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Intelligent designís long march to nowhere
Science & Theology News ^ | 05 December 2005 | Karl Giberson

Posted on 12/05/2005 4:06:56 AM PST by PatrickHenry

The leaders of the intelligent design movement are once again holding court in America, defending themselves against charges that ID is not science. One of the expert witnesses is Michael Behe, author of the ID movement’s seminal volume Darwin’s Black Box. Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, testified about the scientific character of ID in Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, the court case of eight families suing the school district and the school board in Dover, Pa., for mandating the teaching of intelligent design.

Under cross-examination, Behe made many interesting comparisons between ID and the big-bang theory — both concepts carry lots of ideological freight. When the big-bang theory was first proposed in the 1920s, many people made hostile objections to its apparent “supernatural” character. The moment of the big bang looked a lot like the Judeo-Christian creation story, and scientists from Quaker Sir Arthur Eddington to gung-ho atheist Fred Hoyle resisted accepting it.

In his testimony, Behe stated — correctly — that at the current moment, “we have no explanation for the big bang.” And, ultimately it may prove to be “beyond scientific explanation,” he said. The analogy is obvious: “I put intelligent design in the same category,” he argued.

This comparison is quite interesting. Both ID and the big-bang theory point beyond themselves to something that may very well lie outside of the natural sciences, as they are understood today. Certainly nobody has produced a simple model for the big–bang theory that fits comfortably within the natural sciences, and there are reasons to suppose we never will.

In the same way, ID points to something that lies beyond the natural sciences — an intelligent designer capable of orchestrating the appearance of complex structures that cannot have evolved from simpler ones. “Does this claim not resemble those made by the proponents of the big bang?” Behe asked.

However, this analogy breaks down when you look at the historical period between George Lemaitre’s first proposal of the big-bang theory in 1927 and the scientific community’s widespread acceptance of the theory in 1965, when scientists empirically confirmed one of the big bang’s predictions.

If we continue with Behe’s analogy, we might expect that the decades before 1965 would have seen big-bang proponents scolding their critics for ideological blindness, of having narrow, limited and inadequate concepts of science. Popular books would have appeared announcing the big-bang theory as a new paradigm, and efforts would have been made to get it into high school astronomy textbooks.

However, none of these things happened. In the decades before the big-bang theory achieved its widespread acceptance in the scientific community its proponents were not campaigning for public acceptance of the theory. They were developing the scientific foundations of theory, and many of them were quite tentative about their endorsements of the theory, awaiting confirmation.

Physicist George Gamow worked out a remarkable empirical prediction for the theory: If the big bang is true, he calculated, the universe should be bathed in a certain type of radiation, which might possibly be detectable. Another physicist, Robert Dicke, started working on a detector at Princeton University to measure this radiation. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson ended up discovering the radiation by accident at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J., in 1965, after which just about everyone accepted the big bang as the correct theory.

Unfortunately, the proponents of ID aren’t operating this way. Instead of doing science, they are writing popular books and op-eds. As a result, ID remains theoretically in the same scientific place it was when Phillip Johnson wrote Darwin on Triallittle more than a roster of evolutionary theory’s weakest links.

When Behe was asked to explicate the science of ID, he simply listed a number of things that were complex and not adequately explained by evolution. These structures, he said, were intelligently designed. Then, under cross-examination, he said that the explanation for these structures was “intelligent activity.” He added that ID “explains” things that appear to be intelligently designed as having resulted from intelligent activity.

Behe denied that this reasoning was tautological and compared the discernment of intelligently designed structures to observing the Sphinx in Egypt and concluding that it could not have been produced by non-intelligent causes. This is a winsome analogy with a lot of intuitive resonance, but it is hardly comparable to Gamow’s carefully derived prediction that the big bang would have bathed the universe in microwave radiation with a temperature signature of 3 degrees Kelvin.

After more than a decade of listening to ID proponents claim that ID is good science, don’t we deserve better than this?


Karl Giberson [the author of this piece] is editor in chief at Science & Theology News.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evochat; goddoodit; idjunkscience; idmillionidiotmarch; intelligentdesign
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To: Last Visible Dog
Science concerns itself with things that can be detected. Science does not claim that the things it can detect are the only things that exist.

So you are claiming non-material things exist

I make no such claim, nor it's opposite, and neither does science.

- but science can't concern itself with them yet science is not materialistic. Yeah. Right.

Consider the ether. For I guess about 100 years, science thought ether existed, and looked for a physical manifestation of it (rather like the position of string theory today), but it didn't pan out and was abandoned. Does that mean all the scientists who believed in ether were materialists? Because they believed in something that had no more tangible existence than Santa Claus?

Philosophical materialists claim that only what you can detect, exists. Ergo, scientists are not philosophical materialists.

