March 26, 2004

THE THIRD BEARD TRIMMED:

Whatever happened to evolutionary theory?: INTELLIGENT DESIGN: Intelligent design has now (in 2025) become a thriving scientific research program and replaced materialistic accounts of biological evolution (in particular, Darwinism). ID theory led to new understanding of embryo development and the importance of "junk DNA" (Jonathan Wells, 4/03/04, World)

[D]arwinian evolution is little more than a historical footnote in biology textbooks. Just as students learn that scientists used to believe that the Sun moves around the Earth and maggots are spontaneously generated in rotting meat, so students also learn that scientists used to believe that human beings evolved through random mutations and natural selection. How could a belief that was so influential in 2000 become so obsolete by 2025? Whatever happened to evolutionary theory?

Surprising though it may seem, Darwinism did not collapse because it was disproved by new evidence. (As we shall see, the evidence never really fit it anyway.) Instead, evolutionary theory was knocked off its pedestal by three developments in the first decade of this century-developments centered in the United States, but worldwide in scope. Those developments were: (1) the widespread adoption of a "teach the controversy" approach in education, (2) a growing public awareness of the scientific weaknesses of evolutionary theory, and (3) the rise of the more fruitful "theory of intelligent design." [...]

In the second major development, students who were free to examine the evidence for and against evolution quickly realized that the former was surprisingly thin. Although Darwinists had long boasted about having "overwhelming evidence" for their view, it turned out that they had no good evidence for the theory's principal claim: that species originate through random mutation and natural selection. Bacteria were the best place to look for such evidence, because they reproduce quickly, their DNA can be easily mutated, and they can be subjected to strong selection in the laboratory. Yet bacteria had been intensively studied throughout the 20th century, and bacteriologists had never observed the formation of a new species.

If there was no good evidence that a Darwinian mechanism could produce new species, still less was there any evidence that a Darwinian mechanism could produce complex organs or new anatomical features. Darwinists discounted the problem by arguing that evolution was too slow to observe, but this didn't change the fact that they lacked empirical confirmation for their theory.

Of course, there was plenty of evidence for minor changes in existing species-but nobody had ever doubted that existing species can change over time. Domestic breeders had been observing such changes-and even producing them-for centuries. Unfortunately, this was not the sort of evidence that evolution needed. After all, the main point of evolutionary theory was not how selection and mutation could change existing species, but how that mechanism could produce new species-indeed, all species after the first-as well as new organs and new body plans. That's why Darwin titled his magnum opus The Origin of Species, not How Existing Species Change over Time.

A growing number of people realized that the "overwhelming evidence" for evolutionary theory was a myth. It didn't help the Darwinists when it became public knowledge that they had faked some of their most widely advertised evidence. For example, they had distorted drawings of early embryos to make them look more similar than they really are (in order to convince students that they had descended from a common ancestor), and they had staged photos showing peppered moths on tree trunks where they don't normally rest (in order to persuade students of the power of natural selection).

In the first few years of this century, the cultural dominance of Darwinism was so strong, especially in academia, that critics were slow to speak up. By 2009, however, when Darwin's followers had hoped to stage a triumphal celebration of their leader's 200th birthday, millions of people were laughing at the emperor with no clothes. [...]

More and more people saw through the lies, however, and within a few short years Darwinism had lost its scientific credibility and public funding. By 2015 it was well on its way to joining its intellectual cousins, Marxism and Freudianism, in the dustbin of discarded ideologies. By 2020, Darwinism was effectively dead.


To his credit, Darwin's replacement for Judeo-Christianity did last longer than that of his rivals.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2004 3:32 PM
Comments

Very funny.

I was also amused, last night, when reading Guillen's book about mathematics, that he had Paley and Darwin debating ID.

This is a professor of physics and mathematics at Harvard, who seems somewhat numerically challenged, since Paley's "Natural Theology" came out before Darwin was born. (Darwin born 1809, Paley's book published, as I recall, 1802.)

Anyhow, we should not have to wait till 2025 for the benefits of ID, which was orthodoxy before Darwin was born. If it's so great, when do we see some results?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 26, 2004 3:39 PM

"(3) the rise of the more fruitful "theory of intelligent design." "

This is hilarious. ID is fruitful because it is a work of the imagination. When you are not restricted to material causes to explain a phenomeonon, you can generate any number of theories. None of them will be testable, though.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at March 26, 2004 4:53 PM

Robert:

Actually, one of the things ID tells you is that you can run all the tests you want on Darwinism and it'll never work, unless you jigger the results, like with the peppered moth.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2004 5:03 PM

Well, at least science's theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun still beats the religious explanation.

BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER?

Posted by: Chris Durnell at March 26, 2004 6:49 PM

As a proponent of evolution, I say "bring it on". I'm all for an objective look in science and the class room on evolution.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 26, 2004 6:53 PM

You winced again, Orrin.

With hundreds of millions of antidarwinists around, why haven't we seen the fruits of ID already?

