Allen MacNeill: Serial Endosymbiosis and Intelligent Design

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Thumbnail image for Allen_2007.jpgAllen MacNeill has yet another interesting contribution (as well as an announcement about a new course). Allen MacNeill:It’s very gratifying to see Lynn Margulis finally getting the recognition that she deserves. As the originator of the serial endosymbiosis theory (SET) for the origin of eukaryotes, Lynn’s work provides an excellent example of how ID should (but currently doesn’t) proceed. During the late 1960s, Lynn published a series of revolutionary papers on the evolution of eukaryotic cells, culminating in her landmark book Symbiosis and Cell Evolution, in which she carefully laid out the empirical evidence supporting the theory that mitochondria, choloroplasts, and undulapodia (eukaryotic cilia and flagella) were once free living bacteria (purple sulfur bacteria, cyanobacteria, and spirochaetes, respectively).

Read the rest at Serial Endosymbiosis and Intelligent Design

Allen makes an excellent case how science progresses and that while science may resist change, the only way to change science is to do hard work, research and show how your ideas form scientifically relevant contributions. This is particularly relevant when it comes to Intelligent Design, whose proponents have chosen it to remain scientifically vacuous, without content. And still they whine about being ‘expelled’ when in fact they are ‘exposed’.

Allen is also organizing Seminar in History of Biology: Evolution and Ethics: Is Morality Natural? at Cornell

COURSE LISTING: BioEE 467/B&Soc 447/Hist 415/S&TS 447 Seminar in History of Biology

SEMESTER: Cornell Six-Week Summer Session, 06/24/08 to 07/31/08

159 Comments

I don’t think that Lynn calls them “neodarwinian bullies” because she thinks that her theoretical extensions receive the kind of fair evaluation that makes an “excellent example” for how science should proceed. Neodarwinians know that Lynn’s ideas about symbiogenesis and self-regulating systems lead to her and Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis and its teleological implications for predetermined purpose.

Dawkins and others have very vocally insisted that hell will have to freeze straight over before anyone in the community accepts anything that looks that much like “god” to them, and I don’t believe that any amount of evidence is going to get a fair evaluation if it requires an admission that there is evidence that we’re not here by accident.

Margulis is the originator of a modern version of the original hypothesis.

The idea that the eukaryotic cell is actually a colony of microbes was first suggested in the 1920s by American biologist Ivan Wallin (Fausto-Sterling 1993). The originator of the modern version of the SET is biologist Lynn Margulis. In 1981, Margulis published the first edition of her book entitled Symbiosis in Cell Evolution in which she proposed that eukaryotic cells originated as communities of interacting entities that joined together in a specific order. With time, the members of this union became the organelles of a single host (Margulis 1993). The organelle progenitors could have gained entry into a host cell as undigested prey or as an internal parasite after which the combination became mutually beneficial to both organisms. As the organisms became more interdependent, an obligatory symbiosis evolved.

Source

Holy cow, island, way to miss the entire point of the essay.

Erm… by the way… what evidence? You woo-peddlers keep insisting it’s there but you never get around to actually, you know, showing it to anyone.

So why do you think Dawkins determines the directions of science? Why not present the evidence before whining about a mythical conspiracy.

Weak very weak.

island said:

Dawkins and others have very vocally insisted that hell will have to freeze straight over before anyone in the community accepts anything that looks that much like “god” to them, and I don’t believe that any amount of evidence is going to get a fair evaluation if it requires an admission that there is evidence that we’re not here by accident.

A pity Margulis has also become an HIV denialist.

Yes indeed, she seems to have gone over to the ‘dark side’. However the lessons of her story still stand.

Steven Sullivan said:

A pity Margulis has also become an HIV denialist.

Does Allen go into how Margulis, after finally getting acceptance for her original endosymbiosis hypothesis, a decade later decided that all evolution was essentially driven by endosymbiosis as a primary mechanism? something that isn’t supported at all by any of the data we have available?

ah, is THIS Allen’s take on it?

Her ideas are still radical, and still raise the blood pressure of many evolutionary biologists. Her dismissal of the “modern evolutionary synthesis” in particular is not popular among many evolutionary biologists, who are largely still mired in paradigms that are at least four decades of out of date.

