Irreducible complexity in biology

Discussion in 'Why Science Is Wrong... About Almost Everything' started by David Bailey, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Reece

    Reece Member

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    David, can you list any of those books? I'd like to check them out, possibly.
     
  2. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well this book by J Scot Turner shows promise, but I am waiting for the Kindle version to come out:

    https://www.amazon.com/Purpose-Desire-Model-Understanding-Life/dp/0062651560

    Here is a book about epigenetics, that goes into a lot of detail:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Epigenetic...g-Inheritance/dp/1848313470#reader_1848313470

    There is a book by Dennis Noble, but I was put off by some supposed analogy with relativity - which sounds a bit strained!

    https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Tune-L...h_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=#reader_1107176247


    It seems to me that these books represent a frustration with the shortcomings of evolution by NS, but I can't see how they can replace NS with a much more efficient alternative that is still materialist.

    David
     
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  3. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    My impression, and I could be wrong as its been a long time since I've spent time with this topic, is that many Neo-Darwinists would claim that sometimes morphic changes can result as a result of mutation, and may not necessarily be beneficial or detrimental at the time, but just sort of hang out (so to speak) upon which at a later time it may become beneficial, if luck should so provide, either in itself or through participation in some other bodily system.
     
  4. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    I don't think that inevitability is part of the standard claim. Actually, I've heard many evolutionists state or write about their sense of wonder that things happened the way that they did in order to get us here, and that they believe it to be quite remarkable that things have reached this point..

    Edit-actually I have heard lots of talk about how big the Universe is and that given enough time, life is inevitable. Maybe thats what you meant. My sights were just set on Earth when I responded to your post.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  5. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    Have any of you guys watched Kent Hovind debate against evolutionists? lol if nothing else its pretty entertaining. Hes quite the show-man. Setting aside his fundamentalism, he does a good job of showing a lot of the assumptions that are made in science and have reached the textbooks concerning evolution. Its too bad that the only people debating evolutionists are fundamentalists. Not that fundamentalists are not equipped to do so, but it carries all that Theological backagge and, to many, probably suggests that if you have questions or doubts concerning evolution that you must be a fundamentalist.

     
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  6. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well that video was sort of amusing, but I didn't think much of either speaker. Here is a much better video IMHO.



    Even so, the original video, does make some good points. It is I believe true that assorted bits of false evidence has continued to be used in biology textbooks.

    I would say the biology professor began to flag towards the end - partly because he relied on too much bogus science.

    David
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  7. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    Amusing is definitely the best word for it lol. Hovind goes way off topic. I see him more as an entertainer. But he does do an interesting job at poking some holes in certain assumptions. That other professor has some anger issues. I’ll check out the video you posted later. I actually watch Hovind debate Shermer a while back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  8. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    What makes me laugh is that the conventional biology has really left itself open to the drubbing that it got here. I mean, as I understand it, various bits of bogus evidence for evolution really were debunked ages ago, and are still copied into biology texts! This is, of course, a scandal in its own right.

    I certainly don't want to associate myself with young-earth creationism (!!), but it is interesting how awkward evidence - such as trees growing through multiple layers of geological rock formations - get quietly buried. I was also interested in the wildly varying C-14 dates that Hovind produced. My feeling is that as in many areas of science, the truth is messier than science would like to admit, and the mess gets pushed under the carpet.

    Biology professors enter these debates thinking they will will knock their opponent down effortlessly, and then they get angry because they are skewered by all the deceitful half-truths that have been left in the textbooks.

    You will see some anger in the second video, and the same wilting of the orthodox side towards the end, but it is focused on evolution, not biblical floods!

    In one sense you have to feel sorry for the guys upholding the orthodox position, because the aggressive way Darwinian evolution has been pushed, has really left these guys exposed - which is why few scientists want to engage in these debates! They daren't even acknowledge anything the other guy says - for fear of being called out by their peers - but they helped to make the system!

    David
     
  9. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    Also, actually, (as per the thread title), when I was watching that Hovind-Shermer debate, at the end during audience Q and A, Shermer was asked by an audience member which ID argument was the strongest. He reluctantly answered “irreducible complexity.”

    Moreso than on The creationists side, I’ve been really surprised at the lack of real evidence produced by evolutionists. Like the transitional fossil record for instance. Shermer; when challenged on the topic, produced 3 pictures of whales throughout the ages. The first had a blowhole at the front of the skull, the second in the middle, and the third nearer to the neck. And that seems to be the best transitional evidence they have. Out of the absolute wealth of fossils they posses, if evolution definitely happened the way they say, (I’m no anthropologist so my understanding is certainly incomplete) but wouldn’t you expect a whole ton of transitional fossils? Those whale bones, I wouldn’t even consider those transitional at all. They’re all whales!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  10. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Yes, and this seems to happen right through this debate. It is as though evolution by NS was the default assumption, and you had to provide evidence beyond all reasonable doubt to even dent NS. In reality, Darwin had a much simpler idea of what a gene might be - not a long string of chemicals in which the chances of obtaining a favourable mutation by chance were negligible!

