Wednesday, February 24, 2010

JBS Haldane on the origin of Life

If the minimal organism involves not only the code for its proteins, but also twenty types of soluble RNA, one for each amino acid, and the equivalent of ribosomal RNA, our descendents may be able to make one, but we must give up the idea that such an organism could have been produced in the past, except by a similar pre-existing organism or by an agent, natural or supernatural, at least as intelligent as ourselves, and with a good deal more knowledge.

J. B. S. Haldane;
Data needed for a blueprint of the first organism, 1951.

Published posthumously in S. Fox (ed) The origins of prebiological systems and of their molecular matrices,
Proceedings of a conference at Wakulla Springs, Florida, 27-30 October 1963
Academic Press. New York 1965, p12.


Does anyone know anything about the context of this quote?

I have this page with some other quotes of JBS Haldane.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Hmm.
When was the last time on your blog did you put out some actual news on ID research or exciting new discoveries?

Does digging for quotes from a dead scientist from 60 years ago sound...healthy to you?
Is that the way cutting edge science is done?

(Shakes head sadly)

One can describe the ID movement in many ways.
Boring would be suitable first choice.
Nothing ever happens.

Even religious people don't have any time for ID any more.

Writing in the religious journal First Things University of Delaware physics professor Stephen Barr lays into the ID Movement...

We often argue that saying that “God did it” is a science stopper. That claim is typically countered by pointing to numerous examples of scientists who were (Newton) or are (Kenneth Miller) Christians (though as we know, Newton was a peculiar sort of Christian, even for his time).

2:59 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,

I make no claims for cutting edge nature of the blog. It is a personal blog in which I blog on things related to ID which interest me.

I think your claim that "nothing ever happens" must be somewhat wrong as I can't see anyone getting interested in nothing.

There are many religious people who have no time for ID...that is not new.

4:57 pm  
Anonymous Mike Godfrey said...

Hi Andrew,
Had to laugh at Cedric's post (shakes head with Mirth).
Its no secret that the Scientific gatekeepers won't allow Intelligent design to publish -so I'm thinking Cedric is trying to score points rather than inquire into the lastest research (Shakes head sadly).
I'd love to have Science that is only ever exciting but (Shakes head sadly) that can't always be the case -Might I suggest a computer game or some war movies -they might give you the excitment you seem to crave Cedric ?
'Even religious people don't have any time for ID any more.' And ... ?
Take any group of people and I suspect a large proportion will not be interested in Evolution -I haven't taken a poll and (I suspect you haven't either).It may be alarming, but as far as Im aware the dog walking population of the UK have not shown an interest in Evolution either -here I will take an oportunity to (Shake head sadly).
Intelligent design is not an exclusive enterprise for the religous only.
It seems the 'God did it equates to a science stopper argument'doesn't take into account the possibility that Perhapse the evidence points down that road.Rather than follow the party line and the group think arguments -just follow the evidence.

2:28 pm  
Anonymous Mike Godfrey said...

Hi Andrew,
Had to laugh at Cedric's post (shakes head with Mirth).
Its no secret that the Scientific gatekeepers won't allow Intelligent design to publish -so I'm thinking Cedric is trying to score points rather than inquire into the lastest research (Shakes head sadly).
I'd love to have Science that is only ever exciting but (Shakes head sadly) that can't always be the case -Might I suggest a computer game or some war movies -they might give you the excitment you seem to crave Cedric ?
'Even religious people don't have any time for ID any more.' And ... ?
Take any group of people and I suspect a large proportion will not be interested in Evolution -I haven't taken a poll and (I suspect you haven't either).It may be alarming, but as far as Im aware the dog walking population of the UK have not shown an interest in Evolution either -here I will take an oportunity to (Shake head sadly).
Intelligent design is not an exclusive enterprise for the religous only.
It seems the 'God did it equates to a science stopper argument'doesn't take into account the possibility that Perhapse the evidence points down that road.Rather than follow the party line and the group think arguments -just follow the evidence.

2:28 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

I make no claims for cutting edge nature of the blog.

It's not just your blog.
All the ID blogs have nothing new.
There is no actual ID research.

I think your claim that "nothing ever happens" must be somewhat wrong...

