Category Archives: Evolution

Announcing My New Book

 

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(click on the image above)

Take a look at my new book where I take on the Atheist-Darwin crowd.

It’s a quick read with lots of punch  — drop a comment back to let me know what you think.

 

Excerpt:

I remember those nights as a kid laying out in the backyard on a clear Montana night. Laying out in that mummy bag gazing in wonder at the night sky and … just thinking …

How many stars are out there? How big is the universe? Does it have an end? If it has an end … then what’s beyond? How did it get there? How did I get here? How can there be something that has no end? Are there answers?

I think most of us have had such nights, and for many of us such wonder continues …

I’m one of those whose mind seems never to stop with the wondering … I just can’t shut it off — not that I want too.

So this is a collection of thoughts, conversations and writings that I’ve collected over the years. Thoughts and study that go back many, many years. The pages to follow come from my thinking and study on these issues, from my blog and from internet dialogs I’ve had with various people, mainly commenters like myself who seem to be passionate about the same questions and issues. Many have quite the opposite views as me, but that’s OK.

Don Johnson – January 2017

Intelligent Design and the Manufacturing Process

In my working days we built a complex distributed system consisting of 4 subsystems distributed over a large geographical space,  interconnected with data links and including a subsystem containing a multitude of fast moving and maneuvering jet fighter aircraft.

In constructing these systems, we used a process called ‘Engineering Release (ER)’ where the various components of each subsystem, as well as the subsystems themselves, were released to manufacturing via a series of ‘Shop Travelers.’ These travelers contained detailed instructions on how the components were to be manufactured and assembled as well as a detailed parts list. 

When the manufacturing process was complete, the various components and subsystems were integrated and tested in a lab setting, and then deployed and tested on site for use by fighter squadrons.

Preceding all this of course was the necessary design work – a goal oriented, purposeful and intellectual expression of the vision of those who saw a need for such a system.

It would seem that the human cell operates on much the same scheme. A cell containing complete and detailed information describing an end product and the shop travelers that guide that cell to its final use as a heart muscle, bone brain and more.    

It’s called Intelligent Design (ID), and is the way all complex systems are constructed, whether they be human designed or the natural life we see all around us and within us.   To think otherwise is folly.

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Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Challenging Darwinian Evolution

Some of the fundamentals of Darwinian Evolution, as I understand it are:

  • The complexities of life we see all around us, and within us are assembled from the bottom up in a Natural Selection process which chooses beneficial mutations among a long series of such changes, while allowing less beneficial changes to wither away, or perhaps allowed to remain as flotsam or “junk.”
  • The resulting “designs” we see from such a process are merely illusions, the appearance of design … not actual design as we see in all of the human artifacts we dwell among such as the automobile and computers.
  • Evolution is said to be without purpose, without direction and without goals. What we may see as purpose, direction and goals are simply the result of the workings of natural processes – simply illusions of and the appearance of design,

So then why do we see purpose, direction and goals at every level of life – from the cellular level, to the systems level to the completed body plan?

We see purpose in the various machines and structures within each of several trillion cells in our bodies. We see the Kinesin motor transporting cargo from one place on the cell to another. We see the marvel of DNA which, coupled with other cellular components, represents not only a massive mass storage capability, but also represents a type of blueprint package defining all aspects of the end product body. This DNA package also contains what can be described as a complete set of “shop travelers” which, much like a manufacturing process, provides step by step instructions and bills of materials for the manufacture of the myriad parts making up the completed human body – bones, hair, brain, liver, eye, nose … and more.

And each of these subunits exhibits purpose — specific purpose.  What is finally assembled as an arm and hand for example, takes on a myriad of functional purposes such as accurately throwing a baseball, playing a musical instrument such as a violin and cradling a new born baby. Each of our vital organs play specific and necessary roles in keeping our body alive and functioning – there are goals and purpose expressed in each and every one of our body parts.

What we see and experience in the finished goal directed and purposeful human body is beautifully expressed in many ways, such as when we witness a magnificent choral and orchestral performance such as Handel’s Messiah. What we experience in that concert hall is not an illusion — it is real and is the culmination of a multitude of designs, both in the natural as well as the realm of human intelligence and ingenuity.        

The “Not-So-Intelligent Designer”

HaandlesMessiah

This post contains comments I’ve made on a book written and promoted for school teachers that mocks features of the human body that the author considers to proof-examples of  why Darwinian evolution proves life arose through a long series of Natural Selection of random mutations.

(Click on the images for more.)

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I must beg to differ on Dr. Hafers and Glenn Branch’s view of this so called “Not-so-Intelligent Designer.” (Click on the link just to the left to learn more about this book .)

What she sees as “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” many see as an elegant and quite magnificent design with an amazing and far ranging menu of capabilities. Let me suggest an exercise that the doctor, Mr. Branch and others can easily accomplish, and I believe you may see my point.

