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Topic: Despite Darwinists’ Cancel Culture, Intelligent Design Has a Break-

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DunkingDan

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through in Biology Journal

In its September 21 issue, the Journal of Theoretical Biology published a major peer-reviewed article on [color=var(--csc-primary)]fine-tuning in biology[/iurl] that favorably discusses intelligent design.[/color][/font][/color][/size]
The article explicitly cites work by Discovery Institute Fellows such as Stephen Meyer, Günter Bechly, Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe, and Robert J. Marks. The article is co-authored by Steinar Thorvaldsen and Ola Hössjer. Hössjer is a professor of mathematical statistics at Stockholm University who is favorable to intelligent design.

This is a big deal for the mainstreaming of ID.

The Journal of Theoretical Biology is a top peer-reviewed science journal. According to CiteScore, it is the 25th most cited journal in the area of general agriculture and biological sciences, and it is in the top 12 percent of all journals in that field.
The article by Thorvaldsen and Hössjer appeared online in June. But we didn’t want to speak about it publicly until after its “official” publication date, because we knew that once Darwinists found out, they would try to have the article cancelled.






Sure enough, after Darwinists discovered the article, they succeeded in obtaining a “disclaimer” from the journal’s editors, who proclaimed their bias against ID. But the disclaimer actually made publication of the article all the more significant. It meant that the article survived peer-review and was accepted for publication despite the open hostility of the journal’s top editors!
Familiar with Cancel Culture
As you know, intelligent design isn’t loved by the establishment media, or elite professors, or social media giants. In fact, we face censorship and discrimination on all fronts in getting our message out. Intelligent design supporters are well acquainted with the “cancel culture,” because we’ve faced it for a long time.
Nevertheless, we are succeeding because the evidence is so compelling — and because readers like you have been willing to go around the censorship by sharing our materials with your family, colleagues, and friends.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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« Last Edit: February 10, 2021, 11:35:12 AM by DunkingDan »
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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The Top Ten Scientific Problems with Biological and Chemical Evolution
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2020, 05:51:58 PM »
Introduction
“There are no weaknesses in the theory of evolution.”1 Such was professed by Eugenie Scott, the de facto head of the Darwin lobby, while speaking to the media in response to the Texas State Board of Education’s 2009 vote to require students to learn about both the scientific evidence for and against neo-Darwinian evolution.

For those who follow the debate over origins, Dr. Scott’s words are as unsurprising as they are familiar. It seems that almost on a daily basis, we find the news media quoting evolutionary scientists declaring that materialist accounts of biological and chemical evolution are “fact.” Students who take college-preparatory or college-level courses on evolution are warned that doubting Darwinism is tantamount to committing intellectual suicide — you might as well proclaim the Earth is flat.2 Such bullying is enough to convince many that it’s much easier on your academic standing, your career, and your reputation to just buy into Darwinism. The few holdouts who remain are intimidated into silence.

But is it true that there are “no weaknesses” in evolutionary theory? Are those who express doubts about Darwinism displaying courage, or are they fools that want to take us back to the dark ages and era of the flat Earth?3 Thankfully, it’s very easy to test these questions: all one must do is examine the technical scientific literature and inquire whether there are legitimate scientific challenges to chemical and biological evolution.

This chapter will review some of this literature, and show that there are numerous legitimate scientific challenges to core tenets of Darwinian theory, as well as predominant theories of chemical evolution. Those who harbor doubts about Darwinism need not be terrified by academic bullies who pretend there is no scientific debate to be had.

Problem 1: No Viable Mechanism to Generate a Primordial Soup
According to conventional thinking among origin of life theorists, life arose via unguided chemical reactions on the early Earth some 3 to 4 billion years ago. Most theorists believe that there were many steps involved in the origin of life, but the very first step would have involved the production of a primordial soup — a water-based sea of simple organic molecules — out of which life arose. While the existence of this “soup” has been accepted as unquestioned fact for decades, this first step in most origin-of-life theories faces numerous scientific difficulties.

In 1953, a graduate student at the University of Chicago named Stanley Miller, along with his faculty advisor Harold Urey, performed experiments hoping to produce the building blocks of life under natural conditions on the early Earth.4 These “Miller-Urey experiments” intended to simulate lightning striking the gasses in the early Earth’s atmosphere. After running the experiments and letting the chemical products sit for a period of time, Miller discovered that amino acids — the building blocks of proteins — had been produced.

For decades, these experiments have been hailed as a demonstration that the “building blocks” of life could have arisen under natural, realistic Earthlike conditions,5 corroborating the primordial soup hypothesis. However, it has also been known for decades that the Earth’s early atmosphere was fundamentally different from the gasses used by Miller and Urey.

The atmosphere used in the Miller-Urey experiments was primarily composed of reducing gasses like methane, ammonia, and high levels of hydrogen. Geochemists now believe that the atmosphere of the early Earth did not contain appreciable amounts of these components. (Reducing gasses are those which tend to donate electrons during chemical reactions.) UC Santa Cruz origin-of-life theorist David Deamer explains this in the journal Microbiology & Molecular Biology Reviews:

This optimistic picture began to change in the late 1970s, when it became increasingly clear that the early atmosphere was probably volcanic in origin and composition, composed largely of carbon dioxide and nitrogen rather than the mixture of reducing gases assumed by the Miller-Urey model. Carbon dioxide does not support the rich array of synthetic pathways leading to possible monomers…6

Likewise, an article in the journal Science stated: “Miller and Urey relied on a ‘reducing’ atmosphere, a condition in which molecules are fat with hydrogen atoms. As Miller showed later, he could not make organics in an ‘oxidizing’ atmosphere.”7 The article put it bluntly: “the early atmosphere looked nothing like the Miller-Urey situation.”8 Consistent with this, geological studies have not uncovered evidence that a primordial soup once existed.9

There are good reasons to understand why the Earth’s early atmosphere did not contain high concentrations of methane, ammonia, or other reducing gasses. The earth’s early atmosphere is thought to have been produced by outgassing from volcanoes, and the composition of those volcanic gasses is related to the chemical properties of the Earth’s inner mantle. Geochemical studies have found that the chemical properties of the Earth’s mantle would have been the same in the past as they are today.10 But today, volcanic gasses do not contain methane or ammonia, and are not reducing.

A paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters found that the chemical properties of the Earth’s interior have been essentially constant over Earth’s history, leading to the conclusion that “Life may have found its origins in other environments or by other mechanisms.”11 So drastic is the evidence against pre-biotic synthesis of life’s building blocks that in 1990 the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council recommended that origin of life investigators undertake a “reexamination of biological monomer synthesis under primitive Earthlike environments, as revealed in current models of the early Earth.”12

Because of these difficulties, some leading theorists have abandoned the Miller-Urey experiment and the “primordial soup” theory it is claimed to support. In 2010, University College London biochemist Nick Lane stated the primordial soup theory “doesn’t hold water” and is “past its expiration date.”13 Instead, he proposes that life arose in undersea hydrothermal vents. But both the hydrothermal vent and primordial soup hypotheses face another major problem.

Chemical Evolution is Dead in the Water
Assume for a moment that there was some way to produce simple organic molecules on the early Earth. Perhaps they did form a “primordial soup,” or perhaps these molecules arose near some hydrothermal vent. Either way, origin of life theorists must then explain how amino acids or other key organic molecules linked up to form long chains (polymers) like proteins (or RNA).

Chemically speaking, however, the last place you’d want to link amino acids into chains would be a vast water-based environment like the “primordial soup” or underwater near a hydrothermal vent. As the National Academy of Sciences acknowledges, “Two amino acids do not spontaneously join in water. Rather, the opposite reaction is thermodynamically favored.”14 In other words, water breaks protein chains back down into amino acids (or other constituents), making it very difficult to produce proteins (or other polymers) in the primordial soup.

Materialists lack good explanations for these first, simple steps which are necessary to the origin-of-life. Chemical evolution is literally dead in the water.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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In the Evolution Debate, How Truth Can Prevail
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 03:35:35 PM »
In 1950, [color=var(--csc-primary)]sociologist Paul Kecskemeti described[/iurl] how totalitarian regimes control mass communications to ensure that the public only has access to their view of reality: [/font][/color]
Quote
Although a public opinion as we understand it cannot exist in totalitarian states, its place is taken by an official image of the world expressed through the media of mass communications. The individual may not believe this image to be true, and indeed often tries to look beyond it, since he sees it as an effort of the bureaucracy to control him. Nevertheless, he usually is forced to accept it, partly for want of something better and partly because of the power he knows stands behind it. For in the totalitarian state both safety and advancement depend upon conformity, and the mass media provide the model with which the individual has to conform.
Kecskemeti’s analysis perfectly describes the challenge faced by anyone who wishes to publicly tell the truth about the evidence for design in biology. Those who control the centers of power in secular nations largely see the world through the lens of scientific materialism, which assumes that everything is the product of the blind forces of nature, chance, and time. They might not fully accept that philosophy privately, but they operate within that framework publicly. And, those who wish to advance in most academic settings must think and behave within the confines of scientific materialism lest they face enormous opposition from the enforcers commissioned to destroy their reputations and careers ([color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/iurl],[color=var(--csc-primary)] here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color]).[/font][/color][/size]
Regulating Public Opinion
A primary means of regulating public opinion by any autocratic institution is controlling mass communications (e.g., newspapers and television) and other official sources of information such as educational curricula, religious instruction, and academic journals. In most secular nations those promoting the scientific status quo have nearly absolute control over official information outlets, and those who question that life is solely the product of undirected chemistry and physics are consistently misrepresented and vilified.
I have been struck by how most who reject intelligent design arguments have little or no understanding of the arguments or the underlying science. Instead, they simply parrot the same empty sound bites, almost verbatim, that are constantly repeated in official news outlets. When I ask people what they consider to be the most compelling evidence for an undirected origin of life and its subsequent evolution, they typically respond with examples that are either scientifically outdated ([color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/iurl], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color]), factually inaccurate ([color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color]), or founded on circular reasoning ([color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color]). Many are stunned to learn the stark contrast between what they were told and what the evidence demonstrates is actually true ([color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color],[color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color], [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/color]). Those who presented them with the misinformation rarely had ill intent. They were simply passing down a secular faith tradition that was passed down to them, which perpetuates the cycle of thought control. [/font][/color][/size]
Hope Still Remains
Yet, hope still remains, for truth has the power to prevail if it can gain a hearing. Therein lies one of the greatest threats to any totalitarian system: namely a free press. Oppressive institutions fear that those under their sway will hear alternative viewpoints, for their ideas can only be sustained in an echo chamber, constantly reinforcing the party line.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Unguided Chemical Processes Cannot Explain the Origin of the Genetic
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2020, 04:40:44 PM »
 Code

Let’s assume, again, that a primordial sea filled with life’s building blocks did exist on the early Earth, and somehow it formed proteins and other complex organic molecules. Origin of life theorists believe that the next step in the origin of life is that — entirely by chance — more and more complex molecules formed until some began to self-replicate. From there, they believe Darwinian natural selection took over, favoring those molecules which were better able to make copies. Eventually, they assume, it became inevitable that these molecules would evolve complex machinery — like that used in today’s genetic code — to survive and reproduce.

Have modern theorists explained how this crucial bridge from inert nonliving chemicals to self-replicating molecular systems took place? The most prominent hypothesis for the origin of the first life is called the “RNA world.” In living cells, genetic information is carried by DNA, and most cellular functions are carried out by proteins. However, RNA is capable of both carrying genetic information and catalyzing some biochemical reactions. As a result, some theorists postulate the first life might have used RNA alone to fulfill all these functions.

But there are many problems with this hypothesis.

For one, the first RNA molecules would have to arise by unguided, non-biological chemical processes. But RNA is not known to assemble without the help of a skilled laboratory chemist intelligently guiding the process. New York University chemist Robert Shapiro critiqued the efforts of those who tried to make RNA in the lab, stating: “The flaw is in the logic — that this experimental control by researchers in a modern laboratory could have been available on the early Earth.”15

Second, while RNA has been shown to perform many roles in the cell, there is no evidence that it could perform all the necessary cellular functions currently carried out by proteins.16

Third, the RNA world hypothesis does not explain the origin of genetic information.

