Independent Evidence of Designers

Bilbo provides one of the reasons I do not consider ID to be science:

ID is not science, because the scientific community has ruled out intelligent causes when there is no independent evidence of a designer.

I would rephrase this to make sure no one was under the impression that the ruling out an intelligent cause was the output of some experimental investigation.  I would state it as follows:

Without independent evidence of the designers, science has no method to evaluate and determine whether or not something was designed.

So what’s the deal with this “independent evidence of the designers?” I bring this up because many in the ID movement have appealed to archaeology and forensics as examples of science incorporating intelligent causes.  But in those cases, scientists rely extensively on their independent knowledge of the designers – humans.  I have discussed this earlier.

The need for this independent evidence of the designers is important for two reasons.

First, it is a way of stating that we can objectively anchor the designer as part of natural history.  Science attempts to explain reality by using causes that are known to exist as part of our objective reality.  We know that various natural laws exist.  And we know that stochastic processes exist.  Scientists all agree these exist.  But we don’t know that a putative designer exists as .   Thus, without this independent evidence that a designer existed at the time of the proposed design, science has no reason to invoke a cause.  In fact, from the scientific perspective, invoking an intelligent cause comes across either as question begging or an ad hoc move.

Second, if we had independent evidence of the designers, we could use this information to objectively probe hypotheses of design.  For example, if our independent evidence included a set of knowledge where the designer designed object X, we could use this information to explore the hypothesis that the same designer designed object Y.  We would be able to objectively establish various hallmarks associated with X to see if they likewise apply to Y.

The key in both cases is that the analysis is objective.  We use a cause, that was known to exist at the proposed time of design, and then investigate to determine if known attributes/effects of this cause were in play with the phenomenon in question.  If you remove this type of information, you cut away the objective anchor that is necessary part of science.

Advertisements

86 responses to “Independent Evidence of Designers

  1. And this is why I used SETI as an example of scientoists accepting a design explanation, without independent evidence of a designer. All they would have is the radio signal.

  2. Yes, we need to look more closely at SETI.

  3. Hi guys,

    Meyer goes over this in “Signature in the Cell”.

    The design is independent evidence for a designer- the design being living organisms, the laws that gowern the physical realm, etc.

    And the way to refute that inference is to demonstrate that nature, operating freely, can (reqadily) account for it.

    IOW it is all about known cause-n-effect.

    Now if we have to observe the designer(s) in action before we can “infer” their existence then we are not interested in science.

  4. Joe,

    How is the design independent evidence of the designer when it is the very evidence that is used to propose the existence of a designer?

    And the way to refute that inference is to demonstrate that nature, operating freely, can (reqadily) account for it.
    IOW it is all about known cause-n-effect.

    That sounds like we are supposed to assume the designer exists unless it can be proven not to exist.

  5. How is the design independent evidence of the designer when it is the very evidence that is used to propose the existence of a designer?

    Cause and effect.

    When there is only one thing that can account for something what else is there?

    That sounds like we are supposed to assume the designer exists unless it can be proven not to exist.

    The explanatory filter mandates that we consider all other causes first.

    IOW there isn’t any assumption that the designer exists.

    All there is is an assumption that our knowledge of cause and effect is good enough to make the inference.

    But anyway there is evidence for design in biology which is independent of the evidence for design in physics, cosmology, geology and chemistry.

    So what type of independent evidence are you looking for?

  6. Also ‘Nature operating freely’ is a very large space to model. You need a simulator as big as the universe. Feels like an argument from personal incredulity.

  7. Hi Mike,

    I would side with Bilbo and Joe on this point. In the field of archeology, one could argue, especially in the case of more remote, primitive ancient civilizations, that products of design, such as weapons, cooking utensils, or art are the first (and sometimes the only) clues to investigators that such civilizations existed at all. In other words, the artifacts themselves serve as independent evidence of their designers. And I think that was the point that Joe (please correct me if I’m wrong here) was getting at.

    P.S. I love this website and your open-minded approach to this subject. Keep it up!

  8. Joe,

    Cause and effect.
    When there is only one thing that can account for something what else is there?

    But you originally wrote, “The design is independent evidence for a designer- the design being living organisms, the laws that gowern the physical realm, etc.”

    It sounds to me like you are now saying we don’t need such independent evidence, because design is the only explanation that can account for the origin of living beings. Am I missing something?

