Irreducible Complexity

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Feb 23, 2002.

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    DANEEL

    Many creationists claim that the complex structure and complicated chemical reactions that constitute living organisms are only possible with the intervention of an intelligent designer. Evolutionists maintain that the complexity has come about through a series of very small changes over billions of years.

    Let us look at one part of one complex system . ATP is a universal energy carrier that is used by virtually every living organism on earth for a multitude of activities from movement of proteins to the pumping of ions. Both the mitochondrion and the chloroplast make ATP by a similar process called chemiosmosis, a process that involves generation of ATP from ADP and phosphate using a hydrogen gradient and a simple lipid protein membrane.

    In one set of experiments researchers took membranes from mitochondria and made artificial vesicles (little spheres) with an internal pH of 4. When these were placed in a solution containing ADP and inorganic phosphate at a pH of 8 the hydrogen ions inside the spheres generated ATP as they exited the membrane through protein channels. Likewise, when they did the same thing with membranes from photosynthetic bacteria the vesicles generated ATP when exposed to light.

    Many complex processes found in living things can be determined and broken down into simple discrete steps that may be understood by scientists. To the layman the same simple processes may appear as irreproducibly complex.
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    Irreducible complexity can evolve, something that has been demonstrated on
    several occasions. I posted one such incident wherein bacteria evolved such
    a feature.
    It's now moving into industrial design; here's an interesting example of
    irreducible complexity evolving from an evolutionary algorithim in
    electronics:

    http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/ai/primordial.jsp

    [ March 01, 2002, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    Series of small changes starting at what? Was it one organism, one population of organisms or populations of organisms? Please tell us how this organism, etc., just happen to have the ability to self-replicate, which the process itself certainly exhibits IC:

    Peering into Darwin's Black Box:
    The cell division processes required for bacterial life

    http://www.arn.org/docs/odesign/od201/peeringdbb201.htm

    And not only could it (they) self-replicate but they could do so in such an imperfect way, that the process would eventually lead to the diversity of life we observe today. According to evolutionists, if that copying process were perfect we wouldn’t be having this debate today. Unless another way of adding genetic information was

    John Paul:
    “ATP is an abbreviation for adenosine triphosphate, a complex molecule that contains the nucleoside adenosine and a tail consisting of three phosphates.”* ADP just has one less phosphate. Are you suggesting that adding one phosphate, a process that goes on all the time in living organisms (as you pointed out), is indicative of IC?

    *ATP: The Perfect Energy Currency for the Cell

    http://www.trueorigin.org/atp.asp

    If you want to discuss IC it would be a good idea to read Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box”. At least read this:

    Michael J. Behe: A Response to Critics of Darwin's Black Box

    http://www.iscid.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=10&t=000010

    I like this from Nelson Alonso in a reply to Behe’s article,
    [qoute]Describing this device, Science News makes it clear that it is not like a machine, it is one.[/quote]

    Nelson’s reply discusses ATP synthase. He ends it with this,
    More from Behe on IC (Darwin’s Black Box): "Might there be an as-yet-undiscovered natural process that would explain biochemical complexity? No one would be foolish enough to categoricaly deny the possibility. Nontheless, we can say that if there is such a process, no one has a clue how it would work. Further, it would go against all human experience, like postulating that a natural process might explain computers. Concluding that no such process exists is as scientifically sound as concluding that mental telepathy is not possible, or that the Loch Ness monster doesn't exist. In the face of massive evidence we do have for biochemical design, ignoring that evidence in the name of a phantom process would be to play the role of the detectives who ignore an elephant."**

    **Same elephant:

    http://www.creationequation.com/Archives/TheBiologist.htm

    John Paul:
    That is not true. As an objective person will see.

    John Paul:
    And I posted Behe’s refutation of that incident. You ignored that. In my response to Daneel, it is posted again. It appears the ‘feature’ only ‘evolved’ after certain pieces of the puzzle were in place. Even if this were the case Hall is trying to show directed mutations take place, something neo-Darwinism denies.

    John Paul:

    Warning signals go up when I read stuff like this:
    He assumes no one will understand how it works just because he may be at a loss to explain his circuit, which has the appearances of having to due with a quirk in the particular FPGA he used.

    The EA in question took already designed pieces and made them perform a function. It also required a designed GA. If the EA also designed those pieces and wrote the GA, Pat might have a point. Seeing they did not, all EA’s can do, obviously, is refine a design. The GA in the article Pat linked, had a goal and all the means at its disposal to reach that goal.
    Pat was it you who once that ‘we were the intent (goal) and evolution was God’s way of creating’? What’s the difference between that PoV and ID?

    I know you consider it blasphemous to think God had to design anything, but that has nothing to do with the debate.

    We need to search for the truth. I, as does Behe himself, see his book as a challenge to molecular biologists to explain these apparently IC biochemical systems. What I am happy to see is the abandonment of random copying errors (i.e. point mutations) as the driving force behind evolution. What is sad about that is the recent PBS series, “Evolution”, promoted exactly that PoV.

    Has anyone here read Dr. Lee Spetner’s Not By Chance!? In it he discusses what he calls the non-random evolutionary hypothesis. He suggests the genetic movements, (recombination, duplications, amplifications, inversions, deletions, insertions, transpositions) now adored by evolutionists, are not the result of random processes. Recombination is not a simple process. It is under enzymatic control, but where did those enzymes come from? If the original organism or population(s) of organisms, didn’t have these enzymes, it would have had to build them via point mutations. As shown in an article I linked to in my response to Daneel, basic reproduction (as we understand it) looks pretty IC.

    So what are they directed by? The article Pat linked to just may give us some insight to that. An Intelligent Designer, knowing the design, would write an EA that would allow an organism to adapt to its environment and do so very quickly. The IDer knows what the organism has to work with, understands its importance to the overall design and puts it all together the best way possible. Then things run from there.

    With all the niches wide open and with the proper EA*, a well designed genetic code could lead to the diversity we observe today from a relatively small number.

    *(could be designed by the same designer of the genetic code)

    That is enough for today. If you guys have a specific example of IC you would like to discuss, please bring it up.

    God Bless

    John Paul
     
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    HELEN

    I find it fascinating that, while denying Behe’s concept of irreducible
    complexity, leading evolutionists are nevertheless at a loss to explain
    it and either use or indicate the existence of irreducible complexity in
    their writings. Here are two examples:

    1. In the Feb. 22, 2202 (vol. 24, no. 4, p. 5) issue of the London
    Review of Books
    , there is an ad for a new book. Attached is a bit
    by Gould with this in it:

    ”Classical science, with its preferences for reduction to a few
    controlling factors of causality, was triumphantly successful for
    relatively simple systems like planetary motion and the periodic table
    of the elements. But irreducibly complex systems – that is, most of the
    interesting phenomena of biology, human society, and history – cannot be
    so explained. We need new philosophies and models, and these must come
    from a union of the humanities and the sciences, as traditionally
    defined.”


