Stephen E. Jones wrote:
>ID does not even have "a deity" at all. Todd Moody is "an agnostic".
An intelligent entity capable of creating life, manipulating it etc,
seems pretty deistic to me.
>Here is a test. I ask Cliff to state up front what he would accept as
>"positive arguments for ID", such that if I provided it, he would accept it?
I would possibly be convinced by some incredibly magical revelation,
some big genie in the sky doing fantastic things with a wave of the hand;
but I'd probably think I was dreaming. I guess I just have a built-in prejudice
in favor of naturalistic explanation. ID explanation is more parsimonious
and much easier, but it doesn't do anything for me. I like to puzzle out
particulars; the one big all-inclusive answer is boring to me.
Who will be interested in doing science when it's downgraded to
humdrum little problems, when all the big ideas are recognized as
the designer's province?
>Or in other words, is there *any* "positive arguments for ID" that Cliff
>would accept? The answer, at the end of the day, will be "no". For Cliff to
>answer "yes" would mean he would have to cease being a materialist-
>naturalist. So he *must* deny there even can be design, while at the same
>time asking for evidence of it.
How about 'idealist-naturalist?' You do realize that idealism is not the
exclusive property of theism or 'designerism'? A philosophical idealist
may simply be a person who thinks ideas and values and words are more
interesting and important than physics and chemistry. There's no necessary
connection to ID or theism. Of course you would lose the useful negative
aspersion implicit in 'materialism'--greed, avarice, etc--but on the other hand
you would be more accurate, and more courteous, in referring to someone the
way he refers to himself, rather than with a self-serving term of your own
>Cliff ought to read some philosophy of science about "naive inductivism".
Somehow I think I'd have trouble looking up that school. Maybe you could
mention the high points? It's a philosophical question (i.e., unsolvable),
whether one can do science without a guiding philosophy, or whether
philosophy can spin out of a vacuum, without inspiration from the real
>But to save him the trouble here are some quotes from my website by Gould
>where he point out the "priority of the paradigm":
Gould is a facile writer and a competent scientist, but I don't see the point
continually quoting him, when you're really in disagreement with him anyway.
>Sometimes the theory has to crumble first, and a new framework be
>adopted, before the crucial facts can be seen at all
Well, when evolutionary theory crumbles and the big genie reveals
herself, I will see a lot of things in a new light.
>Besides, Thaxton, et al's book does deal in detail with the scientific
>evidence. Has Cliff ever read it?
No, but if you post excerpts I will read them.
>CL>Since 1802 science has added greatly to our knowledge of the fantastic
>layers of biological complexity, no thanks to theology or ID theory.
>The issue is not that the scientific method works. Of course it does-it was
>after all discovered by 16th century scientists who were all *Christians*
>and believed in design.
My impression is that their Christian side was a political necessity,
and that they really didn't find Christianity a good fit with science.
>>SJ>I can now understand why Darwin and Dawkins who have both read Paley
>>>and realised that mutations and natural selection must be gradual and tiny-
>CL>So you assert that macroevolution--evolutionary leaps in one generation--
>>could not occur?
>First, "macroevolution" is not necessarily "evolutionary leaps in one
>generation". It sounds like Cliff is confusing "macroevolution" with
Everybody seems to have a different take on these terms. If macroevolution
doesn't involve macromutation, then macroevolution is just the long perspective
on a sequence of micromutations. Is this the ID view, based on the need for
evolution to be essentially gradual, in order that evolution be false?
>Second. I don't rule anything out. If they can produce the *evidence*: a) for
>how "evolutionary leaps in one generation" *could* occur at
Genomic integration of symbionts was a leap. I'm not sure that events that are
rare and fortuitous in the world at large can be expected to pop up in a test
tube. But it seems a perfectly good theory.
b) that they *could* occur regularly, in the right time, at the right time,
In the natural world things happen when they happen. If it looks to you like
something unlikely is going on, since things happen precisely when they do,
and not at some other times, you can give your reasons for that. Regularity
is not an issue; a lot of crucial evolutionary developments could have been
>and c) that they *did* occur regularly, in the right time, at the right time,
>needed-naturalistically, then I would accept it.
