Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Entropy and the Distinction Between Operation and Origin

In the seventeenth century Isaac Newton figured out how the solar system worked. The same gravitational force that makes apples drop to the ground also steers the planets in their orbits about the sun. But the English physicist warned against over estimating the power of his new laws. Though the planets “persevere in their orbits by the mere laws of gravity,” Newton concluded, “yet they could by no means have at first derived the regular position of the orbits themselves from those laws.” Gravity alone can maintain an orbit about the sun, but not establish such an orbit. In the centuries since Newton evolutionists have constructed a solar system origin narrative replete with contingent events and all manner of natural law heroics.

There is much more to the history of solar system theorizing and its underlying metaphysics. For our current purposes, what is important about Newton’s warning is his distinction between nature’s operation and its origin. He could explain the former with his laws of gravity, but not the latter.

In the three hundred years since Newton, science has grappled with many more fantastic operations of nature. One that has commanded much attention in recent years is the protein folding problem. About fifty years ago it became apparent that proteins, consisting of hundreds of amino acids chained together, are champions of entropy. They routinely defeat nature’s tendency toward disorder as they find their correct three dimensional shape in a universe of failures.

In 1969 Cyrus Levinthal noted that since proteins fold in a fraction of a second, they cannot explore any significant portion of the universe of possible shapes. Somehow the protein knows how to go from the unfolded to correct folded state—two very different structures—in a short time. Levinthal concluded that the folding of proteins must be directed rather than random. But the speed and accuracy of the process seemed like a paradox.

Like Newton’s solar system problem, the operation of protein folding is a great story of science’s discovering nature’s complexity and fantastic operation. And as with the solar system, there is a distinction between the operation and the origin of proteins.

The operation of the protein is due to its amino acid sequence and its surrounding environment. The origin of the protein deals with how that rare amino acid sequence arose in the first place.

But recently physicist Ard Louis has said that the operations of proteins should give us confidence in their evolution. “If I look at something like the bacterial flagellum motor,” notes Louis, “one question is how has it evolved, another question is how does it self-assemble.”

True enough, but since we now better understand the self-assembly of these proteins, Louis has greater confidence they arose via strictly naturalistic causes (that is, that they evolved):

And so the fact that it took us quite awhile to understand these principles, makes me think that we could do the same over evolutionary time, over a much longer period of time. There’s no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find the answer.

No reason? Why does Louis conclude there is no reason we may not find an evolutionary explanation for proteins and the machines they form? I can think of a reason straight off: What if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes? That could make it pretty difficult to find evolutionary solutions.

Louis concludes there is no reason we may not find a strictly naturalistic explanation for the origin of proteins because we find strictly naturalistic explanations for the operation of proteins.

But this makes no sense. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems. But it’s worse than this. For the particular success we are talking about—explanations for the operation of proteins—does not in the slightest suggest a solution for the origin of proteins.

In fact, what we are learning about the operation of proteins is that it so strongly hinges on the design of the protein. The incredible protein folding and other operations are pre programmed in the protein’s amino acid sequence. Understanding these principles does not suggest the protein evolved; rather, it suggests even more so how unlikely such an evolution would be.

What we have learned about the operation of the protein does not make evolution any more likely or probable. It does not point to a strictly naturalistic narrative because, after all such an approach worked for the operation of the protein. In fact, it was the very design of the protein that proved so crucial in understanding its operation.

A child does not understand how an automobile operates. When he eventually learns the automobile works according to natural law, that does not give him confidence that the origin of the automobile was also according to natural law. And yet this is Louis’ logic.

When I pointed this out here and here, evolutionists wrote to me defending Louis. One explained that Louis was merely pointing out that we ought not to think complex designs are impossible without intervention. The bacterial flagellum is complex, yet it self-assembles.

But such self-assembly is possible only because the constituent proteins have rare amino acid sequences. From where did those amino acid sequences come? The problem of operation of the flagellum points back to the problem of its origin.

This evolutionary argument that naturalistic operation implies naturalistic origin tramples on Newton’s distinction between the two. None of this is to say that the naturalistic origin of proteins is impossible. Perhaps evolution can create all of biology, but that is not what the science is telling us. And fallacious philosophical arguments don’t change that fact.

70 comments:

  1. Cornelius,

    Shall we take a closer look at Newton's example?

    By using his theory of gravity and classical mechanics, Newton was able to explain the workings of the solar system in its current state. He was not able to explain the formation of the solar system. So he posited God's intervention at some point.

    These days, we understand that planets form along with the star from a cloud of molecular hydrogen and other stuff. The cloud has a finite angular momentum, so the resulting solar system rotates in the plane defined by it.

    Newton was right about one thing: theory of gravity and classical mechanics alone are not sufficient to explain the formation of the solar system. One must take into account interactions between parts of the cloud and that requires the use of fluid mechanics.

    Gravity + classical mechanics + fluid mechanics is a natural framework for the understanding of star and planet formation. There is no more reason for God's involvement.

    So where exactly are you going with Newton's example?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cornelius,

    I agree that science poorly explains origins. However, I have a different take on the meaning of Ard's comments. I am sure that you know that meaning of any piece of literature depends on the form it is written in. For example, understanding a poem's meaning requires a different approach then understanding a scientific paper. The same is true of the writings of Christian theistic evolutionists.

    To begin with a TE wants to strengthen faith by showing that faith is compatible with scientific reason, therefore evolution is compatible with Christianity. That is the framework TE is written within. Given that framework what does Ard say? That we can not at present explain evolutionary processes! "There’s no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find the answer." IOW, we do not have the answer now. This is an important part of his message that you are missing. That is quite a statement from someone who believes in evolution. For a TE that believes in directed evolution, which to my mind is not evolution at all, there is a very small step to saying that life was created by divine fiat.

    Also, if reason is to prevail in biology and the bankruptcy of evolution is ever going to be acknowledged, it will take the work of many scientists on the 'inside' admitting that evolution is not an explanation of origins. Ard has just made a valuable contribution to that goal. I commend him for it.
    .

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  5. [quote]
    In the centuries since Newton EVOLUTIONISTS have constructed a solar system origin narrative
    [/quote]

    Fail. Wrong field.
    The theory of evolution is a theory of BIOLOGY. It has nothing at all to do with the operation - or origin - of planetary bodies.
    Or by 'evolutionists' do you just mean 'mainstream scientists' and this is a tacit admission that mainstream scientists accept the theory of evolution?

