Saturday, March 23, 2013

William Bialek: More Perfect Than We Imagined

Roll Over Voltaire


Three hundred years ago Gottfried Leibniz said we live in the best of all possible worlds but today Princeton’s world reknown theorist William Bialek explains that it is more perfect than we imagined. This video is long and it sometimes dwells on Bialek rather than the slide he is talking to, but those drawbacks are minor compared to what you will learn. If you want to hear an intelligent, thoughtful scientist scratch the surface of creation’s wonders and reflect on what it all means, then this video is for you.

Bialek, for instance, discusses compound eyes of insects such as the fly. These compound eyes have a large number of small lenses packed into an array. A large number of small lenses gives high resolution, just as does a digital camera with a large number of pixels.

But when the lens becomes too small its optics become distorted due to diffraction. So in determining the best lens size there is a tradeoff between resolution and diffraction. In the optimum solution the lens size is roughly proportional to the square root of the radius of the head. An indeed, Bialek shows an old paper surveying the compound eye designs in more than two dozen different insects. That paper shows that for the different size insects, the lens size is proportional, as predicted, to the square root of the head size.

This is one of Bialek’s half a dozen or so examples showing the optimization of biological designs and, as Bialek assures the audience, there are many, many more. Here is how one science writer explained it:

Yet for all these apparent flaws, the basic building blocks of human eyesight turn out to be practically perfect. Scientists have learned that the fundamental units of vision, the photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped.

“Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” …

Photoreceptors exemplify the principle of optimization, an idea, gaining ever wider traction among researchers, that certain key features of the natural world have been honed by evolution to the highest possible peaks of performance, the legal limits of what Newton, Maxwell, Pauli, Planck et Albert will allow. Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them the superb efficiency with which bacterial cells will close in on a food source; the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head; and the way a shark can find its prey by measuring micro-fluxes of electricity in the water a tremulous millionth of a volt strong — which, as Douglas Fields observed in Scientific American, is like detecting an electrical field generated by a standard AA battery “with one pole dipped in the Long Island Sound and the other pole in waters of Jacksonville, Fla.” In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.

But there is much more to Bialek’s talk than examples of nature’s optimal designs. In a thoughtful segment Bialek discusses his philosophy of science. At the [16:30] mark he asks “That was fun, but what does it mean?” The answer, he begins, is that nature’s many examples of optimization help to highlight the difference between two ways of doing and thinking about science.

Bialek describes a cartoon in which a family is driving the car over a bridge with a posted weight limit. The son asks the father how they know what is the weight limit. The father responds that they wait until a sufficiently heavy truck destroys the bridge, they then weigh the remains of the truck, rebuild the bridge exactly as it was, and post the sign.

Bialek uses this funny cartoon as a metaphor for evolutionary theory’s reliance on contingency. This trial-and-error approach to understanding and invention is, Bialek explains, a very common view. The species are the way they are because that is the way they happened to evolve.

In fact, Bialek cogently points out, evolution’s promotion of contingency and trial-and-error is not so much out of scientific necessity. In the bridge example, we could actually model and compute the load limit, based on the design of the bridge and the types of materials used.

But given the “political context” in which many of these discussion occur, it is understandable why evolution is presented as a process of tinkering and not design. [19:30] In fact, the Yale biophysicist notes, these arguments are opposed to the idea of a “interventionist designer,” rather than the question of whether there are design principles in biology.

Bialek contrasts this approach with another view—the view that guides so many physicists—which he represents with Galileo’s famous quote that “The book of Nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Physics, Bialek points out, has been remarkably successful using this formula. It is, he notes, an “astonishing achievement” of the human mind over these four hundred past years. Bialek laments the evolutionary view that Galileo would never have said such a thing if he had known about biology.

Bialek’s point that evolution opposes the idea of a interventionist designer is crucial. For far from reflecting atheism, as so many have charged, and far from being a scientific finding as today’s positivist sentiment wants to believe, this foundation of evolutionary thought is religious.

That is not to say evolution is right or wrong, or true or false. It simply is religious. And until we understand the religion we are immersed in, we will not comprehend its influence on our thinking.

Without this religion, which is ubiquitous, evolution could certainly continue as a theory of mechanical origins. But evolutionary thought would be stripped of its core theoretic and its metaphysical certainty. The theory of evolution would then, rather than be mandated to be a fact, lie exposed to the light of science which shows it to be so improbable.

But it is precisely this distinction, this parsing of the religion from the science, that is so difficult to achieve. When I first began to study the evolutionary literature I was constantly fooled by its intertwining of metaphysics with the empirical science. The evolution literature is rife with religious claims in hiding.

But when properly distinguished and separated, one immediately can see that the conviction of evolution’s truth lies in the non scientific claims whereas the empirical evidence, alone, gives us no such confidence.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

104 comments:

  1. of note: Darwinism doesn't do optimization:

    Oxford University Admits Darwinism's Shaky Math Foundation - May 2011
    Excerpt: However, mathematical population geneticists mainly deny that natural selection leads to optimization of any useful kind. This fifty-year old schism is intellectually damaging in itself, and has prevented improvements in our concept of what fitness is. - On a 2011 Job Description for a Mathematician, at Oxford, to 'fix' the persistent mathematical problems with neo-Darwinism within two years.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/oxford_university_admits_darwi046351.html

    Yet optimized processes are found to permeate and control the cell:

    Optimal Design of Metabolism - Dr. Fazale Rana - July 2012
    Excerpt: A new study further highlights the optimality of the cell’s metabolic systems. Using the multi-dimension optimization theory, researchers evaluated the performance of the metabolic systems of several different bacteria. The data generated by monitoring the flux (movement) of compounds through metabolic pathways (like the movement of cars along the roadways) allowed researchers to assess the behavior of cellular metabolism. They determined that metabolism functions optimally for a system that seeks to accomplish multiple objectives. It looks as if the cell’s metabolism is optimized to operate under a single set of conditions. At the same time, it can perform optimally with relatively small adjustments to the metabolic operations when the cell experiences a change in condition.
    http://www.reasons.org/articles/the-optimal-design-of-metabolism

    Map Of Major Metabolic Pathways In A Cell - Diagram
    http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/img/assets/4202/MetabolicPathways_6_17_04_.pdf

    Learning from Bacteria about Social Networking (Information Processing) - video
    Excerpt: I will show illuminating movies of swarming intelligence of live bacteria in which they solve optimization problems for collective decision making that are beyond what we, human beings, can solve with our most powerful computers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJpi8SnFXHs

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  2. Cornelius, can you provide any scientific evidence that shows that everything in the bible is inerrant, and is the 'word of God'? Can you even show, scientifically, that either one is "probable"?



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    1. Where in the entire post does Cornelius mention the bible? Thats as silly and transparent attempt to change the subject as I have ever seen.

      Delete
    2. We are discussing evolution not God, not Christianity, the Bible, Creation etc. Just evolution. Your post is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

      Fanatics have an unwillingness to face the facts and would rather change the subject instead.

      Delete
    3. Jason Kay

      We are discussing evolution not God, not Christianity, the Bible, Creation etc. Just evolution.


      Why don't you try telling that to the constant Godbotherers here like Batspit77, Elijah2012, Joke G, Blas, Tedford the Slow, etc? Not one of them knows the first thing about evolutionary biology but they'll scream bloody murder at the cartoon version of ToE they carry around inside their pea brains. Then we'll be told how everything was created perfect until "The Fall" introduced disease and misery into the world.

      These IDiot Creationists couldn't discuss the details of actual evolutionary theory if their Fundy lives depended on it.

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    4. You have pet names for everyone?

      ""The Fall" introduced disease and misery into the world." Is no doubt a response to the question "Why is there evil in the world".

      Since this question is itself NOT scientific, would we expect the answer to be?

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    5. Jason Kay

      ""The Fall" introduced disease and misery into the world." Is no doubt a response to the question "Why is there evil in the world".


      No, actually it was offered as an explanation for "why do we have impacted wisdom teeth". The Godbotherer than proceeded to claim that human teeth were created perfect but degraded because of "The Fall". It was then expanded to "we have diseases in the world like malaria because of The Fall"

      Does that sound very scientific to you?

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    6. People answer questions based on how they understand the world I guess Thornton.

      For religious folk; God did it, or at least had some involvement...for Darwinists; Darwin did it...etc. In reality, nobody knows.

      A lot of what people call "science" these days is nothing more than speculation and assumptions.

      As for the question "why do we have impacted wisdom teeth" - we already know the answer, it has to do with our modern day diet.

      My friend Dr Wile explained it like this:

      On page 278 of his book, The Evolution of the Human Head, Prof. Lieberman discusses an in-depth analysis of 62 studies that show impacted wisdom teeth are a very recent problem/condition.

      While impacted wisdom teeth are found in 24.2% of people since the industrial revolution, they were found in only 2.3% of people prior to the industrial revolution.

      Instead of assuming compacted wisdom teeth are the result of some evolutionary process gone wrong, or an evolutionary vestige, his understanding, one which I agree with, is that impacted wisdom teeth are simply the result of a change in human diet.

      As we have advanced, our food has changed as well; we now eat “soft” foods. This changes the shape of the human jaw. Lieberman suggests that if we have our children eat tougher foods and chew lots of gum, they would not have as many problems with their wisdom teeth.

      So… modern day complications don’t necessarily have anything to do with us “inheriting” our wisdom teeth from an ape-like ancestor.

      We have problems with our wisdom teeth because jaw growth is strongly influenced by the mechanical strain we experience as we eat.

      Since we have been eating “softer” foods, we don’t strain our jaws like the people in previous centuries did. As a result, our jaws don’t grow as large, which then causes problems with our teeth.

      Daniel E. Lieberman is a Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.

