Friday, October 8, 2010

An Elephant in the Court

It is no secret that evolution is, at bottom, an idea driven by metaphysical concerns. Even people unfamiliar with the details of evolutionary thinking have a sense that it goes well beyond mere scientific inquiry. What is less well understood and more subtle is how evolution has managed to get away with this. How is it that, in the land of the ACLU and the Establishment Clause, evolution has not only escaped scrutiny but its teaching and promotion are actually mandated by law?

Evolutionists have promoted their theory as “just science” while employing and relying on crucial metaphysical premises. Hume argued that the existence of evil refutes design, and likewise Darwin argued that homologies such as the pentadactyl pattern revealed the lack of design. So much of biology was, for Darwin, “utterly inexplicable if species are independent creations.” There is, of course, no scientific experiment one could do to gain such knowledge. It is metaphysical.

Obviously Darwin needed a naturalistic explanation for the species—his religious beliefs ruled out design. And likewise for today’s evolutionists. According to George Williams, there was “no evidence that God has any engineering expertise.” Evolution must be true.

For Williams and the evolutionists, the many evils and inefficiencies in nature mandate evolution. Evolutionists don’t know how life evolved, but they know it must have evolved. Evolution is not a fact because the empirical evidence says so, evolution is a fact because our religious belief says so. Fossils appear abruptly and remain unchanged for eons, cousin species reveal profound differences, distant species carry identical designs, adaptative mutations occur in response to environmental challenges, and life is packed with profound engineering secrets. The evidence certainly does not make for the fact of evolution.

Rather, the conviction that evolution is true, as is so often the case with convictions, comes from religion not science. As Stephen Jay Gould explained, “Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution—paths that a sensible God would never tread.” As usual, religion trumps science.

Evolution makes little scientific sense. Science does not indicate that complex designs arise from warm little ponds, no matter how much time is available. The DNA code, hemoglobin, vision, consciousness, and a thousand other designs are not explained scientifically by evolution. Yet we are told it is a fact because we cannot accept design.

This evolutionary sentiment is no big surprise. It dates back to long before Darwin. It is no surprise that people have strong religious feelings about God and nature. But how has this religious movement escaped the watchful eye of American jurisprudence? How could the ruling in the 2005 trial in Dover, PA, for instance, possibly miss the metaphysical elephant in the room?

The Dover trial itself was obvious enough. Evolutionist Ken Miller used various examples of evolutionary theology to make his case. For instance, he made the usual metaphysical argument that pseudogenes mandate evolution. Darwin and later evolutionists are moved by designs that don’t seem to work. But this proof from dysteleology is reinforced when the apparently flawed designs are shared amongst different species.

There are thousands of similarities between similar species, but similarities that are dysfunctional in both species are a prize for evolutionists. For we know that the Designer would never create such “shared errors.” What was rather unremarkable evidence for evolution (similarities between species bring confounding as well as supporting evidences) suddenly becomes an undeniable proof for evolutionists.

How did genes evolve against astronomical odds? Who knows, but they must have, for the pseudogenes decisively disprove design. They are now a favorite example for evolutionists, and what better evidence for Ken Miller to use in his Dover testimony.

There was only one problem: the deep metaphysics of the “shared error” argument would expose evolution for what it is. One cannot argue that evolution is just science using the usual metaphysical arguments.

Miller was attempting to argue that intelligent design is religious and that evolution is just science, and furthermore that evolution is a scientific fact. But the arguments for evolution are metaphysical. Hence Miller had a dilemma. He could not argue for the fact of evolution using empirical scientific evidence, for those evidences bear against evolution. Yes, there are the powerful metaphysical arguments, but they would reveal to the court the nature of evolution. Miller’s solution was to use the powerful metaphysics, but with careful wording. Here is the relevant passage from his Dover testimony on pseudogenes:

9 Now, the reason that this is important in
10 evolution is actually very simple, and that is, these
11 errors appear in a gene, they have no functional
12 purpose. And you might ask yourself, what would I do,
13 what would you do if we were to find another organism
14 that didn't just have similar genes but also had a
15 pseudogene in the same spot and had the same set of
16 errors?
17 There’s no reason why evolution would
18 produce a duplicate set of mistakes in two copies of
19 things. It must mean that these two organisms are
20 descended with modification from another organism that
21 had the same set of mistakes.

On line 17 Miller uses the word “evolution” rather than the usual “God” or “the Designer.” Consequently the passage makes no sense but sounds like powerful empirical evidence to an unsuspecting audience. By swapping in “evolution” for “God” Miller misrepresented evolution as a scientific theory. This misrepresentation is, of course, material to the case at hand and so amounts to perjury.

Elsewhere evolutionists make this argument without deception. Terry Gray, for instance, has argued that the pseudogene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, an enzyme in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) biosynthesis must have evolved:

Now we could argue that in God’s inscrutable purpose he placed that vitamin C synthesis look-alike gene in the guinea pig or human DNA or we could admit the more obvious conclusion, that humans and primates and other mammals share a common ancestor.

Likewise for evolutionist Edward E. Max, pseudogenes are errors that “cannot reasonably be interpreted as having been ‘designed.’”

And we need not look to other evolutionists for examples of metaphysical interpretations of pseudogenes. While not under oath in federal court, Miller himself has made the argument crystal clear. Pseudogenes, proclaims Miller, must have evolved, for otherwise they would reveal a designer who “made serious errors, wasting millions of bases of DNA on a blueprint full of junk and scribbles.”

And Miller’s embracing of evolutionary theology is by no means limited to pseudogenes. Miller echoes the evolutionary interpretation of extinctions when he informs his readers that without evolution, they leave us with a designer who “just can’t get it right the first time. Nothing he designs is able to make it over the long term.”

Who needs scientific evidence when evolution is the only alternative? There is also the problem that fossil species sometimes are similar to the living species in the same region. “Why,” asks Miller, “should such a unique set of animals be found in exactly the same place as their closest fossil relatives?” Surely God would not create similar species in the same locale. “There could be just one answer,” states Miller, “a process of descent with modification linked the present to the past.”

But if the fossil record evinces too much order it also has an arbitrary aspect that, for evolutionists, does not accord with creation. For the fossil species do not always seem to progress in any particular direction. For instance, Miller finds evidence against the creator in the elephant fossils. There are, explains Miller, dozens of elephant or elephant-like fossil species dating back to as much as 50 million years ago. Trends in the design of the trunks and tusks can be found amongst these species. Using these trends, the species can be compared, classified, and even arranged in an evolutionary tree if one believes in evolution. And we should believe in evolution, according to Miller, for can we possibly believe there is a Creator behind this haphazard arrangement?

This designer has been busy! And what a stickler for repetitive work! Although no fossil of the Indian elephant has been found that is older than 1 million years, in just the last 4 million years no fewer than nine members of its genus, Elephas, have come and gone. We are asked to believe that each one of these species bears no relation to the next, except in the mind of that unnamed designer whose motivation and imagination are beyond our ability to fathom. Nonetheless, the first time he designed an organism sufficiently similar to the Indian elephant to be placed in the same genus was just 4 million years ago—Elephas ekorensis. Then, in rapid succession, he designed ten (count’em!) different Elephas species, giving up work only when he had completed Elephas Maximus, the sole surviving species.

In fact, tallying up all the millions of different species ever found, the Creator must have been constantly at work and this too, for Miller, is hard to believe. And do not the evils of nature also disprove a designing hand? As Miller rhetorically asks, would God “really want to take credit for the mosquito?” The answer for Miller is obvious.

Following the centuries long evolution genre, Miller provides a consistent stream of powerful religious arguments which for evolutionists disprove design and creation. Evolution is a deeply metaphysical theory, and Miller’s misrepresentation of it as nothing more than empirical science is serious because his testimony influenced the Dover judge, and was cited in the opinion.

Evolutionist’s arguments entail metaphysical premises, and this is how they can claim their theory is a fact. Without their religious arguments they would be left merely with empirical evidence which fails to support evolution as a fact because there is substantial negative evidence.

Evolution’s use of metaphysical premises is well documented. And Miller relies on these heavily in his own apologetics. But so long as legal testimony represents evolution as just science, courts will continue to miss the elephant in the room.

103 comments:

  1. Evolution’s use of metaphysical premises is well documented.

    Dr Hunter, when one has a limited repertoire of claims, it is inevitable that he must repeat himself.

    May we advance the discussion by examining a primary peer-reviewed paper that I have selected at random:

    Evolution of an Expanded Sex-Determining Locus in Volvox
    Science 16 April 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5976, pp. 351 – 354

    Will you kindly identify the metaphysical premises used in this paper? Even one metaphysical premise?

