I have lots of comments on my posts regarding evolution. Some are good comments, many are pretty lame and silly. Some ugly. But let me try to put my finger on a few things that seem to be key in the debate and apparent deep misunderstanding of my post Evolution:What should life look like. And then let me end the debate for this writer.
1.) When I say, "we should see some weird stuff" I mean evolution should produce some half way done "features" in species. Hooves on a fin for example, or non working rudiments of bat-like sonar in a human. I think I realized last nite as I went to bed, why evolutionists see this thinking as "dumb", "not scientific", "obviously being dishonest" etc. The reason is their belief and understanding of evolution says none of those examples EVER could/would happen. Natural selection would never select for them because the features don't work, don't provide some advantage. So to them, all my questions and observations that include these kind of statements are simply stupid in their view. I think I get that.
2.) I also think I see if they were to allow the potential for dead end, incomplete features, there would be lots of these examples in the fossil record and currently in real life. Those examples are not clearly found. According to evolutionists, these types of non working things cannot exist. At least not long enough to be passed along through replication. There are many possible reasons offered as to why transitional, non-working features are not found. Or claims that they are everywhere. Just look into the mirror. Also, lots of "coulda, woulda, shouldas" This also seems to mean evolutionists buy into the idea of irreducibly complex machinery. If a new feature evolves, in order for it to be selected, it HAS to do something of value. So every single change towards a new species must somehow work and thus is irreducibly complex. I may be wrong but that is what they seem to be consistently saying.
3. ) I also see that historically, evolutionists have argued that seemingly incomplete, dead end features like the appendix, tonsils and junk DNA etc. show conclusively that unguided evolution produced these unneeded features and thus we obviously evolved and were not designed. Which obviously contradicts their arguments in 1.) and 2.) Evolutionists want it both ways. They say evolution, by definition can only produce and select for things that have some advantageous function in order to be passed along to offspring. But when a seemingly non-functional feature does get selected, evolutionists scream "see, an intelligent designer would never do this!" And then to boot, many of these alleged dead end features have now been proven to actually have critical function previously unknown. Evolutionists conveniently forget their past arguments. The appendix and tonsils were puzzles to my belief we probably were designed. But when science later discovered the purpose for these organs my confidence in design was strengthened. Same for the many recent discoveries about so called junk DNA. Long held to be proof of random, unguided evolution, the discovery of purpose for most of our DNA takes away a major argument and is strong confirmation of design. I am very certain the evolutionists would scream foul on this but to this observer they are wrong.
4.) The appendix etc. is one basis of my observation and statements regarding "weird stuff." Random mutation, it seems, would regularly take features down a dead end and those dead ends would be readily apparent ala the appendix (before function was later discovered) etc. But given the assumption that evolution is true, this simply cannot be. Evolution HAS to continually produce features that work in some way. That seems to require an evolutionary mechanism yet undiscovered. That unknown mechanism has to be able to rapidly (as opposed to Darwin's slow) produce major jumps. For instance, evolution has to produce a working liver and do so pretty fast ( sort of immediately) in order for mammals to survive. At some point in time, a random change altered one type of cell into a brand new, previously non-existent liver cell. In order to evolve into an actual working liver, a HOST of other random changes would have to simultaneously take place in order for that new liver cell to be of use. The hormonal system (if it existed at the time) would have to blindly create hundreds of protein machines to turn on and off functions in the liver. Other machinery would have to happen in order for these liver cells to reproduce (and stop reproducing to avoid cancer) and somehow gather together to form the liver organ. They would have to attach (if a system to attach existed) themselves correctly to the rest of the body. Circulation systems (if they existed at the time) would have to develop rapidly to get fluids/blood in and out of the liver. The liver would have to somehow acquire filtering and detoxification systems. And all of the machines, systems and attachments would have to know how to self replicate, a function/feature that magically has to be in existence from the very beginning otherwise evolution could NEVER work. There has to be some unknown evolutionary mechanism to put all of this wonderfully intricate system together, VERY FAST otherwise you would be left with a partial system that does not work, thus not be selected and passed on to the next generation. Thousands of these intricate systems exist in all species. Just in the cell alone, as many as 37,000 functional RNA proteins all intricately work together for the purpose of creating and sustaining life. The probability of 37,000 functional proteins alone ever existing in a "just so" manner seems to be on a magnitude as to be incalculable. A number so large as to produce incredulity. For the hard core evolutionist, no matter how incredulous or improbable, it is no problem at all. It had to happen via known evolutionary processes because no other explanation is allowed. Only materialistic, natural explanations please. "You stupid, dishonest scumbag, let me explain to you how it COULD HAVE happened. And since it could have happened, it DID happen. So there you ignorant slut!" Convincing indeed!
