Saturday, May 17, 2014

Evolution Professor: The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve and ALUs

Fact Checking the Evolutionists

In his recent debate with Paul Nelson, evolutionist Joel Velasco appealed to several evidences in making his case for evolution. In my previous posts I examined Velasco’s claims about the nested hierarchy and ORFans (here and here). Here I will examine two more of Velasco’s evidences: the recurrent laryngeal nerve and a common genomic element known as an ALU.

In both these examples Velasco makes suggestions that are at odds with the facts. For the recurrent laryngeal nerve, Velasco sets up the problem with the claim that in fish the heart is in between the head and the gills. And for the ALU DNA sequences, Velasco suggests they are identical in different species. But Velasco is moving through a large amount of material, and speaking for about an hour. Not everything is going to be spot on, and that’s understandable.

And even more importantly, these misstatements do not affect the overall argument for evolution that Velasco makes in these two cases. So the problem here is not the miscues, but rather the overall arguments themselves. And the problem with these arguments, from a scientific perspective, is that both crucially rely on the flawed premise that similarity implies common ancestry.

If that were true then evolution would have been proven long ago. And indeed, it has been so proven, in the minds of evolutionists. But similarity does not imply common ancestry. There is no demonstration or proof that would establish such a bizarre claim.

Furthermore, not only is the argument not sound from a scientific perspective, but each argument raises substantial problems. For instance, the recurrent laryngeal nerve runs from the brain to the larynx. Evolutionists like to show examples in fish and in the giraffe. The idea is that as fish evolved into the giraffe, the nerve continued all the while to innervate the larynx, even though it became longer and longer as the neck became longer.

But such a long nerve raises all kinds of thorny molecular biology problems. Certainly the simpler, more direct route would have been selected for. The only thing evolutionists can say is that such a design was not possible. But they give no concrete reason. As Velasco put it:

Now as we evolved, the heart moved farther down and we grew necks. But the nerve, generation after generation after generation, got stretched longer and longer and longer. It can’t just reroute itself to go straight to the larynx.

Why not? Such special pleading is common in evolutionary thinking. They say evolution can create all kinds of amazing things. It can spontaneously morph a fish into a giraffe. It can create everything from a rose to a bald eagle. It created the incredible cell with its astonishing molecular machines and instructions. In fact, evolution created the entire biological world. And of course evolutionary thinking is by no means limited to biology. The cosmos evolved also. Evolution created everything.

And yet, when it comes to maintaining the simpler, more efficient, higher fitness path for the recurrent laryngeal nerve, evolution mysteriously fell short. For some unknown reason, the mastermind creator of the universe couldn’t maintain a simple nerve arrangement. Evolutionists can’t explain why, but they’re sure of this story.

The ALU argument also relies on the flawed claim that similarity implies common ancestry. In this case, ALU sequences are related to an RNA gene that helps to form a molecular machine known as the signal recognition particle that helps to govern the movement of protein traffic in the cell. Evolutionists have no explanation how that machine could have evolved.

Furthermore retrotransposons such as ALUs are inserted into the DNA with the help of the reverse transcriptase protein which constructs the DNA segment from the RNA copy. But, again, evolution has no credible explanation for how the complex reverse transcriptase protein could have evolved.

So the very presence of ALUs does not comport with evolutionary theory. This hardly makes for very good supporting evidence.

51 comments:

  1. Velasco's take on the recurrent laryngeal nerve is a little different than I've heard before. Previously, I have heard of this "odd" construction in terms of "God wouldn't do it that way so therefore it evolved." (And yes, the proponents of the view use the word "God", so it's a theological argument to begin.)
    Just as you aptly ask "Why not?" with respect to Dr. Velasco's take, I ask the same question with respect to the argument that God wouldn't do it that way. Why not?
    I speak solely from my own experience to say there is a relationship between the words I speak (or write) and my heart. When I speak or write, both my mind and heart play a part in my final choice of words. Funny that the nerve that connects my brain to my vocal cords wrap around my heart. Hey, I'm not arguing or proposing, just observing what seems to be true in my own case. Maybe the Designer, whoever or whatever that is (I do however choose to call Him God) designed man, perhaps all creatures to think with both their heads and their hearts.
    If evolutionists are allowed to make all sorts of speculations about why things are one way rather than another, I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed the same amenity.
    Just my two cents.

