Discoveroids Insist on Intelligent Design

When this humble blog was only one year old, we posted The Ten Laws of Creationism. The Discovery Institute’s creationist blog reveals that those laws are very much in use. Their post is titled This Sounds Familiar: Theistic Evolutionist Recycles Anti-ID Argument Refuted Years Ago. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

In a post for the theistic evolutionary group BioLogos, Canadian biology professor Dennis Venema writes affectionately, with only a mild touch of disdain, about the intelligent design movement. Their (meaning our) hearts are in the right place, he tells readers. Like him, advocates of ID want to build an “apologetic” against materialism. They’re just going about it in the wrong way. And their science is wrong.

This is what the Discoveroids are talking about: Biological Information and Intelligent Design: Abiogenesis and the origins of the genetic code. It’s a fine take-down of the Discoveroids’ justification for their “theory” of intelligent design. The Discoveroids’ post quotes from it extensively, and they imagine that they are able to rebut what it says. Okay, the fun begins:

Venema [the BioLogos author] readily concedes that living cells use “highly intricate” processes to manage genetic information. However, is it really “information”? And is the genetic code really a “code”? The quote marks in both cases are Venema’s. He uses them in the evident hope of weakening the commonly held intuition [Hee hee!] that both must be designed. If there is a natural pathway to the genetic code, he argues, then it only looks like a code in hindsight. It only looks like information after evolution improved it.

He’s right, of course, but the Discoveroids disagree. Let’s read on:

Venema’s argument rests on two premises, one empirical and one philosophical. The empirical premise is that a natural pathway to the genetic code is known, though admittedly many questions remain. The philosophical premise is that finding a “natural” explanation is superior to “interventionism” (the approach of looking for “supernatural” acts of God requiring “miracles”).

Note, dear reader, that what’s going on here is the Discoveroids’ reliance at least two of The Ten Laws of Creationism, which are:

5. The Law of Complexity, Improbability, and Inexplicably: That which is complicated or improbable and has not been explained, cannot exist naturally.

8. The Law of Supernatural Superiority: Whenever two explanations of a phenomenon are presented, one natural and one supernatural, the latter is always better. Naturalistic bias must be avoided.

After a quote from the BioLogos article, the Discoveroids continue:

What’s notable is the language of faith. Who is making a religious argument here? In this one paragraph, Venema uses the words God, supernatural, providence, biblical, faith, miraculous, and Christian. Such language is tellingly absent from most intelligent design literature … .

That absence from Discoveroid literature is (if you’ll pardon the expression) by design. Here’s more:

The design argument is a purely scientific one [reference to Discoveroid Behe]. Indeed, ID emphatically isn’t an “apologetic” strategy. It is a scientific theory of origins [Hee hee!], which may be right or wrong, yet must be judged as science and only as science.

Been there. Done that. Moving along:

From there, Venema addresses biological matters. In particular, he attempts to refute Stephen Meyer’s contention that the genetic code is arbitrary, therefore designed.

That invokes yet another of The Ten Laws of Creationism:

6. The Law of Impossibility: Complex and improbable things, being naturally impossible, must be the product of ID.

After references to Discoveroid Stephen Meyer and his miracle book, Signature in the Cell, the Discoveroids say:

What motivates this desire to prefer natural causes? Certainly a fear of “God-of-the-gaps” looms large.

The preference for natural causes isn’t based on “fear.” It’s the avoidance of a fallacious argument, and it involves yet another of The Ten Laws of Creationism:

4. The Law of Completeness: Anything which has not yet been found or explained will never never be found or explained. Gaps and mysteries are evidence of ID.

This is old stuff and it’s getting tiresome, but there more:

ID argues that we should infer intelligent causes — when justified through the Design Filter — because of what we do know, not what we don’t know.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Regarding the Discoveroids’ design filter, see The Discoveroids and Their Magic Filter. Moving along:

We do know of a cause that can build information-rich structures with meaning and reference. We do know of a cause that can encode, decode, and translate things into functional hierarchies. That cause is intelligence. We never see natural processes building such things.

Therefore, the creationist instinct (or intuition) is to reach for Oogity Boogity as the explanation of everything. Here’s one last excerpt:

The real appeal to miracles is hoping for unguided natural processes to accomplish, at some unspecified future date, what is demonstrably physically impossible (see Douglas Axe’s book Undeniable for the math on that).

Very impressive. Yet somehow, we’re not impressed. Perhaps the failure is ours. However, the Discoveroids have never been right yet, so our intuition (cough, cough) suggests that we’re on firm ground.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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74 responses to “Discoveroids Insist on Intelligent Design

  1. It is indeed telling that such language (religion) is absent from most ID literature, because that means religion is present in some.

  2. Klinkerstinker writes:

    Dennis Venema writes affectionately, with only a mild touch of disdain,

    Yeah, byline schmyline, this is pure Krapperslapper. With the Gerb off at some babble college or wherever, the Tooters are very short of “talented” writers. Savvy Sarah can only cut ‘n’ paste old stuff. Annie Green Screen is so tedious and boring they probably put duct tape over her “publish” key. The other Tooter brainiacs are too busy trying to convince the next insane billionaire to shovel a few clams their way.

