AE BB DB Explorer

Search Terms (separate with commas, no spaces):

form_srcid: Glen Davidson

form_srcid: Glen Davidson

form_cmd: view_author

Your IP address is

View Author detected.

view author posts with search matches:

Retrieve source record and display it.

Your IP address is


form_srcid: Glen Davidson

q: SELECT AUTHOR, MEMBER_NAME, IP_ADDR, POST_DATE, TOPIC_ID, t1.FORUM_ID, POST, POST_ID, FORUM_VIEW_THREADS from ib_forum_posts AS t1 LEFT JOIN (ib_member_profiles AS t2, ib_forum_info AS t3) ON (t1.forum_id = t3.forum_id AND = t2.member_id) WHERE MEMBER_NAME like 'Glen Davidson%' and forum_view_threads LIKE '*' ORDER BY POST_DATE ASC


DB_result: Resource id #6

Date: 2006/05/03 05:55:46, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
No sir, you are no skeptic.  You can pretend otherwise, but you're what is called a "true believer".  

And you do not have the mind of an engineer or a scientist, if you did you would have seen through the nonsense you promote a long time ago.

No need to thank me for pointing this out to you.

For a thousand years or more people "thought" in order to show that their Xian beliefs were right.  And some of that thinking was good, yet it was unavoidably limited.

What I'm saying is that there is nothing new or surprising that Afdave begins with an inadequate a set of a priori assumptions (people did so prior to Xianity as well, of course).  The trouble is that he has it now, and he is unlikely to upset his world by seriously questioning his beliefs.  He's not young enough, he's not troubled enough by his inconsistencies and the gaps in his "thinking".  In fact he is the sort that I would bet 50 to 1 will never truly question his a priori commitments, indeed, that he cannot do so.  He seems sincere in claiming that he came at his beliefs skeptically, when just his assumption that the Bible accurately relates history to its readers shows that he does not look at "Biblical issues" in any competent manner whatsoever.

He refers back to his college days as what set him on his current path.  Not surprising, since beliefs typically congeal around that time.  But did he know much about the issues?  Certainly not.  Engineers have quite an load of engineering and math courses, and typically do not take many history or literary courses.  Hence he relied upon what he had been force-fed earlier.  One has to reach conclusions without adequate knowledge in many cases, and so Afdave did.  Believing that he was indeed skeptical and knowledgeable, he connected a set of inherited beliefs to his ego, and he has defended that ego ever since.

So of course he is a true believer, but like many true believers he thinks that he reached his conclusions with enough knowledge to come to his conclusions.  On the other hand, he seems not to be totally sure, hence his forays into the "knowledge" imparted by rank apologists at the CRI and AIG.   But their answers fit with his limited knowledge and a priori worldview, so they are satisfying to his mind.

He cannot think skeptically, or to put it another way, he cannot think skeptically about his own beliefs, rather he uses his faulty worldview to "think skeptically" about the claims of those who know vastly more about science and the Bible.  And as I implied previously, he is of no age or shape to jostle up his worldview, thus he cannot learn to think in a truly empirical manner.  As he notes, his mission is to get us to "think in a new way", as if many of us are not altogether too aware of how he does "think" and of the circularity of his "reasoning".  

What might be instructive is if he learned another metaphysical mode of "thinking", like that found in Plotinus, or eastern thought, which possibly could show how it is the way that he even begins his "skeptical thinking" that is at fault.  However, as I said before, he evidently is in no position to learn beyond his working hypotheses, so it is questionable if he even could learn how wonderfully consistent (more so than fundamentalism), yet baseless, a system like Plotinus's neo-Platonic philosophy really is.

Unfortunately, Afdave does indeed have the mind of many engineers, and not a few scientists (think of Behe, etc.).  Engineers receive an education that teaches them vetted knowledge, from which they are to deduce further working systems.  Engineers (and some scientists) do not learn how to substantiate their knowledge empirically from their particular studies--or at best they learn only the barest information about this.  They learn about designed systems, not about evolved systems, like language, texts, history, and biology.  Afdave is one of too many engineers who takes his knowledge to be knowledge of the world, and resorts to deductive schemes "based upon" self-confirming interpretations of the barest of "evidence".  If many engineers do rather better, clearly the inadequacies of many an engineering education to equip persons for scientific thought are evident in Afdave, Sal Cordova, and DaveScot.

I am doing the only thing that I think is sound in the presence of Afdave and others who automatically fit everything into their unwarranted worldviews.  I am explaining him, and not troubling with his wholly unsubstantiated arguments.  The fact is that he is unreachable at present, and there is scant reason to believe that he will ever really question his silly beliefs that the Bible is historically sound, or that flood waters explain evaporite deposites and sand dunes in the geological column.  It all "makes sense" to him because he has never had the knowledge to recognize the senselessness of it all.

And because he only thinks that we do not know how to think in his wonderful way, when some of us have learned nearly every way in which these beliefs we inherited are inadequate, he cannot begin to understand the opposition to his "reasonable position".

To be sure, everyone (except Carol and a few others) knows this, and argues with him anyway.  That's all fine, if that's what they want to do.  I just wanted to lay out how intractable Afdave really is, and basically how it all comes to be.  The crucial point almost certainly came in college, when he defaulted to a worldview that he did not have adequate knowledge to question.  Ever since then, he has defended his ego/beliefs like most of us do, but most of us here did know rather more than Afdave when we formed our basic worldviews (yes, mostly in college for me, too, though I extended the questioning period considerably beyond college).

I just hope that most here recognize that Afdave is almost certainly beyond the stage when he can question his fundamental beliefs--apart from suffering an overwhelming change in his circumstances.

Date: 2006/05/03 06:16:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
What do you think about Meyer's objection to falsifiability as a criterion for status as a "scientific theory"?

Meyer's critique is good, and not at all new or particularly in question.  We often resort to "falsification criteria" as a shorthand test of a scientific claim.  It is hardly sufficient, and indeed science could never begin with falsification criteria, but rather had to begin with positive inferences.

On what basis?  Your personal experience?  Is there a scientist somewhere that has observed this that I have not read about? In my personal experience and in all my reading, I have never observed (or read about) a non-intelligent cause producing a functional machine (there are a few equivocal examples I have heard about).  Have you?  My experience has ALWAYS been that functional machines require intelligent agency.  Therefore, I think my hypothesis of a Super-Engineer (I do not insist upon calling him 'God';) is a better explanation.

Here is your problem displayed for all to see.  You simply assume that "functional machines" have to be produced by intelligent agency, hence you are blind to the fact that the derived characteristics of organisms are the mark of non-design, not of design.  And you seem incapable of even questioning your presupposition that life (which is in many ways unlike designed machines) has to be designed.

And yes, we know very well of non-intelligent causes that have produced "functioning machines", namely evolutionary causes.  If you had an open mind, you could see it too.  And if you had even a remote concept of what "biological machines" are, you would already know that living organisms are quite unlike automata.

I didn't say it was original ... 'my hypothesis' means to me a conglomerate of existing ones plus some of my own thoughts presented in my own way. Everyone does this.  Why is it less than compelling? Have you ever experienced or read about a system that was 'finely tuned' that was NOT finely tuned by an engineer (or team of them)?

Once again your narrow a priori beliefs get in the way of even questioning metaphysical assumptions.  Have you ever seen a universe being created by a God?  Have you ever seen anything like an organism made by an intelligent agent?  

Of course you haven't.  You're analogizing across very different phenomena, not even noticing that intelligent religionists have typically considered the gods and/or other "supernatural agents" to be non-analogous with ourselves based upon the fact that we do not make universes, organisms, and what-not.  Only at this late date do we have people supposing that life is just a collection of machines, that the universe is fine-tuned like a computer or some such thing.

And frankly, I have said enough.  If you can ever question your prejudices, then you might learn how we know that reproducing derivative "machines" were not produced by any kind of "intelligent agent" that we have ever seen, and that the universe cannot be compared with anything we have ever produced.  

And no, I did not write this for Afdave, really, but just to show generically what is wrong with Afdave's unquestioned worldview.  Anthropomorphism runs rampant through it, and the poorest analogies are used to show that life is "created like other machines", without Afdave even noticing the vast differences between designed machines and life.  Then again, better educated individuals have failed as completely to make these basic distinctions, so we should not be surprised if Afdave is unable to question his assumptions.

Date: 2006/05/03 06:42:44, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
My point is (and this is known as the "weak anthropic principle") we would be surprised to find ourselves living in a universe that was not finely tuned for life. Obviously, Dave, we could not live in a universe that was inimical to life, unless a creator god made it possible for us to live there nevertheless. Since we are, in fact, alive, it should come as no surprise at all to us that we inhabit a universe that can sustain life.

This is all good, of course.  But what might be worth wondering about is why this universe, which is so poorly equipped to produce and to sustain life, is considered to be miraculously created to do just that.

If you (anyone) were God, would you produce a universe that often subjected planets to death-causing radiation, colossal collisions with heavenly bodies, and random changes in earth's climate that alternately freeze and fry life on earth?  Or would you make something far more controlled, like we do on our limited scale?

The fact of the matter is that few enough organisms survived the Permian extinction.  For most of earth's existence, there was inadequate oxygen (rising oxygen levels remain a good candidate for setting off the "Cambrian explosion").  Mars was dessicated by this "universe fine-tuned for life", while Venus was completely fried.  We exist as highly successful mammals largely because an asteroid (or at least some great disaster) killed off the dinosaurs.  We may have narrowly escaped the a caldera explosion, which appears to have produced a genetic bottleneck (with subsequent problems for us) in the human genome (I am not wedded to the caldera (supervolcano) hypothesis for the bottleneck, but it seems reasonable).

We probably exist in a sweet spot in this slated-to-die universe.  Earlier, there was too much chaos, radiation, and too many explosions for much life to arise and then evolve.  Later, the energy output of the universe will be rather poor, with few opportunities for life to arise, and diminishing resources for intelligent life trying to maintain itself.

The fact is that many conditions had to exist (be "fine-tuned") even for our dangerous and dicey existence to happen--hence there is real thought regarding the "fine-tuning" (the multiverse is a good hypothesis, but at best a hypothesis currently).  However, such "fine-tuning" indicates no real concern for producing adequate, let alone truly hospitable, conditions for intelligent life (which most IDists/creationists assume is the "goal").  Particularly in the past, life has been nasty, short, and brutish, for most of the human population, hardly the mark of a benevolent God.

The fine-tuning issue remains a real question in science--the journal Nature recently ran some articles about it.  What fine-tuning does not do, however, is to show that life is in any way favored, supported, or designed for anything except to die out as the universe slowly runs out of energy.  So many theists have claimed otherwise that we too-often argue as if fine-tuning did show a concern for life, when life only has all of the problems that evolution causes to non-designed systems, as well as the problems caused by stellar and cosmological evolution.  

What is more, one would have to show that life is some sort of "goal" or "preferred outcome" even to suggest that a single universe with life is "unusual" in any way.  We do not have access to God's telos to show that life is (supposedly) an unlikely but meaningful outcome to cosmic evolution.  Creationists/IDists only assume that life is a meaningful outcome, while we have no excuse to suppose that it is meaningful in a cosmic sense (as opposed to our own sense), however likely or unlikely it may be.  

For all I know, the universe was designed not to produce life, but the God's calculations were off and he abandoned this universe with its noisome organisms.  I have as much reason to believe this as to believe that the death-dealing universe was made for us.

Date: 2006/05/03 07:05:38, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
If we found ourselves living a universe in which life could not possibly exist, that would be evidence for the existence of god (and it would be pretty surprising, too).

Not so surprising to the Semitic (writ large) mind , which typically thought of the universe as being fundamentally chaotic, yet held together by the pharoahs or kings, and the gods.  

And I say this to bolster your point, that the miracles are apparent where they overcome the unknown difficulties that beset us.  This "fine-tuned" claim for God seems to fit well with pagan beliefs about the eternal universe, yet one in which we "miraculously" exist "apart from nature" (that is, in later pagan beliefs).  Even the Xians tended to view this universe, though created by God, as a barely tolerable, inimical-to-humanity realm of the devil.  Xians needed God to survive in this hellhole, and the only thing that made this universe in the least bit "fair" was the fact that the good would go to heaven.

Now the parameters of existence are used as "evidence" for this supposedly benevolent God, when in the past it was salvation from this squalid existence that indicated that the Savior was Good.  And I quite agree with your conclusions.

Date: 2006/05/03 14:27:15, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Sure, maybe this bacterium kicks our butts when it comes to making superglue (for now), but can it make a nanogenerator?

Actually, I don't know that any bacterium makes a better superglue, overall, than we do.  The recent claims have been that it is the best "natural" superglue, and that it may be better than anything we have for wet surfaces.  Which means that in one respect it may be better than cyanoacrylate, but it is likely that in many other respects it is not as good as what we make.

We often make more capable machines than does evolution because we can choose, "design", to optimize materials and temperatures.  The control of a hummingbird's flight is not yet matched by us, however our ability to power flight beyond the mediocre level that muscles can attain, is unmatched.  Nothing much larger than a swan can really actively fly for any extended period of time, while we fly incredibly large planes, sometimes while carrying tanks.

Muscles are not, certainly, the best sources of power possible, almost certainly not even under physiological conditions.  In our designs, we may choose nickel tungsten and cobalt to make truly powerful turbines and jet engines, thus to produce flight that life has never begun to approach.  This is what sets life apart from machines, in part, this fact that "designers" (yes, the question of what "designer" means is begged here) are incredibly capable of utilizing materials and ideas (indeed, the Wright brothers learned design from the birds--bats and their reputed designer did not) from a wide range of possibilities, while vertebrate life is restricted in materials and information, pathetically having to develop wings out of legs, feathers out of scales.

Nevertheless, feathers are now highly evolved and perhaps close to "optimal" for their function (some improvements in material seem likely to be possible).  Of course bats did not benefit from this kind of "design", since bats simply had to evolve from featherless mammals.

Having said all that, however, evolution hits on solutions that humans probably would never be able to do without using tools.  Look at the life cycles of some of the parasites, and you see very strange exploitations of contingent opportunities that no "designer" would be likely to think up, not even an evil one.  Even that is not much of a limitation to us any more, though, since we are able to computationally, as well as in vitro, evolve solutions to problems that we would not likely achieve by merely thinking about them.

We will probably trump biology in virtually every area, then, because we may harness both evolutionary development and the generality of design to both "mimic nature" (we usually make at least some improvements when we do this) and when we come up with a new "design".  I guess we're the new gods, then, since God himself is reputedly restricted to using evolutionary algorithms alone for his "designs" (as inferred from the claims from IDists that God designed clearly derived organs and organisms), while we mix both evolutionary and design characteristics to best God's "designs".

Even though I don't believe in God, I can't leave it at that.  For the sake of those who believe in an intelligent God, I must point out that the IDists "God" is an insult to all thinking theists.  And to all thinking non-theists, for that matter.  If one wishes to believe in God, at least may such a one not reduce the God-concept to one lower than our own estate.

Date: 2006/05/04 05:16:48, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Norm wrote:

Good grief! You look at a comparison of two closely related genomes with many chromosomes of exactly the same size that screams "Darwin got it right" when Darwin didn't even know DNA existed and you just miss seeing how strong that evidence is.

Afdave wrote:

really can't help you if you don't ACCEPT my evidence.

I wrote:

Norm was writing about actual evidence, Afdave wants us to accept pseudoscientific BS as "evidence" we should accept.  Unfortunately, Afdave doesn't know the difference, and is utterly incapable of differentiating between evidence and tendentious apologetics.

And that is really how it stands.  The only thing I have to add is that those of us who understand science cannot be affected by Afdave's "evidence", something he needs to learn at some point.  An uneducated buffoon is not going to teach anything to the educated, so he may as well find people ignorant enough to persuade.  Right now he's just the whipping boy here, standing in for all of the ignorant creationists/IDists of the world.

Date: 2006/05/04 05:24:53, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Hey Dave, how come humans don't have "perfect genes" any more?  It almost sounds as if the genome is malleable and changes over time, sort of the thing that evolution would predict.  However, I fail to see where a perfect creator making perfect beings would invent a changing DNA of just the kind that is required for evolutionary changes.

So, let's see how creationism/ID entails the kind of genetic material that is predicted by evolutionary scenarios, and which requires the incest taboo/prohibition.  Or any evidence for your claims whatsoever, including evidence that Adam and Eve existed and were "perfect".  Come on, you're such a skeptic, I'm sure you've got all of this evidence at hand, much more than the millions of pages of research that we have on our side.

Date: 2006/05/04 05:24:53, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Hey Dave, how come humans don't have "perfect genes" any more?  It almost sounds as if the genome is malleable and changes over time, sort of the thing that evolution would predict.  However, I fail to see where a perfect creator making perfect beings would invent a changing DNA of just the kind that is required for evolutionary changes.

So, let's see how creationism/ID entails the kind of genetic material that is predicted by evolutionary scenarios, and which requires the incest taboo/prohibition.  Or any evidence for your claims whatsoever, including evidence that Adam and Eve existed and were "perfect".  Come on, you're such a skeptic, I'm sure you've got all of this evidence at hand, much more than the millions of pages of research that we have on our side.

Date: 2006/05/04 05:49:28, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Stealing a quote straight from Stevestory's post:

There is a very fine line between saying “a designer did it” and saying “it is best explained as being the result of design”, but a line exists, nonetheless.

Of course no "line" exists.  This once again points up how little IDists know about science in theory and in practice.  We only have confidence levels, and at some reasonable point we simply say "a designer did it" if the confidence levels are high enough.  We really don't doubt that potsherds are in part the result of design, in the overwhelming number of cases.

There's a more sinister reason behind the fact that no line exists for the IDist.  The IDist doesn't even question that life was designed, and couldn't possibly come to the conclusion that life was designed without already "knowing" that Goddidit.  If they really were open to other explanations, they'd never once propose that biological phenomena are "best explained as the result of design".

The trouble is that they, yet again, have no concept of boosting confidence levels by using evidence instead of prejudice/thology.  That is to say, they're trying to smudge over the fact that they have no candidate designer for life at all by pretending to be "open-minded" about their non-existent evidence.  It's a good idea, I suppose, to pretend not to be dogmatic about their dogma, since they utterly lack any basis for their claims, but in fact they'd have to have quite solid evidence for a designer of life before they could begin to hypothesize that said designer created life.

They'd need a candidate designer to compare ID against evolutionary models, since they'd need to show how any sort of fact is "better explained by design" than by evolution.  Only then might they begin to have a "science of ID", which they might actually like to have, but unfortunately the designer they serve is unwilling to help them out at all in this matter.  At least we know God doesn't like them much, if he exists, which makes me better disposed toward any such hypothetical God.

Date: 2006/05/05 05:53:00, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The reason, Dave is that most people are stupid.  Yes, that's right.  Stupid.  Civilization advances and is sustained on the minds of a vanishingly small percentage of the race.  The rest are drones - useful for evolutionary purposes, no doubt, but contributing nothing, unable to reason, unable to do much of anything except eat, sleep, and procreate.

Well, true enough, I suppose, but we didn't evolve intelligence in order to theorize and to do mathematics.  We evolved intelligence in order to do well in our little primate groups, and that is entirely possible to do without knowing science or accepting evolution.  We're herd animals, and we are intelligent herd animals for the most part.

Afdave illustrates this fact over and over again.  It's all argumentum ad populum, which is why he fails to distinguish between good science and bad (whatever), and fails entirely to even recognize the evidence when it's in plain view.  Which is why he looks at the obviously derived chromosome 2, and says that what obviously did happen "could not happen".  His "standards" come from his herd.  He doesn't think so very stupidly, considering where he's coming from, so much as that he argues from his herd position, and with a near-total lack of science knowledge--let alone its philosophy.  

There are no rewards for him even to begin to understand the world in an unbiased manner, rather he probably gets credit in his circles for "tackling the atheists", even though he never actually manages a hit on anybody (his herd would know the difference?).  Within his herd, his reward system, it all works out, and he obviously cares not a fig about science (though he probably has a high opinion of an ideal of science), only about defending his ego and his herd.  This is why "discussing these things with him" is futile through and through.

You can't make a cat look in the mirror, and you can't get most people to look past their social-reward systems.  This is actually true for scientists in many cases, as anyone who has come up with actually new ideas knows.  Nearly all challengers of the accepted ideas have considerable trouble getting even scientists to look at the evidence uncolored by past beliefs.  How much worse it must be when one has virtually no background in science, an "education in evolution" from the CRI and AIG, and a considerable amount of ego invested into "knowing evolution to be wrong".  

Intelligence serves the primate's psyche, not the "truth of the world" (it's complicated to explain how this differs in science to a meaningful extent, but it has mostly to do with societies of people who have recognized and experienced the rewards of empiricism).  Intelligence could not evolve differently, as far as we know, so we're stuck with people whose intelligence works for themselves and their group, quite contrarily to small-t "truth" as it is commonly understood.

And yes, I still think that saying "people are stupid" fits the contextual meaning of that phrase.  Of course, but most people who are too stupid or lazy to understand the scientific method still don't oppose the vast majority of science--partly this is because their religious prejudices actually tend to suggest that one may well learn from the "created world".  The trouble is when one disagrees that life itself was "created" (or disagrees that a flood was created by an angry God who regretted what he had made--a clear strike against the "design hypothesis"), since that goes against the worldview that in many cases has facilitated science.

Stupidity no doubt has much to do with it, however the social "herd instinct" of humanity seems to explain more.  While social pressures and curiosity helps to place more of the intelligent people into a mode of the acceptance of science, clearly some quite intelligent people also expend quite a lot of intellectual skill (debating skill) into disagreeing with the science that they have learned where they "already know it to be wrong".  

Look at Afdave's argument.  Clearly it is fallacious by any standard, but it is also carefully drawn (though it was hardly invented by Afdave) to avoid the fact that the only explanation for current and fossil forms of life that has managed to cross borders, religions, ethnic groups, politics, and intellectual inheritances, is evolutionary theory.  Russian atheists, American Catholics and mainline Protestants, scientists, intellectuals, Japanese Shintoists (initially, anyhow, though I don't know if Shinto holds up well alongside modern science), Muslim thinkers, Hindus, Jainists, and traditional religionists like native Americans, have all been able to comprehend and accept the evidence for evolution.

Herd thought?  No, except to the degree that empiricism is a kind of herd thought, which it is (but with standards that reach beyond the herd).  Tradition?  Only the tradition of "objectivity", rather than forcing the interpretation.

Evolutionary theory is extraordinarily successful by the standards of any startup of a new religion.  This is because evolutionary thought only depends upon the evidence, and it is not designed to challenge or to disagree with any religion.  Cultural baggage and biases (such as Darwin's) need not follow evolutionary theory, and indeed tend not to.  Most of all, evolutionary theory does not depend upon herd thought, except to the extent that empiricism should be considered "herd thought".  Promulgating a new religion, by contrast, requires herd sanctions and herd thinking to slowly infiltrate (or to be violently imposed) upon society, and the creation myths of that religion remain peculiar to that religion.

The only universally-acceptable origins-of-life idea is evolutionary theory, while one may easily enough explain why opposition by particular religions persist.  But one may as "easily" explain to a herd-thinker like Afdave why he and so many other ignorant types cling to exploded notions, as one may explain to them how to recognize the evidence of derivation of chromosome 2 when they are explaining how something like chromosomal fusion cannot occur.  They are operating on the basis that evolution is impossible, which is why they cannot even begin to deal with the evidence in favor of evolution.

Date: 2006/05/05 06:02:46, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I welcome your intelligent comments.  I qualify comments with the modifier 'intelligent' because I have now pretty much heard everything un-intelligent that there is to hear including but not limited to Glen Davidson's detailed and authoritative "Psychoanalysis of AF Dave" (thankyou, Glen ... I have to pay $300/hr for those here in Kansas City),

Well, you're too stupid and ignorant even to respond to my authoritative analysis, moron.  All you can do is to compound your ignorance by denying everything intelligent ever written with regard to your mindless tripe, and of course your ignorance of yourself is probably the most profound ignorance that you possess.

If you ever can make an intelligent remark, please do so, cretin.  I see that you not only cannot respond to my analysis of your mindlessness, but you have also failed to explain how such a dangerous place as this universe is "designed for life", why it is that the "designer" only uses evolutionary algorithms, or evinced the least bit of knowledge of how science works.  Thank you for showing how close to correct my analysis of your ignorance is.

There is virtually no chance that you will ever be anything except a stupid and ignorant little ape, Dave.  The biggest reason of all is that you only sneer at expertise of all kinds, while clinging to your tiny collection of knowledge as if it were Eternal Truth, as do all bigots.

Date: 2006/05/05 06:10:15, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Here is a man who everyone know DOES NOT accept design, yet he in effect says, "It LOOKS like a duck, WALKS like a duck, QUACKS like a duck, but let me spend the next EIGHT CHAPTERS trying to convince you that it's NOT a duck **cough** (isn't that what this debate is about in the first place?)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to once again highlight this embarassing paradox of one of science's most brilliant minds.

It should be embarrassing for Dawkins.  However, real scientists do not care a fig about Dawkins' incorrect notions about life "appearing designed", for on the face of it, life does not appear designed.  I will grant that it may appear "miraculous" or "spiritual", depending on definitions and contexts, but it does not appear designed.  

The most truly embarrassing thing is that religious apologists like Afdave think that life looks designed like machines.  

I brought this up previously, Dave, and you failed as utterly to respond intelligently as you did to my analysis of your ignorance.  Why don't you for once face the facts, that you know virtually nothing except engineering and business, and that you need to learn something other than your determined prejudices?  Or at least that you shouldn't reveal to intelligent people that you couldn't think yourself out of a hole in a tree.

Date: 2006/05/05 06:20:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
And that is the idea that humans are nothing more than highly evolved animals.

Now see, Dave, if you were intelligent and educated you'd know that the idea that humans are animals (generally thought to be "at the peak") is hardly new with Darwin.  Aristotle generally referred to us as animals, for the obvious reason, that we act and exist very much like animals.

Do you want medical testing to be done on our relatives, the apes, or would you prefer that it be done on birds?  And can you think through the implications of why medical testing is done on monkeys and apes just prior to humans, or are you going to just drivel on in your ignorance and prejudice?

And if for once you were able to argue something based on the evidence, instead of your prejudices, you might get some respect.  That is to say, if you were curious and willing to learn, even though you know so little about science, psychology, philosophy, sociology, and religion, you would receive some helpful replies.  

We do care that your prejudices against humans as "evolved animals" prevent you from discussing the evidence that we are.  We just don't care about all of the blather that you gather up to defend your prejudices, trying to pass them off as science.

Date: 2006/05/05 06:26:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Dave, you must learn that authority is no substitute for learning the issues involved yourself.

why don't you pick up a basic biology textbook sometime and learn these things for yourself?

I have to agree.  The problem with Dave is not that he doesn't know what 5' and 3' prime are, for example, but that he has no interest in learning for learning's sake--at least not with regard to evolution.  

And he cannot learn biology and evolution by giving him the answers.  That is superficial, and is the sort of "knowledge" that Dave already confuses with scientific learning.  It is probably not best to feed his mistaken beliefs by "filling in the gaps" of a "knowledge base" that is fundamentally predisposed against any objective analysis of the evidence.

Date: 2006/05/05 07:03:12, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
True.  But this is my point exactly.  Science attempts to explain things in terms of current understanding.  Then as new understanding comes, science modifies its descriptions.

Metaphors do not fundamentally change the practice of science.  Of course the descriptions change, but they are also understood as relatively fluid descriptions, not as statements about reality.  Unfortunately you do not know this, either, about science, or you'd know that "biological machines" is a convenient tag used for what used not to be called "machines".  IDists have made a great deal out of the metaphor of "machine" to indicate biological "objects", but they fundamentally misunderstand what science has identific, vs. the words it uses to understand what has been identified.  

Naturally, you are too ignorant and unintelligent to understand this, Dave, but just because you don't understand anything doesn't mean that it isn't true.

This is what I do.  I see bio machines.  I know how non-bio machines come into existence, so I have nothing better from my experience to explain the bio-machines than "Bio-Machine Design."

"Machine" is just a name.  Learn some philosophy, if you ever learn any science.  

And of course you have nothing better to "explain it", because you know nothing about biology.  Before "biological machines" were even called that, biologists already had a better explanation.  Your ignorance is no excuse to say Goddidit.

I would be happy to adopt "Evo Did It" if I had ever seen an instance of this happening, but so far I have not.

We have lizards losing their legs right now, Dave.  The only reason you haven't seen evolution happening is that you haven't looked, and apparently are unwilling to use the vast evidence for past evolution to question your ignorance.

When I ask for examples of, for instance, a fruit-fly "evolving" into a house fly type insect, I am told that this type of change would take many millions of years, so "we cannot possibly observe the process."

Yet you believe the Bible as a credible source for history throughout, when you have never seen any of the miracles mentioned.  

You do not have the same standard for evolution that you have for other historical and supposedly historical occurrences, but make an exception here.  You aren't even intellectually honest, among your other tremendous intellectual faults.

This would leave me in the uncomfortable position of trying to explain a process that I can only wildly speculate about, but have never even seen, even by analogy.

You haven't, but you could, using evolutionary programs.  You only close your eyes to the evidence.

By the way, did languages evolve?  No one has seen the evolution of English out of Indo-European, or its equivalent, but we have clear evidence that it did.  Cretinists and IDiots don't generally fault that evidence, only the evidence that they find inconvenient.

Many creationists, and most IDists, accept that Darwin's finches evolved, substantially through natural selection.  Yet we have never "observed" that sort of speciation (other than what is happening at present, but its a tiny sliver of the whole).  So of course there is no real problem with past evidence in their philosophy, only with past evidence which points to considerable evolutionary changes.

Crack a book for once, Dave, and quit relying upon what you don't know to "analyze evolution".

So to me, my ANALOGY, while it may be weak, appears to be far stronger than your COMPLETE LACK OF AN ANALOGY.

Of course we have a number of analogies, you just ignore them when they are presented.  We have evolved stories, evolved languages, computer simulations, and observed smaller scale evolutions that we have observed.  

We use phylogenetic evidence to identify strains of HIV, even though we don't "directly observe" HIV evolution.  Sometimes this phylogenetic evidence is used in court in relation to deliberate AIDS infection.  There is actually little "categorical" difference in the sorts of information being used to track HIV evolution and the use of information to track primate evolution.  Crack a book, open your mind, and you might learn this, too.

In other words ... at least I have SOMETHING ... I have my analogy.  You have NOTHING that I can see.

No, you have precisely nothing, because there has never been an observed designer who has designed to produce the "nested hierarchies" that we see in life.  We have several analogous derivative evolutions to compare and contrast with biological evolution, though we have to recognize that language and narrative evolution occur significantly differently than does RM + NS (which doesn't change the fact that similar (but not identical) patterns are seen).  

What is more, we back up our mechanism with evidence.  You only argue words like "machine", without even understanding how paltry your knowledge of the relationship of science to words is.

Oh, yes ... I know ... moths changing color and finch beaks, etc.  But this is well understood already WITHIN the Creationist model and has NOTHING AT ALL to say about "Feet to Flippers" type Evolution.

Tell me why creationists didn't come up with "microevolution".  Also, tell us how it is that microevolution cannot add up to macroevolution (I know that some differences can be defined as "macroevolutionary", but even using this definition would not prevent microevolutionary changes alone from adding up to "macroevolution").  Bring up some evidence that "microevolution" is separate from "macroevolution" to show for once that you have even a slight regard for evidence.

Oh and I know .. the fossil record.  But again, we have a handful of equivocal examples of "transitional forms."

They aren't equivocal, and your lies do not make them so.  See, this is the actual evidence you've been given, the sort of thing that you lack in all of your posts.  It is more than a handful of intermediates that we have as well, though I recognize that you wouldn't know that or any other intellectually sound fact.

Date: 2006/05/05 07:07:05, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Thanks for the tip but Google's faster.

And much less thorough.  That's the problem with you, DAve, you don't care to get an integrated education, but prefer to pick of "facts" to bolster your prejudices.

This was the point of my post, but as usual, you fail to understand even what it is that you lack.

Date: 2006/05/05 07:40:21, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Would you care to show me specifically WHY it's blather, since you obviously are smarter than me?

I already did.  You lacked the courtesy and knowledge to respond to what I had written, preferring to tell lies instead.

What is it about so many of the religious?  Why do lies about others come out so readily into their posts?  

Or will you keep filling my thread with psycho-analysis?

It's not "your thread", greedy businessman, rather it is a thread in which all may discuss.  And it's hardly psychoanalysis, though you wouldn't know that either.  It's more of an analysis based on social psychology, if more on the lines of Nietzsche than on Pareto, Weber, or Durkheim.

And since you have no evidence, or convincing arguments, there is little really to do except to point out the failings of you and many of your fellow believers.  I do so in part because "our side" tends to argue with you guys as if you might soon begin to understand things sensibly, when it is clear that you will not.  

While many are not really going to understand just why  it is that you "think" your herd thoughts and how thoroughly entrenched your very patterns of cognition actually are, at least one might drive home the fact that worldviews are not easily changed.  Particularly not in the self-satisfied bourgeoisie.

One more thing, Glen.  Talk really slow and refute my points one by one in simple layman's terms so that my "religion darkened brain" can understand.

Don't imply that I consider religious brains to necessarily be "darkened".  Norm Doering strikes at religion, I do not, except when religion has decided to make exceptions in accepted thought to accommodate their dogmas.  Not even then, if they don't spread their nonsense onto the web and attempt to force it into schools.

And if you understood what I have written, you would recognize that I know that I can hardly get through to you.  I have refuted any number of your points, and what I got in return were sneering lies from you.  

What is more, I do not believe in trying to dumb things down enough for those who refuse to study.  I might try to get through to someone who was curious and teachable, but not someone who really only wants to defend the nonsense that he got from pseudoscientific sites.

If you don't know that all of your points have either been refuted or explained to be without merit (but not "refutable" exactly), you're clearly not listening or unable to comprehend.  That is why I think it more profitable to discuss the why of your failings, rather than try again and again to get you to see what you not only have not learned to see, but rather have learned to avoid seeing.

Quite honestly, and without malice, I can only recommend that you do some serious study into biology, and into the history of evolutionary thought.  If you were to simply read, not react, and follow the thought processes of biological/evolutionary thinkers, you might begin to understand how the evidence is used scientifically to indicate that life was derived from other life.  

And if you still did not accept evolution, at least you would not be using such faulty lines of "reasoning" and denial of evidence to "make your points".  Then we might still disagree, but we could discuss things on an equal footing.  It will not do to demand that we see things your way, when we have learned how and why the kinds of thinking that we were taught early on are not adequate.

I do know how to see the evidence like you do, I merely have to think back to when I was 14 and earlier.  You need to learn, and it is not simple or easy, how scientists and/or philosophers think, if you want to have some traction on science forums.

Date: 2006/05/05 08:56:44, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
What Afdave fails to recognize in the area of origins is the importance of establishing proximate causes, of showing how one event causes another one.  

In this matter he thinks like the ancients did, by using sweeping analogies which led to anthropomorphic "hypotheses".  While few of the ancients made the mistake of thinking that animals and humans were designed machines (they don't act like machines, they aren't "designed" like machines, and they are produced in a wholly different way.  The evidence for derivation came later, of course), they did view "creation" as occurring via reproductive means, spirit transfers, and speech.

But what we need for any ID hypothesis is a designer who has been shown to design items similar to organisms.  We don't mind inferring design of simple and complex objects so long as they conform to human capabilities, because we have this known "proximate cause" for pots and spacecraft.  Undoubtedly we would also infer intelligent humanoid designers if we found early alien spacecraft, again because we know how some evolved "intelligences" act.  Yet we totally lack any credible designer who has made organisms like those we see.

Thus a designer is not a reasonable explanation.  As IDists have noted, we do indeed think that we could detect the results of "intelligent beings" in radio signals and in machines.  Yet virtually no one has seriously proposed that aliens made the animals (aliens are brought up to confuse the issue, but only for that reason).  This is because animals are very different from machines, even at a cursory glance.  And more so when we study organisms thoroughly.

What is more, we aren't even satisfied with "intelligence" as a "reason" for human-made machines and art, rather we typically appeal to psychology, evolution, and social causation to explain why and how art is made (as in all historical sciences, we can't fully explain Sumerian art, but we can explain important aspects of it).  Ideally we will at some point have good neurological explanations for artistic creation, which will rely on evolution for part of the complete explanation.

This brings up an important fact:  triumphant IDists would likely impede investigation into what intelligence is and why it is the way that we find it to be--even if only by suggesting that intelligence is some kind of "universal constant" or "law".  We don't even explain design, today, without resort to causal factors beyond the former black box of the brain.  IDists analogize wildly to God, but then they fail utterly to be able to identify factors, like evolution, that would constrain God's designs.  So while we are unwilling to stop with "design" as an explanation anywhere, IDists insist that this is the end of the matter, that God designs in a certain way because of his will, or some such thing.

Anyway, I became sidetracked in these issues, but the important point is that Afdave thinks of "Cause" in the pre-scientific analogical sense, while we insist on at least tentative causes throughout.  We are not going to know every cause, of course, but if we could not find causes of evolution in the genome/environment, we would have to abandon evolution as an explanation.

We know how many mutations are caused, and we know a good deal about natural selection.  We have dealt with the causes, we have connected them, and we have shown how evolution proceeds, at least in considerable part.  It would not do to just invoke "RM + NS" as some grand "Cause", rather science has worked out how it happens, if questions remain.  Science extends these conclusions to fossils and "genomic fossils", but only because both fossils and genomes fit the pattern expected from RM + NS, the patterns observed in HIV evolution.  Thus it is a very reasonable extrapolation.

Dave doesn't like macroevolution, claiming that it has not "been seen".  Since, however, macroevolution is predicted to be produced by largely known mechanisms, therefore to produce the sorts of fossils, nested hierarchies, and genomes that we see, it is fair to say that we have observed it, since we are surrounded by it and are a part of it.

What he wants is some sort of "evidence" for macroevolution beyond the proximate causes that we know.  But science wants proximal causes for evolution, including "macroevolution", and this is what it finds.  This is all that it can be expected to find, since it insists on using proximally linked causes in its evidence, as opposed to the philosophizing about the "Grand Cause".  We have found the mechanisms of evolution, and the patterns to be expected from "RM + NS" (plus other mechanisms of "selection" and bottlenecking).

The genetic material we found is what was needed for evolution, and what would seem unlikely for a perfect creation to have in it.  That is to say, we have found the proximate causes of "macroevolution" operating.  This was needful, but evolution passed this test.  

Dave wants something like God to explain "macroevolution", otoh, because he equates evolution with his origins myth.  No, we do not accept Causes that are not seen to be acting, we accept the mutations and selections of those mutations as the sort of mechanism that evolution demands and requires, both as a science of proximal causes, and as a theory peculiar to biology.

Could something be intervening in the course of evolution?  See, here is where it is appropriate to demand evidence for "macroevolution".  We don't know what might have intervened in the past, but we know that something could have.  Hence, evidence is required for past "macroevolution" if it is going to be properly accepted.  Since we've found such evidence in abundance, some through predictive (and other) paleontology, and much more in the genomes of organisms, we have high confidence that the proximal causes necessary for evolution that we have identified happening, also happened in the past (or at least any other mechanisms left essentially the same pattern of derivation).

We have our proximate causes, then.  The IDists/creationists have no cause at all, but only an analogy that on the face of it appears flawed, and which more tellingly cannot be backed up through evidence for active proximal causes.  Evolution is active today, while any number of IDists and creationists claim that the proximal causes of "type creation" are lost to the past.  We can and do demonstrate how changes occur, but the IDist cannot demonstrate how anything was "caused by the designer".

Date: 2006/05/05 09:41:06, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Apparently an MD is a doctorate degree because we call MDs doctors.

But it is a doctorate degree.  Wikipedia calls it a "Terminal/professional doctoral degree".

Not everyone agreed with turning the physician's degree into a "doctorate", but the medical profession had and has clout.  But of course it still becomes no equivalent of the Ph.D.

Date: 2006/05/06 09:10:26, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
We're herd animals, and we are intelligent herd animals for the most part.

Afdave **cough** (I meant to say the Neo-Darwinist) illustrates this fact over and over again.

You think that's witty, or an intelligent response?

Look at Afdave's argument.  Clearly it is fallacious by any standard, but it is also carefully drawn (though it was hardly invented by Afdave) to avoid the fact that the only explanation for current and fossil forms of life that has managed to cross borders, religions, ethnic groups, politics, and intellectual inheritances, is evolutionary theory.  Russian atheists, American Catholics and mainline Protestants, scientists, intellectuals, Japanese Shintoists (initially, anyhow, though I don't know if Shinto holds up well alongside modern science), Muslim thinkers, Hindus, Jainists, and traditional religionists like native Americans, have all been able to comprehend and accept the evidence for evolution.
Herd thought?


You guessed it, Glen.  My thought exactly. (Attention Quote Mine Police:  Glen really said "No" -- I'm putting words in his mouth)

Wow, you can take a statement and turn the accusation around.  All the while not supporting your dishonest claims.  Of course you have supported virtually no non-trivial claim heretofore.

Evolutionary theory is extraordinarily successful by the standards of any startup of a new religion.  

Yes.  And so was Islam.  And your point is?  

I made my point, which is that evolutionary theory is successful in a universal sense.  Too bad you can't read anything above high school level, and have to conflate the biased myths that I clearly differentiated, remaining in your ignorance and bigotry.

Possibly that this means AF Dave should accept it as true?  I see.

You are just about that stupid, aren't you?  I, of course, would never argue so stupidly, but then you can hardly understand a discussion about ideas and how and why some are successful, and how and why other ideas are successful.  I laid it all out, and you completely missed the point.  It's the difference between understanding and not understanding, and you have an immensely long way to go to begin to understand the dynamics of evidence-based systems of thought vs. the dynamics of the mythic beliefs of a religion.

I'll try once more (really more for the benefit of other readers, though):  Why do you suppose that a number of Muslims accept evolution, while they do not accept your beliefs?  And for once think, don't just react.

The only universally-acceptable origins-of-life idea is evolutionary theory

never mind the small detail that no one has the slightest idea how it arose.  Francis Crick was so perplexed that he proposed "Panspermia".  

Take a remedial reading course, Dave.  In that context I was obviously referring to evolution as the "origins-of-life idea", not to abiogenesis.  There is not enough to abiogenesis to claim that there is a theory that is "universally-acceptable".

The reason "origins-of-life" can refer to evolution is that a term like "life's origins" is ambiguous.  "Origins-of-life" may refer to either the origins of life in the beginning, or to the origins of the various forms of life.

I never know whether it is your incompetence or your intellectual dishonesty that leads you to such distortions of what another has written.  I'm guessing that the two failings sort of merge within your incomprehension.

[Chris]Biological systems only trivially appear to be designed.

Trivial?  How does this mesh with the fact that Richard Dawkins wrote an ENTIRE BOOK trying to tell people that this stuff IS NOT designed.  Answer: A LOT of people think this stuff at least APPEARS designed.  To me, this is in no way trivial.

Dawkins makes the mistake of writing that life appears designed, but he competently and extensively shows how it is not, based upon evidence.  You know, Dave, evidence, that concept which remains foreign to you after all of the times that it has been requested and discussed.

So you utilize the fallacies that you know to use, argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad verecundiam.  Thus revealing your inability to discuss anything non-trivial yet again.

Well, you're too stupid and ignorant even to respond to my authoritative analysis, moron ... If you ever can make an intelligent remark, please do so, cretin ... There is virtually no chance that you will ever be anything except a stupid and ignorant little ape, Dave.  The biggest reason of all is that you only sneer at expertise of all kinds, while clinging to your tiny collection of knowledge as if it were Eternal Truth, as do all bigots.

Wow Glen, if words could kill! Have you found this debating technique to be effective for you?

It is the only thing that does work with bigots who pretend to discuss matters that they don't begin to understand.  Unfortunately, it only jolts a few mules into giving up their obstinate prejudices long enough to consider the evidence.

However, real scientists do not care a fig about Dawkins' incorrect notions about life "appearing designed", for on the face of it, life does not appear designed.  I will grant that it may appear "miraculous" or "spiritual", depending on definitions and contexts, but it does not appear designed.  

Are you telling me that Richard Dawkins is not a real scientist?

Was Physics Today telling us that Einstein was not a real scientist when it discussed several of Einstein's errors?  And, can you even understand an intelligent string of material without coming to some unwarranted conclusion, or unwarranted tentative conclusion?

One thing that you so desperately lack is any comprehension that arguments from authority are essentially meaningless.  This is not always the case, because of course we rely on competent "authorities" even to relate empirical evidence to us.  However, in the matter of Dawkins discussing "appearance of design", he is no expert on this matter, for he knows science, not the history of ideas, nor the phenomenological viewpoint (for instance).

Why don't you call Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences and tell him he is an embarrasment to you.

Why don't you learn to read Bruce Alberts properly, instead of getting this tidbit, coupled with ID prejudices, from the tendentious and dishonest creationist/ID sources?  You have, quite evidently incorrectly, claimed to be skeptical, while you swallow false implications and misrepresentations of people like Alberts, then repeat the pseudoscientists' dishonesty.  Many Xians believe these false claims to be against the 9th commandment.

Here is his quote again ... Quote  
We have always underestimated cells . . . . The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines . . . Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein [ba]machines?[/b] Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts (Alberts, Bruce. 1998. The Cell as a Collection of Protein Machines: Preparing the NextGeneration of Molecular Biologists. Cell 92 (8 February): 291-94).

How can I even discuss things with you, when you don't even know how Alberts is using those words?  You simply repeat the mistake you've made all along, confusing biological machines with human-made machines.  That the word is the same is the only thing you have going for you, and it doesn't even occur to you that the differences in the "machines" are considerable--not even when you are told this (you're too intellectually dishonest to give proper weight to an intelligent response).

I have not denied that biological machines are "machines" under reasonable definitions.  Your ignorance and intellectual dishonesty are not shared by more educated and understanding people, and it behooves you to become curious as to why this is the case.

Can't you even notice that his argument for calling them "machines" is a functional and coordination argument, and not one that mistakes biological machines as being designed?  Are you completely without the capacity to comprehend a new thought, or in any case, one not fed to you by liars?

I was recently reading in Science or Nature about teasing information out of cells.  One of the important issues brought up is that cells are not designed, meaning that it is not wise to presuppose that cellular automata will be like the machines we design.  

And indeed they are not.  Cellular parts are not compartmentalized or specialized to the degree that our designed machines are.  And crucially, cellular machines are derived (ultimately through genes), utilizing non-obvious solutions for the problems and opportunities that have arisen throughout evolution.  Cellular functions are also often redundant.  Guess, what, these things that I have mentioned in this paragraph are predicted (in context) by evolutionary theory, and they significantly deviate from designed structures.

Now explain that, for once.  I have mentioned this in various ways and places, but you stupidly use same semantic arguments again and again, as if we are as ignorant as you.  We, many of us, know the differences between biological machines and designed machines, and all of your incomprehension of how language is used, let alone your ignorance of science, only reinforces our sense of your profound ignorance.  

I read stuff somewhat like Alberts' bit all of the time.  There is nothing surprising in it, nor in your distortion of what Alberts was actually discussing.  It comes from your ignorant herd, and it repels us from your herd again and again.

Do you want medical testing to be done on our relatives, the apes, or would you prefer that it be done on birds?  And can you think through the implications of why medical testing is done on monkeys and apes just prior to humans, or are you going to just drivel on in your ignorance and prejudice?

If you read what I wrote, you will see that I acknowledge that human BODIES are very similar to the apes.  

I read what you wrote.  Ninth commandment again.  Do you have any conscience at all?

If you comprehended what I wrote, you would deal with the implications of the similarity of ape and human bodies, rather than drivelling along ignorantly.  I asked a largely rhetorical question to set up the next one, then challenged you to think about the evidence intelligently, essentially predicting that you wouldn't.  And you didn't.

I even acknowledge that Chromosome 2 in humans does in fact appear to be fused from 2 chromosomes in chimps.

Yet you think that the claim that organisms "appear designed" has traction, when you admit that chromosome 2 appears to be fused.  IOW, life does not appear to be designed, certainly not in some of its parts, but you don't care about that, you simply repeat the claim.  

And even though chromosome 2 appears to have undergone an evolutionary change, you don't care about that side of the coin either.  "Appearances" matter in one case, even when appearances go against your claim about "design appearances", yet appearances are "meaningless" when they go against your prejudices.  You probably have sufficient native intelligence to do better than that, but your cognitive framework and unwillingness to question your a priori beliefs prevent you from using the standards that you (however poorly) tell us that we should use.

It may very well be that chromosome 2's fusion led to a speciation event.  That is to say, it is evidence consistent with theoretical macroevolutionary causation.  Which means that not only is it derived, it is one of those proximate causes that is necessary to effect RM + NS that we find in the genome(s).  Unlike your inability to show evidence of causal processes, we present causal processes to you.  You only deny them.

But to me it is a different matter  then to say definitively that they did in fact fuse.  Also, let me reiterate what I have said before that my hypothesis regarding humans and apes is that humans have something additional, something invisible, that is very different from the apes, and that this difference is quite crucial. I will be presenting evidence for this soon.

If you do present actual evidence, I'll be shocked.

And of course you're uninterested in what the evidence shows.  You have some great "hypothesis" (no doubt borrowed creationist/IDist tripe) that humans have something additional and invisible over the apes.  With the promised evidence that has proven so disappointing in the past.

You needn't bother to present your "evidence".  Like all of your "evidence", it is no doubt an unoriginal PRATT, one that we have seen too many times, and which is unconvincing even in more competent hands than your own.

Naturally, it'll be some magic that is "evidenced" by arguments that haven't been sound for over two centuries.  A soul, or some such claptrap.  Something that can be claimed without any real evidence, and thus is not exactly refutable in the way that empirical claims are.  At least you seem to be drifting away from scientific claims, as they have never proven to be your friends.

Do you think that we have gone to grad school for nothing, that an engineer is going to use assumptions from useless old philosophies and these tired old arguments are going to trump Nietzsche and other profound thinkers?  Or even if we did not know philosophy at all, that we would abandon the use of evidence to follow unevidenced claims and meaningless analogies to proclaim the old prejudices to be correct?

Btw, I see that you did not counter my post on the observed mechanisms of "macroevolution" with a post on the observed mechanisms of design.  I don't wonder why.

Date: 2006/05/06 10:24:17, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Well it does appear that you responded to my post on proximate causes.  I thought you might have, but without any fear of being wrong I could post that you didn't counter with a post on the observed mechanisms of design.  Instead, the same tedious BS is put out, with you never comprehending how you appear more and more inept and prejudiced with every incompetent statement.

What Afdave fails to recognize in the area of origins is the importance of establishing proximate causes, of showing how one event causes another one.

What I am doing, Glen, is showing everyone why MY proposed proximate cause makes more sense than YOUR proposed proximate cause for explaining the phenomena in the universe.

What proximate cause?  You simply tell your little lie.

But what we need for any ID hypothesis is a designer who has been shown to design items similar to organisms.

Well, I cannot show Him to you any more than you can show me a fruitfly evolving into a "housefly type insect" or a "foot becoming a flipper."

I can show you a dinosaur becoming a bird.  That you won't recognize the evidence as evidence is part of your ineptitude.  Also, that it is evidence from the past is hardly important--all evidence inevitably comes from the past.  Your problem with past evidence is another thing that sets you apart from science.

I don't know whether we can precisely show a foot turning into a flipper.  Smaller bones don't fossilize well. Hardly matters, though.  Tiktaalik was found in a targeted search, not to find intermediates between fish and amphibians (we already had some of those) .per se, but to find an intermediate showing the evolution of legs from fins.  Deal with the evidence.

Again you show your ignorance in supposing that a fruitfly is supposed to be able to evolve into a housefly.  Perhaps it could (though not identical in genetic material), but it would probably be very difficult for any number of reasons.  

And it has been established that you don't care about the evidence that evolution has occurred, so you don't care that fruitflies and houseflies share many genes, and that they fit nicely into cladistic schemes.

Most importantly, yes, you cannot show "Him" to me, but you aren't interested in proximate causes.  That was my point.  And that you admit that you can't show "Him" to me belies your prior false claim of a proposed proximate cause.  Perhaps you are so dull or ignorant as to believe that an invisible and unobserved "entity" counts as a proximate cause in science, but that's your problem.

This is because animals are very different from machines, even at a cursory glance.

Yes, but the key difference is that they are SO SO SO SO much more sophisticated.  Ask Bill Gates ...

See, this is one of the problems with creationism/ID.  Never an original thought, an old PRATT from Bill Gates who is not well educated in biology.  I don't disagree with him as he meant it, true, but "sophisticated" has an anthropomorphic ring to it, and the term also belies the fact that much of adaptation isn't sophisticated in the design sense at all.

And of course you only consider your PRATT to be key, when biologists pay a good deal of attention to other aspects of the differences between life and designed objects.  Mere prejudice again, based in your incomprehension and gee whiz "facts" approach to "science".  That marks you as a functional dullard.

What is more, go ahead and consider the fact that life is so much more complicated, and realize that never ever have we observed a designer create anything like this.  So you have no observed designer, as I pointed out previously.  And you have the facts, though not the intelligence (at least not the educated intelligence) to deal with them sensibly, in order to conclude that no proximate "design" cause for life is known.

I have in many cases pointed out that, among other life aspects, the complexity of life is something that we have never observed intelligent agents to make.  It sort of knocks out your analogy, although we have yet to see you abandon an argument just because you have been shown to be wrong.

I suppose I should note that aliens may in fact make machines as complex as life, for all I know.  Even then we would likely be able to distinguish between those machines and life, for we have no expectation of aliens producing in ways that mimic the predictions of evolution (unless, of course, they mean to re-create life to see if they can, in which case we'd still probably do best calling it life (since it wasn't designed originally, but was only "designed" to mimic an evolved organism)).

What is more, we aren't even satisfied with "intelligence" as a "reason" for human-made machines and art, rather we typically appeal to psychology, evolution, and social causation to explain why and how art is made (as in all historical sciences, we can't fully explain Sumerian art, but we can explain important aspects of it).  

You're kidding, right?  I will let you take this one back if you want to and I won't even bring it up again.

It's interesting that you are so ignorant that sophisticated argumentation seems ridiculous to you.  Again you sneer at expertise, in order to support your ignorant prejudices, your fragile, pathetic ego.  

Crack a book, go back to school, or at least learn how not to act like a fool among the knowledgeable.

This brings up an important fact:  triumphant IDists would likely impede investigation into what intelligence is and why it is the way that we find it to be--even if only by suggesting that intelligence is some kind of "universal constant" or "law".  

Your implication that IDists are not progressive in science?  What about Galileo, Newton, Hooke, Brahe, Copernicus and Huygens?  They all believed in Design.  Were they anti-progressive?

Another PRATT.  I'm sure you've heard the appropriate arguments, and are just trolling here.  What is more, I seriously doubt that all of them believed in "design" in the ID sense, though I'll leave it at that since it would be hard to demonstrate (Galileo isn't likely to refute mechanistic notions of creation which weren't current then).

Again the argumentum ad verecundiam, and your total incapacity to counter my own argument.  You are one superficial "thinker".

IDists analogize wildly to God, but then they fail utterly to be able to identify factors, like evolution, that would constrain God's designs.

What?  Constrain God's design?  Creationists accept Designed Adaptation that you call evolution.  Maybe I'm not following you.

Of course you're not following me, because you have no concept of the necessity of identifying proximate constrained causation via science.  You took this out of a context, which no doubt you did not understand, a context which explained how humans can be considered "proximate causes", namely, because they are constrained (by evolution, physics, etc.).

And no, I can't discuss science on your level, because you know virtually nothing about science.  I made a good series of arguments regarding the identification of "design", and you uncomprehendingly settle back into your fog of incomprehension.  For those with a modicum of comprehension, I repeat, we cannot identify design because we do not know of any proximate cause which would actually "design" the derivative structures we see in organisms.

but if we could not find causes of evolution in the genome/environment, we would have to abandon evolution as an explanation.

Yes. I predict this will happen soon.  

Of course you predict what you cannot demonstrate.  It's an old dodge, kind of the old tribal/herd belief that future battles will vindicate the claims of the "authorities".  Once again, you fail even to comprehend what is needed to make a compelling argument.

Dave doesn't like macroevolution, claiming that it has not "been seen".  Since, however, macroevolution is predicted to be produced by largely known mechanisms, therefore to produce the sorts of fossils, nested hierarchies, and genomes that we see, it is fair to say that we have observed it, since we are surrounded by it and are a part of it.

No.  You have NOT observed it. You have observed what you THINK is evidence for it, but I will show you in time why this fails.

You couldn't show anyone the way out a tepee.

You also miss the fact that we are observing macroevolution all around us, and of course you simply deny excellent evidence any time it is brought up.

You're becoming so redundant, boring, and useless even as a foil to demonstrate the IDiocy of ID and creationism.

No, we do not accept Causes that are not seen to be acting, we accept the mutations and selections of those mutations as the sort of mechanism that evolution demands and requires, both as a science of proximal causes, and as a theory peculiar to biology.

Yes.  You DO accept Causes that are not seen to be acting.  Again, no one has seen feet evolve into flippers, etc.

You're too lame even to know the difference between cause and accumulated effects (we may not have seen all of the mechanisms of macroevolution acting "in nature", but we've seen virtually all in the lab, at least).  Perhaps some day you will know the difference between cause and effect, but today I simply shake my head at how low your intellectual capacity is.

We have our proximate causes, then.  The IDists/creationists have no cause at all, but only an analogy that on the face of it appears flawed, and which more tellingly cannot be backed up through evidence for active proximal causes.  

No.  You don't have your proximate causes, then.  You don't even have an analogy.

So you can only deny the proximate causes, and cannot show that your denial has any basis in fact.  I also mentioned several analogies, from languages to "microevolution", but you're too incapable of intellectual discussion even to throw out some tendentious lies about the specific analogies.  Just blank denial, which in fact is your modus operandi.

We at least have an analogy from our experience.  To me, this is far more scientific.

Why yes, you have no notion of the necessity or means of backing up analogy.  You don't begin to comprehend scientific justification.  You have your stupidity, and want to keep it.  Then keep it, just don't go lying and showing your ignorance for the rest of your life.

I knew from your first post on PT that you were too intellectually dishonest for me to have a meaningful discussion with you.  I have argued this here and at PT, giving probable explanations for it.  

But I have still responded to you as if you could read properly, and as if there were an inkling of curiosity, objectivity, and honesty in there somewhere.  Primarily as a foil, yes, yet I often enough gave you the benefit of the doubt.  

All that you have done is to disgust me.  Whether they be the PRATTs, the fallacies, the outright lies, or the inability to comprehend even reasonably intellectual discussion, you are unworthy to engage in further discussion.  

I made a number of good arguments, mainly for the sake of lurkers who might be suckered into the blatant nonsense that you spout.  They're done, and remain available even to Dave if there is yet a speck of intellectual honesty in him.  I can't step into the intellectual sewer he lives in any more, and am done with responding to him for a while (the only likely exception would be if he responded quickly to my previous post), perhaps forever.  It's an intention, not a promise, but it is probable.  There hasn't been much science here, other than that aimed at the uncomprehending cretinist in our midst, so I may not bother with the rest of "After the Bar Closes" for a while either

Date: 2006/05/06 10:35:57, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Is that a mistake?

What makes something appear designed or not appear designed?

What is design? What does it mean to design something?

If I use a genetic algorithm to "design" a radar system am I designing a radar system?

Oh c'mon, I've argued several times that the IDist God is "obviously only able to design using evolutionary algorithms" (genetic algorithms, whatever).  Of course "what design is" is in question, which is what I was discussing in one post with respect to the fact that we don't actually stop with "design" as an explanation even when humans do it.  Dave wrote, "duh, I don't get it," or its equivalent, but that's Dave for you.

I was, certainly, saying that "organisms don't appear designed" in the sense that the Nature article I mentioned noted that cell parts are "not designed".  That is to say, in the sense that we should not be looking for what we might expect from an engineer, but rather we should be looking for co-option and derivation.

It is not beyond the range of possible meanings of the word "design" to say that "evolution designed the flagellum".  Occasionally journals will discuss such "designs of evolution", though most of us don't prefer that language--especially not us Americans who are beset by morons.

Still, your points are reasonable in the broader sense, and not a bad addition to the total context.

Date: 2006/05/08 09:52:00, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
"More evolved" is a difficult term and issue.  However, I don't think that it is truly meaningless in biology, nor that it would necessarily apply to the highly successful micro-organisms better than to multi-celled eukaryotes.

The human brain is generally considered to be more highly evolved than the H. erectus brain.  One reason is that it comes later, however that is not the only measure.  Size and apparent specialization, probably for speech or for more refined speech, would generally be used as criteria for using the term "more evolved".  We might very well see ourselves as "more evolved" than H. floresiensis, then, although I realize that the specialization (for instance, smaller size) of the hobbit is a credible argument against such a judgment.  More likely, then, we might judge our abstract abilities to be "more evolved" than the hobbits' (not demonstrated yet, but at least possible), while other factors might be "more evolved" in the hobbits.

Highly selected characteristics could be considered to be "more evolved", though of course more careful speech would simply use the term "highly selected characteristics".  Whole organisms/populations are not particularly good candidates for determining the "more evolved" species, using this criterion, while we may indeed think in terms of "more evolved" for certain characteristics.

If we do dare to think of whole organisms as more evolved, it is perhaps less likely that free-living bacteria are "more evolved" than are sexually-reproducing eukaryotes, at least those whose phenotypes and ways of living have changed dramatically through time.  For, although there is no doubt cyanobacteria have evolved in crucial ways through time, it is not unlikely that in many respects they have not evolved much at all.  That is how we tend to see them, in any case, since many of their metabolic activities seem rather "primitive" (for the most part).  However, their defenses against viruses and the like could hardly have been static for a couple billion years or so.

Most viruses do seem to be "highly evolved", all right, as one would expect from the arms races between parasites and hosts.  Yet one would probably do best to differentiate between what "highly evolved" means for viruses, and what it means for human cognitive abilities.  In eukaryotes, "more evolved" often can mean "more complex" (at least in non-parasitical organisms), while it rarely means that in prokaryotes.

The upshot is, of course, that "more evolved" or "more highly evolved" are slippery terms not generally used in more precise biological writings.  Nevertheless, these are not meaningless terms either.  And they are used, generally to denote improvements in selected capabilities of organisms.  "More evolved" refers best to traits, not to organisms themselves, while "more evolved" also has different meanings when we are discussing viruses than when we are discussing primates.

Within H. sapiens there is too little variation for "more evolved" to refer properly to human groups, and perhaps not even to any traits.  We almost certainly could be said to be "more evolved" than Neanderthals in some important aspects, which may also be partly why Neanderthals no longer exist.   I should add that Neanderthals were also more evolved than ourselves in physical adaptations to cold environments--if apparently these did not confer enough of an advantage for them to have survived.

Date: 2006/05/15 05:46:31, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Well I guess it's true, PT can be censorious.  Carol writes this ignorant twaddle:

Dembski needs to learn to express himself more precisely and in a more nuanced manner. Upon reflection he probably would agree that “prejudices” and “bigots” is not what he wanted to say. Instead, a better term, one that could quite accurately be applied to all too many scientists, particularly biologists, is “hubris”. Some scientists tend to forget that science proves very little, that it is in the business of formulating working hypotheses that can and repreatedly have been overturned by the next discovery, and that it is based on unprovable axioms just as is almost any other human endeavor. A little more humility and perspective is in order in this regard.

She gets intelligent replies, and Reed Cartwright sends the intelligent posts to the Bathroom Wall, leaving Carol's BS on PT.  I guess his meaningless "mad-libber" post was just too important to be cluttered up with anything meaningful.  I am not impressed with the man at all.

Carol, of course, can hardly write anything that doesn't expose her bigotry, ethnic, religious, anti-science, whichever one you choose.  I don't suppose much more than that observation is needed to respond to the latest round of her illiterate mumblings.

Date: 2006/05/16 15:17:47, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I don't have the stomach for these afdave threads

Yeah, me either. I check them occasionally for funny lines, but 98% of it is

AFDave: (some comment which makes basic errors)

Argystokes, Ved, Occam, Chris Hyland, normdoering, etc: (whole bunch of data, links to papers, analysis explaining basic science)

AFDave: nuh uh!

Good summary.  But after having not commented for quite some time on Dave threads, mainly I'm using your post as a jump-off to discuss what is going on with Dave, .

We like to point to multiple lines of evidence for the age of the earth, and for the several lines of evidence that converge to support evolution--you know, fossils, the overall hierarchical schemata of cladistics, and the direct comparison of genomes on the smaller scale.  Obviously if independent lines of evidence give the same result(s), we have attained a high confidence level.

The thing with Dave is that he has the same thing going.  Now I don't agree that any of his lines are in fact sound, but the important thing is that he seems to believe them, as do many.  Early on he mentioned at least some, the historicity of the Bible (which he believes is great, even though Genesis 1-11 is quite obviously incorrect, even about human length of life), the "evidence for the flood", the supposed gulf between human and animal minds, and the appearance of design.

And the fact is that this is his worldview, that is, it is how he evaluates the various lines of evidence.  He evaluates evolution based upon the notion that Genesis is history, and that the flood happened.  Most of us know of huge amounts of evidence against these, but he didn't achieve his worldview by evaluating evidence as scientists and judges do, he achieved them through comparing his several lines of belief, to make them all compatible.

People who argue evolution with Dave cannot penetrate the interlinked lines of belief that Dave has.  Nearly all of the beliefs he espouses have been, and/or are being, attacked, yet never once is any line of attack able to overthrow the entire set of interlinked beliefs.  Hit him on evolution, and he's arguing "free will" and Pascal's wager.  Hit him on the Bible, and he'll point out that life "looks designed" (yes, from the standpoint of those who think all correlated complexity has to be the result of design), that humans are different from animals, and the "fact" that the geological column shows evidence of flood activity.  Not that all of the examples I've brought up are what I've seen him use, but I have read enough to know that whenever he's stumped on anything he's off to some other bolster of his worldview.

People can hit him from every angle, but it's not going to make any difference, because he's evaluating everything written through a fundamentalist worldview that connects salvation, the religious view of humanity, flood, creation, redemption, and anthropocentrism into one belief system that has no room for alternative viewpoints.  No fundamentalist can integrate all of the criticisms into one synthetic alternative viewpoint on a contingent basis (in fact a well-based non-religious conception of the world is achieved by few enough, other than by trusting the expertise of specialists), thus they must resort to evaluating evolution by the Bible, the Bible by "apparent design", Bible history through the "truth" about creation and the flood, humanity by fundamentalist interpretation, and the impossibility of a thoroughgoing "naturalism" by these several lines that "require a designer", or more straightforwardly, "require God".

"Paradigm shift" is one hideous cliche by now.  However, I think it's the appropriate word to use for fundamentalists in the area of origins.  They need to effect a colossal paradigm shift involving just about everything they believe is important before they can even begin to evaluate evolution in a manner that is open to new ideas.  It is really far too much for most people by the time that they have completed their worldview, say, by their 30s (supposing that they didn't remain skeptical about fundamentalism by that time).

All criticisms of their inadequate conceptions appear insufficient to overthrow the several "lines of evidence" that they have been convinced exist for their beliefs.  If we write from an integrated "scientific" perspective, this nonetheless does not cohere within their own minds, which in fact have only one set of beliefs that seem to be consistent.  The huge issues, that of human superiority to other organisms, the need for the spirit to survive death, accuracy of the Bible that promised human superiority and death survival, and the impossibility of "naturalism" to explain all life, loom much larger in their minds than do inconvenient facts that they do not understand, let alone understand in a consistent manner.

Of course my point is not Dave per se, rather it is the problem of teaching science throughout a nation as religious as ours.  The evidence for evolution seems paltry compared with the concepts in their minds that demand a Creator, life after death, humans as the pinnacle of creation, etc., etc.  The coherence that we have achieved through much study and, roughly, science, is neither appealing as a concept to them, nor is it coherent to them.  

And if people here argue evidence, Dave, the current proxy for the rest, can always shift to some other issue that, if he is not completely sure of it, at least has meaning and coherence to his mind.  So he does this.  Of course he doesn't follow through with "evidence" for creation, design, the flood, or whatever else he has promised, since he does what people instinctively do when they lose in one area, he shifts to an area that he thinks bolsters his first claim by extension.  We may argue evolution with him, but he's arguing a whole non-scientific viewpoint against us.  And no scientific argumentation is going to budge most fundamentalists from their non-scientific viewpoints.

We have our legitimate converging lines of evidence.  The problem is that the fundamentalists have psychologically powerful "converging lines of evidence", that make up in cognitive coherence what they lack in evidentiary coherence.  Not to us, of course, but they're not thinking like us.  And if this is hardly new, I thought it might be worthwhile to note once again, perhaps even in order to keep AF Dave himself from being misunderstood, since it's all too easy to think that fundamentalists are being deliberate where they are in fact incapable of deliberately overcoming their conceptual limitations (unless they somehow get a good education more or less accidentally).

Date: 2006/05/23 14:33:46, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I still occasionally check out the pointless attempts to get AFDave to understand even the bases for scientific thinking.  So today I see that he has an idea of how Portuguese arose, one totally divorced from linguistic theory and the evidence that shows, well, how Portuguese arose (I rather suspect that some few written records go way back, as they do for the evolution of the French language).

What strikes me is that he resorts to derivation in this case in order to "explain" how Portuguese became what it is.  At least it's the proper way of thinking, however naive, instead of the old "poof, God did it" method.  Were he consistent, he'd be telling us that all evidence of derivation is meaningless, that no language can change, either through horizontal or vertical transfer.

So we can use derivation to establish cause in the matter of the Portuguese language?  Good.  Then let's.  Only we'll actually deal with evidence, instead of refitting every bit of evidence into Dave's prejudices.  And we'll do the same with genetic evidence, noting horizontal genetic transfers where these occur, and the abundant evidence for vertical evolution where it appears.

English actually did change due to horizontal transfers from the French, though before,during, and after the transfers it evolved more "vertically" (with some horizontal transfers happening throughout its existence).

Evolution works both horizontally and vertically, so I'm willing to accept his capitulation to one method of evolution, no matter how strenuous his denial of the one kind that he thinks is verboten.  And he's also capitulated to the fact that derivation can be shown via similarities.  All he'd have to do now is to open his mind, study up to the level of a competent high school biology student, and he'd actually follow the evidence for once, instead of pitifully and ignorantly "explaining away" everything that points to evolution.

Only we know that he won't.  There is only one "principle" driving AFDave in this issue, it being that evolution is wrong.  His admission that horizontal evolution can be established via the evidence of similarity is merely accidental, an object lesson to the teachable that denial is futile unless one really likes looking foolish.

Date: 2006/05/30 13:13:46, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The truth is that the "discussion" with Afdave hasn't moved an inch since the beginning.  This is what I wrote on Apr. 24 on PT, and I think that everything that came after only shows it to have been correct then as it is now.  I copy this in to demonstrate that those of us who are harsh at the beginning have abundant reason to be:

"Afdave shows his incompetence, ignorance, and general stupidity:

Macro-evolutionary theory that declares as fact that all life on earth came from a single-celled organism by ‘All Powerful Mutations and Natural Selection over Millions and Millions of Years’ makes about as much sense to people as Communist Theory.

Communist theory, like other pseudosciences (it has certainly claimed the “science” mantle), has made plenty of sense to a whole lot of people.

If you want to make an intelligent comment, Afdave, try learning some science and addressing the actual issues. Anyone stupid enough to think that the flood explains the geological column isn’t even close to being able to think about these things, let alone to comment in fora where people do think.

The truth is … AIG and ICR have TWO, maybe THREE cards in their favor …

Charlatans and liars generally do have several cards in their favor.

(1) they have a large number of very competent scientists

An idiot like Afdave could hardly know that, even if it were true. And if he did know that, he could back up this particular untruth.

(2) a lot of what they say actually rings true with many people and

So does the Da Vinci code rot. You don’t even have a concept of what scientific argumenation is about, do you Afdave?

