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Discussion in 'The PatsFans.com Pub' started by CPF, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. CPF

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    .....I have chosen to take WistahPats advice and move this discussion to the general board, I hope you don't mind. I hope you and your family are well. Wistah, I will have a response to you A.S.A.P.

    Hey AAB, sorry it took me so long to get back to you but as I said in a previous post; my life just got to busy and my priorities had to take precedence. Thank you for your patience.

    I didn’t think it was ever in question that I was a “creationistâ€, you know as well as others here what my worldview is, of course I believe the God of the Bible to be the “designerâ€. That in no way takes anything away from the ToID. As I’ve said before we all have Bias’ and they may be relevant in some ways, but they do not make the specific theories we happen to support wrong; that depends on the evidence.

    I don’t know that I am “entranced†by it as much as I feel it is extremely relevant to the current debate. The fact that it is a “young theory†in no way detracts from that relevance. I will be delving into this a bit more with my response to Wistahpat, which you are of course, more than welcome to weigh in on.

    Well, as we both know evolution is a rather broad term and the “principles†that guide it seem to me to be just as broad and “selectively†defined. Take for instance when I talk about micro and macro evolution. Now I thought that this was a rather general use of terms that everyone sort of agreed on, but you have told me in the past that you define these terms in a different manner entirely. So maybe the definition of the principles we are talking about may not even be in agreement let alone how they work. I will admit that being a zoologist, you certainly have far more training than I on the mechanisms of evolution but you told me yourself after you had your “epiphany†that you felt that you were deceived by many of the “dogmas†that exist within the scientific community regarding evolution and it is not as if I haven’t done any research on the matter. Do you feel that your worldview colors your view of biology in any way?

    Yes I’m very familiar with the “God of the gaps†analogy, I just think we disagree on how many “gaps†exist, and that’s ok. I really do admire the apparent honesty of your recent change of heart regarding I.D and I have enjoyed reading your blog. How close are you to publishing something more in relation to your “homeostatic symbiosis†theory?

    Dembski’s research is in no way meant to stand on it’s own, in fact he will be the first to tell you that he created his theory in response to Michael Behe’s theory of Irreducible Complexity, in order to supply some type of a working model to test it. Haven’t you done the same thing at your blog? You presented a hypothesis and then used many different sources to lend support to it, some not having anything to do with “the study of natureâ€. Using the term Complex specified Information, in no way ignores the science that has been assembled to date, it simply offers us a new way of looking at it. Crick himself has often said that he has to constantly remind himself that the things he sees in the microscope have not bee designed:

    Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. What Mad Pursuit (1988) pp.138-139

    What should we trust then?


    I look at the assemblage of existing science and see that there are viable alternatives to the governing theories of biological evolution, not all of them mind you, but certainly some. On this we may disagree but please don’t tell me that my position is futile and that I should simply knuckle under and accept whatever the scientific community chooses to tell me. Did it ever occur to you the time in which Asa Gray lived? Back then it was thought that the cell was nothing more than a lump of albuminous combination of carbon, yet now we know that it is an amazingly complex system of many even smaller machines, much like a factory. I think Asa Gray would find immense comfort for his worldview in that.

    Ok what field terminology explains the existence of complex information within living systems? I don’t think the whole “faith healers†comment was necessary AAB, the folks that have pioneered the I.D movement can hardly be equated in such a fashion. I understand that these types of comments are made by many proponents of evolution in order to “downplay†the significance of the theory and keep the debate framed as “science vs. the Bible†but do we really have to resort to such “straw men�

    How have I attempted to deceive anybody? Aren’t the results of Stanley Miller’s experiment documented to this day in many text books distributed throughout our public school system? Why; if they are not trying to explain the origin of life on earth? Is it not posited by the same textbooks that life spontaneously generated itself in ancient oceans? Now this may not be an integral part of the ToE but it is certainly inferred and is worthy of discussion. I do not understand why you have chosen the ad hominem attack of accusing me of being some sort of deceiver, we have had enough interaction to this point that I would have thought you would be able to better gage my character and that we at least had some modicum of respect for one and other, even if we do disagree. Take care.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2006
  2. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    I agree CPF...the current argument should become dependant on the evidence. I'm glad we agree on this but must warn you that you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage when making the argument that ID belongs alongside, or in place of evolution, in science curricula on the basis of evidence.


