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

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DunkingDan

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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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RANDOM EVOLUTION DOESN’T PRODUCE ALGORITHMIC FUNCTIONS IN ANIMALS
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2021, 03:56:01 PM »
A bird does not fly just because it has wings; it needs a “flight” program in its brain. Explanations of the evolution of flight do not account for that.

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.

[img width=546 height=233.516]https://mindmatters.ai/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/02/Berger-2-Harpymimus-front-wing-dinosaur-.jpg[/img][/size][/color]

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.

Note: See also the detailed presentation about bird flight prepared by Professor Gary Ritchison, Eastern Kentucky University here and here.

Photo credits:


Figure 2: “Foot” by HeelsandFeet is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Figure 3: Feathered Dinosaur: File:Harpymimus steveoc.jpg” by Steveoc 86 is licensed under CC BY 2.5
Figure 4: Archaeopteryx closer to a bird by Luna04 at French Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


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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A Precambrian House of Cards
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2021, 05:46:54 PM »
Since I recently wrote a series of articles on alleged Ediacaran animals for Evolution News, I was amazed to stumble upon a brand-new study by [color=var(--csc-primary)]Evans et al. (2021)[/iurl] in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, which makes some fantastic claims about developmental and genetic similarities between us and Ediacaran animals. Wow, that’s cool, they not only found the elusive Ediacaran animals but even could unravel their genomes!? [/font][/size][/color]
Well, not really. Even one of the authors of the study said, “These animals are so weird and so different, it’s difficult to assign them to modern categories of living organisms just by looking at them … And it’s not like we can extract their DNA — we can’t” (Dr. Mary Droser quoted in [color=var(--csc-primary)]Dockrill 2021[/iurl]). Actually, they found nothing new at all, which did not stop the media from reporting, “Humans Have Surprising Similarities to Strange Creatures from 550 Million Years Ago” ([color=var(--csc-primary)]Dockrill 2021[/color]). Of course, they are not really similar, as [color=var(--csc-primary)]Dockrill (2021)[/color] also finds that “they seem so different. Mysterious creatures that lived in the ocean half a billion years ago — headless, limbless things, seemingly alien to us in all respects.” The only alleged similarities are said to be found in the unknown genes of these fossil organisms. Thus, it’s unknown similarity, and that unknown similarity somehow proves evolution. Science can be so cool.[/font][/size][/color]
A Fallacy of Begging the Question
So, what is really behind such a weird grand claim? [color=var(--csc-primary)]Evans et al. (2021)[/iurl] selected four of the iconic Ediacaran organisms from the so-called “White Sea assemblage” from Russia and South Australia as representative taxa and assigned them to different positions in the animal tree of life: Tribrachidium as stem Eumetazoan, Dickinsonia as stem Bilaterian, Ikaria as stem Protostomian, and Kimberella as stem Lophotrochozoan.[/font][/size][/color]
Based on these assumed affinities and the implied biology, they then attributed to these fossil organisms the key developmental genetic features of the concerning groups of animals and concluded that therefore these half-a-billion-year-old fossils shared many similarities with us, including genetic pathways for multicellularity, axial polarity, body symmetry, immune and nervous system, as well as apoptosis (programmed cell death). Indeed, the authors even say that “these traits help to better constrain the phylogenetic position of several key Ediacara taxa and inform our views of early metazoan evolution” (quoted in [color=var(--csc-primary)]Dockrill 2021[/iurl]). [/font][/size][/color]
Hmmm, anybody raising their eyebrows yet? It sounds like they first assumed a relationship, then interpreted the fossils according to this assumed relationship, attributed non-preserved features to the fossils based on this assumed relationship, and then used these purely conjectured similarities as evidence for the assumed relationship. 
I am not making this up. Here is [color=var(--csc-primary)]Evans et al. (2021)[/iurl] in their own words: “Given the assumption of animal affinities, regulatory elements essential for multicellularity and found in holozoans were likely operating in Ediacara taxa.” It’s a classic case of the logical fallacy of begging the question. But putting that aside, we should definitely dare to ask a few critical questions considering the underlying assumptions. Most of all this one: Are these four organisms really animals belonging to the attributed groups?[/font][/size][/color]

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.”

