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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Is that Alleles there is?

New line of attack?

"From: Lenny Flank
Subject: Re: AiG nonsense about information increase (again)
Original Format
Newsgroups: talk.origins
Date: 2002-12-16 17:26:14 PST

Carl Wieland (MB BS) said

“However, it can be shown that in every situation where populations of living things change, they do so without increase (and often with a decrease) of information. Thus, it is completely illegitimate for anyone to claim that such changes show ‘evolution happening’.”

Creationism itself, of course, proves this silliness to be wrong. According to creationists, every human being alive today is descended from the 8 people that got off Noah’s Big Boat (actually, all of us are descended from 2 people who lived in the Really Nice Garden, but I will give the creationists the maximum benefit of the doubt here. …) Since I assume those 8 people on the Really Big Boat were diploid like all of us, that means they had a maximum possible of 16 different alleles for every genetic locus (actually they MUST ahve had less, since some on the Big Baot were descendents of others and therefore must have shared alleles, but again I will give the creationists the maximum possible benefit of the doubt). If Weyland’s [sic] drivel is right and ‘genetic information cannot increase’, then this means there can be NO human locus—none at all—that have more than 16 different alleles.

Hmmmm … there are over 200 known alleles for some of the hemoglobin genes, and over 400 allales for some of the HLA genes … Since there couldn’t have been more than 16 on the boat, and since there are well over 200 now, that means that genetic information has increased (after all, 200 is more than 16).

So I’d sure like to hear Weyland (or one of the creationist, uh, geniuses here) to tell me (1) how do we go from 16 alleles to over 200 alleles without a beneficial mutation, and (2) how does going from 16 alleles to over 200 represent a LOSS of genetic information. And please note than NONE of this—absolutely NONE of it, depends on any evolutionary assumptions. It is all straightforward CREATIONISM combined with fourth-grade-level genetics."



Dear D.W.,

Thanks for sending along that link. One despairs when one sees the many times that anti-creationists wax eloquent without ever having really read or carefully considered what the creationist arguments in question actually are. And we unfortunately know of this Flank person as one of the most abusive and ill-informed anticreationists and antiChristians on the Internet (for example, see Left Flank: Another Skeptic With the Same Old Canards).

I would believe that the various alleles of hemoglobin, for instance, could easily have arisen by mutation. But this is without any increase in information. The confusion in the critic’s mind comes because he clearly believes that ‘lots of varying copies’ means ‘lots of information’. That is as erroneous as the other commonly heard evolutionist claim that if you have doubling of chromosomes (polyploidy), that represents ‘more information’ (it would be like buying two copies of the same textbook and expecting to be able to learn twice as much!).

Information in the sense of ‘specified complexity’ is at stake. The specification involves function. No new functions have arisen for the hemoglobin alleles. The molecule in question actually has a part which is relatively fixed or invariant. This is the part that directly affects function (oxygen binding and release, primarily) and the variations that do not cause obvious disease all seem to take place in less critical portions, where quite a few changes can occur without impeding function. All these variant molecules function as either normal Hb (hemoglobin), or as defective Hb. Many blood diseases have been linked to mutations in the hemoglobin alleles.

Perhaps a simple analogy would help. Imagine you have a set of instructions in the form of a book for assembling an airplane. Imagine that in the set of instructions is a page specifying airline logos to be painted on the fuselage and tail. Now changes to this would be important to the airline, but it would not affect the airworthiness of the airplane. These are somewhat analogous to changes in a virus’s protein coat. They don’t alter any of the function of the virus, but like a change in an airplane’s logo, they might make it harder for the host immune system to recognize them. See Has AIDS evolved?.

In the course of copying, errors on this page of information would also not affect the airworthiness of the resulting airplanes. Many copies of the plans could end up in circulation, varying in their livery, but all having the same functionality. Copies of the instructions with changes to the core information would of course result in defective aircraft and would be discarded.

However, by using the logic of this critic, one would say that this shows that the original information in the assembly instructions for an airplane could easily have arisen by an accidental process whereby information gradually increases. I.e., he argues as if the random process that produced inconsequential variants of this airplane manual are the same processes that wrote the manual in the first place! This is not a perfect analogy, but I hope you get the picture.

