What is a “major form”?

A long time commenter at UncommonDescent gives his opinion on ID’s position with regard to common descent:

The design inference is compatible with common descent and with universal common descent; a certain Michael Behe is a case in point on this. Common descent all the way up to universal common descent, is compatible with intelligently directed configuration of first life and of major forms thereafter including our own.

Yet in all my time learning about ID it’s never been clear to me, if that’s the case why are there not specific predictions from ID about what we will find in the fossil record?

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Good UD post

Good guest post at Uncommon Descent by Aurelio Smith,


For those who prefer to comment here, this is your thread!

For me, the argument by Ewert Dembski and Marks reminds me of poor old Zeno and his paradox.  They’ve over-thought the problem and come to a conclusion that appears mathematically valid, but actually makes no sense.  Trying to figure out just the manner in which it makes no sense isn’t that easy, though I don’t think we need to invent the equivalent of differential calculus to solve it in this case.  I think it’s a simple case of picking the wrong model.  Evolution is not a search for anything, and information is not the same as [im]probability, whether you take log2 of it or not.  Which means that you don’t need to add Active Information to an Evolutionary Search in order to find a Target, because there’s no Target, no search, and the Active Information is simply the increased probability of solving a problem if you have some sort of feedback for each attempt, and partial solutions are moderately similar to better ones.


Intelligence Test: open thread


Intelligent Design proponents claim to be able to distinguish design from non-design. Here’s an easier task. Look at the inscription in the photograph. Is there any way to tell how old it is? I can tell you the stone turned up in an excavation in 1996 in the Pyrenees. Is there any way to tell if the marks are meaningful or gibberish?

What’s wrong with theistic objective morality–in 60 seconds

In what seems like a proof of Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence, the “is morality objective or subjective” debates are playing out yet again at UD.

Here, in 60 seconds or less, is why theistic objective morality doesn’t get off the ground:

[Results not guaranteed.  May vary with individual reading speed.]

1. For objective morality to have an impact, we need to a) know that it exists, b) know what it requires, and c) know that we have reliable access to it.  We don’t know any of those things.

2.  Lacking access to objective morality, all we have left is subjective morality — what each person thinks is right or wrong. This is just as true for the objectivist as it is for the subjectivist.

3. Even if God existed and we knew exactly what he expected of us, there would be no reason to regard his will as morally binding.  His morality would be just as subjective as ours.