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  Topic: Avocationist, taking some advice...seperate thread< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,05:23   

Avocationist

Hume argued that there is no such thing as a miracle.  Anything that is observed enough times becomes a natural fact.  Therefore, there is nothing that can ever be proven that will not be natural.  Its just an interesting tangent you seem to be working off of in your arguments.

You mentioned Newton.  I hate when people reference Newton to explain a symbiotic existence of religion and science.  
There are two flaws with this comparison.
1.  Newton was NOT a fundamentalist....he did not believe much of the bible....and when he applied his scientific scrutiny to the bible....he decided that Jesus was not divine.
2.  Newton never used religion to explain the world.  You might say that he attempted to use the bible during his exploration of alchemy....but he completely failed at alchemy.  So, in other words, when he attempted to use religious and scientific knowledge together....he wound up in a basement practicing alchemy.  When he was simply observing the natual world....he created calculus.


BTW...I am a Deist....and my religious beliefs have no bearing on my scientific ones.  If science claimed to be the "supreme" answer...then I might have conflict....but Science only claims to be the most appropriate answer based on the data that we currently have in our possesion to explain the natural world.


The only work that has been done to "prove" ID is statistics.  Behe theorized that life was too complex to have arisen by chance....which is a completely unsustainable claim.  Dembski later analyzed the probability of such a chance.  The problem with Dembski's probabilities are well-cited...but let me point out the fundamental flaw.  HUBRIS...as you so eloquently stated earlier, except in this case...it is the hubris of the statistician.  

Lets have a little excercise.  Flip a coin..was it heads or tails?  Let's pretend it was heads.  What are the odds that you would get heads? 1:2
You now have heads....what are the odds that you have heads? 1:1

It is always assumed that the current course of evolution is the only appropriate one.  Of course the odds are very rare that we would wind up in our current state.....but only if you compare the current state to everything else.  There were, of course, many different oppurtunities to change the current state.  They might have all been equally successful, they are simply ignored because they are impossible to calculate.

Also, if the probability of our existence seems to rare for you...then maybe you are right.  Perhaps we did win the grand lottery of the universe....since we have yet to meet any other lucky contestants.....perhaps we are simply a fluke.

Hubris encourages us to believe that our existence is the correct one.  Hubris is also responsible for "the meaning of life".  Life doesnt require meaning...it could be accidental.  Most dont want to accept that, but their only reason is their belief in their own self-importance.

You also missed the point of the rock...and the question of how or who?

Science would readily accept that a person caused the rock to pour out water.  However, science would not care who had struck the rock.

It shouldnt matter.  Moses, his brother, Abraham, or Jeff; they all could have done it.  It doesnt help our understanding of the phenomenon to attribute it to any particular person.  After science decided that striking the rock had caused water to pour out....they would still explore the nature and source of that water.  They would also explore how striking the rock had caused water.

You either misunderstood, or were trying to skirt the issue.  ID would then sit back and say.."we know who struck the rock, but we cannot tell you....you may not like Him."  IT shouldnt matter....they still need to tell us how the rock is producing water.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,07:16   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb 6 2006,17<!--emo&:0)
Yeah, I'm new here and I do not want to be annoying. Problem is the topic comes up all the time. I think its unavoidable because the core of this whole debate is about whether we live in a purely material universe or not. There's no way really to discuss ID or evolution as understood by many of its most famous proponents without taking atheism/theism into account.

My biggest interest is more philosophical, about the nature of reality itself, conscousness, and what human beings are doing with themselves. I see that it is very hard for most people to approach truth objectively because their emotions  color their motives.

To me it appears that there is a blockage in ability to communicate because for many on the 'scientific' side religion is repugnant to them. I find good reasons for that.
In my opinion, Christianity is stuck in the dark ages, and is only beginning to think about moving out. On the other hand, many in the scientific community, reacting to that primitiveness, are in a state of suspended animation in their ability to find more useful ways to think about reality.

That's what I'm getting at.  With evolution, you don't need to talk about atheism vs. theism, but with ID you do?  ID is dependent on having some sort of supernatural being (defined as such, since this being is responsible for "designing" the features of the universe and only the "supernatural" could be the designer of the natural.)  Since it is dependent on that supernatural entity, it is inherently in the region of religion.  You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Also, you try to argue from personal incredulity, but what is more probable, the process called evolution that has multitudes of evidence, or the undefined process called ID that posits an entity that science can not provide any evidence for, by the own definition of the entity?  That's the thing.  God can not be proven or disproven by science, and there is no evidence that can point to god since all evidence simultaneously points to god and not god all at once.

Edit:  It seems that you think evolution must discuss religion, but that is only correct in cases where the religion makes empirical claims that are open to falsification by scientific inquiry.  Of course, in those cases it would not just be evolution, but physics and many other fields.  So, I ask you what is it about evolution that is more atheistic than any other field of science?

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,08:12   

Quote
So, I ask you what is it about evolution that is more atheistic than any other field of science?

This is just another case of kicking someone in the shins, and complaining that they hurt your toe!

The relevance of religion to *anything* is entirely a function of the doctrine that religion espouses. If some religion were to teach the nonexistence of rabbits, then rabbits would become religious objects in the context of that religion. Indeed, rabbits would become infidels and heretics, and the religion may organize fanatical rabbit-hunts to exterminate what they claim doesn't exist in the first place. What could possibly be more religious than that?

Doctrine trumps evidence every time.

  
Sheikh Mahandi



Posts: 47
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,08:19   

Quote
It seems that you think evolution must discuss religion, but that is only correct in cases where the religion makes empirical claims that are open to falsification by scientific inquiry.  Of course, in those cases it would not just be evolution, but physics and many other fields.  So, I ask you what is it about evolution that is more atheistic than any other field of science?


Recent evidence shows that ICR at least is treating evolution and astronomy / cosmology as equally atheistic and inimical to their world view -
Bad Astronomy - A creationist take on comets

--------------
"Love is in the air, everywhere I look around,.....Love is in the air, every sight and every sound,......"

  
guthrie



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,10:42   

Quote
Fine questions. A purely material universe means the  universe as understood by the philosophy of materialism; in which matter is understood in its commonest sense as "just stuff" eternally existing and without any needed component of mind or consciousness or God.

But the problem here is partly one of philosophy.  It is possible to imagine things which have no physical existence, but in order to see if they do or not, you need to do science.  As for needing a component of God in matter, there are a few religions and philosophies that claim that, the problem comes in showing it to be the case.  

Quote

As to material and non-material I have wondered this same question. Although the spiritual has been traditionally spoken of as nonmaterial, I am unable to understand how something can exist and not be in any way material and how it can interact with matter. But I do not know physics and I don't even understand the expression "massless particle." Anyway, I strongly consider that what has been called non-material simply means an ultrafine level of materiality and the innermost dimensions. So it could be a smooth continuum. On the other hand, the Existence-Principle (God) must be fundamentally existent and therefore invulnerable, which matter by definition is vulnerable.

(Bolded text by me) With regards to the bolded section- that is precisely our point.  Nobody else can understand how something that has no material/ physical exitence can interact with matter.  

What makes you think that
1) God is the existence principle?
2) and invulnerable?

Quite a lot of ancient beliefs have vulnerable gods, the Greeks being the most obvious example.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,10:52   

Does nobody find it odd, that massless and timeless particles can give rise to life on Earth; Yet a massless and timeless entity couldn't?

I am not claiming my statement as scientific BTW. But the world-views do look a bit similar.

  
cogzoid



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Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:11   

I'm guessing that you are talking about photons here.  It's really only a problem conceptually, because as a human we have problems concieving of massless and timeless things.  Our bias doesn't affect the reality of those particles though.

  
C.J.O'Brien



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Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:21   

Nothing's "timeless" exactly. A photon is the best example of a massless particle. Why "massless"?

Per relativity, as the velocity of an object approaches c, the mass approaches infinity. So nothing with mass can have a velocity equal to or greater than c. Photons, lacking mass, "automatically" travel at c. Thus, "the speed of light."

The quantum and relatavistic views of the universe are indeed weird to the untutored human imagination. But it's important, I think, per S. Elliot's question, to draw a line between the difficulty of describing "ultimate reality" in ordinary language, and the essentially arbitrarily assigned "spooky" qualities of an eternal, omnipotent entity.

On one hand, you have elegant congruence between mathematical abstractions and observed phenomena. On the other you have made-up "mysteries" that need not be congruent with any observation.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:26   

Quote (cogzoid @ Feb. 07 2006,17:11)
I'm guessing that you are talking about photons here.  It's really only a problem conceptually, because as a human we have problems concieving of massless and timeless things.  Our bias doesn't affect the reality of those particles though.

Yes I was.

Photons=zero mass and are not subject to time. Yet they are the reason why Earth and Evolution are not subject to SLOT.

Do you not see any similarity in the claims here?

One side says a massless timeless entity caused life. The other side says massless and timeless particles did it.
???

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:29   

Actually, C.J., photons are quite timeless.  As they are traveling at the speed of light they experience infinite time dilation.  So, for them, their creation, reflections, refractions, and eventual absorption happen instantaneously.

Stephen, the difference is that photons can be measured.  And the theory of their existence makes testable predictions.  Don't equivocate just because there are a couple of similarities between God and photons.  It really is a supid argument.

  
Henry J



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:33   

Methinks that's confusing two different meanings of the term "timeless". But I've never heard of the "entity" being called massless before; not sure what that means.

Henry

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:40   

OK. I hadn't quite thought of it that way, but it makes sense. I was making "timeless" synonymous with "eternal." In any case, my main point stands, which is directed at Stephen, and is: "massless" and "timeless" are necessarily fuzzy terms in physics, because they are approximations to mathematical descriptions using ordinary language.
Applied to God, they're just window dressing. It isn't contradictory, after all, to say God masses as much as the Milky Way, rests every seven days, and is going to die next Wednesday. Who can tell me different? (At least, before next Thursday?)

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:44   

Quote (cogzoid @ Feb. 07 2006,17:29)
Actually, C.J., photons are quite timeless.  As they are traveling at the speed of light they experience infinite time dilation.  So, for them, their creation, reflections, refractions, and eventual absorption happen instantaneously.

Stephen, the difference is that photons can be measured.  And the theory of their existence makes testable predictions.  Don't equivocate just because there are a couple of similarities between God and photons.  It really is a supid argument.

Yes it does.

Not quite my point though.
I agree scientifically you are far more right.
I was just comparing what some people call magic, with how similar some natural properties appear to that.

Again. My point was not scientific. Just pointing out world-views.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:46   

Quote
One side says a massless timeless entity caused life. The other side says massless and timeless particles did it.
And one side uses evidence, while the other uses wishful thinking. Like the relationship between a pre-frontal lobotomy, and a free bottle in front of me. Uncanny, just uncanny.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:47   

Okay, so I'm moving everything here.

Dear Innoculated Mind, I hope you haven't innoculated it against anything good, like new information.

Quote
But contrary to what they say, you can indeed infer about the nature of the designer from the design.
No, you really can't. You can infer that it was capable of design, not much else. Check out Lloyd Pye, a fringe guy who is sure all life has been steadily seeded here by other beings in the universe and he has lots of interesting data about it. He thinks both evolutionists and creationists have their heads in the sand.

I think the exercise in separating the design inference from the religious dogma is a good one for the Christians, because it is such a good thing for people to do, and they won't do it unless forced, which is to say, the exercise of really asking themselves, "what do I know for sure?"
*******************
Renier,

I did not say 'there is a God'. I said that IF I had made that assumption, others would follow.

The assertion that there is no evidence for God doesn't interest me. First, not all scientists come to that conclusion. It is far more prevalent in biology, where Darwinist materialism holds sway. Some physicists believe they have found evidence of nonlocal consciousness. I don't know the percentages, but atheism is far smaller among physicists than biologists.
Second, it is a matter of perception. God is the subtle aspect of reality, not the gross.
I didn't read much of that very long insertion because I just couldn't see that it had much relevance to my own views. Do you know why I am here? I'm here because I was about to be banned for "gratuitious religion bashing."
*************************
Puck,

Yeah, about Hume, I think that rarity is a major factor in deciding an event is supernatural. In fact, we calmly accept  the every day things which we also can't explain, just because we see them more often.

There are no flaws with my Newton comparison because you assumed I thought the Bible or Christian dogma had anything vital to do with his basic reverence for God. Let's begin by clarifying the difference between religion and spirituality. There is a whole world of spirituality as well as nonChristian religions out there. Yet down here in these Darwinian-creationist dungeons we get only a steady diet of fundamentalist understanding to work off of. Religions have names. I have no particular religion and find faith of little worth.
I'm thrilled to find out Newton was a free thinker. He failed at alchemy, of course, as most alchemists do. It takes some very, very unusual thinking to comprehend alchemy.

Quote
BTW...I am a Deist....and my religious beliefs have no bearing on my scientific ones.

What religious beliefs can a deist have?

I do not think you have understood the complex specified information argument. The coin toss answer I've seen before as well. Look, every moment of your day and every item within it is unique and unrepeatable. So the chances of it occuring in just this way if predicted beforehand would be vanishingly small. The solutions we see in biology may not be the only possible ones, but they are extremely unlikely in comparison to the vast search space of random possible connections.

Quote
Hubris is also responsible for "the meaning of life".  Life doesnt require meaning...it could be accidental.
I don't think it's hubris. Seeking the meaning of life is a very sane response to the situation we find ourselves in. There are many profound and important meanings to life, but there is not one overriding one. That is because existence itself is the most profound aspect of reality, and any and all explanations are therefore lower than it, derivative from it. It is not because life might be accidental that it 'lacks inherent meaning.' It lacks inherent meaning because life itself is the most inherent thing.

It may be that I missed the point of the rock. I thought I gave good answers. You say it doesn't matter who struck the rock. But we are talking about a 'miracle' situation, and last I checked, most people can't perform miracles. So in this case, we would need to definitely study why one particular person could do it. This would be part of finding out how it occurred. What I'm trying to say about miracles is that if they occur, they are within the laws of nature, even if they are not within our current abilities to reproduce ourselves. Imagine a primitive person, faced with a pile of sand and metal shavings. If you waved a magnet over it and separated out the metal, he might find it magical. In the same way, if there is a God who does anything (I'm not sure yours does) then s/he has done things within the laws of nature, utilizing knowledge of nature we don't currently possess. Someone said to me that the resurrection was a supernatural event. But I answered that if Jesus would be so cooperative as to die for us and resurrect himself every morning at 9 o'clock, and allow teams of scientists to study the event, we would find out a lot about how it occurs.

Quote
.They still need to tell us how the rock is producing water.
Amen.
************************
GCT,

Quote
With evolution, you don't need to talk about atheism vs. theism, but with ID you do?


No, I think it comes up with all of them. Darwinist evolution from the beginning was an attempt to get away from superstition and unexamined a priori acceptance of revealed scripture, yes, but it was also an attempt to do away with a need for God altogether, and the repugnance of the Christian God was a major emotional motivation. So from the beginning this was an attempt to explore the viability of a materialist worldview.

Quote
ID is dependent on having some sort of supernatural being  (defined as such, since this being is responsible for "designing" the features of the universe and only the "supernatural" could be the designer of the natural.)
Well, the argument that we must ultimately rest upon a cause of nature I agree with, but ID itself needn't go that far.  The point of ID is that if the evidence points to a designer, we can't exclude it because we don't want it to be true.

And if there is a supernatural being who caused nature then we are all dependent upon it, and if that is the case there are only two positions for the sentient being to take: awareness of it or unawareness of it.

Quote
Since it is dependent on that supernatural entity, it is inherently in the region of religion.
Region of the spiritual.
You know what I like about this whole big drama? In which the scientists have wiped the slate clean in one fell swoop and said "Okay, let's start with what we know is true and work from there."
It's a beautiful thing to do. It was time to clean house. Now the physicists are getting more and more serious about consciousness. The God we end up with will not be the one we left behind. And thank God for that.

Quote
Also, you try to argue from personal incredulity, but what is more probable, the process called evolution that has multitudes of evidence, or the undefined process called ID that posits an entity that science can not provide any evidence for, by the own definition of the entity?


Well, I am pretty satisfied based on the books and articles I have read that there isn't much evidence for Darwinism, and that the IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail. It's all about Reality with a capital R and reality is all about detail.  What's more, I see no possibility of a universe without God. None at all.

Quote
and there is no evidence that can point to god since all evidence simultaneously points to god and not god all at once.
In my opinion that is a clue about the immanence of God - that God is part of everything.

About the branches of science - Yes, as I mentioned above, evolution tends to be more atheistic in that they have had from the beginning prominent proponents who have made this almost part of the platform. I believe the Cornell president said something about this, and someone else said that those who think evolution is compatible with religion have not understood evolution and so forth. But as I also answered, science itself is not a being with whom I can find fault. ID is simply against the tendency to refuse admittance to and to ridicule any but a materialist interpretation of evidence. This has nothing to do with the scientific method.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:49   

Quote (Flint @ Feb. 07 2006,17:46)
Quote
One side says a massless timeless entity caused life. The other side says massless and timeless particles did it.
And one side uses evidence, while the other uses wishful thinking. Like the relationship between a pre-frontal lobotomy, and a free bottle in front of me. Uncanny, just uncanny.

LOL. Agreed

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,11:54   

avocationist:

Quote
Darwinist evolution from the beginning was an attempt to get away from superstition and unexamined a priori acceptance of revealed scripture, yes, but it was also an attempt to do away with a need for God altogether, and the repugnance of the Christian God was a major emotional motivation.


Arrant nonsense, totally wrongheaded. Darwin attempted to *explain evidence*. He wasn't motivated by any imaginary repugnance or attempt to replace scripture, he was motivated by finding an explanation for what he observed. YOU are the one projecting gods where they don't belong and have no business.

This is an error probably everyone here is quite thorougly sick of -- that people who respect evidence are somehow "deliberately rejecting god", pure projection on the part of the godballs. Aren't you going to pray for us now?

Now, you could probably make a good case that the reason Darwin was able to produce something new, was because religious blinders had prevented otherwise intelligent people from noticing the obvious for *centuries*. Religion does that to people.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,12:11   

This is the howler of the day:

Avocationist said:
Quote
IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail.


Dembski doesn't agree, I'm afraid:
Quote
As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories.


--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
tacitus



Posts: 118
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,12:35   

Quote
Well, I am pretty satisfied based on the books and articles I have read that there isn't much evidence for Darwinism, and that the IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail. It's all about Reality with a capital R and reality is all about detail.  What's more, I see no possibility of a universe without God. None at all.


This has got to be a joke. Do you know how many papers have been published on evolutionary biology in the past hundred years? Even if you ignored all of those, I doubt you would be able to keep up with the new ones being published every week.

As for ID "details". Well, I guess if you sit around and wait for a few months you might get lucky and find a couple of populist ID books have been published for you to read.

You obviously do not even begin to comprehend the overwhelming advantage evolution has over ID when it comes to "details". Perhaps if you imagine a tiny ID ant standing next to the evolutionary elephant you will begin to understand the difference in scale.

Simply because the ID ant has managed to acquire a DI megaphone and stir things up a bit doesn't even begin to overcome the true disparity.

Why do you think the DI invests 99% of it's considerable income in politics and publicity? They can't even find anybody who will do any ID research (whatever that is). Just ask the Templeton Foundation.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2006,23:57   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 07 2006,17:47)
I have no particular religion and find faith of little worth.
I'm thrilled to find out Newton was a free thinker. He failed at alchemy, of course, as most alchemists do. It takes some very, very unusual thinking to comprehend alchemy.

HHmm, two questions again.
I'm still confused about what you make of spirituality and religion.  Is it religion if it has a particular deity as a focus, or is it spirituality if there is no focus?  

Also, alchemy does take some very unusual thinking to comprehend.  But which bit of alchemy are you talking about?  Alchemy has clearly changed somewhat over the centuries, and the modern variety is nothing more than a magical movement.  (with all that that implies in terms of changing of outlook and reliance upon "spirituality")

  
Chris Hyland



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,02:55   

Quote
What I'm trying to say about miracles is that if they occur, they are within the laws of nature, even if they are not within our current abilities to reproduce ourselves.
I couldn't have put it better myself

Quote
but it was also an attempt to do away with a need for God altogether
Since most antievolutionists seem to think we believe Darwin is still the ultimate authority on evolution, it is worth noting that he believed that god was the ultimate cause who created life, after which the process of evolution began.

Quote
The point of ID is that if the evidence points to a designer, we can't exclude it because we don't want it to be true.
This point seems to be lost under all the philosophical arguments about god and materialism: The evidence does not point to a designer. There are many arguments about whether evidence of design requires evidence of a designer, whether it violates the first ammendment etc, but they are currently irrelevant because their is no evidence of intelligent design in biological systems.

I know it cant be helped but it does sadden me that we have to resort to philosophical and political arguments, surely there must be laws which make it illegal to decieve children in schools.

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,03:03   

Quote
What I'm trying to say about miracles is that if they occur, they are within the laws of nature


Then it is not a miracle...

Quote
Well, I am pretty satisfied based on the books and articles I have read that there isn't much evidence for Darwinism, and that the IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail.


I am gnashing my teeth not to insult you, after you made the above statement. I cannot for the life of me consider this statement to come from an honest person. Am I missing something? What detail does ID have? You don't read science journals, do you?

I think I see what this all about. You need a designer to be there. You want science to confirm this. Well, science does not and wil not. What now? Do you think raping science with pseudo-science is the honourable thing to do? Behe does. Oh, and btw, you can/may be spiritual, without adulterating science. Just think about defending ID. What is it you are really defending? ID has been proven to be a clown suit for creationism. It has been proven to be nothing else than a scheme of fundies to try and force their politics and there hidden agenda (wedge document) on people like you, and us, and our children. For God's sake man, have your precious designer if you need him so, but leave science out of it, because it is not science.

As for physics, it also does not deal with ID. People have religions and are spiritual, not science. Science is a method. Nothing more, nothing less. And stop reading all the rubbish that the ID people are spouting. Go to www.talkorigins.org and do your homework.

Maybe this Inteligent Designer you are seeking is really nothing else but Evolution. But hey, join the fundie crowd in getting their religion recognised as science. You sit on that side of the fence, and I will be on this side, doing what I can to defend science and a future for my children.

Go over to UD and see what type of people you are siding with. They cannot even tolerate their own, let alone people with different views. Their own supporters gets banned for asking questions, for stating religious conviction or just for disagreeing with them. Christians within that faction are fighting for power. But hey, you are free to choose your own friends. I suppose you can swallow their propaganda if you wish, but don't be suprised if the VAST majority of scientific community stands up against them, as is currently happening. Ever wonder why?

One can be spiritual without being dishonest, or stupid, or fundie.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,04:18   

Quote
Well, I am pretty satisfied based on the books and articles I have read that there isn't much evidence for Darwinism, and that the IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail.
No need for me to repeat everything Renier wrote. But be aware that this is the kind of statement that we in the science-education business find just exasperating.

Quick sum-up: in the real, practicing, professional scientific literature, there is no evidence for anything other than what you seem to mean by the not-very-useful term, "Darwinism". (Please stop using that word without some meaningful definition).

IDists are "into detail" in the sense that they're always on the lookout for arcane tidbits they can cite in order to appear erudite, without fear that their primary audience (the scientifically illiterate, eager to Believe) will be able to see through the fog. But notice, when it comes to "detail" that counts - you know, mechanisms, testable hypotheses - the IDists (I should say "anti-evolutionists", as they appear to be busily "rebranding" themselves) come up empty-handed.

Bottom line: "garbage in, garbage out". You get your information exclusively from demagogues selling books and promoting their social/political agenda, you will be "satisfied"  with their version of reality. The day anti-evolutionism has a significant representation in the professional scientific literature is the day their claims are worth the time it takes to read them.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,05:00   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 07 2006,17:47)
I do not think you have understood the complex specified information argument. The coin toss answer I've seen before as well. Look, every moment of your day and every item within it is unique and unrepeatable. So the chances of it occuring in just this way if predicted beforehand would be vanishingly small. The solutions we see in biology may not be the only possible ones, but they are extremely unlikely in comparison to the vast search space of random possible connections.

First, I want to say something about this.  You are making a mistake here.  When a mutation occurs, it doesn't really have the full range of all random possibilities.  A single mutation has a limited range of sample space.  There was already a discussion on this not too long ago.  Think of it like this.  If a line represents all the possible outcomes of an organism, then a single organism sits somewhere on the line.  A new mutation is only capable of shifting that organism's spot on the line by a minute amount.
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No, I think it comes up with all of them. Darwinist evolution from the beginning was an attempt to get away from superstition and unexamined a priori acceptance of revealed scripture, yes, but it was also an attempt to do away with a need for God altogether, and the repugnance of the Christian God was a major emotional motivation. So from the beginning this was an attempt to explore the viability of a materialist worldview.

I don't know where you get your ideas from, but I fail to see how "Darwinist evolution...was an attempt to do away with a need for God altogether, and the repugnance of the Christian God was a major emotional motivation."  Are you suggesting that Darwin was somehow biased against the Christian god?  It's true that he had questions about his faith, but those manifested themselves after the publication of Origin and were the direct result of the death of one of his loved ones.  Nice try, but no such luck.

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Well, the argument that we must ultimately rest upon a cause of nature I agree with, but ID itself needn't go that far.  The point of ID is that if the evidence points to a designer, we can't exclude it because we don't want it to be true.

Again, trying to have your cake and eat it too.  If ID is predicated on a cause of nature, then ID necessarily must show that that cause of nature exists, which is wholly impossible through science.
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And if there is a supernatural being who caused nature then we are all dependent upon it, and if that is the case there are only two positions for the sentient being to take: awareness of it or unawareness of it.

But I fail to see how you will show this without engaging in circular logic.  There is no evidence for god or ID, unless you assume that god exists, but that would be fallacious.
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Region of the spiritual.
You know what I like about this whole big drama? In which the scientists have wiped the slate clean in one fell swoop and said "Okay, let's start with what we know is true and work from there."
It's a beautiful thing to do. It was time to clean house. Now the physicists are getting more and more serious about consciousness. The God we end up with will not be the one we left behind. And thank God for that.

Once again, how does one scientifically test for god?  Besides, spiritual or religious realm (really they are the same) either one is outside of science.
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Well, I am pretty satisfied based on the books and articles I have read that there isn't much evidence for Darwinism, and that the IDists are more scientific than the Darwinists because the IDists are into detail. It's all about Reality with a capital R and reality is all about detail.  What's more, I see no possibility of a universe without God. None at all.

First of all, as others have pointed out, there are about 150 years of peer-reviewed articles with evidence for evolution.  Second, IDists being "into detail" is simply not true as also pointed out to you.  Third, you are having cake eating problems once again in that you support ID because you see "no possibility of a universe without God" yet you want to claim that it is completely scientific.
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In my opinion that is a clue about the immanence of God - that God is part of everything.

God is part of everything and also part of nothing all at the same time.  Everything is both evidence for and evidence against god all at the same time.  Can you cite one thing, just one that is strictly evidence for god that does not rely on the a priori assumption of god's existence?
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About the branches of science - Yes, as I mentioned above, evolution tends to be more atheistic in that they have had from the beginning prominent proponents who have made this almost part of the platform. I believe the Cornell president said something about this, and someone else said that those who think evolution is compatible with religion have not understood evolution and so forth. But as I also answered, science itself is not a being with whom I can find fault. ID is simply against the tendency to refuse admittance to and to ridicule any but a materialist interpretation of evidence. This has nothing to do with the scientific method.

Evolution is not compatible with some religions, that is true.  Those religions are ones that hold that the Earth is 6000 years old and was created in 6 literal days.  Of course, physics is not compatible with those religions either?  Why, because those religions are making non-spiritual, empirical claims that are falsified.  Evolution and all science is based solely on the empirical.  This does not equate to atheistic.  ID, however, is not solely based on the empirical, because it is predicated on finding the supernatural.  The ID movement is not scientific, it is a religio-political movement centered on combatting atheism.  Their insistence on creating straw-man definitions of evolution that equate it to atheism speak to this.  You are even making the mistake of equating philosophical materialism with methodological naturalism.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,06:07   

About the massless particle - can someone explain what it means to be massless - in what way can it have properties and it what way does it exist, is it material, does massless perhaps mean it is unaffected by gravity?

Flint said:

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Arrant nonsense, totally wrongheaded. Darwin attempted to *explain evidence*. ...This is an error probably everyone here is quite thorougly sick of -- that people who respect evidence are somehow "deliberately rejecting god", pure projection on the part of the godballs. Aren't you going to pray for us now?

Well now, you tell me. Are you saying that centuries of witch burning and the inquisition and the St. Bartholomew's day massacre, and the uncounted sermons about how the saved will revel in the sufferings of the damned, even when those damned are their wives and children - that this really has had no major psychic effect upon the development of enlightenment thought? And why do you suppose that Darwin called Chrstianity a "damnable doctrine" that he could not understand why anyone would want to be true? And by this, I am not at all implying that there was anything illegitimate in seeking a way out of that morass.
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CJ-

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As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories.

