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Kevin Bonham
06-02-2004, 04:40 AM
...a copy of "Refuting Evolution" by Dr Jonathan Sarfati FM, leading Young Earth Creationist and former inmate of the really early BBs (the ones where moderation was almost impossible and the board used to fall over every six weeks or so).

The book was in the Plant Science tearoom at the Uni of Tas. Had a quick flick through it, pretty much as I expected really, but two things caught my eye.

Firstly, the about-the-author section at the back of the book includes considerable detail of Dr S's chess career and features him sitting at the chessboard (same pic as on Answers in Genesis website).

Secondly, and most amusingly, the book included a letter which revealed that the copy had been mailed to the university by a person who had read it and wanted all the scientists to know that this book may contain a radical shake-up of all science as we know it. The author of the letter was asking the University to provide comments on the book. The form-letter nature of the letter indicated the author had also sent copies to other unis.

The location of the copy of the book, on the same table used for cards and cribbage, suggested to me that the local botanists were having a good chuckle at its expense. :whistle:

Rincewind
06-02-2004, 09:45 AM
I'm waiting for the follow up book, "Refuting Mathematics". When local chess wunderkinder Sarfati takes on the cloistered mathematics crowd and shows complex numbers, eigenvalues and fourier transforms to be nothing more than the work of the devil. I believe he also provides proof that transcendentals are part of a world-wide conspiracy and pi is in fact exactly 22/7. :lol:

PHAT
06-02-2004, 11:22 AM
A little while back I was reading a book on "mind". It occured to me that something similar to the way the brain works are eigen values. If this is so, I wonder if anyone has given time to writing chess algorithms, based on eigen values of all positions held in our vast chess data bases. These algorithms might be the "intuition that the bots do not yet possess. They could run parallel to the number crunching, guiding it down the routes that humans tread but getting further down that route, faster. Maybe getting up towards 20-30 ply by avoiding "understood nonsence".

Rincewind
06-02-2004, 01:06 PM
That's an interesting idea. I assume you are talking about representing chess positions as 8x8 square arrays in some way, and then perform Eigen decomposition on these arrays.

Give the huge number of transformations that could occur on these positions and other constraints - which make two very similar positions have a widely varying chess value, and the lack of applicability of dot or cross products (in particular) to these chess matrices - I can't see how eigenvalues will help evaluate positions. Or even if doing so is even computationally more efficient than existing (more prosaic perhaps) position evaluation algorithms.

It could be the eigenvalue link was more analogous and cannot be implemented in practice. Although perhaps Shaun has some thoughts on this or knows of some work in this area.

Better be careful or we may need to move this to the Chess Area. :eek:

Alan Shore
11-02-2004, 10:17 PM
Wonder where Jono is these days.. he used to be really active on these bulletin boards. Was a bit of amusement having a friendly banter with him, but I guess it got a little pointless in the end.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 11:47 AM
...a copy of "Refuting Evolution" by Dr Jonathan Sarfati FM, leading Young Earth Creationist and former inmate of the really early BBs (the ones where moderation was almost impossible and the board used to fall over every six weeks or so).

The book was in the Plant Science tearoom at the Uni of Tas. Had a quick flick through it, pretty much as I expected really, but two things caught my eye.

Better than having Dawko's Delusion there.


Firstly, the about-the-author section at the back of the book includes considerable detail of Dr S's chess career and features him sitting at the chessboard (same pic as on Answers in Genesis website).

Who knows, might be good publicity for chess.


Secondly, and most amusingly, the book included a letter which revealed that the copy had been mailed to the university by a person who had read it and wanted all the scientists to know that this book may contain a radical shake-up of all science as we know it.

Much too generous. Evolution is irrelevant to real science such as physics and chemistry, so a book purporting to refute evolution would have little impact.


The location of the copy of the book, on the same table used for cards and cribbage, suggested to me that the local botanists were having a good chuckle at its expense. :whistle:

Much easier than having to refute it. IIRC there is little about botany in the book. Might be interesting for them to consider photosynthesis though, which seems to be irreducibly complex according to the article Green Power (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4476).

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2007, 12:06 AM
Much too generous. Evolution is irrelevant to real science such as physics and chemistry, so a book purporting to refute evolution would have little impact.

