Actually, the capacity for eye development is encoded at the root of the phylogenetic tree of life.
Yes, that is exactly what we would expect to see if evolution is true. There is nothing front loaded about it. Evolution is descent with modification. Of course the earliest ancestors are going to have the genes that were later modified through random mutation and natural selection. Where else would you expect to find them?
While this might be a clue counting against front-loading, you would also have to consider the evidence favoring the idea that animals were front-loaded.
The evidence you have presented for front loading is exactly what we would expect to find from the process of random mutations filtered through selection. You might as well claim that the Grand Canyon is encoded in the rain clouds that hover over the Colorado Plateau which means that the Colorado River is front loaded to produce the specific features of the Grand Canyon.
Am I the only one that is puzzled by this discrepancy of statements?
Perhaps you could focus on what I said in response to what you said? I think I am allowed to disagree with other posters.
You said that life was front-loaded for eyes at the root of the tree. I responded by pointing out that, if evolution is true, then we should find the basal genes at the earliest nodes of the tree. Those genes were then modified through mutation and selection over time through evolution. You are actually taking the predictions that the theory of evolution makes and then claiming that it is evidence for ID front loading instead. That makes no sense.
As Bluejay predicted, I am effectively getting swamped with responses.
That's what happens when you push ideas that are poorly defined and unevidenced.
So is there anyone who would especially like me to respond to their points?
Look for common themes amongst the different posts, summarize them, and then address them. One of the common themes right now is trying to find a way to differentiate between ID front loading and the expected results from natural mechanism, most notably evolution. I would also suggest that you stop using vague terms that are completely subjective.
I am not a moderator, so these are just friendly suggestions.
1) An extremely optimized genetic code, like the standard genetic code, wouldn't seem to be terribly advantageous to unicellular organisms, in contrast to less optimized genetic codes. Radical substitutions would be far more likely to be non-deleterious in unicellular organisms than in complex, multi-cellular organisms.
You need to support these two assertions with actual evidence.
It doesn't seem all that likely that a highly optimized genetic code will quickly evolve from a random code.
What you actually said was that we should expect to find it in the "earliest ancestors", which implies ancient prokaryotes or before, but of course many of our genes arose later. That may be why Genomicus thinks he sees a contradiction.
Yes, I didn't make that very clear. By "earliest ancestor" I meant the common ancestor of a given clade. A homologous feature shared by the entire clade should be found in the earliest ancestor of that clade if evolution is true. Therefore, of the modern organisms that have PAX6 the common ancestor of those organisms should also have the ancestral gene that was modified through time in that lineage.
It seems to me that this is what evolution predicts. I don't see how ID can take this prediction and claim that it is really evidence of front loading. I also sense a dependency on the Sharpshooter Fallacy in that ID proponents assume that the results of evolution that we see today were an intended result when in fact the results could have been quite different. I think it was Stephen J Gould who said something to the effect of "if we replayed the tape of evolution we would not expect anything close to what we see now".
To use an analogy, one could claim that Latin was front-loaded to produce modern French. Afterall, the root words in modern French can be found in ancient Latin. This ignores the fact that if replayed history and started a whole new time line that we probably would not end up with modern French. Which words are adopted and changes in pronunciation are very choatic when it comes to the development of languages.
I argue that the FLH predicts that proteins of major importance in eukaryotes and advanced multi-cellular life forms (e.g., animals, plants) will share deep homology with proteins in prokaryotes.
You are painting the target around the bullet hole. If we had a time machine and were transported back in time to the era where the first life appeared (by whatever mechanism) I really, really doubt you could have predicted which proteins would be deeply conserved through life. Referring back to the Sharpshooter fallacy, you are arguing that the odds of the bullet hitting where it did were increased simply because the bullet hit where it did.
Even more importantly, it may just be happenstance that certain lineages were as successful as they were. I really doubt that if we travelled back in time that you would be able to pick which species would give rise to successful lineages. It is only thorugh hindsight that we know which lineages were the most successful.
Specifically, we could look at cilia and metazoans.
Given that the existence of Metazoa seems to require the existence of cilia, under the FLE model, cilia were front-loaded.
This is a perfect example of the Sharpshooter fallacy. I see no reason why the evolution of animals requires cilia. Yes, modern metazoans do require cilia, but there is no fundamental physical law that requires ambulatory organisms to have cilia. It seems to me that it is entirely happenstance that cilia became an important function in the lineage that gave rise to modern metazoa. Other proteins could have evolved just as much importance, but they didn't.
Let's look at the game Jenga. IMHO, it is a great analogy for biological interdependence. As you move more and more blocks to the top of the stack you will find that certain blocks are absolutely vital to keep the stack upright. However, there is no way you could have predicted ahead of time which blocks those would be. These vital blocks only become vital as time moves forward. No one had to stack the deck to make these blocks vital. It just happens. Evolution is the same way. Certain proteins will start towards the "top of the stack" and are not a vital function. However, as more and more functions become dependent on that function (i.e. more blocks are stacked on top of it) it becomes a vital function. You want to say that this requires foresight and planning, but I see no reason why it does and you have offered no evidence as to why it would.