  9. Wellington,

    As for archeology, check about the essay linked above with the word ‘earlier.’ You may also want to read this article:

    http://northstatescience.blogspot.com/2007/10/bad-analogies-at-evolution-news-and.html

    And thanks for the kinds words about this website!

  10. Joe:

    And the way to refute that inference is to demonstrate that nature, operating freely, can (reqadily) account for it.

    Rich:

    Also ‘Nature operating freely’ is a very large space to model. You need a simulator as big as the universe. Feels like an argument from personal incredulity.

    Yep. Also, if nature, operating freely, cannot account for it, how would we know this? What does the “refuting,” “demonstrating” and “accounting” is the human brain. So would it be that ‘Nature operating freely’ cannot account for it or would it be our current understanding of ‘Nature operating freely’ that cannot account for it? Even if a successful candidate for the “unaccounted for” could be provided, Joe would need to clarify why it is the former and not the latter. And that’s a fundamental problem with his design inference – it works only if we are omniscient about both Nature and history.

  11. Mike:

    And that’s a fundamental problem with his design inference – it works only if we are omniscient about both Nature and history.

    The design inference is just that- an inference.

    It is not proof.

    And as with all scientific inferences future research can either confirm or refute it.

    However science does not and cannot wait for what the future may or may not uncover.

    So we do the best we can with the knowledge (experience) we have.

    Also the data, not the brain, does the demonstrating and refuting.

    IOW if someday we observe nature, operating freely eroding and inscription on a cave wall the archaeoilogists would have to re-think all of the other inscriptions they have observed on cave walls.

    And if we ever see nature, operating freely constructing something like Stonhenge- again we would have to re-think archaeology.

    As for the archaeology article you linked to it doesn’t make any sense- but I will have more on that later.

  12. Rich

    Also ‘Nature operating freely’ is a very large space to model. You need a simulator as big as the universe. Feels like an argument from personal incredulity.

    It sounds like an argument based on observation, experience and testing to me.

    Also inferences are not about “proof”.

    We do the best we can with what we have available.

    But anyway if you think my position is an from personal incredulity, what does that make your position besides the position that rejects the design inference no matter what?

  13. From Mike’s archaeology link:

    What Egnor and other ID advocates fail to recognize is that archaeology does not assume design.

    That is not what we think.

    We say that archaeologists need to determine whether or not the object in question is an artifact or just a plain ole rock.

    He goes on to say:

    but what on the surface seems obvious is in fact built on a large body of previous knowledge.

    Exactly!

    Id bases the design inference on a large body of existing knowledge. Imagine that!

  14. Mike:

    But you originally wrote, “The design is independent evidence for a designer- the design being living organisms, the laws that gowern the physical realm, etc.”

    It is. I was just explaining why- cause and effect.

    I also said:

    But anyway there is evidence for design in biology which is independent of the evidence for design in physics, cosmology, geology and chemistry.

    So what type of independent evidence are you looking for?

  15. Joe,

    However science does not and cannot wait for what the future may or may not uncover.

    That’s not true. This may be true in a legal context, where a judge/jury must make a decision based on the evidence in hand. Politicians, the police, even parents, all must make decisions based on the evidence in hand. But science has no such deadline. It’s part of science to admit that some phenomenon is not understood and future research is needed.

    In fact, you’ve hit on one of the differences between science and non-science. Science has the luxury of pausing at the “we don’t know” level indefinitely because, in science, it is preferable to acknowledge ignorance than embrace a false positive. In fact, it is not just preferable – it is essential to the practice of science. It is this “pause” that attracts attention and allows people to begin brainstorming possible solutions and putting them to the test. Your approach would have scientists abandon this crucial ground and “make a decision” – because no one today can readily account for some phenomenon by natural causes, scientists are supposed to declare design. And this logic sets things up such that the design conclusion entails there can be no natural causes (because if they were possible, we can’t infer design), so once the it is reached, there is no longer reason to look for a natural cause.

    This is why many scientists refer to ID as a “science stopper.” You are trying to rip away the crucial pausing ground of “I don’t know” which has been the very impetus of scientific successful over the last couple of centuries.

    Also the data, not the brain, does the demonstrating and refuting.

    No, demonstrating and refuting are mental acts. My cat interacts with data all the time – his world. Yet he demonstrates nothing (apart from demonstrating to me that he is a crazy cat) and refutes nothing. Without a brain, there is no demonstration and refutation.

  16. Joe says:

    “It sounds like an argument based on observation, experience and testing to me.”

