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Author Topic:   Does ID predict genetic similarity?
Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 76 of 167 (670652)
08-16-2012 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Tangle
08-16-2012 7:48 PM


That is indeed true. And you have ignored the small problem that this imagined non-biological intelligence has to create a biological organism and transport it here some 4bn years ago.

Do you admit that this is a possibility? If so, your argument - that ID necessarily forces us to a deity in the end - is rendered invalid IMHO.

The problems you see with the designer I outline are certainly valid, but they are not particularly relevant to one specific point: if it is possible that such an intelligence can exist and design biological life, then ID does not necessarily trace back to a god.

On what grounds do you say that your hypothesis is no more outlandish' than a deity? I find it barking mad and I don't believe in a god. We have better local solutions, why search for the absurd...No, it requires something far, far, far more unlikely.

Your statement that my little idea (which, incidentally, I don't believe in - I'm simply pointing out that your argument isn't valid) is far, far, far more unlikely than a god is entirely a subjective one. There are plenty of atheists who will say that the idea of a god existing is much more barking mad than the idea I have outlined.

I don't think you're adequately supporting your contention that ID necessarily requires there to be a god at the start of all of it - your only argument seems to be, for the most part, one of personal incredulity.

Again, my idea is simply to demonstrate how flawed your argument is.

One more point:

And it's totally unecessary when we have mechanisms that don't require your added improbability.

Whether an intelligence is necessary for abiogenesis or not is another subject, of course. But a common argument is that since ID says that intelligence is required for biological life to originate, then ID necessarily requires a god. This is not the case, as I have demonstrated by the little thought experiment of a non-biological alien intelligence.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Tangle, posted 08-16-2012 7:48 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 77 of 167 (670653)
08-16-2012 8:05 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Tangle
08-16-2012 7:59 PM


The ToE predicts both good and bad design. You have to explain the bad.

A different way of wording this would be: the ToE makes no predictions regarding the optimality or lack thereof in biological systems.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


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GDR
Member (Idle past 221 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 78 of 167 (670654)
08-16-2012 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by bluegenes
08-16-2012 7:04 PM


Re: Make up your minds!
bluegenes writes:

All of which misses the point. Neither principles nor a physical universe are predictions of an intelligent design hypothesis.

I've only got a minute so I'll just reply briefly to this. I am not talking absolutes. I'm simply saying this. All things that have been intelligently designed by humans have been based on principles. Ergo, "IF" we start we the assumption that the universe is intelligently designed then we could predict that there are principles involved in the design. No guarantees, but that would be the expectation.

From what I have read about Newton that was his foundational understanding of nature. As a theist he expected order and principles and worked from there.


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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Coyote
Member (Idle past 1374 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 79 of 167 (670655)
08-16-2012 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Genomicus
08-16-2012 7:10 PM


Rational design and non-design
Yes, I know you have stacks of evidence for flawed design, but at the same time there are stacks of biological systems that, at their core, clearly display rational design and show no signs of flawed design.

To add another element to this discussion, here is a fascinating lecture discussing mathematical models of genetic networks. It has been found that genetic networks are "astonishingly robust" and come up with workable solutions quite easily.

It is close to an hour, but I recommend it highly.

Making Genetic Networks Operate Robustly: Unintelligent Non-design Suffices, by Professor Garrett Odell (online lecture)

Abstract: Mathematical computer models of two ancient and famous genetic networks act early in embryos of many different species to determine the body plan. Models revealed these networks to be astonishingly robust, despite their 'unintelligent design.' This examines the use of mathematical models to shed light on how biological, pattern-forming gene networks operate and how thoughtless, haphazard, non-design produces networks whose robustness seems inspired, begging the question what else unintelligent non-design might be capable of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsbKzFdW2bM

ps. I've posted this several times before, but have yet to have a creationist or IDer respond with a discussion of the details.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
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Taq
Member
Posts: 8523
Joined: 03-06-2009


(1)
Message 80 of 167 (670656)
08-16-2012 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Genomicus
08-16-2012 8:05 PM


A different way of wording this would be: the ToE makes no predictions regarding the optimality or lack thereof of biological systems.

Since the mechanisms of evolution are driven by relative fitness, not optimal design, I don't see why it would need to.