RNA world advocates suggest that if the first self-replicating life was based upon RNA, it would have required a molecule between 200 and 300 nucleotides in length.17 However, there are no known chemical or physical laws that dictate the order of those nucleotides.18 To explain the ordering of nucleotides in the first self-replicating RNA molecule, materialists must rely on sheer chance. But the odds of specifying, say, 250 nucleotides in an RNA molecule by chance is about 1 in 10150 — below the universal probability boundary, or events which are remotely possible to occur within the history of the universe.19 Shapiro puts the problem this way:

The sudden appearance of a large self-copying molecule such as RNA was exceedingly improbable. … [The probability] is so vanishingly small that its happening even once anywhere in the visible universe would count as a piece of exceptional good luck.20

Fourth — and most fundamentally — the RNA world hypothesis does not explain the origin of the genetic code itself. In order to evolve into the DNA / protein-based life that exists today, the RNA world would need to evolve the ability to convert genetic information into proteins. However, this process of transcription and translation requires a large suite of proteins and molecular machines — which themselves are encoded by genetic information. This poses a chicken-and-egg problem, where essential enzymes and molecular machines are needed to perform the very task that constructs them.

The Chicken and the DVD
To appreciate this problem, consider the origin of the first DVD and DVD player. DVDs are rich in information, but without the machinery of a DVD player to read the disk, process its information, and convert it into a picture and sound, the disk would be useless. But what if the instructions for building the first DVD player were only found encoded on a DVD? You could never play the DVD to learn how to build a DVD player. So how did the first disk and DVD player system arise? The answer is obvious: a goal directed process — intelligent design — is required to produce both the player and the disk at the same time.

In living cells, information-carrying molecules (e.g. DNA or RNA) are like the DVD, and the cellular machinery which reads that information and converts it into proteins are like the DVD player. Just like the DVD analogy, genetic information can never be converted into proteins without the proper machinery. Yet in cells, the machines required for processing the genetic information in RNA or DNA are encoded by those same genetic molecules — they perform and direct the very task that builds them.

This system cannot exist unless both the genetic information and transcription / translation machinery are present at the same time, and unless both speak the same language. Biologist Frank Salisbury explained this problem in a paper in American Biology Teacher not long after the workings of the genetic code were first uncovered:

It’s nice to talk about replicating DNA molecules arising in a soupy sea, but in modern cells this replication requires the presence of suitable enzymes. … [T]he link between DNA and the enzyme is a highly complex one, involving RNA and an enzyme for its synthesis on a DNA template; ribosomes; enzymes to activate the amino acids; and transfer-RNA molecules. … How, in the absence of the final enzyme, could selection act upon DNA and all the mechanisms for replicating it? It’s as though everything must happen at once: the entire system must come into being as one unit, or it is worthless. There may well be ways out of this dilemma, but I don’t see them at the moment.21

Despite decades of work, origin-of-life theorists are still at a loss to explain how this system arose. In 2007, Harvard chemist George Whitesides was given the Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society. During his acceptance speech, he offered this stark analysis, reprinted in the respected journal, Chemical and Engineering News:

The Origin of Life. This problem is one of the big ones in science. It begins to place life, and us, in the universe. Most chemists believe, as do I, that life emerged spontaneously from mixtures of molecules in the prebiotic Earth. How? I have no idea.22

Similarly, the aforementioned article in Cell Biology International concludes: “New approaches to investigating the origin of the genetic code are required. The constraints of historical science are such that the origin of life may never be understood.”23 That is, they may never be understood unless scientists are willing to consider goal-directed scientific explanations like intelligent design.

But there is a much deeper problem with theories of chemical evolution, as well as biological evolution. This pertains not just to the ability to process genetic information via a genetic code, but the origin of that information itself.

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Juggling Terms to Maintain the Illusion of Darwinian Selection
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2021, 04:55:49 PM »
What are synonyms for saying lots of words without conveying any real meaning? 
  • Word Salad: “incoherent speech consisting of both real and imaginary words, lacking comprehensive meaning, and occurring in advanced schizophrenic states.”
  • Gobbledegook: “language characterized by circumlocution and jargon, usually hard to understand.”
  • Speciousness: “pleasing to the eye but deceptive.”
The number of synonyms indicates that many people have a shared experience encountering it. Synonyms can be short (bosh, bunk, cant), sophisticated (amphigory, rigmarole, balderdash), or emotional (baloney, drivel, gibberish, hooey, rubbish, and a few other unmentionables). Synonym counts escalate with related words like equivocation, casuistry, sophistry, prevarication. Their commonality is an effort to manipulate words to put on airs while communicating no meaningful information.
Masters of the Art
Darwinian evolutionists are masters at this kind of empty talk. Their victims are often caught unprepared to encounter or recognize it, because they have been trained to “respect science” and “follow the science” (the popular meme today). Way too much gets mashed together into the concept of “science” to give that word precision: is multiverse theory on the same level as electrodynamics? Black holes with gene sequences? Human evolutionary psychology with titration levels for chemical reactions? Evolutionary biologists are poised at the junction of a rich, meaningful science (biology) with a vague, descriptive concept (evolution). This makes the talkers especially prone to shift deftly toward either end of the spectrum of plausibility between.
In order to recognize gobbledygook and not be deceived by it, perceptive readers of evolutionary literature need to focus their laser-beam attention on the precise meanings of words. They also need to remain aware of the difference between association and causation. And they must avoid the fallacy of extrapolation: i.e., a particular fact cannot be extended without warrant
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President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Academic Article Correcting Misconceptions about Evolution Promotes
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 02:24:49 PM »
 Misconceptions about ID

It’s good to be back at Discovery Institute. Even after my nearly five years away, I see that some things remain unchanged. Recently I awoke to an email notifying me that a new article in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach, published by BMC Springer Nature, had cited my work. This journal is dedicated to improving evolution-advocacy, and has long had close ties to lobby groups including the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Curious about what it had to say, I downloaded the paper, which is titled “Biology teachers’ conceptions of Humankind Origin across secular and religious countries: an international comparison.”

