Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Inexorable March of Convergent Evolution Continues

Now at the Molecular Level

One of the most powerful evidences for evolution are the similarities between species. The reason why the similarities are such powerful evidence is that a great variety of designs are possible. A wise designer certainly would make use of this great variety of possible designs but common descent is restricted to whatever is available. Consider, for example, the pentadactyl structure—five digits (four fingers and a thumb for humans) at the end of the limb structure—which is found throughout the tetrapods. The activities of this massive group of fauna include flying, grasping, climbing and crawling. Such diverse activities, evolutionists reason, should require diverse limbs. There seems to be no reason why all should need a five digit limb. Why not three digits for some, eight for others, 13 for some others, and so forth? And yet they all are endowed with five digits. Their shapes and sizes vary greatly, but nonetheless there are five digits. Obviously the pentadactyl structure must be an artefact of common descent—a suboptimal design that was handed down from a common ancestor rather than specifically designed for each species. A key premise of this argument is that a tremendous variety of designs is possible.

One problem with this argument, however, is that many of the similarities between species do not fall into the hypothetical evolutionary pattern. In these cases evolutionists must say that the similarities evolved independently rather than by common descent, via a process they call convergent evolution. But if a tremendous variety of designs is possible, then why would the random, unguided process of evolution just happen to find the same design so often?

Evolutionists explain this by appealing to natural selection, but in doing so they demonstrate that common descent is not necessary to explain these similarities. In other words, they need not be an artefact of common descent.

Years ago this problem was not critical as convergent evolution seemed limited. But since then, in the inexorable march of science, the cases of convergent evolution have skyrocketed. And even evolutionists are now agreeing that it will only become worse.

The latest example is the independent evolution of echolocation in mammals such as bats and whales. Such convergence has been known for some time now, but now it is observed at the molecular level as well. As the paper explains, “convergence is not a rare process restricted to several loci but is instead widespread”.

As one evolutionist admitted, “These results imply that convergent molecular evolution is much more widespread than previously recognized”. And another admitted that the results are astonishing:

We had expected to find identical changes in maybe a dozen or so genes but to see nearly 200 is incredible. We know natural selection is a potent driver of gene sequence evolution, but identifying so many examples where it produces nearly identical results in the genetic sequences of totally unrelated animals is astonishing.

And that’s not all. The evolutionists were also surprised to find similar molecular patterns in many genes linked to vision. Apparently evolution is not so constrained, and not limited to working with whatever designs happen to be available, as evolutionists have so strenuously argued. As the evolutionists were forced to conclude, convergent evolution is probably “much more pervasive than previously recognized.” In fact, even the venerable pentadactyl pattern has fallen prey to convergent evolution. As one study concluded:

Even more striking, we find strong statistical support for the re-acquisition of a pentadactyl body form from a digit-reduced ancestor. … The results of our study join a nascent body of literature showing strong statistical support for character loss, followed by evolutionary re-acquisition of complex structures associated with a generalized pentadactyl body form.

Or as one evolutionist simply put it, “The conclusion seems inescapable, and an old ‘certainty’ must be starkly reversed.”

111 comments:

  1. It's all so obvious.

    It's a fact that insects can fly
    It's a fact that bats can fly
    It's a fact that birds can fly

    therefore, evolution is a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  2. About numerology in biology. In a new peer-reviewed paper in BIO-Complexity, http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2013.3 Michael Denton argues for a structuralist view that body plans are like Platonic "types," woven into the fabric of nature.
    Of course the pentadactyl structure, that dr.Hunter also mentions, is covered.
    Excerpt: "Consider the ‘numerology’ of the insect body plan. The insect body is divided into three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen.
    The thorax consists of three segments and each bears a pair of legs, six altogether. Eleven segments can be recognized in the abdomen of most juvenile insects and although some insect
    adults—including Coleoptera (beetles) and Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants, etc.)—have less than eleven, no insect has more than eleven. The legs of all insects consist of no more than five components,(..)"

    ReplyDelete
  3. It must be fun to be an evolutionary biologist. Life is one astonishment after another.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess they don't mind, after all look at the alternative.

      Delete
    2. Yep. Predicting junk DNA isn't junk, that the next discovery will again rearrange the tree of life, that evolution observed in the lab is pretty much always a degradation. Always right, but so boring.

      Delete
    3. Yep,even if all that was true it is still better than any alternative theory.

      Delete
    4. LOL! Go ahead John, give us your "scientific" explanation for the fossil and genetic records. Tell us how Adam carried thousands of alleles, how dinosaurs and humans lived together before Da Flud, how the data for Mitochondrial Eve means there was only one woman alive in her time!

      You *know* you want to.



      Delete
    5. John,
      the best of the false!


      All models are incomplete , for instance model of ID is nonexistent, you can't be much more incomplete than that.

      Delete
  4. CH: A wise designer certainly would make use of this great variety of possible designs but common descent is restricted to whatever is available.

    If common decent was "restricted to whatever was available" then speciation wouldn't occur at all. So, there's something fundamentally wrong with this argument in the first three sentences, as it misrepresents the pattern in question.

    Given that Cornelius teaches biology at the college level, it would seem he's either grossly incompetent or is knowingly presenting a disingenuous argument.

    What else does he expect us to conclude?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Scott:"If common decent was 'restricted to whatever was available' then speciation wouldn't occur at all."
    Why wouldn't speciation occur Scott?
    The way I understand it is that Dr. Hunter means by 'restricted to whatever was available', that evolution had to build on 'whatever was available'. Why is that controversial? Why is speciation precluded?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CH: A wise designer certainly would make use of this great variety of possible designs but common descent is restricted to whatever is available. [defines pattern]

      CH: [Later gives examples that does not match the above pattern]

      Scott: If common decent was "restricted to whatever was available" then speciation wouldn't occur at all. So, there's something fundamentally wrong with this argument in the first three sentences, as it misrepresents the pattern in question.

      Carolus: The way I understand it is that Dr. Hunter means by 'restricted to whatever was available', that evolution had to build on 'whatever was available'. Why is that controversial? Why is speciation precluded?

      That evolution had to build on 'whatever was available' is not controversial. That's not what I'm referring to.

      Rather, I'm referring specifically to how *Cornelius* defined the "pattern" of common decent at the beginning of his post, which he then references in the rest of the article. Had *that* pattern actually been followed, there would be no new species. Period.

      So, within the first three sentences, there is something fundamentally wrong with the entire premise of his post, as it hinges on this very pattern.

      CH: One problem with this argument, however, is that many of the similarities between species do not fall into the hypothetical evolutionary pattern.

      Of course, we won't see that pattern. It should come as no surprise that we do not, because it they did, there wouldn't be different species. Yet, Cornelius makes it out as if we should.

      Again, this either represents grossly incompetence or he is knowingly presenting a disingenuous argument.