      I personally read Creation Science, Intelligent Design and Evolution blogs/articles and papers. I enjoy reading the views and opinions of scientists from different (sides) of this debate. I find each (side) provides a different insight.

      My two pennies for what it's worth. Hope I don't get a nickname :)

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    7. Jason Kay

      As for the question "why do we have impacted wisdom teeth" - we already know the answer, it has to do with our modern day diet.


      LOL! Sorry but quoting from a Christian Creationist apologist Dr. Jay L. Wile his misunderstanding of the actual scientific evidence isn't very convincing. Impacted wisdom teeth have been found in hominid fossils dating back over 2.6 MY. The problems were indeed caused by the evolution of the human skull and jaw as proto-humans changed their diets from hard nuts to softer foods, but that began a few million years ago. Also, the incidence of impacted wisdom teeth in human populations varies widely across populations, from near zero in Tasmanian Aborigines to nearly 100% in indigenous Mexicans. It has nothing to do with eating soft foods after the industrial revolution. There is tons of scientific literature on the subject for those who care to look.

      What about malaria? Was that "designed" or was it caused by the Fall? I've heard both.

      My two pennies for what it's worth. Hope I don't get a nickname :)

      I respect honestly held opinions. Only willful dishonesty earns you a nickname. Choice is up to you.

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    8. I am surprised, with a wave of your hand, you simply dismiss a PhD scientist like Dr Wile, purely on the grounds of him being a Creationist.

      Perhaps I should start doing the same for articles written by Darwinists that I happen not to like?

      "It has nothing to do with eating soft foods after the industrial revolution."

      Please read Prof. Lieberman's (one of your own) work. He is very specific about how our eating habits, particularly moving from hard to soft foods, has affected our jaw bones, that in turn, causes wisdom teeth problems today.

      "What about malaria? Was that "designed" or was it caused by the Fall? I've heard both."

      I've heard both too, your point being?

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    9. Jason Kay

      I am surprised, with a wave of your hand, you simply dismiss a PhD scientist like Dr Wile, purely on the grounds of him being a Creationist.


      According to his blog his PhD is in Nuclear Chemistry. You tell me how that gives him expertise to comment on evolutionary developments in human morphology in the last 3 MY.

      I looked over his blog and he seems to be a hard core YEC pushing the same crappy arguments we've seen from the Creationist camp forever. C14 in dino bones anyone?

      Perhaps I should start doing the same for articles written by Darwinists that I happen not to like?

      If you find one making silly assertions on topics way outside his area of expertise like Wile does, go for it.

      Please read Prof. Lieberman's (one of your own) work.

      Have you read it? Are you going to claim Prof. Lieberman supports YEC too? Why is his book called The EVOLUTION of the Human Head?

      I've heard both too, your point being?

      The point being you defended those viewpoints as being "scientific". I'd ask you how but you wouldn't answer.

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  3. If human eyes are 'designed/created' (specially of course) to be "practically perfect" and optimized then why do so many people have vision problems, and why do owls, hawks, eagles, and many other animals have much better vision than humans?

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    1. because Humans do not have to see prey on the ground from the air in order to eat. sheesh think. Optimal does not mean who has the best.

      As for people having vision problems.... I guess the fact that we all grow old and die means humans could never be designed either. Rock on with that one. It give no religion any problem whatsoever.

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  4. Cornelius Hunter: Bialek describes a cartoon in which a family is driving the car over a bridge with a posted weight limit. The son asks the father how they know what is the weight limit. The father responds that they wait until a sufficiently heavy truck destroys the bridge, they then weigh the remains of the truck, rebuild the bridge exactly as it was, and post the sign.

    Bad example. While the bridge analogy is a all-or-nothing, the optimization of the eye as described is a continuous function. Organisms don't automatically die if their eyes are slightly less than optimal. Small physical changes result in small optical changes, exactly the sort of problem evolution is adept at optimizing.

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    1. "Small physical changes result in small optical changes, exactly the sort of problem evolution is adept at optimizing."

      Really???

      The next evolutionary synthesis: Jonathan BL Bard (2011)
      Excerpt: We now know that there are at least 50 possible functions that DNA sequences can fulfill [8], that the networks for traits require many proteins and that they allow for considerable redundancy [9]. The reality is that the evolutionary synthesis says nothing about any of this; for all its claim of being grounded in DNA and mutation, it is actually a theory based on phenotypic traits. This is not to say that the evolutionary synthesis is wrong, but that it is inadequate – it is really only half a theory!
      http://www.biosignaling.com/content/pdf/1478-811X-9-30.pdf

      Darwin's Theory - Fruit Flies and Morphology - video
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZJTIwRY0bs

      Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) - October 2010
      Excerpt: "Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, "This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve," said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
      http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2010/10/07/experimental_evolution_in_fruit_flies
      http://eebweb.arizona.edu/nachman/Suggested%20Papers/Lab%20papers%20fall%202010/Burke_et_al_2010.pdf

      The princess and the pea paradox of natural selection:

      Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086/

      The GS Principle (The Genetic Selection Principle) - Abel - 2009
      Excerpt: The GS Principle, sometimes called “The 2nd Law of Biology,” states that selection must occur at the molecular/genetic level, not just at the fittest phenotypic/organismic level, to produce and explain life.,,, Natural selection cannot operate at the genetic level.
      http://www.bioscience.org/2009/v14/af/3426/fulltext.htm

      Natural Selection's Reach - Ann Gauger - February 12, 2013
      Excerpt: What is the mutational reach of natural selection in general? It's very short. For bacteria, our work suggests the reach is only a few mutations at a time. That's not enough to get a genuinely new function for a protein, let alone a new pathway made up of a handful of proteins, or a metabolism made up of hundreds of proteins. For larger multicellular organisms like us, with slower generation times and smaller populations, the problem gets worse. Much worse.
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/02/natural_selecti_1069121.html

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    2. bornagain77: Really???

      Not one of your links addresses the problem we pointed out with the analogy.

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    3. "Not one of your links addresses the problem we pointed out with the analogy."

      Yet you claimed:

      "Small physical changes result in small optical changes, exactly the sort of problem evolution is adept at optimizing."

      And I pointed out that that 'problem', because of the 'princess and the pea paradox', is exactly the sort of problem that evolution is NOT 'adept' at optimizing.,, i.e. Your claim is very similar to saying that a sledge hammer is 'adept' at needlepoint! :)

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    6. Z, naturalistic UCA has no evidence for it. CH is not saying it's falsifiable.

      Naturalistic UCA predicts (i.e., implies) the nested hierarchy IFF:

      1) nested hierarchy is only known to arise from natural, bifurcated descent (we know this is false if manuscripts are teleologically caused)

      and

      2) evolutionary saltations necessarily produce nested hierarchies (remember, hypothetical transitional traits are not needed to produce the nested hierarchy).

      With respect to 1), a teleological explanation (even a silly one) of the hierarchy is no less ad-hoc than a non-teleological one (because we don't know naturalistic UCA is logically possible in terms of event regularities).

      With respect to 2), you don't know HOW naturalistic evolution can produce a UCA tree at all. Thus you don't know HOW to rule out saltations. So if saltations don't necessarily produce nested hierarchies, the nested hierarchy is not even implied by an ad-hoc version of a-teleological UCA unless you posit millions of additional ad-hoc, unobserved species in the first place. The theory is pathetically worthless.

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    7. I worded the above wrong. It should read:

      Naturalistic UCA predicts (i.e., implies) the nested hierarchy if EITHER:

      1) nested hierarchy is known to ONLY arise from natural, bifurcated descent (we know this is false since manuscripts are teleologically caused)

      OR

      2) evolutionary saltations necessarily produce nested hierarchies (remember, hypothetical transitional traits are not needed to produce the nested hierarchy).

      It seems obvious to me that saltations don't necessarily produce nested hierarchies. So since 1) is also false, you have to posit millions of ad-hoc, unobserved species associated with the millions of posited ad-hoc properties of events (because they're not known to be consistent with the regularity of natural laws) JUST to imply the nested hierarchy.

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    8. Even if saltations necessarily produced nested hierarchies, you still have to posit thousands of genealogical relationships AD-HOC'ly since there are no known laws or analogical extrapolations from observations that warrant those inferences.

      Grant me thousands of ad-hoc teleological hypotheses and I'll show you how many species I can IMPLY!!!! Teleological capacity can accomplish LOTS of specific tasks. Just look at what mere humans can do, for crying out loud.

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    9. Jeff- your revised description of when naturalistic UCA predicts a nested hierarchy is still not correct. There could be many theories that predict a nested hierarchy. Naturalist UCA is one that does. A theory positing that a designer(s) can tweak the genomes of populations in ways that are very improbable (if there is no designer), but are not beyond the "edge of evolution" would also predict a nested hierarchy.
      A theory positing a designer that could and did separately create various organisms or populations would not predict a nested hierarchy. A nested hierarchy might occur, but it would not be necessary. That kind of designer might choose to re-use or mix and match pas of designs in ways that would prevent a nested hierarchy from occurring.

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    11. pas=parts

      And I notice I am the second "John" commenting in this thread.

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  5. The is the usual fallacy of selective reporting or confirmation bias.

    Yes, there certainly many wonders in nature. There are also many horrors. Do they also imply design and, if so what kind of malevolent intent can we infer?

    For example, in humans we have the susceptibility to various extremely unpleasant forms of cancer. How is this optimization?

    Or, we have the observation that upwards of 50% of human concepta abort spontaneously. Exactly how is this optimization?

    Or, we have the many forms of parasite which burrow into a host organism to exploit its resources. The tapeworm which settles in the intestines or the worm that bores into an eye may be optimized for their lifestyle. Can the same be said for the host?

    The fact is, as I said above, for every wonder you or Bialek can cite, we can find a horror.