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    1. Glenn:

      Velasco's take on the recurrent laryngeal nerve is a little different than I've heard before. Previously, I have heard of this "odd" construction in terms of "God wouldn't do it that way so therefore it evolved."

      Good point, and stay tuned. That one will be coming up ...

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    2. Glenn J Velasco's take on the recurrent laryngeal nerve is a little different than I've heard before. Previously, I have heard of this "odd" construction in terms of "God wouldn't do it that way so therefore it evolved." (And yes, the proponents of the view use the word "God", so it's a theological argument to begin.)

      Actually, the more common form is that this is something that a human designer wouldn't so why would a much more advanced and intelligent being - like a god - do it. That's commentary on a religious claim - in that sense it's religious - but that's not the same as having a religious belief oneself.

      Glenn J If evolutionists are allowed to make all sorts of speculations about why things are one way rather than another, I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed the same amenity.

      So who's stopping you? Conjecture away to your heart's content. Just don't expect conjecture to be taken as seriously as a well-supported scientific theory.

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    3. What well supported scientific theory? Unguided evolution can't even muster testable hypotheses.

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  2. You said, "But similarity does not imply common ancestry." This statement implies that common ancestry implies unguided natural processes -- neo-Darwinism. Many of us buy the case for common ancestry, but reject the case for a natural explanation.

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    1. bFast:

      You said, "But similarity does not imply common ancestry." This statement implies that common ancestry implies unguided natural processes

      Well no, it not so expansive as you suggest. The fact that similarity does not imply CA is pretty modest. It doesn't specify much about the details of CA. The point is simply that if you observe similarity in different species, it does not mean they necessarily share a common ancestor.

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    2. CH: The point is simply that if you observe similarity in different species, it does not mean they necessarily share a common ancestor.

      J: Indeed, to show the absurdity of the claim, consider the putative universal common ancestor. Suppose it is single-cell organism that reproduces by cell division. Now consider the first 15 billion descendents of that ancestor. Now create 15 billion pairs by pairing the UCA organism with each of those 15 billion descendants.

      Most UCA'ists will agree that there will be a MUCH higher degree of similarity between the members of those pairs than there is between a human and the most recent common ancestor of the putative, extant, closest relative species of humans.

      And yet there is NO common ancestor for ANY of those 15 billion pairs of relatively similar putative organisms.

      As a hypothesis, UCA has no inductive evidence for it. It's believed by those who need neither inductive evidence nor intuitiveness for their beliefs. IOW, they have beliefs that can't even be rationally argued with. This would not be so bad if it were not that its proponents have convinced themselves that they should pontificate falsely to the public about its epistemic status with respect to BOTH plausibility AND utility.

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    3. And before Z etal come back and say "ancestor" has a different meaning when applied to the UCA than it does when used in all other common ancestry discussions, I beg them to put up or shut up. If you're out is that common ancestry is saddled with the additional baggage of abiogenesis, and that creates a "gray" area of definitions, then great--we can just tack on to the non-existence of inductive evidence for UCA the non-existence of inductive evidence for its putative necessary pre-conditions.

      But once you go there, you're in a naturalistic infinite regress which ends up working JUST LIKE theoretical Last-Thursdayism. As Scott admits, "progress," by this methodology, amounts to ruling one instance of an infinite set at a time. but our descendants will never have obtained an infinite history. And "infinity" minus ANY finite number is ZERO!!!! Amazing that Scott can't see that MEASURABLE progress is impossible by his approach.

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    4. J: Indeed, to show the absurdity of the claim, consider the putative universal common ancestor. ...

      Interesting point Jeff. Of course another reason why the claim is false are the many examples of similarity in cases where even evolutionists admit it could not be due to common ancestry, such as in the marsupial-placental lineages, or the human-kangaroo genomes, or the ...

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    5. CH: Of course another reason why the claim is false are the many examples of similarity in cases where even evolutionists admit it could not be due to common ancestry, such as in the marsupial-placental lineages, or the human-kangaroo genomes, or the ...