    It is an interesting philisophical question that I will chime in on. Seems to be taking on that chaos theory slant, which is pretty much out of my element.


    Evolution in the context we are using is not a broad term at all. In fact, one of the things I attempted to do at the very beginning of our exercise was to lay out the definitions. It helps us understand each other as we are obviously speaking two separate languages.

    The contemporary definition of Biological Evolution is simply "descent with modification". I'm not sure why you consider that a broad term. Its really straightforward. We carry traits of our parents, and their parents, and so on...but we are not identical to them. Thats all we are talking about.

    It really doesn't help to alter that definition. It works quite well. In fact, I'm not sure many people would disagree with the notion of descent with modification. Do you disagree with that definition?

    Rather, it is the mechanisms driving descent with modification that are central to arguments today.


    I'm not sure I admitted as much. I have taken the position that what I cannot explain, may just as well be left to ID, but that is a philisophical opinion of mine rather than a scientific opinion. I will try to be clearer in the future when I speak in terms of my philisophical views and when I am speaking strictly on the scientific. My apologies.

    The god of the gaps is clearly operating. As of now, I cannot entirely explain the evolution of symbioses, and from a philisophical point of view find that ID suits the gaps in my understanding fine, pending a better understanding of the mechanisms.

    Do you think possibly that the missing evidence for the transition from parasite to mutualist may be found? Or, were these designed independantly? In other words, were some organisms pre-ordained to be disease (for example Salmonella) and others pre-ordained to be helpful (E coli and other gut bacteria)?

    Philisophically speaking, without a current level of complete understanding of how these relationships evolved (against a background of homeostasis), it is relegated to the god of the gaps and therefore could be ID. Scientifically speaking, I need to find plausible alternative explanations and I seek them in the blog.

    I'm not sure why you would use that quote for your argument. My interpretation of that statement by Crick is simply that he is stating that current structure-functions cannot be traced back to past structure- functions. I agree. There are exaptations and such. Nowhere in there does he state that evolution didn't occur. He refers to it as the predominant process from the very start to the very end.

    And contrary to your assessment, I must apologize for my blog entry as it was inadequately supported freethink, and hardly supported by relevant data at all, at least at this time. (It too will evolve)


    This paragraph is illustrative of the mental block that ID proponents seem to have. I will repeat: there are no alternative theories of biological evolution. There are alternative theories as to the mechanisms of evolution over the course of time, but nowhere are scientists arguing against "descent with modification". Its too firmly supported by direct evidence to suggest otherwise, scientifically speaking.

    There are some that contend the progress has been gradual, others say rapid, and others say it was punctuated equilibrium...but modern biology doesn't argue that evolution does not occur.


    As far as the comments that you found offensive, I apologize. It wasn't meant to be that way.

    My concern is that the real "straw man" here may in fact be the insertion of Intelligent Design into a science curriculum. I have no problem with it from a philisophical point of view. My judgement as a conforming scientist would have to disregard it when describing the true processes observed in nature, as it has clearly invoked supernatural forces. To this, I cannot subscribe as a scientist.
  3. wistahpatsfan

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    What Blog?
  4. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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  5. All_Around_Brown

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  6. CPF

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    Interesting stuff from an evolutionist that claims evolution doesn't try to explain life's origins;) I will have a response ready for you soon, and I wouldn't mind discussing the "young earth" a bit either. Take care.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2006
  7. CPF

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    WOW! We have already gotten into 2 post response territory....that was quick;) Sorry about the length but.....you know me.