    [quote]
    Why does Louis conclude there is no reason we may not find an evolutionary explanation for proteins and the machines they form? I can think of a reason straight off: What if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes?
    [/quote]

    The suggestion you are posing is one that lies outside the whole of science. It is like asking: "What if we are all just brains in jars being fed false sensory information, and the whole world around us is just an illusion, like the Matrix?" In principle the question is a reasonable one - proteins MIGHT not have arisen from strictly naturalistic causes, just as we MIGHT be living in the Matrix.
    The fact, however, is that even if either of these propositions are true, we cannot ever discover so through experimentation. Both propositions lie outside the realms of testability. There is nothing we can do to establish the existence of supernatural forces, just as there is nothing we can do to determine whether we are living in the Matrix. These propositions therefore lie outside science, and in the realm of philosophy, or perhaps theology.
    Ideas such as supernatual causes or the Matrix cannot be tested, have no genuine explanatory power, and thus are simply not science.
    It is indeed an assumption that the universe is run on entirely naturalistic forces. But it is an assumption necessary for ANY SCIENCE to be performed. Without this assumption, none can be. What is curious is that you consider this an assumption of THE THEOR OF EVOLUTION, specifically. This is simply getting it backwards. EVERY theory in science makes this assumption. It is a necessary assumption in every field of science. It is an assumption lying behind ToE, it is true, but that is because ToE is a scientific theory. Any 'theory' which did not include this assumption would not, by default, be a scientific theory.
    Now it MAY be that this assumption is wrong. But then why is science so damn prolific? We have made enormous advances in the last few hundred years as scientific progress has really turned up the gas. If the fundamental assumption at the heart of science is wrong, why does science so accurately represent the way the world really works? How does it get so much right?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hunter:

    But this makes no sense. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems.

    Of course it makes sense. As Anfinson showed, and as other posters here have pointed out on previous threads, the secret to protein folding lies in the amino acid sequence. So what was once a seeming (Levinthal) paradox was solved. Anyone who asserts that a scientific problem is in principle insoluble -as Hunter would have it - is making a metaphysical statement. And talking through his hat, to put it politely.

    But it’s worse than this. For the particular success we are talking about—explanations for the operation of proteins—does not in the slightest suggest a solution for the origin of proteins.

    Maybe it would if one thought about it with a prepared mind...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cornelius Hunter: A child does not understand how an automobile operates. When he eventually learns the automobile works according to natural law, that does not give him confidence that the origin of the automobile was also according to natural law. And yet this is Louis’ logic.

    Auto assembly violates natural law? And yet we still bailed them out?

    ReplyDelete
  8. It certainly isn't the science suggesting proteins arose by purely material processes:

    The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations - Douglas D. Axe* - December 2010
    quote of note: Be that as it may, the most significant implication comes not from how the two cases contrast but rather how they cohere—both showing severe limitations to complex adaptation. To appreciate this, consider the tremendous number of cells needed to achieve adaptations of such limited complexity. As a basis for calculation, we have assumed a bacterial population that maintained an effective size of 10^9 individuals through 10^3 generations each year for billions of years. This amounts to well over a billion trillion opportunities (in the form of individuals whose lines were not destined to expire imminently) for evolutionary experimentation. Yet what these enormous resources are expected to have accomplished, in terms of combined base changes, can be counted on the fingers.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.4/BIO-C.2010.4

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cornelius Hunter: Why does Louis conclude there is no reason we may not find an evolutionary explanation for proteins and the machines they form? I can think of a reason straight off: What if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes? That could make it pretty difficult to find evolutionary solutions.

    What would constitute a non-naturalistic cause?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hunter wrote

    Like Newton’s solar system problem, the operation of protein folding is a great story of science’s discovering nature’s complexity and fantastic operation. And as with the solar system, there is a distinction between the operation and the origin of proteins.


    Which, of course, neatly eviscerates Behe's argument from irreducible complexity, which is based wholly on the current operation of systems. Yet Behe wants to draw 'origins' conclusions from it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. anaxyrus asked,

    What would constitute a non-naturalistic cause?

    Presumably, based on Dr Hunter's views, one that hasn't been thought of yet.

    Try and beat that, presumptuous materialist.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow. Where does Hunter get off mentioning Newton, without mentioning Newton's most famous mistake, which was to use divine intervention to fix a little problem he had, namely that under his calculations using Newtonian dynamics, orbits were unstable over the long term. Newton said God must intervene occasionally to fix the orbits. It took 100 years and Laplace to solve the problem mathematically and show that divine intervention was unnecessary. Lesson: invoking divine intervention is just a cover for one's personal ignorance.

    It's the same with the bacterial flagellum, really. IDists have, again and again, made basic factual mistakes about the flagellum and its relationships, because they think GodDidIt, thus they are too lazy and irresponsible to look for actual answers. Example:

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/11/casey-luskins-s.html

    Another example, involving blood-clotting:

    ================
    ========
    Casey Luskin writes:

    Darwinists like Ken Miller view the dolphin’s lack of factor XII as a case of convergent evolution, but we might also see it as evidence of a functional constraint or a case of common design. The fact that jawed fish lack factor XII is not necessarily evidence that their blood-clotting cascade was a “primitive evolutionary precursor” to the land-dwelling vertebrate blood-clotting cascade, but evidence of a functional constraint for water-dwelling vertebrates–a constraint which is confirmed in that dolphins also lack factor XII.

    This is an interesting issue that will require further research to sort out. In the mean time, any claims that Miller refuted Behe–or even Pandas–appear to be premature.
    =======

    Um, no. Luskin is apparently unaware of the fact (which Miller mentioned) that whales/dolphins have a pseduogene for Hageman factor. (Or if he is aware of the pseudogene, then he thinks The Designer created whales/dolphins from scratch, complete with a pseudogene for a protein they don’t use, which furthermore is closely related to the corresponding functional artiodactyl Hageman factor gene!) The pseudogene is direct proof that their ancestors had Hageman factor, but lost it. [4] Fish never had it, so this is in no way a case of convergence. What we do have here, however, is an excellent case of someone, namely Casey Luskin, inserting the miraculous intervention of a “common designer” where he has gaps in his knowledge. This is exactly the problem with ID/creationism – invoking God into gaps in knowledge is pretty troublesome, but creationists do something even worse. They insert God into gaps in their own knowledge, assuming, usually without even a vaguely serious attempt at a literature search (!!!), that whatever tidbits of biology they happen to have picked up represent the sum total of scientific knowledge on a topic. This is, I think, why they so often stay ignorant, even when, as Luskin did, they have had the whole thing explained to them before.

