Gradual Evolution or Intelligent Design?

| 32 Comments

If you will indulge a bit of self-promotion, my new column for CSICOP's Creation Watch website is now available. In it I offer some thoughts on why gradual evolution is a more plausible explanation than ID for the existence of complex biological systems. Enjoy!

32 Comments

Jason,

Another nice piece - thanks.

you know, “Intelligent Design” is really not a good name for it. That doesn’t reflect the scientific mechanism they’ve proposed. So based on that report of Mike Behe’s comments, I think we should rename ID to reflect the Puff Of Smoke mechanism. But that’s a little wordy, so I vote we acronym it P.O.S. Theory.

Here’s an analogy to tuck in the back or your mind for future use:

This is rather like claiming that mountains are evidence for the existence of giant moles. After all, molehills are something that moles are known to produce, and what is a mountain if not a giant molehill?

Thanks Jason.

Steve,

Re: the POS theory.

I’m sure you’re aware of the progression from BS to MS to Piled higher and Deeper.

That being the case, the most legitimate PhD, then, would be in ID.

I think you may have single handedly set back evolution 3 billion years, or 3 thousand years or whatever.

Dang, and to think I studied chemistry…

This is great - Thanks. Is there any way we could get this syndicated (rss/atom)?

Splendid article! But I have to agree with Mr. Steve that intelligent design is not an accurate descriptor. As I have argued before, we shd call it what it is: intelligent-design creationism.

As I have argued before, we shd call it what it is: intelligent-design creationism.

Also known as Divine Design.

 Ask a scientist to create life, manipulate fundamental constants of the universe, or bring whole worlds into being, and he will stare at you helplessly.

This assertion demands a test. I predict that the plurality of scientists thus called upon will react somewhere in the giggle-to-guffaw spectrum, another large contingent will seek cops &/or people in white coats with butterfly nets, and the remainder will submit a budget request which will make even a Pentagon bean-counter blink.

Jason -

That was a great essay. Thank you for your efforts!

*THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE*

For once, upper case is merited.

I was going to quote here some of the bits in the essay that I really liked, but when I came to select them I discovered that I wanted paragraph, after paragraph, after paragraph. Much better to urge everyone to read the whole thing to get a series of clear, powerful arguments against ID.

How bout Thunderous Stupidity !

My dear Jason. You do error indeed. You claim to mandate human intelligence as the highest form in the universe ? This therefore, makes it impossible to design anything with a utility of function ?

Since scientists cannot achieve these feats of design, nothing in the known universe can either ?

What a collection of bogus B.S. our feeble minded Jason has assembled.

Joseph Alden,

The only charitable interpretation of your comment is that you didn’t pay much attention to what Jason said. Read it again:

Human beings may possess the highest level of intelligence in the known universe, but we have no idea how to jigger with an organism’s genome to bring a blood clotting cascade or a swim bladder into existence. And those are among the simpler things our hypothetical designer is called upon to do. Ask a scientist to create life, manipulate fundamental constants of the universe, or bring whole worlds into being, and he will stare at you helplessly. The fact is, if we were only extrapolating from known causes we would have to conclude that intelligence is fundamentally incapable of accomplishing what is being asked of it.[emphasis added]

In case it’s still unclear, Jason isn’t claiming humans are the smartest thing in or out of the universe. He’s saying we’re the smartest things that everyone can agree really do exist.

ID advocates want to make inferences about a Designer using human designers as models. But our capabilities are infinitesimal compared to those a Designer of life or the universe would require. We fall so far short that it’s patently silly to think we can predict a Designer’s products by analogy to a human’s. Jason’s analogy of molehills and mountains is actually far, far short of the gap between our capabilities and those required of a Designer.

Hopefully, that clears things up for you.

It is quite evident that qetzal is the one who is suffering from a lack of reading comprehension.

Jason states that intelligence is incapable of accomplishing what is being asked of it ? How absurd. His ascertion, queer-zal, is that scientists cannot “ bring worlds into being “. Therefore, no level of intelligence is capable of design. This is blatant ignorance on his part. And if you agree with him, you are just as guilty of such self-inflicted stupidity.

Hopefully, that clears it up for you and all of your fellow evos, who live in the darwinian fantasy world of science-fiction.

Joseph Alden Wrote:

queer-zal

A creationist, a moron, and a homophobe. What a surprise.

Hopefully, that clears it up for you and all of your fellow evos, who live in the darwinian fantasy world of science-fiction.

Yawn.

You forgot to all us “godless”.

It appears little Lenny the Freak is guilty as charged.

What’s the matter Lenny, did your Yahoo “ debunk nothing “ groupies engage in a little too much in-breeding ? Now you are sharing your projectile-vomiting with this website ?