    I never said I.D should replace the ToE, but I do feel that it should be offered as an alternative viewpoint. Thank you for your warning, but I am perfectly ok with being wrong from time to time, if you can show me that the evidence for I.D is insufficient then I would be forced to agree that it does not belong in public schools. Lets look at it together and see if we can’t come to some conclusions.



    Originally Posted by CPF
    I don’t know that I am “entranced†by it as much as I feel it is extremely relevant to the current debate. The fact that it is a “young theory†in no way detracts from that relevance. I will be delving into this a bit more with my response to Wistahpat, which you are of course, more than welcome to weigh in on.



    I think it’s a bit more than simply a “philosophical†question. Lets look at DNA alone. We now know that DNA actually stores information (detailed instructions for assembling proteins) in the form of a four character digital code. Given what we know of information from what Mr. Dembski as well as many other information theorist’ have offered, it would appear that it is always the result of an interjection of intelligence. So if the observable facts tell us that information is the direct result of an intelligent source then what conclusions can we come to as far as the origin of DNA is concerned? Perhaps I have oversimplified this argument and I do look forward to any light you may be able to shed on this.

    Originally Posted by CPF
    Well, as we both know evolution is a rather broad term and the “principles†that guide it seem to me to be just as broad and “selectively†defined. Take for instance when I talk about micro and macro evolution. Now I thought that this was a rather general use of terms that everyone sort of agreed on, but you have told me in the past that you define these terms in a different manner entirely. So maybe the definition of the principles we are talking about may not even be in agreement let alone how they work.



    I have absolutely no problem with descent with modification, it is when you want to use that same mechanism to explain how complex organisms were built from the ground up or how say, one class or order can “evolve†into another…. that is where I and many others who support the ToID disagree strongly.


    Originally Posted by CPF
    I will admit that being a zoologist, you certainly have far more training than I on the mechanisms of evolution but you told me yourself after you had your “epiphany†that you felt that you were deceived by many of the “dogmas†that exist within the scientific community regarding evolution and it is not as if I haven’t done any research on the matter. Do you feel that your worldview colors your view of biology in any way?



    Here is what you said verbatim:

    To tell you the truth I was quite encouraged by this apparent change of heart you had right before Christmas, but it seems as if this might have been short-lived. It’s ok if you have changed your mind but I don’t understand why you would want to deny that you ever actually felt this way.






    Originally Posted by CPF
    Yes I’m very familiar with the “God of the gaps†analogy, I just think we disagree on how many “gaps†exist, and that’s ok. I really do admire the apparent honesty of your recent change of heart regarding I.D and I have enjoyed reading your blog. How close are you to publishing something more in relation to your “homeostatic symbiosis†theory?



    Let me ask you this question then; what does a naturalistic atheist do with the possibility of I.D being plausible? How do you fit the ToID into that kind of worldview?

    That’s an interesting question and I have to admit one I have not given much thought to. Diseases such as Salmonella have their purpose just as E coli has it’s own, so I suppose it is possible that they were independently designed and thus “pre-ordained to function the way they do. Now that does not mean that we should not continue to look for transitional forms as it would be disingenuous to just make assumptions. There are however many a symbiotic relationship found in nature that seem to absolutely defy a naturalist explanation.

    I know it is currently anathema within scientific circles to even consider the supernatural, but doesn’t that somewhat hamstring you right out of the gate? I mean you could be looking for naturalistic alternatives while all the while the super naturalistic answer could be staring you right in the face.

    More to follow:
  8. CPF

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    And now..... the rest of the story

    Originally Posted by CPF
    Dembski’s research is in no way meant to stand on it’s own, in fact he will be the first to tell you that he created his theory in response to Michael Behe’s theory of Irreducible Complexity, in order to supply some type of a working model to test it. Haven’t you done the same thing at your blog? You presented a hypothesis and then used many different sources to lend support to it, some not having anything to do with “the study of natureâ€. Using the term Complex specified Information, in no way ignores the science that has been assembled to date, it simply offers us a new way of looking at it. Crick himself has often said that he has to constantly remind himself that the things he sees in the microscope have not bee designed:

    Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. What Mad Pursuit (1988) pp.138-139

    What should we trust then?



