What mixture of “design” and “evolution” is possible as the IDM collapses?

This offers the simplest “neutral” colloquial mixture of “design” and “evolution” that I’ve seen in a long time. The site is no longer maintained, but the language persists.

“As a designer it is important to understand where design came from, how it developed, and who shaped its evolution. The more exposure you have to past, current and future design trends, styles and designers, the larger your problem-solving toolkit. The larger your toolkit, the more effective of a designer you can be.” http://www.designishistory.com/this-site/

Here, the term “evolution” as used just meant “history”. The author was not indicating “design theory evolution”, but rather instead the “history of designs” themselves, which have been already instantiated.

The topic “design is history” nevertheless enables an obvious point of contact between “evolution” and “design”. They both have histories that can be studied. Present in the above meaning of “design” are the origin, processes and agent(s) involved in the “designing”. This differs significantly from the Discovery Institute’s version of “design theory”, when it comes to history, aim, structure and agency, since the DI’s version flat out avoids discussion of design processes and agent(s). The primary purpose of the DI’s “design theory”, meanwhile, is USAmerican religious apologetics and “theistic science”.

The quotation above likely didn’t come from an IDist, and it isn’t referencing “Intelligent Design” theory as a supposed “scientific theory”. The “designer” in the quotation above is a (more or less intelligent) human designer, not a Divine Designer. This fact distinguishes it “in principle” from the Discovery Institute’s ID theory, which is supposed to be (depends on who you’re speaking with in the IDM) about first biology, then informatics, and statistics. The DI’s ID theory is not actually focused on “designing by real designers”, but rather on apologetics using “design” and informational probabilism.

The Discovery Institute’s failure to distinguish or even highlight the differences and similarities between human design and Divine Design, and instead their engagement in active distortion, equivocation, double-talking, and obfuscation between them, are marks of its eventual downward trend to collapse.

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1,506 thoughts on “What mixture of “design” and “evolution” is possible as the IDM collapses?

  1. colewd: I never bought into your straw man version of it.

    Heh. Tell us more about how your “disembodied mind” did it.

    The theory is limited but as this site demonstrates it is effective.

    ID-Creationism is very effective at showing its proponents to be scientifically illiterate religious fanatics.

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  2. colewd: Your statement is simply your own personal incredulity. You make the statement that Gods a fairytale and I counter with God is the best explanation for a universe containing observers. Whats your argument beyond your assertion.

    Why should one favor your assertion that a deity is the best explanation over the assertion we don’t know enough to judge the best explanation?

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  3. newton: Why should one favor your assertion that a deity is the best explanation over the assertion we don’t know enough to judge the best explanation?

    Because it’s always uncomfortable for people to admit they don’t know something. Vastly preferable to Make Shit Up, and convince themselves they have answered questions not currently answerable. And as Wiley Miller tells us, it is far easier to fool people, then to convince them they’ve been fooled. Bill has been thoroughly fooled, and cannot be convinced of it. Alas, he is normal.

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  4. colewd: You make the statement that Gods a fairytale and I counter with God is the best explanation for a universe containing observers.

    What’s the explanation for a universe containing God then?

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  5. Flint: Alas, he is normal.

    And yet he never seems to notice the utter lack of anything productive from that position.

    God did it. colewd said it. And there’s literally nothing more to be said or done.

    A real science stopper. Simply push back the origin of the universe to ‘god’ who does not need to be explained (says colewd) and that’s that. Problem ‘solved’.

    Well, solved for a certain category of person anyway.

    Solved for colwed.

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  6. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: Quarks are purely mathematical entities.

    I think you have the map mixed with the territory. Physicists have produced mathematical models to explain and predict the observed behaviour of fundamental particles.

    But with fundamental particles mathematics is all there is. They have no dimensions in space and they act in ways that are not dependent on time. They can either be treated as purely mathematical or they can be understood as revealing a realm over and above the physical.

    In my opinion light and darkness have properties which give us a outer link to this higher realm, and pure thinking gives us the inner link.

    A map displayed in an atlas leaves out a multitude of things that can be described; the third dimension, movement, life and much else besides. In your opinion what is it that belongs to fundamental ‘particles’ that the mathematical map leaves out?

