Category Archives: Athiesm

Censorship in Academia

choir

Yesterday my wife and I attended a yearly gathering of about 500 middle school musicians and singers from around the state of Connecticut — our 13 year old granddaughter was among the 500.

My attention was especially drawn to the hands of the many participants and of the conductors. Watching the conductors leading the several choirs with many body queues, especially with hand and finger gestures was fascinating — as was watching the many hands and fingers producing amazing music as many fingers danced across the whole range of orchestral instruments. 
Truly an amazing day of talent and music as well as a fine demonstration of the wonders of the human hand.

___________________________

Now to put the above comments into context, I invite you to read the following:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/03/mob_with_pitchf102658.html

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/03/censorship_in_r102659.html

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/too-hot-to-handle-update-on-the-plos-one-paper/

A scientific study was made on the dexterity of the human hand. In the report, several references were made to “ .. the Creator.”

Much negative reaction ensued resulting in the paper being retracted.  The retraction was entirely due to the remarks referencing “the Creator”, and not disagreement with the technical content of the paper. 

The following are my remarks regarding the paper and its retraction.

___________________________

I find it entirely appropriate, and even commendable, that a group of researchers studying the intricacies of the human hand should (intentionally or not) credit the design they are trying to capture to a “Creator” and to ascribe the language of design to their model – the human hand … even in a so called “scientific” journal.

As far as I could tell, the end purpose of this study was for robotic or prosthetic purposes, and not to prove the existence of a “Creator.”

I read through many of the on-line comments to the PLoS ONE paper, and was appalled at the bigotry and small/closed mindedness of many of those professing to be the gate-keepers of this journal. It’s as if they have their heads inside a barrel with their fingers firmly stuck in their ears lest they hear the incessant drum beat of design coming from outside the barrel.

What I would suggest to these gate-keepers is to avail themselves of the many opportunities within their own campus and city to study first hand the beauty, adaptability and intricacies  of the human hand. Get out of the laboratory … get out of the lecture hall … get out of the book you are writing. Go to an orchestral and choir event. Go to a baseball game and witness the execution of that perfect double play. Go to a football game and watch that amazing throw and fingertip catch that wins the game in the final seconds. Go to a fine art museum and gaze at the fine paintings and sculptures created by those many human hands. Go to the surgical unit at a local hospital and watch the skilled and trained hands at work on needy patients. Go to you library and scan through some of the hand written manuscripts you might find there – and carefully look at and read the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence written carefully by human hands.

Then I would suggest a retreat back to the office, lab and lecture hall to ponder a bit:

1) Did I perhaps witness just a bit of that “divine foot in the door” in any of what I’ve seen around campus?

2) How many generations of folks like me before we stumble on the origin of the hand by evolutionary means? Will we ever even approach it?

3) About that report – it’s been retracted with seemingly little concern over the validity and/or use of the data and insights collected. Is it possible that some young enthusiastic researcher/engineer could have made use of the study in providing a somewhat useful hand to that wounded soldier? Guess that doesn’t matter as long as the feelings, yes feelings, of the Atheists is protected. 

  

 Don Johnson – March 2016

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Scientist or Ideological Propagandist?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the latest pretty faces of Atheistic science.

Neil_deGrasse_Tyson_at_Howard_University_September_28,_2010_(cropped_to_shoulders).jpg

Smooth, attractive, well spoken, well educated (PhD), persuasive, great stage presence …

And a man of “cutsie“ statements like the following:

“I think of, like, the human body, and I look at what’s going on between our legs,” Tyson said. “There’s like a sewage system and entertainment complex intermingling. No engineer of any intelligence would have designed it that way.”

This is not an intelligent comment from a much educated man – or should we say a much indoctrinated man – but rather a shallow comment intended to influence and convince. In other words, it’s a statement of propaganda, and  this comment shows Tyson is a master of it.