Yeah. Right. You claim science can only concern itself with material things yet science is not materialistic. Right. Fancy bit of tapdancng you are doing here.

...

You claim science can only deal with the material yet science is not materialist - like your earlier statements, that statement is completely contradictory and is certainly not proof.

Here is the crux of the mental fugue state you have lathered yourself into. Look up Materialism in most any mainstream dictionary. You will get a reprise on philosphical materialism, and if you are talking about the epistimology of science, then that is what you are talking about. The fact that science confines its concerns to explaining the behavior of the material world does NOT mean science is forwarding the claim of Materialism that material is all there is--even if you hold your breath until you turn blue, insisting on the right to swap one definition of the word for another that was clearly not intended, and not correct in the context.

Concerning oneself with physical things is not the same thing as claiming physical things is all there is. How hard can this be to understand?

821 posted on 12/08/2005 7:57:39 AM PST by donh
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To: dread78645
A evoluntionary pathway has been shown, so Behe's claim fails.

Well if it were refuted then you can't say that's it's unfalsifiable. But none of the collegue-reviewed scientic articles from your links even purport to be a detailed, testable model for the origin of the bacterial flagellum. Moreover, one of your own links, Matzke's article, which is the most detailed attempt, by its very existence demonstrates the state of published research at the time of its writing in 2003, and to further butress the point, he says this in his abstract:

Previous work (Thornhill and Ussery, 2000, A classification of possible routes of Darwinian evolution. J Theor Biol. 203 (2), 111-116) has outlined the general pathways by which Darwinian mechanisms can produce multi-component systems. However, published attempts to explain flagellar origins suffer from vagueness and are inconsistent with recent discoveries and the constraints imposed by Brownian motion.

I posted a link in #680 that contains a lengthy, very detailed critique of Matzke's model.

Cordially,

822 posted on 12/08/2005 9:06:33 AM PST by Diamond (Qui liberatio scelestus trucido inculpatus.)
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To: VadeRetro
If anyone at all has misquoted ReMine, I don't see it.

Blah, blah, blah. A'hem. Mischaracterizing, combined with your selective quoting out of context is misquoting.

More non-substantive responses by you. Conclusion: You are the "cornered rat." If you can't even quote accurately, then your science fidelity is suspect in the extreme.

Yes, higher vertebrates, slow reproduction. So what?

This does not require rocket science to see that you have failed of your burden of proof. It means the probability of likely sustainable mutuations...leading to anything like any such 'evolutionary change' drops exponentially. So that means Remine was more right than Thomas, and your attempted dodge fails.

Here is a short synopsis of Remines explication of the Haldane Dillemma:

Haldane's Dilemma


Walter Remine, author of "The Biotic Message", notes:

Stephen Gould revealed the "trade secret" of paleontology (that was *his* term): (1) There are large gaps between fossil life forms, and an absence of gradual intergradations. But paleontology has two more trade secrets: (2) There is a systematic absence of identifiable ancestors, lineage and large-scale phylogeny. (3) Problems 1 and 2 cannot plausibly be explained away by an "incomplete" fossil record. Those trade secrets, I say, were the key observational forces behind the theory of punctuated equilibria.

Evolutionary genetics has trade secrets too. The major one is Haldane's Dilemma, a problem discovered in the 1950s by the famous evolutionary geneticist, J.B.S. Haldane. Journals discussed it through the 60s, and ignored it thereafter. Evolutionists never publicly solved it, rather they brushed it aside. Here are my claims:

  1. Haldane's Dilemma is invisible in evolutionary genetics textbooks today, you will be lucky to find information on the problem. The little available information is cryptic and opaque, even to serious students.
  2. The standard model of evolutionary genetics -- prominently displayed in every evolution textbook -- is massively inadequate to solve the problem. Yet evolutionists continue to sell that model because it makes evolution seem easy and inevitable.
  3. Even if I arm you with information about the problem, you will find precious little in evolutionary textbooks that *might* be taken as a plausible solution.
  4. The problem is robust and firm -- the phenomenon can even be demonstrated in computer simulations, such as the same one Dawkins used in his book _The Blind Watchmaker_.

In short, Haldane's Dilemma is a thorough trade secret of evolutionary geneticists.

My book, _The Biotic Message_, has two chapters (and an appendix) detailing Haldane's Dilemma and rebuffing the many attempts to solve it. Here I'll draw from that material to describe the problem, and bring you up to speed. Then I'll answer your questions, and perhaps eventually we'll have our usual rip-snortin' debate. I'll keep my descriptions short and easy reading.

Along the relevant primate line, our supposed pre-human ancestors had an effective generation time of 20 years. (I quote sources and details in my book, so I'll spare you here.) Imagine ten million years ago -- (that is two to three times the age of the alleged chimp-human split) -- that's enough time for 500,000 generations of our presumed ancestors.

