Intelligent Design Begins to Bray – Again

I’m getting my ear trumpet out so I can listen for the first howls of glee from the howler monkeys err Creationists err Intelligent Designers.

Once again Science is doing its job, adjusting theory to match newly discovered facts. Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus are seen as two of the steps taken on the long march from the trees to Homo Sapiens.

It was assumed that, since there was no proven overlap of these two species, that they did, in fact, succeed each other.

Now researchers in Kenya have found remains of these two species which appear to show that they co-existed for around half a million years.

This leads to two possibilities. Either they were both descendants of an earlier species, or Erectus evolved from Habilus and they lived together until Habilus finally became extinct.

If we look at the example of Homo Neanderthalus and Homo Sapiens who co-existed in Europe for tens of thousands of years, and at the assorted species of Chimpanzees currently co-existing in the worlds, then it becomes obvious that co-existence between other, older, species in the human family is quite feasible.

It means changing the way we look at the evolution of man. It means that science may have had the wrong idea. Not about evolution, but about how it worked in this case. Possibly the Human Family Tree is fluffier than previously thought. The “straight line” diagram above may not be correct. Perhaps ancestral species walked alongside their descendants.

And so the Creationists will do what they do best.

They will bray to the Heavens that Evolution has been disproved. They will claim once again that this proves creationism. That Evolution should be kicked out of the classroom and replaced with the absolutely correct and unchanging facts of Creationism Intelligent Design.

Never mind that there isn’t a single fact to shore up this weird delusion. Never mind that the only research is done inside the pages of one book, not in the real world. Intelligent Design does not change its premise or its appearance. It is always correct.

Hear, have a listen to my ear trumpet, I think I hear the braying beginning.

33 Responses

  1. I hear it; the braying is non-stop.
    How else to override common sense and scientific research?

    Cybe

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  2. I’m not sure they’ll make too much fuss. This happened before, when the Neaderthal/Cro-magnon concurrence came to light.

    It doesn’t matter how loud they yell. To paraphrase: “It still evolves.”

    What matters more is that men and women fight for rational policies that reflect the real world, as opposed to, for example, the one occupied by the current Lame Duck and his puppeteers.

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  3. [...] Archie’s Archive – Intelligent Design Begins to Bray, Again [...]

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  4. Can you turn the braying down a bit?

    I’m sure there are new discoveries waiting to be discovered to shed even more light on this topic. Do you think we’ll ever have the answer?

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  5. Um … err

    Who is Braying
    and Why does he object

    Seems a great Weight of unproven Evolutionary Speculation over just a minimal number of flimsy Old Bones

    I just wish Homo pSeudo Sapiens had left just a few Neanderthals around for us animals to talk to

    I have the honour (ummm …. Honor) to remain your UnIntelligently-Designed Quacker

    G E

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  6. Cybe, a quiet wander through the blogoswamp is being disturbed by a lot of asses at the moment.

    Metro, I’m afraid they are braying. Loudly.

    Sharon, Sorry, I had my ear trumpet turned up. As for knowing it all, I believe we will learn more and more, but until a time machine is built, we will never find all the pieces of the jigsaw.

    Herr, G eaGle, I am hearing a lot of braying from the deeply uneducated South of the US of A. I also wish we had some Neanderthals left. The evolutionary speculation is based upon evidence as small as the evidence which is used in Courts of Law to prove guilt. I fear we shall have to continue to disagree upon this point. I shall continue looking for evolutionary evidence for raincoaters.

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  7. Tthe fourth one in from the left lives over the road from me.

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  8. pesk, :) Probably a neanderthal leftover – usually found in pubs or unexpectedly asleep outdoors.

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  9. Hi! I’m a doctoral student in physics. :)

    I’ll be quoting you thrice:

    “It means that science may have had the wrong idea. Not about evolution, but about how it worked in this case.”

    The nature of science is being open-minded and being able to admit that the currently held notion may be wrong…maybe a little wrong, maybe completely wrong. There’s a possibility that some detail in evolutionary theory is wrong, but what about the theory as a whole?

