Design Dissimilarity

At Uncommon Descent, Mung makes an assertion that other creationists have raised from time to time:

However, I don’t see why similarity in design necessarily implies common descent. If an architect designs two slightly dissimilar buildings one after the other, where is the common descent in this process? I am assuming that by common descent, one means that the species arose via a long sequence of sexual reproduction events acted upon by random variations.

As a software engineer, I know I don’t use any kind of sexual reproduction mechanism to derive one class of objects from another. Why could not the designers have a huge database of pre-designed genes to choose from and with which to create new species of animals and humans? And why would they need sexual reproduction to accomplish this? Beings that advanced could easily incubate newly designed species outside the womb, no?

The problem with Mung’s assertion – and with ID in general – is the assumption that biology looks like the product of human design. That assumption underlies all design arguments.  Mung even voices that assumption – “If an architect designs…” and “As a software engineer, I know…” The problem is that such an assumption also oversimplifies human design as the same technique, the same premises, and the same approaches for all the various things we have – buildings, software, golf clubs, tanks, smartphones, etc. But these items do not come from the same design approaches – not even close. It’s one of the reasons we have specialists like architects, mechanical engineers, software developers, structural engineers, synthetic biologists, and so on. Designer buildings, for example, requires a very different concept of purpose and functionality and a whole different set of issues to address than designing a smartphone. While some of the design considerations may be similar across various fields, many use completely different design tools, concepts, functional constraints, and techniques wholly unique to the field.

As such, assertions like Mung’s above make no sense given the variety of organisms out there. Sure, a designer could have “a huge database of pre-designed genes to choose from and with which to create new species of animals and humans”, but if a designer had such tools at his or her disposal, the dissimilarity of organic forms makes little sense. Why? Because, if – as Mung assumes – the designer is ‘like an architect’, then organism design parameters would be based on the same, or at least very similar, functional and form limits. In other words, in architecture, styles are conserved and only vary slightly across schools of design, mostly because in architecture all designers are based on the need to protect occupants from elements. As new architects break with certain schools, designs, some aspects of design become more varied – such as building materials, size, interior configuration, and so on – but the overall architectural design parameter – protection for occupants – is still conserved.  The animal kingdom does not show such conservation except at the genus level however. Why? Were there different designers for different genuses and phyla? Different schools of design at different earth ages? If not, why did styles change so drastically across many of the genuses, but not within them? That’s where the analogy to human design completely breaks down and where the assumption of a designer makes little sense.

ETA: Fixed blockquote and other HTML tags

 

47 thoughts on “Design Dissimilarity

  1. The architect, of course, would have to have at his disposal, the library of Babel.

    Perhaps kariosfocus could compute the size of the library.

  2. A magic designer has no limits to his capabilities, but a real designer would have to have some way of storing, indexing and cataloging all the possible genes and their variants.

    Not to mention all the possible regulatory sequences and their effects on development in all the possible environments.

    And the effects on reproductive success in all the possible competitive niches.

    Are we at the limit of storage capacity of the universe yet? How about the multiverse?

  3. Their entirely ad-hoc rationalization about how the designer operated, is just that, entirely ad-hoc. And they only do it in order to try to square the twin nested hierarchies predicted by an evolutionary mechanism with the design assertion.

    If their designer really had some huge library of genes and then went in to this library and picked genes according to creative whim and occasional physical constraint, we’d actually expect most organisms to be overwhelmingly chimeric in traits and physiology, and we’d expect an overwhelming hodge-podge of networks and star-trees in phylogenetics.

    Other suggestions from ID proponents amount to suggesting that the designer operates by first creating some basic lifeform(presumably in temporal order matching the fossil record chronologies), then over time deriving the rest of the biosphere from this first basic entity by adding new genes and complexity over time, creating new species which serve as further “templates” for new derivations.
    In other words, a designer that goes out of it’s way to make it look like evolution did it over millions of years.

    So there, that’s what they have. Ad-hoc rationalization that the designer is trying extremely hard to make it look like evolution.

  4. Oh yeah, the whole “the designer could be anyone”-thing.

    Right, a designer that has apparently traveled through interstellar space and found our planet ripe for the project sometime shortly after it formed and cooled enough, been alive for billions of years, can intervene anywhere on the surface of an entire planet, design, manufacture and subsequently fine-tune and balance the evolution and coexistence of millions of species of organisms in all sorts of environments, from buried in hard rock several kilometers into the Earth’s crust to the deepest oceans and highest mountains, is unaffected by the very same extinction events that periodically wipes out most of the biosphere due to asteroid impacts, volcanic activity, climate change etc. etc.

