Frank claims victory here (especially in precognition) because he thinks that a list of the details of the anatomical features of the human heart is, by itself, an argument for intelligent design. And, amusingly, he seems to think that this list somehow reveals stuff that I don’t know, as if they weren’t simply facts which anybody could cut and paste from a website.
But the problem is that no answer that I could give would satisfy Frank. He seems to think that, if evolutionary science could explain the human CV system, then it would be able to explain exactly how every single piece of it was “designed” and put together, a type of explanation that is beyond any form of science. (Note that there is no need, in Frank’s eyes, to explain exactly how his designer did this --- it’s simply the “default option”.)
But the real problem here is that Frank simply doesn’t understand how science works, or what science can tell us, as also revealed by his frequent reference to “origins” science and “operations” [sic] science, a creationist giveaway if ever there was one, because these terms do not exist within science. And for good reason. Because no science (as opposed to, say engineering or technology) is “operational” in this sense.
No science is direct observation leading to a “proof”: all science is inference via extrapolation from incomplete data, based on various preexisting assumptions. All of it ---- even the science that uses multi-billion dollar machines that go Ping. So, all of my attempts to explain to Frank how we scientists approach and understand issues such as the evolution of the vertebrate CV system fall on deaf ears, because this way of thinking, the way that real scientists do science, is not what he imagines science to be.
As an example of how science works by inference, using incomplete data and incorporating assumptions, and how Frank’s mode of thinking could be applied to another issue in science, let’s take one of the simplest examples of science: the high school chemistry experiment of making hydrochloric acid, something that would surely fit the "operations" definition of Frank. This is a description from the web.
"The synthesis is rather simple, we generate hydrogen chloride gas by mixing together 140g of sodium bisulfate and 60g of sodium chloride salt and then heating. 20mL of water can be added to lower the temperature required but this is optional. Hydrogen chloride gas will be produced. This gas is lead into distilled water to produce hydrochloric acid."
So, here's a question. How can anyone know at the end that what you have is actually hydrochloric acid?
Let's imagine how a different Frank, let’s call him CDFrank (for chemistry-denying Frank) might critique this. He could claim that I have only *assumed* that the liquid that results is HCl because of the *assumed* properties of the chemicals based on their position in the periodic table. But the periodic table is a human construct ---- like a phylogeny ---- it can’t actually tell you what chemical reactions have happened. I’ve merely *inferred* that the solution obtained is HCl because it turns litmus paper red ---- I’ve waved my magic chemistry wand because of that old discredited notion of a “litmus test” (which only detects pH levels, not the presence of any specific acid). But can I actually *see* the change in molecular structure --- actually see for myself that the position of hydrogen and chloride atoms have exchanged between the original chemicals to make a new chemical?? No, I cannot --- -thus I have no proof whatsoever that HCl has been produced, and it’s just a reflection of my belief in chemical theory.
See --- even this simple experiment involves inferences, assumptions, and references to human constructions such as the Periodic Table. There is no direct observation of the molecular structure of the liquid. So, according to CDFrank, this is not science. And ID wins by default (as Frank notes on p. 5, though quite why the designer would be bothering with a high school chemistry experiment is another matter entirely).
I shall address the specific science of the evolution of the vertebrate CV system in a later post (or posts).