October 4, 2005

WHY THEY NEED A MONOPOLY:

Survival of the fakest: Science now knows that many of the pillars of Darwinian theory are either false or misleading. Yet biology texts continue to present them as factual evidence of evolution. What does this imply about their scientific standards? (JONATHAN WELLS, December 2000/January 2001, The American Spectator)

We all remember them from biology class: the experiment that created the "building blocks of life" in a tube; the evolutionary "tree," rooted in the primordial slime and branching out into animal and plant life. Then there were the similar bone structures of, say, a bird's wing and a man's hand, the peppered moths, and Darwin's finches. And, of course, the Haeckel embryos.

As it happens, all of these examples, as well as many others purportedly standing as evidence of evolution, turn out to be incorrect. Not just slightly off. Not just slightly mistaken. On the subject of Darwinian evolution, the texts contained massive distortions and even some faked evidence. Nor are we only talking about high-school textbooks that some might excuse (but shouldn't) for adhering to a lower standard. Also guilty are some of the most prestigious and widely used college texts, such as Douglas Futuyma's Evolutionary Biology, and the latest edition of the graduate-level textbook Molecular Biology of the Cell, coauthored by the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Bruce Alberts. In fact, when the false "evidence" is taken away, the case for Darwinian evolution, in the textbooks at least, is so thin it's almost invisible. [...]

Darwin was convinced that in the course of evolution, "Natural Selection has been the most important, but not the exclusive means of modification," but he had no direct evidence of this. The best he could do in The Origin of Species was give "one or two imaginary illustrations."

In the 1950's, however, British physician Bernard Kettlewell provided what seemed to be conclusive evidence of natural selection. During the previous century, peppered moths in England had gone from being predominantly light-colored to being predominantly dark-colored. It was thought that the change occurred because dark moths are better camouflaged on pollution-darkened tree trunks, and thus less likely to be eaten by predatory birds.

To test this hypothesis experimentally, Kettlewell released light and dark moths onto nearby tree trunks in polluted and unpolluted woodlands, then watched as birds ate the more conspicuous moths. As expected, birds ate more light moths in the polluted woodland, and more dark moths in the unpolluted one. In an article written for Scientific American, Kettlewell called this "Darwin's missing evidence." Peppered moths soon became the classic example of natural selection in action, and the story is still retold in most introductory biology textbooks, accompanied by photographs of the moths on tree trunks.

In the 1980's, however, researchers discovered evidence that the official story was flawed — including the pertinent fact that peppered moths don't normally rest on tree trunks. Instead, they fly by night and apparently hide under upper branches during the day. By releasing moths onto nearby tree trunks in daylight, Kettlewell had created an artificial situation that does not exist in nature. Many biologists now consider his results invalid, and some even question whether natural selection was responsible for the observed changes.

So where did all those textbook photos of peppered moths on tree trunks come from? They were all staged. To expedite things, some photographers even glued dead moths to trees. Of course, the people who staged them before the 1980's thought they were accurately representing the true situation, but we now know they were mistaken. Yet a glance at almost any current biology textbook reveals that they are all still being used as evidence for natural selection.

In 1999, a Canadian textbook-writer justified the practice: "You have to look at the audience. How convoluted do you want to make it for a first time learner?" Bob Ritter was quoted as saying in the April 1999 Alberta Report Newsmagazine. High school students "are still very concrete in the way they learn," continued Ritter. "We want to get across the idea of selective adaptation. Later on, they can look at the work critically." [...]

A quarter of a century before Darwin published The Origin of Species, he was formulating his ideas as a naturalist aboard the British survey ship H.M.S. Beagle . When the Beagle visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835, Darwin collected specimens of the local wildlife, including some finches.

Though the finches had little in fact to do with Darwin's development of evolutionary theory, they have attracted considerable attention from modern evolutionary biologists as further evidence of natural selection. In the 1970's, Peter and Rosemary Grant and their colleagues noted a 5 percent increase in beak size after a severe drought, because the finches were left with only hard-tocrack seeds. The change, though significant, was small; yet some Darwinists claim it explains how finch species originated in the first place.

A 1999 booklet published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences describes Darwin's finches as "a particularly compelling example" of the origin of species. The booklet cites the Grants' work, and explains how "a single year of drought on the islands can drive evolutionary changes in the finches." The booklet also calculates that "if droughts occur about once every 10 years on the islands, a new species of finch might arise in only about 200 years."