5.) Evolutionists constantly argue these working machines/systems obviously and simply preexisted somehow in a more rudimentary, functional form (which are already highly complex btw). That rudimentary, yet functional system then somehow, magically evolves, blindly acquiring increasingly more complex features and functions and then gradually becomes a liver as the ascension of man took place. Now I know I switch from evolution to abiogenesis (life arising from non-life) which evolutionist like to ignore. But it is frustrating to talk about how something simple becomes something incredibly complex when the evolutionists cannot and will not deal with the origin of something very simple. It certainly would help me to believe evolution if scientists could re-create an environment that was likely to exist sometime in the history of the planet, and then actually see life spontaneously erupt from non-life. OF course, no such experiment has succeeded though it has been tried and efforts still continue by some scientists. Some scientists have thrown up their hands and now espouse a multiverse explanation which seems to be grasping at straws. Certainly it is unscientific since it cannot be falsified. But it is OK if evolutionists have hypotheses and theories that cannot be falsified. Only ID is not allowed this luxury.
6.) I am sure the language I just used is like Spanish in an English
speaking world and is just simply stupid to my evolutionary critics.
Such is the nature of this conversation. But what I present here seems
to be the real argument between Evolutionists and ID. ID looks at
what would have to happen via known evolutionary processes and then
they attempt to calculate the probability of that actually happening,
and they conclude, "no way, it had to be designed." Behe considers the actual evidence for the potential limits of evolution by examining the malarial organism. It has had many trillions of replications and yet it exhibits very few dangerous changes due to random mutations. Good thing for us too, for without limits on the capabilities of evolution's random mutations, we would all be dead. If not from malaria, then from many hosts of rapidly replicating germs/viruses all of which could/should readily kill us all were macro evolution true. They would kill us because they replicate rapidly and thus mutate much more often than do we. By now, they should have readily acquired the needed machinery to kill us. Behe makes this point when he shows the evidence of this real life experiment (replication of malaria) going on everyday. (click here for Behe's blog) I believe ID is a logical, valid observation based on the known facts. Valid unless you control the definition of "science." Currently, the evolutionists control that definition.
7.) To further identify the crux of the argument, neither evolutionist nor IDist can conclusively demonstrate or negate many/most of their arguments. Evolutionists cannot clearly demonstrate a species becoming another species (they can and do wave their hands a lot and say maybe like this) and ID cannot produce the designer. Arguments ad nauseum ensue. And will go on and on. If THE designer were to actually show up in person, I am pretty well convinced that most of the evolutionists would deny the designers existence anyway.
8.) For me to have chosen to join in this whole mess was clearly a mistake because I now see I am simply not aware of all the nuances and different meanings of words within the scientific circle. I am also not steeped in all the various land mines that exist. ( If it were about the software business, I know where the land mines are. Stepped on some of them.) While I think I can follow it for the most part, I am unaware of the words which mean one thing to a common man, and yet mean something entirely different to the "elite." Thus communication is totally garbled and frustration takes place on both sides of the attempted conversation/argument. Neither side understands so each assumes/accuses the other of being stupid and dishonest. Well not really. The evolutionists readily monopolize the name calling. In a face to face setting this may well not happen because people tend to be more civil. They sometimes actually attempt to understand what someone is trying to say. It is like a democrat trying to convince a republican that they are wrong and should become a democrat. It rarely happens and the discussions are usually quite stupid and foolish.
