Saturday, August 29, 2015

Seth Shostak: Just Add Water

Not Even Wrong

In a recent KCBS radio interview about his work for the search for extraterrestrial life, the Center for SETI research Director Seth Shostak repeatedly made claims about the simplicity of life. “Life is just chemistry,” Shostak informed interviewer Jeff Bell. Shostak elaborated that life is merely a collection of big molecules and that “You’re nothing more than that.” This just-add-water view of life is one of the many consequences of evolutionary theory and is so far from science that there is no point in even issuing a rebuttal. It is another example of metaphysics posing as science and making absurd statements with a straight face.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

238 comments:

  1. They mistake a need for evidence- they need life to be just chemistry yet no one can find any evidence for that claim.

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  2. Dr. Hunter,
    Thanks for the "is so far from science that there is no point in even issuing a rebuttal" line. You are so right.

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  3. Although he is being grossly over-simplistic, there is little evidence to prove that he is wrong. At the heart of every function that we have examined have been chemical reactions. The moving of a muscle cell, the activation of a nerve cell, the digestion of food, etc.

    What he said is not really in dispute. What is being disputed is how this bag of chemicals originated and reproduces. I happen to thing that it was through unguided process, you think that it was through guided processes.

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    1. You're sounding a bit like the (in)famous Monsanto ad saying that "without chemicals, life itself would be impossible."

      Your claim that "there is little evidence to prove that he is wrong" is yet more evo-babble. Of course there are evidences, billions of evidences. You can take all the chemical compounds in a cat, put them together in a nice hospitable laboratory environment, and you're not going to get a cat. Life, to the extent we even understand it, comprises more than merely the chemistry. It is the information, arrangements, development pathways, and so forth, that make the chemistry work.

      Oops, I just issued a rebuttal.

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    2. The information that you speak of is still chemistry. Its translation and ultimate production is chemistry.

      Please show me something about life that is not chemistry

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    3. Spearshake, interesting name. Sounds like Shakespeare. The works of Shakespeare are just a whole bunch of letters, and a small handful of punctuation marks. For some reason his bunch of letters is a heck of a lot more valuable than yours.

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    4. Spearshake, interesting name. Sounds like Shakespeare. The works of Shakespeare are nothing more than 52 letters, and a handful of punctuation marks. Somehow, Shakespeare's writings are a whole lot more valuable than yours.

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    5. I was never a fan of Shakespeare. I always thought that a room full of monkeys on typewriters couldn't do any worse.

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    6. The genetic code is not mere chemistry. Chemistry does not explain the genetic code.

      Also if it was all just chemistry we would expect functionality to keep occurring when the insides of a cell is spilled into a test tube.

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    7. Although he is being grossly over-simplistic, there is little evidence to prove that he is wrong.

      Let's just put it this way: There is no evidence whatsoever that Shostak is even a little bit right.

      If you think there is such an evidence, present it here and I will take everything back.

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    8. "If you think there is such an evidence, present it here and I will take everything back."

      I already presented some evidence. I will be the first to admit that it is far from conclusive, but it still meets all of the definitions of evidence. And it far exceeds that for a non materialist explanation which, at present, amounts to little more than bald assertion. And the last time I looked, assertion is not considered evidence by any rational individual (don't worry Joe, you are excluded from this category so you can continue using assertions as if they were evidence)

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    9. Spearshake, "I already presented some evidence."
      such as: "I was never a fan of Shakespeare. I always thought that a room full of monkeys on typewriters couldn't do any worse."

      Spearshake, when you cannot even give a reasonable description of life as we know it, how the heck are you going to claim that you have any theory about it?

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    10. All evos have are assertions and bald declarations. Evidence is always absent.

      The evidence says that the genetic code is real and cannot be explained by mere chemistry. Of course materialists will deny that but that is on them and not a reflection of reality.

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    11. BFast, when somebody is willing to discuss something honestly, I do so. But when their comment is simply an insult, as your Shakespeare comment was, I see no need to provide a meaningful response.

      If you want to partake in a real discussion, start by describing how the fact that every living function we are aware of involves a chemical reaction is not evidence of a chemical basis for life.

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    12. What do you mean by "a chemical basis for life"? Electricity is at the heart of all computer processes. Are you saying that electricity is the basis for computers?

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    13. Stones are the basis for Stonehenge, so does that mean it is a geological formation?

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    14. Joe: "What do you mean by "a chemical basis for life"?"

      Google is a wonderful thing. You should try it some day. Get back to me when you mature enough to have a serious discussion.

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    15. So google is going to say what some hack sock-puppet means? Or are you just an ignorant coward?

      Serious discussion? With an evoTARD of your pathetic nature? Please, spare us the spewage.

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    16. William Spearshake, "start by describing how the fact that every living function we are aware of involves a chemical reaction is not evidence of a chemical basis for life."

      Oi. The statement being discussed, "life is merely a collection of big molecules" is HOOEY! The statement, "life is a collection of big molecules" is technically true. The statement, written text is merely a bunch of letters and punctuation strung together is also hooey! The statement, written text is a bunch of letters and punctuation strung together is technically correct.

      With written text, ignoring the fact that the letters and punctuation are stung together in some particular, specific, order absolutely, absurdly, misses the point.

      In the same way to suggest that life is "a collection of big molecules" absurdly misses the point. In both cases the specific placement of the molecules/letters factor vastly outweighs the molecules/letters themselves.

      You know this. You don't want to admit this simply because you know that an explanation is required for the precise placement of the big molecules.

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    17. bFast- It's all equivocation. The DNA sequences are still chemicals, regardless of the specificity. All cellular processes use chemicals.

      However there is a huge difference between saying that, ie there is a chemical basis for life and saying that life is just chemistry. That's why I wanted clarification from the evoTARD but it deferred to its cowardice.

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    18. bFast, thank you for discussing this seriously. Obviously Joe is mentally incapable of doing so.

      If you read my first comment, I clearly stated that his statement was grossly oversimplified. In fact, I think it is rather stupid and disingenuous. Much in the same way that Barry Arrington's recent reference to early stage abortions as chopping up little boys and girls was stupid and disingenuous. They were both used to trigger emotional responses rather than to facilitate honest and constructive discussion.

      My point is simply that every function within a living thing involves a chemical reaction. Many of which can also occur outside of a living cell.

      We have plenty of direct and indirect evidence of evolution changing these chemical processes, with no evidence of a designer intervening. There is plenty about evolution that we don't understand. But not knowing is not the same as it being proof of a non naturalistic cause.

      There is no magic involved in DNA and its propagation (and change) from generation to generation. The biggest question marks at this point is how life originated and how DNA became fixed as the means of heredity. We may be able to narrow the possibility down to a few of the most likely suspects, but I doubt if we will ever know conclusively. Even if we were able to "evolve" a DNA life form from scratch in a lab, we could never be certain that the first origin followed the same processes.

      But as I mentioned earlier, not knowing how something arose naturally is not proof that it arose non-naturally. You might argue that it is evidence for a non-naturalistic cause, but it is the weakest type of evidence available. ID would gain much more credibility if they did work on identifying strong evidence that directly points to design rather than identifying gaps in evolutionary knowledge and claiming that they are evidence for design.

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    19. LoL! Design is natural and ID doesn't require any designer intervention. Also ID is not anti-evolution. That means our resident sock puppet is nothing but a strawman humping coward.

      We have plenty of evidence that the genetic code is an actual code and that means it isn't mere chemistry. When we put all the correct chemicals together we do NOT get life.

      And finally there is plenty of positive evidence for ID. It is just that science mandates that explanations like evolutionism be eliminated before reaching a design inference. Morons like our sock puppet are too dim to understand that simple fact.

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    20. "That means our resident sock puppet is nothing but a strawman humping coward."

      LOL

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    21. WS, "We have plenty of direct and indirect evidence of evolution changing these chemical processes, with no evidence of a designer intervening."

      Plenty is a big word, but we do have some. I seem to recall a recent experiment where bacteria were kept in a jar for a number of years and analysed to death. If I recall correctly the total number of bacteria involved in the experiment exceeded the number of mammals that ever existed. If I recall correctly they ran the thing for about 50,000 generations. If the human lineage reproduced once every 10 years, that's about 1/2 million years of pre-human evolution -- or about 10% of the evolution time between man and the UCA. If I recall correctly, this experiment produced a gene duplication plus a point mutation that allowed it to metabolize something or other better. Wooo! Proof positive. Not!

      "The biggest question marks at this point is how life originated and how DNA became fixed as the means of heredity."

      I would agree that this is the biggest question mark. It has been said that there is more difference between non-life and the archaea than there is between the archaea and man. As such, I find this to be a HUGE question mark. That does not make the other question marks particularly small.

      "Even if we were able to "evolve" a DNA life form from scratch in a lab, we could never be certain that the first origin followed the same processes."

