Why does the DI avoid ‘design’ by non-IDists (read: most normal people)? Yes, design is obvious, just not IDism.

TSZ Moderator Mung wrote over at PS about why he is a design proponent (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/why-i-am-an-id-proponent/2955):

“[I] believe that design is obvious.”

Let’s be clearer and more accurate with our words than are most IDists at the Discovery Institute (DI) based in Seattle. I as well as most, if not all ‘skeptics’ here believe ‘human design’ is obvious. More importantly, however, so do most actual ‘design theorists’ around the world. Do you agree with us about the obvious reality of ‘human design’, Mung, or not?

IDists based at the epicentre of IDism at the DI in Seattle, as well as those who associate themselves with ‘Intelligent Design’ pretty much everywhere else globally, generally refuse to identify & discuss those ‘design theories’ as legitimate scholarship. Why? Is it an unspoken rule their followers are required to obey? Is it just a more than significant oversight on their part which they are innocent for making? Why otherwise would the DI studiously avoid, except for little nibbles of exposure here or there, a rather significant & well-attended field of study already in existence, using the same exact term as theirs: ‘design’?

Is it fathomable that this is because the DI knows that if they were to expose legitimate ‘design theorists’ who reject IDism as voices in their media echo chambers, those scholars & scientists, philosophers & even sometimes theologians, might outshine their own reactionary politically-oriented ‘intelligent design theories’ (acknowledging it the way they always officially write it now, in lowercase form, according to DI hidden policy) and thus upset the Founders & Donors of the IDM?

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Peaceful Science: A noble idea but at what cost?

As most readers at TSZ already know Dr. Swamidass is, or at least attempts to appear, as a new-age prophet with a noble idea of the unifying evolutionary science with Intelligent Design. Not bad a idea…huh? Peaceful relations between two world views… So what could be wrong with that? Right?

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Coywolf: New species or a change within a kind?

Coywolves have been threatening the peace and security of my neighbourhood for many years… Is coywolf an example of macroevolution in action right in front of our eyes? Is coywolf a new species? Or, is it an example of change (microevolution) within a kind?

“…It is perhaps more than a tad ironic to find that many of those who reject the very concept of evolution and demand an actual example of evolution happening before their very eyes, need look no further than their own back yards…”

This is up to Mung and people like him, who are seeking the true answers, to decide…

For those who would like to watch the full documentary please search:
Meet The Coywolf as it is copyright protected and can’t be embedded into the OP.

Special intelligence required to detect design

As most readers at TSZ are already aware according to the proponents of evolution it takes special intelligence to detect the apparent but striking designs in nature accomplished by random, natural processes of evolution.
According to this high-minded thought, whoever believes that life had to have been designed by an intelligent designer, and not by random, evolutionary processes, is ignorant and stupid…
Really? Continue reading

Eric Holloway needs our help (new post at Panda’s Thumb)

Just a note that I have put up a new post at Panda’s Thumb in response to a post by Eric Holloway at the Discovery Institute’s new blog Mind Matters. Holloway declares that critics have totally failed to refute William Dembski’s use of Complex Specified Information to diagnose Design. At PT, I argue in detail that this is an exactly backwards reading of the outcome of the argument.

Commenters can post there, or here — I will try to keep track of both.

There has been a discussion of Holloway’s argument by Holloway and others at Uncommon Descent as well (links in the PT post). gpuccio also comments there trying to get someone to call my attention to an argument about Complex Functional Information that gpuccio made in the discussion of that earlier. I will try to post a response on that here soon, separate from this thread.

Evolution of homosexuality. A paradox?

It really makes my day whenever I read “scientific theories” that don’t fit the main paradigm or predictions of evolutionary theory. The evolution of homosexuality is one of my favorite paradoxes, maybe with the exception of gender evolution/sexual reproduction, that I’m going to save for another OP.

It doesn’t take Einstein to notice that the evolution of homosexuality is not only a paradox but it totally contradicts the driving force of evolution, which is supposed to be reproduction. Since homosexuals can’t reproduce, not in homosexual relations, a problem for evolutionary theory arises. Why would homosexuality evolve in the first place? But more so, why would natural selection preserve homosexuality?

However, as it is with many, many other evolutionary paradoxes the theories to explain them abound… Check out this one of the evolution of homosexuality:

The evolution of homosexuality: A new theory | Richard Prum

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Alternative evolution

For those who are sceptical of a reductionistic view of evolution where blind forces and accidental mergings are purported to account for the observed diversity of life, here is an alternative theory. This approach begins from a standpoint that assumes mind and consciousness to be primal as opposed to the above view which treats lifeless physical substance and forces and nothing more as the originator of life.

The primal mind and consciousness I will call spiritual, the physical substance and forces I will call material.

In my opinion the material is condensed out of the spiritual. So I am just giving an explanation of evolution to be considered and not trying to pass anything I say below as fact. Continue reading

The challenge to creationism? Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig

Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig-
is one of my favorite “creationists”,  though similarly to my views, he doesn’t want to be identified with the main stream creationism…I would like to know why…

I don’t think I’m going to persuade this kind and caliber of the scientist to defend his 40+ year work of experimental mutagenesis on plants to defend anything on this crummy blog… So, what we can do, is to quote Dr. Lonnigs papers and public statements on his views on creationism, evolution, and especially the law of recurrent variation.

What is the Law of Recurrent Variation?

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Are genetic mutations really random?

Darwinism, or whatever is left of it, assumes that all genetic mutations are random.

Why?

