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  Topic: From "LUCA" thread, Paley's Ghost can back up his assertions< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2005,16:31   

Okay, don't usually do this, but Prof. Syvanen expressly requested that troll-baiting not occur in the comments to his article about lateral gene transfer and LUCA on the Thumb. And I have been called a "fool" by a troll there named Paley's Ghost, who, if he should desire can use this space to put his money where his big mouth is.

Here was PG's theory <snicker> of gene transfer:
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Evolutionists have always used the existence of the same genes in a variety of organisms as proof of their amoral ontology, but once again they have been disproved by real evidence. The genetic similarities that they use to build their anti-God “Tree of Life” represent nothing more than the fact organisms occasionally eat each other. If you eat steak and then some cow genes are in you, evolutionists think that proves you came from cows—what a bunch of stupid, amoral left-wing ideologues!


My reply was a dashed off suggestion that the effectiveness of parsimony analysis in constructing congruent phylogenies using different genes pretty much lays to rest the idea of "common design" or any such rejection of common descent as good evidence for evolution. (I also called his idea the "meat'n'potatoes" theory, and implied it was "stupid," so I asked for it)
And here is what I got:
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Unlike fools like you who can barely comprehend high school algebra, you assume the only way for a creature to have a certain gene is for that creature to be related to another creature who has this gene. You’re committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent. You assume becuse there are puddles of water in the streets, it rained last night when what really happened was a bunch of commie hippies from the ACLU had an all night vigil in protest of their evolutionary lies challenged in public schools and peed on everything. Even techniques of mathematical analysis occasionally used by evolutionists show this not to be the case.

Charges of the fallacy of affirming the consequent are all the rage these days. It sure sounds impressive, but most often it's just waved around like it's a ticket to unassailability, as in "You're affirming the consequent. now you have to be quiet."

In this case, it's nonsense. I'm affirming that IF we assume that most instances of organisms sharing genes means the organisms also share ancestors, there are testable consequences, and that, further, parsimony analysis, used as a test, bears out the assumption.

There it is, for the record. So, Paley's Ghost, in the unlikely circumstance that you would have the slightest interest in backing up your lunatic ideas or your insults, here is a space in which you can do so.

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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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(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2005,18:28   

"Paley's Ghost" strikes me as a way-over-the-top fake creationist. My bet is he [and the gender is almost certainly he] is a regular, evolution-accepting guy poking fun at creationists and/or evo-defenders he sees as taking it too seriously. That would be my bet.

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

  
Hyperion



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(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2005,20:15   

I'd say the handle was a pretty good tip off.  I can't imagine that many creationist trolls are even aware of Paley or his philosophy, or that those who do would wish to purposefully link their cause to a two century old, thoroughly debunked philosophy.

  
Russell



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Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 01 2005,02:33   

Quote
Posted by Dave Cerutti on August 31, 2005 11:44 PM (e) (s)

Umm, you guys did realize from the name on my post that I was joking, right? Or shall I pull another admonitus and impersonate a creationist of some bizarre strain for many days before letting the cat out of the bag?


HA! Just as I suspected. Interesting, though. "Admonitus", if I recall correctly, threw in the spelling and grammar slips typical of creationists. Did "Paley's Ghost" consciously omit that, or did he just hastily fail to "reverse proofread"?

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

  
Russell



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 01 2005,03:46   

Also -
"Paley's Ghost" didn't fool me for a moment. "Admonitus" took me a while. But "Salvador Cordova"! Brilliant! I bought that hook, line and sinker.

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

  
C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 01 2005,06:40   

More proof that you can't tell a creationist from a parody, I guess. I thought "Anti-God tree of life" was pretty over the top...

But I've seen some pretty over the top creationist nonsense, and being called a "fool" just made me want to provide some more rope for the auto-hanging.

#### good parody *tips hat*

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

  
Hyperion



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 01 2005,06:53   

Someone should do a study comparing the reading-difficulty scores, like Flesch-Kincaid, of actual creationist nonsense and the parodies.  I'd be curious to know if we're right that the parodies tend to use bigger words, better spelling, etc.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2005,12:57   

Quote (Hyperion @ Sep. 01 2005,01:15)
I'd say the handle was a pretty good tip off.  I can't imagine that many creationist trolls are even aware of Paley or his philosophy, or that those who do would wish to purposefully link their cause to a two century old, thoroughly debunked philosophy.

You claim Paley's philosphy is discredited? How? He merely stated the obvious. Living things are designed. This is as obvious as Aristotle's observation that gravity makes earth and water fall. Granted, Aristotle did not come up with the mathematics behind this process; Newton did. Likewise, Paley did not have a precise mathematcal formation of his ideas; this is what Dembski has provided. Stupid, immoral evolutionists like you deny the obvious. It is like attacking Newton's law of universal gravitation by saying things really don't fall, they only "Move how the random forces of natural selection push them," or some other such Darwinian rot.

Ignorant, evil evolutionists deny reality becuase deep in their hearts they know they will have to answer to God for their heinous misdeeds. I can't wait to watch him send you all to the Lake of Fire at the Final Judgment!

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2005,03:18   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 06 2005,17:57)
Ignorant, evil evolutionists deny reality becuase deep in their hearts they know they will have to answer to God for their heinous misdeeds. I can't wait to watch him send you all to the Lake of Fire at the Final Judgment!

Aw, c'mon, she is much nicer than that.  :D

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If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2005,13:48   

C.J. O'Brien wrote

Quote
In this case, it's nonsense. I'm affirming that IF we assume that most instances of organisms sharing genes means the organisms also share ancestors, there are testable consequences, and that, further, parsimony analysis, used as a test, bears out the assumption.


That's just it, you merely assume that organisms sharing genes proves they share ancestors. That is precisely what Christians are challenging. It's just an assumption of stiff necked evolutionists--and your own words agree.

In a paper published in Trends in Plant Science1, several authors do an analysis of whole mitochondria genome-based phylogenies and get a tree that completly contardicts the tadiational evolution tree. As dogmatic evolutionists, they assume their new tree is wrong because it is inconcsistent with established Darwinian catechism. However, why should it not be. Any evolutionist can just do any test and come up with any kind of ancestry tree they feel like. All of the gene distributions are random from a point of view of common ancestry. However, the subtle and sophistaicated analysis of intellegent design theory shows each gene was put in for a specific purpose, and hence, demonstrates its design.

C.J. O'Brien likes to think I am a troll because he senses my intellgence is so vastly superior to his own.


Soltis, Douglas E., Albert, Victor A., Savolained, Vincent, Hilu, Khinder,Qiu, Yin-Long, Chase, Mark W., Farris, James S., Stephanovic, Sasa, Rice, Danny W., Palmer, Jeffry D., and Soltis, Pamela S. October 2004. Genome-scale data, angiospem relationships, and 'ending incongrunce': a cautionary tale in phylogenics. Trends in Plant Science Vol. 9 No. 10

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2005,20:34   

Superior intelligence, who can say without more evidence? Spelling's a bit weak though.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2005,14:54   

Please check figure 1 from this paper:Paley's Revenge

   Does this look familiar? It should, since this is from the evolution-smiting Naylor/Brown paper. Sorry Charlie, but the Chickens have come home to "sleep with the fishes"! And this from whole-genome mitochondrial DNA, so don't complain about small sample sizes... tap-dance all you want, but only a Dembski/Berlinski joint paper can begin to explain this curious incongruence, with a generous slice of my mathematical model (forthcoming). And while you're at it, please pity the poor urchins stranded among the chordates.
  Until Darwin-science can begin to address its failed predictions, Americans have every right to laugh this Lysenkoist pseudoscience out of the classroom.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
American Saddlebred



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2005,15:20   

Attn: Paley your link is broken, so yes it does look familiar just like Intelligent Design Creationism, there is nothing there.

Quote
Paley did not have a precise mathematcal formation of his ideas; this is what Dembski has provided.


Is PT still having a quote of the day?

Yep all of Dembski's predictions will come true.  Perhaps even, evolution's "Waterloo in Dover."  What projects are being undertaken by the Intelligent Design Creationist movement in regards to "junk DNA has a purpose."  Yep evolution is sure going to "lose."  Ya'll need to put up or shut up (and sidestepping peer-review doesn't cut it.)  Are you aware of the numerous times that junk science known as IDC has stepped into the legal arena to defeat the "darwinists?"  Are you aware that their record is worse than that of the Washington Generals?  When the time came for IDC to lay their cards down on the table, they were bluffing everytime.  Dover hasn't been any different, no matter how much your idol wished it otherwise and proclaimed it to be so.

Quote
Ignorant, evil evolutionists deny reality becuase deep in their hearts they know they will have to answer to God for their heinous misdeeds. I can't wait to watch him send you all to the Lake of Fire at the Final Judgment!


Sounds great so long as you bring the german potato salad (Hitler, Lenin and Lysenko love it.)  I wonder if they have muskie in the Lake of Fire, or perhaps--lungfish.

   
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2005,15:44   

Sorry, the data say otherwise. The appelate courts can't overturn the results of the papers I've cited, no matter how badly they may want to. Darwinism is a bloated corpse floating in the aether, another failed "enlightenment" idea destined to be parroted in Feminist Studies workshops, and ignored by those who matter. I've been playing by your rules: can you?

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2005,15:50   

No thanks. German potato salad leaves me bloated and flatulent, not unlike your attempts at a rebuttal.....................

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
American Saddlebred



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2005,16:02   

Was there a point to that post two above this?  Please elaborate, as I fail to see your point.  What is wrong with feminism, isn't it the Bible that makes all people equal and evolution that causes all the evil in the world such as racism and sexism?

Additionally, are you aware that WAD has ceased posting at PT to defend his ideas?  Could this be because they lambast his ummm...snicker..."precise mathematcal formation" to the extent that he only lurks and has ceased posting?  He much prefers to post on his own blog, deleting any comment that slightly dissents from his point of view.  Yep his "precise mathematcal formation" is so correct that he doesn't even have to defend it anywhere that he doesn't possess the ability to censor any dissent.

   
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,03:31   

Quote
Attn: Paley your link is broken, so yes it does look familiar just like Intelligent Design Creationism, there is nothing there.


Sorry, try this time.Paley's Revenge

In addition, this is not an intellegent design paper. It is from a paper peer reviewed by the commie evolutionist community!

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,04:19   

To clarify a previous post, I was just trying to reply to Saddlebred without using the quote feature. The point stands, however: Naylor, Brown, and Baptest have posed intractable problems for the Darwinian paradigm. The phylogenetic tree is rotten from the trunk to the tiniest stem. I could quote dozens of papers to show this, but if you refuse to see what's in front of your eyes, what good does it do? And are you really suggesting Figure 1 poses no problems for evolution? It might be time to take this horse to the glue factory...........

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,07:00   

Ghost of Paley

You're John A Davison and I claim my five pounds

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,09:50   

Quote
You're John A Davison and I claim my five pounds

I am not he, but merely a humble servant of God.
Quote
Please elaborate, as I fail to see your point.

 I empathise. I, too, spent many a year in the American public school system. ;)
Quote
Ya'll need to put up or shut up

  I have. Do you have anything to offer in return?

Quote
Additionally, are you aware that WAD has ceased posting at PT to defend his ideas?  Could this be because they lambast his ummm...snicker..."precise mathematcal formation" to the extent that he only lurks and has ceased posting?  He much prefers to post on his own blog, deleting any comment that slightly dissents from his point of view.  Yep his "precise mathematcal formation" is so correct that he doesn't even have to defend it anywhere that he doesn't possess the ability to censor any dissent.

 If this thread represents the typical argumentation proffered on this site, I REALLY empathize. Poor man.
Quote
What is wrong with feminism, isn't it the Bible that makes all people equal and evolution that causes all the evil in the world such as racism and sexism?

 Now you're getting it. If only the feminists could get it, instead of engaging in witchcraft, lesbianism, and Dungeons & Dragons. But I've come here to provide an education in science, not social studies. One subject at a time, Sea Biscuit.
 Focus, gentlemen.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,10:32   

Not JAD, I see that now. No mention of semi-meiosis.

I read the paper you linked to. Does not seem to be earth shattering, just suggesting a better approach to constructing the Tree of Life when using genomic analysis. Unless I'm missing something.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,11:56   

Quote
I read the paper you linked to. Does not seem to be earth shattering, just suggesting a better approach to constructing the Tree of Life when using genomic analysis. Unless I'm missing something.


I have cited other papers as well; I could cite dozens more. What constitutes a "good" approach to constructing your godless tree of life? Evolutionists merely take any data that conforms to their Darwinian catechism and reject the rest as being somehow inadequate. The "Tree of Life" is an evolutionistic fantasy construct. Intellegent Design theory explains the real reason life is as it is, and my orginal thesis that some genes wind up in other organisms because they eat each other is absolutely solid.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,12:43   

Paley:

Would you care to elaborate on your hypothesis that DNA ingested, and subsequently digested, by one organism somehow ends up in the germ cells of that organism?

I know I'm wasting my time engaging in discussions with someone so obviously ignorant of the simplest principles of biology, but hey -- it's a slow day at work.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,12:57   

Paley:

Wow. I just read the paper you linked to, and I'm trying to remember the last time I saw someone so completely misrepresent the content of a paper (I work for a law firm and read a lot of legal briefs, so it's not something I'm unfamiliar with).

I'd like to see your "dozens of papers" that show how the consensus phylogenetic tree is completely wrong. I wonder if you have any understanding at all of how phylogenetic trees are constructed by reference to independent evidence from multiple lines of research. I'm going to go way out on a limb and guess that the concept is entirely foreign to you.

It's fascinating to watch these ID apologists flail around with their wild-ass critiques of evolution.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,14:01   

Quote
I'd like to see your "dozens of papers" that show how the consensus phylogenetic tree is completely wrong.

Let's stick to the cited papers, please.

Quote
Wow. I just read the paper you linked to, and I'm trying to remember the last time I saw someone so completely misrepresent the content of a paper (I work for a law firm and read a lot of legal briefs, so it's not something I'm unfamiliar with).


 Ahhh, the scientists at Panda's Thumb have asked for scientific guidance from a lawyer. Why am I not surprised?  :p
 First, care to elaborate on my misrepresentations?  Since they are so abundant, the only hard part should be picking the most egregious one! Is Figure 1 not as I have described it in previous posts? And if it is, how is that ridiculous phylogeny acceptable under Darwinian assumptions? Talk about a big tent!
Quote
It's fascinating to watch these ID apologists flail around with their wild-ass critiques of evolution.

 So far the only flailing I've seen has been by my "critics". But I'm willing to hear you out. How are post-hoc adjustments (discarding third-codon positions from analyses, removing "problematic" taxa such as lamprey or lancelets since they lead to bad trees, etc) considered acceptable science?

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,14:19   

As a followup:
Quote
Would you care to elaborate on your hypothesis that DNA ingested, and subsequently digested, by one organism somehow ends up in the germ cells of that organism?

  Lynn Margulis (wife of Satan.....err....Sagan) has proposed the endosymbiotic theory to account for new genes/functions. This a just one germ digesting another. My theory, which proposes RNA transfer from digestive enzymes to germ cells via RAG recombination, is merely an extention of Margulis's concept. Granted, there are some minor details to be worked out, but that's why ID research is so crucial for the progress of science.
 My application of her concept to multicellular organisms reveals my willingness to seek truth wherever it might be - even from the wife of a Marxist.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2005,15:53   

Paley:

Where did I say I was a lawyer?

You take a paper that points out some problems with relying on whole-genome comparisons of a small number of taxa in developing a phylogenetic tree, and try to stretch that to support the contention that the whole idea of a phylogenetic tree is fraudulent. That's what we in the business call "misrepresentation." Maybe even "fraudulent misrepesentation," if it can be shown that you knew your argument was wrong when you made it. So that you can get a clue as to how wrong you are, try following this link. If you weren't so wedded to your thesis that evolution is bunk, it would probably give you something to think about.

So your idea is that the simplest eukaryotes evolved to, e.g., primates based on horizontal gene transfer? Sounds like there are more than a few minor details to be worked out.

The funny thing, Paley, is that I have absolutely no training in the biological sciences at all, and yet even I can see where your arguments have gone completely off the tracks. It gives me some idea of how well your arguments would go over with real scientists.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 14 2005,07:15   

Sorry for the delay, but I was wrapped up in my bible study groups. The stories I could tell of the horrors Evilution has wrought on people's lives! Well, on to the subject at hand.

 
Quote
Where did I say I was a lawyer?

 Where did you say you weren't? In the off chance you aren't, I apologize for the slander. :p
 
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You take a paper that points out some problems with relying on whole-genome comparisons of a small number of taxa in developing a phylogenetic tree, and try to stretch that to support the contention that the whole idea of a phylogenetic tree is fraudulent.

 It ain't just one paper, hoss. It's the cumulative weight of many that leads to my eminently sane conclusion. But following my own advice, I'll stick to the current paper.
 It's true that the authors hypothesize that more taxa will solve the problem, but in the case of _animalia_, they don't support that raw speculation with any data, so I didn't mention it. Remember, I'm interested in data, not the tap-dancing of evolutionists. In addition, the author's conclusions conflict with others who assert that the number of characters is the most important component in any analysis.
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So that you can get a clue as to how wrong you are, try following this link.

 Believe it or not, this source is nothing new to me. In fact, I've managed to come up with with some cogent criticisms in between my bible-thumping, synagogue-torching and all. Hint: Count how many proteins are used to support his consensus tree, and then contrast this with Wu 1991. More to come later......

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 14 2005,07:43   

Paley:

I wasn't aware that it was necessary for me to state that I'm not a lawyer. I thought that if I didn't claim to be a lawyer, it would be assumed that I'm not. You don't claim to be a scientist, so I don't assume you are one.

The cumulative weight of evidence is that the consensus phylogenetic tree is by and large accurate. Given the immense number of possible phylogenetic trees (for 30 taxa the number is on the order of ten to the thirty-eighth power), the fact that there's any consistency whatsoever in the trees derived from independent sources of evidence has to be seen as one of the crowning achievements of the human intellect. Your conclusion isn't sane; it's completely wacky.

Evidence from multiple confirming lines of research isn't "speculation," it's confirmation. If one line of evidence is in conflict with converging conclusions for the other ten or so lines of evidence, we can be reasonably certain that there's an error in the methodology. If you're using Cepheid variables to work out the hubble constant, and one Cepheid variable tells you that an obviously distant galaxy is located within the milky way, there's obviously something wrong with the distance value for that one star. This is elementary scientific methodology.

So I'm afraid one paper ain't gonna do it. One study that comes up with erroneous conclusions shows an error in the methodology, not an error in the theory. You're going to have to show me how the multiple lines of inquiry do not converge on one phylogentic tree, and I already know you can't do that.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 14 2005,07:50   

Paley:

A couple more points. Pointing to numbers of proteins isn't going to get you far, because gene/protein analysis is only one of dozens of converging lines of evidence for the consensus phylogenetic tree. Citing protein-sequencing data from 1991 will get you even less far.

The exact configuration of the phylogenetic tree will probably never be established for every single organism (we don't even know how many species currently exist, let alone the immensely larger number that have ever existed), given the astronomical numbers of possible trees. Pointing to this or that controversy as to where exactly a given organism gets slotted into the organizational structure will get you exactly nowhere. When you can find a bat that is more closely related to birds using more than just protein analysis than it is to other mammals, then you'll be getting somewhere.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 14 2005,09:28   

Quote
Pointing to numbers of proteins isn't going to get you far, because gene/protein analysis is only one of dozens of converging lines of evidence for the consensus phylogenetic tree. Citing protein-sequencing data from 1991 will get you even less far.

 This would be a relevant criticism except for the fact that the citation demonstrated the need for at least _5_ genes to support an analysis (some suggest 20 or even more!;), instead of relying on a single protein, however informative. While Theobald may have indeed utilized multiple lines of evidence to buttress his conclusions, the facts are that:
1) he chose a _single_ protein to demonstrate his hypothesis (see the reference for the consensus tree in point 17), and
2) the protein he chose has its own problems (see Ayala's Cytochrome C analysis, which postdates McLaughlin and Dayhoff's 1973 study and has humans diverging from mammals before kangaroos, in addition to a multitude of other "mistakes").
  Why base a consensus tree on a single (flawed) protein, especially when your own sources counsel agin it? And if there _are_ multiple-gene studies that draw the same conclusions, why not quote them instead? I think this represents good prima facie evidence, but collapses under close scrutiny. The kind of scrutiny that's honed with diligent study of Dembski's monographs.
Quote
When you can find a bat that is more closely related to birds using more than just protein analysis than it is to other mammals, then you'll be getting somewhere.

 As opposed to chickens and fish? :D

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 14 2005,11:24   

Paley:

You've entirely missed the point. The phylogenetic tree isn't only mapped out by genetic and protein analysis. Those two are only two of dozens of different techniques for deriving the same tree. Other, independent lines of evidence have nothing to do with analysis of one gene, or many genes. That's why they're called "independent." And guess what? They all converge on the same tree.

I think you need to read Theobald a little more closely.

