Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Guide Part II, chap 25.

The following is my formulation of what I learned in discussing this chapter with Rabbi Meiselman [I alone take responsibility for all the content.]

There are rules determining when an interpretation of text is acceptable:

  1. Peshat [literal, simple] interpretation is to be used, unless there is a compelling reason to reject it.
  2. 2. A philosophical demonstration against [any] interpretation is a compelling reason against it. [What counts as a “philosophical demonstration” will be addressed below.]
  3. That an interpretation violates central religious principles is a compelling reason against it.
  4. There are absolute limits beyond which interpretation cannot pass – even in the presence of compelling reasons against an interpretation, a reinterpretation may be impossible since the reinterpretation passes those limits [See Part I chaps 1-50 and below].

There are five cases to which these principles are applied:

  1. Rejecting the peshat of texts that describe G-d in corporeal terms.
  2. Rejecting eternity according to Aristotle
  3. Rejecting eternity according to Plato
  4. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Plato.
  5. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Aristotle

Here is how the cases come out via the principles:

  1. Rejecting the peshat of texts that describe G-d in corporeal terms. there is a philosophical demonstration against G-d’ corporeality, so that is a compelling reason against the peshat describing G-d as corporeal [2]; the alternative interpretation does not violate religious principles [3]; the alternative interpretation is within the acceptable limits [4]
  2. Rejecting eternity according to Aristotle: there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of creation] [1,2]; eternity according to Aristotle violates central religious principles, so that is a compelling reason not to change the peshat [3]; to change the peshat in those texts would pass beyond the acceptable limits of interpretation
  3. Rejecting eternity according to Plato: there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of Creation] [1,2];
  4. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Plato If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2]; the reinterpretation would not violate any central religious principles [3]; the reinterpretation would not violate the limits on interpretation [4]
  5. The condition under which we would accept eternity according to Aristotle: If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2]; but the reinterpretation would pass beyond the limits of acceptable interpretation – and then we would not reinterpret [and it is not clear what we would do – see below].

Now here they are again, with the passages from the text inserted:

  1. there is a philosophical demonstration against G-d’ corporeality, so that is a compelling reason against that peshat [2] the Incorporeality of God has been demonstrated by proof:; the alternative interpretation does not violate religious principles [3] Secondly, our belief in the Incorporeality of God is not contrary to any of the fundamental principles of our religion: it is not contrary to the words of any prophet.; the alternative interpretation is within the acceptable limits [4] nor is it impossible or difficult to find for them a suitable interpretation
  2. there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of Creation] [1,2]But the Eternity of the Universe has not been proved; eternity according to Aristotle violates central religious principles, so that is a compelling reason not to change the peshat [3] we should necessarily be in opposition to the foundation of our religion, we should disbelieve all miracles and signs, and certainly reject all hopes and fears derived from Scripture,; to change the peshat in those texts would pass beyond the acceptable limits of interpretation unless the miracles are also explained figuratively. The Allegorists amongst the Mohammedans have done this, and have thereby arrived at absurd conclusions and But if we assume that the Universe has the present form as the result of fixed laws, there is occasion for the above questions: and these could only be answered in an objectionable way, implying denial and rejection of the Biblical texts, the correctness of which no intelligent person doubts.[4]
  3.  there is no philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, so that is no reason reject the peshat [of Creation] [1,2]But the Eternity of the Universe has not been proved
  4. If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Plato, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2]; the reinterpretation would not violate any central religious principles [3] If, however, we accepted the Eternity of the Universe in accordance with the second of the theories which we have expounded above (ch. xxiii.), and assumed, with Plato, that the heavens are likewise transient, we should not be in opposition to the fundamental principles of our religion: this theory would not imply the rejection of miracles, but, on the contrary, would admit them as possible.; the reinterpretation would not violate the limits on interpretation [4]We should perhaps have had an easier task in showing that the Scriptural passages referred to are in harmony with the theory of the Eternity of the Universe if we accepted the latter, than we had in explaining the anthropomorphisms in the Bible when we rejected the idea that God is corporeal.
  5. If there were a philosophical demonstration of eternity according to Aristotle, there would be a compelling reason to reject the peshat of the verses of creation [1,2] If, on the other hand, Aristotle had a proof for his theory, the whole teaching of Scripture would be rejected, and we should be forced to other opinions.; but the reinterpretation would pass beyond the limits of acceptable interpretation – and then we would not reinterpret [though it is not clear what we would do – see below.

