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Tags trial , evolution , intelligent design , dover id trial

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Old 25th October 2005, 03:43 PM   #201
Ed
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Quote:
Querry:

If I were to give a Dewey the Dunce thumbnail of ID (in order to present the basic principles) to someone would this be far off :

ID states that if something cannot be explained by rational means the cause is, ipso facto, supernatural.
Response:

Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
If you are a materialist -- whether you recognize it or not -- yes, of course.

I do not see whether or not I am a materialist has any bearing on the definition. I am looking for the underlying principle of ID. Is that it? If not, correct it.



n.b. This thread probably has more reads than any other I have ever posted. Sad really, since I stole the link from Mojo and got Darat to stickey it. Ah well....
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Old 25th October 2005, 03:55 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
n.b. This thread probably has more reads than any other I have ever posted. Sad really, since I stole the link from Mojo and got Darat to stickey it. Ah well....
And it was going so well until recently.

Perhaps there will be some more developments in the trial to discuss soon, and we'll be able to forget the recent irrelevancies.
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Old 25th October 2005, 03:59 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
And it was going so well until recently.

Perhaps there will be some more developments in the trial to discuss soon, and we'll be able to forget the recent irrelevancies.

Yes it was and my question is a real one. Cutting thru the crap, what are these guys saying? Mojo, you have been close to this, what do you think?
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Old 25th October 2005, 11:17 PM   #204
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Ok,

I've read through most of the transcripts a couple of times now. I'm curious about this exchange:

Quote:

Q.
Now you, in fact, have stated that intelligent
design can never be ruled out, correct?
A.
Yes, that's right.

Q.
Now let's turn to your test here of whether
bacterial flagellum could evolve through random
mutation and natural selection. 10,000 generations, that's
your proposal, correct?
A.
Right.

Q.
And it sounds like a lot, but you actually
testified that, that would just take a couple of years,
right?
A.
Right.

Q.
And, you know, based on your understanding of
normal laboratory procedures, even the best
laboratories, how much bacteria would be made a part of
that test?
A.
Oh, probably at the best, 10 to the 10th, 10 to
the 12th, at the outside.



Q.
Now you haven't tested intelligent design
yourself this way, have you?
A.
No, I have not.
Q.
And nobody in the intelligent design movement
has?
A.
That's correct.

Q.
And nobody else has?
A.
I'm sorry?

Q.
And nobody else has, outside the intelligent
design movement?
A.
Well, I'm not sure -- I don't think I would agree
with that. I think the experiments described by Barry
Hall were actually in an attempt to do exactly that. He
wanted to see if he could, in his laboratory, re-evolve
a lac operon. His first step in that process in the mid
1970's were the experiments that I discussed here
yesterday, knocking out the beta galactosidase gene.
His intention was, from things he has written
later, was to see how that would evolve and then knock
out two steps at a time, and eventually see how he could
get really the whole functioning system. But he had
such trouble with just getting that one step to go, and
since he could not knock out anything else, and get it
to re-evolve, he gave up.
And so I would count his efforts as a test of
that, and say that the test, you know, that it was, it
did not falsify intelligent design thinking.

Q.
And I had actually made a blood pact with my
co-counsel not to ask you about the lac operon, but now
I had to violate it.
A.
Too late.

Q.
How many years has he done this experiment?
A.
I think he was working on it for 20 years or so.

Q.
In any event, that's the lac operon. But for
bacterial flagellum, you're not aware of that test being
done?
A. No.

Q.
Certainly not by anybody in the intelligent
design movement?
A.
No.

Q.
Okay. So you can't claim that the proposition
that the bacterial flagellum was intelligently designed
is a well-tested proposition?
A.
Yes, you can, I'm afraid. It's well-tested from
the inductive argument. We can, from our inductive
understanding of whenever we see something that has a
large number of parts, which interacts to fulfill some
function, when we see a purposeful arrangement of parts,
we have always found that to be design.
And so, an inductive argument relies on the
validity of the previous instances of what you're
inducing. So I would say that, that is tested.

Q.
Professor Behe, you say right here, here is the
test, here is the test that science should do, grow the
bacterial flagellum in the laboratory. And that hasn't
been done, correct?
A.
That has not been done. I was advising people
who are skeptical of the induction that, if they want to
essentially come up with persuasive evidence that, in
fact, an alternative process to an intelligent one could
produce the flagellum, then that's what they should do.