How does Cytochrome c show humans diverging from mammals before kangaroos, when humans and chimps share exactly the same cytochrome c? And why are you citing studies from 1973? And you talk about the difference between five genes and 20 genes as  if it were significant. How many genes do humans possess? 20,000?

You can't cite a single study (or even a handful of studies) that are out of step with literally thousands of other studies to show that an entire body of knowledge is incorrect. Do we have zoologists out there contending that starfish are more closely related to humans than they are to sea urchins? Or monkeys that are more closely related to  birds than they are to goats?

If you think that, all by yourself, you're going to convince the scientific community that the consensus phylogenetic tree is a hoax, you're hallucinating.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,05:32   

First, I want to thank Mr. Murphy and Mr. Fox for quoting two relevant papers as rebuttals, even if they end up supporting Uncle Paley's point of view. It's nice to know that some scientists are using their grant money on serious research rather than the usual allotment of beer, crank, and hookers.
  Mr. Murphy:
  If you follow point 17 as I suggested, you will see that the 1973 paper was cited by Dr. Theobald, not me. So you should address this puzzler:
Quote
[W]hy are you citing studies from 1973?

to him.
 The Cytochrome C paper showing the erroneous relationships is Margoliash Finch 1967 I think, but it's cited by (Ayala 1977). There are some other strange results, such as the viper clustering with man (how biblical!;)), but I need to look it up.
 
Quote
You can't cite a single study (or even a handful of studies) that are out of step with literally thousands of other studies to show that an entire body of knowledge is incorrect.

 Perhaps not. But what _is_ the consensus tree, and what are the studies that rigorously support it? The zoologists seem just as clueless as the molecular biologists.....
Quote
If you think that, all by yourself, you're going to convince the scientific community that the consensus phylogenetic tree is a hoax, you're hallucinating.

 Well, isn't this reversing the burden of proof? Shouldn't the scientists give a convincing tree in the first place? Instead of one cobbled together from a single protein.....

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Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,05:46   

Mr The Ghost of Paley

Are you referring to this link, that I posted on another thread? Perhaps you can point out where there is any support for your "theory"?

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,07:11   

No, Mr. Fox. I was planning on responding to your (most excellent) paper on the correct thread.  My previous post was trying to clear up Mr. Murphy's misunderstanding of my Friday post.

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Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,07:44   

I look forward to it.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,12:37   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 17 2005,10:32)
Quote
You can't cite a single study (or even a handful of studies) that are out of step with literally thousands of other studies to show that an entire body of knowledge is incorrect.

 Perhaps not. But what _is_ the consensus tree, and what are the studies that rigorously support it? The zoologists seem just as clueless as the molecular biologists.....
Quote
If you think that, all by yourself, you're going to convince the scientific community that the consensus phylogenetic tree is a hoax, you're hallucinating.

 Well, isn't this reversing the burden of proof? Shouldn't the scientists give a convincing tree in the first place? Instead of one cobbled together from a single protein.....

Bill, Bill, Bill,

You're still failing to divine my meaning. You cannot construct an entire phylogenetic tree from the analysis of any one protein, and you probably can't do it from any group of a dozen proteins, either. Which actually argues for evolution more than ID, because the reason you run into problems with protein analysis all by itself is because of the random nature of genetic mutations. Humans, chimps, and guinea pigs all lack a functional gene for ascorbic acid. Does this means that humans are most closely related to chimps and guinea pigs? No. It means that by chance, guinea pigs have the same busted gene. I assure you, the guinea pig genotype differs from the human one by more than 1%.

You really need to read Dr. Theobald a little more closely. It's not hard to see why given a single protein, vipers might cluster with humans. But how closely do vipers cluster with humans when one looks at the fossil record? And by reference to morphology? Not very close, is how close. You need confirmatory evidence from many, many sources to work out a phylogenetic tree. Also, genes cluster differently from organisms, which adds further complications.

Now, you say you've read Theobald, and normally I would have no reason to doubt you. But since you're still asking me what the consensus phylogenetic tree is, when Theobald's article has a huge, giant picture of it right on the second page of his article, I can only assume you haven't read it all that closely. Now, I suppose you could be asking me for the astronomically huge, complete phylogenetic tree that maps out the relationship of every last taxon out there. But if that's the case, I'd still have to say you don't know your Theobald, because he makes it pretty clear why there isn't any such tree, and there likely never will be one. Perhaps you'd like to give that particular page a re-read to see if you've missed anything else.

And why are you asking scientists for a phylogenentic tree that wasn't "cobbled together from a single protein"? I believe they've already been so kind as to provide you with one, if only you'd the eyes to see.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,14:29   

Quote
Now, you say you've read Theobald, and normally I would have no reason to doubt you. But since you're still asking me what the consensus phylogenetic tree is, when Theobald's article has a huge, giant picture of it right on the second page of his article, I can only assume you haven't read it all that closely.

 I have read him closely, which is part of the problem. In fact, I had to read Theobald _very_ closely to see where he derives that huge, giant picture (otherwise known as Figure 1). Go to Part 4 (Protein Functional Redundancy) and look under "Criticisms". You should see a single citation. Click on it. What do you see? Hint: That slapping sound you just heard is your palm striking your forehead.
Quote
And why are you asking scientists for a phylogenentic tree that wasn't "cobbled together from a single protein"? I believe they've already been so kind as to provide you with one, if only you'd the eyes to see.

 Yep, Figure 1, cobbled together from - buckle the #### up!- a single protein. A _bad_ protein.
Quote
Now, I suppose you could be asking me for the astronomically huge, complete phylogenetic tree that maps out the relationship of every last taxon out there. But if that's the case, I'd still have to say you don't know your Theobald, because he makes it pretty clear why there isn't any such tree, and there likely never will be one.

You're both righter than you'll ever know. But for now, I'd settle for a tree that knows more than I do. Like, for example, that Chicken of the Sea is a brand name, not a suggestion for a phylogenetic tree.
  Remember, folks, the molecules are for testing the consensus tree, not for deriving it. That is why it is called independent evidence. And the molecules can't even come up with a giggle-proof phylogeny.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2005,18:09   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 17 2005,19:29)
 I have read him closely, which is part of the problem. In fact, I had to read Theobald very closely to see where he derives that huge, giant picture (otherwise known as Figure 1). Go to Part 4 (Protein Functional Redundancy) and look under "Criticisms". You should see a single citation. Click on it. What do you see? Hint: That slapping sound you just heard is your palm striking your forehead.


Hmm...I'm reading Part 4, "Criticisms," and you know, I just don't hear any slapping sound. As he states in the article, the chances that any two organisms have any similarity at all in their cytochrome c is mildly surprising, given that almost any ordering of amino acids at all would work. And yet, "the phylogenetic tree constructed from the cytochrome c data exactly recapitulates the relationships of major taxa as determined by the completely independent morphological data (McLaughlin and Dayhoff 1973)." (emph. mine) If you ask me, that statement pretty much sums up exactly why you're wrong.

Quote
Yep, Figure 1, cobbled together from - buckle the #### up!- a single protein. A _bad_ protein.


What gives you the impression that Figure 1 is cobbled together from one single protein? Nowhere on that page does he indicate that the consensus tree pictured is based on any single protein, or indeed from protein analysis alone (or at all, for that matter). (Actually, if it were possible to construct Figure 1 by reference to a single protein, that would be nothing short of astounding, and a massive triumph for the field of comparative protein analysis.)

Theobald specifically states that the tree is derived from independent lines of research. This is exactly why there is very high confidence that the consensus tree is accurate.

Quote
But for now, I'd settle for a tree that knows more than I do. Like, for example, that Chicken of the Sea is a brand name, not a suggestion for a phylogenetic tree.


So it's your understanding that the tree depicted in Figure 1 is totally wrong? I think I know enough of taxonomy, based on my high school education (along with a lot of extracurricular reading), to know that tree is a reasonably accurate depiction of the interrelationships among the taxa included. Where do you think it's wrong? Do you think that humans are more closely related to, say, ferns than they are to other primates? Or that starfish are more closely related to mushrooms than they are to cows?

Quote
Remember, folks, the molecules are for testing the consensus tree, not for deriving it. That is why it is called independent evidence. And the molecules can't even come up with a giggle-proof phylogeny.


In the meantime, did you trouble to read Theobald's explanation of just how unlikely it is that any two independently-derived trees would bear any resemblance to each other? Theobald specifically states that the tree is derived from independent lines of research. So even if it were true that protein analysis couldn't come up with even a close resemblance to trees derived from other evidence (which isn't even remotely true), the consensus tree is derived from enough other independent lines of research to indicate that, if anything, the problem is with the protein analysis methodology, not the tree itself.

After all, Bill, protein analysis is a relatively new science. Major portions of the consensus tree haven't changed in a hundred years. If protein analysis has difficulties building an accurate tree, why do you assume that means the tree is completely bogus?

Just out of curiosity, William...do you deny evolution in its entirety? Are you a believer in special creation?

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C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,09:51   

If ever there was a misbegotten Intraweb flame-war thingie, well, here it is.
It's not actually D*mbski, can't be.

And if it's not the original spoofer (Cerutti, ya in there?), then the inheritor of the Paley-themed moniker certainly is playing up to the original, down to half-a$$-ed defense of the original "meat n' potatoes" theory which occasioned my (misplaced) ridicule.

So, really, people, I think we need to be aware that somebody's probably spoofing us again, cut n' pasting off of ARN or some such.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,10:07   

Wow, you guys really like to poison the well, dontcha? I assure you that my ideas are mine alone. No cribbing off ARN, kibitzing at I.D. conferences, or piloting black helicopters. Just a David armed with the slingshot of Truth, with a smattering of Dembski's sublime maths. As for my beliefs, I pretty much see it as the Bible calls it: geocentric special creation. None of that cheap Hollywood special effects for me - man on the moon my arse!

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C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,10:20   

Now the sun orbits the earth, and the Apollo landings were faked?
Been to Loch Ness lately? Got any ammo for that slingshot to shoot at the Satanic Holocaust Believers?

Sublime maths!!!

Thanks for the entertainment withered husk.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,10:28   

Quote
And yet, "the phylogenetic tree constructed from the cytochrome c data exactly recapitulates the relationships of major taxa as determined by the completely independent morphological data (McLaughlin and Dayhoff 1973)." (emph. mine) If you ask me, that statement pretty much sums up exactly why you're wrong.

 Not interested in what the man says as much as what he demonstrates. Which ain't much, apparently.
Quote
So it's your understanding that the tree depicted in Figure 1 is totally wrong?

 Why yes, now that you mention it. Just one question: what makes some morphological characters assume greater importance than others? Not merely their tendency to fall into nested groupings. How circular would that be, after all....
Quote
After all, Bill, protein analysis is a relatively new science. Major portions of the consensus tree haven't changed in a hundred years. If protein analysis has difficulties building an accurate tree, why do you assume that means the tree is completely bogus?

 It's totally bogus, dude, because the molecules were meant to provide objective characters for better tree-building. There is a reason, after all, for the palpable embarrassment that real scientists have felt for Darwinism historically. Genes were supposed to elevate just-so storytelling to the heights of a solid, if pedestrian, discipline. Now genes trees are just a "new, untested" method that everyone ignores unless it gets the correct results.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,10:38   

Payley,

I generally try not to debate creationists, but what the ####; I'm bored.

Far as I can tell, you don't believe that the phylogenetic tree exists at all. In other words, since every organism was specially created by His Majesty, everything is equally closely related. In other words, humans are just as closely related to chimps as they are to bacteria.

And you said you were working on theory of horizontal gene transfer? Whatever for? Evolution don't happen anyway, right?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,11:00   

Quote
And you said you were working on theory of horizontal gene transfer? Whatever for? Evolution don't happen anyway, right?

 It seems that Mr. Murphy's ability to quote retroactively embarrassing papers is only matched by his imaginative, zen-like readings of my posts. When did I say that HGT had any function other than making scientists gnash teeth over their worthless papers? HGT gives false positives, is all. But with a theory on how this transpires, godly men can better guide the trembing Darwinian finger over the contours of its error. The true giants (Berlinski and the other guy) are otherwise occupied, so it falls to me. But I'll take a side order of falsification while the engine's running.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,11:34   

Let's play Rock Around the Clock with Bill Paley and the Creationists!

Anyway, if you're going to use Dave Berlinksi and WMD to instruct evolutionists in the error of their ways, you're mostly going to get dismissals, which is about what those guys are worth. It's so easy to poke holes in their mathematics and/or logic that even I can do it.

A quick example: Kolmogorov complexity is synonymous with probability, t or f.

Bill managed to get that one wrong. And he's supposedly the "Isaac Newton of Information Theory"?

Here's one of my favorite Dave-related quotes. It's from an article by Professor Nilsson, of Nilsson-Pelger fame, on Berlinksi's bumbling attempt to rebut their 1994 paper on the evolution of the vertebrate eye:

Quote
Contrary to Berlinski's claim, we calculate the spatial resolution (visual acuity) for all parts of our eye evolution sequence. The functions in Figure 1 display the results. These plots are computer generated, using small increments. Values and units are given on the axes of the plots, and procedures are explained in the legend. The underlying theory is explained in the main text, including the important Equation 1 and a reference to Warrant and McIntyre (1993) where this theory is derived. Yet, Berlinski insists that "Nilsson and Pelger do not calculate the visual acuity of any structure". It would be much simpler for Berlinski if he went just a tiny step further and denied the existence of our paper altogether.


Way to go, Dave!

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,12:54   

Quote
Here's one of my favorite Dave-related quotes. It's from an article by Professor Nilsson, of Nilsson-Pelger fame, on Berlinksi's bumbling attempt to rebut their 1994 paper on the evolution of the vertebrate eye:

Quote  
Contrary to Berlinski's claim, we calculate the spatial resolution (visual acuity) for all parts of our eye evolution sequence. The functions in Figure 1 display the results. These plots are computer generated, using small increments. Values and units are given on the axes of the plots, and procedures are explained in the legend. The underlying theory is explained in the main text, including the important Equation 1 and a reference to Warrant and McIntyre (1993) where this theory is derived. Yet, Berlinski insists that "Nilsson and Pelger do not calculate the visual acuity of any structure". It would be much simpler for Berlinski if he went just a tiny step further and denied the existence of our paper altogether.


Way to go, Dave!

 Well, you finally did it, old chap. You made Uncle Paley out to be a liar. For the first time, I must defer to the Discovery Institute:
The Master Replies
 Nick Matzke, have you found that expert in optical theory yet? If you need an information theorist, there's this guy I know......

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,13:09   

Bill,

Is that really supposed to be Berlinski's "response" to his critics? It seems his critics have replied to his "response" before he even wrote it. Assuming time travel is impossible, I can only assume Dave has a hard time processing criticisms of his own work.

And referring to your hero Berlinski as "The Master" leaves one to ponder what your definition of an "amateur" is.

I'm glad you didn't refer to Dembski as an Information Theory "expert," since that clearly would have been stretching the term beyond the breaking point...

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,13:56   

:(   How many times must I wait while you scramble after your foil?

 From memory:
 1) The Master graces the denizens of Commentary with one of his usual masterworks. Topic: The usual inanity of evos, with a special focus on the hijinks of Dawkins, Nilsson, and Pelger
 2) The authors of Dawkin's Folly managed to publish a shrill screed as a pathetic attempt at a reply
 3) Darwinists ooze out of various sewers, orifices, and dungeons in order to gang up on our hero
 4) The Master administers a sound thrashing to said minions, with a side portion of optical theory for the lurkers, and apparently, the preening experts who had extensive need for both
 5) Nick Matske pines for his departed heroes. The rest slime their way back to their familiar bogs, sadder but none the wiser, to continue their collective paean to moonstuck , taxpayer-wasting scribblings


  I hope this helps.

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C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,14:03   

I still think you're a fraud, husk, so I am loath to make any substantial reply.

But a query perhaps: What is the fundamental difference between a "mathematical model" and a "computer simulation"?

Now, don't say "one uses a computer" you cute little guy, 'cause that's not your style anyhow. No, what I mean is, what can one do that the other can't, in principle?

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,14:19   

Quote
I still think you're a fraud, husk, so I am loath to make any substantial reply.

But a query perhaps: What is the fundamental difference between a "mathematical model" and a "computer simulation"?


  Amazing. Simply Amazing. Mr. Murphy's ink has the power to cloud all minds, friend and foe alike. Does anyone have the ability to decipher a simple argument? The Master's argument went to the heart of the model itself, and was not a semantic quibble. Read the link.  Of course, just as a podiatrist finds the solution to all illness in the humble foot, so does the Darwinist in word play.

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C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,14:29   

Since you argue exclusively by insinuation, you project the behavior onto those around you.

It's a simple query. It's not intended, of itself, to substantially deal with any of Berlinski's attacks on the model. Just one of his more outrageous assertions.
And I read the link.

So, answer the question, lifeless wisp.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,14:46   

Quote
It's a simple query. It's not intended, of itself, to substantially deal with any of Berlinski's attacks on the model. Just one of his more outrageous assertions.
And I read the link.

So, answer the question, lifeless wisp.

 
Quote
What is the fundamental difference between a "mathematical model" and a "computer simulation"?


  Answer: Nothing substantial at all. If that was the extent of the Master's charges, I would agree with your argument (assuming we ever hear it, that is). But since you've read the link, will you please address the rest of his? As a great man once opined, he who does will be the first.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,15:28   

For those interested in the Master's argument, here is a slice:
Quote
Staking their all on Snyder’s model, Nilsson and Pelger must live with its consequences. “Having considered the physical limitations to resolving power,” Snyder wrote, “in addition to the absolute sensitivity of eyes, we now apply our concepts to real compound eyes.” This is something that Nilsson and Pelger never do. And no wonder. For Snyder then added the rather important caveat that bringing theory to bear on life “requires precise knowledge [of various optical parameters] in the various regions of the eye” (Snyder, p. 276, emphasis in the original).

Quote
When tested, Snyder’s model turns out to be false across a wide range of arthropods. As Warrant & McIntyre note glumly, “The model, on the whole, works best for those eyes for which it was originally formulated—apposition compound eyes functioning according to geometrical optics—but recent careful and sensitive measurements of angular sensitivity reveal that even in these types of eye, the model often performs poorly.” Readers may consult figure 34 (p. 441) of Warrant & McIntyre’s paper to see how poorly the Snyder model does. In studies of the locust Locustia, real and predicted angular-sensitivity functions do not even share the same qualitative shape.

Responding to my observation that no quantitative argument supports their quantitative conclusions—no argument at all, in fact—Mr. Nilsson has thus (1) offered a mathematically incoherent appeal to his only equation; (2) cited references that make no mention of any morphological or evolutionary process; (3) defended a theory intended to describe the evolution of vertebrate camera eyes by referring to a theory describing the theoretical optics of compound invertebrate eyes; (4) failed to explain why his own work has neglected to specify any relevant biological parameter precisely; and (5) championed his results by means of assumptions that his own sources indicate are false across a wide range of organisms.

 And here is the Darwinian rebuttal:

:0  :0  :0  :0  :0

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2005,19:30   

Bill,

I'm just a humble legal assistant, who has spent entirely too much time arguing with the likes of you, arguing over things like if you exclude natural causes, and supernatural causes, what's left? (I couldn't get an answer to that question.) It's left me a little too tired to wade through Berlinski's screed. And I wonder why I should, since the article has been around for almost 12 years and is still considered sound science by basically 100% of the people with the training and expertise to actually hold a supportable opinion about it.

When Einstein was at the IAS, he would get letters every week from various cranks showing in minute detail why general relativity was wrong. I don't think he lost too much sleep over it.

Anyway, I wonder what your theory is for why the entire scientific community is satisfied that neodarwinian evolution is a settled matter, while dilettantes like yourself are sure they're all wrong. Is it a matter of mass delusion?

Since you seem to think the earth is only a few thousand years old, let's just say I'm a little skeptical of your opinion on matters biological.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2005,06:48   

Quote
I'm just a humble legal assistant, who has spent entirely too much time arguing with the likes of you, arguing over things like if you exclude natural causes, and supernatural causes, what's left? (I couldn't get an answer to that question.)

 I don't remember that question being raised before, but I'll take your word for it. My answer would be: keep natural causes if you want. Just make sure they can parse the heavens. If they can't, open your mind to other explanations.
Quote
It's left me a little too tired to wade through Berlinski's screed.

 Then why bring the matter up? Well, I won't tease you for not responding to the big B. But shouldn't somebody here have the requisite knowledge? After all, the man did his legwork. Don't play the Lestrade to his Holmes when Moriarty is more fun...
 As the Peach would say: tick, tock, tick, tock..........Mr. O' Brien? Mr. Fox?

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2005,07:37   

Bill,

I don't feel the need to respond to Dave because it's clear the scientific community has amply demonstrated where he's wrong. Let me ask you this: any educated layman who's spent any time studying evolution knows the names Dawkins, Gould, Margoulis, Watson, Miller. What educated layman outside of the ID community has heard of Berlinksi, or really cares what a mathematician's opinions on evolutionary biology are?

Of course, the same criticism holds for Dembski, except with Dembski, his conversance with his own field (information theory) seems pretty shaky.

The exclusion of all possible explanations (natural and supernatural) for the existence of life didn't happen here, and of course the guy who has effectively done so denies that he has, but I bet you can guess just from that the subject even arose that we're not talking about an evolutionist.

