Miracles, Exorcisms, ID and the spread of the Gospel (thinking of VJ Torley)

Astronaut Charles Duke became a Christian after he returned to Earth after being the youngest man to ever walk on the moon and after finding himself in a troubled marriage and problems with alcoholism. The Christian faith restored his marriage and brought sobriety into his life, and sometime thereafter he led a prayer meeting where a blind girl recovered her sight. Somewhere in all his life’s saga, he also became a Creationist.

One of the people who posted at TheSkepticalZone, Richard B. Hoppe (RBH), knew of Duke, perhaps even personally since RBH worked on the Apollo program intimately. When I confronted RBH about Duke’s Christianity and Creationism, RBH (normally quick to criticize Christian Creationists) became strangely silent. No one to my knowledge has questioned Charles Duke’s credibility or integrity as far a making up stories to draw attention to himself or make Christian converts. After all, he was a national hero, an air force general, an astronaut, and a successful businessman. Unlike a televangelist, there is little reason for him to make up stories of miracles.

I had the privilege of meeting Charle Duke when he spoke at a College Christian event…

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Taking “ID is science” out of the ID/Creation argument

I have committed the unpardonable sin of promoting ID as theology and arguing ID is not science. ID is the lineal descendant of Paley’s natural theology (as in contrast to “revealed theology”). I’ve publicly disputed the use of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics as a general argument in favor of ID/Creation, and I’ve been mildly critical of the concept of specified complexity and its successors. I’ve suggested ID is most appropriately taught in college/seminary theology and philosophy departments. When I published a 2005 exchange between myself and Eugenie Scott of the NCSE regarding the appropriateness of ID being taught in college religion and philosophy departments, Eugenie was much kinder to me than some in the ID community who insist “ID is science.” See: Correspondence between Salvador Cordova and Dr. Eugenie Scott

To that end, in conjunction with university professors, deans of Christian and secular colleges (who are favorable to both Intelligent Design and belief in Special Creation), I’m helping build out the electronic component of courses that teach ID and concepts of Creationism for such venues.

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Examples of “Pathological Idiocy” in Universities, Especially in Social Sciences and Related Disciplines

It is an embarrassment to be associated with the academy when pathological idiocy of this sort is published and cited in the same manner as genuine intellectual/scientific endeavor… What the hell is wrong with us? — Jordan Peterson, Tweet with link to paper

One can follow the hyperlink to see what Peterson was specifically talking about (I didn’t quote from the paper Peterson was criticizing since it was too vulgar). But more generally, in a recording (which might already be deleted from the net), Peterson praised the RealPeerReview twitter website that highlighted some of the publications of the academics which Peterson was likely also referring to when he used the phrase “pathological idiocy.”

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Teleology in mindless BIBO stable cybernetic machines, compartmentalizing ID/Creation arguments

One definition I found for teleology:

the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise.

An example of a mindless machine that can be described in terms of teleology is an autopilot or missile guidance system. “The purpose of an autopilot or guidance system is to drive the vehicle to its destination.” One does not immediately have to invoke non-material minds for this proximal description of the system. In fact, no one would say there is a non-material spirit inside a missile guidance system. For that reason, any system exhibiting purposeful behavior (or dare we say moral-like behavior) cannot by default be assumed to have non-material soul.

Conflating core ID and Creation Science with issues of materialism just adds confusion factors. IDists and Creationists can talk about notions of a non-material soul, even some quantum physicists have hinted at it, but such discussions should be compartmentalized outside of core ID and creation science arguments that are built on analysis of probability. Perhaps questions of soul should be compartmentalized to the realm of unprovable faith statements.

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Conflicts and Fractures in the ID Community

I’ve committed the unpardonable sin several times of criticizing other ID proponents publicly, but when I think claims or methods need to be challenged, I feel obligated to speak out because I find myself contesting certain ways the ID argument is presented when I make presentations about ID and/or special creation.

The conflicts are over the relevance of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Information Theory, Specified Complexity, Conservation of Information, Framing Probability Arguments, and whether ID is science.

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Giving Evolutionary Biologists the Finger!

Evolution of KRAB Zinc Finger Proteins vs. the Law of Large Numbers

There are patterns in biology that violate the law of large numbers, and thus suggests Intelligent Design or at the very least statistical miracles. The pattern involves KRAB-ZnF proteins that have multiple zinc finger domains side by side that are inexact copies of each other and would require a scenario of co-evolution of their DNA binding partners with every additional zinc-finger insertion — a scenario indistinguishable from a miracle.

