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Spiny Norman
07-02-2006, 06:56 AM
This origins issue just starting to get traction in Australia, as people watch nervously what is happening in the (much more religiously-inclined) USA. The content of a school’s science curriculum has rarely been the subject of public discussion, however talk of Intelligent Design (ID) theory as an alternative theory to (neo-Darwinian) Evolution theory has attracted a certain amount of attention.

The (then) federal Education Minister, Dr. Brendan Nelson, made headlines last year (2005) when he appeared to advocate giving ID an airing in the classroom.

This Wednesday night at 8:30pm (8th February 2006), the Dateline program on SBS has picked up on this controversy and is giving it an airing. Details of the program here:

http://news.sbs.com.au/dateline/

The program will also be repeated on Thursday at 1PM.

It just so happens that I have also organised a public meeting for this Sunday night at 7PM, so the synchronicity machine is working overtime! Jonathan Sarfati Ph.D., a leading Creationist author, will be the guest speaker.

The public meeting will comprise two 1-hour presentations from Jon, with a 15-minute interval between sessions for refreshments. The topics to be covered in these presentations are:

• Design, Deluge and Dilemma
• The Most-Asked Questions – Answered

Any Chess-Chatters who are interested in hearing Jon's presentation should drop me an email or a PM so that I can reserve you a seat as an "honoured guest"! The venue only holds ~220 people and we are unsure how many will be in attendance ... so a reserved seat might be a good choice.

Venue:
Croydon Christian Church
2 / 34 Research Drive
South Croydon VIC 3136

(map to venue and further details at www.ourchurch.org.au)

qpawn
07-02-2006, 08:27 AM
While I admire the chess abilities of Mr Sarfati I will not attend any of this creationist claptrap unless you want someone who is there to vehemently disagree with him.

Let's start with a few basic elements of the issues. What is good science? Good science, first of all, in any attempt to observe, investigate, hypothesise and reach conclusions, defines whatever is being studied. For instance we define "gravity wave" or the number "6" so we know what we are looking for.

How do these creationists define god? As a bearded guy in the sky? Mother earth? Vishnu? Let's take one possible definition: the creator of the universe. Now, this definition which seems to be one commonly used by Christians runs into a second problem: that of circularity. God is defined as the creator of the universe; yet to prove God's existence we have to prove this very definition! In logic this fallacy is called "begging the question" or the vicious circle".

And as for that trollop Brendan Nelson. He will go down as one of this country's worst ever education ministers; he even made Dawkins look good by comparison and that's something I never thought I would say. All that Nelson could cook up in the sphere of imagi nation was to trundle out that old chestnut: all curricula in Australia should be the same because a chemistry unit in a SA school is not the same as a chemistry unit in Vic. Any ideas about states having the right to set their own curricula rather than one that Mr Nelson saw in his tea leaves, or that there are different ways of structuring a curriculum which should be respected, were so foreign to him that a caveman would have stood more chance of enjoying TV.

Davidflude
07-02-2006, 09:28 AM
The teleological arguement was refuted yonks ago. If the universe was created by intelligent design then why do we have such things as tuberculosis, Hansen's
disease and Ross River Fever. Of course lots of religous nuts will tell us that aids is a punishment for sexual misconduct and that vaccines that prevent nasty diseases should not be provided to teenage girls as it may encourage them to go off. On this basis frangers, glad wrap, and bachelors and spinsters balls should be banned.

qpawn
07-02-2006, 09:41 AM
David, you are right to see that flaw in the teleological argumant for God.

When I was in primary school there was a boy with muscular dystrophy. By grade 6 his voice was starting to slur due to deteriorating vocal muscles. I never saw him again. But I was told by his full time carer [he was in a wheelchair by that time] that he would, if he were "lucky", live to only 16. If he were "unlucky" he would live to 19 with a death you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy: losing control of neck muscles so he would be held up by a pice of foam. Ultimately, he would survive only on breathing equipment such as a cylinder of oxygen until even that would be inadequate and he asphyxiated to death.

Having seen someone like that the whole issue of God's existence is pretty done and dusted to me; God doesn't exist unless he/she/it is a complete sadist who makes Saddam Hussein look as nice and sweet as Mary Poppins.

Kevin Bonham
07-02-2006, 01:29 PM
It just so happens that I have also organised a public meeting for this Sunday night at 7PM, so the synchronicity machine is working overtime! Jonathan Sarfati Ph.D., a leading Creationist author, will be the guest speaker.

IIRC Sarfati is a young-earth creationist so his view on aspects of ID that conflict with that view may be amusing.


The public meeting will comprise two 1-hour presentations from Jon, with a 15-minute interval between sessions for refreshments. The topics to be covered in these presentations are:

• Design, Deluge and Dilemma
• The Most-Asked Questions – Answered

Two hours of Sarfati and no time for questions? Ouch.

Spiny Norman
07-02-2006, 02:27 PM
Two hours of Sarfati and no time for questions? Ouch.
Yeah, all you evolutionists will have to be gagged at the door. ;)
I'll ask Jon about question time ...

Spiny Norman
07-02-2006, 02:29 PM
Having seen someone like that the whole issue of God's existence is pretty done and dusted to me ...
I have a seriously disabled nephew and have very recently confronted those same issues. Some of us reach different conclusions.

eclectic
07-02-2006, 03:00 PM
Have you ever stopped to think about all the wars and other atrocities which are prosecuted all over the world in the name of various deities to deflect from the fact that such evil originates from within humankind itself?

Furthermore, would you blame such deities if they were to visit upon humankind various afflictions and tribulations to remind the latter that they are sick of copping the blame for matters which are not of their design?

Even Satan, The Devil, etc gets a bum rap in that regard.

pballard
07-02-2006, 03:42 PM
The teleological arguement was refuted yonks ago. If the universe was created by intelligent design then why do we have such things as tuberculosis, Hansen's
disease and Ross River Fever.

Isn't that a bit like saying that a watch can't have been designed if its glass face is cracked?

qpawn
07-02-2006, 04:06 PM
Please don't get me started on the whole "watch and the watchmaker" arguments. They represent the silliest attempts to prove god's existence.

There are four main arguments that philosophers have used to try to prove God's existence. The moral argument, proposed by Kant, that the human conscience must have come from a higher moral lawgiver called God, the cosmological argument that all cause and effect is finite with a first cause called god [Aristotle, St Aquinas], the ontological argument of gradations of perfection that necessitates the ultimate perfection called god [St Anselm, Descartes] and, lastly, the argument being considered here that teleology shows intelligent design with a creator of it all.

Common foundations for teleologists include the composition of oxygen in the atmosphere, the human brain, conception, predictable laws of physics such as orbiting planets, and the integrated nature of living cells. All of these exmaples, in my view, have serious flaws but I won't elaborate here. I will say that the teleological argument is based upon whatever the teleologist means by "order", "perfection" or "harmony" etc - subjective, emotive terms that are inconsistent with various slings and arrows of life that David has cited.

qpawn
07-02-2006, 04:39 PM
Surely it does no credit to Sarfati's views that opposition, dissent, questioning and criticism will not be allowed at his talk.

Again, I return to the scientific methods that I mentioned earlier. Another of them is that all scientific discovery must satisfy the highest level of scrutiny. Recall that some of the greatest scientific discoveries were lambasted before being accepted. Pasteur was ridiculed for proposing immunisation, Roentegen was seen as a nut over X-rays, and calculus was slammed by Berkeley and other empiricists for the "fluxions" that Sir Issac Newton put forward as part of the derivative.

I feel sorry for Sarfati that he is conducting his talk in such a closed way. That said, I don't feel sorry for him in any other respect :lol:

pax
07-02-2006, 05:02 PM
I just rolled 100 dice, and looked at the result. I did the maths, and worked out that the probability of this result was 10^77. The probability is so small, that it is clearly evidence of divine intervention.

:owned:

shaun
07-02-2006, 06:49 PM
Speakers background
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Sarfati

McTaggart
07-02-2006, 11:31 PM
qpawn,don't feel sorry for Sarfati, Frosty and all the others that will attend this meeting because they will be happy in their beliefs. Their explanation for the external world satisfies them although it really strains our credulity. Don't waste your time using logic or other commonsense arguments,they just won't work. It is not that they do not understand what you are saying it is just that they don't want to hear it. Their model of the universe reassures them and I do not think we should endeavour to take it away from them. Primative civilisations looked on at the wonders of Nature and tried to provide an explanation for it all and you will no doubt have noticed that all over the world where any kind of religion prevails,those religions have all got a common theme, ie,the "great God in the sky ", who of course, cannot be seen but take my word for it, started everything. Countless millions through out the ages have been enslaved by these ideas and it is only through the spreading of knowledge can the myths of ignorance be dispelled.

eclectic
08-02-2006, 04:25 AM
There ain't no Jesus gonna come from the sky
Now that I found out I know I can cry

- john lennon
'i found out'
plastic ono band*
1970

* a CLASSIC album!! (but that's for another thread, heh)

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 06:09 AM
Surely it does no credit to Sarfati's views that opposition, dissent, questioning and criticism will not be allowed at his talk.
<snip>
I feel sorry for Sarfati that he is conducting his talk in such a closed way.
Who said he wasn't allowing questions? If you read my response to KB I said that I would ask Jon about this ... but I haven't yet gotten a reply.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 06:20 AM
qpawn,don't feel sorry for Sarfati, Frosty and all the others that will attend this meeting because they will be happy in their beliefs. Their explanation for the external world satisfies them although it really strains our credulity. Don't waste your time using logic or other commonsense arguments,they just won't work. It is not that they do not understand what you are saying it is just that they don't want to hear it. Their model of the universe reassures them and I do not think we should endeavour to take it away from them. Primative civilisations looked on at the wonders of Nature and tried to provide an explanation for it all and you will no doubt have noticed that all over the world where any kind of religion prevails,those religions have all got a common theme, ie,the "great God in the sky ", who of course, cannot be seen but take my word for it, started everything. Countless millions through out the ages have been enslaved by these ideas and it is only through the spreading of knowledge can the myths of ignorance be dispelled.
A wonderfully condescending post. :clap:

McTaggart
08-02-2006, 07:24 AM
Thank you, Frosty, I really meant to be kind. Really, we have no right to destroy others beliefs. If you want to believe in Bishop Usher or whatever that's fine as long as you don't frighten the horses or insist that we have to follow suit. I guess that is the real progress that mankind has made over the last few centuries. But try to explain that to the Muslims! The trouble with them is that they never had a Renaisance followed by an Age of Reason,agreed?

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 08:43 AM
I can't speak for others ... but for myself, I don't require nor expect others to think nor believe as I do. I think it would be great if they did, but I'm sure many of them don't see it that way. I was probably a bit harsh with the condescending comment, so I apologise for that.

We all get tarred with a generalist brush. Theists, a-theists, whatever. One thing that I have learned from my chats with KB over the past year is that its impossible for me to categorise someone with having a particular set of beliefs. Repeatedly, KB has had to correct my misconceptions about his particular "flavour" of beliefs. Perhaps, more than anything, this has had a profound effect on me ... and as a result I am far more prepared to ask questions of others and to actually LISTEN to their replies ... then discuss constructively.

It might appear at first blush that because I am the organiser of a meeting where a non-evolutionary point of view is to be put, that I fit a certain profile ... well, nothing is as simple as that, is it? Most of my life I have been an evolutionist, at least, in terms of the science of origins. I am a theist in terms of the philosophy of origins. Recently however I have decided to allow non-evolutionist science-of-origins points of view a hearing, and I have found some of the arguments to be persuasive. So I am certainly going to enjoy hearing what Jon has to say.

Nobody has bothered to ask WHY I organised for Jon to come down to do a public meeting ... given that the topic is controversial.

1) Evolution gets a very good run in the media ... naturally, its the leading origins theory (daylight for 2nd place) ... it is presented as fact and accepted by the majority of people as fact. likewise, all the accompanying theories such as the Big Bang get treated as fact, despite the increasing number of problems that the big bang has. that ticks me off. I think it is healthy for alternative points of view to have an opportunity to be aired, because creationism and intelligent design are poorly understood. I think it is appalling, for example, that many theists go through life without confronting the difficult issue of origins (this was my situation). So best get it out in the open and talk about it.

2) Jon is a chess player, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone and get him to do a simul to help promote the chess club ... since our church is sponsoring the public meeting and paying for Jon to come down from Brisbane, the chess club in effect gets Jon "for free" (thanks to his preparedness to help us out, for which I thank him as its a very generous offer). I am committed to building Croydon Chess into a long-term successful club, so this was one way of helping build our membership for basically zero cost.

3) Having read a number of pro-ID and pro-Creationist books recently, it was a great opportunity for me personally to spend some time with someone who knows this subject area well. I have many questions for Jon. :)

If the universe is as big as science says it is, and if it is as old as science says it is ... then we humans know a vanishingly small amount about all that there is to learn about our universe. The confidence with which people (on both sides of creation/id/evolution discussions) make pronouncements about what is and is not a "fact" takes my breath away.

When all is said and done, I remain a committed theist ... but that is a discussion for the Does God Exist thread.

Kevin Bonham
08-02-2006, 10:04 AM
Speakers background
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Sarfati

That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio and reads so much like it is what the man himself would write that I suggest someone more acquainted with Wikipedia protocol than I am improve it or report it for NPOV violation. For instance the "critics" link links only to his rebuttal of criticism and not directly to any of his critics.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 10:09 AM
That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio
It didn't read one-sided to me. e.g. the somewhat controversial "Moral" section.

But if its lacking in criticism content, all that needs to happen is for someone to provide the content to Wiki? Isn't that how its supposed to work? If nobody can be bothered to supply the content, the content simply doesn't exist.

pballard
08-02-2006, 10:22 AM
That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio and reads so much like it is what the man himself would write that I suggest someone more acquainted with Wikipedia protocol than I am improve it or report it for NPOV violation. For instance the "critics" link links only to his rebuttal of criticism and not directly to any of his critics.

I agree it needs more critical content, but you're wrong on that last point. The one link in the critics section, while a Christian site, is indeed critical of Safarti and young-earth creationism.

qpawn
08-02-2006, 10:39 AM
First, I feel that there are some misunderstandings in thses posts about the finality of science.

I agree that the big bang and astrophysics in general are aspects of science that are highly problematic. I have been a member and librarian of the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society for over 5 years. We have had many talks from highly qualified astrophysicists including Dr Andrew Prentice and Dr Tanya Hill. Last year an astrophysicist began his talk by saying that everything he was about to say could well be seen as nonsense in a few years' time! He said that astrophysical science was changing so fast that the sound of textbooks being ripped up could almost literally be heard in every research dept.

I would view most science, evolution theory included, as being an attempt to learn about the world in which new observations, ideas and data could at any time change, or even supersede entirely, the current prevailing scientific thinking.

It is a common mistake among creationists to atatch far more finality to evolution theory than what reputable scientists would do.

Kevin Bonham
08-02-2006, 10:41 AM
I agree it needs more critical content, but you're wrong on that last point. The one link in the critics section, while a Christian site, is indeed critical of Safarti and young-earth creationism.

I stand corrected - read it too quickly and assumed that was an AiG link not an "Answers in Creation" link which turns out to be something very different.

The site linked to is actually quite interesting, as apologetics sites go.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 01:02 PM
Who said he wasn't allowing questions? If you read my response to KB I said that I would ask Jon about this ... but I haven't yet gotten a reply.
For those that were wondering ... I have checked with Jon ... yes, there will be time allocated for questions "from the floor" at the end of his presentation.

Rincewind
08-02-2006, 03:27 PM
While I admire the chess abilities of Mr Sarfati...

To be fair I should point out it is Dr Sarfati as pointed out in Frosty's introduction of him to this thread. I believe his PhD was in the field of physical chemistry (perhaps someone could correct me if I am wrong, I'm away at the moment and time for research of the facts is limited and so I'm relying on my memory here) and as such it is interesting that he is billed (and I believe accurately so) as a leading creationist author. To me physical chemists would be one of the last professions to be motivated to write on creationism as it would have little or no impact on their field of study. Thoughts...

Kevin Bonham
08-02-2006, 03:43 PM
To me physical chemists would be one of the last professions to be motivated to write on creationism as it would have little or no impact on their field of study. Thoughts...

This actually seems to be a trend - those scientists who are creationists tend to have expertise in areas largely unconnected to points of issue in the controversy. Presumably knowing enough about relevant scientific issues is an effective barrier to becoming a Creationist, and becoming a Creationist is an effective barrier to studying under those meanie Darwinists in the life sciences and geology departments.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 04:17 PM
... it is interesting that he is billed (and I believe accurately so) as a leading creationist author. To me physical chemists would be one of the last professions to be motivated to write on creationism as it would have little or no impact on their field of study. Thoughts...
When I refer to him as a "leading creationist author" (which seems correct, based on sales of more than a quarter of a million books) this is based on what I would call his populist writings. It is much the same as with a guy like Richard Dawkins as a "leading evolutionist author" (his technical field is, I believe, zoology, I don't know how far outside of that field he goes). Or you might consider popular figures such as Attenborough, or whatever.

There are many creationists who publish research papers (e.g. in the Creation Technical Journal) but as these are highly technical pieces of work, I wouldn't regard them as "leading authors" on that basis, only on what I would term their publicly-accessible writings. Life is too short for me to be bothered with reading such technical materials, whether evolutionary, i.d. or creationist.

There are creationists who publish both research papers and popular books (e.g. physicist Russell Humphries ... I have his little paperback book entitled "Starlight and Time").

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 04:24 PM
This actually seems to be a trend - those scientists who are creationists tend to have expertise in areas largely unconnected to points of issue in the controversy. Presumably knowing enough about relevant scientific issues is an effective barrier to becoming a Creationist, and becoming a Creationist is an effective barrier to studying under those meanie Darwinists in the life sciences and geology departments.
http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/bios/default.asp

Plenty of life sciences represented there ... I see Biology, Botany, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Genetics and many others. Perhaps there are other negative factors at work (e.g. there are a number of cases of quite vocal creationists who are confident to speak out because they have tenure ... perhaps those that don't have tenure fear for their jobs if they speak out?).

Rhubarb
08-02-2006, 04:59 PM
Perhaps because they're mavericks, perhaps because they're stupid, perhaps because they're insane...

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

Time deals the cruelest fate to the faux-scientists. They are forgotten.

Kevin Bonham
08-02-2006, 05:23 PM
Plenty of life sciences represented there ... I see Biology, Botany, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Genetics and many others.

About 20% of the list in relevant fields depending on what you count. I am surprised by that; I thought it would be lower.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 05:33 PM
About 20% of the list in relevant fields depending on what you count. I am surprised by that; I thought it would be lower.
Overall, it may well be. I have seen rough estimates that there may be as many as 10,000 creationist-viewpoint qualified scientists in the USA. No idea whether that's even remotely close to accurate. So the list I posted may be unrepresentative of the creationist scientific population ... it may have been deliberately constructed so as to cover the gamut of disciplines.

It might be interesting to know whether there's a representative spread amongst creationist scientists (I suspect it'll be relatively close to the overall scientific population) and then compare that to intelligent design proponents (the non-creationist variety). I reckon the spread would be very different with I.D., but I have no stats to lend support to that view.

qpawn
08-02-2006, 06:07 PM
I am glad if Dr Sarfati is willing to answer questions.

Nonetheless "creationism" and "young earth creationism" sound like the most disreputable pseudo-science I can imagine.

I hope that it isn't 6000 year young creationism.

And created by what anyway? I think if I turned up to his talk I would just walk out after about 10 minutes; I would have to confine my laughter at this sort of stupidity to some quiet corner of the road.

There are some REALLY well qualified scientists who believe in this creationist stuff. One is that Dr Polkinghorne who goes around the world speaking about it. How these people claim to repersent anything that could be called a scientific method is beyond me. Indeed, if I had been one of their lecturers at university I would feel quite embarassed that I had tried, and failed, to instill any clear thinking in my stuudent.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 07:24 PM
There are some REALLY well qualified scientists who believe in this creationist stuff.
Yes, that's the really interesting thing about it. You would have thought 50-100 years ago that Y.E.C.s were an endangered breed ... but it is making a comeback. Provided that the discussions centre around the science of things, then I think that is healthy and nobody should fear it.

I don't understand all the issues in respect of what's happening in the USA. The "Intelligent Design" Dateline program on SBS starts at 8:30pm tonight ... that's in 5 minutes! ... (in Melbourne anyway, not sure about other states). I think the idea of scientists, parents and schools suing one another is dreadful. But neither do I think that sweeping it all under the carpet will do.

I would be quite content if my kids were taught all the ins-and-outs of evolution and its related theories PROVIDED a small amount of time was also set aside to consider a few of the main claims of the competing theories.

Spiny Norman
08-02-2006, 08:18 PM
"Intelligent Design" Dateline program on SBS starts at 8:30pm tonight
I thought the program was excellent and covered the facts of the matter really well (i.e. re: the hullabaloo in Kansas and elsewhere in the USA). Unfortunately it was also quite transparently slanted in such a way as to ridicule the non-evolutionist point of view. They could have easily left that out of the program and still communicated the message (trust the media not to let people make up their own mind). I thought the guy who did most of the talking for the evolutionist case presented his ideas really well.

pballard
08-02-2006, 09:52 PM
I am glad if Dr Sarfati is willing to answer questions.

Nonetheless "creationism" and "young earth creationism" sound like the most disreputable pseudo-science I can imagine.

I hope that it isn't 6000 year young creationism.

And created by what anyway? I think if I turned up to his talk I would just walk out after about 10 minutes; I would have to confine my laughter at this sort of stupidity to some quiet corner of the road.

There are some REALLY well qualified scientists who believe in this creationist stuff. One is that Dr Polkinghorne who goes around the world speaking about it. How these people claim to repersent anything that could be called a scientific method is beyond me. Indeed, if I had been one of their lecturers at university I would feel quite embarassed that I had tried, and failed, to instill any clear thinking in my stuudent.

I get the impression you don't know much about Safarti or Polkinghorne, or the differences between their beliefs.

PHAT
08-02-2006, 10:12 PM
Time deals the cruelest fate to the faux-scientists. They are forgotten.

Dr Fankenstein , Dr Smith, Dr Strangelove, Dr Doolittle, Doctor, doctor you've got to help me - I just can't stop my hands shaking!" "Do you drink a lot?" "Not really - I spill most of it!"

Kevin Bonham
08-02-2006, 10:22 PM
Any chance of getting Sarfati on this bulletin board? In 2002 he and Matt used to have some ripper flamewars. We could do with the entertainment!

Alan Shore
09-02-2006, 01:40 AM
Any chance of getting Sarfati on this bulletin board? In 2002 he and Matt used to have some ripper flamewars. We could do with the entertainment!

Please yes... drag him on here if you have to Frosty.

I think the KB vs. JONO arguments would be more entertaining still. :cool:

Spiny Norman
09-02-2006, 06:25 AM
Any chance of getting Sarfati on this bulletin board? In 2002 he and Matt used to have some ripper flamewars. We could do with the entertainment!
I'll ask Jon about it when I see him ... but I suspect he's probably too busy nowadays. Given he's an author who has sold 100s of 1000s of books I imagine he gets a lot of correspondence. Then there's the "day job" work he does for AiG doing research, editorial work, etc. Lastly there's the travel and speaking engagements (such as this weekend). But it would be interesting, yes, I actually went and found the old bulletin board the other day to see whether any of the old discussions were on there, but alas, no, I couldn't find anything written by Jon.

shaun
09-02-2006, 08:21 AM
I would be quite content if my kids were taught all the ins-and-outs of evolution and its related theories PROVIDED a small amount of time was also set aside to consider a few of the main claims of the competing theories.

Indeed. Here is a link to the fastest growing 'creationist' belief system in the world at the moment

http://www.venganza.org/

Spiny Norman
09-02-2006, 08:45 AM
http://www.venganza.org/
Might create endless hours of amusement for some ... but its pretty juvenile ... in fact, it reminds me of the sort of nonsense that went on when evolutionary theory was first proposed and people were accused of being their monkey's uncle. So the wheel turns.

Incidentally, for anyone who watched the SBS show last night ... did you notice the strawman picture of evolution that was mentioned? i.e. at some point in the program it talked about "humans evolving from chimpanzees". That's the kind of media misinformation that obfuscates and confuses people's thinking.

Not to mention that deliberate slanting of the program in an anti-ID/anti-creationist tone. Several examples:
- a pro-ID DVD was called a "slick production" (why not "professionally produced"?)
- a professor of evolutionary biology was extensively interviewed, but no counterpart from the ID/creationist side was asked for comment (only the head of the Kansas school board, and he is not a scientist)

shaun
09-02-2006, 09:02 AM
Might create endless hours of amusement for some ... but its pretty juvenile ... in fact, it reminds me of the sort of nonsense that went on when evolutionary theory was first proposed and people were accused of being their monkey's uncle. So the wheel turns.