      Delete
    2. Scott: “Rather, I'm referring specifically to how *Cornelius* defined the "pattern" of common decent at the beginning of his post, which he then references in the rest of the article. Had *that* pattern actually been followed, there would be no new species. Period. “

      Can you pinpoint exactly where Dr. Hunter excludes speciation by defining a “pattern” of common descent?
      Dr.Hunter’s intro: “One of the most powerful evidences for evolution are the similarities between species. The reason why the similarities are such powerful evidence is that a great variety of designs are possible. A wise designer certainly would make use of this great variety of possible designs but common descent is restricted to whatever is available.”
      Dr. Hunter goes on explaining that pentadactyl structure is an argument for common descent & evolution and against a wise designer. “Obviously the pentadactyl structure must be an artefact of common descent—a suboptimal design that was handed down from a common ancestor rather than specifically designed for each species.”
      Jerry Coyne in his book ‘Why evolution is true’ conducts a very similar line of reasoning: “Natural selection is not a master engineer, but a tinkerer. It doesn’t produce the absolute perfection achievable by a designer starting from scratch, but merely the best it can do with what it has to work with. (p. 12)” And: “A conscientious designer might have given the turtles an extra pair of limbs, with retractable shovel-like appendages, but turtles, like all reptiles, are stuck with a developmental plan that limits their limbs to four. (p. 13)”

      Delete
    3. Carolus: Can you pinpoint exactly where Dr. Hunter excludes speciation by defining a “pattern” of common descent?

      He doesn't explicitly exclude it. That's my entire point. Rather, he implicitly excludes it in preparation for the rest of his post, when he refers to it as "the hypothetical evolutionary pattern".

      CH: One problem with this argument, however, is that many of the similarities between species do not fall into the hypothetical evolutionary pattern.

      Had this "pattern" been observed, then humans and ants wouldn't share a common ancestor. Yet, that's what common ancestry means, humans and ants evolved from a common ancestor, which wouldn't have had five digits, etc.

      Evolutionary theory isn't just similar designs any more than it's just genetic variation that is random to any specific problem to solve or just natural selection, etc. IOW, evolutionary theory is an explanation about how the world works, not just what we'll experience.

      Delete
    4. Scott: IOW, evolutionary theory is an explanation about how the world works, not just what we'll experience.

      J: Wrong. It's a theory to the extent that it PREDICTS how the world works (not that you would have a clue about that since you have no clue whether you even remember). To the extent that it doesn't predict recent and ancient events by the same THEORY, the latter events are merely POSITED rather than predicted/explained.

      Delete
    5. Scott: Had this "pattern" been observed, then humans and ants wouldn't share a common ancestor. Yet, that's what common ancestry means, humans and ants evolved from a common ancestor, which wouldn't have had five digits, etc.”

      On the contrary, the hypothetical evolutionary pattern, dictates that humans and ants share a common ancestor. However humans, ants and the hypothetical common ancestor don’t share the pentadactyl structure so this particular structure cannot serve as a confirmation of the common descent hypothesis.
      The convergence enigma arises when distant species share similarities but don’t share these similarities with a common ancestor.
      It is still unclear to me why you think that Dr. Hunter implicitly precludes speciation.

      Delete
    6. Carolus, evolutionary theory isn't limited to one single "pattern". That's my point.

      Again, it isn't just similar designs any more than it's just genetic variation that is random to any specific problem to solve or just natural selection, etc. Yet, that's what Cornelius is attempting to portray.

      IOW, he's refusing to take the theory seriously, as if it were true in reality, for the purpose of criticism. This is a common problem with his posts and this is no exception.

      Delete
    7. Scott: IOW, evolutionary theory is an explanation about how the world works, not just what we'll experience.

      Jeff: Wrong. It's a theory to the extent that it PREDICTS how the world works

      So, you're an instrumentalist, in that you think it is meaningless to ask if evolutionary theory is actually based on some degree of reality or it's just a useful fiction to predict what we will experience?

      Delete
    8. Scott: “evolutionary theory isn't limited to one single "pattern". That's my point.”

      Scott, the pattern of common descent is a foundational pattern to evolutionary theory, isn’t it? If so, it must be relevant for the debate that Dr. Hunter highlights the enigma of convergent evolution. You have a point only if Dr.Hunter intentionally leaves out an evolutionary mechanism which explains the enigma of convergent evolution. Do you know such a mechanism?

      Delete
    9. Scott: So, you're an instrumentalist, in that you think it is meaningless to ask if evolutionary theory is actually based on some degree of reality or it's just a useful fiction to predict what we will experience?

      J: Well, it would be meaningless to you, for sure. But not to me, since I believe we actually have APPARENT (i.e., NATURALLY-FORMED) memories. That wasn't my point, though. There is NO theory that predicts ANY UCA tree that has withstood criticism. Zilch, notta, zero! Hence, the naturalistic UCA hypothesis is ABSOLUTELY worthless thus far. It may yet be supported by evidence. But it hasn't yet.

      Don't misunderstand, though. I'm NOT saying that a biological history in terms of ID has support either. Both views require so many a-plausible assumptions to be possible that they are literally non-enumerable by humans. Rather, ID explains subsets of the data more parsimoniously than naturalistic UCA, and vice versa. But neither come close to explaining the whole biological history.

      Delete
    10. Carolus: Scott, the pattern of common descent is a foundational pattern to evolutionary theory, isn’t it?

      Imagine I said that "objects falling" is a "gravitational pattern", then pointed out that we sometimes do not experience "objects falling" due to being attracted to a magnet, blasted with compressed air or any other number of exceptions.

      IOW, gravitational theory doesn't predict we will experience "objects falling". Rather, it's a one of many universal theories about how the world works. On the other hand, "objects falling" is an experience, which can be effected by a number of parallel yet unrelated events in other fields.

      No theory of gravity predicts we will experience "objects falling", followed with a near infinite list of exceptions that could prevent that experience, such as hot air balloons, blasts of high pressure water and even yet to be invented exceptions, such as the future invention of tractor beams.

      Any claim to predict what we will experience would also be an implicit a claim to account for an near infinite number of unrelated, yet parallel events that could change the outcome, which would essentially represent a claim to be prophecy. Furthermore, we start out knowing that all theories are conjectures which are both incomplete and contain errors to some degree. This is in contrast to a supposedly single, infallible theory of everything, or the idea that's it's possible to get theories from data.

      While you might believe there are infallible sources of information which you can infallibly interpret, this doesn't mean theories which just so happen to intersect with your beliefs must also be held as infallible by everyone else. Science is under no obligation to fill a God shaped hole in anyone's belief system.

      Delete
    11. Carolus: You have a point only if Dr.Hunter intentionally leaves out an evolutionary mechanism which explains the enigma of convergent evolution. Do you know such a mechanism?

      First, only if? See above.

      Second, again, evolutionary theory is part of our current, best explanation for the universal growth of knowledge. That includes convergence. However, I'll need to lay a bit of groundwork here to get started.

      In the case of the growth of human knowledge, we start out with conjectured theories of how to solve a problem. In the same sense that we do not know if any of these theories actually *will* solve the problem in question, we also don't know one of these theories *won't* unexpectedly solve some *other* problem we weren't trying to solve, either. By virtue of being a conjecture, our theories have unexpected consequences. Human knowledge grows via conjecture and criticism.

      Convergence is a specific example of the growth of knowledge in an organism's genome. How do we explain this? Natural processes do not conceive of problems like people do. So, in the case of biological darwinism, genetic variation is random *to any specific problem to solve*. Nor can natural processes criticize ideas, as people can. However, genetic variation and natural selection play the same roles in the creation of knowledge in an organisms genome; as conjecture and criticism does in the creation of human knowledge. Again, it's not just random variation, just natural selection or just common decent. It's part of an explanation for the universal growth of knowledge.

      To clarify, knowledge is information that plays a casual role in causing itself to remain when embedded in a storage medium, such as books, computers, brains and genomes. Only people can create explanations, so only people can create explanatory knowledge. However, both people and evolutionary process can create non-explanatory knowledge, which are essentially useful rules of thumb.

