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Author Topic:   Behe's Irreducible Complexity Is Refuted
DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 136 of 223 (91862)
03-11-2004 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by NosyNed
03-11-2004 8:10 PM


quote:
NosyNed: I can not understand a mousetrap without drilling down to a lower level than the parts mentioned. If I thought I could I would be mistified when a mousetrap with inadequate friction between some of the parts would fail to 'set' correctly.

Friction isnt a part. The lowest level parts needed for a full explanation of a mechanical mousetrap are the hammer, spring, platform, etc.

quote:
NosyNed: If we do take a mousetrap as being IC then, of course, it has been shown that a conventional mousetrap can operate without all the parts. This doesn't mean that taking one part of an existing mousetrap leaves it working. It is just that a mousetrap can exist and work with out all the current parts but with different arrangements and forms of the parts left.

Details?

quote:
NosyNed: It does appear that it is difficult or impossible to even determine what is actually IC. The definition seems to be about as sharp as the edge of a cloud.

Many things related to science have fuzzy borders: Are viruses living? Is Pluto a planet? These things existing in a gray area doesnt mean that the concepts of living and planets are invalid. Some things are clearly living, some are clearly not; some things are clearly plantes, some are clearly not.

[This message has been edited by DNAunion, 03-11-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 8:10 PM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 8:49 PM DNAunion has responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 137 of 223 (91867)
03-11-2004 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by DNAunion
03-11-2004 8:31 PM


Friction isn't a part? But then why do I have to drill down to some arbitrary lower level? Why can't I stay above the biochemical level. It is to understand the more detailed workings isn't it. And friction is a part in the sense that it is the atomic parts and their interaction. I can't understand the failure of my mousetrap without understanding it at that lower level.

Details?

Why? It doesn't matter does it? We are discussing biological systems.

However:
http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/evolve_irreducible.html#mousetrap

Some things are clearly living, some are clearly not; some things are clearly plantes, some are clearly not.

Then I guess we have to go for some examples of things which clearly are and are not and some nearer the border to see if I can discern just what is and isn't IC.

As noted above it turns out the mousetrap isn't. Somehow Behe's examples keep failing when examined more closely.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by DNAunion, posted 03-11-2004 8:31 PM DNAunion has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by DNAunion, posted 03-11-2004 9:59 PM NosyNed has responded
 Message 141 by DNAunion, posted 03-12-2004 12:00 AM NosyNed has not yet responded
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DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 223 (91868)
03-11-2004 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by NosyNed
03-11-2004 8:13 PM


quote:
NosyNed: Oh, i see, now we find that the cilium isn't IC either.

The cilium is IC when one is being reasonable and trying to understand the other persons position.

quote:
NosyNed: Perhaps someone has the book and can give the quotes from Behe's book where he makes this distinction between the cilium and the "core" clear.

Okay, heres something from my personal notes. The full document on the cilium is 40 pages long: this is only part of the counters to the refutations of Behe along these lines. I still may have to split this into multiple posts.

********************

A common misconception, which seems to be the source of much confusion about Behes concept of irreducibly complex systems, needs to be addressed.


Behes IC System != Whole System
Behes IC System = Systems IC Core

One mistake many people Ken Miller, Lucasps, and other anti-Beheians make is to incorrectly assume that when Behe says a system is IC that he means all parts of the system constitute the IC system. That is incorrect: for many or most systems, some parts of the complete system are simply add-on/accessory/auxiliary parts and are not counted among the required parts that comprise the IC system itself (the IC core, as IDists have come to call it). And anyone who actually bothered to read Behes book and tried to understand Behes position would know this.

