Does Tree-Like Data Refute Intelligent Design?

Cisco Qid

Active member
The ability to fit a set of data into a “treelike” pattern is not necessarily incompatible with intelligent design. Nonetheless, it’s clear that a lot of data does not fit a treelike pattern. Computer scientist Winston Ewert applied the concept of “common design” to propose a “dependency graph” model of organismal relationships. This was based upon the principle that software designers frequently re-use the same coding modules in different programs. In a paper in BIO-Complexity, Ewert tested his model by comparing the distribution of gene families in nine diverse organisms to a treelike pattern predicted by neo-Darwinism versus a dependency graph distribution used by computer programmers. The results are only preliminary, but they suggest that a common design-based “dependency graph” model fit the genetic data from these species some 10^3000 times better than a Darwinian evolutionary tree. Common design is a potentially superior explanation compared to universal common ancestry for the distribution of much genomic data.

Source
 

rossum

Well-known member
The ability to fit a set of data into a “treelike” pattern is not necessarily incompatible with intelligent design.

Source
This is correct. There is no set of data which is incompatible with Intelligent Design. Any and all data can be 'explained' by saying, "The designer did it that way."

That is one of the ways ID fails as science. A scientific theory need to specify a potential disproof, to enable that theory to be tested.

Darwin provided two potential disproofs of his theory, and Haldane provided a third. A living pegasus would be a fourth.

What possible set of data would be a disproof of ID theory? In effect, what is your proposed designer incapable of designing, just as evolition is incapable of evolving a Cambrian rabbit or a pegasus?
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
You've brought this up before, but when I asked for an example of one of these dependency relations, the best you could do was marsupial pouches depending upon mammalian traits. Yet you couldn't show that only warm-blooded breast-feeders would benefit from a pouch for their young. What about the ability of a chameleon or octopus to change colour to match their background? Why would the value of that trait depend specifically upon being either a chameleon or an octopus? (Also still waiting on an answer to my question about your IBE criteria.)
 

Cisco Qid

Active member
This is correct. There is no set of data which is incompatible with Intelligent Design. Any and all data can be 'explained' by saying, "The designer did it that way."

That is one of the ways ID fails as science. A scientific theory need to specify a potential disproof, to enable that theory to be tested.

Darwin provided two potential disproofs of his theory, and Haldane provided a third. A living pegasus would be a fourth.

What possible set of data would be a disproof of ID theory? In effect, what is your proposed designer incapable of designing, just as evolition is incapable of evolving a Cambrian rabbit or a pegasus?
For a long time before ENCODE and other sources, many in your group believed that the vast sea of "junk DNA" falsified ID while ID predicted that further research would discover more function in DNA. New functions for DNA are coming in almost on a weekly bases. I have already given an excerpt from William Dembski and there are other such as Jonathon Wells "The myth of Junk DNA" and "Signature in the Cell" by Stephen Myer.

You can't point to some made up mythology animal and use that as a case for your theory because the end possibilities are infinite. That's like postulating an impossibility as a source of falsification.
 
Last edited:

Cisco Qid

Active member
You've brought this up before, but when I asked for an example of one of these dependency relations, the best you could do was marsupial pouches depending upon mammalian traits. Yet you couldn't show that only warm-blooded breast-feeders would benefit from a pouch for their young. What about the ability of a chameleon or octopus to change colour to match their background? Why would the value of that trait depend specifically upon being either a chameleon or an octopus? (Also still waiting on an answer to my question about your IBE criteria.)
Read the link. I don't believe you actually had a question on IBE, just complaints.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
The ability to fit a set of data into a “treelike” pattern is not necessarily incompatible with intelligent design. Nonetheless, it’s clear that a lot of data does not fit a treelike pattern. Computer scientist Winston Ewert applied the concept of “common design” to propose a “dependency graph” model of organismal relationships. This was based upon the principle that software designers frequently re-use the same coding modules in different programs. In a paper in BIO-Complexity, Ewert tested his model by comparing the distribution of gene families in nine diverse organisms to a treelike pattern predicted by neo-Darwinism versus a dependency graph distribution used by computer programmers. The results are only preliminary, but they suggest that a common design-based “dependency graph” model fit the genetic data from these species some 10^3000 times better than a Darwinian evolutionary tree. Common design is a potentially superior explanation compared to universal common ancestry for the distribution of much genomic data.

