ID in their own words: Paul Nelson

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Intelligent Design proponents who claim that they have a ‘theory’ often formulate it in the form of “evolutionary/Darwinian mechanisms cannot explain X”. When pressed for a scientific theory, it quickly becomes obvious that ID is scientifically vacuous.

Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.

Paul Nelson, Touchstone Magazine 7/8 (2004): pp 64 – 65.

For Paul’s explanation see this link

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163 Comments

Doesn’t that quote end with, “But don’t quote me on that.”? ;)

Funny. He makes this sound like the lack of any theory of ID is just an oversight, something they’ve been too busy to get around to. The real issue is that ID by its very nature will never have a theory. Not in any sense that a real scientist would recognize. Plugging in Jehovah to fill in bits you don’t like or can’t understand is their essential MO. No legitimate ‘theory’ can start out hardwired to always have the same punchline, no matter what evidence comes along.

How long do you think it will be before some some IDer comes thru here, angrily denies that ID lacks a theory, then gets shown this quote by Lenny or someone like that, only to have him run away and change the subject? I’d say a couple days, max.

ID’s real problems will begin when/if they try to formulate a theory. They’ll become a much bigger, fatter, easier target. I think they know this. That’s why they prefer to do this hit-and-run thing of attacks on bogus flaws of evolutionary biology. It’s way easier, much less risky, and convinces gullible people just as much.

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Nelson attempts to defend himself at IDTF - from May 9th.

They have not even attempted to create an ID theory. They have attempted, twice, to create disproofs of evolution. The first was IC:

P1: Anything with IC can’t have evolved P2: Living things have IC C: Living things didn’t evolve

P2 may be correct depending on how you define IC, but P1 was shown to be wrong at least two ways.

attempt 2:

P1: Anything with CSI can’t have evolved P2: Living things have CSI C: Living things didn’t evolve

Again, P1 is totally wrong.

And that’s where ID stands. Two failed attempts to disprove ID. No theory to speak of.

‘disprove evolution’, obviously.

How many scientists, when they’re in their labs, say to themselves: What would Darwin do? In other words, on a practical level, just how powerful a theory is Darwinism? (And I don’t mean “evolution”, because most IDers accept evolution. We’re talking mechanisms here.)

Re “‘disprove evolution’, obviously.”

But which hypothesis? When a theory is composed of several related hypotheses, doesn’t a “disproof” have to be aimed at one of them in particular?

Henry

One thing I am curious about; Paul says

and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity

What other notions? I’ve only ever seen these two. Does two made a handful?

Blast Wrote:

How many scientists, when they’re in their labs, say to themselves: What would Darwin do?

I venture to guess, virtually none. Because the tools we have now, and the additional knowledge that has accumulated over the past 150 years makes that a not very interesting question.

In other words, on a practical level, just how powerful a theory is Darwinism? (And I don’t mean “evolution”, because most IDers accept evolution. We’re talking mechanisms here.)

Do we predict that adaptations will occur in virtually any biological system as a result of mutation and selection? Does anyone doubt it?

How long do you think it will be before some some IDer comes thru here, angrily denies that ID lacks a theory, then gets shown this quote by Lenny or someone like that

I’m not a regurgiquoter, unlike the IDers. I prefer my own words to anyone else’s, unlike the IDers.

To demonstate clearly, quickly and cleanly that IDers don’t have any scientific theory to offer, all that is necessary is to ASK THEM TO PRODUCE ONE.

They run away. Every time.

Russell Wrote:

Do we predict that adaptations will occur in virtually any biological system as a result of mutation and selection? Does anyone doubt it?

Aren’t you talking about “microevolution”–which is generally accepted by IDers–rather than “macroevolution”, which is precisely the argument IDers are addressing? In other words, IDers concede the fact that adaptation occurs (I said as much in my post); but the real crux of the issue is how do new species arise–or, as the IDers would say, where does this additional “information” come from?

How many scientists, when they’re in their labs, say to themselves: What would Darwin do? In other words, on a practical level, just how powerful a theory is Darwinism?

Darwin has been dead fro over 100 years. No oen CARES “what darwin would do”.

Are you going to tell me what the scientific theory of ID is, or aren’t you.

Or are IDers (like you) just lying to us when you claim to have one. Just like IDers (like you) are just lying to us when you claim that Id isn’t religious apologetics.