For example, consider what Behe states about a watch.

quote:
Michael Behe: It is surprising but true that the main argument of the discredited Paley has actually never been refuted. Neither Darwin nor Dawkins, neither science nor philosophy, has explained how an irreducibly complex system such as a watch might be produced without a designer. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p213)

DNAunion: So Behe has explicitly classified a watch as being an irreducibly complex system. If we accepted what many of Behes detractors claim, then Behe would be saying that every single part of a watch is required for it to function. But this is clearly not what Behe holds. In fact, on page 216 he points out that Paley should not have discussed the watch cover when arguing design because a watch cover is not part of the (core) IC system itself, but merely a convenience added onto it.

quote:
Michael Behe: The problems start when Paley digresses from systems of necessarily interacting components to talk about arrangements that simply fit his idea of the way things ought to be. The first hint of trouble comes in Paleys opening paragraph, when he mentions that the watchs wheels are made of brass to prevent rust. The problem is that the exact material, brass, is not required for the watch to function. It might help, but a watch can function with wheels made of almost any hard material probably even wood or bone. Things only get worse when Paley mentions the glass cover of the watch. Not only is the exact material not required, but the whole component is dispensable: a cover is not necessary for function of the watch. A watch cover is simply a convenience that has been attached to an irreducibly complex system itself. (bold and contained italics added, Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p216)

DNAunion: Note that Behe after stating that a watch is an irreducibly complex system explicitly says that a watch cover, though surely part of the watch, is not part of the irreducibly complex system. A watch cover (or a wristband, or a nightlight) is a part that is added onto the IC watch system itself an auxiliary part appended to the core. Thus, there is a core system within the watch that is IC, onto which accessory/auxiliary parts such as a watch cover, or a wristband or nightlight, etc. - can be added.

This is an important point. Contrary to what we would be led to believe by Behes detractors, we see that the whole system (the whole watch) is not what Behe claims is IC, just a subdivision of it the core. And only the subset of parts that comprise the core are the required parts: the other parts, while surely parts of the system as a whole, are not parts of the IC system itself. So removing such auxiliary/accessory parts and retaining system function does nothing to refute the concept of IC.

We can see Behes implicit statements of an IC core in other places in his book. For example, Behe states that swimming systems such as the cilium and prokaryotic flagellum are irreducibly complex. He introduces his readers to the subject by discussing a person swimming at a local pool and noting that that persons swimming system has the same basic parts requirements as that of a cilium: a paddle (legs and hands/microtubules), a motor (skeletal muscles/dynein), and connectors (bones/nexin). However, he also points out that for humans, vision, though beneficial to swimming, is not part of the swimming system itself: vision is an auxiliary system that merely improves the swimming system (the former is not required for the latter to function).

quote:
Michael Behe: The neighborhood pool scenario illustrates the requirements for swimming. It also shows that efficiency can be improved by adding auxiliary systems to the basic swimming equipment. A direction-finding system (such as eyesight) is also useful for swimming; however, it is not the same thing as the ability to swim. In the story you could do the backstroke for a while and still advance through the water. Eventually, an inability to sense the surroundings can lead to accidents. Nonetheless, one can swim sighted or one can swim blind. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p56)

DNAunion: As Behe continues his introduction to swimming systems, he again notes that parts that are not required for function can be found in a system as a whole.

quote:
Michael Behe: When a real-life system has more than the theoretically minimum number of parts, then you have to check each of the others parts to see if theyre required for the system to work. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p57)

DNAunion: Thus one must test to see if any extra parts (those other than the ones included in the theoretically minimal set of parts) are required for the system to function: if they arent, then they arent part of the IC system itself.

Even when Behe is discussing non-IC systems, he still indicates that parts that are not required for the system to function can be found in the system as a whole.

quote:
Michael Behe: First, we should note that the function of the bombardier beetles defensive apparatus is to repel attackers. The components of the system are (1) hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone, which are produced by the secretory lobes; (2) the enzyme catalysts, which are made by the ectodermal glands; (3) the collecting vesicle; (4) the sphincter muscle; (5) the explosion chamber; and (6) the outlet duct. Not all of these components, though, are necessary for the function of the system. Hydroquinone itself is noxious to predators. A large number of beetle species synthesize quinones that are not even secreted, but which taste bad. Initially a number of individual beetles are chewed up and spit out, but a predator learns to avoid their noxious counterparts in the future, and thus the species as a whole benefits from this defense.

Hydroquinone alone, then, has the defensive function that we ascribed to the entire system. Can the other components be added to the bombadiers system in such a way that function continuously improves? It would seem that they can. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p34-35)


DNAunion: So the other 5 parts of the bombadier beetles defensive system are auxiliary parts add-ons that merely enhance or improve the core of the system.