    ReplyDelete
  2. For the curious, here is the abstract of the paper on Volvox:

    "Although dimorphic sexes have evolved repeatedly in multicellular eukaryotes, their origins are unknown. The mating locus (MT) of the sexually dimorphic multicellular green alga Volvox carteri specifies the production of eggs and sperm and has undergone a remarkable expansion and divergence relative to MT from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, which is a closely related unicellular species that has equal-sized gametes. Transcriptome analysis revealed a rewired gametic expression program for Volvox MT genes relative to Chlamydomonas and identified multiple gender-specific and sex-regulated transcripts. The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor homolog MAT3 is a Volvox MT gene that displays sexually regulated alternative splicing and evidence of gender-specific selection, both of which are indicative of cooption into the sexual cycle. Thus, sex-determining loci affect the evolution of both sex-related and non–sex-related genes."

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  3. > This misrepresentation is, of course, material to the case at hand and so amounts to perjury.

    I wouldn't go there, for three reasons. First, Miller's passage does make sense with 'evolution' rather than (say) 'God' in that place. However, the sense it makes is different. Instead of being an argument for favouring the evolutionary hypothesis (or an evolutionary hypothesis) over the idea of a demiurge, it becomes an explanation of how, if one takes Darwin's evolutionary hypothesis as a given, one can use shared errors as grist for phylogenetic reconstructions using the comparative method. Matching mistakes are evidence of common ancestry, under the hypothesis of Darwinian gradualism. Now, you could certainly object to where he takes things from there, but even if you see him as bringing in the contrastive argument by stealth, it hasn't arrived by the end of that sentence.

    Second, the question of what makes for actual perjury rather than ... carefully-considered courtroom speech is apparently a subtle issue best left to the professionals. If it were cut and dried there would be many more expert witnesses and indeed trial lawyers in prison.

    Finally, regardless of how robust it is, the accusation of perjury is just going to generate heat rather than light here. It's good for weeks worth of dispute and noises of outrage, distracting nicely from any other questions.

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  4. Hunter's trumpeting the pop-culture and courtroom refutations of creationism is not the same as proving the primary literature in support of common descent is religious.

    But he dare not tread there.....

    Darwin's argument that biology only makes sense in light of common ancestry is valid. Note he uses the "small c" creation as a opposite of common descent.

    "There is, of course, no scientific experiment one could do to gain such knowledge. It is metaphysical."

    Well:
    A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463738

    Perhaps? Does this demonstrate evidence of common ancestry? Yes. Is it metaphysical, or empirical/algorithmic?

    Can Hunter claim the study doesn't rule out independent acts of creation designed in a way that their sequences exactly fit the pattern that makes them look like they are evolved? Yes, I guess so. And this IS the claim, no matter how he tries to cloaked it.

    The funny thing is he will claim the science is metaphysical, and not his claim! So, which is metaphysical-the original study or the creationist claim against it? And it is religious to point out Hunter's and other's claims are beyond science and don't really make sense? It is then he tries to sic the ACLU on the 'religion' of evolution. Silly.

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  5. Still waiting for a testable hypothesis for the alleged "theory" of evolution.

    Specifically a testble hypothesis based on the proposed mecahnism of an accumulation of genetic accidents, ie blind, undirected chemical processes.

    And if the folowing is a formal test:

    A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463738


    Then Common Design is acceptable science as it has the same type of formal tests.

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  6. LOL! Five years after Dover and the IDiots are still whining.

    You lost quys. You had every chance to make a scientific case for ID on a national stage and you face planted. Get over it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Speaking of losers, the Thomas More Law Center, which ran the pathetic defense in the Dover case, was just slapped down by a Federal judge in a challenge to the new health care law.

    http://www.massdevice.com/news/michigan-judge-upholds-healthcare-reform-law

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thorton:

    "LOL! Five years after Dover and the IDiots are still whining.

    You lost quys. You had every chance to make a scientific case for ID on a national stage and you face planted. Get over it."
    ====

    Personally I could care less about the politics of what should or shouldn't be taught in any Public School system. I never really followed the case because it's of no concern since I'm not political.

    If it was anything like the case down in Arkansas back in 1978, then they deserved to loose. That case saw the creationist side, not offering evidence for creation, but rather personally attacking evolutionists which was a stupid strategy to begin with. But of course most religious political pressure groups are known for this. I would not want to see anyone's version of anything biblical pushed in public schools since this would clearly be a pushing/ordering of one group/s beliefs on others. But ultimately, once again, even if the Creationist side won (God Forbid) then I still would have no say in the matter. I would still persist in what I believe in and responsibility for what my chldren believe would be done at home.

    Science should be a neutral subject without the metaphysics or faith-based beliefs of either side. Unfortunately that is not, nor will it ever be the reality at any future date. Well at least until 'Kingdom come' *wink*

    Still having said this, it is a gross error for you to conclude that science and the world of mankind are better off with what you think your side supposedly won. Take a long hard look at the failing natural world around us and observe who/what is actually loser.

    ReplyDelete
  9. At around 11:30 AM yestereday, I had posted the following:

    "First came denial by Pendant. The next step was word games, which you have now initiated. The next explanation is a more enlightened definition of transitional, to be followed by name calling. While evolution may not be predictable, evolutionists certainly are. "

    I'm not making it up... but Zach actually took that next step later yesterday afternoon and enlightened us on the definition of transitional. Then, not to disappoint, Thorton called me a name to end the day out.

    This stuff just can't be made up.

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  10. This is a copy of a post from the previous day:

    From January 2010 NATURE:

    "The discovery of fossil trackways made by four-legged land vertebrates (tetrapods) almost 400 million years ago will cause a SIGNIFICANT REAPPRASIAL of our understanding of tetrapod origins. The finds, reported by Per Ahlberg and colleagues, come from Zachelmie Quarry in the Holy Cross Mountains of Poland. Some of the tracks are so well preserved as to permit detailed examination of the foot morphology, which resembles that of the early, primitive tetrapod Ichthyostega. BUT it is their age that makes these tracks so special: 18 million years OLDER than the earliest known tetrapod body fossils, and 10 million years older than the OLDEST elpistostegids — Tiktaalik , Panderichthys and their relatives, seen as transitional forms between fishes and tetrapods. THE FINDS suggests that the elpistostegids that we know were late-surviving RELICS RATHER THAN DIRECT transitional forms, and they highlight just HOW LITTLE we know of the earliest history of land vertebrates."

    THE FINDS (i.e. the new finds from Poland) points to Tiktaalik as a RELIC RATHER THAN A DIRECT transitional. Funny that evolutionists didn't say they predicted to find a RELIC!



    Even in 2008 from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, they write:

    "The team that discovered the new fossil decided to focus on far northern Canada when they noticed in a textbook that the region contained sedimentary rock deposited about 375 million years ago, JUST WHEN shallow-water fishes were predicted by evolutionary science to be making the TRANSITION to land. ... A prediction from more than a century of findings from evolutionary biology suggests that one of the early species that EMERGED from the Earth's oceans about 375 million years ago was THE ancestor of amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. The discovery of Tiktaalik strongly supports that prediction."


    Evolutionists used the Tiktaalik finding as a hammer to mock creationism in major media outlets.

    According to the NAS - "JUST WHEN" shallow-water fishes were predicted by evolutionary science to be making the TRANSITION to land...

    "EMERGED" from the Earth's oceans about 375 million years ago was "THE" ancestor.


    Now Tiktaalik is a RELIC.

    The new discovery of tracks from a fully developed tetrpod 18 million years before the predicted transitional blows the all the hype over Tiktaalik away.

    Now Tiktaalik is known as a late surviving RELIC.

    I'm sure that that is what Coyne meant about Tiktaalik being one of the greatest fulfilled predictions of evolution. Why he meant that it was a late surviving relic!

    Dance around that one.

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  11. Tedford the idiot said...

    THE FINDS (i.e. the new finds from Poland) points to Tiktaalik as a RELIC RATHER THAN A DIRECT transitional. Funny that evolutionists didn't say they predicted to find a RELIC!

    Now Tiktaalik is a RELIC.

    Now Tiktaalik is known as a late surviving RELIC.


    Learn to read for comprehension you moron.

    The paper says the elpistostegids that we know were late-surviving relics. Elpistostegids are the lobe-finned fish that gave rise to the tetrapods.

    The paper says some lineages of the elpistostegids continued on for a while before dying out, after other lineages evolved into tetrapods like Tiktaalik. That's why those elpistostegids are referred to as relics.

    Dance around that Tedford you clueless idiot.

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  12. Neal Tedford:

    "Dance around that one."
    ====

    The ONLY truly evolving thing is the theory itself. It amazingly fights for it's life at every randomly discovered falsification which seeks to kill it, only to be saved from extinction by the faithful parishioners (representing a sort of Natural Selection) to rescue it from the common sense preditors by giving it creative literary adaptations to survive the truthfully logical environment constantly surrounding it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. thortard:
    You lost quys. You had every chance to make a scientific case for ID on a national stage and you face planted.