    To know if something CAN do something, you need to observe it once (empirical falsificationism). To know something CANT do something, you must observe all of them, forever, under every conceivable condition.

  17. I think part of the ‘conflict’ has to do with abductive reasoning – something we all do, yet collectively don’t seem to do the same way. Inference to the best explanation is as, Joe points out, just that, an inference – which I personally put little weight behind.

  18. Rich:

    To know something CANT do something, you must observe all of them, forever, under every conceivable condition.

    You are asking for proof, Rich.

    Science is not about “proof”.

    As for inferences, THAT is how science is done.

  19. Mike:

    It’s part of science to admit that some phenomenon is not understood and future research is needed.

    All evidence to the contrary- for example the theory of evolution- no one knows whether or not the transformations required are even possible. Yet here we are telling kids tat all life is related via descent with modification.

    As for “we don’t know”, I am all for that.

    However when it is “we don’t know but we know that a designer wasn’t involved”, that is just too much to take.

    Heck most of biology should be “we don’t know”.

    Also it doesn’t have anything to do with “natural”. Design is natural.

    ID a science stopper?

    That is a joke right?

    Once the design inference is made it opens up many new questions that we, being humans, will attempt to answer.

    When archaeologists find an artifact do they just go home?

    If SETI researchers find that signal will they then just pack it up and call it a career?

    No, demonstrating and refuting are mental acts.

    No they are physical acts.

    It is the very stuff of science- to demonstrate and/ or refute.

    If you cannot demonstrate your premise is valid then it isn’t scientific.

    But anyway Mike, I am not one for holding up research because someone doesn’t like the inference and wants some anal- attention to detail covered before we can move forward.

    Again the design inference would go away if the opposition could/ would just support their claims.

    It is their failure coupled with our current knowledge that leads us to the design inference.

  20. Joe, Science posits hypotheses that are falsifiable and ontologically economical.

  21. Rich,

    It is still an inference.

    Also the theory of evolution doesn’t have a testable hypothesis based on its proposed mechanisms.

  22. When Einstein proposed his equation that gravity bent light he required a demonstration to justify his claims.

    That demonstration came in the form of a total solar eclipse.

  23. “Also the theory of evolution doesn’t have a testable hypothesis based on its proposed mechanisms.”

    And yet Lenski is testing it.

    Please note Einstein didn’t say, “Newton’s gravitation theory really sucks with regard to the orbit of mercury, therefore carebares did it”. He had a real, mechanistic, falsifiable theory that made novel predictions.

    Science does not work by false dichotomies.

  24. What Lenski’s “test” demonstrates is that there are limits to the evolutionary process.

    IOW Creationism’s “variation within a kind” is looking pretty solid thanks to experiments like that.

    But anyway-

    What was his hypothesis and how did it involve natural selection and random mutation- and/ or random HGT?

    Evidence for Common Descent is not evidence for any mechansim.

    Evidence for variation is not evidence for any mechansim.

    Dr Spetner’s “non-random evolutionary hypothesis” posits “built-in responses to environmental cues”- IOW organisms were designed to evolve.

    As for false dichotomies – it never hurts to point out the failure of your opponent’s position.

    Novel predictions?

    You can’t predict what will be selected for at any point in time and you can’t predict what mutation will occur at any point in time.

    The “theory” can predict change and/ or stasis.

    Perhaps a few other trivial predictions but I can’t think of them.

    As for ID:

    Intelligent Design: The Design Hypothesis

    Intelligent Design in Biology Textbooks

    Intelligent Design in Biology Textbooks Continued

    The Design Inference in Peer-Review

  25. “What Lenski’s “test” demonstrates is that there are limits to the evolutionary process.”

    I think we’re all aware E-coli doesn’t become unicorns in a few generations in a petri dish. But given the small time and small population (relative to all) it easily demonstrates the power of evolution.

    With regard to mechanism, I thin we have contingnency / adaptive frameshift reversion.

    Next Joe, you seem to not understand that evolution is stochastic not deterministic. Just like rolling dice. It does do neet things like tell you where to find tiktaalic, though.

    “Evidence for variation is not evidence for any mechansim.”- The uncaused cause! 😉

  26. I didn’t realize all the action was going on down here. Since we don’t have total knowledge of the universe, any “scientific” conclusions we draw will be based on incomplete knowledge, and subject to future discoveries which may falsify them. At best, science will always be “best explanations,” like it or not.

