The Fridge-o-matic Challenge

I once offered nonlin.org the ‘fridge-o-matic’ challenge. The idea was to give me a number from 1 to 9 (a shelf in my fridge/freezer), and a lateral location Left, Middle or Right, and a depth locator Front, Middle, Back. That gives 81 sectors. I go to the named sector and fumble for the nearest organism (he’d have to trust me not to cheat). If it’s a stew or pizza I’d need more info. Then I’d need a chromosome number in that organism, and a gene number on the chromosome. We could shortcut the back’n’forth by giving numbers 1-50 and 1-10,000 which I’d then normalise to the actual counts.

Armed with this target of a random gene in a random organism in my fridge, I’d go to a public database and (if it’s in) run a BLAST on the gene to find the sequence alignments, arranged by closeness of match. I offered high confidence that this would recover a reasonable approximation of the Linneaean hierarchy – closest matches in species, then genus, then Family etc. This, I feel, nicely fits with the hypothesis of Common Descent of taxonomic ranks.

Now, the Linnaean hierarchy was based on morphology. He did not have the technology to ‘see’ genes directly. So we’d have to wonder why I could stick my random thumb in and pull out a Linnaean plum pretty much every time, on genes invisible to him.

Nonlin declined to play (he is, frankly, no fun at all). “It’s expected”, he said. “Like organisms will have like genes”. But for that to be a relevant objection, every single genetic difference between every single species pair must be involved in every morphological distinction between them. That requires quite a lot of heavy lifting from a gene. Its job might be to … I dunno, ligate a strand break in DNA let’s say. But it’s also got to do it in a squid way, and a dandelion way, and a yeast way that feeds through to morphology for every gene. We’re always being told how brittly unchangeable genes are, yet we seem to have a huge range of latitude in genes that are notionally pinned in place both by primary function and by multiple morphological roles across species.

I bring this up now for two reasons related to nonlin’s ‘Sexual selection’ thread.

1) If every difference between every gene really were morphologically significant, there’d be a constant stream of mutants not possessed of the vital characteristics that render the sexes mutually attractive to each other but not to members of other species.

2) Sexual dimorphism is a particularly striking morphological difference, which, on the ‘genes=morphology’ view, would require similar genetic differences between the sexes to those observed between like species. But most genes, even those involved in sexual differences, reside on the autosomes, which pass through both genders of offspring.

The answer, of course, is that genetic differences on the broad scale are not the key to morphological difference. Those differences are under the control of relatively few genes, and a lot of regulation (itself genetic in origin). This is as true between species as it is within (don’t fight me on this; it’s an established fact!).

Anyway, anyone fancy taking the Fridge-o-matic for a spin?

+2

158 thoughts on “The Fridge-o-matic Challenge

  1. I asked:

    OMagain: Also, nonlin, if evolution has a direction what is it and where is it going?

    Logically if it has such a direction and you know what it is you should easily be able to make some predictions. Can you?

    you replied:

    Nonlin.org: What “evolution”?

    Yet earlier you said:

    Nonlin.org: And what is “evolution” predicting? “Continuous (gradualism) improvement (survival of the “fittest”) at a constant speed (gradualism) in random directions (divergence)”. Which is exactly what we’re NOT seeing. Not continuous, not improvement, not constant speed, and not random directions.

    You specifically said what we ARE seeing is NOT a random direction.

    My question is, what direction are organisms going? We know, apparently, that they are not evolving in a certain direction (what evolution, right) so what direction are they going in? And how do you know that?

    Simple questions based on things you’ve said yourself that you’ll be unable to answer. But that won’t make any difference will it?

    +1
  2. Allan

    the less variable segment in the multiple alignments above, leading one to conclude it is the functional ‘business end’ of the protein.

    Oh no you don’t!
    </panto>
    In conversation with nonlin, it is important to keep reminding oneself that he is actually ignorant of the hierarchy of common descent, so he didn’t see MCEE’s {{human, gorilla}, chimp} as being aberrant. Not quite as funny as his previous ignorance re {{human,guppy},shark}, but fun nevertheless.
    He keeps wittering on about ‘proof’ because he thinks science is about propositional logic, rather than Bayes. Apparently there are only three possible explanations for the diversity of life: the null “random”, the null “evolution”, and “ID”.
    He has rejected the first two, thereby proving ID correct.
    His use of the word “null” is what cracks me up the most.

    +3
  3. DNA_Jock,

    Yes, I have been waiting for a triumphal “ta-dah” regarding the incongruous human, chimp, gorilla triangle vis à vis my own ‘expectations’! I have been scattering the word ‘approximate’ about as a talisman to ward off that fateful day. But while he thinks too much of cars and code, I am protected by obscuring analogy.