I strongly object to you mocking the belief system of so many. It seems to me a perfectly valid attempt to explain life, the universe and everything. Surely it has as much right to be taught in schools as other, more politically connected, systems.

Spiny Norman
09-02-2006, 04:10 PM
I strongly object to you mocking the belief system of so many.
:boohoo:

Spiny Norman
09-02-2006, 04:16 PM
http://www.venganza.org/
Do they have a peer-reviewed Spaghetti Monster technical journal? That would be interesting reading ...

Southpaw Jim
09-02-2006, 09:24 PM
I'm not sure I have a problem with ID being taught in schools... in a religion class.

It's not science, it's a cynical sidestep on the part of the American religious right. Years ago they realised that they were :wall: trying to stop Darwinian theory being taught in schools, so instead they've developed something that they hoped would compete for science class-time instead, and potentially confusing the lil' buggers in the process.

Evolution is largely proven fact nowadays. People are as welcome to believe in ID as anything else, but it has no place in the science class (at least not until there is some kind of quantifiable, tested proof).

Alan Shore
10-02-2006, 02:02 AM
This more likely belongs on the DGE thread but since we're all here...

Peter Godly (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/294284) (click watch this movie)

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 05:22 AM
Peter Godly (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/294284) (click watch this movie)
Top stuff ... should be mandatory viewing for all Christians! :clap:

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 05:31 AM
I'm not sure I have a problem with ID being taught in schools... in a religion class.

It's not science, it's a cynical sidestep on the part of the American religious right. Years ago they realised that they were :wall: trying to stop Darwinian theory being taught in schools, so instead they've developed something that they hoped would compete for science class-time instead, and potentially confusing the lil' buggers in the process.

Evolution is largely proven fact nowadays. People are as welcome to believe in ID as anything else, but it has no place in the science class (at least not until there is some kind of quantifiable, tested proof).
I kind of agree with the first paragraph, but the problem is, there are elements of evolution that are also philosophical, not scientific, so are you also happy to have those bits excised from the curriculum and have a special religious studies class for that?

I agree with the first 80% of your 2nd paragraph too. Teaching kids how to apply critical thinking skills should be a net positive. But I expect there will be a huge variance in what is taught ... so just as you get "fundamentalists" wanting to teach nothing but ID/creationist views (not something I support), you also get "evolutionists" wanting to teach nothing but evolutionist views and glossing over some of the very difficult problems with specific aspects of evolutionary theory.

As for the third paragraph ... proven fact ... just how exactly has evolution been proven?

Now if they got into class and taught natural selection, taught genetics, taught geology, chemistry and so on and restricted themselves just to the actual scientific facts (that is, only what we actually observe), great. Then you could have a separate religious studies class where all the Christians/Moslems/Jews could leave and let the Atheists be taught Evolution ... then all the Atheists could leave and bring back in the Christians/Moslems/Jews and teach them I.D. :owned:

Davidflude
10-02-2006, 08:33 AM
Evolution is largely proven fact nowadays.

No no no. Scientific theories are never proved. Sometimes they are disproved.
Usually there is a paradigm shift, often associated with much gnashing of teeth and resistance, but which is eventually accepted as a new paradigm.

There are problems with evolutionary theory which any competant biologist could outline but creationism does not solve these problems. The big one of course is the scarcity of fossils of intermediate forms.

Scirntists work within the established theories despite the known problems. For example scientists could not explain certain observations using Newtonian physics. Einstein came up with a theory that could explain these observations.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-02-2006, 09:40 AM
Darwinism and selfish gene theory explain very well the process of evolving.
However, they are much more vulnerable when used to explain the creation of life.

1. Most of living forms appeared during Cambrian age between 530 and 520 millions years ago (so called "Cambrian explosion"). Since then there were few small evolutional (perfectly explained by selfish gene theory)changes, but nothing as dramatic.

2. If every existing living form mutated from small microorganism, geologist would find some "intermediate forms". They did not.

That suggests that creation was much more complicated and sophisticated process that mere "evolving by chance" from nothing.

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 10:17 AM
I just rolled 100 dice, and looked at the result. I did the maths, and worked out that the probability of this result was 10^77. The probability is so small, that it is clearly evidence of divine intervention.
Sorry pax, must've missed your contribution first time around. Randomly producing any old result is of course just as plausible or implausible as producing a desired improbable result. The challenge though surely is to demonstrate that it is likely to get a particular implausible result, not just any result.

Now I reckon the easiest way for you to get your desired result from 100 dice rolls would be to load the dice. Oops, sorry, that would require I.D. wouldn't it ...

Rincewind
10-02-2006, 10:38 AM
When I refer to him as a "leading creationist author" (which seems correct, based on sales of more than a quarter of a million books) this is based on what I would call his populist writings. It is much the same as with a guy like Richard Dawkins as a "leading evolutionist author" (his technical field is, I believe, zoology, I don't know how far outside of that field he goes). Or you might consider popular figures such as Attenborough, or whatever.

Yes, I was talking about Sarfati's populist writings. Dawkins' professional speciality is greatly influenced by the ID/evolution debate so it would seem natural to me that his populist writings would reflect this. I'm sure he makes comments well outside his area of speciality which is generally the norm for that sort of writing but the professional motivation is apparent. I can't see a professional motivation from physical chemistry.

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 10:38 AM
I'd be interested to know how much those commenting on the scarcity of intermediate forms on this thread actually know about how many intermediate forms have or have not been found.

These threads often turn into link wars with people linking bits from talkorigins, answersingenesis or ID sites according to their predelictions, but before getting to that point I would like to point out that you do not need to go to the fossil record to discover transitional forms because many forms of a transitional nature are with us today. (eg See my comments on residual shells and slug/snail transitional forms - malacology being my primary area of expertise - in posts 867 (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=74632&postcount=867) and 886 (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=74755&postcount=886) of the "Does God Exist?" thread.)

In any case there are stacks of transitional forms in the fossil record at levels higher than species. Intermediates between species are rare in the fossil record because the period over which a new species evolves in is typically short compared to the lifespan of each species as a stable entity.

Re the Cambrian explosion, while it's very interesting that so much diversity appeared in such a relatively short space of time, there is no reason why dramatic changes have to occur at a uniform pace. The ability for dramatic changes to succeed depends both on the environment at the time and the extent to which niches are already filled.

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 10:48 AM
Sorry pax, must've missed your contribution first time around. Randomly producing any old result is of course just as plausible or implausible as producing a desired improbable result. The challenge though surely is to demonstrate that it is likely to get a particular implausible result, not just any result.

Now I reckon the easiest way for you to get your desired result from 100 dice rolls would be to load the dice. Oops, sorry, that would require I.D. wouldn't it ...

Natural selection loads the dice anyway because unsuccessful rolls are far more likely to fail.

An example of a natural selection type process involving dice is this: roll 100 dice, keep every one that rolls a 6, and reroll the rest, moving those that roll a 6 aside each time, until all dice are showing a six. This will take hundreds of rolls to get 100 sixes compared to one roll for an intelligent designer loading the dice, but it is still so much faster than the 6X10^77 attempts expected to get 100 sixes all at once with fresh rerolls of all dice.

It's not that simple because rather than keeping all of the sixes natural selection knocks a few of the sixes on the head and keeps quite a few fives and even the occassional one, but the point is that directed chance is incredibly fast compared to undirected chance.


No no no. Scientific theories are never proved. Sometimes they are disproved.
Usually there is a paradigm shift, often associated with much gnashing of teeth and resistance, but which is eventually accepted as a new paradigm.

When theories have withstood enough scrutiny and attempts to disprove them without being falsified, then "largely a proven fact" is fair enough for practical purposes. You don't have absolute proof but you have something that is very strongly supported as provisionally true, which is as close as you are going to get.

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 10:52 AM
No no no. Scientific theories are never proved. Sometimes they are disproved.

Ok, ok ok - my language was incorrect. What I really mean is that the evidence in support of evolution is overwhelming.
- genetic inheritance
- fossil record
- natural selection
- homology

ID proponents have been shown to quote scientific authorities out of context, and seem to have a prediliction for playing subtle games of semantics. I'm yet to hear any convincing evidence from the ID side of the street :whistle:

As someone who has studied science, I remain open to being persuaded, but at the same time highly skeptical.

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 10:53 AM
When theories have withstood enough scrutiny and attempts to disprove them without being falsified, then "largely a proven fact" is fair enough for practical purposes. You don't have absolute proof but you have something that is very strongly supported as provisionally true, which is as close as you are going to get.

Thankyou - Kevin has expressed what I meant much better than I did :cool:

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 11:01 AM
Kevin, since its your specialty ... snails with residual shells (i.e. inside the body of the snail, or whatever form that takes) ... are any of these known to be a product of development (i.e. here's the same snail from NNN years ago, with no internal shell and here it is today with a shell, a gain of information)? Are they cases where the shell is gradually disappearing, a loss of information)? Or do we "not know" what is happening to the shells? Are there any known 'drivers' in terms of natural selection that are causing measurable change in one direction or another?

That's probably way too much information I'm looking for, but perhaps you can give me a 1-2 paragraph summary of the state of play?

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 11:02 AM
I kind of agree with the first paragraph, but the problem is, there are elements of evolution that are also philosophical, not scientific, so are you also happy to have those bits excised from the curriculum and have a special religious studies class for that?

Not sure quite what you mean here, unless you're referring to the underlying framework of philosophy of science principles also necessary for a wider range of science. If it's that, I think that philosophy of science should also be taught, in basic form, at earlier stages than it is. It disappoints me that people can pick up a B.Sc without having to do any philosophy of science at any stage.

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 11:05 AM
Natural selection loads the dice anyway because unsuccessful rolls are far more likely to fail.

An example of a natural selection type process involving dice is this: roll 100 dice, keep every one that rolls a 6, and reroll the rest, moving those that roll a 6 aside each time, until all dice are showing a six. This will take hundreds of rolls to get 100 sixes compared to one roll for an intelligent designer loading the dice, but it is still so much faster than the 6X10^77 attempts expected to get 100 sixes all at once with fresh rerolls of all dice.

It's not that simple because rather than keeping all of the sixes natural selection knocks a few of the sixes on the head and keeps quite a few fives and even the occassional one, but the point is that directed chance is incredibly fast compared to undirected chance.
I think pax's analogy fails completely, but for a different reason ... evolution requires that sometimes, when you roll the dice, you get a seven or an eight or something else ... this is the 'gain of information' problem that I still don't see any way around within the timeframes of the proposed age of the earth, observable mutation rates, and the probability that mutations will be positive rather than negative (they are universally observed to be almost always negative are they not?).

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 11:11 AM
Not sure quite what you mean here, unless you're referring to the underlying framework of philosophy of science principles also necessary for a wider range of science. If it's that, I think that philosophy of science should also be taught, in basic form, at earlier stages than it is. It disappoints me that people can pick up a B.Sc without having to do any philosophy of science at any stage.
Yes, that's part of what I mean. The "naturalism" aspect of science is not explained. This is what causes the conflict I think. When I watch TV shows, for example, I love the science of it, I love the wonderful examples of the world we live in, but I object to having the naturalist explanation of its origins shoved down my throat. To me that's a philosophical argument that is, well, "not science" (not as I see it anyway).

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 11:16 AM
I think pax's analogy fails completely, but for a different reason ... evolution requires that sometimes, when you roll the dice, you get a seven or an eight or something else ... this is the 'gain of information' problem that I still don't see any way around within the timeframes of the proposed age of the earth, observable mutation rates, and the probability that mutations will be positive rather than negative (they are universally observed to be almost always negative are they not?).
Further to that, I can see that as a result of rolling the dice one of the spots on one of the numbers might wear off gradually ... so you might get two fours, or a one might become a zero ... but how are you going to generate the extra spots needed for a seven or and eight?

Rincewind
10-02-2006, 11:29 AM
I think pax's analogy fails completely, but for a different reason ... evolution requires that sometimes, when you roll the dice, you get a seven or an eight or something else ... this is the 'gain of information' problem that I still don't see any way around within the timeframes of the proposed age of the earth, observable mutation rates, and the probability that mutations will be positive rather than negative (they are universally observed to be almost always negative are they not?).

Your analogy is mistaken. The dice all have 4 faces and don't require any more. The information (if you want to call it that) lies in their arrangement. If a particular arrangement can take advantage of some evironmental condition and that arrangement can occur randomally (especially if there is a genetic pathway to that arrangement which can take avantage of yahtze-effect) then it will eventually occur. Information is not being created. If you like, the information already existed in the environment. Over all the universe is disordered but there are pockets of apparent order here and there which is as you would expect from a distribution.

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 11:30 AM
Kevin, since its your specialty ... snails with residual shells (i.e. inside the body of the snail, or whatever form that takes) ... are any of these known to be a product of development (i.e. here's the same snail from NNN years ago, with no internal shell and here it is today with a shell, a gain of information)?

In 886 I wrote: "Fossil evidence is pretty useless with these things because land slug fossils are extremely rare (for obvious reasons) and unless a slug appears extremely similar to something living today then it is impossible to place it taxonomically. There is very strong indirect evidence for shell gain and loss in different families from the number of cases in which very closely related species (as shown by DNA) will differ wildly in shell form."


Are they cases where the shell is gradually disappearing, a loss of information)? Or do we "not know" what is happening to the shells?

The shell gradually disappearing is not a loss of information but a change in the way information is used.


Are there any known 'drivers' in terms of natural selection that are causing measurable change in one direction or another?

I'm not aware of any experiments to demonstrate measurable change in the present day in any species.

Natural selection drivers likely to operate on this issue include: for having a shell - protection from dessication, heat, predators and accidental injury; for discarding or reducing a shell - mobility, lower body mass (hence less energy needed), and ability to function in low-calcium areas.

Rincewind
10-02-2006, 11:31 AM
Further to that, I can see that as a result of rolling the dice one of the spots on one of the numbers might wear off gradually ... so you might get two fours, or a one might become a zero ... but how are you going to generate the extra spots needed for a seven or and eight?

You don;t need to, with one die you have 0-3 with two dice you have 0-15 with three die you get 0-63, etc. The dice don't need to change, just their number and Nature is good at replication.

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 11:50 AM
I'm not aware of any experiments to demonstrate measurable change in the present day in any species.
Perhaps this would be a useful long-term project (very long term!). Sequencing DNA to build a map of, say, the genome of known things (relatively simple things such as a virus) and then tracking it over hundreds of years to see whether (1) increased complexity results; and (2) what kind of increased complexity.

BTW, Barry, I still disagree with your assessment of the dice analogy. Replication/duplication of existing information is not new information. A dog with 5 legs might be a wonderous example of deformity or duplication of part of the existing genome ... but its not the same thing as observing a dog that sprouts wings and flys away. ;)

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 11:50 AM
I think pax's analogy fails completely, but for a different reason ...

I don't have any problem with pax's analogy at all, because it's useful for something relevant: creationists and ID supporters often argue that it is staggeringly improbable for things to be as they are. But if you look at any sufficiently large series of stochastic events the probability of things being exactly as they are becomes close to zero. That's irrelevant, because the question is whether things being this way rather than any other individually improbable way is significant.

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 11:54 AM
BTW, Barry, I still disagree with your assessment of the dice analogy. Replication/duplication of existing information is not new information. A dog with 5 legs might be a wonderous example of deformity or duplication of part of the existing genome ... but its not the same thing as observing a dog that sprouts wings and flys away. ;)

Curious about what you mean by "information" here.

In the discussion about eyes in the DGE thread we covered how eyes can develop gradually from eyeless creatures (something that has happened in many different ways). At what point is "information" new and what information is new?

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 12:05 PM
Curious about what you mean by "information" here.
In the discussion about eyes in the DGE thread we covered how eyes can develop gradually from eyeless creatures (something that has happened in many different ways). At what point is "information" new and what information is new?
If an organism swaps/recombines genetic material with another compatible (but different) organism (e.g. the grass example, where one type with "63" and another with "77" can cross-polinate and produce a "70" ... one example of evolution given elsewhere), then that seems to me to be a certain kind of evolution. Recombination/cross-breeding/etc. I don't have a problem with that.

What I simply can not see is an example where an organism gains new and unique genetic material that makes it into quite a different kind of organism (e.g. wings developing on birds). I think evolution has real trouble explaining that sort of development.

I note your comments re: eye development, but I cannot see evidence for development from 'simple' to 'complex'. The story sounds plausible, however I am interested in concrete examples. Most of the searching I have done on that topic turns up examples of organisms that are old from an evolutionary perspective (turn up early in the 'tree') yet have very complex systems of vision.

EDIT: Ducking out for lunch ... then have to pick up Jono from the airport. I'll ask him about this stuff and see what he reckons.

Rincewind
10-02-2006, 12:18 PM
BTW, Barry, I still disagree with your assessment of the dice analogy. Replication/duplication of existing information is not new information. A dog with 5 legs might be a wonderous example of deformity or duplication of part of the existing genome ... but its not the same thing as observing a dog that sprouts wings and flys away. ;)

It's all about genetic pathways. The fact that you have a the ability to store variety is what is important.

Imagine you have a piece of computer memory initialised to zero and way of adding 1 to it. When ever you add one to it it holds a completely new number. So when it goes from 0 to 1, have you created information?

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 12:57 PM
A dog with 5 legs might be a wonderous example of deformity or duplication of part of the existing genome ... but its not the same thing as observing a dog that sprouts wings and flys away. ;)

I may be misunderstanding what you're saying, but in terms of genetics its more or less the same thing.

Wings on a dog would not 'sprout'. If dogs developed wings, then this would be a result of progressive mutation over generations - the survival of successive generations inheriting it and it becoming more pronounced.

WRT to birds developing wings, well the theory is that they developed from reptiles which ran and jumped. The process of jumping meant that the development of wings was advantageous, and thus what were forelimbs became wings with feathers (nb, ever noticed that birds have scaly legs?). For more info on the theory as to the evolution of birds (if you're not already aware of it, apologies if you are), refer to the story of Achaeopteryx: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/archaeopteryx.html (Achaeopteryx)

Igor_Goldenberg
10-02-2006, 01:02 PM
Are therer any geological evidences of an species between dogs and birds? (or anything else in that class). Those changes would happen over the lifetime of many generations (taking at least hundreds thousand years, if not more), which would leave some fossils.

We have plenty of evidences of a small changes within same classes. I haven't heard of any evidences about big changes from one class to another.

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 01:19 PM
Are therer any geological evidences of an species between dogs and birds? (or anything else in that class). Those changes would happen over the lifetime of many generations (taking at least hundreds thousand years, if not more), which would leave some fossils.

We have plenty of evidences of a small changes within same classes. I haven't heard of any evidences about big changes from one class to another.

I guess it depends on what you're referring to by 'class'. Big changes are unlikely to occur and persist, because they're likely to be lethal in some way. Most such aberrations would result in embryonic failure (ie a miscarriage).

Would it be enough to point out that all mammals, from whales to rats are very similar in their anatomy, from a homology point-of-view? Sure sizes and shapes of bones are wildly different, but the same basic structure/arrangement is there.

In a way a lot of evolutionary change can be though of like a positional chess player - the slow accretion of small advantageous changes. Successful big changes would be rare, if they occur at all (I say this with the caveat that it's been 10 years since I studied any of this stuff).

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 01:26 PM
It's all about genetic pathways. The fact that you have a the ability to store variety is what is important.

Imagine you have a piece of computer memory initialised to zero and way of adding 1 to it. When ever you add one to it it holds a completely new number. So when it goes from 0 to 1, have you created information?
Now you're talking my language! :D Of course, yes, you can incrementally add all sorts of random/new data to a computer's memory. I would be interested in knowing whether there are good examples of such random additions improving the experience for the computer user. You can even add data outside of the bounds of the currently running program, provided you don't mind complete malfunctions (remember GPFs?). I would also be curious to know whether anyone here believes that computers evolved ... not in the sense that we can observe many gradations from the simple to the complex, but whether they achieved this without intelligent input from somewhere.

I have spent much of my life managing the fallout from numerous "random changes" to information systems. People who enter data in without thinking, data that is corrupted through power failures, through failures of the storage mechanism. I can't recall ever having gotten a new CRM system through such accumulation of random mutations. Yes, I recognise that the application of natural selection to the process might over millions or billions of years yield an improved set of data ... but I can't prove that, and the more I think about it, the more unlikely that seems.

But anyway, we're talking about a different kettle of fish, aren't we? We're talking about biological organisms, so the "rules" of information technology don't really apply. One of the most interesting aspects of I.D. (to me) is the idea that you can look at an arrowhead laying on the beach and immediately, intuitively, you just KNOW that it was manufactured. Yes, I can conceived of such things being created by natural processes, but nevertheless, that does not mean that on the balance of probabilities I should believe such a thing. So the process that goes on in the identification of design is where much thought should be applied (and, it seems, is being applied). Just what IS design? Are there different kinds of design? What tests can be reasonably applied to infer design. That's the part of I.D. that I find really interesting ... not the scientists bickering over some fact or other ... because if I.D. can establish some credible rules for this process then we might all end up in the situation where evolution can (finally) demonstrate the mechanism of creation, and yet it might be simultaneously possible to be an intellectually fulfilled theist (to misquote Dawkins) because of I.D.

Thoughts?

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 01:28 PM
Would it be enough to point out that all mammals, from whales to rats are very similar in their anatomy, from a homology point-of-view? Sure sizes and shapes of bones are wildly different, but the same basic structure/arrangement is there.
The argument of homology cuts both ways ... it can also be reasonably interpreted as an argument for a common designer (e.g. Falcon and Fairmont, sedan and station wagon, all use a common chassis, but they didn't evolve from one another, a designer chose to use the common platform).

pax
10-02-2006, 01:29 PM
Sorry pax, must've missed your contribution first time around. Randomly producing any old result is of course just as plausible or implausible as producing a desired improbable result. The challenge though surely is to demonstrate that it is likely to get a particular implausible result, not just any result.

Now I reckon the easiest way for you to get your desired result from 100 dice rolls would be to load the dice. Oops, sorry, that would require I.D. wouldn't it ...

You missed the point.

Many ID advocates say that because the coincidences required to arrive at human life are so improbable (10^(a lot)), this is evidence of a designer.

The problem with this is that we are arguing from a posterior position. The dice have been rolled, humanity has evolved and we are here to observe the fact. The fact is that *any prescribed outcome* in the development of a Universe according to the laws of Physics is vanishingly unlikely!

It is very difficult to set this experiment up again, and see if the probabilistic ID argument holds up (let alone perform the experiment enough times for a statistically significant conclusion).

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 01:31 PM
WRT to birds developing wings, well the theory is that they developed from reptiles which ran and jumped. The process of jumping meant that the development of wings was advantageous, and thus what were forelimbs became wings with feathers (nb, ever noticed that birds have scaly legs?). For more info on the theory as to the evolution of birds (if you're not already aware of it, apologies if you are), refer to the story of Achaeopteryx: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/archaeopteryx.html (Achaeopteryx)
Have a look through the "Does God Exist" thread where a lot of this stuff has already been covered (allow yourself a whole weekend though). The spectrum of opinion over Achaeopteryx runs the gamut of opinion, from evolution (majority position) to non-evolution (at least one world authority on birds says its nothing more than a bird) to allegations of fraud (hotly disputed and claimed as refuted, but the allegation is there nonetheless).

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 01:33 PM
You missed the point.
No, I do get it ... :) ... Dawkins in effect puts the same argument with his "Weasel" program. ID-ists and Creation-ists dispute the argument. I'm not an expert on it, and since I still haven't read Dawkins I should probably refrain from commenting further until I do.

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 01:35 PM
I'm rapidly forming another opinion, which I am not sure I can express ... but basically I get the feeling that this whole evolution/id/creation thing is an insoluble problem. Sooner or later it is going to come down to a philosophical dispute and that, surely, is a matter of preference?

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 01:36 PM
The argument of homology cuts both ways ... it can also be reasonably interpreted as an argument for a common designer (e.g. Falcon and Fairmont, sedan and station wagon, all use a common chassis, but they didn't evolve from one another, a designer chose to use the common platform).

I disagree - homology is a likely artefact of evolution where species have diverged. I see how IDers could try and use the analogy you have, to assert the existence of a designer, but that is inference with no direct evidence. One of the principal problems with ID (as I see it) is that mere complexity is, per se, claimed as evidence of design - IMO this is spurious.