Take an evening out and partake in one of those wonderful choral and orchestra performances taking place all around the world at any given time – I would recommend Handel’s Messiah for this exercise.

As you are watching and listing to this amazing musical performance I would like you to notice and watch a number of things very carefully.

First the hands – the hands and body motions of the conductor, as well as his facial expressions and body movements as he leads the choir and orchestra through this magnificent musical piece.

Continuing with the hands — watch the hands, and in particular the fingers of the orchestra members as they travel across the various instruments – the sting section, the brass section, the woodwinds — the piano. Watch carefully as their hands precisely match the direction given by the conductor. Watch as the fingers subtly, and at times strongly tease the music from their instruments.

And note the various musical instruments — envisioned, designed and created by many beautifully designed and created hands and fingers.

Next the choral voices – listen as these beautiful voices blend together perfectly with the orchestra, and watch the faces and mouths as they blend perfectly with the hands of the conductor and with the orchestra.

Next listen and pay attention to your own reaction as message of the words and music bring excitement and inspiration into your heart and soul.

As you leave the concert hall, take time to look at the building and its architecture and artistry. Again, the hands, arms, legs and mind of those artisans designed those arches, paintings and sculptures you admire so much.

And when you get back home in bed, ponder over the creation of the musical score of the “Messiah.” Imagine Handel hovering over his desk and the paper taking on lines and musical symbols – and words. Imagine him going back and forth over that manuscript as he goes to and from the scriptures that are inspiring him. Imagine the music that is building inside his head as he creates this masterpiece.

No – the human body is not the “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” but is something far more splendid and wonderful.

 

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Next I would suggest a couple of sporting events for Dr. Hafers and Glenn Branch.

First to a major league baseball game where they can witness the flawless execution of a double play. Beginning with the pitcher placing the ball across home plate at 90+ mph. We then see the batter follow that fast moving and curving baseball with his eyes, calculating where it will be as it passes into the strike zone where he can then attempt to hit it with his well hand/eye coordinated swing. Then we see the shortstop field the fast moving ball after anticipating and calculating where it will enter his glove. He then shovels it off to the second baseman who tags the runner out while leaping over the runner, and then a quick and precise throw to the first baseman who steps on first base for the second out of the double play.

Next we go to an NBA basketball game where we witness the continual back and forth of finely tuned, trained and coordinated athletes showcasing example after example of what these well designed machines are capable of.

Next we are off to an NFL football game where we witness precision in the well designed human body of a quarterback throwing the football with precise accuracy to a fast moving and maneuvering receiver who stretches his body out to execute a fingertip catch as he passes the goal line for a touchdown.

No – the human body is not the “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” but is something far more splendid and wonderful.

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Next we travel into the applied biological science of medicine and medical research and invite teachers and Mr. Branch to read and study the extensive articles that a Dr. Howard Glicksman has compiled on the intricacies and design of many aspects of the human body. We see this compilation of science reporting at http://www.evolutionnews.org/continuing_seri/the_designed_bo/ This series contains at least a half dozen articles on blood pressure alone, and how it is controlled within the human body.
Note that this science reporting by Dr. Glicksman is seen in the Discovery Institute web site
http://www.evolutionnews.org – an ID site – and not on the pages of the National Center for Science Education. I have been following the NCSE site as well as the Discovery site and others for years now, and what I find is that good science reporting like I describe above is found often and on a regular basis there, whereas seldom – approaching never – is an any science reported by NCSE. I find that very interesting and troubling, and thus would offer a caution to teachers to view NCSE with a great deal of skepticism, and especially this book which is little more than a hit piece on those of us who differ with the Atheistic stance and mission of NCSE.

No – the human body is not the “quirks and kinks, the makeshift solutions and haywire failures, of human biology,” but is something far more splendid and wonderful.

Don Johnson – August 2016

About Those Self Driving Cars, Trucks and Buses

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We hear more and more about the coming of self driving vehicles. Some are already on the road, and at least one – a Tesla – has already killed its passenger.

It seems feasible, but just a bit on the scary side don’t you think?

So how do you envisage these self driving things are being designed and engineered?

Do you see a team of mathematicians, physicists and engineers applying the known laws of science and inventing the Google car or the Tesla self-driver?

I don’t see it happening that way. Oh yea, those smart guys and gals are certainly necessary and part of the teams, but I’d wager that the front-line designers are Intelligent Design biological scientists.

What?

Yea – and what they are most likely doing is studying – for example – How Hummingbirds Avoid Collisions. You see these small agile birds have been doing this for – who knows how long.

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But haven’t I been told for 150+ years now that “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” And now you are telling me that Intelligent Design principles can be used to develop highly complex and sophisticated machines like self-driving vehicles?  

Exactly. It’s called biomimetics, which is the study of how nature accomplishes a wide variety of things, such that those same techniques and devices can be used for human benefit such as the self-driving car.