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  7. Alan Fox:

    How do you account for the placebo effect?

    As far as it exists, perhaps thinking you are going to get better has a positive effect on getting better. Not sure how that relates to diseases such as schizophrenia being physical.

    So thinking leads to believing and this initiates a physical effect. There is a reciprocal relationship between thinking and the brain. I would agree with that.

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  8. Allan Miller: CharlieM:

    Me: Reject all you like, that is pretty much what happens. Of course the genes that specifically do that – DNA polymerases and their adjuncts – are but a fragment of the total genome.

    Charlie: It is cellular processes which govern genetic activity. Molecular complexes supplied by the parent begin the processes of cell division and development of the offspring.

    Supplied by the parental genome. Endless recasting in terms you find more congenial does not change that basic fact of biology. You say it, I refute it, you say it again, round and round … I’m happy to play this game because I’m stubborn, and because I’m right! Your recasting it yet again changes no facts of biology. It may be persuasive to you, but you’re trying to persuade someone else, by simple repetition.

    You appear to be trying to refute reductionism through obscurantism – by holding your telescope to the wrong eye and deliberately not seeing the information flow, by mashing ‘phenotype’ into a vague whole such that genes become subordinate to it. Because vague-phenotype extracts genetic sequence, and vague-phenotype replicates DNA, and vague-phenotype controls cell division and apoptosis, then it’s all about vague-phenotype. Something that is both a property of a single zygote, and a massed collection of descendants of that zygote. When a cell, that cell ‘manipulates its genome’. When a collection, the whole collection ‘manipulates its genome(s)’.

    But in fact, each component is specific-genotype. A separate part of genotype in each case, not a vague composite. The genome is a collective of specialisms; a mini-society (the whole reflected in the parts, hee hee). It multiplies, but ultimately it’s a single (haploid) copy that pops out.

    With respect to sexual organisms it is parental actions which bring about the transmission of living substance to the offspring. This substance contains the genome which in turn contains the instructions for making polypeptides. The resulting organism develops and grows by using these polypeptides to construct protein complexes. It is a functional unit which gets passed on.

    DNA polymerase, helicase, single stranded binding protein, DNA topoisomerase, primase, and ligase all work together to achieve this development. The order of their construction is indeed contained in the genome but various sequences still need to be selected and manipulated in time and space.

    And all of that is also contained in the genome. Which is why the zygote of a particular species ends up replicating into an organism with a roughly consistent form, behaviour, developmental progression, response. That information is not in ‘the cell’; it’s in the genome. Demonstrably.

    And basically the information about all these words I write can be found in English dictionaries.

    DNA polymerase has the remarkable ability to add bases at one thousand per second and it also removes errors and add correct bases.

    All specified within the genetic sequence of the enzyme.

    The polypeptides are specified, the actions of the complexes are not.

    It does this in conjunction with many other protein complexes.

    Whose sequence and control resides in the genome.

    Control is achieved through the workings of multiple coordinated activities.

    These are the processes that get passed on from generation to generation.

    In the genome.

    Which is in the zygote. And the zygote is an active living being.

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  9. No I didn’t. The positive claim is that there’s magical beings originating stuff. Denying their existence is not burden shift, is proper stance when confronted with such extraordinary, though planly ridiculous, claims.

    Let’s see if we can simplify this. Define magical being such that your argument is not circular by use of the label “magical”.

    What does “magical” mean. Why do you assign that label to God?

    It’s not circular reasoning because I was not making an argument for it. I was just describing them for what they are. Arguing and describing are different activities.

    .
    Are you making a claim based on authority?

    That’s not what happened Bill. You did not counter with “God is the best explanation … blah blah blah”, you asserted that god was the default explanation until someone could come up with a different one, which is pretty irrational.

    I argued that the existence of intelligent observers was best explained by an intelligent cause.

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  10. Corneel,

    Yeah, and he is projecting too.

    Is this your example of “proof by assertion” :-). At what point do you realize that your argument just lacks horse power.

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  11. OMagain,

    What’s the explanation for a universe containing God then?

    An eternal being. Any other argument creates a logic failure from our perspective.

