February 7, 2012
The argument from junk DNA suggests that a designer would be maximally efficient in his use of information. There appears to be some information that does not execute or have any meaningful coding. Darwinism takes this issue and uses it as the result of the prediction that there would be left over information not being used due to natural selection and random mutation. However, it doesn’t appear that all junk DNA is actually junk.
The classical model of the genome was developed to support the Darwinian New Synthesis and was based on these assumptions:
- Genetic determinants are discrete physical units
- Only the collection of genes (genotype) is real; organismal development and traits (the phenotype) are epiphenomenal
- The structure of gene can be explained solely in terms of population genetics (mutation and selection/genetic drift)
The presuppositions of the model
- Genomes are the only carriers of phenotypic determinants; no laws of form exist à phenotypes mirror genotypes
- Genomes are aggregates of simple entities that are constantly changing entails that phenotypes are always transforming
- Genomes can be recombined and mutated in an unlimited way à morphological evolution is “open-minded”
- Any two sets of genomes are connected by a finite number of mutations à morphological gaps are illusory
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February 6, 2012
When evaluating population drift/evolution one must keep in mind a pattern/process distinction.
- To be explained: A pattern of a sequence of ancestors to present (a phylogenetic sequence)
- Explanation: High random mutation rates + high selection coefficients –> Incremental genetic change over time (“evolution”)
We now know that the majority of anatomical changes unique to fully aquatic cetaceans (Pelagiceti) appeared during just a few million years.
Here are only a few of the changes that had to have occurred during the transition to a fully marine whale
- Counter-current heat exchanger for intra-abdominal testes
- Ball vertebra
- Tail flukes and musculature
- Blubber for temperature insulation
- Ability to drink sea water (reorganization of kidney tissues)
- Reverse orientation of fetus in the uterus
- Nurse young underwater (modified mammae)
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November 14, 2011
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.
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November 10, 2011
The English poet John Milton did well when he said that “Truth will rise to the top through a free and open exchange in the marketplace of ideas.” I am so encouraged when I have and see a substantive dialogue with someone concerning an issue. This is certainly important in every day discussions, blogs, and teaching. I assist in managing and teaching an Intro. to Philosophy course at university and I always encourage my students to make us work hard to convince them of what we believe to be true. Do not simply sit there and take what I say and teach prima facie–challenge me, challenge the thoughts, challenge your thinking.
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November 8, 2011
I know this issue is a very large issue for some Christians. I understand that many people disagree with me pertaining to the issue, but I do not believe the Bible advocates a young earth, nor do I believe science supports young earth creationism. I am a progressive creationist (old earth). Young earth cosmology just doesn’t cut it. The scientific account is simply horrible. I’m a proponent of the level two multiverse. (See “Living in the Multiverse–Is it Science?” and “The Theological Attraction of the Multiverse” and “Divine Simplicity and the Multiverse–Thomas Aquinas Approved”).
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October 23, 2011
It would be an appropriate evaluation of Friedrich Nietzsche to state that his mere calling for the übermensch is a teleological claim. To call for redemption of something and to set a standard model is a purposeful and meaningful proclamation. The desire appears to be motivated by the very thing Nietzsche is often accused of, nihilism. Nietzsche was in despair over the implications of Christianity with no God—that was nihilism, which was a catalyst to his philosophizing with a hammer.
Nietzsche never denied there being any meaning or purpose. His qualm was that if Christianity continues without God, which would be meaningless and purposeless. He understood that there had to be meaning and purpose. The teleology, for Nietzsche, was a pursuit to overcome those things, which were life denying. Christianity, God, idols, and false ideas were all life denying and life prohibiting concepts. Nietzsche recognized the human nature and need for a teleology, but how? In his pursuit for meaning and purpose he calls for the übermensch to do just that.
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October 4, 2011
I was in a tweebate (tweet debate) with another person [whom shall remain anonymous] over a previous post of mine where I claimed that Ken Miller’s argument against irreducible complexity was a bad argument (I really don’t like Twitter debates/conversations either). This person went on about how Miller’s argument convinced Judge Jones and my position was that it’s actually quite embarrassing that the argument would convince anyone (see my post for the context). Then he claimed the type three secretory system is an objection to irreducible complexity in the bacterial flagellum, which prompted me to claim that it may indeed be IC itself and there are arguments that the flagellum may have come first. Anyways, those aren’t what interests me. The argument that I had never heard before was:
ID claims are anything but modest. Incapacity to imagine other explanations of our beginnings is not evidence of ID. Non sequitur.
Let me be clear, I have never claimed anywhere at any time… ever… that one should be a proponent of intelligent design because of an incapacity to imagine other explanations. So first of all, this argument belongs in a cornfield scaring away the crows. Secondly, this is an utterly blatant attack on my imagination! I’ve got a great imagination! (Okay, the second point isn’t really a part of my argument.) It’s true, if anyone did make an argument for ID based on a lack of imagination it would be a non sequitur since one’s capacity to imagine something has nothing to do with the truth claim (as long as the claim is sound/rational, I cannot imagine the actualization of a contradiction). I’m fairly confident anyone familiar with intelligent design and the state of the evolution controversy would never make an argument for intelligent design like this. In fact, no one should ever make such an argument for ID like this.
I’ve explained before in my post on God and Darwinism, the reasons why I’m not a Darwinist are for two reasons: 1) the origin of information must be mind and 2) there is objective teleology in the world and primarily human beings. I do believe the argument from irreducible complexity is a good argument for ID but I’m not going to die on that hill. I think intelligent causation is a legitimate scientific hypothesis and explanation. However, there are certain philosophical truths that press the argument. I could care less if man evolved from a common ancestor but this evolution could not have occurred without a mind acting on the origin of the information in DNA and I believe man [evolves] with an end goal in mind. That’s why I reject Darwinism.
October 1, 2011
This video has been out for a while but I just saw it reposted on a blog I saw through Twitter. I’m not going to summarize the video here; rather, just give it a quick watch, it’s only two minutes.
Honestly, it’s a bit embarrassing and I feel bad for him. His attempt to disprove irreducible complexity demonstrates that 1) he doesn’t actually understand it or 2) displaces the information. When he changed the mousetrap to function as a tie clip that tie clip then becomes a new mechanism. Whether that tie clip was actually irreducibly complex or not doesn’t matter. His attempt would be correct if he could remove or change a part of the mouse trap while keeping it’s function as a mouse trap.
As for the scholarship of intelligent design and irreducible complexity, he’s simply incorrect there as well. Darwinists always do this and it’s just annoying and dishonest (or simply wrong). For a list of peer-reviewed articles that have been published in regards to intelligent design and irreducible complexity (and yes, the words are used in the articles, sorry Ken) please see the Discovery Institute’s list.