Imagine a population of 100,000 of those organisms quietly evolving their way to humanity. For easy visualization, I'll have you imagine a scenario that favors rapid evolution. Imagine evolution happens like this. Every generation, one male and one female receive a beneficial mutation so advantageous that the 999,998 others die off immediately, and the population is then replenished in one generation by the surviving couple. Imagine evolution happens like this, generation after generation, for ten million years. How many beneficial mutations could be substituted at this crashing pace? One per generation -- or 500,000 nucleotides. That's 0.014 percent of the genome. (That is a minuscule fraction of the 2 to 3 percent that separates us from chimpanzees).

That's not a difficult calculation, yet it immediately reveals a problem. Is 500,000 beneficial nucleotides enough to explain the origin of humanity from some chimp-like ancestor?

The problem gets worse. The scenario favored evolution in wildly unrealistic ways. I could name several, but one is simple: There is no possible way for a female primate to produce 100,000 offspring each generation!!! Here's the lesson:

Evolution requires the substitution of old prevalent traits with new rare traits. But the substitution rate is limited by the species' reproductive capacity. If an evolutionary scenario requires an implausibly high level of reproductive capacity, then the scenario is not plausible.

Haldane saw this problem and posed it within the framework of mathematical population genetics. We will discuss his calculations later, but his conclusion was easy to understand. He calculated that the higher vertebrates (such as mammals) have only enough reproductive capacity to sustain an average rate of 300 generations per substitution. The literature seldom states the figure, but when it does, that is the only one offered.

Haldane's Dilemma is glaringly plain. Take the population we discussed above. In ten million years, it could substitute 1,667 beneficial nucleotides. That is less than 50 millionths of one percent of the genome. (And that is *before* we make deductions. For example, Gould says species typically spend *at least* 90% of their time in stasis, where little or no evolution occurs. There are other deductions we'll discuss later, but together they reduce the figure far below 1,667.) Is that enough to explain the origin of upright posture, speech, language, and appreciation of music, to name just a few of our uniquely human capacities? Is 1,667 beneficial nucleotides enough to make a sapien out of a simian?

Haldane's Dilemma is fundamentally simple. Anyone can understand it. Anyone with a pencil can calculate it and see. Computer simulations clearly demonstrate the problem. So evolutionists cannot claim they were unaware. Nonetheless they were cryptic, effectively concealing the problem for nearly forty years. Few people have heard of it, and evolutionary geneticists offer no unified coherent solution. Haldane's Dilemma is a major scandal.


Books:

  1. The Biotic Message - Walter ReMine - The book focuses on the biological issues. It is not about age, geology, cosmology, floods, or catastrophes. It contains no theology or religious discussion. I highly recommend this book. It reveals the illusions that evolutionists use to propagate their dogma. This should be read by creationists as will as evolutionists.Publisher Book Review order from Amazon
  2. Natural Selection: Domains, Levels, and Challenges by George C. Williams
  3. 'Mathematics of Evolution' by Fred Hoyle

Links:

  1. Haldane's Dilemma -
  2. Haldane's Dilemma, and the textbooks
  3. Answering Evolutionist attempts to dismiss Haldane’s Dilemma Fred Williams
  4. Haldane's Dilemma
  5. The Biotic Message : Evolution versus Message Theory
  6. Haldane's Dilemma see also a rebuttal
  7. Haldanes Dilemma
  8. Population Genetics Made Simple David A. Plaisted
  9. A Knighted Astronomer's Fight Against Neo-Darwinism, Using Mathematics As His Weapon. a review of Fred Hoyle's 'Mathematics of Evolution' by Gert Korthof

Footnote:

JBS Haldane, The Cost of Natural Selection, Journal of Genetics 55, pp 511-524 (1957)


823 posted on 12/08/2005 10:14:32 AM PST by Paul Ross (My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple...It is this, 'We win and they lose.')
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To: edsheppa
RE: Gene hitchhiking. This was pretty well exposed as a non-responsive argument also in the discourse on Remine's path-breaking work:



Answering Evolutionist Attempts to Dismiss "Haldane's Dilemma"

 Fred Williams
October 2000

[Author's note: see update at end of article]

Introduction

In 1993 Walter ReMine’s book "The Biotic Message"1 hit the street, bringing with it several devastating arguments against evolution that are still clamoring through the halls and smoke rooms of the evolutionary faithful. One of these arguments is based on a paper by J. B. S Haldane in 19572 that showed the reproductive capacity of vertebrates was way too low to pay the costs needed to account for large-scale evolution. This problem is referred to as “Haldane’s Dilemma” (go here for an online discussion of the problem by Walter ReMine).

