ID achievements of the year

(not-really-about-)Evolution, News and Views have announced their summary of 2022.

  1. They talked to some people they won’t name, at conferences they won’t name.
  2. They persuaded some Nobel Laureates to endorse books written in previous years
  3. They published an article in Bio-Complexity.
  4. They submitted some articles that haven’t yet been published.
  5. They published a book saying that the human body is too complex to have evolved.
  6. They published a book supporting belief in God.

It’s not impressive.


And don’t miss the comments.

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A work in progress

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look in the Dis’co-tute, mak-ing stuff up again
'Cause rhet-or-ic always wins don’t you know.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas,
Toys in ev’ry store,
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.

A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben;
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen;
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas
Cee-Ess-Eye they say;
There’s Behe to test-if-y, ev’ryone else jumped ship, oh my,
The defense experts chickened out and ran away.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas;
And the thing that will make them say “we will never go away”
We’re such dra-ma-tists.


Much as I already realize how poorly the ID’ers understand even basic evolutionary theory, I was gobsmacked by this quote from Of Pandas and People provided by @paulbraterman:

On page 37, discussing an accurate table showing number of differences In Cytochrome C, it says “Indeed, when comparing living organisms, Darwinism would protect a greater molecular distance from the insect to the amphibian and the living fish, greater distance to the reptile and, greater than that, to the mammal.”

Unbelievable. (And I am not talking about the word “protect”, which may be just a mistranscription on Paul’s part).


Yes, should have been “predict”. That page has an interesting table of cytochrome C differences (from which one could actually construct a pretty good rooted animalia cladogram, with wheat as the outgroup) followed by that absolutely stunning misinterpretation


It’s the same error that ID Deep Thinker Michael Denton made in his first book. But really, you must read all of the books, all of them…


Why not a greater distance, though?

Rather than answer that directly, let me pose it to you as a question:

Was the last common ancestor of the insect and the fish more recent than the last common ancestor of the insect and the mammal? To put it another way, are insects more closely related to fish than they are to mammals?



For a group/movement that was killed 17 years ago, knows nothing, accomplishes nothing, offers nothing, they sure garner a lot of attention around here.

Merry Kitzmas indeed!

Sure, but we are outliers with a particular interest in origins.

My own non scientific and very subjective perception, is that ID does not really register as a thing in scientific research community. There is just little consciousness of ID, pro or con. Mostly, the ongoing influence is on church members who have an interest in a literalist approach to scripture.


I have to admit, I’ve been wondering why there is as much animosity and sometimes even hatred of ID as there is in this forum. I would not have guessed it to be to this degree when I first learned about this website.
But honestly…I don’t see that changing. It is what it is…

A lot of it can be explained by the brazen dishonesty exhibited by many (most?) ID advocates. That tends to exacerbate tempers.

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THIS. There is a strong aspect of observation bias at work here. As in most online communities, the loudest and most frequently seen contributions are a select, sometimes extreme group, not representative of the population at large. MOST people have better things to do than rehash old/lost arguments. :sweat_smile:


Maybe, while you are at it, you could also spend some time wondering why the members of the ID movement have devoted their careers to fruitless efforts to discredit the theory of evolution. Something akin to animosity might be at play there.


Let’s begin by distinguishing the idea of intelligent design in the philosophical sense, as a broad idea, from the cultural-religious-political movement of ID advanced by the Discovery Institute.

For my own part I have no problem with the idea of intelligent design more broadly. Obviously intelligent designers exist such as ourselves. There might be others “out there” in the universe. I can conceive of the possibility that there might even be beings that can intelligently design and create universes etc. Intelligent design as a subject of philosophical and religious speculation I have no problem with. What can we imagine there is? What could be possible? Can we detect such things and how? What would be the methods by which we do that? Perfectly reasonable things to consider and I think everyone does from time to time.

What I have a problem with (I wouldn’t call it “hate”) is bad religious apologetics - pursued ultimately for social and political reasons(The “renewal of science and culture”, by which they ultimately mean instilling theocracy) - masquerading as science but in practice being pseudo science.

And no, it is not the all too often dishonestly hidden motivations behind the ID-movement that is what makes it pseudo science(real science can be badly motivated).

It’s the failure to provide testable hypotheses, the innumerable flawed uses of statistics and probability theory, the absurd extrapolations, the deceptive and misleading rhetoric, the hiding and cherry picking of data, the lacking or wrong citations, the gross misrepresentations of people’s positions, outright falsehoods, the straw man arguments, the mischaracterization of attention from scientists as constituting tacit concession that their flawed ideas are actually valid, the continuing failure to acknowledge valid rebuttals and correct their errors/misrepresentations/falsehoods, etc.
And then the dismissal of essentially all these criticisms as being just baseless, biased vitriloic hate by whoever religious conservatives find themselves opposed to (elitist academics, libs, feminazis, leftist/socialist/communist atheists or what have you.) That is what makes it pseudo-science. That there is no actual good science being done, and that the criticisms are being dismissed as just noise by badly motivated haters. Which is bs.


Excellent comments, @Rumraket .

There is more at stake here. The misinformation tactics used by ID were first used by the tobacco industry to confirm the emerging data about the association between smoking and lung cancer. Today the health risks of smoking are so widely accepted that medical research practically requires the smoking history of subjects to be included as part of any statistical analysis.

More at stake:

Climate change? Look at the misinformation tactics used by oil companies, and the things climate deniers where saying about Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick” paper 15 to 20 years ago. The result has since been validated by multiple independent lines of evidence, and the effects of climate change are undeniable.

Anti-vax? Here the corporate angle isn’t so obvious, but there are plenty of people/business pushing misinformation to help sell homeopathic remedies and other snake oil.

Politics and media? … Well, I have to stop somewhere …

The point is, A LOT MORE people should be angry at the ways people are being manipulated through misinformation. Why doesn’t that happen?


A little personal history, I was convinced by people that Behe had been refuted, and I read Kenneth Miller’s book “Finding Darwin’s God”, and came away confirmed in my suspicions. Then I read Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box”, and I found that Miller had completely misrepresented Behe’s argument. I was upset, and found Behe’s actual argument convincing.

Behe had a similar experience, growing up believing in evolution, then when trying to check its foundations, found them faulty. “I got mad”, he said…

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I’m not sure of this aspect of the tree of life, I would suspect that there would be one point of divergence of insects, not two. But to answer your question, I would say yes, since fish are proposed to give rise to mammals.

That raises the question, why were “people” trying to convince you that Behe’s claims, in a book you apparently hadn’t read yet, were “refuted”? This comes across as somewhat random. Do people often try to convince you that claims you weren’t aware of have been refuted?

How did Miller "completely misrepresent* “Behe’s argument”?


That wasn’t quite the question asked. Here’s a clarification:

Assuming evolution, which are more closely related:

  • Modern insects and modern fish
  • Modern insects and modern mammals

If it helps, consider a bumble bee compared to a rainbow trout vs a bumble bee compared to a snow leopard.