    You highlight the wonders of nature and imply they are the handiwork of a wondrous designer. If that is allowed, then what can we infer about a designer who, either through purpose or neglect (which is almost as bad), creates the horrors we also observe in nature?

    Is there an optimization for evil also at work here?

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    1. So your argument is metaphysical. If God exists is evil.
      Keeping the question in the science side, how do you explain that evolution optimized the human eye to the maximun and keeped the abortion rate at levels that can guarantee the extintion when the natural selector is ability to reproduce?

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    2. Who said the designer was God?

      Keeping the question in the science side, how do you explain that evolution optimized the human eye to the maximun

      Some animals, including humans, have a special area on their retina called the fovea where there is an enormous concentration of these vision cells. In a human, the fovea has 200,000 cones per millimeter, giving us wonderful vision. In the central fovea of an eagle there are about a MILLION cones per millimeter

      keeped the abortion rate at levels that can guarantee the extintion when the natural selector is ability to reproduce?

      Nature doesn't care if we go extinct. Why did the designer pick that design?

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    3. Sped

      A) you can always tell when an atheists thinks the facts have him against the ropes. He begins appealing to theology

      B) Cornelius post should you ever read it is not focused on any "beautiful wonders of the world" but of design. many Assault weapons are designed to kill. How does that disporve they were designed?

      C) Your compatriot Thorton tried that garbage theological argument and failed. There is nothing in ID that demands that every thing that we see today was created in its exact form as it was when it was designed. Just the fact that many cancers run in families while others remain free of it for generations should inform someone of even limited intelligence that they need not have been present in the first humans at all.

      " then what can we infer about a designer who, either through purpose or neglect (which is almost as bad), creates the horrors we also observe in nature? "


      You and others in the world do not own him so you cannot cry that he has neglected you. Your foolish argument would have God responsible for fixing the ozone depletion after we pollute the planet yet you will cry bloody murder if he tells us there is a certain way you ought to live morally.

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    4. Elijah,
      A) you can always tell when an atheists thinks the facts have him against the ropes. He begins appealing to theology


      Is Blas an atheist? He was responding to Ian,who invoked no god. Unless there is no other possible designer than God.

      Cornelius post should you ever read it is not focused on any "beautiful wonders of the world" but of design. many Assault weapons are designed to kill. How does that disporve they were designed

      Ch" If you want to hear an intelligent, thoughtful scientist scratch the surface of creation’s wonders and reflect on what it all means, then this video is for you." Design reflects the Designer's meaning. Ian just wondered what the meaning of all the lethal wonders he designed mean as well.

      Still don't get it, you can't disprove design. An unknown designer with unknown capabilities and unknown motivations is capable of anything logically possible.

      That is the irony of the claim that ToE isn't science because it can't be falsified

      Your compatriot Thorton tried that garbage theological argument and failed

      Blas responded to Ian

      There is nothing in ID that demands that every thing that we see today was created in its exact form as it was when it was designed

      Accidents happen?

      Just the fact that many cancers run in families while others remain free of it for generations should inform someone of even limited intelligence that they need not have been present in the first humans at all.

      We all have limited intelligence, Elijah.

      " then what can we infer about a designer who, either through purpose or neglect (which is almost as bad), creates the horrors we also observe in nature? "

      Is this unfair, if we can infer by the design that the designer is intelligent, the design of a disease which kills children leads to an inference?

      You and others in the world do not own him so you cannot cry that he has neglected you.

      One would have to believe" him" exists to feel neglected.

      Your foolish argument would have God responsible for fixing the ozone depletion after we pollute the planet yet you will cry bloody murder

      Ah, God makes an appearance. If I respond will you then accuse me of invoking God?

      if he tells us there is a certain way you ought to live morally.

      Technically, men tell us what God inspired them to tell us.

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    5. "Ch" If you want to hear an intelligent, thoughtful scientist scratch the surface of creation’s wonders and reflect on what it all means, then this video is for you." Design reflects the Designer's meaning. Ian just wondered what the meaning of all the lethal wonders he designed mean as well."

      Sorry Vel that doesn't work. The single sentence of

      "the surface of creation’s wonders and reflect on what it all means, "

      does not equate to Sped's

      "The is the usual fallacy of selective reporting or confirmation bias."

      Totally ridiculous. If someone merely mentions in passing Creation's wonders it invalidates the whole piece as a fallacy?

      Did you even bother to watch the video? Its about finding mathematical order in biology not about "wonder".

      "Is Blas an atheist? He was responding to Ian,who invoked no god."

      SO? What is your point. I was responding directly to Sped Not blas. You are confused again.

      "Is this unfair, if we can infer by the design that the designer is intelligent, the design of a disease which kills children leads to an inference? "

      inference of what though? Morality? lack of it? What does that have to do with intelligence? If the sad logic is that if we can infer any one thing logically it equates
      to being able to infer anything logically its fails on absurdity. To use my previous analogy I can infer logically an assault Gun was designed to kill not who or why. Thats a totally other issue for which design cannot address.

      Meanwhile my laptop has a vertical line on the display. Shall I infer that the laptop was not designed or that the designer likes
      vertical lines on laptop displays or maybe I left it on too long when I should have turned it off as suggested by the manufacturer. That defect surely overrides all the other clear evidences of intelligent design of my laptop right?

      Shucks If I take a fancy for my sister and sleep with her I guess the aberrations in the offspring (should he or she live) would clearly infer that the "wondrous designer" made all of those defects too right?

      "One would have to believe" him" exists to feel neglected."

      precisely so the neglect issue does not even compute. Its merely an appeal to metaphysics and emotion. What part of that are you having a problem seeing.

      "Ah, God makes an appearance. If I respond will you then accuse me of invoking God?"

      He made an appearance long ago on your side in Sped's post or are you going to try some sophistry to deny that in

      " handiwork of a wondrous designer"

      It is ID's position that the designer is wondrous. LOL. Sped already went way beyond ID to talk about a wondrous designer (not merely wondrous design) and you are here trying to claim I am the one taking it to that level. How convenient..... but dishonest.

      "Technically, men tell us what God inspired them to tell us."

      technically that is your claim not a matter of technicality.

      As for your claim of design being unfalsifiable must I again remind you I have already answered this.

      Find a warm moist area anywhere on the planet. Mix it up. with no other intelligent input and if you get full life not just components ID is falsified. Get to it. We've been waiting for the better part of a century.

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    6. Elijah,
      Cornelius post should you ever read it is not focused on any "beautiful wonders of the world" but of design. many Assault weapons are designed to kill. How does that disporve they were designed


      That was your claim,CH's"scratch the surface of creation’s wonders and reflect on what it all means, then this video is for you." That is CH focus,the designer.

      Totally ridiculous. If someone merely mentions in passing Creation's wonders it invalidates the whole piece as a fallacy?
      No,it just invalidates your claim that CH was not focused on " the wonders of creation."

      SO? What is your point. I was responding",a) you can always tell when an atheists thinks the facts have him against the ropes. He begins appealing to theology" directly to Sped Not blas. You are confused again.

      The only person appealing to theology is Blas, then Blas must be an atheist per Elijah.

      inference of what though? Morality? lack of it? What does that have to do with intelligence? If the sad logic is that if we can infer any one thing logically it equates
      to being able to infer anything logically its fails on absurdity


      Inference from the fact that through design children die hideous death, as you said earlier ,everything is designed. No morality just an inference that a designer who includes innocent children suffering into the design, might not be a that concerned about suffering in children.

      We put people in jail in human design for that design choice.


      To use my previous analogy I can infer logically an assault Gun was designed to kill not who or why. Thats a totally other issue for which design cannot address.

      If one designs a lethal organism to humans, then it will kill humans, is that surprising ? No one has to pull the trigger. That does not mean it is not designed,just that the designer is willing to rub out humans.

      That defect surely overrides all the other clear evidences of intelligent design of my laptop right?

      Still missing point, assuming design is true, what can we know of the designer? That is science. But are you saying that the designer of life can create defective designs?

      Shucks If I take a fancy for my sister and sleep with her I guess the aberrations in the offspring (should he or she live) would clearly infer that the "wondrous designer" made all of those defects too right?

      No one slept with his sister to create childhood leukemia. Now if you are saying that there are natural forces which alter the designers design then you are closer to a theistic evolutionist

      You and others in the world do not own him so you cannot cry that he has neglected you."
      Then
      precisely so the neglect issue does not even compute. Its merely an appeal to metaphysics and emotion.

      You are the only one talking about neglect, therefore your theory does not compute. It was an appeal to metaphysics and emotion. I agree.

      It is ID's position that the designer is wondrous.

      ID says nothing about the designer,only design can be correctly inferred from an object sometimes.


      Sped already went way beyond ID to talk about a wondrous designer (not merely wondrous design)

      I don't believe that in Ian's opinion that with the designer's resume that wondrous is the adjective he would use

      you are here trying to claim I am the one taking it to that level. How convenient..... but dishonest.

      Again,you and Blas are the only ones to invoke a god, so yes you are injecting theology into the discussion

      "Technically, men tell us what God inspired them to tell us."

      technically that is your claim not a matter of technicality.


      Are you claiming that the words of the Bible were written directly by God without human authors and without other humans deciding which texts were inspired by God?

      Delete
    7. humans deciding which texts were inspired by God?

      As for your claim of design being unfalsifiable must I again remind you I have already answered this.
      Find a warm moist area anywhere on the planet. Mix it up. with no other intelligent input and if you get full life not just components ID is falsified. Get to it. We've been waiting for the better part of a century


      Incorrect, an unknown designer with unknown capabilities is logically capable of creating life through nature, one could never know if it is teleological or not. You can never eliminate a unknown intelligence with unknown powers.

      Delete
    8. Blas March 23, 2013 at 6:54 AM

      So your argument is metaphysical. If God exists is evil.


