How Much Faith to Be an Atheist? A Response to Geisler and Turek (Part 4).

How Much Faith to Be an Atheist? A Response to Geisler and Turek (Part 4). September 20, 2019

This is a continuation of my response to the Christian apologetics book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norm Geisler and Frank Turek. Read part 1 here.

Design Argument

Geisler and Turek (“GT”) tell us that DNA is complex, and complexity points to a designer.

You don’t need anyone to tell you that something beautifully designed requires a designer. (page 111)

Beautifully designed? Like what? Like parasites, bacteria, and viruses? Like birth defects, cancer, and Alzheimer’s? Most of earth and pretty much all of the universe are inhospitable for humans without technology. I don’t see the hand of a particularly benevolent designer. The Design Argument fails.

And if something is beautiful, why must it be designed? Simple laws of physics give us beautiful crystals, delicate snowflakes, and stunning sunsets, for example.

A world designed by an all-wise god would be elegant—simple, efficient, and effective. All the Creationists can propose is that our world is complicated—awkward, coarse, and good enough.

Francis Collins, evangelical Christian, biologist, and current head of the National Institutes of Health, says that DNA evidence for evolution is stronger even than that from fossils. Nevertheless, many apologists push DNA as exhibit A. They’ll say that DNA is information, and information means intelligence. They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information not coming from intelligence. In response, I ask for a single example of intelligence not coming from a physical brain.

My argument reaches the opposite conclusion from theirs: I say that DNA alone makes a clear rebuttal against the Design Argument. My full argument is here, but let me summarize. First, think of the attributes that all designers use. They might want to make something durable or economical or strong or beautiful or lightweight, for example, but no designer will add junk. And yet when we examine DNA, we find:

  • pseudogenes (broken genes, like the broken gene for making vitamin C in every cell of your body),
  • fragments of endogenous retroviruses (8% of human DNA are these bits of virus),
  • vestigial structures such as nonfunctioning eyes in cave fish and a pelvis in whales, and
  • atavisms (archaic DNA that occasionally gets switched back on, such as legs on snakes and teeth in chickens).

DNA length is also not proportional to the complexity of the animal, and lots of species have far more DNA than humans, including salamanders, fish, amoebas, and even the onion. Can GT be saying that the onion really needs five times more DNA than humans? Or that some amoebas need 200 times as much?

This kind of sloppy DNA is not something a designer would create. That doesn’t prove that God didn’t create DNA, just that the Design Argument fails. And don’t tell me that God’s ways are greater than ours, and we aren’t in a position to judge him. We don’t start with the God hypothesis; rather, we follow the evidence, and this DNA mess doesn’t point to God.

The Christian response is often to handwave that the DNA got corrupted over time. Yes, it’s adulterated today, they’ll admit, but that’s just a product of living in a corrupt world.

Let’s think about this remarkable, evidence-less claim. Presumably this means that, going back in time, we would find progressively cleaner DNA until, at some time, the DNA was perfect and flawless. Was human DNA perfect 3000 years ago when the stories that became our Bible began to be collected? Was it perfect six million years ago when we had our last common ancestor with chimpanzees? Was it perfect four billion years ago in the first life form? And whatever your answer, where’s the evidence? Evolution is the scientific consensus, and it doesn’t support this claim.

(My response to “information requires a Programmer” is here.)

Thermodynamics revisited

GT put on a lab coat again to give us a lecture about thermodynamics.

How did life arise from nonliving chemicals, without intelligent intervention, when nonliving chemicals are susceptible to the Second Law [of Thermodynamics]? Darwinists have no answer, only faith. (p. 125)

Here again is that denigration of faith that seems ill-advised in a Christian apologetics book.

High school students who’ve been paying attention in class know how this complaint fails: the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that entropy (“winding down” or disorder) in any system is increasing overall, but that doesn’t mean that it’s increasing everywhere. When a seed turns into a plant, that’s an decrease in entropy (because it’s an increase in order), but overall entropy in the earth/sun system is still increasing.

What makes this more entertaining is that other Creationists make clear that this appeal to thermodynamics is embarrassing. Answers in Genesis (“an apologetics ministry dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith”) says that the argument should be avoided. Creation Ministries International (“Proclaiming the truth and authority of the Bible”) says the same.

I do enjoy watching Creationists bash each other.

Abiogenesis

Abiogenesis is the process that turned nonliving material into primitive life. Evolution only works on living things, and it needed abiogenesis to create the first life. Plenty of hypotheses and scientific puzzle pieces exist, but there is no theory of abiogenesis yet.

Science has lots of unanswered questions. GT’s only argument here could be, “Science doesn’t know; therefore, God,” which is no argument.

GT use science when it suits them (thermodynamics, Big Bang cosmology) and reject it when it doesn’t (evolution, abiogenesis). One wonders who died to leave them the Judges of All Science. One also wonders what they think of their readership that none will care enough about science to be offended at their arrogance.

In several places (pages 115 and 120), the book uses the term “spontaneous generation,” an idea discredited almost two centuries ago. That they use it as a synonym for abiogenesis shows again their disdain for science. For them, it’s a tool to be used or discarded as suits their agenda.

Evolution

Hatred of evolution colors much of Frank Turek’s work in particular (I’ve responded to his musings on evolution before). In this book, chapter 6 is titled, “New Life Forms: From the Goo to You via the Zoo?” This presumably means that evolution can’t be true because it’s yucky (“People came from pond scum? Eww!”), as if yucky has any bearing on truth. These are often the same people who believe God made Adam from dirt.

It’s telling that they must stoop to schoolyard taunts to make their case.

For more on Creationism vs. evolution, see my recent post responding to a Yale professor’s dismissal of evolution.

Continued in part 5.

Creationists are like the undead.
They can’t see themselves in mirrors.
— commenter Greg G.

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 9/2/15.)

Image from Wikimedia, CC license

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  • Lex Lata

    So basically all God-of-the-Gaps, all the time.

    No, we don’t know with confidence by what messy process the first life emerged from non-life. Nor do we know for certain what caused or came before the theorized Big Bang (nor even whether mere human words like “caused” or “before” compute in that context). But there’s certainly no reason to believe that Iron Age priest-scribes who were unaware of things like E. coli, the speed of light, hydrogen, and Antarctica had more of a clue than we do.

    Even if we accept GT’s reasoning on these points, they work precisely as well (or poorly, rather) for every non-biblical creator deity in humanity’s shared pantheon. The pagan Stoics, for example, pointed to the perceived order and beauty of the world as evidence of Jupiter/Zeus and the other gods. Imagining transcendent designers is just a function of our chronic human penchant for pareidolia, not sound scientific investigation and inference.

    When all is said and done, we have as much scientific evidence for designer Yahweh as we have for designers Brahma, Enki, Jupiter, Prometheus, etc. etc. etc. Heck, there’s as much scientific evidence for my just-made-up theory that the mad ungod Azathoth dreamed itself and the cosmos into existence via the Big Bang from its tormented slumber trillions of years in the future.

    • there’s as much scientific evidence for my just-made-up theory that the mad ungod Azathoth dreamed itself and the cosmos into existence via the Big Bang from its fitful slumber trillions of years in the future.

      Ooh, that’s good. Hold on–let me get some paper …

      • MR

        Does that make you a scribe of Azathoth and Lex his prophet?

  • ephemerol

    …this DNA mess doesn’t point to God.

    One of the things I learned in statistics is that it doesn’t take a vast random sample of the data for the big picture to begin to emerge. For example, it only takes a random sample of n=30 for the histogram to begin to emerge. After that, enlarging the sample size adds resolution, but it won’t change the overall big picture. This is a lesson that the devout need to take to heart.

    So what would happen if we were to take all of science as one big experiment testing whether or not everything we know so far tends to point toward naturalism, supernaturalism, or even better, toward the god of one religion over the rest?

    As a formerly religious person myself, I understand why the more devoutly religious you are, the more likely you would be to want to claim either that, ironically, it’s science that’s the big hoax (rather than religion), that science is just the product of an anti-supernatural bias, or else it’s still too soon for any big picture to begin to emerge from the data, and that we need to keep waiting—forever if necessary—for the big picture to begin pointing, first to supernaturalism, then to their god. But this reluctance to plant a mile marker and take stock of their situation is just because they know that if they were to call the jury in, the verdict would be swift and brutal. However, any time a solitary data point that at its furthest limit could improbably be stretched into pointing to supernaturalism ever gets reported out in the press, the devout are suddenly not at all reluctant to latch onto that one, to the exclusion of millions of others, hooting, howling, and declaring vindication for the god of small victories. And speaking of bias, their claims of anti-supernatural bias ring hollow too. You can’t claim investigators are biased for not investigating that which, by the devout’s own account, resists direct investigation. Instead, that very resistance is another damɴing data point because that’s usually the token of things that don’t exist. Besides, at least in the case of christians, their own bible instead claims that nature itself reveals the glory of their god! Christians who cry “bias” are actually conceding that science has succeeded in showing that nature not only does not reveal the glory of their god, it reveals not a trace of the existence of the supernatural whatsoever.

    Science has been observing the natural world for several hundred years now, and the pace of that observation has been ramping up exponentially, really taking off during the 20th century. It is not at all too early for the “big picture of science” to begin to emerge. But no matter where we look, we see impersonal mechanistic processes instead of agencies. As the resolution of this big picture increases, one thing that won’t happen as it comes ever more sharply into focus is the one thing christian are put in the awkward position of having to count on: that the big picture is somehow going to change into a completely different picture altogether. That’s just not how pictures ever work.

    Nevertheless, devout religious people, all around the world, will have to stand by uncomfortably, claiming that no matter how vast the repository of scientific data becomes, and no matter how crisp and sharp the big picture of a universe entirely devoid of the supernatural becomes, that the sample of data we have is still nowhere near vast enough for any kind of picture to emerge from it yet. But just wait, when it does, you’ll see! Nope—again, that’s not how pictures work.

    We’ve already had plenty of data for at least a century to be able to call in the jury of nature itself and ask it to announce it’s verdict. “How do you find the gods? Existent or Nonexistent?” And I would claim that this verdict, visible already to all who have eyes to see, is the reason, more than any other, why “nones” are on the rise as dramatically as they are.

    • al kimeea

      You can’t claim investigators are biased for not investigating that which, by the devout’s own account, resists direct investigation.

      Sanal Edamaruku was charged with blasphemy in India for exposing a weeping Jebus to be faulty plumbing & capillary action after being invited to do so on a TV show, iirc.

    • Michael Neville

      Over the centuries supernatural explanations for phenomena have be discarded for natural explanations. Never, not even once, has the flow been the other way.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Never, not even once, has the flow been the other way.

        Absent fire, torture, or sword, that is… 🙁

        • NS Alito

          The argument ad baculum fallacy (appeal to the cudgel) is probably the only fallacy that works with me. 😉

  • Jesse H

    I think Collins, the Christian scientist you mentioned, would disagree with you about pseudogenes, vestigial structures and atavisms. The more we explore the DNA the less “junk DNA” is really a viable hypothesis.

    • Greg G.

      Most of what is called “junk DNA” is known to be junk.

      https://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/02/theme-genomes-junk-dna.html

      Total Essential/Functional (as of 2011) = 8.7%
      Total Junk (as of 2011) = 65%
      Unknown (probably mostly junk, as of 2011) = 26.3%

    • Collins is squarely in the science camp. The “hold on, now–we’re finding more and more uses for that ‘junk’ DNA” people tend to be in the Creationist camp.

      The 8% of human DNA that’s inactivated virus (for starters) defeats the Design Hypothesis. That doesn’t mean that DNA isn’t useful, of course, but now you’re put on the evolutionist’s hat.

      It’s like observing that the human tailbone or appendix have uses. Yes, they do, but they’re still vestigial. They’re still not what an omniscient designer would put in if it were creating each species from scratch, without evolution.

      • Jesse H

        Would you agree that we are finding more and more usefulness in the DNA? Significantly what was thought to be junk is now thought to be like a framework for a software system, not junk.
        I would suggest that the theories proposed saying that 8% is inactivated virus is based on assumptions. It’s the assumptions that drive the theory, not necessarily the evidence.
        It’s not putting on the Evolutionist’s hat to see common design rather than common descent. For a more detailed analysis see here: https://creation.com/erv-and-line-functions

        • Would you agree that we are finding more and more usefulness in the DNA?

          Sure. But how does that address the c-value enigma? You can’t be saying that some protozoa actually need 200 times the DNA that humans have, right?

          “Uses are being found for supposed junk DNA” is very different from “All DNA is useful.”

          I would suggest that the theories proposed saying that 8% is inactivated virus is based on assumptions.

          Show me (in a scientific journal, not one with a faith statement) that this is the scientific consensus.

          It’s the assumptions that drive the theory, not necessarily the evidence.

          Evolution is the consensus view. With what logic could I argue that me, an outsider to biology, can reject that field’s consensus?

          I’ve responded more thoroughly to the Design Argument here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/argument-from-design-busted-2/
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/the-design-hypothesis-dna-and-dysteleology/

        • NS Alito

          Significantly what was thought to be junk is now thought to be like a framework for a software system, not junk.

          As a former practicing Software Engineer, my analogy is that DNA is like old legacy software. Each generation of bug-fixers and feature-adders were focused on their immediate task, often with little thought to the entirety of the system.

          I’ve put on a mental hazmat suit and dived into generations-old code to find lots of abandoned function calls, sloppy re-purposing of once-good subsystems, code that no longer matched descriptions or comments, code that was obviously copied and modified to perform new functionality without removing extraneous and distracting unused features, and occasionally patches of code surrounded by all sorts of dire warnings that anyone changing it would be subjected to evil curses or summary execution. All that mattered with these code-slingers or overworked pros was that the targeted bug seemed to be fixed or the targeted new feature seemed to work, and that was “good enough”.

        • As perhaps an extreme version of that, one project of mine decades ago was to add new features to old 8-bit microcontroller code. Problem was, all they had was the compiled code, so the best I could start with was a tool that created assembler instructions from the machine language. Then I had to piece together what the hell it was doing, giving unlabeled variables useful names, seeing where it talked to the hardware, and so on.

          It was satisfying to reverse entropy and create a readable program, but not something I’d like to do all the time.

        • NS Alito

          It was satisfying to reverse entropy and create a readable program, but not something I’d like to do all the time.

          Sounds like a fun project to do once, and not under team or time pressure.

        • Phil

          Ah, you are describing my day job! Although I don’t use assembler and machine code anymore, the principle is the same. Fix a bug in a 4,000 line class that is pure gibberish written by some very clever, certifiable genius leaving not a hint as to what it was meant to be doing. Nothing changes but the complexity increases. I shall have to remember “Reverse Entropy”, I like it!

        • Back in the dark ages, writing clear, well-commented code was coming to be seen as important. But I guess it’s still not a universal thing, especially when the genius can say, “I know what it does; it doesn’t need to be any clearer.”

        • Greg G.

          About two thirds of the genome is known to be junk DNA. About a quarter of it is unknown whether it is junk or functional, but it is probably junk DNA. Scientists are discovering some functions in the unknown.

        • Carol Lynn

          I would not trust any site called ‘creation.com’ to have anything resembling an unbiased look at the science. Nice try but no cigar.

        • Jesse H

          Everyone smokes cigars. All evidence should be examined. The only way to tell if you aren’t holding a bias is to look at how others look at the evidence. And in reality no one is completely unbiased.

        • Greg G.

          All evidence should be examined.

          I examined the evidence the creationists had when I was a creationist. I read a few books on evolution to see if I could find quotes like the creationists presented as being from evolutionists. I learned that what creationists said scientist said was not accurate and when they quotemined the scientists, the context changed everything.

          The so-called evidence of creationists didn’t hold water. Consequently, I stopped being a creationist because I preferred an actual quest for truth.

        • Jesse H

          I’m against quote-mining. I can agree with you on that. For me when I read all the science articles and abstracts the real case for molecules to man evolution doesn’t hold water. We have adaption, but that requires the ability of the gene to carry the information for adaption. The actual science is far from proving common descent. At best it proves evolution within species.

        • How much have you read? Have you read, say, a college biology textbook?

          Many Creationists have indeed read much, but it’s mostly “science” from their preferred source, science filtered through a Christian agenda. That doesn’t count.

          And even if you say that you’ve read much from objective biology and you’re still convinced that evolution is crap, how is that relevant? “It makes no sense to me so therefore it’s wrong”? It’s the consensus of a field to which you’re an outsider–have some humility.

        • MR

          A co-worker of mine said it best, “I refuse to believe we came from monkeys.” At least she was honest.

        • Jesse H

          Except I’m not an outsider. I’ve taught science and biology. And from a scientific standpoint adaptation is incontestable, but molecules to man Evolution is not.

        • Not an outsider? So you’ve got a doctorate in biology? If not, then I marvel that you can declare yourself educated enough in such a field that you declare the consensus view wrong.

          Is that insanely arrogant, or am I missing something?

        • Jesse H

          There are very few people with a strong enough grasp across many areas of science who can truly be general experts. In fact there’s probably no one who is an expert in biology, astronomy, geology, evolutionary science and philosophy of science who could really tie all those fields together. Instead we have specialists who disagree about many things. They also generally agree about adaptation, piecemeal evolutionary theory, and the general principles of scientific observation, though there is much lost between the scientific abstract, the popular article, the journalistic interpretation and public opinion.

          As such, specialized scientists can all point to piecemeal evolutionary theory, but no general expert would say that molecules to man has been proven as fact. And that’s not even accounting for the failure of abiogenesis, which under specialized conditions can posit some amino acids, but can’t even get to one protein, let alone the hundreds necessary for even a single cell.

          So yes, humility is in order.

        • epeeist

          As such, specialized scientists can all point to piecemeal evolutionary theory, but no general expert would say that molecules to man has been proven as fact.

          You have supposedly taught science and yet you think that science actually proves things…

        • Jesse H

          I agree science is a moving target. But that’s the point. When intelligent design theory points out that Evolution is unproven scientists should agree. Let’s really look at the evidence.

        • epeeist

          When intelligent design theory points out that Evolution is unproven scientists should agree.

          All scientific theories are both contingent and corrigible. As Thomas Huxley said, “The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”

          To rephrase this in words you might understand, no scientific theories are proven. Proof is for deductive logic and mathematics.

          Let’s really look at the evidence.

          Yes, let’s. Where does the evidence point? To common descent with modification, to replication, variation and selection. In other words to the theory of evolution in its current form as the modern synthesis.

        • Jesse H

          There are many within the academic fields who recognize that modification, replication and variation don’t necessarily get us all the way to molecules to man evolution. The evidence is piecemeal.

          https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/16/one-third-biologists-now-question-darwinism/

        • Give us something from an unbiased source.

        • epeeist

          There are many within the academic fields who recognize that modification, replication and variation don’t necessarily get us all the way to molecules to man evolution.

          Ah the unspecified and unnamed “many”. It really is a good thing therefore that the theory of evolution doesn’t pretend to be a “molecules to man” theory then isn’t it.

          https://thefederalist.com/2

          An article written by that well-known biologist Benjamin R. Dierker. Oh, wait:

          Benjamin thinks, writes, and talks about economics, law, and public policy.

          One only has to read to his first link, about Ben Stein’s farago Expelled (and the Scientific American takedown to realise how clueless Dierker is. However I will tackle his second link, that to the Nature article. I’ll switch subject temporarily since I am more au fait with physics.

          You will find robust debate about quantum mechanics with people working at its foundations. What is the correct interpretation (Copenhagen, Many Worlds, Bohmian, transactional, QBist…), is the wave function real (Ψ-ontic) or a summary of what we can know (Ψ-epistemic), is the theory local realist, or does it demand non-local realism?

          But whatever the differences everyone agrees that QM is the most successful theory of physics there currently is.

          Similarly with the letter in Nature, there are two groups of people working at the foundations of evolutionary biology who are in robust debate as to whether the theory needs modification to cope with some particular cases. However both sets of people agree that the theory of evolution is the best description of the way the biosphere develops.

          Your guy is simply unaware that this kind of debate goes on all the time within science, and the fact that it does go on is not evidence for “intelligent design”.

          Oh, and as for his “Several hundred Ph.D.s” have signed the “Dissent from Darwin” web site. Let me introduce you to Project Steve, a rather larger list of people who do accept the theory of evolution. Given that only 1% or so of scientists have “Steve” or a variant of it in their name then the creationist list looks somewhat feeble.

        • Jesse H

          I’m familiar with Steve. And I agree, healthy debate goes on all the time. And since that is true what we actually tell people science evidences shouldn’t be the speculative theories. But you have to admit that it’s the speculative theories (like a multiverse or punctuated equilibrium or other Neo-Darwinian models) that get the popular press. So scientists don’t say that molecules to man Evolution has been proven or even that science can “prove’ anything. Yet the popular opinion is that science has proved Evolution.
          I would say there is robust discussion on incorporating intelligent design theory and seeing the evidence for a fine-tuned universe. Yet by many scientists own admission, if they advocated for an ID theory they could lose their jobs or grants or acclaim. That’s not good science.

