I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

How about"intelligent evolution"?

Or maybe we could call it"non-random evolution"? A more popular name is"frontloading." PZ Myers discusses frontloading in the preceding post, and tacitly admits that it is a possibility, despite his denial.


Another blogger on Panda's Thumb,Jack Scanlan, says,

(quoting article)--
ID predicts that the prevalence of functional protein folds with respect to combinatorial sequence space will be extremely small.


This prediction is related to the irreducible complexity one above, in that it could be invoking IBE as its justification. But if not, it doesn’t fare any better. What Jonathan is referring to is the work of Douglas Axe, a pro-ID biochemist who has conducted experiments that, he and the ID movement claims, prove that protein evolution is impossible. Thinking clearly about this for a while leads one to a single question: irrespective of the legitimacy of Axe’s conclusions about his research, why would ID predict that protein evolution is impossible? Life could have been designed by a Designer with the ability to evolve - this possibility is at least as probable as the opposite scenario, that life was designed not to evolve. But without any knowledge about the Designer, how can one scenario be given more probabilistic weight than the other? This prediction, like the others above, doesn’t follow from ID.(emphasis added)


The statement, "Life could have been designed by a Designer with the ability to evolve," -can be considered to be a description of frontloading. An alternative to frontloading is instantaneous creation. If there was neither frontloading nor instantaneous creation, then we know that life must have evolved by random mutations, and what Scanlan erroneously calls the "opposite scenario" - that life was designed not to evolve --becomes an impossibility.

Also, why is it necessary to know anything about the Designer in order to determine the probability of frontloading?

Also, even frontloading presents special problems in the case of co-evolution of mutualism (interspecies co-dependence) -- there often needs to be a way of simultaneously triggering mutations in both kinds of organisms.

Also, it is hypocritical of Scanlan to condemn ID proponents for allegedly using a"best explanation"argument when this argument is so often used by Darwinists.

Afso, I feel that it is not necessary for scientific theories to make predictions ---making good explanations is enough. When there is too much pressure to make predictions , a lot of explanations are redefined as predictions. A lot of this redefinition is what I call contrived serendipity -- as in"well,well,well, looky here.Our theory explains this too. We predicted that our theory has great explanatory power."

Yet another fallacy is that evolution theory should not be criticized without offering a reasonable alternative explanation in its place. If the result of criticizing evolution theory is being left with no explanation at all, that would merely be the same situation that Thomas Edison found himself in when he was accused of not making progress in his efforts to invent a practical electric light: "I've made lots of progress -- I now know lots of things that won't work."

BTW, Scanlan also says,
(Note that I won’t be touching on the two astronomical/cosmological predictions Jonathan gives, as they don’t have anything to do with biological intelligent design, which is what I focus on. Cosmological ID and biological ID are not related and shouldn’t be conflated, as doing so makes things confusing.)

Not related? Has Scanlan never heard of the "fine-tuned universe," the idea that physical matter and physical constants appear to be specially designed to make life possible (as discussed in the book The Privileged Planet)?

It is apparent why I was kicked off of Darwin's Thumb and other Darwinist blogs --- because I make too much sense, and I don't feel I am immodest in saying so. In contrast to those blogs, I often bend over backwards to accommodate dissenting comments, complaints to the contrarry notwthstanding And remember, unlike many other bloggers , I have to answer most dissenting comments myself (thanks, Jim Sherwood and a few others,for helping me).

2 Comments:

Blogger Lazarus Lupin said...

Certainly you are a wonderful fella to be so opened minded. I would say there would be some "front loading" that wouldn't be "designed" that would make things far less random than things would seem. For example, just take standard chemistry. Certain elements are more likely to conjoin with others so in any solution containing those elements the probability of them combining would be higher than the general "random" average. From that "Seed" eventually certain compounds would more likely arise and in fact be predicted to. We simply don't know all the factors that are effecting things like protein folding or mutations. We are making discoveries every year but we don't have a complete picture.

Lazarus Lupin

Monday, May 02, 2011 9:09:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Thanks for your comment here, Lazarus. It is nice to have an intelligent commenter instead of the lousy trolls I used to get.

>>>>>Certain elements are more likely to conjoin with others so in any solution containing those elements the probability of them combining would be higher than the general "random" average. <<<<<

Yes, for example, carbon is known to have particular properties that make it especially suited to forming organic compounds(which are carbon-containing by definition). Other elements have special functions in the body --e.g., iron in blood. The existence of these elements is part of what is called the "fine-tuning" of the universe (see the book called The Privileged Planet). However, I have never heard this fine-tuning referred to as an example of frontloading. Usually frontloading is considered to be far more complex.

Monday, May 02, 2011 9:55:00 PM  

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