      Metaphysics is fun. We all play with it from time to time.

      Highlighting the wondrous things in nature and inferring or implying that they say something about any intelligent agency that might be behind them is a metaphysical argument. But it cuts both ways. By the same token, we can argue that the less appealing parts of nature might also say something about the nature of any intelligent agent that might be behind them.

      Keeping the question in the science side, how do you explain that evolution optimized the human eye to the maximun and keeped the abortion rate at levels that can guarantee the extintion when the natural selector is ability to reproduce?

      Where did I say that I thought the eye is maximally optimized? The human visual system works very well, given its functional problems, but it's hardly ideal. But that's evolution for you. If it works well enough, that's all that's needed.

      As for spontaneous abortion rates, if they were too high we wouldn't be here to argue about it. The human reproductive system has a lot of well-known problems but it works well enough for us to survive and thrive. But even we can see ways in which the design could be improved so, if it was designed, it doesn't say much about the competence of the designer.

      Delete
  6. @The whole truth - I think if you watch the entire video, he can explain that optimization often depends on a much larger context. To say that a hawks eye is "better" in such a general way as you have is almost meaningless. It is certainly more efficient at many things that are vital to hawk fitness while certainly less efficient at many things vital to human fitness. Even an evolutionary biologist would agree with this. Even the person giving the talk is very very careful to make sure you know he isn't talking about a designer. It's sort of funny really. Ok class, it's very important that you realize that this doesn't mean I believe in a designer!!. Whatever you do, don't get THAT idea.

    Isn't it SUPER DUPER lucky that the architectures roughly settled on by evolution were able to be so fined tuned later? Statistically it almost seems like these systems would have to "almost evolve" and be discarded trillions and trillions of times over before a framework was explored that even contained a jackpot like this to "tune" to in the first place. It seems that in that time, the rest of the organism would change so much as to be unrecognizable so I don't see how the selection pressure could be kept constant for it to discover any "general signal" even if one did exist. It would be a shame to develop hawk eyes on a shrimp after all. Although as the Richard says, one light sensitive spot is better than none!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John

      Statistically it almost seems like these systems would have to "almost evolve" and be discarded trillions and trillions of times over before a framework was explored that even contained a jackpot like this to "tune" to in the first place.


      Really? Then please show us the math. Show us the statistics where you determine all the possible combination that will work vs. all the ones that won't.

      Blithering about miniscule probabilities is one of the favorite talking points of ignorant creationists.

      Delete
    2. Thorton:

      "Really? Then please show us the math. Show us the statistics where you determine all the possible combination that will work vs. all the ones that won't. "

      Exactly!!!

      neo-Darwinism isn’t ‘science’ because, besides its stunning failure at establishing empirical validation in the lab, it has no mathematical basis, and furthermore neo-Darwinism can have no mathematical basis because of the atheistic insistence for the ‘random’ variable postulate at the base of its formulation:,,,
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/kf-darwinists-not-id-proponents-have-minds-clamped-tightly-shut/#comment-450346

      Delete
  7. I: You highlight the wonders of nature and imply they are the handiwork of a wondrous designer. If that is allowed, then what can we infer about a designer who, either through purpose or neglect (which is almost as bad), creates the horrors we also observe in nature?

    J: Ian, once you allow for millions of ad-hoc hypotheses, as do the theorists constructing the ToE by adding more and more ad-hoc hypotheses as necessary, it's not hard at all to explain the "bad" stuff teleologically in an ad-hoc manner as effects of bad or incompetent teleological agents.

    Unfortunately, as Z has admitted, life is complicated. And historical data is not complete, so the absence of evidence is not the evidence for absence. We literally have to posit ad-hoc'ly to explain historically when we're dealing with long histories.So all we CAN do is try to minimize ad-hoc hypotheses. Apart from that we have no relative plausibility criteria at all.

    But how is it that you think SA scenarios are so obviously MORE ad-hoc (in number of ad-hoc hypotheses) than naturalistic UCA? Alternatively, if you don't think it's obvious, then know that this is all CH is saying. He's not arguing against UCA'ists who admit to the speculativeness of their approach. He's arguing against the unwarranted claims of the dogmatists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The other thing to realize, Ian, is that the inference to a benevolent designer of one's inductive mode of inference (to render it NON-incidentally truth-approximating) is made INDEPENDENTLY of inferring the cause of species. Thus, such a designer is already in one's explanatory repertoire, implicitly or explicitly, prior TO explaining other species.

      But it's more ad-hoc to explain every detail of the inferred "world" of beings-in-ordered-motion a-teleologically than it is to attribute requisite capacities to this already-inferred benevolent designer. That's why the "bad" stuff that seems inconsistent with the intention of the inferred benevolent designer is typically explained by deviation from original intent. This can be done by inferring they are necessary conditions of the greatest long-term good given:

      a) an originally-unintended prolonging of the teleological project due to contingent malevolence or laziness of created teleological agents

      and

      b) their necessity for a plenitude of species in world more environmentally diverse than originally intended (because of a).

      Such theodicies require ad-hoc hypotheses just like naturalistic UCA. But they also account for the reality of (as opposed to the illusion of) morality. And, more importantly, the account for the reality of the WARRANT/VALIDITY of inductive thought. If my inductive inferences are not warranted, then any of an infinite set of alternative logical possibilities are equally probable, eliminating the existence of a REAL relative plausibility criteria.

      So when benevolent theists start thinking about SA vs. UCA, they don't infer the designer FROM the nature of species. That designer is already in their explanatory repertoire. That designer was necessary to limit ad-hoc hypotheses for any explanation whatsoever to a FINITE number.

      Delete
    2. Jeff,
      But how is it that you think SA scenarios are so obviously MORE ad-hoc (in number of ad-hoc hypotheses) than naturalistic UCA?


      What are the scientific explanations of the SA? Which is the dominant one?

      Delete
    3. We have a different view of what a scientific explanation is. Apparently, you guys think that piling up ad-hoc hypotheses is scientific explanation (this is probably the source of the demarcation problem, since anyone can save a theory from falsification that way).

      In most SA'ists view, nature is a set of event regularities that can be articulated in theories that parsimoniously predict lots of specific events. SA'ists could easily generate ridiculous piles of ad-hoc teleological explanations for specific events if they were so inclined. But we see no value in it.

      The ToE implies nothing about historical causality that has any inductive plausibility, because it doesn't depend on observed event regularities or much at all on analogy.

      Let's say causality is, after all, as extremely ad-hoc as ToE theorists require. Now, how does the ToE predict future events better than the hypothesis that species are the descendants of lots of separate ancestries?

      If the ToE can't predict future events any better, what conceivable HUMAN value does it have? I assure you, even Ken Ham has no problems with what is demonstrated to be the effects of mutations in actual empirical studies. The question is, how do such studies falsify all SA scenarios?

      You guys seem to think the ID movement is about shutting down the ad-hoc approach. That's not the case at all. It's about airing the differences publicly so those tax-payers with inductive epistemologies will realize what is NOT meant by claims of "overwhelming evidence." I know what it doesn't mean. And I'm still waiting to hear from any of you what it DOES mean.

      Delete
    4. Ignorant blithering philosopher is still blithering...

      Delete
    5. To any new reader

      The above post is published from our resident 12 year old antagonist. To confirm this assessment one only has to look to his former posts, his tone, his limited vocabulary in insults and the sheer quantity of posts in almost all blog posts that demonstrate he has copious amounts of free time.
      On more moderated blogs he would be classified as a troll.

      Many atheists and oponents of ID have had and do have worthwhile things to say but this poster is so seldom among them that his posts are routinely ignored by the author of this blog and many of its participants.

      You may safely skip his posts as we often do in responding to him

      Delete
    6. To any new reader

      The above post is published from our resident butthurt Godbotherer. He's amazingly scientifically ignorant and quite immature to boot. He's a member of the Christian Taliban and this is his idea of how to deal with the science that scares him so badly. He runs around trying to poison the well because he's too much of an ignorant chickenshit to deal with the scientific evidence.

      Pretty pathetic but oh so typical with his Fundy Creationist tiny closed mind.

      Delete
    7. As you can see readers you no longer have to look for previous posts . You can see the limited vocab on display right above complete with name calling substituting for intelligent debate.

      Delete
    8. As you can see readers you no longer have to look for previous posts . You can see the cowardice of the Christian Taliban fundy Godbotherer on display right above complete with further well-poisioning substituting for intelligent debate.

      Delete
    9. Christian Taliban?
      :D

      Somebody should make toilet paper brand Talibum.

      Delete
    10. Eugen

      Christian Taliban?
      :D

      Somebody should make toilet paper brand Talibum.


      For when you take a lifepsy and have to wipe your Elijah2012 :D :D :D

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Ian

    "For example, in humans we have the susceptibility to various extremely unpleasant forms of cancer. How is this optimization?"

    What if God said, "in the day you eat of it, dying you shall die!" Would you propose he accomplish this faster or slower than you see it occurring?

    I'm sure Cornelius would like to point out that you are questioning how something can be optimized (if you even have the right context in view) when you find it "unpleasant". Of course you realize that this is entirely non scientific. Nuclear weapons are very efficient given a certain context, but not very pleasant for thousands. Yet you agree they are designed because you KNOW they are designed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Optimal Trilobite Eye - per Dr. Don Johnson - Programming of Life page 68-66 and appendix F:

    Trilobites suddenly appeared in the Cambrian (lowest fossil-bearing) stratum with no record of ancestry. The trilobite eye is made of optically transparent calcium carbonate (calcite, the same mineral of its shell) with a precisely aligned optical axis that eliminates double images and two lenses affixed together to eliminate spherical aberrations [McC98, Gal00].

