ID Censors Their Own

[quote=“deliberateresult, post:28, topic:5625”]
*There is absolutely no physical/chemical explanation for the codon table.[/quote]
That doesn’t make it symbolic.

When we humans write a table, it certainly does, but we humans are creating the abstractions!

However, in the context of translation, there’s no abstraction or symbolism whatsoever. The term is used metaphorically.

You’re inserting vitalism where there is none. There is no command. That’s what it symbolizes to you, but it’s purely chemical in the context of translation. And what’s a “mer”?

There is no abstraction. There is no command.

[quote]There is nothing physical about it.
[/quote]It’s all physical because it’s chemical. You haven’t shown any abstraction at all, just asserted it.

Joe, why would an Intelligent Designer choose RNA for peptidyl transferase?


Hi, Joe. Thanks for the reply. I still plan to get to that word study one day. Haha. On to the show…

Before responding directly, I should say that I seem to have given the wrong impression. My interests lie in the area of evangelism. I have only a tangential interest in the debate on evolution, and that only because it is part of the same complex of issues that are creating barriers to belief in the younger generation and the unchurched. I will not go into specifics in this thread, but you are welcome to peruse my comments in threads like How do we “bend the curve” and Eastern v Western angles on truth.

The statement that I challenged was that genetic code = language. To me, you were making the claim that genetic code and human language were not analogous, but identical by definition. I definitely would challenge this, as human language is far more complex fluid than I think you realize. If you are claiming that genetic code = computer code, I would not argue with that, but I don’t have the expertise to judge that claim either way. In any case, I also would note that computer code is also not identical to human language, but is similar only by analogy. Computer code may be directly comparable to genetic code, but both codes are related to real human language only by analogy, which shouldn’t be confused with the real thing (actual language as spoken by actual human beings).

Because Torley was praising Axe’s book to high heaven in the Methodological Naturalism thread prior to writing the review. I didn’t have the energy to go look up his posts there, but you’re welcome to verify it for yourself, if you’d like.

See above. Also, Torley said in his review that he had only changed his mind in the last few weeks. Do you have reason to doubt this? Perhaps if you used Google search instead of just ENV you would find a long history of Torley writing about and defending ID.[quote=“deliberateresult, post:25, topic:5625”]
it is more appropriate to consider Torley more of a maverick who sees the controversy on his own terms than “one of (ID’s) own.” I have no problem with such a position, but let’s be honest about it. It is also not inappropriate, if we intend to be seduced by the impression dr. Swamidass wants us to take away from this forum, to note that the two enjoy at least a bit of a mutual admiration that goes back farther than Axe’s book.
“Seduced”? Really? Are we comparing Swamidass to the snake in the garden? haha.

From my outsider perspective, it seems that all the players in the ID/DI/EC/TC/YEC/OTHERRIDICULOUSACRONYMS camps know one another. It’s a pretty small circle. To say that Torley and Swamidass know one another and respect one another’s opinions is one thing. To insinuate that this is proof of bias is something else entirely. So, despite your stated intention that you don’t intend to impugn them and despite invoking Christian brotherhood, you go ahead and do exactly that. Pretty lame, if you ask me.

This actually illustrates a good point, though. I found it interesting that Torley changed his mind based on input from Christian scientists. (I always hate saying that. Reminds me of Mary Baker Eddy. Eeeek!) Usually, the criticisms of ID arguments are coming from “atheist scientists,” which makes it all too easy to write off their points as biased. BUT … when Christian scientists criticize a particular ID author’s arguments, they, too, are accused of bias. What is going on here?! Is everyone who criticizes an ID author guilty of bias???

Honestly, this so-called “controversy” between ID/EC/TE is a tempest in a teapot, and I’m just about done with it.

Torley isn’t a prosecutor. Let’s hear some thoughts on the arguments, rather than the person, for a change. Trying to discredit the messenger is a typical political tactic. Makes me want to vomit. You’re better than this, Joe.

Evidence? You mean the evidence you were trying to dig up to discredit Torley? Discuss the ideas, then.


