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.

The invention of tear ducts


Research Submarine Asherah

Designer was riding Her submarine through the depths of the ocean one day, taking stock of Her work, and decided, “I’ve learned just about everything I’m ever going to learn from these prototypes. It’s high time to take the next big step toward the ultimate goal, a species of animal in which to ripen souls for harvest.” (Of course, souls that turn out goatlike go to Hell, to suffer eternal torment at the hands of Satan, and souls that turn out sheeplike go to Heaven, to kowtow forever at the feet of God. But Designer had to come up with something considerably more sophisticated than sheep and goats, to satisfy God’s requirement that the Fate of Souls be contingent instead of determined.)

Now, if Designer had done a complete redesign, when advancing from aquatic to terrestrial organisms, Hell might well have frozen over before there were any goatlike souls to fuel the flames. So Designer said, “I know that the optics are different in air than in water, but fish eyes are gonna have to do.”Gray896
Lacrimal system
After observing that Her transitional prototype frequently took dips in the marsh to wash its eyes, She invented an organ to wet the eyes with saltwater. Compared to the eyes themselves, the lacrimal glands were a cinch to get right. As for eyelids, Designer had already tested them on some sharks. She did not anticipate that drainage would be a problem, but found that mammals with drops of water running down their faces looked very sad. In a flash of brilliance, Designer realized that eyewash could be reused to moisten the nostrils. And that was when She invented the lacrimal and naso-lacrimal ducts. What initially was supposed to be an aesthetic feature turned out to serve a useful function. God was highly impressed, and gave Designer, whom He called Asherah, a generous bonus at Christmas.

Ajrud

“Yahweh [front, flaunting large penis] and His Asherah [rear, working at computer]”

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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Is classification in biology an Invasive presumption nullifying biological origin conclusions even if accurate? YES!

As a creationist I note that conclusions in origins of biological beings starts with the presumptions of how biology is classified in all its divisions. They do not start clean when begibning investigation but start from presumptions already settled. Al these from small numbers of men in ancient Greece or almost ancient europe.

Even if they were accurate, which they are not, it still would nullify scientific investigation into origins for biology. Its not a pure embracing of raw facts but they are skewed a already settled system or relationships.

So they start with divisions like Animals, insects, plants. Then mammals, reptiles, marsupials monotremes, birds, and finally dinosaurs and others.

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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

Intelligent Design Detection

  1. Design is order imposed on parts of a system. The system is designed even if the order created is minimal (e.g. smearing paint on cave walls) and even if it contains random subsystems. ‘Design’ is inferred only for those parts of the system that reveal the order imposed by the designer. For cave art, we can analyze the paint, the shape of the paint smear, the shape of the wall, composition of the wall, etc. Each one of these separate analyses may result in separate ‘designed’ or ‘not designed’ conclusions. The ‘design’-detection algorithm shown in the attached diagram can be employed to analyze any system desired. 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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Chemistry Nobel for “directed evolution” (2018)

  1. Very nice. Congratulations! But where is the “directed evolution” oxymoron in this story? The process used is simple organism breeding as done by mankind for thousands of years, in this case sped up by advanced technologies. “Random mutations” are not entirely random as the mutations desired had to converge towards a clear, specified target. Random generator devices also generate within specific ranges, say 0 to 9, rejecting outright any “randomness” outside that range (‘a’, ‘#’, ‘21’ will all be rejected). “Natural selection” is also missing as the selection has been clearly done by qualified researches pursuing a specific goal. At best this would be called “artificial selection”, but even that is misleading since organism breeding is a human activity that goes well beyond simple ‘selection’.
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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

Who is a scientist and who is not in the origin division of science?

On another blog/forum a interesting point came up that is always relevant in the great Creation-Evolution Revolution discussions of our times.

Always, creationists, get thrown at us that the experts/scientists decide what is true about the biological, geological, cosmological origins for the universe. THEN they invoke arguments as if to persuade the public based on the merits of the evidence.

Creationists and good guys everywhere ae offered authority and then arguments in a contradictory way.

What is a expert/scientist is these matters.

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Michael Alter’s bombshell demolishes Christian apologists’ case for the Resurrection

It is not often that I encounter a book which forces me to undergo a fundamental rethink on a vital issue. Michael Alter’s The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry is one such book. The issue it addresses is whether the New Testament provides good evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead. Prior to reading Michael Alter’s book, I believed that a Christian could make a strong case for Jesus’ having been raised from the dead, on purely historical grounds. After reading the book, I would no longer espouse this view. Alter has convincingly demolished Christian apologists’ case for the Resurrection – and he’s got another book coming out soon, which is even more hard-hitting than his first one, judging from the excerpts which I’ve read.

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Welcome a new overlord!

I’m very pleased to say that Mung has very kindly agreed to join the admin team.

Thank you so much Mung, and welcome!

In other news (?) – I finally managed to catch up (nearly) sufficiently on my work back-log to take a vacation, but unfortunately (but unsurprisingly!) the internet connection is very poor.  We are walking the Coast-to-Coast route from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. Will post some pics!ffff

And I look forward (?) to reading the Squawk Box comments on my return – and letting you know my responses and thoughts.  Hang in there, guys!

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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