Yet nothing has happened.
The Discovery Institute has discovered...absolutely nothing.
Press releases don't equate with scientific research.

There is no work.
There never has been.
It's all just smoke and mirrors.

All the money that the Discovery Intitute has taken will not be refunded.
There will be no apology for ripping people off.
Scammers don't do refunds.

Its no secret that the Scientific gatekeepers won't allow Intelligent design to publish...

Every crackpot says this.
None provide evidence.

As excuses go, it's a sad one.
Here's why:

The Templeton Foundation offered hard cash on a platter to the Discovery Institute to come up with a research proposal.

Not to discover anything.
Not to produce anything.
Not to do any actual real work.
Nope.
Nothing so hard.

All they had to do was sit down at a typewriter and whip up a research proposal.
That was it.
That's all they had to do.

Yet they couldn't do it.
It was impossible for them.
"Scientific gatekeepers" were not to blame.
:)

The same year the New York Times reported that the foundation asked intelligent design proponents to submit proposals for actual research and quoted Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, as saying "They never came in" and that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned. "From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review", he said.
Link.

Then there's the "peer-reviewed journal" run by the Intelligent Designers themselves.
How do the "scientific gatekeepers" keep the ID movement from publishing in their own journal? (Note the date of the most recent issue.)

Nothing is happening.

Poking the corpse of Haldane is about as close as the ID movement will ever get to doing anything approaching real work.

11:51 pm  
Anonymous Mike Godfrey said...

Hi Andrew and Cedric,
It is a sad situation for Science when as you say' There is no actual ID research.'
Cedric -its not entirely true, in fact its not true at all, either there’s No research or there is some, and in this case the small child that is the Intelligent design researchers are slowly learning to walk - there is some (see the biologic institute).However generally speaking the ruling paradigm doesn’t tolerate research which challenges its metaphysical commitments, the research the Biologic institute is doing bypasses the need for funding from typical agencies.
For example I am thinking of peer review papers such as the one Dr Meyer produced and was published ("The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories") that resulted in the hounding out of office and livelihood of Dr Richard Sternberg.
The ruling paradigm also holds the purse strings in the allocation of funding; the sadness for Science is that it needs alternate theories in order to edge closer to the truth. Peer review control and funding control produce a monoculture which is prolific but will not allow challenges to the cherished paradigm of the key holders to the Kingdom.
Cedric you say: 'It’s no secret that the scientific gatekeepers won't allow intelligent design to publish. Every crackpot says this. None provide evidence.’ Your predictable attitude towards those who disagree with you almost sent me to sleep it has that narcoleptic effect, its so wearying-all that strident accusative attitude championed by Dawkins et al and copied by the groupthink faithful -does start to ring hollow after a while.
Anyway I digress, evidence of gatekeepers keeping ID out of the Scientific Journals, just look at the fate of those who even considered that ID has something to bring to the table -there was even a film made about it!

Here’s an example of some research being done at the Biologic institute:

'Functional constraints and design constraints.

We are examining both what it takes for life to be possible, and what it would take for life in its various extant forms to be probable. The first question requires an examination of the physical context needed for life. What kind of planet does it take to support complex life? How many such planets might there be? Where on such a planet might life originate spontaneously? What conditions would be needed, and how likely might those conditions be?'

Here’s some more:

'The second question is being addressed by examining what it takes for cells to work the way they do. What would be needed for a working genetic code to originate? What would the simplest possible metabolic system for a free-living organism look like? What would the simplest force transducing molecular machine look like? How would new protein folds appear in working form?'

I guess if the Templeton Foundation coming knocking the door better be opened or else...Is this the normal way to do research? challenge different groups to come up with proposals? I can't seem to remember that being the case? Shall I add them to my Gatekeeper list?

You say -obviously with a heavy heart im sure: ' Poking the corpse of Haldane is about as close as the ID movement will ever get to doing anything approaching real work.'
Well if that’s the case why has intelligent design provoked such gnashing of teeth and sabre rattling from the scientific priesthood? Is Intelligent design such a threat -its just a small band of creationists in a little office in Seattle...Just ignore it...It will go away surely?