    And one more thing, Dumbski rescinded the Nixplanatory Filter several years ago. He wrote that it simply didn’t work and that it was impossible to tell the Real Deal ™ from a False Positive ™. Then Dumbski took a hike from the Tooters, presumably in search of a steady paycheck. I’m sure you’ll find him running a Kwik-E-Mart somewhere in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He goes under the pseudonym, Wileed Dembshivakrishna.

  3. Jason wrote:

    It is indeed telling that such language (religion) is absent from most ID literature, because that means religion is present in some.

    Like this gem from pseudophilosopher and former Tooter, Wileed Dembshivakrishna:

    Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.

    Science and turtles all the way down.

  4. michaelfugate

    Venema is so much smarter than Meyer, Wells, Behe, et al. And he is upfront and honest. The DI thinks it is being clever by denying their apologetic reasons for ID advocacy when their motives are completely transparent. It is as if they have zero self-awareness. I see this among some students when they cheat or lie and don’t think I will notice. The only conclusion is that they must think I am really dumb.

  5. Explanatory Filter in a nutshell:

    Question 1: Can ID science explain evolution?

    Obvious Answer 1: NO! (Why? Because ID science supports our sectarian dogma.)

    Question 2: Is the probability of a molecular assembly the same as calculating the probability of a Boeing 747 emerging from a tornado ripping through a junkyard?

    Obvious Answer 2: YES! (Why? Because the ID second law of thermodynamics says that the way to calculate the probability of molecular assemblies is obviously the same as calculating the probability of ASCII characters randomly coming together out of an alphabet gas to form a Shakespearean sonnet.)

    Question 3: Are there any other alternatives to evolution besides Intelligent Design?

    Obvious Answer 3: NO! (Why? Because we are scientists and we say so.)

    Obvious Conclusion: Life is intelligently designed.

  6. Discoveroids: We do know of a cause that can build information-rich structures with meaning and reference. We do know of a cause that can encode, decode, and translate things into functional hierarchies. That cause is intelligence. We never see natural processes building such things.

    Venema: The examples Meyer gives are all examples of human-generated information. Yes, humans can generate information. The question, however, is whether a natural system can generate information. We know by direct experience that evolution can produce new information…

    It makes sense in the above order – claim and rebuttal. Weirdly, and inexplicably, the Discoveroid quote is a response to what Venema wrote. Rather than answering Venema’s statement, they simply doubled down. They also did not mention it in their blog.

    It is always humorous that they claim that their shills who write arguments allegedly refuting claims by scientists are actually respected experts in the field themselves. Casey Luskin is mentioned as one. Luskin? Really? They close by telling Venema he should perform a literary search and respond to the arguments. I’m not a scientist, but I suspect that a “literary search” does not include books written for general readers and blog posts.

  7. Intelligence can design. But in order to build something, it needs materials to work on and it needs work.
    There are plenty of examples of designs which have not resuted in anything real.
    For that matter, there are plenty of intelligences which have not completed any design.
    Lots of people have tried to design a trisection of angles, or perpetual motion machines, or ideal states.

  8. michaelfugate

    The philosophical premise is that finding a “natural” explanation is superior to “interventionism” (the approach of looking for “supernatural” acts of God requiring “miracles”).

    and

    In this one paragraph, Venema uses the words God, supernatural, providence, biblical, faith, miraculous, and Christian. Such language is tellingly absent from most intelligent design literature … .

    see above. No contradiction?

    The words God, supernatural, providence, biblical, miraculous, and Christian are implied in everything ID proponents write – they don’t need to say them out loud. It also strikes me that the author of this piece has likely not read Meyer’s two books or Axe’s; all are littered with references to God in every chapter – what else would they have to write about if they weren’t writing about God? Science? – hardly.

  9. Note, dear reader, that what’s going on here is the Discoveroids’ reliance at least two of The Ten Laws of Creationism, which are:

    5. The Law of Complexity, Improbability, and Inexplicably: That which is complicated or improbable and has not been explained, cannot exist naturally.

    8. The Law of Supernatural Superiority: Whenever two explanations of a phenomenon are presented, one natural and one supernatural, the latter is always better. Naturalistic bias must be avoided.

    Corollary to Law 5: That which has not been explained naturally cannot be explained naturally, and all existing naturalistic explanations are false.

    Corollary to Law 7: There is no valid natural explanation for anything, and there never will be.

    Corollary to Laws 5 and 7: There is no such thing as nature.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Great creativity and intelligence in all the above comments on DIs poor defense, as well as the Curmie for his excellent post. I don’t think I can measure up.

  11. That’s rich! SETI can declare that a single radio signal is indicative of intelligence but ID dare not infer intelligence from molecular structures like the cilium. And then there’s TomS generously offering “evolution of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides” in another thread as proof of its creative powers. Who needs Meyer and Behe when Darwinists are their own worst enemy.

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed”
    Francis Crick quotemine

  12. … but ID dare not infer intelligence from molecular structures like the cilium.

