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In the Name of God بسم الله
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.InshAllah.

Professor Michael Behe has a new book coming out

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4 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

Michael Behe's central ideas should be taught to Shia children.

It's a big misconception that evolution and God are somehow mutually exclusive. Alot of people fall in that trap and are biased as a result. 

Why do theists have a hard time accepting that evolution may be a tool that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) utilizes? And on the other side atheists mistakenly use evolution to discredit God. 

Should someone disbelieve in God based on the gradual growth of a child in a womb? And argue that it was the Woman that created the child?

Even taking the Qur'an LITERALLY it would be difficult to extrapolate an idea like "intelligent design".  

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What is missing is a holistic explanation on how God (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) interacts with the universe. Such theory would enlighten us not on evolution alone, but natural systems as a whole. 

I have my own thoughts but there's too many gaps, like how free will impacts the end result.

I'll remind everyone of this interesting verse :

28:68

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ ۗ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (68)

 

Edited by Fink

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13 minutes ago, Fink said:

It's a big misconception that evolution and God are somehow mutually exclusive. Alot of people fall in that trap and are biased as a result. 

You don’t understand intelligent design.  You should take a look at some of Behes videos online or read stuff by him / his supporters.  The fact that Behe believes in common descent shows that intelligent design isnt simply the denial of evolution.  

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1 hour ago, .InshAllah. said:

You don’t understand intelligent design.  You should take a look at some of Behes videos online or read stuff by him / his supporters.  The fact that Behe believes in common descent shows that intelligent design isnt simply the denial of evolution.  

I'm quite familiar with Behes unconventional opinions. The problem with theists is they present the argument about life as somehow more critical than every other natural process that we know of. They want to point to a particular divine intervention, when they should be looking for holistic theory that explains how God interacts with the universe. 

If there is a gotcha moment in evolution, then we must ask how did Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) preserve the Qur'an? or how did he give Muslims victory over the Meccans? Or how do angels protect people? Where's the extraordinary divine intervention in that? 

We are looking at evolution/intelligent design from a poor angle. The ones pushing for things like irreducible complexity to prove God are the same ones who believe God is actively intervening in the universe, yet can’t fathom an explanation on how that happens.

Edited by Fink

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1 hour ago, Fink said:

If there is a gotcha moment in evolution, then we must ask how did Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) preserve the Qur'an? or how did he give Muslims victory over the Meccans? Or how do angels protect people? Where's the extraordinary divine intervention in that?

It's a straw man? Most traditionalist religious Muslims don't think the creation of life is any different to many other events (including ones you have mentioned).

Quote

The ones pushing for things like irreducible complexity to prove God are the same ones who believe God is actively intervening in the universe,

Irreducible complexity is a very sound concept which demonstrates the inability of a series of undirected random mutations to produce life. It does not in any way require special divine intervention to create life. You can believe in irreducible complexity and also believe that God created naturalistic processes/phenomena that would guide some sort of evolution.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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I feel something is missing in all this evolution Vs creation / intelligent design debate. The stand points have not been properly understood rather this debate has evolved into Atheism Vs Theism debate which makes the whole scenario fogged by biases. I would personally approach it like this. Is the theory of evolution an established scientific fact? I would say No but it is the only naturalistic explanation to the origin of species , bio-diversification and certain properties of the living structures today. Am I a creationist or do I take intelligent design as a scientific fact? No , I am agnostic as to how life originated and how the species originated. The various verses in Qur'an point in both direction and we can not be very sure if Adam and Eve's story is a literal fact or a mere allegory. On the same token , intelligent design is not science but if weighed with the theory of evolution , both fall in the same category. Both lack the refinement and modeling one would expect from a scientific theory. Both have stochastic denominators , unquantifiable  pretensions , non empirical claims , tautologies and the lack of predictive value. Both concepts if juxtaposed with Mathematical theorems or theorems of mathematical physics , would be dismissed as to be attempts in speculative natural philosophy rather than science. 

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4 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

It's a straw man? Most traditionalist religious Muslims don't think the creation of life is any different to many other events (including ones you have mentioned).

Irreducible complexity is a very sound concept which demonstrates the inability of a series of undirected random mutations to produce life. It does not in any way require special divine intervention to create life. You can believe in irreducible complexity and also believe that God created naturalistic processes/phenomena that would guide some sort of evolution.

Salam ,

Im not sure the scientific community would agree that IC is a sound concept. likely plenty of stuff on the internet on that so I won't argue over it.

Though not exactly the topic, traditional Muslim belief and theism in general don't have a working model of divine intervention. Whether passive or active.

I do admit that divine intervention is one of the most difficult to wrap our head around because we are limited in our understanding of God. 

