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Author Topic:   Current status/developments in Intelligent Design Theory
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1632 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 106 of 112 (453974)
02-04-2008 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by RAZD
02-04-2008 10:29 PM


I figured it was something like that. Of course, Baumgardner wrote a book on this stuff, and he's arguing that our reason for thinking isochron dating is inaccurate is because it doesn't support our theory. I guess there's no way to really persuade such people, is there?

quote:
However age doesn't really have anything to do with ID

I guess that's true, isn't it? They weren't putting forth new data, just disputing existing data.

Thanks for the data, RAZD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by RAZD, posted 02-04-2008 10:29 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by RAZD, posted 02-06-2008 6:03 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 339 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 107 of 112 (454377)
02-06-2008 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by Blue Jay
02-04-2008 11:10 PM


The topic: current status/developments
They weren't putting forth new data, just disputing existing data.

Where "they" are the "professional IDians" -- the people selling the idea.

The ID "program"

Curiously, this - and the political appeals such as "teach the controversy" - appears to be the whole program. It is not a matter of "question everything" (science already does that), but of portraying evidence in a manner that gives a false impression of what the evidence in question really means. You can see this most when they use things like carbon-14 dating for objects that did not obtain the measured levels of carbon originally from the atmosphere but some other reservoir system: old seals, young coal. It relies on the ignorance and willing gullibility of the audience rather than on the validity of the argument.

One would think that, if there were any kind of (honest) program behind ID, then there would be, could be, should be, areas of investigation where they were looking to provide something additional, something that would provide positive evidence FOR ID.

Irreducible Complexity

So far they have not really defined what that kind of evidence would be. The closest any one has come is the concept of "Irreducible Complexity" or "IC" - originally defined as (Michael Behe, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution." - p 39):

By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution.

The conclusion made by Behe and others is that IF evolution cannot produce them, THEN they must have been made, designed, created.

The problem is that this does not preclude the indirect production of such systems through evolution and adaptation of existing systems for new uses and the subsequent loss of now non-functional elements that were part of the original feature. This is similar to the way roman arches are constructed by supporting the stones until the keystone is in place and then removal of the supporting structure - the arch is irreducibly complex, remove one stone and the arch fails.

Behe during the Dover trial admitted that all known biological systems that have been touted as IC systems could be developed in this manner, and that there was evidence of this being the case.

There are also a few known instances where an IC system has been observed to evolve, such as the Hall experiments. This turns the "IC" concept into a non-starter for something that demonstrates ID.

Information

The only other thing they have going is the issue of "Information" in a number of different permutations, all of which rely absolutely on not providing a definition or a metric for measuring what is meant by "Information" so the statements cannot be tested, verified, or falsified.

However it can be shown (see Hall again) that for the statements\claims made about information (such as "there is only loss of information, never gain") that either (a) the concept of "information" is irrelevant to the issue of what can and cannot occur through evolution or (b) that the statement\claim is falsified. Either way this turns "information" into a non-starter for something that could demonstrate ID.

Conclusion

They are left with portrayals of evidence in false manners and political issues that play on the ignorance and willing gullibility of their audience.

And the only thing that keeps these ideas going is the ignorance and willing gullibility of the audience.

Enjoy


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Blue Jay, posted 02-04-2008 11:10 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2008 12:11 AM RAZD has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1632 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 108 of 112 (454440)
02-07-2008 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by RAZD
02-06-2008 6:03 PM


Re: The topic: current status/developments
There are also a few known instances where an IC system has been observed to evolve, such as the Hall experiments. This turns the "IC" concept into a non-starter for something that demonstrates ID.

I don't think this is actually an IC system evolving here: it's the last link re-evolving into place after an "IC" system was destroyed. It shows, however, that proteins can evolve to compliment the function of existing proteins.

With a liberal interpretation, this may suggest that the independent emergence of part of an "IC" system could catalyze the production of the rest to complete the system, but I think that's giving it a little too much credit.