      That's beside the point. If we can evolve genuine life from non-life without direct influence in a realistic prebiotic scenario, that would stand as proof of possibility to me. If we could demonstrate the crossing of the barrier from non-DNA to DNA based life without direct intelligent interference, that would be astounding. I personally don't think it can be done.

      "not knowing how something arose naturally is not proof that it arose non-naturally." This is a ... of the gaps scenario, a "he says, she says" standoff. Which do we hold to God of the gaps or evolution of the gaps? Why is one option more right than the other? When can the scientific community become properly agnostic, and proudly declare "we don't know" of the gaps"?

      "ID would gain much more credibility if they did work on identifying strong evidence that directly points to design rather than identifying gaps in evolutionary knowledge and claiming that they are evidence for design."

      I think that you guys have this one wrong. I have oft repeated my mantra that the theory of evolution must stand or fall on its own merits. I have found no vaguely adequate evidence that the kind of advancements have been made in life from pond scum to man is vaguely possible via the RM+NS mechanism set. Does this directly prove the ID hypothesis? No it doesn't. It is falsification of the Darwinian paradigm.

      Lately the ID community has been making a big deal about de novo genes. They make a very strong case that the abundance of functional de novos is inconsistent with chance + selection. Does this prove that the cause was "intelligence"? Not obviously -- though we do know that "intelligence" is capable of such things. However, y'all gotta produce a statistical case for chance as cause.

      Oh, BTW, my discussions with Larry Moran have convinced me that the neutral theory has a lot to say. The neutral theory argues that natural selection is a very gentle force. Unless a change offers significant improvement, natural selection offers virtually nothing. When I factor this reality into the picture of the complex chains, the complex feedback systems that dominate advanced biology, when I consider that every step of the way had to produce an advantage great enough to be detected by the inept natural selection, I'm like "no way!"


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    22. Oh, on Barry Arrington. While it is true that he selected words that exaggerate his case -- his case remains valid. There is no substantive difference between a little boy in his mother's arms and that same little boy wrapped up in her skin, attached to her life support system. There is no single point in the development of the human from the fertilized egg to birth that declares "Last moment I was non-human, this moment I am human." There is such a point, however, at the moment that sperm enters egg.

      In all of areas of life we err on the side of caution. If they are about to blow up a building, and I declare that I noticed a person in there -- the project is shut down, just to make sure. Unless we can declare with certainty that prior to such point, this "product of conception" is non-human, we act schizophrenically when we thoughlessly kill him/her.

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    23. the only problem I have with the "life begins at conception" is that it doesn't explain when identical twins would become distinct souls. It also doesn't explain when a chimeric person stops being two persons.

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    24. bFast, thank you for discussing this seriously. I have lost all hope of Joe and Louis being able to behave like adults.

      "If I recall correctly, this experiment produced a gene duplication plus a point mutation that allowed it to metabolize something or other better. Wooo! Proof positive. Not!"

      I don't believe that I said that this was proof positive. Yes, this experiment lasted for forty or fifty years, and you suggest that the time from the split from a common ancestor is not enough time to account for humans. Which is true if you assume that we evolved from scratch. But our DNA is 95-99% identical to that of our closest relative. As well, the differences observed are not in the actual genes present but in the exact makeup of the genes. The vast majority of time that life has been on earth, life never got out of the single called stage. And most of the genes that we see today in plants and animals are also present in single celled organisms. It seems to me that thee billion + years of bacterial life, and the many billions of generations, and the many, many, many billions of individuals involved, is sufficient time for evolution to take place.

      Even if we assume that life arose naturally, the most recent evidence is that it took many millions of years. The probability of us being able to repeat this in the foreseeable future is minuscule. This occurring may be sufficient to convince you that the original event was natural, but people like Joe are already on record of saying that this would only prove design.

      I don't think that the question of the first replicator is insurmountable. We already have several candidates, and there are several real examples found in nature. I agree that the leap from there to DNA (or RNA) is the biggest mystery facing us. All the other gaps pale by comparison

      The God of the gaps is a real thing, and not handled in the same way on both sides of the argument. Are there gaps in our understanding of evolution? Of course. There are gaps in every field of science. What do scientists do about it? They conduct research to fill these gaps. And the theories are modified to fill these gaps. Are there gaps in ID theory? Of course. The biggest are the nature of the designer and the mechanisms used by the designer. As good scientists are ID researchers attempting to fill these gaps? No. In fact, they go out of there way not to do so. And admonish anyone who suggests that they should examine these gaps.

      I agree that neutral theory is undervalued. But I don't think that it is as important as Larry does. But in either case, the role of natural selection is still important.

      Again, thank you for discussing in a civil fashion. I enjoy these debates. Those at UD have degenerated, largely due to the behaviour of its moderator.

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    25. Willian Dickshake- You are a child who can only erect strawman after strawman. You don't have anything but that.

      My DNA is more than 99% of my closest relative. All humans have that same characteristic.

      By Dickshakes logic archaeology is a "scribe of the gaps" and forensic science is "a criminal of the gaps".

      Also ID is not about the designer nor the mechanism. That means they are not gaps in ID.

      Again you are nothing but a moronic child. Thank you for continuing to prove that.

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    27. bFast, A commenter has kindly pointed out that something I stated in an earlier comment might be misinterpreted by someone with moron level comprehension skills. When discussing human evolution I said that the DNA of our closest relative was 95-99% identical to ours. Our astute reader with moron level comprehension skills pointed out that the DNA of his closest relative (parent or sibling, I assume) was greater than 99% identical to his.

      I apologize to anyone with moron level comprehension skills for the confusion my wording may have caused. Rather than clearly inferring human's closest relative, I should have said human's closest non-human relative.

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    28. bFast, I don't want to derail Cornelius's thread with a discussion on abortion, but I think that it is fair to say that both sides of the argument would love to see a day when there are no unnecessary abortions. The diffence between the sides is the acceptable means to achieve this. The pro life side is comfortable with enforcing this by law, which is known not to work. The choice side would like to see this occur by increasing education, access to reliable birth control, and removing the feeling that an abortion is necessary when it does occur.

      It is also fair to say that neither approach will succeed. But Barry's childish and arrogant approach is counter productive. As are the approaches of people who protest with pictures of late term abortions (a very rare event, limited to situations where the mother's life is at risk). It stifles any honest and constructive discussion about the issue.

      If you want an example of the ineffectiveness of prohibiting abortion through legal means, I will give you an example. There is a western country with absolutely no legal restriction on abortion. In theory, abortions may be carried out when the mother is in labour. This country also covers the cost of all abortions. And, in many jurisdictions in this country, a 14 year old can obtain an abortion without parental consent or notification. Sounds like the Wild West of abortion. Yet, the abortion rates are lower than those in the U.S., and late term abortions (after 20 weeks) are 0.54%, significantly lower than those in the U.S. If Joe's parents were born in this country, I wonder if they would have availed themselves of this option.

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    29. Joe, thank you for your kind words. I sincerely appreciate them

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    30. William Spearshake, Thank you for proving that evoTARDs exist and they are the most dishonest of humans.

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    31. Joe, thank you again for your very kind words. I wish the best for you and your family.

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    32. WS, "The pro life side is comfortable with enforcing this by law, which is known not to work."

      As an adamant pro-lifer, I oh so disagree. Prohibition was an utter failure. The right to life question must be won in the hearts of the people. We must find a way to convince our society to be repulsed by abortion. This change in the hearts of the people has occurred many times: slavery, torture, women's rights, gay rights ... It is possible to have people change their minds on moral issues -- and the right to life position will not be won until we have.

      The current strategy, especially in my homeland of Canada, is to declare the issue "settled". The reason we don't want to talk about it is that when people understand the biology, they keep setting the date of acceptable abortions earlier and earlier in their own minds.

      I watched this happen a the Vancouver Sun some years ago. About 5 regular columnists started regularly giving feedback to mostly unpublished letters on the topic. Each of these columnists slowly had their opinion change from: "its a woman's right" to "well, partial birth is a bit much" to "viability" to "feels pain" and so on. At some point all conversation ceased -- in all of the columnists simultaneously. It seemed that the powers spoke, and they said "shut up".

      I want a public conversation on this topic. I want biologists to be forthright and richly honest about what life in the womb is like. When we are honest, we will find that the only position we can live with is to protect all human life. At least that's what the heathen (as in, this isn't merely a religious argument) Hippocrates thought.

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    33. WS, "Which is true if you assume that we evolved from scratch. But our DNA is 95-99% identical to that of our closest relative."

      Please understand, WS, my understanding of biology is not nearly this symplistic. Lets put a bit more meat on these bones, shall we. I believe that the 95 to 99% numbers are based upon analysis of change in protein coding genes. These protein coding genes make up about 1.5% of human DNA. I understand that based on conservation analysis, at least 8.5% of human DNA is conserved, therefore does something selectable. (The Encode project seems to say that 80% of DNA is processed, therefore probably active. However, I'm happy to stick with the 8.5% number.) I also understand that the 8.5% number was achieved by analysing disparent samples of human DNA rather than by comparing between human and chimp. (I think that this increased the value from about 5%.)