Q. So all those other scientists should do that, but
you're not going to?
A.
Well, I think I'm persuaded by the evidence that
I cite in my book, that this is a good explanation and
that spending a lot of effort in trying to show how
random mutation and natural selection could produce
complex systems, like Barry Hall tried to do, is likely
to result -- is not real likely to be fruitful, as his
results were not fruitful. So, no, I don't do that in
order to spend my time on other things.

Q.
Waste of time for Barry Hall?
A.
I'm sorry?

Q.
Waste of time for Barrie Hall?
A.
No, certainly not a waste of time. It was very
interesting. He thought that he would learn things.
And he did learn things. But they weren't the things
that he started out to learn. He thought that he would
be able to see the evolution of a complex system. And
he learned how difficult that was.

Q.
In any event, you have not undertaken the kind of
test you describe here for any of the irreducibly
complex systems you have identified?
A.
I have not.

Q.
And neither has anybody else in the intelligent
design movement?



FWIW, I'm agnostic and a former ID proponent.

1.) I'm confused at Rothschild's direction here. Why should ID proponents attempt to conduct experiments to prove a negative?

2.) I think the questioning is a bit unfair. Behe isn't saying that it is a waste of time only a waste of time for those who don't believe in evolution.

3.) How many generations would likely produce such a mutation.


Note to self: Don't simply cut and paste from the transcripts {whew}
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Old 25th October 2005, 11:45 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Ok,

I've read through most of the transcripts a couple of times now. I'm curious about this exchange:



FWIW, I'm agnostic and a former ID proponent.

1.) I'm confused at Rothschild's direction here. Why should ID proponents attempt to conduct experiments to prove a negative?

2.) I think the questioning is a bit unfair. Behe isn't saying that it is a waste of time only a waste of time for those who don't believe in evolution.

It appears to me (I've only seen parts of the transcripts, though) that Rothschild is attempting to demonstrate the unscientific nature of ID; namely, that they have no interest in pursuing scientific test on the validity of the theory, but instead are attempting to "logically" assert its truth.

However, he's walking a fine line. On the one hand, Behe is half-admitting that he has no real scientific evidence for ID, just "inductive reasoning". On the other hand, the whole test itself is flawed, because it is assuming ID is true unless disproving evidence is discovered. A real test should be searching for positive evidence, not negative.

So, maybe good legally, even if not in the scientific community.
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Old 26th October 2005, 05:36 AM   #206
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Reposting some comments that were split, but that belong in this thread:

Quote:
Ed:
I do not see whether or not I am a materialist has any bearing on the definition. I am looking for the underlying principle of ID.
hammegk: "You are correct that what you are has no bearing on the definition. It does have a bearing on the implications of the definition.

The word "supernatural" has no meaning except to a dualist, or a materialist."


Edited by Darat:  Edited in line with the split.


...snip...

Quote:
tsg:
... as of yet, unexplained does not make it unexplainable.
Er, yes, we agree. Do you suggest I said otherwise?
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Old 26th October 2005, 06:01 AM   #207
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God explains nothing.
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Old 26th October 2005, 07:38 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
FWIW, I'm agnostic and a former ID proponent.

1.) I'm confused at Rothschild's direction here. Why should ID proponents attempt to conduct experiments to prove a negative?
To establish evidence in favor of their position, of course. There's nothing wrong with running an experiment in which the expected result is a failure-to-find, as long as the experiment itself is well-designed and well-run. This happens all the time in medicine, for example, especially in the various studies of "quack" practices.

More generally, a showing that a bacterial flagellum did not evolve in X generations in a pool of Y bacteria also gives microbiologists some hard numbers about the upper bound of the probability of evolution. Again, this is useful and scientifically valid, especially considering the number of times argument-from-probability is thrown around in the ID community.

Quote:
2.) I think the questioning is a bit unfair. Behe isn't saying that it is a waste of time only a waste of time for those who don't believe in evolution.
But this is part of the problem. He's saying "look, here's my theory, a theory that is almost entirely unsupported by experimental data, and here's a proposed experiment to test my theory, and I think it's a waste of time to run my experiment."

