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How does ID account for genetic family trees?


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Initial post: Jul 13, 2012 3:27:19 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
For example which are closer genetically? Elephant & lungfish or lungfish & guppy?

I can explain which pair is closer and why that would be if I use evolution, but I can't see how ID can be used for anything analytical.

Based on ID which animals are most likely to be genetically similar to humans? After the most obvious answer "chimps" how does ID inform us of what's next -- If possible please tell me which 4-legged animal is closest to humans by ID system and why ID says so.

Under ID why did prehistoric creatures like dinosaurs become extinct? Was it a flaw in their design or something else.

In the ID world does natural selection take place at any level?

I can't figure out how ID can be used as a tool for anything at all. It basically says everything is the way it is because that's the way it is - and then it layers in God on top of it by saying and things are the way they are because God made it so.

How can there even be a creation story based on God when God isn't yet proven?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 7:41:07 PM PDT
I like it. Here are some more pairings:

shark and tuna, or tuna and dolphin?

whale shark and whale, or whale and whaler (Australian kind of horse)?

Lamprey eel and real eel, or real eel and sea snake?

Skate and flatfish, or flatfish and cat run over by a car?

Ratfish and flatfish, or flatfish and rat?

Frog fish and frog, or frog and frog prince?

Sloth and sloth bear, or sloth bear and Rush Limbaugh?

Numbat and fruit bat, or fruit bat and Babe Ruth (a batting human)?

Echidna (spiny anteater) and porcupine, or porcupine and concubine?

Thylacine (marsupial wolf) and wolf, or wolf and Wolf Biltzer?

Having too much fun here, time for bed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 9:20:41 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 11:10:22 PM PDT
Re OP: It is trivial to show that ID can account for nothing whatever. Since a "designer" could have designed any thing in any manner, no thesis about such design can be refuted -- and it is provable that an irrefutable thesis can convey no information.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 9:53:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2012 10:04:09 AM PDT
The only attempt at explanation I have ever heard from IDers is that the treelike pattern of similarities across the biosphere reflects "shared design" features. An analogy can be drawn to, say, automobiles. Autos can be grouped into multiply nested groups by degree of similarity. High degrees of similarity reflect the fact that during the design process, successful and well refined parts developed for one model can be inserted with little modification into designs for other models, if the other models will fill a similar role.

Of course, while the analogy does suggest that we can indeed find patterns similar to the biosphere in undoubtedly designed things (cars), the analogy also has big ol' problems. As RAS points out, the designer could have worked in the way suggested by the analogy, but the designer also could have worked any other way. The designer could have created many genetic codes, for example, instead of just one. So the similarity elucidated by the analogy between the biosphere and known-to-be-designed objects doesn't constitute a confirmed prediction of ID. (ID makes no predictions.)

Furthermore, the concept of "shared design" implies that the designer is a being of limited means. This makes it incompatible with many other aspects of Intelligent Design related to the idea that the designer might be God with a capital "G". So not only does ID's only response to the question raised by the OP fail in general, it also contradicts another claim of ID -- that life evinces supernatural intervention.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 11:25:18 AM PDT
Hope you're going to come back with the answers, CJ. :-)
Should we have a guess, first?

Tuna and dolphin
whale and whaler (both mammals)
real eel and sea snake (both post Tiktaalik)
frog and prince (both post fish)
fruit bat and babe Ruth (both mammals)
porcupine and concubine (both mammals)
wolf and Wolf

In the words of Charles D (Dickens this time) More, please.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 3:25:27 PM PDT
Ambulocetus says:
Another way of asking the same kind of thing is: why do organisms come in groups of groups of groups of groups of groups? That is, different breeds of housecat are all housecats, which are, along with lions and lynxes and leopards, felines. Felines, canines, weasels, and bears are all Carnivora, and so on.

There is nothing in ID, so far as I have seen, to answer this question. Neither clouds nor stellar objects nor minerals nor chemical elements have this nested structure--but it is perfectly well explained in Darwinian terms. What was once a sub-species difference becomes, with geographic and reproductive isolation, a species difference. Further deviation makes of it a genus difference, and then a family difference, and so on.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 4:41:18 PM PDT
Excellent Philip --- top of the class!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 6:11:39 PM PDT
RR says:
"so if all species were created week 1
some would have died off"

Everything dies. So, if everything was created at the same time, why are there no modern mammal fossils in the same geological layers as we find dinosaurs?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 7:18:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 14, 2012 7:22:34 PM PDT
barbW says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:07:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 12:11:24 AM PDT
But ID isn't an explanation of anything! If it was correct, it would just be a gaping hole in the fabric of science.