      The knowledge of how to build adaptations for flight, vision, etc, are all useful rules of thumb. This knowledge didn't always exist, but was genuinely created in multiple organisms. They represent good explanations about how the world works, in that they are hard to vary without reducing their ability to solve the problem in question. As such, it comes as no surprise that we should see those hard to vary explanations created as convergence.

      IOW, we come to the same good explanations as how the world works as others because they withstand criticism. From this article on fallibilism….

      Fallibilism, correctly understood, implies the possibility, not the impossibility, of knowledge, because the very concept of error, if taken seriously, implies that truth exists and can be found. The inherent limitation on human reason, that it can never find solid foundations for ideas, does not constitute any sort of limit on the creation of objective knowledge nor, therefore, on progress. The absence of foundation, whether infallible or probable, is no loss to anyone except tyrants and charlatans, because what the rest of us want from ideas is their content, not their provenance: If your disease has been cured by medical science, and you then become aware that science never proves anything but only disproves theories (and then only tentatively), you do not respond “oh dear, I’ll just have to die, then.”

      Delete
    12. Scott: IOW, evolutionary theory is an explanation about how the world works, not just what we'll experience.

      Jeff: Wrong. It's a theory to the extent that it PREDICTS how the world works

      Scott: So, you're an instrumentalist, in that you think it is meaningless to ask if evolutionary theory is actually based on some degree of reality or it's just a useful fiction to predict what we will experience?

      Jeff: Well, it would be meaningless to you, for sure.

      Since it's not meatless for me and you seem to be confused as to how the question is relevant to your response - from the Wikipedia entry on Instrumentalism…

      In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a scientific theory is a useful instrument in understanding the world. A concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality.
      Instrumentalism avoids the debate between anti-realism and philosophical or scientific realism. It may be better characterized as non-realism. Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually exist, and towards an analysis of whether the results and evaluation fit with observed phenomena.


      So, I'll again ask, are you an instrumentalist in regards to evolutionary theory?

      Jeff: Don't misunderstand, though. I'm NOT saying that a biological history in terms of ID has support either. Both views require so many a-plausible assumptions to be possible that they are literally non-enumerable by humans. Rather, ID explains subsets of the data more parsimoniously than naturalistic UCA, and vice versa. But neither come close to explaining the whole biological history.

      IOW, you're saying we cannot make progress on the origin of concrete biological adaptations. So, apparently, I haven't misunderstood you after all.

      Delete
    13. Scott: Quoting ... "Instrumentalism shifts the basis of evaluation away from whether or not phenomena observed actually exist, and towards an analysis of whether the results and evaluation fit with observed phenomena."

      J: Scott, you're truly confused beyond belief, dude. How can one ever know "whether or not phenomena observed actually exist" if one doesn't know if memory occurs? Are you truly this confused? Seriously?

      Scott: IOW, you're saying we cannot make progress on the origin of concrete biological adaptations. So, apparently, I haven't misunderstood you after all.

      J: I said no such thing. You're just REALLY confused.

      Delete
  6. Pentadactylism is a very curious phenomenon. In "Eight Little Piggies" Stephen Gould points out the phenomenon as a puzzle. If evolution is "restricted to whatever is available" then why would evolution avoid the available option of more digits?

    The simple reality is that polydactyl mutations have shown up in many species, cats, mice, and humans among them. The mutation is quite willing to pass on genetically. Yet no living species has latched onto the polydactyl solution despite limbs adapting to such a broad variety of environments.

    If my puzzle at this is, well, silly then Stephen Gould's puzzle is also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M.J.Denton proposes to call the pentadactyl structure and such ‘basins of attraction’, in the current terminology of dynamic systems theorists.

      Delete
  7. Convergence obviously kills the theory of evolution via common descent and natural selection dead in the primordial ooze. No amount of deceitful explanations involving bogus claims of convergence via natural selection or virus-enabled lateral transfer of genetic material from one species to another can sweep this under the carpet. Widespread genetic convergence is a tremendous blow in the underbelly of the Darwinian beast. Death is imminent.

    I predict that the same code segments for echolocation that are found to be identical in certain bats and whales will also be found in echolocating birds. All hell will break loose if other distant species (e.g., fish, crustaceans, etc.) are discovered with echolocation gene segments identical to bats and whales.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will design be falsified if you are incorrect,Louis?

      Delete
    2. I personally can't wait to see the echolocating barnacles.

      Delete
    3. No, but if evolution via natural means is ruled out by the evidence, which is certainly the case here, then intelligent design wins by default because it is the only alternative.

      Delete
    4. DrHunter,
      Apparently evolution is not so constrained, and not limited to working with whatever designs happen to be available, as evolutionists have so strenuously argued


      Surely you aren't saying whales and bats had to evolve from scratch to aquire this ability? If not then they both used the designs available

      Delete
    5. Louis, you forget that with Evolution you are dealing with a religion, not a falsifiable theory.

      As more and more genetic convergence is discovered, the devout evolutionist will simply claim it as evidence for how random mutations in distant lineages can find the same "genetic solutions"... over and over again.

      "Astonishment" instantly becomes "Looky wut evolooshun dun!"

      It is just one superstitious evolutionary miracle after another...

      Delete
    6. No, but if evolution via natural means is ruled out by the evidence, which is certainly the case here, then intelligent design wins by default because it is the only alternative.

      I don't think it works that way, there is no winning by default,first you need an actual theory then you have to prove it more persuasive. So far you have neither

      Delete
    7. velikovskys:

      I don't think it works that way,

      It certainly does, your feeble protestations notwithstanding.

      there is no winning by default,first you need an actual theory then you have to prove it more persuasive. So far you have neither

      You are willingly and happily urinating against the wind, amigo. If it did not happen via natural means, then it happened via an intelligent agency. There is no need for any theory. Grow some neurons between your ears.

      Delete
    8. lipesy,
      Louis, you forget that with Evolution you are dealing with a religion, not a falsifiable theory.


      Then please, a couple of examples of what design predicts specifically and how it would be falsified

      Delete
    9. Louis,
      It certainly does, your feeble protestations notwithstanding


      As you wish,prove that there can not be an unknown non design mechanism.

      You are willingly and happily urinating against the wind, amigo. If it did not happen via natural means, then it happened via an intelligent agency. There is no need for any theory. Grow some neurons between your ears

      Except you don't know that evolution is the only natural means. You are assuming that. That is why you need a theory of your own with specific mechanisms for the design to be implemented

      Delete
    10. Intelligent design predicts the existence of genetic convergence (lateral inheritance) in many species. This has already been corroborated several times.

      Why is this a prediction of intelligent design? It's because this is what is observed in human intelligent design. Multiple lateral inheritance is a fixture of software engineering. I know, I do it all the time.

      Delete
    11. Louis Savain

      Why is this a prediction of intelligent design? It's because this is what is observed in human intelligent design.


      What is the basis for your assumption that the Magic Intelligent Designer would have to think or act like a human designer?

      Delete
    12. What is the basis for your assumption that the Magic Intelligent Designer would have to think or act like a human designer?

      What a moron. It's not an assumption, it's the hypothesis. Duh. The falsifiable prediction of the hypothesis is the existence widespread genetic convergence among the species. Wake up and smell real science for a change, Mr. Superstition.

      Delete
    13. it's the hypothesis. Duh. The falsifiable prediction of the hypothesis is the existence widespread genetic convergence among the species

      Does all human design have convergence? What is widespread?You would need to prove that .If there is no convergence between two species does that mean they were not designed or that whole hypothesis of design is incorrect?