    Oh I never said that Crick does not wholeheartedly believe that the ToE is true, I just find it incredibly interesting that “biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.†Why is that? It would seem it is because what they are constantly looking at has all of the hallmarks you would expect to find in designed systems. Yet they cannot come to the obvious conclusion of design because that would be unthinkable. I just think science should be about finding the most plausible answers, not eliminating the ones you find uncomfortable before you even begin. Also he does say, and I quote “Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much.†Why am I wrong to question this line of reasoning?

    Really, I thought it was rather well thought out and the sources you sighted lent great support to you hypothesis. I think what has happened is that you have “cooled off†a little so to speak, perhaps had a few discussions with your peers and have “come to your senses†a bit……which by the way, is a real pity.



    Originally Posted by CPF
    I look at the assemblage of existing science and see that there are viable alternatives to the governing theories of biological evolution, not all of them mind you, but certainly some. On this we may disagree but please don’t tell me that my position is futile and that I should simply knuckle under and accept whatever the scientific community chooses to tell me. Did it ever occur to you the time in which Asa Gray lived? Back then it was thought that the cell was nothing more than a lump of albuminous combination of carbon, yet now we know that it is an amazingly complex system of many even smaller machines, much like a factory. I think Asa Gray would find immense comfort for his worldview in that.



    Would you please stop acting as if nobody of consequence disagrees with the ToE it is becoming rather insulting. To posit that there are no alternative theories to Darwinian evolution is ludicrous. The fact that you look upon them as philosophical in nature and therefore little more than religion is nothing more than personal opinion. As I said before neither I nor any other supporter of the ToID worth his/her salt disagrees with descent with modification within individual class or order, it is only when you want explain wholesale changes from one to another using the same method that we have a problem. Descent with modification simply is not an adequate model to explain say fin to leg or arm to wing adjustments.

    Nobody in their right mind argues that evolution does not occur, that is a straw man. I believe micro-evolution occurs by manipulation and or loss of information, but I do not believe macro evolution occurs, where there is an influx of entirely new information in order to build completely new systems from the ground up or radically change physical forms from one to another.


    Accepted, thank you.

    Again, isn’t that eliminating a possible answer before you even begin? I will agree that there really are no plausible alternatives for I.D outside the supernatural. I have heard alien life forms proposed but I think that is improbable. My question is why do we remove the possibility of a supernatural cause a priori? If science is simply the quest for the most probable explanation for something, then why eliminate a possibility before even considering it? Unless of course worldview is driving the majority’s assumptions. I will admit that my worldview molds my assumptions, will you admit that yours does the same thing? Take care. P.S Are you still thinking of submitting something to the Discovery Institute regarding your research on Symbiotic Homeostasis? You had asked me if I would help you with some of “the more complex divinity stuff†if you were questioned by them and I was just wondering if this was still your intent.
  9. All_Around_Brown

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    It doesn't. Darwins Evolution by Natural Selection describes the diversity of life on earth, not the origin of life on earth.

    I happen to subscribe to the serial endosymbiotic theory. That theory, more than any other, describes the modern theory of the origin of multicellular life, but still doesn't address the origin of the first lifeform.

    I'm sure you see the discrepency.

    More on the rest later...but I do feel we're just running in circles here. You appear to want me to accept a supernatural explanation. I'm not going to go there in a scientific discussion, although I will mention it in terms of a philisophical or metaphysical sense.

    Again, thats where ID would do quite well. It would serve to clarify alot of what we think we observe in the natural world in terms of design, and explained in terms of the supernatural. It is telling that Kansas has to redifine science to include the supernatural, as I've pointed out before.