‘cause if so, that’s utter bullshit, and conflating what HE thinks is out of date wrt to evolutionary biology with Lynn’s concepts of endosymbiosis being more important than selection as a mechanism of evolution. Moreover, instead of saying “many evolutionary biologists” in the above, he should state essentially ALL evolutionary biologists, and with very good reason: there simply isn’t any evidence to support a larger role for endosymbiosis as a primary mechanism of evolution. Can you really, having at least some grasp of the information available, envision “some time in the future” where this would change??

I still think you are hitching your cart to a horse that is heading for the barn, Pim. Allen is not the expert you seem to think he is. I tried to show you this a couple years back, while discussing his first course on this very blog.

I understand why you think his efforts valuable, but much of what he says is simply incorrect.

as far as stories of acceptance after initial rejection are concerned, I rather think a MUCH better story can be found in the work of WD Hamilton.

It took about 10 years for the ideas of inclusive fitness and kin selection to really take off after his initial work, and even the initial work was quite difficult to find a home for.

btw, the commentary in the thread on Allen’s blog is remarkably similar to mine regarding how the scientific community views Margulis’s contributions since her original contribution:

http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/2[…]lligent.html

of course, there is a good point to be made there as well:

There is no authoritarianism in science.

Just because one might get one thing right, doesn’t mean the scientific community will automatically accept your other contributions.

“Lynn’s work provides an excellent example of how ID should (but currently doesn’t) proceed.”

An oversimplification, but let’s go with it!

According to my cursory knowledge of her work, and the field of genetic modification and transfer mechanisms as well, I’ll only comment briefly of her work and the points raised by Allen MacNell. His points regarding her as an example, in order:

-“Her theory was greeted with contempt and scorn by almost all evolutionary biologists.”

-“Instead [of giving up] she continued to do extensive field and laboratory research, publishing hundreds of papers and dozens of books.”

-“Lynn Margulis’s SET has become the dominant theory explaining not only the origin of eukaryotes, but also the origin of evolutionary novelty at dozens of different levels in biology.”

Fine, no disagreement. This is the way that scientific research should function. (I would restrict the reference to ‘novelty’ however, as a refinement of extant functions).

As to why she’s been ostracized and opposed in the past (and even now), it appears to me to be more of her opposition to neo-Darwinian theory as proposed by Wright and Fisher. Like Gould, who deviated some from the all-encompassing gradualism concept, she proposed other mechanisms. Criticisms to her work could also be due to her having an inflated view of the centrality of endosymbiosis in evolution, and perhaps more.

But getting to PvM’s point that “Lynn’s work provides an excellent example of how ID should (but currently doesn’t) proceed”, I would agree to a degree, but disagree that it’s analogous to what ID lacks. There are many more factors involved in achieving even minimal status, and the tools, funding and opportunities to do the requisite research regarding design inferences, hypotheses that most deem to negate evolution, but do not necessarily. They may simply alter the mechanisms involved. This, perhaps, is the reason for its unrelenting opposition. If/when it is realized that both may play a part, that may change.

“Allen makes an excellent case how science progresses and that while science may resist change, the only way to change science is to do hard work, research and show how your ideas form scientifically relevant contributions. This is particularly relevant when it comes to Intelligent Design, whose proponents have chosen it to remain scientifically vacuous, without content.”

Conflating Creationism with ID is a thing of the past. The NOMA concept has merit, but since ID does not qualify as a magisterium, it remains separate from the faith based side. Design inferences point to directed processes, but not necessarily by an overseer.

Yes, a contrarium (I just coined a new [English] word) does exist. If however you picture ID and Creationism as a Venn diagram, the circles are drifting apart. Both may be true (or false), but neither depends on the other for substantiation, nor requires that common ground exist. MacNeill concludes:

“When the history of evolutionary biology in the 20th century is written (I hope to contribute to it myself, if I live long enough), the work of Lynn Margulis will rank right up there with the work of Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Dobzhansky, Mayr, Simpson, Stebbins, Gould, Lewontin, Kimura, Williams, Hamilton, Trivers, and the two Wilsons. And unless and until IDers decide that it’s finally time to stop doing agitprop and start doing science, they and the creationists will at best be a trivial footnote.”

