Gauger: Aragorn in The Last Battle

Thanks for clarifying, and for speaking up, @Mung . This is a difficult forum to moderate, keep on track, and manage, so I care about these things too.
Credit where credit is due; Josh at least asked what could be done better. Please stick around to help make that happen!


That is definitely not the issue here, and to make such a claim credibly, you’d need to be familiar with the body of evidence.

The issue here is that there are literally thousands of published papers that offer clear evidence, but one side won’t even look at it. That’s not interpretation at all.

I can understand why that’s your interpretation of the status of things, currently.

Well, there’s an easy way for you to find out, isn’t there?

@Guy_Coe that is also the interpretation of the vast majority of scientist most familiar with the data. Even if Ann is correct, the arguements may not be valid.

And Dr. Gauger has repeatedly demonstrated that she is unaware of the mountain of evidence.

Agreed. Just who IS an infallible interpreter? Certainly not I. The “mountain of evidence” cited is also heavily-laden with interpretation. Paradigms have a way of self-justifying. I am not claiming the evidence is not there. The warrants drawn from it are what I’m interested in, and that’s hard work.


You’re selling yourself short. You’re certainly capable of determining whether evidence is being examined, the issue here.

No, not really, especially if one sticks to the actual frequencies at which phenomena are observed. Again, you have no basis for making such claims if you haven’t examined any of the evidence.

Would you like to do so?

Science is a method for challenging paradigms. Scientists become famous by overturning them. That excuse simply doesn’t work.

I am claiming that Dr. Gauger is ignoring virtually all of the relevant evidence, so “the evidence” is vastly different between her and me.

This is why she keeps pretending that I am challenging her papers instead of the global claims she derives from them. She’s not doing the hard work here, which in this case really isn’t that hard.

Sure; I’ll bite. What evidence do you intend to offer that will get me to question the notion that God is involved in nature moment-by-moment, usually in regular, law-like fashion?
Maybe how rats get attracted to cats through viral pheromonal “trickery?” I see that as an ingenious way to regulate an ecosystem.
Viruses do all sorts of ingenious, and often also, mean and nasty things… they just don’t happen to know that.

Ann is used to being approached as a sort of “authority” on ID, and your history of controversy with her naturally leads her to assume you’re attacking her work, since in her world, it is not acceptible to simply attack someone’s character. Or, maybe I’m interpreting the situation poorly; in any case, I’m here in the room with you, listening, but also answering.

So now put yourself in MY shoes and perform the same analysis of where you think I’m coming from. That would be interesting and enlightening.

You’re not biting. The offer was to point you to the evidence that Dr. Gauger is either unaware of or is ignoring.

Yours are not easily worn shoes, either. It is frustrating feeling ignored. Not meaning to offend, more like… to play --so your mood might lighten. --if you’ll pardon the attempt. Cheers!

I did a lot of quick, late night reading of the last exchange between you two, and found the interpersonal side of it unnecessary and a bit distressing. Thanks for being patient with me. Do you want to point me back to that thread, or to something new?

As I recall, where it left off was at your highlighting a single, demonstrated instance of protein fold morphing resulting in different binding behaviors, and thus leading to novel function. Ann’s argument was that the new function was essentially useless, but you disagreed. Do I remember it well enough?

Thanks for the PM.

Not even close.

  1. I noted initially that there’s more than one, that this is only the first of a series of papers. Dr. Gauger ain’t interested.
  2. I said nothing about folds. They are too poorly defined.
  3. What’s been added is a new, unnatural SUBSTRATE without losing the original function. The binding and unbinding with actin are amazingly normal.
  4. You got the new function part right!

No, sorry. She didn’t argue that. She is trying to say that it doesn’t contradict her papers, while I am pointing out that it contradicts the sweeping, global claims she makes based on her papers and ignoring almost every other relevant paper.

Also, Ann’s synopses of the paper have consistently wrong about the basic facts (while progressively containing fewer errors), so there’s little point in arguing interpretation.

That is a helpful activity @Guy_Coe.

“Ignoring” and "not aware of " are different things. I’ve pointed out the abzyme work in the past:

I’ve always wondered what Axe thinks about the formation of high-affinity antibodies in the vertebrate immune system. Specific binding isn’t a “function”?

He would accurately point out its not an enzyme. However he would also incorrectly say that this a systme designed to produce high affinity, and therefore is not relevant

I would respond, the antibody system is just like evolution then, a system created by God to create new proteins.

I also remind him that the theory of intermediate stabilization predicts that antibodies, because the can adaptive ly bind things, can be catalysis. This is exactly what we find in Abzymes.

Catalytic Antibody - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

This demonstrates by theory and example that selective binding is functionally equivalent to catalysis. The reason we do not select for enzymes in experiments is because it is extremely difficult for humans to select for catalytic activity at remotely the same scale we can select for binding.

Series reviewing Douglas Axe's Undeniable - #52 by Swamidass - Open Forum - The BioLogos Forum

That was not addressed to @Agauger though. So this appears the first time she has encountered it. As I noted, the objection that this is “designed” because it is in vitro not a coherent objection. It seems that @Agauger backtracked a bit. Given that they haven’t engaged that evidence yet, I imagine it will take some time to take it in. I’m much more hopeful about @Agauger, who has consistently engaged, than Axe, who has not.

This is the kind of exchange which makes Peaceful Science well worth the price of admission. Thanks to you both. Thanks for helping me understand and summarize your objections better (I hope I have, anyway). Have modified my reply to the PM.

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I think unpacking the spectrum of views which don’t feat neatly into either creationism or naturalistic-evolutionism is very very helpful for the conversation.

I think people from both TE and ID positions could walk out of such a constructive conversation feeling like some of their core convictions which distinguish them from those they consider their ideological opponents have been affirmed, or at least seen to be legitimate. Finding people open to the conversation from both the entrenched ‘TE’ and ‘ID’ ‘camps’, like Ann, is crucial.

Academically rigorous writings by Michael Denton, Robin Collins, Simon Conway-Morris, Denis Lamoureux, Rope Kojonen, and others do not fit neatly into either camp at all points. Whether they are given the dangerous label of “ID” or not seems to overly influence how they are received by people who want to ensure that their scientific credibility is maintained. This is a ridiculous merely semantic situation, which Christians at least should work hard to avoid.

I expect that this kind of conversation will make hardliners in both the creationist and naturalistic-evolutionist camps uncomfortable, along with many Christians who have adopted an essentially naturalistic perspective on the relationship between science and faith. To my mind so be it.