    That is false.

    The Dover school board lost.

    ID was never on trial.

    Ya see moron, science is not conducted in a courtroom. And judges are not in any position to say what is and isn't science.

    But anyway that judge's decision only applies to a little insignificant district in PA.

    It has no power outside of that small space.

    However that district is now a prime candidate for seeing a replay of Scopes- but the other way- ya see all someone needs to do is convince one of the substitute teachers- or regular teachers- to bring up the topic of Intelligent Design and then let the evotards to their evotardgasmic thing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Neal Tedford said...

    THE FINDS (i.e. the new finds from Poland) points to Tiktaalik as a RELIC RATHER THAN A DIRECT transitional. Funny that evolutionists didn't say they predicted to find a RELIC!

    =============================
    You just couldn't make this stuff up!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Tiktaalik-

    You don't go looking for transitional forms in strata millions of years younger than when the transition occurred.

    And no one predicts the existence of a specific transitional form millions of years after the transition occurred.

    Evotards are just sooooo unable to think...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thorton,

    From Wikipedia on Tiktaalik: "Tetrapod footprints found in Poland and reported in Nature in January 2010 were "securely dated" at 10 million years older than the oldest known elpistostegids[8] (of which Tiktaalik is one) implying that animals like Tiktaalik were "late-surviving relics" possessing features that actually evolved around 400 million years ago.[9]

    elpistostegids[8] -- Of which Taktaalik is one.

    So we not only have a failed prediction by Darwinists, but we have a perfect illustration of the lengths to which they will go to make excuses and dance around an obvious mistake.

    One longs for some kind of precision in evolutionary biology and accountability, but you'd find just as much of that at a meeting of voodo practitioners

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  17. It's logically possible that life could have been designed. And it's logically possible that the designer would have taken steps that resulting in the concrete biological complexity we observe. I'm not denying this in the least. The problem is that ID doesn't have an explanation as to why the designer would take these steps, rather than some other steps and achieve some other results.

    In cases of vitamin C look-alike genes, etc. Biologist such as Miller and Grey are pointing out the lack of said explanation. Yes it's logically possible a designer placed them there, but what limitations or motivations would cause a designer do such a thing? In the absence of such explanation, its' unclear how we can differentiate design from natural process.

    Specifically, the primary claim of ID is that we can detect design without any information about the designer. However, this presents an implied theory that the designer must have human-like attributes so any features that were designed would appear familiar to us.

    If this implied theory is true, then ID's claim is false, since some information about the designer is indeed necessary. And if this implied theory is true, then ID's claim is also false, as no such information has yet to been provided. As such, it's no surprise that ID has yet to gain very little traction.

    Now, if ID want's to step up to the plate and actually start making specific claims about then designer, this would clearly get my attention, along with the majority of the scientific community as a whole. But this is unlikely as the designer most IDists have in mind is defined in a way that makes this information unknowable or beyond our understanding.

    In fact, I'd suggest it's a catch 22 situation. ID wants to science to acknowledge design occurred, but only if it can keep the designer abstract. This leaves a hole big enough to drive through whichever designer they happen to believe in, whether it's theistic, deistic, extraterrestrial, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Tedford the idiot, if you want to use Wiki as a source:

    "Tiktaalik is a transitional fossil; it is to tetrapods what Anchiornis is to birds, troodonts and dromaeosaurids. While it may be that neither is ancestor to any living animal, they serve as evidence that intermediates between very different types of vertebrates did once exist. The mixture of both fish and tetrapod characteristics found in Tiktaalik include these traits:

    * Fish
    o fish gills
    o fish scales
    * "Fishapod"
    o half-fish, half-tetrapod limb bones and joints, including a functional wrist joint and radiating, fish-like fins instead of toes
    o half-fish, half-tetrapod ear region
    * Tetrapod
    o tetrapod rib bones
    o tetrapod mobile neck
    o tetrapod lungs"


    When will you be providing that information on the original dog "kind"?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Scott:
    Specifically, the primary claim of ID is that we can detect design without any information about the designer.

    That claim is borne out by other design-centric venues such as forensics and archaeology.

    cott:
    However, this presents an implied theory that the designer must have human-like attributes so any features that were designed would appear familiar to us.

    Incorrect.

    Things are only starting to look "familiar" because our technology and experience has grown.

    Ya see Scott, reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the designr(s), is by studying the design in question.

    IOW Scott you don't know what you are talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Look-alike genes- common design.

    Duh- why keep reinventing things when you already have something that serves the purpose?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thorton,

    Regarding "kinds"... "kind" in Genesis is equal to species because the word "kind" is linked in the text with reproduction. Like kinds reproduce and Genesis doesn't address the fixity of species. To say that the Bible says that the "kinds" are fixed would be reading into the text what is not there.

    What Genesis is clear on is that the original plants and animals were a direct design and work of God and not the result of a common descent from an ancestor in a warm little pond.

    From observable history we know that dogs have been artificially breed over the centuries and that some don't reproduce with other breeds. Beyond that I'll not speculate on what the original animals at the time of their creation looked like.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Neal,

    I thought is was kinds reproduce like kinds and that "God" created everythjing according to their kind

    ReplyDelete
  23. Joe_G

    "I thought is was kinds reproduce like kinds and that "God" created everythjing according to their kind"
    -------------------

    The term/expression "reproducing according to their kinds" simply denoted the orderliness of what are called species barriers against any kind of organism (plant, animal, bird, fish, etc) cross breeding with another kind of animal (like dog to cat). Creation denotes underlying order. Evolution denotes underlying chaos. IF evolution were really possible, there would be no orderly laws to govern in the first place. Hence, a Chihuahua could stand on a later and schtoop an Elephant and produce offspring. The observation of our natural world proves such order and barriers for which evolutionists cannot explain. That's why fable invention is needed.

    Just today Big-Media championed the wonders of BT Corn. Here's a quote from the article as to what happens to corn borer pests when they eat it.
    ----------------------------------------
    "Since the borers that attack the genetically modified crops die, there are fewer of them to go after the non-modified version."
    By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press Writer,

    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/330/6001/189
    ----------------------------------------

    Some time back Cornell University did a study showing the effects of BT Corn pollen was having as a result of drifting over into wild fields containing populations of Milkweed. The pollen was eaten by Monarch butterfly catapillers and they all died. Monsanto, who is known for their technology for being able to cross species (KIND) barriers and insert genetic information from one extreme kind of organism into another, made up their own report created by their own payroll scientists refuted the Cornell findings. Yet according to todays report, they lied.

    Another study showed that when the pollen got into water sources like springs, ponds, streams, rivers, etc it killed Damselfly larva which is a major food source for fish and frogs. There is definitely a disasterous domino effect that is clearly ignored when the interest of profit taking is at stake.

    Yet in our time of the end moral laws are made fun of and demonized, so why would anyone expect any type of responsible consideration be considered regarding Natural Laws either ???

    The bottomline here is "COMMON SENSE", but such understanding for which even a child (pathetic layman) gets is clearly unacceptable to those who demand to run the show.

    ReplyDelete
  24. JoeG,

    Kinds or species reproduce their own species. For example, buffalo's don't give birth to Horses. God directly created the original kinds of plants and animals. This does not rule out subspeciation. I don't see anything in the scripture that contradicts kinds = species, but I'm open.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Pedant:

    ===
    May we advance the discussion by examining a primary peer-reviewed paper that I have selected at random:

    Evolution of an Expanded Sex-Determining Locus in Volvox
    Science 16 April 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5976, pp. 351 – 354

    Will you kindly identify the metaphysical premises used in this paper? Even one metaphysical premise?
    ===

    You are selecting a paper that most people do not have access to. Also, if I told you that Theory X is proved by Evidence Y, then would you expect to see Y in a research paper about X?

    Evolution is a theory that consistently generates false predictions and, beyond speculation and serendipity, does not explain how biology just happened to arise, as it purports to. We can argue about the magnitude of the problems, but we're nowhere near evolution being an undeniable fact. That is the claim, not because the empirical evidence makes evolution undeniable, but because it falsifies the alternatives. This is straightforward as evolutionists have clearly presented this over and over for centuries. There are no demonstrations of the fact of evolution not based on this metaphysic. But that doesn't mean such arguments are repeated in every research paper. Of course not. Most of the evolution literature takes the fact of evolution for granted. If you genuinely want to understand evolution, you need to read the apologetics literature which demonstrates the fact of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Neal Tedford said...

    From observable history we know that dogs have been artificially breed over the centuries and that some don't reproduce with other breeds. Beyond that I'll not speculate on what the original animals at the time of their creation looked like.