Source
No, Tree-like data does not refute Intelligent Design. Nothing refutes it, or can. That's one of the reasons it's not science.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
You can't point to some made up mythology animal and use that as a case for your theory because the end possibilities are infinite. That's like postulating an impossibility as a source of falsification.
The reason it's an impossibility is evolution. That's why their existence would falsify evolution.

This is pretty funny, really. We say X would falsify evolution, and you say "X is impossible" - but the only reason it's impossible is evolution. Of course it's impossible - if evolution is true. If evolution is not true, then it's as possible as the platypus or the sloth.
 

Cisco Qid

Active member
No, Tree-like data does not refute Intelligent Design. Nothing refutes it, or can. That's one of the reasons it's not science.
You falsify as theory by its predictions or at least gather evidence for or against. ID has made plenty of predictions among which was the future discovery of functionality in the now debunked "junk DNA". The trouble with Darwinists is that they can't accept defeat. A victory for ID would mean that a Ph.D in evolutionary theory is now obsolete and Dan Graur and those among the entrenched higher educational hierarchy can go back to pizza delivery.
 

Cisco Qid

Active member
The reason it's an impossibility is evolution. That's why their existence would falsify evolution.

This is pretty funny, really. We say X would falsify evolution, and you say "X is impossible" - but the only reason it's impossible is evolution. Of course it's impossible - if evolution is true. If evolution is not true, then it's as possible as the platypus or the sloth.
You can't use an impossible event as your falsification criteria or else it's not falsifiable by that criteria. You pick the criteria and if you chose to pick one that can't possibly happen then your theory remains safe from fear of falsification. It's a little like searching for a ring under a lamp post because the lighting is better there.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
You falsify as theory by its predictions or at least gather evidence for or against. ID has made plenty of predictions among which was the future discovery of functionality in the now debunked "junk DNA". The trouble with Darwinists is that they can't accept defeat. A victory for ID would mean that a Ph.D in evolutionary theory is now obsolete and Dan Graur and those among the entrenched higher educational hierarchy can go back to pizza delivery.
No, you falsify a theory by finding something that, if the theory is true, could not be the case - like finding a pegasus would falsify evolution.

What would falsify ID?

You can't use an impossible event as your falsification criteria or else it's not falsifiable by that criteria. You pick the criteria and if you chose to pick one that can't possibly happen then your theory remains safe from fear of falsification. It's a little like searching for a ring under a lamp post because the lighting is better there.
There's nothing impossible about a pegasus or a unicorn - unless evolutionary theory is true. Both of them could possibly happen if evolution is false. Why are they impossible? Why could an intelligent designer not have created them?

You're still doing the same thing - trying to falsify evolution but, when falsification criteria are given to you, claiming that those criteria are not valid because they are impossible - when they are only impossible because of evolution. That's the entire point.
 

rossum

Well-known member
For a long time before ENCODE and other sources, many in your group believed that the vast sea of "junk DNA" falsified ID while ID predicted that further research would discover more function in DNA. New functions for DNA are coming in almost on a weekly bases. I have already given an excerpt from William Dembski and there are other such as Jonathon Wells "The myth of Junk DNA" and "Signature in the Cell" by Stephen Myer.
That is not a potential falsification of ID, it is a potential falsification of evolution. You have failed to show a potential falsification of ID. Or is your designer incapable of designing non-functional DNA? ENCODE showed 80% functional DNA, which means 20% non-functional DNA. Does that 20% constitute a falsification of ID?

You can't point to some made up mythology animal and use that as a case for your theory because the end possibilities are infinite. That's like postulating an impossibility as a source of falsification.
Yes a pegasus is "made up", that is the point: it was designed by humans. As with many mythological animals it is an example of design, and a design which could not have evolved. The fact that all known living organisms fit into the same tree is good evidence for evolution.