*yawns* Jono, you can go on carrying on like the lowest species of engineer with your pretences that the life sciences aren't "science" all you like, but you're only displaying your ignorance. My own expertise concerns the land snails of my native state, which are mostly extremely small creatures with very poor dispersal abilities and very small native ranges. I would be interested to know how you would explain their distribution and local endemism patterns (and indeed the nature of island biogeography in general) in a manner remotely consistent with your Noah's Ark fairytale and am happy to supply you with all the data you need to appreciate the magnitude of the problems you would face in attempting to do so. :lol:


Much easier than having to refute it.

Not easier, just less time-consuming. :lol:


Might be interesting for them to consider photosynthesis though, which seems to be irreducibly complex according to the article Green Power (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4476).

Well, let me start with this question then: you write: "The unique Mn3CaO4–Mn arrangement is present in all plants, algae and cyanobacteria, which suggests that this arrangement is essential." Why does it suggest this at all? An obvious alternative is that having developed in a common ancestor it was simply subsequently retained, which does not at all prove that no alternative arrangement is possible.

Here's another howler: "If the most intelligent human designers can’t duplicate photosynthesis, then it’s perfectly scientific to believe that photosynthesis had a far more intelligent designer." The most intelligent human designers have not had the benefit of use of the entire earth in appropriate conditions as a laboratory for testing over a period of hundreds of millions of years.

Suppose a solar-powered calculator was dropped through a timewarp and landed in Ancient Greece. The most brilliant minds of that period studied it for decades but could not make anything that would get close to its function. They might conclude "If our most intelligent human designers can't duplicate this calculator, then it's perfectly scientific to believe it was made by someone far brighter than a human, say one or other of our several dozen gods". But although the device in question was intelligently designed in this example (unlike the photosynthesis case), a conclusion of superior intelligence would be wrong. Rather, the designers in my example would have the benefit of experience - and evolution, despite not being directed by intentional "intelligence" at all, has such a massive headstart on that experience front that there is nothing scientific at all about unnecessary favour for alternative explanations.

Scientific history is full of those who falsely claimed things couldn't be explained. Not that long ago bumblebees were supposed to be irreducibly unable to fly. Now their flight method has been explained. If ID turns out to be anything much other than one big argument from lack of imagination I shall be very much surprised. :lol:

Axiom
06-04-2007, 12:19 AM
Here's another howler: "If the most intelligent human designers can’t duplicate photosynthesis, then it’s perfectly scientific to believe that photosynthesis had a far more intelligent designer." The most intelligent human designers have not had the benefit of use of the entire earth in appropriate conditions as a laboratory for testing over a period of hundreds of millions of years.

Suppose a solar-powered calculator was dropped through a timewarp and landed in Ancient Greece. The most brilliant minds of that period studied it for decades but could not make anything that would get close to its function. They might conclude "If our most intelligent human designers can't duplicate this calculator, then it's perfectly scientific to believe it was made by someone far brighter than a human, say one or other of our several dozen gods". its that compulsion to leap to the 'god hypothesis' again.
.....just because something looks wondrous ,complex and appears in some subjective way to have a design , one just cannot simply jump to clutch onto the god hypothesis,

i honestly think that humans capacity for such deep level god belief, is a potentially rich source of insight into the human psyche......i know some works have been done in this area, but i really think theres much more to explore here.

its interesting to me ,as i consider religion/god belief the first form of propaganda,mind control etc

It illustrates perfectly how maleable ,gullible and manipulatable we are as a species........and helps to explain much of what is rapidly forming my thesis re. information,human power structures,human psyche,control,corruption,media.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2007, 10:30 AM
*yawns* Jono, you can go on carrying on like the lowest species of engineer with your pretences that the life sciences aren't "science" all you like, but you're only displaying your ignorance.

I pretend nothing of the sort -- you are guilty of an argument from silence. Several of my colleagues have earned Ph.D.s in the life sciences. However, evolution had no bearing on their real scientific work.


