Birds Fly — Therefore Intelligent Design

In their tireless efforts to provide evidence in support of their “theory” of intelligent design, the Discovery Institute just posted this gem at their creationist blog: Comparing Drones and Swifts, Swifts Win, Hands Down. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Swedish researchers have found that common swifts can stay aloft for close to an incredible ten months, straight, no rest-stop breaks, perhaps sleeping while in flight. A Wall Street Journal article summarizing a paper in Current Biology makes the interesting comparison of human technology, specifically lightweight drones, to these little birds.

This is the paper in Current Biology: Annual 10-Month Aerial Life Phase in the Common Swift Apus apus, and this is the article in the Wall Street Journal: Swedish Researchers Find Common Swifts Stay Airborne for 10 Months .

What can the Discoveroids do with that? Prepare to be amazed. They say:

Micro air vehicles, or MAVs, can remain in the air for a matter of mere hours. “Their performance is ridiculous compared with these birds,” Lund University biologist Anders Hedenström told the reporter: [big quote].

Okay, those birds can stay aloft far longer than drones. So what? The Discoveroids continue:

Figuring out just how swifts do it would be of both commercial and military interest, as the Journal points out.

Fine. Now what? The Discoveroids give us their astonishing conclusion at the end of their brief article:

Biomimetics … is the science and art of seeking design inspiration from nature. It means solving engineering problems with an assist from — whether we call it that or not — intelligent design.

[*Groan*] This is an old story from the Discoveroids — see Humans Copy Nature, Therefore Intelligent Design! We quoted them saying:

You wouldn’t want to insult bioengineers with the suggestion they are mimicking blind, unguided processes in their work. No, from our uniform experience, a good design comes from a good mind.

So if we try to improve our drones, using the swift as an example, we’re using our intelligence to copy the divine work of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — and at the same time we’re acknowledging the Discoveroids’ “theory” of intelligent design.

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64 responses to “Birds Fly — Therefore Intelligent Design

  1. Amazing! Indeed I’m speechless, and I certainly don’t want to insult the engineers. Those poor intelligently designed swifts, confined to the air for all but nesting, with legs/feet that can only cling to vertical surfaces. Eating, sleeping, mating, all done in the air. What a cruel designer!

  2. Isn’t this just another case of over-reach of the Analogy of Design?

    Such-and-such is so much beyond anything that is designed that it must be designed.

  3. michaelfugate

    Maybe the theologians at the DI should ask God – save time…
    I wonder why the DI is unable to make contact…

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Lets unpack this tell-tale quip:

    from our uniform experience, a good design comes from a good mind.

    Uniform because they see design everywhere.
    Experience, because that is better than facts
    Good design, because to the DI there is no such thing as bad design.
    Comes … because if it looks designed it must have a designer
    Good mind, because gawd.

  5. Nope, from our experience bad design comes from a good mind. The minds of the Egyptians were as good as ours but their technology was pitiful! The minds of the monks in the middle ages were as good as ours but their technology was pitiful! Good minds do not produce good design. There is no evidence for that at all.

    However, we know the Tooters are a bunch of [edited out] so it really doesn’t matter what they “think.”

  6. Swifts and Swallows feed while in flight and they eat insects. Do I interpret the Discoveroids as suggesting we build bug eating drones?

  7. Biomimetics … is the science and art of seeking design inspiration from nature. It means solving engineering problems with an assist from — whether we call it that or not — intelligent design.

    Call it whatever you like.

    Since ID’ers start from the assumption that everything is designed, it’s hardly surprising that they see signs of design in everything.

    Their fallacy is obvious; what’s not obvious is why it isn’t as dead as the Paluxy hoax, which even some creationists now reject as “evidence” for their ideas.

  8. Otangelo Grasso

    when you have a good explanation based on naturalism about how flight emerged, let me know. Until then, i think design explains the origin of and flight pretty well

  9. Otangelo Grasso

    ” Since ID’ers start from the assumption that everything is designed, it’s hardly surprising that they see signs of design in everything. ”

    False. ID is a logical inference based on what we observe in nature. ID is a posteriori, not a apriori argument.