I'd like to argue this a little more fully, but I'm at work and my internet activity is monitored. If the debate hasn't rampaged much further by later tonight, I may have more to say. :cool:

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 01:40 PM
basically I get the feeling that this whole evolution/id/creation thing is an insoluble problem. Sooner or later it is going to come down to a philosophical dispute and that, surely, is a matter of preference?


Yes. The problem is that essentially to accept ID, is the same as religion - a matter of faith. Without direct observable evidence that can be observed repeatedly, people such as myself will never accept it. To be accepted as science, ID must conform to scientific method and produce some hard physical evidence, instead of mere inferences from the existence of complexity and beauty in nature.

Fortunately we haven't yet degenerated to the typical "insoluble argument" outcome of namecalling :D

Kevin Bonham
10-02-2006, 01:45 PM
Are therer any geological evidences of an species between dogs and birds? (or anything else in that class). Those changes would happen over the lifetime of many generations (taking at least hundreds thousand years, if not more), which would leave some fossils.

We have plenty of evidences of a small changes within same classes. I haven't heard of any evidences about big changes from one class to another.

OK, it's link-posting time again!

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html gives heaps of evidence for transitional forms between vertebrate groups.


What I simply can not see is an example where an organism gains new and unique genetic material that makes it into quite a different kind of organism (e.g. wings developing on birds). I think evolution has real trouble explaining that sort of development.

Suppose over time dogs were to gradually develop knobs on their shoulderblades (for whatever reason), which gradually got longer and eventually developed skin flaps which led to gliding capacity and gradually to structures capable of proper flight. (There's no reason why this would happen, but assume it does). Each of these gradual changes along the way can be accompanied with minimal genetic changes so at what point does the "new information" suddenly have to appear?

I agree that there would be a problem if dogs suddenly developed the ability to grow huge wings from nowhere. However this isn't how it happens.

(Igor should have used pigs as an example. :lol: )

pax
10-02-2006, 02:29 PM
Frosty, with all of this talk about 'information', you're starting to sound like Gish. You're not about to quote the laws of thermodynamics, are you? :hand:

Rincewind
10-02-2006, 02:47 PM
Now you're talking my language! :D Of course, yes, you can incrementally add all sorts of random/new data to a computer's memory. I would be interested in knowing whether there are good examples of such random additions improving the experience for the computer user. You can even add data outside of the bounds of the currently running program, provided you don't mind complete malfunctions (remember GPFs?). I would also be curious to know whether anyone here believes that computers evolved ... not in the sense that we can observe many gradations from the simple to the complex, but whether they achieved this without intelligent input from somewhere.

I have spent much of my life managing the fallout from numerous "random changes" to information systems. People who enter data in without thinking, data that is corrupted through power failures, through failures of the storage mechanism. I can't recall ever having gotten a new CRM system through such accumulation of random mutations. Yes, I recognise that the application of natural selection to the process might over millions or billions of years yield an improved set of data ... but I can't prove that, and the more I think about it, the more unlikely that seems.

But anyway, we're talking about a different kettle of fish, aren't we? We're talking about biological organisms, so the "rules" of information technology don't really apply. One of the most interesting aspects of I.D. (to me) is the idea that you can look at an arrowhead laying on the beach and immediately, intuitively, you just KNOW that it was manufactured. Yes, I can conceived of such things being created by natural processes, but nevertheless, that does not mean that on the balance of probabilities I should believe such a thing. So the process that goes on in the identification of design is where much thought should be applied (and, it seems, is being applied). Just what IS design? Are there different kinds of design? What tests can be reasonably applied to infer design. That's the part of I.D. that I find really interesting ... not the scientists bickering over some fact or other ... because if I.D. can establish some credible rules for this process then we might all end up in the situation where evolution can (finally) demonstrate the mechanism of creation, and yet it might be simultaneously possible to be an intellectually fulfilled theist (to misquote Dawkins) because of I.D.

Thoughts?

Did you answer my question?

Igor_Goldenberg
10-02-2006, 04:01 PM
OK, it's link-posting time again!

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html gives heaps of evidence for transitional forms between vertebrate groups.



Suppose over time dogs were to gradually develop knobs on their shoulderblades (for whatever reason), which gradually got longer and eventually developed skin flaps which led to gliding capacity and gradually to structures capable of proper flight. (There's no reason why this would happen, but assume it does). Each of these gradual changes along the way can be accompanied with minimal genetic changes so at what point does the "new information" suddenly have to appear?

I agree that there would be a problem if dogs suddenly developed the ability to grow huge wings from nowhere. However this isn't how it happens.

(Igor should have used pigs as an example. :lol: )

Kevin,

I'll look at the site when I have more time. I noticed it goes to some length to explain why there are gaps, but I honestly don't have much time now to read it.

Trying to use "common sense approach", one has to ask why living forms we observe now are so simular to those that appeared during Cambrian period? How come more then 500 millions years of evolution has a less dramatic change then preceding 20 millions years?

The logical answer to me is that theory of evolution alone is not sufficient to explain "the origin of species".

pax
10-02-2006, 04:32 PM
I'm rapidly forming another opinion, which I am not sure I can express ... but basically I get the feeling that this whole evolution/id/creation thing is an insoluble problem. Sooner or later it is going to come down to a philosophical dispute and that, surely, is a matter of preference?

Oh no, you don't get away with it that easily. That is like saying "evolution is as much about faith as religion".

We are discussing process here, not cause. The evolutionist view of the process does not need to refer to philosophy. The creationist view does, of course - perhaps that's your problem :D

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 05:53 PM
Trying to use "common sense approach", one has to ask why living forms we observe now are so simular to those that appeared during Cambrian period? How come more then 500 millions years of evolution has a less dramatic change then preceding 20 millions years?

Your question is too vague. Which 'living forms' are you referring to? Similar how?

If you're referring to the fact that there are lifeforms such as bacteria etc, that appear 'unevolved', then the answer is that not all species can/will/have to evolve. They may be an evolutionary dead end, or be perfectly adapted to their environment and what they do in it, or both. An organism may change dramatically over a period, and then never change again. Consider the shark - it's as old as the dinosaurs, and hasn't changed since - however, it's the perfect killing machine so why would it?

Evolution doesn't have to happen if there's no need to. A well adapted organism will outperform its ecological competitors without any need for improvements. Humankind has done this over the last million years admirably - we dominate the planet to the exclusion of most other species.


The logical answer to me is that theory of evolution alone is not sufficient to explain "the origin of species".

I think you're confusing the species with all species. Neither Darwin, nor evolution theory generally, purport to explain the origins of life itself. Both are/were principally concerned with the development of one distinct species from another.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-02-2006, 09:22 PM
I referred to "Cambrian explosion", when most of the current living forms appeared (see earlier post)

ElevatorEscapee
10-02-2006, 09:43 PM
I referred to "Cambrian explosion", when most of the current living forms appeared (see earlier post)

These Cambrians are nothing but terrorists! All I ever read about them is the "Cambrian Explosion"! They seem to be blowing things up all the time!

I say, we should refuse to deal with them! In fact, I believe that the Cambrians are such a threat to our society that we should declare "War on Cambrianism!" :evil:

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 09:48 PM
I referred to "Cambrian explosion", when most of the current living forms appeared (see earlier post)

I understood that. And the substance of my previous post still stands - since then there perhaps has not been the same vacuum ecologically speaking that existed before the 'explosion'. Kinda like the space race - a lot of activity, and then a settled period.

Prior to the 'explosion' there would have been many empty niches for new organisms with new forms to fill. Since the 'explosion' those niches have been filled with creatures that are highly adatped for them, and there are not many environments that don't have some form of habitation, and therefore competition for them.

Thus, further evolution from that point is going to be 'at the margin' (to use an economics term), ie tinkering at the edges. To use my previous example - once the basic shark had evolved, there hasn't been the need for a radical change. It's a ruthless and efficient predator in the marine environment. Different sharks with different specialisations may arise, but without a radical change in the shark's environment (chemistry, temperature, food sources), we're unlikely to see a change in the fundamental ecology.

You're right to ask Kevin, however, as he's far more qualified to answer your question than I.

Southpaw Jim
10-02-2006, 09:50 PM
These Cambrians are nothing but terrorists! All I ever read about them is the "Cambrian Explosion"! They seem to be blowing things up all the time!

I say, we should refuse to deal with them! In fact, I believe that the Cambrians are such a threat to our society that we should declare "War on Cambrianism!" :evil:

Nah. Cambrians are was sooo, like, 500 million years ago. :)

PHAT
10-02-2006, 10:23 PM
DUdes.

Frosty seams to me to be a OK person.
He has some religious nonsence in his head -so what.
Leave him alone - he cannot besaved.

I cannnot stand to watch this exabition of of thirthy people kicking a dog to death because it nick a string a sausages.

ENOUGH!

Kevin,
on this BB, I am second only to you in arguing the intracies of neo Darwinian theory - but Ia m first in the biochem side. It is beneath you (and me) to go on more than a BigDayOut to discreadit Flat Earthers.They obviously have a screw loose, but that is no reason to feeed you r ego on
their credulity. Stop it!

Spiny Norman
10-02-2006, 10:46 PM
Thanks Matt ... I think ... :doh:

BTW folks, Jono says "hi".

PHAT
10-02-2006, 10:53 PM
Thanks Matt ... I think ... :doh:
No probs. I like harmony with people with their heart in the right place - reguardlesss of their rongness.

BTW folks, Jono says "hi".

Bing him on :evil: Bring him in here :evil: Bring an ambulance.:evil:

Spiny Norman
11-02-2006, 10:20 AM
Suppose over time dogs were to gradually develop knobs on their shoulderblades (for whatever reason), which gradually got longer and eventually developed skin flaps which led to gliding capacity and gradually to structures capable of proper flight. (There's no reason why this would happen, but assume it does). Each of these gradual changes along the way can be accompanied with minimal genetic changes so at what point does the "new information" suddenly have to appear?
I don't have a problem with the concept at all. Recent events in my family have demonstrated conclusively to me that genetic change is a real and powerful force. Insignificant changes to enzymes can have profound effects. But what I doubt is whether this can actually be shown to have happened in such a positive way as to generated all the life that we see on earth. On that point I am happy enough to sit back and wait to see if convincing evidence becomes available.

Science has the flexibility to accommodate much change. As pointed out, evolutionary theory would be dropped tomorrow if a better alternative became available and got some critical acclaim. Christianity does not have that luxury (I can't speak for other religions). So I think any attempt to harmonise Christianity with science is fraught with problems, because science may change its mind (it did over Darwin's theory in the 1800s and may well do so again at some future time).

Spiny Norman
11-02-2006, 10:22 AM
Frosty, with all of this talk about 'information', you're starting to sound like Gish. You're not about to quote the laws of thermodynamics, are you? :hand:
I don't know anything about thermodynamics ... but I work in IT so its natural for me to gravitate towards discussion about information.

Spiny Norman
11-02-2006, 10:25 AM
Did you answer my question?
Perhaps not. The act of "adding 1" can be viewed as "adding information", yes. It might depend on whether the addition was a random event that might or might not happen again. It might depend on whether the addition was part of a broader sequence of additions.

Spiny Norman
11-02-2006, 10:40 AM
Oh no, you don't get away with it that easily. That is like saying "evolution is as much about faith as religion".
We are discussing process here, not cause. The evolutionist view of the process does not need to refer to philosophy. The creationist view does, of course - perhaps that's your problem :D
It might sound like I'm saying that, but that is not what I said. There is an underlying assumption behind evolution which excludes any knowledge of anything which does not exist within the universe itself. So talk of something from outside our universe (for argument's sake, lets call that God ... or call it the great spaghetti monster if you are thusly inclined) must a priori be ruled out. I don't have a problem with people holding that view. But it is a philosophical view nonetheless. And I don't hold that view myself.

Lets say for argument's sake that something from outside our universe actually did give rise to this universe and to the life within it. Science will say that it can not possibly evaluate that scenario, because what we call science restricts itself to observable facts, repeatable process, and theories based on those facts and processes. That's okay, I don't have a problem with that ... but if, in fact, the universe and life was created, then that factual truth would be completely unknowable to science. Science could never discover it, and would therefore lead mankind further and further down a path which is a dead end.

Whilst science remains totally based on methodological naturalism, creation scientists are flogging a dead horse. They may uncover all sorts of astounding facts. They may demonstrate any amount of holes or flaws in current scientific understanding. But they will always be marginalised and always be flogging a dead horse ... because science, as defined today, simply can never accept their underpinning philosophical point of view.

That's why I think it is a conflict of philosophy, not of science.

Rincewind
11-02-2006, 11:06 AM
Perhaps not. The act of "adding 1" can be viewed as "adding information", yes. It might depend on whether the addition was a random event that might or might not happen again. It might depend on whether the addition was part of a broader sequence of additions.

Well if the answer to that question is "depends" then one wonders if the information is contained in the message or in its interpretation. If it is in its interpretation then perhaps we are reading the same message (complexity of life) and I am seeing a random signal and you are seeing a message from God. However as long as we agree that that message is purely an interpretation than that is ok. The point is no information has been created just rearranged in a way you interpret as significant. ;)

Spiny Norman
11-02-2006, 12:06 PM
Well if the answer to that question is "depends" then one wonders if the information is contained in the message or in its interpretation. If it is in its interpretation then perhaps we are reading the same message (complexity of life) and I am seeing a random signal and you are seeing a message from God. However as long as we agree that that message is purely an interpretation than that is ok. The point is no information has been created just rearranged in a way you interpret as significant. ;)
Does that mean that when I type this to you and you interpret it as a message, that you believe that its the interpretation that is most signficant? I don't think that this is all there is to it.

When I talk to a baby, they may or may not be able to understand what I say to them. But the nature or quality of my message to them is not necessarily defined by their ability to understand what I say. I may however choose to dumb down what I say to simple smiles, "meaningless" ga-ga talk, in order to communicate my message (i.e. that I love them). Messages can take surprising forms sometimes.

With teenagers, its not the ability to understand, its the willingness to understand ... so we all wait for them to "grow up".

Take S.E.T.I. ... what is the point of "listening for messages" from outer space? The point is that we are confident in our ability to recognise something in the nature of an intelligent message, to separate this information from static. All written language is "just letters arranged on a page". Any one combination of letters is equally improbable to any other combination of letters (I believe everyone here is agreed on that). There is a difference in that we recognise one as a message, the other as random babble. Beyond that there is the power to act on the message.

I am waiting on a book to be delivered, called "The Biotic Message" ... it proposes that life itself is a message. Should make for some interesting reading.

Rincewind
11-02-2006, 12:20 PM
Does that mean that when I type this to you and you interpret it as a message, that you believe that its the interpretation that is most signficant? I don't think that this is all there is to it.

No? Perhaps the confusion arises because you are a reflective person and you are hearing interpretations in your own message.

Kevin Bonham
11-02-2006, 06:32 PM
Trying to use "common sense approach", one has to ask why living forms we observe now are so simular to those that appeared during Cambrian period? How come more then 500 millions years of evolution has a less dramatic change then preceding 20 millions years?

The logical answer to me is that theory of evolution alone is not sufficient to explain "the origin of species".

Thought I posted on this yesterday but looks like it didn't make it.

The scientific answer is unusual conditions. There is strong geological evidence (called the "Snowball Earth" theory) that not long before the explosion the earth had been frozen over with ice covering all or nearly all the oceans for an extended period of time. To my knowledge, this is the only time this is thought to have happened in the last billion years.

After the ice thawed there would have been a sudden abundance of new niches, resulting in rapid diversification among multicellular organisms, which had recently appeared. Furthermore as many of these lineages survived, even had such extreme conditions been repeated later, the post-thaw niches would then have been filled by surviving multicellular groups rather than so readily by new groups.

It should also be noted that the Cambrian explosion, while massive and unrepeated since, is sometimes overstated. Technological limitations meant that some pre-existing forms were not recognised as such when the "explosion" was first noticed. Secondly, some of the Cambrian forms originally considered to be bizarre and inexplicable have since been placed in more established groups (an example being Hallucigenia, originally considered a new phylum but now believed to have been reconstructed upside-down.)

Kevin Bonham
11-02-2006, 07:20 PM
Frosty, re post 98: I know at least two "mainstream Christians" who are zoologists with PhDs (in fact both are quite a deal senior to me). Both these characters accept the naturalistic principle in their scientific work and reject ID and Young Earth Creationism alike utterly. They believe there is a God but they also believe that the scientific evidence is consistent both with there being a God and there not being a God. ID and YEC are different to this - both postulate that the scientific evidence is very probably not compatible with there not being a God. It claims that examination of the evidence along naturalistic lines leads eventually to the abandonment of naturalism on the grounds of extreme improbability.

When you write:


Science will say that it can not possibly evaluate that scenario, because what we call science restricts itself to observable facts, repeatable process, and theories based on those facts and processes. That's okay, I don't have a problem with that ... but if, in fact, the universe and life was created, then that factual truth would be completely unknowable to science. Science could never discover it, and would therefore lead mankind further and further down a path which is a dead end.

you miss an important qualifier. While science cannot evaluate the existence of a being outside the universe, if that being intervened observably and repeatedly, science could assess that evidence. It is only if such a being does not intervene observably and repeatedly that it becomes a hypothesis untestable by science. Hence the shrinking "god of the gaps" worshipped by many qualified scientists who are also Christians.

Also, science does not operate on the assumption that supernaturalism must be excluded a priori. At least, not necessarily. More accurately, scientists will typically only consider supernaturalism as an explanation once all reasonable possibility of naturalistic explanation has been exhausted.

Spiny Norman
12-02-2006, 07:26 AM
Also, science does not operate on the assumption that supernaturalism must be excluded a priori. At least, not necessarily. More accurately, scientists will typically only consider supernaturalism as an explanation once all reasonable possibility of naturalistic explanation has been exhausted.
Theoretically that may be so ... but at least some scientists don't seem to act that way ... I have read a quote from a leading evolutionist (sorry, can't remember who, might've been Gould?) that, in effect, says "Even if evolution is eventually shown to be impossible, we'll still believe it, we'll circle the wagons ..." (presumably to fight off those durn creationists). ;)

Spiny Norman
12-02-2006, 07:27 AM
No? Perhaps the confusion arises because you are a reflective person and you are hearing interpretations in your own message.
I'm not normally very reflective ... :hmm: ... :hmm: ... :eek:

Cat
12-02-2006, 09:17 AM
Thought I posted on this yesterday but looks like it didn't make it.

The scientific answer is unusual conditions. There is strong geological evidence (called the "Snowball Earth" theory) that not long before the explosion the earth had been frozen over with ice covering all or nearly all the oceans for an extended period of time. To my knowledge, this is the only time this is thought to have happened in the last billion years.

After the ice thawed there would have been a sudden abundance of new niches, resulting in rapid diversification among multicellular organisms, which had recently appeared. Furthermore as many of these lineages survived, even had such extreme conditions been repeated later, the post-thaw niches would then have been filled by surviving multicellular groups rather than so readily by new groups.

It should also be noted that the Cambrian explosion, while massive and unrepeated since, is sometimes overstated. Technological limitations meant that some pre-existing forms were not recognised as such when the "explosion" was first noticed. Secondly, some of the Cambrian forms originally considered to be bizarre and inexplicable have since been placed in more established groups (an example being Hallucigenia, originally considered a new phylum but now believed to have been reconstructed upside-down.)

Absolutely. I know we've covered this before but it's worth saying again, that evolution is not a linear process determined soley by point mutations in the genome; sexual reproduction permits recombinant forms which can accelerate diversification. This becomes especially significant during periods of extreme environmental stress - rather like today actually! Its called the Bush Effect.

Southpaw Jim
12-02-2006, 09:33 AM
Theoretically that may be so ... but at least some scientists don't seem to act that way ... I have read a quote from a leading evolutionist (sorry, can't remember who, might've been Gould?) that, in effect, says "Even if evolution is eventually shown to be impossible, we'll still believe it, we'll circle the wagons ..." (presumably to fight off those durn creationists). ;)

I find it highly improbable that this quote came from a 'leading evolutionist', or if it did, that it is accurately quoted (as opposed to misquoted or taken out of context).

I suspect you're referring to this (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa004&articleID=00020722-64FD-12BC-A0E483414B7FFE87&pageNumber=10&catID=4), which is the tail end of a report on a world evolution summit by Michael Shermer - a science writer and historian, and the founder of the Skeptics Society. 'Circling the wagons' is a claim commonly made by IDers about the scientific community. I also found an ID blog that dissected Shermer's report for SciAm and attacked the summit itself (I think because they weren't invited :owned: ).

Scientists are unlikely to hold onto a theory that is conclusively shown to be wrong... that'd be a Type II error!! :lol:

Kevin Bonham
12-02-2006, 11:47 AM
Theoretically that may be so ... but at least some scientists don't seem to act that way ... I have read a quote from a leading evolutionist (sorry, can't remember who, might've been Gould?) that, in effect, says "Even if evolution is eventually shown to be impossible, we'll still believe it, we'll circle the wagons ..." (presumably to fight off those durn creationists). ;)

I am also extremely sceptical that any leading evolutionist, especially Gould, had said such a thing. It would certainly have become a very famous quote in their biography if they had and I have never come across it for any of them.

There's not really much point in characterising the debate by what "some scientists" or "some Creationists" think. In any scientific debate a small minority of scientists will continue to argue a view long after it has been debunked. In any religious debate a small minority of believers will not. :lol:

PHAT
12-02-2006, 03:45 PM
...sexual reproduction permits recombinant forms which can accelerate diversification.

Actually, for diploidic adult form organisms, the effect is to smooth diversification, such that punctuated change in genomic equilibrium is less severe. ie the genotype to phenotype linkage is statistically elastic.

[ And no Frosty, I will not be explaning it. You will have to get yourself a B(Sc) ]

Libby
12-02-2006, 06:04 PM
Actually, for diploidic adult form organisms, the effect is to smooth diversification, such that punctuated change in genomic equilibrium is less severe. ie the genotype to phenotype linkage is statistically elastic.

[ And no Frosty, I will not be explaning it. You will have to get yourself a B(Sc) ]

Matt - I'd be prepared to credit you with coming up with that piece of information only if it was liberally peppered with spelling errors ...

PHAT
12-02-2006, 09:34 PM
Matt - I'd be prepared to credit you with coming up with that piece of information only if it was liberally peppered with spelling errors ...

:snooty: Actually, it has at least one: diploidic. It is not a word. Diploid is, but I just tacked "ic" on the end to help simplify my sentence structure. All the other boffin words are in my field. :cool:

While I am banging on about jargon as if it is a penis extender, I must say that the "best" essay title I ever came across was: Phylogeny Recapitulates Ontology. Discuss. :D

Libby
13-02-2006, 06:04 AM
:snooty: Actually, it has at least one: diploidic. It is not a word. Diploid is, but I just tacked "ic" on the end to help simplify my sentence structure. All the other boffin words are in my field. :cool:


:hmm: just haven't always thought your expertise has assisted your spelling. Serious Matt (as opposed to seriously cranky/stirring Matt) isn't something I'm used to :confused:

Cat
13-02-2006, 06:56 AM
Actually, for diploidic adult form organisms, the effect is to smooth diversification, such that punctuated change in genomic equilibrium is less severe. ie the genotype to phenotype linkage is statistically elastic.

[ And no Frosty, I will not be explaning it. You will have to get yourself a B(Sc) ]

Smoothing and diversification seem almost like contradictions, what exactly do you mean, Matt? How can we evaluate change in genomic equilibirium (as you put it) precisely, given that to observe such change taking place would take aeons? What's your evidence, how are you so sure? Either way sexual reproduction still permits diversification at rates unachievable through asexual reproduction.

Spiny Norman
13-02-2006, 07:04 AM
[ And no Frosty, I will not be explaning it. You will have to get yourself a B(Sc) ]
Wikipaedia will do me for now ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenotype

Southpaw Jim
13-02-2006, 08:39 AM
Smoothing and diversification seem almost like contradictions, what exactly do you mean, Matt?

Not wanting to misinterpret Mr Sweeney here, but I'm guessing he is using 'smoothing' in the sense of rate of change of diversification. I.e. instead of diversification occuring quickly for a period, then slowly for a period, then quickly again (and so on), it tends to occur at a rather more constant rate thanks to sexual reproduction. At least... for diploids.

The rest, I'll leave to Matt :cool:

PHAT
13-02-2006, 09:09 AM
Smoothing and diversification seem almost like contradictions, what exactly do you mean, Matt?