And again, when discussing the vertebrate eye, an integrated system of systems, Behe indicates that one should not confuse everything present as being a single system there are accessory parts tacked on to the core.

quote:
Michael Behe: The function of the retina alone is the perception of light. The function of the lens is to gather light and focus it. If a lens is used with a retina, the working of the retina is improved. Similarly, the muscles that focus the lens or turn the eye function as a contraction apparatus, which can be applied to many different systems. Tear ducts and eyelids are also complex systems, but separable from the function of the retina. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p38)

DNAunion: Thus, the retina would be the closest thing to the core system here, onto which the other auxiliary parts a lens, muscles to alter the shape of the lens, etc. are added. The auxiliary parts would not be required for the core system to perform its function.

Another system that Behe lists only a subset of parts as being the core of the IC system is the cilium. Although the answer is obvious to anyone who actually tried to understand Behe, the following question is at the heart of the controversy: when Behe says that the cilium is irreducibly complex, does he claim that the whole cilium is IC, making all parts present in a typical cilium required for function?

Absolutely not. Behes statement about the cilium being irreducibly complex is just like his statement that a watch is irreducibly complex. In both, what he is addressing is the IC core itself. Any auxiliary/accessory parts that may be present are not included as parts of the irreducibly complex system itself (the IC core), and removing even all of them while retaining function would not refute Behe in the least.

One might wonder, Does Behe actually limit his statements about the cilium to just a few parts that comprise an IC core? Yes. Behe explicitly creates a subset consisting of just three required parts that together form the IC system itself: the microtubule paddles, the dynein motors, and the nexin linkers. A fuller quote can be found in a previous post in this thread this is a condensed one.

quote:
Michael Behe: Now, let us sit back, review the workings of the cilium, and consider what they imply. What components are needed for a cilium to work? Ciliary motion certainly requires microtubules; otherwise, there would be no strands to slide. Additionally it requires a motor [i.e., dynein], or else the microtubules of the cilium would lie stiff and motionless. Furthermore, it requires [nexin] linkers to tug on neighboring strands, converting the sliding motion into a bending motion, and preventing the structure from falling apart. All of these are required to perform one function: ciliary motion. Just as a mousetrap does not work unless all of its constituent parts are present, ciliary motion simply does not exist in the absence of microtubules, connectors, and motors.

All systems that move by paddling ranging from my daughters toy fish to the propeller of a ship fail if any one of the components is absent. The cilium is a member of this class of swimming systems. The microtubules are paddles, whose surface contacts the water and pushes against it. The dynein arms are the motors, supplying the force to move the system. The nexin arms are the connectors, transmitting the force of the motor from one microtubule to its neighbor.

The complexity of the cilium and other swimming systems is inherent in the task itself. (bold added, Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p64-65)


DNAunion: The other parts of a cilium such as the central pair, central spokes, etc. - are shown in a diagram of a cilium on page 60 of Behes book, but they are not listed as being parts of the IC system when Behe creates his explicit list of required parts: the central pair and central spokes arent parts of the IC core.

When Behe briefly returns to the cilium in a later chapter, he again lists just the three parts mentioned above.

quote:
Michael Behe: The function of the cilium is to be a motorized paddle. In order to achieve this function microtubules, nexin linkers, and motor proteins all have to be ordered in a precise fashion. They have to recognize each other intimately, and interact exactly. The function is not present if any of the components is missing. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p204)

DNAunion: So twice Behe restricts his list of required parts for a cilium to those three (microtubule paddles, dynein motors, and nexin linkers). They form the IC core.

Lets go back and take another, slightly different, look at what Behe stated on page 57 of his book. Keep in mind the three required parts of the cilium Behe lists in two separate locations, as well as his saying that the cilium is a member of the class of swimming systems.

quote:
Michael Behe: Mechanical examples of swimming systems are easy to find. My youngest daughter has a toy wind-up fish that wiggles its tail, propelling itself somewhat awkwardly through the bathtub. The tail of the toy fish is the paddle surface, the wound spring is the energy source, and a connecting rod transmits the energy. If one of the components the paddle, motor, or connector is missing, then the fish goes nowhere.