    And it has nothing to do with god or the supernatural. Right!

    So, how many ID proponents actually really believe in the super-alien hypothesis? I’m guessing none.

  5. Rumraket,

    Their entirely ad-hoc rationalization about how the designer operated, is just that, entirely ad-hoc. And they only do it in order to try to square the twin nested hierarchies predicted by an evolutionary mechanism with the design assertion.

    And even many evolutionists (particularly theistic evolutionists) don’t understand exactly how steep the odds are against design, even of the “guided evolution” form.

    So there, that’s what they have. Ad-hoc rationalization that the designer is trying extremely hard to make it look like evolution.

    Or is somehow limited to doing so. Either deceptive or weak. Not the kind of Designer they actually have in mind.

    P.S. Robin, could you add a !–more– tag to your OP? That’ll keep more posts on the front page and conveniently clickable.

  6. Rumraket:
    Their entirely ad-hoc rationalization about how the designer operated, is just that, entirely ad-hoc. And they only do it in order to try to square the twin nested hierarchies predicted by an evolutionary mechanism with the design assertion.

    If their designer really had some huge library of genes and then went in to this library and picked genes according to creative whim and occasional physical constraint, we’d actually expect most organisms to be overwhelmingly chimeric in traits and physiology, and we’d expect an overwhelming hodge-podge of networks and star-trees in phylogenetics.

    Other suggestions from ID proponents amount to suggesting that the designer operates by first creating some basic lifeform(presumably in temporal order matching the fossil record chronologies), then over time deriving the rest of the biosphere from this first basic entity by adding new genes and complexity over time, creating new species which serve as further “templates” for new derivations.
    In other words, a designer that goes out of it’s way to make it look like evolution did it over millions of years.

    So there, that’s what they have. Ad-hoc rationalization that the designer is trying extremely hard to make it look like evolution.

    This precisely. Of course, I did not even get into the problem of plant life to the design explanation, which adds another layer of design differentiation that cannot be adequately explained.

  7. keiths:

    P.S. Robin, could you add a !–more– tag to your OP?That’ll keep more posts on the front page and conveniently clickable.

    I’d be happy to, but I don’t know what that means. Where is this – more – tag?

  8. If theists would accept evolution, but understand it as the evolving of their god’s design plan — well, I’d be okay with that (as long as they don’t expect that to be taught in the schools).

  9. Why did The Designer create vertebrate wings out of terrestrial forelimbs every time? Maybe the first time, pterosaurs, assuming that it wasn’t a very bright sort of Designer, but then bat wings had to be designed from mammalian forelimbs, not pterosaur wings?

    That’s what these people really need to answer.

    There’s another odd fact. They know that derivative features point to “microevolution.” The same class of derivative features point to Design instead of (or as a part of) “macroevolution.” Wut? And then they never know where their “microevolution” ends and their “macroevolution” begins. Well, it ought to be easy, it’s where Design can be seen.

    No, wait, it’s always the other way around, “Design” is “seen” wherever it is that “microevolution” ends–because they’re not at all finding any real evidence for Design, just assuming it where they deny that evolution occurs.

    Sorry, no, IDists, family resemblances indicate non-miraculous relatedness unless there is a genuine break. There is no real break whatsoever, just family resemblances. I’d say “Deal with it,” but they have proven their ability never to deal with it straightforwardly.

    Glen Davidson

  10. The problem with Mung’s assertion – and with ID in general – is the assumption that biology looks like the product of human design.

    The reason that biology looks like the product of human design, is that religions has been pushing that view since forever.

    I don’t see it. When Dawkins says there’s an appearance of design, I disagree. I remember back, as a child, noticing how easy it is to distinguish between designed things (such as artificial flowers) and natural things (such as natural flowers).

  11. Neil Rickert: The reason that biology looks like the product of human design, is that religions has been pushing that view since forever.

    And that human design often mimics biology….

    Some thoughts on this software analogy thing. Good code has comments in it. Products have manufacturers stamps. In “Contact” the great designer left a message in PI. If you write a book called ‘signature in the cell”, perhaps you should look for an actual signature?

  12. Robin: I’d be happy to, but I don’t know what that means. Where is this – more – tag?

    Done. You can move it if you don’t like where I put it.

    Just position the cursor where you want to break (with the visual view), and click the button with the picture of a page with dotted line in the middle. To remove the tag, find the break and use the delete key.