    +2
  4. I think one effort to explain anything to nonlin per thread is sufficient. What you will invariably get in reply is a carefully misunderstood careful misrepresentation of what you said, lathered in ironclad ignorance.

    +2
  5. Allan Miller,

    I have made some mistakes in comments to Nonlin that then I thought, gee, I should fix this, but then I remember that Nonlin never notices anything. The poor lad contradicts himself and doesn’t see it. No matter how many times you post it back at him. He’s just too incompetent. I truly don’t understand how someone that, ahem, challenged, can live without ever noticing any problems whatsoever. I mean, sooner or later he should be confronted with something obvious enough, and therefore start a cascade of awareness. Right?

    +2
  6. Entropy: I have made some mistakes in comments to Nonlin that then I thought, gee, I should fix this, but then I remember that Nonlin never notices anything.

    Nonlin can’t even spot the difference between arguments in favor or against his position. He’s just too contrary.

    0
  7. Allan Miller: If I create two organisms with a difference, I’d call that a ‘change’.

    False. Only if the second one is based on the first. Change implies sequence. Which is not always the case.

    Allan Miller: What’s the specific design reason for this correlated variation?

    I explained already.

    Allan Miller: No, I gave you an opportunity to misunderstand my point by over-extension

    You just demonstrated you don’t have a valid point.

    Allan Miller: Of course they can.

    At your peril. And the demise of your “theory”.

    Allan Miller: Explain.

    You first. I asked you.

    Allan Miller: You just said you ‘expect’ these things to vary in line with morphology. Now you say you don’t.

    What “these things”? My broad (soft) expectations with allowance for exceptions is one thing. Your hard expectations about some minutiae are irrational and most definitely not even anchored in your “theory”.

    Allan Miller: Your OP was not responsive to my point about BLAST sequences.

    You don’t seem to have a point. Just grievances. And anyway, I commented on something else if you follow my reply.

    Allan Miller: And I could have sworn you had responded to some of them, and I had come back … so what is it I’m not doing?

    Making sense.

    Alan Fox: Science does not deal in proofs.

    We’re not talking science. We’re talking “evolution” myth. Pay attention.

    Alan Fox: “Intelligent Design” is non-disprovable because there is no testable theory of ID.

    False. See the other thread.

    Allan Miller: It certainly seems, so far, that Design cannot do the job without a lot of special pleading.

    What “special pleading”?

    Allan Miller: No particular rationale is offered for the correlation, other than handwaving and analogy, by contrast with evolution, for which it is a definite corollary.

    What “handwaving”? What “corollary”? What you observe is not a corollary to anything in “evolution”. As my unanswered questions demonstrate: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/the-fridge-o-matic-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-285219

    Try again by addressing those, and we’ll see if you got something.

    Corneel: That was J.B.S. Haldane, actually.

    Another imbecile. Who cares?

    OMagain: In your very own words you note that the change of distribution of organisms across niches can indeed be gradual.

    Not that kind of “gradual”. Check again with your dead guru. Gradual mix of distinct populations vs gradual variation in the same population.

    OMagain: My question is, what direction are organisms going?

    No direction whatsoever. All organisms are “living fossils” that refuse to “evolve”.
    DNA_Jock,

    Sure, science doesn’t deal in proofs. But we’re debating “evolution” which, not being a science, is all about proof. Btw, you have yet to answer the previous questions… addressed mostly to you (link above).

    And one more critical question every smart ass is ignoring (is it because he’s more ass than smart?):
    I’m looking at your “theory” and see no such proposal: “there shall be immutable sections of the DNA”. This is already a major disconnect between your “theory” and the observation. Your “theory” is not being tested!
    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/the-fridge-o-matic-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-285225

    0
  8. Nonlin.org: Alan Fox: “Intelligent Design” is non-disprovable because there is no testable theory of ID.

    False. See the other thread.

    I can summarize evolutionary theory in a few sentences. You can’t summarize “Intelligent Design” theory at all. All you need to do to prove (heh) me wrong is to summarize “Intelligent Design” theory in as many sentences as you like.

    +1
  9. Nonlin.org,

    Allan Miller: If I create two organisms with a difference, I’d call that a ‘change’.

    Nonlin: False. Only if the second one is based on the first. Change implies sequence. Which is not always the case.

    So if God created a horse and a zebra simultaneously, he didn’t change anything?

    Allan Miller: What’s the specific design reason for this correlated variation?

    Nonlin: I explained already.

    No you didn’t, you gibbered some dumb crap about a Jeep. I’d like to know why this 176-acid protein needs to be varied, when all it does is flip a methyl group on a consistent substrate. Ping! There it goes again.