I'm sorry, Dr. Behe, but it's your (rule 8) theory, a theory that flies in the face of accepted science, and it's not worth your time to support your theory?

Of course, as Rothschild pointed out elsewhere in his cross-examination, the difference between 10,000 generations of 10^12 bacteria and the postulated trillions of generations of 10^40 or so bacteria that nature is presumed to have at her disposal suggests that the power of Behe's proposed test is, in fact, close to zero -- the expected failure-to-find wouldn't mean much. So in that case, it would be a waste of time to run this particular experiment because it's not as well-designed as Behe would believe.

Quote:
3.) How many generations would likely produce such a mutation.
We (scientists generally) don't know. It's never been important enough to determine experimentall, and large enough that a Behe-style experiment would be very difficult and expensive to run properly..
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Old 26th October 2005, 08:57 AM   #209
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Even if someone did run a giant experiment to produce a flagellum, that would be considered as proof, by the ID proponents, that it took intelligence to create it. In this case, it would be the scientist.
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Old 26th October 2005, 09:02 AM   #210
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CurtC is correct. A primary objection to Schneider's Ev program, which evolves binding sites on a chromosome, is that the model is embodied in a computer program that a human being wrote.

http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/papers/ev/evj/

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Old 26th October 2005, 09:33 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
Even if someone did run a giant experiment to produce a flagellum, that would be considered as proof, by the ID proponents, that it took intelligence to create it. In this case, it would be the scientist.
This is another of the reasons ID against ID being considered science. All science can be claimed to be "designed" therefore ID states that science can never falsify ID.
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Old 26th October 2005, 09:47 AM   #212
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More commentary by Mike Argento from yesterday, about witness Steve William Fuller.

I love this quote:
Quote:
Anyway, Fuller said intelligent design "needed to be mainstreamed," which I guess is a polite way of saying that in its current embryological state, it rides the short bus of science.
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Old 26th October 2005, 09:58 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
CurtC is correct. A primary objection to Schneider's Ev program, which evolves binding sites on a chromosome, is that the model is embodied in a computer program that a human being wrote.
Which is an utterly ridiculous claim. Either the scientist cheated, and fudged the program so that the "right" mutation would show up at the proper time and be propagated - or evolution is inherent to populations in which the traits of members are statistically associated with their remaining in the population, which is one way to state the basics of evolutionary theory.

If there was cheating involved, it should be relatively easy to check. Examine the code, and if no fudging is found, run it several times. Allowing for the uncertainties of stochastic results, the results of the earlier experiments should be repeatable. If they're repeatable, and no cheats are found... well, it's a demonstration of evolution though natural selection.

(I thought there were already dozens of examples of A-life spontaneously evolving. Am I mistaken in that belief?)
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Old 26th October 2005, 10:14 AM   #214
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Actually, Dembski looked at the code for Ev and claimed he had found the trapdoor that let information in. Schneider modified the program to allow three options for the particular feature that Dembski objected to:

http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ev/dembski/claimtest.html

There are plenty of examples of A-life evolving. I think Ev rankles the IDers because it is a model of actual life, and also because Schneider is fairly good at advertising it.

~~ Paul
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Old 26th October 2005, 11:18 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by aerosolben View Post
It appears to me (I've only seen parts of the transcripts, though) that Rothschild is attempting to demonstrate the unscientific nature of ID; namely, that they have no interest in pursuing scientific test on the validity of the theory, but instead are attempting to "logically" assert its truth.

However, he's walking a fine line. On the one hand, Behe is half-admitting that he has no real scientific evidence for ID, just "inductive reasoning". On the other hand, the whole test itself is flawed, because it is assuming ID is true unless disproving evidence is discovered. A real test should be searching for positive evidence, not negative.

So, maybe good legally, even if not in the scientific community.
The problem with Behe's test is that it's simply shifting the burden of proof. It's little more than "I say it's true, prove me wrong". The fact is that ID has no experimental evidence to support the notion of irreducible complexity and, despite Behe's claims of it being quantifiable, whether a system is irreducibly complex comes down to a "god of the gaps" argument: "I don't see how it could have evolved, therefore it must be the result of intelligence". Rothschild's venture into this area is simply showing the court that they have not actually done any real research. They just aren't interested.
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Old 26th October 2005, 12:56 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by tsg View Post
The problem with Behe's test is that it's simply shifting the burden of proof.
Well, to be fair, the "burden of proof" is irrelevant here.