The critic would do well to read Dr Lee Spetner’s book Not by Chance. Spetner is a biophysicist well versed in the whole issue of signal-noise relationships in DNA, and he explains the information issue carefully.

Also, John Woodmorappe’s book Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study specifically addresses the question of multiple alleles generated after the Flood. Furthermore, Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s book Refuting Evolution 2 goes further into gene duplication, beneficial information-losing mutations etc. Actually, there is nothing in Flank’s diatribe that isn't covered in our Q&A pages on mutations and information theory.

Regards,
Carl Wieland


See also:

Variation and natural selection versus evolution

by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M.


Excerpt Below

"All (sexually reproducing) organisms contain their genetic information in paired form. Each offspring inherits half its genetic information from its mother, and half from its father. So there are two genes at a given position (locus, plural loci) coding for a particular characteristic. An organism can be heterozygous at a given locus, meaning it carries different forms (alleles) of this gene. For example, one allele can code for blue eyes, while the other one can code for brown eyes; or one can code for the A blood type and the other for the B type. Sometimes two alleles have a combined effect, while at other times only one allele (called dominant) has any effect on the organism, while the other does not (recessive). With humans, both the mother’s and father’s halves have 100,000 genes, the information equivalent to a thousand 500-page books (3 billion base pairs, as Teaching about Evolution correctly states on page 42). The ardent neo-Darwinist Francisco Ayala points out that humans today have an ‘average heterozygosity of 6.7 percent.’1 This means that for every thousand gene pairs coding for any trait, 67 of the pairs have different alleles, meaning 6,700 heterozygous loci overall. Thus, any single human could produce a vast number of different possible sperm or egg cells 26700 or 102017. The number of atoms in the whole known universe is ‘only’ 1080, extremely tiny by comparison. So there is no problem for creationists explaining that the original created kinds could each give rise to many different varieties. In fact, the original created kinds would have had much more heterozygosity than their modern, more specialized descendants. No wonder Ayala pointed out that most of the variation in populations arises from reshuffling of previously existing genes, not from mutations. Many varieties can arise simply by two previously hidden recessive alleles coming together. However, Ayala believes the genetic information came ultimately from mutations, not creation. His belief is contrary to information theory, as shown in chapter 9 on ‘Design.’"

Blood types and their origin

Excerpt below:

"Origin of the Blood Types

One aspect of the wide variety of humans is all the different blood types. The following explanation covers the main A, B and O blood types 2.

The A and B blood groups are caused by different antigens (substances which provoke immune responses) on the surface of the red blood cells. Their production is under the control of the DNA. The antigens develop from a red blood cell surface precursor called H substance, which is common to A, B and O. Type A results from the placement of N-acetylgalactosamine by the enzyme type A transferase on the H substance. Type B results from attachment of galactose to H by Type B transferase.

Type O is the result of a simple point mutation that greatly reduced or destroyed the ability of Type A transferase to attach N-acetylgalactosamine to H substance. Note that this is an example of loss of information, so is irrelevant to particles-to-people evolution. This ineffective Type A transferase is called circulating protein. The ineffectiveness of type O’s circulating protein depends on the point in the DNA where the mutation occurred, because some type Os attach more N-acetylgalactosamine to H than others. This sometimes causes discrepancies among blood banks. The mutations probably happened early in human history, since O is the most common blood group. Unattached H substance itself is an antigen which results in the rare blood type Bombay or Oh.

There is one gene in humans that controls the ABO blood type. There are three versions of the gene, or alleles: A, B, or O. Since the gene is always present as a pair of alleles, with one inherited from each parent, two alleles are always present, so that the possible genetic make-up of any individual is AA, BB, AB, AO, BO, or OO. The O allele is recessive to the A or B, meaning that in the presence of the A or B allele, the blood type is determined by the A or B allele. That is, an AO person has A-type blood; a BO person has B-type blood, whereas only an OO person has O-type blood. Anyone with O-type blood is called a universal donor because their blood lacks the A or B proteins so that O-type blood can be given to a person with A, B or AB type blood. If, for example, A-type blood is given to a person with B-type blood, an allergic reaction can result in death of the recipient."


There is a world of information about Alleles and blood types and what we know about them. One thing we know is that 4500 years was plenty of time for the races and types of people that we have now to come forth. In fact, the difference in all the human race is 0.1 percent in this area, an amazing similarity unless we are all descended from fairly recent ancestors.