    There is, though, one thing even worse than inserting God into gaps in one’s own knowledge: inserting God into the gaps in children’s knowledge, via the government schools. This is the end result of the political machinations of creationists when they succeed. They take their own ignorance, and force it into the next generation via the public schools, explicitly or implicitly filling in the holes with God. This should and does offend anyone who respects science, or God, or both.
    ================

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow. Where does Hunter get off mentioning Newton, without mentioning Newton's most famous mistake, which was to use divine intervention to fix a little problem he had, namely that under his calculations using Newtonian dynamics, orbits were unstable over the long term. Newton said God must intervene occasionally to fix the orbits. It took 100 years and Laplace to solve the problem mathematically and show that divine intervention was unnecessary. Lesson: invoking divine intervention is just a cover for one's personal ignorance.

    It's the same with the bacterial flagellum, really. IDists have, again and again, made basic factual mistakes about the flagellum and its relationships, because they think GodDidIt, thus they are too lazy and irresponsible to look for actual answers. Example:

    pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/11/casey-luskins-s.html

    Another example, involving blood-clotting:

    ================
    ========
    Casey Luskin writes:

    Darwinists like Ken Miller view the dolphin’s lack of factor XII as a case of convergent evolution, but we might also see it as evidence of a functional constraint or a case of common design. The fact that jawed fish lack factor XII is not necessarily evidence that their blood-clotting cascade was a “primitive evolutionary precursor” to the land-dwelling vertebrate blood-clotting cascade, but evidence of a functional constraint for water-dwelling vertebrates–a constraint which is confirmed in that dolphins also lack factor XII.

    This is an interesting issue that will require further research to sort out. In the mean time, any claims that Miller refuted Behe–or even Pandas–appear to be premature.
    =======

    Um, no. Luskin is apparently unaware of the fact (which Miller mentioned) that whales/dolphins have a pseduogene for Hageman factor. (Or if he is aware of the pseudogene, then he thinks The Designer created whales/dolphins from scratch, complete with a pseudogene for a protein they don’t use, which furthermore is closely related to the corresponding functional artiodactyl Hageman factor gene!) The pseudogene is direct proof that their ancestors had Hageman factor, but lost it. [4] Fish never had it, so this is in no way a case of convergence. What we do have here, however, is an excellent case of someone, namely Casey Luskin, inserting the miraculous intervention of a “common designer” where he has gaps in his knowledge. This is exactly the problem with ID/creationism – invoking God into gaps in knowledge is pretty troublesome, but creationists do something even worse. They insert God into gaps in their own knowledge, assuming, usually without even a vaguely serious attempt at a literature search (!!!), that whatever tidbits of biology they happen to have picked up represent the sum total of scientific knowledge on a topic. This is, I think, why they so often stay ignorant, even when, as Luskin did, they have had the whole thing explained to them before.

    There is, though, one thing even worse than inserting God into gaps in one’s own knowledge: inserting God into the gaps in children’s knowledge, via the government schools. This is the end result of the political machinations of creationists when they succeed. They take their own ignorance, and force it into the next generation via the public schools, explicitly or implicitly filling in the holes with God. This should and does offend anyone who respects science, or God, or both.
    ================

    ReplyDelete
  14. "There is, though, one thing even worse than inserting God into gaps in one’s own knowledge: inserting God into the gaps in children’s knowledge, via the government schools."

    The same can be said for subjects such as the Theory of Evolution. Why teach a subject with so many holes? Why brainwash kids with something you think might have happened? This is the end result of the political machinations of evolutionists when they succeed. They take their own ignorance, and force it into the next generation via the public schools, explicitly or implicitly filling in the holes with Science of the gaps. This should and does offend anyone who respects science, or God, or both.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What holes exactly Darren. Describe them by studying true evolutionary theory first. No creationist bull .... ahem ... cartoon allowed. Remember to make a distinction between evolution and origin of life by the way. You have to show that you understand what you are talking about. So, start by describing what evolution means, and what kinds of evidences support it. Then you go for those holes.

    Not only that. Look at the textbooks, not the quotes out of context that Cornelius presents here from time to time, real textbooks, and see how evolution is described.

    The floor is yours.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Repeating from last thread for your benefit:

    Given my observation that Cornelius often takes quotes out of context to make his points, I went to the BioLogos Foundation and sought for the complete video by Ard Louis.

    Ard's point is far from the misrepresentation portrayed by Cornelius. The point in the part showed by Cornelius was that it is risky to claim that something is impossible given perceived complexity (I would add to this misrepresented complexity, as he does with the problem of protein evolution). A previous point was that claiming something to be impossible because we don't know how it happens/happened puts ID at par with a god-of-the-gaps argument, most importantly because then where does ID get once science discovers natural paths or processes closing such gaps? (As it has happened many times already.)

    I don't see how Cornelius would have missed the point other than on purpose. Which is what he obviously, and transparently did with my comments.

    Misguided religion drives his pseudoscience, and it matters.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Negative Entropy: You missed the point. You want me to explain evolution when nobody can. You want the burden of proof on me when nobody can explain evolution. How about you answering your own question.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Darren said...

    Negative Entropy: You missed the point. You want me to explain evolution when nobody can. You want the burden of proof on me when nobody can explain evolution. How about you answering your own question.


    No, you claimed ToE has may holes, ones serious enough to warrant no longer teaching it.

    We asked you to identify those holes, and explain why they are as serious as you claim.

    If you can't do it, we'll accept your retraction.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thorton,

    Are you seriously stating that the TOE has no holes?

    ReplyDelete
  21. NickM: "There is, though, one thing even worse than inserting God into gaps in one’s own knowledge: inserting God into the gaps in children’s knowledge, via the government schools."

    Darren: The same can be said for subjects such as the Theory of Evolution. Why teach a subject with so many holes? Why brainwash kids with something you think might have happened?

    Amen, Darren! While we're at it though, why teach a subject like physics with so many holes? I mean, those bozos can't even decide if a Higgs Boson exists, and they can't even tell us what causes gravity!

    Or chemistry. They can't even tell us how many elements there are. Every time I look at a period table, there's a new one. And don't get me started on the whole atomic "theory." They want to teach the "theory" that atoms exist as if it's a demonstrable fact! The nerve.

    And History! Why we as a society have tolerated the brainwashing of our kids with something those elitist historians think might have happened is beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Newton never understood what causes a body in inertial motion to remain in motion, something that he freely admitted. Newton wrote in Optiks:

    "The vis inertiae [i.e., inertia] is a passive principle by which bodies persist in their motion or rest, receive motion in proportion to the force impressing it, and resist as much as they are resisted. By this principle alone there never could be any motion in the world. Some other principle was necessary for putting bodies in motion; and now they are in motion, some other principle is necessary for conserving motion."