Refuting Robert Williams

So far I have only encountered one attack against Haldane’s Dilemma that offers any kind of sophistication, one posted on the internet by Robert Williams. It regularly shows up early in search engines when searching on “Haldane’s Dilemma”, so evolutionists often cite it or copy from it.  

There are many, many problems with Robert Williams’ article. When I first read it, I became very suspicious that he had never read ReMine's book since ReMine deals with most of Williams’ arguments in his book. I contacted Mr. ReMine, and he confirmed that Williams eventually admitted on the newsgroup sci.bio.evolution to not having read the book. On several occasions I attempted to contact Williams about this, but he did not reply. It is very unfortunate that Williams refuses to do the right thing and properly review ReMine’s book before posting a rebuttal.

Nevertheless, since so many evolutionists refer to Williams' tenuous paper, I thought I would address its arguments. Robert Williams’ comments appear in italic green.

ReMine neglects the fact that humans did not evolve from chimpanzees, rather humans and chimps evolved from a common ancestor. Therefor we have actually had two different branches each evolving independently, thus allowing for twice as many gene substitutions (3300 vs. 1700) as ReMine has allowed, even if all of the above is true.

His insinuation that ReMine believes humans evolved from chimpanzees is completely unsubstantiated (this was the first sign he had not read ReMine's book). This is a very common ploy of evolutionists, to claim that creationists don’t understand that evolutionary theory posits common decent from a shared ancestor. Regardless, this does not double the amount of substitutions that can occur from point A (man/ape ancestor) to point B (man), and this is the context of ReMine’s (and Haldane’s) argument.

ReMine assumes that all the differences between the human and chimp genomes are due to selection.

Remine makes no such assumption in his book.

This can't possibly be the case because many of the differences are known to occur at the 3rd triplet of gene codons and thus usually do not change the amino acid coded and can't affect fitness. Furthermore, since 95% of the genome is not transcribed (although that does not mean it is all non-functional ), most point mutations will not affect fitness. This reduces the number of selected substitutions by 5 x 2/3 % or from 4.8 x 107 substitutions to 1.6 x 106. Please remember that changes in the genome due to drift and other "random" processes do not add to the cost of substitution. I should add that Haldane's Dilemma has been viewed by scientists as possible evidence for the importance of Neutral Evolution as proposed by Kimura in 1967.

At this point I was very certain Williams had not read ReMine’s book, since ReMine has an entire chapter dedicated to Neutral Evolution and its inability to solve Haldane’s Dilemma. If Williams had read ReMines’ book, or even just thought about the problem logically, he would have discovered that neutral substitutions also must be substituted in! If a neutral trait (or substitution) becomes fixed, all alternative alleles at the same locus must still be removed.

In fact, neutral mutations incur a greater cost, since they will have a greater propensity to drift back and forth in frequency since they have no selective value. Every time the frequency goes down, it negates any previous payment made by reproductive excess to get it to that frequency; when it drifts back up, a new payment via excess reproduction is needed, hence net cost is increased. According to ReMine, Haldane showed that cost is minimized only when fixation moves steadily upward3.

ReMine neglects the fact that there are only 23 pairs of human chromosomes. Thus, when there are any favorable genes on the same chromosome, their substitution cost would only have to be paid one time for the chromosome as a whole, not one time for each favorable gene. This alone could falsify ReMine's whole argument if many genes are approaching fixation on a few chromosomes.


Again, ReMine's book correctly addresses this. If Williams had read it he would have been reminded of Mendelian genetics, recombination and crossover, and that humans reproduce sexually, not asexually. Diploid offspring do not inherit completely intact chromosomes from their parents. Does Williams submit that Haldane, a distinguished evolutionist, also “neglected the fact that there are only 23 pairs of human chromosomes”?

ReMine ignores the possibility of gene hitchhiking - the concept that even though some mutations are neutral, they will be carried to fixation because they are physically close to a gene that is beneficial.

ReMine does not ignore this possibility, he discusses it in the book Williams pretended to read4. ReMine also cites Haldane as addressing this possibility and that Haldane also dismissed it as very negligible5.

For linkage to pay the cost of two for the price of one, the following must occur:

a) The neutral mutation must occur about the same time as the beneficial mutation it is linked to. If it occurs say 50% into the fixation cycle of the beneficial mutation, it can’t just magically appear on all the other chromosomes in the population. It has to begin its own payment cycle when it first appears. All those without the mutation, which would be the entire population plus all descendants without the mutation, must eventually be removed.

b) the two would have to remain very tightly coupled through at least half the fixation process to give the neutral mutation an even chance to reach fixation6.

c) gene hitchhiking is very rarely found in sexually reproducing populations7.

I hope it is now quite apparent why linkage effects have negligible impact on cost evaluations.

