The Second Law (and Discovery Institute) Defeat Evolution Once Again


Perfect! That kinda describes my view as well.

(Ashwin S) #63

Agreed… and frankly thats what any honest look at the diversity of life should also say…
Unfortunately, Evolutionary Biology loves story telling more than actual science… And this is more true when we look at textbooks and public presentations of the theory.

True… i also believe essentially the same… Which means that regular events must have more Law based explanations rather than truly random nonsense… miracles of chance and tautologies are not good for science… and that’s a major drawback in current theories of life and evolution as it is currently.
For example, though we cant predict when a storm front will form, we know very well how it happens.
However Evolution seems to not care for the how or why all that much… As long as a good just so story can be narrated.
I would expect a law based explanation for life/development of life (if God didnt directly intervene). And i am awaiting such.And the most crucial requirement would be how information emerges from non-matter… something like an e=mc square for information is required… right now that role is taken up by chance mutations +NS +etc etc… and i dont buy it…That’s a magical thinking of the materialist kind in my opinion and poor kids should not be corrupted with such nonsense.

(Mark D.) #64

You might say instead that “best fit” has no objective definition outside the context of a particular environment. So evolution is always responding to conditions on the ground and in so doing gradually changing them.

As an atheist I agree that there is no teleology involved in evolution. If one decides there is teleology going on in evolution then that will be based on considerations separate from the science. I don’t agree with you that the people at Biologos are confused about evolution as you seem to keep saying. They simply have other, scripturally based reasons for believing the ongoing results of evolution meet with God’s approval. There is a subtle difference between not understanding evolution and deliberately placing evolution within a larger religious context.

I don’t think it is helpful to keep God in the creation story any longer myself, but that is because of the wider context of my own religious beliefs. For me God is an entirely intra-personal phenomenon, as much a result of evolution as everything else about the subjective states available to our species.

But I believe you share the same wider religious context as most of the members of Biologos. Or do you lean in my direction? Why is it you do not share their disposition to follow the evidence of science where it leads? You can be sure that science will never expose a falsehood in the bible which is not as much the fault of a too literal reading.


Just like winning the lottery involves extremely unlikely events, yet it happens all of the time.

Given the number of planets in the universe there are plenty of chances to produce a planet capable of supporting life. Also, trillions of new organisms are produced every day so it doesn’t seem that impossible.

If you claim the chances are too high for evolution, then you need to show your math. Otherwise, all you have is personal incredulity which is a logical fallacy.

You haven’t shown any science that contradicts the process of evolution. All you have offered is unsubstantiated claims about probabilities.

Why do you think biological reproduction violates the laws of thermodynamics? It happens trillions of times a day.

That is false. A deity or intelligence could have produced the first life, and then that life evolved into all of the species we see today.

That is also false. There is no assumption of naturalism in evolution. The CONCLUSION is that the observations are consistent with natural processes.

Because those notions are based on bad science.

So you reject natural causes for rain clouds?

Show me a car that reproduces on its own.


Nothing in the theory of evolution would change if the first life were created by a deity or an intelligence. It is completely compatible with the theory. The theory of evolution could care less where the first life came from. The only thing the theory of evolution is concerned with is how life changed once it arrived.

That assumption is never made in science because science does not make metaphysical or ontological statements. You could even create a hypothesis that tests for Gods interaction with nature if you wanted to. There is nothing stopping you.

We use science because it has been so successful. You are free to not use science if you want, but you can’t call it science and that is usually the sticking point for the ID/creationist crowd. They want the title of science to give their claims more weight because apparently faith isn’t enough for them, but they don’t seem to want to follow the rules of science which include testable hypotheses.

Anti-science would be rejecting the conclusions reached by science. You are also free to take an anti-science position if you want.

I would heartily agree with that sentiment. The problem is that ID/creationists claim they are using a scientific world view when they aren’t.


