John Avise’s Religious Paper Addresses Intelligent Design

One wonders how did a religious paper get into PNAS?  We have been told countless times that creationism and intelligent design are untestable, right? The communist publication which has banned proponents of creationism and ID known as PNAS accepts John’s Avise’s paper because it’s against the intelligent design theory.

The paper starts off like this…

“Intelligent design (ID)—the latest incarnation of religious creationism—posits that complex biological features did not accrue gradually via natural evolutionary forces but, instead, were crafted ex nihilo by a cognitive agent. Yet, many complex biological traits are gratuitously complicated, function poorly, and debilitate their bearers. Furthermore, such dysfunctional traits abound not only in the phenotypes but inside the genomes of eukaryotic species.”

Liberals like John Avise attacks intelligent design by going at it as though it were creationism but there are distinct differences between the two. Although, ID has some good points with agreeable with creationism but over all Christians should not embrace it over creationism. It is summarized in this way…

“Intelligent design is a scientific theory which has its roots in information theory and observations about intelligent action. Intelligent design theory makes inferences based upon observations about the types of complexity that can be produced by the action of intelligent agents vs. the types of information that can be produced through purely natural processes to infer that life was designed by an intelligence or multiple intelligences.”

“It makes no statements about the identity of the intelligent designer(s), but merely says that intelligent action was involved at some points with the origins of various aspects of biological life.”

Take note, the modern ID movement advocates “intelligent agent or agents” as the cause but goes no further in it’s explanation of origins.  Now back to what John Avise was saying in his religious paper, he draws our attention to mutations which is important in evolutionary theory for creating information and attempts to turn it around to demonstrate the genome is a bad design.

“Both a Creator God and natural selection are powerful shaping forces that might be expected to have engineered beautiful functionality and efficiency into complex biological features, such as the human genome. The much greater challenge – for proponents of ID and for scientists alike – is to explain complex biological traits that operate inefficiently or even malfunction overtly.”

While it’s true there has been observations of large amount of mutations that have caused diseases or impairment but this doesn’t mean such things as the genome is design poorly.  More detail on this issue comes from a recent paper from Dr. Jerry Bergman P.H.D who works in the biology department in Northwest State stated this in his paper which was published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, volume 46 Spring of 2010 starting on page 284…

“Pleiotropy is the effect resulting from an interconnected genetic system in which a single gene influences many different biological systems in a positive or negative ways. Pleiotropy occurs because of multiple phenotypic effects usually arise from each expressed gene. The adverse effects of pleiotropy on the effectiveness of natural selection is reviewed in this paper. It is concluded that pleiotropy creates a major problem for evolutionary theory because the accumulation of mutations even beneficial mutations often times has unintended negative effects.”

Dr. Jerry Bergman is not an intelligent design proponent, he is a creationist in his paper he demonstrates that mutations are not favorable to a non-design theory (evolution) but rather evidence against it.

Here is where John Avise gets very religious in his paper…

“Why an intelligent and loving designer would have infused the human genome with so many potential (and often realized) regulatory flaws is open to theological debate. [. . .] From an evolutionary perspective, such genomic flaws are easier to explain…No longer must we anguish about the interventionist motives of a supreme intelligence that permits gross evil and suffering in the world. No longer need we be tempted to blaspheme an omnipotent Deity by charging Him directly responsible for human frailties and physical shortcomings.”

John intensifies his belief in the theology of evolution and then uses it for attacking creationism and intelligent design when it comes to interpretation of the data. He holds to a false doctrine in regards to God’s responsibility for the state of the world. It used to be a popular concept for those guilty of evil doings among liberal theists, “the devil made me do it” now it’s evolution making us do it and then according to John Avise, we are supposed to feel more comfortable with evolution being the cause of evil.  Again, this is his own religious philosophy. It’s a myth when it comes to evil being forced upon people to perform,  however it is man’s responsibility for evil in the world.

And lastly, the human genome was deemed as what? Way more complicated than expected, for it was admitted, “the more we know, the more we realize how much more there is to know.” This is something John Avise’s religious philosophy on evolution overlooks on purpose. You see, there is much to learn about the genome which has an extremely advanced design beyond our wildest imaginations. As time goes by, John Avise religious paper becomes more and more falsified and outdated!

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17 thoughts on “John Avise’s Religious Paper Addresses Intelligent Design

  1. Hi Michael !

    we’re *still* waiting for the answers to the three questions:

    (1) Blog readership numbers

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject, in response to the challenge to Olorin.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    You do have the answers to the first two questions readily available, but refuse to tell us, it seems.

  2. “The communist publication which has banned proponents of creationism and ID known as PNAS ”

    Communist ? What was that again ? Something I remember from the history books, I think ….

    That should read “scientific publication”, but hey, we are all human and put in the wrong words, sometimes.

  3. Talking about scientific credibility (what is yours, Michael ?!?), Jerry Bergman got his “degree” from a diploma mill (in this case the California Pacific University, a diploma mill that has been shut down).