(3) they are well organized.

Not doing any research, they have nothing to do but to organize, and to put out BS that morons like Afdave will believe.

Evolutionists on the other hand have very competent scientists, but they are hanging on to a discredited model for explaining life on earth … one which doesn’t ring very true with the public.

Back that up, fundie moron.

BTW, I would ONLY recommend the two Creationist organizations mentioned above … you guys are correct that there are many incompetent groups out there.

Since these two are the poster children for pseudoscience, this only demonstrates how they appeal to dullards like Afdave.

Moving to the other stuff, actually, I rather think that the theocracy scare tactics are about as useless and meaningless as any “argument” can be. At best it’s counterproductive, since we managed for a very long time to avoid theocracy while creationism was taught without qualms. It’s the blindspot on our side that helps the scientific nonsense to sell, since even if ID were to end up forcing theocracy upon us, very few IDists/creationists presently have that goal in mind. They won’t believe it, and, since they disbelieve that claim by “evolutionists”, they are naturally ill-disposed to understanding what we do get right (most are too close-minded to listen in any event, but some would).

One more thing: I have no idea why anyone treated Afdave like he was open-minded about anything. He came in here with a bunch of ill-conceived and false accusations, and he turned out to be nothing other than a fundie ignoramus. And even if he hadn’t turned out to be that species of moron, he clearly wasn’t any kind of intellectual or scientist.

(The edit only changed formatting commands.  And added this.)

Date: 2006/05/30 13:36:48, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
You caught me off guard alittle.  I've always thought my major conflict arose from the fact that I'm focusing on the minute details and the current theory is too big picture for me.  Funny, huh?

You have a great deal of detail to learn, "skeptic".  The fact of the matter is that much of what you are addressing has been dealt with by research, and is in the literature.

As far as classifing evolutionists, I don't generalize at a personal level, but I see some institutionalized arrogance within the scientific community.

Know of any collective profession that lacks arrogance?  It is an issue, but hardly one that prevents (though it may slow) progress in evolutionary theory.

I think arises from a failure to convey scientific principles adequately to the general public, something that ID exploits all too well.  Joe Blow likes the general themes of ID and tends to then view scientists negatively.

No, Joe Blow typically respects scientists, but is led astray by ignorant tripe that has been specifically tailored to appeal to his gullibility.  You know, like your claims that the "lack of" transitionals are a grave problem for evolution.  See, what you could add is why you accept such nonsense, rather than simply regurgitating this BS as if it were the truth.

Thats a PR problem and I have no real interest in that area.

Well it's certainly an issue that you repeat the mindless cant of the creationists/IDists.  It appears as if the PR of the pseudoscientists have infected your mind, despite the fact that you claim to be a scientist.

As far as reinventing the theory, I think history bears me out that it will happen its just a matter of when.

And just what do you think is happening today?  While many of the basics are unlikely to change, notably RM + NS, a great deal is being learned about mechanisms and patterns of evolution.  This is a wonderful time for evolutionary theory, precisely because it is being "reinvented" at this very time, probably mostly due to our new-found capacity for reading vast stretches of DNA.

I am virtually certain that evolution was not proclaimed to be the science story of the year by the journal Science simply in order to counter IDists.  They said, quite credibly, that evolution was the story of the year because so much is happening in evolutionary thought today.  It wouldn't hurt to read some scientific literature, you know.

Right now the "circle the wagons" mentality tends to hamper innovative thought because anyone who voices concern is some crazy, ignorant, fundamentalist creationist.

No, it was more like in the 70s and 80s that the wagons were circled, something Gould and Eldredge had to fight against.  Evolutionary theory is more opened-up today than it was for decades.

I agree that I haven't succeeded in articulating my concerns adequately to this point but for me thats the benefit I get from this forum.  I can work through these ideas, get opposing (or supporting) input, get exposure to current research, etc.  Otherwise, all I would be doing is staying up late everynight to argue and I have zero interest in that.

Actually, you ought to grab some current books about evolutionary research, speciation, evo-devo, etc., and give them a thorough read.  It would be much better if you came to this place with a knowledge of what has happened and what is happening, instead of putting in a bunch of creationist/IDist tripe that we can hardly bear to read yet again.

Date: 2006/05/31 06:30:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
And as far as transitional forms, I'll make my final statement on that because we've moved well beyond that.

So you're really not interested in working through these things, but would rather simply make an ill-informed pronouncement to end it to support what you've wrongly claimed all along.  Why am I not surprised?

There just aren't enough hours in the day to talk about everything.

Apparently you don't find enough hours to learn enough to talk about any of these matters competently.

The fossil record is either a proof in support of the current theory or a proof against it, depends on who you are and when in history we talking about.

And why do you think that evolutionary theory was developed?  There are several reasons, of course, a notable one being that Linnaeus (like others, going back to Aristotle) had noticed "family resemblances" among the organisms.  Another prominent reason was that life showed a "progression" (which in the barest sense is still properly called a "progression") through geological time.

Ad hoc explanations were made, such as that God was making progressively higher and higher organisms.  Others thought that family resemblances ought to be taken to their logical conclusion.  Lamarck, and really quite a few other individuals (German idealists, for instance), believed that some kind of evolution occurred.  Darwin became truly convincing, partly because he invoked essentially the causes that we see operating today and during the recent past, natural selection, and the analogous "artificial selection" (despite the fact that natural selection was not well accepted in the first few decades, I believe that its plausibility made evolution more acceptable, along with the then-current faulty belief in the inheritance of acquired characteristics (artificial and natural selection could operate well alongside--and more importantly, as a part of--Lamarckian change)).  

The fact is that, even prior to really nice transitionals like Archaeopteryx, the fossil record was crying out for explanation.  Evolution is an excellent explanation for why we find only fish and invertebrates in very early layers, although it was only one of the lines (and was perhaps insufficient evidnece by itself at that time) of evidence adduced in favor of evolutionary theory.

Current thinking is that the record displays exactly what we would expect to find.

Really?  Then why do paleontologists bother?  

If you knew anything about these matters, you'd know that paleontology is being utilized to find out more about how evolution happened.  We did not actually expect that intermediates between species would be so rare as they are, and we have come to expect a paucity of species intermediates mostly because of the fossil record.

Historically speaking, this is not what was anticipated because we were told that all the transitional forms were there we just needed to find them.

Why don't you deal with the problems properly?  Historically we expected  more intermediates between species.  Try to recall, though I don't suppose that you've actually read the work, the title of Darwin's first book On the Origin of Species.  These "transitionals" have not been found very often, while intermediates between the vertebrate classes have been found in most cases, and in abundance in the case of mammals.  There are several intermediates between fish and amphibians as well.

The fact is that "macroevolution" is well-attested in the fossil record, while what creationists often label as "microevolution" is not well documented.  Why don't you for once deal with the facts, rather than confusing them?

Now there have been enough potential forms

What's "potential" about them?  How is Tiktaalik to be explained as anything except part of the radiation that produced later amphibians (and no, no one is looking for the direct ancestor, since we wouldn't know it if we saw it)?  You're playing word games, like most creationists do.

found to close the book in some peoples minds that the fossil record supports evolution (current theory).

When hasn't the fossil record supported evolution?  Not all of the details fit our past expectations, but the sensible "progression" never has had any reasonable model of proximal causation other than the evolutionary model.  

Can you possibly learn how to synthesize data, to look at the fossil evidence, coupled with taxonomic ordering, to understand that the only explanation we have in diachronic biological data is evolution?  Can you understand how evolutionary theory predicts the radiations of angiosperms and mammals once competition no longer hampers them?  We see the predicted radiations in the record, as you should (though I expect you don't) know.

See, the  thing is that the taxonomy of present organisms is an important evolutionary prediction, but so is the radiation and increasing sophistication of groups such as angiosperms that we see in the fossil record.  The present and the past are connected only by evolution.  Without evolution we only have heaps of facts and denial of what these facts actually suggest.

I, myself, think that the jury is still out on this issue and may never come to a verdict.

Okay, so you're telling us that you're ignorant and/or stupid.  You haven't been competent to synthesize the various strands of evidence into one comprehensive picture, so you use your inability to understand biology to attack it for your projected close-mindedness and/or incapacity to deal with evidence.

Debates among  paleontologists over new finds, classifications, dating, etc highlights the difficulties inherent in the science.

Yes, if you knew science you'd know that it is difficult.  Not that evolution is even slightly in question (see above), but yes, it is well beyond your glib pronouncements.  This is why you need to learn skepticism, humility, and a teachable, responsive attitude toward what you so poorly understand.

Date: 2006/05/31 07:48:36, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I think the point is that any particular fossil is representative of a conjectural species; it is the species which is actually transitional.

The cladists doubt that even the typical fossil species should be considered ancestral to later species.  The typical cladogram puts each "intermediate species" at the end of a branch, with only presently existing species (plus recent extinctions) directly on the branches that extend to the present day.  It's like I said in my post this morning, we wouldn't know the ancestor even if we saw it (it didn't occur to me to think of the fossil itself being ancestral, since that probability is extremely low).

This may not be the case for the most recent lines, however.  It appears to me that many paleoanthropologists think that the H. erectus species is at least a likely candidate as an ancestor to our line.  Notably, there seem to be no other "species" out there to compete as the putative ancestor, and the range of African H. erectus seems to have no specialization that could not give rise to H. sapiens.  If we don't know for sure that what we designate as the H. erectus species did indeed lead to ourselves, it is not an unreasonable hypothesis (so I gather, at least).

And yes, there is a better term than "transitional".  It is "intermediate".  We certainly do find intermediate species, yet we typically cannot even hypothesize that, say, Tiktaalik was ancestral to us.  This doesn't prevent us from learning about our ancestors through Tiktaalik, for it is a perfectly wonderful intermediate form.  That is to say, it need not be "transitional" like my grandparents were to me and their ancestors, it need only be intermediate, part of the radiation of intermediate forms that typifies the evolution that we witness in the fossil record.

"Intermediate" is the preferred term in science.  I don't usually bother to disagree with those who write "transitional", but that term does have the connotation (arguably, even the denotation) of an ancestral role that we cannot properly assign to any fossil, and to few fossil species at the most.

Date: 2006/06/02 07:08:42, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
What are you guys on about?  Of course the moon landings were faked.  It's just that to be convincing they had to fake them on the moon.  Never underestimate how far gov't and other collections of she-devils will go to divert attention from the black helicopters and the Cambrian fossils of humans.

Date: 2006/06/02 08:03:10, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
What I have always wondered at is the ability of theist fundies such as our dear clown Dave here to lie outright and yet somehow reconcile that with their ostensible Christian beliefs.

How do they do that?  Doublethink?  Stupidity?  Some peculiar epinephrin-triggered shunt that the rest of us don't have?

Anyone have any ideas?

Well I'm sure that you know about partisans already, and probably have even heard of the study mentioned in the link below.  Like the article says (my paraphrase), you're bound to be thinking, "Well, duh".

But it does give us one more way of pointing out how people like Afdave merely react to ideas that they don't already ascribe to.  I, at least, think it's worth bringing up again, obviously not for afdave, but for people who have opened a way into their brains for contrary notions.  Anyway, here's the most objective answer to your question possible:

To elaborate a bit more, it is never a lie (in their conception) if they don't admit doubts into their minds.  We may accuse, but if he adheres "to his faith", and does not "doubt" at all (that is, if he doesn't admit to the flicker of doubt), he may say "what he believes is true" without any violation.  

It is important to these people not to own any doubts, even for a second, because they do fear that this would compromise their honesty.  This kind of denial that we all are capable of is generally reinforced in the fundamentalist religions, not with the words I use, of course, but in the condemnation of any doubts, or "lack of faith".  I know this not only from psychology studies, but also from my own fundamentalist past (up to age 15), where one learns to guard against owning any doubts, thus allowing one to say and "believe" absurd things without fear of being dishonest.

It is not necessarily personally dishonest, then, depending on definition.  It is intellectually dishonest in virtually all of its definitions.  I would tend to think that eventually personal honesty has to take account of intellectual dishonesty (as I maintain was my teenage experience), however, or the former is at best superfluous.  Perhaps it is as I think, however, that eventually the intellectual and the personal do find an equilibrium, so that intellectual dishonesty has to be matched by personal dishonesty at some stage in life, unless, of course, one becomes intellectually honest.

Date: 2006/06/18 12:02:38, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I'm guessing that Coulter is reasonably helpful to ID as a political movement at this point in time.  It's the old, "there's no bad publicity" idea.

Otoh, deliberately turning ID into a flaming political issue suggests that the attempts to turn ID into a serious idea have been abandoned.  Dembski will probably gain financially from Coulter's antics, while even his followers start to question how serious he is about ID intellectually.

Really, turning ID over to Coulter is about the last thing that a promoter of serious ideas would do.  And don't think that I disagree across the board with Coulter--I don't.  Some of her stuff is not that far off from Carl Schmidt's Political Theology and the writings of other leftist and rightist political criticism.  But in her hands, even the legitimate claims are turned into a screed, and trivialized in the minds of anyone who isn't impressed by pulpit denunciations.

With even O'Reilly writing against her style (and note how many more listen better to him than to Coulter) and personal attacks, making her the most prominent antievolutionist out there represents the abandonment of the campaign to make ID into something other than mere politics.  It will fanaticize the core, yet it will further marginalize ID, and particularly Dembski.  

I think that ID has turned even more into a shambles than it was.  IDists who want to be taken seriously will have to answer for Coulter (and Dembski) for some considerable time, making their presentations into even more of a defense, and not the offense that they would like to mount.  ID will receive even less of the little hearing that it has previously been given at universities.

Dembski is, understandably, bitter and angry, and wants to cement his standing with the core fanatics, while lashing out at PT and the science establishment.  He has damaged intellectual claims made for ID considerably by latching onto the screeching Coulter, while achieving his own desires in probably the best way that he could.  It's the sort of thing that evolutionary scenarios and game theory predict--under certain circumstances--while his more measured allies ought to be very displeased with his sell-out to tabloid tactics.

Date: 2006/06/19 08:52:37, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Here's DaveTard, clueless and vicious as always:

Over on Panda’s Thumb, frequent commenter Glen Davidson in a gratuitous Coulter bashing festival, asks

Where have the relativistic effects of gravity been shown in the lab?

Good lord, Glen. Relativistic effects of velocity and gravity have not only been demonstrated they are used in applied science. The Global Positioning System requires clocks so accurate and synchronized that differences in velocity and local gravity amongst orbital and ground based clocks must be compensated for in order to achieve desired accuracy. Doesn’t everyone know this? It’s really old news, Glen. Anyone claiming any broad based knowledge of science should not have asked the question you did. What’s your background again, Glen?

Since that bit of excrement hasn't posted my reply yet (even if he does, he owes those he libels a quick response), I'm going to post it here:

Why yes, it is old news:

I have mentioned observed relativistic effects on PT.

The question I asked was in response to this question, which I included in my post:

"Where, precisely, has macro-evolution been done in a lab (in the sense that nature didn't 'fight back' when you were done meddling and revert to the original species."

Then followed my question:

"Where have the relativistic effects of gravity been shown in the lab. ... So show us how the more difficult aspects of gravity have been studied in the lab."

I am more than a little aware of the observations supporting relativity, but I was countering the old canard that if "macro-evolution" is science it must be shown 'in the lab.'

I finally had to register for this forum, simply because of the twisting of a reasonable question into one that DaveScot wants to portray as stupid.

Glen D

[the only editing done was adding in formatting commands].

Date: 2006/06/19 11:47:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Shouldn't that be either:

Glen Davidson? - Candidate for stupid question or the year.


Glen Davidson - Candidate for stupid questioner or the year.

I vote no on both.

Seriously, though, thanks for bringing that up.  I noticed the incompetent grammar, but had enough going on with the rest of it.  DaveTard makes enough errors to keep multiple commenters going full-time.

Date: 2006/06/19 12:55:59, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Thanks Robert, I think I'd like a rotten banana.

DaveTard left my response off for hours, then proceeded to miss the context once again in order to malign:

Obviously I'm writing here to document my entanglements with DaveTard, but it is interesting to see RMagruder show up once more and whine piteously.  He was the "subject of abuse" on the thread at issue, with no acknowledgement whatsoever of his attacks upon us for our "religion" or the old creo BS that he assaulted us with.  He had noted here once that his approach was not beyond reproach, but he's managed to evade responsibility through the kindness of DaveTard.

DaveTard is so solicitous of dunces that he took RMagruder off of the moderation list right away.  Don't say that the moron has no heart for "his own", he just doesn't have a brain (he may be intelligent at engineering, in fact, but he really does appear to be intellectually stunted with regard to all of the wider aspects of science, let alone the humanities).

Date: 2006/06/20 06:17:26, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Is DaveTard the most stupid person on the planet?

"The first experiment in a laboratory confirming relativistic effects of gravity fields was in 1959. Here’s a clue from old Dave, Glen. When you find you’ve dug yourself into a hole the first thing you should do is stop digging. Of course if you took that bit of advice you’d have to turn in your Darwinian chance worshipping paraphernalia and face reality head on. I don’t suppose that’s likely is it? -ds"

I did not, of course, claim that no relativistic effects of gravity can be seen in the lab.  In fact LIGO is designed to detect gravity waves, though no unambiguous results have been reported yet.  While mere detection of gravity waves is not a huge use of relativistic gravity effects in the laboratory, at least it would be something.

I would suggest that you quit trying to bury someone else into the holes you dig.

I would like to see some evidence for LABORATORY confirmation of relativistic effects of gravity fields from 1959.

"By the way, gravity is the strongest force in nature. It overwhelms the electromagnetic force to form neutron stars. It overwhelms the weak nuclear force to form quark stars. And finally, when it overwhelms the strong nuclear force, a black hole is formed. Thanks for playing."

Of course this is one of the least informed comments that you have ever made.  Even high school physics students often know better than that.  Gravity IS cumulative, which is why relativistic effects of gravity appear around black holes and neutron stars, but it is the weakest of the four fundamental forces.  These matters are explained further here:

I mentioned finding the graviton in my post, because it is considered to be practically impossible to do.  

Glen D

I can hardly believe that he is so stupid and ignorant that he thinks that gravity is the strongest force.

Date: 2006/06/20 06:31:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
DaveTard did link to an experiment confirming relativistic gravitational effects in 1959, so that's all well and good.  

Of course I never asked for "an experiment" that showed gravitational effects, I asked, "“Where have the relativistic effects of gravity been shown in the lab. … So show us how the more difficult aspects of gravity have been studied in the lab.” [Emphasis added]

Date: 2006/06/20 06:41:35, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Magruder continues to indicate his rejection of science and its methods:

"At PT, Glen responded to this little exchange:

“While I did put in a few digs at her, she was hardly my target, so mostly I had been responding to Randy’s YEC-inspired attacks on those of us who accept science.”

What’s funny is that there was nothing in my posts that would say I was a YEC. In fact, I don’t consider myself one. I’ve allowed for the possibility of that, but generally I would be an OEC. And of course, to argue with anyone there means that we “don’t accept science”. *sigh*. "

I'm waiting for any evidence that IDists/creationists do accept science across the board.  

I didn't write that you are YEC, I said that they were "YEC-inspired attacks."  See, none of your argumnents are new, but rather they come from YEC sources orginally, whether you know it or not.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/20 07:07:23, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Continuing to answer the IDiot DaveTard, who wants to beg off from his stupid comment about gravity being the strongest force, by bringing up the accumulation of weak gravitational effects.  He lacks in class as much as he lacks in intelligence (outside of engineering, anyhow):

Again, DaveTard shows his class, and his incapacity to deal with both what I had written and with his ignorance regarding the strength of forces.

“Keep digging that hole deeper, dummy. Pound-Rebka is no secret. “

Fine, it’s an experiment indicating relativistic effects of gravity. Something I didn’t deny was possible or that ever happened.

So you avoid the real issue that I brought up, which is that the relativistic effects of gravity remain largely outside of laboratory effects, and resort to what you know how to do, put down others.

“It confirmed with 10% accuracy the relativistic prediction of time dilation in gravity fields in 1959. Pound-Snider in 1964 confirmed it to 1% accuracy. Links to the original articles which appeared in Physical Review can be found at the first link I left for you. I can spoonfeed this stuff to you if you’d stop making faces and spitting it out.”

You’re like the Jesuit (sorry, RCs, but I’m just recounting the story, not claiming that it tells us anything about Jesuits like one of my teachers was) accused of killing nine men and a dog who triumphantly produces the dog alive.

You can’t find any denial of mine that there are experiments that confirm one aspect or another of relativistic gravity.

“Gravity is only weak in low mass regimes. In high mass regimes it overwhelms the other forces and becomes the strongest. What part of it overwhelming the electromagnetic force in neutron stars and the strong nuclear force in black holes didn’t you understand, Glen? -ds”

First of all, I had not seen that post, which may not even have been up when I started to write. Secondly, gravity is the weakest force. That is how it is characterized in physics, while strong gravity fields are understood as cumulative. I was responding to your post, which indeed was terribly mistaken

Magnetic forces also become very strong when they are able to be condensed down to small spaces, such as in magnetars. Nevertheless, the electromagnetic forces have never been condensed down as much as gravitational forces have been.

It’s a shame that you try to cover up your egregious mistake by bringing up the cumulative effects of gravity. I had already alluded to the strength possible in high mass objects by mentioning how relativistic effects are typically studied astronomically, around neutron stars, massive galaxies, and the like.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/20 07:14:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
More of DaveTard's inability to read:

Dave wrote:

Gravitons aren’t a relativistic effect of gravity.

That's why I wrote:

"...I mentioned the graviton because I want quantum gravity effects to be demonstrated in the lab."

Date: 2006/06/20 08:16:13, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Seizure Salad, a couple of physicists made the calculations of what would be necessary to detect a graviton, and it turned out to require a detector the size of Jupiter.  Even then, IIRC, it would detect only one per ten years or so.  If we were capable of making such a detector, the false positives would likely overwhelm the true positives, plus we can't make such a detector.  Hence it is "practically impossible".  Sorry, I have no references, since I didn't think I'd be discussing this issue.

To be sure, never say never in science.  

One of the questions they were bringing up, however, is that if it seems practically impossible to detect a graviton, how does this affect the scientific status of that part of gravity theory?  We can't really test, so in what way is it science?    

OK, likely it is science because of the interconnections of gravitons with the rest of particle theory.  Still, it's not going to be confirmed like the gluon in any foreseeable future.

Response to Michael7:

"1) produce it in a lab"

Why a lab?  A good deal of science is done outside of the lab.

"2) why do insects or higher level organisms fight against mutation?"

I am not aware that they do.  Fit populations should not be expected to readily incorporate "non-neutral" mutations, however the evidence of genomes is that organisms have diverged, often due to adaptive pressures.

"You said you did this to “counter the old canard about the lab…”. In truth, all your doing is avoiding the difficult question others have not answered after 150 years. Lets remain focused on the issues and problems with macro-evolution."

No, I was avoiding nothing.  I was pointing out that much of science is done outside of the lab.  How is one to answer a question based upon the notion that science must be done in the lab, when that is not the case?

Why not deal with the issues of "macroevolution"?  I mean, why are you bringing up objections, however sound or not, to evolution instead of asking what the evidence in the genomes could mean except for RM + NS?

"Its a valid question. If scientist today with 1000’s of years of cumulative lab experience amongst them, in nature and genetics cannot randomly mutate a new insect with novel features and have it naturally selected for survival in the lab and then have it survive in nature, then its a valid question."

A population of organisms cannot be naturally selected for survival in the lab.  The lab does not bring "natural" selective pressures to bear upon the population.  Also, it would generally not be considered to be ethical to introduce a lab-produced "species" into the wild.

Natural selection has to be observed in the wild.  Likely enough we are observing speciation today, other than via the doubling of chromosomes and similar changes, however it would require a considerable period of time to observe allopatric or sympatric speciation in the wild.

"Pointing fingers elsewhere is not an adequate response."

Yes, that is right.  You should deal with the evidence that seems to show speciation, transitions between vertebrate classes, and the like, before suggesting that these cannot occur through RM + NS.  Pointing fingers, especially without understanding the issues, only confuses the matter.  You should deal comprehensively with all of the data.

"The experiments done in on insects, fruit flies, etc., were not successful. If RM/NS were true for McEvo, you could reproduce it. You could morph flies all day long with new features that would survive."

The experiments have been highly successful.  No one is trying to show via experiment that evolution occurred through RM + NS, because that is not in doubt.  It would be well for you to find out what the experiments are actually designed to study.

"Secondly, the overlooked question of why higher level organisms such as insects, fish, etc., in fact fight against mutations. This leads to more questoins which I’ve yet to see answered by the RM/NS answer. The regulatory process limits mutations. Why is there error correction, editing and splicing? Why are there dual pathways as backup systems?

"These are valid questions."

Why is there a need for error correction, editing and splicing?  In other words, why do you suppose that DNA mutates as readily as it does, and why it doesn't mutate more rapidly?  Essentially, DNA and its corrective mechanisms are exactly what is necessary for RM + NS to happen.  Why is there sex?  It seems to be nothing other than another adaptation to the evolution of organisms via RM + NS, since in many organisms it kicks in at exactly the time when change happens.

Why are there backup systems?  How could there not be redundancy in evolving systems?  They are both necessary for evolution to effect a quickly needed change under adaptive pressure, and they are to be expected from the evolution of different pathways under different circumstances.

And there is no evidence that organisms "fight against" mutations.  Natural selection weeds out non-adaptive information.

"I’ve got the feeling scientist will design a new insect before evolutionist ever randomly mutate one.

"I’m very curious to know Glen if you think one day scientist will Randomly Mutate a new insect, or design one."

Scientists may very well design a new insect someday.  We can be confident, however, that if they do there will be evidence for rational design in the subsequent insect, unless they try to design it using evolutionary algorithms, or use some other method to avoid rational design.  They could just copy existing organisms to produce something that doesn't show rational design, of course.

Why do we see derivation in organisms, but no convincing evidence for elements of rational design in them?  I anticipate that some may claim otherwise, but I would point out that rational design elements would need to be shown to differ from evolutionarily-derived "design".  We see plenty of the latter, and what we don't see are de novo designs (or designs modified from completely different hereditary lines lacking significant horizontal transfers of information) based upon a rational accounting of how the whole organ or biological machine will have to operate.

I mentioned the enzyme Rubisco on PT once, specifically the inefficient one found in plants.  Plant Rubisco is understandable through derivation from cyanobacteria (the genetic evidence supports this) which live in a carbon dioxide-rich environment, but it is slow and wasteful in land plants.  The oxygenase side-reaction simply wastes energy in C3 plants.  Red algae rubisco, on the other hand, is rather more efficient, and there is talk of engineering it into plants to replace plant rubisco.

Silicon solar cells do demonstrate rational design, while plant rubisco does not.  Plant rubisco makes sense in the light of undirected evolution, but indicates no rational design whatsoever.

Glen D

I was going to find a source regarding Rubisco for UD, but I forgot.  So I found the familiar Wiki source for anyone here who is interested:

I thought of something else.  Michael7 has some odd notion that organisms "fight against" mutations, while actual science is concerned about genetically-engineered salmon escaping and changing "natural populations".

Anyway, they all are rather uncommonly dense.

Date: 2006/06/20 09:01:03, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The analogy between testing the relatavistic effects of gravity in the lab being on par with testing macro-evolution in the lab is false on it’s premise. The relatavistic effects of gravity are peripheral to the core workings of gravity in general, not so with macro-evolution, it is THE core of the workings of evolution. False analogies shouldn’t be argued with, they should just be dismissed.

Mea culpa. You’re right of course. I was bored. -ds

Unsurprisingly, DaveTard decides that his stupidity is not to be answered by myself, at least at this time.  

But I had to respond to the above bilge.

The relativistic effects of gravity are not in the least peripheral to the core workings of gravity in general, they are central to explaining gravity.  

Actually, the analogy with "macroevolution" is rather exact, at least for the IDists who accept that descent with modification has happened.  Newton described gravity, he did not delve into what gravity can be understood to be (I hate to write "what gravity is", but that's also the gist).

Likewise, DaveTard is willing to concede the description of evolution at its most basic, but he refuses to acknowledge the explanation for evolution.  He cannot concede to any respectable theory for evolutionary effects (namely, the one we have now), for he is wedded to a nonsense "explanation" that leaves himself as an engineer with mastery of biology.

I know what the naive cretin who wrote that relativity is peripheral "to the workings of gravity" actually means, of course.  He means that we can observe gravity to act without recourse to relativity.  Of course this is true, just as we can look at Linnaean taxonomy to discern evolutionary patterns, and even a simpleton ought to recognize archaeopteryx  as an intermediate between reptiles and birds.

Relativity deals with deep relationships between gravity and motion, helping to give us the "how" of gravity.  QM may be even more basic, though.  Actual theories of gravity do not say simply, "Gravity exists".  Evolutionary theory is also hardly content to say, "evolution happened", rather we are intensely interested in how evolution occurs.

DaveTard agrees with the moron, as we knew he would.

Date: 2006/06/20 10:37:28, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Of course the vile DaveTard forces me to respond here, instead of where the morons proclaim their ignorance.  So:

After a cursory glance through Glen’s “Electric Consciousness” website, I did not find one mention of the most interesting problem of consciousness–intentionality. Curious.

It's because intentionality isn't very interesting, and especially, because it is only tangentially relevant to consciousness.  Non-intentional states, particularly in vision, are closer to being a "primordial" conscious experience than are the more derived intentional states.

Not that I didn't know this (without being able to articulate it) before studying phenomenology, but Husserl essentially bears out this conclusion as well.  Intentionality is important to his purposes, but I am interested in the conscious fusion that exists prior to intention.  Intentionality itself appears merely to occupy a subset of consciousness.

Consciousness requires a physics explanation, not a cognitive or phenomenological elucidation and description.

Date: 2006/06/20 11:34:51, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Sorry about that, dhogaza, but when I tried to get in to change things, I couldn't.  Ok, if I'd cared enough I'm sure I could have gotten some help, but you know, it never seemed like the top priority.  I don't disagree with the retard running UD that the colors are not ideal, though of course his crowing shows his lack of having any answers for his idiocy.

Now for other DaveTard matters:

Aw, the retard has a quote:

Curiously, in some ways gravity is also the strongest force in the universe. It always adds, never subtracts, and can build up until it overwhelms all other forces.

John G. Cramer
Professor of Physics
Nuclear Physics Laboratory
University of Washington

Cramer writes articles on cutting edge physics for Analog Magazine. He’s written 90 columns so far. I read all 90 hot off the press. He’s one of my favorite non-fiction authors.

Why yes, in some ways gravity is also the strongest force (actually, I couldn't write even that in good conscience, but wouldn't fault Cramer in context).  Of course if you qualify it, it becomes a reasonable enough assertion.

The little geek busily reads pop science, neither understanding scientific terminology, nor why someone competent does qualify any claim that "gravity is the strongest force."  Well hey, he does read SciAm, so is competent to (mis)judge all and sundry science statements.  I'm just sorry that SciAm, which is doing a pretty decent job in educating laymen, is given credit for DaveTard's deluded fantasies.

Date: 2006/06/21 05:56:22, Link
Author: Glen Davidson

I’m an autodidact...

He writes and thinks like one.  Etymologically, he is in fact an idiot, that is, one whose thoughts are only his, and only sensible to him.  He lacks universal knowledge, other than what he misinterprets SciAm to be saying.

Many of us are autodidacts to a degree, but would be comical DaveTard-like buffoons without having learned considerably from others.

The 'Tard may be intelligent.  I've written this before, but I think it should be noted that he may not only be a severe ignoramus, but he may as well be quite stupid.  Perhaps he is a savant, with some flashes of intelligence, but with a near-total incapacity to understand things that normal people grasp with ease.

He also may not be a savant.  The fact is that succeeding in the corporate world often entails stealing ideas, rubbishing the intelligence and knowledge of others, and generally acting like the fascist that DaveTard appears to be on UD.  He seems to be capable of just about any lie or devious tactic, which appeals to Dembski like Stalin's viciousness appealed to Lenin (Dembski himself seems to be trying not to sink as low as Coulter and DaveTard, but he uses them to do his dirty work).

Nothing that he claims regarding himself should be believed without evidence.  His reading ability seems to actually be subpar, as bad as Randy's, or worse (to be sure, he only claimed a college vocabulary at the age of nine, not a high reading ability).  He really reveals no particular intelligence, and certainly no very good knowledge of, well, anything at all.  We have as much reason to believe that he gathered the loot that he did (if he did, but I'm inclined to believe that one, given that he seems like an arrogant parvenu who thinks "I am rich, so I must be smart") by lying about his abilities and generally maligning and attacking others, as that he had even a decent engineering ability.

Date: 2006/06/21 06:51:06, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
High IQ scores are noted to correlate fairly well with high SAT scores.  I don't know how to get an IQ score off of SAT scores, but I'd be surprised if someone hasn't come up with a  table, graph, or some such thing to get a good idea of IQ from SAT scores.

IQ scoring is adjusted by age, so that the average at all ages is supposed to come out to 100.  So it is not surprising if anyone has an IQ of 150 at the age of 50, 60, or 70.  But having an IQ of 150 at the age of 50 does not imply the same intelligence as an IQ of 150 at the age of 25.

Date: 2006/06/21 09:22:17, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I'm going to have to point out once more that I have answered lying hound Michaels7 in this, and the following two posts:

Actually, I put it in this thread as well, but I can't link as exactly to posts here as I can to posts on PT.

Is Michaels7 really so stupid that he doesn't know why no response appeared on UD (never mind that Retard himself said he wasn't going to allow me to post more)?  I'm guessing that he is, as he shows no understanding of why gravity and relativity came up in the first place, and stupidly insists that I was avoiding the question.

I don't "answer his questions" per se in my post, of course.  This is because they're stupid questions.  But I did answer him quite properly.  Of course DaveTard would not want that.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/21 10:00:40, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Well sure, RD, I wouldn't disagree with any of that.  

The truth of the matter is that general competence in intellectual matters is not the issue, nor is even scientific competence the most important issue.  He needs to show that he actually knows something about which he claims to be competent.

Since he is ignorant in evolution, as well as in physics, he has no proper role in these debates.  He does, however, represent Dembski well enough on the scientific competence score.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/21 12:03:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
My SAT score was 1480 in 1978. I took it during my last few months in the Marine Corps after having been away from school for 4 years (except for a few business classes at Pepperdine).

Since I rarely read the BS with which DaveTard violates the blogosphere--unless he is deliberately targeting me with his stupidity--I hadn't seen the important qualifications written above before RD quoted him.

The SATs are made for high school students, not for people who have had a number of years to increase their reading ability, and perhaps even their mathematical ability.  I had excellent SAT scores in high school, but I know that my verbal skills have increased substantially in the intervening years.  If DaveTard was working with mathematical material in school (college?) as well as in the Marines, which wouldn't surprise me, he should have gained in mathematical ability as well as in the verbal portion of the test.

So apparently he not only is using what can only be considered to be a rough correlation in order to make his claims about IQ, he is also using a test out of the context in which it is truly relevant.  

Why does he constantly seem so far from truly being bright?  Of course RD did answer that yet again, he's compensating.  And I wonder if it is only intellectual compensation, or if he has other unattractive traits as well--I mean other than his personality.

I have the suspicion that he has spent his whole life doing nothing but bragging about his intellect, so that he has never done anything else with his brain.  Even if he were impressively bright, he'd certainly need to do something besides defend pseudoscience and to proclaim a brilliance that is not evident in his posts, for his intelligence to count for anything.  

However, I really don't trust any of his claims, including his SAT scores.  

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/22 07:13:38, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Unwittingly, they have become pawns and foils for ID theorists and researchers. The intelligent design community is in a position where we are setting the agenda, now all we have to do is to continuing bringing more meat to the table.

I had to laugh.  "...All we have to do is to continuing bringing more meat to the table."

So apparently they take their own words so lightly that they don't bother to proof it before putting it up.  Perhaps it was written by a computer out of stock phrases, or of course any of the drones could flap their little wings to buzz out what was written there, with too little interest in what particular BS they're writing even to notice either the grammar or the non sequitur "more meat".

If it is "more meat", well you know how that's all going to work out.  More of zero is zero, so they've set their goals rather low.  Good thinking on their part, no doubt.

Auspicious start, likely the harbinger of what to expect.

Btw, if they did finally bring some meat to the table, I fail to see why that would depress us.  Obviously we can say "they have no evidence and no potential explanations" only in so many ways, and we'd like to be able to do something different.  We may say "give us the goods" with a smirk, knowing that they can't.  But if they could, I'm all for science.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/23 07:15:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
DaveScot tries to shore up his faulty remarks, only adding to the fact that his grasp of physics is poor at best:

In the beginning, according to the big bang theory, gravity was the ONLY force in the universe. The other three forces separated out from it as the universe expanded and cooled. In certain regimes (neutron stars, black holes) gravity continues to overwhelm the other 3 forces even today. And of course gravity is responsible for the overall structure and movement of matter in the universe. None of the other three forces determine the motions of planets, stars, and galaxies.

I'm amazed at how little he knows.  Gravity the only force at one time?  Does he get his science knowledge from Dr. Seuss?  It's obvious that his SciAm subscription doesn't help him a whole lot.  Following are the comments, slightly edited, that I made at the linked blog (close to what I posted at PT):

Dave’s trying to shore up his earlier faulty commments using further incorrect claims. Gravity was never the “only force”, it was simply the first to separate out from the others. Another force existed right after gravity separated out, at times called the strongelectroweak force, which was made up of what would become the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force.

The other forces did not separate out from gravity, rather they separated from the strongelectroweak force.

It’s just more disinformation (though probably owing to ignorance instead of desire to misinform) from the one who wants to tell us about physics and evolution.

Besides that, DaveScot seems not to understand why gravity is termed “the weakest of the four fundamental forces.” It is called that because such a statement informs people about gravity’s strength relative to the other forces.

To call it “the weakest force” is not to suggest that gravity cannot add up to considerable strength. Likewise, when we call the strong nuclear force the “strongest of the fundamental forces” this does not imply that electromagnetism (or gravity) cannot overwhelm the strong nuclear force under certain situations, instead it points to, for instance, the greater strength of the proton’s SNF than its EMF.

It’s like someone said, “Neodymium magnets are stronger than ferrite magnets”, and DaveScot comes along and points out that a big ferrite magnet can be stronger than a small neodymium magnet (which are capable of the highest gauss for permanent magnets), and thus states that ferrite magnets are stronger than are neodymium magnets.

A question: If we were able to make a “neutron star” entirely out of protons, would gravity hold it together? Of course not. It wouldn’t because gravity is a much weaker force than is the additive strength of a huge number of protons in one place (when not neutralized by negative particles).

We don’t encounter very dense and massive clusters of protons for various reasons, one being that no force exists that can bring these together (the nuclear forces act at too short distance, while gravity is far too weak). Neutralization via electrons and other particles is a practical reason as well, but presumably we could shoot the electrons off at relativistic velocities, leaving almost only protons in a region of space (we could confine protons magnetically). But only electromagnetism is available to try to force them together (gravity being far too weak), and a magnet able to force protons to the density and mass of a neutron star would probably be so large as to collapse to a black hole.  I suppose that theoretically we could shoot a solar mass (or so) of protons fast enough to all converge on a neutron star volume of space, but the repulsion would cause a massive rebound even if negligible kinetic energy remained in the protons.

I should point out once more that Dave’s erstwhile comments were in response to this:

Gravity is a weak force, which is why most of the observations must occur outside of the laboratory. Neutron stars, massive galaxies, and galaxy clusters are the objects through which many of the relativistic effects of gravity may be observed. Such masses do not fit conveniently into the laboratory.

This is to say, I had already alluded to the cumulative effect of gravity by bringing up neutron stars and other massive “objects” as places where relativistic effects of gravity may often be observed. So that Dave added nothing, except for his confusion over what the term “strongest force” means.

Glen D

[edited to remove a remark that was superfluous in this context, as well as to remove a second introductory comment]

Date: 2006/06/26 05:37:59, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The blazing retard strenuously succeeds in showing that all he knows is how to be an ass:

I don't think I have anything to add to that blog, since DaveTard can only project his idiocy and his 13 year-old psychology onto others.  He sticks with his retarded comments that gravity was the first force and that the other forces emerged from it, I guess to obliterate any notion that he is intelligent enough to learn anything, ever.

As long as he is Dembski's representative, ID is unlikely to have any chance at all.  It appears that only the nastiness of DaveTard appeals to Dembski, and that Bill is so emotionally bent on the destruction of science and scientists that he can't think about how counter-productive having an ignorant ranting piece of $hit promoting ID on his blog.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/26 05:53:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I guess I'll put in a reference, for anyone interested in the early time of the Big Bang (come to think of it, I'll probably put it on Alan Fox's blog, too).  Needless to say, don't believe anything DaveTard claims regarding science, here is the real deal:

Date: 2006/06/26 06:55:04, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
There are some fatal problems with ID which have nothing to do with Davetard. One is the big tent. You can't come up with a model of the origin and development of life which accommodates both YECers and OECers.

True, but most, if not all, pseudosciences lack coherence.  One person's Bigfoot is not the same as another's.  And aliens may be sexually perverted menaces to humanity, or god-like beings from whom we will attain salvation.

ID has the commonality of "poof", something that many people are predisposed to prefer over science.  They have had PR success under the big tent, because the importance of putting "poof" into the rank of science is top priority for most creos.  The fall-apart of the big tent, which appears to be happening at least to some extent, seems to be due to the legal failures.

Another fatal problem is the mechanism. The creationists believe the mechanism of creation is "Poof". How can you make that sound scientific?

Call it investigation into design.  It doesn't sound scientific to us, but it is the "best explanation" in DaveTard's mind (he may be lying, but he may be telling the truth about that, since his science comprehension is about nil).  Evolution really does not sound very scientific to many naive minds, since they haven't seen it, while they have seen humans design things.  That they leap from human designs to impute design to entities which are unlike human designs only goes to show that humans have not evolved to think in terms of strict cause and effect lines (practically, it was impossible to do early in our evolution, while assuming anthropomorphic causes generally worked for flight or fight).

Of course, and you probably realized this too, my real point was about DaveTard's inability to get virtually any science right, which means that Dembski's PR efforts to portray ID as science are not well served.  In fact I actually realize that most of those allowed to comment freely on UD are more interested in a dirty, amoral or immoral bastard who will fight for them, with no regard for decency or evidence.  As such DaveTard fills the bill.

Having said that, however, Dembski seems to have had designs for impressing more than disreputable fools.  I don't think that DaveTard serves his original goals at all, and that he is destroying any chance that he will be seen as anything much higher than DaveTard's inspiration.

ID evidently is in its vindictive phase.  They had their dreams, they failed, and they blame us for not understanding how wonderfully invoking an unobserved superdesigner to explain life works in the rational sense.  And they are even right about that, for if you are willing to just invoke a black box designer, whose abilities are infinite and whose goals, purposes, and methods are unknown, it is a rational explanation for life.  It just lacks everything that makes science into science, namely, evidence.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 06:24:19, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I am sending everything that continues this trend, no matter who says it. If you look above, there is RU, Popper's ghost, and Glen Davidson.

Yeah, well, the lying slimeball RU tells his lies and they stay on PT, while I point out the obvious and undeniable fact that he is a liar and stupid, and I get sent off.

What is more, the post in response to Clouser did not "continue this trend".  It appears that what I write is being sent here, not anything obviously objectionable, certainly no more objectionable than the post to which I was responding.  So quit pretending a fair hand here, PZ.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 06:29:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Posted by Registered User on June 29, 2006 10:31 AM (e)


Oh, and<b> blogwhoring.</b></quote>

What does that mean?

It just means that he's too stupid to respond to the substance that I wrote, which is why he resorts to name-calling and his severely limited knowledge base to deny all learning.  

That is to say, he can't read and understand what I write in fairly long posts, so he calls me a "blogwhore".  It doesn't bother PZ, as far as anyone can discern, quite possibly because the dunce was disagreeing with me after I had disagreed with PZ.  Or do you actually have a better explanation, PZ?  I truly am open to a better explanation, but I don't see one at this time.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 06:50:08, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Popper's Ghost is mischaracterizing the situation again, as if PZ's blog solely dealt with Numbers' comments, as if it didn't have anything to do with Lenny.  

The fact of the matter is that the bulk of PZ's comments were linked on Pharyngula.  And there he opened a salvo on Lenny.  I've written what I thought of it here:

And as indicated there, PZ indeed did start the religious flame war.  Or what would you call the statement "Albert Einstein could be such an #######" over Einstein's mention that "science without religion is lame"?  Sure, I don't find Einstein's claim to be particularly profound either, but Popper blaming Lenny for the entirety of the unhappiness is profoundly mistaken.

I didn't see the point of trying to post this over at PT any more.  My last post stuck, but I have my doubts that responding like this to Popper's mischaracterizations would last there for very long.  Maybe it would, who knows?, but if my rather innocuous response to Clouser didn't stay put, why would this one?

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 07:16:55, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
A note on Registered User:  While he no doubt believes that anyone should legally be able to vote in any way that he wishes, in the de facto sense he is against free voting.  A lot of his viciousness toward Lenny and myself is due to the fact that we voted Nader at one or more points in time, and not for the Democrat.

So yes, it's sort of like "freedom of religion" to many of the creos.  In the abstract sense they're all in favor of it, but they will try to prevent a free choice whenever and wherever they can.  For instance, they won't vote for an "atheist", and of course they are free not to.  There is, however, no reason for us to characterize this as a de facto action against actual freedom of religion.

Likewise, the fascist RU is for "free voting," no doubt, but if you exercise your right to vote your conscience and make a truthful report of it in response to a question, his abstract belief in freedom disappears.  To be sure, he can state what he likes, including his contempt for our exercising our rights, but it is only right for us to note in turn that his own actions run against freedom in the de facto sense.  I do not, of course, think that there is anything wrong with someone urging others not to vote Nader, however attacks like Registered User visits on those who dare to assert our freedom are stupid, ignorant, and contrary to the spirit of true freedom.

And in fact, as someone who has never called himself a Democrat, I find those sorts of attitudes to be Democratic Party repellent.  It's something Hitchens has commented on as well, that Republicans generally do not fault those who vote third party to the degree that a number of Democratic Party thugs do.  I recognize that many Democrats are rather better than that, but the "vote the party line" attitude of too many is off-putting, particularly to someone like me who has never identified with the Democrats (once I slightly identified with Republicans, but I'm terribly tired of their nonsense, which Democrats don't necessarily favor, but rarely try to block with any conviction).

If one wishes for others to be liberal, one ought to be liberal oneself.  Anything else is as hypocritical as the creos'/IDists' praise for science.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 07:21:23, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Well there you go, I can't even quote PZ's comment about Einstein without the censor blanking out "a$$hole."  And Popper wants to make the flaming out to be all Lenny's fault.

Sort of says it all.

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 07:57:56, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
They really don't seem to know what to say or think about PZ vs. Lenny at UD.  

On the one hand, they're trying to be gleeful.  On the other, they don't seem to know what's happening.  They wish us ill, of course, but can't really believe that any of this will actually accrue to their benefit.

DaveTard complains that we're not responding to his comments.  Did he say something?  Nothing hideously incorrect, unlike his usual fare, and really he wrote only a little boilerplate.

They carefully avoid the elephant in the room, though.  This fight has nothing to do with evolution, and I would say not much to do with atheism even.  While UD maintains tight censorship not only to prevent a true picture of evolution and evidence coming through from (for instance) PZ and Lenny, but also to prevent themselves from fighting over common descent (as happened in the past), the earth's age, who the "designer is", indeed, in order to prevent a whole lot of ideas not based in evidence from being argued vociferously.

Nothing much more than a personal squabble (or "squabbles") arises on PT.  Arguing over the science of evolution would be as pointless as arguing over physics to us.  There aren't a bunch of different "evolutionary sciences", quite unlike the bunch of different creationist pseudosciences, because anyone who agrees with the scientific method has to agree with the major outlines of evolutionary theory due to the evidence.

IDists try to portray agreement regarding evolution as being indicative of censorship and control of the interpretation of evidence.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  Without a despotic force able to ensure compliance, any non-evidence based idea splinters into many fragments, as Xianity did in the Reformation.  Creationism has long been split, following the same pattern, and ID manages to split creo belief even further, even though it tries for a political alliance of all the groups.

At the most ideological, the Lenny/PZ mess reflects PZ's rather strong atheistic stance, while personality clashes increase the strife.  Neither side finds any reason to fault the scientific stance of the other, because both follow the scientific evidence to its logical conclusion.

That's why the creos on UD have little enough to say, other than their usual "christian" attacks upon the enemies that they "love" (not to fault the Xians who adhere more closely to their ideals).

Glen D

Date: 2006/06/29 09:03:06, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
PZ, I wasn't in the later posts really taking aim at what you had written before, I was disagreeing with Popper's Ghost.  Lenny responded in a poor enough manner to you, however I don't think that the troubles should be portrayed--by PG--as entirely one-sided.

And truth be told, when I was complaining about what you did it was more to skewer the idiot RU than any lasting unhappiness with you.  Not that I'm saying all you did was entirely fair, but perhaps it is close enough in horseshoes and in here.

I'm going to include the response I made to PZ's latest on Pharyngula, here:

I still don't think that PZ quite gets how some theists use the honest that they think is their Xian duty, along with the universal and rationalistic parts of Xianity (and other religions) to combine both science and religion into a whole life.  And because this does relate to the thread here, my response follows:

I'm not one who thinks that we should go to any trouble to accommodate religion, but I also don't think we should (ordinarily) go to any trouble to antagonize religion.

Yes, it is all the same to PZ whether he is a scientist or an atheist.  But I would maintain that for some theists there is also no difference between being theistic and being scientists, and their universal search for knowledge is based on logical/universalistic notions gained from their religion.

It has not gone unnoticed that science benefitted from the Greek/Xian belief that unities and numbers exist across the phenomena that we see in the universe.  Some scientists still believe in this in a religious way, and at that point, at least, religion and science are not different for them.

Some theistic scientists wouldn't dream of controverting the evidence from science because they do science to know something about God.  This was especially true in the past, when many scientists essentially saw science as another avenue to find out about God.  

Religious scientists will add on religious ideas to the beliefs found through evidence, but the most honest ones are not going to make the same claims about religion as about evidence-based science.

Wes Elsberry has written that one of the reasons why he opposes creationism/ID is that it is so dishonest, something contrary to his religious--and personal--sensibilities.  Is this not a happy coincidence between a kind of theism and science?  

After all, Nietzsche was willing to bite the bullet and ask why we even want "truth", as if we were adherents of Xianity.  He really was more than a little willing to point out that desires for truth, and other attributes of the scientific endeavor, are a legacy of Xian beliefs and attitudes (he seems not to have paid enough heed to the fact that we all desire "truth" in some manner or other, but the push for "truth" was emphasized in Xianity more than it has been in many religions, almost certainly to science's benefit).  This is not as true today, I would claim, however the aims and ethics of science often do coincide with those of the most honest and open religious folk.

The fact of the matter is that religion is just a collection of human thoughts and beliefs of a bewildering variety and form.  Some of those varieties share the ethics and beliefs necessary for science, while a good many do not.  Any theist whose honesty requires acceptance of the evidence and its implications should be able to do science.  

That is to say, a metaphysical basis for a scientist's work is adequate for science, and indeed a number of past scientists, and even some present ones, have had a kind of religious/metaphysical drive to discover "God's creation".

Some theists have simply accepted a metaphysical view of the world and they do science with it (others, no doubt, are religious but not wedded to metaphysics).  The "mistake" that they make is that they have never questioned their a priori beliefs, because Xianity (and presumably all other religions) cannot be justified philosophically from the ground up.  However, within their limited range of views, they are combining their morality, honesty, and desire to know, as a kind of religious/scientific endeavor to know the world/god.

I wrote more about these things here:

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/10 06:55:55, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
If you must brag, brag about something you're good at.  It's jarring to hear you bragging about your intelligence, your logical thinking ability, and your scientific knowledge when you make glaring errors every day in each of those areas.  Did you really think we wouldn't notice the discrepancy?

Good point, keiths.  However, I think that DaveTard found some people who don't notice the discrepancy, or at least have such low standards that they don't care when they do notice what a Tard he is.

It's the downfall of ID, however.  Not only do IDists have a whole lot of blatant creationists trying to sneak ID as "science" into the schools, people like Dembski are too ignorant, and perhaps too stupid, not to use the Tard, Dave, to represent his own scientific knowledge.

DaveTard seems to know very little beyond SciAm, and he understands it quite poorly.  SciAm doesn't make the mistakes about entropy and fundamental forces that DaveTard does.  Furthermore, even an electrical engineer should be smarter about entropy than ignorance DaveTard demonstrates.

But he probably knows as much or more science than Dembski does.  DaveTard has probably given money to ID causes, brags incessantly about his "intelligence" while adhering to the tardscience of ID, and has shown a marked capacity for character assassination and dishonesty that ingratiates him to Dembski.  How really hypocritical is it for Dembski to "spank" DaveTard for doing the only thing he has ever been able to do, attack people without regard for the truth?  

I rather suspect that the person prompting Dembski's "spanking" of the tards was actually far more disturbed at the stupidity and ineffectiveness of DaveTard's attacks, than that they occurred and were generally based upon lies and/or distortions.  Unfortunately for the ID movement, DaveTard is too ignorant/stupid to effectively draw blood, other than in the eyes of the dolts.  But how would Dembski be able to judge DaveTard's scientific competence.

Of course the Tard's been attacking people with about the same viciousness and lack of regard for truth as usual (Ken Miller especially), indicating that Dembski is willing to use DaveTard's poor talents.  I do think, however, that he has been disappointed in Dave's inability to effectively project scientific knowledge beyond the cretins who believe ID.  

Yet I don't think that Dembski has any notion of what a poser (poseur, whatever) DaveTard is, since bragging, coupled with the acceptance of Dembski's brilliance, have to suffice for Dembski's judgment of the Tard's scientific abilities.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/10 08:40:31, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Question 2: If code can be written to infer intent then why can’t code be written to infer design since design and intent are inseperably linked?

Question 3: How is this science different than the “non-science” of design detection? I don’t see any difference.

Intent and design are not inseparably linked, since intent need not produce "design".  

Beyond that, Lurker predicates his question on a false claim that IDists make, that design detection is ruled out by "ruling science".  Of course it isn't.  It's just that we insist on sound criteria for detection of design, such as evidence for rational design as opposed to evolutionary development.  Other criteria may be that we know what sorts of things certain organisms "design".

Believe me, no one is proposing that we can discover the intent of God using science.  We can infer the intent of other humans, and possibly of animals, but we cannot infer the intent of anything that makes organisms appear to have evolved.  Perhaps we might even be able to make some inferences about alien design, if it appears to have been done according to human aims and capabilities.  But if we are supposed to infer design and intent of something that "designs" in ways that we do not, we are not capable of inferring either intent or design in such a case.

Of course the real problem with these IDiots is that they think that we rule out inferring intent and/or design based on the fact that we don't find design or intent in organisms (aside from our genetic manipulations).  Because they dogmatically insist that life was designed, and we deny it, they fail to recognize why it is that we believe that life evolved and was not designed.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/17 07:44:18, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The 'tard wrote:

Why would a biologist be considered an expert in design, digital information systems, and factory automation? Sorting out where different critters belong in the phloygenetic tree is really little more than stamp collecting. All the action is in reverse engineering the machinery of life at the molecular scale. Engineers are the experts at reverse engineering. Who cares what happened in the distant past? That’s water under the bridge. Everything important is in living tissue and we don’t need to guess about how it works when we can reverse engineer it. -ds

GCT wrote:
Yup, paleontology and biology are both nothing more than stamp collecting, and we've never made any advances because of evolution.

Or to put it another way, to DaveTard biology is nothing but stamp collecting because he's too stupid and prejudiced to understand the theory that makes biology anything but stamp collecting.

Thus he stands as a prime example of the idiocy produced by creationism.  The intricacies of cladistics are nothing to the IDiots, the stories told by genomes and fossils have no meaning in their blankness.  They exist in a pre-scientific biological world (well, okay, there was science in biology prior to evolutionary theory, but not all that much) and use this faulty conception to judge evolutionary biology to be meaningless.

It's the circularity of Afdave's science/religion, but they can't quite stomach the lengths to which he goes.  Nevertheless, they use their own massive ignorance of the thoroughgoing connections existing throughout organisms in order to insist that their own blinkered stamp collecting viewpoint is what biology is.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/17 08:01:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I should just add that the big reason why stamp collecting and biology are so different is that stamps are designed, thus do not display the derived characteristics and familial relations that organisms do.

IOW, if the Tard even understood his comparison he'd be a long way toward understanding biology, as opposed to his religious apologetics.  The latter would imply that biology is amenable to "stamp collecting" (designed), indeed, yet it became apparent to intelligent creationists (as opposed to DaveTard and his ilk) like Linnaeus that something quite different existed in biology.  

What was apparent in biology was not design, but relationships throughout the life.  Darwin demonstrated (he didn't invent NS, but he did the science to show that it likely was responsible for what we see) that those relationships were not, after all, an illusion.

Like his hero Dembski, though, DaveTard essentially knows no biology.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 08:03:44, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I beg to differ, I don't think he's being too hard on himself for admitting that he's nothing.

I love that he told the other "moderators" (how did they "moderate" anything, other than moderating (usually dispatching with) the truth?) that he intended to be the Howard Stern of creationism.  How, then, was he canned for being the sleazeball he's always been?  Yes, we know, it's the fundamentalism of it all (not that ID is religious, understand)--I think that we know now why it is that the Tard isn't YEC, since he really is the sort of person who denies anything that condemns his own scummy life.

So of course I'll miss him.  He was the ongoing evidence that ID isn't the slightest bit moral, not even according to its own pseudo-standards.  O'Leary will put on the kind of moral armor that plays to the rubes, and she seems not to hang onto blatantly false ideas (violation of entropy by minds, gravity is the strongest force) well past the point where no one smarter than Hovind would agree.  

Journalists often make good-sounding arguments, however poorly based their conceptions are.

O'Leary's looks are a legitimate point in politics--and ID is nothing but politics.  If it goes too far one might suspect a lack of good arguments in those pointing and laughing, though.  More importantly, in the area of psychology we have reason to suppose that if she didn't look like a chain-smoking dyke, while apparently having a fundy background, she might be more open to scientific ideas.  She's reacting against the more knowing/better looking/cooler than Dembski (yes, we exist) types.

Lord knows how many things are wrong with DaveTard (why do you suppose that such a vain braggart never shows us a picture of himself?).  Besides his inability to get along with people, he's probably quite ugly, and he seems to evince no impressive intelligence in any area, including in internet activities.  

But he was a perfect representative of Dembski (except that Dembski looks okay in a nerdy sort of way), both in his near-total ignorance of science, and in his incapacity to convince anybody this side of the fundies/loonies.  Denyse, otoh, might actually complement Dembski in some areas, even if she can be expected to embarrass him as well.  Not as much as DaveTard did, I'll wager.

Btw, Caledonian, we have reason to believe that more is going on than UD admits because DaveTard attacks Denyse so savagely and has stated his intention not to post at UD (maybe his wife will add that to her task of procuring SciAm, however).  Also, it took at most a few hours between the Tard's statement that he doesn't want to moderate any more to the point where Denyse was going to be moderating.  That she could be "persuaded" so quickly, and without anyone trying to get the Tard to stay on, suggests that at the least Dembski found the Tard's resignation to be untroubling, perhaps prompted by more than the Tard's slap-down over his anti-fundy commentary.

Could be Dembski taking the opportunity to rid himself of a pest?  Sure, but it's at least that, and neither UD nor Dembski are to be trusted at face value.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 08:38:07, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
We know that significant vertical walls are possible in soft sediments, at least for a short while.  This is especially true when rivers continue to undercut clay riverbanks.

So I'm not sure that verticality is the more crucial issue, even though you're not going to get the verticality of the Grand Canyon by cutting through soft sediments.  The meanders in various canyons are a better indication that the rivers started out relatively placid, only later cutting deeply into the rock.  AirFuc' Dave has never answered how the meanders got there.  Amusingly, he selectively notes all of the 45 slopes (ignoring the many near-verticals) on a photo having exactly the sorts of bends that would not be produced by raging torrents in soft sediments.

Then too, the Colorado manages to cut through a dome of rock.  How would it do this, except via relatively slow uplift of the rocks of the Grand Canyon?  Did water flow uphill during, or shortly after, the flood?

Btw, Airhead Dave, how did the river cut rapidly into the Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Canyon?  It isn't all sedimentary rocks, you know.

We need a reasonable explanation for the tilting and the unconformity below the Tapeats Sandstone Layer, as well.  How could masses of rock be laid down, tilted, eroded down to a flat surface, and then have limestones, sandstones, and shales all deposited on top?  How could the limestones and shales (clays) even precipitate out of the "flood waters"?  

When and how did the sediments harden?  How can there be footprints of animals within some of the sediments which purportedly were produced by the flood?  Where, for God's sake, did all of the huge numbers of organisms come from in the limestone layers, in the Grand Canyon, and all over the world?  Did the pre-Flood world have hundreds to thousands of times more plankton than we have today?

It should be noted as well, though, that gorges can be carved in basalt in a relatively short time.  In the channeled scabland area exist gorges that are said to have been made within a few hours, to at most a few days, in basalt, a hard volcanic rock.  It's not an explanation for the Grand Canyon cutting into the Vishnu Schist, however, since any flood on the order of the Missoula Flood coursing through the Grand Canyon would cut severely into the sides of the gorge.  The Vishnu Schist is cut like the rest of the canyon, into a V-shape.

Of course this isn't really for Aardvark Dave, since he only 'understands' what supports the Bible (well, the fundy interpretation of that work).  But I thought I'd add to the strikes against his inane claims.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 08:53:23, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I took her word for being a journalist.  The most I could find to back that claim up in the short time I was willing to devote to a search was this:

Denyse O’Leary is a Canadian journalist based in Toronto who has written on bioethics and science-related issues for a number of years. She is the author of Faith@Science: Why Science Needs Faith in the Twenty-First Century, which won the Canadian Christian Writing Award in 2002. She is a member of Canadian Science Writers’ Association and an associate member of Canadian Church Press.

She could count as a journalist, I suppose, by selling articles which at least are partly aimed at providing information, not just commentary.  However, if she is a journalist at all it appears that she is definitely tilted toward religious reporting, not toward anything that is supposed to be objective.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 09:30:26, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
A--F---Dave may be a narcissist of the first order.  This is one thing that occurs to me again and again, since he is amazingly blithe while writing the worst balderdash that we've seen for a long time.

Evidence, facts, reason, and a considerable barrage of put-downs (not undeserved) don't affect him all that much, as far as I can tell.  Presumably he could be extremely repressed ("disciplined") instead of being a colossal narcissist, but most people couldn't take the criticisms and being so completely wrong so many times for so long.

There really are people like that, you know, who just find themselves to be right no matter what.  They might note a peccadillo or two in their claims, just this or that tiny mote in the vast sea of their rightness and righteousness.  Nevertheless, they can be 180 deg. wrong without end and never notice anything more than that they have ever been slightly wrong about inconsequential details.

Naturally, these true narcissists are not very amenable to learning.  Why should they, when they're right, and interestingly enough, have always been right?  

It's a world that most of us have never experienced.  It produces a self-assurance that spooks the more superstitious folk, who find them to be "people of faith".  And because self-confidence gets criminals off in court cases, we can see how "jurors" in these "debates" might also suppose that the self-assured one is right.  We do not evince such self-confidence, for indeed, narcissism is deleterious to the scientific spirit.  However, in the psyches of the many gullible ones, serene security while making absolutely false claims regarding the evidence is much more convincing than are careful, cautious, and skeptical comments by competent scientists.

This is why DaveTard had to go from UD.  He tries for self-confidence in his incompetence, but he really ends up blustering, even more insistent on his absolute rightness down to the very detail than is As-Fu--Dave.  He's more on the order of angry, impatient, and unhappy that his genius isn't recognized.  Tard #2 really seems to be far more confident in relating the most blatantly wrong stuff ever conjured up.

Tard2, however, does not get used like Tard1 was, because he isn't as prone to unfair personal attacks like Tard1 is, and because he is too certain that pseudoscience is right even to learn how to back it up in a manner that would convince anyone with one skeptical neuron in his brain.  

Thus Tard1 has a kind of thuggish and stupid competence among the UD tards, while Tard2 is smiling too radiantly at the wonderfulness of the Bible and the Flood even to notice that the Flood explains nothing at all, even while a great many facts weigh against it.  He's in a kind of stupid heaven where he and his are wonderfully correct, and completely untouchable by the materialists and skeptics below.

This isn't the only explanation possible for As-Fu--Dave, but it is one worth considering.  It certainly explains why he has learned nothing at all in his whole time here, and how he is an amusement in about the same way that a circus freak is.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 09:50:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Columnar basalt like in Oregon and Ireland ( giant's causeway) would have to be stripped away by torrents moving at 45-50 miles an hour. For the most part, what happens is the underlying materials that the basalt sits on becomes eroded, taking the "jointed" layers of  basalt with it, rather than the basalts being worn away of themselves. You find huge sections of basalt that are carried away by the torrent , but not "eroded." in the sense of having a river cut THROUGH the actual basalt columns, but at the joints. The currents were so  so powerful that they were able to pluck out and transport blocks of basalt, some measuring more than thirty feet across. When ancient Lake Missoula let go, that's what happened.

I don't know, it appears to me that the gorge below Palouse Falls is cut through basalts which in the lower levels lack the columnar joints that are sometimes found:

There may be more joints than I've noticed at Palouse Falls and than are visible in the pictures at the link above, but I'm just going by what I've seen.

The basalts in that area are only sometimes jointed.  Many jointed columns may be found in eastern Washington and Oregon, but they're not really typical.

I don't doubt that rocks being carried by the Missoula Flood were instrumental in breaking up the basalts, and no doubt any number of faults and perhaps joints allowed the flood to gouge into the basalt.  But at least some faults and joints could be found in most rocks.  

It could be that more joints existed in the top layer that the flood first encountered than in the layers below, facilitating the break-up of the rock beneath.  When I look at the pictures at the link, the highest layer in the gorge does appear to have a number of joints.

Anyhow, as I noted before, the igneous rock at the bottom of the Grand Canyon was eroded in the usual way, which is why it is V-shaped (steep V, granted) there as well as in the other layers.  The igneous rocks eroded in sensibly the same manner as the sedimentary rocks did, and no enormous flood cut a U-shaped channel like we see below Palouse Falls.  The Grand Canyon is a steep V-shaped "valley", just as any rapidly-cut canyon would be expected to be.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 09:55:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
BTW, could whoever is playing JanieBelle, email me and tell me who you are. I just want to know.

Has anyone wondered where Rilke's Granddaughter has got off to?  

I know that she's probably doing more important things than commenting about ID now (getting her degree and all), but would she really quit entirely?  

This is what I've always thought regarding JanieBelle.  I suspect that RGD could pull it off fairly well, unless she really is too busy to toy with the likes of DaveTard.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/19 10:32:07, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I could add, too, that it is not so certain that only one flood is actually responsible for the gorge below Palouse Falls.  A number of floods have been proposed, so that even if a huge flood like the Missoula cataract can do a lot, we're not completely sure how much it can do.

Perhaps more important is the fact that truly huge floods like the Missoula Flood produce scablands, stripping the sediment off of rather large areas, and creating enormous ripple marks in the areas of deposition.  Nor do they cut the bends that are found in some of the areas of the Grand Canyon.

That is to say, apparent narcissists like Dave never trouble to find out what evidence floods really leave behind.  Instead they insist that everything is compatible with Noah's Flood, and work everything out from that infallible "god-given" statement.

Why study what actual massive floods do?  Doesn't that simply indicate a lack of faith?

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/20 05:46:16, Link
Author: Glen Davidson

Glen Davidson ... Quote  
The Grand Canyon is a steep V-shaped "valley", just as any rapidly-cut canyon would be expected to be.

Did you catch it?  


Yes it is.  Why don't you learn what that means?


Glen ... Quote  
That is to say, apparent narcissists like Dave never trouble to find out what evidence floods really leave behind.  Instead they insist that everything is compatible with Noah's Flood, and work everything out from that infallible "god-given" statement.

No ... actually, I would love to know more about the Missoula Flood ... remember, I am not a geologist ... I have not studied this Flood, but now I will.

Has it ever occurred to you to study deeply into issues prior to making unsupported assertions?

All I have asserted so far is the following ...

1) The Grand Canyon appears to be a product of a global tectonic, volcanic, and hydraulic catastrophe formed relatively quickly, not by slow processes over millions of years

You didn't explain the limestone.  You can't explain the carbon budget at all using a young earth, since there is far more "carbon dioxide" stored away (actually as carbonates) than all of the gases in our current atmosphere.  Additionally, all of the oxygen in our atmosphere could react with the reduced carbon stored in the earth many times over.  If you really think that all of it was produced prior to the flood you're going to have to deal with a precipitous drop in CO2 levels during that period, along with soaring oxygen levels.  Plus you need to explain how photosynthesis proceeded to fix carbon at rates thousands, if not millions, of times faster than it does today.

You have made assertions, but you haven't shown how a steep v-shaped canyon could be produced in hardened sediments, soft sediments, or in the Vishnu Schist (I implied that it is igneous, but I'm pretty sure it's metamorphic--quite hard in any event) within a short period of time.  

I'm especially waiting to hear how the river managed to cut through a dome of rock, how it went up to higher elevations.  And no, I really don't want to hear any just-so story about how the sediments uplifted just after the river got started.  I want details, something that would allow us to do geology, and not something cobbled together only to preserve your belief in some faulty ancient text.

Does it ever occur to you that we really do want to do geology, in order to understand earthquakes, find minerals, and to build structures?  And that the Bible does not help us to do so, indeed that we had to jettison its claims in order to engineer structures, find oil, and to come up with a reasonable timescale for seismic activity and vulcanism?

2) Noah's Flood recorded in the Bible is a good starting point for a Flood Hypothesis because the Book of Genesis has proven itself to be true in so many other historical details ... we are not making a statement about infallibility here ... we are merely using the historical portions as we might use ANY history book to search for clues

And that is all well and good.  However, we do not use the earlier flood tales found in Babylonian sources in order to understand geology, at least not outside of the region of the Persian gulf.  Nor do you, for that matter.  Why do you suppose it is that you prefer the later source for flood stories, and not the earliest ones?  Typically we use the earliest sources for a purported "historical event", not the later, apparently derived ones.

So of course you are once again making inaccurate statements.

3) There are many features in the Grand Canyon which I cannot explain at present, but the Walt Brown Hydroplate Theory or the Baumgardner Plate Tectonics Theory has far more promise to me than any Uniformitarian theory I have seen to date.

Considering that you, as you admitted in the general sense, do not understand the so-called "uniformitarian theory", your statement is as meaningless as your claims about Bible accuracy.

Here's a thought question:  How did the "iridium layer" between the Cretaceous and the Tertiary appear within flood waters.  I could ask that about almost any other layer as well, but the iridium layer is especially interesting, since it is global.  How could iridium segregate markedly into a single thin layer just above the dinosaurs (or close to it, depending upon who you listen to in the controversy)?

Oh, and why does the iridium layer "just happen" to date to the same time as the Chicxulub (sp?) crater?  Come on, science often depends upon the correlation of independent lines of evidence.  We have it.  You need to produce some.  

You could start by producing any evidence at all for a recent global flood.  Then try to explain how it is that the dates of the Chicxulub crater and the iridium layer correlate so closely.  You must be able to do so, if you think you really have any basis at all for declaring against the "uniformitarian theory".

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/20 08:17:56, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
What are you blithering about, GoP?  At least get the facts straight, dumbass.  I brought up the Missoula floods, knowing that IDiots like you might try to stupidly use it sans context, scientific analysis, or any kind of comprehension about how we know things about the Missoula flood.  It's worth doing, though, because for non-geocentrists and non-creationists, the evidence is all very interesting and it shows how different a real catastrophic flood is from an erosional feature carved by a river.  

