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Blunderov
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"We think in generalities, we live in details"

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Oh No! I’ve Seen the Impossible! My Eyes!
« on: 2008-12-31 20:21:21 »
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[Blunderov] The intelligent design hypothesis has always infuriated me with its smugly intransigent circularity. A resounding debunking follows. A most happy thing. The original site has pics, links and comments that are very worthwhile. For those in haste here is the gist of it.

(BTW; a fond happy new year to the assembled. May your paths always be open.)

[oh-no-ive-seen-the-impossible-my-eyes

Oh No! I’ve Seen the Impossible! My Eyes!

Ah, the things you learn from creationists…

If you’ve ever read about intelligent design (a k a “the progeny of creationism”), you’ve probably encountered their favorite buzz words, “irreducible complexity.” If you take a piece out of a complex biological system (like the cascade of blood-clotting proteins) and it fails to work, this is taken as evidence that the system could not have evolved. After all, without all the pieces in place, it couldn’t work.

Scientists have shown over and over again that this is a false argument. At the famous intelligent-design trial in Dover in 2005, Pennsylvania, for example, Brown biologist Ken Miller showed how dolphins and other species are missing various proteins found in our blood-clotting cascade, and they can still clot blood. (Here’s Miller on Youtube giving a lecture on the experience–the blood starts to clot at 39:00.)

Three years later, the creationists are still trying to salvage irreducible complexity. This generally involves a bait-and-switch game. Today, for example, the Discovery Institute tells us that the evidence of dolphins does not touch the argument for irreducible complexity. See, what you have here are two different irreducibly complex systems, with one that just happens to have an extra part. Just think about bicycles…

“Bicycles have two wheels. Unicycles, having only one wheel, are missing an obvious component found on bicycles. Does this imply that you can remove one wheel from a bicycle and it will still function? Of course not. Try removing a wheel from a bike and you’ll quickly see that it requires two wheels to function. The fact that a unicycle lacks certain components of a bicycle does not mean that the bicycle is therefore not irreducibly complex.”

Of course not. No. It’s not as if five seconds of googling could turn up a bicycle that still functioned without both wheels…


Hey! You there! Get off that bike! You’re ruining a metaphor!

[Image:]


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Walter Watts
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Just when I thought I was out-they pull me back in

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Re:Oh No! I’ve Seen the Impossible! My Eyes!
« Reply #1 on: 2008-12-31 21:44:09 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2008-12-31 20:21:21   

[Blunderov] The intelligent design hypothesis has always infuriated me with its smugly intransigent circularity. A resounding debunking follows. A most happy thing. The original site has pics, links and comments that are very worthwhile. For those in haste here is the gist of it.

(BTW; a fond happy new year to the assembled. May your paths always be open.)

[oh-no-ive-seen-the-impossible-my-eyes

Oh No! I’ve Seen the Impossible! My Eyes!

Ah, the things you learn from creationists…

If you’ve ever read about intelligent design (a k a “the progeny of creationism”), you’ve probably encountered their favorite buzz words, “irreducible complexity.” If you take a piece out of a complex biological system (like the cascade of blood-clotting proteins) and it fails to work, this is taken as evidence that the system could not have evolved. After all, without all the pieces in place, it couldn’t work.

Scientists have shown over and over again that this is a false argument. At the famous intelligent-design trial in Dover in 2005, Pennsylvania, for example, Brown biologist Ken Miller showed how dolphins and other species are missing various proteins found in our blood-clotting cascade, and they can still clot blood. (Here’s Miller on Youtube giving a lecture on the experience–the blood starts to clot at 39:00.)

Three years later, the creationists are still trying to salvage irreducible complexity. This generally involves a bait-and-switch game. Today, for example, the Discovery Institute tells us that the evidence of dolphins does not touch the argument for irreducible complexity. See, what you have here are two different irreducibly complex systems, with one that just happens to have an extra part. Just think about bicycles…

“Bicycles have two wheels. Unicycles, having only one wheel, are missing an obvious component found on bicycles. Does this imply that you can remove one wheel from a bicycle and it will still function? Of course not. Try removing a wheel from a bike and you’ll quickly see that it requires two wheels to function. The fact that a unicycle lacks certain components of a bicycle does not mean that the bicycle is therefore not irreducibly complex.”

Of course not. No. It’s not as if five seconds of googling could turn up a bicycle that still functioned without both wheels…


Hey! You there! Get off that bike! You’re ruining a metaphor!

[Image:]





Hey Blunderov.

I, like, totally agree deeeeewd.

Whenever the ID'ers or the IC'ers or any of the other "Intelligent-This-Or-That'ers" try staging their mind-games on my tired ol' mind, I just whip out this tried-and-true passage.
It has steadfastly shielded my grey matter from the cognitive dissonance the above ilk seem determined to vector in any and all discussions of evolution.

And besides. You've got to love the word "exaptation"!

--Walter

PS--Try bringing this brief passage up around the "evolutionary psychology" crowd, and note the range of expressions on their faces. Everything from annoyed consternation to outright apoplexy. It rather adroitly takes all the fun out of their beloved pastime.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let’s look again, for a moment, at what our knowledge of the
evolutionary process suggests may have occurred. First, it’s important
to remember that new structures do not arise for anything. They simply
come about spontaneously, as byproducts of copying errors that routinely
occur as genetic information is passed from one generation to the next.
Natural selection is most certainly not a generative force that calls
new structures into existence; it can only work on variations that are
presented to it, whether to eliminate unfavorable variants or to promote
successful ones. We like to speak in terms of adaptations, since this
helps us to make up stories about how and why particular innovations
have arisen, or have been successful, in the course of evolution; but in
reality, all new genetic variants must come into being as exaptations.
The difference is that while adaptations are features that fulfill
specific, identifiable functions (which they cannot do, of course, until
they are in place), exaptations are simply features that have arisen and
are potentially available to be coopted into some new function. This is
routine stuff, for many new structures stay around for no better reason
than that they just don’t get in the way.

Excerpted from the December, 2001 Scientific American
"How we came to be Human" by Ian Tattersall
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Walter Watts
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No one gets to see the Wizard! Not nobody! Not no how!
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