Interesting quote. I'd say he is probably leaving open the degree to which we will ever discover the methods of the designer. Nonetheless, in my readings, the arguments of ID  are pretty consistent in finding Darwinism inadequate due to increasing understanding of detail. That is the thrust of Black Box, and the flagellum argument, and the Berlinski fish eyes critique and even the Meyer paper.
I note that Dembski used the words 'pathetic level of detail.' So it does not appear he is impressed by what's being offered.

Tacitus,
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Perhaps if you imagine a tiny ID ant standing next to the evolutionary elephant you will begin to understand the difference in scale.

I understand that there are mounds of data.

Guthrie,
Quote

HHmm, two questions again.
I'm still confused about what you make of spirituality and religion.  Is it religion if it has a particular deity as a focus, or is it spirituality if there is no focus?
I'd say its religion if it has a name and some sort of system. I do look into the thought systems of various religions and find merit in a lot of it, I just don't have the need to subscribe to or follow any one of them.

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Also, alchemy does take some very unusual thinking to comprehend.  But which bit of alchemy are you talking about?  Alchemy has clearly changed somewhat over the centuries, and the modern variety is nothing more than a magical movement.  (with all that that implies in terms of changing of outlook and reliance upon "spirituality")
Alchemy is a little side interest of mine. By magic are you referring to spiritual alchemy? Mostly, I'm interested in the old-fashioned kind. But spiritual alchemy is interesting, too. In my opinion, the whole Christian story is an alchemical allegory. And a beautiful one.

  
Tim Hague



Posts: 32
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,06:08   

What it all boils down to is evidence.  

Avocationist keeps banging on about ID explaining the 'facts' and the 'details' being with ID.  

Well, what facts?  What details?  I have never seen any positive evidence for ID.  All I've seen from the ID community is negative arguments against evolution, which - even if true (and they're not) - would not prove design.  

So where is the positive evidence?

The only thing that comes close to a positive argument is that 'it sure looks designed to me'.  Well, it looks designed to me as well.  But then, from my perspective the sun moves through the sky every day.  And from my perspective the continents are in no way moving around.  

What's wrong with my perspective?  It's a human one, that's what is wrong with it.  Human's have an inherent (dare I say evolved? ;) ) difficulty in imagining things beyond the range of their sight, and things that take longer to happen than their lifespans.  That's why we need to exercise our imaginations.  

Are we ever going to see the earth revolving round the sun?  This one's a bit more possible.  Technically speaking I could build a space ship, park it somewhere at right angles to the earths orbit and sit there for a year, watching it happening.    

We can take the geologicial evidence and we can imagine the continents moving around.  Are we ever going to actually see it happening?  No way.  Not unless we crack the 70ish year life span we currently have.  Do we need an intelligent designer theory to show that continents can't move by themselves?  Not so far.  

Humans have major difficulties dealing with geological time spans.  I have major problems trying to imagine what a million years would be like.  If I live until 70 it will seem to me to be one #### of a long subjective time - twice as long as I've been around so far.  I'd have to live 14000 times longer than that to get anywhere near a million.  14000 long life spans.  And that's just a million years.  Don't get me started on a billion years.  

Evolution may be slow, and random mutation may appear to give only tiny weeny changes one at time, but when you're talking about bacteria that reproduce once every 20 minutes you're talking about incredibly vast populations of fast breeding organisms where small mutations will be happening literally every single second world wide - every second of every hour of every day, every year, for billions of years!

Now tell me again how improbable evolution is...

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,06:35   

Quote

avocationist



Posts: 15
Joined: Feb. 2006
 Posted: Feb. 08 2006,12:07    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About the massless particle - can someone explain what it means to be massless - in what way can it have properties and it what way does it exist, is it material, does massless perhaps mean it is unaffected by gravity?


Massless particles are things such as electrons and photons.
An electron has a property. It is it's electric charge.
Massless particles can have other properties such as spin.

They are affected by gravity. Otherwise blackholes would not exist. Also the theory of relativity would be wrong and have failed the test where a stars position seems to alter if it's light passes close to the Sun on a total eclipse (that is not quite right, but I am having trouble thinking of a clearer explanation).

Particles that travel at the speed of light are considered massless. They are also unafected by time.

If you was traveling through space at the speed of light, you would not be travelling through time. You would also have infinite mass and require an infinite amount of energy to get to that velocity.

BTW. A photon is a particle of light (being massless also makes it a light particle :D  ).

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,07:26   

Stephen Elliot,

Electrons are not massless at all.  They weigh 9 x 10^-31 kg.

Every particle, though, has a mass.  But some do not have a "rest mass".  Let me explain.  Photons have energy (planck's constant times the frequency), and E=mc^2, and because of that all forms of energy react with gravity.  Most particles that we know of (protons, electrons, neutrons) have a mass even when they are not moving, we call this a "rest mass" for obvious reasons.  Because E and m are related by a simple formula, physicists typically stick to the energy units.  Most physicists will say that the mass of an electron is .5 MeV (a unit of energy).    

You're right that only massless particles travel at the speed of light.  In fact, they are required to.  The only ones I can think of right now are photons (light waves) and gravitons (gravity waves). But, I'm sure I'm not thinking of all of them.

-Dan

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,08:20   

Quote (cogzoid @ Feb. 08 2006,13:26)
Stephen Elliot,

Electrons are not massless at all.  They weigh 9 x 10^-31 kg.

Every particle, though, has a mass.  But some do not have a "rest mass".  Let me explain.  Photons have energy (planck's constant times the frequency), and E=mc^2, and because of that all forms of energy react with gravity.  Most particles that we know of (protons, electrons, neutrons) have a mass even when they are not moving, we call this a "rest mass" for obvious reasons.  Because E and m are related by a simple formula, physicists typically stick to the energy units.  Most physicists will say that the mass of an electron is .5 MeV (a unit of energy).    

You're right that only massless particles travel at the speed of light.  In fact, they are required to.  The only ones I can think of right now are photons (light waves) and gravitons (gravity waves). But, I'm sure I'm not thinking of all of them.

-Dan

WOW! That's me told.

Seriously though, are you saying Electrons do not travel at light speed?I thought they did, and that implicated zero mass.

I do not mind being wrong (which is just as well). But could you give a link or two?         Please.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,08:37   

Because you guys can't agree on what a massless particle is, there must be a controversy.  I say we teach the controversy.  Furthermore, it has caused me to doubt massless particle theory (it is just a theory afterall).  In fact, there's not much proof for it and I just can't see how it could be possible.  I don't know of any flashlights that become massless when you turn them on.

Plus, masslessness is a naturalistic concept and necessarily atheist, so I must reject it in favor of the Flashlight Designer theory, which is far superior to your baseless, materialist suppositions.  FDT can scientifically tell you that god created the flashlight which is so much more detailed than your pathetic little massless particle nonsense.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,08:51   

If flashlights were created by god, oops, I mean, a Designer, why do we have to change their batteries (and bulbs) every now and then? ;)

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,08:57   

Another point on particle masses - for the "massless" particles, there's not a lower limit on the amount of energy that kind of particle can possess. The regular particles though (electron, neutrino, quark) have a minumum amount of energy that they can't go below (referred to as their "rest mass"). (Also, apparently it's this possession of rest mass that drags their speed down below that of light. Or something like that.)

Henry

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,08:59   

Stephen Elliot,

Wikipedia is always a great place to start.  I think you were confused by the loose language that people use.  Free electrons typically move quite close to the speed of light.  And compared to our snails pace, they effectively do.  But in reality, they don't, just really close.  It's completely understandable that you got the wrong idea, but I thought I'd nip it in the bud before others get confused.

And after re-reading my last post I realize that I may have confused more people.  I used loose language and appeared to contradict myself.  If you need me to re-explain, let me know.

GCT,

I tried to come with something witty to say, but I cannot compete.  Bravo!

-Dan

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,09:05   

Quote (cogzoid @ Feb. 08 2006,14:59)
GCT,

I cannot compete.

-Dan

Forever more, I shall keep this quote and use it as evidence that even materialists doubt that massless particleism is true.  Want to join the list of scientific type people that reject massless particleism?  It's the fastest growing list of dissent from science in the country.  It grew by infinity percent today when I signed it.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,09:18   

Quote
And why do you suppose that Darwin called Chrstianity a "damnable doctrine"
I've never run across Darwin's opinions on Christianity. Just out of curiosity, what was the context of this remark? I thought that, in his public work, Darwin went out of his way not to unnecessarily antagonize the pious.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,09:30   

Cogzoid,
Is that mass not dangerously close to a plank measurement; Therefore fairly meaningless?

I am not sure. But from electronics education, we are taught that electron speed is=light speed.

There are things such as atmosphere and medium that efectively slow them. But that is also true of photons.

I am working from memory here, so could very well be wrong. But I thought elementary particles always traveled at light speed (depening on media). Electrons are elementery particles but Neutrons and Protons both comprised 3 elementary particles (up and down quarks).

If you could post some links it would be helpful. If you can, I promise to read them tomorrow.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,09:40   

Guthrie,

Quote
It is possible to imagine things which have no physical existence, but in order to see if they do or not, you need to do science.
That's just what I hope for.

Quote
What makes you think that
1) God is the existence principle?
2) and invulnerable?


Because there is nothing more fundamental than existence itself, and because the existence of anything at all is perplexing in the extreme. Because something which has the power or property of self-existence is needed in order for anything to exist. Invulnerable for the same reasons.

The Greek gods were so different from anything that I would consider a real conception of God that I suspect alien visitation to have caused the whole mythology.
********************
Chris,

You say Darwin believed God caused life, but others have differed. It doesn't look like he left a clear set of beliefs, perhaps because he didn't have one. It seems to have been an evolving question in his life. He certainly at least dabbled in the problem of origin of life, and because he did not know that single-celled organisms are complex, abiogenesis probably didn't seem like a huge problem to him.
Obviously, others disagree that there is no evidence of design, and about who is doing the deceiving of children in schools. The arguments given by ID are not philosophical.
***************
Renier,

If it is not a miracle unless it goes against the laws of nature then there are no miracles, and that is more or less what I think. But if there is a God and he parted the Red Sea, is that a miracle? I say no, but it would indicate that this other being has means and knowledge about what can be done to nature that we do not have. Big deal. We can do similar things which animals cannot do.

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I am gnashing my teeth not to insult you, after you made the above statement. I cannot for the life of me consider this statement to come from an honest person. Am I missing something? What detail does ID have? You don't read science journals, do you?

No, certainly not the kind that would require a biology degree to read. What I have read are things like the Meyer paper and the critique of it and the answers to the critique. I've read Miller's paper about the Flagellum and Dembski's answers to that. From these (and more) I get the impression the ID is way out in the lead. So, although I am unfortunately relying on second-hand information, I am reading what leading proponents have to say in trying to answe the Behe challenge, and it looks to me like they aren't even close to meeting it.
Some of the anti-evolution books I've read have critiquied quite a lot of the literature.

Quote

I think I see what this all about. You need a designer to be there. You want science to confirm this.

I can see why you'd suppose that but it isn't so. I wouldn't care if neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory was true or not, although I consider it fundamentally impossible for there to be both a God and for everything about this universe to be "unplanned, unguided, accidental, and without purpose." This is why I say Ken Miller is a confused IDist. There appears to be more of a range here than I expected about evolution theory's compatibility with deism and theism. Since someone said I should define Darwinism, I use that term so as not to contaminate the word evolution, which most IDists believe in to a greater to lesser extent. Darwinism or neoDarwinism, (which is not actually dependent upon whether or not Darwin himself believed in God) is the idea that all processes were random, life is an accident, and no God is needed to explain anything anywhere.
Actually, Ken Miller seems utterly schizophrenic. The Catholic God, the one who has authorized the pope to give people 500 days off of purgatory at his discretion, was just hands off while things like flagella got themselves together. Except that he intervened on the quantum level sometimes. In fairness, I haven't read his book. How can a guy who believes that the pope is Christ's vicar use the same terminology to describe the unfolding of the universe that a staunch atheist like Gould uses? To state that life unnfolded without plan or purpose is an atheistic metaphysical position.
So again, I could perhaps be some sort of theistic evolutionist, although I don't see a big difference between that and ID.

Quote
Do you think raping science with pseudo-science is the honourable thing to do? Behe does.
This level of hostility is a red flag to me. Behe accepts more of regular evolutionary science than most IDists, and he does not have a fundamental problem with his religion. He mentions that he always did suppose that God must have started life itself but it doesn't sound as if he pondered it extensively at the time. It is rather odd, when considering  the complexity of certain biological apparatuses and coming to a design inference, to be accused of rape and  pseudoscience. Behe may be wrong, but to say his position is foolish is...well foolish. None of this has anything to do with the evidence that evolution occured, because Behe thinks it did. Look at it this way - either there is a God or there isn't. And if there is a God, s/he either had something to do with how things turned out, or s/he didn't. I mean really, that is all this amounts to.

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Just think about defending ID. What is it you are really defending?
I will admit that I am not completely without fear of Christianity at its worst. And for some, ID is just a convenient corroboration to bolster their real agenda, which is scripture. But I defend ID because I think it is true. The wedge document came from Johnson, whom I would agree is a fundamentalist. But it is not clear to me that he MUST have ID, or that he happens to think it is true.

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Maybe this Intelligent Designer you are seeking is really nothing else but Evolution.
I'm not sure in what sense you mean that, but I do tend to think that way simply because I am a monist.

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One can be spiritual without being dishonest, or stupid, or fundie.
Ah, we agree.
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Russell,

I can't believe IDists are rebranding themselves as anti-evolution when it is one of their main tenets that evolution occurred. In fact, that's why I use the term Darwinist, by which I mean neoDarwinism in its generally understood sense of random mutation + natural selection adequately accounting for life forms, and that the process was unguided and accidental.

I think it's odd you say ID ideas will be worth reading when they get into the literature. That's like a medieval Catholic saying the beliefs of the Cathars and Waldenses (who were massacred) will be worth considering when they get validated at a church council. It's all about the prevailing group in power. We are talking about psychological patterns of human behaviors. There's a good essay about the corruption of the peer-review process by Frank J. Tipler called Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy?
http://www.iscid.org/papers/Tipler_PeerReview_070103.pdf
*********************
GCT,
About Darwin, I answered above but his daughter was not the only consideration. He specifically mentioned that Christian doctrine would send his father and grandfather to ####.
I wasn't saying ID is predicated on a cause of nature. Nature is predicated on a cause of nature. Id itself doesn't go that far.
I didn't say we must assume God exists, I said if God exists, we can either be aware of that or unaware.
Quote
Once again, how does one scientifically test for god?  Besides, spiritual or religious realm (really they are the same) either one is outside of science.
Some people are saying that quantum mechanics has proved nonlocal consciousnesss, and that material reality cannot function without consciousness. If so, that would come quite close to a proof of God. One can say religion and spirituality are the same, but there's a big difference in assuming a coherent, unified universe held together by some sort of Universal Mind versus fundamentalist Christian dogma.
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you support ID because you see "no possibility of a universe without God" yet you want to claim that it is completely scientific.
I did not say I support ID because I believe in God. It may be that I am able to see the ID arguments because I am not prejudiced against them. I don't really care how evolution occurred, except that I don't see how I could ever agree with the metaphysical position of Dawkins or Gould. I find the kind of intervention that IC systems may require disturbing and hard to reconcile with my ideas of how God would work organically as a kind of Self-evolution via nature. I prefer front-loading, but maybe not. It maybe that the intelligence of the cell is just a reflection of the ongoing omnipresence of God in everything. If there is a life force (which I think there is) then why not a mind force?

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God is part of everything .. is both evidence for and evidence against god all at the same time.
In an odd kind of way, yes.  Do you see the humor in that?

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Can you cite one thing, just one that is strictly evidence for god that does not rely on the a priori assumption of god's existence?
The one I gave earlier. The existence principle.

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The ID movement is not scientific, it is a religio-political movement centered on combatting atheism.  Their insistence on creating straw-man definitions of evolution that equate it to atheism speak to this.  You are even making the mistake of equating philosophical materialism with methodological naturalism.
 Despite that it is dedicated to the overthrow of the materialist worldview, it is also scientific. They are not mutually exclusive. And it is a little disingenuous for people here to insist that it does not teach atheism. I have spoken to many young people including my own and they have been taught a nihilistic worldview in school, one that they find depressing. Everyone needs to clean up their act. The Christians need reformation, and the evolutionists need to stop peddling atheism.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,09:59   

Quote
What I have read are things like the Meyer paper and the critique of it and the answers to the critique. I've read Miller's paper about the Flagellum and Dembski's answers to that. From these (and more) I get the impression the ID is way out in the lead.

Unfortunately, this claim is all too credible. It illustrates how well these charlatans are at beguiling those who (1) Lack any proper knowledge or background in the matter, and (2) Are predisposed to WANT to hear pleasingly simpleminded nonsense for whatever reason.

Let's face it, avocationist represents the overwhelming majority of the IDiots' potential (and target) audience. They have not said ONE THING that can stand up to examination, but the only possible venue where they can be obliged to sit still for genuine examination is in courtrooms - where they are invariably made to look like the liars they are. Otherwise, what they say sure looks good to those who will forever be incompetent to examine anything of the sort.

If only science worked by making good impressions and didn't need any actual evidence, ID would be a clear winner. Unless, of course, we actually want anything to WORK.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,10:04   

Quote
Some people are saying that quantum mechanics has proved nonlocal consciousnesss, and that material reality cannot function without consciousness.

And, some people are saying that pigs fly.
"Spiritual" interpretations of QM are piffle, pure and simple. Also, I have always found it quite funny that those opposed to the "reductionist" program find God in QM, the most reductionist theory, ever.
Put down The Dao of Physics and walk slowly away.
Or, if that's Paul Davies you're smoking, realize that he sells books by speculating wildly about the more far-fetched implications of physics.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,10:15   

Quote
Cogzoid,
Is that mass not dangerously close to a plank measurement; Therefore fairly meaningless?
Nope, not at all. .5MeV is quite large.  For comparison, room temperature is 1/40th of an electron volt.  500,000 >> 1/40.
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I am not sure. But from electronics education, we are taught that electron speed is=light speed.
For electronics applications .999999 is about 1.  But "about 1" isn't equal to 1.
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There are things such as atmosphere and medium that efectively slow them. But that is also true of photons.
Even in the best possible vacuum, electrons will never go the speed of light.  This is because of the fundamental rules, not because things are getting in the way.  And conversely, photons ALWAYS go the speed of light.  You are correct that the speed of light is different in different media, but photons never go faster or slower than that.
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I am working from memory here, so could very well be wrong. But I thought elementary particles always traveled at light speed (depening on media). Electrons are elementery particles but Neutrons and Protons both comprised 3 elementary particles (up and down quarks).
Your memory might need some refreshing.  Quarks have a rest mass as well.  Check The Standard Model for their rest masses.
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If you could post some links it would be helpful. If you can, I promise to read them tomorrow.
I linked to Wikipedia in my previous post.  You can also google "The Standard Model" for plenty of info on particle physics.  There are plenty of great resources online, and you're just as capable of googling them as I am.  Good luck!

-Dan

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,10:41   

The Fermilab website's Inquiring Minds page is one source of physics info.

The Particle Adventure website has a Particle chart has tables of the various particles (fundamental and composite) and their interactions.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,10:45   

Interestingly, the particle chart I linked to seems to be the same thing as the chart that's included in Dan's standard model link. Maybe a slightly different format, but I'm assuming it's the same info.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,10:49   

The Standard Model is fairly standard.  Unless, of course, you're homeschooled and learn FDT.

-Dan

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,11:00   

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Go over to UD and see what type of people you are siding with. They cannot even tolerate their own, let alone people with different views. Their own supporters gets banned for asking questions, for stating religious conviction or just for disagreeing with them.
Apparently you are right. It appears I have been banned, but without any explanation, and so far as I can find, without any notice.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,11:12   

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I think it's odd you say ID ideas will be worth reading when they get into the literature. That's like a medieval Catholic saying the beliefs of the Cathars and Waldenses (who were massacred) will be worth considering when they get validated at a church council. It's all about the prevailing group in power. We are talking about psychological patterns of human behaviors.
If you really believe that the vetting of scientific ideas is comparable to the deliberations of church councils, then we're done here.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,11:43   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 08 2006,15:40)
Because there is nothing more fundamental than existence itself, and because the existence of anything at all is perplexing in the extreme. Because something which has the power or property of self-existence is needed in order for anything to exist. Invulnerable for the same reasons.

The Greek gods were so different from anything that I would consider a real conception of God that I suspect alien visitation to have caused the whole mythology.

So let me get this straight- you are trying to see if there is any scientific way to validate your idea that an omnipotent etc etc deity does exist?  Well, good luck looking for scientific evidence, but so far no one has found any.  The only vaguely scientific (and not actually scientific when you look at them closely) ideas that ID has had so far are irreducible complexity and those calculations of Dembskis, I think.  Both of which have been convincingly trounced by scientists.  

You could just say that "reality" is god and have done with it.  

As for your own opinion of Greek gods, what you are making is an argument from personal opinion.  I believe there is a large pink spider sitting on your ceiling above your computer.  It doesnt eat humans, only small insects, so you'll be alright.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,12:55   

Have the works of Dembski, Behe, or Denton been convincingly trounced by scientists somewhere that is readable by reasonably intelligent laypersons such as myself? Because when I read the critiques of their papers by said scientists, I was not impressed. So do you know where I can continue to find more info on the trouncing of their works and the refutation of books like Evolution, a theory in crisis?

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,13:12   

That book, and others like it, were born trounced.

Because they largely tilt at straw-man versions of evolution, they mostly do not even attain "clash" with the actual claims of neo-Darwinian theory.

Several claims of Behe's IC have been discussed on PT, including the supposed IC of the flagellum.

Dembski's output has been treated by Mark Perakh, and by Shallitt and Elsberry. Those are well-known, so I'll assume you've seen them and were "not impressed." They're the best I've seen, so why don't you pick a point on which you feel Dembski comes out ahead and we can discuss it.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Russell



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,14:12   

For the trouncing of Denton's "Evolution: a theory in crisis", all you have to do is pick up Denton's more recent book "Nature's Destiny", where he simply abandons the whole premise of the earlier book - that common descent is increasingly challenged by the evidence - and jumps on the "cosmological ID". I.e. evolution (the very process the earlier book claimed to debunk) happened after all, but it was somehow predestined by the physical constants of the universe.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,14:53   

Quote
Dembski's output has been treated by Mark Perakh, and by Shallitt and Elsberry. Those are well-known, so I'll assume you've seen them and were "not impressed." They're the best I've seen, so why don't you pick a point on which you feel Dembski comes out ahead and we can discuss it.
No, I'd be interested in where to find them.

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Because they largely tilt at straw-man versions of evolution, they mostly do not even attain "clash" with the actual claims of neo-Darwinian theory.
What straw man versions did Denton argue against?

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For the trouncing of Denton's "Evolution: a theory in crisis", all you have to do is pick up Denton's more recent book "Nature's Destiny", where he simply abandons the whole premise of the earlier book - that common descent is increasingly challenged by the evidence - and jumps on the "cosmological ID". I.e. evolution (the very process the earlier book claimed to debunk) happened after all, but it was somehow predestined by the physical constants of the universe.
Well, I've fairly recently read both, and I must be missing something. He seems to take an agnostic position, and speaks very little to any personal conclusions are to causation in either book. The first book outlines why he finds serious shortcomings in the inferences that Darwinism draws about the evolution of life. The second book speaks to cosmic fine tuning, and implies front-loading of some sort leading to species via unknown laws that dictate that there may be a limited number of possible animal types, and in which it appears that the arrival of man be the the ultimate purpose of evolution. In this sense, I find his second book a lot closer to a rather deep teleological outlook. But what I am not seeing is that the two books contradict each other. The first left completely open how the nongradual evolution might have occurred, and so, really, does the second.
If he at any time backtracked on his points in the first book, I'm unaware of it.

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,15:29   

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If [Denton] at any time backtracked on his points in the first book, I'm unaware of it.

This lays it out pretty clearly.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,15:41   

Avocationist-

Sorry I havent been online lately...but i have been rather busy.

I have been reading the posts....and i noticed something
You said this earlier
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Darwinism or neoDarwinism, (which is not actually dependent upon whether or not Darwin himself believed in God) is the idea that all processes were random, life is an accident, and no God is needed to explain anything anywhere.


You seem to repeat the comment about unguided, unplanned processes rather frequently.

I fully agree that Science should not weight in on the purpose of life....however, the recent language being used is more of a defense against ID/creationism.  Your definition seems rather atheistic....but only because of one word...unplanned.  Science cannot determine if there is a plan....and therefore Science will not suggest a Theological plan.

Let me address a rather important part of your comment.
"No GOD is needed to explain anything."

God may be required to explain many, many things.....but I have never heard of God being needed to explain how something happens.  Science is strictly concerned with how something happens.  I tried to make this point earlier....but you may have missed it.

Lets consider the last 15 minutes....do you need God to explain anything that has occured?  Probably not.  

You seem to be most upset with the "atheistic" side of Science.  I dont really know how to help you reconcile this problem.  Science, as a rule, will never choose Theism.  If forced to make a decision between Atheism and Theism, Science must side with Atheism....even though Science remains an agnostic system.


I would like to suggest an experiment Avocationist...and everyone.

What if we quit using the words "think, believe, lean towards"....and what if we quit mentioning the works of others?

If you would really like to discuss this topic....dont mention Meyer's paper....mention his ideas on the Cambrian explosion.

That way....everyone can at least tell you what they think about his ideas on the Cambrian explosion....

Too often in these conversations...generalities are thrown around.  If you can keep it more narrow... conversation will be more fluid.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,18:10   

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And conversely, photons ALWAYS go the speed of light.  You are correct that the speed of light is different in different media, but photons never go faster or slower than that.
 This seems like a contradiction, doesn't it?

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,18:39   

Hi Puck,

Well there seems to be a disconnect between what I understand is taught by major proponents of evolution and what you say about it. The idea that evolution, and indeed this whole universe, could be seriously attributed to  matter particles that exist without cause arranging themselves to the present day is indeed my understanding of the underlying philosophy, perhaps slightly hidden but for the most part open. Gould believed it and taught it, Dawkins insists on it, the president of Cornell insists on it, the 38 Nobel Prize winners signed their names to it, and so forth. The bit about random and unguided, and even unplanned is almost a catchphrase. As I already mentioned, Miller used to put it in his textbooks until perhaps he got called on it.

I mentioned it again today because someone said I needed to specify what I mean when I say Darwinism. Anyway, this seems to me the crux of the issue between ID and regular evolutionists.

I think I agree with you that we don't need to look to God to explain the how - at least not directly. You read too much into my remark. The main thing God needs to account for is existence itself, life itself. But remember, I don't believe in a separate God and so the question of whether or not God was involved in something doesn't compute.I don't see anything that occurs as being in some separate sphere.  

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Lets consider the last 15 minutes....do you need God to explain anything that has occured?
Again, to me God is not a distant creator who set up a wind-up toy. I think reality is maintained by God at the core at all times, that physical reality is a continuous manifestation of some aspect of God and there is nothing nonmiraculous about the past 15 minutes (except that it remains within the laws of nature). For example, perhaps you think the Big Bang was a miracle. I think that the past 15 minutes was a miracle in exactly the same way and for the same reason.

BTW, I'd like to know what you think are the logical proofs of God.

Russ,

I'll have a look tomorrow.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,19:21   

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The main thing God needs to account for is existence itself, life itself.


work the problem in reverse:

what is life?  how do you define it?

self reproducible?  energy conversion/synthesis?

once you start looking at what you define to be "life" it all of a sudden doesn't start looking all that complex.

about the "creator" issue...

you are certainly welcome to view all of existence as divine, and nobody will stop you.

however, of what practical value is that viewpoint?  how can it generate useable predictions?

it had thousands of years to do so, and failed to generate anything of significance in a practical sense.

take another look at ID.  same thing.  no testable predictions, no practical value.  

that's why it's not science.  nothing to test, nothing to generate predictions with, no practical value.

you don't feel a personal need to justify your belief in a creator, do you?

then why support a dead end fiction like ID?

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,20:32   

GCT, the post about the "Flashlight Designer" is a gem! LOL :D

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,22:00   

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Avothingie wrote :  Some people are saying that quantum mechanics has proved nonlocal consciousnesss, and that material reality cannot function without consciousness.


Some people are not thruthfull with you. The above quote could only relate to the Copenhagen Interpretation, that states that nothing (quantum level) happens/exists until it is observed (probability wave). Religious people would of course jump unto this and state that God is the active observer of all things, therefore they exist. Just a note, but the Copenhagen Interpretation is just one of many interpretations of what happens a quantum level.

