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Author Topic:   Does ID predict genetic similarity?
Taq
Member
Posts: 8523
Joined: 03-06-2009


Message 31 of 167 (670423)
08-14-2012 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by herebedragons
08-14-2012 10:26 AM


So you agree that the ToE does not predict convergent evolution, but merely explains the phenomenon?

Since evolution is a blind stochastic process we can't predict any specific outcome. We could use the double slit experiment as an analogy. In this experiment a photon will pass through two slits at once and interfere with itself. This produces an interference pattern on the other side of the slits. However, it is impossible to predict where any single photon will land. All you can do is predict the overall structure of the interference patterns. Evolution is the same. You can't predict the path of a single lineage, but you can predict that the overall pattern of shared and derived characteristics will fall into a nested hierarchy.

Perhaps I should have said that the same trait evolves independently in separate taxa. Homoplasy is common and can make classification difficult as sharing a trait does not mean the organisms are directly related. My point is not that this disproves evolution or automatically make phylogenies wrong, it is simple that the ToE does not actually predict homoplasy, rather it allows them and explains them. Do you agree or disagree? If you disagree, how does the ToE predict homoplasy?

I would agree that homoplasies can occur. The ToE does not predict that they have to happen, but the mechanisms of evolution are certainly capable of producing them. It's a bit like asking how the laws of gravity and erosion could predict the Grand Canyon. Of course, they can't, but the mechanisms are certainly capable of producing the Grand Canyon.

However, there is no way for DNA sequence to hop from one branch to another, at least for metazoans. The ultimate check is DNA. At the same time, you can have incomplete sorting of traits which can muddy the waters, but that is somewhat predictable.

When I was a kid I dug a hole in our backyard. It was about 4 foot deep so that I could almost completely stand up in it. I was convinced that just a few more feet and I would be through the Earth and into China. (But my mom found out about it and made me fill it in before I could complete the task). This is how I view searching for the supernatural with science; we say we have dug down 4 feet (maybe a better equivalent of our modern knowledge would be a mile deep) and we haven't found the supernatural yet, so there must not be any. And others say that with just a few more feet of digging we will find it. But, as much as we know about the universe, I don't think we have even scratched the surface.

So as far as science goes, I agree that science is the search for natural causes, not the search for supernatural causes. But philosophy is the search for answers to questions that science cannot answer. Science is NOT the end-all argument.

To use your analogy, we have been digging for thousands of years and found nothing. We have been using science for just a few hundred years and it has been spectacularly successful. This is why science is held in such higher regard. Science WORKS. It produces knowledge where supernatural explanations failed after thousands of years of trying. As Steven Weinberg put it:

"Once nature seemed inexplicable without a nymph in every brook and a dryad in every tree. Even as late as the nineteenth century the design of plants and animals was regarded as visible evidence of a creator. There are still countless things in nature that we cannot explain, but we think we know the principles
that govern the way they work. Today for real mystery one has to look to cosmology and elementary particle physics. For those who see no conflict between science and religion, the retreat of religion from the ground occupied by science is nearly complete"
(Weinberg, S., "Dreams of a Final Theory," Pantheon: New
York NY, 1992, pp.249-250)

The supernatural was once held to be the answer for everything. Now it doesn't explain anything. The supernatural is irrelevant and superfluous to our understanding of how reality works. Not once have we found a verifiable supernatural mechanism while we have found millions of natural mechanisms.

The real question is why should we even consider supernatural explanations?

No one ever comes from a position of NO beliefs. Beliefs are foundational to our personalities, our attitudes, our behaviors. Everyone is indoctrinated with beliefs of one type or another at a very early age (some research suggest that our basic personalities and basic belief systems are formed by age 5). Some people cling to their beliefs more tightly than others. Some are willing to adjust or abandon their beliefs based on physical evidence.

What I am saying is that we should try to put those beliefs to the side as best we can, and then follow the evidence. Or better yet, start by justifying those beliefs based on evidence, reason, and logic.

But all this is really off topic. I don't need to justify the question "Does ID make predictions that the ToE does not?" That question does not even start with the assumption that there is an intelligent designer. It is asking a question about the "theory" of ID. Whether there are supernatural explanations or not is irrelevant. If ID is to be considered a legitimate science it needs to make predictions about physical evidence that we can discover and those predictions need to be contrary to what we expect to find with the ToE.