  10. Oh, it’s Otangelo. I wondered when he would appear with his ‘nah ah’ approach to evolution. Always entertaining.

  11. craigshearer

    Otangelo, a quick Google search revealed the following knowledge:

    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/flight/evolve.html

    You’re welcome 🙂

  12. michaelfugate

    Right Otangelo, no believes in God first, then ID – it’s always the other way round. And I have a bridge for sale.

  13. Dave Luckett

    Cynic asks: “Do I interpret the Discoveroids as suggesting we build bug eating drones?”

    There may be more to that than appears, Cynic. There are already aircraft that can stay in flight pretty much indefinitely on solar power. That is, they can “eat” on the wing. I’m thinking that a drone that can do that might not be too far over the horizon.

  14. Otangelo proclaims: “ID is a logical inference”
    We agree with “inference”. There is nothing logical thought about the salto mortale ID makes from our concrete world to a divine world.

    “ID is a posteriori, not a apriori argument.”
    The DI’s very own Wedge Document contradicts you.

  15. Otangelo Grasso

    No evidence for the evolution of birds, feathers, and flight

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1694-evolution-of-birds-feathers-and-flight#2669

    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/origins/quotes/macroevolution.html

    “Feathers are features unique to birds, and there are no known intermediate structures between reptilian scales and feathers. Notwithstanding speculations on the nature of the elongated scales found on such forms as Longisquama … as being featherlike structures, there is simply no demonstrable evidence that they in fact are. They are very interesting, highly modified and elongated reptilian scales, and are not incipient feathers.”

    Feduccia, Alan (1985) “On Why Dinosaurs Lacked Feathers The Beginning of Birds Eichstatt, West Germany: Jura Mus

    As one Columbia University biologist put it, “ . . . we lack completely fossils of all intermediate stages between reptilian scales and the most primitive feather.”

    http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com.br/2011/07/bird-fossils-reveal-lifes-colourful.html

    Oregon State University, “Discovery raises new doubts about dinosaur-bird links,” June 9th, 2009, Physorg.com.

    http://www.physorg.com/news163760732.html

    The origin of birds has always been a major problem for Darwinism, and even today little agreement about the evolution of birds exists. One of the most difficult issues related to bird evolution is the evolution of feathers. Feathers are complex, designed structures required for flight, and are today found only on birds. A literature review on the evolution of bird feathers showed that even though feathers are found back as far as the Cretaceous, including many well-preserved samples in amber, the fossil record reveals a complete absence of evidence for feather evolution.

  16. Otangelo Grasso

    125 Arguments for God’s Existence

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1276-125-arguments-for-god-s-existence

    http://god-proofs.blogspot.com.br/2014/05/theological-and-scientific-proofs.html

    The fact that the physical universe had a beginning, means it had a cause. The fact that the universe is finely tuned to the extreme, points to the requirement of a fine-tuner. Coded Information which is complex and instructional/specified found in epigenetic systems and genes, and irreducible , interdependent molecular machines and biosynthetic and metabolic pathways in biological systems, and the specific energy supply where its needed, and communication networks and information processing machines in cells point to a intelligent agent as best explanation of their setup and origins.

  17. Otangelo Grasso

    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/origins/quotes/macroevolution.html

    “Feathers are features unique to birds, and there are no known intermediate structures between reptilian scales and feathers. Notwithstanding speculations on the nature of the elongated scales found on such forms as Longisquama … as being featherlike structures, there is simply no demonstrable evidence that they in fact are. They are very interesting, highly modified and elongated reptilian scales, and are not incipient feathers.”

    Feduccia, Alan (1985) “On Why Dinosaurs Lacked Feathers The Beginning of Birds Eichstatt, West Germany: Jura Mus

    As one Columbia University biologist put it, “ . . . we lack completely fossils of all intermediate stages between reptilian scales and the most primitive feather.”

    http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com.br/2011/07/bird-fossils-reveal-lifes-colourful.html

    Oregon State University, “Discovery raises new doubts about dinosaur-bird links,” June 9th, 2009, Physorg.com.

    http://www.physorg.com/news163760732.html

    The origin of birds has always been a major problem for Darwinism, and even today little agreement about the evolution of birds exists. One of the most difficult issues related to bird evolution is the evolution of feathers. Feathers are complex, designed structures required for flight, and are today found only on birds. A literature review on the evolution of bird feathers showed that even though feathers are found back as far as the Cretaceous, including many well-preserved samples in amber, the fossil record reveals a complete absence of evidence for feather evolution.