10:35 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,
You present two pieces of evidence for your claim that there is no ID research...at all.

1. A somewhat disputed story of the Templeton foundation's offer of funds for research being turned down.

2. The demise of Dempski's ID journal.

With regards to 1 see this report.

With regards to 2 it seems that this was set up during Dempski's time at Baylor. His change situation may well have something to do with the end of the journal.
The demise of one journal does not demonstrate the end of a movement.

ID relevant research may not necessarily have the words "intelligent design" in its papers at all. Research which wrestles with the difficulty of denovo protein creation and the difficulty of accounting for the origin of life are ID related. Research which examines fundamental requirements for life and their probabilities of being met in the universe are examples of ID related research.

If you are looking for a handful of papers that together demonstrate the reality of ID you will be disappointed just as you will if you want a handful of papers that demonstrate the reality of macro-evolution.

10:00 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

...the small child that is the Intelligent design researchers are slowly learning to walk...

Nope. There is no "walking".
There is no "learning".
The words "walking" and learning suggest movement and action.
No movement or action is forthcoming from the world of ID.
It's all just press releases.

The "child of ID" is over twenty years old.
Twenty years of...stuff all.

However generally speaking the ruling paradigm doesn’t tolerate research...

Conspiracy theory. I got it the first time.
Spare me.
Every crackpot talks like this.

I am thinking of peer review papers such as the one Dr Meyer produced...

"Dr" Meyer is a philosopher.
A philosopher of science, it's true, but he's still just a philosopher.
There will be no actual science forthcoming from him.
Don't hold your breath.

Here’s an example of some research being done at the Biologic institute...

Nope. There's no research there.
That's just the home page of the "Biologic Institute".

They have never produced any actual ID research at all.
Nobody's even sure if people answer the phone there or not.

I guess if the Templeton Foundation coming knocking the door better be opened or else...

The Discovery Institute has never put together a research proposal for the scientific study of ID.
Never.
If you want money from the Templeton Institute for scientific purposes then...filling out the paper work is pretty basic stuff.

Your predictable attitude towards those who disagree with you almost sent me to sleep it has that narcoleptic effect, its so wearying blah, blah, blah...

Your rhetoric does not help you.
ID still has nothing.
Excuses will not suffice.
You are saying nothing more substantial than any other crackpot. It's the same hand-waving and endless moaning and groaning and baseless claims.

...why has intelligent design provoked such gnashing of teeth and sabre rattling...

Scientists detest attempts by frauds to confuse the public about science and take their money.

2:24 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

With regards to 1 see this report.

Thank you for the link.
I clicked it.
It led me to "researchID.org"

It would seem that "researchID.org" has their own personal spin on what Harper did or did not say.
Nevertheless, Harper and the Templeton Foundation themselves firmly dispute said spin.

In February 2007 the Discovery Institute began a campaign to counter the unfavorable statements of Harper and Thompson citing a "report" published on the intelligent design wiki, ResearchID. This campaign quoted clarifications from Charles Harper of the Templeton Foundation denouncing intelligent design and distancing the Templeton Foundation from the intelligent design movement, notably a clarification by Harper that a Wall Street Journal article published "false information" that "mention[ed] the John Templeton Foundation in a way suggesting that the Foundation has been a concerted patron and sponsor of the so-called Intelligent Design ("ID") position," ResearchID and Discovery Institute claimed that this was indicative of larger errors and bias: "The media has misrepresented the record of the intelligent design research community." Critics of intelligent design responded by noting that though Harper appears to have "confirmed that while the first statement about a formal call for applications was false, the real point of the article, that ID advocates don't do very well in terms of actual research and scientific review, remains true and valid" a point the Discovery Institute glosses over. The Templeton Foundation posted a response to the Discovery Institute's campaign, saying:(...Statement found here...)

Not good.

2:35 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

His change situation may well have something to do with the end of the journal.

Interesting speculation. Nothing more.

The demise of one journal does not demonstrate the end of a movement.

It's not a healthy sign.
Nor is a new journal exactly rushing to take it's place.
Doesn't take much to set up an ID-friendly journal.

