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Date: 2006/05/17 07:27:03, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
I was (I think) just banned from UD.  On reading this thread I think this is unexceptional, but it's interesting to note that this was in:

which is an attack on claims of quote mining, and extolls the accuracy of Creationist and ID quoting ability --- these are apparently people who never quote out of context or get a reference wrong.  Of course in the same article Barry can't spell "Eldredge".

I tried to assist subtley, and then more directly, and then was banned.  Such is life I guess.

However in banning me, Dave Scot decided to edit my post, substantially changing its import, effectively misquoting me.

And here's the UD comment policy:


Comment Integrity - Very rarely will I edit a comment. It either gets posted whole or flushed whole. On the rare occasions I edit one I’ll add a note about what and why. However, I often do append my comments to your comments because it’s far easier for me to do it that way in the editorial comment viewer. I try to do it at the end and clearly mark what I added.

What planet are these guys from?

Date: 2006/05/17 17:16:53, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (GCT @ May 17 2006,13:04)
Quote (Patrick Caldon @ May 17 2006,12:27)
However in banning me, Dave Scot decided to edit my post, substantially changing its import, effectively misquoting me.

Ironic, no?

Do you have the original, unedited post?  If so, feel free to post it here so we can all see what DT has done.

And, welcome.

Unfortunately no; I made the mistake of believeing their comments policy meant something.  To remind you this was done in a thread the point of which was "ID people are very careful and honest their use of quotation".  Indeed the phrase "punctillious rectitude" was thrown about a few times.

Anyway, the sense of it is:

Dave, you've not followed what I said, so I'll repeat it:

1) Barry stated that "the fossil record does not support the predictons of Darwin"

2) Darwin made many predictions concerning the fossil record.  Many.  Very gradual change was just one of those predictions.

3) With the exception of very gradual change, to my knowledge all of Darwin's predictions are correct.

4) Barry's statement is therefore untrue, and a misuse of Eldredge's original comment.

On other matters:

- There are marsupials alive in South America today.
- Giving a proper description of "Ring species" is beyond my competence I'm afraid.  Ridley gives a great many references in his textbook, so you should get a copy.  If you really doubt this you can do the fruit-fly experiments at home.
- jerry, your comment that neo-Darwinism is demolished is complete nonsense.  You have to ask the question: "are the rates of change observed in the fossil record consistent with the rates of genetic change observed in modern populations"
- Dave, your quote of Gould's above does not support your arguement.

If I can make a suggestion to you (particularly Dave and jerry); when you make statements like jerry’s above, and use quotations in the manner of Dave above, it becomes apparent that you’re either extraordinarily careless, quite daft, or (most likely) attacking something you don’t really understand --- this is really unfortunate since you are all quite clearly very earnest about this.  I'd suggest getting a good text, for instance Mark Ridley's "Evolution", and reading it carefully.  It was quite readable for a non-specialist like me.

The bold is what Dave preserved; he turns a reasoned argument and constructive suggestion into parting shot of someone flummoxed by superior argument.

Date: 2006/05/17 19:03:39, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (deadman_932 @ May 17 2006,23:53)
Patrick Caldon: Hey There! As another recent wayward exile from Dembski's barrel of baffled, bewildered and bamboozled baboons (writing under another name, of course) -- Have a seat, put your feet up and grab a beer. The show is funny as #### from a nice comfy chair.

Honestly, I find it very sad.  

There's so much effort, there's so much earnestness, there's so much enthusiasm that they have --- but they can't be bothered to work out what it is that they're trying to criticise.

Date: 2006/05/18 05:30:44, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (GCT @ May 18 2006,09:14)
Stick around and you will find that these guys are chock full of it.  They care not one whit for good debate or science.  They only care that what they know to be true (from reading it in some holy scripture) is accepted by all, no matter what the facts, science, and real world say about it.

I agree they're full of it - but why?

There's some kind of bizzare arrogance to think that you, having thought about a matter for half an hour or so, can work it all out better than someone who's been studying something all of their lives.  

My wife just now suggested it's a kind of Romanticism - that by the power of your passion about something you create truth (or Truth).  That we can liberate ourselves from the messy and petty facts about biology and by looking at `Information' and `Intelligence', which somehow represents a higher (sublime?) plane of being. You don't need to study to see this - you can, like a romantic, experience it.

I think the reason why ID can't come up with a satisfactory definition of information or intelligence is that they need their information to be apparent --- you, as the Common Man, must be able to look at an object and just see its information, feel its specified complexity - receive it unmediated from the world.  

And by this common man standard humans have more information than grasses, more information than apes - no need to stuff about with messy and unobvious ideas like Kolmogorov complexity or non-linear fitness functions with no simply observable global maximum or god forbid wet unpredictable biology itself, where we need an expert or some expertise to mediate between us and the world. This is the allergy to experiment --- if you can perceive the Truth, know it directly --- if you're the philosopher-king, if you already know it all, why do you need to stuff about with experiment?  It's just another mediator which will stop you perceiving, not help you perceive.

And it's just a petty fact of biology that they're trying to liberate themselves from - that they (and we) are quite thoroughly a part of nature - i.e. we're critters too.

I guess I find this sort of delusion pathetic.

Date: 2006/05/22 05:07:00, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
I'm coming to the conclusion that the UD train wreck is just amusing:

Apparently Lucius Traveler from the ACLU doesn't want soldiers praying on US taxpayers time, and wants this "nipped in the bud", and USMC Colonel Jack Fessender's response is unprintable.

Now I'm not american, and I don't know the intricacies of US politics and constitutional rights, but I do know the US military hs for a long time employed military chaplains. So something is clearly fishy here.

And when we check the ACLU website, we discover:


Why does the ACLU object to federal employees bowing their heads?
The ACLU has no knowledge about the photograph of Marines praying that has circulated on the Internet. The ACLU has also never had a spokesperson -- quoted by news organizations as "Lucius Traveler" -- by this name.

