Posted: Jan 15, 2018 9:41 pm
by zoon
If the argument in the OP's links is correct, then the most that has been shown is that the recurrent laryngeal nerve is not a good argument against intelligent design. The articles in the links do not provide any positive evidence in favour of ID. As far as I can tell, both articles go out of their way to comment that if, as they say, the laryngeal nerve is much more functional than used to be thought, then this is what would be expected if evolution is true. Quoting from both articles:
From the first article (linking again here):
Casey Luskin wrote:It seems quite likely that there are mutational pathways to a more efficient route for the RLN. Under neo-Darwinian thinking, this implies this pathway should have evolved. At the very least, it shows that there are no in-principle constraints based upon our alleged fish-ancestry which prevent this route from evolving. The fact that the pathway remains--under evolutionary logic--that there's some benefit to the current design, which implies that the current design isn't so imperfect after all.

From the second article (linking again here):
Loennig quoting Rammersdorfer wrote:As to the evolutionary scientists just mentioned: A totally nonsensical and relictual misdesign would be a severe contradiction in their own neo-Darwinian (or synthetic evolutionary) world view. Biologist and Nobel laureate Francois Jacob described this view on the genetic level as follows: "The genetic message, the programme of the present-day organism ... resembles a text without an author, that a proof-reader has been correcting for more than two billion years, continually improving, refining and completing it, gradually eliminating all imperfections."

So both of those articles, both written by ID proponents, make clear that even if the recurrent laryngeal nerve doesn't provide the evidence that has been claimed that ID is false, it doesn't provide any evidence that evolution is false either; they are not even attempting to use it to make a positive case for intelligent design.

What the ID proponents need for positive evidence is "irreducible complexity"; that is, design which could not have evolved through natural selection. The website of the first link, on another page here, quotes Charles Darwin making that point in the Origin of Species:
Darwin wrote:If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.

That page of the ID website then goes on to cite the bacterial flagellum as, presumably, their best example of "irreducible complexity", in spite of the fact that it's an example which was debunked long ago - for example, there is a brief piece in the New Scientist from 2008 here.