At first blush, the title seemed a bit strange coming from an academic journal. I was not aware that it is acceptable to stereotype entire nations as “religious” or “secular.” The language in this academic article was even stranger. Phrases like “creationist ideology,” “Evolution Wars” (italics in the original), and the touting of “countless evidence [sic] of the evolutionary process that led to human origin [sic],” had a rhetorical edge one would not expect from careful intellectual discourse that at least wants to present a veneer of objectivity.

The Creationism Gambit
As is typical in this genre, I found that the authors repeatedly conflated intelligent design with “creationism” — citing, for example, “followers of the intelligent design movement, a form of creationism” — showing no recognition that ID proponents have long offered principled arguments as to why their model is different from creationism. As another example, the authors explain their deep concern that:

American creationist groups like the Discovery Institute have published articles portraying Brazilian creationism as “flourishing” and “shining” (Wells 2017), and celebrating the collaborative launching of a research centre for creationist science in a leading university in Brazil (Klinghoffer 2017).

Paul Nelson once called this tactic the “creationism gambit.” Yet they struggle to explain an important observation: why many scientists become “creationists” who doubt Darwinian evolution. Their initial hypothesis suggested a deep prejudice against Darwin-doubting scientists: they propose ignorance of science. However, to their credit they acknowledge that studies have shown that scientific ignorance isn’t the answer. Here’s how they put it:

It would seem reasonable to expect individuals who are knowledgeable about science and who have science-related professions to fully subscribe to evolutionary views (i.e., creationists simply lack the necessary knowledge). However, research shows that this is not necessarily the case. In a comparative study of life scientists in the UK and Brazil, Falcão (2008) found that Brazilian scientists believed in the supernatural more strongly than British scientists despite their common advanced scientific training. Brazilian scientists shoed [sic] to retain a firm attachment to a belief in God regardless of their university training level, e.g., scientific knowledge did not necessarily lead them to give up their belief in God.

So what is the explanation for why scientists abandon Darwin? They don’t explicitly offer one, preferring to leave the situation in a state of the unknown, writing: “the relationship between scientific training / knowledge and religious belief is far from simple and straightforward. Being a knowledgeable and experienced member of the science profession does not necessarily guarantee one’s full embracement of evolutionary views or dismissal of creationist ones.” Perhaps there’s a simple explanation but they don’t see it due to a blind spot: scientists doubt Darwin because of the evidence. Tomorrow I’ll address my specific citation.


President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

fuzzynavol

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Re: Despite Darwinists’ Cancel Culture, Intelligent Design Has a Break-
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 03:04:35 PM »

DunkingDan

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Re: Despite Darwinists’ Cancel Culture, Intelligent Design Has a Break-
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2021, 10:24:40 AM »
May be a cartoon of 1 person and text that says 'WELL JOHNNY, IF GOD EXISTS... THEN WHO MADE GOD? CHECK AND MATE! Dickey Dawkins Day School for Reasonable Rational Scienterrific Kids SMART BOYS & GIRLS BELIEVE: NOTHING billion years EVERYTHING doesn't exist, HATE IT. Ihove valua MISTER DAWKINS, MADE THIS CLAY PONY. HIS CLAY EYES AND EARS CAN'T SEE OR HEAR ME. BUT HERE AM. TaucH S PONY EVOLVING RicherdD ClaY-No Modelliag Compouao BneultMix Luke17:1-2 ODALE 2008'
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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RANDOM EVOLUTION DOESN’T PRODUCE ALGORITHMIC FUNCTIONS IN ANIMALS
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 02:13:11 PM »
In a recent article “Evolution and artificial intelligence face the same basic problem,” Eric Holloway addressed the conundrum faced by artificial intelligence theorists: How can “a random process with no insight into the environment… increase information about that environment within evolving DNA sequences and/or artificial intelligence programs. By what mechanism can randomness ‘know’ anything?” Dr. Holloway’s challenge goes to the heart of the problem with the materialist worldview regarding origins, evolution, and ultimately intelligence.

Software vs. hardware in your body

Imagine you knew absolutely nothing about roller skates. Then you awoke this morning to find your ankles and feet permanently installed into roller skates. Instantly, everything you understood about walking and running is worthless.

Getting onto your feet at all is risky. Standing is your second awful challenge. To move, you can’t walk; you must glide. To turn is a mysterious twist-and-lean maneuver. Stopping means grabbing onto something stationary or just falling down — a lot. Don’t even think about moving backward. When you finally gain some skating skills through endless struggles, you find skates are great for speed on paved surfaces. But they are slow and dangerously ill-suited for gravel, grassy terrain, or staircases. You will certainly miss your feet in their natural state.


This thought experiment captures the fundamental distinction between biological hardware and biological software. We have hardware for locomotion: ankles and feet. We need the know-how, the methods, the sequence of commands — the software — to operate that hardware. Feet don’t walk us, nor do they walk independently of us. Rather, we walk using feet. When the hardware changes, for example, if feet were to become roller skates, the software must change radically too.

If you don’t figure out how to move around on skates instead of feet, your chances of surviving and thriving greatly diminish. Having to think specifically about every step or glide would drain your energy, so you need to develop the sort of “muscle memory” with skates as you previously had with feet.

Bottom line: You must change your software to operate new or modified hardware. In the same way, when an animal’s biological hardware changes, that animal’s operating software must also change to match the hardware changes.

So what happened when dinosaurs became birds?
Somehow, when we think about evolution, the problem of hardware–software coordination is ignored. Take, for example, the neo-Darwinian claim that modern birds evolved from reptile-like dinosaurs. Discussions of dinosaur-to-bird evolution talk about the hardware changes: scales became feathers, legs became wings, cold-blooded (exothermic) physiology became warm-blooded (endothermic) physiology, tooth-filled mouths became beaks, and so on. All of these monumental changes in hardware present enormous operational challenges that incremental mutations somehow solved over millions of years. But totally missing is any account of the evolution of the necessary software.