This comment is not original with Tyson, and exhibits a desire to further an ideological and religious agenda, the agenda of Atheism. The attempted veneer of science and engineering falls flat when we take a deeper look at the human body and its design. Some examples:

  • Many of us have watched Olympic ice-skaters with admiration.
  • Or watched those incredible one-handed catches by NFL wide receivers.
  • Or stand in awe as that shortstop – second baseman – first baseman executes that perfect double play in baseball.
  • Or have attended that concert where we see and hear beautiful and inspiring music written by brilliant and talented composers, played and sung by talented and well practiced musicians on instruments designed and crafted by inventive designers.
  • Or have read or are reading one of those millions of books in the homes, bookstores and libraries around the world.
  • Or have designed or built many of those beautiful buildings many of us have visited and spent time exploring.
  • Or have taken part in the design, engineering and manufacturing of those many machines and software packages we use day-by-day in our everyday life.
  • Or have produced one of those spectacular movie sagas.
  • And no small matter – the human body is capable of reproducing itself, and has been doing so for as long as humans have inhabited the earth.
  • … and more …

No, an honest, thoughtful and  in-depth comment about the design of the human body would take a look at the total package and not set up a contrived straw man caricature of a few cherry picked parts of anatomy in an attempt to indoctrinate and propagandize. 

Properly restated, Tyson’s comment would be concluded by saying “No engineer of any intelligence could have designed it that way.” Tyson is no biologist of any sort, nor is he an engineer of any sort.

What Tyson is, is a man who has stayed way too long in the indoctrinating ivory towers of academia. A man with no real-world, hands-on experience in the design, engineering and manufacture of real world things. A man who has been drinking his own bathwater for years and desires to pass that bathwater to all who will listen, especially the young and impressionable.  

Don Johnson – November 2015

if you have evidence of design then surely you should be able to tell us exactly what that evidence is and what the mechanisms are that are responsible? — A dialog with a commenter at NCSE

The following is outfall from a comment I made at an article titled “Arbiter Declines Advertising from Creationist Groups”  My initial comment prompted quite a response, in particular from one named Ian Nicholas.

Here is my initial comment:

It is claimed on this site that Intelligent Design is not science, and that evolution is undisputed fact. Then I would like to see a response to the fact that life is full of purposeful machines such as the Kinesin motor as described here and at the following link:
” … Kinesin offers a fascinating example of undiscovered information in action. What programs and machinery are required to assemble the structure and function of kinesin? What information is needed for kinesin to achieve its “runtime” functions? How does kinesin know where to go to pick up a load, what load to pick up, what path to take, and where to drop its load? How does it know what to do next? All this functionality takes information, which must be encoded somewhere.
Indeed, the level of complexity is monotonically increasing, with no end in sight. … “
http://www.evolutionnews.org/…/evolutions_gran097591.html
and here to see an animation of these amazing machines in action:
http://www.evolutionnews.org/…/did_kinesins_ar085951.html
Fossils may be interesting and fascination, but they are dead, NCSE stays well clear of the actual science that is going on in studying, understanding and reporting on the “live” designs and machines that are all around an within us. Take a look, you might be surprised and awed by it all.

And here are several comments among many, from Ian challenging the idea of “purposeful machines” and “evidence.”

“Your second link is also creationist apologetics which makes rather grandiose claims of “purposeful machines” in spit of the fact that you can’t tell us the “purpose” of any of these things. “

“Evidence is irrelevant to your position.”

“And if you have evidence of design then surely you should be able to tell us exactly what that evidence is and what the mechanisms are that are responsible?”

What follows is my response to some of the challenges that Ian has thrown out. I have tried to post it directly to the NCSE Facebook page, but for some reason my comments failed to upload.

____________________________________________________

My goodness you were sure busy yesterday. I feel I must owe you an apology for causing you to spend so much time and energy responding to me. But then I realize that what I am seeing is your passion, and that is a good thing. I’ve been a passionate person for many years about quite a range of things, so I relate quite well to the passions of others.

You mentioned the so called “Gish gallop” earlier, and I guess that’s what I’m seeing in your flurry of responses. I have followed the Institute for Creation Research for years, so I am familiar with Dr. Dwayne Gish. I know he was noted as quite a formidable debater although oddly enough I never have heard even one of his debates, but I can infer what is meant by the term “Gish gallop.” He attended the same church in San Diego as we did, and I would see him and his wife there on a regular basis and actually met him personally one time.