    Allan Miller: Of course they [analogies] can [be ignored].

    Nonlin: At your peril. And the demise of your “theory”.

    The demise of the “theory” (hairball!) has been predicted for 150 years or more. This is one of the more novel threats: that it is at risk from ignoring analogy.

    Allan Miller: Explain.

    Nonlin: You first. I asked you.

    The only genes that I would expect to correlate with morphology are those genes involved in morphology. I don’t see why, a priori, any other genes should follow that specific hierarchic pattern. Particularly since they have a particular job to do. I expect them to be optimised for that job, not for fooling evolutionists.

    Allan Miller: You just said you ‘expect’ these things to vary in line with morphology. Now you say you don’t.

    Nonlin: What “these things”?

    Genes with no role in morphology.

    My broad (soft) expectations with allowance for exceptions is one thing. Your hard expectations about some minutiae are irrational and most definitely not even anchored in your “theory”.

    They are entirely anchored in the “theory” (hairball!). It displays a total ignorance of evolutionary theory to think otherwise. Which is kind of your basic problem – you don’t understand that which you oppose.

    Allan Miller: Your OP was not responsive to my point about BLAST sequences.

    Nonlin: You don’t seem to have a point. Just grievances.

    Ah, you love your little games. When all else fails, go for petulance. My point about the BLAST sequences was that the changes to the protein, on the evolutionary paradigm, appear gradual.

    Allan Miller: And I could have sworn you had responded to some of them, and I had come back … so what is it I’m not doing?

    Nonlin: Making sense.

    Oh, bazinga, I’m sure.

    0
  10. Nonlin.org:What special pleading?

    Vague reference to Jeep and code, an invented ‘expectation’ that the variation we see in nonmorphological genes must correlate with variation in morphology.

    What handwaving? What “corollary”? What you observe is not a corollary to anything in “evolution”.

    Of course it is. If organisms are commonly descended, we expect to see that relationship throughout their genomes – in morphological and nonmorphological genes, and also in the genes between the genes. A hierarchy naturally follows from a genetic process.

    As my unanswered questions demonstrate:

    Be more specific. You’ve just linked to one of your extended Answers To Everyone.

    +1
  11. Corneel,

    A friend was described as someone who could ‘pick a fight with an empty room’. Or, as Noel Gallagher said of Liam, “a man with a fork in a world of soup”.

    +1
  12. Alan Fox,

    I can summarize evolutionary theory in a few sentences. You can’t summarize “Intelligent Design” theory at all. All you need to do to prove (heh) me wrong is to summarize “Intelligent Design” theory in as many sentences as you like.

    It’s a method to detect design in nature.

    8 words. Your volley 🙂

    0
  13. colewd: It’s a method to detect design in nature.

    8 words. Your volley

    What use is such a detector when it outputs ‘design’ at everything you point it at?

    To wit: can you name an object in the universe that was not designed colewd?

    0
  14. OMagain,

    I have a general set of methods for Detecting Stuff That Can Be Detected. I’m looking for funding.

    +1
  15. colewd: It’s a method to detect design in nature.

    Come on Bill. There is no method, only an assumption. Anyway, biological systems are designed. Evolution is an explanation of how that design occurs, by the niche environment through the reiteration of variation and selection. What “Intelligent Design” theory should have is an alternative explanation for how biological systems are designed.

    0
  16. Alan Fox,

    Come on Bill. There is no method, only an assumption. Anyway, biological systems are designed. Evolution is an explanation of how that design occurs, by the niche environment through the reiteration of variation and selection. What “Intelligent Design” theory should have is an alternative explanation for how biological systems are designed.

    Behe has clearly defined a method. Evolution fails as an explanation as it requires new biological information for a design change. There is no model for how this happens short of a mind being involved. About 15 minutes in is Behe describing the method of design detection.
    https://youtu.be/6Pi5UoZkn4g

    0
  17. colewd: Behe has clearly defined a method. Evolution fails as an explanation as it requires new biological information for a design change. There is no model for how this happens short of a mind being involved. About 15 minutes in is Behe describing the method of design detection.

    But if you can’t actually name anything that is not designed it’s all a bit pointless?

    Can you name something that is not designed?

    Why is the best you can do a video of Behe describing his method of design detection rather then an actual example of design detection? Does that not tell you anything?

    0
  18. colewd:
    Behe has clearly defined a method.Evolution fails as an explanation as it requires new biological information for a design change.There is no model for how this happens short of a mind being involved.

    Golly, I always read that new biological information comes in the form of mutations. Now colewd is telling me that a mind is required to, I’m not sure, design or produce or insert mutations. Now I don’t understand why this is required. Can’t mutations happen for a variety of reasons not involving a mind?