    The debate also seems permeated by dirty tricks. For example, when a bacterium evolves by changing one codon (usually to stop something working so well, but sometimes conferring antibiotic resistance), that is not the same as the zillions of evolutionary events that are supposed to have peppered history, because it is precisely those changes that require multiple genetic changes, that become hard to explain by NS.

    David
     
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  11. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    This is Meyer just speaking his case on his own. Its different than the above video because he gets more into ID than anti-Neo Darwinism.

    The Cambrian explosion is interesting. I keep wondering, doesnt there have to be something we are missing? Something we havent thought of? Some reason that the fossils didnt form? It does seem bizzarre, but it was sooo long ago. So I have to keep reservations about drawing conclusions from it, but its certainly problematic. I do wish I understood it more thoroughly.

    To me, the biggest case for some kind of supernatural intervention into the physical world has always been the simple phenomenon of consciousness. Even when I was very young, when I started asking myself the big question "are we just meat robots?", I would always remember that I am my mind. Simply, I am. And thats the only answer Ive ever really needed. The idea that this universe just popped into existence for no reason and gave rise to mind bogglingly physically complex and psychologically conscious beings just for no apparent reason, I find absolutely untenable.

    I personally consider it absolutely probable that some supernatural agent guided our formation physically somehow in some capacity and essentially assigned conscious preformed spirits to these physical beings. I'm not sure how that looked. Did a designer program and reprogram DNA at different stages? That idea still seems outrageously bizarre to me, but I find the alternative (the above paragraph) even more ridiculous. More bizarre than either of those possibilities is the fact that anything exists in the first place. Existence itself is the grand miracle. I find the possibility of an intelligence guiding our formation to be a much less bizarre sounding phenomenon than the simple fact that anything exists in the first place.

    The purpose of this grand and bizarre experiment (based on medium and NDE data) seems to be to create "a play" of sorts, where we can largely forget who we are exactly (the brain acting as a reducing filter) sufficient enough that we learn certain lessons and grow spiritually. The forgetting being necessary for some reason or another.

    I wonder if Meyer would come on Skeptiko. He's really good at what he does. Ill email him. These people generally answer emails. Aben Alexander emailed me back once, as did Jeffrey Long. Raymond Moody never got back to me though lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  12. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    It is certainly worth a try, but he may find the anarchic nature of Skeptiko a bit too much :)

    David
     
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  13. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    That is an excellent video! Meyer is a very clear speaker, I am sure biology professors take him on at their peril!
    I think the important thing to bear in mind is that there is negligible support for Darwinism in that whole story! Did you notice at one point, he pointed out that some small sponge embryos had been found in fossil form - suggesting that there was no intrinsic reason why such fossils can't form. Also, many (maybe all) of those animals would require much time to evolve by NS, and in their complete form they fossilise rather well - so why would their predecessors all resist being fossilised?
    Yes, and there was a time when I accepted evolution by NS, but the question of mind still seemed to indicate the existence of a non-material realm.
    In some of the stories gleaned from the non-material realm, for example:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Journey-So...14929401&sr=1-1&keywords=journey+of+the+souls

    You do get discussions suggesting that some 'souls' go off to work on projects based on other planets. In other words, some (or all) of this work need not be done by God as such. One of the things the Cambrian Explosion suggests to me, is that the intelligence responsible might not be omniscient, and still need to experiment a bit - most of those new forms died out without trace.

    It is also hard to determine, perhaps, just how hard writing the code for life might be. If you imagine looking at even a simple computer program as a byte (or even bit) dump, it looks hopelessly daunting to build anything like that. Of course, we have gradually built up a framework of supporting tools that makes this possible without being omniscient!

    There are also intriguing references to a timeless realm 'out there'. Now I don't know how that would work, but it might be relevant to the whole process of life creation. Also parts of the design may have been lifted from other planets!
    I always rather baulk about what the ultimate purpose of that is. Apart from that, it does sound rather plausible - for example, we do seem to have a love of make believe activities, fiction books, films, virtual reality, etc, which seems to be that same immersion in another reality for a period of time.
    Do try (do you know Meyer's email - if so can you PM it to me, we probably do not want to publicise it too much, or it will get spammed, and he will need to change it)! Alex once said that he isn't really interested in Biology, but maybe we can change his mind :D

    David
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  14. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    I find all the analogies to human computers and designs, especially the mousetrap thing unhelpful. Whenever I hear the mousetrap analogy beginning to be talked about I skip to when they start actually talking about biology again. Seems like that time would be better spent actually talking about biology. I can see the analogy being used to help the general public understand, but whe they actually start going into it in debate, it seems a strange waste of time. The computer code analogy to DNA code is much more relevant and pertinent than the mousetrap, but still.

    It’s a good point that this intelligence(s) may not be omniscient. It is always assumed that it is, and I’ve oretry much always assumed the same. But I have to think that’s due to my Christian upbringing and the theologies all around us.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  15. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    What mousetrap thing?

    David
     
  16. Wormwood

    Wormwood Member

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    The metaphorical using of the mousetrap to demonstrate irreducible complexity made famous by Behe. Its all over these videos and the ID literature.
     
  17. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Right - I know what you mean!