A supernatural explanation has never actually "explained" anything. Indeed, how could it? How is appeal to something that's physically impossible (isn't that pretty much what a supernatural phenomenon is?) going to explain anything?

There are plenty of things for which there is currently no known explanation. Half of biology probably fits into that category. But are you sure you want to appeal to supernatural explanations to fill those "gaps"? There's a term for that kind of argument, you know.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2005,08:25   

Quote
I don't feel the need to respond to Dave because it's clear the scientific community has amply demonstrated where he's wrong.

Where are these scientists? Communing in the Himalayas with the yeti?
Quote
The exclusion of all possible explanations (natural and supernatural) for the existence of life didn't happen here, and of course the guy who has effectively done so denies that he has, but I bet you can guess just from that the subject even arose that we're not talking about an evolutionist.

 I know I'm accused of being absent-minded at times, but I don't remember this at all. Could you cite this?
Quote
There are plenty of things for which there is currently no known explanation. Half of biology probably fits into that category. But are you sure you want to appeal to supernatural explanations to fill those "gaps"? There's a term for that kind of argument, you know.

 Yes. But that doesn't absolve a hypothesis from its own responsibilities. So it is encumbent upon scientists to prove their case first. Yes, I know: the Nilsson - Pelger paper was a but a crumb in Mt. Improbable's buffet of evidence. So why did you guys drive us sick with it? Unless it's the best you have? Platonic truth is finally shining in your little grotto, and you can only make shadow puppets on the wall. Conspiracies only take you so far, you know......

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2005,13:16   

Quote
What educated layman outside of the ID community has heard of Berlinksi, or really cares what a mathematician's opinions on evolutionary biology are?

 Just one more thing: Berlinski is a maths guy, so his opinion on Nilsson - Pelger is highly relevant. And I'm starting to add more detail to my model in another thread.

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Alan Fox



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2005,21:31   

Ghost of Paley

I'm sorry to say you have become boring. I will wait until your forthcoming paper is universally acclaimed and read it. Until evidence demonstrates otherwise, I will file you under "cranks".

Best of luck
Alan.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2005,03:39   

Quote
Now the sun orbits the earth, and the Apollo landings were faked?


The fact the Apollo missions were faked is obvious. Remember the waving American flag in the photograph. If evolutionists are correct in saying there is no air on the moon, how does a flag wave? Which is it--is there air on the moon and the evolutuionists movement has been exposed so utterly they will never be able to get their pants on again, or is the Apollo mission a fake?

As far as the Sun going around the earth, Scripture makes this crystal clear. (Note that Joshua made the Sun stand still, this is because the Sun is going around the earth.)

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2005,07:58   

Are you running for king of the cranks or something?
Really, ghastly, this is over the top, even for you.

I was going to disabuse you of your reverence for "The Master," but, like Mr. Fox, I am afraid that your credibility has been utterly exposed as non-existent.

If you are (as I believe) joking, well, it's gone about as far as it can at geocentrism.
Good fun, but all things come to an end.
Even ghosts.

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

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2005,10:34   

Quote
Are you running for king of the cranks or something?
Really, ghastly, this is over the top, even for you.

I was going to disabuse you of your reverence for "The Master," but, like Mr. Fox, I am afraid that your credibility has been utterly exposed as non-existent.

If you are (as I believe) joking, well, it's gone about as far as it can at geocentrism.
Good fun, but all things come to an end.
Even ghosts.


 Oh, don't let my beliefs keep you from your duty. I'm willing to listen to any/all criticisms of the Master's position. Remember to address his real arguments, and not what Eugenie Scott may have told you they were. If you can, that is. I promise my response will be point on (I hope this doesn't scare you away again). And by the way, if you're reading this Nicky, just one question: Have you found your expert yet? :D

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2005,12:25   

I don't recall being "scared away." Not everybody has the luxury of being undead, and having 22.5 hours a day to troll the internet. Besides, I'm not scared of geocentrist ghosts.

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

  
Steverino



Posts: 411
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,06:50   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 20 2005,08:39)
Quote
Now the sun orbits the earth, and the Apollo landings were faked?


The fact the Apollo missions were faked is obvious. Remember the waving American flag in the photograph. If evolutionists are correct in saying there is no air on the moon, how does a flag wave? Which is it--is there air on the moon and the evolutuionists movement has been exposed so utterly they will never be able to get their pants on again, or is the Apollo mission a fake?

As far as the Sun going around the earth, Scripture makes this crystal clear. (Note that Joshua made the Sun stand still, this is because the Sun is going around the earth.)

Are you really that dilluted?

Not every waving flag needs a breeze -- at least not in space. When astronauts were planting the flagpole they rotated it back and forth to better penetrate the lunar soil (anyone who's set a blunt tent-post will know how this works). So of course the flag waved! Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with stored angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples -- no breeze required!

Next time you have lunch with Elvis, tell him I said hello.

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,07:28   

Quote
Are you really that dilluted?


No rino, I'm 100% Jesus-loving, Bible-believing Christian man! I have not been "diluted" with the moral poison of evolutionism as you have!

Quote
Not every waving flag needs a breeze -- at least not in space. When astronauts were planting the flagpole they rotated it back and forth to better penetrate the lunar soil (anyone who's set a blunt tent-post will know how this works). So of course the flag waved! Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with stored angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples -- no breeze required!



Speaking of which, were you aware evolutionists assumed there would be 125 feet of moon dust on the moon based on the assumption that such dust had been accumulating for however many billion years they assume its age is. In actuality, there is only three inches. However, every item allegedly taken on the alleged Apollo mission was equipped with a flat base like a sled so it would not sink in this dust. The flagpole did not have to be jammed anywhere, it merely had to be set down. Your story is all bull$^^%, or, excuse me, rhino&%&^.

Unlike you, I know how to spell "rhino" nad use words like "diluted."

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Steverino



Posts: 411
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,09:54   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 21 2005,12:28)
Quote
Are you really that dilluted?


No rino, I'm 100% Jesus-loving, Bible-believing Christian man! I have not been "diluted" with the moral poison of evolutionism as you have!

Quote
Not every waving flag needs a breeze -- at least not in space. When astronauts were planting the flagpole they rotated it back and forth to better penetrate the lunar soil (anyone who's set a blunt tent-post will know how this works). So of course the flag waved! Unfurling a piece of rolled-up cloth with stored angular momentum will naturally result in waves and ripples -- no breeze required!



Speaking of which, were you aware evolutionists assumed there would be 125 feet of moon dust on the moon based on the assumption that such dust had been accumulating for however many billion years they assume its age is. In actuality, there is only three inches. However, every item allegedly taken on the alleged Apollo mission was equipped with a flat base like a sled so it would not sink in this dust. The flagpole did not have to be jammed anywhere, it merely had to be set down. Your story is all bull$^^%, or, excuse me, rhino&%&^.

Unlike you, I know how to spell "rhino" nad use words like "diluted."

The fact that you think the moon landings were faked shows the depth of how much you really don't know or understand.

The entire "Moon Landing Hoax" has been debunked by many noted scientists and agencies.

Tell me; are you a Kent Hovind follower?

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,10:13   

Quote
The entire "Moon Landing Hoax" has been debunked by many noted scientists and agencies.

 Yeah, that's a common theme around here. Was this debunking any better than the attempt to "debunk" Berlinski?
Quote
Tell me; are you a Kent Hovind follower?

 Oh no, I ain't going for that again. O'Cryin', Foxy, and the brief stalker are already using my geocentrism as an excuse to run away from my arguments. You'll have to figure it out yourself.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Steverino



Posts: 411
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,14:56   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 21 2005,15:13)
Quote
The entire "Moon Landing Hoax" has been debunked by many noted scientists and agencies.

 Yeah, that's a common theme around here. Was this debunking any better than the attempt to "debunk" Berlinski?
Quote
Tell me; are you a Kent Hovind follower?

 Oh no, I ain't going for that again. O'Cryin', Foxy, and the brief stalker are already using my geocentrism as an excuse to run away from my arguments. You'll have to figure it out yourself.

Well, now we all know you are flat out incorrect regarding Moon Landing being faked.  It's been documented by numerous sources.  So, you got that one wrong.

What Berlinski fairytale are you speaking of?

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2005,15:54   

What on Earth (so to speak) does the amount of dust on the moon have to do with evolution of life on Earth? And why on Earth would opinions about that have anything to do with one's opinion about evolution?

Henry

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2005,09:00   

Quote
What on Earth (so to speak) does the amount of dust on the moon have to do with evolution of life on Earth? And why on Earth would opinions about that have anything to do with one's opinion about evolution?

 Nothing much, directly. But if the earth proves as young as I suspect, this would deal a crippling blow to evolution. Plus, some are using my geocentrism as an excuse to evade my arguments (after asking me my personal beliefs!;)). Hopefully people aren't being taken in by this tactic.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2005,09:16   

Here you go Paley.

Clearly you can believe whatever you want to believe.  As long as you are willing to disregard any facts that disagree with you.

I thought this was a funny quote from the website:
Quote
Indeed, says McKay, faking a Moon rock well enough to hoodwink an international army of scientists might be more difficult than the Manhattan Project. "It would be easier to just go to the Moon and get one," he quipped.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2005,09:55   

Quote
Clearly you can believe whatever you want to believe.  As long as you are willing to disregard any facts that disagree with you.

 Well, on that subject, here are some more sites that fill out the picture:
Pro Hoax
More Pro Hoax
Anti Hoax
Forum
 Two problems with antihoax sites:
 1)The Problem of Consilience of Inductions
   In deciding between two hypotheses, one should usually choose the one that unifies more observations and relies less on post hoc rationales to explain phenomena. In other words, the hypothesis should do most of the explanatory work, and incorporate as little into its predictive bundle as possible. This is not met with the antihoax community, as their rationalizations range from short camera exposures, unique lunar soil characteristics, the vacuum, pranking astro-naughts, miscommunication, and hairs on lenses to account for anomalities. The prohoax community can unify all "problems" under one rubric: a manufactured moonwalk.

 2) Changing, mutually-contradictory explanations. For example, the author claims that the reason that no flame was seen from the departing lander was due to the lack of air in the lunar environment. Then he says, whoops, that's a minor effect. It's really the fuel. In each case, he shows supreme confidence in his answer. But since he rarely quantifies anything (e.g. how much torque would one need to create the flag ripples we see?), one can only shrug one's shoulders and comment that his whole treatise is written in jello.

 There is are cathedrals of doubt hidden behind Phil Plait's quaint, complacent Potemkin Village.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2005,09:58   

Sorry. "There are cathedrals of doubt....."

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2005,11:08   

GP-

I have only one, simple question:

Do you want to believe there were no moon landings?

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2005,11:38   

Quote
Do you want to believe there were no moon landings?

 And here we have it. Post-modernism at its worst: I feel, therefore it is........well, if it gets you an academic post in lieu of someone qualified, good luck with that.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2005,15:51   

but.... you didn't answer the question, either, regardless of you dismissing the importance of it to the actual substantive position one would take wrt the data surrounding the moon landings.

I hate to sound patronizing (meh, no I don't..), but do you understand why i asked?

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2005,14:26   

Quote
I have only one, simple question:

Do you want to believe there were no moon landings?

 Sure. But what does that have to do with anything?
Quote
but.... you didn't answer the question, either, regardless of you dismissing the importance of it to the actual substantive position one would take wrt the data surrounding the moon landings.

I hate to sound patronizing (meh, no I don't..), but do you understand why i asked?

 I assumed it was a rhetorical question, but I guess you're still probing me. For what it's worth, I assure you I am not a member of the Panda's Bum. As for whether I'm sincere, the only way I could "regain" credibility in this area is by losing it. Think about it. Now answer this: Ever dunk a witch?


 Wow, so many questions! Does this mean you'll give me a second chance? ???

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2005,14:38   

nope, just further defining your position.

as i thought, if you "want" to believe that the moon landings never happened, and you want us to believe that you are being honest about that, then how can you claim to be objective about the data presented?

don't bother to answer, the answer is obvious.

You are just pulling our chains.

fun, isn't it?

for the record, i never implied you to be a "member of Pandas Bum" as er, PT doesn't have members.

If i believed you to be sincere about any of your positions, it would be worthwhile involving myself in debate, but i don't.

my only point in all this is to bring that point home for those who actually considered that you WERE serious about anything you wished to debate here.

you're just another troll.

so long as folks realize that, i encourage all to have fun debating you.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2005,15:52   

Quote
If i believed you to be sincere about any of your positions, it would be worthwhile involving myself in debate, but i don't.

 Oh please, it's obvious to anyone with a room temperature I.Q. that you're as yellow as they come. Heck, if you ever made any sense, I'd praise you for being Nicky's best prawn puppet. I'm sorry if the evo's brightest were pranked by a mediocre paper; I really am. But don't blame Berlinski for rubbing your collective noses in it - that's what you get for #####ing on the rug.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Steverino



Posts: 411
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,06:15   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 24 2005,20:52)
Quote
If i believed you to be sincere about any of your positions, it would be worthwhile involving myself in debate, but i don't.

 Oh please, it's obvious to anyone with a room temperature I.Q. that you're as yellow as they come. Heck, if you ever made any sense, I'd praise you for being Nicky's best prawn puppet. I'm sorry if the evo's brightest were pranked by a mediocre paper; I really am. But don't blame Berlinski for rubbing your collective noses in it - that's what you get for #####ing on the rug.

I asked the question originally because it addresses the issue of what information your selectively choose to ignore you justify your beliefs.

You have stated, I believe, that one of the reasons evolution was a myth was because there were no witnesses to Big Bang, or Evolution... that it was not to be believed.

Well, using the same logic, your belief with regard to the moon landings has been invalidated.  There were witnesses to the moon landings, the astronauts themselves.

But, contrary to documented, verified evidence and eye witness validation, you still choose to believe that moon landings didn't take place.

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,07:46   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 24 2005,20:52)
Oh please, it's obvious to anyone with a room temperature I.Q.

K, F or C?

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,08:03   

Re "K, F or C?"

Kentucky Fried Chicken? ;)  :p

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,08:49   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 25 2005,13:03)
Re "K, F or C?"

Kentucky Fried Chicken? ;)  :p

Nah, just a little test of scientific lieracy at the Elementary School level.   :)

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,09:07   

Quote
Re "K, F or C?"

Kentucky Fried Chicken?    

Nah, just a little test of scientific lieracy at the Elementary School level.

 I guess it's not enough to watch me topple Sir Wiggle's mental house of cards - you have to play Socratic master as well, eh.
 Answer: F, but I suspect the average I.Q. level is more C-oriented. What prize did I win?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,09:14   

By the way, while you guys are wallowing in your C-level IQ's, try to appreciate your correspondence with a member of the K community (the Master, the Master^2, and I'll let you take a stab at the third member).

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,09:23   

Quote
Answer: F, but I suspect the average I.Q. level is more C-oriented. What prize did I win?

 Obviously, this should read:

Answer: F, but I suspect the average I.Q. level here is more C-oriented. What prize did I win?

 As if I don't italicize enough already.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2005,10:05   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 25 2005,14:23)
Quote
Answer: F, but I suspect the average I.Q. level is more C-oriented. What prize did I win?

 Obviously, this should read:

Answer: F, but I suspect the average I.Q. level here is more C-oriented. What prize did I win?

 As if I don't italicize enough already.

You seem to be getting your Cs and Ks confused.  Evolutionists are obviously Ks, whereas ID proponents and their ilk are presumably Cs, as they don’t have the capacity to understand reality or science  :D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2005,11:01   

Since there seems to be so much speculation about my motives and identity, I thought I'd compile the reigning theories just for fun. I might have added one to fill the speculative sample space:

                         Paley the Insider
 A popular early hypothesis. Paley is a regular contributer who's decided to tease the other fellas. Possible culprit: Dave Cerutti.

 Evidence for:
  Cerutti's stated desire to assume another identity after his last visit (as Admonicus). Paley appears soon afterward. Also, Paley seems to possess some familiarity with past activity from other regulars. The continued ribbing of Nick Matzke.

 Evidence against:
  The time frame. Why wait a month between posts? Paley's interests mesh poorly with Dave's.

         
        The Documentary Hypothesis:Multiple Paleys

  This idea has been floated occasionally. Basically, Paley is a composite of several individuals.

   Evidence for:
  The syntax, grammar, and vocabulary shift from post to post. In fact, scholars from Panda's Thumb have postulated several distinct layers in Paley's manuscripts:

  P, or Protopaley, whose posts reflect the primitive, philosophically dense trollings frequently encountered on the Talk Origins forum. P-Paley often relies on quick, brutal attacks on his enemies, leavened with the occasional swipe at other posters' political tendencies. Advocates bold scientific positions. As the name implies, the earliest model.

  L-Paley. The trickster. Gentler than P-Paley, he still enjoys a good scrap, but relies on wit and dependent clauses to defang his adversary. Loves Phylogeny and Hoaxing, and has refined his trolling to fit the board's needs.

  B-Paley, to denote his desire to play nice and abide by the rules. Relatively courteous; is thought to be a bridge to useful partisanship of evo doctrine.

   Evidence against:
  At minimum, the conspirators must know each other, as Paley always uses the same email address and password when logging on. Posts often reflect similar ideas and imagery, as well as a dazzlingly intellect rarely encountered in life, much less Panda's Bum. These argue for a single author.


               Genuine Paley

  Evidence for:
 His protestations. In other words, none.

 Evidence against:
  See above. Also, it's convenient, which counts for more than it should.
 
    Comments?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2005,11:41   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 26 2005,16:01)
Comments?

None

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2005,15:09   

Quote
Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 26 2005,16: 01)
Comments?
None

Hmmmmm.........
Kirk finally shuts off M5 by pointing out that by killing humans it has violated its programming of saving men from dangerous activities such as space exploration. Since the penalty for murder is death, the M5 concludes that it must die, and shuts itself down.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2005,17:18   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 26 2005,16<!--emo&:0)
    Comments?


Actually, I think I'm funnier than GOP.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,04:24   

Quote
Actually, I think I'm funnier than GOP.


  Murphy, you're back! Hey, do you still have the barrel I lent you from our last encounter? You can keep the suspenders; after all, you'll probably need them next time.

--------------
Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,08:43   

To get this discussion back on track, let me repeat an earlier question:
Quote
what makes some morphological characters assume greater importance than others? Not merely their tendency to fall into nested groupings. How circular would that be, after all....

 
Murphy was apparently too stunned to reply, and yammered on about how he doesn't have time to respond to the likes of me (as opposed to reading my posts and insulting me, one presumes). So can anyone? Oh wait, let me add:
 F=mv.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,09:14   

Alright, I'll bite.

One could argue (and I'm not speaking for evolutionists here, they may have a better answer, I'm pretty ignorant in phylogeny) that using certain morphological characteristics they are able to construct nested groups.  The fact of the matter is that they are able to do so.  As far as I know, (I'd love to see some evidence to the contrary) they are not able to create a seperate non-sensical tree of life from other characteristics.  Perhaps you have evidence to the contrary?

It is not obvious from a creationism standpoint that any such tree of life should exist at all.  I'm sure you have a convoluted argument that you're going to share with us now.

-Dan

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,09:53   

Quote
One could argue (and I'm not speaking for evolutionists here, they may have a better answer, I'm pretty ignorant in phylogeny) that using certain morphological characteristics they are able to construct nested groups.  The fact of the matter is that they are able to do so.

   Just to make sure I understand your argument, you are saying that any choice of characters is suitable, because only evolution predicts a nested hierarchy. So there is no a priori reason for the choice; any characters that form a tree will do?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,10:44   

Once again I am no expert on this stuff.  I'm not going to ignorantly paint the wrong picture of evolution so you could point out that it's wrong.  But, it seems you are implying that there are some characteristics that are being ignored when making a tree.  As I said, "As far as I know, they are not able to create a seperate non-sensical tree of life from other characteristics."  So, let's hear your complaint, man.  Show me the evidence.  You have my attention.

-Dan

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,10:52   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Oct. 28 2005,13:43)
To get this discussion back on track, let me repeat an earlier question:
Quote
what makes some morphological characters assume greater importance than others? Not merely their tendency to fall into nested groupings. How circular would that be, after all....

 
Murphy was apparently too stunned to reply, and yammered on about how he doesn't have time to respond to the likes of me (as opposed to reading my posts and insulting me, one presumes). So can anyone? Oh wait, let me add:
 F=mv.

Actually, I was hardly too stunned to reply. I just realized that someone who subscribes to geocentrism is either joking, or a joke.

Which is it, Bill?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Henry J



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2005,14:49   

Re "any characters that form a tree will do?"

Eh? I thought the point was to construct it from as many sources of data as are available, so that the results can be cross checked against each other. (Keeping in mind that methods with more data are more reliable than those with less.)

Henry

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2005,09:03   

Quote
But, it seems you are implying that there are some characteristics that are being ignored when making a tree.  As I said, "As far as I know, they are not able to create a seperate non-sensical tree of life from other characteristics."  So, let's hear your complaint, man.  Show me the evidence.  You have my attention.

and
Quote
I thought the point was to construct it from as many sources of data as are available, so that the results can be cross checked against each other. (Keeping in mind that methods with more data are more reliable than those with less.)

