Re: [asa] Ken Miller's mantra

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Fri Oct 16 2009 - 13:14:39 EDT

Excuse me Bernie, but the site clearly says that mutations are the source of
genes to come into existence where those genes never existed before. After
that they are operated on post facto by natural selection (and some other
stochastic processes).

Thats standard theory. The controversy, which you have totally
misunderstood, is about whether natural selection is adequate to explain
everything. It would be if sufficient mutations are available.

So the crux of the matter is mutation theory (the mechanism you were so
against Cameron discussing because you thought it was irrelevant). I know
of at least 6 types of mutations:

substitution (switch of one kind of nucleotide from another)
deletion (omission of one or more nucleotides)
insertion (addition of one or more nucleotides)
inversion (flipping of a segment of DNA double helix)
gene duplication (doubling of a region of DNA containing a gene)
genome duplication (doubling of the total DNA of an organism)

These introduce new information that is then, in some cases, operated on
by natural selection.

Now, all of these mechanisms can take place due to random events in the
universe. And most do. (Note: A materialist will assert that all do.)
Thats why I call this "random creationism" - the creation of brand new
information at random. This is Behe's green billiard ball scenario, and
most of the universe operates this way all on its own.

But, how do we know all the mutations take place at random? How do we know
that some of the mutations aren't taking place due to some non-random
factor? How do we know some of the information in the mutations doesn't
have a source that comes from a more ordered part of the universe, (a place
of lower entropy?). How would that be ruled out other than by an a priori
philosophy? And what if some mutations are like the red billiard balls
Behe describes? How do we know that is not the case? I'd say its a matter
of the partition functions. If you propose that natural events cause and
explain the information in mutations (ie, if you are proposing all billiard
balls exhibit green billiard ball behavior) then in order to be believable
you need to show the partition functions demonstrate a high likelihood of
the required event taking place. That has not been done. Ergo Behe (and
othet TE's) have proposed red billiard balls exist because they certainly
do exhibit red billiard ball behavior.
The problem is the green billiard ball behavior is very well understood, and
nature simply doesn't produce the observed red billard ball behavior
events. And there isn't any theory that shows it should (the partitions of
statistical mechanics would be that theory and it hasn't been sufficiently
developed). So its a bit like you are asking all of us to sell our houses
and buy lottery tickets because you are asserting that we will win the
lottery 50,000 times in a row. Its simply not believable. Not in the
scientific sense.

What you are really asking us to believe is "the red billiard ball behavior
is a statistical fluke. Its only apparent, not real. "

Lets assume we believe that. Ok, then molecular biology completely falls
apart. The reason is the assumption of common descent is rebutted. So,
your task would be to show how red billiard ball behavior is a statistical
fluke without this being fatal to common descent. I don't think you can do

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Received on Fri Oct 16 13:15:16 2009

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