  13. Compare this to this.

    Both by I.M. Pei, and they resemble each other as closely as humans do chimps and vice versa. Or, uh, maybe as much as a tree resembles an elephant, anyway–but minus the DNA similarities.

    It’s a perfect analogy with evolution, except for every place that it fails, and any IDist knows how to avoid those places.

    Glen Davidson

  14. how easy it is to distinguish between designed things (such as artificial flowers) and natural things (such as natural flowers).

    Until you get to crystals, and then the uninitiates will have a hard time telling apart shapes due to cutting and those formed naturally. I’ve long said that the only “natural” things that normally look “designed” are crystals. Organisms look reproduced, in quite another category entirely, even though there is functional overlap between design and, well, evolution.

    Dawkins seems to universalize his own experiences rather too much. Of course he understood life to “appear designed” because that’s what he’d been told, but that’s not a universal belief, nor an obvious one. I’d like to ask him what he thinks life appears designed for, but I assume it’s to reproduce, fly, swim, whatever, without getting to a true telos.

    He’s not a philosopher or very capable of dealing with philosophical questions, or he’d long have realized that the “appearance of design” is based on a rather trite but ingrained notion that function (functionality, anyway) = design.

    Glen Davidson

  15. Neil Rickert: Done.You can move it if you don’t like where I put it.

    Just position the cursor where you want to break (with the visual view), and click the button with the picture of a page with dotted line in the middle.To remove the tag, find the break and use the delete key.

    Oh! That’s pretty cool. Didn’t know about that break feature. Thanks Neil! I think that the break location is fine.

  16. Neil Rickert: The reason that biology looks like the product of human design, is that religions has been pushing that view since forever.

    I don’t see it.When Dawkins says there’s an appearance of design, I disagree.I remember back, as a child, noticing how easy it is to distinguish between designed things (such as artificial flowers) and natural things (such as natural flowers).

    I agree Neil. My confusion with such assertions as a child was trying to figure out where to draw the line for designed vs not designed. I mean, what’s the difference when looking at a rock or a crab? What why would a creator take the time to design crabs, but let nature make rocks. And if nature can make rocks, why can’t nature make trees? And if nature can make trees, clearly it can make crabs. So where’s this creator come in?

    I never could figure out what distinguished a designed thing – other than human designed things, which were obvious – and a not designed thing in nature.

    ETA: Oh…and human designed things were obvious to me because they all had one thing in common – all human designed things are used in some activity by humans. So I was baffled at the claim that things in the world, such as living creatures or rocks or sand or water or whathaveyou, were designed by some Creator because I never could find any evidence that He used such things in any way.

  17. Machines have vestigial parts. This morning — moments after reading the OP, my wife asked me which way the flat side of a sewing machine needle goes.

    The answer evokes thoughts of 150 years of sewing machine evolution, much of it involving plagiarism or horizontal transfer. Things got copied from distressful brands without removing fiddly bits that have no function in the receiving design.

    Anyone who has spent a lifetime repairing things has seen evidence of inheritance in machines. Circuit boards with places marked off for parts no longer needed.

    My argument would be that IDists fail to admit the existence of incremental modification and marketplace selection, even when they have access to the history of objects. They seem to think that “intelligence” means the ability to produce complex things whole — from the forehead of Zeus, as it were, without tinkering and iterative testing.

    Perhaps this is why we get occasional notable design fiascoes.

    Having said this, I am in complete agreement that the structure of biological inheritance is stark contrast to the kind of inheritance you see in human designs. Whatever designs biology doesn’t think at all like a human. Perhaps it is Cthulhu. that might explain all the red in tooth and claw stuff.

  18. In a brief exploration of UD (my supply of brain-bleach is running low), I did not find Mung’s original text. So I might be missing something in his context, but it seems to me that he is arguing rather effectively against design:

    Why could not the designers have a huge database of pre-designed genes to choose from and with which to create new species of animals and humans?

    Why indeed? Yet the DNA phylogenies clearly show that this has NOT happened.

    And why would they need sexual reproduction to accomplish this? Beings that advanced could easily incubate newly designed species outside the womb, no?

    Why indeed? Why all this sex? Why have intromission at all?
    [As a young boy, I found Genesis 3 rather perplexing: Adam’s reaction when he eats the apple is “I’m naked, better cover up!”, rather than “Woah! Where did that thing come from?”, which led me to ponder on the whole ‘made in God’s image’ thingie. Does God have a … you know… and what does He use it for?]
    As I understand it, Mung is telling me that this equipment is quite unnecessary.
    Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

  19. DNA_Jock:

    Does God have a … you know… and what does He use it for?