    What fascinates me here in particular is that Gould seems to think that
    the fields he is NOT terribly conversant in are ‘simple.’ I do not
    think an astronomer would consider the universe or even planetary motion
    to be a ‘simple system,’ nor would a chemist feel that way about even
    the periodic table. It therefore makes it even more interesting that
    the very subjects Gould IS conversant in are exactly those he presents
    as having irreducibly complex systems.

    2. In my recent reading of Franklin M. Harold’s (he is Emeritus
    Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State
    University) The Way of the Cell, (2001, Oxford University Press),
    I ran across the following:

    ”The molecules of life differ from those encountered in the inorganic
    world, not in their chemical qualities, but in their biological ones:
    with few exceptions, such as waste products, each performs a job in the
    service of the organism as a whole…Function implies purpose, and
    therefore, order.” (p.34)

    “For the purposes of this chapter, we may think of a cell as an
    intricate and sophisticated chemical factory. Matter, energy and
    information enter the cell from the environment, while waste products
    and heat are discharged. The object of the entire exercise is to
    replicate the chemical composition and organization of the original
    cell, making two cells grow where there was one before. Even in the
    simplest cells, this calls for the collaborative interactions of many
    thousands of molecules large and small, and requires hundreds of
    concurrent chemical reactions.” (p. 35)

    “The composition of living cells is grossly different from that of their
    environment…Membranes are qas essential to life as genes and proteins:
    ‘To stay alive you have to be able to hold out against equilibrium,
    maintain imbalance, bank against entropy, and you can only transact this
    business with membranes in our kind of world.’ …The plasma membrane of a
    bacterial cell may contain as many as a hundred different transport
    catalysts, each more or less specific for a particular substrate.” (pp.
    38-39)

    “Some of the molecules whose concentration conveys a message or signal
    are themselves metabolic intermediates, as tryptophan is. Others serve
    no function other than to carry information (e.g., calcium ions or
    cyclic AMP). Many are small, others are proteins or portions of
    proteins (such as the leading sequences that direct certain proteins to
    a particular location). Some signals, addressed to the cell as a whole,
    speak to surface receptors, others coordinate intracellular operations.
    Some regulate the activity of enzymes, others control the expression of
    genes. The overall purpose of this network of signals is plain enough:
    stability of all operations, the efficient use of resources and
    appropriate responses to changes in the environment. But the mechanisms
    employed are subtle, surprisingly complex, and exceedingly diverse. The
    diversity of regulatory devices is far greater than that of the
    processes which are subject to regulation.” (p.52)

    ”the idea that biological organization is fully determined by
    molecular structures is popular, seductive, potent and true up to a
    point – yet fundamentally wrong.
    Many scientists cling hopefully to
    Lederberg’s dictum of thirty years ago: ‘The point of faith is this:
    make the macromolecules at the right time and in the right amount, and
    the organization will take care of itself.’ But this faith is too
    simple to suit modern knowledge. It disregards the fact that the cell
    as a whole is required to create the proper environment for
    self-assembly to proceed. Furthermore, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic
    cells make sure to continue self-assembly, so that it takes place only
    as part of a larger purpose…even the simplest cell is an exceedingly
    complex mixture containing thousands of different molecules, whose
    proportions remain essentially invariant generation upon generation.”
    (p. 56)

    “Even as the tide of information surges relentlessly beyond anyone’s
    comprehension, the organism as a whole has been shattered into bits and
    bytes. Between the thriving catalog of molecules and genes, and the
    growing cells under my microscope, there yawns a gulf that will not be
    automatically bridges when the missing facts have all been supplied.
    No, whole-genome sequencing won’t do it, for the living cells quite fail
    to declare themselves from those genomes that are already I the
    databases. We presently know something of half the genes of E.coli and
    the products they encode, but none of this information hints at a
    cylindrical cell with hemispherical caps. The time has come to put the
    cell together again, form and function, history and all.” (p. 65)


    His observations continue, and yet he insists that all of this was
    somehow the result of natural processes operating in a material world
    without any planning or aid by any exterior force or forces. It defies
    logic.

    The fact of the matter is that the more we know, the more irreducible
    complexity appears to be a fact and property of life itself, in complete
    defiance of the earlier supposition that the more we would learn the
    more we would be able to understand life’s origin and processes.
    Despite the protests from evolutionist apologists such as the ones here
    on this board, there is an honesty that is beginning to creep in around
    the edges where many of those involved in evolution are concerned,
    showing that the belief in evolution by natural, material means is
    precisely that: a belief. It is not an established “fact” and there is
    no known mechanism which can be tested or relied on for this evolution
    from cell to cat. Evolution is a faith based on the supporting faith
    that natural processes using material substances produced all that we
    see or are aware of in terms of life itself.

    The evidence, however, as it emerges and becomes known, seems to be
    declaring otherwise There appears to not only be intelligent design
    involved in nature, but intelligent coordination and control as well.
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    I believe that John Paul has come to accept the idea that God, er, the
    "Designer" produced an evolutionary algorithim, from which other things
    came.
    This is theistic evolution. The evolutionary algorithm, is (of course)
    nature. God, being God, didn't have to write long, complicated masses of
    code for each separate thing. There's one simple one, and it is sufficient
    for everything. The more we look at the basic rules, the more we realize
    how truly simple and elegant that algorithm is. Why not? Would you expect
    less from Him?

    The only remaining source of disagreement, of course, is the implicit
    blasphemy of suggesting that an almighty God would have to figure things
    out. "Design" is the wrong word. "Creator" is much better.

    Of course, all this is religious, but no one should be embarassed about
    that. Likewise, there's no reason to be shy about coming out and admitting
    that the "designer" is really God after all. It's not science, but science
    isn't everything. Some things, only religion can do for us.

    Among them are the most important things.
     
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    DANEEL

    Helen
    Science does not do anything but provide tentative expalinations for the things we do not understand. The experiments I described concerning ATP synthesis did not say that living things were not irreducibly complex. I still like the term irreproducibley complex. They illustrated that complex living systems can operate outside of living organisms using a relatively small number of organic molecules. This is simply one more fact toward the argument that complex living systems did evolve from simpler systems. It doesn't say they did any more than it says they didn't.

