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A Refutation To Darwin's Black Box?


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#1 willis

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:41 PM

I found this to be very interesting Facilitated variation is a theory proposed by Dr. John Gerhart of U.C. Berkeley that supposedly gives an explanation of how complex biological systems could have developed through evolutionary processes.

excerpt from the above link:

In a new theory they call “facilitated variation,” Kirschner and Gerhart elevate the individual organism from a passive target of natural selection to a central player in the 3-billion-year history of evolution. In clear, accessible language, the authors invite every reader to contemplate daring new ideas about evolution. By closing the major gap in Darwin’s theory Kirschner and Gerhart also provide a timely scientific rebuttal to modern critics of evolution who champion “intelligent design.”


Has anyone read this book yet? What did you think of it and does give a reasonable rebuttal of Behe's ideas?

#2 Springer

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 07:47 AM

I found this to be very interesting Facilitated variation is a theory proposed by Dr. John Gerhart of U.C. Berkeley that supposedly gives an explanation of how complex biological systems could have developed through evolutionary processes.

excerpt from the above link:
Has anyone read this book yet? What did you think of it and does give a reasonable rebuttal of Behe's ideas?

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I skimmed this article: http://www.americans...=baagpN7DzafBe4

From what I got out of it, I found their explanations far from clear. They are at least recognizing that orthodox Darwinism is impossible, given our knowledge of heredity.
If anyone can make any sense out of their argument, I would appreciate your insights. They completely failed to explain how "facilitated variation actually works. Rather, as in all evolutionary arguments, they speak only in vague abstract terms. They are obviously trying to explain the facts of nature by a new theory which is nothing less than a tautology. They provide absolutely no evidence that "facilitated variation" is actually operational. They infer it because they assume ToE to be a fact.

#3 willis

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 02:39 AM

I skimmed this article: http://www.americans...=baagpN7DzafBe4

From what I got out of it, I found their explanations far from clear.  They are at least recognizing that orthodox Darwinism is impossible, given our knowledge of heredity. 
If anyone can make any sense out of their argument, I would appreciate your insights.  They completely failed to explain how "facilitated variation actually works.  Rather, as in all evolutionary arguments, they speak only in vague abstract terms.  They are obviously trying to explain the facts of nature by a new theory which is nothing less than a tautology.  They provide absolutely no evidence that "facilitated variation" is actually operational.  They infer it because they assume ToE to be a fact.

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Thank you for the link that was an interesting read I think the only way to get the real scope of the theory is to read the book which I intend to do. I have yet to see any of the critics of the ID movement completely deal with the issues raised in Behe's book, those specific examples of irreducibly complex structures in biology which is the whole idea.

#4 Springer

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Posted 30 December 2005 - 02:33 PM

Thank you for the link that was an interesting read I think the only way to get the real scope of the theory is to read the book which I intend to do. I have yet to see any of the critics of the ID movement  completely deal with the issues raised in Behe's book, those specific examples of irreducibly complex structures in biology which is the whole idea.

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I've been thinking the past couple of days about the concept of "facilitated variation". I still don't understand exactly what it is.

Is this a concession on the part of evolutionists that their gradualistic explanations they've been feeding everyone for the past 150 years are, in fact, irrational? All of this talk about our "incredulity" not being a valid argument... are they ready to make some retractions? I think not. My point is... we have been ridiculed for decades because, in our skepticism, we just can't imagine how a bat's wing evolved by natural selection. Now, they seem to be admitting that their arguments did in fact fall short.

#5 willis

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 02:14 AM

I've been thinking the past couple of days about the concept of "facilitated variation".  I still don't understand exactly what it is.

Is this a concession on the part of evolutionists that their gradualistic explanations they've been feeding everyone for the past 150 years are, in fact, irrational?  All of this talk about  our "incredulity" not being a valid argument... are they ready to make some retractions?  I think not.  My point is... we have been ridiculed for decades because, in our skepticism, we just can't imagine how a bat's wing evolved by natural selection.  Now, they seem to be admitting that their arguments did in fact fall short.

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Well I think they are changing because someone well known in the scientific community has taken a step forward and many people are following. But, who knows though?

#6 lwj2op2

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:29 AM

http://www.americans...=baagpN7DzafBe4

The authors assume the presence of a regulating agent. This agent must then have existed before the processes it regulates. Why/how would there be regulation before origin?

The article implies that because the "core processes" are so stable and similar throughout creation that directed specialization is less improbable without directly stating such.

It is filled with assumption. The authors "envision" much. They seem to intend to move evolution from accidental, random, mutation to a system with some sort of naturally evolved controlled or "regulated" path. I had no idea ID was such a concern to evolutionists. Maybe I should look into it more?

#7 willis

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 03:55 PM

http://www.americans...=baagpN7DzafBe4

The authors assume the presence of a regulating agent. This agent must then have existed before the processes it regulates. Why/how would there be regulation before origin?

The article implies that because the "core processes" are so stable and similar throughout creation that directed specialization is less improbable without directly stating such.

It is filled with assumption. The authors "envision" much. They seem to intend to move evolution from accidental, random, mutation to a system with some sort of naturally evolved controlled or "regulated" path. I had no idea ID was such a concern to evolutionists. Maybe I should look into it more?

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I encourage you to look into to ID more, http://www.discovery...&searchType=all
Here are several articles from the discovery institute most written by Michael Behe.