  Wow, you guys are pretty slippery! Here are my points:

 The present system, although modified by Hennig, is still essentially Linnean. Now, ole Carl was definitely a creo, so any evolutionary modification should improve and objectify his schema. This was to be accomplished by applying the concept of common descent. With common descent, the evos presumed, they could use the fossil record and embryology to decipher the homologies that define the clades, and thereby produce a robust tree. But the poor embryos wouldn't cooperate:
Quote
Most traditional views of homology rely on two unwarranted premises: the pervasively hierarchical nature of biology, inclusive of the levels of genes, development, and morphology and the linear mapping of genes onto developmental schedules and of developmental schedules onto phenotypes. These premises are only occasionally verified.

 The author proceeds to point out incongruities during the development of the vertebrate alimentary canal as one example among many. Basically, embryology seems an unreliable way to test the homology of characters. As for the fossil record: well, let's just leave that weak sister alone for now. To summarize, there is no consistent way to test homologies.
 But can't we use common sense? Not really. Take mammals as an example. Mammals are defined as creatures that are:
 1) Endothermic
 2) Furry
 3) Possessors of a unique ear/jaw structure

  All of these characteristics are questionable. Birds and other critters share character 1), pterodactyls might share 2), and a recent    fossil revealed parallel "evolution" for 3), rendering that characteristic uninformative.
 To show you how labile these classifications can be, see here and compare to P.Z. Myer's simple phylogeny for winged insects.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2005,10:33   

Bill,

Just a short reply for now (time to get back to work). You're completely missing the point (and I can only assume wilfully) about how phylogenetic trees are constructed. You keep trying to demonstrate how a particular line of evidence (e.g., homologies with a single protein, a particular morphological feature, etc.) cannot be relied upon to contruct a plausible phylogenetic tree.

So what? When you combine evidence from half a dozen or more independent lines of inquiry, and they all point towards the same phylogenetic tree, then you've got overwhelming evidence that that particular tree (out of an astronomical number of possible trees) is correct.

This isn't a difficult concept to grasp. Nevertheless, you are determined not to grasp it.

On the other hand, you're determined not to grasp the concept that the earth is not the center of the cosmos. A quick question for you: how far away is the closest star?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2005,10:38   

Re "how far away is the closest star?"

That was a question (er, answer?) on Jeopardy not long ago. I fell for it. :(

Henry

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2005,11:49   

Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 31 2005,16:38)
Re "how far away is the closest star?"

That was a question (er, answer?) on Jeopardy not long ago. I fell for it. :(

Henry

Actually, it's not a trick question, i.e., I'm talking about the closest star that isn't the sun (although even the sun would imply some pretty high velocities). I just wonder how thoroughly Mr. Bill has explored the implications of his own belief system (assuming, of course, that he even believes in geocentrism -- I'm assuming he's pretending to, just to get our goats).

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2005,12:31   

I don't have any goats, so he'll have a hard time getting any from me. :)

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,07:29   

Quote
So what? When you combine evidence from half a dozen or more independent lines of inquiry, and they all point towards the same phylogenetic tree, then you've got overwhelming evidence that that particular tree (out of an astronomical number of possible trees) is correct.

 Apparently you're of the mind that if one can weave a rope from strands of overcooked noodles. I prefer to work with stronger materials, myself.
Quote
I'm talking about the closest star that isn't the sun (although even the sun would imply some pretty high velocities). I just wonder how thoroughly Mr. Bill has explored the implications of his own belief system

 But would the light from a star have to originate from the star itself?  There goes your parallax shift and relativity-calculated distances. Assuming, of course, they were ever valid to begin with. By the way, why are you so fascinated with my geocentrism?


Henry J wrote:

Quote
I don't have any goats, so he'll have a hard time getting any from me.

 Just out of curiosity: what do you do for a living?

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Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,08:09   

Re "Just out of curiosity: what do you do for a living?"

Software engineer.

Henry

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,10:44   

Quote
Apparently you're of the mind that if one can weave a rope from strands of overcooked noodles. I prefer to work with stronger materials, myself.


No, I'm talking about weaving rope from a few dozen strands of steel. You're pretending there's no rope at all.

Quote
  But would the light from a star have to originate from the star itself?  There goes your parallax shift and relativity-calculated distances. Assuming, of course, they were ever valid
to begin with. By the way, why are you so fascinated with my geocentrism?


Gee, Bill, I don't know. Maybe the light originated from right in front of my eyes. Maybe the light is a figment of my imagination. Maybe there's no such thing as light. Where are you going with this?

My question about the distance to the nearest star is only weakly dependent on the speed of light. I'm curious to get your estimate of how far away the nearest star is for reasons that have almost nothing to do with the speed of light. So how far away is it? A couple of hundred miles? A few thousand miles? A light year or two?

I'm not particularly fascinated with your geocentrism. My point is, anyone who denies the evidence that the earth is not the center of the earth <bs><bs><bs><bs><bs> universe is going to be hopeless when it comes to the evidence for evolution. If even the simplest, most obvious contentions can't overcome your skepticism, nothing else is going to either. So why should I waste my time with you? Nothing I can say about anything will ever convince you of anything.

.

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cogzoid



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,11:18   

Quote
So why should I waste my time with you? Nothing I can say about anything will ever convince you of anything.

The question of the ages...  Why do any of us waste our time here?  No one has changed a single postion about anything here.  Except maybe Evopeach realizing that Hydrogen came before Helium.  Read the 4th comment.  It seems our little Evopeach has really learned something!

  
W. Kevin Vicklund



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,11:39   

Quote
the earth is not the center of the earth


Just to avoid any confusion over a typo, that phrase was obviously meant to be "the earth is not the center of the universe."  Please treat it as such.

  
MidnightVoice



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,12:06   

Quote (cogzoid @ Nov. 01 2005,17:18)
The question of the ages...  Why do any of us waste our time here?  

Because the more one knows about one's opponents the better.  :D

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If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2005,17:56   

One thing I'm clearly hopeless about is checking my own work for typos. It took me forever to find the "earth is the center of the earth" typo.

It's been a long day. Our fileserver went down 10 hours ago and we're still trying to get it up (and now you know how tired I really am).

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2005,12:49   

Quote
I'm curious to get your estimate of how far away the nearest star is for reasons that have almost nothing to do with the speed of light. So how far away is it? A couple of hundred miles? A few thousand miles? A light year or two?

 Alpha Centauri is the closest, at 4.35 light years (assuming constant speed, of course).

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2005,16:36   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 02 2005,18:49)
 Alpha Centauri is the closest, at 4.35 light years (assuming constant speed, of course).

Okay, so in a geocentric universe, A. Centauri revolves around the earth once every 24 hours, right?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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MDPotter



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,05:16   

Quote
Alpha Centauri is the closest, at 4.35 light years (assuming constant speed, of course).

Wrrroooongggg!!!
Sit down, go back to the end of the line.
You ID clowns have such a hard time keeping the basic facts straight, must be the rigor of simultaneously juggling so many lies.
The closest star to the earth (besides the sun) is proxima centauri.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,06:14   

Quote (MDPotter @ Nov. 03 2005,11:16)
Wrrroooongggg!!!
Sit down, go back to the end of the line.

Good point, MD, but not really relevant to my question. So, Bill, assuming an orbital radius of 4.35ly, would you care to compute the velocity that would allow a complete orbit every 24 hours?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,12:47   

MD Potter slobbered:
Quote
Wrrroooongggg!!!
Sit down, go back to the end of the line.
You ID clowns have such a hard time keeping the basic facts straight, must be the rigor of simultaneously juggling so many lies.
The closest star to the earth (besides the sun) is proxima centauri.

Which is part of the Alpha Centauri star system. If you want to pawn this little red wannabee off as a real star, be my guest. By the way, do you know any optics experts? The evo community seems a little short at the moment....
Quote
Good point, MD, but not really relevant to my question. So, Bill, assuming an orbital radius of 4.35ly, would you care to compute the velocity that would allow a complete orbit every 24 hours?

I know my slow responses must be frustrating, "Matlock" Murphy, but no need to rush your cross. Remember F. Lee Bailey's advice: trappeth thine enemy before thou goest for the kill. But let's keep the orbit simple and circular, to better match your reasoning: 6.88E11 m/s would be the velocity.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,12:49   

Whoops, make that 2.99E12

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,13:07   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 03 2005,18:49)
Whoops, make that 2.99E12

Which, of course, is several orders of magnitude beyond c.

But I'm assuming you think Einstein is completely wrong, so I'm not going to use that as part of my argument. Let's do it this way:

Using very rough approximations, all of which work in Bill's favor, so we can do the math in our heads as we're walking through that den of iniquity, downtown San Francisco. Let's assume:

   * That p. Centauri (or a. Centauri, doesn't matter which) is only 4ly away;
   * That a light-year is only 5 X 10^12 miles (if you like, Bill, you can probably use any figure for a ly larger than 10^9 miles and I'll still be okay with it)
   * That pi = 3 (can we walk like Egyptians?)

So 4 ly times 5 trillion miles times 2  = 40 trillion miles orbital diameter times pi (which we're estimating as ~3) = 120 trillion miles orbital circumference.

Let's make a day 30 hours long to make the arithmetic radically simple (and to make matters easier on Mr. Paley), and we get an orbital speed (let's not worry about vector quantities yet) of 4 trillion miles an hour, which is in reasonable accord with Bill's figure of 6.68 trillion miles an hour.

Let's further assume, again, that Einstein's wrong, and c is not a barrier to velocity, but assume that Newton's law of gravity (which, after all, has been around a bit longer) is more or less accurate.

So, Bill, here's your homework assignment. Given an orbital radius of 20 trillion miles and an orbital velocity (we couldn't avoid vector quantities forever) in the neighborhood of 4 trillion miles an hour, would you care to solve for the mass of the earth? (Since Bill says the heavens revolve around the earth, not that the earth and the heavens are orbiting a common center of mass, we can probably assume the mass of p. Centauri is much smaller than the mass of the earth, and hence can ignore it.)  I have the feeling you're going to come up with a value that's a little high to be believable. High enough to squash us all flat, I'm guessing.

I'm using English units under the assumption that Bill really doesn't like the metric system, since communists (and, worse, the French) use it (although I will note he used it himself, presumably to make the math easier). Even though it makes the formulae harder. But hey, Bill tells us he's a smart guy.

Sorry I did this all at once, but all the suspense was getting tedious.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,13:53   

Quote
would you care to solve for the mass of the earth?

To simplify matters, I decided to use Kepler's third law under the assumption of a circular orbit, and I obtained an Earth mass approximately 9.255 E 26 times higher than the accepted figure. No surprise, given the initial assumptions. But there is more to the story here, although I'll let "Matlock" Murphy gloat for now.......

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,14:04   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 03 2005,19:53)
Quote
would you care to solve for the mass of the earth?

To simplify matters, I decided to use Kepler's third law under the assumption of a circular orbit, and I obtained an Earth mass approximately 9.255 E 26 times higher than the accepted figure. No surprise, given the initial assumptions. But there is more to the story here, although I'll let "Matlock" Murphy gloat for now.......

Wow. Without even figuring out the right equation to use, my bone-stupid estimate (i.e., "wild-ass guess") was around 1 E 50 Kg. Does that get me within a couple of orders of magnitude? I think so.

But I'm going to assume that coming up with a figure that is probably heavy for a galactic supercluster doesn't change Bill's mind about his geocentrism. Am I right?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,14:29   

Quote
Wow. Without even figuring out the right equation to use, my bone-stupid estimate (i.e., "wild-ass guess") was around 1 E 50 Kg. Does that get me within a couple of orders of magnitude? I think so.

Yep. My calculated mass is 55 times higher. Pretty good agreement, I'd say.
Quote
But I'm going to assume that coming up with a figure that is probably heavy for a galactic supercluster doesn't change Bill's mind about his geocentrism. Am I right?

Right again. More to come. Cue the narrator, please.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 03 2005,15:00   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 03 2005,20:29)
Quote
But I'm going to assume that coming up with a figure that is probably heavy for a galactic supercluster doesn't change Bill's mind about his geocentrism. Am I right?

Right again. More to come. Cue the narrator, please.

Okay, I admit it. You've piqued my interest. I await next week's episode with bated breath....

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2005,13:00   

I'm a little hung over right now, so I might not be thinking clearly. But it's occurred to me that Bill's figure for the mass of the earth, 5.5 E 51 Kg, might compare with the mass of the observable universe (at least the visible, non-"dark" part of it). I wonder if that's where he's going with this...

(Oops...am I giving the game away?)

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2005,05:50   

Quote
I'm a little hung over right now, so I might not be thinking clearly. But it's occurred to me that Bill's figure for the mass of the earth, 5.5 E 51 Kg, might compare with the mass of the observable universe (at least the visible, non-"dark" part of it). I wonder if that's where he's going with this...

(Oops...am I giving the game away?)

 Patience, my son. I will unveil the model when I get some free time: after all, one can't interweave art and science, unify and explain cosmological mysteries, and awe the human mind on demand. Slather on a little more Devon cream and order another latte in the meanwhile..........

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C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2005,09:38   

Who/What-ever the heck this guy is, he's something else isn't he?

Yes, GoP (hmmm...), I'm stll lurking about, and I haven't forgotten about The Master, either. But my optics is a little rusty, haha.

Awaiting the ummm, "unveilling."

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

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 05 2005,13:36   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 05 2005,11:50)
 Patience, my son. I will unveil the model when I get some free time: after all, one can't interweave art and science, unify and explain cosmological mysteries, and awe the human mind on demand. Slather on a little more Devon cream and order another latte in the meanwhile..........

Well, given the task I've set you (i.e., overturning 500 years of settled natural law, as it were), I'm not expecting an answer any time soon (unless you've already been working on this for a decade or two, in which case…).

But would you care to estimate a time frame? Another couple of years, maybe? Just so I don't have to keep checking back.

P.S. I'm actually not much of a latte lover.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,06:33   

Quote
But would you care to estimate a time frame? Another couple of years, maybe? Just so I don't have to keep checking back.

 Worst case scenario: A week from this upcoming Friday (Nov. 18, I believe)

 Best case: This Thursday (Nov. 10)

 I hope this helps.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
MDPotter



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,09:03   

Ya right, you're arguing for geocentrism and I'M the one slobbering.
Hysterical.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,09:04   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 07 2005,12:33)
Worst case scenario: A week from this upcoming Friday (Nov. 18, I believe)

 Best case: This Thursday (Nov. 10)

 I hope this helps.

Will you booking your hotel room in Stokholm, then? :-)

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Steverino



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,09:09   

I'm sorry but, how can anyone who is still convinced that the Lunar Landings were a hoax, be taken seriously?

He chooses to ingore first hand account, eye witness...which is his/their major reason for not recognizing Evolution...."cause no one was there to witnes it.

It's hypocritical at best.

--------------
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- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,09:10   

Quote
Well, given the task I've set you (i.e., overturning 500 years of settled natural law, as it were), I'm not expecting an answer any time soon (unless you've already been working on this for a decade or two, in which case…).

 You have the time frame now. And I'll make this promise: if I don't deliver at least the rough draft of my geocentric model by November 18, I will personally fly to Clichy-sous-Bois, walk to the nearest mosque, and do a spirited Ait Bogar for the residents clad in a Crusader Rabbit diaper and a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase " Paley a le beguin pour Sarkozy!"

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,11:38   

Quote (Steverino @ Nov. 07 2005,15<!--emo&:0)
I'm sorry but, how can anyone who is still convinced that the Lunar Landings were a hoax, be taken seriously?

I can't say I'm taking this guy seriously, but he has demonstrated some knowledge of orbital mechanics and Newtonian physics (more than mine, anyway), so he's not a complete half-wit.

But I'm interested to see how he wriggles out of this particular box.

(And when I say I'm not taking this guy seriously, I mean I don't think he really believes anything he says he believes.)

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 07 2005,14:24   

Quote
He chooses to ingore first hand account, eye witness...which is his/their major reason for not recognizing Evolution...."cause no one was there to witnes it.

It's hypocritical at best.

 I don't know why people think that this argument is mine, when I've tried to make it clear all along that I'll accept circumstantial evidence so long as it converges on a single conclusion. If someone would present consistent, independent evidence for a particular lineage, I would buy the evo account, but what I receive are a plethora of crazy and flatly contradictory trees that reflect nothing so much as the insanity of the brainpans that generated them in the first place. I think people don't read what I write so much as what they think I would write if I was the slack-jaw that they assume I must be, given the certitude of their assumptions.

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Steverino



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,03:14   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Nov. 07 2005,17:38)
[quote=Steverino,Nov. 07 2005,15<!--emo&:0]I'm sorry but, how can anyone who is still convinced that the Lunar Landings were a hoax, be taken seriously?

I can't say I'm taking this guy seriously, but he has demonstrated some knowledge of orbital mechanics and Newtonian physics (more than mine, anyway), so he's not a complete half-wit.

But I'm interested to see how he wriggles out of this particular box.

(And when I say I'm not taking this guy seriously, I mean I don't think he really believes anything he says he believes.)[/quote]
My point is that while he may be very intelligent, which I believe he is, he also finds it very easy and convenient to discard, ignore documented fact to form a belief.

I believe this practice makes his other arguments less credible.

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,05:52   

Quote
My point is that while he may be very intelligent, which I believe he is, he also finds it very easy and convenient to discard, ignore documented fact to form a belief.

I believe this practice makes his other arguments less credible.

 Let's assume that you've got my character nailed: I'm a hopelessly baffled person whose scientific judgement can't be trusted, and my arguments reflect this flaw. Or I'm an incorrigible troll. Great.
 Then why can't anyone refute my arguments? And what does this imply about your character? Or about your positions? In any case, I'm willing to focus strictly on the evidence; how about you?
 By the way, how does my stance on some issues detract from my advocacy of others? What kind of ontological voodoo are you proposing? Either I have good arguments or I don't; please focus on rebutting, rather than psychoanalysing, me. The fact that you rely on the latter makes me suspect you can't do the former.
 I don't see a bunch of free-thinkers here - merely religious apologists with their minds rusted shut. Prove me wrong, boys.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,06:04   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 07 2005,20:24)
...I'll accept circumstantial evidence so long as it converges on a single conclusion. If someone would present consistent, independent evidence for a particular lineage, I would buy the evo account, but what I receive are a plethora of crazy and flatly contradictory trees that reflect nothing so much as the insanity of the brainpans that generated them in the first place.

But Bill, the tree I've presented to you is supported by exactly the kind of evidence you say you want. Now, granted, certain groupings of certain organisms using certain types of evidence will result in different trees. But that's to be expected, if for no other reason than the truly astronomical number of possible trees. And there are a lot of organisms for which the phylogenetic relationships are controversial, as you'll note if you poke around on the Tree of Life site. But large portions of the tree are well-established using multiple, independent lines of evidence from very different areas of the life sciences (e.g., genalysis, the fossil record, stratigraphy, geology, morphological studies). The tree on Theobald's site is well-established, well-supported, and non-controversial, which is why it's called the "consensus tree."

Granted, the phylogenetic relationships of, say, lungfish and coelacanths can be hard to figure out, but I don't think anyone denies the phylogenetic relationships between tuna and chicken, or between starfish and spiders.

Details, controversial. General structure of the tree, not. But your position seems to be that the entire tree is wrong. That's not true. It just isn't.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Steverino



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,09:35   

Bingo!...My point is you filter out what you information goes against what you believe or want to believe.  Even though that information is proven.

The Lunar Landings are proven but, fact, they happened but, those you cannot choose not to recognize that.

So, what is the point in debating fact with you when you can just offer as a defense.."No thats wrong"?

--------------
- Born right the first time.
- Asking questions is NOT the same as providing answers.
- It's all fun and games until the flying monkeys show up!

   
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,13:18   

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But Bill, the tree I've presented to you is supported by exactly the kind of evidence you say you want. Now, granted, certain groupings of certain organisms using certain types of evidence will result in different trees. But that's to be expected, if for no other reason than the truly astronomical number of possible trees.

 You do realise that this "astronomical number of possible trees" business is derived solely from Hubert Yockey's cytochrome c analysis, which does not account for alternative splicing? And without Yockey's crutch, we're back to the puzzle of weirdly discordant molecular trees which don't match each other, let alone the phylogenies derived from morphology. Therefore, no consilience.
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So, what is the point in debating fact with you when you can just offer as a defense.."No thats wrong"?

 And still you don't get it. I always back up my arguments with evidence. Which is why they get ignored, of course.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,16:05   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 08 2005,19:18)
 You do realise that this "astronomical number of possible trees" business is derived solely from Hubert Yockey's cytochrome c analysis...

This is wrong. The "astronomical number of possible trees" has nothing to do with cytochrome c analysis, or any analysis at all. It has to do with mathematics.