      Delete
    14. velikovskys, get a clue. One does not have to prove a hypothesis. One only needs to provide a falsifiable prediction derived from the hypothesis, which I did.

      Delete
    15. 'Widespread' means 'many' in this context. The finding of two or more instances of genetic convergence between distant species would do it.

      Delete
    16. Louis Savain

      What a moron. It's not an assumption, it's the hypothesis. Duh. The falsifiable prediction of the hypothesis is the existence widespread genetic convergence among the species. Wake up and smell real science for a change, Mr. Superstition.


      Your 'hypothesis" prediction isn't logically derived from anything in your idea. It's like saying "I predict the Designer made the sky blue because humans like blue", then claiming a blue sky as evidence for ID. You are claiming an unrelated postdiction as evidence, not a prediction.

      BTW, if you had bothered to read the paper you'd see the researchers found 200 cases of convergence out of the over 800,000 amino acid sequences looked at. Not exactly an overwhelming confirmation of "common design."

      Delete
    17. Your 'hypothesis" prediction isn't logically derived from anything in your idea. It's like saying "I predict the Designer made the sky blue because humans like blue", then claiming a blue sky as evidence for ID. You are claiming an unrelated postdiction as evidence, not a prediction.

      I am claiming that intelligent design, as we know it, unavoidably leads to a design hierarchy over time. The hierarchy stems from the intelligent practice of building upon existing designs (aka class inheritance) as opposed to reinventing the wheel. This is the reason that programmers no longer have to write string classes or text editors from scratch. I am claiming that all intelligent designers, human or alien, use the same principle. The main sign of intelligent design over time (other than the hierarchy itself) is design convergence. This was the prediction of intelligent design all along. I've been saying this for years. It has now been corroborated.

      Why do I feel like I'm discussing rocket science with gerbils? Are all evolutionists this dense?

      Delete
    18. Louis Savain

      I am claiming that intelligent design, as we know it, unavoidably leads to a design hierarchy over time. The hierarchy stems from the intelligent practice of building upon existing designs (aka class inheritance) as opposed to reinventing the wheel.


      That means when we see four completely different solutions for animal flight (pterosaurs, insects, bats, birds) we can be sure there was no Intelligent Designer. An Intelligent Designer would never "reinvent the wheel" four times. Right?

      Delete
    19. This is a gem, Louis

      'Widespread' means 'many' in this context. The finding of two or more instances of genetic convergence between distant species would do it.

      So if two is widespread , then evolution creates widespread echolocation as well.

      Delete
    20. Thorton:

      That means when we see four completely different solutions for animal flight (pterosaurs, insects, bats, birds) we can be sure there was no Intelligent Designer. An Intelligent Designer would never "reinvent the wheel" four times. Right?

      If you are a scientist, this is truly pathetic. Do you always argue with strawmen and lies? Where did anybody say that intelligent designers never create variations on a theme. A designer is, first and foremost, a creator, an artist. Besides, no wheel was reinvented in the examples you mentioned because the principles of winged flight are the same always. In fact, it would not surprise me at all that some birds and some bats shared identical convergent genetic code segments used in the control of a particular flight behavior.

      And how could the intelligent designers create so many different kinds of birds and insects, if that should be counted as reinventing the wheel, in your weak mind.

      Haysoos Martinez! Is Thorton really counted as somebody in this debate? If so, this is beyond pathetic. The only way you morons can get away with your crap is by coercing the government to use the threat of force to impose your ridiculous and superstitious views on the world.

      Delete
    21. Louis Savain

      A designer is, first and foremost, a creator, an artist.


      LOL! So an Intelligent Designer never reinvents the wheel, except when he feels like doing so for artistic purposes.

      There are plenty of discoveries that would clobber the current ToE (i.e. a six-legged mammal) but absolutely nothing that a Designer couldn't do.

      Thanks again for confirming that ID isn't falsifiable, which means it isn't science.

      Delete
    22. Thorton:

      LOL! So an Intelligent Designer never reinvents the wheel, except when he feels like doing so for artistic purposes.

      But you have not shown that there is any reinvention of the wheel anywhere even if you think you have in your deluded little brain. The fact that hummingbirds don't fly the same way as insects, eagles or bats does not constitute any reinvention of any wheel. Get a clue, moron.

      There are plenty of discoveries that would clobber the current ToE (i.e. a six-legged mammal) but absolutely nothing that a Designer couldn't do.

      Nonsense, an intelligent designer will definitely reuse existing designs, which is something that is seen over and over in nature. That's one of the things that separate the intelligent from the non-intelligent.

      Thanks again for confirming that ID isn't falsifiable, which means it isn't science.

      And thank you for proving one more time (as if it needed to be), that all evolutionists are stupid.

      Delete
    23. Louis: Why is this a prediction of intelligent design? It's because this is what is observed in human intelligent design.

      This is what I find particularly confusing about ID proponents.

      Human designers, which you claim an intelligent design is supposedly based on, "design" things that are described as form over function and simply ornamental.

      Yet, ID proponents keep claiming intelligent design predicts a significant percentage of DNA should be functional.

      Delete
    24. Louis Savain

      The fact that hummingbirds don't fly the same way as insects, eagles or bats does not constitute any reinvention of any wheel. Get a clue, moron.


      How about barn swallows and little brown bats? Similar environment, similar food source, similar flight characteristics. Why did the Designer need two completely different wing designs?

      T: "There are plenty of discoveries that would clobber the current ToE (i.e. a six-legged mammal) but absolutely nothing that a Designer couldn't do."

      Nonsense, an intelligent designer will definitely reuse existing designs, which is something that is seen over and over in nature.


      Go ahead and give a few examples of something than a powerful enough Designer couldn't do.

      I won't hold my breath.

      Delete
    25. Louis: Why is this a prediction of intelligent design? It's because this is what is observed in human intelligent design.

      This is what I find particularly confusing about ID proponents.

      Human designers, which you claim an intelligent design is supposedly based on, "design" things that are described as form over function and simply ornamental.

      Yet, ID proponents keep claiming intelligent design predicts a significant percentage of DNA should be functional.


      Are you saying that a genetic design for a beautiful flower is not functional unless it contributes to the plant's growth and survival? Are you saying that a design for beauty does not contribute to a function? If so, you don't understand the true meaning of function in artistic design. It means to serve a purpose, whether or not the purpose benefits the designed organism or the designers' private sense of beauty. This is why we have art galleries. And this is what is seen in nature. For example, some of life's designers on earth seemed to have had a particularly intense infatuation with designing many different types and variations of insects.

      Delete
    26. Louis seems to be having a hard time finding those few examples of something that a powerful enough Designer couldn't do.

      I wonder why? ;)

      Delete
    27. "I wonder why? ;)"


      I wonder why you can wonder why.

      Delete
    28. Thorton:

      How about barn swallows and little brown bats? Similar environment, similar food source, similar flight characteristics. Why did the Designer need two completely different wing designs?

      Would you care to explain to the class how this constitutes a reinvention of the wheel, moron? Barn swallows and bats share a huge number of identical genes (design reuse), and not just from common descent but from lateral convergence as well.

      Me:

      Nonsense, an intelligent designer will definitely reuse existing designs, which is something that is seen over and over in nature.

      Thorton:

      Go ahead and give a few examples of something than a powerful enough Designer couldn't do.

      Why should I do that? Who said anything about a powerful enough designer? And what's with the upper case D crap? Love wrestling with strawmen much?

