Darwin's Black Box - Michael J. Behe and Intelligent Design

luc

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Listened to parts of a discussion between Stephen Meyer (prominent ID guy) and Perry Marshall (Evolution 2.0) and they talked about the (then, 2017) recent conference of the Royal Society named "New Trends in Biological Evolution" - it apparently was kind of a revolution, because it was a mainstream science conference with tons of big names on it. Seems like they kind of buried Neo Darwinism there once and for all - but I don't remember reading about this anywhere in the news?

Here's a great article about what happened there, fascinating! Royal Society's “New Trends in Biological Evolution" - A Bloodless Revolution

It's interesting as well that perhaps wishful thinking and ideological possession once again shot itself in the foot in the form of the widely popularized concept of epigenetics. That one was/is all over the mainstream news for sure, including fitness and health publications and so on. My guess is that epigenetics became so popular because the social constructionist, postmodernist crowd thought they it could save their stupid dogma by crying "epigentics". BUT that also brought a "Neo Darwinism killer" into mainstream discourse - and hence might open the floodgates to questioning the whole materialist dogma that the whole Western psyche was based on for so long! And that could potentially change a lot!
 

Laura

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Listened to parts of a discussion between Stephen Meyer (prominent ID guy) and Perry Marshall (Evolution 2.0) and they talked about the (then, 2017) recent conference of the Royal Society named "New Trends in Biological Evolution" - it apparently was kind of a revolution, because it was a mainstream science conference with tons of big names on it. Seems like they kind of buried Neo Darwinism there once and for all - but I don't remember reading about this anywhere in the news?

Here's a great article about what happened there, fascinating! Royal Society's “New Trends in Biological Evolution" - A Bloodless Revolution

It's interesting as well that perhaps wishful thinking and ideological possession once again shot itself in the foot in the form of the widely popularized concept of epigenetics. That one was/is all over the mainstream news for sure, including fitness and health publications and so on. My guess is that epigenetics became so popular because the social constructionist, postmodernist crowd thought they it could save their stupid dogma by crying "epigentics". BUT that also brought a "Neo Darwinism killer" into mainstream discourse - and hence might open the floodgates to questioning the whole materialist dogma that the whole Western psyche was based on for so long! And that could potentially change a lot!
Yes, it could change a lot. We can't do too much about it except to publish articles on sott, support on FB and Twitter, etc. But I think every little bit helps!
 

luc

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Just wanted to post the discussion between Perry Marshall and Stephen Meyer I mentioned earlier for those interested, I think it's really interesting, particularly the second half where they talk about their different takes on evolution:


The differences are subtle, but important IMO. Perry is more in favor of a "third way" approach, meaning to study how evolution takes place with his Swiss Army Knife and other as of yet unknown mechanisms by which cells, bacteria and so on (re-)program DNA and make evolution happen. His position is that these microorganisms are living things that show some form of intelligence and that we should see consciousness as at the root of the universe, not matter.

Meyer is an Intelligent Design proponent, saying that whatever these Swiss Army Knife type mechanisms can accomplish doesn't come close explaining evolution and that the information/programming must exist somewhere prior to all these processes.

I think both positions could be merged and have merit, but it seems to me that Meyer and the ID crowd are coming at it with a little too much biblical bias - they seem to think of information as coming from God intervening from the outside, and are a bit too subscribed to biblical notions of "kinds" and how creation unfolded according to the bible. Granted, it's subtle, and they are not creationists or literalists, but I think there is a slight bias that kind of warps their take on things in some respects. To be a bit polemic and perhaps unfair, the ID worldview is more like "materialism plus", i.e. a materialistic universe plus a creator God who might also intervene occasionally.

I think Perry comes closer to a full understanding of what's going on and it's also a more open and fruitful approach. And saying that consciousness is at the root of reality seems a better way of putting it than the notion that there must be an intelligent designer. What we REALLY want to know, after all, is how exactly the interplay between consciousness and matter works? Where are the interfaces, how are they activated? How do living things "attract" certain information? How does this information flow into our reality? And what does this mean for our own consciousness and the consciousness of our bodily systems? And how does our conscious experience interact with the consciousness of our bodily life? And so on.
 
