulator in the ocean).

    The indisputable fact is that evolution has not been able to demonstrate empirically one IC system or one single instance of macroevolution.

    I think this is an unreasonable demand to place on a relatively young science. With our limited technology and computing power, we cannot hope to demonstrate macroevolution, not even in simulation. However, if we assume that only natural biochemical processes are involved, we can ask what we should expect to see in genomes, the fossil record and so on. That we don’t know all the details is not a valid criticism of evolutionary biology. Thus far the ToE generates good predictions. It is an astounding success.

    So far, IDists just point to systems that are poorly understood, and claim it must have been designed because there is no other explanation.

    Archaeology has shown that there is no evidence that Stonehenge was built by anyone. Yet you have no problem assigning a designer because you’ve concluded that it must be designed. I don’t think it was your intention but you’ve made an ID argument. You did not conclude that Stonehenge was designed because you knew the designer. You concluded that Stonehenge was designed and then you assigned a designer. Therefore you’ve just demonstrated that detecting design does not require a priori knowledge of a designer.

    I don’t know why you would make this claim. There’s lots of evidence that Stonehenge was designed. First, it is constructed of materials that are not present in the area. This is a sign of artificiality. We understand enough about geology to know that rocks rarely cleave into such regular shapes, and that they don’t generally form highly mathematical, stacked structures.

    Second, as I said, it has great utility to its designers. We don’t need to know the names of the designers, but knowing what is useful to them helps.

    If you don’t use this line of reasoning, how do you personally arrive at the conclusion that Stonehenge was designed? Surely, not by gut instinct?

    Using your criteria we can draw a parallel between biology and Stonehenge. We understand biology pretty well.

    But this is my point. We don’t understand biology nearly well enough to say that what we see in the lab is unexpected. For all we know, abiogensis and evolution might be so likely as to be almost inevitable.

    You again admit that identifying a designer is not necessary to detect design. Second you are again relying on the uniqueness of an event against the backdrop of regular observations.

    Well, I’m identifying a designer well enough to say that conserving energy is important to him. I’m also saying that the designer can’t travel instantaneously across the universe, or communicate without using electromagnetic radiation.

    I don’t need to know their name, race or telephone number. I do need to know something about them to make the claim that I will receive narrowband EM transmissions from them.

    Should SETI astronomers try listening for messages from God? No. Why? Because God doesn’t need to use narrowband EM transmissions to send us data. He could give us a phone call, or appear in person. He has no physical limitations. (In fact, he has no utility for anything physical.)

    Your evidence for confirmation bias is rhetorical not scientific. It is a logical fallacy. In order to affirm such bias you need to refute the very premise that you use to refute the bias. In any case if Design theorists suffers from this fallacy then so do Darwinists.

    No, this isn’t true. Confirmation bias is a scientifically demonstrated psychological fact. It affects everyone, not just IDists.

    However, science does two things to avoid confirmation bias. First, we inevitably have competing scientific programs. Different camps want to prove eachother wrong. Second, science must make predictions. These are the tests with which the competing camps can clobber eachother.

    ID has failed to be scientific. ID is making the claim of design without evidence, and merely as a default position. Their argument says that if you cannot explain this to my satisfaction using blind processes, then I take your inability to do so as evidence of design. It doesn’t work that way.

    It’s like poker. You have to ante and bet if you want to claim the pot. ID makes no predictions – it wagers nothing. Prediction keeps everyone honest.

    And, yes, confirmation bias does have rhetorical value. No one wants to fall prey to self-delusion. That’s why we must all understand the limitations of our thinking processes. We should remember that a theory that predicts nothing is, at best, a restatement of the observed facts. At worst, it is a delusion that says nothing about future experience.

    I thank you for your attempt to answer my questions directly. This is the first time that I’ve seen a Darwinists answer these questions without equivocation.

    And thank you for steering clear of many of the personal attacks that seem pervasive on other sites. It is a pleasure to debate with people who are sincerely interested in exploring ideas. Even when no one changes positions, I always try to learn something deeper about the positions on both sides.

  24. Ok, so this is a Loki blog, got it.

  25. doctor(logic),

    Well, the blind mechanism of evolution supports self-replicating systems, and favors systems that survive. You can say that it’s not a purpose at all in the sense that there is no forward planning. It’s more a functionality than a purpose.