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  12. Flint,

    Because it’s always uncomfortable for people to admit they don’t know something. Vastly preferable to Make Shit Up, and convince themselves they have answered questions not currently answerable. And as Wiley Miller tells us, it is far easier to fool people, then to convince them they’ve been fooled. Bill has been thoroughly fooled, and cannot be convinced of it. Alas, he is normal.

    How do you know I have been fooled? Is it possible I have stumbled over the truth?

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  13. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM: I don’t deny that genes get passed on. But genes are just one part of the whole organism and it is whole organisms that get passed on.

    That is incorrect. A whole beaver does not pass on its whole-beaverness; a tiny beaver that grows into a new one. It passes on its genes, plus, for a moment, a handful of gene products generated by the parental genome, before the offspring genome starts generating them directly.

    You misunderstand what I mean by ‘whole organism’. A single celled zygote may not have reached its full potential but it is still a whole organism.

    Organisms are beings in time, not just in space. A caterpillar is an early stage and a butterfly a later stage. Can we thus say that caterpillars are not whole organisms in their own right? Both are completely different life forms but they are both functioning organisms.

    You wrote, ‘ …a handful of gene products generated by the parental genome, before the offspring genome starts generating them directly’. In my opinion the word ‘genome’ is superfluous here, and indeed misleading. A more appropriate word would be, ‘cell’.

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  14. The fact that we live in a universe that contains intelligent beings does not entail the cause of the universe was itself an intelligent and eternal being.

    At most it shows that

    (1) there exists something that exists necessarily and

    (2) whatever causal powers this has, they must include the capacity to generate structures with the requisite causal and modal structures to enable the emergence of the dynamical processes that manifest what we call “intelligence”.

    But there is no reason to believe that whatever is referred to by the word “God” is the best candidate for satisfying those conditions.

    Whether we take (1) and (2) to be satisfied by God or by a multiverse cannot be decided on rational grounds. It’s a leap of faith either way, which can be avoided only by the most strenuous apatheism or ignosticism.

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  15. colewd: Is this your example of “proof by assertion” :-).

    Not quite, but I am glad I made you smile.

    colewd: At what point do you realize that your argument just lacks horse power.

    I haven’t made an argument. I just made fun of your newfound habit of accusing every opponent of commiting logical fallacies when in fact they did not. May I advise you to stop doing that?

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  16. Corneel,

    I haven’t made an argument. I just made fun of your newfound habit of accusing every opponent of commiting logical fallacies when in fact they did not. May I advise you to stop doing that?

    No you cannot but if I use a logical fallacy please flag it.

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  17. Kantian Naturalist,

    Whether we take (1) and (2) to be satisfied by God or by a multiverse cannot be decided on rational grounds. It’s a leap of faith either way, which can be avoided only by the most strenuous apatheism or ignosticism.

    The multiverse would have to be essentially infinite multiverses to overcome the probabilistic problems. In this case then God could poof into existence as well as trying to explain the whole show with a very large string of improbable events.

    Your argument is sound if you do not consider the Bible as additional evidence for an eternal creator.

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  18. Corneel:

    CharlieM: But there is much more to organisms over and above the physical body. There are higher organisational principles with their own laws. It is a mistake to apply the mechanical laws in which cause precedes effect to these higher principles. The life organisation is rhythmic in character with self-generated movement. Further we have the sentient organisation and the ego organisation with their own specific laws.

    Could you explicitly state what those laws are and explain how they describe the relationship between archetype and phenotype? How does the potential for a novel trait become expressed by all the members of a clade, but not outside it? I don’t believe you’ve answered Allan’s original question.

    To give an example of a law that applies to organisms but not to inanimate objects compare a rock to a snail. A rock will not move of its own accord but a snail has an intrinsic ability to move around.

    Many consider Darwin’s theory of natural selection to be so well established that it can be considered a law. A law of the living and not of the inanimate.

    The archetype is the general which includes all potential forms within it and the phenotype is the particular expression of the archetype. I use triangles as the most simple demonstration of this idea. The archetypal triangle is inclusive of every form of triangle that conforms to the law of the triangle. It cannot be measured or contained. Particular triangles have parts that can be measured which gives them their individuality, but their essential triangularity lies outwith this measurement. To ask for the whereabouts of this archetype is to misunderstand it completely.