They already are (the true Creationists). Now it’s time to proceed with a more objective scientism, if that’s possible. Evolution is accepted by the portion of the ID community that counts, but like Margulis, and perhaps even more so, those serious about ID as science are open to the evidence as it presents. If ‘self organization’ turns out to be ‘it’, and ‘it alone’, so be it.

Now if you would kindly move your bunsen burner and other crap over a little to give me some counter space … ;-)

Ta ta.

If ‘self organization’ turns out to be ‘it’, and ‘it alone’, so be it.

If?

just how long do we have to wait to make a reasonable conclusion about it?

200 years?

2000?

10000?

bah.

… you forgot the humbug!

nice response Lee

nice response Lee

take those blinders off, Pim.

He means it tongue in cheek, Ichthyic.

By the way, where is everybody. You’d think they’d all be back from the lake by now …

The only problem I see with Mr Bowman’s essay about Intelligent Design “theory” not being Creationism is that those Intelligent Design proponents who claim to accept Evolution, whether they are Discovery Institute luminaries, like Michael Behe, or malicious groupies, still rail incoherently against Evolutionary Theory, often making ludicrous excuses for doing so. They never make any satisfactory explanations about why Evolution is allegedly inadequate by itself, nor do they even bother to elucidate how an Intelligent Designer works through Evolution to form and alter diversity, let alone detect this Designer’s presence in Evolution and Biology.

Of course, then there’s the problem that the vast majority of Intelligent Design proponents are Young Earth Creationists, both unabashed and covert. Even Salvador Cordova hinted that he finds a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis to be more convincing an explanation of the origin of the diversity of life than “descent with modification.”

Still, the biggest hurdle I (and the essay by Dr MacNeill) see for Intelligent Design “theory” is not the fact that Evolutionary Theory is the only theory that can adequately describe the formation and alteration of the diversity and forms of life. The biggest hurdle for Intelligent Design “theory” is that none of its proponents, whether they accept descent with modification, or whether they believe that the Bible is 100% true, or else, have even the slightest desire to do any science with, about or even to promote Intelligent Design “theory.”

And no shimmyshammying by anyone can ever truthfully define Intelligent Design “theory” as a science if no one wants to use it in science to begin with.

The idea that ID is not creationism is somewhat misplaced but understandable. ID creationists have spent much effort to deny their Creator and pretend that ID is a neutral approach. Sadly enough, it is neither neutral nor scientifically relevant. Which is why we see ID strategy mutate and evolve quickly to regain a possible advantage. In the end, it still remains vacuous science and troublesome theology.

Lee Bowman wrote

But getting to PvM’s point that “Lynn’s work provides an excellent example of how ID should (but currently doesn’t) proceed”, I would agree to a degree, but disagree that it’s analogous to what ID lacks. There are many more factors involved in achieving even minimal status, and the tools, funding and opportunities to do the requisite research regarding design inferences, hypotheses that most deem to negate evolution, but do not necessarily.

Except that things like systematically validating concepts like Complex Specified Information on phenomena of known provenance don’t require huge labs and hordes of grad students and post-docs. I repeatedly offered lineages evolved in Avida to IDists to serve as test materials on which to test the ability of their measures of CSI to make the relevant distinctions, and not one has taken me up on it.

Or consider Paul Nelson. Over three years ago (or is it four?) he promised us here on PT an operational definition of “ontogenetic depth,” but still hasn’t delivered.

ID is full of such notions, none with any useful application, to judge from the resounding silence of ID advocates when it comes to describing actual uses of them.

“The only problem I see with Mr Bowman’s essay about Intelligent Design “theory” not being Creationism is that those Intelligent Design proponents who claim to accept Evolution, whether they are Discovery Institute luminaries, like Michael Behe, or malicious groupies, still rail incoherently against Evolutionary Theory, often making ludicrous excuses for doing so.”

If you’ll notice, I didn’t use the word ‘theory’; only hypothis(es). I see multiple hypotheses, each somewhat explorable. I envision no central theory at this time.

I don’t feel that either of the above rule out evolutionary mechanisms, but I can’t speak for them (other than to quote mine and infer).