Of course, there can be a relationship between optimal design and fitness, but one is not dependent on the other. Evolution is BLIND to design. It doesn't "see" how a design is put together. If a change produces an increase in fitness then that change is kept, even if that change leads to bad design (e.g. the inverted vertebrate retina).

Also, evolution can't start from scratch. Evolution works with what is already there. From a design perspective, you would not start with a fish and then try to design a tetrapod from that fish. However, that is where evolution had to start from. Due to this we get really bad design choices, such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve that takes a wild route through the body due to changes in gill structures.

However, a designer can start fresh. A designer can consider the problem and start with a set of subsystems that make sense. A designer does not have to start with a fish, and then make a tetrapod from that fish. A designer can start with a forward facing retina and not be stuck with an inverted retina just because other vertebrates happen to have one.

Since ID is based on the idea of a design process that starts with a goal then we would expect to see optimal designs. Evolution is quite different. Evolution is an ad hoc designer that can't see what it's doing, other than by looking to see if random changes improve fitness. Evolution would predict that designs, optimal or not, are modified versions of the designs seen in ancestors. ID would predict that designs would make sense in relation to function and design principles. Evolution wins, hands down.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 81 of 167 (670657)
08-16-2012 8:46 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Taq
08-16-2012 8:27 PM


Since ID is based on the idea of a design process that starts with a goal then we would expect to see optimal designs. Evolution is quite different. Evolution is an ad hoc designer that can't see what it's doing, other than by looking to see if random changes improve fitness. Evolution would predict that designs, optimal or not, are modified versions of the designs seen in ancestors. ID would predict that designs would make sense in relation to function and design principles. Evolution wins, hands down.

I wouldn't be so quick to say that (non-teleological) evolution wins, hands down. There are a great many biological systems that display the properties of rational design, consistent with ID. For example, there is no molecular version of the inverted retina in the core bacterial flagellar structure. When you look to the molecular world, there are many examples of machines that could have easily been inherently flawed in their design, based on the non-teleological position, but they are not. Rather, they operate with remarkable efficiency, the arrangement of their parts is optimal, etc. - all hallmarks of rational engineering.

In a future post (and possibly in this thread - we'll see) I intend to argue that this rational design of protein machines in the cell is difficult to explain from a Darwinian perspective.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by Taq, posted 08-16-2012 8:27 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Taq, posted 08-16-2012 9:00 PM Genomicus has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8523
Joined: 03-06-2009


(1)
Message 82 of 167 (670658)
08-16-2012 9:00 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Genomicus
08-16-2012 8:46 PM


I wouldn't be so quick to say that (non-teleological) evolution wins, hands down. There are a great many biological systems that display the properties of rational design, consistent with ID.

Those systems fall into a nested hierarchy which refutes the entire "rational design" argument.

For example, there is no molecular version of the inverted retina in the core bacterial flagellar structure. When you look to the molecular world, there are many examples of machines that could have easily been inherently flawed in their design, based on the non-teleological position, but they are not.

However, there is the fish-to-tetrapod feature in flagella. The flagella is a modified secretion system. A rational designer would not start with a pump when designing an outboard propeller, and yet that is exactly what we see.

When you look to the molecular world, there are many examples of machines that could have easily been inherently flawed in their design, based on the non-teleological position, but they are not.

I strongly disagree. Even Behe admits that biological systems can best be described as Rube Goldberg mechanisms. When you look at the molecular world you see the equivalent of this toothpaste dispenser:

Here are cellular apoptosis pathways:

In a future post (and possibly in this thread - we'll see) I intend to argue that this rational design of protein machines in the cell is difficult to explain from a Darwinian perspective.

I hope you also explain why a designer would be limited to a nested hierarchy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Genomicus, posted 08-16-2012 8:46 PM Genomicus has replied

Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 83 of 167 (670661)
08-16-2012 10:17 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Coyote
08-16-2012 8:25 PM


Re: Rational design and non-design
I've posted this several times before, but have yet to have a creationist or IDer respond with a discussion of the details.