    +1
  19. colewd to Alan Fox,
    Behe has clearly defined a method.

    Yep. It’s called circular reasoning. Imagine that there’s intelligent designers that are nothing like known intelligent designers, then call any molecular structure a purposeful arrangement of parts, which already assumes they were put together by intelligent designers, and presto! A nice, hopelessly circular, argument.

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    Evolution fails as an explanation as it requires new biological information for a design change.

    So?

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    There is no model for how this happens short of a mind being involved.

    It seems like you’ve been ignoring Joe Felsenstein’s explanations, because he has shown how this happens in evolution, time and again. I suspect you shield yourself from that knowledge, fearing that the possibility that information is natural might enter your mind.

    Either way, if we didn’t know how information enters a population, you’d be left with nothing but a god-of-the-gaps fallacy. Not precisely a good foundation for inferring intelligent design, let alone Intelligent Design.

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    About 15 minutes in is Behe describing the method of design detection.
    https://youtu.be/6Pi5UoZkn4g

    As I said above, hopelessly circular, combined with god-of-the-gaps, combined with cherry-picking, combined with abuse of metaphors and analogies.

    +1
  20. Entropy,

    Well, Behe does no more than any other ID proponent in giving any idea of an ID hypothesis and how to test it — just the usual “evolution is impossible” negative arguments, from mousetraps to polar bears.

    +1
  21. A test that gives everything as a positive might need calibrating a touch.

    0
  22. For funzies, I thought I’d have a squint at the introns. The introns are her-yuge on this chap – the 176 acid peptide occupies 176×3 = 528 base pairs, with another 307 bp for flanking UTR (Untranslated region) giving 835 bp. But the gene itself takes up a whopping 20554bp, meaning 96% of it is intron.

    The introns are chopped out after the gene has been transcribed. Some would have it that they are there to support alternative splicing, though that’s an extravagant excess of ‘data’ to allow for just 4 possible isoforms – Exon 1 has to be the first because it is the only one to begin with methionine, so all you can have is 1-2-3, 1-3-2, 1-2 or 1-3. Additionally, because exon 1 has 40 bp, the amino acid sequences of anything containing other than 1-2 in sequence would be completely different beyond acid 13 (of 176). I’m not aware of any functional alternative splices that completely change the acid composition of a large chunk of the protein, though I’m not aware of many things! It’s hard to imagine two substantial frame shifts both being functional. If they are, it’s one in the eye for the ‘islands of function’ brigade!

    So, I took intron 1, 5636bp, and did a nucleotide BLAST. And, again, this hits our primate cousins. It’s not quite as neat as the translated protein, because introns are a lot more variable (hinting at lack of sequence-dependent function). There’s a lot more length variation, and quite a few repeating patterns, which may be due to recombinational slippage, or possible transposon activity. It’s often quite striking how visually nonrandom introns are, by comparison with an equivalent length of translated exon. It would be interesting to do more sophisticated pattern analysis on these repeated motifs.

    Fundamentally, introns are asking for trouble – given neat excision, constraining the ends, the interior can act like a crevice accumulating all manner of genetic fluff that’s fallen down the back of the genetic sofa. But they still seem to follow, to a reasonable approximation, the Linnaean hierarchy. Which is curious.

    +1
  23. Alan Fox: All you need to do to prove (heh) me wrong is to summarize “Intelligent Design” theory in as many sentences as you like.

    Here: “It (life and the universe in general) looks designed because it is designed”.
    Maybe you can summarize “evolution”, but you’re not making any sense.

    Allan Miller: So if God created a horse and a zebra simultaneously, he didn’t change anything?

    Stupid question. If you make coffee and tea simultaneously, are you changing one into the other?

    Allan Miller: No you didn’t, you gibbered some dumb crap about a Jeep.

    Maybe dumb is he that doesn’t understand.

    Allan Miller: I’d like to know why this 176-acid protein needs to be varied, when all it does is flip a methyl group on a consistent substrate.

    You try to turn your [now admitted] ignorance into an argument.

    Allan Miller: The demise of the “theory” (hairball!) has been predicted for 150 years or more.

    Because it’s a cult, not science and most definitely not a true theory. People were too optimistic on the cure for stupidity.

    Allan Miller: The only genes that I would expect to correlate with morphology are those genes involved in morphology.

    Fuck your expectations. PROVE something or stop bitching.

    Allan Miller: My point about the BLAST sequences was that the changes to the protein, on the evolutionary paradigm, appear gradual.

    If “change” is the right word. But since you think you “change” coffee into tea, your local mental institution might be able to help you.

