2.07.2009

Does "Intelligent Design" trump Evolution this time?

Now and then I come across things that make me wonder how Evolution/Natural Selection can explain something like (CLICK)this story where an extinct animal is resurrected from extinction by - yes - intelligent design. In this case - by man.

"(Newser) – Scientists have used frozen skin samples from a Spanish ibex to create the first clone of an extinct species, reports the Telegraph. The ibex, a wild mountain goat native to the Pyrenees, died out in 2000. Scientists were able to extract DNA from preserved cells and implant it in the egg of a domestic goat, using a technique known as nuclear transfer."

While alive, doesn't this now-made-non-extinct (via human design) ibex present a contradiction to the process of natural selection? Now wait - it was already extinct so "out of the gene pool" - removing it from the discussion of the Theory of Evolution -or do I have this wrong? The extinct Ibex is condemned to history by natural selection - then all of the sudden we have a live one-thanks to the intelligent design of human scientists.

Please consider (CLICK) this article by Garcia regarding Darwin. The scientist/author of linked article does a fine job discussing history, facts, and typical sticking points in the ongoing discussion about how the cosmos and its inhabitants came about.

It seems to come down to science vs. religion. Let me say up front I consider myself a spiritual person, not religious - but rely on science for answers. I am not a religion-basher. But I acknowledge fair criticism toward religion regarding geo-political conflict. I prefer to differentiate spirituality and religion.

Can we remain faithful to scientific rigor while acknowledging that human needs demand adjoining rooms for both science and spirituality? Remember that simply by asking "WHY?" the asker can always get the last word. Plato wrote that the limits of science lie within the mind because first principles, or the laws we call facts, are based only upon the impressions they leave in our mind. So science still requires human interpretation, which relies on our intuition, which means it is subject to any error or bias introduced by intuition. Is it possible that science isn't the be-all end-all of everything? Can we both retain our sense of wonder and our dignity while applying our scientific toolbox?

Isn't woman's (and man's) imagination ( pure fantasyland ) the origin of all human output - including science?

Is the return from extinction of the Ibex better explained by "intelligent design" rather than evolution?
------------------
UPDATE Feb 17, 2009 Babu G. Ranganathan
UPDATE APR 13, 2009 Another article to ponder
UPDATE VIDEO NOVEMBER 24, 2009

23 comments:

  1. Allah created us and states quite clearly in the Quran revealed to a human by a messenger that...if he wants to wipe something out or change anything...he will change it altogether..not partially.

    Adaptation...yes. Evolution into other species and such? No. And there is no proof of that either i.e. that fish became birds or snakes turned into dogs. It is almost as ludicrous of an idea as that of the world being flat.

    ReplyDelete
  2. An excellent website with an enormous amount of relevant information is Harunyahya_com
    I have been reviewing the material for some time and although some of the videos are not the best quality, the substance is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The lack of evidence in the fossil record told us what microbiological complexity has confirmed: life did not originate on Earth.

    Aided by Eternity and Infinity, even something as complex as life could evolve somewhere in the Multiverse. But given the staggering improbability of life on Earth, science should give religion its due for recognizing the wonder and seeming miraculousness of life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Im sure people will get a lot of clarity of this, from this post, of creation and of our creators and their creator. Blessings blood.
    Ld Elon

    ReplyDelete
  5. They dig up a few examples of other species of man and they think they have proven evolution through their imagination. The truth is so much bigger than their limited perdception and evidence. There have in fact been 124,000 Adams, unique protypes of man on this planet. God created them and then utterly destroyed them and created another in its place. Yes, there is a development or progression and we are the last in that line of progression, however we are as seperate from these distinct species as much as we we are different from animals. Evolving from Monkeys, how absurd.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The brief answer: No, the existence of a clever, intelligent organism, the human, does not prove the concept of "intelligent design" (a definition of which is not presented.)

    Why would an intelligent designer ALLOW a species to become extinct in the first place? Note the allegedly "resurrected ibex" died shortly after birth due to lung defects, a common characteristics of cloned animals.

    If and when very clever humans produce breeding pairs of formerly extinct species then the REAL project starts: restoring the environment to the condition that supports their natural reproduction.

    It is not clear to me why adherents of "intelligent design" don't simply subsume evolution instead of futilely trying to compete with it. Science has a plausible, if speculative, theory for the beginning of the universe.
    It's called the "big bang" theory.