The quotes under g clearly illustrate limits on interpretation, and this last quote under j is absolutely compelling: even a philosophical demonstration contradicting the whole of the content of the Torah would not lead to reinterpretation!
It remains to comment on the Rambam’s meaning for “philosophical demonstration”. It is clear from Part 2 chapter 17 that any demonstration relying of the assumption of the uniformity of the laws of nature in the past would not count. On the other hand, the Rambam’s own demonstrations start from presently observed realities and use natural physical/philosophical reasoning, so something like that would count. In any case, the age of the universe and evolution and relating theorizing clearly will not count.


An Open Letter to My Colleagues


James Tour is a synthetic organic chemist at Rice University.

LIFE SHOULD NOT EXIST. This much we know from chemistry. In contrast to the ubiquity of life on earth, the lifelessness of other planets makes far better chemical sense. Synthetic chemists know what it takes to build just one molecular compound. The compound must be designed, the stereochemistry controlled. Yield optimization, purification, and characterization are needed. An elaborate supply is required to control synthesis from start to finish. None of this is easy. Few researchers from other disciplines understand how molecules are synthesized.
Synthetic constraints must be taken into account when considering the prebiotic preparation of the four classes of compounds needed for life: the amino acids, the nucleotides, the saccharides, and the lipids.1 The next level beyond synthesis involves the components needed for the construction of nanosystems, which are then assembled into a microsystem. Composed of many nanosystems, the cell is nature’s fundamental microsystem. If the first cells were relatively simple, they still required at least 256 protein-coding genes. This requirement is as close to an absolute as we find in synthetic chemistry. A bacterium which encodes 1,354 proteins contains one of the smallest genomes currently known.2
Consider the following Gedankenexperiment. Let us assume that all the molecules we think may be needed to construct a cell are available in the requisite chemical and stereochemical purities. Let us assume that these molecules can be separated and delivered to a well-equipped laboratory. Let us also assume that the millions of articles comprising the chemical and biochemical literature are readily accessible.
How might we build a cell?
It is not enough to have the chemicals on hand. The relationship between the nucleotides and everything else must be specified and, for this, coding information is essential. DNA and RNA are the primary informational carriers of the cell. No matter the medium life might have adopted at the very beginning, its information had to come from somewhere. A string of nucleotides does not inherently encode anything. Let us assume that DNA and RNA are available in whatever sequence we desire.
A cell, as defined in synthetic biological terms, is a system that can maintain ion gradients, capture and process energy, store information, and mutate.3 Can we build a cell from the raw materials?4 We are synthetic chemists, after all. If we cannot do it, nobody can. Lipids of an appropriate length can spontaneously form lipid bilayers.
Molecular biology textbooks say as much. A lipid bilayer bubble can contain water, and was a likely precursor to the modern cell membrane.5Lipid assembly into a lipid bilayer membrane can easily be provoked by agitation, or sonication in a lab.
Et voilà. The required lipid bilayer then forms. Right?
Not so fast. A few concerns should give us pause:6
  • Researchers have identified thousands of different lipid structures in modern cell membranes. These include glycerolipids, sphingolipids, sterols, prenols, saccharolipids, and polyketides.7For this reason, selecting the bilayer composition for our synthetic membrane target is far from straightforward. When making synthetic vesicles—synthetic lipid bilayer membranes—mixtures of lipids can, it should be noted, destabilize the system.
  • Lipid bilayers surround subcellular organelles, such as nuclei and mitochondria, which are themselves nanosystems and microsystems. Each of these has their own lipid composition.