  27. Hiya Bilbo. “best explanations’ is tricky:

    Lets say we see phenomena A,B,C,D and E

    Hypothesis X explains A, B and C
    Hypothesis Y explains C and D.

    Abductively, X is the best explanation. But that’s not the same as ‘falsificationism’, which I think is what science requires.

  28. It’s not clear whether X or Y is the better explanation, since neither explains all the relevant phenomena. But let’s suppose that they both explained A-E. Which is better? Usually we would ask which is simpler, or reqires fewer ontological beings. Thus if X is simpler, we would choose it over Y. Which is why Darwin’s theory won out over special creationism. It’s not that special creationism was “falsified.” It was that we had a simpler theory. But now suppose we get additional evidence that Y can explain, but X cannot. Then even if X is simpler, it might be more reasonable to accept Y. Which is what ID is arguing.
    We can explore this further, if you want. My only point is that any scientific conclusion is always subject to possible future counter-evidence. If we must wait until all the evidence is in before we draw reasonable conclusions, I fail to see the point of the whole scientific endeavor, since we will never have all the evidence.

  29. Rich,

    Evolution is not being debated.

    Also it was thousands of generations and still only minor variations.

    IOW the “power” was totally missing.

    BTW I understand very well that people think “evolution” is stochastic- that is why it lacks predictive power.

    But anyway Rich you don’t seem to understand what is being debated.

  30. Rich seems to kave an issue with:

    “Evidence for variation is not evidence for any mechansim.”-

    Ya see Rich the variation could have been designed to arise- as in organisms were designed to evolve- just asDr Spetner stated back in 1997.

    As I said you don’t appear to understand the debate.

  31. Joe – “Also it was thousands of generations and still only minor variations.”

    ERVs show, for example, common ancestory with chimps and man. I think that’s a fairly large move in a ‘relatively’ short timespan.

    You, I’ve showed a mechanism; Framseshift. We have point mutations, deletions, insertions, sexual selection..etc etc. We’re not short on mechanisms:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/2007/10/rm-ns-creationist-and-id-strawman.html

    I think Allen lists about 50.

  32. I’m willing to grant a distinction between “cannot happen without design,” and “so far, it looks like it cannot happen without design,” or even, “we don’t know if it can happen without design.”

    I prefer Mike’s criteria, where Discontinuity doesn’t prove design, it just is part of the evidence that might suggest it. Then if the evidence for Analogy, Rationality, and Foresight continues to mount, drawing a design inference becomes more and more reasonable. I don’t want to stop investigation into non-design explanations. It’s just that I don’t science to stop investigation into design explanations.

  33. oops. Should read, “…I don’t want science to stop….”

  34. Rich,

    I have had this discussion with Allen also- How do you know those mechanisms are stochastic- ie blind and undirected?

    I told him that he should read “Not By Chance”- by Dr Spetner- because he is the one presenting a strawman.

    As for ERVs they do not show common ancestry.

    For all we know they show a common mechanism- OR the acctual virus was a remnent- like a prion- from a once living metazoan.

    For common ancestry you need something to explain the differences observed.

  35. Joe, we’ve spliced LTRs into an extant ERV. The insertion points are random. If you think they’re a design mechanism then that’s one pointless rube-goldberg way of doing it. Don’t think its random, show me how. Me understand how the reverse reverse transcriptase works and the target is different every time. So we empirically observe randomness. the fact they exactly mirror the ‘tree of life’ for great apes is a slam dunk for evolution.

  36. Rich,

    There isn’t any genetic data which supports the claim.

    IOW no one on this planet knows whether or not the transformations required are even possible.

    Joe, we’ve spliced LTRs into an extant ERV.

    So what?

    Is that supposed to mean something?

    If you think they’re a design mechanism then that’s one pointless rube-goldberg way of doing it.

    There are at least TWO possiblities other than descent-

    One is a COMMON MECHANISM- that is similar viruses insert along similar DNA sequences.

    The other is that the virus is actually descended from the remains of an animal genome. Meaning that the alleged ERVs observed may not be old viral insertions.

  37. “Is that supposed to mean something?”

    Yes. it looks more and more like a viable organism made random insertions and less and less like a design vector.

    “One is a COMMON MECHANISM- that is similar viruses insert along similar DNA sequences.”

    Except we now have the rebuilt viruses and the insertions are random, So that can’t be true.

    “The other is that the virus is actually descended from the remains of an animal genome. Meaning that the alleged ERVs observed may not be old viral insertions.”

    except that you stick them together and get an extant virus, so that can’t be true.