      Now, most biological science has been hyper-focused on the 1.5% coding DNA, with some energy spent on the small percentage of exonic DNA. As the focus has been on the 1.5% when the active portion is at least 8%, we have been focusing on about 20% of the active DNA. The majority has only begun to be analysed. Also, if the entire 8.5% of active DNA is analysed for human/chimp difference, I think the number will be significantly higher than 5% difference. So speaking of 95 to 99% is of questionable accuracy. Even then ReMine has reminded us of Haldane's dilemma. It seems that even accounting for 1 to 2 percent change is challenging (though I do think that neutral theory offers something here.)

      But, when we get past the statistics into the details, then the theory runs into trouble. Consider the HAR1F rna gene. It is, shockingly, identical in every mammal ever tested (with the exception of 3 nucleotides that wander.) What should we be able to deduce, therefore, from neo-Darwinian theory? We know that with the 3 nucleotide exception, every other single point mutation is destructive! Tell me I'm wrong.

      Interestingly, the human version of the HAR1F is different in 18 places. Yet we know from experiments reported in "The Edge of Evolution" that it is pretty darn near outside the realm of chance (ie, a miracle) to get two mutations to fix, if either mutation is deleterious on its own. But we know that every single point mutation is deleterious.

      Additionally, if we look at the structure of the HAR1F rna result, we see a pattern of lassoes. The "knots" that define the ends of these lassoes are made by complimentary pairs of rna. To get the new lasso shape, we need at least 6 simultaneous, non-contiguous mutations. Way the heck beyond what chance can accomplish!

      So we're looking not at 2% or 1% difference between human and chimp, but 18 little nucleotides. Yet when the data is examined closely, point by point isolated mutations isn't going to get you there.

      Now I know that there are a bunch of other possible mutation types: insertions, deletions, inversions, etc. But what we would need to pull off this feat is an exchange event (x mutations taken from here, and replaced by the same number over there) that involves a sequence of about 28 "perfectly selected" nucleotides. How do you define miracle?

      No, the data is not even vaguely consistent with RM+NS.

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    34. William Spearshake- Say hello to your chimp relatives.

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    35. Joe G, you have been soooo outclassed by Williams Spearshake. The rule is not "whoever throws the biggest insult wins."

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    37. WS: "The pro life side is comfortable with enforcing this by law, which is known not to work."

      bFast: "As an adamant pro-lifer, I oh so disagree. Prohibition was an utter failure. The right to life question must be won in the hearts of the people. We must find a way to convince our society to be repulsed by abortion. This change in the hearts of the people has occurred many times: slavery, torture, women's rights, gay rights ... "

      We obviously prefer the same approach, although I might say that most of the pro-life advocates I have talked to want laws passed to prohibit abortion now. But I must also say that the other examples you gave, all required the power of law behind them, and they are far from universally accepted in our society.

      The country I provided as an example where there are no abortion laws at all is Canada. Apparently we are both citizens of this fine country. Compared to the US, where there are many laws restricting abortion in spite of Roe V Wade, Canada has a lower overall abortion rate and a much lower (0.54%) late term abortion rate. And the late term abortions are limited to situations where the life of the mother is at stake. I am interested in why you think this is the case. My feeling is because, on average, Canada's approach to sex education in schools is more fact-based rather than the 'abstention is the only option" approach of the many US states.

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    38. bFast, with respect to the genetic closeness between chimps and humans, I am definitely not an expert on the subject so I will take your word on how the comparisons were made.

      But, it seems to me that examining genes for functional proteins is a good approach because they are more likely to be conserved from generation-to-generation than stretches of DNA that have no known biological function. If common descent is true, then we would expect these proteins to be more similar for our closest "relative" than for more distant "relatives" (I placed the word relative in quotes to avoid confusing those with comprehension problems).

      If we compared all of the DNA, regardless of its functionality, chimps and humans would be far from the 95 - 99% similarity, and I think everybody would agree to this. But even Joe's closest relative (not in quotes to allow him to keep up) is far from the >99% that he asserted. He possesses 50% of his mother's DNA and 50% of his father's. Given that his parents share a large percentage of identical genes, the similarity between Joe and either parent will be far greater than 50% but much less than the >99% that he asserted.

      As you know, the ENCODE conclusions are being hotly contested by many scientists. Even some of the ENCODE researchers have backed down on the 80% functional claim. My understanding is that the disagreement largely stems from differing definitions of "functional. Most scientists define it as having some biological function such that removal will have no impact on the organism. ENCODE was defining it as any DNA that had any chemical activity (or something like that. I am sure that I have messed up the ENCODE definition somewhat).

      I am not familiar with the HAR1F rna so I would like to do a little reading on this before I respond.

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    39. bFast- No one cares about your opinions. Spearshake is a liar, equivocator and strawman humper.

      Just read his tripe- he thinks that chimps can have a 95-99% similarity to humans but that humans won't have that amongst themselves, not even child and parents!

      All humans have 99-99.5% DNA similarity. That used to be 99.9% until the human genome project and other human genomes were published. Venter puts it closer to 99%

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    40. If common design is true, then we would expect these proteins to be more similar for our closest "relative" than for more distant "relatives" (I placed the word relative in quotes to avoid confusing those with comprehension problems. With common design "relatives" are those who share common designs).

      So, with a common design, similarities are due to the common design with the differences being for the different ecological and biological niches the organisms inhabit.

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    41. bFast: "Joe G, you have been soooo outclassed by Williams Spearshake. The rule is not "whoever throws the biggest insult wins.""

      Thanks bFast. I long ago stopped trying to have any serious discussion with Joe. Frankly, I think that he is simply incapable of it. Maybe a form of Turret's, in which case I sympathize. Regardless, it is too bad. He often has some valid points (but not as many as he thinks), but most people ignore them because of his antics.

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    42. LoL! William Spearshake is incapable of a serious discussion as all it does is lie, equivocate and hump strawmen.

      Evos have to ignore me as they sure as hell can't refute me by actually showing that they have a mechanism capable of producing what we observe. Evos like Spearshake never have valid points. All they can do is lie, equivocate and hump strawmen.

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    43. William Spearshake, "If common descent is true..." While I hold common descent with a looser hand than those who declare that it is "the fact of evolution", I find the case for common descent to be rather strong. There remains, however, plenty of room for ID within common descent.

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    44. I used to think that common descent had a case, then I looked more closely at the evidence. Now I know that it is an untestable concept that is more religion than science.

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    45. Sorry Joe, adults are talking. Please go play with your toys like a good little boy.

      bFast, there is always room for Devine intervention. In fact, it is impossible to rule it out. But I think the case for common descent is very strong. Darwin's original theory did not predict it, his theory was an attempt to explain what had been observed over the centuries.

      Taxonomy and comparative anatomy (strongly correlated concepts) came up with a proposed tree of life based on similarities. Where the predictions come into play is that evolution suggests that evidence from other comparisons should show similar relationships. And when molecular comparisons were performed, there were remarkable congruity between the centuries old taxonomic trees and the molecular trees; with some very interesting exceptions.

      And this is to say nothing about the fossil record, which pre-dates and fully supports common descent.

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    46. William Spearshake, "bFast, there is always room for Devine intervention. In fact, it is impossible to rule it out."

      We really aren't all that far apart, are we.

      The question I find compelling is, can we rule it in -- or, is there data which is not reasonably explained by RM + NS, which can be explained by divine intervention. (I know, absolutely any data can be explained within the overarching context of ID. However, that is not the case within the general context of RM+NS.)

      Of course, if such data is found, we must allow for the possibility that a third explanation can be found. However, RM+NS must submit to the realm of the statistically realistic. I believe that I have logged a number of phenomena that are not explicable via RM+NS in a manner that is statistically realistic. This, of course, is a negative case against neo-Darwinian evolution, not a positive case for design. However, I believe that this negative case is really very strong.

      Oh, um, show me I'm wrong with at least a few of these cases (probably more than one) and I am willing to abandon my position. The HAR1F is a good example. De novo genes are also a good example, as are conserved redundant genes.

      BTW, I know that you are frustrated with ID for not putting any meat on the bones of the theory. The reason for this is political. By working as a block who says "we don't buy RM+NS", we have a single voice. When we put out our individual sub-theories, our individual perspectives on what this looks like, we just end up infighting -- each finding problems with the others' theory.

      That said, my personal theory has some amount of meat on its bones. There are some necessary conclusions one must draw if one presumes that common descent is true, and that events like HAR1F are divine events. But this is for a different thread.

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    47. bFast, I promise to get back to you with respect to HAR1F when I have some time to read up on it.