Assume for the moment that unguided mutation could actually modify a reptile and install the wing apparatus, including all the muscles and feathers. For the early stubby proto-wing to give the modified reptile the “survival advantage” necessary to win in natural selection, the reptile must know how to use the proto-wing. A reptile with proto-wings instead of legs is like a human with roller skates instead of feet. The reptile must have the biological software to operate the proto-wings successfully. Whatever software the legged reptile had, it won’t operate a proto-wing. The stubby-winged reptile is worse off than his legged brothers and sisters, not better, and won’t win the natural selection prize.


So let’s generously give a reptile a full set of beautiful wings with feathers and the powerful muscles needed. We have doomed the poor creature. She wakes up to the world, clueless about how to use the wings. She can’t walk like her legged siblings. She can’t fly because she lacks the software, in the sense of neurological adaptations, to launch, flap, soar, glide, turn, and land.


Why neurological functions must be programmed into a life form
Operating feet or skates, legs or wings, is algorithmic. Robert Marks, Michael Egnor, and Winston Ewert have all argued that the “mind” is distinct from the “brain,” at least in humans, and that “consciousness” does not arise in the brain alone. William Dembski has suggested that consciousness could potentially be the result of material features that are intelligently designed. It is a fair question whether consciousness, human reason, and subjective preferences are algorithmic or non-algorithmic. But those elements of mind function well above walking or even flying in terms of complexity or comprehensibility; the ordinary operations of movement are algorithmic because they can be programmed into computers.

When walking or skating, we develop “muscle memory.” Our brains and nervous systems internalize the procedures for these tasks. We don’t think about them, we just engage them. The toddler toddles around looking for the kitten he wants to play with — and finds it prudently perched on a ledge out of arm’s reach. The toddler doesn’t think about having to walk while trying to carry out that intention. Doubtless, reptiles don’t think about walking, and birds don’t think about flying. They just expect the subroutines in their brains to carry out the tasks.

Materialism’s software gap
According to the materialist view, every feature of life is explainable using cause-and-effect physics and chemistry. Neo-Darwinism (the theory that natural selection acting on random mutation builds complex, functional structures) still seems to be the dominant materialist account of the existence of animal species. To properly claim that throne, however, neo-Darwinism must explain not only how hardware features mutated into existence but also how the biological operating software came into existence and could then be modified successfully in dramatic ways.

Walking and flying are two animal functions that are often called “behaviors.” I scoured the Encyclopedia of Evolution (2002) a few years ago but found no substantive explanation for the origins and implementation of behaviors.

Computer systems within robots can engage in behaviors and we can see and modify the software code that was designed for the purpose. I’ve been reading articles about dinosaur-bird evolution, but none have described where and how the walking and flying software is encoded and stored in the animals’ bodies or brains. No article I’ve seen reveals the mechanism for modifying behavioral software in animals, let alone how the algorithm for walking in two dimensions can be modified by undirected mutation to become the algorithm for flying in three dimensions.

Materialist thinkers contend that every feature of brain, mind, and consciousness arose via cause-effect physics and chemistry accounted for by neo-Darwinism. In that case, they first need to explain how biological software is created and stored in animals, and then how such software can be mutated by accident just in time to operate new biological hardware. Solve those problems first, before claiming human consciousness is mere biochemistry.


President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Futuristic Evolution by AI — The Darwin Connection
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2021, 03:43:58 PM »
The Conversation is a news site where academics including scientists write about their work and voice their opinions about science and society. Recently, Emma Hart, Chair in Natural Computation, Edinburgh Napier University, explained that “We’re teaching robots to evolve autonomously — so they can adapt to life alone on distant planets.” She launches from artificial intelligence (AI) as it is now and then looks far into the future, when robots may become autonomous, capable of their own replication and evolution. We will teach them how to evolve, she says.

It’s not an original concept. Movies and novels have worked this meme for years, describing sometimes dystopian futures of our robot descendants turning on their creators. Hart has an optimistic view of robotic evolution. She sees human designers training their creations in the art of oversight, such that they would be able to handle all the contingencies a robot starship colonizing distant planets might encounter.

Our work represents the latest progress towards the kind of autonomous robot ecosystems that could help build humanity’s future homes, far away from Earth and far away from human oversight. [Emphasis added.]

Oversight is a key word to follow in her story, as she conjures up visions of robotic ecosystems with training grounds for baby robots, areas for mature ones, and a recycling plant to keep everything green.

Moving Right Along from Behind
What provides the inspiration and motivation for Hart’s confidence in the future of autonomous, reproducing AI? The challenges of planning for all the contingencies that our AI machines will face seem daunting. Enter Darwin:

An impossible brainteaser for humans, nature has already solved this problem. Darwinian evolution has resulted in millions of species that are perfectly adapted to their environment. Although biological evolution takes millions of years, artificial evolution — modelling evolutionary processes inside a computer — can take place in hours, or even minutes. Computer scientists have been harnessing its power for decades, resulting in gas nozzles to satellite antennas that are ideally suited to their function, for instance.

In short, evolution did it, and evolution will do it. Confusion between artificial selection and natural selection lives on. To Hart, they are one and the same. One just takes longer, that’s all (millions of years instead of hours or minutes). She never explains how humans evolved oversight. Maybe a lucky mutation in an ape brain happened millions of years ago. But now that we have it, it will persist, she is sure. Humans must subtract themselves from evolution so that the robots can carry on the valuable trait of oversight.

But current artificial evolution of moving, physical objects still requires a great deal of human oversight, requiring a tight feedback loop between robot and human. If artificial evolution is to design a useful robot for exoplanetary exploration, we’ll need to remove the human from the loop. In essence, evolved robot designs must manufacture, assemble and test themselves autonomously — untethered from human oversight.

That word oversight just flew by two times. Robot designers will need to confer that ability on the robots. They won’t be able to conquer exoplanetary systems without it. But wait; didn’t life on Earth manage to conquer all the ecosystems of our planet without that trait? Darwinism, by definition, is undirected; where did it get oversight?

If something seems amiss in Hart’s story, it is a thread holding the whole sweater together. It is belief in the creative power of natural selection to do anything and everything. Pull on this thread and the whole garment unravels; more precisely, it disintegrates. There never was a sweater. It was all an illusion. A realistic ecosystem in Michael Behe’s view would show organisms getting by with broken traits, not inventing new ones.