        • healthy debate goes on all the time.

          Creationist arguments are “healthy debate” in the same way that flat earth arguments are.

          it’s the speculative theories (like a multiverse or punctuated equilibrium or other Neo-Darwinian models) that get the popular press

          There’s evidence behind these. Contrast that with Creationism.

          Tip: stop trying to attack evolution. (1) You suck at it, and (2) your goal should be to show that Creationism is a strong theory. If evolution were dead as a viable theory, that would do nothing to say that Creationism is one.

          So scientists don’t say that molecules to man Evolution has been proven or even that science can “prove’ anything. Yet the popular opinion is that science has proved Evolution.

          ?????????

          We’ve been over this: science never proves anything. Nothing—not the germ theory of disease, not that the earth is a sphere, nothing.

          Yet by many scientists own admission, if they advocated for an ID theory they could lose their jobs or grants or acclaim. That’s not good science.

          “Many”? Give me names. Any list of biologists (with a doctorate) that is shorter than 1000 names is uninteresting.

        • Jesse H

          We have evidence of adaptation and natural selection within a very narrow schema. We do not have evidence that fully supports all the incredible processes necessary for molecules to man.

          And we can’t prove that the earth is a sphere? You’re really doubling down on that science proves nothing idea, huh?

        • You claimed that you’re a science insider, and yet this is what you say? Proofs are in logic and math. Science deals with evidence.

          Maybe come back after you gained either scientific knowledge or humility?

        • epeeist

          But you have to admit that it’s the speculative theories (like a multiverse or punctuated equilibrium or other Neo-Darwinian models) that get the popular press.

          So the popular press decides what is and what is not good science? (Oh, and you will note that I mentioned the “Many Worlds” interpretation of QM, nothing to do with something like Guth’s eternal inflation).

          I would say there is robust discussion on incorporating intelligent design theory and seeing the evidence for a fine-tuned universe.

          I would say you are kidding yourself. Intelligent design isn’t even a theory, it has no evidential support, no explanatory power and is incapable of critical testing. In essence it is creationism in clown shoes.

          As for “fine tuning”, I am presuming you mean “fine tuned for life”. Here is a small calculation I have given before:

          Life on earth has been discovered in some fairly unlikely places, but let’s assume it occurs between 25Km above the earth’s surface to 25Kmbelow. This gives a volume of some 7.65*10^19 cubic metres.

          The radius of the solar system is approximately 100 AU, from the sun to the heliopause. This gives a volume of 1.4*10^40 cubic metres.

          So the percentage of the solar system in which life is known to occur is 5.47*10^-19%. So in other words we cannot survive in
          99.999999999999999999453% of the volume of the solar system. Do you want to call that fine tuned?

          Why do you disregard things like black holes, stars and, given recent discoveries of exoplanets, planets? There are many more of them than us, they have been around a lot longer than us and will be here long after we are gone. If the universe is fine tuned, then why is it not fine-tuned for them rather than us?

          Yet by many scientists own admission, if they advocated for an ID theory they could lose their jobs or grants or acclaim.

          Names, or it isn’t true. Or at least it is equivalent to this:

          https://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/160809103644-many-people-are-saying-trump-twitter-illustration-mullery-super-tease.jpg

        • Jesse H

          ID theorists have shown that they do have predictive power. I could link you to an article explaining some of this but I’m not sure you’re really being open-minded about it. But in the past 20 years ID has already shown predictive power in junk DNA. What started out as scientists pointing out a lot of junk DNA has changed. ID said that junk DNA had use (a prediction) and more and more that has proven to be true.

          And yes, fine-tuned for life. What we see on earth is unique, we ought to understand that. So the more we discover the differences in the universe the more evidence it is that life on earth is unique, special, and quite evidently designedly so.

        • epeeist

          I could link you to an article explaining some of this

          This one from the other day you mean? It’s a joke. Lets take the prediction on junk DNA, “(4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.”. So tell us, if some junk DNA turns out to have valuable functions (whatever that means) how does this count as win for ID?What makes the prediction specific to ID?

          And yes, fine-tuned for life.

          So you are going to simply ignore my calculation (which doesn’t include factors such as the distance between stars or galaxies, these would make the percentage even smaller), you are also going to ignore my possible alternatives for which the universe might be defined. And you then have the cheek to say that I am not being open minded.

          In our conversations over the past few days you have ignored or avoided questions that I (and others) have put to you, this would include critical testing of these so-called predictions from ID, Darwin saying that we would see all the fossils for the evolution of dogs, evidence for the existence and properties of your so-called designer, actual evidence for design (and not just in the pre-Cambrian), where “chemical laws” come from, a list of people who have been sacked from their jobs for promoting ID, evidence for teleology in nature. It is also blatantly obvious that you haven’t read any of the papers on the biological flagellum that I have you a Google Scholar search for.

          Given all this why should we accept that you have any intellectual integrity while I do not?

        • How does ID explain the recurrent laryngial nerve? It’s pretty trivial for evolution.

          What started out as scientists pointing out a lot of junk DNA has changed.

          Hmm–good point. There was junk DNA before and now, there’s still junk DNA. The DNA from endogenous retroviruses and atavisms is still there and still junk.

        • epeeist

          Since your reply to my post below has disappeared then I will respond here:

          The prediction about junk DNA is specific to ID in part because ID expected a certain outcome.

          Specific means, “If and only if ID is correct would we expect so-called junk DNA to have valuable functions”, the problem for you is that some junk DNA being shown to be functional is not specific to ID is it?

          I agree we need more critical testing of ID predictions, but ID is often mischaracterized.

          The idea of critical testing is to find singular existential statements that can falsify predictions if the hypothesis under test is incorrect. The four “predictions” in the article you referenced as so vague as to be worthless. Let’s stick with prediction 4 about junk DNA. In that it says “much” then it obviously isn’t make a universal claim. It isn’t making a statistical claim either, “much” could mean almost anything, it doesn’t even specify a majority. Further it isn’t making a specific claim, i.e. this particular part of the genome currently thought to be non-functional will turn out to be functional. So, easy to verify, but there again as Popper noted verification is cheap. It is especially cheap in that the reclassification of junk DNA was already underway when Luskin wrote his article (you might want to look up the Encode project). So what we have here is not even prediction, but retrodiction.

          Behe has answered Miller

          Citation required

          Darwin did say we’d see transitional fossils all along the spectrum

          Citation required, especially as Darwin followed Lyell when it comes to fossils and Lyell noted that his geology would lead to an incomplete fossil record.

          As to the properties of a Designer, this gets more into philosophy, but we can deduce an immaterial, personal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Designer because the universe is material, time-space, complex, and we have conscious beings in it.

          Nothing to do with philosophy and everything to do with theology. To attempt to put some structure on it you seem to be saying: the universe is designed; if it is designed then it needs a designer; therefore the universe needs a designer that has these properties.

          Now, you have signally failed to show that the universe and the beings within it are designed, so I reject the first premiss.

          As for the conclusion, it simply does not follow from the premisses. Even if the first premiss was true then the only logical conclusion that follows deductively from the premisses is that the universe has a designer. You have a lot more work to do to show that the designer has the properties you claim. Oh, and the properties you claim do not follow from the properties of the universe, this is a non-sequitur writ large.

          However, thank for reaffirming that the conclusions of the Kitzmiller-Dover trial were correct, “Intelligent Design” is simply creationism in clown shoes. But those who know anything about cdesign proponentsists already knew that.

        • I’m sure that finding new uses for DNA that was previously thought junk would surprise absolutely no one. As you say, Jesse must show that discovering new uses are predicted by ID and only by ID.

        • Oh, and the properties you claim do not follow from the properties of the universe, this is a non-sequitur writ large.

          My car is blue; therefore, the designer of my car was blue. QED

          Checkmate, atheists!

        • epeeist

          My car is blue; therefore, the designer of my car was blue. QED

          I usually use red Lego bricks when I am trying to something that distributes from the whole to parts,

          It’s just Kalam all over again isn’t it, the universe was designed and therefore it had a designer. Oh, and we’ll call this designer “God” and it just so happens it is the god that I worship and it has exactly the properties I say it has.

        • It’s just an intellectual veneer over an emotional argument.

        • Jesse H

          I wouldn’t mind continuing to have a conversation with you, but we must first get a few misnomers out of the way. I agree that saying that junk DNA will show purpose is a generalized prediction, however the fact that ID was saying this and has been shown to be correct is at least a point for ID.
          I agree with the Kitzmiller decision in the sense that ID should be about the science. But it’s a misunderstanding of the decision to say that ID is theology. I agree Creationism has a theological perspective, but ID theorists like Demski, Behe and Meyer continue to respond scientifically. Demski is at best an agnostic.
          And I’m not sure what you mean that the universe and beings aren’t designed. It’s accepted that the universe was shaped by certain physical laws and that natural selection and evolution guided the beings on earth. Design is part of the system, the difference is on what caused this apparent design.
          And ID technically as a science doesn’t purport to define the properties of a Designer, again that’s more philosophy. But we do have a rich history of philosophy on theism and properties of divinity, but again that’s not in the field of scientific inquiry.
          I can easily post links for 15+ years of response to Dover, Behe’s responses to Miller, as well as the fact that continued discussion on ID is about the science. There’s no doubt there’s bias on both sides. rationalwiki and talkorigins is biased, discovery institute has bias as well, wikipedia itself is biased. So everyone must examine their worldview, evaluate their presuppositions, try to have a justified philosophy, and use that to do the best science we can.

        • saying that junk DNA will show purpose is a generalized prediction, however the fact that ID was saying this and has been shown to be correct is at least a point for ID.

          Nope. Finding some surprises—DNA that seemed inert but is actually used—surprises no one. Science is humble, and any statement (“this big pile of DNA has no purpose”) is provisional.

          I agree with the Kitzmiller decision in the sense that ID should be about the science. But it’s a misunderstanding of the decision to say that ID is theology. I agree Creationism has a theological perspective, but ID theorists like Demski, Behe and Meyer continue to respond scientifically. Demski is at best an agnostic.

          “We have a couple of people who aren’t evangelical Christians!!” isn’t much of a statement. ID/Creationism is motivated by religious beliefs. It ain’t science.

          You’re forcing it. If there is a designer, let that emerge from the science. If you’re right, biologists and cosmologists will find an ever-increasing pile of unanswerable questions that are neatly answered by a designer.

          Look at the mission statements of the Disco Institute, ICR, or whatever. They’re starting with their conclusion. That’s not science.

          Design is part of the system, the difference is on what caused this apparent design.

          Huh? You mean “Apparent design is part of the system”?

          I can easily post links for 15+ years of response to Dover, Behe’s responses to Miller, as well as the fact that continued discussion on ID is about the science.

          And I can post links to 30 years of research on cold fusion, which no one doubts is a scientific inquiry with no religious agenda. Nevertheless, it’s not the scientific consensus. I don’t need to tell you what our response to that should be.

          There’s no doubt there’s bias on both sides.

          I have quite a bit of doubt. Seems to me that one side is following the evidence, and the other is cherry-picking the evidence.

        • Jesse H

          That’s exactly what’s happening. An ever increasing number of biologists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, geologists, microbiologists, mathematicians, philosophers of science are coming out in favor of ID theory.
          And not like cold fusion.

        • epeeist

          An ever increasing number of biologists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, geologists, microbiologists, mathematicians, philosophers of science are coming out in favor of ID theory.

          And because they espouse ID they are being sacked from their institutions as shown in the list you posted the other day.

          Oh, wait. You didn’t post a list. Further you haven’t given us any of the names of the “increasing number” who are supporting ID.

          And not like cold fusion.

          No, it is more like those who claim that vaccines cause autism.

        • You ignore the majority of my argument because you have no response?

          An ever increasing number of biologists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, geologists, microbiologists, mathematicians, philosophers of science are coming out in favor of ID theory.

          No one cares. Seriously, no one cares. When the scientific consensus changes, then everyone should care. Until that point, your argument is of the “Look–something shiny!” type.

          There’s your challenge. Go.

        • epeeist

          I agree that saying that junk DNA will show purpose is a generalized prediction, however the fact that ID was saying this and has been shown to be correct is at least a point for ID.

          One of the things that Karl Popper discussed was the idea of “boldness” when it comes to scientific theories, a bold claim that is fulfilled provides much more in terms of verisimilitude than a weak claim. It’s all very well to say that the mass of the sun would bend star light, but a much bolder claim would be that it would be bent by precisely 1.75 arc seconds is much bolder. Not only does this substantially add to the verisimilitude if the prediction is correct, it also makes it easer to falsify.

          Your “prediction” is so vague and further seems to have been produced when the status of “junk DNA” was already been revised makes it, shall we say, somewhat underwhelming.

          I agree with the Kitzmiller decision in the sense that ID should be about the science.

          Let’s park this for the moment.

          And I’m not sure what you mean that the universe and beings aren’t designed.

          Not what I said, what I said was that I reject the premiss that the universe and the things in it are designed because you haven’t fulfilled your burden to show that this is true.

          Design is part of the system

          See, this is just a bare and unjustified assertion. There is no reason for me to accept it.

          And ID technically as a science

          Let’s go back to Kitzmiller-Dover, where Behe was forced to accept that a definition of science that was broad enough to include ID would also be sufficiently broad to include astrology.

          the properties of a Designer, again that’s more philosophy

          Nice try, but no coconut. You are claiming a causal relationship, but you want to hide the nature of the cause. It rather reminds of the South Sea Bubble, “For carrying-on an undertaking of great advantage but no-one to know what it is!!”.

          There’s no doubt there’s bias on both sides. rationalwiki and talkorigins is biased, discovery institute has bias as well, wikipedia itself is biased.

          Those proposing anthropogenic global warming are biased, those denying AGW are biased. Your statement is just as much false equivalence as this one.

        • Jesse H

          Would you care for a correction? Behe is misunderstood about astrology. https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-8/

          And we can talk philosophy, as well as worldview bias. It’s not that certain facts are disputed, it’s that facts are interpreted within a worldview. For instance, scientists often speak of evolution as guiding or designing life forms and bringing about their adaptation. Natural selection is a form of design in the sense that the organism adapts to the environmental forces. Indeed, design is part of the system.

          And is there a reason you keep misspelling the word premise?

        • epeeist

          Behe is misunderstood about astrology.

          Perhaps you ought to read the transcript from day 11 of the Kitzmiller-Dover trial rather than an after-the-fact interpretation.

          It’s not that certain facts are disputed, it’s that facts are interpreted within a worldview.

          Facts are truth-makers for propositions. If all facts are interpreted through a world view then what you are effectively saying is that truth is relative to a world view. Do you really want to go down that path?

          Natural selection is a form of design

          And this is just Humpty-Dumptying

        • Jesse H

          The article quotes Behe. Do I really have to now quote from the article when you don’t want to read it? The point is that there are many things that can fall under the auspices of science, and by a definition of a scientific theory as a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences

          Astrology could fit as a scientific theory, or try to be. But the point is that there is no evidence for Astrology. Science welcomes everyone to the table to do science and propose an hypothesis, but if you don’t get evidence you don’t have a workable theory.

          Truth in part is relative to a world view. I agree that facts can be truth-makers, but the framework of a worldview then assimilates these facts into truth. So yes, it’s not just about the facts. This is the very point we’re arguing. The facts that we have from science about life forms points to certain truths. I believe we have specified complexity in DNA and irreducible complexity seen in many parts of the cell and life which neo-Darwinianism cannot solve with random mutations and natural selection.

          I’ll tell you what. I’ll read a good article which you think proves your points if you read one which supports ID: https://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/Faculty/Behe/PDF/Behe_chapter.pdf

        • epeeist

          The article quotes Behe.

          The question is, does it quote Behe accurately? Or is it better to go back to the primary source?

          The point is that there are many things that can fall under the auspices of science

          Indeed there are and I would accept, contra Popper, that there is not a single demarcation criterion to separate science from non-science. But this still does not mean that astrology or ID are sciences.

          Astrology could fit as a scientific theory

          No, astrology is a pseudo-science

          Truth in part is relative to a world view.

          So how does one tell what is relative to a world view and what is not? What is the demarcation criterion?

          This really is a desperate stuff, effectively invoking truth-relativism because you are unable to justify your claims.

          I believe we have specified complexity

          I really don’t care what you believe, what I am looking for is what you can justify.

          if you read one which supports ID

          You think I haven’t? What is plain here is that you have read little, if anything, about evolution in the modern synthesis. When you actually reference anything it is either to the DiscoTut house magazine or secondary, popular articles.

          The other day I listed the questions that I had put to you that you had failed to answer. We still seem to be in the same state, one has to wonder whether you are capable of providing answers at all.

        • Jesse H

          I can’t tell if you’re really not getting it because you don’t want to concede any points or if you’re really not getting it. But either way you are actually providing evidence for what I’m saying about worldviews. It’s not that truth is relative, but it is that we have worldviews which distort truth to our preferences, and this is psychologically as well as scientifically true. We all need to examine the frameworks from which we view truth.
          I agree with you that astrology is a pseudo-science, so does Behe. But the point is that all theories can come to the table and do science, but only those theories with evidence will prevail.
          I did already answer some of your questions in what looks like a disappeared post (which you responded to).
          I won’t say I’m an expert on evolutionary theory, but I do read the articles and the abstracts that I can and so far ID has responded to its objectors. The actual evidence we have for adaptation and natural selection has not evidenced molecules to man evolution, not in DNA, not in speciation or genus change, not in paleontology, not in microbiology or a million other links to the chain that would be necessary.

        • epeeist

          I can’t tell if you’re really not getting it

          Having seen this line of argument many times before I rather think I do get it.

          It’s not that truth is relative

          And yet you say, “Truth in part is relative to a world view”, so which is it?

          We all need to examine the frameworks from which we view truth.

          Fine, then perhaps you ought to examine the Wedge Strategy document and see what world view it espouses and whether its authors are actually searching for truth.

          only those theories with evidence will prevail.

          It isn’t just that though, there are a whole stack of other virtues that a good theory will possess, I can’t find an online version of it Fr. Ernan McMullan’s article The Virtues of a Good Theory provides a list. So called “intelligent design” fulfils few, if any of them.

          I won’t say I’m an expert on evolutionary theory, but I do read the articles and the abstracts that I can and so far ID has responded to its objectors.

          My inference from this sentence is that you read few articles outside of those favourable to ID. This is corroborated by the references you provide and your continuing use of the phrase “molecules to man”, which of course is not what the theory of evolution is about. As for speciation, there are lots of examples, actually seeing a genus change would probably falsify the theory of evolution.

          Instead of reading lawyers on biology why don’t you try reading some actual biologists. They can’t all involved in a conspiracy to push a theory that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, surely?

        • Jesse H

          My friend, you seriously have to be joking. The Wedge strategy document pales in comparison to the Evolutionary anti-religion agenda which we can clearly see many espouse today. I can cite Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, PZ Meyers, Richard Carrier and many others just in the last 20 years, not to mention seeing this strategy play out for over 100 years in academia. Discovery Institute clearly aims to present a scientific thesis having scientific merit. Yes, truth plays out in part to a worldview, that’s a simple statement of fact born out in numerous psychological and philosophical studies about conservatives vs. progressives, hierarchy vs. anarchy, establishment vs. progress, democrat vs. republican, national vs. global, individual vs. corporate, atheism vs. theism, and various scientific theories against each other.
          And don’t give me the evolutionary dodge that Evolution isn’t really molecules to man but allele change in populations. The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.
          My point is that I do read biologists, I read all the so-called examples of speciation and they do not prove molecules to man Evolution. They hardly prove speciation. I’ve read about goldfish as broken carp, the stickle-back fish, the viruses and bacteria that change, the black moth, the fruit fly, the gene duplication speculative theories, plant speciation, the computer simulation of coding (just off the top of my head). In every example we hardly get to true examples of complex information being created, new species evolving to new species, or actual proof of anything beyond basic adaptation.
          And to say that if we saw genus change this would disprove Evolution is laughable. If we ever saw anything close to genus change I guarantee it would be front page news and everyone would consider it a slam dunk for neo-Darwinian theory. But we see nothing of the sort.
          And the fact is that no scientific theory holds up to scrutiny if it can’t be understood and reasoned on the basic level. So it doesn’t matter if you are a lawyer, a biologist, a philosopher or an engineer the basic theory should be explainable. The fact that neo-Darwinian theory isn’t convincing across the board from scientist, mathematician, philosopher to layman isn’t proof that only the so-called experts are right. There are experts who disagree from every scientific field. And again, the actual evidence which science agrees on is not evidence which ID theorists disagree with.

          The fact is this whole argument plays out more on the fringes of science, not in the actual science. Because it involves an entire worldview and theory which is still speculative. Everyone is playing with pieces of the jigsaw puzzle and no one can say exactly what the big picture is or what is the unifying theory of everything or even how many jigsaw puzzle pieces we have left to find. That’s science.

