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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Some questions for Intelligent Design fanatics

Intelligent Design is a fraud, and you can help expose it a little bit by asking some pointed questions.

1. How can Intelligent Design be falsified ? An unfalsifiable belief is not scientific.
2. Please give a few accepted scientific laws or principles on which Intelligent Design is based. A belief that does not build on established knowledge is not scientific.
3. Please name an Intelligent Design-supporting study published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
4. Who is (or are) the Designer ? How can we observe this Designer ?
5. Is such a Designer complex ? If so, who or what designed the Designer ?
6. How does Intelligent Design explain suboptimal, bad or evil design in nature, including but not limited to :
* Predation;
* Sea mammals that cannot breathe underwater;
* The blind spot in the human eye;
* Wisdom teeth.
7. How does Intelligent Design explain vestigial organs, including but not limited to :
* The appendix;
* The leg bones in whales;
* The wings of flightless birds;
* Tails in human embryos.
8. Please define how you measure "complexity" or "information" (depending on your flavour of Intelligent Design). Give us a numerical measure of complexity or information for simple organisms, such as a bacteria of your choice.

Post a Comment


26 Comments:

At 8/11/2005 8:35 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Good questions Franc. I will have to log these away - I am sure someone around here will confront me with that crap sooner or later.

BTW. It was nice to see the Sec Web post a link to Dawkins book The Blind Watchmaker. I had not read that yet - it was a good read - definately a re-read.

 
At 8/11/2005 12:29 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Interesting quote from the non-creationist information theorist Hubert Yockey:

‘Research on the origin of life seems to be unique in that the conclusion has already been authoritatively accepted … . What remains to be done is to find the scenarios which describe the detailed mechanisms and processes by which this happened.

One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written.’

Yockey, H.P., A calculation of the probability of spontaneous biogenesis by information theory, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 67:377–398, 1977; quotes from pp. 379, 396.

 
At 8/11/2005 2:02 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

What remains to be done is to find the scenarios which describe the detailed mechanisms and processes by which this happened.


This has already been done. I notice that the quote you posted is from 28 years ago.

Comets contain the building blocks for life. We have countless numbers of comets in our own solar system that have existed longer than the Earth itself has. Countless comets have bombarded the Earth for billions of years. Self organizing and replicating molecules have been well observed and documented in nature.

Research on the origin of life seems to be unique in that the conclusion has already been authoritatively accepted

This is not true. Why just a little while ago, Gods Only President, Bush Jr., said that the jury is still out. :P

 
At 8/11/2005 3:48 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

"This has already been done. I notice that the quote you posted is from 28 years ago."

Wow I am glad you caught that Aaron (as if I didn't notice)! :)

The source I was quoting from also said he has also not changed his position. Nevertheless, it didn't matter how old the quote was, as I was using it to point out a phenomena.


"Comets contain the building blocks for life. We have countless numbers of comets in our own solar system that have existed longer than the Earth itself has. Countless comets have bombarded the Earth for billions of years. Self organizing and replicating molecules have been well observed and documented in nature."

Maybe you could quote your sources and prove your assertions. I mean heck, this is a very pretty assertion and all, but as far as proving this *is* how life actually came about would be quite a different story (but even if it could it just 'shifts' the problem to comets). This also points out the relevancy of the quote I posted.


"This is not true. Why just a little while ago, Gods Only President, Bush Jr., said that the jury is still out. :P"

Well then let us not disagree with President! But I haven't heard this and thus don't know what you are talking about and could care less what he says. :)

 
At 8/11/2005 5:45 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

I also want you to be consistent with Franc's question, "How can we observe this Designer?" and Derek's gem that "Seeing is knowing...", so that we can also observe your proof that this is how life arose (oh and we better not rely on what someone else has *said* that they observed since we have not observed it ourselves and would be relying on *testimony* not observation).

 
At 8/12/2005 12:31 PM, Blogger Brucker declaimed...

1) I believe that it is commonly believed that I.D. was developed as a response to the evolutionary theories that say that mankind evolved from lower lifeforms and life evolved from non-life. While I don't know enough about the particulars of I.D. personally to know the answer to this question, I would like to turn it around and ask: How does one falsify the hypotheses that mankind evolved from lower life forms and that life spontaneously was created from non-life?