      The design hypothesis only postulates intelligent design which is derived from observing what was designed. We observe that there is a design hierarchy and that common descent with modification is the prevalent form of inheritance. But we also observe that the designer(s) made frequent use of lateral genetic code transfers. The finding of identical codes in distantly related species is precisely what would be expected from the work of intelligent designers, not from random mutations.

      So what the hell does any of this have to do with the power of the designer or even about the possibility of there having been more than one designer? I personally believe there were many designers but that has nothing to do with the design hypothesis. The designs of living organisms on earth certainly shows that the designer (s) were not all knowing and that they experimented along the way. Hell, there are signs that they were less than satisfied with some of their previous designs and destroyed them. But so what?

      I won't hold my breath.

      Try putting a sock in it. That would help.

      Delete
    29. Louis: If so, you don't understand the true meaning of function in artistic design.

      Just so I'm clear here, when ID proponents predict that a substantial percentage of the genome is functional, your claiming this includes the possibility that vast sequences of DNA are nothing more than individual "art galleries" the designer finds aesthetically pleasing for reasons we cannot comprehend?

      Really?

      But one could claim that about anything, at which point it predicts nothing.

      Delete
    30. Louis: So what the hell does any of this have to do with the power of the designer or even about the possibility of there having been more than one designer?

      In the supposedly scientific theory of ID, the designer is abstract and has no defined limitations. As such, assuming the designer needs to be efficient, doesn't already know how to build any organism that has, could or will exist, etc. isn't part of the theory.

      Louis: The designs of living organisms on earth certainly shows that the designer (s) were not all knowing and that they experimented along the way.

      Certainly? You might personally think the designer experimented in some sense, but so what? That's not part of the supposedly scientific theory of intelligent design. This leaves a hole large enough to drive one's preferred designer, including one who was all knowing, etc. IOW, that omission is, well, by design.

      Delete
    31. Louis Savain

      Would you care to explain to the class how this constitutes a reinvention of the wheel, moron? Barn swallows and bats share a huge number of identical genes (design reuse), and not just from common descent but from lateral convergence as well.


      I just told you. They have completely different wing designs to do the identical job. Why did the Designed reinvent the wheel?

      Why should I do that?

      Naming something the Designer couldn't do would show that ID can be falsified. That you can't think of a single example makes the point quite nicely.: ID can't be falsified and therefore isn't science.

      Delete
    32. Me:

      Would you care to explain to the class how this constitutes a reinvention of the wheel, moron? Barn swallows and bats share a huge number of identical genes (design reuse), and not just from common descent but from lateral convergence as well.

      Thorton:

      I just told you. They have completely different wing designs to do the identical job. Why did the Designed reinvent the wheel?

      So what? How does having different wing designs constitute reinventing the wheel? It's like saying that using carbon fiber reinforced wings in an airplane instead of aluminum or titanium alloys is reinventing the principles of flight. Variations on a theme are not reinventions but new inventions. Get a clue.

      Naming something the Designer couldn't do would show that ID can be falsified. That you can't think of a single example makes the point quite nicely.: ID can't be falsified and therefore isn't science.

      This is funny because this is precisely the sort of criticism that should be thrown at Darwinian evolution since no newly discovered capabilities are beyond its powers: just modify the theory so that anything that was previously beyond its powers become part of it. First, it was claimed that all genetic inheritance happened only via a nested hierarchy imposed by common descent. When lateral genetic convergence is shown to squarely falsify this prediction, the theory is amended to incorporate convergence even though they are hard pressed to explain how it happened. How convenient.

      The truth is that intelligent design, by definition, assumes that the designer does not know how things will turn out precisely. Otherwise, there is no need to design anything. Design has an element of learning and surprise in it by definition. Intelligent design of complex systems over time necessarily requires the use of hierarchical genetic inheritance via both common descent and lateral transfers. Intelligent design would be falsified if neither of those things could be ascertained experimentally.

      Speaking as a Christian, I know that the designers (the Elohim) of life on earth did not know how their creation was going to turn out since they declared that it was very good (not perfect) only after they were done. Some Christians erroneously (stupidly) believe that the creators are infinitely knowledgeable and powerful but I am not one of those Christians. I know better.

      Delete
    33. Scott:

      Just so I'm clear here, when ID proponents predict that a substantial percentage of the genome is functional, your claiming this includes the possibility that vast sequences of DNA are nothing more than individual "art galleries" the designer finds aesthetically pleasing for reasons we cannot comprehend?

      Really?


      Absolutely. The beauty of creation is incontestable. But I don't see why you think it is incomprehensible. We, humans, do notice and understand beauty. This is one of the differences between us and other terrestrial lifeforms. We continually design things for their beauty alone. Music is a case in point.

      But one could claim that about anything, at which point it predicts nothing.

      Nonsense.

      Delete
    34. louis said:

      "We, humans, do notice and understand beauty. This is one of the differences between us and other terrestrial lifeforms."

      You've apparently never heard of bowerbirds.

      "No, but if evolution via natural means is ruled out by the evidence, which is certainly the case here, then intelligent design wins by default because it is the only alternative."

      Which version of intelligent design? Your allegedly christian version with "many designers" that are far from perfect and not very powerful or knowledgeable, or some other allegedly christian version with one omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, perfect, infinite designer, or some other designer (aka god) that is imaginarily based on one or more of the many thousand of religions or versions of religions that people have ever conjured up?

      Who or what designed-created the many designer-creators that you believe in? Where, when, and how did all of the alleged designing-creating happen? Is it still happening? Is everything in the universe designed-created or just some things?

      Delete
    35. carolus and the rest of you god pushers, why don't you save yourselves a lot of typing and just say 'My chosen, supernatural sky-daddy did it, I believe it, and that settles it!'?

      Delete
    36. Whole Truth, what you need is a psychiatrist to help you get to the bottom of your hangups with Christianity. Were you molested by a Christian as a child, as was Dawkins? Poor baby. But what the hell does any of it have to do with intelligent design? When an architect or software designer creates something new, do they involve Christianity in the process? Or do they rely on their belief that life arose from dirt all by itself as you morons claim?

      I'll tell you what. Go eat your own feces and see if I care.

      Delete
    37. louis, you obviously missed this:

      "...or some other designer (aka god) that is imaginarily based on one or more of the many thousand of religions or versions of religions that people have ever conjured up?"

      In other words, all of the religious fairy tales ever conjured up, INCLUDING but no limited to christianity.

      Since you've chosen to be a self-proclaimed christian, and since you believe in your own particular version of christianity, then by your own standard you must have hangups with all other versions of christianity and all other religious beliefs that have ever been conjured up.

      Were you molested as a child by believers in every version of christianity except your particular version, and by believers in every other version of all religious fairy tales that have ever been conjured up? Poor baby.

      "I'll tell you what. Go eat your own feces and see if I care."

      That's mighty christian of you.

      Delete
    38. Here's my Christian reply to you. Kiss my ass, jackass.

      Delete
    39. Scott: But one could claim that about anything, at which point it predicts nothing.

      Louis: Nonsense.

      Did you comment get cut off?

      Again, anyone could merely reply with "nonsense" to anything, at which point it's essentially a non-respoinse.

      So, It's nonsense because?

      Let me guess, it's nonsense because I'm a Jackass? But that's simply more of the same.

      Delete
  8. Velikovsky,

    Surely you aren't saying whales and bats had to evolve from scratch to aquire this ability? If not then they both used the designs available

    What are you saying? That both the bat and the whale had the same echolocation abilities when they were running around as proto-hedgehogs or whatever on Laurasia tens of millions of years earlier?

