Rhetoric and Honesty

Why would anyone expect a Darwinian explanation?

Fair point but you could replace Darwinian with mechanistic and I think the result is the same. I believe the explanations are based on similar proteins in similar species.

I did state it Bill. Here is Behe’s “argument” from the recent debate:

“Here is one suborder of insects, planthoppers, having friction increasing bumps on its legs which superficially resemble human designed gears. Therefore all of biological life was designed”.

Amazing how everyone in science gets the ID “arguments” wrong, according to Bill. :grinning:

1 Like

That’s clearly false. Matzke 2003.

Yeah what else should they be based on? That’s unavoidably how historical inference is made in evolutionary biology: By comparing molecules, sequences, and structures on a phylogeny. Then using known and observed evolutionary mechanisms such as mutations (duplications, recombination, fusion, transposition and so on) together with observed events like exaptations, is a model for the evolution of X constructed.

Except we have a fairly detailed mechanistic explanation accepted by virtually everyone involved in the evolutionary sciences. An explanation which not only explains the existing evidence but makes predictions about future finds.

That beats the heck out of “a disembodied mind used magic to POOF life into existence at an unknown place and unknown time for unknown reasons”. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

As long as ID is not in the game I agree this is the best you can do. There are proposed mechanisms but no clear idea how the mechanism de jour will build the protein structure. Behe is positioning against a real weakness in the theory.

General relativity had a mathematical model but the important point in its validation was when the eclipse experiment showed starlight deflecting when it traveled in close proximity to the sun.

Sure there is. It’s right there in Matzke 2003.

Yeah and for historical events that happened before anyone was around to see them, we can only make inference to the best explanation. We cannot recreate the exact conditions under which the historical events occurred. We can’t recreate the planet as it was before the Mt. Everest formed, and it would be absurd to suggest we need to delete it and let it grow back before we can conclude that plate tectonics formed the Mt Everest.
So just like we do for models of how our solar system came to be in it’s present state, how the planets formed, how the continents formed, how islands and mountains and rivers and glaciers formed, scientists can only explain these things by taking mechanisms seen in the present and using them to building models that account for the data. Good models make predictions of what yet-to-be-discovered data should also look like, which Matzke’s 2003 model also does.

As long as ID fails to provide any testable hypotheses and uses only arguments from ignorance based personal incredulity it will never be in the game. :slightly_smiling_face:


Then why can’t we point to the lack of a step by step ID explanation as evidence for a Darwinian process?

The step by step explanation of the process working in an application is not the issue. It is the power of the mechanism doing the job at hand.

If I wanted to sort out a deck of cards so all the same suits were together in numerical order I could deal the cards out to 4 people and select when when I got all the same suit and put that suit aside or I could use a single mind to arrange that deck. Which mechanism is the most powerful to do the job?

Behe’s thesis is that minds can purposefully arrange parts. The above is an example of a mind doing this.

Don’t forget to consider the unspecified powers of invisible pink unicorns or the flying spaghetti monster. They have explanatory powers as well. Teach the controversy! No sacred cows!

1 Like

That’s false. You claim that evolution doesn’t have the power to produce these features because no one can produce a step by step account for how the features arose.

Can selection do the job? YES!!!

Shuffle the deck. Deal out five cards to yourself. Draw a single card. If that card improves your hand, keep it. Discard the weakest card. Repeat. You will end up at the same result.

“Improves your hand” means that the information is in the algorithm. The case I set up said selection did not occur until 13 cards were ordered. It is still intelligent selection but where more purposely arranged parts were required prior to selection.

Just as the information for fitness is in the environment.

This is yet another dishonest bit of rhetoric that is found in ID. It pretends as if the modern organism is the only possible functional organism. It is the Sharpshooter fallacy.

1 Like

You’re almost there. In evolution, the information is in the environment, and natural selection copies it into the genome.

1 Like

Is your opinion that natural selection is the main evolutionary mechanism that steers change in a positive direction?