    The ultimate "intelligent designer" need have only selected the proper conditions under which to detonate the bang, then wait confidently as the process unfolded, with biological evolution occurring relatively late among all the other "miraculous" events that have contributed to what we experience.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As an ordinary human to hear such tripe as ....... "The truth is so much bigger than their limited perdception and evidence. There have in fact been 124,000 Adams, unique protypes of man on this planet. God created them and then utterly destroyed them and created another in its place" ...... makes me even wonder about evolution, as Im sure someone with such closedminded retarded views can even function in a normal society .... show me proof of god, show me proof of any war not based on some religous nutbag comment or view, show me proof any religion is actually based in fact .... no not some fairy tale stories from 2000 years ago , show me good hard facts .... Oh you have none that dont involve mindnumbing faith ..... why am i suprised ... you may blow smoke up the rearend of 98% of the worlds sheep and carry on like closed minded retarded monkeys but some of us actually do define life and the universe through observable fact and logic...... you guys are just to funny .. Me Here :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. For the record I don't believe in intelligent design. I am also not a member of any religious organization.

    If I may thank all commenters for their unselfish contributions to this discussion.

    It seems to me that the "articles" usually pale on comparison to the treasures available in the comments section.

    I am honored that each and every one of you took the time to think this over.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think evolution is good for explaining what happened to us after we got here, but it doesn't really tell us how we got here. Religion on the other hand just makes up useless childrens' stories to explain what it has no capacity to explain. Religion is like a cuckoo in the nest of human thought.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Would anonymous poster from 5:21 please provide a definition we can write on our common whiteboard - then the rest of us can add that to our considerations.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The cloning of an Ibex from preserved cells is not a "resurrection", and one individual animal does not make a species.

    This is not "intelligent design', but rather, a scientific anomaly. Without a population of Ibices including some depth of genetic diversity, there is no chance that the animals can or will survive as a population in a natural setting. This article demonstrates the author's lack of knowledge of genetics, cloning, and evolution, an ignorance sadly typical of the pseudo-scientific arguments of the proponents of "intelligent" design.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Belief in Divinity or the miracle of life does not preclude a scientific understanding of the mechanisms by which a diversity of life forms has come to populate this planet. It is religion and dogma which refuses to accept the accumulated knowledge of many thousands of intelligent, inquiring humans over hundreds of years.

    Faith requires only blind acceptance, a willingness to believe as one is told. Knowledge requires critical thinking, and supporting evidence.

    Why can you not conceive that - if there is indeed a cosmic engineer which magically created everything - that evolution is part of His (or Her) design?

    "Science should give religion its due for recognizing the wonder and seeming miraculousness of life"?

    What has convinced you that biologists - whether they believe in God or not - do not recognize the wonder of the amazing intricacies of life. A hundred cells could fit on the head of a pin, and contained within each is a mind-boggling array of molecular agents with together facilitate life. Tiny analogues of nano-machines, detailed codecies containing all the instructions for making, maintaining, and reproducing a diversity of organisms, manifest that phenomenon we call life.

    Wonder is, in fact, a prime requisite for a scientific mind. That, and a capacity for critical thinking which is unfortunately often not an attribute of those who are content to merely believe.

    I find the likelihood that life evolved independent of any "Creator" to be more of an awesome possibility, indeed, more miraculous, than imaging a God-made-in-Man's-image engineering a world of life. Indeed, if life is a phenomenon of random chance, is it not all the more precious and rare?

    God is an imaginary friend for grown-ups. We do not need the ancient legends of illiterate sheep herders to give meaning to the world. Religion is in the end merely a source of bigotry. Spirituality is the true recognition of divinity, the miracle of existence, and requires no super-natural explanations or threats of damnation or Hell.

    ReplyDelete
  13. At 6:50 PM, Feb. 7, 2009, Jack Rabbit wrote: "Would anonymous poster from 5:21 please provide a definition we can write on our common whiteboard - then the rest of us can add that to our considerations."

    My anonymous post is marked at 5:21. I assume that JR is requesting a definition of "intelligent design." I DO NOT believe in "intelligent design," so any definition I give would probably not assist in furthering the productive discussion for which you thanked us all in your post of 6:47 PM.

    Assuming you are the author of this blog, JR, I submit that is is you who should have provided a working definition of the item you introduced for discussion (as the first sentence of my post suggested.)