Finally, ReMine ignores the fact that due to non-point mutations (deletions and insertions due to non-equal crossing over), a single mutation can affect many more than one DNA base pair. In fact, what has to be by far and away the most common mutation is the change in DNA due to the alignment mismatch mutations in mini-satellites. These mutations can affect some multiple of between 5 and 15 base pairs and have been observed in as many as 1 in 6 human sperm!

This is a completely bogus argument for several reasons. First, the must common mutations are point mutations (base pair substitutions)8. Second, even when multiple mutations occur, the harmful ones will incur an immediate reproductive cost, and any remaining neutral or “beneficial” ones must still pay their own cost if they are to reach fixation!!!  Also, it appears  Williams again forgot that humans reproduce sexually, not asexually. If multiple mutations occur, they will be divided among the offspring, and only so many of these will reproduce on to the next generation. Hence only a handful will remain, only to face the same shredding machine the next generation. Because sex continually scrambles genes every generation, population geneticist Ronald Fisher (1930) estimated that a “beneficial” mutation will have at best only a 1 in 50 chance of ever reaching fixation in a population 9.

Haldane assumed that the cost of substitution had to be paid on top of the "natural" death rate! In other words, it didn't matter that 90% of a mammal's offspring died without reproducing - any death that resulted from the substitution of one gene for another had to be additional death that the animal would not "normally" have suffered. This is known as hard selection and we can now easily see why Haldane only allowed an excess fertility of 10% to go towards the cost of substitution. However, most Biologists today consider all or some selection to occur as soft selection. In this scenario, the cost of substitution is "paid" in the natural death rate of the animal. That is, a disproportionate number of the individuals that die without reproducing in any generation are the ones that have lower fitness due to their genes. The Biologist Bruce Wallace has been the champion of soft selection, and you can learn more about this topic in his book "Fifty Years of Genetic Load - An Odyssey". 

Let me bring in another Williams to refute Williams! Highly regarded evolutionist George C. Williams wrote the following regarding Wallace and soft selection:

 “...the problem [of Haldane's dilemma] was never solved, by Wallace [soft selection] or anyone else. It merely faded away, because people got interested in other things. They must have assumed that the true resolution lay somewhere in the welter of suggestions made by one or more of the distinguished population geneticists who had participated in the discussion." 10

As we can see, Robert Williams’ last effort to soften the blow of Haldane’s Dilemma is disputed by an evolutionist of considerably more standing.

Conclusion

Despite various attempts by evolutionists over the last 40 years to soften the impact of Haldane’s Dilemma, it still remains an enormous problem for their theory. It is worth noting that Haldane's analysis even used very favorable assumptions for the evolutionary theory, such as assuming the mutations are dominant (recessive mutations pay an exponentially higher cost). Regardless, the numbers do not bode well for the evolutionists, and is very likely why the problem stays buried in back-room discussions and does not see the light of day in evolutionary textbooks.

Current molecular data is making matters even worse for the evolutionist faithful, because it makes the problem easier to see for the layman. I document this in my article Monkey-Man Hypothesis Thwarted by Mutation Rates. This article stands on its own and does not rely on the validity of Haldane’s calculations. Using a conservative estimate of mutation rates based on current studies, it shows that the ape/human line would have required at least 40 offspring per mating pair just to maintain equilibrium! This forcefully argues that the Monkey-Man shared ancestor hypothesis is simply implausible.


Update: Several months after I wrote this, Robert Williams to his credit removed most of the arguments I addressed above from his web page! (he keeps a copy of the original here). His first line of defense in his latest installment is his claim that 1667 beneficial substitutions may be enough to account for human evolution from our alleged simian ancestor! As far as I'm concerned this is a complete capitulation of the issue! Remember that this is not just a problem for human evolution, but for mammalian evolution in general.

Robert  also still defends gene hitchhiking as a cost reducer, and gives an example of it occurring in nature. I have not had a chance to confirm his example, but it doesn't really matter. It is still a rare phenomenon, as Futuyma points out in his Evolutionary Biology testbook7. A blind squirrel, well, you know the story.

Finally, Robert mentions that Haldane did address the issue of "multiple simultaneous substitutions". Haldane did indeed, but Robert's citation from Haldane's paper is completely inaccurate. In the paragraph Robert referred to, Haldane is not addressing the impact on cost of "multiple simultaneous substitutions". Where Haldane does address this is the 4th paragraph on page 522, where he explains "[for three mutants]...since the cost of selection is proportional to the negative logarithm of the initial frequency, the mean cost...would be the same as that of selection for the three mutants in series..."