    Physicists to this day do not understand the cause of motion. Yet, in spite of their glaring ignorance, they feel free to conjure up all sorts of Star Trek voodoo nonsense such as wormholes, black holes, big bang, accelerating expansion, multiple universes and time travel. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

    Truth is, Aristotle was correct to insist that motion requires a cause. As a result, we are immersed in an immense lattice of energetic particles, lots and lots of clean energy, free for the taking. One day soon, we will figure how to tap into this field for extremely fast propulsion and energy production.

    Google "Physics: The Problem with Motion" to find out about the real nature of motion. You don't understand motion, even if you think you do.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Peter:

    ===
    Given that framework what does Ard say? That we can not at present explain evolutionary processes! "There’s no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find the answer." IOW, we do not have the answer now. This is an important part of his message that you are missing.
    ===

    It is a standard evolutionary concession that we don't yet have all the details. Evolution is a fact and a theory. We know it is true, though we haven't yet figured out all the details of how it actually happens. What Louis is saying here is nothing new.

    ===
    That is quite a statement from someone who believes in evolution.
    ===

    No, not at all.

    ===
    For a TE that believes in directed evolution, which to my mind is not evolution at all, ...
    ===

    There is less distinction between the theistic and atheistic wings of evolution than you seem to think. Evolutionary thinking is quite consistent across the edifice. Whether an evolutionist says he believes in god or not makes no difference.


    ===
    Also, if reason is to prevail in biology and the bankruptcy of evolution is ever going to be acknowledged, it will take the work of many scientists on the 'inside' admitting that evolution is not an explanation of origins.
    ===

    No, it is precisely these traditions that gave us evolution. It is a mistake to think that those who believe in god are somehow closer to understanding the mistakes they are making, and in a better position to help dissolve this origins myth and help fix science. These are the thinkers who brought us evolution in the first place. They are the ones who are responsible. The atheists are just along for the ride -- they're just taking the metaphysics that have been handed to them.

    I wouldn't think of this as FIFO, but rather FILO. Obviously anything can happen, but all else being equal, I would think an atheist has a much greater chance of waking up.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Pedant:


    ===
    [CH wrote:] But this makes no sense. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems.

    Of course it makes sense. As Anfinson showed, and as other posters here have pointed out on previous threads, the secret to protein folding lies in the amino acid sequence.
    ===

    I'm glad you agree.


    ===
    So what was once a seeming (Levinthal) paradox was solved. Anyone who asserts that a scientific problem is in principle insoluble -as Hunter would have it -
    ===

    Evolutionary thinking relies on strawmen. Not only did I not say that, and not only did I never say that, but in fact I said the exact opposite, and have said so repeatedly. But evolutionists need their strawmen, and their strawmen they shall have.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    Given my observation that Cornelius often takes quotes out of context to make his points,
    ===

    How is the quote, which I gave in the OP, out of context?



    ===
    Ard's point is far from the misrepresentation portrayed by Cornelius. The point in the part showed by Cornelius was that it is risky to claim that something is impossible given perceived complexity
    ===

    But I addressed that exact point in the OP.



    ===
    A previous point was that claiming something to be impossible because we don't know how it happens/happened puts ID at par with a god-of-the-gaps argument, most importantly because then where does ID get once science discovers natural paths or processes closing such gaps? (As it has happened many times already.)
    ===

    So what? I will address that in a future post, but that doesn't change what Louis and evolutionists are saying here.


    ===
    I don't see how Cornelius would have missed the point other than on purpose. Which is what he obviously, and transparently did with my comments.
    ===

    Actually, I directly addressed your comments.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cornelius: " Obviously anything can happen, but all else being equal, I would think an atheist has a much greater chance of waking up."

    It looks like what you're saying is that on the scale of 'best grip on reality' to 'worst grip on reality' the order looks like:

    1. Theists who reject evolution.
    2. Atheists who accept evolution.
    3. Theists who accept evolution.

    Is that a fair summary?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Darren said...

    Thorton,

    Are you seriously stating that the TOE has no holes?


    Of course there are still unknowns, but that's not what you claimed. You claimed that ToE has holes serious enough to warrant no longer teaching it. Big difference.

    I'll ask you again to identify those "fatally serious" holes, and explain why they are as serious as you claim.

    Why do you stall and evade so?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Peter:

    ===
    Given that framework what does Ard say? That we can not at present explain evolutionary processes! "There’s no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find the answer." IOW, we do not have the answer now. This is an important part of his message that you are missing.
    ===

    It is a standard evolutionary concession that we don't yet have all the details. Evolution is a fact and a theory. We know it is true, though we haven't yet figured out all the details of how it actually happens. What Louis is saying here is nothing new.


    "The Titanic sunk" is a is a fact and a theory too. We know it is true, though we haven't yet figured out all the details of how it actually happened.

    Why aren't you bellyaching to historians who teach the Titanic actually went to the bottom of the Atlantic in 1912?

    CH loves his little intellectually dishonest equivocation over evolution the observed fact and evolution the theory. He clings to it like a security blanket.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hunter quoted Pedant:

    So what was once a seeming (Levinthal) paradox was solved. Anyone who asserts that a scientific problem is in principle insoluble -as Hunter would have it -

    and countered:

    Evolutionary thinking relies on strawmen. Not only did I not say that, and not only did I never say that, but in fact I said the exact opposite, and have said so repeatedly.

    Excellent. So what is the exact opposite of "What if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes? That could make it pretty difficult to find evolutionary solutions." (Note the bolded sarcasm, which translates to "impossible".)

    The exact opposite could be "Surely proteins arose from naturalistic causes." But if that were the case, the original post is incoherent and pointless.

    If Hunter would cite the "exact opposite" words that have been said repeatedly, that might clarify the point.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Cornelius,

    1. The quote is out of context because by missing the intro you miss Louis's intent.

    2. You did not address the point that it is risky to claim that something is impossible given perceived complexity. You did not talk about this risk whatsoever. You did not talk about it in the OP where you posted Ard's video either. You gave it your interpretation, then attacked that interpretation. Yes, Ard then said what you quote here, but you keep missing the main point. Perhaps two points: that your argument is a god-of-the-gaps argument, and that perceived complexity is so because you are looking at it the wrong way. Yes, Ard jumped a lot of the explanation (I already told you this), that is his fault, but yours is to rely in what was an attempt at a short explanation for a general public, to accuse the scientific community of a fallacy that does not exist. In other words, you make a hasty generalization out of a misinterpreted sample.