My own expertise concerns the land snails of my native state, which are mostly extremely small creatures with very poor dispersal abilities and very small native ranges. I would be interested to know how you would explain their distribution and local endemism patterns (and indeed the nature of island biogeography in general) in a manner remotely consistent with your Noah's Ark fairytale and am happy to supply you with all the data you need to appreciate the magnitude of the problems you would face in attempting to do so. :lol:

Biogeography is no big deal, considering that Darwin used it when he believed that continents were fixed, and now biogeographical arguments are used under the totally different paradigm of the moving earth. It would be too time-consuming to indulge your love of snail distribution. Interestingly, Darwin himself floated snails on driftwood for long periods to show that they could have crossed large stretches of water this way.


Well, let me start with this question then: you write: "The unique Mn3CaO4–Mn arrangement is present in all plants, algae and cyanobacteria, which suggests that this arrangement is essential." Why does it suggest this at all? An obvious alternative is that having developed in a common ancestor it was simply subsequently retained, which does not at all prove that no alternative arrangement is possible.

Yeah yeah, I know "evolutionarily conserved" means. Much easier than having to explain why we never see these developmental stages, or how they could split the water molecule stepwise.

[/QUOTE]Here's another howler: "If the most intelligent human designers can’t duplicate photosynthesis, then it’s perfectly scientific to believe that photosynthesis had a far more intelligent designer." The most intelligent human designers have not had the benefit of use of the entire earth in appropriate conditions as a laboratory for testing over a period of hundreds of millions of years. [/QUOTE]

Once again, this is explaining things away, as evolutionists often love to do.


Suppose a solar-powered calculator was dropped through a timewarp and landed in Ancient Greece.

Suppose that such thought experiments miss the point somewhat, since no one is proposing that photosynthesis was invented by humans. And as you say, the Greeks were right to realise that it was intelligently designed, not the result of an Epicurean evolutionary process. At least you have countered the common chronological snobbery around here.


Scientific history is full of those who falsely claimed things couldn't be explained. Not that long ago bumblebees were supposed to be irreducibly unable to fly. Now their flight method has been explained. If ID turns out to be anything much other than one big argument from lack of imagination I shall be very much surprised. :lol:

Bumblebee flight is a matter of operational science, not origins/historical science, and you have misused "irreducibly". I have likewise counseled against inserting God into matters of operation science, and no ID proponent to my knowledge appealed to the unknowns of bumblebee flight as support for some intelligence holding it up in the air.

Kevin Bonham
08-04-2007, 10:57 PM
I pretend nothing of the sort -- you are guilty of an argument from silence.

No evidence advanced for this assertion. *yawns*


Several of my colleagues have earned Ph.D.s in the life sciences.

Bully for them (and Brontosaurus! ... no, not really!). My comment referred not to them but to you.


Biogeography is no big deal, considering that Darwin used it when he believed that continents were fixed, and now biogeographical arguments are used under the totally different paradigm of the moving earth.

What Darwin believed when he used it is irrelevant. What is relevant is the subsequent knowledge. Creationists love to try to discredit evolution by saying "oh, but Darwin said ..." But what Darwin thought based on the very limited data he had is irrelevant. The only thing relevant about him is that the fact of evolution happens to have been first recognised by him. Nothing he thought beyond that has the remotest relevance to the truth or otherwise of that theory.


It would be too time-consuming to indulge your love of snail distribution.

Of course it would because it would refute creationism entirely, and of course you do not have the time for that. Typical lame creationist copout.


Interestingly, Darwin himself floated snails on driftwood for long periods to show that they could have crossed large stretches of water this way.

Indeed some could and cross-oceanic dispersal (together with vicariance and other more unusual dispersal methods) are noted in malacology, as in the case of the subsequent repopulation of Krakatoa. But what such an observation (as a case for creationism) fails to take note of is why such snails have not subsequently survived anywhere but where they have allegedly ended up, or indeed why related taxa of snails display radiated concentration in specific remote corners of the globe way removed from the alleged landing point of Noah's Ark.


Yeah yeah, I know "evolutionarily conserved" means. Much easier than having to explain why we never see these developmental stages, or how they could split the water molecule stepwise.

None of this handwaving changes the fact that the burden of demonstration that no other method is possible is entirely upon you given your previous statement.


Once again, this is explaining things away, as evolutionists often love to do.