But there is another problem. We battle understanding Quantum Mechanics (QM - QED, QCD too). The reason for this is we are seeing things that we have no frame of reference for. Chemists can think of an electron as a little billiard ball, but for a physicist it is a particle, giving off photons, each photon splitting into another electron and a positron, combining again and in the whole acting as an electromagnetic wave all the time. Nobody has ever seen these crazy little things, so how we explain them, from our own views are flawed. We know what they do, but we are not sure what they are. String theory will help here. String Theory also has implications that takes away the CC (ref Gribbon, ref X), so I assume ID people should/will be attacking it very soon. But we all know String theory is still going to take years, that the calculations are super hard and takes long, so the religious people still have a couple of years to hold on to their precious CC argument.

The advance/retarded (back in time/ forward in time transactional wave) wave idea (among others) of how QM works kick the Copenhagen Interpretation under the *ss, so the whole requirement for an observer falls away. Nonlocal is then not even a consideration. Bottom line, people are working on understanding these things. Are you not glad that people don't just say "Goddidit" but actually do experiments, work on theories in order to explain all this? I am glad, for sure!

So, if people are saying that quantum mechanics has proved nonlocal consciousnesss, and that material reality cannot function without consciousness, then they might just be sucking it out of their thumbs. Wishful thinking, no proof. And you know what? Even years after we have proof of local and not nonlocal, then creationists will still be saying that quantum mechanics has proved nonlocal consciousnesss, and that material reality cannot function/exist without consciousness. And the sad thing, even nonlocal is not proof of any God, not at all, it just raises a question over "nothing can travel faster than the speed of light".

But, I also suppose I just wasted my time and that the next blog you hit you will still be stating your above statement. Oh well.

*Nobody is as deaf as those who do not WANT to hear.
*Niemand is so doof soos die wat nie WIL hoor nie.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,22:45   

Well, heres the stuff abouT Behe and "Darwins black box", i.e. why irreducible complexity is junk.

I'll find the Demsbki stuff later.

Oh yes, about the Copenhagen interpretation and the "observer" in quantum mechanics- why does the obersver have to be a machine or a human or something?  Is it not more than "an observation" is when the particle interacts with something else, since that is functionally the same as measuring it, so essentially wavefunctions are being collapsed all the time.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 08 2006,22:58   

Here we are, one of the critiques of "no free lunch":

http://www.talkorigins.org/design/faqs/nfl/

I think that covers it.  Now, I dont know all the stuff that well myself, but I would be interested in intelligent discussion.

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,02:41   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 08 2006,20:53)
Quote
Dembski's output has been treated by Mark Perakh, and by Shallitt and Elsberry. Those are well-known, so I'll assume you've seen them and were "not impressed." They're the best I've seen, so why don't you pick a point on which you feel Dembski comes out ahead and we can discuss it.
No, I'd be interested in where to find them.


Behe's Empty Box.

http://www.talkdesign.org/

http://www.talkreason.org/

Bill Dembski and the case of the unsupported assertion

The Evolution of Dembski's Mathematics

Dembski's Explanatory Filter Delivers a False Positive (which Dembski claimed never happens)

Search for "Dembski" at the Panda's Thumb

Search for "Behe" at the Panda's Thumb

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,02:54   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 09 2006,00:10)
Quote
And conversely, photons ALWAYS go the speed of light.  You are correct that the speed of light is different in different media, but photons never go faster or slower than that.
 This seems like a contradiction, doesn't it?

Yup, it seems that way, but it ain't.  Quantum mechanics is weirder than a snake's suspenders.  The best treatment for the layperson is QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter.  Or, if you want to spend a few hours and have a broadband connection, you can watch Feynman himself explain at Richard Feynman: The Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures.

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,03:00   

Guthrie.

Actually, the Copenhagen Interpretation (Bohr's old brain child) would say that a machine does not count as an observer. Bizarre, I know. The Machine (Geiger-Muller, for instance) doing the measurements would be in a "half" state until someone reads the digits on the machine, then only the wave collapses. So, until the measurements on the machine is observed, there is no measurement yet, even though the experiment could have been performed a year ago. Strange....

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,04:17   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 09 2006,00:10)
Quote
And conversely, photons ALWAYS go the speed of light.  You are correct that the speed of light is different in different media, but photons never go faster or slower than that.
 This seems like a contradiction, doesn't it?

Will you sign my statement against the atheistic massless particleism that is running rampant through the atheistic scientific establishment?  Even their own defenders admit that they have no answer for my arguments.  Cogzoid said,
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I cannot compete.

Renier said,
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The "Flashlight Designer [Theory]" is a gem.

Even the dogmatic massless particleists are jumping ship to my new FDT.  Join up brother and together we can defeat the materialists!

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,04:59   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 08 2006,15:40)
GCT,
About Darwin, I answered above but his daughter was not the only consideration. He specifically mentioned that Christian doctrine would send his father and grandfather to ####.
I wasn't saying ID is predicated on a cause of nature. Nature is predicated on a cause of nature. Id itself doesn't go that far.

Avocationist, there's a lot of rubbish in your post.

Even if ID stops before saying the G word, they are still pointing to god and saying, "goddidit".  I'm sorry, but that is neither scientific nor useful in the least.

Stop equating atheism and evolution, unless you will do the same for all science.  Science and evolution can not say whether there is a guide or plan to evolution, because there is no way to physically uncover a plan or guide.  That does NOT mean that science is atheistic.  It just means science is unable to comment on that nature of the argument.  You can include any god-belief you want and it has no bearing on evolution.  You can believe that god caused the correct random mutations for natural selection to select in order to create humans, and it has no bearing on science what-so-ever.  Science will not agree with you on that score, but it won't disagree with you either.  That does NOT make it atheistic.  If you continue with this line, then you should be intellectually honest and also say that physics is atheistic, as is chemistry and every other science.

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I didn't say we must assume God exists, I said if God exists, we can either be aware of that or unaware.
Not scientifically we can't.

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[quote]Once again, how does one scientifically test for god?  Besides, spiritual or religious realm (really they are the same) either one is outside of science.
Some people are saying that quantum mechanics has proved nonlocal consciousnesss, and that material reality cannot function without consciousness. If so, that would come quite close to a proof of God. One can say religion and spirituality are the same, but there's a big difference in assuming a coherent, unified universe held together by some sort of Universal Mind versus fundamentalist Christian dogma.[/QUOTE]
This is flat out wrong.  Who told you such rubbish?

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[quote] you support ID because you see "no possibility of a universe without God" yet you want to claim that it is completely scientific.
I did not say I support ID because I believe in God. It may be that I am able to see the ID arguments because I am not prejudiced against them. I don't really care how evolution occurred, except that I don't see how I could ever agree with the metaphysical position of Dawkins or Gould. I find the kind of intervention that IC systems may require disturbing and hard to reconcile with my ideas of how God would work organically as a kind of Self-evolution via nature. I prefer front-loading, but maybe not. It maybe that the intelligence of the cell is just a reflection of the ongoing omnipresence of God in everything. If there is a life force (which I think there is) then why not a mind force?[/QUOTE]
No, you didn't say that, but you can't support ID unless you believe in god.

Also, your argument boils down to evolution = atheism because there are atheists who accept evolution.  Every science has atheists in it (ID doesn't, but it's not science.)  More rubbish.

Also, IC is a troubling concept, because the definition keeps changing.  Really the only definition that has stayed the same is that something is IC is Behe says it is.  It's also an impossible argument to prove.  Behe says that something that is IC is impossible to occur by chance, but he can't know that.  In order to know that, he would have to know all the chance occurances we know about, plus all the ones that we don't know about, which he can not do.

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[quote]God is part of everything .. is both evidence for and evidence against god all at the same time.
In an odd kind of way, yes.  Do you see the humor in that?[/QUOTE]No, I don't see the humor in the fact that you think it is science.

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[quote]Can you cite one thing, just one that is strictly evidence for god that does not rely on the a priori assumption of god's existence?
The one I gave earlier. The existence principle.[/QUOTE]
More rubbish.
This "existence principle" seems to be a variant on the misuse of Causality (i.e. everything that occurs or comes into existence has a cause, so the universe must have had a cause, therefore god exists.)  It is not evidence for god (in the scientific sense or otherwise).

Quote
[quote]The ID movement is not scientific, it is a religio-political movement centered on combatting atheism.  Their insistence on creating straw-man definitions of evolution that equate it to atheism speak to this.  You are even making the mistake of equating philosophical materialism with methodological naturalism.
 Despite that it is dedicated to the overthrow of the materialist worldview, it is also scientific. They are not mutually exclusive. And it is a little disingenuous for people here to insist that it does not teach atheism. I have spoken to many young people including my own and they have been taught a nihilistic worldview in school, one that they find depressing. Everyone needs to clean up their act. The Christians need reformation, and the evolutionists need to stop peddling atheism.[/QUOTE]
You prove my point.  You invent strawmen where evolution = atheism, but you can't come up with a reason why.  You also can't distinguish between evolution and any other science as to why it is more atheistic, except to say Dawkins and Gould, which is rubbish reasoning since there are atheists in all scientific disciplines.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,07:45   

Renier,

Not only the Copenhagen interpretation, but later experiments are supposed to have supported this. One was Alain Aspect and then Bell's theorem. But I make no secret of the fact I cannot understand this stuff. I have read through maybe 3 such books and end up bogging down when my lack of comprehension piles up. So I take what they say as provisional - there's some bright and informed people who are reaching such and such conclusion. That's all. And while I like it, I'm quite skeptical because I see the pattern of human beings to jump to unwarranted conclusions long before they have ammassed enough facts or understood them.
I think you might need to update your ideas on God believers. You say creationists are into this stuff. Maybe they are, but it doesn't really seem up their alley to me. More new age or eastern.

What is the CC?

Yeah, I'm real fond of string theory, too.

Quote
And the sad thing, even nonlocal is not proof of any God, not at all, it just raises a question over "nothing can travel faster than the speed of light".
 Well, now, that's true, or at least not God as commonly thought of as a personal and separate being. But it sure does open up some interesting vistas.
***********
Toejam,
Quote

what is life?  how do you define it?
For you, this is apparently an easy question. I don't think we have the answer, though.
******************
Guthrie it appears you forgot to include the link to why IC is junk. But as I mentioned, I have already read Miller's The Flagellum Unspun.
***************
GCT:
It's not me "continuing with this line." I have no argument with what you say and I will agree that all science is guilty of atheism if all branches' major proponents publicly insist that their branches prove that we do not need a God to explain our existence. You say science has no ability to comment or ability to discern god or purpose. Great. No problem. If your interpretation is correct then I have no beef with it. But tell it to Dawkins, and Dennett, and Mr. Cornell, and the Weisel 38. You can tell Gould too, but he's dead. Oh, and the guy who said that evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever devised.  Forgot his name.

Quote
No, you didn't say that, but you can't support ID unless you believe in god.
This is perhaps true. Although as I mentioned, there is Lloyd Pye and his interesting website. He believes all life here was instilled pruposefully by aliens, and I wrote and asked him what he thought of the origin of said aliens, and he replied that he works on what he can know and not on what he can't. ID is not a theory of life, or origins or mechanism. Yes, perhaps it needs to become that, for example by finding laws that govern the unfolding of life, but all ID says is we can detect design.
Now, you insist that science cannot ever possibly address whether there is a God. But if there is no evidence that will ever satisfy you about something so humanly possible as design detection, then I guess you're right. I don't agree science will never address it. I don't say it will, I say it might. Because it might turn up in the next few decades that design in living systems becomes so obvious that no one can deny it, and it might turn up that we find out things on the nature of physical matter that require an origin, or something else I haven't thought of. That would be what I'd call an indirect evidence for the existence of some sort of godlike being.

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Behe says that something that is IC is impossible to occur by chance, but he can't know that.  In order to know that, he would have to know all the chance occurances we know about, plus all the ones that we don't know about, which he can not do.
Well I disagree and I think they are well along the way to examing these issues. But you think we should give up because we just can't and that's that.

(Existence principle) "It is not evidence for god."
But of course no one has an answer to it, either.

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You also can't distinguish between evolution and any other science as to why it is more atheistic, except to say Dawkins and Gould, which is rubbish reasoning since there are atheists in all scientific disciplines.
We are on the verge of calling one another dishonest. I said a lot more than D and G. I said that it is pervasive in our academic culture and taught in school texts. I am pretty glad that you and Puck insist that this problem is overblown, but you've got your head in the sand and seem to be simply pretending that it isn't going on.
*******************

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,08:16   

Quote

You also can't distinguish between evolution and any other science as to why it is more atheistic, except to say Dawkins and Gould, which is rubbish reasoning since there are atheists in all scientific disciplines.

Quote

We are on the verge of calling one another dishonest. I said a lot more than D and G. I said that it is pervasive in our academic culture and taught in school texts. I am pretty glad that you and Puck insist that this problem is overblown, but you've got your head in the sand and seem to be simply pretending that it isn't going on.


Avocationist....I can understand your concerns.  You believe that the current state of Science is atheistic.  You believe that this is intrusive to your belief system.

I will not argue with you that Science has, on occasion, stepped away from the agnostic and approached the Atheistic.  If your concerns are simply the atheistic nature of science, and the apparent flaws in Evolutionary Theory....then you are not really doing anything to help.
If a great machine is broken....you should attempt to fix it.  If Science has become toO atheistic.....don't try to make science theistic.....try to make science agnostic.  

If the current Evolutionary Theory is inadequate....then attempt to refine it further.  Don't try to replace it with a completely untested theory that is incapable of making predictions or explaining phenomenon.

Let us be truly critical here....I would accept ID as a valid theory....if ID theory contained a mechanism that could explain all the evidence as well as Evolutionary Theory....and explain further unexplained evidence.  However, ID theory claims that all phenomenon are attributed to a Designer....and ID theory makes no statement about Who, How, or Why the Designer works.

That requirement of a mechanism is bothersome....but necessary.  The requirement of a testable and explainable mechanism is what seperates Science from Mythology.  Im sure many mythological explanations of nature are far better at explaining phenonenon....but they completely lack a mechanism that can be analyzed.

I really do understand your problems with the current state of Science Avocationist...Atheism has no place in Science....but neither does Theism.  We should be working on solving the problem....not working towards making the problem worse.

There may very well be a new theory to explain all past biology in the future....but it will not be ID....because ID does not actually explain anything....in a rational, physical, testable way.

Quote
Behe says that something that is IC is impossible to occur by chance, but he can't know that.  In order to know that, he would have to know all the chance occurances we know about, plus all the ones that we don't know about, which he can not do.


BTW...Avocationist....you missed the point.  To prove Behe correct....we would have to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING.  Lets assume that it is impossible to know EVERYTHING.....that is a safe assumption.

You were right, they are on there way to knowing EVERY possible chance....but they will never get there.  It is completely irrational to believe that at some point we will know EVERYTHING[QUOTE]

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,08:45   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 09 2006,13:45)
GCT:
It's not me "continuing with this line." I have no argument with what you say and I will agree that all science is guilty of atheism if all branches' major proponents publicly insist that their branches prove that we do not need a God to explain our existence. You say science has no ability to comment or ability to discern god or purpose. Great. No problem. If your interpretation is correct then I have no beef with it. But tell it to Dawkins, and Dennett, and Mr. Cornell, and the Weisel 38. You can tell Gould too, but he's dead. Oh, and the guy who said that evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever devised.  Forgot his name.

So, evolution's defenders are not allowed to be atheist?  What about Stephen Hawking?  He's an atheist.  Oops, well I guess that there goes physics.  Physics is now atheist.
Of course, it makes it much easier for you to make this argument when you can ignore people like Ken Miller.  Yeah, he's no true evolutionist, just like he's no true Scotsman.
Quote
This is perhaps true. Although as I mentioned, there is Lloyd Pye and his interesting website. He believes all life here was instilled pruposefully by aliens, and I wrote and asked him what he thought of the origin of said aliens, and he replied that he works on what he can know and not on what he can't.

And he has not a shred of evidence for that.  Plus, where did the aliens come from?
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ID is not a theory of life, or origins or mechanism.

Then, what good is it?
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Yes, perhaps it needs to become that, for example by finding laws that govern the unfolding of life, but all ID says is we can detect design.

Which gets us where exactly?
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Now, you insist that science cannot ever possibly address whether there is a God. But if there is no evidence that will ever satisfy you about something so humanly possible as design detection, then I guess you're right. I don't agree science will never address it. I don't say it will, I say it might. Because it might turn up in the next few decades that design in living systems becomes so obvious that no one can deny it, and it might turn up that we find out things on the nature of physical matter that require an origin, or something else I haven't thought of. That would be what I'd call an indirect evidence for the existence of some sort of godlike being.

Yes, it might turn out that humans are designed.  Happy now?  Now, how will you ever figure that out through science?  That's the question that neither you nor any of your ID buddies has any answer to.

First of all, it would not constitute evidence for any godlike being, even if we did discover we were designed.  Science is not about finding evidence for god.  Get that through your head please.

Second, it won't come to that anyway.  IDists refuse to make any statement about the designer.  Yet, in all cases of design detection we either know who the designer is or can make warranted assumptions about the designer.  So, yes, design detection is humanly possible and it happens all the time, but not when the designer is 100% completely unknown and unknowable.  Try again.
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Well I disagree and I think they are well along the way to examing these issues. But you think we should give up because we just can't and that's that.

Yes, people should give up trying to prove that which is unprovable.
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(Existence principle) "It is not evidence for god."
But of course no one has an answer to it, either.

So, anything we don't have an answer to is evidence for god?  God of the gaps anyone?

Also, we can't disprove god (through science) but you similarly can't disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster, so I guess you should believe in His Noodly Appendage too.
Quote
We are on the verge of calling one another dishonest. I said a lot more than D and G. I said that it is pervasive in our academic culture and taught in school texts. I am pretty glad that you and Puck insist that this problem is overblown, but you've got your head in the sand and seem to be simply pretending that it isn't going on.

I'm not calling you dishonest.  I'm saying your arguments are rubbish.  If your religious sensibilities are hurt by the fact that science can not and will not recognize god then, quite frankly, too bad.  Part of the utility of science is that it will not try to recognize god.  When science did that, people tried (in the name of science) to figure out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  How far did that get us?

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,08:53   

Quote (Renier @ Feb. 09 2006,09:00)
Actually, the Copenhagen Interpretation (Bohr's old brain child) would say that a machine does not count as an observer. Bizarre, I know. The Machine (Geiger-Muller, for instance) doing the measurements would be in a "half" state until someone reads the digits on the machine, then only the wave collapses. So, until the measurements on the machine is observed, there is no measurement yet, even though the experiment could have been performed a year ago. Strange....

Well, I dont doubt that the Copenhagen interpretation is a way of looking at it, I just cant see if the idea that the measuring instrument and the thing is is measuring are all in one system, which can be figured as a wvefunction make sany sense unless you look at it figuratively.
Certainly not physically.  The geiger counter sits there whatever you do.  

If the experiment was done a year ago, the particles still interacted, and so on, its just you didnt know the result.  How about an experiment say (you are in the lab with the equipment, set it up, sit down and read a paper until 5pm and its time to go home) where the reading wil mean that your lab door is locked or not, depending on what result happens.  So you wont know what the result is until you get up to leave (we assume that the experiment will definitely be finished in the time before 5pm) and find the door locked, or not.  Does that mean that the entire laboratory is a wavefunction?  If so, can you not just say that everything is multiple, indeed myriad wavefunctions, that continually collapse every time the particles interact?  

Which I think argues nicely round to the many universes theory.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,09:02   

Guthrie,

http://www.talkorigins.org/design/faqs/nfl/

I'm sorry to say that there has got to be something better than this. Also, while I have read a number of Dembski's essays, I cannot critique his mathematical ideas because that is way out of my league. But just in the first couple of paragraphs, I find some pretty tiresome stuff. This is an exceedingly long article in which he starts out by saying that if Dembski considers something highly improbable, it amounts to an argument from ignorance and god-of-the-gaps. Then he calls specified complexity, which is a perfectly valid informational concept a "middleman" that Dembski is using to cover up the fact that his actual argument amounts to the argument from ignorance.

Well, well, well. I'm tired to death of hearing about arguments from ignorance. If we don't know, we don't know, and fantasizing ain't the answer. There is nothing invalid about telling someone that their proposal is utterly unrealistic. And we can't very well get started finding out what is realistic if we cling to said fantasy.

If someone in 1402 comes up with a green cheese theory of the moon, someone might have very good reason for disputing while admitting that they have no way with the tools of 1402 to get a handle on what it is made of. And the green cheese guy says, well you are making a negative argument, and what's your theory?

Being already annoyed, I clicked on some links at the sidebar and read what Dembski had to say about this guy. We don't have time for this.
*****************************
Russell,

Quote
This lays it out pretty clearly.


Well, I made it through 3 pages, out of 5 which is quite doable. I failed to understand many of his points. He also uses a gratuitious amount of name calling with vague assertions to show that Denton is "naive" and "fails to undertand" this or that aspect of evolution theory. His thinking is "outmoded." Yet there is surprisingly little meat in this critique.

I didn't get why he thinks Denton's thought in Crisis involved outmoded typological thinking. But notice that he said his style was typical of 80's era creationism. What filler. He has only 5 pages, and he fills it with filler.

He calls Denton's perhaps most interesting (to me) chapter about equidistance "spurious." Now, I'd love to know why.

This reviewer seems to think that putting scare quotes around something equals an adequate refutation of it.

Also he says Denton abounds in "uncritical adaptationism" which he says is inappropriate to modern biology. Unfortunately, he didn't go into enough detail for me to get a handle on what he was getting at.

This is as far as I've gotten with the various links presented. I am not trying to be difficult. I have read the critique of the Meyer paper, I have read the critique by Miller of IC. Those were readable and accessible. But these two papers are just shite. We need critics that get to the heart of the arguments and don't waste our time.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,09:12   

In response to:
Quote
Behe says that something that is IC is impossible to occur by chance, but he can't know that.  In order to know that, he would have to know all the chance occurances we know about, plus all the ones that we don't know about, which he can not do.

Avo wrote:
Quote
Well I disagree and I think they are well along the way to examing these issues. But you think we should give up because we just can't and that's that.
This is indeed baffling. Behe's concept of IC is that it cannot be explained by any conceivable evolutionary pathway. But, indeed, "they" are well along the way to examining these issues. Only "they" are not the IDers, they are the scientists (read: "Darwinists") behind the scores of publications presented to Judge Jones on the evolution of the immune system, for instance. It's Behe's thesis - that these "IC" systems couldn't have arisen by evolution - that says there's no point in trying to figure out how they evolved. What makes you think the IDers are "well on their way"? What research can you point to that actually supports Behe's thesis?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,09:13   

And here's another thing. This is not exactly the first time that I have seen neoDarwinian evolution defenders dismiss someone of Denton or Behe's calibre of misunderstanding fairly basic, undergrad level stuff about evolution theory.

It would appear, in fact, that this is a pervasive problem and a frequent one.

So, if a person with a Ph.D. in, say, molecular biology, someone with a presumably and apparently high IQ and who is not a fundamentalist with some pre-existing serious impediment to understanding evolution still so often fails to understand it, then evolution theory must be very, very hard to really grasp. And this tells me that perhaps it is a big mistake to try to get the public to understand it. It just isn't suitable for general consumption. No wonder it is having all this political fallout. 9th graders are not subjected to theoretical physics.

It may be that the teaching of evolution theory should be reserved to the graduate level, and then only in those with the appropriate majors. At the very least, it should not be taught until at least the junior year of college.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,09:28   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 09 2006,15<!--emo&:0)
Well, well, well. I'm tired to death of hearing about arguments from ignorance. If we don't know, we don't know, and fantasizing ain't the answer. There is nothing invalid about telling someone that their proposal is utterly unrealistic. And we can't very well get started finding out what is realistic if we cling to said fantasy.

If someone in 1402 comes up with a green cheese theory of the moon, someone might have very good reason for disputing while admitting that they have no way with the tools of 1402 to get a handle on what it is made of. And the green cheese guy says, well you are making a negative argument, and what's your theory?

You should be tired of hearing it, because it is one of your arguments, and people are probably tired of pointing it out to you.

First off, if we don't know, we don't know.  I agree with that, so why do we have to say that it is god when we don't know?  Fantasizing that god is the answer is certainly not the answer.

Second, in your example, the analogy is flawed because that person would not have evidence to back the green cheese theory, while evolution has tons of evidence.  Also, it's not wrong to ask what someone's competing theory is, if they say they have one like IDists say they do.  The fact that they can't actually produce one is not my problem.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,09:32   

No, Avo. Evolutionary theory - at least the basics - is not really really hard to understand. Read Ernst Mayr's "What Evolution Is" if you haven't already.

Behe and Denton don't fail to grasp it because they're too dumb or because it's too hard - they just don't want it to be true. That's why they don't go to the trouble of really learning what they're trying to critique: that would just make it harder.

As to Denton Then vs. Denton Now: it's really quite simple. His first book (with its "equidistance" argument you find so appealing, but that no educated biologist has ever found any merit in) was all about denying common descent. His second book accepts it. Pretty fundamental, no?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,11:00   

Quote
For you, this is apparently an easy question. I don't think we have the answer, though.


...

so, you won't even attempt to address the question for yourself?

you base your entire argument on life being somehow "special", but can't even define what makes it special to begin with?

yikes.

you need to go back to some basic questioning about your own beliefs.

it's like saying you think math is "special", but don't even know how to add.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,11:24   

Avocationist-

Your green-cheese moon analogy is just bad.

But...I think I can give you a good analogy.

Long, long, long ago....people had no idea where heat came from...they debated it a great deal and finally...they developed a theory.

The suggested that Heat was a weightless, invisible liquid(the concept of gas also escaped them).  They continued this line of thinking for a very long time.  One day a man suggested that they were wrong and that it was insane to assume heat was a weightless, invisible liquid.  They told him that he was just ignorant.  They asked him what his theory was, and he actually told them.  They then asked him why his theory was better, and once again he told them.

This man developed an experiment...in which he generated heat using friction.  He made sure that no chemical reaction was occuring...and made sure that the two pieces of metal that were rubbing against each other were isolated so that nothing could "enter" them.  When he demonstrated this little experiment...everyone accepted his work.  He had presented a situation where the old theory had a hole, and demonstrated the superiority of the his theory.

However, if he had merely suggested that heat was a form of energy...without demonstrating the further explanatory power of his theory, or the superiority of his theory; then no one would have any reason to take him seriously...even if he was correct.

Better analogy, and it actually happened.

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,11:34   

Quote
So, if a person with a Ph.D. in, say, molecular biology, someone with a presumably and apparently high IQ and who is not a fundamentalist with some pre-existing serious impediment to understanding evolution still so often fails to understand it, then evolution theory must be very, very hard to really grasp.


Is there such a person? I think there was an ARN thread some while back where the ID proponents were asked to name ANYONE who was familiar with evolutionary theory, had no religious convictions against it, but still denied the basic principles. I don't think anyone could come up with a single person.

A couple of people (NOT necessarily scientists, mind you, just people who knew the concepts of evolution) were suggested, but a little digging into their writing showed that their objections were basic religious rejection even if they didn't shout "praise Jeezus" while they rejected.

Finally, anyone interested in facts and evidence ended up agreeing: Evolution is NOT what the evolution-deniers find hard to grasp. Their own religion-based fundamental *unwillingness to accept it* was what they found impossible to overcome.

Ultimately, this is because the ONLY reason anyone rejects ANY explanation of anything, is because they find some other explanation more appealing. Since evolution is based on evidence, and has been thoroughly vetted by tens of thousands of professionals for 150 years, rejection implies some other explanation whose appeal is beyond question. Only religion qualifies.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,12:20   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 08 2006,15:40)

####, I did forget the link.  Thats what comes of posting at work where there are too many distractions...





Quote

I can see why you'd suppose that but it isn't so. I wouldn't care if neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory was true or not, although I consider it fundamentally impossible for there to be both a God and for everything about this universe to be "unplanned, unguided, accidental, and without purpose." This is why I say Ken Miller is a confused IDist.

Well, yes, with a God the entire universe would probably exhibit some kind of purpose etc etc.  The problem is how we, from our limited perspective, can say.  And the answer so far is that we cant.  I cant speak for Miller, but I understand there are many Christians and others who see no problem with evolution, because all it takes is the deity to set up the original starting criteria, and since that area of cosmology is still quite fuzzy, and we cant say what happened before the big bang, theres still some room for a deity.  

Quote

There appears to be more of a range here than I expected about evolution theory's compatibility with deism and theism. Since someone said I should define Darwinism, I use that term so as not to contaminate the word evolution, which most IDists believe in to a greater to lesser extent. Darwinism or neoDarwinism, (which is not actually dependent upon whether or not Darwin himself believed in God) is the idea that all processes were random, life is an accident, and no God is needed to explain anything anywhere.