HK_Vol

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Re: Despite Darwinists’ Cancel Culture, Intelligent Design Has a Break-
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2021, 01:46:34 AM »
As to "cancel culture":

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DunkingDan

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The Enigmatic Tribrachidium and Trilobozoa
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2021, 12:40:04 PM »
The only one of the four examples selected by Evans et al. (2021) that I have not yet discussed in my articles is Tribrachidium. So, let’s use this opportunity to have a brief look at this strange fossil organism and its fossil relatives.

Tribrachidium is a 3-38 mm wide, disc-shaped fossil with three large spiral ridges (antimeres) in the center and numerous radiating fine grooves that are especially prominent along the outer margin. Several scientists (e.g., Gehling 1991, Seilacher 1999, Fedonkin et al. 2007, Ivantsov & Leonov 2008) have suggested that the fossil discs represent a collapsed body of a hemispherical organism, which lived lying on the sea floor like a bathtub mat. Tribrachidium heraldicum was originally described from the Ediacaran of Australia by Glaessner & Daily (1959), where it is a relatively common fossil, but it also occurs at other localities from this period (Hall et al. 2015). Together with some similar fossil genera (i.e., Albumares, Anfesta, Hallidaya, Rugoconites, and Skinnera) it has been attributed to a separate class or phylum called Trilobozoa (Fedonkin 1985c, 1987), later unnecessarily renamed as Triradialomorpha (Erwin et al. 2011, Laflamme et al. 2013), Tribrachiomorpha (Grazhdankin 2014), or Trilobozoida (Just et al. 2014). Apparently, Runnegar (1989) was the first to suggest a status as separate phylum.

The name-giving and distinctive feature of this group is a consistent “triradial (threefold) symmetry, which is entirely unknown among living animal phyla” (Rahman et al. 2015), with a few exceptions among living cnidarians and as a secondary phenomenon in some nematodes and gastrotrichs (Fedonkin 1992). Hall et al. (2018) reviewed all the genera, revised the composition of the Trilobozoa, and established this group as a clade in the Hennigian sense of phylogenetic systematics or cladistics, thus as a strictly monophyletic group that includes all the descendants of a single ancestral species.

And there is another point worth mentioning: Trilobozoans are unique to the Ediacaran biota; they appeared suddenly 560 million-years-ago in the fossil record without any precursors in the older layers, and likewise suddenly disappeared 550 million years ago with the beginning of the Cambrian (Grazhdankin 2014: Fig. 7, Hall et al. 2018). Their distinct body plan appeared out of nowhere and did not change during their existence. Thus, trilobozoans as such are hardly a good example of Darwinian evolution.
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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Examining Potential Other Trilobozoans
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2021, 03:59:47 PM »

Wang et al. (2008) described unnamed discoidal fossils with tri-radial symmetry preserved as carbonaceous compression fossils from the Doushantuo Formation in South China, which they attributed to Trilobozoa similar to Anfesta and Albumares.

Rugoconites was described by Glaessner & Wade (1966) as a conical disc-shaped fossil from the Ediacaran of Australia. Initially it was considered as a medusoid (Wade 1972), but later often considered as a putative Precambrian sponge (e.g., Seilacher 1999). After its poriferan relationship had been dismissed (see Bechly 2020c), most specialists nowadays rather consider Rugoconites as member of Trilobozoa (Ivantsov & Fedonkin 2002, Xiao & Laflamme 2009, Hall et al. 2018), even though it lacks clear tri-radial symmetry.

