• An Invitation for ID Proponents

    There’s been some traffic in the comments and some stuff going around the various forums and blogs about IDs claims.  So here, I’m making an open invitation to any ID proponent.

    I am accepting submissions for a guest post. An acceptable pro-ID guest post does the one or more of the following:

    1. Describes the so-called barrier in evolution that prevents so-called macroevolution from occurring. Evidence supporting this claim must be included.  “I say it exists” is not evidence. In your discussion, you will need to show an understanding of how actual evolution works (not the typical ID strawman), how new taxonomic groups are formed (hint, I’ve described this in detail), and an explanation of how new taxonomic orders arise if not by evolution (the designer did it is not an explanation unless you provide evidence for the designer as well).
    2. Who is the designer and the evidence for the DESIGNER to exist (not any supposed works of said designer). It’s very silly to say that the tooth fairy is the cause of teeth disappearing when there’s no evidence that the tooth fair exists. Inferences about a designer are not sufficient when there is an alternate explanation for the diversity of life.
    3. The computation of complexity, specified complexity, complex specified information, or any other ID notion about complexity, information, or specificity. This computation can be for a gene, a protein, a structure, or an organism. The same computation for a non-designed system (you choose, but examples would be a rock of the same mass as an organism, a string of random numbers the same length as the gene or protein (include a string of data that has been encrypted using an approved method (256 bit AES for example)).  In this description all variables should be explicitly defined and explained. The results should also be explained (i.e. why does this value indicate design while that value indicates non-design.)
    4. The existence of front-loading in any open-source genetic algorithm. I have often heard that programmers ‘design’ the results of genetic algorithms by inserting the ‘correct’ values in the program somehow. Since there are numerous examples of open-source genetic algorithms, it should be trivial to determine where, exactly, the information is front-loaded.  An alternate version of this would be a detailed explanation of how a ‘search’ in a genetic algorithm is different from a ‘search’ by a population in the real world.  This should be mathematically rigorous not “because living things are different than programs”.
    5. Which is the designer responsible for and why? A) The creation of the entire universe and everything in it.  B) The creation of only living things on Earth. C) The creation of only ‘complex’ (include a definition and how you determine complexity) structures in organisms. D) The front-loading of living things with genes that will help their descendants survive (examples required). E) something not yet mentioned by ID advocates.
    6.  A page number of any description of any of this or experiments that support these statements in Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt. I have asked this multiple times from multiple people who feel that my treatment of Darwin’s Doubt is incomplete.  Yet not a single one of them have responded.

    I would encourage all of you to read my review of The Monkey’s Voyage to see how evidence against a scientific paradigm is discovered, presented, and used to actually change a prevailing paradigm.

    Finally, let me say that everything on this list is a direct result of comments made by supporters of intelligent design. If you disagree with those statements, then I suggest you get with other ID supporters and work out exactly what it is you think before haranguing scientists and school children about ID. 

    If you have the ability or interest in answering one of these questions, then write it up, use the contact link above and send it to me.  The only editing I will do is for basic HTML formatting.

    Category: Creationism

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    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat

    • Void L. Walker

      You know, it’s genuinely sad that you even have to post something like this. I admire your ire when it comes to dealing with science deniers, love this blog. You have the patience of a damn saint.

    • azportsider

      I’m betting you won’t get any response, Smilodon. They’ve got nothing.

    • RexTugwell

      Mr. Retreat, I’m a bit mystified as to why, after abandoning the review of Darwin’s Doubt, you are now asking for all of the above-mentioned items. Most of what you’re looking for is in the book – oddly enough in the chapters you haven’t covered. Do you plan on declaring victory if no one takes you up on the offer to guest post? I mean I know why you’re doing it; you’re trying to save face after giving up on the review but this is just shameless. Besides, I can’t speak for any other ID proponents (frankly I don’t know of too many others here anyway) but as I stated before, I won’t answer any questions until you fix your math here. We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of this error. I thought science was self-correcting.