In response to your information theory commentary, I think the flaw is really basic. The usage of the theory assumes a creationist background to start with (i.e. a belief that everything has an assigned purpose and meaning, and therefore can't change).

As an example, I offer the timeless analogy of the scientist locked in a room with 20 wooden blocks, which he must draw randomly from a box and produce a six-member combination to open the door and get out of the room. The inherent flaw in this argument is the assumption that there is only a single right answer. They would have a hard time explaining how there exist dozens, probably hundreds, of variations on the hemoglobin molecule, all of which work, not to mention the presence of (multiple varieties of) hemocyanin, chlorocruorin, pinnaglobin and other types of oxygen-transport blood proteins.

Edited by Bluejay, : Typos


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by RAZD, posted 02-06-2008 6:03 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by RAZD, posted 02-07-2008 8:01 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 339 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 109 of 112 (454464)
02-07-2008 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Blue Jay
02-07-2008 12:11 AM


Re: The topic: current status/developments
I don't think this is actually an IC system evolving here: it's the last link re-evolving into place ...

Except that it is a different system where "re-evolving" would replace the original. The reason for the evolution is to make use of the energy source, and this did not need to be an IC system, it just happened to be.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2008 12:11 AM Blue Jay has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 3029 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 110 of 112 (454506)
02-07-2008 11:54 AM


Some recent ID research related by the Panda's thumb
There was a very interesting article posted recently on the 'Panda's Thumb' blog. It gave some details of a conference organised by some ID proponents as a retrospective on a Gordon conference from the 60's on 'Mathematical challenges to the neo-Darwinian interpretation of evolution.'

The post, here, gives details of talks by a number of speakers, including most of the leading lights of the ID movement, i.e. Dembski, Behe, Doug Axe and Jonathan Wells.

One particularly interesting point is that at least a couple of the speakers seemed to have actually done some actual research, in a lab even!

The first, non-lab based, was Doug Axe talking about a system his company has developed for searching for novel functional protein sequences based on the similarity of the protein sequence to chinese Han characters, which seems somewhat arbitrary but maybe it works. Whether it works or not though seems to have little to do with ID or evolution.

The second, and most interesting from the sound of it,talk including novel research was from Dr. Ann Gauger of the relatively recently established Biologic Institute. From the sound of it the basic hypothesis her experimental work was designed to address was a pretty thin strawman of evolution but the execution was solid. She also appears to have related experimental data showing a novel beneficial mutation arising (shurely shome mishtake?).

I think anyone wanting to get an update on the current state of ID thought and ID research would be well advised to have a read through this post, especially since the ID people who organised the conference seem to be in no hurry to publicise any of it.

TTFN,

WK


Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Blue Jay, posted 02-07-2008 6:25 PM Wounded King has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1632 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 111 of 112 (454592)
02-07-2008 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Wounded King
02-07-2008 11:54 AM


Re: Some recent ID research related by the Panda's thumb
Except that it is a different system where "re-evolving" would replace the original. The reason for the evolution is to make use of the energy source, and this did not need to be an IC system, it just happened to be.

I agree with you completely, RAZD: I was just arguing semantics.

Also, I don't think it was an IC system, because I don't think an IC system can exist. But, that's just bias speaking, so don't pay it any attention.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Wounded King, posted 02-07-2008 11:54 AM Wounded King has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 3029 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 112 of 112 (469572)
06-06-2008 5:37 AM


More on Doug Axe's latest research
The first, non-lab based, was Doug Axe talking about a system his company has developed for searching for novel functional protein sequences based on the similarity of the protein sequence to chinese Han characters, which seems somewhat arbitrary but maybe it works. Whether it works or not though seems to have little to do with ID or evolution.

An update on this line of research. Axe has just got this work published in PlosOne (Axe et al., 2008).

I haven't had time to look over it properly but it doesn't seem to say anything about intelligent design. It seems quite interesting and it may be a useful simulation system, its hard to say just from what I have read so far.

TTFN,

WK


  
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