Similarly the USMC deny all knowledge of a Colonel Jack Fessender.

Now it took dopey old me all of about 15 seconds to work this out.  The Issac Newton of Information Theory seems to be still struggling with it however.

EDIT: source

Date: 2006/05/22 06:29:16, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ May 22 2006,11:18)

Quote (dhogaza @ May 22 2006,11:10)
It's DaveTard, not The Wayne Newton of Information Theory, that posted that story.  Though Dembski did respond with a "right on!" comment.

Oopsy!  I've maligned TINoIT unfairly.


He may be active today, but at 9:15am PST the anti-ACLU urban legend is still there, with both non-Dembski comments still pointing out it's bogus. I think Dumbo and his man are both asleep at the wheel this morning...

I'm really curious to see ID in action right now ...

Date: 2006/05/22 08:38:49, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Colin @ May 22 2006,13:27)
In other words, "It doesn't matter that the post is totally factually inaccurate, nor that it attacks the ACLU for something that they have not, in fact, done.  This post is just about creating the impression that the ACLU has done something wrong."

For a group so outwardly obsessed with public morality, creationists never cease to amaze me with their compulsive disregard for basic honesty.

From BarryA a week ago:


... any quotation must be accompanied by an accurate citation to the quotation’s source, and in my experience ID proponents and creationist are assiduous in this respect..

Date: 2006/05/22 23:09:33, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Bob O'H @ May 23 2006,00:31)
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. –Mahatma Gandhi

Am I the only one wondering if things are running backwards in ID-world?


What; first they fight you, then they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then you loose?

Date: 2006/09/21 19:18:56, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
And now the robots.txt is an empty file ...

Date: 2006/09/21 19:45:32, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
It would be truly remarkable if this Google-deletion were the result of some random error, particularly given that all the participants have inferred that this was the result of some (presumably designed) act.

Date: 2006/09/21 19:49:57, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Glen Davidson @ Sep. 21 2006,16:39)
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".

Date: 2007/05/17 23:14:39, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
And here:

it's implied that the positioning of the Polaris has something to do with Intelligent Design.

I live in the Southern Hemisphere, and have no pole star. Maybe the Intelligent Designer only designed the north.

Date: 2007/05/21 02:09:31, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
D O'L makes a startling discovery:


Life forms, even simple ones, are not like machines.

Hopefully the apologetics of "it looks like a machine, so it must be designed" can now go away.


The fly’s autonomy (or spontaneity, as the researchers called it) is an aspect of life, as opposed to mechanism, that we do not yet understand. I am sure it is understandable in principle, but continued adherence to materialism makes it unlikely that we will understand any time soon.

Translation: Pass me the cosmic spakfilla.

Date: 2007/06/17 06:35:37, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (stevestory @ June 15 2007,16:16)
Couldn't have said it better myself. Funny thing is, if you watch them and us for a few months, their lies and fake jargon and vicious moderation, we still come out ahead.

And even the AtBC jokes are much better, and the dodgy photoshopping of higher quality.

You even attract a better (or at least more honest) class of nutty creationist.

Date: 2007/06/22 06:19:53, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (hooligans @ June 21 2007,15:01)
I took a few moments to catalogue both the type and quantity of posts made at UD since April 2007. ...

ID is Persecuted = 33
Atricles Unwittingly Supporting ID = 17
Global Warming Isn't Happening = 15
Reviews of Popular Books about ID (not peer-reviewed) = 15
Stupid Articles by Denyse = 12
Evolution is Wrong, So ID is Right = 12
Articles That Don't Make Any Sense (not by Denyse) = 9
Davescot Pontificating About Something He Doesn't Understand = 8
Street Theatre = 7
Complaints/Putdowns about Dover or Jones = 5
Evolution is Evil = 5
Teach the Controversy = 5
Jeolousy/Hatred of Dawkins = 4
New Research ID is Thinking About Doing Sometime = 2
ID Supporting Pleasurianism = 1
New Research by ID Scientists = 0

Very well done.  That looks like a lot of work (and pain!) and it tells the story well.

Date: 2007/06/22 06:22:21, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 22 2007,01:38)

22 June 2007
Senators Clinton and Boxer learn from Darwin zealots
In an interesting bit of news Senator Inohofe stated he overheard Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) saying they wanted to stifle conservative talk radio via legislation. Now where have we seen this tactic before - when people want to criticize something and you can’t counter it with facts you turn instead to legal chicanery to silence their criticism. ....

Erm, at Uncommon Descent, with you moderating, Dave.

For a guy who berates folks for fact-checking, do you think "some republitard says he overheard a conversation" meets your criteria?


It's not ID's task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling stories.

Date: 2007/06/22 07:58:58, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (skeptic @ June 21 2007,00:39)
I think I'm confusing you by what I'm asking.  lets take the three mechanisms you've named.  Under what conditions will one operate over the others?  How much variation can we get from RM as opposed to NM?  This is what I'm getting at.  We're not replacing one with the others we're just catagorizing which is applicable where.

Looking at the emergence of traits, in many instances RM (as described) is all that would be required.  Can it describe speciation?  If not, what mechanism can and is there any objective way to test this?  And then based upon the two mechanisms as a continuum at what point between single traits and speciation does one end and the other take over?  Complicating matters further, throw the third mechanism in and then what do we get?

These are the kind of questions that immediately pop into my head.

You'd do well to read a book.  

A friend one recommended to me Mark Ridley's "Evolution", and it's very good on describing this sort of thing - for instance he has a chapter (chapter 7) which goes into great detail on the very questions you're asking, describes the various competing theories in their historical context, cites a number of lab and field experiments which attempt to get to the bottom of the difference between drift and selection.

Date: 2007/06/24 12:24:49, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Ftk @ June 24 2007,11:55)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ June 24 2007,11:20)
FTK, simple question. Do you agree with
If evolution happened, one would expect to see gradual transitions among many living things. For example, variations of dogs might blend in with variations of cats.