It means that there is no material explanation (which you seem to implicitly concede) . A codon is not the AA it specifies. It merely represents (in the abstract) the AA it specifies. The codon TGG is not tryptopan. But int the rybozome it (TUU) symbolically means tryptopan. It does not become tryptopan. It prescribes tryptopan. We know this is the case because when the codon TUU is presented in the rybozome, tryptopan is added to the growing chain of AAs, absent any physical cause-and-effect explanation for why it should be. Prescription is immaterial and abstract. [quote=“benkirk, post:29, topic:5625”]
When we humans write a table, it certainly does, but we humans are creating the abstractions!
Not only that, we are also capable of discovering abstractions, such as abstract language, as when we break a code, for example. [quote=“benkirk, post:29, topic:5625”]
You’re inserting vitalism where there is none. There is no command. That’s what it symbolizes to you, but it’s purely chemical in the context of translation.
Do you understand what translation is? What translation means?

It is chemical in the process of translation, but there is no chemical explanation for why. The codon is not the AA. It only symbolizes the AA. Just as the physical symbols of computer code are not the messages they prescribe, the codons are neither the AA, nor the 3D protein they eventually prescribe. And just as the translation process of computer code is physical, so too protein synthesis is physical. In both cases, the physical process is prescribed by abstract concepts conveyed by physical symbols which carry abstract meaning. You see Ben, its not simply that a stop codon symbolizes the command to stop to me. It symbolizes it to everybody and everybody can plainly see this. This is because, as I observed above, the code has been cracked. I am not inserting anything here. I don’t need to. I am observing what has been known and recognized since Crick’s Sequence Hypothesis. If you want to call it vitalism, go ahead. [quote=“benkirk, post:29, topic:5625”]
There is no abstraction. There is no command.
So you say Ben. So you continue to (merely) assert. Please explain why the three molecules TAA in sequence constitute a stop codon without appeal to symbolic meaning.[quote=“benkirk, post:29, topic:5625”]
It’s all physical because it’s chemical. You haven’t shown any abstraction at all, just asserted it.
Ink and paper are physical and chemical but there is nothing physical or chemical about encoded messages written in ink on paper. We observe that thyamine and adenine are molecules and we know from a physical/chemical standpoint how and why they can chemically bond together, but we could look at them from a purely physical/chemical standpoint and never understand that in a specific sequence, they symbolically represent a command to stop, which they do in protein synthesis. It is silly and objectively false to say that they do not. We understand that a stop codon is a stop codon not by physics and chemistry, but by understanding language and code; abstract concepts. Sorry Ben, its not all physical.

I pray that some day you will have the opportunity to ask Him :slight_smile:

“Information is information, neither matter or energy. Any materialism that fails to take account of this will not survive one day” Norbert Weiner, the father of cybernetics.

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Jay: I am both sad and sorry that you took my post the way you did. It seems that we are both misunderstanding each other and being misunderstood be each other now…[quote=“Jay313, post:30, topic:5625”]
Evidence? You mean the evidence you were trying to dig up to discredit Torley? Discuss the ideas, then.
You have to ignore a lot of my post to reach the cruel conclusion that I am trying to discredit Torley and you have to ignore virtually all of my posts to infer that I do not or am not willing to discuss ideas (to that end, my invitation to discuss common descent remains on the table). Indeed, in light of your post to me, it might do you well to take a peek in the mirror.

Now, to your point on dr. Torley’s praise for Dr. Axe’s book. This is what you are referring to:

“In that case, you need to read Dr. Douglas Axe’s latest Book, “Undeniable.” It really supersedes all other books on Intelligent Design (I’ve just received my copy), and I don’t think anyone will write a better book on the subject, in my lifetime. What Dr. Axe does is to show that the case for Intelligent Design actually rests on a very powerful intuition shared by virtually all people, which he calls the Universal Design Intuition. This intuition is enough to tell us that living things were designed. You don’t need to be a Ph.D. to have a justified reason for believing that. Intelligent Design arguments are just a way of formalizing this argument, mathematically. I really suggest you read this book. Compared with it, anything I’ve written on the subject of Intelligent Design is so much straw (to cite a metaphor used by Aquinas).”