For those not yet wise to this fraud, the dear Mr. Flank is a phony. His former Yahoo stage included nothing but mindless babbling with fellow evos.

At least the Panda’s Thumb folks have a TRUE forum for discussion.

It appears little Lenny the Freak is guilty as charged.

What’s the matter Lenny, did your Yahoo “ debunk nothing “ groupies engage in a little too much in-breeding ? Now you are sharing your projectile-vomiting with this website ?

For those not yet wise to this fraud, the dear Mr. Flank is a phony. His former Yahoo stage included nothing but mindless babbling with fellow evos.

At least the Panda’s Thumb folks have a TRUE forum for discussion.

(yawn)

Do you have a scientific theory of creation yet?

Why not?

Joseph Alden,

“At least the Panda’s Thumb folks have a TRUE forum for discussion” - on which you so far have seen fit to post naught but mindless babble and insults. A poor use, indeed, of a TRUE forum for discussion. Have you nothing thoughtful or intelligent to say? A pity, that, then.

Lenny my boy, what shall we do with you.

In two of the above posts you seem to be yawning quite frequently.

You really need to lay off the dope before coming to this site. It always makes you tired and cranky.

Let’s see, the classic evos technique, a.k.a. the coward’s crutch. Answer a question, with a question. And you Loony, have the most worn out one of them all.

Not yet, Reverend of the Dark Side, I’ll get to the sci-test for ID later. You first must defend Jason’s ranting, that no level of intelligence could design. As he said “ intelligence is fundamentally incapable of accomplishing what’s being asked of it.”

There you have it. See, this is where it becomes idiot’s logic for the evos. What the reader is expected to believe is that nothing in nature could have been designed by an Intelligent Planner. However, it could have happened ACCIDENTALLY, through a series of random, chance mutations, and then everything magically came into being over millions of years. SHAZAM ! That’s quite comical.

Take plants. They have no brains, no central nervous system, no critical reasoning ability, no natural sex drive like animals. Yet, they have reproductive systems to sustain life for future fellow specie. And somehow, they CREATED these systems for themselves, RIGHT ? SHAZAM ! Some plants have very complex reproductive systems. SHAZAM AGAIN ! They magically established themselves into existence, RIGHT ? WRONG ! A plant cannot achieve this feat on it’s own. That’s why you and your fellow evos continue to become exposed as frauds. Evolution cannot pass the scientific test of LOGIC, therefore it’s science-fiction. The whole rant about all life forms coming from a series of random, beneficial genetic mutations is bogus. See Lenny, you evilutionsts have a little problem with encoding, that makes the whole house of cards come tumbling down. An example ? No problemo. Take a four leaf clover. Beneficial genetic mutation of the three leaf version, correct ? Happens quite frequently in nature. Yet it never gets encoded and passed on to become a permanent four leaf model. Why not Loony, why doesn’t the Mother of all creation, a.k.a, Natural Selection, simply choose to add this to the list, like all the other excuses for improvement of life forms ? Hmmmmmm?

This also exposes the fallacy of your other rants, like the fantasy of human eyeball evolution, which you had to steal from Lord Charles. You see Lenny, when one applies the science of Logic, your petty little theories become meaningless. The statistical probability of all life forms, establishing themselves into existence, devoid of any Intelligent Design whatsoever, therefore comes down to a chance of about Zero in One Trillion. Not very good odds Lenny. I hope your church has plenty of ludes around to keep you mentally unstable. And don’t forget Mr. Fraud, you answer my questions first. Then we will proceed with the whole scientific testing method. Adios !

The rest of your post is rubbish too but this particular bit struck me as at least being novel in its stupidity:

Joseph Alden Wrote:

Take a four leaf clover. Beneficial genetic mutation of the three leaf version, correct ?

No. In what way is it particularly beneficial? It wouldn’t have been detrimental either though. Which leads to it generally hanging around as a neutral accident which might occasionally happen rather than the genes tightening up on their leaf count controls. It doesn’t need to be a separate species as it is just sloppy accounting.

However, since humans turned up, it’s been really quite detrimental to the clover to produce 4 leaves. It gets it picked. Which ruins its contribution to the plant. Mindless humans are contributing to natural selection against the 4 leaved clover variant.

Admit it.

You were all taken in by Joseph Alden’s slever parody

The litany of mindless assertions was just too over the top to be serious.

Oops SB Clever

SEF, a quick response to you first, while Lenny loads his crack-pipe.

1. You are incorrect. A four leaf clover IS DEFINITELY a beneficial genetic mutation. Increased surface area for the plant would increase its rate of light absorption, photosynthesis, etc. etc.