    The Mormons say yes, and He uses it for making babies… with His many wives.

  20. This is a very important point for the whole evolution evidence issue.
    Trulyt I find a logical fallacy in evolutionists USING the likeness concept as SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE for common descent. It makes sense to them. it hits instinct and hunch compenents of human thought.
    Yet , BE IT RIGHT OR WRONG, I say its not SCIENTIFIC evidence for evolution.
    However reasonable it could be to intelligent thoughtful people seeking the truth/accuracy of origins of nature.

    IF there are other options for likeness THEN i say it nullify’s, even if not true, the claim of likeness equals EVIDENCE for common descent.
    I’m striking here at the logic behind the evidence claim that likeness equals common descent.
    Truly a error in logic and in scientific methodology has happened in these subjects. science is to eliminate these errors of methodology and so , in this case, its not science to say likeness equals common descent. Even if true that likeness was from common descent.

    Its another point about a thinking being, on the principal of physics, would likewise use laws in biology and so likeness could come from common design at basic levels.
    We could all have eyes because of creation week and simply we all needed them and so a single biological equation gives separately created kinds EYES.

    Good thread but no good for historic and modern evolutionist thinking.

  21. (The usual anatomical issue that is raised is: did Adam have a belly-button?)

    Anyway, the pattern of similarity of phenotypes that supports common descent is that the evolutionary trees inferred from one set of phenotypes are supported by the patterns inferred from other sets. This is especially convincing when the phenotypes are molecular sequences of unrelated parts of the genome. Doug Theobald has made a widely-cited formal statistical test of this.

    (And no, I am not saying the tree of life is perfectly, and in all cases and in every respect, a tree — we all know of case of hybridization or of horizontal gene transfer).

    To make a Common Design argument for this requires lots of mental gymnastics.

  22. ERVs. Indel patterns. Intronic and intergenic sequences. Silent substitutions. Counts of repetitive sequence. Karyotype organisation.

    And so on, and so on, and so on, and so on. As a software engineer, I know copy-and-paste when I see it.

  23. keiths,

    Theobald’s analysis has been subject to criticism, the argument being that his result was an inevitable consequence of the method – sequence similarity was inferentially taken to demonstrate common ancestry before this analysis, and sequence similarity will give overwhelming weight to common ancestry over a ‘null’ of random or multi-ancestor models.

    Single common ancestry is still well-supported, of course, by the common genetic system in which protein coding sequences gain significance. There is a nonzero possibility that the bases of a sequence descend independently from a non-coding ancestor, but it’s hard to see what they could have done in it, and yet make such a nifty core protein when processed by a ribosome. And even these hypothetical disparate organisms are more likely than not to have shared a prior ancestor.

  24. Rumraket: If their designer really had some huge library of genes and then went in to this library and picked genes according to creative whim and occasional physical constraint, we’d actually expect most organisms to be overwhelmingly chimeric in traits and physiology, and we’d expect an overwhelming hodge-podge of networks and star-trees in phylogenetics.

    Precisely. It’s not mere similarity, but the nested hierarchy (not to mention the consilience of other evidence).

  25. It’s not just sequence similarity, but also the fact that you can reconstruct a common ancestral sequence and the functional intermediates that diverge to the extant sequences. At least this has been demonstrated.

    I suspect — despite the efforts of Axe — that this kind of work will become common.

  26. petrushka,

    Yes, but in the specific area probed by Theobald – the coalescence of the assumed ‘three kingdoms’ – there isn’t a comparative structure for construction of a series of changes. Universal proteins offer a ‘flat’ view of phylogeny. Even lineage differences are subject to artefacts – loss as well as acquisition (HGT), saturation, homoplasy, bitwise loss of sequence identity with retention of structural integrity – particularly at this distance.

  27. Joe Felsenstein:
    (The usual anatomical issue that is raised is: did Adam have a belly-button?)

    Anyway, the pattern of similarity of phenotypes that supports common descent is that the evolutionary trees inferred from one set of phenotypes are supported by the patterns inferred from other sets.This is especially convincing when the phenotypes are molecular sequences of unrelated parts of the genome.Doug Theobald has made a widely-cited formal statistical test of this.

    (And no, I am not saying the tree of life is perfectly, and in all cases and in every respect, a tree — we all know of case of hybridization or of horizontal gene transfer).

    To make a Common Design argument for this requires lots of mental gymnastics.

    Not gymnastics but roll with the punch.
    by the way Adam wouldn’t have a belly hole but I have SPECULATED Adam could self reproduce. this suggested by the fact he didn’t seemly expect a female version to come despite seeing animals. therefore the rib taken out was really this organ for self reproducing. So woman comes.