    The fact that no one knows exactly how such systems could result by natural processes has nothing to do with providing evidence that it didn't occur. The history of science is rampant with ideas that couldn't be correct because they seemed too complicated. Primitive humans thought that fire was a god or gods carried the sun across the sky. Disease was the work of the devil and conception was a god given miracle. (or punishment)

    One thing for sure that even you must agree on. The human brain is very much a mammal brain. It has the same parts and operates on the same biochemical principles. It has a few characteristics that make it able to use language, think using logic and abstractions but it is still an animal brain. Although we like to think we are smart we may not be as smart as we think. There may be things that we will never figure out.

    As far as the origin of life by natural processes is concerned no matter how smart we are if we do not have the facts to work with it is a difficult problem to solve. We do not know what things were like on the earth when it was first formed and the first self replicators arose. We can only speculate. Kind of like we did about mars before we got there. Until we can go back in a time machine and get a jar full of the primitive oceans or find another earth like planet in the same stage of development we may never explain how the first cell came about. If we don't that doesn't prove anything except that we don't know how. It says nothing about anything else.

    It is likely that if life did arise on an early earth the very first traces would not be around today. Then again they may be here but we can't recognize them. There are still things like Prions, viruses, viroids and other things we can only imagine. I have a feeling that 100 years from now if humans are living above subsistence level that this argument will still be going on. Even if the evidence is overwhelming in favor of a naturalistic origin. Kind of like evolution and creation today. That subject was settled over 100 years ago but there are still those around in 2002 who will not accept the evidence.

    Daneel
     
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    NEILUNREAL

    The notion that irreproducible complexity is applicable at the current stage
    of science knowledge bothers me for a number of reasons. As an person of
    science, I can see that it is not scientific in its current stage. As an
    engineer who manages other engineers, it reminds of the one excuse I won't
    accept: "We can't do it that way, it's too hard." As a Christian of faith,
    I see in it the old "God of the gaps" argument writ microscopic:

    1) An ID advocate makes a statement like: "System X is irreproducibly*
    complex, therefore it must have required a designer Y."
    2) A researcher shows that system X is not irreproducibly complex.
    3) Using plausible inference, everyone viewing the discussion now concludes
    that designer Y is less probable.
    4) So an ID advocate makes a statement like: "Well, system Z is definitely
    irreproducibly complex, therefore it must have required a designer Y."
    5) A researcher shows that system Z is not irreproducibly complex.
    6) etc.

    ID might or might not have a role to play in science someday. Currently
    however, it is only at the stage of pre-conjecture, and nowhere near the
    stage of theory. I get suspicious of science when it starts involving
    journalists and lawyers. I have a lot more respect for those at the
    opposite ends of the spectrum: scientists like Stuart Kauffman who are
    tackling issues of complexity from the standpoint of science and
    mathematics, and old Amish farmer types who believe by faith alone: "God
    created it; end of discussion."

    -Neil

    *Is "irreproducibly" a valid English word?
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    Pat:
    I believe that John Paul has come to accept the idea that God, er, the "Designer" produced an evolutionary algorithim[sic], from which other things came.


    John Paul:
    The EAs we have witnessed have refined designs. Please, show us the EA that brought life from non-life and gets around IC in living organisms.

    Pat:
    This is theistic evolution.


    John Paul:
    Theistic evolution is a cop out.

    Pat:
    The evolutionary algorithm, is (of course) nature.


    John Paul:
    What about the genetic algorithm? The EA will only work if you have the proper GA to work with. Nature, Pat’s alleged EA, can erode land, shape rocks and stuff like that, but you will be hard pressed to find that nature can bring forth life from non-life.
    But I will grant you this- the only way I could see the ToE being indicative of reality is with God’s involvement (setting up the initial conditions would be considered involvement as would be an intention (us)). However then we would have the problem of God’s Word, which undeniably speaks of a Special Creation of many differing Kinds.

    Pat:
    God, being God, didn't have to write long, complicated masses of code for each separate thing.


    John Paul:
    Now Pat knows how God does things. LOL. Of course God didn't have to write long, complicated masses of code for each separate thing- just like computer programmers don't have to long, complicated masses of code for each separate thing. Many times programmers will use many lines of code from another program for a new program. Don’t you think God could have done the same? Do you think every car company has to re-invent the wheel?

    Pat:
    There's one simple one, and it is sufficient for everything.


    John Paul:
    Evolutionists want us to believe most anything is simple. Even living cells were once thought to be simple blobs of protoplasm. But now that we know better, simple is not the word to use when describing anything about life.

    Pat:
    The more we look at the basic rules, the more we realize
    how truly simple and elegant that algorithm is. Why not? Would you expect
    less from Him?


    John Paul:
    Maybe what you consider the EA is simple, however the GA is very complex and specified. It’s like a basic OS (the EA) with a bunch of interacting programs (the differing GAs of all living organisms).

    Pat:
    The only remaining source of disagreement, of course, is the implicit
    blasphemy of suggesting that an almighty God would have to figure things
    out.


    John Paul:
    Why is it blasphemy and who are you to make that call? According to the movie “Dogma” God went through 5 Adams before it was figured out that God’s voice was causing Adam’s head to explode. J

    Pat:
    "Design" is the wrong word. "Creator" is much better.


    John Paul:
    Creator if God did it, designer if some other entity did. (brought life forth on Earth)

    Pat:
    Of course, all this is religious, but no one should be embarassed[sic] about
    that. Likewise, there's no reason to be shy about coming out and admitting
    that the "designer" is really God after all. It's not science, but science
    isn't everything. Some things, only religion can do for us.


    John Paul:
    Seeing that science is the search for the truth, if God did Create life, science should be able to tell us. Perhaps it can’t now because of human limitations. Some things science can’t do for us, and sometimes engineers use science to bring good things to life. Also just because I infer God is the designer doesn’t mean ID fails.

    Pat:
    Among them are the most important things.


    John Paul:
    Like telling us how life originated and that we are part of God’s Special Creation.

    Here’s a good article for you to read (it looks like life is IC and neo-Darwinism is on its way out):

    Unraveling the DNA Myth:

    http://www.mindfully.org/GE/GE4/DNA-Myth-CommonerFeb02.htm

    God Created, God Guided, an Intelligent Designer designed, doesn’t matter. Purely natural processes for origins are going by the wayside. Now that we know more of what we are looking at, just too much IC to overcome.

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    Helen:
    I find it fascinating that, while denying Behe's concept of irreducible
    complexity, leading evolutionists are nevertheless at a loss to explain it
    and either use or indicate the existence of irreducible complexity in their
    writings.


    Actually, irreducible complexity is not denied by the leading evolutionists
    I've read. They merely point out that IC is easily produced by evolutionary
    processes. Like that new, IC metabolic pathway that evolved in bacteria,
    it's not hard, if it starts with a non-IC pathway. Later, it can change to
    a regulated system, which is then irreducibly complex. No one is puzzled by
    that.

