Evolution is not a scientific theory but ID is?

Continuing the discussion from New insights on defining "biblical kinds"!:

Once a super-intelligent designer who has the ability to order nature in a fashion outside its observable processes, laws, and boundaries is posited, I would think it impossible to predict in a scientific way what super-intelligent, outside-natural-boundaries ordering actions that designer would have taken.

In his book Darwin’s Black Box, Behe proposed that ID-driven biology would inter alia simply abandon any research that would attempt to explain through drift, mutation, and selection the advent of (allegedly) irreducibly complex structures and systems. To the average scientist, this proposal does not in the least look like science.

But obviously you are coming at the question differently than I. Would you like to explain how in your view upper case Intelligent Design is a scientific theory, Eric?

In addition, evolution makes all sorts of predictions that have led to productive scientific research. For example:

  • Fossil record: Early life would be single-celled, then small multicellular forms would appear, then larger and more diverse forms. Importantly, as more chronologically intermediate fossils are found, phenotypes intermediate between earlier and later species should have some statistical likelihood of appearing. Neil Shubin used this prediction to target late Devonian geological formations to search for intermediate forms between early Devonian lobe-finned fishes and Carboniferous amphibians. And he discovered Tiktaalik.

  • Nested hierarchy from common ancestry. This is a prediction of evolution and it does appear in genomics, in biological characters, and in the fossil record.*

  • De Novo Genes: One prediction of evolution is that de novo genes should have predecessors via a mutational pathway. This prediction drove the research that shows how the “anti-freeze” gene in Arctic codfishes evolved 13-18Mya from non-coding DNA. Source

  • Genomic distribution of mutation types. As @glipsnort demonstrates, evolution predicts that the frequency of mutation types can be extrapolated across hundreds of thousands of generations once populations diverge. This distribution of mutation frequencies is observed empirically.

  • Biological systems: The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to research showing that ribosomes are ribozymes. This was a prediction rooted in evolutionary theory. Source

  • Pseudo-genes. If dietary sources of vitamin C are available in abundance, the negative selection against vitamin C gene breaking changes should disappear. The broken vitamin C pseudo-gene has in fact been observed in most primates.

  • Evo-devo. Evolution predicts that many phenotypic changes across time are the result of changes in regulatory gene networks. Thus we would expect much greater conformance in structures at zygote and early fetal stages than at later stages of development (after regulatory gene networks have done their work). This is indeed observed empirically.

  • Sub-optimal engineering designs. Moreover, biologists expect evolution-driven development process to sometimes result in structures which are sub-optimal from the engineering perspective as long as they result in a net advantage to a population. This is observed in the laryngeal nerve of the giraffe, which extends meters beyond the shortest path (and incurs a cost in reduced vocalization ability). Source

I am sure that a biologist like @DennisVenema could provide other examples of evolution predictions, if need be. I’m just a data scientist who likes to discuss biology.


* Why is there a relational structure at all between species like whales and hippos, or even between chickens and primates (I’m thinking of the vitellogenin pseudo-gene)? Inheritance and divergence are observed in biological systems today, so they provide the parsimonious explanation. On the other hand, a dependency graph model introduces scores of extra parameters, which in turn permits overfitting. Due to this ability to overfit, dependency graphs can “fit” non-sequential genomic data quite well, but they spectacularly fail the parsimony criterion for scientific research. In addition, dependency graphs are for the foreseeable future incapable of making predictions for many classes of biological data; hence they are for the foreseeable future incapable of serving as the basis for a theory of biology.


The problem with a lot of these is the tree may be just as much confirmation bias as creationism. I don’t see any attempt to investigate alternatives to a tree besides complete randomness. Which makes it just as non science as creationism.

I would say that the theory of evolution is pretty grounded in science. Same as for the age of the world. For ID to work it has to completely undo almost all science. Because we see it I. The fossil record, we see it in morphology of plants and eggs and mimicry, and so on.

So say God designed passionflowers to mimic certain species of butterflies by egg mimicry on the stems means that God designed those specific butterflies to use that plant as a host for its larva. That would mean either we just don’t have fossils of it before a certain time period or that God designed a butterfly and a plant to morph into mimicry at the same time from previous species designed to already serve a similar function. It’s too messy. Evolution explains all of this through natural selection with way less issues than ID or creationism ever could .