    There is no reason , from common design, to not see excellent math in biology.
    anything can be reduced to like biological laws for like needs. Not that all biology came from a few basics but that its laws are the basics.
    Physics is the example. Like physics is not from a tree of growth. yet its laws are constant everywhere.
    Again however this is all reasoning.
    Where is the SCIENTIFIC genetic evidence for the claim that a tree is behind DNA results? You guys are still just using logic based on presumptions. No vigorous science going on here.
    thats why creationists can invoke easily common design to beat common descent.

  28. Robert Byers,

    thats why creationists can invoke easily common design to beat common descent.

    You can invoke it only in blissful ignorance of why it fails. You choose to forget or ignore that the genome is a whole, consisting of much more than the ‘blueprint’ of an organism. You can excise huge chunks with no effect. The parts that are important do not closely correlate with form.

    Common descent predicts similarity throughout – if you copy, you copy fluff as well as detail, so if a process of copying is involved, the pattern of fluff should accord with that. And guess what? It does. To dismiss that as ‘not scientific’ is … well, site rules and all that.

    Common Design predicts similarity only in the parts that ‘make an organism’, and even then only in those parts that say ‘make a similar organism’. Unless your Designer wishes to deceive investigators. It’s curious how ignorant you have to be in order not to be deceived by God. He’s gone to such an awful lot of trouble to fool scientists, it would seem churlish not to oblige.

  29. Allan Miller:
    Robert Byers,

    You can invoke it only in blissful ignorance of why it fails. You choose to forget or ignore that the genome is a whole, consisting of much more than the ‘blueprint’ of an organism. You can excise huge chunks with no effect. The parts that are important do not closely correlate with form.

    Common descent predicts similarity throughout – if you copy, you copy fluff as well as detail, so if a process of copying is involved, the pattern of fluff should accord with that. And guess what? It does. To dismiss that as ‘not scientific’ is … well, site rules and all that.

    Common Design predicts similarity only in the parts that ‘make an organism’, and even then only in those parts that say ‘make a similar organism’. Unless your Designer wishes to deceive investigators. It’s curious how ignorant you have to be in order not to be deceived by God. He’s gone to such an awful lot of trouble to fool scientists, it would seem churlish not to oblige.

    Common design does not predict likeness but only that likeness can be predicted by common design . there are other reasons for extra details.
    AFTER the common design has been made and the systems are from a common design THEN easily like things, though unrelated and separate, can have like response to need or prompting.
    Fluff can come from like origin though in unrelated and separated biology. Why not?
    Its not demanding, certainly not evidence but only reasoning, that fluff is fluff. It could be serious biological reactions long forgotten.
    in fact creationism believing in common design would very likely predict fluff sameness in biology created separately. there are mutual systems in biology that can create like fluff for like prompting.
    Its a nervous line of reasoning to say common descent is shown by biology with comon results.
    One must KNOW there could not be common design behind it all in some way.
    How would one know that?

  30. Robert Byers,

    Its not demanding, certainly not evidence but only reasoning, that fluff is fluff. It could be serious biological reactions long forgotten.

    A lot of it is. But that’s irrelevant: it is not active now. It is not transcribed or translated, you can cut it out with no effect whatsoever. It is ex-coding. It has shuffled off this immortal coil. It is deceased. It is … And yet it is copied along with everything else. This is based on evidence, not ‘reasoning’.

    If we find your DNA at a crime scene, you will be incriminated by Common Descent evidence. Distinctive sequence that has nothing to do with making you human can be harvested from your cheek cells, and is inferred to be commonly descended with the semen or hair found at the scene. Good luck with your defence: “It’s just a line of reasoning your honour. The DNA was commonly designed”.

    Now (because it suits you) you will insist that it might be admissible and scientific within a species, but exactly the same methods do not apply across species. Yet you insist, at the same time, that there was massive speciation after the ark, to expand the ‘kinds’. This is common descent. But I know you don’t care about the ludicrous inconsistencies in your position.

    One must KNOW there could not be common design behind it all in some way. How would one know that?

    You don’t have to KNOW any such thing. You look at two sequences that differ in only a small percentage of positions, and you know that a process of nearly-faithful template based copying operates in every cellular replication. How blind would one need to be to deny that that copying is the probable source of that similarity? Common Design can only explain the patterns if it involves deceit – a deliberate attempt to make it look as if DNA has been replicated when it hasn’t.