    Helen:
    What fascinates me here in particular is that Gould seems to think that
    the fields he is NOT terribly conversant in are "simple." I do not
    think an astronomer would consider the universe or even planetary motion to
    be a "simple system," nor would a chemist feel that way about even the
    periodic table.


    I have a minor in chemistry. Believe me, living systems are much more
    complex than the periodic table. In spite of the 3-body problem, living
    things are also more complex than planetary motion.

    Helen:
    It therefore makes it even more interesting that the very subjects Gould
    IS conversant in are exactly those he presents as having irreducibly complex
    systems.


    I'm not aware of an irreducibly complex planetary system, although, as
    you've see, such things can evolve. The Periodic Table might be IC but I'm
    not sure how you'd apply a concept like that to atomic structure.

    Helen quotes:
    "The molecules of life differ from those encountered in the inorganic
    world, not in their chemical qualities, but in their biological ones: with
    few exceptions, such as waste products, each performs a job in the service
    of the organism as a whole. Function implies purpose, and therefore, order."


    Yep. Organisms are more complex than chemistry.

    Helen:
    The fact of the matter is that the more we know, the more irreducible
    complexity appears to be a fact and property of life itself, in complete
    defiance of the earlier supposition that the more we would learn the more we
    would be able to understand lifes origin and processes.


    Turns out that as we learned more about life's origins and processes, it
    became clear how irreducible complexity evolves. We'll probably never
    completely understand the universe, and life is part of that universe. But
    we know a lot more about how it evolves than we knew even a few years ago,
    and we'll know even more in the next few years.

    Helen:
    Despite the protests from evolutionist apologists such as the ones here
    on this board, there is an honesty that is beginning to creep in around the
    edges where many of those involved in evolution are concerned,
    showing that the belief in evolution by natural, material means is
    precisely that: a belief.


    If by that, you mean something like; "based on the evidence of the fossil
    record and molecular biology, scientists believe..." Yes. If you mean like
    creationism is a belief, No. Science and religion are two different things.

    Helen:
    It is not an established 'fact' and there is no known mechanism which can
    be tested or relied on for this evolution from cell to cat.


    Helen, every cat starts out as a single cell. If, on the other hand, you
    mean that there's no evidence that the family Felidae evolved from
    single-celled organisms, that's not true either. They evolved from
    less-evolved carnivores. And they evolved from simpler condylarth-like
    mammals. Which evolved from even earlier mammals. And so on.

    Helen:
    Evolution is a faith based on the supporting faith that natural processes
    using material substances produced all that we see or are aware of in terms
    of life itself.


    The evidence so far supports evolutionary theory, which is what it needs.
    Faith is unnecessary. I would be interested in seeing any evidence that any
    natural process has supernatural causes. That would be a major breakthrough
    for creationism. Do you know of any such evidnece?

    Helen:
    The evidence, however, as it emerges and becomes known, seems to be
    declaring otherwise There appears to not only be intelligent design
    involved in nature, but intelligent coordination and control as well.


    Which natural processes are these, and what is your evidence that they have
    non-natural causes?
     
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    JOHN PAUL
    Neil, my apologies for the tardy response. I wasn't
    ignoring it.
    John Paul:
    Actually the term is irreducible complexity. It
    is used together with the term minimal
    functionality
    to describe systems that allegedly
    couldn’t evolve in Darwinian step-by-step fashion.
    So what’s so unscientific about IC?

    John Paul:
    So you won’t accept someone finding an easier way to
    do something? I had an aeronautics professor like
    that. When plotting our navigation charts she wanted
    us to show our work with the formulas. I came up with
    an idea that simplified the formulas but the professor
    didn’t (or wouldn’t) understand my method. Needless to
    say I almost flunked the course because of that.

    John Paul:
    That s great if the researcher can actually
    show that X or Z is not IC. Just saying they aren’t IC
    doesn’t cut it. (but I take it you understand that)
    Here, please read the following:
    IDers are from Mars. ID critics are from Venus:
    http://www.idthink.net/mars/index.htm

    Heads we win, tails you lose:
    http://www.idthink.net/heads/index.htm

    Look at IC as a challenge, not a roadblock. Do you
    know of any of the examples of IC that Behe has in his
    book Darwin’s Black Box have been not to be IC
    in peer-reviewed publications?
    The following is his response to what has been
    proposed so far:
    Behe responds to critics: (read the full article,
    not just the abstract)
    http://www.iscid.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=000010


    John Paul:
    It is already being used in sciences other than
    biology. Currently the infrastructure is being
    prepared for ID to be an acceptable premise for
    biology. That design is exhibited in the biochemical
    systems in living organisms is not the debate. The
    debate is- To what or who do we attribute this
    apparent design?
    Why is it scientific to say that the apparent design
    is illusory but un-scientific to say the apparent
    design is not illusory?

    John Paul:
    Then I take you think the following is just a tad
    premature:
    Approaching Biology from a Different Angle:
    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/approachingbiology041701.htm


    ID is way past the pre-conjecture stage. That stage
    was put up by Paley about 200 years ago.

    John Paul:
    It could be you hear about ID from lawyers &
    journalists because of their position to transmit this
    idea to the public.
    ID also involves scientists (biologists,
    micro-biologists, chemists, physicists etc.),
    mathematicians, information specialists et al. Also
    one’s vocation does not limit one’s knowledge.

    John Paul:
    Faith is fine. But unless God is a personal God that
    answers all prayers of the faithful, faith alone is
    not enough.
    I don’t have faith that God Created, there isn’t any
    doubt in my mind that God Created. However knowing
    that does not give me the knowledge necessary to
    understand that Creation.
    God Bless,
    John Paul
     
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    BARBARIAN

    The fact is, irreducibly complex features exist in living things. We have
    even seen at least one of them evolve from simpler features.
    "Irreducibly Complex" does not mean "could not have evolved". Let's talk
    about why.

    In the coastal areas of Europe are prehistoric structures of the megalith
    culture, older than the Egyptian civilization. Among the structures made of
    huge stones are chambers roofed with corbled vaults. Boulders where placed
    together in such a way that the force on the roof is directed outward, to
    the load-bearing walls. Take even one boulder from the roof, and it all
    collapses. It is irreducibly complex; even one deletion from the structure
    causes it to fail.

    Yet these were built by humans with nothing but muscle, simple tools, and
    ingenuity. The evidence is that they were built over mounds of earth, which
    were then removed. The boulders precisely set to hold each other in place,
    then formed a stable roof.