Another copout. You are asserting that no alternative is possible (without proof of which or even with which no one should take any spiritualist's bag of cheap threats seriously for a nanosecond), but I am pointing out that there is one.


Suppose that such thought experiments miss the point somewhat, since no one is proposing that photosynthesis was invented by humans.

Yet another copout, since my point is not to propose such a thing but to destroy your general principle. Of course you fail to acknowledge that your general principle has been thusly destroyed.


And as you say, the Greeks were right to realise that it was intelligently designed, not the result of an Epicurean evolutionary process. At least you have countered the common chronological snobbery around here.

Not much idea what you are babbling about in the latter sentence here. My point is that even if you are fool enough to take evolutionary processes as evidence of intelligent design, there would still be no proof that that design was by one of superior intelligence. Thus, even if your God could exist (which remains grammatically impossible) then that God may well still be a clot-head.


Bumblebee flight is a matter of operational science, not origins/historical science, and you have misused "irreducibly".

No evidence for the latter assertion, and what kind of science it is makes no difference to my point that arguments from lack of imagination in any area of science are easily made and easily debunked.


I have likewise counseled against inserting God into matters of operation science, and no ID proponent to my knowledge appealed to the unknowns of bumblebee flight as support for some intelligence holding it up in the air.

That depends on who you count as an "ID proponent". I just whacked "bumblebee impossible God" into Google and found all manner of idiots still using it as an argument.

Capablanca-Fan
20-04-2007, 12:17 PM
Of course it would because it would refute creationism entirely, and of course you do not have the time for that. Typical lame creationist copout.

Well, when I see it in an evolutionary textbook, as opposed to some arcane obsession, then it would be worth refuting :LOL:

And what a hypocrite—when evolutionists can't explain something, they lamely claim that more research will find a naturalistic explanation. But if there is something that a creationist can't explain right now, then creationists are supposed to give up right now.

For the moment, it is sufficient to give some parallels of dispersal of creatures, to show that it is rash to claim that the creation/flood/dispersion model CAN'T explain it.


That depends on who you count as an "ID proponent". I just whacked "bumblebee impossible God" into Google and found all manner of idiots still using it as an argument.

So what? Some evolutionists argue for astrology and conspiracy theories. Is there a point to this? Maybe I should use Matthew Sweeney as an example of typical evolutionary reasoning :P

Kevin Bonham
22-04-2007, 12:53 AM
Well, when I see it in an evolutionary textbook, as opposed to some arcane obsession, then it would be worth refuting :LOL:

Oh. So sorry. I thought we were discussing whether creationism was true or not rather than engaging in some kind of lame popularity contest of the kind you appear to deplore. (cf. your reaction to Rincewind saying he would take the resurrection seriously if it was accepted as historical fact by mainstream secular historians).

How would you react if your opponents here likewise decided your views were "arcane obsessions", not worth refuting unless they appeared in a Papal encyclical or a proclamation by the Archbishop of Canterbury?


And what a hypocrite—when evolutionists can't explain something, they lamely claim that more research will find a naturalistic explanation. But if there is something that a creationist can't explain right now, then creationists are supposed to give up right now.

This is not the first time today I have found you seeking to establish my views by reference to your cardboard-cutout stereotypes of evolution rather than by reference to my actual views.

Do you have an example of me making no attempt to investigate let alone explain a situation and simply asserting that a naturalistic explanation will be found?

I should remind you that to call someone a hypocrite without firm proof is defamatory and has been the subject of many moderation actions on this board in the past. Of course I would not take such moderation action myself but I may well lodge a complaint as a poster if you fail to either comprehensively prove your accusation or else retract it.


For the moment, it is sufficient to give some parallels of dispersal of creatures, to show that it is rash to claim that the creation/flood/dispersion model CAN'T explain it.

And these parallels are where? I would assume you will at least be using non-flying invertebrates to make your point, if the cases are truly parallel? :lol:


So what? Some evolutionists argue for astrology and conspiracy theories. Is there a point to this? Maybe I should use Matthew Sweeney as an example of typical evolutionary reasoning :P

Go ahead and make my day! I will simply point out the difference between asserting that no holder of belief X is stupid, and asserting that the typical holder of belief X is stupid, and thereby make you look exceedingly silly. As, in the same situation, could Mr Sweeney.