The State of ID Research

How bad have things gotten for the ID side? Completely unable to make good on their promise to generate any ID based research, they have now taken to outright lying about the work done by real scientists. Okay, so maybe they’ve been doing that for quite some time. Still, William Dembski’s latest blog entry strikes me as even more brazen than usual.

Dembski writes:

Here is an ID research paper published in PNAS. Note that some important principles of evolutionary theory are criticized in the abstract. This research shows how ID is capable of being applied in biology.

PNAS refers to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious journal indeed. If they ever did publish an ID research paper, that would be big news. Happily, one only has to read a few sentences of the actual paper mentioned here to realize just how silly Dembski is being.

The paper in question is entitled, The regulatory utilization of genetic redundancy through responsive backup circuits. The remainder of Dembski’s post merely reprints the abstract of the paper, and I will now do likewise. The bold face in the final sentence is Dembski’s:

Functional redundancies, generated by gene duplications, are highly widespread throughout all known genomes. One consequence of these redundancies is a tremendous increase to the robustness of organisms to mutations and other stresses. Yet, this very robustness also renders redundancy evolutionarily unstable, and it is, thus, predicted to have only a transient lifetime. In contrast, numerous reports describe instances of functional overlaps that have been conserved throughout extended evolutionary periods. More interestingly, many such backed-up genes were shown to be transcriptionally responsive to the intactness of their redundant partner and are up-regulated if the latter is mutationally inactivated. By manual inspection of the literature, we have compiled a list of such “responsive backup circuits” in a diverse list of species. Reviewing these responsive backup circuits, we extract recurring principles characterizing their regulation. We then apply modeling approaches to explore further their dynamic properties. Our results demonstrate that responsive backup circuits may function as ideal devices for filtering nongenetic noise from transcriptional pathways and obtaining regulatory precision. We thus challenge the view that such redundancies are simply leftovers of ancient duplications and suggest they are an additional component to the sophisticated machinery of cellular regulation. In this respect, we suggest that compensation for gene loss is merely a side effect of sophisticated design principles using functional redundancy.

Now merely using a phrase like “sophisticated design principles” is enough to make the ID folks claim you as one of theirs.

Let’s begin by scouring that abstract for the important principles of evolutionary theory Dembski’s says are criticized.

It’s been known for some time that gene duplication and divergence is an important mechanism for generating novelty in the course of evolution. The duplication of a gene leads to functional redundancy. One of the copies can then mutate, thereby possibly acquiring a new function, without leading to catastrophic damage to the organism. Indeed, gene duplications can be viewed as golden opportunities for functional innovation, and consequently would generally not be expected to remain for long in a population. (This is what the authors of the paper have in mind in describing these redundancies as “evolutionarily unstable.”).

This has been perfectly mainstream evolutionary theory for quite a long time. See, for example, Susumu Ohno’s 1970 book Evolution by Gene Duplication. And it will remain perfectly mainstream after this article. That’s because the remarkable discovery made by the authors of the paper is that, while usually redundant genes behave in accordance with expectations, there are instances where it can actually be selectively advantageous to preserve the duplicated gene.

They explain this clearly in the first two paragraphs of the paper:

Duplicate genes and paralogous gene families long have been perceived as genomic sources of genetics robustness (1-5). The assumption is that a functional overlap of these genes acts to compensate against mutations. Yet, this very fact also renders redundancy evolutionarily instable (5, 6), and functional overlaps,
typically, are rapidly lost because of divergence (7).

Nevertheless, numerous examples of paralogs retaining their functional overlap for extended evolutionary periods (for examples, see refs. 6 and 8-12) suggest that, at least for a fraction of gene pairs, redundancies are conserved throughout evolution despite their predicted instability.

A little later we come to this:

In fact, although retention of redundancy is much less frequent than its loss, its widespread existence is nontrivial and cannot (6) be dismissed as leftovers of recent duplication events.

And later still:

In this work, we wish to adapt the view that, at least in some pathways, redundancies are selected for based on some evolutionary advantage that they confer to the wild-type organism. In particular, we suggest the existence of regulatory designs that exploit redundancy to achieve functionalities such as control of noise in gene expression
or extreme flexibility in gene regulation.

So what have we learned? Most of the time things proceed exactly the way you would naively expect them to. Duplication leads to redundancy, which quickly leads to divergence and new functionalities. But sometimes there is a heretofore unsuspected selective advantage to maintaining both copies of the duplicated gene. Describing some of those advantages is the primary purpose of the paper.

I’d say that paper fits very comfortably indeed within evolutionary theory. That there is so much heretofore unsuspected complexity in the mechanisms of genetics is one of the reasons biology is such a hot science these days.

So, even in the shadow world of ID fanatics, how could this paper be construed as helpful to the cause? Well, you need to realize that ID folks take it as axiomatic that evolutionists are desperate to dismiss large quantities of animals’ genotypes as useless leftovers. So any time something previously dismissed as evolutionary junk is found to have any function at all, they are happy to claim it as a victory.

Never mind that the paper states clearly that most of the time things play out precisely as conventional theory predicts. Never mind that in the handful of cases where redundancy persists it is because natural selection actively works to preserve it. Never mind that the opening paragraph of the paper confirms one of the main scenarios for explaining how structures fitting the ID defintion of “irreducible complexity” can evolve gradually. Never mind that this work was done by biologists working firmly within an evolutionary paradigm and that the ID folks, in their decade plus of bloviating about the great discoveries to be found from ID research, never said a word anticipating the results in this paper. And never mind that ID folks have nothing specific to say about the relationship between design and functional efficiency in organisms. Those considerations only matter if your goal is to say something truthful about an important piece of current scientific research.

If, instead, your goal is to chum the waters for the small cadre of drooling lickspittles who increasingly are the only ones who take you seriously (be sure to note the comments to Dembski’s post), then you can ignore such petty concerns. Instead you merely say, “Look! The word “design” in a real science paper. Another triumph for our side!”

Still, I do get the feeling that every time I think I’ve seen the most ridiculous ID claim imaginable, they struggle hard to prove me wrong.

Comments

  1. #1 Reed A. Cartwright
    July 21, 2006

    Wow, I can’t believe that Dembski banned “stevie steve” for asking the simple question “Did any ID theorists predict this discovery?” Damn, Billie, sure hates to answer those “hard” questions.

  2. #2 steve s
    July 21, 2006

    I can believe Dembski banned me for that. Potempkin buildings must be protected from the slightest breeze.

  3. #3 steve s
    July 21, 2006

    Check out Salvador’s comment. Have you ever seen anyone misunderstand something that completely?

  4. #4 shiva
    July 21, 2006

    BillD and his factotums are so far gone down the road of IDiocy that they have only their pretensions left and nothing else at all. Denyse O’Leary although ignorant about science is the decent sort and is not given to acting stupid/childish by banning bloggers or peppering them with abuse. If anyone thought that O’Leary’s replacing the loutish buffoon DS would usher in a slightly more decent UncommonlyDense blog they are mistaken. BillD simply can’t give up acting silly or pluck the courage to engage in a discussion on other blogs.

  5. #5 sparc
    July 21, 2006

    Obviously, D. is using a simple medline search to find articles including the term design. I would have expected a more sophisticated tool frome someone who claims to have identified information in DNA sequences that the majority of researchers missed.
    BTW, after the retraction of DaveScot UncommonDescent seems to get less entertaining. I will really miss his obsession with the US marine corps.

  6. #6 N.Wells
    July 22, 2006

    Oh my gosh, Dembski has evolved (mutated?, devolved?, backslid?) into mturner of ARN. Find a paper, misread it as somehow supporting your own pet bizarre theory, make that assertion with no additional explanation or support, and repeat with a new paper.

    Actually, this practice needs a name, as it is sort of like quote mining but on a whole different level. Publication piracy, perhaps?

  7. #7 Whatever
    July 22, 2006

    Have you ever met a Creationist who actually read and comprehended an entire scientific paper? Here’s a new law: In 95% of papers cited by Creationists, an obvious contradiction of the what the Creationist claims the paper means will be found within five paragraphs of the quoted section.

    In this case, scordova’s claim can be demonstrated to be wrong in the second paragraph of the paper.

  8. #8 Whatever
    July 22, 2006

    Actually, mturner laughably claims to understand the important conclusions and scientific methods employed in papers that he has never even read.

    I nominate “Precognizant Miscomprehension” as a name for such practices.

  9. #9 Larry Fafarman
    July 22, 2006

    Posted July 21, 2006 9:44 PM, by Jason Rosenhouse –

    Now merely using a phrase like “sophisticated design principles” is enough to make the ID folks claim you as one of theirs.

    The paper said, “In this respect, we suggest that compensation for gene loss is merely a side effect of sophisticated design principles using functional redundancy.” You never explained why something that is supposed to be natural and random was referred to as “sophisticated design principles” — not just ordinary design principles but “sophisticated” design principles. The paper repeats the d-word in the statement, “we suggest the existence of regulatory designs that exploit redundancy to achieve functionalities such as control of noise in gene expression or extreme flexibility in gene regulation.”

    You argue that mere mention of the d-word does not necessarily mean that this paper is pro-ID, but a lot of scientific papers that take evolution for granted or that merely mention evolution in passing are regarded as strengthening evolution theory. For example, I have seen scientific articles that describe co-evolution in such vague terms as “mutual evolutionary influence,” “exerts selective pressure on the other,” and “caught in a cycle of co-evolution,” but those articles do not discuss in detail any possible mechanisms of co-evolution — see http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/07/derbyshire_states_it_plain.php#comment-172604

    This paper probably would have been rejected for publication if it had used the d-word more obviously.

    Also, this paper is too high-falutin for my tastes, e.g., the paper says, “many such backed-up genes were shown to be transcriptionally responsive to the intactness of their redundant partner and are up-regulated if the latter is mutationally inactivated.”

    Reed A. Cartwright said ( July 21, 2006 10:13 PM ) –

    Wow, I can’t believe that Dembski banned “stevie steve” for asking the simple question “Did any ID theorists predict this discovery?”

    I am thoroughly disgusted with all the censorship crap that occurs on the Internet. A lot of blogs and other Internet forums get along quite well without censorship. This censorship crap undermines one of the biggest potential advances of the Internet — an enormous potential improvement in the interchange of ideas.

    My answer to stevie steve’s question is that not all applications of scientific principles need be predictive — the applications can be retrospective as well, e.g., saying that a particular observation is consistent with a particular scientific principle. In fact, a lot of biological facts are so unimaginable that a crystal ball would be required to predict them.

    Damn, Billie, sure hates to answer those “hard” questions.

    I was completely banned from Panda’s Thumb and Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars for the same kind of reason.

    Comments on blogs are directed not just at the bloggers but at the visitors as well. In fact, on Panda’s Thumb, most of the bloggers participate very little or not at all in the discussions that follow their articles.

  10. #10 sparc
    July 22, 2006

    steve s: “Check out Salvador’s comment. Have you ever seen anyone misunderstand something that completely?”

    What do you expect from somebody who “explains how intelligent design helped him resolve his own spiritual crisis” (Nature. 2005 Apr 28;434(7037):1062-5). If science were about finding some spiritual comfortableness it would not require experimental research and we would rest satisfied in a state of sophism as ID (vulgo creationism) does. Thus this is not a case of mis-understandig or lack of understandig but rather a cas of refusing to accept realities.

  11. #11 sparc
    July 22, 2006

    I recommend Dembski and friends to check which other articles the authors have published. A quick look through PubMed abstracts would have helped. If this is not sufficient to convince them that this is definitely not about ID they should please contact the authors. Addresses are availbale in PubMed as well.

  12. #12 dcb
    July 22, 2006

    The word “design” needn’t suggest ID. The authors were using it in a general sense of “an underlying scheme that governs functioning, developing, or unfolding” (m-w.com).

    I second sparc’s recommendation.

  13. #13 snaxalotl
    July 22, 2006

    “Actually, this practice needs a name”

    dysaboutness?

  14. #14 steve s
    July 22, 2006

    I recommend Dembski and friends to check which other articles the authors have published. A quick look through PubMed abstracts would have helped. If this is not sufficient to convince them that this is definitely not about ID they should please contact the authors. Addresses are availbale in PubMed as well.

    Posted by: sparc | July 22, 2006 01:53 AM

    Dembski is not confused in the least. He knows ID is crap. But he knows his sycophants will believe whatever he says if it opposes evolution. At this point, he’s just playing them for his bank account.

  15. #15 timcol
    July 22, 2006

    I’ve been following Uncommon Descent for a while now, and I get the impression that Dembski spends most of his time Googling ‘intelligent design’ and whenever he finds anything even remotely relevant he triumphantly posts it, usually with only 1-2 sentences as in the example above. You have to wonder if he ever bothers to read anything

    As to the new moderator, Denyse O’Leary time will tell if she is a better moderator than the previous bulldog DaveScott; but so far none of my attempts to post a comment have ever materialized, no matter how reasonable I try to be. I guess it’s also a reflection of the state of ID and how Dembski thinks that he chose a journalist (and a fairly obscure one at that) to be his moderator, rather than, say, a real scientist.

  16. #16 ben
    July 22, 2006

    You have to understand, it’s like the bible codes. If you look hard enough and quotemine dishonestly enough, the evidence for design clearly emerges. For instance you wrote,

    That there is so much heretofore unsuspected complexity in the mechanisms of genetics is one of the reasons biology is such a hot science these days. So, even in the shadow world of ID fanatics, how could this paper be construed as helpful to the cause?

    …while obviously what you really meant was:

    ….there is so much….to….the….hot science….of ID….help….the cause

    Obviously that’s what you really meant to say, in the mind of an IDiot anyway.

  17. #17 Rupert
    July 22, 2006

    All “sophisticated design principles” is saying is that evolution is capable of sophisticated design through application of principles – or, if you wish, that it produces design through application of sophisticated principles.

    So evolution follows sophisticated rules and produces sophisticated results. Well, d’oh. Darwin’s key insight.

    The very phrase ‘intelligent design’ implicitly accepts that design can happen without intelligent input. Dembski et (ever more desperate) al cannot just appropriate any mention of design and claim it for themselves.

    Well, they can. They do. It’s an utter abdication of any attempt to build a coherent scientific case with the intent to convince, but there’s not been much evidence for that for a while.

    R

  18. #18 Larry Fafarman
    July 22, 2006

    dcb said ( July 22, 2006 01:56 AM ) –

    The word “design” needn’t suggest ID. The authors were using it in a general sense of “an underlying scheme that governs functioning, developing, or unfolding” (m-w.com).

    Jason Rosenhouse’s interpretation of the paper does not show that the word “design” was not intended to mean “intelligent design.” Jason claims that the evolutionary principle applied by the paper is natural selection, which is not disputed by ID — Jason says,

    “Duplication leads to redundancy, which quickly leads to divergence and new functionalities. But sometimes there is a heretofore unsuspected selective advantage to maintaining both copies of the duplicated gene. Describing some of those advantages is the primary purpose of the paper ….. I’d say that paper fits very comfortably indeed within evolutionary theory.”(emphasis added)

    Anyway, all Dembski has shown is that the authors perhaps support the idea of ID, but ID’s level of support among scientists should be determined by formal opinion polls and not by quote mining scientific papers, and there have been far too few formal polls of scientists’ opinions on evolution and ID.

    BTW, I never heard the term “quote mining” before I started studying the evolution controversy.

    BTW, I dispute this idea that ID’s “failure” to predict the results of this paper is a serious shortcoming of ID. Jason wrote, “Never mind that this work was done by biologists working firmly within an evolutionary paradigm and that the ID folks, in their decade plus of bloviating about the great discoveries to be found from ID research, never said a word anticipating the results in this paper.” Where is the evidence that evolution theory predicted the results of this paper? And when I say predict, I mean predict — I don’t mean just a retrospective finding that the results of this paper are consistent with evolution theory. Also, there are some things in biology that are just too unimaginable to predict — for example, no one could have predicted the following example of pollination by masturbation:

    There is a tropical orchid with flowers that look and smell like females of a certain species of wasp. Males of this species emerge a week before the females. A male who smells a flower of this orchid, think it?s a female wasp, gets closer and the flower looks like a female, lands on it and it feels like a female, tries to copulate, gives up in frustration, and goes on to the next thing that smells like a female, and ends up transferring pollen.

    – from http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio303/coevolution.htm

    It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.

  19. #19 Caledonian
    July 22, 2006

    Also, there are some things in biology that are just too unimaginable to predict

    I guess that depends on how powerful your imagination is.

  20. #20 Mephisto
    July 22, 2006

    It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.

    What, are you suggesting that coevolution and symbiosis are somehow misunderstood? There are hundreds of thousands of papers exploring the issue, many focusing on how individual relationships between certain species of bees/wasps and flowers developed.

    It shouldn’t be hard to convince you at all, unless you’re a dunderhead who’s unwilling to go put “coevolution” into Google Scholar.

    My god.

  21. #21 Don Baccus
    July 22, 2006

    I guess that depends on how powerful your imagination is.

