Continuing with trying to reduce my backlog back to June 2006!
New mathematical method provides better way to analyze noise, PhysOrg.com June 08, 2006 ...
[Graphic: Asa Gray, Virtual American Biographies]
Humans have 200 million light receptors in their eyes, 10 to 20 million receptors devoted to smell, but only 8,000 dedicated to sound. Yet despite this miniscule number, the auditory system is the fastest of the five senses. Researchers credit this discrepancy to a series of lightning-fast calculations in the brain that translate minimal input into maximal understanding. And whatever those calculations are, they're far more precise than any sound-analysis program that exists today. In a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcelo Magnasco, professor and head of the Mathematical Physics Laboratory at Rockefeller University, has published a paper that may prove to be a sound-analysis breakthrough, featuring a mathematical method or "algorithm" that's far more nuanced at transforming sound into a visual representation than current methods. "This outperforms everything in the market as a general method of sound analysis," Magnasco says. In fact, he notes, it may be the same type of method the brain actually uses. ... [Note: "whatever those [auditory system ] calculations are [that translate minimal input into maximal understanding], they're far more precise than any sound-analysis program that exists today" (my emphasis).
As ID theorist Michael Denton pointed out, "Evolution by natural selection is ... merely a special case of problem solving by trial and error ... a process which is in the end nothing more nor less than a gigantic random search" and "While it is easy to accept that a random search might hit on mutational routes leading to relatively trivial sorts of adaptive ends ... as to whether the same blind undirected search mechanism could have discovered the mutational routes to very complex and ingenious adaptations ... is altogether another question" and "it seems incredible to attribute such ends to random search mechanisms, known by experience to be incapable, at least in finite time, of achieving even the simplest of ends":
"Evolution by natural selection is, as stressed above, in essence merely a special case of problem solving by trial and error. This implies that every evolutionary route followed during the course of evolution to every adaptive end must have been initially discovered and traced out as the result of a process which is in the end nothing more nor less than a gigantic random search. While it is easy to accept that a random search might hit on mutational routes leading to relatively trivial sorts of adaptive ends, such as the best coloration for a stoat or ptarmigan or the most efficient beak forms for each of the different species of Galapagos finch. But as to whether the same blind undirected search mechanism could have discovered the mutational routes to very complex and ingenious adaptations such as the vertebrate camera eye, the feather, the organ of corti or the mammalian kidney is altogether another question. To common sense it seems incredible to attribute such ends to random search mechanisms, known by experience to be incapable, at least in finite time, of achieving even the simplest of ends." (Denton, M.J., "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," Burnett Books: London, 1985, p.61)
That is, the more complex a system is: 1) the less likely mutation(s) hit on it by chance for it to be then naturally selected; and therefore 2) more evidence for it being the result of intelligent design.
Such intelligent design could include intelligently directed mutations, as the evangelical Christian Harvard botanist Asa Gray proposed, "that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines":
"Wherefore, so long as gradatory, orderly, and adapted forms in Nature argue design, and at least while the physical cause of variation is utterly unknown and mysterious, we should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines. Streams flowing over a sloping plain by gravitation (here the counterpart of natural selection) may have worn their actual channels as they flowed; yet their particular courses may have been assigned; and where we see them forming definite and useful lines of irrigation, after a manner unaccountable on the laws of gravitation and dynamics, we should believe that the distribution was designed." (Gray,A., "Natural Selection Not Inconsistent With Natural Theology," Atlantic Monthly, October 1860, "Darwiniana: Essays and Reviews Pertaining to Darwinism," , Dupree A.H., ed., Belknap: Cambridge MA, 1963, pp.121-122)
which then could be naturally selected. This would have made "Natural Selection Not Inconsistent With Natural Theology" (and therefore with ID) as per the title of Gray's essay. But this was rejected out of hand by Darwin, on the basis of his own personal materialist-naturalist philosophy:
"In the argument for design in nature which he advanced here, not be it remembered, against Darwin but against Agassiz and company, Gray made one significant addition. He finally came up to the problem of how to introduce design into the Darwinian system. Variation was the point he seized upon. At least `while the physical cause of variation is utterly unknown and mysterious, we should advise Mr. Darwin to assume, in the philosophy of his hypothesis, that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines.' [Gray A., "Darwiniana," (1861), Belknap: Cambridge MA, 1963, pp.120-121] ... [But] ... Gray's argument for the compatibility of the Darwinian hypothesis with theism failed to win over ... Darwin ... In the fall of 1860 ... Darwin in effect announced his decision. `I grieve to say I cannot honestly go as far as you do about design.' [Darwin C.R., Letter to Asa Gray, November 26th, 1860, in Darwin F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," (1898), Basic Books: New York NY, Vol. II., 1959, pp.145-146] ... With Darwin's decision against the design argument, Gray lost his place as a shaper of strategy in the inner circle of friends. The assumption quickly grew up that Darwin had annihilated Paley's argument, and Huxley moved quickly forward to become the interpreter of Darwinism before the public. Gray's solution would obviously have been quite different. Later students have often puzzled over Lyell's hesitation and near estrangement from Hooker, Huxley, and Darwin without noting that Lyell alone of the inner circle in England adhered to Gray's position. Indeed, on the last pages of the Antiquity of Man, he specifically adopted Gray's view of design in nature. Other factors, of course, entered into Lyell's later opinions on the Origin, but he and Gray stepped out of the inner circle together on the same issue." (Dupree, A.H., "Asa Gray: American Botanist, Friend of Darwin," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, 1988, reprint, pp.296, 300-301)
Note that two of the greatest scientists of Darwin's day, Asa Gray and Sir Charles Lyell supported this scientific design hypothesis.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 1:11. Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.