I hope that my posts have helped to answer that question.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 167 (670445)
08-15-2012 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by herebedragons
08-14-2012 11:30 AM


I did not propose that line of reasoning as scientific support of ID or of a designer.

You did use the word "support", and that's what I am objecting to.

I start with the assumption that the character of the designer would be revealed in his designs.

Exactly. You have assumed every single part of your conclusion.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison


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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1209 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 33 of 167 (670464)
08-15-2012 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by NoNukes
08-13-2012 12:38 AM


And yet no ID proponent or creationist would ever accept the argument that examples of unorder and unsystematic, or seemingly illogical choices, that might be indicated as consistent with evolution, are counter examples to a designer or creator.

I am just one such ID proponent: if a biological system displays property of irrational design, I count that as one point against the thesis that that system was engineered. But the road must go both ways. If a biological system displays properties of rational design, then that is a point in favor of viewing it as engineered.

Yet in Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design John C. Avise uses 240 pages in arguing that the genetic design flaws in humans is a strong counterpoint against ID. Similarly, this same biologist has authored a paper in PNAS entitled "Footprints of nonsentient design inside the human genome" and concludes:

"From scientific evidence gathered during the past century, and especially within recent decades, we now understand that the human genome and the metabolic processes it underwrites are riddled with structural and operational deficiencies ranging from the subtle to the egregious. These genetic defects register not only as deleterious mutational departures from some hypothetical genomic ideal but as universal architectural flaws in the standard genomes themselves. The findings of molecular biology thus offer a gargantuan challenge to notions of ID."

But if flawed design is evidence against ID, then rational design is evidence for ID. Would Avise accept the argument that since the core structure of the bacterial flagellum - or the ATP synthase, for instance - displays properties of rational design, then these systems show signs of intelligent design?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by NoNukes, posted 08-13-2012 12:38 AM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by NoNukes, posted 08-15-2012 2:47 PM Genomicus has replied
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GDR
Member (Idle past 220 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 34 of 167 (670466)
08-15-2012 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Taq
08-14-2012 12:53 PM


Taq writes:

Once nature seemed inexplicable without a nymph in every brook and a dryad in every tree. Even as late as the nineteenth century the design of plants and animals was regarded as visible evidence of a creator. There are still countless things in nature that we cannot explain, but we think we know the principles
that govern the way they work.

This is obviously true but it seems to me that the fact that there are " principles that govern the way they work" should be construed as an indication in favour of intelligent design. It has taken intelligence to find and understand the principles, which seems to me to suggest that it took intelligence to form the principles in the first place.

Really interesting thread by the way.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 35 of 167 (670468)
08-15-2012 2:37 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by GDR
08-15-2012 1:34 PM


Make up your minds!
GDR writes:

This is obviously true but it seems to me that the fact that there are " principles that govern the way they work" should be construed as an indication in favour of intelligent design. It has taken intelligence to find and understand the principles, which seems to me to suggest that it took intelligence to form the principles in the first place.

When we understood little about how the things around us worked, there were those who would say "this must require magic and miracles, therefore intelligent design."

Now, as we learn more and more, and detect "principles", there are growing numbers who say "ah, magic is not required as there are principles, therefore intelligent design."

"Intelligent design" seems to be able to predict everything and nothing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by GDR, posted 08-15-2012 1:34 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 167 (670471)
08-15-2012 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Genomicus
08-15-2012 12:43 PM


If a biological system displays properties of rational design, then that is a point in favor of viewing it as engineered.

Nobody knows what the characteristics of a designed biological system are. Instead we have things like 'I know it when I see it', specified complexity, and irreducible complexity which are attempts to say 'order' == design. If we could provide a scientific methodology for identifying such characteristics, we would be on our way to making ID scientific.

So add up your points as you will, but simply noting the order is consistent with design is not a way of evaluating support, because 'order' can be produced by evolutionary processes.

But if flawed design is evidence against ID, then rational design is evidence for ID.

Nope. That's simply not the case.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Genomicus, posted 08-15-2012 12:43 PM Genomicus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Genomicus, posted 08-15-2012 2:51 PM NoNukes has replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 220 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 37 of 167 (670472)
08-15-2012 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by bluegenes
08-15-2012 2:37 PM


Re: Make up your minds!
bluegenes writes:

"Intelligent design" seems to be able to predict everything and nothing.

