Intelligent Design explains Sex!

A thread for ID proponents to explain their alternative theory for biological phenomena.

Allan Miller has written an article on sex, proposing an evolutionary explanation for why almost all Eukaryota indulge in sex. In response to comments from evolution skeptics questioning his explanation, he challenges them:

OK, you ID types, what’s the Design explanation for sex? You need to explain why all eukaryotes have genes that are involved in meiosis, though some never actually perform meiosis, and in some, the genes are ‘broken’. And you need to explain the taxonomic distribution of asexuality – absent in mammals and birds, but increasingly found as one descends your imagined scala naturae – though intermittent sex remains the norm, even in single celled organisms.

Why? What purpose does it serve that is common to single celled protists and our favourite organism, the chimp? Why wasn’t everything designed to just reproduce asexually?

In response, commenter phoodoo writes:

Why are there legs? Wouldn’t it be better if we just moved like water? Why ten fingers instead of thirty? Why skin? Evolution doesn’t answer these questions any better or worse than ID.

Now, for evolution to have a better or worse explanation than ID, there must be an explanation for sex according to the theory of “Intelligent Design”.

I don’t know of any Intelligent Design theory that attempts to explain biological observations such as sexual reproduction. So I invite those who do know of such a theory to correct my ignorance.

How does the theory of Intelligent Design explain sex?

PS: please feel free to use this thread as a peanut gallery WRT Allan’s article.

1+

402 thoughts on “Intelligent Design explains Sex!

  1. Nonlin.org: But if I were the designer and wanted to keep populations homogeneous (you know, to prevent “evolution”), I would find a gene exchange mechanism.

    Sex is a mechanism designed to prevent populations from evolving?

    LOL! Your sense of humour has improved really fast, Nonlin.

    2+
  2. colewd: I would say it is very similar to Paley’s watch argument.

    Paley’s watch argument was examined and rejected over 200 years ago. Way to keep up with the times Bill.

    0
  3. Nonlin.org:
    Not really. Your “explanations” amount to nothing more than kids stories like “HOW THE BEAR LOST HIS TAIL”.

    Haha, that’s priceless. Gather round, children, and I’ll explain how things were designed…

    If an “explanation” doesn’t lead to any scientific/engineering/medical advances, it’s worse than useless.

    And with a flourish, the entire ID effort was crumpled into a little ball and tossed.

    You’re asking others to play your futile little game.

    Explaining data you mean? Yeah, the very idea. “I am not obliged to match your pathetic level of detail”.

    But if I were the designer and wanted to keep populations homogeneous (you know, to prevent “evolution”), I would find a gene exchange mechanism.

    You’d be a crap designer then, since clonal populations tend to have less variation than sexual ones. But at least you had a go, which is one step beyond your colleagues.

    2+
  4. Adapa,

    Paley’s watch argument was examined and rejected over 200 years ago. Way to keep up with the times Bill.

    You are saying the conclusions of 200 years ago are not subject to correction based on new information?

    0
  5. colewd: You are saying the conclusions of 200 years ago are not subject to correction based on new information?

    Why yes, that is exactly what Adapa was saying.

    0
  6. Dembski in a comment at the now defunct International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design

    As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.

    ISCID has since disappeared off the face of the Earth so I can only link to an article at Pandasthumb.

    0
  7. colewd: You are saying the conclusions of 200 years ago are not subject to correction based on new information?

    The Paley’s watch argument hasn’t improved in 200 years. The IDiot “this biological feature superficially resembles a human design so it must BE designed!” is still 100% ignorance based personal incredulity.

    1+
  8. Alan Fox: But there may also be fundamental discontinuities

    Alan Fox: ISCID has since disappeared off the face of the Earth

    That may very well be one of those predicted discontinuities. ID wins again! 🤣

    1+
  9. colewd:
    You have returned to a version of Darwins original inference. The reasoning is circular and is forcing you to use labels like “magical being in the sky”. vs doing the hard work of really unpacking what we are observing.

    Me? Looks much more like you’re projecting. I do a lot of very hard work understanding and then explaining to you how science works, and how scientists go about it. I have tried to get you to understand that evolutionary theory doesn’t merely say “natural selection,” and, accordingly, that scientists don’t just chant “natural selection” and assume that they’re done. Scientists “unpack” what we’re observing. Scientists try and make sense of the evidence, produce more hypotheses given the available data, get inspired about where to look next. Then they look there, test, find something, look further, propose more details, more places to look for evidence to try and unravel the histories, etc.