    Let's recap

    1. You say that there is now no such thing as the original dog 'kind', there are dozens of new different dog 'kinds'.

    2. You say that that these new dog 'kinds' evolved through common descent from the original dog kind.

    3. You have no idea about and can't identify the original dog 'kind'.

    Since that's the case, then you must agree it's possible the original dog 'kind' was an early mammal member of the order Carnivoria, which also gave rise to cats, and bears, and raccoons, and seals through the same process of common descent.

    Looks to me like you're really a closet evolutionist.

    BTW, you still haven't answered the question:

    What was the mechanism that caused this large of a change of one "kind" into another "kind"?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Cornelius Hunter said...

    If you genuinely want to understand evolution, you need to read the apologetics literature which demonstrates the fact of evolution.


    When will you be reading the primary literature and gaining some understanding? Then we can intelligently discuss aspects of the actual ToE instead of the silly cartoon versions you keep trotting out.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Neal-

    Yes I understand that at first "Kind" = species as they were the only things around.

    This is what AiG says:

    Zonkeys, Ligers, and Wolphins, Oh My!

    I believe this reflects your PoV-

    Is that right?

    ReplyDelete
  29. thorton:
    When will you be reading the primary literature and gaining some understanding?

    When will you?

    thorton:
    Then we can intelligently discuss aspects of the actual ToE ...

    Can't have such a discussion until you ante up a testable hypothesis.

    And you appear to be incapable of producing one.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Big LOL! JoeTard is now going to defend AIG's Biblical definition of 'kind'.

    Let the tard flow freely!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dr Hunter, thanks for your response!

    You are selecting a paper that most people do not have access to.

    OK, select your own paper. But let it be the primary research literature.

    Also, if I told you that Theory X is proved by Evidence Y, then would you expect to see Y in a research paper about X?

    Yes, certainly. What is your point?

    Evolution is a theory that consistently generates false predictions and, beyond speculation and serendipity, does not explain how biology just happened to arise, as it purports to.

    I think it explains more than any other theory. But I’ll be glad to consider your preferred alternative theory, if it has more explanatory power.

    We can argue about the magnitude of the problems, but we're nowhere near evolution being an undeniable fact. That is the claim, not because the empirical evidence makes evolution undeniable, but because it falsifies the alternatives.

    I agree that the empirical evidence does not make evolution undeniable. And I am aware that the empirical evidence falsifies some alternatives. But at least one alternative, that God created all life forms, is unfalsifiable.

    Most of the evolution literature takes the fact of evolution for granted.

    I’m not sure that’s correct. Whether a researcher takes evolution as an overall working hypothesis or as a fact, she still has to put her hypothesis about a particular facet of evolution to the test. As did the authors of the Volvox paper I cited.

    If you genuinely want to understand evolution, you need to read the apologetics literature which demonstrates the fact of evolution.

    I understand evolution to be an integral part of biological research. I also consider the so-called fact of evolution to be deniable, like all facts. But I’m interested enough in your perspective to take the bait: please direct me to the apologetics literature that I need to read.

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  32. RobertC:

    ========
    Hunter's trumpeting the pop-culture and courtroom refutations of creationism is not the same as proving the primary literature in support of common descent is religious.

    But he dare not tread there.....
    ========


    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/10/long-term-fruit-fly-experiment-raises.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/09/carbon-dioxide-sensors.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/09/drosophilas-altimeter-evolution-does-it.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/bug-with-bifocals-baffles-biologists.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/fossil-find-fungus-controlled-ant-just.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/of-mice-and-men-unconserved.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/survival-of-fittest-or-altruistic.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/butterflies-and-flashlights.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/07/retro-virus-turned-evolutionary-hero.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/06/wasp-evolution-forgot.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/06/when-evidence-for-evolution-is-actually.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/06/brown-algae-and-serendipity-of.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/09/did-micrornas-shape-cambrian-explosion.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

    etc, etc., ...

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  33. pedant:

    ===
    I understand evolution to be an integral part of biological research. I also consider the so-called fact of evolution to be deniable, like all facts. But I’m interested enough in your perspective to take the bait: please direct me to the apologetics literature that I need to read.
    ===

    I written a few books on this topic. It can be explained superficially, but the full story involves the history of religious and philosophical thought going back several centuries, in addition to the science.

    Here's a reasonably easy entry point: peer-reviewed, first-tier journal paper, discusses the structure of evolutionary arguments revealing the metaphysical premise that is crucial. The paper is here:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/15/0901109106.abstract?etoc

    And my blog is here:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

    Here are a few of my other blog posts exploring other facets of evolutionary metaphysics:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-read-darwin.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/jerry-coyne-why-embryology-proves.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/12/richard-lenski-on-fact-of-evolution.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/08/bogey-moment-human-chromosome-count.html

    There are many more (tagged with "Evolution's religion").

    ReplyDelete
  34. thortard:
    Joe is now going to defend AIG's Biblical definition of 'kind'.

    No I am just providing a link to it.

    They can defend it without me.

    OTOH all you can do is drool on your keyboard...

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thorton:


    1. You say that there is now no such thing as the original dog 'kind', there are dozens of new different dog 'kinds'.


    ME: I did not say that there is now no such thing as the original dog kind. I said I wasn't going to speculate on what they looked like. There were so many breeds of dogs through history and today, I'm not going to pick one and say that it was the original looking dog.

    2. You say that that these new dog 'kinds' evolved through common descent from the original dog kind.

    ME: I didn't say that either. I said that we have observable history that artifical dog breeding has led to some dogs that do not breed with other dogs.


    3. You have no idea about and can't identify the original dog 'kind'.

    ME: See answer to #1.

    Evidence for trans-species evolution is not existent unless one assumes evolution to be true and reads into the fossil record what they want to see. You can nuke, heat, blast, flood, barbeque, poison, and mame fruit flies for hundreds of generations but you still have fruit flies.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Cornelius,

    Talk is cheap. If evolution is indeed a religious viewpoint then your side should have no problem proving that in a court of law and outlawing its teaching in public schools. I hear Dembski has even devised a legal strategy for such an occasion. What's taking you, guys, so long to apply it? Can't afford good legal representation?

    ReplyDelete
  37. From

    Ring species as bridges between microevolution and speciation

    http://dipbau.bio.uniroma1.it/web/Docenti/Docente378/corso-Biodiversit--umana/fulltext.pdf

    "Abstract
    A demonstration of how small changes can lead to species-level differences is provided by ring species, in which two reproductively isolated forms are connected by a chain of intermediate populations.We review proposed cases of ring species and the insights they provide into speciation. Ring species have been viewed both as illustrations of the history of divergence of two species from their common ancestor and as demonstrations that speciation can occur in spite of gene flow between the diverging forms."


    I can see two counter arguments. The first is to define "kinds" to assume the desired conclusion. IOW, evidence of speciation automatically means they aren't different "kinds".

    The second counter-argument is to suggest this was all part of the Designer's grand plan.

    Until a detailed, alternative explanation is offered, it seems evolutionary biologists are making reasonable conclusions or, at least, following breadcrumbs purposely left by a Designer or Designers.

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  42. JoeG,

    I wasn't previously aware of AiG's position on "kinds". It sounds like they do not altogether equate kinds with species because the definition of species is not always clear. They appear to be saying that "kinds" can be equated to the biological classification of "Family", which leaves room, for example, of domestic cats and bobcats being of the same kind.

    They give some interesting examples and pictures of cross breeding.

    It seems to me that do equate "kinds" with animals that can breed and I'll go along with that. The Bible doesn't present a Linnaeus type biological classification and doesn't get into the nity-gritty of hierarchical classifications. How much the animals have changed since the orginal creation is not addressed in the Bible. Were all dogs from one kind? Maybe feasible, but we can't make a Biblical teaching out of it.

    I don't see any evidence for change above the family level... for example that dogs and cats are both descended from Miacid Carnivora. That kind of association is way into the speculative stuff that evolutionists must have. There's the marsuipal dogs, wolves and tigers, etc that present a serious problem to evolutionary theory.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Cornelius,

    Thanks for the links back to your own blog. Sadly, I don't recall, where, in those papers they made a religious argument in proof of evolution. Indeed, many are observational, and seem make no evolutionary claim at all!

    Common descent is a tested hypothesis (e.g. Theobald). Genomic data that clearly supports common descent is one line of evidence.

    Another is maintained non-adaptive features. As another article you link to states:

    "How does the Law of Likelihood bear on Darwin’s Principle? Let X and Y be 2 species (or organisms) that both have trait T. This is our observation. We wish to know what this obser vation says about the common ancestry (CA) and the separate ancestr y (SA) hypotheses. ... The torpedo shape of sharks and dolphins involves a likelihood ratio that is close to one; the tailbones of humans and monkeys and the gill slits of human fetuses and fish involve likelihood ratios that are much larger than unity."
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463738

    ReplyDelete
  44. Now, what is the metaphysical assumption in that? Your belief is that it is religious NOT to consider that there is a designer pulling the strings.