I see that you haven't attempted to explain the differences.  Could be because you're stupid/ignorant/geocentrist, not to mention as uninterested in the evidentiary details as all believers in magic are.

So anyway, why don't you explain the temporal correlations between the Cretaceous/Tertiary iridium layer and the Chicxulub crater?  And all of the correlations between relative dating and absolute dating.  Oh, that's right, it's because you can't.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/20 08:36:55, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
You have just uncovered a catastrophic flaw in the amoral ontology of evolutionism. Since evolutionists deny the reality of consciousness in order to deny moral responsibility,

Yeah, right.  Just a flat-out lie, from an egregious liar.

they completely erase the distinction between the animate and inanimate.

Right, that's why we have biology.  And of course we think that everything evolves just like life does:)

Btw, what really broke the stark separation between biology and chemistry was the demise of vitalism.  Now we have plenty of cause to understand life as being different from machines, most notably evolution.  You have none, which is why you and your kind resort to aliens/gods to make life like machines are made.

It's the IDists that suggest that life might be the result of intelligent aliens, in some sort of Frankenstein process.  To be sure, they really think it's all God, but the sort of "design" they're claiming is that of machines.  They even use the term "machine" used for parts of organisms as an argument that life was designed, since they actually think life is made up of machines.

Why don't you take a biology course, or at least learn not to shoot your mouth off about what you know so little--which apparently is everything.

This idiocy usually manifests itself in a desire to reduce human beings to mechanical objects via behaviorism, stong AI, and the like.

No, we're not the ones who are saying that organisms are "designed" like machines are.  It is not we who insist that "machine" be taken in biology like it is in engineering.  You're the mechanist, dumbass.  Christ, you're a dim bulb!

However they occasionally go the other way and attribute human sentiments to the inanimate--like the idea of "selfish" genes.

You obviously don't understand the various meanings that one word can have.  Try reading a little (Dawkins, especially), you know, one time without your rank prejudices getting in the way.

This is the sort of charcterization we see regularly in fairly tales and nursery rhymes--"The dish ran away with the spoon", etc.--without the merit of being entertaining.

Otoh, your mischaracterizations are entertaining, for their incapacity to deal with simple words properly in context, as well as your near-total incomprehension of biology.

In their vain attempt to evade the true God of the Bible and construct a worldview based on their own autonomous reason, they have come to embrace the most primitive, superstitious animism.

I suppose you have to love and believe your lie.  Probably you're too old and stupid to learn anything about biology, though.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/21 07:16:51, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Quote (afdave @ July 21 2006,09:00)
I know about the channeled scablands, which look nothing like the GC, and have no meanders:

I'll take your word for it that there are no meanders in the Missoula area.  The probable explanation for this is that with the Missoula Flood, the water was flowing through already hardened sediments.

Why don't you learn one thing about geology at least?  Basalt is not a sedimentary rock.

 Remember, the Missoula Flood was an Ice Age event, which post dates the Flood by as much as several hundred years.  The Grand Canyon was formed PRIOR to the Ice Age during the Receding Phase of the Flood.  This means that there would still be much SOFT SEDIMENT in which the incised meanders could be cut.


Except that you utterly lack evidence for such an absurd claim.  Of course you ignore the erosion of the Vishnu Schist, because, even in your complete ignorance about geology and pat answers, the Vishnu Schist erosion doesn't work like the erosion of soft sediments do.

Show us how the Grand Canyon could form in soft sediments.  Does it even occur to you that you need to demonstrate claims, rather than to fit everything to the YEC interpretation of the Bible?


The geology of the flood area is usefully very simple. Lake Missoula lies primarily in Precambrian Belt Series metasedimentary rocks with minor outcrops of Mesozoic granitic rocks. Miocene Columbia River Basalt is the primary bedrock throughout the flooded area. Wisconsin Bull Lake Palouse Loess forms a 160-ft thick [50 m] blanket over the basalt

True, the loess was eroded and it was 160 feet thick, but the Grand Coulee canyon is 900 feet thick.  Are you telling me it is 900 feet of loess?  I don't think so.  The Missoula Flood carved hard basalt and made vertical canyon walls.

Yes it did, and it didn't make a V-shaped valley, did it?  Nor would a massive flood in soft sediments make a V-shaped valley.

See, what you don't understand is hydrodynamics.  The friction at the bottom of a V-shape would slow the waters down greatly, as compared with the flow up the sides of the canyon.  Further up in the canyon a massive flood is only slowed down at the sides, hence the total flow moves very swiftly, and the turbulence and friction at the sides slow the flow at the sides rather less than at the point of the "V".  Hence a massive flood does not carve a v-shape (or at most it will be a very shallow "V").

Rivers carve v-shaped valleys in mountains because the erosive power of the river exists at the bottom.  That is why river-carved valleys are v-shaped, and why the Grand Canyon, which was carved much faster than most valleys are, is also V-shaped, although with much steeper sides than normal valleys.  

Neither rivers nor floods normally produce V-shapes within their own channels, though a shallow concave shape is not rare.  Which is why the V-shape has to be produced by an erosive force operating at the bottom of the "V", with nothing but normal erosion and earth movement to sculpt the "V" on the upper portions.

This is the truth which you'd know if you really understood the power of the uniformitarianism that geology still tends to follow, though with significant caveats today.  If you have any scientific reason behind your so-far unbased claims about v-shapes and meanders, please produce them.  Otherwise we'll just note once more that you have nothing.

Glen D ...      

Glen Davidson ...        

The Grand Canyon is a steep V-shaped "valley", just as any rapidly-cut canyon would be expected to be.


Yes it is.  Why don't you learn what that means?

I know what it means ... In the case of the Missoula Flood it was 2 DAYS!

Yes, quite obviously I know about it, and have known about the Missoula Flood while you were quite ignorant of it.  What you haven't bothered to do is to causally differentiate between the Grand Canyon and the Palouse Canyon within a YEC perspective.  Unfortunately, you seem not to recognize the need to do so.  Home-schooling is a lot of the problem, I am led to believe.

Glen ...        
Has it ever occurred to you to study deeply into issues prior to making unsupported assertions?
I made the initial assertion that the Grand Canyon was formed catastrophically and involved massive amounts of water.  

And you've failed repeatedly to back up your assertions.

The "water" part of this assertion is supported by the nature of the layers -- there is a lot of SEDIMENTARY ROCK.  

Yes, there are a lot of sedimentary rocks over the surface of the earth.  Btw, some of the sedimentary rocks were deposited by aeolian processes, another fact that you utterly fail to explain during your "flood".

You have failed to explain even the marine deposits during the flood, since limestone and shale are formed mostly of very fine particles.  Nor have you explained the abundance of limestone, just as no YEC has ever been able to do.

The "catastrophically" portion of my assertion is supported by similar (not identical, I understand) phenomena at Mt. Saint Helens and Missoula.  

How is it supported by them?  You haven't begun to deal with the hydronamic issues involved.  Did the St. Helens or Missoula floods manage to cut through a dome of rock?  Huh?  I have mentioned that problem more than once, and of course you have no answer.  Just mindless comparisons with very different erosional processes.

Did the St. Helens flow cut through Schists?  Did the Missoula Flood create a V-shaped canyon through hard rock?  Do you have any reason at all to compare the St. Helens and Missoula processes with the Grand Canyon features, other than your blind adherance to an ancient text?

Can you explain the Cumberland Gap, how apparently a river cut through a (hard rock--igneous and/or metamorphic) mountain that was in its way?  There are any number of rivers that have done so, including the Colorado river (though in the case of the Colorado it was a dome).  Real geologists deal with these matters, understanding that slow uplift allowed the river to cut through the rocks which were always lower than the river.

Here's an interesting site.  It has pictures of the Cumberland Gap about halfway down the page.  More interesting is the Grand Canyon picture shortly thereafter, which shows meanders that the river cut through and abandoned after the canyon was about half as deep as it is today:

The site shows old rivers and their meanders, which as anyone competent in geology understands to be where and when meanders develop.

[Added in edit:
Note, somewhat below the Grand Canyon pictures is a picture of "Devil's Gap".  If AFD could possibly explain how the flood explains how that was cut through, I'd be hugely impressed.  Not that this is any more difficult for AFD's "hypothesis" than the Grand Canyon's cutting through the dome (evident in the aerial photos at the linked site), but it is one of the most spectacular evidences of rivers slowly cutting their way through rising rocks.  Gee, it's a v-shaped gap, just like the Grand Canyon--while quite obviously any massive flood would have simply gone around the ridge.]

It is also supported by the fact that many "pure uniformitarians" have now become Catastrophists (Derek Ager, etc.)  (Yes, I realize that they are not Biblical catastrophists, but we are working on them ... we have patience ... it took Harlan Bretz 40 years to earn respect for his theory)

Why are they too intelligent to shift to your point of view?  Why do you even accept their work, based as it is on data that you reject?  Your hypocrisy is appalling.

And why are you telling me about the problems that Betz ran into?  I knew about that well before you knew about the Missoula Flood.  Betz won in the end because the evidence supported him, while you don't even understand what constitutes scientific evidence.

I am more than a little aware that truly new ideas often are rejected in science, often due to little more than prejudice.  The core concepts, however, have been vetted, and rarely are expended, more commonly being modified.

Glen ...        
And that is all well and good.  However, we do not use the earlier flood tales found in Babylonian sources in order to understand geology, at least not outside of the region of the Persian gulf.  Nor do you, for that matter.  Why do you suppose it is that you prefer the later source for flood stories, and not the earliest ones?  Typically we use the earliest sources for a purported "historical event", not the later, apparently derived ones.
The Genesis Record is not a later source.  It is the EARLIEST source as is evident from multiple lines of evidence ... see p. 82 of this thread.  Or click here

Oh well, I guess you have to cling to that fiction.  Sorry, Atra Hasis was written long before any part of the extant Bible was written.  Of course evidence isn't going to matter to you with respect to literary sources any more than it does in geology.

Your link is extremely convincing, of course:

The book of Genesis is an historical account, not an allegory.  Its accuracy is assured by the inspirational guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I think its details are best explained by this modified tablet theory, which offers a more satisfactory explanation of all the details, and doesn’t violate any known fact.  It’s in good accord with Scripture, and adds the authenticity that Genesis was composed of eye-witness accounts.  I believe that it’s true.  We would do well to simply believe the exact teaching of the Bible, just as God inspired it.  To do otherwise is an insult to its Author, our Creator God.

There you go, the Holy Spirit safeguards its accuracy, and doubting its accuracy is an insult to God.  Yes, real convincing.  You really haven't a clue, do you Dave?

Glen ...        
Considering that you, as you admitted in the general sense, do not understand the so-called "uniformitarian theory", your statement is as meaningless as your claims about Bible accuracy.
I do understand "uniformitarian theory" and I understand how geologists have abandoned major parts of it as JonF explained.  This was a major victory in the 20th century for catastrophists.

You don't understand "uniformitarian theory" at all well.  You don't understand its inception, why it has been quite successful in spite of caveats, or why even the so-called "modern catastrophists" rely heavily upon its principles today.

Here is a contemporary discussion of uniformitarianism:

The nature of that special something cuts to the discipline's [geology's] philosophical heart.  Since the early nineteenth century, geology has been ruled by the principle of uniformitarianism--that the planet operates on unchanging laws, and that the present can be used as a key to the past.  But how can that approach hold up when a science from a world where plate tectonics explains more or less everything is applied to a world that may have lacked it?  How can you understand ancient rocks when you do not understand what processes put them there?

"The start of the world as we know it"  pp. 128-131 Alexandra Witze Nature v. 442 13 July, 2006 p. 128

That the same processes occur in much the same way continues to rule geology, though it has long been recognized that significantly different processes must have acted once, certainly during the Hadean Age and before.

This is why geology has changed little in its methods, despite the fact that it has become more accommodating to catastrophic explanations than in the past.  Geology does not resort to your "methods" of "explaining" things without any detailed analysis, and without even a consideration of gravity.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/21 08:17:41, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I was going to write more above, but the last post was so long anyhow.  Here's what I previously asked of GoP (incorporating a question I first asked of AFD), and which, of course, neither he nor AFD have bothered to address:

So anyway, why don't you explain the temporal correlations between the Cretaceous/Tertiary iridium layer and the Chicxulub crater?  And all of the correlations between relative dating and absolute dating.  Oh, that's right, it's because you can't.

By the way, why don't you explain how various types of radiometric dating agree with each other in so many cases, Davie?  That in itself is a good question, let alone the questions of why relative dating and absolute dating typically agree (where methods are suitable) and why strongly correlated events like the iridium layer and the Chicxulub strike are correlated by relative and absolute dating.

To be sure, AFD probably doesn't even understand the relevance of such correlations, let alone have any answers.

I wanted to make another post mostly because there are numerous questions to be asked of young earthers.  AFD doesn't recognize the significance of such questions, but we're not trying to edify someone so lacking in basic knowledge anyway.  Still, I'll address them to AFD, since he owes us answers, and I'd like to emphasize how he fails to produce any credible answers.

How did komatiite and other ultra-mafic rocks form on the earth, Davie-poo?  Since magmas hot enough to produce komatiite do not exist today, was it simply a miracle?  

Or did the earth cool down several hundred degrees in 6000 years or so?  Please explain the thermodynamics of such a cooling process.  We need to know how such a huge mass could cool below the temperature at which komatiite forms within a few thousand years.  Gee, I'd think it would take billions of years, you know, that this was another rough correlation with radiometric dating.

Why do rocks from the moon date to 4+ billion years old, and the sun is calculated to be at about the temperature that it should be at if it were around 4 and a half billion years of age, according to stellar evolutionary models?  How did that just "happen" to occur?  How many coincidences are you willing to believe in?

How is there so much reduced carbon in the world that it could combine with something like 20 (or more) of earth's atmospheres' worth of oxygen?  I know I asked a similar question before, and was disappointed that a YEC explanation was not forthcoming.

How does the earth/moon system have the angular momentum that would be expected from a glancing blow from Theia (that is, why does the earth-moon system have the momentum that would produce near-escape velocity for its surface when combined into one body?  It would need this momentum for the collision to scatter moon-forming debris into orbit)?  And how long would it take to transfer that momentum to the moon?  How long would it take for the moon day-length to equal the time it takes to orbit the earth?  Or is that just another coincidence?  

How did asteroids manage to cool to the point of solidification in 6000 years?  They were obviously molten once, splattering molten droplets of iron throughout a rocky body in a great collision to produce mesosiderites.  I have to wonder how they could have fully solidified in a mere few thousand years.

Why isn't plutonium-239 found to naturally occur?  It has a good 20,000 year half-life, or thereabout, and could easily exist from the point of creation.  Certainly we have any number of radioactive elements, but other than the ones that are produced by ongoing processes, we find none that wouldn't have disappeared to undetectable levels within 4 and a half billion years or so.

Why is bioturbation found in "flood sediments"?  For the past couple hundred million years, at least, most marine sediments have been disturbed by organisms.  Surely in a murky turbulent flood the various organisms wouldn't be digging holes to live in.  Yet some oil reservoirs are porous partly because of apparent burrowing by marine creatures.  Then too, we have coral reefs and rivers appearing throughout "flood sediments", both of which are frequent reserves for accumulating oil.

I could go on, but what's the point?  I'll end with what is perhaps the most interesting question of all, which is why absolute dating and relative dating coincide largely with genomic dating.  That is to say, why does DNA point to our divergence from fish a few hundred million years ago, and our divergence from chimps to be something on the order of 5 million years ago?  Is it coincidence that genomes and the geological record tell the same story?

I like this last one the best, because it shows how ID really doesn't escape from YECism, however embarrassed some of them are by YECs.  The fact is that evolution is intimately tied with the fossil record, with mutational changes accumulating about as fast as the fossil record allows for evolutionary change to take place.  

In a sense, AFD is right to deny geology as strenuously as he does evolution, because the correlations between geological and evolutionary data only point to a lack of mere coincidence as the explanation for why the dates from various lines of evidence do converge.  It's absurd to accept absolute and relative dating, as many IDists do, without accepting the implications of the highly correlated DNA dating.  

But of course it's absurd to deny all of the lines of evidence insisting that the earth is old, as well as to deny the implications of relatedness that IDists must deny.  IDists try to accommodate some of the evidence, yet they are as incapable as AFD of actually understanding the cross-correlations that point only one thing, evolution via RM + NS (yes, including other evolutionary forces).  Really, one might as well deny geological facts as evolutionary facts, rather than playing with a simultaneous acceptance and rejection of "origination" science as IDists do.

Unfortunately for AFD, however, he does accept science, only denying every last bit of evidence that disagrees with his a priori beliefs.  So he's in a no more seaworthy boat than Dembski is.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/21 09:22:37, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Has Dembski slacked off of his Bible studies?  'What you sow, you will also reap' is one of the Bible's proverbs, and I can't help but enjoy Dembski and UD learning firsthand what DaveTard is like (well, probably).

Sure, we'll have a mean and nasty little ignoramus "moderate" UD, and he'll only be dishonest and nasty with respect to the opposition.  

No, it doesn't work that way.  And the only people who do deserve the Tard are Dembski and his supporters.  Bon Appetit, WD40.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/24 06:20:16, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
All they're doing now is copying the anti-IDists.  Well, Denyse's truly ignorant rant about the problems cooperation are supposed to pose for evolution is a copy of themselves and their tardity, but I think Dembski's bored with that flapdoodle by now.

So the Black Knight is put on UD, as if somehow it's a new argument.  We don't know we're defeated, blah blah blah, when of course we've used the Black Knight for some time to deal with the fact that no matter how many times creationism/ID is defeated Dumbski blathers about Waterloos, the "long decline of Darwinism", or some such idiotic cant.

Oh, and biologists can't consider challenges to Darwinism because...., oh god, do we have to listen to him again (no, I barely ever read anything of Dembski's clear through--it's too predictable and stupid)?

He apparently knows so little about science that he doesn't know that younger biologists (and some older ones) would jump at a new model having high explanatory ability, so that they could make their marks as soon as possible.  How long did it actually take for QM and relativity to have a strong presence in physics?  Not long, despite the fact that the father of QM was quite opposed to accepting QM as reality, and the great Maxwell was opposed to relativistic concepts (creationists like to claim Maxwell, not noting that he opposed excellent developments of his own huge accomplishments in physics, and had no real expertise in biology).

What is more, surely any number of physicists, mathematicians, and biochemists, would be happy to take up a simple explanation left untouched by biologists, particularly one requiring almost no biological knowledge like ID.  And despite the fact that some of the dullards in ID are indeed those, the vast majority of physicists and biochemists (philosophically competent mathematicians probably claim no expert opinion--unlike Dembski and Berlinski) are as opposed to ID as the biologists are.

Of course the screed against the experts is in reaction to the fact that virtually no real biologists, apart from Moonie Wells, agree with his BS.  His pathetic little bunch of non-experts has to be portrayed as better than the "biased" experts.  So he rants, demonstrating that he isn't better than anybody, at least not in this area.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/24 08:52:13, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Since you don't even pretend to deal with the actual causal facts regarding the Grand Canyon, simply repeating your baseless claims, let's move on to the Bible claims:

[quote]1) Archaeological research (which commenced after "higher criticism" had produced its theories) has, in recent years, given us the ancient and contemporary background of Genesis, which agrees with its contents (Chapter 2).[/quote]

No, it doesn't.  Humans who live for 900+ years are unknown in this time and from past time.  Why not just accept the claims that Babylonian kings lived for thousands of years?  At least their claims were more audacious, which seems to be an asset to believers in magic like AFD.

That there seem to be some ancient sources for Genesis is true.  Nothing new there, since it has been long been known that the Flood story and some other elements of Genesis already existed in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in earlier tales.

[quote]2) The Genesis narratives imply that rapid development took place in early history.  Archaeologists have dug down into virgin soil and found that a high state of culture existed in times previously called "prehistoric."  They even assert that long before the time of Abraham, Sumerian civilization had reached its zenith (Chapter 3).[/quote]

No, dimbulb, the Genesis narratives state that virtually creationistic invention took place.  Almost immediately Tubal Cain is forging iron and brass.  Gee, they missed the copper age, as well as the stone age.  

Abel doesn't need to domesticate sheep, Cain doesn't have to domesticate crops.  Okay, so the Bible missed domestication as well.

And your source is very stupid indeed, since the only reason to think that earlier civilizations hadn't existed was because the Bible misled them into believing that civilization rose later than it did.  A fault of the Bible is turned by these liars into support for the Bible.

3) As far back as archaeology has been able to go, and in the earliest times, examples of writing have been found.  During the period covered by the greater part of Genesis, writing has been discovered to be in common use even for ordinary commercial transactions (Chapter 4).

How blatantly dishonest you and your source are.  Sumerian writing is actually observed coming into being from pre-linguistic record-keeping.  And prehistoric Egypt is well-known.  

Symbols appear to have been painted onto ancient cave walls, but there is no writing whatsoever found at that time.  

So apparently your ignorant and dishonest source is what proves the Bible to be very ancient and accurate.  Well, it proves something, which is that only lies support the claim of the Bible's "truths".

4) The contents of the earlier chapters of Genesis claim to have been written (Chapter 5).

And almost certainly they were.  How else could Genesis be such a collage of contrary claims, of mixed narratives?

5) Both Scripture and archaeology give evidence that the narratives and genealogies of Genesis were originally written on stone or clay tablets, and in the ancient script of the time (Chapters 4 & 5).

Gee, they actually suggested that the narratives, etc., were written on stone or clay tablets?  Where do you think Genesis is said to have been finally redacted, ignoramus?  It is said to have been redacted the last time either in Babylon, or at most, shortly after the Babylonian captivity.  What did the Babylonians write on?  Yes, it was clay tablets, sometimes stone for very permanent texts.

Are you just out to show how stupid creationists/literalists are?

6) We now know something of the literary methods used by the ancients.  Prominent among these was the colophon of the tablet.  In our examination of Genesis we find a similar literary method, for the formula, "These are the origins (generations) of ...," was the ancient conclusion which Moses inserted indicating the source from which he obtained the narratives and genealogies (Chapters 5 and 6).

Again, more or less the same style as was used around the time of the Babylonians and beforehand.  Learn something about literature, AFD, even if you have no intention of learning any science.

7) Other literary methods were the use of "titles" and "catchlines" in order to bring the tablets together in proper sequence.  Although Genesis (as we know it) is a book compiled by Moses, there are still traces of the use of these literary means of preserving sequence (Chapter 6).

And, so what if that were true?

8) In some instances indications are provided giving the date when the tablet was written.  This is given in a most archaic way and very similar to the method prevailing in very ancient times (Chapter 6).

Btw, has it ever occurred to you that if Genesis was the first book written, or even compiled from the first sources ever written, that it wouldn't be using any particular "style" (or perhaps would use "antedeluvian style")?  What you and yours are doing in your dim and ignorant manner is to concede that at most some sources of Genesis date back to some of the earliest writings, with no evidence for the veracity or originality of these sources.

Okay, you probably don't even know what I'm saying.  Well, too bad, ancient literature is just another area in which you have no knowledge.

9) In confirmation of (4) to (8) above, we have shown that in no instance is an event recorded that the person (or persons) named in chapter 5 [of Genesis] could not have written from personal knowledge, or have obtained absolutely unmistakable contemporary information.  In Chapter 7, the positive evidence is reviewed showing that they were so written.  The familiarity with which all the circumstances and details are described is noted.

We know that the Bible was written from "contemporary information".  It's entirely derivative.  Your idiot apologists are trying to claim originality of the Bible from its derivative nature which even they acknowledge.

10) Additional corroboration is found in the significant fact that the history recorded in the sections written over the names of the patriarchs ceases in all instances on the date on which the tablet is stated to have been written or, where no date is given, before the death of that person.  In most cases it is continued almost up to the date of the patriarch's death (Chapter 5).

No one (except for those who claim inspiration) denies that Genesis had sources.  Indeed, it was "higher criticism" which pointed out the fact that the Bible was written utilizing sources, against the inspirationalists who claimed that Moses was the author of it all.  So you're using higher criticism's results to twist what we know into a claim of truthfulness and originality of the Bible.

It just shows how fundamentalism rots all that it incorporates into itself.

11) The presence of "Babylonian" words in the first eleven chapters is further evidence that the contents of the earliest narratives and genealogies were written during the lifetime of the earliest patriarchs of Genesis, for they used that language.

Really.  So Abraham didn't learn the local Canaanite language, and his descendants in the land of Canaan had to have translators wherever they went.  In Egypt, too, apparently the Israelites would know Babylonian.  Yes, really convincing.  

12) The presence of Egyptian words and Egyptian environment in the last fourteen chapters of Genesis adds its irresistible testimony that those chapters were written in Egypt (Chapter 6).

How long was Moses writing the Bible, anyhow?  He actually started in Egypt on Genesis, then went on to write the rest in the wilderness?  How enterprising of him to get a head start on the Bible.

Real scholars recognize that knowledge of Egypt exists in the Pentateuch.  Not surprising, of course, since Egypt controlled Canaan periodically, and Canaan dealt with Egypt in many ways.  Perhaps some Egyptians did flee as well, to produce the Exodus stories.

Again, the sow's ear of Genesis (compared with the mighty and false claims about its absolute "truth", that is) is being touted as a silk purse.

13) The first tablet, that of the Creation, seems to have been written at the very dawn of history.  This is evidenced by its archaic expressions, for it was put into writing before names had been given to the sun and moon and before polytheism had arisen or clans developed (Chapter 7).

Before polytheism had arisen?  Are you people really that stupid?  Why does God say, "let us make man", and the term Elohim is used in the first part of Genesis?  

Chapter 2 of Genesis is recognized as having archaic language.  It is one of the contrasts with the apparently later account in Genesis 1.

The sun and moon aren't named because the writers or redactors are trying to leave out pagan names--probably around the time of the Babylonian captivity when monotheism becomes very important in Jewish minds.

The real tip-off to Genesis' late date is that it uses Hebrew words, like Adam and Eve, as supposedly archaic names.  I realize that this means nothing to mere apologists, but clearly it is meaningful to those who think.

14) There is no statement in Scripture to support the supposition that all the narratives and genealogies were handed down verbally; on the contrary, they claim to have been written down (Chapters 5, 7 and 8).

Yes, which hardly lets Moses be the author.  I know that you're trying to make the best of the redaction by editors, but unfortunately for you authorship by Moses (supposed to have been affirmed by Jesus) doesn't wash even in this scenario, let alone in an honest scenario.

15) Many references are made to towns which had either ceased to exist or whose names are so ancient that the compiler had to insert the names by which they were known in his day.  These new names and explanations fit exactly with the circumstances of a people then on the edge of the land of Canaan, and about to enter it; thus indicating that Moses used earlier records and that he was the compiler of the book (Chapters 6 and 8).

Right, the fact that anachronisms of Moses' time were used indicates that more ancient texts were used, and Moses had to compile them and change the names.  More like ancient accounts were made that included the then-new names, then were compiled later by people who had never heard the old names.  A careful compiler who knew both ancient and modern names would probably include both, as sometimes happens in sections of the Bible.

16) That Genesis should still contain archaic expressions and show traces of the literary aids associated with the use of clay tablets is a witness to the fidelity with which the text has been handed down to us (Chapter 6 and 8).

What's a copyist going to do, rewrite the books?  The redactors did rewrite, of course, which is why the Torah is such a mishmash of mistakes and sometimes contrary claims.  Redactors would nonetheless try to retain as much of the text as possible.

17) It is clear that the ordinary Babylonian tablets of the Creation and the Flood are a corrupted form of the Genesis record.  The narratives of Genesis are not merely a purified form of the Babylonian accounts (Chapter 2).

So now more flat-out lies.  There is no evidence whatsoever of corruption of the Babylonian accounts, and they have much earlier provenance.

The fact that the Genesis narratives are not merely "purified" (well, reified, and stripped of their pagan richness, is more like it--to the extent that they are abstracts of other sources) forms of Babylonian accounts only shows that the flood account, in particular, was a tale widespread in the middle east.  What is more, it seems to have started with the Akkadians, since the flood story seems not to be part of the central Sumerian myths (it may have been a minor Sumerian myth).

The Hebrews apparently had worked some earlier accounts to fit their own theology, and the flood tale is different from the Babylonian account in important ways (that water comes from below seems to be a Canaanite addition, since springs exist in Canaan and are essentially absent from the Iraqi flood plains).  

But we have actual tablets telling the flood tale from almost as far back as 2000 BC, while the Bible account does not appear in archaeology until after the Babylonian captivity.  The only reason why we know that the Genesis tale predates the Babylonian captivity is that it differs from the much earlier known Babylonian flood tales (I should note that Babylon had at least two different versions of the flood, which means that it may have had others, including the Genesis version, as well--but there is no need or reason to posit that they did).

18) Archaeology has completely undermined the "myth and legend" theory [of Genesis}.  Evidences of persons once thought by critics to be mythical have been discovered by archaeologists (Chapter 9).

Sure, "completely undermined".  Before Abraham, I don't know of a single name that has been confirmed as fitting the Genesis account of a single person.  Some names in Babylonian mythology seem to exist in Biblical mythology as well ("Noah" and "Utnapishtim" may be related), but real scholars don't believe either account except through considerable skepticism.

One difference between Babylonian myths and the Genesis myths prior to Abraham or thereabout, is that we have good reason to believe that some of the Babylonian characters in some myths did exist.  Gilgamesh is considered likely to have existed, if hardly to have committed most of the exploits credited to him in the Epic.  Ham, Canaan, and Noah are not known to have existed.

Btw, sometimes the label of "mythic" is given simply because no evidence of a person's existence has been found.  It is the conservatism of science that waits for sufficient evidence, unlike ignorant apologists who simply say that Genesis is true without having reasons to back up those statements.  Troy was thought to be merely mythic as well, yet enough archaeological evidence exists today to believe that the Greeks tangled with Trojan warriors.  We don't thereby suppose that Homer's account of the war is "true", however.

19) The difficulties alleged against Genesis by "higher critics" vanish quite naturally when it is understood that the narratives and genealogies were first written on tablets in an ancient script, by the persons whose names they bear, and that the book was compiled by Moses.  Any differences in phraseology and style are  just what we would expect in these circumstances (Chapter 10)

So Moses recorded his own death (Deuteronomy, yes, but I have yet to see anyone who thinks Moses wrote Genesis without his also writing the great portion of Deuteronomy--despite the obvious fact that much is retold in that book in a manner that differs substantially from Exodus and other books)?  The typical response is to make an exception for that, but what a load the apologists want us to swallow for that.  We're waiting for the first datum that supports the claim that Moses wrote Genesis anyhow.

Btw, the author just admitted that they're accommodating "higher criticism".  Stupidly and with lies, certainly, but indeed they are agreeing that Genesis is a collage of writings which were redacted at some point.  The old "Moses was inspired to write absolute truth in the Pentateuch" seems to be disappearing, and good riddance to it.

But literalists long held to that last claim, because even if Moses himself compiled the Pentateuch, nothing in the world guarantees that he had good sources.  And you have done absolutely nothing to demonstrate that he did.

20) The "repetition of the same event," of which modern scholars speak, is shown to harmonize exactly with the arrangement of the tablets from which the book was composed and to conform to ancient Sumerian usage (Chapter 10).

So some more recognition that the Bible's style is apparently derivative, and no more certain or reliable than Sumerian writings.  And yet you don't credit the Sumerian writings which belong to the standard against which you claim the Bible stacks up, rather you lie about the "corruption" of non-Biblical sources.

Since the Sumerian and Akkadian sources have a much earlier provenance, and at best the Bible compares somewhat to those sources, and any real scholar will accept the earlier sources over the later ones.

21) The outstanding examples brought forward by critics to suggest a late date for Genesis are shown to prove the reverse (Chapter 10).

I truly doubt it.  The Philistines which appear in Genesis are an anachronism.  So is iron working, of course, though it may not preclude Moses as compiler (like I care--there is no evidence in favor of him compiling Genesis in the first place).  I am not completely sure about the linguistic issues, but some claim that a number of portions of Genesis use rather later Hebrew than do some of the clearly earlier portions.  The Babylonian words are an anachronism, except in the minds of people who won't admit that the Israelites, even if we believe the Bible stories, would not have spoken Babylonian in the time of Moses.

22) The documentary theory was originated in order to account for the use of the name Jehovah in Genesis and the exclusive use in certain sections (which we claim to have been tablets) of one particular name or title for God.  On the basis of the documentary theory the unwieldy structure of "higher criticism" has been reared.  It can, however, be shown that there are other possible explanations for the varying use of the divine names.  This is especially the case when it is seen that in the book of Genesis we have contemporary and translated records (Chapter 11).

What a lie!  "Higher criticism" dealt with any number of problems that a posit of single authorship would raise for the Pentateuch, including the different creation accounts, the cobbled-together flood story, and the contradictions of the Torah (the second commandment states that "no graven image" shall be made, yet Moses is commanded to form a serpent for snake-bitten people to look at, obviously as a kind of sympathetic magic).

The simple, cogent (parsimonious) explanation for different divine names, however, is that the Israelites were primarily Canaanites who worshipped El.  Even if Abraham came from Ur, he worshipped the effective god of Canaan when he arrived (don't forget that Rachel stole her father's gods, either), El.  Eventually another name was invented or adopted from somewhere, Yahweh, which appealed to henotheistic cultists in Judah.  Different areas of Judah adopted different preferred names, though presumably Yahweh and El were interchangeable rather late.

What apologists don't like to admit is that "El" is the god of the Canaanites.  They don't want to deal with the fact that "Yahweh" supposedly was not revealed prior to the time of Moses, and yet in early Genesis it is stated that men began to invoke God by the name "Yahweh" shortly after expulsion from the garden.

What is more, why would I care if Moses compiled Genesis and the rest of the Torah from earlier sources, if there were evidence in favor of it?  Moses is rather late in ancient times (presumably New Kingdom in Egypt), while writing goes back a millenium or more before then.  At best your claim is that Moses changed things much later than the earliest writings that are known to exist, from sources that are otherwise unknown and unproven.  

Clearly the Bible would at best be a fairly late derivative of sources that at their earliest can be compared with much earlier Sumerian and Akkadian writings.  I said that the Bible is derivative, and you come back with a claim that Genesis is derivative, but disagreeing with me.  

Sometimes I just think you're Brian Greene's dog who he is trying to teach physics.  The difference is that the dog doesn't relate anything nearly so unintelligent as you do, though I acknowledge that it requires intelligence above that of a dog to deny true scholarship and science.

It is absolutely bizarre that you don't even understand what "early source" means.  You admit as late a date as Moses for the final redaction (don't be stupid, it's not simply a compilation, since clearly the sources have been reworked in a number of cases--notably in the flood account), yet you claim primacy for this derivative and scorn the much earlier versions that exist.  You even bring up a host of pathetic claims of Moses "compiling" from earlier manuscripts as if this would indicate that Genesis to be the earlier source, when at best it was a reworking of unknown earlier sources.

Unfortunately, you have no capacity to think through any of the issues which touch upon your religious beliefs.  We have writings dating at least a millenium before Moses, and you try to claim that something he compiled is more trustworthy than the truly ancient tablets.  

What makes you a loss whenever you leave is the fact that few people who think so badly will stick around to reveal how badly they think after their nonsense has been demonstrated again and again.  You represent a host of bad thinkers, and you allow us to practice knocking down a large sampling of the patent falsehoods that apologists come up with to soothe their anxiety produced by the incompetent handling of data.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/24 09:22:44, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Oh, I guess I'll bring up again what AFD managed to not to answer regarding the Grand Canyon:

The "catastrophically" portion of my assertion is supported by similar (not identical, I understand) phenomena at Mt. Saint Helens and Missoula.  

How is it supported by them?  You haven't begun to deal with the hydronamic issues involved.  Did the St. Helens or Missoula floods manage to cut through a dome of rock?  Huh?  I have mentioned that problem more than once, and of course you have no answer.  Just mindless comparisons with very different erosional processes.

Did the St. Helens flow cut through Schists?  Did the Missoula Flood create a V-shaped canyon through hard rock?  Do you have any reason at all to compare the St. Helens and Missoula processes with the Grand Canyon features, other than your blind adherance to an ancient text?

Can you explain the Cumberland Gap, how apparently a river cut through a (hard rock--igneous and/or metamorphic) mountain that was in its way?  There are any number of rivers that have done so, including the Colorado river (though in the case of the Colorado it was a dome).  Real geologists deal with these matters, understanding that slow uplift allowed the river to cut through the rocks which were always lower than the river.

Here's an interesting site.  It has pictures of the Cumberland Gap about halfway down the page.  More interesting is the Grand Canyon picture shortly thereafter, which shows meanders that the river cut through and abandoned after the canyon was about half as deep as it is today:

The site shows old rivers and their meanders, which as anyone competent in geology understands to be where and when meanders develop.

[Added in edit:
Note, somewhat below the Grand Canyon pictures is a picture of "Devil's Gap".  If AFD could possibly explain how the flood explains how that was cut through, I'd be hugely impressed.  Not that this is any more difficult for AFD's "hypothesis" than the Grand Canyon's cutting through the dome (evident in the aerial photos at the linked site), but it is one of the most spectacular evidences of rivers slowly cutting their way through rising rocks.  Gee, it's a v-shaped gap, just like the Grand Canyon--while quite obviously any massive flood would have simply gone around the ridge.]

AFD could only repeat that the Grand Canyon was like the Missoula flood once again, showing that he doesn't even understand the difficulties of rivers going uphill, or the more difficult issues (not very difficult, but well past Dave's intellect), of how v-shaped valleys and canyons are formed.  

And you didn't get around to giving me answers to these questions, AFD:

I was going to write more above, but the last post was so long anyhow.  Here's what I previously asked of GoP (incorporating a question I first asked of AFD), and which, of course, neither he nor AFD have bothered to address:


So anyway, why don't you explain the temporal correlations between the Cretaceous/Tertiary iridium layer and the Chicxulub crater?  And all of the correlations between relative dating and absolute dating.  Oh, that's right, it's because you can't.

By the way, why don't you explain how various types of radiometric dating agree with each other in so many cases, Davie?  That in itself is a good question, let alone the questions of why relative dating and absolute dating typically agree (where methods are suitable) and why strongly correlated events like the iridium layer and the Chicxulub strike are correlated by relative and absolute dating.

To be sure, AFD probably doesn't even understand the relevance of such correlations, let alone have any answers.

I wanted to make another post mostly because there are numerous questions to be asked of young earthers.  AFD doesn't recognize the significance of such questions, but we're not trying to edify someone so lacking in basic knowledge anyway.  Still, I'll address them to AFD, since he owes us answers, and I'd like to emphasize how he fails to produce any credible answers.

How did komatiite and other ultra-mafic rocks form onthe earth, Davie-poo?  Since magmas hot enough to produce komatiite do not exist today, was it simply a miracle?  

Or did the earth cool down several hundred degrees in 6000 years or so?  Please explain the thermodynamics of such a cooling process.  We need to know how such a huge mass could cool below the temperature at which komatiite forms within a few thousand years.  Gee, I'd think it would take billions of years, you know, that this was another rough correlation with radiometric dating.

Why do rocks from the moon date to 4+ billion years old, and the sun is calculated to be at about the temperature that it should be at if it were around 4 and a half billion years of age, according to stellar evolutionary models?  How did that just "happen" to occur?  How many coincidences are you willing to believe in?

How is there so much reduced carbon in the world that it could combine with something like 20 (or more) of earth's atmospheres' worth of oxygen?  I know I asked a similar question before, and was disappointed that a YEC explanation was not forthcoming.

How does the earth/moon system have the angular momentum that would be expected from a glancing blow from Theia (that is, why does the earth-moon system have the momentum that would produce near-escape velocity for its surface when combined into one body?  It would need this momentum for the collision to scatter moon-forming debris into orbit)?  And how long would it take to transfer that momentum to the moon?  How long would it take for the moon day-length to equal the time it takes to orbit the earth?  Or is that just another coincidence?  

How did asteroids manage to cool to the point of solidification in 6000 years?  They were obviously molten once, splattering molten droplets of iron throughout a rocky body in a great collision to produce mesosiderites.  I have to wonder how they could have fully solidified in a mere few thousand years.

Why isn't plutonium-239 found to naturally occur?  It has a good 20,000 year half-life, or thereabout, and could easily exist from the point of creation.  Certainly we have any number of radioactive elements, but other than the ones that are produced by ongoing processes, we find none that wouldn't have disappeared to undetectable levels within 4 and a half billion years or so.

Why is bioturbation found in "flood sediments"?  For the past couple hundred million years, at least, most marine sediments have been disturbed by organisms.  Surely in a murky turbulent flood the various organisms wouldn't be digging holes to live in.  Yet some oil reservoirs are porous partly because of apparent burrowing by marine creatures.  Then too, we have coral reefs and rivers appearing throughout "flood sediments", both of which are frequent reserves for accumulating oil.

I could go on, but what's the point?  I'll end with what is perhaps the most interesting question of all, which is why absolute dating and relative dating coincide largely with genomic dating.  That is to say, why does DNA point to our divergence from fish a few hundred million years ago, and our divergence from chimps to be something on the order of 5 million years ago?  Is it coincidence that genomes and the geological record tell the same story?

I like this last one the best, because it shows how ID really doesn't escape from YECism, however embarrassed some of them are by YECs.  The fact is that evolution is intimately tied with the fossil record, with mutational changes accumulating about as fast as the fossil record allows for evolutionary change to take place.  

In a sense, AFD is right to deny geology as strenuously as he does evolution, because the correlations between geological and evolutionary data only point to a lack of mere coincidence as the explanation for why the dates from various lines of evidence do converge.  It's absurd to accept absolute and relative dating, as many IDists do, without accepting the implications of the highly correlated DNA dating.  

But of course it's absurd to deny all of the lines of evidence insisting that the earth is old, as well as to deny the implications of relatedness that IDists must deny.  IDists try to accommodate some of the evidence, yet they are as incapable as AFD of actually understanding the cross-correlations that point only one thing, evolution via RM + NS (yes, including other evolutionary forces).  Really, one might as well deny geological facts as evolutionary facts, rather than playing with a simultaneous acceptance and rejection of "origination" science as IDists do.

Unfortunately for AFD, however, he does accept science, only denying every last bit of evidence that disagrees with his a priori beliefs.  So he's in a no more seaworthy boat than Dembski is.

Glen D

I know that you don't understand the Bible, erosion processes, evolution, dating, or the importance of cross-correlated phenomena, but these are crucial questions that need to be answered before anybody here is remotely going to entertain your cut-and-paste pseudoscience.  So explain all of that for me.  Come on, you're the one who has the superior knowledge, aren't you?  So provide us with some answers for once in your sorry display, your constant reminder that we have complete ignoramuses arrayed against us.  

Redeem youreself, and tell us why relative DNA dating (which is given absolute dates by comparing with radiometric dates) agrees with absolute and relative dating in the geological record.  Just this one question deals with a high degree of cross-correlating evidences which support each other, though they had good bases on their own as well.  

Until you answer this (and no, a bunch of codswallop from AIG won't do it, nor will reliance upon derivative ancient texts or stupid remarks like the "scientists are lying" do it), you can hardly persuade competent individuals to even think much about any alternatives as lacking in evidence as your claims are.  Can you even comprehend how cross-correlating evidence gives us a high level of confidence?  That it is too much to say that chance (or any "design" or whatever) has somehow given us the same relational spread of organisms in both the fossil record and in the DNA record, or that the dates cannot correspond through mere chance alone?

Someday you are going to have to learn (though you won't) how it is that science operates by using independent means of cross-correlating data.  Only apologists and like-minded anti-scientists try to claim that dissimilar phenomena are produced by similar methods, and that uncorrelated data point to anything at all, but especially to "design" and the "flood".

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/24 11:32:05, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Under the right conditions, carbon is "happy to" combine to form sodium-23 and neon-20.  Thermodynamically, carbon "prefers" to become iron than to remain what it is, although nucleosynthesis to iron happens at very high temperatures and pressures.

That's just it, though, energy states are all that can be seen to govern the "preferences" of carbon.  It combines with hydrogen or oxygen according to Gibbs free energy equations, or its nucleus fuses according to temperature, pressure, and the thermodynamic tendency of atoms and systems to settle into lower energy states.

A gene is "selfish" because it sort of catalyzes (in a complex interplay), or provides the template for, the details of DNA replication.  Since it is a kind of self-catalysis or self-templating, it reproduces itself  and not something else.  Gibbs free energy and equilibrium conditions are not what govern DNA replication in organisms (though the necessary energies and conditions must exist for replication), rather it is the catalytized processes which decide what is produced in life's reactions.

Carbon, like its compounds, has stable states, but nothing other than energy processes can be seen to affect how carbon reacts chemically or in the nuclear sense.  Life exists away from the equilibrium states that decide the fate of carbon in typical chemical and physics processes, thus self-replication of DNA to states which remain well above equilibrium states are possible.  Here the particularities of the interactions are crucial to the outcome, rather than what the lowest energy state might be.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/25 06:43:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Glen D ... wow, that was tiring reading your detailed rebuttal ... I think I won't bother rebutting your rebuttal because we already went through all that 20 pages ago ...

And you have no answers.  Still you use the exact same inadequate "rebuttal", without having learned a single thing.  This is why we know that you are not only an ignoramus, but dishonest to your very core.

And I don't even know what relative DNA dating is, but I'm sure you could enlighten me

Well, it isn't actually called "relative DNA dating".  I added the "relative" because it is not an absolute dating method, and wanted to pre-empt any blather about it not fix absolute dates.

... then when I understand it, I'll blow away your reasons why it supposedly supports evolution and long ages ...

This is what is so interesting about you, that you are sure that every evidence for evolution is wrong prior to even knowing about it.  You're so stupid, so intellectually dishonest, so ignorant, so far from being convincing to anybody but one as lacking in intelligence and rigor as yourself, that you have become a comfortable caricature of all ID/creationism to us.  One thing we need to remember is that rhetorically a number of IDists and creationists are more sophisticated and convincing to poorly educated folk, since we're not going to encounter too many people like you whose anal expulsivity negates everything that you want to get across to others.

like I have practically everything else!

Another interesting feature of your syndrome is that you have as many illusions about your capabilities as you have of creationist capabilities.  Of course your total inability to even understand what constitutes reasonable evidence means that I hope that you never sit on a jury.  You can expel all the BS you want on here, failing even to comprehend the knowledge presented to you, however I always have some concern for the jury system when I notice people like you.

But you might have to wait a bit ... the Flood is going to take a while and we wouldn't want to disappoint Eric by spending much time on something else!

Oh please, you have no concept of what floods even leave behind.  Which means that you can never discuss the "flood" any better than you can discuss the Bible.  

Leonardo da Vinci noticed in his time that sedimentary rocks were not typically the result of floods.  That was the 16th century, and you still haven't learned the slightest bit of what he knew then.

If you want to discuss the flood, then tell us finally how a v-shaped canyon was carved into a dome by a river going uphill and over the dome, until it cut its way down through the dome, AssFuckDave.  I upped the rhetoric there, because you are such a dishonest, and stupid person, who merely tells lies because he can't comprehend the evidence, or even understand how to make a scientific case, plus you once again avoided answering the problem of the Colorado River scaling the dome.  So for once try to tell the truth, AssFuckDave, and quit being a disgustingly dishonest weasel who only repeats lies because he can't handle the truth.  How did the Colorado go uphill, lying AssFuckDave?  Your silence speaks once again of your dishonesty and complete ignorance.

So far you have only been a witness against your religion, since none of us would like to be the kind of lying dumbfuck that you are.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/25 07:20:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Many of ID’s worst enemies are in fact professed Christians. When Paul Nelson and I debated Ken Miller and Wesley Elsberry at the big quadrennial skeptics meeting in Burbank in 2002, all of us except the moderator (i.e., Massimo Pigliucci) were professed church-going Christians. Interesting how being anti-ID drives skeptics, atheists, and even professed Christians to make common cause.

Interesting, how Dumbski has no more comprehension or explanation for "how being anti-ID drives skeptics, atheists, and even professed Christians to make common cause," than he has for flagella, archaeopteryx, or anything else.  After all, isn't it normal for religionists and skeptics to agree with regard to non-science, atheism-driven ideological matters?

I suppose that he hasn't a clue how having scientific reasons for accepting theories and facts links Xians, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, Shinoists, and a number of Muslims.  How could he, since he hasn't revealed a glimmer of scientific comprehension?

Oh yes, evolution has all of the marks of being a failed ideology when it is found to be a reasonable theory by culturally and religiously disparate groups of people, while ID has the marks of science in that it appeals almost exclusively to monotheists (and not all that many Jews or Muslims to this point) plus the weird Platonic mathematician Berlinski (and who really cares that he's not explicitly monotheistic, given that he falls for the Platonic notions that inform much of monotheistic thought?).

I think that Dumbski's primary purpose in life at this stage (other than the lucre, of course) is to demonstrate how many things he just doesn't get.  Nearly everything.  It appears that he is slightly more in touch with reality than AFDave is, but that's about as far as he rises in general intellectual matters (perhaps he is a competent mathematician, I don't know.  He seems not to be a great one, at the least).

Date: 2006/07/25 08:28:58, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Glen ...   Quote  
This is what is so interesting about you, that you are sure that every evidence for evolution is wrong prior to even knowing about it.  
No ... it's just that I've been down this road a hundred times.  But surprise me ... maybe you'll  be the first ever to come up with something convincing for me.

Answer the questions, dumbfuck.  You pull the most glib lies out of your ass, you haven't given us any evidence, you haven't countered any evidence, and it would be nice if there were a glimmer of honesty that anybody could reach

Glen ...   Quote  
anal expulsivity  
There's a new one, folks, for the record books!  Copy that one down with BWE's famous "I can screw better than you!"

It's new to you because you know nothing.  It's a well-known psychological term (actually, usually written as "anal expulsive"), but then you don't know psychology, literature, science, truth, justice, honesty, or anything else.  Considering how dishonest you are, I have my doubts that you were/are an engineer or were in the air force.

<quote>Glen ...   Quote  
How did the Colorado go uphill, lying AssFuckDave?  Your silence speaks once again of your dishonesty and complete ignorance.
Did you not see the picture series I posted showing how the river did this?  I have now posted it twice ...</quote>

I haven't seen it, and you didn't answer.  Did you give us some geological evidence for the scenario?  

I'm not interested in some stupid lie about how it happened.  I wrote that before, so give us an actual answer, AssFuckDave.

<quote>What is it about people like me that brings out the venom in people like you?</quote>

Gee, do you suppose it might be your continual lies and evasions, lying AssFuckDave?

<quote>Do you feel threatened?  Are you afraid that more people like me will get elected to public office?</quote>

I feel like you deserve names when you prove yourself to be a lying stupid fuckhead with no respect for truth, honesty, or decency.  I would be happy to discuss science with you, but you instead fill the forum with lies, evasions, and dishonest boasts.

Many people tell lies of the type that you do simply to make others angry, since they know that complete and utter dishonesty, without a shred of decent respectful discussion, is infuriating.  However, I'm guessing that you are not lying for that reason, which means that I am free to vent anger, or even pretend anger, in response to the idiocies that you continually fart out.  It's a proper response to a completely dishonest and stupid moron.

If you were at all likely to be elected to public office I would be afraid.  I am guessing that you're far too stupid and dishonest to be elected to anything higher than the Kansas Schoolboard, however, and their idiocy can't be damaged by your stupidity and dishonesty.

<quote>And if they do, how exactly will that harm you?</quote>

Lies would become <i>de rigeur</i> in the public discourse, and ignorance would spread.

<quote>Do you think we'll somehow round up all the Evos and send them to prison camp?</quote>

I wouldn't put it past you.  However, the real problem at the present is your goal to tell lies and teach ignorance to children.  And the reason you deserve to be called degrading names is that you are an evil lying swine who never deals honestly with what is presented to your ignorant lying brain.

<quote>Or do you think we will push for a primitive, cave-dwelling society in which everyone sits on mountain tops and sings hymns?  I doubt you think this ... I think what you probably think is that you cannot stand the idea of the Bible being true, because if it is, then you have to submit yourself to the God of the Bible ... and you are too proud to do that.</quote>

Said the psychologically-ignorant cretin who doesn't even know the term "anal expulsive".  You know absolutely nothing about psychology or evidence.

So it's another lie from pervert AssFuckDave that I can't stand the idea of the Bible being true.  Since he has nothing to indicate that it has any more truth than other ancient texts do, he has to resort to false characterizations of those who bring in evidence to shore up all of his past lies.

Either provide some answers (not unevidenced scenarios, dimwit) or expect people to call you what you are, a lying and stupid fool.  I am not long going to put up with your unconvincing lies, AssFuckDave.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/25 08:44:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
<quote>Did you not see the picture series I posted showing how the river did this?  I have now posted it twice</quote>

You did post a picture with the most unconvincing of explanations.  What it didn't explain was why the "flood" didn't go around the Kaibab uplift.  The picture gets cut off to provide the illusion that the Kaibab uplift would act as a dam, when in fact it is more like a dome.

I mentioned that it is a dome, too, but you pay no heed to the facts, but rather tell the lies that you believe.  If you could show that there was an actual dam, instead of pretending that the Kaibab uplift acts as a dam, then you'd have a scenario (except that the evidence in the canyon itself tells against it).

See, the thing is that liars like yourself never deal with the facts.  Any lie is better than dealing with the evidence, so that you never learn anything at all.

So you simply posted the lies fed to you by other liars.  You are one disgustingly dishonest fool.

Btw, I also mentioned the v-shape repeatedly as needing an explanation, as well as the dome (not dam, you lying fool).  You don't even begin to address the matter, since you don't understand hydrodyamics in general, nor floods in particular.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/25 09:04:11, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Here's a link which shows how the Grand Canyon cut through the Kaibab Plateau, rather than going around it via the areas of lower elevation that were available to it:

It has a number of maps, but in the first third of the site or so is one showing clearly how the Grand Canyon cuts through, like I wrote, a dome of rock that any flood would have circumnavigated.  There it is, a dome rising out of the lower surroundings, and the Grand Canyon simply cuts through the higher elevations rather than going through the lower areas.

But lying AssFuckDave "answers" the question of how the Grand Canyon cut through a dome by showing the dome as a dam which a "flood" supposedly cut through.  

Do creationists ever stop lying?

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/25 09:16:41, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Oh, if anyone wants to compare the actual topography of the Grand Canyon and the Kaibab uplift through which it cut, with the dishonest version of the canyon's topography and origin put into AssFuckDave's cut-and-paste, here are the references:

First, a repeat of the site containing the real version:

And the dishonest version is here, second post from the top:

Date: 2006/07/25 10:36:05, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
In your wordview and belief system, why do you think the above moniker is an insult?  Shouldn't the activity referred to above be held up on the same level as say, fishing, or going to the car races, or kissing, or eating brownies?

Think about it

Of course you only have a side question, since you can't answer the questions I asked, like how the Grand Canyon cut through a dome instead of going around it.

And are you really so stupid as to think that it's not an insult, acceptable activity or no?  Do people say, "fucking idiot" because they think ill of  It fits the letters you use, and since you do not demonstrate the intelligence needed for the Air Force (not here, at least), why would I use your accepted moniker?

Jeannot, why would you think it was supposed to be "smart"?  It's directed at a lying moron.

He's a retard, as you wrote, who can't explain the sediment thickness progression away from the ridges, nor why it is that the far away (dated old) crust is cool, while crust near the ridges is hot.  Oh yeah, he's failed to explain how the innards of the earth have cooled several hundred degrees in 6000 years.

Yes, and he thinks that a dome is a dam.  True, he was lied to, but he laps up lies told by YECs like they were ambrosia dripping from the realm of the gods, and passes them on as if they were intelligent and worthy of our respect.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/25 16:46:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
It just seems odd that a term of abuse that is not in a context which would relate it to homosexuality would be (mis)understood by anybody as applying to homosexuality.  

Perhaps missionary man AFD would understand anal intercourse as necessarily being homosexual, but I would certainly not.  What is more, anal intercourse is not necessary for homosexuality.  "Cocksucker" referring to a guy would be much closer to suggesting homosexuality (no straight guy is willingly going to suck it), and yet even it can be used simply for abuse, not really commenting regarding homosexuality.

If anyone wants to know the reasons for using that term of abuse, it was because it fit the letters AFD uses in his moniker, and because I suspected that it would goad him.  It did, quite unlike science stuff, which never reaches into his thick skull.

So that was fun.  I would rather hear him try to explain how the Colorado river climbed the dome of rock (without simply using YEC cut and paste lies) and made a v-shaped canyon in the dome, but I'm afraid that he avoids all real science.

Count scientific engagement with him to be a total loss.  He is only worthwhile as a means to show how each and every "argument" he takes from YEC sources, but fails to understand, can be shown to be utter nonsense.  His inability to explain how the Colorado managed to climb a dome of rock is just one such demonstration, and the abuse was simply what liars and charlatans deserve in response to their glib lies.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/26 05:47:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
And the "abuse" confirms my worldview ...


Everything confirms your worldview to your Homo erectus-like mind.  Rivers that would have to go uphill to form the Grand Canyon confirms the flood, aeolian sediments in the flood sequence confirms it to your microencephalic intelligence, and the world-wide iridium layer (impossible to emplace exactly at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary the whole world over) no doubt confirms it in your dementia as well.

By the way, your "argument" is yet another non-sequitur.  But you don't know how to make a meaningful argument.  You have completely abused anyone who has ever trusted you on this matter, and your blatant lies that you have a skeptical and open mind at the beginning (while unbelievable on the face of it) is an abuse of this forum and of proper discourse.  You're too stupid and dishonest to acknowledge this, however.

Oh well, at least it is likely that no one who reads this thread, probably not even creationists/IDists, is going to trust you again.

You still have a host of questions and answers that I made that you have not in the least answered, other than with lies, cut-and-pastes from professional creationist liars, or with glib and dishonest claims of triumph.  Again, you are the primary witness against Christianity on this forum, which is unfair to reasonable and decent Xians who are appalled at people like yourself.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/27 05:58:09, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
If this and similar forums are any example, I would say that at least 25% of the IDers are not particularly “Christian.” Further, it seems that the most qualified IDers, those with degrees in the biologies, are less likely to be Christian than those of us who are not so qualified.

I'd guess that about 80%+ of the IDers who pretend not to be Xian are trying to deceive others about their tendencies and aims.  Skeptic came on here with the lie that he was a biochemist concerned about science, when (whatever his religion) clearly spouts little more than creationist/IDist rhetoric.  DaveTard2 claimed not to be particularly religious in practice (though he didn't hide his Xian leanings), and recently went on a sort of missionary trip.  We're used to the propagandists hiding their religion under various deceits and not infrequent outright lies.

But what's really interesting is the claim that qualified IDers are less likely to be Xian.  On Dembski's forum, no less (it was found there, wasn't it?).  That should please Dembski, Behe, Skell, Johnson, well, just about everyone at the DI except Berlinski and Moonie Wells.

If only it were true that the (supposedly) qualified IDers were less likely to be Xian, that would be useful to us.  Unfortunately, it almost certainly is not true according to IDist standards.

By the more usual standards (and using credentials, not practice, to identify "qualified IDers") the writer may actually be right.  I only know of one biologist who has written much in favor of ID (other ID biologists may well exist, but would not "in practice" (propagandizing, that is) be ID "experts"), and he is Jonathan Wells.  He is not, last I heard, a Xian.  So if we use credentials to identify qualifications in the area at issue, perhaps the entire contingent (one) of those credentialed to weigh in as an expert on evolution happens not to be Xian.  Unfortunately for their claims of ID as being non-religion, he is far from being non-religious.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/27 07:41:33, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The Unification Church certainly has phylogenetic connections with Xianity.  With Moon supposed to be the "third Adam" who gets it right, unlike Adam and Jesus, I can see why virtually no Xian accepts the Moonies into the fold.

Their theology, however, seems to be even more dependent upon the Judeo-Christian Bible being true in its first few chapters than do the theologies of most Christian sects.  With respect to Genesis 1 & 2, Wells is as dedicated to a particular Judeo-Christian belief as any Christian or Jew is.

Glen D

Date: 2006/07/27 12:27:20, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Some want to protect Darwinism from the competitive marketplace by overturning the critical-analysis standards.

The untruth that Witt is trying to establish into minds is that "Darwinism" did not win out precisely in the competitive marketplace.  

Perhaps he is as deficient in understanding the marketplace as he is in understanding science.  The fact is that the marketplace produces winners whose products are typically superior to those of the losers.  Actually, given the issues of advertising, branding, and fads, the superiority in the actual marketplace is not as certain as in the "marketplace" of science, however good products generally displace (and effectively destroy) bad products in the economic sphere.  

Science is set up to favor merit more than the economy is, however, which means that even more so the good displaces the bad.  What Witt wants for ID is socialism (not my particular bugaboo--I think all economic forms should be judged in context (which does mean that socialism really doesn't work in many cases, but surely in some places and times it has merits)--but you know the DI hates socialism everywhere and always), wherein the bad product will be subsidized by the gov't because it is unable to compete with the good product produced by science.

So there you are, socialist Witt wants to impose the loser "explanation" on society.  The intellectual/scientific marketplace has spoken, and he can't stand the fact that it has decided against his false claims.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/02 06:45:40, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Now my turn.  Have you ever seen a bacteria evolve into a jellyfish?  And the jellyfish evolve into a squid?   Squid to fish?  Fish to amphibian?  Huh?  Have you now?  No?  Didn't think so.

Ha ha ha, he got you, Eric.  Have you ever seen U-238 decay for 4.5 billion years, have you ever seen Darwin, Einstein, Jesus, or Noah?  Haver you ever seen a global flood, creation, Adam, or Eve?  Have you even seen a god create anything?  So what are you doing claiming that all these things happened?

Oh, or was Eric the wrong person to be asking?

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/03 06:27:01, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
C'mon Eric, isn't "Skeptic" pretty clear about his intentions?

Eric, I would disagree with unpredictable and say that is just a limitation of understanding and technology.

We'll just have to do science beyond the limits of our understanding and technology.  

Anyhow, doesn't that just about summarize "Skeptic's" grand scheme to remake evolutionary science?

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/03 07:29:22, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
But have we lost our precious Davie-boo, other than the odd cartoon link and little blustery posts?  I'm am afraid we have, that perhaps we have been too mean just at the point at which he was going to provide the masses of evidence needed to support his statements.

His scientific expertise is wasted on children.  Who else could have told us how rivers climbed the hills in order to cut them down, who else could have explained the iridium layer as a flood deposit, who else could have explained the mechanisms of continents moving faster than the speed limit which produced cool crusts far from spreading centers?

It does seem in retrospect, and given his potential moneymaking venture, that his empty boasts of "winning" arguments that he clearly lost according to any reasonable standards, along with his refusal to admit to being wrong about almost anything at all (when he was wrong about well nigh everything), was intended for the know-nothings he wishes to con.  Now, I don't doubt that he is unteachable and unwilling to admit mistakes in general, however the fact that he had some lies to sell likely made him appear to be even more clueless and arrogantly ignorant than he would otherwise have been.

There are people who would believe his claims, and they are exactly his market.  He may be a competent businessman indeed, who knows that denial of all problems will sell among the naive.

It's the sickening aspect in this whole episode.  It's fun having a bobble-doll that you can punch, only to have the head bobble back with the same clueless grin every time.  But he's not content to grin comically at us, he has the huckster's insincere smile and a suitcase full of poison to peddle as cures.  

He's had it with the "atheistic questions," he's got the Truth, and not incidentally the Truth will make you rich.  What's being set free compared with a lucrative mission to imprison minds into a recursive worldview which recoils against any threatening thoughts?

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/11 06:34:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Luskin's blithering again, here (from link on UD):

What a cretin!  Multiverses inhabit the limbo region of science, not thrown out because they are plausible and can't be tested to see if they're specifically correct, while not taught as factual science because, again, they can't be tested.  And the multiverse concept is hardly the only cosmological idea that sits there in limbo, string theory actually being more famous in that respect.

Then too, both multiverses and string theory are considered as live concepts because they don't rely upon entities the like of which have never been reliably observed in order for them to work as models.  Surely even someone as intellectually challenged as Luskin must at least be capable of understanding that multiverses would not be considered a reasonable concept if they depended upon Baal, Yahweh, or some unseen realm of the gods for the idea to be consistent.  Nor would string theory be a live option if it depended upon the Greek pantheon, or the philosopher's God.

The fact is that ID is not only itself unevidenced and untestable (as it is bandied about today, that is.  Testable ID was tested and it failed), it relies upon entities behind it which are unknown, untestable, and unobserved (aliens in real design hypotheses are presumably observable through rational design solutions, so long as their capacities and aims are reasonably similar to our own--ID does not look for design that is similar to our own, however).  String theory and multiverses do not depend upon unknowns beyond themselves to appear plausible, rather they are ways of working out knowns, although so far the unknowns preclude both from being full-blown science.

Seen any multiversers or string theorists trying to force their ideas into the curricula of high schools (otoh, they nothing should preclude them from being mentioned in science class, so long as the fact that they are not confirmed is noted well)?  No?  Why not?  Perhaps it is because they, quite unlike IDists, understand what is science and what is not.

Of course Luskin "strongly suspects" that ID is testable, which sort of begs to question why he brought it up in the first place,were he telling the truth (he may be telling the truth, of course).  Evolution is testable, no matter that the simpleton O'Leary doesn't know it, and ID would need to be really testable (and not in the opinion of some ignorant thing like Luskin) to compete with it.

Perhaps Luskin is actually too dull to understand the difference between models which move partly beyond the limits of testability, but which do not deny established science, and those models which flatly contradict highly successful working models like evolution.  How did he ever pass the bar exam (assuming he did) if he's as incompetent as that?

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/11 10:08:38, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
"(I don’t take too seriously the claims that Westerners other than North Americans are more accepting of evolution (= Darwinism). As a Canadian, I know full well that Americans are generally much freer than other peoples to simply disagree with their elite about how to interpret the evidence. There’s nothing shocking about that there, as there is in Canada, let alone Europe. )"

She presents no evidence why a survey showing that "Westerners other than North Americans are more accepting of evolution (= Darwinism)." is wrong, and then goes on to imply it's correct anyway because Americans are freer to disagree with the elite! Don't they teach journalists basic logic skills?

It never ceases to amaze me how fundies always claim that slavish devotion to a 2,500-year-old Hebrew creation myth in contradiction to all the emperical evidence somehow makes you a hip, think-outside-the-box, question-authority nonconformist.

Yes, but I believe that they think it does, which helps to explain why it is attractive to them.  In America there is the ideal of disagreeing with the authorities, of being the lone gunman standing up against truth and justice.  And because they don't recognize how it is that true heroes stick up for something that is worth fighting for, they fall for the preachers' appeal to the romance of dissent that is peddled constantly to them.

Then again, it is because people generally are not Martin Luthers, John Waynes, or Galileos that they fall for the ancient herd thought in the name of nonconformity.  Spin the Galileo story right, and you have people seeking to displace science with religion because they actually do want to be like Galileo.  However, the non-conformist cannot fail to be the exception, thus Galileo, and thus the conformists who conform in the name of non-conformity (for that matter, accepting evolution is hardly a mark of non-conformity either).

History does not repeat itself, but the herd always manages to settle into a stupid conformity, never mind that their heroes are the exact opposite of themselves.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/14 05:42:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I've usually appreciated Jason's posts.  Saves me the trouble of wading through bilgewater to find the more interesting (if typically even more stupid) bits of creo/ID nonsense.  This seems to be one of them:

1) What scientist and field of science relies on and solely depends on Darwin's theory of evolution for any advances in human progress?

2) What advances in modern medicine, technology and products were derived solely from relying on Darwin's theory of evolution?

Everyone who knows any science sees the flaw, of course, without the bolding.  Why does the IDiot even feel the need to insert the word "solely", except because of the fact that she knows that "Darwin's theory" has been responsible for human progress, for advances in modern medicine, technology, and products?

I could probably ask even more poignantly, what has come solely from heliocentrism?  Probably nothing at all, indeed.  Heliocentrism, and later understandings of the solar system and the universe filled in important gaps in our understanding, gaps that remained after Ptolemy's considerable successes (like finding the moon's distance from earth within 10% of the actual).

It's the same old BS from creos/IDists, for they think of evolutionary theory as being something separate from the rest of science, thus they demand results that are separate from the rest of science.  They don't want to, or can't, understand how evolutionary theory completes biology conceptually to a substantial degree, that it is dependent upon ordinary scientific practices and data, and that it in turn feeds into our understanding of biological practice and knowledge.  

The importance of evolutionary theory is exactly that it does not do anything (or does almost nothing) "solely" on its own, and for that matter, not very much of biological knowledge is not enhanced by evolutionary understandings (I don't think it's quite true that nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution, but it is close).  Evolutionary theory is as integrated into the rest of biology as relativity and QM are integrated into physics, so that it is equally stupid to ask what "Darwin's theory" has accomplished solely of its own accord as it is to ask what relativity has produced by itself, without, say, any contribution from Newton and his predecessors.

Same old, of course.  The centrality of evolutionary theory, and the integration of biology via same, are turned by the IDiots into a liability through their naive and/or dishonest questions (not that naivete and dishonest are exclusive of each other, but they need not coincide at any given point).  This just demonstrates how far they are from even comprehending science, not all that much above Afdave.  IDiocy depends almost as much upon ignorance of science as YECism does.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/15 06:03:25, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Yes, I thought this bit was quite absurd:

I ask this question because the federal courts have literally given Popper’s philosophical musings the force of law in their Establishment Clause cases.

To the extent that Popper is regarded as being correct it is due to his (partial, at least) description of science as it has been practiced for centuries.  

I'm not especially thrilled with Popper's formulation of science, since the metanarratives of the truly big theories seem not to fit his concepts particularly well.  Some ideas gain stature by consistently passing falsification tests (yet even those that continue to pass falsification tests require at least some positive evidence, for the falsification tests must be for entailed phenomena), but others, like evolution, explain well-known phenomena that have not been previously explained, and are thus supported more by positive evidence than they are poised for an unlikely falsification event (Popper seems to lend credence to the idea of many creos/IDists that if a single apparent evolutionarily anomalous datum is found, then evolutionary theory is falsified.  Few of the larger theories in physics or in biology are thought to be very susceptible to a single anomaly, or even a few anomalies).  Nevertheless, falsification is a good rule-of-thumb test for science, and it is likely that any theory having empirical value is in fact theoretically falsifiable under the right interpretation, even if falsification tests are not the whole of science.

Again, though, Popper's ideas are at most an encapsulation of at least some of the important aspects of science and are accepted for that reason.  Luskin is using the same old ploy employed in the IDists' "Darwinism" labeling, trying to imply that some guru of evolutionary religion is being followed, and not the reasonable practices of science (which are much like how the courts treat evidence, as well, if translated differently).  It's a disreputable tactic, whether or not they believe that nonsense.

I agree with Salvador that multiverses and/or "many worlds" do not affect ID much, even if true.  For, even if life were unlikely (hardly demonstrated yet, since we don't know what "fine-tunes" the universe), it is not obviously a more meaningful consequence than are universes lacking in life.  Unless we already had some assurance that life has a targeted meaning, apart from our own sense of life's value, it may simply be a fortunate or an unfortunate (depending upon interpretation) consequence of the roll of the dice, no matter the probabilities.  

The desire to make it a fortunate event seems to be belied by the accidental and indifferent nature of the universe's relationship to ourselves, wherein "the gods" appear to kill us for their sport.  Was the universe fine-tuned just so that life could be treated according to accident and chance within the parameters of our universe?  

What is close at hand, the total indifference of the universe to our needs and desires, even to our ability to live, is something that the IDists ignore, while trying to claim non-indifference of the universe by the bare fact that life is able to push forward despite massive killings by supervolcanoes, asteroid hits, and climate change.  Indeed, the uncaring nature of physics/universe/the gods evidently drives them to claim that instead the universe/gods care very deeply, and that all random killings and imperfect designs are voided by the probabilities of flagella evolving, and the supposed probabilities against the universe sustaining life.  