    The major point is that ID/creationists are not competent enough to infer anything; all their “math” is completely bogus and they don’t even know it. Bill Dembski has no clue about how to calculate the probabilities of molecular assemblies; and Granville Sewell can’t even get units right when plugging his “X-entropies” into his diffusion equation. High school physics and chemistry students know, and can do, better.

    Check out the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; which wasn’t given to any ID/creationists, by the way.

  13. Hmm; blockquote not closed properly in above comment.

  14. I offered resistance as an example of prediction from evolutionary biology.
    BTW, if one wants to point to silliness, try “God can make a rock so big that he can’t lift it”.

  15. I know that some things aren’t designed. Therefore, I can infer that life is not designed.

    I think that’s how it works.

  16. I believe that the DI has a longstanding “Templeton-Envy”. The JTF has granted BioLogos millions of dollars to pursue the relationship between accepted science, especially evolution, and evangelical Christianity. while overtly ignoring the Discovery Institute’s vacuous Intelligent Design conjecture.

  17. Kevin, when ID asserts that the genome should be mostly (entirely) functional, it is making a statement about the designer’s mind. How does it know said mind, if it doesn’t know the designer?

    In your universe, were rocks designed to bash skulls? Were cilia in a single-celled organism designed for a different purpose than those in a multi-celled organism?

  18. We do not need to know what something is designed for, to know that it is designed. For example, we know that Paleolithic cave art is designed, but we don’t know why.

  19. Thank you, TomS!

  20. michaelfugate

    We don’t?, but even if we don’t we know the designer in that case. So it doesn’t help ID one bit.
    And just because something has a function determined by us, doesn’t mean it was intelligently designed for that function.

  21. No, it doesn’t help ID at all.

    Rather, that goes to show how little design tout court tells us.

  22. It’s tough to stay focused what with everyone’s ADD. My original point (which is apparently lost on you all and needs to be spelled out) is that SETI’s threshold for detecting genuine intelligence is much lower than what you folks require of ID. And yet the parallels between SETI and ID are striking.

  23. Kev-D-minus loses a grade point for this astounding bit of wit:

    And yet the parallels between SETI and ID are striking.

    Parallels don’t strike unless you’re considering non-Euclidian geometry, but that would involve study and scholarship; Not our Kev-0’s cup of tea.

    Kev-0 brings up SETI because he’s a cut ‘n’ paste kind of guy. SETI has been the dead horse beaten by IDiots for decades. I know SETI. I’ve been a member of the SETI team. And ID is no SETI. (Apologies to Senator Bentsen)

    Just to twist the knife no a dull Saturday afternoon, SETI actually makes measurements (gasp, horror!), and the thresholds (there are many) for candidate signals is well-documented and rigorous, while ID has no metric for “design,” not even a definition of their vaunted “functionally complex specified information” word salad, has never produced a single calculation (not even a little one). Of the billions of biological structures out there, IDiots have selected one, exactly one, as their cut ‘n’ paste Poster Child. What I infer is that Kev-0 likes his tea weak, as evidenced by his “arguments” to date. Careful, Kev-0, you’re going to wear out your C and V keys!

  24. michaelfugate

    How could any threshold be lower than – “I see a pattern, must be designed by my God”? Because that’s all you have Kevin – it’s Axe’s intuition in a nutshell. Pattern doesn’t imply intelligence, Kevin.

  25. The arguments that I’ve seen posted here are of the sort: I’m so brilliant that you guys can’t understand what I’m saying.

  26. michaelfugate notes:

    How could any threshold be lower than – “I see a pattern, must be designed by my God”? Because that’s all you have Kevin – it’s Axe’s intuition in a nutshell. Pattern doesn’t imply intelligence, Kevin.

    One of the most revealing characteristics of ID/creationist “argumentation” is the fact that they see patterns yet don’t appear to acknowledge or understand significance of the existence of the phases of matter; something that is taught in middle school. Condensed matter is not an ideal gas.

    If one becomes aware of gravitational, electromagnetic, and nuclear interactions – something high school students are introduced to in chemistry and physics – then one has the foundation for understanding that junkyard tornados, battleship parts, ASCII characters, Scrabble tiles, – or any other inert objects assembling randomly – are not stand-ins for the properties and behaviors of atoms and molecules or solids and liquids.

    Just seeing examples of the complexity, patterns, and beauty within the inorganic world alone is evidence of what these basic interactions are capable of doing. When one then looks at the products of organic chemistry mixed with inorganic chemistry, the possibilities are seen to be endless. Yet no ID/creationist appears to know any of this; not even their “PhDs.”

    After something like fifty years of watching ID/creationist “arguments,” I have yet to see an ID/creationist – whether leader or follower – show some evidence of having achieved even a middle school level of understanding of what nature does. There is something about their subculture that keeps their understanding of science in a preadolescent state.

  27. @Mike Elzinga
    Refer to TomS’s most recent comment. It sounds like he had you in mind when he wrote it. Bazinga!

    @DocBill1351
    “I know SETI. I’ve been a member of the SETI team.” Yeah, I read how you “hepped” the SETI project. You and your number-crunching Mac G3. Distributed computing is old technology. I used to lend my computer’s idle cycles to protein folding; does that make me a protein engineer? I’ve already shown you to be untrushworthy and yet you continue to embarass yourself. But I’m happy to oblige.