    1) Failure to consider supernatural alternatives is not religious or atheistic. If I lose a dollar, considering it fell out the last time I opened my wallet is not religious verses the proposition God knocked me out, an angel took it, and I don't remember. Is the latter falsified? No. Is it reasonable? Parsimony matters.

    2) The presumption of methodological naturalism is useful. We don't see the demon did it defense in the courtroom. Why not? So why the common design defense in the classroom?

    3) Design of your style is no longer science, useful, or predictive. From the arguments here, we know the design must absolutely have the appearance of common descent (you'd scream evolution was falsified with any feature otherwise). Common design has to be designed to look like common descent down to the nucleotide level across all organism (see Theobald). Common design must incorporate non-adaptive features to further this appearance. As evolution of new features, speciation, etc., have been directly observed, it must be ongoing, even in lab experiments.

    Are these the design features we are making religious claims by not considering?

    So what we have here is a "Matrix". What appears to us as evolution could be a mystical design process. What appears as the world around us could be the Matrix. But this is the stuff of stoned philosophy students, and not the science that is to overtake evolution in the classroom and lab. If the Design Matrix can be accurately described by evolution, and evolution is useful and predictive, guess what theory I'll keep using!

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  46. Tedford the idiot says...

    I don't see any evidence for change above the family level... for example that dogs and cats are both descended from Miacid Carnivora.


    That's because you like being a willfully ignorant boob and have never looked. I know you've been shown detailed genetic studies along with fossil evidence that you can't explain and have avoided like the plague. Why is that Tedford?

    There's the marsuipal dogs, wolves and tigers, etc that present a serious problem to evolutionary theory.

    LOL! Sure Tedford, we know. Everything about evolutionary biology you don't understand and are too lazy to research is somehow a "serious problem for evolution".

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hunter:

    Here's a reasonably easy entry point: peer-reviewed, first-tier journal paper, discusses the structure of evolutionary arguments revealing the metaphysical premise that is crucial. The paper is here:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/06/15/0901109106.abstract?etoc


    Please, not the Sober paper again. Metaphysical premise that is crucial? Baloney! Sober’s ruminations (possibly off the mark, as he himself admits) about Darwin’s thought processes are irrelevant to the current scientific utility of evolutionary biology. If you are making an argument from authority, what makes Sober (a philosopher) an unimpeachable authority on the history of science?

    As not too bright a student, I ask you to identify what you construe as Darwin’s metaphysical claims in Sober’s paper. Please state the metaphysical premises that you see there in your own words, so I can try to grasp what you are claiming.

    As I said previously, whether a researcher takes evolution as an overall working hypothesis or as a fact, she still has to put her hypothesis about a particular facet of evolution to the test. The history of evolutionary thought is not immediately relevant to that process, although it may be of interest to historians of science.

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  48. Hunter:

    And my blog is here:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

    Here are a few of my other blog posts exploring other facets of evolutionary metaphysics:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/how-to-read-darwin.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/02/jerry-coyne-why-embryology-proves.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/12/richard-lenski-on-fact-of-evolution.html
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/08/bogey-moment-human-chromosome-count.html

    There are many more (tagged with "Evolution's religion").


    Color me stupid. I thought you were going to direct me to apologetics by evolutionists, not your own anti-evolution apologetics!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Dr. Hunter,

    I would like to hear your reaction to the following paper. http://www.nick-lane.net/LAM%20BioEssays.pdf

    It starts out by challenging mainstream thought...

    "Despite thermodynamic, bioenergetic and phylogenetic failings, the 81-year-old concept of primordial soup remains central to mainstream thinking on the origin of life. But soup is homogeneous in pH and redox potential, and so has no capacity for energy coupling by chemiosmosis."

    The authors then provide an alternative hypothesis...

    "The discovery of deep submarine hydrothermal vents – ‘black smokers’ – in the late 1970s seemed to offer an answer.
    ...
    But black smokers are not the only type of hydrothermal system and the distinction is significant. A second type of vent, discovered in 2000,(15) is formed by the reaction of seawater with minerals like olivine, which comprise much of the oceanic crust [,alkaline vents].
    ...
    During the early phases of Earth’s history, >3.8 Gya ago, when life began and CO2 concentrations in the oceans were 1,000-fold higher than they are today, alkaline vents were the site of a redox interface between H2-rich hydrothermal and CO2-rich marine aqueous phases.
    ...
    Alkaline vents would have been present on a massive scale across the sea floor of the early Earth, and were orders of magnitude longer lived than black smokers.(25,26) Finally, the abiotic chemistry envisaged for alkaline vents, on both thermodynamic and experimental grounds, provides an indication of how life began, and why chemiosmosis has always been the primary process of energy conversion."


    And concludes with...

    "Thus it seems to us likely that LUCA [Last Universal Common Ancestor] grew on the H2/CO2 couple, and that she was naturally chemiosmotic. This vantage point goes a long way towards explaining why chemiosmosis, and the proteins that harness ion gradients, are universal among living cells."

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  50. pedant:

    "Color me stupid. I thought you were going to direct me to apologetics by evolutionists, not your own anti-evolution apologetics! "

    Those are not "anti-evolution apologetics." Those posts are about the metaphysics in evolution. They point you to evolutionary claims.

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  51. oleg:
    If evolution is indeed a religious viewpoint then your side should have no problem proving that in a court of law and outlawing its teaching in public schools.

    It is obvious evotards worship Father Time, Mother Nature and magical mystery mutations.

    However this is denied by each one of them...

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  52. pedant:

    ===
    As not too bright a student, I ask you to identify what you construe as Darwin’s metaphysical claims in Sober’s paper. Please state the metaphysical premises that you see there in your own words, so I can try to grasp what you are claiming.
    ===

    Did you not read my blog on this?

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

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  53. RobertC:
    1) Failure to consider supernatural alternatives is not religious or atheistic.

    Evos worship Father Time, Mother Nature and magical mystery mutations.
    It is a religion.

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  54. Thought Provoker:
    I can see two counter arguments. The first is to define "kinds" to assume the desired conclusion. IOW, evidence of speciation automatically means they aren't different "kinds".

    The Current Status of Baraminology

    You know it really isn't too difficult to find out what Creationists say.

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  55. Thanks CH for another well written Darwinism debunker!
    Amazing how Darwinists live in their own imaginary little world of denial of the obvious.

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  56. Thought Provoker:

    ===
    Dr. Hunter, I would like to hear your reaction to the following paper. http://www.nick-lane.net/LAM%20BioEssays.pdf
    ===

    This paper falls into the category of evolutionary research work that takes evolution as a given. Within this type of work, evolution is not falsifiable. Not matter how badly it works, the research merely looks for new sub hypotheses to try to patch it up.

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  57. Cornelius Hunter said...

    This paper falls into the category of evolutionary research work that takes evolution as a given


    I know you're not very aware of how actual science operates CH, but can you think of a single scientific discipline whose work doesn't build off of previously verified knowledge?

    Within this type of work, evolution is not falsifiable. Not matter how badly it works, the research merely looks for new sub hypotheses to try to patch it up.

    No single paper is going to suddenly falsify 150+ years of collaborating and cross-correlating verified work. Research on developing new vaccines isn't going to suddenly falsify the germ theory of disease either, but I don't hear you making a squawk about medical science practices.

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  58. JoeTard said...

    You know it really isn't too difficult to find out what Creationists say.


    Hey JoeTard, how does your pants-loading, er, front loading of the genome claim fit in with baraminology?

    They both can't be right, but both can sure be wrong!

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  59. Dr. Hunter,

    Thank you for your response.

    On Page 176 of Darwin's Black Box, Dr. Behe wrote...
    "...I believe the evidence strongly supports common descent. But the root question remains, what has caused complex systems to form?"

    It appears to me that Dr. Behe and the authors of my referenced paper both accept Common Descent. The paper even provided evidence of something common to all life on Earth, "chemiosmosis, and the proteins that harness ion gradients"

    Dr. Behe and these authors were fundamentally looking for the answers to the same question. If this doesn't count a science, what does?

    It is easy to throw stones at other ideas when you refuse to offer an alternative.

    At least Dr. Behe tried.

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  60. Thought Provoker:

    ===
    On Page 176 of Darwin's Black Box, Dr. Behe wrote...
    "...I believe the evidence strongly supports common descent. But the root question remains, what has caused complex systems to form?"

    It appears to me that Dr. Behe and the authors of my referenced paper both accept Common Descent.
    ===

    You may be missing some important distinctions. I blogged on this recently. Please see:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-some-people-favor-common-descent.html


    ===
    The paper even provided evidence of something common to all life on Earth, "chemiosmosis, and the proteins that harness ion gradients"
    ===

    For evolutionists, similarities between species implies common descent. That conclusion doesn't come from science (it is yet another example of the subtle but pervasive metaphysics that is interwoven and often difficult to recognize).