    Larry has a very, very powerful imagination. It is his hold on reality that is tenuous …

  22. #22 Larry Fafarman
    July 22, 2006

    Reed A. Cartwright said ( July 21, 2006 10:13 PM ) –

    Wow, I can’t believe that Dembski banned “stevie steve” for asking the simple question “Did any ID theorists predict this discovery?”

    Stevie steve was banned from Uncommon Descent? His comment on UD is right here –

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1343#comment-48945

    The delay when a comment is held up for moderation may give the false impression that a comment was censored. I feel that deleting inappropriate comments after they are posted is much better than holding up comments for moderation. Immediate posting has the advantages that comments are always posted in a timely manner and that commenters do not have to worry about what to do if a comment does not appear in a reasonable time, e.g., should the comment be resubmitted? Should the moderator be queried about what happened to the comment?

    Then there is the problem of automatically-delivered repetitive advertising spam, but this problem does not require comment moderation. This problem can be handled by a keyboard-character verification step in the comment submission process.

  23. #23 Reciprocating Bill
    July 22, 2006

    A selectionist causal framework is apparent in initial statement of the authors’ thesis:

    “In this work, we wish to adapt the view that, at least in some pathways, redundancies are selected for based on some evolutionary advantage that they confer to the wild-type organism” (second paragraph of article text). And later: “The evolutionarily selectable advantage of this redundancy…” (fourth paragraph).

    Similarly, descent with modification is integral to the conceptual framework employed by the authors. The first example cited of the conserved redundancies that interest them, a redundancy that has been conserved “all of the way from yeast (Are1 and Are2) to mammals (ACAT1 and ACAT2),” emerges as a phenomenon of interest only if one accepts an unbroken chain of descent from organisms that were ancestral both to contemporary yeast and present day mammals. Otherwise there is no phenomenon to explain. Moreover, the phenomenon is interesting precisely because it occurs against a background of much more common genetic divergence, reflecting the expected destablizing impact of genetic redundancies.

    In short, the overarching conceptual framework within which the authors are operating is clearly that of descent with modification driven by natural selection. Should an ID advocate wish to take comfort from this article, it strikes me that s/he must ignore the author’s own selectionist causal model and follow them in assuming unbroken chains of descent and divergence throughout the history of life on earth. (From the latter it follows that ID advocates who also embrace “sudden emergence” can take no comfort whatever from this work.)

  24. #24 Rupert
    July 22, 2006

    “It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.”

    Nobody said that it did, nobody believes that it would. It arose by modification followed by selection. Chance plays a part, but only a part.

    R

  25. #25 Txjak
    July 22, 2006

    “Actually, this practice needs a name, as it is sort of like quote mining but on a whole different level.” — N.Wells

    I nominate “quote expropriation.”

  26. #26 mark
    July 22, 2006

    So I guess the smart money is on “Dembski did read the whole article (or most of it) himself, but figures his fan club will not read it or will not understand it.”

  27. #27 Scott Hatfield
    July 22, 2006

    Larry and others with doubts, take heart! I’ve taken liberty of e-mailing one of the authors of the PNAS article in question (Dr. Pilpel) and I’ve asked him to comment on the matter, to wit: “….could you please affirm as to whether your research, which seems well-grounded in evolutionary theory, constitutes an endorsement of any particular creationist view or (alternatively) whether the inference made by Dembski is an unwarranted misrepresentation?”

    If Dr.Pilpel replies (and I hope he does) I will share his unexpurgated remarks with all. I suspect he will experience some emotion other than satisfaction in reviewing Dembski’s gloss on his work.

    Scott Hatfield

  28. #28 timcol
    July 22, 2006

    Here’s an example of the kinds of posts we can expect from O’Leary on UD: http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1344

    Somehow she believes that because penguins (and presumably other species) exhibit cooperative behaviors, that this is evidence for ID and is damning for evolution. I guess if I had my ID explanatory filter installed I too could scale to such heights of imagination!

  29. #29 MisterDNA
    July 22, 2006

    Actually, this practice needs a name, as it is sort of like quote mining but on a whole different level.

    I kinda like “pubjacking”.

  30. #30 Larry Fafarman
    July 22, 2006

    Reciprocating Bill said ( July 22, 2006 10:42 AM ) –

    In short, the overarching conceptual framework within which the authors are operating is clearly that of descent with modification driven by natural selection.(emphasis added)

    As I said, ID does not dispute natural selection. I feel that the paper as a whole is neutral in regard to ID. Dembski’s claim that the paper supports ID seems to be based just on the paper’s expression “sophisticated design principles,” which he highlighted in his quotation. Dembski even claims that the paper’s alleged support for ID is “unwitting” — the title of his article on Uncommon Descent is, ” Unwitting Pro-ID Peer-Reviewed Articles on the Increase .”

    Mephisto said ( July 22, 2006 09:38 AM ) –

    It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.

    What, are you suggesting that coevolution and symbiosis are somehow misunderstood?

    I have no problem with symbiosis because symbiosis is a fact. As for coevolution, I feel that if scientists really understood it they would not believe that it is possible.

    Thanks for telling me about “Google Scholar” — I have been using regular Google, which has turned up very little about coevolution.

  31. #31 jeannot
    July 22, 2006

    ID does not dispute natural selection?
    So what about IC and CSI, which are its main arguments?
    IC stipulate that some structures couldn’t have evolved by natural selection, while CSI claims basically the same thing.

  32. #32 N.Wells
    July 22, 2006

    From whatever: “Actually, mturner laughably claims to understand the important conclusions and scientific methods employed in papers that he has never even read.”

    Yes, I’ve been at pains to demonstrate that over at ARN. I didn’t intend “misread” to mean “read in its entirety and then misconstrue”. FWIW, I suspect that Dembski is barely skimming the papers, and certainly not with comprehension. Citing papers with little in the way of comments or analysis is the way lazy & incompetent students try to scrape through seminars and term papers.

    “Precognizant misinterpretation” is witty but obscure. “Quote expropriation” misses the point that they are hijacking the entire publication rather than just lifting a sentence out of context. “Dysaboutness” is charming and succinct and could have a future in phrases like “Dembski suffers from dishonesty, incompetence, and terminal dysaboutness”, but suggests the incapability of directly addressing a topic, question, or criticism. I’m still fond of “publication piracy”, but I could definitely live with “pubjacking”. (One word beats two, and its meaning is crystal-clear.) Does anyone else have any other creative alternatives?

  33. #33 Andrew Lee
    July 22, 2006

    Something derived from “monday morning quarterbacking” (sorry, non-USAans) would be nice, except that phrase implies that what happened over the weekend was in error, so that’s out. Something derived from “freeloading” or “welfare” might work, since if there’s one thing conservatives whose holy book mandates they perform charity hate with a passion, it’s the recipients of charity. Something from “leeching” would be up to date for bittorrent users, but it still implies that the leech was able to obtain actual nourishment, which is not the case with this sort of shenaniganism.

    “Pubjacking” is the best, although I wonder if the abbreviation preserves enough of the meaning to have resonance with non-academics. Could the slightly longer “publication-jacking” still catch on?

  34. #34 steve_h
    July 22, 2006
  35. #35 Robert C
    July 22, 2006

    On Uncommon Descent, there are at least two other occasions of ?selective reading? of publications in the last week or so (I couldn’t bear to read more). The first incident makes me think Dembski is willingly misinterpreting the literature, the second makes me think he’s clueless.

    The evolution of dogs article pulls a line from a UK newspaper “How man?s best friend overcame laws of natural evolution” citing this as evolution natural selection is false! Not only does the article support evolution, but he fails to even mention the primary source:
    Bjornerfeldt S, Webster MT, Vila C.
    Relaxation of selective constraint on dog mitochondrial DNA following domestication.
    Genome Res. 2006 Jun 29

    The second is a bit funny. July 14, 2006
    Dembski asks:
    “Is this an ID article? (July 14 entry)
    Emergence of protein fold families through rational design
    Feng Ding1, Nikolay V Dokholyan
    http://compbiol.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pcbi.0020085.eor

    To which the answer is clearly, no. (Third Paragraph!)
    “Here, we postulate that subtle structural changes, which appear due to accumulating mutations in the homologous families in a course of evolution, lead to distinct packing of the protein core and, thus, novel compositions of protein core residues. The latter process leads to differentiation into distinct families of homologs and, ultimately, the formation of families of analogs.”

    Evolution meets structural biology…..

  36. #36 Andrew Lee
    July 22, 2006

    Oh, examples of this sort of thing are legion — certainly enough to possess a herd of pigs and drive them off a cliff out of madness.

    Keep in mind that publication-jacking is not limited to the merely passive. The infamous Axe paper and the Behe & Snoke paper which Behe admitted under oath has nothing to do with ID and which affirms evolution are also on point.

  37. #37 Larry Fafarman
    July 22, 2006

    jeannot said ( July 22, 2006 02:25 PM ) –

    ID does not dispute natural selection?
    So what about IC and CSI, which are its main arguments?
    IC stipulate that some structures couldn’t have evolved by natural selection, while CSI claims basically the same thing.

    Natural selection is actually part of one of Michael Behe’s definitions of irreducible complexity:

    A second definition given by Behe (his “evolutionary definition”) is as follows:

    An irreducibly complex evolutionary pathway is one that contains one or more unselected steps (that is, one or more necessary-but-unselected mutations). The degree of irreducible complexity is the number of unselected steps in the pathway.

    – from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity#Definitions

    By “unselected step,” I presume Behe means a step that is unselectable because it is nonviable, detrimental or neutral.

    Anyway, it seems to me that it is pretty hard to argue with the concept of natural selection, which is often considered to be just another name for “survival of the fittest.”

  38. #38 jeannot
    July 22, 2006

    Thank you. I wonder how Behe measures IC in real biological systems. How does he count the unselectable states since he doesn’t know the evolutionary pathway leading to the considered structure? Yet another untestable hypothesis for ID. :/

    And NS certainly isn’t the “survival of the fittest”. No true evolutionary biologist would claim that, and Darwin didn’t AFAIK. I’m surprised that, after years of arguing against NS, you haven’t got a correct definition.

    Natural selection is the spread of an allele in a population because of the higher reproduction rate it gives to its bearers in their environment.
    Is it so hard to understand?

  39. #39 alienward
    July 22, 2006

    I can see it now. The next time the DI cons a school board into trying to sell ID to school children, and then lies saying they only want to teach the controversy, and then lies again saying the controversy is within evolution knowing it’s really only in ID over whether they want to accept or deny common descent, Dembski’s got a move that isn’t just street theater.

    When Kenneth Miller testifies there are is no published ID research, Dembski will get the lawyers doing to cross examination to dump a stack of 58 “Unwitting Pro-ID Peer-Reviewed Articles” in his lap. Yes indeed, the ID clown show will be even more amateur than the last time, with Dembski outdoing Behe in the lameness department.

  40. #40 Mark Perakh
    July 22, 2006

    For ten years the ID advocates have been pushing the Irreducible Complexity as pointing to design. IC is tantamount to lack of redundancy – a redundant system is not IC by definition. Isn’t it funny they suddenly started pushing redundancy as a sign of design, not noticing the irreconcilable contradiction between two concepts? I am sure their spinmeisters will come up with convoluted arguments “proving” in the vintage Dembskian manner that a biological system can be both redundant and IC at the same time. In their world everything is possible, even hot ice and tall dwarves.

  41. #41 steve s
    July 22, 2006

    Isn’t it funny they suddenly started pushing redundancy as a sign of design, not noticing the irreconcilable contradiction between two concepts?

    If ID wasn’t funny, I wouldn’t be here.

  42. #42 Chiefley
    July 23, 2006

    “It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.” – Larry Fafferman

    Larry,
    There was a paper in the journals a number of years ago where a guy had a theory that organisms don’t evolve by chance, but by random mutation and natural selection. It was a pretty obscure paper that didn’t get much attention, so I understand why you might not have heard of it. I could find that paper for you if you want. I think the guy’s name was Dabbin or Darbin or something like that.

  43. #43 sparc
    July 23, 2006

    The next thing to happen is that IDists will cite Systems Biology papers as unwittingly proof of their claims. Such papers will provide them with illustrations much more dynamic compared to the boaring ever so often reproduced figure of a bactrial flagellum and lots of mathmetics to play around with. Until now they seemingly missed this new field of biology. This will change as soon as an abstract or the MESH terms of such papers contain the term “design”.

  44. #44 timcol
    July 23, 2006

    Here’s the latest post from Dembski on UD:

    Evolutionary Theory and Monty Python�s Black Knight

    Just as Monty Python�s Black Knight was whittled from a full human to a stump, so evolutionary theory is finally being whittled to its proper size. Where, in the whittling of the Black Knight, is evolutionary theory (stage I, II, III, IV, or V?):
    - What follows are pictures of the Black Knight in Monty Python having his limbs removed.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I can find Monty Python very funny, but Dembski’s use of it here is not only lame and unfunny, but it is downright peculiar. It’s the sort of thing you would expect from a 15-year nerdy kid, but not what I would expect from the bright and intellectual rich person Dembski is supposed to be. And this is not the first time he has made these kinds of posts (look for the Ma and Pa Kettle analogy for an even stranger example). Kind of an interesting insight into how he thinks – considering that he is somewhat a public figure I wonder if he realizes how much he is opening himself to ridicule.

  45. #45 The Passenger
    July 23, 2006

    I’m a little curious whether it’s necessary to waste so much thought, time and effort on ID folks – preventing them from establishing any influence is a valid reason, but too much analysis makes them feel like relevant scientists, so there could be a line between fighting fire with fire and actually feeding the fire. Effectively, they’re an attempt at the 21st century equivalent of the Great Inquisition – what we do not know, we label God’s work, and attack any opponents, any reasoning notwithstanding. Their Ph.Ds are meaningless – in the Inquisition times, the folks who ran the whole show had titles and labels defining them as the most educated people of their time, and they knew for a fact that the Earth was flat, happy to stop or kill those who claimed otherwise.
    Dembski was almost certainly a marginalized geek as a kid, and is now a bitter old geek with little or no social skills (certainly no humor), seeking attention by making his charlatan claims, and loving the attention obtained through controversy, since he clearly has none based on any scientific contribution.

    Says Wikipedia: “He struggled socially at the college level and dropped out at the age of seventeen”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Dembski

    All he and his bunch do is proving what CURRENT science cannot prove, to wit:

    ‘In the article, entitled “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”, Dr. Meyer argues that no current materialistic theory of evolution can account for the origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms.’
    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2177

    Wow. No mainstream theory of Galilei’s time could account for the round Earth. So this current Inquisition, unable to legally threaten, torture and kill people, would kill education instead. Then all “scientists” will be free from having to explore anything, no scientific curiosty required, no need for the courage to question anything, just the old boys’ club with all the time in the world to run witchhunts on those who disagree.
    But that’s all there is to them – social idiots with no creativity and no real scientific drive, just a hateful and vengeful pathetic bunch that deserves no serious discussions to fuel their fire – leave them alone to live on the margin with their “caveman see lightning – caveman not understand – caveman know it must be angry higher being” “science.”

  46. #46 Larry Fafarman
    July 23, 2006

    Mark Perakh said ( July 22, 2006 08:18 PM ) –

    For ten years the ID advocates have been pushing the Irreducible Complexity as pointing to design. IC is tantamount to lack of redundancy – a redundant system is not IC by definition.

    I disagree. I feel that adding one redundant part to a system does not make the whole system truly reducible — for example, having redundant ignition systems does not make an aircraft piston engine a truly reducible system. The engine is reducible only with respect to the ignition systems (and maybe a few other nonessential parts like the alternator — a typical aircraft piston engine should be able to run indefinitely without an alternator or a battery because the ignition magnetos are not powered by the electrical system).

    Also, there are different kinds of redundancy — there can be redundancy of genes or redundancy of parts or traits.

    Also, I don’t agree that redundancy — whether of genes or traits — necessarily enhances the survivability of a species. The redundancy enhances the survivability of an individual or a small group of individuals but not the species, unless the species population is very low and subject to inbreeding.

  47. #47 RealityBytes
    July 23, 2006

    Also, I don’t agree that redundancy — whether of genes or traits — necessarily enhances the survivability of a species.

    Too bad reality disagrees with you. Reality is really a thorn in your side, isn’t it Larry?

  48. #48 Jon Fleming
    July 23, 2006

    Reed Cartwright writes:

    Stevie steve was banned from Uncommon Descent? His comment on UD is right here –

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1343#comment-48945

    True, but the fifth comment below that is:

    Stevie Steve is no longer with us. -WmAD

    Comment by William Dembski — July 21, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  49. #49 Larry Fafarman
    July 23, 2006

    RealityBytes said ( July 23, 2006 09:17 AM ) –

    Also, I don’t agree that redundancy — whether of genes or traits — necessarily enhances the survivability of a species.

    Too bad reality disagrees with you. Reality is really a thorn in your side, isn’t it Larry?

    Let’s use again the example of redundant ignition systems in aircraft. This redundancy enhances the survivability of individual aircraft, but does it really enhance the survivability of aircraft as a species?