I would agree with you if the evidence for evolution was as flimsy as you think it is, but it is not. Evolution is one of the most well fundamented and solid theorys in all of biology and all sciences in general. We’ve been doing science everyday for the last decades, with thousands of new discoveries each day, and not a single one of them seems to contradict evolution, in fact, they all fit perfectly with evolution. Maybe you should honestly consider the possbility that you are biased on that matter and have been consuming biased material from ID think tanks, it can happen to anyone, it is unforunately a human tendency.

(George Brooks) #68

@Ashwin_s (@Chris_Falter) , tut-tut, dear sir.

You are speaking of semantics and the meanings of words.

And there are no undeniable FACTS about semantic meaning until you define the meanings. And I have you on record a few times essentially refusing to offer such definitions, except such vague ones that might make you laugh to yourself and spray some morning coffee all over your keyboard!

There is an inherent difference between

o God using instantaneous Special Creation to create the species and kinds of the Earth’s living populations, vs.
o God using millions of years to create all the Earth’s speciation through mutation, natural selection and
common descent from a single and original population of life.

God can use either technique, or both techniques. But one requires an Old Earth, and the other does not.
One leaves indelible marks of its occurrence - - genetic indications that a splinter populations were derived from an older/common population that uniquely experienced a long and complex pattern of events that no other population has experienced. While the other method of creation would work perfectly well with or without
a nested hierarchy of commonalities - - because each species is a stand-alone creation!

Evolution is marked by the distinctive pattern of mutations, natural selection and speciations sharing in descent from common populations. The definitions for these processes do not change the labels for these processes just because God is the one arranging them.

If Special Creation and God’s use of Evolution were essentially the same thing, the dispute between Special Creation and Evolution would have ended generations ago!

(George Brooks) #69


Yet another example of you impugning the integrity of scientists…

(Ashwin S) #70

Thats nonsense. The lottery involves a certainty that someone will win… (because one ticket has to be selected). Life is not ordained by nature. There is no necessity that a living organism should form.
This is circular reasoning brought about by assuming life arose by random
natural causes and hence there is a necessity for it to arise by chance.

I have shared where the science is at now. The probability is low. Almost all scientists who work in the field accept this and are searching for mechanisms that will make life probable by natural means.
Since the mechanism is still unknown, there are only estimates of the probability based on the current knowledge. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe did some math. So did Harold Morrowitz. You can find it easily. Some accept it some don’t.
However, even scientists who accept life arose by chance accept the probability is extremely low. Your line of reasoning is flawed.
Francis Crick summed it up very concisely and what he said is even more today -

An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.

If it gives you any comfort to tell yourself, we cant really calculate the probability and so the probability is not low… then enjoy yourself.
I prefer being rational.

What makes you think i was talking about biological reproduction?

I shared a paper with @pevaquark and that’
s how the discussion started. the paper talks about biological complexity emerging an the laws of thermodynamics.
If you want to bring a deity into the first life… why not bring the deity/intelligence into the development of life? Every time a new complex system needs to be developed de-novo… invoke the deity?
Be consistent in your thinking.

Go read the basics assumptions of science…

I would expect any scientist, whether an evolutionist, physicist or ID scientist, to produce testable hypothesis.

I was being told here that science doesn’t support/assume any world view perse…
Thanks for admitting the truth.
The world view of materialism is a unproven and unproveable assumption.Why is it the foundation of science?

Yes it could happen to anyone… scientists included. I have been reading and sharing a lot of Peer reviewed Papers recently to support my views. You can go through it. Let me point to a facts that i have shared recently ( i will ping you on those comments)-

There is no apparent “tree of life” when we observe nature. Its more a web of life and in some cases with respect to prokaryotes, observations such as “Horizontal Gene transfer” have made it impossible to test for common descent.
This is true for other phyla to varying degrees. Scientists currently are more confident about trees among animals… However, this could be a result of decades of “tree thinking” and more a self fulfilling prophecy.
Anyway, common descent seems to have been cut off at its trunk. The current tree of life should look like a hybrid between that of an evolutionist who believes in LUCA and that of a creationist.

Actually it does…
Thats why even Biologos is carefull to label their belief as creationism (evolutionary creationsim).The problem is that evolution by definition is not compatible with the ides of creationism.It doesnt need God to arrange anything. In fact it emphatically Denies that God played any part including directing or arranging Evolutionary processes.