If we define diversification [your term] as: where the number of alleles at loci (genotypes) increases, it will result in a wider variety individuals within the one species.
Let us say that "smoothing" [the adjective I used] is a reduction in the rate of major phenotypical change in a species characteristic. This is facilitated by the mechanism/stratergy of diploidy - all that dominant/recessive stuff.

Therefore, I think, there is no contradiction in our positions as both statements are true

However, I thought you meant diversification only in terms of phenotype, not genotype. If that is what you did mean, then I was actually trying to augment your statement - not dispute it.


How can we evaluate change in genomic equilibirium (as you put it) precisely,

By sequencing the genomes - a big and expensive job.


given that to observe such change taking place would take aeons?

The experimental moth would use yeast (diploid) where >30 generations a day can be managed = 1000 generations a year. This would be conducted under experimentally induced selection pressure, in the presence of mutagens.


What's your evidence, how are you so sure?

The evidence is that, that shows that haploid organisms display a punctuated (extreme) rate of genotype evolution than diploid organisms, which can carry the old genotype within the population.


Either way sexual reproduction still permits diversification at rates unachievable through asexual reproduction.
True.

arosar
13-02-2006, 09:51 AM
One question Mr Sweeney: have you finished your thesis yet? I think you were in your 2nd year when we first met you on the bulletin board a few years ago, right?

AR

qpawn
13-02-2006, 03:16 PM
Having watched that dateline program today I can reach one conclusion and no other: creationism is pseudo-scientific fraud.

Creationism is not science. Nor can it ever be. I have the classic morphology books by nRoma and J.Z.Young on my shelves. Where is an anatomical analysis of God in those books? Nowhere.

I remind you of Galileo. He said that there is no more serious insult to the human mind than to believe that something is true only because you want to believe that it is.

Alan Shore
13-02-2006, 06:17 PM
I remind you of Galileo. He said that there is no more serious insult to the human mind than to believe that something is true only because you want to believe that it is.

I like that quote, but I can't locate a source for it.. do you have one?

(I mean like a book, or webpage or something).

qpawn
13-02-2006, 08:25 PM
I heard that quote from Galilieo quite a few years ago on a science program. So I don't have an exact source. But I will do a bit of searching and see if I can find it. Those weren't his precise words but I kept the gist of it.

Cat
13-02-2006, 09:24 PM
Let us say that "smoothing" [the adjective I used] is a reduction in the rate of major phenotypical change in a species characteristic. This is facilitated by the mechanism/stratergy of diploidy - all that dominant/recessive stuff.
The evidence is that, that shows that haploid organisms display a punctuated (extreme) rate of genotype evolution than diploid organisms, which can carry the old genotype within the population.


So what you're referring to is the effect of diploidy rather than sexual reproduction per se. Don't forget haploid organisms such as bacteria can reproduce sexually as well through the transfer of a phage, though it's not so much fun I guess. And I suppose you could even say human manipulation of bacterial DNA (genetic engineering) is a form of shagging.

Spiny Norman
14-02-2006, 07:01 AM
I find it highly improbable that this quote came from a 'leading evolutionist', or if it did, that it is accurately quoted (as opposed to misquoted or taken out of context).
I will try and find it. Had a bit of a look last night, but couldn't find it. I should not have posted it without attribution ... sorry, my bad.

Spiny Norman
14-02-2006, 07:03 AM
Having watched that dateline program today I can reach one conclusion and no other: creationism is pseudo-scientific fraud.
What was your opinion of the way it was slanted incidentally? (see my comments earlier in the thread). Personally I thought it was quite unnecessary, but I guess these days media are opinion makers not fact reporters.

Spiny Norman
14-02-2006, 07:20 AM
http://www.the-scientist.com/2005/8/29/10/1/

Does anyone know who produces this magazine? Is it available in Australia? Anyone ever seen a copy?

PHAT
14-02-2006, 07:54 AM
So what you're referring to is the effect of diploidy rather than sexual reproduction per se.
Yes.

Don't forget haploid organisms such as bacteria can reproduce sexually as well through the transfer of a phage, though it's not so much fun I guess.
Phage - a bit like getting pregnant from a toilet seat.
Pili - a much sexier prospect.

And I suppose you could even say human manipulation of bacterial DNA (genetic engineering) is a form of shagging.
I wouldn't worry too much about a Frankenbacter offspring. Nature has more and nastier tricks up her sleave than could emerge from the lab.

Spiny Norman
02-04-2006, 08:08 PM
Actually, for diploidic adult form organisms, the effect is to smooth diversification, such that punctuated change in genomic equilibrium is less severe. ie the genotype to phenotype linkage is statistically elastic.
[ And no Frosty, I will not be explaning it. You will have to get yourself a B(Sc) ]
No time for that ... but I have been amusing myself in the meantime by reading up on topics such as:

- inventive natural selection (which seems mostly metaphysical)
- scenarios such as convergence, preadaptation, repeated evolution, even some sociobiology (some disturbing stuff there!), reductionism and anti-reductionism
- differential survival / population genetics (some decent rigourous science there!), group selection
- origin of sex (no smart-ar*e quips please) ;)
- genetic cost theory (small populations vs large populations, environmental factors, cost of mutations)
- genes/alleles, homozygote/heterozygote, neutral evolution vs selection, pleiotropy/polygeny, genetic drift

There's enough material in all that to keep me occupied for years ... :)

Kevin Bonham
02-04-2006, 08:17 PM
even some sociobiology (some disturbing stuff there!),

How so?

(A rather speculative and embryonic field from what little I have read of it.)

antichrist
02-04-2006, 09:50 PM
Frosty:
even some sociobiology (some disturbing stuff there!

A/C
Isn't it called evolutionary psychology now or is that a evolutionary branch or is it just old books you are onto.

But terrific, there is hope yet.

Spiny Norman
03-04-2006, 08:17 AM
even some sociobiology (some disturbing stuff there!)

How so?
(A rather speculative and embryonic field from what little I have read of it.)
Social Darwinism basically stated that survival and reproduction were elevated as a sort of ultimate moral justification. This led to it getting a bad name. Later, evolutionists tried separating Darwinism from ethics, saying that it had nothing to say about such matters. e.g. "Nature contains no moral messages framed in human terms." (Gould, 1983)

Sociobiology says that nature has a lot to say about morality, in fact, that nature created human morality. They try to explain things such as altruism in terms of "pure nature". I have read statements such as:

"Ethics is a shared illusion of the human race." (Ruse, 1985).

"The evolutionary process cannot produce a being that is truly free to make choices." (Provine, 1988).

I find that very disturbing stuff. It calls into question motives, choices, reason and common sense. Its only a hop, skip and a jump from there to eugenics.

antichrist
03-04-2006, 09:43 AM
A little bit of eugenics never hurt anyone.

bergil
06-04-2006, 06:28 AM
Fossil Fish Sheds Light on Transition

NEW YORK (AP) -- Scientists have caught a fossil fish in the act of adapting toward a life on land, a discovery that sheds new light one of the greatest transformations in the history of animals.

Scientists have long known that fish evolved into the first creatures on land with four legs and backbones more than 365 million years ago, but they've had precious little fossil evidence to document how it happened.

The new find of several specimens looks more like a land-dweller than the few other fossil fish known from the transitional period, and researchers speculate that it may have taken brief excursions out of the water.

''It sort of blurs the distinction between fish and land-living animals,'' said one of its discoverers, paleontologist Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago.

Experts said the discovery, with its unusually well-preserved and complete skeletons, reveals significant new information about how the water-to-land evolution took place.

''It's an important new contribution to (understanding) a very, very important transition in the history of life,'' said Robert Carroll of McGill University in Montreal.

The new find includes specimens, 4 to 9 feet long, found on Ellesmere Island, which lies north of the Arctic Circle in Canada. It is reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature by Shubin, Ted Daeschler of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and Farish A. Jenkins Jr. of Harvard.

Some 375 million years ago, the creature looked like a cross between a fish and a crocodile. It swam in shallow, gently meandering streams in what was then a subtropical climate, researchers say. A meat-eater, it lived mostly in water.

Yet, its front fins had bones that correspond to a shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm and a primitive version of a wrist, Shubin said. From the shoulder to the wrist area, ''it basically looks like a scale-covered arm,'' he said.

''Here's a creature that has a fin that can do push-ups,'' he said. ''This is clearly an animal that is able to support itself on the ground,'' probably both in very shallow water and for brief excursions on dry land. On land, it apparently moved like a seal, he said.

It might have pulled itself onto stream banks, perhaps moving from one wet area to another, and even crawled across logs in swamps, said Daeschler.

The researchers have not yet dug up any remains from the hind end of the creature's body, so they don't know exactly what the hind fins and tail might have looked like.

The creature was dubbed Tiktaalik (pronounced ''tic-TAH-lick'') roseae, and also had the crocodile-shaped head of early amphibians, with eyes on the top rather than the side. Unlike other fish, it could move its head independently of its shoulders like a land animal. The back of its head also had features like those of land-dwellers. It probably had lungs as well as gills, and it had overlapping ribs that could be used to support the body against gravity, Shubin said.

Yet, the creature's jaws and snout were still very fishlike, showing that ''evolution proceeds slowly; it proceeds in a mosaic pattern with some elements changing while others stay the same,'' Daeschler said.

If one considers adaptation as a process of collecting tools to live in a new environment, the new finding offers ''a snapshot of the toolkit at this particular point in this evolutionary transition,'' Daeschler said.

In fact, much of its value comes from this insight into the order in which those tools appeared in fish, said Jennifer Clack of Cambridge University, an expert unconnected with the study.

Knowing that detail about the transition from fish to land-dweller, she said, ''might help us to unravel why it happened at all. Why did creatures come out of the water and get legs and walk away?''

It's impossible to tell if Tiktaalik was a direct ancestor of land vertebrates, she said, but if a scientist set out to design a plausible candidate, ''you'd probably come up with something like this.'' Shubin said the researchers plan to return to the small rocky outcropping that yielded the fossils and recover more material. ''We've really only begun to sort of crack that spot,'' he said.

The site is in Nunavut Territory, and ''Tiktaalik'' in the creature's name comes from the
traditional language used in the area. It refers to a large freshwater fish seen in the shallows.

------

On the Net:

www.nature.com/nature

antichrist
06-04-2006, 12:12 PM
Keep it a secret from Frosty and co

Spiny Norman
06-04-2006, 05:20 PM
Keep it a secret from Frosty and co
No need ... I'll wait 24-36 months before getting overly concerned ... some of the more recent "intermediates" claimed with much fanfare have turned out to be a case of mistaken identity (and in once case at least, a much-celebrated fraud) or have proven to be hotly contested by other evolutionary experts (e.g. some of the dinos-to-birds claims). At least this one wasn't found in China, so that bodes well for its claims to a measure of legitimacy.

Tomas Kessler
06-04-2006, 06:27 PM
Piltdown Man was possibly the biggest fraud of this description. The Chinese had nothing to do with it.

antichrist
07-04-2006, 11:58 AM
Piltdown Man was possibly the biggest fraud of this description. The Chinese had nothing to do with it.

But wasn't it evolutionists who exposed Piltdown and not Christians, whereas if one of their relics was exposed (as they often are) - no problem there are about another 500 of them other Churches - all put up as the real thing.

Chinese leadership may be atheist but they are not known to be keenly knocking down Creationism - don't tempt them.

Tomas Kessler
07-04-2006, 12:07 PM
Correct it was evolutionists who exposed Piltdown Man.

Rincewind
14-04-2006, 07:42 PM
Ancient fossils fill evolution gap (http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200604/s1615283.htm)

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 12:41 PM
Two hours of Sarfati and no time for questions? Ouch.

The second one "The Most-Asked Questions – Answered" is usually the open Q&A time.

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 12:43 PM
That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio and reads so much like it is what the man himself would write.

Seen the bios of Dawkins, Harris and other misotheists that are basically hero worship?

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 12:49 PM
The teleological arguement was refuted yonks ago. If the universe was created by intelligent design then why do we have such things as tuberculosis, Hansen's
disease and Ross River Fever.

This presupposes that these were parts of the original design, rather than one that has deteriorated (consistent with the biblical teaching of the Fall).


Of course lots of religous nuts will tell us that aids is a punishment for sexual misconduct

While informed religious people will tell us that AIDS is caused by HIV, and one of the best ways of spreading it is by proctogenital practices.


and that vaccines that prevent nasty diseases should not be provided to teenage girls as it may encourage them to go off.

I know of no-one who advocates banning Rubella vaccination ...

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 12:51 PM
Surely it does no credit to Sarfati's views that opposition, dissent, questioning and criticism will not be allowed at his talk.

Most Creation Ministries International speakers encourage a Q&A time after talks, including this one. Maybe Frosty can comment?

Rincewind
04-04-2007, 05:21 PM
While informed religious people will tell us that AIDS is caused by HIV, and one of the best ways of spreading it is by proctogenital practices.

So what is your position? (no pun intended)

Spiny Norman
04-04-2007, 07:05 PM
Most Creation Ministries International speakers encourage a Q&A time after talks, including this one. Maybe Frosty can comment?
I can. :) qpawn was uninformed. I informed him. I believe that was the end of the matter. If anyone has need of a report on how the Q+A went, I'd be happy to provide an overview.

Nice to see you on the board Jono! I might start posting hanging our here more regularly again if you make a habit of it.

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:20 PM
So what is your position? (no pun intended)

That HIV causes AIDS, and there are certain politically protected risk factors that are responsible for the majority of cases in the West.

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:24 PM
Ancient fossils fill evolution gap (http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200604/s1615283.htm)
Response to that fossil find:
Connecting imaginary human evolution dots: The case of Australopithecus anamensis (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4256)

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:25 PM
Correct it was evolutionists who exposed Piltdown Man.

Only took them 40 years, although there were obvious file marks and iron and chromate stains.

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:30 PM
Social Darwinism basically stated that survival and reproduction were elevated as a sort of ultimate moral justification.

Darwin was a social Darwinist! See Darwin versus Compassion (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4137/)


Its only a hop, skip and a jump from there to eugenics.

Esp. as it was invented by Darwin's cousin Galton (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4506) and supported by his greatest advocate today, Clinton R. Dawkins (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4783/). And Richard Weikart, professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus, has thoroughly documented the Darwinian roots of many aspects of the Nazi terror in his recent book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (http://web.csustan.edu/History/Faculty/Weikart/FromDarwintoHitler.htm).

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:32 PM
[QUOTE=bergil]Fossil Fish Sheds Light on Transition

See answer, Tiktaalik—a fishy ‘missing link’ (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4250).

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:37 PM
Having watched that dateline program today I can reach one conclusion and no other: creationism is pseudo-scientific fraud.

What would you know? Some of us don't believe everything we see on TV :P

[QUOTE]Creationism is not science.

What matters is whether it is true, not whether it fits some definition of "science".


I remind you of Galileo.

I do too. He went against the scientific consensus of the Aristotelians at the universities -- they, not the Church, were his main adversaries. See The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography? (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1625/)

Capablanca-Fan
04-04-2007, 07:45 PM
The argument of homology cuts both ways ... it can also be reasonably interpreted as an argument for a common designer (e.g. Falcon and Fairmont, sedan and station wagon, all use a common chassis, but they didn't evolve from one another, a designer chose to use the common platform).
Indeed, to most cultures on the earth that have ever lived, homologous structures would have been seen as something that brought honour to the Creator and would also indicate the Creator’s authority over and mastery of His creation. See ‘Not to Be Used Again’: Homologous Structures and the Presumption of Originality as a Critical Value (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4781).

Kevin Bonham
04-04-2007, 10:04 PM
Sorry Jono, but Mr Sweeney has got himself banned and qpawn seems to have sooked off again, so don't expect too many easy pickings here. :P However, welcome back (in a sense, two bulletin boards removed!)


Seen the bios of Dawkins, Harris and other misotheists that are basically hero worship?

Only the former. You seem to enjoy complaining about this Harris but I can't even recall hearing of him. Dawkins has no shortage of irritatingly para-religious sycophants, but this should be about ideal practice and not about "oh, it's good enough for [selected subset of] the other side so it's good enough for us".

As for this neologism "misotheist", I've never seen it before but it does seem quite ludicrously ineffective. To me it sounds more like someone who goes looking for God in bowls full of Japanese soup. Which is probably a great deal more sensible than where the great majority of "theists" would go looking, but nonetheless bound to be futile.



This presupposes that these were parts of the original design, rather than one that has deteriorated (consistent with the biblical teaching of the Fall).

Rather more consistent with the automobile industry description of the Leyland P76 actually. :hand: Except that car companies that churn out lemons can at least say they were not omniscient and therefore did not realise their product would be a flop.


While informed religious people will tell us that AIDS is caused by HIV, and one of the best ways of spreading it is by proctogenital practices.

But really informed ones would further note that the type of sex practiced is only one part of the equation and that the use or otherwise of protection is about equally significant, while the promiscuity or otherwise of the carrier is a far more significant factor ... all of which means that one of the best ways of spreading the disease is attempting to restrict a population's access to appropriate STD prevention.



Darwin was a social Darwinist! See Darwin versus Compassion

Nonsense! Which part of "Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature." as an argument against the practical implication of so-called social so-called Darwinism don't you understand?

(I note your omission of the words "at the urging of hard reason," without any sign that any text has been omitted from your quote.)

Rincewind
05-04-2007, 12:04 AM
That HIV causes AIDS, and there are certain politically protected risk factors that are responsible for the majority of cases in the West.

Care to eloborate further? Sounds like you want to say AIDS is a divine indication that homosexuality is against god's law but you are too scared of the PC reaction to do so.

Basil
05-04-2007, 12:10 AM
Jono, don't be afraid of any PC stuff. This BB (as I think you well know) has an excellent history of whacking PC clowns over the head IMHO. Regardless of whether I agree with your (or anyones else's position), I just love a good PC kicking. Let's go.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 12:11 AM
Sorry Jono, but Mr Sweeney has got himself banned and qpawn seems to have sooked off again, so don't expect too many easy pickings here. :P However, welcome back (in a sense, two bulletin boards removed!)

What's he done this time? He wasn't even much of a chessplayer was he?


Only the former. You seem to enjoy complaining about this Harris but I can't even recall hearing of him.

You haven't missed much.


Dawkins has no shortage of irritatingly para-religious sycophants, but this should be about ideal practice and not about "oh, it's good enough for [selected subset of] the other side so it's good enough for us".

There's hope for you yet then ;)


As for this neologism "misotheist", I've never seen it before but it does seem quite ludicrously ineffective. To me it sounds more like someone who goes looking for God in bowls full of Japanese soup.

Heh, someone said something similar on Andrew Bolt's forum. All the same, several internet apologists have adopted it.


But really informed ones would further note that the type of sex practiced is only one part of the equation and that the use or otherwise of protection is about equally significant, while the promiscuity or otherwise of the carrier is a far more significant factor ... all of which means that one of the best ways of spreading the disease is attempting to restrict a population's access to appropriate STD prevention.

Promiscuity was a big part of it, and this seems also to be politically protected, but the anatomy of the orifices has a lot to do with it too.


Nonsense! Which part of "Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature." as an argument against the practical implication of so-called social so-called Darwinism don't you understand?

What part of "We must, therefore, bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind" don't you understand?


(I note your omission of the words "at the urging of hard reason," without any sign that any text has been omitted from your quote.)

Does it affect the point? If I were trying to be dishonest, then the part you quoted above would be the thing to omit. Also, if this is anything like Origin, there were a number of variant editions.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 12:15 AM
Care to eloborate further? Sounds like you want to say AIDS is a divine indication that homosexuality is against god's law but you are too scared of the PC reaction to do so.

My argument is different. Rather, God made His laws for our good. In this current fallen world, contravening those laws leaves people far more vulnerable to HIV infection. And even before AIDS, the first politically protected plague in history, promiscuous gay men were prone to many diseases. A good source for this is actually the atheistic lesbian Tammy Bruce in her book The Death of Right and Wrong.

Desmond
05-04-2007, 12:17 AM
My argument is different. Rather, God made His laws for our good. In this current fallen world, contravening those laws leaves people far more vulnerable to HIV infection. And even before AIDS, the first politically protected plague in history, promiscuous gay men were prone to many diseases. A good source for this is actually the atheistic lesbian Tammy Bruce in her book The Death of Right and Wrong.So why would god need to punish certain behaviour with diseases etc? Is the whole hell thing just letting 'em off too lightly?

Rincewind
05-04-2007, 12:18 AM
My argument is different. Rather, God made His laws for our good. In this current fallen world, contravening those laws leaves people far more vulnerable to HIV infection. And even before AIDS, the first politically protected plague in history, promiscuous gay men were prone to many diseases. A good source for this is actually the atheistic lesbian Tammy Bruce in her book The Death of Right and Wrong.

Are blood transfusions (which save millions of lives annually) also against your interpretation of god's laws? Just asking as I know some fundamentalists (JWs?) are against them.

Basil
05-04-2007, 12:21 AM
In this current fallen world...
I'm not convinced this world is 'fallen'. I would enjoy exploring this proposition further. Broadly at what point (period) would you say the falling occurred? Perhaps we can then discuss the key markers of such.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 12:22 AM
Are blood transfusions (which save millions of lives annually) also against your interpretation of god's laws? Just asking as I know some fundamentalists (JWs?) are against them.

They are not fundamentalists, because one of the Five Fundamentals of the original fundamentalists was the deity of Christ. Please define your terms more carefully.

Nothing wrong with blood transfusions. I've donated blood myself. This is hardly "eating" blood, which is what the JWs claim, because the blood is used as blood, not digested. Indeed, one could argue that since the Bible says that the life is in the blood, and there is no greater friendship than laying down one's life for a friend, then blood donation is the Christian thing to do if there is no health risk to the donor.

I also support organ donation, and even advocate that "Donor" should be the default option with non-donors having to opt out, rather than the current system of wasting organs unless they opt in.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 12:23 AM
Jono, don't be afraid of any PC stuff. This BB (as I think you well know) has an excellent history of whacking PC clowns over the head IMHO. Regardless of whether I agree with your (or anyones else's position), I just love a good PC kicking. Let's go.

Thanx, Mr President. :lol:

Basil
05-04-2007, 12:25 AM
;)

Rincewind
05-04-2007, 12:32 AM
They are not fundamentalists, because one of the Five Fundamentals of the original fundamentalists was the deity of Christ. Please define your terms more carefully.

Nothing wrong with blood transfusions. I've donated blood myself. This is hardly "eating" blood, which is what the JWs claim, because the blood is used as blood, not digested. Indeed, one could argue that since the Bible says that the life is in the blood, and there is no greater friendship than laying down one's life for a friend, then blood donation is the Christian thing to do if there is no health risk to the donor.

I also support organ donation, and even advocate that "Donor" should be the default option with non-donors having to opt out, rather than the current system of wasting organs unless they opt in.

I didn't say original fundamentalists. Anyone to takes a literal reading of an obviously allegorical text is a fundamentalist in my book. Obviously any creationist falls into this category.

Getting back to the matter at hand. Blood transfusions were another way that HIV spread, especially in the early days prior to effective screening (which was provided my medical scientists and not fundamentalist fear-mongers BTW). So it would seem people in accidents, haemophiliacs and those undergoing surgery for any reason (possibly as a result of a cesarean birth with complications) were also somehow contravening god's laws as they also had an increased risk of infection.

Also in the many (mostly non-western but how do you classify South Africa?) countries there is a high HIV infection rate in the heterosexual population that equating HIV risk with homosexuality is passe.

Basil
05-04-2007, 12:36 AM
Thanx, Mr President. :lol:
You're too kind. As Churchill would say "But I'll still be a Dr. in the morning!"

I stood down from the presidency a few months ago.

Kevin Bonham
05-04-2007, 01:01 AM
My argument is different. Rather, God made His laws for our good. In this current fallen world, contravening those laws leaves people far more vulnerable to HIV infection. And even before AIDS, the first politically protected plague in history, promiscuous gay men were prone to many diseases.

As were promiscuous straight men, promiscuous straight women, promiscuous gay women (though I suspect to a much reduced degree), promiscuous bisexuals of either gender, promiscuous people of any sexuality and some kind of intermediate gender and most likely promiscuous small furry critters from Alpha Centauri [etc].

Meanwhile, people whose preference is the sexual abuse of young children have extremely seldom at any stage in history caught any sexually transmitted diseases whatsoever as a result. I hope you agree that the sexual abuse of young children is against your putative deity's laws, and that your argument collapses into blatant selectivity at this point.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 09:20 AM
As were promiscuous straight men, promiscuous straight women, promiscuous gay women (though I suspect to a much reduced degree), promiscuous bisexuals of either gender, promiscuous people of any sexuality and some kind of intermediate gender and most likely promiscuous small furry critters from Alpha Centauri [etc].