Would you mind posting the link to that quote? I believe what he's saying is that if macroevolution has occurred, we might see some of these transitions still slowly occuring over time.  We never witness macro changes - can't even make them happen.  

The cat/dog is an "example".  

If you've read all Brown's work, it's obvious that he knows enough about biology to realize that a cat and a dog cannot breed and create a cat/dog "blend", if that is what you are implying.

He's trying to give an "example" of how things would have occured and what we should still be seeing if macroev. was "factual".

It's the first line here:

The problem is that it's not true.  The statement of evolutionary theory is that cats and dogs (and every other critter) have a common ancestor.  That critter will not have been "half dog/half cat".

Define "macro change".  How is a "macro change" different from a great many "micro-changes" one after the other?

Date: 2007/06/28 08:45:45, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,08:00)
The problem is, Oldman, ...

FTK, you'd do really well to get a high-school or elementary college level biology text and read it thoroughly, cover to cover, and really study this stuff hard.

These guys are not making it up, and more to the point it's actually really hard work to extract chromosomes from chimps, humans and gorillas and line them all up;  if you include all the precursor work it is literally decades upon decades of work of hundreds upon hundreds of people which were required to produce that little diagram that oldman shows you there.

Actually getting real information out of the physical world is really hard.  Don't write it off unless you understand the kind of monstrous effort that goes in.

Date: 2007/07/11 21:53:11, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Here's the last post that didn't make it:


scordova, DaveScot,
Your tone of victory would be a lot more appropriate if you actually addressed any of JAMs points. For instance the following challenge:

   Show some courage and do the math. 10 CQR sporozoites (fitness 0.86) and 10 CQS sporozoites (fitness 1) infect an untreated human. Three weeks later, what is the typical number of merozoites in the blood and what is the calculated ratio of CQR to CQS merozoites?

is fatal to Behe¸²s case. As I sit down and play with the maths here, it¸²s plain that JAM has a point. Indeed the very rapidity of reproduction in this case will drive the CQR population down to negligible levels w.r.t. the CQS population, so virtually sod all gametocytes make it to a mosquito vector, and then in the mosquito itself there will be no CQ (unless we¸²ve magically found a way of making the mosquitoes themselves to take anti-malarials). This is exactly the point which White makes in the quoted paragraph in post #56.

You would both do well to answer him on this point, since this concretely shows the difference between the two anti-malarials that you¸²re wondering about in these latter posts.

DaveScot, as an aside with your calculation, I think you¸²ve neglected that if a nucleotide mutates into itself that¸²s no mutation at all, i.e. A -> A is not a mutation by definition.

It's a real shame actually, I read JAM's posts carefully and I learned quite a bit; getting to grips with this kind of stuff almost makes me regret being a CS major.

And if any of the UD crowd ever check this site out, I daresay this comment was one of the more useful ones, albeit that the DI might need to do some more fundraising:


I’d hardly describe my mutterings as overwhelming opposition, but I agree that it does seem a great shame that Michael Behe did not take the opportunity to do some experiments and properly characterize the development of CQR in its myriad forms. Numbers of people have done in-vitro work on this, the protocols seem reasonably well understood, what’s needed now is a lot of grunt work to actually nail down what the probabilities of various sequences of mutation are.

If it happened to contribute something to the ID debate, all for the good, but a precise description of the probabilities of CQR would almost certainly be invaluable in the construction of anti-malarial strategies, and could quite possibly save many hundreds of thousands of lives.

This would surely be an excellent piece of work for the Discovery Institute to fund, I imagine they could fund a lab, a few researchers and a few graduate students for the several years the work would take out of their budget, maybe a few million a year? And if indeed the evidence (in this particular regard) did not end up showing the truth of ID, at least they would have the consolation that they had benefited the lot of humanity.

Date: 2007/07/12 08:20:18, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Do these guys even read their own stuff?


Earlier, Bill pointed out the apparent convergence of features between Jerry Coyne and Herman Munster here. I think I have also discovered yet another convergence, one between Jerry Coyne and toast.

and below from tribune7:


I went over to Talk Reason.
Talk with “reason” can’t be done with ad hominem

Date: 2007/07/14 10:18:00, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
I just wasted 10 minutes of my life on this evolutionary simulation "game":

I want it back.  

I *think* his simulation is based on the idea that each critter has exactly 6 base pairs in its genome and there is a population of 1 at any time, with a probability of 5*10^-6 of a point mutation in any generation (when one possible mutation is substituting a nucleotide for itself).  I have to agree with the author of the program, that evolution is quite unlikely under this particular set of assumptions.

I'll put 10 to 1 odds that no comment appears on UD (for longer than 24 hours) saying the assumptions are stuffed.

The "game" comes with a commentary.  For instance, when is a mutation not a mutation?  


A single point mutation event that hits a codon can only result in 12 possible outcomes. Each nucleotide in the codon can be substituted by one of the 4 nucleotides. If a point mutation event hits a nucleotide, one of the 4 possible substitutions is the same as the original nucleotide. This means there is only a 75% chance that a change will occur for the nucleotide.



Professor Huxley says:
Marx - are you still peeved because Darwin would not let you dedicate Das Kapital to him?
Karl Marx says:
Not any more. We Communists killed more people that the Scientific Racists who turned Darwin's theory into practical politics. SO WE WON!!!

Date: 2007/07/14 23:11:38, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon





8:47 pm

There’s nothing to do but push one button over and over and I have no idea what all the charts are for. There should be some sound effects or something to make the game more interesting, or maybe you should just press the mutation button once and it runs the whole simulation and tells you the outcome right away. Or instead of having captions appear under the pictures there should be impersonated voices.

I can't tell if this guy is being sarcastic or not.