Nice of them to blame such a caring universe/god for the meaningless deaths of humans and animals, is it not?  We (most of us here, as far as I know) may not believe in the gods, but according to their standards we are more virtuous toward the purported deities than are the theists, since we don't blame the gods for all of the meaningless death and pain that exist in the world.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/18 06:13:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
While I'm sure there have been groundbreaking discoveries about the internal digestive system of the earthworm, biologists are barely even scientists anymore. They're classifiers, list-makers, like librarians with their Dewey decimal system.

I suppose it's rather obvious, but of course it is the incomprehension of evolution by ignoramuses like Coulter that attempts to make biology into mere stamp collecting.  They have no theory, they deny that we have a comprehensive and highly explanatory theory, thus they make biology into their own image, a meaningless morass of disconnected facts.

It was Darwin, after all, who noted that "doing science" without a theory means one is as good as cataloging pebbles in a gravel pit as making any other droning list of facts--like IDists would have us do.  But of course Coulter wouldn't know anything like that.

As they get more and more intent upon getting revenge and salvaging some sense of self-worth, the IDiots are increasingly turning virtues into vices.  Our "pathetic level of detail" is what Dembski contrasts to his inability to handle any details.  Our insistence on evidence (which may be construed as "materialism" or "naturalism"--though I prefer neither label) is supposedly our close-mindedness, and it is true that we are too "close-minded" to accept a bunch of unevidenced BS.  The experts in biology overwhelmingly accept evolution, hence they're not scientists, rather the people who don't understand biology in any detail are the scientists, the "experts".

They seem to be proving what we've said all along--that all of science and scientific standards are threatened by the IDiots.  They have to oppose biologists, evidence, attention to detail, and anything else that makes up science, just so that they can make room for their particular religious beliefs.  

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/18 08:02:17, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Davey-dickums is looking only for disagreement between the data, since he has absolutely no evidence for his "Creator God hypothesis" and so rubbishes science in lieu of being able to comprehend or discuss scientific data.

The virtue of science is that it correlates several lines of independent evidence to come up with a conclusion, whenever possible.  The Grand Canyon could not have formed quickly (the river would have to go up a dome to do so--it's a dome, not a dam, DaveTard II), the relative and absolute dates agree that the rocks of the canyon are old, and it so happens that DNA dating agrees with the ancient age of the rock layers the canyon cuts through as well.  So we have any number of lines of evidence, several of which have a rather exact agreement with each other.

Geology is the study of events which are only observed by looking into the past.  That is to say, we cannot constrain what has happened, we can only study the evidence and produce hypotheses until the data can be found to agree--if it ever does (which is usually, given enough study).  We use methods which have proven their concordance to a high degree of confidence, while knowing that contingencies can bring them out of alignment in any number of particular cases.

But Davey-dumdum is simply against science.  He's the guy on the jury who hears testimony that the time was 2:00 AM according to the clock, who notes that clocks stop and may give the wrong time, and will not accept any evidence from any clock.  So he frees the rapist-murderer.  Clocks are only correlated against other clocks which may themselves be wrong (in his benighted view of geological clocks, of course), so that the vast correspondence between the various clocks and watches is meaningless.

Geology is not a simple matter for simple minds, so if the geologic clocks are ever out of alignment, to the simple mind of Davey-dick they have become of no consequence.  While the Bible has no evidence for its early chronology at all, so it is reliable, not something having problems that he doesn't comprehend, like geology has.  

Indeed, one of the virtues of science is that it poses problems, but all of the virtues of sciences are vices in AddledFreakDave's world.

Then again, how is someone as averse to evidence like Davey-dog going to work through the difficulties of radiometric dating?  Remember, he's never given us any decent evidence for his "hypothesis", after telling us that he would, and he is only opposed to our evidence, coming up with impossible claims against it (like his idiotic cut and paste which showed the Kaibab plateau, actually a dome, as a dam).

Working through the data to come up with concordances, a great virtue in science, becomes in his world a suspect activity.  We know that this is how science operates, that finding contingencies that skew the data is a substantial parts of science.  That we learn from seemingly discordant data, both about the dating methods themselves, and the geological contingencies in a particular set of strata.  Understand, though, that Dumb Dave is only opposed to what we have found, and has absolutely no interest in working through the data that he so dimly comprehends in the first place.

Indeed, most dates found in geology agree with each other to an amazing degree.  Error bars always exist, but the iridium layer only exists at one position in the sedimentary rocks, above the dinosaurs (there is some dispute over this, but only within a few hundred thousand years at most), below the great mammal and grass adaptive radiations, it's dated to around 63 million years ago, and is temporally associated with the Chicxulub crater which also dates back 63 million years.  Remember, AFD, I asked you to explain those concordances, and you didn't?  I asked you to explain much more, but then you couldn't even answer the problem of the Colorado going uphill without the cut-and-paste lie that the dome is a dam.

The same idiots who ask if we believe that humans are "accidental" either believe that such concordances are accidental, or that the scientists are lying.  ReDaveTard seems to go for the latter, but as usual, he utterly lacks the sort of evidence required for anyone to make such claims.  IOW, the same schmuck who is so stupid as to compare a watch with a bacterium, and to ask if watch articulations could be accidental, also claims that scientists are able to coordinate their false claims without producing the sorts of evidence for it that would be required in a court case over fraud.  

The truly unbelievable, a massive coordinated effort to fake the dates, goes along with his unbelievable Bible claims, the people who lived for hundreds of years, and the worldwide flood which left no worldwide flood deposits.  I guess that's how it is, though, that if you believe one tall tale, you fall for the next 40 as well, at least the ones that agree with the first one.  

All intellectual virtue is destroyed by the one colossal lie that these people take up, because they have to fault us for correlating data to agree with what is found universally and with what happened contingently, they have to consider each claim piecemeal (AFD is remarkable for being unable to think along several lines of data at once), they have to take any one clock that is found to be off as evidence against using clocks, and they have to come up with the most egregious lies about people they do not know, scientists, in hypocritical opposition to Biblical commands to tell the truth about others.  

They are totally shameless, totally dishonest, and thus are un-Christian in the ideal sense.  Virtues have been overturned by them to become vices, hence they have turned their religion into a Satanic device.

Glen D

PS:  This is one thing I don't like about Popper, that in his scenario coming up with one anomalous result could be construed as falsifying everything.  While Popper would not be so naive as to do so, he doesn't pay adequate attention to the importance of the high levels of confirmation that, say, dating methods have achieved, vs. some putative falsifying data.

Date: 2006/08/21 08:10:42, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Dennett on creationist tactics:

First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist’s work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a ‘controversy’ to teach.

It's the old catch-22, if you don't react angrily at being told lies and having good science twisted for their squalid little apologetics, they'd claim victory because obviously nothing was even bad enough for the person to have any strong objections to it.

And if you do react strongly to a constant stream of broken promises, outright lies, and a complete lack of understanding of science by the "evolution critic", then he whines and tells more lies about how his "facts" are hitting home.  Slow Dave has absolutely no shame, which is why we'd miss him if he were gone, just as we missed DaveTard when he was off of UD.

Btw, fake martyr, why do you suppose that the equally uncomprehending DaveTard disagrees with your claims?  IOW, why can't you guys come up with a method of determining the truth of facts, instead of disagreeing among yourselves about all sorts of issues in a display that demonstrates that anti-evolutionists have no command of the facts whatsoever?  (OK, their disagreements don't by themselves demonstrate that they are wrong about evolution, but these indirectly support all of the direct evidence that we produce that they are typically ignorant fools in nearly all areas (though some few are competent except in origins issues)).

Why does Gawp agree with you about the age of the earth and evolution, but not about planetary motions?  Why does Dembski agree with you that evolution couldn't happen by RM + NS +, but has actually said that life apparently has evolved (by some divine process, no doubt)?  

Why is it that those of us who support science in all areas in which it is presently used, manage to agree on the age of the earth, evolutionary mechanisms, radiometric dating, etc.?  And perhaps most of all, how come we know so much more about science than you, Dembski, DaveTard, and Gawp do?  That is to say, can someone who denies so much science ever learn science well enough to criticize it competently?

Little thought questions for you to ignore, Slow Dave.  Now get back to whining about how your stupidity and lies are treated, and try desperately to support your lying representation of scientists colluding to obscure the actual truth.  You know, instead of producing evidence to back up your statements, repeat your false claims long enough to show to yourself that your idiocy is intelligence, your lies the Truth, and demonstrate to the lurkers just how warped your sense of truth is.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/24 06:58:15, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I'm glad to see Cordova approvingly link JAD's senile ramblings in Revista at UD.  It's more of their dropping the pretense, since I suspect that they shunned him in the past in part because he frankly identifies the "designer" as God.  Here's some of what Cordova left out:

While it is true that the existence of a Creator, while a logical necessity, has never been rigorously proved...
(p. 3 of his "Manifesto")

Then we have his lies about "Darwinists" believing in blind chance, and his illiterate misuse of Einstein's dice quote.  Then a grand non sequitur, of the kind that few other than JAD can write:

If Einstein's physical world does not operate through chance, would one really expect the living world to do so?

Of course in Einstein's consideration of what "chance" is, evolution has essentially no role for chance at all.  But the dotard does not know the difference between irreducible randomness and so-called classical randomness.

At the end, on p. 48, the same illiterate usage of his Bartlett's quotations ensues again, as he blathers on about belief in God among physicists (not as common as he thinks) and "atheists or agnostics" among so many biologists.  He states one true thing, at least, which is that the difference is a mystery to him, as he apparently has no grasp of the evidence in favor of honest evolution.

Still, JAD is rather more competent in biology than are the rest of the ID clack--apparently including Wells, who makes stupid claim after stupid claim in biology.  So I guess that after they have ceased to try to portray themselves as scientists whose religion is incidental to their ID claims, they turn to a "scientist" whose "manifesto" is more religious apologetics and poorly used Bartlett's quotations than it is a discussion of evidence.

May they enjoy him, indeed.  At least he actually believes in a kind of evolution, which will discomfit the YECs and the essentially creationistic Behe and Dembski (they really have very little role allowed for evolution, when one examines closely).  DaveTard is moron enough to think well of the old fool's work, and Cordova is so eager for anything that goes against evolution that he turns a blind eye to how JAD's nonsense is contrary to his own YECism.

The IDists become more and more incoherent as time goes by.  Cordova does pathetically still try to claim a scientific agnostic-toward-religion status for ID, in between his frank avowals of religion and denunciations of "materialistic science".  

But that's the old UD, really, as O'Leary and JAD increasingly affirm the religious nature of ID.  

What is bizarre is Pim and MacNeill on PT suggesting that ID really is a "theoretical hypothesis" [changed in edit from 'scientific hypothesis'], even as the pretense fades (though doesn't disappear) at UD.  It could be, of course, a falsified hypothesis (and in a way it is, though it was never really formalized as a scientific hypothesis before it became untenable), but by no means has any ID, any actually promulgated as "science", that is, come close to meeting the empirically-based cause/effect form that hypotheses generally take in biology (there are deviations from this form, to be sure, but ultimately they're to be predicated on empirically-based cause and effect claims).

That's all right, though.  They can have their fantasies, while UD will continue to demonstrate just how unscientific and religious their "cause" really is.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/24 07:47:51, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I thought I should explain a bit better my statement that Pim and MacNeill are suggesting that ID is a scientific hypothesis, though I edited it to "theoretical hypothesis".  Here's what MacNeill wrote:

ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification.

What I wrote initially is true enough, since Allen is treating ID like a scientific hypothesis, if one lacking clearly defined methodologies for verification, etc.  But get real, Allen, they have no methodologies worthy of the name or even hints at any future meaningful methodologies, just reformulations of "it looks too complicated to evolve, God must have done it".

And here's the link to Pim's apology for MacNeill's unevidenced claims:

Pim more explicitly demurs from calling ID non-science, making the point that one may make evalutions using a set of "design premises" and unfortunately confusing this fact with the idea that ID could thus be considered scientific (or at least in the region of science).  He neglects the entire question of sufficient causes (evidenced causes, essentially) and the sense that hypotheses ought really to be potentially explanatory in a perceptually meaningful way.

Or in other words, he more or less guts his claim that ID is a "theoretical hypothesis" when he notes that "design cannot even compete with 'we don't know'".  In what way is anything a "theoretical hypothesis" about biology if it fails to do better than 'we don't know'?  As a failed hypothesis (that is, if in testing we found that it did no better than "we don't know"), one might have a point that it is/was a hypothesis, however one certainly could come up with entailed predictions if one hypothesized properly about, say, alien design (which would at times be rational design, no doubt).   And the failure of IDists to come up with any of the obvious entailed predictions for designers acting like known designers (ourselves) do, means that they are pointedly avoiding science and its standards.

Anyway, the more I see MacNeill's statements about his seminar, and Pim's defenses of those statements, the more I think Allen bent over backward to give credit to ID where it is not due.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/24 07:58:22, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Quite so, k.e. and N. Wells.  Since the Hitler-Darwin smear has been brought up again, I'll take this opportunity to copy what I wrote on Ed Brayton's blog (one edit in brackets).  For what it's worth:

[QUOTE]One may detect a very tenuous link between Darwin and Hitler, of course, in the sense that 'all things are connected'.

Beyond that it's pretty much BS. English science was all about mechanism, causality, what Hitler might have called "shopkeeper science"--keeping track of all of the transactions. German science, while it became good solid science by the 20th century in most areas, tended toward the Romantic in the biological realm. Haeckel's musings about a true recapitulation of phylogeny in each ontogeny, that sort of thing.

I think Nietzsche was great, but his later anti-anti-Semitism and opposition to German nationalism as it existed in his day did not prevent Hitler from being influenced by, and misusing, Nietzsche's writings (I will say that Nietzsche wrote some few things that make one's skin crawl, but his writings in their entirety are much as Heidegger characterized them, as involving primarily an artistic conception of life). And Nietzsche was pointedly opposed to "Darwinism", preferring, yes, a kind of Romantic striving of life toward power. It may not be possible to show [conclusively] that Hitler did prefer the Nietzschean/Romantic conception of evolution (found also in Schelling, Hegel, and I dare say Marx in altered form), but all evidences, from the use of the term "Superman" to the idea of controlled human evolution, points away from a belief in Darinian theory, and toward pre-Darwinian and competing conceptions of progressive evolution.

Hitler was caused by Darwin in about the same way that Lysenko was caused by Darwinian conceptions of evolution--as a reaction against the real science. As such, Kennedy et al are sloshing through analogous reactions against science and substituting pseudoscience for the real science, much as Nazis, commies, and also less dangerous folk, have done in the past. Let us hope that their reactions against truth will be less violent than were Hitler's and Stalin's were (to be fair, I think that indications thus far is that they are less aggressive in their use of power).

That said, have you noticed how ID/creo "arguments" are drifting away from the so-called "science", and toward moralistic screeds and denunciations of their opponents as being the source of various evils? We seem to have accomplished something in opposing their pseudoscience after all, although they're not about to quit, and will happily smear morally those who they can't answer scientifically. After all, it never was about science, and all about moral dictation, anyhow.

Date: 2006/08/24 09:57:21, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
oh, but Sal, in embracing insanity, does so in an etirely "civil" manner, right Pim and Allen?

And you know, such "civility" makes life easy for moderators/teachers, so why press for honesty when things are running smoothly?

They don't seem to think that there should be any penalty exacted for continual evasion and lies.  

I mean, gee, Ichthyic, don't you know that if you were just nicer to the liars, they'd pay attention?  It's our fault after all.

That said, there is a place for "civility".  The place is with any rare creo/IDist who is willing to discuss issues honestly, in the blog entries that someone like Pim makes, and if you can stomach it, on UD.  

Pim is mistaking the fact that he needs to keep a civil tone in his blogs, and even in most of his comments, with the requirements for other bloggers.  He, along with us commenters in many of our posts, needs to make objective statements without undue prejudice or emotion.  We, in many of our other posts, have to heap scorn and ridicule on the dolts who come in and react with prejudice and emotion to objective statements.

I like that N. Wells said as much on PT, since he is one who certainly exhibits more civility to dolts and liars than I can.

Tom English manages to evade being banned from UD, which no doubt is another way to utilize "civility", however uncivil the censorship on UD is.  Fine.  I couldn't do it, but fine if someone can put up with DaveTard's, Dembski's, and Cordova's lies.

MacNeill's experiment has demonstrated one thing--civility toward the intellectually dishonest is going to compromise your own message more than it is going to get those intellectually dishonest ones to listen.  And to the extent that they do nonetheless listen, they will hear a message distorted by the unreasonable demands for tolerance of lies.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/24 10:16:15, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The good thing about JAD being on UD now:

I want a list of all the members of Uncommon Descent who wield the power of arbitrary unexplained deletion or worse, prevention even of presentation.

Only an IDiot would get away with such a demand, though of course they're not going to fulfill his demands.  And even most of the IDiots couldn't do that.  JAD appears to be able to criticize the fascists running UD in a way that no others can.

And if there's anything I do respect about that SOB is that he doesn't use such a slurpy "civil" tone with his BS and lies.  In fact he ends up being honest sometimes, notably in his avowal of a religious basis for his thought, simply because he's too ornery to lie about some things.  

Sal uses a "civil tone" in order to advance his dishonest statements as far as is possible.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/29 06:47:31, Link
Author: Glen Davidson

When we visited the zoo the other day, my wife snapped this photo just outside of the Panda play area. I guess when they put together the verbage for the sign, they neglected to consult Gould because I didn’t read “looks jerry-rigged” anywhere on there.

Actually, it does look jury-rigged, it just happens to be quite a good "design" nevertheless.  They seem incapable of distinguishing between the two issues, and always take organs obviously derived from often rather unpromising precursors, which have become quite well adapted by now (bird's wings from dinosaur legs, for instance), as being "designed".

Still, Scott and Paul Nelson made fairly innocuous comments regarding the specific question of what Gould himself said.  It remained for other boors and cretins to extend those criticisms to all "Darwinists", apparently without these retards noticing that the sign was almost certainly written by a "Darwinist".

Here's a couple of dishonest morons:

“…he replied that the pseudothumb’s suboptimality was simply obvious.”
Isn’t everything obvious to Darwinists?

Junk DNA was obviously an artifact of Darwinian evolution.

until a purpose was found for junk DNA, then it was obviously a product of Darwinian evolution.

Very comforting to know that you can never be wrong.

Comment by chunkdz — August 29, 2006 @ 10:46 am

“Very comforting to know that you can never be wrong.”


Probably this is the real reason for the NDE success: it’s a theory of everything.

Yes, numbnuts, it's a theory of everything, which is why Gould's comments on the panda's thumb have been countered by "evolutionists" who were not persuaded by him.  

And btw, it is highly likely that a fair amount of "junk DNA" is indeed junk, thanks to chromosome doubling, and genes being copied, this being confirmed (the confirmation at least indicating that no essential purpose was served by the pseudogenes) in a number of cases by fact that pseudogenes have been co-opted for other purposes.

JAD more or less grumbles incoherently about Gould, mumbling the same things that he's mumbled thousands of times before.  Surely he is among the best examples of someone who actually did have some competence once who became a gibbering fool, either before or after becoming a kind of IDist (I think it was before).  

As typical, the IDists have nothing intelligent to say about the panda's thumb, relying on a sign at a zoo for their information.  Are they too stupid to know that the sign could be wrong?  I've implied that it is not, true, but that's because I have made the same argument against Gould, referring to a primary source in order to do so.  The reference and abstract are linked here:

Date: 2006/08/29 12:58:40, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Lest too much gets said that shouldn't about vertically-floating dead plants, they are relatively well known:


Then it happened. In the blink of the eye I was upside-down, headed for Davy Jones' Locker. I had seen what appeared to be a deadhead immediately in front of my speeding Caribe. Deadheads are dangerous waterlogged logs floating vertically, their upper end barely above the surface. We had seen several deadheads on this trip, and this looked like another. I threw the tiller away from me to avoid the deadhead, and at the same time stood up slightly to see that I had swung clear. The last thing I remember before going deep sea diving was, "How about that, it's just a seal."

This may not be the best source ever, but I picked about the first I could find using Google, since I know how these vertically floating deadheads do exist and are water hazards.  The stump ends tend to be at the bottom, both because roots trap rocks and dirt, and also because the roots tend to be more saturated with water even when growing.

I did learn about this first from a speech by Harold Coffin, one of the more scientific and tolerable creationists.  He was "explaining" the buried Yellowstone forests, and from what I can gather there is some chance that the forests did end up as they did from trees floating in.

I haven't studied into it, though, because it hardly matters.  He had no plausible story for how repeated batches of trees were floated in, covered by ash, only for the same cycle to repeat itself.  The whole geology involved argues against any quick succession of burials of upright trees, whether or not the specifics of the case does.

Btw, AFD is essentially using Coffin's story to "explain" the buried Yellowstone Forests, without, of course, acknowledging (no doubt without knowing) in the ARkansas case that Coffin admitted that without the Bible he could believe the earth to be millions of years old:

You have had only two articles in standard scientific journals since
  getting your Ph.D. in 1955, haven't you?

A: That's correct.

Q: The Burgess shale (a geological formation in the Canadian Rockies
  with exceptionally well preserved marine fossils) is said to be 500
  million years old, but you think it is only 5,000 years old, don't

A: Yes.

Q: You say that because of information from the scriptures, don't you?

A: Correct.

Q: If you didn't have the Bible, you could believe the age of the Earth
  to be many millions of years, couldn't you?

A: Yes, without the Bible.

Selective use of sources, expected of creationists.  Oh well, the deceptive practices will continue.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/31 07:37:01, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
….if truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.

Attributed to Jerry Coyne at UD.

I have no idea how badly, or well, the above was quote-mined.  Of course we know the answers to such a statement, that evolution has helped in research, guiding us to look for derived organs and functions, allowing us to understand the differences between horizontal and vertical transfers, assisting us in taxonomy, phylogenetic reconstructions, and our understandings of biogeography, helping also in dating divergences and refining relationships among organisms.  We might have some vague guess of how tests on apes, rats, and birds relate to our own physiology if we knew nothing of evolution, but clearly we have a rather better and more precise understanding via evolutionary studies.  

Transgenics can hardly be done well without recognizing the derived differences among organisms between which genes are transferred.  The entire regulatory structure is crucial to gene expression, and that structure evolves.  So that although we might not be likely to know a priori how the regulatory elements have evolved, we know that they have, and thus will pay heed to that fact and to be guided by the amount of evolution known to have occurred since the organisms at issue have diverged.

And actually, micro-organisms do not evolve entirely unpredictably.  We get some sense of the probabilities of, say, avian flu viruses evolving to be able to transfer readily between humans.  Presumably evolutionary theory per se is not essential for understanding this in particular, but what it does is to tell us what happens in general, so that we will look at and consider particular cases of evolution.

Evolution is a theory that unifies biology and allows us to understand how organisms are different and how they are the same.  As such it isn't prone to produce direct benefits in most cases.  One might likewise ask what goods quantum chromodynamics has produced--it facilitates our understanding of physics, much as evolution facilitates our understanding of biology.

But perhaps the greatest benefit that evolutionary theory has bestowed upon practical and investigative biology is that it allowed us to quit looking for purpose and design in nature.  The bird's wing is not a structure designed from the ground up for flight, rather it is a dinosaur's leg adapted to a mode of propulsion beneficial to the bird, and ultimately to its reproductive successes.

How much time do you suppose that biologists should devote to studying the purpose of the platypus's teeth during it's juvenile stage?  How useless would it be to find the "purpose" of gooseflesh in humans?  One might even find some function to both (not much, I'll wager), but purpose or telos is simply a diversion from the study of biology.  Teleological study of biology has never yielded substantive results, so that the discovery/invention of a meaningful non-teleological explanation for life's forms and functions has been immensely helpful practically and theoretically.  Humans had, due to their anthropomorphic predilections, often defaulted to teleological explanations prior to the development of  a meaningful evolutionary theory, and because of that they made little headway in explaining life.

Then again, how materialistic do you have to be to demand practical value from a theory?  Evolution would be interesting and meaningful even if it had yielded absolutely no practical benefits, satisfying our "instinctive" need to know.  It's perhaps a rather sad fact that IDists have a need not to know, not to understand, thus they seek to destroy knowledge.

Glen D

Date: 2006/08/31 10:11:48, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Thanks for the context, Bob.  I'd say that Cordova probably should have at least mentioned some of the rest of what Coyne was saying, though it's not a grave offense that he did not.

Rushmore now:

Assume that a Stephen King super virus wipes out all human life next year. 500 years later an alien visits earth and observes Mount Rushmore. The alien has two and only two choices to account for his observation:

No he doesn't, since a duplicating machine of some kind could copy the faces from life onto the mountain.  Yes, the machine has to be made by something, but my point is that "design" is hardly so obvious as the IDiots make it out to be, particularly in the case of life (which, however, does not require a duplicating machine to reproduce its forms).

1. He could infer from the specified complexity of the sculpture that it is not the result of the random erosion of the mountain, and based on this inference he could conclude that the sculpture is the result of design by an intelligent agent.

How does he know that the "complexity" was specified, and more importantly, how does he know that the greater erosional complexity was not?

This gets back to the overwhelmingly dishonest nature of ID.  The faces on Rushmore are fairly complex, but it is more the simplicity and rationality of design that gives it away as intelligently made.  

That's why Dembski conflates the "unlikely" with the complex.  I used to think that such an elementary mistake was due merely to the fact that he is not very bright, and perhaps he is not.  But on some level he does recognize that rationality and simplicity is usually a better marker for design than is complexity, and he wanted to claim that complexity is the mark of design.  Therefore he conflated the unlikelihood of rationality with the unlikelihood of "specified complexity" and illogically folded rationality and "specified complexity" together with nothing other than low probability connecting the two.  

It is only in this way that he claims that "specified complexity" exists in rational design (well, sometimes it does, often it does not), claiming it to be the same thing as the far more complex states of living organisms.

One complication is that IDists deliberately use natural forms which are artificially carved into rock as their favorite example, in order to confuse the issue (or anyway, in order to pretend that the forms of the faces are themselves designed).  Thus I must note that the forms are essentially not the sort of thing that suggest intelligence is responsible for them (they are not actually rationally designed, most importantly), however where and how they appear does suggest that intelligence copied nature.

Still, how is it that we know this to be the case?  Symmetries, overhangs that would typically be fairly quickly removed by geological processes (thus would be unlikely to appear so many times in such a small space), and surfaces that are smooth (relatively) and shaped as, well, non-erosional features.  There are other clues, no doubt (other than clear marks of workmanship, that is), but these are perhaps enough to consider.

The bilateral symmetry of each face is an interesting aspect of the whole issue.  Many machines have something like bilateral symmetry, while life may also have it, or life might have radial symmetry, or even no real symmetry at all.

What we can say is that nearly identical eyes across from the bridges of the noses, as well as the rest of the symmetries is highly indicative of a an ordering process affecting the mountain.  And in this case, I do mean ordering in a manner other than erosional ordering, something like evolution or design.  Of course "natural crystals" may also have similar symmetries, but not the sort of symmetries reproduced in each face, with important differences appearing in each face.

Erosion didn't do it.  Evolution didn't cause the faces to appear on Rushmore, certainly, since rock doesn't reproduce.  We eliminate processes and decide that intelligent design is a likely cause of the symmetries on Rushmore.

But is symmetry complexity?  Not really.  To be sure, the whole symmetrical face of Washington is more complex than just the left side of his face would be, but really, symmetry is more a matter of repetition of one simple or complex form (it's more complicated than that, of course, but "duplicating a side", so to speak, does not add much to the complexity) than it is a substantial increase in complexity.

Indeed, the non-symmetrical eroded parts of the mountain are more complex, in part because they are not symmetrical.

Notably, symmetry doesn't really distinguish very well between life and design, one reason being that there are functional reasons for symmetry that affects both design processes and evolutionary processes.  So the function of symmetry is fairly good at indicating function (in most cases, crystals being an important exception), begging the question of whether or not symmetry was designed.

The overhangs, especially at the noses, are energy-rich and kinetically poised for a fall.  Both life and designed objects frequently have these sorts of high-energy states, which might suggest something about design--that it is something that life can effect.  

I've mentioned on PT that it is really motion that ancient and "primitive" humans associate with life, with "design" actually being consequently associated with life through the motions needed to make these "designs".  One may very well add that intelligence is needed for "complex designs", indeed.  However it is the observation of motion producing things that really connects life with "design".  

So this suggests that at least some of the indications of Rushmore's design rely upon energetically unfavorable forms, of the kind that life can produce.  Unfortunately for IDists, this isn't very specific for "intelligent design", and animals can and do produce energy-rich objects that are indistinguishable from human designs, based on first principles alone (no observations of, or other important associations with, their production, that is to say).  That we can't make spider silk is not an indication of its intelligent design, in other words, rather it is an indication that life is complex and functional.

Relatively smooth and gentle continuous curves is another indication of possible intelligent design--or of life reproducing itself.  But just like symmetry, this is something that reduces complexity from what occurs in the non-living natural world.  

Other than the fact that forms taken from life are plastered onto rocks, just what does indicate design at Rushmore (again, disregarding the marks of workmanship, roads, associated blast marks, etc., etc.)?  Not too much, actually.  And why is that?

It goes back to the old idea that fossils were not the remains of formerly living animals, but were manufactured by God, or were the repetition of ideal forms, in rock form.  Did anyone think that humans or aliens had made the fossils?  Of course they didn't, because life isn't like what humans make--unless and until humans are simply copying nature.

Does anyone look at a trilobite appearing from a rock and think that it was designed?  No, for not even creos are stupid enough to think that the trilobite existed in any way except via reproduction.  Sure, the creo credits God ultimately for the trilobite's form, but he isn't so stupid as to say that anyone carved the trilobite form onto rock in some artistic "design" process.

The symmetries, smooth and curving surfaces, and probable high-energy form (vis-a-vis most rocks, for instance) is not an indication of design being effected in the particular fossil of the trilobite, unlike the ancient belief that fossils were the result of the supernatural.  That is to say, if one were entirely consistent in inferring design from forms of life in the rock, one would have to infer that all trilobite fossils were designed in situ.

But everyone knows the difference between life and designed objects, hence no one today infers that trilobite fossils were designed in situ.  This doesn't keep us from carving trilobite shapes into rocks, however such "designs" are mimics of nature, and are determined by us to be designs via coincident and circumstantial evidence surrounding them.

With Rushmore it is quite easy.  No such human forms were anywhere near that size during life, and the rocks are also granite (IIRC).  Hence they are not fossils, they bear the properties that are found in life and in reproductions of life's forms, they are not living, and so they must somehow have been imprinted onto the mountain.  

Some sort of (alien, presumably) copy machine could have done it too, as I mentioned before, something the IDiots typically ignore.  And I don't say that because I am unaware that copy machines need their own makers, I say that because rote copying really does not reach the level of "design" that these morons like to say they are detecting.  The fact of the matter is that Rushmore was designed in a manner of speaking, however it was a sort of duplication process.  And there does not need to be any design at all for such duplication (plus enlargement) to occur.  (For that matter, repeated duplications would produce a sort of evolution, though not a very good one, unless fitness or some other "selective pressure" existed for it.)

2. He could appeal to chance erosion of the mountain to account for the sculpture.

No he couldn't, because such symmetries and smooth curved surfaces do not come from the erosion of such rocks.  They come from evolution, at least in the Rushmore configurations, and can be copied by duplicating agents or machines.

If he chooses theory 1, would it be fair to accuse him of trying to inject the “supernatural” into the debate when the theory says nothing about the nature or purpose of the intelligent agent who designed the sculpture?

Sorry, moron, we know the purpose of the agents who reproduce natural forms.  It is, in the most reductive sense, to reproduce natural forms.  This is something that the only intelligent agents we know, humans, do, and if we see that this occurred where humans have not been we have cause to believe that other evolved intelligences were responsible.

If you propose an intelligent agent that has no known nature or purpose, then you can say nothing about how this agent will act, and what it might make.  So it is fine for naive religious folk to claim that God carved all of the little trilobite fossils in the world, since we have no cause to think that God would not do such a thing, while we have absolutely no reason to claim that humans carved all of the trilobite fossils.  That's the difference between a scientific understanding of agency, and the open-ended "anything with specified complexity is designed but we don't know why or how", of the present-day naive and superstitious IDiots.

We have design hypotheses, but they are limited to the capacities observed from known intelligences.  And one of the limits, you stupid stupid people, is that known intelligences cannot and do not (at present, at least) create life.  If intelligences ever do create life as we know it, it will almost certainly be another form of mimickry, as it is unlikely that intelligences would ever think to produce apparently evolved structures in the way that life exists .

Another limit, of course, is that intelligences working without GAs take rational shortcuts, rather than absurdly modifying legs into wings.  

But of course the IDiots' God may very well be a computer running GAs, or a duplicating machine.  They really have reduced the God they are trying to save down to just such a pathetic state.  Of such is the evolution of human ideas.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/06 05:57:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
So Pim shows his true colors, and banishes the truth to the Bathroom Wall.  He lied egregiously and often.  He is about the most stupid thing I've encountered outside of UD (and other creo forums), and I'm sure that his many many lies are as much a product of his gross ignorance and inability to read above high school level, as it is his contempt for truth.

Let's recount the greatest two lies to which I was responding, you know two out of the too-many-to-count.  For the first, he wrote, "Glen mostly asserted that those familiar with science would understand the problems with my arguments and realize that ID is vacuous, further suggesting that my position would make it impossible to reject the teaching of ID in schools on constitutional grounds."

I reposted a long post in which I had discussed matters in detail.  What does he do in response?  He totally avoids the blatant lie above, responds to my ancillary point, misrepresents and lies a good deal more, and then at the end says that I haven't backed up my claim that he is dishonest.  Again, his lack of intelligence is such that he may not be able to comprehend the simple case against this particular lie, however he compounds his lie by claiming that I had no evidence of his lie.

In the second lie, he is so stupid and dishonest, such a PimTard, that he said that I only oppose ID on the basis of "methodological naturalism", a stance that I have never once taken.  I countered this in my post, his most blatant lie about myself (among many misrepresentations), so I guess he had to banish my post.  What could he say?  Could he apologize for lying repeatedly and often?  Could he allow me to counter his lies on the forum in which he made them?

Certainly not.  He's a fascist bully (screw Godwin's Law (yes, I know that technically it involves the term "Nazi")--it has no basis anyhow, though I understand how too many charges of "fascism" lose their punch--Pim deserves it, though), complete with gross ignorance, the desire to use power against truth, and an IDist intelligence.  

In addition, he accused the bunch of us of only using ad hominems against ID, when it was clear even on that thread that many of us had made arguments against ID that only lacked appeal to Pim's limited intelligence, arguments that could not be countered by Pim except through his egregious distortions of truth and of the discourse that the lying fuckwad claims to desire.

Pim has been exposed to the world as what he is, a complete fraud whose defenses of ID are nearly the extent of his knowledge of the practice of science (granted, he probably can practice his specialty in recipe fashion).  He may even be an IDist, who is feigning opposition while he lays the groundwork for when he can say, "Voila, ID isn't vacuous after all."  Sure, he's probably too stupid even for such a simple feint, and probably thinks himself a defender of science, but I would say that someone as unintelligent and unlearned as Pim could be an IDist in the future, or even is now.

Throw Pim in with AFDave, DaveTard, Dembski, and the other cretins who banish the "discussions" in which they can't compete.  His arrogance and ignorance match, much as they do in DaveTard's case, and he reacts with lies and censorship when his despicable actions are called what they are, dishonest and stupid.

He perverts justice as much as he perverts truth.  And we have more doubts than ever about MacNeill's class.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/06 06:18:38, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Yes, PimTard, make this your wall of shame, the place where your many lies are identified and labeled, the place where the words you cannot answer reside.

Mene mene, tekel upharsin.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/06 06:47:57, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Just one more comment about PimTard.  

You can see where he's coming from in demanding "politeness".  He's like all of the liars for Jesus, the creos and IDiots, who doesn't want the "impoliteness" that consists in holding him accountable for his many lies.  Even though he likely is too stupid to understand just to what extent he lies, he really can't be making all of the false charges that he does without having some cognition that he is not truthful.

Dishonest people and dishonest forums enforce politeness.  I'm not saying that pure jerks like DaveTard shouldn't be banned, but honest forums are very minimalist in their enforcement of "politeness".  UD, on the other hand, needs "polite acceptance" of their lies in order to have a shot at perverting science, while the censorious Pim seems to have about the same reason for enforcing "civility"--which in his case means no mention of his dishonesty, idiocy, and ignorance.

He should just go off and become a champion of ID, since he supports the lies that lay the groundwork for the acceptance of ID.  He could whine on UD about how mean PTers are, never answer honestly (like he has on the thread in question), and demand that pseudoscience be judged on the grounds that it chooses, never mind honest and legitimate grounds for judgment.  

He's working for the IDiots.  He might as well try to get paid for it.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/19 07:42:42, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
This is the same man who once claimed he avoided giving money to Scientific American (too supportive of evolution) by having the subscription in his wife's name...

But be fair about that one.  Without SA DaveTard could not be the authority on all things biological, physical, and designed.  He just had to reconnect with the main source of knowledge in science (and to give SA its due, it's a way better source than AFDave's "knowledge".  Not that Tard1 understands Scientific American particularly well).

I wonder if he knows that other people read SA.  If he did know, wouldn't that put a damper on his supreme authority via a popular science magazine?  Of course the advantage of having no real knowledge of science as practiced, the advantage shared by virtually all IDiots and Tards, is not shared by any number of evolutionists who read SA, which may explain DaveTard's superiority over other readers of Scientific American....

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/21 11:26:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Or it would be, except Dave can't even answer the most elementary questions about his own "hypothesis," e.g, how does the existence of the Andromeda Galaxy not falsify his 6,000 year old cosmos, how long would it take a globe of molten iron the size of the earth to cool to a solid surface, how the fact that watches don't reproduce doesn't invalidate his "watchmaker" analogy, how even one object dated anywhere via any method to more than 6,000 years doesn't falsify his "hypothesis," etc. These are basic questions that any simpleton should be able to answer, but Dave's not up to the task.

It's hard enough to keep Dave on-topic on this thread—actually, he's never actually been on-topic, since he's never provided any support for his hypothesis. I'd suggest any debates on other topics, e.g., Keynesian economics, be moved to another thread.

Just an observation:  AFDave completely ignores any issue that he has no cut-and-paste or canned YEC "argument" to use for an "answer".  Something contrary to his beliefs has no existence (other than as an evil anti-faith claim) unless and until it has an answer that he is stupid enough to glom onto.

Of course the failures of his "answers" are spectacular, since neither he nor his sources have any reasonable grasp of science.  But that's beside the point that he treats anything not having a YEC "answer" as if it doesn't exist, or with some idle boast that he's sure he could as handily defeat, say, DNA dating, as he has radiometric dating, or some such ignorant fantasy.

OK, this is not rocket science.  However, it does point out how thorough his denial of any contrary evidence is, as anything not "explained", however badly, is denied point blank.  AIG BS is just a further form of denial, of course, since he neither understands nor cares about the actual science.  It is the denial that matters, not whether or not one could actually do science with his "hypothesis".  Clearly one could not do science with his or AIG's "hypothesis", which makes these people hostile to working science.

It's worth noting that near the beginning of this thread AFDave claimed that he wasn't so much out to bring in new evidence as a new way of thinking.  The trouble was that denial is not a new way of thinking.  Indeed, it is something that most of us have taken some trouble to get away from.  This doesn't change the fact that this "way of thinking" is all that AFDave has to offer, and it is something that prevents him from learning how to think in a way that treats data non-prejudicially.  

That's a given, though, since he's only trying to shore up his prejudices.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/21 11:39:51, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
No, I don't find anything endearing in DaveTard.  He's been forced to be somewhat less of an ass so that he can come back to UD and act as co-dictator.  Hence he's been acting about as reprehensibly as Dumbski, creating unfounded accusations against Wesley (to be fair, PZ also jumped to conclusions overly fast with respect to UD not being on Google), but trying to pretend to be fair later on--without, of course, acknowledging how wild and unfair his earlier accusations swere.

I do suppose that acting like a complete fool for quite a few months has chastened the butthead slightly.  How many times can you be shown to be a tard without learning anything at all (to be sure, a very long time in AFDave's case)?  No, DaveTard isn't as stupid as most of the people at UD, so it's probably not only the spanking from Dimbski that has forced DT to be an incomplete fool at present.  He's still an arrogant, ignorant fool even so, without the sensible cynicism of a Matthau-type character.

I wouldn't judge DaveTard against his antics three months ago.  A chimp would look good compared to DT's "moderation" of UD, thus DT looks good by comparison as well.  He's still a chimp/chump.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/22 05:21:56, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Wesley (to be fair, PZ also jumped to conclusions overly fast with respect to UD not being on Google),

To be fairer, he (Meyers) described this as "specuation".

To be even fairer, you read as badly as you spell "Myers".  PZ only wrote "speculates" with respect to Wesley's guesses, as may readily be seen in PZ's blog:

How odd. That little crank site that Bill Dembski runs has intentionally removed itself from the Google indexes: no search is going to turn up a link to Uncommon Descent. Elsberry speculates that it's to remove the possibility of their penchant for revisionism being discovered.

I applaud this move. I suggest that the next step is to voluntarily remove their url and ip address from the DNS registry. We shall all be simultaneously dazzled by their technical prowess and absolutely confounded by our inability to point to the stupidity of the Dembskiites. That'll teach us.

People who attempt to "correct" others ought to try to at least get their "correction" right.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/24 13:56:30, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
How about an award for most thoroughly accusing our theory with having the fatal flaws in their "hypothesis"?  I know this could come under "projection", but there is something about calling evolution a "fairy tale" or a "religion", or saying that we just believe that "evolution did it" that seems (to me) to call for a separate category.

UD has vast tracts of stupid posts trying to claim that evolution is what "takes faith", or that believes in "miracles".  Again, yes, it's projection, but it's projection of a particular kind, one that depends upon their misconceptions of the world in order to misunderstand a good model of the world, evolution.  And what is really weird is that they (most of them--probably all in unguarded moments) explicitly state that they believe in miracles and in the Biblical fairy tales (well, a few might genuinely not believe the Bible fairy tales, but most at UD do).  

So we need an award category that recognizes how they misconstrue evolution to be a religion, and how they fault it for being like their own religion(s).  After all, the real problem for them has always been that evolution competes with their myths, and unfortunately for them, it does not require faith (though they strenuously assert that it does).  

I do like how they fault their own mode of "reasoning" whenever it is projected onto us.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/26 08:16:17, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Since it is unlikely that UD will print this, here is an account of Paul Nelson's speech in which he is reportedly "stated that evolutionary theory today has much greater explaining power than ID and that ID consequently should not be taught in schools."  I bolded it in the text:

…I thought you may like to hear that Paul A. Nelson recently "honoured" my country by visiting us and holding a lecture at the University of Oslo as well as other places. Nelson was invited by a small group of anti-evolution "scientists" we actually have here in Norway, a joint Norwegian-Danish organisation who calls themselves "Origo".

I don't know if this is of interest to you, but I'll give you a short summary of what has happened so far, just in case.

The debate at the University on 20. September was interesting according to this website: A large group of biologists had turned up and they gave poor Nelson a hard time, I am glad to tell you! Nelson's lecture followed the standard creationist/ID line. He opened with the ID-nonsense about "irreducible complexity", the flagellum contra Stonehenge and the subsequent design inference (I am so tired of reading about flagella in ID-literature - wish they could come up with another example!;), continued with the "Darwinism is a religious point of view" crap, commented that suboptimal design is also an option of an Itelligent Designer (although not very intelligent, if you ask me) and ended with a comment that "the one-tracked scientific method prevents us from understanding reality"!

The following debate was not a happy event for Nelson. Whenever he was challenged he tended to present complex thought-experiments, in fact he did this so much that the debate leader interrupted him and told him to stop! I don't think it was because of these harsh word and the unfriendly treatment, but Nelson admitted at the end that ID would be seriously challenged if it was proven that evolutionary theory could explain the origin of the flagellum (I agree with that!;). He further stated that evolutionary theory today has much greater explaining power than ID and that ID consequently should not be taught in schools. Well, at least he got something right!

The real revelation came at the end of the show, though. When asked if Nelson thought the designer was the Christian god he replied diplomatically that it could be God, Jahve, Allah or the Flying Spaghetti monster (my money would be on the latter - if I had the capacity for belief in supernatural beings!;). However, when his screen saver turned on during the break the following could be seens flickering across the screen: "Nature is the art of God"! So much for giving equal possibillity to the numerous deities which the deisgner could be!

Even if Nelson definitely lost the debate at the University, he will continue his tour of my beloved country and I am sad to say that he will be able to poison the minds of many still basically uncorrupted young minds. Among the various places he'll visit are high schools, student societies in Bergen and presumably Trondheim and of course various christian communities and churches. I wish I could be there and tell him what he is, but hopefully someone else will, at least in the high schools.

Creationsim is in no way as big a problem here in Norway as it is in the States, but I have always suspected that creationsim and ID is much more widespread in christian communities in Norway than most politicians and scientists like to think and one day I'll conduct a survey of that. If you think you got it bad with the right-wing people ruling your country, know that our prime minister a few years ago was actually a priest!

Well there you are.  I did complain in my post at Pharyngula about the implication that ID has any explanatory ability in biology, but on the whole I'll take Nelson's statement that evolution is what has the "much greater" explanatory ability.  

It's not the stuff for DI propaganda, though, hence is unlikely to show up on a UD blog.  Even if they're flogging their attempts to distort evolutionary teaching as "criticizing Darwinism", no one there is in any doubt but that teaching that creation shows design is their goal, and the abject failure of ID to explain anything isn't welcomed by the IDists, even when hedged as Nelson does it.  

Consequently I thought I'd bring it to the attention of the UDists who turn to the evolutionists for openness (I'm not exactly banned at UD, as far as I know, but when my answers to DaveTard's lies were disallowed I knew I wasn't going to waste intelligence on those whose only successful filter is one that screens out intelligence (yes, some gets through, but not enough)).  Nelson's agreeing with us there, regardless of the rest of his nonsense.

Glen D

Date: 2006/09/29 07:50:43, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Actually, I believe that most of us do bring up other pseudosciences to show how contemptible ID is.  

But most of us don't bother fighting other pseudosciences, primarily because there is no concerted effort to introduce other pseudosciences into the schools.  

There is another reason that I like to aim at ID, which is that it has tried more strenuously (or at least more successfully, in the PR campaign) to pose itself as science than any of the other pseudosciences with which I am familiar.  As such, it is bizarre that scholastic notions of accident ("chance") and necessity ("regularity") are brought in by Dembski (showing that he knows ancient philosophy much better than he knows science), and these simply beg for refutation and ridicule.

That's just one example.  Dembski's claims that we can identify a designer simply by eliminating "chance" and "regularity" is also nonsense logically, as he resorts to an eliminative "induction" that has no legitimacy whatsoever in science (we have to have evidence which connects to a designer having at least some of the characteristics of known designers, if we are to infer "design").  Then he complains that we are simply materialists who deny anything not material, as if we deny his claims because we are prejudiced against religion, rather than because of our prejudices against claims which have no basis in observable fact.

And if we demand actual processes of design of these "machines", he tells us that he has no obligation to match our pathetic level of detail.  So while he's complaining about our supposed gaps in knowledge (some real, many not), he feels no obligation whatsoever to make up for the fact that he has explained nothing in biology at all.

ID happens to be the richest source of apologia for a complete lack of science in its purported "scientific program".  It is thus where we may hone our abilities for fighting any other pseudoscience which might wish to claim to be science.  The others are at present just too easy (from what I have seen), with little effort put into couching their criticisms and claims in post-modern claptrap and official-sounding pronouncements of what science is or should be.

ID is in its way very sophisticated, particularly in the sense of being sophistical.  It is a full time job for teams of intellectuals and scientists to counter their many false statements and sophistical twistings of what constitutes evidence and what is a permissible conclusion from the given evidence.  Judges, like Jones, can rule out the nonsense, but we have to answer it in many and varied ways.

If other pseudosciences present the same challenge to half-educated Americans, and to supplanting real science education with garbage, I believe and hope that most of us will be there, fighting the BS (which we sometimes do with the politically-powerful postmoderns in the universities--but mostly the post-modernists just make their priestly statements from on high, the which scientists and the more intelligent people promptly ignore.  It seems to me that IDists probably make the most use of philosophical nonsense outside of the philosophy departments).  

Right now the political power and the sophistical obfuscations of the ID "movement" make it the most important target for critical analysis.  The other pseudosciences are mostly content to make converts the old-fashioned way, with a bit of glib nonsense and an invocation of Galileo, as if the latter would countenance their particular idiocy (he happened to be harsh with the pseudoscientists of his day, notably one who claimed to have a machine that could talk to another machine in a distant country, but which couldn't do so through the walls of separate rooms).  

Mainly suckers fall for the regular pseudoscience, while some fairly educated people have been convinced by IDists (in the sense that they thought ID might have a legitimate hypothesis), before the IDists had been answered well and in full.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/02 08:07:27, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Obfuscating evidence?  Obviating evidence?  

Obdurate escapism?  Overwhelming escapism?  Old effluvia?  

"WMD argument"?  Remember the "overwhelming evidence" for WMDs?  I love the morons for using such a discredited phrase for their own "overwhelming evidence".  

Maybe "overwhelming evidence" is the best phrase of all, since it embodies the usual overusage of superlatives that pseudoscientists throw out to try to obscure their complete lack of evidence.  It also evokes the religious nature of their cause, since one heaps superlatives onto empty names to avoid the kind of power politics that God is supposed to play, and which they themselves may very well enforce in their theocracy, should they ever make one.

"Overwhelming evangelism."  "Obscured evangelism."  "Old eisegesis."  "Offensive errors." "Orthodox evaluations."  "Overused excuses."  "Overdrawn extrapolations."  "Old evasions."  "Ordinary eunuchs."

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/03 08:42:15, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
By the way, Wes, are you still not archiving select passages of UD?  And if not, is there hope of doing so again?

It would be nice if they could not so easily pour their more egregious errors down the memory hole, though I recognize that what's left is pretty wretched as well.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/05 07:42:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
"What I'm concerned about are sneering critics who think that ID's claims to science are dishonest, confused, ignorant."

Just how much dishonesty is in that sentence?

He writes "sneering critics".  OK, we sneer, but that's mainly after we showed his many errors.

IOW, this is just a sneer from Dimski against those who have carefully demonstrated the many fallacies, misdirections, and redefinitions of terms used by IDiots to foist off their confused, dishonest, and ignorant tripe as science.

The dishonest, confused, and ignorant Dembski cannot properly acknowledge the worthy critiques that he has received, hence he must mischaracterize them as only "sneering", when that is all that is possible after the dolt has ignored sound criticisms.

Then he writes that we "think" that ID's claims to science are dishonest, confused and ignorant.  Which implies that we don't know all of that, and that we haven't pointed out exactly how they are dishonest, confused, and ignorant.  Okay, what's Dembski going to do, acknowledge the legitimacy of the the responses that show his primary claim to fame to be a charade and a scam?  Of course not, but it is still well to itemize just how he is being dishonest in his mischaracterizations of the peer review that his work didn't deserve, but still received (to his mortification).

See, it's all just opinion, we just "think" that.  And it sells to the ignorant, dishonest, and confused, which is exactly what Dembski desires.  DaveTard and O'Leary are on board, as well as the one who rants using Bartlett's quotations as authoritative references (JAD for any neophytes).  It's their collective lie that we simply "think" they are wrong, hence they cover their many mistakes and far larger collection of omissions and petty censorships with the sneer that we simply "think" what we have demonstrated.

And just how well has it been shown that even the best among the IDists exhibit dishonesty, confusion, or ignorance?  Not all are guilty of all three, with Paul Nelson perhaps being the most honest (he said that evolutionary theory has much more explanatory power than ID at present--my only complaint is that this implies that ID has some explanatory power, but it's close enough for a proponent), though it seems that Dembski's remarks and actions are liberally infused with all of them.

I won't try even to example the extremely numerous cases where those traits have been shown by IDists, including those who are the supposed "experts".  It's just that virtually all such demonstrations are ignored and waved away with a sneer by the egregious Dembski.  Yes, as Heddle finally notices, as Judge Jones ruled, but more importantly, as competent critiques have generously shown, both on the web and off of it.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/05 08:31:05, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I applaud Heddle's recent comments, of course, and wish him well with any self-interested attacks against the egregious Dembski.  However, let's not forget all of the weaselly defenses of cosmic ID, and even of bio-ID, that he has made on PT.  Here's the usual lame defense via non-specificity against those who treat ID as if it should make some reasonable predictions:

I responded on that thread, and his response to me was rather less than intellectually honest, I would say.  Misdirection, strawman attacks, and the usual IDist non-response to important questions, characterized the BS that he wrote.  I responded here, taking him to task for a number of fairly egregious "responses" to legitimate questions:

One of his most weaselly tactics was to fob off any remarks I made about what ID would be like if it were science by stating that he himself was not pro-ID, in the biological sense.  Yes, that was obviously stated, but he can hardly be defending ID, which claims to be science, by responding with his particular claim to not favor bio-ID to what I write about ID as a "science" .  It either showed his own lack of understanding of science, or a willingness to utilize sleazy ID tactics to defend those with whom he had cast his lot.

Many others have experienced similar tactics from Heddle.  

The truth of Heddle's recent turn is not certain at this point.  Heddle no doubt would like to be the Newton of cosmological ID, but I'm not sure that he could have any real hope for it, since he's never had anything (IIRC) original to say about it.  

So it may not be (though it certainly could be) as Lenny writes.  Heddle may simply have an eye to retaining some respect among physicists.  This would, of course, be self-interested, but hardly beyond what is expected for any reasonably intelligent person.  I mean really, how long can one support the appalling ignorance of the ID "intellects"? 

Heddle would be particularly put out by the non-acknowledgement of the age of the universe.  One can't really be an astronomer while believing in a young universe, at least not without unwieldy contrivances to explain away the masses of evidence that the universe is really old.  OK, sure the IDists don't say that the universe is young, but they can't even take a stand in favor of something as solid as the ancient age of the earth and universe, a stance which might suggest that they care sometimes about what the evidence shows.

Heddle is not an astronomer, however physics runs too close to cosmology and astronomy for ID waffling about the universe not to bother him.  And as noted previously, it does play into the cosmic ID claims that he favors.

Heddle cannot be praised too much, then.  He tolerated censorship in "science" for a long time, and he defended bio-ID using the typical disregard for science standards that we get from the DI.  But that's to be expected, since no one could have survived among the IDists for as long as he did without having considerable intellectual flaws.  Yet his recent actions, however motivated, are worthy of some praise on their own merits.

For, most of all we must encourage any flicker of intellectual honesty among the IDists.  Only that is capable of bringing down ID among the committed.  And no matter how rare any measure of intellectual honesty is among IDists, it has some possibility as a contagion.  Dembksi and Cordova appear to be immune, but Heddle gives us hope that all are not.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/09 13:22:08, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Yeah yeah, so you don't understand the point of extended explanations, and must fault what you don't understand.  Nothing new in the promotion of know-nothingness and a preference for reductive simplicity.

I noted when responding to Martin that scientists often don't respect philosophers, thanks to people like Martin.  On the other hand, the contempt of the unknowing scientists who have to put down philosophy for not boiling down to single sentences puts a strain in the other direction.  

Then again, if I quoted Einstein's philosophical writings without crediting him, you'd probably make the same benighted and unsupported assertions, simply because you don't know or care about covering the bases.  

Besides which, you don't even get my name right, showing just how little you paid attention to what I wrote, and how prejudicial you are being.  Sorry I can't be as glib and unlearned as yourself in philosophical affairs, but then I never wanted to be.

It's just attack, with about as little concern for the truth as Pim evinces.  You don't, and presumably can't, back up your claims any more than he can, however you will fault what you don't understand.  It's the usual anti-intellectualism, fed by egoism and a lack of concern about what others know.  Had I faulted you for trite and glib answers, you might understand what I mean.  But I haven't, since I do recognize the need for various voices in response to pseudoscience.  Too bad that you do not.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/09 13:47:23, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Shorter Glen D:  Don't be an a-hole, stupid!

Get fu__ed, moron.  I know that you're too #### stupid and prejudiced to give heed to a defense from someone you don't like, but you don't have to demonstrate what a cretin you are.  Btw, that is exactly the kind of post that Steve might send to the Bathroom Wall, were it in response to somebody else.  

True, he might do it now, since I called him on it, but you didn't see the "moderation" prior to me calling him on it.

Steve backs it up with the usual trite BS, not willing to consider what someone writes, not willing to try to understand why a person does what he does.  "See what I mean?"  It's the kind of response an IDist might give.

uh, Glen, right or wrong, you do realize that your post in response actually supports his contention that you do tend to go on a bit, yes?

turn your sensitivity meter down a bit there.

Well, at least you tried to do something other than attack.  

No, the post was not outsized.  Just because Steve and many others wish for the same things to be said over and over without elaboration and development does not mean that such a desire comports with what is needed.  

I have ignored the jabs and gibes of Steve many times before, so I don't think that it is fair to claim that I am oversensitive.  He simply attacks, without support, without understanding, without recognition of the need to flesh things out.  

So I finally responded.  Don't go around supposing that these things don't have a context.  I have not attacked Steve, while he has attacked me.  While argystokes shows nothing better than bullying and stupidity, I would hope that some others would understand that one might actually respond at some point, and in his way, not as the attacker demands that he responds.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/09 14:07:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Glen, you do tend to get a bit, er, verbose.  Well, maybe a lot.

Just sayin...  

It is the continental philosophy way, since it is believed by us that nothing conforms simply to concepts and ideas.

That sometimes it is due to carelessness is nothing that I would deny (the old, 'if I had more time I would make it shorter';).  Moreso, it is due to covering myself (many attack wherever they can, and I make this difficult for them--I have been alone in my stances too often), and repetition to try to emphasize what the pseudoscientists would prefer to ignore.

But mostly it is the continental concept that contexts decide things, especially where precise definitions are being questioned.  Hence one rustles around in the contexts, rather than supposing that simple answers are forthcoming.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/09 14:28:32, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
If anyone else reads my nudges to the ribcage as punches to the throat, please let me know by PM or email, and I will be more careful in the future.

'K.  It's a bit much, though, to think that someone who is taking pains to be thorough is going to take even subtle ridicule without end.  And the last bit wasn't very subtle, whether you think so or not.

But ok, I suppose you meant it to be.

Don't go around supposing that these things don't have a context.  

...and yet, very few who read your post could even guess at the context when you included the mention of Pim, or Matin, unless they had read those theads.

So you could have made your point without having even included reference to Pim, for example.

Sometimes, things simply don't need to be fleshed out.

Like any more detail to this response.  

People on this forum have often read PT threads, as it appears you did.  Besides which, more have probably read Pim's careless-of-the-truth responses on the threads he started, particularly the ones where he treated ID as if its hypotheses should be understood as scientific a priori.

And I made the comparison because Pim did nothing other than attack, and however Steve has meant it, he too has not made the argument that there is really anything inherently wrong with a more thorough approach.  

As a matter of fact, I think that you very well could have discussed the Pim mention more thoroughly, let alone the entire context of the dispute.  See, I happen to think that you left out reasons why I might mention it, plus you latched onto one simple aspect without, once again, dealing with the whole context.

Sure, argy, major difference between the two.  Sorry I don't catch the light-heartedness of name-calling and the customary lack of regard for treating matters with some care.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/19 05:25:42, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
But I really don’t think he’s getting that much flak. I would bet the NCSE would have been thrilled at the reconciliation of Christianity and Darwinism which Collins offered this evening. I would not be surprised if the evolutionary community has been giving their whole-hearted blessings to such overtly Christian messages as long as Darwin’s theory is treated as fact. No kidding, I really think the AAAS, NCSE, and the evolutionary community are so desperate to fight ID they’d hire Christian pastors and Evangelists to spread the news that “Darwin loves you (and has a wonderful plan for your life)!”. Lest any one doubt my claim, see: NCSE faith project director. They would gladly concede a little ground to Christianity if it will keep Darwinism intact. I mean, look at the NCSE website and how much they try to promote themselves as Christ-friendly Darwinists of late. Eugenie gets her anti-ID book endorsed by a pastor. Remember, it was Eugenie who said that in the game of selling evolution, “One clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists”.

See how it is?  Darwinists are such intolerant bigots that they tolerate Collins's overtly Xian message.  My God they're devious bastards!

If you think we have trouble convincing these people, this is a classic example of why it is.  It isn't Dawkins or some other red herring, it's that if you are intolerant (as some are) you are labeled as intolerant, and if you are completely tolerant toward Collins, Xianity, and theism in general, well that's just because you're an intolerant bigot who's trying to masquerade as something else.

Salvador and his ilk are completely self-referenced and can't understand how we welcome Collins's message in biology primarily because he deals competently and unprejudicially with the evidence (not so in cosmological ID).  Cordova thinks, however, that Collins must be on their side because he's Xian and makes no bones about it, and any acceptance of Collins on our side has to fit with his twisted beliefs about evolutionary atheists.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/20 05:27:13, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Some of you are ignoring a point that I have made ad nasueum and which, in these circles, is mostly ignored. However, since one of your own (Stephen Elliott) made it, I thought it might be taken more seriously.

And who has ignored the fine-tuning problem?  I realize that some have, but the history on PT is generally people agreeing that why the universe "appears to be fine-tuned" remains a problem, while disagreeing with Heddle's pet "reason" for it.  

That is: virtually the entire professional physics community agrees that there is a substantive fine tuning problem. You can call that an appeal to authority if you like (it’s actually not), but when there is nearly universal acknowledgement from experts one ought to at least take notice. For example, cosmologist (and non IDer) Leonard Susskind has explicitly stated that, because of fine tuning, it's either multiple universes or  it's ID.

And this is exactly what is wrong with these discussions.  The moment "fine-tuning" is acknowledged, Heddle's off talking about the severely limited choices that he considers, never mind the endless metaphysical possibilities that could be conjured up.

So you can dismiss it with the puddle analogy, but I really don't know how a thinking person can.

I know I'm late to this discussion, but it was this that made me decide to jump in now.  Heddle doesn't seem to recognize what the puddle analogy is getting at.  

It isn't that there is no specific set of reasons that the puddle is shaped as it is.  It's that the water in the depression is amazed at its fit within the depression, and supposes that the depression is shaped to fit it.  The water is sure that the shape is purposefully shaped for its own shape, not realizing it simply fits what is there.

So go ahead and ask why the puddle is shaped as it is.  We do that in cosmology and in biology.  However there is no reason in the first place to suppose that the current forms of matter, including life, are the reason the universe is as it is, anymore than that lifeless universes (should these exist) are specifically designed not to produce life.

Maybe more to the point, was this universe configured so that so much of the universe would be unsupportive of life?  Or might we ask, does the universe support life as much as it does simply in order to wipe it out with various disasters?  That is to say, do the gods create us so that they may kill us for their sport?

There are a lot of things that fit in our universe, including life-destroying asteroids and supervolcanoes, diseases, tyrants and genocidists.  The supposition that  life is the purpose of our universe, and not the death-dealing supernovae and assorted geological catastrophes, seems to be a peculiarly anthropocentric point of view.

So again, ask away why the universe is as it is.  Just don't go privileging life's existence as an especial fit to the universe when one of the most obvious aspects of this universe is its utter indifference to our existence and our extinction.

A thinking person should at least ask himself: if all the experts take it seriously, maybe it really is something that can't be dismissed so trivially. Maybe I should look into it a bit.

Here is the problem once again.  Heddle will tell us that he's doing apologetics and/or coming up with an explanation outside of science.  But never mind that many of us know about the "fine-tuning problem" and thus should be known to have looked into it at least to some extent and found that there are no satisfactory answers, he suggests that we ought to look into it a bit.  

Why?  Is it because we might find a good answer?  Or just because it is a gap in knowledge that many want desperately to fill with God, despite having no evidence of a connection ("causal" or otherwise) between fine-tuning and God?

The experts do take fine-tuning seriously, and they try to find evidence-based answers to it.  There isn't any especial reason for most people to "look into it" any more than they ought to be looking into the problems existing between quantum gravity and relativistic gravity.  People raise the former issue primarily in order to suggest that "god did it" without any sort of evidence of how and why an unevidenced God might have made this particular puddle.

So far as we know, puddles are shaped as they are through physical interactions.  Any serious answer as to why the puddle we call our universe is as it is will almost certainly also have a physical explanation.  

Presumably it is because Heddle doesn't propose a serious physical explanation for a serious physical question that his invitation to speak at a physics conference was withdrawn.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/26 07:55:44, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I don't bother much with this thread, as I think we exhausted AFDave's limited repertoire of evasions and denials long ago.

But I thought I'd make an observation:  Dave has, of course, no conception of how to come to origins issues just trying to understand the evidence and how it fits together.  What he is doing, what many IDists/creationists are doing, is asking just what evidence there is that could make his fear of loss of heaven, and of damnation to eternal torment for doubting the Bible, go away.  And there isn't any.

It's all mortal fear on the one hand, meaningless scientific conclusions on the other.  OK, sure, they're not meaningless, but they certainly don't mean anything to him.  

For us there is the kind of evidence that makes the unevidenced fears go away, but AFDave is barely competent even to begin to question the Bible's statements.  There is an intense asymmetry in consequences already for him (loss of soul vs. theories he doesn't understand or value), and no scientific capacity in him to demonstrate that the fearful statements of the Bible are not so.  The balance for him is hugely in favor of denying science in favor of fable, and no mere facts compare with the sense that he must maintain fealty with a powerful and fearsome entity.

What is unusual is how many losses he is willing to take.  It seems that his psyche is set to find reward in receiving punishing treatment, perhaps to gain a greater portion in heaven someday.  What is not unusual is "erring on the safe side," though, agreeing with the side that might use fire against him if he disagrees with them, not with the people who pose no threat to him at all.  If you begin with his beliefs, this is the safe course.

Like IDists and "scientific creationists", however, this is not his usual argument, even though we get a peek into their psyches every time they bring up Pascal's Wager.  Nevertheless, it is almost entirely about that wager, which is all the more threatening for those who believe in hellfire.  Believe what "evolutionists" say and you gain understanding, believe the Bible and secure yourself against eternal torment (unfortunately this equation demonstrates why understanding does not come to AFDave and his like).

Thus they don't ever begin to look at the evidence through unbiased eyes, and therefore these people never become competent in science in general (they may be able to effect the motions in non-threatening sciences).  So if they might turn out to be wrong often (or constantly, like AFDave), it is much safer to lie about those who will not do harm, than the God who threatens to do so.

This is not new stuff, I know.  I just thought I'd say it again to put things into perspective and to try to show how pointless it is to treat AFDave as if he were teachable.  He is not, for he is working to escape d@mnation and gain heaven, hence his ministry to us here.  Plus, stalwartness in the face of "apparently convincing evidence" is to be rewarded someday, to those who refuse to believe whatever goes against the Holy Bible.  Loyalty is what matters, especially when he is tested by the "lies of the godless".

It just seems that this should be said ever so often.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/26 08:14:43, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
You may certainly be right about that, Lou.  He seems to be fighting off "the devils" afflicting him.  However, it may be his perpetuum mobile, his Sisyphean punishment for denying the sense and senses of human perception.

Glen D

Date: 2006/10/31 17:29:14, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
There are dangers in assuming that ID and its fundamental reaction against science (not Pat's position, btw, but one could mistake it as his (her?) position) are dead, but there are also dangers in thinking that an important weakening of this most recent incarnation of creationism has not occurred.  PZ is risking cynicism in not fully acknowledging the pathetic state to which ID proper has come.

The value of Dawkins' fairly singular approach is more than a little apparent now, I think.  UD expends a considerable amount of its remaining strength in fighting Dawkins' atheism, rather than even pretending to be doing or promoting science.  Whether one thinks that fundamentally Dawkins is right or wrong, he has done his part to smoke out the biases driving ID in its inception down to the present time.  IDists cannot help but react against the atheism that I think is mostly beside the point in science, because, of course, nothing in ID had anything to do with science when properly done.

What I am wondering is if ID might have put questions into the minds of a significant number of YECs.  No matter how badly IDists understood science, many at least did not deny the plain facts of geology, and several even noted that the evidence shows that evolution has happened.  It could be that ID has done some good after all, as it whimpers away into a lingering death (probably a living death, as some will no doubt cling to it until death, like many losers do).

Naturally it could only have a generally positive effect if it were to die, or to become completely marginalized.  I am hoping that for a while into the future, ID will poison the well for "critical evaluation", since such an admirable-seeming subterfuge might work much better than it has recently if "critical evaluation" were not the only "science" that ID ever attempted to engage in.  Possibly the living corpse of ID may be used to crush the anti-evolutionists' desires to nickel and dime evolution to death by using any "argument" (no matter how well it has been answered) they can throw at it.

Let us not forget that huge numbers of schoolchildren are taught little or nothing about evolution, thanks to the various sorts of anti-evolutionists.  I don't think that ID has had much to do with it, however the endless ignorance and reaction against science that bred ID continues to fester by blanking out biology's most important theory.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/01 11:06:58, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Hmm.  I think your conceptualization of Dawkins' latest effort makes sense, but do we really know if this was the intent and specific strategy?  

I doubt it that it was his intent and specific strategy, at least with respect to the creationism wars themselves.  However, Dawkins may very be aware of specific strategies by some groups (notably, some environmental groups) to create outlier organizations which tend to legitimize the groups previously considered to be "radical".  He may himself be trying to be one of those outliers for atheism.

It's not for me to know his mind, though, and I tend to take him at face value (since it's easier)--that apparently he tries to use reason on those who do not use reason very well, especially where religion is concerned.  He knows the problem with that approach, but he seems not able to prevent himself from using tactics that do not directly work on most people.

But I value his approach as bait for the promoters of the "new science" of Paleyism, which was all that I meant in my earlier post.  I have never thought that most of us ought to be like Dawkins, or even that we should all be non-religious.  However, the ID-type of religionists will label all of us as intolerant materialists without the slightest bit of evidence, which is why it is so welcome to me to have someone around who positions himself as being fairly intolerant of religion, like Dawkins (for instance, I could not imagine the government stepping in between parents and children in the matter of religion as Dawkins suggests).  It becomes all the harder to project the lie that we're simply trying to destroy religion when we act so differently from the one who (apparently, at least) really is out to destroy religion, rather than to try to moderate religion via reason and science as I would like to do.

I've always thought it was counter-productive for the rest of us to try to inhibit PZ Myers, Dawkins, and Dennett, since if we succeeded in shutting them up the only non-theists to paint as intolerant of religion would be us.  And however absurd that accusation is, in the absence of any well-known militant atheists such a claim would be plausible enough to many naive individuals.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/02 10:02:59, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Physical dissimilarities are not significant.  The real significance is in the genetic findings (like a broken vitamin C gene.)

Physical dissimilarities would be important if complete novelty were discovered.  The physical differences that we see between chimps and humans, on the other hand, appear not to be novel (except to the extent that any change is in some manner "novel")  nor especially great.  They are trying to make the most of the differences there are, naturally, especially the ones that would lead one to suppose that we have a "soul".

You know, where are the great differences between humans and chimps, like cephalopod eyes in one of them, different numbers of limbs, or the ability to hear ultrasound, or see infrared?  These would be shocking differences indeed (and heightened sensory capability seems appropriate for the pinnacle of creation--oddly enough, dogs got the better part of hearing and olfaction), and might be difficult to explain.  Instead they point to intellectual differences from a brain which is made from roughly the same genes as chimp brains, not even caring to explain why that is (except to say that it is done by magic).  

Essentially there is a continuity between australopithecus and humanity in the fossil record, and as creationists and IDists have been so kind to point out, australopithecus is "just an ape".  

The trouble for them is that the differences do not seem very great, except perhaps quantitatively (our symbolic representation capacity seems to have reached a threshold), and, as always, they are uninterested in providing an explanation for the great number of similarities.  By right, they should first explain (rather than excuse by saying 'the designer did it';) how it is that humans and chimps are made of roughly the same morphological parts and genes, with a little new stuff, before they begin to raise the issues of differences.  Were they able to account for the similarities, we might have some hope that they'd know something about the differences.  They have no interest in explanation, though, and only wish to question the explanations that work so well.

