Would someone care to list the evidences for design in biological systems ?
Peter Borger seems to be hooked on:
1) Genetic redundancies.
These are genes which, if knocked out, do not affect the viability of the organism (i.e. it is not fatal to not have them).
His claim seems to be something like, that if there is no difference in rate of change in such genes compared to necessary genes then NS selection cannot be happening and so design must be the solution.
I would suggest that:: i) Genes which can be modified or de-activated without killing the organism would be necessary for evolution to work. ii) Selection, and so rates of change is not about the gene and whether it makes an organism viable, but about its fitness to the environment in which it finds itself. iii) If other genes on the same chromosome are selected for that will have an impact on change rates for all genes in that chromosome. My conclusion:: Genetic redundancies do not provide sufficient or necessary evidence of design.
2) Non-random mutations
PB suggests that mutations are not random, and so there is only the illusion of common descent within the different genomes studied by bioogists.
I say that the non-randomness that PB relates is not non-random in the sense of the when and why a mutation becomes fixed in a population, but might indicate the presence of a repair mechanism at work which could mitigate the negative effects of mutations should they occur.
In any case if the end result 'looks like common descent', then common descent is an equally likely explanation as any other, and so PB has effectively restated the argument that::
common design is indistinguishable from common descent.
My concusion:: It is not sufficient evidence of design.
Are there other design evidences that anyone would care to put forward?
Complexity doesn't count, because it has no relation to design. A hammer is designed, but hardly complex.
IC has also been put forward -- there are other threads on that, but it basically comes down to an inability to believe that certain biological features could have developed over time.
I guess what I am after is a reference list of design evidences so that we can start a more focussed discussion on the subject.
Irreducible Complexity - Behe et al. Some systems can't be produced by natural selection because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. Therefore design is evident.
Rebuttle: "Behe's colossal mistake is that, in rejecting these possibilities, he concludes that no Darwinian solution remains. But one does. It is this: An irreducibly complex system can be built gradually by adding parts that, while initially just advantageous, become-because of later changes-essential. The logic is very simple. Some part (A) initially does some job (and not very well, perhaps). Another part (B) later gets added because it helps A. This new part isn't essential, it merely improves things. But later on, A (or something else) may change in such a way that B now becomes indispensable. This process continues as further parts get folded into the system. And at the end of the day, many parts may all be required." - H. Allen Orr
Your suggestion of alternate function is the key to Behe's downfall, since he assumes that an IC system has to have always served its current purpose. There is every indication, for example, that the bacterial flagellum originated from the improvement of a secretory system (presumably also the ancestor of the TTSS, to judge by protein homology) that offered the bacterium a motility that could provide selective advantage. The subsequent modifications to the system have produced an undeniably impressive structure for movement from a system originally used for a completely different purpose. I always keep this principle in mind when assessing claims of Intelligent Agency for natural phenomena.
But wouldnt one then HAVE to assent to Gould's argument for curent utility of Darwin's orchid (in attempts to invert Paley) to which I read a preference on his (Gould's) part to get to a discussion of macroevolution before molecular genetics was found comensurate with some molecular embryology? A French scientist in WHEN CELLS DIE clearly made a case against selection from without that is this without this fast. Gould was afraid of saying what within for philosophical reasons only and his commitment to a certain USE of Darwin's logic which he knows is not the whole empricial sentence.The issue is if NS is a lateral force or if instead the linear teaching of biological change across scales will never be so heirarchisized. My guess is that Gould used the logic to guraentee the disposition NO MATTER WHAT DATA COMES IN. My guess is that mathematical induction is a better means to integrate molecular genetics and MESO evolution to say eventually IF THAT TIME anything about using post-newtonian reasoning not in newtons sense but not following einsteins either as to a LEGAL (uniformitarian) response but to have now evolutionist construct a LEGALLY binding teaching will surely repress many students thoughts and perhaps hamstring the devestation that nanotech could unleash if not ecologically checked. Conservatiev vocies are in the minority and need not be kept in mind compared to major sound that is currently sound.
It can be reasonably asserted that it was a relative certainty from the start of the universe that there would be organisms with eyes at some future point. For other things, perhaps things like the human brain, this wasn't a certainty at the start of the universe. The first states that organisms with eyes were designed into the universe, the second states that the human brain was designed after that. So now to find the events which influenced the probability of a human brain coming to be. Those are the creation events, from which the human brain originates. You can call them different names then creation or design, but you wouldn't deny that it's interesting to know those events which influenced those probalities greatly.
If you would find a dna-kit lying around among the fossils then that would certainly also constitute circumstantial evidence of design.
It can be reasonably asserted that it was a relative certainty from the start of the universe that there would be organisms with eyes at some future point.
Oh? Why is that? Because light exists? For the same reason, we can be sure that a mass-sensitive organ will eventually exist, able to detect objects by the gravity the generate. Or even senses that we can't conceive? Like, oh, say "Smision"?
I don't see that eyes are any more certain than any other conceivable organ.
Do you think a highly developed sense of smision would help me understand Brad's posts more. I'm thinking that some of the frequent namedropping is akin to Robert Anton Wilson's fnords, and I can almost make out the code.
I believe that optic fallacy has been debunked sometime in the next-to-last century. Is it not in fact the first metaphor employed for the design argument?
quote: It can be reasonably asserted that it was a relative certainty from the start of the universe that there would be organisms with eyes at some future point.
rest of post snipped for brevity.
I don't regard this as a serious problem, approaching it as I do from an information science perspective.
Lets take the claim that, at some point, it is reasonable to expect the developement of the eye. I accept this - seeing as we can identify ambient light, it is indeed reasonable to expect that organisms would evolve, sooner or later, to take advantage of this ambient phenomenon. This IMO is uncontroversial.
Why can this argument not be extended to the brain? I believe it can - in fact there is a certain coincidence here becuase both the brain and the eye are SIGNALS PROCESSING devices. Data and information have their own dynamics; for one thing, you can only derive as much benefit from incoming data as you have capacity to process. Any more data has to overflow and be lost.
So I would suggest, Syamsu, that in acknowledging the developement of the eye as arising from physical phenomenon of which the organism can advatange, you have also explained the development of the brain. The brain exists to add value to the signals processed by the eye (and other sensory organs) and thus render them into fiteness-beneficial behaviours and responses.
Intelligence at this level is not useful to everyone, of course. We are at the point that signals processing requires fully one third of our energy budget, if I recall correctly. And that is why we rule the planet and have inflicted the most profound changes on it of any organism since cyanobacteria.