Promiscuity is both prevalent and more dangerous in the male homosexual community. The extra danger comes from the fact that the male anatomy is not designed for being penetrated -- much thinner epithelial walls. So the idea of a coming epidemic of heterosexual AIDS was politics do divert from the huge risks of the gay lifestyle, not sound epidemiology.


Meanwhile, people whose preference is the sexual abuse of young children have extremely seldom at any stage in history caught any sexually transmitted diseases whatsoever as a result. I hope you agree that the sexual abuse of young children is against your putative deity's laws, and that your argument collapses into blatant selectivity at this point.

Of course it is. And who was being selective? I already said that I don't use the argument that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuals.

Tammy Bruce suggests that a lot of the attraction for teenagers by some male homosexuals is due to the high incidence of STDs in the promiscuous section of the gay community, so a teenager is a safer option.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 09:28 AM
I didn't say original fundamentalists. Anyone to takes a literal reading of an obviously allegorical text is a fundamentalist in my book. Obviously any creationist falls into this category.

Obviously allegorical? Genesis is written in the genre of a typical Hebrew narratives. You can tell that easily because Hebrew narratives start with a qatal verb, and the narrative is continued with wayyiqtol verbs. Genesis 1 starts with the qatal bara' (created), then continues with wayyomer (‘And … said’, v. 3) and wayehi (‘and there was’, v. 3) ... And the rest of the Bible, most of the Church Fathers and all the Reformers understood Genesis as history. So don't make comments in areas you don't understand.


Getting back to the matter at hand. Blood transfusions were another way that HIV spread, especially in the early days prior to effective screening (which was provided my medical scientists and not fundamentalist fear-mongers BTW). So it would seem people in accidents, haemophiliacs and those undergoing surgery for any reason (possibly as a result of a cesarean birth with complications) were also somehow contravening god's laws as they also had an increased risk of infection.

Nope, I said that contravening God's laws often had consequences, not that all all who suffered the consequences were contravening God's laws at the time.


Also in the many (mostly non-western but how do you classify South Africa?) countries there is a high HIV infection rate in the heterosexual population that equating HIV risk with homosexuality is passe.

In the West, OK? It was well known as a disease where the majority of sufferers were homosexual men.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 09:29 AM
You're too kind. As Churchill would say "But I'll still be a Dr. in the morning!"

I stood down from the presidency a few months ago.

But in America, former presidents are still addressed as "Mr President" (my American wife told me that).

Rincewind
05-04-2007, 09:52 AM
Obviously allegorical? Genesis is written in the genre of a typical Hebrew narratives. You can tell that easily because Hebrew narratives start with a qatal verb, and the narrative is continued with wayyiqtol verbs. Genesis 1 starts with the qatal bara' (created), then continues with wayyomer (‘And … said’, v. 3) and wayehi (‘and there was’, v. 3) ... And the rest of the Bible, most of the Church Fathers and all the Reformers understood Genesis as history. So don't make comments in areas you don't understand.

Those who adopt a fundamentalist interpretation of genesis certainly isn't the majority of christian scholars. Of course they could all be wrong, but you would have to come up with extraordinary evidence to support the minority viewpoint.


Nope, I said that contravening God's laws often had consequences, not that all all who suffered the consequences were contravening God's laws at the time.

That is devoid of meaning. You are just saying in the world good and bad things happen. In the world there are those who contravene god's laws and those who don't. When those who contravene god's laws have bad things happen to them, then they are suffering the consequences of disobeying god. The other three possibilities are just the way of the world. In summary you are just subscribing to an arbitrary post hoc analysis.


In the West, OK? It was well known as a disease where the majority of sufferers were homosexual men.

So in a very specific subset of the infected population at a very specific point in history lends creedence to your arbitrary god's arbitrary moral standards. Give me a break!

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 11:36 AM
Those who adopt a fundamentalist interpretation of genesis certainly isn't the majority of christian scholars. Of course they could all be wrong, but you would have to come up with extraordinary evidence to support the minority viewpoint.

Don't try this "most scholars say" nonsense on me. If it is "obviously allegorical", then demonstrate it by the text, and deal with my genre arguments..


That is devoid of meaning.

It clearly meant something, otherwise you wouldn't be whinging about it.


You are just saying in the world good and bad things happen.

Because we live in a fallen world, as explained long ago (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2456).


So in a very specific subset of the infected population at a very specific point in history lends creedence to your arbitrary god's arbitrary moral standards. Give me a break!

And if we are just rearranged pond scum as you believe, on what basis do you have moral standards at all? See this section (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2207/#moral).

Rincewind
05-04-2007, 06:16 PM
Don't try this "most scholars say" nonsense on me. If it is "obviously allegorical", then demonstrate it by the text, and deal with my genre arguments..

No need you have no argument at such. You just have a narrow interpretation than most people accept in this enlightened era.


It clearly meant something, otherwise you wouldn't be whinging about it.

The only problem I have with what you say is you say nothing while pretending to say something.


Because we live in a fallen world, as explained long ago (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2456).

World fallen or otherwise you cannot just interpret the data arbitrarily. It lends absolutely no weight to your interpretation when you pick and choose what to include and how to interprete it.


And if we are just rearranged pond scum as you believe, on what basis do you have moral standards at all? See this section (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2207/#moral).

Not rearranged, evolved. Are you really interested in debating the existence of god from a point of view of a moral imperitive? Personally, I'd rather not waste my time as ethics has come some way since Kant.

Besides I thought you guys were pinning your hopes to the (equally fallacious) information/order argument these days.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 06:53 PM
No need you have no argument at such. You just have a narrow interpretation than most people accept in this enlightened era.

Mine is based on the text according to its grammatical and historical context. Yours is based on? Chronological snobbery?


World fallen or otherwise you cannot just interpret the data arbitrarily.
It lends absolutely no weight to your interpretation when you pick and choose what to include and how to interprete it.

Who was doing that? I state plainly that the ultimate origin of death and disease is the Fall. I also stated that some practices contrary to God's laws make one more susceptible to these diseases. But catching that disease doesn't mean that a particular law has been broken.


Not rearranged, evolved. Are you really interested in debating the existence of god from a point of view of a moral imperitive? Personally, I'd rather not waste my time as ethics has come some way since Kant.

You prefer Nietzsche evidently. That link explains where I'm coming from.


Besides I thought you guys were pinning your hopes to the (equally fallacious) information/order argument these days.

You're pinning your hopes on people falling for your ipse dixits.

Rincewind
05-04-2007, 08:28 PM
Mine is based on the text according to its grammatical and historical context. Yours is based on? Chronological snobbery?

No mine is based on physical evidence.


Who was doing that? I state plainly that the ultimate origin of death and disease is the Fall. I also stated that some practices contrary to God's laws make one more susceptible to these diseases. But catching that disease doesn't mean that a particular law has been broken.

The position that disease did not exist before the Fall is not supported by any evidence whatsoever. There is fossil evidence of plenty of death and disease in man and other animals as well prior to 6,000 BCE.


You prefer Nietzsche evidently. That link explains where I'm coming from.

Yes, the twilight zone.


You're pinning your hopes on people falling for your ipse dixits.

People will believe what they want to believe. My job is to point out the ridiculousness of your little publicity drive for your new website.

Capablanca-Fan
05-04-2007, 11:17 PM
No mine is based on physical evidence.

Physical evidence that a text is allegorical? Stop wasting my time.


The position that disease did not exist before the Fall is not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

Yes it is, the best evidence possible: reliable eye-witness account.


There is fossil evidence of plenty of death and disease in man and other animals as well prior to 6,000 BCE.

Nope, your interpretation is that they are older than that. The eye-witness evidence contradicts that. So does the presence of radiocarbon in coal and diamonds (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4650/), showing that they can't be millions of years old.


People will believe what they want to believe. My job is to point out the ridiculousness of your little publicity drive for your new website.

I hope you play better chess than you can argue.

Rincewind
06-04-2007, 12:41 AM
Physical evidence that a text is allegorical? Stop wasting my time.

There is undeniable physical evidence that the world is older than 6,000 years old, that it wasn't created in 6 days and that all life forms arose over billions of years as the product of evolution and natural selection. That there was no world wide flood. That people didn't all speak the same language and then diverge due to a failed building project, etc, etc, etc.

The only one wasting time here is the narrow minded and unscientific point of view that the Bible is a literal truth in the way you choose to interpret it and any physical evidence to the contrary must be wrong, or placed there by the devil to tempt the unfaithful.

There are plenty of people who chose to believe in the bible but not the fundamentalist interpretation your mob are obsessed with. In fact, this is the majority of christians, who quite sensibly realise that primitive civilisations invent primitive stories to explain their natural surroundings. The fact that science has proven that genesis is not literal truth has not bothered them. Why you cling to a literal interpretation of a 4,000 year old fairy-tale is just a mystery to me.


Yes it is, the best evidence possible: reliable eye-witness account.

There were plenty of reliable eye-witness accounts of Houdini doing the impossible. Not to mention the zillions of other weird and wonderful things of human fancy. Alien abductions, cryptozoological finds, voodoo, fakir faith healing, etc, etc, etc.

The fact is, if god was provable then everyone would be the one religion. As I said before, people believe what they want to believe. I believe it what can be proved and have little interest in the rest.


Nope, your interpretation is that they are older than that. The eye-witness evidence contradicts that. So does the presence of radiocarbon in coal and diamonds (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4650/), showing that they can't be millions of years old.

The crap in these links you post is really intolerable. From now on in replies to me, could you just publish links to peer reviewed scientific journals, Science or Nature preferably.


I hope you play better chess than you can argue.

To beat you in this argument, I don't need to. You have just chosen to defend an inteniable position for reasons of unshakable faith. As such from the beginning your position is self-defeating.

Kevin Bonham
06-04-2007, 04:00 AM
What part of "We must, therefore, bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind" don't you understand?

I understand it all - but the prevailing use of the term "Social Darwinism" is to refer not to Darwin's theories but to advocative proposals later dubiously extracted from them (though often hidden behind a thin veneer of trashy racist pseudoscience).


Promiscuity is both prevalent and more dangerous in the male homosexual community. The extra danger comes from the fact that the male anatomy is not designed for being penetrated -- much thinner epithelial walls. So the idea of a coming epidemic of heterosexual AIDS was politics do divert from the huge risks of the gay lifestyle, not sound epidemiology.

But there is an epedemic in heterosexual AIDS over much of some place called Africa, in case you hadn't noticed. Only in countries where the infection rate is very low does the disease manage to largely confine itself to those groups that are high-risk in multiple ways.

And there is no one "gay lifestyle" or community - there are many.


Of course it is. And who was being selective? I already said that I don't use the argument that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuals.

You said it but I very strongly believe you are trying to sneak it in via more euphemistic ways, like saying that God made laws for our good and that bad things happen to those who break them. (I struggle to see any difference between this and the punishment thesis).

Of course, the fact that some people experience greater risk when "breaking God's laws" proves nothing about those laws coming from God. The obvious alternative is that because promiscuity of whatever sexuality is a disease risk, those religious doctrines that denounce it have been more likely to persist over time than those that endorse it.


Tammy Bruce suggests that a lot of the attraction for teenagers by some male homosexuals is due to the high incidence of STDs in the promiscuous section of the gay community, so a teenager is a safer option.

I'm not talking about teenagers, I'm talking about adults outside the gay community who molest children under the age of ten. As for Tammy Bruce's claim, I have no idea if she is correct or not, but I don't see consensual sex involving a teenager (over, say, 14) and a young adult as generally being an issue and nor do the many countries which legally permit it. (One would have to assume that seeking out younger partners to avoid disease risk would also be "God's plan" on your view then :D )

My point is that many of "God's laws" appear to be broken regularly without the individual breaking them risking getting AIDS as a result. A God who caused adults to risk AIDS from consensual sex while those adults who nonconsensually abused children were at no such risk is the sort of God who I would send directly to Hell, if such a God had the foolish temerity to exist. (And that's even though I'm not much into the excessive hysteria one encounters about child abuse issues, or even that enamoured of kiddies in general.)


Does it affect the point?

I think that the correct wording makes it clearer what he is saying.


Also, if this is anything like Origin, there were a number of variant editions.

Then show me one which has the same wording as yours.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2007, 12:39 PM
The only one wasting time here is the narrow minded and unscientific point of view that the Bible is a literal truth in the way you choose to interpret it and any physical evidence to the contrary must be wrong, or placed there by the devil to tempt the unfaithful.

Again, you raise a straw man. The physical evidence is wrongly interpreted because of a faulty naturalistic/uniformitarian paradigm, but makes sense in a biblical paradigm, the paradigm that led to the explosive growth of modern science.


There are plenty of people who chose to believe in the bible but not the fundamentalist interpretation your mob are obsessed with.

If they don't believe what the text actually says, then they are not believing the Bible. It is far more honest to say "Genesis was written as history but I don't believe it" than "I believe Genesis, but it was an allegory".


In fact, this is the majority of christians, who quite sensibly realise that primitive civilisations invent primitive stories to explain their natural surroundings.

Any evidence for this? In any case, what do you care? The majority of Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead too (I would of course say that if they disbelieve that they are not Christians at all).


The fact that science has proven that genesis is not literal truth has not bothered them. Why you cling to a literal interpretation of a 4,000 year old fairy-tale is just a mystery to me.

Why you cling to your dogmas about the past and your chronological snobbery is a mystery to me, as are your inane comments about "literal interpretation". The fact remains, Genesis was written as history, so the honest choice is between accepting or rejecting its historical claims.


There were plenty of reliable eye-witness accounts of Houdini doing the impossible. Not to mention the zillions of other weird and wonderful things of human fancy. Alien abductions, cryptozoological finds, voodoo, fakir faith healing, etc, etc, etc.

Houdini made it clear that it was a trick, and most of us would not believe that alien abduction reports are reliable even if you do.:P


The fact is, if god was provable then everyone would be the one religion. As I said before, people believe what they want to believe.

Anyone else notice that his second statement shows that the first doesn't follow?


I believe it what can be proved and have little interest in the rest.

Except that Gödel proved that some true statements can't be proved. And axioms by definition can't be proved, yet everyone has them.


The crap in these links you post is really intolerable.

What would you know? Nice to see atheist tolerance in operation.


From now on in replies to me, could you just publish links to peer reviewed scientific journals, Science or Nature preferably.

I'll post what I please. And if you actually bothered to read the links, you'll find that they often link to these primary sources.


To beat you in this argument, I don't need to. You have just chosen to defend an inteniable position for reasons of unshakable faith. As such from the beginning your position is self-defeating.

In your dreams. You have not shown any knowledge of the issues, but proceded from your self-deluded position of atheistic intellectual superiority.

Rincewind
06-04-2007, 01:49 PM
Again, you raise a straw man. The physical evidence is wrongly interpreted because of a faulty naturalistic/uniformitarian paradigm, but makes sense in a biblical paradigm, the paradigm that led to the explosive growth of modern science.

If only you could prove your claim. You would win a half-dozen Nobel prizes. The self-deluded biblical paradigm is just settling on an answer before you see the evidence, twist what can be fitted into that setting and sweep the rest under the carpet.


If they don't believe what the text actually says, then they are not believing the Bible. It is far more honest to say "Genesis was written as history but I don't believe it" than "I believe Genesis, but it was an allegory".

Intellectual honesty is to examine the evidence and determine the truth from that. That is the antithesis of your position which is on of deciding on the answer and then look to fit the evidence post hoc.


Any evidence for this? In any case, what do you care? The majority of Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead too (I would of course say that if they disbelieve that they are not Christians at all).

By far the largest single christian sect is catholicism. The belief include the Jesus rose from the dead but not a literal intpretation of the old testament as an article of faith.


Why you cling to your dogmas about the past and your chronological snobbery is a mystery to me, as are your inane comments about "literal interpretation". The fact remains, Genesis was written as history, so the honest choice is between accepting or rejecting its historical claims.

Personally I reject it entirely. However, I have no problem with people who see it as an allegorical tale which defines the relationship between mankind and god. I only have a problem with the intellectually backrupt stance that people in the lunatic fringe take when they try to have it pushed as histical fact, which is is clearly and demonstrably is not.


Houdini made it clear that it was a trick, and most of us would not believe that alien abduction reports are reliable even if you do.:P

Magicians who make it clear it is a trick are not very successful. Houdini was very successful.

The point is people can be fooled and therefore eye-witness accounts are not that reliable.


Anyone else notice that his second statement shows that the first doesn't follow?

Hate to burst your bubble, but I doubt many others are reading with much interest.


Except that Gödel proved that some true statements can't be proved. And axioms by definition can't be proved, yet everyone has them.

I wasn't using proof in that sense. You guys get awfully confused about what Godel Incompleteness theorem is about.


What would you know? Nice to see atheist tolerance in operation.

I never claimed to be tolerent of claptrap. You Creationist guys like to sprout on about your scientific creds and which you quote on the bylines of these "articles" but you don;t publish them in the scientific literature. The point is they don't stand up to secular scrutiny. The only people who are likely to believe them are those who adopt the same arse-about position as you do. That is, the bible is the answer, now, lets look for the evidence that supports that position.


I'll post what I please. And if you actually bothered to read the links, you'll find that they often link to these primary sources.

Actually you'll post what the owner, admin and mods on this board allow you to post. Despite the fact that the number of links self promoting your website is approaching spam like proportions and despite the fact that the same web-site has a significant commercial content which you have a vested financial interest in promoting, it has been decided that no action will be taken for now.

My only problem is that the links point to articles which contain no real content. The guardian article was the closest to a decent link I've seen you post to date. I certainly don;t waste my time by link off-board to anything with "creation" in the domain name.


In your dreams. You have not shown any knowledge of the issues, but proceded from your self-deluded position of atheistic intellectual superiority.

I may or may not be intellectually superior, what ever that means. But looking at the evidence and is more intellectually honest than the game of post hoc story fitting you have wasted your life doing.

Tell me again why you guys can't get your little articles into the scientific literature.

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2007, 04:11 PM
Intellectual honesty is to examine the evidence and determine the truth from that. That is the antithesis of your position which is on of deciding on the answer and then look to fit the evidence post hoc.

Oh, you mean like the geneticist Dr Richard Lewontin [Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997.]:


‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen


By far the largest single christian sect is catholicism. The belief include the Jesus rose from the dead but not a literal intpretation of the old testament as an article of faith.

Actually, many of their Saints did take a literal interpretation, such as Basil and Chrysostom. The non-literal interpretation is a modern phenomenon, and an appeasement of evolution rather than an honest understanding of the text. Gerry Keane of Melbourne has done some good research on this.


Personally I reject it entirely. However, I have no problem with people who see it as an allegorical tale which defines the relationship between mankind and god.

I would actually have more of a problem with pretending it says something it doesn't than simply disbelieving what it does say.


Magicians who make it clear it is a trick are not very successful. Houdini was very successful.

Houdini repeatedly told people it was a clever trick and not supernatural. He even exposed many frauds.


The point is people can be fooled and therefore eye-witness accounts are not that reliable.

They couldn't have been fooled about His death, burial and the empty tomb, and it is most unlikely that over 500 could be fooled by a Resurrection appearance. Also, these appearances stopped very abruptly, explainable by His ascension, but not if they were mass hallucinations.


I wasn't using proof in that sense. You guys get awfully confused about what Godel Incompleteness theorem is about.

Resorting to projection now, huh? :P


I never claimed to be tolerent of claptrap.

You tolerate evolution from goo to you via the zoo.


You Creationist guys like to sprout on about your scientific creds and which you quote on the bylines of these "articles" but you don;t publish them in the scientific literature.

We do, just not in the secular literature because it goes against the paradigm as so honestly admitted by Lewontin. Your whinging is just trying to avoid addressing the arguments. It is rather circular as well: ID papers are not science because they are not published, but when one actually gets passed the censorial gatekeepers, the referee is abused for publishing it (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3593)because it is not science.


Actually you'll post what the owner, admin and mods on this board allow you to post. Despite the fact that the number of links self promoting your website is approaching spam like proportions and despite the fact that the same web-site has a significant commercial content which you have a vested financial interest in promoting, it has been decided that no action will be taken for now.

That's up to them, not you. It is fair to promote them as sources instead of filling up pages here. BTW, I receive no royalties for my best-selling books.


My only problem is that the links point to articles which contain no real content.

Not that you would know real content if you tripped over it. However, this was not the opinion of one of the primary researchers, who described the CMI article as a "lucid and accurate description" of his theory (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1792/#r3).

Capablanca-Fan
06-04-2007, 04:22 PM
I think that the correct wording makes it clearer what he is saying.

Then show me one which has the same wording as yours.
I don't think it changes the major point of what he's saying. But until I can find a variant, it's been changed to reflect your version. CMI aims for accuracy -- Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2996/) and Maintaining Creationist Integrity: A response to Kent Hovind (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2571/).

Rincewind
06-04-2007, 05:03 PM
Oh, you mean like the geneticist Dr Richard Lewontin [Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997.]:


‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen

Lewontin's position is not the same as yours. He does not advocate (at least not to my knowledge and not in the except you posted) that the genesis should be taken as inerrant truth. The physical evidence against it is just too great. Science does work on the premise that the laws of nature are more or less consistently applied. If god decided to alter gravity one day, it would cause problems. Thus far that premise has not caused too many problems.


Actually, many of their Saints did take a literal interpretation, such as Basil and Chrysostom. The non-literal interpretation is a modern phenomenon, and an appeasement of evolution rather than an honest understanding of the text. Gerry Keane of Melbourne has done some good research on this.

What their Saint's believed in times when the scientific evidence for an old earth was not so overwhelming is a moot point. The point is we now know that the earth is billions of years old. There are the members of the fringe who still cling to a 6,000 year old earth, just are there are those who still believe the earth to be flat.


I would actually have more of a problem with pretending it says something it doesn't than simply disbelieving what it does say.

As it says nothing, hat is not going to ever be a problem for you.


Houdini repeatedly told people it was a clever trick and not supernatural. He even exposed many frauds.

Yes, after the trick. However, for the execution of the trick the suspension of disbelief is in the mind of the audience is requisite.


They couldn't have been fooled about His death, burial and the empty tomb, and it is most unlikely that over 500 could be fooled by a Resurrection appearance. Also, these appearances stopped very abruptly, explainable by His ascension, but not if they were mass hallucinations.

Yes the could have and quite easily. He might not have been quite dead when he was taken down from the cross and removed from the tomb and nursed back to health in hiding.


Resorting to projection now, huh? :P

No. But I was talking about the scientific method. Not a symbolic proof in some formal system as the way that Goedel's incompleteness theorem would apply.


You tolerate evolution from goo to you via the zoo.

Very catchy but exposes your total lack of understanding about the process of evolution.


We do, just not in the secular literature because it goes against the paradigm as so honestly admitted by Lewontin. Your whinging is just trying to avoid addressing the arguments. It is rather circular as well: ID papers are not science because they are not published, but when one actually gets passed the censorial gatekeepers, the referee is abused for publishing it (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3593)because it is not science.

No. Lewontni just said religious dogma has no place in science, which it doesn't. However, the so-called scientific components of your finding, if scientifically valid, could be incorporated into the scientific literature. In fact, doing so would make you the widest and most revolutionary published authors ever.


That's up to them, not you. It is fair to promote them as sources instead of filling up pages here. BTW, I receive no royalties for my best-selling books.

Do you want to go thru the financials in fine detail? I'm sure some of the money that comes in via sources on that web site end up in your bank account or you derive some sort of benefit from them down the line. If you want to get messy, let me know.


Not that you would know real content if you tripped over it. However, this was not the opinion of one of the primary researchers, who described the CMI article as a "lucid and accurate description" of his theory (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1792/#r3).

The article is still not refereed. Comments from the author of the original article is unlikely to be a critical as you would receive from a refereed publication.

Kevin Bonham
08-04-2007, 11:59 PM
I don't think it changes the major point of what he's saying. But until I can find a variant, it's been changed to reflect your version.

As it should be, since the correct quote was even used by that notorious (four time) loser William Jennings Bryan.

You made a mistake (let's hope it was just a typo) and will not find a variant. Don't bother hedging. :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
20-04-2007, 12:07 PM
As it should be, since the correct quote was even used by that notorious (four time) loser William Jennings Bryan.

Some people actually learn the real history of the Scopes Trial, not just rely on the misochristic and mendacious distortion, Inherit the Wind as you do (compare Inherit the Wind: an historical analysis (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/682)). BTW, Bryan was a progressive Democrat not a right-winger.

CMI corrects demonstrable mistakes, as shown by Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2996/), in contrast to the many distortions that persist among evolutionists.