BlastfromthePast Wrote:

but the real crux of the issue is how do new species arise

That’s a very good question. There’s a relatively recent book titled “Speciation” by Jerry A. Coyne and H. Allen Orr, which would be a good palce to start. It talks about speciation and species concepts. Maybe worth a look, ah?

Aren’t you talking about “microevolution”—which is generally accepted by IDers—rather than “macroevolution”, which is precisely the argument IDers are addressing? In other words, IDers concede the fact that adaptation occurs (I said as much in my post); but the real crux of the issue is how do new species arise—or, as the IDers would say, where does this additional “information” come from?

Let’s ask Behe:

Intelligent Design Is Not Creationism Response to “Not (Just) in Kansas Anymore” by Eugenie C. Scott, Science (May 2000)

Michael J. Behe Science Online July 7, 2000

Scott refers to me as an intelligent design “creationist,” even though I clearly write in my book Darwin’s Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think “evolution occurred, but was guided by God.”

From “Darwin’s Black Box” Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions at the beginning of the book. Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism. As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. (p. 5)

From “Darwin’s Black Box” “I believe the evidence strongly supports common descent.” (p.176)

“I dispute the mechanism of natural selection, not common descent.” in Reply to My Critics, Biology and Philosophy 16, p697, 2001.

Christianity Today, August 12th 2002 “A Nuclear Bomb” For Evolution?: Critics of Darwinism say skull’s discovery isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

by Todd Hertz

Behe said ID is “several levels of biology removed from the hominid versus chimp distinction.” The point of contention between evolution and intelligent design is whether design or chance guided human development?not how humans developed.

“Darwin’s claim to fame was not so much that he thought that organisms might have evolved from common ancestors,” Behe said. “Other people had put forward other theories but had always invoked guiding intelligence. His main point was that it might happen by chance.”

Darwin’s Black Box, Reviewed by Kenneth R. Miller (as published in Creation / Evolution Volume 16: pp, 36-40 [1996])

Perhaps the single most stunning thing about Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe’s “Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” is the amount of territory that its author concedes to Darwinism. As tempted as they might be to pick up this book in their own defense, “scientific creationists” should think twice about enlisting an ally who has concluded that the Earth is several billion years old, that evolutionary biology has had “much success in accounting for the patterns of life we see around us (1),” that evolution accounts for the appearance of new organisms including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and who is convinced that all organisms share a “common ancestor.” In plain language, this means that Michael Behe and I share an evolutionary view of the natural history of the Earth and the meaning of the fossil record; namely, that present-day organisms have been produced by a process of descent with modification from their ancient ancestors. Behe is clear, firm, and consistent on this point. For example, when Michael and I engaged in debate at the 1995 meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation, I argued that the 100% match of DNA sequences in the pseudogene region of beta-globin was proof that humans and gorillas shared a recent common ancestor. To my surprise, Behe said that he shared that view, and had no problem with the notion of common ancestry. Creationists who believe that Behe is on their side should proceed with caution - he states very clearly that evolution can produce new species, and that human beings are one of those species.

My goodness, Behe says that new species come from common descent – i.e., from evolution.

Do you disagree? Do you think he’s wrong about that?

What about abiogenesis:

drvr2hrdwr wrote:

Mr. Behe, may I get your comment or opinion on the theistic verses atheistic nature of intelligent design theory?

It seems to me that ID proposes that all life requires an intelligence to design it. So, if God did not design life on Earth, then some other intelligent creatures (space aliens presumably) must have. These creatures would then require an intelligence to their design, and so on for as many level of regression as one my choose to suggest.

Since life could not have existed at the first instant of the Big Bang, there must be a terminal point to this regression, requiring that the original intelligent designer must have been God. Thus, ID theory is inherently theistic.

Or would you and other ID proponents suggest that only life on Earth would require an intelligent designer, but life elsewhere would not require an intelligent designer? Would you suggest that a Godless abiogenesis could occur elsewhere giving rise to extraterrestrial intelligence, which in turn designed life on Earth, thus making ID theory potentially atheistic?

Neil Habermehl

From: Michael Behe To: drvr2hrdwr Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 7:56 AM Subject: Re: Atheistic ID?

Hi, Mr. Habermehl. Yes, perhaps life elsewhere doesn’t require irreducibly complex structures. So maybe it arose naturally by chance and then designed us, as I speculated in Darwin’s Black Box (“Aliens and Time Travelers”, pp. 248-250). I don’t think that’s the case, but it isn’t logically impossible. Best wishes.