” They never make any satisfactory explanations about why Evolution is allegedly inadequate by itself … “

I disagree. Behe has been quite specific in his criticisms, as has Dembski. Quoting from a talk Bill gave at Baylor 11/22/04 (AAR meeting?), which was cited on this blog back on 9/5/08, from an earlier post about Lynn Margulis:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…]gulis_d.html

It’s about 4000 words, but well worth reading, as he made some good points. Philosophical args you might say, but points worth considering. As far as empirically based work, even some peer-reviewed papers, Behe has probably done more in that direction.

With regard to Sal Cordova, he is somewhat torn between ID and strict Presbyterian beliefs. I don’t think he’s a strict YEC, but open to it. He knows the requirements of science. Tough to have it both ways. This partial quote from UD on 8/11/06:

“What has deeply concerned me is that the attitude by the die-hard YECs is starting a minor civil war in my own denomination, and I do not want the theology-free science of ID to suffer victim to sectarian dogma.”

http://www.uncommondescent.com/educ[…]r-education/

I just finished reading David Alt’s Glacial Lake Missoula, on the Missoula Floods, and then went and visited the Scablands in Eastern Washington. The substory of Bretz’s fight to convince the scientific community is much the same as Margulis’ story. He had to fight against intransience, and presented a great deal of evidence, which was initially not accepted, for decades, ironically because the catastrophism he proposed was too similar to religious ideas like a Biblical flood, but in this case, Bretz had the evidence on his side.

PvM said:

The idea that ID is not creationism is somewhat misplaced but understandable. ID creationists have spent much effort to deny their Creator and pretend that ID is a neutral approach. Sadly enough, it is neither neutral nor scientifically relevant. Which is why we see ID strategy mutate and evolve quickly to regain a possible advantage. In the end, it still remains vacuous science and troublesome theology.

Then we have our work cut out for us. I wouldn’t call it totally vacuous; just lacking. Regarding strategies, it’s sad that strategies need be employed.

Another point. Even if design becomes well established at some point, that doesn’t mean that science needs to try to ‘dissect’ it to the degree that it would ‘diss’ religion or theology. That’s one reason I constantly ask the question, “Should ID be pursued?”

If religion is meant to be “faith based”, should we intrude? And, what would (or will) it accomplish?

Tune in again next week, for the answer to that question!

RBH said:

Lee Bowman wrote

But getting to PvM’s point that “Lynn’s work provides an excellent example of how ID should (but currently doesn’t) proceed”, I would agree to a degree, but disagree that it’s analogous to what ID lacks. There are many more factors involved in achieving even minimal status, and the tools, funding and opportunities to do the requisite research regarding design inferences, hypotheses that most deem to negate evolution, but do not necessarily.

Except that things like systematically validating concepts like Complex Specified Information on phenomena of known provenance don’t require huge labs and hordes of grad students and post-docs.

More than one might think. Much of the work now going on has implications for design substantiation. Rather than cordon off a section for separate research, I advocate a merging of the two. In other words, an allowance of teleologic hypotheses within the mainstream.

Again, this doesn’t change the way of doing things, and computer simulations like Avida can both verify and falsify.

It’s often said that there is a ‘plethora’ of data supporting evolution. This is a central argument for its prominence. I would say that most of the data supports evolution, but not necessarily evolution as we know it. Some of the data may well tend to falsify, or at least challenge some of it. This allows teleologic thought in.

Co-evolution, while accepted as valid, often defies statistical reality. While the Nilsson-Pelger paper set a rather low number of permutations to generate an eye, creating the idea that co-ev of 40 or so eyes was no big deal. It didn’t begin to deal with the actual complexity of mutually dependent systems, which vastly multiplies the requirement for a ‘look ahead’ ability (organ plan), the uselessness of most minor ‘stepwise’ genomic alterations, and the improbability of random mutations to account for them.

Richard Dawkins’ assertion that each percentage of stepwise mutational change would confer an equal percentage of repro or survival advantage is untenable. If not, where’s the beef? I respect the Nilsson-Pelger work, but where is the follow-up research?!

But rather than dismissing natural causes, I simply advocate more research.

Then we have our work cut out for us. I wouldn’t call it totally vacuous; just lacking. Regarding strategies, it’s sad that strategies need be employed.

ID is doomed to remain scientifically vacuous unless it resolves its foundations. Indeed, if ID could do the science but sadly enough it seems to be less interested in doing science than winning ‘souls’, at the expense of science and religious faith.

and

But rather than dismissing natural causes, I simply advocate more research.