      I agree that we probably aren't that much apart in our thinking. But we do approach it from two different perspectives. I am an atheist (or agnostic) and, as such, would require extraordinary evidence to convince me that ID is a plausible alternative (or addendum) to current evolutionary theory. You, as a Theist (I assume), would require extraordinary evidence to convince you that an intelligent agent is not required. And I think that both perspectives have their merit. And I think that we both are open minded enough to be convinced by extraordinary evidence if it became available.

      But your use of the term of RM+NS may suggest a slight misconception about evolution. Evolution, being a scientific theory, does not lock itself into a situation where it cannot be modified to account for new evidence. In fact, this has occurred, and continues to occur, since Darwin first proposed it. The first big tweek was when it was modified to take into account DNA, population genetics, mutations and genetic drift. I assume that it is from this that RM+NS arose. But we are now trying to address issues such as HGT, neutral theory, epigenetics and others. Maybe these will prove to be incompatible with a naturalistic explanation, but we are far from that point.

      But it is nice to talk to someone from an opposing view without it resorting to name calling. Unfortunately there is too much of that on both sides and it is not constructive. Obviously most of my experience with this bad behaviour comes from the ID side (you may see more from the evolution side). Cornelius has been good at not taking personal shots at us naturalists/atheists/Darwinists/materialists, but Barry Arrington is a real embarrassment for the ID side, and the source of endless entertainment for all. Over the last few days the approach he has taken is to label anyone who disagrees with him as a liar, evil and insane, and declare victory. Given that he is the moderator of the most popular ID blog (sorry Cornelius), his abhorrent behaviour is turning people away from the ID arguments, even where they may have merit. Hopefully his behaviour is corrected soon. As much as I like to ridicule the absurdity of his antics, I would much prefer to have open and honest discussions.

      But enough of my rant. Have a good evening.

      Delete
    48. William Spearshake, "You, as a Theist (I assume), would require extraordinary evidence to convince you that an intelligent agent is not required."

      I certainly am a theist. However, as I have studied this issue, I have had to give up some cherished beliefs. Adam and Eve as historical people is the hardest to give up. I have had to do so.

      An interesting thing has happened from that point. You see, there is something theologically elegant about the theory of evolution. The idea that God produced "everything that is" by law alone -- setting up laws of nature that play out to produce man is very elegant. For this reason I can say that I do not have a theological opposition to a pure TE position.

      However, I am a software developer, a computer programmer. I see a program in DNA. Everything I know about computer software says that you don't make it by shaking it up, and keeping the cream. The insult to my belief system is an insult to this belief system, not to my theistic position.

      William Spearshake, "But your use of the term of RM+NS may suggest a slight misconception about evolution. Evolution, being a scientific theory, does not lock itself into a situation where it cannot be modified to account for new evidence."

      I have debated this with a number of evolutionists. I have had little success with most, such as Dr. Moran. Dr. MacNeill, who used to post on UD, on the other hand agrees with me. Zachriel (who I respect) also seems to.

      There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to the theory of evolution beyond RM+NS. (I agree with Dr MacNeill that a caveat that "random" does not necessarily mean that it passes the chi-squared test, but that the variation is non-foresighted.) Dr MacNeill argues that it should be Random Variation, rather than random mutation. Variation happens, presumably randomly. Of that there can be no question. Storms happen, meteorites strike, all without the foresighted intention of making a difference to the organism (if the theory is valid.) However, all of the information that is DNA was the product of mutation. No, I don't mean point mutation. Surely even accidental horizontal gene transfer counts. As such the only tool in the toolkit for conjuring up information is non-foresighted mutation.

      Another MAJOR caveat is in order. All manner of genetic activity could be the product of mechanisms developed via RM+NS. These mechanisms ostensibly were developed via RM+NS, but have somehow advanced beyond these bounds. As they are fruit of the tree, however, they are still reasonably the result of this one mechanism. The best example of this is human genetic engineering. If we are the product of RM+NS, then our ability to do foresighted genetic engineering is a natural extension of RM+NS.

      I expect that we will find such mechanism sometimes involved in horizontal gene transfer. It appears that James Shapiro, for instance, seems to think that a whole lot of such mechanism exists. His position is interesting, but it remains to be an "at the core RM+NS did it" position.

      As to such mechanisms, however, to the best of my knowledge, mainstream science has not identified any other than human genetic engineering. The current theory exists without the support of such. Such remain available options, however, within my view of the framework.

      Delete
    49. Taxonomy and comparative anatomy (strongly correlated concepts) came up with a proposed tree of life based on similarities.

      Similarities support a common design.

      And this is to say nothing about the fossil record, which pre-dates and fully supports common descent.

      Bullscorch! The fossil record has fish-> tetrapods-> fishapods. Common descent doesn't predict that.

      You don't have a mechanism capable of explaining the DIFFERENCES observed. You don't have any science.

      Delete
    50. Evolution, being a scientific theory,

      Liar. There isn't any scientific theory of evolution. No one can find it because it doesn't exist.

      I would much prefer to have open and honest discussions.

      All evidence to the contrary and bFast isn't smart enough to call you on it.

      Delete
    51. BTW, NS includes RM so saying RM + NS is redundant.

      That said NS is still the only evolutionary mechanism posited to be able to explain the appearance of design yet it has proven to be impotent.

      Evos don't have a mechanism capable of explaining life's diversity.

      Delete
    52. Sorry Joe, adults are talking.

      Yes, you are sorry and you're not an adult. You have the education level of a little child and the thinking capability of an infant.

      Delete
    53. bFast:
      Surely even accidental horizontal gene transfer counts.

      What makes you think that HGT is accidental?

      Delete
  4. I mean, every living things are made out of molecules. You can't deny it.
    You may think there is something else but still, molecules everywhere.

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    1. Did everyone forget consciousness?? Last time I checked there was no way to explain it in physical terms at all, much less molecules. To such an extent that materialists even deny its existence!

      Delete
    2. Yup. Put a bunch of molecules in a jar, add water, poof life. Child.

      Delete
    3. "Did everyone forget consciousness?? Last time I checked there was no way to explain it in physical terms at all, much less molecules."

      Just because something can't be explained by physics (and chemistry) is not the same as saying that it is not caused by physics (and chemistry). What we do know is that through purely physical and chemical actions we can alter and/or destroy consciousness. This suggest that the most likely cause of consciousness will be found in physics and chemistry. It is always possible that this may turn out not to be true. But it will require an opposing theory that is testable and predictive. So far, I haven't seen any research that would make me lean towards a non materialistic cause.

      Delete
    4. Wow, so through physics and chemistry we can destroy software but there is no way we will ever find that software comes from physics and chemistry.

      But it will require an opposing theory that is testable and predictive.

      Opposing what? Materialism doesn't have anything , not even a theory.

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  6. "Shostak elaborated that life is merely a collection of big molecules and that “You’re nothing more than that.”"

    This is like saying that a car is nothing but metal and plastic. Tuth is, the design of the car is much more important than the car and precedes it. The same is true for living organisms.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Joe G. "All evos have are assertions and bald declarations. Evidence is always absent.

    The evidence says that the genetic code is real and cannot be explained by mere chemistry."

    That's an assertion and a bald declaration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave- It is what the evidence says. That means it isn't an assertion nor a bald declaration.

      Grow up.

      Delete
    2. Describe some of that evidence or the world will continue to think that all you've got are assertions and bald declarations.

      Delete
    3. All of the evidence is in peer-review. look up "genetic code". It is a real code.

      Delete
  8. Cornelius Hunter "Your claim that "there is little evidence to prove that he is wrong" is yet more evo-babble."

    Then I wonder what part of life is non-material. It can't be the DNA because Craig Venter was able to upload a file to a computer and the computer then directed a machine that manufactured a bacteria ' s entire genome, one DNA one base at a time. He put the newly manufactured, totally artificial, DNA into a cell and it worked. It's descendants are alive and well today. You can tell they're descendants because they've got Venter's name encoded in their DNA.

    Is something about the cell other than DNA non-material? Please tell us what it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Design and the motivation to design something to accomplish a goal are what is non-material.

      Delete
    2. Dave:

      Where did I say part of the cell is non-material? You seem to be stuck in the false dichotomy between vitalism and materialism. Do you understand that Shostak's claim that “You’re nothing more than that” does not come from science?

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    3. The information that directs the cellular activities is immaterial.

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    4. Joe G and Louis, all information is material. It is always encoded in material, whether the material is ink on paper, bunches of electrons, positions of atoms, amplitude of electromagnetic waves or whatever. If you disagree, please describe any type of information that is not associated with matter.

      Joe, this would be an excellent opportunity to replace assertions and bald declarations with some of that evidence you claim to have.

      Louis, design and motivation are part of the mind, which is 100% material.