  28. DocBill’s hand waiving notwithstanding, SETI only requires a single radio signal while “biologists must [still] constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed”

  29. When y’all get tired of KevinC, just let me know.

  30. michaelfugate

    Kevin when will you learn that design does not imply intelligence?

  31. Intelligent design is the resort to contrivance by the constrained.

  32. @Curmie I’ll bid 10,000 quatloos for the Kev-D-Minus! So much flies over his little pointy head that methinks it is a weasel. Alas, poor Bentsen, my parody failed! A man of finite jest, apparently.

    Sigh.

    IDiot: Ook, ook, vewy twicksy. Design!

    SETI: Simple narrow beam carrier signal with doppler shifts in line with an orbital period. Haven’t seen this in nature, or published in Nature, yet. Warrants a closer look. Poor Kev-0 willfully fails to understand (or admit) that what SETI is looking for is very, very simple. Not a message. Not complexity. You get complexity from lightning, not a radio carrier wave. SETI looks for artificiality.

    Taken as a whole, ID “literature” is overwhelmingly anti-evolution. Evolution can’t do X, according to the IDiots, therefore design by default. Of course, the Tooters deny even this blazing reality, but it’s twue, it’s twue!

    Kev-0 appears to not even know upon what ID is based, that complexity comes from design, “not an undirected process such as natural selection.” It’s simply anti-evolution propaganda and it’s right there in the IDiot’s very own definition! No handwaving needed other than to point to the propaganda that’s built into the [edited out] definition. Why do you think we call them IDiots?

  33. Moreover, the “definition” does not say anything positive about what is better than naturalistic evolution.
    The most that we can do is to point out the failures of any reasonable sense of design, and watch as they say that whatever we say does not capture what they are thinking of. Nothing captures that, or, to be a little more precise, nothing coherent captures their thoughts, other than, “please,let there be something wrong with evolution.”

  34. michaelfugate

    ID proponents are saying intelligence is necessary while evolution proponents are saying evolution is sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth.

  35. KevinC doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that many of us know far more about the ID/creationist movement and its mangling of science than do any of its leaders and followers.

    The “official” year of the beginning of the sectarian motivated socio/political movement known as ID/creationism was 1970 when Henry Morris and Duane Gish founded the Institute for Creation Research and began their aggressive campaign against science.

    All the misconceptions and mischaracterizations of science, the scientific processes, and the history of science that were started by Morris and Gish continue to carry through to ID to this very day. KevinC knows nothing of this. They still continue to reuse hackneyed old debunked “arguments” in every new venue as though these are fresh arguments against science. Constant repetition of misconceptions and misinformation in the face of repeated debunking. That’s politics; not science. ID/creationists don’t bother to even learn about their own history; they just repeat the echoes they hear within their own subculture.

    I stand by what I said about their level of understanding of science. ID/creationist responses have not changed in something like five decades now. And, lo and behold, what do we see but another follower, KevinC, just doubling down on this same ignorance with no comprehension whatsoever of what is wrong with ID and with no motivation to learn any science.

    Q.E.D. Fifty years and still counting.

  36. @michaelfugate,

    ID proponents are saying intelligence is necessary while evolution proponents are saying evolution is sufficient to explain the diversity of life on earth.

    That is one of the most compact ways I have seen of expressing the enormous knowledge gap that exists between ID/creationists and those at whom they direct their ignorant attacks.

    The sufficiency of evolution to explain the diversity of life on earth subsumes the diversity of everything that exists in the universe, from stars, to the periodic table, to complex molecules, to life. There is an incredible amount of knowledge buried in just the last few words of that statement; yet ID/creationists will have none of it.

  37. Mike, just about everything you said here, you said 2 years ago on Panda’s Thumb; from Dembski and ideal gas to the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry to high school learning. You got any new material there, sport?

  38. Also Mike, you seem to want to be the smartest guy in the room. Maybe you can help TomS out by showing us the history of antibiotic resistance and how evolutionary theory predicted its emergence.

  39. Kev-D-Minus whines

    You got any new material there, sport?

    I’m beginning to think I wasted my quatloos on this turkey. Should have put it all on Red.

    New material my [edited out]! Creationist ideologues don’t even understand the old material much less anything new. Just look at all the whining and gnashing of teeth over Lenski’s experiment, or the suppression of Annie Green Screen’s “leaky growth” experiment. That was a classic!

    How about a prediction that didn’t go so well, sport? Is August, 2016 “new” enough for you? Turns out the Tasmanian devil has been suffering from an infectious form of cancer dubbed Devil Facial Tumor Disease. Evolutionists expected several populations of devil, on decline, would be wiped out, and soon. HOWEVER, shock horror, they survived! Upon examination of the genomes from several populations it appears that changes in seven genes have altered the devil’s immune system to better recognize DFTD and suppress it. Five of the genes are common in other mammals including humans which has a direct bearing on cancer research. Researchers are also looking at possible gene therapy for devil populations that have not developed these genetic changes. To be continued.