        • The Wedge strategy document pales in comparison to the Evolutionary anti-religion agenda which we can clearly see many espouse today.

          I hear you, bro! Science in the science classroom, following the evidence where it goes even if it makes fundamentalists sad—my god, where will it end??

          Discovery Institute clearly aims to present a scientific thesis having scientific merit.

          Clearly? If anything is clear, it’s their agenda and close allegiance with Christianity. They’re a PR machine, not a science lab.

          Yes, truth plays out in part to a worldview

          Drop the “we all have our worldviews” stuff, OK? Science is open and transparent and worldview independent. Yes, the individual participants can have biases, but, sometimes slowly and clumsily, science as an institution aims toward the truth.

          And don’t give me the evolutionary dodge that Evolution isn’t really molecules to man but allele change in populations. The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.

          WTF?? Epeeist is trying to help you out. Are you this dismissive of all your teachers? No, evolution fucking isn’t molecules to man. You’re combining abiogenesis and evolution here.

          Maybe a little less arrogance and you can actually learn something. You do realize that most of us here have heard all that you’ve said about ID/Creationism many, many, many times already?

          My point is that I do read biologists, I read all the so-called examples of speciation and they do not prove molecules to man Evolution.

          Make your argument and support it only from conventional biology textbooks.

          it doesn’t matter if you are a lawyer, a biologist, a philosopher or an engineer the basic theory should be explainable.

          Whew! I’ve been waiting for you. I’m a pretty smart guy but certainly no scientist. Explain quantum theory to me.

        • Jesse H

          Science is only worldview independent to a point. A worldview still categorizes the way experiments are done and then also aligns all the facts into a coherency. Which is again the discrepancy here. There is no scientific fact which refutes ID theory. And with the ideas of specified complexity, codification of DNA and irreducible complexity we have evidence for ID theory scientifically. But it takes a worldview to put all the facts together. So those with a materialistic naturalism worldview have framed the facts in a certain way.
          Would you prefer me to say Evolution is cellular life to man rather than molecules to man? Of course abiogenesis is another ballgame which gives more grounding to ID theory given the inexplicability of life.
          As to quantum physics, Richard Feynman, one of the founders of quantum field theory remarked, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum theory”. So even the experts are baffled. But fundamentally we simply have the idea that the quantum level exhibits the characteristics of both particles and waves, so determining the location and the vector at the quantum level is uncertain. This means that we can only measure one of those realities at a time. And we can only do this in probabilities. And we have entanglement theory where it appears we have particles acting like superfluids with frictionless viscosity. There appears to be no drag or energy loss. And of course this is only the beginning. But even a layman like myself can understand and explain these basic ideas.
          But this is much beyond neo-Darwinianism where we can’t explain how a cell first begins, how proteins are formed, multicellular life, how this evolves into animals without backbones, then backbones, complex internal organs, sentience, consciousness, the list is miles long.

        • epeeist

          Your previous post is stuck as spam, I’ll get around to it when it appears.

          There is no scientific fact which refutes ID theory.

          Let’s ignore the fact that ID is not a scientific theory for the moment. You are correct, there is no fact that will falsify ID, which is one of the reasons it isn’t a theory.

          Let’s take a couple of scenarios. First one, an ID proponent says that X cannot be explained by the theory of evolution. Data is then brought forward showing that X can indeed be explained by the TofE. ID proponent says, “Ah, but that wasn’t ‘irreducibly complex’, but Y is”. This isn’t science, it is whack-a-mole.

          Second scenario, again the ID proponent says X is irreducibly complex, but this time biologists cannot find an evolutionary pathway. Does this show that it is irreducibly complex? No, it simply shows that currently no evolutionary path can be found.

          As ever we get the false dichotomy, namely a “problem” with one hypothesis is not evidence for another.

          Of course abiogenesis is another ballgame which gives more grounding to ID theory given the inexplicability of life.

          This is just an argument from ignorance.

          As to quantum physics, Richard Feynman, one of the founders of quantum field theory remarked, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum theory”. So even the experts are baffled.

          So what are they baffled about precisely?

          This means that we can only measure one of those realities at a time.

          This is wrong.

          And we have entanglement theory where it appears we have particles acting like superfluids with frictionless viscosity.

          This is also wrong

          But even a layman like myself can understand and explain these basic ideas.

          Except where you get things completely wrong.

          But this is much beyond neo-Darwinianism where we can’t explain how a cell first begins, how proteins are formed, multicellular life, how this evolves into animals without backbones, then backbones, complex internal organs, sentience, consciousness, the list is miles long.

          And this is a mixture of argument from incredulity and from ignorance. But go on, tell us how ID explains, say, the design and construction of the recurrent laryngeal nerve cell in Amphicoelias fragillimus.

          What creationists misunderstand is that all scientific theories are works in progress, they all have things that they cannot currently explain (try this list for some of the things that are currently open in cosmology). Now they may eventually be explained by the current theory, or the current theory may be replaced by a new theory. The latter only happens if it has a stronger explanatory power and empirical fit and hence is able to account for the anomalies that the current theory cannot.

        • Jesse H

          Once again you are missing the point of ID theory. When we see specified complexity and irreducible complexity the only examples we have of this is from intelligence. Forensic science does this all the time with crime scenes where a human agent is involved. It’s not an argument from incredulity, it’s an argument from specific cases where we know intelligence is involved. And what examples of irreducible complexity have been refuted? I surely hope you’re not talking about the flagellum because it notably has not, as I’ve already demonstrated. We have amazing speculation, we have hypothesized gene duplication (which is actually speculation in itself), but we do not have the mechanics that posits the formulation of the entire chain of flagellation. Not even close. And Miller’s mousetrap theory just proves the point. Behe has refuted him.

          Now I agree that an evolutionary pathway could be found, and we certainly don’t stop doing science just because evidence points to ID, but the gecko showing different body size and toe size in terrestrial and scansorial is not an example of the kind of Evolution needed for all the diversification of life we see. It’s another example similar to canines, lots of different body shapes and sizes. It shows diversity within kinds, it doesn’t show movement from one kind of creature to another.

          As to quantum physics, I’d love if you have better explanations, I wasn’t claiming expert knowledge, and I know I was simplifying things. Because of the nature of measuring in probabilities we don’t/can’t specify a particular particle’s location and speed at the same time. And the analogy to superfluids is just an analogy.

        • epeeist

          Once again you are missing the point of ID theory. When we see specified complexity and irreducible complexity the only examples we have of this is from intelligence.

          “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

          Let’s try a simple example, from the link I gave on open problems in cosmology. Only a few percentage of the universe’s mass has been identified, the missing mass is obviously evidence for the existence of (nods to @Ignorant_Amos) space ponies.

          As Quine noted, as a consequence of the under-determination of scientific theories there are many alternative explanations for any particular phenomenon. As a result the false dichotomy that is at the heart of ID, i.e. if the TofE cannot (currently) explain something then the only alternative must be ID is simply fallacious.

          Oh, and here is another one for you, given the “problems” in the bible in terms of contradictions, falsehoods etc. then it must be false, the true god is that of the sentient, floating gas-bags of an unnamed planet in IOK-1.

          but the gecko showing different body size and toe size in terrestrial and scansorial is not an example of the kind of Evolution needed

          I didn’t ask for an argument against evolution, I asked how you would explain it in terms of design. Once more you fall into the false dichotomy.

          I know I was simplifying things

          No, you were getting things wrong. Let’s take the first one, measurement of two complementary variables, we’ll use the common pair, momentum and position. We then have:

          σ(p) σ(x) ≥ ℏ / 2

          You will see that this specifies the maximum precision of measurement of complementary variables (not “realities”), it says nothing about not being able to measure them at the same time.

          As for entanglement, you seem to have a garbled description of Bose-Einstein condensates. The concept of entanglement is fairly simply, if we take two particles p1 and p2 that are not entangled then their state vectors will be | p1 > and | p2 >. If they are entangled then there is a single state vector | p1+p2 > that is not separable.

          I will add the fact that you are unable to tell me what physicists are baffled about when it comes to QM to the list of currently unanswered questions.

          EDIT: misspelling and HTML characters.

        • Jesse H

          ID theory doesn’t state that if TofE has holes then ID theory is correct. You are failing to understand the scientific arguments. And I agree this gets entangled with question of worldview but at the core ID simply states that when we see certain parameters the evidence points to ID.
          If I were to explain geckos I would say that geckos have been designed to have different body and toe sizes adapted to different functions. It’s not really a product of ID theory to say this, it’s just what we see. The question would be if mutation and natural selection are adequate to drive these changes, specifically in first getting the bodies and toes in the first place, and then having enough adaptable information in the DNA to drive changes. When we have specified complexity like this we can see intelligent design.
          I appreciate the explanations of QM, but when theorists say that photons show characteristics of waves and particles this by nature means we can’t exactly pinpoint particular photon’s location and vector.
          And when I quote that there is still mystery in QM I’m sure you’d agree. I’m merely quoting QM theorists themselves.

        • epeeist

          And I agree this gets entangled with question of worldview but at the core ID simply states that when we see certain parameters the evidence points to ID.

          And at this point you produce a prediction which can be critically tested. I have yet to see them produce anything that can be the subject of such a test (and no, the vacuous “predictions” by Luskin don’t count).

          If I were to explain geckos I would say that geckos have been designed to have different body and toe sizes adapted to different functions

          And how are you going to put that to the test? You don’t expect me to simply accept an unsubstantiated assertion?

          The question would be if mutation and natural selection are adequate to drive these changes

          And away we go again, rather than provide evidence for your position you prefer to whine about the TofE. Now as it is I am perfectly happy that scientific theories (not just the TofE) are held to exacting standards, but this is not what you and other creationists (in clown shoes or not) are about. What you are putting forward is an isolated demand for rigour, where you (rightly) require that evolutionary biologists provide the strongest of justifications for their claims but you essentially give ID proponents a free ride.

          but when theorists say that photons show characteristics of waves and particles this by nature means we can’t exactly pinpoint particular photon’s location and vector (sic).

          You really can’t help yourself can you? You were shown to be wrong in your claim that we can’t specify a particle’s “location and speed (sic) at the same time” and here you are doubling down on your claim and rather than admitting you were wrong.

          I’m merely quoting QM theorists themselves.

          I’m taking that to mean that you don’t actually know sufficient about the foundations of QM to say why theorists are “baffled”.

          Here’s a hint, you might want to go back to a post of mine about the various interpretations of QM. It might just indicate that I have a clue as to what I am talking about…

        • Jesse H

          We appear to be at an impasse. You don’t credit Luskin’s predictions, and you seem to deny the philosophy of forensic science in finding design. You may feel I’m giving a free pass to ID, but scientifically I’m not. We all have a worldview and for many even though new-Darwinianism has severe holes and questions it supposedly has a consensus. But as Micheal Crichton said, “If it’s a consensus, it’s not science, and if it’s science it’s not a consensus.”

          Your question about an isolated demand for rigor seems tied in to questions about worldview. And the link you gave references psychological academia, so I would think you understand that worldview often fills in the gaps in our understanding. I don’t think ID proves God created, it simply points to evidence where certain parameters point to intelligent design. Scientists often seem to be filling in the evidence with their worldview of new-Darwinianism.

          I appreciate your knowledge of QM, so I suppose you can better explain Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The more precise we know a particle’s position, the less precise we know its momentum. I don’t think what I’ve been saying is very far removed from that.

        • epeeist

          You don’t credit Luskin’s predictions, and you seem to deny the philosophy of forensic science in finding design.

          I don’t credit his predictions in that they are as vacuous as the ones in the horoscopes in tabloid newspapers.

          As for forensic science, as far as I understand it involves using applied science to investigate crime and examine and present evidence, nothing to do with design.

          We all have a worldview

          I don’t really care whether you call it weltenschauung, perspective (Nietzsche), language game (Wittgenstein) or paradigm (Kuhn). Espousal of one of these is the espousal of epistemic relativism (see something like Paul Boghossian’s Fear of Knowledge for why this should be rejected).

          even though new-Darwinianism has severe holes and questions

          And we ware back at the false dichotomy, as I have noted “severe holes and questions” in one theory does not provide evidence for other hypotheses. As I have also noted, all theories have unanswered questions and anomalies.

          But as Micheal Crichton said

          Crichton was an MD, so what is he saying here, that germ theory is not science because it is the consensus view of how disease is caused? Or was it only to climatology and AGW that he meant his remarks to apply? As it is he conflates the idea of “consensus” and “scientific consensus”. Let’s go back to QM for a moment, it is the scientific consensus that QM is the most successful theory in physics based upon its evidential backing, empirical fit and survival of critical testing.

          Your question about an isolated demand for rigor seems tied in to questions about worldview.

          Only insofar as it applies to those who apply rigour selectively. In this context, to those who demand that evolutionary biologists show every step in their reasoning while not demanding it of intelligent design proponents (for example, not requiring them to provide evidence for the existence of the so-called designer, its properties or the design principles and mechanisms it follows)

          Scientists often seem to be filling in the evidence with their worldview of new-Darwinianism.

          So you are indeed a truth relativist.

          I don’t think what I’ve been saying is very far removed from that.

          No, you claimed that, “This means that we can only measure one of those realities (sic) at a time”. You were wrong, suck it up

        • Jesse H

          I appreciate you showing the impreciseness of what I said about QM.

          But I think you are misunderstanding Crichton and it relates to your rejection of worldview. Science evidences certain things that everyone agrees on. But because evidence must be interpreted in a framework and because there are presuppositions in even how experiments are conducted and interpreted not all evidence is the same.

          The more interesting conversation we should have is how worldview relates to evidence because this is indeed the ID conversation. You seem to say that worldview means that truth is relative. But that’s not what worldview means. And if you’re referencing Boghossian then I’d have to say that I would agree that equal validity to all truth claims is invalid, and I disagree with relativism. But there is a healthy uncertainty we should have when it comes to evaluating our own positions. No one can get away from subjectively self-evident beliefs but this doesn’t mean we don’t apply critical thinking to them.

          So the idea that we should apply critical thinking to our worldviews doesn’t mean that truth is relative. And neo-Darwinian theory is a worldview. It’s gratuitous to say that TofE isn’t proven (because science doesn’t deal in provens) and yet also say that objections to TofE by ID can’t apply. And then also to say that a consensus (which isn’t science) is true yet it’s unrelated to worldview. The very idea of consensus means putting the evidence together in a framework. That’s a good definition of worldview.

          And then you are begging the question, the evidence for the existence of the so-called designer is because we see characteristics of intelligent design as is true in forensic science where the difference between homicide, suicide or accidental death applies. The properties and mechanisms of a designer follow from known principles of what natural laws can do or not. A person can’t shoot himself from 10 feet away without the use of a string, pole or remote control. Take away those factors and we have ID. Irreducibly complex machines cannot create themselves, nor can information code itself. The chemical properties can only go so far. (And where did the chemical properties come from?)

          And again, ID is different from Creationism or Christianity. I understand that ID is used by Christians espousing more than what is properly scientific, but atheists do the same thing with science. They use TofE as proof for atheism, when in reality that’s not true either.

        • epeeist

          But I think you are misunderstanding Crichton

          Oh you do, do you. Given that Crichton gave his speech with regard to one subject and one subject only, namely AGW, then I think I understand him all too well. I note that you have no rebuttal to the two examples of consensus in science that I gave.

          But because evidence must be interpreted in a framework and because there are presuppositions in even how experiments are conducted and interpreted not all evidence is the same.

          That all observations are theory-laden is a truism within the philosophy of science doesn’t help you though.

          The more interesting conversation we should have is how worldview relates to evidence because this is indeed the ID conversation.

          The reason it doesn’t help you is that if “neo-Darwinian theory is a worldview” then so must Lamarkism, orthogenetics and critically, so must ID.

          Oh, and and guess what, if the proposition is that “we see everything through a world view” then this too has to be seen through a world view. Once again, the implication of what you are saying is that you are a truth relativist.

          As it is philosophers of science are too convinced about truth relativism (see, for example Maria Baghramian’s Relativism About Science).

          But if you want to go nuclear then be my guest.

          that a consensus (which isn’t

          You don’t actually think I would let this pass did you? As I noted above you completely ignored the two examples of consensus that I gave. I could of course give many more, say the cause of HIV or the efficacy of vaccines for starters. Given this week’s Nobel Prize awards then the existence of exoplanets might be another.

          Does the fact that consensus exists within a particular scientific field mean that the science is certain or that it is held unanimously? Of course not, as ever science is provisional and subject to change.

          For example, the consensus in the West about the age of the earth was that was a few thousand years old based upon nothing more than a “holy book”. This began to change towards the end of the 18th century, the consensus is now that it is around 4.5 billion years old based upon multiple lines of evidence in other words we have both consonance and consilience.

          That’s a good definition of worldview.

          It is? And there was me thinking it was just a conception of the world from a specific standpoint.

          And then you are begging the question

          And yet you don’t say why I am.

          the evidence for the existence of the so-called designer is because we see characteristics of intelligent design as is true in forensic science where the difference between homicide, suicide or accidental death applies.

          This really is becoming tedious. What forensic scientists are doing is availing themselves to methodological naturalism in order to come to a conclusion, an inference to the best explanation if you like.

          The properties and mechanisms of a designer follow from known principles of what natural laws can do or not. A person can’t shoot himself from 10 feet away without the use of a string, pole or remote control. Take away those factors and we have ID.

          We have been through this one before too. All these are simply weak analogies, they don’t get you to an omni-maximal creator of the universe, let alone one that was worshipped by an obscure Middle-Eastern tribe.

          And where did the chemical properties come from?

          Another reset button press. I don’t know, this doesn’t allow you to claim that it was a designer-what-done-it.

          And again, ID is different from Creationism or Christianity.

          It is? And yet where an early edition of Of Pandas and People contained the sentence, “Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.” became “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.”

          Oh, and who can forget, “The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.” becoming “The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.”

          but atheists do the same thing with science. They use TofE as proof for atheism, when in reality that’s not true either.

          They do, or are they just reiterating Laplace, “Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là?”.

        • Jesse H

          Yes, ID is a worldview the same as neo-Darwinianism is. That’s the point, all evidence needs a frameword. So we critically examine our frameworks. This isn’t truth relativism, it’s simply the recognition that we all need self-evident truths, justified beliefs to fit our frameworks.

          Neo-Darwinianism has many assertions it must make. It must assert an ordered universe that has followed the same physical laws, that we have minds capable of understanding these laws and processes, that the processes didn’t change in the past (uniformitarianism), and that there is a meaning reference in all the observations we make. And none of these assertions can be proven simply from empiricism or scientism.

          So yes, we all examine our hypotheses and determine where we can begin. I’m with you against truth relativism, but the flaw in your theory is that any of us can start with neutrality. None of us are neutral, we all have to examine our presupps, our worldviews, our justified beliefs, our self-evident truths and build the gridwork from which we view evidence.

        • epeeist

          This isn’t truth relativism, it’s simply the recognition that we all need self-evident truths

          Self-evident truth’s? But all truths are relative to a “framework” or a “worldview” according to you, so how can such things exist?

          Neo-Darwinianism has many assertions it must make.

          Wow, theories need auxiliary hypotheses, what a stunning revelation. It’s almost as though Duhem and Quine had never existed.

          I note that, once again, you concentrate on the TofE and avoid saying what the “many assertions” that ID must make are.

          Oh, and here is a paper I came across the other day. You might want to consider what is happening in terms of evolutionary change.

          So where are the “intelligent design” papers which consider things in such detail?

        • Jesse H

          Yes indeed, self-evident truths. If you explore philosophy at all you will recognize that philosophers often resort to self evident truths. In fact logic with laws of identity and non-contradiction have to be argued as self evident truths. We can’t prove them except by using logic.

          I agree ID must make assertions too. But I would assert that a theistic framework actually provides a foundation for language, logic, matter, time-space, consciousness, thought, perception, personhood and the order and observation necessary for science. So we have a self-evident framework which actually enables us to have a correspondence to reality, rather than a lack of foundation which can’t show why logic is true, science can be done, or why purposeless mutations can produce creatures who desire and find purpose and meaning.

          And the paper you present is no different from many others where from my perspective it actually evidences ID since we need a highly specified DNA sequencing to even exhibit the retroviral activities in the koala genome.
          Again we have an amazing case for design.

        • epeeist

          Yes indeed, self-evident truths. If you explore philosophy at all you will recognize that philosophers often resort to self evident truths.

          So which particular theory (or theories) of truth are you referring to? Because to be blunt I think you have about as much clue about epistemology as you do about the theory of evolution.

          But I would assert that a theistic framework actually provides a foundation for language, logic, matter, time-space, consciousness, thought, perception, personhood and the order and observation necessary for science.

          Oh, you would assert that would you. Here’s news for you, I really don’t care about your assertions or you beliefs, only what you can justify.