    But for me to accept the supernatural-based position , I would have to also subscribe to things like cryptozoology. As a scientist, I would have no evidence for it.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2006
  10. All_Around_Brown

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    You want it to be an alternate scientific viewpoint however. In order to get to that point, it would have to be accepted through the scientific method. And in order for it to get to that point, it would have to be not only hypothesized, but also observed, tested, and reproduced. It would have to possess predictive value. By observation, testing, and reproducing results, scientific opinions are formed that provide this predictive value. ID is insufficient on this basis. It holds no predictive value.

    Why? Because it is not testable.

    There is no proof there. You said it would appear to be interjection of intelligence. You are saying that it is intelligent because it is storage of information. Ok...there is information there. Does that in itself imply intelligence?

    You may realize that over 90% of the human genome is junk or non-coding DNA. If it is intelligently designed molecule, why is there so much non-sense in its structure that does not confer genetic information. There is still no good explanation given by ID as to why all this wasted DNA exists that I am aware of. Maybe you can help me out there.

    Currently, the more plausible explanation is simply that much of that junk DNA had served at some point in history as a "useful" gene, an exaptation. But that idea runs into problems when you consider the C-value enigma.

    This is an active area of genetic research. If ID has a contribution to the science here, please point me to it.


    Since you disregard time as an influence in modification, I can see how you cannot grasp this. However, you agree that, unlike young earth creationists, the earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old. Life is probably around 3.5 billion years old. Therefore, 3.5 billion years probably is enough time for adaptations to provide the basis of new species. What really helps to understand is the impact of biogeography and plate tectonics on the emergence of new species (macroevolution).

    Maybe ID has a more plausible explanation as to why proximate island populations of animals often show such great similarities and yet are unable to interbreed, thus forming separate species. And maybe if you consider the time it has taken for the earths supercontinent Pangaea to break apart, one will recognize that there are certain groups of animals on certain continents that share characteristics with others on other continents, but are so very different. If ID belongs in biology class, please tell me: how does ID explain these magnificent riddles of biogeography?


    Well, who said I am a naturalistic athiest? Where did I say that? Did I state that ID is plausible in the sense that it can explain biological phenomena better than evolution? Or did I suggest that since there are things I do not understand, I may take some comfort in the god of the gaps and may as well attribute it to ID since no better explanation exists for the unknown. That is a philisophical position.

    Please give me an example of one, thank you. I have given you examples of why evolution is important to understand in terms of understanding emerging and mutating diseases. Therefore, I'm surprised you didn't give it some thought. Superbugs is very much a current concern to medicine. How does ID explain the emergence of disease resistant bacteria strains??

    Supernatural by its definition are those beyond the realm of nature. Every biologist I know has a keen interest in nature. Why should they instead be concerned with the supernatural? Should priests discuss life sciences in their sermons?
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2006
  11. CPF

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    Thanks for the response AAB, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Take care.
  12. CPF

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    You know I am really getting tired of this forums limitation on post text (10,000 words) I just can't seem to fit what I want to say into that amount of text. Sorry but this will be a "two poster"

    Originally Posted by CPF
    I never said I.D should replace the ToE, but I do feel that it should be offered as an alternative viewpoint. Thank you for your warning, but I am perfectly ok with being wrong from time to time, if you can show me that the evidence for I.D is insufficient then I would be forced to agree that it does not belong in public schools. Lets look at it together and see if we can’t come to some conclusions.

    I would beg to differ, I.D is very much a testable theory. Here are a few papers that address this issue, let me know what you think.

    http://arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_isidtestable.htm http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/01/intelligent_design_is_empirica.html#more http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156

    There are, of course, many more examples but I think these will suffice for now.

    Originally Posted by CPF
    I think it’s a bit more than simply a “philosophical†question. Lets look at DNA alone. We now know that DNA actually stores information (detailed instructions for assembling proteins) in the form of a four character digital code. Given what we know of information from what Mr. Dembski as well as many other information theorist’ have offered, it would appear that it is always the result of an interjection of intelligence. So if the observable facts tell us that information is the direct result of an intelligent source then what conclusions can we come to as far as the origin of DNA is concerned? Perhaps I have oversimplified this argument and I do look forward to any light you may be able to shed on this.