    I found this article to be exciting and interesting, but I’m sure our Kev-D-Minus will respond Ook-Ook and find a way to [edited out] all over it.

  40. @KevinC: And while Mike is working on explaining antibiotic resistance, why don’t you give us the general concept of ID without resorting to any discussion of the theory of evolution. Please, pretend Darwin never lived and no one else ever figured out that whole theory. Explain to us how ID explains it all.
    Go ahead. We’ll wait.

  41. @SC: If you kick him out, he’ll just go to the comments over at ENV!
    Oh. Wait…

  42. kevinC sneers:

    Mike, just about everything you said here, you said 2 years ago on Panda’s Thumb; from Dembski and ideal gas to the 2013 Nobel Prize for Chemistry to high school learning. You got any new material there, sport?

    Got any new “arguments,” kid?

    As docbill1351 has already noted, ID/creationists keep cycling through the same old hackneyed material from Morris and Gish that goes back into the 1970s. You don’t know your own history, and you don’t know the common misconceptions and misrepresentations of science and scientific concepts that run all through the entire ID/creationist litany. All of you just keep repeating the same junk in the face of constant debunking. You don’t get the science and you can’t even explain your own “theories.”

    Furthermore, you just told us that you already know about what I and many others have said many times before. In other words, you know there is lots of information out there that you haven’t learned and that you have now demonstrated that you will not learn.

    Also Mike, you seem to want to be the smartest guy in the room. Maybe you can help TomS out by showing us the history of antibiotic resistance and how evolutionary theory predicted its emergence.

    So you hate smart people and anyone else that knows things; tough! Nobody is surprised.

    I don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room to be smarter than an ID/creationist “PhD” or any of his followers. As long as you continue refusing to learn anything about science, despite the fact that others have been repeatedly pointing you to good material, you just confirm what we have known about ID/creationism and its followers for something like 50 years now. You belong to a sectarian motivated socio/political movement that has a sectarian agenda and couldn’t care less about science. In fact, you deliberately try to provoke fights instead of trying to learn anything worthwhile. We know your own profile better than you do.

  43. Maybe you can help TomS out by showing us the history of antibiotic resistance and how evolutionary theory predicted its emergence.

    Maybe you could go back to 10th grade biology and learn about the concepts of “artificial” and natural selection. But first I would suggest you start over in middle school and start getting scientific concepts right this time.

  44. like 50 years now

    Takes me back to my whippersprout days and a course on comparative vertebrate anatomy. We had covered the theory to date on the similarities between certain dinosaurs and birds, and also the embryology of scales and feathers. Very cool stuff at the time, and still is an active area of research decades later.

    For amusement we used to tune in “The World Tomorrow with Garner Ted Armstrong” a creationist show on the AM dial. High-Larry-OUS! Old Ted had latched on to the dinosaur evolution to bird, entertaining us all with images of dinosaurs running through the forest, crashing into boulders to fray their scales into feathers, leaping around trying to fly. He was about as crazy as an old coot could be, but for a cheap laugh nothing better.

    That’s what passed for creationism in the Good Old Days and I would argue that nothing much has changed since!

  45. That’s what passed for creationism in the Good Old Days and I would argue that nothing much has changed since!

    ID/creationists simply don’t know their own history; and even if they did, I suspect that it would make no difference. They have spent so much time trying to look like they have sophisticated arguments demonizing science and scientists that they all imitate each other’s “cleverness” with their “arguments” against evolution. They are like 4-year old boys who get a laugh the first time they say something funny and then keep repeating it over and over to get the same laugh.

    Anybody who knows their history and the major players in that history knows what this is all about. Nothing new under the sun.

  46. Mike, that’s the best defense against the IDiots – their own “theory” and words. Ask an IDiot to expound on the “theory” and they run away. Just like our clumsy, doltish Kev-Zero. He knows nothing about science, although in another forum he claimed to have some kind of science background that was quickly dismissed. Typical creationist. Thinking the ICR or AIG website substitutes for 10 years of graduate school.

    Silly creationists, quatloos are for Thralls!

  47. DocBill1351, seeing him on thin ice with the Curmudgeon, makes a lame attempt at baiting the clumsy, doltish KevinC in the desperate hope of getting him banned. Unfortunately, the Kev-Zeros aren’t biting today because no one believes DocBill anymore anyway.

    As for Gary’s request for “the general concept of ID”, it’s out there for all to see if you put a little effort into it. And if you don’t find a definition to your liking? Make one up. It happens all the time around here.

  48. Our Kevin our favorite dance – The Flounce

    As for Gary’s request for “the general concept of ID”, it’s out there for all to see if you put a little effort into it. And if you don’t find a definition to your liking? Make one up. It happens all the time around here.

    How many times have we seen The Flounce? I don’t know the exact number but it’s exactly equal to the number of IDiots who have drifted by. After all of Kevin’s yammering and sniping, when the going gets tough the IDiots perform The Flounce.

    I once witnessed a bunch of IDiots flounce together over at UD. They were foolish enough to take up a challenge by a mathematician visitor to actually calculate CSI for a couple of simple objects. Of course they couldn’t do it because it’s impossible, and after over 300 postings it got down to name-calling, sneering and hilarious claims that the values had been calculated a couple of hundred lines up the thread (which nobody could find because they didn’t exist). Mutually they claimed victory and flounced.