  50. #50 Jim Wynne
    July 23, 2006

    Steve h:

    It’s interesting that you should reference the UD post by Dembski on information forensics. My comments under the post got me banned, and all I did in the beginning was ask what the article Dembski linked to had to do with ID. For the hilarious details on the post and comments, go here: The Pee Wee Herman of Information Theory–at it again.

  51. #51 Reciprocating Bill
    July 23, 2006

    Larry Fafarman said:

    “As I said, ID does not dispute natural selection. I feel that the paper as a whole is neutral in regard to ID. Dembski’s claim that the paper supports ID seems to be based just on the paper’s expression “sophisticated design principles,” which he highlighted in his quotation. ”

    This isn’t about whether the article is supportive of ID, natural selection, or something else. It is about Dempsky’s mistaken characterization of the article. Dempsky stated, “This research shows how ID is capable of being applied in biology.” This suggests that the authors somehow operated out of an ID driven conceptual framework, research logic (application of the IF, etc.), methodology, etc. But there isn’t a shred of any of that in the article, and the authors obviously operate from a naturalistic framework (natural selection, descent with modification). Dempsky’s appropriation of the article as an “application of ID in biology” is mistaken, and misleading.

    With respect to neutrality vis ID, this understates the disconnection between empirical findings and ID. Because ID makes no testable empirical predictions, and any empirical finding may be assimilated by ID, ALL genuine empirical findings will be “neutral” with respect to ID.

  52. #52 steve_h
    July 23, 2006

    Jim Wynne: Yes your ban is there in the first of my two links. However, it’s not clear to me if you were banned for asking “What has this to do with ID?” or for your next comment which poked fun at one of the few genuine examples of ID research that we’ve yet seen, as demonstrated by DaveScot in comment #1 of that post.

  53. #53 Whatever
    July 23, 2006

    Larry Fafarman writes: “BTW, I never heard the term “quote mining” before I started studying the evolution controversy.

    That comment deserves highlighting… Larry must be a pretty young pup. I heard the term before I was ten.

    N.Wells:“From whatever: “Actually, mturner laughably claims to understand the important conclusions and scientific methods employed in papers that he has never even read.”

    Yes, I’ve been at pains to demonstrate that over at ARN.”

    Not too hard work, actually. You should trust that most reasonable people (‘Joy’ excluded) understand what mturner is about.

  54. #54 Caledonian
    July 23, 2006

    Let’s use again the example of redundant ignition systems in aircraft. This redundancy enhances the survivability of individual aircraft, but does it really enhance the survivability of aircraft as a species?

    Aircraft are not self-replicating organisms. They cannot be a ‘species’. That question is extremely stupid.

  55. #55 Jeannot
    July 23, 2006

    Hey, what do you now about it? You should keep an open mind and consider the evolution of aircrafts alongside their design.
    ;-)

  56. #56 RealityBytes
    July 23, 2006

    Let’s use again the example of redundant ignition systems in aircraft. This redundancy enhances the survivability of individual aircraft, but does it really enhance the survivability of aircraft as a species?

    Ah, I see. You have removed the thorn from your side by completely disconnecting yourself from reality. Do you find that helpful?

  57. #57 Bruce Thompson
    July 23, 2006

    Aircraft are not self-replicating organisms. They cannot be a ‘species’. That question is extremely stupid.

    No questions are stupid… misinformed perhaps.

    Self replication is not a fundamental requirement for a species status in biological systems.

    I can argue, that since first produced aircraft have co-opted humans to replicate aircraft. The replication machinery has introduced variation into aircraft producing new varieties increasing diversity. This increased diversity has allowed aircraft to fill new aviation niches, passenger, transport, surveillance, military, and acrobatic. This has given rise to a whole industry and aircraft production, pilot certification and aircraft maintenance is overseen by the FAA. The analogy is not perfect since it anthropomorphizes aircraft and variation has been the result of both design and error but the general argument has validity. Aircraft can be thought of as species of viruses infecting human populations.

  58. #58 trrll
    July 23, 2006

    No biologist would deny that living organisms exhibit sophisticated design. There is a huge body of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary mechanisms (and genetic algorithms in general) are capable of producing sophisticated designs. The distinction between “sophisticated” design and “intelligent” design is an important one. For example, the mammalian eye exhibits highly sophisticated design–high performance based upon careful coordination of a large number of finely tuned parts. But it does not exhibit intelligent design, because there are a number of “unintelligent” features which reveal the absence of foresight, a key criterion of intelligence. An intelligent designer would never have run the wiring of a photosensor in front of the photosensitive elements, and if through some oversight he did, he would never punched the wiring through near the center, but rather would have run it through around the periphery. Nevertheless, the the design of the eye is quite sophisticated in how it works around these failures of intelligence.

  59. #59 shiva
    July 23, 2006

    Larry,

    By “unselected step,” I presume Behe means a step that is unselectable.

    Earth shattering inference indeed!!! Even Behe doesn’t know what he is talking about! His first cross examination at Kitzmiller was amusing. So many new interpretations. His writing of a section becomes a critical review and his co-authorship becomes so because of it s possibility at some point in the future! BillD, Wells, Luskin, Meyers etc are all believers in discretion over valour. Actually it is BillD who is playing the Black Knight (let us take the gruesome disfiguration as exaggeration and metaphor) It is indeed a descent without end from one level of silliness to the next.

  60. #60 Larry Fafarman
    July 23, 2006

    Whatever said { July 23, 2006 01:00 PM ) –

    Larry Fafarman writes: “BTW, I never heard the term “quote mining” before I started studying the evolution controversy.”

    That comment deserves highlighting… Larry must be a pretty young pup. I heard the term before I was ten.

    The Wikipedia article on “quote mining” discusses the term almost entirely in regard to the evolution controversy. Wikipedia says, “The term is particularly used by scientists to denounce proponents of creationism, because creationists present long lists of quotes by scientists allegedly acknowledging their criticisms.” So I think that there is a good possibility that people who have not closely followed the evolution controversy have not heard the term. Anti-Darwinists have raised quote mining to an art form — they have published whole books containing nothing but quote mines. See http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/quote-mining.html

    Caledonian said ( July 23, 2006 01:23 PM ) –

    Let’s use again the example of redundant ignition systems in aircraft. This redundancy enhances the survivability of individual aircraft, but does it really enhance the survivability of aircraft as a species?

    Aircraft are not self-replicating organisms. They cannot be a ‘species’. That question is extremely stupid.

    Aircraft are replaced by production instead of reproduction. Big deal.

    In an article in Natural History magazine, Michael Behe and Kenneth Miller debate irreducible complexity in terms of a mousetrap — see http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/nhmag.html Issues sometimes become clearer when discussed in terms of analogies.

    Jon Fleming said ( July 23, 2006 09:27 AM ) –

    <

    Stevie steve was banned from Uncommon Descent? His comment on UD is right here —
    “>http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1343#comment-48945

    True, but the fifth comment below that is:

    Stevie Steve is no longer with us. -WmAD
    Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I noticed that too and was going to post a correction, but you beat me to it.

    I was also surprised that DaveScot said that UD uses IP-address banning — DaveScot of all people certainly knows the disadvantages of IP-address banning — one of the problems is that some people can be banned unintentionally because of the sharing of IP addresses.

    There are ways of getting around bans, but the problem is that ideas as well as people are banned. Using anonymous proxies, I posted on Panda’s Thumb for several months after I was banned there, but finally gave up. The uniformity of opinions posted on Panda’s Thumb and Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars is the result of intolerance of differences of opinion.

    Stevie Steve’s comment on UD, “Did any ID theorists predict this discovery?”, sounds innocuous, but it can be interpreted as a taunt. It is like saying, “hey, we thought you ID folks were supposed to have crystal balls. Har, har.”

    trrll said ( July 23, 2006 02:59 PM ) –

    The distinction between “sophisticated” design and “intelligent” design is an important one.

    I think that the name “intelligent design” is ill-chosen because of two reasons: (1) the word “design” implies the existence of a supernatural “designer” and (2) a lot of the “design” is obviously unintelligent — for example, because of poor design, there are many parts of the body that are prone to injury and that heal slowly or not at all. The connotations of the words “intelligent” and “design” expose ID to attack on philosophical — as opposed to scientific — grounds.

  61. #61 Larry Fafarman
    July 23, 2006

    (http:// prefixes have been removed from the URL links to prevent the comment from hanging up on the comment moderation feature)

    Whatever said { July 23, 2006 01:00 PM ) –

    Larry Fafarman writes: “BTW, I never heard the term “quote mining” before I started studying the evolution controversy.”

    That comment deserves highlighting… Larry must be a pretty young pup. I heard the term before I was ten.

    The Wikipedia article on “quote mining” discusses the term almost entirely in regard to the evolution controversy. Wikipedia says, “The term is particularly used by scientists to denounce proponents of creationism, because creationists present long lists of quotes by scientists allegedly acknowledging their criticisms.” So I think that there is a good possibility that people who have not closely followed the evolution controversy have not heard the term. Anti-Darwinists have raised quote mining to an art form — they have published whole books containing nothing but quote mines. See im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/quote-mining.html

    Caledonian said ( July 23, 2006 01:23 PM ) –

    Let’s use again the example of redundant ignition systems in aircraft. This redundancy enhances the survivability of individual aircraft, but does it really enhance the survivability of aircraft as a species?

    Aircraft are not self-replicating organisms. They cannot be a ‘species’. That question is extremely stupid.

    Aircraft are replaced by production instead of reproduction. Big deal.

    In an article in Natural History magazine, Michael Behe and Kenneth Miller debate irreducible complexity in terms of a mousetrap — see http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/nhmag.html Issues sometimes become clearer when discussed in terms of analogies.

    Jon Fleming said ( July 23, 2006 09:27 AM ) –

    <

    Stevie steve was banned from Uncommon Descent? His comment on UD is right here —
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1343#comment-48945

    True, but the fifth comment below that is:

    Stevie Steve is no longer with us. -WmAD
    Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I noticed that too and was going to post a correction, but you beat me to it.

    I was also surprised that DaveScot said that UD uses IP-address banning — DaveScot of all people certainly knows the disadvantages of IP-address banning — one of the problems is that some people can be banned unintentionally because of the sharing of IP addresses.

    There are ways of getting around bans, but the problem is that ideas as well as people are banned. Using anonymous proxies, I posted on Panda’s Thumb for several months after I was banned there, but finally gave up. The uniformity of opinions posted on Panda’s Thumb and Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars is the result of intolerance of differences of opinion.

    Stevie Steve’s comment on UD, “Did any ID theorists predict this discovery?”, sounds innocuous, but it can be interpreted as a taunt. It is like saying, “hey, we thought you ID folks were supposed to have crystal balls. Har, har.”

    trrll said ( July 23, 2006 02:59 PM ) –

    The distinction between “sophisticated” design and “intelligent” design is an important one.

    I think that the name “intelligent design” is ill-chosen because of two reasons: (1) the word “design” implies the existence of a supernatural “designer” and (2) a lot of the “design” is obviously unintelligent — for example, because of poor design, there are many parts of the body that are prone to injury and that heal slowly or not at all. The connotations of the words “intelligent” and “design” expose ID to attack on philosophical — as opposed to scientific — grounds.

  62. #62 steve s
    July 23, 2006

    Jason, the troll you’re infected with here is one of the very few people banned from PandasThumb. He’s a deranged nut.

  63. #63 Bruce Thompson
    July 23, 2006

    Oh you mean Larry, not Michelle Troll. Troll warnings never work, anyway they entertain small children.

  64. #64 sparc
    July 24, 2006

    You are trapped again. This thread drifted away from the paper`s content to semantics. I guess one of the reasons that ID is still alive is due to the usage of terms by Dembski et al. E.g., design implies intelligence anyway and even stupid or bad design require intelligence. Thus intelligent design is just a pleonasm. It does not make sense to discuss if there is a difference between sophisticated and intelligent design if ID propnents mean mere creation.

  65. #65 KFNYC
    July 24, 2006

    “I was completely banned from Panda’s Thumb and Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars for the same kind of reason. ”

    Yes La La Larry….you were banned (if you were) because you NEVER answer the question. You always go on and on and rarely are the least bit funny except in a sad way and you never make any sense in a logical way and your self-replicating production line of planes is so far from even a fair picture of what happens with bi0ology I wonder if you are not a mutant-gene human/silicon chip hybrid trying to take over all evolution blogs on the internet..!

    Aircraft can be thought of as species of viruses infecting human populations. Posted by: Bruce Thompson | July 23, 2006 02:46 PM

    I always thougt that corn was the MOST sucessfull organic life form….having millions of human slaves toiling to produce ever more and more corn…taking over more and more land mass and taking over all aspects of human activity.

  66. #66 Larry Fafarman
    July 24, 2006

    trrll said ( July 23, 2006 02:59 PM ) –

    No biologist would deny that living organisms exhibit sophisticated design. There is a huge body of evidence demonstrating that evolutionary mechanisms (and genetic algorithms in general) are capable of producing sophisticated designs. The distinction between “sophisticated” design and “intelligent” design is an important one.

    – AND –

    sparc said ( July 24, 2006 12:30 AM ) –

    This thread drifted away from the paper`s content to semantics …… design implies intelligence anyway and even stupid or bad design require intelligence. Thus intelligent design is just a pleonasm. It does not make sense to discuss if there is a difference between sophisticated and intelligent design if ID propnents mean mere creation.

    Regarding the statement that “this thread drifted away from the paper’s content to semantics”: I think that “semantics” are important here because Dembski highlighted the phrase “sophisticated design principles” in the quote of the paper’s abstract. If the abstract had used the phrase “intelligent design principles” instead, I don’t think that there would be any disagreement about Dembski’s interpretation of the phrase because we all understand what “intelligent design” means. It appears that the problem here is that Darwinists tend to use the word “design” very loosely — here is what Michael Behe said about their use of the word:

    (19) This inference to design based upon the appearance of a “purposeful arrangement of parts” is a completely subjective proposition, determined in the eye of each beholder and hls/her viewpoint concerning the complexity of the system.[from the Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion]

    The court implies that apprehending design is akin to judging if a piece of artwork is attractive — a matter of personal taste. Yet Darwin’s theory is widely touted as explaining the strong appearance of design in biology; if such appearance is just a “completely subjective proposition,” what is Darwin’s theory explaining? The Court neglects to mention that the “completely subjective” appearance of design is — in the view of adamantly Darwinian evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins — “overwhelming.” I testified to that, to Dawkins’ proclamation that “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose,” and to other similar statements. I showed the Court a special issue of the journal Cell on “Macromolecular Machines” which contained articles with titles such as “Mechanical Devices of the Spliceosome: Motors, Clocks, Springs, and Things.” If strong opponents and proponents of design both agree that biology appears designed, then the appearance should not be designated by Judge Jones as subjective.

    – from “Whether Intelligent Design is Science — A Response to the Opinion of the Court in Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District,” by Michael Behe, page 10 http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=697

    So I think that the term “intelligent” at least serves the useful purpose of distinguishing the beliefs of the ID’ers from the beliefs of the Darwinists in regard to the term “design.”

    Also, there is the question of what the term “design” covers — does it cover only systems that appear to be designed because of their great complexity, or can it also cover, say, very simple co-dependent inter-species relationships that supposedly arose from co-evolution? The Darwinists want the term “ID” to cover all criticisms of Darwinism because ID and irreducible complexity were the only concepts that were condemned by name in the Kitzmiller opinion.

    As for the content of the paper, all Dembski says about that in his opening post is, “Note that some important principles of evolutionary theory are criticized in the abstract. This research shows how ID is capable of being applied in biology.” So Dembski appears to be saying that any argument against evolution theory is an argument in support of ID — I think that is just “contrived dualism.”

    KFNYC said ( July 24, 2006 01:03 AM ) –

    “I was completely banned from Panda’s Thumb and Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars for the same kind of reason.”

    ….you were banned (if you were) because you NEVER answer the question.

    Kentucky Fried New York Chicken —

    Yes, I was banned from those blogs. And since when is never answering a question a banning offense? You are admitting that I was unjustly banned from those two blogs.

    Also, I don’t dodge questions — the Darwinists dodge questions.

    steve s said ( July 23, 2006 08:37 PM ) —

    Jason, the troll you’re infected with here is one of the very few people banned from PandasThumb. He’s a deranged nut.

    Being called a “deranged nut” by you is a compliment.

  67. #67 RealityBytes
    July 24, 2006

    Yes, I was banned from those blogs. And since when is never answering a question a banning offense? You are admitting that I was unjustly banned from those two blogs.

    Also, I don’t dodge questions — the Darwinists dodge questions.

    You are still disconnected from reality. You were banned for breaking the rules. Why do you think rules don’t apply to you? Also, since you think banning is so wrong, why did you violate your no-ban policy on your own blog?

    You dodge almost all questions. Everyone can see you for the fraud that you are.

  68. #68 RealityBytes
    July 24, 2006

    Oops. In my previous post, I should have italicized:
    Also, I don’t dodge questions — the Darwinists dodge questions.
    to indicate that it was Larry’s statement, not mine.