    3. You never addressed my points other that by diversionary techniques, or by ad hominem. But fell free to start by telling me where you answered what is that thermodynamic barrier that magically appears when reproducing a selected subpopulation that does not appear when reproducing an established one.

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Darren,

    Negative Entropy: You missed the point. You want me to explain evolution when nobody can. You want the burden of proof on me when nobody can explain evolution. How about you answering your own question.

    Well, maybe I misunderstood. Did you or did you not say that evolution was full of holes? If you did, then this is your claim, thus your burden of proof. All I ask is that you show me those holes by first making sure it is evolution you are talking about. Given your answer, you have no idea abut evolution. Thus, your claim is invalid. Thanks for playing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Derick Childress:

    ===
    Cornelius: " Obviously anything can happen, but all else being equal, I would think an atheist has a much greater chance of waking up."

    It looks like what you're saying is that on the scale of 'best grip on reality' to 'worst grip on reality' the order looks like:

    1. Theists who reject evolution.
    2. Atheists who accept evolution.
    3. Theists who accept evolution.

    Is that a fair summary?
    ===

    Well no, I was referring to the chances of waking up, not best grip on reality. If that seems synonymous, it is not.

    Amongst those who reject the absurd claims of evolution, there is a common misconception that the theist wing of evolution hasn't drunk as much of the kool-aid and is closer to the exit. Atheists are hard over, but the theists merely need to stop cow-towing. That goes along with the "evolution = atheism" error. It seems to me that until people understand the metaphysics behind evolution they will not understand evolution, or evolutionists, very well.

    Evolution is driven by theology and philosophy coming from theists. Typically they've thought about these things more than atheists. Open the hood to an atheist and he'll learn something, and might even wake up. But for a theist the response is more likely to be a ho-hum, "yeah, so what?" Or "yeah, that's my point."

    If anything, the atheist seems to have a much better chance of escaping from the delusion. But that's with all else being equal. In the case of a refugee all bets are off. One of the many gifts my parents gave me was no baggage. I'm not fighting my past. But those who are fleeing from legalism or fideism, or abuse, or some other ism that spreads lies about origins, are very resistant to truth. Refugees seem to be well represented in evolution in general, and in both the atheist and theist wings of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Pedant:

    ===
    Excellent. So what is the exact opposite of "What if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes? That could make it pretty difficult to find evolutionary solutions." (Note the bolded sarcasm, which translates to "impossible".)
    ===

    So the evolutionist asserts that "There’s no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find the [evolutionary] answer."

    I explain that this makes no sense, because reasons why evolutionary explanations may be elusive are clear. Most obvously, what if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes? That could make it pretty difficult to find evolutionary solutions.

    To this, Pedant erects the strawman that I assert "that a scientific problem is in principle insoluble."

    But why is pointing out an evolutionary fallacy tantamount to asserting the problem is insoluble, in principle? Can't we pursue naturalistic explanations without the fallacies? But no, that would make naturalism vulnerable. And so science becomes untenable for the evolutionist. We must have certainty, or else the whole project comes to a halt.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Negative Entropy

    ===
    The quote is out of context because by missing the intro you miss Louis's intent.
    ===

    What do you think was Louis' intent, and why do you think that intent relieves Louis of his fallacious reasoning?

    ReplyDelete
  36. There is no fallacy Cornelius. I explained to you that evolution uses the very same processes as life uses. Thus, if life does not break any laws of thermodynamics evolution does not break them either. Then again, you admitted that evolution uses the very same processes. Are you thus saying that life breaks the laws of thermodynamics? If you think it does, why would then breaking such laws be a problem for evolution, but not for life?

    That is the centre of my question: identify the thermodynamic barrier that appears when reproducing a selected subpopulation that does not appear when reproducing an established population. If there is no barrier in the established population, why would it be there for the selected subpopulation?

    See? There is no jump. It is not a non-sequitur. You make it appear as if the conclusion is unwarranted despite my many attempts at explaining this connection to you. You don't want to understand the connection (same processes exactly for evolution as for life). Of course you don't: Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Cornelius,

    What do you think was Louis' intent,

    I don't "think." He said it so. The intent was to show how risky it is to propose that something is impossible given perceived complexity.

    and why do you think that intent relieves Louis of his fallacious reasoning?

    There is no fallacious reasoning, only your misperception of his reasoning. What he was doing was to try and explain how such thinking was wrong by the example of flagellum assembly. He was showing that such could be perceived as too complex to be possible, but it happens (and it happens naturally). Thus to claim that "the flagellum is too complex to have evolved" is unwarranted. Yes, again, he jumps too much of the explanation. But that is what happens when you don't expect the viewer to be there with the intention of not understanding.

    Here, I expect you to read this with the intention of not understanding. Please prove me wrong. Otherwise I can't but conclude that misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Negative Entropy

    ===
    The quote is out of context because by missing the intro you miss Louis's intent.
    ===

    What do you think was Louis' intent, and why do you think that intent relieves Louis of his fallacious reasoning?


    CH, what was your intent when you promised to stop stealing funds from the church collection plate?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thorton:

    ===
    CH, what was your intent when you promised to stop stealing funds from the church collection plate?
    ===

    So, after one thousand, seven hundred and thirty two comments you finally posted a good one.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    There is no fallacy Cornelius.
    ===

    Yes there is. Louis concludes there is no reason we may not find a strictly naturalistic explanation for the origin of proteins because we find strictly naturalistic explanations for the operation of proteins. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems. I saw thirty seven yellow pencils today. I guess all pencils are yellow.


    ===
    I explained to you that evolution uses the very same processes as life uses.
    ===

    So what?

    ===
    Thus, if life does not break any laws of thermodynamics evolution does not break them either.
    ===

    Again, so what? Not breaking any laws of thermodynamics is not a guarantee of realism. When Louis says that there is "no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find [an evolutionary] answer," he is referring to an accurate answer that is a true or approximately true description of how the species actually evolved. But Louis provides no justification for his claim. It is a fallacy of induction.


    ===
    Then again, you admitted that evolution uses the very same processes. Are you thus saying that life breaks the laws of thermodynamics?
    ===

    No.


    ===
    You make it appear as if the conclusion is unwarranted despite my many attempts at explaining this connection to you. You don't want to understand the connection (same processes exactly for evolution as for life).
    ===

    Of course the conclusion is unwarranted--it is a fallacy. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems. It is astonishing that evolutionists will not admit to such basic logic.


