“Darwin’s Dilemma” - Q & A
As this is live blogging, please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes, they will be corrected later. Also keep in mind that this will provide short explanations / summaries of what is currently happening and will not be fully detailed. Please note that the questions and answers are paraphrased by me and are not the full thing or verbatim.
The Q & A session should start shortly.
Stephen Meyer - the disagreement is not principally about facts. Jonathan Wells enjoyed Westrop’s lecture. Meyer explains that there are different ways to measure the duration of the Cambrian Explosion. The DI used a figure from aprox. 5-10 mil years, whereas Westrop used aprox. 20-25 mil. But the difference between the numbers doesn’t affect the major points that DD was making.
The relevant time is the difference between the presumed common ancestors and the appearance of the new forms.
They are not disputing the numbers put forth by Dr. Westrop.
There are two different perspectives on the same basic facts.
Q: Are you aware that the interviews of Morris and Valentine were done 9 and 10 years ago? Are you aware that Valentine recently denied the conclusions reached in the movie?
A: I don’t accept the premise of the question. We’re concerned with the argument. Neither were presently as ID proponents. It is appropriate that they differentiate themselves.
Q: I’m concerned that your presentation did not include the presence of virus in changing DNA - a DNA transcription of a retrovirus became transcribed on early mammals. It transformed and changed and become functional, this lead to the placenta. Why would you not include the influence of viruses? It is estimated that over 50% of human DNA is retroviral DNA based.
A: We do not deny that possible retrovirus have been transcribe. I think it is entirely unjustified that this lead to the placenta. The arguments presented in the movie would precede this, nonetheless.
How do you build the new proteins, new protein folds and higher body structure, I don’t think viruses can account for that.
Q: Top-down v. Bottom-up. It ignores all of the facts, showing unity in life - DNA is universal. You (Meyer) repeatedly ask where the info comes from. The film ignores the fact that these ignores that there are approx. 500 shared genes. How do you account for this if they were independent creation events?
A: When you do sequence comparisons…
Please answer my question!
Because of what we now know about the ontogenetic info, we see that the genes are low-level. Commonalities can be expected.
Without housekeeping genes, you need them to be alive. So, without them you aren’t here.
HOX genes, if mutated can be very dramatic. HOX genes kick in long after the body plan is established. All they do (in a fruit-fly) is tell whether or not to put an eye here - it is a switch. HOX genes do not account for info. If I photocopy paper, that does not add to info.
Q: Don’t you think it would have been better to have some modern darwinian proponents.
A: I think it would have been better. On the other hand, why should the private filmmakers pay for that in the movie, when campuses provide it at screenings such as this for free?
Q: THe film referenced ‘designers’; is there confusion there? Is it one or many?
A: The method employed is ironically darwinian - if t=you are trying to explain an event in the distant past, look for known causes now in operation that causes such things. Using this we arrive at intelligence; single or multiple designers could explain this.
Q: The movie talked against YEC, is that intentional?
A: Both Jonathan and I hold to the antiquity of the earth.
Q: The adaptive immune systems are essentially the same in all vertebrates, going back to sharks. I think it is a perfect example of something outside of the fossil record that you could have used.
Q; It seems like there is a fundamental distinction between when these organisms appear in the record and when they arise. There is an abundance of evidence to suggest that these body types arose before this.
A: We disagree. Valentine says otherwise. There is a dispute here. The only molecular evidence that we have is from modern organisms. It is speculation at best.
The vast majority of the phyla arise in the CE.
The Q & A session is over - Meyer and Wells are sticking around to answer more questions.