Why are We Disagreeing with ID?

Sure. My comment was directed at someone who evidently does not understand the distinctions between cell expression, tissue, and organ, and seems to think that evolution posits that complete organs just pop up whole.

1 Like

They only need to exist.

Also, fixed neutral mutations dating back 10’s of millions of years already exist in the human genome.


I’ll assume that you meant genes, since genes mutate and proteins don’t. Yet what proportion of genes don’t mutate neutrally?

But your comment specifically talked of a 2 mutation adaption. So that’s what we are discussing.

Indeed, but the time taken for an adaption to become fixed once it occurs can be less than millions - or even thousands - of years. And the existence of potential first mutations in the population will substantially reduce the time it takes for an adaption to occur.


That probably shouldn’t be considered a new organ. Just an additional copy of a structure that already existed. “New organs” most likely start with mutations that have very little, if any, noticeable functional or phenotypic effect. That’s what I would expect, anyway.

I guess he should clarify for himself. I thought he was referring to some initial stub or simple structure that is not yet a lung or heart or liver or whatever, but which can be identified as the first step towards this. Not identified in retrospect, mind you, but whose eventual function we would be able foresee tens of thousands of years, if not more, into the future. If so, I’d be very interested to hear the method @scd would use to identify such things.

Maybe this is a better way to approach this question: @scd, can you tell us exactly when the wing of a bird could be said to “begin to exist” in the fossil record?


Hi Ron
Sorry for the curt response. You seemed to be asserting “split over as the cause”. It may be possible but seems unlikely.

Infectious diseases are emerging at an alarmingly rapid pace, faster than any other time in human history. Virus Spillover and Emerging Pathogens Pick Up Speed

With so many variables, such as complex pathogen life cycles, modes of transmission, and random susceptible hosts’ interaction, an initial spillover event resulting in ongoing transmission into a new host is relatively rare and usually an imperfect process. Most mammalian viruses lack the ability to infect humans .

Ok, ladies and gents, I would just like to point out that I called this a few months ago here, so none of this should be a surprise. The fulfillment of this prediction indicates this is indeed the dark timeline. I’m sorry.

I will now await patiently by my mailbox for my prize-winning gift card to Olive Garden.


In the case of evolution, it is very likely that some other structure will appear. Mutations and selection occurs regardless of what direction it takes. Yes, the flagellum is just one among innumerable possible structures, and re-running the tape might have produced something else in it’s stead, just like re-running your family history might have yielded a totally different person than the one you happen to be.

Some person being born is guaranteed to happen, but so is some other set of mutations subject to selection resulting in some other collection of interacting molecular structures.

You can assume whatever you like, that doesn’t make it true. The idea that God totally would make your reason reliable is just that, an assumption. But a God could also totally want to make you deluded and incapable of valid reasoning, yet simultaneously absolutely convinced it’s valid. This “supernaturalism gives justification” thing is just hot air. It’s all just obvious question-begging and you can’t get around it.

No, it does not entail that conclusion. That just flat out does not follow logically. There is no problem in principle with the idea that your reasoning is valid and that it is the product of mindless atoms.

1 Like

Apparently so high that we observed this increase in binding take place in real time. Of course we already know that the virus (and other coronaviruses in general) is pretty good at infecting most mammal species through their individual ACE2 homologues. Humans are no exception.

Apparently this is a pretty good generalist virus that can switch host species, and then adapt more specifically to the new host by evolving better binding to that particular species’ variant of the ACE2 receptor. Once it has reached some optimum of binding affinity, it appears to continue to adapt by some sort of immune escape (the spike protein is a target of immune system antibodies, so selection will force the spike protein to continue to change all the while maintaining it’s high-affinity binding to the ACE2 receptor). It also appears to adapt in part by reducing virulence through mechanisms separate from viral load.

All of this is textbook epidemiology.

That looks to me like a figure that shows that the omicron variants are on their way to fixation (the frequencies steadily climb) following their emergence. In a matter of months. Though new and even better adapted variants seem to crop up even before the previous one has reached 100% of the population.


I thought it meant you were a prophet, like @Faizal_Ali . And that is theologically problematic for me, because I thought there was only one prophet. Or maybe that was only one god. I’m not sure. Suffice it to say that I thought he was the only prophet, and now here you are. Is one of you guys a false prophet? That would help clarify the situation, I think.


Well, why not?

But we have a candidate God who is good, and true, and trustworthy.

But a car is a fine specification, and it’s suitably complex.

But not all designed objects are irreducibly complex. The point at issue was whether SETI is looking for something that they don’t know how it was produced, and they are.

No, it comes from finding that God is true, and trustworthy.