    What CH is saying is that the Bat/Whale common ancestor lacked the homologous genetic function for echolocation. But instead of these two distant animals finding their own workable echolocation solution (or a phenotypic convergence), instead Evolution magically comes up with identical gene sequences.

    Why even bother using genetic homology as evidence for evolution anymore if genetic non-homology is now being found to be "widespread" ? Where is the falsification criteria?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are you saying? That both the bat and the whale had the same echolocation abilities when they were running around as proto-hedgehogs or whatever on Laurasia tens of millions of years earlier

      While I am not sure when the last common ancestor to the whale and the bat lived, but it is vastly more advanced than the first cell. DrHunter's statement " Apparently evolution is not so constrained, and not limited to working with whatever designs happen to be available, seems obviously false, convergent evolution is working with the available design.

      Delete
    2. What CH is saying is that the Bat/Whale common ancestor lacked the homologous genetic function for echolocation. But instead of these two distant animals finding their own workable echolocation solution (or a phenotypic convergence), instead Evolution magically comes up with identical gene sequences.

      As you said they belong to the same group, maybe not that distant. What is the design rationale for only some animals having this ability ? What are the odds that the designer would pick these two animals from all the others, less or more than evolution doing the same thing?

      Delete
    3. V,
      I was just using the Evolution storyline. I certainly don't believe that bats and whales evolved from a common ancestor.

      Who says these are the only two animals? The researchers examined 22 mammals and reported "widespread" genetic convergence. And it sounds like scientists are just starting to actively search for it.

      Why the non-sequitors about Design? Nobody has to prove Design or advance a theory of any kind to state the obvious: Evolution is a joke. It's turned into just a bunch of superstitious miracles that must have happened over and over again.

      Delete
    4. lifepsy.

      I certainly don't believe that bats and whales evolved from a common ancestor.


      Where did they come from then? What's you explanation for all the evidence we see for mammalian evolution in the fossil and genetic records?

      Delete
    5. Why the non-sequitors about Design?

      One only approaches the truth with a model, it you don't have an alternative, then the closest is the one which exists

      Nobody has to prove Design or advance a theory of any kind to state the obvious: Evolution is a joke.

      Nobody can say whatever they want, but likest theory is the working model. If evolution is a joke it should be easy to produce a more likely theory.

      It's turned into just a bunch of superstitious miracles that must have happened over and over again.

      And yet you support a idea which requires miracles as a mechanism.

      Delete
    6. V, then why don't evolutionists go make a "The Best Idea!" club. And let other people do objective science, where theories actually have to stand on their own merits or be abandoned. Strange idea, huh?

      Delete
    7. lifespy -

      All theories are 'only' our best explanations. That is exactly what scientific theories are. Evolution behaves exactly like every other scientific theory: collect data, make a theory to explain the data, test the theory, rinse, repeat.

      And let other people do objective science, where theories actually have to stand on their own merits or be abandoned.

      How utterly deluded. It is ID which categorically fails to stand on its own merits. ID rests ENTIRELY on the false dichotomy premise of 'Not evolution; therefore creation'.

      ID has no mechanisms, no processes, no testable hypotheses. ID-ers do nothing at all but try to knock evolution all day long. This blog is a perfect example of this. How about you practice what you preach, since you clearly grasp the fact that standing on its own merits is a desirable thing for a scientific theory to do?

      Delete
    8. Ritchie: "All theories are 'only' our best explanations [within the restricted mind set of epistemological naturalism]. That is exactly what scientific theories are. Evolution behaves exactly like every other scientific theory: collect data, make a theory [within the restricted mind set of epistemological naturalism] to explain the data, test the theory, rinse, repeat."

      Delete
    9. Carolus.

      Well, yes. Whether or not you were attempting sarcasm, all scientific theories really ARE built within the 'restricted mindset' of epistemological naturalism. That is exactly how science works. Indeed, it is essential to it working. It is what gives science its explanatory power.

      If you take issue with that, then you take issue with the whole of science. It is silly to single out individual theories for criticism on this, since this is how they ALL operate.

      Delete
    10. lipesy,
      V, then why don't evolutionists go make a "The Best Idea!" club.


      It would be the Better Explanation club

      And let other people do objective science, where theories actually have to stand on their own merits or be abandoned. Strange idea, huh?

      That is exactly what I am suggesting for " design". Produce explanation and a mechanism and then one can compare apples to apples. Or admit that ID is a non scientific explanation

      Delete
    11. Ritchie, how undisputed is your definition of how science works? Epistemological naturalism doesn’t seem to apply for – is irrelevant to – mathematics and social sciences.

      Delete
    12. Carolus

      It certainly applies to the latter. Mathematics is a little more abstract than biology or physics, but you still may not insert 'magic' into your mathematical formulas.

      There is no field of science in which it is admissible to include un-, sub-, or super- natural forces or beings as part of your theories. It is completely antithetical to science.

      If you do want to call upon such things, then you are not doing science. Philosophy, probably, or perhaps theology, but do not call it science.

      Delete
    13. Ritchie,

      Surely, you are correct when you say that mathematical formulas don’t contain ‘magic’ (personhood, consciousness, thoughts, feelings) but likewise it is true that these formulas don’t contain ‘elementary particles’ or ‘gravity’. Like I stated before: epistemological naturalism doesn’t apply (or irrelevant) to mathematics. Neither do I envision a major role for elementary particles in social sciences.

      Delete
    14. You misunderstand. Mathematical formulas deal with numbers, which are an abstract concept, and as such of course they do not involve elementary particles. But neither can you invoke the supernatural in your mathematical formulas.

      As far as the social sciences go, let's take psychology, for example. A psychologist might ask "What causes schizophrenia?" And if your answer involves demonic possession or the curse of a deity, then it will be laughed out of any reputable journal.

      Science will simply not allow un-, sub-, or super- natural forces as part of any theories, formulas or explanations in any field.

      God is not permitted inside the lab.

      Delete
    15. Ritchie:“Mathematical formulas deal with numbers, which are an abstract concept, and as such of course they do not involve elementary particles. But neither can you invoke the supernatural in your mathematical formulas.”

      When epistemological naturalism doesn’t apply it doesn’t entail that the ‘supernatural’ does; I handed this to you already. So I believe we are in agreement: epistemological naturalism doesn’t apply to mathematics.

      Ritchie: “As far as the social sciences go, let's take psychology, for example. A psychologist might ask "What causes schizophrenia?" And if your answer involves demonic possession or the curse of a deity, then it will be laughed out of any reputable journal. “

      We disagree upon the scope of the domain outside epistemological naturalism; what you call ‘magic’ or ‘supernatural’. When a psychologist concludes that someone suffers from schizophrenia because of a dominant father he operates outside epistemological naturalism. On the other hand when a psychologist concludes that schizophrenia is caused by certain unfortunate DNA mutations he obviously operates within the boundaries of epistemological naturalism. ‘Dominant father’ and ‘DNA mutations’ are causes of a totally different order in my book.
      Psychology is clearly an example of science that can go either way. An historian won’t be easily tempted to operate within the boundaries of epistemological naturalism. One cannot describe the civil war in terms of DNA.

      Delete
    16. Then it seems we understand different things by the term 'epistemological naturalism'.

      Epistemology is a Greek word meaning knowledge or understanding. Epistemological naturalism therefore - as I have been meaning the term at least - is simply understanding the world around us through natural causes. A dominant father is thus just as much a natural an explanation as DNA for schizophrenia. Demonic possession, by contrast, is not.