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    5. Cornelius, Shostak describes life as being chemical in your quotation. In other places, where he has more space to reply in, he includes the information that creates, organizes and operates living things. In other words, life is 100% material. You say he's wrong. What else is required besides the material?

      I have to give you plaudits for warning people that being driven by religion is bad. Just look at ID.

      Delete
    6. Information is immaterial- just because it requires matter and/ or energy to be stored and transmitted does not make it material.

      The evidence that the genetic code is real is in peer-review. Look it up and stop being so ignorant.

      Delete
  9. My thoughts on GOD based on Hinduism-
    GOD = Generator (Brahma) Operator (Vishnu) Destructor (Maheswara) = Proton Electron Neutron = GOD is in every atom. = GOD is Everywhere. = 786


    Read more at: http://www.vasanth.co.in/2015/05/my-thoughts-on-god.html

    Thanks in advance for reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. bFast

    "Oh, BTW, my discussions with Larry Moran have convinced me that the neutral theory has a lot to say."


    I remember the discussions and your conversations with Moran a while ago. It seemed to me that the neutral theory just wouldn't be enough to explain all of the diversity and integrated complexity of the living systems. I came away somewhat confused as to what Moran was saying and why one should be impressed with nte's contributions to evolutionary capabilities.

    Are you saying that nte seems to have developmental evolutionary capabilities?

    What do you think of the paper listed below?





    http://www.scielo.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0716-97602013000200001&script=sci_arttext

    ABSTRACT

    The Neutral Theory of Evolution (NTE) proposes mutation and random genetic drift as the most important evolutionary factors. The most conspicuous feature of evolution is the genomic stability during paleontological eras and lack of variation among taxa; 98% or more of nucleotide sites are monomorphic within a species. NTE explains this homology by random fixation of neutral bases and negative selection (purifying selection) that does not contribute either to evolution or polymorphisms. Purifying selection is insufficient to account for this evolutionary feature and the Nearly-Neutral Theory of Evolution (N-NTE) included negative selection with coefficients as low as mutation rate. These NTE and N-NTE propositions are thermodynamically (tendency to random distributions, second law), biotically (recurrent mutation), logically and mathematically (resilient equilibria instead of fixation by drift) untenable. Recurrent forward and backward mutation and random fluctuations of base frequencies alone in a site make life organization and fixations impossible. Drift is not a directional evolutionary factor, but a directional tendency of matter-energy processes (second law) which threatens the biotic organization. Drift cannot drive evolution. In a site, the mutation rates among bases and selection coefficients determine the resilient equilibrium frequency of bases that genetic drift cannot change. The expected neutral random interaction among nucleotides is zero; however, huge interactions and periodicities were found between bases of dinucleotides separated by 1, 2... and more than 1,000 sites. Every base is co-adapted with the whole genome. Neutralists found that neutral evolution is independent of population size (N); thus neutral evolution should be independent of drift, because drift effect is dependent upon N. Also, chromosome size and shape as well as protein size are far from random.

    Key words: Fixation, loss, neutral evolution, polymorphism, randomness, selectiveness.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Are you saying that nte seems to have developmental evolutionary capabilities?"

      Oh no. I think neutral theory is an evolution killer. Dr. Moran makes a good case that drift alone can "fix" mutations (though in general fixed mutations in all but the most conserved genes is balderdash, but that's another story.) Dr. Moran makes a reasonable case that if two varieties are genetically isolated for long enough drift alone should cause them to become separate species.

      But neutral theory robs selection of almost all of its power. I see this as fatal to the overall evolutionary theory. We see unbelievably intricate interactive mechanisms all over biology. These mechanisms are the product of dozens, often hundreds and thousands of well tuned genetic solutions. Elaborate tales of "such and such a mutation came along and gave the organism the slightest advantage." But neutral theory says that these "slightest advantages" are not detected by biology because biology requires significantly more than "slightest" to select for something. If selection did not made these complex things come to fruition, well, chance certainly didn't.

      Neutral theory neuters natural selection. In doing so, neutral theory neuters the entire developmental technology of RM+NS.

      "What do you think of the paper listed below?"

      Um, I answered question one before reading through your abstract. I have not followed up by reading the entire article. However, based upon the abstract, I think the author(s) pretty much agree with me, "These NTE and N-NTE propositions are thermodynamically (...), biotically (...), logically and mathematically (...) untenable." and "Drift cannot drive evolution."

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  11. Thank you for your clarification regarding your position with respect to Moran's speculations. (speculations vs. empirical confirmation: am I significantly incorrect in this description?)

    And, like you, I think the abstract of the listed paper supports the conclusion that "Drift cannot drive evolution."

    And my understanding of the issues involved leads me to agree with your conclusion:

    "Neutral theory neuters natural selection. In doing so, neutral theory neuters the entire developmental technology of RM+NS".

    So I am left wondering why someone like Moran, evidently, does not come to similar conclusions regarding the capabilities of RM and NS coupled with NTE and N NTE that seem deficient in explaining the development of living systems.

    I may have missed his points in that regard, to be sure.

    But it would be great to be set straight and educated in this regard if anyone has that information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bpragmatic, "But it would be great to be set straight and educated in this regard." You won't get this from Larry Moran. His position is, if you understood my theory, you would know that it solves all of the problems. If you don't understand my theory, well, mostly, I'll throw insults at you.

      "(speculations vs. empirical confirmation: am I significantly incorrect in this description?) "
      I think there is some empirical confirmation, though the proof is not solid enough to convince most of biology. (Most of biology recognizes that without NS there is no theory.) There have been studies done on peacocks which have found that plumage is not a strong sexual selector, but that the peacock's call is the greater attractant. (Darwin used peacocks as an example of the power of sexual selection.) Similar studies have been done on zebras' stripes. The conclusion was that the stripes were not selected for for camouflage. Then they thought it may have to do with protecting the zebra from insect bites -- not that either. The current belief is that zebra stripes are "contingent", that they happened because they happened.

      I am sure there is other supporting scientific study. But let me present my own. I looked out at the sea of humanity: the tall, the short, the fat the thin. I see endless variety, each representing genes that are part of the pool. The pool has a lot of genes that aren't being carefully selected to be optimal.

      Delete
  12. ...Shostak elaborated that life is merely a collection of big molecules....

    Shostak is a liar, there are also medium and small molecules.
    :D
    Information which controls Shostak's "big molecules" is encoded in material medium. In case of life it's encoded in chemical medium. Information is normally generated by minds, not mediums it is encoded into.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If life was just chemistry we should be able to produce it with mere chemicals, yet we cannot.

    Go figure...

    ReplyDelete
  14. bFast August 31 10:27 PM (The reply button is not working): "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to the theory of evolution beyond RM+NS."

    After reading your understanding of RM, I think that we are on the same side with this as well. Unfortunately, I have had too many discussions where the ID proponent is assuming that evolution requires that all source of variation must come as point mutations in the direct chain of descent, which is obviously not the case.

    If you assume that natural selection could only work on point mutations that accumulate in a direct chain of descent then I would be far more skeptical of the ability of evolution to produce the diversity that we see today. But we are still learning of new ways that the variation in a population can increase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only mutations that can be called happenstance are point mutations. Dr Spetner goes over this in "Not By Chance" 1997. Transposons carry the coding for two of the enzymes it requires to transposition. Transposition is not haphazard.

      Gene duplication- in order to have any effect it needs a binding site and promoter. And even then you only get more of what you already have. To then mutate that duplicated and expressed gene to form a protein with a different function would require more than accidents, errors and mistakes. It would require a targeted search.

      If you assume that natural selection could only work on point mutations that accumulate in a direct chain of descent then I would be far more skeptical of the ability of evolution to produce the diversity that we see today.

      More equivocation. ID is not anti-evolution. And natural selection is still impotent.

      Delete
  15. Ah, come on Cornelius. You're starving me for intellectual sustenance. You're into another drought where we have to wait for days to get little snippets of good science, philosophy, and religion. I guess you have other more pressing matters to attend.

    How bout just some straight science which shows the beauty of creation. I like the quantum entanglement myself. Please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Newton and Kepler provided the straight science which shows the beauty of Creation.

      Delete
    2. That's true. But I'd like to learn something new.

      Delete
    3. So many blogs to write, and so little time ...

      Delete
    4. I hope this blog is not your only go to for science...

      Delete
  16. It's the go to to debunk evolutionary foolishness with real science.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't agree. It's mostly Dr Hunter's opinion. Most of the peer reviewed articles he is citing are from scientists who have absolutely no problem with evolution.

      Delete
    2. You're entitled to disagree. Just because something is peer reviewed by fellow evolutionists doesn't make an improbable theory any less improbable.

      Delete
    3. If you want to keep a blind eye on the scientific consensus for evolution you are also entitled to it.

      Look at somethink like the ESEB. 1400 evo biologists, all paid by their respective governements/grants to study evolution. Do you think the governement of those country would spend money on it without a consensus ?