I know you said you've read Theobald closely, Bill, but you keep providing me evidence to the contrary. As Theobald points out, as the number of taxa (or, for that matter, any kind of object -- cars, asteroids, library books) that you're trying to relate to each other increases, the number of possible genealogical "trees" you can construct goes up geometrically. Theobald presents a handy little chart (Table 1.3.1). I'll excerpt a few entries so you can get the general flavor of what we're talking about:

2 taxa: 1 relationship
4: 15
7: 10,395
11: 34,459,425
20: 8,200,794,532,637,891,559,375
30: 4.95 E 38

This has nothing to do with how you analyze the objects you're trying to relate to each other. It's a matter of pure mathematics.


Which brings me way, way back to what I said in this thread about six or seven pages ago. The consensus phylogenetic tree that Theobald depicts is based on, not a few proteins, not a few genes, and not a lot of proteins or a lot of genes. It's based on genetics, protein analysis, the fossil record, morphological studies, developmental evolution, geology, and other lines of inquiry. All of these lines of evidence converge on the tree as Theobald shows it.

Now, you've pointed out that different individual lines of evidence can show discordant trees. You won't get an argument from me there. But you're talking about individual lines of evidence showing weird relationships between two different species. There are tons of organisms, as I stated a couple of messages ago, which are problematic in terms of what their exact phylogeny is. But for the 30 major taxa in Theobald's tree (note there are no species mentioned, or genera, or families, for that matter), there is an overwhelming consensus opinion that the phylogenetic tree as pictured is correct.

The tree shows that fungi are more closely related to animals than either are to plants. It shows that birds are more closely related to mammals than either are to insects. Surely you don't deny phylogenies at this level of detail, do you, Bill? When you get down either to the level of genera, or conversely to the base of the tree (are archae more closely related to eubacteria, or to eukaryotes?) things get murky. But the worst you can say about the consensus tree is that it's a solid beginning, supported by solid independent lines of evidence. And the fact that a dozen or more lines of evidence all converge on the same tree, out of ~5 E 38 possibilities, is pretty persuasive evidence for common descent, don't you think? Even if cladistic analysis could get the number of trees down to only a million different ones, isn't that an unbelievable level of precision? How many physical constants are known to 32 decimal places? The mass of the electron is known to seven places. G, the universal gravitation constant, is known to three places.

I think you greatly overestimate the problems with phylogeny, Mr. Paley.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 08 2005,17:45   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 08 2005,19:18)
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So, what is the point in debating fact with you when you can just offer as a defense.."No thats wrong"?

 And still you don't get it. I always back up my arguments with evidence. Which is why they get ignored, of course.

Well...not always. I once asked you why you thought the consensus phylogenetic tree is wrong. Your reply: "Why not?"

Don't mean to be persnickety, but I just couldn't resist...

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,07:15   

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I know you said you've read Theobald closely, Bill, but you keep providing me evidence to the contrary. As Theobald points out, as the number of taxa (or, for that matter, any kind of object -- cars, asteroids, library books) that you're trying to relate to each other increases, the number of possible genealogical "trees" you can construct goes up geometrically.

 Yes, I forgot about this aspect of his argument. Theobald's claim resembles an argument Sean Pitman once made about the relationship between the number of amino acids and the potential sequence space. He essentially stated that the ratio between useful sequence space and potential sequence space decreases at an exponential rate as you add more residues, and that this large target prohibits certain types of neutral evolution, thus rendering some types of evolution (those requiring fortuitous double and triple mutations, for example) impossible. Sean's math was sound, as was his conclusion. The problem, of course, was that Sean did not account for the existence of protein families that cluster together in sequence space, thus destroying his initial assumption of even distribution of potential function throughout the search area.
 This brings us to Theobald's argument. Theobald asserts that the potential number of branches in any tree increase at a factorial rate as the number of organisms increase, rendering an astronomically large "tree space". Therfore, we should embrace any theory that winnows this number down. But without biological facts to back it up, this argument suffers from the same defects as Pitman's: it assumes a uniform bodyplan distribution throughout morphological space. This is not true, as I'll demonstrate. (Hint: compare placental mammals to marsupials. Do you see any animals with similar features?). More later.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,07:51   

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Will you booking your hotel room in Stokholm, then? :-)

 A zif. :angry:

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,08:15   

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More later.

 Here's the problem: morphological characters do not have to be, and in fact are not, uniformly distributed throughout the sample space of all potential body types. We see this in many cases of "convergent evolution" between marsupial and placental mammals. No matter how the similarities came to be, the fact remains that God- or nature - is not as adventurous as Theobald implies. This suggests that there is a natural grouping of "kinds" that can be investigated in different ways, none of them requiring the notion of common descent. In other words, I have no need for that hypothesis.  :)
 
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Well...not always. I once asked you why you thought the consensus phylogenetic tree is wrong. Your reply: "Why not?"

 I hope this addresses your question.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,08:40   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 09 2005,14:15)
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More later.

 Here's the problem: morphological characters do not have to be, and in fact are not, uniformly distributed throughout the sample space of all potential body types. We see this in many cases of "convergent evolution" between marsupial and placental mammals. No matter how the similarities came to be, the fact remains that God- or nature - is not as adventurous as Theobald implies. This suggests that there is a natural grouping of "kinds" that can be investigated in different ways, none of them requiring the notion of common descent. In other words, I have no need for that hypothesis.  :)
 
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Well...not always. I once asked you why you thought the consensus phylogenetic tree is wrong. Your reply: "Why not?"

 I hope this addresses your question.

I still think you're misinterpreting Theobald's point. The number of potential trees has nothing to do with whether there's a uniform distribution of body plans, or protein conformations, or anything whatsoever. It's exclusively dependent on the number of taxa to be classified.

Someone gives you a group of 30 names of people. He tells you they're all related, but doesn't tell you how. The letters of the names have all been scrambled, so you can't use surnames as a clue. Now, he tells you to come up with all possible relationships between this group of 30 individuals. How many possible trees can you come up with? ~5 E 38. The same would be true of natural languages, or computer languages, or anything. The number of possible phylogenetic trees has nothing whatsoever to do with morphological characteristics, or indeed any characteristics. It is purely dependent on the number of taxa, and nothing else.

Now. Why do biologists think that the tree, as depicted, is accurate? For the reasons I've given you. You keep saying there's no biological evidence that the tree is correct, but I have to insist you're simply wrong there. And in any event, whether the tree is in fact correct (or could even be attempted) is only part of the argument for common descent. The other part of the equation is the nested hierarcies that all life forms fall into. There are no protostomes with feathers. There are no bacteria with mitochondira. There are no vertebrates with exoskeletons. The only known (and maybe the only possible) explanation for such nested hierarchies is common descent with modification. Therefore, whether you believe that neodarwinian evolution is the cause of common descent with modification, you simply cannot escape the fact of common descent with modification. It is simply a fact that needs explanation.

You asked me once how science knows which morphological features are the important ones. It comes down to which ones allow us to trace out a phylogenetic tree. Bats and birds both have wings, right? So they should be grouped together, right? Wrong. Because the wings don't fall into the other groupings or morphological features that birds and bats naturally fall into. Birds have feathers, avian lungs, hard-shelled eggs, etc., which group them all together. Bats have fur, placentas, mammalian inner ears, etc., which group them all together. This is why phylogenetic relationships need to be traced out using large numbers of characteristics from different independent lines of inquiry. It's the only way to develop well-supported phylogenies, and it's why it takes decades, if not centuries, to figure out the taxonomic relationships among organisms.

But again, common descent is a fact. Nested hierarchies are a fact. They are both facts wanting explanation. You simply cannot plausibly deny they exist. Now, whether God made it all happen, or unguided evolution, that's a separate matter. But you simply cannot get away with claiming there are no relationships among organisms.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,10:12   

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I still think you're misinterpreting Theobald's point. The number of potential trees has nothing to do with whether there's a uniform distribution of body plans, or protein conformations, or anything whatsoever. It's exclusively dependent on the number of taxa to be classified.

 Certainly. But this is mathematically trivial; what makes the argument potentially relevant to biology is whether or not the classification process itself is truly arbitrary, absent common descent. And this depends on the distribution of morphological characters. Which is decidedly nonrandom in any working ecosystem.
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Nested hierarchies are a fact.

They are if you use a tree-like scheme in the first place. But the methodology had better not force the conclusion.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,12:37   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 09 2005,16:12)
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Nested hierarchies are a fact.

They are if you use a tree-like scheme in the first place. But the methodology had better not force the conclusion.

Actually, this is what I should have said: "Nested hierarchies" is not a hypothesis; it's an observation. There are no known exceptions to the observation of nested hierarchies, when one looks at the totality of the evidence.

Common descent with modification was originally a hypothesis put forth to explain nested hierarchies. But common descent with modification is so overwhelmingly supported by the evidence that it has achieved the status of a fact in need of an explanation, rather than a hypothesis in need of verification.

One possible explantion for common descent with modification is directed evolution, i.e., evolution directed by some sort of supernatural intelligence. Another possible explanation is embodied by neodarwinian evolution. But in either event, it is long past the point where it is possible to deny either nested hierarchies or common descent with modification.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,13:05   

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Common descent with modification was originally a hypothesis put forth to explain nested hierarchies. But common descent with modification is so overwhelmingly supported by the evidence that it has achieved the status of a fact in need of an explanation, rather than a hypothesis in need of verification.

 And this is where we disagree. You seem to be saying that large groups of morphological characters can triangulate a tree, and thereby make it factual (at least on some branches). If so, then why do genetic phylogenies? Any discordant result must be tossed out, given the previously established tree. And if the genes do count, the morphological tree must still in some sense function as a hypothesis that needs testing. Remember, genetic testing wasn't established until the sixties. Are you saying common descent wasn't a fact until then? Or did the phenotypic characters make it factual?
 I'm not being deliberately obtuse; I'm really confused about this.
(Paley braces for the inevitable witticism......)

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2005,14:03   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 09 2005,19<!--emo&:0)
And this is where we disagree. You seem to be saying that large groups of morphological characters can triangulate a tree, and thereby make it factual (at least on some branches). If so, then why do genetic phylogenies? Any discordant result must be tossed out, given the previously established tree. And if the genes do count, the morphological tree must still in some sense function as a hypothesis that needs testing. Remember, genetic testing wasn't established until the sixties. Are you saying common descent wasn't a fact until then? Or did the phenotypic characters make it factual?
 I'm not being deliberately obtuse; I'm really confused about this.
(Paley braces for the inevitable witticism......)

Nope, no witticisms (at least, none at your expense).

Well, you probably need an expert opinion on this question, but I think you need to look at it this way: for some phylogenetic questions, morphological analysis provides the answer. For others, genetics is the way to go. For still others, the fossil record gives brighter illumination.

It's like any large accumulation of data. Imagine you're trying to determine the weight of the electron. Most of your test results are going to converge on 500 keV. But an occasional result might give a ridiculous answer, like 3.5 geV. Another might give you 1,200 eV. You have to toss those anwers, even if, for the moment, you're not sure why they're wrong.

There are a lot of things about genetics and molecular biology that are only approximately understood. How accurate is the molecular clock when it comes to mutation rates? Well, one way you could calibrate the clock is by comparing the results to what you see in the fossil record. Or what about mutation loci and frequencies in protein analysis? You might need to confirm your results by comparison to morphological studies.

You used an example earlier of a particular protein analysis (might have been cytochrome c, I can't remember) that showed that kangaroos diverged from humans before they diverged from other mammals. Well, we know from lots of other evidence that this isn't true. So we need to find out why the protein evidence is discordant. But since we have, at this stage of the game, a really good idea of approximately when kangaroos and humans diverged, we can use evidence from other areas to try to figure out why the protein evidence gives unexpected answers.

The point is, you have to use huge datasets, coming from indpendent lines of research, to trace out lines of descent. You're looking for confirmation of evidence from as many different areas as possible. I pointed out earlier that guinea pigs and humans have the same mutation that makes the gene for producing ascorbic acid inoperative. Looking at just the genes, you might be forgiven for assuming that guinea pigs are more closely related to humans than, say, macaques are. But you'd be wrong, because it's certainly not impossible that humans and guinea pigs have the same mutation for reasons that have nothing to do with common descent; i.e., sheer bad luck.

Also, I should probably make what might seem like a fine distinction. That there is, in fact, "one true tree," at this point must be regarded as a fact in need of explanation. But a particular tree is still, necessarily, a hypothesis in need of verification. However, as I said, the large-scale structure of the tree is for the most part sufficiently supported to be considered well-settled. But again, as I said earlier, there are definitely regions of the tree that are still controversial. Given past successes, it's to be expected that the same lines of evidence, including genetic evidence, will eventually illuminate the true structure of the tree.

At any rate, Bill, people who actually do evolutionary biology are not concerned with the overall structure of the phylogenetic tree (although there are certainly spirited disagreements on the details). There's just too much evidence to support it. I'm wondering if the problems you have with accepting the accuracy of the tree aren't partly a matter of missing the forest for the trees. Or, maybe you're missing the "tree" for the "leaves." :-)

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2005,06:03   

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Well, you probably need an expert opinion on this question, but I think you need to look at it this way: for some phylogenetic questions, morphological analysis provides the answer. For others, genetics is the way to go. For still others, the fossil record gives brighter illumination.

.......
Quote
Also, I should probably make what might seem like a fine distinction. That there is, in fact, "one true tree," at this point must be regarded as a fact in need of explanation. But a particular tree is still, necessarily, a hypothesis in need of verification. However, as I said, the large-scale structure of the tree is for the most part sufficiently supported to be considered well-settled. But again, as I said earlier, there are definitely regions of the tree that are still controversial. Given past successes, it's to be expected that the same lines of evidence, including genetic evidence, will eventually illuminate the true structure of the tree.

 Fair enough. I think part of our problem is we have different definitions of consilience. My definition stresses the independence of differing lines of evidence, while yours emphasises the unity of knowledge. It's like the baseball Hall of Fame: much of the controversy revolves around differing ideas about what makes a man a hall of famer. Is it the excellence of his play, his notoriety, or his contribution to winning teams that should be given the most weight? Problem is, people don't attempt to define the basic issues; they project their presuppositions instead and wonder why others can't see things their way.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2005,19:33   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 11 2005,12<!--emo&:0)
 Fair enough. I think part of our problem is we have different definitions of consilience. My definition stresses the independence of differing lines of evidence, while yours emphasises the unity of knowledge.

Here's how I picture things, if you could travel back in time (I don't know if many evolutionary biologists would agree with me here, but I think Dawkins would). The "one true phylogenetic tree," as it applies to me personally, is simply a genealogical tracing all the way back, until we reach the point where we're not talking about life anymore. Go back, say, 5,000 generations, and we're still talking humans. Go back further than that, and we're not talking exactly humans anymore. Go back 15 million years, and we're talking about lower primates. 150 million years, we're talking ancestors who are probably indistinguishable from tree shrews. A billion and a half years, we might be talking about bacteria, or maybe simple eukaryotes. And amazingly, against all odds, every single one of those ancestors, without exception, left descendants. Every one of them, in evolutionary terms, was a success.

The point, Bill, is that unless you believe in some sort of special creation, that has to be the way it happened (let me know if you can think of some alternative story). If you assume life evolved without direct intervention of a creator (or maybe even if you do assume a creator), there's an unbroken chain of living organisms extending backwards in time from me to the simplest forms of life.

And for me personally, I'm actually at one end of that chain (I'm not having children). All you have to do is assume that the world is as it appears to be (i.e., a few billion years old), and that there is no special creation. So you can trace my genes back from today, all the way back almost four billion years ago. That's a third of the lifetime of the universe! Isn't that kind of, well…cool?

I'll grant that none of this is very scientific. (But then, I'm not a scientist--or a lawyer, for that matter :) ) But for me, at least, it's an appealing concept. If you think of your own existence that way, extending backwards in time in some very real fashion almost four billion years ago, your genes coursing through uncounted generations of ancestors, I think it gives you a palpable sense of your place in the universe, and your connectedness to all life. How's that for unity?

Gives me kind of a warm feeling.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 13 2005,08:48   

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The point, Bill, is that unless you believe in some sort of special creation, that has to be the way it happened (let me know if you can think of some alternative story). If you assume life evolved without direct intervention of a creator (or maybe even if you do assume a creator), there's an unbroken chain of living organisms extending backwards in time from me to the simplest forms of life.

And for me personally, I'm actually at one end of that chain (I'm not having children).

 That is an interesting viewpoint, assuming an evolutionary process of course. But I find the last remark rather ominous, and illustrative of the end result of Darwinian philosophy. I'll explain more later tonight if I get a chance, although I may start a new thread. By the way, I think I'll get my rough draft in on time, but I've been surprisingly busy lately. May I ask for a one-week extension? Asbestos diapers don't grow on trees, you know......

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 13 2005,11:14   

I don't know if I'll get the extension, so I'll assume its not in effect unless I hear from you.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 13 2005,16:22   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 13 2005,14:48)
Quote
And for me personally, I'm actually at one end of that chain (I'm not having children).

That is an interesting viewpoint, assuming an evolutionary process of course. But I find the last remark rather ominous, and illustrative of the end result of Darwinian philosophy. I'll explain more later tonight if I get a chance, although I may start a new thread. By the way, I think I'll get my rough draft in on time, but I've been surprisingly busy lately. May I ask for a one-week extension? Asbestos diapers don't grow on trees, you know......

Why ominous? I just mean end, in the sense, more or less of a "bookend," not like the end of the world or anything. If you're the last of your line because everyone died without leaving any children, I guess that could be rather sad, but I've made a personal choice not to have children (don't ask for my reasons unless you want to wade through a 2,000 word essay).

Anyway, yes, you can have your extension. I can certainly wait another week...

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Hyperion



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 13 2005,19:15   

Asbestos diapers?

Is there some use for those other than flameproofing your hindparts?



By the way, I think I can see where GoP is going with the whole mass of the Earth thing.  Perhaps he's going to bring back Einstein and point out that in the mass quantities being discussed, time would be pretty much meaningless, as that much mass compacted to the size of the Earth would be a black hole.

He's not too far off, since the observable universe is certainly compatible with the hypothesis that it is a black hole of some sort, but that's not exactly a hypothesis that Paley wants.

Now, he could be trying to argue that the Earth and the Centauri system are both orbiting a very massive object, which is true, but that massive object appears to be the center of our galaxy.

Meh, geocentricism only makes sense in light of the idea that every observer appears to be at the center of the universe.  The problem with this conclusion from a religious standpoint is that it is the ultimate in moral relativism, being as no two observers will agree on anything, and both will be right.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 14 2005,12:14   

Hyperion said:
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Asbestos diapers?

Is there some use for those other than flameproofing your hindparts?

 Well, look who just caught up.

Quote
By the way, I think I can see where GoP is going with the whole mass of the Earth thing.

Not if your post is any indication.....

 Eric Murphy said:
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If you're the last of your line because everyone died without leaving any children, I guess that could be rather sad, but I've made a personal choice not to have children (don't ask for my reasons unless you want to wade through a 2,000 word essay).

 You don't have to give your reasons unless you want. I'm more interested in the general spiritual malaise wrought by Darwinism - or whoever wrote that imbecile's books. And thanks for the extension.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 14 2005,18:18   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 14 2005,18:14)
You don't have to give your reasons unless you want. I'm more interested in the general spiritual malaise wrought by Darwinism - or whoever wrote that imbecile's books. And thanks for the extension.

You know, I was talking to this woman I met a couple of weeks ago on a bike ride recently. She grew up in Texas, and moved to San Francisco when she was about 25 (she's in her early 30s now). She came from a deeply religious family, and until her mid-twenties she was deeply religious herself. Also, deeply depressed. To the point of suicide.

But as she reached young adulthood, she realized that religion just wasn't working for her. Shedding what for her was an oppressive belief system freed her spirit, and she is by all accounts a very happy, well adjusted person, with a great job, in a great relationship, living in a great city (well, at least those of us who live here think it is).

My point? Generalizations can be dangerous. I know plenty of very happy agnostics, and a lot of miserable religious people, too. I'm not sure one can make any valid generalizations correlating one's spiritual beliefs with one's overall contentment. I myself am a relatively happy person, and I am also happily agnostic.

Just out of curiosity: why do you consider Charles Darwin to be an "imbecile"? I've read On the Origin of Species, and it seems to me to be a well-written, well-thought-out exposition of the then-current state of knowledge of biological diversity, and a closely-reasoned argument attempting to explain that diversity.

Also, even if it were true that belief in non-theistic evolution brought about a spiritual malaise, would that matter--if it were true?

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Rilke's Granddaughter



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2005,03:47   

Quote
You don't have to give your reasons unless you want. I'm more interested in the general spiritual malaise wrought by Darwinism - or whoever wrote that imbecile's books. And thanks for the extension.
Your statement appears to contain two errors - claiming an association between 'Darwinism' and spiritual malaise (an error because there is no evidence whatever of any causal connection); and claiming that Darwin was an imbecile (easily disproved by any reading of the man's works).  Perhaps you can demonstrate that you're not mistaken?

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2005,07:10   

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Your statement appears to contain two errors - claiming an association between 'Darwinism' and spiritual malaise (an error because there is no evidence whatever of any causal connection); and claiming that Darwin was an imbecile (easily disproved by any reading of the man's works).  Perhaps you can demonstrate that you're not mistaken?

