Klinghoffer: Early Science Review of Darwin Devolves — A Panic Attack?

That’s doubtful, self-targeting satire is pretty rare.


Reminds me when Dembski made some some incredibly stupid posts at UD then later tried to cover himself by claiming they were just “street theater”. :slightly_smiling_face:

Well that is fairly notable. Even one of our ID advocates wonder if the response is a parody of itself. Wow.

The DI going POE? What is the world coming too??!?!? :wink:


We have a third ENV response. It is definitely looking like some panic.


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“The need for specificity in the genetic re-engineering is supported by the striking similarities between the genes involved in echolocation in dolphins and in bats. However, the very research the authors cite indicates that the time frame in which an aquatic mammal is believed to have evolved from a completely terrestrial one is long enough to allow for only two coordinated mutations, far fewer than would have been required.”

Unsurprisingly, Brian Miller is quite behind the modern literature on these subjects. First, he links to Parker et al. (2013) to support his statement about echolocation, apparently unaware that Thomas and Hahn (2015) and Zou and Zhang (2015) overturned their results.
To quote Thomas and Hahn:

“We find that when the proper comparisons are made there is no surprising excess of convergence between echolocating mammals, even in sensory genes.”

Then there’s the part about there not being enough time for aquatic mammals to have evolved. Miller cites this uncommondescent article about a finding of a Basilosaurus jawbone found in sediments from Antarctica that were apparently 49 million years old, from back in 2011. Given that the DI have covered this next paper before now (atrociously), I don’t believe for a second that Miller is unaware of the conclusions of Buono et al. (2016), which are that this particular jawbone is from sediments more likely to be between 40 and 46 million years old, not 49:

“we interpret the age of the horizon that produced MLP 11-II-21-3 (i.e., TELM 4) as early middle Eocene (~46–40 Ma”

This was a completely unnecessary citation on Miller’s part, as the main part of his argument has to do with the “waiting time problem” whereby he claims (a la Sternberg) that only 2 or fewer mutations could have become fixed in the timeframe that whales are supposed to have evolved from terrestrial ancestors. A few million years here or there makes no significant different to this argument, so there’s no reason for Miller to cite anything including the erroneous age of 49 million years.


I work on Basilosaurids and I have brought the new date up to them numerous times. Bechly ignores it in his chapter in the theistic evolution book. They say they went with the younger date to hold onto their evolutionary interpretation. If that’s the case why would they even announce it at 49mya?

And here is article #4. Definitely no crazed panic there. lol It reminds me of when my book came out and there was a new article from them every day for a while. That’s what they do is try to brute force the Google News and other search returns to overwhelm and direct internet search traffic to their version of the story. At one point, they had me in all three of their “featured article” boxes on the website…


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The article I referred to…


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Don’t be offended. This just means your voice matters.

Much of there reaction was over the top, but there was one grain of truth on the bad design argument. I think it’s good to give them that win, and be glad they recognize you are important enough to engage. You are.

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Oh I’m definitely not offended. It’s amusing in a strange way. Btw, I still don’t concede the point about the bad design argument. I understand that glitches/seams/quirks are neutral when it comes to positions like Behe’s, but they ARE evidence for common descent (at the very least), so for the many, many IDers who don’t accept common descent, the quirks are indeed a challenge to their position. I know it’s not a slam dunk, on its own, but it’s far more evidence than, say, YECs have.


Well, I certainly agree it is evidence for common descent. That is why it doesn’t work so well as “bad design” unless you are taking an anti-evolution definition of design (which you are). Maybe we should pick this exchange up some time?

Nathan Lents: Bad Design of the Eye?

I’d expect a fun exchange between friends. Peace.

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Right. I see it as evidence for common descent, no more, no less. I don’t think Behe would be challenged at all, in fact, I think it actually fits his model as well.

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Really? you know this? Thats quite a accusation. Is there evidence as much as for ANY claim of evolutionism?!
Behe is the star. he is a great scientist in these matters and takes on the claims of evolutionism at a very intimate atomic level.
Its not really my cup of tea and i see it as ALL just lines of reasoning fighting other lines of reasoning. there is no hard practical evidence for what mutation/selection can do or not do.
I think its a good idea to take on this lenski lab stuff because it failed to do what evolutionists wanted.
Glorious new populations to stick new biological names too. instead its still just a one name entity.
There just isn’t any lab work done by evolutionists for ID/YEC to stick their teeth into.
Behe bringing up lenski is not just a good for a point but a bigger point of evolutionists not clocking lab work.
Its very much like the Einstein/Bohr contention until bell came along. behe is trying to be Bell i think.
Unless he is both Bohr and Bell. (This analogy requires youtube entry level understanding of physics)

Actually the experiment yielded exactly the kind of adaptations that evolutionary theory predicted, in spectacular molecular detail.

Okay, but he also accepts that the world is billions of years old and that all organisms, including humans, are related by shared common descent and evolution from universal ancestors. He argues only with the mechanism of that evolution, not whether or not it happened. So he agrees with me and other scientists on the biggest questions in the origins debate.


I had a fun time trying to explain the experiment to Andy Schlafly on his ‘Conservapedia’ site almost a decade ago. Some people are immune to education.

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@Nlents and @swamidass See if Lenski would apply for the DI seminar.

He won’t. I’m fairly sure he does not want to engage deeply.

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The Lensji stuff is talked about because it failed to show enduring new populations.
They had hoped for this as I understand it.
Yes he is a iD scientist and takes on evolutionism. So desiring him as on your side is , finally, consent to decades of denying him his credibility to opine and persuade audiences.
His geology is not relevant to his biology.
As far as it matters, more, about paid scientists in these things its only tiny, tiny, numbers of origin biologists that would matter.
i’m not saying they only matter. its any human that applies their intelligence to the subject obviously.
He is a comrade on some fronts in the attrition of truth on important error.
He is a star in these circles.
For other questions other stars.

I can’t follow any of this.