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To: Diamond
The research is readily admitted to be theoretical. In one of the articles, though, the scientist explicitly disagrees with the assesment that ID projects no data and makes no falsifiable claims.

If some 250 to 500 or even several thousand years is simply nothing on an evolutionary time scale, what about the last 2.3 million years of European life history?
And 2.8 Mya is still nothing on an evolutionary time scale.

This is characterized by “comparatively slow rates of evolution” [47], and Lang continues: “At the end of the Tertiary the organisms consisted of species, almost all of which can be assigned to present genera, a large section even to living species. This applies not only for the European flora but also for its fauna” and appears to be true for other parts of the world, too.
Hardly surprising, given that the end of the Tertiary was about 1.8 million years ago.

A first hint for answering the questions raised in last paragraph is perhaps also provided by Charles Darwin himself when he suggested the following sufficiency test for his theory [16]: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Darwin, however, stated that he could “not find out such a case” – which would, in fact, have invalidated his theory.
Refreshing honesty.

Biochemist Michael J. Behe [5] has refined Darwin's statement by introducing and defining his concept of "irreducibly complex systems", specifying: “By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”

Among the examples discussed by Behe are the origins of (1) the cilium, (2) the bacterial flagellum with filament, hook and motor embedded in the membranes and cell wall and (3) the biochemistry of blood clotting in humans.
Each of which has been debunked. I guess honesty only goes so far in ID-land.

In a strict gradualistic scenario of the origin and evolution of life forms one would expect that – except in catastrophic events (also long denied in uniformitarian geology) like the Permian or Tertiary impacts – most species would continually adapt to varying environmental conditions.
Long denied by geologist? News to me.

If the environment changes faster the the rate of mutation, the long term outcome for the organism is not good. But for survival in new environments there has to be a mutation that gives a advantage in it.
And it's possible that no satisfactory mutation occurs before the organism goes extinct.

Thus, it appears to be entirely clear that irreducible complexity of biological systems and/or correlated subsystems could explain the typical features of the fossil record and the foundations of systematics (morphological stasis – the basic constancy of characters distinguishing higher systematic categories) and the “basic genetic processes and major molecular traits”, which are thought to have “persisted essentially unchanged ”, and the perseverance of the molecular mechanisms of animal ontogenesis for more than a billion years equally well.
Scientists have a pretty good handle on “basic genetic processes and major molecular traits”. None of which involves "XenuDidit"

When they find the pre-Cambrian rabbit, or the post-Permian trilobite, then we'll have to address "essentially unchanged for more than three-and-a-half billion years".

To identify design, an event has to display the following five features, for whose mathematical formulation and exemplary composition the interested reader is referred to Dembski’s monographs (in the ensuing paragraphs again a few unsophisticated but illustrative examples, mostly following Dembski, may be sufficient for our present purposes):

[... sniped in the interest of reducible inanity (involving numbers like 1050 and 10120 ...]

“For something to exhibit specified complexity therefore means that it matches a conditionally independent pattern (i.e., specification) of low specificational complexity, but where the event corresponding to that pattern has a probability less than the universal probability bound and therefore high probabilistic complexity” [23]. For instance, regarding the origin of the bacterial flagellum, Dembski calculated a probability of 10-234[22] (for further points, see below).
Calculating probability after the fact ... I would own Las Vegas !!!
On the strictly scientific level the combination of stasis and ID does not mean the end of inquiry (as is sometimes objected), but the very beginning of entirely new research programmes. For several questions have to be thoroughly investigated before valid scientific inferences can be suggested. To name but a few:
...Dembski’s improbability calculation of of 10-234 for the origin of the bacterial flagellum quoted above constitutes nothing but a first potentially falsifiable hypothesis in that research programme [7, 64].
Already done. Waiting for the next mole to whack.

... to what extent a species can relinquish certain subsystems without selective disadvantages under special circumstances.
Such as yeast producing human isulim or hamsters (and fish) making human serum clotting factor?

On the other hand, as to the candidates of irreducibly complex systems mentioned above (the cilium, bacterial flagellum, blood clotting, traps of Utricularia and some other carnivorous plant genera, joints, echo location, deceptive flowers as displayed by Coryanthes and Catasetum etc.), it can be confidently stated that up to now, none of these synorganized systems has been satisfactorily explained by the modern synthesis or any other evolutionary theory.
And probably never will be if your criteria of "satisfactorily explained" involves a supernatural being.

Last not least, it should perhaps be pointed out that research on irreducible and/or specified complexities in biology definitely do not constitute metaphysical research programmes, but is at least as scientifically valid as the SETI ...
And throughly refuted by the SETI folks at Berkley.
302 posted on 12/05/2005 2:29:29 PM PST by dread78645 (Sorry Mr. Franklin, We couldn't keep it.)
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To: dread78645
(1) the cilium, (2) the bacterial flagellum with filament, hook and motor embedded in the membranes and cell wall and (3) the biochemistry of blood clotting in humans.
...Each of which which has been debunked. I guess honesty only goes so far in ID-land.

Well, if it has been debunked then you can't say it's unfalsifiable, can you?

Please point to any scientific article which delineates the actual, not hypthetical, merely conceivable, or logically possible, but ontologically possible, confirmed by experimental evidence, origin of the bacterial flagellum by purely Darwinian means, i.e., by numerous, successive, slight modifications.


604 posted on 12/06/2005 9:23:31 AM PST by Diamond (Qui liberatio scelestus trucido inculpatus.)
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