  69. #69 shiva
    July 24, 2006

    Larry,

    Behe’s response to the Kitzmiller decision matters squat as long as it is in a valueless forum such as the disclaimery “institute’s” Behe’s arguments were taken apart nuts, bolts and all in Court and his already paper thin veneer of credibility is now in shreds. Quite obviously when a credentialled scientist dismisses the statements of scientific bodies and his own colleagues’ anyone of reasonable intelligence will conclude that the ‘dismisser’ is non-serious or a charlatan.

  70. #70 Darth Robo
    July 24, 2006

    But is there no way to let Larry back on PT via the “unwittingly funny clause”? Pleeeeeeease? I miss him!
    :)

  71. #71 Dave S.
    July 24, 2006

    A few scattered comments so far…

    Jason:

    So, even in the shadow world of ID fanatics, how could this paper be construed as helpful to the cause?

    Because the author used the word “design”, and any mention of the word design as it relates to biology in any way as far as Dembski and Co. is concerned is enough to chalk it up to supporting their particular notions of Intelligent Design. Really, that’s all they need.

    Reed Cartwright:

    Wow, I can’t believe that Dembski banned “stevie steve” for asking the simple question “Did any ID theorists predict this discovery?” Damn, Billie, sure hates to answer those “hard” questions.

    For some odd reason, as soon as you declare yourself an Intelligent Design theorist (or whatever they call themselves), you immediately lose the ability to do any scientific research using this powerful scientific tool that has nothing to do with religion and I don’t understand how you could possibly think otherwise. Turns out all the ID research is being done by people who didn’t even realize they were ID theorists.

    N.Wells:

    Actually, this practice needs a name, as it is sort of like quote mining but on a whole different level. Publication piracy, perhaps?

    Paracite (pronounced as parasite: short for ‘parisitic citation’)?

    ‘Pubjacking’ is good too.

    Larry:

    Also, this paper is too high-falutin for my tastes, e.g., the paper says, “many such backed-up genes were shown to be transcriptionally responsive to the intactness of their redundant partner and are up-regulated if the latter is mutationally inactivated.”

    Yeah, don’t these people know that biology is nothing more than philosophizing that anyone can do? How dare they use like … data and biological principles and big scientific-y sounding words.

    Anyway, all Dembski has shown is that the authors perhaps support the idea of ID, but ID’s level of support among scientists should be determined by formal opinion polls and not by quote mining scientific papers, and there have been far too few formal polls of scientists’ opinions on evolution and ID.

    Nonsense. Whether ID has merit or not depends on the evidence, not whether it scores on some poll, and the evidence is abundently clear that ID is totally empty. Not only does it have no scientific merit, it has no merit of any kind as far as understanding nature is concerned.

    But if you like formal statements of repudiation, then I can supply the position statements of many scientific organizations that say the same.

    It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.

    I would wager that that would be impossible.

    Fortunately, the advance of science doesn’t depend on convincing the closed-minded.

    Robert C:

    Is this an ID article?

    That’s a trick Von Danikin used in the 70′s…Chariots of the Gods? When he got busted as a total fraud, he’d just refer to the question mark and pretend he was just asking a question and not making any claims.

    Larry:

    Let’s use again the example of redundant ignition systems in aircraft. This redundancy enhances the survivability of individual aircraft, but does it really enhance the survivability of aircraft as a species?

    Come back to reality Larry. Airplanes are not organisms, they do not produce offspring as imperfect self-replicators, and so not survive as a species. I know you think this is trivial, but it’s really the difference between something which is alive and evolves in time, and something which isn’t and doesn’t.

    The Darwinists want the term “ID” to cover all criticisms of Darwinism because ID and irreducible complexity were the only concepts that were condemned by name in the Kitzmiller opinion.

    Endosymbiosis is a scientific criticism of “Darwinism”, and it’s not ID. Lateral gene transfer is not ID. Neutral drift is not ID. Sexual selection is not ID. Non-Darwinian theories of speciation are not ID.

    However, your ideas on co-evolution are ID, ironically enough.

  72. #72 Adam Ierymenko
    July 24, 2006

    Larry Fafarman wrote:

    “The paper said, “In this respect, we suggest that compensation for gene loss is merely a side effect of sophisticated design principles using functional redundancy.” You never explained why something that is supposed to be natural and random was referred to as “sophisticated design principles” — not just ordinary design principles but “sophisticated” design principles. The paper repeats the d-word in the statement, “we suggest the existence of regulatory designs that exploit redundancy to achieve functionalities such as control of noise in gene expression or extreme flexibility in gene regulation.””

    Physicists speak of gases as “wanting” to expand, or energy as “wanting” to be dissipated. Gases and energy do not want anything.

    Computer scientists talk about programs “saying X” or “deciding Y.” Programs do not in fact “say” things and do not “decide” in a human sense. They are instruction sets for deterministic machines.

    Those who study animal behavior frequently project more human-like characteristics onto animals than they probably have. I have heard people speak of insects as being “upset,” etc. Insects probably don’t get upset in any human sense.

    … and yes, we evolutionary biologists and such frequently speak of evolved things as being “designed.” I have worked a lot with evolutionary computation, and I have seen evolutionary computation systems produce “sophisticated designs,” “convoluted designs,” “efficient designs,” etc. many times. In fact, these things are the product of a natural process and were not designed in the human engineering sense of the word.

    It’s called anthropomorphization (whew) and projection. Almost everyone does it, even in formal scientific papers. Sometimes it’s done because there just isn’t adequate vocabulary otherwise, or because the perfectly accurate vocabulary is more verbose and harder to parse. Everyone knows what it really means, except apparently members of the peanut gallery who quote mine to push silly ideas.

    Once again, what exactly in this paper contradicts evolutionary theory? It appears to add a very useful and interesting observation to evolutionary theory and perhaps modify our understanding of it a bit. That’s quite normal for a scientific theory, which is always a work in progress.

  73. #73 Adam Ierymenko
    July 24, 2006

    Larry Fafarman wrote:

    “There is a tropical orchid with flowers that look and smell like females of a certain species of wasp. Males of this species emerge a week before the females. A male who smells a flower of this orchid, think it?s a female wasp, gets closer and the flower looks like a female, lands on it and it feels like a female, tries to copulate, gives up in frustration, and goes on to the next thing that smells like a female, and ends up transferring pollen.

    – from http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio303/coevolution.htm

    It is going to be hard to convince me that that relationship arose just by chance.”

    That’s because it didn’t. It arose as a result of evolutionary processes such as natural selection and sexual recombination that are quite nonrandom and highly structured.

    Chance variation is one of the inputs to this process.

  74. #74 Albion
    July 24, 2006

    This seems to be a dangerous tactic that they’re resorting to. All that needs to happen is for someone to contact the authors of papers which IDists claim support ID because of some bits of wording or other, and for the authors of the papers to see what the IDists are doing, and there’s going to be quite a little posse of statements from scientists confirming that the IDists are talking nonsense. It looks as though the authors of this paper have already been contacted, and it’ll be interesting to see what they say.

    As more and more scientists are inadvertently dragged into this mess by the IDists claiming that their work says things it doesn’t say, hopefully they’ll start realising what some of this ID stuff is really about. Then when their local school boards start with the “teach the controversy” stuff, they’ll be prepared.

  75. #75 fnxtr
    July 24, 2006

    Just wondering if George Carlin has added “ID Research” to his list of jumbo-shrimp oxymorons yet.

  76. #76 Larry Fatarman
    July 24, 2006

    shiva said ( July 24, 2006 09:38 AM ) –

    Behe’s response to the Kitzmiller decision matters squat as long as it is in a valueless forum such as the disclaimery “institute’s” Behe’s arguments were taken apart nuts, bolts and all in Court and his already paper thin veneer of credibility is now in shreds.

    It is Judge Jones whose arguments have been “taken apart nuts, bolts and all” and whose credibility “is now in shreds.” I invite you to come to my blog (just click on my name at the bottom of this comment) and enter “Jones” in the search window in the top border and see all the anti-Jones articles that come up. His commencement speech’s statement about the “true religion” of the founding fathers really takes the cake.

    Anyway, all Dembski has shown is that the authors perhaps support the idea of ID, but ID’s level of support among scientists should be determined by formal opinion polls and not by quote mining scientific papers, and there have been far too few formal polls of scientists’ opinions on evolution and ID.

    Nonsense. Whether ID has merit or not depends on the evidence, not whether it scores on some poll,

    Great importance is attached to the acceptance level of scientific ideas in the scientific community at large. Frye v. United States (1923) established that “general acceptance” in the scientific community was a requirement for the admissibility of scientific ideas in federal courts, but the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993) struck down that requirement as inconsistent with new federal rules of evidence. In the Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion, Judge Jones claimed that ID has been rejected by the scientific community at large, though he shows no poll figures to back up that claim. The advantages of formal polls of scientists’ opinions about evolution and ID are (1) the poll results give statistically accurate percentages that cannot be obtained in any other way and (2) the polls are anonymous and hence the scientists are not subject to peer pressure when responding.

    Endosymbiosis is a scientific criticism of “Darwinism”, and it’s not ID. Lateral gene transfer is not ID. Neutral drift is not ID. Sexual selection is not ID. Non-Darwinian theories of speciation are not ID. However, your ideas on co-evolution are ID, ironically enough.

    Depending on personal opinion and how ID is defined, ID can include practically anything. For example, The Discovery Institute defines ID in the following way: “The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” (Question #1 at http://www.discovery.org/csc/topQuestions.php#questionsAboutIntelligentDesign ). System complexity is added to some definitions. To me, the issue should not be whether or not something appears to be best explained by an intelligent clause, but should be the likelihood that something evolved by means of what we now consider to be natural causes.

    Adam Ierymenko said ( July 24, 2006 10:46 AM ) –

    … and yes, we evolutionary biologists and such frequently speak of evolved things as being “designed.” …… It’s called anthropomorphization (whew) and projection. Almost everyone does it, even in formal scientific papers.

    OK, I’ve already agreed that Dembski made too big a deal out of the phrase “sophisticated design principles” in the paper. The authors were probably just using poetic license to spice up an otherwise dull paper.

    RealityBytes said ( July 24, 2006 08:35 AM ) –

    since you think banning is so wrong, why did you violate your no-ban policy on your own blog?

    The only act of censorship I committed on my blog was the deletion of a comment that impersonated me and misrepresented my views. If you think that I acted unreasonably, that is your problem.

    RealityBytes said –

    You dodge almost all questions. Everyone can see you for the fraud that you are.

    You are just criticizing me for the sake of criticizing me. Your criticisms have no basis in reality.

  77. #77 Bruce Thompson
    July 24, 2006

    Mister DNA suggests ‘Pubjacking’

    for the ID practice of misrepresenting mainstream evolutionary research articles as ID research .

    During pubjacking yelps of joy are heard which ends in an orgasm of citations and a feeling of well being followed by a desire to sleep. Experiments have correlated release of certain neurotransmitters during pubjacking which may explain the desire to sleep. Review articles are rare and the more figures in the publication the better.

    Pubjacking is a poor substitution for the real thing but for some it is the only form of release.

  78. #78 Darth Robo
    July 24, 2006

    Larry said:

    “Judge Jones claimed that ID has been rejected by the scientific community at large, though he shows no poll figures to back up that claim.”

    So you’re saying a Judge should make responsible rulings that go along with opinion polls? Hey, maybe he did. Maybe somebody told him about project Steve Steve.

    “To me, the issue should not be whether or not something appears to be best explained by an intelligent clause, ”

    So you mean an intelligent “clause” should NOT be implied by the term “INTELLIGENT DESIGN”?

    “, but should be the likelihood that something evolved by means of what we now consider to be natural causes.”

    Then all ID should be about arguments against evolution. Right. No tired old debunked creationism arguments involved there at all. Okay. DOH!

    “It is Judge Jones whose arguments have been “taken apart nuts, bolts and all” and whose credibility “is now in shreds.” ”

    “Your criticisms have no basis in reality.”

    C’mon, guys. Admit it. Larry’s funny.

  79. #79 Davis
    July 24, 2006

    Okay, I usually just lurk in this kind of thread, but I have to ask…

    Do y’all keep responding to Larry just to maintain his flow of absurd hilarity? Keeping him ‘regular,’ as it were?

  80. #80 sparc
    July 25, 2006

    Larry:

    “OK, I’ve already agreed that Dembski made too big a deal out of the phrase “sophisticated design principles” in the paper.”

    In all fairness, “making too big a deal” is quite euphemistic. Dembski stated:

    “Here is an ID research paper published in PNAS. Note that some important principles of evolutionary theory are criticized in the abstract. This research shows how ID is capable of being applied in biology.”

    He is not saying that the paper contains some hints for sophisticated or whatever design but that this is an ID research paper. Thus, a unprepossessed reader gets the impression that Dembski and his acolytes have finally made it into one of the bigger journals. In addition, his statement in the last sentence evokes the impression that the described work is actually based on ID ideas (I refuse to use the terms theory or hypothesis here).

    The only way to describe the issue is that Dembski lied.

  81. #81 Larry Fafarman
    July 25, 2006

    (I have removed the http:// prefixes from the URL links to prevent these links from causing the comment to hang up on the comment moderation feature)

    Darth Robo said ( July 24, 2006 09:13 PM ) –

    “Judge Jones claimed that ID has been rejected by the scientific community at large, though he shows no poll figures to back up that claim.”

    So you’re saying a Judge should make responsible rulings that go along with opinion polls?

    No, I am not saying that. What I am saying, though, is that when a judge supports a ruling with a finding concerning the prevalence of an opinion in a particular group, that judge should be able to back up that finding with solid evidence, and the best evidence by far is a formal opinion poll. Letter-signing projects are not good evidence. Judge Jones provided no evidence at all. Also, as I already pointed out in this thread, Frye v. United States (1923) established that “general acceptance” in the scientific community was a requirement for the admissibility of scientific ideas in federal courts, but the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (1993) struck down that requirement as inconsistent with new federal rules of evidence.

    Also, contrary to common belief, public opinion can be a very important factor in establishment clause cases — it can be important to determine whether or not the public generally perceives a government action to be an endorsement of religion. Sometimes the imagined viewpoint of an “objectlve” or “reasonable” observer is used instead of or in addition to actual measurements or indicators of public opinion. The Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion gauged public opinion about the school board’s ID rule by counting editorials and letters to the editor in local newspapers (pages 58-63 of the opinion). Judge Jones’ counts of the editorials and letters were made on the basis of whether or not they mentioned religion, so an editorial or letter asserting that ID is not an endorsement of religion counted the same as one asserting that ID is an endorsement of religion. A less meaningful way of gauging public opinion on this issue could scarcely be imagined. The Dover opinion presented very little precedent for this public-opinion polling method of counting editorials and letters to the editor (page 62 of the opinion). The Kitzmiller opinion is at media.ljworld.com/pdf/2005/12/20/kitzmiller_342.pdf

    So you mean an intelligent “clause” should NOT be implied by the term “INTELLIGENT DESIGN”?

    You must be pretty desperate if you are reduced to making fun of an obvious typo. As a courtesy, I generally ignore the typos of others — we all make them.

    As to your question, I have never liked the name “intelligent design” because it implies the existence of a supernatural designer — I wish that they had stuck to names like irreducible complexity.

    Then all ID should be about arguments against evolution. Right. No tired old debunked creationism arguments involved there at all.

    One of the problems with you Darwinists is that you think that once you think that you have “debunked” an argument (and usually you have not), that argument always remains “debunked” forever. Old “debunked” ideas often need to be reconsidered because of new evidence and/or new arguments — for example, recent discoveries in biochemistry and microbiology have raised new questions about irreducible complexity.

    Also, another issue here is how ID is defined or should be defined.

    “It is Judge Jones whose arguments have been “taken apart nuts, bolts and all” and whose credibility “is now in shreds.” “

    That is an accurate statement — I invite you to visit “More buffoonery from Judge Jones” on my blog, at im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/07/more-buffoonery-from-judge-jones.html

    This article lists 8 other anti-Jones articles on my blog — and I don’t even go into criticism of Judge Jones’ rulings on whether ID is science! Those rulings are criticized in the Discovery Institute’s book “Traipsing Into Evolution” and in Michael Behe’s article at http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=697

    sparc said ( July 25, 2006 12:55 AM ) –

    Larry:

    “OK, I’ve already agreed that Dembski made too big a deal out of the phrase “sophisticated design principles” in the paper.”

    In all fairness, “making too big a deal” is quite euphemistic. Dembski stated:

    “Here is an ID research paper published in PNAS. Note that some important principles of evolutionary theory are criticized in the abstract. This research shows how ID is capable of being applied in biology.”

    He is not saying that the paper contains some hints for sophisticated or whatever design but that this is an ID research paper.

    My above statement was only a response to a comment about Dembski’s interpretation of the phrase “sophisticated design principles.”

    Davis said ( July 24, 2006 09:45 PM ) –

    Okay, I usually just lurk in this kind of thread, but I have to ask…

    Do y’all keep responding to Larry just to maintain his flow of absurd hilarity? Keeping him ‘regular,’ as it were?