I only skimmed the chapter, but I thought this was amazingly naive, err, stupid:

Evolutionists may be right that large complex brains have an inherent selective advantage.

Of course we don't say that large complex brains have an inherent selective advantage.  In fact a number of explanations for our brains appeal to competition within hominid groups, since it might make sense that better brains bring a sexual advantage, while hominids appeared to be more vulnerable to environmental shocks than were many other animals.  Once more they fundamentally misunderstand evolution, which I guess explains why they're IDists.

Remember when they used to complain that we called them creationists and said that they didn't believe in evolution?  It looks like they're more than happy to attack the "evolutionists" now, moving even further from their old pretense that they were simply trying to explain about evolution what isn't fully explained today by "Darwinism".  

So it's the same old BS, the hominim transitionals gave us gaps that aren't filled (they almost say that any intermediate fossil gives them two new gaps to replace the old one), humans are qualitatively different from apes--whatever creationists were saying before the bright new coming of ID, sans the 6000 years claptrap.  Any possible challenges in court are becoming easier and easier for us.

The sad thing is that this antievolutionary nonsense is tried and true PR, and will be believed by many by reason of its hackneyed, illiterate, and unintelligent treatment of evolution.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/08 15:37:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I tried the following out on Pharyngula, but I'll put it here as well.  It never ceases to amaze me how incompetent some people are when criticizing anything new.  Especially, I'd like to know how someone like Larson could miss the fact that "voltage-gated channels" use electrical fields (how could it be voltage-gated if it did not?).

Say Torbjoern, I finally noticed a late, ill-educated, and undiscerning reply that you made to me a while back.  I responded here:

Please learn the various meanings of the term "mass" in English and in science (and no, I wasn't strictly discussing physics there, since I have to correlate physics and other ways of looking at things during such discussions).  And learn a little bit about voltage-gated channels before you demonstrate how little you know about neuroscience.  

For that matter, I thought you would actually recognize that voltage is a measure of an electrical field, hence voltage-gated channels would consequently be responding to electrical fields.  

Sorry for the intrusion here, but I don't know how else to get to him to suggest  that he should learn about neuroscientific matters before criticizing those who have taken the trouble to know what we're writing about (I wouldn't have bothered with this, Larson, if you didn't feel the need to attack me yet again with your little learning on goodmath).

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/08 16:59:08, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Well we've seen JAD triumphant in the silence which greets his ideas (after the fatal flaws are pointed out to him, that is).  But I just have to juxtapose the two contrary claims found in ID and in UD thusly:

The best evidence that I am being taken seriously is the fact that my name is not being mentioned much at the usual ideolo gical bastions like Panda’s Thumb, EvC and Pharyngula all of which have banned me from their proceedings. They don’t want to open a can of worms because if they recognize me they will have also to recognize my several sources some of the finest biologists of the past. It has always been their tactict to pretend that they have no critics. They have gotten away with all too long.
(Collected Evolutionary Papers thread)

Yes, I shiver in fear when I think of his basic premises, like "God is necessary", and "ID is not in question".  And we don't ignore his out-of-date sources (some of whom were fine in their day--but science moves on, well past the capacity of the rusted cogs in JAD's brain), we point out how they have been shown to be wrong or were generally superseded (at least where his primary claims are concerned).  

The opposite claim now:

16. StephenA // Nov 8th 2006 at 4:45 pm

Shows like that are a good thing. Now even more people are aware of the ‘controvesy that doesn’t exist’. If it didn’t exist, why are they fighting so hard?
(ID Goes Global thread)

Yes, we fight the controversy because it exists, and we also ignore JAD because he is a powerful and incisive thinker.  Granted, even the IDiots generally prefer the former and see the desperation of the latter claim, but my point is that they are not (collectively, anyhow) going bother to call him out on it.  In part this is because they argue both ways themselves, that the relative silence about ID in the journals is evidence of the strength of ID, while the noise in the media reveals the cogency of ID.

There's little to add, except to label it as classic conspiratorial "thinking", this notion that all that is present is evidence of their beliefs, and all absence is as well.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/08 17:36:31, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
So, uh, if nobody mentioned JAD ever again, that would prove that we all admit he's right!

I think that's the logic behind his predictions of vindication after he dies.  The fact that no one, not even the kooks, will bother with his writings, Bartlett's quotations, and reliance upon old discredited ideas, will be proof of a total vindication.  

You just need the right metric, and then your triumph will be complete.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/13 22:41:10, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Just popped into this Schadenfreude thread (should anyone be laughed at so much?) to again get the gist of what's going on, and found this:

1. Modern humans
2. Modern cats
3. Modern dogs
4. Pigs, deer, rabbits, frogs, cows, chickens, goats, sheep, lions, tigers, antelopes, zebras, kangaroos, anteaters, water buffalos, bison, mountain lions, woodchucks, skunks, raccoons, opossums, etc.

Why are all those fossiized remains missing in your "millions of dead things"?

Where are all the people??  
Think about the capabilities of all these organisms ... they are very mobile.  They can CLIMB ... hills and mountains that is.  When the water finally gets them they are very high and are not trapped by sediment.  They drown and meet the same fate as a run-of-the-mill dead fish, i.e. they get eaten by scavengers.  Dear me!  What do they teach these kids in school?

The thought of frogs and anteaters, as well as old ladies and invalids, becoming mountain climbers is probably as facetious as any "idea" put out by our inveterate spinmeister (well, recycler of tales).  

I always wondered, too, how it happened that there were no vast plains or great swamps in the antedeluvian world.  Apparently frogs and anteaters all lived in river valleys, ready to sprint up the mountains at a moment's notice.  

I guess that answers the question of where all the CO2 came from, since apparently every last place on the continents was tectonically active, hence the volcanic emissions were enormous (doesn't quite explain how 20 or more atmospheres of CO2 were fixed by plants being assaulted with volcanic gases, but if Noah's ark could hold all of the animals (or at least the chromosomally-aberrant types having 500 alleles per gene) miraculously, why couldn't the plants live and grow miraculously?).

I suppose the greatest miracle of all is how the dead in their graves sprinted up the mountains, alongside the maim, the halt, the blind, plus the anteaters, elephants (anyone see an elephant climb a mountain?), and the frogs.  Hardly worth asking how the grasses (found most usually in prairies and plains) managed to outpace the liverworts and ferns, since we've already had our fun.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/15 11:02:01, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
First of all, does DaveTard suppose that belief in ID is not protected from discriminatory practices in the workplace?  Of course it is, and if they could prove that anyone had been fired (for instance) for believing in ID they'd be suing right now.

Kitzmiller was about discriminatory governmental actions, wherein one religious viewpoint is taught.  The tard could argue that he wasn't talking about that, but of course the teaching of, or funding religious ideas like, ID is the only point to ID.  And the lack of any science behind ID leads to the reaction where they claim that their "work" is discriminated against for reasons other than that it is straight apologetics and not science, but they can't demonstrate a single case in which this has happened.

Naturally they're going to complain when ID tripe is turned down, and having no other "basis" to complain, they claim religious, or anti-religious, persecution.  ID has always been religious, and in an oddly conspicuous manner, for it has never really disavowed its animosity against "secularism" and "materialism".  The only strange thing has been that they have denied being religiously motivated, even as they fault science for doing what science does, explaining "natural phenomena" by observation, along with physical hypotheses and theories.

Now DaveTard is saying, 'well what if we really were a religion?  You'll be sorry that you called us religious.'  It's a way of telling the rubes on their side that we are opposed to, and will discriminate against, religion and religious persons.  Trouble is, it is already not allowable to fire or not hire people just because they are religious/IDist, so what the devil do we care?  

And it's also a way of claiming that BS not accepted for publication is denied simply because it comes from "a different perspective", rather than because it doesn't conform to scientific practice.  Indeed, it does come from a different perspective, one that opposes scientific practices when these are applied to origins issues (it's kind of murky where geology is concerned, but in deep cosmological time science is definitely not welcome to them).

Propaganda, naturally.  It's much more fruitful for them in the PR business to cry "foul" than to trot out their wretched "works" to show how they conform to proper scientific procedure, notably because they do not.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/15 17:51:14, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I've not kept up on this thread very well, but have surveyed it from time to time.  What struck me recently is that astronomical dating hasn't actually been brought up yet, to my knowledge.  Here is what I wrote on another forum a while ago, which contains a good reference and relevant quotes from that reference:

Don't like radiometric dating?

In a way, neither do scientists. While radiometric dating is very good at telling us that the earth is old, science is actually interested in the facts, not in merely shooting down old myths. Radiometric dating is annoyingly off by several percentage points in many cases, even more in others, and new calibrations are being made to address this problem.

The changing age of the Jurassic period is a case in point. in 1987, the period was estimated to have ended 131 million years ago, based on the amount of potassium that had been converted into glauconite. But it was later discovered that argon seeps out of glauconite, making the mineral seem younger than it actually is. The new timescale used potassium-argon dating of basalt to put the end of the Jurassic at 145.5 million years ago.

"Most people will tell you that a measurement more than five years old is obsolete," says Gradstein.

John Whitfield. "Time lords." pp. 124-125 v. 429 13 May 2004. Nature. p. 125.


At ages beyond 65 million years or so, improvements in radiometric dating are being made like that above, finding sources of error and fixing them. Additionally, standardization is being improved, which is what the article mentioned above is mainly interested in. Errors should not, of course, be of any comfort to YECs, as improvements are at least as likely to produce older dates, as younger ones.

Younger dates than 65 million years are being improved by using astronomical correlations with phenomena occurring on earth. This is what I'm really posting to say, that radiometric dating has been roughly confirmed by, but also bested through, astronomical correlations. That is to say, astronomical correlations are providing a timeline having new precision, which will help to calibrate the methods used in most specific instances, whether the latter is radiometric dating, relative dating, or some less common methods.

The new timescale takes advantage of a growing ability to date rocks using astronomical events, says Felix Gradstein of the University of Oslo, Norway, ICS chairman and nother of the timescale's editors. Using this technique, the past 23 million years--the Neogene period--has been dated to within plus or minus 40,000 years. "This is the single most exciting sceintific development in the new timescale," says Gradstein. "Every geologist should be amazed by this." Ibid.


I had realized how isotopes in the sedimentary record were confirming, and sometimes besting, radiometric dating, but I had not known that an entire independent time-scale was being worked out using astronomical correlations with the geological record. The article doesn't say what the astronomical correlations are, but I believe that one of the more important correlations is the precessional period of earth's orbit, at least for the past couple hundred thousand years or so, though perhaps on out to 65 million years.

So I guess we can take our pick out to 65 million years ago or so (the technique works past 23 million years, it just isn't as accurate), radiometric dating or astronomical dating, if we wish to point out how impossible to believe YECism is. Of course there are many other phenomena impossible to fit into 10,000 years or so, relative dating and the like.

I suppose the question now is, how much is Goldstein and his allies really willing to throw out of "education"? Is astrophysics poised for banishment from Adventist education? How about physics itself? Or is higher ed supposed to limp along teaching what is incompatible with YECism while never admitting the consequences of what it teaches?

Most of all, will Goldstein, etc., ever really discuss these matters openly and honestly?

What prompted me to think about this dating method again was a recent article in Nature, which discusses it somewhat.  This article may be found on pp. 134-135 of the 9 November 2006 issue.  Its title is "Telling the Time", by Rex Dalton.

Anyhow, I have decided that I will rarely, if ever, bother to argue these matters with AFDave.  So I thought I'd mention it for others to use, if they wish, to point to the fact that astronomical methods have confirmed radiometric dating, even surpassing its precision out to 23 million years BP.  Also, there are the inconvenient facts of precession cycles appearing within "flood sediments".  

Of course this is rather too complicated for a person who doesn't even understand radiometric dating, or the problems of aeolian deposits, animal footprints, intact roots in soils, and dinosaur nests occurring in the "flood sediments".  But it's another issue to confuse him with, or if no one wants to try to guide such a simple-minded person through actual science, it should be interesting to anyone who simply likes geology and the rest of science.  

I am guessing from the lack of its mention (at least in what I have surveyed) that many on our side do not know about this independent timeline (as I did not until a couple years or so ago), so they might be interested in learning about it (I've included enough resources to get you started).

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/28 18:53:01, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The main problem they point to is phylogenetic resolution of rapid divergence, e.g. the coelacanth/lungfish/tetrapod which probably represents a very short stem 370-390 million years ago. However, determining that they belong in the fish clade is not the difficulty, but only the resolution at the node.

It always tickles me when Intelligent Design advocates point to articles that strongly support evolutionary theory.

But don't you see, it's a piece of ignorance, and they claim all ignorance as part and parcel of their own "model".  True, it's a genetic fallacy (like sympathetic magic), since ignorance has many causes, and the IDiots aren't responsible for every bit of ignorance.

It's touching, though, how eagerly they embrace every lapse in knowledge, every unanswered question, as belonging to their species of ignorance.

Glen D

Date: 2006/11/30 11:56:56, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
“Materialists are like all other sects, except for one critical difference: They generally do not hold out a collection plate or wave a sign on the street. They scalp your tax money to promote their philosophy in the school system and make your kids study from their books.”

Great Stuff!

<Dembski/Morphodyke>#### those materialists, hurting our tiny little brains with physics, biology and chemistry.  And with tax money in the bargain.  You can get "poof" for free, so why should we pay for science?</Dembski/Morphodyke>

Btw, Dembski, you claim to be a philosopher.  If you want to show that you have any aptitude and learning in it, back up your baseless charges that empiricism rests on "materialism" (I'd ask churchlady to do so, too, but you know that it's no deeper than a soundbite for her.  Dembski probably has at least some scholasticism to back up his falsehoods).  Until then, I'll understand that you have no grounds for your claims that could withstand the light of day (you may as well take that, Dembski, for if you actually argue it we'll no longer have to assume its and your inadequacy any more).

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/08 20:16:52, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Why do people read UD?  Can't say for everyone, but with DaveTard and his ilk being prone to tell lies about "Darwinists" I began to do so semi-regularly for my own protection.  I don't read many comments, though, since they're pretty much projections of their vacuity onto the "Darwinistic paradigm" which they don't have a prayer of understanding.  

I did, however, run into this little gem very recently:

The ID critic would respond by saying that IDists don’t make positive arguments for design but rather negative arguments against evolution. They seem incapable of understanding that the only positive design arguments that can work must rely on the causal inadequacy of naturalistic mechanisms. It’s like they have some sort of mental block that won’t let them see this.


Yes, can't you see that ID has no positive evidence whatsoever?  So how do you evilutionists suppose that we could ever make an argument in favor of ID in the positive instead of in the negative?  Huh?  You have some mental blockage or something?  

Next you'll be saying that ID is unfalsifiable, just because any and all positive claims have failed completely.  We still have models lacking in evidence to present, and if you'll simply grant that these are true science, ID succeeds.  

Switching mode again, why do we beat the dead horse?  Because "dead" is relative, of course, and the "dead" could rise again if no one remained vigilant.  But that's obvious, just something they're too stupid/prejudiced (different people sort to different areas of this continuum) to acknowledge it.  The other one is that Crandaddy, Dembski, Behe, and nearly all of the rest who pushed for ID haven't become one whit brighter or more educated, and if any of their company comes up with a new PR scheme they'll be sure to latch onto it 'because the only positive design evidence that can work must rely on the causal inadequacy of naturalistic mechanisms' (which utterly ignores the complete lack of causal mechanisms in ID (which doesn't matter since they don't care about any science that might falsify ID), or the fact that "positive design evidence" doesn't come from the inadequacy, real or imagined, of any other model).

Let's put it this way:  the stupid people who can't recognize that methods aren't picked by their ability to arrive at pre-determined conclusions aren't dead and aren't going away, so we have to continue to point out just how stupid they really are.  Hence what is dead in the given context (primarily as a real present legal threat--but these tards have no concept of what context even means) is not dead in other contexts, especially with respect to a gaggle of uneducated morons bent on doing whatever it takes to bring legal legitimacy (since they can't hope to bring scientific legitimacy to such a useless bit of religious tripe) to their pre-judged "answer" to the origins question.

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/11 10:55:08, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Looks like the forums that have banned him (all that he's been on for more than 10 posts, I'll wager) have driven JAD to some clueless right-wing rag:

Just shows that you can't keep a mumbling old sot down.  

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/19 10:00:56, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Are we even sure he ever worked for Dell? Because, see, I just did a Google search for davetard "Dell millionnaire" (yeah, with the quotes, why?) and absolutely nothing came up.

But you misspelled "millionaire" (only one "n").  I'd say that's the problem, however when I re-ran Davetard "Dell millionaire" with the correct spelling, I still didn't get anything.  

So there's still no evidence that he's telling the truth, and it might be better to assume otherwise (the "engineer" who thinks minds violate SLOT shouldn't be trusted to get even the basics of his personal life right).

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/23 10:10:48, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Go, Barry.  

Now how was it that you didn't identify cattle bones as having been made by native peoples?  How could you possibly mistake a cow's jaw, which is far more complex than any old arrowhead, as being due to natural causes, rather than as having been designed by the most intelligent organisms observed to date?

And by the way, what is complex about an arrowhead anyway?  I realize that the fracture patterns are indeed complex, but that is simply an artifact of the production method, not "specified complexity".  Indeed, complex stones are worked into relatively simple shapes when arrowheads are made.  

Tell us about this "design detection method" again that Dembski has revealed.  I'd like to know how it can be used to distinguish the many apparent points and blades from the genuine ones, as well as how it differentiates between humans knapping stones and designers who apparently use genetic algorithms and repeated iterations in order to design organisms.

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/23 11:02:32, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
[Apologies to RB, but it seems too good a chance at an allegory not to do something on the same lines]

Papa:  Grandson, look at how complex this arrowhead is.  That's how I know that it was designed.

Barry:  But Papa, it's really very simple, just a couple of sharp edges coming to a point, a notch at the back, and a couple "flanges" flanking the notch.

P:  No, no, Barry, it's really a complex artifact.  See all of those little markings, the exquisite patterns of each little fracture.  And it takes a lot of work to make these things, you know.

B:  Yes, I know that, I saw an Indian make one on TV.  But the thing is that an arrowhead's design is really simple, which is what makes it cut into the skin of the animal easily.  See, the point is the main thing that starts the hole, while the two sharp edges cut the hole wider as it penetrates further into the animal, or man.  Then the notch and flanges are there just in order to fit and tie the arrowhead onto the shaft.

P:  Who are you calling stupid, Barry?  I've read Dembski's book, and he's an expert.  This arrowhead can be identified only by specified complexity.  What are the chances that a notched arrowhead could form by itself?  Next thing you'll tell me that you weren't designed like an arrowhead.

B:  But Papa, I didn't say that the arrowhead could form by itself.  I watched the Indian making the arrowhead, though, and when he hit the bigger flint it broke off with two sharp edges and a point.  He said that sometimes people find these "flakes" and think that they were deliberately made by people, when in fact they were only broken bits that could have been made by anything hitting the flint.  All the little marks that you see on that arrowhead show how it was worked by Indians, but we only know that the marks come from people because we've seen people do it.  The notch, too, doesn't form naturally and we know why people make notches.

P:  You know, son, I don't much like your tone of voice now.  There's nothing natural about that rock, it didn't make itself, so it's complex.  I don't need your godless prattle about what's complex and what isn't.  If it didn't form itself, it's not natural, it's not complex, and it was designed by intelligent beings.

B:  Didn't you tell me to always tell the truth, Grandpapa?  We learned in school what was complex and what wasn't, and a trap-door spider's burrow is complex, natural, and wasn't designed by an intelligent being.  

P:  That's not true, Barry.  Quit listening to the atheists who don't believe in the Designer.  There's nothing really natural about spiders, since they're complex and designed, and they don't need intelligence to make their webs and trapdoors that you go on about because God was so intelligent that he made spiders do those things.

B:  Papa, you said that arrowheads have to be designed by intelligent beings, not that they were made because God designed humans to make them.  How would I even know how God designs intelligently if animals and humans don't have to make their own designs by themselves?  If I'm trying to figure out that God is intelligent by comparing what he does with what animals and humans do, it has to be intelligence itself making the complex objects that I see, doesn't it?

P:  That's enough out of you, insolent brat.  Arrowheads are complex because they're designed by intelligent beings, and those supposed complex trapdoors are complex because intelligent God made the spiders.  How is that so hard to understand?

B:  Well since you're going to be like that, I'm going to tell you that many organisms weren't designed very well, not like a rational intelligent being would make them.  Just the other day it was found that archaeopteryx, which wasn't thought to be well-designed anyhow, lacks a well-developed ligament to stabilize its flight.  Either this "complexity" as design is a crock, or you just don't care about how a truly intelligent person would design arrows, birds, or other things.

P:  That does it, you little jerk.  You're getting a thrashing, you will never speak about design and complexity like that again, and all of your schooling from now on will be at Dembski's "School of the science of necessity, chance, and design," or none of your family will get the inheritance of my prime 1000-acre farm like I said you would.  You will learn that arrowheads are complex and designed, and that humans are complex and designed, and that nothing ever evolved.


Thanks to good god-inspired physical and mental abuse, Barry learned what was true and right, as well as what was complex.  He learned that false positives in archaeology are not a problem, that archaeopteryx is as designed as the Pinto, and that inheritance patterns are very excellent evidence of descent, but only in humans, in Darwin's finches (the more liberal branch of ID was taught at Dembski's institute), and in other "small-scale" evolution.  Barry learned that predictivity is extremely important when it comes to predictions that life will be complex if it is designed, and completely unimportant when evolution makes its predictions, including complexity (which it predicts at least once the ecology becomes complex--crucially, life needn't always be incredibly complex according to evo).  And now he knows that his grandpa did indeed identify arrowheads through their complexity, and he even says so on UD.  His earlier belief that the "design" of arrowheads is in fact simple is now known to be nothing but the insolence and heretical tendencies of an evil little boy who listened too much to reports of science, and read too little of the Bible.

We should all be so fortunate as Barry, either the fictional one or the equally well-taught real one writing at UD.

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/23 20:22:05, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
It is surely a waste of time to even try to reason with people like this bunch here.

I am disgusted. What a lot of pent up rage.

Oh that's it, is it?  I thought you just wrote a bunch of prejudiced nonsense that you picked up from a bunch of lying perverts, and were unable to back up any of your claims.  Come to think of it, I still do, useless lying moron.

There is some anger at the endless lies and utter lack of evidence evinced by a gutless ignoramus such as yourself.  But you're too much a person of ressentiment to recognize that you appall us much more than you anger us, and we quite deliberately call you a mindless liar because that is all that the evidence coming from your posts soundly indicates.  You deserve every bit of contempt that you receive, for you want simply to win some "moral victory" through name-calling and "shock" at the response to your pathetic display of cluelessness mixed with a profound ignorance, and you wish to be relieved from all responsibility for your "factual statements".

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/23 20:31:00, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The theory of ID states that certain features of biological organisms and of the universe are best explained as being the result of intelligent design.

That's what is properly called an evidence-free prejudice.  You simply avoid all normal predictions respecting "design" because you, or at least your idiot leaders, know that none of the predictions of design are borne out by the evidence.

As usual, the rest of your post only shows that you have no regard for the proper use of evidence, and no indication that you have ever learned any science, rules of evidence, or how to decide a perceptual matter competently.  

Yet we're supposed to respect your ignorance and treat you like your fellow clueless dolts do.  Sorry, that would be as intellectually dishonest on our part as your claims are intellectually dishonest anywhere near any empirical affairs.

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/25 15:23:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I have to answer this tard's false claims, for my own satisfaction:




8:36 am
Sorry, but I have to disagree.

Yeah, me too. If consciousness *is* the activity of the brain, then why only a subset of it’s activity?

I haven't read the Time piece (no reason to, since Damasio and Dennett have no explanations for consciousness's aspects), but of course consciousness is not "the activity of the brain", it is "an activity of the brain."  It arises from only a subset of its activity, as Mike1962 notes, and any explanation must account for this.  That Dennett and Damasio don't even try is their problem.

Obviously not of all the brain is conscious or partains directly to consciousness.

Of course not.  It is well understood that consciousness is not only restricted to an area, or more likely in my judgment (and that of others), to several areas, but that consciousness can diminish or disappear from conscious areas.  This is why consciousness of certain functions disappears with those functions during dream states, or in other altered states of consciousness.  Again, Damasio's and Dennett's lack of even an attempt at explanation for this is their mistake, not that of neuroscience or my own model of what consciousness is.

Where is the location of this special “unity of experience” and why is IT conscious and not the rest of the brain?

It's not "a location", nor even several fixed locations (of course consciousness has to be somewhere or "somewheres", but it's naive to ask "where it is" like we can point to a town on a map).  The fact is that consciousness almost certainly has to be associated with the processing, the sorting, and the routing that the brain effects upon the information that is both conscious and visibly being processed by the brain.  

That is to say, it would not be unlikely that visual consciousness would be located in the retinotopic map of the (partly) conscious brain, while acoustical consciousness would likely be found in the tonotopic map of the awake (or dreaming) brain.  I'm not saying that those are the only posibilities, but that the consciousness has to be where the information contained in consciousness is to be found, unless, of course, the laws of thermodynamics and rules of information are violated magically by some "soul".

There are no answers from the materialists.

A complete lie.  I have been arguing typical neuroscientific and cognitive science so far, without bringing in my particular ideas on the subject (not that I'm a "materialist", but tards like Mike couldn't recognize this fact so I'll tolerate the term with this caveat).  Now I'll link directly to where in 2005 I discussed reasonable explanations for the unconscious existing side-by-side with the conscious (and did so earlier in a book copyrighted in 2000):

I don't know if Mike actually came up with these objections on his own, or if he actually did get them straight out of my website (apologies for the problems with the site, btw, I'm always planning to fix it but seem to always find something more interesting, like arguing with Jason Rennie or this especial tard).  I mention the latter because DaveTard did once direct UDiots to the site, along with his usual stupid and pig-ignorant insults, so have reason to believe that some UDiots did take him up on it.

And yes, I'm well aware that my hypothetical solutions remain to be demonstrated to be (at least 'some of') the right explanations, what I'm pointing out is that I have indeed addressed the matter, quite unlike his false witness states, and well before he is on record with his objections.

They only have bald assertions based on their materialist faith. Yawn.

Hm, yeah right.  There are plenty of good reasons quite apart from my model to point to a marked dependency of consciousness upon brain states (anyone who's tripped out, or even dreamed, should know this), while I have directly addressed his "concerns".  Even if he doesn't know that I have (there is a tremendous amount of conservatism in science where cross-disciplinary hypotheses venture into uncharted waters), let's see, don't UDiots claim to be the champions of whatever is not currently establishment science?  One knows better, naturally, and also knows that the "scientific dissent" they tolerate usually involves areas where they don't tolerate any religious dissent, no matter how scientific.

Glen D

[edited for a slight shift in nuance]

Date: 2007/01/25 20:00:47, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Glen, your website is interesting, except that the colours suggest that you might be colour blind or else want to burn out your visitors eyes.  Any chance you can tone them down a bit and make it more readable?

Thanks, and honestly I intend to do that.  But aside from the usual resort to the internet than doing what I'm supposed to, I have to figure a way around some network changes, so no promises of when.

Glen D

Date: 2007/01/25 20:04:07, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
See, atop the brainstalk and under the noodlepacks are two rumballs.  Everything harvested by the eyestalks and earwigs and bodybag echoes through the rumballs, which hum and sing and strobe and scan the noodlepacks through massive bundles of sparky angelhair.  Yet ten times more information descends from the noodlepacks into the rumballs than the reverse (hence the phrase “the remembered present”) as the noodlepack-rumball echochamber is gaited by the reticularactionbaiting system, which is stretched over the brainstalk and rumballs like a cheap stocking.

I know, you’re thinking that the frontal noodlepacks and the mesobrainstalk danglingbasil also grow echoing motorplants through more massive bundles of sparky angelhair. And you’d be right.  All goosed and framed and valence-tagged by intrinsic mammaryanimal noodlepaths for SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, PLAY, ATTACHMENT, PANIC, and so forth.  

I, I hear you man, and it's so beautiful, it's like I'm understanding everything for the first time ever.  Oh, the colors, the colorrrsssssssss..........

Dling B

Date: 2007/01/26 11:33:46, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I don't even know if the following remarks submitted properly at UD, let alone to be posted, but I don't suppose it really matters much.  It's just a fairly mild response to the usual viciousness and vacuity of the tard:

Wow, the usual clever responses at UD appear.

DS no doubt resorts to the usual gratuitous insults and false dichotomies because I had actually made a substantive point over at AtBC, namely that I had dealt with the problems of consciousness and unconsciousness existing side-by-side, here:

Supposedly us "materialists" (any chance the UD site will learn how to use such terms properly?) haven't dealt with this, according to a comment at UD.  Now there's nothing strange about the lack of openness in science where an idea is actually quite new, especially any kind of "outsider", I actually agree with IDists there.  So yes, bad ideas from Dennett and Damasio clog the media, while an actual response to the important issues gets little or no hearing, but yes, I have addressed a number of pressing issues.

I didn't reply here because even at the best my responses are delayed, and the capricious censorship is galling.  

Anyway, I happen to like the colors, though I hope to change them out (since others do not), and indeed re-do the site overall, soon.  I realize that not complying with the subjective tastes of those in charge is something to be derided and mocked here, but it doesn't speak well of this site.

More gratuitous insults will only re-inforce what I've said here.

DT hasn't changed in the least since he attacked me for denying that gravity is the strongest universal force, and for pointing out that gravity was the first to separate from the one original force.  He still acts, and writes science, like a stupid child.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/01 18:55:35, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Not long ago, I posted a comment at Uncommon Descent that was entirely reasonable, well-referenced, and (not to be immodest) on a topic of well-credentialed personal expertise. It seems to have been "lost" in the ether, however. I find most of my comments there are lost in their ether.

I know you Darwinists are in denial, but why can't you just recognize that "poof" happens, and that intelligent design can intervene in natural processes to subtly alter the course of biological and cultural evolution?

They're working mightily to show what materialists always deny, that things happen without evidence and besides, anti-entropic forces step in during the intelligence process to cause unpredictable and anti-materialistic happenings.  Thus, there is a telos operating on UD that is denied to the unimaginative atheistic evolutionists, and whether or not it is the Designer or the divine DaveScot effecting anti-entropic manifestations is nearly immaterial (or indeed, it is apparently entirely immaterial, save for the movements subsequent to his high-IQ magically producing dead-stupid comments (see, it is magic, as you'd never predict such stupidity from his holy intelligence)).

So yes, it may actually be done by agents at UD, the thing is that you'll never know since we don't know what the Designer intends.  Perhaps the Designer does intend that your evil anti-Designer comments be stricken into nothingness (SLOT doesn't rule the process even in known agents, so how could you check?).  Since you can't disprove that the Designer is the one doing it all, you certainly have no excuse to suggest that "natural agents" at UD are responsible, let alone that their intelligence can be reduced to physical processes (again, neither DaveTard's IQ nor his stupid output are comprehensible through physical processes, especially since they're incompatible causally).  

Nevertheless, even if it is the so-called "natural agents" destroying your worthless input, you can't demonstrate conclusively that natural processes were working at every step, hence the fact that they may be working for the Designer as faithfully as you Darwinists work against him cannot be refuted.

IOW, accept the designed judgments against your evil deeds, and recognize the justice in the destruction of energy and entropy as your posts dissolve into nothingness.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/05 11:28:21, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Red fruits (well, most fruits in fact) are generally small (including the ancestors of apples) and seem mostly to appeal to birds, who are good at not crushing (no teeth) or digesting the seeds.  Doesn't mean that it wouldn't be good for primates to evolve to eat the birds' food.

However, within the past two or three years there was an article in, as I recall, Nature, which suggested that in fact trichromatic vision evolved in at least some of the primates in order to eat the reddish young leaves of plants.  I forget what the whole reasoning was, but it seems to me that they thought that red fruits were not actually invisible to primates (we can distinguish greens better than any other color), while the young leaves were a red that couldn't be seen via our vision of "green".

It seems inevitable that red vision does enhance our capacity to see red fruit in any case.  I think that one of their points was that young reddish leaves were important sources of food when other sources weren't available, so whatever the effect seeing red fruit had wasn't as important as seeing young reddish leaves when so little else was available to eat.  

Why not white fruits?  Because at a distance they'd probably look more like open spaces among the leaves, dappling of light, the sky, etc.  Perhaps it has also to do with cognitive faculties, as white does not have a strong effect on us, while colors like red act more like signals and produce a strong response (probably somewhat muted by the many colors in today's society).

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/05 12:47:38, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Remember also the peppered moth, that it was whitish in the pre-industrial environment as camouflage.  Fruits are more commonly camouflaged as green until they are ripe, but white also is a reasonable camouflage due to  lichens, dead leaves, bleached wood, etc. (in addition to sky, dappled light, open areas that I mentioned before).  White is one of the default colors in the environment, not at all a striking signal.

Some flowers are white, but they are usually, if not always, scented, and attractive to moths, not to bees and vertebrates.  Hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers above all.  One might ask why moth flowers are white, though, instead of green or some such color, and probably it has to do with a slight (and not costly) signal against the green leaves.  In edit ,I'm adding that they may also be white in order not to be pollinated by birds and bees, but to be pollinated by the "right insects".

Do most moths see colors?  I'd guess that most don't see them well in the evening, when they tend to do their pollinating.  There has been a report of one insect, I believe it was a moth, that can see colors in the dark, yet I have no idea if this means that color vision is common in moths, let alone at twilight.  It may not matter anyhow, since white flowers are very visible close-up (and have no pigment costs), while it is the scent that draws moths in from a distance.

White fruits are not unknown, indeed the standard warning to boy scouts, etc., is that white berries are to be considered always poisonous.  Poison ivy berries are white--what eats them (of course animals are typically not affected by poison ivy--I've seen bees pollinating poison ivy, making me wonder what sort of honey that produces)?  

I just googled "white berries" and "sumac", and it turns out that poison sumac berries are also white.  Redosier dogwood berries are also white, says my google, and are eaten by at least 18 species of birds, including quails.  Why white?  I don't really know.  Maybe the white berries on redosiers contrast nicely with the red bark when the leaves fall off, or maybe the berries are "meant" not to be too striking so that the right birds find them after everything else is gone, and thus might distribute the seeds better than a more indiscriminate selection of feeders would.  One thing I'm saying is that not all fruits are "vying for" maximum exposure, having evolved simply to be "visible enough" to the "right organisms".

Bioluminescence in fruit?  It would be fairly expensive, and would probably appeal more to nocturnal seed eaters than to diurnal birds.  Fruit bats in the tropics might be signaled by bioluminescence, but as I understand it they already have a keen sense of smell and further signals would cost more than they were worth, probably.  Bioluminescence evolving now would probably just attract unwanted feeders.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/06 15:13:50, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Dubya will likely pardon him though.

If it saves us from another Colson, it won't be all bad.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/07 20:18:19, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The monotonous drum-beat of criticism of "Darwinists" on UD, DI websites, and anywhere else that the "science of ID" is loved, is one of the best signs of its demise (and no, Dense O'Leary, "it's demise" doesn't refer to every dolt giving up their useless biases).

Seriously, they do nothing but lob the criticisms that we never address their points, we censor their science, and we're propping up a dying theory.  Once upon a time they'd at least try to back up their tired lies with some further insipid nonsense, but as they've been answered in just about every way possible they hardly have much scope for pointing to anything which might back up their BS.  

So it's just a bunch of naked and transparent whining going on, something that Denyse is at least able to put into some decent prose.  That she knows almost nothing about science as practiced or its raison d'etre, she's as untroubled as your typical mindless poster in merely following the whine and making bare and meaningless accusations, but at least it makes her glib where Dembski and DaveTard just look pathetic in their apologetics for ID.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/07 22:51:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
(ID) notices that conscious intelligence, if it can affect a system, will impart information into that system. I personally think that this can be stated as a law or at the very least a theory. In order to falsify it, one would just have to show one example of a conscious, intelligent being that had the capability of imparting information into a system yet had never done so

Well they're nothing if not rigorous!  [yes, I know the logic thus dictates that they're nothing.  Not my point]

But it did occur to me that their God would certainly be a good candidate for such an example.  If we just take their assumption that He exists, there's not anything that can be reliably attributed to Him.

Painfully working through his dyslogic, I do have to note that this would not actually affect the banal truth that conscious beings are not disconnected from physical systems.  It's a problem only for the theists, of course, since they want consciousness to be anything but "physical", yet apparently they can't quite bear for it not to be a physical cause.

Oh well, it's just another symptom of ID's death as a serious candidate for science in even the pseudoscientists' minds.  Rather than trying to conform ID to science (an idiotic process, but one they've had to attempt) they're trying to make their theology compatible with action in the world, a useless little exercise that can keep know-nothings occupied forever.  

If they can truly convince themselves that "souls" aren't separate from physics, a few of them might even learn some science.  No hope for most of them, of course.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/08 11:00:27, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Glen! You just made God go away

He was about to anyway, since he just recently took another look at the people who are currently supporting him.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/09 11:34:08, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I'm glad that we Darwinists see Maxwell for what he was, a fraud, a charlatan, and a liar, whose mind was perverted by religion so that he couldn't do any science at all.

This is our standard response to any and all non-materialists, and it serves us well.  We don't have to think through anything that goes against our religion, and we banish any heretics and apostates to exile from the science community.


Oh ####, that was all a flashback caused by my fundamentalist upbringing (honestly, drugs are the real threat to minds?) and triggered by UD's (jerry excepted, though he's as insipid and useless in biology as the rest of them) politics of personal destruction.  

Maxwell, an icon for doing extremely good science in the field of electromagnetic physics, Darwin an icon for doing extremely good science in the field of biology.  That Maxwell was creationist is no more damning than that Darwin was trained for the clergy.

Of course if they really want to fault Darwin, they'd not be bringing up his (virtually meaningless in biology of his day) lack of mathematial prowess, rather they'd be pointing to his clerical training as a major factor in this supposed deficit, and would try to rubbish him for learning theological dogmatism of the sort evinced by Dembski.

You can just see the ressentiment churning up oppositional thought on UD, as they try to fault Darwin for not being Maxwell, when they were both excellent scientists, neither of whom had more than a mote of expertise in each others' field.  But if UDites didn't hate those that they oppose, they really wouldn't have any reason to oppose them, would they?

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/29 11:37:26, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
In short, in 1972 when Leakey found a skull that is between humans and apes, he reconstructed it by hand using the best knowledge available at the time.

It's important to baraminology to see the change.  Now it can be considered to be "all ape" instead of "all human" (with rickets or something).

And baraminology fits in the big tent and even beyond.  I mean, poor ol' Sternberg isn't a creationist or IDist, just a man interested in fairness, and he belonged to a baraminology group.  We really do need to know which hominin fossils are all ape and which are all human.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/29 12:46:35, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I didn't know where to put this, so picked this as a related forum.  Remember Helphinstine's firing at Sisters, Oregon, for teaching creationism.  His powerpoint presentation is here:

Not very subtle, and it is doubtful that many children learned critical thinking by it, as Helphinstine claimed was his goal.

Glen D

Date: 2007/03/29 12:58:31, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I see that the presentation link is at UD now, too (perhaps was before I posted), so I guess this was the right thread.

Anyway, it's their bit of specious smearing, so they may as well own it.

Glen D

Date: 2007/04/05 15:01:06, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Note to Dembski:  When you post crap like this, you attract brown-nosers like this:

Yes, Gershenson's collection of New Age cliches is just a bunch of words glopped together around the very scientific concept of "information".

But what does Dembski see in it?  The whole thing is about how the universe, including life, self-organizes, how life is a part of the evolving system of the universe.  Maybe that's it, that it's obviously ignorant of evolutionary theory, the kind of rambling nonsense that Charlie Wagner/realpc would write.  Yet it has no place for Dembski's little engineering (yet unknowable in any manner--try to make sense of that) God in it, and it is about as godless on the face of it as any quantum computation notion of the universe.

I wonder if these dolts are going to dilute ID too much for any but their most brown-nosing sycophants.  As I see it, Gershenson's rambling New Age thoughts are exactly the kind of quasi-religious garbage that most Xians dislike, and what the IDiots try to paint evolutionary theory as being.

And then there's this:

I've thought for a couple weeks that Quintilis is a deep cover troll. That passage doesn't change my mind.

That's what I was thinking, but then Quintilis's portrayal is essentially what some of the "leading lights of ID" have said, if not in the patently absurd manner that Quintilis writes (uh, yeah, I'd use a leg for my basic design if I were designing a wing--you probably would, Quintilis, if you're an IDiot).  There is a problem in ID apologetics, which is that the people who have no sense about these matters will draw out the obvious conclusions from the general statements that the "experts" say in order to cover up the fact that they have no explanation.

So I really don't know about Quintilis.  If he starts saying that sure, the designer is conservative, thus he's going to start with a reptilian forelimb instead of a pterodactyl wing (btw, the bird wing does appear to be a better "design" than the pterodactyl wing--more robust against tearing damage), then we know that he's yanking the IDiots around.  Let's see, this designer makes the bird and pterodactyl wings out of reptilian forelimbs, the bat wings out of mammalian forelimbs, and never once thinks to make a wing out of a wing.  The designer works in mysterious ways.

Quintilis might be doing the same thing, but subtly, when he points out that the "designer" is "conservative" only by using parts of apparent ancestors, strangely adapting the parts that have been made available to evolutionary change.  So he may be a deep cover troll, but if he is he's very carefully drawing out the statements of IDists to the same absurd conclusions that a naive camp follower might.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/02 10:25:41, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
So once again we don't know if "bad design" counts against ID or if it doesn't.  What about the Pinto, IDiots?  Is it designed, and is your "designer" apparently able to create complexity beyond human ability while still making a mess of junk DNA (yes, it definitely exists), blood vessels in front of optical receptors, and wings made out of legs and never wings made out of unrelated wings?

I wouldn't be surprised if the "fiber optics" do compensate for the retarded "design" of the eye, but it's hardly likely that it is the "best design".  Birds, and especially raptors, do reduce the numbers of blood vessels blocking the light.  I found a source for this post that briefly discusses the matter:

Another unique structure in a bird's eye is the pecten. Pecten is a thin, greatly folded tissue extending from the retina to the lens. Predatory birds such as eagles and hawks have the largest and most elaborate pecten of all the birds. The pecten supplies nutrients and oxygen throughout the vitreous humour of the eye, thereby reducing the number of blood vessels in the retina. With fewer blood vessels to scatter light coming into the eye, raptor vision has evolved to be the sharpest vision known among all organisms.

It should be remembered that fiber optics are hardly perfect compensation, as there are losses in any fibers and it is unlikely that you could ever fit enough of them in even to maximize the compensatory effect.

I think we ought to take them up on their backhanded admission that "bad design" goes against their Creator God.  At the very best, the mammalian compensation for the fucked-up "design" of the eye is inferior to the raptors' reduction in occluding blood vessels, and there's no question that the raptors have other visual advantages over us, like more cones in the fovea (probably in part due to the reduction in blood vessels in front of the retina), as well as more than one fovea.

Oh yeah, UD, why don't you do what you've always wanted to do, proclaim that all the Creator's designs are perfect?  Clearly that is not the case, and the bad designs that we see (particularly in the "earlier versions", like archaeopteryx vs. modern birds) aren't just "bad design", they're "bad design" in a curiously derived evolutionary manner, without any exception of which I am aware.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/02 19:30:58, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Lying Sal's at it again:

And it turns out, Michael Egnor’s claims are being supported by an uncomfortable admission by Catriona J. MacCallum, the Senior Editor at PLoS Biology. In the recent editorial Does Medicine without Evolution Make Sense? MacCallum writes:

Charles Darwin, perhaps medicine’s most famous dropout, provided the impetus for a subject that figures so rarely in medical education. Indeed, even the iconic textbook example of evolution—antibiotic resistance—is rarely described as “evolution” in relevant papers published in medical journals. Despite potentially valid reasons for this oversight (e.g., that authors of papers in medical journals would regard the term as too general), it propagates into the popular press when those papers are reported on, feeding the wider perception of evolution’s irrelevance in general, and to medicine in particular

Darwinists claim how important Darwinism is to science, but MacCallum’s editorial makes an embarrassing admission of Darwinism’s irrelevance to medicine.

Unsurprisingly, it's trivially easy to show how egregious his dishonesty is, simply by showing the rest of the paragraph.  Here it is, with added bolding showing where McCallum directly and unequivocally states the opposite of this particular lie:

It is curious that Charles Darwin, perhaps medicine’s most famous dropout, provided the impetus for a subject that figures so rarely in medical education. Indeed, even the iconic textbook example of evolution—antibiotic resistance—is rarely described as “evolution” in relevant papers published in medical journals [1]. Despite potentially valid reasons for this oversight (e.g., that authors of papers in medical journals would regard the term as too general), it propagates into the popular press when those papers are reported on, feeding the wider perception of evolution’s irrelevance in general, and to medicine in particular [1]. Yet an understanding of how natural selection shapes vulnerability to disease can provide fundamental insights into medicine and health and is no less relevant than an understanding of physiology or biochemistry.

Well, there you have it, evolution is as relevant as physiology or biochemistry (according to her), and Sal uses her to state the opposite.  

I continue to be amazed at their lack of shame, because it's so damnably easy to show that they're lying most of the times that they do it, and yet they lie constantly and without any obvious remorse.

Not that this hasn't all been done millions of times before, it's just that we can never let up.

And they do seem to read this thread, because very shortly after Dumbski's triumphalist cry of victory over the good/poor design of the eye, the usual idiocy about the unimportance of such criteria was being monotonously written by the herd yet again.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/13 15:52:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
While I'm not expert on Gonzalez's qualifications, my impression is that he should have been given tenure.  

Yes, I know, he doesn't sound very convincing on Privileged Planet, but his other ideas are taken seriously in other fora, and he may be right that the best place to look for really old earth rocks is the moon.

I'd give him some trouble over the Privileged Planet nonsense, of course, as it's all too close to the marvel that the cat has holes in its skin where his eyes happen to be.  It's like the psychics, retrofitting the facts to be their "predictions", marveling that we can scientifically understand the universe, even though it took a good 4 billion + years for life to get to the stage of scientific understanding.

But he does good work, and I can't see denying him tenure over his manifestly politico-religious positions, at least unless I've seen that the latter affects his actual work.  I suppose I'd have to hold my nose to vote tenure for him, yet I think that I would.  Now if someone has evidence that his pseudoscientific notions do affect either his teaching or his work, I'd be likely to change my mind.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/22 18:13:12, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I just want to make sure that this PT post won't be completely erased:

No, you didn’t, Glen. Your replies to Mark Hausam were haughty and condescending from the start (see #176580, and your following posts aren’t better).

Apparently you have no capacity for understanding context, or the fact that I continue to state that I don’t pull punches. Saying that I treated him quite well is to be understood in that vein, and not by whatever arbitrary “standards” that you are using now, and which you are not actually explaining.

IOW, your attack against me is ad hoc and as baseless as an IDist paper. You either don’t know what “condescending” means, or you’re incapable of thinking through what it means to treat someone who is clearly using inferior argumentation as if he is acting inferior. “Haughty,” of course, is a rather subjective term, but you have to be quite uncomprehending of what was at stake to label what I wrote as “haughty and condescending” and leave it at that.

It’s apparent that all of you concern trolls cannot actually fault the honesty of what was written, and can only attack for a “tone” that you find offensive in your ignorance of what is going on. I do explain what is going on, however it appears that you are too indolent, or ignorant of psychology, sociology, and political speech, to even begin to care, let alone to deal with these matters in an intelligent manner.

So, what did we say that was inaccurate (I know you didn’t say it was, I’m pointing out that truth matters, yet not to you concern trolls)? I documented many inaccuracies on the part of Hausam, Dunkelberg, and the impropriety of the free-floating charges from Nick (as well as his absurd statements regarding the two books he recommended). And you’re about as haughty and baseless in your charges and strawman attacks as anyone I’ve ever seen. Get a grip, learn something other than your academic “politeness” and backstabbing, and learn what those of us who know something about humanity actually know.

Here is #176580 in its entirety. See if I wrote anything out of line, or if Spitzer is as egregious and appalling as Hausam was (added comments in brackets):

Both Darwinists and creationists generally see the creation-evolution controversy in this light. Creationists (and many theists in general) often argue that a fundamental pride and rebellious attitude towards the true God is what motivates people to be naturalists and Darwinists.

I’d guess that the total lack of evidence for this ad hominem attack is the reason why most reject it without considering it too closely.

[Here I’m answering Hausam’s baseless ad hominem attack against us, with the honest and reasonable observation that it indeed lacks evidence. I’m not “humble” or some such thing that the egregious Spitzer demands of me, but then he couldn’t actually fault what I’d written, he’s just a concern troll who doesn’t like my tone, and ignores the vileness of Hausam’s comments.]

Pride and rebellion cause them to suppress the truth, thus distorting their processes of reasoning so that they miss the obvious and end up endorsing nonsense, despite the intelligence of many naturalists which, if not subjected to their rebellious spirit, would lead them in a totally different direction.

Yes, that’s also the Mormon position on those who reject Joseph Smith, and the Seventh-day Adventist position on those who reject their prophet, Ellen White. On the face of it, such “explanations” are simply reactive protections of certain belief systems which cannot hold up to examination.

[A good answer to another set of baseless charges. I know that people like Hausam reject the false charges made by sects against those who disagree with their prophets, and I compared his baseless remarks with theirs. Again nothing untrue or more “haughty” or “condescending” than was called for. Spitzer just can’t deal with these things, so he accuses without bothering with the merits of what was written.]

Paul, in Romans 1:18-32 in the Bible, provides a good example of typical theistic reasoning about why naturalists really believe what they believe despite obvious evidence to the contrary.

Paul was not responding to a modern theory based upon and explaining masses of evidence, nor could anybody at that time. That anyone would even use the reasoning of Paul, when he couldn’t even hope to respond to evolutionary theory as it stands in the year 2007, indicates a far from reasoning attitude and a resort to mere authority in the face of questioning of a position.

[Good points regarding the fact that Paul wasn’t even discussing “Darwinists”. I guess telling the truth offends the appalling Spitzer.]

By the way, in case anyone hasn’t detected it by now, I am a Christian and a creationist. I don’t particularly enjoy getting into motives too much, but I have to agree with CJO that sometimes it is necessary to do so.

More like, it is usually necessary to do so, at least for a full accounting. The motivations of scientists and of science in general are not greatly different from those of other people, including creationists, at least not with respect to their personal and psychological aspects. It is the system of science (checks and balances) that typically prevents motivations and prejudices from compromising the collective processes of science.

[Oh my God, yet another good answer, and I dare to treat the truth as better than Hausam’s dishonest claims. I must repent in ashes, for Spitzer opposes honest responses to egregious twits.]

However, thoughts about motives should not take away from what in my last post I called “the real question,” which is the state of the evidence.

That isn’t in question, as has been demonstrated exhaustively on this forum. However I do recognize that your side has little in their arsenal except the constant drumbeat of charges that there are “questions”, no matter how many times these have been adequately answered.

[Oh wow, another reasonably polite reply that nonetheless sticks to the truth. Well we already know that truth doesn’t matter to Spitzer, at least not in this matter.]

Sometimes discussions about motives can degenerate into ad hominem arguments and simply name-calling, which, of course, should never replace serious evaluation and argumentation.

Yes, or they can turn into special pleading and unreasonable objections when the side that can’t present meaningful arguments reacts to sound judgments of same.

[A labeling of Hausam’s special pleading and unreasonable objections as such. Where does anything written by Spitzer ring true, unless he wants me to avoid stating the truth forthrightly? Nowhere at all, and his accusations are as unreasonable as he is hypocritical in attacking with the very haughtiness and condescension that he condemns in my responses, only without any reasonable justification. He’s just spewing dishonest accusations.]

Glen D

Frankly, I’m disgusted by the way that many of the pro-science posters behaved themselves on this thread.

I’m disgusted by your total disregard for the egregious insults put out by Dunkelberg, Hausam, and lesser insults from Matzke, while you attack those who actually answered Hausam with learning and concern for honesty, which of course you did not.

You’re a disgrace to anyone who cares first and foremost about honesty in a discussion.

I’ve been watching this exchange, and I couldn’t help but notice the number of people who were ready to assume the utter worst about Mark Hausam, to the extent of putting words in his mouth (see raven in #176590, for example). harold, your grotesque insinuations about the sexual tastes of Christians were way, way out of line. Sir_Toejam, sometimes I swear you couldn’t be polite to someone if your life depended on it.

I won’t speak for others, but your unfounded attacks on me speak volumes about the character of your post.

It is extremely frustrating to see intelligent people behave so foolishly.

It’s frustrating to make intelligent responses based upon our weighing of the entire audience, then to be attacked so unintelligently by a person who can’t back up his remarks.

Why is it that creationism remains so popular? Why is it that we have so much trouble convincing religious people that we’re worth listening to?

Gee, why don’t you give us a full and nuanced account of the history of religion and science in this country, without you stupidly concluding that honest responses that call idiots on their idiocy are what keep creationism going? I have no patience with your pig-ignorant “analysis” of this complex situation, as you justify your emotional outburst by misrepresenting what we have been doing here.

It certainly isn’t because of the facts– and yet so many of you behave as though facts are all that matter. If that were true, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

If you know anything about psychology, you know that the emotional content of an argument sways most people at least as much as the intellectual content.

If you knew anything to speak of about psychology, you wouldn’t attack us for using emotional content to convey how disgusting we find Mark’s lies and evidently conscious omissions. But you lecture us as if your concern trollery were the height of psychological awareness, you being clueless about the need to deal with evocative words with the lameness of Mark’s “intellectual response”. Indeed, I recognize the necessity for dealing with you on the same level, lacking in intellectual rigor as your post is.

If you deliver a cogently reasoned argument in an insulting tone, your opponent will find it very difficult to accept your reasoning.

Seemingly you haven’t bothered with what we’ve written about how apparent it was from the beginning that Mark was and is not open to intellectual argumentation. So rather than dealing with our arguments, you come in with this strawman attack, based in your inability to read the exchanges with any competence.

Yet despite this, many posters here pay little or no attention to whether they’re coming across as insulting or not.

Again, you’re either ignorant of what was written, too stupid to follow it, or just plain dishonest. I gave a more polite response to Mark in the beginning than I thought he deserved as a person, but there is such a thing as giving a person the benefit of the doubt. Then I was deliberately insulting because he is incapable of a reasoned response.

Frankly, “defenders of evolution” who can’t exercise a little self-restraint when it comes to insulting people are some of the best recruiters a creationist could have.

Spitzer here apes the stupid remarks of the IDiots. While we quite plainly and deliberately respond to trolls like Spitzer and Hausam with exactly the kind of replies that we think are necessary to the PT audience, he ignorantly and without evident intellectual honesty supposes that we’re lacking in “self-restraint”. Why don’t you go and learn something about politics, sociology, and psychology, Spitzer?

If you turn someone off to science or evolution by coming across as an arrogant prick, you’ve done as much harm as if you’d told someone that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record.

And if you’re too indolent or incompetent even to read what we wrote about how we gauged Mark’s attitude to be, you do as much harm as the lying DI as they spin every response as if it were due to some anxiety over the evidence of evolution. You ignorant and arrogant prick.

Get a clue: if you’re going to convince any of the vast majority of the American public that evolution is correct, you can’t afford to come across as arrogant or condescending in their eyes.

Grow up, and get an education, Spitzer. We’re not going to let some jackass, yank us around like we don’t even know what’s going on.

Act like you’re an ambassador to another culture. Learn what’s appropriate and inappropriate in that culture.

It’s not another culture, it’s an adversarial opponent who constantly tells untruths about us, much as you do Spitzer. Laying down and rolling over in the face of insults and lies is the height of defeatism, something you wouldn’t know because you’re ignorant about these affairs.

Until you do that, very few people are going to be able to hear your elegantly-reasoned scientific arguments– and that’s your fault.

No, it’s your fault (as well as the rest of the clueless and uneducated spinners), for you’re the one who is treating falsely in this thread, with a mountainful of ignorance about how to deal with deliberate lies, the Gish Gallop, and the constant misrepresentation of the contempt appropriate to lies as if they were clueless and unmerited insults.

And if you can’t be bothered to develop that level of politeness, do science a favor and keep your mouth shut, because, frankly, you’re doing more harm than good.

Why don’t you shut up where you can’t even understand what we’ve been writing? As a side issue, we have actually have discussed these matters at some length, and you drivel on and on without even addressing the points we make. It really isn’t for people like you, who know primarily science and the different culture of academia, to pretend that you know anything about fighting with those who think ignorance is superior to knowledge, stupidity superior to nuanced analyses, and biases superior to openness.

Only your presumed superiority in your abject lack of understanding is evidently superior in your unreasoned attacks on those of us who know exceedingly more than you do about how to deal with these people.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 11:04:00, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I hardly ever read the comments on PT anymore. The signal to noise ratio is tiny.  

There there, Steve, if you weren't a cracker I'm sure you'd understand what the literate write.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 12:55:37, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I'm a cracker, too. Want to make something of it?

Why would I?  

It was just a snipe back at this stupid git who snipes at me when I never bothered him.  He's a fuckhead who complains about posts that I have never cared that he read, and in fact I've never cared about him at all, given that he only writes derivative twaddle (sometimes clever stuff, nothing intellectual).

But oh well, like so many bozos you only care about the symptoms, not the causes, and cavil over the term used.  Yeah, I'll make something of it if you can't do anything better than support the bullies of this world.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 13:59:39, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Zounds, a touch... yeah, I've never done anything but support the bullies of the world. Not a thing. Well spotted.

What a clever turn, possible only by taking what I wrote in a literal manner obviously not intended.  

And by that means you "cleverly" avoid the fact that you came in on the side of this jackass who can't actually fault what I write, but stupidly snipes at me over "length" when he can't demonstrate that the length isn't useful to those who are better educated than he is.

So OK, I'll not expect honest responses from you, at least not when you're supporting your bullying surrogates.  You again avoided the cause, the issue, and the tactics of your disgusting "friend".  

Try to deal with the matter honestly, if you don't want to merely act like yet another ass.

Btw, I did ignore his idiotic comments for a long time (as I said, I didn't really care about what such a derivative little twerp wrote prior to his targeted bullying), but after a while one ought not to put up with dishonest snipes any more.  You're content to aid and abet this particular instance of bullying (I'm write it out literally this time, so you can't deliberately distort my intent again), misrepresenting where it proves that you have no reasonable response to make.

What a great representative for our side you make when you resort to such dishonesty.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 15:43:33, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
When I said the thing about signal to noise ratio I wasn't commenting on your post earlier Glen. I was just making a general observation about PT threads. And one I've made before.

Yeah, sure.  Ichthyic didn't see it that way, and why should he?

And the only reason I posted that bit last night was that I had feared that someone was feeding Nick, who's usually sensible, a line about how "mean" we were to Hausam.  I didn't want my PT post to be deleted sans record, so I dumped it here just in case--it's the Bathroom Wall, just about anything goes.  No need for comments, let alone one that deigns to be "general" when it could readily be taken otherwise (in fact it was a post that wasn't aimed at many, principally Spitzer and a few others attacked by him).

(For newbies, a few months ago I poked Glen in the ribs about writing unnecessarily long-winded posts, good-naturedly I thought, and Glen hit the roof.)

Yes, that's quite the retelling, that is, a very dishonest omission of the drumbeat of mindless criticism.  Constructive criticism is one thing, and it involves intelligence, while you merely snipe (yeah, real funny Steve--if it was, you would probably have the sense to quit telling the same "joke" over and over again).  I "hit the roof" after tolerating your blank and uninformative criticisms for a long time, and you make it sound like it was only once.

Since your own posts are decidedly lightweight, and you've never been able to demonstrate anything but your impatience with what I've written (certainly no understanding was evinced) even though you're completely free to ignore them, plus I hadn't bothered you, the bullying charge is quite fair.  The same stupid hazing happened again on PT after I supposedly "hit the roof" either once or twice again, thus I have no reason to believe your protestations of neutrality now.

Of course you've mentioned that you don't read my posts.  Great, I don't write them for you, and didn't care if you did read them or not--but of course it was more gratuitous sniping on your part.  That you have no appreciation for anything other than your pablum is fine, just quit being an anti-intellectual bully.

Course you'll just think (possibly write) that this is too long again, which reveals yet again your prejudice against a thinking response, as against your gratuitous snipes.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 16:32:45, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
OK, some constructive criticism. You have a tendency towards verbosity that causes many of your posts to have a decided soporific effect.

That isn't constructive criticism, you stupid lying prick.  Your lies have no more substance that Steve's do, thus apparently you're too stupid even to read my posts, let alone discuss them.

When this is pointed out to you, you characterize the person making the observation as lacking in intellectual capacity, rather than acknowledging the bloody obvious and moving on.

I recognize the obvious, you're an uneducated buffoon who doesn't know the difference between an actual discussion, and the stupidity of the herd, the latter of which you ape so forcefully.

I didn't learn what I did to kowtow to lowing cattle such as you, asshole.  I write what you don't and can't understand, and a decent, intelligent, and honest person would appreciate that someone knows something you don't, rather than trying to bully him into submission.

It's much harder to write a short, cogent post than a long, rambling one, but you should give it a go.

Well, fuckwad, why don't you try to encapsulate what I write into a "short cogent post".  I'm guessing you don't read books, don't understand why they're written instead of just short posts, and generally lack intelligence, learning, and the ability to even recognize what constructive criticism is.  But at least you ought to be able to recognize that you're a lying stupid shit who should shut the fuck up when someone is writing what you don't understand.

And I know, I'm just an illiterate twat who's too blind to recognize your awesome perspicacity.

You said it, moron.  If you could discuss something I've written with me, instead of bleating like Steve that it's "too long" or some other bankrupt stupidity, I'd have some cause to believe that you at least had the intelligence to learn.  Instead you just accuse, like your stupid heroes, being incapable even of a cogent thought that wasn't put into your ape-like brain.

Get a dictionary, or at least learn how to use the web as well as any half-wit can, and learn what constructive criticism is.  Your abysmal inability to understand even such simple concepts exemplifies the complete and utter stupidity that you generally expose in your posts.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 17:08:41, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
At which point Glen continues to kowtow to my lowing.

Hard to believe, isn't it?
I love it so!

Wow, you're channeling JAD perfectly, from the content-free accusations to the blatant lie above.  

God you're dumb!

And Steve asks for "comments," knowing that the various suck-ups are going to favor him and his dishonesty.  

Sure, Steve, they're going to tell you the truth.  Well, you'll take it as if it is.

Gee, just think of how much better this all would be if you two knew how to mind your own posts instead of bullying someone who never bothered you, until you tried to silence me (since I'm not a stupid fuck-up like either of you, effectively curtailing what I want to write is close, perhaps tantamount, to your desire to de facto censor me).  All it would take is some decency, of which you both have a deficit.

Btw, I generally avoid this forum because it's typically shallow, suited mostly for Steve and Jim.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 17:29:07, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
actually, I did see Steve's comment as a general observation on PT, I just wanted to point out as a tangent that I agreed with the gist of your attack on Spitzer.  That is, that Spitzer failed to recognize the pattern of poster that Hausam represented, and was erroneously chastizing the rest of us for "not being polite".

Didn't look that way.  And your post had the decided tinge of, well this time Glen got it right, as if there were any intelligent criticisms made against me by the dumbfuck bullies here.

Very curious placing, though I know Steve is wont to repeat his little "gems" as if they were informative.

that said, I don't think Wes' intervention here is erroneous.

Not that it matters, but of course you didn't manage to show how he was being honest, particularly in his last post.

oh, and just so there isn't any more confusion, the person I was comparing Spitzer to was Alan McNeill.

Seemed apparent.

Give the man credit. His use of kowtow and cattle in the same thought was certainly clever, if intentional. Although it would have been even better if he'd yanked the "lowing" descriptor and called you a lowly bully. And refer to your post as udder bullshit. Glen could have won the sextuple bovine award, with just a little more care!

Typical shallow response, from the typical shallow herd member.

Glen needs to switch to decalf.

Sorry, I'll find the door.

Yuh huh, another happy-go-lucky jokester, using his "wit" to demean.  It's the stock in trade around here, and apparently the only response that's given any respect.



And the fuckwit joins in, hoping that the sharks will draw blood.

Gee, just think of how much better this all would be if you two knew how to mind your own posts instead of bullying someone who never bothered you, until you tried to silence me (since I'm not a stupid fuck-up like either of you, effectively curtailing what I want to write is close, perhaps tantamount, to your desire to de facto censor me).

Could you point out the specific place where someone tried to silence you?

Typical dull question, from someone who doesn't even understand what I wrote in the quote he pasted in.  Christ, I don't even know how a number of you made it through school.  Come to think of it I do know, as I was classmates with people who could read no better than you do.

Here, I'll write the "for dummies" version for you.  I write certain things that are important to me, and I try not to write as glibly and content-free as you normally do.  This is due to my standards, my sense of justice, and the fact that I took the trouble to learn how to analyze arguments.  

Then the glib and mindless gang up to attack and harry anyone who cares more about intellection than they do.  It's a well-known social technique for silencing the unwelcome or those who dare to actually evince some intelligent analysis.  That is the attempt to silence, and no I'm not going to point out each instance where Steve used his stale "joke" to try to either silence me or to cast aspersions on what he failed to discuss with any intelligence.

I know that you probably didn't learn these things, just like you didn't learn a lot of things, in your schooling.  But I tire of the stupidity of those who can't just leave someone alone who's not actually bothering anyone except the IDiots.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 17:49:36, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
that depends on both your definition of "Good", and where you draw the sidelines.  I could easily, and with much evidence, draw a line at "supporters of ID on Uncommon Descent", and I haven't seen ANY good coming out of that camp.  Nothing but lies, misinformation, ignorance, quotemining...

Yes, but we see only this one aspect of them.  And though it doesn't speak well of them at all (I'm not sure if I'd buy a used car from any of them), they may not be any (or much, at least) worse than your average Joe on the street.

I doubt I'd call any of them "good" based on the evidence I've seen, however.

besides which, even if you draw the lines quite liberally (no pun intended), regardless of whether there are "Good" people on either side, it often appears to be the case that a "war" is necessary to resolve the differences.  to use the tired old analogy, there were plenty of "Good" germans and "Good" Europeans, Russians, British, and Americans, too.  It didn't negate the need to resolve the differences through conflict, however.  If someone can find a way to resolve entrenched, basic, ideological differences between two conflicting groups, I'd love to hear it.  I haven't seen it looking at history so far.

Of course that's the crucial factor.  

What we probably should do as far, as possible, is to keep as many on the sidelines as we can.  We may indeed be able to harass the leaders into the margins, but we couldn't do so to the entire "other side".  

I doubt that I'm disagreeing with you at all, just putting in my little bit.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 19:21:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Glen, dude, seriously.  Decaf.  Don't have a cow, man.

Sure, the lies and snipes don't bother you.  

Just pile on, you have nothing substantive to add.

Steve's comment was on the mark.

If Steve's comment wasn't about my post, it was one of the oddest bit of out-of-context redundancies I've ever seen.

There's so much bickering and crap flying on PT that it's really not worth the effort to try to find the one or two intelligent comments in the pile of cow patties.  Even the humor has moved on.

Let's see, this has what to do with anything?  

And for the record, I find that regrettable, as the posts themselves can be very informative.  Of course they usually contain the "continue reading at my blog" link these days.  It's easier to just visit those blogs I enjoy individually and skip the bullshit.

OK, you've made your point, you have nothing but scattered irrelevant points to make, plus you're with the herd.  No doubt that puts you where you want to be, without meaningful points to make, but kudos for being a "team player."

I guess a place as given over to churning the ancient responses to IDiocy wouldn't be likely to have anyone who could make a substantive point, or who'd actually oppose the dishonest posts of Wynne, Steve, and Elsberry.  Without any real commitment to honesty, and only the desire to pounce on those who find bullying and dishonesty to be distasteful, most of you guys really have hit bottom.  

Yeah, I know, chill out, what's the problem with dishonesty, when you've got each other to count on to support your dishonesty?  UD with another point of view, that's all.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/23 19:26:44, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Anyway, I'm sorry that I bothered to enter here even for the least little point of preserving a post against a threat that certainly never materialized.  It's become a cesspool of cheesy remarks, avoidance of any intellectual effort (with a few exceptions), and glib denunciation (that Lenny prefers this to PT is far too telling).

So I'm gone for now.  Be sure to write numerous inane remarks, and be glad that anyone who tries for much more can be drowned out by the droning of the gadflies.

Glen D

Date: 2007/05/24 14:44:24, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Begging your pardon, Glen, but is there, uh, some reason why you, um, ya know,  STAY here . . . . . . ?  

True to form, Lenny's behind the curve, asking why I "stay" just when I posted that I was leaving, for a while anyway.  

Probably ought to stay away, but you know, you guys are such geeks, and perhaps I shouldn't avoid you forever.  I'm increasingly realizing how much I'm not a geek like so many of you, since I can't stand your canned responses, and you can't stand the fact that I don't write your canned soundbites.


Arden Chatfield

Posts: 2679
Joined: Jan. 2006
 (Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,19:31 ?  

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ May 23 2007,19:28)
Begging your pardon, Glen, but is there, uh, some reason why you, um, ya know,  STAY here . . . . . . ?

To tell us what assholes we all are, I guess.

A dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Yeah, like I'd normally deal with you guys, even to tell you that you're assholes.  

Course I didn't, I called specific people assholes, but I guess it's good enough on AtBC to generalize aimlessly, distort, misrepresent, you know, whatever the herd is into.



This place is much more interesting, much more entertaining for me.

I'd like to see PT post more science and less "Philosophy 101", but I don't see that happening any time soon.  Again, most of the time the interesting posts have the "continue reading this post at my blog" link anyway.

Plus, if you ask a question at PT you usually get ignored, bodyslammed, or told to look it up yourself.  It's just not a very friendly place anymore.

Sure, a geekfest is your style, Lou.

PT isn't the place for friendly conversations.  The people who think are still there, sporadically (and there's very little here), so although intellection isn't actually for you, there's still value for those of us who, well, aren't you.

What signs the geek certificate here is that you boys ever even thought the issue of PT "still being interesting" was anything but boring, and you continue to discuss the matter as if you weren't simply compounding the boredom.  

Quote (The good Rev. Dr. Lenny to whom I also enjoy up-sucking @ May 23 2007,19:00)

Well, it USED to exist to fight the ID movement.

Now that the ID movement is . . . well . . . dead as a mackerel, PT seems to exist because some people with huge egos like having an audience while they fight with each other.

I've seen you make this point before, and I think there's quite a bit of evidence to support the contention.

So if the science stuff is at other blogs, it's not terribly layman-friendly on the science questions, the only thing left of the ID movement is the comedy at the moment, Clouser's not there at which to hurl insults, and Lenny and PZ aren't getting into dick waving contests, what really is the point of PT for me?

What does Lenny ever write that he hasn't written before, and that others said before him?  And I can't recall anything new from you, either, Lou.  Some geek humor, not too bad on that level, but that's as good as it gets.


OK, Glen's rage got pointed at me whilst I wrote this, so before I hit add, allow me to reply.

Sure, the lies and snipes don't bother you.  

Just pile on, you have nothing substantive to add.

Piss off.  I was offering a bit of friendly conversation.  You're fucking insane over a comment made about PT in general.  Take your meds, asshole.

Sure, you're a friendly fuckwad, just being nice as you insult and attempt to degrade.  

You know how many times Steve has written that?  I did grant in one post that he repeats his banal points ad nauseum, as do you, appalling cretin, but I'm not really credulous enough to believe that this 50th, or so, time that he wrote it had nothing to do with what I wrote (even if didn't do so consciously)--and which was not for anyone here at all.