Thats quite impressive misunderstanding here.  Darwinism does not exist, as such.  



Quote

Actually, Ken Miller seems utterly schizophrenic. The Catholic God, the one who has authorized the pope to give people 500 days off of purgatory at his discretion, was just hands off while things like flagella got themselves together. Except that he intervened on the quantum level sometimes. In fairness, I haven't read his book. How can a guy who believes that the pope is Christ's vicar use the same terminology to describe the unfolding of the universe that a staunch atheist like Gould uses? To state that life unnfolded without plan or purpose is an atheistic metaphysical position.
So again, I could perhaps be some sort of theistic evolutionist, although I don't see a big difference between that and ID.





Quote

To state that life unnfolded without plan or purpose is an atheistic metaphysical position.

Purpose is in the eye of the beholder.  Thats why it is not science.  Some people can indeed say that life unfolded according to evolution without a plan, others can also say that life unfolded by evolutionary means, and that was according to gods plan.  

But, here is the crux- how can you say that it happened by gods plan?  Where is the evidence for god?


Anyway, I guess I've had it up to here with your havering.  
If you wish to not be taken as a laughing stock, please explain why you still think that Behe et al are correct, i.e. explain how Miller etc were wrong in their critique of Behe.  Put up or shut up time.  

(If you cant understand it, go and ask them at uncommon dissent for help.  Or us.  We know lots about these things, perhaps we can help make it all clearer to you.  Indeed, feel free to take several days to read up on it to refresh your memory.  We arent going anywhere.)

Quote

But I defend ID because I think it is true.

So whats your evidence?  Give us some, or we shall consider you a glaikit numpty.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,14:51   

Quote
glaikit numpty


??

ok, i gotta call this one in.

alleviate my ignorance, please.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,16:27   

Re "Some people can indeed say that life unfolded according to evolution without a plan, others can also say that life unfolded by evolutionary means, and that was according to gods plan."

Yup. Even if there is a plan, one would kind of have to know the goal of the plan in order to say whether evolution by natural processes is or isn't sufficient to accomplish that plan. Personally, I don't see how any cosmic purpose (if there is one) could depend on the biological details of how our bodies are constructed. (Or for that matter, at what location in the universe we appeared.)

Henry

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,17:02   

What does it mean when a moderator takes the vowels out of your post? Just to delete it is one thing, but to make hash out of it seems pretty rude. I find this upsetting. I've been on forums for about 3 or 4 years, and never before had a problem.

Puck,

Well, I do not consider the current state of sciene intrusive of my belief system. I just for some reason have an interest in the debate over the veracity of evolutionary theory, but I am not personally threatened.

You say we should make science more agnostic. I think that as far as people here are concerned, it is perfectly alright with them so long as they maintain the stance that science and spirit are and always will be separate spheres, so one does not touch the other. And that may or may not be the case. I would like to point out, however, that so long as that is true it means we are in ignorance. For either spirit is not true and we should come to know that of a certainty, or it is true and science will come to know of it.

Of course I do think that current evolutionary theory is inadequate and I think it must get new ideas. I have thought so since I read Wells chapter on homology. That was about two years ago. I think that for lack of greater knowledge, evolutionary theory has placed all its eggs in the mutation basket.

There's no sense being impatient and rude (not you, the whole community) about what ID has not accomplished. People are working on it and knowledge is increasing. You want predictions. I predict that our knowledge will, hopefully soon, show more clearly what makes an organism what it is, and that it will be proof that a species cannot become another species, in other words, limits to change. Actually, species isn't right, probably genus. Species have a bit of flexibility.
The problem with other mechanisms, like frontloading, is that they tend to look planned and intelligent.

ID theory does not claim all phenomena are due to a designer. Many believe in common descent and even mutations, but they think some systems show design.

You know, the bit about ID not identifying the personal attributes of the designer - it just has been said so many times. ID is a design inference, and while it may leave some unanswered questions or lead to new routes of inquiry, that is as far as ID goes. It looks designed, it doesn't look like Darwinian pathways made this. Why is it reasonable to ask for everything at once?

I agree with you that it would be somewhat unsatisfying to be left with no mechanism. Some ID people accept that.

I do not think we have to know everything about everything to prove Behe correct. There seems to be a huge idea here to accept that just anything at all can happen and so why not just accept that it is therefore probable enough.
**************
GCT,
Perhaps we should just go with Puck's advice and let the idea percolate out that science should be agnostic. I don't care if Hawking is an atheist. Kids are being taught in school nihilistic philosophy in their evolution class, and perhaps they need not be.

What good is ID? It is design detection.

Which gets us where? It gets us back into reality, if indeed the IDists are right that Darwinists are chasing a flawed theory.

How will we ever figure out through science if we were designed? Well, I think we still have along way to go before we should give up. There's so much unknown now about life forms. It's perhaps one reason people should invest a little less emotion. We are in a growing pains stage now. We can chill out and watch things unfold.

You say that if we discovered we were designed, it wouldnt prove god but that's what I've been saying. I believe in God but I don't necessarily think the designer is God. And BTW, neither did the gnostic Christians, who were numerous at one time.

Science is not about finding evidence for God - yes, very right, but neither can it insist that evidence for god is an impossibility.

You don't know that God is unknowable. And if God herself is undetectable, that doesn't mean there will be no evidence of her existence/works.

To say that nature and existence require an ultimate source of a radically different kind is not to say that "anything we don't know means there is a god."

Oh no, I did not ever say that my religious sensibilities were hurt because science does not recognize God, I merely have said that I am one of the very few people I've run across who holds out at least the hope that science will find said evidence. Most religious people also think God is forever out of the purview of science.

Now, now, I don't think scientists were trying to find out how many angels could dance on a pin. That may have been a theological discussion.

And if they were then let the utter foolishness that men are capable of be a lesson to you, and don't imagine that because it is 2006 and we have laser surgery that you and all of us here are automatically immune.
*******************
BTW, whoever recommended Feynman's book on the theory of light and matter - I just ordered it from Amazon.
***********************************
OK, this post is long enough. What does it take to get banned here? Do you ban people much? Are they warned first? I have always heard that PT is pretty intolerant. You guys seem alright. I thought this was PT but I guess it is related.

  
tiredofthesos



Posts: 59
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,17:51   

@@Avo,

  Are you at least telling yourself that you write to us with honesty?  
 I'll bite, since I have endless hope in the power and beauty and horror that is existence, and imagine you do.

 If you actually read - meaning think about - any decent amount of the material (layperson's stuff, even) with the merest grain of honest intention, you will end up following one of two paths: you will believe in theistic, currently (and likely forever) unproveable, evolutionary theory, or else atheistic evolutionary theory - if you actually ever cared about the questions that biology raises, and offers approximate answers for, that is.
 If all you care about is proving to yourself how important you are, and how immortal, and how loved by all, you have been very, very impolite to waste other people's time here.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,17:59   

Avocationist-

Quote
I would like to point out, however, that so long as that is true it means we are in ignorance. For either spirit is not true and we should come to know that of a certainty, or it is true and science will come to know of it.


This is wrong.  No one is claiming that they are totally seperate spheres....they only seem that way.

God could have created Reality 5 minutes ago.  You would have no way of knowing if he did or not.  You assume, however, that the world is not an illusion.  You assume that the world has been here for awhile.  Science simply assumes that there is no Divine intervention taking place.

God could easily have "evolved" all living things.  He could have stepped in and done it all, and simply made it appear to be "natural selection" and mutation.  It could all just be an illusion.  This, however, is a situation better left to philosophy.  In reality 2+2=5....but since all of our empirical evidence points towards 4 it is most helpful to assume 4 is the correct answer..

Quote
You want predictions. I predict that our knowledge will, hopefully soon, show more clearly what makes an organism what it is, and that it will be proof that a species cannot become another species, in other words, limits to change.


This isnt what kind of prediction we are asking for, and I hope this was more of a joke than an honest answer.

The theory of gravity predicts that objects will fall at an acceleration of roughly 9.8 m/s^2

The theory of Evolution predicts that animals have and will evolve from each other through a process of natural selection.  This predicts that in the future animals will adapt and evolve, and that as we search through the fossil records of the past, we will find more and more related organisms that display a timeline of evolution.

Your prediction is not a prediction made by ID...it is a prediction about ID.

Quote
You know, the bit about ID not identifying the personal attributes of the designer - it just has been said so many times. ID is a design inference, and while it may leave some unanswered questions or lead to new routes of inquiry, that is as far as ID goes.


So....ID is in no way in competition with 'Darwinism'?  If your statement is true...then ID has absolutely no opposition to current Evolutionary Theory.  'Darwinists' already attribute design to "natural selection"....therefore ID is simply reinforcing the current theory.  
Good....I was under the impression that ID was an alternative theory to biological Evolutionary Theory....its good to know that it simply a theory that is capable of reinforcing Evolution.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,18:07   

Russell,
Quote
This is indeed baffling.
No, what I meant is that Behe and Dembski and no doubt others are looking into how to realistically detect design and how. It seems a couple of people here said it can't be done at all or we would have to be omniscient. I don't agree.
Quote
It's Behe's thesis - that these "IC" systems couldn't have arisen by evolution - that says there's no point in trying to figure out how they evolved.
Well, I can see where this is deflating. But I don't think anyone, including Behe, thinks we should stop trying to understand these systems, and even if we think they were designed, does not mean we will not try to figure out how.
Quote
Read Ernst Mayr's "What Evolution Is" if you haven't already
Is it a book? Isn't he ancient?
Quote
As to Denton Then vs. Denton Now: it's really quite simple. His first book (with its "equidistance" argument you find so appealing, but that no educated biologist has ever found any merit in) was all about denying common descent. His second book accepts it. Pretty fundamental, no?
I'd like to see a good critique of his equidistance argument. Now, you say his first book was about denying common descent and now he accepts it. Here, I think, is what may have happened. Common descent is not a question I had examined in great detail in my own mind, because I am convinced gradualism didn't happen, and while I had heard of saltation theories, they seemed pretty absurd to me because I could not really envision how they could occur. Special creation seems silly but I cannot really say what I would have answered about how the various species got here. I remember being less than pleased to read that Behe believes in common descent, because to me that means gradualism. Yet now, on Uncommon Descent, Dave Scot has been pushing the issue, and I thought more concretely about it. I realized that common descent indeed makes more sense because I always envision my natural God doing things slowly, organically and from within. Of course there are now some saltation ideas getting thrown around, and Dr. Davison's semi-meiotic idea of frontloading. So now I would say that the best ideas going are either of a natural unfolding of inputted genetic potential according to law or possibly that there is an intelligence that resides in the DNA of organisms and reconfigures them. That would be a form of special creation, but all new types would be born from physical parents.
By arguing 20 years ago against gradualism, while actually remaining agnostic on what did happen, and now having his  thoughts evolve in the direction of a finely tuned universe, he is obviously thinking of a form of common descent as I am and probably with some form of saltation. I see no real going backward closer to Dawinism in this thought process.
***************
Flint,
Quote
while evolution has tons of evidence.

It has a lot of data, and a fair amount of knowledge, but how that is put together as a theory has many problems and so not everyone is convinced that the data amounts to coherent evidence for the theory as thus far proposed. And remember, only the YECers deny evolution occured, so there is agreement on the meaning of some of the data. And among IDists, many believe in common descent. But there's plenty of problems with gradualism.

Quote
Also, it's not wrong to ask what someone's competing theory is, if they say they have one like IDists say they do.
They don't have one, and I don't think they say they do. What they have is a competing mental approach, one that doubts gradualism and randomness.
**************
 Sir Toejam,

I do attempt to address the question of what is life. I have for some time now. I consider it a deep question, and I don't think chemistry is the sum total of life.
************
Puck again,

Yeah, I'm glad it turned out so well for the phlogiston. But remember what happened to Semmelweis. He actually did studies before presenting to his colleagues how they were killing new mothers but they didn't want to hear it and hounded him to his sad grave.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,18:16   

Dear Tired,

Quote
Are you at least telling yourself that you write to us with honesty?  
I'll bite, since I have endless hope in the power and beauty and horror that is existence, and imagine you do.

If you actually read - meaning think about - any decent amount of the material (layperson's stuff, even) with the merest grain of honest intention, you will end up following one of two paths: you will believe in theistic, currently (and likely forever) unproveable, evolutionary theory, or else atheistic evolutionary theory - if you actually ever cared about the questions that biology raises, and offers approximate answers for, that is.
If all you care about is proving to yourself how important you are, and how immortal, and how loved by all, you have been very, very impolite to waste other people's time here.


Well, I was off to bed but I can't resist. What  are you talking about? I find your assertions astonishing. do I understand you right?

Atheism is the only honest response to reading about evolution? Theism amounts to egotism?

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,18:52   

Quote
But remember what happened to Semmelweis. He actually did studies before presenting to his colleagues how they were killing new mothers but they didn't want to hear it and hounded him to his sad grave.


Good example.....but there were 2 problems.  
1.  Semmelweis never really tried to present his argument.  
2.  He actually had evidence on his side.  He could predict that if doctors washed their hands...they could save lives.  

What are IDists suggesting?  If we attribute creation to a designer we can?....lose our current theory....and have no working theory?

You dont get to stand on a soap box and scream intolerance until you have actually done something.  ID is not a theory...ID is just an idea.  Its a pretty interesting idea....but it is just an idea.

If ID established clear criteria for IC, or for determining design....besides quoting some rather absurd statistics and claiming a new version of Paley's watchmaker argument.

You have repeated 2 things over and over again Avo....
1.  you keep mentioning that many of the arguments against ID are the same....so?  Unlike the arguments against Evolution....you dont actually have a response
2.  You keep mentioning the atheistic nature of Evolutionary Theory....why?  you said yourself that it doesnt matter....so why mention it?

You need to realize that most of these arguments against ID are not attacking the "finer" points of ID....they are attacking the entire concept of ID.  They need to be addressed....not dismissed because you have heard them too many times.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 09 2006,23:37   

Quote (sir_toejam @ Feb. 09 2006,20:51)
Quote
glaikit numpty


??

ok, i gotta call this one in.

alleviate my ignorance, please.

Welcome back STJ.

Ref:Glaikit numpty.
Both glaikit and numpty are words used to describe an idiot.
Numpty is in widespread use in the UK.
Glaikit is usually only heard in Scotland.


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=numpty


http://stooryduster.co.uk/pages04/glaikit.htm

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,05:13   

Quote
No, what I meant is that Behe and Dembski and no doubt others are looking into how to realistically detect design and how.
What leads you to think that? I see absolutely no evidence of this.
Quote
But I don't think anyone, including Behe, thinks we should stop trying to understand these systems, and even if we think they were designed, does not mean we will not try to figure out how.
But that's the problem with Behe's thesis. It rests on there being no way for these systems to have come about naturally. So what kind of research program has any IDer proposed to figure out a mechanism by which something happened supernaturally? Also, I find it telling that you seem uninterested in the abundant evidence presented that progress is being made - plausible, researchable evolutionary hypotheses are being offered - toward each and every system Behe has held up as "irreducibly complex".
Quote
I do not think we have to know everything about everything to prove Behe correct.
No indeed. But it's Behe's contention now that we have to know everything about everything to prove him wrong. I'm not making this up. As I read Darwin's Black Box, I understood him to be saying "here's a bunch of systems for which no plausible evolutionary scenario can possibly account". OK. But then when plausible scenarios are suggested for every one of his "impossible-to-evolve" systems, he moves the goalposts. Now he insists that until "Darwinists" have the exact, mutation-by-mutation account of the evolutionary history of a so-called "IC" system, then he's unrefuted! (He wrote that on "IDtheFuture" - but, unfortunately, IDtheFuture seems to have erased its past, so I can't provide the link). By that logic, until we have a day by day,  centimeter by centimeter account of where the Indian subcontinent was in its trip from Africa to Asia, we should withhold judgment on continental drift.
Quote
Quote  
[Re: Ernst Mayr's "What Evolution Is"]
Is it a book? Isn't he ancient?
He died in 2004 at age 100. But believe me, there's plenty in that book - written for the layman and published in 2001 - that you need to learn if you want anyone to take your opinions on evolution seriously.

Re: Denton Then vs. Denton Now.  All of your dancing around the issue fails to change the stark fact. His first book - widely cited as inspiration by IDists Johnson, Behe, and others - was all about evidence against common descent. There is nothing left of that argument that he has not tacitly admitted to be refuted. You'll notice he is no longer among the Discovery Institute's "Fellows".  I think that, in their creepily Soviet style of information management,they have largely purged the record of their falling out with him.

Which brings me to my last point. Frankly, if Behe or any "ID theorist" wants a shred of credibility outside the circle of already committed true believers, he's going to have to distance himself from the Disco Inst.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,06:56   

Flint, et al,

Quote

Is there such a person? I think there was an ARN thread some while back where the ID proponents were asked to name ANYONE who was familiar with evolutionary theory, had no religious convictions against it, but still denied the basic principles. I don't think anyone could come up with a single person.

Ultimately, this is because the ONLY reason anyone rejects ANY explanation of anything, is because they find some other explanation more appealing. Since evolution is based on evidence, and has been thoroughly vetted by tens of thousands of professionals for 150 years, rejection implies some other explanation whose appeal is beyond question. Only religion qualifies.


The problem is, this argument can easily be turned around. And it certainly seems to me that people who insist Darawinism is so obvious are glossing over the very good arguments against, which to my knowledge have never been answered because there exist no answers, and is every bit as blind as you think the other side is. You make the very good point that personal preference is a very strong, if not the strongest, cause for people to believe what they do. But if you think only the other side has that problem but not your own, then you may not have looked honestly.  

It strikes me as just as true that those who cannot see any problem with Darwinism, or who are scandalized at the thought of intelligent design, are "unable to overcome" their bias.

Let me repeat: to simply insist there are no really good causes for a rational person to doubt Darwinism seems like a form of fundamentalist thinking, which is to say, completely unable to see another point of view.

And as I've mentioned and as so many other ID people have mentioned, we could, and often did, accept Darwinian evolution. Many people did, many authors including agnostics like Richard Milton. Behe himself always did, and when he read Denton's book it opened his eyes. But he and Ken Miller believe in the same God and go to the same pope to relieve their time in purgatory.

Since plenty of devout people accept Darwinian evolution, perhaps religion isn't the sole problem. Perhaps we are actually swayed by what appears to our no doubt deluded and low mental faculties as counterevidence.

I'd like to actually ask the people here a question. I guess it is a somewhat personal question. It seems to me that we have a pretty simple logical algorithm before us. At least two people here have admitted they think there is a God and presumably some others are agnostic. If there isn't one, we are done with the line of questioning. We can assign a 50/50 probability just for fun. But if there is a God, then presumably this God has something to do with causation of this universe, probably s/he would have something to do with the Big Bang, for example. So if our reality includes a God, then it is naturally possible that there are clues or evidence of that.

It seems very hard to find fault with that logic. So the ID position is that we can legitimately search for, and indeed feel we are hot on the trail of, evidence of the fundamental intelligence that underlies this universe.

If I understand the position taken here, it is that if there is a God, the universe will nonetheless look indistinguishable in every way from one without a God. Now, that may be true, but it hardly seems the most likely. Why then, such strong feelings about those who have taken a different leg of the algorithm?

My personal question is this: What does it mean to you if there is not only a God, but one who took some hand in evolution? If that is disappointing, why?
*************
Guthrie,

Your post is, as usual, logical. I'm not going to argue. You ask about proof of God, but I don't think you mean it. I have said that existence itself needs explaining. Something fundamentally different is required. If science does find some indirect proof, such as finding out something surprising about material reality, it would strengthen that thing called faith. That would be a bare outline. The only interesting way to know about God is subjectively, which only a few people are interested in.

Quote
If you wish to not be taken as a laughing stock, please explain why you still think that Behe et al are correct, i.e. explain how Miller etc were wrong in their critique of Behe.


Sure, that seems useful. I'll probably have to print up the Miller paper and the critiques and go through it. I'm also interested in finding out if there are good answers to Denton's book, by which I mean the first one.
*****************
Henry,

Quote
Personally, I don't see how any cosmic purpose (if there is one) could depend on the biological details of how our bodies are constructed. (Or for that matter, at what location in the universe we appeared.)

It appears from the vantage of biology that the purpose is to get different working bodies. I don't suppose the exact details are vital. Look at our cars, we just like variety and  find it aesthetically pleasing to design new ones. The bit about our location in the universe bugs me. I haven't seen the movie or book, but I smell a rat. They might be right our location satisfies certain requirements, but it seems pretty horrifying if we are the only living planet out of billions of galaxies and I suspect some people want to think that way.

  
Sanctum



Posts: 88
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:02   

I am enjoying your posts here, Avocationist.

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:14   

Avocationist,

I've quickly read through most of your posts here, and the summary of your position seems to be:
- you don't know enough mathematics to understand Dembski's work on design inference, or the refutations there-of;
- you don't understand enough molecular biology to be able to assess the validity of Behe's idea of irreducible, or the critiques there-of;
- you haven't read, nor have any intention of reading, any of Mayr's (or any of the other major figures in the modern synthesis' [<-not quite sure if I got the placement of that apostrophe correct]) writing on evolutionary theory.

And yet you are firmly convinced that the IDiots are right, and the evolutionary biologists are wrong?

Quote
I think that for lack of greater knowledge, evolutionary theory has placed all its eggs in the mutation basket.


Have you actually ever compared any DNA sequences? Have you looked at an alignment of the human, chimpanzee, and mouse GAPDH genes, for example? If not, then I think that statement tells me everything I need to know about you.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:18   

Quote
My personal question is this: What does it mean to you if there is not only a God, but one who took some hand in evolution? If that is disappointing, why?


I'll bite:  It's irrelevant to me.  It doesn't mean anything.

--------------
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:19   

Avocationist-

Quote
it certainly seems to me that people who insist Darawinism is so obvious are glossing over the very good arguments against, which to my knowledge have never been answered because there exist no answers, and is every bit as blind as you think the other side is.


Im sorry, but what arguments are you referring to?  Maybe the people on this board could explain the responses to you.

If you havent noticed, scientists, in general, are very prompt with responses to criticism.  I know you think that most biologists are blindly following evolution, but this is hardly the case.  So I would invite your criticism of Evolutionary Theory.

Quote
But if there is a God, then presumably this God has something to do with causation of this universe, probably s/he would have something to do with the Big Bang, for example. So if our reality includes a God, then it is naturally possible that there are clues or evidence of that.


Im sorry, but there are some massive flaws with your logic.  You believe that their is evidence of God, which is a perfectly sane assumption, but it has serious theological implications.

If God exists, and he wants to leave evidence of his existence that is irrefutable, then why doesn't he simply appear?  Do you believe that the people who do discover the proof of God are more entitled than the people who previously had to work off of blind faith?  I cannot say that I would completely disagree with the idea of God making the knowledge of his existence absolute; but to date, I dont believe he has done that and I dont really know why he would suddenly change his mind.

You may be suggesting, however, that God had no choice but to leave his 'signature' upon reality.  If this is the case, then your conception of God is fairly limited.  You believe in a God that could create all reality, but who couldn't hide his fingerprints from his creation?

Avocationist, have you ever figured out if ID is a conflicting theory to Evolution?  I have yet to see you make this claim, so Im still curious as to your opinion.  If you do believe that ID is an alternative theory, in what ways does it deviate from our current theory of Evolution?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:33   

Re "It appears from the vantage of biology that the purpose is to get different working bodies."

That appears to be a result.

Re "The bit about our location in the universe bugs me. I haven't seen the movie or book, but I smell a rat"

What movie / book is that? I don't know of any reason to think this galaxy to be unique compared to however many galaxies are out there (or even to just the ones we know about).

Henry

  
gregonomic



Posts: 44
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:42   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 10 2006,12:56)
My personal question is this: What does it mean to you if there is not only a God, but one who took some hand in evolution? If that is disappointing, why?

Yeah, I'll bite too.

If there is a God, and he/she has the power to create a universe, and yet he/she chooses to make the evidence of his/her abilities so vague that it is, for all intents and purposes, unrecognisable ... well ... why?

Taking it one step further, if this God controlled evolution, and Homo sapiens as it exists today was the intended end point of this process, would you then suggest that this God cared about us? If so, then I would conclude that either this God is powerless to do anything about the multitude of atrocities that occur every day on this planet, or that he/she is actively refraining from doing anything about them.

If I thought any of this was true, I'd suggest that maybe this God wasn't really worthy of the respect some people show him/her.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:43   

Re "If you do believe that ID is an alternative theory, in what ways does it deviate from our current theory of Evolution?"

I sometimes wonder about that as well. It does seem to depend on which ID supporter one talks to. Near as I can tell, usng just the basic notion that life was in some way deliberately engineered, I don't see that it necessarily contradicts the conclusions of the current theory - that would require adding some details to the model. But if it doesn't contradict anything in, or add anything to, current theory, what's the point of it?

Henry

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,07:47   

Quote
The problem is, this argument can easily be turned around. And it certainly seems to me that people who insist Darawinism is so obvious are glossing over the very good arguments against, which to my knowledge have never been answered because there exist no answers, and is every bit as blind as you think the other side is. You make the very good point that personal preference is a very strong, if not the strongest, cause for people to believe what they do. But if you think only the other side has that problem but not your own, then you may not have looked honestly.  

It strikes me as just as true that those who cannot see any problem with Darwinism, or who are scandalized at the thought of intelligent design, are "unable to overcome" their bias.

Let me repeat: to simply insist there are no really good causes for a rational person to doubt Darwinism seems like a form of fundamentalist thinking, which is to say, completely unable to see another point of view.

The Darwinian explanation is not obvious. If it were, Darwin's discovery and elucidation of it would not have been the momentous event that it was. The "arguments against" are dismissed, not out of "bias" or "fundamentalism", they are dismissed because the time for argumentation is long past. The theory has been relentlessly and rigorously tested, against empirical evidence, for over a hundred years now. In scientific circles, this trumps arguments not so supported.
"There are no really good causes for a rational person to doubt Darwinism" because 'rationality' includes unbiased examination of evidence in order to come to a conclusion.

Quote
But if there is a God, then presumably this God has something to do with causation of this universe, probably s/he would have something to do with the Big Bang, for example. So if our reality includes a God, then it is naturally possible that there are clues or evidence of that.

Think this through carefully. Can there be evidence for something, if, in principle, there can be none against?

No line of empirical study will ever succeed in "disproving God." And by the same token science cannot prove the existence of God either.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,08:07   

Quote
The problem is, this argument can easily be turned around. And it certainly seems to me that people who insist Darawinism is so obvious are glossing over the very good arguments against, which to my knowledge have never been answered because there exist no answers, and is every bit as blind as you think the other side is. You make the very good point that personal preference is a very strong, if not the strongest, cause for people to believe what they do. But if you think only the other side has that problem but not your own, then you may not have looked honestly.
Post-modernist anti-intellectualism. Somehow the mere posing of an alternate point of view makes both views equally valid, so you can never know anything, just have opinions. I reject that completely. I have read Mayr, Behe, Dawkins, Denton, etc. etc. and, in light of what I know about biology (which I suspect is considerably more than Avo does) the evo position makes sense, and the creo (or neocreo) does not. What are these alleged very good arguments against "Darawinism"?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,08:32   

Re ""There are no really good causes for a rational person to doubt Darwinism""

At the risk of stating what should be obvious, there's a huge difference between simply doubting something, and otoh claiming that there's specific evidence against it.

Henry

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,09:55   

I'm getting behind, Puck, I'll just go thru yours

(Thank you, Sanctum)

Quote
No one is claiming that they are totally seperate spheres....they only seem that way.
That is a wise statement.

Quote
This isnt what kind of prediction we are asking for, and I hope this was more of a joke than an honest answer.
It was not a joke. I don't think animals can evolve into different genii by small mutational steps. And if I'm right, then no doubt that will be discovered as our knowledge of evo devo improves. What kind of predictions do you want? That one's mine by the way.

Quote
.ID is in no way in competition with 'Darwinism'?  If your statement is true...then ID has absolutely no opposition to current Evolutionary Theory.  'Darwinists' already attribute design to "natural selection"....therefore ID is simply reinforcing the current theory.
Yes, it is. ID thinks an active, intentional form of intelligence was involved. ID is unlikely to accept gradualism. What I can't see, tho, is that there is any real difference between ID and theism or deism or even agnosticism. It's just an argument over where and when and how.
You, I think favor the initial conditions idea. The only way it conflicts is that an ID person would think that it might have been frontloaded, but not randomly assembled, that is, DNA or the original life form.
I think the feeling of resistance to ID is about freedom and also consistency. If God interferes at certain points, it really takes the fun out because consistency is lost. We would be in pursuit of an incoherent reality with chunks missing. I think that would make scientists feel trifled with. It is all making sense to me now and I think I have answered my earlier question.