Professor of genetics says 'No!' to evolution

by Maciej Giertych


Me, too! But then we knew that already...

12 comments:

radar said...

Calculations on the probability of life forming by chance do take into account the possibility of multiple events, contrary to K.C.’s assertion. Even non-creationists (e.g. the mathematician and cosmologist, Sir Fred Hoyle) put the probability for the formation of the most basic of cells by natural processes at (at best) 1 in 10^40,000 — that’s a number one with 40,000 zeros after it! Even this assumes all the ingredients are present, which is impossible! Now, if every atom in the universe were an experiment repeated every millisecond for the 15 billion years age of the universe commonly claimed by evolutionists, how does that affect the probability? It is now about 1 in 10^3900. So, when such improbable events are being discussed, the number of conceivable experiments has little effect on the matter. It is usually agreed that something with odds of less than 1 in 10^50 will never happen. In other words, the origin of life without a Creator is as impossible as it is impossible to be! Creation on the Web.

Now, I have seen people list refutations of this calculation, but the small differences in the number of enzymes required and other criticisms don't reduct the number significantly. Nor can you give natural selection any credit for intelligence, or else you have just substituted a creator for a Creator. Natural selection is not an intelligent force!

This link
http://www.creationontheweb.com/
content/view/1416

Includes this:

"The argument from probability that life could not form by natural processes but must have been created is sometimes acknowledged by evolutionists as a strong argument.1 The probability of the chance formation of a hypothetical functional ‘simple’ cell, given all the ingredients, is acknowledged2 to be worse than 1 in 10^57800. This is a chance of 1 in a number with 57,800 zeros. It would take 11 full pages of magazine type to print this number. To try to put this in perspective, there are about 10^80 (a number with 80 zeros) electrons in the universe. Even if every electron in our universe were another universe the same size as ours that would ‘only’ amount to 10^160 electrons.

These numbers defy our ability to comprehend their size. Fred Hoyle, British mathematician and astronomer, has used analogies to try to convey the immensity of the problem. For example, Hoyle said the probability of the formation of just one of the many proteins on which life depends is comparable to that of the solar system packed full of blind people randomly shuffling Rubik’s cubes all arriving at the solution at the same time3—and this is the chance of getting only one of the 400 or more proteins of the hypothetical minimum cell proposed by the evolutionists (real world ‘simple’ bacteria have about 2,000 proteins and are incredibly complex). As Hoyle points out, the program of the cell, encoded on the DNA, is also needed. In other words, life could not form by natural (random) processes.

Evolutionists often try to bluff their way out of this problem by using analogies to argue that improbable things happen every day, so why should the naturalistic origin of life be considered impossible. For example, they say the odds of winning the lottery are pretty remote, but someone wins it every week. Or, the chances of getting the particular arrangement of cards obtained by shuffling a deck is remote, but a rare combination happens every time the cards are shuffled. Or the arrangement of the sand grains in a pile of sand obtained by randomly pouring the sand is extremely complex, but this complex and improbable arrangement did occur as a result of random processes. Or the exact combination and arrangement of people walking across a busy city street is highly improbable, but such improbable arrangements happen all the time. So they argue from these analogies to try to dilute the force of this powerful argument for creation.

You probably realize there is something illogical about this line of argument. But what is it?

In all the analogies cited above, there has to be an outcome. Someone has to win the lottery. There will be an arrangement of cards. There will be a pile of sand. There will be people walking across the busy street. By contrast, in the processes by which life is supposed to have formed, there need not necessarily be an outcome. Indeed the probabilities argue against any outcome. That is the whole point of the argument. But then the evolutionist may counter that it did happen because we are here! This is circular reasoning at its worst.

Note several other things about these analogies:

Creationists do not argue that life is merely complex, but that it is ordered in such a way as to defy a natural explanation. The order in the proteins and DNA of living things is independent of the properties of the chemicals of which they consist—unlike an ice crystal where the structure results from the properties of the water molecule. The order in living things parallels that in printed books where the information is not contained in the ink, or even in the letters, but in the complex arrangement of letters which make up words, words which make up sentences, sentences which make up paragraphs, paragraphs which make up chapters and chapters which make up books. These components of written language respectively parallel the nucleic acid bases, codons, genes, operons, chromosomes and genomes which make up the genetic programs of living cells.