          And the paper you present is no different from many others where from my perspective it actually evidences ID

          You really don’t have a clue what it was about do you.

        • as Micheal Crichton said, “If it’s a consensus, it’s not science, and if it’s science it’s not a consensus.”

          What does that mean?

        • Yes, there were a few inoffensive comments in the spam pile. I’ve returned them to the fold, like a good shepherd.

        • There is no scientific fact which refutes ID theory.

          I can’t think of a fact that supports ID over evolution, but that’s a tangent. The main problem here is that you have it backwards. “Refutes ID” isn’t the way to go. Let’s just imagine that nothing does refute ID—so what? Your goal is to actually, y’know, support ID and show that it explains things better than evolution.

          it takes a worldview to put all the facts together.

          Still flogging the “Sure, I’m biased, but so what since everyone is biased” horse? I’m old-fashioned: let’s all try to be as unbiased as possible.

          Of course abiogenesis is another ballgame which gives more grounding to ID theory given the inexplicability of life.

          The value of “God dun it” is that that can never be refuted. It can be applied to address any riddle. But of course since it can’t be falsified, it’s useless. Yes, God could’ve dun abiogenesis, but that fact doesn’t help you since it’s unfalsifiable. (The fact that there’s no evidence pointing there is a problem, too.)

          So even the experts are baffled.

          Quantum mechanics is the most fucked-up theory possible. Thing in two places at once? Quantum uncertainty creating two forks in time? Quantum entanglement? All complete bullshit. Of course, I’m saying that from a common sense standpoint. Evidence makes clear that quantum mechanics does indeed work as described; it’s simply our middle world experience that is offended by this foreign world.

          Why don’t you go bother those QM guys? Evolution is easy to accept by comparison. That you’re annoyed at the one that steps on your religious toes and ignoring the one that’s actually non-commonsensical betrays your agenda.

          But this is much beyond neo-Darwinianism where we can’t explain how a cell first begins, how proteins are formed, multicellular life, how this evolves into animals without backbones, then backbones, complex internal organs, sentience, consciousness, the list is miles long.

          Remember the advice I gave you about immersing yourself exclusively in regular biology and ignoring the Disco Institute/ICR/Ken Ham/etc. for a while? It’s kind of cute seeing you as such a shill for their bullshit, but you really need to do yourself a favor and see things from the side of the people who actually understand the data.

        • epeeist

          The Wedge strategy document pales in comparison to the Evolutionary anti-religion agenda which we can clearly see many espouse today.

          The Wedge strategy is to deliberately reshape American society to reflect evangelical project values.

          So, what are the aims of the likes of Dawkins, Harris or Dennett?

          Discovery Institute clearly aims to present a scientific thesis having scientific merit.

          And yet, as Dover-Kitzmiller shows, they fail. What they do is present creationism in clown shoes.

          The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.

          So, give us a reference to an actual biologist who says this.

          I read all the so-called examples of speciation and they do not prove molecules to man Evolution.

          Ah, the smell of burning straw in the morning.

          Of course they don’t “prove” (I thought we had done with the fact that science doesn’t prove things; it looks like the reset button has been pressed) your straw man. What they do show is that speciation takes place.

          And to say that if we saw genus change this would disprove Evolution is laughable.

          All this shows is that you really have no idea about evolution. You don’t think that something in genus Canis giving birth to something in genus Felis would disprove the theory of evolution?

          But we see nothing of the sort. And the fact is that no scientific theory holds up to scrutiny if it can’t be understood and reasoned on the basic level.

          So we are back to the claim that popular opinion decides whether scientific theories are correct or not.

          The fact that neo-Darwinian theory isn’t convincing across the board from scientist, mathematician, philosopher to layman isn’t proof that only the so-called experts are right.

          Let’s ask a question here. If you have a severe pain in your chest then the opinion of “scientist[s], mathematician[s], philosopher[s]” (or lawyers) is just as valid as that of doctors?

          I will add the fact that you haven’t clarified your position on truth-relativism to the list of unanswered questions.

        • So, what are the aims of the likes of Dawkins, Harris or Dennett?

          Are you kidding? They want all that science-y stuff.

          What they do [with ID] is present creationism in clown shoes.

          … but isn’t Creationism already wearing clown shoes?

        • epeeist

          Are you kidding? They want all that science-y stuff.

          It really is dull isn’t it, the false equivalence, the false dichotomy, the mischaracterisation of the theory of evolution, the inability to provide evidence in favour of ID, the whole nine yards in fact.

          I answered a couple of his posts and then thought sod it and took the camera out. I was able to get some nice long exposure shots at a place called Padley Gorge without being troubled by the tapping of the feet or the folding of the arms (my wife is in Cairo at the moment, fencing at the world veteran’s championships so I am a free agent; this is a Terry Pratchett reference by the way).

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1093910585c31fada88f732b8493fdb67ba59f1db1c8da2fa88859fcf1b7921a.jpg

        • Awesome photo! Can I use it for a post photo if I give you credit?

        • epeeist

          Can I use it for a post photo if I give you credit?

          Of course, I mostly concentrate on wildlife and landscape (though of late I have been doing a series on urban decay; see below) so if you want anything specific then give me a shout.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0a52b81f235756db75e350cbe69490f4fa942653881241ec687dc184440646fa.jpg

        • I’ve heard of a genre of thrill seekers (?) who sneak into abandoned factories, warehouses, industrial plants, and so on to photograph them. I imagine they come across some amazing sights.

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/kellysmith/531837840
          https://www.flickr.com/photos/norue/5250103830/

        • epeeist

          I’ve heard of a genre of thrill seekers (?) who sneak into abandoned
          factories, warehouses, industrial plants, and so on to photograph them.

          I have done some of that, not overly successfully. Have you heard of a town called Pyramiden on Svalbard?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b3edf7e234dd07f700621a0663d5c04c36d06e34a5d85068fff44a7d87c9980.jpg

        • Curiously, I’ve recently seen several articles about visits to Svalbard. God must be telling me something (since he can only communicate in riddles).

          To answer your question, I’ve heard about Longyearbyen (oddly, it was named after a guy named Longyear) but not Pyramiden. Wikipedia says about Pyramiden, “An archive of over 1000 soviet films lies well preserved in the storerooms on the site.” There’s reason enough to add it to my bucket list.

        • epeeist

          To answer your question, I’ve heard about Longyearbyen

          There is a line of dealerships on the “main street”. They sell snowmobiles rather than SUVs.

          There’s reason enough to add it to my bucket list.

          If you go then don’t take the dog sled experience, the dogs are trained to run and excrete (fsking Patheos filter) at the same time.

        • If you go then don’t take the dog sled experience

          Do you speak from personal experience?

          Disgusting as it is, that is a rather impressive trick on the dogs’ part. Maybe it’s smart to wear a motorcycle helmet.

        • epeeist

          Do you speak from personal experience?

          No, I was warned off beforehand. And anyway it is a bit difficult using a camera on a dog-sled.

        • Phil Rimmer

          What camera, Epeeist?

        • epeeist

          Nikon, D500. I was using a 6x stopper made by Nisi, I can recommend these.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Nice. I wish I could afford the risk of having one. But I’d have to have all the lenses.

          I’ve just bought a Lumix FZ2000 for my son to stop him borrowing mine for his movie making. Its got a decent size sensitive sensor and shoots Cinema 4K . With the need for slow, movement-blurring shutter speeds often, it throws in an inbuilt 2, 4 and 6 stop ND filter.

          I must try some shots like yours. A cracking pic.

        • epeeist

          Nice. I wish I could afford the risk of having one.

          I’ve always been a photographer but it was largely reduced to record pictures when the girls were small.

          I had a good friend who planned to travel when his wife retired, three days before she did so he died. We realised that if we didn’t get our act together the same thing could happen to us. Given the travel I bought to the best DSLR I could afford and upgraded it as and when I could.

          But I’d have to have all the lenses.

          Naturally. I run from a Tokina 11-16mm up to a Nikon 200-500mm, plus a couple of primes, one with macro capability.

          an inbuilt 2, 4 and 6 stop ND filter.

          What’s this like colour-wise? One of the reason I bought the Nisi filters is that they don’t cause a colour cast.

          I must try some shots like yours.

          You obviously need a good, solid tripod, even then I would use the app to actually fire the shutter in order to minimise the chance of camera movement. Oh, and you haven’t got to be worried about getting your feet wet

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3b8a229852c61b9b209e54334d34ac5b308f82fbe3604d9b7b284814d249d1c8.jpg

          I use a program called darktable, I find this gives me more control than Photoshop, for example in isolating the marker while converting the rest of the picture to monochrome.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Indeed, this is not a rehearsal. Crack on and invest accordingly.

          I taught photography and printmaking for thee years at a college that became part of John Moores University. I loved it, selling the idea that it wasn’t about taking pics but learning to apprehend a world. Noticing. (We didn’t have enough cameras to go around, truth to tell.)

          I always used to have a big bag of camera kit, which didn’t work well with my love of walking, nor with the family. Bridge cameras came to the rescue but the tiny image sensors to make the big zoom ranges seemed too much quality compromise. These 1″ sensor and mere 20:1 zooms fixed it. I carry one most places. The kids are long bitten too and being impoverished students still, birthdays are expensive.

          Running these off phone or tablet is nice for not disturbing them whilst perfecting the settings and zoom.

          ND cast? Haven’t checked. Must do so.

          Darktable sounds like one to check out also.

          I always enjoyed your pix when you posted them. Good stuff…

        • Jesse H

          We can show the anti-religious aim of some scientists. We can also show the anti-secularist aim of some religious believers. Truth is that worldviews struggle against each other.
          I disagree that Dover proved that ID is not a scientific theory. I’ve already referenced links refuting this idea and Dover is really old news. ID theory scientifically does not say anything about the nature of a Designer, it exists purely as a scientific theory. The fact that opponents want to disagree based on philosophy and worldview doesn’t do anything to derail the actual science.

        • epeeist

          We can show the anti-religious aim of some scientists.

          So, do they deliberately aim to reshape American society to their anti-religious values in the way the authors of the Wedge Document do? Or is it just another piece of false equivalence on your behalf.

          I disagree that Dover proved that ID is not a scientific theory.

          And yet philosophers such as Robert Pennock and Barbara Forrest would disagree with you? I rather think I am going to go with those who know something about the subject rather than a random ideologue on the internet.

          ID theory scientifically does not say anything about the nature of a Designer, it exists purely as a scientific theory.

          And yet all it seems it wants to put forward is the negative claim that the TofE can’t explain particular elements of organisms within the biosphere.

          I’ll add the questions about genus change or the opinions of experts to the list that you have failed to answer.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Speciation has many mechanisms some more gradual or subtle than others. “Shazam” is not how things mostly happen, except in your world view.

          As it happens, dramatic mechanisms like polyploidy creating whole new informational spaces actually meet your spurious requirement of an immediate reproductive lockout.

          What you read and what you understand, it seems, are distinct categories, with little chance of interbreeding.

        • Jesse H

          Do you think polypoloidy adequately explains all new information found in speciation? If we posit enough gene duplication and mutation events then we will give evidence for every layer of information found in all life?

        • Phil Rimmer

          Speciation happens in manifold ways and at different rates.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation

          Evolution happens. Where is the extra information stored that controls the limit of its extent? The boundaries of the baramin? (yes, you are right to be troubled little spell checker) When will the Discovery Institute discover that? Have they even thought to look?

        • Jesse H

          I agree adaptation happens. But do any of these examples really offer evidence throughout the chain of life that these changes within examples of life show how all life’s diversity happened?

        • Phil Rimmer

          I’ve asked you how does change know went to stop.

          Hmm?

        • Jesse H

          If you agree that speciation doesn’t effectively evidence all of life’s biodiversity I will agree that all the parameters of baraminology have not been found.

        • Phil Rimmer

          speciation doesn’t effectively evidence all of life’s biodiversity

          I haven’t the faintest what you mean by this or what you want to imply. Give me a hint. What for example isn’t evidenced?

          Speciation emerges most often over many generations, creating increasing degrees of difficulty in interbreeding say… That? Often species are poorly defined for extended periods.

          https://www.livescience.com/53389-cat-lineage-littered-with-interbreeding.html

          Or do you mean to invoke the various mechanisms of horizontal gene transfer?

          Do you understand that Baraminology requires two or three times as much data as simple evolving genes? That absolutely no viable hypotheses have been formed to manage this? It is wildly more complex in its repercussions than evolution without formal limits…

        • Jesse H

          I’m onto you my friend. You know that you are a little contrarian.

          Speciation doesn’t sufficiently evidence the outcome of all biodiversity. The adaptations within species we see doesn’t evidence how all species came about.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Like what? An example. Anything… anything.

          PS Sweet of you to consider me a friend. Its a bit too soon for me to return the favour. Keeping up the friend thing might prove a little awkward. Feel free to drop it.

          Contrarian? Skeptic, true… but I’m a sucker for evidence.

        • Jesse H

          Then you shouldn’t believe in the poor theory of Evolution.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Step up to the plate, Jesse. Don’t come this far and blow it.

          This is your chance to nail an alleged deficiency. A thing unaccounted for because…

          Go!

        • Jesse H

          Initially, the Earth was a lifeless planet.
          There is life on Earth now.
          At some time in the past, life either originated on Earth, or came to Earth from outer space.
          Regardless of where or when life originated, it had to originate sometime, somewhere, somehow.
          Life either originated by purely natural processes, or else some supernatural element must have been involved.
          Science, as defined by the American public school system, excludes supernatural explanations.
          Science depends upon the “Scientific Method” for determining truth.
          The Scientific Method involves testing hypotheses using repeatable experiments.
          If there is a scientific explanation for the origin of life, it must depend entirely on natural, repeatable processes.
          If life originated by a natural process under certain specific
          conditions, it should be possible to create life again under the same
          conditions.
          For more than 50 years scientists have tried to find conditions that produce life, without success.
          Fifty years of failed attempts to create life have raised more
          questions than answers about how life could have originated naturally.
          Living things have been observed to die from natural processes, which can be repeated in a laboratory.
          Life has never been observed to originate through any natural process.
          “Abiogenesis” is the belief that life can originate from non-living substances through purely natural processes.
          The theory of evolution depends upon abiogenesis as the starting point.
          If the theory of abiogenesis is false, then the theory of evolution is false.
          The American public school system teaches that somehow the first living cell formed naturally and reproduced.
          There is no known way in which the first living cell could have formed naturally.
          The first living cell would have needed some mechanism for metabolism.
          There is no known natural process by which metabolism could originate in a lifeless cell.
          The first living cell would have to grow and reproduce for life to continue past the first cell’s death.
          Growth and reproduction require cell division.
          Cell division is a complex process.
          There is no known natural process by which cell division could originate by chance.
          According to the theory of evolution, single-celled life forms evolved into multi-cellular life forms.
          Multi-cellular life forms consist of an assembly of cells that have different functions.
          There is no scientific explanation for how a single cell could or would naturally change function.
          Single-celled organisms have a membrane which allows the cell to
          exchange some substances (“nutrients” and “waste”, for lack of better
          terms) with the environment.
          Not all cells in larger multi-cellular organisms are in contact with the external environment.
          Larger multi-cellular organisms need some method for the interior
          cells to exchange nutrients and waste with the external environment.
          Very large multi-cellular animals require a complex system
          (typically including teeth, saliva, throat, stomach, and intestines) for
          absorbing nutrients from the environment.
          Very large multi-cellular animals require a complex system
          (typically including lungs, intestines, heart, arteries, and veins) for
          distributing nutrients and oxygen to interior cells.
          Very large multi-cellular animals require a complex system
          (typically including lungs, heart, arteries, veins, kidneys, and
          bladder) for removing waste from interior cells.
          There is no satisfactory explanation how complex systems such as these could have originated by any natural process.
          According to the theory of evolution, an invertebrate life-form evolved into the first vertebrate life-form.
          Vertebrates have, by definition, a spine containing a nervous system.
          The nervous system detects stimuli and reacts to them.
          There is no satisfactory explanation for how the simplest nervous system could have originated by any natural process.
          According to the theory of evolution, some of the first vertebrates
          were fish, which have eyes and a brain connected by a nervous system.
          There is no satisfactory explanation how optical elements (typically
          including a lens, an iris and light sensors) could have assembled
          themselves by any natural process.
          There is no satisfactory explanation how image processing algorithms
          could have originated in a fish brain by any natural process.
          If the theory of evolution is true, then every characteristic of every living thing must be the result of a random mutation.
          Mutations have been observed that increase or decrease the size of some portion (or portions) of a living organism.
          Mutations have been observed that change the shape of a living organism.
          Mutations have been observed that duplicate existing features (cows with two heads, flies with extra wings, etc.).
          No mutation has ever been observed that provides a new function (sight, hearing, smell, lactation, etc.) in a living organism that did not previously have that function.
          Cross-breeding and genetic engineering can transfer existing functionality from one living organism to another.
          Cross-breeding cannot explain the origin of any new functionality in the first place.
          Artificial selection enhances desired characteristics by removing genetic traits that inhibit the desired characteristics.
          Artificial selection is more efficient than natural selection.
          There are limits to the amount of change that can be produced by artificial selection.
          Mutation and artificial selection have not been demonstrated to be sufficient to bring about new life forms from existing ones.
          Similarity of features is not definite proof of common ancestry.
          Similarity of features is often observed in objects designed by man.
          The fact that one individual was born later than another individual
          died is not proof that the later individual is a biological descendant
          of the earlier one, especially if they are of different species.
          Many different human evolutionary trees have been proposed.
          There is disagreement about hominid lineage because the “evidence” is meager and highly speculative.
          Darwin was correct when he said, “Any variation which is not inherited is unimportant for us.” 2
          Acquired characteristics are not inherited because they do not cause any change in the DNA.
          Explanations for how apelike creatures evolved into humans are fanciful speculations without experimental confirmation.
          There is no evidence to suggest that offspring of animals that eat
          cooked food are smarter than offspring of the same species that eat raw
          food.
          There is no evidence to suggest that mental exercises performed by parents will increase the brain size of their children.
          There is no evidence that if apelike creatures sometimes stand
          upright to see over tall grasses, it will increase the brain size of
          their children.
          There is no evidence that if apelike creatures sometimes stand
          upright to see over tall grasses, it will make it easier for their
          children to stand upright.
          Sedimentary layers are formed in modern times by such things as floods, mudslides, and sandstorms.
          The fossils in sedimentary layers formed in modern times contain the kinds of things living in that location.
          The concept of geologic ages is based upon the evolutionary
          assumption that the kinds of fossils buried in sedimentary layers are
          determined by time rather than location.
          All sedimentary layers formed in modern times are of the same
          geologic age, despite the fact that they contain different kinds of
          fossils.
          Radiometric dating depends upon assumptions that cannot be verified about the initial concentrations of elements.
          Radiometric dating of rocks brought back from the Moon is not a reliable method of determining the age of the Earth.
          “Dark matter” and “dark energy” were postulated to explain why
          astronomical measurements don’t match predictions of the Big Bang
          theory.
          When measurements don’t agree with theoretical predictions, it is generally because the theory was wrong.
          “We didn’t see it happen, we can’t make it happen again, and we
          don’t know how it could possibly have happened, but it must have
          happened somehow!” is never a satisfactory scientific explanation.

          scienceagainstevolution

        • Phil Rimmer

          Abiogenesis then.

          Excellent.

          Start with Nick Lane (The Vital Question) and his team in London doing much of the heavy lifting. He shows how we now understand what the requirements for life really are (Its as much a physics and energy issue as chemistry). We now have much of the early processes (and resultant chemistry) sorted. The “cool white smokers” on the ocean floor are exactly the location of LUCA (the last universal common ancestor) resesarch shows us and Dr Lane and his team demonstrates how heat, olivine and seawater can deliver not only the ingredients needed but the substrates to form the structures. We are able now to create fully reproducing cell pouches and the missing few ingredients seem to derive from chemistry from other environments.

          This latter developed after the publication of Nick’s book is very exciting. Indeed those neglected drying warm ponds of fresh water are involved but needing very high energy UV radiation to gets the reactions to “go”. It just so happens that the early earth, had UV levels up to three orders of magnitude higher than today and that our extensive shallow oceans covering a thin still forming crust, meant that volcanic islands were the notable engines of land formation bringing those smokers into close proximity to land where highly irradiated ponds of rainwater could do their bit and the subsequent run-off carry the product to the thermal vents.

          Simply, its all coming together. What you would do better is to accept that simple life looks to be easy but the transition from simple to complex is more the new challenge. Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes and the facilitation of differentiated cells in bodies is the interesting problem. (I can talk you through that and why we may have a solution to the energy problem.)

