Design and Nested Hierarchies

He is estimating and large errors with normal numbers become small noise with numbers we see with combinatorial mathematics.

Have you worked on Actins in all their applications? This is where the extreme preservation may come from. Functional information depends on the function you are defining. Relative to the function of what evolution is really measuring which is survival the functional information is about the organism.

It is now looking like the statement has been falsified if you understand functional information. If the statement is modified then it could be explored further.

Its starting to look like it is almost perfectly correlated at least that’s what others believe with a small search I did yesterday.

Its completely contained in H and S definition. We can define the function in a narrow sense (protein) or in a broad sense (organism).

Word salad which is telling us if our heads are not buried in the sand that ID is the only explanation at this point for what we are observing. A single protein family, Actin, may falsify the grand claims of evolutionary theory.

Axe was estimating substitutability in amino acid positions specifically for an e coli bacteria surviving in a solution of penicillin. The results were troubling for RMNS but not a knock our punch. Actin preservation that we are discussing maybe the single protein knock out punch. Time will tell.

It is a problem because they are homologous, not analogous as is the case with convergent features.

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His estimates are not valid, because they are based on an objectively false assumption.

Have you worked on actins at all, Bill? Your arrogance is remarkable. BTW, “actin” is not capitalized. You’d know that if you’d read anything relevant.

Yes. That’s not information. To use objects known to be designed, the fact that a locomotive needs track on which to run does not mean that a segment of track has more functional information than the locomotive does.

Man, I love using design analogies!

Then you’re admitting that it is completely subjective, plastic, and therefore useless. You need rigorous definitions before you go into the math. Otherwise, you’re just engaging in pseudoscientific, post hoc rationalizations.

No, the assumption is still false and I’m confident that I understand the concepts of function and information far better than you do.

You found that the proteins with less functional information were more conserved. That means that they are not correlated.

IOW, it’s completely subjective so that you can use it to defend your emotional investment by retrospective redefinition.

More word salad.

He had no justification for starting with a temperature-sensitive mutant instead of the wild-type protein and he couldn’t be bothered to assay enzyme activity, so he has no idea where the functional threshold lies. Nor do you.

We do, however, know that we can find beta-lactamase in less than 10^8 random IgG libraries. That positive evidence is far more reliable than Axe’s negative evidence and his extrapolation to all of biology from an n of 1.

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This is the part that confuses me. ID proponents seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth. First, they will argue that design will produce a nested hierarchy. Next, they will claim that there are numerous and obvious examples of violations to that nested hierarchy which evidences design. So which is it?

Ewert seems to be make the same types of arguments. For example:

Ewert seems to be arguing that there shouldn’t be a nested hierarchy if design is true, and cites examples of where Ewert thinks this prediction applies. Do I have this right?


If @gpuccio had a workable method, he could calculate the functional information in a random sequence. He can’t. That pretty much says it all.


The nested hierarchy claim is weak or a poor argument.

You come up with some real winners :slight_smile:

A weak or poor argument for what?

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why not? im sure that these wings are a bit different from a jet fighter wings. so i see no problem to call them analogous.

Then please list the shared derived features that you are using to differentiate between wings.

Aren’t you making that argument?

So weak and poor the Discovery Institute felt they needed to publish an attempt to rebut it, wherein Ewert explicitly states the burden is on ID proponents to attempt to explain it better than common descent.

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Shame on you, Bill.

In a universe where everything is—ultimately—designed by a mind (i.e., God), intelligent design explains everything—and nothing. That is, since there is not anything in that universe which God in his sovereignty did not plan, there is nothing that is not intelligently designed. As a result, there could never in that universe be a scientific test to determine what is and isn’t intelligently designed.

So, I guess the answer to your question (if that scenario is assumed by an ID proponent) is both. And neither. In other words, no matter what evidence one collects, ID can still explains it.

For that matter, in that universe everything could have been designed to look not-designed even though it was actually designed. (Sort of?? My head hurts.)

This is yet another reason why I reject Intelligent Design as a scientific explanation even though I happen to believe God designed our universe.

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I agree with you but see this slightly differently. We are going to discover God through inductive reasoning as we start to detect design. DNA was the first hard evidence of a mind behind the universe as matter and its characteristics were a bigger challenge for design detection. As I look at quantum gravity papers I think we will discover the same thing with matter as the latest papers show atoms with computational capability. Once living organisms and matter show strong design detection we will realize God is inevitable. “Seek and ye shall find”.


So there was no “hard evidence” of a mind behind the universe before the discovery of DNA in the 1860s? Interesting.

As I’ve said many times before, I’m fine with the idea of “ID theory” as philosophy and theology—but I still don’t know of any compelling scientific basis for a predictive and falsifiable theory of intelligent design which can survive peer review. Yes, I believe the wonders of DNA point to God’s role in that design (which was carried out through the laws of chemistry and physics) but I’ve yet to read of anyone using the scientific method to produce a comprehensive theory which demands that a mind must have produced that design. Everything so far appears to be philosophy which happens to refer to scientific topics. That in itself is not science.

I have a lot of respect for philosophy as an important academic discipline. Nevertheless, I don’t confuse it with science.

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isnt this also true for common descent? for instance how we can falsify the claim that cat and banana share a common descent?