#8 lwj2op2

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 05:21 PM

I encourage you to look into to ID more, http://www.discovery...&searchType=all
Here are several articles from the discovery institute most written by Michael Behe.

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Already familiar with the premiss of ID. I'm not sure I adhere to all it encompasses because it seems to ignore a specific creator. I believe if we are not willing to argue frm a strictly bibilical point we lose the argument.

#9 willis

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 05:51 PM

Already familiar with the premiss of ID. I'm not sure I adhere to all it encompasses because it seems to ignore a specific creator. I believe if we are not willing to argue frm a strictly bibilical point we lose the argument.

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I absolutely agree with you on that however, the premise of ID as Michael Behe describes simply put is: There are organisms in this world that are irreducibly complex and defy and evolutionary explanation. This of course fits a Biblical interpretation just fine. I don't agree with everything Behe says but the basic idea of his theory is excellent.

#10 lwj2op2

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 02:58 AM

I absolutely agree with you on that however, the premise of ID as Michael Behe describes simply put is: There are organisms in this world that are irreducibly complex and defy and evolutionary explanation. This of course fits a Biblical interpretation just fine. I don't agree with everything Behe says but the basic idea of his theory is excellent.

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Can't argue anything there. It is unfortunate that Behe, has not yet learned how to handle himslef in a live debate forum. He, as do many of us YEC's, ID'ers etc., allow the opponents to steer the debate. Near Christmas he was on Fox and instead of sticking to his original statement of no knowledge of a specific "designer", he suggested "space aliens" were as likely as any agent. His following explanation of irreducible complexity and was ignored by both hosts.
I find this to be the case often from our side of the debate. There is such a desire to give an answer that any will do. Evolutionists do this also but usually as a tactic, not a mistake. They have been making the false claims for so many years that many are now accepted without contest. We must not follow this path.

#11 willis

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:41 PM

Can't argue anything there. It is unfortunate that Behe, has not yet learned how to handle himslef in a live debate forum. He, as do many of us YEC's, ID'ers etc., allow the opponents to steer the debate. Near Christmas he was on Fox and instead of sticking to his original statement of no knowledge of a specific "designer", he suggested "space aliens" were as likely as any agent. His  following explanation of irreducible complexity and was ignored by both hosts.
  I find this to be the case often from our side of the debate. There is such a desire to give an answer that any will do. Evolutionists do this also but usually as a tactic, not a mistake. They have been making the false claims for so many years that many are now accepted without contest. We must not follow this path.

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That is an interesting point you bring up about the media, I find that the media is usually very heavily bias toward one side(guess which one) and the content of the argument is ignored. For example I recently watched a documentary on "creationism" and Dr. Duane Gish was interviewed. They asked him, "how do christians explain the fossil record and all of the diversity in this world?" He replied, "The flood described in Genesis provides a great explanation," After that they went on to repeat the strawman argument about not being able to fit all of the animals on the ark and never gave him another second of air time.

#12 chance

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 07:47 PM

If anyone can make any sense out of their argument, I would appreciate your insights.  They completely failed to explain how "facilitated variation actually works.

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I read the article, if I understand it correctly I get the following points:

A. evolution is still mutation driven as per normal.
B. The gnome has a theme (4 legs, one head, etc) or “core process”.
C. Mutations in the ‘theme’ produced the more change, while mutation in a ‘less important’ zone would give microevolution.

Could not find what evidence was used for the theory of “facilitated variation”.

#13 willis

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:41 PM

I read the article, if I understand it correctly I get the following points:

A. evolution is still mutation driven as per normal.
B. The gnome has a theme (4 legs, one head, etc) or “core process”.
C. Mutations in the ‘theme’ produced the more change, while mutation in a ‘less important’ zone would give microevolution.

Could not find what evidence was used for the theory of “facilitated variation”.


Do you think this is an adequate explanation for the issue of the "Darwinian Mechanism that has been raised by people like Behe?

#14 lwj2op2

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 03:53 AM

I read the article, if I understand it correctly I get the following points:

A. evolution is still mutation driven as per normal.
B. The gnome has a theme (4 legs, one head, etc) or “core process”.
C. Mutations in the ‘theme’ produced the more change, while mutation in a ‘less important’ zone would give microevolution.

Could not find what evidence was used for the theory of “facilitated variation”.

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The authors assume the presence of a regulating agent. This agent must then have existed before the processes it regulates. Why/how would there be regulation before origin?

#15 chance

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 07:56 PM

Do you think this is an adequate explanation for the issue of the "Darwinian Mechanism that has been raised by people like Behe?

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I was under the impression that “facilitated variation” is speculation at this point. I have been unable to find out much more than what was originally posted.

Do you have a specific claim that Behe makes in mind?

#16 chance

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 08:01 PM

The authors assume the presence of a regulating agent. This agent must then have existed before the processes it regulates. Why/how would there be regulation before origin?

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Difficult to comment, as I’m not sure what is supposed to be regulating what.

However I feel there is nothing wrong with speculation provided one does not attempt to pass it off for more than it is. Kicking ideas around is a good way of pre-testing.

#17 willis

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:01 PM

I was under the impression that “facilitated variation” is speculation at this point. I have been unable to find out much more than what was originally posted.

Do you have a specific claim that Behe makes in mind?


This theory claims to give, "A scientific rebuttal to those who champion intelligent design," So I was wanting to get the prespective of someone who supports the theory. Since no of us knows much about it I think we should wait to learn more.




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