From a legal standpoint -- it's a civil trial, so the relevant term is "preponderance of the evidence."

From a scientific and epistemological standpoint -- nothing can be proven empirically. But we can show a hell of a lot of evidence for one side or another. And I think that's what Rothschild is getting at. There are all these evolutionists out there, amassing this huge collection of evidence, including at least fifty peer-reviewed articles that he was waving in court (to which Behe's response, and I quote, was "not good enough.") On the other side, there's little or nothing.

Behe is asking to be disproven.

But he doesn't have to be disproven. He just has to be shown to be less credible. Offhand, I'd say that fifty peer-reviewed articles, eight or so research monographs, a half-dozen well-regarded textbooks to zero is a pretty good definition of "less credible," at least as measured by "thud" factor. And the experiment he proposes could be run by anyone -- evolutionists have no reason to run it, but the creationists who would want to run it haven't. More damningly, they don't even see interested in running it (what was Behe's term? "A waste of time"), because they're not interest in getting evidence.

And this is true both for scientists and legal scholars. The whole point of this discussion is to weigh all the evidence that anyone can bring to the table, whether creationist/IDer, evolutionist, IPU devotee, Pastafarian, or Cthulhu worshipper (aka a snack). The problem is that the evolutionists brought an entire catering staff who they have been working with for years, while creationists are rummaging in their pockets for a spare throat sweet. (And the Pastafarians point out that they have throat sweets, too, so there's nothing special there.)
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Old 26th October 2005, 01:26 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
Well, to be fair, the "burden of proof" is irrelevant here.

From a legal standpoint -- it's a civil trial, so the relevant term is "preponderance of the evidence."

From a scientific and epistemological standpoint -- nothing can be proven empirically. But we can show a hell of a lot of evidence for one side or another. And I think that's what Rothschild is getting at. There are all these evolutionists out there, amassing this huge collection of evidence, including at least fifty peer-reviewed articles that he was waving in court (to which Behe's response, and I quote, was "not good enough.") On the other side, there's little or nothing.
From a scientific standpoint, Behe is shifting the burden of proof* by requiring others to disprove his claim (and providing no evidence to support it). From a legal standpoint, the fact that he is shifting the burden of proof is evidence that what he's doing is not science. Not that there's anything wrong with your statement, I just wanted to clarify mine.

*"Proof" is used loosely here and only because it is a form of logical fallacy.
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Old 26th October 2005, 01:30 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
1.) I'm confused at Rothschild's direction here. Why should ID proponents attempt to conduct experiments to prove a negative?
Because that's how science works; based on empirical observation, you come up with a falsifiable hypothesis and subject it to testing. One way to test your hypothesis is to see whether what you predict should not happen does, in fact, not happen. That's not trying to prove a negative, it's trying to prove the absence of a negative. This is important, because a huge chunk of science is eliminating that which is demonstrably false.

Behe cum suis claim that a bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex and cannot be developed by a process of evolution. The obvious way to make sure that this hypothesis is not incorrect is to go into the lab and try to get a strain of bacteria to grow a flagellum. If the strain fails to do so, that doesn't necessarily prove your hypothesis is correct, but at least it shows that it's not incorrect. What Rothschild managed to do is illustrate the Behe et al. and aren't actually interested in trying to find out whether their hypothesis stands up to falsification; in other words, they are not practicing science. QED.
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Old 26th October 2005, 01:31 PM   #219
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Seems to me the test is inherently inconclusive. Suppose a flagellum did appear. What is to stop an IDer from saying, "See god did it AGAIN!"
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Old 26th October 2005, 02:20 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
Seems to me the test is inherently inconclusive. Suppose a flagellum did appear. What is to stop an IDer from saying, "See god did it AGAIN!"
Non-falsifiablity must be nice for these people.
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Old 26th October 2005, 03:37 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
There are all these evolutionists out there, amassing this huge collection of evidence, including at least fifty peer-reviewed articles that he was waving in court (to which Behe's response, and I quote, was "not good enough.")
I hesitate to mention this, but this sounds awfully like Hammy's approach to any evidence supporting evolution that's put in front of him.
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Old 26th October 2005, 04:51 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by Sez
Seems to me the test is inherently inconclusive. Suppose a flagellum did appear. What is to stop an IDer from saying, "See god did it AGAIN!"
Especially if the IDer thought that God had front-loaded evolution.