Can Oversight Evolve?
Take the evolution of oversight. Hart assumes that oversight like the kind that AI designers employ in their carefully thought-out plans to design robot cities is, itself, a product of natural selection. Maybe the trait we call “oversight” started with a random mutation to the FOXP2 gene or something, giving a dominant hominid male the ability to organize his population to think and plan together. Looking forward from that mutation, nothing in Darwinism would connect it to foresight, logic, or thought. Looking backward from now, Hart would have to conclude that nothing in her evolution of “oversight” connects with truth or logic, either. There are only behaviors that might have been rewarded with survival. For her to assume a connection, she would have to reach into a different worldview and borrow concepts of truth and morality. She cannot conjure those up from Darwinian principles, which are purposeless and unguided.

Hart’s futuristic vision of humans passing on our capacity for oversight to machines depends on the fallacy that mental traits like thoughts, logic, and foresight can be explained by natural selection. At this stage in human evolution in 2021, she must assume, our thoughts and design principles are real: they are based on truth (i.e., that what we perceive connects to external reality) and morality (i.e., that it is morally good to share matters of truth and embrace integrity for its own sake). Taking that for granted, she leaps ahead into the future and envisions our progeny — human robot ecosystems — evolving in a Darwinian way, taking advantage of the creative power of natural selection. It’s a convenient myth, because we’ll never live to see it happen.

As well as being rendered in our simulator, “child” robots produced via our hybrid evolution are also 3D-printed and introduced into a real-world, creche-like environment. The most successful individuals within this physical training centre make their “genetic code” available for reproduction and for the improvement of future generations, while less “fit” robots can simply be hoisted away and recycled into new ones as part of an ongoing evolutionary cycle.

Natural selection will, she believes, pick up where it left off in the evolution of oversight.

Looking forward, the long-term vision is to develop the technology sufficiently to enable the evolution of entire autonomous robotic ecosystems that live and work for long periods in challenging and dynamic environments without the need for direct human oversight.

In this radical new paradigm, robots are conceived and born, rather than designed and manufactured. Such robots will fundamentally change the concept of machines, showcasing a new breed that can change their form and behaviour over time — just like us.

Reality Check
For someone too naïve to understand that bad things can happen in such scenarios, we suggest that Hart read That Hideous Strength and follow it up with C. S. Lewis’s argument from reason (The Magician’s Twin, Chapter 8). Her team is apparently having fun designing very simplistic “body plans” and “brains” with her 3-D printer. The real disappointment will come when AI teams of the future find out that machines have no desire or power to keep doing what their programmers told them to do. Perhaps they will go off in unexpected directions, like the brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequence in Fantasia, destroying things left and right and eliminating their own traits if they continue operating at all. Without foresight and mind, nothing requiring oversight will happen. Entropy will rule, as it must.
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

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What Subduction Teaches About Intelligent Design
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2021, 08:44:11 AM »
My PhD research was on the early plate tectonic history on earth. Plate tectonics involves the movement of plates on the surface of the earth. It is thought to be driven by subduction, where one plate dives into the mantle below another plate. Typically this involves oceanic crust, and part of the lithosphere, subducting below continental crust, seen in the image below:


We haven’t yet discovered a planet in our solar system that has plate tectonics like earth does. It seems to be a special property of earth. Yet subduction is a vital process for life on our planet, helping to maintain a supply of elements that life needs to survive. 

In brief, what happens is that organisms in the oceans consume elements vital for life — carbon, phosphorous, nitrogen, sulfur — and then they die and sink to the bottom of the oceans where they get buried in sediment. If this process continues unabated then over time, ocean sediment will become a sink that accumulates life-necessary elements. Over time these elements will be segregated from the biosphere, no longer available for living organisms to use and thrive. 
Plate Tectonics and Life on Earth



In his book The Wonder of Water: Water’s Profound Fitness for Life on Earth and Mankind, Michael Denton explains why plate tectonics is important for life on earth. He notes this paradox:

The oceans have been continually losing the twenty or so vital essential elements over the entire time span in which marine life has existed, but the replacement supply could not come from land run-off due to erosion, because as mentioned above, the rate of land erosion would denude the continental crustal material completely in a few million years. Why do the oceans have so much nutrient mass to replace every year? … The vast chalk and limestone sediments (CaC03), in many places thousands of meters thick (the result of the raining down of the shells of microorganisms to the ocean floor over millions of years), are ample testimony to the massive loss of the elements in the oceans due to biogeochemical deposition and burial.

The current deposition rate of carbon into oceanic sediments is over twelve million metric tons per year, and the total carbon content of the oceans and atmosphere is over thirty-eight trillion metric tons. Yet despite the size of the carbon pool in the ocean and atmosphere, as the authors of Elements of Physical Oceanography point out, “Three million years will be sufficient to remove all the carbon … thus forcing the atmospheric PCO2 to zero.” In effect, this would sterilize the oceans. Without CO2, which is the carrier of the carbon atom to all life on Earth, there can be no carbon-based life in the oceans or on land.  The various biogeochemical processes involved in the loss of minerals from the sea are complex, often involving the transit of a particular element through many organic and inorganic compounds before it is finally trapped in the accumulating sediments on the sea bed. Slow and complex, yes, but also inexorable. Without continual renewal of the mineral content of the oceans, the oceanic ecosystems would grind to a halt in a few million years and the Earth’s oceans would become lifeless. Yes, the oceans receive nutrients from continental runoff, but there is not enough runoff, not enough continental landmass, to keep up with the rate of depletion.