9.) I observe and write largely from the perspective of being involved in the design and development of computer software. Most software is highly complex, requiring many smart people to design and build a product with many features that hang together in ways that are intricate and in a way, beautiful when done correctly. Looking at great design like the iPod for example, makes one appreciate great design and engineering. The more scientists are able to peer into the guts of the cell for instance, even an extremely jaded observer marvels at the amazing complexity, intricacy and beauty of most of what is seen and known. Each new discovery adds to the wonder of the amazing machinery of life. Actually that there is life at all. If someone were to say to me "software evolved by unguided processes in a totally random, blind way" I would suggest that person be hospitalized for their own protection. And yet, evolutionists insist I/we must believe that infinitely more complex, intricate and beautiful machinery, working together in millions of different ways with almost infinite numbers of features, were not designed but evolved randomly. That is the crux of my struggle with evolution. No rational person would ever look at software and say there was no designer. And yet, rational people regularly look at the world and say there was no designer. And they admit they do so because their definition of "science" does not allow a designer. I know evolutionists think I am dumb and dishonest but I am very comfortable with my observation that life is designed. Nothing I have read on their websites, their books or their comments make me go, "hmmm, now that is a really good convincing point." And I read pretty carefully looking for that aha insight to their beliefs. And because I don't go aha, I am obviously stupid. They don't care that what they are saying only makes sense to the "elite." Only to their own. "We are smart and everyone else is stupid."
They are welcome to their own definition of science but any discipline of discovery that starts with an assumption excluding certain undesired (in the case of darwinian atheists) conclusions is terribly flawed at the outset. I know they will argue it HAS to be that way because a conclusion of a designer cannot be negated, which in their minds is unacceptable. So everything known about life has to be forced into their definition even if it is wrong. That is a flaw that escapes my understanding. If there is a designer, evolutionists could NEVER discover that truth.
10.) I see that I did not realize my writing would be picked up by the Oracs and the Myers (spelled it right this time!!) of the world. In a morbid sort of way, I am honored. But I did not have them in mind when I wrote. I did not intend to get into arguments like liberals and conservatives get into. Regardless of the strength and validity of the arguments, one side NEVER convinces the other side. Both sides consider the other insane. The only ones who may get convinced one way or the other are moderates. People in the middle. They are the ones who can be swayed. I knew the evolutionists were reading but why would they care about what some non scientist had to say? Perhaps this blog provided a beneficial forum for some of the moderates to be exposed to arguments on both sides and were swayed one way or other. If so, they have been quiet about it since the only comments came from the rabid evolutionists anxious to convince me and my readers just how stupid and dishonest I am. I would have loved to hear from some of the moderates if they are out there. Perhaps they don't exist?? Perhaps I am soooo in the minority so as to stand basically alone. I don't think so based on national polls that have been done. I guess all those people are reading other blogs. Probably reading Orac. Or perhaps the ugliness of many of the evolutionist's comments simply caused the moderates, and even those who strongly agree with ID to shy away. I know the ugliness causes me to decide to now leave this battle to the elite. I don't know that the current crop of ID scientists have what it takes to make progress in swaying the moderates. They certainly will never convince a hard core evolutionist.
So I bid my evolutionist critics adieu. I have wasted way too much time and have seriously neglected other interests and responsibilities to try to keep up with my many critics. I resolved long ago not to enter these kinds of debates. It was foolish of me to think evolution vs ID was the kind of debate that would be interesting to be a part of. But I steadfastly refuse (and usually never do anymore) to get into arguments like liberal vs conservative, democrat vs republican, religious believer vs non believer, Christian fundamentalist vs liberal Christian. I am old enough to have learned those are all no win situations; an incredible waste of time. I certainly love to have discussions about all of the above, but argue no more will I (as yoda would say it). I certainly am going to follow the ongoing debate and I expect it will continue and grow. I am keeping my google alerts to stay up to date. But I now leave the debate to the elites. So thanks and good bye. ( good riddance? :-)) Now let's talk about golf or software or starting companies or the cause of illnesses. Anything else!
A final note: I am not going to allow comments on this or any other current ID post as I think most everything that is interesting/worthwhile has been said already. I certainly see no value in continually being told how stupid I am. I have plenty of friends who tell me that. I don't need enemies to do it as well. And I get to turn off comments because this is my blog. Don't like it? Think me a wimp? Too bad! Everyone can go over to Orac and PZ Myers and have a big party laughing to themselves about my post here and how smart they all are. I just don't want to feel the responsibility to respond anymore. I already know what they will say and they already know what I will say. Blah, blah, blah...