Kevin Bonham
22-04-2007, 01:46 AM
Some people actually learn the real history of the Scopes Trial, not just rely on the misochristic and mendacious distortion, Inherit the Wind as you do (compare Inherit the Wind: an historical analysis (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/682)). BTW, Bryan was a progressive Democrat not a right-winger.

Wrong again! Yet another false presumption about the source of my beliefs - can't you do this unless someone conforms to your generic atheist stereotype for which you have ready-made book answers? I have never seen Inherit the Wind and know remarkably little about it. Try again as to my sources. (And Bryan was "progressive" on some issues but not others. As well as his views on Darwin he was also a Prohibitionist and probably a white supremacist at least by default. )


CMI corrects demonstrable mistakes, as shown by Arguments we think creationists should NOT use (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2996/), in contrast to the many distortions that persist among evolutionists.

What are you saying here, that distortions about whether you correct mistakes persist among evolutionists, or that distortions persist among evolutionists, fullstop? In any case, which evolutionists?

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2007, 02:26 PM
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200705/s1934224.htm

Jono's AiG pals and their "museum" in Kentucky, USA. I'm not sure if the best emoticon for this is :lol: , :rolleyes: or :wall:

:hand:

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2007, 02:34 PM
(And Bryan was "progressive" on some issues but not others. As well as his views on Darwin he was also a Prohibitionist and probably a white supremacist at least by default. )

Do you have the slightest evidence for this smear? The textbook involved in the Scopes Trial, Hunter's A Civic Biology, to which Bryan objected, really DID promote white supremacist ideas:


At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the others in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.


What are you saying here, that distortions about whether you correct mistakes persist among evolutionists, or that distortions persist among evolutionists, fullstop? In any case, which evolutionists?

Should be obvious what I meant. Atheist Jim Lippard writes:


The Australian group [CMI] has long had a policy of publishing material critical of bad creationist work, and its journals have occasionally published some excellent debunkings of standard creationist arguments, such as the shrinking sun and moon dust arguments for a young earth.

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2007, 02:41 PM
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200705/s1934224.htm

Jono's AiG pals and their "museum" in Kentucky, USA. I'm not sure if the best emoticon for this is :lol: , :rolleyes: or :wall:

:hand:

They are no pals of mine. See Sad dispute between CMI and AiG-USA (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4769/) or account by Jim Lippard (http://lippard.blogspot.com/2006/11/more-from-behind-scenes-of.html).

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2007, 02:54 PM
Do you have the slightest evidence for this smear?

He had ample opportunity to speak out against racism in the South but so far as I am aware never did, and would not even support a resolution denouncing the Klan in 1924. He was first and foremost a populist who wouldn't take on racism if it meant becoming unelectable, which is why I said "by default".


The textbook involved in the Scopes Trial, Hunter's A Civic Biology, to which Bryan objected, really DID promote white supremacist ideas:

Indeed it did, but those were not among the sections Bryan objected to!

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2007, 02:59 PM
They are no pals of mine. See Sad dispute between CMI and AiG-USA (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4769/) or account by Jim Lippard (http://lippard.blogspot.com/2006/11/more-from-behind-scenes-of.html).

My apologies, ex-pals. I was not aware of the schism.

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2007, 03:17 PM
He had ample opportunity to speak out against racism in the South but so far as I am aware never did, and would not even support a resolution denouncing the Klan in 1924.

This is an argument from silence. I also find it hard to understand those who defend the South and make excuses for its slavery and Jim Crow laws. Peter Hitchings writes in The Abolition of Britain how the British military in WW2 were appalled that their American counterparts were still segregated.


He was first and foremost a populist who wouldn't take on racism if it meant becoming unelectable, which is why I said "by default".

I don't know what motivates politicians to do or not do some things. Maybe he thought that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and if he fought too many battles at once he would not be able to win any, whereas he did win some good ones (women's suffrage was a notable one).


Indeed it did, but those were not among the sections Bryan objected to!

He objected to many of the moral implications of the book, including the eugenics that became rife in America around that time (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1898/). But it seems a bit rich to denounce Bryan as a white supremacist on the basis of silence, but not his evolutionist opponents who affirmed it overtly.

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2007, 04:01 PM
This is an argument from silence.

Arguments from silence can have a degree of validity in politics, because of the real-world consequences of that individual's failure to say anything on an issue. It is possible Bryan was not a white supremacist by conviction, and I've resisted the temptation to point out quotes that could be interpreted as white-supremacist, since virtually any significant figure of the time would have a few of those. That's why I allowed the possibility that he was only one by default.


He objected to many of the moral implications of the book, including the eugenics that became rife in America around that time (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1898/). But it seems a bit rich to denounce Bryan as a white supremacist on the basis of silence, but not his evolutionist opponents who affirmed it overtly.

The position of (some of) his opponents was not relevant to my case that he was a progressive on some issues but not others.

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2007, 11:35 AM
Arguments from silence can have a degree of validity in politics, because of the real-world consequences of that individual's failure to say anything on an issue.

Compare today, where a lot of American conservatives are unhappy with the Republicans, for what they perceive as betrayal of what the GOP is supposed to stand for, but would rather have them than the alternative. And GOP presidential candidate may think that being too conservative would make him unelectable, so tries to reach out to the "moderates", instead of standing totally conservative and allowing an ultra-liberal to win. The Yanks still have the backward plurality voting instead of our superior preferential voting, and the former means more compromise is necessary.


It is possible Bryan was not a white supremacist by conviction, and I've resisted the temptation to point out quotes that could be interpreted as white-supremacist, since virtually any significant figure of the time would have a few of those. That's why I allowed the possibility that he was only one by default.

Is your source perchance Summer for the gods: the Scopes trial and America’s continuing debate over science and religion by Edward J. Larson (1997)? It still seems a bit rich to accuse him of such repugnance when the textbook he opposed was full of it.


The position of (some of) his opponents was not relevant to my case that he was a progressive on some issues but not others.

I wasn't aware that you had much of a case ;) But there may be a case all the same. Chances are, I would not agree with a lot of his leftist political views.

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2007, 11:36 AM
My apologies, ex-pals. I was not aware of the schism.
Apologies accepted, of course.:eek:

Kevin Bonham
29-05-2007, 10:06 PM
Compare today, where a lot of American conservatives are unhappy with the Republicans, for what they perceive as betrayal of what the GOP is supposed to stand for, but would rather have them than the alternative. And GOP presidential candidate may think that being too conservative would make him unelectable, so tries to reach out to the "moderates", instead of standing totally conservative and allowing an ultra-liberal to win. The Yanks still have the backward plurality voting instead of our superior preferential voting, and the former means more compromise is necessary.

I agree with this - though I'd point out that it's also an issue in Australia, perhaps to almost as strong a degree, except that Australia is generally more relaxed about candidates' personal lives and religious views. Australian conservatives and progressives often see their own side's major party as having sold out in the grab for the political centre.


Is your source perchance Summer for the gods: the Scopes trial and America’s continuing debate over science and religion by Edward J. Larson (1997)?

Nope. Never read it. Any good? :lol:


It still seems a bit rich to accuse him of such repugnance when the textbook he opposed was full of it.

Maybe they were both repugnant. It was hardly so uncommon in that nation and that time. Even H.L. Mencken, the wonderfully gifted writer who commemorated Bryan's passing from this planet with this (http://purple.niagara.edu/chambers/mencken.html), is regarded as having himself had the odd racist-leaning moment by some.


But there may be a case all the same. Chances are, I would not agree with a lot of his leftist political views.

That's interesting because often Christians are keen to boast about how Bryan was a creationist and a progressive. But you seem to wish he was less of the latter. :lol:

pax
05-06-2007, 11:43 PM
More on the Creation barney. And our mate Jono doesn't even rate a mention!

http://theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21843706-2702,00.html?from=public_rss

Rincewind
06-06-2007, 12:16 AM
More on the Creation barney. And our mate Jono doesn't even rate a mention!

http://theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21843706-2702,00.html?from=public_rss

Makes an interesting read. I assume Carl Weiland is Jono's current boss and Ken Ham was the guy who originally employed him all those years ago. Perhaps Jono can confirm/deny or not comment on that score.

Capablanca-Fan
06-06-2007, 01:02 AM
Makes an interesting read.

Yes, half-way reasonable for a secular journalist.


I assume Carl Weiland is Jono's current boss and Ken Ham was the guy who originally employed him all those years ago. Perhaps Jono can confirm/deny or not comment on that score.

Pretty reasonable assumptions. BTW, it's Wieland (a character in the Teutonic mythos), and he was really my only boss, and the one who hired me (which is why I play for Logan City CC not Wellington CC now). He and KH were joint leaders of the ministries group, so KH in a sense was also a boss. In the past, I've co-authored things with both of them.

CMI's detailed statement is http://www.creationontheweb.com/briese2 (http://www.creationontheweb.biz/briese_committee_menu.html) A sample of how AiG's "godly agreement" signed behind our backs by a runaway Board of Directors who had promised not to sign anything without consulting with managementis http://www.creationontheweb.com/images/pdfs/dispute/largebluefont.pdf Note that this agreement gave AiG-US to falsely attribute articles to other authors, and if the real author sued for what AiG-US did, then AiG-Au (now CMI-Au) would bear the legal penalties. The old Board was appointed by Ken Ham, and their own (Christian) lawyer urged them to resign en masse in return for indemnity from civil and criminal prosecutions for the betrayal of their own company, in contravention of Australian law. A skeptic/evolutionist's perspective is The Lippard Blog (http://lippard.blogspot.com/2007/06/creation-ministries-international-sues.html).

Capablanca-Fan
06-06-2007, 01:27 AM
I agree with this - though I'd point out that it's also an issue in Australia, perhaps to almost as strong a degree, except that Australia is generally more relaxed about candidates' personal lives and religious views. Australian conservatives and progressives often see their own side's major party as having sold out in the grab for the political centre.

That's true. But the grab for the "centre" when an ostensibly conservative party moves left is often political suicide. After all, why should leftists vote for Left-Lite when they can vote for the real thing, while the conservative party loses many of their supporters. Just think of all the State opposition parties in the wilderness, the Democrat takeover of the US Congress, and the fact that the GOP was in the minority in Congress for decades before Reagan and Gingerich decided to stand for conservative principles. This, in the old words of Phyllis Schaffly, provided a choice rather than an echo.


Nope. Never read it [Summer for the gods]. Any good? :lol:

Seems to be quite fair minded for an evolutionist :lol: Oh, Bryan was only a three-time loser for the Presidency, so where was the fourth? He was secretary of state under Woodrow Wilson.


Maybe they were both repugnant. It was hardly so uncommon in that nation and that time. Even H.L. Mencken, the wonderfully gifted writer who commemorated Bryan's passing from this planet with this (http://purple.niagara.edu/chambers/mencken.html), is regarded as having himself had the odd racist-leaning moment by some.

It was a strange country all right. It was even ahead of Nazi Germany in its eugenics programs, but didn't go further than forced sterilizations, as documented by War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race by Edwin Black.


That's interesting because often Christians are keen to boast about how Bryan was a creationist and a progressive. But you seem to wish he was less of the latter. :lol:

Yes. It is not a matter of "boasting" about his progressivism (although he deserves credit for strongly pushing women's suffrage) but responding to the notion that all creationists were/are right-wing fundamentalists. Someone today with Bryan's views would never be called "right-wing". He was also more of a "progressive creationist", a term which has nothing to do with "progressivism" in politics.

Kevin Bonham
08-06-2007, 03:22 AM
That's true. But the grab for the "centre" when an ostensibly conservative party moves left is often political suicide. After all, why should leftists vote for Left-Lite when they can vote for the real thing, while the conservative party loses many of their supporters. Just think of all the State opposition parties in the wilderness,

That's not necessarily because of grabs for the centre. Indeed one of the reasons the Tasmanian Liberals have done awfully in the last two state elections has been that they refuse to play for the centre and keep going for reactionary right votes on family values and economic issues (strangely, in Tasmania Labor is more libertarian than Liberal on economic issues like shop trading hours.)


Oh, Bryan was only a three-time loser for the Presidency, so where was the fourth?

I think there were actually five (not four as I stated above) failed attempts if you count those snuffed out within his own party without him getting to win the nomination and contest the Presidency.

Igor_Goldenberg
15-06-2007, 11:03 AM
I am new to the discussion, so let me ask a basic question:

Should the two problems, e.g. origin of the species and further development of the species be separated?

Kevin Bonham
20-11-2007, 08:20 PM
I've seen Spiny Norman pushing that naughty Lewontin quote elsewhere just as Jono used it repeatedly here.

Debunking quote-mining exercises like that is such a no-brainer that it's hardly worth the effort, but once more with feeling: a scientist being a brilliant scientist does not necessarily mean their word on the philosophy of science should be considered gospel or representative. Lewontin was a pal of Gould hence is hardly representative.

Treating Lewontin as an authority on philosophy of science just because he was a brilliant scientist is like treating the Pope as an authority on the philosophy of religion just because a very large bunch of people reckon he's God's big boy on earth.

Capablanca-Fan
20-11-2007, 09:24 PM
I've seen Spiny Norman pushing that naughty Lewontin quote elsewhere just as Jono used it repeatedly here.
He said what he said. And it's common enough for the other side to bring up the issue of boas.


Debunking quote-mining exercises like that is such a no-brainer that it's hardly worth the effort,
But the rest of your post is on the lines of "so what that Lewontin said it", so why charge "quote mining" as if the quote is out of context (which it isn't).


but once more with feeling: a scientist being a brilliant scientist does not necessarily mean their word on the philosophy of science should be considered gospel or representative. Lewontin was a pal of Gould hence is hardly representative.
You don't think highly of Gould then?


Treating Lewontin as an authority on philosophy of science
Who would you count as an authority?


just because he was a brilliant scientist is like treating the Pope as an authority on the philosophy of religion just because a very large bunch of people reckon he's God's big boy on earth.
Plenty of evolutionists make a big thing of "the Pope accepts evolution".

Aaron Guthrie
20-11-2007, 11:49 PM
Who would you count as an authority?Putnam is pretty good. (also there is the benefit that any quote by him can be refuted by a later quote by him ;))

Spiny Norman
21-11-2007, 07:04 AM
I've seen Spiny Norman pushing that naughty Lewontin quote elsewhere just as Jono used it repeatedly here.
Well, he shouldn't have said what he said then, eh! You need to be mindful of the context in which I am using it too. Someone over there was alleging that science might one day "prove or disprove God", presumably through some kind of observable experiment. Well, I'd like to see that. My position is that modern science, by definition, is blind to any conceivable non-naturalistic cause, choosing naturalistic explanations and no other. I could just have easily used this quote from Eugenie Scott (ref: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/08/1/text_pop/l_081_02.html):


Q: What can science say about the existence of God?

A: You can find scientists who will say that evolution, any kind of science, means that God is irrelevant. There is no God. Science has disproved God. To me that just really misunderstands the nature of science, because if what we're trying to do is explain the natural world using natural causes, and if, in explaining the natural world, we have to test our explanations against the natural world, that means that we are restricted to natural cause. We cannot introduce the idea of supernatural cause, which also means we can't say God didn't do it.

Evolution or science in general can't say anything about whether God did or did not have anything to do with it. All evolution as a science can tell us is what happened. It can't tell us "whodunnit." And as to what happened, the evidence is extremely strong that the galaxies evolved, the planets evolved, the sun evolved, and living things on earth shared common ancestors.


So unless science plans to define God as a naturalistic being, then there's little chance of science ever having anything authoritative to say about God.

Spiny Norman
21-11-2007, 07:09 AM
Or maybe, if you're sick of the usual quotes from Dennet, Dawkins or Eugenie Scott, you might prefer some observations from someone with a a bit of philosophical nous. Try this, from Michael Ruse, a leading philosopher of science (ref: http://calitreview.com/2007/04/03/an-interview-with-michael-ruse/


Q. Is it appropriate to teach Intelligent Design (ID) in biology class? Is ID a legitimate scientific theory?

A. To answer the second question first, I don’t think that it is. I think that any supposed science that appeals to causes that are non-natural is not a science as we understand the concept today – and incidentally as people understood it in the past. Of course, one might say that the intelligent designer is not necessarily non-natural, but then what or who is he/her? An extra-terrestrial? Obviously it is God or a god, and hence is non-natural.

Garrett
21-11-2007, 08:20 AM
When I was very young I was told that little men came along at night and painted the spots on the Geraniums my Mum had growning around the house.

no-one ever told me this was incorrect but I slowly began to doubt and by the age of six or seven I no longer believed.

However, I have never, ever, ever been able to prove that little men don't in fact come along at night and paint the spots on the Geraniums.

Okay, carry on.

Spiny Norman
21-11-2007, 08:35 AM
I've had a similar experience with the Big Bang ... =8^)

Aaron Guthrie
21-11-2007, 03:33 PM
Well, he shouldn't have said what he said then, eh! You need to be mindful of the context in which I am using it too. Someone over there was alleging that science might one day "prove or disprove God", presumably through some kind of observable experiment. Well, I'd like to see that. My position is that modern science, by definition, is blind to any conceivable non-naturalistic cause, choosing naturalistic explanations and no other.

So unless science plans to define God as a naturalistic being, then there's little chance of science ever having anything authoritative to say about God.What would you take as evidence for/against a God?

Spiny Norman
21-11-2007, 04:00 PM
I used to think that I believed/disbelieved on the basis of specific propositions. I no longer think that's correct. For me, perhaps belief in God more basic than that. Its not a case of "If some proposition P, then God exists" followed by "P is true" (or perhaps "P is likely") therefore "God exists".

So if I say something like "The top 3 reasons God exists are:" and name them, someone who does not believe is quite likely to find them implausible, or illogical, or dishonest, or something like that. Unfortunately, the exact same thing happens in reverse when an atheist gives me their top 3 reasons why they don't believe ... I find them completely incomprehensible, to the point that my inclination is to first think that perhaps they're being wilfully ignorant, or illogical, or suffering from some kind of wish fulfilment.

Having discussed at some length with people who believe differently to me, I have concluded that there's something mysterious going on here. Now if I could only articulate that, I could perhaps write a best seller and live out my declining years in comfortable retirement!

Aaron Guthrie
21-11-2007, 04:11 PM
Having discussed at some length with people who believe differently to me, I have concluded that there's something mysterious going on here. Now if I could only articulate that, I could perhaps write a best seller and live out my declining years in comfortable retirement!I think Graham Oppy might have written a bit about this. But I am not sure how your response is an to the question. You said-
My position is that modern science, by definition, is blind to any conceivable non-naturalistic cause, choosing naturalistic explanations and no other.But if you can't give an example of evidence that science should pay attention to, this criticism strikes me as rather weak.

Spiny Norman
21-11-2007, 04:57 PM
I think you've misunderstood me. I am not arguing that science ought to take into account non-naturalistic arguments/evidence. I am just pointing out that it doesn't. So efforts by other people to hold my belief in God to a scientific standard of evidence (or perhaps even proof) are quite mistaken. If they want to hold a philosophical discussion, sure, no problem, but not a scientific discussion.

Aaron Guthrie
21-11-2007, 05:03 PM
I think you've misunderstood me. I am not arguing that science ought to take into account non-naturalistic arguments/evidence. I am just pointing out that it doesn't. So efforts by other people to hold my belief in God to a scientific standard of evidence (or perhaps even proof) are quite mistaken. If they want to hold a philosophical discussion, sure, no problem, but not a scientific discussion.That seems fair enough. As an aside I do think that refuting specific Gods might be possible. E.g. the God that prevented humans from coming into existence.

Spiny Norman
21-11-2007, 05:09 PM
heh heh ... we should talk some time about "necessary properties of God" ... that stuff really messes with my head!

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 05:30 PM
I think you've misunderstood me. I am not arguing that science ought to take into account non-naturalistic arguments/evidence. I am just pointing out that it doesn't. So efforts by other people to hold my belief in God to a scientific standard of evidence (or perhaps even proof) are quite mistaken. If they want to hold a philosophical discussion, sure, no problem, but not a scientific discussion.

As long as you don't make any CLAIMS which are scientifically testable then I agree. Your personal perceptions are your own and not int he realms of science.

However, if you start making claims which can be scientifically tested then you have to submit to the testing of those claims by science. For example, we know the world is much more than 10,000 years old. It just is a scientifically proven fact. (Insofar as any fact can be proved scientifically). We know with almost as much certainty that species evolve as a part of a continuing natural process.

The ONLY argument that I can think of to refute such scientific evidence is that God has created a universe and set everythnig in motion in such a way so as to make the current universe indistinguishable from one which is billions of years old and species have gradually evolved to their modern forms.

However, if you resort to that meta-argument then the universe COULD have been created 1 picosecond ago (even after I posted this message) and therefore Adam, Eve and Jesus may never really have happened either. So neither side gets anywhere from resorting to that line of reasoning.

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2007, 05:50 PM
However, if you start making claims which can be scientifically tested then you have to submit to the testing of those claims by science.
Can that claim be tested by science ;)


The ONLY argument that I can think of to refute such scientific evidence is that God has created a universe and set everythnig in motion in such a way so as to make the current universe indistinguishable from one which is billions of years old and species have gradually evolved to their modern forms.
Or point out that it doesn't really look that old at all (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/373). This explains why there is still C-14 in diamonds (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4650/), for example, which should have decayed after much less than a million years.

Basil
21-11-2007, 06:04 PM
Enter the amoeba to the debate ... (for a little over a picosecond at least)

There would be a difference between 'proven by science to a factual indisputable outcome' as in say a mathematical truth, and 'tested by science and that test's parameters constrained by the extent of human knowledge in that field', yes?

Leaving now ...

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2007, 06:06 PM
Enter the amoeba to the debate ... (for a little over a picosecond at least)

There would be a difference between 'proven by science to a factual indisputable outcome' as in say a mathematical truth, and 'tested by science and that test's parameters constrained by the extent of human knowledge in that field', yes?

Leaving now ...
That's right (I mean about the nature of proof, not the amoeba ;)).

Aaron Guthrie
21-11-2007, 06:56 PM
Enter the amoeba to the debate ... (for a little over a picosecond at least)

There would be a difference between 'proven by science to a factual indisputable outcome' as in say a mathematical truth, and 'tested by science and that test's parameters constrained by the extent of human knowledge in that field', yes?Relevance?

Basil
21-11-2007, 07:02 PM
Relevance?
As a noob in these concepts and the parameters and the validity of the arguments (both sides), I'm just making sure for myself that there is a known and accepted distinction between

1. what science knows as a provable truth, and
2. what science reckons given the extent of its knowledge

did someone say El Nino (and its asserted causes?) :eek:

Aaron Guthrie
21-11-2007, 07:13 PM
As a noob in these concepts and the parameters and the validity of the arguments (both sides), I'm just making sure for myself that there is a known and accepted distinction between

1. what science knows as a provable truth, and
2. what science reckons given the extent of its knowledge

did someone say El Nino (and its asserted causes?) :eek:I'd reckon there would be a few things between certainty and reckoning. ;)

There would also be the issue of false but pretty darn good theories (e.g. would you say that Newtonian physics was complete junk because it was false?)

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 07:20 PM
Or point out that it doesn't really look that old at all. This explains why there is still C-14 in diamonds, for example, which should have decayed after much less than a million years.

Jono, if you have anything interesting to add by way of links, please make them to scientifically credible sources. As previously discussed creationontheweb is not credible, not least because there is no peer review process to speak of.

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2007, 07:22 PM
Jono, if you have anything interesting to add by way of links, please make them to scientifically credible sources.
Rincewind, that's what I've been doing. You don't have to read them, but others might like to ;)


As previously discussed creationontheweb is not credible, not least because there is no peer review process to speak of.
As previously discussed, it is perfectly credible and peer reviewed.

Desmond
21-11-2007, 07:25 PM
Rincewind, that's what I've been doing. You don't have to read them, but others might like to ;)Yeah I read them before and that's 5 minutes of my life I won't get back.


As previously discussed, it is perfectly credible and peer reviewed.It refers to itself as a reference. That's almost as bad as saying that what is written in the Bible is true because it says it is true in the bible.

Kevin Bonham
21-11-2007, 07:31 PM
Well, he shouldn't have said what he said then, eh! You need to be mindful of the context in which I am using it too. Someone over there was alleging that science might one day "prove or disprove God", presumably through some kind of observable experiment. Well, I'd like to see that.

Sure, but you can try making that point without needing to go around trying to embarrass science just because Lewontin, who happens to be a scientist, said something.


My position is that modern science, by definition, is blind to any conceivable non-naturalistic cause, choosing naturalistic explanations and no other.

In this context, what do you mean by "naturalistic"?