And yet over many hundreds of millions of years, the oceans have not been rendered lifeless, nor the mountains ground into sterile plains. But how could there have been continents and mountains and life on land for 400 million years? And how could there have been life in the seas for four billion years? What mechanisms are continually remaking mountains and replenishing the mineral content of the ocean waters? (pp. 37-39)

Thankfully, there is a solution for this problem on earth, and it’s called plate tectonics — or more specifically, subduction. In plate tectonics, ocean sediment is dragged down through subduction deep into the earth on the surface of the subducting slab. When material on the slab reaches a certain depth, part of the slab melts (especially the sediments on top of the slab), and the elements travel back up to the earth through plumes of magma. There they are finally released back into earth’s surface environment through volcanoes. Again, Denton provides a lucid explanation:

Paradox Resolved: We opened this chapter with a paradox: The mineral constancy of the terrestrial and oceanic hydrosphere is maintained over immense periods of time in the face of continual erosion of continental crust and deposition of minerals from the oceans into sediments on the sea bed. The resolution of the paradox is now apparent: The tectonic recycling of the oceanic and continental crusts holds the key. Because of tectonic recycling, the continental crust is being continually formed and uplifted. This means that the erosion of the mountains can continue to supply the terrestrial hydrosphere with necessary minerals without cessation, as long as Earth exists and has an ocean. And despite the rate of erosion of the mountains, runoff from the land can fertilize the sea waters, not for a limited period of a few million years but for billions of years. And the continual recycling of the oceanic crust, as the sea water interacts with the hot upwelling magma, provides a second ongoing and endless means of mineral input to replenish oceanic waters. So, balanced against the continual and massive loss of minerals to the sea bed, tectonic recycling replenishes the oceans with continental runoff and by the reaction of water with upwelling magma at the mid-ocean ridges. (p. 55)

Recycling Elements for Life
Many scientific papers attest to the fact that subduction and plate tectonics are vital for recycling elements needed for life (all emphases added and internal citations removed):

“Earth’s rocky outer layer is continuously being recycled into the mantle via subduction, where one tectonic plate descends into the mantle beneath another plate. Water trapped in the subducting plate is released into the mantle at depth, which in turn enhances mantle melting, leading to the development of volcanoes on the overriding plate. In addition to water, essential nutrients such as carbon and sulfur are also carried down into the mantle at subduction zones, and are released back into the atmosphere via volcanic eruptions. Subduction has therefore not only caused destruction, but also provided a critical exchange of life-supporting elements between the biosphere and geosphere over Earth’s history. … The initiation of the first subduction zones on the early Earth likely had major implications for carbon recycling, with consequences for the rise of atmospheric oxygen and thus the development of complex life.” (Nature Communications, 2020)
“The net flux of carbon between the Earth’s interior and exterior, which is critical for redox evolution and planetary habitability, relies heavily on the extent of carbon subduction. … We suggest that immobilization of organic carbon in subduction zones and deep sequestration in the mantle facilitated the rise (∼103–5 fold) and maintenance of atmospheric oxygen since the Palaeoproterozoic and is causally linked to the Great Oxidation Event.” (Nature Geoscience, 2017)
“An understanding of fluid circulation in subduction zones is crucial for determining the origin of arc volcanism and to constrain global material recycling. Water bounded in the hydrous minerals in the altered subducting slab is continuously released into the overriding mantle wedge via metamorphic dehydration reactions with increasing pressure and temperature during subduction. The released aqueous fluid can control the partial melting of the mantle wedge because the presence of aqueous fluid effectively decreases the peridotite solidus temperature, which leads to the formation of arc magma. The slab-derived water involved in the arc magma returns to the earth’s surface via volcanic emission, which is assumed to regulate water cycling in the subduction zone.” (Nature Communications, 2019)
Bringing Nutrients into the Earth
It’s also the case that plate tectonics helps bring nutrients deep into the earth to sustain a “deep subsurface biosphere”:

Geological sources of H2 and abiotic CH4 have had a critical role in the evolution of our planet and the development of life and sustainability of the deep subsurface biosphere. Yet the origins of these sources are largely unconstrained. Hydration of mantle rocks, or serpentinization, is widely recognized to produce H2 and favour the abiotic genesis of CH4 in shallow settings. However, deeper sources of H2 and abiotic CH4 are missing from current models, which mainly invoke more oxidized fluids at convergent margins. Here we combine data from exhumed subduction zone high-pressure rocks and thermodynamic modelling to show that deep serpentinization (40–80 km) generates significant amounts of H2 and abiotic CH4, as well as H2S and NH3. Our results suggest that subduction, worldwide, hosts large sources of deep H2 and abiotic CH4, potentially providing energy to the overlying subsurface biosphere in the forearc regions of convergent margins. … Geochemical data from forearc mud volcanos and hydrothermal seeps suggest that life exists as deep as 15 km below the surface at convergent margins and that the essential carbon to sustain deep microbiological habitats in the forearc of convergent plate margins is provided by the metamorphic recycling of subducting slabs. …
  • ur results suggest that high-pressure serpentinization is potentially an important source of reduced volatiles to the deep subsurface biospheres of convergent margins. Considering that low temperature and pressure serpentinization also takes place at subduction zones in the shallow forearc mantle and in obducted ophiolites, we propose that convergent margins may have represented the major source of H2 and abiotic CH4 from different depths to the surface biosphere. [/size]

    NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 2020
    Plate tectonics and subduction thus appears to be a special parameter of earth that makes it hospitable to life. We might even say that it’s a design parameter.
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

DunkingDan

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Subduction and the “Mechanism” of Intelligent Design
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2021, 03:50:43 PM »
In a post yesterday I showed how subduction is an important design parameter of the earth’s habitability because it recycles vital elements needed for life and makes them available for new generations of living organisms. There is another interesting point we can learn from subduction zones that is relevant to the debate over intelligent design: Although we unquestionably know that subduction occurs, the mechanisms by which it occurs and got started are not entirely clear. But the fact that we don’t know exactly how subduction got started or is maintained does not mean that we cannot scientifically conclude that subduction is real.