    You Darwinist lurkers never say anything intelligent when you do make a comment.

  82. #82 demallien
    July 25, 2006

    “What I am saying, though, is that when a judge supports a ruling with a finding concerning the prevalence of an opinion in a particular group, that judge should be able to back up that finding with solid evidence,”

    Have you actually read the trial transcripts Larry? You may notice that the prosecution(?) is banging on all of the time about the lack of ID papers accepted into scientific peer review papers. he even goes to the trouble of expaunding how these papers are a good indicator of the views held by the scientific community at large.

    It’s not for the judge to introduce evidence. If the defense had evidence of widespread acceptance of ID by the scientific community, they should have (and would have) introduced it, as this was the core issue of the trial. In the absence of such evidence, and with the positive evidence against ID acceptance provided through the proxy of scientific peer review journals, Judge Jones had no choice other than to accept that ID has completely failed to gain scientific acceptance.

    Truth hurts….

  83. #83 demallien
    July 25, 2006

    “C’mon, guys. Admit it. Larry’s funny.”

    Of course he is. I assume that’s why everyone keeps replying to him, to keep the laughs going :-) He wouldn’t be worth the expenditure of joules to type a response otherwise!

  84. #84 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    Larry says:

    It is Judge Jones whose arguments have been “taken apart nuts, bolts and all” and whose credibility “is now in shreds.”

    The poster was right Larry. Behe’s credibility, what there is of it, was shredded at Dover. Dembski (and the others) was wise to bail on that one, as he would have been shredded far worse. As for your credility, that’s non-existant Larry. You’ve pulverized the ashes of your credibility long ago. Your statements here are mere bluster.

    Depending on personal opinion and how ID is defined, ID can include practically anything.

    Which only serves to underline it’s general uselessness.

    In the Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion, Judge Jones claimed that ID has been rejected by the scientific community at large, though he shows no poll figures to back up that claim.

    Is that a claim in doubt Larry? I think even ID advocates admit that ID is not accepted by the scientific community at large.

    The advantages of formal polls of scientists’ opinions about evolution and ID are (1) the poll results give statistically accurate percentages that cannot be obtained in any other way and (2) the polls are anonymous and hence the scientists are not subject to peer pressure when responding.

    Don’t need a poll. We have many scientific organizations speaking for many scientists, and many individual scientists who all agree ID is total crap. The fact that there have no new discoveries about nature using ID, and that even the staunchest ID advocates don’t actually use it (the best they have is pubjacking the works of others using evolution and other ordinary non-ID scientific means and distorting that) for anything speaks to that too.

    If you think scientists worry what other scientists will think, then you really are in la-la koo-koo land. Besides, you can get whatever answer you want in a poll, depending on the question. Look at that stupid question all those doctors signed and the DI put out. Anyone could sign that. Even Dawkins.

    To me, the issue should not be whether or not something appears to be best explained by an intelligent clause, but should be the likelihood that something evolved by means of what we now consider to be natural causes.

    Likelihood based on what? So far it looks like it’s based on your ability to believe it could happen as you understand it. That’s a very very poor way to do science.

    As to your question, I have never liked the name “intelligent design” because it implies the existence of a supernatural designer — I wish that they had stuck to names like irreducible complexity.

    Since ID arose out of standard creationism, there’s hardly a way that could have been avoided. And in addition, they didn’t want to avoid it. The whole point is to spark a theistic scientific movement. IC without ID is meaningless hand-waving. Even with ID, it’s still meaningless handwaving scientifically, but at least it has a theistic function.

    Old “debunked” ideas often need to be reconsidered because of new evidence and/or new arguments — for example, recent discoveries in biochemistry and microbiology have raised new questions about irreducible complexity.

    Yes, unfortunately those questions tend to reflect poorly on IC as a meaningful scientific concept. Even Behe’s own research does this, which is why he needed to salvage IC, by re-defining it. Again.

    This article lists 8 other anti-Jones articles on my blog — and I don’t even go into criticism of Judge Jones’ rulings on whether ID is science!

    That’s because you have nothing to say scientifically Larry, just as you have nothing to offer with regards to the legal questions.

  85. #85 RealityBytes
    July 25, 2006

    Of course he is. I assume that’s why everyone keeps replying to him, to keep the laughs going :-) He wouldn’t be worth the expenditure of joules to type a response otherwise!

    You can’t spell hilarious (hilarryous) without Larry!

  86. #86 Dr. Morgan Greenwood
    July 25, 2006

    Sir, I do believe that this is probably some of the most grotesquely awful research I have ever seen performed. The Intelligent Design Theorum, unknown to many across the country of the United States, is generally accepted as true among the countries outside of the United States. This is one area, believe it or not, that many Europeans look down upon Americans for denying. Europeans actually see Evolution as already dead, and having been dead for apparently the past 8-10 years. It is no longer accepted at all in Europe, and in many places across China and Australia. Darwinism has been accepted in Kansas, and if the trends go as they have in other countries, I suspect America will be the next strong recipient of the Intelligent Design Theorum.

    Cheers,
    Dr. Morgan Greenwood

  87. #87 Timcol
    July 25, 2006

    Sir, I do believe that this is probably some of the most grotesquely awful research I have ever seen performed. The Intelligent Design Theorum, unknown to many across the country of the United States, is generally accepted as true among the countries outside of the United States. This is one area, believe it or not, that many Europeans look down upon Americans for denying. Europeans actually see Evolution as already dead, and having been dead for apparently the past 8-10 years. It is no longer accepted at all in Europe, and in many places across China and Australia. Darwinism has been accepted in Kansas, and if the trends go as they have in other countries, I suspect America will be the next strong recipient of the Intelligent Design Theorum.
    Cheers,
    Dr. Morgan Greenwood

    I’m not a textual analytical expert, but it’s rather suspicious that the person who wrote this and misspells ‘theorem’ is similar to a “Dr” Bill Quincy at Panda’s Thumb who also, conincidentally, misspells theorem as ‘theorum’: http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/07/the_dembski_ale.html#comment-114690

    Dr. Morgan – are you related to Dr. Bill? Gosh, so many doctors who cannot spell…

  88. #88 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    You have to admit, it’s kinda hard to compete with ID as an explanatory method….

    *poof*

    …done.

  89. #89 Larry Fafarman
    July 25, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 25, 2006 09:04 AM ) –

    Larry says:
    It is Judge Jones whose arguments have been “taken apart nuts, bolts and all” and whose credibility “is now in shreds.”

    The poster was right Larry. Behe’s credibility, what there is of it, was shredded at Dover.

    Behe wrote an excellent rebuttal of the Dover opinion, which I cited.

    BTW, most of the Jones-bashing articles on my blog are based on what Jones said after he released the Dover decision. For example, in a commencement speech at Dickinson College, his alma mater, he said, ” The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.” That statement shows such great hostility towards organized religion that Jones should recuse himself from any case dealing with religion. Ironically, the Dickinson College seal designed by the two founding fathers who founded the college has a picture of an open bible and a Latin motto which means, “Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty.” His above asinine statement is put in proper perspective by the following variation: ” The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by an ayatollah or contained in a Koran, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry.” LOL This clown is a schmo from the word go. Definition of a federal judge: a lawyer who knows a senator.

    Your statements here are mere bluster.

    I’ve got facts to back up my arguments — you don’t have any facts to back up your arguments. So who is blustering?

    Depending on personal opinion and how ID is defined, ID can include practically anything.

    Which only serves to underline it’s general uselessness.

    The same is true of evolution theory, which is defined in many different ways, e.g., phyletic gradualism, punctuated equilibrium, “changes with time,” and common descent.

    I think even ID advocates admit that ID is not accepted by the scientific community at large.

    No one can be sure anymore. A recent poll of physicians showed that surprisingly high percentages of them have varying degrees of skepticism of Darwinism — see http://im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/many-physicians-skeptical-of-darwinism.html

    Don’t need a poll. We have many scientific organizations speaking for many scientists, and many individual scientists who all agree ID is total crap.

    So under the principle of majority rule, if 51% of the members of a scientific organization believe that ID should be censored, then that should be the official position of the organization, right?

    Have any of those organizations of scientists conducted anonymous polls of their members’ opinions about evolution? We need anonymous polls in order to remove the influence of peer pressure.

    If you think scientists worry what other scientists will think, then you really are in la-la koo-koo land.

    So why have secret ballots in political elections? After all, the voters don’t care what others will think.

    Besides, you can get whatever answer you want in a poll, depending on the question.

    That poll of physicians asked their opinions about evolution in three different ways — that should be enough to give a reasonable picture of their opinions about evolution.

    Look at that stupid question all those doctors signed and the DI put out.

    What “stupid question” are you talking about? All I know about from DI is a letter that was signed by professionals in scientific and technological fields, not just doctors (I presume that you mean physicians — I presume that the only physicians who signed the DI letter were professors and researchers in medicine)

    The fact that there have no new discoveries about nature using ID,

    When Thomas Edison was accused of not making progress in his efforts to develop a practical electric light, he answered, “I’ve made lots of progress — I know lots of things that won’t work.” So even if ID does not explain anything, it still can serve the useful purpose of discrediting Darwinism.

    To me, the issue should not be whether or not something appears to be best explained by an intelligent cause, but should be the likelihood that something evolved by means of what we now consider to be natural causes.

    Likelihood based on what? So far it looks like it’s based on your ability to believe it could happen as you understand it. That’s a very very poor way to do science.

    Since you don’t like the word “likelihood,” I will change the issue here — the issue should be the determination of whether or not evolution was virtually impossible.

    Since ID arose out of standard creationism, there’s hardly a way that could have been avoided. And in addition, they didn’t want to avoid it.

    Well, they want to avoid it now. For example, recent state science education standards of Kansas and Ohio expressly state that there is no requirement to teach ID. Now the goal is just to “teach the controversy.”

    Old “debunked” ideas often need to be reconsidered because of new evidence and/or new arguments — for example, recent discoveries in biochemistry and microbiology have raised new questions about irreducible complexity.

    Yes, unfortunately those questions tend to reflect poorly on IC as a meaningful scientific concept. Even Behe’s own research does this, which is why he needed to salvage IC, by re-defining it. Again.

    So it is OK for evolution to be salvaged by redefining it as punctuated equilibrium instead of phyletic gradualism, but it is not OK for IC to be redefined?

    This article lists 8 other anti-Jones articles on my blog — and I don’t even go into criticism of Judge Jones’ rulings on whether ID is science!

    That’s because you have nothing to say scientifically Larry, just as you have nothing to offer with regards to the legal questions.

    As Judge Jones would say, the inanity of that remark is breathtaking.

  90. #90 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    Larry:

    Behe wrote an excellent rebuttal of the Dover opinion, which I cited.

    Really? Excellent in what way Larry? Tell us, in your own words, exactly what was so excellent about that article.

    BTW, most of the Jones-bashing articles on my blog are based on what Jones said after he released the Dover decision. For example…

    Whoa Larry, you’ve mistaken me for someone who gives a rat’s ass about your rantings against Judge Jones.

    I’ve got facts to back up my arguments –

    If you have the facts to back up your arguments, then I congratulate you, as you are doing a terrific job of hiding them.

    The same is true of evolution theory, which is defined in many different ways, e.g., phyletic gradualism, punctuated equilibrium, “changes with time,” and common descent.

    Larry, you need to hurry and get yourself a book, as you’re confusing the definition of evolution with various theories of evolution.

    No one can be sure anymore. A recent poll of physicians…

    Are you saying that ID is accepted Larry? Yes or no will do. If you say yes, then show me one paper using ID theory to find something new.

    …showed that surprisingly high percentages of them have varying degrees of skepticism of Darwinism

    They are skeptical of something….something which I am skeptical of too. Although I accept evolution as the only scientific explanation for the development of life.

    How can that be Larry? How can I agree with this declaration (at least in part, I still don’t know what “claims” they refer too) and yet accept evolution at the same time?

    So under the principle of majority rule, if 51% of the members of a scientific organization believe that ID should be censored, then that should be the official position of the organization, right?

    Who said ID should be censored? Let the ID morons at the Discovery Institute continue to ‘philosophize’ as they like and continue to send out their press releases. The world needs laughter.

    Have any of those organizations of scientists conducted anonymous polls of their members’ opinions about evolution? We need anonymous polls in order to remove the influence of peer pressure.

    Yes Larry, there are really thousands of scientists out there who are totally impressed with the absolute lack of scientific support for ID, that they are flocking to it. Or would, if only others would do it first.

    What would the poll question be Larry?

    So why have secret ballots in political elections? After all, the voters don’t care what others will think.

    Voters are free to say who they voted for Larry.

    That poll of physicians asked their opinions about evolution in three different ways — that should be enough to give a reasonable picture of their opinions about evolution.

    Who cares what physicians think? Only the few that do primary research, and only a fraction of those, know much at all about evolutionary theory beyond what the average layman knows.

    What “stupid question” are you talking about? All I know about from DI is a letter that was signed by professionals in scientific and technological fields, not just doctors (I presume that you mean physicians — I presume that the only physicians who signed the DI letter were professors and researchers in medicine)

    The two letters said almost the same thing. And the “stupid” question is the one about mutation and selection as being solely responsible for the complexity of life. I agree with that Larry. I’m skeptical of that too. But I’m still all evolutionist.

    When Thomas Edison was accused of not making progress in his efforts to develop a practical electric light, he answered, “I’ve made lots of progress — I know lots of things that won’t work.” So even if ID does not explain anything, it still can serve the useful purpose of discrediting Darwinism.

    And they’re doing a hell of a job at that Larry *L*. And Edison actually did discover things eventually. ID will never do so, since it has no theory from which to make any testable hypothesis.

    Since you don’t like the word “likelihood,” I will change the issue here — the issue should be the determination of whether or not evolution was virtually impossible.

    You’ve simply shifted the goalposts and still have left them where you get to decide was is or isn’t possible based on what you think evolution says (since you’ve given no objective standard). Sorry Larry, we don’t need you to tell us what is good science or isn’t.

    Well, they want to avoid it now. For example, recent state science education standards of Kansas and Ohio expressly state that there is no requirement to teach ID. Now the goal is just to “teach the controversy.”

    No Larry, that’s just yet another change in the terminology to avoid legal problems. It’s meant to avoid the stench they left behind in Dover and other ID setbacks, by trying to distance the policy itself from the term “intelligent design”. The “controversy” they want taught are still the exact same arguments, just with the label “intelligent design” torn off.

    So it is OK for evolution to be salvaged by redefining it as punctuated equilibrium instead of phyletic gradualism, but it is not OK for IC to be redefined?

    Those are not re-definitions. Please read a book Larry.

    As Judge Jones would say, the inanity of that remark is breathtaking.

    I think only you would say so Larry.

    But let’s end with a note of agreement on something. On the opening page of ScienceBlogs there is a photo of an astronaut. This month, back in 1969, men first landed on the Moon thanks to the Apollo program. I think we both agree that was a fantastic technical achievement.

    Right?

  91. #91 Dave S.
    July 25, 2006

    One more thing … (as Columbo would say)

    Judge Jones was right about the Founders. They (or rather the main guys anyway…Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Washington, Hamilton, a few others) were what Gregg Frazer would call “theistic rationalists”. They believed in God, but also believed they could know God and his works through reason and rejected revealed truths. Larry, you are as skilled in history as you are in law or evolution.

  92. #92 Michael "Sotek" Ralston
    July 25, 2006

    I notice Larry has abandoned defending his lies about coevolution.

  93. #93 Larry Fafarman
    July 25, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 25, 2006 06:24 PM ) –

    Judge Jones was right about the Founders. They (or rather the main guys anyway…Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Washington, Hamilton, a few others) were what Gregg Frazer would call “theistic rationalists”. They believed in God, but also believed they could know God and his works through reason and rejected revealed truths.

    In your previous post, you said, “Whoa Larry, you’ve mistaken me for someone who gives a rat’s ass about your rantings against Judge Jones.” So you changed your mind.

    You and Judge Jones are full of crap about the religious beliefs of the founding fathers — see “Judge Jones wrong about Founding Fathers’ ‘true religion’ “ and
    “Judge Jones flunks history and philosophy as well as law and science”.

    Anyway, it is nice to study the thoughts of the founding fathers, but there is no reason why we should try to follow everything that they thought, even if their thoughts were uniform and could be determined. Judge Jones was just using this founding fathers crap to try to justify his asinine Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion. He only made a fool of himself.

  94. #94 Larry Fafarman
    July 25, 2006

    (http:// prefixes dropped from URL links to prevent comment from hanging up on comment moderation feature)

    Dave S. said ( July 25, 2006 06:24 PM ) –

    Judge Jones was right about the Founders. They (or rather the main guys anyway…Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Washington, Hamilton, a few others) were what Gregg Frazer would call “theistic rationalists”. They believed in God, but also believed they could know God and his works through reason and rejected revealed truths.

