Leading orthodox evolutionary biologist admits that ID is at the cutting edge

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Recently a leading orthodox evolutionary biologist conceded that the leading intelligent design proponent scientists and researchers in Discovery Institute such as Stephen Meyer and Michael Behe have legitimately found big, real, cracks in the neo-Darwinian theory and have made some excellent arguments, regardless of their supposed ulterior motive to find God at the end of the process. He actually admits that these scientists and investigators and thinkers of ID constitute the current leading edge of the field of evolutionary biology.

The scientist is Bret Weinstein who along with his wife Heather Heying are well-known evolutionary biologists with a podcast they call the Darkhorse Podcast. On it, recently Weinstein posed a provocative question, “Is intelligent design a competitor to Darwinian evolution?” His answer was surprising: Yes. Weinstein is still confident that Darwinism will (somehow) meet the challenges that ID has set, about the Cambrian Explosion and more, but he concedes that it hasn’t done so yet.

This is a remarkable concession from a couple of scientists who are not at all looking to make the leap to ID, but who understand that intelligent design, not Darwinism, is currently at biology’s cutting edge.

An article on this has come out, at https://evolutionnews.org/2024/06/evolut...ting-edge/ . Excerpts from the Weinstein/Heying podcast:

Quote:"I (Weinstein) encountered people like Stephen Meyer, who were not phony scientists, pretending to do the work. They were actually very good at what they did. And I believe Stephen Meyer is motivated by a religious motivation, but we don’t generally ask the question when somebody takes up science, “What are you really in it for? Are you in it for the fame?” That’s not a legitimate challenge to somebody’s work.

And the fact is, Stephen Meyer is very good at what he does..., in terms of the quality of his arguments, I was very impressed when I met him...
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...and it all also became obvious to me in interacting with Stephen Meyer and many of his high-quality colleagues that they’re actually motivated, for whatever reason, to do the job that we are supposed to be motivated to do inside of biology. They’re looking for cracks in the theory. Things that we haven’t yet explained. And they’re looking for those things for their own reasons, but the point is we’re supposed to be figuring out what parts of the stories we tell ourselves aren’t true, because that’s how we get smarter over time.
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The better intelligent design folks are finding real questions raised by Darwinism, and the Darwinists, instead of answering those questions, [are] deciding it’s not worthy of their time. And that is it is putting us on a collision course.
(This post was last modified: 2024-06-26, 09:25 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 3 times in total.)
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(2024-06-26, 09:19 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: Recently a leading orthodox evolutionary biologist conceded that the leading intelligent design proponent scientists and researchers in Discovery Institute such as Stephen Meyer and Michael Behe have legitimately found big, real, cracks in the neo-Darwinian theory and have made some excellent arguments, regardless of their supposed ulterior motive to find God at the end of the process. He actually admits that these scientists and investigators and thinkers of ID constitute the current leading edge of the field of evolutionary biology.

The scientist is Bret Weinstein who along with his wife Heather Heying are well-known evolutionary biologists with a podcast they call the Darkhorse Podcast. On it, recently Weinstein posed a provocative question, “Is intelligent design a competitor to Darwinian evolution?” His answer was surprising: Yes. Weinstein is still confident that Darwinism will (somehow) meet the challenges that ID has set, about the Cambrian Explosion and more, but he concedes that it hasn’t done so yet.

This is a remarkable concession from a couple of scientists who are not at all looking to make the leap to ID, but who understand that intelligent design, not Darwinism, is currently at biology’s cutting edge.

An article on this has come out, at https://evolutionnews.org/2024/06/evolut...ting-edge/ . Excerpts from the Weinstein/Heying podcast:

While appreciating the fallacy of discounting evidence based on the person behind it.....

Bret Weinstein has given up the ghost of rationality.  He's seemingly been captured by his social media audience.  So much so that he takes the anti-mainstream side on every issue he talks about.
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  • sbu
(2024-06-27, 03:43 PM)Silence Wrote: While appreciating the fallacy of discounting evidence based on the person behind it.....

Bret Weinstein has given up the ghost of rationality.  He's seemingly been captured by his social media audience.  So much so that he takes the anti-mainstream side on every issue he talks about.

It is unfortunate so much of ID feels intertwined with politics (and US politics at that), especially since it is more controversial - scientifically speaking - than Cosmic Fine Tuning. The latter is accepted insofar as the data is agreed upon, even if the question of why the constants are in such a small acceptable range is debated.

That said, Weinstein isn't the only person who has shifted support to ID in recent years. But yeah I don't think his endorsement is a signal that biologists as a whole have shifted toward design arguments.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2024-06-27, 04:02 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2024-06-27, 04:01 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: That said, Weinstein isn't the only person who has shifted support to ID in recent years.
Can you give some other names?