What you have to do is to specify an organism that your designer could not have designed, in the same way a pegasus or a Cambrian rabbit could not have evolved.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
You can't use an impossible event as your falsification criteria or else it's not falsifiable by that criteria. You pick the criteria and if you chose to pick one that can't possibly happen then your theory remains safe from fear of falsification. It's a little like searching for a ring under a lamp post because the lighting is better there.
We need to fix our terminology. To be falsified is different from being falsifiable. To be falsifiable means that we can identify something that, if we found it - even if we think we will never find it because it's so outlandish - the theory would be false. If you can't even identify something - no matter how outlandish - that would prove the theory false, then it is unfalsifiable. Nothing has been found empirically one way or the other, we're just saying what would have to be found in order for the theory to be wrong.

When a theory is falsified, that means that we have actually found something empirically that proves the theory wrong.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
The ability to fit a set of data into a “treelike” pattern is not necessarily incompatible with intelligent design. Nonetheless, it’s clear that a lot of data does not fit a treelike pattern. Computer scientist Winston Ewert applied the concept of “common design” to propose a “dependency graph” model of organismal relationships. This was based upon the principle that software designers frequently re-use the same coding modules in different programs. In a paper in BIO-Complexity, Ewert tested his model by comparing the distribution of gene families in nine diverse organisms to a treelike pattern predicted by neo-Darwinism versus a dependency graph distribution used by computer programmers. The results are only preliminary, but they suggest that a common design-based “dependency graph” model fit the genetic data from these species some 10^3000 times better than a Darwinian evolutionary tree. Common design is a potentially superior explanation compared to universal common ancestry for the distribution of much genomic data.

Source
At the beginning of the football (soccer) season, Alfred, a world expert, tries to predict the score in every match. Bart then takes his predictions, and use them to predict the result - win/lose/draw - for each match.

At the end of the season, Bart has got a higher number of correct predictions than Alfred. Alfred is good, but the random nature of the game makes perfect accuracy impossible. Whenever Alfred is right, Bart is too, but as Bart in only predicting win/lose/draw there are additional games he gets right.

And that is exactly what Ewert is doing here. The model he proposes is a superset of the evolutionary model, so it has to do at least as well as evolution, but because it is far more flexible, it will also match any number of random patterns as well.

So this begs the question: Did they do a control experiment?

That is, take random data, and see how well each model fits that. My guess is the ID model, being far more flexible, will find a good fit. It will turn up any number of random bits that it will correlate to modules. It will not be as a good a fit as the real data (I guess), but it will give a far better fit than evolution does.

My first prediction is that Ewert's model will fit ANY data some 10^3000 times better than a Darwinian evolutionary tree.

My second prediction, which follows inevitably from the first, is that Ewert has NOT done a control.
 

Cisco Qid

Active member
We need to fix our terminology. To be falsified is different from being falsifiable. To be falsifiable means that we can identify something that, if we found it - even if we think we will never find it because it's so outlandish - the theory would be false. If you can't even identify something - no matter how outlandish - that would prove the theory false, then it is unfalsifiable. Nothing has been found empirically one way or the other, we're just saying what would have to be found in order for the theory to be wrong.

When a theory is falsified, that means that we have actually found something empirically that proves the theory wrong.
I see your point. But I still don't think the pegasus is a valid falsification criteria. If one were to be found, those darn darwinists would fit it in the tree somehow. It's like the gradualism debacle with IC where Darwin claimed a falsification criteria but as soon as one was found, they turned to computer simulations for a work around and used scaffolding and others without observational or en vitro evidence. In most of their minds, unguided evolution can not be wrong and this makes it unfalsifiable.
 

Electric Skeptic

Well-known member
I see your point. But I still don't think the pegasus is a valid falsification criteria. If one were to be found, those darn darwinists would fit it in the tree somehow. It's like the gradualism debacle with IC where Darwin claimed a falsification criteria but as soon as one was found, they turned to computer simulations for a work around and used scaffolding and others without observational or en vitro evidence. In most of their minds, unguided evolution can not be wrong and this makes it unfalsifiable.
That is simply dishonest. You've been given the falsification criteria and your response is simply "Nuh-uh".