I see you have read some of my blog posts and I thank you for that. These posts are from an interested lay person and not from a PhD practitioner in the fields of life science or medicine – and I gather you are in the same category as an interested lay person. You can see from my writings that I touch on many aspects of life and how it perhaps developed and flourished here on planet Earth. So perhaps I have addressed a fair number of your topics and criticisms of my world view, and I will not take the time to respond to each of your topics in turn. Many of my essays have been directed towards pointing the reader to the work and research of others who have a great deal of expertise and hands on experience with biological systems such as the human body.

But there are a few of your statements and criticisms that I will address here, and for the most part I will restrict my comments to the human body.

First is evidence. I have covered that previously, and on many occasions on my blog, and have pointed out that evidence of design is all around and within us. That evidence being the existence of purposeful machines and systems found at all levels of a human body from the cell containing its many machines, to the many purposeful organs each of us have, as well as the completed body itself.

One such machine (of many) I find particularly interesting is the Kinesin motor. As you can see from the animations of Kinesin, its main “purpose” is to transport cargo from one place in the cell to another. A fascinating adjunct to this machine is the roadway that the Kinesin traverses along its journey … this roadway as it turns out is constructed in a “just in time” fashion ahead of the Kinesin and its cargo, and is deconstructed after it is used.

I’ve been seeing these animations over the years, but always had the questions of how accurate they are in depicting what is actually going on in the cell, and is the instrumentation these days actually good enough to see what is happening. Another question I have had is why the animations in the first place and not just the actual video taken of the biology itself.

Well over the past year or so I’ve had a couple of opportunities to ask those questions of a couple of scientists actually working in the field. One was a researcher at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and the other was an MIT researcher at a lecture I attended at Yale this past year. The answers to my questions were the same from both gentlemen – yes the instrumentation is that good that it can see the kinds of things that the animations depict. And the animations are quite accurate in replicating the activities of such things as the Kinesin motor. As to the reason for the animations — as I recall, the reason is twofold; one is to isolate the object under investigation from all of the other busyness going on in the cell so it can be studied somewhat in isolation, secondly, the animations being computer programs avail the researchers the opportunity to manipulate and tweak the object in their investigations.

You can read more of my brief but interesting encounters with these two researchers at https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/interesting-people-i-have-met-e-michael-ostap-ph-d/

Kinesin is but one of a number of machines that have been identified in the cell as having purpose – and yes, the researchers do refer to them as machines. Kinesin can be likened to the freeways and roadways we see and use on a daily basis – functional and designed with the purpose of transporting cargo.

Another mechanism within the cell is that which replicates DNA strands. I don’t have an animation at the ready for you, but I’m sure a search will find one quickly and I encourage you to find one and watch. An interesting and purposeful part of this DNA replication is what is referred to as Quality Control (QC) where a machine like mechanism traverses the newly replicate DNA strand looking for errors in the transcription. When an error is found, the replication is paused while an attempt is made to repair the problem, or failing that the new strand is killed off so as not to cause problems downstream.

So there is much identified “purpose” within each of the trillions of cells making up our body. I hope this addresses your question “What’s the “purpose” of kinesin then? And how’d you figure that out?” I didn’t figure it out Ian, those much smarter than I figured it out.

Then we can move up from the cellular level to the various organs we all have. The major organs and systems within the human body each have specific purpose(s), and I won’t dwell on each of these organs and functions.

But I would like to pass on to you a purposeful part of the circulatory system that I leaned about just yesterday. Here is a snippet from the article:

“ … There are sensors located in the main arteries directly supplying blood to the brain, which can detect wall distension. These are the baroreceptors, which by sensing the stretching within the arterial walls are able to detect the arterial blood pressure. They are a type of mechanoreceptor that senses movement, in contrast to the chemoreceptors which detect chemicals like oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen ion. The baroreceptors send their data on the blood pressure by way of nerves to the brain. The brain integrates this information, and if the blood pressure is too low, it causes the release of more norepinephrine and epinephrine from the sympathetic nerves. By attaching to specific receptors, increased sympathetic stimulation affects all three of the factors mentioned above, which makes the blood pressure rise. … “

You can read the full article at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/09/controlling_blo099611.html

So here we have an answer to another of your statements/questions –

“ … if you have evidence of design then surely you should be able to tell us exactly what that evidence is and what the mechanisms are that are responsible? “

This evidence being the very well-regulated circulation of blood – and the mechanisms are in part the baroreceptors and mechanoreceptors identified in the referenced article.