Whether or not God is a naturalistic being, God is supposed on most accounts to have (or to have had) certain impacts on the naturalistic world, that should be detectable by naturalistic science. But it hasn't happened. No scientific evidence can exclude every possible fanciful wispy concept that someone might wish to call God, but specific models of God have had abundant opportunities to show themselves to science and failed to do so.

Furthermore science investigates all manner of claims that something affects something else in what may be considered a non-naturalistic way, eg the massive body of reputable scientific enquiry into whether there is any validity in paranormalism. It just happens that nothing convincing has been found.

I got a file-not-found on your Ruse interview link. Rather hard to judge the comment when I don't have the question it was said in reply to.


But the rest of your post is on the lines of "so what that Lewontin said it", so why charge "quote mining" as if the quote is out of context (which it isn't).

I wasn't aware that the term "quote mining" necessarily implied use out of context.


You don't think highly of Gould then?

In many respects I do think highly of Gould, eg as a theorist and an essayist on science. However I don't rate him as a philosopher of science. He seemed very driven to make peace with religion in what turned out to be a simplistic and artificial way. To say that science answers some questions and religion answers others is rather missing the point. Science answers some questions and everything that has a crack at certain others makes no useful progress, perhaps because there is none to be made. The Lewontin quote seems to be sniffing in the same direction as Gould's NOMA concept.


Who would you count as an authority?

Who says there has to be one? :lol:


Plenty of evolutionists make a big thing of "the Pope accepts evolution".

It is a big thing in terms of its potential impact on the acceptance or otherwise of evolution among the hundreds of millions of Catholics. However I don't think you'll find too many non-Catholic evolutionists saying that this means the Pope is a master philosopher. It's more along the lines that the evidence is so overwhelming that even the Vatican has folded!

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 07:37 PM
As a noob in these concepts and the parameters and the validity of the arguments (both sides), I'm just making sure for myself that there is a known and accepted distinction between

1. what science knows as a provable truth, and
2. what science reckons given the extent of its knowledge

I'm no expert but really everything that I class as science cannot be asserted as absolutely true in the same way as a mathematical theorem can be proved from its axioms. However, there are certain theories that underpin science so fundamentally and across a broad range of fields that the probability of them being too far wrong is practically zero. Other theories are less certain but still good science (exceedingly likely to be true).

Then you start to enter into the world of hypotheses (or in mathematics the equivalent of these are often called conjectures). Generally these cannot be easily shown to be false but not everyone things taking them as true is a good idea either.

Newtonian mechanics is good theory and works well as a mechanical model for macroscopic objects moving at most normal speeds and in everyday gravitational fields. If you start accelerating sub-atomic particles at high speeds in the vicinity of black holes then you need to use a different model. Relativity didn't replace Newtonian mechanics, to just provided a better model for some special cases. In everyday situations the two theories converge.

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 07:41 PM
As previously discussed, it is perfectly credible and peer reviewed.

I think you need a reality check on this.

Please provide a link to the "information for contributing authors" which should (at least) detail the peer review process that is followed and a list of name of those on the editorial board.

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 07:57 PM
Please provide a link to the "information for contributing authors" which should (at least) detail the peer review process that is followed and a list of name of those on the editorial board.

Actually, I take that back. I read the page and it basically a hand holding page intended to help those obviously accustomed to scientific writing. For example it says stuff like use logic, keep the article on one related theme, etc, etc. All things that scientists shouldn't need to be told.

However, it also contains the following checklist items...

Is the subject of your article something to do with creation science, evolution’s errors*, nature, Genesis, Noah’s Ark, the Flood, or a subject that clearly can be used in Creation magazine?

Does your article give a positive case for creation, and/or an argument against evolution?*

So clearly the editors are fishing for articles which match the editorial mandate of not publishing science, but anything that appears to refute evolution an any way that might convince or at least confuse those who are not scientifically literate.

Therefore, stand firmly by my previous statement. On a scientific measure Creation magazine is a joke, a complete laughing-stock and you know it. There is no scientifically-credible review process whatsoever.

However, I no longer believe that there is no peer review process. The submitted articles are obviously written by nutters and reviewed by their peers. :D

* Emphasis added

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2007, 08:18 PM
Actually, I take that back. I read the page and it basically a hand holding page intended to help those obviously accustomed to scientific writing. For example it says stuff like use logic, keep the article on one related theme, etc, etc. All things that scientists shouldn't need to be told.
Creation magazine (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3871/) is our family magazine, which is still peer reviewed and fully referenced; Journal of Creation (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3873/) is our technical publication.

Indeed, my popular-level radiocarbon in diamonds article (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4650/)cites both creationist documentation of c-14 in coal and diamonds, and secular documentation of C-14 in coal. After this was published, secular researchers discovered C-14 in diamonds (R.E. Taylor and J. Southon, “Use of Natural Diamonds to Monitor 14C AMS Instrument Backgrounds,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259 (2007): 282–287). Similarly, my article refuting Dawkins on the allegedly badly designed eye (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/5214/)(which we discussed pre-publication here) cites secular work like Franze et al., Müller cells are living optical fibers in the vertebrate retina (http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0611180104v1), Proc. National Academy of Sciences USA 104(20):8287–8292, 15 May 2007.


However, it also contains the following checklist items...

Is the subject of your article something to do with creation science, evolution’s errors*, nature, Genesis, Noah’s Ark, the Flood, or a subject that clearly can be used in Creation magazine?

Does your article give a positive case for creation, and/or an argument against evolution?*
Of course. It is a focused publication. Similarly, Spectrochimica Acta, in which I have published, wants articles on spectroscopy, not rose gardening or Mayan pyramid builders.


So clearly the editors are fishing for articles which match the editorial mandate of not publishing science, but anything that appears to refute evolution an any way that might convince or at least confuse those who are not scientifically literate.
Except that we have many Ph.D. scientists among our writers, editorial board and subscribers. The "No true scientist" fallacy won't work here :P


Therefore, stand firmly by my previous statement. On a scientific measure Creation magazine is a joke, a complete laughing-stock and you know it.
"You know it" would imply that I believe it, that this belief is true and that it is justified. None of these apply.

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2007, 08:23 PM
Yeah I read them before and that's 5 minutes of my life I won't get back.
You wouldn't get 5 minutes back of anything you do. But this was a far more productive use of your time than many other things.


It refers to itself as a reference.
Bzzt, nope we use primary sources. We refer to another articles only if that article has a lot of relevant primary sources and we want to save space by referring to the article which has them all in one place.


That's almost as bad as saying that what is written in the Bible is true because it says it is true in the bible.
Although that circle can be broken by independent attestation (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2626).

Axiom
21-11-2007, 08:35 PM
Ok, RW, What could account for the presence of C14 in the diamonds ?

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 09:33 PM
Journal of Creation is our technical publication.

Ah yes, that would be that one whose instructions to authors begins (!) with...

Journal of Creation is dedicated to upholding the authority of the 66 books of the Bible, especially in the area of origins. All our editors adhere to the Creation Ministries International (CMI) Statement of Faith and most papers will be designed to support this

Therefore they are not participating in the scientific exercise of uncovering truth. The editors already believe the truth is contained in the 66 books and will only considered to publish work "designed to support" that world view.

This is the very antithesis of science.


Indeed, my popular-level radiocarbon in diamonds article cites both creationist documentation of c-14 in coal and diamonds, and secular documentation of C-14 in coal. After this was published, secular researchers discovered C-14 in diamonds (R.E. Taylor and J. Southon, “Use of Natural Diamonds to Monitor 14C AMS Instrument Backgrounds,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259 (2007): 282–287). Similarly, my article refuting Dawkins on the allegedly badly designed eye (which we discussed pre-publication here) cites secular work like Franze et al., M&#252;ller cells are living optical fibers in the vertebrate retina, Proc. National Academy of Sciences USA 104(20):8287–8292, 15 May 2007.

Obviously anyone can cite secular literature. The question is do secular literature cite your work and is the contribution made by your authors reviewed scientifically? The answers are no, not very much if at all, and no.


Of course. It is a focused publication. Similarly, Spectrochimica Acta, in which I have published, wants articles on spectroscopy, not rose gardening or Mayan pyramid builders.

No, saying you were interested in "scientific articles on the origins of life" would be focusing. The editorial advice contained in these two magazines are clearly fishing for anything which props up a world view which is widely discredited in a number of disciplines, such as geology and biology.


Except that we have many Ph.D. scientists among our writers, editorial board and subscribers. The "No true scientist" fallacy won't work here :P

Unfortunately for you, in this case it is not a fallacy. Having a PhD doesn't not make someone a scientist. To be a scientist you have to do science. Publishing in trashy fringe magazines certainly doesn't qualify either.


"You know it" would imply that I believe it, that this belief is true and that it is justified. None of these apply.

I have your word on that. However, you are in the minority. That doesn't make you wrong, just "special".

Capablanca-Fan
21-11-2007, 09:56 PM
Ah yes, that would be that one whose instructions to authors begins (!) with...

Journal of Creation is dedicated to upholding the authority of the 66 books of the Bible, especially in the area of origins. All our editors adhere to the Creation Ministries International (CMI) Statement of Faith and most papers will be designed to support this
This I know. I wrote most of that document. As opposed to "Dare to challenge naturalistic dogma and you will not be published here", sometimes stated explicitly and other times unwritten policy.


Therefore they are not participating in the scientific exercise of uncovering truth. The editors already believe the truth is contained in the 66 books and will only considered to publish work "designed to support" that world view.
This presupposes that there is no evidence for this.


This is the very antithesis of science.
That was the point of citing Lewontin's quote, which is how no evidence would undermine his materialistic faith.


Obviously anyone can cite secular literature.
But we cite it accurately.


The question is do secular literature cite your work and is the contribution made by your authors reviewed scientifically?
I never needed evolution for my spectroscopic work, and neither did any other spectroscopist. No physical chemist does either. Medical advances like vaccination, germ theory, antiseptics, anaesthetics, antibiotics were discovered with no reference to evolution. So what of it?

More importantly, most of the branches of modern science were founded by creationists, e.g. Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Pascal, Faraday, Maxwell, Joule, Pasteur, Mendel ...

However, the secular paper on rapid petrifaction, Akahane, H. et al., Rapid wood silicification in hot spring water: an explanation of silicification of wood during the Earth’s history, Sedimentary Geology 169(3–4):219–228, 15 July 2004 cited the creationist article Snelling, A.A., ‘Instant’ petrified wood (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1752), Creation 17(4):38–40, 1995; <www.creationontheb.com/wood>. See Wood petrified in spring: Creationist’s rapid claims recognized (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/5179/)


No, saying you were interested in "scientific articles on the origins of life" would be focusing.
Not that many people would be interested in a magazine on chemical evolution. A pity, because I like that topic. But there is focus within focus. JACS focues on chemistry, Inorganica Chimica Acta focuses on inorganic chemistry.


The editorial advice contained in these two magazines are clearly fishing for anything which props up a world view which is widely discredited in a number of disciplines, such as geology and biology.
Elephant hurling again (yawn, stretch).


Unfortunately for you, in this case it is not a fallacy. Having a PhD doesn't not make someone a scientist. To be a scientist you have to do science.
That's we do. Writing about science counts as "doing", otherwise Darwin and Dawkins would not be scientists either when they wrote lots of their works.


Publishing in trashy fringe magazines certainly doesn't qualify either.
I know, so Dawko is ruled out writing for trash like the Humanist , as opposed to Creation that goes to 140 countries :lol:


That doesn't make you wrong, just "special".
My wife might think so anyway ;)

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 10:39 PM
This I know. I wrote most of that document. As opposed to "Dare to challenge naturalistic dogma and you will not be published here", sometimes stated explicitly and other times unwritten policy.

A few citations of the cases where it is explicitly stated would be nice.


This presupposes that there is no evidence for this.

Evidence is beside the point. The editors make this clear when they say
"...dedicated to upholding the authority..." Experiment and observation are a non-issue.


That was the point of citing Lewontin's quote, which is how no evidence would undermine his materialistic faith.

I think Kevin has already dealt with this. The issue here is the scientific credibility of works published in the two private publishing vehicles of CMI.


But we cite it accurately.

Again, citing is no measure of relevance or merit of the material which is being contributed by the author.


I never needed evolution for my spectroscopic work, and neither did any other spectroscopist. No physical chemist does either. Medical advances like vaccination, germ theory, antiseptics, anaesthetics, antibiotics were discovered with no reference to evolution. So what of it?

More importantly, most of the branches of modern science were founded by creationists, e.g. Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Pascal, Faraday, Maxwell, Joule, Pasteur, Mendel ...

However, the secular paper on rapid petrifaction, Akahane, H. et al., Rapid wood silicification in hot spring water: an explanation of silicification of wood during the Earth’s history, Sedimentary Geology 169(3–4):219–228, 15 July 2004 cited the creationist article Snelling, A.A., ‘Instant’ petrified wood, Creation 17(4):38–40, 1995. See Wood petrified in spring: Creationist’s rapid claims recognized

I fail to see how these last three paragraphs have any relevance. Occasionally one of your articles is cited in the secular. Blow your trumpet. That is precisely what I said earlier with

"The question is do secular literature cite your work and is the contribution made by your authors reviewed scientifically?"

The answers remain no, not very much if at all, and no.


Not that many people would be interested in a magazine on chemical evolution. A pity, because I like that topic. But there is focus within focus. JACS focues on chemistry, Inorganica Chimica Acta focuses on inorganic chemistry.

The fact remains the magazines' foci are unscientific in their foundations. This taints the publications such that very little of any scientific worth could ever be published there, even accidentally. Except perhaps the odd article on petrified wood. :D


Elephant hurling again (yawn, stretch).

The fact remains that evolution is a widely accepted theory is secular sciences. Also a sub several billion year old earth (let alone universe) theory is also widely acknowledged as good science.

Your magazines not only publish papers papers contrary to those views. The encourage ONLY controversial views to be published, thereby ensuring the world view of the publishers (a religious organisation) remains unchallenged. This is the exact opposite of science.


That's we do. Writing about science counts as "doing", otherwise Darwin and Dawkins would not be scientists either when they wrote lots of their works.

No writing is doing if you contributing to the field. You are just adding grist to the mill in a private publication vehicle for a religious sect.


I know, so Dawko is ruled out writing for trash like the Humanist , as opposed to Creation that goes to 140 countries :lol:

Are you actually making this as a point that advances your side of the debate?

Scientists do all sort of other things apart from science. That doesn't stop them from being scientists. Newton (who you spruked as a christian above) for example was obsessed by alchemy, white many more pages on the subject than he did in all his scientifically acclaimed works combined. That doesn't discredit his scientific contribution.

Whereas the circulation of your antiscientific mags does nothing to bolster their scientific worth.


My wife might think so anyway ;)

Again, probably in the minority. ;)

Rincewind
21-11-2007, 11:30 PM
Ok, RW, What could account for the presence of C14 in the diamonds ?

The first thing to ask is what could account for the absence of this research in the scientific literature? I had a look around but could find anything on it. Any links to secular journals would be gratefully accepted.

Axiom
22-11-2007, 12:16 AM
The first thing to ask is what could account for the absence of this research in the scientific literature? I had a look around but could find anything on it. Any links to secular journals would be gratefully accepted.
:hmm: ok, thankyou.
I find this debate between yourself and jono particularly interesting.
I'm hoping in a way that jono can come up with some corroberating evidence for the C14 Diamonds !

I have some sympathy for jono arguing against the grain of consensus reality, and for you as someone debating this topic much better than i did ,many years ago when i was humiliated debating a creationist scientist !

I certainly would like to see the arguments for other scientifically held tenets of creationism.

Rincewind
22-11-2007, 12:36 AM
I certainly would like to see the arguments for other scientifically held tenets of creationism.

Perhaps you need to find another hobby. ;)

Axiom
22-11-2007, 12:52 AM
Perhaps you need to find another hobby. ;)
:) but seriously it makes a good study of how,when and why information is accepted. Also, debating from seemingly very difficult positions is a hobby of mine. ;)

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 01:11 AM
The first thing to ask is what could account for the absence of this research in the scientific literature? I had a look around but could find anything on it. Any links to secular journals would be gratefully accepted.
Already given in #230. First, the creationist research presented diamonds to world respected C-14 dating labs, which found it, and ruled out contamination. Second, there has been much secular literature on C-14 in coal, as documented. Third, that post cites a recent secular reference to C-14 in diamonds. The truth was out there, if you want it.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 01:34 AM
A few citations of the cases where it is explicitly stated would be nice.

Been through this before <yawn, stretch>, e.g. Scientific American (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2610); Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3231/#n14) which made the "mistake" of publishing an ID paper, then said it would not publish any such paper again; and more recently Chemistry in Australia (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/5053/). So I don't want to hear that that ID or creation theorists must publish a peer-reviewed article in order to be considered legitimate, and then turn around and complain that it wasn’t legitimate for a journal to publish any peer-reviewed article from them!


Evidence is beside the point. The editors make this clear when they say
"...dedicated to upholding the authority..." Experiment and observation are a non-issue.
They are indeed the issue, just as when Kepler said he was "thinking God's thoughts after him." We are following in this tradition that was so productive for scientific advancement.


The issue here is the scientific credibility of works published in the two private publishing vehicles of CMI.
Which are very high. The only reason to dismiss them is materialist dogma.


I fail to see how these last three paragraphs have any relevance.
Should be clear. Some of the greatest scientists of all time were creationists, and they were scientists precisely because of their creationist worldview.


Occasionally one of your articles is cited in the secular. Blow your trumpet.
That was the idea. But creation / evolution is a question of origins, while most science deals with operational issues. So most science has no direct use for creation or evolution. So I wouldn't expect spectroscopists to make use of either JoC or the usual evolution journals.


The fact remains the magazines' foci are unscientific in their foundations.
Well, dismiss Kepler and Newton et al. who were adamant that the universe was created, and science fulfilled God's dominion mandate (Gen. 1:28).


This taints the publications such that very little of any scientific worth could ever be published there, even accidentally. Except perhaps the odd article on petrified wood. :D
Or my article on smell and spectroscopy reporting on Luca Turin's theory (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/1792/), and he commended the article for being accurate and lucid, although he didn't agree with the creationist conclusions. That article was certainly real science; it made no claim to be original science.

Once again, the likes of Dawko and Lewontin are every bit as dogmatic as you claim we are. So is their science tainted?


The fact remains that evolution is a widely accepted theory is secular sciences. Also a sub several billion year old earth (let alone universe) theory is also widely acknowledged as good science.
But it is not. Physics and chemistry are good science.


Your magazines not only publish papers papers contrary to those views. The encourage ONLY controversial views to be published, thereby ensuring the world view of the publishers (a religious organisation) remains unchallenged. This is the exact opposite of science.
Only by certain stipulative definitions that define science as materialism. It also ignores the important role of the paradigm, as Kuhn pointed out decades ago, and Evelleen Richards pointed out more recently (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/576/):


‘Science … is not so much concerned with truth as it is with consensus. What counts as “truth”? is what scientists can agree to count as truth at any particular moment in time … [Scientists] are not really receptive or not really open-minded to any sorts of criticisms or any sorts of claims that actually are attacking some of the established parts of the research (traditional) paradigm — in this case neo-Darwinism — so it is very difficult for people who are pushing claims that contradict the paradigm to get a hearing. They’ll find it difficult to [get] research grants; they’ll find it hard to get their research published; they’ll, in fact, find it very hard.’


No writing is doing if you contributing to the field.
Which we are, showing a better interpretation of the scientific data. Much cheaper too.


You are just adding grist to the mill in a private publication vehicle for a religious sect.
CMI is non-denominational; it merely holds the view that most of the Church Fathers and Reformers held.


Are you actually making this as a point that advances your side of the debate?
Obviously.


Scientists do all sort of other things apart from science. That doesn't stop them from being scientists.
Exactly. Including writing for creationist publications. I know that some would like to strip my earned Ph.D. and pretend that my papers were written by someone else with the same name.

It is not much of an argument to claim that a scientist by definition can't be a creationist, then say that all scientists reject creation. No true Scotsman ...


Newton (who you spruked as a christian above) for example was obsessed by alchemy, white many more pages on the subject than he did in all his scientifically acclaimed works combined. That doesn't discredit his scientific contribution.
Dunno how much he wrote about alchemy, but I do know that he wrote more on the Bible than he did about science.

Spiny Norman
22-11-2007, 06:52 AM
Sure, but you can try making that point without needing to go around trying to embarrass science just because Lewontin, who happens to be a scientist, said something.
You're imputing motives to me when you suggest that I am trying to "embarrass science". I am not. I'm just pointing out that science, in its current forumulation, based on methodoligical naturalism (which has its roots in philosophical naturalism) will not EVER produce a conclusion which has "God" in it. So the idea that science might one day "prove God" is quite ridiculous. Won't happen unless the philosophical roots of science change to accommodate non-naturalistic explanations.


In this context, what do you mean by "naturalistic"?
Natural = explicable by known, natural processes (e.g. movement/activity of atoms, measurable flows of energy, that sort of thing).


Whether or not God is a naturalistic being, ...
I would suggest that, by definition, he isn't ...


... God is supposed on most accounts to have (or to have had) certain impacts on the naturalistic world, that should be detectable by naturalistic science. But it hasn't happened.
I don't buy that. Lets say I set up an experiment where we put 100 terminally ill people from a hospital into solitary confinement, each to their own room. They are carefully searched so that we know they have no medicines concealed on their bodies. I am also searched carefully. No medicines. Then I'm allowed to go into each room and I spend 1 minute with each of the terminally ill patients. I pray with each one. At the end of the test we examine the patients. They are no longer ill. MRI scans are done. Previous evidences of bone cancer, healed, and so on and so forth. All the doctors shake their heads. "We can't explain that" they say.

Now, what will Science have to say about that? I know what certain individuals will say. Some will say "God healed them". But what will Science say? Easy, science will say "We don't know how they got healed", but science will not say "God exists and He heals people". Science will not allow a supernatural explanation, only a natural explanation.


No scientific evidence can exclude every possible fanciful wispy concept that someone might wish to call God, but specific models of God have had abundant opportunities to show themselves to science and failed to do so.
Science doesn't have the right 'detecting equipment' and will always dismiss anything not immediately explicable by natural causes with a "we don't know" or a "we need to do more experiments".


Furthermore science investigates all manner of claims that something affects something else in what may be considered a non-naturalistic way, eg the massive body of reputable scientific enquiry into whether there is any validity in paranormalism. It just happens that nothing convincing has been found.
Lets say they find something inexplicable. What do you think Science will say about that?


I got a file-not-found on your Ruse interview link. Rather hard to judge the comment when I don't have the question it was said in reply to.
My mistake, some extraneous characters got into the URL tags. Here's a working one:
http://calitreview.com/2007/04/03/an-interview-with-michael-ruse/

I want to reiterate, I have no problem whatsoever with science. Its all good stuff. But science has some inherent limitations on the kinds of knowledge that it can deliver, just as other fields (e.g. theology) have their own limitations. All are founded in particular areas of philosophy, and that is what gets forgotten in a largely materialistic/naturalistic society.

Rincewind
22-11-2007, 08:53 AM
Already given in #230. First, the creationist research presented diamonds to world respected C-14 dating labs, which found it, and ruled out contamination. Second, there has been much secular literature on C-14 in coal, as documented. Third, that post cites a recent secular reference to C-14 in diamonds. The truth was out there, if you want it.

There has been some scientific literature of C14 in coal. However, we were talking about diamond. I could find no scientific literature on this after a brief search, but I was targeting my search for the work of Baumgardner. If I'm mistaken please provide a link to a scientifically credible journal. The creation toshrag you write for doesn't qualify.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 08:59 AM
There has been some scientific literature of C14 in coal. However, we were talking about diamond.
This was mainly creationist research, gathering the diamonds and submitting them for C-14 analysis to leading C-14 labs. If you have any disproof, we would love to hear it. Most critics don't dispute that C-14 was found in diamonds, but just try to explain it away with the same sorts of fallacious argument they use for coal.


I could find no scientific literature on this after a brief search, but I was targeting my search for the work of Baumgardner. If I'm mistaken please provide a link to a scientifically credible journal.
Already told you: R.E. Taylor and J. Southon, “Use of Natural Diamonds to Monitor 14C AMS Instrument Backgrounds,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259 (2007):282–287.

Rincewind
22-11-2007, 06:01 PM
Already told you: R.E. Taylor and J. Southon, “Use of Natural Diamonds to Monitor 14C AMS Instrument Backgrounds,” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259 (2007):282–287.

That article acknowledges 6 major sources of a pseudo-14C reading. Once they have been reasonably eliminated come back to me.