So of course I know that you're a liar and too damn dumb even to think it through.  But then you didn't even begin to think, you wanted to insult while maintaining enough "politeness" to fool those who want to be fool into believing that you weren't an asshole.  You might be too unknowing even to recognize your rank hostility and solidarity with your geek brothers, but that deficit was what I had pointed out before.

It isn't rage anyhow, lying hound, it's contempt for your inability to do anything but lie and insult.

Your contribution to the conversation has been bile and vitriol pointed at whoever happens by.  I wouldn't call that "substantive".

It was in response to lies and faux friendship, moron.  Of course I haven't replied substantively to the transparently vacant insults that have been hurled at me for writing substantively (other than that I actually backed up my charges, which an idiot like you can't do), but you conveniently forget that, or you're too stupid even to know it.


Let's see, this has what to do with anything?  

It bears directly on Steve's comment.  Read for comprehension.

I know it bears on Steve's comment, cretin.  What did that have to do with anything, except the fact that banal repetition of originally boring platitudes passes for meaning here?  Read for allusion, fuckhead, instead of supposing that your stupid remarks were brilliant.

OK, you've made your point, you have nothing but scattered irrelevant points to make, plus you're with the herd.  No doubt that puts you where you want to be, without meaningful points to make, but kudos for being a "team player."

And you've made yours.  You're a paranoid douchebag.

Meaningless insults.  God, you're a worthless waste of space.

I guess a place as given over to churning the ancient responses to IDiocy wouldn't be likely to have anyone who could make a substantive point, or who'd actually oppose the dishonest posts of Wynne, Steve, and Elsberry.  Without any real commitment to honesty, and only the desire to pounce on those who find bullying and dishonesty to be distasteful, most of you guys really have hit bottom.  

Their posts weren't dishonest, you're out in Never Never Land.  What?  Anyone who disagrees with you is a bully and a liar?

No, 'their posts weren't dishonest', I simply showed where they were.  You only know how to lie, which is why you responded as you did in your "friendliness".  

If you were more than a lying sack you'd have backed up your claim.  Apparently it doesn't even occur to you to do so, again why I find you repulsive.

You're an arrogant prick.  A windbag of the first order.

Yeah, guess what, I can write those words as well as you.  The other thing I do is what you cannot, which is to back up what I wrote.

That's what set this off in the first place, you're just too dumb to know it.  Jim and Steve think that actually going through the intellection that produces their canned responses is just beyond the pale, that I should be as insipid as they (and you) are.  But you never fear to show what a cretin and a bully your are.  Best to do it here, as that goes over very well with the majority here.


Yeah, I know, chill out, what's the problem with dishonesty, when you've got each other to count on to support your dishonesty?  UD with another point of view, that's all.

Funny you should say that considering how much you remind me of DaveScot.

Oh, I'm sure I do.  You barely differentiate between a stupid uneducated asshole who fucks up continually on science and the mere meaning of words, and someone who you despise for not being part of the geek brotherhood.

That's more or less the icing on the cake, Lou.  I've never really hidden the fact that I think that most of the "response" to the IDists is repetetive bilge, and that most on our side barely differ from the IDiots except for the fact that they had a more fortunate socialization process.

And because I understand social psychology and apply it to your mindless aping of your particular herd, you say that I remind you of DaveScot.  Very stupid, very expected of you, Tard.  

In no way did you disprove anything I wrote about you wrong with your insipid name-calling and unargued and unevidenced assertions and outright lies.  That is to say, in a sense my charges were predictions, and you fulfilled them completely by committing every sin against intellect that I indicted you for.

I was going to write a bit more regarding the next banal insult you'd written, but your claim that I remind you of DaveTard is too precious, so stunning in its transparent stupidity and intellectual dishonesty that it is what I cherish as I bid your worthless diatribe adieu.  

My intention (I never promise, but usually follow my stated intention) is not to return even to view this for some days in the future, at which point it would almost certainly be way out of line to continue pointing out how worthless and thought-free your assertions are.  It's altogether easier to shake the dust off my feet (Zachriel posts good stuff (and in truth, Steve's been fairly reasonable, and I hope he can get more substance in here), though I can't see the point of arguing with UDites any more, as I can't bear to repeat myself like most here do) for now knowing that I remind you of DaveScot.  

You must like to be known for writing one of the most blindingly obtuse statements known to these forums.

Glen D

P.S.  Saw J-Dog's comment while editing, and thought I'd note the fact that I just saved him from missing it altogether.  Enjoy, and all may write to their hearts' content, for I am immune to the lies after I have pointed out every general way in which they have failed, and no truth can harm me (even the truth that I'm an asshole to morons like Lou).  

And Lenny, of course I'm not sticking around, just finishing up, you repetitive blowhard you (not that I don't find it charming in a pathetic way).

Date: 2007/07/11 14:48:59, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I  see from that thread that poor Glen is still wound way too tight, a month after his flipout here. Yeesh

I see that you're a vacuous liar like before, Arden.  Still nothing intelligent to say, just name-calling and bad faith.  

I'm sure you'd write something intelligent if you actually could.

Glen D

Date: 2007/07/11 15:32:48, Link
Author: Glen Davidson

Nice to see you still check in here.

Have a nice day, Glen.

Best you can do, eh Arden?  

"QED."  Sort of on the order of saying "Hitler", "Nazi", or indeed, "Godwin's law".  The yip of the moron who has nothing substantive to say, just a bunch of cliches and herd bleats.

See, an intelligent person would make a case, you know, as I do and which Steve Story maligned precisely because it's above the droning nonsense that is the usual on AtBC (though I realize that some here do better--not enough to make this a worthwhile forum, however).

But you'll never write anything intelligent when I complain of your dog-like yelping.  Just more vacant attacks sans any kind of substance.

Now STJ did write a bunch of misrepresenations.  An honest person would attack that.  But you'd have to understand a higher level of language than you do, Arden (no, don't pull any credentialism on me, I'm discussing your inability to discern on that thread).  And as you've proven in the past, substance and truth just aren't your style.

QED.  That's your style.  I could have written "QED" in turn, of course, because it was just the sort of vacuous dishonesty that you displayed in the first place.  However, I believe in evidence and argumentation, not the useless cliches of the incompetent Arden.

And of course you'll never bother to back up any of your lies.  You don't need to, no one here holds anyone's feet to the fire (or very rarely) over, say, truth-telling, as I did on that thread.  Which means that you can and do lie, do not provide any substance, and you ignore the tightly wound nonsense of STJ to dishonestly accuse me of what I am not guilty of.  Well, you'll always be a good example for IDists to turn to as an example of a dishonest evolutionist.

And yes, I'm out of this thread (not a promise, as usual) as before.  I never did go back to the other one, BTW, as the lies of the Chatfields, etc., become too boring and a mere bouncing of the rubble after a while.  I've answered, and anyone who thinks Arden tells the truth is hardly worth bothering with any further.

Glen D

Date: 2007/08/22 10:48:56, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
There is one common logical error in many presentations of evolutionary theory, and this proposal is directed to that specific error. With a bit of cleaning up the argument can be expressed as:

The patterns of inheritance among fossils and between species shows that species have been produced by an evolutionary mechanism.
Individual variation plus natural selection gives an evolutionary mechanism.

Therefore the evolutionary mechanism that produces species is the evolutionary mechanism formed by individual variation plus natural selection.

The astute reader will recognise this as being a simple variant of the illogical argument with which I introduced this discussion.

Yes, it's massively deficient, of the kind that crackpots make up and ascribe to science.  The primary deficiency exposed here is Dave's ignorance of science.

See, Dave, the thing is that science doesn't operate according to the false dichotomies and evidence-free assertions that you do.  It looks at the evidence, and makes conclusions based solely (in the ideal) on that evidence.

And because the only visible mechanisms found to cause evolution (and the only ones able to produce the familiar patterns of inheritance--vs. the different patterns in language evolution, for example) are those known as modern evolutionary theory, or to crackpots as "Darwinism", science indeed understands evolution as having occurred according to those mechanisms.

The little Phil 101 exercise that you proffer instead of the empiricism of science only proves that you don't recognize of what proper inference consists.  We have absolutely no legitimate evidence to suppose that evolution occurs by other than the known mechanisms, hence the term "known mechanisms".  And the fact that there could be unknown mechanisms hasn't passed by the notice of capable empiricists, they just don't base theories on vague notions of "possibilities" as people like Dave suppose that they ought to do.

Glen D

Date: 2007/08/30 15:42:37, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Is anybody saving that thread anywhere?  Certainly by any scientific and philosophical sense, Ben is being slaughtered, while creos and IDiots merely parrot their long-destroyed claims, or far more commonly, whine that we point out their deficiencies in intellect and argumentation.

They're doing a good job at not censoring the discussion at this moment, but I can see how it all might conveniently disappear at some point in the future.

Glen D

Date: 2007/08/30 16:10:54, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
In any debate on Intelligent Design, there is a question I have long wished to see posed to ID opponents: ?If we DID discover some biological feature that was irreducibly complex, to your satisfication and to the satisfaction of all reasonable observers, would that justify the design inference?? (Of course, I believe we have found thousands of such features, but never mind that.)

I have long wanted the IDiots to answer one simple question, which is, "If everything biological (other than human manipulations) appeared to be evolved and showed none of the marks of design (like rational planning), would you give up your completely unevidenced assertions that life is designed?" ?

I've had their answer from the beginning, because the mere fact that everything fits the predictions of non-teleological evolution, and nothing has anything to be expected from design and not from evolution (not that there is no overlap between the results of design and those of evolution, hence our use of genetic algorithms to effect what design does not), they drone on with the same meaningless twaddle with which they began. ?Granville Sewell being one example.

And just to answer the ignorant buffoon, if we did find irreducible complexity (which needs definition, but one couldn't expect one as ignorant as he to understand this) I would not, of course, assume a designer. ?That's because it requires bad philosophy to jump to the conclusion of amorphous (non-empirically based) "design" from the lack of an explanation for a given phenomenon. ?You need evidence for design, not your inability to understand science, if you are to appropriately conclude "design".

Learn some science for once, Granville, and if you could learn some philosophy (or merely the normal judgment ability expected from a Ph.D) in order to recognize a false dichotomy, so much the better. ?Until then, we'll just take this latest as more evidence that even your capacity to deal with empirical affairs is seriously lacking, and that it is not merely your level of knowledge which is substandard.

Glen D

Date: 2007/08/30 16:21:57, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Another question I'd like to ask the doofus Granville:  If we never find the killer of Jon Benet Ramsay, will IDists have sufficient reason to believe that Granville Sewell did it?

It's the same idea, that if we lack evidence that something was done by some certain phenomenon, then we can conclude that some preconceived agent was responsible.  By ID "logic" I have every right to suppose that Granville killed Jon Benet because no other agent has been found to be responsible.  

Fortunately, neither science nor the judiciary operates according to the staggeringly bad thinking of IDists.  But Granville intends to fix that flaw as best he can.

Glen D

Date: 2007/08/30 17:07:50, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Granville: Quote ?
In any debate on Intelligent Design, there is a question I have long wished to see posed to ID opponents: ?If we DID discover some biological feature that was irreducibly complex, to your satisfication and to the satisfaction of all reasonable observers, would that justify the design inference??

If Granville really wanted to pose that question to ID opponents, he would be doing so on a site that allows ID opponents.

Ah, but he didn't say that he wanted an intelligent answer. ?Assuming that he doesn't, it makes sense for him to ask the question among his kind, the IDiots.

They only want to ask questions, they don't want the answers, to learn, to think, or to have to bother with anyone who has gotten past bronze age myths. ?They do know one thing, which is how to avoid inconvenient answers.

And thanks, RTHughes, for the link regarding the Holmes' fallacy. ?

Glen D

Date: 2007/08/31 13:23:52, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Wesley suggested on one blog that we archive our posts on Ben Stein's blog here. ?Because I don't trust it all to disappear some time in future, I'm going to take him up on it. ?The last post hadn't been approved at the time I copied it to here:

Glen Davidson Says:

August 24th, 2007 at 12:32 pm
Perhaps the most telling reason why ID is not only useless but wrong, is that the evolutionary patterns among the eukaryotes are substantially different from those in the prokaryotes. Notably, we see the appearance much horizontal transfer among the asexual (but conjugating) bacteria and archaea, and almost solely vertical transfer among the sexual (it appears that all asexual eukaryotes had sexual progenitors) eukaryotes, regardless of what level of evolution is considered.

If the Grand Designer were in fact designing through evolution, why does it choose to produce the patterns expected from the differing mechanisms among eukaryotes and prokaryotes? Why virtually no horizontal transfers in the vertebrate lineage, why a difficult-to-sort out pattern of evolution in prokaryotes, due to their rampant promiscuity?

It looks as though known mechanisms might be responsible for the evolution of eukaryotes and the evolution of prokaryotes. It takes quite a designer to so carefully design evolution just as if it were the known and established mechanisms were operating over the course of earth?s history.

That?s what we?re ?censoring,? of course, a ?theory? that has utterly failed to explain anything at all, only claiming that the predictions of modern evolutionary theory ?can fit? with the lack of predictions about their ?designer?. Of course it can, because the IDists haven?t said anything substantial at all.

Why not simply resort to Last Thursdayism or Omphalos creationism? It?s the same reasoning, that all of the predictions of science are meaningless because an undefined and unconstrained designer could make it all look like it?s old, and that Darwinian mechanisms have operated in organisms through all time.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

August 24th, 2007 at 1:16 pm
I commend Ben Stein for running a blog which allows all comments, presumably within certain reasonable rules of dialog. We?re really not used to this from pro-ID spokespersons.

And I do hope that Ben interviewed Dembski, whose own blog is the opposite of open, having expelled nearly all critics of ID. Indeed, this was done recently in the discussions about this movie on Uncommon Descent, Bill Dembski?s blog. See Dembski expel the inconvenient critic here:

You have to scroll up to see what ?Rocket? had said that ?merited? this censorship.

Meanwhile, Panda?s Thumb and Pharyngula remain open to virtually all comments, except for the truly trollish ones. It is rare that Paul Nelson and Sal Cordova avail themselves (the rest of the DI tribe do not at all, even if Dembski did in the past) of such openness, generally preferring (or so I have to assume) the secret conversations held by highly restricted net groups. I only know about these latter because a former member of one, David Heddle, tired of the limits of discussion enforced by that group, and complained publicly as he was ousted for disagreeing with them. Heddle?s a good source to look up on the web as a critic of ID censorship, who still sympathizes with cosmological ID (probably biological as well, but he doesn?t discuss it much, if ever).

Okay, so forums are open to the IDists, they just don?t use them much. Forums are closed to us (Dembski?s blog kicks us off piecemeal), so that ID doesn?t have to face sound criticisms.

Any chance that Stein will cover these important details, if not in the movie, at least in a future blog?

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

August 29th, 2007 at 11:19 am
Again, were Ben concerned over the real freedom issue, he?d be skewering IDists for censoring so many of their blogs. Dembski?s blog is well-known to be censored, and I linked to an example of this in #395.

ARN is the only ID forum I know about which is relatively uncensored. But, as any pro-science poster there knows, writing of the intellectual dishonesty of the IDists who post there is often censored, even though that?s the only remaining issue at stake once all of the ID ?arguments? have been properly answered (and I don?t go there any more because of it).

One of the potentially best places for ID to be discussed, at Behe?s forum on Amazon, has had the comments disabled. Anyone can see this here (at least at the time of this posting):

Gee, you?d think that the ?censored IDists? would jump at the chance to provide all of the ?censored evidence? which supposedly is ?prohibited? by the big bad anti-religionists (you know, including the 40% or so of scientists who are religious). But no, Behe hides behind a wall that keeps out all of the questions that he can?t answer (like why the Designer made yet another prediction of evolution come true, malarial parasites doing what evolved organisms do, taking energy and matter in any manner possible, but being limited to derived and modified components to do so), the requests for evidence that he can?t supply.

Indeed, there is a lack of openness and freedom which is worth investigating. It?s being caused by the IDists, who have never been able to compete in a the legitimate evidence-driven discourse of science.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

August 29th, 2007 at 3:21 pm
I?ve got some waiting time right now, so I figure why not go through most of Ben?s ?points??

?I?m glad you found this site, because I want to share with you my thoughts from time to time here about a subject that is very near and dear to me: freedom.?

Yes, freedom, the right to do meaningful science, and to be tried according to the evidence, not according to religious notions which fail empirical tests.

?EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed is a controversial, soon-to-be-released documentary that chronicles my confrontation with the widespread suppression and entrenched discrimination that is spreading in our institutions, laboratories and most importantly, in our classrooms, and that is doing irreparable harm to some of the world?s top scientists, educators, and thinkers.?

I fail to recognize, say, Behe and Dembski as top scientists or thinkers. And indeed, science is open to all, religious and irreligious alike, unlike ID which cannot be done by people who rely only upon empirical evidence.

What is more, the idea that anything is changing is utterly unsupported by any evidence. As far as can be determined, we?re operating according to the same rules utilized by Newton and by Einstein, such as Newton?s ?Rules for Reasoning in Philosophy? (which is what he called his science):

We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.

Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

As to respiration in a man and in a beast; the descent of stones in Europe and in America; the light of our culinary fire and of the sun; the reflection of light in the earth, and in the planets.

The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

For since the qualities of bodies are only known to us by experiments, we are to hold for universal all such as universally agree with experiments; and such as are not liable to diminution can never be quite taken away. We are certainly not to relinquish the evidence of experiments for the sake of dreams and vain fictions of our own devising; nor are we to recede from the analogy of Nature, which uses to be simple, and always consonant to itself. We no other way know the extension of bodies than by our senses, nor do these reach it in all bodies; but because we perceive extension in all that are sensible, therefore we ascribe it universally to all others also. That abundance of bodies are hard, we learn by experience; and because the hardness of the whole arises from the hardness of the parts, we therefore justly infer the hardness of the undivided particles not only of the bodies we feel but of all others. That all bodies are impenetrable, we gather not from reason, but from sensation. The bodies which we handle we find impenetrable, and thence conclude impenetrability to be an universal property of all bodies whatsoever. That all bodies are moveable, and endowed with certain powers (which we call the vires inerti?) of persevering in their motion, or in their rest we only infer from the like properties observed in the bodies which we have seen. The extension, hardness, impenetrability, mobility, and vis inerti? of the whole, result from the extension hardness, impenetrability, mobility, and vires inerti? of the parts; and thence we conclude the least particles of all bodies to be also all extended, and hard and impenetrable, and moveable, and endowed with their proper vires inerti?. And this is the foundation of all philosophy. Moreover, that the divided but contiguous particles of bodies may be separated from one another, is matter of observation; and, in the particles that remain undivided, our minds are able to distinguish yet lesser parts, as is mathematically demonstrated. But whether the parts so distinguished, and not yet divided, may, by the powers of Nature, be actually divided and separated from one another, we cannot certainly determine. Yet, had we the proof of but one experiment that any undivided particle, in breaking a hard and solid body, offered a division, we might by virtue of this rule conclude that the undivided as well as the divided particles may be divided and actually separated to infinity.

Lastly, if it universally appears, by experiments and astronomical observations, that all bodies about the earth gravitate towards the earth, and that in proportion to the quantity of matter which they severally contain, that the moon likewise, according to the quantity of its matter, gravitates towards the earth; that, on the other hand, our sea gravitates towards the moon; and all the planets mutually one towards another; and the comets in like manner towards the sun; we must, in consequence of this rule, universally allow that all bodies whatsoever are endowed with a principle of mutual gravitation. For the argument from the appearances concludes with more force for the universal gravitation of all bodies that for their impenetrability; of which, among those in the celestial regions, we have no experiments, nor any manner of observation. Not that I affirm gravity to be essential to bodies: by their vis insita I mean nothing but their vis inerti?. This is immutable. Their gravity is diminished as they recede from the earth.

In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from ph?nomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other ph?nomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.

This rule we must follow, that the argument of induction may not be evaded by hypotheses.

Tell me how we deviate from those rules, then I might start listening to your complaints.

?Freedom is not conferred by the state: as our founders said, and as Martin Luther King repeated, freedom is God-given.?

I?ll take that as metaphorically true. As such, why would anyone wish to take away our freedom by imposing ID into education and science, when it cannot withstand the scrutiny of science?

?A huge part of this freedom is freedom of inquiry.?

Absolutely, and Galileo was persecuted for inquiry. IDists wish also to impose a ?science? which cannot be engaged in by impassionate seekers of empirical knowledge.

?Freedom of inquiry is basic to human advancement. There would be no modern medicine?

Right, and modern medicine has been predicated in part in evolutionary theory, in order to interpret results from animal experiments, and to tweak medicines and trials for humans. IDists threaten modern medicine, particularly as it is increasingly reliant upon comparisons of our genome with the genomes of related organisms (and the only sensible interpretation is that undirected evolution is responsible for changes in genomes).

?no antibiotics?

Quite. Antibiotics work against bacteria and are relatively harmless to humans and related organisms. This fits in with the predictions of non-teleological evolution, while ID has no basis for any sort of predictions, not as formulated by present IDists (though they claim to predict function for junk DNA, while contradictorily claiming that vestigial organs fit in with ID?vestigial organs essentially are the result of a kind of junk DNA).

?no brain surgery, no Internet?

Right, brain surgery and the internet come from classical science which effectively adheres to causal mechanisms. Unlike ID.

?no air conditioning, no modern travel, no highways?

Oh, so science has been good to us. Then why bring unevidenced charges against it, as you do?

?no knowledge of the human body without freedom of inquiry.?

Absolutely. Science has had great success, while ID tells us that we ought to resort to pre-scientific assumptions which have never proved their worth.

?This includes the ability to inquire whether a higher power, a being greater than man, is involved with how the universe operates.?

Completely allowed. ?Naturalism? is only a convenience for theists, who wished to put their God beyond the realm of observation. Science itself cannot exclude God from possible inquiry, it?s just that nobody has ever found a way to observe God or God?s doings in the cosmos.

?This has always been basic to science. ALWAYS.?

OK, then what?s your complaint?

?Some of the greatest scientists of all time, including Galileo, Newton, Einstein, operated under the hypothesis that their work was to understand the principles and phenomena as designed by a creator.?

True for Galileo and Newton, not true of Einstein. Einstein?s ?God? was at most ?Deus sive Natura,? Spinoza?s conflation of nature and divinity which could never propose a ?designer God? or any such epistemological horror.

?Operating under that hypothesis, they discovered the most important laws of motion, gravity, thermodynamics, relativity, and even economics.?

Good grief, you really don?t know anything about them, do you? Thermodynamics was developed by other people, especially by Lord Kelvin (another theist, btw). And none of us fault Newton, Galileo, Einstein, Lord Kelvin (though Kelvin?s theology interfered with certain of his claims), for they did exactly the kind of science that modern scientists do today. Indeed, anyone who reads Darwin may recognize how he is trying to bring biology into the same sort of scientific regime in which Newton operated, the cause-and-effect analysis of the data.

?Now, I am sorry to say, freedom of inquiry in science is being suppressed.?

You should be sorry to say it, because it isn?t true. IDists mean to suppress inquiry, but so far have been thwarted in their attempts.

?Under a new anti-religious dogmatism, scientists and educators are not allowed to even think thoughts that involve an intelligent creator.?

No evidence or argumentation is brought forth to back up this banal claim. Indeed, Nature wrote an editorial praising Francis Collins? efforts to bridge the science/religion divide, which they suppose he is able to do precisely because he finds science to be compatible with God and Xianity (if hardly all forms of Xianity).

?Do you realize that some of the leading lights of ?anti-intelligent design? would not allow a scientist who merely believed in the possibility of an intelligent designer/creator to work for him? EVEN IF HE NEVER MENTIONED the possibility of intelligent design in the universe??

No, I didn?t know that, though it could be true. Even if it is true, it hardly backs up your charges against science as a whole.


What do you mean ?banned?? I?m sure that all kinds of factors prevent scientists from working together, many much more trivial than religion. It hardly troubles me that some scientists would not like working with certain theists, nor that certain theists would not like working with certain atheists (PZ comes to mind as a possibility).

?In today?s world, at least in America, an Einstein or a Newton or a Galileo would probably not be allowed to receive grants to study or to publish his research.?

There is almost certainly no reason to think that today?s America differs substantially from the one that welcomed Einstein with open arms rather than sending him back to Nazi Germany. Einstein would be showered with grants and opportunities, were he alive today, and I?ll bet that even you know it.

Newton could run into trouble if he espoused alchemy, a pseudoscience like ID (though almost certainly more scientific than the latter, able to give rise to aspects of chemistry). That said, Newton could almost certainly be more open about his religious ideas than he was able to be in England in the 17th century.

And it?s laughable to see the religion-persecuted Galileo brought up by the pro-pseudoscience spokespeople as if he?d be troubled by the scientists of today. Galileo is substantially responsible for modern science, something that Heidegger points out with some disapproval (why don?t we try to force Heidegger?s perspective into the sciences along with ID? At least it?s not the result of religious dogma, no matter that it?s still tendentious nonsense).

?They cannot even mention the possibility that?as Newton or Galileo believed?these laws were created by God or a higher being.?

Of course they can, and some do. It behooves Stein to learn a little bit about science and how it is done.

?They could get fired, lose tenure, have their grants cut off.?

Unlikely, though I suppose it?s within the realm of possibilities (there are the prejudiced and the idiotic in science, just as anywhere).

?This can happen.?

Anything can happen. It remains for IDists to bring up evidence for any of their claims, for they haven?t produced sufficient evidence for their non-trivial charges and claims thus far.

?It has happened.?

I?d like to see the evidence. Not Sternberg, who appears to have shepherded junk science through the process meant to weed it out.

?EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed comes to theaters near you in February 2008. To learn more, check out my blog here often ? and explore the rest of our site for new developments, or to volunteer to help spread the word.?

You have not made a compelling case for anyone to ?learn? anything else from you. Just a bunch of claims made without evidence, claims that have been exhaustively answered on science blogs like Pharyngula and Panda?s Thumb, while the ID blogs remain mostly impervious to open discussion.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

August 29th, 2007 at 3:27 pm
I?m still waiting for the ?censored evidence? that could answer the post I made a few days back. Here it again is for all of those who are just waiting to provide the evidence of ID:

?Glen Davidson Says:

August 24th, 2007 at 12:32 pm
Perhaps the most telling reason why ID is not only useless but wrong, is that the evolutionary patterns among the eukaryotes are substantially different from those in the prokaryotes. Notably, we see the appearance much horizontal transfer among the asexual (but conjugating) bacteria and archaea, and almost solely vertical transfer among the sexual (it appears that all asexual eukaryotes had sexual progenitors) eukaryotes, regardless of what level of evolution is considered.

If the Grand Designer were in fact designing through evolution, why does it choose to produce the patterns expected from the differing mechanisms among eukaryotes and prokaryotes? Why virtually no horizontal transfers in the vertebrate lineage, why a difficult-to-sort out pattern of evolution in prokaryotes, due to their rampant promiscuity?

It looks as though known mechanisms might be responsible for the evolution of eukaryotes and the evolution of prokaryotes. It takes quite a designer to so carefully design evolution just as if it were the known and established mechanisms were operating over the course of earth?s history.

That?s what we?re ?censoring,? of course, a ?theory? that has utterly failed to explain anything at all, only claiming that the predictions of modern evolutionary theory ?can fit? with the lack of predictions about their ?designer?. Of course it can, because the IDists haven?t said anything substantial at all.

Why not simply resort to Last Thursdayism or Omphalos creationism? It?s the same reasoning, that all of the predictions of science are meaningless because an undefined and unconstrained designer could make it all look like it?s old, and that Darwinian mechanisms have operated in organisms through all time.

Glen D

Now come on, on Panda?s Thumb I asked Paul Nelson to provide the answer, and he simply disappeared. I asked here, and all I got was someone who asked me what I actually know about evolution, when that post mentions several things that I know about evolution (I?ve never run into an IDist who could answer my questions forthrightly, which is surely evidence of something). Stein claims that ID is being stifled, when all I can see is a bunch of IDists who can?t answer reasonable questions.

Somehow I expect that nothing has changed in the past few days.

Glen D

And the one not yet posted as of this time:

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

August 31st, 2007 at 12:51 pm
I?d guess the reason Ferris Bueller took the day off is that he?d already learned all that Ben Stein had to teach him: The answer to everything is, ?God did it?.

On the other hand, why wouldn?t Ben be expelled from a good school if the only answer he could give to every question (yes, I know, IDists implausibly accept science outside of biology, but they?re inconsistent when they demand that evidence actually be used to back up charges against them, rather than vague (and typically wrong) analogies) was ?God did it?? There?s actually more to investigation and learning than resorting to Behe?s puff of smoke every time the questions get hard.

Glen D

And one more added in edit, on 9-1-07

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

September 1st, 2007 at 11:35 pm
By the way, I know that the pro-IDists, pro-creationists try to do what every conspiracy-theory monger does, which is to whine pitifully that we label nonsense as nonsense, and to shout ?conspiracy? instead of answering the questions.

It?s very thin gruel, and it won?t wash with anybody who understands what goes into making science. The very fact that such a sad little conspiracy theory is the best Stein and the producers is the best that they can do shows just how badly ID has failed in its stated goal of actually convincing scientists that magic (they didn?t call it magic, true, but they never demonstrated that it was anything else) is science.

Glen D

Added 9-5-07

Let's set the scenario.  The times have changed, and it is the new improved future when the requirement of evidence for "doing science" and convicting criminals has at last been overturned.  ID thus reigns supreme, and the evidence of relatedness means nothing any more.

Now DNA means nothing in the courts.  Why should it?  God may very well have intervened to make a person's DNA fit with the DNA retrieved from the crime scene, or God may have changed the DNA from the crime scene to fit your DNA.  Are you trying to tell me that God couldn't do this?  That's exactly what IDists tell the "Darwinists" when the latter point to DNA evidence that agrees with non-teleological evolutionary predictions.

The Bulgarian medical personel are sent back to Lybia to be killed.  After all, it required phylogenetic evidence to show that they didn't infect the Lybian children with HIV.  And the IDists tell us that God intervenes in evolutionary processes, hence such evidence is worthless, now that ID is no longer "censored" by gov't and educational institutions.

Guys are happier now, because mere DNA evidence indicates nothing to the courts.  After all, if apparent DNA relatedness doesn't show that we're related to chimpanzees, why should DNA relatedness tell us anything about paternity?  God might have intervened in evolution, and who can tell God that he can't design in a way that makes it appear that the baby is related to one who is not the father?

And I am much happier, now that the computers which disappeared out of the warehouse and appeared in my basement cannot be traced either by serial number, nor to me.  Good grief, do you really think that God couldn't have changed the serial numbers, or even if God didn't do that, that God couldn't have rewarded me with the gift of all of those computers?  You don't know that they're either the same computers or that I actually took the computers, since God might have intervened (I never really had the computers, you know, it's an example).  After all, isn't this the sort of scientific explanation that is being "censored" by the evilutionists?

But I cheated a bit on that last one.  How?  Because a burglary has all of the marks of design.  That is to say, it is not irrational to say that God, the Designer, aliens, or leprachauns might have picked the locks, jammed the burglar alarms, and moved the computers from one place to another.  There is no good solid evidence for it, which means that in the ancient and dark past when evidence was required, nobody would believe me that God or space aliens put the computers in my basement.  But it isn't actually irrational to say that something that is designed, like a burglary, could have been done by a hypothetical rational agent like God or space aliens.  

Biology is different, and was recognized as different at least as far back as Aristotle.  Biology was physis to the ancient Greeks, while machines were made by techne.  This is why machines are made rationally, with straight lines, foresight, teleology, and according to the numbers, while plants and animals are quite something else, "physis" or nature.  Plants and animals do not have a purpose as such, nor are they at all designed as humans would design them, with "poor designs", and by adapting rather unlikely organs to serve new functions, such as taking legs and making wings out of them.

The descent of the testicles is hardly design, it is adaptation from what previously existed, abdominal testicles, and their descent leaves weak spots in the abdominal walls (the doctor says, "now cough").  The primate foveas and bird pectens partially get around the poor "design" of the eye which put blood vessels right in front of the light-sensing retinas, but these are only ways of dealing with inherited problems expected in evolution and easily avoided by intelligent designers.

Back to wings.  Think about it:  three different types of vertebrates evolved wings, and none of the earlier wings were used in order to make the later wings, nor were any designed from scratch.  Now the best designs would be from first principles, but humans might very well take wings from one example and adapt them to fit another purpose (as indeed the Wright brothers did).  What a sensible designer would never do would be to take legs and change them in order to make wings out of them.  It's just a ridiculous way of designing wings.

Pterosaurs had the first known vertebrate wings.  From what were they "designed"?  From thecodont legs.  What does evolutionary theory predict (in context) would give rise to pterosaur wings?  Thecodont legs.  By what sort of thinking would anyone expect a designer to make pterosaur wings out of thecodont legs?

The next wings were better, bird wings.  So were bird wings an improved version of pterosaur wings?  Why no, bird wings were made from dinosaur legs and dinosaur feathers.  What would evolutionary theory predict?  That bird wings would be made from dinosaur legs, and likely would utilize feathers, since they already existed and produce superb airfoils.  What would honest design principles predict?  Either wings from first principles, or at least from other wings.  Bird wings came from legs, hardly promising material, but the only organs available to evolve into wings.

At least bird wings were an improvement, however odd the route of "design" chosen by this exceeding odd "designer" that the IDists give to us.

Bat wings were a step back, however, because as evolution predicts, they were produced from an unlikely source, mammalian legs and no feathers.  The "designer" only copies legs to make vertebrate wings, not copying excellent vertebrate wings as one might expect of an actual thinking entity.  Indeed, bats sleep upside down in part because they are not as good fliers as birds are, and can gain airspeed by dropping down from their roosting positions to partly compensate for their poorer flying ability during takeoff.

Then there's the odd fact that design took four billion years or so, around the time expected for non-teleological evolution, rather than the at most a few years expected from known designers.  Funny that, everything comes out like non-teleological evolution predicts, and the scientists complain when Behe tells us that we should understand it all to have been designed.  The "designer" steps in to produce what non-teleological evolution would produce, but can't according to Behe's numbers?  Um, I'm sort of thinking, why?

However, this is Ben's dream world, in which evidence no longer counts for anything.  No more "censorship" by the evidence, every notion is the equal of another and should be taught as equals.  Don't teach the scientific method in biology, it's unfair to those who prefer theological claims to evidence-based claims.  This is the post-modern world of Michel Foucault, where the mere fact that Ben has to use a blog to say what he does, instead of having his theology taught in the schools, now counts as "censorship".  

And as so many bleat on this thread, surely the fact that we protest only demonstrates our censorious nature.  Yes, fighting to preserve the Enlightenment and the only bases we have for law, justice, science, and technological advancement, only indicates prejudice and bigotry.  Sure, but that's just us, we are not schooled in the ways of understanding preconceived theologies as superior to the ideas that gave us democracy and science.

Glen D

There, it's saved from the possibility of future religious suppression of my (and to a considerable degree, our) ideas.

Date: 2007/09/06 13:19:13, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Just recording my (not posted at this time) response to Luskin on Stein's blog, in case they decide to censor them in the future:

--Listing some pro-ID Rebuttal links?--

Yes, of course.  Why don't you answer the questions, particularly the ones asked of your DI propaganda?  You know very well that virtually everything the DI has put out has been answered, usually without the DI addressing the points made by those who responded.  Instead we get the same droning nonsense over and over again.

Why don't you answer the questions I raised in post #389 and in #1031?  I know why, it's because you have no good answers to them.

I'll link to a few of the responses made to the ID propaganda.

--This is a fascinating and incredibly long discussion, but I?m glad to see the interest that is being sparked by this movie. Some Darwinists try to pretend that ID proponents imagine the discrimination that in many cases has actively harmed their careers,--

Of course we don't deny that unevidenced religious bias presented as "science" isn't largely rejected by academia.  What we do deny is that it is anything that shouldn't be done, as astrologists, homeopathists, and alchemists are also rejected (well, usually).

--but I suspect it will be difficult to make such claims with a straight face after this movie comes out.--

Quit changing the subject.  The issue is the false claim that ID is being "censored", as Ben claims, which it is so very clearly not, as Casey's list of links shows.  That it isn't accepted by academia in lieu of its miserable showings on the evidentiary front, and its attempts to change science so that "it looks designed" counts as evidence, is only to the credit of academia (which is hardly perfect, certainly).

--Thanks to Ben Stein and others behind this movie for being willing to stand up for the persecuted minority:--

We're waiting for evidence of the "persecuted minority".  Not that the lack of evidence stops IDists from making outrageous claims.

--they will be viciously attacked for making this movie, as they already are being attacked.--

Yes, we are so mean for calling ID on all of its false claims, and Ben's unsupported charges.

--They should be commended for standing up for those whose voices are often silenced, even if that means they themselves become attacked for making the film.--

Why aren't you standing up for genuinely ignored science, instead of for long-falsified claims, and subsequent non-predictive claims which avoid falsification by denying the obvious predictions which an honest ID theory would make?

--Regarding this thread: internet Darwinists often think that by throwing up links to websites like TalkOrigins that they can win an argument. I?ve surveyed many of the links repeatedly posted on this list by such internet Darwinists and unfortunately there have been few posts to some of the many rebuttals to these arguments.--

They're rebuttals, not actual answers.

--I only have time for one post on this thread, but I?m going to post some pro-ID rebuttals to many of the links Darwinists have posted in this discussion:--

And why didn't you post the rebuttals to the DI's sorry nonsense?  You know very well that, quite unlike the charges of "censorship" suggest, that you have been amply answered.  And most importantly, your "rebuttals" are largely attacks on "Darwinism", not at all evidence for your theological intrusions into science.

1. A few Darwinists have posted a link to the TalkOrigins Common Descent FAQ at But there is a direct and comprehensive rebuttal to that FAQ at:

A Critique of Douglas Theobald?s ?29 Evidences for Macroevolution?  --

It is not direct, nor comprehensive.  It's an attempt to nickel and dime the real predictions of evolution to death, without addressing the real predictions made by evolutionary theory.  Unfortunately, the "29 Evidences" could have been written more carefully (for there is no inherent prediction that all life should be related, and for other reasons), however it does get to the gist of evolutionary prediction, while the "response" merely cavils on minor aspects and mistakes by the "29 Evidences" authors.  I can hardly respond to the entire piece, but here's an example I picked up at the very beginning:

--Unless one inserts an additional premise imposing a limit on the degree to which descendants can vary (which would require specification of a mechanism of descent), the claim of common ancestry does not require that all of the descendants share one or more traits.  There is no logical reason why completely novel organisms could not arise in one or more lineages.--

Of course there is no logical reason why completely novel organisms could not arise in one or more lineages (which would be something like abiogenesis, only of too-complex organisms), it's because of what we've learned about evolutionary mechanisms that insists that this cannot happen.  The author is trying to make a point that is entirely specious in the overall theory of evolution, which is based upon many limiting factors.  Thus his argument here is entirely bogus, except as a cheap debating tactic.

Here's a really quite good response to some of the above link's many claims, one that I think is really a better source than "29 Evidences" ever was:

Note in particular how it mentions how desert grasses have the same photosynthetic machinery as do grasses in cool moist areas do, NOT the better photosynthetic mechanisms of cacti.  One would predict this from known evolutionary mechanisms (or at least, that whatever desert grasses have would not be the same as those of cacti, and that convergent evolution would be evident from any recent evolutionary convergences), and one would naturally predict a designer to design desert grasses for their environments, not to mimic grasses in cool wet regions (IDists don't predict this, solely because they'd be immediately falsified).

And here's another link that covers only one aspect of where Casey's linked site goes so very wrong:

--Many of the individuals arguments made in the TalkOrigins Common Descent FAQ are rebutted in other locations, such as these links:


Punctuated Equilibrium and Patterns from the Fossil Record  --

As usual, Casey only attacks evolutionary theory, he doesn't support design or creation at all.  Furthermore, he's faulting evolution over punctuated equilibrium, when the real proponents of punctuated equilibrium recognize the familiar evidences of non-teleological evolution to be compelling.  Casey writes:

--Another study, "Evolutionary Explosions and the Phylogenetic Fuse," found a bird (as well as a mammal) "Early Tertiary 'explosion'" because many bird and mammal groups appear in a short time period lacking immediately recognizable ancestral forms.--

This appears to be a deliberate, or very ignorant, confusion of what is meant by "explosion" in those contexts.  Not even the "Cambrian Explosion" is as Casey characterizes it, but I'll concede that it's still an issue, no matter that evolution during the Cambrian is evident and chordates do not appear at the beginning.  Birds and mammals do radiate rapidly at times, particularly after the Cretaceous, but that's all we see, rapid evolution.  We do not see novelty appearing, as one might expect from ID.

--34 Finally, others have called the origin of our own genus Homo, "a genetic revolution"35 where "no australopithecine [ape] species is obviously transitional"35 leading one commentator to call it, like others called the Cambrian Explosion, a "big bang theory" of human evolution.--

Again the twisting of what is meant by "explosion" there.  Certainly the evolution of H. sapiens from H. erectus is well accepted by scientists, and australopithecines have no obvious reason to exist at all except as part of a hominin adaptive radiation, whether or not any are our direct ancestor.  Indeed, why do IDists suppose that australopithecines, were "designed", only to go extinct?  It's an answer that Casey, like the others, never gives to us.

--36 While these papers appeal to adapative radiation, niche-filling, and "genetic revolutions" as the mechanisms for these explosions, the pattern of rapid appearance of diverse morphologies without transitions remains an important pattern in the fossil record.

Out of thousands of species in the fossil record, only a few are claimed to be transitional forms. This lack of transitional forms poses, as Darwin said, "the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against [evolutionary] theory."1 And, at least to this point, it appears to be an objection that is unsolved by evolutionists. --

Casey seems not even to know what punctuated equilibrium is meant to answer, which is the problem of speciation.  There are in fact very many transitionals identified in the fossil record (he's just wrong about that), and all vertebrate classes have at least one intermediate form extant in the fossil record.

As far as Casey's quote mining of Darwin goes, Darwin went on from the "gravest objection" to give a number of possible reasons why intermediates to the species were not found (as it was at that time, not at the present).  

More importantly, Casey has utterly failed to explain why transitional fossils like Archaeopteryx are in fact "poorly designed" compared to modern birds, just as non-teleological evolutionary theory predicts (that's the short version of how we even know that they are transitional), and ID would not.

--Human Origins and Intelligent Design  --

Here's a link that partly addresses Casey's claims in the above link:

--The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories  --

Answered here:

--Intelligent Design and the Death of the ?Junk-DNA? Neo-Darwinian Paradigm  --

Such "ignorant yammerings" (as Matzke calls them in the link) are routed here:

--Design vs. Descent: A Contest of Predictions  --

A short, pithy response to such meandering nonsense is found here:

And frankly, that's enough.  For anyone with an honest desire to learn, those alone answer so much of what IDists claim, and show up how pathetic their little apologetics pieces actually are.  More importantly, I've shown by finding responses to almost every one of Casey's links on the web that the responses are out there, so that anyone can find them.  Casey just doesn't acknowledged that, far from being censored, ID has been exposed for the sham that it is, and IDists simply link the same quote mining and worthless argumentation no matter how many times they have been answered.  

And I repeat that virtually everything written by the DI and Casey merely attacks current science, it rarely even purports to produce any evidence for ID, and never comes close to presenting any legitimate evidence that organisms have been designed.  Indeed, if they had that, they'd have answered the two posts that I pointed out have gone begging for answers from the IDists, post #389 and post #1031.  They have no answers, so that even if #1031 was posted after Casey had written the comment that I have responded to here, it's safe to say that it hasn't been answered properly and won't be merely because IDists have no answers, not because of any "censorship".

I'll only respond further to Casey's closing paragraph:

--I do not have time to make any further posts on this blog thread--

And still you've written dozens, if not more, posts on the internet which have failed to give any evidence for ID.  I'd think you could answer our questions, if you had any answers to our questions.

--but I hope that some of these links are helpful to you all in your discussions.--

They are not.  I posted several which are helpful, and which are generally written by actual scientists, not lawyers like Luskin (he does have degrees in earth science, reportedly, not, however, in biology).

--Thanks and I hope all will do their best to keep the discussion here friendly and civil!--

Yes, IDists always want us to "be civil" as they attack science with the most worthless bilge, quote mines, and frequent false claims.  We have answered them, they continue to avoid telling us how ID can account for different patterns of evolution in prokaryotes vs. those in eukaryotes, and why vertebrate wings are modifications of legs, not designs from first principles or even modifications of good wings (posts #389 & #1031 respectively).  Furthermore, they almost always do nothing but attack science, while refusing to make even the obvious design predictions expected (because they know that they'd fail), and never providing any evidence of rational thought behind the "designs" of organisms.  Rational thought is more than a little evident in nearly all of human creations, and would be expected from alien designs as well (if aliens do not produce rational signals and tools, we likely could never detect their designs).  It's God (or "the designer") alone which is supposed to design without anything actually appearing to be designed, or to be techne, as the Greeks called it.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/07 14:31:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Thanks, J-Dog.

I don't know why posts aren't appearing in any timely fashion, but it makes me more certain that I ought to save my posts here.  I wrote another one today, which at least is supposed to be awaiting moderation.  It goes thusly:

I'm going to try to post, though it doesn't seem that posts are going through now.

Here's Kevin Miller, one of the writers of "Expelled":

--When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis. According to Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, everything can be explained purely by natural forces--including the origin of information, consciousness, and life itself. If you want to bring God into the picture, that is a belief that you are adding to science. It is not required by the science itself, and many Neo-Darwinists believe it gets in the way of science. ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one's interpretation of science, God--or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer--is literally at the heart of nature itself, as expressed through information like the genetic code. Therefore, the search for potential signs of intelligence in nature becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise rather than a pseudo-scientific one. IDers are essentially asking the same question as the Darwinists: How did the information get there? What separates them from the Darwinists is that they are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause. This is not to deny the power of mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection. All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life. Once again, it is not just the IDers who are questioning this. There is huge debate amongst the Darwinists themselves as to which mechanisms are most important and at what level (group, individual, molecular) they operate.--

This tells us all that we need to know about both ID and about the movie.  What Miller doesn't know is that science doesn't presuppose entities like God or the wink-wink nudge-nudge "Designer", it looks for the best hypothesis.  He is trying to tell us that ID is science because it has decided already that God (or "the Designer") is at the heart of nature, so instead of simply searching for the best explanation, ID searches for "potential signs of intelligence in nature".  

That is not science, that's apologetics.  This is what Stein is accusing "Big Science" of suppressing, which of course it is suppressing in the realm of science, for the very good reason that insinuating religious presuppositions about God's role in nature into science is a perversion of the search for explanations in which science engages.  It is exactly the kind of perverse injection of religion into science that Galileo opposed, and for which he was persecuted.  I guess Stein and the rest just want to bring back the good old days of harming those who won't accept religion as the adjudicator of science.

Miller is admitting that his religious presuppositions are what drive ID and the whine in the movie, and, for anyone who believes in the integrity of science, he provides the clinching case against both ID and the movie's false charges of suppression (that is, I don't deny its suppression in science, I deny that there is anything illegitimate about keeping pseudoscience out of science).

It should (but doesn't) go without saying that scientists are not unwilling to consider that intelligence could play a role in the development of life.  The fact that there is no evidence for this intelligence in evolutionary processes is why the null hypothesis (that intelligence is not involved, save through modern human manipulations) is the working hypothesis in science, and will be up until the point where evidence of intelligence guiding evolution is produced by someone (it is unlikely that IDists could produce such evidence, even were it to exist, for they do almost no science--indicative of how little even they think of ID as actual science).  It is grossly unfair to claim that we won't consider intelligence, since we do in any number of cases, and our complaint against ID is that it merely assumes intelligence without any evidence, a fact that Miller tacitly concedes in the excerpt above.

ID is nothing but religious apologetics, a fact that many IDists deny, but one that Miller and Stein's movie only demonstrate is the case.  Science doesn't simply assume that God is directing hurricanes and earthquakes to cause death and destruction to humanity, nor does it simply assume that God designed malarial parasites to effectively sicken and kill humans like Behe suggests that he did.  

Science looks at the evidence, and sees that malaria organisms (Plasmodium falciparum) show evidence of having non-teleologically evolved, both in the manner of its uncaring attacks on humans and in its genomic information, and thus it accepts that it evolved non-teleologically under the present evidence.  Miller and the other IDists have to assume that malaria was designed, then they have to insist that undesign-like features, such as its genome evolved along the constraints predicted by evolutionary theory, are, contrary to all expectations, the result of design.  

This they do because from the start they assumed that God was central to the development of life, which they do not similarly assume for the development of hurricanes.  Why do they suppose that we ought to accept the one assumption without any evidence, while not accepting the other one, due to its lack of evidence?

Glen D

This post added on 9-9-07

--Glenn Davidson:

I must respecfully challenge your contention that creation science and intelligent design are equivalent.--

Considering that I never made that contention here, I have no idea why you're trying to pin me with it.  The fact is that one may treat the various types of creationism differently, or one may treat them as the same, much as IDists do whenever it is convenient for them to do so.

As Deleuze notes, repetition involves difference.  That's why I usually speak of IDists and creationists if I'm discussing both, no matter how similar the two are.  That some will always include a "C" with ID is also understandable (that is, they write "IDC" rather than "ID"), as in "Intelligent Design Creationism".  It hardly matters, of course, whether one drags out creation over 4 billion years or so, the essence is still creation.  It's an absurd concept that "design" would require as long a time as non-teleological evolution is thought to do, but there's nothing new about religious apologists being absurd.

--To better appreciate the differences, I submit to you an interesting historical perspective of both movements.--

Actually, the history is that Paley was an inspiration both to IDists of various stripes since his time, including young earth creationists (YECs).  "Design" is an old YEC claim, and most of Behe's examples were used before Darwin's Black Box by creationists.  Look up "cdesign proponentsists" on the web for the cavalier manner in which one "textbook" was turned from a creationist one into a "design proponent" text.

--Mankind has always been interested in investigating the relationship between God and nature.--

Or the gods and nature, or in how the spirits of nature themselves operate (like the Greek river gods).  It's interesting how readily the "scientific" intelligent design "theorists" allow their theologies to creep into their language.

--At times, philosophy defined the debate; at other times, science seemed to have the upper hand.--

Get real.  Modern science began with, say, Galileo, or more certainly with Newton.  Science has mostly had the upper hand since then, although IDists are very unhappy about actually applying scientific standards to biology.  Hence they wish to change it to accept unevidenced flim-flam, the most beautiful example being when Behe noted on the stand at Dover that astrology would be science under his definition (he seems to have meant only until it was found not to produce results, but it hardly matters, since he there was equating anthropocentric "hypotheses" and actual science hypothesization).

--What has always mattered in this discussion is in which direction the investigation proceeds.--

What has always mattered is how the investigation begins, whether with evidence and minimal biases, or with theistic prejudices.  Kevin Miller wants us to believe that the latter is as legitimate a starting place as the former.  I bet he wouldn't want to be tried for a crime under similar prejudices.

--Does it move forward, that is, does it assume something about God and then interpret nature in that context;--

Assuming something about God is not moving forward.  It is moving backward to the time when science was checked by theology.

--or does it move backward, that is, does it observe something interesting in nature and then speculate about how that might have come to be?--

No, it hypothesizes about how something came to be, and it uses scientific knowledge to do so.  That is, normal causal knowledge is used in any legitimate science.  What Stein, Kevin Miller, and apparently you, want to do is to believe in the kind of "Cause" that Aquinas believed in, something that is only speculation, not the result of continued investigation like causes in classical science happens to be.

--If the investigation moves forward, as does CD, it is faith based; if it moves backward, as does ID, it is empirically based.--

Here you show how very little you know about the practice of science.  Speculation is for metaphysics and theology.  Good solid evidence understood according to normal causality is how science proceeds.  ID only tries to force God into the picture because it is theistic metaphysics.  You can't honestly move from the evidence of continued inheritance with modification with no identifiable breaks into the theistic belief in "design".  If the IDists were honest they'd admit that there is nothing similar between known design practices and evolved characteristics, even if sometimes the results can have a functional equivalence and overall similarities (but the details are what always differentiate evolutionary products and design, hence Dembski's snort at our "pathetic level of detail" which he refuses to engage in, when all of science is about the "details").

But then you seem not to be discussing science, only claiming that religious ID operates differently from religious creationism.  I really don't care, of course, since neither one is doing honest science.

--Each approach has a pedigree that goes back over two thousand years.--

The fact is that the two are doing much the same thing, utilizing their prior beliefs to try to cram themselves into science.  Of course ID wants to claim that it's making valid inferences from the evidence, but it quite obviously is not.  Both intend to bring "science" into accordance with theology and the Bible, of course, the main difference being that creationism tends toward literalism, ID tends more toward medieval metaphysics.

--We notice the forward approach, in Tertullian, Augustine, Bonaventure, and Anselm.--

The whole point of Anselm's ontological proof is to show that God exists sans prior belief in revelation.  So you're hardly characterizing him properly there.  Augustine seems to go back and forth between your "forward approach" and the supposedly different "backward approach".  And he might as well, since modern philosophy and science understand both "directions" to be impossibly dependent upon beliefs which "deconstruct" upon questioning.

--Augustine described it best with the phrase, “faith seeking understanding.” In each case, the investigation is faith based.--

Augustine was not particularly a literalist, and often brought "faith" ideas into line with the evidence as he understood it.  Furthermore, he himself was something of a philosopher who used more than just faith to make his arguments.  Famously, Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" appears to be a reformulation of Augustine's anti-skepticism argument, and from they way that he uses it, one guesses that it was a familiar anti-skeptical argument of his day.

--By contrast, we discover the “backward” orientation in Aristotle,--

You have no business putting Aristotle in with Aquinas and Paley.  Aristotle was nothing like an IDist, or a faith-based thinker like Aquinas and Paley.  He was what philosophers often call "logocentric," if not as much as Plato was.  Nevertheless, he is sometimes called the "first scientist", for he did use empirical data for some of his conclusions, most notably biological conclusions.

--Aquinas, Paley, and others.--

These guys are apologists.  Nothing strikingly wrong with that, especially considering Aquinas's excellent thought.  Nevertheless, if Aristotle was at least somewhat like a modern scientist, Aquinas is solidly metaphysical and a non-scientist, while Paley is just a Reverend trying to come up with evidence that "proves" his faith.  There is nothing new about the fact that Paley's "argument" wasn't based on literalism, just as ID is not, but it relies wholly upon an unevidenced concept, God, to "explain" without the rigor of scientific causality.

--Aristotle’s argument, which begins with “motion in nature” and reasons BACK to a “prime mover,” is obviously empirically based.--

It obviously is not empirically based.  Rather than noting motions in the heavens (which seems to be where his "god" is most being used to "explain motion") and acknowledging that he did not have an explanation for them under his "physics," he just invented a God "thinking himself" which supposedly produced the motions.  It isn't for nothing that such a speculation came in the book now called "Metaphysics," for that work is largely involved in non-empirical speculations.  It is a thoughtful and intelligent work, nothing like ID's attempts to confuse the issues and to have God producing exactly the sorts of patterns of evolution among prokaryotes and among eukaryotes that would accrue through the mechanisms we see affecting each respectively, however it is not an empirical approach at all.

--Obviously, Barbara Forrest and Judge Jones III and others miss the point. CS and ID are simply the latest manifestations of each tradition.--

Obviously they do not miss the main point, which is that although ID is based more in medieval metaphysics and creationism is based more upon a kind of Biblical literalism, both are nothing other than apologetics.  If they had a bit more philosophical knowledge they might at least differentiate between ID and creationism somewhat better, for there are some actual differences (Catholics who reject science tend more toward medieval metaphysics and ID, Protestants who reject science tend more toward Bible literalism).

--I therefore ask you to reconsider your point that the the two are synomymous,--

I ask you to read what I write better than you have, for I did not claim that the two are synonymous.  They're equally non-scientific, though, which I no doubt did imply or state at some point.  Perhaps that is why you merely assumed that I made the two out to be synonymous.

--either theoretically or pragmatically.--

What matters in this debate is that neither one is science, and both are religious apologetics.  Science is what should be taught in science classes, not religion.

Glen D

This, on 9-10-07

--Glen Davidson, rather than respond to all your points (many of which I would challenge),--

You don't challenge them.  More importantly, you haven't the knowledge to do so, but deny like IDists normally do.

--I will try to narrow the focus even more. You tend to impose religious concepts in places where they don’t belong.--

Sorry, I'm the one trying to keep religion out of where it doesn't belong.  Your confusions are inadequate to keep religious presuppositions in their place.  Or more to the point, in many hands they seem designed to deliberately confuse the issues.

--Aristotle did not mention a “prime mover” to inject God into the discussion.--

Here you go in your strawman attack mode again.  I wrote:

--Rather than noting motions in the heavens (which seems to be where his “god” is most being used to “explain motion”) and acknowledging that he did not have an explanation for them under his “physics,” he just invented a God “thinking himself” which supposedly produced the motions. It isn’t for nothing that such a speculation came in the book now called “Metaphysics,” for that work is largely involved in non-empirical speculations. --

I didn't begin to say that Aristotle did "mention a 'prime mover' to inject God into the discussion," which false charge is as incorrect as your many other errors.  I wrote, essentially, that he had no explanation, so he invented one.  That's what religions have often done.

--His point was similar to Aquinas’. Everything in nature that moves must be moved by something else.--

Well gee, I suppose it was similar to Aquinas' "proof of God," since Aquinas' "proof" almost certainly comes ultimately from Aristotle.  

Importantly, everything in nature that moves must not in fact be moved by something else.  This gets back the metaphysics of Aristotle, for indeed he speculated where he had no empirical evidence.  

--In his judgment, that process can not go on forever—it must stop at the point of a “prime mover.” Aquinas made the same point, popularizing the term “inifinite regress,” meaning that the number of prior causes must be finite and finally culminate in a causeless cause. In that context, they were not beginning with faith, they were beginning with observation.--

I wonder why those ignorant of philosophy think they have something to tell those of us who are adept in philosophy.  I know very well what Aristotle, and Aquinas following him, said.  My point was that there is nothing empirical in their "solutions," unlike Galileo's and Newton's physics, and you yammer on about the rationale of a non-empirical "physics" and metaphysics which existed prior to Galileo.

Can't you at least see why we oppose the insistence of the pseudoscientists that we adopt the Aristotelian nonsense that was used (in part) to persecute Galileo?  That's what ID is, where it isn't actually the same as creationism, an attempt to base their "science" on the mistaken presuppositions of Aristotle and medieval scholastics.  

Indeed, Dembski quite directly claims that we need to consider the other "causes" listed by Aristotle (material, formal, and final), along with his "efficient cause" (which really wasn't the same as causation today, though it at least is related to it).  Well we largely gave up the others because they don't work in science, and we're not impressed with the claims made by Aristotle which have been refuted by modern science.  And ID has little else, and nothing worthwhile.

--Obviously, that doesn’t mean that Aristotle and Aquinas never thought about God, it means that they were looking for a method that would dramatize the power of reason without presuming God’s existence.--

Except that they had indelibly in their minds the "fact" of God's existence, though certainly Aristotle was willing to play around with this "fact".  And they operated with metaphysics which assumed top-down imposition of form and motion, while modern science understands it, more or less, bottom up (I don't like speaking of modern science as "bottom up", but compared to the hierarchical IDist claims, and in its metaphysical language, that's the closest I can come to a comparison).  That's why the great majority of Aristotle's work is not science, no matter that he had some of the elements of science working even in his unworkable "physics" (and science almost certainly benefited by Aquinas' incorporation of Aristotelian ideas into Western thought, until Aristotle became a millstone around Galileo's neck).

--One may or may not have religious motives for undertaking such an investigation, but the motive does not define the process.--

Another strawman from Stephen.  I have repeatedly noted that religious motives needn't define the process, as in Galileo, Einstein, Newton, and Lord Kelvin (though both Newton and Kelvin left science in some of their claims).  It's the IDists, not religious people in general, who object to the science which developed to its full flowering within Christendom (with help from ancient pagans and contemporary Jews and Muslims, and almost certainly others as well) who have to force their unwarranted presuppositions into science because they are unwilling to accept the tests of their ideas that science provides.

--So why do I fuss about that?--

No doubt because you'd rather attack a strawman than what I actually wrote, and because you have nothing with which to legitimately argue for ID.

--Why do I narrow the topic to so sharp a point?--

I see nothing sharp or on-point in your treatment of the subject.  Learn some philosophy, at least, if you're unwilling to learn science.

--Because the major objection to intelligent design is the false assertion that THE PROCESS begins with presupposition (faith) and therefore cannot possibly be science.--

Good grief, the major objection to intelligent design is that it has absolutely no sound evidence in favor of it.  I know that you're just making up stuff as you go along, Stephen, but you'd look a whole lot more competent if you'd learn what's at stake.

And the fact that theistic assumptions are necessary in order to arrive at "God" or "the Designer" is another grave objection, one that you seem not even to understand how to potentially address.

--One either begins with presupposition or one begins with observation.--

No, one does not.  One begins with the way that one understands the world (Kant), and one begins with observation (which actually shape Kantian "categories" and the like).  Even presuppositions begin with observations, however they do often intrude into further observation, as is the case with ID.

--Intelligent design begins with observation.--

ID begins with a prejudice, the sort of animistic/typological sense that the world must operate like humans do (probably unavoidable in early humans, for what other processes could they know?).  There are observations involved (gee, it's pretty complicated, and other equally mindless ID tripe), but first and foremost ID begins with a metaphysics which is illegitimate in science and in modern philosophy (possibly not in some dungeons of analytic philosophy (think of Saul Kripke), but certainly in mainstream analytic and continental philosophy).

--If you will not concede anything else, surely you will concede that.--

Sure, I studied philosphy in order to concede that metaphysics is due to observation.  Ha.  

What I can say is that you're pretty far from a good understanding of metaphysics, philosophy, or science.  ID cannot reach the "conclusion" that there was a "designer" without first putting their God into their premises (or, one might say, only if they fail to disabuse themselves of their anthropocentric prejudices, since that's from where those premises come).  It's all top-down metaphysics, assertion that DNA information can only come from mind, and denial of the evidence of derivation of all life via the processes operating at present.  

If you knew anything about the philosophy you invoke, Stephen, you'd know that I'd never concede that ID begins with observation, for I have studied both the history of philosophy and those who have analyzed the presuppositions of the metaphysicians and logocentrists.  One does not concede a falsehood, above all.

Glen D

Another on 9-11-07

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

September 11th, 2007 at 12:24 pm
–Glen Davidson, actually, I made a typo on post 1118. What I meant was that you missed my point, not that you didn’t read the post or respond in a timely manner. So, calm down.–

I hadn’t responded to you yet, so how could I have missed your point?

–You say that you haven’t conflated CS with ID, yet you continue to claim that ID, in effect, bootlegs religion into its methodology which is what CS does–

I don’t conflate CS with ID, but I also don’t accept your unevidenced assertion that the difference is that ID isn’t religious. In fact, all of the evidence is that ID is overwhelmingly religious, from it’s “big tent” strategy and its refusal to address the scientific question of the age of the earth (physicist Heddle had a falling out with IDists over that, because he knows that the age of the earth is extremely important in science, and for him, especially astronomy), to the religious statements known from most of its prominent proponents. Dembski famously stated that, “Dembski: “Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory,” Touchstone Magazine. Volume 12, Issue4: July/August, 1999? (my source for this was Wikipedia, article “Intelligent Design”).

I would not say that one absolutely has to be religious in order to take up the most minimal tenets of ID. They’d be wrong to do so, likely basing their acceptance of it on teleological biases and incredulity at self-organizing principles, but they wouldn’t have to be exactly religious (arguably, however, they’d be using a metaphysics which is in essence religious, without their recognizing this). What matters is that the movement, and particularly the attempts to force ID into schools and to censor science and its standards, is heavily based in religion and done for the sake of religion.

–So I don’t get why you think I am putting words in your mouth.–

That’s because there is so much that you don’t get. You have your unquestioned “reasons” why ID isn’t the same as creationism, and when someone disagrees with you and tells you how they really do differ, you simply don’t grasp the reasons I have. That is to say, like so many pro-IDists, you really don’t know what makes up philosophy and science, and the various ways that we have of addressing matters, and instead you rely on the narrow claims of IDists and other religionists to set the “standard”.

It’s precisely such narrowness that we are trying to prevent. And no, of course we’re not trying to force the teaching of evolution in the churches, for it is the open society that negates Ben Stein’s charges. The problem is that Ben and the rest wish to intrude their non-standards into another sector of society that allows the reality-based community scope for action, thereby compromising our freedoms to associate and to act as we wish.

Indeed, if that happens it will be the worst for the religious, for there will no longer be any reason why the churches shouldn’t be forced to teach evolution or anything else that society at large might wish everyone to learn.

–If one begins with presupposition (faith, bias, religion etc), one is doing creation science; if one begins with observation and draws inferences from data, one is doing ID.–

Again, Dembski said, “Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.”

–I say ID begins with observation; you (seem) to say it begins with a religious presuppoition.–

How about this, why don’t you tell me what observation leads one to God, or to “the Designer”. I mentioned that the major problem we have with ID is not that it is religious, but that it has no sound evidence in favor of it. That it begins with religion is a problem, but if by strange chance ID (an earlier ID, one that wasn’t so intent on refusing to make inherent predictions) happened to make the right predictions predicated on what we know about design, it would likely be accepted as science (depends upon the circumstances).

That is to say, we keep asking for meaningful observations from IDists, and we never receive any (other than the equivalents of “it looks designed” or the false dichotomy of “evolution isn’t up to the task, hence design is true”—we want evidence for ID, for, even if modern evolutionary failed, there’s no apparent reason why ID would explain anything at all). So yes, of course I’m saying that ID doesn’t begin with observation, that’s essentially the whole case against ID as any kind of science, even as a failed science. We ask for observational data which would point to design (like rational layouts of organisms and systems, instead of the evolved systems and organisms that we see). We ask and ask and ask, and we never receive it. If ID began with observation (and we do mean using the standard observational practices of science and forensics), I’m sure that we’d either have some of the evidence for ID that we have requested, or an admission on the part of IDists that ID isn’t science.

–Am I misreading your position or connecting dots that aren’t there?–

There isn’t any question that I state and have alwasy stated that ID doesn’t begin with observation. IDists no doubt often think that they do, however their unquestioned assumptions and unquestioned human predilections for presupposing purpose and design that isn’t there, precede them.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/11 13:40:00, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Still just archiving, as Wesley initially suggested.  Jbagail's post is a particularly nasty and dishonest attack, I would note:


“I’m the one trying to keep religion out of where it doesn’t belong”.

Is this like keeping Blacks out from where they do not belong?--

Since you guys can't make any sort of "argument" except by lame analogy, I'm not surprised that this absurd comment cropped up.

OK, Jbagail, we'll not tolerate being kept out of where we're told that we don't belong.  I demand to be made the pastor of D. James Kennedy's church.  I'm certainly more qualified to tell the truth, and why should I be kept out just because I don't agree with his church's teaching?

So is this an exact analogy?  No, of course it isn't.  One complication is that the gov't has to make decisions about what to teach and fund.  That, in fact, is exactly why religion is kept out of the funding, and the teaching, of science, because the real legal issue is freedom of religion, and not even the importance of teaching science.  You have no business having your religious ideas funded from the taxpayers' dollars.

Your mindless smear has nothing to do with it.  You aren't being kept ignorant by the gov't, you want the gov't to keep children ignorant and to teach them falsehoods.

--A black female relative of mine was murdered many years ago and the male killer got 6 months because she was where “she didn’t belong.”--

Ah yes, the dishonest comparison and the twisting of words by these "righteous" people who try to smear us.  I didn't even come close to saying that any human being of any race, religion, belief, ethnicity, or IQ level doesn't belong anywhere that anyone else does.  I said that I was trying to keep RELIGION out of where it doesn't belong, which is entangled in a government which is bound by the constitution not to establish any religion.

--I find this comment of yours very offensive.--

I find your unintelligent and faulty analogy to be offensive in the extreme, and your attempt to compare keeping a potentially controlling system of thought from controlling the schools and the government as being akin to keeping a person out of somewhere due to race to be highly tendentious and beneath contempt.

--Who are you to judge where religion does not belong?--

First off, I have no power to say where it belongs.  Secondly, I am a reasonable man who has argued these things out like an intellectual, not a blustering bully like your presentation makes you out to be.

--If a man is a Christian he should act like a Christian in everything he does. Many people feel a Sunday Christian is not a good thing.--

Sorry, we're not arguing about whether or not Xians have the rights that everyone else does to free speech, free expression in general, and free public assembly.  I am entirely in favor of the First Amendment, which you seem to oppose.

--Glen, do you want Christians to go into the closet?--

Do you want to attack strawmen all day?  I repeat, I want to keep religion out of where it doesn't belong, and it belongs in Xians, who are free in this society.

--Is this what you want? What about Jews? Shall they go into the closet? We have a Jew and also a Muslim at the University, and both talk about their faith almost every chance that they get (tactfully) and, frankly, I enjoy their company as does everyone else I am aware of.--

Since the idea that I oppose the freedom of Jews and Muslims is entirely of your own malicious and/or ignorant making, I point out again what a dishonest attack you make upon me.  It appears that the words of an honest non-theist such as myself in favor of the First Amendment is, in your mind, justification for a host of false charges.

--Where I work we stress tolerance for all religions. I have learned much from them. Ben you need to release your film ASAP.--

Apparently you haven't picked up any kind of tolerance, rather you promote hatred of those of us who favor the First Amendment.  Indeed, with people like you praising the film, it shouldn't be too hard to demonstrate exactly why we need to keep religion where it belongs, which is, not acting as an agent of the government to oppress those who disagree with would-be theocrats like Jbagail.

You are one frightening person, Jbagail.

Glen D


--In message 1243 Glen D chose to only comment on my last statement about my anticipation of the movie that is receiving immense criticism even though it has not been seen yet.--

Since it is a strawman attack, while you avoid what we actually wrote, it seems unlikely that anything else you might write is worthy of comment.  

--I was disappointed that he did not offer any comment on the more substantive part of my message (1237) about entropy and the origin of life.--

What's substantive about it?  We've read Granville Sewell, who tries to conflate probabilities with entropy, when the two are not about the same things.

--I addressed this only because some of the earlier messages indeed brought up thermodynamics and the acorn analogy.--


--I simply offered what I thought was a reasoned response.--

Well it wasn't.  How about actually addressing some of the many responses that have been made to Sewell and to others who try to shoehorn SLOT into denying evolution?

--However I guess I was just guilty of more “strawman attacks, unsupported demonizations of their opponents, and the most useless “science” arguments that have ever been answered thousands of times without their getting a single clue.”--

Yes, I pointed out how inappropriate your remarks were.  Why do you suppose that anyone should care about what you write about entropy when nothing prevents you from unfair characterizations of your opponents?  Notably, rather than take back your unfair characterization, you simply move on to more attacks.

But okay, I'll answer again the most useless "science" arguments that have been answered thousands of times without their getting a clue:

--Just a few comments about the origin of life and thermodynamics. It is certainly the case that the 2nd law of thermodynaimcs applies in both open and closed systems. It is also true that in the early earth there was plenty of energy available from the sun. It is also true that an acorn only needs water, sun and soil to germinate and grow into a mighty oak tree. This can all seem to argue that life could have arisen on an early earth as a localized decrease in entropy as the rest of the universe necessarily increases in entropy.--

It doesn't speak to the issue of whether or not life could have arisen on an early earth.  Probability is not the same as entropy, even if someone like Sewell claims that it is.  The point about the sun's radiance is that SLOT doesn't rule out increases in order (not the precise language of entropy, but it should be all right for our discussion), and that it can pay for incremental changes during the course of evolution.

I don't even know why abiogenesis is being brought into this, but again entropic considerations don't rule it out.

--But that’s not the whole story. An acorn also needs a genetic blueprint and cellular machinery to take the raw ingrdients of sun, water and soil and grow into a tree.--

That's where evolution comes into the picture.

