Uses of logical arguments in debate


(Ann Gauger) #181

Analogies are great as far as they go. But what is the ancestor of ATP? And does it not at least pique your curiosity as to why central metabolic cofactors, essential for energy metabolism, biosynthesis, DNA and protein structure and synthesis, molecular motor activity should show autocatalytic features? No need to worry about ID. It’s a question worth asking and answering on its own merits. What I have found so far is not nearly enough to make a case for design,


Obviously, you start out not needing it just as the egg didn’t need the chicken.

First, it is the egg that evolves first. Second, it isn’t ridiculous. It is the obvious answer to the seeming paradox of “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”.

(Ann Gauger) #183

@T_aquaticus Swamidass’s answer is better. It didn’t start out as a chicken. But for that to work, you have to go back pretty far in evolution, before there were sexes or eggs…


I’m pretty sure the non-chicken egg laying ancestors of modern chickens were around relatively recently.

(Mikkel R.) #185

I happen to find it very very curious that ID proponents have very recently started insinuating in various ways that autocatalytic sets are (or “could be”) evidence for design now that branches of the OOL field has recently turned to taking a greater experimental and modeling interest in putatively pre-biotic autocatalytic metabolisms.

Smells like one of those “we better get out in front of this and declare it evidence for design”.

Reminds me of the recent Nobel Prize to Frances Arnold for her work on directed evolution of functional enzymes through artificial selection. She explained very well how rational design failed to reliably yield functional enzymes de novo, and so they turned to that ancient mechanism of nature to get better results, and all sorts of ID/creationistic institutions were tripping over each other declaring the failure of rational design a victory for ID.

You have to be really deeply in your bubble to not see through that.


I must have to be really deeply in my bubble.

(Bill Cole) #188

Can you give a reason for your answer?

(Timothy Horton) #189

Because “we don’t know yet” ≠ “it was DESIGNED!”

Same as the last 157 times you asked.

(Bill Cole) #190

This is not what I asked. Nice straw-man :slight_smile:

(Timothy Horton) #191

Yes Bill, it was. It’s the same question you always ask and always ignore the answer you get.

(Bill Cole) #192

You changed the question. That is a logical fallacy. Why did you need to argue in this fashion?

Do equate evidence of common descent as the same as common descent is what happened. Would you equate evidence that is problematic for common descent the same as common descend did not happen?

So if someone sees blood at the scene of a potential crime is that conclusive that someone was murdered or is it simply a piece of evidence?

Your disqualification of the design inference is arbitrary.

(Timothy Horton) #193

I didn’t change the question Bill. The question (paraphrased) was

“Why are chicken and egg problems in biology not evidence for Design?”

The correct answer I gave was

"Because “we don’t know yet” ≠ “it was DESIGNED!”

You’ve used your same dumb rhetorical gambits for years Bill. They’re way past their discard by date.

(Bill Cole) #194

Why don’t you answer the question as exactly phrased?

(Timothy Horton) #195

I did. It was asked in two parts, for simplicity I paraphrased them into one.

Still with the same stupid rhetorical games Bill. You’ll never learn, ever.


If we can’t determine who was stabbed or who stabbed them, would the best explanation be God planting the blood at the potential crime scene?

(Mikkel R.) #197

Because they’re not a necessary consequence of design, and they can be explained by evolution, and some of them are known to actually be due to evolution (like the actual chicken and egg).

For that reason the mere existence of various chicken-egg-like dependencies in biology cannot constitute evidence for design. It is in principle possible that some of those dependencies actually were designed, but their mere existence, and our putative current lack of explanation for them, cannot constitute evidence for that fact.

(Bill Cole) #198

It is a single piece of evidence.


That really doesn’t answer my question.

(Mikkel R.) #200

Wait, what? Are you saying that if we find blood and we don’t know who was stabbed or who stabbed them, then this is evidence God planted the blood? I must be misunderstanding you.

(Timothy Horton) #201

Evidence for what Bill?