I would think exceptional evolutionary events occurred irregularly, and often
the wrong times.
>But my point was that it is "Darwin and Dawkins" who claim that
>"mutations and natural selection must be gradual and tiny-step-by-tiny-
>step" to account for the evidence for design that "Paley" documents.
Since you know I think they are wrong about this, I don't know what weight
you expect your argument to have.
>CL>Integration of symbionts to form a cell, for example--quite
>See above re "impossibe". It sounds like Cliff is trying Chris' trick of
>trying to shift the burden of proof.
>And I don't know why Cliff keeps going on about "symbionts". As I
>have pointed out several times, even if Margulis' serial endosymbiotic
>theory(SET)is true (and there are a number of problems with it that I
The point is that this is a mechanism that explains how a sudden increase
in the complexity of an organism could occur. Irreducible-complexity
arguments depend on the straw man of pure gradualism. If symbionts in
an ecosystem can suddenly become one organism, that is a leap in
>1. it is only the merger of already *existing* cells. It does not explain the
>*origin* of those existing cells.
The general principle can explain how the interrelated machinery of the
cell came to exist.
>And it does not explain: a) how in fulfilling
>its own immediate bacterial needs, it just so happened to get everything
>right, sufficient to build all the complex plants and animals for the next 3.8
Just so happened, in the midst of an astronomical number of what could
be viewed as unsuccessful attempts.
b) why it only happened: i) *twice* (mitochondria and chloroplasts);
Nobody says it only happened twice. But mitochondria and chloroplasts
seem to be the best and clearest examples. I am happy to attribute *all*
organic complexity to the genomic integration of symbionts.
and ii) in the *same* line, because all eukaryotes are
>thought under SET to have descended from a common ancestor
>having mitochondria, and plant cells have both mitochondria and
Successful innovations accumulate, lineages diverge, I don't see
>2. it would only explain the origin of eukaryotic *cells*. It would not
>explain the design *above* the cellular level that Paley was discussing.
The general model could apply above the cellular level. It's a little weird
to think that metazoan organs were once free symbionts, but why not? It's
logically more satisfactory than thinking these complexes evolved
>CL>How can you make logical arguments *for* microevolution while maintaining
>>that it is false?
>I don't understand Cliff's point. I am able to follow the "logical arguments"
>that evolutionists make and yet believe that they are "false".
If the conclusion is false, then either the premises or the logic must be in
>But nevertheless, Goldschmidt has been consigned to the scrap heap of
>"cientific history" by the Darwinists, because there is no known way that
>macromutations could create life's complex designs *naturalistically*:
Goldschmidt should be a hero to ID theorists; he recognized the
problem of irreducible complexity.
>CL>Mayr exemplifies the 'modern synthesis' in his abhorrence of real
>>macroevolution. But in the 21st Century, the Cambrian explosion and
>>its incompatibility with gradualism will come into sharp focus, and
>>macroevolutionary theories will abound, to the dismay of ID theorists
>>who find microevolution an easy target.
>Disagree. Things are headed ID's way.
Who can say? Dark ages come and go. I certainly don't see much of a
future for conventional theory.
>Why does Cliff think the majority of biologists since Darwin have always
>been dead against macromutational theories, despite the better fit to the
>fossil evidence they would give? It is because they realise that
>macromutations might be able to explain the odd single character, but
>they have no hope of explaining the origin of *whole complexes* of
>mutually *interacting characters*.
We do agree that microevolution is not the answer. Some kind of
macromutation is the answer for me, a designer is the answer for you.
>Cliff can `handwave' about macromutations, but let him try to explain
>*naturalistic* `blind watchmaker' macromutations in a detailed, testable way,
>that could explain the origin of even *one* complex biological system, which
>must at all times, fit in with all the other existing systems, without
The funny thing about using Gould's 'handwaving' expression of objection,
is that it is itself its own best example of 'mere handwaving'!
I have doubts about conventional kinds of testing being able to reproduce
rare events of a billion years ago; we can only theorize as best we can.
But even these long-ago events are observable in principle, and so testing
cannot be logically excluded.
-- Cliff Lundberg ~ San Francisco ~ 415-648-0208 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
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