Quote

Im sorry, but what arguments are you referring to?

Well, this is a long project, and probably the right one. I have printed up the Miller-Dembski flagellum exchange, and someone back on pg 2 gave out some links, which I haven't forgotten. I have a list of books, Wells, Milton, Bird, Spetner, Johnson. I also liked the Meyer paper. Of the books, I'd probably like to delve into perhaps the arguments of Spetner if I'm remembering correctly that he goes into the informational aspect, and Denton.

Quote
If God exists, and he wants to leave evidence of his existence that is irrefutable, then why doesn't he simply appear?  Do you believe that the people who do discover the proof of God are more entitled than the people who previously had to work off of blind faith?  I cannot say that I would completely disagree with the idea of God making the knowledge of his existence absolute; but to date, I don't believe he has done that and I dont really know why he would suddenly change his mind.


I hardly know how to respond except to say that the nature of your questions reflect a way of looking at reality that I used to share but no longer do. I can't prove that my way is better but it certainly seems that way. The sensation is one of deeper understanding of the sort that, once seen, cannot be undone.
I do not attribute to God that he "wants" to hide or "wants to appear." I don't think God is filled with guile or engages in any shenanigans to fool people. It would be more accurate to say that God hides in plain sight. Faith is merely a weak form of knowledge. It isn't an end but a means. Faith leads to knowledge, for those who want it to. The reason I think society would be benefited by knowledge of God or spirit is that it would strengthen faith. Entitlement doesn't enter the picture at all. I don't think there is a god who finds people wanting and banishes them. I don't think there is a god who is offended by atheism. I don't think there are people leading spiritual lives and people who do not. Song, dance, and happiness are the highest form of praise to the creator. No one can possibly be guilty for their perception. Anger or impatience are the marks of limited perception, and does not describe infinite being.

Quote
You may be suggesting, however, that God had no choice but to leave his 'signature' upon reality.  If this is the case, then your conception of God is fairly limited.  You believe in a God that could create all reality, but who couldn't hide his fingerprints from his creation?

No, I don't think God can hide from the creation any more than I think God can cease to exist. God is the only reality. There isn't anything else. That is why God hides in plain sight. It is all a matter of perception. Always there, always was, invisible to many, obvious once seen. No one is forced to be aware of God, who is infinitely gentle.

Of course, I might be completely bonkers, barely holding my reality together with strong meds. :0

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,10:12   

Avocationist,
Why not just seperate your religion from science?

Science should always try to find out how "the world works". The reason we are here is probably better discussed in theology or philosophy.

I assume you can do this in other areas. I doubt you mingle literature and geography, or expect one to live by the standards of the other.

Why not do the same with science and religion?

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,10:16   

If ID isn't religious in nature, why do these discussions invariably delve into ontology?  And, I might add, it seems that the ID proponents are always the first ones to bring it up.

--------------
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,10:34   

Quote
And if I'm right, then no doubt that will be discovered as our knowledge of evo devo improves
Well, no. "if I'm right, then one day I'll be proved right" doesn't really count as a prediction, in the scientific sense. A scientific prediction would be something like this:

Fifty years ago, we knew that DNA was the genetic material, but no particular sequences were known. It was predicted (by "Darwinists", I guess you'd say) that - if and when DNA could be sequenced - it would turn out to reflect the nested hierarchy of common descent.

Guess how that turned out?

(By the way: one genus two genera. Oh, you're welcome! No charge.)

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,13:22   

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It was not a joke. I don't think animals can evolve into different genii by small mutational steps. And if I'm right...


but... you're not.  so why persist?

oh, and btw, the plural of genus is genera, genius.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,13:24   

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It was not a joke. I don't think animals can evolve into different genii by small mutational steps. And if I'm right, then no doubt that will be discovered as our knowledge of evo devo improves. What kind of predictions do you want? That one's mine by the way.


Lets imagine for a second that ID is a true alternative to Evolutionary Theory.  ID could predict that totally artificial organisms can not be created.  They could claim that mutations do not occur at all.

It is a completely different thing to say.."I dont think that your idea works...I have no proof...it just doesnt sound feasible."

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If God interferes at certain points, it really takes the fun out because consistency is lost. We would be in pursuit of an incoherent reality with chunks missing. I think that would make scientists feel trifled with. It is all making sense to me now and I think I have answered my earlier question.


Actually you almost got it.  If God interferes all the time...then empirical science is completely unreliable.  God could have tricked us...and things may occur that we could not have predicted.  If things can and will occur all the time whenever God feels like it....then why bother trying to figure out why things occur.  They dont have a reason....it is just God.  Basically, lets revert back to mythological belief systems...since that is ID...a mythological belief in a wholly overactive Theisitic entity.
Unfortunately...in the last couple of centuries...we havent really seen God interfere...maybe he is on vacation?
Let us know when he gets back.

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It would be more accurate to say that God hides in plain sight. Faith is merely a weak form of knowledge. It isn't an end but a means. Faith leads to knowledge, for those who want it to.


Basically you're a pantheist?  If this is the case...have you ever studied hinduism?  It supposedly is more spirtually fulfilling than Christianity, and it has your favorite flavors....only bad news is that the Earth is very, very, very old.

Did you notice something...you said that Faith leads to knowledge.  If I learn something olny after believing in it, then am I not forcing myself to know something?  Isnt it entirely more likely that I have tricked myself into believing something if I must have faith in it first?

Sorry my rationalism offends you, but I honestly think that I can continue to believe in God without having faith in him.  

Let me just sum up your argument though...and tell me if i misunderstood anything.


1.  Science is atheistic in nature
2.  Atheism forces people to be skeptical of God
3.  People who know God exists will be better people
4.  Science should want to do the most good.
5.  Science should say God exists
6.  More People believe in God=More people are Good
7.  Science should now go back and prove He exists.
8.  Total proof of God's existence will......????



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The reason I think society would be benefited by knowledge of God or spirit is that it would strengthen faith.

Actually...it would destroy faith.  If we "know" God exists...then we do not have "faith" in God.  

Unless you are only referring to the extreme misuse of the work "knowledge" in religion?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 10 2006,16:40   

I thought the term "gradualism" generally referred to the notion that a whole species would typically evolve slowly over a large part of its existence - gradually turning into something else. Otoh, descent with change by incremental small changes is simply a basic principle of the current theory. (Not over the lifetime of the species, though - a successful established species won't change much on the outside - no pressure to make it do so. And it's probably already accumulated most of the little changes that would aid it in the current environment anyway - or at least that's my guess.)

Re "I don't think animals can evolve into different [genera] by small mutational steps."
I don't get why some people think there's less likelihood of a species being a modified descendant of another species, than for it to be the product of a separate abiogenesis event (that being the alternative to being not a descendant of something else). From an engineering perspective, modifying an existing something is way simpler than building something else from scratch.

Not to mention the question of what exactly is supposed to prevent small changes from occasionally adding up to a larger net change.

And also not to mention that if species (or genera) were found to be unrelated by ancestry, that would make the nested hierarchy thing totally inexplicable. Well, unless one presumed the bioengineer(s) would (most of the time at least) develop each new "product" by slightly modifying the form of an existing (or recent former) nearby species.

Henry

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 11 2006,20:58   

Russell,

Quote
But that's the problem with Behe's thesis. It rests on there being no way for these systems to have come about naturally. So what kind of research program has any IDer proposed to figure out a mechanism by which something happened supernaturally?
 Yes, this is a real problem. It reminds me of some things Miller said at the end of his paper. I have tremendous faith in...Reality, though. The Designer is not a cheater, not a hider, and won't ruin the fun.

Quote
Also, I find it telling that you seem uninterested in the abundant evidence presented that progress is being made - plausible, researchable evolutionary hypotheses are being offered - toward each and every system Behe has held up as "irreducibly complex".
SFAIK, that is mostly overblown. We'll see.

I even paid $5 more for a used copy of the more recent paperback when I could've gotten a new hardback from 1998, just in case their was some new dope.

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Re: Denton Then vs. Denton Now.  All of your dancing around the issue fails to change the stark fact. His first book - widely cited as inspiration by IDists Johnson, Behe, and others - was all about evidence against common descent. There is nothing left of that argument that he has not tacitly admitted to be refuted. You'll notice he is no longer among the Discovery Institute's "Fellows".  I think that, in their creepily Soviet style of information management,they have largely purged the record of their falling out with him.
 
I guess I am just not convinced and you don't seem to have read or understood my post. The arguments he made were against Darwinist gradualism because there seems to be  arguments that sway such minds as mine and his. It does not really speak to how the life forms did get here, and I really never envisioned the kind of special creation that involves each species being made in God's laboratory and carefully kept alive in an intensive care unit until safely transported out of God's mobile lab (I think he would need a mobile lab so he could go to each continent). I always thought that the genes were modified wholesale from living creatures in some way. It may very well be that a fundamentalist like Johnson has a different hope in mind when they read a Denton-type book, so he might have gotten disappointed. As to others, we all have tons of left over baggage from Biblical and Christian worldview. I think Denton's thought has progressed nicely and I would really like to find out what he has to say himself (I did a search but I'm crappy at it) about how his thinking has altered. But anyway, he now thinks life unfolded according to laws, and why not, and he thinks in terms of an entire universe of laws that support life. With this I am in total agreement.
I had no idea that he used to be a fellow and isn't anymore and I would like to find out more about that. But I would like to know where he admits that all his arguments have been refuted. Perhaps I'll see if he can be contacted.

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Post-modernist anti-intellectualism. Somehow the mere posing of an alternate point of view makes both views equally valid, so you can never know anything, just have opinions. I reject that completely.
So do I. Down with postmodernism!

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Well, no. "if I'm right, then one day I'll be proved right" doesn't really count as a prediction, in the scientific sense.
C'mon, now. What I said was that I believe based on the nonsense I've been reading that there are limits to genetic change in a species, and that as we are delving deeper into genetics and evo devo, we'll find those locked gates. And I wait faithfully to be vindicated. Leaving the work to others, of course.

Henry,

The movie is The Priveleged Planet, I think. I thought you were referring to it re our position in the cosmos (they say we've got a great view).

Grego,

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If there is a God, and he/she has the power to create a universe, and yet he/she chooses to make the evidence of his/her abilities so vague that it is, for all intents and purposes, unrecognisable ... well ... why?
It has to do with perception. In a way, I'm the ultimate evolutionist. From my viewpoint, people generally have childish, which is to say simple, unexamined and rather cartoonish notions of God and self. The ideas lack depth and therefore are of little worth to the problem of how to live. God is what God is and it is the human being who must grow in awareness, not demand that God enter our world as a "toon." I think that the whole purpose of existence is evolution, not merely of life forms, but of consciousness, awareness, understanding. You say God is hiding, but I see God in everything. But I wasn't always like this - it took years of deep, penetrating logical thought.

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Taking it one step further, if this God controlled evolution, and Homo sapiens as it exists today was the intended end point of this process, would you then suggest that this God cared about us?If so, then I would conclude that either this God is powerless to do anything about the multitude of atrocities that occur every day on this planet, or that he/she is actively refraining from doing anything about them.

You see, such questions are petulant. They blame God when it is we ourselves who cause the majority of the misery. It elevates God to some distant, imaginary parental figure. It would do no good for God to interfere and MAKE us be good, or blow his whistle like a teacher on the playground - stopping the meanies before they hurt anyone.
This would be an eternity of policework of primitive and undeveloped beings - us. Instead, we will evolve until by learning from our mistakes we have finally internalized the good and have a true conscience.

God is wild, far from tame, but never uses force. He will not force us to be good.  
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I'd suggest that maybe this God wasn't really worthy of the respect some people show him/her.

Yeah, that's why I preach too much. I'm kinda tired of the way God gets slandered by (some) religion and made into a petty and egotistical tyrant. It's all lies.

Henry,
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Near as I can tell, usng just the basic notion that life was in some way deliberately engineered, I don't see that it necessarily contradicts the conclusions of the current theory
 I'm thinking that is pretty much right. But as to the current theory, if things were deliberately engineered then we would rely a little less on random oportunism and seek out more the underlying laws or processes that brought that engineering to fruition.

CJ,

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Think this through carefully. Can there be evidence for something, if, in principle, there can be none against?
But you slightly altered the topic. I wasn't arguing for the existence of God, I said that if there is one, there should be clues lying around.

Stephen,

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Science should always try to find out how "the world works".
 Of course. God isn't separate from the world, though.

Improvius,

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If ID isn't religious in nature, why do these discussions invariably delve into ontology?.
It's all my fault and I admit it.

Puck,

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ID could predict that totally artificial organisms can not be created.
Eh? What's that about?

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It is a completely different thing to say.."I dont think that your idea works...I have no proof...it just doesnt sound feasible."
 Yes, I do need to get to that. Right now, I'm worried about my hero, Denton. I was planning on submitting his name to the queen for knighthood.

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If God interferes all the time...then empirical science is completely unreliable.
I sympathize and it cannot work that way -- at the same time remember Grego's post above and he is mad that God doesn't interfere?

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Unfortunately...in the last couple of centuries...we havent really seen God interfere...maybe he is on vacation?
I hope Jehovah is on a permanent vacation. I'm convinced he's an imposter. I think he was some kind of channeled guy.

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Basically you're a pantheist?  If this is the case...have you ever studied hinduism?  It supposedly is more spirtually fulfilling than Christianity, and it has your favorite flavors....only bad news is that the Earth is very, very, very old.
Basically, I'm a religion of one. I thought I was a pantheist for a while, until someone informed me I was a panentheist.(God is immanent and transcendent) I struggle between the two...Someone used the word monist on a forum and I looked it up and sure enough, that's me. So, yeah, I've looked into Advaita, which is the real heart of Hinduism. I have tremendous respect for Hinduism, but I don't know why you think the age of the earth is a problem. They like to throw around really big numbers. 15 billion years is just one breath of Brahma. And they said there are 8 million life forms, and I respect them for that. They're in the ballpark a couple of thousand years ago.

 
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Did you notice something...you said that Faith leads to knowledge.  If I learn something only after believing in it, then am I not forcing myself to know something?  Isnt it entirely more likely that I have tricked myself into believing something if I must have faith in it first?
I'm afraid I didn't follow this. Ah, you mistrust faith - very good. Emotions are highly suspect and we should rid ourselves of most of them. Everything you say makes perfect sense from your perspective.

Of course your rationalism doesn't offend me, and I am surprised you say you believe without faith. But then, you never answered my querry about your logical proofs of God.

Your summaton stinks. Hope you weren't too serious.

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Actually...it would destroy faith.  If we "know" God exists...then we do not have "faith" in God.
And a glorious destruction it would be. Think of how the word faith and trust overlap, even being used interchangeably in Russian. If you have faith in your buddy in a dangerous situation it's because you know you can count on him because you've observed his character before. I don't mean book knowledge, theoretical knowledge - I'm talking about the personal. Faith is an intuition of God based on the truth within, which is where such things are sensed.

  
tiredofthesos



Posts: 59
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 11 2006,21:18   

<snort!>

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2006,01:29   

Quote
And they said there are 8 million life forms, and I respect them for that. They're in the ballpark a couple of thousand years ago.


what ballpark was that?  that ballpark would be so small you could hit a homerun with a drinking straw.

you are one whacky dude.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2006,06:20   

Russell:
Quote
Also, I find it telling that you seem uninterested in the abundant evidence presented that progress is being made - plausible, researchable evolutionary hypotheses are being offered - toward each and every system Behe has held up as "irreducibly complex".
Avo:
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SFAIK, that is mostly overblown. We'll see.
Well, now. "SFAIK" is pretty much the key question. How much effort have you put into finding out? And how well equipped are you to judge what you read? You display some very fundamental misunderstandings of basic biology (e.g. the difference between a virus and a bacterium, but I'll get to that in another post). Have you looked over the references presented at the Dover trial? Have you read Matt Inlay's summary of evolution of immunity? Or have you just accepted Behe's contention that there's a total vacuum of information there? Because, after all, if Behe says so, that makes it exactly as credible as anyone who says otherwise. Which brings me to...
Russell:
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Post-modernist anti-intellectualism. Somehow the mere posing of an alternate point of view makes both views equally valid, so you can never know anything, just have opinions. I reject that completely.

Avo:
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So do I. Down with postmodernism!
No, you don't. When you say such and such nonsense is good enough to convince Denton and yourself (and, let's face it, you're taking Denton's word for it), that elevates that nonsense to the same status of credibility as millions of person-hours of intensive research - call it what you want, but that's just postmodernist anti-intellectualism.

You continue to spill words on the subject, and insist that somehow I'm not reading them or not understanding them, but you haven't contradicted my extremely simple and concise observation: Denton's first book was all about "debunking" common descent. His "equidistance" genetic argument is posed in direct opposition to it. Not just to "gradualism" - a term I think you're a little fuzzy on - but to common descent. Genetic distance does not speak to the rate or pace of change, it speaks to the number of steps between organism A and organism B. Now, I have to admit I've only scanned his second book, because from my scan and the reviews I read, it looked like a thorough waste of time. But I gathered that he dropped that argument altogether. Perhaps you can set me straight: does "equidistance", or any other quibble with common descent -  play any role at all in his second book? You call that "Denton's thought progressing nicely". I call it a crackpot abandoning a 150 year old idea that he championed 15 years ago, but attempting to retain his iconoclast hero status with less obviously wrong - because less substantial - mumbo-jumbo.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2006,07:49   

Avo:
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I promise I'm not. I know that you are studying single-celled organisms, and that they do mutate a bit. But in what way is your research affected by descent with modification? Do you know what previous species of bacteria your bacteria evolved from? How would that matter as compared to how your bacteria behave right now?
I'm not studying single celled organisms. I'm studying the interaction of multicellular, vertebrate animals with (noncellular) viral pathogens. Our working theory is that both the virus and its host evolve. Do you doubt that? Do you think the fundamental mechanisms by which the two evolve are different? Do you think that "random mutation and natural selection" accounts for viral evolution, but that some fundamentally different mechanism is required for host evolution? Or do you think there's some intelligence we can't detect driving the changes that sure look like they're due to random mutation and natural selection in the virus?

With respect to descent with modification: it is our working theory that viruses, just like everything else in biology, evolved through descent with modification. Nobody has found any reason, as per Occam, that "random mutation and natural selection" are not necessary and sufficient to account for the divergence within family trees of viruses. If we didn't believe viruses were related to one another via descent with modification, we would organize our thinking differently. E.g., measles virus is clearly closely related to respiratory syncytial virus. Any novel function discovered in measles virus immediately sends us scurrying to see if the homologous structures and functions might be found in RSV. If we were similarly sent scurrying by every new function found in herpes virus or HIV, viruses bearing little if any family resemblance to RSV, we would be wasting a lot of time and resources.
Avo:
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Your predictions may be based on learning more about how organisms mutate, but I don't see how your research is affected by the grand scheme of evoluton.
Well, that's why evolution is called the central organizing principle of biology. Biology makes a lot more sense, and so is a lot easier to learn, if you can see overarching principles at work. You don't have to learn different fundamental mechanisms for how viruses change and adapt, then learn a completely different set of mechanisms for how bacteria do, then yet another for fish, yet another for humans. And a very large fraction of all of biology depends on how organisms change and adapt.
Avo:
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I know that you consider mutations the driving force of evolution, and that I don't..
Well, no. I consider the combination of mutations (and that includes all of those unpredictable changes in the genome: point mutations, deletions, duplications, transpositions...) and natural selection the driving force. Neither one alone gets you very far. But please, pray tell, what do you consider the driving force of evolution? Disembodied intelligence? Fascinating! Tell us how that works. Or, more to the point, tell us what evidence you have.
Avo:
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As for being all you have, I really think that if it is bacteria you are studying, and their effects upon us, then mutation and selection are all you need
So you think there are fundamentally different forces at work? Granted, there are differences: most animals rely exclusively on sexual reproduction, and having a diploid genome introduces important technical differences, etc., but I don't see any evidence for forces that don't still fall under the umbrella of "mutation and selection". I guess it gets down to that "grand scheme" thing again. Biologists see both the unity of life and the diversity of life covered by that central organizing principle of biology: evolution.
Russell:
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If you're interested in biology or science, why oh why are you reading what some lawyer has to say about it? There really is no shortage of biology books written by actual biologists.

Avo:
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Oh, but that isn't to learn about biology. His book is kind of an eye-opener. It just gives a window into the thoughts and problems as expressed by category by the many experts in their fields.
Huh? I still don't get it. You read a creationist lawyer, with an obvious religious axe to gring, in order to get a window into current topics in... what? Biology, no? Do you think lawyers in general are pretty reliable, honest brokers of information? You still believe that Bird's book is, let me make sure I get this right, "surely the most documented book ever written"? Are you familiar with the art of "quote-mining"?
Avo:
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I'm also interested in where you said some vaccines just make it worse. Are those vaccines the public never hears about?
The public can find tons of documentation of laboratory and clinical trials that didn't work out too well in the medical literature. It's not secret. It is, however, pretty boring. Though you seem to think designing a successful vaccine is easier than falling off a log (heck, they could do it 200 years ago, before Darwin even, right? Heck!, maybe the theory of evolution has actually impeded vaccine research!;), these days the news of a successful vaccine candidate is much more newsworthy than news of an unsuccessful one.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 12 2006,17:53   

Quote
They like to throw around really big numbers. 15 billion years is just one breath of Brahma. And they said there are 8 million life forms, and I respect them for that. They're in the ballpark a couple of thousand years ago.


Hmmm...Ive always heard the word Trillion being tossed around when talking about Hindu creationism

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ID could predict that totally artificial organisms can not be created.


I was just trying to give you examples or actual predictions...the problem is that if ID could make a prediction that would prove Evolutionary Theory wrong....ummm...they would have already done it.

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you never answered my querry about your logical proofs of God.


I wasnt discussing my logical proofs of God...I was discussing logical proofs of God....Start from Aquinas...and go forward in philosophical history.

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If you have faith in your buddy in a dangerous situation it's because you know you can count on him because you've observed his character before.


If you are referring to the word "faith" then you are correct.  Faith, based on empirical information, is a great thing.
Blind faith, or religious faith, is completely different.  If God suddenly appeared....set the record straight...and explained that the best religion was mormanism....then you wouldnt have faith based on empirical data, you wouldnt have blind faith....you would have absolute truth.  That would destroy faith...faith only exists when their is a possibility that you could be wrong.  I do not have "faith" in math.  I have "faith" in sub-atomic theory.  If you know that God exists...you must remove faith.

Do you know what the difference is between a Theist and an Atheist is?  
An Atheist believes in randomness and chance.  
A Theist believes that God probably has some control over chance

Both are rational views....but given this rather minor difference of opinion...how is ID different from Theistic Evolution?

The Difference is that Theistic evolution believes that for all intensive purposes God=random chance.  since you cannot know the nature of God...his decisions appear random.  ID, well ID is just hogwash.  They can spot design....so can I...but that doesnt really help.  They should carefully analyze the pattern of design...and then make careful observations about the design choices that were made...and attempt to simplify the Designer to an algorithmic process....wait....some people are already doing that...Scientists.

  
Renier



Posts: 276
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,03:01   

Avo ... hmmm. Just realised it was the name for the "good" god in the game "Fable".

Well avobloke, seems like the people here really went out of their way to provide you with some meaningful data and in a most polite way. Now, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to just say "no evidence" and prove you just waisted everyone's time, or are you going to do the honest thing? I think I know why Lenny treats them the way he does. I am beginning to think that except for the VERY rare occasion (like S. Elliot), that no amount of evidence will ever convince some people. :angry:

Avo, get "The Ancestor's Tale" from Richard Dawkins.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,07:27   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 10 2006,12:56)
The problem is, this argument can easily be turned around. And it certainly seems to me that people who insist Darawinism is so obvious are glossing over the very good arguments against, which to my knowledge have never been answered because there exist no answers, and is every bit as blind as you think the other side is. You make the very good point that personal preference is a very strong, if not the strongest, cause for people to believe what they do. But if you think only the other side has that problem but not your own, then you may not have looked honestly.  

It strikes me as just as true that those who cannot see any problem with Darwinism, or who are scandalized at the thought of intelligent design, are "unable to overcome" their bias.

Let me repeat: to simply insist there are no really good causes for a rational person to doubt Darwinism seems like a form of fundamentalist thinking, which is to say, completely unable to see another point of view.

The problem for you is that we aren't discussing "another point of view."

As others have pointed out, you are engaging in Postmodernist thought.  The problem with that is that evolution has mountains of evidence that has been independently verified through many different lines of scientific inquiry.  ID has philosophical musings.

In essence you are walking outside, looking at a bright, blue, sunny sky and pronouncing that some people (whose god told them that the sky is red) see the sky as red and you agree.  When someone points out to you that the sky is indeed blue, that we can make measurements and show that it is blue, you reply, "Well, that's just your opinion.  My opinion is better (even though I don't have the requisite knowledge to make that distinction) and you are biased."

Like I said before, it's all rubish.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,08:20   

Actually GCT you are being too harsh

We say that a rock is dead...we say that in the long time that we have been studying rocks...we have never seen one exhibit any signs biological life.  We point to the several examples of life...and say "We understand life, and the rock is not alive."  We cannot actually prove that the rock is not alive, but we just do not have any reason to believe that it is.

He is arguing that a rock could be alive....and that mere absence of evidence does not prove his theory invalid.  As long as his theory is based on solid principle(i.e. the definition for life is questionable at best, and that rocks could simply have very different and very, very long lifestyles) then we should reasonably entertain his idea.

The problem, and a serious one at that, is that it would seem that an open-minded person must be available to the idea that the rock might be alive.  The problem is that science is not open-minded in the traditional sense.  Modern science does not believe anything until sufficient evidence exists to support that idea.  Science might consider for a fleeting moment that a rock could be alive, since nothing totally rules out the possibility; but without evidence to prove that a rock is alive....Science will dismiss the idea.

This is a serious problem for a lot of people.  As Avocationist has stated many times...people believe that Science speaks about truth.  Science does not speak about truth, science speaks about observations.

A scientist might believe that Science is the search for absolute truth, but this would only be his personal belief...

Science is in search of observations and rules based upon observation.  Science does not deal in the realm of truth...since as someone pointed out somewhere else....all of our observations could be flawed...and then so would all of our conclusions.

Religion and Philosophy deal in the realm of Truth and this is why so many people, like Avo, get upset and believe that Science is spreading an Atheistic message.  

A sports announcer is not considered to be spreading an Atheistic message if he never attributes anything in a sporting event to God.  He is simply observing the event and explaining to his best ability why something occured.  He attempts to view statistics and analyze patterns, but he never claims to really know why things happen.  He doesnt know if the Yankees truly are bothered by cold...but he does know that in 54 out of the last 56 games played in weather below 20 degrees....the Yankees have scored more runs than average.  This knowledge and information may help him clean you out at the bookie....but it doesnt actually mean that he knows any Truth...he just has observations.

  
Sanctum



Posts: 88
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,08:50   

Very well said, PuckSr.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,08:59   

But what if the rock is only recently deceased? ;)

  
Sanctum



Posts: 88
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,09:40   

The Rock isn't deceased at all - he just makes terrible movies.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,09:44   

I may be too harsh, but I want to point out the fact that Avo is ultimately rejecting not just biology, but other fields of science as well, that all independently confirm evolution.  In lieu of evolution, Avo gives us his personal incredulity and his religious sensibilities.  He tries to have his cake and eat it too.  He wants to claim that ID is all about science, yet can't separate the discussion from god.  Like I said before, it's rubbish.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,10:06   

Not that Rock... :rolleyes:

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,19:39   

I have been busy but I finished going through the Flagellum Unspun and Spinning Just Fine.

I don't have time tonight to pick up where I left off, but
the remarks here have gotten rather out of hand. Someone has said that I have been presented with all sorts of evidence. That is odd, as I don't think we have even started that part of the discussion yet. We have been discussing ID as it relates to philosophy, mostly.

When we discuss Denton's book, we might go through evidence. I have not gotten a clear idea why evolution theory is necessary to medical research. Nothing convincing.

What evidence, Renier, have I ignored? Books, links and so forth have been mentioned, and as Russell said a few days ago, "take a month, we'll be here."

I am not engaging in postmodernist thought. Someone made a remark about the behavior of IDists, and I pointed out that it cuts both ways. IDists consistently find the Darwinists impervious to evidence and rational argument, and to be motivated by dogmatic loyalty. Meanwhile Darwinists are saying more or less the same or similar things about ID. The postmodernist idea that there is no objective truth has nothing to do with these remarks, which were observations of human psychology. Furthermore, please be aware that I consider most of them to fall under the category of projection. In other words, when accusations are thrown around, they are either true, (which is often) or they are projections of one's own inner state, which is also very often. To see that two sides at an impasse are both engaging in the same human foibles has nothing to do with postmodernism.