2) What I do know about I.D. is that some of the priciples come from information theory. The complexity of the information stored in DNA seems, to many people, to be a sign of intelligent design.

3) No idea. I'm guessing if you're asking this, you already know or strongly suspect the answer is "There is none."

4) Of course people have their ideas about this, but I personally don't think I.D. can tell us much at all about the designer. A popular analogy is finding a watch lying in the sand at the beach, and realizing the watch must have a designer. Sure, but what do you know about the designer? I have a watch on my wrist, and I know the insides were manufactured in Japan, the outside was designed in California, but I don't know by whom, nor how many people were involved in either process. I doubt any examination of the watch in and of itself could tell me more information than that.

5) Once again, I don't believe I.D. can answer these questions. I have heard philosophers say that "Everything with a beginning has a cause." and "If one follows the chain of causality backwards, one must eventually find an uncaused cause." I'm not 100% sure I accept either of these; they seem to be suggested as givens.

6) I believe "suboptimal", "bad" and "evil" are subjective value judgments that I'd need to see proof of their objective value before seeing a need (or indeed, ability) to answer the question.

7) I would suggest that a strong possibility is that a common designer used common design. Besides, "vestigal" doesn't neccessarily imply completely useless. A chicken may not be able to fly, but it would have a much harder life without its wings. How can we know that these other things have no purpose?

8) I'm not sure how to answer this, as I'm not really an expert on I.D. by any means, but my understanding is that the E. Coli Bacterium has about as much information in its DNA as a pocket dictionary. It's hard for me to imagine even that much information, which is of course far less than exists in human DNA, coming together by mere random chance.

I wish I knew more about the theory to be able to answer your questions, but does this help?

 
At 8/12/2005 12:33 PM, Blogger Brucker declaimed...

Forgot to mention, I like your blog. I haven't been following it really closely, but what I have read has been stimulating.

 
At 8/12/2005 12:54 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

brucker said, "7) I would suggest that a strong possibility is that a common designer used common design. Besides, "vestigal" doesn't neccessarily imply completely useless. A chicken may not be able to fly, but it would have a much harder life without its wings. How can we know that these other things have no purpose?"

The vestigial organs part is a complete joke. Franc in principle cannot prove that there are organs that are useless since the use *could* be discovered in the future.

Franc also needs to get updated on his examples of vestigial organs, most notably the 'appendix'.

 
At 8/12/2005 1:39 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"How does one falsify the hypotheses that mankind evolved from lower life forms and that life spontaneously was created from non-life?"

There are dozens of ways to falsify macroevolution. See
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

This is a site for evidences for macroevolution. Each evidence has a way to falsify it. Example :

"Based solely on the theory of common descent and the genetics of known organisms, we strongly predict that we will never find any modern species from known phyla on this Earth with a foreign, non-nucleic acid genetic material. We also make the strong prediction that all newly discovered species that belong to the known phyla will use the "standard genetic code" or a close derivative thereof. For example, according to the theory, none of the thousands of new and previously unknown insects that are constantly being discovered in the Brazilian rainforest will have non-nucleic acid genomes. Nor will these yet undiscovered species of insects have genetic codes which are not close derivatives of the standard genetic code. In the absence of the theory of common descent, it is quite possible that every species could have a very different genetic code, specific to it only, since there are 1.4 x 1070 informationally equivalent genetic codes, all of which use the same codons and amino acids as the standard genetic code (Yockey 1992). This possibility could be extremely useful for organisms, as it would preclude interspecific viral infections. However, this has not been observed, and the theory of common descent effectively prohibits such an observation.

As another example, nine new lemur and two marmoset species (all primates) were discovered in the forests of Madagascar and Brazil in 2000 (Groves 2000; Rasoloarison et al. 2000; Thalmann and Geissmann 2000). Ten new monkey species have been discovered in Brazil alone since 1990 (Van Roosmalen et al. 2000). Nothing in biology prevents these various species from having a hitherto unknown genetic material or a previously unused genetic code—nothing, that is, except for the theory of common descent. However, we now know definitively that the new lemurs use DNA with the standard genetic code (Yoder et al. 2000); the marmosets have yet to be tested.

