Saturday, May 13, 2017

When Does Opinion Trump Evidence?

Several researchers used the word 'perfect' in their paper "Perfect chemomechanical coupling of FoF1-ATP synthase" and you know what that means to the Discovery Institute (DI), here is the DI's last paragraph on the topic:

"If you can think of any machine in your experience that is perfect yet flexible, it probably did not come about through blind, aimless natural processes. Let’s stop allowing Darwinians to get away, unchallenged, with saying they “have evolved” to perfection." (Evolution 'news' and Views: Molecular Machines Reach Perfection)
Because the researchers have shown a transfer of energy without loss and used the word 'perfect', that should immediately discount Evolution.  Now, what evidence does the Discovery Institute offer to discount the possibility of this molecular construct having evolved?  None what-so-ever!  What they are offering is their opinion, nothing more.

You see, whenever anyone doing real science offers results of any kind, the Discovery Institute tries to take it and either casts it as support for Intelligent Design or a negative against Evolution -- or both -- but they keep missing a key point, evidence.  Where do the researchers, not the DI talking heads, but the researchers discount evolution?  They don't!  In fact, did the study include how such a system came about?  It doesn't look like it.  But the DI takes the abstract for a spin and lo-and-behold it supports an anti-evolution argument.  Imagine that?  When all you have is a nail, everything looks like a hammer!

Yes, the energy transfer in this example appears 'perfect', that is 'without loss', but nothing in the research discounts evolution.  Look at the footnotes, look at the references and tell me where evolution is discounted.  Don't look in the 'minds' of the DI talking heads because they discount evolution as their default position.  It doesn't matter what they are looking at, it discounts evolution!  Their perspective is 'We don't agree with evolution because of our religion, therefore evolution can't possibly explain anything -- and someday, God willing [pun intended] we will prove it!'

Now, new question, an odds question.  What are the odds of this specific molecular construct not having evolved?  I would say the odds are pretty low.  No, I am not going to bore you with a nonsensical calculation (that's Dembski's job), but I ask that you look at the evidence.  Has anything stayed exactly the same?  Has any current molecular construct been found to have not evolved?  Look at Behe's 'Darwin's Black Box' where he detailed his opinion on a number of biological constructs and claimed they could not have evolved . . . and yet when faced with over 50 papers describing the evolution of those constructs (during the Dover Trial), papers he had not reviewed, he said they were not enough.  The odds of this specific construct not having evolved seem pretty minuscule.

Things are always evolving, changing.  While some organisms haven't done a great deal of changing, there is still evolution in their past right through to the present.  There is absolutely nothing that says they will not evolve as time goes on, just like there is nothing that says humans will not evolve.

One common theme in Creationist circles are examples like the Alligator and how it hasn't evolved in millions of years . . . that is those Creationists who buy into the Old Earth.  The problem is they think too small.  If Alligators didn't evolve, where did Crocodiles come from?  They really need to do their homework a little better.  All they have done here is insert their opinion as if it is a conclusion, all designed [another intended pun] to cast doubt of evolution -- without a single bit of evidence supporting their doubt.  I recently read the term "Merchants of Doubt", which seems extremely applicable.

So if what the DI says is true, then these molecular constructs should stop evolving -- yet once again the evidence is stacked against them.  There isn't anything that we know of that has not evolved nor that does not have the potential to continue evolving, no matter how 'perfect' is may appear to us today.  The best the DI has is things that an evolutionary path hasn't been described . . . yet.  And they get upset when they get reminded that they are nothing but a re-statement of the old god-of-the-gaps argument.

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