Date: 2007/07/22 23:20:42, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Our simulated organism with 2 codons and an eternal population of 1 who reproduces once a year struggles for survival:

Again we have this recurring idea in ID biology, that a point mutation of a nucleotide into itself is still a mutation.  

But I'd better not try to reverse-engineer this.  They'll sic some patent lawyers onto me:


The algorithms and user interface utilized in this site are copyright with patents being applied for - with the exception of Richard Dawkins' simulation around the phrase "METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL". The following is a description of the logic used to manipulate the player's two codons. It should enable anybody to audit the outputs of the player's simulation. It should not be used to reverse-engineer this site.

(Emphasis added.) And I wonder, are they going to use the EF to work out whether I've reverse engineered the site?

Date: 2007/07/23 01:14:41, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 22 2007,23:58)
I put those examples (together with mimicry) only to show that darwinismus is unable to explain them. That's all.

For mimicry, I'd suggest chapter 8 of Ridley's Evolution book.  Its an accessible undergraduate text, and describes the evolution of mimicry in great detail as an example of multi-locus population genetics.

Why not buy the book, read through it, and then work through the exercises at the back of the chapter?

Date: 2007/07/23 23:34:41, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon


Trying to find a definition of fitness is like trying to grab hold of jello.

Actually, it's about as hard as shelling out a few dollars for a textbook on the subject and reading it:


The fitness of a genotype measures its relative ability to reproduce itself, compared to other genotypes.

Fitness shows to what extent a genotype is favored by natural selection. Fitness values are between 0 and 1. The fittest individual has a fitness of 1, and the fitness of the other members of the population can be expressed as 1 - s, where s is the selection coefficient.

The fitnesses of different genotypes are among the most important variables - perhaps the most important variables - in the theory of evolution. They determine, to a large extent, which genotypes we can expect to see in the world today.

There are three methods for measuring fitness:

• Measure the relative survival of the genotypes within a generation. Kettlewell's mark-recapture experiment with the peppered moth is an example.

• Measure changes in gene frequencies between generations. We then substitute the measurements into the formula that expresses fitness in terms of gene frequencies in successive generations.

• Measure deviations from the Hardy- Weinberg ratios - this is used in estimating fitness in the case of sickle cell anemia.

A measure of mean fitness is commonly applied in population genetics.

The idea of a fitness landscape is particularly useful for thinking about complex genetic systems.

Date: 2007/07/25 09:22:20, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon

Emperical science cannot comment upon anything except that which can be observed under controlled conditions - repeatedly. Singular events are out of bounds.

So observation-based methods can't comment on one-off events like the formation of the moon, or the continents?

But frankly guys, this one's a screwball too.  To wit:

Freon is far heavier than air - therefore it cannot rise into the atmosphere and destroy ozone. Instead it falls to the ground where it is broken apart by microbes in the soil. The ozone hole has nothing to do with humans, it has come and gone for centuries, and will continue as long as the Earth has an atmosphere.  

A volume of nitrogen gas is lighter than oxygen gas at the same temperature and pressure, Red, but for some reason we're not surrounded by oxygen, with all the nitrogen a kilometre or so up.  Thermodynamics has a lot to do with this.

Maybe you need to have a little think about thermodynamics.  Think hard about how heat is moving from a cold place to a hot place when evolution happens via material mechanisms, since this it is this movement of heat that the second law forbids.

Date: 2007/07/25 09:42:56, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
And now for the big question in ID:

I can forgive a bunch of electrical engineers and programmers for having no clue about biology (I'm half in that boat myself) but why can't they at least run a reliable webserver?

Date: 2007/07/25 13:42:13, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
PaV again:


This fluid notion of what fitness is makes it an almost useless concept.

You'd think a bunch of electrical engineers would have at least heard of the idea of "a collection of functions".

And when we get to fluid notions, the whole CSI thing leaps into my mind in a rather dramatic fashion ...

Date: 2007/07/25 14:28:47, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Louis @ July 25 2007,12:35)
I can see what I think is very likely to be the case, however I HOPE (fervently and deeply) that I am going to be proven wrong. I actually WANT to be wrong about this, I want our new chum to be an open minded person who is merely misinformed and for whom accurate information will be something of a mind opening experience.

I dunno.  The first thing we all have to learn is that our knowledge is limited, it's hard work, and unless we apply ourselves for a good few months studying something hard pushing past our "common sense" and simple intuitions we won't get anywhere.

The problem is that there's hard work involved, and the first step is saying "sod it, I don't know it all, but these guys who everyone else thinks are smart might be onto something".  And then you have to fight through the technical difficulty of the concepts themselves, and (generally) discover yourself making mistake after mistake before you get it right.

The one common trait I've noticed in creationists (from ID to YEC) is hubris, a fundamental inability to acknowledge even the most trivial of mistakes. Hubris is antithetical to learning.

Date: 2007/07/25 15:09:18, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon


William Dembski


10:08 am

13 Steps to Theocracy has recently changed names to Christians for World Domination. Our sister organization is Buddhists for Violence.

I thought that was "Wedgies for Christ".

Date: 2007/07/25 15:54:42, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 25 2007,15:40)
The coloration of mushroom has been studied. We discussed at this thread an scientific article that concluded coloration of mushrooms have no connection with poisonous quality of mushrooms. It is one of the basic claim of neodarwinism that  coloration signals that species is unpalatable or poisonous. Obviously this is not the case of mushrooms.

Heh?  I've only read a couple of textbooks on modern evolutionary theory and population genetics, but each of them went into long descriptions of how mimicry and similar false signals do evolve.

Suppose there is a bird who has learned to avoid butterflies having a specific pattern.  There is then a selective advantage to looking like the poisonous butterfly.  This has been studied quite a lot.

I would hazard to guess that something similar could operate in mushrooms.

Date: 2007/07/27 01:49:42, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Bob O'H @ July 27 2007,00:42)
The emergency services and their defribrilators will be with you in a moment.