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Old 26th October 2005, 04:58 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by Euromutt View Post
Because that's how science works; based on empirical observation, you come up with a falsifiable hypothesis and subject it to testing. One way to test your hypothesis is to see whether what you predict should not happen does, in fact, not happen. That's not trying to prove a negative, it's trying to prove the absence of a negative. This is important, because a huge chunk of science is eliminating that which is demonstrably false.
I don't see how you can prove the absence of a negative. Could you give me some examples of scientists proving that something wont happen? I'm kind of confused, if science doesn't hold something to be true then how much resources should be expended to prove that that something isn't true? How many experiments should the ID folks conduct? At what point do you conclude that they are interested in science?

Quote:
Behe cum suis claim that a bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex and cannot be developed by a process of evolution. The obvious way to make sure that this hypothesis is not incorrect is to go into the lab and try to get a strain of bacteria to grow a flagellum. If the strain fails to do so, that doesn't necessarily prove your hypothesis is correct, but at least it shows that it's not incorrect. What Rothschild managed to do is illustrate the Behe et al. and aren't actually interested in trying to find out whether their hypothesis stands up to falsification; in other words, they are not practicing science. QED.
I agree that they are not practicing science but I'm not sure this really proves anything. If it is so simple and scientists hold the opposite then does it not stand to reason that scientists would also perform the experiment and prove that the ID crowd wrong? What does it say about science that they won't conduct these experiments and falsify the ID argument?
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Old 26th October 2005, 05:04 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by drkitten View Post
But this is part of the problem. He's saying "look, here's my theory, a theory that is almost entirely unsupported by experimental data, and here's a proposed experiment to test my theory, and I think it's a waste of time to run my experiment."
But that is not his position as I understand it. The position is that if evolution were true science has a simple way to demonstrate it but they haven't. (I don't buy the expriment for the reasons you state)

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I'm sorry, Dr. Behe, but it's your (rule 8) theory, a theory that flies in the face of accepted science, and it's not worth your time to support your theory?
But it won't support his theory, that is the problem. No matter how many times he runs it you will say it is not enough. So the experiment is flawed from the start if we accept your premise. Rothschilds argument IMO is wrong.

Quote:
Of course, as Rothschild pointed out elsewhere in his cross-examination, the difference between 10,000 generations of 10^12 bacteria and the postulated trillions of generations of 10^40 or so bacteria that nature is presumed to have at her disposal suggests that the power of Behe's proposed test is, in fact, close to zero -- the expected failure-to-find wouldn't mean much. So in that case, it would be a waste of time to run this particular experiment because it's not as well-designed as Behe would believe.
Agreed and this is the point that I think is appropriate.

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We (scientists generally) don't know. It's never been important enough to determine experimentall, and large enough that a Behe-style experiment would be very difficult and expensive to run properly..
Yes, so what is the point of demanding that the ID crowd conduct the experiment an experiment that will not prove anything to anyone?
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Old 26th October 2005, 05:05 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by RandFan
What does it say about science that they won't conduct these experiments and falsify the ID argument?
An experiment to evolve a flagellum? Under what environmental conditions? With which competing organisms in the soup? With what kind of food?

Evolution is primarily an historical science, at least now. If IDers want to use that as "evidence" against it, fine. Heck, ID is an historical pseudoscience, too.

~~ Paul
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Old 26th October 2005, 05:09 PM   #226
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I just want to remind everyone that Behe, Dembski et al haven't even provided a logical/probabilistic proof that the flagellum is irreducible. There is nothing that has been shown to be irreducible. Why should science run around trying to demonstrate that irreducible complexity can be overcome? They might as well worry about showing that New Jersey mud slime can be overcome.

Anyway, Schneider has demonstrated the evolution of an irreducibly complex structure. It's been done.