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        I’ve asked you specifically twice now and the general audience no fewer than 3 times.

        “WHAT SPECIFIC PAGE NUMBER CALCULATES CSI, DESCRIBES THE DESIGNER, SHOWS THE MECHANISM THAT PREVENT MCROEVOLUTION FROM HAPPENING, ETC?”

        I ask because I never found any of that.

        Let me ask this question, since you don’t seem to answer it. After all that I’ve written, do you still consider Meyer a trustworthy source? Yes or no?

        If yes, why? It’s obvious that he’s either the worst scholar in history or lying. Other scientists have taken him to task for misrepresenting and making basic mistakes about their fields and I’ve pointed out dozens of quotemines from the man.

        If no, then why are we still having this conversation?

      • I know why you’re doing it; you’re trying to save face …

        I won’t answer any questions until you fix your math here

        Very amusing.

        You did do that as a joke, didn’t you?

        • RexTugwell

          John, I’m quite serious. Don’t you think Smilodon should correct his math? Yes or no?

          I’m glad you’re amused. What I find amusing is Smilodon reviewing a couple chapters at the beginning and end of the book and nothing in Part 2. Then asking all of these questions. How can anyone take him seriously?

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            I’m quite serious too. If you know what page number describes the issues that I need to deal with, then I will.

            You also haven’t answered any questions as regards to whether Meyer is a trustworthy writer or researcher. I’m curious as to why not.

            • L Zoltan

              Have you listened the debate between Meyer and Marshall? Marshall said he enjoyed the book , it’s good scholarship and looks like good science.

              What are those evidence for darwinian evolution which Meyers lyes cast doubt upon? Even if the whole book is lye you still cannot show a single piece of evidence for darwinian evolution.

              I certainly cannot trust scientists who have been indoctrinating the public for a century with a theory they know they don’t have a single piece of evidence for.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I’ve talked to Marshall. He’s a very nice guy.

              It wasn’t until AFTER the debate in question that he found out about one of the quotemines that Meyer made of him.

              Let me explain this clearly. Meyer is a LIAR… or he is the worst scholar in the history of the world. Meyer says things in his book that are not true. He manufactures quotes from scientists to make it seem like they are saying the opposite of their actual statements. Meyer counts on people like you to accept his claims at face value.

              I’ve shown, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Meyer does this.

              As far as evidence. What evidence would convince you to change your mind?

          • What does Smilodon’s supposed error have to do with you answering questions … except as an exercise in saving face?

    • I especially appreciate the third challenge, I’ve often asked ID proponents to attempt to formalize and apply their notions of complexity and specificity to see if it is possible for them to mathematically validate the idea that chains of RNA or DNA have unique and measurable mathematical properties.

    • l zoltan

      James Tour:

      “The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution. Here is what some supporters of Darwinism have written regarding this point in respected journals, and it is apparent that they struggle with the same difficulty.

      Stern, David L. “Perspective: Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Problem of Variation,” Evolution 2000, 54, 1079-1091. A contribution from the University of Cambridge. “One of the oldest problems in evolutionary biology remains largely unsolved; Historically, the neo-Darwinian synthesizers stressed the predominance of micromutations in evolution, whereas others noted the similarities between some dramatic mutations and evolutionary transitions to argue for macromutationism.”

      Simons, Andrew M. “The Continuity of Microevolution and Macroevolution,” Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2002, 15, 688-701. A contribution from Carleton University.”A persistent debate in evolutionary biology is one over the continuity of microevolution and macroevolution — whether macroevolutionary trends are governed by the principles of microevolution.”

      So the debate between the validity of extending microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary projections is indeed persistent in evolutionary biology.

      • Søren Kongstad

        So lets look at the Simons paper. http://tinyurl.com/p3ne56w

        He argues that there is not split in micro and macro evolution, with regards to the processes at hand, and introduces bet hedging.