      J: Indeed. But the UCA thought experiment shows how badly the claim qua a claim fails even with an extreme DEGREE of similarity.

      The whole approach is literally arbitrary to the bone marrow. That's why virtually no one makes one life decision based upon it. Even most atheists would choose to believe they're in a Matrix if that was the only alternative to that theistic-ID approach that explains the doable distinction of warranted and unwarranted belief. And ID minus warranted belief buys you nothing of value.

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    6. Jeff: Now consider the first 15 billion descendents of that ancestor.

      Silly word game. When we say that any two organisms share a common ancestor, we mean every organism except the putative most recent universal common ancestor, by definition.

      Cornelius Hunter: Of course another reason why the claim is false are the many examples of similarity in cases where even evolutionists admit it could not be due to common ancestry

      Of course. Convergence due to natural selection has been part of the theory of evolution since Darwin.

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    7. Z: Silly word game. When we say that any two organisms share a common ancestor, we mean every organism except the putative most recent universal common ancestor, by definition.

      J: IOW, it's you, as usual, that plays the silly word games. Intellectually honest people define their terms and judge the validity of their claims in those terms.

      Cry babies like you keep arbitrarily positing another and another "false memory" (using the Last Thursdayism analogy) to hold on to a mere unfalsifiability of an hypothesis--as if there isn't an infinite set of similarly unfalsifiable histories contrary to that one in the first place. You got nothing, dude; not even a non-arbitrary way to distinguish between "evidence" and the lack thereof.

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    8. Jeff: Intellectually honest people define their terms and judge the validity of their claims in those terms.

      We have Jeff. You just don't listen. It's rather obvious when talking about a branching tree, that any two branches on a tree have a common ancestral branch—except the trunk of the tree.

      Jeff: as if there isn't an infinite set of similarly unfalsifiable histories contrary to that one in the first place.

      There are always an infinitude of possible unfalsifiable histories. However, there is a most parsimonious history or set of histories given the evidence, and it is possible to gauge the reliability of a history by positing the existence of heretofore unknown evidence.

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    9. Zachriel: Of course. Convergence due to natural selection has been part of the theory of evolution since Darwin.

      And it is still based on arbitrary, subjective classification methodology to this day. The main deciding factor for why a character trait is identified as either convergent or inherited is which ever option lends greater support to the preferred phylogeny.

      Manyof the traits claimed as evidence for common descent today could just as easily be identified as convergent lineages. There is no theoretical framework to rule either out. It's just whatever story seems to support evolution better.

      Evolutionism is a fog that adapts to any arrangement of data.

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    10. Z: It's rather obvious when talking about a branching tree, that any two branches on a tree have a common ancestral branch—except the trunk of the tree.

      J: That exception is what renders the CLAIM that similarity is an indicator of a particular genealogical history false AS a claim. One can posit what one wants. That claim per se is false as a claim.

      Z: However, there is a most parsimonious history

      J: Show me yours is more parsimonious than an SA history. You can't, Z. No one can articulate that any events. You're saying nothing relevant to the debate. And, again, the debate is about WHETHER there is inductive evidence for the hypothesis. And there's not.

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    11. Z: It's rather obvious when talking about a branching tree, that any two branches on a tree have a common ancestral branch—except the trunk of the tree.

      If you want a more precise statement, for any two distinct branches, either one is the ancestor of the other, or they share a common ancestor.

      lifepsy: The main deciding factor for why a character trait is identified as either convergent or inherited is which ever option lends greater support to the preferred phylogeny.

      The nested hierarchy is strongly supported regardless of posited convergence. And if we look at examples of convergence, it's clear that they only strengthen the case for common descent. For instance, cetaceans have hydrodynamic shapes, but anyone who looks closely can tell they have far more characteristics in common with other mammals, not fish.

      lifepsy: There is no theoretical framework to rule either out.

      Of course there is. While Darwin couldn't directly observe the effect of natural selection on populations, today we can.

      Jeff: That exception is what renders the CLAIM that similarity is an indicator of a particular genealogical history false AS a claim.

      Huh? That doesn't make a lot of sense. Because the trunk doesn't spring from a branch, therefore trees don't have branches?