So I find it interesting Ian that somehow the so-called undirected mechanism of Natural Selection somehow results in very directed and specifically functional and purposeful end products – from the cellular level on up to the completed body itself which is functionally capable of achieving a wide variety of functional tasks from writing the great American novel — to holding a baby– to executing that perfect double play in baseball.

Yes Ian … we do indeed see purpose in the things that make up life – at all levels.

And where do we find such marvels reported? Not in this NCSE site where topics such as “Computational Biology” and “Systems Biology” are seldom (I would venture to say never) mentioned let alone seriously reported on. No Ian, what you find here is an abundance of stories of fossils, the Grand Canyon and court cases but very little of what is happening in the laboratories of places such as the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

As a layman where do I find an abundance of good reporting in cellular level biology and other fascinating stories of cutting edge research?, I find many of these reports at places like http://www.uncommondescent.com/ and http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/09/controlling_blo099611.html You might want to spend a little more time in such places Ian … they could be dangerous to your world view, but very rewarding to your curiosity in the long run.

I do thank you for your responses Ian. I don’t get angry or defensive at what you write, but rather take them as opportunities for communication and sharing and contrasting often contrary and conflicting world views.

Best regards,

don

Either Modern Evolutionary Biology is Goal-Directed, or it is False!

DoublePlay

Philosopher of biology Will Provine died recently.  Provine was an Atheist (I capitalize Atheist, because I view it as a faith based religion). Here is his own summary on evolutionary biology:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. (Darwinism: Science or Naturalistic Philosophy April 30 1994)

Let me present my own summary as to why Provine’s statement that “There are  … no goal-directed forces of any kind.” is false, and why modern evolutionary biology must indeed be goal-directed, or it must be false.

Virtually all of life, and all of the components of life appear to be goal-directed. From the smallest component of a human life form … the cell, to the various organs contained therein, to the finished product —  all across the board we have items that achieve specific purposes, often multiple purposes.

Internal organs

In the case of human organs we see that each of our internal organs achieves a specific purpose:

  • The heart pumps blood and life sustaining oxygen and nutrients to each part of our body, and to each cell, while also removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.
  • The visual system – eyes, nerves and brain – gathers, processes and stores visual information from our external world allowing us to function smoothly in a very complex, beautiful and often threatening world.  
  • The kidneys serve several essential regulatory roles in vertebrates. They remove excess organic molecules from the blood, and it is by this action that their best-known function is performed: the removal of waste products of metabolism.
  •           
  •          And on and on for each of our parts.

So if the evolutionary “just-so” tale is to be believed, each of these very specific and sophisticated organs arrived on the scene simultaneously by a process that had no intention to produce such intentional, purposeful and goal oriented machines. Or … they arrived on the scene by some other means.

And what of the final product – the human being? What you see in the lead-in picture above is the intentional and goal directed execution of a very complex maneuver in baseball called the double play.

Somehow, evolution which is not goal-directed has created a massively complex and synchronous machine which is – at all levels – purposeful and goal directed. Goal directed towards multitudes of goals:

motherorchastra1th2XNA3IJ9th70QBZ4LVth722DC36QthU3SODEVU 

I would dare to suggest that the false god of evolution, undirected “Deep Time”  casts a shroud over observationally obtained truth.

Coperfield

The high priests of this false god of “Deep Time”: Will Provine, Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Stephen Hawking and others peddle this just so tale simply because, in the words of Richard Lewontin – “ … we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. ” And they are adamant in keeping this Divine Foot out of the culture, out of education, out of science … and indeed, and perhaps most importantly, out of their own life and life style.