    Paleontologist Niles Eldredge observed, “These lenses--technically termed aspherical, aplanatic lenses--optimize both light collecting and image formation better than any lens ever conceived. We can be justifiably amazed that these trilobites, very early in the history of life on earth, hit upon the best possible lens that optical physics has ever been able to formulate” [Eld76]. Notice these lenses weren’t just good as, but were better than anything modern optical physicists have been able to conceive! ,,,

    “The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure” [Lev93p58].,,,

    The trilobite lens is particularly intriguing since the only other animal to use inorganic focusing material is man. The lens may be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself, with apparently no DNA inherent within, was not subject to Darwinian evolution. The manufacturing and controlling of the lenses were obviously biological processes, with an unknown number DNA-prescribed proteins (each with a prescriptive manufacturing program) for collecting and processing the raw materials to manufacture the precision lenses and create the refracting interface between the two lenses.

    The lenses do not decompose as any other animal’s lenses would, so they are subject to rigorous scientific investigation,,, Since no immediate precursors of trilobites have been found, Darwinists are without any evidence as to how an organism with an eye as complex as a trilobite could have arisen,,, especially in,, the lowest multi-cellular fossil-bearing stratum,,,

    Appendix F:

    “Trilobites had solved a very elegant physical problem and apparently knew about Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s laws of refraction and the optics of birefringent crystals” [Cla75]

    “the rigid trilobite doublet lens had remarkable depth of field (near and far focusing) and minimal spherical aberration” [Gon07]

    Physicist Riccardo Levi-Setti observes:

    “In fact, this doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. And a final discovery - that the refracting interface between the two elements in a trilobite’s eyes was designed in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century - borders on sheer science fiction” [Lev93p57].

    “The trilobites already had a highly advanced visual system. In fact, so far as we can tell from the fossil record thus far discovered, trilobite sight was far and away the most advanced in Kingdom Animalia at the base of the Cambrian,,, There is no other known occurrence of calcite eyes in the fossil record” [FM-trib].

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian - June 2011
      Excerpt: Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology,

      http://crev.info/content/110629-complex_arthropod_eyes_found_in_early_cambrian

      Modern optics in the eyes of an Early Cambrian arthropod - June 2011

      Excerpt: 'the Emu Bay Shale, which provides exquisite preservation of Early Cambrian animals, has now supplied us with the earliest example of an non-trilobite arthropod eye. Of the seven specimens recovered to date, three are spectacular for the detail revealed and stunning because they document eyes that "are as advanced as those of many living forms"
      http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2011/07/01/modern_optics_in_the_eyes_of_an_early_ca

      Delete
  11. Great post Cornelius,

    You can tell how good it is when the resident atheists don't even want to touch it but start hand waving into their ideas about theology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We directly addressed the original post.

      Delete
    2. Where? You personally only sniped at an example (with bogus reasoning I might add) and then proceeded with rhetoric. If your rhetoric is addressing then yes but meanwhile in the real world it isn't so no you didn't.

      Delete
    3. Zachriel: While the bridge analogy is a all-or-nothing, the optimization of the eye as described is a continuous function. Organisms don't automatically die if their eyes are slightly less than optimal. Small physical changes result in small optical changes, exactly the sort of problem evolution is adept at optimizing.

      Delete
    4. Zack even though I read it before thank you for proving my point. Thats a fine summary of what you call addressing the point which isn't. If you now finally read the post or egad watch the video you will see as in most cases of intelligent thought the example is not the total summary of a point. The analogy doesn't go very far in covering the subject which (again if you had read intelligently or watched the video you would know) goes way beyond eye evolution.

      Further I might add your reasoning is immeasurably weak because one of the means by which biological functions become fixed in a species in evolution is PRECISELY because they refer SURVIVAL (you know....um....NOT DYING) benefits.

      SO yes over the time frame that the alleged evolution is to have taken place there is VERY good reason to think that dying is VERY MUCH INVOLVED.

      Finally - IF you had even bothered to watch the video you would have realized it was about how to view biological data across the board - merely by what is as a result of trial and error or by looking for underlying principles.

      So yes

      You can tell how good it is when the resident atheists don't even want to touch it

      Delete
    5. Zachriel: While the bridge analogy is a all-or-nothing, the optimization of the eye as described is a continuous function.

      Natural Selection (death) drives the fixation of that alleged 'continuous function' so it actually is "all or nothing"
      You accumulate the necessary changes, or you do not reproduce / do not cross the bridge.

      Otherwise there is no selection pressure driving fixation of the changes.


      Zachriel: ...Small physical changes result in small optical changes, exactly the sort of problem evolution is adept at optimizing.

      In one's imagination or in a computer simulation.. yes.. not in any empirical sense of being 'adept' .

      Evolution is mostly adept at breaking things. I have yet to see evidence that it can build something, or even begin to build something.

      Delete
    6. lifepsy

      Evolution is mostly adept at breaking things. I have yet to see evidence that it can build something, or even begin to build something.


      lifepsy, why did you run away from that data on evolution of the Felidae I posted in the other thread? Do you need me to post it again?

      Where is your explanation for the data using your "it's all just plasticity" hypothesis?

      You guys claim there's no evidence for evolution but every time I show some you guys stain your BVDs and run screaming from the room. Why is that?



      Delete
    7. "Zachriel: ...Small physical changes result in small optical changes, exactly the sort of problem evolution is adept at optimizing.

      In one's imagination or in a computer simulation.."


      Actually Lifespy not even there it seems

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/could-the-eye-have-evolved-by-natural-selection-in-a-geological-blink/

      Delete
    8. Thorton, the data was primarily cats descending from cats, mixed with evolutionary assumptions based on selective molecular analysis. If that's your standard of evidence, it's not surprising why you believe in evolution.

      I've never claimed all of life's changes are plastic. There is certainly a genetic degradation occurring as well. Domestic cats are less genetically fit than the original cat kind they descended from, as are dogs. They will never be able to regain some of their prior traits.

      Delete
    9. Elijah,

      Well, they still have their cartoon animations :)

      Delete
    10. "You guys claim there's no evidence for evolution but every time I show some you guys stain your BVDs and run screaming from the room. Why is that?"

      Kid your lying knows no end. You posted a link about species of Cat "kinds". You presented no evidence whatsoever of the real issue between creationists/IDist and Darwinists.

      I have seen no one run away from any data. What I have seen is adults that cannot bother with your childish name calling in almost every post you participate in. I've watched people trying with you to have an intelligent debate but they were the only one being adult and intelligent.

      When you grow up and stop running around calling people "assclown". "IDiots" "butthurt" "needing a waaaahbulance" people will take you more seriously. Until then its all kids stuff.

      But feel free to delude yourself that they run away from facts simply because they know you have nothing to offer and cant help but exploding in juvenile name calling when you can't handle a difference of opinion or are given a fact you can't deal with.

      Delete
    11. lifepsy

      Thorton, the data was primarily cats descending from cats, mixed with evolutionary assumptions based on selective molecular analysis. If that's your standard of evidence, it's not surprising why you believe in evolution.


      LOL! You agree all 36 species of cats I listed, everything from lions and tigers to domestic house cats, all descended from a single common ancestor but somehow that's not evolution???

      You're going to have to explain that one a bit better there pard.

      I've never claimed all of life's changes are plastic.

      Yes you did, on your "BIOTA CURVE" blog. Are you changing your story now?

      Domestic cats are less genetically fit than the original cat kind they descended from, as are dogs. They will never be able to regain some of their prior traits.

      LOL! You have even a speck of scientific evidence for this remarkable claim? Where is your genetic data of the original cat "kind", and how did you determine its genetic fitness? What about all the other cat species, including the big cats? What traits did they lose that they'll never regain?

      What the heck is the scientific definition of a "kind" anyway? You guys are supposed to be presenting a scientific case yet you always come back to "the Bible says it!" as your only evidence. ALWAYS.

      Delete
    12. Elijah2012

      You posted a link about species of Cat "kinds".


      LOL! No I didn't. i posted a link to a scientific study detailing the fossil and genetic evidence for the evolution of the clade felidae over the last 10 MY. You only think it was about cat "kind" because you didn't bother to read the paper and wouldn't understand the big sciency words if you did.

      I've seen a lot of ignorant chickenshit Godbotherers in my day Elijah2012 but I must admit you're the first who's been childish enough to post "poison the well' messages in order to try and stop the scientific evidence from being presented. You really are a first class Christian Taliban asshole, exactly the kind that needs standing up to.

      Delete
    13. LOL, Thorton, you're own data is evidence for cats descending from an earlier cat kind! Looks like you got a little ahead of yourself there :)

      And please work on your reading comprehension. Notice where I said "primarily cats descending from cats"? In my original response I was referring to the suborder Felinae, which is small/medium cats.

      A "Kind" would be roughly the Family-Genus level of taxa.

      Delete
    14. lifepsy

      LOL, Thorton, you're own data is evidence for cats descending from an earlier cat kind! Looks like you got a little ahead of yourself there :)


      So you admit that macroevolution is real and has occurred. That's a start.

      And please work on your reading comprehension. Notice where I said "primarily cats descending from cats"? In my original response I was referring to the suborder Felinae, which is small/medium cats.

      Sorry but lions and tigers are cats too. They were included in the data. What is your explanation for their relationship with the felinae?

      You forgot all your evidence for the genetic fitness of the original cat "kind", why it is better than cats of today, and what traits modern cats and dogs have lost that they can never regain. Please try again.

      A "Kind" would be roughly the Family-Genus level of taxa.

      Which is it? Family and genus are two very different categories. And where did the definition come from? Let me guess - 1611KJV, right?

      Delete
    15. Thorton, actually taxonomic rankings tend to lack invariable demarcations between each other. What does and does not belong to a particular family is often quite ambiguous.

