Marty's testable ID hypothesis

If my point doesn’t have anything to do with your point, then why are you claiming this is about what I said?

Sorry, but “why” like this is not a scientific question.

Can we drop this now?

Because in trying to make your point, you offered up a tacit ID hypothesis. You falsely assumed its empirical prediction was true. It is far more interesting and educational than any point you were trying to make.

Hilarious. OK.

Fact: there exist many intelligently designed quaternary protein structures that turn on enzyme activity–“split” enzymes).

Hypothesis: life itself was intelligently designed, so

Prediction 1: we should observe natural quaternary structures that turn on, rather than turn off/turn down, enzymatic activity.

Prediction 2: tearing apart quaternary structures should not increase enzymatic activity.

Prediction 3: the catalytic cores of such structures should often be split between their components.


Its pretty clear Marty didn’t realize the implications of his earlier comments on protein quaternary structure. Many laypeople tend to have a naive view of biochemistry and that allows them to be duped by fairly technical ID biochemical arguments.


Yes, there are plenty of testable ID hypotheses that one can formulate. Hypothesis testing is an effective learning method even when the predictions are already known by others to be correct or incorrect, as long as the person advancing the hypothesis doesn’t know.

Another ID hypothesis is implicit in @colewd’s idea that there must be special genes for feathers and other parts that differ between species. It’s a perfectly logical prediction of his ID hypothesis, because that would be the way that we would design life. It’s just spectacularly wrong, which is pretty powerful evidence for evolution.

The problem here is that Marty had simply assumed that the empirical prediction is true and doesn’t appear to be interested in learning about a subject that he chose himself as an important one!


Yet, we barely see them brought forward by ID proponents. Instead, they circle dots around different aspects of the various evolutionary theories to throw darts at. Pseudoscience indeed.

Am I surprised? Not in the slightest.

@Michael_Okoko , read John Harshman’s response above. Please don’t just blindly follow @Mercer down this meaningless road.

“quasi-tacitly” and “tacit ID hypothesis.” Mmm-hmm. So I didn’t actually say it, but you read it into there so you’re gonna keep gnawing on that bone until you find meat. Good luck with that!

And those are some really creative predictions! You’ve got a great imagination, John. I sure hope you find some good outlets for it.

The real problem here is that @Mercer can’t read a simple sentence with understanding, even when someone on his team has explained it to him. Projecting his own imagination onto it, and apparently incapable of recognizing a mistake, he keeps making it over and over and over again! Doing the same old thing the same old way, he keeps expecting the result to come out different, coming at me with silly claims that he makes up and insists I defend.

But you assumed it. Note that you’re not denying that you assumed it.

How so?

It’s worked well for me in science.

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John made a point quite distinct from yours, so it is of little relevance to @Mercer’s response. Mercer has aptly shown the bogus nature of your earlier claim.

In the original thread from where Mercer singled out a section of your comment that became part of the OP of this thread, you clearly tried to show a comparison between the nature of antibody-antigen interactions and that of protein-protein/polypeptide interactions in the context of binding “location”. For the former, you said the binding location appeared to be random and for the latter, there had to be a “right” (or designated) location for binding to make a functional quaternary structure. @Mercer has shown this (the latter) to be false in the case of several proteins such as myosin.

In contrast, @John_Harshman’s comment implies there is no “right” (or designated) place to bind, only a wrong place (say, an active site). In other words, binding is permissible to other parts of the protein, except the catalytically active regions.

These are obviously two different ideas, so John’s comment doesn’t save you.

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I actually meant something different from both.

Marty’s implicit assumption was that quaternary structure is “designed” to turn ON enzymatic activity.

That’s an obvious prediction from a design hypothesis. It’s how we design machines. We don’t design cars to run 24/7, waiting for us to put them in gear; we have positive ways to turn them on.

Humans have even done this to proteins, splitting them so that the interactions are absolutely required for any activity. These split proteins serve as exquisitely sensitive sensors in many applications.

Therefore, it’s obviously possible for any Intelligent Designer to design things like this from the start, so why didn’t she? Why doesn’t she?

Instead, the iterative evolutionary process gives us complexes like myosin. It’s a hexamer. If we want it to “run” at full tilt, we remove the light chains and even cut off the C-terminal tail to maximize ATPase activity.

It’s a true edge of evolution, and IDcreationists just assume that biochemistry works that way. It can with design, but it doesn’t. Split proteins can’t be evolved.


Isn’t that what he claims to have meant? Is he wrong about what he meant?