No Bob, it's still tard:


What I eventually learned, however, was that this was not how programs were written. When I did a Poke and got the screen to 80 columns, I had not “programmed” anything. I had merely found an existing switch that had already been programmed by someone else. What’s more, I found out that no combination of Pokes would bring me a step at a time towards a program. A program must be planned (in fact, most of the steps leading to a functional program would be catastrophic individually - it is only when several are in place all at the same time does it work at all).

He's confusing a "scientist trying to work out how life works" with "life".

Date: 2007/07/27 07:56:21, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon


I’m confident the rest of us will understand that there is beauty in complexity (albeit not fitness) and there is a point to our existence beyond survival of the species.

Couldn't agree more.

Date: 2007/07/27 12:52:01, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ July 27 2007,12:41)
a telic entity with an inordinate fondness for Game Theory

This one just really cracked me up

Date: 2007/07/28 02:19:37, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,01:54)
See swans. Why are they white?

Swans are black where I'm from.  There's a pair of them (with grey-black cygnets) about a mile from where I'm typing now.  Very cute.  The cygnets follow momma swan around and poppa swan chases away all the ducks when people come to feed them.

So why are swans white or black but nothing inbetween?  Well some swans are both white and black.  These are in South America somewhere if I recall.  

So why are some swans white, other swans black and some swans a combination of both black and white?

Dunno.  But I hardly see that the existence of some white swans, some black swans, and some white and black swans destroys the theory of evolution.  It would probably be an interesting project to get to the bottom of.  At the same time it would be interesting to know why black swans have grey cygnets.

Date: 2007/07/28 02:23:24, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,01:54)
I've put mushrooms as an example where coloration cannot be explained via ToE. I claim that it is only the tip of the iceberg. 90% of coloration in animal kingdom is unexpleinable by ToE.

Forgot to add:  unexplained =/= unexpleinable.  You have to do a lot to show that something is impossible on some kind of theoretical grounds.

Date: 2007/07/28 03:32:08, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,02:33)
Medieval University:

- Why are swans white?
- Because God determined so.

Modern University, 21st century:
- Why are swans white?
- Because it was determined by natural selection.

I'm not sure you're listening VMartin.  Not all swans are white.  Repeating, not all swans are white.  There are black ones:

In any event I think the modern university would more likely answer: "Dunno, but that sounds like an interesting project for a graduate student.  Let's see if we can get some funding from somewhere."

Given that all variation which has been thoroughly examined to date has been the result of natural evolutionary processes (of which natural selection is one) it would be a bit of a turn up for the books if swans were white (and black, and various other colors) because God did it.

More to the point, let's suppose after several years of hard labor we had some explanation of why swans are white, black, and various other colors, as we now do for lots of other organisms.  You would just pipe up with:  "Why are crimson rosellas red?".  Then another several years of labor.  Then "Why are galahs pink?".  "Why are sulphur-crested cockatoos white?" and so on.

If you're really that worried about bird coloration, make a bequest to a university to study it.

Date: 2007/07/28 05:48:11, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,04:11)
I have discussed swans already elsewhere. Folks there noticed that swans are also black in Australia. But I would say it plays more in my cards than it supports neodarwinistic veiw. Because if the same species is white or black it is hardly explainable by natural or sexual selection. It is really very curious - (speaking about Australian/Tasmanian/NZ versus Europian/American fauna)  that natural selection could lead to striking  similarity of placental and marsupial wolf (convergence). The same natural selection would have led in both areas to different and almost opposite coloration of swans.


European grey wolves are grey (hence the "grey" in the name).  Thylacines (tasmanian tigers) were brown with stripes (hence the "tiger").

Trust me, having been to been to both Europe and Australia that the climates, flora and fauna, and geography are quite different in both regions.  For instance, it snows in a goodly portion of the white swan's European range, which was covered in glaciers 10,000 years ago.  It does not snow in much of Australia, and we don't have glaciers.

I'll repeat, I have no idea why they have the colors they do; that does not imply "god did it".   It's a several year research project to work out why white swans are white. If you want to fund the study I'm sure I can find someone to do it for you.

Date: 2007/07/28 12:53:21, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,08:40)
I would say that black and white swans also inhabit the same types of habitat


Date: 2007/07/28 13:31:24, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,13:27)
I have as much evidence as darwinists have for proving than man arouse via random mutation from ancient fish.

Half a zillion fossils and the genome of every organism ever sequenced collectively sing: bollocks.

Date: 2007/07/29 02:33:00, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,13:53)
Quote (Patrick Caldon @ July 28 2007,12:53)
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,08:40)
I would say that black and white swans also inhabit the same types of habitat


Patrick, why didn't you quote my previous sentence either? I quoted there that striking similarity of stripes on tasmanian wolf and african zebra druiker is to be explained via "similar types of habitat".  Is it also "bollocks" or what? But this time it would be darwinain "bollocks".

I have no idea why or indeed if the stripes on these various critters are similar.  Again, it's a multi-year study to get on top of this.  And as soon as a reasonable explanation is found, you'll pipe up with "but why do yellow-bellied gliders have a yellow belly?"; and it's another umpteen years of study to work out if there is some selective advantage or if its a founder effect somewhere or something of that nature.

So I would love to tell you if this is bollocks but I have no idea; on the other hand I know with a very good degree of certainty that the geography (and biogeography) of Europe and Australia are different.  

Do you have some difficulty with the statement: "There are some things we (as humans) do not know because we have never invested the resources to find out"?

We have established that black swans exist.  At least that's good going.

Now we have to get to "the climate in Australia is different to the climate in Europe."

Date: 2007/07/29 09:12:26, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ July 29 2007,06:50)
Quote (Patrick Caldon @ July 28 2007,12:53)
Quote (VMartin @ July 28 2007,08:40)
I would say that black and white swans also inhabit the same types of habitat


Actually, I've found a spot in Wales where Black and white swans live together.