    Yes I do think that the existence of information implies intelligence. What non-intelligent sources of information do we observe in the world around us?

    Are you sure you looked? It didn't take me very long to find these. Perhaps you have reviewed these and find them wanting, at any rate I value your opinion.

    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/JunkDNA111903.htm
    http://www.reasons.org/resources/connections/2000v2n1/index.shtml
    http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/junkdna.html
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/684

    Again, there are many more but this should be enough.

    Well, I think I did so above, but any objections or criticisms you may have are certainly welcome.

    Originally Posted by CPF
    I have absolutely no problem with descent with modification, it is when you want to use that same mechanism to explain how complex organisms were built from the ground up or how say, one class or order can “evolve†into another…. that is where I and many others who support the ToID disagree strongly.

    I don’t “disregard time†at all, I simply don’t see nearly enough of it for the Darwinian model to possibly work. You could have 103.5 billion years and it would not be enough to work the kind of “miracles†the ToE claims to have happened.

    When organisms are isolated by impassable land mass, natural selection is certainly going to have a more limited amount of subjects with which to work, thus the similarities. This coupled with the fact that they cannot interbreed really does nothing to promote “macro-evolutionâ€, it is simply isolated cases of “micro-evolutionâ€. There has simply been enough information loss that the one cannot breed with the other and so forth. As far as the “super continentâ€, can you give me some specific examples of animal groups that share characteristics but are “so very differentâ€? I think it may help us to compare apples to apples, so to speak.

    Originally Posted by CPF
    Let me ask you this question then; what does a naturalistic atheist do with the possibility of I.D being plausible? How do you fit the ToID into that kind of worldview?

    I’m sorry AAB, but it was not simply an assumption on my part, I honestly thought I had read something you wrote at some point that indicated you were an atheist, I guess I was mistaken and I apologize. So are you an agnostic then?
  13. CPF

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    Actually you said:

    I guess things have changed a bit, maybe as a result of your research, either way, you did seem awfully excited back then and even referred to what you had experienced as an “epiphanyâ€.

    Originally Posted by CPF
    That’s an interesting question and I have to admit one I have not given much thought to. Diseases such as Salmonella have their purpose just as E coli has it’s own, so I suppose it is possible that they were independently designed and thus “pre-ordained to function the way they do. Now that does not mean that we should not continue to look for transitional forms as it would be disingenuous to just make assumptions. There are however many a symbiotic relationship found in nature that seem to absolutely defy a naturalist explanation.

    Sure, actually I already did, I said:

    To which you replied:

    You seemed to agree with me then; do you disagree now? If so why?

    Yes you have and I think we have had some other talks regarding this issue as well. I still don’t think it does much to bolster macro-evolution though. What I see is a loss of, or shuffling of existing information resulting in some sort of resistance, not an influx of new information which would of course be necessary for any macro-evolutionary changes.

    Natural selection allows small, micro-evolutionary changes to occur over time allowing strains to mutate (lose information) and thus become resistant to current antibiotics.


    Originally Posted by CPF
    I know it is currently anathema within scientific circles to even consider the supernatural, but doesn’t that somewhat hamstring you right out of the gate? I mean you could be looking for naturalistic alternatives while all the while the super naturalistic answer could be staring you right in the face.

    Scientists should be concerned with where the evidence points regardless of how they might “feel†about it, or where their interest may lie. I’ve been to sermons where science was discussed, usually via a guest speaker who was fully equipped to do so. (although you may contest that assertion)

    I am enjoying our conversation AAB, but I can’t help but noticing you seem a bit “annoyed†with me as of late. I don’t see any reason why our differing viewpoints have to be antagonistically divisive, I consider you to be an extremely intelligent and insightful person and I understand you passionately believe in the things you defend, as do I, but this need not keep us from “enjoying†one another’s company should it? I also noticed there were some things in my previous post you chose not to respond to; was there a specific reason for that? Where you offended by some of the things I said? Did you just not feel they were particularly relevant? Or are you just sick and tired of three post replies from me;). I look forward to your response, take care.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2006
  14. All_Around_Brown

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    There's alot of links there. I'll get back to you later with some rebuttals.