  38. Rich,

    We can make a virus from scratch. IOW my point of the “selfish DNA” still stands.

    Making a virus out of the existing sequences tells me what I am saying has merit.

    But anyways- you are trying to tell me that an ERV infected some individual- a knuckle-walker- inserted iteself, and that this individual is the father/ mother of all existing primates?

    And that this non-functioning viral remains just happened to stay in place and intact enough to be recognized as a genetic marker some million or so generations later, all the while changes are occurring in the same genome as to give rise to the diversity observed today?

    You still don’t have any evidence that any amount of genetic change can turn a knuckle-walker into an upright biped.

    All you have is a “This can only be explained by Common Descent!” desperate proclamation.

  39. Making a virus out of the existing sequences tells me what I am saying has merit

    er. no. The LTRs are quite complex. Specified too, you design theorists might say. If making viruses is easy, how come we don’t manufacture them to do nice things?

    “But anyways- you are trying to tell me that an ERV infected some individual- a knuckle-walker- inserted iteself, and that this individual is the father/ mother of all existing primates?”

    No, there are families:

    Look – common descent in a nested hierarchy! Yay!

    “And that this non-functioning viral remains just happened to stay in place and intact enough to be recognized as a genetic marker some million or so generations later, all the while changes are occurring in the same genome as to give rise to the diversity observed today?”

    Well, we are 6% erv, so there are quite a few markers.

    Well, looks like we agree on common descent, at least. Plus I have mechanisms and don’t create entities past necessity.

  40. Rich,

    Common Descent does not expect a nested hierarchy.

    Also all you have is the bald declaration:
    “This can only be explained by Common Descent!”

    IOW all you have is teh abductive reasoning you harped against earlier.

    You still don’t have any evidence that demonstrates the transformation required are even possible.

    You don’t even realize what it takes- skeleton and muscle wise- to get an upright biped from a knuckle-walker.

    And you sure as heck cannot link those transformations to any DNA sequence.

  41. “Also all you have is the bald declaration:
    “This can only be explained by Common Descent!” ”

    No, but Common descent is the only proposed explanation supported by evidence.

  42. Rich,

    There isn’t any evidence that the transformations required are even possible.

    Again the “evidence” for Common Descent can be used to support Common Design and/or convergence.

    And evidence for Common Design is not evidence for a mechanism.

  43. “There isn’t any evidence that the transformations required are even possible.”

    given the short timescale of our inquiry, we’ve seen appropriate changes.

    “Again the “evidence” for Common Descent can be used to support Common Design and/or convergence.” You tired that above, and didn’t do very well. Repeating it wont make it true.

    “And evidence for Common Design is not evidence for a mechanism.” You also tried that above and I gave you mechanisms. Repeating it wont make it true.

  44. Rich:

    given the short timescale of our inquiry, we’ve seen appropriate changes.

    Nothing that supports Common Descent.

    And evrything that supports a wobbling stability.

    Finches evolving into finches type of stuff.

    Also the mechanisms you provided do not mean they are blind, undirected mechanisms.

    Again Dr Spetner covered this back in 1997.

    But anyways design is a mechanism- that is if we use standard and accepted definitions of both words.

  45. Did you expect finches in unicorns in 200 years Joe? Are you fighting a strawman, or do you understand evolution so little?

    Who or what directed the change in Lenski’s E-coli? How did they do it?

  46. Did you expect finches in unicorns in 200 years Joe?

    YOU said we have seen the appropriate changes.

    I was just pointing out that we have not.

    Who or what directed the change in Lenski’s E-coli?

    The E-Coli that has remained E-Coli over thousands of generations?

    But anyway- as Dr Spetner said 13 years ago- via “built-in responses to environmental cues”.

    But again you would have known that had you actually had some knowledge of what you are trying to argue against.

  47. “YOU said we have seen the appropriate changes.”

    We have, given the timescale.

    “The E-Coli that has remained E-Coli over thousands of generations?”

    Again, no unicorns. Strawman, or just don’t get it?

  48. IOW Rich you don’t have anything.

    Just say so.

    All of your alleged “appropriate changes” fit in with the YEC model of biological evolution- baraminology.

    You can’t produce new complex protein machinery nor new body plans.

    All you have are your empty comments.

    You must be very proud of your position…

  49. Joe, I’m sorry evolution doesn’t fit your strawman requirements.

    We’ve seen changes in organs and new functionality in organisms in what is a *tiny* time in evolutionary terms.