Very Different Morphology
Triforillonia was described by Gehling et al. (2000), who mentioned the threefold symmetry as similar to trilobozoans, but also emphasized the very different morphology. Grazhdankin (2014) mentioned that Triforillonia is always preserved as positive hyporeliefs, while typical trilobozoans are preserved as negative hyporeliefs.

Fedonkin & Ivantsov (2007) redescribed the enigmatic Ventogyrus from the Vendian of northern Russia as a siphonophore-like coelenterate with tri-radial symmetry, and therefore considered it as another member of Trilobozoa.

In their revision of Ediacaran tri-radial body plans, Hall et al. (2018) questioned the previously suggested relationship of the genera Pomoria, Triforillonia, and Ventogyrus with trilobozoans. Hall et al. also excluded the strange Coronacollina from the otherwise monophyletic group Trilobozoa, because in spite of a possible threefold symmetry, it looks very different and has skeletonized elements (spicules), which actually represent the oldest skeletons in the fossil record (Clites et al. 2012).

The extinct Anabaritidae (= Angustiochreidae) are small shelly index fossils from the Uppermost Ediacaran and Lowermost Cambrian with tri-radial symmetry and a conical tube-like shape, which are generally believed to be cnidarians (Kouchinsky et al. 1999, 2009). Some scientists suggested that they could be late surviving members of Trilobozoa (Fedonkin 1981, 1985a, 1985c, 1986, 1990, 1992, Val’kov 1987, Fedonkin & Cope 1985, Schopf & Klein 1992, Kiessling 2003, and Grazhdankin 2014). Kouchinsky et al. (2009) nevertheless cautioned that tri-radial symmetry could easily be due to convergent evolution and therefore preferred to consider anabaritids as incertae sedis. McMenamin (1998: 22-24 and 86-87) had already warned that “The similarities are interesting, but whether they point to anything more than a superficially shared triradial character is not known.” McMenamin instead highlighted that the fractal pattern of striae on the trilobozoan lobes is very similar to the Ediacaran frond-like genus Gehlingia (McMenamin 2016: 9, 61). He therefore concurred with the Vendobionta-hypothesis of my former teacher Adolf Seilacher, who proposed that all the Ediacaran organisms are related and distinct from other kingdoms of life, which happens to be my preferred view as well.

A “Missing Link”?
Finally, it was suggested that the tetra-radial symmetry of the extinct Conulariida, which are generally considered to be scyphozoan cnidarians (Van Iten et al. 2006), was derived via the hexa-radial stem conulariid Vendoconularia triradiata as a “missing link” from a common tri-radial body plan with Trilobozoa (Ivantsov & Fedonkin 2002, Fedonkin 2003, Grazhdankin 2014, Serezhnikova 2014).

Even though some scientists speculated that other disc-shaped Ediacaran fossils, such as the alleged stem ctenophoran Eoandromeda (Tang et al. 2011, Erwin et al. 2011, Giribet & Edgecombe 2020) and the alleged stem echinoderm Arkarua(Seilacher 1999, Seilacher et al. 2003), might also be related to trilobozoans, such a relationship has been rejected by other scientists because of the very different symmetry and morphology (e.g., Gehling 1987).