    As for clades, you will have noticed that I am a great believer in the saying, ‘the whole reflected in the parts’, and that by looking at the parts we can get an insight as to the whole. Study the life of a higher animal and you will see that the original unity differentiates into several forms. Some forms can lead to many other forms but some become specialised and go no further. The parts of an organism can be grouped into nested hierarchies. For individual organisms as well as life in general there are unities within unities. In an individual the differentiation does not come from the genome but from the particular way in which the genome is expressed. Likewise with the descent of organisms the variety comes from the way in which that which gets passed on is expressed. And what gets passed on is more than just chemicals, it is living activity.

    Nothing in life is simple, certainly not as simple as a combination of the letters A,T,C and G arranged in a linear string.

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  19. Corneel:

    CharlieM: Chromosomes are intricate, living, moving, complex molecules consisting of more than strings of nucleotides. What is the chemical composition of these ‘parasitic DNA elements’? I think you’ll find that DNA is only one of the constituents and would be meaningless outwith the complex of which it forms a vital part.

    Parasites tend to be meaningless without a host, sure. That is their nature. But it is folly to argue that parasites are part of the host organism. The same goes for parasitic DNA elements: they do not serve the interests of the organism or the chromosome that hosts them.

    You ran into this issue before, when we were discussing viruses. You tried to deal with this by pointing out that viruses are harmless without a host, which is like saying that volcanic eruptions are perfectly safe provided that you are at not around to experience its consequences. That is just evasion of the inconvenient fact you were asked to confront. Viruses and other parasitic elements are pathogens that clearly do not exist for our benefit, but have their own agenda.

    Beneficial, detrimental, it’s all relative. Antibiotics are obviously fatal to individual bacteria but judging by the appearance of superbugs they lead to higher resistant strains of bacteria in general.

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  20. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: I think the problem lies in treating genes as agents. Individual organisms are agents, even intra-cellular complexes such as dynein ‘motors’ and chromosomes can be classed as agents.

    You are, perhaps without realising it, (re-)making the distinction between genotype and phenotype. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    Chromosomes are as much a part of the phenotype as any other bodily parts.

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  21. Alan Fox:

    CharlieM: Sex and reproduction are very interestring areas of study.

    Way to miss the point. Sex is evolution’s biggest idea. It’s the halving, swapping and shuffling of genomes allowing and promoting the proliferation of novel genomes that is important. The rest is window dressing.

    I see. Sex was instigated for a purpose. It seems that evolution came up with a very good idea. How clever is that 🙂

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  22. CharlieM: Beneficial, detrimental, it’s all relative. Antibiotics are obviously fatal to individual bacteria but judging by the appearance of superbugs they lead to higher resistant strains of bacteria in general.

    So does the disembodied mind create the superbugs when new antibiotics are created?

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  23. CharlieM: To give an example of a law that applies to organisms but not to inanimate objects compare a rock to a snail. A rock will not move of its own accord but a snail has an intrinsic ability to move around.

    Is lichen growing on a rock a lawbreaker to the law of organisms?

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  24. colewd: The multiverse would have to be essentially infinite multiverses to overcome the probabilistic problems. In this case then God could poof into existence as well as trying to explain the whole show with a very large string of improbable events

    How do you calculate the probability of an omnipotent ,eternal being?

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  25. newton,

    How do you calculate the probability of an omnipotent ,eternal being?

    Very interesting question. Just taking a swag I would say it is:
    1-probability of conscious life without one. Pretty close to 1. There is a reason for the popularity of this conclusion.

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  26. CharlieM: Sex was instigated for a purpose.

    Well, I don’t think so. What evidence leads you to think sex was invented rather than discovered?

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  27. colewd: probability of conscious life without [an omnipotent, eternal being]. Pretty close to 1.

    I think we can agree on that! 😉

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  28. colewd: The multiverse would have to be essentially infinite multiverses to overcome the probabilistic problems. In this case then God could poof into existence as well as trying to explain the whole show with a very large string of improbable events.

    Yes, the multiverse would be the cause of all (physically) possible universes.