    “It [Intelligent Design] is always correct.”

    With all due respect, the first quote sounds quite similar to the second. Dare I say, both views are dogmatic?

    “Never mind that there isn’t a single fact to shore up this weird delusion. Never mind that the only research is done inside the pages of one book, not in the real world. Intelligent Design does not change its premise or its appearance. It is always correct.”

    There has been in fact no direct evidence to disprove creationism either. It is interesting to note that something that never yielded in several millenia still persists today, and accepted by scientists like me.

    I have other insights and reactions on my blog, particularly in this article:

    http://tecigurl.blogspot.com/2007/08/inconsistency-on-one-side-vicious.html

    Good day and God bless :)

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  10. tecigirl, there is no harm in being dogmatic when stating the truth. Do you realise there is nothing to disprove the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, either. Or that of his Noodly Appendage, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Just as there is nothing to disprove the existence of Kali, Allah, Jehovah or Mazda.

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  11. Dear Tecigurl

    Thank you for letting us have such a thoughtful comment – I hope we will enjoy your future visits

    I flatter myself that I agree with the kindly Herr AerChie, the sagacious Monsieur Metro & the perceptive Senor Cyber and I agree on so many things, apart of course from Politics & Religion

    However, I do struggle with the SCIENTIFIC merits of the Evolution Hypothesis

    eg I can see how various monkeys, apes & hominids seem to share various design features …. but is this similarity PROOF beyond ANY doubt that they have descended from each other

    Similar pictures of Elephants are presented to us

    Does the scientific evidence justify these pictures ?

    Could there not be alternative SCIENTIFIC explanations ?

    Yours ever

    G Eagle

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  12. Evidence for evolution: reams of papers dating back a minimum of one hundred and fifty years, a well-studied fossil record, and the opinion of most people who got their degree outside of Liberty University or Oral Roberts.

    Evidence for ID or, let’s call it what it is, creationism: various poorly-translated books of the traditional fables of primitive civilizations. If this is valid, then I ask that we teach of the World Tree, and the telling of the entrails, in science classes.

    Show me this “creator”. Give me his home address. Prove his existence as even as uncertainly as evolution may be proven–that is: Set your standard of proof to the same you demand from evolution.

    Show me his footprints and play me a tape of his voice. Otherwise, I’ll stick with the fossil record if it’s all the same to you. I reckon if He could make a personal appearance for Thomas, it’s the least he could manage for me.

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  13. I live in the Bible Belt, and I haven’t heard any braying. But then, I only got 3/7 on the BBC quiz this week, so I guess I can’t really be accused of listening very hard. My trumpet certainly isn’t turned up very high.

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  14. Bonjour M Metro

    Thank you for (yet) another thoughtful post

    Yr obedt servt etc

    G E

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  15. Metro, nicely said. I go with the “If evolution, then at what point does a soul enter the equation.” group. Since I see no credible alternative to evolution then I dispense with the hereafter and all its trappings.

    hmh, I’m afraid there is loud braying right through the blogoswamp. And it has become worse in the past 24 hours.

    Herr G eaGle, yes, Metro did write eloquently and with conviction.

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  16. Oh, in the blogoswamp. I never go to that microclimate if I can help it. Not even in teh name of knowing my enemy.

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  17. hi everyone, greetings from the blogoswamp :p

    Archie: thanks for replying so soon. i’m finishing up my comment…

    G Eagle: aw shucks, that’s so sweet. thanks for the welcome here. yup im thinking of the same thing, common genotypes and phenotypes may imply a common ancestor, or one is an ancestor of another, or maybe, just maybe, a common creator.

    Metro: just commented on Archie’s latest entry, http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2007/08/11/useless/. corresponds to the issues you raised.

    Healingmagichands and everyone beyond the blogoswamp: we can stay in our respective camps while shaking hands. or, at the very least, wave from the other side ^_^ God in the Bible has only one command: to love. You may not believe it but i do, so feel free to tell me off when i come close to braying. :D

    thanks and see you around cyberspace!