    You misunderstand the mechanism of evolution. How does it favor anything? It doesn’t. Even if you just look at the mechanism of selection it doesn’t favor survival. If anything it favors death more than survival. Organisms are selected against, mostly ignored and a very small percentage is select for. Even the putative advantages traits can be eliminated just because of random chance. There is also the problem with entropy. Organisms break down at the molecular level moving from order to disorder. Even is selection works it must also obey entropy. This is the reason why so many species go extinct.

    So, analyzed from a utility perspective, evolution is overwhelmingly confirmed.

    This is a delusional confirmation. First I just showed you why you are wrong about evolution favoring survival. You are also wrong from the functional perspective. Remember my example of the ecosystem? Bacteria are also vital for animal digestive systems. The point is just because you don’t know of any other function it does not mean that there isn’t any. You are using an argument from ignorance. Another example of unrealized function is “junk DNA” . We are starting to realize many of the junk DNA are actually functional genes.

    we need a deep understanding of biochemistry. We don’t have that.

    You are building a wall that doesn’t exist. If what you say is true then we also lack the understanding to infer evolution. Actually I think inferring design is easier than evolution. For instance we understand the effect of gravity (not the theory) pretty well at least locally. If you see an object begins to float and suspend above the ground. You can reasonably conclude that some other force is at work other than gravity. It is the same with IC and macroevolution. Everything we see in biology works in minute and limited changes. Microevolution does not created complex new functions. Large changes in organisms resulted in death. Natural selection at best maintains extent species but never created a new functional system.

    Imagine we knew almost nothing of geology. Exploring Wyoming, we come across the Devils Tower

    It is a common Darwinian fallacy to characterize ID as an argument from ignorance. When in fact the opposite is true. Let me ask you, how much knowledge of biology do you need before you can refute the theory of spontaneous generation?

    A bacterium has no utility except the survival of the self-replicating system it represents.

    I need to say again. You don’t know that. I’ve already given you 2 example of why you are wrong.

    So there’s a big difference between in claiming functionality and claiming utility. Specifically, a system has utility when it is useful to its designer.

    There is no necessity for science to accept your untenable definition. Stonehenge contradicts your definition because we can infer design without knowledge of function or designer. The symbiotic relationship of the bacteria contradicts your definition. Just about everything in biology contradicts your definition.

    I think this is an unreasonable demand to place on a relatively young science.

    Not at all, again consider my question on spontaneous generation?

    So far, IDists just point to systems that are poorly understood, and claim it must have been designed because there is no other explanation.

    Please be fair. I think at this point I’ve already given you a reasonable premise that ID relies on our knowledge rather than gaps. You may disagree with ID’s claim of sufficient knowledge to make such inference but ID does not depend on the gap in knowledge. As a matter of fact the more gaps in our knowledge the weaker the case for ID.

    I don’t know why you would make this claim. There’s lots of evidence that Stonehenge was designed. First, it is constructed of materials that are not present in the area. This is a sign of artificiality. We understand enough about geology to know that rocks rarely cleave into such regular shapes, and that they don’t generally form highly mathematical, stacked structures.

    Aren’t you making an argument from ignorance? Archaeology is still a very young science. We know that huge rocks and even continents can be moved. Just because we don’t know how they are form yet there is no reason to invoke some sort of intelligence. After all science is by definition naturalistic causes to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Well, I’m identifying a designer well enough to say that conserving energy is important to him. I’m also saying that the designer can’t travel instantaneously across the universe, or communicate without using electromagnetic radiation.

    You are making some huge assumptions. Darwinists have this double standard for what qualifies as acceptable threshold of reasonable assumptions. We have far less knowledge of what’s out there in the universe than we do of biology. There could be some unique pulsars and combinations of pulsars in the universe that generates the radio signature that we are looking for. Some naturally generated Inter-dimensional phenomenon that we would recognize as intelligence. The bottom-line is that Darwinian science is very biased in what it a priori allows to be included as an intelligent causation.

    I don’t need to know their name, race or telephone number. I do need to know something about them to make the claim that I will receive narrowband EM transmissions from them.

    Again the difference between what you are allowing a priori here and a priori exclude from ID is the problem. If I a priori rule out intelligence from extra-terrestrial signal then I am left with finding a naturalistic cause. A naturalistic cause might be string theory’s multiverse. A narrowband EM transmission might be (I stress might because we know so little about our universe) unusual in our universe, but a leakage of EM signal from another universe could be a possible source.

    More importantly back to my argument for ID. The same criteria you are using to detect intelligence are the same ones use to detect intelligence in biotic reality.

    It affects everyone, not just IDists.