It seems to me that he reaffirms this praise in his review.

That is a good question. I would say that we know from Scripture that His intervention was required. At the very least, He is the one who call us forth, and gave us the Image of God. The rest? I’m sure He has done much more than is recorded in scripture. Science, however, does not tell us this.

Honestly it sounds like you are seeing people as machines, even in this quote. Of course we make analogies between living systems and machines, language, technology, etc. That is how humans work. We reason about often this way. You, however, seem to think the there is not analogy, that this is actually describing the reality.

You say, DNA is actually a language, no metaphor, right? The only differences between humans and machines are because we are much more brilliantly engineered. Right?

I’m fine with using the metaphors, but you seem to be taking them very literally. I am not comfortable with that. It leads to very poor thinking, and in the case of calling humans and example of technology, it makes me ethically and theologically squeemish.

I don’t think I’m being silly here.

@deliberateresult, do you at least concede that in all these cases this is all just analogies? That there isn’t a this strong equivalence that you seem to be arguing for at times? If so, that would put me at ease. If not, I’m glad I raised the point, and I just can’t go there with you.


Yeah, I’ve been called bias so many times on this. People seem to forget that I was an ID advocate and a YEC, even when I remind them. I wanted them to be right. It was the science that changed my mind, and reading the Bible that freed me to change my position.

For the record, I met Torley online less than 6 months ago. He was and is part of the ID movement (see this article at ENV We have formed a friendship accross the aisle because we are both pursuing peace. To call him biased because of his friendship with me is just plain sad.

If this was all you were saying I would agree with you. Of course God is the most reasonable causal explanation. However, that doesn’t make all the ridiculous ID arguments correct or good science. Even though you are ultimately right, the science is really bad in ID arguments.

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this fascinates me. You agree that ID is the most reasonable causal explanation based on the evidence? Can you elaborate on the evidence that makes ID the most reasonable explanation?

I never said that the superior technology and data processing of life were the “only” difference. Life - all life - is truly amazing and an amazing testament of our Creator (Romans 1). Of course life is more - so much more than simply technology and data processing. Yet without data processing, life would not be possible. This goes beyond just protein translation. Consider that the human brain (literally) processes data faster than any computer can. ( Just to be clear, I am not calling humans data processing systems :)). Moreover, the molecular machinery of life exceeds the best efforts of our engineers. Entire scientific sub disciplines have sprung up devoted to the study of such “systems:” Bioinformatics, biomimicry, and systems biology, to name a few. Moreover, all of these are realities that in my mind constitute strong, solid evidence for ID. If you want to call them analogies, that’s fine with me. But please, let’s not kid ourselves: it is human technology that pales in comparison to the vastly superior designs of life.

Here’s what makes me ethically, theologically, and scientifically squeamish: the position that the exact same fundamental forces of nature that we know to be responsible for phenomena in the inanimate world are also responsible for the fundamentally different phenomena of life.

Perhaps I overreacted. But I’m fairly good at this reading thing, having practiced quite a bit, and I don’t see how you expected what you wrote to be taken any other way.

This pretty clearly implies that we should question the OP’s (Torley’s) truthfulness in regard to his review of Axe’s book. In short, we should not “take the OP on its face,” but should “peek behind the curtain” and find … What??

Guilt by association and bias, put in pretty strong and unmistakable terms. I don’t think I misread you here, Joe. The language is clear, and so is the conclusion. Personally, I think you owe those guys an apology, but that’s up to you. As for me, I apologize for my own strong language, but I’m not angry with you, and I’m sure we can get past this little bump in the road.

We all agree that God is the most reasonable causal explanation. The disagreement is the best way to interpret the evidence and construct the argument.

I freely confess that every friendship of mine makes me biased in favor of my friends. All things being equal, I will defend a friend and come to the aid of a friend more readily than a non friend. I will paint a friend in a deliberately kind light. This is my accusation, which, by the way, I was directing more toward you than dr. Torley. You Created the deliberately sensational heading, “ID Censors One of Their Own.” Pointing out that the only two recorded encounters between Dr. Torley and leading ID advocates with the DI cast dr. Torley in an adversarial role, helps to put a better light on what is really going on here: We should not be surprised when dr. Torley opposes DI members and it seems reasonable to see him as more of a maverick who sees the controversy on his own terms than one of “ID’s Own.” I reiterate here what I said then: that’s perfectly fine.