It's also not clear to me that randomness in life discredits the case for God. Which is why I think trying to find something, anything that is extraordinary or out of place is likely to fail. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Fink

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7 hours ago, Fink said:

 

It's also not clear to me that randomness in life discredits the case for God. Which is why I think trying to find something, anything that is extraordinary or out of place is likely to fail. 

 

I agree that it certainly doesnt, however if ID is true then this discredits atheism (although strictly speaking the intelligence could be aliens, this isnt plausible).  So thats one reason why ID is good.   The other is that theres evidence for ID , at least according to Behe, in which case it shouldnt be rejected without first grappling with his arguments for it.

Broadly speaking there are 2 reasons people reject ID, one is theological/philosophical and the other is scientific.   I think the vast majority, including most scientists and atheists, fall into the first category even if they would deny that

Edited by .InshAllah.

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8 hours ago, Fink said:

Salam ,

Im not sure the scientific community would agree that IC is a sound concept. likely plenty of stuff on the internet on that so I won't argue over it.

Though not exactly the topic, traditional Muslim belief and theism in general don't have a working model of divine intervention. Whether passive or active.

I do admit that divine intervention is one of the most difficult to wrap our head around because we are limited in our understanding of God. 

It's also not clear to me that randomness in life discredits the case for God. Which is why I think trying to find something, anything that is extraordinary or out of place is likely to fail.

:ws:

Only a minority of scientists would consider IC a sound concept. The majority probably don't even know about it, and the ones that do, have their biases and social pressures against them. It's a bit like stating that the 'scientific community' doesn't believe in free-will, the soul etc. Or that the US Congress doesn't think Israel is an oppressive state. It's to be expected.

Quote

Whether passive or active.

Isn't dua at the very least some sort of passive intervention?

Quote

Which is why I think trying to find something, anything that is extraordinary or out of place is likely to fail. 

I actually think the neo-Darwinian view is the one that considers life to be unusual in how it came about. Everything else works like it was programmed (e.g. embryogenesis, the beginning of the universe etc).

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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3 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

Isn't dua at the very least some sort of passive intervention?

Salam

That's an interesting question. I'm not sure if I understand how Dua works. There was once a young man and everyday he would pray for God to give him a righteous son. Years passed and God never granted him his dua.

One day his mom heard making dua in tears and slapped him telling him "son you have to get married first" 

I guess this falls in the free will vs determinism debate. But here's an interesting verse from the Qur'an :

Surah Al-Hadid, Verse 22:
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ

NO CALAMITY can ever befall the Earth, and nei­ther your own selves, unless it be [laid down] in Our decree before We bring it into being: verily, all this is easy for God.

 

__________

But really the dillema is not so much whether God intervenes, it's how does this intervention interact with the natural world as we understand it.

How does God fulfill someone's wish for a boy in light of the seemingly random process of sperm and egg?


 

Edited by Fink

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Interesting I've never seen evolution as a problem for Islam. But from a scientific point of view parts of evolution make sense and have evidence. Where evolution of one species to another I feel is not supported past being a theory. Interms of origin of all life evolution provides very little answers. As the evidence for single cellular to multicellular is weak. 

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I think irreducible complexity is something that has been a failed concept since the discussions were raised about the bacterial flagellum.

Behes argument is more of an argument from ignorance, rather than an argument in favor of intelligent design.

Aside from that, speciation has been observed In nature as a product of mutations and selection. 

I certainly don't agree that ID should be taught in schools, because there wouldn't be anything to teach.

 

Edited by iCenozoic

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1 hour ago, iCenozoic said:

I think irreducible complexity is something that has been a failed concept since the discussions were raised about the bacterial flagellum.

IC is a perfectly sensible argument. Show me the proof that IC is flawed. Show your examples. But please don't make a massive post because I wouldn't have time to respond.

Quote

Behes argument is more of an argument from ignorance, rather than an argument in favor of intelligent design.

The standard neo-Darwiniam account is one which requires a wild and unrestrained immagination. It imagines steps between forms that are IC in themselves.

Quote

Aside from that, speciation has been observed In nature as a product of mutations and selection. 

Speciation could occur without the need to overcome IC. And what evidence is there that it happened via blind random mutations and selection? Was the process observed? Again can you provide and example.

Edited by Muhammed Ali

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Irreducible complexity itself isn't really equivalent to ID, it isn't actually providing evidence of anything. It is simply a claim against something else. For that reason, there isn't anything for ID to teach.

I typically look at the common bacterial flagellum claim. The original argument which failed in the Dover trials.

Behes claims that systems such as the flagellum were irreducibly complex, in the sense that they would not function upon being reduced to individual parts.

But as the common response goes, individual, functional parts of the flagellum do exist and serve alternative functions.