    No, I understand you were not just targeting ID. I am just skeptical that it is valid because of the internally inconsistent nature of the hypothesis. I suspect this hypothesis stems from a psychological flaw. IMHO, human beings are innately egotistic or in Darwinian terminology “selfish genes” . At the same time we recognize our limitations and feel a sense of guilt for this grandioseness. So we criticize ourselves for having biases and that we have this tendency for grandioseness. The problem is that this self-analysis could be just another form of ego building to confirm that we are capable of correcting our flaws. It is a vicious cycle and that is why I am skeptical and don’t have much use for psychology. ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. teleologist:

    You misunderstand the mechanism of evolution. How does it favor anything? It doesn’t. Even if you just look at the mechanism of selection it doesn’t favor survival. If anything it favors death more than survival. Organisms are selected against, mostly ignored and a very small percentage is select for. Even the putative advantages traits can be eliminated just because of random chance.

    Natural selection most definitely favors the fittest, and reproduction is one dimension of fitness. So, it’s not all about death. Survival of species is interplay between birth, life and death.

    There is also the problem with entropy. Organisms break down at the molecular level moving from order to disorder. Even is selection works it must also obey entropy. This is the reason why so many species go extinct.

    What does entropy have to do with this? Energy is used to overcome entropy. If it wasn’t, our kids couldn’t tidy their bedrooms.

    Bacteria are also vital for animal digestive systems. The point is just because you don’t know of any other function it does not mean that there isn’t any.

    It doesn’t matter how you slice up the ecosystem. There’s still no utility to these slices to an intelligent designer except for survival.

    Just saying the parts are interdependent is irrelevant. Our solar system would look very different if Jupiter did not exist, but that doesn’t mean that Jupiter exists for the purpose of creating the asteroid belt, or for the purpose of hosting the moon IO. Jupiter may have functionality, but not utility.

    If what you say is true then we also lack the understanding to infer evolution. Actually I think inferring design is easier than evolution.

    We don’t understand biology as well as we understand gravity. We know only the basics of the machinery of life. So far, those basics are not only consistent with evolution, but also meet its predictions.

    Actually, I should ask this first. Do you claim that evolution cannot account for macroevolution, or do you claim merely that the system was front-loaded?

    If you claim it cannot account for macroevolution, then do you think a designer has been active on our planet for billions of years, even as recently as 10,000 years ago?

    Everything we see in biology works in minute and limited changes. Microevolution does not created complex new functions. Large changes in organisms resulted in death. Natural selection at best maintains extent species but never created a new functional system.

    We can tweak fruit fly genes to produce new morphologies, like new wings and legs. That seems like a big change. The similarity of human and chimp genomes shows that only small changes in DNA are needed to create new species with radical differences.

    Our lab is far smaller than a planet, and we cannot research thousands of generations of macroscopic animal life. That’s a temporary experimental limitation that prevents us from demonstrating macroevolution before your eyes. Why is the bar so much higher for evolution than design? We shouldn’t we demand that you demonstrate your designer in action?

    Again, why do you think there is design at all? Is it just a gut feeling you have? Like, you know it when you see it?

    Let me ask you, how much knowledge of biology do you need before you can refute the theory of spontaneous generation?

    At least some would be nice. Today, we don’t know where life formed (in rocks, in oceans, in mud, etc.), we don’t know what conditions were like, we don’t know much about protocells or RNA worlds. There is almost no data on this at all.

    I think that once we get computers that can compute protein folding and formation rates at reasonable speeds, we’ll be able to run simulations of the primordial soup. Today, we cannot do this.

    What can be refuted are specific predictions, not classes of predictions. Abiogenesis is a class of theories, not a theory in and of itself. A specific theory about the RNA world is something that could be refuted when it makes a prediction. Same goes for protocells. Any theory of these things has to make predictions about the likely consequences of life that forms from these precursors. Those predictions can be refuted.

    Like evolution, ID is not a theory. It is a class of theories. Evolution contains theories that are predictive and specific about natural selection, mutation rates, punctuated equilibria, common descent and so on.

    ID has none of these. ID might point to something improbable, but it’s not a scientific theory until it predicts something. You cannot have explanation without prediction, period.

    You may disagree with ID’s claim of sufficient knowledge to make such inference but ID does not depend on the gap in knowledge. As a matter of fact the more gaps in our knowledge the weaker the case for ID.

    This is an interesting claim. So, why do you say that the flagellum is artificial? Or, what is its utility to the designer?