 No, you are correct: correlation does not necessarily equal causation. But when two things consistently group together across different nations and cultures, I get suspicious. Heck, just look at the statements on this forum. "We never should have come down from the trees", "We must evolve, or die [the evolution part involving the surrendering of our culture, apparently]", "Physics and mother earth to humans: %$&* off![O.K.....that last one may be a little approximate]". Believe me, I could go to any atheist board and get much more along these lines. Could you find as many counterexamples? I bet not.
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Perhaps you can demonstrate that you're not mistaken [about darwin]?

  Well, the man rarely appeared in public, let Huxley and Hooker handle the public presentation of his theory, and possessed indecipherable handwriting that only top echelon cult members can decipher. Means? Plagiarizing Grandpa's work. Motive? Collapse of Western Civilisation. Opportunity? Abundant. Not enough for an indictment, perhaps, but worthy of a "hmmmmmmmm...."

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Hyperion



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2005,09:06   

Oy.

Seriously now, are you suggesting that social malaise did not exist prior to the discovery of evolution?

I don't think that any scientific theory or even any social movement is, in and of itself, capable of causing unrest.  It is people, acting of their own free will, who choose to do so.  There always have been and always will be those who choose to play off of various types of social unrest for their own purposes, and they have existed since civilization itself.  Accusing "darwinism" of causing social malaise is like accusing religion of doing so because of the Inquisition or the Crusades, which would be an equally absurd statement, as obviously religious people have also done great things in the world.

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2005,11:02   

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Accusing "darwinism" of causing social malaise is like accusing religion of doing so because of the Inquisition or the Crusades, which would be an equally absurd statement[....]

I'm certainly not implying that each and every Darwinist is a social misfit, nor that every Christian is a cultural asset. Far from it. But looking at isolated cases gets us nowhere; we should instead focus on general trends. There are lots of short men and tall women, but it would be improper to conclude that women are the taller sex.
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[[.......]as obviously religious people have also done great things in the world.

 And maybe someday our textbooks will mention them again.

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cogzoid



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 16 2005,14:34   

Quote
Heck, just look at the statements on this forum. "We never should have come down from the trees", "We must evolve, or die [the evolution part involving the surrendering of our culture, apparently]", "Physics and mother earth to humans: %$&* off![O.K.....that last one may be a little approximate]". Believe me, I could go to any atheist board and get much more along these lines. Could you find as many counterexamples? I bet not.
Quote
But looking at isolated cases gets us nowhere; we should instead focus on general trends.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

If you get enough people together debating religion, science, philosophy and politics, you are sure to find some inane comments  in the mix.  I'm amazed that you consider these quotes as evidence for your point.  Surely, you know better than that.  One could just as easily head on over to Dembski's blog and find equally enlightened quotes from his followers (if you're willing to actually check, I suggest you read the comments on any post that mentions Islam).    

Your challenge in backing up this claim (that acceptance of evolution causes spiritual malaise) is to get some numbers, not anecdotal evidence.  What are the trends, Paley?

-Dan

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2005,10:26   

Quote
Your challenge in backing up this claim (that acceptance of evolution causes spiritual malaise) is to get some numbers, not anecdotal evidence.  What are the trends, Paley?

 Well, if you recall, I did mention cross-national satisfaction surveys, but the subject was quickly changed into a debate over crime rates (which I won, in my humble opinion). But the original point still stands: the citizens of the United States, despite the evil machinations of the BED, rank as the happiest in the developed world. And yes, most Amuricans consider religion to be very important in their lives. This suggests a causal link.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2005,13:54   

Mr. Murphy:
I forgot that next week is Thanksgiving. I'm planning on visiting relatives, and won't be able to post until the following Tuesday. Sorry, but you'll get your model then.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2005,13:54   

Quote
(which I won, in my humble opinion)
I expect no less from you Paley.

If I recall correctly, you demonstrated that the crime rates across this country fell substantially during the mid 90's.  You claimed that it was due to Guiliani's doing.  You failed to show, however, how Guiliani's policy changes affected every other major city's crime rates in the country.  You claimed it was a Republican Revolution, but failed to demonstrate how that was related at all.  I pointed out that the drop in crime rates happens to be 20 years after Roe v. Wade, and even expained how those are related.  If "winning the debate" means convincing you of something, then I've a snowballs chance...

You also claimed that crime is higher in the more secular European countries (or at least comparable to the US) when you take race into account.  Of course, you made this claim by only taking race into account in the US, not in the secular European countries.  You claim race is a larger factor than income levels without backing that up with data either.  Humble opinion, indeed.

Quote
In any case, the fair question is: do white Americans commit murders more frequently than white European Americans? I suspect not; in fact, when lily-white American border cities are compared with Canadian cities of similar population density, America often comes out ahead.
 I still fail to understand why we have to neglect the minorities of this country to massage the result that you want.  Blacks and Latinos are Americans too, and they are also religious.

But, besides that.  What about these cross-national surveys?  I probably didn't see them.  Can you point them out again?

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2005,15:48   

Cogzoid wrote:
Quote
If I recall correctly, you demonstrated that the crime rates across this country fell substantially during the mid 90's.  You claimed that it was due to Guiliani's doing.

Yep. And even linked to a study backing it up. Which you dismissed without cause.
Quote
You failed to show, however, how Guiliani's policy changes affected every other major city's crime rates in the country.

 No, but I did demonstrate that:
1) Much of the national decline was driven by a handful of big cities (a claim you initially scoffed at, by the way)
2) At least one of those cities (Boston) adopted Guiliani-style policies
3) There was a change in the American mood, as evidenced by the Republican Revolution in Congress, which proceeded to establish badly-needed welfare reform and encourage tougher enforcement of felony sentences (if bad guys stay in prison longer, they have less opportunity to commit crime; please look at the incarceration statistics)
 4) There was a net decline in crime during Reagan's tenure.

 And you know what's funny about points three and four? Liberals widely predicted that crime would explode under Reagan and Newt's watch. Oh those mean ol' 'Publicans, slashin' social programs and driving women and children to the streets! Driving healthy young adults to the workforce, is more like it. To complete the pratfall, latte-lappers even tried to pin the extra homeless on the Gipper, until it was discovered that the increase was due almost exclusively to the relaxation of involuntary committal policies, inspired by......wait for it.......liberal hand-wringing.
 I'm not being mean, really I'm not, but....have liberals ever made a successful prediction? About anything?
Quote
You claimed it was a Republican Revolution, but failed to demonstrate how that was related at all.

 Hopefully this helps.
Quote
I pointed out that the drop in crime rates happens to be 20 years after Roe v. Wade, and even expained how those are related.

 A good point, and one I didn't address. Why? Because even if true, it's the kind of solution I could never embrace. Heck, in my opinion, those unborn children should be added to the death total. But I didn't want to focus on that issue, because I knew it would sidetrack our debate. In any case, not all experts are sold on this idea; I've seen challenges to the study that inspired this claim. I'll look them up if you wish.
 
Quote
You also claimed that crime is higher in the more secular European countries (or at least comparable to the US) when you take race into account.  Of course, you made this claim by only taking race into account in the US, not in the secular European countries.

 Actually, I claimed more than that. Even without adjusting for racial disparities, several European countries have higher victimization rates than ours (You really need to check out figures six and seven). And when you subtract racial minorities from the pool, the U.S. rates look very good indeed. Of course, you'd also have to subtract European minorities - but even then, I'll take our BEDs over theirs. This issue needs further study. And while we're at it, you never did address the Fed's crooked bookkeeping, under which Mestizos are often classified as white if they commit a crime, but as nonwhite if they're victimized. Since Mestizos are much more likely than whites to commit crimes, this artificially inflates the white crime rate. And also implies that whites target blacks for violence more than they really do. Don't kid yourself; this is very deliberate.
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You claim race is a larger factor than income levels without backing that up with data either.  Humble opinion, indeed.

 I'm struggling to stay polite here - but Cogzoid, really, you have got to be kidding. There is no possible way that you could have missed my citation of The Color of Crime during our original debate - I even quoted part of it again, and practically begged for commentary. I know that lengthy cut n' paste jobs are frowned on here, but you really brought this on yourself:
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One more thing. I think your assumption that racial crime disparities are merely a function of social inequalities can be questioned. The Color of Crime, a study done white nationalists Ian Jobling and Jared Taylor, but based exclusively on federal crime data and surveys, suggests that this may not be the case. Apparently, this study was reviewed by several criminologists  who endorsed the paper's math, if not conclusions. Some of its provocative findings:
Quote  
“… between 2001 and 2003, blacks were 39 times more likely to commit violent crimes against whites than the reverse, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.”

Between 2001 and 2003, blacks committed, on average, 15,400 black-on-white rapes per year, while whites averaged only 900 white-on-black rapes per year.

“Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.”
Nationally, youth gangs are 90 percent non-white. “Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs. Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.”

The only crime category in which Asians are more heavily represented than whites is illegal gambling.

“Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.”
Far from being guilty of “racially profiling” innocent blacks, police have been exercising racial bias on behalf of blacks, arresting fewer blacks than their proportion of criminals: “… blacks who committed crimes that were reported to the police were 26 percent less likely to be arrested than people of other races who committed the same crimes.”

“… police are determined to arrest non-black rather than black criminals.” (I have seen this practice in operation on the streets and subways of New York.)

“[Blacks] are eight times more likely than people of other races to rob someone, for example, and 5.5 times more likely to steal a car.”
Charges of racial profiling, which maintain that police target innocent black motorists for traffic stops notwithstanding, a 2002 study by Maryland’s Public Service Research Institute found that police were stopping too few black speeders (23%), compared to their proportion of actual speeders (25%). In fact, “blacks were twice as likely to speed as whites” in general, and there was an even higher frequency of black speeders in the 90-mph and higher range.

“… the only evidence for police bias is disproportionate arrest rates for those groups police critics say are the targets of bias. High black arrest rates appear to reflect high crime rates, not police misconduct.”

Blacks not only commit violent crimes at far higher rates than non-blacks, but their crimes are more violent than those of whites. Blacks are three times as likely as non-blacks to commit assault with guns, and twice as likely as non-blacks to commit assault with knives.

Blacks not only commit violent crimes at far higher rates than whites, but blacks commit “white collar” offenses -- fraud, bribery, racketeering and embezzlement, respectively -- at two to five times the white rate.

The single greatest indicator of an area’s crime rate is not poverty or education, but race and ethnicity. Even when one controls for income, the black crime rate is much higher than the white rate.

Pretty wild, I know. Does anybody here have an informed opinion? This could very well be a crackpot study, but it seems worthy of commentary. And it is based on government data.

 Once again, I will highlight the most relevant bit:
Quote
The single greatest indicator of an area’s crime rate is not poverty or education, but race and ethnicity. Even when one controls for income, the black crime rate is much higher than the white rate. [my emphasis, natch]

  Are these conclusions valid? I don't know. But to their credit, these banjo pickin', 'backy chewin' rednecks knew what they were up against, and stuck to Federal Crime data in forming their argument. I'll give them that, at least.
Quote
But, besides that.  What about these cross-national surveys?  I probably didn't see them.  Can you point them out again?


 If you will address this response with more than catcalls, I will pony up the surveys.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
Hyperion



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2005,19:36   

Quote
Well, if you recall, I did mention cross-national satisfaction surveys, but the subject was quickly changed into a debate over crime rates (which I won, in my humble opinion). But the original point still stands: the citizens of the United States, despite the evil machinations of the BED, rank as the happiest in the developed world. And yes, most Amuricans consider religion to be very important in their lives. This suggests a causal link.


Hmmmm...interestingly enough, America is also one of the few countries which has never had an established state religion.  I doubt that this is any more causally related than any of your reasons, but it is some food for thought.

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2005,20:08   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 17 2005,19:54)
Mr. Murphy:
I forgot that next week is Thanksgiving. I'm planning on visiting relatives, and won't be able to post until the following Tuesday. Sorry, but you'll get your model then.

Hey, I've waiting this long. So this is going to be the Unified Field Theory of Geocentrism, right? It will explain the revolutionibus of the orbi as well as Mona Lisa's smile, right?

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2005,05:23   

Quote
Hey, I've waiting this long. So this is going to be the Unified Field Theory of Geocentrism, right? It will explain the revolutionibus of the orbi as well as Mona Lisa's smile, right?

 Thanks again. Out of curiosity, what's the highest level math you've studied?

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cogzoid



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2005,09:44   

Quote
Yep. And even linked to a study backing it up. Which you dismissed without cause.
I cited your study which claimed that crime rates dropped in cities across the country including, if I recall correctly: Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Denver, and New Orleans.  Are you claiming that Guiliani's and the Republican's influence affected all of these locations?  You're really straining the logic, my friend.

Quote
4) There was a net decline in crime during Reagan's tenure.
And went up during G.H.W. Bush's  term.  Fluctuations happen, what's your point?  Notice the trend in '94.  WHILE A DEMOCRAT WAS IN OFFICE.  I like how you point to Reagen when crime slightly drops in the '80s and Newt when crime plummets in the '90s.  I'm not going to let you claim victory for this one, I'm sorry.

Quote
 And you know what's funny about points three and four? Liberals widely predicted that crime would explode under Reagan and Newt's watch. Oh those mean ol' 'Publicans, slashin' social programs and driving women and children to the streets! Driving healthy young adults to the workforce, is more like it. To complete the pratfall, latte-lappers even tried to pin the extra homeless on the Gipper, until it was discovered that the increase was due almost exclusively to the relaxation of involuntary committal policies, inspired by......wait for it.......liberal hand-wringing.
I'm not being mean, really I'm not, but....have liberals ever made a successful prediction? About anything?
 This is known as confirmation bias, Paley.  You only remember when Republican predictions are correct and Liberal predictions are wrong.  There are plenty of Republican predictions that are plain old wrong.  Global warming and WMDs in Iraq immediately come to mind.  (Much more grave incorrect predictions if you ask me!)  In Levitt's Freakonomics he points out that all parties were guilty of fear mongering over the youth crime wave in the country.  He reminds a Republican politician (I can't recall specifics) about his '94 quote something along the lines of "blood will flow in the streets".  Later he was accused of saying "bloodbath."  He bothered to draw the distinction between the comments, like a good politician.  Let's not even get into the discussion of how Republicans distort scientific findings to fit their agenda (mercury levels, global warming studies, abstinence-only effectiveness... etc).

Quote
And when you subtract racial minorities from the pool, the U.S. rates look very good indeed. Of course, you'd also have to subtract European minorities - but even then, I'll take our BEDs over theirs. This issue needs further study.
Why?  You seem to have already reached your conclusion.  You just need to keep massaging the data till you've made your point.  Or maybe that's what you mean by "further study"?

I'm very skeptical of your "Color of Crime" study.  Does it take into account the fact that blacks are targeted by police at higher rates.  I read some study that pointed out that blacks use some percentage, say 15-20%, of the drugs in this country but account for, 50-60%, of the drug arrests.  I don't walk around with a list of all sources that I use to form my opinions, sorry.  This study seems to conflate "crimes committed" and "arrests made". But, that is a minor point overall.  Blacks may have higher crime rates.  I'll concede the point.  However, you haven't yet justified why you have to exclude blacks when looking at our country as a whole.  Are they not as American as you and your white neighbors?  Are they not religious people?  Aren't they part of our society, whether you like it or not?  I believe this is the 3rd or 4th time I've asked you this very fundamental question.

-Dan

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2005,10:29   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 18 2005,11:23)
Thanks again. Out of curiosity, what's the highest level math you've studied?

Pre-calculus in high school, about 26 years ago. If there's anything I'm actually good at, it's probably writing. Other than riding my bike ~10E4 km a year.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 18 2005,10:40   

Mr. P,

Just out of curiosity: do you think that if someone were to take, say the top 1% of income earners among white Americans of European extraction, and compared them to the top 1% of African-Americans descended from slaves, that there would be a statistically-significant difference in the amount of violent crime committed by the two groups? If one were to compare the relative crime rates committed by each of the two groups when matched for income and social status? I wonder if anyone has ever done such an analysis.

Of course, one confounding factor would be that the top 1% of white European-Americans probably have a much higher income than the top 1% of African-Americans, and if you tried to match incomes across both groups, you probably wouldn't have a big-enough sample to draw any conclusions from the data on African Americans...

But in any event, I have a suspicion that such an analysis would contradict your position that there is a stronger correlation between violent crime and ethnicity than there is between violent crime and socioeconomic status.

And remember Thomas Sowell's words (from "The Vision of the Annointed") that you can basically prove any position with some set of statistics.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2005,11:52   

Hi Cogzoid.
Quote
Quote  
Yep. And even linked to a study backing it up. Which you dismissed without cause.
I cited your study which claimed that crime rates dropped in cities across the country including, if I recall correctly: Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Denver, and New Orleans.  Are you claiming that Guiliani's and the Republican's influence affected all of these locations?  You're really straining the logic, my friend.

    You're mixing the studies up, but that's OK; I get the point. My point is that Guiliani was really responsible for the crime drop in New York City, an assertion you didn't challenge. And do you really trust N'Awlin's finest to compile accurate crime statistics?
Quote
Fluctuations happen, what's your point?  Notice the trend in '94.  WHILE A DEMOCRAT WAS IN OFFICE.  I like how you point to Reagen when crime slightly drops in the '80s and Newt when crime plummets in the '90s.  I'm not going to let you claim victory for this one, I'm sorry.

 It seems like I'm equivocating, doesn't it? But I'm not. Focus on the accomplishments, not who was in charge, and you'll see that the 80's and mid 90's were much more conservative policy-wise than the 1988 - 1994 period. Even with Bush Sr..
Quote
This is known as confirmation bias, Paley.  You only remember when Republican predictions are correct and Liberal predictions are wrong.  There are plenty of Republican predictions that are plain old wrong.  Global warming and WMDs in Iraq immediately come to mind.

 Well, you've got me on Global Warming. As for the missing WMD, let me just say that I think it's cruel to pick on the mentally retarded, even when they become president. :D
Quote
I'm very skeptical of your "Color of Crime" study.  Does it take into account the fact that blacks are targeted by police at higher rates.  I read some study that pointed out that blacks use some percentage, say 15-20%, of the drugs in this country but account for, 50-60%, of the drug arrests.

 After you left,  MidnightVoice floated a similar argument. Please see my response to him. And yes, the study does anticipate your counter.
Quote
Charges of racial profiling, which maintain that police target innocent black motorists for traffic stops notwithstanding, a 2002 study by Maryland’s Public Service Research Institute found that police were stopping too few black speeders (23%), compared to their proportion of actual speeders (25%). In fact, “blacks were twice as likely to speed as whites” in general, and there was an even higher frequency of black speeders in the 90-mph and higher range.

“… the only evidence for police bias is disproportionate arrest rates for those groups police critics say are the targets of bias. High black arrest rates appear to reflect high crime rates, not police misconduct.”

  If Jared's reading this, he's probably laughing his ass off at all the free publicity you're giving him, Cogzoid.
Quote
But, that is a minor point overall.  Blacks may have higher crime rates.  I'll concede the point.

  :0  :0  :0  :0  :0
  Wow. I've really sold you short. You definitely have earned my respect.
Quote
However, you haven't yet justified why you have to exclude blacks when looking at our country as a whole.  Are they not as American as you and your white neighbors?  Are they not religious people?  Aren't they part of our society, whether you like it or not?  I believe this is the 3rd or 4th time I've asked you this very fundamental question.

 Then again, maybe not.
Quote
My purpose is not to bash black people, nor suggest that they are genetically predisposed to crime. I'm just saying we should control for as many variables as possible. If you want to adjust for SES, then do so. But let's compare similar groups, like, ohhhhhh....middle-class white people, for example. I'm afraid you won't like the results, however.

Quote
1) No, but let's face it: when evos talk about the "dangers" of fundamentalist Christianity, they're not referring to Joseph Lowery. They mean Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson. White Christians, in other words.
 2) When trying to measure the effects of a single variable (religion), it is important to match groups that are as identical as possible in all other ways. This avoids confounding factors.

 You do realise the importance of avoiding confounding factors, don't you, Cogzoid?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 20 2005,17:09   

Quote
My point is that Guiliani was really responsible for the crime drop in New York City, an assertion you didn't challenge. And do you really trust N'Awlin's finest to compile accurate crime statistics?
And my point is the drop occured all across the nation, L.A., San Diego, Denver, N.O., N.Y., etc.  And yes, I do trust N'awlin's finest to be able to compile statistics.  Just because the southerners talk slow doesn't mean they can't count bodies.   Your theory that Guiliani is responsible for the drop of crime in NY works if you only look at NY.  When one looks at the crime drop in all of the cities, it seems more likely that there is another, more US-spanning cause.  Of course, I won't rule out the possibility of multiple causes.  I've given an explanation.  You've given Republican trunk-waving.

Quote
 It seems like I'm equivocating, doesn't it? But I'm not. Focus on the accomplishments, not who was in charge, and you'll see that the 80's and mid 90's were much more conservative policy-wise than the 1988 - 1994 period. Even with Bush Sr..
Your theory is becoming more and more contorted as you go.  What are these accomplishments I should look at?  Can you show me the "anti-accomplishments" of the '88-'94 period?