    So he has no accredited PhD (not spelled as “P.H.D”, as you put it, which sort of gives away that you do not have one).

  4. Correction: it should read “Columbia Pacific University” (the diploma mill) in my last comment.

  5. Thanks, Eelco, for beating me to Michael’s unresolved questions.

    We also have some left over from the last post.[1] Michael brought up a list of evidences for a young Earth. One of them was an alleged 10,000 year date for mitochondrial Eve,.[2] the matrilineal ancestor from whom all living humans are descended. The core question for Michael is: Even if Mitchael’s date for mtEve were correct, WHY would this be evidence of an age for the human race within the biblical time frame?

    One hint has already been given, but Michael is still scratching his head. Here’s another one: Let’s give mtEve a name, say Wilma Slaghoople. Describe a scenario in which, 2,000 years from now, a different human female, Jemina Hardrock, replaces Wilma as mtEve. If you can’t do that, then you have not a clue as to the meaning of mtEve.

    ==============

    [1] Upson Downes comment dated 2010-0514-1320.

    [1] The commonly accepted date is about 20,000 years ago.

  6. Michael has (at least) two unrelated themes in this post.

    Let’s take the one in the title first. Michael claims that a “religious” paper has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Even if true, we’re not sure why he objects. After all, the religious journal, Creation Research Quarterly, attempts to publish scientific material all the time.[1]

    But does Aviese’s paper deal with “religion”? Does it espouse a theological position?

    John intensifies his belief in the theology of evolution and then uses it for attacking creationism and intelligent design when it comes to interpretation of the data. He holds to a false doctrine in regards to God’s responsibility for the state of the world. It used to be a popular concept for those guilty of evil doings among liberal theists, “the devil made me do it” now it’s evolution making us do it and then according to John Avise, we are supposed to feel more comfortable with evolution being the cause of evil. Again, this is his own religious philosophy.

    Once again Michael suffers a failure of reading comprehension. He ascribes agency to a natural phenomenon—like saying that gravity wills the apple to fall. Dr. Avise never says or implies that evolution causes evil, or wills evil. Evolution is a fact—the universal common descent of all life. How can the existence of a fact cause evil? How could, say, the curvature of space cause evil?

    What Dr. Avise is pointing out in the quoted graf is that evolution has no theology.

    .

    The countermelody in this post is the testability of intelligent design.

    We have been told countless times that creationism and intelligent design are untestable, right? The communist[2] publication which has banned proponents of creationism and ID known as PNAS accepts John’s Avise’s paper because it’s against the intelligent design theory.

    Michael repeats the canard that, if ID is not testable, how can a paper about it appear in a scientific journal? Short answer: Because Dr. Avise accepts the assumption that ID acolytes make surreptitiously— that the designer produces good designs. But this attribute is not actually included in the definition of intelligent design.[3] William Dembski has said that ID is not “a mechanistic theory”—that is, it does not tell us how anything works, or why it is designed the way it is.

    So how can one come up with a test for “design” if we have no knowledge of the attributes or characteristics of design? Meyer and Dembski say information is key—yet neither of them is able to specify what constitutes such information.[4] But a good or beneficent designer is not a part of the definition of intelligent design. Certainly not in the way that natural selection is a part of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    Therefore, Avise falls victim to the unstated assumption of “good” design. An assumption that the ID congregation allows when it is convenient,[5] buit denies when it is not convenient.[6]

    Intelligent design is not a testable scientific theory. It can appear to be testable only be sneaking it assumptions that are not part of its definition.

    ==========

    [1] Michael may argue that CRQ is not religious. Then how does he explain that all authours of its papers are required to sigbn a statement of faith?

    [2] You had better back up the wild charge that PNAS is “communist.” Even Joe McCarthy wouldn’t have gone that far. Or do you just use “communist” and “liberal” as idiot synonyms for “evil”? (It is ironic, as noted under the post dated May 12 that creationism has a number of parallels with Marxism. See Upson Downes comment, May 16 at 9:34 pm.)

    [3] The Center for Science and Culture of the Discovery Institute defines it this way: :“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. “

    [4] In fact, Meyer was forced to admit in a recent lecture at Biola U. that, despite his previous claims, proteins do not necessarily need information of the type he requires.

    [5] For example, in flogging “junk DNA.” as evidence for ID.

    [6] For example, when dismissing imperfect design as evidence against ID.

  7. Olorin you stated…

    “Michael has (at least) two unrelated themes in this post.

    “Let’s take the one in the title first. Michael claims that a “religious” paper has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Even if true, we’re not sure why he objects.”

    Two unrelated themes are this from John in his writings on ID, design of a genome and where does evil come from. No connection there between the two subject matters.