    We can’t solve the protein folding problem, so we don’t have a detailed understanding of how genes and proteins are related. Therefore, we don’t know that much about the likelihood of generating new, useful proteins by random mutation. How can you claim artificiality against this backdrop of unknowns?

    We know that huge rocks and even continents can be moved. Just because we don’t know how they are form yet there is no reason to invoke some sort of intelligence.

    Sure we do. We can build Stonehenge from scratch. We know that rocks of that type don’t naturally break off in regular chunks. Just dynamite the quarry, or check it after an earthquake. We also know that individual rock fragments could not have moved to that location by flood, eruption, shock, etc.

    (Besides, we know intelligent designers were present at the time.)

    If not by artificiality or utility, how do you know Stonehenge was designed?

    Re: SETI:

    have this double standard for what qualifies as acceptable threshold of reasonable assumptions.

    Nope. SETI is a testable theory. We theorize that other civilizations might evolve after having seen our own. We theorize that such civilizations would have similar limitations to our own, and would utilize radio transmissions (to which our galaxy is transparent) as a communications mechanism. We theorize that such aliens are in our neighborhood and are willing to communicate. Hence, we look for those signals.

    The same goes for Stonehenge, BTW. We theorize that early humans dug up the rocks in Wales, then transported them across land on logs. The circular arrangement has utility for predicting events on a calendar.

    In both theories, we get predictions. We predict the content of any generic alien messages we find (mathematical sequences). We predict the aliens will use frequencies at which the galaxy is transparent. We predict the utility of the stone circle. We predict that humans could cut and move the stones of Stonehenge. We predict that the stones have been around for less time than have humans. etc.

    In biology, ID doesn’t have a theory. Who designed what and why? Then you would have a testable prediction. Unless you want to invoke the supernatural, and you wouldn’t want to do that would you? ๐Ÿ™‚

    More importantly back to my argument for ID. The same criteria you are using to detect intelligence are the same ones use to detect intelligence in biotic reality.

    Tell me, what is the utility of life on this planet? What was it a million years ago?

    I can easily see the utility of messages between intelligent civilizations. There’s a world of difference between this an biology. As I said, we have a testable theory about alien civilizations that were testing with SETI.

    What is the corresponding theory of ID? You can just say that you think that object X is an improbable formation and leave it at that. Every formation is improbable. You have to come up with a theory that says why object X was designed. Then you can make a prediction and call your theory science.

  27. doctor(logic)

    Just saying the parts are interdependent is irrelevant. Our solar system would look very different if Jupiter did not exist, but that doesn’t mean that Jupiter exists for the purpose of creating the asteroid belt, or for the purpose of hosting the moon IO. Jupiter may have functionality, but not utility.

    I guess I just don’t understand what you mean by utility. Are you using utility in the sense as Dawkins’ “selfish genes” ? Because what you said was “A bacterium has no utility except the survival of the self-replicating system it represents.” . I take that to mean a bacterium exist only to propagate its genes. Is this a correct understanding of your use of “utility” ? If so wouldn’t my example of symbiosis challenge the utility premise? BTW, Jupiter and our solar system does not have interdependency.

    We don’t understand biology as well as we understand gravity. We know only the basics of the machinery of life. So far, those basics are not only consistent with evolution, but also meet its predictions.

    Just from rhetorical level, if we understand just well enough to claim consistency with evolution then it should also be sufficient to claim that it is not. Which is what ID is asserting, that we know enough to say that our observation does not support evolution. Again just from your own admission, you’ve demonstrated that ID is not arguing from ignorance.

    Actually, I should ask this first. Do you claim that evolution cannot account for macroevolution, or do you claim merely that the system was front-loaded?

    My personal opinion which is different than the ID big tent is that Darwinian mechanisms cannot account for macroevolution. If biotic reality is front-loaded then by definition it is not Darwinian, because it requires teleology for front-loading.

    If you claim it cannot account for macroevolution, then do you think a designer has been active on our planet for billions of years, even as recently as 10,000 years ago?

    I don’t think ID is ready to make that claim yet. I am not trying to duck your question. I am just trying to keep some sense of intellectual integrity. It is way too early for ID to identify what or who that intelligence is, or for that matter exactly when in the past that intelligence was introduced. IOW was that change instantaneous or was there just enough complexity and information added to get the process going. ID needs a lot more research before these questions can be answered. Unfortunately there is no funding to do these researches because ID has been shutout by the Darwinian establishment.

    We can tweak fruit fly genes to produce new morphologies, like new wings and legs. That seems like a big change. The similarity of human and chimp genomes shows that only small changes in DNA are needed to create new species with radical differences.