      On biological families, from pro-evolution Wikipedia:

      What does and does not belong to each family is determined by a taxonomist. Similarly for the question if a particular family should be recognized at all. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists each taking a different position. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing or recognizing a family. Some taxa are accepted almost universally, while others are recognised only rarely.

      A "Kind" simply posits a similar taxonomical ranking that represents the original gene pool out of which varying species descended.

      "Kind" doesn't make sense to you because it falls outside of the Darwinian mystic creation legends of all creatures descending from a universal ancestor. When someone informs you that humans, dogs, lizads, etc. didn't all descend from a fish 400 MYA, your brain short-circuits.

      It's okay, Thorton, we understand.

      Delete
    16. "LOL, Thorton, you're own data is evidence for cats descending from an earlier cat kind! Looks like you got a little ahead of yourself there :)"

      This kid has absolutely no idea what the other sides position is lifespy. Its even worse than I thought

      Delete
    17. ""Kind" doesn't make sense to you because it falls outside of the Darwinian mystic creation legends of all creatures descending from a universal ancestor."

      Yep but if someone is going to be intellectually honest they should at least do some BASIC reading of the other side. I mean look at this foolishness

      "lifespy - LOL, Thorton, you're own data is evidence for cats descending from an earlier cat kind! Looks like you got a little ahead of yourself there :)

      thorton -So you admit that macroevolution is real and has occurred. That's a start."

      He actually is so uninformed that he thinks you saying various cats descended from cat kinds is evidence of you believing in MACRO EVOLUTION.

      It can't get worse in not knowing what the issues in a debate are

      Delete
    18. Elijah2012

      This kid has absolutely no idea what the other sides position is lifespy


      I know exactly what your and lifepsy's position is. You're a Fundy Bible literalist who believes in the original Created "kinds" that survived Da Flood on Noah's Ark. Literal Adam and Eve, all bad things like malaria caused by "Da Fall", etc.

      It's 100% pure religious mythology which is why it will never be allowed anywhere near science classrooms, your dishonest and craven attempts to sneak it in the back door not withstanding.

      Why keep lying about your motives when you've made them crystal clear? Why keep pretending it's just "ID" with the unknown Designer? This has nothing to do with science and everything to do with you lying Godbothers pushing your particular religious beliefs.

      Delete
    19. lifepsy

      A "Kind" simply posits a similar taxonomical ranking that represents the original gene pool out of which varying species descended.


      For the record, that would be the multiple "original gene pools" for "kinds" that you have not one single teeny weeny shred of scientific evidence for. The idea that also has tons of positive scientific evidence that refutes it.

      What are the original different 'kinds'? How do you know? How do you tell which 'kind' an animal belongs to?

      Why aren't the Pantherinae and the felinae the same cat "kind"?

      Delete
    20. Thorton, It's 100% pure religious mythology which is why it will never be allowed anywhere near science classrooms...

      lol... Says the spontaneous generation mystic who believes throwing 400 million years at a fish will produce a human. Oh, the irony.

      Thorton, stop pretending you care about the science. You want atheist-creationism so you can keep avoiding God. There's no way anyone would freak out this much simply about scientific inaccuracy. As with most Darwinian Mystics, you need your existence to be an accident, and anyone who suggests otherwise must be brought up on heresy charges.

      Delete
    21. Thorton, Stop pretending you care about logic or evidence.

      You don't have a shred of evidence for the "universal kind" gene pool that all life descended from, which is a far more extraordinary claim than life descending from separate kinds, (of which we actually observe in biology!)

      Delete
    22. LOL! Now the "let's pretend we're about science" mask come off and we see the ugly faces of the angry scientifically illiterate Godbotherers!

      These attacks on evolutionary theory aren't about science, have never been about science. Exactly as science has known all along.

      Delete
    23. Looks like Thorton just unwittingly stumbled into the realization that his "UCA Created-from-dirt Kind" is a far more incredible and extraordinary claim then 'separately created kinds'.

      Darwinian Mysticism exposed.

      Delete
    24. "lol... Says the spontaneous generation mystic who believes throwing 400 million years at a fish will produce a human. Oh, the irony."

      and um while evolving eyes in multiple organisms "convergently"

      Lets not sell the guy short on his mysticism though. Lets not forget thats just for starters. We still have the second and third course and then theres dessert. The fish ultimately comes from a single cell organism that itself comes from life that just magically appears in some water on the planet and then the universe the planet is in just shoots itself into existence out of nothing by accident complete with order and logic.

      Then dessert is that its all been around from infinite past and there are infinite other universes where even pink unicorns will live and play on fiddles while smoking joints and talking french to each other since everything can, will and must happen according to their quantum high priests.

      Virgin birth? child's play but yeah they got them in an infinite set of universes coming to a theater near you.

      Delete
    25. LOL! The two little scientifically ignorant Godbotherers are going to do a tag-team Idiot act! How cute!

      Delete
  12. bornagain77: And I pointed out that that 'problem', because of the 'princess and the pea paradox', is exactly the sort of problem that evolution is NOT 'adept' at optimizing.

    Most mutations are neutral or nearly neutral, but some are not. Of those that are not neutral or nearly neutral, most are detrimental, but some are not.

    We know from observation that some mutations have beneficial and selectable benefits. So, no. That doesn't respond to the problem with the analogy, which was comparing an all-or-nothing situation with gradual improvement.


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    1. Zachriel,

      The mutations only fixate if there is major selection pressure. (i.e. if you don't have it you die/starve) Commonly only observed in bacteria, and usually by a loss of function.

      Otherwise the signal-to-noise ratio is far to great. Natural selection is not going to notice a small genetic change, (out of a billion+ nucleotides) when it is dealing with so many greater selection pressures at the same time.

      The vast majority of beneficial alleles, are so low in selection pressure that they are effectively neutral, and have the same chance of fixating as they're frequency, which is almost zero.

      Delete
  13. Jeff: Naturalistic UCA predicts (i.e., implies) the nested hierarchy IFF:

    See you still haven't grasped the scientific method, even after repeated explanations.

    Jeff: nested hierarchy is only known to arise from natural, bifurcated descent

    Well, no. Humans, for instance, create nested hierarchies, such as a military organization.

    Jeff: So if saltations don't necessarily produce nested hierarchies, the nested hierarchy is not even implied by an ad-hoc version of a-teleological UCA unless you posit millions of additional ad-hoc, unobserved species in the first place.

    You're still confused, again, after it's been explained. The theory of evolution doesn't assume transitional species, it predicts them. Now, you just have to go out and look for fossil evidence.
    http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Can you clarify the purpose of your last paragraph please Zachriel?

      Had a look at the link you provided.

      Are you trying to imply Tiktaalik is/was somehow evidence for Evolution? If you are, I would have to disagree.

      See, for example these articles:

      "Tiktaalik Blown "Out of the Water" by Earlier Tetrapod Fossil Footprints"

      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/01/tiktaalik_blown_out_of_the_wat030621.html


      "Tiktaalik, the "fishopod" from the Canadian Arctic"

      http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/tis2/index.php/evidence-for-evolution-mainmenu-65/266-tiktaalik-the-qfishopodq-from-the-canadian-arctic.html

      "Tiktaalik: Demoted from Transitional Fossil to Just a Weird, Dead Fish"

      http://theosophical.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/tiktaalik-demoted-from-transitional-fossil-to-just-a-weird-dead-fish/

      There are literally dozens of articles discussing how Tiktaalik, even though it was a great discovery, is certainly not the icon that Darwinists like to promote.

      Delete
    3. Jason Kay

      Are you trying to imply Tiktaalik is/was somehow evidence for Evolution? If you are, I would have to disagree


      Can you please give us your definition of 'transitional fossil'? You don't seem to understand what the term means in the scientific usage.

      Also, could you please give us your ID-Creationism explanation for Tiktaalik? Why was it found in that specific geographical setting and that specific time period?

      Delete
    4. Z: You're still confused, again, after it's been explained. The theory of evolution doesn't assume transitional species, it predicts them. Now, you just have to go out and look for fossil evidence.
      http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

      J: Not if saltations are the reason for the morpholgical/phenotypic gaps. So what do you have to posit ad-hoc'ly to rule out saltations for those gaps? Hypothetical intermediates? How many? Three? Three hundred thousand? More?

      You're clueless about the nature of implication. The only way a fossil can be be implied by the ToE is if -

      1) a transitional was BOTH implied by the nested hierarchy explanation

      AND

      2) all your ad-hoc assumptions required to imply that stratigraphic ranges have a relevant correlation with existential ranges are true.

      But if the nested hierarchy implies transitionals, HOW MANY DOES IT IMPLY? We need to know so we can get a good count on your ad-hoc assumptions as to how many non-observable species EXISTED to imply the relevant nested hierarchy.

      You can't NON-ad-hoc'ly imply a tree that implies UNobserved and Unexplained transitionals without at least positing ad-hoc'ly their EXISTENCE to even IMPLY the tree arose by bifurcated descent in the first place. You not only don't understand demarcatable science, you don't even understand basic logical deduction.

      If you think deduction only applies to philosophy, then you're right, I have no use for the superstition you call "science." And neither does any other rational person.

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    6. Thorton March 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      "You don't seem to understand what the term means in the scientific usage."

      Here we go, the old "You don't understand evolution" sidestep.

      "Also, could you please give us your ID-Creationism explanation for Tiktaalik?"

      You assume way too much.

      Delete
    7. Jason Kay

      T; "You don't seem to understand what the term means in the scientific usage."

      Here we go, the old "You don't understand evolution" sidestep.


      If you understand the term then why are you so hesitant to give me your definition of "transitional fossil"?

      What else am I suppose to assume except that you don't know the scientific meaning?

      "Also, could you please give us your ID-Creationism explanation for Tiktaalik?"

      You assume way too much.


      You're 2 for 2 on dodged questions. Not off to a good start here.