    I called it a Cluster Flounce.

    Turns out I carry the Disco Tute’s very own bone fido definition of ID from their own ID website where ID was borned, lived and died. Here it is since Kevin doesn’t seem to have a clue:

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

    Several things to note. First, it’s not a theory. It’s an unsupported assertion followed by an anti-evolution clause. Second, the assertion is redundant because living things are in the universe. I don’t know what the Tooters have against rocks being designed, but there you have it. Also note that “certain features” are designed implying that “other features” aren’t designed. The Tooters never talk about stuff that’s not designed, other than Dembski and his Chocolate Factory, er, Nixplanatory Filter which he finally declared was useless. The IDiots have no way to determine whether something was designed or not a priori. And, finally, is revealed what the IDiots are really about and that’s anti-evolution. There it is right in the definition; the false dichotomy. If they can prove that evolution can’t work, design wins by default. (In their tiny minds, that is.)

    And this, boys and girls and Kevin, is why all the IDiot literature is one long diatribe against the theory of evolution from Darwin’s Black Box to Icons of Evolution to the Edge of Evolution to Darwin’s Doubt to Signature in the Cell and so on and so on.

    But what about “complex specified information,” you ask? Isn’t that a “measure?’

    Nope. Dembski killed that one off, too, in his book No Free Lunch by defining “specified” as:

    “Specification depends on the knowledge of subjects. Is specification therefore subjective? Yes.” (page 66)

    Therefore, “specified” is whatever Dembski or any other IDiot says it is. Flagellum (yea!), specified. Blood clotting cascade, specified. Rock, not specified! Unworthy! Rock bad, bad rock! Seriously, what do the IDiots have against geology?

  49. @SC: Yeah, I’m done with this Cluster Flounce. You may feel free to punt him back to his cronies at UD.

  50. Holding The Line In Florida

    Oh keep him around. We need comic relief on occasion. At least Kev-o plays the fool effortlessly. Reminds me of my more indoctrinated 7th Grade students at times. Could he be POEing it?

  51. Uh oh! That’s one vote against. Although I’m not sure why Gary is “done” since he offered only 2 comments in this thread. Thanks for the yes vote, Holding.

    Here’s the full quote as opposed to DocBill’s quotemine:

    Specification depends on the knowledge of subjects. Is specification therefore subjective? Yes, but not in a way that limits specification’s usefulness for science. It is important here to grasp John Searle’s distinction between ontological subjectivity and epistemic objectivity.24 Money, for instance, is ontologically subjective in that it depends on the social conventions of human subjects. Nonetheless, money is epistemically objective-any dispute about the paper in my wallet being money can be objectively settled and is not like the dispute whether Mozart was a better composer than Beethoven (matters of taste being epistemically subjective). Specifications are ontologically subjective but epistemically objective.

    A string of ones and zeros might not mean anything to Joe Public but to an information scientist it could mean quite a bit (pun intended). Why is that so hard to grasp?

    Design Filter? I guess the Tooters didn’t get the memo of Dembski’s disavowal since they continue to refer to it. When was this disavowal? And while your at it, why don’t you show me where I claimed to have a science background that was quickly dismissed over at Smilodon’s Retreat. I await the crickets.

  52. *you’re

  53. Kev doesn’t know enough about ID or biology to be a POE. Kev makes small errors that bray like a donkey to trained ears, like Meyer’s claim that ribosomes were protein in Ciggie in the Cell. A true POE ™ needs to be tricksy. You’ll note that my using the actual words of ID “theorists” let Kev-D-Minus speechless. Hard to talk and flounce at the same time!

  54. Well, look at you, Kev-D-Minus, all cutty and pastey!

    First, the memo. The Tooters don’t accept memos. They push out ID propaganda. That’s their business. No, they didn’t say “boo” about Dembski’s disavowal of the Nixplanatory Filter, nor did they say “boo” about him dropping “ID theoretician” from his job title to go run a Kwik-e-Mart or something. Nor do they say “boo” to any criticism only to pump out more of the same propaganda. No surprise here. If you’re surprised, Kev-0, then it’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about, but we already know that.

    Second, Dembski’s waffling not withstanding, he’s dead wrong about subjective “specification” being useful. Just because he makes that claim doesn’t make it true. Dembski is misleading intentionally. In fact, such subjectivity killed the Nixplanatory Filter as Dembski admitted at the end of his career but knew all along because he had been told over and over and over again. And you proved it with your pitiful analogy that’s been thrown around (and out) for decades. Check this out:

    1000010000111111

    What’s that? Random pattern I snatched out of my computer memory? Data? Machine instruction? Part of a JPEG? Useful or useless? Designed or not designed?

    Can’t tell, can you? Nope, no way, no how. That’s why the rest of Dembski’s blather is just that: blather. That’s what Dembski does. Throws out stuff like “ontological subjectivity and epistemic objectivity” to muddy the waters, not clarify anything. But who cares, really? ID is all fake from beginning to end. Like the rest of the creationist dinosaurs, IDiots all work at the We Say So Company.

    p.s. Fifty thousand quatloos to the person who correctly identifies the 16-bit sequence.