    In your previous post, you said, “Whoa Larry, you’ve mistaken me for someone who gives a rat’s ass about your rantings against Judge Jones.” So you changed your mind.

    You and Judge Jones are full of crap about the religious beliefs of the founding fathers — see

    “Judge Jones wrong about Founding Fathers’ ‘true religion’ ” at
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/07/judge-jones-wrong-about-founding.html

    – and –

    “Judge Jones flunks history and philosophy as well as law and science” at
    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/judge-jones-flunks-history-and.html

    Anyway, it is nice to study the thoughts of the founding fathers, but there is no reason why we should try to follow everything that they thought, even if their thoughts were uniform and could be determined. Judge Jones was just using this founding fathers crap to try to justify his asinine Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion. He only made a fool of himself.

  95. #95 Darth Robo
    July 26, 2006

    That’s right people! You can find all the evidence they never used at Dover, given to you by an expert: at Larry’s own personal blog!!!

    Please someone let this guy back at pandas! :)

    And thanks to “Dr Greenwood” for the laughs too. I’m still waiting to hear of this epiphany Europe seems to be having in regards to ID and the ‘death’ of evolution. I’m from the UK, surely that’s close enough. ;)

  96. #96 Larry Fafarman
    July 26, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 25, 2006 06:03 PM ) –

    Larry:

    Behe wrote an excellent rebuttal of the Dover opinion, which I cited.

    Really? Excellent in what way Larry? Tell us, in your own words, exactly what was so excellent about that article.

    – after you tell me, in your own words, exactly what was so excellent about Judge Jones’ Dover opinion.

    At his Senate confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts said that a judge is like an umpire — it is not his job to pitch or bat and no one ever went to a baseball game to watch the umpire. However, the megalomaniacal, publicity-seeking Judge Jones made himself into the star player of the Dover trial by writing an opinion that unnecessarily ruled on the scientific merits of ID and that made disparaging remarks about the defendants (e.g., accusing them of “breathtaking inanity”). It was Jones who became the big celebrity after the trial: he has become a hot speaker on the lecture circuit, giving perhaps a dozen speeches since the trial, and he was chosen as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

    If you have the facts to back up your arguments, then I congratulate you, as you are doing a terrific job of hiding them.

    Hiding what? I have given numerous links to references that back up my arguments.

    Larry, you need to hurry and get yourself a book, as you’re confusing the definition of evolution with various theories of evolution.

    The different theories of evolution create different definitions of evolution, e.g., evolution as defined by punctuated equilibrium is completely different from evolution as defined by phyletic gradualism.

    Are you saying that ID is accepted Larry? Yes or no will do. If you say yes, then show me one paper using ID theory to find something new.

    ID has found a lot of new stuff — the study of ID has expanded our knowledge of biology. And when ID raises doubts about Darwinism in the minds of many people, that is really accomplishing something new.

    They are skeptical of something….something which I am skeptical of too. Although I accept evolution as the only scientific explanation for the development of life.

    If you are skeptical of evolution, then why do you accept it as the only scientific explanation for the development of life?

    How can that be Larry? How can I agree with this declaration (at least in part, I still don’t know what “claims” they refer too) and yet accept evolution at the same time?

    Why are you asking me? Only you can explain that.

    Who said ID should be censored? Let the ID morons at the Discovery Institute continue to ‘philosophize’ as they like and continue to send out their press releases. The world needs laughter.

    You and other Darwinists are saying that ID should be censored — you are opposed to even the mere mention of criticism of Darwinism in public-school classrooms. And — according to you — don’t the kiddies need laughter too?

    Yes Larry, there are really thousands of scientists out there who are totally impressed with the absolute lack of scientific support for ID, that they are flocking to it. Or would, if only others would do it first.

    Peer pressure is an extremely important factor in how scientists publicly respond to questions about the evolution controversy.

    Voters are free to say who they voted for Larry.

    So what? A secret ballot means that voters who do not want to reveal how they voted do not have to.

    Who cares what physicians think?

    Who cares what the general public thinks? Yet the general public is the only group that is frequently polled about evolution.

    The two letters said almost the same thing.

    What is the second Discovery Institute letter? The only DI letter that I know of is “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” at http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/

    Sorry Larry, we don’t need you to tell us what is good science or isn’t.

    Sorry Dave, we don’t need you or Judge Jones to tell us what is good science or isn’t.

    that’s just yet another change in the terminology to avoid legal problems.

    So isn’t that the smart thing to do?

    Those are not re-definitions.

    Yes they are. Punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism are completely different. In contrast, Behe made no real change in irreducible complexity when he redefined it. His basic definition was still the same — some complex systems are unevolvable because one or more intermediate steps are unselectable.

    I think only you would say so Larry.

    Wrong. Saying that I chose one of two areas to focus on because I had nothing to say about either area is pretty darned stupid.

  97. #97 Darth Robo
    July 26, 2006

    Doubts of “Darwinism” aside, Larry, how EXACTLY has ID IMPROVED our biological knowledge? What scientific RESEARCH have they done that has helped with say, cancer or AIDS research? Have they developed any new kinds of medical treatments? If the only “improvement” is just making people doubt “Darwinism”, then what actual practical knowledge has been gained that is shown to be useful to biologists or doctors?

    “some complex systems are unevolvable because one or more intermediate steps are unselectable.”

    Well since scientists have debunked Behe’s favourite examples of the bacterial flagellum, immune system and blood clotting system, then what are some of the other complex systems that he has shown to be unevolvable?

    Systems that appear to be irreducible have been shown that they could still have evolved, for example, here:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/07/3_recent_report.html

  98. #98 Dave S.
    July 26, 2006

    Larry evades as usual:

    – after you tell me, in your own words, exactly what was so excellent about Judge Jones’ Dover opinion.

    Delighted to…but I asked first. Go ahead Larry.

    At his Senate confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts…

    Did you not read the part where I said I didn’t care about your ignorant rantings about Judge Jones?

    Hiding what? I have given numerous links to references that back up my arguments.

    You have referenced yourself doofus.

    The different theories of evolution create different definitions of evolution, e.g., evolution as defined by punctuated equilibrium is completely different from evolution as defined by phyletic gradualism.

    Nope. The theories are different, but evolution is defined the same. Please read a book Larry. I beg you.

    ID has found a lot of new stuff — the study of ID has expanded our knowledge of biology. And when ID raises doubts about Darwinism in the minds of many people, that is really accomplishing something new.

    I noticed you avoided answering whether ID is accepted by the mainstream or not, since any idiot would know it isn’t. But of course, you’re not just any idiot, and you don’t want to admit that.

    If you are skeptical of evolution, then why do you accept it as the only scientific explanation for the development of life?

    You continue to confuse the statement in the letter with evolution. Evolution is the only scientific explanation becuase their aren’t any others. If you disagree, then what other explanation is there?

    Why are you asking me? Only you can explain that.

    Because I understand that there is a difference between evolution and whatever that is in the letter taht’s doubted. You however, do not. That’s why sch statements are meaningless Larry.

    You and other Darwinists are saying that ID should be censored — you are opposed to even the mere mention of criticism of Darwinism in public-school classrooms. And — according to you — don’t the kiddies need laughter too?

    I am opposed to non-scientific religious notions (like ID) being presented in science class as genuine science.

    Peer pressure is an extremely important factor in how scientists publicly respond to questions about the evolution controversy.

    Wrong Larry. You obviously haven’t the foggiest notion of how real scientists think.

    Who cares what the general public thinks? Yet the general public is the only group that is frequently polled about evolution.

    We need to know the level of scientific understanding. Or lack of understanding as the case may be.

    What is the second Discovery Institute letter? The only DI letter that I know of is “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” at http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/

    The DI letter and the physicians letter. That makes two.

    Sorry Dave, we don’t need you or Judge Jones to tell us what is good science or isn’t.

    It’s obvious to everyone here that that is exactly what you need Larry.

    So isn’t that the smart thing to do?

    If your goal is to foist your religious notions on students by pretending its science. Doesn’t actually make it science though Larry when you drop the name but keep everything else the same.

    Yes they are. Punctuated equilibrium and phyletic gradualism are completely different. In contrast, Behe made no real change in irreducible complexity when he redefined it. His basic definition was still the same — some complex systems are unevolvable because one or more intermediate steps are unselectable.

    No Larry, different theories are not different definitions. Please read a book. Behe’s redefinitions on the other hand are exactly that, redefintions. Even you say so.

    Wrong. Saying that I chose one of two areas to focus on because I had nothing to say about either area is pretty darned stupid.

    You don’t have anything to say. Nothing but repetitive nonsense anyway.

    Judge Jones was just using this founding fathers crap to try to justify his asinine Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion. He only made a fool of himself.

    The only fool here is you Larry. Once again, your ignorance is showing.

    And you forgot to comment on this part Larry:

    But let’s end with a note of agreement on something. On the opening page of ScienceBlogs there is a photo of an astronaut. This month, back in 1969, men first landed on the Moon thanks to the Apollo program. I think we both agree that was a fantastic technical achievement.

    Right?

  99. #99 fnxtr
    July 26, 2006

    And… cue “Moon Landing Was Faked” conspiracy theorists in 3…2… 1…

  100. #100 Dave S.
    July 26, 2006

    I think you are on to something there fnxtr, but Larry would probably not want to readily admit he’s a member in yet another crackpot population of individuals.

    We’ll see. Will he agree? Disagree (maybe he thinks it did happen, but was’t that much of an achievement)? Insist the whole thing was a hoax? Or just ignore the thing altogether.

  101. #101 Darth Robo
    July 26, 2006

    Well his blog also mentioned the holocaust is also open to debate. I’m not quite sure which details he feels should be ‘debated’. But don’t forget: his “non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.”

  102. #102 Larry Fafarman
    July 26, 2006

    (http:// prefixes have been removed from the URL links to prevent the comment from hanging up on the comment moderation feature. I am not sure, but there appears to be a limit of one clickable link per comment)

    Darth Robo said ( July 26, 2006 07:11 AM ) –

    Doubts of “Darwinism” aside, Larry, how EXACTLY has ID IMPROVED our biological knowledge? What scientific RESEARCH have they done that has helped with say, cancer or AIDS research? Have they developed any new kinds of medical treatments?

    Have their been any practical applications of the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection?

    Not all scientific discoveries need to have a practical application — knowledge should be pursued just for knowledge’s sake.

    One of the benefits of ID is that it forces scientists to confront weaknesses in evolution theory — I strongly suspect that a lot of research has been spurred or inspired by ID.

    Well since scientists have debunked Behe’s favourite examples of the bacterial flagellum, immune system and blood clotting system, then what are some of the other complex systems that he has shown to be unevolvable?

    I am not persuaded that scientists have “debunked” Behe’s examples of irreducible complexity. A lot of this so-called “debunking” was done by means of the concept of “exaptation” (also called “co-option” or “co-optation” ), which is a very doubtful concept. A finding that some part of an irreducible system has some function outside the system does not prove that the system is evolvable — see http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/1276

    Systems that appear to be irreducible have been shown that they could still have evolved, for example, here: http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/07/3_recent_report.html

    The examples presented in the above Panda’s Thumb article are just changes of one kind of immune system into another kind of immune system. There was no change of one kind of system into another kind of system with a wholly different function. Behe never said that an IC system could not be modified through evolution.

    Also, even though genetic change is involved here, there does not appear to be any random mutation. In one case, the genetic changes appear to be preprogrammed: “After a B cell is activated by binding to a foreign agent, the B cell proliferates and can further diversify its antibody genes through three processes.” In another case, different genes were artificially introduced: “Vasco Barreto and colleagues from Michel Nussenzweig’s lab reported that the AID gene from zebrafish was capable of activating CSR when transfected into mouse B cells that lacked their own AID gene.” In fact, if evolution is defined as change by means of random mutation and natural selection, these examples do not even appear to be evolutionary at all — not even microevolutionary.

    One last question — how does anything that you have said here justify the censorship of criticism of Darwinism in the public schools?

  103. #103 Dave S.
    July 26, 2006

    Have their been any practical applications of the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection?

    Have there been any people who hold that notion?

    Not all scientific discoveries need to have a practical application — knowledge should be pursued just for knowledge’s sake.

    Noble words…but ID does not provide us any knowledge at all, practical or otherwise, nor does it provide us with a means to obtain such knowledge. You seem to think that attacking “Darwinism” is reason enough for its existance. I think the old style Creationism did that better.

    One of the benefits of ID is that it forces scientists to confront weaknesses in evolution theory — I strongly suspect that a lot of research has been spurred or inspired by ID.

    Unsurprisingly, your suspicions would be wrong. Even the best the ID advocates themselves can do is to take research driven by ordinary old not-ID science and try to pubjack it.

    And no. The ID advocates are frankly just too clueless about evolution to offer any cogent thought-provoking criticisms that could lead to meaningful reseach. All they have to offer is tired old repackaged creationism claims. Remember your own claims that biology is just ‘philosophizing’.

    I am not persuaded that scientists have “debunked” Behe’s examples of irreducible complexity.

    Stop the presses!

    A lot of this so-called “debunking” was done by means of the concept of “exaptation” (also called “co-option” or “co-optation” ), which is a very doubtful concept.

    Incredulity on display.

    A finding that some part of an irreducible system has some function outside the system does not prove that the system is evolvable

    But doesn’t that mean it ain’t irreducible?

    In fact, if evolution is defined as change by means of random mutation and natural selection, these examples do not even appear to be evolutionary at all — not even microevolutionary.

    If.

    One last question — how does anything that you have said here justify the censorship of criticism of Darwinism in the public schools?

    No Larry…religious notions posing as scientific ideas is what’s censored.

  104. #104 Larry Fafarman
    July 26, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 26, 2006 01:11 PM ) –

    – after you tell me, in your own words, exactly what was so excellent about Judge Jones’ Dover opinion.

    Delighted to…but I asked first. Go ahead Larry.

    I really don’t have much to add to what Behe said in the conclusion. I liked the statement, “The Court has accepted the most tendentious and shopworn excuses for Darwinism with great charity and impatiently dismissed evidence-based arguments for design.” For example, Judge Jones swallowed the doubtful concept of “exaptation” hook, line, and sinker. I strongly suspect that Jones watched the movie “Inherit the Wind” before making his decision, as he said he might. The movie portrayed Darwin doubters as a bunch of ignorant, intolerant rednecks. I think that Judge Jones’ Dover decision was partly an effort to disassociate himself from such types. I think that his founding fathers’ “true religion” crap was part of an effort to cover up his true motives. Anyway, I feel that Jones should not have ruled on the scientific merits of ID at all. Behe’s article is at http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=697

    Your turn.

    Did you not read the part where I said I didn’t care about your ignorant rantings about Judge Jones?

    And did you not read your following post where you commented on one of my “ignorant rantings” about Judge Jones? And you again asked me to rant about Judge Jones when you asked me to comment on Behe’s rebuttal of the Dover opinion. Anyway, my comments are not just directed at you, but are also directed at other readers.

    Hiding what? I have given numerous links to references that back up my arguments.
    You have referenced yourself doofus.

    Not always — and where I have referenced myself, my own reference gives links to outside sources.

    Nope. The theories are different, but evolution is defined the same.

    Then according to your standards, apples and oranges are the same.

    I noticed you avoided answering whether ID is accepted by the mainstream or not, since any idiot would know it isn’t.

    I want to see the results of a formal poll of biologists. And how big a percentage of support among biologists should be required for ID to be considered to be respectable?

    Evolution is the only scientific explanation becuase their aren’t any others. If you disagree, then what other explanation is there?

    If we don’t have an acceptable scientific explanation for something, why can’t we just admit it?

    Even the best the ID advocates themselves can do is to take research driven by ordinary old not-ID science and try to pubjack it.

    A new buzzword — “pubjacking.” LOL

    The authors of that article asked for trouble when they spoke of “sophisticated design principles.”

    A finding that some part of an irreducible system has some function outside the system does not prove that the system is evolvable

    But doesn’t that mean it ain’t irreducible?

    If, say, an essential part of a piston engine — say, a connecting rod bolt — has some function outside the engine, does that mean that the engine is not irreducible?

  105. #105 fnxtr
    July 26, 2006

    ?{W}e cannot say that because we don’t have a natural or an explanation for a certain event now, that we won’t have one in the future.? ? Michael Behe, Kitzmiller v Dover, day 11 2pm.

    Kinda torpedoes the whole “Explanatory Filter” flotilla, doesn’t it.

  106. #106 fnxtr
    July 26, 2006

    Larry, that’s as weak as the airplane analogy. You assume that organic systems were designed, just like humans have designed engines. Then you use the assumption to defend the analogy and vice versa. Tautological gibberish.

  107. #107 Larry Fafarman
    July 26, 2006

    fnxtr said ( July 26, 2006 03:21 PM ) —

    “{W}e cannot say that because we don’t have a natural or an explanation for a certain event now, that we won’t have one in the future.” Michael Behe, Kitzmiller v Dover, day 11 2pm.

    Kinda torpedoes the whole “Explanatory Filter” flotilla, doesn’t it.