      Jeff: Show me yours is more parsimonious than an SA history.

      You look at the branches, and see separate branches, each with their own origin, while common ancestry sees the branches as part of a single tree, with a single origin.

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    12. Zachriel, seeing that you have no idea what a nested hierarchy is, perhaps you should stop talking about it.

      Convergence due to natural selection has been part of the theory of evolution since Darwin.

      Evidence please.

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    13. Zachriel: Convergence due to natural selection has been part of the theory of evolution since Darwin.

      Joe G: Evidence please.

      Origin of Species, Chapter IV.

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    14. Z: You look at the branches, and see separate branches, each with their own origin, while common ancestry sees the branches as part of a single tree, with a single origin.

      J: Z, neither of us "see" anything. UCA per your view and SA per other views all imply ghost ranges. Saltational histories don't need to posit ghost lineages. But there's no inductive evidence for ANY history with that level of detail. Because there is no explanation for them that can be articulated or thought in a sufficiently small number of axioms.

      Even cladograms (which are mere models, not explanations using known effects of historical mutations, etc) don't imply anything that can be tested. Erosion rates, alone (never mind taphonomic, ecological, and discovery factors), are so problematic for the posited time-frame that ghost ranges have to be posited ARBITRARILY by UCA'ists, given the astronomical number of ranges that are equally arbitrary. Hence, cladograms supposedly "modeling" large degrees of morphological/phenotypic evolution aren't evidence of anything since none of them agree with OBSERVED fossil succession. Arbitrary ghost ranges MUST be posited to render them unfalsifiable.

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    15. Jeff: neither of us "see" anything.

      Not all of us are blind.

      Jeff: Even cladograms (which are mere models, not explanations using known effects of historical mutations, etc) don't imply anything that can be tested.

      Cladograms are hypotheses, which you have defined as an explanation.

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    16. Jeff: neither of us "see" anything.

      Z: Not all of us are blind.

      J: Not good at contextual interpretation, either, huh?

      Z: Cladograms are hypotheses, which you have defined as an explanation.

      J: What I said is that models can be used to predict once they've been corroborated sufficiently. But no predictions of cladograms that model much evolution at all are consistent with observed fossil succession. And ghost ranges of any length of time relevant to considerable variation are posited with arbitrariness. So there is no way to TEST what the cladogram supposedly models.

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    17. Zachriel:
      Origin of Species, Chapter IV.

      I searched for the word "convergence" and it isn't in that chapter.

      http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/

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    18. Jeff: What I said is that models can be used to predict once they've been corroborated sufficiently.

      What you said was that cladograms are "not explanations using known effects of historical mutations". They are hypotheses, which you have defined as an explanation. Ghost ranges are also hypotheses, and they can be tested.

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    19. Joe G: I searched for the word "convergence" and it isn't in that chapter.

      Sorry, we should have specified the edition. Try the 1872 edition.
      http://bertie.ccsu.edu/darwinevol/DarwinOriginContents.html

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    20. ". If two species, belonging to two distinct though allied genera, had both produced a large number of new and divergent forms, it is conceivable that these might approach each other so closely that they would have all to be classed under the same genus; and thus the descendants of two distinct genera would converge into one."

      Oops, that means Zachriel is incorrect wrt nested hierarchies

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    21. Joe G: Oops, that means Zachriel is incorrect wrt nested hierarchies

      Add "conceivable" to the things you don't understand.

      Darwin continues: But it would in most cases be extremely rash to attribute to convergence a close and general similarity of structure in the modified descendants of widely distinct forms... It is incredible that the descendants of two organisms, which had originally differed in a marked manner, should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation. If this had occurred, we should meet with the same form, independently of genetic connection, recurring in widely separated geological formations; and the balance of evidence is opposed to any such an admission.
      http://bertie.ccsu.edu/darwinevol/Origin/Origin04.html



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    22. Obviously Zachriel doesn't understand "conceivable". If it is conceivable that such a convergence can occur then nested hierarchies are not predicted- period.

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    23. Joe G: Obviously Zachriel doesn't understand "conceivable". If it is conceivable that such a convergence can occur then nested hierarchies are not predicted- period.

