Let's study ID: common descent or common design? (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, October 25, 2021, 20:05 (33 days ago) @ David Turell

An essay of comparison:


"To say that similarities prove common descent ignores a logical possibility: that common features may instead be due to a common design strategy.


"Stephen Meyer, who received his Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge (and directs the center where I serve as a senior fellow), argues that modern evolutionary theory and intelligent design are "methodologically equivalent."1 Both are trying to answer the same questions about past events. Both employ what's known as inference to the best explanation.


"What does the evidence suggest is the best explanation for the origin of new plants and animals in the history of life? Some form of blind evolution? Or does important evidence in nature strongly suggest that intelligent design was involved? And what new findings might count in favor of one option over the other? Those are the kind of questions characteristic of an unfettered, truth-seeking scientific culture.


"...our DNA codes for things like blood and bone and muscle, for arms and legs, fingers and toes, eyes and ears, mouth and nose. These are all things chimps and humans both have. Should we be shocked that the designer stuck with a superb software system when it came time to design human beings? No, and all the more so since there are major functional advantages to having a biosphere with a shared system of biological information across kingdoms, phyla, and families.


"Neo-Darwinism led evolutionists to assume that most of our DNA would prove to be junk left over from evolution's trial-and-error process. In contrast, intelligent design theorists predicted that "junk DNA" would prove to have function. The common-descent hypothesis led to a failed prediction. The common-design hypothesis made no such prediction.


"In 1965 one of the most important scientists of the last century, Linus Pauling, and biologist Emil Zuckerkandl, considered by some as the father of molecular biology, suggested a way that macroevolution could be tested and proved: If the comparison of anatomical and DNA sequences led to the same family tree of organisms, this would be strong evidence for macroevolution.7 According to them, only evolution would explain the convergence of these two independent chains of evidence. By implication, the opposite finding would count against macroevolution.

"So what were the results? Over the past twenty-eight years, experimental evidence has revealed that family trees based on anatomical features contradict family trees based on molecular similarities, and at many points. They do not converge. Just as troubling for the idea of macroevolution, family trees based on different molecules yield conflicting and contradictory family trees. As a 2012 paper published in Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society reported, "Incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species" (emphasis in original). (my bold)

"Another paper, published the following year in the journal Nature, highlighted the extent of the problem.9 The authors compared 1,070 genes in twenty different yeasts and got 1,070 different trees.

"These results are unexpected, even bizarre, on the assumption that all life evolved from a single common ancestor through a long series of small, random genetic mutations over millions of years. But if Darwinian evolution only explains modest differences among closely related species, and if the various similarities and differences across plants and animals of widely varying types are primarily due to an intelligent designer reusing genetic information for common purposes and fresh DNA sequences for innovations, the persistent failure of a single tree of life to emerge makes perfect sense: there is no evolutionary tree of life, because common descent isn't the case. A common designer is." (my bold)

Comment: As I have pointed out previously, a designer will make complex processes in advance of major steps and then use those complex processes in combination to jump gaps in phenotypical design as in the Cambrian gap. What God did was use a design system which resembles common descent as described by Darwin. dhw's illogical complaint that God didn't use precursors at the Cambrian gap is out the window. He used bits and pieces that were already perfected, as noted, and invented more complex body types, not seen in the Ediacaran. Looking at God's way of doing things, there never is a Darwinist gap!!! Only Darwin's common descent has gaps.

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