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Old 26th October 2005, 05:52 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
.

Anyway, Schneider has demonstrated the evolution of an irreducibly complex structure. It's been done.

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Sure he did. BTW, would you like to buy a bridge I have for sale? It's near Brooklyn.
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Old 26th October 2005, 06:18 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
An experiment to evolve a flagellum? Under what environmental conditions? With which competing organisms in the soup? With what kind of food?
Which is my point. It isn't going to work. You know that. I know that and Behe believes that but for very different reasons, ok, so what is the point? It won't work so they carry out these experiments that verify results that you, I and Behe all agree will happen, then what?

Sure it will prove that they are trying to falsify their theory but it won't satisfy them, you or I for anything.

I think the argument is a dead end. That's just my opinion.
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Old 26th October 2005, 06:21 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by Hammegk
Sure he did. BTW, would you like to buy a bridge I have for sale? It's near Brooklyn.
What are the aspects of the Ev simulation model that you think prevent it from demonstrating the evolution of information and an irreducibly complex structure?

~~ Paul
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Old 26th October 2005, 06:48 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Which is my point. It isn't going to work. You know that. I know that and Behe believes that but for very different reasons, ok, so what is the point? It won't work so they carry out these experiments that verify results that you, I and Behe all agree will happen, then what?

Sure it will prove that they are trying to falsify their theory but it won't satisfy them, you or I for anything.

I think the argument is a dead end. That's just my opinion.
My take is that Behe's proposed experiment is a smoke screen. He can hold it up for the general public and proclaim that the non-ID science establishment failed to even attempt to falsify IC, that there is a conspiracy to keep ID down, that he is the victim of the status quo.

Sells a lot of books (I think I saw in the trial transcripts that he has sold more than 400,000 copies of his book already). ID been very very good for Behe.
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Old 26th October 2005, 07:08 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
What are the aspects of the Ev simulation model that you think prevent it from demonstrating the evolution of information and an irreducibly complex structure?

~~ Paul
The fact that it was designed, and tuned, to do just that. If not, I want one of those self-coding Turing machines.
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Old 26th October 2005, 10:13 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
The fact that it was designed, and tuned, to do just that. If not, I want one of those self-coding Turing machines.
Interesting. Do you also claim that life at some (or many) level(s) is designed, and tuned, to evolve irreducibly complex features?
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Old 26th October 2005, 10:35 PM   #233
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Look, it works like this. Behe maintains that his "theory" is testable and falsifiable. He says that what would test it would be if you managed to evolve a flagellum in two years by providing immobile bacteria with a selective pressure for motion.

So the question is, if he believes that this would test his "theory", why doesn't he do so?

The answer is that of course it would not test his "theory".

He ducks out of this by asking why other people don't test his "theory" by doing this experiment.

The answer is that of course it would not test his "theory", and that no-one else is going around pretending that it would.

To summarize his argument:

"My theory that pigs have wings would be falsified if someone could spend two years standing on one leg and whistling the Star-Spangled Banner. So if I'm wrong, why don't my opponents prove me wrong by devoting two years to unipedal whistling?"
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Old 26th October 2005, 11:06 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by hammegk View Post
The fact that it was designed, and tuned, to do just that. If not, I want one of those self-coding Turing machines.
I don't recommend basing your arguments on computing theory or evolutionary computation, Hammy. It's pretty clear you don't know what you're talking about.

a) Self coding Turing machines are a reality. Any type of finite state machine has configurations that produce a representation of the state machine itself (or other state machines, for that matter.)

b) Self coding Turing machines have nothing to do with this subject. The algorithm evolves solutions based on the problem (enviornment, landscape, etc.) it faces, just like life. If it was necessary to start with a solution before designing an evolutionary computation algorithm, obviously nobody would use them.

c) Evolutionary computation algorithms exist that design Turing machines. There is a whole field called "Genetic Programming" dedicated to the subject.
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Old 26th October 2005, 11:32 PM   #235
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Quote:
Fuller told the court that one of the problems of science is with the very definition of "scientific theory," which is the idea of well substantiated explanations that unify a broad range of observations... "Does a theory have to be well established to be scientific?" he said. "That means the dominant theory would always be."
YES.