And we're still waiting for the falsification criteria for ID.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
I see your point. But I still don't think the pegasus is a valid falsification criteria. If one were to be found, those darn darwinists would fit it in the tree somehow.
The tree is not some arbitrary categorization. We get the same tree with morphology and genetics, and it didn't have to be that way. There's even a mathematical way to measure how well the morphological and the genetic trees match each other, and it's out to 38 decimal points. So just shoe-horning a unicorn in there wherever is going to screw that up royally.

It's like the gradualism debacle with IC where Darwin claimed a falsification criteria but as soon as one was found, they turned to computer simulations for a work around and used scaffolding and others without observational or en vitro evidence. In most of their minds, unguided evolution can not be wrong and this makes it unfalsifiable.
Of course something can be claimed to be a falsifier and later it turns out that claiming that was a mistake. Everything and everyone is subject to making errors. That's why scientific theories, like evolution, have to be confirmed, checked for mistakes, and re-confirmed. There's no reason to think that Darwin is correct about every single thing he claimed. Evolution has changed a lot since Darwin - he didn't even know about genetics.

That a mistake is made and then is corrected is part of the scientific process, that same process that has massively confirmed evolution again and again.
 

rossum

Well-known member
It's like the gradualism debacle with IC
It was not a "debacle", it was good science from Darwin, Professor Behe and others.

To start with Darwin, he gave a possible falsification for his theory:

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."​

Professor Behe looked at that potential falsification, and he came up with the idea of Irreducible Complexity as something which met Darwin's criterion:

"Irreducibly Complex systems cannot evolve."​

That was a good idea, and a valid criticism of evolution. It triggered a lot of work in that area, including papers by Thornhill and Ussery (2000) and Lenski (2003). The outcome of that work was to partly vindicate Behe's work. IC systems cannot evolve by the direct route, but they can evolve by indirect routes.

Behe looked at this work and modified his hypothesis:

"Irreducibly Complex systems cannot evolve by the direct route and are unlikely to evolve by indirect routes."​

This was good science from Behe; if a fault is found in a hypothesis, then the hypothesis should be modified to eliminate the fault. Obviously the next question for him to look at was just how unlikely the evolution of an IC system by an indirect route is. He addressed this question in Behe and Snoke (2004) which estimated that a simple IC system could evolve in a small population of bacteria in about 20,000 years. This estimate was brought up at the Kitzmiller trial.

Professor Behe's modified hypothesis was correct: IC systems cannot evolve by the direct route, they can only evolve by indirect routes. While those indirect routes are not impossible, they are less likely than the direct route and take longer, but they can still happen.

Behe's IC hypothesis was a partial success, and the successful part has been incorporated into evolutionary theory. That is a good result; the majority of scientific hypotheses fail completely.
 

Cisco Qid

Active member
The tree is not some arbitrary categorization. We get the same tree with morphology and genetics, and it didn't have to be that way. There's even a mathematical way to measure how well the morphological and the genetic trees match each other, and it's out to 38 decimal points. So just shoe-horning a unicorn in there wherever is going to screw that up royally.


Of course something can be claimed to be a falsifier and later it turns out that claiming that was a mistake. Everything and everyone is subject to making errors. That's why scientific theories, like evolution, have to be confirmed, checked for mistakes, and re-confirmed. There's no reason to think that Darwin is correct about every single thing he claimed. Evolution has changed a lot since Darwin - he didn't even know about genetics.

That a mistake is made and then is corrected is part of the scientific process, that same process that has massively confirmed evolution again and again.
I believe that most people don't have a problem with evolution per se. Let's face it, natural selection is a viable force. We have seen it. If there is artificial selection (methodical selection according to Darwin) then there is natural selection where changes in the environment makes the selection along with mutations that allows species to out perform their peers. We just don't give evolution credit for the unbridled power that darwinist's do for turning fish into quadrupeds and then apes into humans. And we give least of all credit to materialistic naturalism for creating life which by the way they still can't explain. We have an explanation for life and it's the same force that creates computers, automobiles and language and it is the only force in the universe known to create such things.
 

rossum

Well-known member
We have an explanation for life and it's the same force that creates computers, automobiles and language and it is the only force in the universe known to create such things.
So, your intelligent designer is human? Only humans are known to create computers and automobiles.
 
Top