        Indeed in the conclusion of the paper is stated:

        “. I have argued that the principles of bet-hedging theory should be considered as relevant not only to a broad range of microevolutionary studies, but may also be applied hierarchically to macroevolutionary time scales and to all phylogenetic levels.”

        So he is indeed claiming that it is valid to extend microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary.

        I do not seem to have acces to the Stern paper, only the abstract

        But one thing that springs to ind is that Stern seems to be talking about macromutations. Now I am no scientist, but the university of google tells me that So lets look at the Simons paper. http://tinyurl.com/p3ne56w

        He argues that there is not split in micro and macro evolution, with regards to the processes at hand, and introduces bet hedging.

        Indeed in the conclusion of the paper is stated:

        “. I have argued that the principles of bet-hedging theory should be considered as relevant not only to a broad range of microevolutionary studies, but may also be applied hierarchically to macroevolutionary time scales and to all phylogenetic levels.”

        So he is indeed claiming that it is valid to extend microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary.

        I do not seem to have acces to the Stern paper, only the abstract

        But one thing that springs to ind is that Stern seems to be talking about macromutations is an early competitor theory to Darwinism. Not Macroevolution, which is the contented point here. Stern is taking a historical view, and So lets look at the Simons paper. http://tinyurl.com/p3ne56w

        He argues that there is not split in micro and macro evolution, with regards to the processes at hand, and introduces bet hedging.

        Indeed in the conclusion of the paper is stated:

        “. I have argued that the principles of bet-hedging theory should be considered as relevant not only to a broad range of microevolutionary studies, but may also be applied hierarchically to macroevolutionary time scales and to all phylogenetic levels.”

        So he is indeed claiming that it is valid to extend microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary.

        I do not seem to have acces to the Stern paper, only the abstract

        But one thing that springs to ind is that Stern seems to be talking about macromutationism was in vogue around the turn of the century in the early 20th centry. Later when neo darwinism won out, it came to be called macromutationism, precisely because neo darwinism used micromutations as fuel, that is point mutations and the like, where macromutations were more akin to saltationism, where one change in the material of the organism produced wholly new species.

        Now what I can glean from the abstract seems to be that the emphasis has changed in evolutionary theory (which has moved on from neo darwinism, which is no longer new), from the idea that important mutations have pleiotropic effects, that is a mutation in one gene causes a great effect in the expression of a group of genes, and that this is the cause for fenotypical variation, to the idea that while this is a thing, a more holistic view is needed to take into account the new knowledge in the field of developmental biology.

        In othe words, from the abstract alone, it is not evident that the paper touches directly on extending microevolutionary trends to macroevolutionary trends.

    • l zoltan

      “the designer did it is not an explanation unless you provide evidence for the designer as well – See more at: http://www.skepticink.com/smilodonsretreat/2014/02/02/an-invitation-for-id-proponents/#disqus_thread

      this is silly. you don’t need to know the identity of the designer to tell about a thing if it’s designed or not.

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        Really? Is this designed or random. Tell us how you know, in detail (feel free to use math).

        1XKM8FDA6TymBt+hc8XdloveGfzkxrL5IIClju9TJ286TZJHeKhqifSHtwZDD8q3lPywhQqN9xvHK2KzW7D1Q5Q9Z/S7P2IB

        If you can’t rigorously tell the difference between random and non-random text, then how can you possibly tell the difference between something that was designed and something that has the appearance of design?

        I’ll put forth another argument. The only intelligent designer that we are aware of are humans. Correct?

        Yet organisms often design and build exceedingly complex structures. Termites, for example, not build towers thousands of times taller than a single termite, but these towers contain farms, nurseries, defense stations, air conditioning, and (in some species) always point in a N/S direction. Are termites intelligent? If they you claim that they are (and I’ve seen an ID proponent claim that), then you have a serious problem with your designer. If not, then you have design being done by something not intelligent and that’s a serious problem for ID.

