AT: Another scientist challenges Darwin’s theory

It takes planning and anticipatory design to construct a machine. This is the insight that is proving most challenging to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection (TENS).

Suppose, for example, you need a gear to make an engine work. Nature could, presumably, evolve a gear. But would any evolved gear be the right diameter, with the right number of teeth, and a right-sized, properly centered axle hole? Would it even materialize at the location where it is needed?

TENS is popular, I believe, because people use it as an excuse to deny the possibility of a “God principle” in the natural world. The irony is that science seems headed in the opposite direction.

25 thoughts on “AT: Another scientist challenges Darwin’s theory

    1. RE: “ID craziness, had to catch my breath, but thanks for the belly laughs.”

      What do you find “crazy” in the article or my comments on it. Do you have the knowledge and intelligence to explain, or, like a fool, do you just laugh at things you don’t understand?


      1. “like a fool, do you just laugh at things you don’t understand?” Not that I’m aware of;

        I do, however, laugh at foolish (and scientifically) ridiculous things.

        You appear to react as if it was your foolish theory, when my comment was directed at his. Believe what you wish about any unsupportable reality that makes you sleep well at night.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. RE: “I do, however, laugh at foolish (and scientifically) ridiculous things.”

          You made that clear with your original comment, but you haven’t answered the question, What you find that is “foolish (and scientifically) ridiculous” in the article?

          If you’re so smart, it should be easy for you to explain.


      2. Read H. Allen Orr’ “Devolution”.

        I prefer to place my belief in ID on the statistical approach.

        So far, we have one known sample of life out of billions of planets in the universe. Come back when you have a statistically significant number of samples to support a theory beyond serendipity. I’ll be waiting.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You’ll be waiting a long time, because neither I nor the article I shared promotes ID. Instead, scientists have begun to appreciate the significance of one of TENS’s difficult puzzles.


          1. “ Dr. Eberlin writes in 172 pages of energetic prose about the artful solutions to major engineering, chemistry, and biology in living cells of living things that are evidence of a factor of foresight and intelligence. Dr. Eberlin runs through a wonderful series of discussions that make his case for design and not chance”

            Read it Sloooowly…..

            Liked by 2 people

          2. RE: “Dr. Eberlin runs through a wonderful series of discussions that make his case for design and not chance”

            You should read carefully, yourself. Dr. Eberlin is not the author of the book review.

            Moreover, the review and, presumably, Dr. Everlin’s book itself treat the question of design as emerging from the science, not as proof of a metaphysical construct.


  1. As soon as I saw the headline, I knew that the posting would be by your own good self. And surprise, surprise it is once again the badly misnamed American Thinker that is the host of the nonsense that you have chosen to share.

    The article in question is a variation of the totally debunked argument along the same lines about the “impossibility” of evolution producing something as complex as an eye.

    Face it, Mr. Roberts, science will NEVER confirm your metaphysical beliefs. Evidence, reason and common sense will never help your cause. Better stick to blind obeisance to dogma or, more politely, stick to faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Face it, Mr. Roberts, science will NEVER confirm your metaphysical beliefs.”

      In this case, the metaphysical problem has nothing to do with religion or spirituality, as you imply. It also has no connection to complexity.

      The puzzle, rather, is accounting for the natural development of physical structures which “fit into place” without precursors, as if they were planned or designed in advance.


      1. @Roberts

        The pseudo-science logic goes something like this . . .

        Here is something very puzzling.
        We cannot figure out how it came to be.
        Therefore it must be designed.
        Things that are designed have a Designer.

        The supposed or postulated existence of a “Designer” is a very thinly disguised religious proposition. And, of course, it has great explanatory power for those who have given up on science. It may provide emotional comfort but that is NOT knowledge.

        And by the way, evidence, experiment or observation cannot address any “metaphysical problem.” If it could, it would not be metaphysical.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “The pseudo-science logic goes something like this…”

        Maybe it does, but that’s not my logic. My logic goes something like this:

        Careful observation reveals evidence that intelligence, or something like it, may be a discrete feature of the natural world.

        We don’t know how this could be, or even if the perception is valid.

        But because the perception arises in the course of performance of formal methodologies which we believe to be otherwise reliable, it deserves to explored and considered.

        Also, I would remind you that metaphysics is a secular discipline. It is the study of first causes, and therefore a necessary precursor to the development of hypotheses and experiments.


        1. Your logic completely begs the question. You are assuming something is explorable when it isn’t. That is NOT science. That is religion. There is no method, evidence or observation known or even imaginable for testing the proposition that “intelligence may be a discrete feature of the natural world.” THAT is what makes it a “metaphysical statement” which is a term of art in philosophy denoting statements that are not subject to any empirical or logical proof or disproof.