 


1. Walter ReMine, The Biotic Message,  1993, St Paul Science

2. JBS Haldane, The Cost of Natural Selection, Journal of Genetics 55, pp 511-524 (1957)

3. ReMine, The Biotic Message, p 500

4. Ibid. pp 245, 503

5. Haldane, 1957, p 522

6. Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 1998, p 300

7. Ibid. p 245 (gene hitchhiking is technically referred to as linkage disequilibrium)

8. Personal correspondence with Professor James Crow

9. Futuyma, p 298

10. George C. Williams, Natural Selection: Domains, Levels, and Challenges, 1992, p 143-148

 

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824 posted on 12/08/2005 10:17:27 AM PST by Paul Ross (My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple...It is this, 'We win and they lose.')
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To: Thatcherite
Please explain why the Designer would definitely not intervene in whatever experiment one constructs that is related to proving or disproving ID? It is you who is proposing an interventionary tinkering Designer. How do you know when the Designer is tinkering, and when the Designer is not tinkering?

The design hypothesis begins with observations of certain features of the biological world that exhibit specified complexity. The crucial connecting premise to an inference of design, usually left out by opponents, is that we know that intelligent agency is causally sufficient to produce such phenomena.

ID does not necessarily propose an interventionary, tinkering designer. A designer could have started things in motion and now be on his lunch break. A designer could be sustaining the whole universe at every moment by the word of his power. It doesn't matter to a design inference. How would one know if a putative designer is tinkering or not tinkering is not really relevant to whether something was originally designed or not. As I said, I don't know of anyone who discounts the results of experiments because of the logical possibility of unseen, unknown influences upon the experiment.

But suppose that a human designer, unbeknownst to us, tinkered with an experiment. Would we be able to detect it? How? Is there a method for detecting tinkering? Perhaps. Perhaps not. If an unembodied designer tinkered with an experiment would it have any empirical consequences? If it didn't, what difference would it make? If it did, perhaps we could detect it by comparison with the normal operation of things. In such a case an inference of design would certainly be warranted, wouldn't it?:^)

Suppose I was a super microbiologist and I created in the laboratory a new variety of bacteria that used jet propulsion instead of a propeller for motility, and I surreptitiously planted this new variety or species in some organisms so that it would be 'accidently' be discovered by some other biologists.

What would the Darwinist causal story be for the this newly discovered organism? Would anyone using Darwinian explanations ever be able to discover that this organism was indeed designed and not the result of natural selection?

The real question is, if things really are designed, as they at least give the appearance of being, is there a way to reliably detect it?

Cordially,

825 posted on 12/08/2005 10:42:08 AM PST by Diamond (Qui liberatio scelestus trucido inculpatus.)
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It is interesting that no matter how many scientists come out with the truth about the lack of transitional fossils to substantiate the ToE, these militant evo yahoos will continue to walk around with their fingers in their ears.


826 posted on 12/08/2005 11:37:32 AM PST by dotnetfellow
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To: Diamond
> A evoluntionary pathway has been shown, so Behe's claim fails.
Well if it were refuted then you can't say that's it's unfalsifiable.

You're attempting to conflate Behe's "irreducible complexity" with Intelligent Design.

The statement was:

The claim is bacterial flagellum was "irreducibly complex" and an evoluntionary sequence was impossible.
A evoluntionary pathway has been shown, so Behe's claim fails.
Behe's benchmark Eschericia coli has 40 proteins to produce a functioning flagellum.
Yet the bacterium responsible for syphilis Treponema pallidum, there are a total of 38 flagellar proteins; in the bacterium that causes Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi, there are only 35 flagellar proteins; finally, in a bacteria associated with ulcers Helicobacter pylori, there are only 33 proteins necessary to form complete, fully functional flagella.

This clearly demonstrates that flagellum with 40 proteins (Behe initially wrote 240) is not the lower bound of complexity.
Since lesser number of proteins are possible, it is not "irreducibly complex" as claimed by Behe.

I posted a link in #680 that contains a lengthy, very detailed critique of Matzke's model.

Ah Yes. I've read "Mike Gene" and his straw-men stories.

BTW, If you know his real name please Freepmail it to me. I'd love to look up his papers on PubMed.

827 posted on 12/08/2005 12:25:34 PM PST by dread78645 (Sorry Mr. Franklin, We couldn't keep it.)
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To: dread78645
Since lesser number of proteins are possible, it is not "irreducibly complex" as claimed by Behe.

Not to mention that Behe completely ignores the possibility of cooption or subtractive processes.

828 posted on 12/08/2005 12:51:46 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: dotnetfellow
It is interesting that no matter how many scientists come out with the truth about the lack of transitional fossils to substantiate the ToE, these militant evo yahoos will continue to walk around with their fingers in their ears.

Considering the vast wealth of transitional forms in the fossil record, I don't see why this would be an issue. Oh, and misrepresenting Gould doesn't help your case.

829 posted on 12/08/2005 1:19:49 PM PST by RogueIsland
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To: RogueIsland

No misrepresentation from me. He said what he said: "Fully formed".