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  18. Hi Archie :) Thank you for taking the time to comment as well. Sorry for the delay in publishing your comment and replying though…

    Anyways, it seems that i could reply to your comment by writing the entire blog entry all over again. My point here was, for scientists, theories are formed, and each theory can be confirmed or refuted based on experimental data. The strength of a theory increases with each proof, but one counterexample disproves the entire thing. For the question of human origin, it seems the two schools of thought — evolutionism/darwinism and intelligent design/creationism — are currently being “proven” simultaneously by their proponents. However, as a scientist, i cannot and must not say that one is wrong because there is no direct evidence to disprove either, at least for now. In the same way that Newton’s Laws gave way to the “more accurate” Relativity (really fast) and Quantum Mechanical (really small) principles (which is a polite way of saying that Newton is “more wrong”), and ether was disproven by the “most famous failed experiment”, scientists should be open-minded enough to at least consider the *possibility* that today’s “laws” might be refuted by just one evidence to the contrary. **A dogmatic scientist is an oxymoron, for a scientist starts with admitted limitations in senses and instruments and yet tries, step by step, to figure out the world around him.**

    As a believer in the Biblical God though, i hold that there is an absolute truth that is different from what evolution is saying. The Bible is dogmatic in assumption: it literally starts with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” **A dogmatic believer is simply doing what believers do.**

    Again, i’m a Christian scientist. i see that the disagreements (and braying, if you will) lie in using the methods of one belief/discipline to test and disprove the other, disregarding that one is more quantitative and the other more qualitative.

    You might have heard variations of (A) “Well, God is true, ‘coz He said so, so you’re all wrong and that’s that.” On behalf of all the people who have said that (and i’m not excusing myself!), i sincerely apologize. It might seem easy for me now to talk about God, but i was an agnostic for many years and intellectual discussions (like this!) are something i truly appreciate.

    But what about variations of: (B) “Well, God cannot be seen, so He can’t possibly be true.” (Hi Metro!) What about gravity, magnetism, photons and electrons? We don’t really see them but we definitely sense their presence or absence. Also, (C) “Is the Bible correct?” Are the laws of Newton, Maxwell et al. correct? Well, i don’t even know if they actually lived because i never saw them nor did i see them write down those laws; regardless let’s check out if F=ma and so on.

    What struck me first, immediately, upon reading your comment was that if i leave out the words “Invisible Pink Unicorn” and so on, it sounded like something a “religious” person might say. Or, to be more general, it can be used by both creationist and evolutionist camps. I suggest raising other issues or raising other arguments because this one could support either.

    Thanks for your time! :)
    teci

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  19. oh, and by the way archie,

    it’s interesting that you equate creationists and intelligent designers to howler monkeys, because…

    we’re not the ones who claim we descended from them :D

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  20. Teci, The key phrase you use is “that one is more quantitative and the other more qualitative.”

    As a scientist, you must know that science is based on measurement. I have seen no credible “measurement” of creationism. No justification for Intelligent Design other than an appeal to magic. I have seen, on the other hand, continual measurement and the search for and use of physical evidence for Evolution.

    Yes, sometimes there is a new discovery which causes a slight change in the interpretation and application of the theory of evolution.

    If we take the progression from Newton to Einstein and through to Quantum Physics; even on to String Theory, we find that they are each accurate within their range of measurable error. The work of Einstein does not invalidate Newton’s work. The addition of a new piece of evidence which changes the APPLICATION of the Theory of Evolution does not invalidate the theory.

    We do not need to know that Newton, Einstein, even Euclid existed. We have their writings. Verifiable and replicable experiments which give rise to theories. Everything in science is quantitative.

    On the other hand, there is nothing quantitative about Creationism or Intelligent Design. ID is an appeal to ignorance, a negation of the hard work of science and looks to magic to explain everything. Creationism bases itself on the ambiguous words of Middle-Eastern people who heard voices. Today they would be labelled schizophrenic or some such similar illness. I accept that there is history in those books. There is also a lot of mythology.

    Why should I accept the creation myths of the followers of Jehovah instead of the creation myths of Kali? or of the Zoroastrians? Shouldn’t all be taught equally? Perhaps the Pharonic creation myths be taught as well? Each as Fact, of course.