    The Explanatory Filter is Dembski’s idea, not Behe’s. And what does this have to do with the Explanatory Filter?

    fnxtr said ( July 26, 2006 03:25 PM ) –

    Larry, that’s as weak as the airplane analogy. You assume that organic systems were designed, just like humans have designed engines. Then you use the assumption to defend the analogy and vice versa. Tautological gibberish.

    OK, if it is shown that part of an irreducible system has some function outside the system, what does that prove? It proves nothing. It does not prove that there was an evolutionary pathway consisting of selectable steps. Also, the part may be completely different when outside the system — for example, it is argued that jawbones became middle-ear bones.

  108. #108 Davis
    July 26, 2006

    You Darwinist lurkers never say anything intelligent when you do make a comment.

    But at least I require far, far fewer words to say nothing intelligent.

  109. #109 shiva
    July 26, 2006

    Larry fawningly quoting Behe “The Court has accepted the most tendentious and shopworn excuses for Darwinism with great charity and impatiently dismissed evidence-based arguments for design.” That’s the sound of Behe bleating before his factotums. Sorry my friend the game’s up.

    Arguments? Not a single experiment, not a single publication (and illiterate wrt 100s others published), and of course the putdown by Behe’s colleagues at Lehigh – not to miss Behe’s corny homepage with the picture of a rat-trap on it http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/faculty/behe.html – all of this must have made it a slam dunk for the plaintiffs. Evidence for design is meaningless without evidence for a designer and since the IDiots have no evidence for a designer they have no evidence for design.

    Larry,

    Also the part may be completely different when outside…

    Larry you are learning fast. Now just write this down on a slip of paper and read it five times a day so that your pace of learning quickens

    “You assume that organic systems were designed, just like humans have designed engines. Then you use the assumption to defend the analogy and vice versa. Tautological gibberish.”

  110. #110 Larry Fafarman
    July 27, 2006

    (http:// prefixes removed from URL links)

    Dave S. said ( July 26, 2006 01:11 PM ) –

    Have there been any practical applications of the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection?

    Have there been any people who hold that notion?

    Did I ever claim that any people have held that notion? I was just giving an example of a scientific theory that has no practical applications. So why should ID be expected to have practical applications?

    Not all scientific discoveries need to have a practical application — knowledge should be pursued just for knowledge’s sake.

    Noble words…but ID does not provide us any knowledge at all, practical or otherwise, nor does it provide us with a means to obtain such knowledge.

    Dear National Science Foundation:

    Intelligent design and irreducible complexity are not worthy of consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Professor Charles Darwin

    P.S. — Could you spare a few billion dollars of research money to help me show that ID and IC are not worthy of consideration? Thanx.

    You seem to think that attacking “Darwinism” is reason enough for its existance.

    It certainly is. There is nothing wrong about criticizing a scientific theory without presenting a scientific alternative at the same time.

    I think the old style Creationism did that better.

    Wrong. That just followed the bible. There is nothing about irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc. in the bible.

    No Larry…religious notions posing as scientific ideas is what’s censored.

    So Darwinism should be censored. Darwinism should be considered to be a religious idea because –

    (1) Some of its gaps and Just-So stories can be explained only by assuming supernatural causation.

    (2) Darwinists have been cozying up to religion — see

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/07/hypocritical-darwinists-shamelessly.html

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/07/hypocritical-kenneth-millers-evolution.html

    im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/kenneth-miller-hypocrite.html

  111. #111 Darth Robo
    July 27, 2006

    “There is nothing wrong about criticizing a scientific theory without presenting a scientific alternative at the same time.”

    There is when the critisisms are full of cr*p. While Geocentrism and Flat Earth were mentioned in my astronomy class, they certainly weren’t mentioned as critisisms of modern astronomy. And we didn’t focus on them for very long (other than for a quick laugh).

    So ID should be censored. ID should be considered to be a religious idea because –

    (1 (we only need one)) ALL of its gaps and Just-So stories can be explained only by assuming supernatural causation.

    Sorry for my lack of references, but I don’t own a website by which I could reference myself. :-)

  112. #112 RealityBytes
    July 27, 2006

    Sorry for my lack of references, but I don’t own a website by which I could reference myself. :-)

    Don’t worry, that’s classic Larry. If nobody pays any attention to him, he starts quoting his own posts!

    This is also classic Larry:
    Dear National Science Foundation:

    Intelligent design and irreducible complexity are not worthy of consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Professor Charles Darwin

    P.S. — Could you spare a few billion dollars of research money to help me show that ID and IC are not worthy of consideration? Thanx.

    Only Larry could produce something this dumb. OK, maybe an 8-year-old could have written that.

  113. #113 fnxtr
    July 27, 2006

    Larry, Larry, Larry:

    So Darwinism should be censored. Darwinism should be considered to be a religious idea because –

    (1) Some of its gaps and Just-So stories can be explained only by assuming supernatural causation.

    (2) Darwinists have been cozying up to religion — see

    (links deleted for brevity)

    1) Um, no, actually, the gaps in any scientific theory are usually explained using natural causation. You are projecting in what Jamaicans would call “some serious manner”.

    2) So Miller’s a Catholic who believes physical evidence. Guess what? Aside from Dawkins and Meyers and few others with personal axes to grind, no-one cares if you’re religious or not as long as you don’t mistake your religious beliefs for science. Miller recognizes the difference. You should follow his example.

  114. #114 fnxtr
    July 27, 2006

    PZ Myers, my apologies for misspelling your surname.

  115. #115 Dave S.
    July 27, 2006

    Larry:

    I really don’t have much to add to what Behe said in the conclusion.

    So you have nothing to add, just as thought. Except of course repeating for the 498th time the same assertions.

    I liked the statement, “The Court has accepted the most tendentious and shopworn excuses for Darwinism with great charity and impatiently dismissed evidence-based arguments for design.”

    And to demonstrate how this can be done, Behe simply dismissed stacks of papers and book chapters on the evolution of the immune system, even after admitting he’d never read most of them.

    That must be part of the “evidence-based argument” he talked about. *L*

    For example, Judge Jones swallowed the doubtful concept of “exaptation” hook, line, and sinker.

    Doesn’t he know that if Larry Fafarman doesn’t believe in something, then it can’t exist? The cad!

    The movie portrayed Darwin doubters as a bunch of ignorant, intolerant rednecks.

    Some of them aren’t rednecks. Some are failed engineers who sponge off their parents.

    Your turn.

    What’s not to like Larry? There’s the part where he recognized that Behe’s argument is just an extension from Paley and before that Aquinas (except Behe tries to hide that it was God he was talking about). There’s the part where he recognized the obvious connection between the first ID “textbook” and creationism…hard to miss as they simply took out one word and plugged in the other. There was the part where he smacked down the breathtakingly inane lying so-called Christian school board members. Heck Larry, I could go on all day finding good stuff in there. But most of it wasn’t news Larry. we already knew most of it. The judge simply recognized what we already knew and put it all down in clear prose for all to see.

    But since you quoted Behe, I’ll quote Jones in the conclusion:

    The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

    Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

    To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions. The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

    With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

    Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

    BAM! What a rebuke. Smacktastic.

    Not always — and where I have referenced myself, my own reference gives links to outside sources.

    Oh, yes, we can’t forget the cut-and-pastes from Wikipedia. And in all this referencing, you never get around to referencing any data to support your claims. Although we do know for sure that Larry strongly agrees with Larry. And he also agrees with those who agree with him. Well QED.

    Then according to your standards, apples and oranges are the same.

    Wrong. They are both ‘fruits’, but you don’t re-define the word ‘fruit’ when you talk about the differences.

    I want to see the results of a formal poll of biologists.

    But we already have the answer, written the science journals and at symposia. Scientists don’t use ID principles for anything. Because the principles are useless. Not even the advocates of those principles use them. Not even Behe, who has not used IC in more than 10 years for any constructive purpose.

    So Larry, where’s the poll where scientists agreed that matter consists of atoms? When was the poll published so we can know if energy really can’t be created or destroyed as the so-called 1st law of thermodynamics suggests? How do we know if germs really cause disease unless we call all the universities and canvass biologists? Maybe you reject all those too??

    And how big a percentage of support among biologists should be required for ID to be considered to be respectable?

    You tell me Larry. You’re the one who seems to think such polls mean anything.

    If we don’t have an acceptable scientific explanation for something, why can’t we just admit it?

    You see Larry, there is a difference between not having a theory, and you refusing to believe there is a theory. We do have a theory for the development of life. It makes testable hypotheses whcih have been tested and the theory confirmed again and again. ID cannot say the same. All they can do is to lamely dispute evolution, and hope that means ID is supported.

    A new buzzword — “pubjacking.” LOL

    It’s an accurate description.

    If, say, an essential part of a piston engine — say, a connecting rod bolt — has some function outside the engine, does that mean that the engine is not irreducible?

    That’s right Larry. And this is exactly what we’d expect to find in a biological context if such systems evolved. And we do!

    The Explanatory Filter is Dembski’s idea, not Behe’s. And what does this have to do with the Explanatory Filter?

    Because the EF depends on eliminating all natural explanations a priori. If we admit there could be explanations that we haven’t thought of yet, the EF becomes useless.

    OK, if it is shown that part of an irreducible system has some function outside the system, what does that prove? It proves nothing. It does not prove that there was an evolutionary pathway consisting of selectable steps. Also, the part may be completely different when outside the system — for example, it is argued that jawbones became middle-ear bones.

    That’s the way evolution works, different parts can be co-opted for different functions and yet all the parts retain fuctionality throughout. It provides an evolutionary means for systems that Behe calls ‘IC’ to evolve. Since Behe’s argument is that such systems can’t evolve, then he’s been busted. All that’s left is his personal incredulity that it didn’t happen that way. No matter how much of that you or Behe has, it’s not worth anything in science.

    Did I ever claim that any people have held that notion?

    Then what’s the point in signing a statement about a claim made by no-one?

    Either “Darwinists” claim that mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life, or they don’t.

    Which is it?

    So why should ID be expected to have practical applications?

    It should be expected to be a science if it’s proponants claim it is.

    Dear National Science Foundation:

    Intelligent design and irreducible complexity are not worthy of consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Professor Charles Darwin

    Dear Prof. Darwin,

    Yes, we are already well aware that such concepts are vacuous nonsense and offer nothing at all to advance our knowledge of nature and are merely Creationist arguments relabelled. Just as they are now in the process of relabelling the arguments again, as “critical analysis” this time.

    Regards,
    The Scientific Community

    P.S. — Could you spare a few billion dollars of research money to help me show that ID and IC are not worthy of consideration? Thanx.

    Why spend money on something we already know? Even Behe laughed off actually doing the experiments he claims would support his notions of IC and ID. *L*

    It certainly is. There is nothing wrong about criticizing a scientific theory without presenting a scientific alternative at the same time.

    Yea, those Darwinists think they have the only scientific explantion…I’m sure there are others although I can’t tell you one right now. *L*

    I still think the old style Creationism did that better. And with more honesty.

    Wrong. That just followed the bible. There is nothing about irreducible complexity, bacterial flagella, blood-clotting cascades, etc. in the bible.

    No, they say they didn’t just follow the Bible. Dean Kenyon filed an affidavit in the Edwards case that said “Creation-science does not include as essential parts the concepts of catastrophism, a world-wide flood, a recent inception of the earth or life, from nothingness (ex nihilo), the concept of kinds, or any concepts from Genesis or other religious texts.” Are you calling him a liar Larry?

    And not being Bible based doesn’t mean it ain’t still religion based Larry.

    So Darwinism should be censored. Darwinism should be considered to be a religious idea because –

    (1) Some of its gaps and Just-So stories can be explained only by assuming supernatural causation.

    Really? Wow, which ones Larry? Are you sure the only gaps aren’t in your understanding?

    (2) Darwinists have been cozying up to religion — see

    So Darwinists can’t be religious or pal around with religious people Larry?

    I smell desperation!

    By the way. What’s the argument that convinces you man never landed on the moon? Was it the ‘where are the stars in those photographs?’ one, or maybe the ‘why are those shadows not parallel?’ one, or was it the ‘how can that flag be flapping?’ one? I’m curious.

  116. #116 Darth Robo
    July 27, 2006

    Um, are you just having fun with him or does he really believe that man never went to the moon? Oh, please lord, let him be one of those people! That would be so cool!

  117. #117 Dave S.
    July 27, 2006

    Why don’t we let Larry tell us what he believes on that score Darth.

    I’m sure he’ll do so next response.

  118. #118 Elliot Norse
    July 27, 2006

    Hi, Im Elliot Norse, the President of MCBI in Washington. I love to see this challenge within the Scientific community between ID and Evolution. There seems to be a very significant debate though, that this site tends to ignore between Intelligent Design and Evolution. Georgia, Texas, Kansas and Wisconsin have all accepted Intelligent Design into their curriculums and this will be taught within the classrooms. It appears, and we are definitely hopeful, that Washington will as well be including these standards (as such, they are used significantly throughout the Scientific community around the country and the world). I believe an openness to these theories is a necessity to actually construct an honest decision regarding what is Science and what is not. I have many colleagues who will all agree with me that the Human Eye can only be explained through the concept of Irreducible Complexity, and the blood clotting systems are another general construct of this. The Intelligent Design Theorum is simply a matter concerning the ability to identify what is a molecular machine and the basic evidential support necessary to throw a wrench into the Darwinian theory (which we at MCBI confer as a conjecture). If you have any general questions concerning the research that we have compiled supporting the Intelligent Design Theorum, I am willing to discuss them on this forum. Thanks and have a great one.
    Elliot Norse
    President of MCBI

  119. #119 Larry Fafarman
    July 28, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 27, 2006 10:58 AM )

    So you have nothing to add, just as thought. Except of course repeating for the 498th time the same assertions.

    Wrong. I added something original to what Behe said. You added nothing original to what Judge Jones said.

    And to demonstrate how this can be done, Behe simply dismissed stacks of papers and book chapters on the evolution of the immune system, even after admitting he’d never read most of them.

    Behe aptly described the dumping of the stack of publications as “courtroom theatre.” Evidence is not weighed by the pound.

    Doesn’t he know that if Larry Fafarman doesn’t believe in something, then it can’t exist?

    The ultimate test: if Larry Fafarman does not believe in something, then it must exist.

    Some of them aren’t rednecks. Some are failed engineers who sponge off their parents.

    Was that breathtakingly inane remark supposed to be clever? And does your remark have anything at all to do with my charge that watching the movie “Inherit the Wind” would have been prejudicial? The fact that your mother sleeps in pay toilets is just as relevant.

    What a jerk.

    What’s not to like Larry?

    Plenty — see im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/04/traipsing-into-breathtaking-inanity.html

    But since you quoted Behe, I’ll quote Jones in the conclusion

    I quoted a single sentence and added something original. You quoted several paragraphs and added nothing original.

    BAM! What a rebuke.

    Judge Jones abused his position by taking potshots at the defendants, ID, and irreducible complexity. Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts said that judges are like umpires and it is not their job to pitch or bat.

    Oh, yes, we can’t forget the cut-and-pastes from Wikipedia. And in all this referencing, you never get around to referencing any data to support your claims.

    I use lots of references besides Wikipedia, jerko. And Wikipedia is a good reference — it has been favorably compared to the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

    “Then according to your standards, apples and oranges are the same.”
    Wrong. They are both ‘fruits’, but you don’t re-define the word ‘fruit’ when you talk about the differences.

    Another breathtakingly inane comment.

    I want to see the results of a formal poll of biologists.
    But we already have the answer, written the science journals and at symposia.

    OK, we already know that logically heavy weights should fall faster than light ones, so there is no need to perform the experiment.

    And how big a percentage of support among biologists should be required for ID to be considered to be respectable?
    You tell me Larry. You’re the one who seems to think such polls mean anything.

    Saying that opinion polls of biologists don’t mean anything is the same as saying that the opinions of biologists don’t mean anything. So why even discuss it?

    We do have a theory for the development of life. It makes testable hypotheses whcih have been tested and the theory confirmed again and again.

    Wrong. Macroevolution theory has never been tested. The only predictions that macroevolution theory can make are predictions of likely future finds of more circumstantial evidence of the theory — e.g., the fossil record can be used to make predictions of likely future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    Because the EF depends on eliminating all natural explanations a priori.

    The explanatory filter says nothing about eliminating natural explanations.

    That’s the way evolution works, different parts can be co-opted for different functions and yet all the parts retain fuctionality throughout.

    There is no evidence that “exaptation” (co-option) works.

    “Did I ever claim that any people have held that notion?”
    Then what’s the point in signing a statement about a claim made by no-one?

    Either “Darwinists” claim that mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life, or they don’t.

    The claim here is that there are no practical applications to the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    t should be expected to be a science if it’s proponants claim it is.

    Something does not have to have practical applications to be scientific.

    Why spend money on something we already know?

    Darwinists are always doing research which they claim counters ID and IC.

    No, they say they didn’t just follow the Bible.

    Before creation science, creationism was mostly based on the bible.

    And not being Bible based doesn’t mean it ain’t still religion based Larry.