Keep in mind that we are discussing only the parts common to all swimming systems even the most primitive. Additional complexity is frequently seen. When a real-life system has more than the theoretically minimum number of parts, then you have to check each of the other parts to see if theyre required for the system to work. (Michael Behe, Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Free Press, 1996, p57)


DNAunion: Here we have two more indications that Behe does not consider the parts that Miller removed to be parts of the IC cilium system itself.

Already mentioned:
(1) Behe lists only three parts of the cilium as being part of the IC system itself (microtubule paddles, dynein motors, and nexin linkers)

Two new ones:
(2) Lets ask ourselves, What parts are common to all cilia, even the most primitive?

Microtubule paddles? Yes.
Dynein motors? Yes.
Nexin linkers? Yes.
Central pair? No.
Central spokes? No.

So in addition to Behes explicitly stated subset consisting of just three parts, we have another indication that only the first three parts listed comprise the IC system itself (the core) with the other parts being accessory/auxiliary add-ons (and therefore, not parts of the IC system itself).

(3) Lets ask ourselves, What parts constitute the theoretical minimum subset of parts required for ciliary function? Behe already answered this on pages 63-65, listing each of the three required parts and what role each one serves in completing the system function: that minimal theoretical subset consists of just the first three listed above (those with the answer, Yes). Since the central pair and central spokes are not included in the theoretically minimal set of parts required for ciliary action, one would need to test to see if they are required for the system to work. Are they required? No, there are multiple known examples of functional cilia that lack them. So are the central pair and central spokes part of the actual IC system itself? Nope. Thus, another a third - indication that the central pair and central spokes are not to be considered parts of the IC system.

In summary, the parts of a cilium that Miller removed were ones that Behe never, in any way, claimed were required for ciliary function. In addition, at least three lines of evidence indicate that Behe considers those parts that Miller removed to not be part of the IC core (the dynein outer arms come close, but no cigar, since the dynein inner arms remained). What Miller removed were auxiliary/accessory parts added onto the core IC system itself. As such, Kenneth Millers eel-sperm-flagellum counterexample and accompanying refutation are to be rejected as invalid misrepresentations of Behes position.

[This message has been edited by DNAunion, 03-11-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 8:13 PM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 9:05 PM DNAunion has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 139 of 223 (91875)
03-11-2004 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by DNAunion
03-11-2004 8:52 PM


Ok, I see now. It seems it is clear just what the IC system being discussed (in the case of the cilium) actually is. Of course, as we get down to a simpler and simpler core we do end up with a system that just perhaps can arise in a single step.

Or, more likely, we now have a simple 3 part system of which one or two of them might be useful for another purpose without the others. It seems that as Behe squeezes this particular example down it gets more "evolvable", doesn't it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by DNAunion, posted 03-11-2004 8:52 PM DNAunion has not yet responded

  
DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 140 of 223 (91899)
03-11-2004 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by NosyNed
03-11-2004 8:49 PM


quote:
NosyNed: Friction isn't a part? ... [Drilling down to lower levels is done to understand the more detailed workings,] And friction is a part in the sense that it is the atomic parts and their interaction. I can't understand the failure of my mousetrap without understanding it at that lower level.

Youre just being silly now...right? At least I hope you aren't being serious.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 8:49 PM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by NosyNed, posted 03-12-2004 12:25 AM DNAunion has responded

  
DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 141 of 223 (91952)
03-12-2004 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by NosyNed
03-11-2004 8:49 PM


quote:
NosyNed: Why can't I stay above the biochemical level.

Because the level of organs and organ systems simply doesnt provide a fully satisfactory explanation of the system function.

Take a skeletal muscle for example. How does the system function? Unlike a mechanical mousetrap, where that question can be answered by referencing only the 5 mechanical parts that exert simple physical forces upon each other, that question cant be answered for a muscle by looking just at the next lower level: tissues. There is still a whole slew of stuff occurring at lower levels that is needed to provide a satisfactory explanation of what is going on in the tissues, in order to explain what is going on in the muscle. The tissue level is also not sufficient to give a fully satisfactory explanation: we have to look at the cellular level. And even then, we have to look farther down, to the molecular level. We need to know what a sarcomere is, how the myosin heads cyclically cock, attach, pull, and release, thereby sliding the filaments past each other; we need to know that release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum causes contraction by calciums binding to certain proteins, causing a change in shape that exposes binding sites for the myosin heads; we need to know that it is the arrival of an action potential at the sarcoplasmic reticulum that triggers the release of calcium; and so on. And of course we have to explain the muscle cell itself: how it performs the normal housekeeping functions, such as making ATP (which powers contraction, as well as other processes), transcribing DNA and translating RNA into proteins (such as the contractile proteins, as well as others), and so on. Note how when we get down to the biochemical level we are satisfied with the explanation: generally speaking, we could always go lower than chemistry, no matter what we are examining, but in most cases that is not required (you don't need to know quantum mechanics to understand a mousetrap). There is a whole world of activity, functionality, and systems that lies down beneath the level of a skeletal muscle and an understanding of those systems is needed in order to provide a fully satisfactory explanation of skeletal muscle function.