If we are the result of intelligent design the one thing that we would likely predict is the existence of principles.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by bluegenes, posted 08-15-2012 2:37 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by bluegenes, posted 08-15-2012 4:18 PM GDR has replied
 Message 45 by PaulK, posted 08-15-2012 5:31 PM GDR has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1209 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 38 of 167 (670473)
08-15-2012 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by NoNukes
08-15-2012 2:47 PM


Nobody knows what the characteristics of a designed biological system are. Instead we have things like 'I know it when I see it', specified complexity, and irreducible complexity which are attempts to say 'order' == design.

You misunderstand irreducible complexity. The IC argument never was order = design. Just saying.

If we could provide a scientific methodology for identifying such characteristics, we would be on our way to making ID scientific.

Alternatively, we could make specific ID hypotheses about the biological world and see how the predictions of these hypotheses match up to reality.

Nope. That's simply not the case.

Yes, it is. If you argue that flawed design is a point against ID, then the opposite must necessarily be true.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by NoNukes, posted 08-15-2012 2:47 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by NoNukes, posted 08-15-2012 3:45 PM Genomicus has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 167 (670477)
08-15-2012 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Genomicus
08-15-2012 2:51 PM


Yes, it is. If you argue that flawed design is a point against ID, then the opposite must necessarily be true.

What do you mean by "point". Can we add up points for and points against and reach a conclusion based on the total?

Your argument is flawed, and much of the discussion I see in this thread attempts to hammer away at the error you state here explicitly.

I had avoided supporting my statement because I had thought the reasoning behind it is obvious. But in face of a "Yes it is argument" I provide the following example.

I might postulate for example, that iron based blood cells indicates a designer who copied his own biochemistry. Prevalence of iron based blood is absolutely required by my postulate. Accordingly, counter-examples are particularly damaging to my "argument".

Yet, given that the mechanism for transporting oxygen through the body and releasing it where it is needed is highly dependent on iron, that iron is a common element in the population II/III solar systems and on earth, and the ready availability of oxygen as a participant in energy releasing systems, we can easily come up with alternative reasons for why iron based blood chemistry is prevalent.

I guess the short answer is that scoring points for a given proposition is meaningless if every other proposition scores the same point.

You misunderstand irreducible complexity. The IC argument never was order = design. Just saying.

I don't think so. Irreducible complexity is a refutation of evolution by showing that evolution is implausible because natural selection would not work. But irreducible complexity is also an argument that the complexity in question can be explained as design by intelligence.

ABE:

Whenever someone asserts that if a proposition is true, the inverse of a proposition is also true, I know immediately that the argument has a flaw. The conclusion may be correct, but is unsupported by the argument. Your argument regarding evidence does exactly that.

End of ABE

Edited by NoNukes, : Add a final argument.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Genomicus, posted 08-15-2012 2:51 PM Genomicus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by Genomicus, posted 08-15-2012 4:09 PM NoNukes has replied

  
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1209 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 40 of 167 (670479)
08-15-2012 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by NoNukes
08-15-2012 3:45 PM


What do you mean by "point".

I simply mean "argument" in this context.

Your argument is flawed, and much of the discussion I see in this thread attempts to hammer away at the error you state here explicitly.

I had avoided supporting my statement because I had thought the reasoning behind it is obvious. But in face of a "Yes it is argument" I provide the following example.

I might postulate for example, that iron based blood cells indicates a designer who copied his own biochemistry. Prevalence of iron based blood is absolutely required by my postulate. Accordingly, counter-examples are particularly damaging to my "argument".

Yet, given that the mechanism for transporting oxygen through the body and releasing it where it is needed is highly dependent on iron, that iron is a common element in the population II/III solar systems and on earth, and the ready availability of oxygen as a participant in energy releasing systems, we can easily come up with alternative reasons for why iron based blood chemistry is prevalent.

You did not address my argument at all in the above. My argument is that if one argues that bad design is evidence against ID, then rational design is evidence in favor of ID. Instead of addressing this point, you went off into a tangent IMHO.

Let me put it this way: why exactly is poor design of a biological system an argument against the engineering of that system? The standard evolutionary explanation for poor design is that evolution works as a tinkerer instead of an engineer. But then we find that at the same time evolution can work as an engineer. This means that both poor design and optimal design are compatible with Darwinian theory. Of course, this comes at a price because there is a loss of predictive power.

On the other hand, it is often argued that suboptimal design is evidence against engineering because engineering should not produce such suboptimal design. Thus, from an ID perspective, if we hypothesize that a given biological system was engineered we would predict that further study of that system will reveal that it is indeed optimally designed. Does that make sense?

