Sunday, January 01, 2017

Intelligent Design Creationists reveal their top story of 2016

Yesterday I posted an article on: Creationists list the top ten stories of 2016 . Some of you may have noticed that there were only nine stories. That's because Evolution News & Views didn't post their top story until today. I was pretty sure what it would be.

Let me remind you of the main point I made yesterday. Intelligent Design Creationists claim to have scientific evidence of intelligent design. They claim their movement is focused on demonstrating intelligent design but not on proving anything about who the designer might be.

But that's not what the movement is all about. Most of their writings and speeches are focused on attacking evolution. They hope that by discrediting evolution and science they will, by default, support the case for gods (false dichotomy). They also hope that by promoting gaps in our knowledge they will lend support to those who want to insert gods into the gaps.

You don't need to take my word for it. Just look at what they think are the top stories of 2016. Most of their top nine stories were critiques of science in one way or another. There wasn't a single top story that advanced the case for intelligent design.

So, what about the #1 story? Is it going to be different?

#1: Happy New Year! Why the Royal Society Meeting Mattered
The top story is a report of the Royal Society meeting last November (see photo above). Intelligent Design Creationists were there in full force. (That's me with Paul Nelson in the photo.) The movement is delighted to report controversy among evolutionary biologists.
As usual, the IDer's failed to understand what was really going on at the meeting. It wasn't about fundamental flaws in evolution or our understanding of the history of life. It was about different ways of looking at the way life evolved. Many of the participants thought this had something to do with fundamental evolutionary theory but that view, although widely promoted, failed to make much of an impression. Furthermore, the target of the attack, the same target as the creationists, is not modern evolutionary theory but the old-fashioned Ernst Mayr view of the Modern Synthesis from the early 1960s.

Here's how Evolution News & Views (sic) sees the meeting,
The opening presentation at the Royal Society conference by one of those world-class biologists, Austrian evolutionary theorist Gerd Müller, underscored exactly Meyer's point. Müller opened the meeting by discussing several of the fundamental "explanatory deficits" of "the modern synthesis," that is, textbook neo-Darwinian theory.
That's exactly right. Müller complained about the Modern Synthesis version of evolutionary theory where mutation plus natural selection equals evolution. He claimed that this was the version presented in all the modern textbooks and it's wrong.

The next talk was by Douglas Futuyma, author of the leading textbook on evolution. He pointed out that even his first edition, in 1986, contained most of what Müller talked about. Futuyma described how his textbook differed from the old-fashioned view of the Modern Synthesis that Müller claims is promoted in every textbook. In other words, the audience was treated to a masterful repudiation of just about everything Müller said about the textbooks and the modern view of evolutionary theory. (I doubt very much that Gerd Müller has even read a modern textbook because he seems to be ignorant of Neutral Theory and random genetic drift, both of which are extensively covered in all textbooks.)

Let's return to the main point. The Intelligent Design movement is bankrupt when it comes to promoting intelligent design. They've been at it for more than twenty years and they've made no headway at all. All they can do in 2016 is attack evolution, attack science, attack "materialism" (whatever that is), attack an outmoded view of evolution theory (neo-Darwinism), attack scientists, and promote books that do all of these things.

Their top story is a report on controversy among evolutionary biologists. That could have been their top story every year since ID was founded because that's what science is all about. It's about challenging existing views and healthy debate.

If the ID movement really wants to be treated seriously then they should emulate scientists and start looking critically at their own views. Is common descent a fact as Michael Behe and Michael Denton claim? Is evolution of an irreducibly complex system really impossible? Is there more to evolutionary theory than just natural selection? Is life on Earth billions of years old? Can Intelligent Design Creationism be falsified if our genome is full of junk? Can life be explained by postulating aliens as the designers? Does the term "specified complexity" really mean anything? Is the Cambrian explosion really a big mystery? Why has the movement failed to convince anyone who isn't already committed to gods? Is the Wedge Strategy a failure after 18 years?

Answering those questions could be the top Intelligent Design Creationist stories of 2017. Very few of the IDiots are willing to question ideas that could divide the movement. Jonathan McLatchie is one of the exceptions but even he will only go so far. (That's him with me at the meeting (top right).)


20 comments :

  1. When you evos have any evidence whatsoever that unguided processes (random mutation plus selection) can add new features and thus construct populations let me know. Until then you all will continue to be pitied by those of us who can see through the crap.

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    1. "Until then you all will continue to be pitied by those of us who can see through the crap."

      I doubt that you can see through the crap of self-deception that's required to think that some imaginary being, called "God," is an answer.

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    2. When you evos have any evidence whatsoever that unguided processes (random mutation plus selection) can add new features and thus construct populations let me know.

      Been there, done that:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

      So, your turn: When can we expect creationists to report observing God creating new species out of thin air in the lab?

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    3. "Been there, done that:"

      So after 31,000 generations, they got a transport protein that enables E coli to utilize citrate with genes that it had before the experiment began. That's heavy duty stuff right there. You can dig in deep with big dog evolution like that. Is that how you acquired the billions of neurons that you use to equate yourself with carrots and chickens?

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    4. Why would you think 31.000 generations is too long? You seem to be doing nothing but stating the fact that this change happened in 31.000 generations, but doing nothing to demonstrate why this is much longer than it should be, or that this is a problem for the evolution of life.

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    5. Sorry, txpiper. When Tommy Hall asked for "any evidence whatsoever that unguided processes (random mutation plus selection) can add new features and thus construct populations" I thought he was asking for evidence that unguided processes (random mutation plus selection) can add new features and thus construct populations, so that is what I provided. Maybe you could explain what he meant by "any evidence whatsoever that unguided processes (random mutation plus selection) can add new features and thus construct populations" other than any evidence whatsoever that unguided processes (random mutation plus selection) can add new features and thus construct populations.