    ===
    Of course you don't: Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.
    ===

    And what misguided religion is that?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Of course the conclusion is unwarranted--it is a fallacy. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems. It is astonishing that evolutionists will not admit to such basic logic.


    You mean like when you butcher logic by arguing "science hasn't explained this evolutionary detail yet, so therefore science can't explain anything about evolution!" which you do every other OP?

    ===
    Of course you don't: Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it matters.
    ===

    And what misguided religion is that?


    Just last week you told us Christianity is the religion that drives science, the science you say is misguided and corrupt. Are you going to try and squirm out of that one? Or will you be explaining further? My money's on squirm.

    BTW, have you written to all those top ranked colleges and universities that offer degrees in evolutionary biology yet? To tell them their schools are teaching "absurd" and "ludicrous" topics? Why not? I thought you were suppose to be a DI fellow and self-appointed defender of the faith.

    ReplyDelete
  42. oleg:

    ===
    These days, we understand that planets form along with the star from a cloud of molecular hydrogen and other stuff.
    ===

    Incredible. Monistic and dualistic theories have been repeatedly trading places as the leading theory, at what seems to be an increasing pace. And current theories are loaded with one-time, contingent events and special processes. Jupiter perturbed nascent planets just so, huge impacts must have reversed Venus' spin and tipped Uranus on its side, a stray object ejected by Jupiter caused Pluto's high inclination and eccentricity, disk instability is needed to explain how the outer gaseous planets could have formed so quickly, but with every fix there are new problems and this one creates the problem of why Uranus and Neptune aren't larger. Perhaps there were particularly nearby stars whose radiation heated the outer gases, making them more difficult for Uranus and Neptune to capture. And of course the current theory has repeatedly been undercut by discoveries of distant planets that don't fit the model. The evolutionist's "We understand" is the ultimate overstatement.

    ===
    The cloud has a finite angular momentum, so the resulting solar system rotates in the plane defined by it.
    ===

    The distribution of angular momentum is way off (the sun rotates too slowly and way too much angular momentum is in the planets). So we need magnetic braking to slow the sun. More anomalies and special processes to solve them. Yet another special process.

    ===
    Newton was right about one thing ...
    ===

    Incredible.


    ===
    Gravity + classical mechanics + fluid mechanics is a natural framework for the understanding of star and planet formation. There is no more reason for God's involvement.
    ===

    "No *more* reason." This is the evolutionist's fantasy version of history. In fact, the naturalistic mandate *preceded* the complex theories created to fulfill the mandate, which today's evolutionists now find to be so convincing.


    ===
    So where exactly are you going with Newton's example?
    ===

    You would know if you had read past the first paragraph.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thorton:

    ===
    You mean like when you butcher logic by arguing "science hasn't explained this evolutionary detail yet, so therefore science can't explain anything about evolution!" which you do every other OP?
    ===

    Hm, make that one for one thousand, seven hundred and thirty *three* comments.

    ReplyDelete
  44. RBH:

    ===
    "And as with the solar system, there is a distinction between the operation and the origin of proteins."

    Which, of course, neatly eviscerates Behe's argument from irreducible complexity, which is based wholly on the current operation of systems. Yet Behe wants to draw 'origins' conclusions from it.
    ===

    No, the distinction, which you apparently missed is not that we cannot draw from operation to infer origin:

    "The problem of operation of the flagellum points back to the problem of its origin."

    The distinction, rather, is simply that the mere understanding of operation, as complicated as that can be, is not a free pass to understanding origin.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thorton "Pot calling Kettle Black" to Cornelius:

    "BTW, have you written to all those top ranked colleges and universities that offer degrees in evolutionary biology yet? To tell them their schools are teaching "absurd" and "ludicrous" topics? Why not?"
    "I thought you were suppose to be a DI fellow and self-appointed defender of the faith."
    -----

    Thorton appointing itself as defender of the Evo-Faith Ministry:

    "You morons aren't going to drag down the country's literacy level just to accommodate your childish fantasies. NOT ON MY WATCH:"

    ROFL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Cornelius Hunter:

    "Incredible. Monistic and dualistic theories have been repeatedly trading places as the leading theory, at what seems to be an increasing pace. And current theories are loaded with one-time, contingent events and special processes. Jupiter perturbed nascent planets just so, huge impacts must have reversed Venus' spin and tipped Uranus on its side, a stray object ejected by Jupiter caused Pluto's high inclination and eccentricity, disk instability is needed to explain how the outer gaseous planets could have formed so quickly, but with every fix there are new problems and this one creates the problem of why Uranus and Neptune aren't larger. Perhaps there were particularly nearby stars whose radiation heated the outer gases, making them more difficult for Uranus and Neptune to capture. And of course the current theory has repeatedly been undercut by discoveries of distant planets that don't fit the model. The evolutionist's "We understand" is the ultimate overstatement."
    =====

    You left out life goes extinct on Mars, but not before it ejected that microbe carrying meteor to earth to kick start life here. Panspermia is real afterall and therefore we don't have to explain anything about "Abiogenesis" and where information comes from. Aliens begat us.
    -----

    Cornelius Hunter:

    "The evolutionist's "We understand" is the ultimate overstatement."
    =====

    I think it has more of an Agent Fox Mulder spin on it. "We want to believe"

    ReplyDelete
  47. NickM:

    ===
    Wow. Where does Hunter get off mentioning Newton, without mentioning Newton's most famous mistake, which was to use divine intervention to fix a little problem he had, namely that under his calculations using Newtonian dynamics, orbits were unstable over the long term. Newton said God must intervene occasionally to fix the orbits.
    ===

    False, he *allowed* for divine intervention (not that that distinction matters to evolutionists).


    ===
    It took 100 years and Laplace to solve the problem mathematically and show that divine intervention was unnecessary. Lesson: invoking divine intervention is just a cover for one's personal ignorance.
    ===

    OK, let's unpack. First, Newton's suggestion of divine intervention was not merely a cover for his personal ignorance. When Newton pointed out that there was an instability problem in the solar system, such that over eons of time you could have a breakdown in the nice, orderly, clocklike machine, he was reflecting the state of the art in scientific understanding. Matzke's spinning the story as Newton covering his own personal ignorance is ludicrous.

    Second, Newton was met with stiff metaphysical resistance, most notably from the influential Lutheran Gottfried Leibniz. What science later supplied, in the form of Laplace's solution to Newton's instabilities, was strongly in demand. There was a cultural mandate for a stable solar system.