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whitecoast

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Thanks for sharing that luc. You’ve been bringing a lot of good content in lately. I agree that the distinction is subtle, but I definitely noticed the differences views even just between Evolution 2.0 and Generic Entropy. It almost seems to be a rehashing of the debate about of whether God was transcendent or immanent. Or the debate between Plato and Aristotle on universals. “Is the information that informs and builds biological systems within the cells, or does it come from on high?” I feel like the idea of soul pools which meld with and modify the DNA of a cell during incarnation adds such an interesting alternative to both the classical views.
 

Laura

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I've just finished reading "Heretic: One Scientist's Journey from Darwin to Design" by Matti Leisola & Jonathan Witt. I thought about giving it its own thread, but I don't think that's necessary. It's another really good one that tells the story from both a scientific and personal angle. Leisola documents the extreme abuse that any scientist who dares to question Darwinism and its priests gets treated in the scientific community and it is an ugly story.

Leisola, himself, went Christian after his discoveries and realizations, but he doesn't bring any of that into the book; it's purely scientific and purely an account of how science has been coopted by a gang that simply worships the material universe. He does point out some interesting things about how this "methodological materialism" has underpinned all the evils of society that we see as part of the "Leftist Ideology."

Leisola names names and gives specific examples of scientific bullies. One of the most egregious cases appears to be what was done to Richard von Sternberg who worked for the Smithsonian. Pretty horrifying. As I was reading, I was reminded strongly of what Vinnie Bridges and his gang did to me and our group; it was that similar. So I guess we are in pretty good company.

One of the more interesting parts of the book is where he talks about how the religious establishment has fully fallen into line with Darwinism and actively work to undercut their own position. That's pretty shocking. It's obvious that they don't realize that they are actually hurrying their own extinction.

Some of his scientific accounts are easier to understand than Behe's and he gives some cool images of folded proteins. Well worth reading.
 

luc

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One of the more interesting parts of the book is where he talks about how the religious establishment has fully fallen into line with Darwinism and actively work to undercut their own position. That's pretty shocking. It's obvious that they don't realize that they are actually hurrying their own extinction.
Yes, the religions have been totally bullied into justifying their very existence by saying "oh, my faith is totally compatible with Darwinism" and then separating themselves from science, i.e. "these are totally different things". After a certain period of truce, this provided the fertile ground for an all-out attack on religion - "science proved God doesn't exist". By that point, probably because everyone has taken the existence for God for granted for so long, and then thought they could get away with "separating" science and religion, the religious folks lost all their arguments and their bite. Instead they should have mounted a relentless attack on materialism and Darwinian pseudo-religion with everything they got.

The more you read about the topic, the more you realize how strange it is that it took a Michael Behe with his in-depth assault on Darwinism on the molecular level to bring home the point that Darwinism is pseudo-science. Just common sense should do the trick - like asking "what are the odds?" and the obvious observation that nothing ever "evolves"/generates order without conscious effort.

"What are the odds?" might also be a good question to ask when it comes to the situation we're in right now: What are the odds for a world coming into existence that is so completely upside-down as ours at this present time? I can't help but think that the Cs are right and there is a subtle manipulation going on for millennia, which was invisible for people in the past, but that becomes obvious from our present experience. There seems to be a non-random force at work trying to bring about spiritual death. Just as with evolution, "chance" doesn't cut it.
 

Windmill knight

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Yeah, I kind of feel sorry for them now. That question has been exercising me for a little while; why would anyone want to believe there's no meaning or purpose to it all? I think it gives them a twisted ego boost. "I'm a realist. I don't have my head in the clouds. I'm a free thinker." etc. More like, I'm a no thinker! lol Then they have the audacity to be condescending about it. They don't realize how foolish they look to someone who's done some real thinking on the matter.
Peterson says - and I think he's totally right - that for people without meaning, nothing they do ever matters, so they don't have to take any responsibility for anything and they can do whatever they want. But for people with meaning, everything they do matters, which is quite a big deal and responsibility. People complain about not having meaning, but deep inside they don't really want it, because it's so much easier to be a narcissistic nihilist! They may live in the 'existential nausea', but at least they get to party hard! :rolleyes:
 

KJN

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Just ordered both Behe books. Looking forward to new understandings of ID and how this fits with the Cs. This is exciting. Thanks for the recommends.
 