    Allan Miller: Vague reference to Jeep and code, an invented ‘expectation’ that the variation we see in nonmorphological genes must correlate with variation in morphology.

    I don’t have an expectation either way. That which you didn’t understand, is just a clear comparative example to try cure your little tantrum. To no avail it seems.

    Allan Miller: If organisms are commonly descended, we expect to see that relationship throughout their genomes – in morphological and nonmorphological genes, and also in the genes between the genes. A hierarchy naturally follows from a genetic process.

    You’re having another bad expectation. Considering how many organisms went extinct and assuming “evolution”, you may expect all similarities to “evolve away”. And then again, hierarchies certainly follow from a design history.

    Allan Miller: Be more specific. You’ve just linked to one of your extended Answers To Everyone.

    Most of those were addressed to Jock because of his prior extremely crazy claims. But all those questions should be answered.

    OMagain: To wit: can you name an object in the universe that was not designed colewd?

    No, you cannot possibly demonstrate something was NOT designed. And you cannot possibly demonstrate something to be random. But after analysis, some objects may be left ambiguous.

    Alan Fox: Anyway, biological systems are designed. Evolution is an explanation of how that design occurs, by the niche environment through the reiteration of variation and selection.

    This is 100% stupid. You’re saying something like: “the niche (shelf) in your pantry designs the jars that are found there”.

    Alan Fox: What “Intelligent Design” theory should have is an alternative explanation for how biological systems are designed.

    Intelligent Design was the default for ever. And then came Darwin the Retard with his stupid “alternative theory” only because he was an atheist. But there was nothing wrong with ID then as there isn’t now.

    0
  24. Allan Miller: For funzies, I thought I’d have a squint at the introns. The introns are her-yuge on this chap – the 176 acid peptide occupies 176×3 = 528 base pairs, with another 307 bp for flanking UTR (Untranslated region) giving 835 bp. But the gene itself takes up a whopping 20554bp, meaning 96% of it is intron.

    Wait a minute. Since up to 96% of resources are wasted – as you claim – then “evolution” is a failed hypothesis. “Obviously something less wasteful would have “evolved” long time ago if the “theory” were true.

    0
  25. Nonlin.org: Wait a minute. Since up to 96% of resources are wasted – as you claim – then “evolution” is a failed hypothesis. “Obviously something less wasteful would have “evolved” long time ago if the “theory” were true.

    No – evolution does not mean everything must be advantageous, or capable of perfection. That’s your notion – everything is designed for a function. The subtleties of evolutionary theory will forever evade you, so you will forever attack strawmen.

    +2
  26. Alan Fox,

    Well, Behe does no more than any other ID proponent in giving any idea of an ID hypothesis and how to test it — just the usual “evolution is impossible” negative arguments, from mousetraps to polar bears.

    This is simply misrepresenting Behe’s argument. I would think over all these years you would take the time to understand what the alternative views are. Maybe this is just a political game and truth is not necessary. Let me know and I will stop wasting time.

    0
  27. Nonlin.org,

    Allan Miller: So if God created a horse and a zebra simultaneously, he didn’t change anything?

    Nonlin: Stupid question. If you make coffee and tea simultaneously, are you changing one into the other?

    Of course not, but then I’m not proposing any kind of Common Design explanation for the commonalities between species. If he kept some bits, he changed others.

    Allan Miller: No you didn’t, you gibbered some dumb crap about a Jeep.

    Nonlin: Maybe dumb is he that doesn’t understand.

    It’s a possibility, but I’m sticking with my first reaction.

    Allan Miller: I’d like to know why this 176-acid protein needs to be varied, when all it does is flip a methyl group on a consistent substrate.

    Nonlin: You try to turn your [now admitted] ignorance into an argument.

    I’m not ignorant on the evolutionary paradigm – the explanation there is simply accumulated mutation. But you seem unable to even address the question on a Design approach. So yeah, I’m ignorant on that one, and so, it seems, are you.

    Allan Miller: The only genes that I would expect to correlate with morphology are those genes involved in morphology.

    Nonlin: Fuck your expectations. PROVE something or stop bitching.

    The only one bitching around here is you. Why should genes that have no involvement in a morphological distinction correlate with those that do?

    Allan Miller: My point about the BLAST sequences was that the changes to the protein, on the evolutionary paradigm, appear gradual.

    Nonlin: If “change” is the right word. But since you think you “change” coffee into tea, your local mental institution might be able to help you.

    On the evolutionary paradigm, ‘change’ most definitely is the right word. And even designers change things.

    I don’t have an expectation either way. That which you didn’t understand, is just a clear comparative example to try cure your little tantrum. To no avail it seems.

    The variation with morphology still demands some kind of explanation, no?