The order in living things shows they are the product of intelligence. The result of the lottery draw is clearly the result of a random selection—unless family members of the lottery supervisor consistently win! Then we would conclude that the draw has not been random—it is not the result of a random process, but the result of an intelligent agent.

The arrangement of cards resulting from shuffling would not normally suggest anything other than a random process. However, if all the cards were ordered by their suits from lowest to highest, we would logically conclude that an intelligent agent arranged them (or ‘stacked the deck’ in card-playing parlance) because such an arrangement is highly unlikely from genuine shuffling—a random, non-intelligent process.

The arrangement of the sand grains in a pile would not normally suggest it resulted from intelligent activity rather than natural processes. However, if all the sand grains were lined up in single file, or were in a neat rectangle, we would attribute this to an intelligent agent, or a machine made by an intelligent agent, as this would not be likely from a natural process.

The arrangement of people crossing a busy street would not normally suggest anything other than a random process. However, if all the people were ordered from shortest to tallest, or some other ordered arrangement, we would suspect that an intelligent agent was responsible for putting them in this order—that it did not result from chance. If 20 people were arranged from shortest to tallest, the odds of this happening by chance are less than one in a billion, billion (10^18), so it would be reasonable to conclude that such an ordered arrangement was not due to chance whereas there would be nothing to suggest intelligent involvement if there was no meaningful pattern to the arrangement of people."

Darwinists will say, but, natural selection is not chance. Natural selection is an observed phenomenon that is not in and of itself intelligent. But mutations are not intelligent but are entirely random. The idea that even one in a thousand mutations will not only live, and not only be beneficial to a creature, but will also enter into the gene pool as part of the choices that can be naturally selected is a very optimistic number.

Optimistic? Yes, considering that 3,000 generations of fruit flies, being manipulated by man in order to get more mutations, have yet to produce even one such mutation. Not one....

Now I reposted this reply to Creeper concerning the statistics. You see, it is not inevitable that something would have to evolve. That is one fallacy I have heard. Nor are the odds against the horse based on specifically the horse. The odds are against any creature of any sort of a complexity conquerable to a horse because of the vast number of steps that lie between single cell and complex creature.

A deck of cards falling into one pattern is inevitable. There will be cards, they will be in a pattern of some kind. That life would evolve is not inevitable. It required mutations selected by natural selection over and over again. This is the process for which the odds are figured and by this statistically evolution proves impossible. Grins!

creeper said...

"Imagine you have a set of instructions in the form of a book for assembling an airplane. Imagine that in the set of instructions is a page specifying airline logos to be painted on the fuselage and tail. Now changes to this would be important to the airline, but it would not affect the airworthiness of the airplane. These are somewhat analogous to changes in a virus’s protein coat. They don’t alter any of the function of the virus, but like a change in an airplane’s logo, they might make it harder for the host immune system to recognize them."

From what he describes here, this is a feature that directly affects the ability of the organism to survive. How is this not useful information?

creeper said...

Radar, I take it your comment above was meant to go in another post, no?

creeper said...

"One thing we know is that 4500 years was plenty of time for the races and types of people that we have now to come forth."

Since you bring up the subject, I'll ask the long-avoided question again:

How quickly and by what mechanism did the human races evolve? Do we see evidence of this mechanism and rate of change around us today?

Don't bother bringing up dog-breeding unless you want to assert that man was artificially bred.

"In fact, the difference in all the human race is 0.1 percent in this area, an amazing similarity unless we are all descended from fairly recent ancestors."

Is that fairly recent in geological time, or fairly recent as in a few hundred years?

0.1 percent sounds like a tiny amount to us in everyday life, but what does this actually represent in our genetic makeup, and how long does it actually take for such a change to happen in this particular context?

creeper said...

By the way, Radar, if your first comment above was intended as a response to my asking you for the equation and assumption behind that "odds of horse evolution" claim, it clearly isn't. It gets a bit tiresome reading again and again how many different zeroes something would be and how many pages of a book that would fill, but that still makes it nothing more than a repetition of the result, without showing "the work", i.e. how that number was arrived at and on exactly what assumptions the calculation that led to that result were based.