A Jay

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Peterson says - and I think he's totally right - that for people without meaning, nothing they do ever matters, so they don't have to take any responsibility for anything and they can do whatever they want. But for people with meaning, everything they do matters, which is quite a big deal and responsibility. People complain about not having meaning, but deep inside they don't really want it, because it's so much easier to be a narcissistic nihilist! They may live in the 'existential nausea', but at least they get to party hard! :rolleyes:
I was thinking about that as well with regards to what genero81 posted. At the same time too, though Peterson may loathe to consider it a possibility just as he is loathe to consider some psychopaths as being born that way a possibility, I wonder if there's a number of people for whom meaninglessness and nihilism are their essential nature. To put it another way, if we can suggest that what one chooses to support is a reflection of who they are on some level, then maybe for those who vehemently support the notion, despite or in spite of the contrary evidence, that all that exists is dead matter that maybe it is the case, for them, because that's all they really are. Which I think is something that Laura has proposed elsewhere on the forum.
 

luc

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Been reading and watching videos about evolution lately, and it can be really confusing at times. Some of the Darwinian counter-arguments against intelligence design make some sense sometimes, and then they start weaseling around and play mind-tricks with definitions and on it goes... There's so much smoke and mirrors around the very definition of Darwinism and evolution!

But I think I finally understood the lens through which you need to read all this controversy: the Darwinists don't fight for Darwinism; they fight for materialism! This is their God: dead matter. A dead cosmos. Nothing else exists.

But since this obviously contradicts our experience of the marvel that is life and of ourselves as self-conscious agents with free will who are able to think, the materialists embraced Darwinism which makes it seem as if something can come out of nothing. A dead universe consisting of dead matter can bring forth life, including humans. Talk about dark stuff: the worship of nothingness! We are born of nothingness!

Darwinism is a meme attaching itself to materialist atheism, the worship of dead matter. It's an avatar, a complete package: origin of life + evolution. The details are confusing and all over the place (and no wonder!), but it doesn't matter. It's the thing that anchors materialism in the collective psyche.

Now, all of this is such obvious nonsense that even some in mainstream science begin to see it. And mainstream science openly admits they have no clue about the origin of life. Hence there are some nuanced discussions going on inside science about the issue. But the ultimate goal is to somehow, anyhow, preserve materialism - that's why they hide the actual state of science on these issues behind a public front that just repeats "random mutation + natural selection", often omitting "random mutation".

And for good reason: "random" is their Achilles heel. Nothing random can ever create order, by definition. They know it, or at least they feel it. But oh, do they squirm! The crux is: once you throw "random" out, you throw materialism out! Poof!

Because no matter how you frame it: the cell is intelligent, information flows into the system from somewhere, some ordering force influences biology, there needs to be a plan, there is purpose, there is a preexisting pattern... GONE! Materialism is WRONG!

But this cannot ever be allowed. And think about what that means: Materialism is the very foundation of Nazism, Communism and Postmodernism. It's the power-source of the scientific establishment. It's everything. And it's totally dumb - it's the philosophy that DENIES that we are thinking beings with a consciousness. It wants to drag us down to a level below us. That's what this is all about.

I'm currently reading James Shapiro's "Evolution - A View From The 21st Century", in which he shows how the cells themselves reprogram their DNA and thus show signs of intelligence. Some of the materialists in science seem kind of half-ready to accept this fact, because it allows them to live in a sort of cognitive dissonance about evolution - believing in a materialist universe where "seemingly" intelligent things can live, similar to the claim that human consciousness is just an illusion resulting from bouncing atoms. But it makes them very uneasy - because of the obvious conclusion: consciousness in a cell? BANG! Materialism dead.

I think it's helpful to keep this in mind when diving into the morass that is the evolution debate.

Here's a documentary from the ID camp about the persecution of "heretics" which gives a glimpse into what's going on in science. It also explores a bit the devastating influence Darwinism had on people's minds, including Hitler:


And here is David Berlinski summarizing some of the arguments against Darwinism:

 
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genero81

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Wow luc, I think you really honed in on the crux of the matter. When you look at it unflinchingly, you see a concerted effort to seal off any consideration and therefore access, to higher levels. It’s the Wizard of Oz pulling levers behind the curtain desperately trying to solidify control.
 