    But at first glance, you are greatly mistaken about several premises, particularly natural selection. The context you provide with your following sentence is fatally erroneus:

    "Natural selection allows small, micro-evolutionary changes to occur over time allowing strains to mutate (lose information) and thus become resistant to current antibiotics."

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/0_0_0/evo_25 Check it out.

    Furthermore, you previously invoked the possibility of supernatural involvement in the design of organisms, which in turn results in a loss of predictability doesn't it? Please tell me how supernatural events could be predicted by man. I don't get that.

    This is where your theory loses all scientific credibility IMO. As I've mentioned, and by necessity, if its not readily and reproducibly observable to the human senses it cannot be considered science. How do you expect me to get around that when weighing it against evolution?

    In the meantime, don't forget to comment on great advances in evolution in symbiology

    By the way....Happy Darwin Day. Its his Birthday today.;)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2006
  15. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    http://arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_isidtestable.htm This article is very disingenous, as is the case for most of Dembskis writing. He uses circular reasoning, obfuscation, and lack of evidence his mantra. While I applaud his ability to confuse his readers with sleight of hand, I give him zero credit for proving any application of IDs testability. His is merely conjecture and speculation, with absolutely zero references to support any of his claims. That would be a good start for Dembski, but I expect his support for his claims will simply be to suggest that evolution is as poorly founded in science as ID as he is dishonestly apt to do. From this, does he actually show any example of IDs testability? The first thing he does is frame the term testability to his own narrow definition. In order to be testable, something needs first to be observable. Evolution is observable. Design is not. The following paragraph is an example, a tendency of Dembski to confuse his readers to the point of submission.

    Is intelligent design falsifiable? Is Darwinism falsifiable? Yes to the first question, no to the second. Intelligent design is eminently falsifiable. Specified complexity in general and irreducible complexity in biology are within the theory of intelligent design the key markers of intelligent agency. If it could be shown that biological systems like the bacterial flagellum that are wonderfully complex, elegant, and integrated could have been formed by a gradual Darwinian process (which by definition is non-telic), then intelligent design would be falsified on the general grounds that one doesn't invoke intelligent causes when purely natural causes will do. In that case Occam's razor finishes off intelligent design quite nicely.

    I would argue that the final statement is the closest he's come to a point. Occams Razor is essentially the KISS principle, in which Dembski has failed miserably here in making a case for IDs testability.


    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/0...irica.html#more This is even farther out there. This blog was developed by the Discovery Institute and holds very little scientific value. This article is pure opinion and conjecture. Again, there isn't an example given that I see that is specifically stated to provide an example of IDs testability. (I again assume this is for the same reason that ID theorists believe that the supernatural must be considered in their definition/version of science)


    http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmg...ils.php/id/1156 Here we finally get to something of value. This is where Discovery puts their greatest effort.

    Note their predictions:

    (1) High information content machine-like irreducibly complex structures will be found.
    (2) Forms will be found in the fossil record that appear suddenly and without any precursors.
    (3) Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms.
    (4) The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or functionless "junk DNA".


    1) Is based on the false contention that irreducibly complex structures exist.
    2) Is based on the paleological observation that has been very thoroughly explained by paleobiologists for years. Namely, a) that preservation is differential in the fossil record for a variety of reasons (soft tissues vs hard and different meteorological and geological conditions over earths history, among other) and b) that adaptive radiation and speciation is no longer though to be linear, but is often seen as bursts in biological diversity.
    3) Genes and functional redundancy is explained very well in terms of evolution. There is a difference between convergent and divergent evolution, but there is no question that modern evolution explains this phenomenon very succinctly.
    4) So, there is little in terms of excessive "junk" DNA? That is currently an area of rich promise. I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

    Even if it is discovered that vast areas of "junk" DNA are functional (its not conclusive that they are not, its just that we haven't identified functions for all introns), I'm still not sure that this in any way detracts from the fundamentals of evolution.

