Signal and Noise


Well you are going from bad to worse here Steve. The null hypothesis is generated using a random number generator to scramble the data randomly. In other words, the null hypothesis is physically meaningless. It completely disregards the science. There is zero science accounted for. It tosses out the biology, physics, ecology, etc. What you are claiming here is that either the world is utterly chaotic and random, or else common descent is true. Any species can take on any character trait, at anytime, anywhere. There is no context. This is fact-free science. And this is how you judge these data to be “strong evidence for common descent.” Either a physically meaningless reality obtains, or else common descent it true. This is utterly pathetic and ridiculous. And you guys lecture me on philosophy?

Your reasoning is circular. You characterize the data as “noisy” because it does not fit your model. Your interpretation is “theory-laden.”


This is truly astonishing. Not only did I justify it, but that justification, as I indicated, runs all through the evolution literature! To say that I haven’t justified my notional design distribution model at all is not only false, but an incredible example of having it both ways. This is what evolutionists have been insisting all along!! It goes all the way back to Darwin. I mean, you gotta love evolution. Just so readers can fully appreciate the humor here, I’ll paste in what I said:

So I haven’t justified the design model at all?

What is so ironic here is that evolutionists have been pounding this message home all the way back to Darwin: “Design and creationism aren’t constrained to the common descent pattern, but we are!!” they have repeatedly proclaimed. And now, suddenly it’s “what ever could you be talking about? What a strange notion this is.”

Sigh. This is why these discussions become so tedious. So, here we go:

And Chris’s incredible strawman:

As is obvious, that is a misrepresentation of my point. And here is Steve’s response:


As for Remine, his model is not mainstream or consensus. That is not to dismiss it, it is just a statement of fact. One can find all kind of outlier ideas in evolutionary thought as well, but I would never use them in a rebuttal or criticism of evolution. There’s no question, for objective observers, that the consensus views are that the common descent model calls for a higher CI than the design model.

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It is correct that ReMines’ model is not mainstream. But to be clear, I am not saying that “because he is wrong, so are you.” I bring him up to point out that “design” is a broad concept that includes several models. Some of these models make entirely different predictions than you are making. I even was sure to point out that your model produces different predictions than his (blue vs orange curve).

And, I have already sketched out the principles behind CD. It depends on another variable: the rate of change. It is fairly easy to see how this enables us to compute the expected range of CI we can expect for a given feature.

At this point, however, you have not specified your model. Please explain to us: what is your model of design? Clearly, it is not ReMine’s model, but what is it exactly? And how does it give rise to your precise CI predictions with narrow standard deviation? What is the math/principles/calculations you use to arrive at the expected consistency? Just saying “design” is very poorly specified, which is why you ended up on the orange curve.


EDIT: To the best of my ability, removed any discussion of disputed terminology, etc.

You allude to new evidence, the testimony of “objective observers.” In my web searches, I was unable to identify any such folk who held the opinion you ascribe to them. It is quite possible I overlooked them. Who are these people? What are the analytic methods they used to assign quantitative CI predictions to design models vs. common descent models? Where have they published their analysis?

I would like to understand the issue better, so I would appreciate any details you could offer. Thanks.


Well how gracious of you. Am I supposed to be thankful for this undue generosity. :slight_smile:

So let’s look at your strawman. You said:

But of course, I never said that. I didn’t imply it, I didn’t suggest it, I didn’t say it at all.

And I never said that either. “Randomness hypothesis is victorious” ?? You are contriving things whole cloth.

And, again, I never said that. “the null hypothesis is assumed” ??

That is why I pasted in what I, in fact, really did say. There’s no mystery here. So at the risk of extreme tedium, here it is again:

As any objective observer can see, I never said the bizarre version that Chris came up with, complete with detailed charts and graphs!

Yet when I point out this objectively undeniable fact out, I am told that it is I who am doing the misrepresenting:

As you can see, being an evolutionist mean never having to say your sorry. You gotta love it. Perhaps I should feel honored to be given so much attention, in spite of the fact it is all false. And of course, I was offered “a graceful way out.”

Where would we be without some humor. But kidding aside, this is unfortunately how these discussions often (de) evolve.

Now that the air is cleared, here’s a subject that I think many readers in this thread, not just myself, would find interesting. If you have the time to provide this requested information, I would love to hear what you have to say:


I don’t see a point to the generalities being exchanged here. Let me be concrete. If we compare genomes of two great apes, based on common descent, I can predict the following with considerable precision: the transition/transversion ratio of the single-base differences between the genomes; the relative rate of transitions at CpG sites, the relative rate of transversions at CpG sites. What predictions does your model make for these quantities, to say, +/- 20%?


Forget justification, you haven’t even described it verbally or mathematically.


Hi Cornelius,

In order to represent your discussion as fairly as I possibly can, I have edited a couple of previous posts in order to eliminate any ascription to you of null hypotheses or randomness–other than the reference to randomness that you yourself made. I also adjusted my description of what CI you think evolution would predict from 95% to 80% (not that I could have known your specific number at the time of my original post). Finally, in one post I clipped a large block of text just to reduce the noise and friction.