    Allan Miller: If organisms are commonly descended, we expect to see that relationship throughout their genomes – in morphological and nonmorphological genes, and also in the genes between the genes. A hierarchy naturally follows from a genetic process.

    Nonlin: You’re having another bad expectation. Considering how many organisms went extinct and assuming “evolution”, you may expect all similarities to “evolve away”.

    It is always possible that mutation occurs so rapidly, or extinction so dominant, that relationships are scrambled. That possibility does not dispense with the basic expectation. All we need is an “if” – “IF mutation is not ultra-rapid, then …”.

    Nonlin: And then again, hierarchies certainly follow from a design history.

    Such as?

    All those questions should be answered

    AMA.

    +2
  28. colewd: I showed you a video of his definition. Whats going on with you?

    If only Einstein had made a YouTube video he’d have been far more successful.

    +2
  29. colewd:
    Alan Fox,

    This is simply misrepresenting Behe’s argument.I would think over all these years you would take the time to understand what the alternative views are.Maybe this is just a political game and truth is not necessary.Let me know and I will stop wasting time.

    FFS Bill are you STILL pushing Behe’s circular and ridiculous “purposeful arrangement of parts” argument where he still confuses function for purpose?

    +1
  30. Nonlin.org: “It (life and the universe in general) looks designed because it is designed”.

    That’s not a theory. Weasely use of the passive voice too.

    +1
  31. colewd: I showed you a video of his definition.

    What you claimed was a method. What I asked for was a hypothesis. I watched the video around that time. Behe provides neither.

    0
  32. colewd: . I would think over all these years you would take the time to understand what the alternative views are.

    As Einstein remarked, one would be enough. State the ID alternative explanation to modern evolutionary theory. What’s the mechanism? If it’s a mind, how does it affect reality, how does it interact?

    0
  33. colewd to Alan:
    I showed you a video of his definition. Whats going on with you?

    From Alan’s comment, I suspect he might have watched it, as I, unfortunately, did (gave me a headache with the obvious, hopeless, circularity and god-of-the-gaps fallacies).

    0
  34. Alan Fox: As Einstein remarked, one would be enough. State the ID alternative explanation to modern evolutionary theory. What’s the mechanism? If it’s a mind, how does it affect reality, how does it interact?

    Uh, what’s also required is some way to verify claims. Otherwise, it’s sufficient to say the alternative is some mind performing magic. Prove me wrong!

    What I would most like to see from the poof crowd is even one single test that can actually be performed, and that would (if the test failed) satisfy them that their alternative must be incorrect. Just one. Faith in magic was concocted, and has remained powerful, entirely because there cannot be any disproof. Otherwise, tests would have falsified it as completely as N-rays, phlogiston, and the luminiferous ether. Not to mention (in the medical world) evil spirits, bad humors, etc.

    The main difference here is, practical people like doctors and scientists look for and practice what works. The religious types look for and practice what convinces the desperate multitudes. Without greed, there would be no con men.

    +1
  35. Alan Fox,

    As Einstein remarked, one would be enough. State the ID alternative explanation to modern evolutionary theory. What’s the mechanism? If it’s a mind, how does it affect reality, how does it interact?

    ID is not an alternative to evolutionary theory. It is a method for detecting design in nature. Evolutionary theories limitations are independent of ID. What ID is finding are the limitations of science through the methods of people like Behe and Dembski.

    What the theory has so far revealed is that the origin of functional information and structures made of functional information (irreducibly complex structures) like the origin of the laws of physics and chemistry are most likely out of the reach of science.

    0
  36. colewd to Alan Fox,
    ID is not an alternative to evolutionary theory.

    Of course not. It’s an attempt to bring religious beliefs into the science curriculum.

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    It is a method for detecting design in nature.

    Nah. It’s a method for fooling religious people and ignorant school boards into believing that the religious views are scientific.

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    Evolutionary theories inadequacies are independent of ID.

    Of course. They’re only dependent on how far the science has progressed. Wow! We agreed on one! I’m starting to suspect you’re about to go for the kill: a plain god-of-the-gaps fallacy, but maybe I’m wrong. Let’s see:

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    What ID is finding are the limitations of science through methods of people like Behe and Dembski.

    Those point to Behe’s and Dembski’s limitations, not those of science. Not only that, if so, then ID is not about ID, and shouldn’t even be called ID. If you want to find the limitations of science, quite a hard thing to do, you should be dedicating your efforts to something like philosophy of science, rather than “intelligent design.” Why use the wrong name for what you’re actually doing?

    colewd to Alan Fox,
    What the theory has so far revealed is that the origin of functional information and structures made of functional information (irreducibly complex structures) like the origin of the laws of physics and chemistry are most likely out of the reach of science.