  55. You’ve just proven Dembski’s point with your bit pattern. Nicely done.
    BTW, the crickets are deafening.

  56. You’ve just exemplified the lack of anything to say.

  57. TomS, care to share with us the prediction of antibiotic resistance. Remember though, hindsight is 20/20.

  58. Boy, howdy, we’ve got a dense one here! I wonder where he fits on the JoeG Dense-as-a-Bag-of-Hammers Scale?

    Kev-0 makes no sense stating:

    You’ve just proven Dembski’s point with your bit pattern.

    If Dembski’s point was that “It’s designed because I say so,” then, yes, point demonstrated, but that wasn’t the “point” of Dembski’s exposition. It’s also why Dembski abandoned the entire circular notion years later, and gave up on trying to quantify design. Dembski never found a way (because there isn’t a way) to identify something with “specified” information without declaring it “specified,” first. Furthermore, even the concept of “specified” added absolutely nothing to the calculation if a value for CSI for which he was only able to produce a WAG using C and I. What “specified” did give Dembski was a way to sneak in his designer friend.

    Tell you what, Kevvy, go ahead and declare yourself a winner and we’ll send you a purple participation ribbon. A better example of IDiot would be difficult to find!

    Alas, no takers on the prize, but if you looked at Kev’s brain you might see this pattern. It’s a “halt” command for an HP minicomputer (HP 2116). Some things you never forget.

  59. You’ve just exemplified the lack of anything to say. Again.

  60. From high school level probability and statistics one learns that the expected number of occurrences of an event of probability p in a number of trials N is Np. This is pretty basic.

    Now here is Dembski’s “Complex Specified Information” reduced to its most basic essence; and this is not hyperbole. I’ve studied Dembski’s “math” in excruciating detail and found it to be no higher than high school level algebra.

    Dembski wants to show that the expected number of occurrences of a specified molecular configuration is less than 1 within the number of trials that could have occurred in the history of the universe. If he can show this – after the pretense of showing that ID/creationist pseudoscience, such as Henry Morris’s “second law of thermodynamics,” can’t explain a complex molecular assembly to be possible – then the molecular assembly has to have been designed.

    So what does Dembski actually tell us?

    First Dembski lifts from a paper by Seth Lloyd in Physical Review Letters the number N = 10^120. Dembski has no comprehension of what Lloyd estimated in that paper; he didn’t read the paper. He just grabbed the number from the abstract of Lloyd’s paper.

    Now Dembski tells us that the way to calculate the probability of a molecular assembly is the same as calculating the probability of a specified string of ASCII characters, say, in a Shakespearean sonnet, of length L selected with a uniform random distribution from an infinite set of K types of characters, namely, p = 1/K^L. If Dembski can show that this probability is less than 1/10^120, then Np is less than 1 and the molecular assembly has to be designed.

    That’s it; that is all there is to “Complex Specified Information.” But what does Dembski do to make it look sophisticated and important?

    Instead of multiplying N and p, Dembski takes logarithms to base 2, calls it “information,” and adds the logarithms. He then buries this slight-of-hand under hundreds of pages of pseudo-philosophy attempting to justify where all this “information” came from.

    In those hundreds of pages, spread over several papers with others, Dembski introduces “intrinsic information,” “extrinsic information,” and “active information” to add further obfuscation to the very simple math calculations the lay hidden beneath words upon words upon words. But beneath it all is Np less than 1.

    Now his “argument” about the probability of a specified molecular assembly takes place on his territory of “Where did all that Complex Specified Information come from?”.

    But the “computation” is bogus. ASCII characters flying together out of an alphabet soup has nothing to do with the properties and behaviors of atoms and molecules. Dembski has no clue what Lloyd was estimating and no clue about how the probabilities of molecular assemblies are really calculated. Anyone who understands the significance of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry can see the bogusness of Dembski’s “scholarship.”

    All one has to do is go over to Uncommon Descent and watch the confusion and posturing to see that nobody over there has a clue about the underlying high school mathematics and its irrelevance to the physics of atoms and molecules. The high school math itself is way over their heads. But blustering they can do just fine.

    And this is the stuff that KevinC is blustering about.

  61. @KevinC: Here’s my third comment, then. You’re simply another point of evidence of something SC says time and again. But it sounds as if you’re keeping Doc Bill entertained, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

  62. But it sounds as if you’re keeping Doc Bill entertained, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

    And so easily entertained am I!

    Dembski could have been a contender, but over and over again he blew it, blew it, blew it. He landed a plum job on Easy Street at sleeply little Baylor where he could have settled in like a tick on a hound dog, babble his babble, crack his pottery, teach a little, write a little, be a big shot Disco Tute fellow and maybe cruise into retirement like Behe, pension and all. But, nope, not to be. Dembski was the best the ID movement ever had and that’s probably a sad acknowledgement. Now he’s gone into the sunset with the Gerb and didn’t even have the courtesy to send the Tooters a memo. Typical.