 

 

Edited by iCenozoic

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"Speciation could occur without the need to overcome IC. Anwhat evidence is there that it happened via blind randommutations and selection? "

Mutations are typically considered random in that without environmental pressures, they do not result in evolution in a particular direction. In many cases, populations will even evolve in one direction, then evolve back to the way they once were in the past. In other cases, organisms undergo mutation, then undergo back-mutations in which what once changed in one direction, changed back to the way it was before, genetically.

Google "random walks" in paleontology. Or "back mutations" or "reverse mutations".

And of course there are mutations caused by bombardment of DNA by subatomic particles. Which of course would be random. If I pick up a radioactive piece of shale, it could alter my DNA without necessarily producing cancer. 

Another idea just to consider,

In the popular case of lenskis e.coli experiments, those bacteria underwent billions of mutations, before aquiring the hundreds of fixated beneficial mutations that they did. Different populations underwent different mutations and evolved in different ways. 

If mutations we're not random, one might expect populations to evolve in a particular direction or to evolve identically with other populations. We might not expect to see reverse mutations. We also might not expect populations to undergo billions of non fixated and seemingly useless mutations.

The great variety of organisms in the Cambrian explosion has also been attributed to "randomness". At a time before natural selection took hold, organisms were evolving in all sorts of wild and bizarre shapes and forms. Thus is the opinion of Stephen J Gould at least, and his opinion appears justified.

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And with countless mutations that do not appear to be driving populations in a particular direction, those that fixate, do so based on environmental factors.

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/science/watching-bacteria-evolve-with-predictable-results.html?smid=nytcore-iphone-share&smprod=nytcore-iphone

 

In both the lenski experiments and those in the link above, organisms fitness was driven by manipulation of resources (the environmental constraint) and competition from other populations of organisms. Which is observed natural selection.

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On 2/17/2019 at 5:35 PM, Fink said:

t's a big misconception that evolution and God are somehow mutually exclusive. Alot of people fall in that trap and are biased as a result. 

Ayat 59:24  al-Bari -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). and al-Musawwir -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).    Evolver/lnitiator//Fashioner(shaper)

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51 minutes ago, Muhammed Ali said:

Edit:

I wrote a long post and it's gone. This forum needs to fix its cookie time limits. 

Man, that was like a year ago. Did you finish behes book?

I've read a couple more books myself and may be able to add more to the conversation.

Edited by iCenozoic

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On 2/20/2019 at 5:55 PM, iCenozoic said:

Irreducible complexity itself isn't really equivalent to ID, it isn't actually providing evidence of anything. It is simply a claim against something else. For that reason, there isn't anything for ID to teach.

I typically look at the common bacterial flagellum claim. The original argument which failed in the Dover trials.

Behes claims that systems such as the flagellum were irreducibly complex, in the sense that they would not function upon being reduced to individual parts.

But as the common response goes, individual, functional parts of the flagellum do exist and serve alternative functions.

 

 

Let me try again.

Sorry for responding so late. These subjects are more interesting for me than all the other things that I have recently been posting about, but they require more care and thought.

Please note that I am not against evolution. I just think that the standard theory is woefully erroneous and the true mechanisms will be discovered in the future.

The video of Miller is depressing. I hadn't seen it before but I knew exactly what to expect because I have come across similar ideas from him and others. It’s depressing because educated people in the scientific community should not fall for such sloppy thinking. They need to be more critical and even say "I don't know". But humans sometimes have imaginations which stop them thinking with clarity. They need to ask themselves if the thing that they are imaging in their mind will really work in reality.

Miller makes the same mistakes that he made in this well-known presentation:

 

 

He doesn’t seem to understand that IC is not refuted by a system having simple components or even complex sub-parts that could be used elsewhere or in other ways. In fact, we must expect an irreducibly complex system to have such sub components. To go from one complex system to another irreducibly complex one would require multiple simultaneous modifications. Those modifications could (and would probably) make use of components that already have pre-existing uses in other contexts.

Take the example of a car. It has nuts, bolts and other things that can be used for other purposes in other systems. It also has complex sub-parts (engines, seats etc) that could be used elsewhere (a car seat could be used in a plane), or with modifications have other uses within the same system. But the car itself (even in its most primitive form i.e. a proto-car) is IC. If you were to remove a core component then it would cease to function. You could take all the other remaining things within it and use them in other ways, but the car itself is still IC.

Miller is giving examples which require multiple modifications. A type III secretory system requires many modifications before it becomes a working flagellum. These modifications are not just the adding of extra parts but modifications to the current structure too. 

If you take an existing system and add new parts to it, you have to integrate those parts into it with a lot of modifications. To add one piece to a machine doesn't normally involve just putting that piece on top of it, it requires changing what it already there with a lot of small alterations.