          As for the rest of this gishgallop, you can’t hide the fact that in evolution you haven’t identified the problem yet again. You haven’t demonstrated how change is necessarily curtailed and borders between species even established. The transition of un-needed jaw bone elements into the auditory osicles of later animals took necessarily millions of years. We see it in the fossil record. How do you think a few centuries of playing around, breeding animals, is going to progress visibly toward speciation? All that happens with domestication is the slow loss of undesired characteristics, cleverer brains and better eyesight, in exchange for a bit more meat and compliance. You have also done well not to breathe a word about the clear trail of DNA evolution that lies at the heart of all this.

        • epeeist

          As for the rest of this gishgallop

          It isn’t even his Gish Gallop, he copy-pasted it from elsewhere without attribution, in other words he stole it.

        • Jesse H

          Wow, you are grasping. Lane expresses doubt for previous theories and expresses his alkaline hydrothermal vent theory. But he doesn’t bridge the prokaryote and eukaryote gap except with a great deal of speculation.

          I can only present a few objections given the tremendous theorizing Lane has to do. And I will have to paraphrase others because there is so much. Lane fails to demonstrate how any voltage or current can turn CO2 and H2 into simple organic molecules. He theorizes that natural proton gradients across thin semiconducting walls will (theoretically) drive the formation of organics. But with no evidence for this. He doesn’t explain how such gradients could power carbon reduction or energy flux before the advent of organic protocells with genes and proteins.
          He sees in ATP synthase “precise nanoengineering of the highest order, a magical device, and the more we learn about it the more marvelous it becomes. Some see in it proof for the existence of God.” Lane sees only natural selection in this, not God, but he has no explanation for this irreducibly complex nanoengineering, in his own words, “a magical device.”
          Lane merely postulates that some sort of survival of the fittest will imply the arrival of the fittest. If we have morphological constraints this will somehow produce the only life that is possible–but no explanation of this.
          In explaining his theory he says, “there are no surviving evolutionary intermediates, no ‘missing links’ to give any indication of how or why these complex traits arose, just an unexplained void between the morphological simplicity of bacteria and the awesome complexity of everything else. An evolutionary black hole.”
          Lane also speculates that “a single endosymbiosis between an archaeon and a bacterium, neither of which had a genome equivalent to any modern group; and subsequent lateral gene [transfer] between the descendants of these cells and other prokaryotes gave rise to modern groups with an assortment of genes.” So again all we have are possibilities and speculations.
          So no, it is far from coming together, all we have is speculation based on possibilities souped up by theorizing.

          And I do see a clear trail in DNA, that of common design, but so far no convincing evidence for abiogenesis, the incredible complexity and information needed for all of life’s biodiversity, or the purposes needed to produce such.

          And did you just state that domestication will never prove speciation? Aren’t you giving away the store on that one? We’ll never be able to see the proof of Evolution in a small time constraint because it never occurs in so short a time? So you’re basically saying that the proof for Evolution is that we won’t be able to show speciation in our time? My friend, you do believe in a higher power.

        • epeeist

          None of this is your own work, it is copy-pasted from this article without attribution.

          In other words, you are stealing someone else’s work and pretending it is your own.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Thanks. I often put parts of such suspicious posts into search engines to find the source. I had no doubt he was a copypasta enthusiast… There is no hiding the lack of intellectual contiguity.

          Its also clear he is running away from the original challenge with these diversions, like abiogenesis.

        • Women are people

          Totally busted him! Wow!

        • epeeist

          Totally busted him!

          I have been in conversation with him for some little while (this post is just about the start).

          Besides this particular piece of dishonesty it is notable that he has little clue when it comes to science or the philosophy of science, hence he simply drops things where he is shown to be wrong or doesn’t have any kind of answer.

          Anyway, welcome on board. My background is physics, it is nice to have an actual biologist commenting.

        • Jesse H

          Actually I mention that I’m drawing from other’s work. I agree I could have referenced more thoroughly, it’s rather exhausting having to deal with arguments which don’t actually hold as much water as asserted. It’s not an open and shut case.
          But you may now deal with the arguments.

        • epeeist

          But you may now deal with the arguments.

          Two things, firstly what little intellectual credibility you actually had here has been shot by your theft of other people’s property.

          Secondly, one has wonder why you copy-pasted material rather than producing your own arguments. Here’s a guess, it is because this is yet another subject you don’t have a clue about.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Right. All the important work done. I deserve a little time off.

          Nick Lane doesn’t need to demonstrate those things that are trivially true from the physical chemistry.

          The trick with the electro-reduction of CO2 to formaldehyde is finding the suitable catalyst substrate.

          https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/59bb/5b659035b756af51846cd526ad8886e05d9c.pdf

          Case two here shows a 24kcal/mol barrier using iron as a catalyst. This is 6.27E23 eV/mol and dividing by Avogadro’s Number, this 1.04 volts per reducing proton, easily achieved in Lane’s proposed circumstances.

          Here is the process industrialised…

          https://www.uwyo.edu/rpc/_files/available-technologies-docs/16-076-fan.pdf

          Irreducible complexity is not at all what Nick Lane is implying. That is a non-scientific theory (being non-negatable) and is defeated by any conceived evolutionary path via mooted intermediaries. It is fabulous how ID faithers NEVER dare look for such intermediary paths lest they shoot themselves in the foot (as they inevitably would if diligent).

          The mangled nonsense seemingly in reference to prokaryotes fusing (probably through invagination of one by the other) to create eventually a eukaryote with separated nucleus and differently functional organelles is, well, mangled. DNA investigations strongly suggest the prokaryote type for mitochobdrial organelles and the theory of fusion by invagination is well accepted.

          What is interesting is the thermodynamic hump of one prokaryote absorbing another and from the single feeding resource of one having to support the energetic burden of two sets of gene division. The problem was clearly overcome , though as tough as we imagined, given that simple life arose quickly and clever, capable eukaryotes took possibly an order of magnitude longer. The solution involved the elimination of all the common genetic material (duplicated back office stuff) through evolution dropping the energetic burden to five millionths of its forming self. During this long assimilation getting energy needed to be particularly easy and sustained. Many scenarios could explain why this could have happened but, hey, I’m so not going to allow you any more time off from your task.

          How can there by micro evolution and not macro? If bodies can scale through simple cell scale causing reproductive isolation, if new small food becomes available and complicated double jointed jaw bones no longer needed and get reused via bone conduction into hearing enhancement, why not? How do you define the volumes of allowed bio-parameters, for each and every parameter? Because every parameter in extremis at least but mostly before confounds interbreeding. Where are the papers analysing this huge informational requirement of detailed body plans with tolerances analysed and contrasted with the simple requirement of a sequenced recipe?

        • Phil Rimmer

          I felt I needed to go check the current state of baraminology to see if any work on mechanism had been even contemplated.

          Don’t giggle.

          https://creationresearch.org/current-status-baraminology/

          This is so, so pathetic, the pathos only enhanced by a dependence on an idea of body plans and the writer’s surprise at evolution making “types” more divergent than the narrow little baramins he had imagined.

        • Jesse H

          I’ve gotta be honest. Do you honestly think you are answering my questions or do you know that you are not but you think I won’t know the difference? Or are you really blind to the holes in your supposed hypotheses? I’m sure that you recognize that not everything is wrapped up in a bow as you seem to present it. You dearly want to win the argument against me but you demonstrate enough knowledge of the science to know that you aren’t really plugging all the holes. Lane isn’t as adamant as you pretend to be. Lane acknowledges that he has to speculate a lot, he puts forth possible scenarios, he also recognizes that irreducible complexity does provide evidence for intelligent design, though he opts for a different theory.

          And you keep getting it wrong. It’s not that ID doesn’t look for pathways and intermediates, it’s that we don’t really see examples where intermediates (speculative) really answer the questions. And also from a scientific standpoint we see practical examples of irreducible complexity like a combustion engine. So when we see examples which point to IC we are scientifically warranted to posit ID. Fusion by invagination is a wonderful speculation that hasn’t been sufficiently demonstrated, much like other of your supposed proof.

          Nor has sufficient evidence been given to show the articular, quadrate, columella bones evolved into the malleus, incus, stapes. Again it’s a wonderfully speculative theory (many scientists should write more science fiction) but it’s far from being a given.

          As for the difference between micro and macro, that’s wonderfully easy. Micro we have reproduced and observed. It can be tested and duplicated. Macro levels of speculation, like invagination, abiogenesis, hearing bones evolution, and all your wonderful energy system, magical electric production, folding membrane, organelle-producing, thermal-vent magically enhanced theorizing is fun, interesting, but mostly awe-inducing for how much grasping has to be done.

        • Women are people

          The only difference between micro and macro is time.

          Macro is your trip to the store. Micro is the first 10 steps out of your driveway.

          No grasping.

        • Susan

          Micro we have reproduced and observed.

          Give us an example of where something goes from micro to macro and where your superstitious beliefs come in. Show us the mechanism(s).

          It can be tested and duplicated.

          Or ghosts (gods) did it?

          Are you serious?

        • epeeist

          Abiogenesis then.

          If you don’t pick up my post you should be aware that he is simply copy-pasting from elsewhere, it isn’t his own work.

        • Women are people

          “Scientists have tried for 50 years to find conditions that produce life, without success.”

          You seem to unfamiliar with the Miller experiment, where they took elements like carbon and nitrogen and hydrogen and other gases and metals, put it in pressure with electrical charges and bam….amino acids were formed.

          Amino acids, the building blocks of life were formed out of elements.

          Look it up.

        • Thanks for copying a big pile of stuff from another web site.

          For more than 50 years scientists have tried to find conditions that produce life, without success.

          You really ought to get your science from scientists. No, not “without success.”

          Lots has been discovered in the last 50 years. What we still don’t have is a single, complete, consensus theory of abiogenesis. But so what? Science always has unanswered questions. I’m guessing your claim is, “science has unanswered questions; therefore, God”?

          Science has evidence and a track record. Religion has neither. I’ll go with the consensus, thanks.

        • baraminology

          Y’know, I once thought that Creationism was complete crap, but then when I heard that they made up impressive words with -ology on the end, I knew it was complete crap.

        • Phil Rimmer

          The broader theory is clearly molecules to man.

          This is catastrophically wrong. The teleology imposed is all your own short intellectual evolution laid bare.

        • I do read the articles and the abstracts that I can

          Since ID has the hallmarks of pseudoscience–it rejects an almost universal consensus of scientists, it’s very closely allied with a religious view, etc.–you should read nothing but conventional biology. Stop reading ICR, Disco Institute, and so on.

          If, after a year or so, you still think that evolution is a house of cards, you’d be in a much better position to make that argument.

        • I believe we have specified complexity in DNA and irreducible complexity seen in many parts of the cell and life which neo-Darwinianism cannot solve with random mutations and natural selection.

          But who cares what you’ve concluded when we have biologists on the payroll? Seriously, you should be the least impressed with your uninformed musings since you know better than anyone how imperfect you are.

        • MR

          There’s no taking someone seriously when they say things like “neo-Darwinianism.”

        • epeeist

          And is there a reason you keep misspelling the word premise?

          Try the British dictionary.

        • Try the British dictionary.

          😀

          40% of the traffic to this blog is from outside the US.

        • Jesse H
        • epeeist

          Perhaps you’d appreciate this: https://evolutionnews.org/2

          We have ID supporters here in the UK too. It doesn’t mean to say that ID has any merit.

          If you want to make claims for teleology in nature then go for it. Evidence and warrant though, not just arguments from ignorance.

        • When intelligent design theory points out that Evolution is unproven

          WTF?? I thought you said that you were a science teacher!?

          Science proves nothing. Ever. No one needed to wait for ID to realize that evolution is unproven since science doesn’t prove things.

        • WTF?? I thought you said that you were a science teacher!?

          Don’t forget that Kent Hovind was a “science teacher” too… Most likely this guy is teaching at some private Christian school, where he can teach what he wants, and the kids end up getting the short end of a science education.

        • Greg G.

          I dated a woman who went to a fundamentalist church high school, then to a Christian college. She said she had to catch up the other students at the college.

        • Yes, that would explain the odd juxtaposition of Creationism/ID with “taught biology.”

        • MR

          Yeah, I had involuntary eye roll spasm when I read “I’ve taught science and biology.” Ri-i-ght…. Certainly not any science or biology a scientist or biologist would recognize.

        • There are very few people with a strong enough grasp across many areas of science who can truly be general experts.

          Not what we’re talking about. We’re just talking about evolution, and you can indeed be an expert in that. You are not an expert in biology, and yet you reject the overwhelming consensus of the tens of thousands who actually are. That’s too arrogant for me, but I guess that’s just fine with you.

          Instead we have specialists who disagree about many things.

          You’re just desperate to justify your pre-determined conclusion, aren’t you? Look—evolution is the consensus view, you’re not part of the group who makes the consensus, deal with it.

          Get your science from scientists, not web sites that have a faith statement on their About page.

          As such, specialized scientists can all point to piecemeal evolutionary theory, but no general expert would say that molecules to man has been proven as fact.

          Agreed, because that’s not what science does. Perhaps more evidence that you need to get your science from Science and stop reading the nonsense from ICR or AiG or the Disco Institute.

          And that’s not even accounting for the failure of abiogenesis, which under specialized conditions can posit some amino acids, but can’t even get to one protein, let alone the hundreds necessary for even a single cell.

          Failure? Perhaps you (dare I say it?) don’t understand how science works. Yes, science doesn’t have a theory to explain abiogenesis; no, that’s not a failure or black mark or anything. It’s how science works.

        • Jesse H

          The reason why Gravity isn’t a theory is that everyone can connect the dots. But the reason why Evolution is not like the Law of Gravity is because all the dots are not connected. In this case consensus means nothing unless it can be demonstrated across the board. And we have people in every field of science who disagree. So we should teach what the actual experiments show, which is adaptation, but a severe lack of speciation (or even complete agreement on what defines a species) and nothing rising even to the genus level of Evolution.

        • The reason why Gravity isn’t a theory is that everyone can connect the dots.

          Show us that you understand what you’re talking about: tell us what “law of gravity” and “theory of gravity” both mean.

          But the reason why Evolution is not like the Law of Gravity is because all the dots are not connected. In this case consensus means nothing unless it can be demonstrated across the board.

          So biologists have a pretty much universal consensus but somehow it doesn’t mean much?

          Pro tip: get your science from somewhere besides Creationist sites.

          And we have people in every field of science who disagree.

          Disagree with what?

          So we should teach what the actual experiments show, which is adaptation, but a severe lack of speciation (or even complete agreement on what defines a species) and nothing rising even to the genus level of Evolution.

          Golly–such a dilemma! The scientists who actually understand what’s going on say that we’ve seen speciation in our own lifetimes and that evolution is the best explanation, but my ol’ buddy Jesse who poorly understands evolution says that it’s crap.

          Which should I go with?

        • Jesse H

          I’ve examined every example of speciation which has come down the pipeline for the last 30 years. And none of it really shows Evolution that proves molecules to man. It’s disputed whether it really even shows speciation. We can talk about stickle-back fish, plants, moths, fruit flies, bacteria, all of it. None of the examples as I said rises to even the genus level, and it’s disputed whether it’s even true speciation. And this isn’t from creationist sites, it’s from the scientific abstracts themselves. The real science, not the popular articles, not the journalistic interpretation. This is what the scientists say.

        • I’ve examined every example of speciation which has come down the pipeline for the last 30 years.

          Words cannot express how little I value your critique of evolution when you’re not even a biologist. I think I’ll stick with the scientific consensus, but thanks.

          And this isn’t from creationist sites, it’s from the scientific abstracts themselves. The real science, not the popular articles, not the journalistic interpretation. This is what the scientists say.

          Huh? What is it that the scientists say? Do they say that evolution is crap? Do they say that speciation doesn’t happen?

          I’m a very reasonable guy: when the scientific consensus changes, I change right along with it. No fretting about whether I like the change or not–I change immediately. My view of science comes from scientists.

          So you show me that the consensus is that evolution is flawed, and I’m there. How’s that for reasonable?

        • Jesse H

          I’m pointing out the disparity between what has actually been proven and what is hypothesized. Perhaps this will help. https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/16/one-third-biologists-now-question-darwinism/

        • No, that doesn’t help at all.

          Let me repeat myself: If the biologists themselves agree that evolution is crap, show me that from the biologists and I’ll correct my mistake. That is, make your argument from within science, not outside of it. If that’s not the case, then we’re back to some random Creationist telling me that a scientific field (of which he’s not a member) is crap. You know by now what I think of that.

        • Jesse H

          The article mentions biologists, atheist authors, Third Way, scientific intelligent design theories, and showing how scientists such as Francis Crick and Richard Dawkins have expressed criticisms. They are making the argument from within science. That is what I’m clearly demonstrating.

        • Great–biologists have open questions. We all agree. Nothing interesting here.

          And evolution (or a natural explanation of some sort) still reigns as the explanation to go with, and we biology outsiders would be arrogant idiots to adopt anything else.

        • And in response to your article (“Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism”), I notice that this is what they’re actually saying:

          Current estimates are that approximately one-third of professional academic biologists who do not believe in intelligent design find Darwin’s theory is inadequate to describe all of the complexity in biology.

          Yawn. Biology has unanswered questions. Yeah, everyone knows that. Wake me when they agree that evolution is crap.

          (And no one gives a shit about Darwin.)

        • MadScientist1023

          That Federalist article plays a rhetorical shell game with readers. It starts with discussion of EES, a position which lacks acceptance only because many think modern evolutionary biology already includes it. It then switches up to talking about ID and laughingstock scientists like Mike Behe. A real scientist should be able to see where the pivot is made and realize that the article drastically shifts what it’s talking about.

        • MR
        • !

        • epeeist

          The reason why Gravity isn’t a theory is that everyone can connect the dots.

          General relativity is a theory.

          the Law of Gravity

          There is no “Law of Gravity”. Gravity being a change in the geometry of space-time and the equivalence principle are both sub-theories of the Einsteinian theory of gravity.

        • There is no “Law of Gravity”.

          Not Newton’s law of gravity?

        • epeeist

          Not Newton’s law of gravity?

          Usage has changed over the centuries. Newton’s “laws of motion” and “law of gravity” would these days be referred to as theories.

          To quote Marc Lange, laws in science are “nomic necessities”. The example he gives is “No sphere made of U235 with a radius of 1Km exists in the universe”.

          Oh, and of course theories never become laws.

        • Greg G.

          “No sphere made of U235 with a radius of 1Km exists in the universe”.

          If it did exist, it would be briefly.

        • Newton’s “laws of motion” and “law of gravity” would these days be referred to as theories.

          Really? I thought theories were explanations. That is, f = ma is a law, simply an equation that works. No explanation is given about why and how. That’s where a theory would come in.

        • Greg G.

          Boyle’s Law is based on an ideal gas which doesn’t exist. f = ma doesn’t work with relativity. The Law of Gravity doesn’t even work well for Mercury’s orbit. Modern scientific theories have up-to-date equations and, often, their limitations.

        • Good point, but I’m still stuck on “theories are explanations and laws aren’t.”

          Wikipedia says:

          A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.

          and

          Scientific laws or laws of science are statements that describe or predict a range of natural phenomena.

        • epeeist

          Sorry, I have a stinking cold at the moment which can only be mitigated by copious amounts of whisky. Neither the cold or whisky do anything for coherent responses.

          f = ma is a law

          No, it is the summary from the results of an empirical investigation (See something like Leonard Susskind’s Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum for more details). One would have to ask whether it applies at all scales (i.e. masses, velocities, spatial dimensions) and whether it is necessarily true.

        • Greg G.

          Sorry, I have a stinking cold at the moment which can only be mitigated by copious amounts of whisky.

          Where can I get a cold like that?

        • Weird–but I want to get it right. How would you define theories vs. laws? It’s not the case that theories are explanations?

        • epeeist

          I hadn’t forgotten this, but I wanted to go back to the literature and check what it says.

          Marc Lange, who has written extensively on laws of nature, specifically says that we would not longer consider Newton’s “laws of motion” and “law of gravity” as laws any more. You can find this in his article Laws of Nature in the Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science.

          Anything online is more tricky, the best I can come up with is this article on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy site.

        • I’d assumed that law vs. theory was just a one-sentence kind of thing. That’s an enormous article–I hope there’s a brief takeaway that I can use if I’m trying to explain the difference.

          I’ll give it a read. Thanks.

        • I came across this interesting video on Newton’s law of gravity. It explored the interesting question of whether that law really does apply universally and why it might not be so crazy to imagine gravity acting differently in in extreme environments.

          https://aeon.co/videos/why-newtons-law-of-universal-gravitation-is-not-so-universal-after-all

        • epeeist

          Agreed, because that’s not what science does.

          It’s always cute when creationists pretend to know something about science isn’t it?

        • MadScientist1023

          I have to ask, at what level have you taught biology? I read somewhere that in a survey of grade school or high school biology teachers, 25% of them believed humans and dinosaurs once coexisted.

        • Greg G.

          Years ago, the fossils of a human ancestor was discovered Half of the creationists said it was fully human and the other half said it was fully ape. Scientists just said it was another transitional.