    A similar situation is seen in biochemical systems. The present pathway
    might be irreducibly complex, but it could easily have evolved from a non-IC
    system. A second protein might greatly enhance the activity of a pathway,
    even as the origional pathway still worked. And later, that less-efficient
    pathway might disappear, leaving a "roof" that seems mysterious until one
    thinks about it for a bit.
     
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    MR. BEN

    Barb has put his finger on the fundamental blunder of Behe's irreducible complexity. The proponents of irreducible complexity have neglected to take into account the fact that evolution can 'remove' structures in a step by step fashion as well as 'add' them.

    Every supposed structure demonstrating irreducible complexity seems to depend on this blunder. If we 'remove' a component from the system, will it still work? Yet IC proponents never seem to take into account that sometimes evolution takes away componets, it does not always add. This is a major mistake in IC thinking because it neglects a common and important aspect of how evolution through genetic mutation and selection actually operates. And you just can't have a theory that just ignores an inconvenient major fact.

    In experimental evolution, we have structures that are constantly evolving in stepwise fashion, developing mutual dependencies, then losing their previous independent functionality. If we see this happen regularly before our very eyes in these experiments, what are we supposed make of similar structures in extant biological organisms. Are we supposed to believe that these same types of genetic structures are somehow magically different from those we see develop in experimental genetic systems? Are we supposed to somehow deny what it is that happens right in front of us in experiment after experiment? That's what we would have to do in order to believe that somehow IC isn't an automatic part of evolving systems. We would have to ignore and conceal the fact that it actually produces IC all of the time.. in spades.

    Experiment trumps any claim. If we produce the exact same types of irreducible complexity experimentally, and we watch step by step how it evolves with the development of scaffolding, mutually independent systems, etc. we simply can not take seriously the notion that it is impossible. Reality trumps theory.
     
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    HELEN

    Daneel wrote: The fact that no one knows exactly how such
    systems could result by natural processes has nothing to do with
    providing evidence that it didn't occur. The history of science is
    rampant with ideas that couldn't be correct because they seemed too
    complicated. Primitive humans thought that fire was a god or gods
    carried the sun across the sky. Disease was the work of the devil and
    conception was a god given miracle. (or punishment)


    Daneel, it is very hard to find evidence that something DIDN’T occur!
    The burden is on the one who says it did. That’s pretty standard. And
    while you say that ‘primitive’ humans thought fire was a god, I have not
    found any reference to that anywhere but in literature surmising that
    because some humans might have thought fire was a god they were
    primitive! The earliest literature we have from early humans themselves
    indicates strong belief in ONE supreme Creator God! So I would say that
    perhaps degenerate humans thought fire was a god, but I doubt that
    primitive ones did. As for carrying the sun across the sky, it was far
    more often thought the sun itself was a god. But all of this came AFTER
    the first beliefs. As far as disease being a work of the devil, let me
    ask you this: Can you say for sure it isn’t? I am not saying I believe
    it is, but when I see statements like that which you made, I have to
    chuckle. A contractor can build a house via workmen and tools and such,
    but he is still responsible for that house. Could the devil himself not
    be able to play around with some of the tools of genetics and germs? As
    for conception – many of us still consider it a gift from God. We’re
    the ones who don’t abort those gifts.

    The human brain is a mammal brain? OK. Fine, if that pleases you. But
    you can put an ape in a car and he still can’t drive it. The brain is
    the mechanism used by the soul to communicate with the physical world as
    well as to run the body. The brain itself is not the personality or the
    uniqueness, as we can see from studying brains themselves. Ours look a
    lot like ape brains, but they aren’t. We are pretty different from apes
    in some very intriguing ways, I think. So the fact that the various
    brains may operate on the same biochemical principles is to be expected,
    but not necessarily an indication that the personalities operating them
    are at all the same.

    As far as not knowing how life arose, that I would also expect, since
    God did it. There were no initial ‘self-replicators’. Even in the
    simplest life form, M. genitalium, requires what is known as a protein
    complex to perform its various life functions. Life is not simply
    self-replication. Crystals can essentially do that. Life is a series
    of processes engaged in by an enclosed system which incorporates outside
    substances, metabolizes them, eliminates what is not needed, AND
    self-replicates. Just one of those elements does not define a living
    thing. A functioning life form – the simplest known being a cell –
    requires a protective membrane. And membranes for living things are
    quite complex and specified as to the functions performed. At the
    minimum what is required is that membrane, functional and interrelated
    proteins, an environment conducive to that life, and a way of
    self-replicating correctly, which as far as we know always involves the
    coded material of DNA and RNA. I would submit that the very existence
    of a cell is in fact an excellent example of irreducible complexity.

    In short, there is no evidence at all of a naturalistic origin of life,
    let alone the subject being “settled” a hundred years ago.

    To NeilUnreal: please don’t confuse the idea of irreducible complexity
    with intelligent design. While IC may strongly indicate ID, they are
    not the same thing.

    To Barbarian: If IC is “easily produced by evolutionary processes” then
    there would be no argument, would there? But the fact that one type of
    bacteria was capable of mutating to develop a different metabolic
    pathway is a FAR cry from the IC of the flagellum, the blood clotting
    cascade, or, certainly, life itself. Bacteria have built within them,
    as unicellular organisms, the ability to mutate around a mean. This is
    what is not in question. The fact that bacteria remain not only
    bacteria but are identifiable as to what kind of bacteria even after
    millions of generations really does indicate that the various mutations
    either reach dead ends or back mutate, in both cases denying
    evolutionary changes of any major sort.

    You wrote, “ I have a minor in chemistry. Believe me, living systems
    are much more complex than the periodic table.
    In spite of the 3-body problem, living things are also more complex than
    planetary motion.


    The periodic table is a product of man’s attempt to organize (it is a
    very nice one, too, in case anyone thinks I am running it down, which
    I am not). However the atoms and elements it attempts to organize for
    the sake of understanding them are extraordinarily complex. I think you
    will find that astronomers are also stunned by the magnitude of the
    complexity of what they study. I am not saying life is not more
    complex. But I do think that you have raised a false comparison there.

    Yes, Barbarian, we are learning more about life. Not about its origins,
    however, which is something you affirmed. In fact, the more we learn
    about life, the more puzzled those deepest in the field are, which is
    something brought out in a number of articles and books in the past few
    years. The quotes I gave you were from not just evolutionists, but from
    “rabid” evolutionists, who think we creationists ought to find a handy
    lake to jump in somewhere so they would be rid of us. But being rid of
    us would not help them solve the increasing complexity they are finding
    in cells. I think, if you spend enough time reading the material, you
    will find that – and this includes in the future as well – the more we
    learn the more we find out we don’t know.