        Here’s another example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_spheres_of_Costa_Rica

        Designed or not? How do you know? And no fair cheating by looking up scientific reports on the internet.

        • l zoltan

          Without knowing the identity we can tell that the text was designed by somebody with a computer.

          About the termites we know 100% that they were designed with the ability to design. There is no other alternative. Of course there are stories that random mutations and natural selection, but the thing is there is no evidence that random whatever can create a universe out of nothing and then to create living organisms out of non living matter and complex living organisms out of simplest living organisms.

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            Exactly, so what’s the identity of the designer of living things.

            I DO NOT know that with 100% accuracy. I know that there are many explanations. I know that one of those explanations has quite a lot of evidential support and that the one you advocate has no evidential support.

            I put it as much, much more likely that the idea with 150 years of evidence to support it is correct (pending further evidence) than a notion with zero evidential support.

            Look, you creationists absolutely must match your ideas to what we know is correct. That’s not science… that’s making up stories. Just like Titanic (the movie) had to match what was known of history and Cameron filled in some unknown stuff with stories.

            To be useful, these notions must make predictions. Evolution is a theory that allows us to make predictions. Those predictions are confirmed by research, observation, and other evidence. Creationism makes no predictions.

            Creationism, all forms of it, are simply logical fallacies. “If I convince someone that evolution is wrong, then I win” is a logical fallacy. I can think of dozens of other ideas that have equal stance as creationism.

            Even if you were to prove, right here, right now, to MY satisfaction, that evolution was wrong. It still wouldn’t make creationism or ID or the Flying Spaghetti Monster correct. Only positive supporting evidence can do that. And there isn’t any for creationism.

    • l zoltan

      “As far as evidence. What evidence would convince you to change your mind?”

      It’s not relevant what evidence would convince me. What would be relevant is what tests could prove the theory that random darwinian processes can account for origin of complex organisms out of simplest organisms is false.

      “Is intelligent design falsifiable? Is Darwinism falsifiable? Yes to the first question, no to the second. Intelligent design is eminently falsifiable. Specified complexity in general and irreducible complexity in biology are within the theory of intelligent design the key markers of intelligent agency. If it could be shown that biological systems like the bacterial flagellum that are wonderfully complex, elegant, and integrated could have been formed by a gradual Darwinian process (which by definition is non-telic), then intelligent design would be falsified on the general grounds that one doesn’t invoke intelligent causes when purely natural causes will do. In that case Occam’s razor finishes off intelligent design quite nicely.
      On the other hand, falsifying Darwinism seems effectively impossible. To do so one must show that no conceivable Darwinian pathway could have led to a given biological structure.”

      http://www.discovery.org/a/584

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        Fine, name one thing that would falsify ID… without using the word “evolution”.

        As I explained the another commenter. ID is a logical fallacy. IF evolution is wrong, therefore ID is a logical fallacy.

        Even if you prove evolution wrong right here, right now… it still doesn’t mean that ID or any form of creationism is correct.

        Only positive, supporting evidence will do that. And we both know that you have none to support ID.

        To support ID, then you must answer at least some of the questions above. Especially since you specifically references complexity.

        As far as evidence, yes, it does matter what evidence will convince you. I think that it’s none. Just like Ken Ham, you believe what you want and no evidence will ever convince you. I, on the other hand, can be convinced by evidence. Why don’t you do something that no other ID proponent has ever done and find some. Do the science that you say ID is.

        • L Zoltan

          “If it could be shown that
          biological systems like the bacterial flagellum that are wonderfully
          complex, elegant, and integrated could have been formed by a gradual
          Darwinian process (which by definition is non-telic), then intelligent
          design would be falsified on the general grounds that one doesn’t invoke
          intelligent causes when purely natural causes will do.”


          On the other hand, falsifying
          Darwinism seems effectively impossible. To do so one must show that no
          conceivable Darwinian pathway could have led to a given biological
          structure.”