          A few centuries ago, scientists began to classify life forms by their similarities and they created family trees based on the similarities. Then they started to classify fossils which often fit right into the family trees.

          More recently, scientists began to study DNA and create family trees based on that and they matched up with the trees based on morphology very well, even clarifying relationships that were not clear in the fossil record at the time. Later, the missing links were discovered and confirmed the findings of the DNA.

          What they found is that chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than they are to gorillas.

          At best it proves evolution within species.

          You should study the evidence without those goggles with the godthingie-shaped clean spots.

        • Jesse H

          In actual fact there is still a great deal of questioning for how the DNA and family trees actually match up. Of course phenotype and genotype have a general agreement, but that actually matches common design as well as an idea of common descent.

          And similarity to chimpanzees was first thought to be 98% DNA agreement, but further studies have it as low as 80%. But that belays the point that the clear distinction between human and ape-like fossils still shows huge disparity. The closeness of the fossil record is not at all transitional. We still have a clear distinction between ape and man.

          And that’s what the evidence points to. We all have goggles, and we can stress similarities or differences. But paleontology points distinctly to the differences.

        • Greg G.

          In actual fact there is still a great deal of questioning for how the DNA and family trees actually match up.

          The questioning seems to be the different ways of measuring differences. If two books have one letter different on every page, if you measure at the page level, then it is 0% alike. If measured at the paragraph level, with an average of 5 paragraphs per page, the books are 80% alike. Measured at the sentence level, the word level, and the letter level will give higher measurements of likeness.

          Of course phenotype and genotype have a general agreement, but that actually matches common design as well as an idea of common descent.

          The likeness between phenotype and genotype is necessary under common descent. It is not necessary if magic is assumed by a common designer.

          And similarity to chimpanzees was first thought to be 98% DNA agreement, but further studies have it as low as 80%. But that belays the point that the clear distinction between human and ape-like fossils still shows huge disparity. The closeness of the fossil record is not at all transitional. We still have a clear distinction between ape and man.

          So what? No matter which method is used, chimpanzees and humans are still more closely related than either is to gorillas. In fact, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans are quite precisely the same distance from gorillas, because they share a more recent common ancestor with one another than the same most recent common ancestor with gorillas. Gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans are equally related to orangutans, too.

          But paleontology points distinctly to the differences.

          You are talking through your goggles. You sound like the creationists who agreed that a certain fossil was not a transitional. One said it was fully ape and the other said it was fully human.

        • Jesse H

          Genotype and phenotype point to the common design made by the designer. I agree we “could” have a different design. But this is simply a difference between similarity/difference. We see from both perspectives. Men and women are similar and different. Both are true.

          The idea of “magic” doesn’t come into play. We certainly see a diversity of body types, modes of living (plants, animals, viruses), and differences in the genetic code. How much difference is needed to point to a creative Designer? How much similarity is needed to point to common descent?

        • How much similarity is needed to point to common descent?

          You know Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box) accepts common descent, right? This is from page 5.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e89a2c98c710e21c2b9cc8a2759ab6224c89a4e05f9506c668ce1d0eea0cd5d.jpg

        • Jesse H

          Indeed I do. But he makes good arguments for intelligent design too. So how much do you agree with Behe?

        • Greg G.

          But he makes good arguments for intelligent design too.

          No, he does not.

          On irreducible complexity http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ICsilly.html :

          Nearly a century ago, these exact systems were predicted, described, and explained by the Nobel prize-winning geneticist H. J. Muller using evolutionary theory. Thus, as explained below, so-called “irreducibly complex” structures are in fact evolvable and reducible. Behe gave irreducible complexity the wrong name.

          So how much do you agree with Behe?

          I agree with him where I think he is right and disagree with him where I think he is wrong, just like with everybody else in the world.

        • Jesse H

          I’ve already read that article. But one can’t simply assert that Evolution can add and delete parts, one has to demonstrate that. And the bacterial flagellum is not at all like a stone bridge. Science hasn’t come close to explaining the flagellum, nor a single cell, nor DNA, much less all the intricacies of a human being.

          Now here’s one for you. https://evolutionnews.org/2019/04/in-his-latest-review-of-behes-darwin-devolves-nathan-lents-misses-the-forest-for-the-trees/

        • Oh good, more Discovery Institute crap… Please, share more of these articles. They’re so informative.

        • Creationist/ID sources are like Donald Trump: you assume that they’re lying first, and the burden of proof is on the claim that they’re actually telling the truth.

          That’s the reception those sources will get. You sure you don’t want to upgrade to actual science-y sources?

        • Jesse H

          You’re not a very good scientist or truth seeker are you? One must always interact with those who disagree, one must understand other frameworks of thinking, and one must certainly not assume everything someone says is false a priori.

        • At some point, giving the benefit of the doubt to contrarians doesn’t make much sense. You might want to inform you of the best flat-earth arguments, but how much time do you want to spend there? At some point, you’d do what I do: state that you accept the scientific consensus and leave it at that.

        • Greg G.
        • Jesse H

          But it’s not. We don’t have an evolutionary basis for the flagellum. And if you can’t see how incredibly speculative the talkorigins article is I can’t help you. A “series of gene duplication events followed by modification and/or co-option, proceeding gradually through
          intermediate systems different from and simpler than the final flagellum … each major co-option event would be followed by long periods of gradual optimization of function … After the evolution of the T3SS pilus, the pilus diversifies for various
          more specialized tasks by duplication and subfunctionalization of
          the pilus proteins (pilins) … An ion pump complex with another function in the cell fortuitously
          becomes associated with the base of the secretion system structure,
          converting the pilus into a primitive protoflagellum … Numerous improvements follow the origin of the crudely functioning flagellum. Notably, many of the different axial proteins (rod,
          hook, linkers, filament, caps) originate by duplication and
          subfunctionalization of pilins or the primitive flagellar axial
          structure.

          It’s honestly like reading a fantasy novel. I will grant that it shows amazing creativity, but it fills so many holes with conjecture it’s simply a movie script. It’s not really science.

        • It’s not really science.

          You’ve shrewdly been building your science-y credentials so that your evaluation here is very credible. Nicely played.

          Why shoot spitballs at evolution? Defeating evolution does you no good if you haven’t built up Creationism as an alternative. So far, you’ve got “God dun it.” Do you want to build on that further?

        • epeeist

          We don’t have an evolutionary basis for the flagellum.

          Here’s a set of papers for you. Tell us why they are wrong.

          It’s honestly like reading a fantasy novel.

          The Talk Origins articles are summaries, you need to go to the original literature for more details.

        • Jesse H

          I know, they are summaries which show how much speculation is involved in each part of the supposed steps. And it’s important to read both sides. Kenneth Miller has been answered by Behe. I could post articles on it if you like, but I’ve already shown that if the summaries are full of speculation, than there really still isn’t a scientific case.

        • it’s important to read both sides

          Why? Is it important to read what the flat earthers are saying, too?

        • Rudy R

          Discovery Institute? You can’t be serious.

        • Shouldn’t I be asking you that? You presumably point to him as a useful authority, but how useful can he be when his view dismisses your speciation-can’t-happen view?

        • Carol Lynn

          So – ‘everyone smokes cigars’ is an obvious black swan fallacy statement. Starting off your reply with this fallacy does not encourage me to believe you understand much of anything.

          No one needs to keep examining the same evidence over and over, especially when they found it to be inadequate the first time and, trying to avoid being shamed for bias, they dutifully examined it many more times. I do not have time or inclination to examine the same, tired, old creation/ID nonsense one more time. I already know how to refute every argument it is going to present so asking me to go to some site called ‘creation.com’ to find “unbiased” evidence that “science is wrong!!!” is an exercise in futility on your part. If the science behind evolution is wrong, I expect that the science sites will be all over that revelation. That still won’t make ‘goddidit/ID’ true as whatever replaces ‘evolution’ has to include everything we know about evolution and be even more explanatory and predictive than ‘evolution’ is now. “Goddidit/ID’ explains and predicts nothing and by its very nature, it can never adequately explain or predict anything.

          Sure, I have biases. You have biases. We all have biases. Have you examined yours lately?

        • MR

          I skimmed through a couple things for old times sake. It’s not science, it’s damage control. =’D

        • Jesse H

          Sure, I examine my worldview on a daily basis. But when I present an article that actually shows how ID has predictive power and has done so I would expect this evidence to be examined. I agree this touches on the philosophy of science and how we interpret what experiments have actually evidenced. That’s why for me going to the source, the scientific abstracts, actually doesn’t evidence Neo-Darwinian Evolution any more than listening to talking head news outlets evidences who one should vote for. That requires a framework for how evidence is interpreted.

          And common design does encompass all the evidence that points to common descent, and I would argue does so with better science. It’s similar to me to being nuanced in a political discussion. An example of police corruption doesn’t mean that the police force is systemically racist.

        • when I present an article that actually shows how ID has predictive power and has done so I would expect this evidence to be examined

          Ain’t happening in my case. I’d be arrogant in the extreme if I trusted my own conclusion as a not-biologist over the consensus view of all biologists.

          As I’ve made clear, you change the scientific consensus, and I’m there. No agenda here–I’m Mr. Reasonable.

        • epeeist

          For a more detailed analysis see here: https://creation.com/erv-an

          One of my constant themes is that all scientific theories stand on their own merits, rather than on the “problems” of other theories.

          So, let’s for the moment assume that the theory of evolution is false. What is your alternative, given that it must have at least the same explanatory power and empirical fit that the current theory has? What are the testable predictions that it makes and what are the results of the critical testing that has been made upon it?

        • Jesse H

          Very glad you asked. Here’s an analysis you may find interesting. https://evolutionnews.org/2011/03/a_closer_look_at_one_scientist/

        • epeeist

          Here’s an analysis you may find interesting. https://evolutionnews.org/2

          It is only interesting insofar as it shows the author to have little understanding of science or the philosophy of science.

          Here’s a hint, arguments from analogy (i.e. let’s consider how humans do design) might have a role in explaining an hypothesis but they do not form an hypothesis.

          As it is your lawyer author of the “analysis” doesn’t seem to understand the way scientific testing works. None of his ” Predictions of Design” are simply self-sealing. They cannot be falsified.

        • Jesse H

          Did you read the article? There are a great many ways they could be falsified. In fact, there’s a list.

        • epeeist

          Did you read the article?

          Of course I did.

          There are a great many ways they could be falsified.

          So go on, how would one set up “Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors” for testing, and how would one falsify it? We are of course looking for singular existential statements that we can feed into a modus tollens.

        • Jesse H

          The Precambrian explosion shows new body designs coming into existence. In fact, the fossil record actually doesn’t show a wide range of transitional fossils as Darwin would have predicted. Darwin predicted that we’d have fossils like the many species of dogs, where we could see transitions between every form. I think you’d agree that’s not what we see in the fossil record.

          But I agree that this goes into a philosophy of science. For instance, how would you determine that a building is designed? When we dig up arrowheads how do we know humans made them? When we look at fossils without the transitions we might expect what do we do with this?

        • epeeist

          The Precambrian explosion shows new body designs coming into existence.

          You don’t seriously think I am going to let you slip in an unsubstantiated assertion that new forms in the pre-Cambrian were designed do you? If you are claiming that they were designed then you are committing to a causal relationship, so backing for your claim and a causal warrant is required.

          Darwin predicted that we’d have fossils like the many species of dogs, where we could see transitions between every form.

          I think I would like a citation for that

          I think you’d agree that’s not what we see in the fossil record.

          A limited fossil record is not evidence in favour of design. This is of course the standard bait and switch from creationists. They are unable to produce positive evidence in favour and assume that “problems” with the current theory must be evidence in favour of creationism.

          For instance, how would you determine that a building is designed?

          I live in a house that needed an extension (the main part of the house was built before the American Declaration of Independence and is quite small).

          Now I know that the extension was designed because I have documentation from the architect with regard to a contract for designing it, I have the architect’s drawings, I also have documentation approving the extension from the local authority, I have the contract with the builder, I have records of the payments I made to the builder and other contractors, I have sign-offs from building control to say it conforms to regulations. I also have final sign-off from the House Builders Federation. I could go on and describe what I have in terms of fixtures and fittings within the extension but I don’t think there is any need.

          So, lots of documentation, evidence for it being designed and a causal warrant to show that it was.

          Further, I have evidence of the designers and builders, not only do I have documentation but I actually met and worked with them.

          So what have you got in terms of evidence for the existence and properties of your designer? What actual evidence for your claim of design?

        • Jesse H

          Are you really saying that the only reason you know your house was designed is because of documentation? You can’t look at your house and recognize implicit design?

        • epeeist

          Are you really saying that the only reason you know your house was designed is because of documentation?

          Now “know” is an interesting word, the classical definition would be “justified true belief”. I am justified in believing the proposition “my house was designed” to be true because I have lots of evidence that it was, this would include documentation produced by a variety of people including the actual designer.

          implicit design

          This just creationist speak, what it really means is “I want to say this is designed but I can’t produce any justification”.

        • Uh, no–that’s not how humans look at things. You should’ve asked, “You can’t look at your house and think of all the other houses that you’ve seen (and how you know that they were designed) and know that it was designed?”

          Now, map that onto the God situation. Your challenge now becomes: “You can’t look at life on earth and think of all those other universes (that you know were all designed) and know that life here was designed?”

          But, of course, stating it honestly like this kinda makes your argument ridiculous.

        • Jesse H

          Isn’t there a philosophical precedent where we can recognize designed things?

        • Carol Lynn

          If there is some philosophical precedent to recognize designed things, which I’ve never heard of, I don’t think that proves what you think it does. Anyone can tell the difference in design between the rock on the beach and the watch on the beach. I’d say that would be trivial; one is designed by an agency and one is the product of natural processes and the different ei obvious. However, if the world and everything in it are all equally designed by a supernatural designer, it should not be possible to distinguish that one was obviously designed and one was a product of natural forces. If there were two sticks tied together with a wisp of grass on the beach, that too would be easily recognized as ‘designed by an agency’ as opposed to ‘naturally undesigned’ for the beach itself. If there is that philosophical precedent to recognize design, since we do not automatically see design in a rock on a beach the way we see design in a watch, it would be a very good indicator that ‘god the designer of everything’ does not exist.

        • Jesse H

          Again begging the question. The rock is “designed” by physical forces which themselves are products of “laws” that were designed. Chemical and physical forces still need a foundation for their existence.

        • Carol Lynn

          LOL – you can assert the ‘laws were designed and I know who the designer is: GOD” with the corollary, ‘and he says you have to do what I say he says, so there!’ As far as I am concerned the answer to that question is “I don’t know and you don’t either.” I have some vague expectation that perhaps someday someone very clever will figure out the math and physics from before Planck time but I seriously doubt that ‘goddidit’ will figure anywhere in those equations as god has never figured in any math or physics explanation ever. Even if I agreed that ‘god did it’ – so what? Again, your ‘explanation’ has no power to give any actual explanations or predictions. To me it far less satisfying to turn to some ancient holy text with a made up a god and say, ‘god did it!’ than to simply admit I don’t know why the universe behaves the way it does and cheer on the people who have math and physics ability to investigate it. If I read god-fiction, I’ll take Eru, the stand-offish musician from Tolkien rather than Yahweh the bloodthirsty megalomaniac from the Bible.

        • Jesse H

          Except Tolkien believed in Yahweh. Here’s the thing, the idea is not at all that God did it therefore we don’t need to investigate. The idea is that we absolutely can investigate and understand the complexity and the laws and the order and the elements because these don’t derive from nothing, they are actually there because an ordered mind created them.

          And no, we don’t have a chemical basis that completely explains the increasing complexity of DNA. What we actually have is that as DNA became more well-known, this actually pointed some scientists to the need for a designer. And the mystery has only deepened. The more we understand, the more complex things get, rather than getting simpler.

        • Carol Lynn

          At least you admit now that ‘goddidit’ has no explanatory value or predictive power. Occam’s Razor – god is just a layer of unnecessary fiction on top of the science.

        • epeeist

          Isn’t there a philosophical precedent where we can recognize designed things?

          Your claim that something is designed, your burden to show that this is so.

        • At best, you can make a tenuous case for design. Your problem is that natural explanations are sufficient. We don’t look at them, see that they’re inherently bankrupt, and so grope for the most ludicrous category possible: a supernatural explanation.

        • Darwin predicted that we’d have fossils like the many species of dogs, where we could see transitions between every form.

          What is it with Creationists’ obsession with Darwin? What Darwin thought or predicted or wrote matters only for the history of science. Outside of that (like a biologist working today), no one cares about Darwin. You know he’s dead, right?

        • Would you agree that we are finding more and more usefulness in the DNA?

          Sure, but on the Intelligent Design hypothesis, we shouldn’t really expect ANY junk DNA. Unless, of course, we’re only talking about a modestly intelligent creator, which rules out God. Unless you start showing me that ALL DNA has function, Intelligent Design would seem to be much less probable than the evolution explanation.

        • Jesse H

          But here’s the fact. We started out where science postulated that 80% was junk DNA. And that theory was based on Evolution. We now are closer to 80% functional DNA, so obviously the ID theory shows promise and even predictive promise.
          And I’d say that even if we have junk DNA this wouldn’t mean a failure of ID, it would mean that there was a common design stream, a connection among living beings.

        • We now are closer to 80% functional DNA

          I’m going to need to see a credible citation for that claim before I believe you. Most of what I’ve read suggests that the number is closer to 10-25%.

        • Agreed. The Creationist line is, “But much more DNA is useful than previously thought!!” Big deal. Like you say, any junk in DNA says that DNA looks like a product of nature.

  • I’ve become aware of the above points, just the same PRATTs against “evolutionists” regurgitated again and again, just changing the language and like other Fundagelical manure being likely there to keep them isolated from the real world.

    That said, I’d like some of those Fundies explained why we’ve not found in the DNA (sort of) the letters YHWH and everything looks totally natural -same for the lack of mention of it in “the book”-. And to a much larger scale, the same can be said of the Universe.

  • Michael Neville

    How did life arise from nonliving chemicals, without intelligent intervention, when nonliving chemicals are susceptible to the Second Law [of Thermodynamics]? Darwinists have no answer, only faith.

    Besides showing ignorance of what the Second Law of Thermodynamics means, this is an argument from incredulity. GT can’t or won’t acknowledge that life itself is a chemical process. It doesn’t make sense to them that live could have non-living precursors, so they deny that did or even could happen. Having a supernatural critter wave his hand and speak the magic words to create life makes seems reasonable to bem

    • ephemerol

      Design arguments are all arguments from incredulity. They’re skeptical, but only when necessary for the maintenance of their—*ahem*—faith

    • eric

      In fairness, I don’t expect laypeople to be experts in organic chemistry sufficient to understand how organic molecules might replicate or catalyze their own replication. Want a test? Ask your Christian friend what “autocatalysis” means. If they don’t know, there’s no reason to think they could understand origin of life. That’s moderately tough stuff…maybe Jr in college level.

      OTOH, the 2LOT creationist argument is not tough stuff. That’s the sort of thing high schoolers should be able to refute.

    • al kimeea

      “GT can’t or won’t acknowledge that life itself is a chemical process”

      We’re more than “dead chemicals”, as per Mary Midgley. Her fresh idea was vitalism. If no one figures out how life started, oh well. It’s a mystery, not a mysterious god. IIRC, it’s starting to look like life could have been deposited here. Interesting, but leaves the question. Fumaroles on the ocean floor maybe, if not from somewhere else.

      • NS Alito

        As I’ve pointed out ad nauseum to creationists, the response to the claim:

        There is no plausible natural mechanism for life to arise from non-life, therefore God.

        is

        There is at least one plausible natural mechanism for life to arise from non-life, therefore your premise fails.

        Scientists don’t have to determine the specific biochemical paths that were taken to defend natural abiogenesis, only that there are no physical barriers to one.

      • NS Alito

        [BTW, in the Origin of Life on Earth office pool, my money is on the environment being rock fractures where temperatures are fairly stable and there is at least some liquid flow. Nowadays such crevices are studied for the various chemical “skins” that form in cracks depending on the chemistry of the rock and the waters flowing through them.]

        • I’ve heard that they’ve found multicelled lifeforms (worms?) a mile or two underground.

          Life continues to surprise us with how tenacious and adaptive it is.

        • Jesse H

          Or how designed it is.

        • Bold claims require extraordinary evidence.

  • Michael Murray

    I’ve only two things to say to the Great Designer. Testicles. Outside the body ? Seriously ?

    • eric

      They work best when cool.
      Evidently an internal refrigeration system is beyond God.

      • Michael Murray

        I understand the science behind the current positioning but this is God, the one who creates the rules. Why didn’t He just arrange for sperm to be happiest a body temperature or the body to be happiest at sperm temperature or as you say some kind of internal cooling system.

        Of course perhaps before The Fall testicles were inside the body. That would explain why it’s called The Fall.

        • Castilliano

          So the Garden of Eden is an extended metaphor re: puberty?