  50. What strawman requirements?

    All I am asking is for you to support your position.

    And if all you have is to throw time at something then you have left science behind.

    So how about those examples of “appropriate change”.

  51. Real funny Rich.

    Each example fits in perfectly well with YEC baraminology.

    Not one example demonstrates appropriate change that would say we could have new complex protein machinery and new body plans.

    Nylonase is a loss of specification.

    So if that is all you have it looks like the baraminology is well supported.

    If all you have is what you presented plus time then your position is not based on science.

    Do you even understand what is being debated?

    You have accused me of a strawman yet it appears that is what you are attacking.

  52. Hi Joe.

    Again, I said “We’ve seen changes in organs and new functionality in organisms in what is a *tiny* time in evolutionary terms” – we don’t expect E-coli to unicorn or a lizard getting a whole new digestive tract in the short time-span we’ve been observing, but that seems the sort of change you’re asking for. STRAWMAN.

    The E-coli change required at least 3 mutations, so that’s Behe out of luck.

    If you want to travel a million miles in a billion years, how far would you expect to travel in 30 years?

    No examples of design in action for me? How sad.

    “Nylonaise is a loss of a function”, So being able to do something new is a *loss* of function? I learn something new every day. Or perhaps I lose a function..

  53. Geez Rich,

    Nylonase is a loss of function for the simple fcat it can only breakdown nylon.

    It can no longer perform its original function.

    Also Nylonase is much shorter than the protein it evolved from- and that means it is a loss of information.

    So again if all you have is to throw vast amounts of time at something you have left science behind.

    Examples of design in action?

    Genetic engineering-for one insulin in bacteria.

    That said if a scientist went into a lab and designed a bacterial flagellum would you say that is evidence for ID?

  54. BTW Rich,

    Both nylonase and those 3 mutations in e-coli could be “built-in responses to environmental cues” as Dr Spetner said 13 years ago.

    Also Behe argues against blind, undirected processes.

    And the only way to show all mutations are blind and undirected, that I am aware of, is by demonstrating those types of processes can give rise to living organisms from non-living matter.

  55. Did someone neak into the lab and build in the responces during the 20 years? Why did it take 20 years for the ““built-in responses to environmental cues” to fire? I hope my airbags are designed better. LOL.

  56. Weak selection pressure Rich.

    If the selection pressure is weak then timeis not a factor.

  57. “Weak selection pressure Rich.

    If the selection pressure is weak then timeis not a factor.”

    Yay! Joe has become an “evo”!

  58. Rich,

    ID is not anti-evolution and neither is Creationism.

  59. So you take evolution as a fact?

  60. I take evolution as an equivocation:

    Main Entry: equiv·o·cate
    Pronunciation: i-‘kwi-v&-“kAt
    Function: intransitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): -cat·ed; -cat·ing
    1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive
    2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says

    Evolution has several meanings*:

    1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature

    2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population

    3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor.

    4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations.

    5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor.

    6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.

    With the above in mind it is easy to see that the theory of evolution is really a theory of equivocation. That is any and all evidences for evolution 1-5 are always used as evidence for evolution #6.

    For example- the varying beak of the finch, anti-biotic resistance in bacteria, and genetic similarities (including alleged shared mistakes but regardless of the physiological & anatomical differences), are all used as evidence for evolution #6.

    It should also be noted that evolution #6, ie culled genetic accidents, does not produce any predictions beyond perhaps change and/ or stasis, nor is it objectively testable.

    * page 136-37 of Darwinism, Design and Public Education

  61. So *do* you take evolution as a fact?

  62. Yes I accept that things can change over time.

    I also accept that allele frequencies can change over time.

    IOW I accept that there can be heretable variation and differential reproduction.

  63. Excellent Joe. Thank you.

  64. OK so we have independent evidence of a designer or designers-

    The evidence in biology is independent from the evidence in physics, chemistry and cosmology.

  65. Rich,

    You are very welcome.

    However in all of this you have failed to produce a testable hypothesis based on the proposed mechanims for your position.

  66. I’ll bet speciation may occur when reproductive isolation and environmental change occur.

  67. OK so we have independent evidence of a designer or designers

    Is this evidence available for scrutiny? Is it scientific? (And I mean that in the broadest sense possible: i. e. real!) Please share!