    Your argument is sound if you do not consider the Bible as additional evidence for an eternal creator.

    Good, because I don’t.

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  29. colewd:
    Let’s see if we can simplify this. Define magical being such that your argument is not circular by use of the label “magical”.

    Definitions and arguments are different things Bill. Definitions attempt to describe things in a few words. Arguments try to reach a conclusion. Because definitions describe things, they will always look “circular” if mistaken for arguments. KN tried to explain this to you, asking you not to treat things-other-than-arguments as if they were arguments, and you answer was that you will continue to do so.

    colewd:
    What does “magical” mean.Why do you assign that label to God?

    It’s a word often used in fairy tales to mean that someone can do physically impossible things, like thinking universes into existence from nothing at all.

    colewd:
    Are you making a claim based on authority?

    Nope. I’m making fun of religious fantasies and still trying to get you to understand something thats very simple: the default position for “origins” or whatever else we might not know is: we don’t know. The default cannot be “gods-did-it” because those are not explanations, those are fantasies, and, even if they weren’t fantasies, though they are, they cannot be default positions, they have to first be proven to exist, their capacities assessed, and even then they’d be candidate explanations, not default positions.

    colewd:
    I argued that the existence of intelligent observers was best explained by an intelligent cause.

    Again with your confusions. Asserting and arguing are not the same things. You asserted that the existence of intelligent observers was best explained by an intelligent cause. A-s-s-e-r-t-e-d, not a-r-g-u-e-d. Clear?

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  30. Entropy,

    It’s a word often used in fairy tales to mean that someone can do physically impossible things, like thinking universes into existence from nothing at all.

    Are you trying to define the Bible as a fairy tale?

    Nope. I’m making fun of religious fantasies and still trying to get you to understand something thats very simple: the default position for “origins” or whatever else we might not know is: we don’t know. The default cannot be “gods-did-it” because those are not explanations, those are fantasies, and, even if they weren’t fantasies, though they are, they cannot be default positions, they have to first be proven to exist, their capacities assessed, and even then they’d be candidate explanations, not default positions.

    This is your default position. It’s not the only accepted default position. I happen to think you are mistaken.

    Again with your confusions. Asserting and arguing are not the same things. You asserted that the existence of intelligent observers was best explained by an intelligent cause. A-s-s-e-r-t-e-d, not a-r-g-u-e-d. Clear?

    This is true but again I have argued this position. In the past your counter was only an assertion. Hope springs eternal that will change 🙂

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  31. colewd:
    newton,

    Very interesting question.Just taking a swag I would say it is:
    1-probability of conscious life without one.Pretty close to 1.There is a reason for the popularity of this conclusion.

    I assume you mean 0% probability of conscious life without a deity because people ,who are conscious, believe in a deity through faith.

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  32. colewd: This is your default position. It’s not the only accepted default position. I happen to think you are mistaken.

    “We don’t know” is the default position for all of science. “POOF GAWDDIDIT!” may be your personal default but it’s 100% not scientific.

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  33. newton,

    I assume you mean 0% probability of conscious life without a deity because people ,who are conscious, believe in a deity through faith.

    I think if you were to try and estimate the probability of conscious life arising solely from the laws the laws of physics and chemistry based on what is observable today you get a number pretty close to zero.

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  34. colewd: I think if you were to try and estimate the probability of conscious life arising solely from the laws the laws of physics and chemistry based on what is observable today you get a number pretty close to zero

    Sorry but “pulled from Bill’s ass” isn’t a valid scientific criteria for estimating probabilities. The correct answer is “we don’t know enough to even guess at a realistic probability value”.

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  35. CharlieM: But with fundamental particles mathematics is all there is.

    Disagree. As I said, mathematical models seem to work well as predictors. What causes patterns in bubble chambers – the mathematics?

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  36. colewd:
    Are you trying to define the Bible as a fairy tale?

    Nope. The Bible does a good job at that by itself. But it’s not a single fairy tale. It’s several added together. But not all of it. Some of it is ancient laws, some is ancient cultural expressions, like ancient poetry, etc.

    colewd:
    This is your default position. It’s not the only accepted default position. I happen to think you are mistaken.