A good question, Marty. And a supplementary one would be, “Does a Christian person do this?” I watched on BioLogos when a new female poster quit after a week when a molecular biologist, who went variously by “Joao,” “melanogaster,” “benkirk”, and other names, employing a parallel argumentative style, battered her with statements about her supposed scientific incompetence. This same molecular biologist said that he followed “the religion of Jesus”, apparently meaning the religion that Jesus himself followed and taught. Apparently “the religion of Jesus” permitted harshly berating one’s professional inferior until that person no longer felt welcome in an open public conversation. I felt badly for the woman. I can’t remember if I sent her a private message telling her not to take it too personally because this person treated all his opponents that way. I might have. But she might have stopped reading BioLogos posts by that point, and might not have seen it. Anyhow, it’s sad that on sites run by Christians which declare that they want peaceful, gracious dialogue, that this happens so often. It should be possible for a Christian biologist to disagree without being disagreeable. Actually, it should be possible for any biologist, not just a Christian one, but one might expect it especially from the Christian ones, both the ones here and the ones on BioLogos.

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I know.

I was only pointing out how Marty tried to compare the nature of the binding process between antibody-antigen complexes and other protein-protein/polypeptide complexes, hence, his idea that the “right” location is needed for the latter to make a quaternary structure, which in turn, regulates catalytic function.


True. And not just IDcreationists. Students also fall victim to this. I had similar thoughts as well in the past, but thanks to PS and other places, I am shedding them gradually.

Yes he claims so, but his new line of thought (thanks to you) doesn’t match that of his original claim. He was trying to contrast two things as shown in the excerpt below (bold mine):

As you can see he was trying to contrast the location for binding between antibodies and antigens to binding between polypeptides in quaternary assemblies. He did not have the same thoughts as you.

I don’t believe he meant the same thing as you. Regardless, that isn’t wrong AFAIK.

I never called you an idiot, Marty.

I have repeatedly pointed out that you made a false assumption about what quaternary structure does to enzymatic activity. That assumption is an obvious prediction of a design hypothesis, because we know that humans can design proteins to require quaternary structure to turn ON enzymatic activity.

You have repeatedly claimed that I misunderstood you, but in your tantrum you’ve done everything but address whether binding of other proteins to an enzyme, as a rule, increases or decreases its enzymatic activity.

My point is to show that it’s easy to formulate testable ID hypotheses–so easy that you did it without realizing it. You just assumed that the prediction is a fact.

Not just students, professors too. That’s why we can never forget that analogies are explanatory devices and that they always break down.

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If Jesus could get mad and resort to physical force to disperse the traders in the temple, whom he felt were engaging in sharp practices, then who are we not to apply a similar approach (not physically, of course) when dealing with untruth repeatedly cranked out by the same group of Christians. They are like the foolish Galatians who have been bewitched with pure nonsense.

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The mods at Biologos are usually more on top of that sort of behavior. I expect they are unhappy with this outcome.

I don’t think Jesus’s disagreement with the merchants in the Temple was over intellectual or theoretical matters. And in any case, Jesus was angry with them for something they were actually doing, not over some hidden motive they supposedly had.

For intellectual matters, our model should not be Jesus but Socrates. You don’t see Socrates blowing his stack at his opponents, calling them liars, etc. He just calmly takes apart their arguments.

And of course, if the perception that the other side is “repeatedly cranking out untruth” justifies rages, insults, and attacks on character, then the Christians you are talking about would be justified in expressing rage, insults, and attacks on character against the people here. Either polemics is fair game for both sides, or it’s wrong for both sides. Either these debates should be conducted like civilized Oxford discussions of old, or they should be no-holds barred mortal combat. The one arrangement that isn’t fair, and is a complete non-starter, is the arrangement in which Christians and other IDers are expected to debate like Oxford gentlemen, whereas their atheist foes get to fight like New York street gangs of the 1950s. This is apparently the set of rules Paul King would like to see in place, but it ain’t gonna happen.

Play it cool, boy, real cool. Hey, did you notice that the opponents of IDers are automatically considered to be atheists? When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way.


Check you bias. The people participating in these online arguments are not representative of the general population. Opposition to ID is not an atheist thing any more than science denial is a religious thing. There is also plenty of bad behavior to be found on either side. If we want better, the best approach is to be better.


I beg to differ. IMHO, here is what is actually happening:

Those who understand and accept the scientific theory of evolution expect those who do not do so to either provide sound evidence to support their reservations about the theory or to alter their position in response to patient and detailed explanations of the evidence that contradicts the denialists’ position, explanations often provided by people who research and/or teach evolution as their careers.

When the response is, instead, utter pigheaded denial and refusal to accept plain facts, it is perhaps understandable that nerves will become frayed and decorum treated with a bit more laxity. In any event it is quite clear that the Oxford discussion model is not suited to dealing with evolution deniers.

If one is interested in specific examples of what I am describing, a search of the forum for the term “Howe diagram” should suffice.