      Heh. It's conceivable the Moon could do loop-de-loops, or that there's a teapot orbiting Mars.

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    24. Zachriel:
      It's conceivable the Moon could do loop-de-loops, or that there's a teapot orbiting Mars.

      Heh- only to someone who is totally ignorant.

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    25. Put on your imagination cap, and conceive of a teapot orbiting Mars. See! You can do it if you try!

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    26. I forgot that you morons think that imagination is actual evidence.

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    27. Joe G: I forgot that you morons think that imagination is actual evidence.

      The term in contention was conceivable, so yes, something you can imagine is conceivable.

      Darwin said convergence of all characters was conceivable, but not supported by the evidence. Whether right or wrong, your misunderstanding of basic terminology means you misrepresented what he said.

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    28. Zachriel:
      Whether right or wrong, your misunderstanding of basic terminology means you misrepresented what he said.

      I didn't misunderstand anything. And you have to demonstrate Darwin's meaning of the word, and you can't.

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    29. Joe G: And you have to demonstrate Darwin's meaning of the word, and you can't.

      Oxford Dictionary
      conceivable, capable of being imagined or grasped mentally.

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    30. The etymology of conceivable to mean imaginable dates to the 17th century.
      http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=conceivable

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    31. So you can't demonstrate his usage. Got it. Conceivable also means "possible".

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    32. It's possible there's a teapot orbiting Mars.

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    33. Z: What you said was that cladograms are "not explanations using known effects of historical mutations". They are hypotheses, which you have defined as an explanation.

      J: They're hypothetical models. Both models and explanations can be used to predict. Cladograms, as models, don't predict anything but relative ordering and possibly maximal degrees and/or kinds of single-generation variation. As such, they tell us nothing about what ghost lineages, ghost ranges and out-of-cladogram-order fossil finds should be "expected."

      Z: Ghost ranges are also hypotheses, and they can be tested.

      J: By what criteria? And how many? And how are they originated? The stratigraphic column is correlated on the untestable assumption of unproveable ranges of index fossils, etc. The circular reasoning goes "all the way down."

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    34. by "unproveable ranges of index fossils," I mean the unproveable identity of the observed and existential ranges. You need geological, taphonomical, ecological, etc criteria just to render that stratigraphic correlation approach non-circular, never mind the ghost lineages and ranges in any local pile of sediments.

      And erosion rates (relative to the posited time-frame) alone render the whole thing almost completely arbitrary, never mind the taphonomic and ecological conditions that are even more speculative.

      The notion that those combined factors render the first and last observed occurrence well correlated with the existential range of a species is so polyanna it's mind-boggling. You couldn't write down the total list of propositions to IMPLY the validity of bio-stratigraphic correlation criteria and ghost lineage/range criteria in terms of the relevant causal factors if your life depended on it.

      You confuse circular reasoning with evidential reasoning incessantly.

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    35. Jeff: They're hypothetical models.

      Which is how you defined an explanation.

      Jeff: Cladograms, as models, don't predict anything but relative ordering and possibly maximal degrees and/or kinds of single-generation variation.

      Cladograms hypothesize evolutionary relationships.

      Jeff: The stratigraphic column is correlated on the untestable assumption of unproveable ranges of index fossils, etc.

      The geological column can be dated with some precision by radiometrics, or roughly with geological data.

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  3. jeff,
    theistic-ID approach that explains the doable distinction of warranted and unwarranted belief.


    What is the warranted belief on how an unknown theistic designer implemented His design? Or is there a warranted belief on the characteristics of the unknown theistic designer?

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    1. If inductive criteria are not valid, then there is no such thing as warranted belief best I can tell, V. And I've already explained to you heretofore why inductive criteria have no discernible validity UNLESS

      1) causality is valid as a principle,

      2) there is finality of explanation of our experience,

      and

      3) the conduciveness of an explanation to our long-term satisfaction is a necessary condition of its "plausiblity."

      All 3 of those rule out as utterly arbitrary all approaches but benevolent teleology.

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  4. Jeff,
    If inductive criteria are not valid, then there is no such thing as warranted belief best I can tell, V.