Last but not least, there is this gem: In 1986 strange mushroom-shaped deep-sea animals were collected offshore South Australia. Their relationship was initially very enigmatic, and they were considered as a putative new phylum related to the Ediacaran Trilobozoa by Just et al. (2014), who therefore named the new animal species Dendrogramma enigmatica. However, just two years after this sensational discovery it was unraveled that they are just fragments (probably bracts) of benthic colonial cnidarians of the siphonophoran family Rhodaliidae (O’Hara et al. 2016). No new phylum and no trilobozoan relatives. If even living animals with all their detailed data can so greatly confuse scientists, how much more so the fragmentary information from poorly preserved fossils from half-a-billion-years ago. Unfortunately, many studies lack some adequate caution and prudence, which may be reinforced by the dominating “publish or perish” paradigm.
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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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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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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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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Why an Argument for God’s Existence Is Scientific
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2021, 04:54:36 PM »
Atheist evolutionary biologist [color=var(--csc-primary)]Jerry Coyne[/iurl] is a fountain of nonsensical arguments against the existence of God. If a scholar wanted to write a review paper on the most ridiculous arguments against God’s existence so far in the 21st century, he would need look no further than Coyne’s blog. [/font][/color]
Coyne’s latest [color=var(--csc-primary)]post[/iurl] denying God’s existence takes issue with an [color=var(--csc-primary)]essay[/color] by [color=var(--csc-primary)]Samuel Benson[/color] in the Deseret News in which Benson makes the case that invoking both a miracle and a scientific achievement in the development of the COVID vaccine is not necessarily contradictory. Benson points out that the natural world, properly understood, can only be explained using both science and theology. In support of his view, he quotes the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:[/font][/color][/size]
Quote
President Nelson’s words [color=var(--csc-primary)]appear prophetic[/iurl]: “I have great admiration for medical professionals, scientists and all who are working around the clock to curb the spread of COVID-19,” [color=var(--csc-primary)]he said a year ago.[/color] “I am also a man of faith, and I know that during these challenging times, we can be strengthened and lifted as we call upon God and his Son, Jesus Christ — the Master Healer.” I give thanks to modern medicine and science — and all of its brilliant disciples — for creating a cure. And in the same breath, I give thanks to God. The two need not be mutually exclusive.[/i][/font][/color]
Coyne [color=var(--csc-primary)]is dyspeptic:[/iurl][/font][/color]
Quote
Yes, of course science and god are “congruent” if you’re willing, as is Benson, to admit that we can’t prove that there’s no god. (Well, as a superannuated scientist I’d say that there is not only no evidence for gods, but also that, given that theistic gods are supposed to interact with the world, we have evidence against Abrahamic gods.)
Coyne misunderstands both the nature of scientific evidence and the nature of the evidence for God’s existence.
There are two methods of proof that we might try to apply to God’s existence: The first is deductive proof — we proceed from abstract premises to a conclusion using rules of logic. For example: Tom lives in Manhattan. Manhattan is in New York State. Therefore Tom lives in New York State.
Essence and Existence
But, as [color=var(--csc-primary)]Thomas Aquinas[/iurl] [color=var(--csc-primary)]pointed out[/color] in the 13th century, nothing can be proven to exist using deductive proof because deductive proofs only work with logical forms, which are essences. Essence and existence are separate concepts. For example, to prove that wolves, dinosaurs, or unicorns exist, we would need evidence. We can’t prove (or disprove) that they exist by deduction alone. [/font][/color][/size]
All of science depends on inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning begins with evidence and then proceeds by a logical chain to the most reasonable conclusion. Newton used inductive reasoning when he began by studying the motion of objects in gravitational fields and applying logical and mathematical rules to arrive at his law of gravitation. Darwin used inductive reasoning by studying the diversity and distribution of species and animal breeding. Then, by using logical rules, he drew analogies to speciation in nature. All scientific theories, whatever their merit, depend on inductive reasoning.
Proofs for God’s existence depend on inductive reasoning in the same way. They follow exactly the same structure as theories in natural science; in fact theories about God’s existence are theories in natural science.
Observations of the World
All theories about God’s existence begin with observations of the world — observations about change and causation in nature, life and death, the degrees of various qualities, and the existence of apparent design (i.e. Aquinas’ First through Fifth Ways). They proceed by logical inference to the conclusion that the structure and nature of the world point to a supernatural Creator. That structure, as for Newton and Darwin, is: evidence ➤ logic ➤ conclusion.
Read the rest at [color=var(--csc-primary)]Mind Matters News[/iurl], published by Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.[/font][/color]

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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Beautifully Engineered: Peer-Reviewed Paper Argues for Intelligent
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2021, 03:48:50 PM »
Design