    Please also define "spirituality," a word which clearly could, and likely does, have a particular meaning for each person who uses it but which is used so often as to mean nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Get Real!! Intelligent Design is just another method of control - too many people were slaughtered for too many years because of their belief that the world was NOT FLAT!! Where would this world be today if the evidence was seriously investigated when first brought forth? Could mankind have concievably walked on the Moon in the fifteenth century if facts were accepted instead of ridiculed by faith? Religions Evolve new methods of CONTROL and WALLET EMPTYING and BELIEVE ME, TO THIS DAY those same religions are evolving ways to keep their flocks DUMB and NUMB to FACTUAL SCIENCE so as to KEEP their FLOCKS UNDER CONTROL!! I seem to remember a lot of BEGATing in the Bible - tracing the Evolution of certain Bloodlines! The Ignorant Cretins perpetuating "Intelligent Design" show a curious LACK OF INTELLIGENCE!! But Hey, I HAVE TO BE WRONG - BECAUSE I'M NOT SAYING WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR !!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. The difference between a scientist and a Christian is who will burn who at the stake for disagreeing with them.

    It took the Church 400 years to finally admit that Galileo was right, and had been persecuted unjustly.

    In the past, those mystified by religious thinking believed that disease was a supernatural phenomenon, an indicator of (their "loving") God's displeasure. Today, thanks to science, we have germ theory, and antibiotics.

    Just because you don't understand how life evolved doesn't mean that it must have been due to an invisible cosmic overlord.

    ReplyDelete
  16. To the poster/s above:
    One commenter was kind enough to provide a list of areas in which JR (me) displays ignorance. I appreciate the effort, but to be truthful am disappointed with the shortness of the list. The fact is that the list of subject areas in which I am ignorant is infinite.

    Add to that ignorance, my ignorance of things that have not yet been invented yet, but will be in the future.

    Is the critic suggesting the author is too ignorant to discuss such complex matters? If so how can Jack Rabbit reduce his level of ignorance if he can't participate in the discussion?

    For example - a scientist decides to become a poet - but he's spent his entire life being a scientist. He knows nothing of poetry since he's a scientist by profession. Everyone tells him his poetry stinks. So the scientist goes to school for poetry and after years of study graduates and is an expert in the field. Should he throw away "poetry" he wrote prior to study? Or is only post-graduation poetry real poetry?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh yeah - I was asked for some definitions.
    I decided not to provide definitions for "intelligent design" or "spirituality" because I don't have definitions. Part of what I'd hoped to leave the reader with was a feeling of having tried make sense of this subject without being able to define anything. I'd hoped this would provide a heuristic opportunity for the yet unenlightened to feel the confusion that accompanies a discussion of an undefinable subject, using undefined terms, trying to define terms on which no agreement has been reached on the limitations of scope of application of said terms...

    And I'd hoped that some readers who have yet to become expert in all the fields required to understand every single aspect of this subject might think twice about claiming to really be able to back up their own absolute conclusion on what is "real."

    ReplyDelete
  18. There were 7 known species of the Ibex. One is considered extinct and the 6 others are on the brink. Or are they?
    I don’t believe anything is ever truly extinct. Garcia points out Darwin's belief, "Variations occur among each new generation of any species. Some of these variants are better adapted to the conditions of their environment, and such individuals are more likely to survive and produce offspring, some of which may inherit the new trait. Over very long periods of time, small changes between generations can accumulate, mutating one species into another. Physiological and behavioral changes in harmony with the trend of environmental conditions shape the nature of successful species; traits that are maladapted to environmental conditions drive a species toward extinction. The greater reproductive success of well-adapted variants is a natural selection that drives the development of new species."
    The point remains; this is how the Alpine Ibex is evolving. Here is an example of this: An obscure paper on the Alpine Ibex written by Marco Giacometti and Marco Fasta Bianchet in 1998 for the Wildlife Biology foundation, describes the Ibex breeding with run-away and "stolen" goats from domestic herds grazing in the nearby valleys. This hybrid herd is losing the ridges in the horns the Ibex came to be known for and are becoming larger and stockier versions of their ancestors. The fact remains; this hybrid herd contains the initial DNA of the original animal who is now considered extinct. The intelligent design here is nature itself, not a shortsighted catastrophic product of the inferior human mind. God or no God, the energy that is life survives in some form or fashion throughout the ages without the help of man. Why is this goat evolving? It may be to survive some strange catastrophic ecological event this earth is working up to. If so, hope we survive it because we seem to have been making the same stupid mistakes for thousands of years that have kept us dragging our knuckles.

    ReplyDelete
  19. To answer Feb 7, 09 commenter from above:
    "Jack Rabbit wrote: "Would anonymous poster from 5:21 please provide a definition we can write on our common whiteboard - then the rest of us can add that to our considerations."