    ===
    Dr. Behe and these authors were fundamentally looking for the answers to the same question. If this doesn't count a science, what does?
    ===

    Did I say it doesn't?

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  61. You state that Ken Miller's statement that "There’s no reason why evolution would
    produce a duplicate set of mistakes in two copies of things," makes no sense and is therefore "perjury." But in fact the statement makes sense. I'm not sure which pseudogene Miller was talking about here; let's take the GULO pseudogene as an example.

    As it happens, guinea pigs have a GULO pseudogene, disabled in a different way from the GULO pseudogene in old world anthropoids. There are many ways to alter a gene to prevent it from being expressed as a protein. There's no particular reason to suppose that, even if natural selection favored mutations that disabled GULO genes in species that got lots of vitamin C from fruit, that the same mutations would occur and be selected multiple times in independent lineages.

    If the GULO pseudogene in humans and other old world primates had arisen independently through natural processes, one would expect the disabling alterations to be no more similar between humans and chimps than between humans and guinea pigs. Indeed, one would expect the sequence of nucleotides in the pseudogenes (aside from the disabling differences) to be no more alike between chimps and humans than between, say, macacques and humans, or, again, guinea pigs and humans, if evolution (reproduction, inheritance, mutation, selection, drift, speciation) were true but if humans and other primates did not inherit their shared traits from shared ancestors.

    The argument, in fact, applies no matter how you assume traits arose: through "Darwinian" evolution, or Lamarckian or so other sort of evolution, or any sort of "design" one might conceive of, etc: any of these things is conceivable, any is, metaphysically, possible, but none of them, except "Darwinian" evolution, offers a reason why human and chimp GULO pseudogenes are identically-disabled but guinea pig GULO pseudogenes are disabled a different way; none of the others are more compatible with this particular outcome than with, e.g. human and guinea pig GULO pseudogenes identically-disabled and chimps and macaques being disabled some different way.

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  62. Thought Provoker:
    It appears to me that Dr. Behe and the authors of my referenced paper both accept Common Descent.

    Cool now all they need is a way to objectively test the premise.

    Thought Provoker:
    The paper even provided evidence of something common to all life on Earth, "chemiosmosis, and the proteins that harness ion gradients".

    Common Design.

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  63. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  64. thortard:
    Hey Joe, how does your pants-loading, er, front loading of the genome claim fit in with baraminology?

    It fits in this way:

    All the information required for the diversity of living organisms was front-loaded into thousands of different populations.

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  65. "It fits in this way:

    All the information required for the diversity of living organisms was front-loaded into thousands of different populations."

    Then why does the alignment of modern diversity show common ancestry, not thousands of populations with unique signatures?

    Are these populations static, or have they evolved? Are you advocating some sort of theistic evolution?

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  66. RobertC:
    Then why does the alignment of modern diversity show common ancestry,

    It doesn't.

    You just think it does because that is what your position requires.

    not thousands of populations with unique signatures?

    Actually it shows thousands of populations with unique signatures.

    Birds have unique sigs, whales have unique sigs, giraffes have a unique sig and so on.

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  67. RobertC:
    Are these populations static, or have they evolved? Are you advocating some sort of theistic evolution?

    I am talking about baraminology- which states the diversity of living organisms evolved from the populations of originally created kinds.

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  68. Joe G: "Actually it shows thousands of populations with unique signatures.

    Birds have unique sigs, whales have unique sigs, giraffes have a unique sig and so on."

    What are these 'unique sigs?' Can you provide a definition, and quantify them? If so, I can formally test them, if you'd like. We'll cluster the sigs, and see if they reflect common ancestry, or 1000s of creation events. Gene sequences argue otherwise, with strong evidence of common ancestry (e.g. Theobald).

    "I am talking about baraminology- which states the diversity of living organisms evolved from the populations of originally created kinds."

    So it's fancy theistic evolution, in your mind. So for the basics, I'm sure you won't mind the evolution part in middle/high school? We can teach about abiogenesis vs. baraminology later.

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  69. Dr Hunter,

    On October 8, 2010 1:45 PM I asked:

    I ask you to identify what you construe as Darwin’s metaphysical claims in Sober’s paper. Please state the metaphysical premises that you see there in your own words, so I can try to grasp what you are claiming.

    And you referred me to your post:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2009/06/evolutions-religion-revealed.html

    I have read that post and the Sober paper, and I do not find a religious argument by Darwin. I find instead special pleading by you that tries to shoe-horn a religious motif into a scientific argument.

    Can you tell me what is religious about examining the evidence in light of common descent and comparing the explanatory power of that hypothesis against the hypothesis of special creation? Is special creation (or immutability of species) necessarily a religious idea? Or is that simply an accident of history? Ignorance of the first book of the Torah on the part of pagans did not prevent them from speculating on the origin of species. See the post by anonymist on this thread and what he says about a demiurge. Is the notion of a demiurge necessarily religious or is it a scientific hypothesis reflective of the state of knowledge at the time of Plato?

    Pending further clarification from you, I am not persuaded that religion drives science, either in biology or in other disciplines.

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  70. pedant:

    ===
    I have read that post and the Sober paper, and I do not find a religious argument by Darwin. I find instead special pleading by you that tries to shoe-horn a religious motif into a scientific argument.

    Can you tell me what is religious about examining the evidence in light of common descent and comparing the explanatory power of that hypothesis against the hypothesis of special creation?
    ===

    The claim that god would not create X or Y is religious because it entails premises about the attributes of god. I thought that was obvious. Do you disagree with this?


    ===
    Is special creation (or immutability of species) necessarily a religious idea?
    ===

    Well it depends. Evolutionists say that any theory that includes supernatural causation is religious. I think this is self-serving. If the empirical evidence points to supernatural causation, then I don't think that conclusion is religious. I think this because the conclusion comes from the empirical evidence. But it seems to me that a theory that includes premises about god or a designer are religious or metaphysical, because those premises don't come from the evidence. There is no way they can be disproven.

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  71. RobertC:
    What are these 'unique sigs?

    Just see Linnaen Classification.

    That is what nested hierarchies are all about.

    Gene sequences argue otherwise, with strong evidence of common ancestry (e.g. Theobald).

    That is false.

    There isn't anything in genetics that can be connected to the transformations required.

    As I have said only about 10% of our genes have anything to do with development.

    These are the genes and DNA sequences you guys need to alter to see if the changes required are even possible.

    To date no one has come close to doing so.

    "I am talking about baraminology- which states the diversity of living organisms evolved from the populations of originally created kinds."

    So it's fancy theistic evolution, in your mind.

    TE is wishy-washy. Creationists make some actual claims.

    And I say teach BIOLOGY- kids can barely handle what we do understand.

    And then present the evidence and all alternatives.

    That would mean your position would have to produce a testable hypothesis for its proposed mechanisms.

    And taht means you are in big do-do.

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  72. Pedant:
    Is special creation (or immutability of species) necessarily a religious idea?

    Umm special creation does not posit the immutability of species.

    That is a strawman.

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  73. CH states:
    The claim that god would not create X or Y is religious because it entails premises about the attributes of god.

    But remember that these premises are the ones being proffered by the religious (e.g. God is perfect, omnipresent, omniscient, etc.). It's not the evolutionist who makes up these premises. So it's perfectly fair when arguing in favour of evolution to address the proponents of creationism by arguing something along the line of "well, if your God has the attributes you claim he has, then please note that the evidence appears to contradict these attributes".

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  74. Hunter:

    The claim that god would not create X or Y is religious because it entails premises about the attributes of god. I thought that was obvious. Do you disagree with this?

    Yes, I disagree. Your point would hold only if a particular agency were postulated to be the creator of biological entities. You construe that agency to be your Abrahamic God, but there is no reason on earth to assume it must be your particular God. Not knowing the nature of the creative force entails not knowing anything about its attributes. I thought that was obvious.

    If the empirical evidence points to supernatural causation, then I don't think that conclusion is religious.

    I agree, but I don’t know of any such evidence. Do you?

    But it seems to me that a theory that includes premises about god or a designer are religious or metaphysical, because those premises don't come from the evidence.

    Inasmuch as the theory of evolution does not include such premises, that statement has no bearing on this discussion. Surely you know that.

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  75. JoeTard said...

    T: Hey Joe, how does your pants-loading, er, front loading of the genome claim fit in with baraminology?

    It fits in this way:

    All the information required for the diversity of living organisms was front-loaded into thousands of different populations.


    Which thousands of different populations would those be JoeTard? The ones you have no evidence for and no way of identifying? You can't tell us what information was front-loaded, or when, or how, or in which species, or how the pants-loading managed to anticipate natural cataclysms like Chicxulub.

    Pity you can't come up with even one speck of positive evidence for your pants-loading wet dream. You could go straight to Stockholm and collect your Nobel Prize.