    This is a terrible conceptual mess. I think you don’t know what you’re talking about. The origin of functional information is easy to “reveal”, it’s in energy flows and chemical/physical interactions. The laws of physics and chemistry originated from people finding patterns in the way nature works and producing some equations to describe them. They decided to call those equations laws. See? Not difficult at all. Problem solved!

    So, if ID is doing this, they’re doing it in the wrong place, and it shows. They lack the most basic understanding of philosophy.

    +2
  37. colewd:

    ID is not an alternative to evolutionary theory.It is a method for detecting design in nature.

    I recall, way back when, Dembski wrote a whole book proposing a method for detecting design. And several people sent Dembski various items and invited him to use his method to determine whether or not they were designed. Unsurprisingly, Dembski never made the attempt — because he didn’t know what the items were, which turns out to be his only way to know if they were designed.

    Far as I can tell, nothing has changed since.

    0
  38. Allan Miller: No – evolution does not mean everything must be advantageous, or capable of perfection.

    We’re not talking “perfection” here. We’re talking OUTRAGEOUS waste. Totally inexplicable on the account of “evolution”. Run the numbers and tell me how much waste (in your example).

    Allan Miller: Of course not, but then I’m not proposing any kind of Common Design explanation for the commonalities between species. If he kept some bits, he changed others.

    You’re fixation on “change” is not making any sense. I gave you a VERY clear counter example.

    Allan Miller: I’m not ignorant on the evolutionary paradigm – the explanation there is simply accumulated mutation.

    That’s your problem. You start with your “paradigm” and force fit everything into it.

    Allan Miller: Why should genes that have no involvement in a morphological distinction correlate with those that do?

    Not “should”, “do”. Your answer to this valid and open question is an “affirming the consequent” (not even since there’s no forecast from “evolution” to genetics).

    The better question is “why shouldn’t?” To which you have no valid answer.

    Allan Miller: On the evolutionary paradigm, ‘change’ most definitely is the right word. And even designers change things.

    You “paradigm” is bogus. Designers are not bound by “change”. They may change things, may co-create, may create anew, may build independently based on a common design, etc. etc.

    Allan Miller: The variation with morphology still demands some kind of explanation, no?

    Maybe. You don’t like mine and I don’t like yours. Next step: got any proof? No! Then your conclusions are bogus.

    Allan Miller: It is always possible that mutation occurs so rapidly, or extinction so dominant, that relationships are scrambled.

    Here you go again presupposing your conclusion – your “paradigm”. That’s not science!

    Allan Miller: Such as?

    Look it up.

    Allan Miller: AMA.

    You and your acronyms… You got the questions. Go ahead.

    Alan Fox: Nonlin.org: “It (life and the universe in general) looks designed because it is designed”.

    That’s not a theory. Weasely use of the passive voice too.

    Sure it is. A summary was requested.

    You got something against “the passive voice”? Who cares?

    0
  39. colewd: ID is not an alternative to evolutionary theory.

    After fifteen or so years of following the fortunes of the ID movement, I can absolutely confirm you are correct.

    +1
  40. colewd: What the theory…

    There is no ID theory, Bill. You said yourself the ID movement have no testable scientific theories or hypotheses to offer as an alternative to evolution. Paul Nelson is still confirming that fact in comments at Peaceful Science where you are also commenting.

    …has so far revealed is that the origin of functional information and structures made of functional information (irreducibly complex structures) like the origin of the laws of physics and chemistry are most likely out of the reach of science.

    No it hasn’t. I know you hope and believe this but you are not convincing anyone.

    0
  41. Nonlin.org,

    Allan Miller: No – evolution does not mean everything must be advantageous, or capable of perfection.

    Nonlin: We’re not talking “perfection” here. We’re talking OUTRAGEOUS waste.

    Haha. You’ll be able to tell me what it’s for on the ID viewpoint, then. And why it varies among species the way it does.

    Totally inexplicable on the account of “evolution”

    Rubbish. The accumulation of wasted bits would only be a problem if there was a significant cost to each increment, ultimately in terms of reproductive success against actual variants in the population rather than imaginary ones. It’s funny that you are now assuming massive selection against.

    Run the numbers and tell me how much waste (in your example).

    About 95% I’d say, given that you only really need the end sequences for neat excision, and assuming they aren’t self-splicing.

    Allan Miller: Of course not, but then I’m not proposing any kind of Common Design explanation for the commonalities between species. If he kept some bits, he changed others.

    Nonlin: You’re fixation on “change” is not making any sense. I gave you a VERY clear counter example.