      Delete
  14. UCA'ists,

    1) The nested hierarchy exists INDEPENDENTLY of hypothetical transitional traits. Thus, large morphological/phenotypic gaps can be explained by separate ancestries, saltational evolution, or non-saltational evolution, but each approach requires ad-hoc hypotheses.

    2) There is no naturalistic theory limited to knowledge of mechanisms of variation that implies ANY posited major evolutionary trajectory OR even the logical possibility of such naturalistic trajectories.

    3) Per 1) and 2), there is no naturalistic theory limited to knowledge of mechanisms of variation that implies the large morphological/phenotypic gaps could have been bridged genealogically. In the meanwhile, there ARE logically possible teleological explanations for separate ancestries, saltational descent, and non-saltational descent. Some are more ad-hoc than others, but they are logically possible.

    4) Per 3), positing that naturalistic bifurcated descent began starting from a precambrian ancestor does not IMPLY that even one extant or fossil species descended from such a putative precambrian ancestor.

    5) Per 4), the only way to imply that extant or fossil species are/were descendants of such a putative precambrian ancestor via bifurcated descent is to just posit the relevant properties for millions of past events that WOULD imply it (even though we have no idea whether this would imply the supposed laws of nature were violated over and over).

    6) Then, and only then, does one IMPLY that the nested hierarchy of organisms is the result of bifurcated descent.

    In short, you have to posit millions of ad-hoc hypotheses to IMPLY that the nested hierarchy is the effect of bifurcated descent from one original ancestor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this is why rational people couldn't care less about the nested hierarchy argument, especially since there's a plausible teleological explanation for it. Because they know that with the same number of ad-hoc hypotheses for teleological explanation, tons more observations could be implied. But so what? Rational people aren't interested in such non-sense.

      Delete
  15. Jason Kay: Can you clarify the purpose of your last paragraph please Zachriel?

    It's an example of a confirmed prediction. Please explain the incredible coincidence of specifically journeying to a specific location in the Arctic to find a fossil organism with characteristics intermediate between fish and land vertebrates resulted in finding a novel fossil organism with just those characteristics. Lucky guess?

    Jason Kay: "Tiktaalik Blown "Out of the Water" by Earlier Tetrapod Fossil Footprints"

    A transitional has characteristics of the ancestral and derived organisms, but doesn't have to be the very first of something.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jeff: Not if saltations are the reason for the morpholgical/phenotypic gaps. So what do you have to posit ad-hoc'ly to rule out saltations for those gaps?

    We can test that hypothesis by looking for transitionals.
    http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

    Jeff: If you think deduction only applies to philosophy, then you're right, I have no use for the superstition you call "science."

    Science depends on deduction, as in hypothetico-deduction.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jeff: 1) The nested hierarchy exists INDEPENDENTLY of hypothetical transitional traits.

    That's right. It's an observation.

    Jeff: Thus, large morphological/phenotypic gaps can be explained by separate ancestries, saltational evolution, or non-saltational evolution, but each approach requires ad-hoc hypotheses.

    Well, they are different hypotheses, something we can test by looking for transitional species.

    Jeff: 2) There is no naturalistic theory limited to knowledge of mechanisms of variation that implies ANY posited major evolutionary trajectory OR even the logical possibility of such naturalistic trajectories.

    Your prose is difficult to untangle. But mechanisms of variation are not sufficient to explain the entirety of the evidence. Other mechanisms are required, such as natural selection, even chance events, such as cometary impacts.

    Jeff: 3) Per 1) and 2), there is no naturalistic theory limited to knowledge of mechanisms of variation that implies the large morphological/phenotypic gaps could have been bridged genealogically.

    Actually, that question is largely settled. There is sufficient knowledge of variation and the history of life to show that large gaps could and have been bridged.

    Jeff: 4) Per 3), positing that naturalistic bifurcated descent began starting from a precambrian ancestor does not IMPLY that even one extant or fossil species descended from such a putative precambrian ancestor.

    The hypothesis of bifurcating descent from a common ancestral population *does imply* that all species are descended from the common ancestral population—by definition. It's hard to understand why you would make such a statement which is self-contradictory. Do you know what "posit" means?

    Jeff: 5) Per 4), the only way to imply that extant or fossil species are/were descendants of such a putative precambrian ancestor via bifurcated descent is to just posit the relevant properties for millions of past events that WOULD imply it

    Well, yeah. There are common mechanisms that are posited to explain millions of past events.

    Jeff: And this is why rational people couldn't care less about the nested hierarchy argument, especially since there's a plausible teleological explanation for it.

    Just the entire scientific community.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jeff: Not if saltations are the reason for the morphological/phenotypic gaps.

    Z: We can test that hypothesis by looking for transitionals.
    http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/

    J: Thank you for ceasing the lie that they're IMPLIED. The most that could be implied is the transitional quality of TRAITS. The EXISTENCE of bifurcated-descent-caused transitional species must be posited to IMPLY the hierarchy. But then we need the posited number of unobserved, unexplained transitions. Otherwise, the nested hierarchy is conceivably the result of either SA's or saltational evolution that doesn't necessarily imply a nested hierarchy.

    So, again, how many do you have to posit to have existed to render bifurcated descent THE explanation of the nested hierarchy? And again, these ad-hoc assumptions are on top of the ad-hoc'ly posited properties of millions of events that don't follow from anything we know about nature, as well as tons of ad-hoc hypotheses required to IMPLY that known stratigraphic ranges correlate significantly with existential ranges.

    Jeff: Thus, large morphological/phenotypic gaps can be explained by separate ancestries, saltational evolution, or non-saltational evolution, but each approach requires ad-hoc hypotheses.

    Z: Well, they are different hypotheses, something we can test by looking for transitional species.

    J: How many do you hypothesize? Three, 300 thousand, 3 million? For every one you don't observe, you have to concoct ad-hoc hypotheses as to why you don't observe them, JUST LIKE SA'ists DO if they choose to hypothesize a genus' or family's existence when/where it is not observed. If you're clueless enough to think that we have geological, taphonomic, ecological, and psychological theory that is so deductively implicating of what existed and what would be preserved and discovered by now that we can deduce the correlation of known stratigraphic ranges to existential ranges, you're extremely confused.

    Z: But mechanisms of variation are not sufficient to explain the entirety of the evidence. Other mechanisms are required, such as natural selection, even chance events, such as cometary impacts.

    J: Posit any mechanism (natural selection isn't a mechanism) and then use hypothetico-deduction to deduce how the initial species became another species. You're all bluff. You have no explanations for anything but the most trivial evolution. Ken Ham agrees with you on what you actually know. The rest is a huge pile of ad-hoc assumptions.

    Z: Actually, that question is largely settled. There is sufficient knowledge of variation and the history of life to show that large gaps could and have been bridged.

    J: Take what we know from observation about mechanisms and frequences and deduce, using hypothetico-deduction, that Cambrian fauna is a logical implication of Precambrian organisms, etc. You must think people are really stupid. We're talking about a historical hypothesis with specific time-limits, not what might happen in the future for any conceivable time-frame. We have no idea if natural laws COULD have produced Cambrian fauna at the relevant times, etc, from a Precambrian ancestor.

    Z: The hypothesis of bifurcating descent from a common ancestral population *does imply* that all species are descended from the common ancestral population—by definition.

    J: Do you know what "definition" means? Bifurcating descent either occurred or it didn't. In either case, there is no definition of bifurcating descent that IMPLIES that earth's species descended BY bifurcating descent. You are one confused puppy. It takes millions more ad-hoc assumptions to compel that deductive conclusion.

    Z: Well, yeah. There are common mechanisms that are posited to explain millions of past events.

    J: Millions of ad-hoc assumptions.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jeff: Thank you for ceasing the lie that they're IMPLIED.

    Phenotypic gradualism was posited in Darwin's original theory of evolution. A modified form is still a basis of modern evolutionary theory. Of course it's implied by theory as it's a tenet of the theory.

    Jeff: But then we need the posited number of unobserved, unexplained transitions.

    The explanation is provided by a handful of mechanisms; a common ancestral population, bifurcating descent, natural variation.

    Jeff: Otherwise, the nested hierarchy is conceivably the result of either SA's or saltational evolution that doesn't necessarily imply a nested hierarchy.

    You've never provided a clear definition of SA, but we can test saltational evolution and many versions of separate ancestry by looking for transitionals.

    Jeff: So, again, how many do you have to posit to have existed to render bifurcated descent THE explanation of the nested hierarchy?

    Bifurcating descent with variation is sufficient to explain the existence of a nested hierarchy.

    Jeff: How many do you hypothesize?

    Darwin posited aphyletic gradualism, and there are many instances of phyletic gradualism. Modern evolutionary theory allows for punctuated equilibrium, which is still phenotypic gradualism.

    Jeff: Posit any mechanism (natural selection isn't a mechanism) and then use hypothetico-deduction to deduce how the initial species became another species.

    Of course natural selection is a mechanism, but we don't need natural selection to show that speciation occurs. We can observe gradations of reproductive isolation. And speciation has been observed.

    Jeff: Do you know what "definition" means? Bifurcating descent either occurred or it didn't.

    Yes, the theory posits bifurcating descent from a common ancestral population. This hypothesis implies a nested hierarchy.

    Jeff: Millions of ad-hoc assumptions.

    You say that, but we're only positing a handful of mechanisms; a common ancestral population, bifurcating descent, natural variation. These mechanisms imply a nested hierarchy.

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  20. Z: The explanation is provided by a handful of mechanisms; a common ancestral population, bifurcating descent, natural variation.

    J: A population is not a mechanism. Bifurcating descent is not a mechansim (remember how manuscripts are caused?). Variation is not a mechanism. And natural selection is NOT a mechanism.