Next year in Jerusalem.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 26, 2004 7:06 PM

The fruits are everywhere. Sit back and enjoy.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2004 7:30 PM

Chris:

The more we know the more obvious it becomes that the Earth is the center of the universe..

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2004 7:32 PM

aog:

Take my word for it, teachers aren't.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2004 7:33 PM

In 2025 I'll be 73, with better than even odds of still being alive.

I'll bet $1000 to any taker here that Evolutionary theory is even more overdetermined in 2025 than it is today, and that ID by then is parked right next to phlogiston on the ash heap of scientific history.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 26, 2004 8:49 PM

www.answersingenesis.com

amazing how even in undergrad we were being inundated with evolution, but never heard the counterarguments. we mostly assumed there were holes in the theory (which is why it's a theory and not a law or even a fact), but good luck getting any professor to talk openly about the radioactive dating discrepancies, etc.

after 20 years of faith in evolution, i realized what a crock it was.

Posted by: a at March 27, 2004 12:37 AM

Jeff:

You'll have been unplugged long before then.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2004 12:52 AM

Jeff:

I'll take the other side, if you'll give me 5 - 1, your $ 1000 against my $ 200.
Or, we could each put $ 100 now into a joint Roth IRA account, invested in a Dow 30 index fund, and the winner can withdraw the money in '25.

Twenty more years of genetic analysis might reveal some surprises, particularly among humans' "junk" DNA.
Some of it just might encode a "finer matter", i.e., a "soul".


a:

In order to completely dismiss evolution, one must either believe that fossils are a plant, or some kind of Cosmic joke, or that all species that ever existed did so at the same time, but for some reason, 99.9% died out over the years.

Did humans co-exist with dinosaurs ?

If so, why did we live, while they died ?

In fact, how did humans survive living with dinosaurs for 500 million years ?

Why were early humans so stupid that they didn't invent dino killing tech for 500 million years, while modern humans managed to hunt every other big beast, including aquatic ones and predators, to extinction or near extinction in a mere 40,000 years ?

Even Orrin believes in evolution, he just likes to argue the "why" of it.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at March 27, 2004 1:15 AM

i guess i was unclear in what i was saying. it's quite clear that there are evolutionary methods at work. however, evolution cannot explain the existence of the universe and never will. ID is closer to explaining existence than is evolution.

Posted by: a at March 27, 2004 1:25 AM

Michael:

Everyone believes in Evolution--no scientifically minded person believes Natural Selection causes it.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2004 8:34 AM

No scientifically minded person believes some deus ex machina causes it.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 27, 2004 8:40 AM

Twenty-one years from now, ID will be right next to phlogiston on the ash heap of scientific history.

Right where it is now.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 27, 2004 8:42 AM

Jeff:

Precisely. Both are matters of faith, not science.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2004 8:50 AM

a, evolution does not even attempt to explain the universe.

No need to wait till 2025, I'll contribute $500 to the Bush re-election campaign Monday if Orrin will cite ANY biological research project that has 1) received acceptance by the specialists in whatever field it concerns and 2) explicitly states that its protocol is based on ID.

Blithe statements that it is 'all around' betray the bankruptcy of Orrin's position.

There are 8,000 (more or less) medical journals alone, there probably are millions of biological research papers published annually. Where are the ID ones?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 27, 2004 3:23 PM

Harry:

If they are specialists they are members of the cult. The point is that even with all of those journals and papers there is still no evidence of Natural Selection. At some point the absence of evidence is evidence of something.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2004 3:32 PM

This just in (Friday's Detroit Free Press): Geneticists have identified the single gene mutation that caused human jaws to become substantially smaller than their forebears (and our primate relatives)

Since single gene mutations are known to happen without any guiding hands, there is no need to invoke a deus ex machina for this occurrence.

Nor, for its propogation.

Now that sure didn't bring ID's 2025 nirvana any closer.

Harry:

I'll match your bet.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 27, 2004 7:21 PM

Yes, and poodle jaws are smaller than those of bull mastiffs.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2004 7:29 PM

OJ:

Re: peppered moths.

The specific cause of the results, not the results themselves, is what is in dispute.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 28, 2004 7:47 AM

Jeff:

Indeed. Same about man.

Posted by: Peter B at March 28, 2004 7:52 AM

Jeff:

No, the results too turn out to bogus. Darker moths occur even where there is no significant pollution. It was a siomple case of predation effects--not any change in genetics.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2004 7:54 AM

OJ:

Wrong on the facts. Darker moths were indeed found in places without significant pollution--simple diffusion would guarantee that outcome.

The overall prevalence of darker moths waxed and waned in direct proportion and proximity in time to industrial pollution.

The mechanism causing that change is as yet unknown.

So far, though, there is no need to invoke a deus ex machina to explain the change.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 28, 2004 12:12 PM

Jeff:

There is no mechanism. There are light and dark peppered moths. Light ones are easier to find if it's sooty, darker ones if it's not. They're all still just peppered moths.

Posted by: oj at March 28, 2004 12:41 PM

They're not all members of the cult. What about ICR?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 29, 2004 2:17 AM

"a, evolution does not even attempt to explain the universe."