Well, the universe could be resting on the backs of turtles, but I don’t claim astrophysicists are unscientific for not exploring that hypothesis instead of fleshing out the details of Big Bang cosmology.

I’ve already shown how evolution has provided a broad framework for making successful predictions across a vast array of evidence classes. Just like Big Bang cosmology, the theory of evolution provides a framework for generating new scientifically testable hypotheses.Thus it is just as scientific as Big Bang cosmology.

Like any theory, of course, it is provisional. Publish a model that makes better, more parsimonious predictions, and you could change the prevailing theoretical framework in the scientific discipline of biology, Eric.


ID is orthogonal to evolution in general.

Why ask my questions if you want me to publish a peer reviewed scientific paper to respond? I don’t see the point, besides trying to browbeat me into submission.

I am pointing out that biology maintains an open and well-functioning pathway for considering alternative models.

Therefore, if there is not a viable alternative to evolution under consideration among biologists, it’s because – at this moment in time – no viable alternative actually exists.



The tree could be due to variation on a basic genome formula that God created and used to make all species. So it may look like evolution but is only changes to the formula that bring about the various species.

Is it? The scientific evidence that we see in cancer, where many new functional proteins are made, is never considered. This is all scrapped as scramble and the proteins are hardly mentioned outside of calling them molecular targets for drug development.
Cancer is not abnormal cells dividing out of control but for the vast majority, i.e., the solid tumors, has the characteristics of an organ. That is to say the body has created a novel organ with unique stem cells, a defining or basement membrane, blood supply, lymphatic supply, even a nerve supply in most cases and connective tissue, which can be as much as 90% of the novel organ. There is also communication between all these cells and the immune system cells. If this is not evidence of ID then what is it?

I’m confused. What kind of ID would this be? A malevolent one?

Never considered by whom? Cancer is very often considered by biologists as an example of evolution in action.


From the way that cancer is discussed in biomedical science one would think it a malevolent one, but I have seen otherwise.
I have found that cancer is stem cell mediated immunity, erroneously ignited in the body owing to false beliefs and other associated issues. It is too much to discuss here and off topic.
However the fact of the matter is that the body creates what are called cancer stem cells and these, surprisingly enough have many “markers”, i;e., surface proteins that are embryonic stem cells markers.
If we scrap the idea that we are just a body and that body a machine and we rather consider that we are embodied conscious beings, then our reactions, which are somatic changes in structure and function, give rise to new forms in the body.
If we as co-creators can do that then it is, IMO, evidence that creation was intelligently designed. I would say that God upholds the information needed for all material forms (living and non-living) to come into being and be maintained in existence. So the body forms, the many species are created out of information. And what is the genome if not coded information. It has plasticity as we can see and may change in order to create even new novel structures. And more so, it can be reversed, which we see in spontaneous remission of cancer.
Evidence for ID in my book!

The cancer clonal evolutionary theory has no evidence to support it, but more to the point has evidence in contradiction to it.
In all cancers, it is cancer stem cells that give rise to ALL the other cells, which means not only the heterogeneity of cancer cells but also the cells of the connective tissue as well. In mouse models the only cancer they have seen is when they have grafted cancer stem cells into nude mice (i;e., mice with no immune system) They have grafted breast cancer stem cells and got the very same tumor as was in the human, in the mouse.
All of the experiments with the so-called carcinogens only give rise to what are known as transformed cells NOT cancer cells.
If you subject cells, whether in vivo or in vitro, to a chemical or virus or radiation, you get cells in crisis. This causes some of the cells to become locked into the cell cycle process. However they have such cells in the laboratory for fifty or more years and none have turned into cancer cells. So cancer evolutionary theory is dead in the water.

Citations please.

It sounds very much on topic, at least in terms of where you believe cancer and ID intersect. We can have another thread, if desired. Please clarify. Thanks.
Many cancer cells do not survive because they don’t carry the necessary blood supply (and most importantly, the body identifies and kills them before they get there, of course).

Maybe I’m misunderstanding you? It sounds like you are trying to buck the majority of scientific knowledge? I hope I’m mistaken. Anthroposophism? Thanks!

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Hi Ani,

Without introducing yourself, in the space of a few posts you have attempted to overturn biology, oncology, and indeed the standard causal model in medicine.

However, I for one would like to know more about your training and studies so I can better understand how you reached your conclusions.

Would you be so kind as to share your lab work, your medical studies, your academic background, etc.?

My background is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisfalter/

Chris Falter


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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