    My anonymous post is marked at 5:21. I assume that JR is requesting a definition of "intelligent design." I DO NOT believe in "intelligent design," so any definition I give would probably not assist in furthering the productive discussion for which you thanked us all in your post of 6:47 PM.
    -----------------------------
    Reader/Commenter - Thanks for participating.
    1. You are correct that I was asking for a definition of "intel. design"

    2. I'd hoped that by leading the reader to assume I was talking about "God" being behind the intelligent design re ibex, then after reading on would discover I was talking about humans intelligently designing. Lack of a common definition of "intel design" may become apparent to some readers - as might a reader's own automatic preconceptions surrounding the issue. Desired result: Reader discovers that their initial understanding of the author's use of the phrase "intelligent design" is not = to what they expected.

    3. Might you reconsider your reluctance to provide a definition of "intel. design"? May I suggest that YOUR definition of "intelligent design" would be the MOST valuable contribution to this discussion because it would help you to understand exactly what it is about "intelligent design" you don't believe in. It would provide "believers" an opportunity to verify the accuracy of your grasp of "their" position.

    4. MY Definition of Spirituality?
    Being spiritual is the willingness to allow for the UNKNOWABLE in addition to the KNOWN when placing limits on our imaginations attempts to understand ourselves and our connection to the cosmos.

    ReplyDelete
  20. To JR: This is "anonymous 5;21."

    OK, you made your point: It's possible to use a term with a well-popularized, highly-politically-charged, specific meaning IN A DIFFERENT SENSE and thereby spark a discussion that virtually completely fails to address your question.

    Now to your question. Mankind has unquestionably shown that it has assumed an influence on the future results of natural selection both by befouling the selecting environment itself and by construction of genetic combinations heretofore not seen in the biological realm on which the selection acts.

    While mankind has shown an impressive level of cosmic cleverness in so doing, I would hardly call it "intelligence."
    Our systematic destruction of the environment essential to our existence along with the meddling in the genetics of the biological world (no matter how impressive) is nothing short of suicidal idiocy.

    Definition of intelligence: use of our knowledge of the system in which we find ourselves so as to maximize the safe, sustainable, respectful and pleasurable interaction with that system for all members of our species.

    (I don't know why one would want to place "limits our imaginations' attempts to understand ourselves and our connection to the cosmos.")

    ReplyDelete
  21. Commenter 5:21,
    You said:"OK, you made your point: It's possible to use a term with a well-popularized, highly-politically-charged, specific meaning IN A DIFFERENT SENSE and thereby spark a discussion that virtually completely fails to address your question."
    ----------------------My responses
    I used the term in THE SAME SENSE but removed the supernatural. This demonstrates nothing supernatural is required for intelligent design to happen. We can quibble about meanings of the word 'intelligence', 'design' and the space between the words as well, which is part of the point of this discussion. But I see intelligent people designing things and I saw a picture of an ibex. Please show me where that fits into Darwins stuff because I thought you couldn't put things back once they were taken out of that system.

    I don't know why anyone would WANT to place limits on their imaginations either - which is why I take into consideration the UNKNOWABLE with the knowable when pondering these topics.
    If I made claims to know for sure the answers to the questions posed here, and asserted that there is no supernatural, spiritual, whatever anyone wants to call it, higher power - I would be omitting the UNKNOWABLE thereby 'limiting' myself to a conclusion based on incomplete data I chose to discount .

    Since we can never know the unknowable we will always lack all puzzle pieces on questions like these, making it tough to convince others that we really have the absolute answers to these questions.

    ReplyDelete
  22. To commenter Feb 8, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    I am fascinated by this part:
    "God or no God, the energy that is life survives in some form or fashion throughout the ages without the help of man. "

    JR: What conclusion do you think this suggests?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Another to anonymous 5:21: You never gave your definition of "intelligent design".

    If I correctly interpret that you see genetic tinkering as reckless (that our level of knowledge of genetics is not sufficient to warrant the "improvements" we think we are introducing by genetically modifying the food chain):
    I would agree. Why?
    It seems to me that this field is so young, genetic engineering, that our knowledge regarding is, well, not zero, but close.
    Alterations of the food chain should be attempted with extreme caution.
    Alterations to our environmental system at this infant stage of mankind's knowledge of that system, (which is balanced, and worked when we got it) should be expected to alter parts of that balanced system we are not yet aware of. It's too soon if anything.

    Finally:
    I am honored you've taken the time to discuss this matter. Your challenge posed for me to define "spirituality" resulted in the answer above. Just for fun - if you have the time - I'd appreciate your angle on that definition.

    ReplyDelete

Only by exercising YOUR freedom of speech shall you keep it. Comment now - I can handle it....