Mike Behe

Heavens to Betsy, it seems as if Behe sees NO REASON, none AT ALL, why life could not, in principle, form by itslef “naturally through chance”, and that no god or gods were encessary to produce any “information” to make life appear.

Do you disagree with Behe?

BftP Wrote:

Aren’t you talking about “microevolution”—which is generally accepted by IDers—rather than “macroevolution”, which is precisely the argument IDers are addressing?

I don’t believe Darwin made this distinction. Just as Lenny has been unable to extract from any IDer what the “Theory” of Intelligent Design actually is, I have been unable to extract any sensible division between “microevolution” and “macroevolution”. So tell me: what is it that limits what you call “microevolution”? What prevents it, over billions of generations, from merging into “macroevolution”?

In other words, IDers concede the fact that adaptation occurs (I said as much in my post); but the real crux of the issue is how do new species arise…

You asked about scientists in their labs. Personally, this lab scientist does not deal on a daily basis with new species arising. But he does deal with random mutation and selection. That’s my day-to-day “Darwinism”. What have the IDers proposed that could help me do my work?

I’m not a regurgiquoter, unlike the IDers.  I prefer my own words to anyone else’s, unlike the IDers.

I know. What I mean, tho, is that you have a good skill at throwing IDer’s embarrassing earlier statements back into their faces. Such as, for example, in comment #34159. This is handy, since it’s quite powerful to show the ID crowd that they can’t even be consistent with their own nonsense.

How many scientists, when they’re in their labs, say to themselves:  What would Darwin do?  In other words, on a practical level, just how powerful a theory is Darwinism?  (And I don’t mean “evolution”, because most IDers accept evolution.  We’re talking mechanisms here.)

I don’t know where Blast is coming from on this, but the fact that anyone should even ask this question says a lot about how creationists think about science. In their way of ‘doing’ religion, the infallibility of the founder of the religion is central to everything. So if they see other people ‘doing’ something other than Christianity, they assume those people must have some other messiah. So they think biologists worship Darwin the same way they worship Jesus. And when they see biologists NOT agreeing with Darwin on some point, they act very gleeful, as tho they’ve ‘caught’ science in some sort of heresy. They think they’ve ‘disproven’ evolution when they see that the theory of evolution hasn’t simply stood still since its inception. (Since religions aren’t supposed to change, according to them.)

The urban legend about Darwin ‘recanting’ (note the word choice) on his death bed seems to show this same syndrome. And it’s also why creationists can’t wrap their brains around a Christian believing in evolution. To them it’s the same as, for example, someone being a Southern Baptist and a Moslem at the same time.

This is a big part of why dialogues between scientists and creationists usually go nowhere. The two sides aren’t conceptualizing things the same at all. It’s like whole different parts of the brain are being used.

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank Wrote:

Heavens to Betsy, it seems as if Behe sees NO REASON, none AT ALL, why life could not, in principle, form by itslef “naturally through chance”, and that no god or gods were encessary to produce any “information” to make life appear.

Do you disagree with Behe?

Yes, and no. I agree with Behe that the “logic” of ID, or of IC, doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of ET origins; but, the idea makes no sense to me either theologically or rationally. (why IC life here and not there?)

Russell Wrote:

You asked about scientists in their labs. Personally, this lab scientist does not deal on a daily basis with new species arising. But he does deal with random mutation and selection. That’s my day-to-day “Darwinism”. What have the IDers proposed that could help me do my work?

It seems to me that ID “logic” would suggest that “mutations” and “selection” in, and of, themselves cannot add “information” to the system. According to this logic then, the conclusion to be reached is that the “mutations” are a “built-in” part of the biological system. Since there would be “built-in limits” to where selection can take the organism (only so much available “stored information”), I think I would look for “where” this potential for mutations is “located”, and what kinds of “regulatory mechanisms” either enhance or suppress it (if at all). {N.B. Scientist’s have just reported being able to “stop” mutations from occurring in bacteria (which have one of the highest–if not the highest–mutation frequencies of all organisms)} If the “rate” of mutation could not be experimentally “shifted”, then I might look into whether there is a commonality between said mechanism and the mechanism of other organisms (sort of like a “box” gene) In other words, I think good science flows, one way or the other. That was my point from the beginning. If we use the metaphor of a “search engine” trying to get through the probability space of where biological organisms might go–or have gone–I think ID is a better one for “macroevolution”, and RMNS for “microevolution,” with ID being the more important of the two.