  18. If the universe is finely tuned tuned to the extreme for the existence of life, then life is a natural product of the universe. The laws of thermodynamics are tuned for the appearance of life. No supernatural agent is needed for exceptions to the fine tuning.

  19. Teacher:
    “Otangelo, write on the blackboard ‘I don’t understand it, therefore goddidit’ 125 times.”

    Otangelo thinks, “There’s a blog post in here somewhere” as he writes:
    I don’t understand it, therefore goddidit
    I don’t understand it, therefore goddidit
    I don’t understand it, therefore goddidit…

  20. Otangelo Grasso

    ” If the universe is finely tuned tuned to the extreme for the existence of life, then life is a natural product of the universe. ”

    And the fine-tuning is due to what ? Luck ?!!

  21. Otangelo Grasso

    ” “Otangelo, write on the blackboard ‘I don’t understand it, therefore goddidit’ 125 times.” ”

    Is Intelligent Design based on gaps of knowledge and ignorance?

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1983-is-intelligent-design-based-on-gaps-of-knowledge-and-ignorance

    God of the gaps is a comfortable way to try to criticize and reject a argument and avoid to address actually the issues raised. Oponents of ID resort to it all the time, even when a robust case is made, with clear and detailed science based observation, prediction, experiment, and and logical inference and conclusion. The evidence for intelligent design has not been shrinking in the last two decades. It’s been growing, while the barriers to explain origins through naturalism have grown. This is obvious in regard of all relevant issues : the origin and fine tuning of the universe, of life, and biodiversity.

    1. High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
    2. Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
    3. Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
    4. Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

  22. According to the fine-tuning concept, life on Earth is a consequence of the finely tuned natural laws.

    According to the concept of intelligent design of life, the laws of nature are not finely tuned for life on Earth.

    Which of those concepts do you reject?

  23. Off-topic–and far too basic for the readers of this blog–but a cute offering from the BBC nonetheless: The Secret of How Life on Earth Began

  24. With god-bot O-tangled here I long for the insightful rationality of KevinC!

  25. Is Intelligent Design based on gaps of knowledge and ignorance?

    Yes.

    The whole concept of irreducible complexity is shorthand for “I don’t understand how variation and mutation combined with selection arrived at this complex organism, and besides I can’t wrap my mind around how long a billion years is, and furthermore I want to pretend I’m not going to be dead in x number of years, and additionally I want to believe there is someone to call on when bad things happen.”

    I feel the same way, but I can’t bring myself to believe in what here is called “Oogity Boogity”

  26. Otangelo Grasso

    ” The whole concept of irreducible complexity is shorthand for “I don’t understand how variation and mutation combined with selection arrived at this complex organism “.

    False.

    Irreducible complexity is a undeniable fact

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1468-irreducible-complexity#2133