Aren’t Scientists human and hence prone to human foibles?

Yes… the question is … How good a fit is it?

I was an agnostic/athiest when i first learnt about evolution.I rejected it then because it sounded like an improbable just so story based on a tautology. The mechanisms described could not create the change required. Too much programming seems to be involved.
There are atheist/agnostic scientists who would agree with me. For example James shapiro, who is trying to build upon natural selection/mutation to create a more feasible “toolkit” for nature to generate novelty and looking in terms of organisms contributing to their own development though their choices… Or Jablonka who is looking at lamarckism again.

End of the day, the biggest problem is teleology. Evolution is not directional. And what is required is a real mechanism that creates novelty in a particular direction.( and my bone with Biologos is that i refuse to let God do that!).
I expect scientists to do better than mutation and natural selection (and i am willing to wait till i conclude).Its time they moved on from just so stories, and illogical chance events to actually feasible mechanisms of change.

As to common descent. A good number of scientists accept that the tree of life is not ontologically real. (i.e it cannot be known whether it happened in reality… it probably didnt).Currently the debate is whether it is a useful tool to visualise evolutionary relationships (like a graph) and many people dont even want to use it that way. In 5-10 years, the tree of life could very well be obsolete as anything other than an early concept.
If there is no tree showing descent… how could there be common descent? (Not to be confused with descent within phyla. I dont think any scientist disagrees with that at this point)
If life evolved by natural means, the following needs to be found -

  1. A physical chemical principle/probability model by which molecules tend to clump together and form complex biomolecules.
  2. A method for information/organisation to be generated de-novo.
  3. A real toolkit for biological change that takes feedback from the environment and evolves solutions based on the feedback from the environment.

As to religious beliefs, my belief in the bible is based on an experience of Jesus christ as real. I.e he is the resurrected Lord and savior of mankind.

(Mark D.) #71

Ashen, you wrote:

Yes… the question is … How good a fit is it?

To which, I’d answer:

Well for my religious framework, it isn’t a good fit at all. But for those who believe in a creator God, it certainly makes a lot more sense to accept the evidence that evolution best describes how life on earth has changed over time than it does to suppose God did it miraculously. If God is imagined as being all powerful then I suppose His choice of methods is His own.

If you base your science on the literary impressions you have in relation to a given theory, then your appraisal of the science can’t be taken seriously.

Trying to argue a point of science based a presumption of teleology is misguided. Whether or not it is theologically sound to accept the theory which best explains all the evidence will depend upon the assumptions you make about God. So long as you insist that God is limited to acting in a manner consistent with the way you interpret the bible, then for you it is not possible to square science with Christianity. But of course all people, Christians included, can disagree on how they interpret any text, the bible included.[quote=“Ashwin_s, post:70, topic:38906”]

*Sorry for the mess I’ve made of the quotes. Too tired now to fix it.

(Ashwin S) #72

No problem…
You seem to view science as a monolythic field. Fact of the matter is that people interpret data in different ways… And there are genuine scientists (including Non-ID scientists) who argue based on data that -

  1. The data falsifies Darwins description of all life falling into a tree driven by common decent…
  2. That Natural selection cannot bring about change beyond a limit- i.e novelty.
    I am not really saying anything that scientists don’t accept or atleast debate about.
    Most people conflate science with a consensus opinion/ or even a public perception of what the consensus opinion is (usually decided by textbooks and self appointed websites)…And very often this is a misguided approach, especially when we are dealing with historical sciences like biology.
    Very often the scientific consensus or sets of opinions on any subject do not coincide with the stuff being peddled in popular websites. Or atleast the reality is more nuanced.
    Science is often wrong… even after decades of consensus and no one can sue.
    Because, thats part of the process of science.

The assumption of teleology is logically based , not theologically based.

That is true… however i dont think we should fill what is lacking in science with religion.
There are legitimate problems with evolutionary science that need to be called out… instead of obfuscating it with theology.
I dont see Biologos as helping science or religion. but thatsi only my opinion.