But again, this is one place in one country, so it doesn't exactly show anything.

Do they have black swans in Wales?  Colour me astonished - I thought they were exclusively Antipodean.

Date: 2007/07/31 00:52:00, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon


These examples highlight that basic rules which we take for granted cannot apply in physically existing infinites. Either we must rewrite basic arithmetic rules (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and comparison) or such infinities do not exist.

I think the ID movement is about to rediscover ordinality and cardinality ...

... but with a unique twist:

As a sidelight to this, I think, logically, all infinities of math should ultimately reside in “God”. To clarify this, It seems to me in battling materialists, Theists have always taken away the materialists source for infinities in defeating their particular theories, with the result being that the resultant need for an infinity is always fullfilled by God. Thus mathematically speaking, it seems simple to me that all problems encountered in math with infinities will only be “truthfully” satisfied when alluding to God as the source of the needed infinity in the math problem.

Date: 2007/07/31 11:06:09, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,July 31 2007,10:47)
You darwinist materialist from ATBC miss the point.  Those bridges were DESIGNED.  Gahhh.

Damn straight:


To refute the Darwinists, one possible argument we could use is that nature never builds complexity by taking things away - it only builds complexity through the adding of parts. When a Darwinist uses the natural bridge argument, we could perhaps claim that natural bridges are actually FORMED by some sort of depositional activity. I don't know enough about natural bridges to say one way or the other, but it's possible that ID still has an explanatory role to play here, since the deposit of a natural bridge would seem to be an exceedingly rare event.

Date: 2007/08/01 02:48:48, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (bystander @ July 31 2007,18:07)
He's and electrical engineer and thinks that reactive power is not real. OMG. How did he ever pass his exams. How did he handle field theory?


They're a bunch of computer types and they can't get a web server to stay up for more than five minutes at a time.

Date: 2007/08/03 02:52:09, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 03 2007,01:49)
I am afraid the discussion is over. We hit a point where you accepted probably a fact that darwinism is unable to explain many coloration of living organisms ...

Hi VMartin,

Remember where I was talking about limited resources?  What bit of that is unclear?

That is there is a difference between not being able to do something, and not having done something (on account of lack of resources, or interest).  

Are you clear on the fact that these two things are different?

Date: 2007/08/03 03:24:48, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 03 2007,03:04)

I am aware of it.

Good.  Because that is a very important distinction.

Now can you see the difference between the following statements:

"Evolutionary biology cannot tell us why there are both black and white swans, because of a fundamental inadequacy in the theory",


"Evolutionary biology has not told us why there are both black and white swans, because no-one has looked at this issue hard (on account of lack of time/resources/gullible graduate students)"

I shall look at your link when I get some free time.  A bit busy just now I'm afraid.

Date: 2007/08/03 07:04:50, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon

My goodness.

Date: 2007/08/03 10:03:28, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ Aug. 03 2007,08:47)
Alan Fox

For a discussion to be over, it would have first of all to have taken place.

It was not my fault. I have tried to point out many cases of coloration where (neo)darwinistic oversimplifications are not plausible explanation of development of it.
Folks here denigrated me.

Hi VMartin,

Going back a bit, you stated that the current coloration of swans was implausible via natural evolutionary means.

You never gave any reasons why it is implausible.

Why is it (the color of swans that is) implausible?

If you could address the possibility of drift/founder effects when you answer that would be dandy.

Date: 2007/08/06 00:03:43, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 05 2007,22:36)
I have studied multiple disciplines, yes.  I am a master of none, and I am weakest in Geology.  My primary science is physics.

Brilliant.  I prefer to talk to your strengths.

You state this on your blog.  Presumably your argument is based on statistical mechanics or thermodynamics or the like:


What has been shown, is that the probabilities of the number of mutations occuring in a species which would be necessary to create another species are astronomically high. Only single celled organisms, viruses (and the like), and a few insects produce the numbers necessary to even come close to making the odds closer to possible - and they still can't do it.

1) What is the number of mutations required to make a new species?  How do you derive this number?

2) How many genes have mutations in a typical generation of eukarya?

Date: 2007/08/06 23:19:00, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon

You've now said both this:


What has been shown, is that the probabilities of the number of mutations occuring in a species which would be necessary to create another species are astronomically high.

and this:


As far as the number of mutations required for speciation, I believe this is still being debated, as is the exact mechanism.

To my eye, if you presuppose that mutations are required for speciation (which I'm not sure why you'd do), then knowing the number of mutations required is of critical importance to calculating the probability of speciation.

I have the sneaking suspicion that you've been making this up as you go along.  Particularly the "What has been shown" bit.  Who showed it?  When?

Date: 2007/08/09 00:24:55, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 08 2007,21:47)
Quote (Patrick Caldon @ Aug. 06 2007,00:03)
1) What is the number of mutations required to make a new species?  How do you derive this number?

2) How many genes have mutations in a typical generation of eukarya?

1) Actually, that is one question YEC's, IDers, and other anti-evolutionists keep looking to you evolutionists to answer.  But the number (whatever it's theoretical value) is bound to have a non-trivial  range depending on how you define the term "species" (there are several definitions which are floating about); whether the organism in question is a Eukaryote, Prokarote, or whatever; how complex the species is; and a whole host of other factors.

You've ignored my subsequent question about this number being needed for your probability calculation if speciation is wildly improbable.  You said:


What has been shown, is that the probabilities of the number of mutations occuring in a species which would be necessary to create another species are astronomically high.

If you recall I asked "Who showed this? When?".  The number of mutations required to make a new species is surely a vital part of this calculation.  Given that it "has been shown", you must have some idea about who showed it and when.

Unless you're just making this all up as you go along.

Date: 2007/08/09 01:13:10, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 08 2007,23:14)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Aug. 06 2007,14:19)
Awwww... no answers about koalas getting from Turkey to Australia?  :(

Nor do I have answers to how Sloths got to Central America or how Noah survived the "fruit fly infastation" or how the fig wasp survived or...

