Re: [asa] Rejoinder 3 from Timaeus: to Don Nield; major statement re Denton

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Mon Sep 29 2008 - 17:23:10 EDT

I think the way a non-biologist assesses this claim is exactly as a
biologist should assess it: right now we do not know enough to build
anything but viruses and simple bacteria on the basis of some semblance
to first principles. I note, for example, that we have discovered that
the corresponding gene in fruit flies and mammals organizes the eye
structure, even though a compound eye is radically different in structure
from the "camera" eye. If I am not mistaken, it also functions in the eye
of cephalopods. I don't believe that they have yet figured out which
genes set the action of the organizational genes to start and then quit
when the job is done. We may know some of the base changes, insertions or
deletions which render the gene nonfunctional, but I am confident that we
do not yet know the alterations which make the gene function better or
take on new functions which may have nothing to do with vision.

The argument by Timaeus reminds me of the state of affairs when, on the
basis of ignorance, it was decreed that organic compounds could only be
produced by organisms, or that life demanded an /elan vital/. I'm old
enough to remember a well-informed biologist noting that during embryonic
development all kinds of things were changing simultaneously, with the
only explanation for their coming out right being God. Timaeus prefers
this same explanation, but dogmatically though with futile claims of
restrictions, to an admission of ignorance and a hope that the gap will
be filled.
Dave (ASA)

On Mon, 29 Sep 2008 16:11:46 -0400 "David Opderbeck"
<> writes:
Timeaus said: But there is no evidence – none, zero, zilch, nada – that
they can build an eye, a circulatory system, or an avian lung (the last
of which, Mr. Nield, is discussed in both of Denton's books).

I respond: In my view, this empirical claim is the heart of the matter.
How does a non-biologist assess this claim?

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 3:33 PM, Ted Davis <> wrote:
I'd like to reply to Don Nield's latest two posts (his earlier reply to
me, and his newest remarks to Mike Gene).  After doing so, I will make a
major statement regarding the thought of Michael Denton, and its relation
to ID, TE, and Darwinism, and I hope that not just Don but others will
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Received on Mon Sep 29 17:28:10 2008

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