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God-made Bird Magnetic Perception Leverages QM/Spin Chemistry

This paper describes in lay terms the amazing ability of birds to “see” magnetic fields:

This is the BRAVURA paper that goes into QM/Spin Chemsitry details of the Bird Magnetic Perception:

A lot of it was over my head, although I supposedly have the physic background to understand it if I devote 2 months full time to learning the details. UGH! To see the formulas which may not render in your browser, you can download the PDF for free. It’s what I consider a REAL scientific paper vs. a story-telling paper pretending to be science.

Here are some wiki articles related to this, lots of it over my head:

The claim of “God-made” in the title is a statement of faith much like the claim that “nature-evolved” is a statement of faith.

Critical Analysis of a Paper on Evolution by Frameshift Translation

Ohno’s 1984 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science paper put forward the hypothesis that frameshift mutations can create novel proteins and illustrated his claim with the supposed evolution of nylon eating bacteria. Several researchers cite Ohno’s 1984 paper favorably including Dennis Venema, Ken Miller and our very own Arlin Stoltzfus of TSZ. Unfortunately, Ohno’s 1984 hypothesis, as far as nylon eating bacteria, is dead wrong.

Here is another paper that also cited Ohno’s 1984 hypothesis favorably. This paper may or may not hold promise as it claims to have found 470 frameshift translations in the human genome.

Frequent appearance of novel protein-coding sequences by frameshift translation

Now, just going through the first few examples of framshifts in the paper, when I actually went to the NIH GenBank to look up the exmaples I got messages like this for the very first “example”

NCBI Reference Sequence: NM_207478.1 (click to see this obsolete version)

Record removed. NM_207478.1 was permanently suppressed because currently there is insufficient support for the transcript and the protein.

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Promiscuous Domains and Motifs Are Better Explained by Common Design than Common Descent, (Sal’s module Hypothesis)

Dr. Winston Ewert put forward his module hypothesis, but I put forward an alternate module hypothesis at the domain and motif level of proteins. It is based actually on papers by evolutionists who have pointed out that the problem of “Promiscuous Domains” remains an unsolved problem in evolutionary biology.

When I put Promiscuous Domains on the table in the Common Design vs. Common Descent thread, the TSZ Darwinists ignored the problem and then declared victory. I viewed their non-response as evidence they didn’t understand the problem and/or preferred to ignore it.

Perhaps pictures are worth ten thousand words. From the NIH, that great source inspiration for the Intelligent Design community, we have the CDART database viewer.

From the CDART viewer, I provide a few of the thousands of diagrams that show the promiscuity of protein domains. The diagrams below show the classical zinc finger ZF-C2H2 “ZF” domain and the Plextrin Homology “PH” domains. Note how the location of domains is “shuffled” to different locations in different proteins. It’s as if proteins are made by different lego-like parts in different order and position. My preliminary look into small 4-amino acid motifs that are the target of phosphorylating kinases suggests the the problem of promiscuity goes all the way down to small motif levels.

Such promiscuity is more consistent with common design than common descent.
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Carter, Lee, Sanford’s ICC 2018 Adam and Eve paper, Congratulations Bill Basener

Bill Basener (a participant here) co-authored a paper with John Sanford. He was given the honor of delivering a KEYNOTE ADDRESS at an international SECULAR biology conference. A video of his presentation is available in a link inside my write up of his presentation below. He alluded to some of the helpful input from his critics at TheSkepticalZone in his talk:


John Sanford is sort of the “Papa John” of creationist genetics. It is customary for the leader of a research group to be listed as the last author in a publication. That convention is seen in a variety of papers and books such as Rupe & Sanford; Basener & Sanford; Carter, Lee & Sanford; Montanyez, Fernandez, Marks & Sanford; and let’s not forget the Legendary High Velocity Team of Klein, Wolf, Wu & Sanford that permanently ensured the infusion of intelligently designed genes into a sizable fraction of Genetically Modified Organisms on planet Earth.

And perhaps one day in the distant future there will be a paper, “Cordova & Sanford”! 🙂

Below is a link of a paper from Papa John’s team about Adam and Eve which will be presented this week, July 29,2018 – August 1, 2018 at the 8th International Conference on Creationism

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ICC 2018, mtDNA hetero and homoplasmy

In the link below are the abstracts with links to the papers presented at the International Conference on Creationism 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA July 29-August 1, 2018. Those presenting are professors at Christian colleges, professors already expelled from secular colleges, or professors at secular colleges who (by God’s grace) can’t be expelled. 🙂


A topic I will raise among the population geneticists there (John C. Sanford, Rob Carter, Nathaniel Jeanson, and others) is the issue of heteroplasmy in mtDNA as they are presenting on these topics.