      As always, we are still waiting for a seminal paper on why ID can be a useful framework for the living sciences and public funding allocated ot ID research.

      Delete
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    5. All that money and all those scientists and there still no science to prove the improbable theory of evolution.
      BTW if any of those scientists were to come out and say the theory of evolution is improbable they'd probably lose their grant. Ya think?

      Delete
    6. All that money and all those scientists and there is still no proof for any scientific theory. Period.

      If you knew anything about science you would know that it has never been about proof, it is about the most likely explanation. Right now, the current theory of evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life.

      Delete
    7. Well it's refreshing to see an evolutionist admit that there is no science that proves evolution and that it's purely a narrative.

      Delete
    8. There is no science that proved gravity either. Is that a narrative that you would be willing to test by jumping off a high bridge.

      Evolution is far more than narrative. We have observed it in real time. Have we observed ID in real time?

      Delete
    9. We've seen people make things in real time, yes. Have we ever scene a new species, or a new structure or function evolve in real time?

      Delete
    10. Sorry for my sloppy language. I should have asked if we have ever seen non-human caused ID at a biological level.

      With regard to new functions, chloroquine resistance and the ability to break down nylon are just two of many.

      Delete
    11. "Evolution is far more than narrative. We have observed it in real time"

      Really? You've observed the formation of a new species in real time??

      Delete
    12. "Really? You've observed the formation of a new species in real time??"

      Ah, the "you have never seen a new species evolve so it must not be real. How many electrons have you seen? Protons? Neutrons? Photons? Draw me a picture of gravity. How many pieces of sandstone have you seen form? How many metimorphic rocks have you seen form? How many fossils have you seen form?

      Delete
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      Delete
    14. You made the declaration. Seems you always make these claims then try to turn things around when you're called out on your claims.

      Delete
    15. I wasn't the one who claimed that evolution was a narrative, you were. So the onus is on you.

      Delete
    16. "Evolution is far more than narrative. We have observed it in real time. "

      Just as I said. You make statements and don't back them up. You should be a politician.

      Delete
    17. "Evolution is unproved and unprovable, we believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable."

      (Sir Arthur Keith, physical anthropologist)

      Delete
  17. Cornelius, here's a request. I read a book by Yockey calculating the time to randomly produce one protein was longer than the age of the universe. The math was too advanced for me, but perhaps you could explain it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Calamity.

    "If you want to keep a blind eye on the scientific consensus for evolution you are also entitled to it."

    Do you not yet realize consensus on any subject has absolutely zero effect on whether or not belief regards that subject is actually true?

    ReplyDelete
  19. William,

    "Evolution is far more than narrative. We have observed it in real time."

    Evolution is nothing but a narrative. It is not science as you and many others believe, but only incorporates scientific disciplines into its narrative.

    What examples do you have of evolution being observed in real time. Before you answer, understand that adaptation to a change in environment counts as nothing more than adaptation, it cannot be extrapolated to explain descent from a single common ancestor.

    "Have we observed ID in real time?"

    Not only is ID observed in real time on a daily basis, every one partakes in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I see. Since evolution has never said that it is anything more than adaptation to environmental change, you claim that adaptation to environmental change is not evolution. How does that work?

      "Not only is ID observed in real time on a daily basis, every one partakes in it."

      You missed my correction. Please list all of the non-human causes of ID in biological organisms. After all, if you think that ID is an alternate to evolution, it should be held to the same burden of proof.

      Delete
    2. ID has a methodology for determining design. Yours doesn't even have a methodology.

      Delete
  20. William,

    "Since evolution has never said that it is anything more than adaptation to environmental change, you claim that adaptation to environmental change is not evolution. How does that work?"

    What complete and utter palpable nonsense. Evolution claims all life has descended via random mutation and natural selection from a single common ancestor. For that to have happened it would have required a lot more than adaptation to environmental change, a LOT more. So, no, evolution is not merely adaptation to environmental changes.

    It's funny really, you and other evolutionists like to claim I and others who reject the idea of evolution, do so because we do not understand the concept. Your comment clearly demonstrates you have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of the details which constitute evolutionary thought.

    William: "I should have asked if we have ever seen non-human caused ID at a biological level."

    William: "How many pieces of sandstone have you seen form? How many metimorphic rocks have you seen form? How many fossils have you seen form?"

    Perhaps you could explain to us the obvious double standard you are employing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. "For that to have happened it would have required a lot more than adaptation to environmental change, a LOT more"

    Not really. Other than reproductive isolation of parts of a population.


    "Perhaps you could explain to us the obvious double standard you are employing."

    What double standard? I am not the one demanding a standard of proof for one branch of science (ie, evolution) that is not being demanded of others (eg geology).

    ReplyDelete
  22. William,

    "Not really. Other than reproductive isolation of parts of a population."

    You seriously believe the complexity and diversity of life we witness today can be explained simply by adaptation to environmental changes via natural selection acting on random mutations? If that's the case, all I can do is repeat what I said earlier, don't ever accuse me or any one else who rejects evolution of not understanding evolution.

    Perhaps you can explain how blood clotting is an evolutionary adaptation to a changing environment. Do you believe there would have been environmental conditions in which a creature could have continued to bleed indefinitely and that environmental change is what resulted in the need for clotting to evolve?

    "What double standard? I am not the one demanding a standard of proof for one branch of science (ie, evolution) that is not being demanded of others (eg geology)."

    Evolution is not a branch of science, it is not science at all. It is nothing more than a world view which uses scientific disciplines to advance its cause.

    Biology functions and can be understood without evolution, as can genetics, geology, astronomy, etc., etc. Evolution is strictly philosophy hiding behind the guise of science, nothing more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just checking in to see if the scientifically illiterate idiots like Nic are still here running off at the mouth.

      Yep.

      Carry on.

      Delete
    2. "You seriously believe the complexity and diversity of life we witness today can be explained simply by adaptation to environmental changes via natural selection acting on random mutations?"

      That and genetic drift, yes. There is HGT, recombination, inversions, etc., all of which do wonders at increasing variation, but the random mutations are still the ultimate source.

      Delete
    3. Evolutionism cannot account for HGT, recombination, inversions, etc. And random mutations just add noise.

      Delete
    4. Just checking in to see if the scientifically illiterate idiots

      That was from a moron who doesn't even understand the processes of transcription and translation. And when exposed ran away but only after spewing more nonsense.

      Delete
  23. ghostrider,

    "Just checking in to see if the scientifically illiterate idiots like Nic are still here running off at the mouth."

    Hey, ghostrider, good to see you're still around. I see you're still the intellectual lightweight and coward you've always been. Pop up, throw around a copious amount of rhetoric, heavily flavoured with ad hominems followed by a hasty retreat while shouting 'how smart am I."

    Please do hang around a while. You never supply anything of substance but you're always good for some laughs.

    ReplyDelete
  24. William,

    "but the random mutations are still the ultimate source."

    So, random mutation is the key to the whole process, is that what you're saying?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it is just the ultimate source of variability. Reproductive isolation and non random selection are the drivers of diversification.

      Delete
    2. Natural selection is only non-random in the sense tat not all individuals have the same probability of being eliminated. That means it is non-random in a very trivial sense.

      Delete
  25. William,

    "No, it is just the ultimate source of variability. Reproductive isolation and non random selection are the drivers of diversification."

    Okay. Now can you explain how this process would develop the blood clotting cascade, or the human eye, or any other complex system?

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

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    2. Sorry Marcus, but some of us actually lead meaningful lives and don't live on the net.

      But Nic asked if I could explain how this process could explain blood clotting or the development of the eye. Did you want a step by step, of just a broad overview?

      Delete
  26. William,

    "Did you want a step by step,..."

    Yep, every detail. That's what you expect of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When have I ever asked for a step by step? All I have asked for is a mechanism and the nature of the designer so that we can start testing your theory.

      Delete
    2. Okay, I'll try.

      The designer is the God of Abraham. The mechanism is miracles. I'm allowed to says miracles. You aren't, so you need to come up with a purely mechanistic mechanism. I don't.

      Delete
    3. Shevi, I commend you for at least having the honesty to admit that ID is all about religion and not a science.

      Delete
    4. Actually, the above post was me, natschuster. Shevi is my daughter. She forgot to sign out. Anyway, IMHO, the science leads us to the religion.

      Delete
  27. William,

    "All I have asked for is a mechanism and the nature of the designer so that we can start testing your theory."

    The mechanism would be intelligence, that can be easily detected. The nature of the designer is irrelevant in that one does not need to know the nature of the designer in order to detect design.

    Are you going to provide an answer to my question or not? I suspect not as you have no answers, just stories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you could define what you mean by "intelligence". You gave a really vague answer that does not bring much to the table.

      And the nature of the designer is highly relevant since without it we can't make prediction about design. What if the designer is a powerful alien and not the god of the bible ? Would it change the design? Probably. So the nature of the designer is of utmost importance.