[This message has been edited by DNAunion, 03-12-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 8:49 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 142 of 223 (91956)
03-12-2004 12:25 AM
Reply to: Message 140 by DNAunion
03-11-2004 9:59 PM


No, I'm not being silly. It seems this is the same drilling down that Behe wants to do to get to purely biochemical bilogical systems. I don't see the difference. The point is that a system can be examined at a number of levels of abstraction. Behe (as you quote him) seems to be jumping around with no visible reason other than it suits his case.

If a mousetrap can be treated at the higher level (macro level) then a biological system can be too. If a mousetrap is what Behe himself thinks is IC but can be shown to not meet his definition then I'm not sure what his defintion (with all the addenda to it) is worth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by DNAunion, posted 03-11-2004 9:59 PM DNAunion has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by DNAunion, posted 03-12-2004 12:38 AM NosyNed has responded

  
DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 143 of 223 (91965)
03-12-2004 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 142 by NosyNed
03-12-2004 12:25 AM


quote:
NosyNed: Friction isn't a part? ... [Drilling down to lower levels is done to understand the more detailed workings,] And friction is a part in the sense that it is the atomic parts and their interaction. I can't understand the failure of my mousetrap without understanding it at that lower level.

quote:
DNAunion: Youre just being silly now.right? At least I hope you arent being serious.

quote:
NosyNed: No, I'm not being silly. It seems this is the same drilling down that Behe wants to do to get to purely biochemical bilogical systems. I don't see the difference.

It's not like you to be so unreasonable...is it?

Well, to make the point, lets continue in your unreasonable footsteps, employing your logic. On what grounds do you state that we can stop at the level of atoms? After all, how can you understand your atomic parts friction if you dont understand how the parts of atoms work? So, obviously we have to drill down even deeper, to the level of protons, neutrons, and electrons. But on what grounds could you state that we could stop there? After all, how can you understand protons and neutrons if you dont understand how their parts work? So we'd have to drill down to the quark level. But on what grounds could you state that we could stop there? After all, do you really know how quarks work? I doubt it. So we would have to drill down to the level of strings in an attempt to understand quarks.

But waitit gets worse. You are trying to pawn off friction as a part when it clearly isnt, its a force and also say we must know how the lower level parts interact. So to understand quarks and strings and such we also have to understand the related math and physics, such as the vector algebra, calculus, the Balmer series, pair production and mutual annihilation, wave-particle duality, symmetry breaking, electroweak and color forces, quantum electrodynamics and quantum chromodynamics, wave functions, superposition, entanglement, vacuum fluctuations, Calabi-Yau representations of spacetime, and so on.

So I guess youd require us all to have a Ph. D. in order to understand how a simple mechanical mousetrap works! LOL!

Come on NosyNedbe realisticbe reasonable. We should have to drill down only as far as is needed only far enough to be able to give a fully satisfactory, detailed explanation of how the system works. And except when actually dealing with quarks (or strings), drilling down farther is always possible, but hardly ever necessary. As far as for a mechanical mousetrap, its macroscopic parts (hammer, spring, holding bar, etc.) are the lowest level one needs to drill down to in order to give a fully satisfactory and detailed explanation for the systems function. A Ph.D. in physics is not required: a simple mechanical view such as this spring pushes on that bar, causing it to 'crush' the mouse is fully sufficient.

