Re: What goes around comes around

From: Dr. David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Oct 10 2005 - 11:41:41 EDT

> These results are predicated on the assumption that evolution is
> true.

No. If one considers these results while accepting the possibility
that evolution (as a biological process-they don't tell anything about
any philosophical baggage that has been associated with evolution by
various people) might be a possibility, then it is obvious that the
results strongly agree with the expectations of evolution in this
particular set of organisms.

> "There is no compelling empirical or theoretical reason to expect
> SINEs to
> commonly insert at the exact same locus or be transferred or removed
> from
> the genome in any way that is ambiguous by standard methods of
> experimental
> detection."
> This statement has, imbedded in it, the assumption that evolution is
> true.

No, it does not. Neither evolution nor anything else provides
compelling reason to expect SINEs to commonly insert at the exact same
locus. There's nothing preventing an intelligent designer from
sticking SINEs in a pattern that agrees with evolutionary
expectations, nor from doing anything else, but this is not a
compelling reason to expect a particular pattern of SINEs.

> In fact, since then, SINEs have been found at the same insertion
site in distant species, such that common descent cannot be the cause.<

Common descent followed by loss in some lineages could produce this
pattern. Whether that or independent insertions is a more likely
explanation would depend on the evidence in each situation.

To seriously challenge evolution, you need to provide a coherent and
accurate set of evolutionary expectations and show that there is a
problem, rather than simply dismissing all evidence favorable to

Another difficulty is the definition of ID. As popularized and
practiced by people like Philip Johnson, it is much less reputable
than some of the theoretical arguments invoked by Behe. Much good
would be done if folks like Behe would disown the blatant errors of
the former. E.g., the message spread by Johnson (though one can find
caveats if one hunts through his writing) is that ID not only proves
God but is necessary to good religion, the latter assertion clashing
with Galatians. Behe is much more cautious. Part of the disparity in
ID messages also comes from its advocates saying what seems likely to
suit a particular audience, rather than seeking consistency.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Mon Oct 10 11:44:19 2005

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