I can't wait to see the transcripts of this one.
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Old 27th October 2005, 12:47 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
Look, it works like this. Behe maintains that his "theory" is testable and falsifiable. He says that what would test it would be if you managed to evolve a flagellum in two years by providing immobile bacteria with a selective pressure for motion.

So the question is, if he believes that this would test his "theory", why doesn't he do so?
And here we come to one of the recommendations that are repeatedly made to potential challenge applicants: before you apply (or in this case before you announce your "theory") make sure that you have done proper tests yourself; this may prevent you looking rather silly in the long run.

As another example, no decent lawyer would dream of going into court relying on a particular case without making sure that the case hadn't been overruled.
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Old 27th October 2005, 12:53 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Dr Adequate View Post
Look, it works like this. Behe maintains that his "theory" is testable and falsifiable. He says that what would test it would be if you managed to evolve a flagellum in two years by providing immobile bacteria with a selective pressure for motion.

So the question is, if he believes that this would test his "theory", why doesn't he do so?

The answer is that of course it would not test his "theory".

He ducks out of this by asking why other people don't test his "theory" by doing this experiment.

The answer is that of course it would not test his "theory", and that no-one else is going around pretending that it would.

To summarize his argument:

"My theory that pigs have wings would be falsified if someone could spend two years standing on one leg and whistling the Star-Spangled Banner. So if I'm wrong, why don't my opponents prove me wrong by devoting two years to unipedal whistling?"
Yep. Typical believer argument. They fear the results of a test that would prove them wrong, so they try to turn the tables on their opponents.
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Old 27th October 2005, 02:11 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
Yep. Typical believer argument. They fear the results of a test that would prove them wrong...
No, the problem is that the test would prove nothing.

Imagine he spent two years wasting his time with bacteria like he suggests. He then publishes a paper of which the precis, if he is honest, will read:
Quote:
Two years is not enough time for bacteria to develop, from nothing, a structure for locomotion specified in advance by me, and anyone who chose could have told me that two years ago. Let's be honest, I knew that myself. My finding therefore confirms standard evolutionary theory (which predicts the negative result actually achieved, since bacteria without flagellae have no similar structures to evole into flagellae) and has no bearing on my "Intelligent Design" nonsense, since Intelligent Design makes no predictions whatsoever about what can or cannot evolve, and indeed has no empirical content whatsoever. Why did I waste my time like this?
And this finding will fail to rock the academic world.
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Old 27th October 2005, 03:07 AM   #239
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The goal of The Discovery Institute is to replace science with religion:

Quote:
Forrest also said that intelligent-design proponents have freely acknowledged that their cause is a religious one. She cited a document from the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that represents intelligent-design scholars, that says one of its goals is “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”
Source
Quote:
Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

...

GOALS

Governing Goals

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

...

Twenty Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.

* To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts.

* To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.
The full document here.
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Old 27th October 2005, 03:09 AM   #240
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I don't know if this has been posted:

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Forrest compared early drafts of Of Pandas and People to a later 1987 copy, and showed how in several instances the word “creationism” had been replaced by “intelligent design”, and “creationist” simply replaced by “intelligent design proponent”.

“Forrest’s testimony showed that ID is not a scientific theory, but a Trojan horse for creationism,” said Eric Rothshild of Pepper Hamilton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

...

Matzke, who was at the trial, points out that the “switching” of the words is also suspicious because of its timing, which came just after the US Supreme Court’s decision on 19 June 1987 that it was unconstitutional to teach creationism in schools.

The names of the drafts alone are incriminating, he says. The first draft, in 1983, was called Creation Biology, the next is Biology and Creation, dated 1986, and is followed by Biology and Origin in 1987. It is not until later in 1987 that Of Pandas and People emerges.
Source

Quote:
Drafts of the textbook, “Of Pandas and People,” written in 1987 were revised after the Supreme Court ruled in June of that year that states could not require schools to balance evolution with creationism in the classroom, said Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Forrest reviewed drafts of the textbook as a witness for eight families who are trying to have the intelligent design concept removed from the Dover Area School District’s biology curriculum.

...

Forrest outlined a chart of how many times the term “creation” was mentioned in the early drafts versus how many times the term “design” was mentioned in the published edition.

“They are virtually synonymous,” she said.
Source
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