1)Set up a web-site
2)Announce to all the ID friendly blogs that there's a new "peer-reviewed journal" in town and they are open for business.
3) Reassure everybody that the peer review process is very, very, very easy.
4) Publish absolutely anything that comes in.

Nobody has done so.
Such a journal would sink like a stone.
Just like the old one.
Mike's "scientific gatekeepers" must be responsible somehow, right?
They are also responsible for stopping any and every ID scientist from publishing their own research paper anonymously on some blog somewhere.
The fiends! How do they do it?
It's a real mystery.
:)

ID relevant research may not necessarily have the words "intelligent design" in its papers at all.

Nope.
Let's be blunt here.
There's no "not necessarily" about it.
There are no ID science papers.

ID cannot pass the process of peer-review because it's not science.
Science requires actual work.
There's not even a coherent scientific defintion of ID!
That's how bad is the situation.

Nobody has ever come up with a way to do a real experiment for ID.
Nobody.
There's simply nothing to do.

Research which wrestles with the difficulty of denovo protein creation and the difficulty of accounting for the origin of life are ID related.

Scientists don't investigate "difficulty".
They do "discovery".

There is no Difficulty Institute.
There is the Discovery Institute.

A Discovery Institute that has discovered nothing at all for over twenty years.

Research which examines fundamental requirements for life and their probabilities of being met in the universe are examples of ID related research.

Sitting around and waiting for a scientist do real work and then claiming (well after the fact) that "it's ID related" is a shameful act of piggybacking on somebody elses labour.
It's deceptive.
Scientists really hate it when the ID movement does that.
It's parasitic and shamefully dishonest.

If you are looking for a handful of papers that together demonstrate the reality of ID...

No need to even go that far.

I'll settle for a coherent working scientific defintion of ID.
How about it?

What about a feasable proposal for an ID experiment?
Any chance of that happening at this late stage?

The money that the Discovery Institute has taken is real enough.
They will not give it back.
It's gone.
There is nothing to show for it except coffee-table books and press releases.
There's no damn work.

3:11 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,

'Scientists don't investigate "difficulty".
They do "discovery".'

You can discover precisely how difficult something is by careful investigation- that is both investigating difficulty and discovery and is definitely part of the scientific process.

10:14 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

You can discover precisely how difficult something is by careful investigation...

That would require an experiment or something.
Actual work.
That would require...investigation.
Getting a test-tube dirty.
Going on a field trip.
Something! Anything!

In all the years that you have blogged about ID, have you ever read or heard mentioned a single, feasable proposal for an experiment on ID?
I'm not kidding.
On an internet forum, in the pub, on the bus, anywhere?

How about a coherent,working scientific definition of ID?

Andrew, there is nothing happening.

It's not a conspiracy by the "scientific gatekeepers".

Search any anonymous blog devoted to ID. Nobody is doing anything at all.
There is nothing to do.

Except collect the money.

This is not about your religious beliefs.
This is about science and pseudoscience.
ID is a fraud.

I'm not saying your religion is a fraud.
I'm saying that ID is a fraud.

It talks about research.
Yet it does no research.

It talks about discovery.
It has discovered nothing.

It calls itself science.
Yet there is no science forthcoming.

The ID movement rakes in millions of dollars every year.
Think what a group of legitimate scientists could do with money like that!

That money will continue to flow to the PR people at the "Discovery" Institute until people like yourself stand up to them.
It's not up to me.
I'm the "enemy".

You, however, have run an ID blog for years.
If you openly and boldly declare that the Emperor has no clothes, some of the people who are targeted by the Discovery Institute might well listen to you.

You could help them see the con.
You could help them stop being suckered by the endless excuses.
That would be an act of good.

Enough is enough. Twenty years has been wasted. Don't let it be another twenty years.
Life is too short.

10:49 pm  
Anonymous Mike Godfrey said...

Hello Cedric,
ok so assuming your assertions are all true and in no way biased but strickly objective stuff -no research from the ID proponants- I can buy that, afterall its a relataively young theory as compared to Darwins ideas.
Dawin of course published his ideas not in a peer reviewed journal but in book form -looks like Dembski,Behe Meyer et al are in good company.
As a crackpot I tend to associate no research, no peer review with the notion of zero or nothing -but I guess Cedric you being of sound mind dont't .
Anyway I found these ,never read em so I can t vouch for there content but they are peer reviewed :

William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans, Vol. 39 (5):1051-1061 (September, 2009).

Ø. A. Voie, "Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent," Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol 28(4) (2006): 1000-1004.

David L. Abel & Jack T. Trevors, “Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models," Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3:211–228 (2006).

John A. Davison, "A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis," Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 155-166.


S.C. Meyer, "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 117(2) (2004): 213-239.


M.J. Behe and D.W. Snoke, "Simulating Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features That Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues," Protein Science, 13 (2004): 2651-2664.

D. A. Axe, "Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341 (2004): 1295-1315.

W.-E. Lönnig & H. Saedler, "Chromosome Rearrangements and Transposable Elements," Annual Review of Genetics, 36 (2002): 389-410.



D.K.Y. Chiu & T.H. Lui, "Integrated Use of Multiple Interdependent Patterns for Biomolecular Sequence Analysis," International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, 4(3) (September 2002): 766-775


M.J. Denton, J.C. Marshall & M. Legge, (2002) "The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law," Journal of Theoretical Biology 219 (2002): 325-342.


D. A. Axe, "Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301 (2000): 585-595


There are other papers and many books peer reviewed alos but my cut and paste powers are waining -all papers represent excellent bed time reading .


Cedric you say 'Nobody has ever come up with a way to do a real experiment for ID.' Here's an idea- Gene knockout experiments these could test the assertion of irreductable complex structures and functions within the cell .So Now someone has come up with a way to do real ID experiemnets.


In your less judgmental and negative pronouncements you say ;
'"it's ID related" is a shameful act of piggybacking on somebody elses labour.
It's deceptive.
Scientists really hate it when the ID movement does that.
It's parasitic and shamefully dishonest.'

This is ridiculous group think propaganda, all scientist use the data others produce, the data is availbale for others to work on and formulate further ideas.It is a main reason why people publish in the first place .Its not parasitic its not deceptive ,its not dishonest ,its the way people uses databases to research stuff, its standard practice.

'I'll settle for a coherent working scientific defintion of ID.
How about it?'

I found this on the internet- '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.'

11:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what scientific training Cedric has.I've noticed however none of his comments ever address specific scientific issues. They're all about social processes typically what society says about ID. Truth or falsity is of course never measured by polls.

Anyway, the original post is on life's origin. Haldane raises organisms' minimal complexity. The scientific issue is certain types of complexity can't arise via small cumulative steps. Intermediates are not viable & so will dead end any evolution. This means the current Darwinian narrative can't possibly be the explanation. I challenge Caderic to address this problem at the level of logic or science. What the Disc Inst has or has not published is irrelevant.

5:11 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

16/March/2010

Hmm, my previous post just mysteriously disappeared.
Oh well.

(...walks off...)

10:15 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

16/March/2010

Oh, there it is.
Thanks Andrew.

................................
I've noticed however none of his comments ever address specific scientific issues.

Talking about scientific fraud is a scientific issue. Duh!
Just like talking about medical quackery is a medical issue.

Truth or falsity is of course never measured by polls.

Strawman.
The only person talking about polls here is you.

This means the current Darwinian narrative can't possibly be the explanation.

Logical fallacy.
Fail.

Criticising modern biology does not produce an alternative theory out of mid-air.

Even if the whole of the biological sciences vanished tommorrow, "Intelligent Design" is not going to magically become science.
Nobody is going to miraculously come up with an ID experiment or something the instant biology goes away.
The blank spot on your computer monitor where the scientific definition of ID is supposed to go will...remain stubbornly blank.

Don't believe me?
Well, let's put it to the test.
Now.

This means the current Darwinian narrative can't possibly be the explanation.

Let's pretend that this is absolutely 100% true.

(insert image of all "Darwinian Narrative(???)" being flushed down the toilet all over the planet!)

There!
It's gone. Every last little bit.
Let's magically scrub "Darwinian Narrative" from the minds of all the scientists on the planet and from the minds of our precious youth too.
There! It's gone. It's all gone.
Totally vanished.
Science is re-born anew.
You win.
Total victory.
YAY.

So.........now what, bright boy?

What's Intelligent Design?
Give us a working scientific definition of what exactly is ID.

Is ID a...scientific theory, maybe?
If so, how?
:)

Cough up a working proposal for an experiment on ID. Feel free to use the whole of the internet from any ID-friendly site you can find. Spell out a rough sketch of an ID experiement or something. Go for it.
:)
Pretty, pretty please.

(...crickets chirping...)

3:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedric
I'll be happy to read any SCIENTIFIC points that you may have. Complaints about ID, valid or not, can't be put into a test-tube.

8:40 pm  
Anonymous Mike Godfrey said...

Im sure I posted a reply to Cedrics whinging smoke screen and straw man senarios but perhapse it disappeared in rhe fog of his dubiuous arguments ?

3:29 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

Cedric says "ID cannot pass the process of peer-review because it's not science." Mike cites 11 examples of peer reviewed papers which, I assume, are firstly in publications which would be regarded as scientific and secondly would be supportive of Mike's definition of ID. Over to you Cedric ....

7:34 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

18/March/2010

...no research from the ID proponants- I can buy that, afterall its a relataively young theory

That doesn't make any sense.
How can ID be a scientific theory if there is no research?
The mind boggles.

Dawin of course published his ideas...

No, they were not just ideas. They were testable scientific obervations that made predictions that were later confirmed by others.

...not in a peer reviewed journal but in book form -looks like Dembski,Behe Meyer et al are in good company.

Darwin published his book over 150 years ago.
Times have changed.
Nowadays, when scientists have something to say, they publish in peer review.

Crackpots are left with publishing books because their ideas cannot withstand scientific scrutiny.
So (in that sense) Dembski, Behe and Meyer are indeed in good company.

Anyway I found these,...

No you didn't. You just copied and pasted them from an ID website.

...never read em so I can t vouch for there content...

...then DON'T.

...but they are peer reviewed...

How would you know? You've probably never read a peer-reviewed paper in your life. You've never needed too. There is no research on ID. The papers you mention don't mention ID. They don't explain ID. They don't demonstrate ID.

Andrew has seen that list too.
He and I have been over them before.
There's nothing new or significant there. That list has not changed in the last few years we discussed it. It is suspended in amber. Let it gather even more dust.

Here's an idea- Gene knockout experiments these could test the assertion of irreductable complex structures and functions within the cell.

Ok, how? Spell it out for us.
Don't skimp on the details.
Coherently explain your experiment.
Don't just pull stuff out of your butt and start waving your hands.
Make an actual scientific proposal for a scientific experiment.

...all scientist use the data others produce...

The key word here is "produce".
That requires actual work.
Nobody in the world of ID is producing ID research.

...the data is availbale for others to work on and formulate further ideas.

The key words here are "work" and "formulate".
Nobody is working on anything.
There is no formulating going on.

...its the way people uses databases to research stuff, its standard practice.

The keywords here are "research" and "practice".
Nobody in the mysterious world of ID is doing any ID research or practicing anything.
That requires work.

This is how ID supporters delude themselves that ID research is ongoing.

Step one: Sit around and do no work.

Step two: Wait for a legitimate scientist (who has never even heard of the Intelligent Design movement) to publish a paper.

Step three: Do a word search on the paper and hunt for the latest buzzwords used by ID advocates.
"Design", "mechanism", "difficulty", "Origins", motor, etc.

Step Three: Rubber stamp the final page of the scientific paper with "...and therefore ID".

Step Four: Go back to sleep.

Scientists really hate that.
It's parasitic and dishonest.
If an ID scientist wanted to be inspired by another's work and go off and do their own research then...wonderful.
Produce something.
Formulate.
Work.
Research.
Practice real science.

The Discovery Institute has raked in millions of dollars every year for over twenty years.
Where's the tangible results?

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.

Fuctionally meaningless.
A scientist cannot take this babble into the lab and get started on some work.
It's incoherent.
You have defined...nothing.

5:37 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,

We have been along this road
before

You gave a Ken miller video that was supposed to debunk the numbers derived from Axe's protein structure work. I dutifully watched the video and found it entirely wanting with only a few sentences vaguely relevant.

8:39 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

You gave a Ken miller video that was supposed to debunk the numbers derived from Axe's...

No, that's not the occasion I'm talking about.
I'm talking about the same list that Mike brought up.
It's the same one that you and I discussed a couple of times before many moons ago.

It's the same one that is always brought up. It doesn't change.
The list was bogus back then and it hasn't become any more legitimate with age.

Ossification has well and truely set in.

9:13 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,
The Axe paper is one of the ones on Mike's list:
D. A. Axe, "Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341 (2004): 1295-1315.

9:31 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

The Axe paper is one of the ones on Mike's list...

Yes, I realise that.

I'm talking about the list itself,
not any one individual paper.

We have thrashed out that list before. You and I are both very familiar with it. It's not getting any fresher.

When Mike referred to it, there was nothing that that you or I found new or exciting.

No ID research paper leaps out and say "Tada, let me tell ya all about ID, folks!".

It's just window-dressing to help ID look a little more sciencey.
ID supporters, as a ritual, will dutifully drag it out and scientists will wearily point out the dodginess of the list, "paper" by worthless "paper".
There's no ID science there.
Never has been.

Probably this time next year, some rube will drag it out again in another dead-end discussion. You will then again notice that it's the same one.

Ever see the movie "Groundhog Day"?
That list is the perfect metaphor for it.

10:32 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,

I only mentioned this because of your repeated claims that there is no ID research at all.

10:41 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,

Are you saying that Axe's work is not ID science?

Are you saying that he research (published in JMB no less) is "worthless"?

I am not persuaded that we have "thrashed out" Axe's work "before" in anything like a satisfactory way.

10:46 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Are you saying that Axe's work is not ID science?

"ID science" is a meaningless phrase.
Nobody can scientifically define what actually is ID.

Axe did some protein folding.
Standard stuff.
Plenty of people do it.

Calling protein folding "ID science" is...well...just playing with words.

Are you saying that he research (published in JMB no less) is "worthless"?

Worthless to ID.
Shuffle Axe's paper in with a bunch of other science papers on protein folding and...an ID supporter will not be able to tell them apart.
ID is never mentioned or defined in Axe's work.

Without the Discovery Institute's endless heavy-handed promotion of the paper, one would never know there was any connection between it and ID. Certainly not by reading the paper itself.

No "ID scientist" found it exactly Earth-shattering either.
Nobody, not even Axe, took the ball and ran with it.
It just sort of petered out in 2004.
That was a long time ago.

(Perhaps it was Mike's "scientific gatekeepers" that brought that particular avenue to a close? The fiends! How do they manage it?!?!)

Or maybe, just maybe, it just wasn't considered important enough for anybody to invest their time in.
(It certainly wasn't because there was no money available for research. Cash flow has never been a problem for the Discovery Institute.)

Ahah! Here's the discussion I was referring to before.
Happened last year.
It's the same ol' same ol'.
Nothing new has happened between then and now.

As the people at talkorigins.org explain about peer-review...

"Publishing is not an end in itself. Scientific ideas mean nothing unless they can withstand criticism and be built upon. None of the "intelligent design" publications have led to any productive work."

That's not going to change.
Yet if you really believe it will, then I'll be happy to make a little sporting wager.

1:11 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric,
Research into the relative quantities of functional to non-functional proteins amongst all possible proteins and asking the question- How easy is it to produce an entirely new functional protein? - Is directly relevant to the issue of detecting design in biology.

I am not talking about variants within a protein family but the production of an entirely new structure with a new function with no amino acid sequence homology to any other functional protein.
One way to investigate this is to ask how easily protein structure and function degrades when you change one or more amino acids around the active site of an enzyme or elsewhere in its structure.

This gives an increasingly clear picture of the size of the islands of protein functionality in the vast ocean of possible protein amino acid sequences.
It is this kind of experiment that Doug Axe did at Cambridge.

I can't think of a better way to investigate ID.

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Cedric,
Research into the...


Andrew, considering you've just put up a new post on this topic, let's move the conversation there.
If you object, let me know and I'll continue the conversation here.

4:37 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Cedric- good plan

5:39 pm  

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