    I need verifiable and replicable facts and evidence to accept a theory. Which is why it is not true to say that by putting the words “Invisible Pink Unicorn” into a discussion of the Theory of Evolution is not the same as putting them into a discussion of ID. ID itself relies on an invisible sky fairy.

    Oh, as for the “Howler Monkey” reference, please forgive me, I have a weird sense of humour and had visions of the deliberately unlearned devoluting back into monkeyhood. It is rare to find an intelligent person (especially in the deep south of the USA) who espouses creationism.

    Forgive my non-rigorous writing. I have not brought the philosophy of thought into the argument. It has been several decades since I wrote anything in a rigorous manner.

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  21. Hello Archie :) (Yeah, this is cool, we promote our views and our interactions with double effectiveness with what we’re doing :) )

    i agree with what you’re saying, about evolution being more quantitative (and definitely more scientific!) because it has been arrived at and presently still being confirmed and even refined according to the scientific method: experiment, measurement, hypothesizing and concluding (ideally still with healthy skepticism!).

    And i quite understand why it’s easy to dismiss creationism/intelligent design on these accounts.

    But, again, in this way ID is judged in the home court of evolution, such that its validity would be easily ignored.

    Evolution and ID both explain (or attempt to explain) the origin and development of life. But let me emphasize that evolution is a scientific theory that was posited and continually is being confirmed and/or refined by evidence, while ID (at least Biblical creationism) is information claimed to be revealed by an absolute God.

    That is why i said earlier that while there might not be direct evidence of ID, there is no evidence to dispute it either. Unlike evolution, ID did not start out as a scientific theory, and it seems unfair to be judged (entirely) as such.

    Still, evolution and ID make claims, and as rational beings, whether scientists or not, we must test them.

    Interestingly, in the Complex Systems Summer School, one esteemed professor who confidently denounced ID said in the same talk, “We have the same data, but reach different conclusions.” i cannot remember in which context he said it, it probably wasn’t in the context of the evolution-ID issue, but i think it’s appropriate here too.

    Remember what G Eagle Esq said? Evidence of closely related life forms may mean that one evolved from the ther…However, it is also possible that they bear the marks of a single creator. After all, the randomness supposed in evolution, as in “anything goes, may the best man/animal win”, must imply that there could be a wide range of “fittest” species in different habitats, which, after billions of years, should actually be *very widely* diverse (genetically and otherwise) and have different ancestors (life arising and/or developing in different parts of the globe).

    i should also point out that creation acounts are not all equally valid, in the same way that not all ideas by scientists (the existence of ether, the centrality of earth in the solar system) are equally valid. If a scientist realized a flaw in his hypothesis and formed a new one as he should, then science is progressing in truth. But for accounts like Biblical creationism, which started with an assumption of revealed absolute truth (and seemingly “convenient” details like God is unseen and all-powerful such that we cannot really experiment on Him), there may still be ways of proving or disproving them — just not in the usual way that lab experiments are done. In asking something like, “Does ID pass the test of science?” perhaps the more politically correct attitude (haha) would be to say “Does not apply” rather than “No!” Scientists who fervently do not believe in ID should at least prove *scientifically* why they don’t; otherwise their non-belief is just opinion and not absolute fact.

    You wrote: “We do not need to know that Newton, Einstein, even Euclid existed. We have their writings. Verifiable and replicable experiments which give rise to theories. Everything in science is quantitative.”

    i completely agree. again it’s just the use of science (and only science) to check ID, the Bible, or God. There are quite of important non-quantitative fields out there: politics, communication, anthropology. Even economics, which deals with numbers (!!!!) still cannot explain stock markets nor predict its behavior (here’s a little gossip for laymen: they hate it when physicists like me try to quantify and physics-ify (hehe!) their field.). Even psychology, which can label me schizophrenic, relies on qualitative observations and the inseparable interactions of many different factors. in the summer school, one classmate’s background was in literature and she sought to find mathematical/quantitative insights into her work. one of our teachers (the one who denounced ID) said that human progress is due to scientific and other quantitative fields — my lit classmate and another teacher respectfully disagreed.