    Irreducible complexity keeps being a unsurmountable problem for the ones that propose unguided evolution and natural mechanisms to explain the origin of life and biodiversity in general. No attempt to refute and successfully debunk the argument has been brought forward so far. Eyery attempt, no exception, has failed. Why ? Because IC is a undeniable FACT, no matter what. And this FACT becomes obvious to the unbiased mind when we envision biological systems as complex molecular machines, that operate similar to man made machines, but far far more complex. Individual parts have no function by themself. This is a important point to highlight. What use does the wing of a airplaine have alone? None. The engineer has to envision a function for the wing, used as essential part of the design of the airplane as a whole in order to fly, and its use once the airplane is fully built with all parts in place. The wing must be made with the right specifications, size, materials, form, and placed and mounted at the right place in the right way. And the wing itself requires complex machines to be made. The right materials must be transported to the building site. Often these materials in their raw form are unusable. Other complex machines come into play to transform the raw materials into usable form. All this requires specific information. The precise same thing happens in biological systems. Even the most simple cell useses inumerous parts, that have no use by their own. For what reason would natural mechanisms create these parts , if there were no use for them individually ? This is a problem that stretches through all biology, from the simplest to the most complex. Biological systems do only achieve specific tasks, once a number of individual parts are made upon specific complex instructions, frequently through other specific machines or even factories and assembly lines, that have no other tasks than to build these specific parts, and all this through the instructions of the blueprint in the genome, and then other specific instructions provide the information of how, when , and where to mount the parts to form the complex machine. Same as done when building human made machines. And all these processes must be strictly controlled, with error check and feedback mechanisms, and if something is not build upon the right specification, complex repair machines fix the problem. These checking and repair systems must be fully operational from day one, otherwise, the organism dies. And energy in usable form must also be provided ,and the make of energy requires also complex machinery which by itself requires energy to be made ( chicken-egg problem ). Furthermore, internal and external communication networks must be established. Also all these machines are made to self replicate , which adds a hudge amount of further complexity into the picture. Self replication is far from simple. It demands the most complex molecular machinery, which works in a astonishing , beautyful, orchestrated , regulated and controlled manner. Why at all would natural unguided, non-intelligent chemical reactions have the need to produce living biological systems, and keep them existing through self replication?

  27. Otangelo does this a lot. Posting pages and pages of nonsense that supports his ‘nah ah’ approach. Hopefully, he will realize that this is not where he belongs and will move on.

  28. Otangelo proclaims so more: “No evidence for the evolution of birds, feathers, and flight.”
    Please read: Otangelo’s requirements for evidence are so high that he will never count anything as evidence. At the other hand his requirements for creation are so low that everything counts. That’s why I prefer to call it creacrap.

  29. And of course Otangelo tries to “refute” Evolution Theory by connecting misunderstood and outdated physics to theology.

    “The fact that the physical universe had a beginning, means it had a cause.”
    Factually wrong. Positron-electron pairs have a beginning (they begin to exist at some moment) but they don’t have a cause. Plus this has exactly zilch to do with Evolution Theory.
    The cause of animals with feather beginning to exist is well known: a combination of mutation and natural selection.
    So even according to Otangelo’s poor theology Evolution Theory is totally valid.

  30. michaelfugate

    OG will never concede any point – just spew endless nonsense. It is a waste of time; he has no understanding of history or science.

  31. And of course Otangelo tries to “refute” Evolution Theory by connecting misunderstood and outdated physics to theology.

    “The fact that the physical universe had a beginning, means it had a cause.”
    Factually wrong. Positron-electron pairs have a beginning (they begin to exist at some moment) but they don’t have a cause. Plus this has exactly zilch to do with Evolution Theory.
    The cause of animals with feathers beginning to exist is well known: a combination of mutation and natural selection.
    So even according to Otangelo’s poor theology Evolution Theory is totally valid.

    Indeed Otangelo doesn’t even understand basic theology.

    “God of the gaps is a comfortable way to try to criticize.”

    God of the Gaps is a term developed by theologians who understood what science meant for our understanding. The first one was the evangelist

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Drummond_(evangelist)

    The theologian who provided the definite description was the theologian Dietrich Bonhöffer
    “how wrong it is to use God as a stop-gap for the incompleteness of our knowledge. If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed further and further back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, and is therefore continually in retreat. We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

    Yup, more than 70 years ago.
    Not that Otangelo wants to know. Rather he plugs his ear, singing LALALALALA.
    So I honour him with this song, from

    From 2:47 on.

  32. I disagree for 50% with MichaelF:

    “It is a waste of time”
    We may have some fun with him and I don’t think fun is a waste of time.

  33. Does OG have a coherent concept of “creation”, “irreducible complexity”, “cause”, “evolution”, etc.?

  34. michaelfugate

    What fun is there in conversing with a brick wall?

  35. Mockery.

  36. The people who compared swifts with drones and concluded “design!” deliberately ignored the simple fact that swifts refuel on the wing by eating insects, and that drones could also stay aloft indefinitely by refueling. This is evident to anyone who has seen a flock of swifts diving through swarms of flying insects.

  37. michaelfugate

    But insects are “manna” for birds – you may have thought insects were pests, but God is miraculously producing insects just to keep swifts aloft for a year at a time.

