Kitzmiller, the Universe, and Everything

ok. this is my last comment about it probably.

because its very similar to human-made motor.

i think that even in such a case i will conclude design when i see a flying saucer that i dont know about its origin. you dont think so? ok. lets agree to disagree.

so you are basically saying that there is no reason to think that some motors are manufactured.

yep. as i said already lets agree to disagree.

What is changing rapidly is the data supporting the hypothesis is improving as we get more accurate DNA and protein sequence data.

The added support for the Paley’s watch argument was our ability to understand the interworking of cells. The observation that DNA and Proteins are functional sequences and now the observation that many are getting locked into fixed positions due to functional constraint. Also the discovery of alternative splicing (another layer of sequencing) and the use of AI to models will add more horsepower to the design thesis in biology. In addition we are not seeing genes follow the tree pattern as one would expect. This may be the straw that breaks the Camels back depending how the data comes out.

How in the world did you draw that from Puck’s statement??

I’d like to think that your wild recasting of Puck’s statement was merely meant to be tongue-in-cheek if not downright silly. If it wasn’t simply a bizarre whimsical twist of rhetorical banter, then I’m baffled how and why you would misrepresent his words beyond all mercy.

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If the creationist mind was a motor, its gears would be stripped.

This is the tendency I have seen as an attempt to discredit the argument by mocking it. How does evolution explain complexity? Especially combinatorial complexity that lives in almost infinite mathematical space.

The answer is to mock the argument because there is no good straight forward answer to counter it.

As Jim Carey said to the Judge in the movie liar liar.

Carey: I object
Judge: On what grounds
Carey: Because their argument is devastating to my case :slight_smile:

very simple. he said that even if we consider the flagellum to be a motor- there is no reason to believe that a flagellum is manufactured. in other words a motor (falgellum) doesnt necessarily need design. where do you see any problem?

Is that a serious question?

It’s a rhetorical question. It attempts to explain it by starting out simple. The problem is that we now know there is no evidence that supports this claim at the cellular level. We are observing something that requires all the chickens and eggs to show up at once to function. When the best and brightest try and break it down to a simple form they fail.

That’s supposed to be a joke, right?

Even it’s not supposed to be one, it is.

You can position your opponents to try to prove a negative as Darwin did. Or you can mock complexity as PJ did. Or you can call your opponents IDiots as Larry Moran used to.

What you don’t have is an evidence based argument that explains the arrival of cellular complexity.

Correction: There is a clearly defined mechanism to explain cellular complexity supported by over 100 years of empirical evidence, that you refuse to accept because it conflicts with your religious preconceptions.

Do at least try for a modicum of accuracy in what you write here, please.

Are you offering the Dawkins blind watchmaker :slight_smile:

Don’t play dumb.

He’s not playing.


Because the fact that English speakers have chosen to apply the word motor to a flagellum does not somehow dictate that it requires design.

As has already been explained to you, in English language usage, the word motor can be applied to both designed and undesigned things.

I could call the flow and exchange of goods and services “the motor which powers an economy.” Does that thereby mean that every economy was intelligently designed? No.

When that motor gets overheated in relation to the money supply, would you say that the escalating inflation was necessarily designed? No.

POSTSCRIPT: The more I think about it, the more I think I will keep using this motor illustration in the future. Because of my background, I’m prone to reminding people how our human languages work. Language is like the tail of a dog. The tail doesn’t wag the dog. The dog wags the tail. Likewise, we don’t look to language and lexicography to dictate our science. We should let science inform our language usage in order to make it more accurately descriptive and clear.

Language is a human capability so it is often very casual, messy, ambiguous, and even contradictory. We can’t rely on it to settle questions of evidence and scientific theory.


I have already shown you examples in the past. Here is a perfect one:

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You can call it what you want Bill. The ability of ID proponents to obsess about words is neither here nor there. What, at bottom, is really the difference between growth and manufacturing? When a protein is being synthesized, it is in tiny increments one amino acid at a time being added, one on top of another. That’s basically the same thing that happens when an organism grows, here they are just cells being added, and there’s a long incremental growth of the entity.

You want to call that manufacturing? Okay, go ahead.

based on the designed code (DNA)

There’s zero evidence DNA is designed. Also DNA is not the same as the genetic code. The genetic code only exists as a consequence of and in the context of the translation system, without which there is no such thing as DNA encoding for protein.

and the manufacturing micro robots like the Ribosome.

The ribosome is a robot now? I see. Well then trees are robots too I guess. All living things are robots. It’s become a word without a meaning.

If it moves at all, if it does anything, it’s a robot. A river? That’s a robot. A liquid water robot that functions by carving rocks and transporting sediment to the sea. So now robots can originate naturally simply by having melting ice. Or rain. The streams from melting snow and ice(which rained down from clouds) all accidentally happen to flow together in the right way to create a water-robot capable of transporting enormous amounts of sediement to the sea. The heat from the sun’s rays are robots that pick up water molecules from the surfaces of large bodies of water and transport them to the clouds. Infrared radiation is now a robot.

Planets are now robots too. They use sophisticated gravitational intelligence to find and and suck up dust, gas, asteroids, and comets, so they function as cosmic vacuum cleaners. Solar-system Roombas.

Why stop there? Electromagnetism itself is now a robot. It functions by bringing together particles with electric charge into larger assemblages such as atoms and molecules. So now physics itself is one giant manufacturing process where individual atoms, even the elementary fields of attraction are manufacturing line robots. It’s all robots.

Now everything that grows larger is “manufacturing”. I am “manufacturing” more and more dirt on my door mat when I keep wiping by boots on them. And the hairs on the door mat are robots that function by picking off the tiny dirt particles from my boots, with their amazing friction-based intelligence built into them with the electromagnetism-code.

But it’s not, is it? If it were, people wouldn’t be hauling out the bacterial flagellum from Behe’s first book – they’d have come up with something else.

The idea that a highly derived character, genomic or phenotypic, can become difficult to further modify is a very old one. This is more or less the old notion of “evolutionary senescence.” It is true that generalists are likelier to survive ecological change than specialists (see, e.g., Lystrosaurus at the end-Permian). It is also likely true that some DNA changes are blind alleys from which modification is more difficult. But where there are specialists, there are generalists.

These things haven’t yet. Again: why all the whipping a dead horse with a dead flagellum, if so?

This statement is often offered up, and never substantiated. It is true that in single-celled organisms with lateral gene transfer, one cannot make a “tree” because of that fact, and must make instead a phylogeny that is quite tangled. But we do not find such things as a suite of “anteater” genes shared by monotreme, marsupial and placental anteaters. Such things would be quite a problem for phylogeny and would be consistent with divine manufacture.

I was going to respond to him about that, but I think it’s not a misstatement but an ESL problem. I think he means that I say there are some “motors” for which there is no reason to infer manufacture. If we regard the flagellum as a motor, that’s true.

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