 

don johnson – September 2015

Richard Dawkins: No moralist like an atheist moralist

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG

Something to think about over morning coffee —

http://www.uncommondescent.com/darwinism/richard-dawkins-no-moralist-like-an-atheist-moralist/

Excerpt from a commenter:

“ … The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

“169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
I BACKGROUND
2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
II 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
IV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world. … “

There’s more …

 

Don Johnson – August 2015

Who or What Is the Designer in Intelligent Design

My second foray into NCSE has been interesting but not unsurprising with many comments, but none relating to the actual content which I shared with the readers.

I leave NCSE once more, with an essay rather than responding to the individual comments directed towards me. Hopefully there are open minded readers that will read the essay with an objective mind and heart. In this essay I try to minimize and avoid theological issues and questions, and I hope readers will read it in that spirit.

https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/a-glutton-for-punishment-revisiting-the-national-center-for-science-education-ncse/

However, there is one commenter, Ian Nicholas  I would like to respond to. Ian has questions of people like me — questions that are not new to him and have been asked numerous times by many, and have been addressed by many throughout the years, decades and centuries. The wording may differ, but the questions are similar (taking my time Ian … with much recent travel seeing much of the beauty of God’s green earth).

Here are the questions:

Who or what is the designer? What did it do? How did it do it? Where did it do it? When did it do it?

Let me offer several perspectives on Mr. Nicolas’s questions. I will not offer them up as answers, since I sense in his comments an anger – a closed minded anger – that may keep him from consideration of what I have to say  … nonetheless, let me begin.


First is the perspective from the point of view of Intelligent Design (ID) –

From the Discovery Institute we read [emphasis added]:

“ … What is intelligent design?
Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system’s components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago.  … “

ID theory and practice does not require the identity of a designer or designers. Again, from the Discovery Institute we read [emphasis added]:

“ … The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the “apparent design” in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural. … “

Thus the questions of Mr. Nicolas are irrelevant from an ID perspective.

Perhaps this can be illustrated by an allegory. The one I have in mind is one by A. E. Wilder-Smith —  “He Who Thinks Has to Believe.” at:
http://www.amazon.com/He-Who-Thinks-Has-Believe/dp/0871232596/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438875149&sr=8-1&keywords=he+who+thinks+has+to+believe

In this delightful little book, a modern transport plane crashes into a remote island inhabited by “Neanderthals” who have never been visited by modern man.  The aircraft contains a cargo of various types of farm equipment as well as cans of fuel for the machines. There are no survivors, so all the Neanderthals see is something frightful dropping from the sky in flames and a bunch of unknown stuff scattered around. 

Once the initial fear subsides, the inquisitive Neanderthals start poking around in the debris and begin to discover that many of the strange machines have components that are similar to some of the items in their everyday life.  The large round things attached on the four corners of some of the things look similar to the wheels on their own simple wagons, and they surmise that maybe the big green machine can somehow move across their fields.

A young Neanderthal climbs up onto what is obviously a seat and starts pushing the buttons he finds and pulling various levers. Much to his surprise and fright, the big green thing seems to come ‘alive’ in some sense and when he pulls a particular lever the machine begins to move.

Further, since the ‘writing’ on the machines (CAT, John Deere etc.) seem somewhat similar to their own primitive writing, they surmise that perhaps these machines were designed and constructed by beings having intelligence.  But since from their own perspective these designers are unknowable, except for the design artifacts they delivered from the sky, they can only infer design and thus ‘designers.’

In summary, the Neanderthals soon discover that the machines have purpose and function that they can use to their own advantage in everyday village and farm life.


Wilder-Smith’s allegory illustrates that it is simply not necessary to know:

  • who or what is the designer?
  • what did it do?
  • how did it do it?
  • where did it do it?
  • when did it do it?

to investigate and understand natural systems and use such knowledge to our advantage … we do it in our every day life in any number of ways.

Intelligent Design is a quest to follow the evidence to where-ever it may lead (i.e. science).

Next is the perspective from the point of view of Biblical Creation.

Again … the questions, this time directed at Biblical Creation:

Who or what is the designer? What did it do? How did it do it? Where did it do it? When did it do it?