    I know — we also have Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc..

    Are you sure the only gaps aren’t in your understanding?

    You just mindlessly swallow hook, line and sinker everything that the Darwinist scientists say.

    So Darwinists can’t be religious or pal around with religious people Larry?

    No, the Darwinists can get away with it. It’s the Anti-Darwinists who can’t get away with it.

    I smell desperation!

    The desperation that you smell is your own.

    It is clear that I am wasting my time debating you because what you say makes little or no sense.

  120. #120 Darth Robo
    July 28, 2006

    Larry said:

    “Wrong. I added something original to what Behe said.”

    I feel I have to point out your earlier quote:

    “I really don’t have much to add to what Behe said in the conclusion.”

    “Behe aptly described the dumping of the stack of publications as “courtroom theatre.” Evidence is not weighed by the pound.”

    ‘Courtroom theatre’? Lol! Put simply you and Behe are just unwilling to accept that Behe got slaughtered like a lamb on the chopping block. If courts are won over with ‘theatre’ then perhaps ID should work on it’s theatrical skills instead of doing research (which they aren’t doing either).

    “OK, we already know that logically heavy weights should fall faster than light ones, so there is no need to perform the experiment.”

    Um, the weights experiment was done. Just like the evolutionary ones. You just don’t like the results of the latter.

    “Wrong. Macroevolution theory has never been tested. The only predictions that macroevolution theory can make are predictions of likely future finds of more circumstantial evidence of the theory — e.g., the fossil record can be used to make predictions of likely future finds of “missing link” fossils.”

    So, macroevolution theory must be doing something right since unlike ID, it CAN make predictions.

    “The explanatory filter says nothing about eliminating natural explanations.”

    It says nothing at all. It don’t work. It’s never been used successfully, since there is no-way to tell by use of the filter if anything is designed. Didn’t I hear that Dembski himself admitted it COULD come up with false positives? If true, then what’s the point of it? Anyway, it was torn apart here:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/06/the_failure_of.html

    and here:

    http://www.geocities.com/lflank/dembski.htm

    “There is no evidence that “exaptation” (co-option) works.”

    An evolutionary concept debunked by… an engineer! You must be right then. Silly biologists, eh?

    “Darwinists are always doing research which they claim counters ID and IC.”

    And a damn good job they do of it, too. :-) Once again, I’ll post this link:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/07/3_recent_report.html

    “You just mindlessly swallow hook, line and sinker everything that the Darwinist scientists say.”

    You just mindlessly swallow hook, line and sinker everything that the ID guys say. Where as the agenda of ID has been exposed (see Wedge document), what exactly is the agenda of the “evil darwinists”?

    “No, the Darwinists can get away with it. It’s the Anti-Darwinists who can’t get away with it.”

    That’s because the “Darwinists” take a neutral stance on religion. The Anti-Darwinists don’t. It’s precisely BECAUSE of their religion that they have a problem with evolution. The Discovery Institute, home of the Center for (the renewal of) “Science” and Culture, home of Intelligent Design “research” is largely backed by a very rich reconstructionist. Pushing religion in science class is illegal, doncha know.

    However, this thread seems to have been going slightly off-topic since the original point of it was to point out that Dembski has claimed credit for ID by pointing out a research paper that neither himself or his buddies have done the research on and the original author’s never promoted it as evidence for ID. Let’s not B.S. here, but Dembski is as guilty as sin. Unless the authors themselves come out and specifically state otherwise off course, let’s wait and see.

    It’s only fair to point out I originally spelled “criticism” wrong before. Apologies.

    Anyway, at the risk of going slightly more off topic, I’m curious: Did man walk on the moon? As an engineer, you may have an idea of the feasability of such a feat.

    P.S. Apologies to all lambs and all lamb lovers everywhere for the comment made above. Just pointing out that lambs do have it rough, sometimes.

  121. #121 Dave S.
    July 28, 2006

    Larry:

    Behe aptly described the dumping of the stack of publications as “courtroom theatre.” Evidence is not weighed by the pound.

    It was indeed theater, but he didn’t even read most of it. How would he know whether it was evidence or not? The answer is, he has already decided, just as you have, that there can be no evidence. All his little theatre move did was to further disgrace him as a scientist.

    The ultimate test: if Larry Fafarman does not believe in something, then it must exist.

    That seems to be the way to bet.

    The fact that your mother sleeps in pay toilets is just as relevant.

    No, my mother sleeps in her bed in her own home.

    I quoted a single sentence and added something original. You quoted several paragraphs and added nothing original.

    But you asked me what I liked about the ruling, and so I told you (in part, there was more to like than what I mentioned). And the only thing you added that was “original” was your unfounded opinions.

    Judge Jones abused his position by taking potshots at the defendants, ID, and irreducible complexity. Chief Justice John “Ump” Roberts said that judges are like umpires and it is not their job to pitch or bat.

    The defendants have no-one to blame but themselves. They forged ahead in spite of every attempt made to warn them that they would lose. The judge was doing only what he was empowered to do. maybe it’s time you moved on. The ruling is done. No matter how many posts you make criticising the judge, it’s not his fault ID has been managed and defended so poorly.

    Another breathtakingly inane comment.

    No. You’re the one who can’t understand that evolution can have one consistent definition which covers a variety of theories, remember. You’re the one who seems to think each theory is a redefinition of evolution itself.

    OK, we already know that logically heavy weights should fall faster than light ones, so there is no need to perform the experiment.

    According to you, we only need to perform a poll to get that answer. I’m the one who demands data and positive evidentiary support, remember?

    Saying that opinion polls of biologists don’t mean anything is the same as saying that the opinions of biologists don’t mean anything. So why even discuss it?

    No, it’s not the same thing. The opinions of biologists are based on empirical evidence and testing. It’s not based on what some vague poll question “means”. Scientists speak with their work. If something is useful, they use it. If it’s worthless (like ID), they don’t.

    Wrong. Macroevolution theory has never been tested. The only predictions that macroevolution theory can make are predictions of likely future finds of more circumstantial evidence of the theory — e.g., the fossil record can be used to make predictions of likely future finds of “missing link” fossils.

    That is a test. Predictions in science are about predicting the evidence you will find if your theory is correct, and the test is finding that evidence at the exclusion of other possibilities. But the one you mention is only one kind of prediction that has been verified, supporting evolution. You can find many more predictions HERE. Predicting the future course of evolution is more difficult as that is often contingent on unknown and unknowable factors.

    The explanatory filter says nothing about eliminating natural explanations.

    For the IDists, design is a cause outside of natural chance and regularities. The filter infers design purportedly by reliably eliminating chance and law events. That it actually does this in any non-trivial way has yet to be established.

    There is no evidence that “exaptation” (co-option) works.

    Indeed, there is plenty of evidence. Had Behe not waved the evidence away, he might have read some himself.

    And it’s up to you to prove that exaptation doesn’t work to support your claims. You’re the one claiming that it’s not possible for something to evolve this way after all. You see, it’s one thing to say evolution hasn’t been empirically demonstrated to happen, and quite another to claim that it can’t happen.

    The claim here is that there are no practical applications to the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    Gee, suddenly “practical applications” has appeared out of nowhere. The dissenting doctor’s signed the statement: We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the origination and complexity of life and we therefore dissent from Darwinian macroevolution as a viable theory. This does not imply the endorsement of any alternative theory. I don’t see where the “practical applications” part comes into play. This is just another old creationist claim re-used…that evolution hasn’t done any “good”.

    Who are these people claiming that there ARE practical applications to the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection? I would like to meet one. Unless they don’t exist either.

    Something does not have to have practical applications to be scientific.

    The practical application bit was brought up by you. I never said or implied that science had to have practical applications.

    Darwinists are always doing research which they claim counters ID and IC.

    But that’s not why they do it. When a chemist analysis something, she doesn’t do it to disprove the plum pudding model of matter. Although it may well do that also. When an epidemiologist looks at patterns of AIDS transmission, he’s not doing it so he can disprove the AIDS denialists, although his work may also have that result.

    Before creation science, creationism was mostly based on the bible.

    I agree, but that’s not what they said. They claimed it wasn’t and only happened to confirm the Bible stories. Just like ID creationists now are trying to tell us their “theory” just happens to confirm some peoples religious claims.

    You just mindlessly swallow hook, line and sinker everything that the Darwinist scientists say.

    No, I don’t.

    No, the Darwinists can get away with it. It’s the Anti-Darwinists who can’t get away with it.

    But the “Anti-Darwinists” aren’t just palling around. They’re saying explicit things like ID is the Logos of John the Gospel written in information theory, or ID is a means of wedging in a new day of “theistic science”, or their self-proclaimed textbook uses “creation” and “design” interchangeably. Furthermore, their own definition of ID can only be understood in religious terms. ID is religious to the core…the only differences from older creationism forms being that they try to deny it. Sometimes. Depends on the audience.

    It is clear that I am wasting my time debating you because what you say makes little or no sense.

    Does that mean we don’t get to hear your views on manned moon missions?

  122. #122 PetSu
    July 28, 2006

    I have debated with larries several time in my life. After the latest experience I realized there is no fact in this world which would change the mind of a true believer. If reality contradicts with a belief so strong the whole existence of a person depends on it, the reality loses.

    The creationist point of view is to raise doubt on evolution by keeping discussion going on through lies and misrepresentations. It always easier and faster to ask questions than answering them. It is exhausting and frustrating to repeat scientific facts again and again to be ignored constantly.

    I believe Larry is Satan created by God yesterday. Is there any evidence is reality to contradict by belief?

  123. #123 Larry Fafarman
    July 28, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 28, 2006 09:54 AM ) –

    It was indeed theater, but he didn’t even read most of it. How would he know whether it was evidence or not?

    He said that a lot of the stuff was old and must have been reflected in later publications that he read. And Judge Jones did not read these publications either — so what did they prove?

    No, my mother sleeps in her bed in her own home.

    Her own bed is the floor and her own home is the pay toilet which she rents for the night.

    The defendants have no-one to blame but themselves. They forged ahead in spite of every attempt made to warn them that they would lose.

    There was no certainty that they were going to lose. Another evolution-disclaimer case, Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish (2000), came very close to being reversed — see im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/05/close-votes-in-freiler-case-show.html And the appeals court judges in the Selman v. Cobb County evolution-disclaimer case showed that they were leaning towards reversal but finally remanded the case to the district court because of missing evidence.

    Darwinism is so badly flawed that Darwinists are misusing the Establishment Clause in an effort to suppress criticism of it.

    The judge was doing only what he was empowered to do. maybe it’s time you moved on.

    I will move on when I’m dead.

    No matter how many posts you make criticising the judge, it’s not his fault ID has been managed and defended so poorly.

    Very little of my criticisms of Jones concerned his rulings on the scientific merits of ID and irreducible complexity, and my blog has about eight long articles criticizing him.

    You’re the one who can’t understand that evolution can have one consistent definition which covers a variety of theories, remember.

    And you are the one who can’t understand that irreducible complexity can have one consistent definition which covers more than one theory.

    “There is no evidence that “exaptation” (co-option) works.”
    Indeed, there is plenty of evidence.

    Exaptation may work in a few cases, but it is no general solution to the problem of irreducible complexity.

    According to you, we only need to perform a poll to get that answer. I’m the one who demands data and positive evidentiary support, remember?

    If we could take a poll of organisms to determine how they originated, we should do it. Since we can take a poll of biologists to determine their views on evolution, we should do that.

    Predictions in science are about predicting the evidence you will find if your theory is correct, and the test is finding that evidence at the exclusion of other possibilities.

    There has been no positive evidence that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    It’s not based on what some vague poll question “means”.

    The questions can be asked in different ways. In that poll of physicians, the respondents were asked about evolution in three different ways, and there were great differences in the responses to the three questions, but all the responses showed that large percentages of physicians were skeptical of evolution. See im-from-missouri.blogspot.com/2006/06/many-physicians-skeptical-of-darwinism.html

    The practical application bit was brought up by you.

    I don’t remember who brought it up, but it certainly wasn’t me.

    “Darwinists are always doing research which they claim counters ID and IC.”
    But that’s not why they do it.

    Darwinists are always doing research to try to determine how an irreducibly complex system could have evolved.

    Just like ID creationists now are trying to tell us their “theory” just happens to confirm some peoples religious claims.

    ID is not supposed to include speculation about ID’s religious implications.

    “You just mindlessly swallow hook, line and sinker everything that the Darwinist scientists say.”

    No, I don’t.

    When have you done otherwise?

  124. #124 shiva
    July 29, 2006

    He said that a lot of the stuff was old and must have been reflected in later publications that he read. And Judge Jones did not read these publications either — so what did they prove? No. He hasn’t read any of it (and actually knows squat about evolution, much of his knowledge gleaned from cheap paperbacks). Finding himself under oath in court he decided not to perjure himself. Smart guy eh? BillD was even smarter and ran away. Looking forward to the next journal article that reports new findings entirely based on a poll of scientists working in the field. Yeah right, and there is this bridge I have to sell. Larry you ain’t yet John Woodmorappe, but you are getting there. But hang on there’s a line already and BillD is in it! Have a nice weekend!

  125. #125 Darth Robo
    July 29, 2006

    I made a long post yesterday and it got stuck in moderator queue or something. :-(

    If I did something wrong, I apologise.

  126. #126 Dave S.
    July 30, 2006

    From Larry:

    He said that a lot of the stuff was old and must have been reflected in later publications that he read. And Judge Jones did not read these publications either — so what did they prove?

    Judge Jones is not a scientist, like Behe is supposed to be.

    Her own bed is the floor and her own home is the pay toilet which she rents for the night.

    Tsk. Tsk. What a sorry, petty man you are Larry.

    There was no certainty that they were going to lose.

    Yes, it was a given they would certainly lose. The only question was how bad. And it was very bad indeed.

    Darwinism is so badly flawed that Darwinists are misusing the Establishment Clause in an effort to suppress criticism of it.

    If it’s so badly flawed then the scientific papers published by the IDers would reveal that. Oh wait, they don’t have any. They are reduced to parasitising the works of others, and pretending that those are ID papers.

    I will move on when I’m dead.

    Suit yourself.

    Very little of my criticisms of Jones concerned his rulings on the scientific merits of ID and irreducible complexity, and my blog has about eight long articles criticizing him.

    Which goes to show that you are obsessed, but it says nothing about him.

    And you are the one who can’t understand that irreducible complexity can have one consistent definition which covers more than one theory.

    It could have, but it doesn’t. You yourself have used the word “redefined”.

    Exaptation may work in a few cases, but it is no general solution to the problem of irreducible complexity.

    Irreducible complexity is not shown to be a “problem”. The mere fact exaptation works at all refutes it.

    If we could take a poll of organisms to determine how they originated, we should do it. Since we can take a poll of biologists to determine their views on evolution, we should do that.

    But we can’t poll atoms either. So let’s poll chemists to see if they accept atoms. Until we see that poll, we can’t accept atoms. Can we?

    There has been no positive evidence that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    There has been no positive evidence that anyone holds that view.

    The questions can be asked in different ways. In that poll of physicians, the respondents were asked about evolution in three different ways, and there were great differences in the responses to the three questions, but all the responses showed that large percentages of physicians were skeptical of evolution.

    So what? Who cares what a group with minimal knowledge of a field feels about it? And even if they were knowledgeable, who’s to say other evidence won’t come along and convince them. Would we have to throw all new evidence out since we’ve already done the poll? That’s the very antithesis of science.

    Darwinists are always doing research to try to determine how an irreducibly complex system could have evolved.

    Wrong. They are doing research to see how organisms and their systems evolve. That these systems can sometimes also be described as “irreducibly complex” is merely a bonus. Behe has suggested no new research, and even fastidiously avoids doing it himself. He has his answer. Obviously he doesn’t need to prove it using evidence, as look how slavishly the likes of you are already falling for it.

    ID is not supposed to include speculation about ID’s religious implications.

    Of course it is. What else is ID for? It certainly sheds no light on understanding nature, and in fact, does just the opposite. ID actively prevents us from understanding nature.

    When have you done otherwise?

    All the time, although I know you can’t possibly understand that.

  127. #127 Larry Fafarman
    August 1, 2006

    Dave S. said ( July 30, 2006 07:34 AM ) –

    There has been no positive evidence that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection.

    There has been no positive evidence that anyone holds that view.

    I started to write a response to the preceding post but then decided to not waste my time. There is no way I can debate someone who makes such ridiculous statements as the one above.

  128. #128 Dave S.
    August 1, 2006

    Larry bails:

    I started to write a response to the preceding post but then decided to not waste my time. There is no way I can debate someone who makes such ridiculous statements as the one above.

    And it would so very very easy to refute my statement. If what you say is true, then you would have no problem at all in finding specific references in the published literature where this claim is made. You have yet to make a single such reference.

    I see you’ve taken your ID arguments on the road, to Uncommon Descent (whilst of course pimping your own site as always). I know you don’t call them pro-ID arguments, but I do. Unless you can show how ID “theory” cannot account for your objections, then my assertion stands, despite whatever you say.

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