  38. Otangelo Grasso

    ” The cause of animals with feather beginning to exist is well known: a combination of mutation and natural selection. ”

    blind belief at work here ?!

  39. Otangelo Grasso

    ” If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed further and further back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, ”

    The contrary is the case. Open questions in biology, biochemistry, and evolution

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t2299-open-questions-in-biology-biochemistry-and-evolution

    When methodological naturalism is applied, the only explanation for the origin of life is abiogenesis, and of biodiversity, Darwins Theory of evolution. Proponents repeat like a mantra : Evolution is a fact. If that were the case, there would exist far more convincing , clear scientific answers to almost all relevant scientific questions and issues. This is far from being the case. Based on scientific papers, quite a different picture arises. Instead of compelling answers, questionmarks and lack of understanding, generalized ignorance in regard of almost all relevant issues, and conceptual problems are the most common. Since the information is widely sparse and scattered amongst thousands of scientific papers, its not so evident that this is the factual state of matter. The general public is duped by effect slogans, that give the false impression of certainty of naturalism. The standard answer, when proponents of naturalism are confronted with this situation, is: “We are working on it”. Or: “We don’t know yet”. As if naturalism would be the answer in the future, no matter what. Aren’t these not a prima facie of ” evolution of the gaps” arguments ? The question is: If a certain line of reasoning is not persuasive or convincing, or only leads to dead ends, then why do proponents of materialism not change their mind because of it? The more scientific papers are published, the less likely the scenario of evolution and abiogenesis and cosmic evolution becomes. The gaps are NOT being closed. They widen more and more. Some evolutionary predictions have even been falsified. We should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on several key issues and subjects. All discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in vague suppositions and guesswork, statements of blind faith, made up scenarios, or in a confession of ignorance. Fact is there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This lack of understanding is not just ignorance about some secondary details; it is a big conceptual gap. The reach of the end of the road is evident in the matter of almost all major questions. The major questions of evolutionary novelties and abiogenesis are very far from being clearly formulated, even understood, and nowhere near being solved, and for most, there is no solution at all at sight. But proponents of evolution firmly believe, one day a solution will be found. It doesn’t take a couple of month, and a new scientific paper with wild speculations about abiogenesis is published, and eagerly swallowed by the anxious public, that finally wants its preferred world view being confirmed. We don’t know yet, therefore evolution and abiogenesis ? That way, the design hypothesis remains out of the equation in the beginning, and out at the end, and never receives a serious and honest consideration. If the scientific evidence does not provide satisfactory explanations through naturalism, why should we not change your minds and look somewhere else ? I see only one reason : there is a emotional commitment to naturalism. Reason is not on the side of the materialist. The believer in creation IMHO has good reasons to hold his world view. Reason is on his side. The evidence points massive in that direction. There is certainly the opponent just right on the corner, eagerly waiting to claim ” argument of ignorance “.

  40. Otangelo Grasso, no more comments of that size. No more warnings.

  41. michaelfugate

    OG, your opinion and $2 might get you a cup of coffee.

  42. Why is a god/intelligent designer always the alternative to a natural processes? We have zero evidence that a designer exists, and zero evidence that anything at all other than the natural universe exists. Wouldn’t it make more sense to propose that some as-yet-unknown natural process, operating within the laws of nature as we understand them, is the most likely answer to alleged flaws in our current theories?

    Just once, I would like to see an advocate of intelligent design creationism lay out the evidence for a supernatural realm, the evidence for intelligent agencies operating with that realm, and a means of testing those claims.

  43. @Ed
    More to the point, no one has suggested an alternative explanation.
    We can’t speak about evidence for an alternative explanation when there is no alternative explanation.

  44. Otangelo Grasso

    Ed, are your thoughts natural, or supernatural ? If they are natural, can you hear, smell, show them to me ? If not, how do you know they even exist ? When you see a book, but do not know the author of the book, do you also say, threre is zero evidence that the author exists, because he might not be physically in front of you ?

  45. @OG
    Actually, we can identify areas of the brain that activate when people use their brains to, uh, think. We have equipment to measure the electrical impulses. Google around a bit, I’m sure you will find a great deal of fascinating info on the subject. So, yes, thoughts are natural. Visit an Alzheimers facility sometime to confront that sad fact directly.