--And raw energy from the sun is rather impotent without some kind of energy conversion mechanism to harness that energy for useful cell building work.--

No, energy from the sun is quite potent, able to make radicals, superoxides, amino acids, and what-not.  Of course evolution is needed in addition to produce an oak tree and acorns, but that doesn't mean that the sun is impotent sans energy conversion mechanisms.

--Today that role is primarily filled by the process of photosynthesis.--

And on Mars high-energy molecules are made without photosynthesis.  Possibly providing energy to organisms which evolved there.

--In the early earth, if we are going to go from raw chemicals, water and solar energy to even a simplified first cell, there is a desperate need for some kind of energy conversion mechanism.--

Why?  Don't you know that the first organisms are considered likely to have been extreme heterotrophs?  Just as high-energy ozone is made in the upper atmosphere, high-energy organic molecules could be made by sunlight under the proper conditions.

--Applying raw undirected energy to a system of chemicals is almost always going to be destructive not constructive.--

No, chemicals are zapped by various forms of energy to make high-energy and complex molecules.  Buckeyballs and carbon nanotubes form when electrical discharges are run through various chemicals.  Lightning produces ozone and nitrogen oxides.  The Miller-Urey experiments produced amino acids via electrical discharges.  Carbonaceous chondrites have fairly complex organic molecules in them including amino acids, which is certainly a step up from the monotomic atoms coming out of supernovae explosions.

Self-organizing processes are very well known in chemistry and elsewhere.

--Requiring some kind of energy conversion mechanism apart from cellular machinery before there were cells seems to require some kind of intelligent input.--

This is why I didn't respond to this "substantive" stuff before.  It's all sheer creationism/ID, without any knowledge of what is proposed for abiogenesis, nor with any of the understanding of how early "life" might have incorporated and used compounds for reproduction.  Indeed, replication itself would be the only real "metabolic" function in most scenarios, and that could be provided by various environmental means, like pH changes.

--Something has to manipulate the molecules.--

Only in your assumptions.  Real science involves trying to learn how molecules might self-organize, which does happen in many situations.

--And what about the first cellular information blueprint? All of our experience tells us that useful, complex, specified information arises from intelligence.--

Our experience is that functional information in animals has evolved over the course of evolution.  We do not know how genetic material arose to the level of life in the first place, but if we're not willing to conclude that it was just magic, we work at the problem scientifically, not merely resorting to the unevidenced.

Most importantly, the sort of information found in DNA has never been observed to come from intelligence, ever.  Your claim that "All of our experience tells us that useful, complex, specified information arises from intelligence" is related to the idea that we have only seen wolves and lions coming from intelligence, when in fact we have only seen them coming from reproduction.  But even though we HAVE only seen them come from reproduction, and even though we have evidence that lions and wolves share ancestry, you would prefer to believe that an unknown agent was responsible for there being wolves and lions.

Should we believe the evidence of common ancestry among humans?  Among mammals?  Among vertebrates?  Among all of life?  What is most absurd about ID is that it believes that the "probabilities are too high for 'Darwinism' to account for evolution," when apparently the 95%+ relatedness of chimps and humans is either accidental or due to some unfathomable reasons of the creator.  We know that probabilities could never produce anything like the apparent relatedness and non-teleological evolution of all life, and of course claiming that design caused the expected patterns of "Darwinism" is the most ad hoc and lame claim that I can think of.

--Packaged energy for cellular processes and genetic information scream for an intelligent precursor.--

Non sequitur.  And you completely ignored what is actually proposed for abiogenesis, which are also understood only as a sets of hypotheses at this time (IOW, it is not evolutionary theory).

--Compounding the equation is the apparent necessity for this to be a rapid process since fossilized remnants of bacterial life have been dated at around 3.6 or 3.7 billion years old, only a 100 million years or so after the earth had cooled sufficiently to allow life to survive and the major meteoric bombardment had let up.--

Compounding the equation is the fact that you have put in a bunch of assumptions which are not obviously important to abiogenesis.

--You can find the full thermodynamic equations in Thaxton, Bradley and Olsen’s book, “The Mystery of Life’s Origin.” It’s critique of chemical evolution scenarios remains valid.--

And I'm supposed to believe that claim, when none of your assumptions are shared with those scientists who work on abiogenesis?

--If you’re going to rely purely on chemical and geological forces to account for the origin of life, you just can’t get there from here.--

First off, I can't see that anyone was arguing over abiogenesis.  Perhaps some were, but that's not what this blog is about.  Secondly, none of your points have anything to do with the real work being done to try to explain life's origins.

--I look forward to the movie and am disappointed but not terribly surprised at the ad hominem attacks and negative judgement displayed here about a film no one has even seen yet.--

Still a very unfair statement, considering that almost none of the remarks have disparaged the movie except insofar as it has been characterized by Stein and others involved in the movie.  You seem to fault us merely for answering Ben's claims, and without properly characterizing our answers.

Back to the last part of his more recent post:

--I have been making this observation for many years. Perhaps Glen D can enlighten me as to why he would characterize my comments this way. I welcome any response.--

I characterized it that way because you made an unfair attack on those of us who were not faulting the movie so much as the material that has been released about the movie, and because such untruthful attacks amount to ad hominem attacks.  Then I didn't want to get into abiogenesis, since that's largely beside the point that evolution is a solid established scientific theory the equal of other scientific theories.  

And also I had noted how many times pro-IDists' "science" claims have been answered because it is true, and because I dealt with Granville Sewell's attacks on evolution (invoking entropy) here:

You have to click on "Read more" to get the full comments.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/12 15:20:46, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I was uncertain who was meant as well.  It didn't really matter, though, since I had no idea that I am banned, if I am (I don't know if that's really Springer posting either).  That's how eager I am to post alongside DaveScot.

Not that he isn't the epitome of class in inviting whomever back, if he "is civil".  To a bunch of ignoramuses and/or liars, I am not.

I loved ("I love it so") the response from JAD, though, who certainly thought it was the "Darwinian blow hard," and whined like a kicked dog that the dolts at UD won't take him back in.  Is there any set of people about whom he wouldn't complain if they don't accept him (and even more if they do)?  Someday he's going to be muttering out on the street that no bums will let their rags touch him, which will be believable.  Of course he seems to loathe anyone dumb enough to think he has anything to add (for good reason), so he'll always spit at anyone who gives him the time of day.

Poor old fool, there isn't a forum new enough that it doesn't have a good many on it who already know about how he operates.  He's as lonely on Stein's forum as he always was at his own.  What's sad is that someone so socially needy is almost totally without social skills, and devoid of anything of value to offer anyone.

Glen D

Back to the archiving, 9-12-07

--Glen Davidson,

Please knock off the insults and get back into the business of substantive discourse. --

I'm the only one of the two of us who has brought any substantive discourse into the discussion.  Your inability to address anything properly is what I have to address, since you ignore almost everything that I actually write, and turn to repeat some meaningless claim that you made previously and of which you didn't understand the reply which was made to it.  

It's interesting how quickly someone like you who came in with a completely false charge against me faults me for supposedly not engaging in substantive discourse.  Also, when you haven't begun to address anything substantive that I've written.

--Intelligent design is in no way dependent on religion, nor has Dembski ever defined it that way.--

I wish you could actually make a point that would have some intellectual meaning.  I know how dishonest Dembski is about ID, and I didn't suppose or claim that he ever defined it as dependent on religion (it would hurt the legal case if the truth were told).  That it is dependent upon religion is the substantive issue, the one that you haven't begun to address.

--Here is one of the many ways he has expressed it::--

Do you dream that we haven't heard the droning claptrap of the ignorant Dembski over and over again?  What's important is that we're independently capable of evaluating ID apart from the bogus claims of those who want to pretend that it is science, when that is the least plausible claim that it makes.

--“Intelligent design is the science that studies signs of intelligence.--

The trouble is, it doesn't.  What Dembski does is to claim that simple but "unlikely" design is complex, contrary to any meaning of that term.  Then he tries to claim that design is detected by his measure of "complexity," completely ignoring the fact that we rely most of all upon the marks of rational thought which are visible in designed objects, and also upon any evident purpose, novelty, and "borrowing" for an obvious or a non-obvious reason.  What Dembski states is hardly credible.

--"Note that a sign is not the thing signified. Intelligent design does not try to get into the mind of the designer and figure out what a designer is thinking.--

Of course it doesn't.  That's because their "designer" is inscrutable, just like Maimonides', or to a lesser extent, Aquinas's God.  The "Designer" also is apparently capable of fine-tuning the universe, which in ID circles means some nearly-omnipotent Being (that we might be in a simulation is speculated on by non-IDists, in which case it might be a guy sitting around, drinking beer and playing a video game.  Not the scenario proposed by IDists).

Actual science is concerned about anything that can be deduced from a putative cause, while the IDists are not concerned about investigable causes.  We'd be intensely interested in the mind and purposes of a real designer, if you people would actually come up with something for once.  

Thanks for pointing out how unlike science ID is.

--"Its focus is not a designers mind (the thing signified) but the artifact due to a designer’s mind (the sign).--

Dembski doesn't even know how to use the terms "sign" an "signified" properly.  The mind that creates is not what is signified by the object, except in unusual self-referential cases (I don't dispute that some aspect of mind is essentially signified in "signifying something else," but that's already understood by actual scientists).  The sign or object often does signify something, but something other than the mind that creates it.  Dembski either ignorantly or deceitfully switches the meaning of words to avoid the fact that a real designer would indeed be expected to put signification into said designer's object, and this might actually tell us something about that mind (as it does with humans).

But of course Dembski's "Designer" is like the philosopher's God, hence one isn't supposed to speculate about this God, uh, "Designer".  Once again, completely unlike how real science operates.

--"What a designer is thinking may be an interesting question, and one may be able to infer something about what a designer is thinking from the designed objects that a designer produces (provided the designer is being honest).--

Why yes, apparently the "Designer" thinks in genetic algorithms, because instead of ever producing anything that appears like designed objects do, this "designer" is making organisms appear as if they had evolved.

--"But the designer’s thought processes lie outside the scope of intelligent design.--

How convenient, and how unlike real science.  In real science, you have to know something about the cause in order to match it with its hypothesized effects (and ID cannot honestly predict complexity or simplicity, let alone pretend that complexity can only come about through the divine, er, the inscrutable designer).  So Dembski declaims any concern about the actual cause, yet insists that life is its effect.  That's bogus philosophy, let alone being pseudoscience.

--"As a scientific research program, intelligent design investigates the effects of intelligence and not intelligence as such.”--

Yes, we'll ignore the cause, and claim the effect.  That's certainly not science, rather it is what is often known from religion.

--As everyone knows (including you, I trust) Barbara Forrest pulled the quote about “logos theory” to make it appear that ID is religious based.--

Simpleton, of course it was pulled out in order to provide evidence (you know, what none of you people ever provide) for the obvious fact that ID is about religion.  Dembski said, it, quit pretending that there's anything wrong with using it.

--As it turns out, Dembski made that comment discussing intelligent design in the context of its relationship with theology and metaphysics for a Christian audience.--

Yes, we know that extremely well.  During the week, he's telling us that ID is science.  On Sunday, he's preaching ID as religion.  This has been discussed a good deal on forums like Panda's Thumb, and of course you merely make our point, that not only is ID religion, ID is very dishonest regarding its claims to the contrary.

--Unlike many scientists, Dembski is formally trained in philosophy and theology–not just science.--

Dembski is not formally trained in science (I suppose he's taken some classes in it, but I have yet to see any indication that he understands it and its methods).  Quit coming up with false claims.  And he's not adept in philosophy at large, but only in a kind of metaphysical-religious sort of philosophy.

--That means, of course, that he is qualified to discuss controversies that appear at the intersection of science and philosophy,--

Only if he actually understands philosophy beyond a certain metaphysical ghetto, plus had an understanding of science.  I have yet to see him understand any philosophical position that is critical of metaphysics, or science above grade-school level.

--an attribute that not everyone in this dialogue can lay claim to.--

Neither can he.  And you certainly evince no knowledge of science or philosophy that would pertain to this subject.

--From a Christian’s faith perspective, intelligent design does have religious implications, of course.--

Ya think?  I'd like to see what it has to do with anything other than religion.

--But the methodology itself is scientific,--

You know, it gets very tiresome to read you making the same monotonous claim each time you come in here to reveal still more of your ignorance.  I asked you for evidence, for observational data that would support ID.  As with all IDists, you utterly and completely fail to get up to the starting point of science, but merely complain whenever we point out how devoid of science content ID obviously is.

--as Dembski pointed out earlier in the same discussion.--

So, you're resorting to argumentum ad verecundiam.  That's the formal name for your fallacy.

--To ignore the distinction is to violate reasonable standards of fairness. --

And so you convict yourself.  

--If it is not asking too much, please limit your response to this one subject--

If it's not asking too much, please respond intelligently to even one thing that I've written.  And by the way, the fact that you can't discuss or understand the range of issues involved is your problem.  The repetition of untrue claims, fallacies, and your complete inability to broach the issues revolving aroud science and the pseudoscience of ID is unproductive and revelatory of your reliance on the bogus claims of the egregious IDists.

And I already posted this at post #1090, but here is an excerpt of something that one of the writers of this movie posted on a forum regarding ID:

--When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis. According to Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, everything can be explained purely by natural forces–including the origin of information, consciousness, and life itself. If you want to bring God into the picture, that is a belief that you are adding to science. It is not required by the science itself, and many Neo-Darwinists believe it gets in the way of science. ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one’s interpretation of science, God–or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer–is literally at the heart of nature itself, as expressed through information like the genetic code.--

Try to understand for once, Kevin Miller is contrasting "Darwinism" with its lack of need for a God with ID's prior belief that God is at the heart of nature.  Of course one could try to bring up the charge of argumentum ad verecundiam, but it won't work because this is simply an example from a pro-IDist, while I've argued the actual case a great deal, here and elsewhere.  Not only does Dembski betray his "during the week" claims when he's selling his book to the rubes, this whole movie happens to be a complaint that we're supposedly suppressing ID because it is religious (and we are suppressing it along with other bogus "science" in certain venues, but only where religion isn't supposed to be supported by gov't, and where our own freedom of speech and association give us the right to do so--along with the other pseudosciences and conspiracy theories).  

Perhaps you should actually read Ben's blog.  He doesn't mention ID, unlike Miller does, but Miller confirms that the movie primarily concerns ID, and the whine is that we're "keeping God out".  Yes, that's what science does, unless you can actually come up with evidence that God is a proximal cause.  You'd be a whole lot more convincing that ID isn't about religion if you weren't commenting under a blog whose main complaint is that ID is being suppressed because, in fact, ID is religious.

Glen D


Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

September 13th, 2007 at 12:00 pm
–Dear Ben,

I see by the comments that you’ve ticked off a bunch of Darwinists. It’s interesting that they can only resort to calling you names.–

Where are your answers to the questions and points that I raised in posts #389, #1031, #1065, and #1090, for starters? Oh, you didn’t answer them, did you? You prefer to write the blatantly false claim that we can only call names, when in fact I have not seen much other than name-calling from the creos and IDists, and the little else was recycled nonsense (and we have answered virtually all of it, no matter how tiresome it is to do so).

So your credibility level is—about where Dembski’s is, hovering around zero.

–I just wanted to let you know that I applaud your willingness to put out the truth about the suppression of dissension.–

And you provide as much evidence as Ben did for such flim-flam, none at all. But then the need for evidence famously doesn’t trouble IDists.

–My bachelor’s degree is in electrical engineering. It’s interesting that none of the courses (taught in a secular university) which I took had anything to do with evolution.–

Fascinating that a non-teleological biological process wouldn’t be taught to an engineer. Must mean something, huh? But sadly, Josh can’t quite relate what this meaning is (so he invents it).

–It was never even mentioned because engineering has to do with science,–

Actually, it does not. It has to do with applying the conclusions of science. You’re not the first ID engineer to make the colossal error of thinking that in bypassing science with your engineering degree you have nonetheless become an expert in science.

–not science fiction.–

Gee, imagine anyone resorting to name-calling. Well, it wasn’t me, Dimensio, Craig, or a host of other pro-science commenters who thought that name-calling and false accusations would stand in for discussing science (not that we don’t use the names that fit, certainly), it was the whiner who can’t back up a single claim that he makes.

–It saddens me that most of your critics have never stopped for a moment and questioned what they believe.–

Mere ad hominem, and something that Josh could hardly know. I suspect that many on the pro-science side have seriously studied ID and creationism, like I have by coming from a creationist background. But why should Josh bother telling the truth when Stein’s blog is a mash of untrue claims barely altered from official ID mendacity?

–I have studied both evolution and ID.–

I should think that if you knew anything about evolution you’d be capable of dealing with it in detail. And if you really were a scientist, you’d finally tell us what we’ve been asking for, what is the scientific evidence for ID?

–What are those people afraid of? GOD.–

Why yes, it’s what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Dobzhansky, Father Coyne, Ken Miller, and Francis Collins were all afraid of, God. Oops, no. You’re as wrong about that as you are that engineers study science (aside from a few core courses).

Wow, you got absolutely none of your non-trivial claims right. But that’s as good as most IDists, I’ll admit, so you’re in the right company.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

September 13th, 2007 at 12:20 pm
–I think the negative comments are proof enough of the need to clarify the THEORY of evolution vs. Intelligent Design.–

Yes, negative comments have proven that the city of Atlantis existed, that UFO abductions are a reality, that homeopathy works, that the CIA killed John Kennedy, that our government was responsible for the twin tower attacks, divination by birds, necromancy, Scientology, and Intelligent Design.

See, all you have to do is to make a statement, no matter how absurd, then when someone disagrees, that proves your statement. Anyway, that’s what all of the pseudoscientists tell us.

–One could just as easily ask an evolutionist to come up with real evidence that this THEORY is true as they push on the ID people.–

This tells us all too much about the mentality of most creos and IDists. Darwin published the evidence 150 years ago (accounting for non-teleological aspects (vestigials and some rather odd adaptations) which pointed away from purposeful design–in addition to providing the evidence of common descent itself), and we get the same demand for “evidence” and denial thereof from the sorts of people who never provide evidence for ID. I wonder why they’re so evidence-challenged?

Darwin only began the process of gathering and disseminating the evidence for evolution. Journals are rife with it, of course, though it rarely is called “evidence for evolution” any more than evidence for Newton’s laws of motion is called “evidence for Newtonian laws”–scientists have been satisfied with the evidence for over a century in the case of evolution. And beyond that, people have been repeatedly pointed toward evidence at Talkorigins and blogs which exist just for the purpose of putting out the evidence and discussing it, as well as presented in numerous comments.

It’s sort of what Plato noted in the parable of the cave, that nothing will actually affect people until they actually look. Because few IDists and creos will look at the evidence, or they fail to understand it, the mere fact that we have done what we can to make the evidence available doesn’t prevent the same kinds of demands and questions from being made. This is due to the fact that if they don’t see the evidence, it does the anti-scientists no good at all.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/15 16:57:07, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Quote (snoeman @ Sep. 13 2007,23:25)

Gotta compliment you on this series of posts.  Did you apply any anesthetic before dissecting? :)

They seem to be already numb intellectually, so I didn't bother.

Archiving, 9-15-07

--Glen Davidson,

About me your wrote, …“that you can’t discuss or understand the range of issues involved is your problem.”

My purpose in zeroing in on a simple point was to provide a little focus for you because you don’t seem to be able to do it for yourself.--

What you don't know is that the interaction of science and philosophy is rather complex when it comes right down to it.  It isn't simplistic like you and Dembski suppose.

-- Apparently, you didn’t get the hint, so I will come out with it. Writing forty of fifty paragraphs when one will suffice does not prove intelligence or knowledge, it only proves verbosity.--

The trouble is that you have no clue about what's involved, so you think that an argument from authority, along with some misapprehensions of philosophy, are sufficient.  You can't discuss anything, so you want to make my learning into a problem.

--That your insufferably long posts do not even address the issue is even more annoying.--

You don't understand the issue, as has become painfully obvious.

--That is why I narrowed the issue to ONE ASPECT OF ONE TOPIC—hint-hint-hint—it’s your cue to make a point, shut up, and get out.--

This is how it always ends, we discuss the issues, you who don't know anything get angry that you have nothing to say, and get nasty.

--The idea is go straight to the issue—not to keep shooting arrows endlessly, hoping that one day you will hit a target,--

I'd like you to be able even to discern what the target is.

--Your latest offering shoots about thirty more arrows, none of which even make it to the outside ring. My original point was simple: YOUR EXAMPLE citing Dembski’s comment about the Logos theory of the Gospel as proof that ID is faith-based is illogical. Dembski’s statement was made in a theological/philosophical context, and therefore does not relate to the question about whether or not ID’s methodology is empirically based. I showed that your contention was wrong, and I made the point SUCCINCTLY.--

If stupid and succinct mean the same thing to you, go ahead and believe that.

--Incredibly, your interminable response ignores this one and only point. I am therefore left to wonder whether you just like to read your own prose or whether you have a problem with reading comprehension. --

Unfortunately, you are incapable of thinking from the evidence, and blither around the evidence that Dembski is theology-driven with a bunch of trivial side issues.

--Instead you weasel out by saying, “I didn’t suppose or claim that he ever defined (ID) it as dependant on religion.” Oh no? Well then, what was your point in raising the issue of logos theory in the first place? I didn’t bring it up, you did. Apparently, you will not allow Dembski to define his own theory. If he insists that ID is empirically based, you will simply say, “sorry, we don’t allow people to speak for themselves.--

He spoke for himself, and essentially said that ID is "Logos" of John 1.  You can't accept that Dembski speaks out of both sides of his mouth, so you deny the most obvious fact, that, for Dembski at least, ID is religiously motivated.

--We accuse them of being so enamored with their Christianity that they lost all sense of judgment and can’t possibly know where religious faith ends and empirical observation begins.” What bigotry.--

Yes, you're incredibly bigoted, close-minded, and unable to make reasonable inferences from the data.

--Your mission, then, should you choose to accept it, is to defend your ridiculous and bigoted assertion that Dembski’s Theological comment about Logos theory proves that his science is not empirically based. Also, try to make every word count. If you can’t do both, do neither.--

Well, I've spent too much time responding to someone who can't begin to make a reasonable argument.  Try a little bit of schooling, it might make you capable of at least reading what I write, if not of responding coherently.

The fact is that Dembski's "Logos statement" does not by itself show that ID isn't religiously based.  Yours and his utter inability to come up with any kind of evidence that would actually pass muster in forensics or in science to demonstrate empiricism is what show that it isn't science.  I made this point to you earlier, but you ignore whatever you don't understand, which is about everything.  Since it isn't evidence-based, it must have some other motivation, and that religious motivation is altogether obvious even without Dembski's Logos statement, and more so with it.

I will probably not respond further to you, since you never properly address the issues involved, any more than that fatuous JAD does (which is sort of a response to him, I know, but if it's more than he deserves, it's still very little).  

I suspect that I can at least have a decent discussion with Kevin Miller, unlike you who want authority to stand where you are incapable of any substance (haven't seen any yet from you).

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/15 18:39:17, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Kevin Miller--one of the writers of "Expelled"--responded to me, and really most dishonestly.  I wrote a very long response, so I'm making another post in which to archive it.  Note, this is before editing and splitting up my comments, which I think I ought to do.

--Glen Davidson,

Thanks for being such a lively participant on this blog. However, I’m afraid your enthusiasm may have gotten in the way of a few facts.--

I'm afraid that your claim that I have neglected any facts is itself markedly lacking in fact.  Of course I don't see the matter as you do, I see it as a philosopher does, and just because I disagree with your tendentious interpretation does not mean that I quoted anything out of context or related anything that wasn't the truth.

--Case in point: When you quoted me in comment 1090, you did so out of context.--

I included everything that was in that section.  The earlier section of your post didn't have a lot to do with the later section.  What is more, I linked to your post.  What am I supposed to do, include the entire thread before you'll allow that it wasn't out of context?  I followed standard procedures, I included a lot of context, and I linked to the rest.  

--What I wrote was not meant as an apology for ID but an explanation of why ID is friendlier to theism than classical Darwinism.--

I neither said that it was intended to be an apology for ID nor that it was.  I said that ID is apologetics.  Here it is:

Try to get your facts straight, Mr. Miller.  It's your "explanation" that indicates that ID is apologetics.

--What I said was, ID leaves room in its paradigm for an active designer,--

No, the relevant statement was not that ID leaves room in its paradigm for an active designer, the relevant statement (the one to which I referred in my comments) was, "ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one’s interpretation of science, God–or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer–is literally at the heart of nature itself...".  That not just leaving it open, so you've subtly altered your point without any justification for it.

--whereas the best that Darwinism allows is some sort of non-involved deity or a deity that interacts with the world in a way we cannot measure.--

That's not the "best that Darwinism allows" (and why can't you people ever get it right?  In the US it isn't "Darwinism" as such), it is the best that the evidence allows.  You have no business suggesting that we leave out God at the start, we only leave out God for the same reason that meteorology leaves out God, the evidence just isn't there for biology.

--Hardly a satisfying situation for your average theist.--

Which is irrelevant to science and its practices.  Are you going to write a movie about how meteorology leaves God out of the picture?

--Even so, it is not so much a criticism of Darwinism as a mere a statement of fact, and I don’t see how it can be construed as an endorsement of ID.--

Did I call it an endorsement of ID?  No, I did not.  You're setting up strawment left and right.

--If you read my entire conversation with Peter Chattaway, you will see that it was merely meant as a point of clarification.--

Yes, I don't care what it was.  What you wrote is what I was interested in, how completely wrong you are that we aren't willing to consider intelligence acting in nature (we do all the time where the evidence exists), and how you admit that God is insinuated into ID from the beginning.

--I can accept the above mistake as a potential oversight on your part.--

Sorry, I didn't make any mistake, you just assumed that I wrote what I did not in fact write.  If you care to pursue this any further, please bring up any kind of justification you might have for your claims.

--However, my real bone of contention is when you say, “What Miller doesn’t know is that science doesn’t presuppose entities like God or the wink-wink nudge-nudge ‘Designer’, it looks for the best hypothesis. He is trying to tell us that ID is science because it has decided already that God (or “the Designer”) is at the heart of nature, so instead of simply searching for the best explanation, ID searches for ‘potential signs of intelligence in nature’.”

I meant nothing of the sort, Glen, and I suspect you know that to be true.--

I know very well what you wrote, and I properly interpreted it.  And yes of course it's an interpretation, but it isn't an unwarranted one.

--At best, your interpretation of my post is just plain wrong. At worst, it is a wilful distortion of the facts.--

It is neither, and again you fail to bring any sort of justifiable evidence against my reading of what you wrote.

--Perhaps it will help if I clarify things a little: To disqualify ID merely because it starts from a particular philosophical position is ridiculous.--

There are philosophical positions which have assumptions in them which cannot be justified, and there are philosophical positions which merely formalize the practices of working science and forensics.  Indeed, science essentially operated without a real philosophical basis up until the time of Hume and Kant, because the old metaphysical philosophy didn't work in science, and no satisfying new philosophy existed.

--Who doesn’t do science from a philosophical position?--

The most that Newton had were some rules of inference in science.  He was not working within the edifice of ancient or medieval philosophy as such, he merely borrowed the rules that philosophy had acknowledged regarding evidence.  He did not begin with the assumption that God was "working in the solar system," though it is true that he let God take care of the gaps left over.

Only if you insist that the rules of science "come from philosophy," when it is at least as arguable that they originally came from practical matters, can you even begin to claim that science necessarily operates from a philosophical position.  The fact that philosophy helps to deal with empiricism does not obviously mean that it is the basis from which empiricism is done.

What is perhaps more important is that I actually discussed a good deal that you ignore, like the consistency of sticking with the philosophy and/or scientific positions that work in meteorology when one is also doing biology.  Here you come up with a lot of strawmen to attack, while you ignore the importance of consistency in science.  Why am I not surprised at the lack of consistency between what you wrote previously and what you wrote more recently, and at the lack of consistency between what I really wrote and what you claim that I wrote?

The fact is that IDists generally accept the "philosophy" or science that we use everywhere in our science, but you refuse to follow the same position where it comes to biology.  Ignore that point as many times as you wish, Mr. Miller, but it remains a gaping hole in your treatment of the issue.  

But then I hardly allow that medieval philosophy has stood the test of time anyway, so that on philosophical grounds ID fails, even before it fails on empirical grounds.

--That’s all science is: conceptual model building upon a philosophical foundation—a constellation of unprovable assumptions.--

No, that isn't even close to what science is.  It is a way of dealing with the world in an "intersubjectively sound" (I hate use "subjective" at all, but it gets the point across) manner.  Kant detailed some of the "unproven assumptions" that necessarily go into science, and those have been honed and shaped over time into a more nuanced and sound manner (for instance, we know that at least some of Kant's "givens" are shaped by experience), but it is true that in the most foundational sense we cannot prove or empirically demonstrate that we know the world "as it really is," so to speak.

But as Kant (who was no atheist, by the way) noted, we can agree on how we do understand the world, and from there we can do satisfactory empirical science.  And modern science is "based" upon his philosophy, if any, not upon the unwarranted claims of medieval philosophy.  Metaphysics is just speculation, science operates according to working understandings and constructive capabilities of the mind to work through empirical data in a mutually ("intersubjectively") agreed-upon manner.  You want to claim that ID is equivalent to this, when it simply assumes that a sort of philosopher's God exists, when it cannot show that this God exist in either an empirical sense or in the "intersubjectively sound" sense that much of modern philosophy understands our "prior assumptions" to be.

--If you don’t believe me, just look at someone like Richard Dawkins.--

Dawkins is not my God, or any kind of authority to me.  

--While he claims his atheism is inferred from the evidence—which it may have been at one point—his scientific writings are clearly meant as an apologetic for his atheistic point of view.--

Do you have some kind of legitimate point?  Dawkins has his own problems with philosophy and theology, they aren't mine, or science's in general.

--His atheism doesn’t flow from his science; his science flows from his atheism.--

I see absolutely no justification for this claim.  More importantly, this has no bearing upon your claim that science is simply conceptual model building upon a philosophical foundation.  Anyone who leaves out the empirical matters, and the attempts to remain true to the evidence, is hardly an authority on either science or philosophy.

--So if you want to disqualify anyone for mixing their philosophical presuppositions with their science, Dawkins is your man.--

Nothing at all in your "argument" showed that Dawkins's science comes from his atheistic position.  I have faulted Dawkins at times when he got into philosophical matters (recently on Panda's Thumb), but on the whole he just isn't my concern.  The perversion of science is.

--You may not like ID’s philosophical starting point, just as many others may not like Richard Dawkins’s starting point.--

I do not like ID starting with a philosophical position which assumes that entities are acting without there being any kind of evidence for these undetected entities.  Not all philosophical positions are the same, and it's absurd that you treat them as equals.  That you write as if they are all equal indicates that, as a writer for a movie which delves into both philosophy and science, you cannot do justice to the issues involved.

--But if so, that is a philosophical issue, not a scientific one.--

Evidently you are without any adequate knowledge of science.  Science and modern philosophy are meshed together, with give and take in both disciplines.  Einstein was something of a philosopher, as were most of the early quantum theorists.  Most of us who know philosophy as well as science understand how illegitimate the metaphysics behind ID really is, how it completely fails to follow the methods of either science or of modern philosophy.

Why don't you make a movie about how we reject Hindu philosophy in science like we reject Aquinas's philosophy in science?  Of course we do, because Hindu philosophy, like medieval philosophy, merely assumes what it cannot show empirically or "intersubjectively," instead resting many of its claims upon prior religious assumptions.  So not only does your "argument" fall flat on philosophical and scientific grounds, evidently you're insisting upon that a philosophy coming out of Western religions is as legitimate as modern philosophies which make as few assumptions as possible (and ground them in "intersubjectivity" as well").

Why do you suppose that most of the world adopts the philosophical bases for science, while most reject the philosophies behind ID?  It's because the philosophical basis with which science is associated happens to yield practical and intellectual results, while the philosophies of the IDists belong to Western culture and are not universally applicable.

--If you’re going to reject ID—or Richard Dawkins—you need to do so on the basis of their science.--

We do.  The fact that you ignore all of the scientific arguments that I made against ID explains much of your unjustifiable attacks upon my justified argumentation.

--Which brings me back to my post: Contrary to your interpretation, I am not arguing that ID should be classified as science because it begins with the assumption that God is at the heart of nature. I’m merely arguing that ID should not be disqualified on this basis.--

Sorry, not only does your distinction not make much difference, it doesn't relate what you wrote in your post, which was:

You said that ID suggests that God or the "Designer" is at the heart of nature itself, then you claimed that "therefore the search for potential signs of intelligence in nature [which may be taken as a euphemism for ID] becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise."

It was precisely their "suggestion" that God or "Designer" is at the heart of nature that was your premise for why ID becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise.  I "interpreted" you justly, and you simply deny it without dealing with the evidence that I included.

--As I understand it, the core scientific program of ID seeks to explain how information moves in and out of biological systems. That’s it.--

What's scientific about it?  And how do they seek to find out how information moves in and out of biological systems?  More importantly, how would that relate to their core design claims?  You left those out, didn't you (though it's true that they fail to do science to find evidence for design in nature)?  

Look, we know very well what ID claims, and that it fails to provide any legitimate criteria for what would be "designed," claiming instead that a false dilemma would provide "evidence" for ID.  Indeed, if it is studying information in biological systems in a scientific manner at all, this has nothing to do with their core claims, which are that a designer is responsible.

If they were serious about design being in nature, they'd predict that rational "planning" of organisms would be in evidence, and that purpose, novelty, and "borrowing" might also be visible.  Because none of these are (as meant in science), they refuse to predict that the designer did what known designers do, instead pretending that faulting another theory is all they have to do in order to be scientific.

--All of the religious baggage that gets tagged onto the movement is essentially a red herring perpetuated by their opponents.--

Right, that's why they speak largely to religious audiences, refuse to discuss the age of the earth, and repeatedly claim that ID points toward the supernatural.  Remember, we listen to the IDists, and at a speech I attended, Behe claimed that the reason we reject ID is merely that it points beyond science.  Hardly, we reject it because nothing in biology points beyond the cause and effect standard practices of science.

--Darwinian evolutionists think they’ve already solved the information problem by proposing purely natural information-producing mechanisms, such as random mutations and natural selection.--

You really don't know the science, do you?  There are quite a large number of information problems in biology at present, notably because a whole lot of information has recently become available through DNA sequencing.

Yet virtually all of the data point to nothing but the familiar non-teleological mechanisms known from the laboratory and in the collected data.  Moreover, the predictions of non-teleoligcal evolution have been satisfied by the evidence, while teleology and the marks of rational thought are absent.  Thus we stick with the evidence, no matter how much theology attempts to intrude into science.

--But the ID proponents are skeptical that such mechanisms are sufficient to explain the origin and diversity of life.--

Huh, and very few of them are biologists.  We do have the Moonie Jonathan Wells, and biochemist Behe, but Dembski is a philosopher/mathematician, Phil Johnson is an attorney, Paul Nelson is a philosopher (who can't answer the questions we pose on PT), you have a host of engineers, physicians, and the like, while nearly all biologists are satisfied with the direction in which research is going.  Where is the justification for their "skepticism"?

--In their search for a more satisfying hypothesis, they are willing to consider all possible explanations—including some form of superior intelligence.--

Really.  Why don't they answer our questions?  You know, we discuss these issues on numerous forums, while ID forums are often closed to us.  Still, they could answer our questions--if they had answers.  I see that you don't supply any answers either, but merely try to claim that ID is scientific without your telling us any way in which they actually do science, or conform to science practices.

I have yet to see them consider anything but a "superior intelligence," and this all without any kind of cause and effect relationship being proposed.  I've brought this up in at least one post, and instead of you dealing with such a necessary condition to do science, you're claiming that I wrote what I didn't write, and claiming that you wrote something other than to what I actually responded.

--I fail to see how that makes them unscientific.--

Of course you do, because you don't understand to what we're objecting.  We're objecting to the claim that intelligence was involved without evidence either for an inscrutable designer (one not acting like us, but which can nonetheless be seen to act in ways that produce what we see), or evidence for the marks of design that we use to understand whether or not an object was designed by humans.

We'll consider any investigable cause that leads to observable effects.  We're not willing to "consider" a "cause" that cannot be shown to produce what we see, or which perhaps does design in an intelligible manner, yet doesn't produce the patterns seen in biological change.  It's the evidence that fails, and you completely fail to deal with our actual objections.

--In fact, I think it displays an open-mindedness that seems sorely lacking on the part of their purely Darwinian counterparts—including,--

If they and you were open-minded, you'd actually deal with scientific issues, not monotonously droning on about the "open-mindedness" of those who fail to utilize the methods of either modern science or modern philosophy.

--if I may say so, Mr. Glen A. Davidson.--

You cannot legitimately say so.  I've made the point that I am completely willing to consider anything that fits the accepted methods of forensics and of science (which cannot honestly exclude the "supernatural" except by defining the "supernatural" as something totally unreachable with legitimate epistemologies).  We're (at least not those of us steeped in philosophy) not denying that a superior intelligence could never operate in the biosphere, only that there have to be some observed match between the purported cause and the "effects" that we see in organisms.

Open-mindedness entails giving up meaningless claims when they have proven to be meaningless.  That is why I am open-minded, and your IDists are not---they cling to a "cause" for which they claim no causal markers, for effects which are predicted by non-teleological evolutionary theory.  Hanging onto a non-falsifiable "hypothesis" is not open-minded at all.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/20 10:39:29, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I have not yet decided what I think really happened in the "history of life" on this planet, but I am convinced of one thing: whatever happened was by design.

Any chance you could just open your mind to all possibilities?  Otherwise, what's the point of even one or two hours?

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/20 14:51:32, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Ruloff, of "Expelled", came to Ben's blog with the same tired and slimy list of the "persecuted".  He can't come up with a single new thing to say, which I suppose is why he's dumb enough to make the movie.  Anyway, I made a response which is now pending:

--Do you think this is some kind of fanciful conspiracy theory? Google the names of Richard Sternberg, Caroline Crocker, Guillermo Gonzalez, Dean Kenyon and Bill Dembski and see what you find. These distinguished scientists have suffered severe consequences for questioning Darwinian theory and there are hundreds, if not thousands, more. --

Naw, it isn't even a competent conspiracy theory.

I'm waiting for Ruloff and Stein to put out the film about how Holocaust deniers are suppressed and persecuted, along with JAD, homeopathy, geocentrists, and believers in UFO abductions.  Do you suppose that it is wrong for academia ever to prefer a well-substantiated position over one that is seriously lacking in substance, Ruloff?  How is keeping pseudoscientists from teaching religiously-based nonsense any worse than the fact that I don't get to be the preacher of a church?

Is MOND suppressed just because string theory has a much stronger position in academia?  Is Wicca persecuted by academia because the latter explains the motions of the heavens through physics instead of the wills of the gods?  Is religious persecution behind modern critiques of medieval metaphysics?  And is it even suppression at all in the general sense to tell a guy to quit pretending that Baylor has an "ID informatics lab" when it doesn't?

Of course the only real complaint these whiners have is that science and the rest of academia are doing what they're supposed to do, eliminating "hypotheses" that don't work, while teaching and using the ones that do work.  ID has been answered (despite its not having anything in its favor from the beginning), something that Ben Stein, Kevin Miller, and Ruloff don't discuss, and no reasonable responses have been forthcoming from these guys.  

ID has been considered by academics much better than many genuine scientific hypotheses have been, for the obvious reason, that ID has political clout.  Indeed, ID has to some extent distorted science already, by taking attention away from concepts that follow the scientific method, and diverting time and resources with cheesy arguments and attempts to change science into something that accommodates unevidenced magic.  Thus ID has managed to suppress science, while ID has open to it all of the venues that it belongs in, including the internet and the churches.

The complaint, in other words, is that science comes to the conclusions expected of it, eventually discarding whatever does not comport with scientific practices and evidence.  Their problem is that science works, and it passes judgment upon pseudosciences like ID.

Indeed, one should not forget that "the father of Intelligent Design" denied that HIV causes AIDS, no matter how abundantly the evidence indicates otherwise.  And of course HIV denial is frowned upon in the universities, even though HIV denial doesn't even exist as a Wedge for religion.  How much more ought we to oppose ID in the centers of learning than even HIV denial, considering that ID not only is completely fallacious as science, but exists expressly in order to oppose the highly successful methods of science?  

I do thank Ruloff for so completely exposing the religious nature of ID, however.  To be sure, it was evident to anyone who can think, but then Phillip Johnson explicitly stated it in the Wedge document.  Yet this whole complaint that we're "suppressing" a "science" because it is in fact religious, is helpful to those of us who wish to maintain the First Amendment and freedom--at least it is in the legal realm.

Believe me, a Holocaust denier would be much less welcome to Baylor than an IDist is.  And Ruloff doesn't raise a single objection to shunting out those egregious malingerers.  Why should he?  We have evidence that the Holocaust happened, and the deniers have no evidence that it did not.  Likewise, we have evidence that evolution happened according to mostly known non-teleological processes, and IDists have no evidence for the teleological processes that they claim were involved (which they claim even though they deny that we should look for evidence for teleology in organisms).  But supposedly we're suppressing the one, while Ruloff et al. don't care that we're "suppressing" the other one, and indeed, should complain if we didn't do so.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/21 10:32:48, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
What a surprise, the stupid have to defame and lie where they can't hope to know anything (archiving again):

--In reply to Glen’s claim: “The “father of Intelligent Design” and HIV denier to whom I was referring is Phillip Johnson. Is it at all surprising that Johnson has advocated more than one pseudoscience, not just ID?”

It is hard for me to understand how educated persons could be so misinformed and resort to character assassination such as this. Se the above post.--

It's bizarre that people like Jbagail condemn themselves in just about every post, by dishonestly projecting their own faults onto others.  Johnson's past opposition is well-known by those informed enough to comment on these matters, which obviously Jbagail is not.  Here's one example, for the woefully ignorant defamatory pro-ID anti-thinkers:

--Given the 10 years of total lack of progress on AIDS, the billions of dollars that have been wasted, the human heart-ache that this issue has caused so many Americans, it seems only sensible that we should re-examine the question of what really causes AIDS. At issue here are not only the lives of those diagnosed with AIDS who are being treated improperly, but also of those who are tormented by the fear of AIDS-for themselves and their children. We can't allow the scientific bureaucrats at the CDC and NIH to prevent this reappraisal from happening. *--

This was written by:  "By Kary B. Mullis, Phillip E. Johnson & Charles A. Thomas Jr."  The whole piece may be found here:

I should mention that not only do IDists threaten lives by condemning the primary organizing principle in biology, evolution by investigable means, but the HIV denial in which Johnson engaged even more directly threatened the lives of people, especially in Africa.

Fortunately, science has "suppressed" such nonsense here thus far, or in other words, it has discharged its duty to abandon useless ideas whenever and wherever they have proven to be useless.  Jbagail chooses to be dishonest about this, as well as most other related matters.

Glen D

Date: 2007/09/29 22:10:26, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
They finally have a new blog up at Ben's site, about as pathetic as the first one.  Well, I'm going to continue to archive, for I don't know what they're going to do with the blog in the end:

--Actually, the authentic victims in this story are those scientists who have been “expelled” for the offense of merely acknowledging that intelligent design exists within nature.--

Does it ever occur to you that you need to back up your claims?  Or are you just too IDist to care about truth, and evidence?  

Yes, we've heard that extremely tiresome and extremely well-answered claim extremely many times before now.  The mere fact that you've never come up with the slightest bit of solid evidence for it indicates that you're not only uninterested in science, but also that you're uninterested in telling the truth.

You want to know what I think about the complaints over the interviews?  I think they're legit, but not very important.  What?  Someone's making  a film about religion and science, and it ended up having a viewpoint, particularly one in favor of theocracy?  What a shock!  The name change is almost to be expected with films, and <i>Crossroads</i> should have been considered to be a working title by the participants.

Greater honesty from theists might be expected, if these weren't intellectually dishonest proponents of ID.  But the ellipses in their answers, in their "science," and in their dealings with others should be expected when they're opposed to the modern science that was worked out mainly within Christian societies (hardly only by Christians, or even theists, however).

Fine, I've taken care of that, from my perspective.

Now back to the gross dishonesty of the film's producers and writers.  Here's Ruloff's defamation of what is, as far as anybody knows, an honest man and scientist whose work Ruloff couldn't hope to understand, Francis Collins:

--Mr. Ruloff also cited Dr. Francis S. Collins, a geneticist who directs the National Human Genome Research Institute and whose book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief” (Simon & Schuster, 2006), explains how he came to embrace his Christian faith. Dr. Collins separates his religious beliefs from his scientific work only because “he is toeing the party line,” Mr. Ruloff said.

That’s “just ludicrous,” Dr. Collins said in a telephone interview.--

And this is supposed to be an honest film?  Not a chance.  Francis Collins, who is attacked by the likes of PZ Myers and other "new atheists" who are intent on faulting religion and not just pseudoscience, does his work of gene sequencing well within the evolutionary paradigm (how could anybody do otherwise and be intellectually honest?), writes books on how he finds faith and science compatible, and sticks up solidly in favor of modern evolutionary theory, and all we get from Ruloff is this slander of the good man.  

By the way, Francis Collins does speak out in favor of cosmological ID and for a mind behind human morality, neither of which is exactly welcome in the scientific community--and for good reason, I might add.  He apparently is willing to buck the "Establishment" in some areas (areas where his competency does not lie, I might add), yet Ruloff acts as if his agreement with modern evolutionary theory is just some slimy suck-up to the powers that be.  These IDists have no shame, much like Joe McCarthy who knew the "communists" without taking the trouble to bring forward any evidence, or even intelligent argumentation.

Of course, Ruloff probably knows about as much about the history of the acceptance of science among religious folk in the Catholic and mainline Protestant traditions as he knows about science itself.  Tell me, Ruloff, why Father Coyne writes in favor of science and against pseudoscience?  Why do Catholic biology departments all across the country oppose "Intelligent Design," when clearly they rely on their Church to shield them from the faux persecution trumped up in this film?  

Indeed, why do many biologists in fundamentalist schools chafe under the restrictions of their religious leaders?  Wouldn't they simply accept ID without concern, if there was anything to it?  I know about at least one of these, because I went to a religious college (Walla Walla University, was Walla Walla College when I attended) for my undergraduate degree.  A number of your better scientists there were frankly evolutionist, from biologists to physicists, for all of the reasons that we've laid out at this blog and elsewhere.

Indeed, if Ruloff, Miller, and Ben Stein were able to show any kind of illegitimate suppression of their unevidenced pseudoscience, they'd be answering the questions I asked in the other thread, namely, why do the taxonomy and phylogeny of prokaryotes and of eukaryotes differ considerably and according to what would be expected from the known "naturalistic" evolutionary mechanisms, if indeed they were "designed"?  And why were pterosaur, bird, and bat wings were all derived from legs, and not from first principles or from extant (in the case of birds and bats) wings?  To say that it makes design sense to make wings out of legs is merely ridiculous.

None of you can answer those questions.  None of you has the slightest evidence FOR design at all.  Yet you demand that we treat ID as science, thus revealing your autocratic tendencies and desires to force unscientific beliefs into the science of Newton, Galileo, and Einstein.

Glen D

One more:

As it happens, Ben Stein doesn't seem particularly impressed by the ID nonsense either.  Not that it really should matter, given that he neither has expertise in science, nor has sense enough to recognize the importance of keeping pseudoscience from being forced into the university science departments.  Nevertheless, this is what NY Times reports of Stein's response:

--...said in a telephone interview that he [Ben] accepted the producers’ invitation to participate in the film not because he disavows the theory of evolution — he said there was a “very high likelihood” that Darwin was on to something — but because he does not accept that evolution alone can explain life on earth.

He said he also believed the theory of evolution leads to racism and ultimately genocide, an idea common among creationist thinkers. If it were up to him, he said, the film would be called “From Darwin to Hitler.--

Now this is a bizarre notion, though one pushed by IDists often enough.

Ben needs to study the history of Germany versus that of England and the United States.  Both of the latter have had and continue to have their faults, but they were the Enlightenment countries (the US in particular was founded on Enlightenment principles), and thus were not fertile ground for the nonsense of the Nazis (it is believed that occult beliefs played a large role in fostering Nazi anti-Semitism, for instance).  Germany was open to such ideas, for a number of reasons, naturally (WWI, depression, etc.), but especially because the Enlightenment hadn't really taken hold in Germany.

From Germany came Hegel, Marx, and Heidegger (actually, Kant, too, but Kant's pro-enlightenment notions had been quickly turned into Romantic thought by people like Hegel and Heidegger).  Of course great scientists came from Germany as well, but the overall attitude of Germany was Romantic, and favored "spirit" over theories about hard evidence.

Darwin, by contrast, was in the tradition of Hume, Newton, and a tradition that in both the judiciary and in science favored evidence over "feelings" and vague notions like ID or, indeed, the German Haeckel's magical notions.  Among the intellectuals of the Anglo world, Darwinism was taken up almost as a matter of course (most religious people in power did not oppose it), and despite a fair amount of Victorian notions in Darwin's writings, including racist ideas, evolutionary theory was part of far saner societies than what appeared in Germany and in Italy.

Evolutionary theory needed to move on from Darwin, in part because he included Victorian prejudices, and it most certainly did (one reason we don't like yahoos like Ruloff calling today's evolution "Darwinism"), for it was evidence-based science and thus became well-integrated with other science, like Mendelism.  Meanwhile, the non-Enlightenment societies of Germany and the USSR largely rejected the "materialistic" ideas of Mendel and of Darwin.  Did this itself make them the totalitarian nightmares that they were?  No, of course not, however, bad ideas in science frequently are associated with bad ideas in government, and Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR were no exceptions.

In spite of all their faults, the UK and the US remained beacons of Englightenment, as the rejectors of the Enlightenment brought us war and genocides.  

Stein really ought to know about all of this much better than he does, for he ought to know a little about Jews and the improvement of their lot as the Enlightenment took hold.  Medieval theocracies were cruel to Jews, and actually, to many many Christians as well.  The Enlightenment brought relief to most everybody, other than that we had to fight and oppose the anti-Enlightenment societies of Germany and the USSR.

So now what does Ben do?  He attacks the Enlightenment itself through this movie, claiming that those who have no evidence and only desires to impose their will onto science, have been persecuted.  You want Hitler, or at least theocratic dominance over what should be free science?  Then keep this up, Ben.

The Enlightenment is what demanded evidence before one is determined to be guilty, and the Enlightenment is what demands that science remain based in evidence and not in the wishes of Romantics and of atavistic theocrats.  As ID's Wedge Document points out, ID is really only a way of getting rid of Enlightenment ideas (it doesn't call them that, but it is what they are), and hence the way to attack both our Constitution and the science that America needs to compete.

If you don't know science, Ben, at least try boning up some on history.  Attacking the Enlightenment is the way to Hitler, as well as to other less odious but still objectionable impositions upon humanity.  Force science to accept "standards" that reject the need for legitimate evidence, and not only have you destroyed the First Amendment, you have destroyed the Declaration of Indepence as well, and all that gave rise to freedom of thought and of science.

There you go.  You're free, of course, to oppose the Allies and their anti-fascist standards, but if you succeed in your gambit, you had better not count on having freedom for much longer.  

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/01 21:42:45, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Quote (Altabin @ Oct. 01 2007,21:02)
This, from DOL's eerily unpatronized blog, made me fnork:

The [Dalai] Lama rejects Darwinism as an explanation for the history of life on earth, as most Canadian Christians do

That's got to be the first time that Tibetan Buddhists and Canadian Christians have shared a sentence...

Unless Densye has some new information, which it appears she doesn't, her claims regarding the Dalai Lama outpace the evidence, as per the usual.  Here's another report with an honest quote (well, I trust Shermer to give an honest quote):

I do not fault the Dalai Lama for challenging this view of science, which does make it difficult to explain such phenomena as the origins of the universe, life, sentience, and consciousness (each of which receive individual chapter treatments in his book), and is held by a great many people, both within and outside of the scientific community. Yet the solution to these and other problems, in my opinion, is through the new sciences of complexity, emergence, and self-organization. The Dalai Lama does not go this route, instead turning to certain Buddhist principles, such as karma.

Karma, he explains, is easily misunderstood by Westerners. It has to do with causal action, but "it is erroneous to think of karma as some transcendental unitary entity that acts like a god in a theistic system or a determinist law by which a person's life is fated." In fact, from a scientific perspective, karma is just a metaphysical assumption, but "no more so than the assumption that all of life is material and originated out of pure chance." Although he admits that the Darwinian theory of evolution "gives us a fairly coherent account of the evolution of human life on earth," the Dalai Lama also believes "that karma can have a central role in understanding the origination of what Buddhism calls 'sentience,' through the media of energy and consciousness."

How? In Buddhism, the most fundamental unit of matter is prana,a vital energy indistinguishable from consciousness. So matter, energy, and consciousness are the same. Since not only sentience, but the origins of life, consciousness, and morality are inadequately explained by science, it is useful to employ the notion of karma.

Here I am afraid the Dalai Lama proffers the same empty explanations as the creationists and Intelligent Design theorists in what we call the "God of the Gaps." Wherever there is a gap in scientific explanation - the origins of life, sentience, consciousness, morality - this is where God, or karma, intervened. But what happens to God/karma when science fills in the gap? Are you going to abandon God/karma from your worldview?

[emphasis added]

The fact is that the Dalai Lama appears to be open to MET in a way that anti-science individuals like Densye are not, with an unsurprising and unscientific gap concept which he intends to fill with the usual "spiritual" gibberish (I'm not saying that the "spiritual" is gibberish, only that when religions bring it up it almost invariably is).

I know that I haven't gone to the source, but judging from this a few other blurbs, essentially the Dalai is not denying MET in any observable sense at all.  He grants the account, but has to believe in the "non-material" mind and morality.  A lot of Xian theistic evolutionists would say essentially the same things, which may well be faulted for being unscientific in essence and utterly devoid of evidence, yet which are not at all opposed to regular biological research (they may be unfriendly to evo psyche, though).

Densye is correct that there is nonsense somewhat akin to her own rantings about the mind in the Dalai's approach, then.  But she is certainly not telling us the full story when she implies that the Dalai is actively anti-science like she and her fellow medievalists are.  The Dalai's mere admission that the "Darwinian theory of evolution 'gives us a fairly coherent account of the evolution of human life on earth,'" puts him far ahead of Densye's troglodyte nonsense in supporting science, however much we might lament his preference for unsupported beliefs wherever he can fit them in.

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/02 00:06:13, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Another half-wit with just enough learning to get everything wrong shows up at the "Expelled" blog:

It's nice of the philosophically ignorant "Post-secular PhD" to tell us all about science and philosophy.  Of course it really has almost nothing to do with actual philosophy, science, or the bases for our judicial system.  Indeed, with his disregard for the "intersubjective" soundness of science, we could hardly do anything in science, and we may as well forget about "proving" anyone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Here's some of his "wisdom":

--[Science] almost always requires a deep commitment to a set of principles, laws, and practices in the absence of conclusive “proof” (i.e. faith);--

What a bizarre term for the well-honed understandings of mind worked out in philosophy and in science--faith.  Science, like the related forensics, exists in order to be able to decide matters on something other than faith, which was too much relied-upon in medieval times.

Anyone who's actually read what the more prolific pro-science posters have written, instead of just assuming something that isn't true based on his unwarranted faith like "PhD" did, would recognize that we do not claim that science is based upon "conclusive proof" (not completely true, since mathematical proofs are used, but these rely on "postulates" and "axioms" which cannot be proven).  We rely on the best evidence, and yes, we also rely on the best principles, laws, and practices which have been subjected to skepticism and scrutiny.  They are not "proved" as such, however they have been demonstrated, something that a scientist worth his salt would mention.

--and cannot operate without dogma.--

No, we cannot operate <b>with dogma.</b>  This is why I have no reason to believe the claims you make of being a scientist.  Everything is at least theoretically in doubt, although some principles and "laws" have been very well demonstrated in the areas where they can be tested.  If scientists often reveal their biases, it is completely wrong to say of science as a whole that it operates with dogma.  It uses whatever has proven to be sound after being subjected to tests and questioning, the only legitimate way in which to proceed.  Dogma would totally undermine science because it would destroy the necessary questions of our "intersubjective" agreements and evidentiary processes.

--Furthermore, how well a theory fits the data is often not the main reason for its acceptance or dismissal.--

How well the theory fits the data is indeed the main reason for its acceptance or dismissal, so long as "fit" is understood in scientific terms of causality (in classical science) and the principles that have been shown to work.

--Darwinian evolution took root despite a fundamental deficiency (the lack of any evidence for hereditary material).--

That wasn't a "fundamental deficiency," which you'd know if you were any kind of competent scientist.  First of all, there was indeed evidence for hereditary material, in that parents produced offspring much like themselves.  Darwin utilized the empirical processes of artificial selection as an analogy with natural selection.  The chemical, and what we now call the "genetic", bases for the known hereditary effects were not known, but that something was transmitted was indubitable.

--It took another century to discover the structure of DNA, but that didn’t stop scientists from holding to the theory.--

You totally shifted the issue at stake from what you first wrote to these non sequiturs.  You made the illegitimate claim that scientists accept theories not because of their fit with the data, but for other reasons.  Then you complain about the deficiencies of genetic knowledge (incompetently, I might add) in Darwin's day, as if that meant that "Darwinism" wasn't the best fit to the data.  That doesn't follow in the least.

The point of "Darwinism" (in that time the term was fairly appropriate, but I use scare quotes because we've moved so far beyond Darwin's original theory) was to fit the data as well as was possible at the time.  Which it did.  For your claim about "Darwinism" being accepted without it fitting the data best to have any kind of legitimacy, you'd have to show that there was another scientific theory which fit the data better.  And you seem even to be unaware of this necessity in science.

The fact is that "Darwinism" was a theory of change based upon obvious, yet poorly understood, processes of hereditary.  It fit the data because it explained life without resort to a teleology which cannot be shown in life the life we see, which has no apparent or demonstrable purpose.  "Darwinism" explains how organisms are adapted without any sort of rational planning in evidence (as we'd expect from "design"), and with "competing purposes" evident in organisms (hence no overall "purposes" beyond reproduction).  Evolutionary theory explains why Linnaeus and Aristotle felt compelled to treat organisms with homologies as if they were related--the reason being because they are!

In a way, "Darwinism" predicted that discrete hereditary information exists in organisms, for evolution by natural selection (plus other processes) couldn't occur (in life's context, that is) otherwise.  In that sense, and not in the sense of giving us any of the details, Mendel's findings were predicted by "Darwinism".  Instead of "PhD" being impressed that "Darwinism" would rely upon the kind of conservative yet "randomly" alterable molecule such as DNA turned out to be, he tries to claim that the theory's prescience was actually a liability.

Well, it wasn't, as anyone with a smattering of knowledge of the philosophy of science knows.  Many theories begin without having some of their core requirements fulfilled by observation, and later data fills these in.  Did Einstein's theory of relativity have the necessary evidence of light-bending by gravity when he proposed it?  Of course not, and the evidence that light is bent by gravity showed that his already explanatory theory was likely the proper one.  

Darwin actually did have a good deal more evidence in hand when he wrote <i>Origin of Species</i> than Einstein did.  Hence the acceptance of his theory did not need to wait on further observations (to tell the truth, Darwin's mechanism wasn't fully accepted until the 20th century, but it probably should have been, and was accepted in part by much of biology even earlier).  

DNA and its associated mechanisms (including repair) turned out to be exactly the kind of molecule needed for "Darwinian" evolution to work.  As such, it ought to be considered as vindication of the mechanisms of evolution elucidated by Darwin and others.  And thus, far from being a reason to fault those who were intelligent enough to recognize the importance of natural selection, it indicates that those who insisted on cause and effect processes in biology were correct, and that the people who relied on magic and "vitalism" were as wrong as all who prefer wish-fulfillment to the processes of science.  Or those who can't understand the proper relationship between evidence, science, and philosophy (philosophy must be based on evidence as well, ultimately, and not to dictate the equalities that some neo-scholastics assume).

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/02 21:40:06, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Can this guy actually think that he's clever?  Anyway, it's quite likely the same halfwit I tackled last night, trying to be "clever" where he can't be competent.

<blockquote>2nd. this is in response to Glen Davidson who will no doubt pounce on my primitive remarks. hey, call me reckless.</blockquote>

Nah, ignorant and incompetent will do.

--i do apologize to everyone else for this because it is way off topic but could prove to be entertaining to some so get your popcorn and that stale diet dr. pepper and read on.--

Yeah, that's right, it's way off topic, and you're too incapable of any insight to actually address anything I wrote.  Hence a long ad hominem attack, none of it honest or substantive.

--Seriously though, you are a fantastic spokesperson for Darwinian evolution…and unresolved rage my man,--

I deal with the emotionally committed who can't make an intellectual case on their own level, at the level of emotion.  Of course you wouldn't understand me, you know nothing about me and are intent only on trying to defame whatever you cannot comprehend.

--but what a wealth of knowledge! WOW!--

Yes, quite unlike yourself, I don't ramble on stupidly about what I don't know.

--I’d love to have an evolution party with you sometime. We could talk Darwin and you could unpack the mysteries of the universe to me and chop a few heads off in the process. woo hoo!--

Wow, clever.  Who'd think to imply that we who defend the Enlightenment are axe murderers.  Oh, except for the rest of the herd who has no capacity for making substantive comments.

--you seem to get around the blog sites too so i’m sure we could go over your “Davidson’s Top 5 Slams” and boast about all the idiots you exposed.--

You'd be on it.  No, not really, you're pretty weak as substanceless maligners go.  I'd put you in the top 50, though, if I cared to document biting gnats.

--do you have them taped on your wall or just saved on your hard drive?--

Actually, I rarely start any of these brawls.  You missed that, didn't you?  True, I hit the "Prof", because he's claiming expertise in an area where he is so clearly lacking.  But I don't do ad homs, I just have to respond often enough to people like you who hate not being able to provide the sorts of evidence that we do.

--i know you believe you’re fine and you’re only upset at the stupidity of that scientist who must be a liar and an idiot savant who happens to help cure lethal diseases but seriously, man. you act like he attacked your belief system or something…weird.--

Oh yes, we know the game.  The creo or IDist attacks scientists, implying that they are liars for maintaining actual standards.  Then when we realize that the snake oil is convincing enough people and we raise the alarm, you attack us for actually responding to a boatload of defamatory comments and attempts to impose theocracy upon the nation.  Tragically, such an obvious and dishonest ploy works on enough people.

--What do you do, cowboy? something noble i’m sure. something that helps and doesn’t hurt which is why you have to take all your aggression out on people you’ll never meet.--

Here's the dolt who can do nothing but attack me for responding to the anti-Enlightenment push, ascribing his own ill tendencies to me.  The fact is that I haven't used particularly strong language, rather less strong than many on both sides have used, you're merely trying to put down what you find impossible to answer.

--what are you so afraid of boss? why do you have to belittle?--

Because you harm people.  Can you get that?  I fear those who would use power to overcome free inquiry, freedom of religion, and the freedom of speech.  In fact just now you are effecting a de facto attempt to curtail my freedom of speech (legal, but immoral), by making a whole lot of dishonest claims in your ad hominem attack.  If you were concerned about honest dialog, you'd engage me on the substance.

--that’s not exactly the best way to educate or inspire, but i’m sure you know that. you do want to educate and inspire right? that’s why you’re standing for something right? its not like you’re learning all this just to justify your rightness and be better than others or anything.--

What education do you bring to this thread?  I don't employ the slimy tactics that you do, I keep it honest.  And no, I do not try to educate people such as yourself, whose hatred of competence combines with your unwarranted egoism to try to put down whatever you can't counter with legitimate arguments.

I do educate.  But I also know how to fight those who will use whatever tactics they can to undermine the integrity of science.

--i mean that would be lame and you don’t have to time for that you have a difference to make. --

Apparently you're really addressing yourself, whatever the pronouns you misuse.

--after all, anyone arrogant enough to tell another scientist whom he doesn’t know from Adam (or grandaddy rock - presludge you know ;)), who obviously has well thought out arguments and ideas, that he isn’t “worth his salt” as a scientist and doesn’t have “a smattering of knowledge” about science or philosophy must be on the brink of an enormous breakthrough in science or medicine.--

Yeah, I knew it was "Prof" again, not willing to show himself, and completely unable to back up his erroneous claims. Sorry, I studied philosophy a great deal, and I have no business treating some ignorant claptrap as if they were "well-thought out" arguments.  They're not, they're pop philosophy, and the call of every honest scientist to actually look at the evidence remains the only proper response to such post-modernist nihilism.

--no? maybe just the head professor at a well respected college changing his community? oh, well i’m sure it’s something worth while.--

And it is a distraction from the issues you're trying to avoid.  You haven't even given your name.  Plus, the issues are laid bare on their own, and it is all too apparent that you wish to avoid the actual issues by bringing in irrelevancies--again because you lack the ability to deal with substance.

--by the way, thanks for proving that idiot “Phd”’s argument for him since he couldn’t do it on his own. you really hit those points home about science having to believe before it knows and all that.--

I guess when you run out of ad hominem attacks you resort to complete fictionalization of the exchange.  Well, you could hardly answer me, now could you?  After all, science is about questioning and skepticism, while your formulation is exactly the opposite, the falsehood that it is about dogma.

--don’t get me wrong. i had to work through all your hate toward your mom, society and that girl that dumped you in highschool that you never got over but seriously,--

Wow, that's really a new one.  Gee pop psychology when your pop philosophy fails you.  Make up a few lies, throw them out, hope that your flung feces work where your wits obviously do not.

--thanks. you really helped use that reverse psychology to drive the point home. did you do that on purpose?--

Even better, the old "reverse psychology" ploy.  Nice to have someone from the '70s visit me with his "profound insights".

--genius. congratulations again for defeating your own argument and actually supporting the other guys.--

Since you're apparently not too bright, I'll have to figure that you came up with that standard little feint by recognizing your own tactics here.  The whole mom and girlfriend thing, while standard empty rhetoric for witless drones, are more than likely to be your own story.

--nice work man.--

You'd mean that, if you were capable of understanding the issues.

--From Carnegie to Lincoln, its pretty common knowledge that the more you have to cut down someone else the less confident you are in yourself and your decisions.--

Gee, I bet you think that hate isn't the opposite of love, only apathy is, also.  Where'd you learn your "psychology", out of Playboys?  

Anyway, if your pop psychology is correct, it clearly cuts against you far more than myself, since I discussed issues and called the "Prof" as I saw him.  It really goes against the intelligence you claim when you suggest that somehow calling out an arrogant guy blabbing on about things he doesn't understand actually exhibits some kind of "need" to cut people down.  From Lincoln to Carnegie, competent people have used the proper words to describe the pompous and substanceless, people like yourself.

--You don’t have to be a scientist to know that. but you don’t care what other people think do you? least off all a lesser mortal like me. all i do is make people millionaires.--

The plaint of the truly pathetic.  'Why yes, I know how to make money, so my opinion about Darwin and DNA is worth something.'  Try that out on the truly stupid.  Come to think of it, I'd guess you do that a lot.  Well then, learn enough to differentiate between the stupid and those who see immediately through your ad hominem attacks.

--i don’t really know a lot about science. speaking of, got a client so have to go. u get clients Dr Glen?--

Gee, I wish I were a suckup to the bourgeoisie like you.  I thought you had no substance, but by God, you have clients (so you say).  That changes everything.

--oh, and before you call me out for belittling you and therefore defeating my whole “confidence” vamp. remember this. i did it with style.--

Thanks for telling me, since I thought that was a collection of inane pop psychology and lame repetitions by the truly uncreative.  Hm, so that's style.  How could I have been so wrong as to think that T.S. Eliot had style, when it is really the babblings of a dull troll are what really counts as style?

--that’s the difference. take notes, cowboy. ciao.--

Write that down.  

Gee, you're turning into JAD (John A. Davison, who attacks the person instead of the substance because he has none of the latter--like you "Galactic") right before our eyes, with the same clicheed patter, the desperate attempts to claim "style" or some such thing for crude and derivative attacks, and of course, a total lack of substance coupled with the projection of your own failings onto others.

I bet you're going to try to claim some triumph for this sad little attempt at a slam, since you reveal yourself in your tired little attacks.  I, naturally, don't do anything like that, since responding to someone like you is too easy.  The only things I remember are the opportunities I have for discussing science and the philosophy of science in depth, while these feces-flingers are answered and quickly forgotten (unless they haunt the forums with their raging impotence).

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/03 13:44:58, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
This is actually some fairly interesting information, which someone named "Roger" found:

I ran across this information on the web (someone else did the work, I'm pointing out, but he only called himself "Roger"):

<blockquote>Domain Name: EXPELLEDTHEMOVIE.COM
  Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
  Whois Server:
  Referral URL:
  Name Server: NS1.FILMPR.COM
  Name Server: NS2.FILMPR.COM
  Status: ok
  Updated Date: 15-jun-2007
  Creation Date: 01-mar-2007
  Expiration Date: 01-mar-2008</blockquote>

So there you are, according to this apparently reliable site, "" was registered in March, 2007.  PZ Myers was told that the movie would be <i>Crossroads</i> in April, 2007, as he wrote:

<blockquote>Last April, I received this nice letter from Mark Mathis.</blockquote>

So how can the following be considered to be anything but misleading, on top of the misleading comments given to the interviewees?

<blockquote>The release references “Crossroads,” as a “tentative” title, if that’s OK? So just to set the record straight, the film was titled EXPELLED only after we began to see the disturbing pattern and shocking information that the footage reveals! So, thanks for the title guys, we couldn’t have done it without you! And we’re still considering using “Crossroads” for something else! Watch out.</blockquote>

Yes, it's true that they may have used <i>Crossroads</i> as a working or tentative title sometime prior to March 1, 2007, but clearly they knew by the time of PZ Myers' interview that they'd probably (or at the very least, very <i>possibly</i> would) go with "Expelled".  Otherwise, they wouldn't have registered the domain "" then.

Now I'm not one who thinks the shenanigans of the producers of "Expelled" are anything to get too worked up about.  The pattern of dishonesty continued in this particular blog, however, hardly speaks well for them--although it's pretty much a constant factor in the promotion of ID, along with the steady whine about "persecution" coupled with dead silence whenever we request the evidence FOR "intelligent design" (as opposed to their attacks on MET).

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/04 16:43:17, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
And another one, which will be broken up at "Expelled":  [oops, I meant to break it up, but didn't]

The rather odd and disjointed composition of this particular blog entry has been commented upon by many.

Being a screed, however, it's not unexpected.  You know, so many of the standard put-downs of the opposition have to get in, so much persecution has to be claimed, and any of the requirements that the claims made on the blog as well as the claims made by IDists must be properly evidenced and argued must be shunted aside with a sort of tabloid rhetoric.

OK, but that's said, and it will be ignored on the other side because they (or most on that side who comment on these forums do, anyway) already "know" that I have to be wrong simply because I am on the other side.  So I'll leave that bit as an introduction that will receive the predictable reactions from the various factions, and will move on to some specific problems with what was written, beyond what I've (or anyone, IIRC) discussed in the past.  To be sure, the problems "go without saying," that is, they go without saying for the people who have learned about science and philosophy.  However, these problems should be mentioned for the sake of those who have either missed out through no fault of their own (elitism is far too rampant in this society), and for those who have simply not cared to learn prior to pontificating on these matters (I particularly mean those responsible for this film).

<blockquote>Actually, the <i>authentic</i> victims in this story are those scientists who have been “expelled” for the offense of merely <i>acknowledging</i> that intelligent <i>design</i> exists within nature.</blockquote>

The way italics are used above is odd.  However, one is probably justified to surmise that "acknowledging" is written and emphasized both to rhetorically (and without evidence) suggest that it is only sensible to claim that life is designed (despite the fact that this claim has never been established in a judicially or scientifically sound manner), and to try to void the normal scientific requirement that such claims need to be <b>evidenced</b>, not merely assumed and (supposedly) <i>acknowledged</i>.