  31. Robin,

    your reasoning is faulty on two points:

    1. I can draw. I can make furniture. I can garden. I can develop a new textile. These take different tools and design approaches. Yet they come from a single source. Nature is the author of human design capability. It contains within itself all the capabilities of 7B souls combined. Yet it is a single entity.

    So yeah, your objection is overruled.

    2. A design approach makes eminently more sense that an ad-hoc, roll with the punches neo-darwinian approach. The first life could never have gotten off the ground if it did not already contain the tools required to be able to respond to environmental perturbations. The very fact that life is sensitive and responsive to environmental changes is a testament to the robustness of the design.

    …..natural selection is an esoteric explanation for what happens after all the heavy lifting has been done. Design did all the grunge work. and you guys want NS have the honor of popping open the champagne.

    The designer is humble but not that humble.

  32. Steve,

    Unfortunately, there would be insufficient room in any plausible early cell to contain the potential for every modern genome on earth, and no mechanism to retain these potentialities against degradative effects until they ‘needed’ to be exercised. You might wish to relegate NS to a ‘cork-popping’ role, but this supposition has no mechanistic foundation.

  33. Steve:
    2. A design approach makes eminently more sense that an ad-hoc, roll with the punches neo-darwinian approach.

    Really? So let’s see,
    We have the observed fact that mutations happen.
    We have the observed fact that genetic drift happens.
    We have the observed fact that natural selection happens,
    We have the observed fact that the genetic distances, and the pattern of genetic and anatomical similarities between humans and the other great apes, forms a twin nested hierarchy that implies common descent through the expected average mutation and fixation rates derived from independent experiments.

    therefore an unobserved supercapable designer did it over millions of years.

    Why, exactly, is the designer here going out of it’s way to design things with this ludicrous method that looks exactly like no designer participated at all?

    Steve: The first life could never have gotten off the ground if it did not already contain the tools required to be able to respond to environmental perturbations.

    How do you know? How do you know responding to environmental changes requires “tools” ? What tools are those? Is it impossible that there is a physical process that can give rise to such life, how do you know?

    Show your work.

    Steve: The very fact that life is sensitive and responsive to environmental changes is a testament to the robustness of the design.

    Thank you for your irrelevant faith-statement.

    Or it’s testament to 4 billion years of mutation, genetic drift and natural selection.

    Steve: natural selection is an esoteric explanation for what happens after all the heavy lifting has been done.

    Natural selection is an observed fact.

    Steve:Design did all the grunge work.and you guys want NS have the honor of popping open the champagne.

    The designer is humble but not that humble.

    You know him personally? You hear his voice in your head? Get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about him or while singing in church?

  34. Steve:
    Robin,

    your reasoning is faulty on two points:

    1.I can draw.I can make furniture.I can garden.I can develop a new textile.These take different tools and design approaches.Yet they come from a single source.Nature is the author of human design capability.It contains within itself all the capabilities of 7B souls combined.Yet it is a single entity.

    The point, Steve, is that the output of those various design techniques do not suddenly all look similar because they came from a single source. In other words, your garden products don’t look anything like your furniture even though they both were products from *your* work. So on what exactly are “design theorists” assessing “similarity of design” between oak trees and octopuses?

    So yeah, your objection is overruled.

    Well, yours certainly is.

    2. A design approach makes eminently more sense that an ad-hoc, roll with the punches neo-darwinian approach.The first life could never have gotten off the ground if it did not already contain the tools required to be able to respond to environmental perturbations.The very fact that life is sensitive and responsive to environmental changes is a testament to the robustness of the design.

    Steve, you do realize you haven’t actually demonstrated or substantiated anything here. You’ve merely made an assertion. Woo…hoo…

    And none of what you assert rebuts my OP. Care to try again?

    …..natural selection is an esoteric explanation for what happens after all the heavy lifting has been done.Design did all the grunge work.and you guys want NS have the honor of popping open the champagne.

    Yet another set of assertions. Got any substantiation for any of your rant here?

    The designer is humble but not that humble.

    What is that even supposed to mean?

  35. Allan Miller,

    Excoding is fine. Yet there is NO reason to exclude the option the separate beings had like excoding for old like reasons. Again its not demanding that the only option is common descent. Your reasoning is just extrapolation backwards based entirely on only one possible option for like dna on non functioning dna. (As i Understand this ).
    You bring up the crime stuff. yet its just again extrapolation backwards.
    Common design satisfy’s like dna in like looking creatures.
    your saying that a child in 1066AD could notice all creatures have eyeballs and this is evidence all come from a original single type of creature with eyeballs and then diversity came afterwards. The kid would be right on this simple observation and reasoning.
    Yet there is a option a creator created kinds all with eyeballs based on a good idea of a single design for sight.
    you can’t say your kid has done better investigation or reasoning. its just a LINE of reasoning. its not evidence beyond the reasoning. Its just a hunch. right or wrong.