The answers to these questions are easy and readily available to everyone in the context of the Hebrew/Christian Biblical accounts of Creation:

In the beginning God created …  Genesis 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  John 1:1

And many other accounts throughout the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

Here, as distinct from Intelligent Design, proponents clearly identify the Designer as the God of the Bible – the God of the Ten Commandments.

This is admittedly an A priori stance, but one with a considerable amount of success over the centuries in the development of modern science and the advancement of our knowledge of the world and universe we live in. Most of the modern scientific disciplines owe their founding to Biblical Creationists

Is the Creationist stance a hindrance or a help in the advancement of science?

The Creation view of nature is one that sees order and discoverability in the designs seen in nature. This view sees real design and not illusions or appearances of design, and it is from this perspective that investigation proceed from scientists such as Galileo, Newton and many others including modern scientists in many fields.

Is algebra, physics or chemistry taught from the Bible as if it were a text book? Of course not, but the philosophical and inspirational roots can be found in the investigations of many scientists and engineers, past and present.

Next is the perspective from the point of view of  Naturalism/Materialism and Evolutionary Biology.

Finally we take a look at Mr. Nicolas’s god – ‘Deep Time’, and  this god’s prophet Charles Darwin…, along with the priesthood of Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Laurence Krauss and others.  

Again … the questions, this time directed at Materialistic Evolution:

  • who or what is the designer?
  • what did it do?
  • how did it do it?
  • where did it do it?
  • when did it do it?

So let’s take a look:

  • who or what is the designer?
    Deep Time
    image
  • what did it do?
    “ … tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged” Stephen Hawking
  • how did it do it?
    Dawkins, in his book “The Blind Watchmaker”, states regarding the origins of the universe and life: “given enough time, and an infinite number of chances, anything is possible.”
                 meaning:

    Random mutations + Natural Selection
    image
  • where did it do it?
    Everywhere throughout the universe.
  • when did it do it?
    During ‘Deep Time’

In short, Darwinian Evolution requires an unknown “deep Time” such that when left alone and given enough time, nothing will borrow nothing from nothing and turn itself into into something. I’m beginning to understand – but my head hurts.


So we have three perspectives and I will leave it up to the reader to carefully examine each and draw appropriate conclusions.

But please – let’s teach our kids the art of critical thinking.

A Glutton for Punishment –- Revisiting The National Center For Science Education (NCSE)

image
(click on the image above)

Yes … I have once more jumped into the shark tank known as NCSE. After more than a year of reading and commenting at the NCSE Blog site, I was finally kicked off after responding rather forcefully to a militant Atheist commenter called CdnMacAthiest, who over the course of a year has accused me of all manner of evil such as treason, sedition, pedophilia, child abuse and more …

So dummy me jumps once more into that shark tank, this time at their Facebook page where it seems I haven’t been banned.

And again, after offering up a good science article from Discovery Institute, the blow back came quickly and in abundance from commenters there.

So once more, I will be leaving NCSE, but not without a parting comment as you can read here.

Why do I do this you ask?

I do this because NCSE is one of the most influential and effective advocates for “evolution only” teaching in schools. This may sound fine to you since it is well known that evolution is “fact” and there is no controversy over it, and those like me who wish to point out the weaknesses and failures of Darwinian Evolution are considered to be and labeled as IDiots, “science deniers” and worse.

But this so called fact of evolution is far from fact, and there is indeed significant controversy centered around evolution, and that is what I attempt to address in my contributions at NCSE, and what I once more will attempt to do in this essay.

I have grandchildren in the public schools, and have had children in the public schools, and know and have known a number of teachers over the years, and it irks me that Atheism is pushed down the throats and into the minds of students.  And NCSE is for the most part pushing an Atheist world view in the guise of science  — at least in their evolution stance though I do not make the same charge in their ‘global warming’ stance. .

Yes, teach evolution by all means as the Discovery Institute advocates,  but teach the whole truth including the warts and failures of the Darwinian theory of Evolution and its successors such as Neo-Darwinism.

