Intelligent Design and Common Descent


(Ann Gauger) #289

I don’t know anything about T-urf13.

(Arthur Hunt) #290

Linky linky …

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #291

And here is @art’s response to Behe’s response.

From my view, this is a very direct demonstration of something that should be impossible if Axe and Behe are right. Right here, confronted with the evidence, Behe appeals to God’s design (by front-loading), instead of acknowledging what the evidence is showing.

The “design” language here is confused along several dimensions:

  1. In one sense, I agree that God designed T-urf13, by way of evolutionary processes. He created evolution, so the products of evolution (even by 100% natural processes) are his design. This, however, is nearly the opposite of the ID claim.

  2. In another sense, I agree that God could have directly (or indirectly) intervened in to have produced T-urf13, but if that is the loop hole being used here, it will be used to object to any and all demonstrations. For that reason, asking for evidence is degenerating quickly into absurdity. This has nothing to do with evidence, but with an evidence-immune presupposition.

  3. In the most important sense, Behe is conceding that complex de novo proteins are arising by apparently natural processes, which is all that science is claiming. So the ID argument, in this case, is moot. It reduces merely to fine-tuning, and is not engaged with evidence.

Which gets to my point:

There is no conceivable experiment or demonstration I can imagine where this objection would not be an objection. The closest counter-example I’ve come up with is the evolution of cancer. Even there, someone might easily (and perversely) argue that God (or a demon?) is designing cancer.

The appeal to God’s action is available in every and all experiments and demonstrations, even if they are done in the lab. The fact that is in the lab, also will cause ID to appeal to the experimenter as having designed the protein too (sad but true: Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 Harnessing the power of evolution). This hard to accept as coherent, let alone as valid science.

This is one reason, also, why I think MN is necessary. Appealing to God’s action (or Divine Design) just creates too many problems when doing scientific work. It is more coherent to leave God as an explanatory force out, and to let science tell us rigorously what is “apparently” true. Then, we engage in science-engaged theology to fill in the rest, and even dispute the scientific findings where it might make sense.

(George) #292

@swamidass (cc @jongarvey )

Nice conclusion!

Let’s combine it with new other points:

2] Behe’s Pool Shot Model is completely consistent with God designing life forms by Evolution.


3] the “Geneal.Adam” scenario accepts the face value of archaeological and anthropological findings, which is most consisten with Adsm and Eve appearing at the beginning of the rise of Agriculture… rsther thsn in the middle or the beginning of the Hunter/Gatherer phase of hominid existance!

(John Harshman) #293

Say what now?

(George) #294


Let’s start off on the right foot! Make your posting into a question (instead of an exclamatory that merely ends in a question mark), and i will be delighted to answer the question!


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #295

Appearing? Not born? You’re not proposing two MORE virgin births?

(George) #296


De novo Adam and Eve cant be virgin births.

Appearing is fine for the purposes of that posting.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #297

If they just “appeared” they were not born by way of mainstream human sexual reproduction.

(Dan Eastwood) #298

The manner of their appearance is not specified. I think we can leave it there.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #299

But before Eve “appeared” as a cloning of Adam’s rib, there had to be all the animal of the world around so that Adam could name them - Elephants, Penquins, and Kangaroos

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #300

“appear” is a generic word without reference to de novo. I appeared on Earth after I was naturally born.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #301

Sure but that isn’t the way @gbrooks9 is using the term. He literally mean “appeared” . If I said “A fully grown man appeared in my garden yesterday” I wouldn’t take that to mean that the man wasn’t born, didn’t have parents. But @gbrooks9 does. So shouldn’t we expect some sort of realism from @gbrooks9 proposals?

(Dan Eastwood) #302

I think we cannot both demand realism from religious propositions and hold a civil discussion about them. If George wants to define this in a way that makes material claims, then we can raise expectations, but I don’t think that was his intent.

(George) #303


What drives you to be such a severe fellow. Only the biggest sacks of irredeemable meat could possibly object to the word “appear”.

It is my plan to use the word incessantly.