I do not consider that "science is spreading atheism." Science itself is pure of intent. I consider that some scientists, and the field of evolutionary biology is overrepresented, are infusing their observations with a lot of materialist philosophy.

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I may be too harsh, but I want to point out the fact that Avo is ultimately rejecting not just biology, but other fields of science as well, that all independently confirm evolution.
What other fields?

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Avo gives us his personal incredulity and his religious sensibilities.
Now here is something for you folks to see. Your approach is one of skepticism, proudly so. And yet in this one area, the one which naturally and in most people gives rise to a healthy skepticism - that random chance has produced breathtaking complexity, consistently bringing about higher order without  any purpose or intent - in this one area you repeatedly attempt to shame nonbelievers and one another by this vacuous appeal to a discordant, hypnotizing notion thought up by Dawkins. That of personal incredulity. Of course I have personal incredulity, and lots of it. And the whole approach of modern science generally is to be skeptical and nonsuperstitious. I tell you, if the evidence is so damned good, why the need to remind people not to descend into personal incredulity? This is a group-powered shaming device and nothing more. Is this not a roundabout way of scorning those who lack faith? What does it mean to have blind faith in ancient, Biblical miracles of long ago and isn't it personal incredulity that makes many modern people doubt them? Don't you know this sort of thing is what causes the ID people to say Darwinism is in many ways similar to faith? And what makes you so sure you can escape human nature? What makes you so sure that having jettisoned religion that whatever it is in human nature that gives rise to the religious impulse won't find other avenues for its expression? And if you aren't capable of this level of self-inquiry and humans-in-groups inquiry, then you aren't sophisticated enough for philosophical endeavor, and are indeed naive. And if you think this is postmodernism, think again.

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He wants to claim that ID is all about science, yet can't separate the discussion from god.
It can be separated from God but very often the topic comes up and I like to address it.
Miller believes God set up the initial conditions and knew the end result; he thinks God didn't have to interfere to get IC systems but that he does intervene on the quantum level or in some other very subtle ways, and he thinks that God has intervened miraculously in human affairs. For Miller, then, there can be no evolution without God.

Science is not the search for absolute truth, science is the search for what is so.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,20:15   

Before this entire conversation devolves

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I have not gotten a clear idea why evolution theory is necessary to medical research. Nothing convincing.


This entire line of reasoning is relatively subjective.  You are right...if we kept our current knowledge of medical science, and abandoned Evolution...we probably wouldnt see the medical community completely evaporate.

Im going to get back to this...but first we need to address something else.

ID simpy claims that we are designed.  The "Designer" could be completely mundane and natural....such as natural selection...or the Designer could be a heavily involved Theistic God.  ID does *not* make any claim about the Designer.  ID could easily co-exist with Evolution....but...that is not what you are referring to most of the time.  

Avo, you firmly place yourself in the belief that natural selection is not a sufficient enough mechanism for design.  You also claim that mutation is not sufficient enough to cause massive changes over long periods of time.

If those are not your beliefs...then please be more specific...since everyone including you knows that ID is incredibly vague.

Mutation is incredibly significant to several fields of science.  If you would like examples of fields that require the concept of random genetic mutation....we can compile a list

Natural Selection is probably less important to the study of biology.  Why?  Because most scientists tend to work in controlled environments....natural selection doesnt really apply in botany....botanists do most of the selecting.  This is very misleading though....because the principle of selection is still applied.  It would be fairly simple for anyone who has ever dealt with mating animals or plants to understand the concept of selection...and in particular the effects of natural selection.  In other words...we could probably live without natural selection in several fields....unfortunately the work done in most fields reinforces the concept of natural selection.

Alright...so now that we have broken down Evolution to the actual parts you disagree with....can you understand why the Theory of Evolution is important to many fields of study?

The "History of all living organisms and how they came to be" is not important to most people in Medicine...but several of the "chunks" of the theory are independently important to most fields.

As for all of that ancient stuff...about dinosaurs and their friends....we probably dont need that for modern medicine....but for that matter we probably dont need to know most things about ancient history...or anything from the past...it is simply human to want to understand where things came from and how they got here.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,20:19   

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IDists consistently find the Darwinists impervious to evidence and rational argument, and to be motivated by dogmatic loyalty


the big difference is, in the case of ID supporters, it is just projection.

they haven't presented any evidence yet, nor even a coherent testable hypothesis.

go ask Dembski, Nelson, etc.

so any arguments made that evolutionary biologists are "ignoring" evidence are defacto just projections by wishful thinking, but rather mentally disturbed, ID supporters.

have you decided which you are yet?

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 13 2006,20:32   

Avo-

Let me ask you a question about skepticism.....

If you are just now reading the literature on ID....should you not be an ID supporter?  I dont mind the skepticism about Evolution....but shouldnt you grant an equal amount of skepticism to ID and its proponents?

This just strikes me as odd.  When we first began this conversation you had limited experience with a very short list of ID books....yet you were convinced of the correctness of ID.

Its just seems to me that you threw your support behind ID in some form of a Pascal wager.  You believe that if ID is correct...then you will be keeping your God happy.  In all honesty you should doubt both "opinions" until presented with valid proof of one or both.  Judging by your responses...and the statements you have made...I dont really think you have come across the proof of ID yet.  I ask you to revert back and remain skeptical until you have more information.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2006,00:34   

Quote (Sanctum @ Feb. 13 2006,15:40)
The Rock isn't deceased at all - he just makes terrible movies.

ROFL!
I nearly spat my wine out when I read that!

The power of soundbites is enormous.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2006,01:36   

Hmmm. I can see I wasted quite a bit of effort on my replies yesterday. Oh well. Have a nice life, Avo.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2006,04:29   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 14 2006,01:39)
I am not engaging in postmodernist thought. Someone made a remark about the behavior of IDists, and I pointed out that it cuts both ways. IDists consistently find the Darwinists impervious to evidence and rational argument, and to be motivated by dogmatic loyalty.

No, it does NOT cut both ways.  When the IDists actually present evidence (any evidence) then there might be a discussion.  Until then it will remain one sided, because ideas without evidence get no play.
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I do not consider that "science is spreading atheism." Science itself is pure of intent. I consider that some scientists, and the field of evolutionary biology is overrepresented, are infusing their observations with a lot of materialist philosophy.

Who cares what the personal philosophies of scientists are, so long as those philosophies don't interfere with their work?  So Dawkins is atheist, so what?  Does it interfere with his work?  No.  So, Dembski is Christian, does that interfere with his work?  Yes, it does, and that's why we have a problem.
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What other fields?

Paleontology, geology, medicine...
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Now here is something for you folks to see. Your approach is one of skepticism, proudly so. And yet in this one area, the one which naturally and in most people gives rise to a healthy skepticism - that random chance has produced breathtaking complexity, consistently bringing about higher order without  any purpose or intent - in this one area you repeatedly attempt to shame nonbelievers and one another by this vacuous appeal to a discordant, hypnotizing notion thought up by Dawkins. That of personal incredulity. Of course I have personal incredulity, and lots of it. And the whole approach of modern science generally is to be skeptical and nonsuperstitious. I tell you, if the evidence is so damned good, why the need to remind people not to descend into personal incredulity? This is a group-powered shaming device and nothing more. Is this not a roundabout way of scorning those who lack faith? What does it mean to have blind faith in ancient, Biblical miracles of long ago and isn't it personal incredulity that makes many modern people doubt them? Don't you know this sort of thing is what causes the ID people to say Darwinism is in many ways similar to faith? And what makes you so sure you can escape human nature? What makes you so sure that having jettisoned religion that whatever it is in human nature that gives rise to the religious impulse won't find other avenues for its expression? And if you aren't capable of this level of self-inquiry and humans-in-groups inquiry, then you aren't sophisticated enough for philosophical endeavor, and are indeed naive. And if you think this is postmodernism, think again.

Skepticism is not bad, but your argument is.  You are acting as if your personal incredulity makes evolution incorrect or at least makes ID worth mention.  That is the key difference.  ID doesn't become worth mention simply because you are skeptical of evolution.
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It can be separated from God but very often the topic comes up and I like to address it.

Well, stop.  If you want to address science, then come up with some science.  You haven't yet, but neither has any other IDist.
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Science is not the search for absolute truth, science is the search for what is so.

You forgot the part about where evidence is necessary.  You also forgot about the part where we have to be able to actually test and verify that which we are studying.  God may exist or may not, but I defy you to come up with a way to figure that out scientifically.  Until you can do that, your arguments and all of ID is just a bunch of inane handwaving.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 14 2006,08:37   

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Of course I have personal incredulity, and lots of it. And the whole approach of modern science generally is to be skeptical and nonsuperstitious. I tell you, if the evidence is so damned good, why the need to remind people not to descend into personal incredulity? This is a group-powered shaming device and nothing more. Is this not a roundabout way of scorning those who lack faith?

The evidence is good. But it seems to invite incredulity for a number of reasons. First and foremost, most people are theists of one stripe or another. The human mind, while capable of the most subtle and sublime contemplations, evolved because it helped our ancestors survive. One of the ways it may have done this is to be wired to attach significance and comprehensibility to otherwise capriciously dangerous nature. Personifying the forces of the universe is deeply seated in the human "soul".

Darwinian evolution, like many radical scientific discoveries before and after it, calls on us to abandon this deeply rooted tendency to assign agency to the manifold attributes of nature, in all their obvious and dazzling complexity. Many people simply won't do it. It's too big, it's otherwise incomprehensible. Somebody has to be in charge, end of story.

Another incredulity-pump is the fact that the evidence for evolution is additive and consilient. It's no good pointing to peppered moths or antibiotic resistance, and saying "there!' as it might be with the cosmic background radiation for the big bang, or sea-floor spreading for plate tectonics. So you have to take multiple lines of evidence from different fields and see the agreement between them to really begin to see the overwhelming weight of the facts pointing to what is still an inherently unobserveable series of ancient events.

Finally, we're simply not equipped to appreciate "deep time." It seems preposterous to most people that, for instance, a 1% improvement in wing efficiency could act as a "force" leading to differential survival among a lineage of proto-birds. This is because they're not looking at the big picture of hundreds of thousands of generations and trillions of individuals. Evolution of the sort that creationists like to call "macro-" usually doesn't happen on timescales that are even approximate to all of human history, which seems like a really long time to most folks. It's not.

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The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,08:19   

Avo-

Hey....I hope we didnt scare you off....I actually found your posts interesting.  In no way was I trying to be derogatory....I just come off like that sometimes.

Come on back to the discussion if you get a chance....I think we can both learn from each other.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,10:30   

Hello all,

No, I wasn't scared off. I thought I'd be back last night but Valentine's Day intervened...cannot neglect my valentine.

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ID simpy claims that we are designed.  The "Designer" could be completely mundane and natural....such as natural selection...or the Designer could be a heavily involved Theistic God.  ID does *not* make any claim about the Designer.  ID could easily co-exist with Evolution....but...that is not what you are referring to most of the time.


The designer could be natural like an alien. But ID is pretty specific that it is a designing INTELLIGENCE, and by that they do mean a conscious and purposeful one.  So that is why ID cannot coexist with evolution as commonly presented. But as I pointed out, evolution defenders like Miller do not really believe that random natural forces can account for life. Not only did God initiate the universe, and not only is there no good abiogenesis theory going (I do not know Miller's opinion on this) but Miller also thinks God influences mutations by acting in a subtle way. I keep harping on this but it's important.

Puck, you mentioned that you think a very intelligent God could have designed this whole shebang and yet left no trace. Please correct me if I'm wrong because another guy said something very similar, and it turns out he was Catholic and I even thought for a while that you were him, until I saw that you are far less caustic.

I think that idea is not logical. If this whole setup here were designed by an incredible intelligence, then how can it possibly mimick something that wasn't? That is like saying that he set it up, but it doesn't really matter if he did, because from what we observe about the functioning of nature, nature could have done it on her own.

Now, if God set up the initial conditions, then how likely is it that we are right and nature could have done it on her own, and how likely is it that we have not yet understood the setup?

Also, if this whole setup was indeed designed, even if only by frontloading of some sort (initial conditions) then there is no other type of reality with which to compare it, and we cannot know what random and undirected natural processes are capable of - THERE BEING NONE.

We are left then where we started - trying to decipher this reality we find ourselves in. And if we cannot see the designing clues, why assume that we never will? We have so recently begun to delve into the quantum world, and determinism or nondeterminism is not a settled question. We still don't know what really makes reality tick. Plus, there is so much we still don't know about how DNA and protein coding got going, embryonic development, and so forth.

But the new line of thought development, which Denton is in on, makes this whole shebang look like a seamless whole - with the material aspect of reality a huge supporting structure that allows the next level, which is life forms, to evolve and exist.

If God is responsible for the Big Bang, and God is responsible for the laws of nature and matter, and God is responsible for setting up the initial conditions, then where is the dividing line after which he "stops interfering."?

I'm not saying I have an opinion on the above - I'm saying the question of God's actions is becoming less applicable to just one aspect of reality, i.e., the assumption that God might be responsible for matter but not for life.

It is worth noting, however, that it might be incongruous for God to set up initial conditions for the less complex part and let the more complex part take care of itself.  

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Avo, you firmly place yourself in the belief that natural selection is not a sufficient enough mechanism for design.  You also claim that mutation is not sufficient enough to cause massive changes over long periods of time.
If those are not your beliefs...then please be more specific...since everyone including you knows that ID is incredibly vague.

Yes, I'd say that is my belief. As to vague, ID in a nutshell is saying that evidence of design exists which is compelling enough to go with that as the supposition, as opposed to not seeing evidence of said design.

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Mutation is incredibly significant to several fields of science.  If you would like examples of fields that require the concept of random genetic mutation....we can compile a list.
 Sure, I'd like the list. But I'm not arguing against mutations or natural selection. Mutations are indeed important to study of infectious organisms. Natural selection is obvious, necessary, and of course sexual selection, too. Nor is there any reason natural selection would prove inadequate if mutations gave it good choices to work upon. (It may be there is an argument against this which I'm not aware of.) So really, what I doubt is that mutations are the main factor driving evolution. Now mutations have been augmented by things like co-option and gene duplication and so on, but I do believe we should lump them together.

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(next post) If you are just now reading the literature on ID....should you not be an ID supporter?  I dont mind the skepticism about Evolution....but shouldnt you grant an equal amount of skepticism to ID and its proponents?
Well, what do you mean, just now? And why a short list of books. I suppose I've read maybe 9 or 10. I also have spent a pretty large amount of time on the internet. As I said, I've read antievolution things when I could find them, but it is only about a year ago, I think, when I found Disvoery Institute on the net and began reading up on the more current debates going on with the actual names we are now familiar with. I never read creationist stuff because of the obvious bias, and basically I just am kinda allergic to smug christianity.

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Its just seems to me that you threw your support behind ID in some form of a Pascal wager.  You believe that if ID is correct...then you will be keeping your God happy.

Oh, Puck! This is dismaying! I have written to this board the most sublime insights into the real nature of God, and you have utterly misunderstood it. How can you even write the above? Pascal's wager is repulsive and not even logical. The person who can come up with such an idea shows himself completely spiritually bereft and it isn't logical either.

Sir Toejam,

I have duly noted your comments, but I don't find them to be ones I can reason with.

Russell,
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Hmmm. I can see I wasted quite a bit of effort on my replies yesterday. Oh well. Have a nice life, Avo.
How so? Because my answer was stupid, or because I didn't answer yet? If it was the former, I need to get better definition from you, because I understand viruses and bacteria mutate in imporant ways, but isn't it also true that many of these pathogens have kept their identity as a species for millions of years? So let me put it another way, perhaps mutation theory is vital to parts of medical research, but not vital to much else. All I'm saying is that in my opinion the power of mutation is limited. And in medicine and biology, what we need to know is how animals are related to each other, and how drugs act on tissue, and how one animal may tolerate a drug whereas another one won't.  So mutating viruses and bacteris are certainly pertinent to vaccine and drug research. What I was getting at was slightly different. I'm saying that we have plenty to do with real-time study of living species, regardless of whether RM + NS is an adequate explanation of how they got here.

Some people think if you don't accept Darwinian evolution, it should mean animals aren't related to each other. This is a special-creation holdover; it's obsolete thinking based on inadequate knowledge.

I really think that frontloading and/or other methods of natural unfolding of life forms in a relational way, and taking the cosmos into account as a whole package, is the wave of the future.

I think I'll cut off this one here for now. I have read through and marked up the Miller-Demski debate, altho I should probably also go thru the later "Irreducible Colmplexity Revisited."  So I'm now prepared to answer Russels' question as to why I didn't think Miller did much to put the flagellum to rest.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,11:22   

Re "All I'm saying is that in my opinion the power of mutation is limited"

Mutations are what keep billions of people from all being clones of each other. ;)

Henry

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,12:05   

Quote
Hmmm. I can see I wasted quite a bit of effort on my replies yesterday. Oh well. Have a nice life, Avo.
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How so? Because my answer was stupid, or because I didn't answer yet?
If you go over my last few posts, you'll see there are a number of "?'s". I don't think you addressed any of them. If you can't or won't... well, as I said: have a nice life.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,12:58   

Avo-

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That is like saying that he set it up, but it doesn't really matter if he did, because from what we observe about the functioning of nature, nature could have done it on her own.


Ok....i think you misunderstand...and I see your problem now.
Deism is not claiming that God "made it look" like he was not involved.  The claim is that "it doesnt matter".  To the Deist...or I suppose the Theistic Evolutionist....it is what it is...

They are claiming that God=nature....you tend to get hung up on this.  Let me try and put it into a different context....does God make things fall to the ground?

Gravity makes things fall to the ground...but a Deist would claim that God created gravity...therefore God is responsible for things falling to the ground.  You seem to think that either "God is making things fall to the ground" or "God is not involved with things falling to the ground".  You ignore the 3rd option....God invented a mechanism to do it.  This option does not limit the power of God, nor does it make God any less important.  We routinely use mechanisms instead of being "directly" involved.  If the 'Designer' is a sentient being....then why would he directly do everything?  Unless the 'Designer' is a severly limited intelligent being.

Lets get back to gravity for a second.  It may be very important to you to determine "why" things fall to the ground.  God or nature or something....but to Science it doesnt matter....they just say..."Things fall to the ground...they always fall at the same rate...we are going to name this force gravity and describe it to the best of our ability."  Now...Im sure God would be more than capable of taking care of gravity.....but no physicist really cares...unless he is trying to figure out why large masses are attracted to each other.

Does this analogy help in any way?  

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If this whole setup here were designed by an incredible intelligence, then how can it possibly mimick something that wasn't?


Im sorry....but what?

We only have 1 reality....if you find another one that was created by different means please let me know.  Your saying that we can compare our current reality to one that is either devoid or full of God.  We cannot, therefore this reality doesnt mimick an ID reality...this reality doesnt mimick a naturalism one....this reality is our only point of comparison.

That being said....can you build something that looks undesigned?  Of course you can...you can also do it very carefully.....the only difference between the two is that you built yours with a goal....and the random one had no goal.

You could painstakingly build a pile of rocks....now you might decide to build a perfect pile of rocks....or you might decide to build one that was highly irregular...its your decision.   The only real difference between your pile of rocks and a random pile of rocks is that you had a reason for building yours....even if your reason was whimsy.  Now, if we waited 10,000 years and you only used rocks you picked up, could anyone definitely figure out which pile was designed by Avo? Probably not....they might have some ideas...but they would all be based on the reason for the pile of rocks.  Unless you know the purpose for the design...it is impossible to determine if something is designed.

BTW...excuse my reference to Pascal...I was not implying that you were basing your religious beliefs off of horrible reasoning....I was implying that you were basing your Scientific beliefs off of horrible reasoning.

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but isn't it also true that many of these pathogens have kept their identity as a species for millions of years?


I actually love this line of reasoning...and I will fill in the rest for you...

Ummm....we dont really have a lot of samples of microscopic organims from millions of years ago...so your question is kind of ummmm... pointless?

Lets keep this up though....this is the classic question of why havent we seen a germ evolve into a sea sponge.  Why do we not see the organisms evolve into higher species.

The answer is simple....do we have sea sponges?  If your a construction worker....you might get hired to design a house.  If their are no available architects around...they might ask you to do it.  If you do really well, they might let you keep doing it.  
They are not going to ask a construction worker to draw up blue prints to a house if their are plenty of architects and civil engineers lying around.  
This is why germs dont evolve...something else already evolved.

Also...Evolutionary Theory tells us that an organism will stay in its present state until either its current state ceases to be sufficient or a far superior adaptation is found(the latter is considered to be the rarer event.)  We still get sick...the 'Designer' apparently didnt do a very good job with immune systems, therefore there are still germs.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,20:43   

Russell,

I'm going through looking for missed questions.
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No, what I meant is that Behe and Dembski and no doubt others are looking into how to realistically detect design and how.
What leads you to think that?

They are examining the question of how do we reasonably infer design. Incidentally, over at UD there is a surprising essay by John Stuart Mill in support of design.

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But that's the problem with Behe's thesis. It rests on there being no way for these systems to have come about naturally. So what kind of research program has any IDer proposed to figure out a mechanism by which something happened supernaturally?
Well, I have a problem with questions of this sort because the idea that God causes supernatural events just doesn't compute. It is not a refutation of ID if ID does not know how the designer did it. I know of no research programs capable of detecting supernatural events. But NDE (neodarwinian evolution) doesn't know a lot of things also. One person who has at least taken a stab at proposing how things might have unfolded, albeit designed to do so, is Davison.

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What are these alleged very good arguments against "Darawinism"?
 This is what we are spiraling towards. I will have to give it some serious effort, hopefully tomorrow.

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Well, now. "SFAIK" is pretty much the key question. How much effort have you put into finding out? And how well equipped are you to judge what you read? You display some very fundamental misunderstandings of basic biology (e.g. the difference between a virus and a bacterium, but I'll get to that in another post).
This was in reference to the question about IC systems having been refuted. I just read today that Behe is planning an afterword in a 10th anniversary addition to DBB which will address said lack of any forthcoming refutation in the intervening ten years. He'd better have his ducks in a row or he'll get fried. I am not quite sure what you consider effort. I have read criticisms and answers to criticisms, in which literature is sometimes cited. It seems that the ID side usually goes through the literature with a fine comb and finds it wanting, having been promised far more than delivered. I don't actually go through the articles myself.

The bit about slappig down 59 or whatever it was articles during the courtroom trial was just as Behe said - bad courtroom theatrics. It is not to be taken seriously. All evidence used in trial is 'discoverable' which means it must be presented in adequate time to the lawyers of both sides.
When did I misunderstand the difference between a virus and a bacteria?
When I am not equipped to judge what I read, I think I usually know. I can't judge Demski's math, but I can certainly read and evaluate the logic of most of his essays. I can't read biology papers that are beyond my level, which is low, but if it is written for the nonexpert, one would hope that I have at least a fair ability. I was intrigued by, but not able to verify or come to a firm opinion on Davison's Evolutionary Manifesto. That I think would require a pretty deep knowledge of biology.

I had some trouble during the Dover trial getting good links. I read mostly Behe's testimony. It is pretty lengthy but I would be willing to look into it more. There are links back on page 2 that I have not had time to go back to. Are those what you are referring to?

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Have you read Matt Inlay's summary of evolution of immunity?
Is that from the trial?

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No, you don't. When you say such and such nonsense is good enough to convince Denton and yourself (and, let's face it, you're taking Denton's word for it), that elevates that nonsense to the same status of credibility as millions of person-hours of intensive research - call it what you want, but that's just postmodernist anti-intellectualism.
What about the thousands of man hours that Denton has put into his career and his book? I'm just not that moved by majority versus minority opinions. Your argument is that the majority must be right, and my argument that I can make up my own mind - postmodernism says that if it's true for me then it's true for me - a completely different ballgame.

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Denton's first book was all about "debunking" common descent. His "equidistance" genetic argument is posed in direct opposition to it. Not just to "gradualism" - a term I think you're a little fuzzy on - but to common descent. Genetic distance does not speak to the rate or pace of change, it speaks to the number of steps between organism A and organism B. Now, I have to admit I've only scanned his second book, because from my scan and the reviews I read, it looked like a thorough waste of time. But I gathered that he dropped that argument altogether. Perhaps you can set me straight: does "equidistance", or any other quibble with common descent -  play any role at all in his second book? You call that "Denton's thought progressing nicely". I call it a crackpot abandoning a 150 year old idea that he championed 15 years ago, but attempting to retain his iconoclast hero status with less obviously wrong - because less substantial - mumbo-jumbo.


I think we are a little fuzzy on common descent, yes. Perhaps the only way to answer your question is to look through the second book. I did look at the index for common descent in the first book, and I didn't turn up any direct statements against it. So I guess it is more implied. Your interpretation of him is different from mine and again, I think the best thing would be to search for any recent statements from him on this. If he didn't make any mention of his prior arguments in his second book it doesn't mean he disavows the evidence he presented. I think he moved on to a more cosmic teleology and he speaks of frontloading. What if that frontloading includes sudden leaps? Does that frontloading corroborate common descent as understood by NDE? I think not.  

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Our working theory is that both the virus and its host evolve. Do you doubt that?
I don't think we can extrapolate macroevolution from microevolution. Assuming the host is humans, I don't think we are having an apprecable amount of evolution in your lifetime for it to matter much one way or the other. As I already answered, the virus may indeed mutate in pernicious ways.

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Do you think the fundamental mechanisms by which the two evolve are different?
Probably not but I don't think we know how either one evolved, and one is multicellular and the other one - is hard to even define. It is questionable how we get from single celled to multi. So I don't know. But the thing about viruses is that they are purely parasitic - isn't that so? Therefore, they must have evolved after hosts, despite their simplicity.

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Do you think that "random mutation and natural selection" accounts for viral evolution, but that some fundamentally different mechanism is required for host evolution?
No, rather I think that the role of RM and NS are not adequate to produce the life forms. Certainly, the simpler the life form, the more likely that a random or other small mutation could be incorporated successfully into it's structure.

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Or do you think there's some intelligence we can't detect driving the changes that sure look like they're due to random mutation and natural selection in the virus?
Well, as has been recently discovered, bacteria at least turn on mutations and turn them off as well. I find that pretty intelligent. The cell itself is very intelligent and hard to come to terms with. All those thousands of processes utilizing millions of molecules and billions of atoms in every cell, which seems to know how to manage it all. Perhaps there is some sort of cosmic mind permeating all living things. But no, I don't think God helps viruses mutate. Random mutations are just that - errors.  On the other hand, when pathogens happen to control their own mutations, I would consider that an interesting possibility for design theorists to add to their list.
Am I the only one who finds it odd that evolution proceeds against and despite the incredible array of error prevention, detection, and repair mechanisms of the replication process? That the mechanism of bringing forth endless millions of varied life forms is errors that slip past the sentinels? That DNA has devised some of the cleverest mechanisms to prevent that which is its greatest salvation? That a process which is usually deadly is also the one that leads to life?

Does that fit in with Occam?

There is nothing surprising in there being general families of viruses or bacteria. You seem to suppose that if I don't believe in NDE, that life forms are quite unrelated to each other and don't even operate upon the same principles.

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But please, pray tell, what do you consider the driving force of evolution? Disembodied intelligence? Fascinating! Tell us how that works. Or, more to the point, tell us what evidence you have.
I have wondered this, and I don't have the answer. Look, here is my understanding of the human situation - we are intelligent but easily confused, we have no idea of the answers to any important question - who are we, what are we, why are we, where are we, what is our future, do we have a future - and we have little or no idea how to find the answers. Our perceptions are filled with fantasy and unreliable. For all intents and purposes, a human being is floating in the endless black without a compass or coordinate.

And there are two kinds of people in this world. A tiny minority who have noticed this, and the rest who haven't thought about it.

Pretending to have answers, or taking the nearest half-decent answer, doesn't satisfy me.

Yes, I think there is disembodied intelligence. My personal take on how it might work is that this intelligence, which may or may not be personal, is acting from within, guiding itself so to speak. This may answer the questions about why the creation isn't perfect or appears willy nilly at times. It very likely is.

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So you think there are fundamentally different forces at work?
What I meant to say was that in your field, mutations are indeed important, but that I doubt mutations are the reason that organisms at a higher level than species or subspecies have evolved. About two years ago when I read Icons of Evolution, about problems with homology, or wait, maybe it was Milton's book, the idea came to me that there is at least one missing mechanism. Sort of like when Darwin proposed variation but had no idea of genetics. I think Darwinists have put all their hopes in the mutation basket because there are more mechanisms they don't know about and they lack the patience to wait it out.

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You read a creationist lawyer, with an obvious religious axe to grind,
His axe wasn't obvious at all. He never mentions it. He doesn't speak for himself much in the book, just presents topics one by one, held together as necessary but largely consisting of quotes. The reason I came to suspect he is a creationist is because several times he uses the term 'abrupt appearance.'