          “The fact is that for complex systems
          like the bacterial flagellum no biologist has or is anywhere close to
          reconstructing its history in Darwinian terms.”

    • l zoltan

      Enzyme expert exposes evolution’s error
      “When Matti first questioned evolution, he was just beginning his scientific career. He would ask his professors how evolution could create biological novelties:“They of course had stories but when it came to mechanisms (which science is all about) of evolution they had no real explanations. Later I started to present evidence for the limits of random change in scientific conferences of my own field and till now nobody has disagreed.”

      With over a hundred published and widely cited scientific papers, Dr Leisola would be amused at the frequent claim, “No real scientist denies evolution.” But they redefine science as naturalism, and Matti points out, “A real scientist is searching for truth about nature and not naturalistic explanations.”

      But doesn’t belief in creation harm science? Au contraire, Dr Leisola says:

      “Christianity is the foundation of modern science and explains why we can do science: a rational God created a rational man in his own image so that he is able to understand the creation with his mind. Indeed, the Creator Jesus Christ is called the Logos (Λόγος John 1:1–3), and makes sense of this orderly universe and complexity of life. Those believing in a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life are the ones with a blind faith.”

      Bacteria-to-biologist evolution has no bearing on real scientific work, but many claim that mimicking evolution, i.e. random changes and artificial selection, has enabled new enzymes to be produced.4 However, Dr Leisola is actually an expert in this area,5 and points out:

      “These methods—even when under careful control—do not create anything but minor adaptations or variations on a theme. My research group has, for instance, engineered enzymes to function better in extreme conditions, and microorganisms to produce novel molecules. But these achievements have a well-designed enzyme to start with, are intelligently controlled, and there is always a limit to the extent of the change. It’s no wonder that living cells resist random changes because these are almost always downhill.””

      http://creation.mobi/matti-leisola-interview

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        Just out of curiosity, why do you accept him as an expert, when you do not accept the thousands of biochemists who support evolution?

        As far as the article, he’s done exactly what thousands of other scientists have done, except he drew a conclusion that was unwarranted. Whatever. Using creationists to support creationism. What a concept. And yet, evolution still works and creationism still doesn’t do anything.

        • l zoltan

          I trust him because hi is my brother and the others are the enemy. I feel like i’m in heaven when i’m with my brothers.

          Now seriously its written there “I started to present evidence for the limits of random change in scientific conferences of my own field and till now nobody has disagreed.”

          Who are those other scientists and what what are their evidence for what random processeprocesses can do?

          1 there is no evidence that random processes can account for the complexity of life we are seeing. Nobody never presented any evidence for that.

          Why arent you at least a bit skeptic about darwinian evolution when you don’t have any evidence for it?

          • SmilodonsRetreat

            So, because he’s your brother, then he’s not lying to you. Even though what he says is wrong?

            There is a ton of evidence for it. There’s no fewer than 5 articles in this blog that discuss the origin of complexity in organisms, simulations, and inorganic chemistry.

            The evidence is out there. You choose not to look at it (or not understand it) because it will interfere with your beliefs. I choose to look at it, read it, and study it because it does not affect my beliefs. I follow the evidence.

            One person who’s not published anything in over 20 years. Probably is not conversant in the modern research.

            In fact, on this very blog, I was taken to task by a research scientist for using a reference that was 10 years old. That’s just too far back.

            • L Zoltan

              Prove him wrong. Show evidence that random processes can create humans from bacteria. There is no such evidence if it were we would know about it. Everything you write on the topic shows that there is no evidence to support darwinian evolution.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Ah, the old goal post shift. We go from mutations can create new structures to “bacteria to humans”.

              Darwinian evolution is “organisms that are more fit for an environment tend to survive and have more offspring.” That’s ALL that Darwinian evolution is. And it’s not totally random either… there is selection.