So I apologize for any offense. None was intended. I was simply trying to put a better light on what I frankly see as a deliberate (not sinister, simply biased) attempt on your part to strike a blow against the credibility of the ID movement at large.

The written word has limitations that the spoken word does not :slight_smile:
Like I said, Jay, you have to ignore a good bit of my post to reach the conclusions you reached. And it appears you still hold them. So be it. Rather than rehash things, let me refer you to my recent post to dr. Swamidass.

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No because I was wise enough not to go public in high school and college.

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Well, my friends and family would tell you that I advocated among them.

Thanks for not accusing me of lying.

I’m just asking my truthful story to be taken seriously in the same way I take other’s stories seriously. For example, John Sanford is an ID advocate that shifted from being an evolutionist to being an ID advocating YEC for why he describes as scientific reasons. Of course his path is rare, but I believe him.

And at no point do I (or I assume @DennisVenema) claim that we were vocal famous ID supporters.

I mainly point my history to emphasize that from the start I was biased towards ID and YEC arguments. And I am a Christian still. I do not feel it is fair to say that I dismiss ID arguments because I am biased against them. That just does not match my history or my current ideological position. I’m a Christian after all, and I agree that God designed us. That makes me biased to agree with ID arguments.

Now that I am a scientist, it is much harder for me to accept what looks like bad science to me. That is one real reason, for me, that I ended up leaving ID.

Good question. The answer? Wisdom.

I remember reaching out to Behe in 1998, and his advice to me was to be silent about any misgivings I had about scientific a consensus till I really knew what I thought, and I was ready to bear the real consequences of it. That was really good advice, and this is one of the reasons I still appreciate him to this day.

I took that advice. It was really good advice. It gave me time to learn and understand more clearly what the science said and what the arguments were on both sides. I started out on the ID side of things, and very skewed YEC (because that was my upbringing).

Then I got an education in computational biology. Mind you, this was before bioinformatics became so central to ID. That changed my view of most of the science and put me in the awkward position of immediately recognizing bad informatics arguments against evolution for what they were, and also gave me the advantage of being able to directly look at the evidence myself. That made all the difference.

Even after I shifted, I kept Behe’s advice in mind. I decided I wanted to be certain where I stood on all these issues, and know as many people behind the scences as I could. Only after I knew what I stood for, and the risks involved, did I start to be more publically engaged. That all started in 2012, and slowly grew from there.

So, you are right. Most young people shoot off their mouths and say stupid things. I am certainly inclined that way. I am just lucky I got very wise advice, that I chose to follow.


This is pretty offensive. This was not an attempt by me. This is an article writing by Torley, not me, for his purpose not mine.

How in the world is his article some how morphed into my deliberate attempt to strike a blow against ID?

And Torley is a bright guy, who thinks for himself. We have never met in person or even talked on the phone. Why would you think that a few blog interactions are enough to color him as so biased? If that were true, geez, I am one of nearly supernatural persuasive ability. The real question is why I haven’t convinced the whole world to agree with me yet.

That being said, I don’t think you are being intentionally mean in this. I think this is pretty standard human behavior, to question the motives of those of those with whom we disagree. So we can move on… =)

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There is something rather than nothing, that something had a beginning, and somehow something amazing as the human mind has arisen from it. Even if evolution is true, this doesn’t explain how a universe exists where evolution is possible. This all begs for an explanation. Science has none.

And then God answers by making himself known by rising Jesus from the dead. From His self revelation, I find that God identifies Himself as the creator of everything.

This together is more than enough evidence for me.


So you are arguing for Vitalism? That living things operate by different physical laws than and fundamental forces than the inanimate world?

I do not mean this in a pejorative sense, but an honest question. Such a position would put you very far afield from the current view in science. It would be an example of how you are claiming more than that ID is the best causal explanation. You would also be claiming that life has different laws of physics and chemistry.

Where do you stand on that?

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