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  76. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Well it depends. Evolutionists say that any theory that includes supernatural causation is religious. I think this is self-serving. If the empirical evidence points to supernatural causation, then I don't think that conclusion is religious.


    What empirical evidence anywhere do you have that unequivocally points to supernatural causation? I'd love to see it.

    That's another Nobel Prize and worldwide fame and fortune for you IF you can produce such verified empirical evidence. Can you?

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  77. Cornelius Hunter replied to Pedant:

    The claim that god would not create X or Y is religious because it entails premises about the attributes of god. I thought that was obvious. Do you disagree with this?

    A claim that God would not create X or Y is a religious claim. A claim that God is involved in some way in the history of life or the origins of biological complexity and diversity is a religious claim. I don't see how you can insist with a straight face and a clear conscience that it is scientifically reasonable for you to advance religious claims about a scientific question and then reject religious critiques of those claims.

    On the other hand, of course:

    Well it depends. Evolutionists say that any theory that includes supernatural causation is religious. I think this is self-serving. If the empirical evidence points to supernatural causation, then I don't think that conclusion is religious. I think this because the conclusion comes from the empirical evidence. But it seems to me that a theory that includes premises about god or a designer are religious or metaphysical, because those premises don't come from the evidence. There is no way they can be disproven.

    If a claim of supernatural causation is not intrinsically religious -- if invoking a Designer isn't automatically invoking God -- then obviously, saying "A supernatural Designer wouldn't do X or Y" is not automatically a religious claim. It may be, of course, a mistaken claim: perhaps there is a logically coherent model of a Designer who would do X or Y under the circumstances. But a Designer who just happens to have all and only whatever traits are needed to explain whatever data may be found isn't an explanation; it's a virtus dormitiva, a restatement of the problem posing as an explanation. As far as I can tell, you've never offered any sort of reason why a Designer (supernatural or not, divine or not) would put identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes in unrelated primate species, and an alternatively-disabled GULO pseudogene in guinea pigs.

    ReplyDelete
  78. thortard:
    Which thousands of different populations would those be Joe?

    The thousands of originally created populations.

    The ones you have no evidence for and no way of identifying?

    look who's talking!

    You can't tell us what information was front-loaded, or when, or how, or in which species, or how the pants-loading managed to anticipate natural cataclysms like Chicxulub.

    Umm your position lacks all detail.

    Shit your position lacks a testable hypothesis.

    You have no business spewing your igniorance about ID and Creation as if it is some sort of refutation.

    Pity you can't come up with even one speck of positive evidence for your pants-loading wet dream.

    Then it is starnge that I have presented plenty of it- as have others.

    OTOH you cannot provuide any positive evidence for your position and can only utter vague claims of evolution and common ancestry.

    Nothing- no idea how the first living organisms got here- hell no idea how the universe ggot here- just a reliance on Father Time, Mother Nature and magical mystery processes.

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  79. thortard:
    What empirical evidence anywhere do you have that unequivocally points to supernatural causation?

    That isn't what he is saying moron.

    he said if there is evidence for it then it ain't religious.

    Also seeing that natural processes only exist in nature and therefor cannot account for its origins, what type of processes does your position posit? Can't be natural- what were they?

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  80. Hey evotards- here is a clue-

    To refute ID all YOU have to do is start supporting your position with positive evidence.

    Ya see that is part of what ID claims- a designer is required because blind, undirected processes don't suffice.

    Yet you don't do that- why?

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  81. Joe G:

    "Then it is starnge that I have presented plenty of it [evidence for FLE] - as have others."

    Very strange indeed that your plenty of evidence has gone unnoticed by scientists. Please tell us where we can find it.

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  82. troy:
    Very strange indeed that your plenty of evidence has gone unnoticed by scientists.

    Strange that neither you nor those scientists can't produce positive evidence for their position.

    Very strange indeed...

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  83. Steven J:
    A claim that God is involved in some way in the history of life or the origins of biological complexity and diversity is a religious claim.

    Not if "God" was involved.

    Ya see Steven J science only cares about the reality behind what is being investigated.

    Also Richrad Dawkins, no less, has said the supernatural is science.

    Go figure...

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  84. Joe G replied to me:

    A claim that God is involved in some way in the history of life or the origins of biological complexity and diversity is a religious claim.

    Not if "God" was involved.

    Ya see Steven J science only cares about the reality behind what is being investigated.

    Also Richrad Dawkins, no less, has said the supernatural is science.


    I believe Dawkins' claim is simply that some supernatural claims are about things within the purview of science: e.g. a dead body coming back to life is a claim about the sorts of things science can study (this doesn't imply that enough evidence will be left a couple of thousand years later to evaluate such a claim scientifically).

    I'm not sure what you mean by putting "God" in scare quotes; are you suggesting that the Designer might not be God, but merely someone with the same skill set? I deal with that possibility in the second part of my post: if claims of a Designer are not religious, neither are claims or arguments about the Designer's likely or possible motives.

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  85. Steven J:
    I'm not sure what you mean by putting "God" in scare quotes;

    Not scare quotes- that is just the way I write "God"- sorry for any confusion.

    Steven J:
    are you suggesting that the Designer might not be God, but merely someone with the same skill set?

    Doesn't have to be "god" an doesn't require the same skill-set (whatever that is and as if you would know)

    Steven J:
    I deal with that possibility in the second part of my post: if claims of a Designer are not religious, neither are claims or arguments about the Designer's likely or possible motives.

    Just because you say so, right?

    But anyway ID does not make any claims about any designer(s) except that the evidence shows that at one time at least one existed.

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  86. Steven J.:

    ===
    You state that Ken Miller's statement that "There’s no reason why evolution would
    produce a duplicate set of mistakes in two copies of things," makes no sense and is therefore "perjury." But in fact the statement makes sense.

    ...

    The argument, in fact, applies no matter how you assume traits arose: through "Darwinian" evolution, or Lamarckian or so other sort of evolution ...
    ===

    No, you're ignoring the context. Miller is referring to Darwinian evolution which, as he repeats several times, entails common descent.

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  87. RobertC:

    ===
    Your belief is that it is religious NOT to consider that there is a designer pulling the strings.
    ===

    Of course I never expressed that, or anything close to it. This is the problem with evolutionists. There is nothing I wrote that could remotely have suggested this. Yet this is what evolutionists come up with.

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  88. Norm Olsen:

    ===
    But remember that these premises are the ones being proffered by the religious (e.g. God is perfect, omnipresent, omniscient, etc.).
    ===

    Yes, that's the point Norm.

    ===
    It's not the evolutionist who makes up these premises.
    ===

    Most of the theological and metaphysical tests in evolutionary thought are unique to their own traditions, going back to Enlightenment theology. Some actually are responses to claims in other traditions (most notably 18th c. English natural theology). So it is a mix.

    Those distinctions are important for several historical reasons. But for our purposes here (ie, that evolution is a religious / metaphysical theory) it is irrelevant. Claiming a low probability theory is a fact by virtue of arguments based on metaphysical premises means the theory is metaphysical, regardless of whether you are using your own or someone else's premises.

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  89. Pedant:

    ===
    Me: The claim that god would not create X or Y is religious because it entails premises about the attributes of god. I thought that was obvious. Do you disagree with this?

    Pedant: Yes, I disagree. Your point would hold only if a particular agency were postulated to be the creator of biological entities.
    ===

    I disagree. I don't know how science can provide such premises, regardless of your test. But in any case, even in your view evolution fails your test.



    ===
    You construe that agency to be your Abrahamic God,
    ===

    No, I'm not construing this.



    ===
    If the empirical evidence points to supernatural causation, then I don't think that conclusion is religious.

    I agree
    ===

    So you agree ID is not religious?


    ===
    Me: But it seems to me that a theory that includes premises about god or a designer are religious or metaphysical, because those premises don't come from the evidence.

    Pedant: Inasmuch as the theory of evolution does not include such premises, that statement has no bearing on this discussion. Surely you know that.
    ===

    Of course, agreed.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Steven J.:

    ===
    I don't see how you can insist with a straight face and a clear conscience that it is scientifically reasonable for you to advance religious claims about a scientific question and then reject religious critiques of those claims.
    ===

    But I didn't do that, ... as you yourself next seem to admit:

    ===
    As far as I can tell, you've never offered any sort of reason why a Designer (supernatural or not, divine or not) would put identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes in unrelated primate species, and an alternatively-disabled GULO pseudogene in guinea pigs.
    ===

    ReplyDelete
  91. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Pedant:

    ===
    Me: The claim that god would not create X or Y is religious because it entails premises about the attributes of god. I thought that was obvious. Do you disagree with this?

    Pedant: Yes, I disagree. Your point would hold only if a particular agency were postulated to be the creator of biological entities.
    ===

    I disagree. I don't know how science can provide such premises, regardless of your test. But in any case, even in your view evolution fails your test.