    All your examples can fit in a common design equation . Man and primate could have like dna reaction to like prompts without being biologically related by reproduction.
    I don’t see why not.
    You guys are convincing yourselves without scientific evidence and without accurate reasoning options.

  36. Robert Byers,

    (As i Understand this ).

    You don’t.

    If I was presented with two pieces of text which used 98% the same letters, down to the same spelling and punctuation errors, it would be perverse of me to argue that they were so similar because they were commnly designed.

    If I saw presented with two pieces of text whoch used 98% the same letters, down to the same spelling and puncuation errors: it would be perverse of me to argue that they were so simxxilar because they commnly were designed.

    The above 2 pieces of text are 98% the same. I only typed one of them. The other was copied with mutation. This is the sort of difference you’re looking at when you lay out the ACGT genomes of two equally related species side by side. Never mind eyeballs or ‘like DNA reactions’. It’s the text.

    You bring up the crime stuff. yet its just again extrapolation backwards.

    So try that as a defence.

    You guys are convincing yourselves without scientific evidence and without accurate reasoning options.

    Bollocks.

  37. Allan Miller:
    Robert Byers,

    You don’t.

    If I was presented with two pieces of text which used 98% the same letters, down to the same spelling and punctuation errors, it would be perverse of me to argue that they were so similar because they were commnly designed.

    If I saw presented with two pieces of text whoch used 98% the same letters, down to the same spelling and puncuation errors: it would be perverse of me to argue that they were so simxxilar because they commnly were designed.

    The above 2 pieces of text are 98% the same. I only typed one of them. The other was copied with mutation. This is the sort of difference you’re looking at when you lay out the ACGT genomes of two equally related species side by side. Never mind eyeballs or ‘like DNA reactions’. It’s the text.

    So try that as a defence.

    Bollocks.

    Okay its a good example to examine.
    If a creator meant too make two types of beings, our contention being about whether they are like parents etc, then it would be at least some percentage the same.
    If you admit 70 or 86% then all I must do is explain away the rest of the percentage up to your 98%.
    I say a like system in such alike types of beings , man/primate, would easily have a like result reaching to the 98% . Fluff and errors also. The origin of the fluff and errors came from the same reactions of the same sytem in the two mutually unrelated created beings.
    Like bodies with primates could bring like dna results from like systems dealing with like problems.
    I don’t see why this is not a good option and easily a predictable one from a creationist model.
    We might predict 99%.
    your too easily being convinced that fluff and errors can’t come from like origins affecting like system in like bodies YET not from a common descent.
    We are dealing here with lines of reasoning.
    Either way its only that. No scientific evidence but just reasoning about probabilities.

  38. Robert Byers,

    You’re just making stuff up. Insertion/deletion, point mutation etc do not come from ‘reactions’. They come from errors in replication. Replication is a copying process of descent, not design. You already accept common descent within ‘kinds’, so you are merely being arbitrary. If God did this, it is his wish that scientists should be deceived, because the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of copying, not retooling from scratch, for anyone not desperately blinded by a couple of paragraphs in a rather dull book.

    We are both simply wasting each other’s time.

  39. Allan Miller:
    Robert Byers,

    You’re just making stuff up. Insertion/deletion, point mutation etc do not come from ‘reactions’. They come from errors in replication. Replication is a copying process of descent, not design. You already accept common descent within ‘kinds’, so you are merely being arbitrary. If God did this, it is his wish that scientists should be deceived, because the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of copying, not retooling from scratch, for anyone not desperately blinded by a couple of paragraphs in a rather dull book.

    We are both simply wasting each other’s time.

    Its not a waste of time. its a excellent example. You made it to persuade folks and many times i see this species of example.

    What is the evidence for errors in replication? of the creatures we contend are from common descent.?
    I say its a logical option that any error in a primate and like error in a man could come from like origin using a like system in a like body to react to some problem.
    Why not?
    I fail to see you demonstrate this is NOT a option.
    All you see is some error in the dna etc in both parties and presume only a common problem was reacted too and then common descent carried the story within both parties..!
    Why do evolutionists persuade themselves this makes a good case closed point?
    Its just a line of reasoning, to me, with no actual scientific evidence.