Laura

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Brilliant, Luc! I just made a triple tweet out of excerpts of your post. And I think we have a campaign we can work with. Tweeting and sharing on FB!!!

I'm reading "Icons of Evolution" and "Zombie Science." Very good stuff.

Again and again it comes back to worship of matter.

18 Oct 1994
Q: (L) Who created the Lizzies?
A: Ormethion.
Q: (L) And who is this individual?
A: Thought center.
Q: (L) Located where?
A: Everywhere.
Q: (L) Can you give us a little more of a clue?
A: Another sector of reality.
Q: (L) Is this a sentient, self-aware being that created the
Lizzies?
A: Yes and no.
Q: (L) Is this individual one of what you called the
Transient Passengers?
A: No.
Q: (L) Is it similar?
A: No.
Q: (L) And who created this Ormethion?
A: Not being; thought center.
Q: (L) Thought center of what?
A: Too complex.

10 Oct 1994
Q: Is Ormethion who the Lizzies worship?
A: Close.
Q: Who do they worship? What do they call their god?
A: Physical universe.
Q: The physical universe is their god?
A: Yes.

Who would have ever thought that Darwinism was part of the "Invasion". ?!
 
Just finished DARWINS BLACK BOX. It's everything everybody has said and more. Two phrases Behe used which I found I had to highlight are;

Science is not a game, and scientists should follow the physical evidence wherever it leads to, with no artificial restrictions. and
Vague aphorisms, however, are not data, and science does not progress when it confuses the two.

I really felt his frustration in those sentences. He has certainly won me over.
 

seek10

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Been reading and watching videos about evolution lately, and it can be really confusing at times. Some of the Darwinian counter-arguments against intelligence design make some sense sometimes, and then they start weaseling around and play mind-tricks with definitions and on it goes... There's so much smoke and mirrors around the very definition of Darwinism and evolution!

But I think I finally understood the lens through which you need to read all this controversy: the Darwinists don't fight for Darwinism; they fight for materialism! This is their God: dead matter. A dead cosmos. Nothing else exists.

But since this obviously contradicts our experience of the marvel that is life and of ourselves as self-conscious agents with free will who are able to think, the materialists embraced Darwinism which makes it seem as if something can come out of nothing. A dead universe consisting of dead matter can bring forth life, including humans. Talk about dark stuff: the worship of nothingness! We are born of nothingness!

Darwinism is a meme attaching itself to materialist atheism, the worship of dead matter. It's an avatar, a complete package: origin of life + evolution. The details are confusing and all over the place (and no wonder!), but it doesn't matter. It's the thing that anchors materialism in the collective psyche.
Thank you Luc for the post. This is very good way of reconciling all the chaos we see now a days.

I am only at the first chapter of the "Darwin's black box". Author has done a pretty good job laying out the history of evolution argument and how new technologies constantly showed complexities of smaller boxes, while neo-Darwinist's some how cling on to what he said based on his primitive observations 150 years ago.

I was also reading book "Devils illusion". While I understand authors counter arguments to the main stream scientist arguments in a witty way, I found my self realizing that i am new to main stream scientific obsession to Darwinism. Scientific discoveries and its finidings are supposed to enrich our lives by cleaning negative stuff in religion( blind superstitions and authoritative following etc.). But it looks, these scientists made their own religion which is much more worse.

It is interesting to find parallel to Nazi experiment and modern day neo-Darwinism. pre-Nazi Germans were bombarded with their Aryan fairly tale (in literature, schools,elsewhere) and suffering until Hitler was brought on to the stage. Now all these neo-darwinism among scientists are promoting materialism for decades( Because religion abused it or promoted superstition or church and state abused it -> so God doesn't exist -> only matter exist ), Marxist education in schools/universities and corporations, Victim hood identity politics ( #metoo, transgender etc.) looks to be intended to make us weak to think for our own. It is similar "divide and rule". Neo-darwinists using Darwin's findings to promote their materialist view point through leftie universities/media/corporations/institution explains the chaos.
 
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