Furthermore, each species could use a different polymer for catalysis. The polymers that are used could still be chemically identical yet have different chiralities in different species. There are thousands of thermodynamically equivalent glycolysis pathways (even using the same ten reaction steps but in different orders), so it is possible that every species could have its own specific glycolysis pathway, tailored to its own unique needs. The same reasoning applies to other core metabolic pathways, such as the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.

Finally, many molecules besides ATP could serve equally well as the common currency for energy in various species (CTP, TTP, UTP, ITP, or any ATP-like molecule with one of the 293 known amino acids or one of the dozens of other bases replacing the adenosine moiety immediately come to mind). Discovering any new animals or plants that contained any of the anomalous examples proffered above would be potential falsifications of common ancestry, but they have not been found. "

 
At 8/12/2005 1:39 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention you're an idiot.

 
At 8/15/2005 9:17 AM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

"I believe that it is commonly believed that I.D. was developed as a response to the evolutionary theories that say that mankind evolved from lower lifeforms and life evolved from non-life."

It's too bad people believe that, because it is untrue. ID is a term made up to mask its religious nature, in order to sneak monotheism into public schools. There is no theory there. It's not a response to change over time. It's a political tool.

 
At 8/15/2005 12:14 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I have no appendix. It was removed from my body 8 years ago. I am better off without it obviously, for keeping it would have caused my death. Its vestigal enough for me.

What about limbs? For a snake, limbs were vestigal and they evolved away. We know that snakes evolved their limbs into nonexistence because their skeletons have remnant bones of where their limbs used to be.

Maybe you could quote your sources and prove your assertions.

Nasa, Carl Sagan, Hubble, Deep Impact space probe, etc...

LOL now we have GF76 supporting ID and disputing my assertion that comets have building blocks for life.

GF76, are you disputing my comet claim just for fun/sake of argument, or do you ACTUALLY NOT BELIEVE that comets contain the building blocks for life?

 
At 8/15/2005 12:18 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

BTW, Hubert Yockey was not a biologist.
And the reason that I noted that the quote was 28 years old, is because we have discovered quite a bit more about life and evolution since then. Where Hubert says:

"What remains to be done is to find the scenarios which describe the detailed mechanisms and processes by which this happened."

Im saying that these scenarios have since been developed.

Ever hear of self organizing and replicating polymers and amino acids? The simplified version goes like this: chemicals > polymers > replicating polymers > hypercycle > protobiont > bacteria.

When you quote an information theorist from 28 years ago, you can expect to get a few chuckles. I would love to see the reactions of professional biologists from your three decade old Yockey argument. All Yockey was even doing was asking for more information. Well, we have more info now.

The saddest part is that ID has no info of its own.

 
At 8/15/2005 12:50 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron said, "I have no appendix. It was removed from my body 8 years ago. I am better off without it obviously, for keeping it would have caused my death. Its vestigal enough for me.

What about limbs? For a snake, limbs were vestigal and they evolved away. We know that snakes evolved their limbs into nonexistence because their skeletons have remnant bones of where their limbs used to be."


This is fallacious Aaron. Just because you can "live" without something does not mean it's a vestigial organ (even it has become diseased). I could live without my eyes, ears, and could be a quadroplegic, however, that does not mean these organs are useless. (I was hoping someone would bring up this objection - thanks :)

Look up in medical textbooks as early as the 70's as to what the purpose is for the appendix.


"Nasa, Carl Sagan, Hubble, Deep Impact space probe, etc..."

Wow aaron that's good.


"LOL now we have GF76 supporting ID and disputing my assertion that comets have building blocks for life."

I don't really get what's so funny. If by ID you mean biblical creation then yes I would support ID. And yes I still dispute your claim about comets.


"GF76, are you disputing my comet claim just for fun/sake of argument, or do you ACTUALLY NOT BELIEVE that comets contain the building blocks for life?"

I am disputing:
1) the claim that comets contain the building blocks of life; and
2)the claim that *that* is how life arose (even if I granted 1 good luck with 2).

