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Author Topic:   How do we tell the difference, Ahmad?
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 6121 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 7 of 63 (25622)
12-05-2002 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Ahmad
12-03-2002 11:20 AM


Ahmad
You can consider this Schraf's response, as well. It is, in fact, in part her response. I just started writing a response as well, and instead of duplicating effort, there's just this post. We're pretty cozy.
quote:
Originally posted by Ahmad:
quote:
In this sense, it is true that natural selection "designs", by favoring individuals with certain variations to reproduce more sucessfully than others in a given environment.
I really don't think Natural Selection designs anything. Natural selection can act only on those biologic properties that already exist [creation]; it cannot create properties in order to meet adaptational needs [macroevolution](Noble, et al., Parasitology, sixth edition, "Evolution of Parasitism," Lea and Febiger, 1989, p. 516).
This sounds out of context. And I could, I'm sure you agree, find a contradictory quote. So let's not trade quotes that are just summary assertions, let's look at evidence.
And besides, how is mutation and gene duplication or copying errors not new information? They are not the same as they were before and they do different things. How is this not new?
quote:
In other words, it's a principle of local adaptation.. it does not add any new information to the genome.
So what do you think of bacteria which have developed the ability to digest nylon?
quote:
Same goes for variation which are nothing but the outcomes of different combinations of the already existing genetic information and they do not add any new characteristic to the genetic information. I don't see how it can design anything.
Nylon digestion?
quote:
Why do IC systems indicate ID? Where is your evidence that IC systems cannot occur naturally?
quote:
You're probably asking the same question as mark.
Yep.
quote:
Notice the definition. ALL components need to be present for the system to effectively function. Systems (IF) evolving by natural selection or random mutation.. are not IC.
So, you consider systems ID until they are proven otherwise? This is backwards to the way science is done. And again, there's a leap of reasoning between the two sentences above. The second sentence is just an assertion, it doesn't logically follow from the first sentence.
quote:
Here is an analogy that may help illustrate what I mean:
Say you have a system composed of components A+B+C+D. This system is not, let's say, I.C.
Then a component is added. A+B+C+D+E. Clearly this is not I.C. either, since it would work without the E.
After a while, either because of modification of components or because E is redundant with another component, a component drops out.
Let's say we now have A+B+D+E.
Now, this system, by Behe's definition, may very well be irreducibly complex, in that you can't delete a component without the system failing. But, it could still evolve, hypothetically. Therefore, the argument that I.C. MUST indicate I.D. is false.
quote:
Excellent analogy. Ofcourse, IC completely breaks down the linear darwinian evolution (change along a single axis), the analogy you put up is known as Elimination of Functional Redundancy sort-of. Now this analogy ,however, involves some sleight of hand. Originally you proposed ABCD as a non-IC. So that means if one of the components from ABCD goes off, the system will continue to function. Surprisingly, what you did is added up a component E (all out of the blue) and the system continues to perform its original function. Now this may sound very casual in such analogies, but are highly improbable in real life. From where exactly and how does component E come here? Thats the main question. [etc...]
No, that's not the main question. That's another, new, question. The question at hand is: Does I.C. logically imply I.D.? It is NOT "Can new, useful components form?" Certainly, Behe does not deny this. He believes in macroevolutionary change, and he does NOT believe that ALL systems are I.C. The logic of I.C. does not depend on denying the addition of components.
The logic of I.C. DOES depend on ignoring alternative evolutionary paths. As soon as you admit that other paths are possible, you abandon all logical force of I.C. --> I.D. Instead, if you still want to criticize evolution, you can try saying that new components can't form, etc. But that's a new issue. You've abandonded the general I.C. argument, and are now forced to argue the specific details of specific evolutionary pathways. Before moving on to that, would you agree that the argument that I.C. means I.D. (or at least non-evolvable) fails if other paths, other than simple addition of components, are possible?
quote:
quote:
You have it backwards.
Life evolved according to the laws of nature. If the laws were different, life wouldn't have occurred, or wouldn't be the same as it is now.
I would have second thoughts to the veracity of that explanation taking in account the just-perfect universe, the "design" in nature, the excellent coordination in IC/ID systems. It just fills me with awe and wonder...
Awe and wonder aren't under debate, of course! But now you're just using the "Argument from Personal Incredulity", not presenting positive evidence.
quote:
quote:
What is your positive evidence for ID?
You're probably asking the same question as Eugenie scott did. She had an excellent response from Dembski here. I think Dembski sums it perfectly with an analogy:
This is a little too much to go into just now. I don't know, without closer inspection, whether this contains any new arguments from Dembski or not...it is, in principle, different from Behe's "irreducible complexity", and so needs a different response than the above. Get back to it later.
quote:
This is still the same God of the Gaps fallacy; "we don't have an explanation, therefore Godidit."
quote:
Oh but we do have the explanation. We know how the system works and functions, we know the role of the components in the system, and thus we come to the conclusion that the system is IC. That explanation, though not complete, is sufficient to indicate problems with postulating completely naturalistic explanations.
There's no "explanation", there. You have not "explained" how the I.C. system has been produced. You have said, "Godidit".
quote:
Ratzsch, a philosopher, points out that "God-of-the-Gaps" is a pejorative
label that arbitrarily refuses in principle to recognise that there
may be gaps in the fabric of natural causation:
[book quote deleted]