In this essay I will present strong evidences of design in nature – Intelligent Design — and follow with a series of serious questions and gaps in the main stream world view of evolution. The evidences for design are compelling because they have very close correlation to designs we commonly see and use in our everyday life of designed things and systems. Modern science and technology can actually look into the cells of nature, including the several trillion that are in each of our own human bodies, so in many cases we can actually see the evidences. Other evidences are what we experience on a daily basis in our own bodies.

My hope and vision for presenting this is as follows:

  • To provide information to the reader.
  • To cause a reader to pause and reconsider a world view — to reexamine the evolution/Intelligent Design/Creation controversy and puzzle over evidence both pro and con.
  • To open minds that may be closed due to long term educational and cultural influences that may have been in error.
  • To counter the bullying, shaming, name calling and career ending persecution that is all to prevalent when a contrary point of view is pursued or presented.
  • To recover the art and decency of civil conversation.

 As a lead in to this discussion I present a somewhat typical article describing research into micro biology – in this case, the human genome.

In modern molecular biology and genetics, the genome is the genetic material of an organism. It consists of DNA (or RNA in RNA viruses). The genome includes both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA/RNA.

RecA.jpg

The article is at this link:
http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/key-prediction-of-darwinian-evolution-falsified/#comment-573890

Excerpt:
Biological life requires thousands of different protein families, about 70% of which are ‘globular’ proteins, each with a 3-dimensional shape that is unique to each family of proteins. An example is shown in the picture at the top of this post. This 3D shape is necessary for a particular biological function and is determined by the sequence of the different amino acids that make up that protein. In other words, it is not biology that determines the shape, but physics. Sequences that produce stable, functional 3D structures are so rare that scientists today do not attempt to find them using random sequence libraries. Instead, they use information they have obtained from reverse-engineering biological proteins to intelligently design artificial proteins.

Indeed, our 21st century supercomputers are not powerful enough to crunch the variables and locate novel 3D structures. Nonetheless, a foundational prediction of neo-Darwinian theory is that a ploddingly slow evolutionary process consisting of genetic drift, mutations, insertions and deletions must be able to ‘find’ not just one, but thousands of sequences pre-determined by physics that will have different stable, functional 3D structures. So how does this falsifiable prediction hold up when tested against real data? As ought to be the case in science, I have made available my program so that you can run your own data and verify for yourself the kinds of probabilities these protein families represent. More.

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Before continuing  let me make a few remarks about the comments that have been generated on the NCSE Facebook page from my posting:

  • The referenced article is a fascinating and informative look into the proteins in our cells – all several trillion of them.  The article also shows the science and technology that allow a look at these proteins and how they function and how they are constructed. This particular article describes the 4 dimensional character of proteins … 3-dimensional folding and a 4th dimension of time. 
  • As fascinating as this is, none of the comments (and I emphasize none)  spend any time with the article itself. They don’t rebut or take issue with it, they don’t ask questions, they don’t seem to show any interest in the scientific study or reporting. Most likely the article hasn’t been read. And this is the pattern when I offered up similar articles at the NCSE Blog … little or no discussion on the articles presented, but much gnashing of teeth over where the information came from.
  • They spend all their time and energy attacking the Discovery Institute where this study was reported. And they spend a considerable amount of time and energy towards me and my views.
  • There seems to be very little sense of wonder at peering into life at the smallest detail … little indication of curiosity or wanting to know more.
  • The NCSE site itself seldom if ever reports on these kinds of ‘machines’ we see at the cellular level – plenty of articles on fossils, the Grand Canyon  and Scopes and Dover legal cases … but none on the machines of life itself. Sad from a site holding themselves up as an educational advocacy organization.
  • I recently met a professor from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University o0f Pennsylvania. I was able to ask the professor about the animations I have seen  such as the Kinesis Motor, and the one I reference above in this article.  The professor was able to answer my layman level questions because that is his area of research. He recommended I search on “systems biology” and “computational biology” in order to learn more.
    I wonder why NCSE has little or no interest in these two fields of biology, and why they don’t present these growing fields of study to their members and readers, and thus to the schools and students.

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And now to continue the contrast between ID and Neo-Darin Evolution…


In a comment to this article reported on at http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/key-prediction-of-darwinian-evolution-falsified/#comment-573890, reader ‘tjguy”  gathers together a list of life characteristics and systems that present A strong case for design in nature. I will use and enhance his list for purposes of this article.