[This message has been edited by DNAunion, 03-12-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by NosyNed, posted 03-12-2004 12:25 AM NosyNed has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by NosyNed, posted 03-12-2004 1:12 AM DNAunion has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 144 of 223 (91980)
03-12-2004 1:12 AM
Reply to: Message 143 by DNAunion
03-12-2004 12:38 AM


Futile
Actually the whole discussion is striking me as silly and a waste of time. I think I've spent way to much time here and will perhaps lurk now and then.

You can carry on with this stuff if you think it is getting anywhere.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by DNAunion, posted 03-12-2004 12:38 AM DNAunion has not yet responded

  
MrHambre
Member (Idle past 160 days)
Posts: 1494
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 145 of 223 (92041)
03-12-2004 6:10 AM
Reply to: Message 137 by NosyNed
03-11-2004 8:49 PM


Analogies Designed to Deceive
Call me cynical, but I'd say Behe's use of the mousetrap analogy is aimed less at clarifying biochemistry for the layman, than obscuring the issue for people who don't know any better. Mousetraps, obviously, are manufactured by a designer for a reason. Intelligent design creationists want everyone to draw the same conclusion about molecular machines. Behe's acolyte here has been known to beat the 'information' drum for the exact same reason: if a book or computer doesn't have information unless someone puts it there, then the observation that DNA 'has' information is indistinguishable from the claim that someone put it there.

The analogies are helpful in one sense, but the intelligent design creationists want them to serve functions for which they're unfit. This is why 'IC' is such an irrelevant point. Evolutionists are fascinated by biological structures (macro or otherwise) and consistently try to establish plausible developmental pathways. ID creationists are only interested in these structures if they can be used to advance some fantasy agenda, and these analogies can be used to mislead people who allow the IDC camp to set the terms of the debate.

regards,
Esteban "Cat and Mouse" Hambre


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by NosyNed, posted 03-11-2004 8:49 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 146 of 223 (92059)
03-12-2004 8:47 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by MrHambre
03-12-2004 6:10 AM


Re: Analogies Designed to Deceive
quote:
Call me cynical,

Okay, youre cynical.

quote:
Behe's acolyte here

Exactly which definition of acolyte are you using, you cynical person you. The only one from my dictionary that fits deals with one person merely assisting another. I defending Behe against people who have offered distortions of his actual argument.

quote:
.has been known to beat the 'information' drum for the exact same reason: if a book or computer doesn't have information unless someone puts it there, then the observation that DNA 'has' information is indistinguishable from the claim that someone put it there.

Not my position.

At this site Ive not committed to how information got into DNA because HOW has not been my point...just that there IS information in DNA.

But now Ill go ahead and state my position: purely natural processes, such as random mutation and natural selection, can increase the information content of DNA. The information needed to produce extant organisms, encoded in DNA base sequences, was produced from natural manipulations of the DNA information needed to produce yesterdays organisms, which arose in a similar fashion, and so, back through time until reaching a single common ancestor (if we are going to get technical, possibly a single community in the Woese sense). In other words, common descent of all extant life from a universal common ancestor by means of undirected evolution, with the new information entering the collective genome by means of undirected mutation and natural selection.

Why then am I defending Behe? Because the attacks against him are bogus. This isnt defending Behes IC->ID argument, but rather defending truth (or as close to it as we can come). If someone is going to refute Behe, they need to refute Behe, not some distorted substitute.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by MrHambre, posted 03-12-2004 6:10 AM MrHambre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by Quetzal, posted 03-12-2004 8:56 AM DNAunion has responded
 Message 149 by Brad McFall, posted 03-12-2004 12:16 PM DNAunion has not yet responded
 Message 151 by MrHambre, posted 03-12-2004 4:04 PM DNAunion has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3919 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 147 of 223 (92061)
03-12-2004 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by DNAunion
03-12-2004 8:47 AM


Re: Analogies Designed to Deceive
Ya know DNAunion, in all the years I've been reading your posts (here, IIDB), this is the first time I've ever seen you make a definitive statement of where you're coming from. I hereby officially and formally renounce any lingering doubts I may have had about you. Thanks for (finally) clarifying what you're on about.

