1. TIP Modules

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.1 At the Starting Gate (Updated 8/16/15)

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.2 Getting a Grip: Dinosaurs & Mass Extinction (Updated 7/29/17)

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.3 Quote Mining & the Case of Punctuated Equilibrium (Updated 8/6/17)

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.4 The Big Theory: Natural Common Descent (Updated 4/4/17)

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.5 Dissing Darwin (Updated 5/12/16)

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.6 A Brief History of Creationism (Updated 2/16/17)

TIP “In the Beginning” 1.7 Teach the Kulturkampf (Updated 3/12/17)

Index to TIP module topics & names (Updated 8/6/17)

TIP source list A – k (Updated 1/17/17)

TIP source list L – Z (Updated 1/17/17)

16 thoughts on “1. TIP Modules

  1. […] Ending the Creditor’s Paradise First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life (0.2 um, 1/150th size of an E. coli) (paper) Best Feminist Books For Younger Readers Cold-brewed chocolate A Chladni plate experiment–visualizes complex resonance patterns Fuse glass in a microwave and metals Variant annotation: ANNOVAR vs VEP: McCarthy et. al., 2014, pdf, suppl. Blog post with a comparison: State of Variant Annotation: A Comparison of AnnoVar, snpEff and VEP by Andrew Jesaitis TIP – Troubles in Paradise (history of creationist argumentation) […]


    • Most scientists agree there is only energy in the world (universe?)..If you remove all of the empty space from a human what is left would fit on the tip of a small needle. The eye couldn’t see it.
      There are about 10 microorganisms per cell in the human body. In healthy soil there is around 600,000,000 microorganisms/gr.

      What has the size of bacteria got to do with creation or the absence of creation? NOTHING !!!!


  2. Hi. In your discussion of the homology between theropod and bird digits, you write: “So there is the possibility that new fossils might turn up from the Jurassic to broaden the paleontological picture, tracing the reduction of a four-digit hand to the II-III-IV arrangement, thus resolving the matter without changing the embryological position at all.”
    A very prescient remark! Such a fossil has in fact been found, it is called Limusaurus inextricabilis. You should definitely discuss it in the module in question. All the best,


  3. Yay! Someone new actually commenting on the site. Whew, I was beginning to think nobody would ever be notcing or communicating.

    Xu’s 2009 paper in Nature on the fossil is in my main #TIP bib, scheduled for inclusion for the planned revisions, but of further relevance are the experiment work since then on the frame shift issue I also mentioned, where its been confirmed that a frame shift had taken place in the avian hand (by the bunch penning that Vargas critical piece, btw, which wasn’t in my #TIP files but will be now, thanks!). The existence of varied digits in theropods would be fully consistent with this, since overal the dinosaur lineage shows a lot more plasticity on digit loss and vertebral number, only hinting at the developmental regulatory cascades that were bumping around in their clade back in the Mesozoic (and which antievolutionist literature on the bird evolution topic pays virtually no attention to, as I am to cover here at #TIP.


  4. In one of your modules James, you wrote the below:

    “In the case of animals, they go extinct because conditions have changed but they haven’t. And the
    reason why that can happen at all is that organisms aren’t designed. They can’t be recalled by the
    manufacturer (like Toyota had to in 2010 over dangerously malfunctioning accelerator pedals) for a
    politic retrofit to keep them adapted to their altered environment. They can only run with the set of
    systems they were born with. If they or their ancestors didn’t have the luck of getting mutations that
    opened up new potential opportunities for them, that’s it—checkout time.”

    This is pretty wrong-headed to say the least. The design is not about making individual organisms that last and last like the Everready battery. The design is about creating an integrated, interactive biosphere. Looking at it this way, the design is extraordinarly robust and successful. Whether or not individual organisms persist or not, life itself has persisted for billions of years. This is the clearest evidence that the design is robust and is not a product of undirected, goalless processes.

    When you step back and see the whole, design is the more logical explanation.

    This is why evolutionists have an extremely hard time not co-opting designed objects in their evolutionary explanation. It fills the numerous gaps where non-telelogical step-wise change is acutely mute.


    • The quote is from TIP 1.2 (which is on laying out some tools for the analysis following), but you do miss the point of it. A designer can correct misadaptations, naturally evolved (non-designed) systems can’t. They will run until they crash (which 99+% of life has). Jumping up to a higher level, of ecosystems, doesn’t evade what is going on (or rather, what isn’t going on) at the working floor of populations and individual organisms. Evolutionary systems are generally resilient because all the non-resilient ones went extinct (this is likely what happened to that early Cambrian arthropod menagerie covered in 3 Macroevolutionary Episodes pdf here at #TIP, work I’ll be expanding on in future should I be able to keep at it).

      As for “co-opting designed objects” you are slipping in as an assumption what you are treating as a deduction. Of course modern engineers look to natural examples as a laboratory of prior experiment. Nature has had millions (and occasionally billions) of years of natural experiment to run on (gecko cling pads being just one example to study and emulate). But the question is, does a design argument account for the dataset? Not just selected bits of it, but the whole range of it. And it is revealing that, in example after example that I cover in #TIP posts (eg trilobite eyes in “Creationism Lite”) antievolutionists don’t actually cover all the data. They play picky-choosy for apologetic purposes.