But the booklet fails to point out that the finches' beaks returned to normal after the rains returned. No net evolution occurred. In fact, several finch species now appear to be merging through hybridization, rather than diverging through natural selection as Darwin's theory requires.

Withholding evidence in order to give the impression that Darwin's finches confirm evolutionary theory borders on scientific misconduct. According to Harvard biologist Louis Guenin (writing in Nature in 1999), U.S. securities laws provide "our richest source of experiential guidance" in defining what constitutes scientific misconduct. But a stock promoter who tells his clients that a particular stock can be expected to double in value in twenty years because it went up 5 percent in 1998, while concealing the fact that the same stock declined 5 percent in 1999, might well be charged with fraud. As Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 1999: "When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail, you know they are in trouble."


In fairness, if you don't let them teach their hoaxes they've nothing left.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2005 12:09 PM
Comments

In addition to cooked experiments, the lay student of these debates has to deal with pious opening (never concluding)pronouncements from darwinists to the effect that the evidence for darwinism is "overwhelming", thus leaving the impression that it doesn't matter much whether this or that experiment is a little dicey because there are thousands of airtight others behind it. Then we read about huge fossil gaps, etc.

Can any of the more scientifically qualified contributers here give us a short analysis on what evidence actually exists to support speciation (i.e. from dog to something that can't interbreed with dogs, not brown collies to brown and white collies)and what hard evidence exists to support the history of man's evolution since the fabled common ancestor?

Posted by: Peter B at October 5, 2005 5:04 AM

Peter:

Your comment contains a strawman: darwinism.

The theory of evolution has changed significantly since Darwin's time, largely due to learning about two things: continental drift, and viruses.

It seems likely that without continental drift (that is, imagine at any given moment in Earth's history the climate and location of land masses becomes eternally fixed) evolution would likely grind to a near halt.

WRT viruses, they appear to be nature's genetic engineers, providing a source other than random changes, for mutation.

You are really asking two questions:

1. Does common descent characterize life on Earth?

2. A subset of that question, is there anything to substantiate the assertion that humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor.

The answer to (2) is easier. Not a month ago geneticists published findings from having sequenced the chimpanzee genome. As it turns out, beyond the high degree of DNA commonality between chimps and humans, there are some similarities that are particularly striking.

Two stand out.

Both chimps and humans are unable to synthesize vitamin-C (apparently a rare deficiency in mammals), and must therefore obtain it from diet. The mutation that caused this is identical in both chimps and humans.

Second, there are large stretches of DNA having no apparent (perhaps "known") use, in that they don't appear to be responsible for any proteins. There is amazing similarity among these stretches.

Itis very difficult to think of another cause for either of these than a shared ancestor.

The answer to your first question is more difficult, in that you are really asking two things: did it happen, and how did it happen.

Did it happen? This is the common descent question. Here the evidence is truly overwhelming (DNA analysis, cladistics, fossil divergence following breaking up of landmasses are several. But most fundamentally, given 99% of all species that ever lived are extinct, continuous creation of complete species ab initio is the only alternative to common descent). So much so that, except for YECs, there it is accepted as established fact, regardless of fossil "gaps" (some of which have been reduced to the vanishing point -- the descent of birds from dinosaurs, for one instance, or whales for another).

How did it happen? This is where your strawman enters the room. The real question is whether there is a purely naturalistic explanation for common descent, or if some supernatural intervention ranging from episodic to continuous is required.

To summarize:

1. The evidence for common descent is overwhelming.

2. There is no evidence contradicting a set of naturalistic mechanisms for that descent.

3. The use of the term "darwinism" fails by a long shot to encompass the full range of effects seemingly in play -- most prominent among them is contintental drift imposing a continous Monte Carlo simulation on life.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 8:40 AM

There is no evidence contradicting a set of naturalistic mechanisms for that descent.

Of course, neither is there any evidence of a naturalistic mechanism. You believe there is one, but that's not how science works, but is what faith consists of--belief in something for which there is no scientific evidence either way.

The faith is Darwinism.

The bit about continental drift is sheer nonsense, unless you're really saying that speciation never occurs on a single continent, but differences only arise between one continent and another. I know you cling to drift because we can demonstrate it where we can't demoinstrate the Darwinism you believe in, but you're getting yourself very confused about what it means.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 9:13 AM

Jeff:

Aren't you the one who is always reminding us that correlation doesn't imply causation?