Things we see in life:

  • Nano molecular machines, such as the Kinesin Motor and the Flagellum Motor.
    These machines are among the many that have been discovered in the cells of life in recent years.
  • The 3D genome.
  • Biological codes, some of which can be read backwards and forwards.
  • Information, as contained in DNA. From a Harvard study we read that” … One gram of DNA can store 700 terabytes of data. That’s 14,000 50-gigabyte Blu-ray discs… in a droplet of DNA that would fit on the tip of your pinky. … “
  • Self-correcting biological software.
  • irreducibly complex systems and machines.
  • A 4D world coordinated by internal clocks … see the article referenced above.
  • GPS like biological systems as in the navigational systems found in many animals.
  • Sonar capabilities as found in whales and dolphins.
  • Fantastically complicated and effective information processing, storage, and retrieval systems.
  • Magnets.
  • Amazing and purposeful designs accomplishing a wide variety of useful tasks.
  • Transportation systems, as in the Kinesin Motor.
  • Quality control systems.
  • Flight.
  • Computer like biological systems.
  • Temperature control systems,
  • And more …

This partial list presents a compelling case for a purposeful and deliberate design contained throughout nature from the cellular level to the complete body plan such as the human plan.

In the case of our human bodies, one example (of many) of the culmination of such design is the double play in baseball.

DoublePlay

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Serious questions showing Dawkins’ ‘Mount Improbable’ really is improbable in the extreme – a case against Darwinian Evolution.

“… tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged” ... Stephen Hawking

Since Darwinian Evolution is asserted as indisputable fact and without controversy, I would like to offer up a serious list of questions … questions that unanswered would seem to shake that confident assertion. I would say that until these questions are definitively answered, or at least the strong majority, the Evolutionary Biologist and Materialistic Atheist can make no such claim of absolute irrefutable fact of evolution,. 

  • We don’t know how the laws of nature evolved.
  • We don’t know how the 240+ physical and natural constants evolved.
  • We don’t know how the first cell evolved.
  • We don’t know how the DNA code evolved.
  • We don’t know how replication evolved.
  • We don’t know how RNA polymerase evolved.
  • We don’t know how transcription evolved.
  • We don’t know how genes evolved.
  • We don’t know how translation evolved.
  • We don’t know how hemoglobin evolved.
  • We don’t know how the electron transport chain evolved.
  • We don’t know how ATPase evolved.
  • We don’t know how eukaryotes evolved.
  • We don’t know how multicellular organisms evolved.
  • We don’t know how the vision cascade evolved.
  • We don’t know how visual pattern recognition evolved.
  • We don’t know how hearing evolved.
  • We don’t know how audio pattern recognition evolved.
  • We don’t know how the kidney evolved.
  • We don’t know how the liver evolved,
  • We don’t know how the circularity system evolved.
  • We don’t know how mammals evolved.
  • We don’t know how male/female anatomical sexuality evolved,
  • We don’t know how bio sonar evolved,
  • We don’t know how the hummingbird tongue evolved.
  • We don’t know how the whale evolved.
  • We don’t know how photosynthesis evolved.
  • We don’t know how the butterfly evolved.
  • We don’t know how turtles evolved.
  • We don’t know how consciousness evolved.
  • We don’t know how biological information (i.e. DNA) evolved.
  • We don’t know how the various machines within the cell evolved.
  • We don’t know how altruism evolved.
  • We don’t know how bees evolved.
  • We don’t know how all of the body organs, including skin co-evolved to their present form.
  • We don’t know how human intellect evolved (i.e. music, art, literature etc.)
  • … and more I’m sure.

So we have a mountain of questions … do we have a mountain of evidence?

I know the principles at NCSE will reject what I have presented here, as well as the most vocal commenters. My hope is that there are  many other readers at NCSE that will consider what I have presented,  seek the truth, investigate the ID alternative  and present their students with honest science.

I know such teachers, administrators and school board members are out there, and I hope I have in some way compelled you to dig a little deeper and ask more probing questions.

 

Regards,

Don Johnson — August 2015