    What’s to unpack on your misinformed idea that “science” is looking for “cause” (like that, singular, naked, and stuck in ancient Greek philosophy)?

    colewd:
    God is a “big” concept but so is the existence of a universe with organisms that can observe it.

    Nah. God is a fantasy shared by a lot of people. That’s the only big thing about it.

    The existence of the universe and organisms that can observe it? Now that’s something to behold! I truly find it ridiculous that given this huge universe, large amounts of energy just in our relatively smallish star (our sun), the relatively less powerful, yet still overwhelming, energy of volcanoes. Things that could destroy everything we’ve built while we’d be unable to stop it! Man, flights all over the world get cancelled because of eruptions in just one volcano! And you want me to believe that this astoundingly powerful nature could not have produced these tine puny humans who think too highly of themselves? Now that’s having no sense of proportion.

    0
  10. So, 200 plus comments later and “the loaded gun” has not been rectified? 😉
    Shameless…

    0
  11. Entropy,

    Nah. God is a fantasy shared by a lot of people. That’s the only big thing about it.

    I understand this is you’re paradigm. You accept our universe as a brute fact and I don’t. Reasonable people can disagree 🙂

    0
  12. colewd: I understand this is you’re [SIC] paradigm. You accept our universe as a brute fact and I don’t. Reasonable people can disagre

    Reasonable people don’t lie about scientific facts just because the facts contradict their religious beliefs.

    0
  13. colewd:
    I understand this is you’re paradigm.

    It’s not a paradigm Bill. It’s just obvious.

    colewd:
    You accept our universe as a brute fact and I don’t.

    Do you understand the difference between accepting our universe as a brute fact and imagining that your god is a brute fact? No? Well, try and think about it. Don’t answer. Just think. Ponder.

    Reasonable people can disagree, and there’s from disagreements to disagreements.

    0
  14. Entropy,

    Do you understand the difference between accepting our universe as a brute fact and imagining that your god is a brute fact? No? Well, try and think about it. Don’t answer. Just think. Ponder.

    I don’t accept God as a brute fact. I accept God as a logical conclusion based on empirical and documented evidence.

    0
  15. colewd:
    newton,

    It’s different than the creation story.

    Which one?

    A Designer who is intelligent, very ,very ,intelligent. Very long lived . Outside of time preferred . At least some omnipotence necessary. Needs to be self-starter , no supervision available.

    Take that guy ,something happens ,and out comes things made of matter, wouldn’t that be compatible with ID?

    I would say it is very similar to Paley’s watch argument.

    That is one of those metaphorical arguments by ID .You know it when you see it especially when you know you can get one made by humans in the store, therefore God.

    Is that the argument?

    Our ability to see inside the cell is bring credibility to this argument.

    Stupid biologists , the proof is right there in front of them.The ID.ness is practically oozing out.

    0
  16. colewd:
    Entropy,

    I don’t accept God as a brute fact.I accept God as a logical conclusion based on empirical and documented evidence.

    Is evolution being incorrect necessary for that conclusion?

    0
  17. J-Mac:
    So, 200 plus comments later and “the loaded gun” has not been rectified?😉
    Shameless…

    Appreciate the update,

    0
  18. Shameless Allans:
    “OK, you ID types, what’s the Design explanation for sex?”

    Unless Allans are missing 90% of their brains, or they have a third option they have never mentioned, the explanation for design of (sex, brain in some) is… well…design… just in case your brains are still evolving…😅

    0
  19. J-Mac: the explanation for design of (sex, brain in some) is… well…design

    The explanation for design is design. Even you should realize that explanation may be somewhat lacking. Try again:

    You need to explain why all eukaryotes have genes that are involved in meiosis, though some never actually perform meiosis, and in some, the genes are ‘broken’. And you need to explain the taxonomic distribution of asexuality – absent in mammals and birds, but increasingly found as one descends your imagined scala naturae – though intermittent sex remains the norm, even in single celled organisms.

    Why? What purpose does it serve that is common to single celled protists and our favourite organism, the chimp? Why wasn’t everything designed to just reproduce asexually?

    0
  20. Yeah, the question was loaded, in that I knew no answer would be forthcoming, I was just trying to give a flavour of the explanandum. The chasm between ID and evolution is certainly laid bare in this thread.

    It also demonstrates that interesting phenomenon where one is haughtily told that of course IDists accept evolution and Common Descent, as they proceed to fight against every last detail of ’em!

    2+
  21. J-Mac: Unless Allans are missing 90% of their brains

    But according to you that’s not a problem, so err?

    0
  22. It is sex, and the resulting potential for gene flow, that glues local populations into cohesive evolutionary lineages.