"It is very difficult to think of another cause" is hardly a basis for a scientific conclusion, even if it were true, which it isn't. It is also hilarious you would repeat that trope while manning the barricades against those pernicious ID'ers trying to get into the classrooms. It was very difficult for medieval doctors to see alternatives to the four humours, or pre-Copernican astonomers to get over Ptolemy.

Yup, there is lots of similar DNA. Lots of similar atoms and chemical compositions as well. Lots of similar physical attributes. Even arguably some non-physical commonalities. From that I conclude that life is made up of a lot of common elements and that different species can have very similar building blocks. Now, how about answering the question and telling us what scientific evidence there is that speciation occurred.

Posted by: Peter B at October 5, 2005 10:20 AM

Peter:

There are different species. What there's no evidence of is speciation occurring ever or only because of Natural Selection, which is the claim of Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 10:26 AM

Peter:

You asked what evidence there was substantiating the theory that humans and chimpanzees sharing an ancestor. What I provided is not correlation, but rather phenomena of the sort that absolutely had to be present in order for the theory of common descent to hold.

Now, my assertion that it is very difficult to think of some other cause is solely a matter of opinion, possibly pointing to a lack of imagination as much as anything. But the essential point remains: in order for common descent to be true (your question), the respective genomes had to have these relationship characteristics.

Does that prove the existence of a common ancestor? No. However, such a theory completely explains the observed phenomena, and there is no other competing theory that does so (and is also evidence bound).

As for the occurrence (as opposed to cause). Based upon the fossil record:

1. All species are time bound (that is, over time, there is one specific span within which a given species fossils exist).

2. 1) said differently, there is no time at which all species exist.

Therefore, no matter what one thinks of the cause, new species (as well as families, genera, phyla and kingdoms) have appeared -- and disappeared -- over time.

Again, no matter the cause, unless you can find some evidence to suggest that all species that have ever existed came into being simultaneously, and that extinctions are the only source of change since, then speciation had to occur, even if each was a separate act of Divine Creation over time.

Remember -- I'm talking only about first order knowledge here; this conclusion has nothing to do with cause.

The above points directly to why I think ID does not belong in a science class: ID would have been equally aas comfortable with the DNA relationships cited as with their absence.

In other words, ID has not one deductive consequence. As soon as it has even one, then it becomes a scientific endeavor.

In contrast, naturalistic evolution has at least 29 requirements that must be true to avoid contradiction. (That list is far better at answering your question than my limited effort here.)

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 11:34 AM

Jeff:

However, There is no evidence contradicting a set of Intelligent Design mechanisms for that descent.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 11:45 AM

OJ:

I never said there was. Peter was asking questions solely related to first order knowledge; my responses were intended to convey no more than that.

BTW -- in that light, my comment about continental drift is not nonsense, it is exactly on point. Continental drift is a matter of first hand knowledge. As a result of continental drift, not only have all land masses transited all climatological zones, but all populations have, over time become reproductively isolated. Combined with the climatological specificity of nearly all life, continental drift means life had to change to keep up.

Those assertions are nothing more than first hand knowledge; observations without process content.

From that, I make the second order statement that lower-case "e" evolution is wholly dependent upon continental drift: absent reproductive isolation and climatological stress, life would reach stasis. (In other words, the Malthusian competition synonymous with the term "Darwinism" isn't a meaningful cause, which is why the contemporary evolutionary theory bears essentially no resemblance to the Darwinism strawman.

Your assertion that nothing excludes a set of ID mechanisms is true; it is also true you have set evolutionary theory the task of proving a negative. For that matter, the evidence cited strongly supports the theory that naturalistic evolution is the ID mechanism for that descent.

I'm not making light of your statement, only noting that ID's utter absence of any deductive consequences means ID can be used to demonstrate a naturalistic theory of evolution is completely true. Any hypothesis with this power of self contradiction simply isn't a scientific endeavor.

If evolutionary theory really was nothing more than an evocation of Malthus, I would find it as disturbing as you even if true.

What I find perplexing is that the contemporary theory of evolution poses absolutely no threat to Belief (or at least to any belief that doesn't require taking Scripture absolutely literally). However, invoking ID poses a singularly threatening Theodicy problem.

If I wanted to destroy Christian faith (which I most assuredly do not) I would take ID as stipulated, then run with it.