Yes, where is this ‘ID’ research really?…

Co-evolution, while accepted as valid, often defies statistical reality.

Except that ID fails to provide any evidence for this so-called ‘reality’. Of course, ID merely attempts to look for fewer and fewer gaps in our knowledge to argue but ‘see, how does ‘x’ explain this…’

I find such comment not dissimilar, and thus suffering from the same flaws, at the attempts to argue that there is not only an edge to evolution but that this edge excludes a large fraction of evolution.

More than one might think. Much of the work now going on has implications for design substantiation. Rather than cordon off a section for separate research, I advocate a merging of the two. In other words, an allowance of teleologic hypotheses within the mainstream.

And thus, to quote Ayala, evolution as an inherent teleological hypothesis remains best addressed by identified mechanisms, and if ID wishes to add final cause teleology then it is free to do so. It’s just that ID is not interested in ‘design substantiation’, calling it pathetic. And I understand, since ID will never be able to do much in this area. What is this mythical work that is going on that has implications for design substantiation? How much more time and effort does ID make to substantiate its claims? Claims which so far have been almost exclusively negative ones against a subset of evolutionary mechanisms? Why should science chose an approach which has failed to show much of any promise since it is based on ignorance to claim ‘design’ rather than accept that there are areas where our ignorance does not allow us to make much of any claims? I understand ID’s interests in teleology but this would require an application of similar methods as used by criminology for instance, means, motives, opportunity, eye witnesses, physical evidence. However, ID seems interested in none of these approaches, and for obvious and valid reasons. How can we limit our God…

I disagree. Behe has been quite specific in his criticisms, as has Dembski. Quoting from a talk Bill gave at Baylor 11/22/04 (AAR meeting?), which was cited on this blog back on 9/5/08, from an earlier post about Lynn Margulis:

Behe has been most specific and wrong. As for Dembski, his claims remain at best flawed, when he attempts to calculate the probability of protein formation using a totally fallacious approach, and in general at odds with science and logic, when outlining his ‘design inference’ while arguing that it is free from false positives, except that it isn’t. Dembski has done little to show that evolution is inadequate, and it seems he has given up trying. Behe, convinced by his faith, seems intent on proving his Designer to be limited or forced to intervene, although he accepts front loading as a possible explanation, he seems to reject this based on his faith. What else would explain his latest book which is just ‘over the edge’?

To come back to the issue raised, how come that ID has failed so far to “systematically validating concepts like Complex Specified Information on phenomena of known provenance don’t require huge labs and hordes of grad students and post-docs.”

You claim that it takes more effort than one thinks and yet this seems to be a minimal requirement if not one which should be relatively straightforward… Or, if Dembski’s attempts to apply his filter to anything non-trivial, perhaps totally beyond ID’s reach.

science may resist change

As the post makes clear, for good reasons. But besides the need for hard work, there is more.

Science is ideally set up as a market of ideas. It works in reality, but with peer review acting as a slightly conservative factor in itself. The problem is, as always, “who reviews the reviewers” and “how long does it take to dress properly”. Lately some online papers has allowed an open review and/or online commenting, which should both open and speed up this.

More important (in my mind) is the fact that science is a method, or rather a set of methods. They are often scrutinized, or should be, for valid results.

Here is an example - “Poor Taxonomic Practice takes some F****ing Liberties!”. [Hat tip: Larry Moran.]

That change is hard work shows why this is no cake walk, but historical and societal context does so too. Science has changed, as it must, and it makes it difficult to read earlier work in context.

For example, when Newton clung to an “absolute space” instead of the more parsimonious (and correct) galilean invariance, it was AFAIU partly because the society at that time wasn’t used to see space as an object separate from the objects it contains. Terming it in the way he did was probably essential to bring the more important leap home.

None of this is relevant to ID however, which is simply nuts and woo cemented together by fundamentalists into an unsolvable lump.

First, apparent design is not only explainable, but have been successfully explained for centuries.

Second, natural processes aren’t expected to exhibit teleology, by reasons of theory and observation. (As they say of UFOs, where are they?) But as it would be testable with a description of the teleological agent, I assume that it would be interesting on the order of prayer studies. Pity the Templeton foundation dropped the Disinformation Institute as a sack of hot potatoes then.

island said: Neodarwinians know that Lynn’s ideas about symbiogenesis and self-regulating systems lead to her and Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis and its teleological implications for predetermined purpose.