Well, my mindless atoms disagree with your mindless atoms!

“Because he thinks that my thoughts result from an irrational cause, he therefore discounts them. All thoughts which are so caused are valueless. We never, in our ordinary thinking, admit any exceptions to this rule. Now it would clearly be preposterous to apply this rule to each particular thought as we come to it, and yet not to apply it to all thoughts taken collectively, that is, to human reason as a whole.” (C.S. Lewis, Miracles, 1st edition)

Lewis takes a little different tack in his second edition, but makes basically the same point: “If what seems an act of knowledge is partially explicable from other sources, then the knowing (properly so called) in it is just what they leave over, just what demands, for its explanation, the thing known, as real hearing is what is left after you have discounted the tinnitus. Any theory which professes to explain our reasoning fully without introducing an act of knowing thus solely determined by what is known, is really a theory that there is no reasoning.”

So you believe, using your possibly unreliable mind. There’s really no way out of that.


There is very good reason to believe our thoughts can be completely accounted for by the physical processes of our brains. Unless you’d care to provide scientific evidence that conclusively shows otherwise. I am well aware there are philosophical arguments against this position, but there are also philosophical arguments in its favour. It is not necessary for us to engage in that debate here in order to simply acknowledge that the question is far from settled.

How can you demonstrate that creating us with minds that are unreliable, but which we believe to be reliable, was not the best thing this god could do? Remember, any answer you come up with would be the result of your mind, which could have been created by this omnipotent god so that you would believe things with absolute certainty that are not true.

In any even, if you can just posit a god who is good, and true, and trustworthy and made our minds to be reliable, I can just posit the existence of a world in which our minds evolved to understand it reliably. No problem.


Fear not! There is a wide selection of tried-and-true harmonization techniques available to us. We’ll work the kinks out of this issue or, failing that, provide enough ambiguity to accommodate almost any perspective.


Bzzzt! You’re supposed to now argue why it should follow - by logical entailment (you used the word entail, after all) - that if your thoughts are the product of “mindless atoms” then your reasoning is not valid.

So let me help you along here a bit, you’ll need to fill in the missing pieces yourself:

Premise 1: My reasoning is valid.
Premise 2: Something about atoms…?
Premises 3 or more: (???)
Conclusion: Therefore my reasoning is not the product of “mindless atoms”.

What you said was that your reasoning being valid entails that it isn’t the product of “mindless atoms”, but the truth of that is not shown merely by making the assertion. I have to assume it has something to do with those “mindless atoms” that make it so that they, for some reason that isn’t clear at all, just can’t produce valid reasoning. So what is it about reason and atoms that make it so they can’t, so to speak, work together?

Now comes the time where you either argue for the assertion in correct form so that we can see what premises you need to get to your conclusion, or alternatively you realize that to get to that conclusion you’d have to make some premises that constitute obviously question-begging assertions and so the argument falls flat as just the pile of question-begging assertions it is bound to be.


And God could have simply made you think that despite not being. There’s just no way around this.

You’ve not shown any problem with the position that reasoning can both be valid and the product of “mindless atoms”. You can state that you disagree all you want, and you can quote people who agree with you - but who do nothing but repeat the same assertion in more words - it doesn’t show there’s a problem that you insist on it and quote other people doing the same.

To show that there’s a problem you have to make arguments that reason from premises and derive conclusions from them.

This isn’t in any way a response to anything I’ve said, nor does anything there show that there’s any problem, in principle, with reasoning being valid and the product of “mindless atoms”. And nothing in there shows that positing a supernatural God makes it more likely that your reasoning is valid, which would be ridiculous anyway since our positing causes for why our reasoning might be valid doesn’t make that said reasoning valid. But we have no choice but to reason, so we must simply implicitly assume that it is. We don’t have to think there’s any particular reason for why it is, though we can do that and come up with ad-hoc justifications for it. But that is all they can ever amount to be.

You’re going to have to start reasoning for yourself at some point, rather than let other people do your thinking for you and then just mindlessly quote them here at length even when their words are not even relevant to what is being said.


Looking through the US SARS-CoV-2 data . . .

I am seeing about 60,000 different SNP’s in the current sequence data and 39,000 non-synonymous mutations. That’s not even counting indels. This is in a 30 kb genome. Even if we say that half of those mutations are sequencing noise (a massive overestimate), that’s still a ton of mutations that have appeared at one point or another…

Added in edit:

Cool graph of amino acid substitutions in the S protein over time. There was a massive jump in the number of S protein substitutions in the Omicron variant.



Coffee. All over the keyboard. That was marvelous.


@colewd will likely respond that this only shows how busy those devious Chinese biological engineers have been as they create this new killer virus using Intelligent Design.