It makes no predictions, and until it does, it is a case of "not even wrong", since it says nothing other than "I don't believe you!", and then pokes its fingers in its ears and yells "LALALALALALALALAL...."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 6:09:27 AM PDT
Thank you kind lady.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 10:10:47 AM PDT
barbW says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 12:07:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 15, 2012 12:37:40 PM PDT
And how does ID help, in this regard? It simply assumes the designer into existence, by fiat, sans any semblance of an explanation for the cause of that.

If this really interests you, and you seek to know what science has to say about the "first cause" problem, I can give you some stuff to peruse, and maybe some food for thought. For one thing, you might consider the logical structure of all first cause arguments. Here's one example:

1: Premise: Everything which exists has a cause.
2: Premise: The universe is part of "everything which exists"
3: Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Well, the corollary is this: The cause exists--we just proved it, right? It too is part of "everything which exists", and therefore, it too has a cause.

Or else you are left with having to hem & haw about premise 1. Does everything which exists ACTUALLY have a cause? Or maybe, the hypothesized 'First Cause' is not a thing which exists. Which of course is what the atheists are saying.

Making the claim that the First Cause doesn't need a cause, itself, can just as easily be applied to the universe itself. So where does that get anybody? Also, what if the argument is true? What does it tell you about the nature of the cause? NOTHING, other than it exists. So, how do we know it has intent, or personality, or any of God's other properties? How do we know that the First Cause does not equal the universe itself, by this argument? Since, in no way does the argument specify any properties of the first cause.

The other big problem with the premise is that there isn't a single thing in your (or anyone else's) experience for which you can trace the causal chain back into "first cause" territory. And even if this was possible for a few items, {a, b, c ... n}, how is it established that this is true for EVERY LAST thing? The fact is, premise 1: is exceptionally weak, on logical grounds, experiential grounds, experimental grounds, and in all ways, except one: It appeals to people who have a pre-requisite belief that something like a god must exist. As assumptions go, this assumption is among the most spurious and unsupported assumptions in history. It is astounding to me that there is anyone who takes it [that is, premise 1:] even halfway seriously, for more than a minute or so. And yet, it is so widely held as self-evidently true! (I guess it is analogous to the idea that the earth is flat. It looks true at first glance, and it seems reasonable. It takes some thinking to see that it isn't. But, by and large, people don't think very hard unless they have to, so such a contention can gain wide support. And the fact that all your neighbors agree with it is a powerful motivation for humans to subscribe to this or that contention, since we are social animals. We assume, to a first approximation, that widely held beliefs are true. That is our default assumption.)

My own sense is that it is clear that the 'cause' of existence is indirect: It is not that something causes the universe to exist. It's that non-existence is forbidden to non-exist by its own logical structure, since then the two negations cancel. But I have much more to say on this topic, more than I can go into at the moment.

[edits in brackets]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 11:50:03 AM PDT
barbW says:
My ID ideas are not about how universes form, but how universes like ours form.

Are they very rare?
Are they always like ours?
Are we the result of a long chain of causality that requires the evolution of intelligence and then the subsequent designing of the next generation of universes like ours?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 11:52:39 AM PDT
John McClain says:
"all populations die off eventually
so if all species were created week 1
some would have died off
soem similars would remain in some cases"

The fossil record extends well beyond a week kid.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 1:02:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2012 1:04:56 PM PDT
1.<<Are they very rare?>>
Universes would appear to be a dime a dozen. That is, if by "universe", we mean causally disconnected, self-contained regions of space-time. For all practical purposes, the number of these is infinite. It may even be that they are truly infinite in number, but this raises issues about how you can tell two different universes apart, when they are perfectly identical copies of each other, and there is no coordinate system in common to tell you that they are in different physical locales.

2.<<Are they always like ours?>>
How are you measuring 'likeness'? The vast majority are likely to be very small & short-lived.