    Third, Laplace's solution was itself, flawed. Or at least, shall we say, the interpretation of it as a solution to the instability problem was flawed. That interpretation was culturally mandated. Today we still do not fully understand solar system instability, but we do know it is not stable. Predicting the instabilities is quite difficult, but they are in the cards.

    Personally I'm sympathetic to Leibniz' point, but the point here is that this is yet another example of how susceptible science is to theology.

    And yet evolutionists consistently take this story and repackage it to fit their narrative. Not just science, but the history of science is also susceptible to theology.

    ===
    Wow. Where does Hunter get off mentioning Newton, without mentioning Newton's most famous mistake ...
    ===

    So evolutionists, such as Matzke, represent themselves as guardians of science and fool themselves that the data and the history align behind them, while the rest of us are the ones who are guilty of bad science and bad history. Matzke is a smart guy. This is not a matter of making dumb mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Cornelius Hunter:

    "You would know if you had read past the first paragraph."
    ====

    Perhaps it's a language barrier issue. Can you type on a Cyrillic keyboard ???
    Or perhaps it's an ideological problem. Do you speak Soviet ???

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hunter:

    So the evolutionist asserts that "There’s no reason why, if we think about this long enough, we may not find the [evolutionary] answer."

    Hold on there, Pardner. How did that bracketed “[evolutionary]” get in there? And why? Will Hunter explain or will he equivocate, as he has on rare occasions?

    I explain that this makes no sense, because reasons why evolutionary explanations may be elusive are clear. Most obvously, what if proteins did not arise from strictly naturalistic causes?

    He explains! So we are to take it that “[evolutionary]” in the doctored quotation and in the following sentence means “naturalistic.” Halellulia! (We may have nailed that Jello to the wall at last.)

    Therefore, if proteins did not arise naturally, without un-natural intervention, then how could we find an [evolutionary/naturalistic] answer? It would be …*drum-roll, please*… IMPOSSIBLE.

    That could make it pretty difficult to find evolutionary solutions.

    Put that straw in your pipe and light it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Cornelius Hunter: huge impacts must have reversed Venus' spin and tipped Uranus on its side

    Those crazy scientists, where would they get the idea that objects might have collided early in Solar System formation?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Interesting post Ritchie
    --
    "What if we are all just brains in jars being fed false sensory information, and the whole world around us is just an illusion, like the Matrix?" In principle the question is a reasonable one - proteins MIGHT not have arisen from strictly naturalistic causes, just as we MIGHT be living in the Matrix."
    --

    We do live in some sort of energy matrix. Quantum physics is teaching us that whatever we call matter around us is mostly empty. Atom is 99.9999999999999 % empty space. Remaining space is something we could call "substance". When scientists check what this "substance" is made of they find extremely densely packed energy units following the rules of mathematics.
    All this makes me think we should rename worldview of some of us here from materialist to vacuumist . Nice thing for them, if they have problem falling asleep vacuumists should count 9s after decimal point instead of sheep.

    Therefore sentences like:

    Try and beat that, presumptuous materialist.

    Should be written:

    Try and beat that, presumptuous vacuumist.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Eugen -

    Hmmm. That level of quantum physics makes my head hurt!
    When I said 'Matrix' I was just referencing the film trilogy.
    Vacuumist makes me think I should go and do some hoovering...

    ReplyDelete
  53. Cornelius Hunter said...

    The distribution of angular momentum is way off (the sun rotates too slowly and way too much angular momentum is in the planets). So we need magnetic braking to slow the sun. More anomalies and special processes to solve them. Yet another special process.


    LOL!

    We'll add astronomy and orbital mechanics along side evolutionary biology and probability to the big list of topics on which Cornelius is clueless.

    Amazing how CH can know so little about so many topics, yet still feel justified in ranting against the scientific consensus based solely on his religious beliefs.

    Thorton: Just last week you told us Christianity is the religion that drives science, the science you say is misguided and corrupt. Are you going to try and squirm out of that one? Or will you be explaining further? My money's on squirm.

    No explanation from CH. Looks like I was correct about the squirm part.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Thorton: "You mean like when you butcher logic by arguing "science hasn't explained this evolutionary detail yet, so therefore science can't explain anything about evolution!" which you do every other OP?"

    CH: "And of course the current theory has repeatedly been undercut by discoveries of distant planets that don't fit the model. The evolutionist's "We understand" is the ultimate overstatement."


    Cornelius logic on display once more. "Science doesn't know everything, so therefore science doesn't know anything."

    All you can do is shake your head and laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Eocene said...

    Thorton "Pot calling Kettle Black" to Cornelius:

    "BTW, have you written to all those top ranked colleges and universities that offer degrees in evolutionary biology yet? To tell them their schools are teaching "absurd" and "ludicrous" topics? Why not?"
    "I thought you were suppose to be a DI fellow and self-appointed defender of the faith."
    -----

    Thorton appointing itself as defender of the Evo-Faith Ministry:

    "You morons aren't going to drag down the country's literacy level just to accommodate your childish fantasies. NOT ON MY WATCH:"

    ROFL!!!


    What's your point little man? I actively campaign in the real world for scientific literacy - write letters, sit in on school board meetings, donate time and money.

    CH bellows and blusters but AFAICT never follows through. He knows that if he tried pitching this woo to real colleges and universities he'd get laughed right off campus. That's why he hides here and makes big noises in his little backwater blog. Perhaps he is smarter than everyone thinks.

    ReplyDelete
  56. To the god fearing readers of this blog. DON'T BE FOOLED!
    Cornelius is pretending that he's arguing against evolution, when in reality he's arguing against creationism.

    It's a clever strategy, but if you spend enough time here, you'll realize it. To hear real arguments for Intelligent Design, go to the Discovery Institute's blog.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Cornelius Hunter said...


    The distribution of angular momentum is way off (the sun rotates too slowly and way too much angular momentum is in the planets). So we need magnetic braking to slow the sun. More anomalies and special processes to solve them. Yet another special process.

    ============================

    Where can I find out more about these anomalies, I thought the theory on the formation of the solar system was pretty solid?

    ReplyDelete
  58. CH said, "The distinction, rather, is simply that the mere understanding of operation, as complicated as that can be, is not a free pass to understanding origin. "

    Evolutionists are fond of giving out free passes to each other. Origins is a huge free pass. Another free pass is the great assumption that the rules that govern microevolution at one level apply at all levels. When asked for evidence of macroevolution, evolutionists talk about fruit flies (which are still fruit flies)and e coli (which is still e coli after a tens of thousands of generations under extreme environmental pressures). They expect us to believe that a happy land mammal family will turn into a full scale whale in less than a million generations. When asked for evidence for origins they point to a meteorite that has an amino acid in it. There explanations fall short by every definition of reason and evidence. It is their right to believe in fairy tales, but spare us the nonsense about it being a "fact".