    It’s the only logically / philosophically / scientifically acceptable default position. You’re mistaking what you think really happened with what a default position can possibly be.

    colewd:
    This is true but again I have argued this position.In the past your counter was only an assertion. Hope springs eternal that will change

    I doubt that my answer to an argument would be only an assertion. Seems like you’re projecting your own “qualities” and answer “style” onto others.

    However, so far you’ve been mistaking descriptions for arguments, assertions for arguments, etc. I would not be surprised if you mistook explanations for assertions.

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  37. colewd,

    Adapa: Sorry but “pulled from Bill’s ass” isn’t a valid scientific criteria for estimating probabilities. The correct answer is “we don’t know enough to even guess at a realistic probability value”.

    See Bill? The proper default position that I was talking about?

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  38. CharlieM: But with fundamental particles mathematics is all there is.

    I remember my physics teacher in middle school, doing the directly proportional example, and warning us: “always remember that the model is not the same as the phenomenon and that the model can be wrong.” Later in life we learn about overfitting, about ranges within which the models work, points where the models break, etc. etc.

    Yet, we still end up seeing statements like yours.

    But maybe I should not be too harsh on you. After all, there’s plenty of scientists talking about “the equations that govern the universe.” I have written the equations that try and describe the way in which the universe works. I have erased constants, changed them, put them in the wrong place, burned them, long etc. Guess what? The universe didn’t change at all. If those equations govern the universe they don’t seem to exert a lot of control. They don’t seem to get any respect from the universe.

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  39. Entropy,

    Nope. The Bible does a good job at that by itself. But it’s not a single fairy tale. It’s several added together. But not all of it. Some of it is ancient laws, some is ancient cultural expressions, like ancient poetry, etc.

    So you are using the word “fairy tale” in error as far as I can tell.

    It’s the only logically / philosophically / scientifically acceptable default position.

    Do you consider this an assertion, an argument or a definition? I would call it an assertion.

    However, so far you’ve been mistaking descriptions for arguments, assertions for arguments, etc. I would not be surprised if you mistook explanations for assertions.

    Ok lets add explanations to the mix. An assertion is a claim that is unsupported. Do you agree? An explanation would be a clarification of a claim or argument. An argument is an explanation of why a claim is valid.

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  40. Entropy,

    See Bill? The proper default position that I was talking about?

    You are taking Adapas assertions to support your assertions? There are many estimates available for origin events.

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  41. colewd:
    So you are using the word “fairy tale” in error as far as I can tell.

    Nope. I’m using it to mock the fantasy nature of the stories in the Bible. There’s no error in that usage.

    colewd:
    Do you consider this an assertion, an argument or a definition? I would call it an assertion.

    It’s the end point of an explanation that has spanned several comments already, it’s insistence on something you keep refusing to understand. Look, I do not believe in your magical being in the sky, but that’s not the reason it cannot be a default “answer”. It wouyld not be even my default answer if I believed in it, simply because I understand that answers have to be demonstrated to be able to go from “I don’t know” to “this is the most probable explanation.”

    colewd:
    Ok lets add explanations to the mix. An assertion is a claim that is unsupported. Do you agree?

    So you’re trying to improve on something. Glad to see. Sure. Let’s go by that definition.

    colewd:
    An explanation would be a clarification of a claim or argument.

    Sure. Why not. It can also be the description of how something works, like an internal combustion engine, etc.

    colewd:
    An argument is an explanation of why a claim is valid.

    An explanation might accompany an argument, but the argument would be the presentation of the premises that lead to a conclusion if everything goes all right. They’re the stuff of the philosophical branch of logic.

    Of course, there’s other definitions for argument, but that one is the one most commonly in mind in these kinds of forums. These are the ones that can contain logical fallacies, like circularity, loaded premises, etc.

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  42. colewd:
    newton,

    I think if you were to try and estimate the probability of conscious life arising solely from the laws the laws of physics and chemistry based on what is observable today you get a number pretty close to zero.

    That is what I thought you meant. Does the fact that humans lack of omniscience change that calculation any? There are things we do not know, and things we do not know we don’t know. Current knowledge is a slippery slope to base absolute probabilities.