Mature human cells have 100,000 to 600,000 mitochondrion. So how can a cell be mostly homoplasmic yet have mtDNA mutations that are reflected in lineages whereby an individual has a mostly homoplasmic mtDNA that enable us to identify the 7 daughters of Eve (to quote Oxford Geneticist Bryan Sykes).
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Powerful Evidence of Natural Selection on Society

As a card carrying Creationist, the video link below is one of the best arguments for the influence of natural selection on society as argued by Professor Walter Block. It also echoes arguments by Jerry Coyne vs. PZ Myers:
When ideology trumps biology

In my earlier post I pointed out the pervasive biological evidence that in both humans and other species, the conditions for sexual selection hold—a greater variance in male than in female reproductive output—probably explaining why men are bigger and stronger than women, and have beards and other secondary sexual differences. It also explains why male peacocks have showy tails, why male sage grouse do “jumping displays” to attract females, why male insects have weapons and ornaments, and so on. (See my bullet-point list of biological facts in that post.) Further, though Bateman’s experiments were flawed, they have been repeated properly in other species and have shown that, yes, males in general have the potential to have many more offspring than females: a higher variance in offspring number). — Jerry Coyne

It explains why matriarchal societies are unlikely, the 4-sigma smartest people will be men, the number of mentally ill and homeless are men, and why heads of countries and corporations will tend to be men and societies that are not patriarchal will not compete as well as societies that are.

It’s also April 1 today.

Prof. Walter Block is a professor of economics. He currently holds the Harold E. Wirth Chair in Economics at the J. A. Butt School of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. He is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.


Kondrashov’s Paper, Synergistic Epistasis, Soft Selection

Regarding Kondrashov’s paper Why have we not died 100 times over?, an internet “pupil” of mine who goes by the handle of “nomenmeum” asked what is synergistic epistasis and soft selection. The definition of synergistic epistasis seems to be the major issue as I don’t see the term much in literature. I don’t know exactly what it means. Does synergistic epistasis entail a change in S-coefficients?

For example in Brenda Andrews’ double and triple knockout experiments with yeast, the corresponding single knockout experiments had little-to-no noticeable effects, but several double and triple knockouts would clearly have deleterious effect when their component individual single knockouts did not in isolation.

Below is Brenda Andrews’ description of her experiment which I mentioned at Sandwalk in connection with the ENCODE 2015 planning meeting (Larry Moran knew Dr. Andrews as a graduate student at his school):
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Common Design vs. Common Descent

I promised John Harshman for several months that I would start a discussion about common design vs. common descent, and I’d like to keep my word to him as best as possible.

Strictly the speaking common design and common descent aren’t mutually exclusive, but if one invokes the possibility of recent special creation of all life, the two being mutually exclusive would be inevitable.

If one believes in a young fossil record (YFR) and thus likely believes life is young and therefore recently created, then one is a Young Life Creationist (YLC). YEC (young earth creationists) are automatically YLCs but there are a few YLCs who believe the Earth is old. So evidence in favor of YFR is evidence in favor of common design over common descent.

One can assume for the sake of argument the mainstream geological timelines of billions of years on planet Earth. If that is the case, special creation would have to happen likely in a progressive manner. I believe Stephen Meyer and many of the original ID proponents like Walter Bradley were progressive creationists.
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Invited responses to my nylonase research and the question of “New Proteins Without God’s Help”

Susumo Ohno (who coined the term “junkDNA”) published a paper in 1984 through the National Academy of Sciences that was used by the NCSE, Ken Miller and Dennis Venema to claim “proteins can evolve without God’s help”. At the request of John Sanford, a courtesy associate research professor at Cornell, I was recruited to write a paper to refute Ohno’s evolutionary hypothesis on nylonases. I wrote it under John’s guidance based on his intuitions about genetics, his life-long specialty of 40 years and for which he became famous as attested by the fact he is one of the few geneticists who had their work featured in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The actual paper is now in review, but it is not intended to be published in any journal, but will be released in a variety of channels shortly. It is hoped the material can be used by others to actually create papers that enter peer review. The motivation for releasing the paper in this way is to counter Venema’s book while it is still hot off the press.
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