      It seems you are using the term to mean something like 'understanding the world around us through genetics'. This is, as far as I can see, a very bizarre definition of the term. I don't really know where you got this from.

      Delete
    17. Epistemological naturalism is also known as methodological naturalism.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism#Methodological_naturalism
      Ritchie: "Epistemological naturalism therefore - as I have been meaning the term at least - is simply understanding the world around us through natural causes."
      Could you please define 'natural causes'? Am I mistaken to assume that ‘natural causes’ are purely simple material causes - such as elementary particles and laws ?

      Delete
    18. Epistemological naturalism is also known as methodological naturalism.

      On that we agree. Methodological naturalism - using only natural entities in your methodology.

      Could you please define 'natural causes'? Am I mistaken to assume that ‘natural causes’ are purely simple material causes - such as elementary particles and laws ?

      Well, to quote from the below link, "Scientific naturalism is a view according to which all objects and events are part of nature, i.e. they belong to the world of space and time."

      http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/mat/maant/pg/lipsanen/041.html

      If you invoke a cause from outside of the world of space and time then it is an un-, sub-, or super- natural one.

      Moreover, the reason why they must be dismissed is easy to see - if these forces or beings do operate outside our world of space and time, then we could never learn anything about them. We could construct no test to discern their properties or limits as we could a natural force, eg., gravity.

      This is not to say that such forces definitely do not exist. But if they do, then science is impotent to discover anything about them. It is therefore by necessity, not by religious or philosophical bias, that scientists simply omit them as part of their explanations.

      Delete
    19. So, what then is the status of numbers, equations and ideas? Is science, like you say, impotent to discover anything about them since they are no tangible objects in space and time? How about consciousness, thoughts and feelings? Science demands intersubjectivity.
      "(...) all objects and events are part of nature, i.e. they belong to the world of space and time."
      Am I correct when I state that, according to methodological naturalism, all objects and events, that are allowed the status of a cause, must me reducible to elementary particles?

      Delete
    20. Carolus -

      So, what then is the status of numbers, equations and ideas? Is science, like you say, impotent to discover anything about them since they are no tangible objects in space and time? How about consciousness, thoughts and feelings? Science demands intersubjectivity.

      These are indeed not tangible objects. But they are still properties of the natural world. Consciousness, thoughts, feelings and ideas are all properties of a tangible, physical object - the brain. They are part of how this real world object functions.

      Numbers are a little more abstract. But then, they are relatable to the real world. If we ever want to check whether 2+2=4, then we can add two apples to two more apples and see how many we have in total. There is a whole philosophy of mathematics which goes a little over my head, but it seems the key point for us is that every number or equation is, at least in principle, relatable to the real world.

      "Am I correct when I state that, according to methodological naturalism, all objects and events, that are allowed the status of a cause, must me reducible to elementary particles?"

      All objects must, yes. But events? I wouldn't say so.

      If I dropped my book, I might ask what causes it to fall downwards. Gravity is that cause. Gravity itself is not reducible to elementary particles - it is in no way tangible. But it does describe the force of attraction between tangible objects - objects reducible to particles.

      Gravity is a natural force because we can study it. We can take two objects and run a series of experiments measuring the attraction between them, and tweak the variables to see what properties affect this force and which do not.

      Compare this with the intervention of a deity. This is not a natural force because it is not a property of, or relatable to, any real world object at all. It cannot be measured or tested, even in principle. We can run no experiments to discover what divine intervention is or is not capable of. This, by definition, puts it beyond the reach of science.

      Delete
    21. Ritchie,

      These are indeed not tangible objects. But they are still properties of the natural world. Consciousness, thoughts, feelings and ideas are all properties of a tangible, physical object - the brain. They are part of how this real world object functions.

      The hypothesis that consciousness, thoughts etc. are reducible to chemical processes in the brain follows from methodological naturalism - or metaphysical naturalism if you will. It then follows that my thoughts, like the ones I’m typing right now, stem from chemical processes – they are not constituted by free will, logic, wisdom, overview and such. According to science the notion that I’m free intelligent agent must therefore be an illusion. So if science explains my writings it cannot – within the restricted mind set of epistemological naturalism - invoke ‘logic’ and ‘free will’ as causes. Science cannot grant those illusive intangible phenomena the status of causes and must unearth the real cause which are tangible blind chemical processes in ‘my’ brain.
      Therefore consciousness, free will, thoughts, wisdom etc. are not acceptable causes for science [conducted within the restricted mind set of epistemological naturalism]. Needless to say that these ‘unacceptable intangible causes’ play major roles in social sciences.

      There is a whole philosophy of mathematics which goes a little over my head, but it seems the key point for us is that every number or equation is, at least in principle, relatable to the real world.

      So not everything has to belong to the world of space and time; sometimes relatability is sufficient? You will agree that there is no way science can measure or test a number.

      Compare this with the intervention of a deity. This is not a natural force because it is not a property of, or relatable to, any real world object at all. It cannot be measured or tested, even in principle.

      My point will be clear by now: consciousness, free will, feelings, thoughts, overview, wisdom, numbers etc. – the phenomena of man’s inner world – are also beyond measurement or test.

      Delete
    22. >>>> Therefore I maintain my statement that epistemological (methodological) naturalism does not apply to mathematics and social sciences.

      Delete
    23. Carolus

      follows from methodological naturalism - or metaphysical naturalism if you will.

      Actually it is important to make a distinction between the two here. The latter says that no supernatural forces or beings exist. The former simply insists we find naturalistic explanations for naturalistic phenomena - it does not make any claims about whether the supernatural exists. It is the former which science employs, not the latter.

      It then follows that my thoughts, like the ones I’m typing right now, stem from chemical processes – they are not constituted by free will, logic, wisdom, overview and such. According to science the notion that I’m free intelligent agent must therefore be an illusion.

      You are far overreaching yourself here. Science makes no such claims.

      The opinion you are describing here is called determinism, and it is a philosophical position, not a scientific one. Determinists do indeed hold that the whole future of the universe is inevitable, including the functions of our brains, and that free will is thus an illusion.

      But to say this conclusion follows necessarily from methodological naturalism is silly. Free will also finds it roots in our brains. There is nothing inherently contradictory in the idea that a brain, though chemical, is nevertheless capable of free will.

      And you have gone even further off the rails with 'wisdom' and 'logic'. Even a determinist might well allow for these, even if they conclude that each thought you have was predetermined to be wise, logical or not.

      Therefore consciousness, free will, thoughts, wisdom etc. are not acceptable causes for science.

      What nonsense. These are all properties of the brain, and as such are perfectly natural. It seems you have been listening to far too many silly Creationist strawmen.

      So not everything has to belong to the world of space and time; sometimes relatability is sufficient? You will agree that there is no way science can measure or test a number.

      I'm not sure I even understand what you mean by that. Mathematics is the discipline of studying numbers.

      My point will be clear by now: consciousness, free will, feelings, thoughts, overview, wisdom, numbers etc. – the phenomena of man’s inner world – are also beyond measurement or test.

      No they are not. Psychology, neurology and sociology are all perfectly valid scientific fields and testing and measuring man's inner world is exactly what they do.

      Delete
    24. Ritchie,

      There is nothing inherently contradictory in the idea that a brain, though chemical, is nevertheless capable of free will.