(George Brooks) #73


Where exactly does @T_aquaticus reject a deity into the development [i.e. “evolution”] of life? As a general rule, Mr. T is rather careful about such matters, and so I would be surprised if you actually bumped
up against such a rarity.

(George Brooks) #74

@Ashwin_s (@pevaquark )

You’ll have to demonstrate how an additional way of referring to God-guided/God-led Evolution, such as
“Evolutionary Creationism” nullifies the part that says “Evolutionary”. Isn’t this being about as deceptive as you ever have been, Ashwin?

As for this:

[quote=“Ashwin_s, post:70, topic:38906”]![|20x20]
Aren’t Scientists human and hence prone to human foibles?

But you didn’t refer to the “story tellers” as “humans just like everyone else”. You made a specific accusation against Evolutionary Biologists (unless, oddly, you think Evolutionary Biology is itself a story-telling person!

(George Brooks) #75


Oh, please … provide a citation for that claim… I’m quite sure you are taking it out of context.

(Steve Schaffner) #76

Sure. But I’m not aware of any biologists(*) who dispute that all life is genetically related, even if the relationships do not form a simple tree shape for all life. If you think the matter under debate in any way undercuts common descent, you don’t know what’s going on.

(*) I do not count creationists who go through the motions of studying biology while reaching their pre-ordained conclusions.

I know of no scientific argument that suggests that natural selection is not part of the natural process that produces evolutionary novelties. Again, if you think arguments about mechanism and the importance of different processes in evolution undercut the reality of common descent, you don’t understand the issues.

(Mark D.) #77

Then yours is a philosophy of science argument? It is hard to see how logic alone can support an empirical conclusion. To apply logic to empirical matters you need have some premises regarding how the world works which are solid. But science and not logic is the surest basis for such premises. On what assumptions do you base your conclusion that evolution is insufficient to account for ‘novelty’? It still seems to me that you are not offering an alternative scientific theory but only looking to restrict the application of science.

(George Brooks) #78


If the logic used is theological … then your assumption of teleology is still theologically based, derived and concluded.

There is no “a priori” logic that renders the reality of teleology or intelligent design. Additional premises must be constructed and adopted. And the premises you have adopted are in the sphere of theology.


No, that is not how it works. There are 6 numbers drawn randomly from more than 50 possible numbers and the number on your ticket has to match. At least of the Powerball lottery here in the US, the odds of winning the lottery are around 1 in 175 million, and yet people win all of the time.

And yet trillions of new life forms appear every day. Reality trumps your unsubstantiated claims.

As long as there are organisms who are born with mutations that also compete for limited resources there will always be evolution. It is an inevitability. The probability is guaranteed that organisms will be born with mutations, and it is also guaranteed that not all organisms will have as many offspring as possible nor will all of their offspring go on to have offspring of their own. Evolution is a necessity when there is life.

What math did they do for evolution?

Because we are talking about evolution.

I have. The assumptions are that the laws of nature are consistent through time and space, nature is rational, and that humans have the ability to use reason. That’s it.

And yet the ID/creationists don’t do this for Intelligent Design or creationism.

Wrong question. Why do you want ID/creationism to be considered science so badly?


What is the problem with horizontal gene transfer? It is still an existing gene being transfered to another organism, not something poping out of existence by special creation, not only that, but those processes leave marks that can be traced back and let us know where the gene came from. Posting peer reviewed studies don’t say much when they are a single study against literally hundreds of thousands of other studies proving the opposite, that’s cherry picking at its peak.

Hoyle ultimately accepted evolution, his and Crick’s concerns were not so much about evolution as to how life originated (abiogenesis), that is why both defended panspermia, which is ultimately a materialistic explanation anyway.


It’s funny how all my friends in mathematics never disagree when I say the mathematics is not science, yet ID proponents, which have never produced a single reliable result are so desperate to call ID science. Maybe its because mathematicians know that mathematics is reliable despite not being technically a science and are thus are not so insecure and in need of self-assurance.