    Additionally, there is no knowledge of how the deity did what He did. A non-omnipotent deity might be also be bound by certain aspects of the nature of matter.

    One might also need to take into account the probability of an both truly omniscient and omnipotent deity existing and actually creating consciousness. I wonder why if consciousness was so probable with a deity and proof that the deity exists , why so few things are actually conscious. Would more conscious things be better evidence than fewer?

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  43. Adapa: Sorry but “pulled from Bill’s ass” isn’t a valid scientific criteria for estimating probabilities

    But one could estimate the likelihood of PFBA as nearly 1, based on observable facts.

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  44. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM: [Snip exasperated riff by me about how many times I find myself dealing with the same points repeated …]
    Charlie: The only time that the DNA molecule is observed to be in isolation is when human researchers separate it out of the living substance.

    Ye Gods. Your response is repetition again? I’ll say it again with block capitals and italics for emphasis: IT DOESN’T MATTER. It really doesn’t. See #1. Gene centrism is not dependent on the observation of naked DNA. I wrote that on 4th August. It’s now 5th September.

    Fair enough. If all gene centrism is saying is that DNA sits within chromosomes which sit within cells which sit within organisms, then I agree.

    In your mind you see DNA and proteins as separate but they are never seen as such in living systems.

    They are separate, even in living systems. Of course they are separate; they’re a completely different class of molecule, with different functions. Nonetheless, every protein sequence is in DNA. Most of them are less than a day old, and must be refreshed from the genome. Every control region is rooted in DNA. All of ’em. You are attempting to refute reductionism by wielding ignorance of detail; raising that to the level of fundamental principle.

    Just as in water oxygen and hydrogen are not separate so in living substance DNA and proteins are not separate. DNA combined with proteins equals living substance, DNA isolated equals dead substance. It is common for many substances that they exist in their natural state as compounds and mixtures rather than as separate elements.

    Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are very different elements in their own right but all physical life exists and persists because of their combination in living substance. Living substance is built upon their combination not their separation.

    Together they have the properties of life, separate them and you end up with dead matter.

    Because the modern genome acts through (inter alia) the extensive production of proteins. This is not a sensible objection to gene centrism. As I have also observed before: you think gene centrists don’t know any biology?

    I’m sure that gene centrists know a great deal about the chemistry of organisms. But this has come mainly through study of the dead products of life.

    This is a very interesting time in which very sophisticated tools are beginning to be developed. Tools that give researchers the ability to examine, in great detail, the processes within living cells.

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  45. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    I don’t see what is so vague about the system that is a chromosome.

    Haha. “I don’t see what is so vague about [says something vague]”

    In your opinion which is more vague, a gene or a chromosome?

    if you are questioning my use of the word ‘system’ then what is a chromosome if it is not a complex whole that exists in a variety of states, for example during interphase and also in the condensed state in preparation for cell division.

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  46. Allan Miller:

    CharlieM:
    I have no problem with the correlations you highlight. It’s when the correlations become causations that is what I take issue with.

    Genes clearly have a causal relationship with form. That’s well established; it’s not mere ‘correlation’. This causal relationship does not disappear with the observation that genes must be expressed to have effect (an inevitable corollary of the commonly-used definition of ‘gene’). So, your problem appears to be pretty fundamental: you take issue with the entire science of genetics.

    Genetic differences also clearly can have a causal effect on organismal success. So again you seem to have a bit of an issue with the entire science of evolutionary biology.

    Other than that, it’s all good, I presume!

    And what is the explanation for the many genetic differences that purportedly fuel evolution? Mutagenesis from external sources are proposed to be the cause of many changes. And here the genome is not acting, it is being acted upon.

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  47. colewd:
    You are taking Adapas assertions to support your assertions?

    I’m taking Adapa’s comment as an instance of someone else, besides me, who understands that the proper default position is “we don’t know.”

    colewd:
    There are many estimates available for origin events.

    Those are called attempts to go from “we don’t know” to “maybe this is it.” You’re mistaking what you believe to be the case, for what a default position should be.

    I think you’ve been missing the point time and again. This point is not whether you’re right or wrong about what you believe to be the case, this is about whether your position can be taken as a default position, and the answer is a resounding no.

    Think about it.

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