    – Baum and Smith

    Not that anyone would ever want such a thing, much less find it at all useful.

    1+
  23. Mung: Not that anyone would ever want such a thing, much less find it at all useful.

    Not if one rejects evolution, no. It certainly is the case that gene flow around populations is significant – that’s why we have allele-level selection (‘selfish genes’). But why would an IDist make appeal to such evolutionary forces?

    0
  24. Allan Miller,

    I think you still somehow don’t understand ID. ID rejects the building part-you know the random part- of your just so stories. Selection just means some things die more. Most people don’t have much issue with that, other than its trivial and does nothing.

    0
  25. phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    I think you still somehow don’t understand ID.ID rejects the building part-you know the random part- of your just so stories.Selection just means some things die more.Most people don’t have much issue with that, other than its trivial and does nothing.

    Mung is saying that it very much isn’t trivial, but that the capacity to do that at gene level is the reason for sex.

    This is a problem: when you say ‘I don’t understand ID’, it clearly means different things to different people, so it’s not really one ‘thing’ to understand. I know you think the same of evolution, but it is much less the case there. No-one in evolution thinks selection trivial, or common descent unsupported by genetic evidence. Plenty of IDists do. So if someone says ‘I don’t understand ID’ because they are OK with those things, I then have a good squint at the likes of you, j-mac, nonlin and Bill Cole. Or the converse – if one of you says I don’t understand it, I then look at Mung or Behe’s version, and wonder if you do.

    0
  26. phoodoo,

    Since what you’re defending is a fairy tale, I’d advice you not to talk about “just-so stories.” It backfires.

    P.S. (Remember that thing about the beam in thy own eye?)

    0
  27. phoodoo: ID rejects the building part-you know the random part- of your just so stories.

    Yes we know, they deny observational reality and dismissively call them just so stories, but then turn around and supplant them with complete fictions that are even worse just so stories that make no predictions and have zero explanatory power.

    A magic man wished things into existence, never before observed, and did so in the ancient past before anyone could see it happen. That’s the ID position. And it’s a fiction, and a just so story. All you have are fictions that can’t be tested, and comfortable fables that it’s all being done so that you can be here. ID is Santa for grown-ups who never really grew up.

    0
  28. 230 posts and still no ID explanation for sex. It’s still just the usual suspects whinging and flailing about “just so stories” and “random”, but who wish to supplant it with “magic man did it in the past before it anyone could see it” just so stories. Where are all the ID experiments where flagella, eyes, eyesockets, nevers and muscles, and all the rest required for functional eyes, are magically popped into existence? The invisible wish-granter with the power to think stuff into reality doesn’t ever seem to want to make a flagellum come into existence when anyone is doing experiments.

    0
  29. Corneel: The explanation for design is design.

    Finally! Someone with more than 10% of the brain…?

    Corneel: Why wasn’t everything designed to just reproduce asexually?

    Unfortunately, the high expectations were short lived… 🙁
    Let me rephrase this question for you:
    Why wasn’t everything designed evolved to just reproduce asexually?

    Unfortunately, this is the very question Allan failed to answer and Darwin’s faithful pretend it doesn’t exist…

    But, at least we have a winner… 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOCuHgxWGDw

    0
  30. J-Mac:Let me rephrase this question for you:
    Why wasn’t everything designed evolved to just reproduce asexually?

    Unfortunately, this is the very question Allan failed to answer and Darwin’s faithful pretend it doesn’t exist…

    You haven’t actually read my post, have you?

    0
  31. Rumraket: Where are all the ID experiments where flagella, eyes, eyesockets, nevers and muscles, and all the rest required for functional eyes, are magically popped into existence?

    I thought Corneel was a winner “…but suddenly an new contender has emerged… ”
    https://youtu.be/Nduf8_iCTOs?t=34

    0

  32. Allan Miller: Or the converse – if one of you says I don’t understand it, I then look at Mung or Behe’s version, and wonder if you do.

    I’m not an Intelligent Design Creationist but I am an Intelligent Design creationist.

    😉

    0
  33. Rumraket: 230 posts and still no ID explanation for sex.

    Why should we invent even more stories when yours are so amusing?

    0
  34. Allan Miller: I know you think the same of evolution, but it is much less the case there. No-one in evolution thinks selection trivial

    Yea, but no IDist thinks design trivial.

    0
  35. Allan, there is a chapter in Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True, How Sex Drives Evolution. Have you read it?

    Does Coyne commit the “gene for” fallacy?

    0
  36. Mung: Yeah, but no one in design thinks selection trivial.