I still have not seen a prediction made by FLE that could not be the product of evolution. FLE seems to be superfluous to the whole process. It is easily sliced away by Occam's Razor.
Perhaps, but I think you'd be willing to agree that loading the first genomes with rhodopsins, globins, actins, kinesins, - or their sequence/structural homologs - that this would increase the chances of Metazoan-like life forms appearing on the scene.
What evidence do you have that a designer put these genes into organisms?
I am not "arguing that the odds of the bullet hitting where it did were increased simply because the bullet hit where it did." I am arguing that the odds of the bullet hitting where it did were increased by the aid of a sharpshooter, who, through the knowledge of the direction of the wind, the velocity of the bullet, etc., had a greater chance of hitting the target.
The problem is that you are assuming that the sharpshooter was aiming where the bullet hit. That is the Sharpshooter Fallacy.
The issue here isn't if I'd be able to predict which lineages would be the most successful; the issue here is, namely, if life was front-loaded to give rise to the major taxa we see today, then what testable predictions would this produce?
You should be able to predict what those major taxa would look like given the genomes of their ancestors. You have already admitted that you would not be able to do this. This is why I keep pointing to the Sharpshooter Fallacy. You are drawing the target around the results. You have something worse than a lack of predictions. You are using post hoc rationalizations.
I think you would agree that the type of animal life that was "chosen" by Nature requires cilia to exist.
But there is nothing in Nature that requires cilia for animal life. You want to count cilia as a target, but you are doing so after the bullet hole has already been made.
But, if FLE has occurred, it is probably our type of animal life that the front-loading designers were aiming for, and so under the FLE hypothesis, cilia was front-loaded.
That is an assumption, not a prediction. You have not shown anywhere that animals with cilia was an intended outcome. You are simply assuming that it is.
And this results in the testable prediction I described in my second essay, a prediction which, incidentally, does differ from the non-telelological model.
The non-teleological model also incorporates the modification of genes through time. There is no difference.
I'm saying that, under the FLE hypothesis, we can glean several testable predictions that do differ from the non-teleological model.
They are not predictions. They are assumptions, and untestable ones at that. How did you determine that the designer meant for rhodopsins to be used in eyes? You just assumed it because it is found in eyes. That is the Sharpshooter Fallacy.
(a) describe the testable predictions made by the FLE hypothesis
They are the same as the theory of evolution. You try to point to widely conserved homologs, but this is certainly a possible outcome of evolution. Occam's Razor cleanly slices FLE away.
(b) describe what the FLE hypothesis is all about
It is a combination of the Sharpshooter Fallacy and Begging the Question. It boils down to "If we assume that the genome was front loaded then we conclude that it was front loaded".
Implicit in the argument is that the biodiversity (in general) we see today was a planned outcome. I have never seen this supported, other than to assume it. It can also be argued, with equal validity, that the designer or designers only meant to front load organisms so that they would never get past the single cell stage. For all we know, they were planning on life stopping at something like stromatolites so that they would have an oxygen rich planet to move into in the future. Perhaps they planned to move their own domesticated species onto a planet where they would have no competition. Somehow, their plans were foiled as complex multicellular organisms did evolve contrary to their plans.
(c) offer some responses to objections to the FLE hypothesis.
Our main objection is that you do not offer any evidence for your claims. For example, you claim that specific proteins were designed into organisms (e.g. rhodopsins), but offer no evidence for this.
The non-telic hypothesis for the evolution of life on earth makes no predictions regarding the genome size of the LUCA.
However, the non-telic hypothesis does allow for LUCA to have a large genome. Therefore, pointing to a large genome for LUCA does not separate telic from non-telic hypotheses.
But the FLE hypothesis requires that the LUCA have unnecessary but functional genes that would later be used by complex life forms.
So does the non-telic hypotheses since it is based on descent with modification.
Non-teleological evolution does not have this requirement; nor does it make any predictions regarding the complexity of the LUCA.
What you seem to be missing is that non-telic evolution is about mechanisms, not a specific history. Non-telic evolution is a bottom up process. It starts with simple rules, and from those rules a grander design is produced. When we piece together evolutionary history we look first at the mechanisms and how they are evidenced in the data. The complexity and number of ancestors is a CONCLUSION drawn from the evidence, not a starting assumption or requirement. How evolutionary history played out is a matter of happenstance. What non-telic theories are concerned with are the mechanisms by which these things occurred. Therefore, your claims about the requirements of non-telic hypothesis with respect to LUCA are seriously misplaced.
Can non-telic processes produce life that shares deep homology for functional but non-essential genes? Yep, sure can. We have an observed, natural process that is capable of producing the results we see in reality. You want to claim that these same results were instead produced by an unevidenced designer using unevidenced mechanisms. This fails the rule of parsimony, otherwise known as Occam's Razor. The best explanation is the explanation with the fewest unevidenced assumptions. For non-telic processes, the mechanisms are testable and observed. Not so for telic processes.