BTW -- both you and Peter should read "Forbidden Knowledge," particularly the second section. And no, it isn't because it substantiates my point of view. I'll be happy to mail either of you my copy.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 2:08 PM

Jeff:

Yes, I.D. is just as false as Darwinism. Neither Nature nor some unknown intelligence designed the world.

I congratulate you though on fiunally stumbling into the truth:

Your assertion that nothing excludes a set of ID mechanisms is true; it is also true you have set evolutionary theory the task of proving a negative.

Likewise, the task you set the skeptic of Darwinism is to prove a negative, which is why neither ID nor Darwinism is properly considered scientific. They are just rival faiths of Creationism and minority faiths at that.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 2:18 PM

OJ:

I don't agree that I, or, more to the point, evolutionary biolotists, force the skeptic of naturalistic evolution to prove a negative.

Rather, the task facing any skeptic of a scientific theory is to either force a contradiction such as to show the existing theory is, at best, no better than a null hypothesis. Alternatively, pose a theory that better explains some or all of what the existing theory does.

So far, the current naturalistic explanation (which is not Darwinism; please view my comments from that perspective) for how life has changed over time comprises a sparse set of assumptions entailing a significant number of deductive consequences.

Your passive voice in the last para is telling. Naturalistic evolution fulfills all the criteria of a viable scientific theory; what's more since naturalistic evolution has changed significantly over time in response to new first order knowledge, it belongs to an entirely different category than Creationism, which is wholly immune to any sort of rational inquiry.

BTW -- you have left untouched my assertion that ID and Creationism contain a serious threat Christianity.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 3:01 PM

Oh, and one other thing. That link I provided above should put to rest the notion that naturalistic evolution relies in any way upon either moths or finches.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 3:03 PM

Jeff Guinn: There is no evidence contradicting a set of naturalistic mechanisms for that descent.

Intelligent Designist: There is no evidence contradicting a set of Intelligent Design mechanisms for that descent.

Jeff Guinn: Your assertion that nothing excludes a set of ID mechanisms is true; it is also true you have set evolutionary theory the task of proving a negative.

Intelligent Designist: Your assertion that nothing excludes a set of naturalistic mechanisms is true; it is also true you have set evolutionary theory the task of proving a negative.

Jeff Guinn: But that's totally different!

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 3:10 PM

The link offers not one example of evolution via Natural Selection.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 3:11 PM

Since ID has no deductive consequences, there is no conceivable set of circumstances that could either substantiate, or negate ID. Therefore, there is no way to distinguish ID from a null hypothesis.

Since naturalistic evolution has many deductive consequences, there are many conceivable circumstances that would completely negate naturalistic evolution. It is therefore easy to distinguish naturalistic evolution from a null hypothesis.

BTW -- I think your IDist misspoke the second time around ;).

The link doesn't offer any examples, because the point is to demonstrate the fact of evolution (as opposed to the how). Which is consistent with my appeal to first order knowledge in answering Peter's question regarding first order knowledge.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 4:02 PM

By first order knowledge, you are referring, I presume, to objective, testable observation, as opposed to that crappy old third and fourth order knowledge we theocrats rely on. That's fine, but you don't get to include the proposition that there is no force at work here other than natural evolution in that definition. Agreed?

Posted by: Peter B at October 5, 2005 4:34 PM

Jeff:

No, that's the point. It's evolutionary theory--which all three agree on--that can't distinguish one from the other because it would requires proving a negative in each instance. All of Darwinism's "deductive consequences" as you mistakenly term them follow from Creationism and ID as well.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 4:35 PM

Now, how about answering the question and telling us what scientific evidence there is that speciation occurred.

Imagine a crime scene where there is a door (it is shut), there is a set of footprints leading up to the door, and a series of identical footprints leading away from the door on the other side. There are several explanations for how this occured:

1. The door was open when a man walked through the doorway.

2. The door was closed, and a man walked through the closed door.

3. One man walked up to the closed door, and then disappeared. An identical man then materialized on the other side of the closed door and then walked away.

Now, according to your line of reasoning, there is no evidence for theory 1, and so theory 2 and 3 should be given equal consideration. You would not feel justified in assuming 1 unless you had seen the man walk through the open door personally, and absent such first hand evidence it is necessary to suspend all judgements.