    That sounds like the position you mock Scott for holding.

    1) causality is valid as a principle,

    That seems like a good working assumption.

    2) there is finality of explanation of our experience,

    Death could be viewed as such, since we have no knowledge of any experience prior to our birth.

    3) the conduciveness of an explanation to our long-term satisfaction is a necessary condition of its "plausiblity."

    How is our long term satisfaction linked to plausibility?

    All 3 of those rule out as utterly arbitrary all approaches but benevolent teleology.

    The problem is 3 seems an arbitrary condition in order to render all other conditions as arbitrary.

    But I can rephrase my question, What is the warranted belief on how an theistic teleological designer implements His design?

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    1. Jeff: If inductive criteria are not valid, then there is no such thing as warranted belief best I can tell, V.

      V: That sounds like the position you mock Scott for holding.

      J: Except I think inductive criteria have warrant. Scott doesn't. Scott doesn't believe there's such a thing as warranted belief. That's why I'm in awe that he expects anyone to take his views seriously, since he himself doesn't.

      Jeff: 2) there is finality of explanation of our experience,

      V: Death could be viewed as such, since we have no knowledge of any experience prior to our birth.

      J: What I was meaning there is that no event has an explanation entailing an infinite set of prior caused events.

      Jeff: 3) the conduciveness of an explanation to our long-term satisfaction is a necessary condition of its "plausiblity."

      V: How is our long term satisfaction linked to plausibility?

      J: Have inductively-derived inferences provided us any utility conducive to our greater long-term satisfaction in your opinion? I don't see how that's even debatable.

      V: But I can rephrase my question, What is the warranted belief on how an theistic teleological designer implements His design?

      J: If causality is a principle and intentions are causal, then we can't rule out the possibility that a designers intentions (even for the means to be used to attain ends) are PER SE causal of what was intended. Those intentions can include the instantiation of other intentional beings, rendering the intended order one of tendency rather than inevitability.

      What this buys us is the FINALITY of explanation, such that the inductive criteria of parsimony, applied to explanations, can conceivably be warranted. Parsimony can't be applied to explanations of events that are the equivalent of an infinite set of prior caused events.

      But a free choice, if causal, can instantiate a bona-fide FIRST cause or causes of a series of subsequent effects if those effects occur in a world that BEGINS to exist from that choice. Similarly, the Big Bang has that kind of finality, but one that is final due to the positing of uncaused events. This creates the problem that, since uncaused events are such that nothing about them is expected or unexpected, no permutation/combination of caused and uncaused events of a given history is any more discernibly probable than any other.

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    2. One key criticism of foundationalism is that the choice is where to end an infinite regress is arbitrary.

      For example, Jeff arbitrarily decides that God doesn't need to be grounded. He merely claims it's necessary to prevent an infinite regress. Here I stand!

      Then again, I've already referenced criticism of this view and provided an alternative with key distinctions.

      http://www.the-rathouse.com/bartdogmatic.html

      Infinite Regress versus Dogmatism

      The true belief framework is fundamentally flawed due to the perennial problem of validation and the dilemma of the infinite regress versus dogmatism. Sextus Empiricus was one of the first people to draw attention to this (circa 200 AD) and more recently David Hume made it topical with his devastating critique of induction. The dilemma arises as follows: If a belief claims validation by a supporting argument, what justifies the support? Where and how does the chain of justifications stop? If one attempts to provide reasons for the supporting argument then an infinite regress can be forced by anyone who presses for more supporting statements which in turn demand justification. It appears that this can only be avoided by a dogmatic or arbitrary decision to stop the regress at some stage and settle on a belief at that point.

      This dilemma creates 'conscientious objections' to open-mindedness because a logical chain of argument apparently justifies resistance to counter arguments by suggesting that the only way out of the infinite regress is to place an arbitrary limit on criticism at some point: 'Here I stand'. To the despair of people who believe in reason, their opponents can defeat the principle of open-ended criticism and debate on impeccably logical grounds, simply by pointing to the problem of the infinite regress.