I may or may not get around to watching the lecture, but for the moment, suffice it to say that if a biological system/network is not directly designed, there is no particular reason to expect rational design. Your example only works for those individuals who like to claim that pretty much everything was directly engineered.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Coyote, posted 08-16-2012 8:25 PM Coyote has replied

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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 84 of 167 (670666)
08-16-2012 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Taq
08-16-2012 9:00 PM


Those systems fall into a nested hierarchy which refutes the entire "rational design" argument.

This is a pretty bold claim, and I disagree for two reasons:

1. Some of these systems do not, in fact, conform to a nested hierarchy. Subsystems of the complex might share homology to other systems, but the system as a whole does not fall into a nested hierarchy since some of its component parts lack homologous counterparts. Consider the bacterial flagellum. Does it fall into a nested hierarchy? Some of its components do, but at the same time it has a number of either (a) entirely unique parts, or (b) parts which only have homologs in systems that postdate it.

2. Some of these machines may fall into nested hierarchies, but this does not "refute" the rational design argument precisely because if these machines were front-loaded we would expect them to be part of a nested hierarchy.

However, there is the fish-to-tetrapod feature in flagella. The flagella is a modified secretion system. A rational designer would not start with a pump when designing an outboard propeller, and yet that is exactly what we see.

This argument lacks rigor to a very high degree. Let's take a look at it in more depth:

1. An engineer is not forced to always use new parts. In human experience, engineers very often borrow parts from other systems and incorporate them into another system. This is not considered irrational design at all, so there is no reasonable support at all for the statement that "a rational designer would not start with a pump when designing an outboard propeller."

Furthermore, when we take into consideration the workings of the flagellum, it makes sense that the flagellum is built around a secretion system. In other words, assuming that the flagellum is in fact a modified secretion system (but see point 2), there is a good engineering reason for this. Since the flagellar filament is external to the cell membrane, this poses an engineering problem: namely, how can we design the flagellum such that a large number of proteins assemble outside the cell? This problem is solved by embedding secretion machinery within the flagellar basal body, and by making the flagellum a hollow structure. Thus, the flagellar filament can be constructed from the bottom up. It would make perfect sense to take an already-existing secretion system and attach the necessary parts such that it now functions as a motility device that can neatly be constructed by the cell.

2. You've brought up the argument before that the flagellum is a modified secretion machine, having evolved from the type III secretion system. However, there is the very real possibility - and I've pointed this out before with references to the literature - that the type III secretion system evolved from the flagellum. The two competing hypotheses are (a) the TTSS and flagellar system share a common ancestor, and (b) the TTSS evolved from the flagellum. The papers are split about evenly on the subject, but I personally find the evidence in favor of (b) to be more compelling (particularly since we know of an actual example of a secretion system evolving from bacterial flagella, namely, the Buchnera homolog of the flagellar system).

I strongly disagree. Even Behe admits that biological systems can best be described as Rube Goldberg mechanisms [note: Behe states that some biological systems (i.e., biochemical cascades) are best described as Rube Goldberg mechanisms]. When you look at the molecular world you see the equivalent of this toothpaste dispenser...Here are cellular apoptosis pathways...

You haven't explained what's wrong with the apoptosis pathway. I'm pretty sure each of those proteins play a very useful role in that pathway. Such pathways benefit from cascades so that any stimulus is amplified to an effective degree.

As Kenneth Miller explains (regarding the blood clotting cascade):

"It sure does look pretty, but why a cascade? Why couldn't we have a simpler pathway, like the lobster, where something like tissue factor activated clotting directly? Well, we could, but a complex pathway, even if it drives biochemistry students to distraction, has advantages of its own. For one thing, the multiple steps of the cascade amplify the signal from that first stimulus. If a single active molecule of Factor XII could activate, say, 20 or 30 molecules of Factor XI, then each level of the cascade would multiply the effects of a starting signal. Put 5 or 6 steps in the cascade, and you've amplified a biochemical signal more than a million times. Clotting with fewer steps would still work, but it would take longer to produce a substantial clot, and would be much less responsive to smaller injuries."

The same holds for other biochemical cascades, such as the apoptosis pathway.

I hope you also explain why a designer would be limited to a nested hierarchy.