    However in all of this you have failed to produce a testable hypothesis based on the proposed mechanims (sic) for your position.

    Modern evolutionary theory proposes a mechanism for producing variation: random mutation (using mutation in its broadest possible sense and a mechanism for selection by differential propagation of alleles under pressure from the environment (in its broadest possible sense, topology, food sources, prey, predators, parasites, cataclysmic events, climate change, continental drift etc).

    There’s a rich bibliography on evolution with vast numbers of peer-reviewed papers quoting evidence and experiment.

    But questioning the explanatory power of evolutionary theory does nothing to begin to make a case for an intelligent designer. Paul Nelson’s remark that “Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’ – but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.” is still a fair assessment of progress in the ID movement.

    (Repost with missing /)

  68. Rich:

    I’ll bet speciation may occur when reproductive isolation and environmental change occur.

    Yes it may but speciation is not being debated.

    YEC accepts speciation.

  69. OK so we have independent evidence of a designer or designers

    Alan Fox:

    Is this evidence available for scrutiny? Is it scientific?

    Yes and yes.

    However in all of this you have failed to produce a testable hypothesis based on the proposed mechanims (sic) for your position.

    Modern evolutionary theory proposes a mechanism for producing variation: random mutation (using mutation in its broadest possible sense and a mechanism for selection by differential propagation of alleles under pressure from the environment (in its broadest possible sense, topology, food sources, prey, predators, parasites, cataclysmic events, climate change, continental drift etc).

    You didn’t provide a testable hypothesis based on an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    BTW Allen’s list does not differentiate between genetic accidents and directed mutations.

    As I have informed him he doesn’t understand the debate.

    You guys really need to read “Not By Chance” so you woin’t keep repeating the same stupid mistakes.

    There’s a rich bibliography on evolution with vast numbers of peer-reviewed papers quoting evidence and experiment.

    Evolution is not being debated.

    YEC accepts evolution.

    They just reject the blind watchmaker hypothesis and Universal Common Descent.

    But questioning the explanatory power of evolutionary theory does nothing to begin to make a case for an intelligent designer.

    You are confused.

    We question the explanatory power of blind, undirected processes.

    And as for the “theory” of evolution it is very telling that neither you nor anyone else can provide a testable hypothesis based on an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    IOW you have nuthin’ but the refusal to allow/ accept the design inference.

  70. Isn’t it funny how “design events” haven’t been recorded in human history?

  71. Isn’t it funny that you don’t know what you are talking about so you just have to flail about?

    Perhaps Rich, all the design events happened before humans were able to record them.

  72. Joe answers my question:

    Is this evidence [of a designer or designers] available for scrutiny? Is it scientific?

    with:

    Yes and yes.

    So, Joe, where is this evidence available for scrutiny? Surely this must be earth-shattering news? Why have we not been told before? You are going to be famous when you reveal where this evidence is and how it can be scrutinized!

    Please share!

  73. Oh and Joe, Newton’s explanation of the movement of planetary bodies was only superceded (in fact it is still eminently useful for calculating space probe trajectories) by Einstein’s relativity theories because they conformed more closely to observation and had wider explanatory power.

    Whilst your oft-repeated mantra of

    However in all of this you have failed to produce a testable hypothesis based on the proposed mechanims (sic) for your position.

    does not advance any ID argument. You need to come up with a better scientific explanation for observed reality to interest anyone from mainstream science.

    Otherwise, just accept that religious convictions are not part of the realm of science and there is no further argument.

  74. Alan this:

    However in all of this you have failed to produce a testable hypothesis based on the proposed mechanims (sic) for your position.

    demonstrates that all you have are religious convictions. You sure as heck don’t have any data- because you can’t even present a testable hypothesis.

    But anyway read “The Prvileged Planet” and the writings of Walter Bradley- the evidence you asked for will be there- the independent- independent of biology- evidence for the designer.

  75. Alan Fox:

    Oh and Joe, Newton’s explanation of the movement of planetary bodies was only superceded (in fact it is still eminently useful for calculating space probe trajectories) by Einstein’s relativity theories because they conformed more closely to observation and had wider explanatory power.

    What’s your point?

    Both scientists were teleologists.

    You need to come up with a better scientific explanation for observed reality to interest anyone from mainstream science.

    Better than what?

    The current explanation isn’t scientific.

    Just because “mainstream” buys it doesn’t make it scientific.

    So perhaps if mainstream could come up with a scientific explanation people would listen.