  40. Robert Byers,

    It’s a waste of time because any evidence presented to you, you respond by saying ‘nuh-uh’. You don’t address the argument at all. There is nothing I could say that would persuade you. Nothing. Because you’ve been hooked by The Book.

    Still, I’m a trier.

    I say its a logical option that any error in a primate and like error in a man could come from like origin using a like system in a like body to react to some problem. Why not?

    So you’ve abandoned Common Design now? Common Constraint? Make your mind up. You still haven’t indicated where Common Descent stops (within-kind Descent) and Common Constraint/Common Design takes over, nor how one can distinguish a Descended marker from a Constrained/Designed one.

    I fail to see you demonstrate this is NOT a option.

    You want me to demonstrate that it is not an option that – say – a short deletion in an inactive gene shared in common between humans and apes is due to a common ‘reaction’ to some problem? Some vague problem you have completely failed to articulate? Ever hear of proving the negative?

    Forget it – the likeliest cause is common descent. Simple as that. There isn’t just one such marker, there are millions.

    As I have repeatedly said, in human DNA analysis, such differences (more usually insertions) are considered diagnostic for a descent relationship. Would this be your defence? “I cannot be the child’s father because the plaintiff has failed to prove that the commonality we share is not due to a … ummm … like reaction”. Shut up and pay the lady.

    There are many such markers in every genome, and similar signals are shared between primates and rodents, others between animals and reptiles – every cladistic level, building into a hierarchy. Any similarity you invoke due to ‘like conditions’ breaks down for organisms whose conditions are distinctly un-alike. Pigs and whales, for example, or pond-weed and sycamores. They still have relationships in non-coding DNA. There is no mechanism that would place such markers into a hierarchy other than Common Descent (or Celestial Deceit).

  41. Allan Miller:
    Robert Byers,

    It’s a waste of time because any evidence presented to you, you respond by saying ‘nuh-uh’. You don’t address the argument at all. There is nothing I could say that would persuade you. Nothing. Because you’ve been hooked by The Book.

    Still, I’m a trier.

    So you’ve abandoned Common Design now? Common Constraint? Make your mind up. You still haven’t indicated where Common Descent stops (within-kind Descent) and Common Constraint/Common Design takes over, nor how one can distinguish a Descended marker from a Constrained/Designed one.

    I fail to see you demonstrate this is NOT a option.

    You want me to demonstrate that it is not an option that – say – a short deletion in an inactive gene shared in common between humans and apes is due to a common ‘reaction’ to some problem? Some vague problem you have completely failed to articulate? Ever hear of proving the negative?

    Forget it – the likeliest cause is common descent. Simple as that. There isn’t just one such marker, there are millions.

    As I have repeatedly said, in human DNA analysis, such differences (more usually insertions) are considered diagnostic for a descent relationship. Would this be your defence? “I cannot be the child’s father because the plaintiff has failed to prove that the commonality we share is not due to a … ummm … like reaction”. Shut up and pay the lady.

    There are many such markers in every genome, and similar signals are shared between primates and rodents, others between animals and reptiles – every cladistic level, building into a hierarchy. Any similarity you invoke due to ‘like conditions’ breaks down for organisms whose conditions are distinctly un-alike. Pigs and whales, for example, or pond-weed and sycamores.They still have relationships in non-coding DNA. There is no mechanism that would place such markers into a hierarchy other than Common Descent (or Celestial Deceit).

    We make progress.
    Your first point is I’m abandoning Common design. No. its only a common design in the basics. this including the whole system of the body.
    It is still a option here that like body-like system-like reply to some problems.
    its also easily options there were problems/things which like bodies would respond to in like manner from like system made to deal with problems. our bodies are made to succeed and can react as needed.
    by this comment you don’t show its not a option. in fact its very likely. its what i would do if i was the creator.

    you bring up the father child thing.
    humans are indeed related and so this dna reasoning works logically.
    Yet extrapolating to the primates does not demand common descxent here.
    Indeed a unique case of like bodies would also, as a option and so a logical point, have like results from like needs in a like system. its not scientific evidence or logical that its oNLY the option we have a common descent.
    Dadto chil people is only a special case logically speaking.
    You are truly using a line of reasoning or extrapolation in the stead of genetic scientific evidence. i know you think you are using dna evidence and good logic yet i strive to show here/everywhere this is not the case.
    its even unlikely as i see it.
    Your still saying IT COULD ONLY BE like dna details equals common descent.
    i say common design satisfy’s entirely to explain your example.
    true or not it is a equal explanation by reasoning and a mutual lack of doing science here.

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