          And, by the way, the “evidence of intelligence” that you refer to are phenomena cherry-picked from a nearly infinite number of other phenomena that seem to not have such a quality.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Creationism, of which Eberlin is an adherent, is trying to fit the world Into a Genesis narrative. Which is a shame since the creation story in the Bible is a poetic song of faith and survival for a civilized world.

    That does not make it literally factual.

    The dismissal of evolution is not necessary to describe the history of life on earth. At its most easily understood base, evolution is the tool of a God for whom time is immaterial.

    Evolution allows us the freedom to understand how we got here as well as the incredible complexities in the biological realm. It also allow us to understand the God concept better than a magical vision. Evolution is only a threat to those who insist that the earth and us were created out of whole cloth in a matter of days based on a modern calendar. But not necessarily to a believer who allows for the idea that a “day” could be a billion years

    I think the search for purpose in a specific and “fatherly” deity is not nearly as fruitful as that same search within our own selves.

    The Discovery Institute, the publisher of Eberlin’s book, is a creationist organization. Their agenda was spelled out in 1999:

    “To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies” and to “replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”

    Replacing science with theology. The reason for the Church’s persecution of Galileo centuries ago was to do just that.


    Liked by 4 people

  3. Giraffes and apatosaurs have very similar body forms, made to reach the browse shorter herbivores could not, thus finding a niche.

    The same solution to a problem evolved in totally separate gene lines a hundred million years apart.

    There are countless other examples of parallel evolution due to natural selection.

    We have even faster evolution by way of unnatural selection. Only a thousand or so years ago, there was only one kind of dog. Now we have pugs and poodles because someone thought they looked interesting.

    Given hundreds of millions of years, natural selection is perfectly capable of all the diversity of life we see.

    As far as the other planets that don’t have just the right conditions, there’s no one there to speculate on why.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “Given hundreds of millions of years, natural selection is perfectly capable of all the diversity of life we see.”

      Whether TENS is or isn’t “capable of all the diversity of life” is precisely the question at issue. As I understand it, TENS can account for differences in secondary characteristics, such as fur color or beak shape, or neck length (in the example you cite), but to account for different species you need fundamentally different DNA. Which, in turn, leads to questions about how things work at a molecular level.

      The puzzle is that DNA operates like software code, but code needs a coder, so to speak. This arises from simple observation: the final construction of the organism depends on the early construction being correct, but for the early construction to be correct, it must somehow “anticipate” the final result.

      Thus, it is not that science is proving pre-conceived notions of Intelligent Design or Creationism, but that science has made observations which imply something like Intelligent Design or Creationism may be valid, although exactly how they might be valid is as yet unknown.

      Put another way, the TENS puzzle looks very different when the mechanics of molecular biology, as opposed to macro-level environmental conditions are taken into account.

      Or so I understand the argument.


      1. The key for me to understanding evolution is the principle that organisms do not change to survive, they survive because they changed.

        DNA, or more properly, genes, change all the time. Chromosomes break or are chemically modified by free radicals or ionizing radiation. 99% of the time, those changes are lethal to the cell, sometimes to the organism, That’s what cancer is.

        When those changes occur in the gametes or the first cell of the embryo, that is a mutation. Again most mutations are lethal, or neutral, but sometimes they give an advantage. Those mutations are carried forward as the more successful individuals and the mutation gradually displaces those individuals that lack it.

        It doesn’t sound terribly efficient, but evolution has time.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. RE: “The key for me to understanding evolution is the principle that organisms do not change to survive, they survive because they changed.”

          You give an excellent description of the TENS process. It is exactly the way I learned it.

          Still, I’m struck by your note that most mutations are lethal or neutral. To me, that’s another way of stating the problem that early construction of the organism must be somehow coordinated with later construction.

          Viewed in this way, the probability of a successful mutation isn’t even a consideration, whether the odds are high or low. To be successful, the genetic change still must solve the early/late construction problem. Doing so is what gives rise to the appearance of design.

          (Failing to solve the early/late construction problem also gives rise to the appearance of design. A failed solution implies that some sort of rule or rule set has been violated.)

          But, again, the appearance of design is not a proof of anything. It is only a perception that arises from direct observation. It is an open question which remains to be answered using the same means that science normally uses.


    2. Ah, convergent evolution. I love it. Apparently there was a finch found in Australia that was identical to one found in Europe. The two birds appeared identical, size, color, even to the use of tools for digging grubs, etc., and for decades it was thought they had migrated to Australia from Europe (or v.v.). Turns out that the bird in Australia wasn’t even a finch. Totally different family. Nature had a niche, evolution had a solution.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The difference between TENS (I like it, can we use 10s?) and other theories, i.e., ID, and Creationism, is the placement of the “and then a miracle occurs” clause.
    With 10s, it’s at the beginning and then everything else fits the evidence. For another theory, you have to put it at the end and follow it with “and thus, we should believe it.”

    Liked by 4 people

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