    Another thing you write in examples, “flogging “junk DNA.” as evidence for ID.” Junk DNA once considered biological functionless which is why it was labeled “junk” but discoveries over recent years say that those non-coding DNA have important functions to them. John would have argued before those discoveries the same as he is trying to do now with the genome. You really try to engage me like a “cult” member of a religion or society. That is because you are into the philosophy of evolution not empirical science.

  8. ‘psych warfare’ ???

    I’m just asking questions … which you refuse to answer.

    Remember that you asked me about my workplace etc., and Olorin about his scientific credibility.

    All we ask you is to return the same sort of information we provided you !!

    Refusing that simply means you have something to hide.

  9. Eelco,

    You haven’t revealed your blog stats, nor a review of a current book in your blog, and the only reason why you revealed your career is because I knew already…You generalized a lot in here concerning personal items…If you can talk about God in a science publication, then creationists and ID proponents should have their say as well, but do not then it’s a one party system which is commonly known as communism…

  10. My blog stats ? I don’t have a blog on wordpress … and you have never asked for my blog stats either.

    You most certainly did ask me to confirm my place of work (you were not that sure, apparently !), and I did. I did not hide.

    About scientific credibility: you asked Olorin about that, and he asked you in return to show yours. You never did.

    To my mind that means you have no scientific credibility, but that is quite apparent from your blog writings, of course. Still, you should reveal this info if your requested (and received !) this information from others !

    As for communism, that doesn’t really exist anymore, and never was the only one party system around. Fascism is another, or a (true) monarchy of course. Lots of those around, still.

    OK Michael, if you keep refusing to reveal your scientific credentials, that means you have none. None at all.

  11. Eelco,

    Baiting doesn’t work too well either. Why answer someone who thinks China’s brand of communism doesn’t exist anymore who also uses fascism because it’s connected with extreme “right wing”? It’s socialism running rampant not Fascism which was defeated back in World War 2 and only a handful now exists that embrace the idea of a government.

  12. Baiting ? China ?? Fascism defeated ? History is also not your strong point, is it …

    However, you are again refusing to answer the actual questions, yet again. As you keep refusing to answer, I take it as established that you have no scientific credibility whatsoever.

  13. Hi Michael,
    just to mention, it is laughable the likes of Eelco, Upson Downes and Olorin appoint themselves police judge and jury on your blog and attempt to hold you to account in the conceited and arrogant manner in which they do having in the blog comments repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be prone to ridiculous and distorting prejudice, dishing out disinformation, critical incompetence and flagrant intellectual dishonesty.

    But thank-you for a great blog; keep up the good work.

  14. Dom:

    [I]t is laughable the likes of Eelco, Upson Downes and Olorin appoint themselves police judge and jury on your blog and attempt to hold you to account….”

    We certainly can judge Michael’s knowledge of science, and we have stated our creds for doing so. Michael’s scientific knowledge turns out to be zero in general, and particularly in biology, astronomy, cosmology, physics, paleontology, history—even biblical history! [1]

    He cannot contradict the errors we point out. He cannot answer simple questions put to him–such as about mitochondrial Eve, above. He refuses to state any qualifications, whether by background, occupation, or education, that he may possess.

    The jury here will be the readers. The ones, be they scientist, skeptics, or creationists, who note Michael’s inability to back up his extravagant claims with actual evidence when challenged, or with scientific sources or valid reasoning to justify them.

    Yes, Dom, we hold anyone to account who makes a scientific claim. Creationists and scientists.

    .

    … in the conceited and arrogant manner in which they do having in the blog comments repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be prone to ridiculous and distorting prejudice, dishing out disinformation, critical incompetence and flagrant intellectual dishonesty.

    To the willfully ignorant, knowledge does seem arrogant and conceited. This is the fault of the ignorant, not of the knowledgeable.

    Please name one particular item of disinformation, one of critical incompetence, and one of intellectual dishonesty. Be specific, and support your claim.

    After the howler about Karl Popper, Dom seems to be particularly disqualified from complaining about anyone’s lack of information, critical competence, or intellectual honesty. Wouldn’t you agree, jurors?

    .

    But thank-you for a great blog; keep up the good work.

    Michael will note here that Dom is not offering any actual assistance. His knowledge of the subject is even less than Michael’s, if that is possible. Therefore, Dom can’t judge whether or not Michael is dumping out “good work.” What Dom really means is, “Thank you for propping up my preconceived beliefs.”

    We must remember the one time that he offered specific support for one of Michael’s contentions, that Dom’s “evidence” was demonstrably false, risibly uncritical, and palpably dishonest.

    .

    Maybe Dominic would care to demonstrate his scientific qualifications. Fra Dom, why does a plain flat mirror always reverse left and right, but never up and down, no matter which way you turn it? As an artist, you should know something about light, yes?

    ===========
    [1] See, e..g., “Minimalist Viewpoint On Bible Debunked” (January 8, 2010), in which Michael asserted that the Bible, including the Old Testament, was first written in Greek! When the Jews had not even been exposed to the Greek language until 200 years after it was written!

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