On this ID the Future from the vault, Dr. Dominic Halsmer, a Senior Professor of Engineering at Oral Roberts University, discusses his peer-reviewed paper, “[color=var(--link-color)]The Coherence Of An Engineered World[/color],” published in the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics. Listen in as Halsmer describes signs of engineering he sees in nature, explains to host Casey Luskin some of the ways the universe appears strikingly bio-friendly, and tells why he’s convinced these various lines of evidence suggest intelligent design.[/size]

==============================
Abstract

Normally, scientific discoveries are funnelled into the development of engineered products that benefit humanity. But recently, a strange turnabout in the flow of practical information has occurred. Concepts from the fi eld of engineering have been found extremely useful in areas of science. From the very large aspects of the universe (i.e., big bang cosmology and galactic and stellar evolution) to the very small (i.e., the fitness of the chemical elements and the coding of DNA for life), the cosmos is so readily and profitably reverse engineered by its human inhabitants as to suggest that the whole shebang was engineered from the beginning. The linking of extraordinarily complex, but stable and functional structures with the production of value provides the strong impression of a calculating intentionality, which is apparently able to operate in a transcendent fashion. The most coherent view of the universe is that of a system of interdependent subsystems that efficiently interact to prepare for, develop, and support advanced life, subject to various physical constraints. The quest for understanding our universe as a whole benefi ts from the integration of knowledge from all areas of study, including those that consider questions of purpose, such as design engineering. The synthesis of this knowledge that provides the most satisfying answers regarding human experience is one that admits the recognition of purpose and the existence of an (as yet, not-well-understood) engineering influence.

The Coherence Of An Engineered World (witpress.com)

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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“Multiverse” Myth Frees Atheists from Real Science
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2021, 12:47:29 PM »
In 1973 physicist Brandon Carter noted that it is remarkable that many of the fundamental constants of physics are of just the right value to permit the emergence of man. Even slight differences in these constants would make intelligent life in the universe impossible. It is, he noted, as as if someone were expecting us. This observation came to be known as the anthropic principle, or the fine-tuning of the universe. 
Its meaning and implications have been much debated, and of course it has caused considerable angst to atheists. If you’re hard-set at denying the existence of God, fine-tuning of the cosmos to allow the existence of man is not an easy observation to elide. 
One Main Gambit
Deniers of God’s existence have clung to one main gambit to avoid the design implications of the fine-tuning of the universe — the multiverse. The multiverse is a theoretical inference drawn from the mathematical description of the early moments of the Big Bang. The equations of relativity imply the possible existence of many companion “universes” to ours. It seems that we cannot observe them, which makes their status as scientific observations dubious. But the multiverse has, for atheists, played a much more important role than that ordinarily played by untestable inferences from equations. 
Atheists acknowledge the obvious: the likelihood that chance can account for the constellation of physical parameters that lead to the emergence man in our universe is vanishingly small. Instead, atheists argue that if the laws of physics differ slightly in each universe in the multiverse, then the probability across all of the universes — the multiverse — that the values of forces in one universe would permit life to arise becomes much higher. 
There are innumerable variations to this argument, but all use a few quite clever yet misleading tactics. 
An Unintelligible Idea
The idea of a vast set of universes — a “multiverse” — is unintelligible. “Universe” means all that exists, for which multiplicity is senseless. “Multiple everything” is nonsense. Furthermore, even if desperate logic-parsing could impart meaning to “multiverse” (it can’t), it is meaningless to apply probability arguments across disconnected universes — you cannot meaningfully speak of the probability of something happening somewhere in Chicago, Endor, or Tatooine. Drawing statistical inferences from unobservable universes only makes sense in a script from Star Wars. It is no part of astrophysics. 
Atheists extend the probability range of fine-tuning across countless universes in a way such that the probabilities in other “universes” cannot be observed. Because all “universes” except ours are unobservable, we cannot actually either measure the probability or confirm that or how the laws of physics vary in the other “universes.”
What atheists have done is invoke a concept of multiverse that is conceptually unintelligible and scientifically unobservable. This unintelligible unobservable probability landscape is convenient for atheists, who can merely assert that it accounts for fine-tuning without providing even a shred of evidence or logic. The “multiverse” theory frees atheists from real science, which is the only condition in which atheism can survive.
It tells us two things — exemplified by fine and by tuning
The universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for the existence of man, and the “multiverse” myth is a debating tactic, not science. But how are to understand the fine-tuning of the cosmos? What does it really tell us?
Aquinas’ Fifth Way
The fact that the universe is tuned — that is, the fact there is any consistency at all in the laws of physics — demonstrates God’s existence. This is [color=var(--csc-primary)]Aquinas’ Fifth Way[/iurl], which is the proof from design. St. Thomas used the example of arrows. If we were to see arrows flying through the air, one after another, and noted that they consistently tended to land at or near a specific spot, we would correctly infer that they were shot by an archer (rather than, say, blown by the wind). Any consistency in nature implies a Mind that draws consistency out of chaos. A targeted arrow implies an archer. Note that this is not an argument from complexity. The simplest consistency in nature — a pencil falls down and not up, winter is colder than summer — demonstrates God’s existence. [/font][/color]
The second thing that fine-tuning tells us is exemplified by fine. Fine refers to the accuracy of the laws of nature, which reveals the Archer’s purposes. By observing the precision of targeting of the shot arrows, we can discern the Archer’s motives. If the arrows are merely flying into an open field, we may infer that the archer is just testing his bow. If the arrows are consistently hitting a bulls-eye target, we may infer that the archer is practicing his accuracy. If the arrows are hitting animals in the forest, we may infer that the archer is hunting. If the arrows are hitting soldiers encircling the area, we may infer that the archer is defending from an invasion. 
The tuning of nature points to God, and the fineness of His tuning points to His purpose. The anthropic fine-tuning of our universe tells us that we are God’s purpose in creation. 
This scientific reality has atheists in a panic, hence their need to fabricate countless fantasy universes and nonsensical probabilities. The fact that God created the universe and holds it in existence for us is a scientific fact unequivocally demonstrated by modern astrophysics. 