Yes, of course I am familiar with quote mining, and it is a very valid thing to watch for. But creationists were called on it and I think they make good efforts now to place their quotes in the proper context. There is absolutely nothing wrong with presenting a lot of quotes, so long as you have read and understood them as the author meant them, and present it in the same way to your readers. The majority of his quotes are from evolution scientists, and he never pretends otherwise.

I didn't say unsuccsessful vaccines were secret, but there is probably no reason I'd hear of them. I was just curious which diseases this has occured with.

There now, I think I'm caught up.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2006,21:00   

Ummm...quick question....why do you say this?

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I don't think we can extrapolate macroevolution from microevolution.


Ive never really understood this comment.
Why couldnt we?
microevolution says that small changes add up to big changes(using ID definition).  Perhaps a species of fish develops longer fins...big change...from gene mutation...small change

Macroevolution says that big changes add up to bigger changes....fins develop into limbs

The logic is pretty sound.  We observe microgravity...and then assume that most of the universe operates using gravity.  Sometimes scale introduces some new elements; such as the current debate over "dark matter".  However, most of the universe still operates using gravity.

Maybe math?
1+1=2  
1 x 10^29 + 1x10^29 = 2 x 10^29

seems that logically we can imply that general rules can be derived from smaller instances.  
Unless you think someone has actually manually added those two large numbers?


This seems to go back to 2 problems
1)Completely incapable of comprehending large numbers...billions of years for example
2)Somehow thinking that  biology works in strict terms...such as species and genus

If you have problem with either of the above, you will have a hard time understanding Evolution

**Thought Experiment**
How long will it take you to count to a billion Avo?
also
What is a species...and how do you tell the difference between two different species and two subspecies?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,05:29   

Re "I think Darwinists have put all their hopes in the mutation basket because there are more mechanisms they don't know about and they lack the patience to wait it out."

And here I figured that scientists had reached their conclusions from the evidence, and that their "hopes" were to gain a more accurate understanding of nature. Putting hopes in a basket would seem to be counterproductive toward that goal.

Henry

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,05:37   

And, that's the point.

Avo refuses to look at evidence that doesn't coincide with his preconceptions, or simply discards it.  He wants to believe the ID version, but they have no evidence, so he simply doesn't look at the evidence for evolution, and the evidence he does see he discards because "It's not convincing enough."  Then, he has the gall to bring up Occam?

Avo, when ID presents ANY evidence of the designer, let us all know.  Until then, your protestations are nothing more than sticking your head in the sand.  Actually, you are also maligning the evolutionary scientists that you speak about.  To you they are a bunch of impatient atheists that are so inept at their jobs that they can't see what you find obvious.  Could it be that perhaps you are mistaken about the vast majority of scientists?  Could it be that the brush you use to paint the 99.9999% of biologists that fully accept evolution is just a bit too broad?

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,07:02   

If and when I have an idle moment, I'll see if I can muster the patience to respond to Avocreationist. But for the meantime here's a thought to contemplate.

Know-it-all physicists are always citing "evidence" like the fact that water runs downhill, and the fact that we return to earth after we jump up, as evidence of "gravity". But aren't these just trivial examples of microgravity? Isn't it an unwarranted presumption to extrapolate this to macrogravity - the phenomenon that purports to explain the orbit of planets around the sun, or galaxies around their centers? Shouldn't we teach the controversy?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,07:10   

Russell, I fully agree with you.  It's more sinister than that though.  See, it's materialist to assume that microgravity leads to macrogravity.  If you care about fighting materialism in science, you should join me in my crusade against the massless particleism that is rampant with these atheist scientists and their conspiracy to turn everyone into an atheist.  Will you sign my letter of dissent from materialist massless particleism?  It says that we are skeptical of the ability of massless particles to account for the complexity we see in electromagnetic phenomena.

Even massless particle adherents like cogzoid have admitted that their theory "can't compete" with mine.  Also Renier admitted that the "FDT is a gem" of a theory.  Join the list that has grown infinity percent this month!

  
Rilke's Granddaughter



Posts: 311
Joined: Jan. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,07:19   

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Unless you think someone has actually manually added those two large numbers?
Puck, I don't think that's what's going on.

The point is that folks such as Avo (and indeed, people like Dembski and Behe, etc.) honestly believe that the difference between, say man and chimp isn't a quantitative difference ('2' vs. '3x10^113' ), but a qualitative difference ('2' vs. 'B' ).

That's why the math examples don't work for them.  They honestly do not see life as a continuum; they see it as a set of 'islands'

F'r instance: can I add integers and get an imaginary number?  Nope.  The integers and the imaginary number are both numbers, but you can't incrementally get from one to the other.

They're wrong, of course, but that's why the math stuff doesn't appear to make much headway.

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,07:48   

Re "materialist massless particleism?"

Is a massless particle one that's not Catholic? :)

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,07:56   

Of course it isn't Catholic.  It's atheist.

I know the truth.  I know that massless particles do not exist.  But, atheistic scientists have made these particles up to further their agenda.  Any Catholic physicist who says that massless particles exist is just a confused FDT advocate.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,08:46   

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The point is that folks such as Avo (and indeed, people like Dembski and Behe, etc.) honestly believe that the difference between, say man and chimp isn't a quantitative difference ('2' vs. '3x10^113' ), but a qualitative difference ('2' vs. 'B' ).


Oh...I know....but i was using this in reference to using smaller scale observations to determine larger scale predictions.

I just hate the comment on microevolution != macroevolution.  In almost every observational theory a smaller scale example is used to demonstrate a grander principle.  It is completely dishonest....and a cheap shot.

***side note***
I once mentioned the whole microgravity vs macrogravity when discussing this topic with a friend.  He informed me that I misunderstood gravity.  Gravity, according to my friend, was caused by the attraction between the sun and the earth.  Our attraction to the earth was merely a by-product of the larger attraction....and if the sun did not exist....we would float off into space.

Suffice it to say I immediately ended the conversation with my friend....and decided that it might be better to simply discuss different types of beer.

:p

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,09:49   

Of course, what massless particles actually lack is rest mass. And since they're restless, they travel at the highest possible speed (that of light).

Henry

  
Russell



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,09:56   

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I once mentioned the whole microgravity vs macrogravity when discussing this topic with a friend.
Oh, sure you did! Now I suppose you're expecting me to share my imminent Nobel Prize with you.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,10:18   

hey...fair is fair....i beat you to the punch :p

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,11:22   

I think you guys spiked that punch.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,12:25   

I want to reply to all the kindly interest, but it certainly does tend to put off getting down to brass tacks - what have I read that makes me doubt random mutation as an adequate explanation, and why did I reject the Miller paper, for starters.
GCT
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No, it does NOT cut both ways.  When the IDists actually present evidence (any evidence) then there might be a discussion.  Until then it will remain one sided, because ideas without evidence get no play.

Perhaps you ought to start looking for it. I am going to try to some extent, but I can't bring everybody up to speed.

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Who cares what the personal philosophies of scientists are, so long as those philosophies don't interfere with their work?  So Dawkins is atheist, so what?  Does it interfere with his work?  No.  So, Dembski is Christian, does that interfere with his work?  Yes, it does, and that's why we have a problem.
Oh my, your objectivity is showing.

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Paleontology, geology, medicine...
Paleontoogy is not considered Darwinism's strong suit, the field of geology would exist no matter what set of facts it turned up, and medicine is debatable.

CJ
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First and foremost, most people are theists of one stripe or another.
But lots of evolutionists are theists. Some are even Catholic. Miller gets down on his knees before a man in a dress and funny hat, and lets him put a little white disc on his tongue, because he believes the prayers of the man in a dress has miraculously changed it into the body of Jesus. So that can't be the whole problem.
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The human mind, while capable of the most subtle and sublime contemplations, evolved because it helped our ancestors survive.
Well, if you start with a supposition you can create a logical structure to support it.

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Somebody has to be in charge, end of story.
I certainly do agree that most people are spiritual children, and religion often perpetuates that infantilism.

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So you have to take multiple lines of evidence from different fields and see the agreement between them to really begin to see the overwhelming weight of the facts pointing to what is still an inherently unobserveable series of ancient events.
Sure, but books like Denton's and Milton's go through them one by one and examine them on that little deeper level.

Oh, wait, but that sounds like I don't accept evolution. What I think is happening, is that much of the data which supports an organic and coherent unfolding of life over time is overlayed with suppositions to augment it which may not be correct.

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Finally, we're simply not equipped to appreciate "deep time."
Ah, yes. Another Dawkins favorite. Let's see what Spetner has to say in Not By Chance. Dawkins is discussing improbable events occurring to bring about origin of life. This is in chapter 6 of Blind Watchmaker. He says that Dawkins asks us to drop our intuitive feeling for chance. I guess he doesn't think it evolved very well, probably because his didn't. Dawkins likens the probability of certain admittedely very unlikely events to a long-lived alien playing bridge for millions of years, waiting for that perfect hand of bridge. He said a being who lived millions of years, would have a very different feeling about chance and time. If the being lived 100 million years, it would not be unusual for him to see a perfect hand of bridge from time to time and he would scarcely write home about it.

But Dawkins didn't do the calculation. And I have to ask myself - is it because he has no feel for probability, or is he dishonest? According to Spetner, if the being played 100 hands of bridge every day for 100 million years, the chance of seeing a perfect hand of bridge just once in his life is one in a quadrillion. Definitely something to write home about.

Now, I can understand a bumpkin like myself making this mistake. But Dawkins has a PhD, a science degree, is a chair at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, has written books that specifically deal with the problems of evolution, and he is the Grand Poobah of the public understanding of science.

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It seems preposterous to most people that, for instance, a 1% improvement in wing efficiency could act as a "force" leading to differential survival among a lineage of proto-birds.
No, it doesn't seem preposterous at all. What seems preposterous is that a creature could have 7% of a wing, or 22% of a wing. Berlinski dealt with this in his answer to the Fish Eyes paper, but you folks don't read him, do you? Meyer deals with this problem also - but I don't suppose anyone has read his scandalous paper either. There are other authors and I am sure I have some at hand who find the problem of random mutations leading slowly to novel features and managing to incorporate them into existing structure all the while problematic. Now, maybe it occurred, but it is definitely problematic.

Puck-

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Deism is not claiming that God "made it look" like he was not involved.
I thought you said that I had underestimated God if I didn't think he could do that.
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They are claiming that God=nature.
I could agree except it all depends on how you define nature. I, for instance, don't really believe in a material world. I think there is only the spiritual world.

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You seem to think that either "God is making things fall to the ground" or "God is not involved with things falling to the ground".  You ignore the 3rd option....God invented a mechanism to do it.
but everyone knows that - it apparently upset some people in Newton's day.

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If the 'Designer' is a sentient being....then why would he directly do everything?
In my opinion he would only do directly what needed doing directly. I find the origin of life to be a strong candidate. But again, I don't really see God as a separate being living outside the universe. I don't think, for example, that there is life apart from God. God is life and is the life in all things. Now, is that any different than saying God is Nature?

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Unless the 'Designer' is a severly limited intelligent being.
You seem to be saying that if God had to interfere his intelligence is limited. I find that an unnecessary judgement. I'm all for admiring the cosmic mind, but I have trouble seeing how frontloading initial conditions for the 'material' universe could lead to a cell.

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but to Science it doesnt matter....they just say..."Things fall to the ground...they always fall at the same rate...we are going to name this force gravity and describe it to the best of our ability."
Well, that sort of objectivity has not been part of evolution theory. Also, you are comparing fundamental laws to something contrived from those laws but which is much more complex. A cell is many orders of magnitude more complex than dropping balls off a tower. It would be better to compare a cell to the entire working of the cosmos. If you landed on an empty planet, and found structures like the pyramids but no people (perhaps life got wiped out) you might study many things about their composition and structure, but wouldn't the question of whether they were placed there intentionally be of interest?

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Your saying that we can compare our current reality to one that is either devoid or full of God.  We cannot, therefore this reality doesnt mimick an ID reality...this reality doesnt mimick a naturalism one....this reality is our only point of comparison.
Well, yes, that's what I was saying. And therefore, how can we assume that there is no evidence that a God was needed to set things up?
IF there is a God, then a God-set-up world is the only possible one.

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can you build something that looks undesigned? now you might decide to build a perfect pile of rocks.
Do you mean a perfect pile of rocks like, say, the pyramids? And it wouldn't look designed? And why attribute to the creator such tactics? It's almost like Christian dogma, in which the creator has set up a rigged game so that the highest possible proportion of people go to ####.

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Ummm....we dont really have a lot of samples of microscopic organims from millions of years ago...so your question is kind of ummmm... pointless?
Alright, I was going on memory. I am pretty sure that TB and other pathogens have been identified from bodies that are thousands of years old. But somehow I am not sure you are right.

No, the continued existence of simple organisms doesn't bother me. The only reason they would become extinct is if conditions changed and they couldn't adapt. But if they fill a good niche, and other forms evolved from them, there is no reason for the original to disapper.

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We still get sick...the 'Designer' apparently didnt do a very good job with immune systems, therefore there are still germs.
That isn't how it works. Everything is food. The system would crash if the balance were unbalanced.

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Macroevolution says that big changes add up to bigger changes....fins develop into limbs.
The logic is pretty sound.
Almost anything can appear sound if it is unexamined. It is a quick and simple deduction and the arguments against it are growing. I guess I am beginning to wonder if you guys have actually read many of these arguments? But at some point I am supposed to get something together to explain:
My take on the IC arguments
Why I think there are good arguments against NDE,
which includes: mutation theory and incremental change theory
 
Your question about counting to a billion tells me you haven't read what IDists have to say on the topic of probability. Time is not a miracle worker.

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What is a species...and how do you tell the difference between two different species and two subspecies?
I like to go with if they can breed and make fertile offspring.

Oh, and BTW, I have read Aquinas' arguments for the existence of God. Can't remember them, but I recall at least two were quite good  (the ones I had thought of myself) but he is on my sh## list. He taught that the saved will enjoy viewing the sufferings of the damned. A very pernicious influence in this world, he was.

GCT-
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Avo refuses to look at evidence that doesn't coincide with his preconceptions, or simply discards it.
It looks like projection to me...

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Actually, you are also maligning the evolutionary scientists that you speak about.  To you they are a bunch of impatient atheists that are so inept at their jobs that they can't see what you find obvious.
Oh, it was kindly meant. I wasnt singling them out in particular. It is human nature. There are two motives. One is ego: the desire to be right. And the second is what I mentioned above, the desire to quell the inner void, to convince oneself that one knows anything at all.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,13:06   

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There are two motives. One is ego: the desire to be right. And the second is what I mentioned above, the desire to quell the inner void, to convince oneself that one knows anything at all.
Quote
looks like projection to me...


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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,13:22   

Not that it makes any difference one way or the other (since exact numbers aren't available for estimating the chances of steps in early evolution), but just for the sake of verifying calculations: what consititutes a "perfect hand" in bridge? (I don't know anything about the game, but if the "perfect hand" is as easily defined as poker's Royal Flush, I guess anyone could verify it.)

I assume, Avocreationist, you've already gone through this exercise. Please don't tell us you're just taking Spetner's word for it.

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,13:59   

Quote
Perhaps you ought to start looking for it. I am going to try to some extent, but I can't bring everybody up to speed.


we have, for years now, with no luck.  Your response is just a cop-out.

ask Dembski; it doesn't exist.

tho I'm sure he will also respond - we're working on it!  any day now!

uh... yeah.

Debmski appears to be the ONLY IDer who claims that he is truly interested in setting up research into the "questions" raised by ID.  Why don't you go ask him what his research protocol is.  

We've been asking since 1998, and he just keeps putting it off.

If he was a grad student, using ID for his thesis topic, he would have washed out of grad school years ago, simply because he never came up with any method, or even a hypothesis, to test.

Is this truly the kind of science you want for your kids?

I think you better take another look.

If you don't believe me, you can email Wesley and he will provide you direct questions asked of Dembski over the last 6 years or so about this very issue.

the answers, while humorous, came as no surprise to the rest of us.

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I could agree except it all depends on how you define nature. I, for instance, don't really believe in a material world. I think there is only the spiritual world.


well, then, proceeding from there, you have a lot of work to do inventing an entirely new way to test hypothesis and predictions, as there is no way to utilize the scientific method to answer any questions arising in your world.

good luck with that.

Russel's response to your freudian references is exactly correct, btw.

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,15:32   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 16 2006,18:25)
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No, it does NOT cut both ways.  When the IDists actually present evidence (any evidence) then there might be a discussion.  Until then it will remain one sided, because ideas without evidence get no play.

Perhaps you ought to start looking for it. I am going to try to some extent, but I can't bring everybody up to speed.

We've been looking for it.  Haven't been able to find it.  Not in the writings of any of the IDists, not in the natural world, not anywhere.

  
tiredofthesos



Posts: 59
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,17:40   

There is only the "spiritual world"????  To modernize Swift, what do you consider that stuff that comes out your ass?

 Avo, you are - at great and exceptional unfunny length - offering up what can be called on a forum that censors certain language (and that's fine by me) "horsehockey."  Enjoy this phantasy, whatever your role is imagined to be within it, but don't expect to be anything other than the butt of many jokes - you DID notice that no one even bothers to get upset with you now, or did you?

 How much are you donating to the I.D. cause?  If nothing, why not, if you really believe an iota of your own horsehockey?

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,17:43   

Quote
To modernize Swift, what do you consider that stuff that comes out your ass?


ahh, that, which by any other name, would smell as sweet...

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,18:51   

No Russ, I don't know how to calculate probabilities. But it should be easy enough to do. It's pretty simple. You have 52 cards and a perfect hand of bridge is when each of the four players gets an entire suit. Do you want Spetner's calc's?

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you DID notice that no one even bothers to get upset with you now, or did you?
Oh. I thought some people were getting a little bit too upset. So I guess it could be worse.

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If he was a grad student, using ID for his thesis topic,he would have washed out of grad school
He did use an ID topic for his thesis. I read it recently. I can't remember just what it was.

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well, then, proceeding from there, you have a lot of work to do inventing an entirely new way to test hypothesis and predictions, as there is no way to utilize the scientific method to answer any questions arising in your world.
I assure you, it is the very same world, and everything still works. Don't fret.

Rilke's Granddaughter:

Eric Rilke was my childhood sweetheart. Are you his sister?

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The point is that folks such as Avo (and indeed, people like Dembski and Behe, etc.) honestly believe that the difference between, say man and chimp isn't a quantitative difference ('2' vs. '3x10^113' ), but a qualitative difference ('2' vs. 'B' ).


Well, if that is the sort of argument (and I am referring to Puck's argument of 1+1=2) given to overcome the obstacles to NDE, then I must say I am ......shocked. Simply shocked. No wonder Jon says they've been looking but haven't found it.

Anyway, I have to give this idea some thought. What is a qualitative difference in a world made of strings?

Do you not find a qualitative difference between the intelligence of humans and chimps? What about humans and frogs? If it is just a matter of increased quantity, then what would constitute a qualitative difference? How about motility? Does that count?

It's not that there is a qualitative difference between people and chimps, there are qualitative differnces between all major divisions. Isn't a shell a qualitative difference from a backbone?

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,19:40   

Quote
He did use an ID topic for his thesis. I read it recently. I can't remember just what it was.


not quite... and what do you think happened to Dembski after he graduated?  did he go on to pursue a career in science?  no?  where is Big D right now eh?  Ever take a look at one of his current course syllabi?  is that the kind of stuff you would teach your kids?

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I assure you, it is the very same world, and everything still works. Don't fret.


you sir, certainly don't make me "fret".

however, please do show us how the scientific method works to test "spiritual" hypotheses, or even how you manage to create one to begin with.

It sure seems you have constructed your own little pocket of null-reality there.

and speaking of null-reality...

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No wonder Jon says they've been looking but haven't found it.


*sigh*

I assume you are referring to JAD?

If so, man, you sure are heading farther and farther into null-space.

why don't you ask Jon why he has never tested his PEH sometime?

and ask him why it ended up as the crankiest evolutionary theory listed on crank.net, while your at it.

really, if you think PEH, or any other pant-loading concept holds water, you have no business being here.  You're too far gone to bring back to reality.

bye bye.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,19:46   

let me preface this post by explaining that I have been drinking....so this might not make a great deal of sense

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Paleontoogy is not considered Darwinism's strong suit


Really...because I dont think dinosaur bones are supporting creationism or Intelligent Design....unless the ID makes mistakes...massive billion year old mistakes

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Miller gets down on his knees before a man in a dress and funny hat, and lets him put a little white disc on his tongue, because he believes the prayers of the man in a dress has miraculously changed it into the body of Jesus. So that can't be the whole problem.


Wow....that just sounded incredibly spiteful.  I thought you liked Jesus.  Did he give you the idea that being a jerk was ok?

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But Dawkins didn't do the calculation. And I have to ask myself - is it because he has no feel for probability, or is he dishonest? According to Spetner, if the being played 100 hands of bridge every day for 100 million years, the chance of seeing a perfect hand of bridge just once in his life is one in a quadrillion. Definitely something to write home about.


LMAO
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Odds against receiving a perfect hand (13 cards in one suit) = 169,066,442 to 1


quadrillion-1,000,000,000,000,000

the funny thing is that the number of times you perform an action do not effect the probability.  If you flip a coin a million times....your odds of getting a head are still 1 in 2 every time you flip.....

unless you are referring to the law of large numbers....in which case it is indicated that the odds will eventually balance out if the chance event occurs frequently enough.

Either way...the math is flawed....

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But Dawkins didn't do the calculation.


Of course he didnt....only an idiot would assume that he could quantify the probability of all random occurences that have ever occured.  He can guess...but unless he was there...he cant really give you odds.

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No, it doesn't seem preposterous at all. What seems preposterous is that a creature could have 7% of a wing, or 22% of a wing.


Really....like a penguin?
Hmmm...maybe you are referring to 25% of an eye....like a light sensitive organ that cannot detect shape or distance.  It would really kill your cause if we found one of those.

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but everyone knows that - it apparently upset some people in Newton's day.


Newton didnt upset anyone with his theory of gravity...no one that didnt concede under the heap of evidence.  Who are you talking about?

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A cell is many orders of magnitude more complex than dropping balls off a tower. It would be better to compare a cell to the entire working of the cosmos. If you landed on an empty planet, and found structures like the pyramids but no people (perhaps life got wiped out) you might study many things about their composition and structure, but wouldn't the question of whether they were placed there intentionally be of interest?


Hmmm interesting...so i suppose if we found grids of rocks existing and someone told you that they were natural...you wouldnt believe them either.

In the case of the mysterious planet....you fail to mention something.  Pyramids, from our point of reference do not occur naturally.  We have never seen giant complex structures arise from nature....however, you have no point of reference for the cell....except to point to your own, rather humble experiences.

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       We still get sick...the 'Designer' apparently didnt do a very good job with immune systems, therefore there are still germs.--me

That isn't how it works. Everything is food. The system would crash if the balance were unbalanced.  Hmmm... how would it crash if germs ceased to exist?


Germs do not "consume" organisms...they use organisms.  Germs and computer viruses have a lot in common....would the internet cease to exist if we didnt have computer viruses?

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Alright, I was going on memory. I am pretty sure that TB and other pathogens have been identified from bodies that are thousands of years old. But somehow I am not sure you are right.


You said "millions"....obviously you dont understand that millions is very different than thousands.  Once again, you cannot conceptualize such large numbers.

Your question about counting to a billion tells me you haven't read what IDists have to say on the topic of probability. Time is not a miracle worker.

I dont really care about time....the question...and a rather simple one at that...is how long would it take for you to count to a billion....off the top of your head.

Ill change it to 3 questions
1) how long to count to 1,000?
2) how long to count to a million?
3) how long to count to a billion?

the point...if you care to take this excercise any further...is that you probably dont comprehend the massive difference between a thousand and a billion

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,19:52   

Quote
I dont really care about time....the question...and a rather simple one at that...is how long would it take for you to count to a billion....off the top of your head.


How long does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 16 2006,23:16   

Quote (PuckSR @ Feb. 17 2006,01:46)
I dont really care about time....the question...and a rather simple one at that...is how long would it take for you to count to a billion....off the top of your head.

With a very simplified calculation. It wont be quite right but will give an idea. I came to an answer of 30 years non-stop counting. At 8 hours per day it would take 90 years.

In reality it would probably take far longer. I allowed one number per second. Sounds slow for low numbers, but as the majority of numbers are in excess of 1,348, 712 I am actually being generous.

So; 1000,000,000
/60=16,666,667 mins
/60=277.778 hours
/24=11,574 days
/365=31.7 years  So 31 years non-stop. @8Hrs/day = 93 years.

Sounds like fun, here goes; 1,2,3,4, ...

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,02:00   

Quote (sir_toejam @ Feb. 17 2006,01:40)
Quote
No wonder Jon says they've been looking but haven't found it.


*sigh*

I assume you are referring to JAD?

More likely referring to me, the first post at the top of this page.

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,02:05   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 17 2006,00:51)
No wonder Jon says they've been looking but haven't found {evidence for ID}.

I notice you haven't offered any.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,03:56   

Quote
We've been looking for it.  Haven't been able to find it.  Not in the writings of any of the IDists, not in the natural world, not anywhere.
Thats because no one has found any, even if we assume that the motivations and philosophies of all the people involved are irrelevant. Lets also assume that the motivations, ablities and identities of the designer are not required to detect design. The problem is that ID proponents are saying they have the evidence. Dembski for example, says he has mathematical methods that can detect design, however he has yet to prove this. He has neither proved that non-intelligence is incapable of generating CSI, nor had he proved that his methods can distinguish design from non-design. Until this happens, whether or not the maths or the logic of his arguments add up is irrelevant. Im sure mathematicians will hate me for saying that, but in biology all that matters is that it can be proved to work, Dembski has not attempted this as far as I am aware.

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,04:46   

Quote
He has neither proved that non-intelligence is incapable of generating CSI, nor had he proved that his methods can distinguish design from non-design.


This is a clever little trap they've made for themselves.  Even if they had an actual comparitive method, they'd still have to assume the existence of "non-design".  We must be able to observe things that are not the result of intelligent design.  In other words, there must be some things that God did not create.  This necessary assumption seems antithetical to fundamentalist doctrine.

--------------
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,05:57   

Quote
(Avo: ) But Dawkins didn't do the calculation. And I have to ask myself - is it because he has no feel for probability, or is he dishonest? According to Spetner, if the being played 100 hands of bridge every day for 100 million years, the chance of seeing a perfect hand of bridge just once in his life is one in a quadrillion. Definitely something to write home about.

Now, I can understand a bumpkin like myself making this mistake. But Dawkins has a PhD, a science degree, is a chair at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, has written books that specifically deal with the problems of evolution, and he is the Grand Poobah of the public understanding of science.
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(Russell: )  I assume, Avocreationist, you've already gone through this exercise [of verifying the calculation]. Please don't tell us you're just taking Spetner's word for it.
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(Avo: )  No Russ, I don't know how to calculate probabilities. But it should be easy enough to do. It's pretty simple. You have 52 cards and a perfect hand of bridge is when each of the four players gets an entire suit. Do you want Spetner's calc's?
So... you did just take Spetner's word for it??? Why would you do that???

Here's my calculation. (First of all, I assume the alien in question is only concerned about the hand he/she/it is dealt, not the hands of the other 3 players. Just as in poker, if I have a royal flush, its "degree of royalty" does not depend on the hands of the other players.) Being dealt the hand you describe should have a probability of  1/158,753,389,900. Here's why: the first card you're dealt has a 52/52 chance of being of one suit. Then three more cards are dealt before you get another one. All three have to be of a suit different from yours: 39/51 x 38/50 x 37/49. Then you're dealt another. Chance of it's being the same suit as your first card: 12/48. Repeat all the way through the deck, you get (12! )x(39! )/(51! ) = 1/158,753,389,900.

In 100 million years X 100 hands per day, you'd get 3,652,600,000,000 shots at it, so I would expect to get a perfect hand somewhere around 3,652,600,000,000/158,753,389,900 = 23 times.

Now, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if I neglected something in this calculation, but if so, I hope it's something relatively subtle. Please tell me what's wrong with my calculation. OR - if you can't - why you perceive egg on Dawkins face over this.

Could it be that you've just demonstrated, once again, your bias in whose word you're willing to take for things you don't or won't understand? And could it be that the egg is on your face?

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,05:58   

Quote
Even if they had an actual comparitive method, they'd still have to assume the existence of "non-design".
You're right of course, but to give them the benefit of the doubt, it may be possible to test on non biological systems, perhaps using genetic algorithms, or some form of artificial life. Also, if Dembski has calculated the probability of the flagellum evolving, it should be possible to apply the same method to a biological system where we understand more about its evolution. Assuming the maths holds up to scrutiny, which it apparently doesn't, that might not prove intelligent design but it would be useful for them.