"It is usually agreed that something with odds of less than 1 in 10^50 will never happen."

Quick, name a number between 1 and 10^51.

Voila.

"Natural selection is not an intelligent force!"

Exactly, so put that little strawman aside and forget about it once and for all. Natural selection not being an intelligent force doesn't mean it can't have an effect on the odds in question.

You can find additional information on the odds of abiogenesis here.

In the meantime we still await the equation and assumptions behind your "odds of horse evolution" claim.

IAMB said...

As Hoyle points out, the program of the cell, encoded on the DNA, is also needed.

Funny thing, actually, but we have a pretty good sized chunk of evidence (and growing) that there is a type of protein that can replicate without DNA to code it. It's PrP (Prion related Protein). In normal form we have them all throughout our bodies as PrP^c. They also occur as PrP^Sc in abnormal configuration (which is where mad cow disease comes in).

The fallacy inherent in most probability of life arguments is that we need to go from "goo" to "functioning primitive cell" in a single step. A self-replicating protein eliminates the need to go stright to cells, and we know that OOL experiments have succeeded in forming amino acids. A few of these in the right order will form the primary structure of a protein, with the secondary structure occurring naturally due to hydrogen bonding.

The really nice thing about yeast prion proteins is that while they're not small, but they are fairly simple, being mostly repeats of the amino acids glutamine and asparagine, yet unlike many functioning proteins they require no totally fixed tertiary or quaternary structure and remain flexible. They only become troublemakers when they clump together and form a highly structured amyloid fiber.

To make a long story short, I think something similar to a yeast prion might be a good candidate for OOL research, since it requires only a simple primary structure (in composition), is flexible so needs no other associated proteins to help fold it into its final structure, and is basically self-replicating so requires no nucleotide sequences, ribosomes, etc. to propogate.

Like I said though, this is just personal speculation and should not be taken as scientific consensus by any means. I just thought I'd show you a neat little protein that gets around many of the statistical arguments since neither of us is likely at this time to change our minds about the math.

Cheers!

IAMB said...

Just noticed another one, so sorry for the double: the virus protein coat vs. painting ID markers on an airplane is not even close to right. I'll leave it up to you to figure out why, or you can ask me later and I'll fill you in when I have a bit more spare time. Either way, it's a bit more complicated than buying a different color of paint.

radar said...

Creeper, since actually laying out the equation would take such a long time and fill so much space, I refer to people who have done the work and have links back to the original math.

Here is a good article:

http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp

That has a great deal of material concerning this. For instance:

"As Coppedge (1973) notes, even 1) postulating a primordial sea with every single component necessary for life, 2) speeding up the bonding rate so as to form different chemical combinations a trillion times more rapidly than hypothesized to have occurred, 3) allowing for a 4.6 billion- year-old earth and 4) using all atoms on the earth still leaves the probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is 1 in 10,261. Using the lowest estimate made before the discoveries of the past two decades raised the number several fold. Coppedge estimates the probability of 1 in 10119,879 is necessary to obtain the minimum set of the required estimate of 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life form.

At this rate he estimates it would require 10119,831 years on the average to obtain a set of these proteins by naturalistic evolution (1973, pp. 110, 114). The number he obtained is 10119,831 greater than the current estimate for the age of the earth (4.6 billion years). In other words, this event is outside the range of probability. Natural selection cannot occur until an organism exists and is able to reproduce which requires that the first complex life form first exist as a functioning unit.

In spite of the overwhelming empirical and probabilistic evidence that life could not originate by natural processes, evolutionists possess an unwavering belief that some day they will have an answer to how life could spontaneously generate. Nobel laureate Christian de Duve (1995) argues that life is the product of law-driven chemical steps, each one of which must have been highly probable in the right circumstances. This reliance upon an unknown “law” favoring life has been postulated to replace the view that life’s origin was a freakish accident unlikely to occur anywhere, is now popular. Chance is now out of favor in part because it has become clear that even the simplest conceivable life form (still much simpler than any actual organism) would have to be so complex that accidental self-assembly would be nothing short of miraculous even in two billion years (Spetner, 1997). Furthermore, natural selection cannot operate until biological reproducing units exist. This hoped for “law,” though, has no basis in fact nor does it even have a theoretical basis. It is a nebulous concept which results from a determination to continue the quest for a naturalistic explanation of life. In the words of Horgan:

One day, he [Stanley Miller] vowed, scientists would discover the self-replicating molecule that had triggered the great saga of evolution....[and] the discovery of the first genetic material [will] legitimize Millers’s field. “It would take off like a rocket,” Miller muttered through clenched teeth. Would such a discovery be immediately self-apparent? Miller nodded. “It will be in the nature of something that will make you say, ‘Jesus, there it is. How could you have overlooked this for so long?’ And everybody will be totally convinced” (Horgan, 1996, p. 139).