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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“Designed for [a] Purpose”
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2021, 03:47:08 PM »
Hemoglobin is well known as the molecule that transfers oxygen in blood, but its precursor, heme, is lesser known. Heme is a complex molecule that looks geometrically square, with a single iron atom at the center. The heme family of metalloproteins is responsible for multiple functions in the cell and in the bodies of multicellular organisms, including humans. Our lives depend on heme. When not properly handled, though, it can be dangerous.

What Heme Does
Seven scientists (Galvin Leung et al.) from two UK universities (Leicester, Bristol) explain the significance of heme in their paper, “Unravelling the mechanisms controlling heme supply and demand,” published in PNAS. Their homage to heme is unrestrained, as is their appreciation for how the cell handles this toxic molecule.

Heme is essential for the survival of virtually all living systems and is involved in many fundamental biological processes. It is also implicated as a signaling/regulatory molecule and must be mobilized in response to cellular demands. This presents a complex logistical problem: heme cannot simply diffuse around cells because it is both insoluble and cytotoxic. We show that the cell exhibits exquisite control over release of heme by limiting its availability to one molecule or less within cellular compartments. [Emphasis added.]

Such a description should make a Darwinist shudder. How could such an “exquisite control” system evolve piecemeal? Consider just the making of heme:

Heme is essential for the survival of virtually all living systems — from bacteria, fungi, and yeast, through plants to animals. The family of heme proteins is vast, and heme proteins are responsible for a multitude of functions that are essential for the survival of the cell. To meet the needs of supply and demand for heme in cells, most organisms need to synthesize it. Biosynthesis of the heme cofactor is, therefore, one of the most important metabolic processes in biology; it occurs as an eight-step enzymatic pathway, the last three steps of which occur in the mitochondria.