    The book analogy? Seriously? Would you, when seeing a book, consider it even remotely plausible that a supernatural being wrote it? If you actually think that there is a chance that it was supernaturally authored and sent in for publication (who gets the royalties in that case?), then you are beyond any appeal to reason. It’s a very weak argument that wouldn’t even convince you.

  46. Christine Janis

    “A literature review on the evolution of bird feathers showed that even though feathers are found back as far as the Cretaceous, including many well-preserved samples in amber, the fossil record reveals a complete absence of evidence for feather evolution.”

    That was 2009. Science progresses — and we now have many instances of feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic. And much of the evidence for feather evolution comes from evodevo.

    Creationists love John Ruben, one of the last BAND holdouts. But they never note that Ruben completely supports birds evolving from archosaurian reptiles, just not dinosaurs.

  47. Christine Janis

    “As one Columbia University biologist put it, “ . . . we lack completely fossils of all intermediate stages between reptilian scales and the most primitive feather.”

    http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com.br/2011/07/bird-fossils-reveal-lifes-colourful.html

    Um — next time you post a comment, and a link, try to ensure that the link contains the comment that you think is so vital

  48. The whole truth

    Otangelo, you said: “Feathers are complex, designed structures required for flight, and are today found only on birds.”

    Apparently you’ve never heard of bats and flying insects. Oh, and not all birds can fly.

  49. Otangelo tries to ask a question: “blind belief at work here ?!”
    No, just a logical inference.

    Otangelo doesn’t even understand simple English:

    “The contrary is the case”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    The simple fact is that scientific knowledge has been expanded since Bonhöffer wrote “in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed further and further back” more than 70 years ago and you deny even that. No silly list of yours can change that.

    “Proponents repeat like a mantra : Evolution is a fact.”
    Not me. But after that howler you have shown that you’re not smart enough to understand even basic philosophy, so I’m not going to care to explain you. I’ll just add that gravity and electricity aren’t facts either in exactly the same way.
    The next five sentences are yawn inducing; they just confirm what Bonhöffer writes – it’s stupid to defend a god of the gaps. So I stopped reading. Only this caught my eye:

    “the design hypothesis remains out of the equation in the beginning,”
    Out of the scientific equation – something smart believers (ie not you and your kind) have understood for many decades now. If you want to defend theistic evolution nobody here will object.

  50. Otangelo tries to ask another question, thinks it a zinger but just displays his ignorance:

    “If they are natural, can you hear, smell, show them to me ?”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    Yes.
    Neurobiologists are capable of observing human thoughts.
    In 75% of the cases they are capable of predicting your decisions before you are even aware of them.
    The observations are Indirect, so you will reject it.
    Except you don’t reject the concept of force in physics either while you can observe force only indirectly as well.
    Because were would a creacrapper be without his beloved double standard?

    “When you see a book, but do not know the author of the book, do you also say, threre is zero evidence that the author exists, because he might not be physically in front of you ?”
    BWAHAHAHAHA!
    You would, silly creacrapper, because you believe that your favourite Holy Book is written by a supernatural entity called YHWH. This question that impresses you so much is actually an argument for naturalism, hence contradicts what you are desperately trying to argue for and you don’t even get it.
    Otangelo, I sincerely hope our dear SC will allow you to hang around a bit more, if only to demonstrate MichaelF my point: the stupidity of creacrap can be fun.

  51. Otangelo Grasso

    Ed wrote

    ” yes, thoughts are natural. ”

    All you described is the REACTION of the mind.

    The Mind is Not The Brain

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1662-the-mind-is-not-the-brain#2581

    ” The book analogy? Seriously? Would you, when seeing a book, consider it even remotely plausible that a supernatural being wrote it? ”

    No, but ALWAYS a intelligent mind.

    1. The pattern in DNA is a code.
    2. All codes we know the origin of com from a intelligent mind
    3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA comes from a intelligent mind, and 0% inference that it is not.

  52. Otangelo Grasso

    Christine wrote

    “And much of the evidence for feather evolution comes from evodevo.”