That would have been an argument, if a Gaia hypothesis leads to teleology instead of feedback. The same goes for the presumption that certain researchers rejects teleology because of its implications. The truth is that there have never been observed processes that displays teleology, so it would be a hard sell.

And the comment looks as if the posts message was rejected out of hand; do the obligatory extensive field and laboratory research and show us empirical evidence supporting a teleological process, before contempt and scorn is to be removed.

From my discussions of the subject with her, Lynn Margulis’s “problems” with the “modern evolutionary synthesis” of the first half of the 20th century is primarily that it was mostly theoretical, rather than empirical. To be precise, the work of Fisher, Haldane, and Wright, which provided a mathematical basis for the later work of Dobzhansky (and, to a lesser extent, Mayr) was limited almost entirely to mechanisms of microevolutionary change: selection and drift, to be precise. Following Eldridge and Gould’s presentation of punctuated equilibrium this situation changed, and that change accelerated with the discovery of new mechanisms of microevolutionary change (such as Hamilton’s kin selection and Trivers’s reciprocal altruism). Most significant of all, the discovery of homeotic gene regulation and the various mechanisms of evolutionary developmental biology have almost completely rewritten the “modern evolutionary synthesis”, which now seems to me to be more of an historical curiosity than a guiding force in most empirical research today.

However, if one sits in on a typical evolution course at most American universities, what one will spend almost the entire semester learning is the “modern synthesis”, with punk eek, sociobiology, and evo-devo relegated to the status of a footnote, if they are mentioned at all. And Margulis’s work on the origin of eukaryotes is barely mentioned, despite mountains of evidence supporting it. Bill Hamilton suspected that the origin of HIV had to do with the use of polio vaccine in Africa; indeed, he died investigating the possibility. Does that make him a crank? Or, like Margulis, do we recognize him for the tremendous advances in evolutionary biology that he spawned, and respect them both for the painstaking empirical research that supported their theories, and their commitment to empirical verification (rather than theoretical speculation)?

The list of evolutionary biologists who have been called cranks by other evolutionary biologists is a long one, and includes virtually all of the people one would expect to find lionized in the “evolutionary hall of fame”. What separates most of them from the “ID hall of shame” is that they were unafraid to think about nature in new ways, and equally eager to get their hands dirty finding out if their suspicions about how nature worked could be tested against reality.

Everyone has “metaphysical assumptions” that guide their work; what separates scientists from the rest is that we are willing to test those assumptions against reality, and ready to give them up if reality shows us differently.

PvM said:

[…] Behe, convinced by his faith, seems intent on proving his Designer to be limited or forced to intervene, although he accepts front loading as a possible explanation, he seems to reject this based on his faith. […]

I presume, the possibility of occasional tinkering is very hard, if not impossible, to falsify, provided the interventions are subtle enough. Even well-timed volcano eruptions could be used (by a mighty designer) to change the distribution of species for a teleological purpose.

What are the strongest arguments against front loading?

Regards

Eric

Registered User said:

Remember when Allen let that creationist Hannah Maxson run his blog with him? Remember when people would ask Hannah questions exactly like this and Hannah would refuse to answer and block any follow up comments? And remember when Hannah would block those comments how Allen would just sit on his hands?

That was awesome.

What’s also awesome is that it’s all archived. Together with the blocked comments (which I’ve collected), it makes a good teaching tool. Not for teaching science, of course, but for teaching people about creationist liars and Stockholm Syndrome.

I seem to recall on the Kornell Kreationist Klub blog that McNeill took a swipe at Carl Sagan after someone mentioned Sagan’s “extraordinary claims” quote in the context of Cornell’s nefarious ivory-billed woodpecker fraud. Interesting that MacNeill was wrong about Sagan and now promotes Margulis, a quintessential scientific has-been who never contributed much in the first place.

Has Great White Wonder slithered forth once more from his cesspool to trouble the living?

Lee Bowman said:

The reason that early ID tended toward a single designer had obvious religious underpinnings. Now, however, with a shift toward rational investigation rather than a motive to further religion, things are changing.