              And I have shown evidence. There is tons of it. Ranging from biogeography, biochemistry, etc. Almost every organism on the planet has opsins. Other genes (for example mitochondria genes) are highly conserved in every animal and plant species on the planet.
              Again, the preponderance of the evidence shows that evolution is the best (really only) explanation for the diversity of life on this planet (and all past life). Everything fits together within an evolutionary framework. What’s more is that, unlike what you wish, evolution works. Evolution produces predictions that have always been confirmed. Evolution provides processes that are used to create systems and structures that humans can’t.

              No one can provide the level of evidence that you require. It’s not possible and you know it. However, let’s play a game the other way.
              Provide evidence that the designer exists to the same level of requirement that YOU require for evolution. If you can’t, then you are being hypocritical. And we both know it.

              In other words, can you provide ANY evidence for ID or any form of creationism that doesn’t rely entirely on falsifiying evolution. If I had a nickle for every time I’ve said the following, I’d be rich. “Even if you disprove evolution right here, right now, that doesn’t mean that any version of creationism is correct. Only positive supporting evidence can do that. And you have much, much less evidence for any form of creationism than for ID/creationism.”

            • Doc Bill

              Just curious, Zolly, which hurts more, being stupid or having your tiny brain caught in an endless loop?

              Science works by evidence that supports an hypothesis, not by “proving him wrong.” The onus is on “him” to prove “himself” correct. That’s your Fail Number One.

              We are not your mama. If you don’t “see” the evidence for evolution then too bad, so sad, boo hoo, sucks to be you. Creationists are all lazy. That’s your Fail Number Two.

      • God created a rational man in his own image so that he is able to understand the creation with his mind.

        Then why did Ken Ham, in his debate with Bill Nye, along with all other creationists, including IDers, deny the evidence that rational people have discovered? Ham just said that nothing, no evidence, could ever convince him that evolution occurred or that the Earth and all the rest of the universe was much more than 6,000 years old. Is Ham a “rational man” trying to understand “creation”? Is Meyer, with all his dishonest quote mines, a “rational man” trying to understand “creation”?

        • Void L. Walker

          John, you’re going to make the poor fellows head explode….go easy 😉

          • Bring some plastic sheeting … like to a Gallagher show. 😀

    • L Zoltan

      There is no amount of time in which random processes gene duplication, gene shuffling, mutations can evolve humans from bacteria. If you think they can it’s fine but don’t call it science it’s not even religion it’s absurd.

      You know you don’t have any evidence. When you say it’s unreasonable to ask for a detailed process you just admit that you don’t have evidence for the very thing you claim. Namely that evolution can create humans by random step by step processes.

      Everything you or any other darwinian evolutionist write on the topic is a confirmation that there is no evidence

      The evidence for ID is very powerful , but the thing is no amount of evidence could convince you because of your commitment to not let any intelligence in the process.

      fine tuning of the univers, origin of life, DNA (signature in the cell), irreducible complexity. Purposeful design of parts.

      Darwinian evolution is not even falsifiable so it’s not a scientific theory.

      The burden of proof is on you.

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        and yet, random mutation and selection can improve a single ribozyme’s efficiency 90-fold in less than 72 hours. E. coli can generate a new gene to take advantage of a new niche in less than 20 years. Nylon eating bacteria evolved to take advantage of a niche that didn’t exist before the late 40s. I could go on and on.

        This is evidence that you explicitly reject. This is “microevolution” because we humans have only been keeping good records for a few dozen decades.

        The fossil record is full of macroevolution. Feathers, whales, tetrapods, etc.

        That’s macroevolution and there is a ton of evidence for it. In fact, evolution is predictive. Neil Shubin used knowledge of evolution to find Tiktaalik. That’s predictive power. No one has ever used any form of creationism to do anything.

        I notice that you STILL haven’t replied with a single bit of evidence for your own beliefs.

        The burden of proof is done. It’s official. Only a small group, which are largely uneducated and/or have specific cultural biases against it reject evolution. They choose to ignore evidence (all evidence, including the lack of evidence for their own beliefs).