Even Miller's mousetrap examples require these multiple modifications. To go from a tie clip to a primitive mousetrap requires more than one change. Unclipping it and moving it to the right location are two modifications alone. Adding the cheese and the other components are further modifications.

His other examples of the evolving mousetrap also require more than one change happening for every evolutionary step. People who believe in the neo-Darwinian model use their imagination to imagine how things could have happened without actually observing those changes. It's far away from being empirical. 

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"You could take all the other remaining things within it and use them in other ways, but the car itself is still IC."

So, as you say, you could remove an engine from a car, even the most simple car, and it would cease being a car.

I agree. It wouldn't be a car, it would be say, a pile of bolts and maybe some glass and cotton.

Then you return to the idea that all the remaining things within it (such as a bolt) could be taken and used in other ways (such as being used as say a door stop). At prior times. Would you agree with this?

Here is a statement from Wikipedia:

"Irreducible complexity (IC) involves the idea that certain biological systems cannot have evolved by successive small modifications to pre-existing functional systems through natural selection, because no less complex system would function."

And yet, it sounds like you are aware that less complex systems (such as the bolt) would in fact function serving alternate purposes (such as being a doorstop).

 Do you disagree with the wiki description above?  Irreducible complexity, from what I can tell, appears to suggest that there was no functional bolt to begin with. That a functional bolt being used as a door stop never existed at all. And that the idea of the bolt being used before the car, us completely made up. Do you agree with this? 

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"Miller is giving examples which require multiple modifications. A type III secretory system requires many modifications before it becomes a working flagellum. These modifications are not just the adding of extra parts but modifications to the current structure too. "

I think that the point of talking about the type 3 secretory system is merely to point out that the bolt pre-existed the car, and that the bolt served a function and was viable and functional and had reason to exist before the flagellum ever came to be.

Before there ever was a car, there was a functional engine. The car could be reduced to pieces, and those individual pieces did things before they made up the car.

And you mentioned that perhaps those parts needed modifications, an engine needs to be modified when transferred from a lawnmower to a mustang.

But of course the mustang was made of independent functional pieces none the less. The mustang could be theoretically reduced.

Why would it be an issue for there to be modification to the lawnmower engine? 

Maybe I'm just trying to make sense of your thoughts.

Are we doubting that this type 3 secretory system could feasibly be ancestral to the flagellum? Or are we moreso doubting that this system could, via step by step modifications, become the flagellum over time, without divine intervention?

Hm Yea, just not sure what your ideas are trying to say.

 

Edited by iCenozoic

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Alright, last post in my attempt to rationalize the above:

Here is a video of Behe on ID:

"If you take away the propeller, If you take away the motor...it's broken, it doesn't work at all"

"Would you start with an iron rod that in the future would attach a motor to a propellor? Well what's that going to do? It's not going to do anything...Would you start with just a motor? Well that's not going to propel you anywhere"

So the above are behes words and thoughts.

I agree that the boat would be broken, but would that make the boat irreducibly complex?

Now here are your words @MuhammedAli

"To go from one complex system to another irreducibly complex one would require multiple simultaneous modifications. Those modifications could (and would probably) make use of components that already have pre-existing uses in other contexts."

These modifications could, and would probably, make use of components that already have pre-existing uses.

Behe is suggesting that the individual parts do not serve a function on their own. For example, The propeller doesn't serve a function without being a part of the boat.

But what we have here is an understanding that the parts could be used for alternate functions without necessarily being part of the boat. For example, a motor could be used in a lawn mower. 

So there is a question of what part we would start with. The answer is that we would start with a part that is functional on its own while not being a part of the whole. A boat without a propellor is functional on its own, without being attached to a propellor. 

The type 3 secretory system is functional on its own, without being part of the flagellum. And any ancestral systems of a similar structure could be just as functional.

Behe suggests that in reality, the body of the boat, is "Dead in the water" suggesting that without a motor, Let the boat is useless. 

But by recognizing that there are pre-existing functional parts, We are recognizing that a boat without a motor can actually be useful. And any other non motorized boat structure that might predate the motorized boat.

I think Miller's response is spot-on, I don't get the impression that it is intellectually lazy at all.

 

But one more comment though, even with all of the above said, the argument of ID is still just...it's not an argument for something, rather it's just an argument against something else.

Irreducible complexity, as a hypothesis, doesn't actually tell us anything. Rather it's more like a position of incredulity, and thus, it was never really a good argument in favor of intelligent design to begin with. Just an argument against Darwinism evolution, or an effort to be so.

It's not so much a question of what modifications would be needed to make a part useful in one system versus another.

It's a question of if a functional part can pre-exist the final system, or not.

Edited by iCenozoic

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