      BTW, didn't you notice that a group of your fellow IDiots, in one of their rare attempts to actually perform a scientific experiment, ended up demonstrating that the same trait could evolve in as few as 12-100 generations? Oopsy!

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    6. Tommy, so now you've proclaimed the standard "evolution can't do this, can't do that thus goddidit", it's time to impress me with scientific data in FAVOR of ID.
      I've asked this question to all creationists on this blog, and the 'best' I've seen until now, is just another regurgitation of "evolution can't do this, can't do that thus goddidit".

      Tommy, if you can provide evidence in favor of ID, I bet you'll make it to the number 1 slot on EvoNews at the end of 2017.
      Good luck!

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    7. So after 31,000 generations, they got a transport protein that enables E coli to utilize citrate with genes that it had before the experiment began. That's heavy duty stuff right there.

      So tx, you want to give a scientific ID explanation of why E. coli in Barry Hall and James Shapiro's "directed evolution" experiments could get to favorable mutations in *one* generation, while Lenski's took 31,000? Is it that God hates Lenski's bacteria? Did they sin? Worship false gods? Please do explain to us the science on this one, inquiring minds want to know.

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    8. Tommy claims proof of a universal negative ("There is no evidence! No evidence at all!"), which is easily refuted by one counter-example-- and all you need to trash a universal negative is one counter-example-- so Txpiper responds, NOT by saying what he should, "Oops, guess Tommy was wrong to claim proof of a universal negative", but instead by shifting the goalposts-- indeed, putting the goalposts on a Mythbusters-type motorized drive chassis-- and announcing that the evolution of the one system named (which happens to be irreducibly complex) does not meet the new, revised standard.

      "they got a transport protein that enables E coli to utilize citrate with genes that it had before"

      What's that called? Oh yeah. Adding what Michael Behe called a Functional Coded Element, which Behe said was never seen in bacteria. *And* evolving an Irreducibly Complex system *by adding stuff to it, one part at a time.* Wait what, didn't Michael Behe say that was impossible too?

      Why yes, you people all said it was IMPOSSIBLE. Now that it has been observed, you announce it is NOT INTERESTING. Oh, it's TRIVIAL now, huh?

      Gee, it sure AF wasn't trivial back in the day you people claimed it was IMPOSSIBLE.

      Creationism: the belief that scientific phenomena go from IMPOSSIBLE to NOT EVEN INTERESTING with no intermediate step.

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    9. But since adding a protein is trivial (after evolution is observed doing it), I'm sure Tommy and Tx can cite a paper where the invisible supernatural intelligent designer adds a protein to a genome.

      I mean that's trivial now, so they must have an observation of the Intelligent Designer (identity unknown, but rhymes with Todd) actually doing it.

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  2. Which of the dozens of experiments that have shown this do you dispute? If you don't even know of them, it is hard to accept your denial as credible or informed.

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    1. Show me your best one steve.

      Show me the best football play in the NFL this year.

      There are thousands upon thousands of academic articles on evolutionary biology published every single year, and it's been over 150 years since the publication of The Origin of Species. You very quickly get to a number of examples much higher than the number of football plays in the NFL in a year. So the question I've asked you is easier than the one you asked Steve. Go ahead and tell me the very best football play in the NFL this year.

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  4. To the public, not just textbooks, it has been strongly presented to this day that Mutation plus selection plus time equal evolution of this to that.
    Overthrowing this is a historic thing even if some researchers already admit to it.
    This Royal meeting, was the Queen there and if so whats her vote, was admitting that new answers are legitimate because the old answers are not settling things. within this paradigm change there is advancement of yEC/ID ideas however much in the back.
    Different ways still means correction of ways previously proposed. the meeting is highlighting new ways are needed and welcome.
    AHA. Something is wrong with the evidence for conclusions.

    ID is about design within evolutionism and without evolutionism being true.
    Its about chance being unlikely/impossible to have created the glory of complexity and diversity in the universe. Its about God , thinking being, having done the creation as a demanding conclusion from study of nature. Science. Better science .

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    1. This Royal meeting, was the Queen there and if so whats her vote....

      I don't know if this was meant as a joke, but it's pretty funny.

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    2. Byers: "admitting that new answers are legitimate because the old answers are not settling things"

      Um, "God did it" is not the new answer. It's a very old answer. And anyway, that's not how the scientific method works. That's how pseudoscience works: false dichotomy.

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    3. Byers: ID is...Its about God, thinking being, having done the creation...Science."

      Seems legit. Intelligent Design is clearly not about religion. No religion here. Just "Its about God" which is 100% straight up science yo.

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  5. When I was a teen, I was attracted to science by the things that were not yet understood. Not by what was understood. IDists appear to be happy with the unknown. Even revel in it. Sorry, but that level of complacency isn't for me.

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    1. Plus one to Mr. Spearshake. Though among things that are understood, I always liked the bit about us being made from the insides of exploding stars.

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  6. I once supported intelligent design because it fit exactly with what we observe today with regards the creation of physical objects. However, when I got wind of the previously unimagined ideas in quantum mechanics, I immediately realized that reality does not always conform to our intuition.in my opinion, evolution explains a lot of observations today which intelligent design cannot explain. One thing IDists fail to realize is that even if we falsify evolutionary theory today, tomorrow or in the next two thousand years, it would not prove intelligent design as they are yet to provide experimental evidence to show intelligent design. It is interesting that Behe conducts experiments not to prove design but falsify aspects of evolutionary theory and in the end they fail.

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