    Another time, our evolutionist professor (who i’m really fond of, as you probably can tell) said that we should look/accept (even the possibility of) some truths/statements/hypotheses even if we are not comfortable with them or even if they disagree with our own personal biases. Well, that is something i want to tell evolutionists too, especially evolutionary scientists: scientists (sorry to sound like a refraining song) should be open to other possibilities, even for well-established theories and laws. We (scientists) hold ourselves to a higher/stricter standard, should we not? Unfortunately this is not the case with evolution: http://tecigurl.blogspot.com/2007/08/darwinism-needs-revision.html. Again, it’s understandable and even expected that the “religious” would be dogmatic, but it should be a major no-no for scientists, (somehow 15 years of science classes taught me that science is objective and skeptical, that the current theory is as good only as the last piece of evidence).

    You’re forgiven ^_^ No offense taken…Though i have to warn (as i did many times this week) that that kind of humor (from both sides of the issue!) is what makes discussions like this nearly impossible. Devoluting indeed ;p

    My new American friends told me about the Deep South, and i’ve heard as much from US pop culture which is so ingrained in the Philippines. (Well, we have a different set of issues over here…) Ah, but you see, unlike most of them, i was nurtured in the sciences (and agnosticism) since high school before i finally realized/accepted/acknowledged God all-powerful and all-loving. If i do say so myself, i totally understand the thought processes and train of reasoning of the unbelievers because i was one too ^_^ Actually, i’m glad you continue to reply Archie, i thought you think i’m being too preachy (please, i just talk and think too much, even if it’s not about God ;p )

    To end, i’d like to mention Lee Strobel (www.leestrobel.com/): award-winning atheistic legal journalist, who sought to disprove Christianity when his wife suddenly became a believer. (He thought she was going to be a sexually repressed killjoy, hahaha! Quite understandable really!) Anyway, he used his rigorous background in law and journalism to punch all the “loopholes” in God and the Bible, and in the end he realized no other truth comes close. He’s been a pastor for the last 25 years :)

    His books include “The Case for Christ” (for skeptics, agnostics and unbelievers, since it details his own investigation where he started as an atheist), “The Case for Faith” (for believers who still grapple with issues of hell, faith, being saved by grace), and “The Case for a Creator” (for the scientifically inclined). Actually, all this time i’ve been saying that there might be no direct evidence for a Creator but i scanned this book and it mentions several. i read the other two and i highly recommend his books; he’s very objective about explaining Biblical faith because of his professional background and personal atheistic past. (To be fair, when i googled him there are also links to those who don’t agree with him; but like you said, it’s rare to discuss with an intelligent person (thank you!)…i believe you’d be open to reading these books and at least hear the other side of the “case”. :) )

    For the more philosophical side in you, there is also Ravi Zacharias (http://www.rzim.org/) and *gush!* C.S. Lewis (you might know but in case you don’t, he wrote a lot of introspective books aside from the fictional-yet-still-allegorical Narnia series). i don’t know about Zacharias but Lewis was definitely an unbeliever even as a university lecturer. i think that kind of (personal) background is really helpful in dialogues like this :)

    Perhaps you’ve been mainly exposed to “another type” of believers, those who haven’t really experienced “the other side” and maybe haven’t really had their faith and line of reasoning developed that much :D

    i really appreciate it that we get to discuss this :) Thank you and God bless! :)

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  22. arg…sorry for the double-spaced effect and the blank comment… :)

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  23. teci, fixed the double-spacing – now to think upon my reply :)

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  24. I think it is quite interesting to read all this stuff. I would like to report that the more I read and think about this, the more I lean towards atheism. It has been a long time since I viewed the Bible as anything more than a political manifesto motivated by the early Popes’ lust for power. But I still believed that there was a Higher Power out there. The fact that the President of the United States can claim that he is destroying an entire nation and he knows it is right because it is a Godly thing to do and he has not been struck by lightning has sadly undermined my faith. In addition, the flock of Bible Thumping assholes who attend military funerals and say that the attack on the US on 9/11 and now the I35 bridge collapse in Minnesota are all God’s punishment for our tolerance of homosexuals are still walking around alive as well. What God? If there is a God, it certainly is a capricious and viscious spirit.