The atheistic world view requires abiogenesis; therefore scientists must try to deal with the probability arguments. The most common approach is similar to the attempt by Stenger, who does not refute the argument but tries to explain it by way analogy:

For example, every human being on Earth is the product of a highly elaborate combination of genes that would be a very unlikely outcome of a random toss. Think of what an unlikely being you are—the result of so many chance encounters between your male and female ancestors. What if your great great great grandmother had not survived that childhood illness? What if your grandfather had been killed by a stray bullet in a war, before he met your grandmother? Despite all those contingencies, you still exist. And if you ask, after the fact, what is the probability for your particular set of genes existing, the answer is one hundred percent. Certainty! (1998, p. 9).

The major problem with this argument, as shown by Dembski, is that it is a gross misuse of statistics, one of the most important tools science has ever developed. Although change is involved, intelligence is critically important even in the events Stenger describes. The fallacy of his reasoning can be illustrated by comparing it to a court case using DNA. Stenger’s analogy cannot negate the finding that the likelihood is 1 in 100 million that a blood sample found on the victim at the crime is the suspect’s. For this reason, it is highly probable that the accused was at the crime scene; the fact that his blood was mixed with the victim’s, will no doubt be accepted by the court and an attempt to destroy this conclusion by use of an analogy such as Stenger’s will likely be rejected."


People who really need to see the math in all it's long and involved glory can look to Coppege or Dembski or one of the other sources I have mentioned to check it out.

radar said...

Argh! All those long numbers in that previous post like "1 in 10119,879" should be 1 in 10^119,879!

IAMB said...

As Coppedge (1973) notes, even 1) postulating a primordial sea with every single component necessary for life, 2) speeding up the bonding rate so as to form different chemical combinations a trillion times more rapidly than hypothesized to have occurred, 3) allowing for a 4.6 billion- year-old earth and 4) using all atoms on the earth still leaves the probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance is 1 in 10,261. Using the lowest estimate made before the discoveries of the past two decades raised the number several fold. Coppedge estimates the probability of 1 in 10119,879 is necessary to obtain the minimum set of the required estimate of 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life form.

Same fallacies as before, plus a bonus: this assumes a modern type of cell all at once from nothing, and as a bonus, gives a probability for a single protein without naming the protein. Some are quite simple in comparison to others. Which is the author using? Without that information, the claim is totally useless.

creeper said...

Radar,

"Creeper, since actually laying out the equation would take such a long time and fill so much space, I refer to people who have done the work and have links back to the original math."

If you don't want to write out the equation etc., couldn't you at least link to someone who has done this and arrived at the number you posted? It seems that this creationist argument about statistics is all about how gobsmacking the resulting number is. It gets a bit tiresome to hear over and over again how many pages the number could fill if you avoid telling us how the number was calculated in the first place, which makes it pretty meaningless.

I'll go out on a limb here and guess that you didn't calculate these numbers yourself, but that you quoted other people who did calculate them - so why not just link to those equations and assumptions?

"People who really need to see the math in all it's long and involved glory can look to Coppege or Dembski or one of the other sources I have mentioned to check it out."

Vaguely pointing into the distance doesn't really do much. Next thing you'll try to tell me you already answered the question.

What are the equation and assumptions behind the odds of horse evolution that you cited?

cranky old fart said...

Another day, another evasion.

I'm still waiting for the answer to the now old question:

Name an example in which invoking a supernatural explanation led to a scientific insight or breakthrough. Name an invention that was made possible by invoking a supernatural explanation.

We've heard radar's dodge about BELIEF in God and an ordered world INSPIRED scientists to do science. Did he finally admit the point and rest with this final "answer"?