  • Lipids have a non-symmetric distribution. The outer and inner faces of the lipid bilayer are chemically inequivalent and cannot be interchanged.
The lipids are just the beginning. Protein–lipid complexes are the required passive transport sites and active pumps for the passage of ions and molecules through bilayer membranes, often with high specificity. Some allow passage for substrates into the compartment, and others their exit. The complexity increases further because all lipid bilayers have vast numbers of polysaccharide (sugar) appendages, known as glycans, and the sugars are no joke. These are important for nanosystem and microsystem regulation. The inherent complexity of these saccharides is daunting. Six repeat units of the saccharide D-pyranose can form more than one trillion different hexasaccharides through branching (constitutional) and glycosidic (stereochemical) diversity.8 Imagine the breadth of the library!
Polysaccharides are the most abundant organic molecules on the planet. Their importance is reflected in the fact that they are produced by and are essential to all natural systems. Every cell membrane is coated with a complex array of polysaccharides, and all cell-to-cell interactions take place through saccharide participation on the lipid bilayer membrane surface. Eliminating any class of saccharides from an organism results in its death, and every cellular dysfunction involves saccharides.
In a report entitled “Transforming Glycoscience,” the US National Research Council recently noted that,
very little is known about glycan diversification during evolution. Over three billion years of evolution has failed to generate any kind of living cell that is not covered with a dense and complex array of glycans.9
What is more, Vlatka Zoldoš, Tomislav Horvat, and Gordan Lauc observed: “A peculiarity of glycan moieties of glycoproteins is that they are not synthesized using a direct genetic template. Instead, they result from the activity of several hundreds of enzymes organized in complex pathways.”10
Saccharides are information-rich molecules. Glycosyl transferases encode information into glycans and saccharide binding proteins decode the information stored in the glycan structures. This process is repeated according to polysaccharide branching and coupling patterns.11Saccharides encode and transfer information long after their initial enzymatic construction.12 Polysaccharides carry more potential information than any other macromolecule, including DNA and RNA. For this reason, lipid-associated polysaccharides are proving enigmatic.13
Cellular and organelle bilayers, which were once thought of as simple vesicles, are anything but. They are highly functional gatekeepers. By virtue of their glycans, lipid bilayers become enormous banks of stored, readable, and re-writable information. The sonication of a few random lipids, polysaccharides, and proteins in a lab will not yield cellular lipid bilayer membranes.
Mes frères, mes semblables, with these complexities in mind, how can we build the microsystem of a simple cell? Would we be able to build even the lipid bilayers? These diminutive cellular microsystems—which are, in turn, composed of thousands of nanosystems—are beyond our comprehension. Yet we are led to believe that 3.8 billion years ago the requisite compounds could be found in some cave, or undersea vent, and somehow or other they assembled themselves into the first cell.
Could time really have worked such magic?
Many of the molecular structures needed for life are not thermodynamically favored by their syntheses. Formed by the formose reaction, the saccharides undergo further condensation under the very reaction conditions in which they form. The result is polymeric material, not to mention its stereo-randomness at every stereogenic center, therefore doubly useless.14 Time is the enemy. The reaction must be stopped soon after the desired product is formed. If we run out of synthetic intermediates in the laboratory, we have to go back to the beginning. Nature does not keep a laboratory notebook. How does she bring up more material from the rear?
If one understands the second law of thermodynamics, according to some physicists,15 “You [can] start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.”16 The interactions of light with small molecules is well understood. The experiment has been performed. The outcome is known. Regardless of the wavelength of the light, no plant ever forms.
