Gil grabs some ammunition and shoots down Doug Axe's 2004 extrapolation by a factor of more than 10^44

Exactly. And, most likely, thousands of Gil’s ‘n’ Bill’s have paid good money for it.

Some of the more valuable insights I have gained from this group are into the mindset of the type of person who is convinced by ID Creationist propaganda, and how stubbornly they cling to their misunderstanding no matter how clear the explanations they have received. It really is quite a spectacle.

I do wonder if this is a deliberate scam, or whether there is a symbiotic interaction going on, where the adulation and money pouring in from the Gil’s ‘n’ Bill’s helps quiet the demons of doubt that must exist somewhere in the recesses of the brains of the Axe’s and Behe’s.


A scam predicts a failure to engage or a pretense of doing so followed by flouncing. Sincere belief predicts a willingness to engage. This would be a gradient, of course.

It’s clear to me that we have examples of both.

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The scam I am suggesting is from the DI. I don’t mean to suggest I doubt the sincerity of any of the members here. I just think they may be victims of people who, at least in part, know what they are doing.

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The fact that you see the « explanations » we have received as clear and convincing demonstrate that you don’t understand the issues debated. I guess what it means is that one can enjoy a spectacle even without grasping it😀

As for you, aren’t you subjected to the demons of doubt in the recesses of your brain regarding your faith in neo-Darwinism. For example, what about this marvelous molecular machine involved in the camouflage of certain squid?

We just went through the camouflage discussion in the recent thread…

where I left you with a question…

All camouflage revolves around either facilitating a meal or avoiding being another’s dinner. Sometimes the strategy is opposite to camouflage. Poisonous animals are often as conspicuous as possible to advertise, make no mistake, this would be your last meal. That avoidance being established, some animals which are not actually poisonous mimic the gaudy coloration of poisonous relatives, and so are left alone. All of this blending in and standing out is solely based on two brutal truths of nature. One, if you are eaten, you are digested and die. Two, if you do not eat, you starve and die.

So my question is, how can you appeal to direct divine purposeful design of appearance, particular to each species, when it serves no other purpose than enabling such a nasty existence?

For so much of the animal kingdom, nearly everything about them revolves around predation. Their camouflage and appearance, their vision, their dentation, their speed, their digestive tracts, it is all about eating or being eaten. And you are saying this is the best of all possible designs, essentially that a good and benevolent God was intimately involved in the intricate details of a colossal system of death without which most species would even be recognizable? So what about this marvelous molecular machine involved in the camouflage of certain squid?


No, but the bigger point is that this is an apples/oranges comparison. Some might have some emotional resistance to accepting the evolution can account for this. But that’s a very different thing from the hard, mathematical facts you are having to ignore in order to maintain your position.


What an odd statement. Scientific theories shouldn’t be believed on faith, but accepted (or rejected) tentatively with a degree of certainty in proportion to the strength of the evidence in support of, or against them.

Given how good the evidence for biological evolution(which is more than just “neo-Darwinism”) is, even in cases where I don’t know specifically how some adaptation has evolved, I will err on the side of nevertheless betting that it evolved. But then a closer analysis of that adaptation in more detail has at least the potential to overturn my bet on evolution.
It’s just that every time that has been done in the past, upon closer inspection, the evidence for evolution has been overwhelming every single time.

At some point, after having seen the same horse thousands of times win every race it’s ever been in, it becomes completely irrational to keep betting on other horses.


That has nothing to do with faith. It’s evidence. But your projection is telling.

Good example. The molecular motors I’ve spent my career studying are very important in it. Have YOU studied it in detail to see if it is consistent with your wishful thinking?

If you have so much faith in design, why won’t you discuss the blatant contradiction between your adoration for Doug Axe’s tiny amount of work and the paper you chose to cite without reading it?

If you have so much faith in design, where is your design explanation for the amount of MYH7 variation in humans?

Note that Gil is ignoring the math in the paper he chose to cite. That’s pretty hard to do…


Evidently not that hard.

But it’s your fault, for not explaining the problem clearly enough apparently.

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Should I try again? I would think that the differences in the numbers would transcend any ESL issues.

Sorry to tell you that, but math is not a friend of evolution, not at all.

Coming from someone who thinks 10^77 and 10^33 are basically the same amounts, that doesn’t mean much.

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This is an unsupported and totally wrong charge that again show that you don’t understand the issue. I would recommend you to take Mercer’s claims with a grain of salt, for he is clearly misleading you.

In my experience, when ID supporters are asked for this math they usually don’t present it, or present completely irrelevant and flawed calculations. For example, using ID math we should only see a lottery winner every 150 million drawings.


I am afraid this shows you don’t understand ID math. But maybe you could elaborate your thoughts to show me that I am wrong.

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Commenting as a mathematician, I have not found any problems. But it does require a good understanding of evolutionary theory. Math is not a friend of the straw-man versions of evolution that creationists like to attack.


Notice something curious about the table posted earlier? Proteins of roughly similar length can have folds(not to be confused with functions) of vastly different relative sequence capacity. For example, the two proteins WW and Villin fold into all-Beta, and all-Alpha, respectively. Both are 35 amino acids long. WW has a relative sequence capacity of ~10^-24, and Villin has ~10^-33. That’s a difference of nine orders of magnitude between different folds of equal length.

Further down we have the IM7 and Titin I27 proteins, 87 and 89 amino acids long. Relative sequence capacities are ~10^-86 and 10^-38. That’s 38 orders of magnitude difference. These differences are enormous.

You can’t extrapolate the rarity of some particular fold, to other folds. Not even folds of equal length. The differences can be enormous. But as explained already in the Optima in Evolution-thread, these numbers are meaningless because they don’t tell us the frequency of functions. Different folds can perform the same functions, and some functions don’t even need folds, and folds can evolve from unfolded proteins. Larger and more complex, more rare folds can evolve from smaller, simpler, and more frequent folds. So in the end @Giltil simply has no good evidence for his a priori belief that he refuses to let go of even in the face of evidence against it, that functional proteins in general, or even any specific known protein, is too rare to evolve.

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I know. But I refer to this very recent article because it represents a breakthrough in our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying this extraordinary camouflage phenomenon.

This is a theological, not a scientific argument. And as far as science is concerned, the case for design of the molecular mechanism behind the squid camouflage is certainly very strong.

Cool, can we see that case for design?