The genetic similarities that Jeff pointed to between chimpanzees and humans provide very strong inferential evidence for common descent, just as the crime scene evidence provides very strong inferential evidence to the open door theory. What amazes me is to what lengths you anti-evolutionists will go to overlook overwhelmingly convincing inferential evidence for evolution.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 5, 2005 4:39 PM

Robert:

Except that your example is inapposite. Suppose instead that three men are found on the street and all their footprints precisely fit the evidence. You can certainly pick which one you'd like to think was the cause, but not on the mere basis of something having happened. It'll just be a function of your personal prejudices.

Of course, it may be pertinent that your argument is that the footprints weren't made by an intelligent being at all...

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 4:47 PM

OJ:

It is your response that misses the mark. The evidence I cited above states a "crime" occurred. Within the realm of ID/Creationism, there is no possible way to determine whether the "crime" occurred in the first place, never mind the guilty party.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 4:54 PM

Peter:

Your pejorative about orders of knowledge is not mine. The point "Forbidden Knowledge" discusses is both important and third order. Nothing crappy about it.

What naturalistic evolution does get to include is that, barring contradiction, there is no requirement for non-naturalistic phenomena to explain natural history. Put differently, naturalistic evolution says there is never a need for a deus ex machina.

ID/Creationism says there is a need that varies from almost never to always, depending.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 5:00 PM

OJ:

Naturalistic evolution's deductive consequences do not also follow from Creationism/ID.

Creationism/ID has nothing to say one way or the other about how old the earth is, or the chirality of proteins, or the rate of genetic change, or population statistics, or whether isolated populations will diverge genetically.

In contrast, naturalistic evolution has very strict requirements in each of these areas (and many more).

That is a profound difference.

That said, I think the more interesting discussion is the theological impact of widespread acceptance of ID and its implications. I don't think ID advocates have thought this one through even a little bit.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 5, 2005 5:07 PM

Naturalistic Evolution simply posits Nature as the deus instead of Deus Himself. It adds unnecessary complexity.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 7:05 PM

Jeff:

Evolution is the crime in this instance and there's no argument about whether it occurred. The question is the cause and all three theories explain it. People just choose which to believe.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 7:07 PM

Yeah, we never see codes from the same programmer containing the same mistakes over and over again.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 5, 2005 7:15 PM

Robert:

That is one wacky analogy. Perhaps a better question would be "who opened the door?", but even that doesn't work all that well.

Jeff:

Yes, I see where you are coming from, but you are still in the realm of inference here, no matter how persuasive. And you are operating on top of an unstated assumption that you cannot prove and that actually has some pretty good evidence against it.

Assume for a minute I accept all your evidence, the 29 points, blah, blah. You bring me to the stage where I say: "Yup, overwhelming. It makes sense to accept the theory."

Then someone comes along and says: "Despite all this impressive physical evidence, there are still huge logical gaps here. Man's evolution away from the common ancestor was clearly away from survivability--it is simply ex post facto hocus pocus to try and sqeeze man's nature and history into natural selection. You say man trecked around the world in response to some climactic imperative, so why did the chimp stick around and prosper? Man and the chimp are clearly a million miles apart in consciousness and emotional and psychological make-up, so your DNA similarity means nothing outside the bare physical. And then there is the problem that nothing much seems to be evolving anymore, give or take the odd beak.

What you don't seem to understand is that someone who argues this way is not denying small "e" evolution as a bare descriptive history. He is arguing that the theory must be incomplete--i.e. not a self-contained exclusive explanation for life, and his evidence is pretty strong that that is so. It is not first order knowledge and he doesn't claim it is, but neither is your assumption to the contrary. He is simply saying that your "overwhelming" evidence that evolution occurred does not add up to the conclusion that that was all there was.

Measured against that, the question: "Where is the evidence for speciation?" can't be answered the way you and Robert want to, because you have made the implied logical leap that your evidence proves not only that a, b, c, etc. happened, but that x, y, z didn't. You can't do that and pretend you are in the realm of science or objective inquiry.

Posted by: Peter B at October 6, 2005 6:33 AM

Peter:

I think you are still combining two concepts that need to remain separate. (Or I am misreading your post -- apologies if so).

The link I provided is only intended to provide the evidence of evolution and common descent as theory-free historical facts. I do not mean to imply that accepting the historical fact is sufficient cause to take the theory as true, or, especially, complete.

Presuming they are adequate to that task, we come to the real point of the article, and the discussion. Does the theory of naturalistic evolution qualify as a scientific endeavor? Does ID/Creationism?