It takes eight steps to synthesize one heme molecule, and virtually all life needs it — even bacteria, among the simplest of organisms. The other enzymes that construct heme had to already exist before heme could do its job. This is a serious chicken-and-egg problem for the origin of life.

Heme Synthesis
A taste of the complexity of heme synthesis can be had in “Biochemistry, Heme Synthesis,” by Ogun, Joy, and Valentine.

Heme biosynthesis starts in mitochondria with the condensation of succinyl Co-A from the citric acid cycle and an amino acid glycine. They combine to produce a key heme intermediate, 5′-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in mitochondria catalyzed by the pyridoxal phosphate-requiring (vitamin B6) enzyme, aminolevulinic acid synthase(ALAS). This reaction is the rate-limiting step in the pathway….

That’s just for starters. Those interested in the remaining steps involved in heme synthesis can read four more paragraphs of details like these at the link above. Intermediate forms of the molecule shuttle in and out of a mitochondrion, where special gates control traffic in and out. Multiple other molecules and enzymes, including one metalloprotein containing zinc, are involved in the process.

How could the first cell, by chance, hit on this sequence of steps that would challenge a chemistry grad student? A protocell would have needed to come up with this chemical pathway just to get heme, let alone know what to do with it once it had it. Whoops; it’s toxic, too. How many protocell tryouts died from this essential yet cytotoxic substance before figuring out that heme must be handled with care? Darwinism is dead already — but there’s more.

Heme Supply
The focus of the paper by Leung et al. in PNAS is on how cells distribute heme where it is needed without dying from it.

We suggest an exchange mechanism between protein partners to control supply and demand. Such a mechanism would provide an in-built buffering capacity for heme, enable cells to hoard supplies of heme, and protect the cell against the undesirable effects of heme.

How about that; cells know the law of supply and demand. Where did they learn that? In protocell economics class? They also know how to “hoard supplies” of heme (actually, how to maintain emergency stockpiles). In the recent pandemic, some government officials were aghast to find that emergency stockpiles of PPE (personal protective equipment), required by law, had been raided or not maintained. It led to serious shortages and drastic efforts to refill stockpiles, while patients were dying and healthcare workers were exposed to the virus without protection. Cells do not make such mistakes.

Heme Distribution
Scientists have known all about heme and its functions for decades, but few have investigated how cells distribute it where needed. This is important to know, Leung et al. explain, because “Deficiencies or excesses in cellular heme concentration also have widespread implications in health and disease” such as aging, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and immune response. Accordingly, “there is a need to understand the logistics of heme supply and demand.”

A cell cannot maintain a “pool” of heme to draw from, as once thought, because heme is a “nuisance” to cells. It tends form free radicals, which are dangerous, and though hydrophobic, it dimerizes in solution, making it unsuitable for delivery to proteins that only need one heme molecule per binding site.

A free molecule of heme can therefore only exist transiently, and if a large reserve of heme is present, the heme molecules would presumably need to be exchanged rapidly between binding partners to remain solubilized, in the same way that heme is solubilized within the interior of other well-known heme proteins (e.g., hemoglobin).

The team constructed a molecular heme sensor that glows when bound to heme. In this way, they could watch the “exquisite control” system in action.

A longstanding question has been to establish the mechanisms that control the supply and demand for cellular heme. … we have developed a heme sensor … that can respond to heme availability…. The results demonstrate that concentrations are typically limited to one molecule or less within cellular compartments. These miniscule amounts of free heme are consistent with a system that sequesters the heme and is able to buffer changes in heme availability while retaining the capability to mobilize heme when and where it is needed. … This exquisite control, in which heme is made available for transfer one molecule at a time, protects the cellagainst the toxic effect of excess heme and offers a simple mechanism for heme-dependent regulation in single-molecule steps.