      Critical Preference

      The solution is to abandon the quest for positive justification and instead to settle for a critical preference for one option rather than others, in the light of critical arguments and evidence offered to that point. A preference may (or may not) be revised in the light of new evidence and arguments. This appears to be a simple, commonsense position but it defies the dominant traditions of Western thought which have almost all taught that some authority provides (or ought to provide) grounds for positively justified beliefs.


      Theism is the authoritative source.

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    3. Jeff: What this buys us is the FINALITY of explanation, such that the inductive criteria of parsimony, applied to explanations, can conceivably be warranted. Parsimony can't be applied to explanations of events that are the equivalent of an infinite set of prior caused events.

      Or we could just discard justificationism all together, as indicated above.

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    4. Jeff: Scott doesn't believe there's such a thing as warranted belief.

      If you want to call my distinction "warranted belief" then go right ahead. This doesn't change the fact that I've made a distinction from what you mean by warranted belief.

      Word play like this an unfruitful distraction.

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    5. Scott, you deny the existence of warranted belief. Hence, by your view, no one, including yourself, can be taken seriously if "taken seriously" means doing something non-arbitrary. You're utterly confused. Either foundationalism of some sort is valid, or nothing else is discernibly valid. The minute one initiates communication with another mind, one is using foundationalism and assuming the "other" has the same one to at least some extent.

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    6. ... this is because communication requires at bare minimum the validity of the LNC and at least some analogous experience, including apparent memories, etc.

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  5. Unguided evolution can't even account for nerves, so what is the point?

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  6. CH: And the problem with these arguments, from a scientific perspective, is that both crucially rely on the flawed premise that similarity implies common ancestry.

    The problem with this objection is that implies that just any kind of similarity implies common ancestry.

    Specifically, one of the reasons why we cannot extrapolate observations without first putting them into some kind of explanatory framework is that the explanation tells us where and at what level that we should look for empirical evidence. In the case of biological Darwinism, the explanation points to specific kinds of similarities.

    I'd again point out....

    Scott: Any theory about improvement raises the following question: how is the knowledge of how to make that improvement created? If it was already present at the outset, that theory is a form creationism. If it 'just happened', that theory is spontaneous generation.

    Distinct from either of these, biological Darwinism is the theory that the knowledge of how to make improvements in biological adaptations, as found in nature, was genuinely created over time through a process of variation that is random *to any specific problem to solve* and criticism in the form of natural selection. It genuinely did not exist before then.


    The latter explanation does allow us to distinguish between similarities and indicate to what type and level we should look for. For example...

    CH: But such a long nerve raises all kinds of thorny molecular biology problems. Certainly the simpler, more direct route would have been selected for. The only thing evolutionists can say is that such a design was not possible. But they give no concrete reason. As Velasco put it:

    "Now as we evolved, the heart moved farther down and we grew necks. But the nerve, generation after generation after generation, got stretched longer and longer and longer. It can’t just reroute itself to go straight to the larynx."

    Why not?


    Because nothing in a salamander or giraffe knows, in an explanatory sense, how longer necks improve their ability to see predators, reach food, how signals are delayed over distance, additional exposure to interruption, etc.

    Only people can create explanatory theories about how the world works, and apply them to specific problems. If the knowledge was already present at the outset, the designer could have planned for longer necks, and ran the nerve accordingly, ahead of time. Or it could have changed the route at any point in the future because it had explanatory knowledge necessary to re-route it.

    If we take the ID seriously, in that the designer supposedly routed the nerve in the first place, re-routing it would be trivial.

    However, biological Darwinism doesn't create explanatory knowledge, which would be necessary reroute just that nerve. Rather, it creates non-explanatory knowledge, which has limited reach.

    A longer neck is improvement in specific environments, and the nerve is part of that neck. The knowledge in the organism's genome simply doesn't have that kind of reach. It's simply a useful rule of thumb.

    CH: The ALU argument also relies on the flawed claim that similarity implies common ancestry. In this case, ALU sequences are related to an RNA gene that helps to form a molecular machine known as the signal recognition particle that helps to govern the movement of protein traffic in the cell. Evolutionists have no explanation how that machine could have evolved.

    How was the knowledge of how to make that improvement created? See above.

    An explanation has been provided, which apparently you have no criticism of, yet still reject for some unknown reason. Care to share with us?

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