A designer is not limited to a nested hierarchy, unless the designer is designing through evolution.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member (Idle past 1374 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 85 of 167 (670667)
08-17-2012 1:09 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by Genomicus
08-16-2012 10:17 PM


Re: Rational design and non-design
I may or may not get around to watching the lecture, but for the moment, suffice it to say that if a biological system/network is not directly designed, there is no particular reason to expect rational design. Your example only works for those individuals who like to claim that pretty much everything was directly engineered.

The feedback system of natural selection does a pretty good job, eh?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 86 of 167 (670668)
08-17-2012 3:45 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Genomicus
08-16-2012 11:20 PM


Genomicus writes:

A designer is not limited to a nested hierarchy, unless the designer is designing through evolution.

An intelligent designer isn't limited to anything, is it? So, we can easily answer the question in the O.P. title.

quote:

Does ID predict genetic similarity?

No. ID doesn't predict anything. Take this hypothesis:

Our biosphere was intelligently designed.

What would the intelligent design of our biosphere necessarily imply? Nothing.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Genomicus, posted 08-16-2012 11:20 PM Genomicus has replied

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8547
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 87 of 167 (670672)
08-17-2012 4:43 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Genomicus
08-16-2012 8:03 PM


Genomicus writes:

Your statement that my little idea (which, incidentally, I don't believe in - I'm simply pointing out that your argument isn't valid) is far, far, far more unlikely than a god is entirely a subjective one. There are plenty of atheists who will say that the idea of a god existing is much more barking mad than the idea I have outlined.

This is pure Alice in Wonderland stuff. Inorder to argue for ID without a deity, you have to present an idea that you don't even believe yourself - presumably because you know it to be as daft as I do.

The argument is also totally redundant, given that we already have a stronger hypothesis for how life started here and a fully confirmed theory for how it went on from that point.


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 88 of 167 (670688)
08-17-2012 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by Coyote
08-17-2012 1:09 AM


Re: Rational design and non-design
The feedback system of natural selection does a pretty good job, eh?

Not always. Sometimes it produces sloppy stuff.

Edited by Genomicus, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


(1)
Message 89 of 167 (670689)
08-17-2012 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by bluegenes
08-17-2012 3:45 AM


An intelligent designer isn't limited to anything, is it? So, we can easily answer the question in the O.P. title...

I already explained that ID is so loosely defined that it does not make any real predictions. Nevertheless, ID hypotheses do make testable predictions.

So, the statement "our biosphere was intelligently designed" is so vague that it obviously cannot make any predictions.

By the way, a designer is limited by its building materials (unless it is supernatural). Designers have limits too, ya know. Furthermore, if a designer is designing through evolution, then of course we'll see a nested hierarchy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by bluegenes, posted 08-17-2012 3:45 AM bluegenes has replied

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Genomicus
Member (Idle past 1210 days)
Posts: 852
Joined: 02-15-2012


Message 90 of 167 (670690)
08-17-2012 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Tangle
08-17-2012 4:43 AM


This is pure Alice in Wonderland stuff. Inorder to argue for ID without a deity, you have to present an idea that you don't even believe yourself - presumably because you know it to be as daft as I do.

I'm afraid that the craziness of an idea is not, in itself, an argument against it. Your main concern with the idea is not based on logic but on personal incredulity. Why don't I believe in the idea? Precisely because I have no beliefs regarding who the designer might be. I find the answer "I don't know" perfectly satisfactory when the question "who designed the designer?" is asked.

The argument is also totally redundant, given that we already have a stronger hypothesis for how life started here and a fully confirmed theory for how it went on from that point.

You're completely ignoring my point. Let's go through this again.

I said:

As soon as you step into the question of a why a divine designer would have any bad designs, you have left the realm of science and entered that of theology.

Given that it is not my position that a god designed features of life, your objection is not particularly relevant for me.

You responded:

I'm afraid you are always going to be pushed back into philosophy because saying that the design for life was not divine begs the question of how the non-divine creator came about.

In other words, you argued that if we argue from an ID position that says abiogenesis is implausible, then we will ultimately be pushed back into philosophy "because saying that the design for life was not divine begs the question of how the non-divine creator came about." This is the argument I am responding to, irrespective of whether abiogenesis is a sufficient explanation for the origin of life on earth. Through a simple thought experiment I illustrated how ID does not necessarily have to trace back to a god. This is the point of my argument.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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