Arden Chatfield Wrote:

And it’s also why creationists can’t wrap their brains around a Christian believing in evolution.

I’m a Christian and I believe in the “fact” of evolution; i.e., that the fossil record shows that complex life-forms steadily built up over time. Evolution is not a problem. I’m not a “young-earth” creationist. The Bible, it seems to me, doesn’t make those kinds of claim (although the “young-earthers” come up with some fascinating stuff at times). I simply think Darwin was “dead-wrong”; not just wrong, but “dead-wrong” when it comes to the “origin of species”. Had he written a book entitled, “Origin of Adaptations”, I’d be supporting him right now. So, tell me, why this urge on your part to dismissively categorize me as a “creationist”, and assume that my faith is somehow shaken by the idea of “evolution”? I haven’t had problems with the “fact” of evolution since High School. Put it another way: I’ve NEVER had problems with the “fact” of evolution. [Have I made my point yet, or do I have to repeat it again and again?]

I hear this argument: well, gravity is a theory, does anyone NOT believe in gravity? Gravity is a fact; that is, it is a given. No one knows whence it comes from though. And there are competing “theories” as to how it operates. (They’re still testing Einstein’s theory–if it is “absolutely” true, why bother testing it?) The same with evolution: it’s a fact; but how did it come about? No one knows; but there’s theories about how it did and how it might still operate. I have thoroughly examined the Modern Synthesis and it just doesn’t stand up to critical analysis. ID theory–which is more an “informational” theory than a “biological” theory, conforms with what biological systems give evidence of; i.e., it passes critical analysis. But is it a fully-formed “biological” theory? I think I’d have to agree with Paul Nelson, not quite yet. Nonetheless, I think it useful in pointing out to scientists who, generally, have not read up on the “history” of evolutionary theory (nor have they likely even read the Origin of Species) the weaknesses, and failures, of the theory they so strongly defend.

I hear this argument: well, gravity is a theory, does anyone NOT believe in gravity? Gravity is a fact; that is, it is a given. No one knows whence it comes from though. And there are competing “theories” as to how it operates.

Just as there are no competing theories to Evolution to explain speciation.

Note: neither “goddidit” nor “Not Evolution” are theories.

H. Humbert Wrote:

And it’s also why creationists can’t wrap their brains around a Christian believing in evolution.

I highly recommend you read the Material Basis of Evolution by Richard Goldschmidt. He was light-years ahead of his peers. He presents a highly intelligent (and dare say, probable) theory of evolution. [N.B. notice it’s called the “material” basis. Goldschmidt didn’t believe in metaphysical explanations.]

H. Humbert Wrote:

And it’s also why creationists can’t wrap their brains around a Christian believing in evolution.

I highly recommend you read the Material Basis of Evolution by Richard Goldschmidt. He was light-years ahead of his peers. He presents a highly intelligent (and dare say, probable) theory of evolution. [N.B. notice it’s called the “material” basis. Goldschmidt didn’t believe in metaphysical explanations.]

BlastfromthePast Wrote:

I hear this argument: well, gravity is a theory, does anyone NOT believe in gravity? Gravity is a fact; that is, it is a given. No one knows whence it comes from though. And there are competing “theories” as to how it operates.

H. Humbert Wrote:

Just as there are no competing theories to Evolution to explain speciation.

Note: neither “goddidit” nor “Not Evolution” are theories.

Please excuse having the wrong quote in the two prior entries above. I think H. Humbert read my post too fast, just like I read his too fast. [The answer I give above (Material Basis of Evolution) still remains the same.] Apparently Humbert went from my saying there WERE competing theories to his reading that there WERE NO competing theories. ID might not represent a completely “material” explanation of evolution, but Richard Goldschmidt does just fine–and it makes sense.

Heavens to Betsy, it seems as if Behe sees NO REASON, none AT ALL, why life could not, in principle, form by itslef “naturally through chance”, and that no god or gods were encessary to produce any “information” to make life appear.

Do you disagree with Behe?

Yes, and no. I agree with Behe that the “logic” of ID, or of IC, doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of ET origins; but, the idea makes no sense to me either theologically or rationally. (why IC life here and not there?)

You once again miss the point (or are too dishonest to acknowledge it.

Here, let me remind you:

You:

as the IDers would say, where does this additional “information” come from?

Behe:

Yes, perhaps life elsewhere doesn’t require irreducibly complex structures. So maybe it arose naturally by chance and then designed us

You again:

I agree with Behe that the “logic” of ID, or of IC, doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of ET origins

That’s not what I asked. YOU asked “where does the ifnormation for life come from”? BEHE answers ““it arose naturally by chance”.