      But bringing the god of the bible would really make ID look like a religious thing no ?

      I guess you should look into the "Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District" court case.

      Delete
    2. Well, a lot of arguments for evolution are actually religious, "God would never do it that way, so it must be evolution."

      Delete
    3. Calamity,

      "Maybe you could define what you mean by "intelligence"."

      "So the nature of the designer is of utmost importance."

      Not surprising you don't know the definition of intelligence.

      "So the nature of the designer is of utmost importance."

      No, it is not. Design can be detected with no knowledge whatsoever of the nature of the designer. Predictions can also be made from the observable design itself. The nature of the designer is irrelevant.

      "I guess you should look into the "Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District" court case."

      That's the one where the judge said he understood the debate because he had seen the movie Inherit the Wind. Yeah, that would be a real good source.

      One wonders how Judge Jones got out of high school with reasoning like that.

      Really, Calamity, you've got to upgrade immensely.

      Delete
    4. "The mechanism would be intelligence."

      That is not a mechanism. Dolphins are also intelligent but they will never be able to tie a knot.

      "The nature of the designer is irrelevant in that one does not need to know the nature of the designer in order to detect design."

      Really? Please provide with an example of proven desiged artifact where we have not understood the nature of the designer. Just one will do.

      "Are you going to provide an answer to my question or not?"

      Nobody can provide a step by step, anymore than anyone can provide a step by step of how Everest, or the Rift Valley, developed. But we have a pretty good understanding of the mechanisms behind them. As we do for evolution.

      But, again, feel free to provide the mechanism behind ID or the nature of the designer. I will make it easier for you. Is the designer material or immaterial? Is the designer limited by the laws of physics when converting the design to reality?

      Delete
    5. William,

      "That is not a mechanism. Dolphins are also intelligent but they will never be able to tie a knot."

      There are different forms of intelligence. No, a dolphin cannot tie a knot, but I was was not referring to dolphin intelligence.

      "Please provide with an example of proven desiged artifact where we have not understood the nature of the designer."

      This is not an argument for the necessity of knowing the nature of a designer. It is nothing more than the claim we may not have an example of a situation where we do not know the nature of the designer. Do you understand the difference? It does nothing to enforce the belief we need to understand the nature of the designer.

      "Nobody can provide a step by step,..."

      I'm aware of that, but you did make an offer.

      "Is the designer limited by the laws of physics when converting the design to reality?"

      If he chooses to be. Thus is the nature of an omnipotent, omniscient being who is itself the source of the laws of physics, and as such, not bound by them.

      Delete
    6. Design is a mechanism by definition. And it is as valid a mechanism as natural selection.

      Evolutionism claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for producing the diversity of life. But when asked about it evos always choke.

      ID claims to have a step-by-step mechanism for determining design. And when we show it the evos choke.

      Evos are just a bunch of chokers.

      Delete
  28. William,

    What was it Marcus said about hearing crickets?

    ReplyDelete
  29. William,

    "Shevi, I commend you for at least having the honesty to admit that ID is all about religion and not a science."

    We're waiting, William, are you going to answer the question or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is for the eye :
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evolution-of-the-eye/

      For the blood clotting cascade there is plenty of stuff on the internet about M. Behe argument and why it's probably wrong.

      I suggest you try to publish some real work and maybe people will take you seriously.

      Delete
    2. "We're waiting, William, are you going to answer the question or not?"

      Sorry for not responding earlier. I was busy this weekend with my daughters wedding.

      I responded above.

      Delete
    3. William,

      "I was busy this weekend with my daughters wedding."

      Been there done that, twice. It's wonderful and sobering all at the same time, isn't it?

      Delete
    4. Nic, it certainly is. Although, there was an open bar (that I was paying for) so I managed to keep the sobering aspects in check.

      But seriously. It truly is wonderful to see one of your children that happy.

      Delete
    5. William,

      "Nic, it certainly is. Although, there was an open bar (that I was paying for) so I managed to keep the sobering aspects in check."

      Good, I am glad to hear that.

      "But seriously. It truly is wonderful to see one of your children that happy."

      It is indeed. I wish your daughter and her spouse all the happiness in the world. If they haven't already, just wait till grand kids come along. That is a whole new type of wonderful.

      Delete
    6. Thanks Nic. We can get back to disagreeing later.

      Delete
    7. William,

      "Thanks Nic. We can get back to disagreeing later."

      Thanks, I'm sure we will.

      Please remember all my blather and bluster is meant in fun. I do not really feel any of you are lacking in intelligence. We simply disagree on the nature of our origins.

      Delete
    8. Nic, there are only a handful of people on the ID side that I think are obnoxious and take disagreements personally. Your side has Joe, Barry and Gordon (KairosFocus) Mullings. My side has The Whole Truth. It is my opinion that they all could use some professional help.

      We are dealing with a subject in which either side is very unlikely to convince the other side. But I still like a good discussion.

      Delete
    9. LoL! Every evo is obnoxious and cowardly. All evos need professional help.

      You won't convince anyone as you don't have anything beyond bald assertions. We have the methodology which we can demonstrate works in the real world.

      Delete
    10. Joe, adults are talking here. Behave or we will take your toys away.

      Delete
    11. Adults are discussing. You are the toy

      Delete
    12. Tell us again why frequency equals wavelength. I never get tired of it.

      Delete
    13. There is a one to one correspondence.

      Delete
    14. Tell us why you think mRNA codons are catalysts. I am sure you could tell us everything you know about transcription and translation in under 5 seconds.

      Delete
  30. Calamity,

    "Here is for the eye :
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evolution-of-the-eye/"

    Really, Calamity, do you think I have not look at this type of stuff a hundred times? It's not an explanation, it's a story. A story with so many plot holes it is beyond laughable. You'll have to do way better than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you need then ? You believe ID is the right answer, but there is no body of evidence, no published papers nor a consensus on what ID really is.

      On the other side you have everything you need to instruct yourself on evo biology but you still need proof from random people on the internet.

      What would convince you that evolution is true? What would it take ?

      If nothing will change your mind so be it. Science don't need your point of view.

      Delete
    2. The genetic code is evidence for ID. OTOH evolutionism has nothing. It can't even be modeled.

      Delete
    3. "The genetic code is evidence for ID"

      No it isn't.

      "OTOH evolutionism has nothing."

      Yes it does.

      "It can't even be modeled."

      Yes it can.

      I like using the Joe style of debating. Just assert and insult. No logic required.

      Delete
    4. LoL! All evos ever do is assert and insult. That is all you have ever done. OTOH myself and many others have supported the claim that the genetic code is evidence for ID. There is even a 3.1 million dollar reward to anyone who can demonstrate that mother nature can produce codes. So far no one has even submitted a response.

      And the fact that evolutionism cannot be modeled is supported by the fact that no one has modeled it nor would they know how.

      Delete
  31. Calamity,

    "What would convince you that evolution is true? What would it take ?"

    Demonstrable, observable, repeatable scientific evidence. That does not exist in the slightest and therefore evolution is put into the category of a faith position and in that position it has less than nothing going for it. It consists of nothing more than convoluted. complex 'just-so' stories which are under constant re-write as the evidence piles up against them.

    As such, one is put into the position of choosing where one will put his faith. I choose a sound, logical position which indicates design to be the cause of what we observe, not random mutations acted upon be blind, unknowing and uncaring forces. I believe any reasonable, thinking person would do the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Demonstrable, observable, repeatable scientific evidence " That's already available. Just open a biology textbook.

      Of course we can't reproduce how birds arose from dinosaur creatures. But it the same for tectonic plates dynamic and nobody question their findings.

      "I believe any reasonable, thinking person would do the same." There you are wrong. Most people think otherwise.
      You also choose a position of faith by saying that desing is the cause of diversity. There is actually no factual proof of it being the case, no demonstrable, observable, repeatable scientific evidences. You are, for sure in a position of faith.

      Delete
    2. Calamity,
      I have a question for you. One of my favorite theologians, RC Sproul has said, 'If there ever was a time where there was absolutely nothing, then there would still be nothing.' What do you think about that? Would you argue that something can come from nothing and still believe you are thinking rationally?

      Delete
    3. Sorry to be late responding.
      I don't know what a theologian would know about the beginning of time. What you are quoting seems a very simplistic assumption.

      Scientist don't really know what was going on at the beginning of time. You can check that :

      http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-origin-of-the-universe.html

      And again. once again I will tell it, like others did before me. Evolutionary biology does NOT care about the beginning of life. The good Darwin titled his book "On the Origin of Species". Evolutionist people are merely interested in this title.

      The origin of life is a completely different field.

      I guess the field of evolution takes some kind of single cell organism as the common ancestor for all life. On how it arose, that nobody really knows.