Of course if this worked it probably would have been done by now.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,08:29   

Finally, we're simply not equipped to appreciate "deep time."
Quote
Ah, yes. Another Dawkins favorite. Let's see what Spetner has to say in Not By Chance. Dawkins is discussing improbable events occurring to bring about origin of life. This is in chapter 6 of Blind Watchmaker. He says that Dawkins asks us to drop our intuitive feeling for chance. I guess he doesn't think it evolved very well, probably because his didn't. Dawkins likens the probability of certain admittedely very unlikely events to a long-lived alien playing bridge for millions of years, waiting for that perfect hand of bridge. He said a being who lived millions of years, would have a very different feeling about chance and time. If the being lived 100 million years, it would not be unusual for him to see a perfect hand of bridge from time to time and he would scarcely write home about it.

But Dawkins didn't do the calculation. And I have to ask myself - is it because he has no feel for probability, or is he dishonest? According to Spetner, if the being played 100 hands of bridge every day for 100 million years, the chance of seeing a perfect hand of bridge just once in his life is one in a quadrillion. Definitely something to write home about.

Now, I can understand a bumpkin like myself making this mistake. But Dawkins has a PhD, a science degree, is a chair at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, has written books that specifically deal with the problems of evolution, and he is the Grand Poobah of the public understanding of science.

As you've seen by now, Dawkins' calculation was perfectly appropriate to illustrate the point. But even if it weren't, you're just dealing with the illustration and not the point, which is valid. People are not generally equipped to conceive of frames of reference more than a couple of orders of magnitude from our everyday experience. This gives them an excuse to object to evolution on a 'gut level' without engaging the evidence.

It seems preposterous to most people that, for instance, a 1% improvement in wing efficiency could act as a "force" leading to differential survival among a lineage of proto-birds.
Quote
No, it doesn't seem preposterous at all. What seems preposterous is that a creature could have 7% of a wing, or 22% of a wing.

A couple of points here.
First, the idea that any biological feature is some 'percentage' of the 'completed' feature misunderstands evolution. Only with hindsight can we say that one organism was 'evolving into' another. If a creature possesses what we arbitrarily deem to be '20%' of a wing, it's because that feature provided a discernable advantage to that creature's ancestors in its way of life. If an improvement in that feature comes about due to mutation, the improved version will spread in the population.
Additionally, there are numerous examples (flying squirrrels, flying snakes, flying fish) of gliding animals that do, indeed, have features that can be compared to 'partial' wings. Remembering my first point, though, we must keep in mind that a flying squirrel is a 'complete' organism in its own right, whose ancestors were successful in perpetuating a lineage of gliding arboreal mammals. They were not 'striving' to be 'more like a bat' for instance.
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Berlinski dealt with this in his answer to the Fish Eyes paper, but you folks don't read him, do you? Meyer deals with this problem also - but I don't suppose anyone has read his scandalous paper either. There are other authors and I am sure I have some at hand who find the problem of random mutations leading slowly to novel features and managing to incorporate them into existing structure all the while problematic. Now, maybe it occurred, but it is definitely problematic.

I have in fact read Berlinski's bombast regarding the Nilsson and Pelger paper, the original of which I have also read. Have you?

I still maintain that what is 'problematic' about evolutionary narratives of this sort is the personal incredulity of the individual with a problem. "I don't see how" (X) occured is just not a convincing argument when someone is telling you that they DO see a plausible progression. That these sorts of explanations are routinely derided as 'Just-so Stories' by creationists without further analysis is just shorthand for "keep up that incrtedulity." The problem you have with "managing to incorporate them into existing structure" might be ignoring that the original function of a 'co-opted' structure may have been an entirely different one in the ancestral lineage. The evolution of the mammalian inner ear is a classic example.
As regards fish eyes, I saw a fascinating report recently about a 'four eyed fish'. It seems that the lens structure in the newer set of downward facing eyes is entirely 'reinvented.' i.e. Despite having a perfectly good embryonic pathway for growing lenses in the original eyes, another one has evolved from scratch. Kind of spells trouble for 'frontloading' arguments. Don't remember where I saw it, but if I can I'll try to link it up.
And, avo, if you have any interest in looking into the Nilsson and Pelger paper and Berlinski's critique, we can link that up too and talk it over.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,08:54   

Re "Finally, we're simply not equipped to appreciate "deep time.""

Personally, I just treat it as simple arithmetic. If something can move a millimeter in a year, then in a few billion years it could cross a middle sized continent.

Henry

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,10:48   

Quote
[Behe and Dembski] are examining the question of how do we reasonably infer design.
Right. But for all the useful conclusions that have come out it, they might just as well be examining their navels. So far, I think you can summarize those conclusions as "If it looks designed, who's to say it isn't?"
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It is not a refutation of ID if ID does not know how the designer did it.
I know of no research programs capable of detecting supernatural events.
So, if I understand correctly, ID says that because we don't know everything, we should leave open the possibility that some as yet unspecified explanation might emerge. OK. I'll buy that. It's when we start specifying scientifically - indeed, epistemologically - meaningless candidates (e.g. a "disembodied intelligence", "supernatural agency", "The Designer") that you lose me. The point is, ID doesn't provide anything substantial to refute.
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But NDE (neodarwinian evolution) doesn't know a lot of things also. One person who has
at least taken a stab at proposing how things might have unfolded, albeit designed to do so,
is Davison.
Huh? The fact that the currently most successful theory "doesn't know everything" somehow validates Davison's crackpottery?

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(Russell: ) What are these alleged very good arguments against "Darawinism"?
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(Avo: ) This is what we are spiraling towards. I will have to give it some serious effort, hopefully tomorrow.
Quote
(Annie: )
The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way!
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(Avo: )SFAIK, [research Behe claims is nonexistent] is mostly overblown. We'll see.
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(Avo: )I just read today that Behe is planning an afterword in a 10th anniversary addition to DBB which will address said lack of any forthcoming refutation in the intervening ten years
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(Annie: )The sun'll come out...
well, you get the idea.
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It seems that the ID side usually goes through the literature with a fine comb and finds it wanting, having been promised far more than delivered. I don't actually go through the articles myself.
Need I say more? Apparently I do. Do you really think every contention the Disco Inst makes remains legitimate until the Disco Inst issues an explicit, public, notarized statement conceding that their scientific pretentions have been thoroughly demolished?
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The bit about slappig down 59 or whatever it was articles during the courtroom trial
was just as Behe said - bad courtroom theatrics. It is not to be taken seriously.
I don't give a flying fig whether the references were "slapped down" in court, or brought to Behe's attention in a discreet private e-mail. The point remains: he said that all that research did not, and never would, exist. Why is it not to be taken seriously? References to evolution of immunity presented at Kitzmiller trial: Here.
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(Russell: ) Have you read Matt Inlay's summary of evolution of immunity?
Here.  
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All evidence used in trial is 'discoverable' which means it must be presented in adequate time to the lawyers of both sides.
Excuse me. I thought this was a discussion about science and evidence, not about courtroom procedural rules
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When I am not equipped to judge what I read, I think I usually know.
I don't disagree: you do think that. But perhaps if you remember the key words, "Spetner" and "perfect bridge hand", you'll think twice.
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I can't judge Demski's math, but I can certainly read and evaluate the logic of most of his essays.
What logic is there that is not completely dependent on the math? Have you noticed that no one who defends the conclusions can defend the math, and that no one who understands the math defends the conclusions?
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I can't read biology papers that are beyond my level, which is low, but if it is written for the nonexpert, one would hope that I have at least a fair ability.
Let me just throw out this wildly hypothetical idea. What if the creationists purporting to critique the biologists are actually not so much trying to objectively explain, as they are to obfuscate and deny the science, and to justify a conclusion they're committed to by faith? Whoa! I think I just blew my own mind!  
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I was intrigued by, but not able to verify or come to a firm opinion on Davison's Evolutionary Manifesto. That I think would require a pretty deep knowledge of biology.
So why do you suppose it has not been endorsed by anyone who possesses a deep (read: minimal professional) knowledge of biology?
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I'm just not that moved by majority versus minority opinions.
Glad to hear it. I hope you relayed your unimpressedness to the Disco Inst over garbage like this .
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Your argument is that the majority must be right,
Wrong.  My argument is that, if you're going to dismiss the conclusions of entire disciplines with millions of person hours of meticulously documented research that has been thoroughly vetted by the scientific community, in favor of an "iconoclastic", not-peer-previewed, thoroughly rebutted book, whose central point is later abandoned by its author, you should have some better justification than "looks reasonable to this untrained eye".
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postmodernism says that if it's true for me then it's true for me - a completely different ballgame.
Forgive me, but the two ballgames look pretty similar to me.

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(Russell: ) But please, pray tell, what do you consider the driving force of evolution? Disembodied intelligence? Fascinating! Tell us how that works. Or, more to the point, tell us what evidence you have.
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(Avo: ) I have wondered this, and I don't have the answer. Look, ...a human being is floating in the endless black without a compass or coordinate.
And there are two kinds of people in this world. A tiny minority who have noticed this, and the rest who haven't thought about it.
Now, don't tell me; let me guess: which category does Avocreationist fall into? And is one's opinion of ID, or creationism in general, correlated with which group one falls into?
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Pretending to have answers, or taking the nearest half-decent answer, doesn't satisfy me.
Unless, apparently, it comes from a Behe or a Spetner, in which case it doesn't even need to be half decent.
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Yes, I think there is disembodied intelligence. My personal take on how it might work is that this intelligence, which may or may not be personal, is acting from within, guiding itself so to speak. This may answer the questions about why the creation isn't perfect or appears willy nilly at times. It very likely is.
Yes, well, that's all very fascinating, in a New Agey kind of way. But, I repeat: Tell us what evidence you have.
Quote
When did I misunderstand the difference between a virus and a bacteria?
When you  referred to influenza bacteria.
Wendell Bird - no obvious religious axe to grind? Either you are unfamiliar with the organization he's affiliated with: the Institute for Creation Research or you are very, very gullible.

There, I think I'm caught up.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,14:06   

I think I have to see if I can keep this short.

Jon and others seem to say that in all the ID writings, they have not found a good argument. Sure, I find this strange. Anyway, I will go through the Miller-Demski flagellum papers and comment. Hopefully today.

Unfortunately, the perfect hand of bridge involves all four players getting a full suit. I specified that! I took Spetner's word for it in the sense that I would be very suprised if he would be stupid enough to make such an error when correcting someone else's. And I have you folks to help me out. If he is way off, I will personally write to him.

Puck, although you called me cheap and dishonest, I'll go thru and answer the most pertinent points.
I don't suppose that dinosaurs indicate a mistake.


Quote
Miller gets down on his knees before a man in a dress and funny hat, and lets him put a little white disc on his tongue, because he believes the prayers of the man in a dress has miraculously changed it into the body of Jesus. So that can't be the whole problem.


Wow....that just sounded incredibly spiteful.  I thought you liked Jesus.  Did he give you the idea that being a jerk was ok?
 Not too spiteful, mostly just matter of fact. The point was, his faith does not prevent him accepting evolution theory. I do like Jesus. Altho his existence cannot be proven.

I don't know what LMAO stands for.

I'm not sure how the fact that the probability is the same each time you deal relates...I don't know the law of large numbers.
Quote
Of course he didnt....only an idiot would assume that he could quantify the probability of all random occurences that have ever occured.  He can guess...but unless he was there...he cant really give you odds.
Yes, no one knows the real odds of the real events he was speaking about, but his point was to show that people don't have an appreciation of deep time. What he showed was that he, who is NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, also has no feel for when a calculation is necessary.

I've seen it written, re god of the gaps or just history, that Newton's theories bothered people because they thought God or his angels moved the planets. His mechanistic universe supposedly unemployed God.
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Pyramids, from our point of reference do not occur naturally.  We have never seen giant complex structures arise from nature....however, you have no point of reference for the cell
Yes, this is the problem exactly. We are discussing living systems that reproduce. If not for that, there wouldn't be confusion.

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Im sure mathematicians will hate me for saying that, but in biology all that matters is that it can be proved to work,
Much in NDE is also unproved.

Improvius,  
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Even if they had an actual comparitive method, they'd still have to assume the existence of "non-design".  We must be able to observe things that are not the result of intelligent design.  In other words, there must be some things that God did not create.  This necessary assumption seems antithetical to fundamentalist doctrine.
Not sure why you say it is a necessary assumtion. God created everything - you must mean things like wind blowing over sand and leaving patterns. Yes, this is just the sort of thing that IDists do use.

CJ,

As I already said above, the point that people need to understand large numbers is valid, but my point was that Dawkins doesn't understand, and he uses deep time like magic. It isn't magic.

I have a good argument against the flying squirrels idea. Completely different construction  - gliding apparatuses don't lead to wings. It is in one of my silly books here somewhere. Perhaps I should learn to use th scanner.

I haven't read the original of the fish eyes paper; I suspect I won't learn from it. But I'm willing to. I know where to find the Berlinski critique, but I don't remember if the paper is linked. It seems odd you call Berlinski's points bombast. I rather thought the 4 or 5 defenders engaged in bombast - although I did not think so until I read Berlinski's replies to them. I read their points first, and I decided that they demolished whoever they were arguing against and decided not to bother reading further. But my eyes strayed down and I read the first paragraph or two of Berlinski's answers. Yes, I thought he demolished them.

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"I don't see how" (X) occured is just not a convincing argument
Sure, but they say a lot more than that.

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when someone is telling you that they DO see a plausible progression.
But Miller, for example, said no such thing. More later.

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The problem you have with "managing to incorporate them into existing structure" might be ignoring that the original function of a 'co-opted' structure may have been an entirely different one in the ancestral lineage.
But that IS the problem. In biology, everything has to interface perfectly. Co-option - I don't understand how it is supposed to work. It sounds to me like parts lying around in the garage. My husband does this sort of thing all the time - he invents things from parts lying around to get a job done - such as placing drywall on the basement ceiling with only a weakling to help. How does the cell co-opt a part or several parts that were used for different things and make them fit, and how does it decide that hey, I've got this handy piece here, now let me code it into a different spot in the genome to go with this other thingie... I mean how does it get into the blueprint? do you see what I'm asking? You've got a widget out in the cell, and you've got a need or some evolving system - but how does the 'idea' occur to get them together in the genome that that the building of the new structure is coordinated?

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If something can move a millimeter in a year, then in a few billion years it could cross a middle sized continent.
But it isn't that simple and that is what the argument is about.

Russ,
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It's when we start specifying scientifically - indeed, epistemologically - meaningless candidates (e.g. a "disembodied intelligence", "supernatural agency", "The Designer") that you lose me.
 I'm sorry about that and I sympathize. But look closely at what Jeannot said on the pissant thread:

She says ID is unscientific because-
"First, it requires a programmer that could be supernatural, which is not falsifiable,"

And so this is a kind of circle that is going on. If the scientist decides that evidence simply cannot point to the supernatural, even indirectly, then what are we to do if our universe was indeed caused by an intelligence or self-existing entity? Science would forever bar itself from discovering truth.

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The point is, ID doesn't provide anything substantial to refute.
It is falsifiable, and since it is a direct refutation of Darwinism, it had better be, or else they are both unfalsifiable. The falsification would be finding out how complex biochemical systems could self-originate.

I cannot validate or invalidate Davison's quackery, I merely pointed out that I am glad to see someone thinking outside the box (others are as well) because I think evolutin theory needs new ideas.

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The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow


Ha, ha! Good one. It reminds me of one of my favorite parts of Through The Looking Glass, when Alice is being hired by the Red Queen. The queen tells her that at teatime she will get jam on her toast every other day. Oh, good, says Alice, Is it jam today?
No, says the queen, it is always jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow. It is never jam today.

No. I am not putting procedural rules ahead of evidence. I'm saying you can't suddenly slap down 59 articles and demand a real and true opinion on the spot. If  even a few of those articles were really good, why didn't they use them properly?  Behe did his search of the literature and he testified that there were no good pathways in the literature. He cannot be expected to give an opinion on articles slapped down in front of him. Some of those articles might have been the very ones he rejected in his search. some of them may have had only the barest passing reference to the subject. If indeed any of them truly refuted Behe's points, it would mean that the article was unknown to him at the time of his testimony. It is his responsibility to peruse them now, but not during his testimony. You keep saying that everyone is lying. Behe, Spetner. I think the dialogue is not on that low a level.

I'll of course try to give the immunity thing a go, but that is just one more thing to pile on. But you seem to have high hopes for it...

When I say I have read Dembski's articles, I mean I have not read any of them which rely on his math principles. I have a familiarity with his probability bound, but that's all. Not all his writings depend upon his math.

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What if the creationists purporting to critique the biologists
But some of them ARE biologists, and some of them are agnostics - really! They could accept evolution easily. They could certainly be deists.

If you are going to say (and you did) that personal motive drives their conclusions, then I can only point out as I already have done that no one is immune and

The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living!

No matter who you are!

The garbage at the disco inst - that was an article about how most people in Ohio want ID covered in school - it was not saying that because most people want it they are correct in an objective sense about evolution.

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Forgive me, but the two ballgames look pretty similar to me.
Oh,yeah? Well then our problems are solved. NDE is true for you, and young earth creation is true for scordova, and a new-age pantheistic consciousness god for me - and we're all correct.

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(Avo: ) I have wondered this, and I don't have the answer. Look, ...a human being is floating in the endless black without a compass or coordinate.
And there are two kinds of people in this world. A tiny minority who have noticed this, and the rest who haven't thought about it.
Now, don't tell me; let me guess: which category does Avocreationist fall into? And is one's opinion of ID, or creationism in general, correlated with which group one falls into?
 No. Not at all. You asked me an ultimate truth-type question, and I gave you the straight dope. We're in dire straights here. Actually, belonging to a religion would be a hindrance to seeing this.

Influenza bacteria was just not thinking. Bird - I bought his book 'cause I heard of it. I wasn't aware of his connections but while reading I suspected he might be connected with them due to using the same notation to show that a quote is not from a creationist.

Evidence for a disembodied intelligence or a 'spiritual' aspect to reality - there's more than you might think but there's just no time.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,14:25   

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there's more than you might think but there's just no time.


hey this is YOUR thread, eh.

you have as much time as you want.

based on your current level of knowledge of the topics at hand, I predict it will take you about a year to come to any coherent reckoning.

I'll check back then.

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,14:38   

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Jon and others seem to say that in all the ID writings, they have not found a good argument.

You need to work on that reading comprehension.  Arguments have not been mentioned.  Evidence has.  We have found none of the evidence for ID, which you claimed exists, and I note you still haven't proffered any evidence. Evidence.  "Something visible or evident that gives grounds for believing in the existence or presence of something else"

Of course, we haven't found a good argument for ID either, but that's another story.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,15:02   

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Im sure mathematicians will hate me for saying that, but in biology all that matters is that it can be proved to work,
Much in NDE is also unproved.
Ill rephrase: in biology all that matters when you have a mathematical system that makes predictions is that it can be proved to work. I write programs that make predicitons based on biologial data, and it doesnt matter how good or bad the maths is, you have to prove that your method works on real data, has Dembski done this? I am not saying his method is rubbish, but I am saying he has not proved it. Until then it is not evidence for design.

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But that IS the problem. In biology, everything has to interface perfectly.

No it doesn't. I think ths is a big part of the problem and the confusion, the assumtion that these system are perfect. A lot of these things are 'cobbled together' very crudely by any standards. It is often obvious to us how improvements could be made. In regards to how cooption works, you have to extrapolate to thousands or millions of members of a population, and maybe only one needs the proteins with the right mutation to come together (which are ussually floating around in solution, bumping into each other). When most people use analogies like parts in a garage, scrap in a junkyard etc it fails to take into account the nature of protein structure. They are often very malleable, and a small change can alter the biological function but still leave an active protein. For example in the flagellum we may say that removng one protein will cause the system to cease functioning, but we are making the assumption that the other proteins in the system were the same when this one was added. This is very unlikely to be the case, so evolution would predict that we see flagellum in other bacteria with parts missing, where the proteins that they would interact with are different, and that is what we see (and im not referring to the secretory system, there are many other examples).

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Behe did his search of the literature and he testified that there were no good pathways in the literature.
I will have to find the link but there is a quote from Behe where he says that the evidence that would convince him involves a detailed step by step account of the pathway involving a list of individual mutations and time periods in which they occured. This is of course currently impossible for any system, including those that he accepts did evolve, such as haemoglobin. I dont think Behe is lying, and i think he may have read some of the articles, especially as there are books on the subject. But no one is attempting to produce an explenation that will satisfy him as it is unessecary as far as most scientists are concerned.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,16:04   

OK, I'm most of the way throgh with the Miller side of the argument and I will be back tomorrow night.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 17 2006,20:08   

Ok....once again im drunk

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Yes, this is the problem exactly. We are discussing living systems that reproduce. If not for that, there wouldn't be confusion.


OK....you missed the point.  If you point to a watch and say....this is obviously designed....you are using everyone's knowledge that a watch is designed.

If you point to an ocean, and say "this is obviously designed", everyone will laugh at you.  No one has ever seen a "designed" ocean.  In a million years if aliens land on earth...and they find the ruins that were Mount Rushmore....do you think the design will be obvious to them?

You cannot point to complexity and say...."this is designed"...pi is incredibly complex....is it designed?

The designer couldnt make pi=3?

BTW....sorry if I offended you....I wasnt trying to be rude...I was just trying to lighten the mood

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2006,03:43   

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Unfortunately, the perfect hand of bridge involves all four players getting a full suit. I specified that!
Yeah, I saw that. I assumed that you were making a slip of the keyboard, because, after all, a "hand" is a "hand", No?  In any case, if the whole thing turns on a ridiculous technicality like that, don't you think you - and Spetner - have kind of missed the whole point?
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I took Spetner's word for it in the sense that ...
"in the sense that I was determined he just had to be right; after all, he was telling me what I already knew!".
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And I have you folks to help me out. If he is way off, I will personally write to him.
Well, what if he's just grasping at a far-fetched straw to dismiss a perfectly sensible illustration? Will you continue to stand by your man?

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"I don't see how" (X) occured is just not a convincing argument
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Sure, but they say a lot more than that.
See, this would have been your golden opportunity to reference something that doesn't amount to a lot of words saying "I don't see how (X) occurred". But no.

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It's when we start specifying scientifically - indeed, epistemologically - meaningless candidates (e.g. a "disembodied intelligence", "supernatural agency", "The Designer") that you lose me.
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I'm sorry about that and I sympathize. But look closely at what Jeannot said on the pissant thread...
Oh, that's a good idea. Don't deal with what I wrote. Deflect the conversation with what someone else said, which may or may not have anything to do with anything, or may contain some technical loophole, like fudging the difference between a "hand" and a "deal", you can try to wriggle through. How about you just deal with what I wrote?

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I'll of course try to give the immunity thing a go, but that is just one more thing to pile on. But you seem to have high hopes for it...
Quite the contrary. I'm certain that you will find some reason justifying Behe's willful ignorance despite any amount of evidence. The point is not for Behe to digest 59 articles while sitting in front of the judge. The point is that Behe has willfully ignored, and will continue to willfully ignore, any and all evidence that proves him wrong.

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You keep saying that everyone is lying. Behe, Spetner. I think the dialogue is not on that low a level.
I do? Where do I say that?

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(Russell: ) Forgive me, but the two ballgames [postmodernism and thinking the mere statement of an alternate view renders it equally valid] look pretty similar to me.
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(Avo: ) Oh,yeah? Well then our problems are solved. NDE is true for you, and young earth creation is true for scordova, and a new-age pantheistic consciousness god for me - and we're all correct.
'nuff said.

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(Avo: ) I have wondered this, and I don't have the answer. Look, ...a human being is floating in the endless black without a compass or coordinate.
And there are two kinds of people in this world. A tiny minority who have noticed this, and the rest who haven't thought about it.
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(Russell: ) Now, don't tell me; let me guess: which category does Avocreationist fall into? And is one's opinion of ID, or creationism in general, correlated with which group one falls into?
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(Avo: ) No. Not at all. You asked me an ultimate truth-type question, and I gave you the straight dope. We're in dire straights here.
Of all the ways people bisect the human population  into us vs. them, I think perhaps the most pernicious is "the tiny enlightened minority" vs. "the benighted masses".

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(Avo: )Evidence for a disembodied intelligence or a 'spiritual' aspect to reality - there's more than you might think but there's just no time.
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(Annie: )"The sun'll come out
Tomorrow...


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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2006,07:11   

:06-->
Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 17 2006,20:06)
She says ID is unscientific because-
"First, it requires a programmer that could be supernatural, which is not falsifiable,"

And so this is a kind of circle that is going on. If the scientist decides that evidence simply cannot point to the supernatural, even indirectly, then what are we to do if our universe was indeed caused by an intelligence or self-existing entity? Science would forever bar itself from discovering truth.

You don't quite understand what "falsifiable" means.

It doesn't mean we cannot prove the existence of a supernatural, it means that we cannot disprove (falsify) it.

Examples: if we find some clear hidden message in our Junk DNA (a paragraph from the Genesis or whatever), if we find this kind of message written on the rocks of Mars... these could be seen as evidence of God.
However, you will never provide a natural fact that could disprove the existence of a supernatural. Therefore your theory involving a supernatural (ID) is not falsifiable because absolutely anything could support it.

BTW, I'm not a woman. Jean is a French masculine name, Jeannot is a common nickname (like Johnny for John).  ;)

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2006,07:54   

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Russ, how could [Dawkins] have done the calculation and then said it would happen from time to time and be nothing to write home about?
I have to say that, since I don't play bridge, when I read The Blind Watchmaker, I more or less substituted "royal flush" for "perfect hand of bridge", took his point, and moved on. I didn't realize that, by pure logic, I could have there and then deduced that he was:

EITHER
(1) completely clueless about probability,
OR
(2) intentionally lying  through his teeth,

in which case I would have immediately put aside his book and  picked up a totally objective and absolutely credible author like Spetner.

You don't sense just a trace of egg on your face over this? Or  - to switch metaphors - how dead does this horse have to be before you ask me to stop beating it?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2006,08:16   

or - more to the point - before you abandon your efforts at CPR?

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 18 2006,10:25   

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(avo: ) You keep saying that everyone is lying. Behe, Spetner. I think the dialogue is not on that low a level.
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(Russell: ) I do? Where do I say that?
Was it not you, come to think of it, who thought Dawkins had to be (A) incompetent or (B) dishonest?
Seeing that Dawkins was, in fact, right and Spetner was, in fact, wrong - I at least grant Spetner the possibility of being "not exactly a straight-talking guy".

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
avocationist



Posts: 173
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2006,08:10   

Russ,

I'm finding your reaction to the bridge hand question pretty unsupportable, way over the top.

We did not miss the point. Dawkins made a simple statement  of chance and probability that was false, and he made it precisely to illustrate the point that it failed to illustrate. It illustrated indeed the opposite. His example if anything strengthens the argument he was trying to refute. Since the calculation is not one of very advanced math, and since Dawkins should certainly have spent a fair amount of time pondering exactly what chance can and cannot do, I find it pretty odd.

I cannot understand your calling it a ridiculous technicality. Dawkins gave the scenario and it doesn't work. Someone does the calculations and that is a ridiculous technicality? So it is fine to talk in terms of big numbers, and in terms of people not having a good instinct for really big numbers, and to use the really big number (time) to prove that improbable events, given enough time, will occur - but to actually calculate the probability is a ridiculous technicality?

I don't see a 3rd possibility to the two I mentioned.

Jeannot,

I see your point. But what are we to do if evidence does point to design. We can leave it at that without delving into what you call the supernatural (which does not exist in my book).
If design = supernatural, and supernatural= nonscientific then we have a problem if evidence points toward design.

If the supernatural can be neither proved nor disproved, does that mean physical things cannot demonstrate design?

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You cannot point to complexity and say...."this is designed".
May we can. Maybe we live in a coherent and comprehensible universe after all.

Puck,

Yes, everyone knows a watch is designed, but that is not the only reason we can infer it. We could find strange objects and know they were designed. If Mt. Rushmore in the future loses its discernable features then of course it no longer functions as an example of design, any more than a dead and decaying cell would be.

  
JonF



Posts: 632
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2006,08:40   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 19 2006,14:10)
But what are we to do if evidence does point to design.

We'll look at that issue if and when someone comes up with some evidence that points to design.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2006,08:46   

Quote (avocationist @ Feb. 19 2006,14:10)
Jeannot,

I see your point. But what are we to do if evidence does point to design.
...
If design = supernatural, and supernatural= nonscientific then we have a problem if evidence points toward design.

As far as we know, nothing in biology points to design. The DI has yet to provide some results that prove irreducible complexity.

If we find evidence for design, the first thing to do is to search for the designer.

Design != supernatural, however design = intelligence.