But doesn't it strike you as a odd co-incidence that there are oodles of complex marsupial fossils in Australia/PNG, and in South America and not much of note elsewhere ...

All of these critters (many with a natural range in the kilometres) then upped and walked to Anatolia ...

Having got there, all requiring special diets only available 10,000 kms away, they then go boating for a year ...

Their less lucky cousins all drown and get hydraulically sorted ...

And then having enjoyed a spot of yachting in Turkey, they take the multi-year trek back home without food ...

Except for all the South American ones, where only a few opossums made it.  And by bizarre co-incidence, all the South American marsupials (except the opossums, which just happen to be the marsupials which make it back to South America) got hydraulically sorted significantly  *lower* than the Australian marsupials.  About 30 million years lower, according to materialistic science.  Which is also about the same time the evil materialists say that North and South America got joined.

Given your fondness for probability calculations, maybe you should try calculating the probability of that.

Date: 2007/08/09 05:52:44, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Aug. 09 2007,04:24)
that page is now a 404 error!
funny thing is that if you search UD using the internal search feature the thread appears, but click on the link and it's gone.

Internal Search

Google Cache of the page

We're having a UD timewarp to 3 1/2 weeks ago.  At the moment it reads that the most recent entry was on the 15th of July.

Maybe they've tried to ban most of the last month.

One hopes they get their web server back up soon.

Date: 2007/08/10 07:58:06, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon

“The argument for a gradualistic transition from one species to another is fairly suspect ”

then step up to the plate and show us why ID is mistaken here. No one ever has on this site or any other site we have read so you can be the first one.

I'd love to if I hadn't been banned ...

Date: 2007/08/10 08:06:08, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
And I thought that with their reset I might have been unbanned.  Not to be.

Date: 2007/08/11 21:43:15, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (RedDot @ Aug. 11 2007,08:43)
So, most of the proteins under 100aa are signal proteins or part of anabolic/catabolic processes.  Or, they are simply pieces of larger proteins.  My point is that none of the subset of short-proteins, by themselves, allow life to exist, nor could they create life.  References to "proto-proteins" or other such nonsense will not help in abiogenesis.  The majority of proteins in an organism are far larger, and the larger a protein is, the harder it will be to explain its random generation.

Red, you seem to have missed this bit from Louis' post:

So do you mean synthesis as in the careful construction of molecules or synthesis in the sense of "mix it together in a big bucket and out it pops"? If you are using the term in the latter sense to refer to abiogenesis then you're off your chump again I'm afraid. As I said earlier, no one claims that abiogenesis is anything like a big bucket of chemicals out of which some fantastically improbable and complex object pops as if by magic. This is your own strawman, a confection derived solely from your own personal ignorance.

Also you seem to have missed the bit (three times now!) where I asked who (and when) showed this:


What has been shown, is that the probabilities of the number of mutations occuring in a species which would be necessary to create another species are astronomically high.

And how do you justify this statement without knowing how many mutations are needed for speciation?

Date: 2007/08/14 05:30:59, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Louis @ Aug. 14 2007,03:53)
So David, sweetie, please explain to me how I as an atheist hate your fictional deity Yaweh (or is it Elohim? Or both? Or neither?) but I don't hate other fictional deities like Zeus or Tiamat or Odin (to name but three). Be careful to define "hate" most clearly.

I think I might try to channel my Calvinist past for a bit ...

The idea is that you and everyone starts out in a state of Total Depravity. (hence T in TULIP).  This is what Jesus meant when he said "everyone in Sin is enslaved to Sin", and there's another passage about non-believers "loving the darkness rather than loving the light"; as a non-believer you are wedded to a sinful nature and every deed that you do is tainted by corrupt intent.

For instance, myself as a (now) non-believer, in performing this explanation of Total Depravity to you will have in some way have been performing a sinful act by so doing, because as a non-believer my every action is corrupted by sin.  I love the darkness and not the light, and I write this to you out of my love of the darkness rather than the light.  By just hanging around here and typing, I am sinning. By sitting there and reading this, your (atheistic) action of reading is tainted by corruption and arises out of non-Godly motives, so you are sinning.  Just by learning about Total Depravity, you are in fact engaging in a rebellion against God.  Heddle on the other hand is (presumably) redeemed by Grace, so his action of sitting there and reading this comes from the "light, not the darkness", so he's not sinning right now.

I'm not sure if you sin against God just by *existing* and being an atheist, but pretty much every action you do consciously as an atheist is an act of sinning/rebellion against God. (With one important exception, getting saved, which you cannot do but which God does for you.)  Such is the nature of atheism.

And to sin is to hate God.

David will no doubt correct me, but it's not a big stretch to say that being alive and being an atheist is (according to Reformed thought) an act of hatred towards God.

So stop breathing Louis.  Your continued intentional respiration is an act of hatred towards God.

edit -- sorry, david, I hoped to gazump you
edit2 - not corruption, depravity

Date: 2007/08/14 06:45:29, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 14 2007,06:21)
How far can one take this before it becomes too absurd for rational people to even discuss further?

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  --- I Corinthians 13:11

We can only hope.

Date: 2007/08/14 09:57:45, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (heddle @ Aug. 14 2007,09:31)
Reciprocating Bill,

No, you are effectively insisting that hate has one meaning: a seething, jaw-clenched, emotional rage. But even in common usage we can hate things that we are not overly emotional about. When people find out one of my interests, they often tell me that they hate NASCAR. Do they think about it much, know much about it, or are deeply emotional about it? Probably no, no, and no. Many such examples exist. I love the Rolling Stones. I hate the Beatles. I am emotional about neither. So the common usage does not demand strong emotions—although it obviously doesn’t preclude it. As I wrote before, the synonym antipathy is probably the closest feeling.

hang on heddle,

In the Reformed dogma, every act committed by someone not given grace is *Totally Depraved*.  