Scientific theories are hypothetico-deductive exercises. I believe I have demonstrated, here and elsewhere, that naturalistic evolution fits that requirement -- that alone puts it in the realm of scientific inquiry.

I contend that Creationism/ID has no deductive consequences (a point ID concedes, BTW) That doesn't make Creationism/ID wrong, but until it has deductive consequences, even one would do, it is simply not in the realm of scientific inquiry, and, until that happy day, does not belong in science classes.

Naturalistic evolution does not prove x,y,z didn't happen (as a general rule, theories do not prove negatives); rather it contends x,y,z are unnecessary. That is completely within the realm of rational inquiry.

The task for ID is to demonstrate x,y,z are necessary, but that tosses ID right back onto the deductive consequence issue. And there will be a Nobel for the person who can do it.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 6, 2005 8:02 AM

OJ:

God acts through nature.

That doesn't add complexity, nor does it make nature God.

I'm surprised, though, that you haven't (so far as I can remember) considered the serious challenge to faith Creationism/ID raises; a challenge that naturalistic evolution need not pose at all.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 6, 2005 8:08 AM

Jeff:

Well, sure, you're just arguing for Creationism.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 8:16 AM

OJ:

I'm arguing that naturalistic evolution is a distinct way of attempting to discover how Creation works.

"Creationism," doesn't do that, in that it takes the answer as given and immune to further investigation.

To further highlight the difference, naturalistic evolution is based entirely on first order knowledge; "Creationism" does not address first order knowledge at all. And ID only exists where first order knowledge is absent.

But what I am most curious about at this point is whether you ascertain any threat to Christianity in ID.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 6, 2005 9:52 AM

You're saying that God decided what Creation should look like and set Nature in motion. That's Creationism.

IDers pretend that they doin't know the Designer to be God. There's not much threat that children of Christian parents will think aliens did it even if the science allows for that.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 10:04 AM

OJ, your definitions are wrong as far as these terms are commonly used and understood. Creationism refers to a non-evolving, static taxonomy of creatures who were created in their present form by God during the creation event, whether that be the literal 6 day event or the figurative 6 day event described in Genesis.

Your definition of Creationism is what everyone else commonly understands as ID.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 6, 2005 10:31 AM

The literal version is evolutionary, with progression in stages from common descent.

Darwinism is, of course, based on Judeo-Christian Creation or no one would have accepted it.

Creationism is the belief that God guides evolution.

ID is the belief that it is guided but we don't know by whom.

Darwinism is the belief that it's just Nature acting at random.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 10:36 AM

Jeff:

ID concedes it because more intellectually hjonest. However, all of the "deductive consequences" you attribute to Darwinism characterize ID as well.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 10:57 AM

OJ:

Well, that is where we differ.

Providing some detail behind your assertion that all the deductive consequences attending naturalistic evolution also attend ID.

In other words, please explain why ID requires:

Common descent
Single origin of life
Any particular age of the Earth

What --and why -- does ID have to say about reproductively isolated populations?

But even with the ID realm, how does ID distinguish between what has been "Designed" and what evolved naturalistically? Is it all former, or some of both? If some of both, how to tell which is which?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 6, 2005 11:37 AM

OJ:

I second Robert. The common definitions of ID and Creationism are not consistent with your use.

What's more, ID doesn't really posit that some external agent guided evolution, only that there are some elements of nature statistically beyond naturalistic evolution.

Also, I'm curious as to which part of naturalistic evolution is based upon Judeo-Christian creation -- that has heretofore escaped me.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 6, 2005 11:46 AM

Jeff:

This is a settled question at Brothers Judd. There are just three evolutionary theories worth considering and its convenient to group them under inclusive titles whatever the variations within them: Darwinism, Creationism, ID.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 12:04 PM

ID and Creation both assume creators and therefore common descent from the hand of those creators.

What's inexplicable scientifically is why Darwinism accepts a single Creation event and common descent.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 12:08 PM

Naturalistic evolution does not prove x,y,z didn't happen (as a general rule, theories do not prove negatives); rather it contends x,y,z are unnecessary.

Jeff, if you are going to pretend that the statement "x,y,z, are unnecessary" is a proper and justified conclusion of scientific inquiry, but the statement "x, y, z are necessary" is not, then you are just playing word games and your argument collapses under the weight of its bafflegab. It is called cooking the rhetorical books. Marxists are very good at it, too.


Posted by: Peter B at October 6, 2005 12:55 PM
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