“[A]s far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” - Romans 12:18

Regarding how to measure the validity of an evolutionary explanation for consistency index: you publicly and quite clearly proposed an arithmetic mean. Thus I feel that my analysis on that issue treats what you wrote with 100% honesty and fairness, and needs to be kept in place so that readers can be aware of the mathematical thinking that points to the best inference from data in my opinion. If you feel that my mathematical formulations are incorrect, I invite you to provide an alternative explanation with a clearly defined, superior mathematical basis.

Best regards,

Chris Falter


you really should stop digging

A “scientific” theory is a well-supported hypothesis, not a “Law of God.” Scientists earn Nobel Prizes for falsifying scientific theories. In other words, a scientific theory is the latest best guess.


I am not surprised that @Cornelius_Hunter never responded to your question…

I wonder what @Cornelius_Hunter thinks about the hyper-speciation that has to occur when the animals are released from the ark … in order to have a an Earth filled with all the different kinds it is filled with …

George, more than once it has been mentioned that Cornelius Hunter believes in an old earth. He also believes in the general chronology presented by paleontology. Thus the ark scenario that you present does not apply to him at all.

Sooner or later, George, you are going to accept that ID and YEC are not synonymous. Probably the forum editors have a lunch tab on the line regarding when that will happen. Before September 2017, @jpm pays for the monthly run to the Chinese buffet. After that, @BradKramer pays. So far, things are looking good for @jpm, but you might surprise us. :smile:


Sure. My stance would be that the “laws” of science are approximations of the laws of God with respect to matter and energy.

Well, that is certainly a slice of embarrassment. I don’t actually think ID and YEC are synonymous… but the frequency with which ID proponents try to take shortcuts around the corners does make it relatively confusing.

But are you sure, @Chris_Falter, that my question is irrelevant? Does he believe the Flood happened millions of years ago? Or just a few thousand years ago? Why would someone go to the trouble of accepting Science’s verdict on the age of the Earth, and yet accept a global flood? Or does he combine “Regional Flood” with “Old Earth”?

And if he accepts Regional Flood and Old Earth, then he must accept Speciation too, yes?

My last memory of Hunter was asking him some questions, and him turning on his heels without leaving any answers.

Frankly, it would be nice to have a grid which clearly labels the positions of ID folks with footnoted citations. They are a squirrely bunch, and I am not a fan of how much they lay the knife to our positions… .but get real dodgy when asked details about theirs!



I thought I would spend a little time at Hunter’s blog:

Doing a specific search on the phrase “Old Earth”, I have to wonder how or why Hunter is an Old Earther at all:

  1. He says Evolution is a myth;
  2. He argues that Speciation is a rare fluke, not a regular occurrence;
  3. I can’t find a statement about how “old” “Old Earth” is …
  4. I can’t find a statement about when the flood occurs…
  5. And frankly, I don’t think he really is an Old Earther.

On March 27, 2011 (URL below) he ends his column with the following words:

“Creationists say God would not use long time periods to create. They say God would not use cruel processes to create. These are claims about divine intent, and that is the real story.”

I think he’s “cat-fishing” BioLogos when he says he is an Old Earther… but I welcome being proved incorrect.

NOTE: I personally think the only way God creates is the long way … not to be intentionally long, but because what is the advantage of “poofing” something into existence? Time is irrelevant to God, right? So why should he be in a hurry to make a tree, if doing so makes a tree that doesn’t really fit in with all the other trees? Unless, there is a kind of tree that is scientifically known for having an unusual kind of growth and not producing tree rings…

This could have been written by your old friend Eddie, who was routinely excoriated (and eventually banned?) for his habit of asking people to delineate their positions…


Yes, that was a shame.

But notice that I suggest citations… with citations, we don’t have to ask anybody. And if the person in question doesn’t like the citation (which is absolutely his or her right), then he can offer a better citation or a specific “quotable quote”.

I’m relatively confident if I had suggested a grid or table, Eddie would have listed 12+ reasons why it was a terrible idea … even if it might have helped prolong his time on these boards!

Just for the sake of Nostalgia, I still remember the very first dispute Eddie and I had: I had used the term “theist” or “theistic”, and Eddie flew at me saying that I really should restrict my use of “theistic” to those people who are Jews, Christians or Moslems.

After I referred to a Theology encyclopedia to defend a more general sense of the word Theist, he calmly told me that the encyclopedia I was using was, to paraphrase his words, garbage.

That’s when I realized that only Eddie was a source reliable enough for Eddie’s liking. The Good ol’ days…

[quote=“bill_wald, post:32, topic:35048, full:true”]
A “scientific” theory is a well-supported hypothesis, not a “Law of God.”[/quote]
Who is saying that it is a Law of God?

In general, no. They win Nobels for replacing scientific theories with new theories that they have tried and failed to falsify.

[quote]In other words, a scientific theory is the latest best guess.
[/quote]No, theories are not mere guesses.

First year statistics taught me that probability only applies to future events and statistics only applies to historical data sets. If something happened, it happened.

Statistics and probability only apply to the entire data set. If the odds are a billion to one, the event could occur in the 1st trial or the billionth trial. Statistics only applies to the set of data and never to a specific event. That’s all I learned in Statistics 101.

“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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