Now - given that your argument consists not of defending Behe and ID, what would you consider to be a valid argument against what I usually construe as Behe's highly intricate "god of the gaps" and/or personal incredulity argument? IOW, what would be a good approach to take to refute/rebut his arguments?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by DNAunion, posted 03-12-2004 8:47 AM DNAunion has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by DNAunion, posted 03-12-2004 1:39 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 148 of 223 (92069)
03-12-2004 11:58 AM


Mousetrap to Tie Clip
DNAUnion,

Behe argues that no part of the mousetrap can be removed without it losing its function. I agree. However, if you remove parts of the mousetrap it can still be functional in other ways. Kenneth Miller has worn a tie clip made out of a mousetrap. He removed the trigger mechanism, one of Behe's essential parts. It no longer works as a mousetrap, but works well as a tie clip. Again, Behe ignores possible other roles that his incomplete IC systems could have filled other than being completely non-functional. I think he carries this bias into his work with cellular systems. He ignores all but the most direct evolutionary pathways, and assumes that these direct pathways are the only legitimate pathways that evolution takes.

Also, if you have time could you respond to message #130. It is actually nice to carry on an informed and well debated topic for once. Hope to hear from you soon.

Loudmouth


  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3080 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 149 of 223 (92072)
03-12-2004 12:16 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by DNAunion
03-12-2004 8:47 AM


Re: Analogies Designed to receive
This would be like following a chapter in "BIOLOGICAL SEQUENCE ANALYSISROBABLISTIC MODESL OF PROTEINS AND NUCLEIC ACIS BY D,E,K and M Cambridge University Press 1998 or 2002 not with p215 "Towards more realistic evolutionary models" "Until now, we have treated biological sequences as one-dimensional strings of independent, uncorrelated symbols. This assumption is computationally convenient but not structurally realistic. The three-dimensional folding of proteins and nucleic acids involves extensive physical interactions between residues that are not adjecent in primary sequence."
Instead try to find a geometry of linkages programmtically by each site in the sequence itself able to increase the information content of the whole. I was able to gain say Einstein's physicality to the idea of discussing entropic VS ethalpic adaptations. Dont immediately look for long range correlations within the 1-D strech surround. And DONT think that the problem is the conception in 1-D if you will. This is clearly a difficult problem and I probably would need to restate to make it even intelligible to others besides me. Hopefully not.
see also ("The evolutionary models used so far have made some fairly drastic simplifying assumptions(p193.). The restriction to ungapped alignments discards useful phylogenetic information given by the pattern of deletions and insertions. It is also clearly incorrect to model each site in a sequence with the same substitution matrix,"..)

What these author's are trying to see done is have "yesterday's" organism(via sequence) be the shape of tommarrow's COMPARED series. It is a priori clear if deceptive evolution exists this is impossible out right but the error is in reading the deception as homogenous across any dimension of data even before there is any probablistic graph made.
What is considered "long range" may be information changes at the same site but becuase the historical basis for ARGUING about the scale was largely in the context of action at a distance vs bonding etc often the forest becomes a chemical before the solution is seen as it was. Of course it may be different.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by DNAunion, posted 03-12-2004 8:47 AM DNAunion has not yet responded

    
DNAunion
Inactive Member


Message 150 of 223 (92079)
03-12-2004 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by Quetzal
03-12-2004 8:56 AM


Re: Analogies Designed to Deceive
quote:
Quetzal: Now - given that your argument consists not of defending Behe and ID, what would you consider to be a valid argument against what I usually construe as Behe's highly intricate "god of the gaps" and/or personal incredulity argument? IOW, what would be a good approach to take to refute/rebut his arguments?

As far as an actual example...although I stopped following the debates in detail a while ago and don't know what kind of counter the IDists might have come up with, the bacterial flagellum having evolved from the "type III export system" (can't remember the exact name) looks good to me. And it deals with one of Behe's own systems.

**********************

quote:
loudmouth: He ignores all but the most direct evolutionary pathways, and assumes that these direct pathways are the only legitimate pathways that evolution takes.

Another point I had trouble debating against. Niiic at Infidels argued this against me and I eventually realized he was right. But it takes many exchanges to show the point convincingly because the problem is sort of subtle.

[This message has been edited by DNAunion, 03-12-2004]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by Quetzal, posted 03-12-2004 8:56 AM Quetzal has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 155 by Brad McFall, posted 03-16-2004 3:24 PM DNAunion has not yet responded

  
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