I’m not asking about “extraterrestrial origins. I am asking if you agree wiht Behe that life could have arisen WITHOUT ANY GOD OR DESIGNER and THEN DESIGNED US.

Do you agree with that, or don’t you.

Oh, and where, exactly, does Behe’s statement fit in with your blithering about “Darwinism is atheistic”. It sure as heck sounds to me as if your very own ID hero is stating, plainly and without any prevarication, that LIFE DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY GOD OR DESIGNER.

That sounds awfully atheistic to ME. How does it sound to YOU?

Oh, and regarding:

the idea makes no sense to me either theologically or rationally.

and

I’m a Christian and I believe in the “fact” of evolution

I will ask once again: what is the source of your religious authority? What exactly makes your (or ANY person’s) religious opinions more (or less) authoritative than anyone else’s. Why should anyone pay any more attention to my religious opinions, or yours, than we pay to the religious opinions of my next door neighbor or my gardener or the guy who delivered my pizza last night.

It seems to me that your religious opinions are just that, your opinions. They are no more holy or divine or infallible or authoritative than anyone else’s religious opinions. No one is obligated in any way, shape, or form to follow your religious opinions, to accept them, or even to pay any attention at all to them.

Can you show me anything to indicate otherwise? Other than your say-so?

I look foward to your not answering any of my questions. Again.

So, tell me, why this urge on your part to dismissively categorize me as a “creationist”, and assume that my faith is somehow shaken by the idea of “evolution”? I haven’t had problems with the “fact” of evolution since High School. Put it another way: I’ve NEVER had problems with the “fact” of evolution.

Um, then what is it, exactly, that you are bitching about?

I have thoroughly examined the Modern Synthesis

And who the hell are you, again . … . ?

ID might not represent a completely “material” explanation of evolution, but Richard Goldschmidt does just fine—and it makes sense.

Um, how does Goldschmidt’s “hopeful monster” idea make evolution wrong . … . ? After all, “hopeful monster” is a theory of … well … evolution.

So what the heck are you yammering about?

Blastfromthepast wrote:

It seems to me that ID “logic” would suggest that “mutations” and “selection” in, and of, themselves cannot add “information” to the system

Good, we’ve moved into worthless Creationist rhetoric now. Define ‘information’ please.

'Rev Dr'Lenny Flank Wrote:

And who the hell are you, again . … . ?

Why don’t you go first?

Blast Wrote:

My problem with Darwinism is that even when confronted with a lack of transitional fossil organisms, it remains undeterred.

But that’s not really a problem for Darwinism, nor is there really a ‘lack of transitional fossils’.

Blast Wrote:

Hardy-Weinberg statistics are fairly conservative, I would think.

And?… Really Blast, are you thinking that evolutionary theory is all about Hardy-Weinberg statistics?

When asked about plasticity Blast states

Ah, but, indeed, Darwin did think that. What makes you think he wouldn’t?

So far you have presented no evidence that Darwin did think this, other than posturing…

If you consider Dembski’s ‘math’ to make more sense than science, fine but realize that Dembski’s ‘math’ is irrelevant. ID is a flawed argument based on an argument from ignorance aka as eliminative argument or God of the Gaps. That you consider it ‘making more sense to you’ is hardly a relevant argument. Your argument so far is based on some unsupported claims and irrelevant statements. Btw is you believe that evolutionary science is nothing more than Fisher, Haldane and Wright, you’re in for a big surprise.

Is this your final answer?

Are we being trolled?

Dembski’s math makes more sense to me than Fisher’s.

Now you’re back to quoting Dembski? What happened to the “ecological guru”?

Oh, and when are you going to tell me where I can find the genes for chlorophyll in any animal? Or the genes for mammalian hair in fish? Or even the genes for coba venom in a rattlesnake?

Dude, go back to regurgiquoting. At least that’s much more coherent.

My problem with Darwinism is that even when confronted with a lack of transitional fossil organisms, it remains undeterred.

Um, your pal Behe doesn’t seem to think there is any “lack of transitional fossils”. In fact, he says that life evolved through common descent.

Why is he wrong and you are right?

Oh, I forgot — you’re not speaking to me, are you. (snicker) (giggle)

Blast wrote:

Whether I think life forms have arisen or not is entirely academic—becuase they have. Do I think that the fact that new life-forms have arisen invalidates ID—obviously not. What is the actual mechanism? That remains to be discovered.