We synthetic chemists should state the obvious. The appearance of life on earth is a mystery. We are nowhere near solving this problem. The proposals offered thus far to explain life’s origin make no scientific sense.
Beyond our planet, all the others that have been probed are lifeless, a result in accord with our chemical expectations. The laws of physics and chemistry’s Periodic Table are universal, suggesting that life based upon amino acids, nucleotides, saccharides and lipids is an anomaly. Life should not exist anywhere in our universe. Life should not even exist on the surface of the earth.17
  1. See James Tour, “Animadversions of a Synthetic Chemist,” Inference: International Review of Science 2, no. 2 (2016); James Tour, “Two Experiments in Abiogenesis,” Inference: International Review of Science 2, no. 3 (2016). 
  2. See Wikipedia, “Minimal Genome.” 
  3. David Dearner, “A Giant Step Towards Artificial Life?” Trends in Biotechnology 23, no. 7 (2008): 336–38, doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2005.05.008. 
  4. A small towards this goal was achieved when a synthetic genome was inserted into a host cell from which the original genome had been removed. The bilayer membrane of the host cell and all of its cytoplasmic constituents had already been created by natural biological processes. See Daniel Gibson et al., “Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome,” Science 329, no. 5,987 (2010): 52–56, doi:10.1126/science.1190719. 
  5. Bruce Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed. (New York: Garland Science, 2002). 
  6. See F. Xabier Contreras et al., “Molecular Recognition of a Single Sphingolipid Species by a Protein’s Transmembrane Domain,” Nature 481 (2012): 525–29, doi:10.1038/nature10742; Yoshiyuki Norimatsu et al., “Protein–Phospholipid Interplay Revealed with Crystals of a Calcium Pump,” Nature 545 (2017): 193–98, doi:10.1038/nature22357. 
  7. See Lipidomics Gateway, “LIPID MAPS Structure Database.” 
  8. Roger Laine, “Invited Commentary: A Calculation of All Possible Oligosaccharide Isomers Both Branched and Linear Yields 1.05 × 1012 Structures for a Reducing Hexasaccharide: The Isomer Barrier to Development of Single-Method Saccharide Sequencing or Synthesis Systems,” Glycobiology 4, no. 6 (1994): 759–67, doi:10.1093/glycob/4.6.759. 
  9. National Research Council, Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future(Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012), 72, doi:10.17226/13446. 
  10. Vlatka Zoldoš, Tomislav Horvat and Gordan Lauc, “Glycomics Meets Genomics, Epigenomics and Other High Throughput Omics for System Biology Studies,” Current Opinion in Chemical Biology 17, no. 1 (2012): 33–40, doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.12.007. 
  11. Adapted from Maureen Taylor and Kurt Drickamer, Introduction to Glycobiology(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). 
  12. Gordan Lauc, Aleksandar Vojta and Vlatka Zoldoš, “Epigenetic Regulation of Glycosylation Is the Quantum Mechanics of Biology,” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – General Subjects 1,840, no. 1 (2014): 65–70, doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.08.017. 
  13. Claus-Wilhelm von der Lieth, Thomas Luetteke, and Martin Frank, eds., Bioinformatics for Glycobiology and Glycomics: An Introduction (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). 
  14. James Tour, “Animadversions of a Synthetic Chemist,” Inference: International Review of Science 2, no. 2 (2016). 
  15. See Jeremy England, “Statistical Physics of Self-Replication,” Journal of Chemical Physics 139 (2013), doi:10.1063/1.4818538; Paul Rosenberg, “God is on the Ropes: The Brilliant New Science That Has Creationists and the Christian Right Terrified,” Salon, January 3, 2015. 
  16. Natalie Wolchover, “A New Physics Theory of Life,” Quanta, January 22, 2014. 
  17. The author wishes to thank Anthony Futerman of the Weizmann Institute and Russell Carlson of the University of Georgia for information on lipids and saccharides, respectively. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Newly discovered failures of carbon dating!