The word *totally* is not there by happenstance.  It's a key point in the whole business.

Every action performed by someone without the Grace of God suffers the patina of sin, in that it does not have an intention that comes from God.

To sin is to rebel against God, it is to hate God.  

Therefore every action by a non-believer carries this stain of hatred of God.

To wit:
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."  Luke somewhere.

"Hate" here does not mean antipathy, it means "comparative rejection".  Presumably God "hates" us when we sin in exactly the same way, c.f. Rom 9:13 where God "hates Esau", and hence the eternal hellfire and whathaveyou.  I'd suggest that atheists "hate" God in precisely the same way.

But to repeat, this does not mean antipathy!  It means rejection.  And definitionally, atheists reject God.  In Reformed-ese, sin = hate = rejection of God.

There's no way around it unless you want to dabble in whatever the monk was whose name started with P of whom Augustine was not fond.

Date: 2007/09/03 01:11:20, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 02 2007,15:33)
TDoL is the third edition of "Of Pandas and People", a Foundation for Thought and Ethics project. FTE brought Dembski aboard as the editor back before the Kitzmiller case. Dembski's bragging about that position and his coming to have expertise by revamping OPAP in his expert report for KvD made it pretty much obligatory that the plaintiffs demand the manuscript for TDoL, and the drafts of OPAP.

It might have been a different ballgame without Dembski's "unwitting" assist that way.

I was skimming the on-line chapter 1 and noticed:


5. Humans have a fatty inner layer of skin as do aquatic
mammals like whales and hippopotamuses; apes do not.

... more overtones of aquatic apes ...

Date: 2007/09/03 12:13:11, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
And here's some Telic Thoughts on bannination:


Well, Sal, I hope you begin to understand the sort of people you call your friends. If not, maybe a few more invitations to the opposition, along with their banning for minor infractions will open your eyes.

Date: 2007/09/16 10:44:41, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
Quote (VMartin @ Sep. 15 2007,00:20)
1) Are ladybirds aposematic?

2) What was the coloration of the ladybirds ancestor? Was it dull, cryptic or bright, aposematic?

Hi VM,

I vaguely remember pointing out to you the following:  there is a difference between the statements "I do not know the answer to X" and "X is false".

I recall you agreeing.

In any event, I have no fricking idea why ladybugs have different colors.  If you want to put 10-100 million dollars/euros/whatever towards a crack team of entymologists to work it all out, I'm sure someone can set up a big aviary and work out how to breed ladybugs, and sequence a hella-lotta ladybug genome and work out exactly, and come up with a reasonable answer for you, and provide employment for a few PI's and a great many grad students.

I'm reluctant to come up with the x million myself, because:

- I don't have it;
- if I did I know you'd immediately just ask why the yellow-bellied glider had a yellow belly, whereas the sugar glider doesn't; and
- there's many more useful charitable causes (even of a evolutionary nature) that the cash could be spent on, for instance in research into disease, or endangered species preservation, and indeed many grant bodies seem to share my biases.

So VM, given that you can't tell us whether man and ape has a common ancestor, can you at least answer this question (and save you, and me, and a bunch of charities several million dollars in the investigation of the Petaurus genus ...)

- Why do yellow bellied gliders have a yellow belly and sugar gliders do not?

Given that no-one has to my knowledge answered this question you would be providing a great contribution (on the level of a couple of Nature publications) if you could tell us the answer.

Or alternatively:

- Explain the coloration of ladybugs.  

Again, this is millions of dollars of salaries and taxpayer expenditure which you can apparently click you fingers at.

I also recall a discussion about swans, and vaguely recall saying something along the above lines (i.e. no-one seems to have got a big grant for bazillions to study swan coloration) ... why are black swans black and white swans white?

Why are zebra stripey and horses not stripey?

Given your theory is so powerful, perhaps you could answer one of these questions without having a team of grad students wear themselves out over answering it?

Or maybe you could tell us whether humans and apes have a common ancestor.  As it happens someone has bothered to study this question from a "Darwinian" perspective.  Teams of graduate students have fought (and probably died) to give you an answer from the "Darwinian" point of view, unlike gliders, ladybugs, zebras and swans, where funding is a bit trickier.

If you could therefore explain human-ape ancestry from a VMartin point-of-view, and explain how the millions spent on human-ape evolution (and not spent on ladybug, marsupial glider, zebra/horse, and swan) have been wasted, you would do us all a great service, as our society will then not go on to waste millions of dollars and years of researcher-time on ladybugs etc.

So how about it VM?  Now we've sequences a human and a chimp (unlike swans, ladybugs, zebra/horse and gliders - but if you want to fund this study I'm sure we can find you someone ...), what's your theory's view on human-ape ancestry?

It's not a hard question, and there's a lot of funding and research effort in this area (unlike just about every other species on the planet ... )  so an answer would be peachy.

How about it VM?  Do humans and apes have a common ancestor?  Why or why not?

Date: 2007/09/16 11:01:21, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
... I respectfully notpologise [sic] for choices, which arose only from my passion for the truth, which is without peer.

- William Dembski.

Date: 2008/06/26 00:57:37, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
The Green Eggs and Ham is brilliant.  Well done.

Date: 2008/06/26 02:03:24, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon
I'm waiting for how long it takes a creo to

1) Notice this
2) Accuse the author of some kind of copyright violation
3) Fail to remember that the Expelled film use of "Imagine" got through on the same parody/criticism exception that would apply to this

My money's on 5 days.

Date: 2008/10/23 20:42:52, Link
Author: Patrick Caldon


And there are now 260 reviews. More of the reviews I am seeing are not just Darwin cultists venting auto-hate. They include non-cultists engaging with the subject.

Can we have black robes and ghouly altars and stuff?  And sacrificial virgins maybe?