Can you cite an example of rational investigation of ID? A journal article? I suppose Barbara Forrest’s work counts as a rational investigation of ID, but somehow I don’t think that’s what you mean :)

The design hypothesis is much easier to convincingly affirm than before, since about half of the counter arguments no longer apply.

Can you describe the scientific method used to do the affirming? Or cite a journal article that does so?

It is extroadinarily annoying to claim that affirming design is now easier to do, and then not say how to do it. If IDers can’t articulate their investigative methods in a way that allows their work to be repeated by others - including their critics - then its not science. Publish the ID method used to affirm design, or stop claiming one exists.

Bowman/Heywood Said

since ID specifies an “intelligent cause”, no gender, no singularity (he/her/they/it/)

The illogic continues. It doesn’t matter whether the “intelligent cause” is corporial or diffuse, here or there, up or down, one or many. It is still a designer(s). Your claim that mainstream ID has moved away from Creationism is not supported by any evidence. The movie “Expelled” clearly advocated religion. Cdesign Proponentists are still talking philosophy and materialism. You are describing your religious beliefs as if they mattered. WHY are you here arguing science??? Go take a picture of an angel or a pixie or some other magical creature you believe in. It won’t convince scientists because they need a lot more evidence than that, but at least it will be a start.

Bowman/Heywood Said

since ID specifies an “intelligent cause”, no gender, no singularity (he/her/they/it/)

The illogic continues. It doesn’t matter whether the “intelligent cause” is corporial or diffuse, here or there, up or down, one or many. It is still a designer(s). Your claim that mainstream ID has moved away from Creationism is not supported by any evidence. The movie “Expelled” clearly advocated religion. Cdesign Proponentists are still talking philosophy and materialism. You are describing your religious beliefs as if they mattered. WHY are you here arguing science??? Go take a picture of an angel or a pixie or some other magical creature you believe in. It won’t convince scientists because they need a lot more evidence than that, but at least it will be a start.

In fact, people have proposed a multiple designers theory

The guy in charge of the platypus was probably hired because his dad was in the same country club with the boss.

Allen:

What “Registered User” (another sock puppet?) doesn’t want you to know is that very early on Hannah and I agreed that we would divide up the moderation of the Evolution and Design blog: she would moderate the ID supporters and I would moderate the evolution supporters.

Why would I not want anyone to know that? That’s pretty much my point. The rules were applied by you and Hannah in such a way as to preclude Hannah from addressing the straightforward and obvious questions raised by her endless cheerleading of Dembski et al. Hannah was free to play her ridiculous word games ad nauseum and appeal to insane “worldviews” where non-creationist scientists collectively agree to deny the “evidence” for creationism all around them. Attempts to hold her feet to the fire (i.e., back up her statements with objective facts) was invariably met with, essentially, “I answered your question and further comments will be deleted.”

using insults instead of arguments, and attacking personalities (rather than arguments) were people who opposed ID. Admittedly, this was a very small group of people (including “Registered User”

What can I say? Allen MacNeill is lying. The fact is Allen protected his “personality” from embarassment and from having to admit (or run away) from her intellectual bankruptcy.

I wonder why Allen has so much difficulty admitting this. I mean, it’s not as if none of the rest of us have ever done favors for friends that were not consistent with one’s stated standards. But good scientists are supposed to cool, rational people according to Allen so I would have expected him to be immune to such temptations.

I find it interesting that about eight years ago [Margulis] was asked by the National Academy to donate her papers to the national archives

LOL! The hypocricy, again, is that such a comment would have been dismissed by your co-moderator Hannah as an irrelevant, “illogical” appeal to authority. Yes, Allen, that’s how it went down. Now you’ve twice engaged in behavior that you and Hannah earlier deemed uncivilized. What’s happened to you, Allen? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is you’re the same self-serving blowhard you were before.

stevaroni said:

In fact, people have proposed a multiple designers theory

The guy in charge of the platypus was probably hired because his dad was in the same country club with the boss.

No, it was the Trilobita guys. After their project got axed, they snuck into the Amniota design office one night, cobbled together something from papers in the various waste paper bins and sent it down to Fabrication.

I think this discussion is over.

Yes, “Registered User” and “Great White Wonder” are one and the same.

And yes, this discussion is most definitely over.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on May 26, 2008 2:39 PM.

The Phoenix has Landed was the previous entry in this blog.

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