A Crucial Archaeological Dating Tool Is Wrong, And It Could Change History as We Know It

main article image
One of the most important dating tools used in archaeology may sometimes give misleading data, new study shows - and it could change whole historical timelines as a result.
The discrepancy is due to significant fluctuations in the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere, and it could force scientists to rethink how they use ancient organic remains to measure the passing of time.
A comparison of radiocarbon ages across the Northern Hemisphere suggests we might have been a little too hasty in assuming how the isotope - also known as radiocarbon - diffuses, potentially shaking up controversial conversations on the timing of events in history.
By measuring the amount of carbon-14 in the annual growth rings of trees grown in southern Jordan, researchers have found some dating calculations on events in the Middle East – or, more accurately, the Levant – could be out by nearly 20 years.
That may not seem like a huge deal, but in situations where a decade or two of discrepancy counts, radiocarbon dating could be misrepresenting important details.
The science behind the dating method is fairly straightforward: nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere hit with cosmic radiation are converted into a type of carbon with eight neutrons. This carbon – which has an atomic mass of 14 – has a chance of losing that neutron to turn into a garden variety carbon isotope over a predictable amount of time.
By comparing the two categories of carbon in organic remains, archaeologists can judge how recently the organism that left them last absorbed carbon-14 out of its environment.
Over millennia the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere changes, meaning measurements need to be calibrated against a chart that takes the atmospheric concentration into account, such as INTCAL13.
The current version of INTCAL13 is based on historical data from North America and Europe, and has a fairly broad resolution over thousands of years. Levels do happen to spike on a local and seasonal basis with changes in the carbon cycle, but carbon-14 is presumed to diffuse fast enough to ignore these tiny bumps.
At least, that was the assumption until now.
"We know from atmospheric measurements over the last 50 years that radiocarbon levels vary through the year, and we also know that plants typically grow at different times in different parts of the Northern Hemisphere," says archaeologist Sturt Manning from Cornell University.
"So we wondered whether the radiocarbon levels relevant to dating organic material might also vary for different areas and whether this might affect archaeological dating."
The tree rings were samples of Jordanian juniper that grew in the southern region of the Middle East between 1610 and 1940 CE. By counting the tree rings, the team were able to create a reasonably accurate timeline of annual changes in carbon-14 uptake for those centuries.
Alarmingly, going by INTCAL13 alone, those same radiocarbon measurements would have provided dates that were older by an average of 19 years.
The difference most likely comes down to changes in regional climates, such as warming conditions. Extrapolating the findings back to earlier periods, archaeologists attempting to pinpoint Iron Age or Biblical events down to a few years would no doubt have a serious need to question their calibrations.
One controversial example is the dating of a single layer of archaeology at the Bronze and Iron Age city buried at Tel Rehov.
Just a few decades of difference could help resolve an ongoing debate over the extent of Solomon's biblical kingdom, making findings like these more than a minor quibble in a politically contested part of the world.
"Our work indicates that it's arguable their fundamental basis is faulty – they are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region," says Manning.
Collecting additional data from different geographical areas and taking a closer look at historical climate trends could help sharpen calibration techniques, especially in hotly debated regions.
For the time being, archaeologists covering history in the Levant are being advised to take their dates with a pinch of salt.
This research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

By Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb

There is a reason widely used to dismiss intelligent design [ID] and other purported examples of pseudo-science. The reason is this:
A proposition is scientifically meaningful only if it is falsifiable – that is, only if some observation can show that it is false.
The intuition behind falsifiability is that theories are created to explain phenomena, and are tested by predicting new observations. If those predictions are found to be correct, the theory has passed a test and is worthy of tentative acceptance and further investigation. If any prediction is found to be incorrect the theory is false and is discarded and we search for a new theory.
ID violates falsifiability because we do not know the motivation of the designer, so we cannot predict what it will do. So no observation could rule out ID. The same argument is used to show that religious propositions across the board are not falsifiable – since we do not know God’s intentions, nothing that happens could rule out God as the cause of various phenomena.
Falsifiability and its supporting intuition have multiple faults. The one that I wish to describe here is that there are counter-examples.
Rudolph Carnap objected that according to falsifiability the proposition: “There is a unicorn somewhere is space-time” is not scientifically meaningful since there is no observation that would show that all of space-time lacks unicorns. But a single observation could verify the proposition – just find one unicorn. Any proposition that can be verified by observation deserves to be regarded as scientifically meaningful. 
For a contemporary example, consider the fact that certain models of the big bang predict the creation of magnetic monopoles. As Roger Penrose points out, there is currently a scientific effort to find one. If that effort succeeds, we will know they exist. If that effort fails we will know nothing – perhaps they exist and we have not found them. Thus the hypothesis that they exist cannot be falsified, and yet that hypothesis is certainly scientifically meaningful. Penrose uses this example explicitly as a counter-example to falsifiability.
Now let’s consider parallel verification of ID. Even if ID is unfalsifiable, there might be unmistakable positive evidence of design. This is the foundation of SETI – the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Imagine finding the first one hundred places of the decimal expansion of pi in radio waves from a distant galaxy. That would clinch the existence of ETI. Even if we have no information about the intentions of those intelligent agents, and so we cannot make any predictions about what they will do next, this does not disqualify the conclusion that intelligent agents produced those pi radio waves. [This point is recognized by Derek Parfit in Appendix A of On What Matters.]
The intuition supporting falsifiability ignores conclusive verification [as pointed out above]; it also ignores evidence that supports or opposes a proposition without conclusively verifying or falsifying it. Furthermore, I remember hearing Richard Rorty say at a convention of the American Philosophical Association [in the 1970s] that every scientific theory ever accepted had known counter-examples. Theory change means rejecting one theory with its counter-examples in favor of another theory with its counter-examples. And no one knows how we do that – no one has a good description of the relevant factors for that decision.
So falsifiability should not rule out ID [or anything else]. Still, it does seem right to require some kind of link between legitimate science and observation. Perhaps this is what we have in mind:
A proposition is scientifically meaningful only if observation can make some difference to its credibility – some observation must count for or against the proposition.
But this will be useless to rule out ID and religious propositions because it will be impossible to show that no observation affects their credibility. Just as the example of pi shows the possibility of verification of a case of ID, so too for many religious claims. Propositions from many faiths could receive verification from observation – just imagine the arrival of a messiah complete with all the predictions of a particular faith!
The key here is that something may be observed that could only be reasonably explained on the basis of ID or some religious proposition. The existence of such a possible observation shows that the condition above is satisfied by ID and religious propositions.  
Suppose we are trying to explain some phenomenon. We have a list of non-design factors relevant to explaining it. We have reason to believe that no combination of those factors, can succeed in explaining it. We have reason to believe the same holds for any other non-design factors of which we are presently unaware. The phenomenon is similar to known products of intelligent design. Then we have some reason to explain the phenomenon by appealing to intelligent design.
The strength of the reason in the conclusion is proportionate to the strength of the premises. Let’s look at two examples.
SETI and the decimal expansion of pi. What do we know of galaxies and inter-galactic space? Gravity, black holes, Hawking radiation, collisions of stars, novae explosions, nuclear fusion, and so on. None of those factors, nor any combination, is going to produce the decimal expansion of pi. Are there other unknown non-design forces in galaxies and space? Undoubtedly – dark matter and dark energy and perhaps many more. Would they be able to produce pi? It is hard to say for sure, but we can say that if they can, perhaps we should have seen signs of their operation. Since we have not, we are reasonably sure that the missing factors will not explain it. And since we produce pi, we know that intelligent agents do so. Thus the reason to accept ID [=ETI] to explain receiving pi is very strong.
By contrast, try using ID to explain the existence of frogs. Do we have reason to think that the non-design factors of which we are unaware cannot explain the existence of frogs? Certainly not: As Stuart Kauffman and co. keep reminding us, there may be many causes of self-organization. So, even if there is some analogy between frogs and human products, the support for ID in explaining frogs is very slim at best.
Now suppose we have accepted a premise that the existence of frogs is to be explained by some particular factor or by ID.  In effect, the list of non-design factors has been reduced to that one factor. Then evidence against the success of that factor will be support for ID. For many, that factor is evolution. In the context of the premise, evidence against evolution is evidence in favor of ID.
The premise itself might be defended by pointing out that at present there is no third alternative even proposed. Of course, we cannot know what new theories will be invented. But that is true in all investigations, so it cannot be a reason to reject the tentative acceptance of ID if evolution is discredited.
One focus of the debate at present is the explanation of new information. It is claimed that there is no known non-design factor that creates new useful information. This is a perfectly legitimate investigation. It cannot be avoided by appeal to falsifiability.
The bottom line: Lack of falsifiability is no reason to rule out a theory as scientifically meaningless. ID is a meaningful scientific theory that must be evaluated on normal scientific grounds. Let the scientific debate on ID proceed!