3.<<Are we the result of a long chain of causality that requires the evolution of intelligence and then the subsequent designing of the next generation of universes like ours?>>
Lee Smolin has suggested a mechanism to address this question that works by itself, automatically, like Darwin's theory, without any apparent intelligence or intention requirement. His assumption is that universes evolve in the direction of producing greater and greater numbers of black holes, each of which is a "bud" for a new universe, with approximately the same physical parameters, but with some random variation (mutation?). Of these buds, the ones that happen to produce the most black holes themselves have the most "children". And so it goes, much like Darwin. Luckily, it turns out that universes with greater size & complexity have more black holes in them, too. Also fortuitous is that Life-as-we-know-it is a thing that thrives on complexity as well, so we piggyback on our universe's propensity for profligate black hole production.

>>>

About "causal chains". This idea, in my opinion, is misleading, and grotesquely un-descriptive of any actual causal relationship you might point to. In the real world, everything is the result of "sufficient combined causes"**, the structure of which is topologically like a tree, with branching 'roots' diffusing into the past, and regular branches into the future, where 'effects' are thought to live.

For instance, this short post is caused by hundreds of keystrokes, thousands of finger movements, and billions of neurons firing and not firing out of turn, in the correct order. Each of these causal events has its own complex network of branching causes. How far back can you take this hopeless morass? Not all that far, actually, since it won't be long before you run into the problem of "sensitive dependence on initial conditions", a principle central to chaos theory. In short order, you run into the all-pervasive, omnipresent quantum noise in these systems, and there ends the causal "chain" tracing job. There just isn't any accounting for the specific details of that noise. In any event, it is pretty much guaranteed that no existing item in our universe can be traced past the CMBR pattern, which is the result of quantum noise, anyway.

-----------------
**Note: A term borrowed from legal proceedings, where it is often necessary to accurately determine causes, and apportion blame. Also called "concurrent causes", and covered in legal discussions about "cause in fact".

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 1:02:35 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Exactly. ID really does seem to imply a 'god' as opposed to 'God' -- why else would we have a backwards retina? Why else would one the nerves to our larynx travel all the way down into out chest first and then back up?

Also, what about the sadism of creating creatures who feed inside their hosts and slowly kill them from within? That type of 'God' would be evil.

Posted on Jul 16, 2012 1:30:57 PM PDT
Rev. Otter says:
<<Exactly. ID really does seem to imply a 'god' as opposed to 'God' -- why else would we have a backwards retina? Why else would one the nerves to our larynx travel all the way down into out chest first and then back up?

Also, what about the sadism of creating creatures who feed inside their hosts and slowly kill them from within? That type of 'God' would be evil.>>

all these (and more) "problems" make a lot more sense once you accept *multiple* designers, in competition.

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2004/09/introduction-to.html

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 2:34:05 PM PDT
barbW says:
so, you're with me, Randall?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 4:04:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 21, 2012 4:07:30 PM PDT
RR says:
"all plausible explanations"

When ID explains anything, then we'll judge whether it is plausible or not. Right now, I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how the designer made the flagellum, which ID insists can be made no other way. Fine, what way did he make it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 4:06:49 PM PDT
RR says:
Werranth,
"Are we the result of a long chain of causality that requires the evolution of intelligence and then the subsequent designing of the next generation of universes like ours? "

Only in the same sense that there was a long train of causality which created a tree, but at no time would anyone argue that the tree was made to be a woodpecker nest. Believe it or not, trees weren't designed for the benefit of woodpeckers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 4:21:06 PM PDT
barbW says:
It could explain why there's a 13 billion year old universe with another trillion years of star forming potential and galaxy formation and nucleosynthesis and Earth-like planets.

But we're confident that nothing was designed except the singularity's attributes. We have evidence for everything except the singularity's initial attributes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 4:22:45 PM PDT
barbW says:
That's a fair point, but the universe is different. This premise is that it was designed to evolve a new generation of intelligent designers.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2012 4:32:03 PM PDT
RR says:
Werranth,
"It could explain why there's a 13 billion year old universe with another trillion years of star forming potential and galaxy formation and nucleosynthesis and Earth-like planets."
Then do it. Who did what, how & when, supported with something besides personal incredulity.

"We have evidence for everything except the singularity's initial attributes."

Yes, and that ignorance is not a basis for hypothesizing intelligent mechanisms. It is a basis for saying "we don't know".
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  186
Initial post:  Jul 13, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 7, 2012

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