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  25. Sorry Teci, you’re just concern trolling.

    You say that ID is being “proven” alongside evolution. I call bullshit. State your case and show your evidence or leave the field to evolution.

    You claim that as a scientist you cannot judge either claim.

    You’re wrong. Judging claims is precisely what science is for.

    But then you pull the tarp off your agenda by re-stating your belief in a god. Already we know that you see the issue as being one of god versus evolution. But that’s not it, really. Why can’t we have both?

    Myself, I don’t want both. I’m not simply saying god cannot be seen. I’m saying his existence is not proveable. If you say you “experience” god, I cannot tell whether it’s god or indigestion that is inspiring you.

    I’m saying god doesn’t measure up to the standards believers demand for evolution. Yet they accept their gods’ existence based on various books.

    Evolution says not that humans descended from monkeys. It merely establishes that we belong to similar branches of a family tree.

    You asked us to let you know if you were braying. It sure looks like it.

    The real problem is that when you’re personally invested in the literal truth of a poorly-translated book of Aramaic shepherd’s tales, you’re in for a disappointment when you’re living in 2007.

    So whenever science says something that means your book can’t be literally true, you have to howl and gibber that science is wrong, and that your non-evidence-based truthiness is as valid as a century of archeological research.

    Tell me, Teci, as a creationist, do you believe that the earth was literally created in six periods of twenty-four hours apiece?

    Now just in case you think I’m the one being dogmatic, I ask you again: How do you find your god? Where is he? How can you prove to another person that he exists?

    Because I may be able to convince someone, using evidence-based reasoning, that evolution is a real process. What evidence will you introduce to prove your god’s presence?

    Those of us on the rational side of things aren’t asking you to give up your cherished beliefs. We’re just saying that you cannot teach mythology as science.

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  26. hmh, yes, a political manifesto – that is all shamanism has ever been.

    Metro, creationism is dead. It died when the human genome was revealed by Francis Collins and Craig Vetnor in 2001. The correct term now is Intelligent Design. It is all too complicated to have happened naturally. Therefore there must be some Intelligent Designer. Only problem is, if you look closely at what He/She/It has designed, there are so many design flaws. Do you wear glasses, do you have a bad back, are you developing diabetes? Not a very intelligent designer, is he? It looks far more likely that all these defects are the result of evolutionary progressions, using atrophied and vestigal bits left over from more ancient critters.

    Teci, please take my previous comment (reply to Metro) as a new starting point to continue our discussion.

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  27. Sorry about the braodside. I don’t have a problem with faith, in the same way I have no problem with people swinging their fists. But their right to that faith, or to swing that fist, ends when it crashes into my nose.

    If they wish “ID” taught in schools, let’s keep it in history, or more appropriately mythology, where it belongs. Or if they want it taught as science, let it withstand the same rigorous testing that science withstands.

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  28. metro, no worries. I had some hard questions coming up, you anticipated me by just a few hours :)

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  29. [...] Back near the beginning of August I wrote about some new discoveries in palaeontology and the probable reaction from certain quarters. The soon to-to-come braying from the Intelligent [...]

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  30. scientists are so interesting..
    teci sounds like a dickhead though…

    metro sounds like a champ!

    Hey, welcome to the archive. Metro is one of the more erudite writers in the blogipelago – well worth visiting.

    Teci is just confused. But then so are most people who believe in sky fairies and big invisible pink unicorns.

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  31. Neither of you are going to convince the other party that your theory exists. You are only building up bad feelings, and regardless of how we got here, I think the main point of life is to be happy. Drop it :)

    I don’t think so, Savannah. I merely stated my point of view and others have given theirs. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, it is always instructive to see what other people think and secondly (and totally selfishly) it increases the number of visitors to my blog. [grins cheekily]

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  32. Evolutions aload of shit

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