    Is it ? How so ? please explain.

  53. @OG

    You say the activity detected in the brain is the “REACTION” (all caps yours) of the brain. ???? OK, you do know that researchers have input signals into the brain, and caused thoughts to occur, right? Specifically in some cases, belief in an unseen presence. Also, you know that ingestion of certain chemicals will alter thought processes, do you not? That the mind is not a product of the brain is ludicrous at every level. There is no support for that idea. Again, when you argue against science you need to bring evidence to the argument.

    The same goes for the claim that DNA is a code, and the unsupported assumption that only an intelligent designer can create a “code.” The concept of DNA as something similar to a computer code is an analogy used to describe its role in the cell, it is not intended to be taken as a literally. DNA is a molecule which reacts with other molecules according to the laws of chemistry. That’s it. The reactions are more or less random as they only occur if another molecule literally bumps into the DNA molecule. Since the number of such molecules is very large, these reactions occur more or less continuously and thus the DNA molecule “serves” as a part of the overall chemistry in the cell.

    Since DNA changes as it propagates from one generation to the next, it can be used to track genealogical relationships on the small scale, and evolutionary relationships on much larger scales. It unfortunately mutates within the body as well, all too often causing diseases like cancer and rare diseases like PNH (which my daughter suffers from.)

    By contrast, computers do not work this way in even a remote sense. In fact, the many differences between the chemistry of DNA and the way computer programs work illustrate nicely the differences between biologically evolved systems and designed systems.

  54. Otangelo Grasso

    ” That the mind is not a product of the brain is ludicrous at every level. ”

    What comes first, mind or matter?

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1380-what-comes-first-mind-or-matter

    Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918
    “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”

    Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
    “It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University , “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005) ? He wrote:
    “A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction.

    Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote:
    “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.”

    Sir Arthur Eddington explained:
    “It is difficult for the matter-of-fact physicist to accept the view that the substratum of everything is of mental character.”

  55. Otangelo Grasso

    Einstein’s Gulf: Can Evolution cross it? by John Oller, Ph.d

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1283-einstein-s-gulf

    Albert Einstein,undoubtedly one of the greatest scientists of all time, described the “gulf’ that logically separates the concrete world of hard objects on the one hand from the abstract world of ideas on the other. He wrote: We have the habit of combining certain concepts and conceptual relations (propositions) so definitely with certain sense experiences that we do not become conscious of the gulf-logically unbridgeable which separates the world of sensory experiences from the world of concepts and propositions

    On the one side, we find the real world of objects, events, and tensional spacetime relations. On the other side, we find fully abstract representations that contain information about the material world. That articulate information is abstracted first by our senses, secondarily by our bodily actions, and tertiarily by our ability to use one or more particular languages . Between the two realms we find what appears to be an uncrossable gulf.

    A small part of the materialists problem is that hard objects are never observed spontaneously to transform themselves (on their own recognizance) into abstract ideas.

    http://www.libertariannews.org/2011/10/05/thoughts-on-god-and-the-nature-of-consciousness/

    here is no observable reason why sticking a bunch of neurons together should give rise to a conscious phenomenological experience. No matter how complex the brain may be, it is still made of matter. Since thoughts are clearly not made of matter, they are considered “emergent” properties.

    There is no clear reason why matter left alone in the depths of space should ever organize itself into a conscious entity. We know that emergent properties are logically impossible. If emergent properties are logically impossible, it stands to reason that consciousness is a fundamental property, rather than an emergent one that arises from the chaotic interaction of matter.

  56. Otangelo Grasso

    Ed wrote:

    ” The concept of DNA as something similar to a computer code is an analogy used to describe its role in the cell, it is not intended to be taken as a literally. ”

    DNA stores literally coded information

    http://reasonandscience.heavenforum.org/t1281-dna-stores-literally-coded-information

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8335231
    The genetic language is a collection of rules and regularities of genetic information coding for genetic texts. It is defined by alphabet, grammar, collection of punctuation marks and regulatory sites, semantics.

    River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, Dawkins writes:
    “…The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer engineering journal.”