Quote
My purpose is not to bash black people, nor suggest that they are genetically predisposed to crime. I'm just saying we should control for as many variables as possible. If you want to adjust for SES, then do so. But let's compare similar groups, like, ohhhhhh....middle-class white people, for example. I'm afraid you won't like the results, however.
You want it both ways, Paley.  You don't want to include blacks of our society.  Yet, you haven't removed the minorites of the secular Europeans.  As well, you will need to remove entire sections of inner-city populations of the cities in Europe, for that is what you do for the US while you are removing the blacks.  I tried to find the necessary data to do this myself.  Either the Europeans don't post  racial data on the web, or I give up too easily.  I'm sure you are more capable, however.  Your point is as hollow as W's head without such data.

-Dan

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,05:50   

Quote
And my point is the drop occured all across the nation, L.A., San Diego, Denver, N.O., N.Y., etc.  And yes, I do trust N'awlin's finest to be able to compile statistics.

Given the events post-Katrina, forgive me for being a little more skeptical of their corpse-counting abilities. But if I need a plasma TV at a super discount, I know where to go, that's for sure.
Quote
Just because the southerners talk slow doesn't mean they can't count bodies.

 No but our drawls can drive a Paris-born French teacher over the edge. Trust me on this. :D

Quote
Your theory that Guiliani is responsible for the drop of crime in NY works if you only look at NY.  When one looks at the crime drop in all of the cities, it seems more likely that there is another, more US-spanning cause.  Of course, I won't rule out the possibility of multiple causes.  I've given an explanation.  You've given Republican trunk-waving.

 Don't forget the victimization studies, which also show America in a good light, without making any racial adjustments whatsoever.
Quote
You want it both ways, Paley.  You don't want to include blacks of our society.  Yet, you haven't removed the minorites of the secular Europeans.  As well, you will need to remove entire sections of inner-city populations of the cities in Europe, for that is what you do for the US while you are removing the blacks.  I tried to find the necessary data to do this myself.  Either the Europeans don't post  racial data on the web, or I give up too easily.

 Don't blame yourself; there's a very good reason these stats aren't readily available.
Quote
Your theory is becoming more and more contorted as you go.  What are these accomplishments I should look at?  Can you show me the "anti-accomplishments" of the '88-'94 period?

 You're pulling my leg again, aren't you, Cogzie? Don't you remember all those articles bemoaning the Contract "on" America, or bashing the Gipper? The media noticed the difference; why didn't you? On the other hand, all I remember during the Bush administration were Dan Quayle jokes and an obsession with Presidential malaprops. Of course, many complained about Bush Sr.'s foreign policy, but that doesn't impact our discussion.

Eric Murphy said:
Quote
Just out of curiosity: do you think that if someone were to take, say the top 1% of income earners among white Americans of European extraction, and compared them to the top 1% of African-Americans descended from slaves, that there would be a statistically-significant difference in the amount of violent crime committed by the two groups?

 Yep. But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

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ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,06:14   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 21 2005,11:50)
Quote


Eric Murphy said:
[quote]Just out of curiosity: do you think that if someone were to take, say the top 1% of income earners among white Americans of European extraction, and compared them to the top 1% of African-Americans descended from slaves, that there would be a statistically-significant difference in the amount of violent crime committed by the two groups?

 Yep. But I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

But Bill, don't you realize that your propensity to believe that African-Americans are more likely to commit violent crime than a similar group of European-Americans are, in the absence of data to support such a position, makes you a, well, um...racist? By definition?

One other technical question. You say:

Quote
Focus on the accomplishments, not who was in charge, and you'll see that the 80's and mid 90's were much more conservative policy-wise than the 1988 - 1994 period.


How can the "80's and mid 90's" be much more conservative than the "1988-1994 period," when the one is a subset of the other? Just curious.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

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The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,06:37   

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How can the "80's and mid 90's" be much more conservative than the "1988-1994 period," when the one is a subset of the other? Just curious.

 Yeah, sloppy wording on my part. I meant that the original Bush administration + Congress was less conservative than either Reagan + Democratic Congress or Clinton + Republican Congress. And the media seemed to agree with me, based on what I read at the time.
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But Bill, don't you realize that your propensity to believe that African-Americans are more likely to commit violent crime than a similar group of European-Americans are, in the absence of data to support such a position, makes you a, well, um...racist? By definition?

 Et tu, Murphy, et tu? My understanding of a racist is someone who believes that genetic differences impact on mental performance or emotional stability. A position that I have never argued. What I do assert is that different cultures lead to different results regardless of income. Hey, do a favor for me: look up the results of SAT scores for upper-middle class African-Americans as compared to white americans around the poverty line. See something interesting? Do you think culture might play a role in this? If not, why not? And was Bill Cosby high when he gave his speech criticizing Black culture?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,08:35   

By the way, here's my source for the SAT claim:
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But there is a major flaw in the thesis that income differences are the paramount explanation for the racial scoring gap. Consider these three facts from The College Board's 2005 data on the SAT:

• Whites from families with incomes of less than $10,000 had a mean SAT score of 993. This is 129 points higher than the national mean for all blacks.
• Whites from families with incomes below $10,000 had a mean SAT test score that was 61 points higher than blacks whose families had incomes of between $80,000 and $100,000.
• Blacks from families with incomes of more than $100,000 had a mean SAT score that was 85 points below the mean score for whites from all income levels, 139 points below the mean score of whites from families at the same income level, and 10 points below the average score of white students from families whose income was less than $10,000.

All of this is very bad news since it suggests the possibility that even if blacks reach economic parity with whites, SAT score differences between the races may persist.

Moreover, the data gives fuel to the biological racists who believe in the inherent inferiority of the cognitive capabilities of blacks.

 Yes, and I noticed during a recent search that several racist websites have already made much hay out of these results. But I think that culture may explain the discrepancies.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,09:10   

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Given the events post-Katrina, forgive me for being a little more skeptical of their corpse-counting abilities. But if I need a plasma TV at a super discount, I know where to go, that's for sure.
Counting bodies during the evacuation of an entire city is a little different than counting bodies in the morgue on a typical Friday night.  Your skepticism is duly noted.  What about every other major city in the US?  Perhaps no one is good at counting bodies except NY.

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No but our drawls can drive a Paris-born French teacher over the edge. Trust me on this. :D
You a southerner too?  I was raised in Slidell.  And I've got Cajun relatives that make me look cosmopolitan.

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Don't forget the victimization studies, which also show America in a good light, without making any racial adjustments whatsoever.
And don't forget the less subjective murder rates of all of those same countries.  Which don't put the US in such a good light.

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Don't blame yourself; there's a very good reason these stats aren't readily available.
It must be nice to not need any stupid numbers or data before you reach your conclusions.  If only we could all live in your world, Paley.

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You're pulling my leg again, aren't you, Cogzie? Don't you remember all those articles bemoaning the Contract "on" America, or bashing the Gipper? The media noticed the difference; why didn't you? On the other hand, all I remember during the Bush administration were Dan Quayle jokes and an obsession with Presidential malaprops. Of course, many complained about Bush Sr.'s foreign policy, but that doesn't impact our discussion.
We're not all timeless spirits, Paley.  I, in fact, wasn't old enough to care about politics in the eighties.  Perhaps you can euclidate the accomplishments and anti-accomplishments that I asked you for previously.

So, to make your point you have to throw out a major section of our crime statistics, and you seem unable to make the same cut for the other nations that you wish to compare to.  You don't see a problem with that?  Tell me again how you feel that you've "won the debate"?

-Dan

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,12:00   

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Counting bodies during the evacuation of an entire city is a little different than counting bodies in the morgue on a typical Friday night.  Your skepticism is duly noted.

 Also, keep in mind the mass desertion, looting and overall incompetence shown by Nawlins finest.
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What about every other major city in the US?  Perhaps no one is good at counting bodies except NY.

At least with New York there has been an attempt to verify the official stats. You can check it out in this thrice-quoted paper.
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And don't forget the less subjective murder rates of all of those same countries.  Which don't put the US in such a good light.

 I see you're not going to let go of this, so let me support my hypothesis that white American homicide rates beat Europe's.
   Take Canada, for example. As far as I know, nobody has ever suggested that Canadians are especially prone to violence. If memory serves, Canada has traditionally had lower homicide rates than many European countries, even before recent immigration trends. So let's compare our honkies to their crackers. How? By using the approach suggested in the original debate - by comparing crime rates in demo-and geographically similar territories. Here is one study that does just that:
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Of eight jurisdictions (four states, three provinces and Canada as a whole), Montana had the most homicides per capita over the fifteen year period, with an average of 3.8 per 100,000 citizens. Manitoba was second highest at 3.6, followed by Idaho at 3.4, Saskatchewan and Alberta, each at 3.1, Canada at 2.7, Minnesota at 2.4 and North Dakota at 1.3.

The first seven averages are in the anticipated range, but the rate for North Dakota is one of the lowest in the world despite an abundance of guns in the hands of its citizens.

The 15 year per capita homicide rate for the three provinces combined was 3.2 per 100,000 compared to 2.7 per 100,000 in the four states.

 Notice that this study covers the period before the big G and Newt worked their magic, so if anything, the study is slanted agin America (although Canada's rates also dropped during the 90's). This paper also makes no adjustment for the undoubtedly higher minority population in the surveyed states. Could population density be a biasing factor?
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In response to criticism that the three states contained no large cities, Minnesota was added to the mix. The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have a combined population comparable to that of Calgary, Edmonton or Winnipeg.

  Pretty interesting results, eh?
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So, to make your point you have to throw out a major section of our crime statistics, and you seem unable to make the same cut for the other nations that you wish to compare to.  You don't see a problem with that?  Tell me again how you feel that you've "won the debate"?

   First, as I stated several times, I'm don't have to throw out anything; the vic surveys prove my point all by their lonesome. Second, you never answered my question about confounding factors. Third, you never responded to my evidence that the FBI and local cities cook the books. Fourth, the very fact that the crime rates are in doubt utterly destroys your original contention that the U.S. is peopled by Bible-toting thugs. Admit it, Cogzie - you were lied to by your media, teachers and government. Aren't you glad you finally met someone capable of cleaning the Aegean stables?



You're welcome.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 21 2005,18:31   

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At least with New York there has been an attempt to verify the official stats. You can check it out in this thrice-quoted paper.
Are you implying that the other cities can't count bodies well?  What would that imply for statistics of the "softer" crimes?  

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 I see you're not going to let go of this, so let me support my hypothesis that white American homicide rates beat Europe's.
  Take Canada, for example. As far as I know, nobody has ever suggested that Canadians are especially prone to violence. If memory serves, Canada has traditionally had lower homicide rates than many European countries, even before recent immigration trends. So let's compare our honkies to their crackers. How? By using the approach suggested in the original debate - by comparing crime rates in demo-and geographically similar territories. Here is one study that does just that:
This succeeds in demonstrating that homicide rates are low in rural areas with no racial clashes, even when including the bustling Twin Cities.  To compare this at all with Europe you'd have to find equally rural and racially consistent areas there.  Something you have yet to do.  

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Notice that this study covers the period before the big G and Newt worked their magic, so if anything, the study is slanted agin America (although Canada's rates also dropped during the 90's).
For this to be true one has to believe that the big G or Newt had anything to do with the drop in crime in America.  I do not take that assumption as blindly as you do.  And you have yet to show it.

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This paper also makes no adjustment for the undoubtedly higher minority population in the surveyed states.
HA!  Have you been to any of those states?

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First, as I stated several times, I'm don't have to throw out anything; the vic surveys prove my point all by their lonesome.
But the murder rates flatly disagree with you.  And since victimization is subjective to the victim, I think those statistics should carry less weight than murder rates, which are as objective as one can get.  You have yet to give a good argument as to why murder rates are NOT a good single statistic that we can look at.  (Besides murder rates not helping your point.)

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Second, you never answered my question about confounding factors.
And you never answered my questions about what accomplishments and anti-accomplishments by the Dems or Rebs resulted in the crime fluctutations.

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Third, you never responded to my evidence that the FBI and local cities cook the books.
Would they fudge more or less murders as they cooked these books?

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Fourth, the very fact that the crime rates are in doubt utterly destroys your original contention that the U.S. is peopled by Bible-toting thugs.
You doubt the crime rates, not me.  You want to look at victimization, not me.  I like to look at objective numbers, such as murders.  Which are counted as bodies, not counted as arrests.  And my revised contention is that being religious doesn't help us keep down murders.  In fact, our murder rates our worse.  I prefer to look at all of our society, simply because I believe that we are all responsible for our society's ills.  I don't like to pass my responsibilty on to others.  And I sure hope that you don't claim that you or our fellow religious Americans have no impact on the crime problems of our inner cities.

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Admit it, Cogzie - you were lied to by your media, teachers and government. Aren't you glad you finally met someone capable of cleaning the Aegean stables?
Your welcome.
Please, keep the self-aggrandizing and conspiracy theories to a minimum in the future.  I tire easily of unnecessary and unwarranted gloating.

-Dan

  
celtic_elk



Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2005,04:48   

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By the way, here's my source for the SAT claim:
[QUOTE]
But there is a major flaw in the thesis that income differences are the paramount explanation for the racial scoring gap. Consider these three facts from The College Board's 2005 data on the SAT:

• Whites from families with incomes of less than $10,000 had a mean SAT score of 993. This is 129 points higher than the national mean for all blacks.
• Whites from families with incomes below $10,000 had a mean SAT test score that was 61 points higher than blacks whose families had incomes of between $80,000 and $100,000.
• Blacks from families with incomes of more than $100,000 had a mean SAT score that was 85 points below the mean score for whites from all income levels, 139 points below the mean score of whites from families at the same income level, and 10 points below the average score of white students from families whose income was less than $10,000.

All of this is very bad news since it suggests the possibility that even if blacks reach economic parity with whites, SAT score differences between the races may persist.

Moreover, the data gives fuel to the biological racists who believe in the inherent inferiority of the cognitive capabilities of blacks.


Yes, and I noticed during a recent search that several racist websites have already made much hay out of these results. But I think that culture may explain the discrepancies. [/QUOTE]

I'm interested in your explanation for the disparity at high income levels.  Surely you can't be seriously suggesting that there is a fundamental cultural difference in the US between blacks and whites at the $80,00-100,000 annual income level?  

Note also that the data for white students (and probably for other races as well) at varying income levels is probably subject to extreme sampling bias: many affluent students go to college, and therefore take the SATs, because they can afford it, whereas the poor students who take the SATs are self-selecting for those at the upper end of academic ability and ambition.  This is conjecture, as I don't have the data to support this at the moment, but a simple comparison of the number of students who take the SATs vs. the number of students eligible in each income bracket should prove or disprove my hypothesis.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2005,04:56   

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Are you implying that the other cities can't count bodies well?  What would that imply for statistics of the "softer" crimes?

 Perhaps they can count bodies (but given the recent scandals attached to municipal police forces across the land, fogive me for being skeptical), but whether a killing is classified as a murder, self-defense, or suicide allows for more latitude than most people realise.
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[Your study] succeeds in demonstrating that homicide rates are low in rural areas with no racial clashes, even when including the bustling Twin Cities.  To compare this at all with Europe you'd have to find equally rural and racially consistent areas there.  Something you have yet to do.

  But the authors did compare similar regions in America and Canada. Canada might not be Europe, but their low homicide rates serve as a suitable proxy when direct comparisons to the Old Continent are unavailable. And look what happens when we can make a fair adjustment - America wins. Against some of the most gentle, laid-back citizens in the entire world. Doesn't this suggest anything at all?
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But the murder rates flatly disagree with you.  And since victimization is subjective to the victim, I think those statistics should carry less weight than murder rates, which are as objective as one can get.  You have yet to give a good argument as to why murder rates are NOT a good single statistic that we can look at.  (Besides murder rates not helping your point.)

 Oh, I think murder rates are very relevant. But I like to look at the totality of violent crime because I also don't want to be assaulted, raped, or mugged - weird, I know. These crimes have the ability to wreck a person's life, and must be accounted for in any analysis. I also worry about the distibution of violent crime. Many of our homicides "victims" are themselves criminals, so that carries less weight than, say, a schoolteacher. Sorry, but if rival gang members like to shoot each other for trivial reasons, it's not the same as a thug preying on the civilised. In other words, if Bill Cosby ever gets murdered, I'll be depressed; Tupac, on the other hand, richly deserved what he got. And no, I don't give a toss about white, asian, or Jewish thugs either. Screw them. And the liberal hoss they ride on.

More later.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2005,07:55   

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I'm interested in your explanation for the disparity at high income levels.  Surely you can't be seriously suggesting that there is a fundamental cultural difference in the US between blacks and whites at the $80,00-100,000 annual income level?  

 I don't see why not. Many successful blacks describe themselves as "bicultural", and occasionally complain about the stress this puts on their everyday life. And I've read books where white-collar blacks express extreme frustration with the corporate (i.e. white) world, and complain about cultural isolation.
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Note also that the data for white students (and probably for other races as well) at varying income levels is probably subject to extreme sampling bias: many affluent students go to college, and therefore take the SATs, because they can afford it, whereas the poor students who take the SATs are self-selecting for those at the upper end of academic ability and ambition.

 I'm sure that this explains some of it. But then why the positive correlation between income level and SAT scores? Rich and middle-class whites somehow find a way to outscore these poverty-stricken prodigies. And don't these rich black kids have access to better schools, tutors, etc.? It seems that you're reaching here.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
celtic_elk



Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2005,07:55   

GoPaley:

Also in re: the SAT claim: the source you listed (the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education) cites its source only as "The College Board's 2005 data on the SAT."  I was, however, unable to find a race-and-income breakdown for this year's scores in the official College Board national report (which, for interested parties, can be found here). It contains racial breakdowns and income-level breakdowns, but no breakdowns combining the two.  Can you provide an alternate source with the actual data?

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2005,10:12   

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Perhaps they can count bodies (but given the recent scandals attached to municipal police forces across the land, fogive me for being skeptical), but whether a killing is classified as a murder, self-defense, or suicide allows for more latitude than most people realise.
Are these scandals related to how they count bodies?  I can't imagine that many suicides are wrongly attributed to being murders.  Conversely, murders that are dressed up as suicides would do nothing but give the appearance of lower murder rates.  This systematic error would apply to all countries, and doesn't help your argument in the least.

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But the authors did compare similar regions in America and Canada. Canada might not be Europe, but their low homicide rates serve as a suitable proxy when direct comparisons to the Old Continent are unavailable. And look what happens when we can make a fair adjustment - America wins. Against some of the most gentle, laid-back citizens in the entire world. Doesn't this suggest anything at all?
America didn't "win" it was comparable.  And it was only the low population states of America that were compared to the low population states of Canada.  Why didn't they use the data comparing the higher population states of America, with the higher population states of Canada?  I've got a reason in mind.  And no, the low population states of Canada are not a suitable proxy for the Old World countries.  You're smarter than that.

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Oh, I think murder rates are very relevant. But I like to look at the totality of violent crime because I also don't want to be assaulted, raped, or mugged - weird, I know. These crimes have the ability to wreck a person's life, and must be accounted for in any analysis. I also worry about the distibution of violent crime.
And once again you missed my point entirely.  I'm not saying that murders are the only crimes that matter.  I'm saying that murders are the only crime statistic that is accurate.  There are plenty of unreported rapes, robberies, and other crimes.  There are also definitional issues.  Some places lump frat guys taking advantage of a drunk girl as equal to a jogger getting dragged into the bushes in a city park.  Are both equal rapes?  There are alot of subjective statistics.  Which is why the data from my sources and your sources often disagree.  Which is also why victimization surveys are prone to error.  But a murder results in a tangible dead body, or a missing person.  It's easy to count those up.  No one "feels" murdered.  They either are or they aren't.  All of those other crimes are surely important and wreck a persons life, but they simply aren't prone to accurate statistics.

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Many of our homicides "victims" are themselves criminals, so that carries less weight than, say, a schoolteacher. Sorry, but if rival gang members like to shoot each other for trivial reasons, it's not the same as a thug preying on the civilised. In other words, if Bill Cosby ever gets murdered, I'll be depressed; Tupac, on the other hand, richly deserved what he got. And no, I don't give a toss about white, asian, or Jewish thugs either. Screw them. And the liberal hoss they ride on.
And why wouldn't this logic apply to all countries?  Don't they all have thugs?  Or is your point going to be that they don't have as many as America?  Boy, wouldn't that be a stupid point to make.

And don't try to pass off white thugs as being liberal.

-Dan

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 22 2005,12:17   

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Conversely, murders that are dressed up as suicides would do nothing but give the appearance of lower murder rates.  This systematic error would apply to all countries, and doesn't help your argument in the least.