    I think it a perfectly reasonable way to express the differences, on both viewpoints. You disagree, I don’t care. This subdiscussion only continues because you pursue it. You know what I’m referring to, you just don’t like what I’m calling it. Your counterexample was simply a poor analogy. Designers don’t reuse parts of coffee when they make tea, so there’s no sense in which they change bits either. Your example sounds rather like affirming the consequent, ironically. An example without change denies change in all scenarios. Hmmm… 🤔

    Allan Miller: I’m not ignorant on the evolutionary paradigm – the explanation there is simply accumulated mutation.

    Nonlin: That’s your problem. You start with your “paradigm” and force fit everything into it.

    Assuming a proposition’s truth in order to examine its entailments is so basic a part of logic and science, I don’t know why you have a problem with it, being a top logician and scientist an’ all. There’s no need to force fit the patterns I’m discussing into the evolutionary account; they flow naturally from it. ID, not so much.

    Allan Miller: Why should genes that have no involvement in a morphological distinction correlate with those that do?

    Not “should”, “do”. Your answer to this valid and open question is an “affirming the consequent” (not even since there’s no forecast from “evolution” to genetics).

    It’s not affirming the consequent, it is affirming consistency with the hypothesis. You do like to beat this drum. Is it coincidental there’s a book with that title?

    Your own answers, relating to Jeeps and code rather than genetic distinctions themselves, hardly seem to evade your own challenge. Why do nonmorphological and unexpressed genes follow morphological ones, if a Designer is at work? “That’s what a Designer would do, so Design it is”. Except, it’s not.

    The better question is “why shouldn’t?” To which you have no valid answer.

    Because genes ‘should’ be optimised for function. If that function is independent of morphology, then ‘why not’ is a massive cop-out. They give exactly the pattern you’d expect given evolution, but … hey, why not? 🤣🤣 Dismal.

    Allan Miller: On the evolutionary paradigm, ‘change’ most definitely is the right word. And even designers change things.

    Nonlin: You “paradigm” is bogus. Designers are not bound by “change”. They may change things, may co-create, may create anew, may build independently based on a common design, etc. etc.

    You seem quite fixated on that word ‘change’. Now I’ve found it annoys you, I will make a point of doing it more.

    Allan Miller: The variation with morphology still demands some kind of explanation, no?

    Nonlin: Maybe. You don’t like mine and I don’t like yours. Next step: got any proof? No! Then your conclusions are bogus.

    You don’t even have an explanation, beyond “Why not?”.

    Allan Miller: It is always possible that mutation occurs so rapidly, or extinction so dominant, that relationships are scrambled.

    Nonlin: Here you go again presupposing your conclusion – your “paradigm”. That’s not science!

    Drink! Again, I don’t know how one is supposed to examine a proposition’s entailments without, arguendo assuming its truth. This is such an ingrained part of the scientific method that your knee-jerk ‘not science’ seems particularly clownish.

    Allan Miller: Such as?

    Nonlin: Look it up.

    Translation: “I got nuthin'”

    Allan Miller: AMA.

    Nonlin: You and your acronyms… You got the questions. Go ahead.

    Can’t be arsed searching. If you have a question, ask away.

    +1
  42. Allan Miller: You’ll be able to tell me what it’s for on the ID viewpoint, then. And why it varies among species the way it does.

    No, nonlin only does what evolution cannot do, not what ID can do.

    Prediction: He’ll ignore your question.

    +1
  43. OMagain: No, nonlin only does what evolution cannot do, not what ID can do.

    Prediction: He’ll ignore your question.

    Or say ‘why not?’. How much more scientific advance we might have seen if we’d responded to every piece of data with ‘why not?’? 🤣 “Why do ye elements combine in precise proportion, Mr Dalton?” “Why not?”.

    +1
  44. I’ve looked at the protein product, and at the nucleotide sequence of the excised introns that play no part in its chemical action (which happens to take place in the mitochondrion, far from the site of intron removal in the nucleus). Both, despite very different roles (or perhaps no role in one case), vary in line with the morphological hierarchy of Linnaeus. Curious, huh?

    Now, for more funzies, I’m going to look at the nucleotide sequences of the exons. I expect to see more variation there than in the peptide. In particular I expect more variation at every 3rd base, and an excess of transition (purine-purine or pyrimidine-pyrimidine substitution) over transversion (a purine replaced by a pyrimidine, or vice versa). These are assumptions from evolution. I’ll report back; I haven’t cheated by peeking. If anyone thinks I have, they are free to offer me a Fridge-o-matic substitute and I’ll start again.

    I picked this protein by jabbing my finger in a biochemical pathways chart, by the way. I had no specific idea what I would unearth, though a pretty good idea on an evolutionary assumption.

    +2

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