In other words, rhetoric is used to bluster through the fact that ID has no evidence in its favor.  Call the IDists "victims" who are supposedly suppressed for "acknowledging" assumptions for which they are required in scientific practice to actually make an evidence-based case, and thereby you have successfully ignored the fact that ID doesn't meet the requirements for science--and for that reason alone do have their apologetics rejected, or, where that's not possible, ridiculed as being pseudoscience.

<blockquote>Our worldwide investigation over the last eighteen months revealed the <i>real</i> “miscasting.” </blockquote>

Your "investigation" consists in those committed to an <i>a priori</i> belief in a designer-God looking for reasons to attack those who maintain the proper and expected standards of science.  It is not an investigation so much as it is the use of your own confirmation bias as a way to fault those who disagree with you, and to affirm what you prejudicially assumed from the beginning.  A proper investigation would be made up of people who know the rules of evidence, not a right-wing actor/writer like Stein, a right-wing radio host like Miller, and a businessman such as Ruloff.  These people lack the perspective of judges, scientists, and others steeped in the processes of sorting out good ideas from bad ideas, rather they simplistically believe that just because science rules against ID that such judgments are tantamount to "suppression".

<blockquote>Namely, to the role of <i>“the unemployed,” or “discredited,”</i> that the cadre of elite antitheists assigns any scientist or educator dissenting from the party line.</blockquote>

Oh yes, the tired old refrain of the believers in discredited beliefs.  You get that from every purveyor of crackpot "science", from faulty physics "theorists", to UFO believers, to the few geocentrists still kicking around, to Rousseau with his herbal cures which are supposedly being kept quiet by the conspiracy of the medical establishment (Weil is also in this category), and on to the people who just know that the CIA, KGB, President Johnson, or some other favorite enemy "really" killed Kennedy.

In fact it is true that there are many beliefs that are properly discredited.  Does Ruloff want "phlogiston theory" being taught to his children?  Should the claim that Prometheus made man out of earth and water be taught to Miller's kids?  We have the First Amendment to keep blatantly religious beliefs from being promoted by the government, which is why we don't teach Greek myths, nor the Judeo-Christian philosopher's God as being the "intelligent designer" of life, in science classes.

The only legitimate tactic to use when we call ID a discredited pseudoscience is for you to actually produce evidence in favor of your "hypothesis" (no, the "Explanatory Filter" does not provide evidence, it only attempts to impose a false dilemma into science standards).  The people behind the movie and this blog cannot or will not explain why the "designer" supposedly designed prokaryotes differently than eukaryotes (in prokaryotes, different genes in the same organism "speciate" at different times, is one example of what I'm talking about) and in line with known prokaryotic evolutionary mechanisms, nor do they tell me why vertebrate wings were "designed" from leg structures instead of from first principles, or from previously existing wings.  Therefore, the only legitimate conclusion to which I can come is that the <i>Expelled</i> folk cannot produce the evidence required for us to consider their "hypothesis" scientifically.  On the other side, we do have explanations for these phenomena, yet ID wants equal billing in academia when it has no explanation for these or other biological phenomena.

<blockquote>The party line being the “explanation” that random mutation is responsible for the extrusion of <i>every living thing on earth,</i> and in <i>record</i> time.</blockquote>

See now, I'd like to know who wrote "the extrusion of every living thing on earth."  It isn't even proper use of the word "extrusion".  Plastic objects, spaghetti, and Play-Do are what can be extruded.  Extrude a monkey, and you have nothing but a rather disgusting paste with bits of bone in it.

But that's just a complaint that the writing here is bad.  It's the science mistakes that really matter.

Anybody who knows enough to properly be commenting on evolutionary theory either way should recognize at once what a collosal mistake it is to say that the accepted explanation for life's diversity is "random mutation", as suggested by the above quote.  Random mutation doesn't even come up in Darwin's writings, though he did dealt with the variations that do arise without assuming a telos (goal or purpose) which is not in evidence.  Evolutionary theory is based on the obvious fact that "unselected" variations could never produce what we see in life, but rather, some sort of "selection" is absolutely crucial.

It is much easier for the author of this blog piece to attack the strawman that ID sets up (from Dembski's to the Discovery Institute's blog, this strawman is a commonplace of ID misrepresentation of biology) than it would be to discuss the evidence regarding evolutionary mechanisms.

Not content in making one rather egregious language mistake, and perhaps the greatest scientific error one could make about evolutionary theory, the author has to claim that living things were "extruded" in "record time."

I wonder how in the world 3-4 billion years of evolution could be mistaken to be "record time"?  The fact is that life took an amazingly long time even to get beyond single cells and (relatively) simple colonies of these cells.  The Cambrian "explosion" was fast by evolutionary standards, probably for reasons of genetic plasticity along with a dramatic rise in oxygen, but of course its results were fully in-line with what we'd expect from evolutionary mechanisms--evolutionary changes within the expected range of evolutionary constraints, and a whole lot of "primitive" (certainly primitive by comparison with many crown species) ancestors (or close relatives of the actual ancestors) of later organisms.

What is stunning is that IDists suppose that their designer took 3-4 billion years to come up with what we have today.  This is completely out of the range of anything we have ever seen a designer actually do.  Of course we have also never seen designers constrained by the evolutionary limitations that we see in life, nor any designers whose rationality couldn't be elucidated from their work.  IDists cannot point to any rational design or planning of organisms, which is why they try to change the subject.

Lord Kelvin tried to claim that evolution was impossible within the 20 million years or so that he allowed for the existence of the earth, when most biologists were nearly certain that it would take several hundred million years.  So there is nothing odd in the fact that life took so long to evolve.

It is this film that is trying to claim that their "designer" made life in a "record" amount of "time," indeed, in a time so much longer than the scale of all known design processes that it is impossible to conceive of the mechanisms involved in any such "design" (classical science requires so-called "mechanisms", another reason ID isn't science).  That no doubt is why this blog isn't even upholding the ID fiction that ID is not religious, because clearly their designer is God-like in both being inscrutable and in being omnipotent (I know of no IDist who doesn't claim that the "designer" also made the universe).  Isn't it a trifle odd that ID's "design" phase just happens to be within the range required for non-teleological evolution, and also that what we see in organisms is what would be expected of non-teleological evolution?

The following quote is from a different context than the foregoiong (if you want to see the context, just scroll to the beginning blog piece), and is aimed specifically at issues that I will not discuss.  There seems to be little doubt that it is also meant to be a comment about evolutionary ideas in general, which I will address:

<blockquote>Random mutation never ceases to <i>amaze</i>, though. One just can’t <i>predict</i> what will happen!</blockquote>

Again we have the improper claim that evolutionary theory is about nothing other than "random mutation".  What I want to discuss now, however, is the equally false claim that evolution can't "predict" what will happen.

That would be true if evolution were only about random mutation, of course (actually, physics would still yield some predictions, but they'd be biologically uninteresting, for there'd be no biology), or if it were caused by some design process and design goals unknown to us.  However, evolutionary theory is founded upon predictions which have been borne out by the evidence, as any theory must be.

Within known evolutionary constraints, the "nested hierarchy" found in taxonomy is indeed one of the founding predictions of evolutionary theory.  Aristotle and Linnaeus came up with taxonomies (Linnaeus' was far more complete) which grouped organisms in ways that looked a lot like genealogies do, and no one (other than creos and IDists claiming exceptions where their theologies are threatened) claims that genealogical patterns exist by "design".  Darwin (and earlier thinkers like Maupertuis who had similar ideas, but not the needed mass of evidence) made the rather obvious (by now) observation that the evidence that shows organisms to appear as if they were related should be understood as meaning that they are related.

That wasn't a "prediction" in the way that many outside of science consider the term to mean, however it counts as a prediction in science because such patterns are entailed by the theory and its context.

What amounts more to "prediction" in the vernacular sense is that evolutionary theory predicts the range of what transitional fossils must embody.  That's how we know that archaeopteryx is transitional (in point of fact, it is not the ancestor of today's birds, but it is thought most likely from morphological considerations to be about three cladistic branchings off from the actual ancestor).  ID cannot provide the criteria for deciding transitional fossils at all, for there are no known constraints on the supposed designer (unless we simply take MET's constraints as if they are the "designer's", clearly an ad hoc solution).  Hence there is something odd about an IDist like Behe accepting the fact that evolution occurred from the evidence, when the evidence for evolution can only be evidence for evolution if it is constrained by known evolutionary processes, and not when they are unconstrained by dint of some super-intelligent "designer" working for unknown purposes and via unknown capabilities.

The finding of Tiktaalik (a transitional between fish and amphibian) is one of the best examples of predicting both transitional form and timing, since the researchers who went to the expected "time strata" to find evidence about the evolutionary development of Tiktaalik's shoulder girdle and other tetrapod locomotive anatomy (a mere transitional was not what they were after, as some of these transitionals, such as Ichthyostega, were already known) found just the <i>type of</i> transitional for which they were looking--in the predicted range of strata.  I'd also point out that timing is only statistically predictable in evolution, for we do not know all of the contingencies involved.  However, the predicted ranges for transitional fossils is rather narrower than are the predicted times for most transitions (not that there aren't substantial constraints on most temporal <i>ranges</i>).

And of course, as I've mentioned a number of times, and already in this post, prokaryotes are predicted to evolve differently from how eukaryotes are predicted to evolve.  Prokaryote (I mention parenthetically that some object to the term "prokaryote", since it really only means "not-eukaryote" or "non-eukaryote".  However, it is often useful to be able to easily write "non-eukaryote" by writing "prokaryote") taxonomy is difficult, due to the great number of lateral transfers between closely related lines (and yes, like I mentioned, it's interesting that "genes speciate" separately in the same "species" of prokaryote) and lack of true sexual reproduction.  Vertebrates appear not to undergo much lateral gene transfer, so produce the wonderful phylogenetic trees so beloved of the teachers of evolution.

Indeed, the evolutionary patterns are significantly different between eukaryotes (actually, lateral gene transfers to insects from Wolbachia appear to be much more common than were expected in the past, yet sexual reproduction in insects seems to largely maintain the eukaryote patterns of evolution in these as well) and prokaryotes, agreeing with the predictions of MET (modern evolutionary theory).

Look, I could go on about evolutionary predictions, but I think that these are the very biggest predictions which have to work out predictively according to known mechanisms--and this is already a very long response to a few short and erroneous statements.  What I've mentioned already are crucial tests for whether or not MET works within our present ability to comprehend cause and effect, and the predictions are overwhelmingly borne out by the evidence (inevitably there are questions at the margins, as in any science, while the expected patterns are unquestionable).

ID, by contrast, tries to sneek into science by emphasizing the remaining questions, and not by coming up with any kind of prediction or evidence that design has happened over the course of evolution.  Design ought to be detectable, indeed, for we have tests for "engineered" organisms.  And actually, one important question for IDists is why it is that we can detect our own "designs" in organisms (sometimes this is done from specific knowledge about genetic engineering of organisms, but one could also detect substantial tampering with genomes of, say, anthrax by comparing what designers can do with what is possible without any engineering)from the background genomes, since according to IDists the background is also designed.  This may be very important in the future, if terrorist organizations make designer diseases.  It would be impossible for us to detect designer diseases if "wild-type" organisms had been designed, assuming that the word "design" has any actual meaning to it.

Well, it isn't surprising that IDists take pains to avoid making predictions (except to claim that ID predicts IC or some such thing, which it doesn't--clearly design can be either IC or not-IC, and without knowing the capabilities of the "designer" one could never know if it could make anything that is "IC"), since life is so unlike any designs that we have ever observed being produced.  

By contrast, one can predict what will happen in evolution, or more precisely, one can predict the range of possibilities within a given evolutionary scenario.  If what we find in biology did not fit within that range, I'm sure that the IDists would happily point this out to us.  Failing that, they try to make much of the fact that biology is an ongoing science which, unsurprisingly, does not have all of the answers, while they continue to predict nothing whatsoever that is actually entailed by general design principles as we know them, nor by appeal to a specific designer with known specific capabilities and purposes which may differ from presently known designers.  

What the gang at <i>Expelled</i> wants is for us to devalue the explanations and predictions which evolutionary theory makes possible, and for science to capitulate to an unscientific theological idea which refuses to make the kinds of entailed predictions that every legitimate scientific hypothesis must make.  They want us to state that ID is the every bit the equal of the predictive scientific theory that biology researchers use every day, when it is useless for research purposes.  Such heavy-handed tactics didn't ultimately work in Galileo's day, so why should anti-empirical dictates succeed now?

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/06 12:59:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Another monotonous drone insists that we accept science's guilt prior to presentation of any evidence:

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

October 6th, 2007 at 12:44 pm
Glen Davidson, I wonder why you’re protesting so furiously, without firsthand knowledge of this movie’s content?

I wonder why you’re coming up with false claims about what I’m doing. I’m responding to a whole lot of unfounded attacks, essentially ad hominem fallacies, upon science and its practitioners, and have never pretended to be addressing the movie.

It seems odd to me that you’ve elected yourself the only “truly enlightened” intellectual here.

It seems to me that you have nothing worthwhile to bring against what I’ve written, hence you are out to malign someone who has done what you cannot, actually discuss the issues raised at this blog in an intellectual manner.

Do you realize that you’ve already posted 6 times in this thread alone — and the movie doesn’t come out for another 4 months?

Do you realize that you haven’t actually addressed any of the substance of what I’ve written? Not surprising, because pro-ID folk have a knack for ignoring the need for evidence, substantive reasoning, etc.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the promo material for this movie suggests that it’s about “closed minds”

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, its a rather simple fact that this particular blog entry is attacking and misrepresenting evolutionary ideas themselves, as well as bringing up a whole lot of canards about “persecution” without even a feint toward supplying any evidence that this is so.

— not so much a debate about the details of Creation — but a true disclosure of those too BIGOTED to consider any other possibilities, or deeper discussion.

Apparently your beef with me is that I don’t accept their completely unsupported assertions. You also seem to fail to recognize what I’ve in the main discussed, which was the lack of honesty in this blog, as well as how very wrong Ben Stein is to attack the Enlightenment. Especially since the Enlightenment-influenced societies were the ones who fought off Hitler and the rest of the largely anti-Enlightenment Nazis. I also bothered with the abysmal nonsense from “Prof” and the ad hominems of “Galactic” (supposing they are not the same person).

Is that the type of scientific discovery we should embrace?

Is your unquestioned belief in the veracity of these people anything I should embrace?

Should details that conflict with our belief system be hidden?

The details are hidden, should they in fact exist. I wouldn’t have thought that this vital fact would be missed by you, but apparently it was. Ruloff can present actual evidence for his claims, and I will be happy to consider it. These people haven’t done so, but apparently think we’re supposed to take it all on faith.

— even if empirical scientific data backs up someone’s claims?

Bring in the empirical data, why don’t you? That’s our complaint, that no one from your side ever does, least of all this blog.

Should those scientists be ridiculed or shunned for expanding our horizons to other possibilities?

They’ve been ridiculed for bypassing the processes that vet science and make it into a worthwhile endeavor. And we’re still waiting for any evidence in favor of ID, as I’ve mentioned.

Should the status quo be maintained — just to keep the money (grants,etc.) flowing into universities?

Should you drone on and on about a “conspiracy” for which you lack even a scintilla of evidence?

In case you haven’t come to grips with this reality, your knowledge of Darwinism is also a “belief system” — with preconceived biases,

Another mind-numbing repetitive talking point from someone who seems not even to recognize the need to back up his charges. The fact that IDists chant this illegitimate claim is no reason why we should adopt it.

that make the pieces fit (for you).

Gee, yes, that’s what theories are about, fitting the evidence together. I’d like to see ID do that, or for you whiners to come up with evidence for your conspiracy theory.

Your adamant opposition to Believers isn’t proving anything — in fact, you highlight quite well what this movie is about (e.g. you’re a bully).

The real bully just calls the guy who demans evidence a “bully”. Learn something about science, why don’t you, and quit insisting that you have the right to force your ideas into science without providing any kind of evidence in favor of it.

If someone knows deep in their heart that God exists, your pompous arguments are not going to make a difference.

Your bullying and name-calling isn’t going to do anything to persuade anyone with any intellectual honesty. Besides, if you were intellectually honest you wouldn’t imply that I’ve been arguing against God at all. It’s amazing just how lacking in honesty most (at least most who comment) on your side is.

Please wait for the movie.

Right, I’m supposed to wait for the movie, while Stein and the producers malign those on the science side without presenting any sort of evidence.

There’s plenty of time for mankind to solve this puzzle. For now, maybe we should just be talking about whether people are being open to honest, complete discussions?

Considering your lack of honesty, yes, I think that I’ve been aiming at the main issue, the lack of honesty on the part of ID and its proponents.

…or is “hatred” the new code word for “scientific knowledge”?

I guess that IDists like you think that hatred is a substitute for the scientific process and rational discussion.

Glen D

Another, to be split up:

<blockquote>Mr. Davidson—I find your comments disappointing.</blockquote>

I found your comments to be shrill, accusatory, and without substance.

<blockquote>I was hoping to have someone engage ideas with me in a thoughtful manner. I was trying to look at the way scientific knowledge is gained, the process by which it happens, not at any specific issue—</blockquote>

Then I think that you should have written your post in a thoughtful manner, and not with a lot of unwarranted accusations.

<blockquote>I’m sorry you didn’t quite catch that point and instead primarily went on a rant against pro-ID people (the pagans storming the gates)</blockquote>

It's a shame that you don't deal honestly with what I wrote, but instead have to set up a strawman instead.  I barely wrote about ID people, I addressed your points at post #54.

<blockquote>and wrote a passionate defense of evolution (as if it needed another one).</blockquote>

I did not write a passionate defense of evolution, I wrote about science and how evolutionary theory fits in with the normal acceptance procedures in science.  Rather than engaging with such substantive considerations, you simply accuse.

<blockquote>ID is just the current hot example by which to reflect on science as a field and epistemology. I never said I was pro-ID,</blockquote>

And I never said that you were pro-ID, so quit implying that I did.  Only in your imagination did I "rant" against ID, and it appears that you either could not or would not read what I wrote competently.

<blockquote>and in fact, I am not in the ID camp at all.</blockquote>

Non sequitur.  

<blockquote>My intention was not to challenge evolution or ID but to pose a wider challenge of a general depiction of science as evidenced by the language of the anti-ID posters.</blockquote>

Yes, and that is what I addressed, the lack of any meaningful knowledge about science and of the philosophy of science in your first post.

<blockquote>As someone who has spent my adult life as a scientist, I can hardly be seen as someone out to destroy it</blockquote>

Why not?  Behe's out to destroy it, in essence if not in intention.

<blockquote>—I’m sorry you only have 2 categories in your world: enemy and proselyte.</blockquote>

I'm sorry that you have only two ways of dealing with someone who engaged your claims with knowledge and intelligence, with accusation and with wholly untrue claims.

<blockquote>I can think of another arena where anyone who questions is the enemy and only those who uncritically accept the view of the faithful are accepted.</blockquote>

Apparently you're speaking of your world.  You haven't clue about myself, any more than you know how to discuss basic issues of science.

<blockquote>My previous post contained several controversial claims about how science operates, but they are not mine – they’re Kuhn’s.</blockquote>

Oh, I see, I'm supposed to believe you because you have adopted dogma from an authority.  No way I'm playing that game.

<blockquote>You are obviously familiar with his work, and have found it unconvincing.</blockquote>

Of course I find it unconvincing.  He's in an analytical tradition that I have never thought much of, nor do I find Popper to be very impressive.

<blockquote>If you have compelling rebuttals of Kuhn’s claims, please present them and stipulate whether they are your ideas or someone else’s so that I may read the original criticism.</blockquote>

The fact of the matter is that Kuhn wants us to suppose that "paradigms" can be, and are, irreducibly different from each other.  He writes:

<blockquote>I do, in short, really believe some--though by no means all--of the nonsense attributed to me.  The heavens of the Greeks were irreducibly different from ours.  The nature of the idfference is the same as that Taylor so brilliantly describes between the social practices of different cultures...  ...In neither can it be bridged by description in abrute data, behavioral category.

Thomas Kuhn.  <b>The Road Since Structure</b>.  Eds. James Conant & John Haugeland.  Chicago and London:  The University of Chicago Press, 2000.  p. 220</blockquote>

If one considers Aristarchus's heliocentric model, the Pythagorean cosmic model, and the sense that some ancients had that the sun is a burning fire (not true, but probably the best guess at the time), I fail to see the irreducible differences.  Copernicus appealed to Aristarchus as a predecessor, which almost certainly carried part of the weight of his argument.

Kuhn overemphasizes the breaks in science, too much ignoring the large amount of continuity in it.  Evolution builds upon artificial selection, genealogical knowledge, and especially upon the taxonomy of Linnaeus and later taxonomists.  General relativity and quantum mechanics both build upon Newtonian physics, and end up subsuming its claims into their own.

These are mostly my own arguments, though I they echo, or are echoed by, a physics teacher that I had who taught Kuhn and other philosophers of science.  He asked if I agreed with Kuhn, I said "No," and gave my reasons (continuity of methods, especially), and he concurred.  Others in the class were surprised, as they considered Kuhn to be the unquestioned voice of science philosophy as you seem to do.

<blockquote>Your comments are disturbing because they imply that the Philosophy of Science (as a field) trashed Kuhn’s ideas long ago, ran back and picked up the torch of the Enlightenment, and then proceeded as if 200+ years of thought never occurred.</blockquote>

No, you misunderstand that as much as anything.  Kuhn was only partly accepted by scientists.  Many scientists and philosophers disagreed with Kuhn, as one may see in the Kuhn quote above (he's there responding to claims that his ideas are nonsense).  He seems to have declined in popularity recently as well, at least in science and in philosophy.

<blockquote>If you’ve studied philosophy a “great deal,” then you should be warier about claiming mass agreement on such issues as Kuhn’s idiocy.</blockquote>

If you claim to be able to read and write well enough to be a scientist, you should not ascribe to me such dishonesties as the statement above.  I didn't write anything like that, and I suspect that even you know it.

<blockquote>My good friend and philosophy professor assures me there is no such universal agreement on that question.</blockquote>

Since that wasn't the question, so what?  Try to stay on topic, and actually respond to what I write instead of what you dream that I wrote.

What is more, I was not aware that the "dogma" to which you referred was Kuhn's terminology.  "Dogma" has an entirely different connotation in Kuhn's writing than it does in these discussions, and you terribly confuse the issues when you pretend that "dogma" means the same in this context as in Kuhn's writings, regardless of how much I disagree with Kuhn (he'd never confuse the terminology here like you did).

<blockquote>And I don’t think she would invite me to talk to her philosophy class about Kuhn’s critique of science if this were the case.</blockquote>

And I think that is totally irrelevant to the issues, which you continue not to discuss.

<blockquote>For the sake of this discussion and its ramifications for society as a whole, take off your combat helmet and try communicating with me instead if you have significant and thoughtful (and original) criticisms to contribute to this important discussion.</blockquote>

Sorry, your projection is the one to whom you are addressing those remarks.  I did not come in accusing people of exhibiting "breathtaking ignorance" like you did.  What you wanted to do was to trash a whole lot of people whom you don't know without any evidence, while proclaiming your superiority.

<blockquote>You will get no ad hominem attacks from me.</blockquote>

You began with ad hominem attacks.

<blockquote>I’m offering the chance to have a REAL discussion on this topic with a scientist who knows a little philosophy and cares a great deal about these issues.</blockquote>

It's certainly not easy to believe you after you've implied that I suggested that you're an IDist, when I never did any such thing, and that I "ranted" against IDists, when I barely even discussed them in my post (#54).  Then the implication that I had said that the field of science philosophy at large had concluded that Kuhn awas an idiot is another unwarranted ad hominem attack by implication.  I require far more honest responses than the one you've made here before I begin to treat them as anything but hostile polemicists.

<blockquote>I’m not interested in “he’s an idiot and I’m right b/c…” posts that merely attack the opposing side w/o engaging questions.</blockquote>

You're the one who didn't engage my arguments.  I responded to your claims, so I don't appreciate the false implication that I did otherwise.  Can you ever leave off the unfair and untrue attacks?

<blockquote>I (following Kuhn) never claimed that science does not use scientific methods.</blockquote>

I never said that you claimed that.  I pointed to the proper methods used in the adoption of Darwin's ideas, which you had denied.  Rather than engaging what I've written, however, you have done virtually nothing but attack strawmen of your own.

<blockquote>Rather, I question, as Kuhn did, what the nature of scientific methods is because my experience practicing science bears little resemblance to the naïve comparison-with-nature description that is invariably presented to the general public.</blockquote>

It's not a bad description of science for the general public.

I do mention philosophical issues often enough, and too often am accused of "writing long" or some other supposed sin.

<blockquote>To take just one example, why do I keep hearing from public defenders of science that falsifiability is a definitive boundary between science and non-science when it was shown long ago that, as such a definitive boundary, falsifiability fails and when my own experience as a scientist confirms that failure? </blockquote>

I mention falsifiability occasionally, but primarily as shorthand for issues that are far more complicated than that.  Most of the time when a hypothesis lacks falsifiability, it turns out not to be science in any normal sense of the term.  However, I prefer to bring up the need for evidence as the issue.  By the way, you sorely lack evidence for almost all of your attacks against me, for they are generally untrue.

Popper is the reason that "falsifiability" is such an issue in science today.  Peirce mentioned nearly the same thing, but he used several other criteria as well.  

<blockquote>Here’s another straightforward challenge for you, offered with the utmost sincerity. Kuhn claims in “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” that the fit of data to a theory (“its problem-solving ability”) is often not the main reason for its acceptance or dismissal and cites several examples, including the contest between the Brahe and Copernican astronomical systems,</blockquote>

I don't know all of the particulars, of course, but I can tackle at least this one to some degree.

First off, it wasn't really until later that the Keplerian model largely won out.  Brahe's model, since it did fit the data probably as well as the Copernican model did, was a contender until Kepler fit the data much better with his elliptical orbits.  No doubt the Copernican model had more followers up until then, but one could not really decide between Brahe and Kepler based upon the data alone.

Secondly, there was good reason to prefer the Copernican model, because it actually explained many of the most prominent "epicyclic" phenomena (while not doing away with them), while Brahe's model was descriptive, not explanatory.  Usually when we say that the data need to "fit the model", we really don't mean that merely mapping the data out is what matters, rather that it fits and explains the data.  Ptolemy and Brahe fit the data, but they didn't do much in the way of making explanatory models.  Science makes explanatory models, not just maps of the phenomena from our perspective, hence "fitting the data" is stated in the context of "explanation", not just "fit" as people like Kuhn and Feyerabend suggest.

<blockquote>the oxygen/phlogiston debate, the fact that Copernicus destroyed a time-honored explanation of terrestrial motion without replacing it, and the fact that Newton and Laviosier did the same for an older explanation of gravity and the common properties of metals, respectively. You claim to disagree with his argument and reject his examples. For our benefit, please show how all of Kuhn’s examples are mistaken. </blockquote>

No, I picked one, and the onus is on you to actually make your case, instead of changing the subject away from what I actually wrote (and dishonestly claiming that I didn't address your faulty claims).  I know the Gish Gallop when I see it, and an unfair demand that you haven't even come close to fulfilling yourself, and no, I don't fall for anything no matter how intellectually dishonest it is.

<blockquote>As for your supposition that my delay in responding was due to unwillingness to engage you rather than inability due to time constraints,</blockquote>

As for as your penchant to make up stuff and accuse me of saying it, it is getting very old.

I didn't in the least say that you were unwilling to respond.  Where do you come up with such unwarranted accusations?

What I wrote in response to "Galactic" might be what you're twisting into your little fantasy, but of course what I was saying there was that "Galactic" is you.  I wouldn't be surprised it was, either, though such identifications are almost always necessarily tentative.

<blockquote> you have committed a cardinal sin of the “religious” and, in the popular language of the day, have claimed to know something you don’t know.</blockquote>

Why can't you even keep your attacks straight?  I didn't write what you claimed, and it is not honest for you to say that I did, let alone to try to build conclusions on your false claim.

<blockquote>Hitchens and Harris would be very disappointed in you. </blockquote>

I have the feeling that Hitchens and Harris wouldn't come up with the sorts of untrue attacks that you have.  Not that I particularly care what they think, but I'm amazed at how readily you make false charges against me.

<blockquote>Are we going to try to understand how science really works or mulishly continue to insist that it operates like it does not.</blockquote>

It looks like you're so intent on insisting that science works as it does not that you'll write any manner of untrue things regarding my own contribution.

<blockquote>Unless someone can engage me at a more sophisticated level this is my last post on this site.</blockquote>

Apparently you can't engage me at all.  I went through a number of your claims, and all you did was to make untrue claims about what I had written.  

Why don't you try actually including what I've written in your responses, so that you don't make as many errors and false charges as you did in your recent post?  Frankly, I'm stunned at how many untrue things you could get into a relatively short post.  It must be very embarrassing for you not to be able even to competently restate <b>what I actually wrote</b>, let alone have any ability to address my scientific and philosophical points.

Glen D

Date: 2007/10/08 20:07:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
Back to archiving:

<blockquote>Prima Facia evidence for the plot, substance, and need for this movie is amply provided by Glen Davidson’s posts.

Indeed he is the poster boy for the hubris, egomania, and sophistry common to the evo community.</blockquote>

So, the puffed-up ignorant one can't make a coherent argument, and settles for dishonest ad hominems (formal fallacies) instead.  Why is this so much the usual for IDists?  Don't you have anything worthwhile to say at all?

<blockquote>Oh! And if Davidson or other evos chat back please refer to me as the other wireheads in the Fortune 500 who worked for me in my executive capacity did prior to my retirement… Mr. Eaton Sir is adequate.</blockquote>

I'm sure that Eaton-the-dullard will do well enough.  No doubt it's among the more charitable terms that someone so lacking in manners and intelligence has been called.  

As far as the rest of Eaton's pablum, it's splattered all over the web like anything else that requires a strong cleaning solution.  Now, if Eaton ever has anything intelligent to say, like actually answering the substantive posts that I made, rather than showing off his overweening ignorance, the change would do us all good.  Indeed, I'd like to receive one intelligent reply from an IDist, instead of loathsome and hateful fallacies which are the best that Eaton can manage.

I make intelligent comments, the IDists never once address what I write, instead only attacking me out of their envy of anyone they can't challenge.  And they pretend that it is we who are choking off debate, when we're the only ones actually engaging in debate.  It's a poor showing that pompous blowhards like Eaton make.

Glen D

Another one:

<blockquote>I am flabbergasted by the stupidity of evolutionists.</blockquote>

I'm sort of amazed, but hardly surprised, that you don't answer a single substantive issue raised by myself or others, but write the usual unthinking diatribe that people who can't think for themselves constantly churn out.  

<blockquote>They deride ID with the most closed and simple minded arguments, I feel sorry for such brainwashed people.</blockquote>

Let's see, not a single thing that you wrote in your entire post said anything that isn't seen all across the web from IDists who can't deal with the issues.  You just try to shut out the issues by dull repetition of the chants you picked up from Dembski and others who avoid actual debate about the issues.

By the way, if you actually felt sorry for anybody, rather than trying to make a less-than-honest attack on them, you'd be trying to reach them instead of trying to smear them with your lack of anything substantive to say.

<blockquote>It’s sad that people who can put a cogent essay together are dumb enough to swallow the “just-so” explanations, the logical and conceptual gymnastics that pass for “proof” of evolution.</blockquote>

"It's sad" that someone can lob bombs at those he despises without in the least being able to back up his charges.

<blockquote>Then on top of that reject ID out of hand with zombie-like slogans; Here’s a hint: Saying “it’s not science” is not a trump card.</blockquote>

Then why don't you engage the actual arguments?  Oh, that's right, you're IDist, and we never get anything of substance out of IDists.  At least I've never seen it.

<blockquote>I doubt evolutionists all go into history class and shout down the professor all period about what they are teaching isn’t science and so it should not be taught in a science class. </blockquote>

I bet anyone with an honest interest in the issues doesn't ignore the massive number of high-level engagements of ID's "arguments" on the net, while making more empty attacks, as you happen to do.

<blockquote>In any case, ID is not a science the same way a doorstop is not a science, apples and oranges; it is an abstract idea, and whether or not it is scientific depends on how one approaches the idea.</blockquote>

Tell us how to do science with ID.  That's what counts.  We have a working theory, or more correctly, a working set of theories.  You want us to give equal billing to something that has never been shown to work, with a theory that happens to guide and integrate biology today.

<blockquote>“I’m not a monkey’s nephew” and “duh, it’s so complicated it must have been designed” are not the pinnacles of pro-ID argument. </blockquote>

I'm afraid that we haven't seen anything higher level than that.  Sure, there's higher-level obfuscations of the basic vacuity of ID, such as Dembski's and Behe's attempts to ram a false dilemma into science--the notion that if evolutionary theory fails to account for life, then ID prevails.  Sorry, that's never been true.  The height of ID never comes close to reaching the standards of science and forensics, which is the requirement for actual evidence of investigable causes producing investigable effects.

<blockquote>The fact of the matter is that evolution *is* just a theory (by that I mean the non-scientific def. of ‘theory’), one chock full of holes.</blockquote>

One chock full of successes, and with fewer fundamental issues in question than theories of gravity have.

<blockquote>Face it, there is no definitive evidence!</blockquote>

Is there definitive evidence for language evolution in non-literate languages?  If so, there is much more evidence for biological evolution, for we have morphological evidence, DNA, fossil evidence, and recognizably different evidence of evolution between eukaryotes and prokaryotes.

<blockquote>Whenever I look at an online debate about evolution, the evolutionist side just puts a link to talkorigins about macroevolution.</blockquote>

I don't think that I ever have, mainly because most of Talkorigins isn't written very accessibly.  But that's beside the point, for unless you can actually answer adequately the evidence presented at Talkorigins, your complaint fails.  What is more important, none of you have begun to do the one thing needed to make ID science, which is to come up with evidence in favor of ID.

<blockquote>“Missing-link” fossils does not disprove ID!</blockquote>

The transitionals have all of the historical baggage expected in non-teleological evolution--and at the evolutionarily-predicted times for such sorts of "poor design" to be found.  Archaeopteryx has teeth and a bony tail, neither of which is helpful for flight.  Those have been known for quite some time, as well as the less well-developed keel than those in modern birds.  What is more new is that a "critical ligamentous structure" making modern birds more efficient fliers has been found to be absent in archaeopteryx ("A critical ligamentous mechanism in the evolution of bird flight"  David B. Baier, Stephen M. Gatesy & Farish A Jenkins Jr.  <b>Nature</b> pp. 307-310 v.445 18 January 2007).

<blockquote>Fossils, whose significance is a matter of debate, which is not a settled matter, even if they did fit into the evolutionary timeline perfectly, STILL would not disprove ID. What if the supposed designer, just started small and then kept tweaking with its creation?</blockquote>

You mean, what if the designer made organisms with exactly the sort of fossil evidence and genetic evidence that is expected from non-teleological evolution?  Well, such a being would be undetectable, for its effects would be indistinguishable from those of MET.  That's why we're not really interested in how carefully you guys tweak your "designer" specifically so that it cannot be falsified by the evidence.  You make "design" a meaningless concept by doing so.

<blockquote>Fossils just show that organisms changed gradually over time, they do not show that they changed only because of natural selection, etc. </blockquote>

It shows that the same "short-sighted" and inheritance-constrained changes that have occurred in the crown groups also exist in the earlier organisms.  Also, nearly all species that have ever lived have gone extinct, as you would expect from unguided evolution.  Exactly why a "designer" would make australopithecines, H. habilis, H. erectus, H. neanderthalis, and H. floresiensis only for them to go extinct in roughly the same pattern as you'd get from non-teleological evolution remains just one of those many unfathomable ideas of ID.  In fact, because you guys are so intent on denying any sort of criteria that could actually point toward "design", everything in ID remains obscure and unreachable by science.

What I'd like to ask is, why do IDists think that design and non-teleological evolution produce indistinguishable results?  Do they really think that genetic algorithms are used simply to mimic rational design processes?  Do they not understand that the substantially different results found in evolution vs. those found in known design processes are being exploited via genetic algorithms?

It was life that showed us another route than "intelligent design" to discover successful strategies, evolutionary processes utilizing a sort of "natural selection."  Now we have that capability within our repertoire of instrumentalities, and it is utilized precisely where the complexities are too great for our rational abilities.  Which is interesting, because, of course, life also is beyond our rational abilities thus far (I don't think that if Venter is successful that I'll have to say anything different).  Indeed, it is evolution that can deal with complexities beyond those understood by the fairly simple rationalities of the human mind (not true of all aspects of complexity, but important in many thus far, despite our computational enhancement of our rational capabilities).

The huge difference between design and biological evolution is that the former readily yields evidence for rational thinking in its processes in by far the most cases, while biological evolution lacks any evidence for rational planning (that is, while sometimes evolution and intelligence can come to similar "ends", any observaable differentiation leaves life (life that hasn't been manipulated by us, that is) on the non-rational side of the "production process")

<blockquote>It seems like only way to really show evolution is to show with a mathematical model that statistically it is possible for natural selection, etc., to cause an organism to become increasingly complex in the alloted time.</blockquote>

Real science pays attention to the predictions made by a theory, and accepts the theory that agrees best with those explanatory predictions until something better comes along.  One of the problems of ID is that it wishes to change the rules of science (more coherently than traditional creationism does, for the latter's attacks on science are generally piecemeal), which is the truly grave threat to science and society hypothetically posed by ID.

<blockquote>This has NEVER been shown, Mathematical models show quite the opposite, that even if creatures could evolve “naturally” the way they have, it would take orders of magnitude longer for that to happen.</blockquote>

Has language evolution been shown to be possible by computer simulations?  Of course not, it is too complex to be properly modeled at this time, as is biological evolution.  ID models don't count, by the way, since they assume very narrow target areas, much narrower than can be shown from the evidence (the evidence at least hints that they're quite wrong in their assumptions).

<blockquote>Now given that there is no evidence of evolution,</blockquote>

It is not given that there is no evidence of evolution.  You haven't begun to answer the three major predictions I listed for evolution in post #99, by which I definitely meant (and noted) non-teleological evolution.

<blockquote>that does not prove ID, but assuming that physics and the laws of the physical universe, statistics, logic, etc., have not dramatically changed during the “life” of the known universe, this intuitively suggests that a designer is behind the variety and complexity of organisms on earth.</blockquote>

Since you have absolutely no evidence in favor of "design" of organisms, whatever "intuition" you might have about it is insufficient to make ID worthy of consideration.

<blockquote>That is what makes ID worthwhile.</blockquote>

An intuition sans evidence makes ID worthwhile?  That is what is scary about IDists, no evidence and an "intuition" is supposed to be the equal of an abundantly evidenced and useful theory.

<blockquote>For all the picking-on ID strawmen, some of you guys need to pick on evolution a bit.</blockquote>

For all of the claims that you make, it would be nice if you could back up just one of them.  You know, with evidence.

<blockquote>There is a universe of ideas out there between evolution-explains-everything and bible-thumping.</blockquote>

Evolution hardly explains everything (a strawman fallacy on your part).  However, it is the only scientific theory explaining the inherently genealogical-like taxonomies found even prior to acceptance of evolutionary theory, the different modes of evolution between eukaryotes and prokaryotes, and why pterosaur, bat, and bird wings are all adaptations of legs, and not design either from first principles or from previously existing wings.  

<blockquote>The way things are run, evolution is not a science, where is the falsifiability?</blockquote>

In the taxonomical structures, first of all.  And I've mentioned plenty more, though you ignore whatever doesn't comply with your a priori assumptions.

<blockquote>Any evidence that does not fit into evolutionary theory is ignored.</blockquote>

I'd like to see a single statement of yours that can be substantiated, including that one.

<blockquote>Where are the repeatable experiments?</blockquote>

In the journals.  Like most of science, experiments have to extrapolated to areas which are practically or theoretically beyond experimentation, but of course the experiments have been done.

<blockquote>No, showing bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics or that they will evolve into a slightly different species does not prove that evolution is responsible for all of the variety and complexity of life.</blockquote>

I actually made that point at Pharyngula recently.  However, few of us suppose that antibiotic resistance is the whole of the evidence (rather, evolutionary theory ties humans and bacteria together ecologically, where ID would require malaria (<i>Plasmodium falciparum</i>) to have been designed, apparently with the purpose of infecting humans), rather we point to the predictions of evolution which have been tested but not falsified in the testing.  Indeed, I wrote a good deal on this very forum about a number of these issues, but have received nothing other than dull repetitions of ID talking points in reply, along with rather pointed hatred from several of these supposed "Christians".  Well, what's new?  

If you had science, you'd be telling us how ID provides cause and effect explanations of what we see, and how to do science with these required explanations.  Lacking any science, you have a lot of untrue statements about evolution and those of us who care about science.  You completely ignore the arguments and evidence brought forward in order to falsely claim that we have not done so.  And so ID goes, never providing the requisite evidence, always putting out vast array of unsubstantiated tripe.

Glen D

Date: 2007/11/02 16:48:02, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I wonder if the post that I have attempted to re-post below is being either blocked or smothered (posting it late, when few would read it) by the people at Expelled because javascript is Ruloff, Miller, or Stein.  There's no saying for sure, of course, but javascript obviously hates me for getting in there quickly to fisk Stein's obnoxious nonsense, and since Kevin Miller did respond (rather disastrously, since I picked him apart) to me once, I wonder if they're protecting one of their stupid writers or characters from criticism.  Just saying.

Here's the re-post, since I fear that I might have to be archiving what I write there again:

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

November 2nd, 2007 at 4:25 pm
Not a new one, but I don’t know why the following comment hasn’t been posted. I don’t mean to continue to treat with people whose only motivation is to attack those they hate with religious bigotry, however I should be allowed to respond to the dishonest quotemines and vapid unsupported accusations of those without any conscience or competence to discuss science. So here’s the re-post:

Glen Davidson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

November 2nd, 2007 at 10:27 am
Javascript quotemines, in the way that only pseudoscientists and rabid fools do:

Garrison Seeber Says:
November 1st, 2007 at 3:26 pm
“only further emphasizes the Neanderthal mentality of your suppressive beliefs”
Validate that claim…
Well, let’s see… this might be difficult but I’ll give it a shot.

Unfortunately, you’re too dumb to know what validation means. It does not mean quotemining. I use harsh words, but I also back them up, while you only tell lies and attack.

Below are validating quotes from our buddy Glen, the self proclaiming intellectual, that clearly exhibit his use of Neanderthal tactics in his attempts to bully others on the blog seeking only to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech.

Sorry, unintelligent one, I was not the one who came in here with nothing but hatred and lies. I made arguments, I backed up, or “validated” (too bad you don’t know what words mean, buffoon), what I wrote. Not so much to those who had nothing related to substance, liek the dishonest Javascript, but that’s because yours were free-form lies.

Follow with me if you will:
- As pathetic as your knowledge of science is…

As we’ve shown previously, and as I demonstrated there as well. Try to learn to read above third-grade level.

- you lack intellectual integrity…

Another quotemine. I’d shown where he had not dealt with matters in an intellectually honest fashion. Rather than arguing pointedly with what I’ve written, you just whine and lie, again.

- your knowledge of science is abysmal

As is obvious to anyone who knows science, and has been amply demonstrated in these comments. Just because you ignore every bit of substance that I’ve written to back up my claims does not alleviate you of your responsibility to deal with them with intellectual honesty. Neither does your lack of intellectual honesty alleviate your responsibilities.

- you simply act as if science is as mindless as your sponsors are

And I’m sure that if you had anything intelligent to say, you’d be arguing against what I wrote, instead of quote-mining my supporting evidence out of it, with your typical dishonest tactics.

- this is part of your sleazy tactics.

Another sleazy quotemine from one who doesn’t even know what intellectual integrity means. Indeed, it was a part of his sleazy tactics, as I demonstrated, and which argumentation you ignore as you have from the beginning.

- A rather simplistic analysis…

OK, it was an extremely simplistic analysis. Sorry that I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

- Ben’s pathetic fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.

Which fallacy you compound, as you quotemine and attack without paying any attention to the facts and arguments.

- That’s the best you can do, Ben?

Still better than the dishonesty of your attacks, javascript.

- you’re digging your own grave there, Ben.

I know that it’s nothing new, but yes, another dishonest quotemine, as javascript pointedly ignores what I actually wrote, how this fit into my arguments and conclusions.

- So what’s your point?

Here’s how an honest person would have quoted:

So what’s your point? Are we supposed to throw out English science, since it was based in a non-politically correct economic system? Here’s Ben saying that Western culture must (selectively) go, due to its many sins. Ben the PC man. Very good, Ben, you’re now part of the ranks of the nihilists and bigots who fault civilization’s advances just because much of the past evil was retained for so long (and into the present, one might (or might not) argue).

Since my response was to his faulting of “Darwinism” based on the inadequate grounds that it comes from a time of imperialism, I dare say that the honest quote demonstrate my point. Which is why you dishonestly left that out.

- Ben, you’re now part of the ranks of the nihilists and bigots

See the foregoing quote for the context that javascript is not honest enough to include.

- Your understanding of evolution is as deficient as your understanding of history, Stein.

And apparently so is yours, javascript, or you’d deal with the facts and arguments I brought up instead of quote-mining.

- One does not write of “Darwinist means,” unless one is a science illiterate, as Ben is.

That’s right. He’s shown himself to be illiterate in science right there, and by continuing to write of “Darwinism” as if it depended upon the writings of one man.

- It isn’t a lacuna, ignorant one…

Were he not ignorant, the issue of abiogenesis would not have come up. And if you weren’t ignorant, you’d recognize that I made an important point. I am not as nice as I was previously, by the way, mostly because Ben has ignored where he has been corrected in the past.

- someone so bereft of intellectual honesty as Ben is would even attempt to supply evidence for his scurrilous charges.

Yes, and why don’t you try to supply evidence for your scurrilous charges, intellectually dishonest javascript?

- IDists simply hate the Enlightenment…

Yes, they attack it at its very foundation, at its requirement for demonstrable evidence. Another issue you can’t deal with, though apparently there are none you can address, java.

- bigoted theists…

A particularly disgusting quotemine from java. I very carefully pointed out that many theists are nothing like the bigoted and dishonest IDists, but he quotemines it as he wishes to misrepresent it.

- More tendentious nonsense.

And of course I justified that remark. You’ve justified none of your attacks.

- Ben has no truthful criticisms to make…

Here’s the context that this extremely dishonest person wishes to be ignored:

More tendentious nonsense. Darwinism and its successors have never ever sought to explain everything. Darwin sought to integrate biology with Newtonian-type science, and largely succeeded. But I guess Ben has no truthful criticisms to make of MET, so he resorts to what IDists always end up using, untrue assertions.

Since I was addressing the fact that “Darwinism” has never once claimed to explain everything, yes, it was tendentious, and I have yet to see Ben provide a truthful criticism of MET. Note how dishonestly javascript edited out the qualifiers I included.

I have to wonder if you’re one of the writers of Expelled, javascript. You’re really so dishonest and bigoted that it’s hard not to believe you could be.

- I’d like to know where you got such a disingenuous idea as that

This is where that came from:

But it’s difficult to believe it will. Theories that presume to explain everything without much evidence rarely do.

I’d like to know where you got such a disingenuous idea as that “Darwinism” presumes to explain everything.

I’d still like to know where such a disingenuous idea came from. From you, javascript?

- evil liars, most likely the sorts of anti-science anti-intellectual persons

More quote-mining, of course, and yes, I demonstrate that you who lie constantly are of that kind.

- Not all of us are as pitiful as you anti-science ranters.

Ben was claiming that we’re “pitiful” and (in essence) that therefore we need to be open to unproven nonsense like ID. But indeed, we who know science know a good deal more about the issues than people like Stein and javascript.

- the usual arrogance of the ignorant

Indeed, it was the usual arrogance of the ignorant, which you continue.

- if you weren’t a slimy little worm, and actually knew something, I’m sure you could have written something intelligent.

And instead of making up for your dishonest attack, you pile on more quoteming dishonesty.

- your anti-intellectual rant ad nauseam

Since you have done nothing but stupidly rant, I rather suspect that this has been well-validated.


Now maybe it’s just me but that sounds more like a Neanderthal then it does a civilized Intellectual that I think Glen would have us believe that he is.

Why yes it does, and since it is your dishonest quotemining and vicious unsupported attack that compiled it in such a tendentious fashion, it looks like you have shown that you were just projecting.

Glen D

There is no reason to either block or smother the above post. Just because it may very well be one of the writers, producers, or main characters whose dishonest claims have been refuted is no excuse to either smother or expel this post.

Am I supposed to stand by while Ruloff, Miller, or Stein (I increasingly suspect one of them or others associated with the movie, since what seems to really bring out the hatred is that I refuted the blog at the top of the comment list) dishonestly quotemines and accuses without evidence or justification? Sure, I’m well past the point where I’m going to be nice when lies are constantly being told about us in a bid to enforce religion on our society, but unlike javascript, I actually make arguments, do not dishonestly quotemine, and I stay away from fallacious attacks on the person.

It will certainly be a sorry day if you protect “one of your own” from a response to his unwarranted and unsupported attack on the person, without the slightest hint of being capable of answering what I actually wrote (hence the quotemining).

Glen D

Date: 2007/11/03 11:27:37, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
It appears that the fascists running the Expelled blog did expel the comments I wrote above.  What a shock, considering how tendentious and dishonest everything they've written has been.

I'm going to assume that javascript is one of the bully boys associated with that movie.  Nothing I wrote there hasn't been written about others at that blog, but apparently when I demonstrate the dishonesty of javascript, it's no longer permitted.

Glen D

Date: 2007/11/03 12:58:07, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
The photo is here:

Glen D

Date: 2007/11/03 15:09:49, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
I'm starting to seriously doubt the Expelled bunch's commitment to allowing comments to run without censorship, though they did fairly well in the past.  Btw, as others have apparently found, Dawkins' forum sucks too.  Regardless, I'm now archiving the fisking I did of Ben's latest blog (there are a couple of repeats of posts):

(OK, I'll actually put the posts here when I can get through)

I'm finally getting around to putting in what I wanted to archive, though it looks like what they posted is going to stay there for some time.  As for the bit above about Dawkins' forum, I'm not sure that it doesn't suck, but at least they didn't totally wipe out the post that made me say they suck.  They moved it and took their time in telling me about it.  

Anyway, to save these from possible future censoring:

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:40 pm
Let’s make this short and sweet. It would be taken for granted by any serious historian that any ideology or worldview would partake of the culture in which it grew up and would also be largely influenced by the personality of the writer of the theory.

Actually, you could make it shorter and sweeter by actually, you know, bringing in evidence. As pathetic as your knowledge of science is, Ben, even you must have some notion that it isn’t “Darwinism” that is being taught today, it is a combination of ideas that have been, and continue to be, tested against the evidence.

I suppose that as long as you lack intellectual integrity, however, you will equate modern evolutionary theory with “Darwinism,” not despite the dishonesty of it, but because of the dishonesty of it. Again, I know that your knowledge of science is abysmal, but you could try to tell the truth, and you could try to deal with a theory that has had many contributions made to it through time and across cultures. However, you don’t, you simply act as if science is as mindless as your sponsors are, beholden to authority rather than to the evidence. It’s much easier, of course, for you to attack strawmen dishonestly set up, than it is to actually deal with biological science, so this is part of your sleazy tactics.

No less a genius than the evil Karl Marx noted that even after capitalism succumbed to Communism, society would still be imbued with the class artifacts and cultural values of the system that preceded it.

Oooh, great authority there. Likely it’s true, but then Marx predicted that religion would fade away as well. Has it?

Much smarter analysts than I have noted that the whole system of Marxism, especially its sharp attacks on capitalists as a class, was motivated by Karl Marx’s envy of the much wealthier industrialist/capitalist members of the Marx family.

A rather simplistic analysis, but it probably played a role in it. So what? Adam Smith wrote in support of his class, and Machiavelli was an apologist for rulers to whom he hoped to suck up. One judges ideas on their merits, not on personalities. Which makes this whole attack on “Darwinism” Ben’s pathetic fallacy of argumentum ad hominem. That’s the best you can do, Ben?

In other words, major theories do not arise out of thin air. They come from the era in which they arose and are influenced greatly by the personality and background of the writer.

Already you’re digging your own grave there, Ben. Evolutionary thought comes from across time and culture, and its origin (if we understand Darwin as the origin–there were others) happens to also be the country of Newton and the Enlightenment. Yes, it is understandable that Darwin would integrate biology into causal science in the country that largely gave rise to causal science. That’s highly preferable to the acausal non-science that you’re supporting now, Ben.

To be continued below:

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:42 pm
continuing from my post above:

(In law, this theory is known as “legal realism”. Judges make up their minds on the basis of their prejudices and then rationalize their decisions by pretending to be bound by prior case law. One might call what happens with ideologies “political realism.” Persons make up their ideologies based on their times and their life situations.)

Yes, funny that, judges care about causation, and you do too in the area of history, Ben. Yet you’re pushing magic as an appropriate alternative to your causal methods in the biological realm, and you have absolutely no basis from which to do this.

Darwinism, the notion that the history of organisms was the story of the survival of the fittest and most hardy, and that organisms evolve because they are stronger and more dominant than others, is a perfect example of the age from which it came: the age of Imperialism.

Very selective there, Stein. You know very well that Newton’s was an age of slavery, plunder, colonialism, and religious bigotry. Yet you praise Newton and his science, while you rubbish Darwin’s science by association. That’s not intellectually honest in the least.

What is more, Darwinism as such fits your own political posture rather well, Ben, as you favor the haves over the have-nots.

When Darwin wrote, it was received wisdom that the white, northern European man was destined to rule the world. This could have been rationalized as greed–i.e., Europeans simply taking the resources of nations and tribes less well organized than they were.

Sure, and this differs from Newton’s time, how? IOW, do you have a point that doesn’t undercut what you’ve written heretofore?

Anyway, as it happens, the capitalism of Victorian Britain is somewhat analogous to Darwinism (and is not actually very akin to traditional society, as we evolved to be more cooperative than Ben’s politics prescribes), and it may indeed have helped to give the right idea to Darwin. What of that? One has to get ideas from somewhere, the only real issue being the one that Ben avoids, the issue of evidence that so strongly supports evolutionary theory, and does not support the creationistic views that Ben and Ruloff wish to impose on science.

It could have been worked out as a form of amusement of the upper classes and a place for them to realize their martial fantasies. (Was it Shaw who called Imperialism “…outdoor relief for the upper classes?”)

So what’s your point? Are we supposed to throw out English science, since it was based in a non-politically correct economic system? Here’s Ben saying that Western culture must (selectively) go, due to its many sins. Ben the PC man. Very good, Ben, you’re now part of the ranks of the nihilists and bigots who fault civilization’s advances just because much of the past evil was retained for so long (and into the present, one might (or might not) argue).

But it fell to a true Imperialist,

Arguably, Stein is rather more an imperialist than upper-class Darwin was. Darwin didn’t much trouble with politics, he was one of the privileged Brits who dabbled in the sciences because it was very interesting and socially rewarded, not because it yielded any great imperial or capitalist prizes. Indeed, a good deal of science was done that way, while Ben selectively condemns evolutionary science simply because he’s bigoted against it.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:46 pm
continuing from my post above:

[Darwin was] from a wealthy British family on both sides, married to a wealthy British woman, writing at the height of Imperialism in the UK, when a huge hunk of Africa and Asia was “owned” (literally, owned, by Great Britain) to create a scientific theory that rationalized Imperialism.

Colonialism was pursued in part (or at least excused by this concept) to stop the slave trade in Africa. You know, the slave trade, which America persisted in even as America came up with better ideas about government, and which Britain engaged in both at that time and during Newton’s time. Once again I note how tendentious Ben’s rendering of history is, and how really lacking in honesty it is.

More to the point, however, is that “Darwinism” didn’t cause Imperialism (which Ben tacitly allows), nor was most of the propaganda in favor of it after Darwin actually based on evolutionary ideas. God and country were the main pillars upon which imperialism was based, with God supposedly ordaining the white races to impose their rule and (again supposedly) better the world. Learn some history, Ben.

By explaining that Imperialism worked from the level of the most modest organic life up to man, and that in every organic situation, the strong dominated the weak and eventually wiped them out,

Your understanding of evolution is as deficient as your understanding of history, Stein. Modern evolutionary theory is definitely not about that, and even Darwin understood the intra-species and inter-species cooperation in an imperfect sense. After all, he had to deal with the objections involving altruism and mutualism, meaning that while his theory may have been analogous with British imperialism, it also took many exceptions to it. Try to explain that, Ben.

Darwin offered the most compelling argument yet for Imperialism. It was neither good nor bad, neither Liberal nor Conservative, but simply a fact of nature.

It’s rather funny how Ben the Social Darwinist keeps railing against Imperialism, when of course “Darwinism” tended to be used more as a prop for capitalism than for imperialism (mostly people in the UK weren’t focused on the latter, but were on the former). But in his tendentious rendering of history, the attack must be on imperialism, and not on his precious capitalism, though neither one came from “Darwinism” at all (it was used to justify both, but it’s far from what actually produced both of them).

In dominating Africa and Asia, Britain was simply acting in accordance with the dictates of life itself. He was the ultimate pitchman for Imperialism.

Really? You mean that Darwin was the main propagandist for the imperialism of religious Britain? Then why is your despicable film portraying evolutionists as being opposed to religion, when by your claims the religionists of Britain were happily using “Darwinism” to support imperialism? Of course they weren’t really, they were operating on religious fictions of the ordination of their Empire, and of the “white man’s burden.” If Darwinism was used as well it hardly matters, because few were really motivated by such an abstract biological concept, while many were motivated by racialism and nationalism.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:50 pm
continuing from my post above:

Now, we know that Imperialism had a short life span. Imperialism was a system that took no account of the realities of the human condition.

Much like Stein’s politics do not.

Human beings do not like to have their countries owned by people far away in ermine robes. They like to be in charge of themselves.

Do they now? Then why did intellectuals of the UK’s former colony, the US, take up Darwinism without much fuss? Didn’t they understand it as propaganda in favor of imperialism?

Of course they didn’t, and neither does God-soaked Mexico, which happens to maintain a historical animus against imperialism and colonialism. Why would that be, Ben? Do you think that it might just be that Newtonian physics and “Darwinian” biology just happen not to be imperialistic in and of themselves, nor atheistic in and of themselves?

Imperialism had a short but hideous history–of repression and murder.

And also of ridiculous people who equate science with imperialism, without any true justification for it. I think that we have little reason to expect anything honest in this film, given the appalling dishonesty of its main characters on this blog.

But its day is done.

Well, not according to those who try to impose their views onto science. You know, Islamic fundamentalists, and IDists, the sorts of people who won’t allow science to progress according to its own standards and mutual agreements.

Darwinism is still very much alive, utterly dominating biology.

Wow, I guess that’s true–if you totally ignore the substantial developments since then, as, of course, Ben does. So is much of Newtonian physics alive (like evolution, significantly added to and superseded in some areas), from an even darker and more brutal time.

And geology from that time and place also serves as the basis for geology today in many aspects.

Despite the fact that no one has ever been able to prove the creation of a single distinct species by Darwinist means, Darwinism dominates the academy and the media.

Species aren’t created, they evolve. And yes, we have huge amounts of evidence that species have evolved through Darwinian (and the other processes of evolution) means. One does not write of “Darwinist means,” unless one is a science illiterate, as Ben is.

Behe, btw, accepts evolution by natural selection, with an unevidenced role for the “designer” as one who supplies the right mutations. So Ben is using his ad hominem fallacy against “Darwinism”, while one of his precious IDists largely accepts Darwin’s contribution to evolution, disagreeing sans merit with MET vis-a-vis the source of variation and of new information.

And yes, Ben has failed to answer the three questions I have posed, which is how to explain the Linnaean taxonomic system with its apparent genealogical structure, why the mostly sexual eukaryotes evolve quite differently from asexual prokaryotes (and in the manner predicted by MET), and why it is that vertebrate wings are derived from legs, when no known designer would make wings out of legs. I think it’s safe to conclude that he has no answer, while all of these provide evidence for MET, or what Ben tendentiously labels “Darwinism”.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 6:55 pm
continuing from my post above:

Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life.

It isn’t a lacuna, ignorant one, because other processes than evolutionary mechanisms come into play during the origins of life. Darwin even allowed at one time that the Creator may have made life, while Darwin himself was simply explaining the patterns that we see in life, including the speciation of finches on the Galapagos Islands.

Alas, Darwinism has had a far bloodier life span than Imperialism. Darwinism, perhaps mixed with Imperialism, gave us Social Darwinism,

No, those were your buddies, who distorted a scientific concept into excuses for ravaging and despoiling peoples, including their own countrymen.

a form of racism so vicious that it countenanced the Holocaust against the Jews and mass murder of many other groups in the name of speeding along the evolutionary process.

I wouldn’t suppose that someone so bereft of intellectual honesty as Ben is would even attempt to supply evidence for his scurrilous charges. He blames the science of evolution for the decidedly unscientific and unsupportable beliefs of Hitler. Well, why not violate Godwin’s law, when you yourself can’t support a single one of your statements, Ben?

The true fact of history is that the Enlightenment spawned Darwin’s thought in the birthplace of the Enlightenment, England (Newton, above all exemplifies such Enlightenment). The Enlightenment was anathema in much of Germany, and especially to the faction which took over Germany in the 1930s (the Nazis were also not in favor of Darwin, for the most part). The Enlightenment countries, which unquestionably had many faults, were the ones who had both the science and the decency to defeat the fascists. Ben disparages the Enlightenment types who promote science and decency, and who defeated the rank evil of Hitler.

Now, a few scientists are questioning Darwinism on many fronts.

Yes, and they always have. The IDists, of course, are not “questioning Darwinism”, they’re using labels, like Ben does, to suggest that evolutionary theory depends on a man and moment in history, when in fact MET is a cross-cultural, cross-religion phenomenon, accepted by religionists and atheists, and by East and West. IDists simply hate the Enlightenment, tell lies about science being “materialistic”, and try to impose their anti-Enlightenment beliefs upon free societies.

I wonder how long Darwinism’s life span will be.

Until bigoted theists (and, fortunately, many theists are totally unlike Ben and his cohorts) destroy it along with the rest of science. And it’s not “Darwinism” (not in the US–in the UK that term is conflated with MET much more than here), that’s just dishonest propaganda.

Marxism, another theory which, in true Victorian style, sought to explain everything,

More tendentious nonsense. Darwinism and its successors have never ever sought to explain everything. Darwin sought to integrate biology with Newtonian-type science, and largely succeeded. But I guess Ben has no truthful criticisms to make of MET, so he resorts to what IDists always end up using, untrue assertions.

[Marxism] is dead everywhere but on university campuses and in the minds of psychotic dictators.

Yes, see, if you really understood history, you’d know why non-Enlightenment, non-scientific Marxism had to perish of its own contradictions, while evolutionary theory remains indispensible for doing biology.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 7:05 pm
I’m trying to post this section of my reply again, since it doesn’t show up in the preview.

Continuing from my post above:

Darwinism also has not one meaningful word to say on the origins of organic life, a striking lacuna in a theory supposedly explaining life.

It isn’t a lacuna, ignorant one, because other processes than evolutionary mechanisms come into play during the origins of life. Darwin even allowed at one time that the Creator may have made life, while Darwin was simply explaining the patterns that we see in life, including the speciation of finches on the Galapagos Islands.

Alas, Darwinism has had a far bloodier life span than Imperialism. Darwinism, perhaps mixed with Imperialism, gave us Social Darwinism,

No, those were your buddies, who distorted a scientific concept into excuses for ravaging and despoiling peoples, including their own countrymen.

a form of racism so vicious that it countenanced the Holocaust against the Jews and mass murder of many other groups in the name of speeding along the evolutionary process.

I wouldn’t suppose that someone so bereft of intellectual honesty as Ben is would even attempt to supply evidence for his scurrilous charges. He blames the science of evolution for the decidedly unscientific and unsupportable beliefs of Hitler. Why not violate
Godwin’s law, when you yourself can’t support a single one of your statements, Ben?

The true fact of history is that the Enlightenment spawned Darwin’s thought in the birthplace of the Enlightenment, England (Newton, above all exemplifies this). The Enlightenment was anathema to much of Germany, and especially to the faction which took over Germany in the 1930s (the Nazis were also not in favor of Darwin, for the most part). The Enlightenment countries, which had many faults indeed, were the ones who had both the science and the decency to defeat the fascists, and Ben despises the Enlightenment types who
promote science and decency.

Now, a few scientists are questioning Darwinism on many fronts.

Yes, and they always have. The IDists, of course, are not “questioning Darwinism” (though they’re attacking it), they’re using labels like Ben does to suggest that evolutionary theory depends on a man and moment in history, when in fact MET is a cross-cultural, cross-religion phenomenon, accepted by religionists and atheists, and by East and West. IDists simply hate the Enlightenment, tell lies about science being “materialistic”, and try to impose their anti-Enlightenment beliefs upon free societies.

I wonder how long Darwinism’s life span will be.

Until bigoted theists (and many theists are totally unlike Ben and his cohorts) destroy it along with the rest of science. And it’s not “Darwinism” (not in the US–in the UK that term is conflated with MET much more than here). That’s just dishonest propaganda.

Marxism, another theory which, in true Victorian style, sought to explain everything,

More tendentious nonsense. Darwinism and its successors have never ever sought to explain everything (not even Marxism did, in fact, though it went well beyond reasonable grounds). Darwin sought to integrate biology with Newtonian-type science, and largely succeeded. But I guess Ben has no truthful criticisms to make of MET, so he resorts to what IDists always end up using, untrue assertions.

[Marxism] is dead everywhere but on university campuses and in the minds of psychotic dictators.

Yes, see, if you really understood history, you’d know why non-Enlightenment, non-scientific Marxism had to perish of its own contradictions, while evolutionary theory remains indispensible for doing biology.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 7:06 pm
continuing from my post above:

Maybe Darwinism will be different. Maybe it will last.

It survived the efforts of Marxists to stamp it out in the Soviet Union. You know why? Because it’s science. If you had the slightest notion of what science is, Stein, you’d cease trying to impose your version of Social Darwinism upon science.

But it’s difficult to believe it will. Theories that presume to explain everything without much evidence rarely do.

I’d like to know where you got such a disingenuous idea as that “Darwinism” presumes to explain everything. Or where you got the notion that MET is without much evidence. I’d guess from evil liars, most likely the sorts of anti-science anti-intellectual persons that you claim were “persecuted,” when in fact they’ve merely been held to account for their own tendentious nonsense.

Theories that outlive their era of conception and cannot be verified rarely last unless they are faith based.

That’s why Lysenkoism and ID have never been able to last in science, and why both have attempted (Lysenkoism succeeded) to use government to impose themselves into a science whose rules and methods end up excluding them based on their lack of evidence. Indeed, evolutionary thought has lasted where other ideas have fallen by the wayside, although many specific ideas about evolution have been brought up only to be ultimately rejected by the science (like Haeckel’s ideas were).

And Darwinism has been such a painful, bloody chapter in the history of ideologies, maybe we would be better off without it as a dominant force.

It isn’t a “dominant force”, it is just the primary theory in biology. What is more, it isn’t “Darwinism”, for Darwin’s writings did contain a fair amount of Victorian baggage which needed to be discarded (expelled, something science does to bad ideas), and did not know about many of the details of evolution (like neutral evolutionary concepts), and has been substantially modified in light of the evidence.

Maybe we would have a new theory:

Maybe you need to learn what the present theory is, and even to know what must be in scientific theories, like actual explanations of phenomena–which ID lacks.

We are just pitiful humans. Life is unimaginably complex.

Not all of us are as pitiful as you anti-science ranters.

And life is more like “imaginably complex,” for we use evolutionary algorithms precisely where our human design processes fail due to complexity, yet where evolutionary processes succeed. Evolution is something like a computational program, one that is massively parallel.

We are still trying to figure it out.

Yes, we are still trying to figure it out, which is why we’re unwilling to give up the only theory that reduces conceptual complexity, evolutionary theory. ID only wants us to abandon the predictive theory, in preference of dealing with everything as if it were only contingency (or where it understands data according to MET, yet denies MET’s causal mechanisms which predict those data).

We need every bit of input we can get.

Actually, we do not. We do not need the input of Ptolemy to understand the complexity of the heavens, we need people who understand science developments to input their knowledge and creativity. That’s why we have standards in science, among other reasons.

Let’s be humble about what we know and what we don’t know, and maybe in time, some answers will come.

I saw absolutely no humility in Stein’s propaganda against “Darwinism”. Only the usual arrogance of the ignorant, as they insist that bad ideas are as deserving of consideration as the ideas which have guided biological research for at least a hundred years.

Glen D

Glen Davidson Says:

October 31st, 2007 at 7:18 pm
This blog is good at allowing comments, but bad in making us wait to see if we got through. I’m going to try again to post one section (it should come after my first post), again because I don’t see it on the preview. If it is a repeat, it should be easy to ignore.

Continuing from my first post on this blog thread:

(In law, this theory is known as “legal realism”. Judges make up their minds on the basis of their prejudices and then rationalize their decisions by pretending to be bound by prior case law. One might call what happens with ideologies “political realism.” Persons make up their ideologies based on their times and their life situations.)

Yes, funny that, judges care about causation (well, that’s not actually Ben’s point, but what is his point? That the justice systems doesn’t work, or does it work dispense justice most of the time?), and you do too in the area of history, Ben.

Yet you’re pushing magic as an appropriate alternative to your causal methods in the biological realm, and you have absolutely no basis from which to do this.

Darwinism, the notion that the history of organisms was the story of the survival of the fittest and most hardy, and that organisms evolve because they are stronger and more dominant than others, is a perfect example of the age from which it came: the age of Imperialism.

Very selective there, Stein. You know very well that Newton’s was an age of slavery, plunder, colonialism, and religious bigotry. Yet you praise Newton and his science, while you rubbish Darwin’s science by association. That’s not honest in the least.

Anyway, at least capitalize properly. It’d be “Age of Imperialism” if you’re capitalizing “imperialism”, not “age of Imperialism.”

What is more, Darwinism as such fits your own political posture rather well, Ben, as you favor the haves over the have-nots.

When Darwin wrote, it was received wisdom that the white, northern European man was destined to rule the world. This could have been rationalized as greed–i.e., Europeans simply taking the resources of nations and tribes less well organized than they were.

Sure, and this differs from Newton’s time, how (I know it does differ, but how does it differ in a better manner?)? IOW, do you have a point that doesn’t undercut what you’ve written heretofore?

Anyway, as it happens, the capitalism of Victorian Britain is somewhat analogous to Darwinism (and is not actually very akin to traditional society, as we evolved to be more cooperative than Ben’s politics prescribes), and it may indeed have helped to give the right idea to Darwin. What of that? One has to get ideas from somewhere, the only real issue being the one that Ben avoids, the issue of evidence that so strongly supports evolutionary theory, and does not support the creationistic views that Ben and Ruloff wish to impose on science.

It could have been worked out as a form of amusement of the upper classes and a place for them to realize their martial fantasies. (Was it Shaw who called Imperialism “…outdoor relief for the upper classes?”)

So what’s your point? Are we supposed to throw out English science, since it was based in a non-politically correct economic system? Here’s Ben saying that Western culture must (selectively) go, due to its many sins. Very good, Ben, you’re now part of the ranks of the
nihilists and bigots who fault civilization’s advances just because much of the past evil was retained for so long (and into the present, one might (or might not) argue).

But it fell to a true Imperialist,

Arguably, Stein is rather more an imperialist than upper-class Darwin was. Darwin didn’t much trouble with politics, he was one of the privileged Brits who dabbled in the sciences because it was very interesting and socially rewarded, not because it yielded any great
imperial or capitalist prizes. Indeed, a good deal of science was done that way, while Ben selectively condemns evolutionary science simply because he’s bigoted against it.

Glen D

Date: 2007/11/15 15:05:34, Link
Author: Glen Davidson
It's not terribly interesting, but I thought Stein's prattle on Glenn Beck's program is worth a few quotes and a link:

STEIN: Well this was for a documentary which as you