 I think your last sentence is potentially false. Crooked police in general do try to deflate the crime rate, and this would apply to all countries. But I think it's a fallacy to assume that:
 1) All police agencies are equally corrupt and incompetent
 2) All countries will attempt the same manipulations

 Let's take the F.B.I., for example. Earlier I showed evidence of hanky-panky in how they classify perps vs victims. But did they do it to lower the crime rate? No, they were far too busy playing pin the tail on the honkey for that. Result: No net crime deflation.
 But let's look at an American city during the mid-nineties. The city's finest know that the whole world watches New York, and when good things happen there, they'd like to share in the glory. Result: the crime stats plummet.
 Now let's look at a European country such as Great Britain during the mid-nineties. You've got a spanking-new gun policy, you're liberalizing immigration laws, and you read the papers and see the policing success in America and Canada. You'd like a piece of the action, and what's more, you don't want to alarm the public unnecessarily. So what do you do? Well, you carry out your tried-and- failed twin strategies of yanking guns from the civilians and letting in boatloads of terrorists, fanatics, and other enemies of civilisation. Predictably, this fails. Plan B? Let's let my source take it from here:
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A headline in the London Daily Telegraph back on April 1, 1996, said it all: "Crime Figures a Sham, Say Police." The story noted that "pressure to convince the public that police were winning the fight against crime had resulted in a long list of ruses to 'massage' statistics," and "the recorded crime level bore no resemblance to the actual amount of crime being committed."

For example, where a series of homes were burgled, they were regularly recorded as one crime. If a burglar hit 15 or 20 flats, only one crime was added to the statistics.

More recently, a 2000 report from the Inspectorate of Constabulary charges Britain's 43 police departments with systemic under-classification of crime – for example, by recording burglary as "vandalism." The report lays much of the blame on the police's desire to avoid the extra paperwork associated with more serious crimes.

Britain's justice officials have also kept crime totals down by being careful about what to count.

"American homicide rates are based on initial data, but British homicide rates are based on the final disposition." Suppose that three men kill a woman during an argument outside a bar. They are arrested for murder, but because of problems with identification (the main witness is dead), charges are eventually dropped. In American crime statistics, the event counts as a three-person homicide, but in British statistics it counts as nothing at all. "With such differences in reporting criteria, comparisons of U.S. homicide rates with British homicide rates is a sham," the report concludes.

 I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
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And why wouldn't this logic apply to all countries?  Don't they all have thugs?  Or is your point going to be that they don't have as many as America?  Boy, wouldn't that be a stupid point to make.

 There's a big difference between intra-thug violence fueled by the drug trade and thugs attacking civilians. While both are regrettable, the second concerns me more since I don't plan on selling, or even buying, drugs.
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And don't try to pass off white thugs as being liberal.

 But what shall I do when the fruits of liberal policy create them?

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 23 2005,09:27   

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I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
Great source, Paley.  An article written by a dentist and an optometrist in Colorado for "a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization" that just happens to sell "What Would Reagen Do" bracelets.  You'll pardon me if I don't trust every source you shill.  There are online articles to back up almost ANY possible viewpoint.  Just because you find them doesn't make them important.

The question, however, is if such bad counting continues today.  A 9 year old article (the source of your source) is hardly the best for judging the current numbers, which is what I am focusing on when comparing to other nations.

(Just to explain, we are having multiple arguments at the same time.  The drop in crime in the US in the mid-90s and how the US compares to the rest of the world.)

-Dan

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 23 2005,12:13   

As an example of the myriad of opinions able to be found online.  This recent article hints that present day New York may be mistallying statistics.  Can this be true, Paley, under Guiliani-endorsed Bloomberg's watch?

Now, I'm not going to sit here and whine about such statistical manipulation.  I'm just proving the point that almost any opinion can be found online.

-Dan

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,05:35   

GoP:

How are we doing on our ToE?

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,07:48   

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As an example of the myriad of opinions able to be found online.  This recent article hints that present day New York may be mistallying statistics.  Can this be true, Paley, under Guiliani-endorsed Bloomberg's watch?

  But Cogzoid, you're only proving my case.
Your own source concedes that the hopitalization rate matches Guiliani's figures during the period of the Big Drop:
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In 1993, the last year of David Dinkins's administration, health department officials created an "injury surveillance system," hoping to monitor weapons-related assaults against young men. At first, they surveyed only hospitalizations. With the decline in shootings in the city, the number of hospitalizations caused by assaults dropped sharply, right through 1999, but then leveled off.

In the meantime, seeking better information on assaults against women, health department officials expanded the survey in 1997 to include emergency room visits in addition to hospitalizations.

From then until 2002, the number of assault victims who were either hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms in the city went up in every year but one for a total increase of 19 percent.

 So when you say:
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I'm just proving the point that almost any opinion can be found online.

  You're just supporting my point that the Miracle was real, and not an artifact of shady bookkeeping.
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Great source, Paley.  An article written by a dentist and an optometrist in Colorado for "a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization" that just happens to sell "What Would Reagen Do" bracelets.

 Your inability to refute their position is duly noted.
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The question, however, is if such bad counting continues today.  A 9 year old article (the source of your source) is hardly the best for judging the current numbers, which is what I am focusing on when comparing to other nations.

 Actually, the quote came from a 2000 Inspectorate of Constabulary report, not the 1996 article you're referencing. And the report also takes current homicide classifications to task:
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"American homicide rates are based on initial data, but British homicide rates are based on the final disposition." Suppose that three men kill a woman during an argument outside a bar. They are arrested for murder, but because of problems with identification (the main witness is dead), charges are eventually dropped. In American crime statistics, the event counts as a three-person homicide, but in British statistics it counts as nothing at all. "With such differences in reporting criteria, comparisons of U.S. homicide rates with British homicide rates is a sham," the report concludes.

 I suspect that British cops would know something about British crime classification and accounting, but I've been told before that I'm hopelessly naive, so help me out, Cogzoid. :)

  My contention that we should use as many sources as possible to triangulate the data seems as sound as ever.

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,08:40   

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GoP:

How are we doing on our ToE?

  Pretty well, although some formatting problems are forcing me to split my paper into several sections. I'll try to summarise some of the main points tonight or tomorrow.....

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Dey can't 'andle my riddim.

  
The Ghost of Paley



Posts: 1703
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,12:52   

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GoP:

How are we doing on our ToE?


Since there is a problem calculating the mass of the earth assuming Alpha Centauri and the rest of the universe orbit it, the evolutionists thing they have refuted the Biblical truth of geocentricism¡Xnot so!!!! The truth is that neither Alpha Centauri nor any other of the fixed stars orbits the earth via gravitational attraction. They are locked into a large conducting Gaussian sphere of dense ether.

Gauss Law states:

(1)

This is the electric field outside the sphere, which in our case is the sphere of the fixed stars, and the field is 0 inside of it. Now, since authentic discontinuities do not exist in nature, the diagrams you see in evolutionistic textbooks of a field instantaneously dropping to zero are somewhat bogus. We can know the true field inside the sphere by modeling this alleged discontinuity with Fourier series.


(2)
           =0 R<r

Now the period of this function is the distance from the sphere of the fixed stars to the center of God¡¦s creation, the earth. (Remember, this is the only section of the domain of R we care about, you can¡¦t bitch if the model does not work in the Empyrean. In addition, since this is an even-range expansion about R=0, it goes into ¡§negative R¡¨ space. This is as physically meaningless as evolutionism, but necessary for the model to work!;) The first terms of the series are:

(3)
   (4)
         

This is the A0 term

 (5)
     (6)

These are the An terms.



.

(7)

    (9)

Now, this is the summation from n=1 to n=15, any more terms is too much for little evolutionistic minds to fathom. Now, we know the radius of the sphere of the fixed stars, it is 4.5 light-years. (The Triple Centauri System is something of an anomaly, since it serves as a revolving door for angels to pass in and out of the Empyrean, it protrudes a little.) We also know the value of the permittivity constant  , and the value of ƒàƒ|ƒn(Evolutionists, being basically stupid often need this explained to them.) All that is unknown now is the charge outside the sphere of the fixed stars, Q.  

We can find Q by calculating how the field gradient inside the sphere of the fixed stars from the 2.7K uniform temperature the evolutionistic Soviet agents Penzias and Wilson. They called this the ¡§echo of the big bang¡¨ in order to score a propaganda victory for the motherland by ¡§proving¡¨ Gamow¡¦s theory.  In a paper published in Physical Review Letters in 1976 showing the relationship between Temperature and field gradient at a given temperature is:

(10)1

Here eqe1 is the field gradient at Temperature T which is 2.7K, and eq0e1 is the field gradient at 0K.  Since the field has no angular variation, the field gradient can be assumed to be E¡¦®.  Now, here is the formula:

    (11)

Of course, there are still a few unexplained parts in equation 10. Indeed, those of you who actually bothered to read the paper in question and find out the evolutionists who wrote it meant the equation to be applied to solids will dismiss my application of it to this kind of problem as utterly bogus, but that is just another evolutionistic presupposition, not a reality. The ether that fills empty space is the most perfect crystalline solid you could exist. Only the existentialist evolutionistic presupposition of ¡§nothingness¡¨ allows you to believe in a ¡§vacuum.¡¨  

Continuing with our discussion of equation 10,    approaches the inverse of the fine structure constant, 137 as the crystal becomes more perfect. In addition, in perfect quintessence the Debye temperature, TD also approaches the same value. (This flows from the electromagnetic nature of the universe which you will not see in papers because it proposes a direct, in-your-face challenge to the gravity-based, big bang evolutionistic model.)  The constant ƒ× is given by the formula:

   (12)1


Filling in the numbers, we have:

  (13)

50.7413  (Real answer)

The other constant, ƒÒ can be assumed to be 1. Finally, Equation 10 with numbers comes out to be:

 (14)
-0.0014781

Now, when we set equation 14 equal to equation 11, and set the values for   and the radius of the sphere of the fixed stars r (4.5 light-years), and set R equal to the radius of the earth. (In the absence of the sun, the temperature would be 2.7K, so I can get away with this. This is the temperature due to the electric field gradient.) We can calculate a value for Q in the Empyrean to be:

1.46088 X10^46 C

This is a very big number. I bet you¡¦re wondering how this much charge can exist. The answer is in the stars themselves. This plasma flow is how the angels keep the stars shining. How this works will be discussed in subsequent posts.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,12:57   

K. Nishiyama, F. Dimmling, Th. Kornrumpf, and D. Riegel
Theory of the Temperature Dependence of the Electric Field Gradient in Noncubic Metals

Phyical Review Letters 37,357-360 1976

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,14:14   

Sorry for all the formatting errors, but this gives a sample of my thinking. To summarize, in recognition of the relative strength of electromagnetic forces vis-a-vis gravity I have used Gauss's Law in conjunction with an equation relating temperature and field gradients to derive the cosmic microwave background value. No reference to the Big Clang required. But I will not stop here. The next section of the paper will discuss the infamous n-body problem in the context of induced dipole moments. I will then utilise Shannon's information theory to convert the excess charge to work, thus uniting my oeuvre with Dembski's.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,19:29   

Actually, none of that meant anything to me, since I never even took calculus in high school. But I do have one question about your postulate of a fixed sphere of stars 4.5 ly away.

How does your model account of differing parallax of different stars? Actually, how does it account for parallax at all? If everything orbits the earth, shouldn't the parallax of every body out there on the sphere be zero?

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Swoosh



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 28 2005,21:52   

O.  M.  G.

That's classic.  Thanks for the chuckles, spooky.

  
W. Kevin Vicklund



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2005,04:45   

Quote
This is the electric field outside the sphere, which in our case is the sphere of the fixed stars, and the field is 0 inside of it. Now, since authentic discontinuities do not exist in nature, the diagrams you see in evolutionistic textbooks of a field instantaneously dropping to zero are somewhat bogus. We can know the true field inside the sphere by modeling this alleged discontinuity with Fourier series.


Please review Gauss.  It is painful to see you abuse these theorems so badly.  The equation set
E® = Q/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {R>r}
     = 0 {R<r}
is that of an ideal Gaussian spherical shell with thickness = 0.  A Gaussian spherical shell with non-zero thickness = x has an additional term Q(x)/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {r+x>R>r}.  More properly stated, E® = Q(x)/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {R>r}, where Q(x)=Q for R>r+x and 0 for R<r.

So there is no discontinuity present, as the field decreases over the thickness of the proposed cellestial firmament.  So the Fourier series is wrong, and you would need knowledge of the thickness of the firmament to be able to perform the proper analysis.  Obviously, the thickness must be non-zero, "since authentic" zero thickness shells "do not exist in nature."

That said, your argument is of course complete bullocks, and doesn't match with certain other observed phenomenon, such as the aforementioned parallax (btw, it is the fact that the observed parallaxes are non-equal, not non-zero, that falsifies the spherical firmament hypothesis - a non-zero but equal parallax would indicate a wobbling firmament).

Finally, absolutely none of this has anything to do with evolution.  In fact, Gaussian theory predates evolution.  Please stop using "evolutionistic" to mean "any scientific theory I oppose on theistic grounds."  If you must use a term, perhaps Galileonic or something similar?  That would be much more accurate.

  
C.J.O'Brien



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2005,08:47   

Truly, er-- staggering, wisp.
I especially like this bit:
Quote
I will then utilise Shannon's information theory to convert the excess charge to work, thus uniting my oeuvre with Dembski's.

The similarities are already glaring. Let's see, megalomaniac delusions of overturning whole disciplines, useless and confusing formalisms, hand-waving bluster, obfuscating use of higher mathematics to impress the rubes, utter disconnect to reality...

I'd say your "oeuvre" belongs in the same (circular) file as D*mbski's already, husk.

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--Joe G

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2005,12:26   

Quote
Please review Gauss.  It is painful to see you abuse these theorems so badly.  The equation set
E® = Q/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {R>r}
    = 0 {R<r}
is that of an ideal Gaussian spherical shell with thickness = 0.  A Gaussian spherical shell with non-zero thickness = x has an additional term Q(x)/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {r+x>R>r}.  More properly stated, E® = Q(x)/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {R>r}, where Q(x)=Q for R>r+x and 0 for R<r.

So there is no discontinuity present, as the field decreases over the thickness of the proposed cellestial firmament.  So the Fourier series is wrong, and you would need knowledge of the thickness of the firmament to be able to perform the proper analysis.  Obviously, the thickness must be non-zero, "since authentic" zero thickness shells "do not exist in nature."

 Seems so, doesn't it? But I'll justify my use of the Fourier series in the next installment, and solve a few conundrums while I'm at it.
Quote
How does your model account of differing parallax of different stars? Actually, how does it account for parallax at all? If everything orbits the earth, shouldn't the parallax of every body out there on the sphere be zero[or non-equal]?

 Patience. It will all come together shortly. Genius moves at its own pace, after all.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2005,13:08   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 29 2005,18:26)
Quote
If everything orbits the earth, shouldn't the parallax of every body out there on the sphere be zero[or non-equal]?

 Patience. It will all come together shortly. Genius moves at its own pace, after all.

No, it definitely wouldn't be non-equal. It might be non-zero, but if everything's the same distance from the earth, everything should have the same parallax, even if it's non-zero, due to divine sloppiness.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2005,13:36   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 29 2005,18:26)
Patience. It will all come together shortly. Genius moves at its own pace, after all.

Just to give you a running start, I thought I'd include a few other, relatively non-controversial, astronomical observations, with the request that you explain how your model accounts for them:

The Hertzsprung-Russel mass-luminosity relationship. According to your model, all stars (with minor exceptions) are at the same distance from earth: 4.5 ly. This means that all stars' apparent magnitude is equal to their absolute magnitude, and therefore their apparent luminosity is the same as their intrinsic luminosity. This means that the Hertzprung-Russel mass-luminosity relationship is broken, and there is therefore no relationship between a star's mass and its luminosity, or between its temperature and its luminosity. Therefore some other explanation is necessary for the different temperatures of stars. What is that explanation?

Galaxies. Since galaxies are all the same distance from the earth as the stars are (4.5 ly), either they're not made of stars at all (and hence are "nebulae"?), or they're made of extremely non-luminous stars. But stars have been resolved in some nearby galaxies, e.g., the Magellanic clouds. Presumably these are really tiny stars? Since their apparent luminosity is the same as their intrinsic luminosity…

Cosmic elemental abundances. (Is evopeach out there somewhere?). Presumably Bill's geocentric universe precludes a big bang, and therefore precludes primordial nucleosynthesis. Therefore, one needs some other explanation for the eerie concordance between the observed cosmic microwave background radiation and the predicted abundances of hydrogen, deuterium, helium, and lithium, which are exquisitely sensitive to the temperature of that radiation. Of course, we also need an explanation for the existence of the CMB in the first place, since the Big Bang evidently didn't happen in Bill's world.

Existence of metals. (Of course, I mean metals in the sense that astrophysicists use the term). I assume that supernovae don't happen in Bill's world, since a supernova occurring 4.5 ly away would preclude the existence of the earth. So, Bill—how did metals get here? I'm assuming since there was no big bang, they've always been here, but I'm hoping your answer is a little more entertaining than "I don't need to explain how metals got here, because they've always been here."

Cosmic redshift. Obviously, neither stars nor galaxies have a recession velocity, since they're all at the same distance from the earth (4.5 ly), and presumably always have been. So what accounts for the observed redshift? Tired light? Intervening dust? God playing tricks on us?

Distance to the celestial sphere. Bill, you say you know the distance to the A Centauri system. But how did you derive that distance? By its parallax? Even if, as WKV points out, parallax could be due to a wobbly cosmic sphere, you wouldn't be able to determine the sphere's distance that way. The reason we know the distance to A Centauri is because we know the diameter of the earth's orbit around the— oh, wait. The earth doesn't revolve around the sun. So what's the base of the triangle that allows us to compute the distance to the celestial sphere?

I'm sure I'll think of other phenomena in need of explanation, but I thought I'd give you a few to get you started.

And yes, I will expect an explanation for all of them, since there's already a perfectly good, non-geocentric, explanation for them. No one said re-writing the laws of nature was going to be easy, or quick.

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2005,15:56   

Quote
Just to give you a running start, I thought I'd include a few other, relatively non-controversial, astronomical observations, with the request that you explain how your model accounts for them:

  That's sweet of you, Matlock. I do appreciate your criticisms, as they help refine my thoughts. To avoid distraction, I'll try to incorporate my rebuttal within the work proper. Please understand, however, that the paper must simultaneously address many criticisms, so part of it might be rough going for those without calculus. The study must strike a balance between detail and clarity, and enchant in the process. I'll do what I can.

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ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 30 2005,05:46   

Quote (The Ghost of Paley @ Nov. 29 2005,21:56)
  That's sweet of you, Matlock. I do appreciate your criticisms, as they help refine my thoughts. To avoid distraction, I'll try to incorporate my rebuttal within the work proper. Please understand, however, that the paper must simultaneously address many criticisms, so part of it might be rough going for those without calculus. The study must strike a balance between detail and clarity, and enchant in the process. I'll do what I can.

Actually, none of my questions are criticisms. I'm just wondering if your theory will have the breadth and explanatory power of the theory it purports to replace (I will admit that I've made certain predictions on that subject).

Therefore, there's no need for any rebuttal, since I haven't made any rebuttable assertions. However, my difficulties with higher mathematics shouldn't present an obstacle to you, since the currently-existing theory accounting for the above-referenced observations has been able to explain those observations without resorting to the sort of difficult mathematical formalisms favored by (what's his name again?) The Master(sm)(?). I have every confidence you'll be able to do the same.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 30 2005,07:24   

Quote
Therefore, there's no need for any rebuttal, since I haven't made any rebuttable assertions. However, my difficulties with higher mathematics shouldn't present an obstacle to you, since the currently-existing theory accounting for the above-referenced observations has been able to explain those observations without resorting to the sort of difficult mathematical formalisms favored by (what's his name again?) The Master(sm)(?). I have every confidence you'll be able to do the same.

 Fair enough. Actually, my first summary was a failed effort in that direction. I'll expand my abstracts a little more in the future. And by the way:

Dembski  -> The Wizard

Berlinski  -> The Master.

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The Ghost of Paley



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 30 2005,15:37   

Quote
Please review Gauss.  It is painful to see you abuse these theorems so badly.  The equation set
E® = Q/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {R>r}
    = 0 {R<r}
is that of an ideal Gaussian spherical shell with thickness = 0.  A Gaussian spherical shell with non-zero thickness = x has an additional term Q(x)/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {r+x>R>r}.  More properly stated, E® = Q(x)/(4*PI*eps0*R*R) {R>r}, where Q(x)=Q for R>r+x and 0 for R<r.


Vickland, although  still basically stupid, is intelligent for an evolutionist. Vicky, I am aware of the equations for a Gaussian sphere of thickness greater than zero. However, the sphere of the fixed stars can be assumed to have zero thickness in three dimensions, for it is actually part of a seven-dimensional ensemble that slices through our own space, while at the same time enveloping it, so my assumptions are absolutely solid. Indeed, they are hypersolid, to stretch a metaphor. In addition, you appear to be confused about the symbols; this is partially my fault; that registered trademark symbol is actually the derivative of the field with respect to R, which is the field gradient if there is no angular variation.



Quote
So there is no discontinuity present,


At this point you're correct. There is no authentic discontinuity, even as the thickness of the shell approaches zero. (Review your Delta functions if you have trouble understanding this.)

Quote
So the Fourier series is wrong, and you would need knowledge of the thickness of the firmament to be able to perform the proper analysis.


The thickness is differential, my use of Fourier series is absolutely correct in light of this fact.

Quote
Finally, absolutely none of this has anything to do with evolution.  In fact, Gaussian theory predates evolution.  Please stop using "evolutionistic" to mean "any scientific th