Whenever someone asserts that if a proposition is true, the inverse of a proposition is also true, I know immediately that the argument has a flaw. The conclusion may be correct, but is unsupported by the argument. Your argument regarding evidence does exactly that.

It is quite obvious that if a proposition is true the inverse of that proposition is not necessarily also true. E.g., I breathe when I sleep is not the same as I sleep when I breathe.

Nonetheless, the statement that poor design is an argument against ID does imply that rational design is an argument in favor of ID. Engineers generally do not produce suboptimal designs, and instead produce rational designs. Thus, the presence of rational design in a biological system is a hallmark of intelligent design, and one that would allow us to make further predictions.


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 41 of 167 (670480)
08-15-2012 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by GDR
08-15-2012 2:48 PM


Re: Make up your minds!
GDR writes:

If we are the result of intelligent design the one thing that we would likely predict is the existence of principles.

Why? Intelligence is notable for improvisation and flexibility.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by GDR, posted 08-15-2012 2:48 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 8523
Joined: 03-06-2009


Message 42 of 167 (670481)
08-15-2012 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Genomicus
08-15-2012 4:09 PM


You did not address my argument at all in the above. My argument is that if one argues that bad design is evidence against ID, then rational design is evidence in favor of ID.

Given that life falls into a nested hierarchy, it can be argued that the whole of life is not rationally designed. No designer would limit themselves to a nested hierarchy. None. There is no rational reason to do so. Us humans don't even force our designed organisms into a nested hierarchy. Instead, we freely move genes from species to species without any care about a nested hierarchy.

Let me put it this way: why exactly is poor design of a biological system an argument against the engineering of that system?

It is an argument against a competent designer (i.e. God). It could be argued that poor designs are evidence of a poor designer, but given the theological views underpinning ID these arguments are rarely used.


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GDR
Member (Idle past 220 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 43 of 167 (670483)
08-15-2012 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by bluegenes
08-15-2012 4:18 PM


Re: Make up your minds!
bluegenes writes:

Why? Intelligence is notable for improvisation and flexibility.

Just like we see in the evolutionary process, but there are still principles involved.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by bluegenes, posted 08-15-2012 4:18 PM bluegenes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by bluegenes, posted 08-15-2012 5:41 PM GDR has replied

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 44 of 167 (670484)
08-15-2012 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Genomicus
08-15-2012 4:09 PM


Genomicus writes:

Let me put it this way: why exactly is poor design of a biological system an argument against the engineering of that system? The standard evolutionary explanation for poor design is that evolution works as a tinkerer instead of an engineer. But then we find that at the same time evolution can work as an engineer. This means that both poor design and optimal design are compatible with Darwinian theory. Of course, this comes at a price because there is a loss of predictive power.

On the other hand, it is often argued that suboptimal design is evidence against engineering because engineering should not produce such suboptimal design. Thus, from an ID perspective, if we hypothesize that a given biological system was engineered we would predict that further study of that system will reveal that it is indeed optimally designed. Does that make sense?

I think the mistake you're making here is thinking that Darwinism is making an argument from design in the sense that it would predict suboptimal design. It doesn't. As you say, it's compatible with both optimal and suboptimal.

Rather, the argument starts when apparent optimal design is presented as evidence for I.D., as if it's a prediction of I.D. Then, when apparent suboptimal design is pointed out, the I.D.ists say that that also is compatible with I.D. So, the "Darwinist" then points out that I.D. (like Darwinism) doesn't actually predict whether we should see apparent optimal, sub-optimal design or both. Darwinism itself is not making design predictions (apparent suboptimal isn't essential to the theory).

So, gone is the proposed evidence for I.D.

Intelligence is notoriously unpredictable, it has to be said, even when we're familiar with the species doing the designing. When we're not.......!


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17169
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 45 of 167 (670485)
08-15-2012 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by GDR
08-15-2012 2:48 PM


Re: Make up your minds!
quote:

If we are the result of intelligent design the one thing that we would likely predict is the existence of principles.

I think that you have that wrong. It should be "If we are NOT the result of intelligent design, we should predict the existence of principles that can account for our existence"

There is nothing in our being designed - as such - that leads us to expect the existence of principles. At least no more than we can simply predict from our own existence.


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 Message 37 by GDR, posted 08-15-2012 2:48 PM GDR has replied

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