830 posted on 12/08/2005 1:35:02 PM PST by dotnetfellow
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To: RogueIsland
Not to mention that Behe completely ignores the possibility of cooption or subtractive processes.

At the U. of Minn, Behe was asked about bacterium Yersinia, with a Type III secretion system and flagellum; Behe stated that the bacterial flagellum is still irreducibly complex in the sense that the subset (TTSS) does not function as a flagellum.

Huh? If there is a functional subset (I don't think he's claiming that Type III secretion systems don't exist) then it's "reducible".

Behe is a professional misspeaker.

831 posted on 12/08/2005 1:39:53 PM PST by dread78645 (Sorry Mr. Franklin, We couldn't keep it.)
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To: Paul Ross
Blah, blah, blah. A'hem. Mischaracterizing, combined with your selective quoting out of context is misquoting.

Actually, no, but I won't quibble about the difference between misquoting and mischaracterizing. Neither you nor ReMine have substantiated any mischaracterizations that I noticed. You in particular have swiftly alleged such almost any time anyone has quoted ReMine on this thread, but only "substantiated" your claim by grabbing a much bigger block of his nonsense, pasting it inline, and proclaiming "See!??" You have thus far resisted all requests to explain where anyone has actually mischaracterized ReMine's words.

Your latest two posts do not help you in any way that I can see, except for introducing some new material not quoted from previously. I suppose if we quote any of that, we will get the same nonsense from you again. I can only forge ahead anyway.

I notice your strategy mirrors what ReMine did in the debates. He squealed like a stuck pig every time Thomas quoted him in any way on anything. This looks rather bad, especially since he never explained in any intelligible way what Thomas was saying wrong. Thomas appeared to have ample justification for his interpretations.

This looks more to me like ReMine refusing to be pinned down, behavior of a piece with his refusal to answer whether he believes humans and chimps share a geologically recent (5-7 mya) common ancestor.

This does not require rocket science to see that you have failed of your burden of proof. It means the probability of likely sustainable mutuations...leading to anything like any such 'evolutionary change' drops exponentially.

Actually, no. Mutations happen to complex vertebrates in their germ line cells pretty much just as happens to bacteria in petri dishes. It just takes vertebrates longer to have real generations of genetically distinct individuals. Thus they evolve quite slowly compared to bacteria, or even cockroaches. One must not confuse issues of the number of generations and the duration of generations, however. Remine has lashed himself to a fixed 300 generations per substitution, a figure likely to give "results which are wildly out."

So that means Remine was more right than Thomas, and your attempted dodge fails.

No, and I am not the one dodging here. Thomas presented an experimentally verified fact which in the last decade has become crucial to our understanding of how genomes work. You don't wave that away with a pioneering but tentative mathematical model from 1957 which was basically immediately recognized as having problems against observed reality.

Your ten-year old runs up to you saying, "Daddy! Daddy! My teacher says you can't add up a column of even numbers and get an odd number, but I did it just now while doing my homework!" You shake your head and say, "I don't know where you went wrong, but there's a mistake in there."

You and ReMine say it's a conspiracy that science didn't immediately announce in 1957 that Darwin was busted, it's all over, etc. No. We just already knew it couldn't be right that large, complex multicellulars should evolve incredibly slowly, slower for instance than asexuals. Some people bothered to look for what Haldane had wrong, but not too many. Obviously, he had something wrong so everybody hasn't rushed off to figure it out.

Here's an example. From 29+ Independent Lines of Evidence for Macroevolution, a sample from one line:

[Figure 1.4.4: Hominid skulls]

Figure 1.4.4. Fossil hominid skulls. (Images © 2000 Smithsonian Institution.) (larger 76K JPG version)

The other lines of evidence in there are relevant as well. All that speaks to what ReMine wants to make disappear with Haldane's Dilemma.

What Thomas is asserting as right is grounded in hard fact. What everyone who has rejected Haldane's Dilemma, with or without looking for just where Haldane went wrong, has in his favor is hard fact. The model generates predictions against the evidence. When your model doesn't match nature, it isn't nature that has the problem.

Now, despite the obvious nature of what is going on, a few people through the decades have indeed looked at Haldane's model and found glaring errors, as noted. I will deal with Fred Williams's attempt to keep this old, bad model on life support in my next post.

832 posted on 12/08/2005 2:08:57 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Paul Ross
That's twice now that you've made a huge post of which only a part is relevant. I am tempted to repond in kind but, for the sake of the others, will forebear. Please, in future, post only the relevant parts with a link to the rest.

I think I'll write a simulation and see for myself whether Haldane's Dilemma is actually a problem for the observed amount of difference between chimps and humans.