    What is an interesting common theme to all of these articles is that they have one thing in common. Each one is sourced directly to the Discovery Institute.

    In sum, there are some ideas to be taken away from this:

    1) Prediction is not satisfied by one group of researchers verifying their own obseervations, but has to be observed, tested and reproduced from many different groups of researchers (scientists will take this up all over the world if it shows promise outside of the scientists hired by the Discovery Institute)

    2) Observation - without a-priori hypotheses! CPF, each of the "observations" that these articles suggest point to IDs power of prediction are hypotheses made after the fact. Prediction means you have to predict something not yet discovered. Evolution is very good at this. ID is not. ID is essentially using modern known scientific examples to conclude that design is inferred.

    The "predictive" question example that comes to mind for me: if the oceans surface temperature changes 1 degree in the next 10 years, what adaptive and selective response would be expected to be observed among the zooplankton (say panaeid shrimp) that live there? Data taken today could predict with reasonable measure of accuracy what the response would be.

    Could intelligent design proponents "predict" such a future physiological and ecological evolutionary transition? I think not.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2006
  16. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    Finally, on Junk DNA

    http://www.psrast.org/junkdna.htm
    http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=956


    There are suggestions that what was once thought to be unused DNA sequences may have vital roles. It is clear that this possibility exists. It is not yet clear what functions those segments of the genome have.

    Maybe this is a great area for the Discovery Institute to put their research money, rather into the enormous PR campaign pushing ID in science classrooms.

    Another good link here...
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2006
  17. CPF

    CPF Rookie

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    AAB, I would just like to say that I am rather disappointed in the way in which you selectively respond to the things that I post. I take the time to meticulously address every point you make and yet you pick and choose what you wish to respond to. I find this to be very frustrating. And I wish you would simply offer me the same point by point responses that I offer you. I will attempt to get back to you as soon as I respond to Patters, take care.
  18. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    There is more to come. Putting long strings of thoughts together ias you tend to do makes it easy to get lost. Lets try to keep our discussions on topic. I'll gladly follow up on other stuff you wrote in your two part treatise...but lets get through the first parts first. After all, Im a reductionist.

    I haven't yet gotten to the rest. I'll get there soon enough.
  19. CPF

    CPF Rookie

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    Everything I have written has been in direct response to something you have written, so if we have ocasionally gotten off topic, it has been a joint effort. You know you could just do what I do and save the whole thing on "Word", work on it when you can and then just submit the whole thing when it is ready, after all, I'm in no rush and I would like to maintain some continuity instead of having this discussion piecemeal. At any rate I have to respond to Patters first anyway so maybe you could get to the rest in the meantime. Take care.
  20. All_Around_Brown

    All_Around_Brown Rookie

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    The basic premise of ID hasn't given me any insight to the problem. I could just consider that symbiotic associations have been designed, and leave it at that. But that doesn't have much interest in it. How do I demonstrate such a thing?

    See above. The concept of ID is pretty boring to biologists, frankly.


    What do you consider a loss of information? Mutations don't necessarily infer a loss of information, but a change that results in different codons may or may not be useful new information. The sickle cell anemia example is a mutation that fits this perfectly. This is evolution.

    Super-naturalistic answer? Are we reverting back to things we cannot observe or measure in nature?? This seems to be a major problem for the ID camp. Whos supernaturalistic interpretation do we consider? Christian explanations? Buddhist? Inuit? Do we justify the search for Loch Ness? I don't think ID can gain any credibility by inclusion of supernatural phenomena in its "pursuit of science". Thats absurd, for obvious reasons.

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