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/organic/gencode.html
    The sequence of bases in DNA operates as a true code in that it contains the information necessary to build a protein expressed in a four-letter alphabet of bases which is transcribed to mRNA and then translated to the twenty-amino-acid alphabet necessary to build the protein. Saying that it is a true code involves the idea that the code is free and unconstrained; any of the four bases can be placed in any of the positions in the sequence of bases. Their sequence is not determined by the chemical bonding. There are hydrogen bonds between the base pairs and each base is bonded to the sugar phosphate backbone, but there are no bonds along the longitudional axis of DNA. The bases occur in the complementary base pairs A-T and G-C, but along the sequence on one side the bases can occur in any order, like the letters of a language used to compose words and sentences.

    Paul Davies :
    “DNA is not a special life-giving molecule, but a genetic databank that transmits its information using a mathematical code. Most of the workings of the cell are best described, not in terms of material stuff — hardware — but as information, or software. Trying to make life by mixing chemicals in a test tube is like soldering switches and wires in an attempt to produce Windows 98. It won’t work because it addresses the problem at the wrong conceptual level.”

    Inside each and every one of us lies a message. It is inscribed in an ancient code, its beginnings lost in the mists of time. Decrypted, the message contains instructions on how to make a human being.

    Although DNA is a material structure, it is pregnant with meaning. The arrangement of the atoms along the helical strands of your DNA determines how you look and even, to a certain extent, how you feel and behave. DNA is nothing less than a blueprint—or, more accurately, an algorithm or instruction manual—for building a living, breathing, thinking human being.

  57. Otangelo Grasso

    ” DNA is a molecule which reacts with other molecules according to the laws of chemistry. ”

    DNA is a information storage device. It stores the required information together with epigenetic information to build a body, as yours, for example. The laws of chemistry do not determine the special arrangement of the nucleotides which are in the required sequence to provide the necessary information to build functional proteins. The sequence is free and deliberate, and any sequence is possible. As such, no laws of chemistry have any business here. In sequence space, useful and functional proteins are rare. Extremely rare. That raises the question, if physical necessity, laws of chemistry and chance are unlikely, why not infer design ?

  58. Goodbye, Otangelo Grasso.

  59. Christine Janis

    Me: “And much of the evidence for feather evolution comes from evodevo.”

    Otangelo: {Is it ? How so ? please explain.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ede.12123/full

    Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode—defined as an epidermal thickening—in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales. In birds, nuclear β-catenin is first localized to the feather placode, and then exhibits a dynamic pattern of localization in both epidermis and dermis of the feather bud. We found that asymmetric avian scutate scales and alligator scales share similar patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization with feathers. This supports the hypothesis that feathers, scutate scales, and alligator scales are homologous during early developmental stages, and are derived from early developmental stages of an asymmetric scale present in the archosaur ancestor. Furthermore, given that the earliest stage of β-catenin localization in feathers and archosaur scales is also found in placodes of several mammalian skin appendages, including hair and mammary glands, we hypothesize that a common skin appendage placode originated in the common ancestor of all amniotes. We suggest a skin placode should not be defined by anatomical features, but as a local, organized molecular signaling center from which an epidermal appendage develops.

  60. Christine Janis

    Otangelo said: “Some evolutionary predictions have even been falsified.”

    Damn. Well, that’s science for you.

  61. “Goodbye, Otangelo Grasso.”
    Alas, though understandable. I was just warming up.
    What remains is the third pillar of creacrap:

    “Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA comes from a intelligent mind.”
    We already had “evolution is wrong” and the god of the gaps. Here we have Paley’s False Watchmaker Analogy (see the intelligent mind who writes a book – it all belongs to our natural reality, unlike Otangelo’s Grand Old Designer).
    Oh wait – this is classy:

    “DNA is a material structure, it is pregnant with meaning.”
    As I have a dirty mind I immediately picture a Grand Old Designer copulating immaterially with DNA.

  62. michaelfugate

    The only statement characterizing OG is “not even wrong”.

  63. michaelfugate

    SC, can you make him go away? He is sucking all intelligence out of the internet – and it didn’t have much to start with…

  64. michaelfugate asks: “SC, can you make him go away?”

    Sometimes they return with a different ID. Typical troll behavior. I’ll stay on it.