833 posted on 12/08/2005 2:11:14 PM PST by edsheppa
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To: Paul Ross
His insinuation that ReMine believes humans evolved from chimpanzees is completely unsubstantiated (this was the first sign he had not read ReMine's book). This is a very common ploy of evolutionists, to claim that creationists don’t understand that evolutionary theory posits common decent from a shared ancestor. Regardless, this does not double the amount of substitutions that can occur from point A (man/ape ancestor) to point B (man), and this is the context of ReMine’s (and Haldane’s) argument.

Not far along and already not good.

The above is total slight of hand. Humans and chimps diverging from a common ancestor halves the number of substitutions necessary to account for the observed DNA differences between chimps and humans. This is the problem and what everyone is looking at. The genome of the LCA is unavailable unless we find one in a glacier or an ice cave, of which few are known in Africa east of The Rift.

Yes, I'm just working my way down posting as I go rather than building it all up. Don't want to do a post longer than yours.

834 posted on 12/08/2005 2:20:43 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: donh

The dogma of Christianity permeated western science many years ago. Now the dogma of Materialism permeates science - and you demonstrated this with your materialism tap-dance. Dogma is unwarranted - or better put: unchallenged - a priori assumptions. For the vast majority of scientific endeavors this is of little to no concern. But on the fringes of science it is important to think "outside of the box" and to not be blocked by unwarranted/untested a priori assumptions.


835 posted on 12/08/2005 2:26:27 PM PST by Last Visible Dog
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To: dread78645
Behe is a professional misspeaker.

Multipart systems that are tightly integrated and functional have within them subsystems serving different functions. It is conflating to suggest that the presence of such a subsystem controverts IC. And it is at best especially disingenuous to describe it as professional misspeaking.
836 posted on 12/08/2005 2:35:29 PM PST by dotnetfellow
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To: dread78645
BTW, If you know his real name please Freepmail it to me. I'd love to look up his papers on PubMed.

If you want to make some hay, complain to Dreamhost (the registrar) and ICANN that the domain registration info for idthink.net (his/her website) is fake, which it is - ICANN is cracking down on that kind of thing lately, and demanding that registrars get real info from people.

837 posted on 12/08/2005 2:35:32 PM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Coyoteman

Maybe you should study the folk lore of the Cherokee nation. Their version of the begining goes something as follows.

A large buzzard flew across the face of the water drying out the land, where his wing dipped he created rivers and canyons. There was a brother and a sister, every time the brother hit the sister with a fish she had a child until the earth was full. The Great Spirit decided that there were too many people so she was allowed to have one child a year.

As primitive and child like as this folk lore is, it is an example of the flood/adam/eve story combined. Check it out.


838 posted on 12/08/2005 2:56:57 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: Paul Ross
In fact, neutral mutations incur a greater cost, since they will have a greater propensity to drift back and forth in frequency since they have no selective value. Every time the frequency goes down, it negates any previous payment made by reproductive excess to get it to that frequency; when it drifts back up, a new payment via excess reproduction is needed, hence net cost is increased. According to ReMine, Haldane showed that cost is minimized only when fixation moves steadily upward3.

Williams and ReMine stake much on this, the assertion that neutral mutations come with a higher "cost." They need it for instance to get rid of the objection that the functional portion of the human/chimp genome difference is likely small compared to the total. Thus, they really need a good argument here. I don't see one.

Some neutral mutations will "drift back and forth" in frequency as Williams asserts. Not all will. Many die out rather quickly. A few hit the jackpot. That's probabilities for you. The average person is average, but not everyone is average. Fallacy of composition, or something like that.

I'm not making it up. Scientists model this stuff all the time for better reasons than arguing with kooks like ReMine. Neutral or nearly-neutral effects are a large part of the genetic diversity of any sexual species.

Moving on:

For linkage to pay the cost of two for the price of one, the following must occur:

a) The neutral mutation must occur about the same time as the beneficial mutation it is linked to. If it occurs say 50% into the fixation cycle of the beneficial mutation, it can’t just magically appear on all the other chromosomes in the population. It has to begin its own payment cycle when it first appears. All those without the mutation, which would be the entire population plus all descendants without the mutation, must eventually be removed.

Every retrovirus in every genome makes a mockery of this. Some mutations are big. They live or die as a unit. Whether or not ReMine knows this, Williams appears blithely ignornat of it.

I may or may not do some more. You don't have to eat a whole omelet to know if it's got a bad egg.

839 posted on 12/08/2005 2:58:09 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: VadeRetro
a) The neutral mutation must occur about the same time as the beneficial mutation it is linked to. If it occurs say 50% into the fixation cycle of the beneficial mutation, it can’t just magically appear on all the other chromosomes in the population. It has to begin its own payment cycle when it first appears. All those without the mutation, which would be the entire population plus all descendants without the mutation, must eventually be removed.

This needed to be in italics. It is Williams and it is silly.

840 posted on 12/08/2005 3:00:58 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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