Perhaps a better way of phrasing it is to ask if Adam and Eve had bellybuttons when they appeared. :wink:

(John Harshman) #305

What I mean to say is "What do you mean by this claim and what’s the evidence supporting it?:


You should plan to just appear to use the word incessantly. :smile:

(George) #307

@John_Harshman writes: "“What do you mean by this claim and what’s
the evidence supporting it?”

Ahhhh… well, I can see why this sentence gave you a “start”! I
didn’t think about how it would sound to the average reader. I did
not mean to write the sentence in a way that made it sound like Adam
and Eve have specific evidence in support of their existence. What I
did such a poor job attempting to say was that: in the Bible, Adam
and Eve are clearly placed into the beginnings of an agricultural
setting. So it should make little sense putting Adam and Eve TOO
into hominid history… deeper than 50,000 years ago, or
100,000 years ago, or 250,000 years ago! Sample articles below range
from 9000 to 12,000 years ago at the earliest.


This article says there is a breakthrough that can trace agricultural
centers to savvy hunter groups who arrived hunting, and then learned
farming from immigrants from the East.

“Reconciling evidence from ancient and contemporary genomes: a major
source for the European Neolithic within Mediterranean Europe”
by Joana B. Pereira, Marta D. Costa, et al. Published 22 March
2017.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1976

From Abstract: “. . . there are suggestions that Mediterranean
Europe may have resembled the Near East more than the rest of Europe
in the Mesolithic. Here, we test this proposal by dating mitogenome
founder lineages from the Near East in different regions of Europe. We
find that whereas the lineages date mainly to the Neolithic in central
Europe and Iberia, they largely date to the Late Glacial period in
central/eastern Mediterranean Europe. This supports a scenario in
which the genetic pool of Mediterranean Europe was partly a result of
Late Glacial expansions from a Near Eastern refuge, and that this
formed an important source pool for subsequent Neolithic expansions
into the rest of Europe.”


[3-Migration Model found between 0 to 70ka]
“Founder analysis results for whole mitogenomes [genomes of
mitochondria]. Top panel: from a Near East source to Mediterranean
Europe (excluding Iberia); middle panel: from the Near East and
Mediterranean Europe to Iberia; bottom panel: from the Near East and
Mediterranean Europe to north and central Europe. (a) Probabilistic
distribution across migration times scanned at 200 year intervals from
0 to 70 ka; (b) probabilistic distribution across migration times
scanned at 200 year intervals from 0 to 70 ka; © proportion of Late
Glacial, Neolithic and recent founder lineages in a heuristic
three-migration model.”

[Late Glacial migrations of hunter/gatherers founded populations to
adopt farming from Near Eastern immigrants]
“Late Glacial/early postglacial and Neolithic migrations from the Near
East into Europe and the subsequent dispersals within Europe triggered
by the arrival of the first farmers, involving both new Near Eastern
genetic input and indigenous European lineages.”


The article below has a somewhat more conventional view… with a
large, simplified map showing
the core of the “Agriculture Ground Zero”, and how it dispersed itself
East and West:
“The Spread of Agriculture in the Middle East”
by the Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago
Gil Stein, Director, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Date: 2003
“Agriculture first developed north and east of the Fertile Crescent,
between 11,000 and 9,500 BCE. A cold, dry period called the “Younger
Dryas Event” led to a decrease in the quantity of wild plants
available. People began to cultivate plants to increase the
availability of food sources.”


(John Harshman) #308

Sure, in the sense that they are clearly placed into the beginnings of everything human. But that’s just the people who came up with the story supposing that there had been farmers and herders from the beginning. “We have always done it that way”. There’s no particular attempt there to place them in a history in which agriculture was invented. And there’s no way it happened in one place or within a generation. There are many centers of agriculture, not just the Middle East (and perhaps Anatolia specifically), and breeding of food crops was a gradual process. (Incidentally, I recently visited a botanic garden and was able to see teosinte growing; very cool.)

In other words, you’re attempting to talk about something real and overinterpreting a few tossed-off references in a myth.