    David
     
  18. Jägermeister

    Jägermeister New

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    Behe? Wasn't he the chap who in court claimed there was no evidence for something, only to be presented with around 50 peer reviewed papers?

    If he had conveniently ignored them, then that makes him untrustworthy. If he didn't know about them, then that means he is in no position to be making the claims that he does.

    Except no one is claiming mouse traps evolved.
     
  19. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Please post details of, or a link to, the specific example you mention, because it's a big ask to go through the whole Kitzmiller case to ferret it out.

    Also, if you have the patience and open-mindedness, you can examine the ID movement's responses to what they term the myths arising from the Kitzmiller case, in order, here:

    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten_myths_about/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-2/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-3/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-4/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-5/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-6/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-7/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-8/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-9/
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/12/ten-dover-myths-10/

    Incidentally, though no one is claiming mousetraps evolved, Darwinists are claiming that structures many times more complex than mousetraps evolved, driven purely by chance mutations coupled with natural selection.

    ID doesn't claim that evolution hasn't occurred: it's perfectly compatible with evolution in the sense of change over time. Reptiles came before mammals, invertebrates before vertebrates, gymnosperms before angiosperms, and so on: there's no argument with that, and some ID proponents are even happy with common descent. The argument is really about how such evolution occurred. Was it through RM + NS, or some other mechanism, which latter involves intelligence?

    It's hard to think of other alternatives, though they might conceivably exist, I suppose. The Third Way people are groping towards mechanisms involving epigenetics and horizontal gene transfer, etc, and I applaud them for loosening the stranglehold of Darwinism, but whether they're any closer to eliminating intelligence as a possible contributory factor is at the moment moot.

    Finally, ID proponents don't argue against natural selection. In given conditions, they don't argue that environmental factors can't influence which species survive, nor that small phenotypic changes (microevolution) can't result from that. The argument is about how to account for the saltational nature of the appearance of whole new body plans in the fossil record (macroevolution). These are the so-called "explosions", such as the Cambrian, the mammalian, the avian, the rise of the angiosperms, and so on -- new phyletic groups appearing in the fossil record quite rapidly with precious little evidence for intermediaries between those and preceding clades.
     
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  20. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Jägermeister, you might have been referring to something covered in the second link I provided above:

    ...For example, the ACLU claimed:

    He [Behe] was confronted with the fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books and several immunology text-book chapters about the evolution of the immune system, P256, 280, 281, 283, 747, 748, 755 and 743, and he insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution — it was “not good enough.”
    Judge Jones’s ruling contained a nearly identical statement,

    He [Behe] was presented with fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.”
    But the transcript of Behe’s cross-examination shows that the ACLU and Judge Jones misquoted Behe:

    Q. ….Now, these articles rebut your assertion that scientific literature has no answers on the origin of the vertebrate immune system?


    A. No, they certainly do not. My answer, or my argument is that the literature has no detailed rigorous explanations for how complex biochemical systems could arise by a random mutation and natural selection and these articles do not address that.


    Q. So these are not good enough?


    A. They’re wonderful articles. They’re very interesting. They simply just don’t address the question that I pose.

    And in another exchange:

    Q. Is that your position today that these articles aren’t good enough, you need to see a step-by-step description?


    A. These articles are excellent articles I assume. However, they do not address the question that I am posing. So it’s not that they aren’t good enough. It’s simply that they are addressed to a different subject. [Emphasis added.]

    What Behe said was, “It’s not that they aren’t good enough,” yet the ACLU, and Judge Jones, claimed that he said that they are “not good enough.”

    Behe meant that these papers look at DNA sequence similarity and infer common ancestry based upon that evidence. But his argument wasn’t against common ancestry. It was against the mutation-selection mechanism as a source of evolutionary creativity — a very different question. Judge Jones, guided by the ACLU, missed the point.

    Similarly, on the issue of ID research, the plaintiff’s brief claimed, “Intelligent design is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.” Likewise, Judge Jones in his ruling said, “The evidence presented in this case demonstrates that ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.”

    Yet, as John West and David DeWolf note:

    Expert witness Scott Minnich testified at trial that there were between “seven and ten” peer-reviewed papers supporting ID, and he discussed a pro-intelligent design article in the peer-reviewed biology journal, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Additional peer-reviewed publications were listed in an annotated bibliography submitted in an amicus brief accepted as part of the official court record by Judge Jones.
    As Casey Luskin wrote yesterday (“Ten Myths About Dover: #3, ‘Intelligent Design Has No Peer-Reviewed Research or Publications’“), quite a few peer-reviewed publications were documented to Judge Jones, and the ID movement has now published over eighty peer-reviewed publications reporting much ID research. But Judge Jones got this wrong, too — again, because he apparently copied false claims from an ACLU brief.

    Judicial opinions are supposed to be carefully thought out and based upon solid evidence brought up in trial. Was Jones’s ruling on ID really the meticulous work of an impartial jurist? Hardly. His extensive copying and the errors this introduced should undermine confidence in his ruling. Any fair critic who wants to show that ID is something other than science needs to turn, for confirmation, to other arguments and other sources.​
     
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