    You also purposely twisted what I was referring to when I said there is
    no known mechanism which can be tested or relied on for evolution from a
    cell to a cat. You then stated every cat starts out as a cell. The
    temptation to sarcasm here is enormous, but bypassing that, let me state
    that I think it was obvious that I was referring to the idea proposed by
    evolutionists that some kind of one-celled organism, through a few
    billion years and mutations, became a cat. Just to make sure you were
    not confused by my meaning…

    You then say faith is unnecessary where evolutionary processes are
    concerned. I strongly disagree with you. Here is what you, Barbarian,
    have faith in:
    1. That man’s knowledge is or will be sufficient
    2. That man’s interpretations of the data will be correct
    3. That man is capable of discovering all facts and understanding them

    Barbarian, you may be a practicing Catholic, but your faith is
    humanistic to the core! This truly is a faith, whether or not you admit
    it.

    In your next post down, you then tried to somehow compare life itself
    with structures made by man. This is bizarre at the very least. Life
    is a series of processes. When they stop, life stops, even though all
    the elements are still there. A building is not a series of processes.
    The fact that there may be a cornerstone or a capstone which is
    necessary to the fidelity of the structure has NOTHING to do with the
    fact that life processes require an entire set of elements from the
    get-go. Processes are not the same as structures. Processes require
    structures, as we can see from the cell, but they use these structures –
    the processes themselves are NOT intrinsic to the structure, as those
    attempting to produce life in labs from chemicals have long been finding
    out.

    Mr. Ben: I think you will find that every experiment with genetics in
    the labs are the product of intelligent design. Manipulating genetic
    material does not even closely approximate what we see in natural
    processes in the wild.

    The last point I would like to deal with is the consistent refrain of
    Barbarian’s that God is not a designer. Barbarian claims that because
    God does not have to work consecutively within His own mind that this
    means He is not a designer, as human designers do work consecutively in
    designing materials and things. The argument here is entirely
    fallacious as God is the inventor of time and not subject to it. His
    designs to not, therefore, take “time” to develop. They simply are. He
    is the Intelligent Designer and the producer of Irreducible Complexity
    in life itself. Calling Him Creator and then somehow denying that His
    creation is intelligently designed is somewhere between an insult to Him
    and an oxymoron.

    [ March 11, 2002, 12:37 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    NEILUNREAL

    John Paul wrote: "Neil, my apologies for the tardy response."

    No need to apologize. One of the beauties of this medium is that it allows
    for well-thought-out dialog.

    John Paul wrote : "irreducible complexity vs. irreproducible complexity."
    (And note from Helen re: IC vs. ID.)

    I know; I was having a really bad typo day! I even had to email the
    moderators to make some other corrections that I found right after hitting
    "send." To avoid typos and confusion between irreducible complexity and
    intelligent design, I'll use the abbreviation "ID" to mean scientific
    aspects of "intelligent design," including (but not limited to) "irreducible
    complexity."

    John Paul, I appreciate your comments and I understand the points you're
    making. I still stand by my conclusion that ID is at the pre-theoretic
    stage. This is NOT a judgment about the potential merits of ID either one
    way or the other (the atomic theory spent a couple of millennia at the
    pre-theoretic stage). ID will be at the theoretic stage when it
    demonstrates the ability to consistently produce testable hypotheses --
    hypotheses for which we do not currently have the data. Some of these test
    results may be consistent with the theory, some may cause changes to the
    theory, and some may refute it entirely. But to be a useful theoretical
    framework, ID must at some point force us to ask a scientifically testable
    question that no one -- neither you nor I, neither Dawkins nor Behe -- yet
    even knows how to ask.

    New theories must do this rather than merely explain things that current
    theories do not. This is the only way to be sure the new theory has merit
    other than as a "negative" appendage to the current theory. The most
    important thing about a new theoretical framework is the ability (indeed,
    the requirement) to ask entirely new kinds of questions (not just the
    operational permission to ask previously excluded questions, in this case
    about a supernatural designer).

    My beef with ID as a Christian is I worry that some Christians or seekers
    may take specific hypotheses or pronouncements about ID as doctrine, and
    then have problems with faith when those pronouncements are shown to be
    false. I'm not arguing over whether the scientists and other proponents of
    ID believe their statements have the weight of doctrine (I assume most do
    not), nor over whether any given statement about ID is true or false. The
    fact remains that if ID proponents make scientific statements, inevitably
    (as in any other science) some of those statements will be shown to be
    false. Other Christians who understand less about how science works* may
    see these refutations as apologetic failures, rather than as a normal part
    of science. My beef with lawyers and journalists is similar: it's not that
    they are not honest, intelligent people, they just don’t often perceive the
    world in same way as scientists.

    Behe's original point was that Paley's opponents were premature, science
    didn't yet have the necessary tools to prove Paley's conjecture. So I say,
    if ID proponents really think they have a case, let them go quietly to the
    fields and labs and do the scientific and mathematical heavy lifting to
    prove it. Right now, in a scientific sense, ID proponents are still saying
    "you don't have the answers" and they need to be saying "here are the
    (scientific) answers." If ID is for real, it should be a case of the
    inevitable consequences of the scientific validity of ID forcing its way
    into mainstream consciousness, not ID as an apologetic tool seeking
    validation in science.

    -Neil

    *This is not a slight to their intelligence. Many very intelligent people
    have little experience of how scientific research actually works.

    p.s. For the record, let me say up front that I really don't have a
    metaphysical dog in this fight one way or the other. I don’t feel
    threatened as either a scientist or a Christian regardless of whether ID
    turns out to be the "new paradigm" or last year's old potatoes. I just want
    to see that the rules of good science and good faith are both respected.

    Personally, my metaphysical belief is that God will not be caught in any
    rational or scientific trap. God is always tantalizingly there, hovering
    immanently in the background of human endeavor -- but try to close the
    explanatory filter, and God will melt through it as elegantly and
    effortlessly as sand through a sieve.
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    Recently, on another Christian Creation/Evolution board, a proposal was made
    to test ID theory. Someone posted some sequences from human DNA (which
    allegedly is designed) and some random sequences (which demonstrably were
    not). The question was, could anyone use ID theories, such as Dembski's
    filter, to detect design.
    So far, no one can. If the administrator agrees, I'll post the link for
    that board.

    [Administrator: it is preferable the material be contained on this board if possible as other boards may go down in the future and this post, when archived, would then have nothing to reference. We hope Barbarian can include the challenge along with the link so if the link goes down the essence will remain here.]
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    Yes they do. A Rube Goldberg machine is also IC.