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

    ReplyDelete
  60. Pedant:

    ===
    Hold on there, Pardner. How did that bracketed “[evolutionary]” get in there? And why? Will Hunter explain or will he equivocate, as he has on rare occasions? ...

    He explains! So we are to take it that “[evolutionary]” in the doctored quotation and in the following sentence means “naturalistic.” Halellulia! (We may have nailed that Jello to the wall at last.)
    ===

    Ah, how silly of me to think Louis was talking about evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Ambiorix:

    ===
    Where can I find out more about these anomalies,
    ===

    Textbooks and popular works grossly misrepresent the science. This is yet another way that evolutionary thought harms science. You have to go to the primary literature. I do give an overview of this in *Science's Blind Spot*.

    ===
    I thought the theory on the formation of the solar system was pretty solid?
    ===

    Yes, just like biological evolution. It's all a fact, you know. This is our mythology.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hunter:

    Ah, how silly of me to think Louis was talking about evolution.

    *Ahem.* It's not what Louis was talking about. It's what you were talking about. In the Hunter lexicon (as I hope I understand correctly), "evolutionary" is a synonym for "naturalistic."

    -----

    And, in the spirit of the Season, I take pleasure in wishing you a Blessed Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Ambiorix:

    ===========
    ===
    Where can I find out more about these anomalies,
    ===

    Textbooks and popular works grossly misrepresent the science. This is yet another way that evolutionary thought harms science. You have to go to the primary literature. I do give an overview of this in *Science's Blind Spot*.
    ===========

    I would also recommend Steven Brush, although you need to watch for the whig "with the Enlightenment religion was checked at the door" history. Otherwise Brush is a good source on the history of solar system evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Ambiorix:

    ===
    Where can I find out more about these anomalies,
    ===

    Textbooks and popular works grossly misrepresent the science. This is yet another way that evolutionary thought harms science. You have to go to the primary literature. I do give an overview of this in *Science's Blind Spot*


    As always, CH is so full of it his eyes are brown.

    Notice he never will give a link to the primary scientific literature when making these over-the-top claims. It's always "read the previous horse hockey I wrote before".

    ReplyDelete
  65. Notice he never will give a link to the primary scientific literature when making these over-the-top claims. It's always "read the previous horse hockey I wrote before".

    I'm pretty sure that CH has provided links to every piece of primary research that he has ever referenced. Proving otherwise should be simple enough. Just go through every post, comment, and paper on any and all subjects about which he has ever written and show exactly where those links aren't. Until you do that, you must assume that he has, in fact, provided those links. That's just how real science works.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Well, Cornelius has certainly read historian Stephen Brush. His assertion of increasingly frequent flip-flopping between "monistic" and "dualistic" models echoes Brush's assertions in Nebulous Earth and Fruitful Encounters, particularly p. 4 of the former (viewable in Google Books). He may well have taken the time to look at some of the primary scientific literature referenced therein. But his acceptance of Brush's assertions without comment suggests less than complete understanding. While the frequency of new ideas concerning Solar System formation did increase dramatically in the 1970s and 80s, unsurprising given the proliferation of so much more relevant data and computer power as well as many more brains put to the task, the magnitude of "oscillations" in our picture declined over time. The supernova trigger model mentioned is a not at all the same thing as the older capture model. To lump the two together as "dualism" and say that "scientists are yo-yoing and can't make up their mind" is a poor interpretation. And it is also a bit misleading to interpret "It (supernova trigger) was revived in 1995." as a paradigm shift. Timmes et al. (1995) merely showed that much Al-26 and Fe-60 were likely produced through supernova explosion, not that this implied a triggered collapse.

    The current situation has settled a bit in the 15 years since Brush wrote. Again, recent supernova remnants are incorporated, but supernova-triggered collapse is not implied or necessitated.

    If anyone is interested, a readable summary was published this past year. Available free online here .

    Williams, J. P. 2010. The astrophysical environment of the solar birthplace. Contemporary Physics 51:381-396.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Cornelius wrote:

    The distribution of angular momentum is way off (the sun rotates too slowly and way too much angular momentum is in the planets). So we need magnetic braking to slow the sun. More anomalies and special processes to solve them. Yet another special process.

    It does not seem to be special. A recent analysis of 900 stars in the nearby Orion stellar nursery suggests that disk braking is a common phenomenon: stars with planetary disks are rotating much more slowly than those without. L. M. Rebull et al., astro-ph/0604104.

    I suppose it's possible that God micromanages star births, but I would not bet on it.

    ReplyDelete
  68. CH wrote:

    But this makes no sense. Just because science succeeds on some problems doesn’t mean it will succeed on other problems.

    And here I thought you were finally going to address Louis' argument. I guess some things never change.

    If you actually view the video on YouTube, you'd notice the title of the video is "Ard Louis on Irreducible Complexity". The description is "Oxford physicist Ard Louis offers his take on the theory of irreducible complexity -- the idea that certain complex structures could not possibly emerge via evolution."

    Given the above, it's a reasonable to assume Louis' point is that complexity need not be a litmus test for the failure of science to explain phenomena using natural causes. That human beings self-assemble is just such an example.

    Furthermore, since you'e noticed that operation and origins are indeed separate, we can say that the operation of evolution as a natural process can be separate from it's origin. Just as you likely assume gravity is a process which operates naturally, yet was supposedly designed by God. Louis just draws the line further back than you do.

    Nor do I think you'd claim that God lacked the ability to have designed evolution as a natural process which eventually created the biological complexity we observe as God is supposedly able to do anything logically possible. Instead, it's likely you think God was concerned about the details of biological complexity because doing so fits your personal theological views about God. However, it seems that Louis, and the many other theists at the Biologos foundation, do not share this view. In fact, some think the idea of God creating biological complexity via a natural process is more "glorious" than God intervening now and then to "fix" things.

    Louis elaborates on this while discussing the the exchange between Newton and his rival Leibniz regarding his theory of Gravity.

    http://biologos.org/blog/ard-louis-on-intelligent-design/

    ReplyDelete
  69. Just thought I'd wish you all a Happy Christmas, Happy holiday and a Happy Solstice!!

    ReplyDelete