Rincewind
22-11-2007, 06:31 PM
Been through this before <yawn, stretch>, e.g. Scientific American; Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington which made the "mistake" of publishing an ID paper, then said it would not publish any such paper again; and more recently Chemistry in Australia. So I don't want to hear that that ID or creation theorists must publish a peer-reviewed article in order to be considered legitimate, and then turn around and complain that it wasn’t legitimate for a journal to publish any peer-reviewed article from them!

Again with the citations to your own clap trap. Just provide links to the advice for authors pages on scientific journals which state that they they will not publish ID articles due to an inherent faith in evolution.


They are indeed the issue, just as when Kepler said he was "thinking God's thoughts after him." We are following in this tradition that was so productive for scientific advancement.

Kepler belongs to a less enlightened time. That his genius helped enlighten us
not at issue.


Which are very high. The only reason to dismiss them is materialist dogma.

Jono, you have the mistake of believing your own publicity. Anyone with an iota of scientific nous is not fooled.


Should be clear. Some of the greatest scientists of all time were creationists, and they were scientists precisely because of their creationist worldview.

argumentum ad verecundiam


That was the idea. But creation / evolution is a question of origins, while most science deals with operational issues. So most science has no direct use for creation or evolution. So I wouldn't expect spectroscopists to make use of either JoC or the usual evolution journals.

That is false. Much of science does use evolution and or geology. You also discredit radioactive theory so much of nuclear physics is also wrong according to you.


Well, dismiss Kepler and Newton et al. who were adamant that the universe was created, and science fulfilled God's dominion mandate (Gen. 1:28).

argumentum ad verecundiam plus you could hardly blame Kepler and Newton for being ignorant of Darwin when they preceeded him.


Or my article on smell and spectroscopy reporting on Luca Turin's theory, and he commended the article for being accurate and lucid, although he didn't agree with the creationist conclusions. That article was certainly real science; it made no claim to be original science.

You communicated something that was science but tainted the message with an unscientific conclusion. That is actually anti-science. As it was only published in a church newsletter, little real harm was done.


Once again, the likes of Dawko and Lewontin are every bit as dogmatic as you claim we are. So is their science tainted?

When they publish in peer reviewed journals there are checks on their work. When you write for a church newsletter, no such checks and filters exist.


But it is not. Physics and chemistry are good science.

I fail to see your point. Perhaps if you constructed a logical argument.


Only by certain stipulative definitions that define science as materialism. It also ignores the important role of the paradigm, as Kuhn pointed out decades ago, and Evelleen Richards pointed out more recently:


‘Science … is not so much concerned with truth as it is with consensus. What counts as “truth”? is what scientists can agree to count as truth at any particular moment in time … [Scientists] are not really receptive or not really open-minded to any sorts of criticisms or any sorts of claims that actually are attacking some of the established parts of the research (traditional) paradigm — in this case neo-Darwinism — so it is very difficult for people who are pushing claims that contradict the paradigm to get a hearing. They’ll find it difficult to [get] research grants; they’ll find it hard to get their research published; they’ll, in fact, find it very hard.’

Which we are, showing a better interpretation of the scientific data. Much cheaper too.

Your lack of scientific method is certainly cheap. However it leads to a non-scientific products. What you have editorial mandate to dress up anything which looks like a problem with your religious beliefs to appear like a scientific conclusion. The method is false, the ideology is unscientific and the product is tosh.


CMI is non-denominational; it merely holds the view that most of the Church Fathers and Reformers held.

According to your website:

"...Creation magazine is part of a non-profit, largely donation-funded Christian ministry..."


Obviously.

Not.


Exactly. Including writing for creationist publications. I know that some would like to strip my earned Ph.D. and pretend that my papers were written by someone else with the same name.

It is not much of an argument to claim that a scientist by definition can't be a creationist, then say that all scientists reject creation. No true Scotsman ...

Yes Jono you probably were some sort of aspiring scientist some time in the distant past. You have done no real science for a long time and what you did was not very much to begin with. I hope the fall back to earth didn't hurt too much. :)


Dunno how much he wrote about alchemy, but I do know that he wrote more on the Bible than he did about science.

Check John Maynard Keynes's "Newton, the man". You can find it in his (JMK) collected works.

Axiom
22-11-2007, 06:50 PM
. You have done no real science for a long time and what you did was not very much to begin with..
Perhaps substantiation required here.

Capablanca-Fan
22-11-2007, 07:01 PM
Again with the citations to your own clap trap.
Not that you know enough to judge.


Just provide links to the advice for authors pages on scientific journals which state that they they will not publish ID articles due to an inherent faith in evolution.
Yawn, not much point discussing this. The links are very clear, that they refuse to publish ID stuff. And if they did, there would be such an uproar from the materialists that they would be too afraid to do it again, as documented.


Kepler belongs to a less enlightened time.
Who says so? He didn't live in an age of the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur ...


That his genius helped enlighten us not at issue.
His genius was motivated by his Christian convictions, so it is very much an issue.


Anyone with an iota of scientific nous is not fooled.
And why should I take your word for that?


That is false. Much of science does use evolution and or geology.
Like what? Or do you mean that some biology uses natural selection, which was thought of by creationists before Darwin.


You also discredit radioactive theory so much of nuclear physics is also wrong according to you.
Nope, just associated auxiliary assumptions I studied postgrad nuclear physics, among other things. And my argument about C-14 in diamonds presupposes the accuracy of radioactive theory.


plus you could hardly blame Kepler and Newton for being ignorant of Darwin when they preceeded him.
Already answered that too, in Newton was a creationist only because there was no alternative? (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2834/)—enough for the critic to realise his error. Your main error is thinking that Darwin was the originator of evolutionary ideas, which actually predate him by millennia.


You communicated something that was science but tainted the message with an unscientific conclusion.
Nope, a conclusion that disagrees with materialism. All you've done is redefine science as naturalism.

Actually, there is much more real operational science content even in our family magazine than in the Skeptic, and our authors are much better qualified too :P


That is actually anti-science.
How so? How is someone going to get a misleading idea on the real science of olfaction or vibrational spectroscopy from this?:hmm:


When they publish in peer reviewed journals there are checks on their work. When you write for a church newsletter, no such checks and filters exist.
You have an undue faith in peer review. We've gone through that before too, e.g. Alison McCook wrote in Is peer review broken? The Scientist 20(2):26, February 2006:

‘Everyone, it seems, has a problem with peer review at top-tier journals. The recent discrediting of stem cell work by Woo-Suk Hwang at Seoul National University sparked media debates about the system's failure to detect fraud. Authors, meanwhile, are lodging a range of complaints: Reviewers sabotage papers that compete with their own, strong papers are sent to sister journals to boost their profiles, and editors at commercial journals are too young and invariably make mistakes about which papers to reject or accept. Still, even senior scientists are reluctant to give specific examples of being shortchanged by peer review, worrying that the move could jeopardize their future publications.

‘Despite a lack of evidence that peer review works, most scientists (by nature a skeptical lot) appear to believe in peer review. It's something that’s held “absolutely sacred” in a field where people rarely accept anything with “blind faith”, says Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ and now CEO of UnitedHealth Europe and board member of PLoS. “It’s very unscientific, really.”

Robert Higgs, a scientist with many years experience as a researcher, university professor and peer reviewer, had this to say (Peer review, publication in top journals, scientific consensus, and so forth (http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/38532.html), George Mason University’s History News Network, 7 May 2007.)

‘Peer review, on which lay people place great weight, varies from important, where the editors and the referees are competent and responsible, to a complete farce, where they are not. As a rule, not surprisingly, the process operates somewhere in the middle, being more than a joke but less than the nearly flawless system of Olympian scrutiny that outsiders imagine it to be. Any journal editor who desires, for whatever reason, to knock down a submission can easily do so by choosing referees he knows full well will knock it down; likewise, he can easily obtain favorable referee reports. As I have always counseled young people whose work was rejected, seemingly on improper or insufficient grounds, the system is a crap shoot.

‘Personal vendettas, ideological conflicts, professional jealousies, methodological disagreements, sheer self-promotion and a great deal of plain incompetence and irresponsibility are no strangers to the scientific world; indeed, that world is rife with these all-too-human attributes. In no event can peer review ensure that research is correct in its procedures or its conclusions. The history of every science is a chronicle of one mistake after another. In some sciences these mistakes are largely weeded out in the course of time; in others they persist for extended periods; and in some sciences, such as economics, actual scientific retrogression may continue for generations under the misguided belief that it is really progress.
‘At any given time, consensus may exist about all sorts of matters in a particular science. In retrospect, however, that consensus is often seen to have been mistaken.


Your lack of scientific method is certainly cheap. However it leads to a non-scientific products. What you have editorial mandate to dress up anything which looks like a problem with your religious beliefs to appear like a scientific conclusion. The method is false, the ideology is unscientific and the product is tosh.
Nice elephant hurling. Now would you like to make a substantial objection? ;)


According to your website:

"...Creation magazine is part of a non-profit, largely donation-funded Christian ministry..."
It is not a denomination. It is interdenominational.


Yes Jono you probably were some sort of aspiring scientist some time in the distant past. You have done no real science for a long time and what you did was not very much to begin with.
So the only science that counts is in the lab? Or writing atheistic propaganda like Dawko? Maybe you'll come up with a definition that isn't self-serving. Or do you really think I've forgotten all my extensive training in chemisty and physics?


Check John Maynard Keynes's "Newton, the man". You can find it in his (JMK) collected works.
He was an economist.

Rincewind
22-11-2007, 08:12 PM
Perhaps substantiation required here.

Most of that discussion can be read in this thread (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6418), particularly Post #18.

I'll reproduce it here...


No research output though in 12 years is probably unusual even in an area a financially lucrative as economics. I think in chemistry when you are working in a lab which are often owned by unis or large research institutions it is even more so. The fact is Jono is the first author on 2 papers and co-authored another 4. None since 1995. Since then he has published almost exclusively in the field of religious indoctrination including dressing up pseudo-science well outside the field of spectroscopy.

The primary way a field is advanced is through the publishing of research articles, not only people in Uni do this, also researchers working for large research companies (no so many in Australia but common in the US) and government research organisations (like ANSTO and CSIRO). A good measure of the impact of a research article is through the citations that article receives. For the two articles that Jono was principal author on the citation count by Science Direct is 0 and 2.

Rincewind
22-11-2007, 09:20 PM
Not that you know enough to judge.

I know a church newsletter when I see one.


Yawn, not much point discussing this. The links are very clear, that they refuse to publish ID stuff. And if they did, there would be such an uproar from the materialists that they would be too afraid to do it again, as documented.

I posted excepts from the "info for authors" pages from both the church newsletters you publish in and clearly argued as to why they point to an unscientific ideology in the editorial principles of both.

You claim the same exists for secular journals but have been unable to provide the same sort of quote or link.


Who says so? He didn't live in an age of the Holocaust, Stalin's purges, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur ...

Your argument is based on you taking a different sense of the word enlightened. Such tactics probably work in the circles you normally move in, they don't wash with me. So try to be less sloppy in the future.


His genius was motivated by his Christian convictions, so it is very much an issue.

According to you.


And why should I take your word for that?

Because deep down you know it is true.


Like what? Or do you mean that some biology uses natural selection, which was thought of by creationists before Darwin.

There is a whole raft of things. Where would you like to begin?


Nope, just associated auxiliary assumptions I studied postgrad nuclear physics, among other things. And my argument about C-14 in diamonds presupposes the accuracy of radioactive theory.

Still picking and choosing?


Already answered that too, in Newton was a creationist only because there was no alternative?—enough for the critic to realise his error. Your main error is thinking that Darwin was the originator of evolutionary ideas, which actually predate him by millennia.

That's just crap (no offense). As I have already stated a number of times, I'll read things in scientific journals. I won't waste too much time on your church newsletter.


Nope, a conclusion that disagrees with materialism. All you've done is redefine science as naturalism.

No all you have done is tried to redefined religious indoctrination as science.


Actually, there is much more real operational science content even in our family magazine than in the Skeptic, and our authors are much better qualified too :P

Why bring up the Skeptic? Another of your straw men?


How so? How is someone going to get a misleading idea on the real science of olfaction or vibrational spectroscopy from this?:hmm:


For the same reason the original author did not agree with your conclusion. It is not supported by the content.


You have an undue faith in peer review. We've gone through that before too

No one said peer review was perfect. However, some peer review is better than the alternative of no quality control whatsoever, as in the case of your church newsletter.


Nice elephant hurling. Now would you like to make a substantial objection? ;)

It's all the same old objection. Without any quality review your articles are worthless. You can't claim to be a scientific magazine just because you say so.


It is not a denomination. It is interdenominational.

Yes an interdenominational church. Just like most churches.


So the only science that counts is in the lab? Or writing atheistic propaganda like Dawko? Maybe you'll come up with a definition that isn't self-serving. Or do you really think I've forgotten all my extensive training in chemisty and physics?

No if you do science you are a scientists. As you don't have any scientific output (for the last 12 years or so) Then I can't see how you can claim to be any sort of scientist. At best you are a populariser but even that is false as you aren't communicating science, you are just spreading misinformation which support the religious conviction of your employers.


He was an economist.

That don't make him necessarily wrong. I believe he is the personal owner of a good number of Newton's orginal writings and so was probably more knowledgeable on Newton than the average economist.

Capablanca-Fan
23-11-2007, 11:19 AM
I know a church newsletter when I see one.
You've probably never seen a church newsletter in your life. I've seen plenty and they are totally different.


I posted excepts from the "info for authors" pages from both the church newsletters you publish in and clearly argued as to why they point to an unscientific ideology in the editorial principles of both.
No, it was just misotheistic viewpoint discrimination, which would rule out some of the greatest scientists of all time as "scientists" if you were consistent.


You claim the same exists for secular journals but have been unable to provide the same sort of quote or link.
Yes I have, several times.


Your argument is based on you taking a different sense of the word enlightened. Such tactics probably work in the circles you normally move in, they don't wash with me. So try to be less sloppy in the future.
Then don't use words that are so equivocal :P


According to you.
And I am a Ph.D. scientist.


Because deep down you know it is true.
How would you know what I know?


There is a whole raft of things. Where would you like to begin?
Wherever you want.


Still picking and choosing?
No, applying it consistently, not just when it supports materialism. So why do you think there is C-14 in coal and diamonds?


That's just crap (no offense). As I have already stated a number of times, I'll read things in scientific journals. I won't waste too much time on your church newsletter.
I.e. you demand evidence from me, but then won't read what I write as evidence :P


No all you have done is tried to redefined religious indoctrination as science.
As opposed to your materialistic religion masquerading as science?


Why bring up the Skeptic? Another of your straw men?
Because they are a high profile anti-christian organization.


For the same reason the original author did not agree with your conclusion. It is not supported by the content.
It is consistent with it, and he had no objection to the actual science.


No one said peer review was perfect. However, some peer review is better than the alternative of no quality control whatsoever, as in the case of your church newsletter.
I've just documented that peer review can be a good protector of the paradigm.


It's all the same old objection. Without any quality review your articles are worthless.
"Quality" in your definition means "dogmatically materialist". Your argument boils down to these circular self-serving statements:


I don't trust your magazine's content becuase of its lack of quality review
I don't trust your magazines review quality because of its content.



No real scientists are creationists
Creationists can't be real scientists.



Creation isn’t real science because it isn’t peer-reviewed.
Creation isn’t peer-reviewed because it isn’t real science.



You can't claim to be a scientific magazine just because you say so.
And you can't deny it just upon your say so.


Yes an interdenominational church. Just like most churches.
It has a completely different structure from a church. We go to different churches.


No if you do science you are a scientists. As you don't have any scientific output (for the last 12 years or so) Then I can't see how you can claim to be any sort of scientist.
Again, merely because of your stipulative definitions. But if you can find an objective criterion that would rule me out as a scientist and not Dawko, we'd like to hear it. NB; by objective, I don't mean materialistic.


At best you are a populariser but even that is false as you aren't communicating science, you are just spreading misinformation which support the religious conviction of your employers.
Yet you haven't documented a single example of misinformation or falsehood.

Rincewind
23-11-2007, 01:19 PM
You've probably never seen a church newsletter in your life. I've seen plenty and they are totally different.

Your claim is false and by my reading they are not that dissimilar. Although your church newsletters bear a closer resemblance to the leaflets passed around by the JWs in their door-to-door efforts.


No, it was just misotheistic viewpoint discrimination, which would rule out some of the greatest scientists of all time as "scientists" if you were consistent.

I am consistently applying the same standard to all scientists. I have nothing against theistic scientist. Just anti-scientists like yourself.


Yes I have, several times.

No. Your links on this matter were exclusively to your church's website.


Then don't use words that are so equivocal :P

The vast majority of words have more than one meaning. Your lack of appreciation of this point probably explains some of your shoddy arguments.


And I am a Ph.D. scientist.

Is that supposed to impress me? It doesn't.


How would you know what I know?

I have my suspicions that you are actually smart enough to know the truth. Of course, like science, I could be proved wrong.


Wherever you want.

Ok How about the links between biology and plate tectonics. The following popular science piece is posted on the Australia Academy of Science website:

Discovering Australia's Evolutionary Past (http://www.science.org.au/nova/104/104key.htm)


No, applying it consistently, not just when it supports materialism. So why do you think there is C-14 in coal and diamonds?

According to the scientific paper you linked me to, no definite proof was given that the 14C readings came from the diamonds themselves.


I.e. you demand evidence from me, but then won't read what I write as evidence :P

Publish in a peer-reviewed journal and I will. Write for a church newsletter and I am unlikely to.


As opposed to your materialistic religion masquerading as science?

Is that your term for mainstream science?


Because they are a high profile anti-christian organization.

I'd be interested if you could provide a link to the skeptic website which says that they are an anti-christian organisation. My understanding is that they have many christian members.


It is consistent with it, and he had no objection to the actual science.

That would be the bit where you popularised the original author's work. I had no problem with that part of the article either. It was just the speculative and unsupported hyperbole at the end which I have a problem with when it comes to most of the articles that I have seen in your church newsletter.


I've just documented that peer review can be a good protector of the paradigm.

Some people have that opinion, and yet, most scientific journals maintain a rigorous peer review process. Whats more the most highly esteemed journals (including the jewel in your academic crown, Nature) have the most rigorous processes with the most number of reviewers and very high rejection rates. (IE cases where the peer review process take a role in determining what is published rather than rubber stamping as you claim in your arguments). Go figure!


"Quality" in your definition means "dogmatically materialist". Your argument boils down to these circular self-serving statements:


I don't trust your magazine's content becuase of its lack of quality review
I don't trust your magazines review quality because of its content.



No real scientists are creationists
Creationists can't be real scientists.



Creation isn’t real science because it isn’t peer-reviewed.
Creation isn’t peer-reviewed because it isn’t real science.


More of your straw men. I have not made any of these arguments. I don;t trust your newsletters output because of the lack of any peer review process
to speak of.

Scientist can (and many are) theists. They could also be creationists provided they back up their creationist ideas with evidence.

And the third one isn't circular.


And you can't deny it just upon your say so.

You are need to produce scientific credentials, they are not assumed in the absense of anything else. At the moment you claim to fame is that some of your contributers have PhDs. That is really not that impressive as you have a very small circle of authors and most are writing outside the area of the PhD specialisation. I'd like to see rigorous peer review process at the very least.


It has a completely different structure from a church. We go to different churches.

You go to many churches. CMI being one common to you all.


Again, merely because of your stipulative definitions. But if you can find an objective criterion that would rule me out as a scientist and not Dawko, we'd like to hear it. NB; by objective, I don't mean materialistic.

Yes there is and I have told it to you many times. Dawkins has a long and illustrious career with scores of papers published in highly regarded scientific journal.

You did a PhD and have you name on a handful of papers. Have not published anything in a scientific journal for more than a decade.

He is a scientist and you are not.


Yet you haven't documented a single example of misinformation or falsehood.

Almost every single article I have read on the website you happy post here contains at least one unsupported conclusion.

Capablanca-Fan
23-11-2007, 02:03 PM
Your claim is false and by my reading they are not that dissimilar. Although your church newsletters bear a closer resemblance to the leaflets passed around by the JWs in their door-to-door efforts.
Leaflets v 56 pp mags? Come off it! My church newsletter is different from Dr Wieland's church newsletter which is different from Dr Batten's church newsletter, because we go to different churches.


I am consistently applying the same standard to all scientists. I have nothing against theistic scientist. Just anti-scientists like yourself.
Yes you do, unless they are atheistic as you. And there is nothing anti-science about me any more than about other creationist scientists like Newton. Again, you equate science with materialism, which would have been news to the founders of modern science.


No. Your links on this matter were exclusively to your church's website.
Wrong again. Try reading.


The vast majority of words have more than one meaning. Your lack of appreciation of this point probably explains some of your shoddy arguments.
Which you haven't been able to refute :P But your own equivocation is par for the course for evolutionists, who use "evolution" both to mean "change over time" (which no creationist disputes) as well as goo to you via the zoo, and play bait-and-switch.


Is that supposed to impress me? It doesn't.
What have you done that I should be impressed with?

Ok How about the links between biology and plate tectonics. The following popular science piece is posted on the Australia Academy of Science website:

Discovering Australia's Evolutionary Past (http://www.science.org.au/nova/104/104key.htm)[/QUOTE]
So what is this link exactly? When Darwin proposed his theory, he believed in fixed continents.


According to the scientific paper you linked me to, no definite proof was given that the 14C readings came from the diamonds themselves.
The clear evidence was explained away. The creationist research documented C-14 from diamonds, confirmed by leading labs. Most evolutionary critics don't doubt the findings, just the interpretation, so why shouldn't we doubt your doubt?

The secular paper also found C-14 there and in "precambrian" graphite. If it is just background noise, then why then did the graphite contain on average more carbon-14 than the diamonds, so were 'dated' younger? And why were there differences between the diamonds. The grip of the paradigm is too strong.


Publish in a peer-reviewed journal and I will. Write for a church newsletter and I am unlikely to.
You just want misotheistic peer review. I don't actually care if you read it or not; the links are there for more open minded readers rather than dogmatic misotheists.


Is that your term for mainstream science?
No, science should be about the logical explanation, not the materialistic explanation.


I'd be interested if you could provide a link to the skeptic website which says that they are an anti-christian organisation. My understanding is that they have many christian members.
Your understanding is wrong. They don't have to SAY they are anti-Christian to BE that way as shown by their membership and publications.


That would be the bit where you popularised the original author's work. I had no problem with that part of the article either.
A lot of our articles are explaining cutting edge science to layreaders, so skeptics can understand it :P And we show that the results are consistent with biblical creation. So there is plenty of real science that sceptics can learn from.


Some people have that opinion, and yet, most scientific journals maintain a rigorous peer review process.
But is there any proof that it is any good?


Whats more the most highly esteemed journals (including the jewel in your academic crown, Nature) have the most rigorous processes with the most number of reviewers and very high rejection rates. (IE cases where the peer review process take a role in determining what is published rather than rubber stamping as you claim in your arguments). Go figure!
Nature has also rejected papers that proved to be outstanding.


Scientist can (and many are) theists. They could also be creationists provided they back up their creationist ideas with evidence.
But then you reject the evidence because it was presented by creationists and refused publication by materialists.


And the third one isn't circular.
It is so. When a journal explicitly says that it will not publish ID or creationist stuff, it is hypocritical to demand that ID or creation theorists must be published to be recognized as science.


You are need to produce scientific credentials, they are not assumed in the absense of anything else. At the moment you claim to fame is that some of your contributers have PhDs. That is really not that impressive as you have a very small circle of authors and most are writing outside the area of the PhD specialisation.
Not at all. We have Ph.D. biologists writing about biology, Ph.D. geneticists writing about genetics, Ph.D. astronomers writing about astronomy, Dr John Hartnett who has published groundbreaking work in secular astrophysics journals, I sometimes write about chemistry and spectroscopy.


I'd like to see rigorous peer review process at the very least.
There is.


Yes there is and I have told it to you many times. Dawkins has a long and illustrious career with scores of papers published in highly regarded scientific journal.
But he hasn't stepped foot in a lab for years, and for the last many years, he has been a crude propagandist for atheism. Even some of his 'science' like memes is not regarded as science even by many evos.


You did a PhD and have you name on a handful of papers.
How many do you need?


Have not published anything in a scientific journal for more than a decade.
So after what time frame does one cease to be a scientist?

I have, JoC. Dawko hasn't published on any original research for more than a decade.

He is a scientist and you are not. [/QUOTE]
Ipse dixit. Again just worthless viewpoint discrimination from one who is in no position to judge.