      I strongly disagree with your statement. And I believe that it is crucial to our disagreement. That said, I don't see much point in making an argument that chemicals are not capable of free will.
      Ritchie, thanks for the civil exchange of ideas, it has been a pleasure.

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

      Delete
    26. I didn't say chemicals had free will, I said the brain does.

      Chemicals are not capable of sight either. But an eye is.

      The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

      But yes, nice talking to you. Have a nice weekend.

      Delete
    27. Ritchie, you may be interested in this article by Maverick Philosopher, since it touches on some of the issues we discussed.
      http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2013/08/steven-pinker-on-scientism.html

      Excerpts:
      “If the only genuine knowledge is natural-scientific knowledge, then the only genuine knowledge of the mind is via neuroscience and behavioral psychology; and if reality is all and only what is accessible to natural-scientific knowledge, then not only is phenomenological and introspective knowledge bogus, but the mind as we actually experience it is illusory.”
      “I am glad to hear that he thinks that there are truths and values in addition to ‘physical stuff.’ What I'd like him to tell us is which natural science is equipped to elucidate truth, falsity, explanation, inference, normativity, rationality, understanding, and all the rest. Biology perhaps?”

      Also of interest Jerry Coyne on free will: http://chronicle.com/article/Jerry-A-Coyne/131165/

      You Don't Have Free Will
      I construe free will the way I think most people do: At the moment when you have to decide among alternatives, you have free will if you could have chosen otherwise. To put it more technically, if you could rerun the tape of your life up to the moment you make a choice, with every aspect of the universe configured identically, free will means that your choice could have been different.
      Although we can't really rerun that tape, this sort of free will is ruled out, simply and decisively, by the laws of physics. Your brain and body, the vehicles that make "choices," are composed of molecules, and the arrangement of those molecules is entirely determined by your genes and your environment. Your decisions result from molecular-based electrical impulses and chemical substances transmitted from one brain cell to another. These molecules must obey the laws of physics, so the outputs of our brain -- our "choices" -- are dictated by those laws. (It's possible, though improbable, that the indeterminacy of quantum physics may tweak behavior a bit, but such random effects can't be part of free will.) And deliberating about your choices in advance doesn't help matters, for that deliberation also reflects brain activity that must obey physical laws.”

      Have a nice weekend.

      Delete
    28. Hello again if you're still around.

      I'm confused. Are you now suggesting that we DON'T have free will?

      Above you were insisting that we do. Which is it?

      In any case, you are merely quoting a determinist. But it does not follow that determinism follows logically and necessarily from naturalism.

      IF we have free will, then it is a product of the brain - a physical, material, natural object.

      The passage you have quoted suggests that we do not, in fact, have free will.

      Neither support the position you were claiming above - which is that free will does exist and that it comes from a non-physical, non-material, non-natural source. Can you support THAT claim at all?

      Delete
  9. Hi there. One criticism, nowhere on your blog does there seem to be a starting-point, an orientation for new readers. Or am I missing it? Please direct me. Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just chime in, no bad language,

      Delete
    2. There is no starting point, it's just an endless loop.

      1. An OP is made with a drastic misrepresentation or outright lie about some aspect of evolutionary biology

      2. All the mouth-breathing Creationists wet themselves and go "YEAH, YOU TELL THOSE EVIL EVOS!!"

      3. A few scientifically literate folks stop by to correct the lie, and/or point and laugh.

      Wash, rinse, repeat.

      Delete
    3. Hi Unknown,

      The starting point is to ignore Thorton.
      You see, he doesn't have any actual evidence and gets all mad when someone (in this case Cornellius) repeatedly points that out to him.
      Thorton usually responds by posting more so called "science", the same type of "science" that is initially in question.

      Delete
    4. LOL! Right on cue, a mouth breathing Creationist wets himself and chimes in.

      Q.E.D.

      Delete
    5. Thorton: There is no starting point, it's just an endless loop.

      It's like a creationist game of wack-a-mole. When we point out one bad argument, another one sprigs up to take it's place. Eventually, we end up where we started, as if no correction had been made. And the whole thing starts all over again.

      Delete
  10. Amen to this article. Convergent evolution is needed and invoked because of the very unlikely case of like results from mutations acting upon unrelated organisms.
    If biology was created by a creator it would be common designs and common blueprint that would be found in nature. If evolution was true it should be every whim a mutation can think up that is found in biology that has like needs.
    The soft underbelly of evolutionary error , i think, is convergent evolution claims.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thornton asserts:


    "There is no starting point, it's just an endless loop.

    1. An OP is made with a drastic misrepresentation or outright lie about some aspect of evolutionary biology

    2. All the mouth-breathing Creationists wet themselves and go "YEAH, YOU TELL THOSE EVIL EVOS!!"

    3. A few scientifically literate folks stop by to correct the lie, and/or point and laugh.

    Wash, rinse, repeat."



    Bpragmatic responds:


    So your pop culture laden ideologically inspired assertions are somehow supposed to convince thinking individuals that your psuedo scientific, personal philosophically driven conjecture somehow has any meaning with respect to a "scientific" demonstration of ool and nde conjecture explaining what is "observed" relative to living ecosystems today?

    You continue to display a vast array of ignorance only surpassed by your unabated arrogance. What a fool. You demonstrate over and over again that proponents of nde are nothing more than ignorant fools driven by some sort of anti religious philosophy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bpragmatic

      Blurbble Glurbble derp derp derp


      Points and laughs.

      Delete
  12. Me,
    And let other people do objective science, where theories actually have to stand on their own merits or be abandoned. Strange idea, huh?

    V,
    That is exactly what I am suggesting for " design". Produce explanation and a mechanism and then one can compare apples to apples. Or admit that ID is a non scientific explanation


    I couldn't care less about advancing a Theory of ID.

    Since you can't seem to talk about Evolution without bringing up ID, then I guess this discussion is pointless.

    I am left with the conclusion that you apparently don't think Evolution should be required to stand on it's own merits, as long as it's not being actively replaced. Very strange attitude, but not surprising for someone defending a long debunked pseudo-theory.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lipesy,
    couldn't care less about advancing a Theory of ID


    Lucky for you, there is no Theory of ID to advance

    Since you can't seem to talk about Evolution without bringing up ID, then I guess this discussion is pointless.

    Ok,sketch out your guesstimate of a better explanation

    I am left with the conclusion that you apparently don't think Evolution should be required to stand on it's own merits, as long as it's not being actively replaced.

    No criticize away, but if you use the argument it is unlikely, please provide evidence as how you compute the probability , because unlikely things happen constantly.

    Very strange attitude, but not surprising for someone defending a long debunked pseudo-theory.

    Thousands of professionals disagree, how should biologists proceed in your world view? I am curious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. V,

      It doesn't matter how many professionals believe in evolution, or how many keep publishing that evolution must have dunnit somehow. What matters is if they can show it's true or likely with the data, and in this task they have utterly failed.

      Delete
    2. lifepsy

      It doesn't matter how many professionals believe in evolution, or how many keep publishing that evolution must have dunnit somehow. What matters is if they can show it's true or likely with the data, and in this task they have utterly failed


      Since you've never read or studied any of the data, how would you know?

      Still waiting for your explanation of the patterns in the fossil and genetic data on cetaceans BTW.

      Delete
  14. velikovskys:

    I am curious.

    That's a character flaw, but we'll allow it for the sake of (hopefully civil) discussion .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pedant,
      That's a character flaw(Curiousity )
      , but we'll allow it for the sake of (hopefully civil) discussion


      Perhaps even more debilitating is my fascination with bad logic.

      Delete