    But anyway if there are two explanations- design or not, then demonstrating one is faulty does bolster the case for the other.

  76. But Alan, that’s all ID has.. If not by chance then design – false dichotomy.

    Who / what
    How
    Why
    where
    When
    How

    ID doesn’t concern itself with the good stuff. It’s almost like it’s creationism trying hard to look secular for legal purposes…!

  77. Rich:

    But Alan, that’s all ID has.. If not by chance then design – false dichotomy.

    Except that is not what ID is.

    IOW Rich you have once again exposed your ID ignorance.

    Who / what
    How
    Why
    where
    When
    How

    ID doesn’t concern itself with the good stuff.

    Geez Rich we have only been over this hundreds of times-

    Ya see Rich in the absence of direct observation of designer input, the ONLY possible way to make ANY scientific determination about the “who, how, when” blah blah, is by studying the design in question.

    ID is about the detection and study of design.

    The other questions can only be answered by doing that first.

    And ID does not stop anyone from asking nor answering those questions.

    They are just separate from ID just as the origin of life is kept separate from the theory of evolution.

    But anyways Rich if you don’t like ID all you have to do is to actually start supporting your position.

    It is the utter failure to substantiate the claims made by that “theory” that has allowed ID to gain a foot-hold.

    And that must bother you…

  78. Two more points about Rich’s post:

    1- Science can neither be legislated nor adjudicated- it is not for politicians nor judges to decide what is and isn’t science.

    2- Rich’s list demonstrates that far from being a dead-end there are questions that remain unanswered. And being the good little humans we are we will most likely try to answer them.

    But to do so we need to first detect and then study the design.

    Stonehenge- design determined and many decades of research to try to figure out who, how, when and why.

    Perhaps Rich prefers the Ouiji board methodology…

  79. Joe answers my question:

    Is this evidence [of a designer or designers] available for scrutiny? Is it scientific?

    with:

    Yes and yes.

    So, Joe, where is this evidence available for scrutiny? Surely this must be earth-shattering news? Why have we not been told before? You are going to be famous when you reveal where this evidence is and how it can be scrutinized!

    Please share!

    Or is this another example of you making stuff up?

  80. Both scientists were teleologists.

    Maybe (though we cannot confirm that now with either Newton or Einstein) but irrelevant. Neither Einstein or Newton used “teology” in their scientific work.

    Better than what?

    Better than no theory at all! What is ID’s evidence scientific evidence for a designer. You claim it exists. Then produce it.

  81. Rich:

    But Alan, that’s all ID has.. If not by chance then design – false dichotomy.

    In five years of following the fortunes of the ID movement I haven’t seen anything else but this argument.

    “Evolutionary theory can’t explain (insert some strawman) so ID wins. But Joe seems to think he is on a winner by repeating it ad nauseam.

    But now he tells us

    OK so we have independent evidence of a designer or designers

    which is apparently available for scrutiny.

    Please share, Joe, please!

  82. Alan,

    Do you also have reading comprehension issues?

    I told you where to find that independent evidence.

    Does it also bother you that you cannot support your position?

    BTW Newton used teleology in his work.

    He viewed science as a way of understanding “God’s” handy-work.

    Read Principia and then buy a vowel.

    In five years of following the fortunes of the ID movement I haven’t seen anything else but this argument

    Pull your head out,

    I alone have provided you with more than that.

    The design inference is not based on what blind, undirected processes cannot do.

    It is based on what designing agencies can do coupled with what blind, undirected process can and cannot do.

    What is ID’s evidence scientific evidence for a designer. You claim it exists. Then produce it.

    For those who choose willfull ignorance over reality I offer just a glimpse of support for ID (including a testable hypothesis):

    Intelligent Design: The Design Hypothesis

    Intelligent Design in Biology Textbooks

    Intelligent Design in Biology Textbooks Continued

    The Design Inference in Peer-Review

    Just for starters…

    Alan’s position for the laws that govern the physical world-

    “They just are (the way they are)” Hawking in “A Briefer History of Time”

    Also Alan your position boils down to nothing more than the refusal to allow the design inference.

    No science required.

    And that bothers you so much you are forced to lie and misrepresent ID.

  83. “ID is about the detection and study of design.”

    but not the designer. How odd!

  84. “Rich’s list demonstrates that far from being a dead-end there are questions that remain unanswered. And being the good little humans we are we will most likely try to answer them.”

    Not IDists, though. becuase they already know “nudge nudge wink wink”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s