In effect, the cell maintains “an exchangeable (buffered) heme reservoir” that solves the availability problem while simultaneously protecting the cell from heme’s toxic effects. Free heme (the risky kind) was detected only in “a minute fraction of the entire amount of heme present in the cell” and were most likely short-lived in the process of binding to proteins.

Our experiments are thus consistent with the idea that there is a population of the total heme complement that is bound more weakly and therefore reversibly to heme-binding partner proteins or to other molecules (which might include free amino acids) that can buffer against changes in the heme concentration. … These heme molecules that are weakly bound to buffer molecules, along with the miniscule population of free heme, would constitute a body of exchangeable heme in the cell.

In their model, the buffered heme, attached to its partner, passes quickly to the enzyme or protein needing it, something like a quick pass of the ball from one player to another in basketball or football. In the cell’s game, though, there are millions of balls with millions of players passing the heme balls to the players who need it. Because the free energy of the acceptor is at a lower level, the heme is readily transferred to the acceptor, leaving the partner ready to pick up another heme. At any given time, the cell can be aware of the concentration of available heme by sensing the concentration of heme-binding partners, and supply more as the demand increases.

This exquisite control also provides a mechanism for heme-dependent signaling and regulation, as heme can be supplied discretely, leading to the switching on of proteins in single-molecule steps.

If Darwinism had been essential to their work, they surely would have mentioned it. Instead, they found a mechanism that appears (gasp! Can they say this?) designed for a purpose —

We see clear advantages of such an exchange mechanism between protein partners, designed for the purpose of managing heme supply and demand.

Overkill
To nail the case for design, consider the level of exquisite control in the next hierarchical level up. The human body makes around 250 billion red blood cells per day, and each RBC contains 270 million hemoglobin molecules, each constructed with 4 heme groups. That multiplies out to 27 billion trillion hemes per day!

It’s amazing enough that each cell in the body orchestrates its synthesis and availability of heme. On top of that, the whole body, too, regulates the number of hemoglobin molecules and red blood cells that carry another cytotoxic substance — oxygen — from our lungs to each cell in a safe, regulated, exquisitely controlled manner. Every red-blooded person should take this to heart: we would be walking packages of explosives if it were not for mechanisms “designed for the purpose” of using energy safely for life, love, and transcendent meaning.


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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Just Down the Street from ID: “Molecular Assembly Index”
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2021, 05:20:03 PM »
This is just down the street from intelligent design. From a paper, “Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry,” in Nature Communications (open access):
Quote
…we hypothesized that the very complex molecules made in any biochemical system could be distinguished from those produced in a non-biochemical system. This is because living systems appear to be uniquely able to produce a large abundance of complex molecules that are inaccessible to abiotic systems, where the number of small organic molecules, allowed by the rules of chemistry, is practically infinite.
The argument continues (emphasis added):
Quote
For example, the natural product Taxol, is an example of a molecule that could be a biosignature — this is because it is so complicated, that the probability of its formation abiotically in any detectable abundance (>10,000 identical copies) would be very small. One reason for this is that there are at least more than 10exp23 different molecules possible with the same formula as Taxol, C47H51NO14 (molecular weight of 853.9), and this analysis excludes the fact that Taxol incorporates 11 chiral centers which means it has 211 or 2048 possible diastereomers. The selection of one such possibility out of the combinatorically large number of possibilities is a process that requires information. In the absence of such information encoding and decoding processes, relatively few constraints can be placed on a chemical system — only those that are encoded in the laws of physics and the local environment — which cannot provide the specific set of biases needed to produce complex molecules such as Taxol in abundance.
Their approach (emphasis added):
Quote
…we have devised a theory of molecular complexity that is experimentally verifiable. By mapping the complexity of molecular space it is possible to place molecules on a scale of complexity from those able to form abiotically to those so complex they require a vast amount of encoded information to produce their structures, which means that their abiotic formation is very unlikely.
The publication is [color=var(--csc-primary)]here[/iurl]. Figure 1, “Assembly pathways,” is helpful.[/font][/color]

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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