          Mind. Blown. And yet so obvious in some ways.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Legend is that this caused a rash of infertility when laptops were the big status / power symbol back in the day. The guys would use ’em on the train to work and home, and the laptops got hot enough that the guys were 42shooting blanks.

        Since most of the power guys were Type-A personalities, it strained a LOT of marriages before some urologist figured it out.

    • Otto

      And what is the deal with the over the top intense pain with even a slight glancing blow? How does that help?

      • Michael Newsham

        You do your damnedest to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

      • Greg G.

        It makes you very, very careful to protect them.

        • Otto

          I would prefer something along the lines of a rib cage.

    • Jesse H

      So let me get this straight. If testicles were internal or possibly surrounded with a protective rib cage this would be better evidence for God?

      I think I can hear God laughing.

      • Michael Murray

        Not better evidence for God. But less evidence against a Great Designer.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_poor_design

      • So let me get this straight. Appearance of design is evidence for God, but poor “design” is not evidence against God?

        • Jesse H

          Who said it was poor design? I think it has great use, keeping sperm at the right temperature, centralized so it’s easily protected, sensitive for erotic pleasure. Great design.

        • I guess you haven’t been paying attention. We’re talking about the downsides.

        • I guess you haven’t been paying attention

          What was your first clue Bob? 😉

          We’re talking about the downsides.

          To IDiots the downsides are never evidence against design. God could always have a reason for his bad design. Much like how theists dismiss the problem of evil/suffering.

        • “God done it” can’t be falsified. I guess that’s another instance of “checkmate, atheists!”

        • Women are people

          Why would he make sperm need a temperature that is lower than the body temp? He didn’t make ova require lower temps so why not spermatozoa?

  • JustAnotherAtheist2

    DNA is complex, and complexity points to a designer.

    Presumably this means that simplicity points away from a designer? Does this mean that GT would conclude the nest is less likely to be a product of design than the far more complex tree that contains it?

    Note to GT and any other aspiring apologist, it isn’t complexity that distinguishes design, but contrast.

    They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information not coming from intelligence.

    And I’ll respond by asking for a robust definition of “information.”

    that’s just a product of living in a corrupt world.

    You know your hypothesis is sound when it needs fabricated, untestable supplements to explain away its faulty predictions.

    How did life arise from nonliving chemicals

    Given that everything currently alive is composed of nonliving chemicals, why is this an outlandish proposition? Is there such a thing as a living chemical to be made out of?

    • eric

      I’ll respond by asking for a robust definition of “information.”

      The ironic thing is that we already have a couple different ones…because any definition that is useful for solving a particular problem will find a place. And that’s okay, even when they are different definitions. IDers, however, don’t want to give one. They aren’t interested in solving problems. And they know that inevitably, any quantitative definition they give will allow for information to be produced via unintelligent means, or it will classify an increase in complexity and function as not a gain in information.

      • JustAnotherAtheist2

        Yes, perhaps k should have said, “their robust definition”. As is often the case, obfuscation through equivocation is the name of the game here.

    • epeeist

      Presumably this means that simplicity points away from a designer?

      Reading things from those working at the foundations of physics it is interesting to see what their thinking is with regard to ontology, everything is fields. Particles are simply excitations of fields, space-time is an emergent property of fields.

      • Phil Rimmer

        It was a joke that, gate crash a party of physicists, they’ll instantly start talking of particles until you leave when they will once again revert to their arcane universe of fields. Mustn’t frighten the horses.

        It was Faraday, in an unpublished letter*, who, possibly first, proposed that indeed the universe may ultimately be a universe of fields, of coupled effects, only.

        * “Faraday” James Hamilton.

        • epeeist

          It was a joke that, gate crash a party of physicists, they’ll instantly start talking of particles until you leave when they will once again revert to their arcane universe of fields.

          I lived in North Wales for a while. It was blatantly obvious that when you entered a shop people had been speaking English, but as soon as you opened the door they switched to Welsh.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Ha, I experienced that. As a scouser my childhood weekends were often spent at a friends cottage high up next to Moel Famau. We were always welsh shouldered by the grown ups. Their kids were great though.

          The cottage, a pre-fab was knocked down in the nineties. It lasted as long as it did perhaps by being substantially made of asbestos. Other holiday cottages didn’t fair so well at the time.

        • epeeist

          We were always “welsh shouldered” by the grown ups.

          I don’t know whether I have told this story before. I was sitting in a pub on Anglesey with a friend of mine when he got up and walked to the bar where a group of men were chatting in Welsh. He tapped one of them on the shoulder and as the guy turned round my friend thumped him, he then came and sat down again. Nothing was said and nothing else happened.

          My friend did have a posh Surrey accent, but his surname was Llewellyn and he was a fluent Welsh speaker.

        • Phil Rimmer

          Perfect.

          I often wondered where the phrase “caught bang to rights” came from…

        • NS Alito

          When we made our annual Easter visit to Mom’s mother’s place, they would resort to speaking the contorted old “French” that Mère-mère’s family used. The only reason I knew they were talking about the Easter Bunny was catching “lapin” (rabbit) in the course of the rapid conversation.

        • epeeist

          I knew they were talking about the Easter Bunny was catching ” lapin” (rabbit) in the course of the rapid conversation.

          Ah yes, the true miracle of Easter, rabbits that lay chocolate eggs.

        • Phil

          and then buries them around the garden for children to find. Very odd behaviour with no evolutionary advantage.

        • Michael Neville

          I was once told by a Québécois, Je parle anglais, je ne il comprends pas (I speak English, I don’t understand it).

        • Jennny

          That’s fair enough in a way. I live in the area epeeist and Phil Rimmer describe and I’ve come to understand that being bi-lingual is not exactly as it appears. Everyone has a mother-tongue, and it was described to me that though you may be 100% fluent in both languages, everyone has a heart language, the one you read the bible in, and the one you make love in. Which was why, when I was a churchgoer, I could understand when welsh church members never came to english services, though they were ‘joint bi-lingual’ occasions, they found the liturgy, prayer and hymns in their 2nd language didn’t facilitate their communication with god, as it did in their first language.

        • Maybe that’s why Allah speaks Arabic, and any translated Koran doesn’t really work.

        • Greg G.

          The longest sentence I can say in Vietnamese is “I speak a little Vietnamese language, but not very well.” I am pretty sure they understand what I am saying no matter how poorly I pronounce the words.

        • Jennny

          Just the other day I was in Caernarfon, a welsh-speaking hub. I speak some welsh and can understand plenty. I must have looked like a local because three times in my first hour there, I got asked a question by a passer-by in welsh. I told someone the correct time, I directed another to the bus station and and a third to the public loos. I made all my replies in my mother-tongue, english, which I get a smug satisfaction from and made the questioners look surprised that I’d understood.

          We all have anecdotes about welsh speakers deliberately switching to welsh in the presence of english speakers. It’s rude. I have a feeling that if one entered a shop speaking french, say, or any foreign language, those welsh speakers would address you in english. I understand the deep-seated cultural animosity to the english who oppressed the welsh for centuries.

        • Phil

          It is ironic that the only true English people are the Welsh and Cornish. Invasions by all and sundry pushed the indigenous population west.

        • TheNuszAbides

          true Brits, rather – from Brythonic (rather than English from “Angles”).

  • eric

    You know he’s scraping the bottom of the barrel (of Christian readers) when he goes for the 2LOT. Who’s going to buy that? See’s dumber cousin?

    • Well, I did for many years. Difference was, once I saw an explanation of why it didn’t work I stopped using it.

      • Michael Neville

        That’s because you were willing to learn and accept the lesson. Many creationists won’t do that. They keep reciting the mantra “Second Law of Thermos Bottles or Something Like That” despite repeated corrections on why it doesn’t apply.

    • NS Alito

      I laugh that they use something they obviously don’t understand (thermodynamics) to refute something else they didn’t understand (biological evolution). They just use the arguments they’ve been taught to use idiomatically.

  • …They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information coming from intelligence.

    There’s plenty of examples of information that don’t come from intelligence. Weather systems, the impressions that heavy objects leave in mud, and even a cast shadow, conveys information to us. I doubt anybody would claim that this information needs a mind.They only argue that minds are necessary to create such “information” when it comes to complicated things that they don’t understand.

    • JustAnotherAtheist2

      Yes, we can abstract information from literally anything, so the gambit here is a colossal failure.

    • NS Alito

      A lesson I will never apparently learn: Read all of the existing comments before adding your own.

      • I find there are plenty of times that I’m guilty of this myself.

    • Jesse H

      Weather systems, mud impressions and cast shadows convey information to INTELLIGENT CREATURES. You are severely missing the point. These things don’t show intelligence in themselves.

      • These things don’t show intelligence in themselves.

        And neither does DNA! At the end of the day, DNA is simply a molecule.

        • Jesse H

          We know that DNA is encoded and contains information at the level of code, then sequence, then proximity and then unfolding. So the level of information actually takes place in four dimensions. This is a level of encoding that we haven’t even touched. It certainly shows an encoded system, and it’s certainly much more complex than mud impressions. There is no encoded system that we know that doesn’t come from intelligence.

        • There is no encoded system that we know that doesn’t come from intelligence.

          Now you’re just begging the question.

        • Jesse H

          I agree, but that is the question. If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed. This is actually scientific evidence which has changed the opinion of scientists. The complexity of the genetic code is evidence. Look at it another way. What if we saw increased simplicity the more we examine the DNA? If the system showed more simple chemical interactions which enabled life, movement and consciousness this would be evidence against ID. But we actually are astounded with the four dimensional encoding. A single cell shows levels of encoding more complex than all of our encyclopedias. This isn’t trivial.

        • A single cell shows levels of encoding more complex than all of our encyclopedias.

          Even if I accept that this is true, which I don’t, so what? Complexity does not tell us that something requires intelligence to create. This is simply a massive argument from incredulity.

        • Jesse H

          No, it’s really not. It’s a massive argument based on the evidence of informational encoding. What would be the example to you of encoded complexity that comes about without intelligence?

        • Name me any other bit of “information” that you can actually establish came from your God! ID is nothing more than a religious pseudo-scientific argument dressed up as science. At the end of the day, that’s what this is about: You believe that DNA must have come from God because it’s complex, and you cannot see any natural path for DNA to be formed.

          DNA is just chemicals, operating according to natural laws. We really have no reason to believe that intelligence is necessary for the formation of DNA.

          While we don’t yet have a working theory for abiogenesis, that doesn’t mean that we’re completely in the dark about it. Aron Ra explains what we do know about abiogenesis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdozVq81gog

          You’re free to believe whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean that your beliefs are reasonable, or justified.

        • Jesse H

          But again, where do the chemical laws come from? Why do we have these laws in the first place? I don’t mind Aron Ra but he has no foundation.

          And you didn’t answer my question. Can you point to any piece of coded information that doesn’t come from intelligence?

        • But again, where do the chemical laws come from?

          They come from us. All scientific laws are simply descriptions of how reality behaves.

          Why do we have these laws in the first place?

          Assuming you’re asking “why is there consistency in how the universe behaves?”, the answer is that we really don’t know yet. It’s a basal assumption of science that these laws do exist, and that the universe operates according to these regularities. I think it’s important to make a distinction between the regularity itself, which we don’t have think needs an explanations, and the descriptions of those regularities.

          I don’t mind Aron Ra but he has no foundation.

          If you’re going to go all pre-suppositionalist on me, we may as well just end this conversation now. What foundation do you think he is lacking, and why?

          And you didn’t answer my question. Can you point to any piece of coded information that doesn’t come from intelligence?

          And what if I can’t? How does that make you correct? You’re shifting the burden of proof, and then you’re probably going to use that as an argument from ignorance.

        • Jesse H

          The chemical laws don’t come from us. We have intelligence to recognize a certain order within the system. And it’s fine to say we don’t have all the answers, but theism doesn’t say we have all the answers, it simply recognizes that order begets order, and minds create order and recognize order. The mystery doesn’t stop just because we recognize that having a God foundation makes a certain amount of sense.

          I agree that burden proof shifting goes both ways. It is a worldview framework. If you can’t “see” that design comes from intelligence in an ultimate sense that’s ultimately your choice. Ultimately there is always some force at work, chemical/physical laws, laws of motion, etc. And that makes us ask why those “forces” exist in the first place. The mystery goes all the way down to quantum physics (and deeper) and all the way out to the universe’s edge.

        • The chemical laws don’t come from us.

          And yet they do. This is hairsplitting, I admit, but I think it’s slightly relevant.

          Ever read Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance? There’s a bit where someone challenges the existence of gravity. To cut to the chase: there was no Newton’s law of gravity (F = G*m1*m2/R^2) before Newton. There was gravity, of course, and it acted (pretty much) the way Newton described it, but there was not Newton’s law.

          In the same way, a million years ago, there was no November or 10:00am, but of course there was time.

        • Greg G.

          Can you point to any piece of coded information that doesn’t come from intelligence?

          Starlight. It is coded with the elements that the star has by the absorption of specific frequencies. which gives us information about the vicinity of space it formed in. Heavy elements mean an old galaxy with stars that have exploded.

          If the absorption lines have been shifted, we can tell how fast it is moving away from us or toward us. Comparing two stars on opposite sides of a galaxy gives information about how fast the galaxy rotates.

          If there are absorption lines that sre shifted at different frequencies, it tells us the light passed through a gas cloud and tells us the molecules and atoms in the cloud and its relative speed to us.

          There is also information about the temperature of the star with the coded spectral lines.

          What exactly were you teaching? You should know this stuff and should never bring up that argument.

        • Jesse H

          You are talking about the chemical makeup of stars. Is this really code? It’s certainly information because it’s based on the ordering of the chemical elements. But that in one sense begs the question. Where did the code come from for the periodic table? We have information implicit in the system. So it’s actually another argument for intelligence. And we can dialogue about how the periodic table is or isn’t code in the same way as DNA but again the argument goes even deeper. If the periodic table is code and DNA is code then we still have a pointer to a Designer who encoded the system.

        • Greg G.

          You are talking about the chemical makeup of stars. Is this really code?

          The code is in the light emitted.

          Where did the code come from for the periodic table?

          It isn’t about the periodic table. It is the physical relationships between particles that make them resonate at certain frequencies so that they absorb energy at that frequency. Nobody decided it. It is just natural.

          We have information implicit in the system. So it’s actually another argument for intelligence.

          The information is naturally encoded into the light by the natural absorption frequencies of the elements.

          And we can dialogue about how the periodic table is or isn’t code in the same way as DNA but again the argument goes even deeper. If the periodic table is code and DNA is code then we still have a pointer to a Designer who encoded the system.

          The encoding is done naturally. Stop trying to move the goalposts. Your challenge was answered. You should never use that challenge again.

        • Jesse H

          I know you can see your own grasping. You say that the physical relationships between particles make them resonate at certain frequencies and this is just natural. I could just as easily say that our brains are natural, they just happen to fire electrical impulses between synapses and this is why we think.
          Where did the “natural” come from? Why do particles act this way? Why do elements and particles interact in these ordered and understood frequencies?

          The encoding is done “naturally” by “natural” laws expressing a “natural” order which comes from “nature.”

          And my response would be, “Naturally.” Yup, makes perfect sense.

        • Greg G.

          I could just as easily say that our brains are natural, they just happen to fire electrical impulses between synapses and this is why we think.

          You could but that doesn’t eliminate the natural explanation of evolution. If you posit an intelligent designer, why doesn’t the brain work better? Some are as intelligent as Einstein, why not everybody? Why not ten times that intelligent?

          Where did the “natural” come from? Why do particles act this way? Why do elements and particles interact in these ordered and understood frequencies?

          A perfect nothingness is a philosophical concept that might be as impossible as a perfect circle, a perfect square, and a perfect equilateral triangle. The concepts require elements with a zero dimension, which makes them non-existent. A perfect nothingness would require an intelligent party-pooper to prevent anything from happening, but that would be something, so we can toss that out as incoherent.

          An imperfect nothingness would be the default state of everything with nothing to stop quantum events. It would be inevitable that some random quantum events would interact with one another, or any number of them to interact. It would be inevitable that sometimes enough quantum events would occur simultaneously so as to create a universe.

          Trying to work an intelligent designer into that scenario runs into your own rhetorical question but without the synapses for impulses to fire.

        • Jesse H

          You seem to be making a case for God to me. You are arguing that a perfect nothingness cannot exist, we need “something.” We need some sort of imperfection. Nothing cannot exist in a vacuum. Even the vacuum is an existence of sorts, therefore not nothing.

          I agree, we need something, Someone. We need a perfection beyond the quantum realm to even get us to the imperfections required for the quantum realm.

          But saying that we can’t have a designer because we could be 10 times smarter doesn’t follow. You seem to say that a Designer by nature would have to be materialistic. Philosophically and theologically that doesn’t follow at all. The case that is made for Christian theism is that we have an immaterial, infinite, personal Designer. A someone that forms the basis for matter, time, existence, thought, knowledge. Matter can’t create itself, therefore God is immaterial.

        • Women are people

          Uh huh. “We need something”

          So this would also be true for the creation of a god, yes?

          You seem able to accept that god always existed. Why can’t this be true of the universe always existing?

        • Jesse H

          It could be the case that the universe always existed, except we have evidence for the Big Bang. We also don’t postulate that matter creates itself or that matter doesn’t have a beginning.

          So we all need an uncaused Cause. God is simply the philosophical starting point which thinking humans have always recognized as necessary.

        • epeeist

          It could be the case that the universe always existed, except we have evidence for the Big Bang.

          Indeed we do, but that doesn’t tell us how old the universe is.

          So we all need an uncaused Cause. God is simply the philosophical starting point

          Two things, firstly this is special pleading, “Everything needs a cause. Oh, except god, it doesn’t need a cause”. Secondly, how do you know that everything needs a cause? For example, consider a particle in a potential well. The state vector for this will be:

          √ p1 | inside> + √ p2 | outside>

          So, what causes the particle to appear inside with probability p1 or outside with probability p2?

          Lastly, Aristotle posited an “uncaused cause” in his Metaphysics based on his Physics. In this he states that an object requires a constant force to keep it moving, this is of course wrong. This being so, it rather undermines the need for an unmoved mover.

          Oh, and Aristotle’s “uncaused cause” looks very different from Yahweh/Jesus.

        • So we all need an uncaused Cause.

          Science has a plausible one. Some quantum events don’t have causes, and the Big Bang could’ve been one of those.

          What do you have in return? Your dogma? We need something with evidence, please.

        • where do the chemical laws come from?

          Are you saying that in a godless universe there would be no such laws? Demonstrate this.

        • Jesse H

          I would demonstrate this if we lived in a godless universe, but we don’t. We live in this universe, created by God.

          Yes, yes, begging the question. But I’m allowed to tease a little bit considering that I’m the gladiator taking on all comers.

        • epeeist

          Yes, yes, begging the question.

          No, not begging the question but simply another unsubstantiated assertion.

          I’m the gladiator taking on all comers

          And not only failing to strike a blow but failing to block any either.

        • I would demonstrate this if we lived in a godless universe, but we don’t. We live in this universe, created by God.

          You’re apparently making a remarkable claim, that we’d know we were in a godless universe because there would be no “chemical laws” (which probably needs a definition). I’m asking for a justification of that claim. If you can’t justify the claim, withdraw it.

        • Rudy R

          We live in this universe, created by God

          Since you attribute the universe’s properties to being created by Yahweh, what would be the properties of a non-god universe?

        • Women are people

          No we don’t.

        • Women are people

          Begging the question Fallacy.

          First you need other universes for which to compare this one to in order to conclude how other universes would behave.

        • Jesse H

          I’m afraid we only have this universe. So cause and effect and the need for a Creator apply.

        • epeeist

          I’m afraid we only have this universe.

          Really? Got evidence?

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          The “laws” are descriptions of how nature works. They’re not prescriptions like human laws. The chemical “laws” are from the chemicals themselves.

        • Jesse H

          And these chemicals just popped into existence with these innate properties and “laws” about their arrangement and interaction with density, light, heat, electricity, radiation, magnetism and each other?
          Yup, it takes more faith to be an atheist.

        • I Came To Bring The Paine

          And these chemicals just popped into existence with these innate
          properties and “laws” about their arrangement and interaction with
          density, light, heat, electricity, radiation, magnetism and each other?

          No, an invisible magic dude popped them into existence with these innate
          properties and “laws” about their arrangement and interaction with
          density, light, heat, electricity, radiation, magnetism and each other for absolutely no reason whatsoever, you blockhead.

          Yup, it takes more faith to be an atheist.

          And that’s a bad thing right?

        • it takes more faith to be an atheist.

          So you’re saying faith is a bad thing?

        • epeeist

          But again, where do the chemical laws come from?

          I don’t know.

          Now if you claim that you do know then over to you, let’s see your claim. Let’s also see the evidence and warrant for it, something that has been lacking in virtually all of your posts here.