Behe's argument is fascinating and hard to escape, although I think there is a much simpler argument which should be recognised. Darwin's theory assumed a small number of gene alternatives - e.g. short beaks vs long beaks. If that was what genes looked like, the theory might be viable. However, now we know that genes are composed of DNA sequences with the information content of one or more sentences things are quite different. A mutation doesn't just change from one gene to another, it transitions through a mass of non-genes that can perform no function in the organism and should be selected against because they consume resources.

David
(This post was last modified: 2024-07-03, 11:30 PM by David001.)
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(2024-07-03, 11:30 PM)David001 Wrote: Can you give some other names?

David

Well Josephson was very much in favor of Signature in the Cell, but more recently I'd cite Wolfgang Smith.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2024-07-04, 12:14 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Well Josephson was very much in favor of Signature in the Cell, but more recently I'd cite Wolfgang Smith.

That's good, but they both are physicists not biologists, leading to the criticism that they are making judgements outside of their field of expertise. Weinstein is actually an evolutionary biologist, which makes his position much more important in the culture war.
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(2024-07-04, 12:23 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: That's good, but they both are physicists not biologists, leading to the criticism that they are making judgements outside of their field of expertise. Weinstein is actually an evolutionary biologist, which makes his position much more important in the culture war.

I think Josephson and Smith don't have the baggage of being in culture war, but perhaps people who dismissed ID but were fans of Weinstein may give ID more consideration than they might otherwise.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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I found that another leading biologist has now (unwittingly) come around to what appears to amount to a pro-ID position. This scientist is prominent theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman, who has been promoting a definition of life that entails irreducible complexity — though Kauffman (who is unsympathetic towards ID) doesn’t use that term.

This is discussed in a new article at https://evolutionnews.org/2024/06/irredu...n-of-life/ .

Quote:"Kauffman has been arguing that what sets living organisms apart from non-living things, and what makes them able to function and to evolve, is that in living organisms the parts exist for and by means of the whole. Kauffman calls such systems “Kantian wholes” (because the idea comes from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement). A Kantian whole, to put it another way, is a self-creating system in which everything supports and depends upon everything else.
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The “whole” — by definition — encompasses all of the parts. So, if the whole is necessary for the continued existence of the parts, then all of the parts are necessary for the continued existence of the parts — which is the definition of irreducible complexity.
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Kauffman co-authored (with the up-and-coming origin of life researcher Joana Xavier and others) a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B (https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/1....2019.2377 ) which seemed to show that life has existed in the form of Kantian wholes as far back in evolutionary history as we can see."

The study shows that what are termed RAFs (reflexively autocatalytic food-generated networks) - self-sustaining networks that collectively catalyse all their reactions - are embedded within microbial metabolism as far back in the evolution of life as can be traced. These networks are basically irreducibly complex systems.

Quote:"The thing that makes living organisms so mysterious (one of the things that makes them mysterious, anyway) is that they are irreducibly complex: they move, act, reproduce, and grow by means of an elaborate system of interconnected, interworking parts. It’s obvious (with 20-20 hindsight) that this is the real mystery in need of explanation, and it’s equally obvious that the ability of natural selection to pile up tiny, individually useful random variations in no way explains (or even attempts to explain) how such an intricate network could come to be."

It turns out that Kauffman's new definition of life inherently makes irreducible complexity a defining characteristic of life, and the irreducible complexity problem for Darwinism is realized to be overwhelming, since all of life is now recognized to be irreducibly complex, not just a few molecular machine subsystems like the bacterial flagellum.
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(2024-07-04, 12:23 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: Weinstein is actually an evolutionary biologist, which makes his position much more important in the culture war.

He's probably worth less to this cause than the physicists.  You'd really need to do a deep dive but Bret Weinstein has truly lost his way.  He's been co-opted by the omni-counter mainstream cult and spouts all kinds of absolute and definitive statements on all kinds of things.  There's no rigor left in anything the man says.
(2024-07-04, 01:43 PM)Silence Wrote: He's probably worth less to this cause than the physicists.  You'd really need to do a deep dive but Bret Weinstein has truly lost his way.  He's been co-opted by the omni-counter mainstream cult and spouts all kinds of absolute and definitive statements on all kinds of things.  There's no rigor left in anything the man says.

But Weinstein's statements about ID are intelligent, show understanding, and are well thought-out, giving him credibility at least in his position on the ID issue. 

What are some of the questionable counter-culture issues he comes out in favor of, and some of the questionable positive absolute statements he is making? 
Is he is losing his professional reputation as an evolutionary biologist, along with perhaps tenure at his university?

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