You can bet that if biology is a part of this new technology, evolution has no part in it. Nor is it likely that human ingenuity and brilliance alone will produce the final product that must be at least as good as the hummingbird.

Scientists, as shown in the article above, are studying this amazing design in nature, and it is likely that many are using these studies for applications such as the self-driving car.

Evolution? Could take millions of years and millions of trial and error deaths to evolve  the same product.

Why not use the same technique we often use in software development – stand on the shoulders of giants and reuse that which has been previously designed and developed?

 

Don Johnson – July 2016

Liver Function and Its Effects

A very interesting article …

Liver

A snippet from the article:

Evolutionary biologists are good at imagining how an ultra-complex organ like the liver could have come into being by talking about how it looks, but not how it actually works within the laws of nature to keep the body alive. But real numbers have real consequences and by using Tim’s case to highlight just five of the over five hundred functions of the liver, we will see what would have happened to our earliest ancestors without any one of them. After all, evolutionary biology claims that life came about by chance and laws of nature alone, so it must explain how transitional organisms survived as the liver gradually acquired these vital functions while macroevolution was taking place.

Click the link below to read the rest …

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2016/06/liver_function102916.html

Don Johnson – June 2016

Evolution? And The Marvel of Blood Pressure Regulation

http://www.evolutionnews.org/continuing_seri/the_designed_bo/

The Darwin propaganda machine continues to insist – and teach our young people – that the totally naturalistic explanation of un-directed and blind evolution is fact and explains the phenomena of life  that we see all around us … including our own self.

I call it a propaganda machine  because that is exactly what it is. It allows only the accepted dogma of the elite and disallows, ignores , mocks  and attempts to destroy anyone who dares to buck the orthodoxy of that elite – see the story of Dr. Edward Hedin for example

My wife recently suffered a fainting spell brought about by a series of events resulting in a problem with her blood pressure (she’s OK now).  The amazing intricacies of blood pressure regulation in the body, as well as many other designed features of the human body are well documented by Dr. Howard Glicksman  in this series on the Designed Body including six articles on blood pressure.

The body and it’s various internal systems and functions, as well as it’s external capabilities such as seen in the concert hall and the baseball field demonstrate a complex system of a “goal directed” and  designed result, and not the “undirected” naturalistic fairy tale as told by the Darwin propaganda machine.

Scan through and actually read the extensive documentation provided by Dr. Howard Glicksman, as well as many other good science reporting by the Discovery Institute and do your own thinking and come to your own conclusions.

And know this (pay attention teachers and parents) – you will find very little (approaching none) science reporting of the type I talk about above, to the general public and the schools from the “ … National Center for Science Education (NCSE)  a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents, and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education. … .” And any notion of design out. No you have to go to those sites and organizations that actually do science reporting but are ignored, mocked and demonized by the likes of NCSE.

 

Don Johnson – May 2016

 

For You Inventors–A Mother Load of Ideas for Innovation and Invention

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Life on Planet Earth is filled with amazing designs. Designs and machines doing just about anything and everything you could imagine.

From the machines in the smallest cells — to the hands,  arms and legs that produce those last second buzzer beating 3-pointers in basketball.

Those amazing vocal instruments belting out incredible music that we can all hear with those amazing machines called ears.

It’s those new and rapidly growing fields of study call Biomimetics and Systems Biology which looks at those designs in nature — the real ones – and produces inventions based on those designs. 

Here are a couple of articles for you to look at and marvel:

I recently had my own idea of a GPS-less navigation system based on how salmon, turtles birds and other animals migrate and navigate. Unfortunately, I’m late to the party and many others around the world are well along with this idea. But these ideas are based in the designs seen in biology.

So look around you at some everyday things. Things that you may see a better way to build something based in biology … its called Intelligent Design.

Don Johnson – April 2016

 

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.

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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.

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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

This Will Boggle Your Mind (Brain)

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Excerpt from the report:

Nerve cells in the human brain are densely interconnected and form a seemingly impenetrable meshwork. A cubic millimeter of brain tissue contains several kilometers of wires. A fraction of this wiring might be governed by random mechanisms, because random networks could at least theoretically process information very well. Let us consider the visual system: In the retina, several million nerve cells provide information for more than 100 Million cells in the visual cortex. The visual cortex is one of the first regions of the brain to process visual information. In this brain area, various features as spatial orientation, color and size of visual stimuli are processed and represented. [Emphasis added.]

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Excerpt from the report:

The way information is sent may be comparable to a library, in which books can easier found [sic] if they are sorted not only alphabetically by title, but also by genre and by author. In a library, books are spread to different shelves, but typically not randomly. Similarly, various facets of visual perception are represented separately in the visual cortex.

Now read the report here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/11/brain_neurons_a101211.html

Don Johnson – November 2015