 
At 8/15/2005 12:56 PM, Blogger Brucker declaimed...

Thanks for your answer. While I see that the examples you give would clearly falsify macroevolution as it is currently understood, I'm not sure I completely follow how this falsifies macroevolution on a more abstract level. If indeed one were to find a species of animal that did not fit into known phyla, or used some different biological mechanism on the cellular level than was previously known, does that mean that Scientists would abandon macroevolutionary theories as entirely untenable, or find a way to work the anomalies into a revised theory. After all, if chemical abiogenetic evolution happened once, why not twice? Or for that matter, one could hypothesize that the particular exceptional case might somehow be extraterrestrial in origin. Strange, but possible, and still no need to appeal to the supernatural, right? Still, this clarifies a lot, thanks.

"Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention you're an idiot."

An idiot for what? Asking questions? Reading your blog? Liking your blog? Not being an atheist? Could you clarify, because reading the description of the purpose of this blog and then your comment has left me confused as to what could be idiotic about understanding your points through reasoning and dialogue.

 
At 8/15/2005 12:56 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

"BTW, Hubert Yockey was not a biologist.
And the reason that I noted that the quote was 28 years old, is because we have discovered quite a bit more about life and evolution since then. Where Hubert says:

"What remains to be done is to find the scenarios which describe the detailed mechanisms and processes by which this happened."

Im saying that these scenarios have since been developed.

Ever hear of self organizing and replicating polymers and amino acids? The simplified version goes like this: chemicals > polymers > replicating polymers > hypercycle > protobiont > bacteria.

When you quote an information theorist from 28 years ago, you can expect to get a few chuckles. I would love to see the reactions of professional biologists from your three decade old Yockey argument. All Yockey was even doing was asking for more information. Well, we have more info now.

The saddest part is that ID has no info of its own."

BTW can you show me where I said he was a 'biologist'. I was not using him as any kind of authority per se. Rather, I was using him as he pointed out the phenomena that people already accept their desired conclusions before they actually 'get there', so much for neutrality.

"All Yockey was even doing was asking for more information. Well, we have more info now."

This is exactly my point. The conclusion had already been accepted, but people still needed "more information".
I'm not exactly sure what's so hard to understand about that.

 
At 8/15/2005 12:57 PM, Blogger Brucker declaimed...

"It's too bad people believe that, because it is untrue. ID is a term made up to mask its religious nature, in order to sneak monotheism into public schools. There is no theory there. It's not a response to change over time. It's a political tool."

How is that essentially different from what I said?

 
At 8/15/2005 1:50 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Two more things I neglected to address:

Aaron said, "Ever hear of self organizing and replicating polymers and amino acids? The simplified version goes like this: chemicals > polymers > replicating polymers > hypercycle > protobiont > bacteria."

People have always been able to make up scenarios - even all the way back to Anaximander who believed that man came from fish. However, the plausibility of these 'scenarios' is what is in question.


Aaron said, "What about limbs? For a snake, limbs were vestigal and they evolved away. We know that snakes evolved their limbs into nonexistence because their skeletons have remnant bones of where their limbs used to be."

Ever read Genesis?

 
At 8/15/2005 4:48 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

What are these morons doing here ?

 
At 8/15/2005 4:54 PM, Blogger Brucker declaimed...

If you're referring to me, I'm asking questions. Am I to take your remarks on faith, and not question them?

 
At 8/16/2005 12:44 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Go away, heretic.

 
At 8/16/2005 11:52 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

"Go away, heretic."

There goes Franc, showing everyone that evolutionists are dogmatically religious in character. Question the sacred cow, then you get name-called and made fun of. Proof that evolution is a religious presupposition and not one held because of its sterling scientific credentials. I actually critiqued this religion on my blog:

http://presstheantithesis.blogspot.com/2005/05/some-thoughts-on-evolution-as.html

 
At 8/18/2005 2:00 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Manata, you are a big-time blasphemer. You are already living in your own private Hell, as your continued presence on this blog proves.

 
At 8/18/2005 4:18 AM, Blogger Dave Harty declaimed...

80 Years After Scopes Trial New Scientific Evidence Convinces More Scientists That Darwinian Evolution is Deficient

SEATTLE, July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 400 scientists have signed onto a growing list from all disciplines who are "skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life."