      Delete
    4. Yet how life originated directly impacts how it evolved. It is only if blind and unguided processes produced life would we infer they also produced life's diversity. OTOH if the OoL = ID then we would infer organisms were designed to evolve and evolved by design.

      So even a child can see the two are connected. Only evoTARDs on an agenda try to separate them.

      Also you don't have a mechanism capable of getting beyond populations of prokaryotes and that is given starting populations of prokaryotes. Endosymbiosis only gets you certain organelles and eukaryotes are much more than that.

      Delete
    5. "And again. once again I will tell it, like others did before me. Evolutionary biology does NOT care about the beginning of life. The good Darwin titled his book "On the Origin of Species". Evolutionist people are merely interested in this title. "


      I think your comment reflects a defect in modern scholarship.

      This is a good vid from Christian mathematician dealing with these topics.

      http://www.johnlennox.org/jresources/hawking-and-dawkins-is-god-a-delusion-2/

      Delete
    6. Sorry Marcus, maybe you could point out what is the defect in modern scholarship you are talking about ? The video is 50 minutes, way too much for me.

      Delete
    7. There isn't any science behind evolutionism. My daughter's school teaches evolutionism as part of social studies.

      Delete
  32. Calamity,

    "You also choose a position of faith by saying that desing is the cause of diversity."

    I never said anything to the contrary.

    "You are, for sure in a position of faith."

    Again, I never said anything to the contrary, but it is not a position of faith based on nothing at all.

    "One of my favorite theologians, RC Sproul has said, 'If there ever was a time where there was absolutely nothing, then there would still be nothing.' What do you think about that?"

    I would want to look at the quote in context before commenting. If you have a reference, it would be appreciated, other wise I will try to find it.

    "Would you argue that something can come from nothing and still believe you are thinking rationally?"

    My argument is that everything came from an eternal God, who, by definition, is eternally existent and therefore not nothing. And as an omnipotent, omniscient God is completely capable of creating ex nihilo. And that is rational, yes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it may be rational, but it's not science. Plain and simple.

      Delete
    2. Your position isn't rational and it isn't science. Plain and simple

      Delete
    3. "I would want to look at the quote in context before commenting. If you have a reference, it would be appreciated, other wise I will try to find it."

      My comment should probably be a paraphrase rather than a quote. I think it was in the book Defending Your Faith and introduction to apologetics by RC Sproul.
      You answered my question Nic with your next comment. All Christians have to affirm that there never was a time when there was absolutely nothing because before the universe there was God.
      I was hoping Calamity would answer since my question was addressed to him, but all I heard were more crickets.

      Each atheist should answer the question for themselves.

      Delete
    4. Calamity is a cowardly and insipid troll.

      Delete
    5. Joe, do you know what "insipid" means?

      Delete
    6. William, yes, I do know what "insipid" means. Do you?

      Delete
    7. We should not answer any comments from Joe G. He doesn't bring anything. He is just trolling. The fact that he just answered me so childishly further proves my point.

      Delete
    8. Calamity the professional cowardly troll strikes again.

      Delete
    9. Apologies, Calamity is a rank amateur troll....

      Delete
  33. Calamity,

    "but it's not science. Plain and simple."

    But it is rational and scientific to believe everything sprang into existence spontaneously and miraculously evolved over billion of years to the point we find ourselves at today?

    You do not see a problem here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It amazes me that anyone can believe matter and the fine tuning of the universe plus life in all it's glory could come about without an outside agent. That is not science. Plain and simple.

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

      Delete
    3. You guys don't know what science is. It's not about believing. It's about looking at evidences.
      You might not want to accept the evidences and facts because you have your own agenda but the majority of people do.

      Sorry guys, ID will never be taught in school nor will it ever be accepted by a majority of people.

      There is not even one fully fledged theory of ID ! You guys don't even know what is this all powerful designer !

      Delete
    4. Calamity:
      You guys don't know what science is.

      Nice projection.

      You might not want to accept the evidences and facts because you have your own agenda but the majority of people do.

      Your position doesn't have any supporting evidence nor does it have any science.

      Sorry guys, ID will never be taught in school nor will it ever be accepted by a majority of people.

      It is already accepted by the majority of people you ignorant twit.

      Delete
    5. Calamity,

      "It's not about believing. It's about looking at evidences."

      Do you not grasp the fact that the evidence is the same for everybody? Where we differ is in the interpretation of that evidence.

      So, yes, Calamity, it is about believing, it's about what you believe the evidence says as opposed to what I believe the evidence says. The sooner you accept that fact the better as it will allow you to understand the nature of our position.

      We are not denying the evidence, we are taking from it different conclusions than evolutionists.

      Delete
    6. Virgil: "It is already accepted by the majority of people you ignorant twit."

      Then there should be no problem getting it taught in schools. Let me know when this happens.

      Delete
    7. And yet another "argument" that doesn't follow.

      Delete
  34. William,

    "Then there should be no problem getting it taught in schools."

    Come on, William, you know being taught in school has nothing to do with whether or not ID is true. As such that factor should not even enter the debate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thing is they try to teach true things in school, things that has been demonstrated. Since ID has not yet a coherent framework (could you argue otherwise ?) it has no place in a curriculum.

      Simple thing : Could you have a program on ID for like 5-6 years of school ? To understand the premise of ID you just need maybe 1 hour.


      Then you can't teach more because you can't go deeper in the theory.

      So of course it should enter the "debate". Even if there is no debate, as a few court cases showed us :
      http://ncse.com/taking-action/ten-major-court-cases-evolution-creationism

      If the supreme court of the US say ID is not science, if the scientific community also say it is not science, what do you guys have left ?

      Delete
    2. ID has a methodology whereas your position has nothing.

      If the supreme court of the US say ID is not science, if the scientific community also say it is not science, what do you guys have left ?

      Science is not decided by Courts and there isn't any scientific community. Grow up.

      Delete
    3. What do they teach with evolutionism? It evolved- don't ask how because no one knows.

      To understand the premise of evolutionism all you need is about a minute.

      Delete
    4. Nic: "Come on, William, you know being taught in school has nothing to do with whether or not ID is true. As such that factor should not even enter the debate."

      But I think it does. Joke had said that ID was already accepted by the majority of people. If this were truly so, why is it not being taught in school? Attempts have been made, but they have all failed miserably. Can you name one other subject not being taught in school that is accepted by the majority of people.

      Delete
    5. Only an imbecile would think that the majority decides what is taught in school. Enter William Spearshake.

      Attempts have been made,

      No, they haven't. No one has attempted to teach ID in schools. One school district had the teachers read a little blurb about evolution and ID but that is not an attempt at teaching it.

      Can you name one other subject not being taught in school that is accepted by the majority of people.

      The polls have proven that evolutionism is very much the minority position and yet it is being taught.

      Delete
    6. What they should teach in biology classrooms is the evidence and then discuss the possibilities on how that evidence came to be. If they did that the students could see for themselves how barren and ridiculous evolutionism is and how rational ID is.

      Delete
    7. William,

      "But I think it does. Joke had said that ID was already accepted by the majority of people. If this were truly so, why is it not being taught in school? Attempts have been made, but they have all failed miserably."

      This is just a form of the argument from majority. It's fallacious argument and carries no weight or validity. Truth is truth regardless of how many people accept or reject it. Whether ID is accepted by a majority of people or by no one at all has no bearing on whether or not it is true.

      Delete
    8. Calamity,

      "If the supreme court of the US say ID is not science, if the scientific community also say it is not science, what do you guys have left ?"

      What is true does not suddenly become false because a US court declares it to be false. Come on, certainly you posses better logic than that.

      Delete
    9. "Evolutionary Logic suggests that the principles of reasoning are neither fixed, absolute, independent, nor elemental. Instead it is the evolutionary dynamic that is elemental." Wikipedia.
      Sounds like they make up the rules as they go along. In other words: "If the logic supports the theory then it is accepted, no matter how illogical it is."

      Delete
    10. You are talking about evolutionary logic, not evolution. Seems to be very different field. I don't know what evolutionary logic is.

      I mean, maybe everybody is wrong and you are right. It could be. Or not. Usually the supreme court does not just give its opinion. They research the topic, hear what both party say and decide. They decided numerous time that ID is creationism in disguise and has nothing to do in science classrooms. Simple.

      The kiztmiller vs dover case went down when the school board try to teach ID with evolution. In the end they had to pay $2 million . That's why no school will ever teach it again, cause you are looking at a $2 million lawsuit at least if you try.
      Just read that guys :

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District#Decision

      It's very detailed and provides a lot of details about ID. Maybe you don't like what the court has to say, but who cares. That's the law here now.

      Maybe a groundbreaking discovery from ID could solve this ?

      Delete
    11. Calamity,

      "Usually the supreme court does not just give its opinion."

      That is all the Supreme Court does. That is all any court does. They look at the evidence before them and render an opinion on that evidence.

      Delete