If there are "gaps in the fabric of natural causation", then science doesn't apply. I would argue that reason doesn't apply. If you let "magical explanations" have equal footing, then you just have to give up trying to explain. That's what's wrong with "God of the Gaps" - it pretends to be an explanation, but it's really only a name ("Intelligent Designer"), and an obstacle to real explanations.
quote:
quote:
What you so far have not been able to show is that IC systems cannot evolve naturally.
What "natural means" do you postulate for the evolution of IC systems? Go here nad tell me how many "naturalistic explanations" sound familiar.
quote:
Exactly. However, if it's decided that bacterium flagella are IC, so they must be intelligently designed, then what is the point of doing research on the evolutionary history of them. What if someone comes along and finds the intermediate structure someday, just as the evolutionary pathway for blood clotting was found?
IC systems are open for all kinds of research. Just because we say the system is intelligently designed (since it's IC) does not close the room for further research. No way.. no how. And what exactly is the "evolutionary pathway" discovered recently for blooding clotting cascade?
A reference to the literature:
NCBI - Not found
An interesting comment From:
Is the Complement System Irreducibly Complex?
quote:
"This bears repeating: urochordates have a functional complement system, yet they lack a component of the cascade, C3 convertase, which is essential in the same cascade in vertebrates. Recall Dr. Behe's quote at the beginning of this essay: "An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced gradually by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, since any precursor to an irreducibly complex system is by definition nonfunctional". This example of an irreducibly complex complement cascade that is clearly the result of Darwinian evolution belies Dr. Behe's claim."
Other reading on Behe and blood clotting:
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/feb97.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/review.html
quote:
quote:
God of the Gaps.
Hey.. if evolutionists can't explain how IC systems evolved, why are we supposed to be blamed for that? We know the system is unevolvable in our present knowledge. If pathways are discovered, then we can deal with them. As far as I know, no valid evolutionary pathway has yet been discovered for any IC system. And exactly how and in what basis do you make such a prediction?
Using your own logic, If an atheist says God doesn't exist because we have no evidence for His existence, I can call his claim a "claim of the gaps" or if he bases an argument, an "argument from incredulity". After all, who knows, we might stumble on some evidence, in the future, that proves His existence beyond the shadow of a doubt. Ofcourse, then my atheist brethren will accuse me of tossing pascal's wager, now won't they?
Your criticism is absolutely correct. It seems you think I'd disagree with it. I agree with it perfectly, and think that PRECISELY THE SAME ARGUMENT applies to I.D.
quote:
quote:
NO, ID/IC is not scientific at all because there is no positive evidence. It relies on an absenceof evolutionary evidence rather than providing any positive evidence for itself. At best, it is a philosophical argument.
No it isn't. ID/IC is fully scientific and eligible to be called a "theory" just as evolution. We have positive evidence for them (IC). "Absence of evolutionary pathways" is irrelevant since evolution, itself, is a theory.
quote:
If one is in keeping with scientific tenets, there can always be something we haven't thought of with regards to a problem. This is tentativity.
By contrast, Behe's IC/ID states that there is an end point in which we do not have to keep thinking. This is not science.

quote:
Incorrect. If we conclude, from research, that a system is IC (therefore ID), it does not close the room for further thoughts and research. We can, then, utilize the research to find out the system's counter-parts... whether the system can work with other components or even evolutionists are free to explore the nature of the system and draw their conclusions. How does it establish an "end-point"? How does it violate the principle of tentativity?
Certainly none of these research are generated by I.D. Furthermore, I.D. tells you NOT to look for possible evolutionary pathways. None of your research questions arise from I.D., but you do close off a topic as "unproductive". This is why I.D. is stifling to research, not productive. Can you name one research question generated by I.D., that we wouldn't have thought of without it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Ahmad, posted 12-03-2002 11:20 AM Ahmad has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Ahmad, posted 12-07-2002 1:49 PM Zhimbo has replied

  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 6121 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 29 of 63 (27747)
12-23-2002 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Ahmad
12-07-2002 1:49 PM