"Darwin's theory of evolution is the great white elephant of contemporary thought," said Dr. David Berlinski, a mathematician and philosopher of science with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture (CSC). "It is large, almost completely useless, and the object of superstitious awe."

Discovery Institute first published its Statement of Dissent from Darwin in 2001 and a direct challenge to statements made in PBS' "Evolution" series that no scientists disagreed with Darwinian evolution.

"The fact is that a significant number of scientists are extremely skeptical that Darwinian evolution can explain the origins of life," said Dr. John G. West, associate director of the CSC. "We expect that as scientists engage in the wider debate over materialist evolutionary theories, this list will continue to grow, and grow at an even more rapid pace than we've seen this past year."

In the last 90 days, 29 scientists, including eight biologists, have signed the "Scientific Dissent From Darwinism." The list includes over 70 biologists total.

The most recent signatories are Lev V. Beloussov and Vladimir L. Voeikov, two prominent, Russian biologists from Moscow State University. Dr. Voeikov is a professor of bioorganic chemistry and Dr. Beloussov is a professor of embryology and Honorary Professor at Moscow State University; both are members of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

"The ideology and philosophy of neo-Darwinism which is sold by its adepts as a scientific theoretical foundation of biology seriously hampers the development of science and hides from students the field's real problems," said Professor Voeikov.

"Lately in the media there's been a lot of talk about science versus religion," said West. "But such talk is misleading. This list is a witness to the growing group of scientists who challenge Darwinian theory on scientific grounds."

Other prominent biologists who have signed the list include evolutionary biologist and textbook author Dr. Stanley Salthe, Dr. Richard von Sternberg an evolutionary biologist at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Biotechnology Information, and Giuseppe Sermonti, Editor of Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum. The list also includes scientists from Princeton, Cornell, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Ohio State University, Purdue and University of Washington among others.

 
At 4/26/2007 9:27 AM, Blogger Dr Umesh R Bilagi declaimed...

Intelligent Design & Vestigial Organs
By
Dr Umesh R. Bilagi
Associate Prof of Medicine
KIMS Hubli
Karnataka
INDIA
umeshbilagi@gmail.com

http://umeshbilagi.blogspot.com/


Topic :-Vestigial organs not necessarily proof of evolution for Darwin


I would postulate that it is possible to have a vestigial organ [ananatomical structure in organisms in a species, thought to have lost its original function through evolution] without the process of evolution. Let me illustrate this idea using an analogy drawn from popular computer software.

Assuming, I have a reasonable amount of storage space on my computer hard disk, if I first create an unformatted document using Microsoft(MS) Word, and then a second MS Word document that I format very rigorously, I do so because I consider MS Word software to be the best option for my purposes, as opposed to using, say, the less sophisticated Notepad software, where little formatting of documentsis possible.

Now, if you argue that there is a vestigial structure to the first MSWord document (the capacity - in this case, unused - for formatting)and that this only became functional in the second document,ultimately concluding that the first document evolved from the second document, you would be incorrect, since I am the creator of both documents.

Similarly, I would argue that vestigial organs do not necessarily confirm evolution; they only point to what tools - improvable overtime - the creator used while making the species. This same principle is seen even in electronic gadgets today.

Most probably, such an explanation did not occur to Darwin given that, in his time, there were no common tools to carry out varied, complex,seemingly disconnected jobs. So he concluded that unless a creator planned to mislead us, vestigial organs should not have existed

It is tendency of creators of to make some useful common tools, which can be used to carry out multiple jobs (or to make machines). so by virtue of this comman tools (if tools get fitted into machines), vestigenesity will come up.


Vestigial organs can be classified in to verticle & tranverse ones

Verticle ones are like appendix which are inherited from ancestor to next species

Tranverse one are in which one sex has fuctional capacity & in opposite sex it is vestigineous

Example
Vertiginous Male breast can be better explained tools of intelligent design than Darwin evolution now look at male nipple which are functional in female. Male & female have come much before mammals, so presence of male nipple in mammals can be explained by theory of tools of intelligent design better than Darwin evolution.

 
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