      As I am documenting here at #TIP, the antievolutionary literature bumps into at best only about 10% of the relevant dataset, and misrepresent or ignore the details of even that limited slice. This is why design arguments have gained no traction whatsoever in the natural sciences, particularly in paleontology, where there hasn’t been a notable productive non-evolutionist player in the last hundred years.

      At every level we can see, we see the signals of physical systems operating on naturally occurring mutations. The antifreeze proteins in fish represent a new biological feature arising from a natural point mutation, Chen et al. (1997a) in #TIP bibliography. Only those lineages descendant from that line expanded into new natural. Clearly new functions and adaptations can arise by such natural means, and that sane dynamic appears to be playing out all through the history of life, which might be more apparent to design advocates if they ever explored that broader set (which they don’t) or started doing work in such fields (which they don’t either).


      • What you and most other supporters of non-teleological step-wise change are fond of doing is lampooning the weakest link, which are the die-hard literalist christians. Those of us who support intelligent design solely on logical grounds are more apt to be excruciating thorns in your side, precisely because we don’t make religious arguments.

        The assumptions I make regarding designed objects are on logically and observationally solid ground. We can map what happens in the cell to what humans do everyday. We see wireless communications, transportation systems, error detection and repair systems, manufacturing tools, assembly lines, command and control, on and on.

        In contrast, supporteres of non-teleological step-wise chance (NTSWC) have to start somewhere in the middle, riding on the back of the 98% of biology that has already been established before variation and selection have anything to do, in order to kickstart their no-designer-required narrative.

        In other words, you have co-opted a slew of pre-existing objects to show how variation and selection do not require design.

        I will endeavor (as time permits) to show how we can logically deduce that the pre-existing objects are in fact designed, have purpose and goals behind them, and are the fundamental components of a teleological evolutionary program.

        The strength of my explanation is that I will not need to borrow design explanations packaged non-teleologically (endo-symbiosis, co-option), make ad-hoc rationalizations (convergent evolution), offer promissary notes (abio-genesis, ghost lineages), etc. etc.

        You have your arguments from authority and labor.

        Design has the arguments from logic, reason, and observation.

        We’ll see which one wins the day.

        P.S. I hope James that you are not one of those counting the nails in the ID coffin.


  5. Already you are starting off on many a false footing. While I do pay attention to the creationist movement (who are the majority of antievolutionists and who are at the root of most of the antievolution efforts in legislatures and school boards), I cover Intelligent Design arguments with equal interest. Although the ID movement is long on confidence, it is short on substantive work. “We can map what happens in the cell to what humans do everyday” you write, as though it is IDers doing that primary work. As I am exploring in #TIP, very few people in the ID movement work in such relevant fields, and none of the primary data on what cells do and how they do it stems from their labor.

    ID apologists do riff off the evolutionary labor, or course, but at that point we are on the source methods turf and the fact remains that the ID movement touches on, at best, 10% of relevant information. That is not a recipe for science success.

    It sounds like your argument will be an Origins or Bust one, bypassing all the billions of years of evolutionary change we can see since the origin of life, to wag fingers at the yet unknown earliest life processes. That is not an uncommon tack to take, and will likely insulate you from thinking about all that, or even much about the strides abiogenesis research has taken in the last decades to tackle a fascinating matter that IDers don’t care enough to do themselves: perform experiments rather than just authority quoting the work of others.

    Be warned: if the tack you plan on taking involves not explaining how design arguments illuminates what happens after life originated, this will be a very short exchange. I believe in natural branching common descent because of a large interconnecting body of data that includes such things as the reptile-mammal transition case. I also see how completely evasive all antievolutionists have been on that large body of data.

    So a challenge. Please frame your discussion to answer these questions: What do you think the earliest life consisted of, when was that, and what happened to it since? What, if any, design events took place during these processes? If you are challenging any aspects of current evolutionary thinking, be prepared to explain what evidence would need to look like to persuade you to change your mind. If citing secondary sources for your argument, be prepared to defend their use of source material. If presenting primary sources, be prepared to defend their relevance and authenticity.

    I endeavor to do that in all my analyses in #TIP.

    On some of your points mentioned already (endosymbiosis, cooption, convergent evolution, ghost lineages) I will be intrigued to see the degree to which you engage the primary sources on any of those subjects. Since the current ID literature on those themes are superficial and tendentious, perhaps you will be able to improve on them.


    • Have you heard (not with any of the so called 5 senses) plants talking to each other” This has been proven many times. We can now measure “energy flows” many feet around a human.

      Shouldn’t all of the discussions on this type of discussions begin with “What are the energy flows”. If not is it any more than a belief?


    • Nope, Ed. I have yet to get to level of understanding of the website to put that in. I know search capability can be done, but also not clear on what else I’ll need to do in reposting files in other than pdf mode to make that search button effective. I still need a tutorial so I don’t break the site in trying to upgrade it.


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