    John Paul:
    What one? Please post the peer-reviewed reference (or any reference). How do you know what ‘evolved’ was considered IC?

    Behe’s point is that the Darwinian step-by-step evolution of apparent irreducibly complex bio-chemical systems mentioned in his book is not discussed in peer-reviewed literature. And as stated in other posts, this is still a challenge, not a refutation. The challenge still appears to be unmet…

    That said, Behe has taken time to respond to his critics. I’m sure you are familiar with the link. (See below in my response to Mr. Ben)

    John Paul:
    Irreducible complexity means “could not have evolved via Darwinian step-by-step processes”. IC goes hand-in-hand with minimal function to show just how very difficult the task is for the alleged mechanism for evolution. That is if the evolutionary process started at some very genetically simple single-celled organism (or population(s) of organisms).

    The point is- evolved from what? Evolutionists aren’t very clear on this.

    John Paul:
    Is the minimal function of each step of the building process in any way related to the minimal function of the finished product? IOW, if the finished product’s function is for people to live in or gather in, and the only function of the intermediate steps is to achieve that goal, how can that be used as an example of Darwinian step-by-step processes used to achieve perceived IC?
    If this is what occurs in living organisms it would be evidence for Dr. Spetner’s Non-random Evolutionary Hypothesis in that it would appear to be a directed function.

    John Paul:
    Yup, design is one way to get around perceived IC and that is what Pat has shown. Thanks Pat.

    Is that how evolution works? By building something it can’t use until it is finished building it? How would NS know what it (the organism) is building? And why would the intermediate steps be selected, unless NS was also privy to the ‘plans’?

    No wait, I got it. The organism called the psychic hotline to find out what the environment was going to be in the future. Armed with that information it directed the population to concentrate so that they could collectively recombine their gene pool for the best chance of survival. We already know single-celled organisms can communicate and work together (slime molds and other colony-like adjustments are good examples of this), so except for the psychic hotline bit, it could work. But that would be a sign of directed mutations and would also be support for Dr. Spetner’s non-random evolutionary hypothesis.

    John Paul:
    But on the other hand we have Dennett stating in the PBS series Evolution that there is no way to predict what would be selected for at any point in time. If a population of organisms could duplicate a gene that also provides an immediate benefit to the organism, it would be foolish not to look at the implication of directed mutation. That is an organism sensing its environment and purposely (through some as yet unknown triggering mechanism) causing a recombination that allows the population to better survive.

    Otherwise you would have an organism ‘building’ something it may not need because of the shifting eco-system. What would happen to neo-Darwinism if the bulk of (or any) mutations were found to be environmentally cued (i.e. directed)?

    John Paul:
    Many things seem to work on paper. It is when reality comes knocking that the door remains closed.

    How did organisms evolve the ability to duplicate genes?

    Did anyone notice? Even with the observed gene duplications, and alleged benefits directly therefrom, the organism that they are observed in remains pretty much the same.

    What are evolutionists going to do now that DNA has been knocked off of its lofty perch? (See the article Unraveling the DNA Myth linked to below)

    John Paul:
    Is that so? Did you read Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box? If you had you would know that he flat out states that the apparent IC could be overcome by ‘front-end loading’ in the original populations of organisms. This would mean recombination and deletion of already existing genetic information could achieve perceived IC.

    No proponent of IC that I know of makes that alleged ‘blunder’, Mr. Ben. If you have evidence to the contrary please present it.

    John Paul:
    Are you saying that the vision system is actually a system that evolved by subtracting genetic information from that alleged simpler common ancestor that started the evolutionary process? How about the blood clotting cascade?

    Perhaps Mr. Ben could give us an example of something proclaimed to be IC (biology/ molecular biology), that has been shown to be the product of the mechanism he just described. Creationists already know that beneficial mutations are also mutations that take something away from an organism. Take away a beetle’s ability to go airborne and that mutation keeps the beetle from getting wind-blown off the island it inhabits and into the sea where it would not survive. Therefore the beetle with that mutation will have a better chance of surviving and mating. Unless of course all possible mates went airborne during a hurricane. Crabs at the depths of the ocean without eyes they can’t use anyway and the same with fish populations isolated in light-less caves.

    Beetle bloopers: Even a defect can be an advantage sometimes

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/241.asp


    and

    New eyes for blind cave fish?

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4361news8-9-2000.asp


    John Paul:
    Do you have references? This would be interesting to read about.

    John Paul:
    I’m not sure we do observe this regularly in any experiments. If you provide the references we could check it out.

    John Paul:
    I guess that would all depend on the experiment. What was involved, what initial conditions were necessary, what intervention was necessary, etc.

    John Paul:
    I guess if it really does happen like you say we shouldn’t deny it. But somehow I don’t think Dr. Behe is the buffoon you would have us believe.

    John Paul:
    Please point us to the peer-reviewed literature that shows the IC systems discussed by Behe are really not IC at all. The following is an article by Behe that you may want to read first (read the full article, not just the abstract):

    A Response to Critics of Darwin's Black Box

    http://www.iscid.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=000010


    John Paul:
    So I take you are going to produce the references I asked for. Also remember Behe’s idea is IC and minimal functionality evolving in Darwinian step-by-step fashion.

    Did I mention that DNA isn’t all it was once cracked up to be?

    Unraveling the DNA Myth:

    http://www.mindfully.org/GE/GE4/DNA-Myth-CommonerFeb02.htm


    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    I read on perhaps another board a proposal to test Dembski’s EF (explanatory filter).
    The first things that must be done when dealing with ID is to realize it doesn’t and isn’t meant to refute evolution. Evolution, as in the change of allele frequency over time, happens, but that isn’t the debate.
    It (ID) does deal with life’s origins and evolution’s beginnings. As in the intelligent designer set-up the initial conditions (life & the environment) and Mother Nature and father time took over from there. (Which, come to think of it, is sort of like the Creation model of biological evolution. But that is for another thread.)

    John Paul:
    Yup, that’s the one.

    John Paul:
    Are you calling Dembski’s filter a theory? It’s more of a working hypothesis first put forward in his book The Design Inference and from what I understand, refined in his new book, No Free Lunch. That would hardly qualify the proposal as a test of the ID theory.

    What I find ironic is, on one hand we have NeilUnreal positing ID is still in the preliminary stages. Also other evolutionists claim ID is not a theory (yet, I presume). Yet now we have Pat saying that some evolutionists want to test the ID theory. Which is it?

    John Paul:
    First please explain exactly what is “…some random sequences (which demonstrably were
    not).” Are you saying we have observed random sequences of DNA arising in nature? Where would we get these alleged random sequences of DNA? From random humans?