    Z: Bifurcating descent with variation is sufficient to explain the existence of a nested hierarchy.

    J: Yes, "[A] nested hierarchy," not THE particular nested hierarchy of earth's fauna and flora via NATURAL variation. Natural explanation means that initial conditions PLUS real-world causality IMPLIES the observed SUBSEQUENT conditions. For the kazillionth time, there is NOTHING we know about earth's real-world causality that, when applied to some precambrian condition(s), IMPLIES the subsequent existence of earth's extinct and non-extinct fauna, much less at the posited times of their origins. Dude, you really need to get a grip on basic deductive logic.

    Jeff: How many do you hypothesize?

    Z: Darwin posited aphyletic gradualism, and there are many instances of phyletic gradualism. Modern evolutionary theory allows for punctuated equilibrium, which is still phenotypic gradualism.

    J: Didn't see a number in there.

    Z: Of course natural selection is a mechanism, but we don't need natural selection to show that speciation occurs.

    J: A cause is antecedent to its effect. A mechanism of variation is the CAUSE of variation. Selection is NOT antecedent TO the variation. Something has to already exist TO be selected. Thus selection is not a cause/mechanism of variation.

    Z: We can observe gradations of reproductive isolation. And speciation has been observed.

    J: Come down to earth for a minute. Think: It DOESN'T FOLLOW that earth's extinct and non-extinct species are ALL the effects of bifurcated descent from a single ancestor even IF speciation is always bifurcated. WHY? Because all speciation could be bifurcated even if speciation proceeded from separate ancestries!

    THIS, Z, is why you have to demonstrate that the number of ad-hoc hypotheses entailed in your view is less than Ken Ham's view, or other SA views. You haven't even BEGUN to do that. Thus, you haven't even BEGUN to establish that your view is more plausible. Because the number of ad-hoc hypotheses required for the competing views is the ONLY conceivable relative plausibility criteria relevant to that question, isn't it? Surely you understand that if I get to posit millions of ad-hoc hypotheses about event properties in the past as you do, that I could IMPLY lots of deductions that also happen to be OBSERVATIONS!!!! SO WHAT???

    Jeff: Millions of ad-hoc assumptions.

    Z: You say that, but we're only positing a handful of mechanisms; a common ancestral population, bifurcating descent, natural variation.

    J: Deduce the existence of, at the posited times, every extinct and non-extinct terrestrial species from your handful of propositions.

    Z: These mechanisms imply a nested hierarchy.

    J: That handful of propositions may imply a nested hierarchy of single-celled organisms, or only reptiles, etc, depending on the rules of natural variation. That's beside the point. You need to IMPLY the PARTICULAR nested hierarchy of PARTICULAR fauna and flora from a single precambrian organism. THAT'S what takes MILLIONS of ad-hoc assumptions. Because we have no knowledge of "natural variation" that implies ANY SUCH THING! Get yourself a logic book and read it, Z. I don't even have to read logic books to see the idiocy of these ridiculous claims of yours about deductive implications.

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  21. Liar for Jesus Jeff

    Get yourself a logic book and read it, Z.


    Get yourself a Biology 101 book and read it LFJJ. Your blithering scientific ignorance would make a high school freshman cringe.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jeff: A population is not a mechanism. Bifurcating descent is not a mechansim (remember how manuscripts are caused?). Variation is not a mechanism. And natural selection is NOT a mechanism.

    In biology, a mechanism is a process that results in a phenomena. The common ancestral population is a posited initial condition. Natural variation is observed. Bifurcating descent and natural selection are mechanisms in this sense. However, each can be explain in terms of other mechanisms.

    Zachriel: Bifurcating descent with variation is sufficient to explain the existence of a nested hierarchy.

    Jeff: Yes, "[A] nested hierarchy," not THE particular nested hierarchy of earth's fauna and flora via NATURAL variation.

    That's right, which is why we used the indefinite article. It takes other mechanisms to explain the observed nested hierarchy, everything from natural selection to cometary impacts.

    Jeff: Didn't see a number in there.

    Perhaps you don't understand the notion of "gradual".

    Jeff: Selection is NOT antecedent TO the variation.

    Selection occurs after variation.

    Jeff: Thus selection is not a cause/mechanism of variation.

    Of course not.

    Jeff: It DOESN'T FOLLOW that earth's extinct and non-extinct species are ALL the effects of bifurcated descent from a single ancestor even IF speciation is always bifurcated. WHY? Because all speciation could be bifurcated even if speciation proceeded from separate ancestries!

    Sure, but separate ancestry doesn't explain the nested hierarchy. In any case, we can test that hypothesis by looking for transitionals.

    Jeff: Surely you understand that if I get to posit millions of ad-hoc hypotheses about event properties in the past as you do, that I could IMPLY lots of deductions that also happen to be OBSERVATIONS!!!!

    We're only positing a handful.

    Jeff: Deduce the existence of, at the posited times, every extinct and non-extinct terrestrial species from your handful of propositions.

    That isn't required in order to have a valid theory. It's like saying physical theory isn't correct if we can't predict the future position of every snowball in the Oort Cloud, every grain of sand in a landslide, every molecule of water in a turbulent flow, the time every radioactive particle will decay, or the trajectory of every raindrop in a thunderstorm. No theory predicts every detail of every thing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Z: Sure, but separate ancestry doesn't explain the nested hierarchy.

    J: So what? You have to posit millions of ad-hoc hypotheses to IMPLY/EXPLAIN the nested hierarchy. All I have to posit is that any natural conditions that aren't necessary for my mere existence, but yet provide greater long-term satisfaction to me than if they didn't exist, are designed to satisfy me by a relevantly competent, motivated and intending intelligent designer. From that handful of assumptions, it follows that the nested hierarchy is an intentional state of affairs, regardless of whether it is the result of gradualism, saltations, or SA's.

    Your metaphysics doesn't even imply solipsism or the 5-minute theory is falsifiable. Per your metaphysics, no matter how many times you corroborate a theory, the plausibility of the theory never rises to the level of ruling out the REAL possibility of solipsism, the 5-minute theory, etc. How impressive. Atheists pendulum swing from extreme credulity to radical skepticism without batting an eye.

    Jeff: Deduce the existence of, at the posited times, every extinct and non-extinct terrestrial species from your handful of propositions.

    Z: That isn't required in order to have a valid theory.

    J: Explanations ARE deductions, Z. A theory only explains events if it deduces them from the theory and initial conditions.

    Z: It's like saying physical theory isn't correct if we can't predict the future position of every snowball in the Oort Cloud, every grain of sand in a landslide, every molecule of water in a turbulent flow, the time every radioactive particle will decay, or the trajectory of every raindrop in a thunderstorm. No theory predicts every detail of every thing.

    J: If a theory doesn't imply a conceivable event, our failure to observe the event doesn't falsify the theory. But on the other hand, a theory only explains an event if it, together with the initial conditions, IMPLIES the event and its timing.

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    1. With respect to solipsism, etc, if you can't falsify them, then a "corroboration" of a theory that assumes there are other beings doesn't imply there are other beings. The corroboration ceases to mean much at all. And of course, if I can never come to know that there are other beings, I can never know if there's such thing as "peer" review, collaboration, witnesses, etc, either.

      Thus, calling solipsism vacuous doesn't begin to address the utter inability of your metaphysics to rule it out with any plausibility.

      The teleological view is that satisfaction is the fundamental criteria of human choice, with truth being relevant to humans only because belief is both inevitable for humans AND, therefore, indispensable to human satisfaction. For to suppress natural beliefs that seem to be means to long-term satisfaction is to act contrary to long-term satisfaction.

      Deductive and inductive inferences are virtually irresistable to the human mind. So much so that you can't help but believe that you are being parsimonious (your supposed handful of assumptions) when in fact you are quite far FROM it. It seems that even you realize that positing millions of ad-hoc assumptions just to imply the nested hierarchy is a bit on the worthless side of things. And yet that's exactly what you're doing by positing the logical possibility of millions of events that are not only NOT known to be logically possible, but don't even have the inductive warrant of being analogical inferences either.

      Delete
  24. Jeff: So what?

    Because the nested hierarchy is an essential organizing pattern in biology.

    Jeff: All I have to posit is that any natural conditions that aren't necessary for my mere existence, but yet provide greater long-term satisfaction to me than if they didn't exist, are designed to satisfy me by a relevantly competent, motivated and intending intelligent designer.

    Or not.

    Jeff: Your metaphysics doesn't even imply solipsism or the 5-minute theory is falsifiable.

    Of course not. Science doesn't 'prove' claims but supports them with evidence. It's methodological. Your real complaint isn't evolutionary biology, but science itself.

    Jeff: A theory only explains events if it deduces them from the theory and initial conditions.

    A scientific theory doesn't have to explain everything to explain some things. More particularly, when trying to unravel history, there will often be gaps. For instance, can you determine the genealogy of everyone back ten-thousand years? Of course not. Does that mean we don't know anything about the process of how people are born? Of course not.

    Jeff: a theory only explains an event if it, together with the initial conditions, IMPLIES the event and its timing.

    Can you predict when a particular radium atom will decay?

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    1. Zachriel

      Jeff: a theory only explains an event if it, together with the initial conditions, IMPLIES the event and its timing.

      Can you predict when a particular radium atom will decay?


      Of course he can't, and it's pretty clear he is incapable of understanding the concept. It's been explained to him ad nauseum that because evolutionary processes have a stochastic component it's impossible to predict specific outcomes. Even with identical starting conditions and identical selection pressures you won't get identical results. This was clearly demonstrated in the Lenski's E coli long term experiments.

      But the ignorant philosopher has latched on to his one ignorance based talking point and keeps blithering the same dumb demand for predictability over and over and over and over.

      Delete
    2. What's interesting is that he thinks science can resolve the problem of solipsism.

      Delete
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