quote:
Ahmad:
"They are not new, in the sense, that there is no increase in the specified complexity of the organism."
I'm not sure you want to conflate "information" and "specified complexity"; they are distinct concepts. Also, let me know which definiton of "specified complexity" you mean. Dembski has used it in several ways. Often, it means little more than the old "too complicated to happen by chance", which is an old tired argument dressed up in new clothing.
quote:
Even if gene duplication did take place, how does it add "new" information? Do you have "new" information if you make two copies of the same newpaper? No! Its virtually the "same" information as the previous.
Depends on your definition of "information"; but if a mutation occurs in the other copy, then by any common definition of the term there's been an increase in "information".
quote:
This suggests that the information probably already existed, and was just passed between different types of bacteria
Fascinating - you mean bacteria have always had the ability to digest nylon? Why would they have this ability when nylon is a 20th century invention? And you overlook that the mutation which produced the new nylon-digesting functionality has been identified.
quote:
You are right in pointing out that Behe is a theistic evolutionist and has no problem with common descent. However, my previous question (that you did not
paste) is important. What is the probability that this "additional" component will contribute to the system's function such that one of the previous components of
the system becoming redundant will fall of and the system together with the additional component will become irreducibly complex?
I DID address this question - it's a NEW, ADDITIONAL question beyond the question I was addressing - does I.C. LOGICALLY imply I.D.? Sincewe know that a a beneficial mutation is in principle possible, and that other paths other than simple addition of components are possible, we can conclude that there is no logical neccessity to conclude I.D. given I.C.
quote:
Isn't the proposed evolutionary trend supposed to be simple to complex?
No. Other than there's a "floor" to the complexity, there's no necessary direction to evolution in terms of complexity.
Ahmad presents as "positive evidence" for I.D.:
quote:
Intelligent Design in nature, Irreducible Complexity in systems, Anthropic Principle and cambrian explosion
You can't use I.D. as evidence for I.D. It's the point of this discussion that I.C. is at it's heart an argument from Ignorance (lack of a natural explanation for a system). The Anthropic Principle, even if valid, in no way explains the "design" of organisms. The Cambrian Explosion was a multi-million year event preceded by hundreds of millions of years of fossil life (most of it unicellular, some of it multicellular). And, once it again, it does nothing to "explain" apparent design. I suspect you think it disproves evolution, but again, that is not positive evidence for I.D.
quote:
ou may agree with it, but does the majority? Lets do a poll, how many atheists out there agrees with you? Does schraf agree?
Yes, Schraf agrees. What other atheists think might be interesting, but is irrelevant to this discussion, since neither I nor Schraf disagree with your argument here. You don't argue that it *doesn't* apply to I.D., I notice. And no, it does not make "I.D." falsifiable, in the sense of allowing evidence to count against it. Rather, it is a flaw in the reasoning of I.D.
(And yes, I'm dropping the blood-clotting stuff for now, simply because I don't have the kind of time right now necessary for a properly in-depth discussion. )

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Ahmad, posted 12-07-2002 1:49 PM Ahmad has not replied

  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 6121 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 50 of 63 (28117)
12-30-2002 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Ahmad
12-30-2002 8:59 AM


quote:
Your premises are that fossil record has organisms with traits of both birds and dinos.
Ummm...premises are statements. Fossils are rocks, observable by anyone. Do you honestly deny the existence of feathered dinosaur fossils, saying they are simply "premises"?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Ahmad, posted 12-30-2002 8:59 AM Ahmad has not replied

  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 6121 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 51 of 63 (28118)
12-30-2002 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Ahmad
12-30-2002 8:59 AM


quote:
If it can be shown that biological systems like the bacterial flagellum that are wonderfully complex, elegant, and integrated could have been formed by a gradual Darwinian process (which by definition is non-telic), then intelligent design would be falsified on the general grounds that one doesn’t invoke intelligent causes to create irreducibly complex systems when purely natural causes will do. In that case Occam’s razor finishes off intelligent design quite nicely.
Can't you see that this line of reasoning ASSUMES I.D. to be true by default, unless shown otherwise? The problem here is that it may well be the case that Darwinian evolution fails as an explanation, but that I.D. is STILL WRONG. You assume the only possible explanations are Darwinian evolution and I.D., and assume that I.D. is true in this case until D.E. is proven.
This is one of several fundamental flaws in I.D. arguments.
[This message has been edited by Zhimbo, 12-30-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Ahmad, posted 12-30-2002 8:59 AM Ahmad has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Ahmad, posted 01-02-2003 6:06 AM Zhimbo has replied

  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 6121 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 57 of 63 (28313)
01-02-2003 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Ahmad
01-02-2003 6:06 AM


I'm sorry, did you address my point???? All you do is assert that Darwinism fails to explain something.
Fine, let's assume that Darwinism doesn't work for the bacterial flagellum. How does this provide evidence FOR I.D.?
It doesn't, unless you assume there are only 2 alternatives.
So, let me repeat:
Can't you see that this line of reasoning ASSUMES I.D. to be true by default, unless shown otherwise? The problem here is that it may well be the case that Darwinian evolution fails as an explanation, but that I.D. is STILL WRONG. You assume the only possible explanations are Darwinian evolution and I.D., and assume that I.D. is true in this case until D.E. is proven.
This time, address the logic. Do you think my characterization of this line of reasoning is flawed?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Ahmad, posted 01-02-2003 6:06 AM Ahmad has not replied

  
Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 6121 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 58 of 63 (28314)
01-02-2003 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Ahmad
01-02-2003 8:28 AM


quote:
"I don't understand your question. As I see it, you have bacterial flagella that is IC and it can't evolve, given the darwinian evolution as the evolver."
Again, you ASSERT that IC means Darwinism can't work. That's not good enough. How do you TEST this ASSERTION?
[This message has been edited by Zhimbo, 01-02-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Ahmad, posted 01-02-2003 8:28 AM Ahmad has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by mark24, posted 01-02-2003 6:29 PM Zhimbo has not replied

  
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