Re: [OriginsTalk] Directed or undirected?
- Jim in Vermont: DIRECTED OR UNDIRECTED? Gluadys and I have gone 'round
and 'round about what it means to say (as evolutionary biologists do) that
evolution (as "explained" by Darwinian theory) is "random and undirected."
Here's a link to a thoughtful essay by Jay W. Richards that addresses that
Signature in the Synteny:
1 In some ways, comparing the DNA sequence between related organisms is
like reading alternative history novels. The hypothesis of common ancestry
between similar organisms makes a very straightforward prediction about
their genomes: it simply predicts that they were once the same genome, in
the same ancestral species. This hypothesis also predicts that these two
genomes, having gone their separate ways in the diverged species, will have
accumulated changes once they separated. Like an alternative history, each
genome has the same backstory, and then a history independent from the
other after the point of separation.
2 18 million years ago, there were no humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, or
gibbons on earth. Their last common ancestral species, however, was here.
Just like for flies, we can trace the changes in the single-file-order of
the genes for this lineage as well. Let�s examine human chromosome #1 and
compare it to the order of genes in the gibbon with whom we share that
common ancestor of almost 20 million years ago.
3 Not unexpectedly, there is even one case of shuffling between
chromosomes: some genes that existed as two contiguous blocks in the common
ancestor 6 million years ago, have become joined into one block in
humans�the now-somewhat-famous chromosome #2. This chromosome is made up
of two blocks of genes joined together that are on totally separate
chromosomes in chimpanzees and gorillas (see below). The fact that human
chromosome #2 matches two ape chromosomes suggests that it resulted from a
fusion between two smaller chromosomes like the ones we see as separate
chromosomes in apes. This prediction was confirmed by DNA sequencing: we
see all the chromosomal markers we would expect from a fusion event, and
this evidence is now fairly well-known among followers of the
Center for Science and Culture:
http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php The scientific method is
commonly described as a four-step process involving observations,
hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the
observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified
information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object
was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform
experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain
complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is
irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally
reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of
their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in
biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.
Jay W. Richards:
in a Word?
Charles P: Please excuse my substitution of CHROMOSOME #2 in place of
1 Now let's say that researchers spend years finding the pathway by which
this would need to happen, and they determine that getting a working
CHROMOSOME #2 from some CHROMOSOME #2-FREE species of COMMON ANCESTOR
requires 153 independent mutations to happen simultaneously. None of them
individually and no subset provides the POPULATION a survival advantage, so
an unguided Darwinian process, which lacks the foresight to select that
functional CHROMOSOME #2 and take the steps necessary to attain it, would
almost certainly never accomplish the goal.
2 However, (assuming theism) God could act directly, rather than through
an additional physical process, to make sure these mutations take place
when they need to, namely, simultaneously. Let's say that is what happened.
So the best, correct and complete causal explanation for the origin of
the CHROMOSOME #2 would be that God directly guided 153 mutations (without
using another physical mechanism) so that the HUMANS would enjoy a
functioning CHROMOSOME #2. This wouldn't just be intelligent design, but
divine design. And given the tightly specified complexity of a CHROMOSOME
#2 -- the function in this case is the specification -- it would be
empirically detectable, even obvious, design: real design, real teleology,
not an unguided Darwinian process.
Jim in Vermont: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/28073 With
that in mind, "the point" of intelligent design - like "the point" of every
other science -is to improve mankind's store of knowledge, even if a
"comprehensive examination" lies beyond the reach of a particular line
of scientific inquiry. Biological research within the Darwinian
evolutionary paradigm, for example, has given us some insights into how
life came to be what it is, but it has fallen far short of providing a
"comprehensive examination" of life's mysteries (that research doesn't, for
example, examine how life came into being in the first place).
Jim in Vermont: Intelligent design might provide us with insights that the
Darwinian paradigm has failed to provide, and it would be quite arbitrary
and presumptuous to insist that design-theoretic research into
life's origin and evolution will lead to an epistemic dead end before that
research has been given a fair chance to succeed (or fail).
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@...> wrote:
>. . . .
> --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "stewart8724" art1st@ wrote:
>rifle. They are both pointing the same direction, the barrels are
> > Here's a question that I once had a prolonged dispute about.
> > You have two guns set side by side, one is a pistol the other a
parallel to the ground and there is no wind. Then they are fired
simultaneously, Which bullet hits the ground first?
They will both hit the ground at the same time. The downward vector
(acceleration toward earth's center) components are identical as is the
distance from the ground for both guns. The result would be the same if the
rifle (or pistol) was fired horizontally and a rock was dropped from the
same distance above the ground. This is a variation of the old monkey/rifle
story wherein a monkey drops from a tree and a rifle is fired horizontally
at it from another tree at exactly the same time. The monkey dies because
the bullet and the monkey drop at the same rate.