Mechanism as Yet Unclear
Here are examples of some papers explaining that while we have powerful evidence that subduction does occur, there are many details about its mechanism that are not yet clear (all internal citations removed and emphases added):

“Subduction zones are pivotal for the recycling of Earth’s outer layer into its interior. However, the conditions under which new subduction zones initiate are enigmatic. … Subduction is the primary driver of plate tectonics on Earth. However, despite numerous advances since the theory of plate tectonics was established, the mechanisms of subduction zone initiation remain highly controversial. While subduction zone initiation (SZI) is particularly important in maintaining plate tectonics, the processes leading to new subduction zones remain poorly understood.” (Nature Communications, 2020)
“Subduction is the primary driver of plate tectonics, yet we still do not fully understand how subduction zones initiate or the budgets of life-supporting elements recycled via subduction. … But when and how tectonic plates first descended into the mantle to create self-sustaining subduction zones remains one of the major outstanding questions in Earth science. This difficulty in defining of the onset of plate tectonics is in part due to both the sparse record of early Earth rocks and the ambiguity in our understanding of the dynamics of early subduction. As a consequence, estimates for the onset of plate tectonics still range from ~4 to ~0.8 billion years ago. … In addition to the complexities of understanding the onset of plate tectonics billions of years ago, it is still unknown how geologically recent subduction zones initiate. We know that new subduction zones must form to maintain plate tectonics, yet there are no present-day examples of ongoing subduction zone initiation and the formation of new subduction zones leaves very few process-specific geologic traces.” (Nature Communications, 2020)
“What tectonic mode preceded plate tectonics, how and when plate tectonics emerged, and how plate tectonics evolved are fundamental questions in geology. However, they are questions that have proven difficult to answer” (Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2020)
“The mechanisms of transfer of crustal material from the subducting slab to the overlying mantle wedge are still debated. Mélange rocks, formed by mixing of sediments, oceanic crust, and ultramafics along the slab-mantle interface, are predicted to ascend as diapirs from the slab-top and transfer their compositional signatures to the source region of arc magmas. However, the compositions of melts that result from the interaction of mélanges with a peridotite wedge remain unknown.” (Nature Communications, 2018)
“Plate tectonics has reshaped the distribution of the Earth’s continental and oceanic lithosphere through time. However, when modern-style plate tectonics started is still debated, with proposals ranging from the Neoproterozoic Era to the Archean Eon.” (Nature Communications, 2018)
“Subduction is the primary driver of plate tectonics, and has been a focus of intense research since the inception of plate tectonic theory. However, an understanding of how subduction initiates remains elusive.” (Nature Communications, 2020)
A Firm Belief in Plate Tectonics
Now I want to make one point unmistakably clear (and I have made this point for years in the past): I am an extremely firm believer that plate tectonics is one of the best supported theories in geology, and I believe it is correct and has great explanatory power. But my support for plate tectonics doesn’t negate the fact that geologists, including me, still have important unanswered questions about how it works. 

There is a similarity here to intelligent design. ID proponents are often asked, “What is the mechanism behind intelligent design?” We can see plenty of evidence that intelligent design in nature is real, and the cause of that design is intelligent agency. But it’s not always clear exactly how that design is instantiated in nature. In other words, the “mechanism,” for lack of a better term, of intelligent design is not necessarily clear. Does this mean that an inference to design is invalid? No, it does not.

If subduction teaches us anything about the philosophy of science, it’s that we don’t need to have a complete understanding of the mechanism behind an aspect of nature to be able to conclude that it — that particular aspect of nature — is real. If this principle can be applied to something as well-established as subduction, then surely it’s improper to refuse to grant the point in regard to the theory of intelligent design. 
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

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Two Reasons Why a Bad Theory Remains Popular
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2021, 02:07:08 PM »
“Why Evolution Is Different” was the title of a talk I gave at a meeting in Istanbul in May 2017. Afterward I turned my presentation into a video, which I continued to develop, and which last year was redone by a professional cinematographer. The improved video was  introduced at Evolution News last June, and has now been translated into Polish, Spanish, and Dutch. The Polish subtitles were provided by Dr. Adam Wojcicki of En Arche foundation, the Spanish subtitles were written by myself and Fabian Fuentes of Mexico, and the Dutch subtitles by Andries van Renssen.

An Extremely Implausible Theory
The talk, and the video, looked at the two main reasons why Darwinism, an extremely implausible theory which becomes even more implausible with every new biological and biochemical discovery, is still so popular in the scientific world today.

The first reason, which I call “Le Conte’s Axiom” for reasons that will be clarified in the first two minutes, is the subject of the first half of the video. Science has been so successful explaining other phenomena in terms of purely unintelligent natural forces, why should evolution be so different? However implausible Darwinism is, and however inconsistent with the evidence, it must be true because it is the best materialists have to offer, and the only alternative anyone can imagine to the “unscientific” theory of intelligent design.

Most non-scientists intuitively understand that explaining how plants and animals, and intelligent, conscious humans, could have arisen from a lifeless, barren planet is a very different and much more difficult problem than others solved by science. But most scientists are still confident that nothing could possibly be beyond the reach of their science. In the last decades, an increasing minority of scientists are finally recognizing that the layman is right, that evolution is different. The video attempts to make clear, in terms that even scientists can understand, why evolution really is different, and requires a very different type of explanation, involving intelligent design.




https://youtu.be/aJua-0FpmnI



Why Darwinism Remains Popular
The second half of the video addresses the other main reason such an implausible theory as Darwinism is still more popular than intelligent design among scientists: the similarities between species, which suggest common descent. “This doesn’t look like the way God would have created things,” is the argument, one used frequently by Darwin himself. But the video points out how similar the fossil record is to the history of human technology, with obvious similarities between each new invention and previous designs but with large gaps where major new features appeared, for the same reasons: gradual development of the new organs that gave rise to new orders, classes, and phyla would require the development of new but not yet useful features. “Gaps among known orders, classes, and phyla are systematic and almost always large,” wrote Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson. So Darwinism could not explain the development of these new features even if they did occur gradually — and they don’t.

The Phenomenon of Convergence
The video also looks at the widely observed phenomenon of “convergence,” where distantly related species evolve similar new features independently. Convergence suggests common design rather than common descent, and it is a phenomenon that is also often seen in the history of human technology: for example, Ford automobiles and Boeing jets may evolve similar new GPS systems.

So if the history of life looks like the way humans, the only other known intelligent beings in the universe, design things — through careful planning, testing, and improvements — why should that be taken as an argument against intelligent design?

But even these “unintelligent” forces of nature, which so many scientists insist must be able to explain the origin and evolution of life, give strong evidence of design themselves, as a new video “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design,” highlighted here last month, points out.




https://youtu.be/izfyYYXCLjY
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

 

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