    A scientist can consider religious premises hypothetically by treating them as scientific premises for the sake of argument. That is what Gould, Darwin or Miller have done. The Biblical account of creation is not the only creation story out there. We have Plato’s Demiurge, Lucretius’ spontaneous generation, and a plethora of other creation myths that can be cited in such arguments.
    Therefore, such arguments are not per se religious, as you claim.

    ===
    You construe that agency to be your Abrahamic God,
    ===

    No, I'm not construing this.


    Sorry for the misunderstanding. What I meant was that you construe that Darwin, Gould and Miller were necessarily referring to the Abrahamic God and making assumptions about His particular theological attributes in their arguments.

    ===
    If the empirical evidence points to supernatural causation, then I don't think that conclusion is religious.

    I agree
    ===

    So you agree ID is not religious?


    Holy Smoke! The ID people will be surprised to learn that you consider their argument to be about supernatural entities. Judge Jones would also be pleased.

    ===
    Me: But it seems to me that a theory that includes premises about god or a designer are religious or metaphysical, because those premises don't come from the evidence.

    Pedant: Inasmuch as the theory of evolution does not include such premises, that statement has no bearing on this discussion. Surely you know that.
    ===

    Of course, agreed.


    If you agree that the theory of evolution does not include religious premises, why are you saying that the theory is flawed on account of them? Galileo, Newton, Pasteur, and many other scientific heroes had religious premises driving their work, but it doesn’t matter, because their work products do not rely on religious premises.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Cornelius Hunter replied to me:

    The argument, in fact, applies no matter how you assume traits arose: through "Darwinian" evolution, or Lamarckian or so other sort of evolution ...

    No, you're ignoring the context. Miller is referring to Darwinian evolution which, as he repeats several times, entails common descent.


    Though as you obviously understand, Darwinian evolution also entails parallel (natural selection shaping similar outcomes from similar starting points) and convergent evolution (natural selection shaping similar outcomes from rather dissimilar starting points). Neither, however, makes shared oddities like identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes at all likely.

    I'm pretty sure that you concede that "Darwinian" evolution happens on some scale (e.g. the Grants' observations of changes in finch beaks on the Galapagos, presumably some instances of speciation, etc.). You presumably accept some measure of common descent and the relevance of natural selection of random mutations to some changes in populations. If these things have not been established well enough by now to count as "facts" we might as well give up hope of applying science to biology.

    So, given what virtually everyone (creationists and ID proponents alike) accept of evolution, Miller's point is that it is unreasonable to attribute these genetic homologies to evolution unless that evolution includes inheritance from a common ancestor. And I think my larger point still applies: this is also true for any alternative form of evolution or for any actual model of design.

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  93. Cornelius Hunter replied to me:

    I don't see how you can insist with a straight face and a clear conscience that it is scientifically reasonable for you to advance religious claims about a scientific question and then reject religious critiques of those claims.

    But I didn't do that, ... as you yourself next seem to admit:

    As far as I can tell, you've never offered any sort of reason why a Designer (supernatural or not, divine or not) would put identically-disabled GULO pseudogenes in unrelated primate species, and an alternatively-disabled GULO pseudogene in guinea pigs


    Either I've forgotten how to read my own comments or you're reading more into them than I put into them.

    Are you sure you're quoting the right passage? I can grasp that the Designer might be supernatural but not God. I can even grasp that a claim that "God did it" might not be intrinsically "religious" -- though in that case, I don't see how an appeal to the likely or plausible characteristics of God could be seen as intrinsically "religious." How can an argument about the nature of a cause be more theological or metaphysical than the invocation of the cause itself?

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  94. That claim is borne out by other design-centric venues such as forensics and archaeology.

    Both of which operate under specific assumptions about the designer.

    Scott:

    However, this presents an implied theory that the designer must have human-like attributes so any features that were designed would appear familiar to us.

    Joe:

    Things are only starting to look "familiar" because our technology and experience has grown.

    Sorry, but theists have been claiming the entirety of nature represents the designer's handy work for over two thousand years.

    reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the designr(s), is by studying the design in question.

    Which presupposes the designer's existence and involvement in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Pedant:


    ===
    A scientist can consider religious premises hypothetically by treating them as scientific premises for the sake of argument. That is what Gould, Darwin or Miller have done.
    ===

    Well they are testing the religious premise. According to the observables, the premise is false.

    ===
    The Biblical account of creation is not the only creation story out there. We have Plato’s Demiurge, Lucretius’ spontaneous generation, and a plethora of other creation myths that can be cited in such arguments.
    Therefore, such arguments are not per se religious, as you claim.
    ===

    I'm calling the argument *religious* in the sense that the premise is religious. The fact that there are other creation stories doesn't change that.


    ===
    What I meant was that you construe that Darwin, Gould and Miller were necessarily referring to the Abrahamic God and making assumptions about His particular theological attributes in their arguments.
    ===

    No, I'm not construing this.


    ===
    Holy Smoke! The ID people will be surprised to learn that you consider their argument to be about supernatural entities. Judge Jones would also be pleased.
    ===

    No, my point was that in that case, you would also have to agree that ID is not religious.


    ===
    Me: But it seems to me that a theory that includes premises about god or a designer are religious or metaphysical, because those premises don't come from the evidence.

    Pedant: Inasmuch as the theory of evolution does not include such premises, that statement has no bearing on this discussion. Surely you know that.

    Me: Of course, agreed.

    Pedant: If you agree that the theory of evolution does not include religious premises, why are you saying that the theory is flawed on account of them?
    ===

    Sorry, I misread your sentence. Let me clarify. To the degree that evolution does not include religious premises, then it is a scientific theory. But evolution is based on religious and metaphysical premises.

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  96. Steven J:

    ===
    How can an argument about the nature of a cause be more theological or metaphysical than the invocation of the cause itself?
    ===

    Well which is more metaphysical:

    A. I can't explain the origin of X but it must have arisen naturalistically because this world never would have been designed.

    B. I can't explain the origin of X, perhaps it was designed.

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  97. That claim is borne out by other design-centric venues such as forensics and archaeology.

    Scott:
    Both of which operate under specific assumptions about the designer.

    And what are those assumptions and provide evidence that is how those scientists do it.

    reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the designr(s), is by studying the design in question.

    Scott:
    Which presupposes the designer's existence and involvement in the first place.

    No it may presuppoose that our knowledge based on observations and experiences is correct.

    Ya see Scott to refute the design inference all you have to do is demonstrate that nature, operating freely is enough to account for it.

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  98. Hunter:

    ===
    Holy Smoke! The ID people will be surprised to learn that you consider their argument to be about supernatural entities. Judge Jones would also be pleased.
    ===

    No, my point was that in that case, you would also have to agree that ID is not religious.


    I agree with you that if empirical evidence points to supernatural causation of a phenomenon, then the conclusion of a supernatural cause is not necessarily religious. Considered as a research program, the jury is out on where ID might lead. I suspect that the jury will always be out, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and wish it well. After all, a supernatural cause might well be something that has never before been imagined by humans. It doesn’t have to be the Demiurge or Jesus.

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  99. Hunter:

    To the degree that evolution does not include religious premises, then it is a scientific theory. But evolution is based on religious and metaphysical premises.

    Back to square one. You haven't shown that the theory of evolution is based on religious premises until you've made those premises explicit and have shown how they underlie research, such as in the Volvox paper I quoted.

    Arguments by Gould, Darwin, Dawkins, etc about what a sensible god might or might not do are not premises upon which evolution stands.

    Evolution is an empirical theory based on observation.

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  100. Ya see Scott to refute the design inference all you have to do is demonstrate that nature, operating freely is enough to account for it.

    Ya see Joe, to refute the theory that it's really slide rule toting demons push and pull on objects depending on their mass, all you need to do is demonstrate that nature, in the form of the warping of space-time, is enough to account for the motion of objects.

    Can you do that, Joe?

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  101. Pedant:

    ===
    Arguments by Gould, Darwin, Dawkins, etc about what a sensible god might or might not do are not premises upon which evolution stands.
    ===

    Why not?

    ===
    Evolution is an empirical theory based on observation.
    ===

    No, if it were based on empirical observations then it would have been dropped long ago.

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  102. Hunter:

    Pedant:

    ===
    Arguments by Gould, Darwin, Dawkins, etc about what a sensible god might or might not do are not premises upon which evolution stands.
    ===

    Why not?


    Because they are not required by the theory. Your job, which remains undone, is to demonstrate that requirement, not simply claim that it exists.

    No, if it were based on empirical observations then it would have been dropped long ago.

    So you say, but those benighted biologists keep churning out papers that add new knowledge using evolutionary theory. How do you explain that?

    If you have a theory with more productive entailments, the world of science will embrace it and praise your name.

    ReplyDelete