    Plus no one in design thinks life is purposeless. .

    And nether do evolutionists. The only difference is IDist can explain why.

    0
  37. Allan, do you really not understand how a mutation to a gene for ten different functions causes more problems than a gene for one function? What are the odds that that mutation will be beneficial for ALL those emotions at the same time?

    And do you also not see how if ten genes control one function, you need a lot of beneficial mutations to improve that function?

    0
  38. Allan, do you really not understand how a mutation to a gene for ten different functions causes more problems than a gene for one function? What are the odds that that mutation will be beneficial for ALL those emotions at the same time?

    And do you also not see how if ten genes control one function, you need a lot of beneficial mutations to improve that function?

    Mung:
    Allan, there is a chapter in Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True, How Sex Drives Evolution. Have you read it?

    Does Coyne commit the “gene for” fallacy?

    How could he make that fallacy? No one in evolution ever believed there was a gene for anything. That is urban myth.

    0
  39. phoodoo:
    Allan,do you really not understand how a mutation to a gene for ten different functions causes more problems than a gene for one function?

    Well, there’s the ‘gene for’ fallacy again. You need to drop that. It’s not just ‘Allan’ you’re railing at here, it’s the entire science of genetics. You might have spotted something no-one else has spotted in 120 years of investigation, but I bet you haven’t.

    What are the odds that that mutation will be beneficial for ALL those emotions at the same time?

    Emotions? 😃 Well, the chances are slim. But then
    a) evolution does not require that all consequences be beneficial.
    b) if there is strong purifying selection on multiple traits dependent on one gene, that does indeed tend to conserve that gene – but then, so does strong purifying selection on a single trait. That’s an evolutionary observation, by the way, based upon the differential offspring survival that you think trivial.
    c) the reality of historic evolution is not dependent on the capacity for further change.

    And do you also not see how if ten genes control one function,you need a lot of beneficial mutations to improve that function?

    So if we look at a polygenic trait – say, ‘the hand’ – you think it can’t be improved because several genes are involved in it? That seems an absurd viewpoint.

    1+
  40. Mung:
    Allan, there is a chapter in Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True, How Sex Drives Evolution. Have you read it?

    Does Coyne commit the “gene for” fallacy?

    Don’t know, not read it. If he did, you would of course be able to put him straight. phoodoo, however, is a tougher nut to crack.

    0
  41. Allan Miller,

    I wonder how many times I have to tell you I am talking about the building part not the selecting part? You can’t select for something that hasn’t been built yet.

    It’s as if you think the building (you know the random part?) is the same thing as the selecting part, even though every time someone says anything about evolution is random, you guys shout in a panic, selection isn’t random!

    0
  42. Mung: Why should we invent even more stories when yours are so amusing?

    Thank you for the concession that ID has nothing to offer.

    0
  43. phoodoo: Plus no one in design thinks life is purposeless.

    So how do you get purpose on design? What does it come from, and what does it mean to say you have purpose?

    And nether do evolutionists.

    “Evolutionists” include both believers and non-believers, and many different kinds, so to sweep them all under the rug “evolutionists” and refer to their collective thoughts on having purpose is totally meaningless.

    There are both theistic and atheistic “evolutionists”, and within each of those camps there are a diversity of views on what purpose is and what it comes from.

    The only difference is IDist can explain why.

    Then explain to me what the purpose of life is and how you know that.

    1+
  44. phoodoo: Allan, do you really not understand how a mutation to a gene for ten different functions causes more problems than a gene for one function?

    Why? Explain why!

    Do you really not understand that you have not at all shown that it does?

    What are the odds that that mutation will be beneficial for ALL those emotions at the same time?

    Well since you appear to be claiming that they must be low, tell us how low.

    And do you also not see how if ten genes control one function, you need a lot of beneficial mutations to improve that function?

    Do you not see that that doesn’t actually follow?

    0
  45. phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    I wonder how many times I have to tell you I am talking about the building part not the selecting part?You can’t select for something that hasn’t been built yet.

    It’s as if you think the building (you know the random part?)is the same thing as the selecting part,even though every time someone says anything about evolution is random,you guys shout in a panic,selection isn’t random!

    I don’t really know what you are objecting to here. If you are talking about a brake on evolution being provided by a gene affecting multiple traits, or multiple genes affecting one trait, you are talking about the ‘selecting part’. You use the word ‘beneficial’.

    0
  46. Perhaps, phoodoo, you could provide an example rather than handwave. Pick a gene affecting multiple traits, and a trait contributed to by multiple genes, and indicate why evolution is prevented in that scenario.

    0

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.