Because any kind of non-random guidance or foresight in the process of evolution could imply intelligence and, God forbid, God himself… Since the first commandment requiring exclusive devotion of materialists is: No Intelligence Allowed – materialism is the dominating force in “science” even if the evidence points in the other direction (Darwinist have to insist  that the evolutionary process is as blind as a bat, or as blind as Darwinists themselves and even deny any indications of directions in genetic mutations). So, mutations have to be preached as random processes even if any experimental evidence is indicating otherwise…

Are all genetic mutations really random?

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Origins Discussions – What Would be the First Question You’d Ask?

Given that you are a ______________________ (your particular informative specialty, background &/or theological/worldview approach to the topic), what would be the first question(s) you’d like to ask to start a discussion on the topic of the origins of life and the origins of human beings if you could ask:

1) A person who is confused about why people use their precious free time to join websites & forums (such as this one), chat sites, groups, on-line meetings rooms, and listserves, who attend conferences, workshops, presentations and talks delivered about origins & processes of natural & human history, including monumental & meaningful topics involving science, philosophy & theology/worldview discourse.

2) An atheist or agnostic who thinks evolutionary biology, the ‘Evolutionary Epic’ (as in E.O. Wilson, D.S. Wilson, Connie Barlow, et al.) &/or evolutionism as an ideology that buttresses their personal worldview, makes it very difficult if not impossible to believe in the Creator-God attested to in Abrahamic monotheistic scriptures and institutions.

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Was quantum mechanics use by biological systems predicted by evolution?

As most of the readers at TSZ already know, quantum mechanics, but especially a fairly new branch of it – quantum biology, are some of my favorite subjects and a part of the many hobbies I have. Quantum biology is not only fascinating but it is clear that it is going to be, and it already is in many cases, the science of the not so distant future.

Why?

Let’s just quote one article:

” …by applying quantum mechanics to biology, we’re beginning to unravel some of science’s biggest and longest running mysteries. The burgeoning field of quantum biology is today, helping us to understand bird migration, photosynthesis, and maybe even our sense of smell…” Continue reading

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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Peaceful Science has eclipsed Uncommon Descent. How will that impact TSZ’s reason to be?

The original mission of TSZ, as intended by the U.K.’s Dr. Elizabeth Liddle, who promoted the site to apostate peers & ‘skeptics,’ often at anti-religious online forums, lists & discussion boards, has passed its due date. She & they (many of the early people who joined) shared the experience in common of being ‘expelled’ (banned) from the IDist blog Uncommon Descent (UD) & to have their own sandbox to critique UD was the main mission of TSZ. There was no ‘inspirational’ core that Liddle offered upon departure from her own site, but returning to it in November to talk mainly about UD again could only be a fool’s errand.

My argument here is that UD is by now pretty much outdated. UD is generally seen as oddball &/or gutter-level IDist discussion, far adrift from serious conversation on the topic. It is shrinking in relevance now year on year. It thus isn’t really worth ‘reporting’ on or ‘opposing’ UD at TSZ anymore, though that IDist site was the early focus of TSZ & what brought many (most) of the early participants together. Is UD really worth time for ‘skeptics’ nowadays?

More importantly, the new blog Peaceful Science (PS) has recently surpassed BioLogos in terms of daily & hourly regular traffic & far outreaches the topics that UD used to breach. It has actual scientists, elderly or retired ‘science & religion/worldview’ people who contribute often a LOT, woolly protestants & ‘unitarian’ (or maybe just one who posts as much as 5 people), pedantic ‘natural theologians’, & S. Joshua Swamidass actually just called one person a ‘prophet’ as a welcome greeting. PS even ‘welcomes’ atheists (Swamidass has made it a point to defend Freedom From Religion Foundation proponent who is a self-described ‘militant atheist’ against multiple Christians) & agnostics & patiently fields all legitimate ‘scientific’ questions. Are you skeptical of ‘Peaceful Science’ and a ‘Science of Adam’ as proclaimed by quasi-creationists, ideology-starved geneticists & fence-sitting ‘reformers’?

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Adam, Eve and Nephilim bottleneck-The theistic solution

Most readers of TSZ are probably familiar with the ongoing debate about the supposed genomic evidence that makes it scientifically impossible that the human lineage could have ever passed through a population bottleneck of just two individuals, Adam and Eve, as per Abrahamic beliefs…

The population genetics assumption is that Adam and Eve could NOT have been the only two contributors to the human pool of genes. The supporters of evolution and experts in population genetics say that the evidence points to at least 10 000 individuals  and therefore the biblical description of the act of creation of a pair of two humans must be wrong and therefore the theory of evolution must be right… something like that…

Most of readers are probably familiar with population genetics pros and cons. I could contribute a few of my own, such as: What is the evidence that mutation rate observed in humans today equals the mutation rate (if any) of Adam and Eve after they sinned or after the bottleneck of Noah +7 people? It is obviously assumed… This is  a typical example how ideology drives so-called science or how it pollutes it. However, this is not the main point of my OP.

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Forbidden Archaeology

Many years ago Michael Cremo and Richard L. Thompson wrote a book entitled Forbidden Archaeology. Cremo discusses it here

They claim that humans in their modern anatomical form have existed for millions of years and that “knowledge filtration” occurs where the evidence supporting the dominant theories of the time pass through with ease whereas contradictory evidence is filtered out.

An NBC broadcast narrated by Charlton Heston based on the book can be viewed here

At the end of an interview given in the making of the film, Thompson had this to say:

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Universal Common Descent Dilemma

  1. Despite lack of observational basis, Darwin proposed Universal Common Descent (UCD) saying:Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed“. He also said elsewhere (referring to UCD): “…the littlest creature (or four or five of them)…” With his remarks, Darwin left the door open to creation (“life was first breathed”), but since then, Neo-Darwinists have rejected creation and replaced it with belief in undirected abiogenesis while maintaining belief in UCD.
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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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