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.

Many ID proponents and creationists privately concede the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is not an argument against the evolution biological organization. If I asked sophomore chemistry, physics, and mechanical engineering students to use standard molar entropy tables, they can demonstrate a living human has MORE entropy than a frozen dead rat. Thus, it is silly to argue that somehow lowering entropy is a requirement for making complex biological systems. There are many cases the opposite is necessary! Nuff’ said…

AE Wilder-Smith in his famous debate with Richard Dawkins introduced the idea of chemicals plus information are necessary for the origin of life. Generations of ID proponents and creationists have equivocated, confused, and muddled the issue with conflicting definitions of information ever since Wilder-Smith, and the outcome has had mixed results.

Contrast Wilder-Smith’s arguments with how James Tour (620 peer-reviewed articles, 77,000+ citations) argues against natural origin of life. He doesn’t need information theory!

Worse, consider the following simple example of design in the arrangement of dominoes standing up. If I asked why is this arrangement of dominoes likely designed based on ID information theory arguments, Specified Complexity, Conservation of Information, one will quickly realize all ID information theory arguments confuse the issue at best. Simpler arguments based on expectation and law-of-large-numberESQUE arguments will suffice.

Ask yourself, if one can’t even apply Specified Complexity, Conservation of Information Arguments, to trivial designs like dominoes, how can these arguments be persuasive to much more involved designs like that in the Origin of Life, Zinc Fingers and Nuclear Localizations Signals in Eukaryotes? Eeesh! More mathematical theatrics does not make an argument better. Substance rather than theatrics is better.

The way to frame probability arguments so as to avoid the claims of after-the-fact-Texas sharpshooter fallacies needs to be addressed more. It can be done, but not enough has been done on this…

ID proponents do not serve their cause well, imho, by saying, “ID is science.” It ends up being a red herring, and opponents of ID would love ID proponents to make this claim because ID proponents will be taken to task for saying it. I get a lot of hatred from ID types for saying things like ID falsifiable, not science, not positive, not directly testable. But if I, as a card carrying creationist and card carrying Discovery Institute donor can see the problems of saying “ID is science,” how much more anyone else, especially those on the fence.

The best pro-ID talk I’ve ever heard was by someone who doesn’t even identify as an ID proponent, James Tour. His infamous talk at a Discovery Institute-sponsored event is the model that ID proponents should follow. [See the ironically titled article James Tour: Liar for Jesus]. The other model of arguing for ID AND special creation was by John Sanford at his infamous talk at the NIH. [see Famous Geneticist Tells NIH that Humans Are Going Extinct].

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158 thoughts on “Conflicts and Fractures in the ID Community

  1. newton: I agree when one uses a quote which is misleading or ,redundantly, a quote used by creationist website , it smacks of trying to keep a dogma on life support .

    You used Doolittle as an authority . Now he is a hack . Doolittle is advocating , not the miraculous , but a much more complex tree using observed mechanisms for explanation.

    Why don’t admit you don’t care? You wouldn’t waste your time I wouldn’t waste mine…
    Do you know what the differences is between people like you and flat earthers?

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  2. newton: Does he or does he advocate multiple lines of common descent?

    “One question is, can we extrapolate back from this data set to describe the most recent common ancestor. I don’t necessarily buy that there is a single ancestor. It’s counterintuitive to me. I think we may have thousands of recent common ancestors and they are not necessarily so common.”Craig Venter

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  3. newton: How does one make a prokaryotic cell evolve into eukaryotic one?

    No idea, but then not sure how to hit a golf ball straight either. But it does happen. Read the article you quoted, Doolittle has some ideas.

    Of course!
    Intelligence can’t figure it out, so next obvious, logical conclusion would be that blind dumb luck must’ve guided it…

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  4. keiths:
    J_Mac,

    Gee, I wonder what t and r stand for in the Schrödinger equation.

    Something must be wrong with quantum mechanics since Schrodinger’s equations are written in the stone alone side the omnipotent natural selection…😉

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  5. faded_Glory:
    Hey Sal, if the world is optimised for scientific discovery, there must be loads of evidence that the Earth is only 6000 years old, right? Where is it? I’m asking because 200 years of geological science has so far failed to find any of it.

    You won’t find it, because that malevolent God that Sal worships prefers to hide it.

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  6. J-Mac: Why don’t admit you don’t care?

    I cared enough to find and read Dolittle’s entire article, it was interesting. Thanks for directing me to it.

    You wouldn’t waste your time I wouldn’t waste mine…

    I don’t consider learning new things as a waste of time, your choices are your own.

    Do you know what the differences is between people like you and flat earthers?

    Yes, I believe the Earth is not flat.

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  7. stcordova: GeoCentrism is false. If it were true we would not be able to fly space craft successfully around the Solar System, because space craft are designed to fly on the assumption of a NON-geocentric universe and solar system. The Solar System is well-approximated by HelioCentrism (with some minor adjustment for the effect planetary gravitational fields). GeoCentric models are not consistent with any theory of gravity!

    Would you reconsider?
    http://nonlin.org/univcenter/
    2. Helio-versus-Geo-centrism is the incorrect “right-versus-wrong”, “science-versus-religion” story repeated over and over. The truth is in fact more nuanced as no coordinates system or law of mechanics supports this story. Newton’s law states that “two bodies attract each other with a force…”, so no preference for Earth or Sun. And while General Relativity attributes gravity to the space-time curvature, it conserves the neutrality between Helio- and Geo-centrism.

    Now back to your OP. What do you mean “a living human has MORE entropy than a frozen dead rat”? Can you show your work? Does “frozen” have a special meaning? Because “evolution” is not about frozen anything.

    Would you say that mole-for-mole humans have lower entropy than bacteria?

    Are you saying abiogenesis is consistent with second law of thermodynamics? Because it isn’t. Stuff just doesn’t put itself together in violation of the second law. And you can bombard as much as you want with energy and abiogenesis still won’t happen as Urey-Miller failed experiment showed.

    I have also criticized “Specified Complexity”, and (unlike you) have proposed a design detection method that DOES work (also discussed here at TSZ). This makes ID scientific. In contrast, “evolution” is clearly and demonstrably false (many arguments also discussed here at TSZ) which differentiates the two contrary to your claim.

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  8. Nonlin.org: 2. Helio-versus-Geo-centrism is the incorrect “right-versus-wrong”, “science-versus-religion” story repeated over and over. The truth is in fact more nuanced as no coordinates system or law of mechanics supports this story. Newton’s law states that “two bodies attract each other with a force…”, so no preference for Earth or Sun. And while General Relativity attributes gravity to the space-time curvature, it conserves the neutrality between Helio- and Geo-centrism.

    The axis of evil, or CMBs are another indicators that there is a special direction in space pointing toward the earth…
    No, Geo-centrism is nog making its comeback even if it is true…the whole cosmology would have to be scrapped beginning with the big bang model…

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