        • Rudy R

          DNA.

        • Women are people

          The chemical laws are just observations of how the chemicals act. The laws aren’t telling the chemicals how to act. The chemical reactions, being consistent, establish the laws about them.

          You are talking about the cart driving the horse when it’s the other way around.

        • Jesse H

          Actually you are talking about the cart driving the horse. We are observing how chemicals act because that is their reality. They exhibit the same interactions in the same way under the same conditions, and they do this repeatedly. Why? Because we observe this? No, because this is reality. And of course we must ask what force/purpose/design put these realities into place.

          But you know this. And does anyone deny women are people? I understand that some countries (most notably those without judeo-christian values) give fewer rights to women. But everyone has a mom, and knows only persons produce persons. (Yes another wonderful argument for God by the way.)

        • Women are people

          Right. They act the same way, because that’s the way they act. We describe that behavior as “laws”. The chemicals therefore drive the laws, the laws don’t drive the chemicals. No one created the laws and then put chemicals in to follow those laws.

          You really don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

        • Women are people

          Also, I have my PhD in Evolutionary Biology. Don’t f’cking “well, actually” try to mansplain shit to me when I know more than you do.

        • epeeist

          when I know more than you do.

          I hate to say it, but that’s a very low bar…

        • Women are people

          Oh I know. Everyone with even sophomore level science course will know more than him.

          It sets my teeth on edge to listen to him, Well actually, to me, and be completely wrong.

        • Women are people

          A lot of people deny that women are people. They view them as not full people with rights to their own body. They view them as vessels. Empty containers.

        • Carol Lynn

          What would be the example to you of encoded complexity that comes about without intelligence?

          Why, DNA, of course! It *evolved* by natural processes. No designer or intelligence necessary.

        • Jesse H

          That’s called begging the question. Everyone agrees that we have design in DNA, the question is whether it comes from intelligence or from purposeless chemical laws “guided” by natural selection. But of course where did the laws come from? Are they code of some sort?

          So no, you can’t use DNA to prove your point when that is the exact issue that is disputed.

        • Everyone agrees that we have design in DNA…

          No, we don’t. At least not in the typical way I use the word “design”.

          But of course where did the laws come from

          I explained this to you earlier. We created the laws as descriptions of the regularities we observe in nature. Laws are humans inventions. The regularities themselves have no current explanation, and none is needed in order to do science.

        • Jesse H

          I agree we can do science without understanding where the laws come from. We can observe. But to say that laws are human inventions when the “laws” brought about human existence is circular reasoning.
          Science needs philosophical foundations which it can’t itself provide. Science doesn’t always answer the why and origin questions.

        • Carol Lynn

          I’m begging the question? I’m confident we have a working understanding of the chemical mechanisms by which DNA evolved complexity with no external ‘guidance’, so I am not assuming the answer to ‘an example of non-intelligent complexity is DNA’ without external support for the concept. You, on the other hand, assume ‘god did it’ from the get go in that example. If anyone is committing petitio principii, it’s you.

        • Everyone agrees that we have design in DNA,

          Ooh! Pick me!

        • Women are people

          There is no evidence of design in dna. Especially when you look at the totality of dna, it’s a rather shitty design. Prone to replication errors and mutations that leave the individual was cancer causing genes.

        • Jesse H

          Many note the wonderful design in DNA, even those who don’t believe in an intelligent designer. And the possibility of errors is not evidence against design. No one argues that the Yugo wasn’t designed, even though the electrical system would sizzle, the engine would catch fire, and various parts would just fall off. Bad design doesn’t mean no design. Just look at toddlers and mud.

        • Women are people

          It is evidence against design.

          What is it evidence for it what you’d expect from evolutionary processes.

        • epeeist

          No one argues that the Yugo wasn’t designed

          Seriously, the reset button again.

          The Yugo was designed by a team of people and put together by other people. All of these people are fallible, not omniscient or omnipotent, they are made of the same types of material as the vehicles. Not only do Yugos age and die, so do the people who designed and built them.

          You know if you are going to attempt an argument from analogy then there should be more similarities than differences. This is why Paley’s argument from design, of which this is a variant, fails. David Hume refuted this type of argument more than a century before Paley made it.

        • Wonderful design in DNA? Wrong again. Endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes, atavisms, and vestigial components argue against it.

          More:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/argument-from-design-busted-2/

        • I’d have thought that God would have higher standards than the designer of the Yugo. No?

        • Greg G.

          If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed.

          It is fallacious to make that conclusion until you prove that all encoded systems come from intelligence. If DNA is an encoded system, rather than just an analogy to try to explain it, you cannot conclude that it comes from intelligence because you haven’t proved that all encoded systems we know about come from intelligence. You need a true premise in order to reach your conclusion, but your premise is not demonstrated until you show that all encoded systems are from intelligence, dropping the “that we know of” caveat.

        • epeeist

          If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed.

          We don’t know details of all encoded systems so we can replace the quantification on your first clause by “some”. So what you are saying is “If some encoded systems are intelligently designed then all coded systems are intelligently designed”. I presume you can see the logical flaw in this…

        • This is actually scientific evidence which has changed the opinion of scientists.

          Yeah? List the biologists for whom this is true. If you get more than zero, compute what fraction of the total number that is.

        • Rudy R

          If every encoded system we know comes from intelligence, then coded systems are intelligently designed.

          Look up Black Swan fallacy, aka argument from ignorance.

        • Women are people

          I actually speak from authority on this subject. I’m an Evolutionary Biologist, and you, my friend, are pulling shit out of your butt.

      • Moving the goal posts much??? Or maybe you’re trying to change the subject. Or maybe you’re extremely confused about what we’re talking about.

      • Greg G.

        Snails and insects follow gradients of molecule densities to find food or mates. Some use intensity of light to hide or to navigate. Cast shadows tell some plants how tall to grow. Trees get information from changes in daylight to know when to sprout leaves or drop them. Gravity tells liquids which direction to flow.

        • Jesse H

          You are making a case for intelligent design. Living creatures are designed to use information to their advantage. And plants aren’t sentient, they demonstrate an environmental response. Also gravity is an example of a physical law which liquids have properties designed to move to. The physical laws point to ordered information which points to a Designer.

        • Rudy R

          …gravity is an example of a physical law which liquids have properties designed to move to.

          “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for” — Douglas Adams

        • Jesse H

          Douglas Adams was a great sci-fi writer, but not a great philosopher. The puddle argument is fatally flawed. Every puddle naturally fits the place it’s in because of gravity and laws of liquidity. And those laws shape the puddle. One could say the puddle is designed to fit where it’s at.
          As to comparing humans to puddles, we know that we have a powerful sentience and intelligence, we are much greater than puddles. But I agree with Adams’ point that we are finite grasping beings. That finitude points to infinity to my mind. So we can go the other way and say that because of the creativity Adams so eloquently shows it actually points to a Creator.

        • The puddle argument is fatally flawed.

          Yeah? Tell us what the point of the puddle argument is.

        • Rudy R

          And in other news, white is black and day is night.

  • Jim Jones

    > You don’t need anyone to tell you that something beautifully designed requires a designer.

    Cymothoa exigua

    • Jan S

      Well thanks for the nightmares. You made me go look for stuff I shouldn’t look for. Like “Loa loa” and “Anisakis simplex” and “Fasciola hepatica”. If there is indeed a designer, s/he’s truly sadistic.

      • TheNuszAbides

        Which is why they then have to fall back on the bottomless deceptive powers of Satan.

  • NS Alito

    A world designed by an all-wise god would be elegant—simple, efficient, and effective. All the Creationists can propose is that our world is complicated—awkward, coarse, and good enough.

    This.

    • Jesse H

      Actually the Creation argument is that we see a world groaning under the weight of disease, death and sin. We see that life is not what is could or should be.

      • life is not what is could or should be.

        God’s perfect plan, my friend! Can I get an Amen??

      • NS Alito

        Nah, the Creationist/ID argument against science’s take on evolution was that God’s creation was perfect, and not due to “random acts of nature”.

        They may like to think of humans being born “rotten with sin”, but ask Creationists about the urethra being routed through a man’s prostate and they find some theological reason for it to make it sensible design and definitely not because of natural forces.

      • Women are people

        What does disease and death have to do with creation arguments?

        • Jesse H

          Glad you asked. The biblical tradition has always recognized that we don’t see a perfect creation, we see an imperfect creation groaning under the weight of sin and death. We see a creation longing to be redeemed.

        • Women are people

          All you did was just repeat yourself.

          Please answer my actual question. What does disease have to do with anything?

        • Women are people

          Redeemed from what exactly?

          Why would we need to be redeemed? Wasn’t everything a part of God’s plan?

          Also, who made that “imperfect creation”? If I made an imperfect bridge that groaned under the weight of the cars that were supposed to be on it, and it collapsed, you wouldn’t blame the people driving on it. You’d blame me.

          I hate how you brain washed idiots will literally give god a pass for everything, but blame man for everything, despite god being the one who engineered this entire thing.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe if the drivers were the architects of the bridge or the suppliers who substituted cheaper concrete.

          Still a great analogy.

        • Women are people

          I usually use the analogy of the bridge.

          God being the architect. He designs this “perfect bridge” knowing ahead of time that it will collapse, then he uses faulty materials (man) to construct this bridge and yet the faulty materials are blamed instead of the arsehole (god) they knowingly used faulty materials.

          It’s so odd tat when any of these situations do happen, and they do, people have no problem holding “the man in charge” accountable.

          If a builder knowingly uses toxic drywall in his houses, the builder is sued.

          If a company knowingly dump toxic chemicals into the ground water, the company heads are held responsible, even though they personally didn’t do any of the dumping.

          If a limo driver crashes a limo full of people due to faulty brakes and kills them all, guess who people demand be held responsible? The owner of the limo, who knowingly put his limo in service that night knowing that basic maintenance on the limo wasn’t done.

          Hell. People have no problem placing blame on people to be liable for damage even when they couldn’t have possibly known that there was an accident waiting to happen.

          But god – who is supposedly in charge of, well, everything, is blameless. Always. And it makes no sense. God has the power but fails to act. And if he acts, he does so in the most capricious ways.

          God is nothing more than an abusive lover., and people are trapped in a relationship with him because he refuses to let anyone leave without any threats of torture or damnation.

          Love me or else.

        • Greg G.

          I may steal that analogy at the next opportunity.

        • Can you believe it? Omnipotent and omniscient, and yet God can’t stop two children from ruining his perfect plan in the Garden of Eden. Must be frustrating being God.

  • NS Alito

    Regarding the ol’ “Information requires a Programmer” deepity:
    In my sedimentary geology classes, we used various rock deposition construction patterns to determine the environment in which it was formed, such as preserved ripple structures, proportions of sand vs. clay, silica concretions in sandstone, etc.. The various “programmers” of this information were wave energy, upstream eroded material, water chemistry and other natural physical processes.

    I wonder if they’d think the blood spatter patterns from a crime scene were “programmed” by Maxwell’s silver hammer.

  • NS Alito

    One quick way to defang the argument is to ask which principles of
    design shall we be referencing? How about standards of complexity?

    That’s my first go-to.

    Then I’d point out what the point of the design looks like from various perspectives. As the biology camera dollies back, we see ~8 billion humans, then maybe rats, insects, bacteria…. The cosmologist camera dollies back from our Pale Blue Dot and we might see a solar system, then galaxy, then galaxy cluster…but wait, it really is mostly “empty” space. The physics camera sees subatomic particles and the warped nature of space-time.

    God made the universe for neutrinos, maybe, and we’re just incidental transient formations.

    • God made the universe for neutrinos, maybe

      And on the macro side, maybe black holes.

      • NS Alito

        When asked for His position on the matter, He said, “Dude, black holes are cool.”

  • Joe_Buddha

    I like how all of their many arguments lead to Deism at best. There is NO evidence for the god of the bible.

  • Nogods

    Isn’t it interesting to think that there have been thousands of early questions about our universe that were once explained as “the work of god”. But as we became more educated and learned more about our world, those supernatural answers were replaced with real world answers. The interesting part of this however, is that during this time, NONE of those early questions were actually found to be the work of a god; “God” has NEVER turned out to actually be a correct answer to any question – EVER.

    The god of the bible is no different then the thousands of other gods we now classify as mythology. It really is that simple.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Isn’t it interesting to think that there have been thousands of early questions about our universe that were once explained as “the work of god”. But as we became more educated and learned more about our world, those supernatural answers were replaced with real world answers.

      Things like

      Where does a rainbow come from? (seriously, was there no such thing as the refraction of light before Noah’s flood?)

      Why is human childbirth so painful?

      Why do people speak different languages?

      The people who wrote the bible attributed all of these to God. I mean, we aren’t talking about Apollo’s chariot carrying the sun across the sky, these are myths straight out of the bible. And God is no longer needed to explain any of them.

      • NS Alito

        My personal assertion (because it’s fun) is the Genesis reference to “Adam’s rib” should be the other Hebrew backtranslation from “rib” to mean baculum. Thus the story would combine both the origin of women and the reasons human males don’t have the otherwise-common pen‌ís bone.

        • Phil

          Did Adam have testicles? If so why if Eve wasn’t created yet? No mention of that in the bible.

        • NS Alito

          That question is rated [M]. The closest [PG] version of that question is the old “Did Adam and Eve have Navels?” Omphalos Argument.

    • Women are people
  • Nogods

    GODS CANT WRITE BOOKS BECAUSE THEY ARE IMAGINARY

    Isn’t it weird how gods never write books – only men do. Why is it that the supposed all-powerful creators of everything, can’t write? YHWH didn’t write the Torah – men did. Allah didn’t write the Quran – men did. Brahma, Vishnu, and the other Hindu gods, didn’t write the Bhagavad Gita or the Vedas – men did. Zeus didn’t write any of his holy books – men did. And Jesus didn’t write the bible – men did. So why can’t gods write anything without the help of men? Do you think it is because they are ALL fictional? You already know that the thousands of other gods that you could choose to believe were real are fictional. Yet, the evidence supporting their existence is IDENTICAL to that supporting the existence of your god. The math really isn’t that difficult: maybe your god didn’t write his holy book for the exact same reason Zeus didn’t write his holy books.

    • Jesse H

      Or we could see how harmonious and kind God is that He uses humanity in our humanity to communicate to us.

      • Nogods

        Yeah, that’s exactly how Thor and Zeus work too.

      • Women are people

        So god has the most important message, for which your eternal existence depends upon…

        And he uses human communication which has been demonstrated to be faulty (Game of telephone) and human memory which has been known to be faulty, in order to get his message – the most important message – across?

        Is that your argument?

        Further, you see this as kind ?!?

        If I had a message for you that at 12:30pm est, a white van would pull up beside you, throw gasoline in your face and throw a lighted flare at you, resulting in a death more painful than you can ever imagine, on the corner of Fulton and John st, in NYC, but instead of telling that to you directly, I used a friend of a friend of a friend to pass along the message, knowing that the information, when it reached you, would be full of errors and contradictions, you would think that was kind of me?!?

        Or maybe you would (rightfully) think I was a complete arsehole.

        • Jesse H

          Again a wonderfully illegitimate argument. God has communicated in the clearest way possible, by actually becoming human. And the message of Jesus has reached the world, it’s not hidden, nor is it mistaken. I bet even you know what it is.

        • Greg G.

          God has communicated in the clearest way possible

          The clearest possible way would be to appear to each and every person who ever lived and presented the message perfectly.

          We have no extrabiblical information about this human form, except excerpts that are too late to be first hand information and they are dependent on the gospels, if not forged.

          The gospels are dependent on Mark but the stories in that gospel appear to be derived from the literature of the day, such as OT myths of miracles by Elijah and Elisha, the works of Homer, Wars of the Jews, and the early epistles.

          The early epistles do not give first hand information about Jesus. They never mention a preacher/teacher from Galilee. The only information about Jesus is quotes and allusions to the already centuries old OT writings, particularly the Greek translation of them.

          Before you jump to the concensus of NT scholars, please cite the scholarly basis of that consensus as the concensus appears to be circularly based on the concensus itself and nearly all of the scholars arrived at that concensus before they were scholars, often as children.

          That is clearly not the clearest communication possible.

        • Women are people

          And why did he become human?

          To sacrifice himself, to himself, to save us from himself.

          The more you talk, the more you highlight that there can ONLY be two options:

          A) There is NO God, and evil and suffering would naturally occur in a Natural environment devoid of a creator and overseer and theists are forced create realities and fabricate bizarre excuses to justify God’s obvious failings in order to continue belief and avoid cognitive dissonance.
          Or:
          B) There IS a God, but he is flawed, uncaring, fallible, incapable, irresponsible, reckless and un-empathetic.

        • God has communicated in the clearest way possible

          Sure, if he were an idiot. Or nonexistent.

          If it’s clear, explain the Trinity, including how it was understood by Jesus and Paul. Bible citations mandatory.

          When you’re done with that, you can unravel a few of the Bible’s contradictions:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

        • Women are people

          There are entire sections of the globe that have no idea who Jesus is.

          It’s not mistaken? Is that why there are 30,000 different denominations because they can’t agree on Jesus’s message?

  • MadScientist1023

    “They’ll say that DNA is information, and information means intelligence. They’ll demand that we show them a single example of information not coming from intelligence.”

    Wow that is some ridiculously circular logic. The obvious answer to the challenge is DNA, but they’ve already decided that DNA must be designed, therefore there is no form of information that isn’t designed. I mean seriously, how can they ask that question with a straight face?

    • Greg G.

      According to the creationist mind, any change is a loss of information. A star emits light at frequencies related to the temperature and any distortion of that light would be a loss of information.

      But the atoms in the star absorb specific frequencies so by spectral analysis of that “loss of information”, we can determine which atoms are in the star.

      The movement of the star toward or away from the observer skews the frequencies of light by the Doppler effect which means we cannot accurately determine the temperature. Except that the spectral lines absorbed by the atoms in the star are also distorted except that the distortion still allows an observer to determine the makeup of the elements of the star, the relative speed of the star by adjustments of the spectral lines to the Doppler shift, and the temperature of the star, too.

      Without the “loss of information” due to those spectral lines, we wouldn’t be able to get any of that information about distant stars.

    • NS Alito

      Worm tracks.

  • NS Alito

    Good to know. I’ve been using my steel geology hammers. I only use silver when making bullets for monsters.

  • ThaneOfDrones
  • ThaneOfDrones

    Silver is prone to oxidation.

    • Phil Rimmer

      True, but the biggest problem is with gore and brains (also broccoli) and is the result of sulphiding… Don’t ask me how I know…

  • abb3w

    One quick way to defang the argument is to ask which principles ofdesign shall we be referencing? How about standards of complexity?

    There’s actually some math for both of those. However, the math turns out to be unhelpful for the ID arguments.

    At its most basic, design involves choices; particularly, enumeration of the set of options that is possible, and establishing a partial ordering relationship (poset) of preference over the choices that is generally based on probable consequences. (EG, the basic hammer is designed to make it more likely that nails can be used to attach boards with less effort than without.) Hence, the preference indicates what you ought to do. However, while the existence of orderings can be derived from standard math axioms, uniqueness generally can’t. (This is the case in design, also; while in many conditions you might prefer that a bridge not fall into the river it crosses when a vehicle attempts to use it, in certain military applications one might prefer a bridge that collapses under such attempted use.) To specify a particular ordering, an additional axiom is required; and for any specification, alternatives will be possible. Design arguments usually neglect this. Cue digression to Hume on “ought” (versus “is”).

    As to complexity, the field of computer science has a lot of mathematics developed for formalizing the notion of “complex”, and putting various sorts into hierarchies. However, this math again tends unhelpful to anti-evolutionary arguments. One of the possible mutations that can occur in DNA involves one or more codons being dropped. In the parlance of the formal grammars associated to complexity classes, this is a “reducing production” — which is a feature of the grammars describing the most complex class of results.

    Even more common traits on lists of good design were utility & efficiency.

    Efficiency — but on what resources? “Natural selection for least action” (Ville R.I Kaila and Arto Annila) seems to imply that evolution results from thermodynamic efficiency of action.

    (“Utility” gets back to the same partial ordering problem as “design”.)

  • Women are people

    You may find your pedanticism amusing, but I don’t.

    It’s also not an Ad Hom. I’m not attacking you to discredit your argument, I’m saying your argument is crap. That’s not ad hom.

  • Susan

    I’m a person whose digestive system produces feces.

    Yes. You are. Something you share with many other earthlings.

    I don’t know much about women.

    I’m not sure how that’s releveant, or who does know much about women.

    Or what that has to do with Wap’s point.

    You didn’t notice that Wap’s point was metaphorical? Or are you just being slippery?

    Also, on ID, why so much poo?

    Hundreds of millions of years of it?

    Why would your god include poo in the plan? For so long?

    Not that that lets you out of Wap’s metaphorical point.

    What was *She trying to accomplish?

    *A “god”, that is. Not Women are people.