    This is the problem I have with the Darwinian defense of macroevolution. We all know and agree that macroevolution refers to major changes that did not exist before, such as eyes from eyeless creatures, fishes and mammals and new phyla. Why do Darwinists always use examples of microevolution to support macroevolution? It is like comparing apples and oranges. The kinds of changes that you refer to like the mutations in fruit flies are reshuffling of existing genes. It is equivalent to shuffling a deck of cards. Macroevolution would be equivalent to shuffling a deck of poker cards until it becomes a stack of baseball cards. As for human and chimp differences, indeed we are similar but as you said there are radical differences. 80% of our orthologous proteins are different from those of the chimps. I don’t think we know exactly how much are the differences between humans and chimps yet. Until we do an entire genome comparison including regulatory genes, indel, SNP and genome length or all the expressed proteins.

    Our lab is far smaller than a planet, and we cannot research thousands of generations of macroscopic animal life. That’s a temporary experimental limitation that prevents us from demonstrating macroevolution before your eyes. Why is the bar so much higher for evolution than design? We shouldn’t we demand that you demonstrate your designer in action?

    I think one example of macroevolutionary change would be a good start. I don’t think that is unreasonable if evolution claims that macroevolution has occurred by Darwinian mechanism. Should that hypothesis be verified at least once? The problem is that even the mechanisms itself has not been well tested.

    Again, why do you think there is design at all? Is it just a gut feeling you have? Like, you know it when you see it?

    How could you even ask me this? ๐Ÿ™‚ You just spent a large portion of your last post explaining to me why SETI and Stonehenge is designed.

    Like evolution, ID is not a theory. It is a class of theories. Evolution contains theories that are predictive and specific about natural selection, mutation rates, punctuated equilibria, common descent and so on.

    ID has none of these. ID might point to something improbable, but it’s not a scientific theory until it predicts something. You cannot have explanation without prediction, period.

    You are right evolution does have a lot of putative mechanism that is irrelevant to macroevolution and dubious at microevolution. Quantity of just so stories is not superior to the quality of science.

    ID does have a few working mechanism for detecting design. You are right intuitively we can intuitively recognize design but that is not scientific. This is the reason Design theorist use probability theory, complexity theory, information theory, paleontology, biology, genetics, and molecular biology to detect design.

    This is an interesting claim. So, why do you say that the flagellum is artificial? Or, what is its utility to the designer?

    Science doesn’t answer the why question, just the how. Do you think evolution can answer why are we here? Why do you think that there is no purpose for the flagellum? Have you proven that a designer does not exist? If a designer exists has he told you that there is no purpose for the flagellum? You are making metaphysical claims when you tread into these absolutes and why questions.

    Sure we do. We can build Stonehenge from scratch. We know that rocks of that type don’t naturally break off in regular chunks. Just dynamite the quarry, or check it after an earthquake. We also know that individual rock fragments could not have moved to that location by flood, eruption, shock, etc.

    Sure we do. We can build flagellum from scratch. We know that flagellum of that type don’t naturally emerge. Just hollow out a cell and deposit a particular sequence of DNA. We also know that specific DNA sequences could not have emerge by random chance. Get the point?

    We theorize that other civilizations might evolve after having seen our own.

    You can make that assumption but unless you can disprove all other possible natural causes then isn’t it an argument from ignorance according to your criteria?

    The same goes for Stonehenge, BTW. We theorize that early humans dug up the rocks in Wales, then transported them across land on logs. The circular arrangement has utility for predicting events on a calendar.

    In both theories, we get predictions. We predict the content of any generic alien messages we find (mathematical sequences). We predict the aliens will use frequencies at which the galaxy is transparent. We predict the utility of the stone circle. We predict that humans could cut and move the stones of Stonehenge. We predict that the stones have been around for less time than have humans. etc.

    I am starting to believe in the confirmation bias theory. ๐Ÿ˜€ You are creating a self fulfilling prophecy. You predict that only alien civilization can produce such a message then if you get that message your prediction is true. This is the reason predictions are not a good test of a theory. A good theory needs to be falsifiable.

    NASA will not admit it but they are using Paley’s argument for the SETI program. I know intelligence when I see it. Darwinists do not object because it is intuitively true and it serves their metaphysics of naturalism. If you want to make NASA’s recognition for intelligence premise a scientific one. You will need to formulate it in terms of complexity, probability, etc etc. Just like ID has to do to recognize intelligence in a rigorous scientific method.

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