    If you really cared about Dembski’s filter you would go to the International Society for Complexity, Information & Design and post your concerns. However knowing you do not dare go up against the meister himself, I will try to explain the EF.

    The first we see of Dembski’s EF is in Chapter 2 of The Design Inference. It is basically a flow chart with a starting position and three decision boxes. The first decision box is HP? for High Probability. If the event is HP we attribute it to regularity. If it is not HP it gets passed on to box 2. The second decision box is IP? for intermediate probability. If the event has an IP of occurring we attribute the event to chance. The third is sp/SP?- sp for specified and SP for Small Probability. If the event has a SP of occurring AND is specified we attribute it to design and if it is not specified we attribute it to chance.

    Observing lightning during a thunderstorm would be considered HP because it occurs with regularity in that scenario. The chance of a pair of dice that land snake eyes would be considered an IP (1 in 36 chance). Flip a coin long enough and you will have participated in a highly improbable (SP) event. Whereas opening a 5 number (0-100) combination lock on the first try would be a sp/SP event (specified with a small probability of occurring by chance)

    The next issue I have is that “some sequences of DNA” were specified. What Dembski’s filter would try to deduce is if the DNA of a living organism is the product of design or purely natural processes. If we limit ourselves to segments of DNA one could pick out a segment of alleged ‘junk’ DNA/ pseudo-genes and because of our lack of knowledge about the genetic code, use this seemingly random sequence as evidence that DNA couldn’t be designed because that segment apparently doesn’t code for anything. That would miss the point and count on our ignorance for support. A more in-depth explanation can be found in The Design Inference (and from what I understand also in No Free Lunch).

    Right there is where we would determine if DNA were designed or not. The law of small probability takes over.

    By using the EF we can infer the DNA of a living organism is designed. Research should support this premise. DNA doesn't replicate so well outside of a cell. And even then it is in the protection of a lab environment. We are sure that DNA requires life and that life requires DNA. So far the premise holds up.

    We could then run with that premise or set out to falsify it. (I would be on the team that ran with it- resistance is futile)

    CSI (complex specified information) is the hallmark of the design inference and ever since Darwin's black box has been opened it can no longer be ignored.

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    HELEN
    NeilUnreal, I want to see if there is a confusion about what is going on
    with some of this discussion.

    First "ID", or "intelligent design" is not a new proposal at all. It is
    simply trying to take something that seems apparent, such as design in
    nature, and seeing if we can test for it a little more objectively than
    simple experience allows.

    From what I can see, that is also its weakness, for experience with
    design is what we have to go on anyway. As a toddler, a page of
    Shakespeare is as fine a target for doodling as a wall or a blank sheet
    of paper. It is only by age and experience (learning to read, etc.)
    that the growing child recognizes the worth and value of Shakespeare as
    opposed to the blank paper. In a much more sophisticated way, the term
    'chaos' was once used to classify movements and phenomena which did not
    have any understood pattern. But as our experience and understanding
    grew, "chaos theory" became something much more and patterns were begun
    to be seen and causes identified.

    In the same way, as we have learned more about the cell, about
    biological systems and such, we come away more amazed each time at the
    intricacy of the thing being studied. What was once a 'jelly-like blob'
    or some such simple definition of a cell, has now become an entire field
    of study unto itself with books such as "The Way of the Cell" by
    biochemist/molecular biologist Franklin Harold being written. We are
    finding things that are truly astounding.

    Were they the products of design or accident? That is the question.
    Evolutionists state that such complexity is the product, always, of
    natural and material forces. What ID is doing is challenging that by
    saying, simply, "Maybe not EVERYTHING is." And it proposes some tests
    to determine the LIKLIHOOD that something may be intelligently designed
    and not the product of happenstance. That's it. That's the aim of ID.

    IC, however, while it may be a strong indicator of ID, is not the same.
    Irreducible complexity takes a look at a working process or system and
    says "We do not have any indication of how this could be built up step
    by step." Is this personal incredulity? Yes, to an extent, it
    certainly is. And it may end up being like the concept of chaos -- much
    refined with more knowledge. But, first of all, imagination is NOT
    knowledge, and that is all that has been so far applied to some of
    Behe's examples of IC. Secondly, personal incredulity is to be taken
    very seriously when presented by an expert in the field being talked
    about. An aeronautics engineer may not be able to say much about
    cellular functions, but he sure better be able to be either incredulous
    or supportive of the design of a new plane and its ability to fly! In
    the same way, Behe is an expert and professor in his field. The book he
    wrote deals with his field of expertise. His personal incredulity is to
    be taken seriously as a result -- as a challenge if you like, but
    seriously nevertheless. Far from 'stopping science', which is one of
    the common critiques of his comments, it has obviously spurred it one
    quite a bit if the evidence of the number of articles coming out has
    anything to do with it!

    So while IC DOES present a hypothesis which can be shoved around every
    which way to China and back, ID is something quite different -- it is
    proposing a testing method by which the naturalistic materialistic claim
    that everything is the subject of natural, material causes might be
    tested according to the experience we have with design, specified
    complexity, intricacy of operations, etc.

    In the same way, perhaps this is a good place to note that it is also a
    mistake to confuse creationism with ID. ID may support creationism, but
    so do other things which are also not part of creationism! Don't
    confuse support with identity. Creationism starts with a religious pov
    or belief and goes from there. ID has nothing to do with any religious
    paradigm (as strongly evidenced by the number of men and women from
    different religions and pov's involved with it), but with the concept of
    the possibility of quantifiably testing for the presence of intelligent
    design in nature.

    Have I muddied things up or helped?
     
  19. Administrator2

    Administrator2
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    THE BARBARIAN

    O.K., so it's not possible to tell supposedly "designed" DNA sequences from
    randomly drawn ones, using ID.
    Is it essential that the creationist know which things are designed a
    priori
    in order to say which is which? And if so, of what use is such
    a thing?

    What confidence do we have that ID will ever be useful? Is there any thing
    that can be evaluated as to "design" without knowing beforehand?
     
  20. Administrator2

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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    I don’t know. What are ‘randomly drawn ones’? I thought I asked for clarification. Are you going to offer any?

    John Paul:
    The answer to your question is ‘No’.
    Is that how archeologists and anthropologists differentiate between an artifact and an act of nature? They know it’s an artifact before examining it? Also IDists are not necessarily Creationists.

    John Paul:
    It’s not so. We didn’t know DNA of a living organism was designed before running it through the EF. But now that we have, we can infer it was indeed designed.

    John Paul:
    More confidence than we have that materialistic naturalism will ever be of any use.

    John Paul:
    Yes. As I have shown the DNA of a living organism is such an example.

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     

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