2. Again you are incorrect. We humans cannot possibly pick all the four leaf clovers to have a detrimental effect on their existence.

However, you do get an E for effort.

Nice try, but I’ll wait for the good Reverend, thank you.

Joseph Alden Wrote:

. You are incorrect. A four leaf clover IS DEFINITELY a beneficial genetic mutation. Increased surface area for the plant would increase its rate of light absorption, photosynthesis, etc. etc.

Your ignorance is showing. Is it your belief that a common mutation should cause a “permanent four leaf model” all by itself? What might be the reason that four-leafedness would be selected for, if there were no advantage to the population in it? Why not come back when you’ve aquainted yourself with the basic principles. This means you’ll need to read and understand something other than creationist broadsides, so I’m not holding my breath.

Joseph Alden Wrote:

Increased surface area for the plant would increase its rate of light absorption, photosynthesis, etc. etc.

You’ve foolishly (or dishonestly) forgotten the costs of putting up that extra leaflet and that the plant could grow bigger leaves or a whole extra 3-leaf if it wanted increased surface area. At best you could argue that the bigger leaves might be structurally unsound (or somehow harder to do in another way) or that the 4-leaf saves on a stalk component - but also therefore potentially hits a limitation on the pipelines for the supply and return of materials and goods. The plant might not gain as much from the 4th leaf as it would from a whole extra stalk with its 3.

Joseph Alden Wrote:

cannot possibly pick all

You are incompetent at reading comprehension or dishonest again. I didn’t say all. I said humans contributed to natural selection against 4-leaves, not that they were the whole of it. Do you want to estimate the relative contributions or just go on pretending that one value is zero when it clearly is not zero?

I’m with Alan. This Alden persona is a parody. But it’s a little too personal for my tastes. The evolutionary stupidity is well-mocked, but there is no need to attack people in the process.

Well PT doesn’t have any parody labelling (self or otherwise) except where people add fake tags, smileys or comments. On another thread someone said don’t feed the troll(s) without labelling which were supposed to be the trolls. If there are also rabbits in troll’s clothing in the petting zoo then that all makes things a lot more difficult for the visitors.

It would appear that Reverend Lenny the Freak has become a victim of drug-induced incapacitation. This is typical of most evos cowards. However, I am sure we will have to endure his robotic responses in the future. My, what a shame.

To close this out, once again, as always, the gang of evos continue to dodge the original subject matter of this article. Jason claimed no level of intelligence could design anything in the universe, outside of human beings. He failed to account for the works of wonder that our friends in the animal kingdom have developed over the years. This too proves him wrong.

The other evos who chimed in for Lenny, in his absence, are no different. They are cowards as well, regurgitating the ususal responses of those fantasy figures, known as red herrings, strawmen, trolls, blah, blah, blah.

Parting comments to SEF, regarding the four leaf clover example. You said in post # 38815 that you never used the word “ all “. Yet, you did claim and I quote that “ humans have contributed to natural selection against 4-leaf clover versions . … “

You missed the point entirely. Don’t feel bad, though. Your fellow comrades, like Jimmy Wynne didn’t get it right either. My point thus proven was this. Even if we could employ every man, woman and child on the face of the entire earth, we could never pick all the 4 leaf clovers, schijten for brains ! Because : 1. We could never find them all & 2. The following season, they would be back again, randomly occuring in nature ! Your claim that we are contributing to natural selection is blatant insanity ! We cannot possibly have any detrimental effect on their existence, by simply PICKING them, be it one or one billion 4-leaf clovers !

This time, SEF gets an F. Therefore, chalk up another victory for ID.

De ballen boys and girls. I see another article above that now needs the light of truth to shine upon it.

TS

#38868 proves my point again. It’s ego versus reality.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 7, column 72, byte 298 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

I’m finding it a bit difficult to take Joseph Alden seriously. His ranting style has all the hallmarks of a zealot or someone suffering delusions of superiority. To be fair and reasonable, I suspect that his medication just needs adjusting.

He’s certainly very incoherent. He’s also done the typing in all capitals thing (but not as persistently as some). However, he hasn’t used the word “vindicated” yet (one of the key words of a seriously weird and even dangerous person on the BBC MBs, who had apparently given ozone treatment to their own son and had been traced to another board posting under the name Dr.Nurse in sexy stockings (approx)). His spelling isn’t as bad as that person - so he’s more educated than the typical fundamentalists I’ve seen (and perhaps evidence more in favour of his being a spoof). He does keep falling out of English though just like he’s fallen well short of logical thought (but as a spoof that would be an affectation).

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jason Rosenhouse published on July 14, 2005 7:18 PM.

The DI Spins Leonard was the previous entry in this blog.

God and natural selection, hand in hand is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter