Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Genetic Surprises for Evolutionists

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Yet another examination of genes reveals something that scientists did not expect to find if macro-evolution were true, yet fits right in with the Theory of Intelligent Design. The scientists seem unable to take off their blinders to see what the evidence is saying.

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This Science Daily article describes an "astounding" (if you buy evolution) discovery of a gene that was (again if you buy evolution) "dead" for millions of years and then "reactivated" by what they attribute to "a complex series of structural events". They give credit to a retrovirus for engineering the complex series of structural events. What they have found here is the fingerprint of God in His handywork, but their world view does not permit them to recognize it as such.

Mice have many copies of the gene in question. Monkeys only have one, and it is deactivated. Apes and humans have a re-furbished and activated copy of this gene which helps us fight diseases like TB. Evolutionary doctrine states that there were millions of years between the time when monkeys lost the gene and the great apes and humans split off from them. During that time, a dead gene has no selective pressure on it to remain viable for its original task. It should accumulate random mutations each generation. The idea that one could come back "from the dead" after all that time, including striping out any accumulated mutations that would wreck its function, is not "astounding", it's silly.

They are astounded because they discount any possibility that the "complex series of structural events" was orchestrated by an Intelligent Designer. Yet "complex structural events" in which the genes of organisms are re-arranged in this way happen all the time- they are done by intelligent designer scientists doing genetic engineering.

14 Comments:

Anonymous bobxxxx said...

Intelligent design = a childish belief in magic.

Grow up mister.

2:52 AM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous bobxxxx said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:55 AM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Rick said...

Bobb,

You are showing your stupidity by your language. In fact you have said nothing intelligent in your comments.
Why don't you find another blog to post and don't come back to this one.

6:48 AM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

ascribing god-like powers to "evolution" when its observed powers in the field and the lab are marginal = a childish belief in magic.

I deleted your post with the cursing because this is a family site. If you have anything of substance to say in refuting the evidence presented (and so far you have not) then feel free to post them here and we will see who can best defend their position with fact and logic.

If you are just here to spew profanity and vandalize the blog, buzz off.

7:57 AM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Keanus said...

Mr. Moore, you have completely misread the article in question, concluding that because the findings of the researchers were unexpected, god must have done it. Nothing of the kind can be extracted from the article. Genes being activated or deactivated is a perfectly normal phenomena. The Science Daily report quotes the authors "The IRGM gene was dead and later resurrected through a complex series of structural events...[t]hese findings tell us that we shouldn't count a gene out until it is completely deleted" and then paraphrases them...

"The structural analysis suggests a remarkable functional plasticity in genes that experience a variety of evolutionary pressures over time. Such malleability may be especially useful for genes that help in the fight against new or newly resistant infectious agents."

No rational readers would see that as evidence of supernatural tinkering with the human genome. You are grasping at straws to support your own pre-determined conclusion. That's theology, not science.

1:56 PM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only Christians were so zealous to defend their religious orthodoxy. I have noticed that everytime you post a comment about intelligent design, the methodological naturalist religion shows up within minutes itching for a fight.

3:00 PM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Keanus,

Perhaps it is you who have misread my article. I did not claim that the scientists in the article grasped the Creationist implications of their findings, only that the findings themselves fit the Intelligent Design hypothesis better than the evolutionary hypothesis. Before science was hijacked by naturalism, the predictive power of a theory was the best way to evaluate the theory.


I agree that gene activation/deactivation is a normal phenomenon, but not after 20 million years or so. A gene that is non-functional that long should be subjected to random mutations that would wreck its ability to perform its former function.

The implication was that the dead genes in the monkeys was different from the functioning one in apes and humans. In other words, more than just a flip of the "on" switch was required. The junk that had accumulated in the dead gene version that the monkeys carried had to be changed back to a workable form by a "complex series of structural changes". THAT is not a normal phenomenon.

Your efforts to write this off as a "normal" occurrence is the grasping at straws, not my master-of-the-obvious connection of it to an Intelligent Designer. I imagine that the expert biologists doing the research knew what was normal, and yet they describe this event as "astounding".

The findings were only unexpected, IF one had an evolutionary view of the world. The findings were EXPECTED from a person who believes that the various forms of life on earth are the result of the same Intelligent Designer modifying His code.

By itself, this finding does not "prove" anything one way or another. But this is simply the latest in a long series of data points, most of which I do not have time to document, where the conclusions were UNEXPECTED by scientists who held to the evolutionary hypothesis, but would be EXPECTED to a person who adheres to the theory of Intelligent Design.

Both sides can tell fanciful stories about how any series of creatures came about, but as we gain the power to look closer at the genetic structure of these types we keep finding results that are not predicted by the evolutionary hypothesis but do fit with the theory of Intelligent Design.

Many of these genetic studies have findings that could be interpreted either way. I don't want to imply they are all coming down for ID. But the scientists seem unwilling to grasp the ID implications of many studies. That is because of THEIR theology, or at least philosophy- naturalism, rather than the demands of the evidence which point to ID.

5:34 PM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Keanus said...

Mr. Moore, you're the one grasping at straws in falling back on the oldest creationist argument in the books, the "god of the gaps:" If one doesn't understand a phenomena this instant, then god-did-it. That's a science stopper and advances no knowledge at all. if the science you assert was highjacked by "naturalism" had not been "hijacked" by naturalism, you, I and the rest of humanity would still be living a primitive existence with many still in caves. Anyone familiar with the history of science understands that science didn't begin to flower until it freed itself from the constraints of dogma. And that "crawling out" at which you sneer is naturalism. Go read a little history; science progresses by questioning orthodoxy, not by conforming to it.

Darwin crafted his theory by questioning orthodoxy. Biologists since Darwin have been striving mightily to undermine his theory but without success. All they've succeeded in doing is flesh out the details and build a stronger footing on which to frame its many elements. If you think contemporary biologist are slaves to Darwin, then you understand nothing about science or scientists, any of whom would give their eye teeth to uncover data that revealed Darwin to be wrong.

7:17 PM, March 15, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Keanus,

I and my associates are the ones questioning orthodoxy now. The Darwinists are defending it, and taking increasingly desperate measures to do so. Tactics go beyond the name-calling we see here to denying tenure or admittance to medical school or research funding to those who question the orthodox dogma about what may have happened in the distant past.

An "evolution of the gaps" is just as much a science-stopper as a "god of the gaps", and less reasonable in this instance. What they found was NOT what they expected to find if evolution were true but WAS the kind of thing we would expect to find if ID is true. Assuming the most unreasonable naturalistic explanation is preferable to the most obvious supernatural explanation is just as biased as the reverse.

Both world views can retard the advance of science because both discourage a certain set of questions from being asked. The thing is, the funding and culture is so naturalism-biased that only one set of questions does not get asked.

The danger lies on your side because of the current balance of power. If there really is more to existence than time, energy, space, and matter then we should be free to look for it in its effects on those things. But naturalism does not allow such inquiry to be made.

I don't see why giving the Designer credit when there is evidence a designer is responsible "is a science-stopper". Experiment and inquiry still continue in order to ascertain HOW the Creator did it. Science is supposed to be a search for truth.

Everything in our natural world has either a natural or a "supernatural" cause. To rule out one possibility in advance without considering the evidence is an obstacle in the search for truth.

I do know something of the history of science. I was a public school science teacher for 12 years and gave lectures on that topic each of those years. The picture public schools and universities give of the struggle between science and religion is extremely one-sided.

Galileo for example, was confirming an idea put forth by a monk named Copernicus. Galileo's penchant for intrigue and "playing" the church hierarchy got him into trouble as much as his challenge of the pagan views of Aristotle about the structure of the universe (the church at that time held to those views but not because they were from scripture).

Indeed, modern science owes its very existence to the Judeo-Christian view of the universe. There is a single God and He is a Lawgiver whose nature does not change. This view made it worthwhile to test for cause and effect, to "discover the laws" as it were. Cultures who thought the mountain god made natural law over there and the valley god made such laws down here would not produce minds fit to produce science.

In other words, it is not BY CHANCE that the christian cultures are the very ones that produced modern science. Science is THE RESULT, almost invariably, when cultures hold such a world view.

In our culture the big threat to science is not religious ideas, but post-modernism. This says that since there is no absolutes, there is no truth and that even scientific truth is an illusion of our perceptions. IF Darwin is right, it is hard to argue with their point that there is no reason to expect that our brains are accurately observing the world around us in these obscure matters.

Science owes its existence to a world view in which God is the center. Naturalists posing as scientists have attempting to de-throne God and elevate themseves as the ultimate determiners of truth. What they have done instead is saw off the very branch on which they sat, for without God there is no objective standards, and without that there is no truth, and without truth, no need for science.

8:29 PM, March 15, 2009  
Anonymous Tophat said...

Anyone familiar with the history of science understands that science didn't begin to flower until it freed itself from the constraints of dogma.

Complete opposite of reality. As Mr. Moore has pointed out, it was the rigid order of religious orthodoxy that intimated the order of nature sought for by the earliest scientists.

Sir, I suggest you do a little banned reading.

8:22 AM, March 16, 2009  
Anonymous Keanus said...

Mr. Moore, I haven't the time to pick apart your last piece, but I'll comment on your closing paragraph where you say "Science owes its existence to a world view in which God is the center. Naturalists posing as scientists have attempting to de-throne God and elevate themseves as the ultimate determiners of truth. What they have done instead is saw off the very branch on which they sat, for without God there is no objective standards, and without that there is no truth, and without truth, no need for science."

Nothing could be further from the truth. You very much need to set your preconceptions about science aside. No god nor anything supernatural plays any role in science either as a foundation or a guiding light. As I wrote earlier, the quest for knowledge of the natural world did not flower into what we know as modern science until it abandoned using the supernatural as an explanation. You need to look up the distinction between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. Modern science operates under the former; theology operates under the latter. The latter is what you're trying to push, and it conflicts directly with everything that falls under the name of science today. It is a science stopper, since anything we don't understand currently would be attributed to the supernatural. That's willful ignorance and explains nothings.

You conflate the orthodoxy of religion with scientific validity. They are wholly different concepts. Orthodoxy, which assumes a dogma, has no place in the sciences. Everything claimed by science is tentative and subject to testing and re-examination. Scientist strive to contradict the established paradigms of science. For example every contemporary evolutionary biologist would give his or her inheritance to develop a body of evidence that contradicts the modern theory of evolution and many are trying. In the century and a half since Darwin proffered his first approximation all they've succeeded in doing is provide more evidence in its support and fleshed out the details. Nothing in the sciences is eternal and fixed. Orthodoxy assumes the existence of dogma. Organized religions embrace dogma. Science has none.

You and many believers are driven by a fear that science somehow is trying to prove god doesn't exist. That's flatly wrong. Although many scientist, most famously today Richard Dawkins, argue for science making atheism intellectually defensible, science has no power to address the supernatural. By the very definition, the supernatural is not subject to logical analysis. Believers even speak of their faith, a perspective that has no place in science, but upon which belief wholly depends. If you attempt to subject your faith to logical analysis, which is what science is, you risk destroying your faith. That's a mistake religion has made for centuries, much to its regret. Indeed the believers in claiming that religion explains reality have had to beat a retreat for centuries. Just to take some examples, at first religion said the Earth was the center of the creation. When Copernicus, Galileo, and others challenged the dogma of the times the church had to retreat. At one time dogma attributed disease and infections to evil spirits. But bright people didn't accept that hypothesis and uncovered the existence of germs and infectious diseases. The church again had to retreat. At one time all religions claimed that the the book of Genesis described the origin of all creation. Then in the 19th century European geologist, principally the Scotsman Charles Lyell, developed the concept of uniformtarianism, and argued against the dogma of creation found in the bible. Many refused to accept his arguments based on evidence, but eventually virtually every church, including the Catholic church retreated and accepted his arguments and evidence. Every attempt to use the Bible or dogma to describe the natural world has failed. If religion keeps at it, it runs the risk of becoming irrelevant.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, which is what religion fosters with every sect being founded on another person's opinion. Science has no such luxury, demanding evidence to support any assertion. You need to understand the difference.

8:39 AM, March 16, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Keanus,

I appreciate the firm but polite tone of your rebuttals. I do not however, feel that you have let what I have been trying to say really sink in.

For example, you write...
You need to look up the distinction between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. Modern science operates under the former; theology operates under the latter. The latter is what you're trying to push, and it conflicts directly with everything that falls under the name of science today.

My friend perhaps you are the one who needs to look up the definitions of those terms. The latter does not mean what you write that it means, and it is the exact OPPOSITE of what I am pushing.

Metaphysical naturalism says that there is no such thing as what we call "the supernatural". No spirits, no soul, no God, no Devil, no angles, no heaven, no Hell. It is what Karl Sagan spoke of when he said "the cosmos is all that is, and was, and ever will be".

This is a faith statement on the part of its adherents. It is not a belief that can be demonstrated to be true by scientific means. The existence of the supernatural cannot be DISPROVED by scientific means, but the existence of the supernatural could (to the degree science can "prove" anything, never with absolute finality and certainty) be PROVED by unbound science.

Unfortunately science has been hijacked by naturalism. It is no longer unbound. Methodological naturalism is simply applied Metaphysical naturalism. That is, we operate under the assumption that their can be no supernatural intervention in the natural world. While it is technically possible to believe in some sort of deity in the great beyond, it rules out one who is relevant in this life, hence the vitriol from Dawkins et al toward Christians. Dawkins is a thoroughly unpleasant man, but at least he is no hypocrite.

Unbound science would seek natural causes, but allow the possibility that the world is more than just the result of chance forces. If we knew enough about X to understand the things that the rules of nature could do, but something about X violated those rules, then we could consider the possibility that we have detected an instance of Divine intervention. The search for natural causation would still continue in order to disprove the hypothesis of an intervention, but at least the hypothesis could be advanced. Under naturalism, we can't go there, even when "there" seems the only place to go. This does not advance the cause of truth.

Orthodoxy, which assumes a dogma, has no place in the sciences. Everything claimed by science is tentative and subject to testing and re-examination.

In true science yes, but not when Methodological Naturalism hijacks science. The DETAILS of how chance forces did X or Y are subject to debate but the naturalistic framework is never permitted to be challenged. It is every bit as much an orthodoxy as that of the Southern Baptist Church. In their case, while the emphasis and interpretation of various scriptures is subject to re-evaluation, the idea that scripture is true is not. With naturalists, they can piddle with ideas about what this or that means, but the idea that "the cosmos is all that is or was, or ever will be" is never allowed to be challenged.

Nothing in the sciences is eternal and fixed. Orthodoxy assumes the existence of dogma. Organized religions embrace dogma. Science has none.

You have to get this out of your head. It simply isn't true anymore and has not been since naturalism took over. Modernist science not only has a naturalism dogma, it also holds that there is a "true" reality that can be accurately discerned by our minds and senses. Post-modernists accept naturalism but reject the other dogmas of the modernist science.

I advise you to read up on post-modernism. It says that if naturalism is true, then there is no reason to believe that our brains have evolved in such a way as to perceive reality correctly, if there even is such a thing. And to them, there is no "truth", there is only how you or I perceive it.

Post-modernism rejects science. And if you throw out the idea that the universe is the creation of a single Lawgiver who values order then it really is impossible for a modernist to show them to be wrong. To do that, you have to go back beyond the modernist mind set unto a classical mind.

THAT is why I wrote earlier "Science owes its existence to a world view in which God is the center. Naturalists posing as scientists have attempting to de-throne God and elevate themseves as the ultimate determiners of truth. What they have done instead is saw off the very branch on which they sat,"

Now that I have fleshed out my explanation more, I would hope that you would re-consider your earlier statement that ...

No god nor anything supernatural plays any role in science either as a foundation or a guiding light

Modernist science makes assumptions about the existence of truth and our abilities to understand it that are unwarranted outside a classical view of the world. Post-modernists are calling them on it and many people are rejecting the validity of science to answer larger questions because of it. Sure we can use science to build better tools, because we evolved making tools, but if our brains are evolved, they are not evolved for understanding abstract concepts about the underlying nature of reality, only in operating within it. "Useful lies" as it were.

Post modernists would classify religions where we go to heaven or hell a useful lie- something people need to believe to help them cope with the chaos in their lives and the world. They would classify "faith" in science to find "the truth" the same way.

8:56 AM, March 17, 2009  
Anonymous Keanus said...

Mr. Moore, it's apparent from your comments that you know nothing about the meaning of dogma, orthodoxy, or science. Nor do you understand the difference between reason and faith. Scientists postulate hypotheses and then seek evidence to refute or confirm them. Hypotheses are not even acceptable in the sciences, unless they can be tested and falsified. Consequently every law or theory in the sciences like Boyle's Law, the Law of Gravity, the Theory of LIght, Newton's Laws, and, yes, even the Theory of Evolution, are testable and falsifiable. All are also tentative, subject to repetitive testing, which is the very essence of science. The Theory of Evolution has been undergoing testing ever since Darwin published "On the Origin of Species" in 1859. It stands today stronger than ever but every evolutionary biologist will also tell you that it could fall tomorrow, if evidence were to be developed that contradicted it. Until such an event the enormous volume of evidence developed in the last 150 years has only confirmed it and rendered it stronger. Anyone who denies that is either ignorant or lying.

Faith postulates belief grounded in faith. Beliefs require no evidence. But more importantly religious beliefs grounded in faith always invoke the supernatural. The supernatural by definition cannot be "proven" or disproven. It is whatever believers say it is. One either believes or disbelieves. As such, beliefs are neither testable nor falsifiable.

The supernatural and the natural do not mix. And every serious scientist, whether they're Christian, Buddhist, Shinto, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, other faiths, atheist, or agnostic, will tell you the same thing.

If you don't understand or refuse to accept the foregoing, you are denying reality. There is nothing else that can be said.

8:29 PM, March 19, 2009  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Well, there goes the "firm but polite tone", which was the best thing you had going for you! I also think we are starting to repeat our points using slightly different words. I am too busy a man to keep that up.

5:30 AM, March 24, 2009  

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