-- are you up on your evolutionary theory, especially that being espoused in higher learning institutions across the country? starting with the big bang and moving forward, evolution is stated as the force behind the universe as it currently stands. period. i have yet to see it presented in any other fashion, which is rather sad since science was so promising at its onset but has since devolved into mere ideological pandering. i guess that was bound to happen with anything that sets out at the onset to answer a question, but only giving a materialist worldview.

Posted by: a at March 29, 2004 10:07 AM

Please try not to make silly comments.

Biological evolution under the pressure of natural selection is not even remotely related to the development (evolution) of the cosmos.

You could as sensibly compare the evolution of BrothersJuddblog to darwinism. Both change.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 29, 2004 3:32 PM

And are functions of I.D.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2004 3:51 PM

OJ:

I recommend you re-read Harry's last comment.

You hoisted yourself on your own petard.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 29, 2004 6:42 PM

The blog is, though the outcome is not therefore predictable.

The cosmos might be. Who can say?

Evolution by natural selection cannot be.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 29, 2004 8:22 PM

Harry:

Of course the outcome is predictable, just not the minutiae.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2004 8:33 PM

Jeff:

Intelligence guides both, as when someone or something intervened with the magic jaw gene.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2004 8:37 PM

Stuff happens. Without intervention of any kind.

Or hadn't you noticed?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 29, 2004 9:50 PM

No, I hadn't noticed--that's the point.

Posted by: oj at March 29, 2004 11:19 PM

"Biological evolution under the pressure of natural selection is not even remotely related to the development (evolution) of the cosmos."

-- interesting, i've never heard this presented in any way/shape/form in any course concerning the subject. in fact, the timeline is usually as such:

big bang --> evolution (via natural selection) --> prokaryotes --> eukaryotes --> monkey --> man

obviously the above is a simplification, but it is quite apparent that the entire system relies on evolution (via natural selection) from the very beginning. why is 'time' and 'chance' (chance that a random mutation imparts comparative advantage) invoked at every opportunity, as if giving a few inert gases billions of years could produce the complexity inherent in a single gene that codes for a single protein (notwithstanding the polymerases, etc that must participate in transcription and translation of said protein)

this is the entire basis for excluding God in the equation, for if you cannot demonstrate that evolution is a secular, materialist explanation for all that we see around us, ID is an easier sell.

Posted by: a at March 30, 2004 12:26 PM

I don't know where you took courses, a, but all the darwinists I know (Schopf is a good example with an up-to-date review book out) start natural selection with life.

Nobody applies natural selection to stars.

You seem to be confusing the unprofitable discussion of the anthropic principle with darwinism. They collide but are not related.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at March 30, 2004 1:21 PM

so by life you mean? prokaryote formation? eukaryote formation? big bang --> [some interim event whereby life spontaneously formed on earth] --> evolution --> etc? correct timeline as you see it?

i don't feel i am confusing anything. many purveyors of anti-plan/pro-evolution thought implicitly and explicitly refer to 'evolution' as the sole force for all that we see around us as part of a natural progression that began with the big bang. period. that's how it is taught in middle school, high school, college, and even post-grad. are those individuals perhaps misstating what darwin intended? quite possible, i was merely commenting on how the arguments are currently framed in most education circles.

i think evolution (natural selection) as a concept is rather sound in some respects if only applied as you have stated, starting with 'life'. however, doing it in such a fashion presents an argument that is a far cry from showing ID to be unreasonable or untrue, mainly because 1) you must find some way to explain big bang --> life and 2) you still must fill in the large gaps that ID seeks to answer (increasing complexity in organisms through loss of function mutations, eye complexity, clotting cascade, etc)

Posted by: a at March 30, 2004 2:04 PM

"Well, at least science's theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun still beats the religious explanation.

BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER?"

-- read scripture and point out where it says that the sun rotates around the earth. today we say the sun rises and sets, but what do we mean by that? we mean that when viewed from earth, it appears to be doing that. does that mean each meteorologist who spouts "today's sunrise is at 6:30am" believes the sun rotates around the earth?

Posted by: at March 30, 2004 2:07 PM

Harry:

That is one of the more amusing conceits of Darwinism--it has to start after life already exists.

Posted by: oj at March 30, 2004 2:10 PM

a:

You seem to be confusing little-e evolution (distinguishing the state of a system at time t from the state of the same sytem at t + delta-t) with Big-E Evolution (system with specific characteristics that allows for recursion and inheritance, among other things).

Stars evolve over time, based on the fraction of available hydrogen. Fires evolve over time base on the available fuel.

Big-E Evolution requires recursion through heritability and feedback.

They are two entirely different things.

OJ:

"That is one of the more amusing conceits of Darwinism--it has to start after life already exists."

That is no conceit--Darwinism has absolutely nothing to say about how life got started. Nor should it.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at March 30, 2004 6:45 PM

Jeff:

On that we agree.

Posted by: oj at March 30, 2004 7:32 PM
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