  63. michaelfugate

    Has anyone here ever claimed that a computer program wasn’t designed by humans? Of course, it is an example of intelligent design, big whoop. Can Kevin tell us anything about things that aren’t designed by humans? Didn’t think so.

  64. As for Kevin and antibiotics, why would this be a concern? Penicillin is produced by fungi for the purposes of self-defense against bacterial infections. Bacteria would have been exposed to penicillin so resistance was also likely already present. Humans transported pencillin to a new environment and induced an intense selective regime – even if the survivor’s fitness is low almost zero compared to other individuals in a non-penicillin environment, it still has a chance when penicillin is always present.

    Resistance also develops many different ways – which would be predicted in isolated populations. It only takes one survivor. No god needed – RM + NS is sufficient once again. When you tell us what your god is actually needed for, maybe we will perk up and pay attention.

  65. There is an article in the latest issue of “Science”, 09 September 2016, pages 1096-1097, Luke McNally, Sam P. Brown, “Visualizing evolution as it happens”. It is described in “The Atlantic”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/stunning-videos-of-evolution-in-action/499136/
    It shows how bacteria acquire resistance on a “giant Petri dish”, with time-lapse photography.

  66. I’ve seen this “show me when evolution predicted X” question before. Creationists think it’s a “gotcha” question because, for example, nobody could predict that Lenski’s critters would develop a Cit+ strain in the 35,000th generation. Creationists expect (demand) an exact solution from a random process. I call it the Behe IDiocy from Behe’s insistence at Kitzmiller that he would have to see every mutation, environmental pressures, and yadda, yadda before he would accept that the blood cascading sequence had evolved. Of course, that’s an impossible task and Behe only threw it out because it was impossible.

    Tiktaalik is the best and most easily understood example of a prediction of evolutionary theory. A creature with the predicted characteristics was found in the right kind of rocks from the right time period. Best case of targeted paleontology ever! Recall that the Disco Tute went into complete meltdown denial over Tiktaalik.

    I don’t address “show me” questions anymore. Creationists aren’t interested in answers or evidence. If they were, they would be able to look up stuff just as easily.

  67. The problem that creationists see in Tiktaalik as a prediction is that (1) it is not a prediction of something in the future (2) it is not a detailed description of what was found.
    That’s why I like to take a genuine prediction of something which is going to occur. We do predict that if an antibiotic is going to be used, that the target is going to evolve immunity to it. That is enough of a prediction. I don’t accept the idea that paleontology doesn’t make predictions, but rather than get into just another argument, let’s just point to undoubted predictions.
    If we’re going to point to predictions of what paleontologists will find, I like to point to one of these two examples:
    (a) The flatfish Amphistium. It was cited by anti-evolutionists as impossible – that there could not be a living fish with the eye half-way moved across its head. Was was found was precisely that – with the added bonus of it being trapped in the act of predation.
    (b) Moganucodon. There was predicted that there would have to be a doubly articulated jaw, which seems to be improbable. Moreover, this is a fine example of exaptation of irreducible complexity. The fact that it is in our own ancestry, and in the transition between reptiles and mammals, and plenty of other understanding of how it happened are other bonuses.

  68. TomS, this discussion of predictions started out with you offering “resistance as an example of prediction from evolutionary biology”. Predicting antibiotic resistance at this point in time is trivial and meaningless as is the phrase “ongoing predictions”. Antibiotic resistance has been know for over 75 years. In fact, resistance is now assumed which is why drug cocktails are recommended in many cases.

    Are you the same TomS that maintains Darwinian orthodoxy on the “Irreducible Complexity” page at Wikipedia?

  69. Do you have an example of a prediction of heliocentrism?

    Do you have anything substantive to say?

  70. TomS notes:

    It shows how bacteria acquire resistance on a “giant Petri dish”, with time-lapse photography.

    It would be hard to find a better illustration of evolution and its relationship to physics and chemistry than that demonstration. DNA has been referred to as a quasicrystal in that it is a repetitive pattern of molecules that self-replicates within a given temperature range. That self-replication generates a distribution of slightly different surrogates of the parent bacteria that then carry replication into the future.

    The growth of these bacteria has many similarities to crystal growth, with one of the main differences being that there is a stochastic “solution” to the problem of advancing the bacterial growth into the next medium in which the concentration of antibiotic is higher. That solution can happen only within a narrow temperature range.

    It is important to recognize that the temperature of this system is such that mutations can occur. If this system were to be taken outside a very narrow temperature window, nothing would happen; too cold, no mutations; too hot, destruction of the replicating bacteria.

  71. My only conclusion from ID is that their god is human.

  72. My only conclusion from ID is that their god is human.

    It may be a bit closer to say “gods;” and their names are Morris, Gish, Dembski, Behe, Abel, Sewell, Ham, Lisle, Purdom, Gonzalez, “Greenscreen,” Axe, …
    😉

  73. “This proof can at most, therefore, demonstrate the existence of an architect of the world, whose efforts are limited by the capabilities of the material with which he works, but not of a creator of the world, to whom all things are subject.”
    Kant, Critique of Pure Reason A 627, B 655 (Physico-Theological Proof Impossible)