If you think transpeciation has occurred, then why quote Huxley saying that the fact that it has not been observed is a problem for Darwinism?

If transpeciation occurs, what is intelligently designed?

PvM Wrote:

So Darwin never addressed the issue? Is that Blast’s argument? And yet he makes the claim that Darwin’s theory requires infinite plasticity.

Is this your final answer?

Let me be more precise: Darwin says that he can envision species giving rise to genera, genera to families, families to orders, and (in the first edition)orders to classes. Why does he stop at classes? Why not continue the progression from classes to phyla and from phyla to kingdoms? Why does he stop at the class level? What is the mechanism for stopping?

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Dembski’s math makes more sense to me than Fisher’s.

Too bad it doesn’t make sense to David Wolpert.

steve Wrote:

Too bad it doesn’t make sense to David Wolpert.

Does Fisher make sense to David Wolpert?

Here’s a little something from the latest New Scientist:

That’s nice. How does this either invalidate evolution, or help ID “theory (whatever the heck THAT might be) in any way shape or form?

You talk much, and say little.

Blast quote mines:

“If specific regions of chromosomes can have very punctuated events, it means our models based on gradual evolution are probably wrong,” he says.

So does this mean that evolutionary theory is wrong? Or ‘our models’? Gradual clock like changes…

Blast also misunderstand Darwin

Let me be more precise: Darwin says that he can envision species giving rise to genera, genera to families, families to orders, and (in the first edition)orders to classes. Why does he stop at classes? Why not continue the progression from classes to phyla and from phyla to kingdoms? Why does he stop at the class level? What is the mechanism for stopping?

Is there a stop at the class level? Let’s first understand Linnaeus. Remember that phylum and family were added. In fact, searching for phylum/phyla in Origin of Species returns no hits.

The Linnaean taxonomy is a formal system for classifying and naming living things based on a simple hierarchical structure, from most general to most similar The basic hierarchy as formulated by Linneus, is as follows:

  • Imperium (“Empire”) - the phenomenal world
  • Regnum (“Kingdom”) - the three great divisions of nature at the time - animal, vegetable, and mineral
  • Classis (“Class”) - subdivisions of the above, in the animal kingdom six were recognized (mammals, birds, amphibians, fish, insects, and worms)
  • Ordo (“Order”) - further subdivision of the above - the class Mammalia has eight
  • Genus - further subdivisions of the order - in the mammalian order Primates there are four. e.g. Homo
  • Species - subdivisions of genus, e.g. Homo sapiens.
  • Varietas (“Variety”) - species variant, e.g. Homo sapiens europaeus.

As time progressed changes were made. The rank of Empire is obviously superfluous, while Variety came to be used only by gardeners, insect collectors, etc. The use of Latin was replaced by the vernacular, although it is still retained in the actual generic and specific names. And two new ranks were erected - Phylum (or Division in the case of Plants) was added between Kingdom and Class, and Family between Order and Genus, giving seven hierarchical ranks in all. So, in this nested system of rankings, kingdoms are made up of phyla, phyla of classes, classes of orders, and so on; each higher rank including at least one and usually more subordinate members. This seven-layered hierarchy is the version still used today Kingdom Phylum,Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

Link

Darwin Wrote:

I request the reader to turn to the diagram illustrating the action, as formerly explained, of these several principles; and he will see that the inevitable result is, that the modified descendants proceeding from one progenitor become broken up into groups subordinate to groups.

Link

More on the gene duplication ‘quote mining’.

Evan Eichler on the UW homepage describes it quite well:

Our research specifically addresses a new paradigm that has emerged in the past few years in which particular regions of the human genome have been shown active in the acquisition, duplication and dispersal of large gene-containing genomic segments.

We hypothesize that these ‘jumping genomic segments’ are part of an ongoing evolutionary process that results in a novel form of large-scale variation in human genomic DNA and contributes rapidly to primate gene evolution.

Check out the lab web site

A two-step model for the origin and dispersal of recently duplicated segments in the human genome. Genomic segments of various lengths from different regions of the genome were duplicated to an ancestral pericentromeric region followed by the dispersal of a mosaic genomic segment to multiple pericentromeric regions.

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

Plus “Domain” as the rank of eukaryotes or prokaryotes.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on June 7, 2005 10:56 AM.

From the quote mines: Behe quotes Coyne was the previous entry in this blog.

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